Doing his level best, or, Working his way up

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Doing his level best, or, Working his way up

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Doing his level best, or, Working his way up
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
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1 online resource (28 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Wealth ( lcsh )
Entrepreneurship -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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F18-00007 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.7 ( USFLDC Handle )
031125599 ( ALEPH )
244440909 ( OCLC )

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AND Just when the wobbling house seemed on the point of turning completely over into the rushing waters help suddenly appeared at the open window. The crippled woman, perched on the brave boy' s shoulder, and the little girl, uttered a glad cry.


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY I H vecJ Weeklt1-Bt1 Subscripti= 1 2 .50 per 11ear. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 190tl. in the otrtce of the Lwrarian of Congreu, Wuhington, D. C., b11 Frank Touse11, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. No. 47. NEW YORK, AUGUST 24, 1906. Price 5 Cents Doing His Level Best OR, Working His Up By A SELF-nADE nAN CHAPTER I. THE MAN FROM THE WEST. "Hello, sonny!" It was a blustering, o vercast day in the first wee]< in April, and Will Melville, a strong-looking boy of fifteen, his frank, open countenance flushed from recent exercise, was securing a dilapidated sailboat to a small wooden platform extending a few feet out into a narrow creek that branched off of Maple River, when he was hailed as above. The boy looked up and saw a stalwart, bearded man, with a deeply bronzed countenance, standing upon the top of the bank behind him. "No, sir." "What's your name?" "Will Melville The stranger whistled softly and seemed to look upon the boy with a new interest. "Haven't any father or mother, I s'pose ?" "No, sir." "Mr. Skinner supports you, doesn't he?" "I work for Mr. Skinner. He boards me and gives me $7 a month wages." "Is 'Mr. Skinner a farmer?" "He is." "Well off, I s'pose ?" "People say he is." The stranger gave a grunt of satisfaction. "Where does he live?" That he was a stranger in that l ocality Will guessed "In that white house yonder." instinctively, for the lad knew about everybody for miles "Got a wife, hasn't he?" around in the valley. "Yes, sir," replied Will, wondering how many more "Well, sir," replied Will, judging the man was in quest questions the inquisitive stranger was going to ask of some information "Any children?" "You live around here, I s'pose ?" said the stranger, "One son, Simon Skinner." inte rrogatively. The stranger looked at Will reflectively. "I do," answered Will. "I once knew a man by the nam e of George Melville, "Know a man by the name of Amos Skinner?" out in Cripple Creek. He said h e came from these parts." "That's the man I live with." was my father, sir," said Will, eagerly. "You don't say, and the stranger looked sharply at t h e I 'l'he stranger did not appear to be very much surprise d hoy. "Any relation of his?" at the boy's admission. -


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. "George Melville told me that he had a wife and son in Maywood, at the head of Arlington Valley." "'!'hat's right," said Will. "Father was a carpenter in Maywood before he went out West. That was many years ago, and I was only a l ittle boy at the time he left to make his fortune, as he said, in the Cripple Creek diggings, where gold had just been discover ed in great quantities. Mr Skinner, who was a friend of father's-in those days he was not so well off as he is now, but worked a small farm on shares-went with him. After a few months father wrote that he and Mr. Skinner had got hold of a claim which had turned out to be very rich. He expected to make enough money in a few months to be able to return home very well off. Snough, be said, to build a fine hol1se in the village and live the rest of his life witho u t the necessity of returning to his trade." "Well," said the stranger, "didn't he?" "No, sir That was the last word mother ever received from him." "How was that?" asked the stranger, with a curious look in his eyes. "Because --" The boy choked up a little, and tears glistened in bis eyes. "Because he died out in the dig gings "Oh, he did!" exclaimed the stranger, in a peculiar tone "You are sure that he died?" "Yes, sir. A few weeks after mother received father's last letter Mr Skinner returned to Maywood. He called at our home and told mother that he was the bearer of sad tiding s He said that he and father were partners in a claim which proved to be a ri c h one That they bad sold out the claim to a syndicate that was buying up all the property around in that section. Father and be had each received $20,000 in gold coin. They had arranged to return together to Maywood. Two days before they were to start he said father sudd"enly disappeared. Mr. Skinner said that he and three other men had searched the district to try and find out what became of him For a week they failed to discover th.e slightest clue:-> Then they found the body of a man at the foot of a certain precipice. The body was much battered and the face wholly unrecognizable. But Mr. Skinner said he was certain that it was bis friend George Melville, for he identified the clothes and a jack knife found in one of the pockets. He felt quite sure that father had been enticed to that spot by some of the des peradoes of the district who had h ear d of his good fortune, and murdered for his money, which he had changed into bills and carried about his person in a money belt." "That was the story Mr. Skinner told your mother, was it?" "Yes, sir. As Mr. Skinn er had not posi lively identified th e dead man, though he said he had little doubt on the subject, mother refused to believe for a long time that father was actually dead She wrote to persons in Cripple Creek who had known father, but could only get a con13.rmation of Mr Skinner's story Finally, after many lfad passed without any favorable tidings, mother at last gave up all hope She had to take in sewing to support herself and me, as we had no money, until at last she took sick and died." "But Mr. Skinner came home well off, didn't he?" "I believe so. "And didn't he do a n ything to help your mother?" "No, sir 1 "Kind of mean, wasn't it, when you say he had been your father's friend?" "Well, he's a close man "Oh, he is?" Will thought he detected a grin on the stranger's face. "Yes, sir." "And how did it happen you came to work for Mr Skinner?" "After mother died he offered me a job on his new farnT; and I have now been with him two years." "Does he treat you well?" "I'd rather not say, sir, whether he does or not," replied Will, evasively gives you seven dollars a month and your keep, you say?" "Yes, sir; but he charges me with everything I break. And he doesn't pay me anything in winter and early spring when I attend school, though I have to do all the chores and many other things before and after school time." "At that rate you haven't saved much money," sai d the st ranger, with a twinkle in his eye. "No, sir. I haven't any money at all." "Why not?" "Mr. Skinner says a boy like me doesn't need money, so h e is saving what I have earned so that I will not squand e r it." "Very kind of him to do so," remarked the stranger, sarcastically. "He says he's acting as my guardian till I come of age." "But he isn't really your guardian, is he?" "No, sir." "Very likely he is keeping back your money so you won't run away." Will was silent. "Did you ever feel like running away?" continued the inqui sitive s tranger. "You n eedn' t be afraid to tell me, for I shan't give you away." Will wouldn't admit whether he had ever felt that way or not. His manner, however, gave his questioner the impres sion that he had. Suddenly the boy looked up and said: "You said you knew my father out at Cripple Creek. Did you know Mr. Skinner there, too?" "Why do you ask that question?" asked the stranger, sharply. "Because you have been inquiring for him." "Yes," replied the man, guardedly. "I knew him slight ly." .. I


r DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 3 "Are you thinking of calling on him?" safe. The "dark page in his past has doubtli;:ss long ceased "I had some such idea," admitted the other, slowly. to trouble him. It will be a shock to him when he learns "You'll find him at the house now, I guess." that Jacob Luckstone is still alive and has him under his "All right. I'll go up a.ntl see." thumb. Squirm and wriggle as he may, he won't be able Will had not failed to notice that the lpoked to escape until he comes down handsomely. If it wasn't rather shabby, and he wonderctl if the m:;i.n's object was to that I am precious hartl up, and charity begins at home, it try and some money of Mr. Skinner on the strength would be in my heart to tell that boy the truth and help of old acquaintance out West. him to recover rights. But as it is I need the money, From what he knew of Mr. Skinner he thought there and I need it badly, so I am nbliged to compound a felony. wasn't much chance of the stranger getting anything out I hate to do it, for I've b1ken a liking to that lad, but of the .farmer. needs must when the father of lies holds the reins." Although the Skinner farm was one of the best in the With a harsh laugh and a shrug of his shoulders Jacob rnlley, and the proprietor reputed to be uncommonly wellLuckstone kept on up the lane and :finally came to a gate to-do, he was extreme ly parsimonious. which admitted to the farmyard. It was like drawing teeth to get him to put up even his Here he came face to face with a boy of sixteen years church dues, and he never did that until the last moment. who was amusing himself tantalizing a small bull terrier. As for contributing to the foreign missions, or any local Jid not need any one to tell him who this charity, he was not to be relied on, and it was very seldom boy was, for he read the Skinner family characteristics in indeed that he was asked to do so, for people didn't relish every line of his homely, sallow and disagreeable countethe kind of rebuff they got from him. nance. The stranger nodded civilly to Will, turned on his heel "Who are you, and what do you want here?" demanded and started for the lane the boy pointed out to him as the Simon Skinner, aggressively, pausing in his delightful most direct way to reach Mr. Skinner's house. employment and regarding the strange r with undisguised Will watched him with not a little interest. disgust. This man had known his father out in great West, "You are Simon Skinner, I suppose," said Luckstone, and, although he had not intimated how well he had with a chuckle known him, still the boy yearned for another chance to "I don't know that that is any of your business," retalk with him and find out what his opinion was as to that torted the boy in a disagreeable tone. "l don't know you, father's fate. and from your general appearance I don't want to know "I s'pose I'll never see him again,'' he thought, disyou either." appointedly. "All right, sonny; don't get hot under the collar. I'm He was wrong, however. not going to introduce myself to you." He was destined to see the stranger very soon again, and "I should hope not. Well, we don't feed tramps at this under particularly thrilling circumstances. place, so you'd better move on to the next farm." "Look here, .Master Simon, is your father in the house?" "My father! What do you want with him?" "Business, sonny, business. I've come a long way to CHAPTER II. see him-maybe that's the reason I look so shabby. You mustn't judge a book by its cover." A GHOST OF THE PAST APPEARS TO MR. AMOS SKINNER. "My father is very particular about who he does bu si-ness with. I don't believe he'll see you." "So that's George Melville's son," muttered the stranger "That's where we differ, Master Simon. He'll see me to himself, UH he walked up the lane which led to the pre-nli right when he l earns I'm here." tentious looking farmhouse in which Skinner and his "Does my father know you?" asked Simon, doubtfully. iamily dwelt. "Funny that I should meet that boy the "Well, grinned Jacob Luckstone. first thing. He's a fine-looking chap, too-just the kind "What's your name?" of boy illat will make his mark in the world in good time. "Never mind my name, sonny. Just run into the house I wonder what kind of youth Skinner's son is like? tell your father that a man who u sed to know him in Maybe I shall see him. From what I know of his father I Cripple Creek is waiting outside to see him." haven't any very great opinion of him. On the contrary, "It's a long time since my father was out West-must Will Melville is just like his father in a great many ways, be seven or eight years. I guess he won't want to see you." and will be more like him when he grows up. Skinner "All right. I'll take the chp.nces of that. J mt _yo u proved himself a scoundrel out West, and he has been c arry my message." rubbing it in, I see, ever since he returned to the East. S imon didn't like to be ordered around in this fashion, Well, I gues s I'll be able to take some of the conceit out and was about to refuse, but there was something in the oi him-and some of his well-guarded money, too," with s tranger's manner which intimidated him, and so, very a sardonic grin. "No doubt he thinks himself perfectly/ much against his inclination, he entered the


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. up his father, whom he found in the sitting-room reading for he was a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence that day's issue of the weekly Maywood News, and told and and was accorded a good deal of respect him there was a man outside in the yard who wanted to and deference by the inhabitants of Maywood and vicinity. talk to him. "I wonder what's come over father all at once?" mut"Who is he?" asked Mr. Skinner, looking up. "One of tered Simon; as he retraced his steps to the yard. "He is the neighbors ?'1 usually pretty sharp and sweet in his dealings with tramp" No. He's a stranger." ish individuals like this man from Cripple Creek. He is "A stranger! What can he want with me? Did you not only willing to see this person, but he actually tells ask him what he wanted to see me about?" me to bring him into the library-just as if he was Mr. "Yes. He said he wanted to see you on business." Hanford or somebody worth the attention. Looks mighty "What kind of business?" funny to me. I'd give something to know what the fellow "He didn't say." wants to say to my father. He acts as if he could make "What does he look like?" the governor do something for him. I've a great mind to "Like a tramp-that is, he's awfully seedy, and hi! tell mother. No, I won't. One of the library windows is shoes are covered with dust as if he had walked some disopen. I'll show this man into the house and then I'll go tance. He says he's come a long way to see you." o,utside, stand in the bushes under the window and listen "A long way!" exclaimed Mr. Skinner, in some surto what goes on inside of the reom." prise. Simon grinned at what he considered his own cuteness, "He told me he knew you out in Cripple Creek." walked into the yard and told the waiting stranger that "Knew me in Cripple Creek!" cried Simon's parent, his father would see him in his library. uneasily. "What did he say his name was?" "In his library, eh?" chuckled Jacob Luckstone. "I asked him, but he wouldn't tell me. If I was you "Follow me," said Simon, in a pompous W?-J, strutting I'd send him packing. I guess he wants to ask you for a into the house. loan. He looks as if he needed it." The stranger followed him with alacrity. "I haven't any money to loan," said Mr. Skinner, hastSimon threw open the door of the library. ily. "Here's the man, father," he said, standing aside to "I didn't s'pose you had. Shall I tell him to skiddo ?" allow the visitor to pass. grinned Simon, feeling that it would give him a great Mr. Skinner, who was seated at his desk close to the deal of satisfaction to deliver such a message to the hard-'open window, turned in his chair to take a critical survey looking and cheeky stranger in the yard. oi his caller. "He said he knew me in Cripple Creek, eh? Y,ou are The stranger, without waiting to be invited, coolly positive he said that?" seated himself in a leather-covered armchair, crossed his "Yes. He seemed very confident that you'd see him." long legs nonchalantly, remC?ved his weather-stained hat "He did?" replied Mr. Skinner, nervously. from his head to the floor beside the chair, squirted a "Yes, he did. I think he has a lot of nerve. Why don't stream of tobacco juice into a cuspidor, and, you send hi m about his business?" looking the farmer sharply in the face, said: "I think maybe I'd better see what he wants," said Mr. "You don't seem to recognize me, Amos Skinner." Skinner, in a tone so different from what he usually used "I must confess you have th? advantage of me, sir/ under similar circumstances that his son regarded him replied Mr. Skinner, with a touch of his customary aggres with consiaerable surprise. "Show him into my library, siveness, his courage having risen when his visitor seemed Simon." to be a complete stranger to him. "Why don't you see him in the yard? He ain't fit to "Then I'll introduce myself to you," grinned the man. come into the house," objected the boy. "My name is Jacob Luckstone." "I'd rather have him come into the library," replied "Jacob Luckstone !" gasped Mr. Skinner, his face turn-his father, getting up from the rocking chair with the ing a sickly white. "Impossible! Jacob Luckstone is--" intention of crossing the hall to that room. "Dead!" chuckled the stranger. "No, he isn't. Not The name library was rather a misnomer for the apart-by a long chalk. He's very much alive, as I'm willing to ment in question, as there were no books or bookshelves swear to, seeing as I'm the identical individual myself. there, neither Mr. Skinner nor any member of the family But he's not as prosperous as he ought to be, is a having a bent for reading. great pity. However, I think that can be reetified. It's But the gentleman farmer, as he was derisively alluded a long lane that hasn't a turning. Are you quite sure to by many of his neighbors, called the room his library that you don't recognize me now, Mr. Skinner?" because it sounded well, and gave an air of importance to The speaker leaned forward, parted his beard from his house. about his mouth, and exhibited to the farmer a peculiarThe only other person in the valley who had a library looking tusk which projected from under his upper lip. in his house was Thomas Hanford, president oi the ArOne look was enough for Amos Skinner. lington Valley Paper Mill, but his library was a real one, With a hoarse cry of dismay he fell back in his chair


I DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. and regarded his visitor with a look of terror, as though a ghost of the past had suddenly risen before his startled . eyes. CHAPTER III. THE PRIOE OF SII.ENOE. "I see you know me all right," said Jacob L-:ickstone, reaching forward and helping himself to a cigar out of a box that Mr. Skinner kept for his private consumption. He bit off the end, picked a matchbox off the desk, lit the weed, and then settled back in the armchair to enjoy a good smoke, evidently a luxury to him. "I heard that you was dead," said Mr. Skinner at last, with a little shiver. "I came mighty near turning up my toes soon after you left the diggings. I had a run-in with a chap-an onery cuss. He got the drop oTJ. me and I went to the hospital for repairs. When I pulled through I took the five thou. you kindly presented me with and went to Mexico, where I stayed until I was finally cleaned out three months ago. Being reduced to my uppers I thought of you." "Why of me?" asked the farmer, in shaky tones. "I thought you promised to cut me out of your mind when I paid you $5,000 seven years ago for your silence as to a certain matter which I do not care to recall." "Precisely!" replied his visitor "I did promise; but when a fellow is on his last legs he kind of forgets such things as promises." Mr. Skinner wiped the perspiration from his forehead. "Then I suppose your object in coming East is to extort blackmail from me?" he said, with a ghastly look. "You can call it by whatever name you chuse," replied Luckstone, carelessly. "I want to get on my feet again. I can't do that without money. There's no one to give it to me but you; that's why I called on you." "But I haven't--" began Mr. Skinner. "Yes, you have," retorted Luckstone, calmly puffing at his cigar. "You've got money all right You're well off, and won't miss a thousand or two." Mr. Skinner uttered a dismal groan. He could not bear the idea of parting with any of his darling dollars. "What are you kicking about?" asked Luckstone, con temptuously. "Besides the $20,000 you got for your share of the Rainbow claim, you made a good thing out of George-" "Hush!" cried the farmer, imploringly. "Don't men .. tion his name. I was mad when I--" "Murdered--" "No, no! I didn't murder him! I drugged him in order to---/' "Rob him of his money belt. Precisely. But he never recovered from the dose you gave him, so I have only got your word that you didn't intend to do him up for quits. However, that was your lookout. Then you robbed him of his $20,000, and I was lucky enough to catch Y?U doing it. It was my duty to hand you over to the authorities. Had I done so your neck would have been stretched in short order. Fortunately for you I was open to reason in the shape of a bribe. We compromised on $5,000, and you promised on your part to do something for Melville's wife and child when you got back home. Have you kept your word, Skinner?" "Yes, yes; of course I did," replied the farmer, hur riedly "Well, let's hear what you did for them?" asked the visitor sharply. "Why do you wish to know? It can't interest you in the least." "But it does interest me, Mr. Skinner." "Well, I helped them along from time to time, and when Mrs Melville died, two years ago, I took the boy to educate and bring up at my own expense "I suppose you treat young Melville the same as you L1o your own son?" said Luckstone, sarcastically. "Ahem Not quite. You could hardly expect that. He attends school in the late fall, winter and early spring, and the rest of the time-" "He works on your farm, same as any laborer, I s'pose." "Well, yes; but I pay him for his time "You mean you have promised to pay him-when he I gets to be twenty-one?" "Why, why; what do you--" "Look here, Skinner, you can't fool me. I met young Will Melville clown by the creek not an hour ago, and we had quite a talk together." "You met that boy!" exclaimed Mr. Skinner, growing pale again "Why, how did you know.him?" "I didn't know him till he told me his name." "How came you to talk to him?" "I saw the boy coming up the creek in a sailboat. I wanted to learn where you lived, so I waited till he landed and then I asked him if he knew you. He said he did, that he lived with you. Then he pointed this house out to me. Something about the boy caused me to question him, and I learned a few things about you. He told me the story you brought from the West and repeated to his mother. He also told me that you never helped them to the extent of a single dollar, but that his mother had to fake in sewing to support herself and bim. When she died you took him to work on the farm at a small wage, which you are keeping back until he comes of age. the way you put it, but your idea is to prevent him from leaving you until you can get everything out of him you can. Isn't that it, Skinner?" "No, no; I mean to deal fairly by him," said the farmer, hastily. "I don't believe it," replied Jacob Luckstone, bluntly. "I don't believe you are to be trusted You said you would take care of George Melville's wife and son, and it's evident you haven't done so." T J


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. '---------. l'that the present demand would probably be the final one. "His father?" grinned Luckstone, as ft'e noted the anxHe groaned at the Tery thought of such a thing. 10us look on his companion's face. "No, not a thing. If His money, which he loved better even than l1is own I did what was right I would." soul, would melt away under this rascal 's s ub sequent de"No, you must not. I'll--" mands, for who could say if he would ever put a limit to "Well, go on. Spit it out," said the visitor as the them while he lived. farmer abruptly. "I'll give you a couple of hundred dollars if you'll ise to go away and never bother me again," said Mr. Skinner with manifest reluctance "A couple of hundred dollars exclaimed Luckstone, contemptuously. "What's a couple of hundred dollars to me?" "It's a lot of money," the farmer, in a tone that showed he regarded it as. sucp. "Look here, Skinner," said Luckstone in a decided way, as he chucked the butt of his cigar into the spittoon. "Let's get right down to business. I want to go back to Mexico. I've got a good thing waiting for me there; but I've got to have $2,000 to develop it. Give me $2,500, and the chances are you'll never see me again." Twenty-five hundred dollars!" gasped Mr. Skinner. "Do you want to ruin me?" His visitor laughed "I'd venture to take my oath that $2,500 is a mere fleebite to you. Why, ma:valive, you brought $35,000 back with you from -Cripple Creek, at l east half of which rightfully belonged to George Melville's heirs. That was seven years ago. You ought to be worth all of $50,000 to-day_" Mr. Skinner held up his hands protestingly. "I say you are!" almost roared his visitor, his eyes twinkling angrily. "However, I don't care a picayune what you're worth. All I want of you is $2,500. That I must and will have, or you can guess what'll happ en. You this document, don't you?" and Luck.stone pulled a folded piece of paper out of his pocket and exhibited it to Mr Skinner, who shrank from it as though it were a venomous snake. "Suppose I placed that in young Mel ville's hands, what would happ en, do you think? It would be worth twice $2,500-aye, more, to him to learn the truth about his father's fate. This paper in his hands would not only strip you of more than half your wealth, l!iut land you behind the bars to boot, with something worse in prospect. I think I am letting you off easily. I ought to ask $5,000 at least Mr. Skinner 's face grew Jivid as he listened to Jacob Luckstone. knew the Westerner had him in his p

DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 7 amounting to $200 which he very reluctantly handed over to his visitor J'acob Luckstone shoved the money into a pocket of his vest and rose to go. "Why, it's raining, isn't it? How far is it to the village hot el?" ".About two miles," replied Mr. Skinner. "I don t mind a wetting much," said his visitor, with a sh or l a u gh, "for I'm used to roughing it; but I'd rather not present myself at the hotel looking like a drowned rai. l\fy c lothes aren t much to brag of at the best. If I look any worse they might refuse to take me in." "You can remain here awhile until the rain lets up. I'll fetch you some supper. I'd invite you to the table, but I don't think my wife would like it. / "I don't look highfaluting enough to suit her, eh?" grinned Luckstone. "Well, don't worry yourself about me. Bring me a bite of any old thing you have to spare and we'll let it go at that." It was now growing dark, and Mr Skinner lighted the lamp. Presently the supper bell rang and he excused himself. is visitor walked up and down the room thinking of the future after the farmer had withdrawn. Occasionally he stopped before one of the windows and gazed out upon the darkening landscape The prospect was not particularly pleasant The rain seemed to have come to stay, for it was pour ing c1own in as if the floodgates of heaven had bee n opened. Everything looked dreary and soaked without. "If i t doesn't let up I'll have to ask Skinner to let me sleep in his barn with the horses to-night," soliloquized the W este rn e r. Half an hour passed away and then the farmer appeared with a tray, followed by Simo:p., carrying a jug of milk. He set the tray down on a table, motioned his son to witliClraw, which he did with some reluctance, and then be told Lucksto ne to help himself. The Westerner was pretty sharp set by this time, as he had eaten noi.hing s ince morning, so he accepted the invi tation with alacrity and attacked the eatables forthwith. Thei:e was nothing left but the dirty dishes and empty milk pitcher when, with a sigh of satisfaction, he pushed his cbair bark from the desk, grabbed another cigar and began to puff away at it with evident relish The rain continued to pour down unceasingly as if it neve r m eant to let up. Mr. Skinner walked nervously about the room, for he was anxious get rid of his disreputable visitor At last Jacob Luckstone spoke: "It doesn't look as if I could reach the village in this downpour. Wliat's the matter with letting me bunk in your barn to-night?" Mr. Skinner stopped in his restless walk and regarded his unde s irable visitor in silence. To let Jacob sleep in his barn was out of the question because Will Melville slept in a little room in the loft of the building which had been built for bis accommo dation, and the farmer did not want these two persons to have any further communication with each other lest re sults unpleasant to himself might come of it, for he placed no dependence whatever in the Westerner It was equally impossible that. the man should sleep in the house, for not only would Mrs. Skinner object strenu ously to any such arrangement, but the farmer himself did not at all relish having Luckstone on his premises throughout the night. Where, then, could he put him, for as the case stood the man could not very well get to the village before morning unless Mr. Skinner hitched up a covered rig and took him there, which he had no idea of doing?" While he was in this state of indecision he. suddenly saw his way out of the difficulty. There was a small disused two-story barn down near the river. There was a considerable quantity of hay in the lo1't, and this would make a comfortable bed for a rough-and ready person like Jacob Luckstone, who more times than he could remember had slept in far worse quarters Accordingly, Mr. Skinner told his visitor where he had decided to put him for the night. This arrangement was satisfactory to the Western man, so the farmer got an umbrella and escorted Luckstone to the old barn and left him to turn in. When Mr. Skinner returned to the he found Simon in the library with a cigarette in his mouth and bis heels on one of the wi:r;idow sills smoking away to beat the band. This was a liberty that Simon had never been known to take before, and his father was so amazed at the sight that for a moment he was tongue-bound. "Simon," he exclaimed, in an angry tone, "what docs this mean? How dare you s moke cigarettes in my library? Take your feet from that window sill instantly." "I'm very comfortable as I am, dad," replied the boy, in a tone that showed little respect for his father. "And I think this is as good a place to smoke as anywhere else." Mr. Skinner was dumfounded at the words and attitude of his only son. The boy had never acted towards nor spoken to him that way before. "Simon Skinner, have you taken leave of your senses?" he demanded, more angry than ever. "I shall certainly chastise you severely for your disrespectful conduct." "Ob, forget it. After this I'm going to be my own boss," said the boy flippantly. Mr. Skinner turned fairly white with rage at these words. "I'll teach you to know your place, you ungrateful--" he began, reaching out his arm to seize his son by the collar. "Hold hard, dad," interrupted Simon, jumping te nis


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST feet backing out of the way. "Don't touch me, or I'll tc:l mother something you won't like her to know." "\Yhat do you mean?" cried his father, regarding him with angry surprise "I mean that I have found out what brought that man, whose name is Jacob Luckstone, here this afternoon. I now know why he was so easy to me and so cock-sure you'd see him as soon as you heard he was outside. I know why Will Melville's father never--" "Simon!" almost screamed Mr. Skinner. "Oh, you can't shut my mouth, dad," his son, inde ::'E'nc1ently. "I heard you admit that you drugged George Melville and _then robbed him of his money belt contain ing $20,000." :Jir. Skinner regarded his son with a livid face, but Simon took no notice of his emotion. "Jacob Luckstone caught you at the trick and you had to give him $5,000 to buy him off. Now he's back after more, and you've agreed to give him $2,500. You seem to be in a nice pickle, blessed if you aren't." "How-did-you-learn-all-that?" gasped out Mr. Skinner. "How did I learn it?" snickered Simon. "Why, I was hidden under that window yonder, and I took in every word that passed between you two." The farmer covered his face with his hands and sank into his chair at the desk with a heartbroken moan. His cup of bitterness was indeed full, for he was dis graced and humiliated before his own son. CHAPTER V. THE TURNING POINT OF A. LIFE. Simon Skinner seemed to enjoy the advantage he had obtained over his father. He had a mean, narrow nature that rejoiced in the dis comfiture of another-even though that other was his parent. His father's distress did not seem to make much im pression on him. He l eaned carelessly against the window sill and finished his ciga r ette. Finally Mr. Skinner took his hands from his face regarded the boy with a look of mute supplication. "Simon," he said, in a broken tone, "promise me you'll never breathe a word of what you heard this after noon Promise me that. You wouldn't ruin your father, would you?" "Oh, I won't say a word," replied the boy, with a ''But you mustn't boss me about any more. That's a fair deal, isn't it?" "Simon, you are: taking an unfair advantage of your father. I have sinned, it is true, but it was for your sake as much as anything else." .. "For my sake!" exclaimed the youth. "What do you mean by that, dad?" "I committed that crime order that one day you might be rich, Simon. I did not intend to cause George Melville's death. But I hated to think that Melville should return to Maywood as well off as myself. That his son would on a par with you. When I saw that he had changed his gold into bills and carried them on his person instead of placing them in the bank, as I did with mine, the temptation to hold of that money by some means, no matter how, impelled me to put up a job on him. He was an easy victim because he trusted me. If it hadn't been that I was caught in the act of taking the belt off his unconscious body by Jacob Luckstone, all would have bee'n well." "It's a wonder you didn't try to do him up, too, when you found he had you in his p,ower,'' said Simon, in a crafty tone. "I'd have done it if I'd been in your shoes." "No, no, my sori; you wouldn't have added a real mur der to an accidental one," said his father, feverishly. "How do you know I wouldn't?" replied the boy, with a s neer. "I don't believe in letting anybody hold the bulge on me. Five thousand dollars was a lot of money to give up to a straijger. I think you was pretty easy for cou ghing up so readily. I don't wonder he came back after more : It's $2,500 this time. How much will it be next time? I tell you, dad, you're a regular easy mark." "I can't help myself. If he exposed me I should be arrested, the crime would be investigated, and in the end I might be lrnnged, for that man would swear I committed a deliberate murder to obtain Melville's money." "How do you know anything could be proved against you after seven years?" "Luckstone could do it. He took charge of Melville's body and disposed of it. He also compelled me to give him a written acknowledgment that I had administered a dose of chloral to my friend for the purpose of robbing him." "That was foolish,'' said Simon, bluntly "Do you s up pose he has that paper yet?" "I know he has. He showed it to me in this room." "Look here, dad," said Simon, sudden ly, his little eyes twinkling with a strange light. "Why don't you rid your s elf entire ly of this man now that you have the chance to do it?" "vVhat c1o you mean, Simon?" asked Mr. Skinner, in a lone of some surprise. "What should I mean ? You've got this fellow in your power, haven't you?" "In what way?" "You're very dense,'' replied his heir, contemptuously. "Didn't you take him down to the old barn by the riv er a little while ago?" "I did." "What did you take JYm there for?" "He wanted a place to sleep, as it's too stormy for him to walk to the village." l \ b: S< fi t


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. "He's probably tired out with a day's tramp and asleep by this time, don t you think?" "Very likely," replied the farmer, wondering what his son was driving at. "Well, do you know what I would do if I was in your :fix?" said the boy, significantly. "What would you do?" "I'd run him into a lunatic asylum and then I'd have that barn catch fire accidentally before morning. The wood inside is as dry as tinder, and there's a lot of straw OIL the lower floor, as well as a ton or two of hay in the loft. It would make a fine blaze." "Do you mean to Ray that you would deliberately burn--" "The barn up? I would as sure as I'm standing here. People would imagine he died in the fire. If he was as dangerous to me as he is to you, I'd put him where he could do me no harm." "But t iat would be criminal," said Mr. Skinner, in a hushed tone. "Self-preservation is the first law of natur

10 DOING HIS LEVEL BE::ST. e n ough. I must make sure of my boat. If I shou l d lose that I wouldn't be able to get its mate in a hurry, and about all the pleasure I have in life I get out of it." So Will jumped out of bed again, hurriedly dressed himself, and, taking the rubber horse cloth from its peg on the wall, ran lightly downstairs. caught the gleam of a shaft of light through a cra c k in the door He stopped short and gazed in wonder at the building What could it mean? Had a tramp or two taken shelter from the storm inside? Wrapping the waterproof as snugly about his person as It must be so, for no one had any business in there at he could, he sallied forth into the night and storm through thnt hour a small rear door of the barn "I'll take a squint and see who is in there anyway. If He expected to be back in a very short time, just as soon as he had hauled his boat up to the head of tb' e creek, ar:d secured her to a stout tree standing near the edge of the bank. Fate, however, decreed that it would be many a day before Will Melville saw the Skinner barn again In fact, as the boy stepped out of the building he had, all unknown to himself, reached a turning point in his young life, and from that hour a new career awaited him whic h would set its mark on all his after existence. CHAPTER VI. SAVED BY A HAIR. it is a tramp, and he is smoking, I'll have to warn him against the danger of setting fire to the old Will therefore marched up to the door and peered through a knothole which furnished an uninterrupted vie w of the ground floor In the midd l e of the floor stood a lighted lantern wl1ile some person, whom the boy did not immediately r e cognize, was piling up the dry straw thickly about the foot of the rough ladder which l ed to the loft. Great wads of straw had also been heapPd upon e a('h step of the stairs. "WJeat in thunder is the man doing?" exclaimed Will to himself. "Surely he can't mean to set the barn on fire, and yet that is what he seems to be bent upon doing. Is this person an escaped lunatic, or what is he?" As the man inside turned to gather another huge arm ful of the straw from a pile in one end of the place, the The short cut Will took to reach the creek carried him light of the lantern flashed full upon his ghastly countepast the old disused barn where Jacob Luckstone had for some hours been sleeping as peacefully as a child. There was no thought of any danger threatening him that night on the Westerner's mind. If the idea had occurred to him he would have laughed it down contemptuously. It would have seemed too ridiculous that after carrying 11is life in his hands for a score of years in the woolly West, and later in the fastnes ses of the Mexican frontier among the most reckless class of Grea ser desperadoes, death should flap its sable wings above him here in this peaceful valley of the civilized East. nance. Will etarted back in consternation. The face he saw was the face of Amos Skinner "Great Scott!" cried Will. "Why is he about to destroy this old barn on such a night and at such an hour? There are a couple of tons of good hay in the loft, too It isn't at all like Mr Skinner to sacrifice even a small bit of his property Why, I've known him to go wild when a short afternoon rain slightly damaged the top of a single haymow. I can't understand this at all. It can't be that he's walking in bis sleep and doesn t realize what he is

g. 1 :it [f m : d le e, : h 11 e, [s l ie k t-if il e e DOING HIS LEVEL BEST.11 Skinner by the arm, and called attention to the pres ence of that man whom he would have recognized as the person who had spoken to him down by the creek that Will, however, forgot all about the object which had called him from his bed at that late hour in the interest tbat Mr. Skinner's ominous preparations had excited in bis mind. f there was going to be a bonfire he wanted to see it, too, JlOW that he was on the scene. He didn't care, though, that the farmer should find watching him. i:,. Skinne-r wasn't in the habit of treating him any too well, and it was more than likely that if he caught him out of the big barn he would handle him without gloves, and the boy wasn't anxious for a run-in with his employer. His curiosi ty held him to the spot, but he was well on his guard. Mr. Skinner scattered the balance of the straw about fhe floor and then took up his lantern. He opened the slide and took out the candle. Wil wondered at the ghastly look which rested on the farmer's features. He wondered still more when he saw Mr. Skinner look up at the opening in the loft and shake his clenched fist iR a hreatening way at it. It was hardly the a c t of a sane man, and a suspicion that the farmer had suddenly gone mad, and his intention to fire his own property see med some evidence of that sup position, flashed across Will's mind. Then Mr. Skinner applied the candle flame to the straw in different places. It took fire instantly, and the flames spread with great rapidity, curling up the ladder in red tongues which ignited the batches of straw further up. His last act was to thrust the lighted candle under the straw at tl;te base of the ladder and leave it there. Then he sta rted for the door. Will thought it was time for him to get out of range, and he hurriedly jumped behind a big oak tree which threw one of its great branches above the old doomed barn. Mr. Skinner came rushing out as though the fire-fiend ims elf was at hi s heels, and he threw the door wide open in order to create a huge draft. He stood for a moment in the broadening glow of the furnace his hand had called into being, and again shook his cJenched fist at the loft. "Now, Jacob Luckstone, we'll see who is the winner you or I? In a few minutes the earth and myself will both be well rid of you forever-forever, do you hear?" he screamed "It is a thousand pities you have $200 of my goo money in your clothes at this moment. It has got to go, but at l east I have the satisfaction of knowing that you will go with it. May you wake up in perdition, blast you!" For the third time Mr. Skinner shook bis hand at the loft and then he melted away in the direction of his house. Will had heard every word he uttered, and they seemed incomprehensible to him. "One would think there was some enemy in that build ing he was trying to de s troy," breathed the boy. "What could he mean by saying, 'Now, Jacob Luckstone, we'll see who is the winner?' thought Will, watching the sea of fire which now had full swing in the lower floor. "\V!lo is Jacob Luck stone? There's no such person in this neigh borhood, I'll swear." Hardly were :the words out of his mouth before he heard a terrible cry for help-and the cry surely came from the loft of the doomed barn. "Great heaven 1" cried Will. "That was a human cry. It sounded from in there, too. What can it mean?" The cry was repeated with greater intensity than before. Will rushed to the door and looked in. The whole interior was now on fire from end to end. Great tongues of flame were reaching up through the open trap into the loft. "Help, h e lp, for the love of heaven!" came in tones of strong anguish through the opening. "My goodness There is some one up there. His only chance to escape is to burst open that closed wooden shut ter above. Why doesn't he do it?" The screams 6f the imprisoned man now grew agoniz ing. He pounded frantically on the walls and on the closed window shutter, but h e did not seem to know how to open the latte r from within. "Help! Help:! I am burning to death! Help in heaven's name!" "I must help him some how," cried Will, casting the rubber covering from him. "It mu s t be some tramp who went up there to s l eep ; but I cannot see even a tramp perish without l ending him a helping hand. How shall I reach him? Ah, the tree!" In a moment Will was shinning up the thick trunk of Uf e great oak. Never before had he climbed a tree with greater speed and energy. But now he lia:d reason for speed, for a human life was in dire peril. He swung himself out on the limb which extended above the roof of the barn. Dropping down on the wet and slippery roof, he crawled up until he was above the closed shutter of the loft. Letting himself down till his feet were in a suitable position, he began to kick away vigorously at the shutter. The man inside heard him and ru s hing up to it cried: "Save me! For h eaven's sake, save me! The fire has reach ed the loft. I am nearly suffoc ated." "Open the window," cr i ed Will. "How can I?" "Turn the bar that holds it, and push it open." Luckstone fumbl e d about through the smoke which was choking him, grasped the wooden bar and tried to turn it. It was stiff, how:ever, from dis use and resisted l1is efforts.


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. He tugged frantically at it, his breast heaving, and the Luckstone also realized that he was indebted for his perspiration standing out on his forehead in great drops. life to Will 1llelville, the son of the man Mr. Skinner had The flooring under his boots was growing terribly hot, so basely treated out in Cripple Creek, and to which crime and the smoke-charged atmosphere was becoming more he hims e lf was to all intents and purposes a.n accomplice. and more stifling. "You have saved my life, Melville," he said, in a weak Behind him the hay was blazing up furiously, and the voice, catching the boy's wet hand in his and pressing it flames were creeping toward him with relentless certainty. warmly "I don't deserve this favor of you, my lad, "I can't get it open," he groaned. though I'm mighty glad you came to my assistance An "You must get it open," cried Will. "Your life deother minute and it would have been all over with me. l pends on it. It is your only way of escape." can't understand how the place caught afire. 'Skinner will He thumped again, harder than before, with his shoes be sare to blame it all on me in the morning. He'll say ] on the shutte r, in an effort to loo sen the bar inside. was smoking, and that I dropped a lighted match in the Inside Luckstone continued his desperate fight for life. hay." His efforts, however, were each moment becoming "How can he blame you, sir He couldn't have known weaker. you were in the building." "I'm dying!" he groaned, as he gave a last wrench to "Couldn't have known it! Why, of course he kn&w H. the bar just as Will administered a heavy kick from the Didn't he bring me here himself, so I could pass the night outside. in loft, as it was impossible for me to walk to the vilThe bar came loose, revolv ed and Luckstone with a gasp lage in this storm?" fell against it, forcing it partly open. "Mr. Skinner brought you here to sleep in the loft of Will kicked it entirely open. ?" cried Will, in the utmost astonishment. "Now jump out," he cried, preparing to follow himself. "He certainly did." Luckstone was beyond the effort. The man evidently spoke the truth-yet his very truth-He lay gasping in the opening, his dazed eyes turned fulness raised an appalling question in Will's mind. up at the brave boy, clinging to the roof above, while the If Mr. Skinner had brought this man, who had so nar fire, now at his feet, was catching the edges of his trousers. rowly escaped a terrible death in the flames, to the barn Will, lookin g down, saw how it was with him. to pass the night there, then he must have know.n he was He saw he would have to help the man out or he would iu the building when he deliberately set it on fire. be lost What then was the inference? So he let himself down into the window with the help of That for some reason his object had been to murder the shutters. this stranger Straddling the sill, be exerted all his strength and Will could not bring himself to believe anything like pulled and pushed the man out of the window. that of his employer. Luckstone feil all in a heap into the water-soaked grass He knew that Mr. Skinner had his shortcomings, but below. that such a terrible thing as murder sho uld enter into his Then, as Will sprang after him, the flames followed him thoughts did not seem reasonable. through the window and shot up through the roof,. lightSuddenly Will recalled the strange, threatening words ing up the vicinity for a hundred feet around. uttered by the farmer when he stood for a moment in CHAPTER VIL WHAT JACOB I.UCKSTONE TOLD WILL MELVILLE. As soon as Will alighted on the ground he seized Luck stone by the arms and drew the half unconscious man away from the burning barn into a cowshed near at hand. He had been nearly strangled by the smoke in the loft, and it was some minutes before he could articulate well enough to thank his young preserver. By that time the barn was ablaze from foundation to rcof the flames rising fifty feet into the air, accompanied by great volume& of thick black smoke. By the glare of the fire Will recognized, greatly to his surpr!Jie, the man who had accosted him at the creek that afternoon. front of the barn he had just fired. Those words-at least the few the boy could recollect were to this effect : "Now, Jacob Luckstone, we'll see who is the winneryou or I?" In a few minutes the earth and myself will both be rid of you forever." Those words were certainly significant of a deadly purpose. Was this man's name Jacob Luckstone? If he was, then the picture looked very black against Mr. Skinner. Will determined to see what light this man could throw on the matter. "Is your name Jacob Luckstone ?" he said rather abruptly. "It is," admitted the Wes tern er. "You are acquainted with Mr. Skinner?" "I am." "He brought you to that barn to sleep, you say?"


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 13 "Yes." "Do you regard Mr Skinner as a friend?" "W elll hardly that," chuckled Luckstone. "Have you any reason to suspect that he would want to injure you?" "Why do you ask that question, Melville?" the West erner asked, clearly startled. "For the best of reasons, Mr. Luckstone," replied Will, gra"\'ely. "What are your reasons?" "If you will answer my question I will tell you." "Well, I haven t the least fear that "Skinner would try to injure me-he's too much of a coward for that; but I'll t e ll you frankly that I believe he would hail the news of my death with a g reat deal of satisfaction." '"I'm afraid, Mr. Luckstone, that you underestimate Mr. Skinner's courage, for it was he who set that barn on fire to-night, and I saw him do it." "You saw Skinner set :fire to that barn? You actually saw him do that?" asked Luckstone, hardly believing the evidence of his ear s "I did. Listen and I will tell you the whole story." Will then told Luckstone what he had seen Of Mr. Skin ner's actions in the old barn which culminated in his set ting :fire to the building. The man from the West uttered an angry oath when the boy haa finished his story "The sneaky scoundrel!" he ejaculated. "So he meant to do me up for good I won't do a thing to him for this Thought he'd save that $2,300 balance, did he? Well, I'll have no mercy on him now. I'll ruin the villain and send him to prison if there's law and justice in this land. Even if it costs me my own freedom to do it. Will Melville, you saved me from becoming a victim to that rascal's per fidy. I mean to show my gratitude by seeing that you get your rights." "Ge t my rights! What do you mean?" asked the sur prised boy. "You shall know to-morrow. You shall hear the whole truth." "The whole truth about what?" "About the wrong that ma:;i did your father out in Cripple Creek." Will uttered a gasp of surprise 1 "Explain what you mean, Mr. Luckstone," criad the boy, grasping the man eagerly by the arm. "What do you know about my father?" "I won't tell you now. All I will say at present is that your father's death lies directly at Amos Skinner's door, and that much of that man's prosperity was built upon the money that rightfully belonged to your mother and yourself. Skinner has deeply wronged you, boy, and I am sorry to say that I abetted in the transaction for the sake of the money I gained by so doing. But that wrong must now be righted. Skinner shall be made to disgorge. He shall be brought to book for your father's death, and for his attempt on my life to-night. You are my witness for the latter, I will be your witness for the former. Between us, my lad, we will put the villain through." "Do you really mean that Mr. Skinner was responsible for my father's death?" "I do." "And yet I always understood he was my father's friend." "He was a false, treacherous friend. Your father trust-ed him and was betrayed." "I can hardly realize that what you accuse Mr. Skinner of is the truth," saicl Will, in a troubled voice. "Haven't your own eyes shown you to-night what Amos Skinner is capable of? Did you not see him go to work with the utmost deliberation to murder me?" "Yes," admitted the boy. "I am the only witness who can bring him to book for the crime against your father. I am a dangerous man to hi s interests. I have him hard and fast under my thumb. For these reasons he naturally wanted to sweep me from his path. He has failed, thanks to you. It was a lucky thing f.or both of us that you happened to be on hand to defeat his purpose. From this hour I will sink my own intere s ts in yours I will no longer use my power over that rascal for my own gain, but I will exert all my efforts to see that your father is avenged, and that you shall receive what is jus tly yours." "Do you mean to assert that Mr. Skinner defrauded my father of his money, too?" "I mean to say in the of words that he delib erately robbed your father of his share of the money re ceived from the sale of the Rainbow Claim, the sum of $20,000." "Twenty thousand dollars!" "Ah, $20,000 !" "How do you know this?" "Because I caught him in the act of doing it." "You did. And you never--" "Brought him to account for it? No, I now regret to say that I did not. Instead of doing that I accepted $5,000 of that money as the price of my silence." "You did?" "I did." Will regarded Jacob Luckstone with a look of aversion. "H all you say is true, you are almost as guilty as Mr. Skinner." "I .do not deny it; but your father was almost a stranger to me, and I did not have any part in the plot against him." "Have I your word for this?" "You have." "Do you know how my father met his death? Was he pushed over a precipice?" "No. Skinner drugged him with a dose of chloral. He asserted that he did not actually mean to kill him-merely intended to stupefy his victim so he could rob him of his money with safety. But I have only his word for'this." "Mother told me that my father was found mangled ap


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. the foot of a precipice. Mr. Skinner told her that in his opinion some desperadoe s must have l earned that my father carried his money around hi s person in a belt; that he believed they lured him to that lonesome spot, attacked and robbed him, and then threw his body the moun. tain to get rid of it. He identified my father's corpse by 11is clothes." "A man resembling your father in build and dress was found as you have described and buried in hi s name after Skinner's evidence was taken; but it may not have been your father just the same." "May not! Then you have no idea what became of my father after he was--" "Drugged by Skinner!" Luckstone regarded the boy with a curious expression for a moment. "Boy, you shall know the truth. Listen! I took your father in his unconscious condition to my cabin. He was apparently all but dead, and I agreed to bury him secretly as soon as the breath had left his body. Your father, however, did not die." "Did not die!" exclaimed Will, in a tense tone. "No. He came to himself on the following day, but his mind was gone from the effects of the overdose of poison he had received. How long he would remain in rthat condition I could not tell, but that he would not die seemed certain. This placed me in a quandary. His ulti mate recovery would spoil IIlJ' future plans with r ega rd to Skinner, whom I meant to bleed if I should ever need money. Yet I could not bring myself to complete that rascal's villainy. I had already decided to go to Mexico with my $5,000. I went, but I took your father with me, for he was as docile as a child." "You took my father to Mexico!" "I did. He recovered his health, though his mind re mained a complete blank as to the past." "And where is my father to-day?" cried Will, with feverish eagerness. "Is he still--" "Alive? Yes, and in excellent health. But Skinner must never know the truth. He must be made to-" At that moment a terrible roar sounded up the valley. The dam had given away at last 1 CHAPTER VIII. THE FLOOD. "What's that?" excla'imed Jacob Luckstone, pausing in hi s last speech and gripping Will by the arm. The storm was still at its height, while the fire had so far subsided that the rain was beating the last of it into a mass of blackening embers. The boy held his breath and listened. He was afraid to say what he was thinking. He could hear a mile or more away what seemed to his excited fancy the onward rush of a great body of water. If this was the truth then the big dam had given away and Arliugton Valley would soon be flooded from end to end "The dam," he said in a hoarse whisper at last. "What dam? What are you talking about?" asked the Weste rner impatiently. "The dam above the village I fear has given "Well, s'pose it has? We're not in any dang er, are we?" "We should be -swept off our feet by the flood ana probably drowned." "Then let's get somewhere else." "We'll go to my boat in the creek. I want to attend to it. anyway." "I'm with you," said Luckstone. They set out at once for the creek, only a short distance away. Will found his sailboat all right, though the creek risen more than a foot-since he was there that afternoon. "Get into the cuddy," he said to his companion. "I'll follow you as soon as I hitch the boat higher up." Will released the boat's painter and pulled the little craft up to the head of the creek, where he fastened the line to a stout tree close to the edge of the bank, now scarce ly foot above the water line. Then he jumped on board and hastened under cover. It was but the work of a few moments to feel for matches, which he always kept in a certain place and light the lantern at the forward end of the cuddy. This gave a bright illumination to the interior. From under one of the lockers he produced a red papiermache bucket and placed it in the center of the floor. Taking off his jacket he began to squeeze the super fluous moisture into it, and advisea his companion to do the same. "This isn't a bad place to spend the balance of the night," remarked Luckstone, looking about the cosy cuddy. "Whose boat i s it, Skinner' s? "No, it's mine," replied Will, as he hung his jacket up to dry. "Not much. to brag of I ll admit, but still it's all mine-the only thing I ever owned." As the boy spoke the sailboat, which had been riding uneasily at her moorings, rose up suddenly, as if pro pelled into the air from undern eath. Then she shot backward, as far as her painter would let her go, and fetched up with a jerk that sent both Will and Luckstone sprawling in a heap on the floor. The shock caused the line to snap short off close aboard, and when the boy and his companion picked themselves up both realized that the boat was adrift. Will rushed to the slide, or cuddy door which he had almost shut to keep out the rain, shoved it open and looked out.


s y 0 d td to ce '11 lle he )W [or rnd the 1er do the l dy. up all ling )rOlet and ard, ; up had and DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 15 Clearly the little craft was moving along upon the sur-j "\\. e'rc anchored m a tree," he said his companion face of a body of water at a smart pace. o ver hi:,; shoulder. Will unshipped the lantern and raised it at arm's length "Will it hold the boat against the tide?" asked Luck-outs ide the cuddy. stone. B y its glow the boy could see an agitated mass of water on b oth sides. H e was now sure that the dam had given away, for nothing but a heavy onrush of water from above the vil l a g e coulc1 have overflowed the cre e k and torn the sailboat from h e r anc horage, sending her drifting down the valley at the m e r c y of the stream. The rain was still coming down in torrent s driven hithe r an d thithe r by the bla s t anc1 the night was so dark that Will had no idea of the e xt ent of the flood. 1 It w as useless for him to think of taking mea sures to g ui de t11e craft, a s h e could not se e a yard on e way or the other. "That is rather doubtful." "Have you a rope aboard to make fast to the trunk?" "Yes, I've a spare line," replied Will. "I'll make the boat secure if I can." "I'll help you," said the Westerner. Between them they succeeded in securing the sailboat tc tl1e trunk of the tree, so that if the flood swung her loos e from the bran c hes, as it was very likely to do in time, they would still swing at anchor. "This i s safe r than being swept along at the mercy of t h e w ater, s a i d the boy after the job had been completed. "We shan' t run into anything now and be upset." "But som ething ma y run into us, just as we ran inb i h e t r ee, and s end us to the bottom." "We' ll have to take our chanc e s of fet c hing up against "That's true," a n s wer e d will; "but in that case we c a n an y obstru c tion that happens to g e t in our way," he s aid c l imb into tl1e tre e,,whi c h is pretty solid, I guess." to Luc k s tone a s he returned the lantern to its hook. "It R e movin g th e ir s oak e d g arments anu wrapping thcmis s impl y a m atter of blind luck with us now. I can't t e ll . 7 h tl th t th' t selves rn a blank e t api ece which'' ill had m a locker, the y w e 1er we re on e river a is momen or are movm g 1 1 d tl ft h h th b d f tl 11 If th f rec m e upon 1 e oor near eac ot er. over e o y o ie va ey. e armer, we re com. . t 1 f f th 1 tt 1 bl t t The r am sti ll beat d o wn on the top of the little cabm para 1 v e y s a e; i e a er, we re ia e a any momen . . t b tt t b 'ld' 1 d t w ith una b a t e d v1gor, the drivmg blast whistl e d through o u u p a"am s a ui mg or some nn or a ree, or . d d f t fa tl d ,, t h e hmb s of the tree and the light boat bobbe up an rn a c a n y o. 1mg in our roa "' tl t t tl t 't h down on the une asy surface of the water. "-' rom ie way you pu 1 1e prospec isn over c eer. . f l ,, a L 1 t As the excit e m ent of the ir sibrnbon somewhat sub s ided, '\.1 s a 1 u c rn on e Will was eage r to talk about his father in far-away M ex" No, i t i s n 't," replied Will. T h e n that dam you s poke p ieces? ico, but Lucksto n e s a i d h e was tire d and wanted to get a about really gone to little more r est if h e c o uld. "There i s n t much doubt about it." The boy was gre atly di s appointed but as th e m 111 w ouldn t talk h e h a d to s ubm i t for the pre s e nt. E v e r happen before?" I t J b f L I t d d ir t I t w as n o n g e or e uc rn one roppe ou o s "Many times." and thou g h Will, consc ious of the danger of their positi::in, "Why d o n t the y make the dam strong enough to hold trie d t o k ee p i is eyes o p e n, h e too, yielded to the influba c k the water? e n c e of the drow s y god. "They' v e be e n strengthenin g it for years, but somehow Fortuna t e l y nothin g happened to imperil the sailboat the w a t e r manages to get the better of the situation. This, ( lurin g the r e maining hours of darkness, and the sleepers however i s the fir s t break in three years. It has been the 1 \YCre n o t d i s turbed. g e neral opinion this spring that there wouldn't be ;;ny m o re flood s-that the valley was safe at last; but just th e s ame we' r e up again s t 'it a g ain. Lots of damage will be done b efore the waters subside." "Tha t i s g e nerally the case with floods. If we don't meet with an y--" Obstruction, he was going to say, but just at that mo men t the r a n into some floating object, and the words were c hok e d back down his throat. No dama g e was done, howeYe r. For awhile the boat floated on down the submerged valle y as before, then with a slight shock she came to a stop. CH APTER IX. A H E S CU E A KD A WRECK. :Morning brok e at last over the Arlington Valley. What a change had taken place there since the preced ing day. The narrow :Maple R i ver, which wound down from the north ern to the southern end of the valley, had expanded into an inland sea, covering every bit of the low ground in sight. Will went to the cuddy door again and looked out. The same old scenes of ruin and chaos which had acAt fir s t he could s e e nothing but the opaque darkness' companied the former floods were repeated. all around, th e n he made out the shivering branches of al The ground floors of a score or more of farmhouses big tre e in which the mast had caught. were more or less submerged, while the smaller outbuild-


16 DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. ings, not so securely fixeu to the earth, had become dis lodged and floated away with the current Barns rose out of the water here and there, like Noahs Arks aground, and s mall orchards showed only their bare branches above the surface. The v illage of Maywood, being largely built on higher ground, escaped the worst features of the flood, the cellars only being flooded and the streets awash. The storm had partially subs ided when Will woke up and went to the door of the cuddy to look out. It was still raining hard, and the wind was swaying the branches of the tree to which the sailboat was tied. Dark and sullen clouds hung low in the heavens, and He headed the boat across thQ stretch of intervening water. "That building looks as if it was just about to go afloat," said Luckstone. "That's what it does. .And that's just what it will do very soon," answered Will. "It's lucky for them that we are close at hand." The boy ran the sailboat as close as he could to the window, which was not more than a foot above the water, and, handing helm over to Luckstone, he grabbed the dow sill with both hands and drew the craft close against the house. "Now step in, madam," he said to the woma.n. the prospect of the weather changing for the better was "I can't," she replied. "I am crippled. You will have not encouraging. to assist me." Still the light of day had banished the greater terror of "All right," replied Will. "I'll take the little girl and uncertainty which had tortured the inhabifirst." tant s of the valley since the flood first came upon them He put out one leg to straddle the sill when a sudden like a thief in the night . u rl 1 1 lf d d 1 h kl h g ust of wmd tore down on the house, wrenched the boat vv i got mto us rn -ne c ot es as qmc y as e ' d from under him and left him up to his waist in the :!loo could, and by that time Jacob Luckstone woke up and Proceeded to do likewise. "How 's things this morning?" "Pretty fierce," replied Will. "The valley is almost wholl y flooded. I don't think it was ever worse." "Whew! What a change in a night!" exclaimed the Westerner when he look ed out on the l andscape himself. "The village, as near as I can make out, seems to be all right." "Yes. It is on high ground." "A lucky thing for the inhabitants. The river has risen to their doors, however. Can you see Skinner's place from here?" "No. It's arnund yonder line of trees." "I s'pose he's flooded out with the rest." "The fie lds are under water to some extent, and bis cellar is full up, I guess; but he will suffer less than the majority, owing to the lay of his land." "What are we going to do?" "Get up sail and make for Maywood.'' "All right. I'll help you all I can We seem to be in for another ducking, for it's still raining good and hard." 'iVill led the way outside, and Luckstone helped him take the stops off the sail. After that they cut loose from the tree and raised the sail with a couple of reefs in it. Hardly had they got underway before Will caught sight oI a woman waving a handkerchief at them from one of the lower windows of a partially submerged house. He could also see a child's face peeping out above the window sill. The building was about a quarter of a mile away, and seemed in imminent danger of collapsing, for it rocked visibly every time the wind swooped down upon it. "My gracious! Look yonder," said Will, calling his compani o n's attention to the house and its two occupants. "We'll have to go to their rescue." clinging to the window. "Look out," he cried to the woman. "I've got to scramble in." He performed this maneuver with the agility of a. monkey and straddled the window sill. Then he looked around for the boat and perceived it a dozen yards off, sweeping away on the tide. He shouted to Luckstone to starboard the helm, but the man from the West was all at sea in a sailboat. He didn't know the first thing about managing one and seemed to be as helpless in the craft as an infant. "Your boat is leaving us,'' exclaimed the woman, in anxious tones. "I'm afraid my companion doesn't understand how to handle her," he said "My gracious! She's over!" he cried, in some excitement. Another blast had pounced upon the sailboat and cap s ized her, throwing Luckstone into the water. He caught hold of the boom, however, and the la s t seen of him and the boat, as they were swept far down the stream, showed him to be in the same position, holding on for dear life. "Oh, what shall we do?" cried the woman, in a paroxism of fear. "This house may tumble over any moment, and we sha ll all be drowned." "I hope not, ma'am," Will tried to reassure her. "It rocks some, but I think the storm is blowing over/' The room was a complete wreck. The lighter portions of the furniture were overturned and almost entirely covered by the water. The plaster on the walls was cracked in a dozen spots, and in one place a couple of square feet of it had fallen out altogether The pictures still hung from their nails, but they were a n askew. Although the boy tried to make the situation look as \


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 17 cheerful as he could, yet in his oWn. heart he feared the [ How long he could have managed to do this, impeded building was going to collapse very soon. as he was by his clothes, is a question, but fortunately he He went to one of the other windows and looked out was not put to the test, for a log came within hi s reacli to see if there was the ghost of a chance of escape in that pretty soon and he seized hold of it. direction, but he couldn't see any, This buoyed him up and he allowed things to take their From certain well-defined indications the water seemed course, as he could not very well do otherwise. to be over his head. He was swept down the valley with the other debris on Suddenly he saw two men in a rowbqat a short distance the stream. away. He saw several boats rowing to different houses, but he They were pulling down toward a big house half a mile was too far off to attract their attention. distant. The rain beat down on his face and the wind buffeted Will threw up the window and shouted to them until at the log, but through it all the boy clung to it desperately length he attracted their attention. as his only salvation. They immediately altered their course and stood for the Mile after mile he was carried along in this fashion, house. until he became sensible of a growing feeling of exhaus"There's a boat coming for us," said the boy, dashing tion. across the room to the spot where the woman and the child Once he tried to get astride of the log, but it rolled over sat on the top of a table. and dumped him off on the opposite side, nearly shaking They did not hear him, however, for at that moment a him from his hold. sweeping blast struck the building so violently that Will When he reached that stage that he feared he could felt the house lift up and shift its position. hold on no longer he made out the top of a imall shed It settled down again at an angle, as if a portion of the !:lwimming jus t ahead of him. foundation had given away, and there it rocked to and fro. Here was a chance not to be neglected. The woman and both screamed with affright. Summoning all his remaining energy, he abandoned the They seemed to think the building was about to sink Jog, swam to the shed and pulled himself on top of it. undei; the water. Quite exhausted, he stretched himself upon it, and, Will grabbed the woman's crutch and placing his arm he edless of rain and wind, he lay there for fifteen minutes under her told her to cling to his neck. without s tirring. Then he caught the little girl by the hand, bade her At last he sat up and looked around. jump into the water, and thus encumbered started for the He was now miles down the valley from the neighboropposite window as the building reeled once more under hood of Maywood. another blast. On every side there were evidences of the severity of The crippled woman clung to Will in a state of abject the flood. terror. He saw a raft at a di s tance with a whole family and a Just when the wobbling house seemed on the point of part of their household belongings heaped upon it. turning completely over into the rushing waters help sudOne rowboat he saw also loaded with women and makdenly appeared at the open window. ing for the nearest shore. The cripp led woman, perched on the brave boy's shoulThe storm seemed to be up, for the wind der and the little girl uttered a glad cry. wasn't quite so s trong as before, and it had ceased raining. One of the men in the boat stood up, seized the window The sky, however, looked :is threatening as ever. jamb s and steadie d the craft, while the other endeavored For an hour longer the s hed held on its course in the to overcome the sweep of the tide with the oars. middle of the stream, then as it approached the end of Will soon reached the window with the helpless woman the valley it drew close in to the s hore, at a point where and little girl. the Maple River itself turned a spur in the hills. He passed each in turn carefully through the window to "I might as well stick to this craft as long as it fl.oats, the man outside, who placed them in the center of the for I wouldn't know where to walk to if I landed down boat. here," said Will to himself. "Besides if I keep on I may Then Will leaped on the siil to follow, when the roaring eventually come up with Mr. Luckstone, if he was not wind once more came sweeping down on the house. drowned. The whole object of my life now is to reach As he grabbed the window to steady himself the house Mexico and meet my fath er. I am afraid I never will be went over on its side, throwing him into the water, and able to accomplish my purpose unless I can come across he was swept away like a cork. that Wes terner again. He seem5 to be friendly toward CHAPTER X. BOUND WEST. Will was a good swimmer and thus managed to keep himself afloat as soon as he came to tlie surface. me and disposed to work in my intere s t It is probable if we miss each other he will return to that country. In that case I must go there, too, and hunt around until I can find some trace of him." Will" had not a very clear idea how he would be able to


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. rea ch Mexico, which was thousands of miles away; but he had confidence in the old adage that where there is a will the re is a way. After passing the bend in the stream the shed was carried out from shore again, and for hours kept on its course till it reached the main part of the Maple River. A few miles below Will was carried by a big manufacturing and railroad town. H e re he was discovered by a sloop bound down the river and rescued from his precarious situation. He was half-famished by this time, and glad to accept the rough hospitality offered by the skipper of this craft. He told the story of the flood in the Arlington Valley so far as he was acquainted with its details, and the captain promised to land him in the morning at Reedsburg, a good-sized city, whither the sloop was bound H e was advised to turn into a spare bunk in a dark hole forwa.rd, which was called the forecastle, and was g lad to ava il himself of the suggestion Next morning at ten o'clock he stepped ashore at Reeds burg, a strange r in a strange place, and without a penny in his pocket. He had now given up all hope of an immediate meeting with Luckstone. "The only thing I can do is to work my way to Mexico. It may take me some time to do that, but I'll get there all right," he muttered pluckily. "The first thing I must do is to capture a job of some kind. I've got to eat or sta rve, and I s'pose it's up to me to work for my victuals." It wasn't easy for a strange, ill-attired boy to pick up employment in a place where he was a total stranger Will tried hard that afternoon to get something to do, but was unsuccessfu l. Hungry and tired he stopped before a small eating house just as the shades of night were falling and looked wistfully in at the door at the people at the tables. Finally he mustered up the courage to strike the pro prietor for a sandwich "You want something to eat, do you?" asked the man, who was taking money behind a small counter. "Yes, sir." "Are you willing to work ior it?" "I am." "Well, I am short-handed and can give you a job wash ing dishes." "I'll take it," said Will, eagerly. The proprietor called up a waiter and told him to take the boy into the kitchen and turn him over to the cook as a h elper at the dish trough. Will worked pretty steeadily and satisfactor il y for two hours and a half and was then given his supper and twenty -fiv e cents. One of the waiters took him to a cheap lod ging-house where he put up himself, and Will spent fifteen cents for a bed Next morning after spending the remaining dime for a cup of coffee and a plate of rolls, Will started out to lrnstle for work again. He was not successful, and late in the afternoon found himself near the freight yards of a trunk railroad line. He struck up an acquaintance with a boy who was also hanging around the yard, and they had quite a talk to -gether. "So you want to get to Mexico, do you?" grinned the boy. "I do," replied Will "That's a long way off. It's a tough country, I've heard. Nobody lives there but Greasers." "Who are Greasers?" asked Will, innocently "That's a kind of nickname for the illexicans," replied hi,; companion. "Some of them are a low-uown :;et. I 1rnuldn't go there if I was you." "But I have a reason for wanting to go there," s:ei-d Will. "How are you going to get there without money?" "I've been looking for work to make some e"er :;ince I landed l1ere yesterday, but I l1aven't caught on to any thing yet." "Rad anything to eat to-day?" "Nothing but coffee and rolls this morning." "Well, come over to the house with me. My mother will give you something to eat. Then maybe I can put you on to something that'll help you on your way." Will, gl ad of a chance to get anyLhihg in the shape of food, accompanied bis new acquaintance to his home, whi c h was a sma ll cottage hard by the yards. The boy, whose father was employed in the freight :yard, introduced \\ill to his mother and stated why he had brought him there. She was a thoroughly hospitable Iris h woman, : :mu soon spread a substantial repast before the hungry boy. After will had eaten all he could, 8he put up a package of food for him at her son's request. "'Now we will go hack to the yard," said Will's new companion. They did so. "The quickest way you can get out West, for you ha rn to go West to reach Mexico, by rail, and the ch ea pest way Jio go by rail i s to beat your way," grinned the boy. "Beat my way? What do you mean?" "Don't you know what beating your way is?" "No," replied Will, shaking his head. "There are various ways of doing it. It's a favorite way of travel for tramps. It is rather unpleasant, and often rather dangerous; but I think I can fix you a ll right as far as Cincinnati, at any rate. You see that freight car yonder ?" "Yes. "It's an empty belonging to the C. H. & D. road, and goes back to Cincinnati on that train they've been making up this afternoon. The train pulls out of the yard at seven to-night. That car door isn't locked. All you've got to do is to get into that. car, close the door again, and then out a1 as fa1 out t too n "E objec "I back Yom W: an::ti4 tr air awa} of t1 desi ishE 0.] in l fair neJ I his in an) mu :ful th1 sa1 Ill do br te gi iv


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 19 o then you'll be. as snug as you please till you want to get The milkman continued on his route, and Will, feeling cut again. I tliink mother put up enough stuff to last you like a new boy, though he was still hungry enough to get G as far as the car goes. At any rate, I hope it won't. give away with a pretty big meal, started to walk down into the out too soon. It all depends on your appetite. Don't eat business section of the big city. o too much at a time, but try to make it last." He was fortunate enough to see a man in a commission "Bu I haven't any right to steal a ride on that car," house hanging out a sign marked "Boy Wanted," and he objected Will. immediately applied for the position. "Don' t y ou worry about that. The car has got to go The fact that. he was a s tranger in the city almost spoiled back anyway. What' s the difference if you go inside of it. his chances; but he put up such a strong plea that he was Your wei ght won t hurt the rails any," he chuckled. finally taken on trial. Will allowed himself to be persuaded, as he was very He went about his new duties in such a bright and an xi ous to g o Wes t a s s oon as he could, so when the freight earnest way that he produced a favorable impression in train pull ed out of the yard at "/ :10 our hero was dozing the store. awa y in the corn e r of freight car No. 999, in the middle There was only a dollar coming to him at the end of his of the long line of cars. first three days' services, as he had been compelled to draw something every day to support himself. The merchant, however, appreciating his situation, adCHAPTER XI. vanced him half of his next week's wages of $6, and that carried him through until the next pay-day. STRANDED IN MEXICO. After that it was plain sailing with him, and he began to save a little each week. It was a Jong and slow ride to Cincinnati on the freight, Although Will was extremely anxious to get to Mexico and though Will husbanded his food he finished the la s t in order to fina some trace of Jacob Luckstone, whom he mouthful nearly twenty-four hours before he reached the was pretty confident had not perished in the Arlington de s tin tion of car No. 999, consequently he was a famValley flood, still prudence told him not to sacrifice the ished boy when he finally left the freight yards of the pos ition he had obtained until he had at least accumulated G F.(. & D. road. 1 money e nough to help out the great object of his life. H e showe d the effects of his long fast in his face, and Therefore Will stuck to the commission house, doing his in the shaky condition of his limbs; in fact, he soon felt so level be s t to please his employer. faint and sick that he had to sit down on the steps of a In this he succeeded so well that in six months he was nearby hou se. promoted to a better situation in the store, and his pay It was q uite early in the morning, and a milkman going was rai sed to $8 a week. his rounds, noticing his appearance, stopped and asked him Four month s later another vacancy occurring he received if he was s ick. his second promotion, and a raise to $10. "No, I'm not sick, but I'm half starved. I haven't had During the fir s t six months he had not been able to save anythin g to eat or drink since yesterday morning, and not very much, as he had clothes and many other things to much to speak of then," replied Will, in a hollow voice. buy, which made a hole in his small surplus; but with his "Well, you look it," answered the milkman. first raise he began to do very much better, and now, when H e stepped back to his wagon and got a 'quart measure he was advanced to $10 his savings commenced to assume full of milk. a very appearance in his bankbook. "Drink it down," he said, handing the can to Will, and He was getting on very nicely, with the prospects of a the n he passed a round into the back yard of the house. further promotion in the house, when, through a heavy "I've a s andwic.h in the wagon I'll give you, too," he embezzlement on the part of the cashier, Will's employer said, when he came back. failed, and he was thrown out of work. He brought it to Will. With $230 in his pocket Will decided he would no longer "That ought to put new life in you for a while," he redelay his long-contemplated trip to Mexico. mark ed. It is true he realized that he was bound on something of The boy bit into it voraciou s ly, finishing it in half a a wild-goose chase, as he had only a vague notion of the dozen bites. mountainous district where he hoped to find Jac6b Luck"That tas t e d good, I can tell you," said Will, drawing a stone; but he had plenty of energy and courage, backed by breath of relief. "I'm awfully obliged to you. I fee l bet\an inward conviction that he would surely succeed in the ter already." end. "Of course you do. I only wish I had something more to Therefore, it was without the slightest misgivings that give you." h e purchased a ticket to EI Paso, and boarded a Santa Fe "You've done a lot for me as it is," replied Will, grate-train for the southwest. fully. When Will arrived at the Mexican border town he found


JO DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. that it was a long, ramblin g sort o f settlem e nt, extending along a f e rtil e and n arrow vall e y upon the Rio Grande River. The population was of a nonde s cript character, princi pally Mexican s of the ordin a ry type, and Americans of the rough-and-r e ady variety. Will put up a t a two-s tory wooden edifice called the Rio Grande Hotel. H e beg an makfng inquiries a bout Jacob Luckstone, who m h e des cribed according to hi s recoll e ctions of a year or s o pr evious Nobody s eem e d to have known such a man, though the boy made a pretty thorough c anva s s of the s ettlement dur ing the week he remained there. This was rather a discouraging beginning of his Mexican suburbs where he s aid he was a cquain te d and wh e re they c ould put up for the night. Although Will was not particularly tired when they sat down by themselves to a dirty table, in an ill-k ept and ill-lighted room, to partake of a meal served by a villainous looking peon, yet the boy had hardly fini s hed hi s coffee before he began to experi e n c e a drow s y :fee ling that he found impossible to shake off. His next recollection was wakin g up on a bed, in a small, filthy, whitewa s h e d room, the smell o f w hi c h sug gest e d anything but the odor of roses, with the morning sun s hin ing through a windowless hol e on hi s fac e He immediately became.. conscious of two things-tha t h e had a splittin g headache, and that he was fully dressed. "How came I here in this s hape?" he mutt e r ed, in a perplexed way. "One would think I was drunk last'night anticipation s and that Bradley brought me to this room and left me, But wors e was to come. just as I was to s leep it off." A tough s pecimen of a Te x an accosted him one day as he As Will had never touched a gla s s of intoxicating drink was coming out of the hotel. in his life he knew there must be some other cause for his "I heard you were a s king for a man named Luckstone," present condition. he sail!., in a fri e ndly way. What ccfuld that cause be? "Ye s," s aid Will eagerly. "Jacob Luck s tone. He must "The last 'thing I remember is sitting at the supperhave passed through this town a year or more ago, and t a ble with Bart Bradley. I must hunt him up and see probably hung around a day or so waiting for a train bound what was the matter with me." east." Getting up, he sousefl his head in a bowl of water, which "What sort of lookin g man was he?" a s ked the Texan. kind of brightened him up a bit. Will described Luckstone. Then he made his way around to the front of the build"I was talking to ju s t s uch a man thre e months ago. ing, where he saw a man in a s ombrero and a soiled s uit o His name was Luckstone, too. Came h e re for supplies clothes s ittin g in the sun lazily s mokin g a c i gare tte. from a place c alled--" Judg ing that he belonged to the house, Will a s ked him The Texan pau sed, and appeared to be trying to recall a s to the present whereabouts of Bart Bra dley. the name of the place. The man regarded him with a curious stare, and then "Was it in the mountains?" shook his head. The man noticed the eagerness with which the boy asked Either he couldn't speak or was unable to give the question. the desired information. "Sure it was," he grinned. "Up in a s pur of the Sierra Will then entered the house and pas s ed throu g h s everal Madre range." rooms befor e h e came to another person, who happened to "How far from here?" inquired Will. be the hard-looking peon who had waited on them the "Well, now you've got me. I r e m e mber he took the night before. Mexican Central to Carmen, that's about 150 miles south Will obtained no better results :from him. of this place, and is the near e st town on the railroad to He now recollected that Bradl e y had spoken to the range." people of house in Spani s h, so he beg an to have grave "How :far are the mountains from Carmen?" doubts if he would be able to make him5el:f under s tood. "A hundred miles, I gue ss. Cru:men is the place for After helping himself to a drink of water, Will motioned you to go. If you'll stand the expen s e I'll go there with to the peon an intimation that he would like something to you. I'm well acquaint e d in that town, and I'll bet I'll be eat. able to locate your man." The man nodded, and uttered the Engli s h word "mon" All :right," agreed Will, with alacrity. ey" plain enough. A train w a s scheduled to l eave for the City of Mexico Will thrust hi s hand into his pocket wh e re he s uppo s ed at three that afternoon and whe n it pulled out of the he had a handful of the current coin of the countr y and depot Will Melville and his new acquaintance, who said was surpri sed to that hi s poc k e t was e m p t y his name was Bart Bradley, were aboard. He tried his other pocket s in succession w h i l e th,e.MexiA run of s omething over four hour s landed them at can watched his futile efforts to produce the needful. Carmen. "Good gracious!" the boy exclaimed at last with a blank It was dark when they got there, and Will permitted look on his face "what has become of my money? Why, I Bradley to pilot him to a one-s tory adobe building on the haven't a cent about me." hi w to vi w t E a g C ( L a ) 11 C < w O J u e i ic lE


f [l n e tl : o e d ;o 1-itk I DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 21 A sardonic grin came over the peon's features. Will noticed it, and like a flash the truth dawned across his mind. come to Carmen on the previous evening's train, and what had happened to him since he arrived in the town. He had been robbed the night before. The Irishma n listened to him with a great deal of at tention, and when the boy had :finished his story said: "Sure, it's a& plain as the nose on yer face that thot ras cal worked yez for yer money." CHAPTER XII. "I'm afraid he did,'' acknowledged Will, ruefully. "Of course he did. He took yez to one of the worst places in the neighborhood, dosed yer coffee, an' thin wint WILL GO:ES TO WORK FOR THE M;EXICAN CENTRAL RAILWAY. through yer clothes at his lei s ure. An' are yez dead broke now?" in a sympathetic tone. "This is the toughest deal I've been up against yet," "I haven't a cent, and don't know where I'll get one. I breathed Will, feeling as discouraged as a boy could feel. am in a fair way to starve unless something turns up." "I must find Bart Bradley and tell him what has happened "Don't worry about s tarvin', me boy. It's mesilf'll see to me." that yez'll get somethin' to ate, so I will. Here, take this. But he didn't find Bart Bradley anywhere about. It'll provide yez wid a breakfast," and he handed Will a He hung around the neighborhood for a couple of hours, small Mexican silver coin. Yez'll foin.d an atin' house be-but his new acqua.intance didn't turn up. yant the station. Go an' fill up, then come back this way Then at l ast he began to s uspect that he had been the an' we'll talk it over, an' maybe I'll be able to help yez a. victim of a put-up job from the first. bit." "What a fool I was to trust s uch a .illan as Bradley, any"Thank you," replied Will, gratefully. "What is your way!" he ejacu lat ed disconsolately. "The savings sixname?" teen months gone in a moment. What am I to do now? In name, is it? Mike Doyle. An' what's yolU'sr a strange country, where I don't even understand the "Will Melville." guage, and not a single penny in my clothes. This is "Where do yez hail from?" certainly the limit. Little chance now of finding Jacob "Maywood, Wes t Virginia." Luck stone, and unless I can locate him I shall never be "Well, run along now, an' don't forget to come back. able to meet my missing father." Yez'll find u s not a great way from here up the line." Will started for the main part of the town, hoping to Will hurried down the road till he came to the starun across somebody who understood English, to whom he tion. could exp lain his plight, and ask for temporary help. He h ad no difficulty in finding the eating-house, which The railroad track seeme d to offer the cut, so was nm by the railroad company, nor in making his wants he started along the ties. under stood, for the waiters spoke English. He had only proceeded a short distance before he saw a Within an hour he was back again at the new spot where familiar sight to American eyes-a bunch of section-hands the section hands were at work. working on the roadbed. The men had their crowbars under the ties some distance They were all natives of the country, however, except ahead, and Mike Doyle was bending down taking a sight one man who appeared to be the foreman. along the rail to make sure that the track was quite level. To Will's grea t delight this individual looked like an He motioned to the gang, whose heads were turned toIri shman, though he addressed the gang in Spanish. ward him, and they began to heave again at their bars, It was not very good Spanish, it is true, but the men growing red in the face under the strain. understood him, and Will certainly didn't know the differPresently he made another motion with one of his arms. ence. Some of the men braced themselves and held on to their As the boy came up the foreman looked at him curibars, while others hastened to tamp some gravel solidly ously. under the ties to keep them in place. "You speak English, don't you?" asked Will, halting in Doyle, at lei s ure for a moment, turned around and front of him. noticed Will standing a few feet away. "Faith, I do whin it's not Spanish I'm wid. "It's back yez are, I see," he said, pleasantly. "I've been It's an American yez are, I kin see wid half an eye. What considerin' yer case, Melville. Are yez able to do a little kin I be afther doin' fer yez?" hard worruk?" "Well," said the boy, encouraged by the friendly atti"I'm as strong as any boy my size, and perhaps stronger tude of the man, "I'm in a bad hole." than most, for I worked two years on a farm before I "A bad hole, is it?" replied the foreman, with a look of came West. I'm ready to tackle any kind of labor in sight, inter est. "How's that?" and will be glad of the chance to get it. When a fellow Will gave him an outline of his object in coming to Mex-is on his uppers he has either to hustle or go to the wall." ico, and then explained how he had run across Bart Brad"That's right, especially whin he's in a country where ley in El Paso; how that individual had induced him to 'b.e can't spake the lll;Ilguage. Well," contin.'ued the fore'


22 DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. man, inspecting Will's muscular and well-built form with much satisfaction, "I'm a man s hort, and if yez are willin' to tackle the job, which ain't no sinecure, I can tell yez, and the pay is low, but thin it don't cost mu c h to live in Greaser-land, why, I'll put yez to work If yez don't fancy job yez kin throw it up tonight "I'll accept your offer, Mr Doyle," said Will, eagerly. "Good; but don't Mr. Doyle me, if yez plase. Me name is Mike, an' thot's whot yez want to call me, do yez mind?" "Yes, sir "Yes, Mike, yez mane. Now, put yer jacket on the ha;ndcar over there, get a pick an' shovel, and I'll tache yez the ropes Will was back in a moment with the tools. Mike Doyle took the boy over to the group of Mexicans. "Now watch me, and it's a good section-hand I'll soon be afther makin' of yez." 'rhe work of straightening the track began again, and ,soon the lad was hard at it with the others. He soon discovered what tough work it was. To raise the rigid track the fraction of an inch required the straining of every muscle in his body to the cracking point. To replace a tie was a task that tried every nerve and sinew The almost tropical sun beat down relentlessly on the boy's head, bringing out the perspiration in streams But Will kept at it bravely, d etermi ned that no Mexi can should outdo him Doyle nodded approvingly as he noted the boy's efforts, anrl occasionally spoke a word of encouragement to him. "Don't thry to do too much, me lad," he said, with a grin. "Let these Greasers 'do their s hare. They're lazy enough at the best, Heaven knows. It's a hard job to get the worruk out of thim, anyway." After awhile Doyle took out hi s watch, h e ld it for a few minutes in his hand, and then gave the word to knock off for dinner. In spite of his zeal Will was glad enough to take a rest. All hands went in a body to the hand-car where their 1 dinner-pails were, and then the Mexicans sat down in the Ehady side of it, and commenced to eat. Doyle took Will with him over to a nearby tree, and unde r i ts protect i ng branches they squatted down to gether. "I've enough for two here an' to spare," said the fore man, removing the top from his American-made dinner pail. "First of all, take that tin pail ye see on the car and go down the road a bit till yez come to a crik. Fetch it back full, for it's nothin' s tronger than that we'll get to tlrink hereabouts." Mike Doyle spoke truly when he sa id he had plenty of provisions in his pail. The railroad eating-house where he boarded supplied his wants in that direction bountifully. Will ate all he wanted, drank half of the water in the pail, and then lay back against the tree perfe c tly satisfied. Doyle lit his pipe and began to smoke. Between puffs he told Will something about the Mexican Southern Railway, and how he happened to come down into Mexico to work. I Will also told him about his hopes of meeting his fathe r some day, provided he waS' so fortunate as to run across Jacob Luckstone, who held the key to the situation. "Ye this Luckstone is somewhere in the moun tains, do yez ?" said J?oyle "Yes. "The Sierra Madre is the nearest range to this spotabout 100 miles or so due west-but it's a mighty long range, do yez moind. Unless yez knew just where to hunt for yer man it'd be like lookin' for a needle in a hay-stack, so it would." "Luckstone said that he and my father were at some plac e in the mountains within about 100 miles of the Texas border." "Well, thot's better; but still bad enough. It's no aisy thing worrukin' yer way through thim ravines an' gorges, an' sich loike. I'm afeard yer worruk is cut out for yez." "I'm afraid it is, too,'' acknowledged Will, rather sor rowfully. At one o'clock work was resumed on the roadbed until t\rO. Then it was discontinued until four, when it was taken up again until dark. Several trains passed in either direction that afternoon, and "\Vill viewed them with considerable interest. When the order came to knock off for the dn.y the hand car was put on the rails, the tools piled upon it, and all hands getting aboard two of the Mexicans seized the levers, and in a mome:r\.t the car was spinning down the track to ward Carmen. CHAPTER XIII. AT LAST Mike Doyle decided to take Will to room with him, and he made arrangements at the eating-house for the boy to board there. Will was very grateful to Doyle the interest he took in him and told him so. "Don't say a worrud, me lad. Sure, I couldn't do less for a fine American boy like ye are, stranded in a haythen country loike this Just hould yer whist, an' take hat ever comes yer way." In a week Will had mastered the fine points of s ection work so well that Doyle made him his chief assistant In this manner three months prussed away One afternoon Doyle came to Will and told him the division superintendent wanted to see him in his office on the following morning.


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 23 "Why, what does he want to .see me for?" the boy asked, in surprise. "Faith; it isn't for me to say, but it's my opinion he's got betther job for yez than whot yez are doin'," replied the foreman. I "I see how he came to know anything about me," said Will. "Besides, what else can I do?" Well, yez oight make a good forem:l11, loike mesilf, for instance, over a gang of these Greasers." "Then it must be that you've recornmenued me for such a position," said Will. "P"raps I have-who knows? But don't say anythin' till ye see the super." Will reported at the superintendent's office next rnorn fog. "You're younger than I thought you were," remarked that official, when he had sized the boy up. "How long have you been on the road?" "Three months, sir," replied Will, re spectfully. "What road did you work on before you came to Mex ico?" "I never worked on a railroad before, sir." "Never worked as a section -hand before you came here, and you've only been three months in onr employ,' yet Doyle has recommended you as a thoroughly competent 'man for the foremanship of a grlng." The superintendent knitted his brows and looked hard at Will. "Dp you think you're able to fill the bill?" he added, after a pause. "Yes, sir," replied the boy, promptly. The official, who once upon a time had been a sec tion foreman himself on the Chicago & Alton road in Illi nois, began to ask Will a number of questions about the duties of the position, all of which he answered to the su perintendent's satisfaction The result was that the boy was appointed on trial. He was sent to the below Carmen, and had no great difficulty in making good. Although it was a source of great pleasure to him to know that he was giving satisfaction to the company that employed him, he never forgot for a moment the object which had brought him into the country. Often he would gaze in the direction of the great Sierra Madre range, and wonder if his father was still alive, and if so in what part of those mountains he and Jacob Luckstone were loc ated It did not seem to occur to him that circumstances might celebration at a big hacienda a few miles out of town There were six or seven hundred people con:{lected with the hacienda in one capacity or anothe;r, and consequently what with the visitors who had been invited to take part in the festivities there were all of a thousand persons on the spacious grounds after nightfall. The lon g, rambling two-story building, said to be three hundred years old, was gayly decorated and lighted up, while fancy lanterns strung from the trees made the grounds nearly as light as day. There was music and dancing and fun galore, especially for the young people, who enjoyed themselves as only young persons can do. A pretty senorita had managed to capture vYill, ailll he was airing his imperfect Spanish on her, greatly lo her amusement. She on her part was :flirting most desperately with him, and trying her best to make him nnderstand her lang-uagr They were sitting in a shady nook not far from tile house, with a wide open space directly before them filled with promenaders, when suddenly the boy's attention attracted to a well-dressed man who was making his way through the crowd, a.c; if he was taking his departure from the place. There was something strangely familiar about this per son's figure and side face that set Will's heart to beating quickly) and he tried to get a better look at him, much to the senorita?s vexation, for she imagined Will was inter ested in some rival beauty. As the reached the edge of the trees his face, which at that moment he turnerl in Will's direction, came into the full glow of a clmter of lanterns. The boy started up sudden ly as though he had received an unexp ected electric shock, for the face he saw was surely the countenance of Jacob Luckstotle. . He was sure could not be mistaken. With a little gasp of excitement Will was on the point of dashing forward for ilhe purpose of intercepting him, when the Mexican maiden by his side grasped him by the arm and detained him. 'Vill was too much of a young gentleman to shake her off rudely, and he turned to try and explain matters to her. But between his excitement and his bad Spanish hQ made a mess of it. When he finally got the girl to understand that would return in a moment or two, Luckstone, if it was in deed he, had disappeared. have taken them elsewhere during the interval of nearly Will, however, darted off iu the di:,edion the man had two years which had now elapsed since the flood at Maytaken, believing he could easily come np with him. wood. He did not succeed in doing so, or even getting another Will met Doyle every night after the day's work was sight of him. over, and Mike proved to be a stanch friend and a cheerful '11he man had taken one of the numerous by-paths out of companion. the grounds, and so to the boy's intense chagrin he lost Thus six months inore passed away, and Will was aphim altogether. preaching his eighteenth year. Will finally returned to the senorita, whom he :found One evening Will and Mike Doyle attended a Mexican waiting for him, but the girl was much provoked to find


24 DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. that a change had come over his spirits, and that his subse quent gaiety was largely forced. Later on Will met Mike Doyle, and told him about the incident. "Are yez sure it was the man yez have been wantin' to see so bad ?" "I'm as sure as I can be considering that it's two years since I met him at Maywood, and then lost him in the storm and flood." "It's too bad yez didn't succeed in catchin' him, so it is." "I'm awfully disappointed. I may never get such a chance again. What do you think I'd better do?" "Well, me b'y, the fact that he was here on these grounds shows thot he ought to be known to Senor Mar tinez, or some member of his family. The best thing yez could do is to ma:ke inquiries about him. Ask the Don if he knows Luckstone, and if he does the re s t ought to be aisy, for he can probably be able to put yez on his track." "I'll do it," cried Will, in eager excit e ment and he started off .at once to hunt up the proprietor of the haci .enda. He found Senor \ Martin e z s urrounded by a group of friends, and he took the fir s t chance to ask for a few minutes' private conver s ation with him. "Who did you say?" cried Will, seizing Signor Martinez by the arm. "Melville?" "Yes," replied the Mexican, surprised at the boy's emo tion. "Do you know him?" him? I should think I did! He is my father." CHAPTER XIV. THE BLACK VEIN. Will Melville was a happy boy that night when in company with Mike Doyle, he returned to their lodgings at Carmen. He knew that his dear father was alive and well and that only a trifle over a hundred miles separated them. He possessed full directions for r e achin g the Sierra Madre mines, owned and being worked by Jacob Luckstone and father in partnership. A stout Mexican hor se, which S e nor Martinez had prom ised to lend him, would take him there in about two days, and then-he could hardly bear to think of the great j o y and satisfaction that would be his to see and s p e ak to his father once more-the father he had for so many years thought to be dead. The Don could converse very fluently in English, and this was of great advantage to Will, who would have had some difficulty in expressing in Spani s h all )le wanted to "But do you think your father .will know yez?" asked say. . Doyle, regarding boy curiously. "Will you tell me, Senor Martinez if you are acquainted "Know me! Why should he not?" with a man named Jacob Luck s tone?" "Well ye see, in the fir s t place yez was a moi ghty s mall "Yes. Senor Luckstone and mys elf are very well ac-b'y whin he went away to Crippie Creek. Thin ye quainted. He was here all the afternoon; in fact, up to a ber yell tould me thot this Jacob Luc k s t o n e said thot yer short time ago, when he left to return to his mines in the father had lost all thrack of the past." Sierra Madre." "That's true," replied Will, his countenance dropping. "You can tell me where those mines are situated, Senor "If he doesn't know me what shall I do?" and the tears Martinez, can you not?" cried Will, his eyes blazing with came into the lad's eyes. suppressed excitement. "There now, don't yez be downhearted. P'hap s the "Why, yes. I have visited them. They are not as yet s oight of ye will bring bac k hi s ould remimbranc e At any very productive, but still the prospects are quite bright, rate, yez say Luckstone is friendly toward ye, and promi s ed especially of late, as Senor Luckstone told me this afterto do the square thing by ye. Be c hune the pair of yez a noon. Are you thinking of going there?" way may be found to bring things roi ght. "Yes, yes." "I hope so. I do hope so," said Will, fervently. "Then you must go by way of San Jose. That is sixty "The first thing yez mu s t do i s to get lave of a b s in c e miles from here to the northwest. There is a good road from the super. Sind yer request the fir s t thin g in the all the way to Los Saucillos, an ancient village in the mornin' wid y e r r'asons for wantin' to get off. He'll fix foothills, sixty-five miles wes t of San Jose. The region all it for yez all roight whin he understand s the case." about there was full of s ilv e r in the days of the Spanish "I will," replied Will. possession. At Los Saucillos they will point out the road "Thot's roight, an' may good luck attind yez, m e b'y." you are to take up into the range. It leads direct through On the following afternoon Will received leave of aba wild section of ravines and gorges to a dark hole in the sence for a week, and next morning early he started fot the mountain. This is the entrance to one of the principal Martinez hacienda. silver deposits in the time of Cortez, known as La Veta Senor Martinez was expecting him, and had the promi s ed N egra, or the Black Vein. It was exhausted more than a horse ready. century ago; neither gold nor silver is found there now. A "I have a message to send to Senor Luckstone," he said. mile beyond La Veta Negra are the mines of Senors Luck"Therefore I will let one of my people accompany you. stone and Melville." That will save you the trouble of inquiring your way, for t f r r F s


r DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. he will take you direct to the Sierra Madre mines, as he is acquaan ea with e\'ery foot of the way." I 'W i said that would suit him immensely. S e nor Martinez sent for the man, whose name was Pedro, and introduc e d him to Will. "You s hall breakfast with us before you start on your journe y,'' said the senor with true Mexican hospitality. Althougn the boy had eaten before he left" Carmen, he was easily persuaded to sit down with the family to a second breakfast, which was not over until eleven o'clock. Fifteen minutes later he and Pedro set off on hor seback for the distant Sierra Madre range. That evening they stopped at another hacienda, where they were hospitably received, as coming from Senor Martine:t. At ten o'clock ne;xt morning they rode into San Jose. They sto ped only long enough to partake of some re freshments, and then resumed their journey in the direc tion of the village of Los Saucillos. Pedro spoke English well enough :for Will to understand all he said, and as he was a talkative old fellow, he kept the boy's ears well employed listening to his stories, many of the weird tales of the mountains they were approaching. They put up for the night at a roadside house, with the peopl e of which Pedro was well acquainted. .After a light breakfast they started on again, reaching Los Saucillos early in the forenoon. They made no stoE at this place, except to water the horses and take a light luncheon of fruit. From tha.t point the balance of their journey would be more or less ujlhill As they eft the village behind them, Will noticed that the sky looked somewhat peculiar, and he called his companion's attention to it. Pedro said itmight mean a storm or it might not; at any rate, he guessed t hey would reach their destination some time before any such thing happened. The horses were allowed to take their own time, as they ascended the low e r rea c hes of the range. For some time they had a splendid bird's-eye view o:f the plain stretching far away toward the railway, 135 miles distant, then as they penetrated the fastnesses of the mountains the view became contracted and wild in the ex-gan to notice the darkening of the sky, and heard strange sounds in the air from afar. "We must hasten," said Pedro, to whom such tokens of a mountain storm were quite familiar. "We will have no more than time to reach the Sierra Madre mines before it will be upon us." "It would be rather dangerous to be caught here in a storm, wouldn't it, Pedro?" "Dangerous!" replied the Mexican. "Ah, yes; it would be as much as our lives were worth." For a long time they had been proceeding in single file, Pedro in advance, the path being only wide enough to accommodate one animal at a time. In this manner they approached the neighborhood of the old disused La Veta N egra silver mine. 'rhe entrance was nothing but a great hole in the side of one of the mountains of the range, whose peak rose to a great height. Pedro pointed it out to Will on the other side of a small canyon they were circling. The sky grew darker and more threatening as they pro ceeded. The air at present was almost preternaturally still; but it was only the calm which preceded the war of the ele ments soon to burst over their heads. Far away brilliant flashes of light lit up the opaque clouds, and the grumbling of the thunder sounded more menacing than Will ever remembered to have heard it be fore. In spite of Pedro's anxiety to drive ahead, the growing darkness and precarious nature of their path around the canyon, yawning hundreds of feet below, prevented tha animals from proceeding at a greater speed than a sharp jog trot. They could see the storm rushing down upon them at a terrific pace. "We'll never be able to reach the mines before it's upon us," said Will, glancing fearfully over his shoulder, as they drew near to the wide shelf in front of the opening to the La Veta N egra. He hurled these words at Pedro, who was crouching low over his horse's head. The Mexican did not seem to have heard him, though the air in the canyon was yet quiet, at any rate he made treme. no sign that he did. A succession o:f ravines and gorges now confronted them, The animals seemed as sensitive as their riders of the a p-and the bridle path, worn smooth centuries before by the proaching convulsion of nature, for they shivered per silver-laden mules of the aborigines, was their only guide ceptibly, and otherwise acted in a frightened way. to the re gion they were aiming for. The scene was terribly weird to Will, who had never As they mounted slowly upward, winding around the met with anything at all like it before. foot of some lof ty precipice, and anon traversing the almost The stillness of the canyon, the semi-twilight in the air, inaccessible heights of a narrow pathway cut out of the at two in the afternoon; the black masses of electrically mountain side ages before by the Indians, with only small charged clouds, massed in most unearthly-looking shapes; patches of the hazy-looking sky above them, Will was overthe heavy rumbling thunder, and, most disquieting of all, powered by the wild grandeur of the scene so new and the roar of the wind which had not yet reached them. strange to his young eyes. It was as if some huge monster from the other world It was in the midst of a deep wooded gorge that they be-. was rushing down upon them, breathing fire from his


DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. eyes and suppressed rage from his mouth, while he lashed the air with his gigantic wings. The suspense was n erve-racking, but it was soon over. Hardly had they r eached the plateau and Pedro, with a hoarse, unintelligible shout to Will, headed his animal for lay, silent and motionless, long after the storm had passed away, and while Pedro, stricken with a terrible fear, was urging his own horse and the riderless one toward the Sierra Madre mines, a mile and a quarter away the hole in the mountain side, than the storm swooped CHAPTER XV. upon them with a fierceness that left no doubt in the TO THE RESCUE. boy"s mind that had they been caught anywhere along the \Vill Melville lay for many hours insensible in the imfacc of the canyon wall their fate could easily have been penetrable darkness of the La Veta N egra mine, surround ioreseen. ed by the s11altered fragments of tons of rock. "Ave Maria!" ejaculated Pedro, as they dismounted just At l ast his consciousness returned. in side of the entrance to the La Veta Negra, "what an Naturally the :first question that presented itself to his escape!" mind was where was he? The rain descended in tonents, and \Vas blown so far In a moment or two recollection reasserted itself, and his into the cavernous opening that Pedro and the boy had to experiences up to the moment he had been struck down retire some distance into the black depths of the mountain. passed across his mental vision as clear as sunljght. Pedro, like the majority of hi s class, was extremely "I suppose it was a thunderbolt which penetrated the superstitious. mountain. Nothing else could have raised such a glare and He had heard in hi s infancy that the farnOllS La Veta rumpus down here. I wonder how lon g I have been nn egra was peopled with gnomes and wicked spirits of all conscious? Not long, I guess, or Pedro surely would have kinds, ruled over by a demon called "Mina-padr e," an(1 come down here looking for me. The worst of the storm consequently he had always given it a wide b erth wheneve1 seems to be over, for I don't hear a sound of it down here hf came into that part of the range. any more. Now the question is which direction shall I Now that he and Will had been forced to enter it to save take to get out of here. I mustn't by mistake go deeper their lives, his fears of the place came upon: him with & into the mine. I remember now the mine slopes down fresh and overpowering force, and he crouched down ward, so all I have to do is to walk upward." against the wi:ill of rock, lookin g fearfully about him as I Will struck a match to get an idea of his surroundings. the red glow of the lightnin g without lit up the interior Its momentary g lare gave him a brief glimpse of the bf the mine in a wierd and sta rtling manner. ruin which had been wrought by' the thunderbolt. Will was bothered by no such feeling. He saw the blackened edges of his paper torch peeping The mine was like any other opening into the ground from unC!er a of debris. to him, except that his curiosity to explo re the depths That reminded him that he had the other half of the of this famous one-time silver lode, untouched and pre paper still in his pocket, so he took it out, twisted it tightly, sumed to have petered out ages ago, was con s iderable. and lit it. As the moments went by and the s torm without con-As he swung the improvised torch a1oft he noticed the tinned as terrible as ever, the boy found their enfo rced glittering character of certain portions of the roe which idleness very monotonous. had been dislodged from the side of the mine . Rolling a bunch of paper he had with him into the shapr Examining them more closely, he saw they were streaked of a torch, he started to examine the mine as far as he with thick veins of a s ilv ery hue. could go. He looked up at the shattered wall, and it seemed to be He proceeded further and further into the depths of fairly alive with the same whitish streaks standing out in a the mine, which slanted downward at an angle of fortydark-colored rock. degrees, but nothing save the bare rock greeted his "My gracious!" Will exclaimed in some excitement. eye-not a trace could he sec of the course of the won"Can this be silver ore? Is it possible that the thunderbolt c1erful black vein which two centuries or more ago had opened up a new Ioele in the black vein? l so, then I made this mine one of the most famous of Mexico. have made a wonderful discovery in this old deserted mine. "I must go back," he said to himself, as his torch show-If it is s ilver i sn't it mine by right of finding? I'll take eel that it could last only a liltle while longer. "T11e black a few specimens of this stuff with me. Mr. Luckstone is an vein is evidently a thing of the past." expert and will be able to tell at a glance if thi is the real Hardly were the words out of his mouth before a terrible thing or not. It will be a great thing for me if it is silcrash sounded above, and tons of splintered rock rained ver." him and fell away from one side of the mine. Will filled both of his pockets with the best of the small At the sanw time the whole interior was lighted np with specimens he could see, and then turned his attention to a most unearthly glow, while the mountain shook as if in the task of getting out into the air again. the throes of an earthquake. He followed the upward slant of the h1ole, and soon It was all iYcr in a moment, but the shock had stretched turned into the main corridor which gave him a view of the Will uncon scious upon the mass of debris, and there he entrance to the mine.


e I r e g e y, be ta nt. olt t I 0('. tke an eal sil u all to oon the DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. 1'1 He had 110 further use for his torch and trampled it un-whereabouts 1 have tried in vain for the past two years to der hi s feet. get some trace of, may have been caught by a cave-in down As he approached the front of the mine he was surprised in the Black Yein. It does rrot follow that he was killed to see no sign of Pedro or the horses either. or even seriously injured, yet at the same time he miiy "They are probably outside on the plateau, for the storm be held a prisoner behind a mass of dislodged rocks in seems to be quite over,'' he said to himself. "Now I rethe dark. We must go at once to the old mine and make member Pedro was great l y disturbed by his fancies of a thorough search for him. We owe it as a duty to Mr. spirits, and such nonsense being in tbe mine, so I s'pose he Melville, \rho has not seen his son in ten years." got out into the open at the first chance." "Aye, aye, 1\Ir. Luckstone. We're with you,'' cried the When Will reach e d the mouth of the entrance, whence others enthusiastically. he could see the whole of plateau, he was much sur -In :fifteen minutes a rescue party was all ready to star t prised because there was no sign of Pedro or the horses. for the Black Vein mine. "Why, where could he have gone? Surely he would not "Not a word of this to Mr. Melville, mind, until we desert me in the midst of the mountains." return,'' said Luckstone, warningly, to Pedro and the But though the boy look ed sharply on every side, he others who were not of the party. "If luck is against found not the slightest evidence that his late companion us I will break the news to him myself-d'ye understand?" was anywhere in the vicinity. They nodded assent, then Luckstone gave the order to "Well, this is tough. I really don't know what 1 had start, and with himself in the lead they filed off down the better do. From the looks of the sky I should say it was mountain path toward La Veta N egra much later in the afternoon than I had any idea of. If I only carried a watch I should be able to tell the time of day it is. I must have been longer down in the mine than I supposed Pedro, of course, heard the crash of the thun derbolt, and not seeing me return within a reasonable time he jumped to the conclusion that I was overwhelmed by the concus s ion, and not having the courage to venture after me to investigate, he has probably carried the story of my supposed death to Mr. Luckstone. I guess that mus t be it, for it would account for his disappearance with the horses." Will had made a pretty close guess at the truth. At that very moment Pedro was telling his story to Luckstone and half a dozen other interested auditors, tha gist of which was that the American boy who had accom panied him on his trip up into the range and taken shelter with him from tbe storm in the old La Veta Negra mine, had recklessly ventured to explore the mine, and had been carried off by the spirits who guarded the place. "What was his name?" "His name? Ah, yes, I remember now, it was Mel ville." "My heavens!" Lnck s tone exclaimed, in some excite ment. "Could it have been my partner's son, whom I've never been able to get the slightest trace of since we wero forcibly separated that morning in t11e flooded Arlington Valley?" He made Pedro go all over his story again. "Why didn't you go down into the mine and hunt him up when he failed to return? Why did you des er t him?" "Go down into La Veta Negra, senor!" cried Petlro, in a tone of consternation, at the Pame time hadily crossing himself. "I would not do that for all the silver in these mountains." With a snort of tfogust and contempt Luck s tone turned to the other listeners. "Boys,'' he said, "that young fellow whom 1 suspect to be the son of my partner, George Melville, and of whose CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUSION. Will M e lville, satisfied that Pedro had gone on to the Sierra Madre mines after Hie storm had blown itself over, decid e d to follow the trail or path on foot. "He had proceeded perhaps three-quarters of a mile when he heard the sound of horses' hoofs approaching. Will seated himself on a rock and waited for the party to come up. In five minutes the horsemen came into view, riding quite smar tly down. tl1e ravine. As they came close upon him the boy recognized the man who rode in advance It was Jacob Luck s tone. Will ru s hed up and grasped the bridle of his horse. "J\fr. Luckstone,'' he exclaimed eage rly, "don't you know me?" "Will Melville, by all that's lucky!" cried slipping out of his saddle and grasping the hand. Luckstcne, lad by the "Yes, sir; l'm. Will 1\felville all right. I've come to meet my father." "You shall see him right away. Why, we were on the way to the Black Vein mine to look for you. Pedro, under whose guidance you came into the mountains, turned up at the Sierra Madre half an hour ago with the story that you had been lost in the depths of the Black Vein clurinr, this afternoon's s torm. The superstitious old chap insisted that the Mina-padre had got hold of you." "It doeRn't look aR if he had, does it?" lau12hec1 Will. "Well, hardly,'' chuckled Luckstone. "l never \'.'as so glad to see anyone iu my life as I am to meet you. my lad, and right here, too." "Sarne here," replie Will. "I've been on a hunt after you for two years But it was like looking for a needle in a haystack."


28 DOING HIS LEVEL BEST. "And we-your father and I-have been searching the States for a trace of you, too. The Pinkertons have had the case in hand for nearly a year-in fact, ever since your father recovered his right senses." "What!" cried the boy joyfully, "is father all right again?" "He is-as good as he ever was." "Hurrah!" exclaimed Will, feeling like standing on his head through sheer delight. "Start back, boys," said Luckstone, waving the men to their horses. "The boy and I will follow on foot. Where the dickens did you disappear to after the boat carried me away that morning?" continued the man, turning again to Will. "I was going to ask you the same question," replied the boy. "Oh, I was driven ashore about five miles down the valley. From there I made my way along the foothills above the flood line to Maywood. I put up at the hotel and wait ed till the storm blew over, which it did about noon. Then I started out to hunt you up, but not a trace could I find of you. I waited around Maywood for a week, by which time the flood had greatly subsided. A fierce lot of damage had been done by the water, I can tell you. I had almost come to the conclusion that you had been drowned when I saw a paragraph in the local paper which stated that a boy, who gave his name as Will Melville, and said he lived near Maywood, had been picked off a floating shed by a sloop, way down the Maple river near Carrolton, and landed at Reedsburg. I hustled to that town, but could find no trace of you. Then I came back to Maywood and called on Amos Skinner. I accused him of trying to burn me up in the old barn. He denied it. I said I had a witness, however, and would produce him unless he came up with double the amount I had assessed him for that evening when I made my first call. The bluff worked, in connection with the hold I already had on him, and he gave me $5,000. With this in my pocket I came back here and purchased the Sierra Madre mines for the joint account of your father and myself. It wasn't long after that when your father recovered his memory. He was astonished to find himself in Mexico. I let him have the whole story of Skinner's crookedness, his wife's death, and your disappearance. It broke him all up, I can tell you. After a time he insisted he must return to the States, and see if he could get any trace of you. He went to Maywood and presented himseH before the panic-stricken Skinner. What occurred between them I'll leave for him to tell you by and by. At any rate, he made Skinner stump up his $20,000 with full interest, without any deductions for what I had squeezed That's about all I can tell you in a rough way. N'ow, my, lad, let me have your story." Will was glad to tell Luckstone of his adventures and endeavors to get ahead since that fateful morning when the flood parted them in the Arlington Valley, and had barely concluded his narrative when the party reached the Sierra Madre mines. The reunion of father and son was very touching, and the reader may well believe they had lots to say to each other. It was not till Will retired that that his thoughts recurred to the silver -str eaked stones he had in his pocket. The first thing he did next morning was to show them to his father. "Why, where did you pick up these specimens?" asked Mr. Melville, in some excitement. "It is purer silver ore than anything we have taken from the Sierra; Madre so far." Will told him. Luckstone was summoned to a consultation at once. When he heard the boy's story he became greatly excited, too. Horses were brought out, and the party of three visited the La Veta N egra. They had provided themselves with lanterns and sun dry small tools for inspecting the vein of silver they expected to find. Will's accidental discovery of silver ore in the Black Vein proved to be of the greatest value. Before it was made publicly known George Melville obtain.ed possession in his own name from the Mexican gov ernment of the La Veta N egra. When everything had been satisfactorily arranged a force of peons were put to work in the mine, and the ore that soon came to light astonished the country. All the profit, of course, went to Will, and to-day he is one of the richest young fellows in the State 0 G hihua hua, being worth several millions, with twice as much more in prospect. He lives with his father in a splendid modern hacienda on the suburbs of the village of Los Saucillo s, where it iii said that the prettiest of Senor Martinez's daughters will ere long rule as mistress. And so, wishing him every happiness, we leave him as !f boy who, rich though he is, is still Doing His Level Best THE END. Read "ALWAYS ON DECK; OR, THE BOY WHO MADE HIS MARK," which will be the next number (48) of "Fame and Fortune Weekly." him out of. That left the old rascal pretty flat. Then SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly your father consulted the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any offered them a reward of $5,000 to find you, which they are send the price in money or postage stamps by still tryihg to earn. Having nothing more to do he came mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBpSHER, 24 UNION back he:i:e, and has been here ever since, hopefully e"xpectSQUARE, YORK, and you will receive the copies ant that he would get word about you at any moment, you order by return mail.


.A. CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF STORIES. EVERY STORY COMPLETE. 32 PAGES. BEAUTIFULLY COLORED COVERS. PRICE 5 CENTS. LATEST ISSUES/ 163 ll'he Seven White Bears; or, The Band of Fate. A Story of Rua ala. By Richard R Montgomery. 864 Shamus O'Brien; or, The Bold Boy of Gllngal!. By Allyn Draper. 865 ll'he Skeleton Scout; or, The Dread Rider of the Plains. By An Old Scout. 86G "Merry Matt"; or, The Wlll-o'-the-Wlsp of Wine. A True TemStory. By H. K. Shackleford. 367 ll'he Boy With the Steel Mask; or, A Face That Was Never Seen. By Allan Arnold. 368 Clear-the-Track Tom ; or, ll'he Youngest Engineer on the Road. By Jas. C. Merritt. 369 Gallant Jack Barry, The Young Father of the American Navy. By Capt. Thos. H Wilson. 370 Laughing Luke, The Yankee Spy of the Revolution: By Gen'! Jas. A Gordon. 371 From Gutter to Governor; or, The Luck of a Waif. By H. K Shackleford. 372 Davy Crockett, Jr.; or, "Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead." By An Old Scout. 373 The Young Diamond Hunters; or, Two Runaway Boys In Treasure !;and. A Story of the South African Mines. By Allan Arnold. 374 The Phantom Brig; or, The Chase of the Flying Clipper. By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. 375 Special Bob; or, The Pride of the Road. By Jas. C. Merritt. 376 Three Chums; or, The Bosses of the School. By Allyn Draper. 377 The Drummer Boy's Secret; or, Oath-Bound on the Battlefield. By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. 378 Jack Bradford; or, The Struggles of a Working Boy. By Howard Austin. -379 The Unknown Renegade; or, The Three Great Scouts. By An Old Scout. 380 80 Degree s North; .or, Two Years On The Arctic Circle. By Ber ton Bertrew. 381 Running Rob ; or, Mad Anthony's Rollicking Scout. A Tale or 1'he American Revolution. By Gen. Jas. A Gordon. 382 Down the Shaft ; or, The Hidden Fortune of a Boy Miner. By Howard Austin. 383 The Boy Telegraph Inspectors; or, Across the Continent on a Hand Car. By Jas. C Merritt. 384 Nazoma; or, Lost Among the He1tdHunters. By Richard R, Montgomery. 385 From Newsboy to President ; or, Fighting for Fame and Fortune. By H K. Shackleford. 386 Jack Harold, The Cabin Boy; or, Ten Years on an Unlucky lilhlp. By Capt. Thoe. H. Wilson. 387 Gold Gulch ; or, Pandy Ellls's Last Trail. By An Old Scout. 388 Dick Darlton, the Poor-House Boy ; or, The liltruggles of a Friend less Waif. By H. K Shackleford. 889 The Haunted Light-House ; or, The Black Band of the Coast. By Howard Austin. 890 The Boss Boy Bootblack of New York; or, Climbing the Ladder of Fortune. By N S. Wood (The Young American Actor). 891 The Sliver Tiger ; or, The Adventures of a Young American In India. By Allan Arnold. 392 General Sherman's Boy Sp ; or, The March to the Sea. By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. 393 Sam Strap, The Young Engineer; or, The Pluckiest Boy on the Road. By Jas. C. Merritt. 394 Little Robert Emmet ; or, The White Boys of Tipperary. By Allyn Drape r 395 Kit Carson's Kit; or, The Young Army Scout. By An Old Scout. 396 Beyond the Aurora; or, The Search for the Magnee Mountain. By Berton Bertrew. 397 Seven Damond Skulls; or, The Secret City of Slam. By Allan Arnold. 398 Over the Line ; or, The Rich and Poor Boys of Riverdale School1. By Allyn Draper. 399 The Twenty Silent Wolves; or, The Wild Riders of the Moun tains. By Richard R. Montgomery. 400 A New York Working Boy; or, A Fight for a Fortune. a.rd Austin. 401 Jack the Junler; or, A Boy's Search for His Sister. Shackleford. By How By H.K. 402 Little Paul Jones.i....or, The Scourge of the British Coast. By Capt. Thos. H. wllson. 403 Mazeppa No 2, the Boy Fire Company of Carlton ; or, Plucky Work on Ladder and Line. By Ex-Fire Chief Warden. 404 The Blue or, l!'lghtlng Against the Czar. By Allan Arnold. 405 Dick, the Apprentice Boy; or, Bound to be an Engineer. (A Story of Railroad Life.) By Jas. C. Merritt. 406 Kit Carson, Jr., In the Wild Southwest; or, The Search for a Lost Claim. By An Old Scout. 407 The Rivals of Round Top Academy; or, Missing from School. By Allyn Draper. 408 Jack Mason's Million; or, A Boy Broker's Luck In Wall Street. By H. K Shackleford. 409 The Lost City of the Andes; or, The Treasure of the Volcano. (A Story of Adventures In a Strange Land.) By Richard R. Mont gomery. 410 The Rapidan Rangers; or, General Washington's Boy Guard. (A Story of the American Revolution.) By Gen'!. James A. Gor don. 411 "Old Put"; or, The Fire Boys of Brandon. By Ex-Fire Chief War. den. 412 Dead Game; or, Davy Crockett's Double. By An Old Scout. 413 Barnum's Young Sandow; or, The Strongest Boy in the World. By Berton Bertrew. 414 Halsey & Co.; or, The Young Bankers and Speculators. By H. K. Shackleford. Alow and Aloft ; or, The Dashing Boy Harpooner By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. 416 The Meteor Express; or, The Perilous Run of a Boy Engineer. By Jas. C Merritt. 417 Buttons; or, Climbing to the Top. (A Story of a Bootblack's Luck and Pluck.) By Allyn Draper. 418 The Iron Grays ; or, The Boy Riders of the Rapidan. By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. 419 Money and Mystery ; or, Hal Hallerton's Tips In Wall Street. By H K. Shackleford. 420 The Boy Sultan; or, Searching for a Lost Diamond Mine. By Allan Arnold. 421 Edgewood No 2; or, The Only Boy In the Fire Company. By Ex-Fire-Chief Warden. 422 Lost on a Raft; or, Driven from Sea to Sea. By Captain Whoa. H. Wilson. 423 or, Ben Bright, the Boy Engineer. By Jaa. c. 424 Ed, the Errand Boy; or, Working His Way In the World. By Howard Austin. 425 Pawnee Bill in Oklahoma; or, Fighting with the White Chief. By An Old Scout. 426 Percy Grevllle, the Scout of Valley Forge. By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gor don. (A Story of the American 427 Bulls and Bears; or, A Bright Boy's Fight With the Broker& of Wall Street. By H. K. Shackleford. 428 The Dead Shot Rangers ; or, The Boy Captain ot the Home De fenders. (A Story of the American Revolution.) By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. 429 Lost In the Grassy Sea ; or, Three Years In the Sargasso. Capt Thos H. Wilson. 480 Tom Porter's Searc h ; or, The Treasure of the Mountains. Richard R. Montgqmery. I ., "' I -By B7 For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt or price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher. 24 Union Square. York IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fl.II In the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAK EN THE SAME AS MONEY. el e e e e e e e e e e e -I FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ..... . : . 190 DEAR Srn-Enelosed find ...... cents for which please send me: .... copies of WORK: 'A.ND WIN Nos ....................... 1 . . . " WIDE 'A.WAKE WEEKLY, Nos ............................................. 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These Books Tell Everything! .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! b, Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Most of the. books ate also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a sim pl e manner that any child can thoroughly uuderstand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything a.bout the subjects mentioned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL PE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDREJSS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS E)ACH, OR ANY 'l'HREE BOOKS FOR TWE,N',CY-FIVE POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Adtlress FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the most ap proved methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. Q. 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Full instructions are given in this little book, together with in structions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE.A complete treatise on the horse. Describing the most useful horses for business, the best horses for the road ; also valuable recipes for diseases pecaliar to the horse. No. 48. HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A bandy b ook for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. B;v O. Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULU:M AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of human destiny; also the true mean ing of almost any kind of dreams, together wifu charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A complete book No. 23. HOW 'l'O EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. This little book gives the explanation to all kinds of dreams, together with lu cky and unlucky Jays, and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. No. 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.-Everyone is desirous of k nowing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or poverty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends. No. 76. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, or the secret of Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.-Giving full in struc tion for the use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horiztntal bars and various other methods of developing a good, heal thy muscle; containing over sixty illustrations. Every boy ca n become strong and healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. No. 10. HOW TO BOX.-;-The art of self-defense made easy. Containing over thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the ditfer ent positions of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor. No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Containlng full instructions for all kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises. E..mbracing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book. No. 34. HOW ro FENCE.-Containing full instruction for fencing and the U3e of the broadsword; also instruction in archery. Deseribed with twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the best positions in fencing. A complete book. TRICKS WITH CARDS. i\11>. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Containing e :.:plan:..tions of the general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of card tricks wi t h ordinary cards, and not requiring sleight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of specially prepared cards. By Professor Haffner. Illustrated. No. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH 04,RDS.-Elm bracmg all of the latesl and most deceptive card tricks, with il-lustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 77. HOW '1'0 DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS. deceptive Card Tricks as performed by l eading conjurors and mag1c1ans. Arranged for home amusement. Fully illustrated. MAGIC. No. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book of magic and card tricks, containing full instruction on all the leading card tric ks of the day, also most popular magical illu sions as performed by oui: leading magicians ; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, as 1t will both amuse and instruct. No., 22. TO DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's second sight explamed b.l'. his former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Ex:plaining how the secret dialogues were carried on bet ween the magician and the boy on the stage; also giving all the codes aud signals. Tli.e only authentic explanation of second sight. No. 43. HOW TO BECOl\IE A MAGIOIAN.-Containing the grandest ?f magical illusions ever placed b efore the public. Also tricks with cards. incantations, etc. No 68. TO DO CHEMICAL TlUCKS.-Containing over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals. By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrated. No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.-Containing over of the latest and bes t tricks used by magi. c ians. Also contain ing the secret of second sight. Fully illustrated. B y A. Anderson. No., 70. HO\V '.1'0 MAGIC TOYS.-Containing full directions for makmg l\lagic 'Ioys and devices of many kinds. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrnted. No. 73 .. HOW. TO DO THICKS WITH NUl\:IBERS.-Showing many curious with figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. _No. 7.5. HO\Y TO A CONJUROR. Containing tricks wiU1. Dommos, Dice, Cups anJ Balls, Hats etc. Embracing thirty-six illustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 78. TO DO THE .BLACK ART.-Containing a com plete descript10n of the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand together with many wonderful ell{leriments. By .A.. Anderso.n'. Illustrated. MECHANICAL, No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN IN VENTOR.-Every boy should how invention s originated. This booli explains them all, g1vmg examples in electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechanics, etc. '!'he most instruc tive book publishfld. No. HOW TO BECOM;EJ AN ENGINEER.-Containing full mstruct10ns how to proceed m order to become a locomotive en gineer; also directions for builtling a model together with a full description of everything an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW TO MAKE MUSICAL INSTRUMEN'.!'.;S.-Full directions how to a B!lnjo, Violin, Zither, 1Elolian Harp, Xylo phone and other musical mstruments; together with a brief de scription of nearly every musical instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. l!,itzgerald, for twenty years bar:dma .ster of the Royal Bengal Mat;ines. No. 59. HOW }J'O MAKE A l\IAGIC LANTER'N.-Containing a description of the lanlern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions for its and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John Allen. No. 71. HOW 'TO DO MECHANICAL complete instructions for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A most com plete little book, containing full d,irections for' writing love-letters, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for ypung and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction, notes a11d requ ests. No. 24. HOW 'l'O WRITE LETTEJRS TO GENTLEMEN.Containing full direetions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for instruction. No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling )'ou how to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother. employer; and, in fact, everybody a'nd any body you wish to write to. FJvery young man and every young lady in the land should havf' this book. 74. i=i:ow '1'9 WRI'l'E) CORRECTLY.-Contammg full mstructions for writmg letters on almost anysubject; also rules for punctuation and composition, with specimeu letters.


-YHE STAGE. No. 41. THlil BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a great variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous t;nd men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No .. T,HE OF Nl!JW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. C onta1!1mg a varied asso,rtment of stump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end men s Jokes Just the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. TS:E BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND n e w and very instructive. Every boy should obtam this book, as it contains full instructions for organizing an amate11r minstrel troupe. No. 1:1_5. :\1., i s one of the most original Joke books eve r published, aua 1t 1s brimful of wit a nd humor It contains a large collection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc:, of Teqe n ce Muldoon, the great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the day. Every boy who can enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy immediately. No. 79. HOW TO BECOME AN ACTOR.-Containing complete instructions how to make up for various characters on the s,tage_; with the duties of the Stage Manager, Prompte r, Scemc _and Property Man. By a prominent Stage Manager. 80. GUS WILLIAMS' JOKE BOOK.-Containing the latest jokes, anecdotes and funny stories of this world-renowned and eve:r popular German comeflian. Sixty-four pages; handsome colored cover containing a half-tone photo of the author. HOUSEKEEPING. No. 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.-Containing full instruc ions for constructing a window garden either in town or country, and the most approved methods for raising beautiful flowers at home. The most comp lete book of the kind ever pub lish ed No. 30. HOW TO COOK.-One of the most instructive books on coqking ever pnblished. It. contains. recipes for cooking meats, fish, game, and oysters; also pies, puddmgs, cakes and all kinds of pastry, and a grand collection of recipes by one of our most popular cooks. No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE.-It contains information for everybody, boys, girls, men and women; it will teach you how to make anythi11g around the house, such as parlor ornaments brackets, cements, Aeolian harps, and bird lime for catching birds.' ELECTRICAL. No. 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.-A description of the wonderful uses of electricity and e l ectro magnetism; together with full instructions for making Electric Toys, Batteries, etc. By George Trebel, A. 1\1., M. D. Containing over fifty illustrations. No. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL MACHINES.-Con taining fnll Jirections for making electrical machines, induction coils, dynamos. and many novel toys to be worked by electricity. By R. A. R. Bennett. Fully illustrated. No. 67. HOW 'l'O DO ELECTRICAL TRICKS.-Containing a large collectio'll of instructive nnd highly amusing electrical tricks, together with illustrations. By A. Anderson. No: 31. H9W T9 .BECOME A SPEAKER.-Cour.1w1:,;: ;. it'" teen 1Ilustrat1ons, g1v10g the different positions requisite ro b<>com a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular of prose and poetry, arranged in the moilt simple and conc1s2 manner possible. No. 49. _HOW TO DFJBA'.rE.-Giving rules for conducting de bates, outhnes for questions for discussion and the beQ sources for procuring infotmation on the questions g 'ive n. SOCIETY. No. 3. TO arts and wiles of flirtaticn are fully by this httle book. Besides the various methods of ha.r.dkerch1ef . fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it co n tams a full list of the language and sentiment of flowers which ill in.teresting to everybody, both old and young. You cannot' be happy without one . 4. H.OW .TO DANqE is the title of a new a1;1d handsom e htt1e book Just i ssued by lJ rank Tousey. It contains full instruc tions in the art of dancing, etiquette i n the ball-room and a t parties how to dress, and full directions for calling off in all popular square dances. No. 5. HOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A complete guide to lo v e courtship and marriage, giving sensib le advice, rules and etiquette to be observed, with many curious and interesting things not i:en erally known. No. 17. HOW TO DRESS.-Containing full instruction in tlie art of dressing and appearing well at home and abroad1 giving the se l ections of colors, m!!. I terial. and how to have them made up. No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAUTIFUL.-One of the brightest and most valuable little books eve r given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to become beautiful, both male and female. '.rhe secret is simple, and almost costless. Read this book and be convinced how to become beautiful. BIRDS AND ANIMALS. No. 7. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.-Handsamely illustrated and containing full instructions for the management and training of the canary, mockingbird, bobolink. blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc. No. 39. HOW TO RAISE DOGS, POULTRY, PIGEONS AND RABBITS.-A use ful and instructive book. Handsomely illus trated. By Ira Drofraw. No. 40. HOW TO MA.KE AND SET TRAPS.-1ncluding hinta on how to cakh moles, weasels, otte r, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harrington Keene. No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AND valuable book, giving instructions in collec ting, preparing, mountina and preserving birds, animals sud insects No. 54. HOW TO KEEP AND MANAGE PETS.-Giving coni plete information as to the manner and method of raising, keeping, taming, breeding, and managing all kinds of pets also giving full instructions for making cages, etc. Fully explained by twenty-eight illustrations, making it the most complete book of the kind ever p ubli shed MISCELLANEOUS. No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTIST.-"A useful and iii structive book, givin' a complete treatise on chemistry; also ex ENTERTAINMENT. periments in acoustics, mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and di rections for making fireworks, colored fires, and gas balloons. Tbl1 No. 9. HOW TO A VENTRILOQUIST.-By Harrv book cannot be equaled. Kenn edy. The secret given away. Every intelligent boy reading No. 14. HOW TO l\IAKE CANDY.-A complete band-book for this book of instructions. by a practical professor (delighting multi-making all kinds of candy. i ce-crearr.!:i. etcu etc. tudes every night witl:! his wonderful imitations), can master the No. HOW '.rO BECOME Ar11 AU'.l'tlOR.-Containing full art, and create any amount of fun for himself and friends. It is the information regarding choice of subjects, the use of words and the greatest book-ever puhlishefl. and there's millions (of fun) in it. manner of preparing and submitting manuscript. Also containing No. 20. HOW 'rO AN EVENING "PARTY.-A valuable information as to the neatness legibility and general com ver y valuable little book just published. A complete compendium position of manuscript, essential to a successfu l author. By Prince of gam es, sports, card diversions. comic recitation s, etc., suitable Hiland. for parlor or draw ing-room entertainment. It contains more for the No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DOCTOR.-A won money than any l iook pnblishefl. derful book. containing usefu l and practical information in the No. 35. UOiV TO PLAY complete and useful little treatment of ordinary diseases and ailments common to every book, containing the rules and of billiards, bagatelle, family. Abounding in useful and effective recipes for general combaekgammon, c1oq1wt. domino es etc. plaints. No. 3f). HOW TO SOLVE all No. 55. HOW TO COLLECT STAMPS AND COINS.-Cou the leading conuu rlrums of the day, amusing riddl es, curious catches taining valuable information regarding the and arrangini: and witty sayings. of stamps and coins. Handsomely illnstratE-d. No. 52. HOW '.I'O PLAY r.<\RDS.-A. complete and handy little No. 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.-By Old King Brady, book, i:iviug the rnles aud f,. "irections for playing Euchre, Cribthe world-known detective. In which he Jays down some valuable bage. Casino, Forty-Five, _ce, Pedro Sancho, Draw Poker, and sensible rules for beginners, and also relates some adventures Auction Pitch. A11 Fours, and many other popu lar games of cards. and exJ!erien ces of well-known detectives. No. 66. HOW U'O DO ITZZLES.-Containing over three hun-No. 60. HOW TO BECO:HE A PIIOTOGRAPHER.-Conta indred interesting p11zzlPs and <'onundrums. with key to same. A ing useful information regarding the and h o w to work it: complete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. also how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Slides and ol l:ct' Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated By Captain W. De ".'. Abney ETIQUETTE. No. 13. HOW TO DO IT: OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It is a great lif e secret, and one that every young man desires to know all about. The r e's happiness in it. No. 33. HOW TO REHA VE.-Containing the rules and etiquette o f good society and the eaBiest !lncl most approved methods of appeari ng to good advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church, and in the drawing-room. No 62 HOW TO J'JECOME A WEST POINT MILITAgy CADET.-Containing full expianations how to gai n adrnittan<' e, rourse of Sturl.v, Examinations. DutiPs. Staff of Post Guard, Police RPgnlations, Fire Department, and all a boy should know to be a Cadet. CGmpiled all'! written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to BP<'ome a Naval Cadet." No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL CADET.-Complete in strnctions of bow to gain admission to the Annapolis Naval DECLAMATION Academy. Also containing the course of instruction. description No 27. HOW TO RECITE A.ND BOOK OF RECITATIONS. of grounds and buildings. historical sketch. and everythi ng a bo y Containing the most popular in use, comprising Dutch should know to an officer in the United States Navy. d ialect. French dial ect, Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together piled and writt<'n by J,11 SPnarens, author of "How to Become a sitb many standard r ea dings. West Point Military Cadet. A PRICE 10 CENTS EACH. OR 3 FOR 25 Address FUANK TOUSEY. Publisher. 24 Union Square, New York.


SECR.ET SER.VICE OLD AND YOUNG KING BRADY, DETECTIVES. ISSUED. WEEKLY 1-mcE 5 CTS. 32 PAGES. COLORED COVERS. LA'.r.EST ISSUES: 1127 The Boodys Facing Death; or, Trapp.ed by a Clever Woman. 828 The Bradys' Rio Grande Raid; or, Hot Work at Badman's Bend. 329 The Bradys' Madhouse Mystery ; or, The Search for Madame Montford. M o The Bradys and the Swamp Rats; or, After the Georgia oonshlners. 331 The Bradys and "Handsome Hal" ; or, Duping the Duke of Dakota. g32 The Bradys and the Mad Flnanc1er; or, Trailing the "Terror" of aa Wall Street. ,, f 333 The Bradys and the Joplin Jays; or, Three Badmen rom Missouri. 334 The Bradys and Capt. Klondike; or, The Man from the North Pole. "L b 335 The Bradys and the Wall Street Club ; or, Three Lost am s. 3ll6 TPe Bradys' Lightning Raid; or, Chased Through the Hole In s: the Wall. So7 The Bradys and the Hip Sing Ling; or, After the Chinese Free Masons. SSS The Bradys' Diamond Syndicate ; or, The Case of the "Marquis" of Wall Street. 839 The Bradys and the Seven Masks; or, Strange Doings at the Doctors' Club. 840 The Bradys and the President's Special ; or, The Plot of the 1-2-3 fb The Bradys and the Russian Duke ; or, The Case of the Woman From Wall Street. ah The Bradys and the Money Makers; or, After the "Queen of the Queer." 343 The Bradys and the Butte Boys ; or, The Trail of the Ten "Terrors." 344 ,The Brad3s and the Wall liltreet "Widow" ; or, The Flurry In F. F. V. 345 The Bradys' Chinese Mystery ; or, Called by the "King" of Mott Street. 346 The Bradys and "Brazos Bill"; or, Hot Work on the Texas Bor der. 347 The Bradys and Broker Black; or, Trapping the Tappers of Wall Street. 348 The Bradys at Big Boom City; or, Out for the Oregon Land Thieves. 349 The Bradys and Corporal Tim ; or, The Mystery of the Fort. 350 The Bradys' Banner Raid ; or, The White Boys of Whirlwlna t. Camp. :>l The Bradys and the Safe Blowers; or, Chasing. the King of the Yeggme11. 352 The Bradys at Gold Lake; or, Solving a Klondike Mystery. 353 The Bradys and "Dr. Doo-Da-Day" ; or, The Man Who \vas Lost on Mott Street. 354 The Bradys' Tombstone "Terror" ; or, After the Arizona Mine Wreckers. 355 The Bradys and the Witch Doctor; or, Mysterious Work In New Orleans. 35ti The Bradys and Alderman Brown ; or, After the Grafters of fJ Greenville. 3:>7 The Bradys In "Little Pekin" ; or, The Case of the Chinese Gold King. 358 The Bradys and the Boston Special; or, The Man Who was Miss ing from Wall Street. 359 The Bradys and the Death Club ; oi:-, The Secret Band of Seven. 360 The Bradys' Chinese Raid ; or, After the Man-Hunters of Mon-tana. 361 The Bradys Ud the Bankers' League; or, Dark Doings In Wall Street. 362 The Bradr,s' Call to or, Downing the "Knights of Nevada.' 363 The Bradys and the Pit of Death ; or, Trapped by a Fiend. 364 The Bradys and the Boston Broker; or, The Man Who Woke up Wall Street. 365 The Bradys Sent to Sing Sing; or," After tbe Prison Plotters. 366 The Bradys and the Gram Crooks; or, After the "King of Coro." 367 Tbe Bradys' Ten Trails; or, After the Colorado Cattle Tbeves. 368 The Bradys In a Madhouse; or, The Mystery of Dr. Darke. 369 The Bradys and the Chinese "Come-Ons" ; or, Dark Doings In Doyers Street. 370 The Bradys and the Insurance Crooks; or, Trapping A Wall Street Gang. 371 ll'he Bradys and the Seven Students ; or, The Mystery of a Medical College. 372 The Bradys and Governor Gum ; or, Hunting the King ot tbe Hlghblnders. 373 The liradys and the Mine Fakirs; or, Doing a Turn In Tombstone. 3 7 4 The Bradys in Canada; or, a. Wall Street "Wonder." 375 The Bradys and the Highbinders League; or, The Plot to Burn Chinatown. 376 The Bradys' Lost Claim; or, The Mystery of Kill Buck Canyon. 377 The Bradys and the Broker's Double; or, Trapping a Wall Street Trickster. 378 The Bradys at Hudson's Bay ; or, The Search for a Lost Explorer. 37}) The Bradys and the Kansas "Come-Ons" ; or, Hot Work on a Green Goods Case. 380 The Bradys' Ten-Trunk Mystery; or, Working for the Wabash Road. 381 The Bradys and Dr. Ding; or, Dealing With a Chinese Magician. 382 The Bradys and "Old King Copper" ; or, Probing a Wall Street Mystery. 383 The Bradys and the "Twenty '.rerrors" ; or, After the Grasshopper Gang. and To"l'.erman "10" ; or, The Fate ot the Comet 384 The Bradys Flyer. 385 The Bradys and Judge Jump; or, The "Badman" From Up the River. 386 The Bradys and Prince HI-Tl-LI ; or, The Trail of the Fakir ot 'Frisco. 387 The Bradys and "Badman Bill"; or, Hunting the Hermit of Hang town. 388 The Bradys and "Old Man Money"; or, Bustling for Wall li>treet Million. 389 The Bradys and the Green Lady ; or, The Mystery or the Maa house. 390 The Bradys' Stock Yards Mystery ; or, A Queer Case from Chi cago. 391 The Bradys and the 'Frisco Fire Fiends; or, Working ror Earth quake Millions. 392 The Bradys' Race With Death ; or, Dealings With Qr. Duval. 393 The Bradys and Dr. Sam-Suey-Soy; or, Hot Work on a Chinese Clew. 394 The Bradys and "Blackfoot Biii" ; or, The Trail of the Tonopah Terror. 395 The Bradys and the "Lamb League" ; or, After the Five Fakirs of Wall Street. 396 The Bratlys' Black Hand Mystery ; or, Running Down the coal Mine Gang. f.or sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 6 cents per copy, in mon ey or postage stamps, by FB..&.!f][ TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, 1'Tew York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from thic; office direct. Cut out and fill in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by re-tbrn mail. POS'.rAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. . . ................. 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me : .. copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ............... .......................... .... . . ..... .... " " " WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY, Nos ........................ -. ........... WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ........................................ THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, NOS ................................... PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ....... ............................................. SECRET SERVICE, NOS ............................................................. FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos .................................................. I " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ................................................. 1' ame .......................... Street and No ........... Town ....... State ... ; ....


STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A NEW ONE ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY PRICE 5 CENT S A COPY This Weekly c0ntains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of ,passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our most successful self-made .men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes "]J'ame and Fortune Weekly" a magazine for the home, although each number is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very b es t obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists. and every effort is constantly being made to make i t the best week l y on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALRE ADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy in Wall Stree t. 2 Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. 3 A Corne r in Corn; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 4 A Game of Chance: or, The Boy Who Won Out. 5 Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Stree t. 6 Building a R ailroad; or, The Y_oung Contractors of Lakeview. 7 Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Gree n River 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy. 9 Nip and Tuck; o r The Young Brokers of Wall Street. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys WhoWorked a Deserted Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Boy. 12 A Di amond in the R o ugh; or, A Brave Boys Start in Life. 1 3 Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy in Wall Stree t. H A Gold Bric k ; or, The Boy Who Could Not be Downed. 1 5 A Streak 0: Luck; or, The Boy Who Feathered His N es t 1 6 A Good Tliing; or, The ,.Boy Who Made a Fortune. 17 King of the Market; or, The Youngest Trader in Wall Street. 1 8 Pure Grit; or, On e Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise in Life; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A Barrel of Money; or, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. 21 All to the Good; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He Got There; or, The Pluckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Ric h. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Sp ec u lator; or, the Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 The Way to Success; or, The Boy Wbo Got There. 27 Struck Oil; or, The Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk; o., The Young JV:iners of Della Cruz. 29 A Sure Winner; or, The Boy Who Went Out With a Circus. 30 Golden Fleece; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street. 31 A Mad Cap S cheme; or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of C o c os I sland. 32 Adrift on the World; or, Working His Way t o Fortune. 33 Playing t o Win; or, The Foxiest Boy i n Wall Street. 34 Tatters; or, A Boy from the Slums. 35 A Young Monte Cristo; or, The Richest Boy in the World. 36 Won by Pluck; or, The Boys Who Ran a Railroad. 3 7 Beating the Brokers; or, The Boy Who "Couldn't be Done." 38 A Rolling Stone; or, The Brightest Boy on R ecord. 39 N e v e r Say Die ; or, The Young Surveyor of Happy Valley. 40 Almost a Man; or, Winning His Way to t h e Top. 41 Boss of t h e Market; or, The Greatest Boy in Wall street. 42 The Chance of His Life; or, The Young Pilot of Crystal Lake. 43 Striving for Fortune; o r, From B ell-Boy to Millionaire. 44 Out for Business; or, The Smartest Boy in Town. 45 A Favorite of Fortune; or, Striking it Rich in Wall Street. 46 Through Thick and Thin; or, The Adventures of a Smart Boy. 47 Doin g His Level B est; or, Working His Way Up. 48 A lways On Deck; or, The Boy Who Made His Mark. For sal e by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamp s, b y FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from n ewsdeale r s, t hey can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following Order Blank and send it to u s with the price of the book s you want and we will send them t o you b y return mail. POS'l'AGE STAMP S 'l'HE SAME AS M ONEY. J FRANK TOUSEY, Publi she r, 2-! Union Square, New York. .... ...................... 1 9 0 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ..... cents for which please send me: .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ..................................... .. .................... '' '' 'V'.'IDE A WAKE '1\TEEKLY, Nos ..................................... ............. '' '' WILD \VEST WEEKLY, Nos .......................... ............. ................ " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos .. . ................................................... " PLUC K ND LUCK, Nos ............................ .................. .......... " SECRET SERVICE, NOS .... ...................... . .................. ............. : .. " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos .................................................. .. " T en-Cent H and Books; Nos .... . ............ . ......... Name ................... ... ... Stre e t and N n ... ........ ....... Town ......... State . 1 ""


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