A diamond in the rough, or, A brave boy's start in life


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A diamond in the rough, or, A brave boy's start in life

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Title:
A diamond in the rough, or, A brave boy's start in life
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
Creator:
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 pages)

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
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.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00028 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.28 ( USFLDC Handle )
031035331 ( ALEPH )
244392816 ( OCLC )

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'i'l!S'e-F B()YS wno MAKE .MQl--l't:Y. The boy ducked nimbly and then tackled the ruffian low down, football fashion. The consequence was the fellow lost his balance and measured his length upon the ground, while the valise, containing the stolen property, went flying several feet away.

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Fame.and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY lame d Wee kly-BY Subscription $2.50 per_ year Entered according to Act of Congreas, in the year 1905, in tile oJ1f,ce of the Librarian of Cong ress, Wa.
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2 A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH "Well," he growled, sullenly, "I've let him go, and now you'll let me see you home, won't you?" A few minutes ag o a fri e n d ly. word fr o m the girl would have thrilled his hidebound nature, n 6 w it w as al l d iff e r ent. He spoke the words eagerly, moistening his dry lips with his tongue, like some animal contemplating a de l icious morsel. "No, I won't." The refusal was short, sharp and to the point. Annie had no use for l\ioses Wyse, and she wanted him to understand that particular fact. The boy's face turned a livid, unhealthy color, for her words stung him. "You wouldn't say that to Fred King," he snarled, in an ugly tone, while his eyes blazed with a jealous fury, "and he's only a common engineer's helper, while I-" "Stop!" she exclaimed, with a flash of her eye which, for a t, disconcerted him. "You shan't say a word against him in my presence You wouldn't dare do it before his face." "Yah !"he hissed, vindictively. "I hate him!" "Then you're the only one i n the v ill age who does," she retorted, spiritedly. "Am I?" "Yes. Why do you dislike him? Hasn't he always treated you fairly?" "No, he hasn't." "Who saved you from the fangs of Anderson's dog a few months ago?" '"I don't care I hate him because he likes you, and you walk with him and give me the cold shake. You think I ain't got no feelin's. You think you kin walk over me and wipe it in. But you can't, I tell you. I won't stanc1 it. I'll git even with him, and mebbe with you, too, ef you don't look out He shook his burly head, menacingly, like a wild bull in a Spanish arena when on the point of charging upon the toreador. Annie tossed her heac1 with a look of supreme contempt. Moses noticrc1 the action, and it roused all the evil that was in him He took a step toward her anc1 grasped her by the wrist "Do you know I've a good mind to throw you into the river?" he hissed. There was such a malevolent intensity in his words that the girl shrank back in spite of her natural courage He was quick to perceive the effect he had produced, and an uncontrollable desire to follo w up his advantage took possession of him. A few moments before he had been foiled by her in his attempt to play the bully with little Eddie Foster. She had contemptuously refu.!!ed his r equetit And-he knew she liked Fred King, and would be pro u d to let that boy, even i n his oil-soake d a n d cinder stained overalls and j u mper, see h e r on h e r rM.d to h e r f athe r 's cottage. The very thought of such a thin g was en o ug h to make Wyse furious "Do you know, I'd just as l ief do s o methin' to g i t square with you as not," he cried, glaring down i nto h er face. "I like you better'n King ever tho ught of, but I can't stand for you to ride a high horse with me. The more 1 like you the more I kin hate you, too. If you won't be seen with me, I'll swear you sha n t w i t h h i m. I ll kill hi m fir st, and you, tqo!" "Moses Wyse, how d are you!" c r ied t h e w h ite-faced girl, struggling to free her wrist from his viselike grip "Oh, I dare, all right he g r itted, with a sardonic chuckle. "You're a coward, and I'll never notice you again as long as I live!" "You think you won't," he snarled "You'll promiRe right now to let me go home with you and treat me better in the future or--" He made a significant gesture toward the swiftly r olling water. "I'll do nothing of the kind," she replied, desperate ly. "Yes, you will he cried, forcing her backward "Let me go, Moses Wyse!" "When you answer the way I want." He seized her other wrist and the no w frightened girl u ttercc1 a: shrill scream. "Hang it! what did you do that for?" he snarled "Do you want me to choke you?" Annie had never seen him in such a mood before He made no effort now to disguise the true instincts of his evil nature. The mask was off, and she saw him as h e r eal ly was-a thoroughly unprincipled young l'asca l. "Moses Wyse, are yon mad?" "Mebbe I am. And ef I am it's all 'cau se of you." "My father will make you feel sorry for this,'' s h e said "Yah I My old man won't let him to u c h me." "Let me go!" "Will you do as I wan t y ou to?" "No!" "Then I'll--" Now he thought she was afraid of him and he would get square with her since she had refused to. walk up the street with him. ''You'll do w"]lat, Itl:oses Wyse?" said a clea r strong_ voice in his ear, as a firm hand was l aid o n his shou l der "Fred King '1 cried Annie, with a little shriek o f de The time and circumstances seemed to be propitious. They were alone together on the bank of the Susque hanna. Night was falling, and there was little fear of interrup tion, for the machinery was silent in the almost deserted I colliery, a few htindred feet away . I light "You!" gritted the ctacker boss's son, the fire o f a sullen hatred blazing in his eyes. "Yes And jest you let Annie Marsh a l one." "And supposin' I won't?" retorted Moses, ferocious l y "If you won't, I'll make you!" r eplied the st alwar t y outh

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A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH \1 handsome features were streaked with evidences of his calling It was an intense moment as the two boys faced each other. OHAPTER II. IN WHIOH MOSES WYSE GETS THE WORST OF IT.-Fred King was one of nature's young noblemen-a dia mond ill the rough. lle was sixteen years of age, strong, healthy and every inch the man, from the crown of his curly brown head to the soles of his well-worn shoes. All he needed was the polish afforded by education and contact with good society. At the early age of ten the sttdden death of his father in the mines forced him to go to work as a slate-picker in the dense, dusty atmosphere of the Black Diamond breaker, where for many months he spent long hours daily, astride of a narrow ohute, so.rting the slate from the coal, as both descended in continuous streams from the massive screens through which they had been sifted in fragments. Hi;; companions then had been boys of his own age, many of whom were prematurely stunted and eventually broken in health by the life th&y were compelled to lead. But Fred survived this terrible period in his young ca reer, th9ugh he more than once narrowly escaped the awful fate which more than one of the weaker boys, of being swept from. the chute into the pockets-receptacles into which the coal, when fteed from all impurities, ran prior to being loaded into the railroad cars for transporta. tion t0 the market. King was such a sJnny-faced lad that he became a general favorite, not only at the Black Diamon!i colliery, but throughout the little mining village ls well, and when his mother died, leaving him an orphan, he did not care to leave the place. After a time, the engineer, who had taken a great fancy to him, managed to have him assigned to the furnace-room as a sort of helper. Here he was employed to do the lowest and dirtiest work in the place-to wheel the refuse to the cinder heap, then to scrape the clinkers and scale from inside of the boilers on Sundays and such other days when the engines were shut down. Recently he had been promoted to the engine-room, where he oiled the cups, cleaned the brass and otheP parts of the machinery, and attended to such other duties as the job called for. John Marsh, the engineer, began to instruct him in all the mysteries of the big engine which ran the machinery of the colliery. He proposed to make the boy an able assistant and, event ually, a first-class engineer like himself. It was an opportunity which was thus presenied to Freq to forge his way to the front in a splendid calling. Fred King had become acquainted with Annie Marsh when he first went into the boiler-room, and that acquaint ance had steadily ripened, with John Marsh's approval, until the young people got upon a very cordi'al footing. The boy was always welcomed at the Mar s h cottage, for he was a modest fellow, and never presumed upon the standing he had attained. "I would give a great deal to have a son like him," Mr. Marsh more than once said to his wife, and the good woman was in full sympathy with this feeling. Moses Wyse, who persistently tried to force his undesir able attentions on Annie, was, on the contrary, not looked upon with favor by the girl's parents, nor, as we have seen, by Miss Marsh herself. Therefore, 11foses hated Fred, and had registered a vow to do him up at the first opportunity-not fairly and above board, but on the quiet, if he could, for Moses had a whole some respect for Fred's prowess. As we have said, the two boys stood face to face that even ing on the dusky banks of the Susquehanna, Moses Wyse still holding Annie Marsh by the wrists. "You'll make me, will you?" snarled Moses, whose anger had made him uncommonly bold. Fred didn't waste another word upon him, but grabbing his wrists with a grip of steel, made him release the girl. "I'll kill you yelled the young villain, making a furi ous hmge at Fred, which the boy easily avoided by stepping quickly to one side. "I don't think you will," answered King, coolly. "I will! I will, if I die for it!" screamed Moses, livid with passion. I woulllnt get so excited if I were you," said the other, placidly Moses sprang at him furiously and tried to strike him in ihe face. l Fred wardeu off the blow, but made no attempt to re taliate. lI is pas s i vencss encouraged the loutish boy to further effort He brought his drength into full play, and Fred woke up to the fact that matters were going altogether too far to be pleasant. "Yoa will h aye it, eh?" Smash! 1\ioses got a straight in the eye. For the next miEute it was nip and tuck betwe en them, Fred catching a s taggering thump on the chest from 11ia enemy's big fis t. Then biff Wyse cat1ght it under the chin and his head went back with a j erk. "Have you had enough?" asked Fred, as Moses put his hands to his ja"' and hung back. The little villain made no reply, his bulging eyes fairly snapping with fury. '1, hen he suddenly rushed a yard away, stooped down,

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4 A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. picked up a big chunk of slate and let it drive full at Fred's head. Only the quickest kind of a duck saved the boy from what must have proved a fatal blow. As it was, one of the sharp corners of the missile tore a jagged wound along the side of his head, from which the blood started freely. Annie, who had been watching the conflict with anxious eyes, uttered a suppressed scream and ran to Fred. The cowardly act, however, so angered King that he rushed upon Moses with compressed lips that told how fully aroused he was. It was thump, biff, Emash, thump for the next minute, and when he let up, young Wyse was reduced to a cowering wreck, and fairly begged for quarter. "Get out of here!" cried Fred, unmistakably in earnest. "The next time you run up against thatway you'll have to be shovelled into a cart and carried home. Go, do you hear!" Moses heard, understood, and slunk away like the cur he was, but his black little heart was full of hate and an un quenchable desire to get square with the boy who had so thoroughly humiliated him in the presence ot Annie Marsh. "When I went to the door of the engine-room to get a basin of water to wash up, I heard you scream," said Fred, in explanation of his presence on the scene, as he took one of the girl's hands in his to look at her wrist, chafed by Moses Wyse's rough grasp. "I'm so glad you came," she said, earnestly; "but, oh, so sorry you have been hurt in my behalf. You are bleeding dreadfully," she added, anxiously. "Can't I do something to stop the blood ?" "It doesn't amount i.o anythin'/' he answered, carelessly. "I will go with you to the engine-house and bathe and bind 1t up for you," she said, eagerly. "Well," he replied, pleased with the concern she showed, "come along." They walked, hand-in-hand, to the engine-room, like a couple of children, and then he got a basin of warm water and a bar of yellow soap. He washed the blood out 0 his hair and from the wound roughly, and after that removed the grime and oil from his face and driectit with a coarse towel. After that he to the gentle ministrations of Annie, who thoroughly cleansed the wound and bound it up with his handkerchief. "There, you look much better now, Fred," she said, smiling into his face. "Thanks, Annie; that's as good as a doctor could hav e done." "You had better go to the druggist and have it properly attended to." "I will if you'll go along," he bargained, with a cheerful grin. "Why, of course I will, if you wish me to." "It's a bargain. Wait till I pull off my workin' -suit and we'll start." --.. ---------.. Annie's father had gone home half an hour before, and but for the trouble Fied himself would have been at his lodgings eating supper by this time. "Mother will certainly be wondering what has become of me," she said, as they started off into the village. "Then I guess I'd better not keep you," said Fred, re gretfully. "A few minutes more won't make any difference," she replied, iightly. "Row did yo:u come across Moses?" he asked, curiously. "I caught him beating little Eddie :'aster, and it made me so angry that I interfered and made him let the boy go." "Good for you!" grinned Fred, admiringly. "Then he wanted to walk home with me," she went on, tossing her head disdainfully. "Just as if I would permit him to do so." "You don't like him?" "No, I don't. Haven't I told you so before?" "I guess you have, and I don't blame you." "He's a disagreeable, mean-spirited boy," she said, out spokenly. "The idea of him grabbing me by the two wrists and wanting to make me do as he wished. What do you suppose he threatene'd to do?" she added, indignantly. "What?" "Why, throw me into the river." "You don't mean it!" exclaimed Fred, somewhat aston ished. "He said he had a good mind to do that, and he spoke earnestly enough to frighten me. When he pushed me back, as if he really intended to carry out his threat. I screamed." "He's gettin' to be as bad as his father," said Fred. "I was up in the screen-room the other day, and the way Jake Wyse was beatin' the little' kids would have made your blood boil. It was bad enough in my time, but it's worse under Jake. He acts like a ravin' demon with those little slate-pickers." I "Poor little f ellows, they have a hard time of it," she said, a shudder. Then they entered the drugstore, and the druggist fixed Fred up in good shape. A few minutes later the boy bade Annie good night at the entrance to the lane, a stone's throw from her home, and continued on to his own lodgings. CHAPTER III. lN WHICH A PLOT IS HATCHED AGAINST JOIIN l\IARSH. "You're a object, you are!" said Mr. Wyse, Senior, as his hulking son Moses slouched into the house after the mix-up with Fred King. The Wyse family was at supper, Jake himself being in ihe act of carving a rather tough steak, while the three little Wyses sat around the board in a state of great expectation, each secretly hoping he would get the biggest piece, and Mrs. Jake was pouring the tea

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A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. "What's happened to yer ?" continued the head of the house as Moses .flung his cap into a convenient corner and sneaked into his chair. ''Got hurt,'' replied Moses, ungraciously. "Ye r did, did yer? Well, yer ain't got no bizness)o git hurt. I'llsee yer in the woodshed after supper." The significance of the final sentence caused Moses to grow pale. "Fred King licked me, if you want to know," he said, sullenly. "Fred King!" snarled Wyse, Senior, with an ominous glitter in his eye. "That whelp!" with a hoarse roar. "I only wish I'd been boss of the screen-room when he worked there!" and Jake wagged his head, forbiddingly. "I'd have taken the hide off him." From which it may easily be understood that Jake Wyse, for some reason, did not have any great love for Fred King. "You ought to be big enough to put it all over that hound," went on Mr. Wyse, as he helped his hopeful to the smallest piece of steak. "M:ebbe I am, if I got a fair show." "Didn't you get a fair show?" "No, I d idn't. He struck me when I wasn't lookin'." "1-Ie did, did he?" snorted Jake, beginning to feel a sort of sympathy for his son. "Give me the partic'lars." Moses, who knew his father like a book, began to see a gleam of hope ahead, and with the view of turning his par ent's anger a way from himself, proceeded to give a highly varnished account of the affair down by the river. Needless to say, he represented himself as the victim of an unprovoked assault. "And King jumped on you just 'cause you wanted to walk home with that Marsh girl, is that it?" "That's it, dad." "If you can't handle him, I'll take the first chance and lick him myself," said Jake Wyse, after swallowing the greater part of a huge cup of tea at a gulp. "I wish you'd :fix him so Annie Marsh would give him the shake." "Mebbe I will. So she talks to him, does she?" "Yes, she does," in a tone which would imply that Moses regarded this as a real grievance. "What do you care? She ain't the only gal in this here village." "She's the best-loo kin', and dresses the nicest, too." "Yahl" snarled his father. "I ain't got no use for nothin' connected with John Marsh. He's proud and stuck up." "That's right, Jake," interposed the amiable spouse, with a snap of the eye, "Misses Marsh don't think I'm good enough to 'sociate with." "Who said so?" roared Jake, glaring at Mrs. Jake, as if he scented fresh fuel for his ill humor to feed upon. "Well, I heerd so," answered Mrs. Jake, vaguely. "Those Marshes make me sick," sputtered Jake, as though he was the censor of the village. "They try to make out they're better'n other folks. John Marsh thinks himself too good to drop into the 'Miners' Retreat' for his glaiS of beer of a night. Has it brought to his house instead. He told Gummitt, the landlord, the other day, that his house was the curse of the village. That be was ma.king drunk ards of honest miners, and takin' the bread out of their families' mouths. I go there reg'larly, and I don't take the bread oufr your nor the kids' mouths, do I, Mrs. Wyse?" "Oh, dear, no!" Mrs. Jake hastened to reply. "The idea "There!" and Jake brought his hand down on the table, as if he had clinched the argument in the right way. "\\'he re's my hat?" he asked, as he rose from the table. "Where you left it, I s'pose," answered Mrs. Jake. "IYhere did I leave it?" "Dunno. Are you goin' out?" "Yes, I'm goin' out. What did you s'posfl when I asked for my hat? That I was goin' to bed?" with some sarcasm. "Here you, Moses, jest you hunt my hat up and be quick bout it, or I'll take you out in the woodshed and dust your jacket for you, as I intended." Moses got a hustle on himself, and was so fortunate as to find his father's hat under his own. Jake Wyse clapped it on his head, lighted his dirty stump of a pipe and walked out of the door, making a beeline for the "Miners' Retreat,'' the eyesore of the mining village. The cracker boss was an early bird at the dram-shop, and this gave him the opportunity of a long and confidential chat with Gummitt, the proprietor, for whom he had con s iderable of a liking. It s e e m s there had been some talk among the better peo pl<::_ of the village of requesting Mr. Gummitt, a beetle browed Englishman, to remove to a more congenial locality, and Gummitt naturally resented this interference with litis rights. He was making money, and didn't want to move. "You kin lay it all to John Marsh," said Jake Wy1ie, wagging his head, sagely. E s a wiper," said Gummitt, bringing his :fist down upon the bar with a force that set the glasses upon it all of a jingle. He meant viper, but, unfortunately, Gummitt's language was not of the first order. "Wot right has 'e to go round settin' people agin me, that's wot I want to know?" asked the Englishman, with a look of virtuous indignation. "He ain't got no right," said Jake Wyse, pouring out a fresh glass of whiskey for himself and then forgetting to pay for it. "Of course 'e ain't. If the miners want to come in 'ere for a glass o' beer, or summut stronger, ain't they got the right to? I awsk you?" Sure they have." "It ain't no bizness o' mine if they spend more'n they kin e.fford over the bar. This 'ere is Hamerica, where ev'ry individool is 'is hown boss. They come in 'ere of their hown haccord, don't they? I don't go hout an' drive 'em hin with a club, do Hi? This bein' a free country I 'ave my rights, too, even hif I did come from the other side, which I hain't ashamed of."

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6 A DJ Lr TUE ROUGH. "That's right," agrccl1 J akc, emptying his glass. "Take another," saitl Gurnmilt, pushing the bottle to ward him "Hit won't cost }'OU nothin'. I look on you as a What would you had wise me i.o do?" ''Ii it was me, Gummitt," said Jake, in a confidential whisper, as he poured out another dram, "I'd try and do somcthin' io get square with John J\farsh." 'Ow kin I do it?" asked the proprietor of the Retreat, looking hard at the cracker boss. "Arc you willin' to try?" said Wyse, regarding the Eng lishman narrowly "IIi'm willin' to do hanythink wot won't get found out." "Ii you're game, I'm ready to help you," said Jake, in a low tone. "I've got it in for John Marsh myself, and I'm o:il.v waitin' f1-1r a chance to put it up to him." "Hare 3 i ou !'" said the Englishman, eagerly. "Then we'll join ands i you say so, hand put 'im hout of bizness hif we kin.'' The bargain was struck on the spot and sealed with another t1rink. 'Ave you got hany plan?" asked Gummitt. "I have." "\Yotisit?" "He's put all of his earnin's into that fine cottage he l ires in up the lane You've seen it, haven't you?" "Hi 'ave." "The insurance ran out to-day noon, and the letter he \\T; t to the comp'ny to have it renewed never reached the l:o: I-office." "\Y'y not?" 'Cause I got hold of it-see?" Jake wyse pu llcd an envelope out of his pocket, addressed to the William Penn Fire Insurance Co., of Philadelphia, nnd showed the enclosures, an unsigned receipt and a money-order for the amount shown on it." "Ile ought to have registered that letter. That's where he was a fool. Now, if his house burns down to-night he'll lose with the mortgage standin' agin the land, which 11ill wipe him out." "But 'is 'ouse hain't likely to burn down to-night," said Gurnmitt not, unless you an' me put a match to it." Gm11mitt "lrnsn't so thick he couldn't understand what the cracker boss was driving at, and it took his breath for the moment. "Hit's a State prison hoffense," he said, in a hushed tone. "X ot unless you get caught." G nm.mitt regarded the proposition with some uneasiness. w\r ot hare the chances?" he asked. "l think it's easy," said Jake, coolly. "Come into my parlor an' Ill let the old 'ooman wait hon the c u s tomers," said Gumrnitt, leading the way. \Yith a bottle of whiskey before them they went over the scheme, and, 9'ftrr an hour's confab, came to an agree ment to put it into effect that night. rrhen the two rascals parted, to meet again at midnight. CIJAP'rEn JV. A)fHUSH '.l'JJAT DlDN"r WOHK, AND WUA'r a .nm \Yhcn Freel King reached his lodgings that evening he found a note from one of his old slate-picker frietids, who had goi: a job in Wilkesbarrc, asking him to come and see him i.hat night, if The boy considered the question while eating his sup per, and finally decided to go. As he pasFecl by the "Miners' Retreat," he observed Moses Wyse and a pal hanging around on the outside of the dramshop The bully saw him and scowled darkly Just then an acquaintance of" Fred's came along and asked him where he was going "To Wilkcsbarre," he replied. "It'll be late before you get back, won't it?" said his friend. "I guess it will," admitted King, and with that they parted. Moses, however, had heard the brief conversation. It was close to one o'clock in the morning 'Yhen Fred came through the wood on the outskirts of the mining village Ile was whistling merrily to beguile the lonesomeness of his walk. It was not a very bright night, as there was no moon, and the wind soughed through the leaves and branches. A timid person wouldn't have relished his surroundings, but Fred was built of sterner stuff, and he plodded along as unconcerned as though he was on a crowded city thorough fare Suddenly something whizzed through the air and whisked his hat from his head as neatly as if sliced off with a knife "What's that?" cried the boy, stopping in his tracks and then looking after his hat, which had mlled against the hedge. Wh1z-zz A big chunk of coal almost brushed the bof s nose. ]'red started back, thoroughly startled at the vigor of the onslaught made upon him. A third missile passed a :foot above his head and went to pieces with a bang against the fence. It was certainly too serious to be pleasant for the victim of the fusillade Freel picked up bis hat, and, crouching in the shadow of the hedge, ran forward. Then the bombardment ceased, for the object of the at tack had disappeared King didn't go very !t.tr, but hid himself, awaiting further developments. Presently he heard a rustling along the further hedge, and then a dark patch came into indistinct view beside the opposite fence, and this was almost immediately joined by another Then he heard voices in conversation.

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A .DIAMOND IN THE ROUGII. Presently two forms vaulted over the fence and came out into the middle of the road. "Where did he go?" said a voice, which Fred was willing to swear belonged to Micky Gibbs, a pal of Moses Wyse. "Dunno," replied his companion, who Fred was sure must be Moses himself, as well as he could make out in the gloom "The rascals!" muttered the concealed boy. "It's like the cowards they are to get at me in such an underhanded way They must have learned I went to Wilkesbarre, ancl they have been waitin' here to ambush me on the way back. I'd like to pickle 'em for it." "He disappeared all of a sncldin,'' went on Micky Gibbs, "jest as if he dropped inter the ground Mcbbe he's hidin' along ther hedge." "Let's beat th& bushes ancl see," suggested 1\foses. "If 've catch him we'll lay it on to him good and thick. I don't care if we half kill him The two young rascals had come prepared for business, for Micky had a stout cudgel and Moses a wicked-looking whip Fred King heard every word they said, and their cowardly project made him mad "The miscralJle skunks!" he murmured. "They were goin' to knock me silly with chunks of coal first, and then finish me with a club and whip. I'll just give 'iim. a bit of surprise on my own hook and see how they like that." Moses and Micky were gradually approaching the spot where he was hidden, beating the hedge and bushes as they came like the stings of a hundred scorpions. "Micky, help me! Knock him down! He's killing me!" But there was no help for Moses, for Micky was out of it. .. Swish! Swish! Swi sh! "Wow! Wow! \Vo"!" screamed Moses, struggling to avoid the terrible punishment he was re c eiving. "You miserable coward! You sneak in the dark!" cried Fred, continuing to lay the \rhip on his without the least intermission "Don't! Don't! l)lcm'c c1ont You're killin' me!" screamed I\Ioses, in agony 0 pain. "Would you have had any mercy on me, you whelp? I believe you two meant to lay me out for keeps to-night. Sup posin' either of those bunk s of coal had hit me on the head, as you intenclcd they should, 11herc would I have been? You might hare killed me to-night down by the riwr 1rilh that piece of s late if your aim had been truer. this is what 1 get for sariu' u miserable hound like you from gettin' cbO\recl up by Anderson's bulldog!" Swish! Swish! "Oh! oh oh!" 11owlec1 :Moses, dropping on to his knees "I'll neYer touch yon ag'in I swedr it. Please stop! Ohl oh l oh!" 'J'he cowardly wr e tch, who had provided the imfrurnent of his own punishment, sbriekc4, and yelled, and 1rhined for mercy. But for once the u s ually generous-h e arted boy 1r::is Micky was several paces in advance of his companion, All th e anger and indignation of his nature "as and, of course reached Freel first b y this treach e rou s attack in the dark, and from whic h he placable. With a wild, Comanche like yell, King rose up suddenly had e s cap e d only by a miracle right under Micky's nose He bel i e,c d his two enemies would have fairly flayed him Young Gibbs was so startled that he let out a smiliar kind alive on c e they got him into their power, and thi s fcelin.; of yell and started to run. l e ft no pity in his heart for either of them Fred reached for him, snatched the stick out" of his hand Though 1\foses and shrieked at his fee t, he anc1 gave him a good crack over the head, stretching the tinur.d to whip him with an unsparing hand. ,.. Irish boy half stunned on the road rrhe young villain had never received such a p11;1ishmcd Moses was at first startled, too; but recovered himself in in his life, even from his father, who had very little mercy time to realize what had occurrecl, and he whistled the on him when chastising him. whip lash about Fred's ears, raising a livid wale upon one Suddenly Moses ceased his heart-rending cries, and his of his cheeks head fell over on his shoulder. King was thoroughly indignant before, but he was mad He hung limp and lifeless in Fred's grasp clea:v through now He had fainted under the severity of the drubbing in-A second stroke fell upon his back and shoulders with ilicted on him. vicious force, and Moses had drawn back his arm to inflict This fact brought King to his senses, and to the sober a third stroke, when F'red closed on him with a rush. realization that he had gone too far "You cur!" he cried, furiously. "I'll have no mercy on He l e t go of Moses an.cl young Wyse fell in a heap on you now!" lhe road. Whack Fred bent over him with sudden anxiety. Moses got it square in th e eye, and then the whip was The young ruffian's white face secmer1 to reproach him snatched from his grasp. for his fit of ungov ernable anger. "Take that, and that, and that, !" "Great Scott! I hope I haven't killed him!" Fred had Moses by the collar of his jacket and was rain'l'hc boy's voice died away in a horrified whisper. ing blow after blow upon his body and legs. He tore open Mos es' s shirt front and put his ear t o "Help! Help!" cried as each ;troke cut his flesh 1 his heart.

PAGE 9

' A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. "He's'breathin' all right," he muttered, with a sigh of asked Wyse, with a wicked look in his eyes. "Don't you relief. "I guess he's only fainted. I must have licked know you ought to be in bed?" him more'n I intended. he deserved every blow he "I've been to Wilkesbarre, and only just got back," said got. Why can't he leave me alone?" Fred, struggling to release himself. Then he noticed Micky rising to his feet a ya.rd or two "Hold hard, I think yer lyin'. I believe you've sot fire away. to Marsh's house yerself. It's my opinion yer ain't none too He, too, looked like a mighty sick boy. good or that kind of work. What do yer think, Gummitt ?" He had a lump the size of half a hen's egg on the side "Hi shouldn't be surprised hif 'e did," coincided the of the head where Fred had hit him with his own cudgel. landlord of the "Miners' Retreat," who detected the drift "Come here, Gibbs," Fred called, peremptorily. of Wys e's s cheme. The boy stared at him, but seemed rather dispos e d io "Vi'bat do you mean?" gasped Fred, amazed at such an take to his heels. acc:usation. "Come here, I'm not goin' to hit you again. You want to "I mean jus t what I say. Ain't we ketched you rn1;rnin' look after Moses, and see that he gets home." away from the fire?" I Micky came up s1owly and looked down at his associate. "Is he dead?" he asked, in a scared voice. "No--only fainted." "You must have given him an awful lickin'." "Not more'n was comin' to him," answered Fred, starting to walk off. At that moment a bright light suddenly lit up the near by landscape. "Great hornspoon !" cried Fred, as the glare of flames sifted through the trees. "That must be a house afire!" He started or the opening on the wood on a dead run. CHAPTER V. IX \\'lflC U FRED KIKG IS CHARGED WITH A SERIOUS CRIME. The glare of the fire grew brighter as Fred approached the entrance to the wood. Some house in the village was evidently in flames. "Runnin' away from it! Runnin' toward it you mean!" "Come, now, that won't wash, will it, Gum.mitt?" "Hi should think not,'' replied Gummitt, coming for ward. "You seen which way he was runnin', didn't you?" "Hi did." "So yer see, young feller, yer ketched in the act. Come along!" "Let me go, will you?" cried Fred, in desperate earnestness. "We couldn't think hoff hit," said Gummitt, laying his hand on the boy's other arm. "We're going to take you to the lock-hup." "I believe you set fire to the house yourselves!" ejacu lated Fred, angrily. "The hidea !" cried Gummitt, with a look of virtuous indignation. "Did you 'ear that, Wyse?" "You li ttlc imp roared Jake, giving his prisoner a rou g h shake which loosened Gummitt's grip. At th e same moment Freel gave a sudden tug and tore himself away from Wyse. "Grab him, Gummitt !" The Englishman tried to, but Fred, like an eel, wrig g led ollt of reach and was off toward the burning cottage like a shot. A moment later he dashed out clear of the trees, and his first glance at a familiar locality assured him that it was John Marsh's cottage that was burning. "Good gracious!" exclaimed the boy, "this is rough on 'E's got away,'' s aid Gummitt, in a tone of disappoint:M:a.rsh !" ment. Anxious to be on the scene of trouble as soon as he "Well let him go. We'll throw suspicion on him an : v could, Fred cut across by a by-lane, and before he knew \\"ay hy s a y in' we seen hi)TI runnin' from the fire.'' what was in his way, had stumbled over crouching "Hall right. And we can say that 'e changed 'is plan figure of a man. when 'e seen 'e was discovered and ran back a.gain to pre"Blast. yer Can't you see where yer goin' ?'' tend 'e just come to 'elp." "Jake Wyse!" exclaimed Freel, in surprise. "That's right. We'll have to go to the fire our s elves, "Yer know me, do yer ?" snarled the cracker boss, rising now. or it wouldn't look well." to his feet and laying hold of King. "Where yer runnin' So the tw o rascals started on a jog trot for John Marsh's to, you little imp?" cottage. "John Marsh's house is afire, and I'm goin' to see if I Quite a number of the miners had reached the sce ne of can't help put it out.'' the fire by the time Fred arrived. Jake Wyse turned his head in the direction of the flames, I They were only half dressed, and many of them had and then Fred noticed another figure snuggling down in 1 brought buckets, and a chain was hastily formed to pass the gloom. I the buckets full of water from the well to the flames. It was Gummitt, the Englishman. Of course, John Marsh and his wife had been aroused, "What yer doin' out here this hour in the mornin' ?" and both were outside.

PAGE 10

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. "Whe re's Annie?" asked Mrs. Marsh, anxiously, looking around and failing to see her daughter. As if in answer to her question the window of a room in the rear attic was thrown open and the girl's head ap peared at the opening. Mrs. Marsh uttered a scream. And well she might, for it was in this wing of the cot tage the fire had started, and from the looks of things Annie was cut off by the flames from escape by the narrow stairway inside, which led to the second floor and her par ents' sleeping-room. A big, strnpping miner, who was directing the bucket brigade, called .for a ladder. But it happened unfortunately that there was no ladder about the premises. "Father !" screamed Annie. "Save me!" Mrs. Mar s h had been detained from rushing into the cottage, but now her husband made the attempt to rescue his child in. the same way. This was clearly impossible as the case stood, and he found that fact out when he reached the entry on the second floor. The place was filled with a dense smoke, through which he found it impossible to force his way, and he thrust his head out of the nearest window to get air. Amid this scene of wild excitement, added to every moment by fresh arrivals from the various houses, only one person had the ready wit to see a way to save Annie Marsh. That one was Pred King. He noticed that the stout oak tree which grew a few yards from the cottage, threw one of its sheltering limbs high above the window where the terrified girl, surrouncled hy the gathering smoke, her form thrown into bold relief by the glare of the flames in the room behind her, stood, begging in piteous accents to be saved. No one observed him shin up the gnarled trunk of the trJe, work his way upward among the limbs, and make his way carefully out that particular branch, which swayed and bent under his weight until a shout of encouragement from him drew Annie's eyes upward, and her little cry of sur prise as she saw him coming out toward her attracted the attention of the crowd below. As soon as his object was understood it was immediately appreciated, and a shout went up_ from the spectators, as well as from the perspiring neighbors who were passing the buckets with great zeal. The farther out Fred progressed the lower bent the limb of the oak, until the boy, anchoring his legs around the branch, extended his hands to the girl. "Stand up on the sill, Annie, and hold on by the side of the window jamb. That's right. Now steady yourself so I can catch you under the arms." He grabbed her and swung her out into mid-air. "Don't get frightened,'' he said encouragingly. "Gra,;p hold of the tree under my neck. All right. Now do you think you can hold on for a moment by yourself while I shift myself backward?" "Y cs,'' replied Annie, bravely. "'I'here's no danger if you just hold on," he said. Then he released her, and she swung by her own grip over thirty feet up in the air. He wqrked himself backward a foot or so, and then grasped her under the arms once more. r "Now let go," he said. She did so. He swung her the same relative distance as he had retreated, and then told her to grab hold of the branch again. This plan was repeated again and again until Fred had got Annie well into the body of the oak tree, when he was able to pull her up beside himself. There they rested a while to recover from their excrlio11s. Tclli11g Annie to hold tightly to her scat, Fred clam bered nimbly down and called for a blanket to put around the girJ, who was only attired in her night-drebs. 'rhc article was soon got from the cottage, for tlw fire, now under had not reached the main part of the building. In a short time Fred assisted Annie to reach the ground., where her mother was waiting to receive her, deeply grate ful for her daughter's escape. As folks around the rescued ::i.s is usual in such a case, Kmg rushed away to make lrnmelf useful in putting the finishing touches to the end of ihc fire. "You're a nervy young fellow,'' said the big miner ad miringly to the boy. "I'll bet he is," echoed another. "And not one of us thought of doing such a thing for ihc poor gir l,'' said a third. "She'd have been burnt Lo death but for you," remarked a fourth, "for her room the room underneath are com plete l y g utted by the flames." Other miners had their say, Loo, for all admired bravery I however shown, whether above or below the ground. Fred was quite overpowered by the praise showered indis criminate ly upon him, and protested he had only done his duty as he saw it. "That's all right," said the big miner; "but you were the only one to do it at the critical moment. You ought to have a medal. What do you say, boys?" "Aye! aye!" was the unanimous verdict of all within hearing. 'Phc last spark was extinguished, and, although the loss 1rns cons.iderable, the cottage was practically saved. The crowd was gazing on the ruined wing of the pretty house and speculating as to the amount of the loss, which all supposed to be covered by the insurance, when Jake W.y$e and Gummitt, who haJ leJ!t the scene a short time before, reappeared with Mr. Jinks, the constable. "There he is," said Wyse pointing. Jinks immediately walked up to Fred King, and putting his hand on his shoulder said, to the great surprise of all present:

PAGE 11

10 .\. IN THE JWUGll. "Young '1rnn, I arrest you for setting fire to c ottage CHAPTER VI. IN WIIICII FRED BEARDS TUE CR.A.CKEll-BOSS IN UIS DEN. Fred King started back in stupefied smprisc. "h ile the cro'1d of miners and other spectators gaped in astonishment. 'q;rlia t do you mean?" gasped the boy. "I guess you know what I mean,'' said tho 'constable significunlly, tightening his grasp on the lad. "I guess you've made a blunder, Jinks,'' interposed the big miner, stepping up. "I think not," replied the officer. "V.'hy, such a charge against this boy is ridiculous,'' said the m in er stoutly. "Y,'lrnt's the trouble?" asked John :Harsh, coming fonrard. ,T;11ks here lrns arrested King, who sawd your daugh t er s life in such a. heroic manner, on the charge of firing yonr cottage I say it's absurd." "It is, indeed," coincided l\larsh. "On what ground do you accuse 1.hc boy?" ''On the cviclence of Jake \\yrn arid 1\fr. Gummitt. They are hrrc, and you can question them. I there is any rnis b!,c, of course I won't take the boy." "\'.-en; Raid :\larsh, frowning upon the cracker-boss antl th e tarcrn-kccper, who now came .forwar
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