Struck oil, or, The boy who made a million

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Struck oil, or, The boy who made a million

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Struck oil, or, The boy who made a million
Series Title:
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)


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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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F18-00041 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.41 ( USFLDC Handle )
031042596 ( ALEPH )
247803077 ( OCLC )

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}'IQ 27 s-rories of BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY. Dane sprang upon the low stone "\Vall, brandishing his stout cudgel, and. closely followed by Brackett, made a dash at the plotters. Though taken by surprise, one of the rascals snatched a stick from the fire and stood on. the defensive.


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY l1sued Weekl11-B11 Subsc1iption $2.50 per year. Entered according to Act of Congiess, in the year 1909, in the o.tflce of the Librarian of Congiess, lVarhington, D. C., by Frank Tousey, Publishe1-, 24 Union Square, New York. No. 27 NEW YORK, APRIL 6, 1906. Price 5 Cents 011.t; I OR TfiE BOY WfiO fll.AOE A lY!lllllIOfi. By A SELF .. MADE MAN. CHAPTER I. FOUL PLAY. "HELP!" The wailing cry of a human being in distress was borne down on the wings of the wind to the ears of two stout boys trudging across a desolate and marshy stretch of country in the Stale of Indiana. "What's that?" cried Harry Dane, pausing suddenly and cl uLching his companion by the arm. "Sounded like the cry of some one in trouble," replied his friend, Phil Deering. "Help! Oh, help!" "There it js agaiu," exclaimed Dane. "Seems to come from that direction," and he pointed off to the right. "'What a fierce night this is, Phil!" And truly it was. The rain was beatiug down fiercely on the landscape, driven across the bleak waste by the howling wind; the lightning flashed, with bewildering intensity, at frequent in Lervals, followed almost immediately by deafening peals of thunder, that seemed lo rip the sky into fragments. Night had fallen more than an hour before. Even in the daytime this section of the country was a difficult place to traverse, for there was no 'regular road it, and its marshy land was only crossed by rugged paths, half-overgrown with grass and weeds and stubblo--cvery path being exactly like another, and all seeming to lead nowhere. No human habitation could be seen, and very few trees. All that relieved the monotony was here and there a hillock, crowned by somo stunted bushes, or a green, stag nant pool, with tall rushes nodding on its bank, or an occasional gnarled, weather-beaten oak, its topmost branches bent by Lhc wind. Harry Dane and Phil Deering, his chum, who lived on adjoining farms in that neighborhood, I1ad, in an effort to escape the approaching thunder-storm, attempted a short rut, with which they were across this perilous spot; but, unfortunately, they were canght in the midst of the place by storm and darkness, which swooped down on them with unexpected suddenness. Bewildered by the driving rain and uproar of the ele they unconsciously \"\ andered out of their way, a.Rd ere long awoke to the fact that they were all at sea in that particularly dangerous locality. To retreat was as dangerous as to advance; and so Qn they pressed, sinking every now and then into the soft, clayey soil, and recovering the dry path with greater difficulty as they advanced.


STRUCK OIL. The country around seemed to mingle in one black, in distinguishable mass with the dark, tI1reatening clouds, and the only gleams that illuminated the landscape at all were the fl.ashe, s of lightning which tore brilliant gashes in the firmament from time to time. And these gave them no help. They only served to show them the desolate character of the waste on every side, and to prove to them how utterly ihey were lost in the night and storm. It was in the midst of their perplexities that the cry for help came to their ears. "Some poor fellow, lost 1ike ourselves in this spot, must haYe slipped into a bog-hole and can't get out," continued Harry Dane. "We can't desert him, Phil. We must try to fi11d and help him. If we don't he will surely perish." "That's right," acquiesced his friend. "I'm with you, though I don't see as we al'e so much better off ourselves. J3lessed if I have the least idea where we are at this minute." feet, and it was with a feeling of relief that once more they felt something solid to stand upon. "Why, there's a light yonder," suddenly shouted Phil, in great delight. "So there is," replied Dane. "I knew there was a house in this section." "We must have strayed some distance from where we've been accustomed to cross this Lord-forsaken locality." "I guess we-hello! what's this?" Harry Dane had stumbled against some object in his path. It was lying partly among the exposed roots of the big tree. As the boys stooped to see what it was, a brilliant fl.ash of lightning lit up the place for a moment with noon-day brightness, and both of the boys saw the figure of an old man with a long white beard stretched out before them. There was a gash across his forehead, and his face and the upper part of his beard were streaked with blood. "By gracious!" exclaimed Phil. "That's Matthew Rock, "Help! Help! Would you murder me?" the hermit. Is he dead?" The cry was more desperate, more insistent than before, "I don't know," replied his companion, kneeling down and certainly more startling, for the added words were beside the motionless body, as an intense darkness suc thrillingly significant of something more than mere acci-ceeded the fl.ash and detonating thunder. dental distress-it looked as if something like foul play "Well?" inquired Phil, eagerly, as Dane bent his head \Yas on the tapis. to the old man's chest. "What sliall we do, Phil?" asked Dane. "I'm almost "His heart is beating, but not very strong," answered afraid to say what I think." Harry. "It-it looks like murder, doesn't it, Harry?" gasped "It must have been bis cry we beard," said Phil. with blanched cheeks. "I think there is no doubt of that. Can you still see that Each of the boys had a stout stick in his hand, which light, Phil?" they had been using to feel their way along. "Yes, plainly." "It looks mighty bad," replied Dane. "It's not very far away." "Help, for heaven's sake!" came the cry again, though "No." it was almost cut in twain by the crash of thunder which "Have you the nerve to go there and see if you can get followed an unusually blinding fl.ash of electricity. assistance?" "Follow me, Phil. I can't stand off when there's a His companion hesitated. humaJl being in such distress as that man appears to be." "If there was any one there, he ought to have heard the "But we're liable---" old man cry out, and have come out here to see what was A distant scream of pain cut his words in two. the matter." "You hear that, Phil? Will you hang back? Whatever "That seems reasonable. Perhaps this poor old fellow fie danger, we've got a couple of tough sticks to defend lives there himself." ourselves with. Come on." "As he seems to have been the victim of an assault, perThus urged, Phil Deering followed close after his brave haps the fellows who attacked him are at that house now," young leader, and both splashed ahead through the muck said Phil, who did not relish the idea of leaving Dane and and water that beset their path the moment they forsook going to the house alone. the patch of dry groul\d they had been standing on. "Not unlikely. Well, we had better go together and see Though they listened. intently for further sounds from what wecan make out of the place, and then we can come the distressed man, they heard nothing more to help guide hack here afterward." them to the spot. Deering had no objection to this plan, and they put it They kept on, however, in the direction in which they into execution at once. had located the cry for help. The boys found. there was a solid path leading from the At length a row of stunted bushes appeared right before tree right up to the house, which turned out to be merely them. a rude one-story shanty. Pushing their way through these, they came upon a They approached it with all due caution, for they did not dorm-bent tree, whose gnarled roots rose, bare and twisted, want to run themselves into a trap. and weird-looking, high above the marshy waste. And it was well they did for when Da11e crept 11p to the The soil about it was hard and firm to the .touch of their 1 solitary window, through which the light shone, to recon-


STRUCK OIL. noiter the interior, he was a bit star, tled to see three rouglr looking men inside turning things topsy-turvy generally, as if they were in search of someth ing they expected to find somewhere in the place. "Look;'' whispered Harry in his companion's ear, "there are three hang dog rascals inside turning the room inside out." Phil looked, and was duly impressed by what he saw. "It all seems clear to me now," said he "You know, it has often been hinted around that Matthew Rock is a miser. People believe he has money hidden away in his house, the location of which few persons seem to knew These rascals must have got wind of the intelligence, and made a point of hunting him out to relieve him of his rnmored wealth "That sounds reasonable They must have enticed him from his cabin first, struck him down at the spot where he lies, and then came to the house to search for their ex pected booty." "They don't seem to have much success about finding anything." "I'll bet they won't give up till they find what they're after, or become satisfied he didn"t have anything. One of them is prying up the hearthstone now. "That is a likely place to look i the old fellow buried his money, supposing he had any to bury." "Then I should say he would be a fool to put it in such a place Another of the rascals came to help the fellow who was prying up the stone in front 0 the old fashioned open :fireplace. They yanked the stone up in short order, and the man who started the job began to probe the earth with the blade of a long, ugly looking knife. There were no satisfactory developments, and they gave it up in very bad humor. The boys watched them through the window until they finally stopped searching and held a consultation Apparently they had tapped every conceivable spot where anything might be concealed, and had examined the flooring carefully, without the slightest success. They were at their wits' end, and from their looks and gestures the boys judged they were angry and disgusted over the unprofitable result. Finally they walked out of the place. "We'd better sneak around to the back," said bane, drawing his companion with him. "I shouldn't want to fall into the clutches o. those rascals, the way they feel at this moment. I'm thinking they wouldn't do a thing to us." "I wouldn't trust them," agreed Phil. It had s topped raining by this time, the wind had greatly moderated, and the storm was passing away to the north-wes t. "They're jabbing away at the front of the cabin," said Harry, peering about the corner of the habitation. "I hear them all right," replied Phil. "I wish they'd get a move on." As if in answer to the boy's wish the three !Uffian s Ftarted off into the gloom in a directio n opposite to that where poor flfatthew Rock l ay among the roots of the old oak tree. Their feet made no sound in the damp sod, so t h e boys did not dare make a move until sufficient t ime had e l a p sed to carry them a reasonab l e distance from the cabin. "We must fetch the old man here and then get a docto-r .for him," said Dane. ":MaJbe he's dead by thi s time," rep l ied Phil. "I hope not. I noticed a l antern o n a shelf i n si d e W e' d better get it. They entered the cabin, wh i c h had been pretty t h o r oughly wrecked by the ruffians, and D ane took possess i o n of .and lighted the lantern "Fix that bunk as well as you earl., Phil. We' ll h ave to put him in it, you know Deering replaced the scattered straw in the t ickin g which had been plit up and denuded of its conte n ts b y t h e villains, placed it in the wooden bunk against the wall, and returned the bedclothes in prope r order "Here's some brandy, I guess," he remarked. "That's good. It will serve to revive the 018. ma n i;.e plied Dane. "Bring it along," and he sta r ted for t h e door. They found 1\Iatthew Rock in the self-same position t hey had left him, and looking so near like death that Phil was sure he had died while they were absen t. This proved not to be the case. Dane poured some of the bra n dy down his thr oat, wip e d the half congealed b l o o d from his face, a n d chafed bi s temples In a few minutes he uttered a sigh, groan e d and then opened his eyes. "Who are you?" gasped the o l d ma n in a b e wildered kind of way "We are friends You have been badly h urt, I f ear. Let us help you back to you r cabin." 1\f atthew Rock offer ed no objectio n an d so t he boys lifted him between them and bor e him to his hou s e placing him in .the bunk. CHAPTER I I. THE CONFESSION O F MAT THEW ROCK. THERE were the embers o.f a fir e burning-i n the wide, open fireplace. The boys started it up into a ruddy b l aze by the additio n of a quantity of dry wood whic h they saw pi l ed up in a corner of the cabin . rrhen they removed their sodde n garments, or t hey were rnaked to the skin, and hung t h em before t he fire to dry. Dane warmed some water and with a rag cleaned the blood as well as he could from the hermit's hair and bear d and bathed the nasty wolmd in his h ead. He found another serio u s cut beh in d t h e man's ear, and


4 STRUCK OIL. bound botfi wounds up in a fairly effective, if not scientific, fashion. The old man, who seemeq dazed, made no movement during it all, lying there like a log, with his eyes staring up at the ceiling. "We must get a doctor for him," said Dane, after he had done all he could for the aged sufferer A small clock on a shelf above the fireplace struck the hour of nine at that moment. 'I s'pose we can't both go," replied Phil, "One of us ought to stay with him, don't you think?" "Yes I'll stay with him, unless you'd prefer to do so." "No," answered Phil, shaking his head. "I'd rather try and find a doctor. The trouble is, I'm all twisted about. I re!llly can't tell where we've got to in this marshy dis trict. I may have trouble in finding my way out." "y;ou'd better start off in the course followed by those ra scals. I've no doubt there's a path leadinCl' to one of the county roads in that direction." "I hope there is." "Are your clothes dry enough to put on?" Phil felt of them. "The undergarments almost dry. The others will do, I guess." He proceeded to get into his clothes. As soon as be was fully dressed he took a look at th e prospect outside. "The sky has cleared and the moon is shining he reported. "Best of all, I think I know where we arc." "That's encouraging," replied Dane. "You know that big red house on the road to Prescott?" "Yes." "Well, I can see it from outside." "Dr. Billings lives not far from that house." "I know where his place is." "Y ought to have no trouble in reaching him, then. Bring him here as soon as you can. Tell him the old man received a couple of ugly wounds on the head and looks to be in a bad way." "All right. I won't lose any time reaching the doctor, you may depend." With these words Phil Deering took his departure. Dane put on a portion of his clothes and then went to see how Matthew Rock was getting on. He gave the old man another drink of the brandy, and he stimulant rev:ived him somewhat. "What is the matter with me, boy?" he asked, in shaky tones. "Don't yolil remember being attacked by three rascals?" asked Harry. The hermit of the marsh knitted his brows and seemed to be trying to collect his confused senses. Suddenly he grasped the lad's wrist and cried, with some vehemence: "Yes, yes; il all comes to me now. There were three of them. One came to my door and knocked in the height of the storm. He said he and a companioi;i. were crossing the marsh, and that his friend fell into a hole, and he wanted me to come and assist him to rescue him. I lis tened to his deceitful story and followed him to the scarred oak, a short distance into the marsh, where he and two others .set upon me with sticks and beat me about the head and body till I became unconscious. And did you :find me there?" "Yes; I and my friend, Phil Deering." "And you brought me to the cabjn ?" he asked, gratefully. "We did." "Where is your companion now? "Gone for a doctor." Matthew Rock shook his head slowly and somewhat sadly "I'm afraid he won't be able to do me any good. Those rascals have finished me." "I hope not, sir," answered Dane, sympathetii;ally. "J shall never get over this," he said, slowly. "I feel it here," and he feebly laid his hand on his heut. "I should like to know your name, my lad." :M:y name is Harry Dane." The old hermit looked at him with a startled look in hi s eyes "Your father-was his name George Dane?" "Yes sir Did you know him?" The pallor on Matthew Rock's face seemed to deepen. "Know him?" he answered, in hollow tones. "Yes, I knew George Dane. And you arc his son. You found me dying under the scarred oak, and you brought me here. Boy, what will you think of me when I tell you that I gri evously wronged your father?" "Wronged my father! You!" "Aye, my lad. I defrauded him out of a fortune." Dane looked at Matthew Rock in astonishment. Surely the old hermit's btain had been affected by the blows be had received. His father, now dead two years, never had a fortune to be robbed of. Furthermore, he had never heard bis father speak about Matthew Rock-nor his mother, either. Clearly the old man's mind was wandering. "Come nearer, my lad. I can't see you very well. I cannot die without repairing the injury I did your father. I must soon meet him in the next world, and I couldn't face him with that sin on my soul. Besides, I can carry noth ing away with me when I die. I have no kith and kin to leave my property to. So, my boy, I mean to make you my heir. You shall have the property I cheated your father of, and which, with the fatality attending all ill-gott en things, never benefited me." He paused a moment to recover his breath. "He's crazy as a March hare," thought Harry. "Listen, boy. Do ytm know the Wakeley farm prop erty?" "I ought to, sir It adjoins ours on the east. It's been deserted for a number of years. Though within the last few months a gang of men has been boring for oil." "Did you never hear that your father and John Wakeley


STRUCK OIL. were very warm personal friends while they were neighthe property I had so unjustly acquired. Its possession bors ?" had done me no good, and it really seemed to be of no great "Yes, sir." value. But the humiliation of such a confession deterred "Wakeley caught the gold fever, at the time of the Cripme, and before I finally decided what to do your father ple Creek discoveries, just after his wife died, and he went died. And so the matter rested for more than a yea1. West to make his fortune." Then one night I dreamed that a vast reservoir of crude "I heard about that, sir." oil lay beneath the Wakeley farm. I had been reading of "And perhaps you heard that John Wakeley died in the the recent discovery of oil in Delaware County, in this mining district, without having made the fortune he went State, and it is possible the newspaper story shaped my there to seek?" thoughts. However that may be, I was much impressed "Yes, sir." by my vision. Strange to say, I had the same dream on "I was with him when he died." the"Succeeding two night. The possibility that oil might "You, sir?" exclaimed Dane, in some astonishment. really underlie sections of this county sent the blood throb" Yes. I was his companion and :l'.riend at Cripple Creek. bing through my veins with excitement. Oil is America's The night he died he asked me to draw up his will for him. product, and it is a treasure tha.t mines itself. It He didn't have much to dispose of, he said, only a sma ll is the one product which dwarfs into insignificance the farm in Blank County, Indiana, but he wanted to leave ordinary profits of commerce. The lifetime of an ordina ry that to his old friend and former neighbor, George Da .ne. oil well is that of the lifetime of the average man, and some So I wrote the will as he directed, but, instead of inserting of them appear to be perp et ual and unfailing." the name of GeOTge Dane, I put down my own name, for The old man's eyes, 1mtil now dull and impassive, lit up things had not gone well with me at the mines, and I sa w with the light of an enthusiast. my opportunity, as it was a simple matter to hoodwink a The exhau s tion of a moment before va. nished like the man already half-dead. I read the document to him as morning dew und e r thl:l rays of the rising sun. though it had been written just as he wished it clone, and New strengt h came into his voiqe, and for the next few he was satisfied. Two witnesses were summoned, and he minutes h e looked like a person. signed it in their presence, acknowledging it as his la.sL "Statistics show that Indiana ranks third in petroleum will and testament. In half an hour he was dead, and t E e production, her oil t err itory being practically a continua property which shou ld have passed to Dane became mine."' tion of the Pennsylvania fields. The State has over four Matthew Rock paused as though exhausted by the effort hundred gas wells, which have, by supplying cheap fuel, he was making, while Harry Dane, thoroughly amazed' at wonderfully cheapened the progress of its manufact{uing his confession, regard ed him with eyes. interests. Th e possibility of securing vast wealth took "I did not immediately come on to claim the Wakeley complete possession of my thoughts. Asleep or awake, the farm, as had been my intention, for within a day or two idea wasalways with me, and at last I set on foot a quiet luck, which previously had mocked me, took a sudden investigation. I had the bowels of the Wakeley farm for the better with me," continued the old hermit, probed, but not until this morning did I receive the en an increasing shade of weakness showing in his voice. "So comaging news I have eagerly looked forward to for s o I stayed on at the Creek until I had made a considerable many weeks. It seemed as if Nature had placed every sum of money. Then the bottom dropped out of my claim, possibl!:l obstacle in the way of the drillers. Not only that, and, with the cash I had thus fortunately secured and John but bad luck attended the work continually. The fine st Wakeley's will in my possession, I made my way to thi s tools broke, the derrick collapsed twice from no apparent State. I estab li shed my right to the deserted farm, but for reason, the men deserted at critical moments-everything, some reason I cannot explain I could not take possession in fact, conspired to thwart my efforts to realize the dream of. it. The spirit of the dead John Wakeley seemed to fill of my life and waste the small capital I had with which to every nook and corner of the property, and I felt that it prosecute the enterprise. But the curse that hung about warned me off the place I had so treacherously acquired. a frau dulently acquired property djd not deter me. I per So I took up my habitation in this cabin in the marsh, severed, determined to win in spite of an adverse fate. And which some one had abandoned. Instead of depositing my now, when the end seems to be in sight, when the drilling money in the Prescott bank, I buried it in a spot where has at last been successfully accomplished, and a 'shooter' I could always watch it. From that hour I s hunned has been sent for to try his hand at the oil, which the society of man and became a recluse-an outcast, as it I Jmow is below the 'surface of the Wakeley farm, to flow, were. Why I adopted such a course is beyond me to ex-I am struck down at the moment of victory. Well, my lad, plain. Some uns een influence guided my actions, a:nd I it is only simple justice, after all. It is fated that I was was powerless to resist." not to profit by the fraud I had perpetrated. I might have Once more the hermit paused, and it was some moments died alone and helpless under the shadow of the scarred f before he resumed again. oak; but Heaven sent you, the son of the man I had "I met your father several times and became friendly wronged, to my aid in my hour of need, and to you I will with him. My conscience urged me to make a clean breast now make restitution. The Wakeley property is yours by of the matter of the farm to him, and then transfer to him right of inheritance, and it will make you a wealthy boy."


6 STRUCK OIL. Matthew Rock fell back on his pillow exhausted, leaving Harry Dane wondering if all he had been listehing to from the old man's lips was not the product of a dream from which he had just awakened. The hermit did not stir for ten minutes, but lay with closed eyes, breathing heavily. Harry, afraid he might die in that state before the ar rival of the doctor, gave him another drink of the brandy, and under its potent influence he seemed to acquire a new lease of his depleted strength. "Quick, my lrid, there is no time to lose, for I believe I am failing You will find pen, ink and paper in the dr11-wer of yonder table. Get them and write at my dictation." CHAPTER III. SEARCHING FOR THE BURIED :M:O)l"EY. 11fORE to humor the old man than because he believed anything would result from the 1lrntter, Harry Dane moved the table over near the bunk and prepared to take down what Matthew Rock had to say. With an eager light in his eyes the hermit of the marsh dictated what he intended as his last will and testament. He left everything of which he died possessed-the Wakeley farm, as it stood, together with the oil-boring machinery and appendages thereto already erected; also the balance of. his money, buried in the center of the root s of the scarred oak-to Harry Dane, his heirs and assigns. The last words were hardly written before Phil Deering and Dr. Billings entered the cabin "I am beyond your aid, doctor," said the old man, when the physician advanced to the bunk and took up his hand to feel his pulse. "When a man's time has come, of what earthly use is all the physic in the world? But I am glad you are here, for I ne ed a witness to legalize an act of resti tution already too long delayed." Dr. Billings, however, proceeded to examine the sufferer. His professional instinct soon told him that Matthew Rock had spoken truly-that his injuries were fatal, and his span of life was fast drawing to its close. The best he could do was to give the old hermit a reviv ing draught, which temporarily brightened him up. "Are you sure, doctor, that I am in the full possession of my right senses?" he asked, eagerly. "Oh, yes,'' replied the physician. "There isn't the least doubt of that." "You will be willing to s wear, then, that this will I've had this lad write for me represents the exact sentiments of my mind?" "Certa.inly, if yon declare it to be such." "I do declare it," replied Mai.thew Rock, eagerly. "The Wakeley farm was actually willed to George Dane, this boy's father, by its owner, John Wakeley, but by the fraudulent substitution of my name in place of Dane's it wa.> diverted to me." This statement surprised Dr. Billings and Phil Deering as much as it had previously astonished Harry Dane. "I have made a full confession of the circumstances to this lad," continued the old man, feebly indicating Harry, who stood near the foot of the bunk. "All that now re mains is for me to sign .that paper in your presence." He motioned toward the sheet of writing which lay upon the table. A book was brought, the paper placed upon it, and the pen placed between Matthew Rock's finger s by the doctor. The \ her:rnit' traced his signature in a tolerably clear hand. "Now, doctor, you and the other lad will please attest my .signature." Dr. Billings and Phil Deering wrote their names as wit nesses to the document. That completed all nece ssa ry formalities. "Doctor, you will see that Harry Dane comes into his own, will you not?" "Certainly. TheTe should be no difficulty about it." From that moment Matthew Rock sank very fast. The excitement and purpose he had in view, which had heretofore sustained his flagging energies, was now lacking, and he made no effort to w ard off the inevitable. He gradually drifted out upon the sea of ete rnity, and as the clock was striking midnight he breathed his last. And so they left him, securing the door against intrusion, the doctor returning to his and the boys going on to their respective farms. Next morning, Harry, after notifying the proper village official of Matthew Rock's death, started out in company with Phil Deering to inve s tigate the roots of the scarred ()ak and see if the hermit had really buried his money in that spot. "You're a lucky boy, Harry," said Phil, as the two walked along the high road in the direction of the dead hermit's cabin. On their way home the previous night Dane had told his friend all that took place between U atthew Rock and him self in house while he (Phil) was away after the doctor. "If things turn out as they promise to do, I am willing to believe I am," answered Harry, with some enthusiasm. "What did your mother say when you told h er?" "She was very much astonished." "I should think she would be. So was my father and mother when I told them of the adventure we had. You will get the Wakeley property, anyhow, for my father said there is no doubt but Matthew Rock was itR recognized owner, and consequently had a perfect right to will it to whom he chose.'' "It is not a very valuable farm in its present dilapidated state." "That's true enough. Folks have often wondered why Matth\\W Rock never made an effort to put it into proper shape after John Wakeley's will was recorded and. the


STRUCK OIL. court had finally passed upon his legal rights to its owner ship." "It was a case of a disturbed con s cience, if I am to judge from the okl man's confession last night." 1The r e was something out of the u s ual order of things b.ehind it all. I know several p e rsons offered to lease the farm and work it eith e r on share s or for so much annual r ent, but h e wouldn t have it. It is a fact, however, that h e did offe r it f or s ale o nce but shortly withdrew it from th e m ark et, without g ivin g any r e a s on therefor "All 1 eve r kn e w about him until last night was that he was ge n e rall y r egarde d a s a que e r man, who s eemed to dis t ru s t and keep aloof from the world gen e rally.'' "That's ri g ht. Jus t why he preferre d to live in a l one some cab in in the s wamp-land, rniles away from his own prope r ty, whi c h h e p ermitted to go to ruin and decay, puzzle d a g ood many p e ople "Tha t was hi s own fune ral and no one had any right to inquire into his motive s The re are a lot of eccentric pe op le in thi w o rld, you know." "Yo n r mb e r, it was four months a g o that he started that ga n g of men unde r a man named Dan Brac kett, on the farm boring for oil." "I r e m emLe r it well enou g h and I have heard people say that the work would amount to nothing. They claimed thi s count y i s out of the oil-producing belt "That's what my father s ay s too. He no s tock in the old man;s sch eme. When, after the pre li mina ry sur v eys and soc all e d tapping, that big, unsightly derrick was built and an a ctual b oring was begun, he laughed and said it was a w M t e o.f g ood money, and that the onl y result would b e a 'dry hole.' 11 "We ll, the old man told me la s t night that the boring had been completed and a 'shooter' sent for to dynamite the boHom." "ls that so?" '"That's what l\f atthew Rock said He had the mo s t as tonishin g faith that oil would be tapped. Wouldn t it b e w o n derful if his dre am turne d out to be a fact?" cried Harry, with som e excite m ent in his tones. "It w o uld be a wonderfully lucky thing for you, all ri ght," r e pli e d hi s friend almost enviou s ly. "Why, you w oulc1 b e able to ge t a mint of money out of the old place." "I should s udd e nly b e come a sort of modern Monte Cri sto, w ouldn' t I ? "Thafs what y ou would "l' m afraid s u c h a h a ppy result is too good to be true." "Oh, stranger things than that have happened." Sure the y hav e ; but, all the same, I'm not banking v e r y h e avil y on s u c h a result." "If you stru c k oil you'd have a lot of s peculators at y our h e el s at o n c e." All pre p a r e d t o do me up if the y could, eh?" "Tha t i sn t an y lie. You'd have to be on y our guard. It w o uld b e up to y ou to figur e out a good price for the p r operty, unlei::s you proposed to work it yourself." l 'c1 need a g ood bit of money to attempt that." "We ll, perhaps we'll find a tidy bunch at the foot of the t::carrecl oak this morn ing wh e r e the old f e llow directed y ou to dig for his w e alth. He didn't give you any idea how much h e had, did h e ?" Dane shook his h e ad. "He didn' t m e ntion any sum at all. All I understood from him was that the root s of the oak, where We found him la s t night, was his bank. Whether there's mu c h or little there now i s a pro blem. He mu s t have spent a deal during the la s t four month s in his e ffort s to locat e the oil he had in his mind. The m e n haven't w orked s tead i ly, it i s true, but for all that he wa s under eon s i ck r able expense." "I'll b e t he was Lo o k a t that d e r r i c k and all the tool s we've s e e n around there n o t to s p e ak o f that big tank, now a l mo s t compl e t e d whi c h he had p u t up, s o s ure was h e that oil wo-rild re sult from the b o rin g h e had under way I'm afraid y o u may con s id e r yourself lucky if you find any mon ey at all le ft" "Well, we sh all soon kno w," sa id Harry, as they came i n s i ght o f the cab in Dun e h ad l ef t t h e key o f the hous e with the village ,offi cial w h e n h e no tifie d of Matthew Rock's death, so they could not e n ter the nab itation now e v e n h a d they wished The s mall s p a d e t he old man h a d probably u s ed to dig up and r e bury his mon e y as o ccasion called for was in its u sual pla c e in a little shed at the r e ar of the premises. The boys had noticed it there when the y were hiding from the thre e r as cal s who were re s pon s ible for the hermit's d e ath : 'l' he villa ge con s t a ble was alr e ady s ear ching for a trace o f t11ese sco undrels on the information furnished him by Dane that moming. ; Should they b e cau ght, Harry p ro posed to bring a charge of murd e r aga in s t the m, r e lying upon ri1 e evidence he and Phil c ould furni s h to bring the m to t rial. Taking p ossess ion of the spade, the boys made a line for the scarre d oak. Selecting a s m all op e n spa c e in the very center of the twisted roots, Harry comm e nced to dig, while Phil looked on with g r eat inte re s t and anticipation. As s pad e ful afte r s pad e ful of earth was taken out of the hol e pieir h o pes b ega n to s ink. "l\Iay be I haven t struck the r ight spot," said Harry, in a tone of di s appointment "He m e ntion e d that particular s pot, didn't he?" "He cl id." "We ll, dig all around the r o ots, and! if nothing comes of it I'll begin to think tl::e old fe llow was off. "He spQke s o earnestly about hi s money, and took such pains to impre s s upon m e e x a c t place where he said he k ept it, that I shall be much cut up if I don t find it." "I don't wonder, Harry. It is tough to have one's an ti c ipation s nipped in the bucl." Jud then the e dge of Dane' s spad e e ncountered an ob drnc tion H e b egan to to ss the dirt out fa s ter, while Phil knelt dmrn e:J.gerly to get a l ook at the object as it came into view.


8 S'l'RUCK OIL. CHAPTER IV. THE NEW OWNER OF THE WAKELEY FARM VISITS THE PROPERT"ir. fr proved to be an ordinary japanned iron box wrapped in heavy brown paper. Phil lifted it out by the handle. "It's not very h eavy," he r emarked; "but that doesn't cut any ice, for paper money i s light you know." He s hook it. .. '"!'here's a package in there all right-a bunch of money, I suppose. Allow me to congratulate you, old man." "Don' t be in too imich of a hlll"ry, Phil. Might be a packet of old papers, for all we can tell now." "Well, open it; then we can sett l e the matter." "I wish I could." "Didn't the old man give you the "No. He forgot, I suppose, and I never thought to a sk him." "He probably has it on his clothes, then. We'll have to wait around the cabin till Mr. Boothby shows up to take the body to his undertaking shop." They did not bother to :fill up the hole, but, taking the iron box, returned to the cabin and sat down on the outside in the glorious morning s un s hine. It was two long hour s before they heard the wheels of Mr. Boothby's wagon coming along the road. "You'd better nm ancl s h _ow him the way h ere, Phil," suggested Dane. "He won't be able to bring his wagon all the way. Tell him to tie up on the edge of the wood." Phil accordingly started off to meet the village sexton. In due time Harry saw Mr. Boothby and Phil coming toward the cabin, b ear ing a long box between them, such as pauper s were buried in. The undertak e r unlock e d the door of the cabin and they r:arried the box in s ide The body of Matth e w Rock lay upon the bnnk, his eyes serenely closed as the physician fixed just as they had l eft him the night before. "I want to :find the key to 1.his box," said Harry to Mr. Boothby. "He ought to have it somewhere about hi s per :;on." The und e rtaker sear ched the dead man's pockets, and the key was :finally found in an inner pocket of hi s vest. Dane placed the box on the table, found that the key fitted the loc k and opened it without difficulty rrhe contents of the box consi8ted of a package of bills. "The old man had money, after all, jus t M people thought," remarked llfr. Boothby. l "Why wouldn't he have it?" asked Phil. "He couldn't carry on his oil-digging operations on wind, could he?" "Well, hardly," admitted the undertaker. "Where did you boys nd that box?" he added, curiously. "Where the old man told Dane to look for it." "And to whon1 will thi s money go? The county, I suppose, take charge of it until the old fellow's heirs, if any, turn up." "Not on your life," replied Phil. "Matthew Rock left his farm and his money to Harry Dane." "Is it possible!" exclaimed the undertaker, in great sur prise "Did he make a will?" "That'8 what he did." "How much money is in ttat bunch?" Mr. Boothby asked, with avaricious eagerness. "I shan't count "it now," replied Harry, "but I should say there is quite a bunch. I sha ll hand it over to my mother, who is administratrix under the will." "You ought io give the old man a pretty decent funeral," saiat Mr. Boothby, eager to turn a few dollar s of the wad in his own direction. "I mean to-a first-class one." "Then I presume I may wait on your mother for my orders in that respect," said Mr. Boothby, a bit obsequi ously. "No. 'I will call at your house this afternoon and make a ll the necessary arrangements for the burial." "Very well, Master Dane. You can select the sty l e of casket you prefer and I will get it from Prescott early to morrow. Now, if you young gent l emen will help me lift the body into the box, and then carry the box to my wagon, we will get this little matter over with." It was not a job that either Harry or Phil relished, as they were not used to hand] ing a corpse; but it had to be clone, so, of course, they offered no objection to lending a hand. After the body had been removed from the house Harry locked the door and retained possession of the key himself. The two boys rode part of the way to the village on Mr. Boothby's wagon, then they went to the Dane farmhouse "vVe've found the money, mother," exclaimed Harry, when he and Phil entered the p l easant sitting -room where l\frs. Dane was sewing. "Is it possiLle !" she rcplic .

STRUCK OIL. 9 proves a failure, we will then decide, after taking Mr. Brackett's advice, whether we will throw up the whole thing or make another attempt to find oil." "Very well, Harry. I shall not oppose your wishes in the matter. Yon are old enough to th i nk for yourself." "If we could strike a big gusher, that would be better than a gold mine," cried Harry, enthusiastically "Provided, of course, that you could market the goods," interjected Phil. "What's to prevent me?" "You'd have to get the railroad to furnish you with tank cars, so you could get your raw material to the re finery." "What's the matte r with sending it in barrels?" "You'd have to have a lot of them, for my father says a first-class gusher will turn out from three hundred and fifty to four hundred barrels of cn1

10 S'rRUCK OIL. \ Phil listened in some astonishment to the conversation between his chum and the foreman of the derrick gang U ntil that moment he really had had but little faith that oil would actually be found on the Wakeley farm Now he realized that within twenty four hours the county was likely to be startled by wonderful news that would set more than one farmer in a fever of hope that the oil iract might run underneath his own property, too Harry Dane explained to Dan Brackett t.ha!-, as he was und er age, all business arrangements would have to be ccmpleted through his mother, who had been named ex ecutrix of the will, which would be file d in the Prescott County Court after the funeral of Matthew Rock. "As her rcprese.ntatiYe, whatever ord e r s I give you will go," said Harry. "Certainly; I under stand that," replied i.he foreman, respectfully After some further conversation Harry and his friend departed, both of them assuring Brackett that they would be on hand the following afternoon to witness the shooti ng of the well, provided the expert arrived. Accordingly, after dinner on the ensuing day Harry and Phil put in an appearance at the Wakeley farm, where they were met by Dan Brflckett, who informed the new owner of the property that the "shooter" had arrived and was preparing to undertake his hazardous job. As the foreman and the two boys were making their way to the pasture where the unsightl y derrick stood, marking the site of the boring, they saw the expert himself walking ginger l y across the fields, bearing in either hand a tin can of the explosive fluid. "It wouldn't be me that would carry that s tuff across that field-not on your tintype!" said Phil, watching the darin g "shooter" with an anxious eye. "Supposing he was to trip over a rock?" "If the stuff cxploclecl I'm afraid he'cl van ish in a c loud of smoke ancl flame, and we wouldn't eno ugh piece s to make a respectable funeral," rep lied Brackett. "The man must have a wonderful nerve," remarked Harry, following man's retreating figure with undis guised admiration "He gets paid in proportion to the risk he assumes," said the foreman. "Excuse me," replied Phil. "I wonldn't take his chances for all the oil there may be under this farm "It is undoubt ed ly a risky means of liv e lihood,'' replied Rrackett, "but he's used to it. Just the same, you notice h e taking any chances After depositing his dangerous burdens close to the der rick tl1e shooter made a second trip across the fields, bear i ng l ong coils of rope ancl two glistening tin tubes, together "ith a heavy pointed cylinder of iron The workmen as well as the sightsee r s held aloof at ii. rcspectnblc distance from the derrick, which had been stripped of every movable object, such as planks, tools and the like, all of which had been taken away and store d in one of the she ds. "What is tLe man doing now?" asked Phil of his chum, who was watching the expert through a pair of powerful :field glasses. "He is arranging one of the shining tubes in a safe posi tion to receive its charge of nitroglycerine "Gracious I'm beginning to get nervous," said ing, gripping the top of the s nake fence, b e hind which they r.tood, looking clown the gentle declivity t.oward the scene or action. "Now he's lifting one of lhQ cans of cxplosi v e stuff," re ported Harry, with his eyes glued to the field-glass "He's uncorking the can, re sting it llpon his bent knee, hold ing it as tight as though it "ere a golden nugget he had just picked out of the earth "Tt's prct.ty ticklish business, bet your life," replied Phil. "Now he's inserting a funnel in the torpcclo opening," cont inn ed Harry, in a tone thal quivered a little with ex citement. "Now he tips the can to allow the thick, yellow ish s tuff to flow down into the torpedo tube." "Let me have a look," palpitated Phil. Harry resigned the glass to him in time for him to see the expert fill the second tube without accident. "Say, the fellow is wiping the sides of the tubes with his pocket handkerchief. He seems to be awful careful al.lout it, too. What is he doing that for?" asked Phil. "It won't do to l eave the least atom of moisture on them that might be nitroglycerine,?' said Brackett, who rejoined them at that moment. "The friction in lowering the tubes down the iron tube of the well might l ead to a premature explosion if he were not very careful in seeing they were clear of even a sus picion of the explosive." "He's lowering the tubes down now with his ropes "The worst of his peril will be over in a moment or twc, then," replied Brackett. "I'm glad of it," said Harry, fervently "The fellow is mighty thankful himself, too, in spite of his dare-devi l way of carry in g him self,''said the foreman. "rll bet he is," agreed Phil, with a s ickly sor;t of grin. "Now he's got hold of that pointed iron cylinder," said Harry, who had taken lhe glasses again. "That's what he drops clown the tube on top of the nitroglycerine to set it off, isn't it, Mr. Brackett?" "Yes. You'll hear and feel the explosion in a minute. Just watch when he starts to run away from the derrick 1rnd then you'll know it's coming "There h e goes,'' cried Phil, in great excitement. Suddenly the ground beneath their feet was shaken by a dull. heavy explosion, evide_ntly in the very bowels of the eart h. "Wow!" yelled Deering, holding on to the fence, while the field before him seemed to rise and fall pe1ce ptibly, as if convulsed by an earthquake The expert lost his footing and went prawling on the ground, but he was up again in a twinkling. There was a watery grumbling beneath th e m, followed by a sullen roar, and then a thick column of dark liquid, of a brownish hue, ve:rging on black, rushed upward through the well tube, spreading 0:1t a short distance above


STRUCK OIL. 11 the mouth of the pipe until it enveloped the entire upper half of the derrick, totally obscuring it, and rising far above the top of the structure, to fall back upon itself, churned into an oily spray iridescent with changing hues of green and amber. In a moment the land for many yards around the der rick was flooded with crude petroleum. "Great Scott!" exclaimed Harry Dane, almost wild with delight, as he realized the true significance of that spouting liquid. "I have indeed struck oil!" CHAPTER VI. boy and his mother, as well as Phil Deering and Dr. Bill ings, had not_hing to say on the subject; and so the general curiosity on the subject remained unsatisfied, although all sorts of surmises obtained circulation throughout the neighbor hood. Next day Mrs. Dane called on the village lawyer and put the will in his hands for probate in the town of Prescott. She and Harry also held a l engthy consultation with him on the subject of the petroleum discovery at the Wake ley farm, and asked his professional advice as to the method of making the best use of their good fortune. Lawyer Hale was an old friend of the Danes, and mother and son knew they could thoroughly depend upon what ever suggestions he offered. DISPOSING OF THE CRUDE OIL. "Your son, Mrs. Dane, seems to have a considerable for tune in sight By the time he will have reached his ma PHIL DEERING stood in open-mouthed wonder, watching jority he ou,,ght to be a wealthy young man." the crude petroleum shooting skyward. "It's better to be born lucky than rich, isn't it, Mr. It was certainly a great sight. Hale?" grinned Harry, who was a favorite not only with The derrick gang, under the direction of Da.n Brackett the lawyer, but a'.lso with his pretty daughter, Eloise, on were preparing to get the oil under control and pipe it to whom he frequently found an excuse to call. the big tank, to which the builders were then putting the The legal gentleman smi led good-naturedly. :finishing touches. "There is something in that, I dare say. Now, in refer"This is g{eat, isn't it, Phil?" remarked Harry, at ence to this oil-let me know how matters stand on the length. Wakeley farm at this moment." "Bet your life it is," was the answer. Harry described, as far as :he knew, the present condi" Have you seen enough? I must rush home and carry tion of affairs at the farm. the news to mother," said Dane. "I will see Dan Brackett this afternoon and get a de" And it's me to my old miin as fast as I can go," grinned tailed account from him of the history of Matthew Rock's Phil. "Won't he stare when I tell him! He said this endeavors to discover this oil, together with a full slate morning it was all bosh to th:lnk oil would be found m ment of all expenses incurred to date, paid and unpaid." this county." "That's right. But Mr. Rock must have kept some rec" Your father said that, did he?" ord of the cost of this work. You haven't searched hi::; "He did." cabin, have you, for any books or papers that belonged to "He'll have to alter his opinion now," laughed Harry. him?" "I'll bet he will. That's a good one I've got on him." "Not yet, sir. I locked the house up after we removed The boys parted at an adjacent lane. tl:i,e body, on the morning following his death, and have The intelligence of the discovery of petroleum on the not been near it since." Wakeley farm was all over the neighborhood in a few "I should advise you to go there at once and take poshours, and a regular pilgrimage of curious people set in session of all his personal property and turn it over to toward the scene of the oil operations. your mother." The owners of farnw in the immediate neighborhood "I will do so, sir." were greatly excited, and talked about probing their own "You say that you have found the money that :M:r. Rock search of the desirabJe fluid. told you he had buried at a certain spot in the marsh?" There was a large gathering on the following day at the "Yes, sir Phil Deering was with me when I dug it up, funeral of Matthew Rock, which was conducted from the and M:rs. Boothby was present when I opened the japanned village church. box and found a package of bills, which I afterward countMrs. Dane had purchased a small grave plot in the cd and found to amount to a little over six thousand dol pleasantest part of the rural cemetery, and had spared lars." no reasonable expense in paying every respect to the mem"Which you handed to your mother, I suppose?" ory of the eccentric man who had made restitution to the "Certainly." family at the eleventh hour. "It was fortunate you got this money, as you will cerThe facts of the wrong he had done the late George Dane tainly need it, or a portion of it, at any rate, to straighten were kept a profound secret from the public, and he went things up at the Wakeley fa.rm. You are exceptionally to his rest without an apparent stain on his character. lucky in having a completed tank of five hundred barrels' Everybody, however, was anxious to learn just why the capacity to store the first of your oil. I suppose you have old hermit had selected Harry Dane as his heir, the not considered the question as to whether you'll make ar-


12 STRUCK OIL. rangements to sell the crude material to a r efinery as it and, while this method greatly reduced profits, it was, on from the earth, or whether you will consider an the whole, fairly satisfactory under existing conditions. outside proposition to dispose 0 or lease your rights to In the meantime Dan Brackett kept a gang at work the product 0 the property?" drilling in a new place, and the indications promised a sec" No, sir. But I am in favor 0 working the oil off myond successfo l gusher. self." Lawyer Hale decided that the prospects warranted the "How do you propose to do this?" outlay of a portion of the six thousand dollars in the erec By shipping it in barrel s to the Independent retlnery tion 0 a second five-hundred-barrel tank. and work upon at Liberty, on the Mississippi River." it was immediately begun. "Have you any idea o what it will cost you to produce Thu s severa l weeks passed away. this oil ready for shipment?" Considerable activity was, during this time, observed on "I have not figured on it, sir. It is rather an expensive many 0 the neighboring farms, their owners having ob way o getting it to the refin e ry, I believe, but I don t see tain ed the services 0 experienced men to test and in many :my other way o doing it, under present circumstances. in stances drill the ground for oil-bearing rock. Other methods, such as laying down a track from the farm This work re ceived renewed impetus when a second well to Prescott and running tank cars direct to the property, or was successully s hot on the Wakeley farm, and the product piping it to the railroad at Prescott, are hardly to be qonof Harry Dane's property rose to over seven hundred bar sidered at this stage 0 the game, when we have only one rels p e r month. gusher at work. The large oil companies in Delaware There was a creek which came within hal a mile 0 the County, with their thirty or forty odd producing wells, farm, fl.owing past the village and afterward emptying into have laid down pipes and connected with the Indiana Pipe the Mississinewa River. Line Company, one o the subsidiary companies o the Thi s creek had its rise in the swamp land, on the border Oil Trust-that is, mos t o them have. Dan Brackett says 0 which Matthew Rock had lived for so many years, and i:ieir average cost of production per barrel, piped, is eight it skirted a portion 0 the Deering farm. rrnts, and they receive eighty-three cents for the same, HaITy Dane and his friend Phil were walking along its which r epresents a pretty big profit." banks late one Sunday afternoon, when an idea suddeply "I should think so," replied Mr. Hale. occurred to Harry. "The price o Indiana oil has been as high as one dol"Do you kn'ow, Phil, I'd like to aITange with your father Jar and thirty-one cents a barrel, and I saw it stated in the to build a small whar somewhere along here." paper,s that old oil men assert it will go to that figure again. "What for?" asked Phil, in some surprise. "'ro ship my oil by water to fabe rty, down the Some believe it will even go beyond that and reach one dollar and fifty cents within a ew months." siliewa. It s hould be ever "so much cheaper than carting t h e barrels away over to the railroad at Prescott, as we're "I advise you to continue drilling and te st ing the propdoin g now. I'm obliged to pay a pretty stiff rate for trans erty under Brackett's dir ect ion," said the lawyer. "I have portation 0 the oil and al s o for the return 0 the empties, heard that he is thoroughly experienced at the bu siness. not to s p e ak about the time and labor in carrying the bar I will have an interview with him mysel in a day or two, r e l s to and from the station." and perhaps between us we can shape the policy of this new oil field.,, "That i sn' t a bad idea," replied his chum. "I could charter a sloop to make regular trips to and 'rhe discovery 0 petruleum in Blank County was soon from Liberty. we have now over seven hundr e d barrels a heralded throughout the State, ancl quit e a numb er 0 month, and we are drilling a third well, so the pro s pect strangers visited the Wakeley farm aml made pertin ent o. one thousand barrels a month i s pretty bright." inquiries on the subject. "And you're getting eighty-three cents a barrel for your Dane received two or three offers to lease the propoil?" erty from mysterious individuals who declined to tell whom "Yes; but I understand that the price will be :Iva.need. they represented, and one oxy-looking person, ater going by the tru st ne x t month." over the arm and pumping Dan Bra.ckett to some purpose, "So much the better for you." wanted to buy the place outright. "I s hould say so. Thi s discovery 0 oil up here i s going All of these people were referred to Lawyer Hale, and to prov e a godsend to the Independent refinery at Liberty." he declin e d to consider any 0 the propositions submitted. "How is that?" Harry Dane, as general manager 0 the new industry, "The owner s o the refiner y say they are beginning to made arrangements to urnish the crude oil to the Indeexperience some difficulty in getting the crude oil t6 rependent refinery at Liberty. fine." He had a large number 0 barrels shipped to Pre s cott, "Haven't they a large supply in Delaware County to and these were duly carried out to the farm. chaw from?" The barrels were filled sent to Prescott by wagon and "They did have, but the trust is rapidly cutting down di8patched by rail to Liberty. thi s supply." There seemed to be no difficulty about transportation, "How?"


STRUCK OIL. 13 B y securing c ontrol o:f the greater part of the Delawar e County output." "Is that s o ?" Sure thing. All the big producing companies are now c onn e cted by a complete pipe line s y s tem with the Indiana P i p e Line Company-that's a branch of the trust-and in that w ay di spose of their entire product at the cheapest possible rate." "My father s aid there was a movement on foot among t he ind e pendent producers to pipe their oil independent of the trust." "I heard so, too; but it will take a great deal of mone y t o carry it through. The Liberty people informed me that, while there are e nough independent producers out s ide of t he pipe system, and who rely upon tank cars for transport ing their oil, they find it almost impossible to get the rail road to furnish half enough cars. The result is, they can only get a portion of their stuff to Liberty, and therefore are gradually s urrendering to the trust." I see." "Now, as my oil i s fa s t becoming an object of importance, I am anxiou s to g e t out of the clutch of the railroad comp any b efo).'e the y begin to turn the screws on me." Y ou v e got a great head, Harry. It i s the part of a w ise g e n e ral to be prepared for all emergencies." "That's the way I think." H ave you ever been approached by the agents of the trus t ? "Twice, I think." Y ou t hink! Don't you know?" No. The oth e r day :Mr. Hale, our lawyer, had an offer fro m a t ru s t agent for t h e oil und e r our property, but it was so r i di c ulou s l y s mall that he promptl y turn e d i t down. T h e man a f t e rward came out to the :farm and s nooped a rou n d some had a with Dan Bra c kett, dTOppe d s un d r y h ints that we' d find it gr e atl y to our advantage t o sell o u t to the trus t, and intimated that ii w e refused we might g r eat l y regr e t it." "Do y ou think the trus t control s the railroad through t h e c ount y?" "I'll b e t it does And I'll bet the rate i s going t o be raised. on u s to Liberty, too. That's why I want to provide an outlet for my oil by way of the creek and the Missis s in e w a River. I c a n then s nap m y finger at the railroad, and the trust, too, for that matter." CHAPTER VII. REAL .A.MEUICAN GRIT. HARRY DANE went home with Phil and had supper at hi s hou se that night. Th, e n he broached the s ubj e ct of the wharf to Mr. Deer in g Phil's father was not adver s e to accommodating the bright boy, and thou ght the i d e a of an outlet for his oil by wat e r was a fir s t-class plan. "I am b o und to s a y Harry," h e remarked, "that I do not s ympathize with th e m e thod s of th e Oil Trus t. The big combine i s altogether too rapaciou s It wants the whole hog and practically t e lls the ind e pendent people to get off the earth." "It sur e ly 1ooks that way. The trus t is undoubtedly try in g to force the conce rn at Lib erty out of bus ines s ." "That's ri g ht. And you will find a s s oon as you ope n a f e w mor e w ells that p ressur e will b e br o u ght to b e ar on y ou to sell out, or at l e a s t, di s pose of y our output to the tru s t. Should y ou ente r into s u c h an agr eeme nt, I'll wager y ou will b e able to hav e a tra c k laid right d own lo the farm and you will g et all the tank c ars you need." "I have no doubt but that i s what I s hould ha .ve to exp e ct if I didn t hav e the creek to fall back on. The Inde p e nd ent r efine ry at Liberty is only too glad to take all the o il I c an s end it, and I gue s s it'll get it in s pite of the tru s t." "Appar e ntl y so, but don t los e s i ght of th e fac t that the opposi t ion p e opl e ar e not a s leep. The y'll dev i s e some m e an s o f e u c hrin g y ou whe n y our output becomes of suffic ient i m p ort a nce to attrac t their spec i a l attention." "Oh, I a m not afraid of th e m a s long a s the Indep e nd ent refine r y keep s g oin g ." "But c an y ou e v e n g uess h o w long the Libert y concern will c ontinu e ii1 bus in ess? "W .. h y I d on t b elieve they hav e an y id e a o f stopping repli e d H a rry somewhat s t artle d a t thi s "You can t t e ll. The cond ition s which c onfront tha t e st a b li s hm e n t a t present are i n n o r e pect diff e r ent from those which a re b e ing m e t b y oth e r r efine r s i n diff e r ent part s o f t h e Si.ale, as w e ll a s i n P e nnsylvania and cl:-ic whe re. :Jian v refin eries h a v e been compelle d to shut down for Jac k o f c rud e petrol eum, while othe r s have solcl out to the tru st or ar e o n t h e point of doin g so. Th e ind e p e nd ent producer i s up agains t a pretty s tiff propo s ition these clays. Th e only h o p e I see for th e m i s in c ombinin g whe r e th e r e ar e a numb e r in a dis tri c t and the n contro llin g a r e finer y for th e mselves. Eve n i.he n they will filH1 t hat t h e railroad s will put up t ransporta tion rates on the fini s h e d articl e Th e trus t can get r e bates, owin g to its e normou s bus iness and control of th e s tock in the various road s that are re fused to out s ide pa rtles." "Well I s uppo s e I can count on you allowing me the privilege of building a wharf on your prop e rty, on thi s side o'f the c reek and that I can hav e the right of way through y our fa rm for m y oil barr e l s ?" "You c an. I will b e glad to help you beat the opposition in any way that lies in m y power." "Thank you :Mr. Dee ring." A c oupl e of week s late r a third productiv e well was shot successfull y on th e Wak e l e y property and a third tank built to accommoda te th e flow. This raised th e output of Harry Dane's crude oil industry to over one thousand barrels a month, all 0 which Wai n o w b e ing s hipp e d by water to Liberty.


14 STRUCK OIL. The Independent refinery had contracted to take the entire supply, and as much more as the Wakeley interests could furnish. About this time oil was found on the property next to the Wakeley farm. The fortunate owner was a middle-aged farmer named Bennett. As soon as Harry heard about it he rushed over to see him. "I see you have joined the ranks of the lucky ones," he said to Mr Bennett. "I'm glad to say that it looks that way," replied the happy "Well, as soon as you are ready to s hip, you want to send it by water to the Independent refinery at Liberty. They'll take all you have to sell at the highest market rate. The price, by the way, has just been advanced to ninety-one cents a barrel." "So I saw by the papers. You have three wells pro ducing now, haven't you?" "I have, and two more under way." "You're going into the thing wholesale, aren' t you, young man ?" "I'm going to get all there's to be got out of it." "That's right. So am I, only I'm a bit pressed for cash." I hope you won' t sell out to the trust people." "Not if I can help it." "I want you to show a stiff front. I've been talking the matter up among those who are prospecting for oil -pro ducing rock on their property I find they re all willing in case they strike oil, to combine against the extortion of the trust. I think we can depend on the Indep e ndent re finery. In fact, I'm sure we can, if we can furnish them with enough of crude oil to keep their works in operation." "Well, I'm with you," replied Mr Benn ett, with ap parent earnestness. Harry was satisfied that the new produc e r meant well, and intended to leave no stone unturned to keep him in lin e That same week another well was s hot with success on another adjacent :farm, and the oil industry began to take on a blooming look in Blank County.' About this time the foxy-looking individu a l appeared again and made anothe r attempt to buy off the Dane in terests, but failed, of course Before he left, however, he intimated that the Dane fam ily might r egret having turned him down. One morning, soon after the fourth well began to get down to business, Harry received a letter from the general freight agent of the D G. & M Railroad, the line which passed by Prescott and connected with a big trunk line run ning into Indianapolis, with an outlet to all points north, south, east and west. The communication intimated that the company was prepared to su bmit a proposal looking to the carriage by rail of the output of the Wakeley' petroleum product as far as Megrim, a town where the trust had a big refiner y in operation. The company agreed to build a track to the property and furnish all the ne cessary tank cars for the transpor tation of the oil at s uch a figure per car for a specified length of time Harry laughed and carried the letter to Lawyer Hale. After a consultation with the young manager, the lega1 gentleman notified the railroad eom. pany that the Dane oil would, for the present, at least, continue to be for warded to the Independent refinery at Liberty by water, as a year's charter had been entered into with the owner of the two sloops engaged in the transportation. "The trust is evidently at the back of this offer from the railroad company," saic1 Harry. "I guess your letter will provide them with food for reflection." "I dare say," nodded Mr. Hale. "But don't forg e t that you have now put yourself squarely on record against the trust, and you mu s t be prepared to hear from them in some way. Eternal vigilance h ereafter will be the price you must pay for independen ce. Beware of some artful trick. Look out that your trans portation man i s not tampered with." l "I have a regular contract with him." "Don' t trust too much to that." "He's making money out o.f u s with prospect s of more in the near future He d be a fool to go back on a good thing." "The trust people may find it to their interests to 11im off." "Then I'll start a new transportation line myself," said Harry, re s olutely. !'The oppos ition may be able to head you off." "How can it?" "By putting a spoke in your efforts to charter suitable Yessels." "They'll have to get up mighty early in the morning if they expect to do me. I'm in this fight to win." Harry was perfectly satisfied that if the oil product of the neighborhood was concentrated on Liberty they could keep well to the windward of the trust. Lawyer Hale looked at the young man ac1miringly "I like your pluck, Harry. You've got the real Ameri can grit; but, remember, it i s American craft and perse verance you' r e up against. In a diamond-cut-diamond con te s t the biggest man win s and you know who the biggei:;t man is in this case." With the beginning of Indian s umm e r a fourth well came into operation on the Wakeley property, and several n e w ones began to spout on the adjacent properties Harry took on himself the managemant of the transpor tation end, leaving the producing; end to Dan Brackett, who had been advanced to assist-ant genernl manager, at a satisfactory salary. "Well, you'll find I won't disg race the name of Dane ," said the boy, defiantly "I'm opposed to all kinds o f trusts, if you want to know my s entiments, and the Oil Trust in particula r at present


STRUCK OIL. 15 CHAPTER VIII. THE THREF. PLOTTERS. A TnrnD s loop was added to the tran s portation fleet that carried the oil from the wharf on the Deering property to Liberty. 'rhis was made necessary by the amount of petroleum which Harry Dane arranged for shipment from the outside produc e rs, of which there were now four in the neighbor hood. He was making a strong effort to keep these people in line as independent s but all of them were more or less handicapped by lack of money, and had to d e pend s olely on the money they now received for the crude material. Although the s mart, progressive boy was opposed to trus ts in general, he was in favor of a community of inter est s--that is, a combination of the ind e pendent producers for the purpose of marketing their product on the most favorable lines. It was getting on toward the en' d of fall, and a fifth well was in working order on the Wake ley farm, when the Danes heard from an emissary of the Oil Trust again. Apparently the Dane interests were recognized as the controlling force in the oil industry in Blank County for Lawyer Hale, their legal repre s entative, was approached with a proposition, the object of which was the formation of a single company, in which it was proposed to merge all the producers of the district, under exceptionally favorabl e conditions The Indiana Pipe Line Company was reacly to la y a pipe line right into the heart of the oil re gion of Blank County and contract for the entire s upply, present and future, :it ninety-one cents a barrel. It was an enticing proposal on its face Harry, however, refused to consider it, and a pol ite nega tive was forwarded to 1.he party who had submitt e d the matter. The scheme, however, gave Harry Dane an rdea, which he proposed to follow up in his own way. Harry was relieved to find that the men were not making toward his home, but all the same he d ecided to follow them up until he saw they had actually left the Emit s of his laml. The course they were pursuing, howeve r, was certain to bring them eventua ll y to the Wakeley farm, which joined the Dane property on the west. Harry wondered if their real object was a short cut toward 'the nearest county road. This hardly seemed possible, as the road could be rea c hed in a more direct way. At last they reached the fence between the Dane anL l Wakeley farms, climbed over and made direct for the tall, gaunt derrick which ll!arked th e location of oil w e ll No. 5-the one which had but recently been s hot. On one side of. the unsightly pile was a s mall house, in which Dan Brackett had taken up hi s re si d e nce, with hi s siste r for housekeeper; on the other ran a low stone wall for some distance. Close to this wall a shed had been erected to store the drilling tools, rope, lumber and other mat e rial used in th e lat e boring. The three men gave th e derrick a wide berth, s tepped over the wall and walked toward the shed. They paused in front of the wide opening, looked in and conversed together in tones that did not reach as far as the boy's ears. Finally they disappeared around th e of th e shed Harry, followin g close upon their heels, soon heard the sound of thei r voices quite plainly, and he knew they had halted on the far side of the s hed near the low wall. He crept up to the corne r of the s hed which he coul d safely do without attracting their attention, as the glow was rapidly fading out of the sh.7, and saw that they evi dently intended to roost at that point for a while, at least, for one of thei r number was g ath e rin g sticks and dr y twigs into a heap, with the purpose of starting a fire, for the night was decidedly cool. A match was applied to the dry tinder and the tiny flame fanned into a blaze. More wood was added, until quite a re spectab le fire r e sulted, about which the three men gath ere d und e r th e shadow of the shed and warmed themselves. Abont three weeks l ater Harry, returning from the boat landin g in the creek to his home, in the dusk of the even ing, noticed three disreputable -l ooking men s l ouching along 1.hrough the buRhes ahead of him. Presently they proclucecl som e sandwiches and began to Their actions were 80 suspicious that the boy kept his eat, ancl during and followin g this performance a s uspi-eye upon them. cious -lookin g black flask circulated among them, at which Somehow or another he had an idea he had seen these each took a lon g swig with grea t relish. men before Harry now had a good opportunity to stu d y th eir harcl"I wonder w h ere those rascals are -going?" he mused. looking faces in the flicker in g glow of the fire, ancl the "They seem to be headed for our farm I don't like the I longer he l ooked the more certain h e was that he hacl seen illea of having three s uch vicious-look in g chaps hanging 1 them before. around our premi s e s for they are certainly up to no good." 11 All at once he r emembered where and und e r what He kept their figures in view as well a s he could in the cums tances he had previously nm across them. gath e ring darkness, det,errnincd to find out whether or These were the three men who had assaulted and c aused not their intentions were hostile to hi s interests. I the death of Matthew Rock .in the swamp during the s torm They climbed the fence where Mr. De e ring's farm joined and darkness, when he and Phil Deering w e r e trying to es his mother's place and s lunk along bes ide it, without mak' cap e from their dangerous and unpleasant ing any effort to go toward the Dane farmhouse. And he and Phil had subse qu e ntly seen them through


16 STHUOK OIL. the cabin win

STRUCK OIL. 17 "And who is this enemy?" "I didn't learn that." "That's unfortunate, if these are really the tools of another. Well, we ivust try to catch these rascals before they do any damage to the property." "You'll have to get some of the laborers to lielp us. Have several of our men cut off their retreat, while we take them in the front." "That's a good idea. You'd better keep an eye on their movements from here while I go for assistance." "Don't lose any time, Mr. Brackett. It's getting dark fast, and they're liable to get busy any moment." "Oh, I'll be spry about it. We'll make an example of these chaps. It may deter others from engaging in a simi lar enterprise. whoever put them up to it is the party I'd like to catch most of all." "We must try to compel these men to confess after we get hold of them." "We'll turn the screws on them. Well, I'm off," and Brackett hurried off into the gloom at the back of his house. Harry kept his eyes upon the stone wall near the shanty expecting any moment to see the three rascals appear over it. Once or twice he dimly made out a head and a pair of broad shoulders rise above the wall, as if their owner was taking a survey of the surrou ndin gs to see that the coast continued clear. In less than ten minutes Brackett returned with half a dozen of the laborers employed on the place. Harry explained to them the exact position of the vil lains, and Brackett told them to make their way t<> the rear, so as to head them off when he and the young manager descended upon them from the front. The men started off to carry out their directions. "I'm going into the house for my revolver," sai d Dan, after they had disappeared in the gloom. He was gone about three minutes. "We'll give our men ten minut'es tc> get into position and then we'll get busy," he said when he rejoined the b<>y. "Those chaps are preparing for action now," said Harry, pointing toward the shed Brackett looked and saw the r eflect ion of three :figures in the :firelight. They were standing up and moving about. "We'll have to make a move, <>r they'll be over the wall before we know it, and that will di sar range our plan for their capture." "Have you got a stick of some kind around here I can use as a club?" asked the boy. "I've the very thing you want." Brackett went into the kitchen and presently returned with a smooth piece of wood with u knot at the end of it. "That will do some execution," he remarked, with a laugh, "if it comes in contact with a man's head and sh oul der s." They left the shelter of the dwelling and cautiously advanced a.cross the open space toward the stone wall. The rascals acted as if they did not fear interference. Apparently they counted on having things their own way, owing to the lonesomeness of the surroundings and the absence of a regular watchman. At the present moment they a.ppeared to be in consulta. tion about the matter in hand. The absence of ha s te on their part ena bled Harry and Dan Brackett to draw quite near t<> the spot where they stood. The young manager and his stalwart assistant took shel ter in the shadow of an oak tree which gr .ew close to the wall. From this point of vantage they watched the deliberate actions of the three ruffian s The Whiskey flask made its final round of the three ihouths, the last man tossing the empty bottle into the bushes. Then the fellows showed by unmistakable signs that they were ready to begin business. "Now is our time," said Brackett, nudging the boy. "Got your gun ready?" asked Harry, gripping his weapon tighter. I have." "Come on, then." Dane sprang upon the low stone wall, brandishing his stou t c udgel, and, closely followed by Brackett, made a dash at the plotters. Though taken by surprise, one of the rascals snatched a stick from the fire and stood on the defensive. The other two stood for a me>ment undecided, and then turned to flee as Harry rushed at them with his club. Br ackett had covered the more resolute fellow with his revolver and called on him to surrender. H e seemed inclined to put up a fight, but he :finally yielded when he realized that he stood n<> show. His companions h a d scattered in their attempt to escape, but this did not avail them, for Harry 's cudgel stretched. one upon the ground at the v ery moment the other was surrounded and taken prisoner by the men advancing from the rear. The three villains were speedily bound. "Well, what have you got to say for yourselves?" a s ked Brackett, ste rnly, looking at the fellow who appeared to be the leader. The rascal made no reply merely staring insolently at the assistant manager. "You came here to d estroy our property, you scoundrel," said Brackett. "Who says so?" r e torted t he man, with an ugly look. "I say so." "Y<>u'll have to prove that." "I guess we can do that." "You can't." "Let me tell you that you three were followed to this place, that your conve r satio n and plotting were ove rheard." "It's a lie!"


18 STRUCK OIL "Ver y well. I 'm going to take you all to the village lockup, and tomorrow you ll have the opportunity to de fen d yourse lves before the justice made to the jus tic e at his office in the pres e nce of Harry Dane, Dan Bra c k e tt, Lawyer Hale, Phil Deering and others drawn there by thcer e port of the capture "You'll pay for this pr e tty d e arly," g ri tted the ra s cal. I g uess you' ll the boot i s on the other leg, my fine fellow," a n swered Brackett, significantly. "You c an t p rove nothin'," snar led the man wit h a s moth e red oat h "You r p ro ject was to destroy the property on this farm --the derrick, oil tanks and other valuable material. Now, you fellows woul d n t attempt s uch a risky bus iness out of mer e wantonness. Somebody employed you to c1o it-some body who ha s an obj ect i n destroying t h is busine s s T e ll us who th is ma n i s make a clean br e ast of the whole conspiracy a nd we'll make things eas y for you. Other w ise---" "We ll ? s neer e d t h e rascal. "We' ll ma k e i t s o h ot for you th at you ll wish you'd n ever gon e into t h e scheme "You can't d o a b lame thing. We was only jest warmin' ourselves liy the .re. You can't show that w e've touched a n yt hin b e lon gi n t o thi s p lace. "We c a n s h o w mor e tha n you think." Bah You' r e ta l kin' through your hat. W e a in't afeard of you T ake us to the l ock-up. We don't keer Th e r e h ai n't n o evidence ag'i n us, and yer know it." Ar e you goin g to confess who pu t you o n to this j ob?" "Nobo d y pu t onto nothin'." All ri ght," replied Brackett, secretly annoyed by the ra s cal' s bol d front, for he began to realize that h e and Harry D a n e had been too precipitate in c apturin g the vil lain s t h a t it woul d have been better policy to have per mi t t e d the m to s how thei r hands and then have taken them r e d-h a nded. "Fetch them alon g boys A h o rse was harnessed to a light wagon, th e thre e ruf fian s wer e put in, and, with a couple 0 the hands to g uard t hem a nd Harry a n d B r ackett on the seat, they drove off t o t h e v ill age. Routi ng out the cons table, Harry mac1e a formal charge of contemp l ated incencliari s m a ga inst the fellows, a n d t hey w e r e locked u p f o r the n ig h t. C HAPTER X EXPANDING BUSINESS. \\HEN the village constable went to t h e locku p o n t h e fol lowing morning to s upply his three p rison er s with something to eat, an hour b e fore he expe cted to take t hem be for e the just i c e :for examination, h e found somej;hing hau occurred durin g the night. There was a hole in the roof of the rural p rison pen and the pr i sone rs w e re missing This was the ext reme l y a n noying discl o sure t h e con s tabl e "You say the m e n e s cap e d b y way of a hol e in the roof, Cons table Jones?" asked the j ustice, with magiste r ial sternness. "Yes, you r honor." "How came that hole to be in the roof?" "The :fe llows mad e it, your honor." "Was the roof bro\rnn in any way be:fore they were put into the place?" "I never notic e d that it was ." "It' s your bus iness to see that the r e are no loopholes for your prisoner s to tak e advantag e o:f. They mus t have had some tools to :force their way out that way. Did you s earch the prisoner s b e fore you le:ft them ?" "No, your honor," sheepi s hly admitted the c onstable "Why didn't .you?" "I didn't think it necessary." I "Well, you see what has re s ulted from your negligence. Tho s e :fellows evid e ntly had implem ents on their per s on s which, whe n le:ft alone, they turned to good use. You are re s pon s ible for their escape, cons table, and your carelessne s s i s deserving of cen s ur e You had better make some effort to r e capture your late pri sone r s Th e cons tabl e hurri e dly le:ft the justic e' s office. "It is too bad they got away," spoke up Harry Dane "Thos e men are wanted for murder-they caused the d e ath o:f Matthew Rock-as ':vell as :for the in c endiary job th e y were about to put into effect on our place when we c aught them. 'l'h e y look like a des perate bad lot, capable o:f any crime, and T exp e ct we shall have more trouble with them in the near :futur e ." "I regret as much as you do that the ra scal s managed to e s cap e owing to th e s hort s ighte dness of Cons tabl e Jones repli e d Jus tice Cox. "But the damag e i s done and w e 'll hav e to make the best o:f tho unfortunate circumstanc e YOU had b e tter establish a strict watch On your property a:fter this "That' s what we mean to do," said Dan Brackett. "We have b e en some what car e less in that re s pect heretofore, a s we did not apprehend being dis turbed by any out s ide in fluence directed against our works "What could be the obje c t of these rascals in trying to destroy your prop erty?" a s k e d the jus tice, with some curi osity. I have strong reason for believ ing that they were em p l oyed by some per son unknown to us to damage our oil bus ines s," s aid Harry Dane, without hesita tion "This is a serious asse rtion, man Are you sure yoti have good ground for such su s picion?" asked the jus t ice, in surpri se. "I overhea r d the :fellows mention that :fa.ct a m ong them s elves." "You didn t get a clew t o the identity of t he s u pposed principa l in the plot, did you ?" "No, n ot the slightest." "Do y ou suspec t any one?"


STRUCK OIL. 19 "I do not. The only business rivals we have would hard ly s toop to, or even wink at, such a contemptible and criminal scheme. There was considerable s urmise among the pre sent as to who was at the back of the outrage; but there was nothing on which to base a tangib le theory. The justice adjourned the proceedings, and those present departed their various ways, hoping for further develop ments in the case "What do you think about it, Harry?" asked Phil, as he and his chum took their sea.ts in the wagon driven by Dan Brackett, and the trio set out for the Wakeley farm. "I don't lmow what to think, replied his .friend. "The only business enemy we have that I know of is the trust, and it seems preposterous to suspect any agent of theirs would dare take such desperate chances to injure our I plant." "I agree with you there. The trust, as are its meth ods, does not resort to crime to further its plans. If one of its agents is really at the back of this attempt to destroy your property, he is wo&:ing, I guess, entirely on hi s own respon sibi lity." "We sho uld make it mighty unpl easant for such a party i we caught him at suc h a game." "I rather think you would. By the way, father told me this morning he gave you permi ssion to lay a light track through our property to the wharf, as you intend to trans port your oil on cars instead of by wagons "That's correct. I hav e ordered a smal l narrow-gauge locomotive and half a dozen light flat cars, suc h as contrac tors use, to carry my oil to the wharf. I bought a lot of old iron rail s some time ago that were discarded by the C. & B. railroad at about the cost of old iron. The men will he here Monday to grade the lin e and lay the rails." "You're doing things up brown, aren't you?" "I'm going to discard tran spor t atio n by barrels, too." What are you going to use in place of them?" "Tanks." "Tanks?" move. I shall have imprnved facilities in spite of their little game." "You are smart, upon my word, Harry," replied Phil, admiringly "Remember, what I have told you is in strict confidence "Sure. You know you can depend on me not saying a word." "I trust you because w e are old friend s," said Dane. "I guess you n never regret your confidence "I hope not." "All these improvements must cost a heap of m oney." "They will." ; "Are you making enough out of your oil to stand it?" "No. We are going to put a mortgage on the property." "Isn't that kind of risky?" "Not at all. We've got five wells in operation so far, with a sixth nearly ready to shoot and a seventh und e r way. We haven't struck a dry hole so far, which shows there is a l ot of oil down below. I am su r e there is oil bearing rock under mother' s farm, too. It is also likel y that there is oil under your father's place also." "I lieard him say be intended to investigate the matter after a little time "I am satisfied this is an oil-bearing district, and I am working to keep the trust out of it altogether," said Han-y. "I am arranging now to form a company, to be called the Wakeley Oil nnd Refining Company." "IVhy, are you going to build a refinery, too?" asked Phil, in surprise "No. The Independent refinery at Liberty is going to take a big block of stock in the enterp rise, and will turn in their works in place of cash at a fair valuation." "How lon g since you started this plan?" asked Phil, wonderingly. "Only a few days ago." "How are you going to sell the stock?" "I have spoken to fifty of our neighbors, and every one is going to take some s hares." "I suppose my father is in it?" "He is. The shares will be sold at par-one hundred "Yes. I am having half a dozen scows built which are dollars, payable in ten per cent. installments on call. :Mr. to be equi pped with oil tanks 'rhcse, towed by a small Hale ha s agreed to take one hundred shares, and he will tug I am also having built, will take the place of the three be one of the incorporator .s_. .All the people of the dis trict s loop s now in commission on whose property oil has already been found are going t0 "I thought you had a year's contract with the owner of s ign iron-clad agreements for a tei:m of years with us to the sloops?" transport ancl refine their en tire product, which we will "I have But I hiiv e 1received reliable information afterward s hip to ma r ket and sell throughout the country through the Ind ependent refiner y people that this man has in opposition to trust oil, through channe l s already in oper t:ome to an arrangement with the tru st by which, for a conation by the Independent refinery." sidcration, he is going to throw up the contract and leave "Gee whizz You are going to make a big business out us in the lurch." 0 this thing." "When?" "That's what I'm aiming at. I shall be the presid ent "On the tenth of next month, after he receives his check and general manager of the company." for services r e nd ered up to the end of this month." "That's fine. But can't you work me into this "My father told y ou to l ook out for trouble in the transsomehow?" asked Phil, eagerly portation branch." "I'll take care of you, Phil. I'm going to make ynu "Well, I've been on the lookout, and am hustling to meet s up erintendent of transportation, old fellow, as soon as my the emergency. 'l"he trust won't make an yt hing by this oil fleet goes into commission."


'STRUCK OIL. CHAPTER XI. A RACE WITH DEA.TH. par value of one hundred dollars each-one million dollars in all, four thou sand of these shares being designated as ten per cent. cumulative preferred stock, dividends on the preferred stock being payable two dollars and fifty cents per sha re quarterly, commencing April 1st, and six thou sand shares were designated as common. AFTER the first of the month Harry had all kinds of trouble getting the three sloops to carry his oil to Liberty. One of them was reported to have sprung a leak and sunk at her moorings at Liberty in an unaccountable manner. Harry f!mnd this was true, and it made him mad, for he guessed the secret at the bottom of it all The remaining vessels rendered very poor service during the ten days .that intervened before payment was to be made for the past month's transportation. He tried to find the owner in order to demand an explanation, but failed to locate him This convinced him that he had been wise in making arrangements for his own fleet of vessels, and he sent hurry orders for their completion. The :flat cars he had contracted for were to be equipped with tanks, and they were being built on a rush order After the tenth of the month the sloops disappeared from the river and transportation of the oil ceased entirely for two weeks, at the encl of which time the two miles of rail road were entirely finished, and the locomotive and six tank cars w e r e delirerec1 at the 1l'harf by the builder Two days afterward the appeared with the tank fleet, nnd the oil began to be delivered at Liberty in better s hap e and much cheaper than before, much to the surprise and disgu st of the trust agent, who ha d anticipated tying the Wakeley oil people up completely Phil Deering entered upon his duties as superintendent of transportation, and Harry found him a thoroughly efficient and reliable ass i sta nt. The success of Harry Dan e's progressi, e melhod of gcl ting his own oil and that of his neighbors to Liberty in spite of the trust won him the unstiuted praise of the coun ty at large, and attracted some attention from the newspapers of the State. A s the weeks went by and winter came on another well was added to the five already in operation, and the Wakeley output amounted to over fwo thi.iusand barrels per month, and his gross receipts from that source 1rere about one t hou sand nine hundred dollars every thirty days. He also earned freight on three thousand barrels of oil carri ed to Liberty for the other producers in his neighbor hood, making altogether :five thousand barrels of oil his fleet of tank scows delivered per month, which was much below their capacity By the fir s t of the year this output was. increased to seven thousand barrels, well No. 7 on his own property adding nearly four hundred barrel s to his own total. Three thousand shares of the pref erred stock were al lotted as follows : One thousand to Harry Dane for all right and title to the Wakeley property and the oil product thereof. Five hundred sha res to the owners of the Independent refinery for their plant and good-will. Fifteen hundred shares to Lawyer Hale, Mr. Deering, oil producers and others of Blank County for cash, which was set down as the imm ediate working capital. Every one of the foregoing shares carried with it one share of Lhe common stock as a bonus, leaving one thousand s hare s of preferred and three thousand shares of the common stock in the treasury for future disposition. Lawyer Hale had the article of incorporation drawn up by one of the ablest legal luminaries of the State, and, in order to heftd off the Oil Trust obtaining control of the company through purchase of a majority of the stock at any time they provided, among other things, that stock owned by any member subsequently affiliating himself to the in terests of the lrust should lose its voting power to decide upon questions affecting the affairs of the company at its annual meeting of the board of directors. The same restriction was placed upon any and all stock sold or otherwise transferred to others without the consent of the board of directors. The control of the company was thus placed in the hands of the independents, and might not be wrested them by any device of the Oil Trust. Harry Dane was elecled pre s ident and general manager of the company. The former president of the Indepcnclent refinery became vice-pre sident. And Lawyer Hale was elected secretary and treasurer. There were seven directors on the board, of which the Dane inlercsts w ere represented by four, and therefore was in control of affairs. The main office of the company was at Liberty, with a branch at Indianapolis. By spring there were ten wells in full operation on the y.,r akeley farm, with a total output of three thousand five hundred barrels per month, and twelve wells on adjacent property, with an output of four thousand five hundred barrels, all of which was controlled by the W akcley Oil and Refining Company, and duly marketed when refined. Up to this time nothing more hacl been heard from the Oil Trust, though that corporation was, of' course, fully aware of the condition of Blank County oil affairs. On the fir st of the year the Wakeley Oil and Refinin g Company began busine ss as a corporation, chartered under the law s of the State. One beautiful spring morning Harry had his favorite horse saddled, and he rode down to the wharf in the creek to ce about the landing of a load of nitroglycerine, a considerab l e part of which was intended to be used in shooting a couple of new wells on the Wakeley property. The capital s tock consisted of ten thousand shares of a


STRUCK OIL. 91 Phil Deering was in charge of affairs at the wharf when he arrived. rrhe explosive ma.terial had to be handled with the utmost care, and was loaded upon an ordinary car for trans por tation to its destination. As the material was not wanted until that afternoon, and no oil was to be sent over the track for the next twenty-four hours, Harry directed the engineer of the locomotiv.e to leave the car at a certain pe>int on the line about a mile from the Wakeley farm, with the wheels securely blocked and its ominous red flags conspicuously dispiayed to warn pee> ple away from the immediate locality. A sing l e employee was to be left on guard as a further precaution, as the car was to stand at the highest point of the grade, where the track ran over a gentle elevation. On his way back Harry saw that his directions had been carefully carried out. He spoke to the man who had been left in charge of the car of explosive s tuff, and warned him to be especially care ful. Then he turned his horse 's head to the south and rode over to call upon a n eig hboring producer. It toe>k him a couple of hours to transact his business, and then he started to return to the Wakeley farm. He passed within sight of the nitroglycerine car, and was astoniRhed to see three men apparently at work about it. "What the rlickens does this mean?" he ejaculated. "It can't be that Brackett has sent for the stuff, for the 'shooter' is not scheduled to arrive until three o'clock. I don't un derstand, then, why tha.t stuff s hould be moved." D e t ermined to find out the rea s on why the position of the car of stuff was about to be altered, Harry spurred his mare forward at a rapid pace. He kept bis eyes on the car as he approached and saw one of the men leap into it and release the brake. Then he jumped out on the ground, and the three men all went to the back of the car and began to push it down the grade. The car nahually moved forward easily and gradually gathered headway. The men ran with it for perhaps filty feet and then with a final push l eft it to roll ahead of its own momentum. They stood and watched it as it gained in speed and finally whirled around a curve where the line skirted a bit of wood. Here they lost s ight of the car, as also did Harry, and then they s tarted off toward the distant high road. "Good heavens !" cried Dane, as he observed the car being sent wild down the grade. "There's some villainy on foot !" His hair began to rise with horror, for he knew that unless that death-bearing car could be shunted from the main it would run at increasing speed straight into the very midst of the ousiest secti on of the Wakeley pre>p er ty, where it must strike the buffers in front of the big tanks, where the tank cars, now unloading at the wharf, took on their lo. ads, ancl the results of such a collision would undoubtedly be disastrous not only to the most valuable part of the company's property-for the five big tanks practically full of oil at that moment-but to the lives of many of the employees who were busy at that point. There was no switch, however, anywhere along that short line except near the vicinity of the tanks, and, even were the approach of the nitroglycerine car observed in time to be switched aside, it would collide with another pair of buf fers close at hand, and the results would be almost as serious The only way that a great disaster could be averted was to have the car stopped gently before it reached any obstruc tion. How this was to be accomplished during so short a run, half of which was down grade, was the question which agi tated Harry's mind. Then, as he whirled his horse about and starte d at full speed along the back edge of the wood, the inspiration came to him that if he could reach the far corner of the wood by the time the rapidly moving car came along he might be able to swing himself from his horse to it, and then, by slowl y applying the break, gradually bring the car to rest. This short cut to head off the car was possible, as the road made a long sweep, nearly doubling on itself. "It's our only hope," be breathed, and he dug his heels into the mare's fl.ankti and urged her forward at her topmost speed. ,, That portion of the curved track on which the nitro glycerine car was shooting along was hidden from the boy's eyes by the thick trees, and he had no means of judging, as he raced ahead at mad speed, whether the car was gaining upon him or not. "Hurry, old girl," he cried to his mare, in a low, tense tone that trembled with excitement and anxiety. "Hurry I A dozen lives, perhaps, and thousands of dollars worth of property depend on our heading off that car." He patted the animal's neck with a trembling hand and leaned well forward in his seat. It was a wild race while it lasted. doing fine, Queenie! Faster-a little faster, old girl, and we'll win, for the car is not yet in sight, and we're almost at the edge of the woods." The animal responded with a fresh spurt as the boy pat ted her sweat-povered neck for the twentieth time, and his voice poured encouragement into her backward-tilted ears. "On, on That's right! N e>w you're doing it! We' ll win yet!" The little animal tore right down on the narrow line of track, the rails of which glittered in the noon-day sun Harry felt himself thrill with the excitement of it all. The mare's s ides were heaving and falling, while its breath came puffing from its nostrils like exhaust steam. Horse and rider were almost there when the nitroglycer ine car shot into view. "There she is, gir1 We must catch her!" cried Harry. "We must catch her before she gets away from us!" The mare's nose seemed to strike the rear end of the car as she dashed up to the track at breakneck speed.


22 STRUCK OIL . With all his strength Harry turned Queenie to one side, 1 "Thank heaven!" he muttered. "All danger is over now, 11nd she swept around and da s hed away in the sam e direcfor I have the car under cont rol." tion the car was speeding. Gradually the flat car came to a rest, just as Dan Brack-Tt was now nip and tuck between the animal and the car. ett came rushing up the tracks from the vicinity of the The mar e could not do her best so close to the track on tanks. account of the uneven character of the ground at this point "Why, Harry Dane!" he exclaimed, as he steppe d up in of,the farm front of the car "What's the matter? What's happ e ned Harry almost groaned as ior a moment or two it struck to the nitroglycerine car?" him that they were losing ground and that the car would "The matter is, several scoundrels-who they can be I surely escape him. haven't the slightest idea-sent this car loose from its He saw that if he was to succeed at all he must now, if moorings at the top of the grade. I saw them do it from ever, make one last desperate effort to get within jumping a distance as I was returning from the Hooper property." distance of the car, a nd then take the most desperate and "Great Scott! Is it possible!" exclaimed the assistant daring risk he had ever taken in his life. manager, aghast. "Now, then, girlie, one more spurt! Put every ounce of speed into you. It's life or death now! Go it l" He began to apply small fancy whip he carried to the mare's flanks with a frantic energy that start led the animal, which had never been used to s uch treatme nt. She threw up her head in prote st but Harry was pitiless for 'the moment and lashed her like a mad boy. With a snort the mare sprang forward as if she'd taken the bit in her mouth and was running blindly away out of all control. She c losed right up on the car now, inch by inch an d foot by foot, while the boy struck h e r repeatedly to urg e her to keep it up. At la s t she was fairly abreast of the rapidly moving flat car that was bearing its glistening cans of liquid death down the quarter-mile stretch of track. Right ah ea d were the big tanks of sto red oil and the figures of the labor ers moving about the platform and sheds. Dan Brack ett was looking up along the track at the ap proaching car and gesticulating furiously. It was now or never with Harry Dane, and he was all there with both feet. He detached his feet from the sti rrup s rose to his knees on th e mare's back, swayed there for a moment, the n rose up, like a. circus rider, and stood for a sing l e instant 'upright on the back of the wildly galloping animal, and then he sprang out into the air toward the car. CHAPTER XII. HOW HARRY DANE SAVED THE DAY. HARRY DANE landed in a sprawling position i n the open space between the cans and the rear board which fenced in the back of the car. For a moment it looked a s if he would continue his fligh t by rolling out onto the track behind. Fortunately he did not. As soon as he recovered himself he rose to his feet and made hi s way forward betwee n the stack of tins and the side board of the car. Grasping t he brake, he began to bring p'ressure on the wheels, little by little, until the speed of the "wild-cat" c1 irnini s h e d perceptibly. "Their intention, without a doubt, was to wreck our prop erty, no matter whether it cost a dozen lives or not." "Infamous!" cried the excited man. "I shou ld say so." "How many men were engaged in this terrible scheme?" "I counted three "Ttiree? You were not close enough to recognize them?" "No." .,.. "What did they look like?" "Workmen, apparently I at first thought they were some of our laborers you had sent forward ahead of time to alter the position of the car for some "I sent none of the men for any such purpose." "Of course you did not. There is evidently a dastardly plot at the bottom of this affair." "It certainly has all the car-marks of it," replied Brack ett, indignantly. "How did you manage to rei:ch and stop the car?" Harry explained in a few words. thought I saw you speeding down bes ide it on your horse, but I coul d hardly believe my eyes when you rose up on the mare's back and took that flying l eap." "It was the only chance I had to board the car Had I missed my aim the tanks and other property would have been wrecked complete l y." "They would have, indeed, and many lives have been l ost. You're the nerviest lad I ever met in my life," he said, admiringly "Nonsense It was the l east I could do under the cir cumstances. Many lives and the company's welfare depended on me. The risk I took was in a good cause." "We seem to have a determined enemy who is leaving no stone unturned to bring about our ruin. We must ferret him out at any cost, for he will certa inl y try until he succeeds, unless we can head him off for good." "I shall bring a detective into the case now for certain "That's right. We ought to have done that when the attempt was made last fail to burn us out. Say, Harry,'' he exclaimed, \\;ith sudden earnestness, "you say you saw three men monkeying with this car?" "Yes." '\T believe now they were t h e identical three r ascals we captured when the former attempt was made to do us up."


. STRUCK OIL. 23 "By gracious I never thought of that cried the boy, in a startled tone. "Well, we're going to ride back to the top oi the grade now; for here come the men who are going to look after the "I think there can be no doubt of that .fact. We are up car." against the same enemy, as his ready tools testify Dan Brackett and half a dozen stout laborers were ap"But I could not swear that these the same misproaching along the track creants." "I'm off, l\1r. Brackett," cried Harry, as he sprang into "No matter. The inference c l ear enough. Get a the sa.

STRUCK OIL. out we'll do you,' cried the big fellow, displaying a nasty"I can't imagine who is at the back of this, unless some lookin g knife menacingly. I s'posed their intentions was agent of the trust is taking this means to do us up without to rob me, though it's precious little I bad about me. They the sanction of his employers." made no attempt to do that, though. However, they drew "I am satisfied the trust would never resort to such tac bits of manilla rope ,from their pockets and, while two of tics as that. Whatever steps they take to stifle opposition 1.hem held me, the big fellow tied my hanJs and feet as are well within the law, which, of course, can be twisted you saw and shoved that handful of oakum into my mouth, in many ways when manipulated by the skilled attorney s in after forcing my jaws apart with the point of his knife." their pay. No, my lad, the trust has an elastic conscience, "They used -you pretty rough." but its methods are always legal," said Mr. Peters. "They did that, sir. I couldn't understand what kind of a It was nearly dark when Harry got off the cars at Pres game they were up to. Finally they carried me over to cott on his return home that day. the bushes where you found me and threw me down there A surprise waited him at the station. like I was a sack of potatoes." Eloise Hale, thelawyer's daughter, was waiting for him "What then?" asked Harry. on her pony "Starlight,'' and s he had brought down with "They left me there, sir, and I haven't a very clear idea her "Queenie." II' hat they did after that, though I had some notion that "Why, Eloise!" cried Harry. "Is that r ea lly you? And they were monkeying with the nitroglycerine car. I was you brought Queenie? Did Phil tell you I had gone to skeered to death, for I was afraid they might set it off, and Liberty?" I wasn't out of the danger zone by any means." "No. I was over to see your mother. She told me, and "What gave you idea they were fooling with the car?" said your friend Phil was going to bring your mare down "I heard them knocking away the rocks we had placed to the station in time to meet you." to anchor the wheels." "It seems that you have cut him out, then?" laugh ed "And then?" the boy, with apparent satisfaction. "I thought I heard the car move away, though I couldn't "I'm afraid I have. Are you sorry?" she asked, coquetswear to it. It mu s t have been so, for I see she's gone. tishly. Now, for the life of me I can't understand why--'t "Not much. You know I'd rather ride home with you "Would you know those men if you saw them again?" any day." "Sure I would." "You say that very nice." "You could swear to their identity?" "Don't you believe I mean it?" "I could. I had a good, square look at them before they "Oh, I couldn't think of disputing your word, Mr. tackled me." Dane." "What did they look like?" "Mr. Dane! Oh, come, now, what's the matter with From the workman's description Harry readily identified Harry? You've always called me that ever s ince we were them as the three ruffians who had already given them so knee-high to grasshoppers." much trouble, and to whom Matthew Rock owed his death. "What a ridiculous comparison," she laughed, with girl"I'll hunt those scoundrels down if it costs a lump of ish gaiety. money. We shall never be quite safe until they are behind "Well, don't let me hear you call me anything but Harry; the bars," he mused. Then to the man he said: "You can do you understand?" return to the works now, my man, and make your report to "Oh, dear! I'm afraid that is altogether too familiar Mr. Brackett." for me, now that you are the president of a big corporation Thus speaking, Harry mounted Queenie and rode off with a capital stock of one million dollars." toward his home. "Pshaw! What's one million dollars? One of these CHAPTER XIII. ELOISE H.A.Lll. TIIAT afternoon Harry Dane took the train at Prescott and went down to Liberty to have atalk with Vice-Presi dent Peters, who was the manager of the refinery. Mr. Peters was horrified to learn of the attempt made that day to destroy the company's property at Wakeley farm. -. "I will telegraph to our Indianapolis agent to send an experienced detective up here right away,'' he said. "As soon as he arrives I will give him a letter of introduction to you, and you can arrange matters between you looking to the capture of those scoundrels." days we'll water that so as to make it two million dollars. That's the way the trusts do, and we're of just as much importance-in my own opinion, at any rate--as some of them." "I heard you had a thrilling adventure this morning with that nitroglycerine car,'' she said, with a little s hud der. "Yes. I and Queenie. She's entitled to as much credit for helping stop that car as I am. Aren't you, girlie?" he said, bending down and patting the mare's shapely neck. The animal tossed her head in the air and whinnied. "Why, Queenie seems to understand all you say to her,'' said Eloise. "Sure she does. Why not? Most people do not really understand an intelligent horse. If they haven't souls, some of them at least possess a high order of intelligence."


STRUCK OIL. 25 "I am sure they do," agreed the charming girl. They were now galloping along the county road at an eas y pace, and dusk was fast shrouding the landscape with her gloomy mantle. Jus t the n they came to an abrupt turn in the highway. Suddenly and without warning three rough-looking men sprang from the hedge and stepped into the road before them. "Halt!" cried the biggest one, in a tone. Both horses shied at the three apparitions. Harry reined in Queenie quickly and laid a detaining gra s p on his fair companion's arm. He readily who the three men were, but he could not imagine what their object was in holding them up in the road. "Oh, dear!" exclaimed Eloise, in a frightened tone, "what can these men want?" "Don' t be alarmed, Eloise," whispered Harry. "I will deal with them." The tall man advanced and extended his arm to grasp Queenie by the bridle. The mare resented this familiarity and backed away. One of the other fellows made a similar movement to ward Starlight, and the animal shied so violently as almost to uns eat his lovely mistress. "Let the girl go on," ordered the leader of the party, im patiently. "Come, young man, get off that horse, or we'll pull you off." "What do you want?" demanded Harry. "None of your blamed business what we want. We want y ou, that's all." "Don't you know such comluct will warrant your arrest?" The man laughed sneeringly. "Tell that to the marines. We know who you are, and we have a little bone to pick with you." "Well, if it comes to that, I know who you are, in a way. I know you are the rascals we arrested on the Wakeley property and who afterward got away from the lock-up." "Oh, you know lhal, eh?" chuckled the fellow, in an unpleasaI\t way. "Well, we ain't denyin' it. Your old, one-boss jails couldn't hold us two minutes when we made up our mind lo walk out." "1 ou won't find it so eas y to escape next time," said Harry Dane, boldly. "Wait till next lime comes," snarled the man. "It will come sooner than you think, my fine feilows," said the boy, stoutly. "I don't think," retorted the rascn.l, contemptuously. "You'll find out what I say is true. You three are the scoundr e l s who sent the nitroglycerine car clown our track this morning. You are a murderous lot, I must say." "Ha!" gritted lhe fellow savagely. "We'll make you wis h you'd" kept a civil tongue in your cheek," and he made a dash at Queenie's head. Somewhat to Harry's surprise the mare didn't shy or back away this time. She reared right up and fairly sprang at the rascal, without any urgin& on the boy's part. Her steel-shod hoofs struck him squarely in the chest, and down he went as though he had been struck by light ning. Harry was quick to take advantage of this opportunity to escape . "Come on, Eloise," he cried, excitedly. "Whip up Star light, and ride these rascals down if they attempt to stop you The girl applied her riding-whip to her animal's flank:; in so smart a way that the horse dashed ahead at the same moment Queenie did. The villains, taken by surprise, jumped out of the wa y and the girl and the boy were beyond their reach in au other moment "What a fortunate escape l" cried Eloise Hale, as the pair dashed down the road at a high speed. "I should say so," replied Harry. you ever see anything like Queenie? She jumped on that man of her own accord." "You don't mean it!" replied the girl, in s o me asto n ish ment. "It's a fact." "Why, I thought you made her do that. "Not a bit of it. She took me quite by surprise. She's a knowing animal." "I should think she was," said the girl, they slowed the animals down to a steady pace once more. "Why did those men stop us, I should like to know?" "Their object was to treat me to a game of rough-house, l guess," replied Harry, grimly, "as this is the second time I've put a spoke in their wheels, when I prevented the nitroglycerine car froin doing its fatal work." Are those the men who did that deed?" she asked, opening her eyes very wide. "I am satisfied they are the men, though I was close enough to them to recognize them. The evidence furni heel by the man left in clrnrge of the car, whom they over powered, is strong enough to connect them with the out rage. I've sent for a detective to take up the case, and I expect that before many days they'll be landed in the cott jail, which they won't find so easy to get out of as om rnral lock-up.,, "I don't know what I should have done if I had met those men alone," Eloise said, with a shudder "I tlon't they would have interfered with you. rrhey J.olcl a grudge against me, and it was me they They turned down a neighboring lane, thus making a short cut to Lawyer Hale's home, which was in the center of the village. Eloise insisted that her escort should come in and stay to tea, which invitation, after a momentary hesitation, he gladly accepted, for the fair daughter of the secretary treasurcr of the W akcley Oil and Refining Company was an attraction the young president of the corporation could not resist.


26 STRUCK OIL. CHAPTER XIV. IN THE C LUT CHES OF THE ENEMY. Two days l a t e r a quiet-l o o king man w ith s harp f eatures a n d ver y bri ght eye s call e d at t h e W ake lej fa r m and asked to see Harry Dane. He w a s s 'ho w n into t h e b oy's office. "Mr. D a n e I b e l i e ve?" h e said, i n q ui ck, decisive tones "Yes, si r. W h a t can I do for you Mr Sharp?" l ooking I a t the c ard t he m an had p resen t e d . Th e visi tor p r o du ced a l ette r from his p ocket a n d han d ed it t o t he b ri g h t boy, whom he had s ized up at a g l ance Harr y sa w t h e enclosure bore the l ithograph e d heading of t h e com pany'sr efinery branch, and he scarcely needed to r ead th e ty p ewritten words to inform himself that the bear e r was t he detective he h ad been expecting. l am g l ad t o meet you, Mr. Sharp," he said, smil ing ly. I hope you w ill be able to do something for u s "That i s t h e object which brings me here," replied the detective, con c isely. "If you w ill give me the pa r ticu lars and even t h e s l igh test t h i n g i n the way of a clue, I will see w hat c an b e clon e to war d bri n g ing thi s cons piracy, if such a t hin g exi s t s t o li ght." H arry lost no t ime i n p uttin g the detective in pos ses s i o n of a ll t h e facts as h e knew them. He al s o summon e d Dan Brack ett and t h e ma n who h ad been l eft in c harge of th e nitroglycer i n e car to give thei r evi dence H e l ikewise t e leph o ned for Phil D eering, who was at the wharf attend ing to t h e l oadi n g of t h e oiltank scows. In th e course of a n hou r the detective l e arned all th e fa c t s o bt a inable, and p r o mptl y took his departure, promi s ing to r e p ort as soon as cir c u msta nces permitted. Durin g t h e next few days a second tug and another fleet of t ank-scow s were a dd ed to the tran sportation equipment of t h e W ake ley O i l a n d R efining Company for oil wells wer e rap i dl y bein g br ou ght i n to oper ation in th e n e ighbor hood. T w o n e w producer s h ad been added to ind e pendent ranks, and th e number o f well s o u tside the w akeley eigh t h a d now r e a c h e d twen ty, m aking the total product of crud e p e trol e um carrie d t o th e company's r efinery at Liberty ta.n thousa n d b a rre l s p e r mon t h, worth nine thou s and one hun dr e d d olla r s Th e refin e r y still ma n age d to r eceive severa l thousand b a r re l s o f pet r o l e u m from t h e Del aware County independ ents, but this supp l y was not counted on per manently, a s the t ru s t was i n a l mos t absol ute con tro l of that section of the State's oil i n dustry. It was o n B lank County, i n what was now called the Wake ley district, t h at the independent company relied for its presen t a n d fu ture supp l y of crude petro l eum The ind ependent spir i t was strong there and Harry Da n e was ever watchfu l for the intrusion of emi s saries of t h e trus t . N o soon e r was the r e a prospect of a new producer join ing the r a nk s t h a n a n agreeme n t was t h rust beneat h hi s 'nnt v 1 nose and hi s s ignatur e obtained guaranteeing the delivery of all oil her e inaft e r found on his property to the Wakeley company for the t e rm of t e n years from the date thereof. The Wak e ley c ompany was doing a v ery profitabl e busi ness alr e ad y although only in operation for a few months, and, beside s paying its reguhtrly guarant eed quarterly divi dend of two and one-half per cent. on its out s tanding three thou s and of pr e ferr e d stock, was accumulating a s mall surplu s Prac ti c ally it had no indebtednes s on its bool

STRUCK OIL. tion, and was expected to be put in commission within a few days, and Phil's duties would be correspondingly en larged. Three scows 1 lay alongside the wharf at that m01nent, ready to be l oaded in the morning, and three others were mooted further up the creek, awaiting t heir turn, whil e Tug No. 2 was i.tnchored midway between the two sect ions. The other six tank-scows with Tug No 1, were at Lib erty There was a watchman on each ection in the creek It was a dark, sultry night, wlth electrical cl isturbanee s in the sky to the southeast. Suddenly out of the darkness behind the boys three crouching figures made theit appearance, and advanced so noiselessly that neither Harry nor Phil became aware of their presence on the scene until both of them were seized and thrown down on the wharf without the least regard for their feelings A :rough hand upon the mouth of each of the boys pre vented them from making an outcry, and in a brief space of time they were securel y bound and: gagged "Now I reckon we've got yer where we want yer," snarled a coarse voice in Harry Dane's eat, .and did not need a light to inform him that he and Phil were in the power of the three rasca l s whose criminal career they had vainly oeen trying to cut shor t. CHAPTER XV. CONCLUSION. THE boys were dragged aboard the nearest scow and car ried into a sheltered space under a sort of narrow deck in the after part of the boat, and there left in charge of one The fellow chuckled grimly Of course, neither Harry Dane nor his chum liked the prospect at all, but the gng in their mouths prevented them from expressing any opinion on the s ubj ect. "P'raps yer think we don't know yet've had a detective 'tound these cliggin's ever since we sot thet nitroglycerine car l oose tryin' ter spot us, eh? Well, what good did it do? Did yer k etch us? I r ecko n thet ain't the first detective we've been up ag'inst." The fellow wagged his head With an u g l y g rin. "Now, how much money w;ill ye1 shell out ter save yer life and thet of yer friend here? Ef yer will agree to stump up a coup l e of tho u sand plunks apiece to us w e'll let yer off. Yer've got plenty of the stuff and don't need it half $0 bac1 as we c1o. That's the only chatlee yer got f o r yer lives-see?" The spea ker grinned viciot1sly. "Will yer promise not t o ye ll out nor give an alarm in any way if I take gag from yer mouth so yer kin an swer me? If it's a go, wag yer head. If yet r 'ef use, i ll stick you with this afore yer to ther fishes," and the rascal drew an u g1y looking knife and it before the boy's eyes. "Now, then, do yer promise?" Harry, unab l e to see his way to ltily other course, :fiodded. "Yer sensible for once in yer lifo/' gnihted the man, approvingly, laying down the knife so he could take the gag from the boy's mouth . "We'll git right down to bizness afore we1te interrupted, as mayhap we might be," he continued, with an ugly leer. "Jerry, you go out on the wharf and keep yer eye skinned for troub l e." The fellow addressed as J erry accordingly aroS! from his haunche s and disappeared outside int o the darkness of the night. "Now, then, will yer swear on this here Testymint," and the scoundrel brought forth a small copy of the New of the scoundre l s, while the other went in search of the Testament that he had provided himself with for the pres watchman, who happened at the moment to be in the leadcnt eme rgency, which the gang had ho doubt been looking ing scow of the three. for a suitable chance to put in operation-"that yer' ll draw He was surprised and disposed of where he was not lik ely s ix thousand dollars from yet bank insid! of thte! day s to interfere with the plans of the rascals, and the pair of and leave the moMy where I tell yer to, and thet yer'll villains returned to thei r young prisoners. A lantern was lighted and the boys propp e d against o n e of the si de s of the scow agree thet neither ?f yer will mention what has Occurred ter-night in this here neighborhood betweert us, nor to put the per lice onto us? Will yer sweat to all thet to "Now," began the leader of the disreputable trio, adsave yer lives?H dressing Harry Dane, "we're got yer where ther hair i s The villain thrust his g l eami n g eyes c l ose to Harry short. Wliat's ter hinder us from tying a rope with a stone DanC''s al)cl awaited his ai:iswer impatiently. at ther end of it around yer necks and droppin' yer both "Yom: clemancl is absurd," replied the young president inter ther crik, same as folks treat a batch of kittens what of the oil anrl refining compa ny. ., " ain't wanted around? How do yer lik e the prospect?" "Oh, it is, is it?" snarle d the fellow, in a nasty tone


STRUCK OIL . "Yes, it is. In the first place, you wouldn't dare to harm us, for you wouldn't risk the consequences." "Yer seem ter know all about it," sneered the leader of the ruffians. to try and force a confession as to the identity of the party who had employed them to injure the Wakeley company's property. He failed, however, to make them open their mouths. "In the next place," went on Harry, paying no attention In due time they were tried for their crimes and were to the interruption, "I have no authority to go to our bank defended by a prominent Indianapolis lawyer, who skilfully and draw money." saved them from all issues but the nitroglycerine car out Oh, yer haven't? Ain't yer the presydent of the Wakerage. ley Oil and Refinin' Company?" The evidence of the man they )lad overpowered in order "I am, but in name only. I am not yet of legal age to to get at the car convicted them, and they were sent to the do business on my own account. Everything I do has to be penitentiary for a number of years. transacted through my guardian." It was noticed that the foxy-looking individual who had This was news, and of a most unpleasant kind, to the made persistent offers to buy out the Dane oil interests was rascal. He uttered a fierce oath. a constant attendant during the trial, after which he dis appeared. "Are yer tellin' the truth?" No :further attempts were made to injure the property \ "I am," replied the boy, coolly, and the man was forced of the Wakeley Oil and Refining Company, and their busito believe him. ness prospered largely as the months went by. "Then yer can't draw no money yerself ?" he said, in a disappointed tone. Oil was also :found, as was expected, on Mrs. Dane's farm, and she leased it to the company on very satisfactory terms. "l)Tot a cent." 1 To-day the Wakeley company, which controls the entire "But the money belongs to you just the same, doesn't petroleum output of Blank Count, Indiana, is the only real it?" rival of the Oil Trust in the United States. "I am not saying it doesn't." A recent press dispatch conveyed the intelligence that the "Who kin draw the money? Yer guarjean, eh? S'posin' company had paid two hundred and fifty per cent. to its yer wanted six thousand dollars mighty bad; all yer'd have owners from last April to the first day of January, 1906, ter do is ter ask this person to git it for yer, and the a period of nine months, making an annual dividend rate would do it, eh? Well," triumphantly, "yer want six thou-of over 330 per cent. sand dollars now wuss than yer ever did in yer life afore, or The bulk of this, of course, comes from dividends on the mebbe ever will ag'in. Yer want it ter save yer life, and common stock, a very large part of which is held by Harry yer friend's life, too. I guess yer'll ask for it under si _ch Dane, the young president and manager, now of age and circumstances. Yer see, I've got yer, anyhow," and he happily married to Eloise Hale, the daughter of the secre grinned 'Yith satisfaction. "Now, will yer swear that yer'U tary-treasurer. git this money and put it where we kin get it without any His private fortune is already estimated at considerable trouble or risk, d'ye mind?" menacingly, "or are we to over a million, every dollar of which came to him out of the drop yer both into the crik and let yer fight it out with the Wakeley farm, which he so fortunately inherited from the fishes?" What reply Harry Dane would have given the villain, for he was undeniably in a tight place--and from what he knew conscience-stricken Matthew Rock. THE END. of the men's records he could expect little mercy from them Read "A GOLDEN RISK; OR, THE YOUNG -we are not prepared to say; but he was fortunately saved the necessity of agreeing to their terms, for at that moment MINERS OF DELLA CRUZ," which will be the next Detective Sharp, Dan Brackett and two laborers attached number (28) of "Fame and Fortune Weekly." to the oil company quietly walked aboard of the scow and, cutting off the two scoundrels' retreat, called on them to surrender. They were taken com:uletely by surprise and forced to give in. An hour later they were landed in the Prescott jail, detective proceeded to put the screws on them SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.


WORK AND WIN. The 6%.L 'I'HE READ "'V\T"eekly N't1MEEBS ABE AI. VT A YS IN ONE AND YOU WILL READ THEM Published. B est PBIN'I'. ALL. LA'l'EST ISSUES: 349 Fred and the Lariat Thrower; or, Beating t h e Champlo !l 314 Fred Fearnot and "Red P ete" ; or, The Wickedest Man in Arizona. of the West. 315 Fred Fearnot and the Magnates; or, Bow he Bonght a Rail-350 Fre d Fearnot and the Swindling Trustee; or, Saving a Widow's road. Little Fortune. 316 Fred Fearnot and "Uncle Pike"; or, A Slick Chap from Warsaw. 351 Fred l'earnot and the "Wild" Cowboys, And the Fun He Had With 317 Frrtearnot and His Hlndo Friend; or, Saving the Juggler's 352 and t h e "Mon e y Queen" ; or, Exposing a Female 318 Fred Fearnot and the "Confidence Man" ; or, The Grip t hat Held Sharper. Him Fast. 353 Fred l i'earnot' s Boy Pard ; or, Strikin g lt Rich ln the Hills. 319 Fred Fearnot's Greatest Victory; or, The Longest Purse in Wall 354 Fred Fearnot and the Railroad Gang; or, A Desperate. Fight ror Street. Life. 320 Fred Fearnot and the Impostor ; or, Unmasking a 355 Fred l'earnot and the Mad Miner ; or, 'l'he Gol d Thieves of Fraud. Ro c kies. 321 Fred Fearnot In the Wild West; or, The Last Fight of the BanFred lPearnot in Trouble; or, Terry Olcott' s Vow ot Vengeance. dits. !!'red l<'earoot and the Gi r l in White; or, The Mystery of t h e 322 and the Girl Detective; or, Solving a Wall Street 358 and the Boy Herder; or, T h e Mask e d Band ot tbe 323 Fred I;'earnot Among the Gold Miners ; or, The Fight for a 359 l'lains. Stolen Claim. Fred l'earnot in Hard Luck; or, Roughing it In t h e Sliver Dl g 324 Fred 1''earnot and the Broker's Son ; or, The Smartest Boy in 360 ging s. Wall Street. Fred l'carnot and the Indian G u l de; or, T h e Abduction of a Beau -325 Fred l<'earnot and "Judge Lynch"; or, Chasing the Horse tiful Girl. 'l'hleves. 361 Fre d Fearnot's Search for Terry, a n d Terry's Faith In Him 326 Fred Fearnot and the Bank Messenger; or, The Boy Who Made 362 Fred and the 'l'emperance Man; or, Puttin g Down t h e a Fortune. Rum S e ll ers. 327 Fred Fearnot and fhe Kentucky Moonshiners; or, The "Bad" 363 Fred U'earnot's Fight for his Life; o r The Cunnin g that Pulled Men or the Blue Grass Region. Him Through. 328 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Acrobat; or, Out With His Own 364 Fred F earnot and the Wild Beast Tamer; or, A Wee k With a Circus. Circus. 829 Fred Fearnot's Great Crash ; or, Losing His Fortune In Wall 365 Fred Fearnot and the Fiddlers' Convention ; or, T h e Music tbat Street. l'uzzle d the Musi cians. 330 Fred .b'earnot's Return to Athletics; or, Hls Start to Regain a 33 6 6 6 7 Fred l 'earnot's Wall Street Game; or, Beating t h e Brokers Fred l ?earnot and the Wild Mustang; or A Cbase ot 'l'hlrt)' 831 Fred Fearnot's Fencing Team ; or, Defeating the "Pride of O l d Days. Ell." 368 Fred Fearnot and the Boasting Cowboy ; or, Teaching. a Brag : 332 Fred Fearnot's "Free For All" ; or, His Great Indoor l\1eet. gart a L esso n . 333 Fred Fearnot and the Cabin Boy; or, Beating the Steamboat 369 Fred Feara'ot and the S c hool Boy; or, 'l'he Brightest Lad ln Ne w Sharpers. York. 834 Fred Fearnot and the Prize-Fighter; or, A Pugilist's Awful Ml 370 l i're d Game 'J'eamster; or, A not Time on the Plains. take. 371 l 're d l<'earnot and tbe ltenegade; or, 'J'he l\Ian Wbo Detle d B u llets. 335 Fred Fearnot's Office Boy; or, Making Money in Wall Street. :!72 !<'red Fearnot and the Poor Boy; or, 'l'he Dime that Mad e a l 'o r 336 Fred Fearnot as a Ji'lreman; or, The Boy l!ero of the Flames. tune. 337 Jl'red Fearnot and the l!' actory Boy ; or, 'l'be Champion of the 3 7 3 Fred Fearnot's Treasure Hunt! or, After tbe Aztec' s Go ld 'l'own. 374 !'red l'earnot and tbe Cowboy King; or, Evelyn and the "Bad" 338 Fred Fearnot and the "Bad Man" ; or, '.l.'he Blutr from Bitter lll en Creek. 375 Fred l<'earnot and "Roaring Bill ; or, The Wi ckedest Boy In the 339 Fred l<'earnot and the Shop Girl; or, The Plot Against An OrWest 340 Among the Mexi cans; or, Evelyn and the Brigan\ls. 37G the Boy Prospector; or, '!'he S _ecret Band ot 341 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Engineer; or, B eating the 'J'raln 377 Wreckers. 342 Fred Fearnot and the "Hornets" ; or, The League that Sought 378 to Down Him. 343 Fred Fearnot and the Cheeky Dude; or, A Shallow Youth from 379 Brooklyn. 344 Fred Fearnot in a Death Trap; or, Lost In The Mammoth Caves. 380 345 E'red Fearnot and the Boy Rancher ; or, 'l'he Gamest Lad In Texas. H81 346 Fred I?earnot and the Stage Driver : or, The Man Who Understood 382 Horses. 847 Fred Change of Front; or, Staggering the Wall Street Brokers. 348 Fred Fearnot's New Ranch, And How He and Terry Managed It Freel Fearnot and the Banker's Boy ; or, 'l'he Lad Who Cornered t h e l\lnrket. Fred Fearnot and t h e Boy of Grit; or, Forclug Hls Way to the Fred l 'earnot and the Diamond Queen; or, llelping the Treasury Department. Fred l'earuot and the White l\In sks; or, Chasing the Chlcaeo Strnngiers. Fred l 'ea mot l 're d l 'earuot ltnm. at Sandy-Llcks; or, ramlng a "Bad" Man and the Drunkard's Son; or, A Hot Figh t A galn1t For sale by all newsdealers or will be sent to any address o n receipt of price, 5 cents per c opy, in money or pos tage stamps, by F R A NK T OUSEY, Publisher 24 Union Square, New York IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can b e obtained from this office d irect. 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Books Tell You These Everything! COMPLETE SET' IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! Eacb book consists of sixty-four p ag es printed on good pape r in clear t y pe and n eatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Most of t h e book; ; 1 are a l 8 G profuse l y illustm ted, a nd all o f the s ubjcC't s t r e a ted up o n a r e exp l a in e d in suc h a simple manner that child. can thoro u ghly unde r stand them. Look over the list as class i fied and see i f you v rant to k n ow an}'thing about the subjedif meulwned THERE BOOKR ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL P.E SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS 0N lrnCEIPT OF PRIC E, '.rFJN CENTS E ACII, O l t 'l'HREFJ BOOKS l<'OR TWENTY-FIVE crn;N T S POS'l'AG E HTAl\JPS T A K E N THE SAME AS FRAN K TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO dES:UERrnEJ.-Containing the most ap prond methou s o f mes m e ri sm; als o b ow t o < all kind s of i>y a ni ma l m a gn e ti s m, or, m agne tic h e alin g By Prof. Leo Hug.i Koeh, A. U S ., autllor o f "llow to Hypnotize," e t c. PALMISTRY. NC?. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Elm bracmg all of t he lates t and most dec eptive card tr1ckil, with il lustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 77 HOW TO DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.C ontaining d e ceptive Card '.rri c ks as perform ed by l eading conjurors and magicians. Arrange d for home amusement. ll'ully Jllustrated. No. HOW 'I'O DO P.'1.Ll.IIISTR Y.-Containi ng the most ap-MAGIC. p i::>vd mr-th ous or r e a ding th e lin es on t he hand, tog ethe r with No. 2. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-Tbe great book of magic and ii. full ei-p!i

'l'HE STAGE No. 4 THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK Contai11ing a great vari e ty of th e latest jokes used by the m ost fa;:nou s en d men N o amateur min s trels is compl e te without thi s wond e r f ul littl e b ook. No . 'l' H E OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. a va n e d a ss o ,rtl?e n t of s tump N e gro, Dutch and Ins h A l s o en d m e n s J o kes. Just t h e thmg for home amuse m ent a n d a mateur s h o w s No. 45 'l'HE B OYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE A N D JOKI!l BOOK.-;-Som e thing new and very instruc tive. Eve ry boy obtain this as it contains full i nstructions for o r g amzmg an amatenr mmstre l troupe No. 65. i\l U LDOON S JOKES.-This is o ne of the most origi n a l joke b o oks e v e r publish ed, and it is brimfu l of wit and humor It contaiD s a large c ollection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc:, of Terre n ce l\Iuld o on, the great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the day ]j]ver y boy who can enjoy a good substantial j o ke should o btain a cop y imme diate l y No . 79 RQW TO BECOME AN ACTOR.-Containing com plete m struct1ons how to make up for various characters on the stage; t oget h e r wit h th e duti e s of the S t age Manag e r, Prompte r Scenic Arti s t and Property Man. B y a promin ent Stage Manag er'. 80. G U S WILLIAMS' JOKE the l at est Jokes, anecdotes and funny storie s of this world-r enown e d and e ve r popular Uerman com e dian Sixty-fou r pages; h a n dso m e colored c o ver containing a half-tone photo o f the author. HOUSEKEEPING. N o 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN. Containi ng f u ll i.nstructions fo1 constructing a window garden eithe r in town o r country, and the most approved methods for raising bea u t i ful flowers at h ome. The most complete book of the kind ever p ub l ish e d No. 30. HOW 'l'O COOK. One of the most instructive book s on c ooking ev e r pu b lished It con tains r e cip e s for cooking meats fish, game and oysters; also pies, puddings, cake s and all kinds of pastry, and n grand colle ction of recipes by one of o u r most popular c ooks. No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE.-It contains information for e ver y body, boys, girls, m e n and wom en; i t w ill tea c h you h o w t o m ake almost any th i ng around th e h o use, s u c h as parlor ornaments brac k ets, cements, A e olian h arps a n d bird lime for catching birds. ELE C T RICAL. No 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.-A de s cription o f the w oml e rful u se s o f e l ec tri c ity and ele c tro magnetism ; t ogeth e r w ith full instructions for m a king Elect r ic Toys Batteries, e tc. By George Trebel, A. M., M. D. Containin g ove r fift y i l lustrat ions. No. 64. HOW TO M AKE ELECTRICAL MACHINES.-Con taining full Jirections for making electri cal machin es, induction coi ls, d y namos. and many nov e l toys t o be worked by elect r icity. B y R. A. R. B ennett Fully i llu strated. No. 67 HOW 'l.'0 DO ELECTRICAL TRICKS.-Contain ing a large c olle c tion of instru c tive and highl y amusing electrica l t r icks, tog ethe r with illustrations. By A. Anderson. No: 31. HQW T9 B ECOJ\IE A S PEAKER.-Con taining teen illustrat ions g1vmg t h e diff erent positions requisite to b e come a good sp eake r, r e ader a n d elo c utionist. Also containing g e ms from a!l the popular of prose and p o etry, a rranged in the most simpl e and c on c1s:i manner pos s ibl e No 49. ,HOW TO DEBA'.rE.-Giving r u l es for cond ucting de bates, outlin e s for debat e11, ques tions for dis c ussion and the bes s ou rces for pro cu r ing on the questions give n S O CIETY. No. 3 HOW TO FLIR'l'.-Thc art s and wiles o f flirtation are fully e xpla i ned by this little book B e sid e s the vario u s met h ods of ha .r..dkerc hi ef,_ fan glo ve. parasol, window and hat flirtation, i t contams a full hst of the language and senti m ent of flower s w hich is to everybody, both o1d and young You canno t be happy witho u t on e No. 4. HOW 'l'O DANCE is the title of a n e w and han dso me little book jus t i ss u e d b y l!'rank Tou se y It con t ain s fu ll instruc tion s in t h e art of d a n c ing, etiquet t e in t he ball-room and at parties h o w to dress, and full direct i ons for calling oJI in all p opu!a1 s qua r e dances No 5 HOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A c ompl e t e g uide to love, and mal'l'iage giving se n sible advice, rules and etiquette to be observed, with man y curiou s and interestin g not gtn erally known. No 17. HOW .r o DRESS.-Contaiuing full in struc tion in t hE' u r t of dressing and appea r ing w ell at hom e and abro ad, g ivi n g thl'" selections of c olors, mate rial. and how to h a v e t h e m mad e up. No. 18 HOW .ro BECOME BEAUTIFUL.-One of tb .. bright es t and most va l uable littl e books ever g iven to the w orl d Every body wishes to k now how to b ec ome b eautiful both mal e a nd female. 'l'he secr e t is simple, and almo s t cos tless Read t hi s b ook a n d be con vi n ce d how to become beautiful. BIRDS AND A N IMALS. No. 7. HOW TO KEEP B IRDS.-Handsomel y illustrated and containing full i nstructions for the management and t raining o f the canary, m o c kingbird bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc. No 39 HOW TO RAISE DOGS, PO{ LTRY, PIGlllONS A N D RABBITS.-A useful and instructive book. H a nds omely illus trated. B y Ira Drofraw. No. 40. HOW TO MAKE AND SET TRAPS.-Iuc luding h intl on h ow to catch mol es, weasels, otter, rats, squ irrels and bird9. A l so how t o cure skins C op i ou sly illustrated. B y J Harringtoa Keene. No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AN D ANIMALS.-& valuabl e book, giving instructions in coll ecting, p r epar i n g mountins and prese rving birds animals and ins e cts. No. 54. HOW TO KEEP AND MANAGE P ETS.-Giving com p l e te informa:t i on as to the manner and method o f r a i s ing, keeping, taming, br e eding, and managing all kinds of pets ; a l s o giving full instruc tions for making cages, etc. Fully explaine d by t w enty-eight illustrations, m a king it the mos t com plet e book of the kind ever publi s hed. MI SC ELLAN EOUS. No 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTI ST.-"A useful and IU struc tive book, giving a complete tre atise on ch emi s t r y ; also ex p e rim ents in acoustics, me c hanics, mathematics, chemistry, and di-ENTERTA 1 NM ENT. r ect ions for making firewo r ks, colored fires, and gas b a lloons Thi1 No. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTRILOQUIST.-By Harry book cannot be equal e d K ennedy. The s ec r e t giv e n away. Every boy reading No. 14 HOW TO MAKE CANDY.-A comp l ete handbook fer this book of in struc tions by a prac tica l prof e ssor (de lighting multiall kinds of candl.' etc. tude s ev ery night with his wond e rful imitation s), can master the No 8-!. HOW '.rO BniCOME A t'I AU'l'.t1.0R --Co11.ta i ning full art, and c reate an y amount of fun for himself and friends It is the information reg a r d i ng c hoi c e of s ubj ects the use of wor ds and the greatest book publis h ed. and there's millions (of fun) in it. m anne r of preparing and submitting manu sc ript. A l so co ntai n ing No. 20 HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.A valu a ble i nformation as to the n eatnes s, legibi li ty and gene r a l c om very valuablE' lit tle book ju s t published A complete comp e ndium pos ition of manusc ript essentia l to a s u ccessfu l author. By Prince o f gam e s sp orts, card div e r s ions comic r ecitations, e tc suitable Hiland. for parlor 01 dra wing-room e n te rtainment. It c ontains more for the No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN D OCTOR.-A won mone y than any h o ok publi s h ed. d e rful book containing useful and practica l information in the No 3 5. HOW 'l' O Pl .. AY GAMES.-A compl e te and usefu l little treatment of ordinary dis e ases and ailmen t s common to every book, containing the rnl e s and r eg ulations of billiards, bagatelle, f a mily. Abounding i n useful a nd effect ive r ec i pes for g e n eral combackgammon, croqu e t. d o min oes e t c plaints. No 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRU MS .-Containing all No. 55. HOW TO C OLLECT STAMPS AND COINS.-Conthe leading conund r ums o f the day, amu s ing riddles, curious catches taining valuabl e information regarding the coll ect i ng and arra nging a nd witty sayings. of stamps and c oins Handsomely illustrated. No. 52. H O W T O PLAY 01:\RDS.-A c ompl e t e and handy littl e N o 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.-By O l d King Brady, book,. givi n g t h e rules and f\. '\rec tion s for p l a yin g Euc hre Cribthe w orld-known detective In whi c h he lays down so m e va luable b age, C a si no Forty-Five, ce, P e dro S a n c ho, Draw Poke r, and s e ns i ble rul e s for beginners. and also relates so m e adventures Aucti on Pitch All Fours, and ntttn y oth e r p opular games of cards. and exp e rien ce s of well-known d e te c tives No. 6 6 HOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Containing over thre e h u nNo 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER.-Contain dre d interesti ng and conundrums with key to same. A ing usefu l i nformation r egarding the Cam era and how to w ork it; complete book Fully illustrated. By A. A n derso n. a l so how t o mak e Photograph i c Magic Lantern S lid es and other Transparen cies. Handsome l y illustrated. By Captain W D e W. Abney ETIQUETTE. No. 13 HOW T O DO IT; ,OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It i s a g r eat lif e secre t and o n e that e v e ry young man desires to know all a bout The r e's h a p p in es s in i t No. 3 3 HOW TO BEHAVE.-C on t aining th e rul es and eti quette o f g o o d socie t y and th e easies t and mo s t approved metho d s of ap pearing t o g ood a d vant age at parties. balls, the theatre, chu r ch and \ n the drawing-room No. 62 HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILIT ARY CADET.-Containing fu ll explanations how to gain admit t ance, c ours e of Study, Examin a tions Duties Staff of Officers, P os t Guard, Police Regulations F ire Department, and all a boy sho uld know to be a Cadet. Ccmpiled and w ritten by Lu Senarens, author o f "How to B e come a Naval Cadet N p. 63 HOW TO BECOME A NAV A L CADET.-Co m p lete str 1ictions of h o w to ga i n admissio n to tbe Annapolis Naval DECLAMATION A c ademy. Also containing the course of i nstruction desc ription No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECITATI ONS. of g r ounds and buildings, historica l sketch and everyth in g a boy Containin g t h e m o s t pop ul a r s e ledions in u se, c ompri s ing Dutc h should know to b ec ome an officer i n the Uni ted States Navy. Com d ial ec t Fre n c h d i al ec t Yankee Iris h dial ect pieces, together pil e d and written by L u Se n arens, author of "How to Become yit h many standard r e adin g s. West Point Military Cadet .,, PRICE 10 CENT S OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS .Address FUANK TOUS E Y Publisher! 24 Union Squa1e, New York.


FRANK M .ANLEY'S WEEKLY STORIES OF YOUNG ATHLETESE:E:E:E:f:E:E:E:E:E (Formerly "THE YOUNG ATHLETE'S WEEKLY") BY "PHYSICAL DIRECTOR" Issued every Friday. A 32-PAGE BOOK FOB 5 OENTS. Handsome Oolored Oovers. These intensely interesting stories de scribe 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 sparkl e of humor. Every popular game will be featured in the succeeding stories such as base ball, skating, wrestling, etc. .,-c ,:1. .!& ,:1. ,:t. ,:t. ,:t. ,:t. ,:t. ,:t. JC JC JC .,-c JC JC$$$ JC JC ,,c .!& ,:1. JC$ ,:t. ... -c $ ... $ $ .!& JC.!&'$ ALREADY PUBLISHED: 1 Frank l\Ianiey's R eal Fight; or, What the Push-Ball Game Brought About. 2 Frank Manley's Lightning Track; or, Speed's Part in a Great Crisis. 3 Frank Manley's Amazing Vault; or, Pole and Brnius in Deadly Earnest. 4 Frank Manley' s Gridiron Grill; or, The Tr.r -Out for Football Grit. 5 Frank Manley's Great Line-Up; or, The \\ oodstock Eleven on the Jump. 6 Frank Manley's Prize Tackle; or, The Football Tactics that Win. 7 l<'rank Manley's Mad Scrimmage ; or, Tbe Trick that Dazed Brad-ford. 1 8 Frank Manley's Lion-Hearted Rush; or, Staking Life on the Out come. 9 Frank Manley' s Mad Break Through; or, Playing Halfback for All It Is Worth. 10 Frank Manley's Football Strategy; or, Beating Tod Owen's Fake Kick. 11 Frank Manley's Jap Ally; or, How Sato Played the Gridiron Game. 12 Frank Manley's Tandem Trick ; or, How Hal Spotl'ord Fooled the Enemy. 13 Frank Manley' s Whlrllng Ten-Miler; or, Making Wind and Fortune .rwln s 14 Frank Manley's Sweetheart; or, Winning Out tor Kitty Dunstan'!! Sake. 15 Frank Manley' s Prize Skating Squad ; or, Keen Real Life on the Ice. 16 Frank Manley's C hristmas Gift; or, The Luc k that Ice Hockey Brought. 17 Frank Manley's Ice Carnival; or, The Grandest Winter Week on Record. 18 Fiank Manley's Stolen Goal; or, The Newest Trick in Basket Ball. 19 Frank Manley's Ice Boat Regatta; or, The l<'ellows Who Came in Second Best. 20 Frank Manley' s Sweeping Score; or, A Wonderful Day at Curling. 21 Frank l\Ianley s Snow-Shoe Squad; or, A Week ot Rousing Life in the Open. 22 Frank Manley's New Game; or, The Hurdle Race on Skates. 23 Frank Manley's Big Mistake ; or, 'be Fearful Crash at Bradford. 24 Frank Manley's Wfnter Camp; or, 'I'he Esquimau Boys of Wood-stock. 25 Frank Manley aL Yale; or, Making Lhe Start in Colle11,'e Athletics. 2 6 Frank Manley's Freshman Grit; or Beating out a Sophomore Bully. 27 Frank Manley's Rival; or, The Struggle for "Fmt" Memberebip. 2 8 Frank Manley and the Hazers; or, 'l'hrouf{h a '.l'ongh Ordeal. 29 Frank Manley in Yale's Cage; or, Working tor the Freshman Ball Nine. 3 O Frank Manley: on the :Yale Track; or, Making Fast Time t.or a Team Place. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 6 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" BE BE.A.LTBYI LA.TEST ISSUES : 19 Frank Manley's Earned Run; or, The Sprint That Won a Cup. 20 Frank l\Ianley's 'l'riple Play; or, The Only Hope of the Nine. 21 l'rank Manley's Training Table; or, Whipping the Nine Into Shape. 22 Frank Manley s Coaching; or, The Great Game that "Jackets Pitched. 26 Frank Manley' s Substitute Nine; or, A Game of Pure Grit. 27 Frank Manley's Longest Swim; or, Battling with Bradford In tbe Water. 28 Frank Manley's Bunch of Bits ; or, Breaking the Season's Batting Record. 29 Frank Manley's Double Game; or, The Wonderful Four-Team Match. 23 Frank Manley's First League Game; or, The Fourth of July Battle With Bradford. 30 Frank Manley' s Summer Meet ; or, "Trying Out" the Bradfords. 24 Frank Manley's Match with Giants; or, The Great Game With the 31 Frank Manley at His Wits' End; or, Playing Against a Bribed Alton "Grown-Ups." pire. 25 Frank Manley s 'raining Camp; or, Getting in Trim for the Great-32 Frank Manley's Last Ball Game; or, The Season's Exciting Good-est Ball Game. 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 nioney or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N. Y. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS rof our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office dirert. Cut out and fill 1 in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return.mail. POSTAGE STAnP.S TAKEN THE SAnE AS rIONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANK IJ.'OUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. .......................... 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: .... copies of vVOHK AND \ViN Nos ............................ ..................................... ,, WILD WEST \VEEKLY NOS. . . . . . ......................................... ..... " SECRET SERVICE, NOS ....................... ................... : .................... " PJJUCK AND LUCK, Nos ..................... ...................................... " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos .................................................... " THE YOUNG ATHLETR'S WEEKLY, Nos .............................................. " FRANK MANLEY'S WEEKLY, NOS .............................................. " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos. . . . . . . . . .............................. f Ten-Cent Hand Books, No s ............ Name ................................ Street and No ................... Town ................ State ......


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A New One Issued Every Friday This Weekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to 1:ake advantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance .and brains can become famous and wealthy. Every one of this serie::; contains a good moral tone which makes "Fame and Fortune Weekly" a magazine for the home, although each nulnbar is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists. and every effort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy in Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded:. 3 A Corner in Corn; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 4 A Game of Chance: or, The Boy Who Won Out. 5 Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street. 6 Building a Railroad; or, The Young Contractors of Lake-view. 7 Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy. 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers of W a ll Street. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys WhoWorked a Deserte d Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Boy. 12 A Diamond in the Rough; or, A Brave Boys Start in Life. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy in W all Stree t. 14 A Gold Briclt; or, The Boy Who Could Not b e Downed. 15 A Streak of Luck; or, The Boy Who Feathered His N es t 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune 17 King of the Market; or, The Youngest Trader in Wall Street. 18 Pure Grit; or, One Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise in Life; or, 'I'he Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A B arrel of Money; or, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. 21 All to the Good; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He Got There; or, The Pluckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate ot a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, the Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 The Way to Success; or, The Boy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oil; or, The Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk; o;, The Young Miners of Della Cruz. 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. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdeal e r s, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following Order Blank and .send it to u s with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POS'l'AGE STAMPS TAKl<}N 'l'HE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FUANK TOUSEY, Publi s h e r, 24 Union Square, New York. .......................... 190 DBAR Sm-Enclosed find ... ... cents for which please send me: .... copies of \VORK AND \VIN. Nos ................................................................ '' '' 'VIJ-'D WEST WEEKI-'Y, Nos ........................................................... " " " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '? '6, NOS .................................. ............... PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ............................................................ SECRET SERVICE. Nos ............................................................... FRANK WEEKLY, ..................................... : ............ FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Noc; ...................... ........................... "THE YOUNG ATHLETE'S WEEKLY, Nos ........................................... " Ten-Cent Hand Rooks. Nos ......................................................... Name .......................... Street and No .................... Town ......... State ....... . .......


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