A game of chance, or, The boy who won out

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A game of chance, or, The boy who won out

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A game of chance, or, The boy who won out
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Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
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New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 pages)


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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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F18-00024 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.24 ( USFLDC Handle )
031030052 ( ALEPH )
829393014 ( OCLC )

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5CENTS. Two of the firemen started up the escape. Before they reached the platform, Will appeared ae;ain at the opening, this time with a burden in his arms. It was clear to those below that he held an insensible girl in his grasp.


.fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY !Hued Wed:l11-B11 Subscription 12.li

2 A GA.nm OF UIIANCE. --------unpretentio u s cottage on the outskirts of Northport, for t!:c ;;a i mcatbers wer e in very moderate circumstance s which accounted for the fact that Jessie was employea in 1.he cotton ipills It ;R true Mrs Fairweather owned the little home ;n whi c h they lircd, but this represented the sum total of their earthlv poss ess ions. Captain Edward Fairweather, the husband and father, was supposed to have been lost at sea, for since the dfly, three years before, he sailed for Boston harbor in his goorl ship l\Iorning Star, not a word hacl been heard of vessel or crew. Although L e wis Jarvis associated with the better claf's of Northport's young people, he had what we may call a "sneaking" regard for Jessi e Fairweather. Her good l ooks and attractive ways had impressed him, anrJ he figured that becm1se she was poor she must natmally regard it as an honor for him to single her out from the other ivorking girls. But Jessie ver was somewhat disfi g ured by the g1ime of the engi11e-room, clacl in a p<1ir of overhauls and a el1rck jumper, rnrnc 011t, wheeling an iron hanow fille d with ashes and c l;nkrrs L e t g o m y hancl, Mr. Ja1 : vis !" cried Jessie, stamping her little foot resentful ly. "Will rnu let me g o home with you?" "No!" she crierl, vdth a d e fiant toss of her head. "The n you can't go until I choose to let you he ret orted a ng ri l y "How dare you treat me in this manner?" she cried, with fla shing eyes Because I choose to do so." The boy in the overhauls and jumper had seen Lewia J arvis grab J css i e Fairweather by the wTist and eaEily o v erheard all that followed. H is natural chivalry toward the fair sex told J1im it w as 'time to interfere, even without r efere nc e to tthe fad t h a t h e looked upon the girl as a particular friend 'BI' So he dropped the wheelbarrow, s tepped up to the son of >: orlhporL' o magnate, and laying hi s hand on his shoul der, said, with quiet d etermination: "I think you had better l e t Miss Fairweather go home if she wants to." Lewis started back in some little trepidation, for he knew he was in the wr o ng, and Jcsie took advantage of the moment tn snatch her hand from hi s gra p. But whe n he l'Ccog niz e d who it was that had interfered h is brow gre w as black as thunder-gust, and he snorter] : "What do you mean, you pauper, you! Row dare you lay your di r ty hand on me "I intc refcre

A OF CHANCE. Maybe there was another reason, too, for it was a fact that J essie greatly a dmired young Will Somers. She knew he was a good boy, an ea.rnest, hard worker, the sol e support of a widowed mother and a y oung e r broth e r and sister ,./ She kne w that everybody that knew Will liked him, be cause he was polite and gentlemanly to all, and consider ate of the feelings of even the smallest girl or boy in the factory. She knew that a considerab l e part of his spa re time was spent in study, in order to better his condition. He had an eye to the future. Will Somers was generall y recognized about the mills a s a smart boy. He had late l y inv en ted an impro vement in the damper r egulator of the engine, which hatl proved an economizer of coal, and' a patent for it ha

4 A GAME OF CHANCE. "Very well," responded the nabob stiffly "I shal l ex pect that you will look into this thing at once. As soon as the Somers boy's offence been shown to your satis faction I look to you to discharge him immediately." Superintendent Harper made no reply to this, and the Squire taking his s ilence in an affirmative sense, rose from the chair, bowed coldly and left the office. "This isn't at all like Will Somers," muttered Mr. Harpe r after he had sen t to the engine-room for the boy. "Young Jarvis ha s evidently exaggerated the affair to suit hi s own views." Wi11 presently r epor t e d at the superintendent's office, cl a d in his overhauls and jumper, and his bright, manly, young face favorab ly impressed the official whose duty it was to pass on the merits of the alleged difficulty. "You wished to see me, Mr. Harper?" asked the lad mode s tly. "Yes, Will. I regret to say a charge has been made against you by Squire Jarvis He has just left." "I expected it," replied the boy cheerfully "Lewis Jarvis and I had a run-in last night about closing time, and he threatened to tell bis father and have me dis charged." superintendent smiled good-naturedly. "I will hear what you have to say about it," he said kindly. Will at once rehearsed the cause of the trouble, ano referred to Jessie Fairweather foi;, corroboration of his story. Mr. Harper nodded, as if he put a good deal of faith in the boy's statement. "I will send for the lady in the case," he said genially. "You may return to the engine-room. Rest assured you will be treated with perfect fairness J essie Fai r weather was called down from the operating room, and she backed up Will's story with an earnestness that called up a smile to the s uperintendent's face. "I see you have a friendly feeling for Will S"omers," he said. "I have," s he replied, without any embarrassment. "He has been very kind to m other and myself, and I'm sure I like him very much." "That is all, Miss Fa.irweather." "You don't think he will be discharged for taking my part, do you, sir?" s he asked anxiously. "I don't think you need worry about that," he replied, with a quiz zica l smile. '"Thank you." Much aga inst his will, Lewis Jarvis called on the super intendent that afternoon and g ave his version of the diffi culty. His statement showed so much personal rancor against Will that the brief cross-examination to which he was sub jected convinced Mr. Harper that the re was no ground on which to proceed against Will in the matter, and, ingly he dismissed the charge, writing a note _!;p1 ; SCJJlire Jarvis to that effect. ,e r! Lewis was very much dissatisfied with the outcome of the affair Having failed to get square with Will Somers, he now transferred a portion of his enmity to Jessie Fairweather. "She's a stuck-up thing for a poor mill hand," he said to himself with an air of disgu s t as he was retiring for the night. "I'd like to take her down a peg or two. I believe she's s tuck on that mechanic, and he acts if he was gone on her H I could only manage to get her fired from the factory 'twould make them both feel sore and so I could kill two bird s with one stone. I know what I'll do. Tessie Rickson is j ealo u s of her. She likes Somers herself. Perhaps I can put something into Tessie's head that'll give her a chance to ge t that Fairweather girl into trouble. She'll grab at s uch a scheme in a minute. If it works, it'll be all right; if it doesn't, and Te ssie ge t s into trouble over it, why, that'll be h e r lookout. In any case, I don t ri s k anything. I ll see her to-morrow. It'll b e a cold day when things don't come my way." With which charitable reflection he hopped into b e d and was soon asleep. CHAPTER III. IN WHICH LEWIS .JARVIS INTERVIEWS TESSIE RICKSON, .AND AFTERWARDS HEARS SOMETHING TH.AT GIVES HIM: GREAT SATISFACTION. The factory hands had an h our for lunch, and most of the girls went hom e for the midday meal. 'I'essie Hickson was one of these, and Lewi s Jarvis, in accordance with his amiable intentions toward Jessi e Fair WJJather, took care to meet her as if by accident OJl the way to her father's cottage. Miss Rickson was a tall, s omewhat angular young per s on, with red hair, which, however, she referred to as auburn, a freckled face, a vinegary-looking mouth nnd a turned up nose. While she wasn't prepar e d to admit even to herself what other people could see with half an she was decidedly plain, so far as looks were concerned-sh'" was j e alous of every girl who received more attention from tl\e boys than herself She was particularly down on J essic Fairweathr : r be cause e verybod y said Jessie was the p r ettie s t girl in North port, and c hiefly because s he (Tes s i e ) was somew hat sweet on Will Somers, and all the other girls sa id Jessie was Will' s sweetheart. Had she been m e ntally capable 0 originating any plan to get square with the captain's daughter she would have put it into practice long ago. Fortunately, \er powers in that direction were limited But she was mean and reckless enough to put into execu tion any scheme that might be s u gges ted to her that had for its object the humiliation of Jessie Fairweather. Consequently, as Lewis Jarvis had surmised, she was an easy tool for him to use. "Good-afternoon, Tessie," said Lewis, taking off hi s hat to her.


A GAME OF CHANCE. 5 "Good-afternoon, Mr. Jarvis," she replied, pleased to b e addressed by the nabob's s on. "I s'po s e you don t obj e ct to my company for a little way, do you?" he said, with a smirk, intended to be fetching. "Not at all; on the contrary, I s hall con s id e r it an honor she an s wered, hopin g some of her girl friends would see her walking with the magn a t e's s o n ancl that the s ight would make them turn green with jealou sy. "It' s too bad that s uch a pretty girl a s you s hould hav e to work on s uch a pleasant day," proc e eded the a s tute Mas ter Jarvis, with a polite grin. "Isn't it?" cried Tessie in a discontented tone. How eve r I don't exp e ct to work alway s Mr. Jarvis." "Sure you won't. Some rich young fellow, liktJ my s e lf, for instance, will come along and s nap you up you aren't thinking." "I'm afraid the other girls w o uld all b e j e alou s of me, then," s ai d Tessie, d e light e d a t the s uggestion, whic h not o c curred to her before. "I they would, e s pecially J essie F a irweath e r I h e ar she doe s n t like y ou f o r a c e n t saiJ L e wis ai tfolly, "and doesn t ca r e who k n ows i L "I h at e h er!" s napped Mis s R i ckso n v i nJic ti re l y "She i s n t s o much, thou g h s h e seems to think h a lf the boys are crazy ove r h e r con ti nucJ the boy "Do you think sh e's s o pretty ?" "No, I don 't; do you?" n s k(:d T e s sie, w i th compressed lip s "Not by a jugul. I lik e the colo r o f your hair mu c h better than h e r s." "Do you really? You a re n1aking fun of m e ain t you?" she asked doubtfully. "I'm not. H e r hair i s nice e nou g h in its way, but y ours is the most fashionable s hade. I h e ard m y mother sny so." A whopp e r or two by the boy dicl not worry his con science a great deal whe n the y assi s t e d him in the attain m ent of some object he had in view. Miss Rick s on was very pl e ased tq h eartthat Mrs . Jarvis, the leader of Northport socie ty, had a c tually notic e d and favorably comm ente d on her hair. She wou ld take care that all the g i rls she kn e w should h ear about it. "If I were you I wouldn't s tand for J essie Fairw e ather going about and telling the oth e r g irls that you had car roty hair and--" "Did she say that?" almost ga s ped Tessie, with fla s h ing eyes. "Not only carroty hair," added Lewis, smoth e r ing a grin with his hand, "but fre ckles a s lar ge as wart s--" "The idea s creamed Miss Rickson, now as mad as a hornet. "The mean, artful creature!" "That isn't all," went on Lewis, in his soft way. "I, suppose you wouldn't believe she said your mouth was big enough to eat snowballs?" "I'll get square with her for that," snapped the thor oughly enrag e d girl, cl e nchin g h e r coarse, brown hands. "That's right. I wouldn't let any one crow over or make fun of me," said Lewis, egging the poor, deluded girl on. "I heard she was making fun of you before Will Somers the other night. Said you were only a bundle of bones-she was afraid to touch you for fear you'd rattle, and some body might think one of the machines was out of order." "Oh, I'll fix her, the flaxen-haired thing!" exclaimed Tessie furiously. "Look h e re," said Lewi s tapping her on the shoulder, "do you know what a girl once did to another girl who talked about her in that way?" "No, I don 't; what did she do?" asked Mi s s Rickson, with some interest. "She got her fired from the shop where they both work e d." "Serv e d her right. I'd give a good deal to get that was h e d-out blonde discharg ed from our place." "This girl mana ged, somehow or other, to have a purse that did not b e long to h e r found in one of the other girl's p o c ket s She was accus e d of theft, and as she couldn't proYe s he didn't take it, s h e was thrown out by the boss. It ou ght to b e eas y to work a thin g like that. Now, :nind, I don't t e ll y ou to do it-you've got too kind a heart to do anything like that, I know." "Oh, y e s," g ritted the furious maiden, grasping at the id e a like a drowning man at a straw "I'm too kind h e arted. I wouldn't think of doing such a thing. But how do you know this pa s ty-faced Miss Fairweather would not s t e al a purse if she got the chance?" "That's a fact," admitted Lewis, humoring her. ".And i f 'twa s found on h e r twould show she was really a thi e f wouldn't it?" "Sure it would," snickered Lewis, now f e eling sure of the girl. "I s houldn t be surpris e d if something like that actually did happ e n. We girls are very carele s s with our pmses. If I s hould miss mine I'll know who to accuse." By that time they had reached the gate of the poor looking Rick son cottage, and Lewis was on the point of bidding the girl good -by, when Job Rickson, her father, a p p e ared at the door, and ask e d him if he would not walk in as he want e d to s e e him about a matter of importance. Young Jarvis wa s not anxious for an interview with T e ssi e 's fath e r, but as he saw no way out of it, he followed the girl into. the house. While she repaired to the dining-room to get her dinner, the old man led Lewis into the darkened sitting ro o m, and ask e d him to sit down near his old mahogany escritoire. Job Rickson looked older than he really was. He was thin and spare like his daughter, with c!osely cropped carroty hair and freckled features. He was mean a.nd miserly by disposition, and though he had a fat account in the town savings bank, he always declared he was not wortl1 a cent. He kept his house and property in poor shape so as to Hooa,vihk the assessor, but after all he deceived nobody so much as himself.


6 A GAl\IE OF CHANCE. He often loaned mon'ey to his neighbors, on the best 0 secur i ty, of cour>1e. While the State law prevented him from exacting usuri o u s interest, he liad ways and means of getting around the law that were unique. D o you think your father would be willing to collect a note or me?" began I\1r. Rickson. "Sure! Why not? That's part of his business, isn't it?" said Lewis in some surprise. "I thought I'd ask you, because this here note's been runnin' a long time, and I hain't made no great attempt to collect it, ause the party hain't any too well fixed; you see, and it kind of goes agin' my grain to push poor people to the wall." "The note isn't outlawed, i s it?" asked Master Jarvis suspicious ly. "No; not for four months yet." "It's good, then. Row much is it for?" "Three hundred dollars. I really can't afford to lose so much money." \Vho is it against?" "It is signed by Nat Somers. He's dead, you know; but I reckon his widder is responsible or it." "Who did you say?" said Lewis, in some excitement. "N a.t Somers, Will Somers' ather ?" "You've got it jest right, young man," replied Mr. Ilick son, nodding his head "You give me that note, Mr. Rickson," cried Lewis, jumping to his feet, "and my father'll collect it for you all right." The old man promptly produced the note in question, and. after the boy had looked it over to see that it was all right he started for his father's office. "By the great hornspoon !"he ejaculated. "This i<;; luck. I don't believe Mrs. Somers will be able to pay it. This is where I have got the squeeze on that low-down mechanic, Will Somers. You'll put your greasy paws on me, will you? Oh, father and I won't do a thing to you this time, you pauper! I've got you where I want you now, and I'll make you eat humble pie, all right." With this pious feeling in his mind he hurried a.long the street. CHAPTER IV. THE GAME OF OI:IANCE. As the Fai rweather and Somers homesteads, 0 som!:' five acres each, adjoined one another on the suburbs of North port, it was quite the usual thing 0 late for Will and Jessie to go home together after tl1eir day's work At closing time on the clay that Master Jarvis had bis interview with Tessie Rickson, Jessie found Will wniting for her at the gate "I'm on time to-night, all right," he said in a t0ne or satisaction, as be bowed politely to several 0 the other gir l s passing out at the moment. "Are you glad?" "I am afraid it will make you dreadully if I admit I am," <>aid Jessie, with a tantalizing little.Jaugh. "You boys do think such an awul l0t of "Come, now, Jessie, you're too hard on u.s," remonstrated \\-ill with a grin, as they started off together. "Am I? Really. Why, I never look at Lewis Jarvis bnt I almost fancy the world isn't quite large eno-dgh to hold him comfortably," laughed the girl. "Lewis Jarvis is in a class all by himself, so far ai;; this town is concerned I shouldn't feel at all flattered i you compared me with him. "I certainly wouldn't think of doing such a thing. He isn't a real boy. And just think, he calls himself a gentle man, because he doesn't have to work and his father is looked upon as one 0 the biggest men in town. A gentleman wouldn't act the way he did the night before last," said Jessie scornully. "I should say not," answered Will emphatically. "He didn't lose any time trying to get me bounced because I interfered in your behal. But his pull didn't seem to work He's mean enough to do most anything. Of course, he's got it in for me now, but I ain't afraid of anything he can do. There isn't anything against me at the mill, and I don't propose there shall be, as I make it a point to attend strictly to my business during working hours." "1\Iother says you're bound to become a successful man i you liYe," snid the girl, with a look of admiration at her escort. "'l'hat's what I'm aiming for," replied the boy, with modest confidence. "You intend to become an engineer, I suppose?" "Certainly; but I don't mean to stop at that. One of these days I hope to own at least a part of a mill myself, and a thorough knowle

.. A GAME OF CHANCE. my favor, for I hu, c worked the thing on a sort of scien let by the dam, raised the whole mass with it. There was tific basis. While I feel confident I have gone the right no lack of water, don't you see; but it was under t h e s ur way about it to reach results, it docsnt .follow that I shall face of the swamp, instead of overflowing it. succeed. When dealing with such a treacherous proposi"What a shame giggled Jessie, as the lu dicro u s side tion as the 'quaking bog,' as the people call it, or tlrn tenof the a[air came to her acre swamp-lot, as I call it, a fellow can't feel very sme "Yes, it was tough on Mr. Rickson, who had expected where he's going to come out. Success means a good thing, to sell the ice privilege for several thousand doll ars ." Jessie; failure means-well the loss of twehty-:five dollars "I should think that ought to have been lesson enou g h cash, and a great many hours.of the hardest work I ever for you," said Jessie, with an inquiring look. put in in my life But, worst of all, it will mean the ''lt was, only not in the sense you look at it. I admi t 'grand laugh' at my expense." I gave Mr Rickson the laugh with the rest, and sever a l "Do let me into the secret, won't you?" said Jessie, per times I Yisited the p lace to look at the 'sell.' It was on suasively. "For there is a secret, I know You're too one of those occasions that an idea came to me. So I set sm,art a boy to go into any scheme blindfolded It isn't my wits to work to put it i nto tangible shape. I stud ied like you It may be a game of chance, as you call it; but the character of the swamp, and the result was satisfac t o r y I'm certain there's some method in your madness." 'Then I sought means to carry out my p l an I found th e m "Well, Jessie, at least I had the advantage of one man's a t hand. All that remained was the manua l l abor . for failure to give me a wrinkle before I went into the thing." which I could not afford to pay So I tackled it myself "It was such a total failure that I wonder you eyer took when I could find the time, and you can gamble on it, up with it." Jessie, there wasn't an ounce of fun i n it." "That's what it was. When Mr Rickson bought that "I shouldn't think there was," admitted the gir l judg swamp-lot at what he thought was a bargain, he was nncler ing from what you told me at thetime; though you would the impression that all he had to do was to erect a not gratify my curiosity by telling me the reason for a proclam acroo:s the outlet of the bog at the beginning of cold cecding which seemed so ,senseless to every one who hea r d weather, and by confining the water which consbntly about it. soaked into the swamp from the springs and small st.reams ""Well, I'm telling you now, but you must keep it qu i et from the ledgy hillR above, overflow the lot. At first no"I won't say a word, honor bright," protested J essie body, including myself, could understand what he was try"I bought the swamp-lot and the dam just as i t c;tood ing to get at." from JI.fr. Rickson for twenty -five dollars. I agreed -to "I remember," laughed Jessie; "but when the boom in remove a big heap of stones, as tall as a barn, from Farmer ice began, and the papers .rnre full of accounts of almost Botts' land hard by, on condition that he would let me have fabulous prices paid for 'ice privileges' which lay conthe use of his. ox-team for that purpose wnient for shipping, whether they were mill-ponds or fresh-"He must have thought you were crazy." "'ater mar s hes, the object of Mr. Rickson's dam wa.s ap""Probably he did, but he wasn't fool enough to say s o parent." as he had the soft end of the bargain. When the swamp"Just so," agreed Will. "He intended to overflow the lot had frozen over so that it would bear the oxteam I swamp end make a ten-acre poncl. From the pow1 thus brgan to use np all of my spare time of night hau l i n g formed to the wharf below is about two hundred JOcks from Boggs' fiekHo the basin in which l ay the swamp ancl a descending grade all the way-so that by means of lot, nnd I spread them in heaps orcr the surface of tllC ice. a cheap drnte the ice, after having bi?en marked ont and I'd hate to tell you how many tons I deposited there before cut into proper size chunkf;, ronld be sent sliding down the encl of winter. I was mighty glac1 when I got away to the very verge of the wharf, thcre lo be taken on hoard -with tlw last load. of vessels ready to receive it. It was a great scheme, "I know all about that, Will Somers-ever}"body kno w s it?" it. Lots 0 people have gone over there and looked at t hose "Yes; bnt, unfortunately for Mr. Rickson, it turned out piles of rocks and wondered what you were trying to get a great failure." at, but they couldn't g uess any more than I." "That's right. Still, how could he guess that the very "As it wa"n't any business of theirs, I d idn't take t he effort he made to flooc1 the surface of the lot would merely trouble to enlighten them I haven't any use for butte rs-in) cause the swamp itself to rise until it was nearly level Jessie." with the land around it. "Do you include me in that remark, Will? If you re" What made it act that way? One would naturally think member, I was just as curious as anybody else," said the that the incoming water, finding its escape cut off, would girl, with a quizzical smile form a pond there." "Present company always accepted," said the boy "That's the way Mr. Rickson :figured; but here's how whereat she laughed gaily. he came to get left: The roots of the moss and matted "Well," she said, "I'm waiting patiently for this e x p lanagrass of whic h the swamp was composed could find no tion you promised to give me I'm still as muc h i n t he holding g r ound in the soft black mud underneath, eo that rlarI< as !:ni er." the inflow i ng wate r finding itself deprived of its usual out. '' Aftet t r had finished with the rocks I took d own part I


8 A GAl\IE OF CHANCE. of the dam and waited Wb.en the ice began to melt with 1.he coming of spring the stones gradually disappeared among the moss and grass. Then the swamp looked the same as it ever did Since then I've simply been waiting." "-For what, pray?" "For winter to set in again. This is October In a week or so I'il repair the dam and let the water collect. I expect it will be on the surface, not under the swamp this time." "Why should it be different with you than what it was with l\Ir. Rickson?" "Because I trust that the rocks, which have gone down pretty evenly into the matted grass and moss, will anchor do-,,rn the entire surface of the bog. Should this prove to be the case, the formation of a tenacre pond will be a simple proposition." "Ohl" exclaimed Jessie, a great light dawning in upon her mind. "If it does I shall have as pretty a pond as you ever saw in your life, and a field of c!ear ice worth at least $3,000 or $4,000." "What a head you've got, Will Somers!" cried the girl, i n admiration of bis genius. "If I fail my name will resemble the soil under the swamp." "What is that?" asked Jessie in surprise "Mud!" ejaculated Will tersely "Take t;he rocking-chair," said the lady of the house, pointing to a substantial piece of furniture that was the pride of the house The Squire bowed condescendingly, seated himself, and glanced curiously a.bout the room. Mr s Somers reseated herself and waited for the great man to explain the nature of his unexpected call. "Ahem, ma'am,'' began the Squire, feeling that what he had to say was not likely to cause a pl easant impression, "I have called in r e f e rence to a little matter that has been placed in my bands." Mrs. Somers bowed and waited for him to proceed. At this moment Will re-entered the room, and took up a pos ition in the background, curious to learn, as he half suspected, if he was the cause of the magnate's visit. He was soon undeceived. "I r e fer to a note of hand, signed by your late husband in favor of Job Rickson, for the sum of $300. The note," continued the Squire, fishing out his glasses and poising them with a sort of professional movement upon the bridge of his aristocratic nose, and then taking out a bulky mo rocco pocketbook, from which he delib e rately extracted the document in question, "is dated February 1, 189-, and expired one year from date, when it became due and pay able, according to the terms therein expressed. It should have been presented for payment at that time. But your husband having died in the meanwhile, leaving you, ahem, in somewhat straightened circumstances, so far as ready CHAPTER V. money was concerned, l\Ir. Rickson refrained from calling IN WHICH SQUIRE JARVIS VISITS THE SOMERS' HOME. immediately on you for the amount owing him, feeling The quaint little Dutch timepiece which Captain Fair-sure you would recognize his claim as soon as you were weather had brought from Holland some years before, and in a posi tion less financially embarrassing. While this afterward presented to Nathaniel Somers, his neighbor, and was not business, it reflects a great credit on Mr. Ri cks on's which occupied a conspicuous position on the mantel of g oodness of heart-a fact, I regret to say, not generally the sitting-room in the Somers home, had just struck the appreciated by his acquaintances. In fact, he has d e layed hour of eight, when a loud, authoritative knock came on so long the presentation of this note that it is now within the front door. a few months of the time when, according to the Jaws of "I wonder who can that be?" said Mrs Somers, looking the State, it would have become outlawed, and consequently up in mild wonder. worthless. Fortunately, he called my attention to it, and Will, who was pouring over a new book on practical I advised him to coilect it at once, and so he turned it over engineering which he had got from the town public library, me for that purpose. Therefore, I should be glad to jumped up and went to the door. learn what you are prepared to do about it." He was surprised:, and perhaps not a little apprehensive, Squire Jarvis having delivered himself of the foregoing to find that the visitor was none other than the pompous in his most impressive manner, he removed bis glasses Squire Jarvis. from their perch anil began to twirl them around his index What could be the meaning of this great man's visit .fi nger while he regarded the little brown-haired widow to their humble home? with a judicial sort of look, possibly with the view of con Is Mrs. Somers at home?" asked the lawyer stiffly. fusing and intimidating her. "Yes, sir," replied Will, respectfully. "Will you nfrs. Somers had list e ned to him with the utmost amazewalk in?" ment, but polit ely forbore interrupting him. Squire Jarvis brushed past the boy with as little con-But when he had concluded she said quietly: sideration as though he was a wooden image, and Mrs. "That note was taken up by my husband a few days Somers rose hastily from her chair as his portly form before his death and paid." ftlled the door leading into the sitting-room. "Paid, ma'am!" ejaculated the lawyer. "Squire Jarvis!" she exclaimed in surprise. "Yes, sir; ancl Mr. Rickson gave my husband a receipt "Yes, ma'am," answered the nabob, in a tone that for the money." seemed to indicate that he was conferring a distingnished "You certainly are laboring under a misapprehension of honor on the cottage by bis presence there. the fact s If your husband paid this note, it stands to


A OF CHANCE. reason it would not now be in the possession of Mr. Rick son. When a note is settled it is always delivered to the person who drew it, by whom it is, or should be, imme diately destroyed." "I think I can account for the fact that it happens to be in Mr. Rickson's possession," said Mrs. Somers, a slight note of scorn in her tone. "I am ready to hear any explanation you have to make," said the lawyer stiffly. "That he presents it at this late day for repayment does not speak well for that goodness of heart you have just credited him with," said the little lady coldly. "Ma'am," interrupted Squire JarVis severely, "you must not attack the character of such an old and respected citizen as Mr Rickson." "I was about to explain to you why Mr Somers did not get possession of that note at the time he paid the money. The note still had several months to run when he ex pressed his intention of taking it up. Mr Rickson at first objected, but wh e n my husband offered him the year's interest he accepted the money and gave a receipt for the same, saying he would give up the note in a few as soon as he got it from the bank, where he had deposited it for safe keeping. My husband, probably feeling that he was protected by the receipt, did not hurry him. Tn fact before he may have thought of the matter again, he met with the accident which resulted, unfortunately for him self and family, in his premature death." Mrs. Somers paused and wiped away a tear. "Your statement is certainly plausible," admitted S<]uire Jarvis, beginning to fear he had called on a fool's er!'and, after all, and that the unsavory reputation Mr. Rickson bore in town, with which the Squire was familiar, was once more cropping up in evidence. "If you have Mr. Rickson's receipt for the three hundred dollars, of course I shall have nothing more to say. I am not responsible for any act of Mr. Rickson's, ma'am, being merely his agent in the matter. If it is not too much trouble, will you kindly produce the receipt, so that I may convince myself of its genuineness?" "I am sorry to say that the receipt has been mislaid ever since my husband's death," replied Mrs. Somer'3, not without some apprehension as to what effect this honest admission would have on the lawyer. "Mislaid, ma'am!" exclaimed the Squire, raising his eyebrows in a way that might have implied that he thought such a statement rather thin. "Yes, sir," replied the little widow, with ft slight fonch of indignation in her voice, for the Squire's pantomime had not escaped her. "Very singular," he remarked, tapping the note with his glasses, "very singular, indeed." "I hope you don't think I am not telling the truth?" with a quiet scorn that disturbed him. "Not at all, not at all," he replied hastily. "I never doubt a lady's word; but people are often mistaken, ma'am. You--" "There is no mistake in this case, Squire Jarvis," said Mrs. Somers firmly. "I regret to say I have not been able to find the receipt. As Mr. Rickson made no effort t o recollect the note when it became due, nor at any time during the years that have since elapsed, I naturally pre sumed it was all rightJ and gave no further thought to the matter. I must say it is a singular thing for him to pre sent it for payment now, within a few weeks of the time when, as you say, it would become outlawed. I will not express my opinion as to his motives, but will leave you to judge that yourself." "Well, ma'am," said the wily lawyer, scratching the point of his nose with the rim of his glasses, "it is cer tainly unfortunate that you cannot produce the rf'ceipt. As the case stands, Mr Rickson has the law on his side, and so, unless you can find the receipt, I am afraid you will have to pay the money over again." "But, sh," cried the widow, aghast, "that would be most unjust." "The law, ma'am, passes only upon facts; it has nothing whatever to do with sentiment. People should not be careless-therein lies the cause of much trouble in this world that we lawyers are often called upon to unravel, and not always with success. If your husband had in sisted upon the immediate return of the note, which was well within his rights, or you had not lost the receipt, which would to all intents and purposes answer the same end, you would not now be in this trouble." "I consider it an outrage that Mr. Rickson should make this demand when he well knows that he was paid once," cried Mrs. Somers, in gieat indignation "With that I have nothing whatever to do, ma'am," said the nabob, rising and taking his hat. "I am simply acting on the instructions of my client, with the evidence he has produced, and which you seem unable to gainsay. I will give you a week to consider what you will do, at the end of whj.ch time I shall expect you to call or send to my office and advise me of your determina tion." "But I cannot agree to pay that note over again," she said, almost tearfully. "In that case the law will have to take its course." "Do you mean to say, sir, that the law will rob my mother of another three hundred dollars?" demanded Will, facing the magnate of Northport. Squire Jarvis glared at the boy as though astonished at the lad's audacity in addressing him so boldly. "I mean to say, young man, that your mother will have to go to court and show cause why judgment on this note, together with interest to date, shall not be rendered in favor of Mr. Rickson. If she loses, which she is bound to do unless she produces the alleged receipt, she will also have to pay the costs of the action, which will raise the total amount to something over four hundred and fifty dollars." "And if we refuse to pay that?" said the boy, with fl.ash ing eyes. The lawyer shrugged his shoulders. "This property which is in your mother's name will b e sold to satisfy the judgment, and the expenses of the sa le,


10 A GAME OF CH_\.NCE. with the sheriff's foes, will nlso Le added to the sum I have I As \\'ill stood a moment gazing out upon the landscape mentioned. You will find it a cost ly matter to fight against lie saw what he thought to be a small boat, with a single the Jaw I advise you not to try it." 'l'hus speaking, Squire walked majestically towarcl the front door, and Will, oppressed by a sense of utter helplessnes s to re sist the swindle about to be perpetrated on his mother, follow e d and l e t him out. CHAPTEH VI. THE STRANGE VISITOR TO THE TOOL-HOUSE. "What shall we do, my son?" nsked Mrs. Somers in a t roubled Yoice when Will returned to the sitting-room. "I don' t know, mother. I suppo se you will have to consult a lawyer. I never b::-lieved Mr. Rickson to be such a contemptible swindler," he added bitterly. "He is certainly trying to do us a grievous wrong," said his mother sadly. "Mother, why did father borrow three hundred dollars from JI.fr. Rickson?" "Because he 1ris h e d to secure a strip of ground belonging to the Peasley estate, which lay between the end of our property and the river. He had long tried to get possession of it, for, small as it was, he kn ew that it would more than d011 ble the Yalue of our own land, by giving it a water fronh1ge. rntil olrl -:\fr. Peasley died the strip of ground was uot .for sale. The chan e to purchase it was s!1cldenly offer e d to your father, and rather than lo se the opportunity, which might not hav e o ccurred again, h e decided to raise the amount on his note A contract, which he cornpletecl before he was struck clown, ena bled him to return the money to Mr. Rickson before the note matured. Your father was not a suspicious man. He credited others with the same honesty he himself possesseJ That's why he did not insist on Rickson giving up that note immediately. Had he lived, of course things would have b een diff ere nt. Mr. Rickson r:ever would have dared--" "I should s:iy not," s:iid Will indignantly. "He thinks that because he bas a woman to deal with he can take undue aclvantage of the situation. You have no idea where that receipt went to, then, mother?" 1 "Unfortunately, I have not." "You must make a thorough search of the house at once, and I will get J cssie to help you "I will do so, of COU!'Se. It would be a veat misfortune if this propc1ty w:is taken from u s to satisfy s uch an unjmt claim." "Don't worry, mol :lie r. lt s hall not be taken from you." "You speak hopefullv, u1y son; but I foar we are in a sad predi cament." "There, mother, we'll let the thing clrop for to-night. You look for the paper to-morrow. If it hasn't turned up by the time r come home after work I'll step over to the Fairweathers anc1 ask Jessie to lend you a hand." At this point the Dutch clock struck ten, and presently mother anc1 s on retired for the night. The window of 'Vill's room overlooked the river, on whose surface the old October moon shone with a chilly g litter. occupant, moving cautiously llp the river. "Uee !" h e said. "Rather a cold night to be on the water. I wond e r who it is?" 'fhe boat approached the 8omers landing place, the occu pant fastened a line to one of the, spile-heads and jmnped ashore. Then be b egan to 1 slouch along beside the fence that divided the Somers property from that of the Fairweathers. "Who lhe dicken s is he, and what is he up to?" Will asked himself as the figure cautiously drew near to the house. "I don't like his looks for a cent," commented the boy, as the intruder paused close to a tall oak tree and a ray of moonlight shone on his face which, though young, looked, even at that distance, hard and uninviting. The intruder took out a small ,black pipe, which he de liberately filled with tobacco from a pouch, and then glided behind the tree and sat on the ground, for the glare of a lighted match showed his position. For fifteen minutes thereafter all that betrayed his pres d11ce the occasional whiff of whitish smoke that floated oak as the f e llow puffed at his pipe. 1 \Yill, now de c idedly interested in the stranger's move felt no de sire to go to bed. "1'd give something to h.llow what he means by sitting out there under om oak tree on a cold night like this. He doesn't a!Jpear to be any too warmly dressed, either. Something evidently is in the wind. Does he propo se to try arnl break into our house, or in to the Fairweather's, a little late r on? I fancy h e'll get an unexpected and warm reception if he tries it." At this stage of his reflections the intruder suddenly reappeared around the tree and began a critical survey of tl1e Somers premises Then he deliberately walked over to a small tool-house, s tocked with implements formerly used by Mr. Somers when he was alive. and which since his death had not been t ouchecl. He tried the door. It was found to be Jocked, of course. .After considering a moment the fellow hauled a tall chopping block up against the side of the shed, mounted it, and pushed in the only window the building had. The n he climbed into the opening and disappeared inside. "l it's time for rn<' to interfere," said Wi1l resolute l y 'I dont believe he's gone in there to sleep, and I'm not going to h:we any of my father's things stolen if I c a n help it." So, taking his shoes in his hands so as not to awaken bis mother, h e c r ep t down to the kitchen, which overlooked the tool-hou se "I'll wait here and see what transpires," saicl the boy, putting on his :;hoes, so as to be in readiness to pop out suddenly into the yard. Will was an uncommonly strong and fearless lad, with the most unbounded con:6dence in his own powers.


A GAME OF CHANCE. That the intruder might carry a concealed weapon did not occur to him at the moment. CHAPTER :VII. Will waited a good quarter of an hour before they were IN WHICH TESSIE RICKSON SPRINGS A TRAP ON JESSIE any further developments. Then the visitor's head reapp eared at the window, and .FAIRWEATHER, AND HOW rr WORKED. with remarkable agility he swung himself through the The operating room of the Northport cotton mills wa'3 opening and dropped to the gro und. in full S'll'ing. Will saw the handles of several short tools protruding At least a hundrec"l busy girls were employed in that from his side pockets. room, and the majority of them had their eyes cocked up "That settles it. I've got to stop him. Now, how in at the big clock which hung within sight of all, for the the name of wonder did he h'Ilow that was a tool-house? long hand pointed to a minute to t"elve. One would think he was familiar with our place, yet so far Way down in the engine-room, at the corner of the big as I can judge, he seems to be a perfect stranger in this yard, Will Somers was also watching a smaller timepiece, locality." while one of his hands was raised, his fingers gripping the As the stranger started off for the open gate Will softly cord that would in another moment send forth the welopened the kitchen door and attempted to cut him off from come blast releasing every one of the mill's employees from the street. work for one hour. His sudden appearance on the scene startled the inAt that interesting moment Tessie Rickson, who had truder for a moment, and he stood stock still. been to the dressing-room, rushed up to one of thr forcEach had a plain view of the other in the moonlight. women in a state of great excitement. "Will Somers!" ejaculated the young fellow, beginning "Oh, Miss McBoyle, somebody has taken my pocket to back away. book!" she said hysterically. His voice had such a familiar ring that the boy stopped ""What's that?" asked the forewoman sharply. and regarded him keenly. '' She was a stout, red-faced woman, whom none of the The cloRer view and the bright moonshine did the gir l s liked, because she was such a crank. "Eel Rickson!" Will exclaimed in astonishment. "You Jessie Fairweather, in particular, was a target for Miss back?" Boyle's ill temper, because s he took very little notice of "Well, what of it?" replied the fellow with a snarl. the woman's outbursts, and also because she was so pretty "Ain't this where I live when I'm at home?" and such a general favorite. "What were you doing in our tool-house ju t now?" de"Somebody has taken my pocketbook," repeated Tessie, mantled the boy aggressively "I didn't think you were a in a voice sufficiently loud to attract attention. thief, Ed Rickson. Your fatl1er wouldn't like to know "Nonsense!" snapped Miss McBoyle. what you've been up to." "It's really so! persisted the red-haired girl, with a "My father I" great show of earnestness. He had reached the fence by this time and h1ir1 one "You mislaid' it somewhere. hand on it. "No, I didn't, Miss McBoyle; I know I left it in the The two words were uttered with a sneering intonation pocket 0 my jacket in the dressing-room." not pleasant to hear. "Well, what do you expect me to do about it?" grunted "Yes, your father," repeated Will, greatly surprised at the forewoman. young Ilickson's manner. "I wish you'd come in and help me find it." "Good-night I" ancl with a mocking laugh Ed Rickson ''The idea! Don't you think I've something else to do, vaulted the paling and darted off down the deserted sheet Miss Rickson?" at a high rate of speed "Oh, clear! I don't know whatI sha ll do!" piped Tessie It was useless for \Yill to think of following him; intearfully. deed, since he had recognized Eel Rickson he had no great At that moment off went the whistle, and the girls desire to do so. throughout the room began to flock at once toward. the After watching his dwindling figure disappear in the dressing-rooms. gloom, Will went back to the tool-house, mounted the "Well, come along," said Miss McBoyle rather ungra-block, struck a match, and looked inside. ciously. He saw that the lid of one of the chests had been forced "Somebody must have taken it out of my pocket," inopen. Rinuated Tessie. "I'll investigate closer in the morning and see what "I don't believe it." replied the forewoman. you've taken, Ed Rickson," he said, as he closed the win"Well, I wouldn't trust that Fainvcathcr girl as she dow and removed the chopping block. is such a .favorite," said 'l'essie vindictively. Fifteen minutes later he was in bed, wondering over the At this Miss McBoyle cocked up her strange return to Northport of the black sheep of the Rick"What makes you think she might clo such a thing?" son family, and trying to surm ise what he was up to at that "Oh, 1've my reasons," said Miss Rickson, tossing her unseasonable hour of the night. head disdainfully.


........... ,_ .. A GAME OF CHANCE. "Well, I must say I don't fancy her myself," sniffed the fo1ewoman. T essie knew that, ancl began to throw out insinuations a g ainst the fair Jessie "I'd search her dress if I was you,'' said Miss Rickson eager l y For reasons of her own, the fore woman was ready to adopt this unfair plan, for she was only too eager to humiliate the belle of the factory So she snatched down the girl's walking dress from the hook just as its owner entered the room with a bevy of her friends "'Why, Miss J\foBoyle, that's my dress," protested .Tessie, as the woman thrust her coarse red hand into the pocket of the dress, much to T essie's deligh t "I brlic1e it is," snapped the forewoman as she brought a s1m1ll pock e tbook to .t he light. "There! I told you she took it!" screamed Tessie "That's my pocketbook." "What have you got to say to this, Miss Fairweather?" :-s1rna l\Jiss McBoyle, with a triumphant ring to her voice ,\re you in the habit of taking things that don't belong to you?" "I don't understand, M iss McBoyle," replied Jessie with cJ; gn ity. ,, "Indeed! Perhaps you can explain how Miss Ric:kson's pocketbook happened to be in the pocket of your dress?" The other girls crowding around stared in astonisbment "I haven't the slightest idea how such a thing occurred, unless Rickson put it there her self by mistake." "The ide a !" sniffed Tessie, with a scornful glance at h e r intended victim. he accuses you of stealing it from her," said the fore "o ma n severely. "Accuses me-ofstealing her poc ketbook!" gasped J e s sic flushing with mortification at such a charge. "YeR, miss. And as the article has been found in your rosse>sion I shall have to inform the superintendent," said )!iss :JicBoylc in a tone of satisfaction. "I had no idea w e had a thief in the mill." ")Iiss McBoyle, how dare you in s inuate such a thihg !" c i n d Jessie, tears of indignation coming into her pretty "It's a shame!" chorused the othe r girls J essie wouldn't do such a thing "You're mad because you've been cllught in the act," sneered the forewoman "I always tliought you were a sly thing, with your innocent airs and prudish ways. You ought to be ashamed of yourself." "Girls, do you believe me capable of such a thing?" cried Jessie, appealing with burning cheeks and :flashing eyes to her working mates. o !"they shouted with one accord "I b e lieve y o u put it there yourself, just to get her into trouble," c ried anoth er girl, coming to Jessi e's aid "The id ea!" retorted Tes s ie, angrily. "You can bel ieve what you like, Clara Parks but I've my own opinion. It isn t the fir s t thing I've missed Some people put on a lot 0 airs, when the y ain t no better than--" "Than what, Tessie Rickson?" said Jes s ie, walking up to her accuser and looking her squarely in the eye. "You needn't try to intimidate me, Miss Makebelieve," replied Tes sie scornfully "You may sotsolder the rest 0 the girls, but you can't draw the wool over my eyes. You are a deceit.ful thing I know you talk about me behind my back. Say I have carotty hair, that my mouth is large enough to swallow snowballs, and I'm all bones. I hate you-there!" And Miss Rickson, with tea.rs 0 rage in her green eyes, marched out of the room, leaving Jessie almost paralyzed with pained astonishment Miss McBoyle had in the meanwhile gone down to the superintendent's office to register the charge of attempted theft against Miss Fairweather must you girls think 0 me?" exclaimed Jessie, breaking down at last under the strain of the terrible? posi t>n in which she was placed ";L -know what I think!" cried one of her devoted ad herents. "You're the best and sweetest girl I ever knew," and the speaker kissed Jessie tenderly. "It's a shame!" said Miss Parks indignantly "It's more than that," cried a little brunette, "it's an outrage "I move we have nothing more to do with Tessie Rickson "I say so, too!" cried another girl. "And I!" "And I!" "And I!" The whole bunch agre ed. "We'll fix her, the hate ful thing!" c r ied Miss Parks. "It's a put-up job of her own. As for Miss Vinegary McBoy l c she only wanted an excuse to jump on Jessie She is forever picking at her, anyway Now don't cry, dear We're all your friends, and we're just going to stand by you right up to the handle, as my brother calls i t, aren't we, girls?" "Yes,'' in chorus. "You're very kind, all of you!" sobbed Jessie "But you don't know how mortified I fee l at being called a thief Just as if I cou ld take the value of a pin from any one. Oh, dear, it's terrible!" "If I was you I would go right straight to the super intendent and demand justice," cried Miss Parks. ".And we'll all go with you!" exclaimed the rest. And the result of it was that Jessie did march straight down to the superintendent's office and stated the case "How can you accuse Jessie of taking your property, Tessie Rickson?" cried one spirited girl, putting her arm around Jessie Fairweather. .And every one of her friends insisted on being heard in her behalf. Mr. Harper smiled good naturedly "Well it was found on her, all right," said Tessie,. s p itefu ll y "Miss McBoyle made a sort of charge against you, Miss Fairweather, but I laughed her down. Why, b l ess you,


' ._. A GAME OF CHANCE. 11 young lady, I'd as soon think one of my own daughters guilty of s u ch a thing as you. There! Don't cry, please. I take no stock in it at all. It i s simply ridiculous. Go home, all of you, to your dinners, and I'll allow you half an hour extra to-day, imcler the circumstances, as you've los t that much time over this silly affair." And Miss Ri c kson, when s"he returned to work that after noon, found, to her great disgust and mortification, that not a girl in the room would notice her. CHAPTER VIII. FOR THE SAKE OF HER ENEMY. A great deal of sympathy was expressed by the girls of the Northport cotton mills for Jessie Fairweather that afternoon, while at the same time, if Miss McBoyle and Tessie Rickson could have heard all the remarks passed upon their conduct over the pocketbook affair, they would not have been a bit pleased. News of that nature is bound to spread, and it was not long before the intelligence reached the engine room ".i: ow, what do you think of that?" cried Will Somers, after one of the "kids" of the establishment had told him all about the dressing-room trouble This remark was made to Mr. Davis, the engineer, 'whp, pipe in mouth, had been quietly listening to the story "A jealous girl is capable of doing a great deal of mis chief," said the engineer sagely. "Well, I should say so. But only a very spiteful, reck less girl would put up such a mean job as that," said Will angrily. Mr. Davis nodded. "Of course there isn't any doubt but she was at the bottom of the scheme, went on Will, "though the fact hasn't actually been shown. But from the way Billy says the girls are handing it out to Miss Rickson this afternoon it's evident that they a ll believe she's guilty of the plot. And wouldn't you think that a woman like Miss McBoyle would easily have seen through such a thin device?" whatever the engineer thought on the subject, he did not express it in words, but he made a pretty shrewd guess at the forewoman's motives. "This latest contrivance of yours whic h I atta c hed to the boiler yesterday afternoon seems to be w o rking all right," said Mr. Davis. "Is that a fact, sir?" answered Will, with sparkling eyes. The engineer nodded. "You've got some good ideas in that brain of yours, young man," continued Mr. Davis approvingly "I'm sat isfied you could pass examination for a stationary engi neer's Ii cense." "Thank you for your good opinion, Mr. Davis I am sure I owe a large part of my proficiency to your tion and encouragement," replied Will, gratefully. "That may be," admitted the engineer; "but if -!twas not in you my endeavors would have been wasted Ther e is a heap of satisfaction in hel p ing a young fellow along when you see he's trying his best to take advantage o f his opportunities All boys are not as clever as you are. Too many of them are ambitious to do great things for which they have no ability, but are not inclined to do little things for which they alone are capable. Now, for instance--" That, however, was as far as the engineer got on this occasion, for at that instant there came to their ears a s hrill scream from the direction of the factory building. "Something's wrong!" exclaimed Will, springing to the open doorway. Yes, something was wrong I The third-story windows of the operating room were filled with screaming girls, above whose heads a thin film of smoke was sifting out on the afternoon air. "Fire! Fire Fire!" wailed the girls from point to point "Great Scott!" shouted Will back to the engineer as he dashed out of the doorway. "I believe the factory is o n fire !" All the men employees working about the yard started for the imperilled building, into the main entrance which Superintendent Harper, hatless and excited, .had just dis appeared. Two or three girls came bursting out from the employees' entrance, falling faint upon one another in a heap, and were spedily dragged up and carried several yards away by some of the men. Then a crowd of workers from the ground and seco:qd floors came rushing out On the far side of the factory, that which overlooked the s treet, Will saw a huge volume of dark smoke, min g led with spurts of flame, rising above the level of the roof "The plac e is on fire, sure enough!" he cried as he hur ried forward. "But why in creation don't the girls chas e themselves down the main stairway?" The reason for this was apparent when the boy enter e d the building and had mo1'nted to the second floor. The stairs leading to the small corridor on the n ext floo r, and which communicated with the main fire-e scape on the front of the building, was a mass of flames. The upper passage was choked by a dense smoke_. that blocked any atte mpt to reach the fireescape in qu<:>stion. All retreat from the operating room by the main avenues of escape was cut off. "Great Caesar!" exclaimed Will, aghast at the peril which menaced the employees on the upper floor. "The girls will have to hustle down the emergency iron stair ways at the ends of the building." "Where's the hose?" hoarsely shouted Mr. Harper at the foot of the burning stairs. "We're bringing one up, sir!" replied a burly yardman from below, who, with the help of a companion, was drag ging a l e ngth of fire hose which had just been attached to the hydrant outside the back door Will saw he could be of no use where he was, and anx ious for the f>afety of the girls, and that of J"essie Fair weather in particular, he ran back to the yard in time to see a long l adder planted against the wall of the factory,


I A GAME OF CHANCE. beneath one of the window s that was crowded with scream ing girls. denly Rtoppecl sho 1 t within a few yards of the blazing dressin g -room. The men were s houting to the girls to go to the ends of the building and come down by the iron stairs, but so rattled were the poor things that only a few were seen to take advantage of these e1.'its. "Let me go up the ladder!" and Will started at once to ascend, with the view of calming the panic that was raging on the top floor. 'I'he ladder wa s too short to reach the level of the window, but by carefully balancing himself on the topmost rung Will grasped the window sill and scrambled into the lon g operating room, forcing back a dozen girls who blocked the way. "Why don't you go to the end of the room?" cried the boy to the terrified young women. "You can all get down by the iron stairways if you only go about it right." But it was a difficult matter to bring order out of the pandemonium which now existed on the top floor. And s mall wonder that it was so, for the place was growing hazy with smoke, and the sinister roar of the flames in the corridor outside was terrifying to the girls, who could see the fire through the cracks in the blazing par tition. Will began forcing the groups of employees toward the other end of the building, never for a mom ent ceasing to shout to them how they could get out, until at last he got the tide set in both direction s ; and the girls then began to s tream down the iron stairways, encouraged by workmen on the several landings and on the g round below. By this time a s tream of water was turned on the fire, but the blaze had got too much headway to be s ubdued by one line of hose. However, help was coming from the outside. The town fire department, three engine companies, were now rus hing to th e scene as fast as the horse s could bring them. r Will, working like a beaver for the safe t y of the girls, had not recognized Jess ie amon g the c rowd, which had by thi s time thinned down to a dozen or two, waiting their chance in fear and trembling to ge t o n to the iron stairs "She muRt have got out all right," he thought thank fully, a s be saw the las t of the girls pas sing through the end window s of the smoky room. "Gee It's !),"Otting pretty hot 11p here now, all rig ht. The fire ha s got hold of the dre ss ing-room, I see. The girls will lose all their cloth es; but better that tha n their live s Time for me to go, I guess." .At this moment one of the s ide s of the partition separat in g the operating room from the corridor fell in with a crash, and Will had a cl ear vi e w of the blazing stairway beyond. It was like looking into a fiery furnace. The flame s were in fult control of the end of the dress ing-room on the other side. The hurried glance h e had cast in that direction showed him a human hand and part of an arm thrust throu gh the half ope n doorway. "Great h eave ns!" he cried. "Some poor girl has fainted in I must save her at any cos t I" Dropping on his lmees to escape the s tifling air as much oo possible, he craw led rapidly over to the door of the dressing-room. Pushing the door wide open, he saw in the red glare of the blaze that now had full possession of the room two insensible gir ls, one of whom, who seemed to have b een in the act of dragging her companion away from peril when s h e herself had been overcome, he re cognized with a thrill of horrifien surprise, as Jessie Fairweather. T he other was Jessie's bitter enemy, 'I'essie Rickson. Will took in the situation at a glance "You're a noble girl, JesRic," he murmured, as he seized hold of her and released the grip she had on Tessie; "but that I saw you by the merest accident, you would have lo"t your life for tlie sake of the girl who tried to ruin you thi s morning." 1Hl:i dragged her seve ral yards away and then r eturned for Tef'sic, the hem of whof'e skirt was now on fire. beat out the fire and carried her forward a s hort distance toward safety Alternately he worked the senseless gir l s toward the end of the lon g room, with the flames, now in control of the floor, reaching out hungrily after him. Staggering along, gasping for breath and dizzy from the heat, he slowly drew them nearer to the opening connecting with the fire-escape. CHAPTER IX. TN THE NAMB OF THE LAW. A big crowd harl gathered outsirle in the street by this time 'l'he cPgines were getting into pos ition, and the firemen were bringing up their hose in r eadiness to turn a number of streams on the b la zing factory, the upper floor of which, on th e dressing-room side, was rapidly being gutted by the flames. The fire now having a good h ead way, it was playing high jinks with that end o f the building. Everybody was believed to hav e got out of the danger zone, and all efforts were centcrccl on saving as much of the factory as po sible Great, then, was the a sto niRhment of the crowd .-t.hat had a clear Yicw of that end of the building when a human :figure stumb l ed out on to the platform of the narrow fire-e. cape he seemed to pull himself together, but to hod:v's surp rise, instead of running down the esoape, he dashed bac k into the burning floor. As he starte d for one of the iron s tairways himself, tears in hi s eyes from the e ffect s of the s moke, and his throat parch e d and smarting from the same cau se, be sud"He's mad!" cried a spectator "Plum craz:v !" said another. "Who is he?" asked a third.


A GAME OF CHANCE Io No one knew at the time, for no one had clearly seen ing the bui l ding, her idea being to destroy the clothes of his face. those girls who had been particularly conspicuous i n thei r Two of the firemen started up the lir e -escape. hostile attitude toward her Before they reached the platform Will again appeared But she had unwittingly selected a particular l y inflam at the opening, this time with a burden in his arms. mable part of the room, a place where the partition lead Hurrah!" shrieked the mob, in a paroxysm or ening against the had been oil soaked with drippings thusiasm from a hanger that supported one of the cross shafts. Proppi ng the girl, who was Jessie Fairweather, a gai nst Consequently the fire spread to the landing outside with the railing, Will vanished into the smoke once more. great rapidity. The crowd seemed to realize what was meant When the alarm was given she ran to the dress i ng There's more inside," "as passed from mouth to mouth, room to save her own clothes, but was overcome with ter r or and all grew quiet with apprehension and heat just as Jessie appeared on the scene, and her "There he is!" cried one eagerly, pointing at the openlast recollections were of the brn.ve and unselfish efforts ing, which was now more obscure than ever from the the girl she had injured was making to save he r from a smoke. fate she was power less to escape Another simultaneous yell went up from the crowd, as She hated to think she actually owed her life to Jessie Will staggered forth, bearing Tessie Rickson in his arms. Fairweather. By that time the firemen had reached the upper landing. When the two girls learned their escape was due to One of them picked up } Hiss Fairweather, while the other gallant Will Somers they expressed themselves in different relieved Will of Tessie Rickson, and down the ladder they ways, characteristic of their dispositions went, followed by the boy, whose face and hands were black .Tessie had little to say, while deeply grateful to from the stains of smoke, and blistere d by the \rill, b.ut 'ressie raved over the affair, because it was so like l The s urging mob shouted its approYal ancl the hero and heroine in the sto ry papers she was accustomed a great feeling cf relief. ,, , l' to read. While the s up erintendent was wringing Will by one hand. While the Northport fire department was doing its best th e vice-president of the company, who hacl arrive

16 A GAME OF CHANCE. :=----=---::::--:.....--.==== "Say, don't!" objectecl Will, with a laugh "I've on l y got one size hats to my name, and I don't want you f e llows to swell my head up so I can't wear them "No fear of that," said the foreman "You aren't b uilt that way." "Is Will Somers here?" asked a voice on the outside at thi s juncture. "Sure he is," somebody was heard to say. "What do you want with him, officer? He hain't been stealing some girl's heart, has he?" with a loud guffaw. As all hands looked toward the doorway the head con stable of Northport entered the engineroom. "How do you clo, Will Somers I am sorry to say my errand is an unpleasant one; but I have to d o my duty I have a warrant for your arrest." Tnis unexpected announcemen t created a profound sen sation among those present. CHAPT'ER X IN WHICH SQUIRE JARVIS FAILS TO MAKE A CASE AGAINST WILL SOM:EUS. "What do you mean, Mr. Brady?" gasped Will Somers in the greatest astonishment. Surely the magnate of Northport would not make such an accusation without some ground to base it on. No one had heard that a burglary had bee n committed on the J arv i s premises But suppose such had been the case, in what way was Will Somers, one of the brightest and most respected lads in town, connected with it? That was the question each one in the engine-room asked h i mself as he l ooked at Will's honest face and then at the officer: "I suppose you have the warrant with you?" ask e d Mr. Dav is. "I have," a n swered the constable see it?" "Yes." "Do yQu wish to Constab l e Brady produced it, and the engineer found it was made out in proper form. "I sha ll be ready to go along with you as soon as I get out of my working clothes," said Will; "but I guess the Squire will find he has made a serious blunder in bringing this charge agains t me "Well, I hope you will get out of it all right. It's no pleasure :for me to come after you in my official capacity. Your father was a good :friend of mine, and this job is not at all to my liking "l am sorry my duty obliges me to make you my pris oner; but I don't see any way out of it. I'll have to con duct you before Justice Benson." "But I haven't clone anything for which I should be "I have no fault to with you, Constable Brady," arrested," remonstrated Will. said the boy, as he slipped off his overalls. "I hope you hav en't," replied the con s table. "It is In a few moments he was ready to go with the officer. quite possible some mistake has been made, in which case So, while the factory .:fire, which was now under control, you will be immediately released." held the attention of almost everybody in the vicinity, Will "The re certainly is a mistalce," said the boy stoutly. Somers and Constable Brady left the yard by a back gate "You don't look at all like a guilty boy," said the con and proceeded to the courthouse, where the officer said the stable, with a smile. justice was waiting to hold a sort of informal exarp.ination "I should think not. All right; I'm ready to face the of the charge. music." Will was conducted to Justice Benson's office and direct e d "What's the charge, Mr. Brady?" asked Mr. Davis, the to take a seat. engineer. "I regret to say it's a very serious one," replied the officer soberly "You don't mean to say this boy is accused of murder ing somebody, do you?" said the engineer, with a con t emptuous laugh "Hardly as bad as that," answered tl:e office r, who saw that, officially, he was not favorably regarded by Will s friends, "ViTell, what am 1 e:hargecl with?" asked the boy. "Burglary!" I believe you might have knocked Will, and the whole crowd, :for that matte r down with a feather at that mo ment Burglary Why, it was ridiculous "Who made such a preposterous charge against this b oy?" demanded Mr Davis. "Squire Jarvis. ,,. That was the second surprise, but it was evident l y a s e rio u s one Besides Mr. Benson, the most prominent p e rson in the room was Squire Jarvis, who gave the pris oner a severe, uncompromising look. The gardener of the Jarvis establishment was also present. "Will Somers, I am sorry to have you brought before me on a crimina l charge, especially one so serious as the warrant indicates; but I have no doubt you will be able to clear yourself, at least I trust so," and Justice Benson looked kind l y at the manly young :fellow, whom he had known :from his infancy, and who did not at all look like a hoy capable of committing an unworthy action Squire Jarvis sniffed at Mr Benson's encouraging view of the situation, and thumped the floor with his gold headed cane, as though t o express his disapprobation. "I want you to understand, Master Somers, that this examination i s entirely informal," continued the j'Jsti c e, "and that you are not compelled to say a word unless you choose to do so. But if you do say anything, I warn you that you are n ot obliged to commit yourself, and that whatever you say may be used against you."


A GAME OF CHANCE. 17 ''If he wants to confess he had better do so now," said the magnate impatiently. "You are rather hasty, Squire Jarvis. The boy has not yet been informed in detail of the charge him." "Pooh He knows about it better than any of us," sneered the nabob casting a black look at Will. "Squire Jarvis, that remark is hardly a fair one," objected the justice, who was clearly favorably disposed to ward the prisoner. "Pooh!" and the lawyer thumped the floor once more. "Listen to me, Master Somers," said Justice Benson. "Between the hour s of eleven 1ast night and six this morn ing, Squire Jarvis' office, an extension of his residence, was forcibly entered, hi s desk pried open, and several papers, including a ten dollar bill, were abstracted. You are charged with the crime. Do you wish to make any statement?" "I wish to say that I know nothing whatever about the matter. This is the first I have heard of it. I was in bed and asleep between the hours mentioned." This general denial of the charge was received by the Squire and his son, who was also present, with sneering disapproval. "Then," remarked the justice, "if this case ever comes up in court you ought to be able to prove an alibi." "I think the prisoner would find it a rather difficult matter to prove to the satisfaction of a judge and jury tha t he was in bed every moment of the time within which it was possible for him to commit this crime," sai d the Squire, apdly "You seem to be greatly prejudiced against this boy," obse rved Justice Benson. "Huh!" s norted the nabob, moYing about in his chair. Mr. Benson took up a hammer and a cold chisel which had been Jying on his desk, and a s ked the constable to hand the m to Will. "Have y ou ever seen those implements bef o r e ?" he in quired. The boy looked them over and then answered promptly: "Yes, sir; they belonged to my father, for his name is upon them." "Can y ou assign any reason for their having been found this morning on the floor of Squire Jarvis' office?" "The only explanation I can offer is this: They were abstracted from our tool-house last night about eleven o'clock by Ed Rickson--" "Who?" demanded Squire Jarvis, jumping to his feet. "Ed Rickson." "What tomfoolery is this? He hasn't been in this nei g h borhood this two years back," snorted the nabob angrily. "I know that," answered Will calmly, "but the fact that I saw him enter our tool-house last night through the window, and leave with something in his pockets, shows that he has returned." "I don't believe any such rot," said the great man rudely. "Softly, Squire Jarvis. You should not attack the lad's veracity in this way. He is entitled to make whatever explanation he sees fit, and it i s quite possible that he speaks the truth. Go on, Master Somers." "I tried to head him off, but he jumped the fence and got away." "If Ed Rickson had come back to town I fancy I should have heard of it," said the magnate with an incredulous smi le, "for I was speaking to Mr. Rickson at noon to-day, and he made no mention of the circumstance." "You cannot be ignorant of the fact that Edward Rick son did not bear a very good reputation while he lived in Northport," said Justice Benson, meaningly. "If we accept Master Somers' statement of hil'I encounter with that young man last night, it certainly casts a shade of suspicion in a dir e ction it might be well to follow up. If Edwaru Rickson did enter the Somers tool-house, as the accu sed asserts, and I presume he is willing to swear to it in court," and the magistrate glanced inquiringly at Will. "Yes, sir," answered the boy promptly. "'l'hen," continued the justice, "he must have had some object in doing so. Had the object been a worthy one, it seems to me the owner of the tool-house would have been consulted. As the tools found in your office this morning have been identified by the accused as the property of bis family, and as it has not been shown that Master Somers carried them there himself, why the inference--" "l beg to say that we are not dealing with inferences," said the Squire stiffiy "Can you prove that the accused entered your office with these tools?" asked Justice Benson rather sharply. "If I could there would be no necessity for this rigma role," replied the Squire, a bit disconcerted. "But I can show with s ufficient clearness that this Somers boy had a well defin e d object in into my place and rifling my desk." "From which I presume you draw an inference of his guilt," said the justice, with a smile, la ying s tress on the word inference, much to the nabob's annoyance. "I b e lieve it will establish a strong presumption in that direction,'' persisted the great man. "I will h e ar "hat you have to say, Squire Jarvis," said Justice Benson quietly. "The only thing of import!).nce taken from my desk/' proceeded the nabob, punctuating his sentences with a downward movement of bis extended index finger, "was a certain paper, or, to be more explicit, a note of hand deposited with me yesterday by Mr. Job Rickson for col lection. This paper would not be of the slightest use or value to Ed Ri c kson, assuming for the sake of illustration that it was he who broke into my office; but, sir, its des truction would be of the greatest importance to the pe c uniary interests of the Somers family, inasmuch as it rep rese nts an unsettled claim against their property." "Mr. Benson interrupted Will, spr inging to hie; feet, "I deny Squire Jarvis' statement that the note to which he refers represents an unsettled claim against my mother. The note was paid by my fath e r before his death, and the a t t empt now made by Mr. Rickson, through Squire Jarvis, t o collect it over again is a rank swindle."


18 A GAME OF CHANCE. "Master Somers," said the justice mildly, 'you must not \ glaring at the lad. 'I presume you will permit the pris interrupt Squire Jarvis while he is speaking Whatever I oner to stand trial--" you have to say about this matter I will hear after the "I am afraid," said Justice Benson, interrupting him, Squire ha s finished." \"that the evidence is not sufficient to warrant holding the "The not e in question," continued the magnate, casting boy." a supercilious glance at the boy, is a promissory one, for the s um of three hundred dollars, drawn in favor of Job Hickson, and signed by Nathaniel Somers. Tog ether with unpaid interest to elate it represents a perfectly legal claim against the d rawer's e state of four hundred and twenty five dollars. This is the vital point I wish to impress upon your attention, Mr Benson. The other papers, as well as the t en dollar bill, I believe were merely taken as a blind It is fortunate that the thief, owing to the hurry 0f the moment, p e rfectly natura l to one unaccu stome d to the commission of crime, forgot to take away the implements he brou ght with him to accomplish his object." "I bel iew you have a safe in your office, Squire Jarvis?" said the ju stice. "I have." "I s hould think, then, that would have been the proper place for you to have kept that note." "I can explain why I did not have it in the safe la s t night," said the la wyer pompously "I call e d with that note on Mrs Somers last erening about eight o'clock for the purpo8e of arranging with h er as to its paym ent." "And mother rontested it o n the ground that it had already been paid once, a fact we could prov e only that the receipt has been mislaid or lost," broke in Will impetuously "Go on, Squire Jarvis," sa id Mr Benson, overlooking the interruption. "It was rather late when I returned home, and not car ing to take the trouble to unlock my safe, I opened my desk and slipped it into one 0 the pigeon-holes. I nat mally had no s u spicio n that any one was lik e ly to break into my office during the night-certainly no one interes ted in that particular bit 0 paper. It seems I was mistaken," conclud e d the lawyer, grimly, as he sat down again. "Tha t is all you have to say, Squire?" "That is aJ.l; I think it is conclusive," gazing around with a satisfied expression, "when taken in connection with the testimony of my gardener, whom I will now bring forward." J obbin gs, th e gardene r, te s tified to the following facts : That h e had found the outside door of the Squire's office ajar that morning at s i x o'clock, and on examination ound that it llal1 clearly been broken in by a cold chisel, or sim ilar instrumenL; ihat he entered the office, and found evidence t h at the Squi r e's desk had also been tampered with; that he had found the barumer and cold chisel, which he now _jdentified as the a1 ticles in question, on the carpet beside the justice\:; desk; that he immediately aroused his employer and notified him of the ci-Tcumstances. "Have you anything further to say, Master Somers?" asked the ju stice, gazing at the boy, whose honest face and ittraightforward manner favorably impressed him "No sir," replied Will fearlessly I s hould think not," said Squire Jarvis, o.ffensive ly, \ "Sir!" exclaimed the Squire, in some astonishment. "I am surprised tha.t you, a lawyer, in view of the l ack of evidence, even of a circumstantial nature, should insist on suc h a course, which, in the even t that you afterward failed to make out a true case, would make you liable to be proceeded against in a civil suit for damages. Will Somers, you are di scharged ,_ "Thank you, Mr. Benson," and putting on his hat, h e walked out of the justice's office a very happy boy. CHAPTER XI. FURTHER DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WILL SOMERS' GAME OF CHANCE. When Will Somers got back to the factory that afte r noon he ound the fire had been put out and the eng ines gone. A solitary repr esentpti 1 e of the fire department stood on g u ard at the main entrance, and a few curious spec tators hung about the neighborhood gazing up at the ruin of the third story. Superintendent Harper and an insurance adjuster were figuring out the loss in the office. All the employees, with tH.e exception of the engineer and a fe,w of the yardmen, had departed. "Hello, Bill!" exclaimed Mr. Davi s when the boy walked into the engine-room. "Back again, e h ? Got out of your scrape, all right?" "Yes, sir,'' answered Will cheerily "'!'hat's good. What was it all about, anyway?" Will to l d him the whole sto ry. "The Squire seems to have it in for you,'' commented the engineer "I don't seem to be an especial favori t e of his, that's a fact," replied the boy with a c heerful grin. "'l'hat's right; but I wouldn't let that fact yon any." "I don't mean that it shall." "Ed Rickson is a t the bottom of that affair,'' said Mr. DaYis, nodding his head sagely. "He always was a hard nut, sai d Mr. Davis; "but I never knew before that h e was a thief. His two years' absence has not reformed him, I see. I'm afraid it has only developed his c riminal instincts." "His fathe r 's reputation isn t anyt hing to brag about This swindle he is trying to work on my mother only to confirm my opinion of the man. The id ea of him keep ing that note all these years in the background, and ringing it in on us at the last minute on the chance that ll'e couldn t produce the r eceipt he gave to father for the money! 'rhat shows you what kincl 0 a man h e is," said the boy indignantly. / "Squire Jarvis cau't but have some suspicion of the truth. It doesn't speak well -for him to s upport a fraud."


--.:os t\! GAME OF CHANCE. "Mr. Rickson has probably promised him a large com mission to collect the note." "Such a .I*Oposal as that should be enough to arouse any lawyer's doubt.'<, especially after your mother affirmed the note had already bee n paid, and Mr. Rick on had al lowed it to run so many years after maturity without pre senting it for payment." "That's right. It has all the earmarks of a skin on the face of it." "Now that the note has disappeared, it is possible you may never hear from it again," suggested the engineer encouragingly. "I don t know about that," sai d Will doubtfully. "Ed Rickson may return it to his father, as it is of value to him He could do that by mail, if he's afraid to show himself at his home. What gets me is why he entered the Squire's office at all. He couldn't expect to get any money without breaking into the safe, and he certainly was not provided with tools for such a purpose. The ten dollar bill he got just happened to be in the deRk." "It would only be wasted time to figure upon what his object was," said the engineer as he r e light ed his pipe. :

20 A GAME OF CHANCE. CHAPTER XII. "There'll be others in the sweet by and bye, too," snick ered Sam. REPAIRING THE DAM: .A.T THE MOUTH OF THE SWAMP-LOT. For the next day or two, while the first and second stories of the factory were being cleaned up and put into shape for the rernmption af work in those depa rtments oi the building, Will had nothing to do in the engine-room of the Northport cotton mills. So he took advantage of the opportunity to repair the dam at the swamp-lot. He did not do this all by himself, but induced a par ticular friend, named Sam Travis, to give him a helping hand. They took a number of substantial boards and the neces "ary tools, and went out to th"e grewsome spot The water was running freely through the opening Will had made after he had completed his self -impo sed job of di s tributing the heavy stones over the frozen surface of the bog. "So :you think you'll have an ice privilege for sale this winter, do you, Will?" said Sam Travis, with an incred ulous grin. "It is possible I may," replied Will tersely. "Xit !" ejaculated his companion. "Old Rickson tried the experiment l ast winter, and he got badly roasted. I didn't think you was such a chump as to tackle the same scheme." "IVell, Sam, we can't all be wise in this world, you know," replied Wlll, with a cheerful laugh. "Perhaps I'm only doing this for fun-just to put in my time, you know. "Yes, you are like fun," grinned Travis. "I see. you doing such a thing. No ; you mean business all right. But, hnng me if I didn't give you credit for more brains "Thanks, Sam, for the compliment,'" said Will, with I the utmost good nature. "You're welcome." "Well, now, since you've had your little say, s'pose you busy. Hand me one of those boards. You stand here and hold your end until I get it straight, and then drive half a dozen of those nails to hold it in place." "All right, old man; only it's an awful waste of good lumber, nails and energy." "You will let me b e the judge of that, Sam." "Sure; it's your funeral, not mine." "If you don't watch where you're putting your feet it may be y our funeral, first thing you know," said Will with a grin, as one of Sam's legs s li pped and went down into the ooze in a very unpleasant manner "Thanks for the warning, old chappie, but I'm not tak ing a mud bath to day," snickered Sam, with a rueful look at the bottom of his trousers leg. ":Mud baths, they say, are good for rheumatism." "Then o ld Rickson ought to come over here and take a course of treatment." "He's had all he wants to do with this place, I guess," chuckled Will. / "You're a Job's comforter, :Sam." "Think so? You know what t.he immortal Shakespeare said, don't you?" "He said, or rather he wrote, a good many bright things. What particular one clo you refer to?" asked Will, begin ning to nail the end of the plank. "Suffering jewsharps !" howled Sam, as the business end of the hammer came in sudden contact with his thumb as he started to driYe in his second nail. "That's what he said, was it?" said Will, laughing slyly. "IYhat you laughing at? Think it funny, don't you?" in an aggrieved tone of voice. "Hang the old thing! Why couldn't it go in straight?" sucking at his injured digit. "You should have taken aim at the head of the nail, not at your thumb." "Go bag your head, will you?" grow led Sam, with pre tended indignation. "How about what Shakespeare said?" persisted Will, after driving home his last nail. "'I'hat whack knocked it all out of my head," he said as he aliio finished nailing up his end. "Want another board?" "Yes." "All right; here you are," and he pushed over the end of the second board. "Did you hear what happened to Stubbins when he was np to Boston?" "No; what happened to him?" asked Will curiously, "He attended an Adams Express Company sale and bid in a box labeled 'dry goods.' What do you s'pose he found in it?" "A bundle of I guess, or something of that sort "Not on your life. He found six bound volumes of the Congressional Record," snickered Sam. "That isn't so bad for you, Sam; but I wouldn't do it again if I were you." "Can't help it; runs in our family. Dad and I were talking politics the other night, and I asked him what a political ring was made of, and he said 'steal.' Wouldn't that jar you? Have another board?" grinned Sam. "Pass it along." "By the way, Will," said Sam, after a few minutes of sil r nce, "I heard to-day that the Selectmett were going to give you a medal for your heroic conduct at the factory fire in saving the lives of 'I'essie Rickson and Jessie Fair weather." "N orisense "It's a fact, and the only committeeman who voted against the proposition was Squire Jarvis. He still claims it was you broke into his office to get hold of a certain prom issory note that he had presented to your mother for pay ment. Nobody takes any stock in that, though. Constable Brady is on a still hnnt after Ed Rickson, all right, and if he catches him I guess there will be something doing." Will rather objected to a public acknowledgment of his noteworthy action at the factory fire, with the natural modesty of the true hero, but nevertheless he could not but


A GAME OF CHANCE. 21 f e e l fla tter e d at the honor which his townsm e n proposed to c on fer o n h im. Bot h Jessie and her moth e r had thanked him with such f e eling and e a rne s tnes s that ther e could be no doubt of their gra titude for the service he had rendered them. He f elt this e x p r ession on their part amply repaid him for what e v e r risk he had run in Miss Fairweath e r s behalf. A s for Tessi e Ri c kson, she had made a special visit at the S omer s cott a ge to tell Will and his mother how much s h e apprec i ate d his conduct on that thrilling occas ion when, as s h e glowi ngly e xpr e ssed it, "her life hung on a hair." B e.fore she tore herself away, with evident reluctance, s he had u sed up all the adjectives of her limited vo cab ulary. "Well said Will, afte r he and the sturdy Sam had worked for more than an hour on the dam, "I guess that will do. Very little water will g e t through here now. In a week I s hall begin to get some idea how things are go in g to pan out." You mean that in a wee k you'll b e gin to discover what a chump you ar e," grinn e d his companion. "All rig h t, have your own way," returned the hopeful young inv e ntor. "And y o u really do expect to make a pond here?" said S am incr e dul o u sly. "That's what I hope to a ccomp lish." Y o u 'll ha v e a pond, all ri g ht, but th e water will be out o f sight." "Tha t s jus t whe re we diff er; I'm loo k i ng for it to show on top." "That' s what Ri c k s on l ooke d for, but it didn't clo him any good. If the water pus h ed 1.hat g ras s up once it' s going to do it aga in." "Sure of that, are you?" "Of cour s e I am; it stan,ds to reason that it will." "If you wanted to find out the depth of that old dry w ell in your back yard without going down into it, how w o uld y o u proce ed?" "That' s simple. I'd drop a stone down and count the s e c onds that e lapsed till it struck bottom," said Sam, pl e a se d to q i s play his knowledge of natural philosophy. "I'd tie a s tring to the stone and measure the string afte rward," said Will. "That shows you we look at the sam e thing from a dill c rent point of view." "Hal Any fool could m e asu r e a w e ll that way," said Sam contemptuously. "I've just tak en as simpl e a way to make a pond here, the onl y difference between the two is that this is a game of chance." "0.h, y ou haven t the lea s t c han c e in the replied Sa m. Then they g athered up the tools and left the spot. CHAPTER XIII. IN WHICH ED RICKSON TURNS UP AGAIN UNDER PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES. The Bugle and the News, the two weekly papers of Northport, came out that afternoon with a column account of the factory fire, and the Bugle, in particular, praised Will Somers' heroism to the top notch. Both papers also published notices of the project afoo t to pres ent the boy with a medal as a mark of the town's appreciation, though the matter in the Times was d i smissed with a three-line item in the local s In addition, each paper printed a report of Will's arrest and examination before Justice Benson, on the charge of b re aking into Squire Jarvis' office and stealing certain papers from his desk. The Bugle's story was brief and the charge commented on as baseless. On th e other hand, the Times, the editor of. which was a personal and political friend of Squire Jarvis, gave con siderable space to the affair; but, while the writer was careful to say nothing which could be construed as a reflec tion on the lad's honesty, nevertheless, he scouted tM idea that Ed Rickson was in any way implicated in the crime. On Monday morning Will returned to duty in the engine room, as the first and second floors of the factory were in shape to resume operation. Nothing had been heard from Squire Jarvis in respect to the promissory note. '.rhis, of course, was a matter of no surprise to Mrs. Somers or her son, for it was not supposed that any action could be taken until the missing note should have been recovered. A thorough search for the mislaid receipt had proved unavailing In spit e of the fact that Sam Travis regarded the flood ing of the swamp as a hair-brain sort of proposition, neverthele s s he was, boy-like, intere s ted in the propect, if only for the purpo s e of being the first to give his friend Will the laugh as soon as he had assured himself that the scheme was a failure, as he confidently expected that it mu s t prove to be. So, during the week that followed the repairing of the dam, he mad e daily visi ts to the ten-acre bog after school. As a matter of course, the change, if any, in that short time in the appearance of the swamp was not so perceptible to him as if he had waited a week and then inspected it. So at the end of eight days he reported to Will that the bog had not changed, even a little bit. "You are quite certain of that?" asked Will, with a shade of disappointment in his voice. ';.Sure thing" asserted Sam, shaking his head dismally. "Same old grass and moss, though it looks a bit more soggy. There are a lot of littl e pools here and there, but that don't count for anything "Well, I'm going out to take a look myself to-night. rrhe moon will be up after eight o'clock, and there should be light enough for me to see all I want." So after supper Will started off alone for the swam.p lot to size up the appearance of his game of chance. He had arriv e d within a hundr e d yards of the place when he h e a r d some one shouting in accents of terror, and the app e al undoubtedly came from the immediate vicinity of the quaking bog.


22 A GAME 0.1!"' CHANCE. "Somebody mu s t hav e got caught in the swamp It's as bad as quicksand," he said, as he broke into a nm. The moon was just rising about th e tops of the trees that partially surrounded the swamp-lot, so that the boy c0l1lcl easil y see over the whole surface of the bog. The call for help sounded in the vicinity of the dam, and thither Will directed his steps. He soon made out a dark object floundering about on the surface of the swamp a few yards out. "Hello!" he shouted encouragingly. "Help! Help!" answered the unfortunate being. A long broken limb was hanging pendant from a tree nearby The boy seized it, and by a stout pull disengaged it from the heavy limb on which it had grown. Then he ran clown to the edge of the morass, called to th!! struggling person imprisoned by the matted grass, and flung one end of the improvised pole toward him. The luckless person grabbed it as a drowning man might a plank, and held on with desperate energy until Will succeeded in dragging him to the firm ground. "Give me both your hands now!" cried the boy. They were eager ly extended to him. Planting his feet firmly, Will gave a might tug, the person's feet were suddenly released by th grass, and both rolled over together on the dry turf b eyond the danger line. They immediately st ruggled to their feet and looked at one another. The moon shone full in the face of the rescued stranger. Will recognized him instantly. "Ed Rickson I" he exclaimed. T.he fellow hastily scrambled to his feet without a word, and made a movement as if to flee. "Hold on, Rickson. You needn't be in such a sweat. I'm all al011e," said Will. Rickson paused and looked keenly at the boy, and then gave a short laugh as if somewha.t reassured. paper we are supposed to be interested in was found missing." Ed Rickson grinned as though he had just heard a good joke. "Oh, well, no harm came of it. Everybody knows you're a little angel who wouldn't be guilty of such a thing," he replied, with a palpable sneer "A fellow who goes to Sunday-school and meeting regularly never goes wrong, of course not. Canada isn't full of those kind of chaps." "H you are so anxious to do me a favor you are taking a strange way to get me to accommodate you," said Will, in a tone of disgust at Rickson's coarse humor. "Only a joke," the now wretched-looking wanderer an swered hastily, as if suddenly conscious that he had gone too far. "For heaven's sake, get me a bite of something to cat. I'm almost starved ." He certainly looked it, and there was a pathetic earnest ness about his request that easily assured Will that Rickson told the truth. "Well," said the boy, "I can't refuse a hungry man something to eat; but it'll take me some little time to get it here." "You won't tell any one you've met me here, will you?" asked Rickson anxiously. "I shan't volunteer the information "And you promise not to fetch anybody back with you? I shall be on the watch, so it won't do any good." "I'll return alone," said Will coldly. "I wish you'd fetch a blanket with you, if you could, for it's mighty cold hanging around here, especially when a fellow's trou sers are soaked to the skin," said Ri ckson dismally. "'Where do you sleep?" asked Will, as he prepared to depart on his charitab l e errand "I've got a snug place," he replied, with one of his impudent grins. "Now, don't be any longer than you can help, Somers, if you've got a spark of feeling for a fellow in my condition," and Rickson contorted his countenance 11.d. into an expression of great physical anguish in order to 1 mg 1 give additional effect to his appeal. "Oh, it's you, Somers, is it?" "It isn't anybody else. Where have you been these last ten days?" "Who says I'v-e been hiding?" said Rickson gruffiy. "I say so, for one. And there are others." "Look here, Will Somers, do you want to do me a favor?" "I think I've just done one for you," said the boy, grimly. "'rhat's right, you have; but I want you to do something else for me." "\Yhat do you want me to do?" asked Will cautiously. "I'm kind of fagged out. Haven't hacl a mouthful today? Will you f etc h me something to eat and promise you won't say anything about having me out h ere?" "You have got a pretty good nerve, I think, after what I've gone through on your account already "What do you mean by that?" asked Rickson sharply. "You used those tools you stole from our place to break into Squire Jarvis' office. Then you left them in the place, and so I was accused of doing the job, because a certain CHAPTER XIV. IN WHICH WILL SOMERS LEARNS SOME INTERESTING FACTS OF A CONSPIRACY OF WHICH HE WAS THE INTENDED \rIOTIM. Will was as good as his word, and half an hour later re turned to the ten-acre swamp-lot with a liberal Aupply of plain food, which hi s mother had provided at his request, without asking any questions he could not answer. He had it up in a newspaper, the whole tucked into the folds of an old horse blanket. When Will struck the open facing th e bog, whe re he had held his brief conversation with the uisreputable son of .Tob Rirkson, he found no one in sight. "He couk ln't ha-ve got tired waiting, for I wasn' t so very long away," thought the kind-hearted boy, as he transferred his bundle from one a.rm to the other. "Well, it's his I


A ox:.m OF CIL\NCE. 23 lookout, :;o while I'm waiting for him I'll take a look at "lf you hadn "t be0n sue:h a fool that night when you the swamp." liroke in Somers' tool-horn;e to get those tools, and let him So he walked slowly along the edge of the quaking bog, recognize you, he never would have been able to throw examining its surface with the greatest attention and smpicion in your direction." interest. "He came on me so suddenly that he took me by sur -He had taken care to gauge the original height of the prise. I supposed every body was in bed and asleep," said marsh before he began to flood it, marking its level by Rirkson in excuse. means of sticks thrust horizontally out from the sides of "You should have waited an hour or two longer, anyway. the basin You spoiled everything by your haste. If the plan had By looking at these guides he saw that so far the swamp ucceeded, as I supposed it would when I proposed the itself had not risen to any noticeable extent. thing to you when I met you in Gateville, I would have This was encouraging, though not conclusive evidence given you the money right away. It wasn't my fault you that his scheme would eventually be successful. tangled things up the way you did The water was certainly forming on top of the matted '\.Yell, I've earned the price we agreed on, and I'm go-grass. i11g to have it, or somebody will have to suffer, t hat's all A hundred little pools were visible upon its surface, there is to it," said Ed Rickson doggedly. which looked very watery and glistening in the cold moon"You haven't earned it, for the scheme failed. Nobody shine outside of my father believes Will Somers guilty of break" I don't think I can find any reason to kick so far," ing into the governor's office, and I wouldn't be surprised mused Will, with a sense of satisfaction. "In another if my father has his suspicions." week I hope to see a clear enough, though perhaps shallow, "He'll harn more than that if you don't fork over that sheet of water above the grass. Well, the saying is, noth-lnmr1recl dollars you promised me," said Rickson, in a ing ventured, nothing won. You have got to take chances threatening tone. in this worlcl if you expect to do something worth while." "I'll give you twenty-five dollars to-morrow." At this point in his reflections he fancied he heard the w:-fo, you won't. You'll give me the hundred. Do y ou sound of voices somewhere near at harn1. nn

24 A GAME OF CHANCE. "I'll get even with you some day for this, Ed Rickson, see if I don't," said the young aristocrat darkly as he backed away. "All right, my buck; but I advise you not to try it," said Rickson with a harsh laugh Lewis muttered something under his breath and then walked off under the trees. A moment later Will Somers saw Rickson pushing his way through the bushes toward the open spot of their en counter an hou r previous. So he rose from his seat and followed him. When Rickson came out into the moonlight he discovered Will within a few yards of him. "HC;lllo !" he said, with a hungry glance at the bundle. "You've fetched the grub, have you! Let's have it." Will relinquished possession of the blanket and its contents Rickson unrolled the bundle, cast the blanket on the ground, and attacked the package of food with the greedi ness of a famished hyena. "Somers, you're all right," said Rickson, with his mouth full. "I wish I could return the compliment," replied Will coldly. "You stole a hammer and chisel from our tool house for the deliberate purpose of getting me into trouble." "Who says I did?" replied Rickson, with a malicious grin. "I say so." "You're off your base, Somers "Am I? Perhaps you'll not admit that Lewis Jarvis hired you to execute the job?" "Oh!" exclaimed. Rickson, evidently astonished at the extent of Will's knowledge on the subject. "What put that into your head?" "No matter," replied Will, coolly. "Isn't it a fact?" "You're dreaming, boy!" "Look here, Rickson; I think I've treated you pretty white. I pulled you out of a bad hole and brol1ght you a square feed. Why don't you own up?" "Nothing doing," grinned Ed. "Then I've got nothing more to say," said Will, turning on his heel and starting off. Ed Rickson allowed him to go without another word "A nice pair, he and Lewis Jarvis," Will as he walked slowly homeward. "A rascally piece of business for the son of N orthport's most prominent citizen and such a reckless scamp as Eel Rickson to engage in, try ancl down a boy who never did either of them any harm Rickson has that note in his possession, so I'll just give Constable Brady a quiet tip that these two conspirators have arranged to meet in the vicinity of the ten-acre swamp lot to-morrow night. It is not impossible that Lewis Jarvis may find that his little scheme has developed into a boom erang, which may land him and his side partner in jail on a very seriou s cha r ge It's a poor rule that doesn't work both ways. CHAPTER XV. IN WHICH LEWIS JARVIS ORIGINA'l'ES ANOTHER SCHEME FOR THE UNDOING OF WILL SOMERS. On the following evening Constable Brady and an assist ant visited the woods about the ten-acre swamp-lot, but failed to find ari.y trace of Ed Rickson or his associate in iniquity. So the matter rested for the present. Whether Lewis Jarvis had paid the hundred dollars or effected some kind of a compromise with Ed Rickson, Will Somers had no means of knowing. The matter had undoubtedly been satisfactorily arranged between them, as young Jarvis maintained his usual bold front in public, which showed he felt no apprehension of an exposure. During the next ten days evidence of the successful flood ing of the swamp-lot was so apparent that even Sam Travis hauled in his horns, and said to all his friends that if there was a smarter boy in Northport than Will Somers he'd like to make his acquaintance. Will's silly attempt to fill up the bog with stones the preceding winter, which everybody who had heard about the matter supposed to be his object, had been generally for gotten. Now, however, when it began to be known that a pond had actually formed in the basin o.f the swamp-lot, scores of curious townspeople tramped out to the spot to see the miracle with their own eyes. There it was, sure enough It was a fine pond of water, and was daily growing deepe r Somebody carried the news to Job Rickson. "Ridiculom: !" was his comment. "But I've just seen it with my own eyes," protested his informant, rather glad than otherwise to rub it in on the old fellow who was so generally disliked. "Pooh! You can't tell me any such nonsense," grunted the man who had already burned his fingers with the scheme of originating an ice privilege. All the same, as soon as his visitor had gone he put on an old hat and started out to convince himself that the man had been jollying him Needless to say, he found what he neither expected nor desired to see. "It seems that Will Somers has the bulge on you, after all," said a neighbor who had also come to inspect the marvel, rubbing his hands gleefully, as if Rickson's take down particularly pleased him At fi'rst Job Rickson was too much astonished to speak. He could hardly believe the evidence of his eyes. But after awhile he began to realize that somehow nature had turnec1 him down in favor of the young fireman of the Northport cotton mills. Then he made a few marks that could hardly be repro d uced with propriety in print, but they expressed his senti ments on the subject with unpolished directness


A GAME OF CHANCE. When \\'ill first took hold of the scheme the person who most persistently jeered him was Lewis Jarvis. "What else can you expect from such a lobster?" was his snee ring comment. Then, as time went on, he, like others, forgot all about the matter. Now its revival as a successful issue jarred on his feelings. He refus e d to believe all reports concerning the actual flooding of the swamp lot, until the Northport papers printed a news item on the subject; then he went out to the site of the quaking bog himself, and what he saw did not make him feel happy. He comprehended that the young mechanic despised so much had managed to solve a very clever problem "I never saw such a piece of luck," he muttered in a tone of dis g ust. "When that water freezes through the pauper will have a regular ice harvest to dispose of It's a shame how luck will play into the hands of the common people! Why, that beggar will think he's as good as I am. If I only knew some way to hirad him off." He was standing near the dam, and as he spoke an idea suddenly came into his head that pleas e d him gre1,1tly. 'Twill be just the thing," he grinned malevolently. "By the great hornspoon I I'll take him down a couple of pegs It'll break him all up to have his great scheme go up in the air at the last moment. This is better than if I had landed him in jail, for he was bound to get clear of that in the end ; but this-well, this will pickle his hopes in great shape. It'll be a dead easy cinch for Ed Rickson to earn another twenty-fiye bones. Then I guess it'll be time for me to find thai note and hand it over to the governor. He'll do the rest Nothing like rubbing it in good and hard when you get the chance." That afternoon Lewis Jarvis took a train for a certain town thirty miles away, where he knew he should be able to find Ed Rickson As a matter of fact Ed was on the lookout for him, for Lewis had agreed with him to settle his hundred dollar obligation after paying him twenty-five dollars down, and the first of these payments was now due. "I thought you wouldn't go back on me," grinned young Rickson significantly when L ewis turned up at the ap pointed rendezvous, a roadhouse on the outskirts of the town, whern Rickson had secured emp l oyment congenial to hi s tastes. "Why should I?" answered Lewis, as if offended at the very idea of such a thing He had an ax to gri nd, and it behooved him to keep on friendl y terms with his former co-partner in guilt. "That's ri ght! Why should you?" said Rickson "I s'pose you have brought the cash?" he added eagerly. "Sure thing," and Lewis produc e d twenty-five dollars in not es, which he handed over. "You're a littl e man of your word, Lewis," said Ed stow ing the mone y away. "Come inside and have a drink." Lewis was n ot a c c us tomed to intoxicating lfquor, as t he Squire very properly frowned upon any such indulgence in hi s own son, whose sole form of dissipation was con:fir\ed to a superior brand of imported cigarettes; but the boy ashamed to refuse Rickson's invitation lest Ed twit him as a milk sop. Secretly he believed drinking was a manly art, for he had seen his father slightly under the infl.uernie of stimu lants on several occasions, and the recollection of h!s parent's weakness in this respect stilled his own So he stood up to the bar, and Ed poured out a couple of whiskies. "Here's luck," said Rickson, swallowi n g his a Yeteran. Lewis' portion nearly strangled him, for it was a :fiery compound and none of the best. "Went the wrong way did it?" grinned Ed. "Take some water Lewis presented a sad picture as he stood gasping ovel' the dose, which had brought tears to his eyes. Indeed, it is always a sad picture to see a young man it was far worse in this case, for Lewis Jarvis was only seyenteen-taking his first lessons in that curse of civiliza tion, liquor drinking. That it is the root of all evil is graphically illustrated in that piece of Oriental fiction called the "Arabian Nights," which recites that a genie, or wicked spirit, hav ing obtained control over a certain young man, agreed to spare his lif e on condition that his dupe should commit one of three mortal sins-either to murder his father, curse his God, or get drunk. The young man chose what he considered the l e a s t of the three. He got drunk, with the result t hat on being taxed with his sin by his father, he, in a burst of fury, kill e d him; then, realizing his crime, he in despair cursed his Maker and the day he was born Lewis Jarvis soon recovered from the effects of the po tation, and after a short conversation on sporting topics he broached the real object of his visit. "How is that for an idea?" grinned Lewis, proud of the mean scheme he had devised. "I'll have him dead to rights, eh?" "You've got a great head, Lewis," said Rickson with a s neer. "So you want me to sneak into Northport again and work it for you?" "Yes." "How much do I get?" "'I'wenty-five doll ars." "Cash down?" "Yes; but you'll have to give me more time on what I owe you on the old acc' ount." Ri c kson considered a few minutes and then agreed to the proposal. "When do you want it done?" "Any time within a week will do." "All right. Have another drink," and lhc hardenc:l young fellow replenished the tumblers. Lewis looke d at his portion and hcsitate '1 "What's the matter?" laughed Hickson bante:ingly. "Can't you go two drinks?"


. .. 26 GAME OF CHANUE. "Sure'." rcplieL1 Lewitl, flushiug up as he grasped the glass. ")Jaybc you had better dilute it,'' grinned Ed, tanta lizingly "Poo!1 l" cried LBwis, raising it to his chin. "I'm no !Jn by." All the the liquor gave him another coughing fit, anrl h,., wa$ rlad to take some water afterward. \Yhm he hoarr1ed the train for home half an hour later he rather unsteady on his legs. CHAPTER XVI. ".ALL0S WEJ,L TH.AT ENDS WELL." The ra i lroarl Rtation was not far from the Northport cot ton rni lls, and Lewis Jarvis had to pass the factory on his way home He had not noticecl Jessie Fairweather s ince the even ing Will Somers had interfered between them in her behalf. And with good reason, for the spirited girl took good care to keep out of his way, having no desire for any further intercourse with him. Lewis was feeling somewhat exalted from the stim ulat ing effect of ba.d whisky on his brain As he came along the factory girls were leaving the mills, the full force having b een put to work that day for the first time since the fire. Jessie was walking slowly clown the street in expectation that Will would soon catch up with her, as usual. He had not yet appeared when J_,ewis Jarvis saw her ahead. The sight of her at this moment aroused all that waR ugly in his disposition. He hastened his steps and soon canght np with her. "Going to speak with me this time, aren't you?" he de mancled in a husky voice, and with a half-intoxicated leer that s tartled the girl. J e:::si c made no answer, but started to cross to the other $i

A GAME O.F OHANUK 2 7 "How did you manage it?" Rsked Mr. Harper curiously. "You seem to have had better luck than Mr. Rickson." And then Will told him all about it. "Upon my word, you are a bright boy, for a fact. I never should have thought of that plan myself had I been in your shoes. Well, you deserve all your luck Your game of chance has turned out to be a game of certainty, after all." As they left the spot they did not see a crouching form hiding in the underbrush. It was Ed Rickson, and he had a crowbar with him. As soon as all was still again he clambered out on the dam, and inserting the end of the bar between the narrow crack in the boards, began to pry them apart. His object was apparent. He meant to make a sufficiently large opening in the dam to allow the confined water to Bscapc. By morning the prosp ects of an ice harvest on the ten acre lot would be ruined, for that senson at least. Fortunately, ihe plans of the wicked do not always prosp e r. Before Will reached home he rni .scd his Lig ho; n-handled jack-kn ife, which was a handy companion in the engine room r epair shop. "By George!" he said. "I remember I laid that clown on one of the stringers of the dam while I was talking to Mr. Harpn. I must go back and get it." So he hastily retraced his steps. As he drew near the dam he heard queer sounds, not unlike the ripping of boards, and he began to wonder. "Great Scott! It can't be those boanlfi arc giving away under the pres s ure of thr. water l If they are the pond will be ruined in a few hours. He rushed forward to investigate. At that moment the moon, which had been obscured all the evening, suddenly shone out between a rift in the clouds, and Will saw something that stagge red him. It was Ed Rickson hard at work in his effort to destroy the dam. "Hi, there l What are you doing?" Will cried in aston ished anger. Rickson turned in a startled way and dropped the crowbar into the water. "Come out of that!" exclaimed Will. "Go to thunder!" replied the rascal. "So it's you, Ed Rickson. You're a nice scoundrel, you are, tr:ving to spoil my property," ejaculated Will, as mad as he be when he came to realize the despicable attempt to ruin his ice privilege. "Well, it's me, all right," replied Rickson, in surly tones, for he saw the game was up, espec ially as the crowbar was gone. "What are yon going to do about it?" "I' m going to hand you over to Constable Brady right away." "You tell it well, you little monkey. If I get hold of you I'll polish you off quicker n greased lightning." And he meant it, too. Now. it happened that Will 's blood was up, and so reekles s of consequences was he that he clambered out on the clam, determined to bring Eel Rickson to justice at last. Ed sa w him coming and waited with a diabolical g,rin He was satisfied he could easily handle Will Somers, as stout a lad as he looked. When they tackled in the center of .the dam he found out that the job was not as easy as he had supposed . It was a pretty even thing, however, as to which would come out ahead. "Wait -lmtil I get a good grip on you and I'll toss you into your pond, blast you!" gritted Ed. As they struggled ::i.nd struck at one another on top of the dam they were in alternate light and shadow, a s the shone down upon their writhing forms or hid her face behind a drifting cloud. It was a fight to the finish, a!;!d no mistake Will was a bit OYermatched but not outclassed With all his fighting qualities aroused he was crowding his more experienced antagonist pretty hard. Ile was1 strong and tough, and his fists were like small :;ledge hammers. Ewry time they landed on Rickson he grunted, while \\'ill took his own punishment in silence, never yielding an inch to his antagonist at any stage though the blood trick led from a nasty cut over his eye At length Will's greater power of endurance began to prevail. Ta king advantage of this, the boy ducked down, seize

( 28 A GAME OF OH.ANOE. as there was not sufficient evidence against the rascal it was allowed to drop. Will, with Sam Travis' assistance, recovered the short crowbar with which Rickson had intended to break down the dam and produced it against the prisoner. Rickson flatly denied that he had used it against Will's property with malicious intent, but both Will and Sam, as ,,,-ell as Constable Brady, who had visited the darn, testi f;ea to the abrasures in the boards, which admitted of but one construction, so Ed was adjudged guilty by the j u stice and sentenced to thirty days' imprisonment. A day or so later Squire Jarvis called on Mrs. Somers all(l notified her that, the promissory note having been rcco\'ered, she would be held for its payment. When Will came home from the factory his mother told him of the Squire's visit. "We'll contest it, mother, on the ground of fraud. Call on Sam Travis' father. He's a good lawyer, and he will ad, ise you in the matter." After supper Jessie Fairweather came in, as she often

WORK AND WIN. The ALL 'l'HE READ B est Published. PB.INT. W'"eekly N"CTM:BEB.S AB.E ALWAYS IN ONE AND YOU WILL READ "THEM ALL. LA'rEST ISSUES: 3 2 0 Fred Fearnot a n d the I m postor ; or, Unmasking a Dangerous Fraud 321 Fred Fearnot in the Wild West; or, The Last Fight of t h e Bandits. 281 Fred Fearnot's Boy ; or, Selling T ips on Shares. Fred Fearnot and the Girl Ranch Owner, And How She Held Ber Own. 283 Fred Newsboy ; or, A Hero In Rags. :.!84 Fre d F earnot In the Gold l 'ields; or, Exposing the Claim "Salt ers.'' 322 !<'red Fearnot and the Girl Detective; or, Solving a "Yall Str ee L Myste r y. 3 2 3 Fred FearnoL Among the Gold Miners; or, T h e Fight for aStolen Claim. 324 Fre d Fearndtand the Broker's Son; or, The Smartest Boy in Wall St. 375 Fred Fearnot and "Jud11:e Lynch" ; or. Chasing the H orse Thieves. 285 Fre d F earnot and the Office Boy ; or, Bound to be the Boss. 286 1'' r e d l earnot afte r the Moonshiners; or, 'l'he "Bad" Men of Kentucky. 287 Fred l<'earnot and the Little Drummer; or, The Boy who Feared Nobody. 32 6 Fred Fearnot and the Bank Me8senger; o r, 'l'he B oy who made a F or tw1e 3 2 7 Fred Fearnot and the Kentucky Moonshiners; or, The "Bad" Me n of the Blue Grass Region. 288 and the Broker' s Boy; or, Working the Stock 32 8 Fred l<'earnot and the Boy Acrobat; or, Out With Hi s own Ci rcus. 329 Fred Fearnot' s Great Crash; or, Losing His Fortune In Wall Street. 289 Fre d Fearnot and the Boy T eamster; or, The Lad Who Bluft'ed Him. 330 Fred Fearnot's Return to Athletics ; or, His Star t t o Regai n a Fortune. 290 Fre d Fearnot and the Magician, and How be Spoiled Ilis Magic. 291 Fre d Fearnot' s Lone Hand; or, Playing a Game to Win. 292 Fre d Fearnot and the Banker' s Clerk; or, Shaking up the Brok-331 Fred Fearnot's Fencing Team ; o r Defeatin g t h e "Prid e o f Old Eli." 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 ers. 332 Fre d F earnot and the Oil Kiug; or, the Tough Gang of tbe Wells. 333 Fre d Fearnot' s Wall Stree t Game; or, Fighting the Bucket Shops. 334 Fre d F earnot' s So c i ety Circus ; or, The Fun that Built a School Fred Fearnots "Free For All" ; or, His Great I n d oo r Meet. Fre d Fearnot and the Cabi n Boy ; or, Beatin g the Steamboat Sharpers. House Fre d F earnot's Wonderful Courage; or, The Mistake of the Train R o bb e r Fre d F earnot's Friend from India, and the Wpnderful Things He 335 33G 337 Fre d Fearnot and the Prize-Fighter; or, A Pugilist's Awful Mis -take. Fred Fearnot's Office Boy; o r Making Money In Wall Str ee t Fre d F earnot as a Fireman; or, The Boy Her o of the Flames Fred Fearnot and the Factory Boy; or, The Champl.:in of t h e Town. Fre d Fearnot and the Poor Widow ; or, Making a Mean Man Do 338 Right. Fred Fearnot and the "Bad Man" ; or, The Bluff from Bitter Creek. Fred F earnot's Cowboys ; or, Tackling the Ranch Raiders. . Fre d Fearnot and the Money Lenders; or, Breaking Up a Swin dling Gang. Fre d Fearnot's Gun Club ; or, Shooting for a Diamond Cup. Fre d Fearnot and the Braggart; or, Having Fun with an Ego-tist. Fred Fearnot's Fire Brigade; or, Beating the Insurance F-rauds. Fre d Fearnot's Temperance Lectures; or, Fighting Rum and Ruin. Fred Fearnot and the "Cattle Queen"; or, A Desperate Woman' s Game. Fred F earnot and the Boomers; or, The Game that Failed. Fre d Fearnot and the "Tough" Boy; or, Reforming a Vagrant. Fred Fearnot' s $10,000 Deal ; or, Over the Continent on Horse-back. Fre d Fearnot and the Lasso Gang; or, Crooked Work on the Ranch. 339 340 341 Fred Fearnot and the Shop Girl ; or, The Plot Against An Or phan. Fred Fearnot Among the M exicans; or, Evelyn and the Brigands Fred Fearnot and the Boy Engineer; or, Beating the Train Wreckers. 342 Fred Fearnot a n d the "Hornets" ; o r The League that Sought to Down Him. 343 Fre d F earnot and the Chee k y Dude; o r A S hallow Youth f rom Brooklyn. 344 Fred Fearnot In a D eath Trap; or, Lost In The Mammoth Cave s 345 Fre d Fenrnot nnd the Boy Rancher; or, The Gamest Lad I n T exas. 346 Fre d Fearnot and the Stage D river; o r The Man Who Unders t ood Horse s Fre d F earnot and the Wall Street Broker; or, Helping the Wid348 347 Fre d Fearnot's Change of Front; or, Staggerin g the Wall Street Bro k ers. tre d Fearnot's New Ranch, And How He and Terry Ma n age d It. Fre d F earnot and the Lariat Thrower; or, Beating t h e Champion of the WeJ1t. ows and Orphans. 349 Fred F earnot and the Cow Puncher; or, The Worst Man In Ari-zona. 350 Fred Fearnot and the Fortune Teller ; or, The Gypsy's Double Fre d Fearnot and the Swindling Trustee; o r Saving a W i do w's D eal 351 Fred Fearnot's Nervy Deal ; or, The Unknown Fiend of Wall S t r e e t Little Fortune. Fre d F earnot and the "Wild" Cowboys, And the Fun He Had With The m. Fred F earnot and "Red Pete" ; or, The Wickedest Man In Arizona. Fred Fearnot and the Magnates ; or, How he Bought a Railroad. Fred Fearnot and "Uncle Pike"; or, A Slick Chap from Warsaw. Fred F earnot and His Hlndo Friend ; or, SaviI1g the Juggler' s L i fe Fred Fearnot and the "Confidence Man" ; or, The Grip that Held Him Fast. Fred Fearnot's Greatest Victory; or, The Longest P urse In Wall Street. 352 Fre d Fearnot and the "Money Queen" ; o r Exposin g a Female Sharper. 3 5 3 Fred Fearnot's Boy Pnrd: o r Strik i n g it Rich in t h e Hills. 3 3 ( Fred Fearnot and the R1dlroad Gang; or, A Desp erate Fight f o r L i f e 3 5 5 Fred Fearnot and the Mad Miner; or. The Gold Thieves of the Rockies. 3 5 6 Fred Fcnrnot in '!'rouble; or, Terry Olcott's Vow of Vengea11ce. 3 5 7 Fre d Fearnot and the Girl in White; or, The Mystery of the Steambo a t 3 5 8 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Herder; or, The Masked Ban d of the P lains, 3 5 9 Fred Feitrnot in Hitrd Luck; or, Ro u g hing it i n t h e S ilver Diggings. 3 6 0 Fred Fearnot and t h e Indian Gui de; or, T h e Abduction of a Beaut! ful Girl. F o r sale by all newsdealers, o r will be sent t o any addres s on rec e i p t o f pric e 5 cen t s p e r copy, in m oney or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher. 24 Union Square, r..ew York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS o f our Librar ies and c anno t p r o cure t h em f rom n ews dea le rs, they can be obta i n e d f r o m this offic e dire ct. Cut out and fill in the following Or de r Blank a n d send i t to us with the p r ice o f t he boo k s y ou w a n t a n d we w ill send them to you :>y return mail. POS'rAGE STAMPS 'rAKEN 'rHE SAME AS MONEY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......... ... . .... ............... ........................... FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Unio n Square, New Y ork .. ........................ 190 DEAR find ..... cents for which please send me: . copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ... ............. ................................................. " " " PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos .................. ........................................... SECRET SERVICE Nos . ................. THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ..................................................... WIT.JD WEST WEEKLY, NOS ........ ............... THE YOUNG ATHLETE'S WEEKLY., Nos ...... .. .. .. .. .. " Ten-Cent Hand B o oks, Nos. . . . . . . . . Name .......... ......... ...... Stre et a n d No ....... Town . State ................ ..


Books T ell You These Everyth in g! .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA I Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cove r. Most of the books are also profus e ly illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that any child. can thoroughly understand t'hem. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjeclis m entioned THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS F ROl\I THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY THREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO i\lESi\lERIZE.-Containing the most ap p r oved method s of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of disea ses by anim'.li 1:1'.lgnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A U. S., aut!Jor of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No 82. IIOW TO DO PALi\IISTRY.-Containing the most ap proved methods of r eading the lin es on the hand, tog ethe r with a full explanation of t heir meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the k0y for telling character by the bumps on the head. By Leo Hugo Koch, A. C S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and in structive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the mo3t approved methods whi c h are employed by the l eading hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S. SPORTING No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH.-The mos t complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains full in structions about gl1ns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game and fi h. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully illustrated. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, together with in structi ons on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE. A complete treatise <>n the horse. D esc ribing the most usefu l horses for business, the best horses for the road; also valuable recipes for d iseases pecaliar to the horse. No. 48. HOW '.l.'0 BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A handy book for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing tbem. Fully illustrated. By C Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of human destiny; also the true mean ing of almost any kind of dreams, together with charms, ceremonies, and curious gam es of cards. A complete book No. 23. HOW 'l'O EXPLAIN DREAi\IS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. '.!.'his little book giv e s the explanation to all kinds of dreams together wi t h lucky and unlucky Jays, and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. No. 28. HOW TO 'l'ElLL FOR'.l.'UNES.-Every one is desirous of k nowing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or pov erty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one' and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your fri ends No. 76. HOW TO '.rELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND. Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, o r the secret of palmi stry. Also the secret of telling future events b y aid of moles, murks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6 HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.-Giving full in struction for the use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizont a l bat"S and various other methods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing over sixty illustrations. Every boy can beco me strong anJ healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. No. 10. IIOW TO BO:X:.-The art of self-defense made easy. 0ontaining o ver thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the dilfer ent positi ons of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box wi thout an instru cto r. No 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Containing full instructions for all kin ds of gymnastic sports and athletic e:x:ercises. Embracing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book. No. 34. HOW 'l'O FENCE.-Containing full instruction for fencing and th e use of the broadswo:J; also instruction in archery. Described with to;n'nty-<>ne practical illustrations, giving the best po3itions in fencing. A complete book. TRICKS WITH CARDS. No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Containing explanations of t'he general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of card tricks with 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. N?. 72 HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Em bracmg all of the and most d ecepti ve card tricks, with il lustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 77. HOW TO DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS. deceptive Card '.l.'l'icks as performed by leading conjurors and mag1c1a.ns. Arranged for home amusement. Fully illustrated. MAGIC. No. 2. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book o f magic and card containing full instruction on all the leading card trtcks of the also mos t popular magical illusions as perfo1med by our: l ea?mg mag1crnns ; evE;rY boy should obtain a. copy of this book, as it will both amuse and mstruct. No .. 22. '.l.'0 DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's second sight explamed b)'. his former Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues were earned on between the magician and the boy on the stage; also giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of second sight. No. 43. HOW TO BECOl\IE A MAGICIAN.-Containing the gran!Iest assorti;nent ?f illusions ever placed before the pubhc Also tricks with cards. mcantations, etc. No. GS: HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TlUCKS.-Containing over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrnteJ. No. 6!>. HOW '1'0 DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.-Containing ove r of the latest and best tricks used by magi cians. Also oontain m&:.the secret of second sight. E\1lly illustrated. By A. Anderson . 70. HOW '.f'O 1\1;\KE MAGIC '.l.'OYS.-Containing full d1rect1ons for makmg l\1ag1c 'l'oys and devices of many kinds. B y A. Anderson. Fully illustrnted. No. 73 .. HOW: '1'0 J?O THICKS WITH NUMBERS.-Showing many curious with figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. _No. 7.5. IIO\Y TO A CONJUROR. -Containing tri_cks Domm?s, Dice, Cups anJ Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing th1rty-s1x 11lustra t1ons. By A. Anderson. No. 78. TO DO '.rHEJ _BLACK ART.-Containing a com plete description of the m yste ries of Magic and Sleight of Hand, together with many wonderful experiments. By A. Anderson Illustrated. MECHANICAL. No. 29. HOW '.I'O AN INVENTOR.-Every bo y how o,ri_gmated. 'l'his book explains them all, examples. Ill electri,c1ty, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, mechamcs, etc. 'Ihe most instructive book published. No. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.-Containing full 11;istruct1ons how to procee d in order to become a locomotive en g1!1cer; also diri:cti_ons for buildi_ng a model locomotive ; together with a full d esc npt10n of everythmg an engineer shouldi know. No. 57 HOW TO J\IAKE MUSICAL INSTRUME TTS.-Full directions how to maki: a B_anjo, Violin, Zithe r, lEolian Harp, Xylo phone and other muSJcal mstruments; together with a brief de scription of nearly every musical instrument used in ancient or modern limes. Profusely lllustruted. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald, fo r twenty years bandmaster o( the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW TO A i\IAGIC LANTERN.-Containing a description of the la11tern, together wi t h its history and invention. Also full directions for i ts use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. B.v John All e n No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Containing 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 directions for writing love-l etters, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies o::i. all subjects; also letters of introduction, notes a'nd requ ests. No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LET'l'ERS TO GENTLEMEN. Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letter s for instruction No. 53. HOW TO WRITT.I] LE'rTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you how to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother, employer; and, in fact, everybod y and any body you wish to write to. Every young man and every young lady in the lllnd sbo11Jd havi this book. No. 74. HOW '.l.' 0 WRITEl LETTERS CORREOTLY.-Con taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; nlso rules for punctuation and composition, with specimen btters.


' THE STAGE. No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a great variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous end men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No .. THE OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. Conta1;iing a val'led asso,rtn;ient of stump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish Also end mens Jokes. the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND J9Kl!J new a?d very instructive. Every boy shou ld obtam this book, as it contams full instructions for or ganiz i ng an amateur minstrel troupe. No. 65 M ULDOON'S JOKES.-This is one of the most original Joke ever and it is brimful of wit aud humor. It contams a large collect10n of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc . of Terrence Muldoon, the great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the Ever! boy .who can enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy 1mmed 1ately. No .. 79. HQW TO BECOl\IE AN ACTOR.-Oontaining com plete mstructions how to make up for various characters on the s,tage_; w i t h the duties of t he Stage l\fanager, Prompter, :Scemc Artist and Property Man. By a prominent Stage Manager. N?. 80. GUS WILLIAMS' JOKE BOOK.-Containing the lat est Jok es, anecdotes and funny stories of this worlrl-renowned and ever popular Uer!Il!!-n comerlian. Sixty-four pages; handsome colored cover contammg a half-tone photo of the author. HOUSEKEEPING. NC! 16. H9W TO KEEP A WIND.OW GARDEN.-Containing full rnstruct10ns fo1 constructmg a wmdow garden either in town or country, and the most approved methods for raising beautiful f!owers at homo. The most complete book of the kind ever pub lish ed No. 30. HOW TO COOK.-One of the most instructive books on cook ing ever published. It. contains. recipes for cook in g meats, fish, game, and oysters; also pies, puddmgs, cakes and all kinds of pastry, and a gr'and collection of recipes by one of our most popular cooks. No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSEl-It contains information for eve r ybody, boys, girls, men and women; it will teach you how to make almost auytbing 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 de scription of the wonderful uses of electricity and electro magnetism together with full instructions for making Electric Toys, Batteries: etc. By George Trebel, A. M., M. D. Containing over fifty il lustrations. No. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL l\IACHINES.-Con taining full 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 '1'0 DO ELEC'I'RICAL 'I'RICE;S.-Containing a large collection of instructive and highly amusing electrical tricks, togeth e r with illustralions. By A. Anderson. No: 31. HOW T9 .BECOME A SPEAKER.-Containing foul'" teen 1llustrat1ons, g1vmg the diffe rent positions requisite to become a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular authors of prose and poetry, arranged in the most simple and concise manner possible. No. 49. HOW TO DElBA'I'E.-Giving rules for conduct i ng d e bates, outlmes for debates, questions for discussion and the best sources for procuring information on the question s given SOCIETY. No. 3. HOW TO FLIRT.-The arts and wiles of flirta tion are fully exp lain ed by this little book. Besides the various methods of har.dkerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation it con a _full list of the language and sentiment of flow e rs, ;;hi ch is m_terestmg to everybody, both old and young. You c;m::iot be happy w1thullt one. No. 4. HOW TO DANCE is the title of a ne17 an:!tions in use Dutch should know to become an officer in the United States Navy. Co!ll diale ct, French dialect, Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together piled and written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become with many standard readings. West Point Military Cadet. PRICE 10 CENTS-EACH, OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS. Address FRANK TOUSEY! Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.


FRANK MANLEY'S W.EEKLY Good Stories of Young Athletes BY "PHYSICAL DIRECTOR" A J2=PAGE BOOK FOR 5 CENTS Issued Every Prida.y Handsome Colored Covers These intensely interesting stories describe the adventures of Frank Manley, a plucky young athlete, who tries to excel in all kinds of games and pastimes. Each number contains a story of manly sports, replete with lively incidents, dramatic situations and a sparkle of humor. Every popular game will be featured in the succeeding stories such as base b all, skating, wrestling, etc. Not only are these stories the very best, but they teach you how to become strong and healthy. You can learn to become a trained athlete by reading the valuable information on physical culture they contain. From time to time the wonderful Japanese methods of self-protection, called Jiu-Jitsu, will be explained. A page is devoted to advice on healthy exercises, and questions on athletic subjects. are cheerfully answered by the author "PHYSICAL DIRECTOR." J& J& J& J& J& J& J& J& J& JC J& J& J& .,oi J& J& J& J& JC J& JC JC J& J& J& J& JC JC J& J& JC JC J& JC JC ..,-CJ& JC J& J& JC No. 1 Frank Manley's Real-Fight; or1 What the Push-ball No. 5 Frank Manley's Great Line-Up; or, the Woodstock Game Brought About. I Eleven on the Jump. No. 2 Frank Manley's Lightning Track; or, Speed's Part in a No. 6 Frank Manley's Prize Tackle; or, The Football Tac-Great Crisis. tics that Won. No. 3 Frank M?.nie1s Amazing Vault; or, Pole and Brains No. 7 Frank Manley's Mad Scrimmage; or, The Trick that in Deadly Ir:arnest. Dazed Bradford. No. 4 Frank Manley's Gridiron Grill ; or, the Try-Out for Foot-No. 8 Frank Manley's Lion-Hearted Rush; or, Staking Life ball Grit. on the Outcome. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. The Young Athlete's Weekly BE STBONGI By "PHYSICAL DIRECTOR" LATEST ISSUES: 8 Manley' s Huma11 Ladder; or, 'l'be Quickest Climb on Record. t Frank Manley's Protege; or, Jack Winston, Great Little Athlete. 10 Frank Manley's Otr Day; or, 'l'be Greatest Strain in His Career. 11 Frank. Manley on Deck; or, At Work at Indoor Baseball. 1:i Frank Manley At the Bat; or, "The Up-and-at-'em Boys" on the Diamond. 13 Frank Manley's Hard Home Hit; or, 'l'be Play That Surprised the Bradfords. 14 Frank Manley in the Box; or, The Curve 'bat Rattled Bradford. 15 .!frank Manley's Scratch Hit; or, 'l'be Luck of "'l'be Up-and-at' em Boye." BEBEALTBYI 22 Frank Manley's Coaching; or, The Great Game that "Jackets" Pitched. 23 Frank. Manley's First League Game; or, The Fourth of July Battle With Bradford. 24 F1ank Manley's Match with Giants; or, The Great Game With the Alton "Gr ow n -U ps. 25 Frank Manley's Training Camp ; or, Getting In Trim for the Greatest llall Game. 26 Frank Manley's Substitute Nine; or, A Game of Pure Grit. 27 Frank Manley's Longest Swim; or, Battling with Bcadford In the Water. 28 l <'rank Manley's Bunch Qf. Hits; or, Breaking tbe Season's Batting Record. 29 Frank Manley's Double Game; or, The Wonderful Four-Team Match. 16 Frank Manley's Double Play; or, The Game Tbat Brougbt Fortune. 17 Frank Manley' s All-around Game; or, Playing All the Nine Posi tlons. 18 Frank Manley's Eight-Oared Crew; or, 'l'od Owen's Decoration Day 30 Frank Manley' s Summer Meet; or, "'l'rylng Out" the Bradtords. Regatta. 31 Frank Manley at H i s Wits' End; or, Playing Against a Bribed Um19. Frank Manley's Earned Run; or, The Sprint That Won a C:up. pire. 20 Frank Manley's Triple Play; or, The Only Hope of the Nine. 32 Frank Manley's Last Ball Game; or, The Season's Exciting Good 21 l!'rank Manley's Training 'l'able; or, Whipping the Nine into Shape. Bye to the Diamond. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY., Publisher., 24 Union Square, 1'1ew York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure th em from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this ofllce direct. Cut out and ftll 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. POS'rAGE S '.rAMPS 'rAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union New York. ......................... 190 DEAR Srn-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ......................................................... ....... " FRANK MANLEY'S WEEKLY, Nos.; ................................................ .. " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ................................................. ........ " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ..................................................... "... " PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ............................................................. " SECRET SERVICE, ............................................................... . " THE YOUNG ATHLETE'S WEEKLY, Nos ................... .......................... " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ............................................................. N am.e .................... Street and No .................. Town ............ State ....


. Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF MADE MAN ) . ' I Handsome Colored Cover&. 32 Pages of Reading Matter .. .-PRICE 5 CENTS A COPY .._ _.. A New One Issued Every Friday -. This vVeekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame al'ld fortune by their abiMy to take atlyantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the l ives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a boy of p l uck, perseverance and bra.ins can become famous and wea l thy. Every one of this series con tains a good. mora l tone, which makes "Fame and Fortune Week ly" a magazine for the ho.me, although each number is repl ete with exciting adventures. 'l'he storieis are the yery best obtaina ble, the illustrati ons :ue by expert ar.tists, and every effort is constantly being made to if .. make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. J I THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE FIRST EIGHT TITLES AND DATES OF ISSUE No. 1.-A Lucky Deal ; o r, T h e Cutes t Bo y in Wall S t reet 2.-Born to Good Luck ; or, The Boy Who Succeeded Issued Oct. 6 th 3.-A Corner in Corn; o r How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 4 A Game of Cha nce; or The Boy Who Won Out '' 5.-Hard to Beat ; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street '' 6.-Building a Rail r oad ; or, The Young Contractors o f Lakeview 7.-Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River 8.-The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy " 13th " 20t h " 2 7th Nov. 3rd " 10th " 1 7 t h " 24th For sale by all newdealer s or vrill be sent to any addre s s on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher 24 Union Square, New York IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our L i braries and cannot procure ihem from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following Orde r B lank and send it t o us with the price ef the books you want and we vrill send them to you by return mail. POST AGE ST AM.PST AK.EN THE SAME AS MONEY, FRANK TOUSEY, P.ublisher, 2 Union Square, New York. ........................ 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: ... copies of WORK AND Nos .................... ......... .............................. ... " FA:!\fE AND FORTUNE Nos ....... ............... ............... ........ . '' '' FRA .Nl( \\TEEKL Y, .... .......................... ...... . ........... " WILD \VEST WEEKLY, NOS .. .................... .... ..... " THE L IBERTY BOYS OF '76, NOS ................... . .. ... " PLUCI\: AND LUCK, Nos .............................. ... ............................ " SECRET SERVICE, NOS .......... . .......... ................ .... " YOUNG ATI-ILETE'S WEEKLY, Nos ......... ........................... .............. " TEN-CENT HANDBOOKS, Nos ................ ........................................ N o m e ......................... Streat and N o ................. . Tow.n. . . . .. .. State ...........


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