Out for himself, or, Paving his way to fortune

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Out for himself, or, Paving his way to fortune

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Title:
Out for himself, or, Paving his way to fortune
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
Creator:
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 pages)

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00070 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.70 ( USFLDC Handle )
031307905 ( ALEPH )
837575686 ( OCLC )

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PAGE 1

DRIES DF .. MA E MD EY. mu-..v up, Tom," cried Jack, "we've barely time to finish this job." The two boys got an extra hustle on, and Jack was giving the final tap to the last spike when the locomotive came in sight around the curve.

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' .. cWcckly STORIES OF' qW"S WHO MAKE No 63. I. cording to A c t of Congrua, i n the 11e a r 190S, i n the ojflce o f the 0., b11 rank Towe11, Publuller, 114 Union Square New Y ork. I I PEIO E 5 C E NT'S. 0:1, I Pi:\ VING liIS WAY TO Al'ftAMBITIOUS BOY By A SELF-MADE MAN "It does, indeed If y our poor father had lived things would be differ e nt. We got along very comfortably before the Lord in His wisdom, took him from us," said the little widow, wiping a te a r from h e r eye. "Now I have to cal Jack," said Mrs. Street, to her son at the supper table, culate very close ly to m a k e e nds meet The 1$6 that you "Mr. Shuttleworth ha s offered me the Trent property rent and Jessie earn would hardl y see u s through, for Willie is free if we will go and live on it until he can find a purdr e adfull y h a rd on hi s s hoes a nd clothes. If it wasn't that c haser f o r it." Mr s Shuttleworth, and some of h e r fri e nds, employed me D i d h e mother?" re plied the bright and s talwart six to mak e th eir dres s es, I reall y don t know how we should be tee nyea ro ld boy, in some. s urpri se. "That's the t e n a c re able to get alon g." farm he foreclo sed on and bought in about three month s "I don' t think y ou'r e und e r any special oblig ations t o ago." Mrs. Shuttleworth moth e r. You ar e a good dres smal{er, "I believe it is." and she gets you cheap-c h eape r than she could hi r e any M r Shuttl e w o r t h is ge tting uncommonly liberal in hi s other good one in town old age," s ai d the l a d This is the fir st time I ever heard "It i s true I go to Mr s Shuttl e w orth for 75 cents a day, of hi m g ivin g s omething for nothing." when I ought to get a dollar but you know it was thr ough Som e bad boys set th e barn on fire the other night and her I got Mr s Smith 's work, and a lso Mrs. Brown's." i t burn e d t o the g ro und He's afraid the house a fairly "Even so, mother, but Hiram Shuttleworth is well off, good one mi ght s har e the s am e fat e unless he has some one and his wif e could weli afford to pay you what your s e r on th e premises to look out for it. If we go there, J e ssie vices are real l y worth. The trouble with the Shuttleworths c ould lo o k a f te r things when I am out sewing i s that they look at a doll ar two or three times befo r e the y "Do you think of accepting Mr. Shuttleworth' s offer, let it get away from them. I am surprised that Mr. Shuttlemother ?" worth didn't a s k you to pay two or thre e dollar s a mont h Jes s ie and I have been talking t h e matter over and she rent for the Trent farm over and above your service s as i s rath e r in favor of it. We are paying $6 a month for this caretaker." c o t tage. We could save t hat i f w e w ent t o live on the Trent "He did at fir s t. H e w ante d m e to p a y $2, but I s aid I farm, an d $6 i s a l a r ge s um of money to us." could not think of pa y ing an y money when the tenure of the "That's right, mot h e r $6 l ooks a s big as a mountain I place w a s so uncertain." these days." "He's bee n try ing to r e nt or sell th a t prop erty eve r since

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2 he got possession of it, but no one seems to w a . treet ea 'rn $4 a week at dressmaking, ple say he unnecessari l y hard on the T i)., o. though o work at all. close such a small mortgage as $500, though i t i s frut!: ey whole, the littl e 'ftnily j managed to get w e r e ree years in arrears with their intereS't At any along without running inlo debt, 4i':a red-letter rate, he doesn't seerll to have made anything by it:" \reek when thQ little :itiothcr ma a d dolritr or "Did the Trents get anything out of the sale?" a ked Mrs two aside for a rainy day. -.r ... Street. On the morning following the conversation which "I think not, mother. Tlic properly is not worth over this chapter opens, Jack rncL a bos s carpenter named Wells, $1,000. Mr. Shutlleworth got i.t for $700, which just about who haa be e n a friend of his father's. .covered the mortgage, the accrued interest and the expenses "Hello, Jack!" he exclaimed, seizing the boy by the of foreclosure." hand. "How arc you getting on?" "Jessie thinks she could rais e ome chickens there, ancl "Pretty good, sir; lmt I could stand a little additional I dare say we could grow our own vegetables." prosperity without lo sing my head." "Sure we could, provided the p l ace isn't sold over our "I believe most of us think the same way. What are you heg,dS. .,. ou must consider that, mother. 'l'he p r operty doing?" the _:nrn,rket, and Mr. Shuttleworth is li able to find a Jack told him. JH!lfhaser any time In act, I think it rather a shrewd "Well, now, I was thinking of taking out an insurance on his part to get you to move out there. The house policy on my life for a couple of thousand. I guess I'll being tenanted will save it from going to ruin. Besides, drop around and sec your boRR about it. it will. add to the appea rancc of the place and i mpress a "I can give you all the information yon need, J\Ir. posRible bn,ver more favorably. I tell yon, mother, there said ,Tack, cagerl.v. "H you're not engaged this arc no flies on Hiram Shuttleworth. I have h eard he is cYening I'll call at your ho11sc and Rhow you tbe different a man who ahrays manages to get the best of a bargain or ropositions we have to offer, and point out which I think no matter how greatly it may seem to appear in will be the best for you to take." favor of the other person "'l'hat will be a good deal of trouble for you, won't it, "Have you any objection to my moving out there, Jack? .Tack?" You will not have much furl her to walk to the office than "Not at a ll sir. Y 011 sec, if I insure you myself I'll get yon do now, as it is only a short distance outside the town a commission, ancl I can do as well by you as though you limits." went to the office." "I have no objection, mother. Do as you think proper. J cRsic can do her "ork there ju:;t 1 rc ll a here. You will save rent money, at any rate, arn] if we are allowed to remain there eight or ten months we ought to make a few extra dollars off the l and. On the who l e,'' said the boy, thoughtfully, "I think it's worth taking a chance." "That is my opinion, too," said his si ter Jessie, a pretty, but clelicate looking girl, two years his senior, who sat on the opposite side of the table, speaking for t h e first time .the little mother broached the subject. ; \ nd so it was decided to accept Hiram Sh u ttleworth's offei-, and move to the Trent farm before the fir st of the i yxt month. .T ark Street was one of t he brightest and most wide awake IJrH s in the thriving little town of Brentwood. He was emp l oyed as genera l assistant in a small real estate and insurance agency office on Main Str eet This was the only situation he hacl he l d since graduating from the public school about a year before. He had recently received a do llar raise in his wages, '.rhich now amo unted to $3.50, and as his emp l oyer had promised him a commission in addition for anv business he might turn into the office, he was on the a lert earn this reward His sister did work at home fo r a small manufacturing concern in the town, and earned on the average onl y $2 50 per week. "011, I sec! We l l, Frl he g-l::Hl to put somethingin your wfly, my l ad Yom fatlwr arnl I were old frirml s Come ar01md tonigh1if then, an cl bring your documents I live at 28 R aze l Street." "Thank you, sir; T'll he tliere at eight o'clock." AR ,Tack moved off he his particular friend, Tom Harpel', who was a surveyor'.s as s i s tant. "Bello, Tom, where have you been for the last week?" f!skecl Jack. "I've been l o oking for you to call at the house, hut you didn't show up." "Been out of town. The J\L & N. Railroac'I that's going to build a branch line to this place fro m Bridgewater, hired my boss to assist in making the s urvey of the right of way, and I've been helping him as usual." "Where is the depot going to be?" "On the south side of Washinoton Stree t. The company has bought up the whole block of ground on the quiet. 'The line will cut the Pars ons' arm in half." "You don't say!" exclaimed Jack. "That's not far from the Trent farm." "Abo-iit half a mile, I should .think." "By the way, we're going to live on the Trent property until Shuttleworth f:ells or rents it." "Good enough! You ll be close by our house, the!\ J "That's right. It would be fine if we could only altti"d to become a :(ixture there. J;>erhaps we will, after all, .if I can make a little money on the outside H you h

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OUT FOR HIMSELF. any one who wants bis life or house insured Just steer on to him, will you, and I'll consider it a favor?" "Sure I will. Do you get a commission?" 1 "Yes. And I'll whack. up with you on any business you pnt me on to "Now yon 're talking! Uy olcl man has been doing well lately. I'll sec if T can talk him into g0Hi.ng another $1,000 policy on his life," grinned Tom. "Thanks. So the railroad is going through the Parsons' fa.rm, is it? From what I know of the properly I should think there would have to be some hea1 y embankment built . across that farm to bring the road llp to a level." "I heard my bos s say that at least two culverts will have to be built-one across the creek, and the other across the br:rnch of the creek which runs up alongside of the Trent farm. It will take considerable stone :filling between here and M:idclletown to make a solid roadway. I'd like to own an interest in a stone quarry in this neighborhood. I could make a good thing 011t of it." upon them, too. In about a week they moved all their belongings to tlle: house on the Trent property, as it still continued to be known, although it had become the property of Hiram Shuttleworth, one of the legal luminaries of Brentwood. A board sign standing near the front gate announced that the place was for rent or sale, terms to be had on ap plication at the owner's office on Main Street. An advertisement to the same effect was occasionally in serted in the local morning daily. Under these conditions the Street family's tenure to the property was not very encouraging; but still there were many reasons why Mr. Shuttleworth would probably have some trouble about either renting or selling the place--thc chief of which was the :figure he put upon it. He wanted $1,100, two-thirds of which could remain on bond and mortgage, and this, in Jack's opinion, was more than any one was likely to give for it. The rent he wanted was also proportionately high, and the record of the little farm did not warrant it. "What would you do? 'sell the stone to the railroad?" "The railroad company won't build this branch. They'll l e t the job out' lo some contractor. If I had a quarry, the first thing I'd du. would be to get a look at the specifi cations on which the contractor bases his bid. That would The trouble with Mr. Shuttleworth was that the mighty dollar was the all-absorbing object of his life, and he often give me a general ide'a of the amount and quality of stone cheated himself in his eagerness to grasp it. called for in the construction of the line. If it was conA few days after the Streets went to live on the tensiclerable, I would make it my business to get an interview acre farm, Jack met with another piece of good luck-h<;J with the successful bidder-the man to whom the contr:act insured the new Brentwood Hotel against loss by :fire, and was awardecl1 Then I'd make him an offer of my stone at h 1 d B 1 . earned his second commission, though not a very large one, so muc a oa y c osmg a deal with me the contractor t t ld th b ) f a I IS rue. wou save e expense of rmging 1is stone rom a ist cl tl l la h t k. The promise of c0llecting over $100 in the near future ance, an consequen y ie wou see is way o ma mg a . larger profit on the job." encouraged to make greater effo:ts, durmg the two "'rr 11 T 't' t b d th t weeks that mtervenecl before the life msurance company re om, I s oo a ne1 er you nor me own a s one } t cl h If ad a b b granted J\fr. Wells his policy, Jack made a matter of $50 quarry ng 1 aroun ere. we i we e our own asses . instead of working for other people at low pay." more m commissions. "That's right. It's a :fine thing to be one's own master, Nea rly every evening after he had had his supper, Jack bet your life." I returned to town to interview different people on the sub-"I should remark. I'd sooner be out for myself than for ject o.f life or fire ,, somebody else. That is what I mean to be just as soon as This was what he called bemg out for himself, and he I can get a start." hustled for all he was worth during the time at his dis"The trouble is to get a start," replied Tom. posal. "I shall try to make one for myself. At any rate, I begin On one of these occasions he was returning home about to-night. I'm going to call on an olcl friend of my father's ten o'clock when, as he was passing the residence of Willal,'rl to talk him into insuring his life. I hoj:ie to get my :first Davenport, president of the Brentwood National Bank, he comniission out of him heard a woman scream for help "Well, I wish you luck, old man. So long!'' and the boys "What can be the matter in there?" ,he asked himself, parted. coming to a dead stop in front of the gate which opened on CHAPTER II. KIDNAPPED. Jack called on J\fr. Wells that evening and succeeded in talking that gentleman into signing an application for a $3,000 endowment poiicy. 1 it went through without a hitch, the boy :figured that he would be entitled to about $100, and consequently he went home feeling like a bird. the walk leading to the front door. There was a big red touring automobile standing along side of the curb, and the boy noticed that its bull's-eye lamps were not lighted as the law required. Mr. Davenport's home was quite a pretentious one, as befitted a gentleman of considerable means, and being situ ated on the suburbs, the. tree-lined street was deserted and lonely at that hour of the night. As Jack stood i r resolutely at the gate, undecided whether

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4 OUT FOR HIMSELF. to p; h way or not, the cry was repeated with who broke into Mr. Davenport's house and were just getting greater away with their booty when I came up," the boy thought, .. Jt came through a dimly lighted window on the second which showed that he did not know that the object he had floor, and seemed as i it had been suddenly choked off. indistinctly seen in the second man's arms was a human "I'm afraid there's something wrong in that house. A being and not a bundle of "swag," as he supposed it to be. woman Q.oesn't scream like that or nothing. I'm going to "I can't imagine why they should take the trouble to investigate, anyway." carry me off with them," Jack continued, in summing up He opened the gate and started or the piazza. the situation. "I should think they would have left me Springing up the steps he stretched out his hand to push bound ancl gagged on the veranda. Maybe they'll dump the electric bell, when the front door was opened almost in me out somewhere along the road and leave me to sltit his face and a with a mask over bis eyes, came out. or :qiyse1." He uttered an oath as he saw the boy standing there in Mile after miie however was reeled off along the lone-' the gloom. 1 some highway, which threaded the sparsely settled and Before Jack could make a move or utter a word the mountain ous district to the south 0 Brentwood,. and masked man struck him a blow in the ace, and the lad stop was made to dispense with the prisoner under the seat. staggered ha ck and ell upon the veranda. Jack, 0 course, had no idea where the auto was speed A t the same moment another man, also masked, api:ng to; all he knew was that it was kiting along at a mighty peared at the door with the form of a girl, whose head was liv e ly clip. enveloped in a shawl, in hi s arms. "What's up?" demanrlecl the second man, in a hoarse voice, pausing on the threshold and looking down at his companion, who hacl thrown himRPlf 11pon J mid helc1 him pinned to the boards. "I caught this young monk ey standing just beside the door here a s I came out," was the reply. "What shall we do with him?" After an hour the machine turned off the highway into the hills, and its progress becpme s lower. Winding in and out among the boulders anc1 other ob s lructions it ascended by easy stage s to an opening between t\1ro of the hil1s, anc1 then de sce nded by an equally tortuous course into a little lancl-Jocked valley, covered with thick g reen grass and comparatively level. 'I At the far encl of the valley stood a rnde two-story, un painted dwelling unde r the s hadow of the highest hill o f. chain. "Gag him at once to prevent his a]anni11g the neighbor hood. Theri tie his hands with your handkerchief and bundle him into the auto. He must not be allowed to In front of this house the automobile stopped :md the spread the news 0 what he ha s seen at this stage 0 the man who hn.fl acted as the chauffeur dismounted from his game. It might ruin everything." "All right," replied his associate; "but ater'you put the girl in the auto you'd better come back and help me." seat and pound e d on the door. A tall bony a.ncl unprepossessing woman appeared after an inte rval. with a lamp in her hand. The fellow pulled Jack's handker c hi ef out of hi s pocket and kneeling upon the struggling boy's c h est, succee ded "Here we are, Mrs. Meiggs," said the man, curtly. in tying it about his mouth. "Have you brought--" began the woman. He was unable, however with all hi s stre ngth to 1 get "The girl? Oi course we have. We are r eady to turn fhe boy over on his face so that h e could bring hi s wrists her over to your protecting care. See that you treat her together behind his back and tie them. well while she remains here But be sure that she does not He had to wait until his companion came back, and then give you the slip." the pair completed the capture 0 Jack. "Don't ear that I'll give her half a cha nce to slip out Between them they bore the now helpless boy to the aufo of her cage," replied the woman with an evil smi le. mobile and thrust him under the back seat, upon which the "Where i s your husband?'" unconscious bundled-up girl lay huddled in a heap. "In bed-the lazy brute." The fellow who had assaulted Jack took pos s ession of "Then rouse him up. I want to see him. First 0 all, half 0 the back seat, supporting the limp form of the you'd better pilot Curley, with the girl, upstairs to the girl in his his companion leaped into the front room you ha;ve prepared for her reception. She'll be dead seat, and in a moment more the machine was s peeding to the world for Rome hours yet. When she comes to, you along the deserted highway toward the country, like a flying can 1 make her under stand ihat her detention all depend" phantom, its rapid "chug, chug!" alone breaking the, upon her father. I h e stump s up the reward quick, with s ilence of the night. out raising any .fuss or notif y ing the police she'll be re-J ack's sensations, as he lay squeezed into the narrow tu med s oon. I he star t s in to make trouble for us, then space under the seat, were not the pleasantest. things won't be quite so pleasant for har That's all, The whole affair had taken place so sudden ly thHt h e g uess, for ihe present. Curley will remain to help the was only just beginning to realize that he was a pri R oner in 1 good work along at this e nd while 1 will attend to the I the power 0 two men who were rascals, past auy doubt. I other branch of the business." "It seems plain that these fellow!! a pair of burglar s ; The s peaker made a s i g n to his companion, whom he

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OUT FOR ===============================::;========::...-J had referred to as Curley, and that individual got out of the auto with the insensible girl in his arms. Mrs. Meiggs nodded to him, as if he was no stranger to her, and aiter holding the door for him to enter the house, preceded him up the uncarpeted staircase to a room on the floor above, where he deposited his burden on a rude bed. Jack, in his close quarters under the rear seat, h a d easily heard every word the leader of the enterprise spoke. Its purport rather astonished him. "Tl?-is looks like a case of kidnapping," he mused. "Evi dently these rascals have abducted Cassie Davenport, the banker's only child. They intend to squeeze him out of a wad of money unless he refuses to treat with them. It's pretty tough on Mr. Davenport, and on Cassie, too. But I wonder why they have brought me out here also? They can't expect to make anything out of me. Maybe they were afraid I could furnish a description of them and their auto. Perhaps they think I saw more than I really did. I may be kept a prisoner here until this scheme has been brought to a head. That will be ha.rd on me, as well as on mother and sis." The man who appeared to be engineering the scheme did not enter the-. house, but paced up and down before the door until Curley came back, accompanied by the hu s band of Mrs. Meigg s "Here I am, Mulbrook," said Meiggs, s tepping outside. "My wife said you wanted to see me/' "So I do. The girl is upstair s as I suppose you know." "I know it," replied Meiggs. "Have you a safe place, for another prisoner I want you to hold on to until this job has been disposed of to our satisfaction?" "Another prisoner?" exclaimeu Meiggs, looking at the auto and not seeing any one in it. "Yes A boy, whose mouth we mus t close for the present. He almost interrupted the game, but we nabbed him in time to prevent complications. He must be kept here until fur ther notice. Now, have you a place to put him where h e can't give you the slip?" "Yes. We can lock him up in the cellar. He'll be safe enough there." "Very good. his keeping I'll hold you and Curley responsible for "He won't get away," replied Meigg s confidently. "There's no way out of the cellar except through a trap in the kitchen floor, and we'll put a weight on that he couldn't move if he was the strong man of a side-show." "All right," an swered Mulbrook. "It's up to you to see that he' s a :fixtur e." "Where have you got him ? asked Meigg s in a puzzled tone. "Under the rear seat of the auto," replied Curley. "You'd better get a s telut pie c e of rope and w e'll tie his arms in good s hape At present there' s only a handkerchief around hi s wri sts." Curley and Mulbrodk talked together in a low tone while Meiggs was absent ) hunting up the piece of rope . came back with it they yanked Jack from tl;ie J auto, bound his arms in ship-shape fashion, and mar<;heu him through a dark hallway into the kitchen at the bl}ck \ of the house. Meiggs raised the trap in the floor, and taking the lamp in his hand preceded Curley and his prisoner down the short flight of steps to an excavation dug out of the earth, which answered for a small cellar. "I think it would be a good idea to tie him to one of these posts, then it would not be necessary to put any weight upon the trap," said Curley. "That's what we'll do," replied Meiggs. "He won't need so much watchin' then." So, without more ado, they tied him to the post, re moved the gag from across his mouth so l1e could freely, and without addressing a word to the boy theY. took up the lamp and departed for the Tegions above, leaving Jack alone in the dark. CHAPTER III. IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY. Jack pa s sed a mighty unpleasant night in that cellar. "If they intend to keep me tied up in this fashion right alo n g I'll be a wreck when they get ready to let me go. I'll have to put up a stiff kick with those chaps when they come clown here again." When his got accustomed to the gloom of the place he saw that, with the exception of a few boxes and a half broken flour barri:il, the cellar was quite bare. There was no flooring nor walls to the only the bare earth. The e beams supporting the kitchen floor were within a couple of feet of his head, and for some time after he had b een left alone he heard the heavy footfalls of the two men and the lighter ones of Mrs. Meiggs, passing and re pa s sing above. Finally he heard them no more, and rightly concluded that the occupants of the hou s e had retired for the night. After a time he tried to work his hand s out of his bonds, but the attempt was a failure He dozed off to at last, to wake up a dozen times, owing to the uncomfortable position he_ was in. Finally tired nature asserted herself and he slept through until s omething :falling on the floor oYer his head awoke him to a full realization of his surroundings. It was still as dar!c as pitch in his prison, but the foot steps above gave him the idea that morning had come. In the course of an hour the trap was lifted and Meiggs, carrying a battered tray with dishes on it, and Curley the lamp, descended into the cellar. "Bring one of those boxes over here," said Meiggs to his companion. Curley got one and placed it on the s pot indicated by Meigg s with his foot. The tray was deposited upon it and the lamp on the floor. "Well, youngster," said Curley, with a grin, "ho w did you spend the night ill your chamber de luxe?"

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lJ OU'r FOR HIMSELF. "How would you have spent it if you'd besn tied to a he coul d burrow his way out in the shortest space of post like I am now?" replied Jack. time. "Well, that's what you get for buttin' in where you The l abor of digging occupied his attention and kept were not wanted. What did you do it for?" his spirits up "Because I heard that girl you've kidnapped scream for After working steadily for half an hour, and making help." quite a hole in the wall of earth, he stopped to rest. "Oh, you heard her, did you? You've got pretty sharp He had, planned, alter getting free, to hmry back to town ears. How could you hear her 'way out on the sidewalk? and notify Mr. Davenport where his daughter was held a Are you sure you didn't see us come up in the auto and prisoner; but it now occurred to him that his escape would then try to follow us into the house?" be discovered long before he would pro):>ably be able to "I'm sure I didn't do anything of the kind." reach Brentwood and find the banker; and that the p e opl e "Out it out," growlecl Meiggs, "and let's unloose him. in the house, fearing the inevitable result that must follow, and give him a chance to eat somethin'. As long as he's would hasten to remove Cassie Davenport to some other here we've got to feed him place, and the effort to rescue the girl would be frustrated. So Jack was released from his unpleasant situation and "If anything is going to be done to save her I'll have to permitted to exercise his cramped limbs. do it myself while I'm on the spot," he said to himself Curley took the precaution, however, to stand between "The question is how shall I manage it?' the boy and the stairs so as to prevent him from making a It was rather a difficult problem on the face of it. break for freedom, if such an id e a occurred to him. But Jack was not a boy to give up the s olution of a "Now, then," said :Meiggs, roughly, "fall to and eat problem because it happened io be hard to get around. your breakfast so we can tic you up again.'' He felt that it was plainly his duty to try and re scue "I'd like to know why I've been brought to this place Cassie Davenport if the thing were possible. to be kept a prisoner," said Jack, as he took up a piece Having decided that point to his sati s faction, lie began of bread and butter and began to eat it. to consider its accomplishment. "If you can't guess the reason we'll neYe r tell you," "H I dig my way out before morning can I get into the replied Curley, with a coarse laugh. house again from the outside?" he asked himself. "I' m "It isn't a square deal," replied Jack afraid not, for there is little doubt but they keep the doors "It's your own fault for nosin' around things that didn't arid windows locked most of the time I wonder where this concern you." house is situated, anyway? It seemed to be among the hill s "How long are you going to keep me here?" as well as I could see last night while they were taking "You'lf stay here till we get ready to let you go." me into the house "When will that be?" Jack resumed his digging before he thought of any "None of yo1u business Corne now, hurry up; we're plan that promised results. not goin' to stay here all day He enlarged the hole to a considerable extent during ".Are you going to tie me again?" the next hour, taking the precaution to deposit the loo s e "You bet we are!" rep l ied Meiggs earth in a box as he removed it, and afterward drag the "Well, it's a mean thing to do. You've got me safe box to the opposite end of the cellar and scatter the dirt enough here wfthout making matters unnecessarily hard about. for me. There's no windows for me to crawl out of it." He had dug a hole four feet into the rear wall of the "We might as well let him stay loose," interposed Curley. cellar when, from certain sounds he heard above, he thought "We can put a weight on the trap to hold it down." he was going to have a visit from the two rascal s Meiggs offered no objection to this suggestion, and as He hastily stood one of the boxes again s t the excavation soon as Jack had finished the coffee they departed with the and going to the box which had served him for a breaktray and lamp, leaving the boy free to amuse himself as fast table he sat upon it in a dejecte d attitude. best he could. He was not mistaken. The first thing he did was to examine his prison closely The trap was lifted and the lamp was thrust down for with the aid of some matches he had in his pocket. the person who held it to see that the steps were clear, "I'll bet a dollar I could dig myself out of this place and the prisoner not waiting to make a rush for freedom. with the help of one of those barrel staves if I had time It was Curley who held the lamp, and he caught a view enough The earth is not so hard." of Jack on the box. This idea occurred to Jack the moment he saw the real "All right," he said to Meiggs, over his shoulder. "Come character of the cellar on." "I'll make a start at once. I can knock off whenever I hear the trap raised, so they will not be likely to get on to what I am doing." He picked up one of the staves and started in at the rear end of the cellar as being the most likely spot where Meiggs followed him down with the tray in his hands. "Get up," he said to Jack, "and let me put this on the box." The boy got up, with apparent meekness "Here's a plate o f stew, with some bread and c:offee," said

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OUT FOR HIMSELF. "/, Meiggs "You're livin' high :for a prisoner," he grinned,\ Jack fumed .and fretted over his helpless condition for "for you're gettin' the same fodder we eat ourselves. Be an hour. thankful we're treatin' you so well. If you behave yourself "If I on l y cou l d get free," he said to himself. everythin' will go on all right, and when the time comes He tried hard to work his hands loose, but Curley had we'll let you go. If you try to escape we'll put you on made too good a job 0 it. bread and water as a punishment, see?" Suddenly it occurred to him that by rubbing the cord Jack heard him, but made no reply. cont i nuously against one 0 the edges 0 the post he might "Get busy, young fellow," put in Curley. Don't you in time succeed in fraying it so much that he would be see we're waitin' ?" abl e to snap it apart. So Jack turned to and cleaned up the dinne r they had It seemed a :first-class idea, and he adopted it at once. brought .him, and as soon as he had :finished they left him He sat up, put his back against the post and began to alone once more wor k his arms up and down with a sawing motion, holding Hal an hour later Jack resumed work on the ho le, and the cord that secured his wrists against the sharp edge 0 kept at it steadily until he had enlarged it to a depth 0 the post feet. Long be. ore any impression seemed to have been made After taking a rest he began to loosen the earth from on the cord his arms grew tired from the awkward exerci se. above the end 0 the excavation, as he considered he ought But, with intervals of rest, he kept doggedly at it,_ for to be well beyond the line 0 the house he felt confident he would succeed in the. end. When he had dug about a yard upward he stopped While he worked away he could heal" the moveuienls of "I guess it won't be safe to do any more until night. the people in the kitchen over his head The earth might cave in before I want it to." At last even those sounds ceased .and complete stillness So he sat down on the box that answered for a table and reigned in the house. awaited the coming 0 his jailers with his supper. It was about this time that in exerting his strength on CHAPTER _fo:rn. i1 "'eks, .,. CASSIE DAVENPORT. It was two hours before Meiggs and Curley came down the cellar steps, the former bearing the tray and the latter the lamp, as before, and Jack, now that he had nothing to do, felt the time hang upon his hands. But they came at last, and the boy was glad to see them, for he didn't believe they would disturb him again that night. Meiggs placed the supper before him and the tw o rascals watched him eat it up. Then a disagreeable surprise was sprung upon him Curley brought down a couple of sacks "Here's your bed," he said. "No w we'll h ave to tie your hands and feet for the night, so that we can be sure of you." Jack put up a kick against it, but it didn't do him any good The men bound his arms behind him and then tie d his ankles together. Satisfied that he was safe for the night, t h ey le:ft him once more in the gloom 0 the cellar "This is a rough deal," grumbled J ack, rather d is heart ened at the unexpected turn of affairs. I expected to be out of this den in a couple 'of hours or so. Now i t l ooks as i I'm stuck for all night again, and that will put a stop to any scheme I might get up for helping Miss Daven port out 0 her trouble. I can't do a thing in daylight, for I dare say they keep a constant watch for intruders. Mother and sister arn certainly wild by this time over my unex plained absence, and it is probable that the whole towri knows that Miss Cassie has been kidnapped." the cords for about the twentieth time one 0 them snapped This loosened the other and,_ out came Jack's hands, free at last. It was scarcely more than the work of a moment for him to p\1t his hand in his pocket, draw out his jack-knife and sever the cords around his ankles. 'rhen he stood up, untrammeled. 'rhe :first thing he did was to run up the steps and listen attentively at the trap. Not a sound in the kitchen Mechanically he pushed on the trap-door, expecting, of course, to find some heavy weight holding it down. To his great surprise it yielded readily enough to his touch and gradually opened up until he thrust his head and should ers into the dark kitche:o.. "By the great archipelago, this is luck for air!" he breathed, in a quiver of excitement A moment later 4e stood up ill the room and looked about him His eyes bei _ng accustomed to the darkne;;s of the cellar, every object in the kitchen was easily apparent to him. I He saw a door ahead of him. Going to it he cautiously opened it a trifle, arid :finding darkness beyond he strnck a match on his trousers to deaden the sound, and saw that he was looking into n. small entry with a :flight of stairs leading to the story above. He decided to ascend the steps, and removed his shoes for that purpose Then it occur r ed to him that it would be the act of a wise general to provide an avenue 0 safe retreat in case 0 surprise or mishap. So he looked around or the door opening upon the oute r air. That was not difficult to :find.

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OUT l!'OR llHlSELlr. It 11as locked and doubly bolted, bnt il was an easy matter to turn the key and draw the heavy 1 'l'hcn leaving the door s li ghtly ajar, with hii; shoes beside it he starte d up the stai r s as softly as h e couk1, so as to avoid making an y suspicious sounds. He believed and hop ed the two men and the woman were abed and asleep, but he was b y no means sure of the fa ct. People of their stamp, he argued, were not in the habit of going to bed early. Still he thought if they were up they should be down stairs. "I was a fool net to look in the frontrooni b efore I came lip here," he thouglit, as he struck the landing above. Then he noticed a light shining under the crevice of a door, and presently heard the voices of a man and woman. He tiptoed over to the door, and, holding his breath, listeped attentively. He recognized the voice of Meiggs. The female, therefore, must be Mrs. Meigg s "William,''. the woman was saying, "I hope we'll get rid of that girl soon. She is a s punky thing and ha s given me a lot of ti:ouble since she came to h er senses." "We can't get rid of her till Jim (meanli:Jg Mulbrook) comes to terms with her old man. Then we'll be well paid." "We ought to be, for the risk is considerable. I wa s r2.ther ag'in goin' into it, for I ain't hankerin' after a spell nt the Danemora penitentiary but seein' you talked me 'nto it I'll see it through, sink or swim." "That's the way to talk, old woman," repli ed h er hus band, approvingly. got to hav e the long g reen, and there ain't no easier way of earnin' it than this that I know of." "Well I want half of what you get, remember," she said, in a decided tone. "H you hold any back, and I find it out you'll have cause to regret it." "I'll deal square with you, don't you fret. Now we have a hot whisky before we turn in?" "I'm not goin' downstairs to light no fire to heat water at this time of the night. We'll take the whisky cold to night." J.ac k heard Meiggs growl about his wife's lazin ess, but she shut him up in a tart wa.y, and soon the boy heard the rattle of glasses and presently Meiggs "Here's lookin' at you, old woman." "My regards, William," she answered. Then followed the clinking of glasses and a short silence. "If they knew I was out here on the landing they'd have a fit," breathed Jack, as he listened to their further conversation. In ten minutes they had another drink and then the listener judged they were going to bed. "Are you sure that boy is all right in the cellar?" asked :Mrs. Meiggs, suddenly. "What the deuce made her thinJ.: of me?" thought Jack, uneasily. H e was reassured when Meigg s replied: "All Why, of course he' s all right. Me and ('urlry til d him hand ancl fool. lle might as well think of flyin' as to gel ont of that plac:c lo-night." "Did you put that rock on thr lrap ?" inquired his wife. "No. What's the use? Didn't I say the boy is tied hard and fast ?" "B11t he might get loose," persisted Mrs. Meiggs. "']'here ain't no cha nce of his gettin' loose." "How do you know there i s n 't?" replied the woman, tartly. "You go right downstairs and put that rock on that trap." "But I've got my clothes off," objected her husband. "Put 'em on llg'in, or go down without." "I tell you, old woman--" "Shut up and do as I tell you. I ain't takin' no chances in this thing even if you are, William Meiggs." Jack saw that Meiggs would have to go downstairs and : do the job; ancl t h e r efo r e it behooved him to get down first. As the qui ckest way of accomplishing this without noise he s lid do\\n the rail rebo1ted the kitchen door for fear :Meiggs might examine it, and then taking his shoes in his hand he hid unMr the stairs. Pretty soon clown came with a lamp in hi s hancl, in his shirt and pants He wer ,i:(y ou1hen and rolled the rock on top of the trap. :n from ,' "I hope old woman'll be satisfied now," Jack, from hi s place of concealm ent, heard him say. Then he remounted the stairs again, a door banged and all was quiet once more. Jack decided to wait for half an hour at l east before re mounting the stairs. He hoped by that time Meiggs and his wife would be asleep. Returning to the kitchen he again withdrew the bolts that secu red the door. Th e c lock struck midnight while he was doing this, and then he sat down and waited patiently until the minute hand had got a r ound to the half-hour mark. "Now for business," he said, rising his feet. "I've got to find out the room in which Miss Cassie is confined and set her free. And I must do it without alarming the occupants of the house or there's likely to be something doing." Jack returned to the entry and made his way up to the landin g once more. He a match and looked around. "That's the door of the Meiggs's room, and this door is-ah, there's a key on the outside, and a bolt als? shot into its socket I'll bet this i s where Miss Cassie is held a prisoner The third door I guess opens into Curley's room. T've a delicate job before p1e. H. Miss Cassie takes me for one of her enemies and makes an outcry, the fat will all be in the fire. Well, I've g t risk it." He soft l y turned the key in the OcR and then tackled the bolt. It did not move easi ly, as the tongue was wide and fl.al, ..

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OU'l' ;I and, moreover, somewhat rus tehe had been spirited away from her the night before. Jack lit a second match and lo oked ai her. She was a very pretty girl, with go ld en hlonde hair, peach-bloom comp l exio n and dainty form There were traces of tears o n her c h eeks, 1 ... had cr i ed h erself to s le ep. Jack felt sorry for h er and determined to re s cue her from the hous e at any haz ard. r Dropping the expiring match on the carpet h e walked to the bed, and placing one h and just above the girl s mouth to stifl e any cry she might make, h e s h ook her into sudden wakefulness. "Hush, Miss Cassie h e whispered. "I've come to save you CHAPTER V THE ESCAPE. The girl was c learl y startled b y the presence of an un known person beside h e r in the darkness. Instinctive l y s h e took the boy for one of her enemie., and an exclamatio n of a l a rm rose to her lips, while :;;h e struggled to free lier month from his hand. Don't be frightened, Miss Ca..-;sie, Raicl Jack, reasi:rnr ingly. "I am h ere to take you back to your home. If you make a noise you'll alarm the hous e and s poil everything." His words seemed to make an impressio n on the girl, for s he ceased to struggle. Finding that she was beginning to unde rstand che situa tion, Jack stepped back and lit another match. As the ligh t flared up Cassie gaze
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10 ourr FOR IIDISELF. tially revealed his features, Curley recognized him and gave a gasp of surprise. He sprang forward with :i roar of anger and seized Cas sie just as she was passing through the door. She uttered a stifled scream of terror as she felt the heavy, detaining hand on her shoulder. Jack turned to see what was the matter, and he came face to face with Curley. "Thought you'd get away, did you?" snarled the man, maliciously, reaching out his c;lisengaged hand to grasp the boy. "Thought we was asleep and wouldn't know nothin' about it, eh? I'll fix you for this, you slippery young monkey." But Jack wasn't caught as easily as he thought. The boy was staggered for a moment by the rascal's tm expected appearance at the very when he was congratulating himself that the coast was clear. Recovering himself instantly, and rendered desperate by the imminent danger of recapture find its attendant cons e quences, he suddenly struck at Curley's face with all his might. The blow took effect right between the man's eyes and he fell back, releasing his grip on Cassie. "Run, Miss Cassie, run!" cried Jack, jabbing Curley in the ,;tomach and then slamming the door in his face. He followed the girl, who was fleeing across the grnsscovercc1 rnlley as fast as she could go, and soon overtook her. Curley ran to the entry, pounded lustily on the wall, and shouted for :!\1eiggs to get up. As soon as that worthy came, sleepily, to the door and inquired the cause of the rumpus, Curley shol1ted that their prisoners bad escaped from the house and were running down the valley. Although the intelligence seemed incredible to Meiggs, it was sufficiently grave to wake him up to the urgency of the mon1ent. He ran into his room to partly dress himself, while Cur ley started after the fugitives. Knowing that they would be pursued at once, and that Cassie would not be able to maintain a pace swift enough to throw off their pursuers, Jack looked around for some spot where they could hide until the men had passed them. The height and thickness of the grass favored them in tliis respect, while it handicapped their progress. The clearness of the night was against them, but by lying low in the grass the boy hoped they might avoid discovery. "Drop down, Miss Cassie, on your hands and knees. We must work a bit of strategy on those chaps. It's our only chance to elude them." He pulled her down after him, and not a moment too soon to avoid the sharp eyes of Curley as he dashed from the house in pursuit. i. They lay silent and motionless close to the ground while he passed at full speed withir+ a couple of yards of them. "Now we'il crawl over to the rocks and see if we can get ont of the valley that way," said Jack, as soon as Curley got some distance in advance. Before they had accomplished half the distance, for that kind of locomotion was slow, Meiggs came running out of the houf:e, while Mrs. 1\Ieiggs's head might have been s e e n thrust from an upper window following with her eyes the efforts of Curley and her husband to recapture their pris oners. Curley did not stop till he reached the ascending path that led out of the valley. He was surprised to the fugitives could have got as far as that without his having seen or overhauled them. It was possible for him to see quite a. di s tance up the road, and any object upon it must have been thrown out into relief against the clear sky. He con 6dently expected to see the fugitives clo s e at hand, and was ready to make a dash for them, but he was puzzled and disappointed when the way alrnad showed up perfectly clear. Then it was apparent to him that the runaways had in some way elucled him in the valley by hiding behind a rock 9r in the tall grass. He vented his rage and started back the way he had come, keeping his eyes warily on the lookout for some sign of them. He soon saw Meiggs has tening toward him. arc coming back?" asked 1\Ieigg s "The y couldn't got away already, could they?" "N'o. qihey've given me the slip in the grass. They are s till in the valley somewhere." "Then, by Judas, we'll root 'em ciut !" cried Meiggs. "Do yow mean to say that both the boy and the girl have g ot 011t of the house?" "That's just what they have. I can see now how it hap pened. were too sure that boy W!l safe, bound hand and foot, that we didn't put the rock on the cellar trapdoor, and so--" "But 1 went downstairs before I got in bed and put it on." "You did?" exclaimed Curley. "The old woman mRcle me do it as soon as I told her w e hncln't done it. She wouldn't give me any peace till I clicl." "Did you look around the kitchen at the time?" "No. Why should I?." "If you had you might have discov e red the kid hiding nn
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OUT FOR HIMSELF. 11 that he was able to get out of the cellar shows that you made a beef of it. The re's no doubt in my mind about that boy b e ing in the kitchen or entry when you came down to put that rock on the trap. When you went back to your room and turned in, h e went upstairs and let the girl out. I h e ard them sn e akin' down th e s tairs. I didn't exactly su s pect the truth, but I fancied somethin' was wrong, so I got up and investig at ed. I found them just goin' out a.t the kitchen door. I had the girl grabbed when that dub hit me a blow in the fac e and another in the stomach, which doubl e d me up. The n they got away. I roared out or y o u and s t arte d a ft e r them. That's the whole of it. We've g ot t o find the m tho u g h, if we s tay up all night doin' it. Mulbrook wouldn' t do a thing to u s if they got clear off. It would bu s t the sch eme higher than a kite." Whil e thi s couver s ation had been going on the two men were slowly r e tra c ing their s tep s ; with their eyes cast to the right a nd l eft in search of some s ign to indicate where the fu gi tive s w e re. At that mome n t they heard Mr s Meiggs scream out: There the y go. There's the two of 'em gain' up the rocks." She waved her hands across the narrow valley to the left, and sure enou g h the men saw Jack and Cassie climbing ove r the s tones ancl bush e s along the side of the steep hill. M elggs and Curle y started at once to overtake them. CHAPTER VI. BACK IN BRENTWOOD. "Those chaps are s ome distance away now, Miss Cassie," said Jack, when they r e ached the foot of the rocky hillside. "Now is our chanc e to creep up this narrow path. If the night wasn't so confounded bright our chances of escap e would be first-clas s Gee whiz! There's that look ing out of one of the windows," he added. "I'm afraid she'll pipe u s off before "\Ve can get very far." They s tarted up the inc line a s fast as they could go, and had got half way to a certain point Jack was aiming at whe n Mr s Meiggs d e t e cted them and, as we have seen, called the m e n's attention to them. '"J'hat old woman has eyes as sharp as a needle," said Jack, h e lping Ca s sie forward. "I was afraid she'd see us. Now th e m e n are after us full swing." "Oh, d ear! I hope 1they won't catch us," replied the girl, in a shiver of appr e hension. "It would be just dreadful to be t a k e n bac k to that house again." "They shan't take us back if I can help it," said Jack, resolut e l y "They'd make it specially hot for me if they got th eir hands on me, for I am doing them up by helping you to e s cap e." While hiding in the grass, he had given Cassie a brief statement of how he had captured by the kidnappers at the door of her home and brought along with her in the automobile. He explained how he had been held a prisoner in the cellar, a nd how h e managed to make his escape and go to her rescue. She had told him he was a brave boy, and that she and her parents would be grateful to him as long as they lived. Jack kept his arm around Cassie's waist so as to assist her over the rough plac e s that lay in their path, upward. It was soon apparent them thf!.t the men would over take them before they could reach any place where they could hope for a to give their pursuers the slip, unless something was done to stop their advance. Cassie was growing exhausted under the severe exertion to which she was unused, and Jack was in when his eves lighted on a pile of loose stones Re grabbed a handful and commenced to bombard their enemies. His aim was so true, and the stones whizzed s o unpleas antly near to the h e ad s of the ras cals that they were dis c9nce'rted and came to a halt in order to dodge missiles with more success. rrh e y realiz eO. that a cra c k from one of the stones was no s jlly thin g and cons equ e ntly they objected to it. "Now, Cas sie, while I hold these chap s at a di s tance, make your way up to that break in the hill. I'll join you as soon as I see you have reached the spot, and then maybe we'll find some way of throwing the men off our track." She started to obey his directions, while Jack continued to take aim at the rascals below and to pelt them at a rapid rate. One of the stones struck Curley on the shoulder and lamed his arm, causing him to swear frightfully and threaten the boy with a severe retaliation. Jack was not intimidated in the least by hi s tbreat1:>. Re knew the men would have mercy on him, anyway, if they caught him, so he considered he might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. He felt no compunction about hitting them if he could. He was in that desperate frame of mind that if h e l a id their s kulls open with a rock it wouldn't have troubl e d him in the least. As it was, they had to do some lively dodging to save thems elves from a blow. Rad they been much closer to Jack, or had it been day light, they must have been struck repeatedly. As long as he kept up his shower of missiles they did not dare advance up<;m him. They looked in vain in their own neighborhood for stones to fire back at him. Ouly when one of J.ack's dropped close to them did they have the chance to try and get back at him. At length Cassie reached the spot to which she had been directed by Jack. Then he grabbed an armful of stones and ran towards her. The two rascals resumed their chase the moment the bombardment stopped. As soon as Jack joined the girl at the break in the hill side he saw that a path ran down through the hills, and that there appear e d to b e dozens of spot s whe r e the y could hide.

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12 OU'!' FOR HIMSELF. --============================================ After p e lting the pursu e rs to a s top once more, Jack and Cassi e disappeared from their sight down th e p a th. '"l'he y've gone down the hill, growled Meigg s when t h e two men r eachrcr the break themselv es. "Of c our s e th e y hav e and we've got to follow them. Put your best foot forward and let us see if we can t catch them b e fore they can give us the slip." The y s tarted rapidly down the path, confident of over taking the fugitives, both swearihg to do all kinds of things to Jack when they got hold of him. But cat c hing Jack and Cassie now was not such an eas y matter as before. The re were trees and rocks and brushwood on ever y hand, b e hind which they could hide in comparative safe ty :Me i g g s and Curley los t their best chance of re c aptqring the fugitive s when J a{!k s tood them off with hi s s tone bombardment until Cass ie had climbed the hill a s far as they intended to go up. Half way down the hill two pair of eager eyes watched Meiggs and Curley go by, a11d after they w e re out of sight, out from behind a thick mass of brushwood s tepped Jack and Cassie. Th e y r e traced their steps to the opening in the hill; they ran down the hillside in full view of the exl'.!ited Mrs. 1\Jeig g $ who looked in for her husband and Curley at th eir heels; they ran across the grassy and finall y _,'dis a pp e ared up the road oy which the automobil e had brou g h t them both on the preceding night to the hou s e in th e valle y After that they walked rapidly along until in the course of t o hours the y ca.me out on the count y roa d which J erl straight to Brentwood, twe nty mile s awa y .It a s about four o'clock in the morning and s o far as th e fugitfres could see there. was not a house in s ight. Bot h were weary after their night's e x ertion s espe c i alh C a s sie. I -"It doe sn t seem as if I could go another st e p s he said, in a tired voice. "Do you think we a.re safe from tho s e m e n now?" "If wc are n t we' re nex t door to it, replied Jac k cheerfn ll_y. "He r e's a log. We' ll sit down and rest a whil e." 'L1h e y s ank wearily upon th e hollow old log that la y h alf bur i e d in the f'oil bv th e s id e of the road and th e g irl re s t. ' i n g b r r h eacl on Jack's should e r closed h e r eyes. H e s upported h e r 1rith hi s arm around h e r 1raist. Aft e r a sile nc e of 8evera1 minute s the b o y s p o ke. "Whe r e wer e your mother and father and t h e ser v ants at t h e tim e those rascals c arried vou off? Sure l v th e y could not hav e bee n in the hou s e no alarm was althou g h you s cr eame d twice, loud e nough for m e l.o h ear you on the s idewalk." Mother and father were awa y in Bridgewat e r at th e w e ddin g of an old friend s he an s w e r ed. "We hav e three w o m e n ser v ants, but singular t o relate e ach of th e m re _ceivecl a l e tter that aft' e rnoon c alling them to th eir homes on account of illnes s in. their familie s." "They did, eh?" "Yes." "A put-up job to get them away from the house. It's a wonde r you w e re not afraid to remain alone." "I did not e x pe c t to s la y a lone. Miss Style s my Sun days chool t e a c h e r bad promised to com e ove r afte r a chur c h meeting and s t ay all night with me. I w a s readin g in the s itting-room, waiting to hear her ring the b e ll when thos e two men came suddenly upon me. At first I was speechless from fright, then as one advanced upon me I scream e d for help. A s he grabb e d me I s cr e am e d a second time, b u t he s tifled it by pressing a handk e rchief ove r my mouth and nose: I sme lled a swee t sicke nin g kind o f odor my sen ses and I remembered no more until I cam e to m y self in that room where you found m e Th a t b a l e ful woman was bending over me, with su c h a hor rid s mil e on her wicked feature s that I thought I h a d the ni g htmare When I found I was really awake I w a s s o fri ghte ned at fir s t I did not know what to d6. I ask e d h e r what was the meaning of it all, and she told me I had b een carried away from my home because my father was be liev e d to be rich and could well afford to pay a bi g sum of money to s ave me from coming to any harm. Then I d e m a nd e d that I be taken back to Brentwood but s he only lau g hed mockingl y and said I would not get ba c k until m y fath e r had paid the money they wanted." "Well, s aid Jack, "I gu ess they'll have to go without that money they c alculat e d on getting from your father." "They would have got it but for you, Jack Street. I s hall never forg e t how bravely you have acted and how good you hav e b e en to me-never, never!" "Don' t mention it, Miss Cas s ie." "But I will mention it, s h e replied, earnestly. "You are going to be one of my friends after this, aren t you?" "I should be glad to have that honor, Miss Cassie," he s aid, a bit wfstfully; "but I m only a poor boy; y ou see, and I c ouldn t exp ect-" "Wha t non s en s e! Do you s uppo s e that would make any diff e r e nce with me after what y ou have done? Or with my par ents? No t a bit of it. I s h all b e glad to caiI you a fri e nd worth ha v in g A boy who s t o od b y m e and s a ved m e fro m a t e rrible pos ition whe n th e r e was no on e e l se to Clo it." "I will tr:v to prov e myself worthy of y our fri e nd s hip Miss C assi e." You have proved it alre ady, y ou fooli s h boy, h a v e y ou not ? A t that m o m e nt, just as t h e e a s t ern s k y began to sh o w fa in t i ndi c ation s of the c omin g d awn, t h eir ears ca u g h t the so1111Ci of a team a pproa c hin g up the ro ad. It proved t o b e a b ig w agon load e d with c ountry pro duce for m arket. H e r e's a c hanc e for u s to ge t a lift on to town per hap s," r e m ar k e d Jack', jumpin g t o his fe et H e w a lked out into the roa d and hail e d the d r iv e r, who rein e d in hi s horses, Will you giv e u s a ride toward town, sir?" he ask e d

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....... ..... .............. !V( . OUT FOR HIMSELF. 13 polit e ly. "We're pretty well fagged out, ancl in no shape The three servants had gol back after discovering that l o walk there." the summoning them to their homes weie fake ones. "\Valk to Brentwood?" ejatmlated the man, regarding Meesengers were despatched io the residences :firi:t the speake r and then the hatless, well-dressd girl with of those families on visiting terms with the Davenports to some surprise. "Do you know how far it is to that town?'' try and get some trace of Cassie, but of course without "I have no idea of the exact distance," replied ,Jack; result. "but I guess it's a good way." Mr. Davenport spent the best part of the day looking "It's every foot of eighteen mile, young man. Do y ou for some clew to account for his daughter's unexplained two live at Brentwood?" absence, and :finding none he called in the services of the "We do." police to assist him. "How come you to be away out here at this hour of the Mrs. Davenport was almost prostrated with anxiety, morning?" while the household was in a state of constcrna"We were brought here against our wills." tion. "Brought here against your wills!" exclaimed the drive r A sleepless night was passed by the anxious parents and of the team, in some wonder. "How is that?" the second morning came without bringing any light upon "I'll tell y9u our sto ry if you will be so good as to help the mystery. us on to town. I suppose you are going to Brentwood." .Just as the clock struck eight, and the banker and his "You suppose right. J:'m going there as straight as this wife were making a pretence of eating their breakfas.t, the road will cany me." I postman left several l etters at the door. "That's straight enough for us," said Jack. "I may say One of these was in a handwriting strange to Mr. Daven -that this young lady's father will pay you well for any j !XJrt, and he opened it first inconvenience we may put you to. She is the daughter of It was a brief communication (unsigned) from Jim Mul Mr. Davenport, the president of the Brentwood National 1 brook, the rascal who had engineered the kidnapping of Bank." Cnssie. The man gave utterance to a low whist le, for he knew He. said that, in accordance with a well arranged scl)eme, that Willard Davenport was one of Brentwood's leading Mr. Davenport's daughter had been abducted ancl was now citizens 1 held for ransom. "Jump up," he said; "there's room enough on this seat The sum they had fixed upon was $20,000. for both otyou." That amount must be left in bill s at a certain spot, at a J ack assisted Cassie to mount to the driver' s perch, and certain hour, along the highway from Brentwood to Lanthen sque ezed alongside of her himself. caster, to in s ure the girl's liberation. "Gi t up, there!" cried the driver, s napping hi s long Failure on th e banker's part to comply with their terms, whip, and the team went on. or if he h i red detective s to finc1 the girl and to run the As they jogged along toward town Jack told the driver kidpappers down, would certainly lead to : unplea sant conhow both he and Miss Davenport had been carried off i n to sequences for Cassie Davenport. the hills in a red automobile by a couple of kidnappers The banker was given three days in which to make up who counted on s queezing Mr. Davenport out of a round hi s rninf! dming whicl1 time the writer assured him that s um of money. the girl would be well taken care of. And how h e had managed to escape from the cellar where '.!'hat was all. he was confined and rescue the girl, detailing the strenuous "M:v heavens!" gasped Mr. Davenport turning as pale time they had passeil through in their. efforts, :finally sue as death. ccssful, to elude their purs uer .'. "Oh, Willard!" gasped his wife, rising quickly, her face "That sounds just 'ke a s tor y book," sa id the driver going quite white. "ls that new s of our' Oassie? Don't when Jack had finish his s tory. "I t:iuppose it will all tell me our child is dead!" she added, clutching the table be in the paper in a day or so. You're a regular hero, for support. young man. 1'm blessed if any man could have done "fl he i s not dead, Clara She has been kidnapped," rcbetter lmder the ci rcumstances." plied her husband, i"n a choked voice. It was about eight o'clock when the wagon entered the "Kidnapped I Oh, Father of Mercy! My poor child! Lown limits and ten minutes afterward Jack and Cassie My Cassie alighted before the e legant residence of Banker Davenport. Mrs. Davenport s ank into another cliair and burs t into CHAPTER VIL JACK RECEIVES TOKEN-$ OF TH.E DAVENPORTS' GRATITUDE. The disappearance of Cassie Davenport Hom her home had created the greatest alarm in the minds of her parents when lhey returned in the morning .from the town of Bridgewater. a flood of tears It was at this thrilling moment that Cassie, :followed by Jack, at her camest solicitation, entered the house. We will not dwell upon the surprise and delight of Mr. and Mr s Davenport when their daughter burst into the breakfa s t room and sprang into her mother's arm,c;. Nor will we more than menii.on the heartfelt

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14 OUT F-OR HIMSELF. the banker and his wife showered upon Jack Street when the story of the young people's adventures in and out of the hands of the kidnappers had been told. Jack declined to remain to breakfast, though pressed to do so, as he was in a great hurry to go home and relieve the anxious suspense of his mother and sister. Cassie accompanied him to the door. "But you will call to-night, won't you?" she said, eagerly. It was impossible to resist the pleading request of so lovely a girl as Cassie Davenport, and so Jack promised to call that evening. As he expected, he found his mother and sister worried to death over his unexplained absence, and, of course, he had a long story to tell them in explanation of it. As he was pretty well "bunged up," to use his own ex pression, he did not go to business that day, but turned in for a good s leep after he had had something to ea.t. Dming the morning, the' banker, after furnishing the police with information about the location of the hol1se in the valley among the distant hills, together with the tolerahl.v accurate description of the three accomplices of .Jim U ulbrook, the chief kidnapper, furnished by Jack, gave the whole story to the Brentwood Daily Mercury, and it ap peared :nder a big scare head in the afternoon editions. Of course, Tom Harper saw the story, and he rushed around to his friend's house a bout supper-time. Jack had just got up, feeling all right again. "Hello, Jack!" cried Tom, bursting into his room. "Is this all true that I've just read al,Jout you in the. evening paper?" "If you'll tell me what you've seen abeiut me in the paper maybe I'll be able to answer your question," laughed Jack. Tom gave him the gist of the story "Well, I guess that's true enough," admitted his friend. "Do you mean to i;;ay that you were actually carried o:ff by those kidnappers at the time they abducted Mr. Daven port's daughter, and that you rescued that girl from them in such a thrilling manner?" "Yes, that's all right," nodded jack. "We both had quite a strenuous time of it." "I should think you did. I never thought you had such a nerve as you seem to have shown. My gracious! You're a regular hero, aren't you? You rescued one of the pretti est girls in Brentwood, and one o.f the richest, too-at least she will be one of these days, for she is the only child of Banker Davenport." "Oh, come now, Tom, cut it out P' grinned Jack. "What for? You can't deny that you've done a big "I hope he won't think of doing any such thing." "Why not? Five thousand is an awful lot of money, and I'll bet he'd never miss it. You can bet your life I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me." "I don't believe in taking pay for assisting a person, especi3].ly a helpless girl, out of trouble. I don't consider that I did more than my duty." "That's all right in an ordinary case. But this girl's is rich-at least everybody believes he is, for he's president of the biggest bank in town and lives like a nabob. I don't see a.ny reason why you shouldn't accept money from such a man if he offered it to you." "Well, I don't care how rich he is, I w.ouldn't take a cent for what I did for his daughter. There's some things I consiaer above price, and that's one of them." Mrs. Street called her son to supper and Tom was invited to stay and have some. "Well, seeing it's you, I'll slay," said 1'om, "but I told mother I'd be right ba.ck.'' "She'll never miss you, old man," chuckled Jack. "There are six more of you to occupy her attention." "That's right. And they'll eat up my share you can bet." After supper Tom took his departure and then Jack went to his room to spruce up for his promised viRit on Miss Cassie. He was a mighty good-looking boy when he wail dressed in his best, with his curly hair well brushed up and his shoos polished up to the queen's taste. He received a warm welcome at the Davenport home, and was pleased to find that the banker made no suggestion of paying him for the service he had rendered his child. He spent a pleasant evening and left at ten o'clock, fully per s uaded that Cassie was tho nicest girl he had ever met. A few days afterward a small package, addressed to him, was delivered at the farm. On opening it he found an elegant gold watch chain, suitab ly inscribed with his name; also a diamond studded horseshoe ornament: A lett er accompanied tho gifts, stating that the watch and chain was the joint offering of Mr. and Mrs. Davenport, while the horseshoe was Cassie's present. They hoped he would accept the tokens as a slight evi dence of their regard and life-long gratitude. .Jack had no objection to accepting the presents; in fact, he was delighted with them, and from that hour he wore them wherever he wont. thing. You're the central figure of that article in the CHAPTER VIII. paper, and I'll bet everybody in town is talking about A GRANITE DISCOVERY. you and saying what a brave follow you are, etc., etc.'' The next time Jack called at the Davenport home the "Tom Harper, you make me tired." banker asked him into his library. Tom laughed. "I guess I can put you in the way of making a few "You ought to make a good th, ing out of it, at any rate.'' dollars, Master Jack," he said, with a smile. "Why ought I?" "I'm much obliged to you, sir. I'm trying to earn some You saved Mr. Davenport $20,000. He 011ght to turn thing over and above my wages these days, for I'm not rearound a.nd hand you five thousand of it.'1 ceiving a. princely sum for my services, though I ha.ve no

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OU'r FOR HIMSELF 15 fault to find in that respect. I've only been in business a little over a year, and I can't expect. to earn much until I get older and more experienced." "You told me that you are canvassing for insurance, that you've made quite a little sum during the last month in commissions." "I've made about $165 all told, sir." "That isn't bad. You seem to be someth ing 0 a hustler, I should judge." "When a follow is out himself he feels like hustling. At any rate, he has got to keep awake and lively on his pins if he expects to do anything." "I'm going to take out another $5,000 ordinary life policy in the Phalanx Co. Bring me the application paper and I'll fill it out and sign it. You ought to make a good on it." "I'll get sir." "That's fair enough. Now I'U. give you a letter of in troduction to a friend of mil)c, l\Ir. Harker, Yicc-president of the Brentwood Trust He told me that he in tended taking out a endowment policy in the Phalanx. I a!lked him as a personal favor to put his ap plication in through you, and he said he would do 'so. Call on him to-morrow-evening at his home. with the necessary papers, and he'll fill them out. That will add $350 more to yom outside income." "I will certain ly call on him, Mr. Davenport. I am very much obliged to you for putting me in the way of getting him." "Don't mention it, my boy. I am more than pleased to give you a lift. Remember what an obligation I am under to you. Here is the letter I spoke about. Put it in your pocket. And no1v I guess Cassie is waiting fo1' you in the sitting -room upstairs. She will give me a scolding if I keep you too long away from her." On the following even in g Jack called with his letter of introd11ction on Mr. Harker. That gent l eman received him cordiall)', and after an hour's interview the boy left with Mr. Harker's $10,000 ap plicatioD>, clul.v signed, in his pocket. Hi s employer congratulated him when he turned it into the ofilce next day. "Oh, I've got another for $5,000 coming to-molTow," sa i<1 ,Tack. "Indeed! Wl1ose is it?" Davenport's." "You'll soon have a fat bank account if you keep on. I guess I'll have to raise you to $. You are easily worth it." "Thank you, sir. You'll find I'll try to earn it." Mr. Davenport's influence, Jack secured quite a bit of insurance business, so that three months from the date of his adventure with the kidnappers he had about $C.'i0 to his credit in a savings bank. The kidnappers in question had not been captured by the police, as they took time by the forelock when their scheme against Banker Davenport failed through Jack's exertions, and disappeared from the neighborhood. Tim 1\1 ulbrook, however, haa it in for the boy, anJ he and his associates in cl'fme hoped to get even with Jack in the course of time. One Sunday morning Jack and Tom were strolling about the Trent farm, which still remained unsold or unrentecl, much to Mr. Shuttleworth's dissatisfaction, when they sat clown on the bank of the creek branch, which ran along one edge of the property. "How about the railroad Tom?" asked Jack. "Isn't it almost time they started to build it?" "It will be commenced soon I h eard yesterday that J oh11 Owens, of Bridgewater, has secured the contract for building it. He's the man that put in a bid for new road through the hills to Taylorville." "Is that so?" "Yes. He's had an engineer tapping the hills for build ing stone; but my boss says he'll never get the kind. he wants anywhere within a hundred miles of here." "He won't?" "No. He'll have to bring the stone from the Leamington quarries in Jasper county, and that's three hundred miles to the north." "And it' ll cost him something to get it" down this way." "You can bet it will; but he hJls, of course, covered him self in his contract. Nobody else can clo any better." Suddenly Jack noticed that the waters of the creek ha cl washed soil away from a portion of the bank near where they sat, uncovering a short stretch of hard rock, which g li stened in a peculiar way in the morning sunshine. "There's a patch of stone now right OI)this farm." .:;aid Jack. pointing it out to his companion. "I wonder how 1111{ch there is of it, and what kind of stone it is? Just Ree how it glistens." 'rhey got up and went to take a look at it. "Why, that looks like granite/' said Tom. "Granite!" ejaculated Jack. "That's a valuable kind of building stone." "Sure .it is." "Did you ever hear of any having been found in this locality?" Jo. I would have known of it if such was the case, for my boss has surveyed a good part of the county." "Then I guess that isn't granite." "If it isn't, it's a near relation, then," replied Tom. "Well, it looks like good !rtone. I sho uld like to get an engineer's opinion on it. If he pronounced it building stone I guess it wo11ld pay me to buy this farm as a specu lative venture." "You can bet it would. Why don't you look into it at once?" "I will. I'll call on Mr Davenport and have a talk with him on the subject." "That's right. If there's enough of it, and it's suitable for building the culverts along the railroad line, and the low viaduct across the salt meadow, you could make a deal with the contractor "Well, don't sa.y anything about this matter, Tom. I

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Hi OUT FOR HIMSELF. don't want this to l"each the ears of Mr. Shuttleworth, or he'll be over here poking around to see what he can make out of it himself." "I'll not say a word. If there's anything to be made out of that sto ne I want to see' you make it. Shuttleworth is too mean a man to suit me. He practically robbed the Trents out of a couple of hundred dollars by foreclosing on them and ouying the place in at his own price almost.'' Jack had a talk with Mr. Davenport that evening, and that gentl eman recommended him to consult a certain Bridgewate:f engineer Jn fact, he promised to write to the engineer himself anr1 ask him to come to Brentwood an d pass his opinion on the stone in question. A few days afterward the engineer came. Jack met hi in by appointment, took him out to the farm, and they went over it together. The engineer examined the uncovered ro c k and pro nounced it an excellent quality of granite. He })robed the ground and ascertained that the ledge ran right through the center of 1he farm, and pre s umably out under the county road. ' "' ould you advise me to buy this property on the st rength of your estimate?" asked Jack, eagerly. "Rv all mean s You'll have a fortune in this ground, ; on can fake my word for it." Jack wa,; greatly excited. When his mother came hom e from wher e s he had b ee n working all that day he told her of the engineer's verdict. "I've g ot over $600 in bank, mother. I want you to take it and buy this farm for me in your 'own name. 1 can't Clo it, for I'm under age." Mrs. Street, impressed by her so:r;i's statement of the future that lay in the granite ledge under the farm., agreed to do it. "W c must do it at once before Mr. Shuttleworth hears of thi s clit:covery I'll call on him to-night and make him an offe r." ,Jack did so. Mr. Shuttleworth was greatly s urprised when the boy d i srlose d the object of his visit. T thought yo11r mother was poor h e said, beginning to rep.:mt of his generosity in permitting the Street family to occupy the Trent farm rent free for the last four months. "Jr ;;h e can afford to buy property she can afford to pay "I don't care what he said. I'll take $1,000, and not a ce11 t less." "You've had it in the market for nearly a year without grtting a purchaser." "'T'hal' s my business. If yo11 want that property you must pay me $1, 000." "How much cash do you require?" asked Jack, anxiously. "I'll take half cash. The balance on a three-yeru mortp:age." "Very weU," replied Jack. "We'll buy it. Here i s $100 on account. Make out the receipt in my mother's name." Mr. Shuttleworth looked as if he was s orry he had taken off the $100 on the original price. However, he gave his receipt for the money, and Mrs Street signed the contract in duplicate two day s later at his office. The deed was turned over to a lawyer to examine the title, and while this was in progress Jack got a day off and visited the contractor who was going to build tlrn railroad, and told him he had granite on hi s propert y for sale, and like him to have it examined with the view of making a deal with him for s tone for the railroad. 'rhe cont ractor could hardly believe his ear;;, but h e agreed to send an engineer to look into it. Jack referred him to the engineer in Bridgewater who had gone over the land "Go and see him," said the boy. "His report ought to satisfy you. He's the best engineer in the State." The contractor did go and see him, with the result that he made an offer to Jack in a day or two, which the boy submitted to Mr. Davenport. The banker looked into the matter and told Jack the offer was too low. He told him what figure to s ubmit himself and Jack did so. B y the time the final arrangements were completed the property passed into Mrs. Street's hands. Then the news of the discovery of a fine ledge of granite on the Trent farm was printed in the Brentwood paper. Mr. Shuttleworth read the account and was Re couldn't believe it; but investigation proved to him that he bad let a fortune slip through hi s finger s and perhap s he wasn't tbe madde s t man in Brentwood CHAPTER IX.' nnt for the farm." PLOTTING AGAINST JACK STREET. R he has no money," replied Jack. "I have got a few Jack Street saw substantial success b efo re himself a:t last. h:1nclred dollars I made latel y in commissions. I want to He had made a contract with John Owens, the railroad imest it in that farm if you'll sell it at a reasonable figure." contractor, to furnish him with building stone for the "My price is $1,100," replied Mr. Shuttleworth. bridge work anc1 culverts all along the line of the M. & N "I'm aware you've been asking that for it, but it is new branch from Bridgewater to Brentwood at a certain more than it is worth." figure, and also to, supply him with as much broken "How do you that?" gninted Mr. Shuttleworth. rock as he could at one \ dollar a load. "My employer is a real estate man and knows the real Under these circumstances, and as he was truly out for value of every foot of ground about this neighborhood. He himself in every sense the words implied, he resigned his told me that $900 was a fair price for the Trent property." situation at the real estate and insurance office, much to the ..

PAGE 18

OUT FOR HIMSELF. r e gret of his employer, who feared that never again would make any difference now to mother, as we are making h e get s uch a smart and capable lad in his office. enough out of the place to enable us to get on without Mr. Davenport helped him with his advice and personal mother doing any more outside work." influence and J a.ck found him a mountain of strength to After taking Cassie home, Jack met Tom. r e l y upon in starting, out in his new line of business. "Come out and have supper with us, old :rhan," said Jack. It wasn't long before the back of the farm, down by the "I want you to see how well we're getting on at the branch of the creek, began to wear an air of activity never quarry." b e fore known in that neighborhood. "All right," replied his friend, jumping into the buggy. A gang of quarrymen, under the direction of an experi"I'd like to see how things are progressing." e n ced foreman, were at work getting out the stone for the "I've got a whole shed full of dressed stone ready io ship :finis hers to tackle arid put into shape. at a moment's notice," said Jack. The loose rock, which accumulated from the blasting "How do you like being your own boss?" ope rations, was heaped up at one side, in ever-increasing "First-class. The only way a chap can make real money mounds to await the expected orders for its shipment as is to get out for himself. I've done well ever since I put soon as Contractor Owens got ready to use it in his work that method into operation." u pon the line which was already underway from Brentwood "I wish I could get out for-myself, then," said Tom. as a starting point. "Wishing won't do you any good. Think out some plan As C assie Dav e nport had expressed a wish to see the budfor making money on your own account and then plun g e d ing quarry in operation Jack called for her one afternoon in and hustle." in his modest buggy, and took her out to the scene of his "It's easy to say that, but not so easy to do it." n e w busines s enterprise. "Well, I did it before this stone quarry turned up, and Before going to the quarry, Jack introduced h e r to his what I did you ought to be able to duplicate." m other and si ster, who had been quite anxious to meet his After supper Jack took Tom out to see what had been n e w friend. done at the quarry. Cassie took an immediate liking for Jessie Street, and "This looks like all right," remarked Torq, as invited her to call upon her at her home and take lnch he looked the place over in the gathering dusk. "No one some day, which Jack's sister promised to do. would have thought the s mall patch of stone we saw unMiss Davenport found much to interest and amuse her at covered by the action of the water that Sunday morning t h e new granite quarry, and she remained some time talking would have developed into a real quarry. It looked more to Jack, and asking questions which be could not always like a solitary boulder tha:Il anything else." a n s wer tatisfactorily, owing to his inexperience in the busi"You're right-it did. If it wasn't 'for the fact that the ness which he was trying to conduct in a way to do himself building of this branch railroad put the idea of stone credit my head I should never have thought of investigating the "Father says you're about as smart a boy as he ever met," underpinning of this farm." she said, with a smile. "And he finds great satisfacThe boys went into the open shed where the stone, in all tion in being able to help you along in your ambitious stages of preparation and in its :finished state, lay about, car eer and sat down on a bench in the darkness and talked about I am very much obliged to your father for his good the future of the quarry which promised such splendid re o pinion, and also for all he has done for me since I had sults. the pleasure of making bis acquaintance." During a pause in the conversation Tom saw a figure "I think the obligation is all on our side," replied C assie, come out of the gloom and stand near the far corner of the s weetly. "I suppose you expect to make a lot of money shed. out of this quarry in time." "Who can that be?" he Mid to Jack, pointing the object "I hope to make a good thing out of it. This stone is out. q uite valuable, especially at this end of the State where "Give it up," replied his friend. "Might be one of the s tone of this kind is much in demand." men come back for something he forgot to take away." "Father says you were uncommonly shrewd to get hold of Presently two other figures joined the first and the three the property before Mr. Shuttleworth heard about your advanced cautiously into the shed. discovery of the Their movements seemed to tik:e on such a suspicious "Well, as I made the discovery myself, I think I am enaspect that the boys remained silent observers of their act itled to whatever good results from it. Mr. Shuttleworth tions. seems to be very indignant because I did not let him in on "They are coming over this way,'' whispered Tom. "You this thing. If I had done so he would soon have made it don't recognize them, do you?" impossible for me to have ever a penny out of it. "No," replied Jack, wondering who the-intruders were. Mrs. Shuttleworth has also expressed her displeasure by The three men finally stopped within a yard of where the c easing to employ my mother as her dressmaker, and by perboys sat, concealed from their observation by a pile of s uading her friends to drop her, but I don't think that will dressed stone.

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1e OUT FOR HIMSELF. "You are sure the youn g cub lives in yonder house?" spoke a voice that had a familiar ring in it to Jack. "Certain of it. I've been watching the place all day," rep1ied one of his companions. "I{ow shall we entice him outside?" asked the third. "Leave that to me, Meiggs,''. said the :first speaker At the iuention of the man's name Jack realized at once that these were the three men who had been concerned in the abduction of Cassie Davenport. It was clear, from their words ana their presence on the farm, that they were on some errand of mischief towards the boy who bad spoiled their kidnapping scheme Jack squeezed Tom's arm, and that signal gave Harper to understand that his friend seemed to recognize the men. "When we g et him back to the house we'll put him through a course of sprouts that will teach him not to m e ddle again with matter s that do not concern him," said the second speaker, evidently Curley, savagely. "He dis abled my shoulder for nearly a week with one of the rocks he threw at Meiggs and me, and I'm goin to pay him back for it good and hard." "One of them stone.s cut my head, too," put in Meiggs, "and I'm goin to have my innin's, after Curley gets through with him." "Pshaw!" grated Mulbrook, "what are little things like that compared with the important fact that he did us out of a cold $20,000? Only for him we'd have got that money. Instead of which we've bad to keep on the move ever since to avoid falling into the hands of the police. That's what we've got tc pickle him for, d'ye understand?'' "\Vho'd ever thought that little monkey would have queer ed us the way h e did?" growled Meiggs. "You two put your foot in it by not l eavin' him bound and gagged on th e veranda of the Davenport house." "I don't know about that," replied Mulbrook, harshly. "How could we tell how much or how little he'd seen? He must hav e noti ced the shape and color of the auto we l eft drawn up beside the curb He could not help, if he was sharp eyed, making some note of our general appearance. Thm;e of themselves would have proved dang-erous clews in the hands of det e ctives Oh, Curley and I knew what we w ere about, don't you fret. The trouble came about by you not being more strict in guarding the boy." "We h ad him tied up hand and foot I can't get it through my head ho w he managed to free himself," repli ed }fciggs. you can get it through your head or n6t the fact remains that be did get free, and then knocked our game in the.head by bis nerve in going up to the room and setting the girl free. He's a smart rooster, and he needs to have bis comb cut to teach him a lesson he won't soon for get," repli e d Mulbrook, savagely. "Well, what's the use talkin' about it all night," answered Meiggs, sulkily. "You'ye got the auto down the road. All that remains for u s to do is to get him outside the house, grab him and carry him off to the house. When we've got him safe in the hills, whe re no one will interfere, we can serve him out to t h e queen s taste "Well, you're prett!" well disguised, Curley, with that Prince Albert suit and mutton-chop side whiskers,'' said 1\1 ulbr'ook. "You'd better go over to the house and g e t him to come outside with some excuse or other We'll fol low you and hide in the shrubbery, and when you heflr me whistle, grab him quick, then we'll rush out and complete the work in short order." Curley bad no objection to playing the part assigned to him, and i::o the three rascals walked off toward the Trent farmhouse to put their plan into practice. CHAPTER X. TRAPPING TIIE KIDNAPPERS. "My gracious!" exclaimed Tom, when the rascals had passed out of sight :mu hearing. "Those are the three c haps who carried off Miss Davenport." "Two of them carried her off, while the third, a chap the name of Meiggs, and a woman, wbo called herself Mrs :J[eiggs, were in the plot to hold her a prisoner in the hous e among the bills for ransom," replied Jack, rising to his feet. "It's a good thing we happened to be out here and heard them They've got it in for you and mean to get square ith you if can. It would be a great thing if 1-rc could capture them now. There is a reward of $5,000 of fcrc'd by Mr. Davenport for their arrest and conviction." "The three of them are too much for you and me to tack l e," replied Jack. "Of course, unless by oome st rate gy." "We must go over to the house and see what they're doing," said Jack. "Curley is going to knock at the front door and ask for me. Mother won't suspect anythin g wrong, and wil1 te ll him I'm down at the quany with yon "Then they'll come down here again and look for u s." "Yes, I g uess that's what they'll do." "Too bad you haven't a telephone connection with town, then you could ring up the police statiol'l and let the d e partment know the kidnappers are hanging about the farm trying to do you up." "I have no particular use for a telephone. It would cos t somet hin g to string a wire out here. In this particu lar in stance it wonld come in handy, of course." They approached the house with great caution and saw Mulbrook and Meiggs hide around the front corner of the building, while Curley went and knocked at the door. Mrs. Street answered the summons. The boys were too far away to hear what passed between her an d Curley, but they easily guessed its purport. Curley finally turned away, and as the door closed, was joined by bis associates, who held a consultation. The three presently started back for the quarry. "They're doing just what I supposed they would," said Tom. "Now I've got an idea." "What i s it?" "If there was any way by which you could attract and

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OU'l' FOR HIMSELF. 19 hokl their attention for half an ho{rr without actually put ting yourself in their clutches, I'd run down the road and look for their a11to. I discovered it I'd start for the police station at a hot pace and fetch the officers out here. / Then maybe we'd catch them." "That' isn't so bad, n it. could be worked," replied Jack. "But there's another way. They spoke about carrying me out to that house in the hills. It would seem, then, that they've taken up their quarters there again. We cou ld guide the officers out there and li e in wait for them to return and then bag them." "That's aU-right Suppose we do that?" "I would like to know with some degree of certainty that they are going out to that house to-night, even if they don't catch me, which, of course, they won't if I can help myself. The police might kick if we took them on a wilclgoose errand." "We could put the case right up to the-officers and let them decide whether the is a good one. That would let us out if it proved a failure "Well, that's true enough I'd' prefer, though, if we could manage to capture them ourselves. 'l'hen we'd get all the honor as well as the whole of the reward. You see, $5,000 is worth considering." "You can bet it is. If the police make the capture we won't get anything, probab ly. I wish I could think up some kind of trap to entice them into." "It would have to be a good one, for I guess those chaps are about as foxy as crooks come." "There's no use standing here doing nothing. Those fellows are at the quarry by this time, looking around for us. If we're going to do something we've got to do it quick," said Tom. They walked slowly toward the quarry, keeping their eyl'!s wide open for,,a. sight of the rascals, and trying to think up some feasible plan that would result in their capture. They kept on the side opposite the shed in the shadow of a line of shrubbery. Finally they made out the kidnappers standing at the top of the quarry, talking together. Suddenly, as they started to leave the spot, two of them disappeared downward, with loud cries. "They've fallen info the quarry," whispered Jack, in great excitement. "They stood too near the edge and the ground gave way under them where the men made the l ast bl::tst late this afternoon." They saw the one who had escaped look down and then run around the rim of the excavation to a point near the iJhed, where the opening was. "That's Mulbrook," sai d Jack. "Let's crawl up and see how the other two have come out of the a ccident." As they drew near the edge of the quarry, near where the two rascals had gone down, they heard groanings ris ing from the depths of the pit. Fortunately for the villa.ins the quarry was not yet very deep, but it was full of jagged rock, and it was quite pos-; sible that they might have hurt themselves severely on the debris. "I believe my leg is broken," they heard Meiggs groan. "And my arm is twistd out of shape," howled Curley, dis mally. "where are you?" asked Mulbrook, coming to assistance. "Here we are, and pretty badly bunged up, too. "Help me out, will you, Mulford?" whined Meiggs "If my leg isn't broken it's next door to it." "This is most unfortunat e,'' said Mulbrook, Clearing the rock away from where his companions reclined, half im bedcled in the earth and stone. "I shou ld say it was-for us," replied Curley. "Blast the luck!" "Those chaps got it in the neck for fair," whiRperrcl Tom to Jack. Mulbrook C'urlry ouL fir:;L and tl1cn gare his aLtention to J\Ieiggs, who appeared to be the worst off of the two. He groaned anc1 S\YOre alternately as :Mulbrook liftei\ hiru out of the debris. "I can't walk," he said "If my leg isn't broken tt's badly sp rained." M;ulbrook helped him over to the shed, where he sat clown on a block of stone "We ought to be a match for those fellows now," said Tom. "Not if they're armed, as they're lik e l y to be,'' replied Jack. "Got any rope around here?" asked Tom. "Sure What do you want with it?" "I thought we might make a couple of slip nooses, craw l up toward Mulbrook and the chap who isn't so badly injured, throw them over their heads and make them oners before they knew what had happened to them." "Your head is chock full of ideas, isn't it, Tom? Do you really think it would work?" "I think it would if we were quick enough about it, and caught them by surprise." "The rope happens to be in the shed, and is hardl y suit able for your plan," replied Jack. "That knocks my scheme on the head," said Tom dis appointedly. "We could run up to the house and get a couple of pieces of clothes line," suggested J ack. "Also two pieces of iron pipe that we could use for clubs in case of necessity." "All right. I'm with you." Accordingly, they hurried to the house, got the clotbeP lines, made running nooses in the encl of each, and then, armed with the iron pipes, returned to the vicinity of the shed As well as they could make out in the g loom, Mulbrook appeared to be examining Meiggs's injured leg, while Cur ley, with his sleeve rolled up, was rubbing his arm. "Your leg isn't broken," they heard Mulbrook say. "It

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20 OUT FOR HIMSELF. is probably sprain ed. we'll have to give up our project for a day or two until you get on _your pins once more." "That boy is a hoodoo for us,'' growled Curley. "We'll hoodoo him when we catch him," retorted Mulbrook, ominously. "Got your noose in working order?" asked Tom. "Yes," answered Jack. "Now is our chance to creep up on them. They are off 'heir guard." The nervy boys crept forward until close behind the men. "Now let them have it,'' whispered Tom, darting at Curley and throwing the noose over his head. It dropped around the astonished rascal's arms, and then Toi:q pulled it tight and began to drag him away from the g:roi.1p. : Jack sul!ceeded in treating Mulbrook in the same way, and pulled him off his feet. 'The two kidnappers made a terrible racket on finding themselves quite helpless. They struggleq to release themselves, but the nooses h e ld tight. With a little dexterity the boys wotmd the line around their victims' arms half a dozen times and tied it. They cut off the remaind er and used it to secure the men's feet. When they went back for Meiggs they found he had dis appeared . 'rhey hunted around and found him hiding under the bushe s A groan or two he couldn't suppress betrayed the spot to them. He roared when they laid hold of him, but he could do nothing to save himself. They used a bit of heavy rope from the shed to tie him. "You watch theni while I go and hunt up that auto of theirR, said Jack. "All rjght," replied Tom, picking up one of the pieces of i1:on pipe and mounting g uard over the di s comfited scoundrels. Jack found the auto a little way up the road, and ran it up in front of the farm gate. He then returned to Tom. They consulted as to the best way of moving the kid nappers to the road, which was at the other end of the ten acre farm. It was dedded not to carry one all the way and then return for another, Jest the rascals left behind might man age to free themselves while they were away. They worked it by moving the first a hundred feet, then a second the same distance and finally the third. Repeating this method over and over again they got them to the road. After that it wa_ s easy w lift them inro the auto, placing two between the seats and the other in the space before the front i:;eat. The boys got in themselves, Jack acting a s chauffeur, and away they started for the police station in town. CHAPTER XI. THE ESCAPED CONVICTS. A crowd gathered around the reel auto when Jack brought it J;o a stop before the police stahon He then ran inside and told the officer in charge that h
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OUT FOR HIMSELF. .21 "You haven't read the morning paper, then?" "No. I'm almost too busy to read the paper. What's this news about? Another railroad 'going to be built to this town?" "No. They had trouble in the State penitentiary yester day and three prisoners escaped." "You don't say. How did it occur?" It happened a man had left the day before, and the fore man took the st;anger on. Jack noticed the new man, and once or twice it occurred to him that he had seen this individual before, but still he could not place him, nor did he try very hard to do so, as he had no interest in the identity of his quarrymen, for he was not brought into direct communicatioJ}. with the m. The new man, who went down in the timebook as Luke Bradley, worked steadily ai l day. "You'd better read it for yourself," said 'l'om, handin g him the paper and pointing out the story His whole attention seeme'd to be 11.bsorbed i n his work, .yet had he been closely watched it might have been noticed Curley and Jack read it. "Gee whiz!" he exclaimed. "Mulbrook, that his eyes and ears were constantly o n the alert, parMeiggs are the chaps who got away." "That's what the paper says." "I'm sorry those were the ones who escaped." "So, am ( for they've got it in or both of us." "They won t dare come to this locality. It would be too risky f.or them.", "Y QU can't' tell what such chaps might do." "'That's quite true, but I don't think they'll ta:ke the chances of recognition in this locality." ":r'hey could disguise themselws, couldn't they?" "Yes, the y could do that, I s uppose." "Well, I think we'd better keep our eyes peeled for pos sible t\ouble Forewarned is forearmed." Jack agreed that it was well for them both to keep on their guard. ticularly when Jack and rTom were around the quarry Whep. the foreman sent a couple of hands for sti cks o f dynamite to load a blast, he managed to sli p away and find out where the explosive was stored. No one, however, appeared to notice anything s u s p ic iou s about his actions, and when the gang knocked off for the day, he put on his coat and quietly depa r ted He went down the road a short distance to a shanty that had not been occupied for any purpose for a long time, and marching up to the closed door he gave a pecu liar rap on the wood. In a few minutes the door was opene d and h e wa s ad mitted. The entrance was then bolted, a wooden ba r put ac ro ss it, and the person who had let him in followed h i m into It was about this time that Tom's boss was employed the room to the Tight of the squalid entry. by the Government to take part in an extensive s urveying There was a small, fiat stove in one corner of the room expedition in the fin west, and Tom wa, told that he with a fire in it, and another man was superintending the would have to look out for another situation preparation of a meal. "So you're out of a job, eh?" said Jack, wh e n hi s friend Tb c plain deal table that stood in the middle of the came over to the ann and told him the news. apartment was covered with a newspaper in lieu of a tabl e"! will be at the end of this week/' replied Tom, gloomcloth and on it were spread three plates; with a cup and ily. saucer and a knife, a fork and spoon beside each "Well, you've got $2,500 in bank, so you're not so badly A paper bag full of sugar stood in the center 0 t h e off." table, and there was a small, cracked jug containing mi l k "That's all right, but 1 don't want to be out of work iust I beside it. the same." 'l'he other two men wore beards some at simi lar to "How would you like to work for me, Tom?" Bradley's, though not quite as thick nor as black. "First-rate. Can you give me something to do?" A c l osr obs erver might have bad his suspicions aroused "Yes_. I can make you timekeeper and general clerk at as to the genuineness of these hairy appendages, for they the quany." ditl not appear as natural as they ought to. "That will suit me all right." 'l'bat they actually were false was soon demonstrated when "Your wages will be $9 a week." the meal wai; pnt on the table, for then each man deftly '.'That's satisfactory. It's two dollar s more (ban I've removed hif' beard in order to eat with more freedom, ancl been getting." then it appeared that the man who had given his name as "Then you can come to work on Monday morning .'' Bradley at the was none other than Jim Mu l brook, "I'll be on hand, bet your life!" and his companions were Dave Curley and Willia.ill Meiggs So Tom went to work for Jack 8treet, and thenceforth -escaped convicts all. the boys saw more of eacl1 other than they formerly did. Tom was not a boy to take any advantage of his chum's friend s hip but worked as faithfully for him as he would hav e done for a perfect stranger. One morning about a week or ten days after 'l'om entered Jack's employ, a heavily beard e d man clad in rough gar applied to the foreman of the quarry for a job. CHAPTER XII. TWO DIABOLICAL SCHEM.F,S. When Tom Harper took down the name of the new man at the quarry that morning, something warned him agaiust the fellow. Just why his suspicions were aroused he could not say

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22 OU'l' FOH IIDISELF. Two or three times was on the point of calling Jack's attention to the new employee, but as he could not give any real reason for his feelings on the subject he was ashamed to bring the matter up. Nevertheless he felt uneasy all the afternoon, and took occa s ion to go into the quarry a number of times and look at Bradley in a careless way. The man always seemed to be working as industriously as the rest of the gang, and Tom retir ed without having obtained any further light on fue subject that bothered him. "I don't see anything the matter with the fellow," be muttered to himself, after lookin g in at the quarry for the sixt h time. "Yet I can't get the idea out of my mind that he i sn't exactly what h e seems. I wonder where he came from? The foreman doesn't know nor seem to care. He's satisfied as long as the chap does his work all right. I'd like to tell Jack, but I'm afraid he'd lau gh at me. H e' d say I'm not accustomed to seeing strange faces, and that my suspicions are all moonshine." When the men kn6 c ked off at half-p ast five, Tom was standing at the door of the little office, close to the quarry, as Bradley went by on his way to the road Something about the man's walk and manner aroused 'l'om's suspicions anew. "By Jingo!" muttered the boy. "I can't stand this. I'm going to find out something for myself about that chap before I go to supper. I'll just see where he's stopping in the neighborhood to begin with." Tom got his hat and coat, lo cked up the office, and started after the new man. "It won't do to l et him know that he is being followed. I'll get behind the hedge." When Bradley r eac hed the road he looked around in a way that struck the boy as suspicious and then passed along up the highway. .The hedge that bord ered the roacl was quite thick, and Tom had no difficulty in keeping out of sight Finally he saw Bradley enter the yard of the shanty that Tom knew to be unoccupied by a regi.1lar tenant. "What the dickens does he wa.nt there?" the lad asked himself. "Why, he's knocking at the door. There must be s omebody in the shanty at that rate 'l'h ere h e goes in. This looks mighty funny to me. There's smoke coming out of the chimney. Maybe the man ha s a wife and family and moved in this morning and that he's all right after all Well, I hope he is, but I can't help think ing he isn't. I'll make sure. It's almost dark. I can s lip up to the back window and look in." Tom hastened forward, and as he reached the fence on that side of the shanty he saw a wagon in the back yard He also heard the stamp of a horse's hoof s in a shed close by. The rear window was boarded \lp at the bottom where two panes of glass were missing. A light shone through the chinks and above the top board. Tom got over ihe tumble-down fence and glided across the y:ud to the window. He found a knot-hole that gave him a good view of the interior of the room. 'rhe sight he saw inside fairly staggered him. There were the three kidnappers that he and Jack had helped send to the penitentiary seated at a table in the middle of the room, eating their supper just as if they were honest citizens of the county and three escaped con victs "Well, if that doesn't beat..the Dutch l" gasped the boy. "That man Bradley is Jim Mulbrook for a fact. He went to work at the qua rry for some purpose, that's evident, and whatever his object is it doesn't mean any good to J ack and me. That beard he wore as a disguise is lying on the table Lesicle him. And the others hav e beards, too, which thcy'\" c laid aside while they are eating. It was a provi drnt in l thing I followed that fellow down here, or I shot1ld n e'er 11:wc ma c k this startl in g discovery. I must hear what i.hcy arc talking about. It may give me a line on I the game they are up to." He put his ear to the knot-hole and list e ned attentively to the conversation going on within. "'\Yell, Mulbrook," Curley was saying, "what did you find out to -day?" "I found out that that young monkey, Jack Street, is the actual owner of the granite quarry on the Trent farm." "He is, eh?" exclaimed Curley. "Well I'm blamed! We supposed his mother owned it, and that he was workin' for her." "That other cub, Tom Harper, who helped him do us up that night you two iell into the quarry, is timekeeper and general clerk there, too." "He is, eh? So much the better. Are you sure neith er of them recognized you ?" "Quite sure of it." "Good!" "I discovered the little hut where the dynamite is stored. 'They have a watchman at night now. He is only a boy, and we'll have no difficulty getting away with him." Curley nodded in a satisfied way. "What's your plan for getting square with those cubs?" he asked. "My scheme is this: Those two boys come to the little office near the quarry nearly every evening to work on the books and attend to other details of the business, which is booming just now. Although Street is the sole boss, the other chap pulls right in with him as if he was an equal partner. The three of us must go there to-night and first of all capture that young cub who actS" as watchman . As soon as we have put him out of harm's way we'll go into the office and surprise Street and Harper. They haven't the ]east suspicion we're in this vici nity. In fact, I doubt if they have heard that we escape d from the jug up the State. We'll bind, gag and carry them to the hut where the dynamite is stored. After tying them so they can't escape, we'll lay a slow match for some little distance from

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OU'l' FOR liL\IS}!]LF. the hut and light the end of it. W e' ll tim e t h e fuse s o a s g ot the too l s to do it with in t he wago n. Wh en the e n gine to give u s time en o u g h to get about h alf a. m il e u,way from strikes t}1e loosened rails they' ll spread at on ce, the locothe sp ot b e fore the d y n a mite settles our scor e wit h the m. motiv e will jump the track, and the tral.n w ill over into H o w does that s trike you eh?" the v all e y." This villainou s sch e me was pro posed wit h a ca ll ous ness "Correct, agreed Meiggs that s h o w e d what a c on s umm ate scoundre l J im Mu l b rook "We 'll b e on ha n d at a convenient sp o t in the valley, was, and Tom, outside the wind o w fa i r ly sh iver ed at t h e 1ea d y to driv e up in t h e w ago n w h en the c r a sh comes W e ll fie ndi shness of the plot. make a da s h for the remains of the b aggage car y an k out Curley and M e i ggs imm ediate l y expresse d thei r appr o v al t h e s t rong boxes and l oad t hem on t o the team for they're of t h e contemp l a t e d crime no t too heavy to be eas il y h an dl e d. Then w e'll c o me b ack They h a t e d t he two boys as bitterl y as Mulbrook did, and h e r e as fa s t as we can, b r e a k o pe n the boxes divide t he to their f a ncy no fate w as too horrib l e t o h and out t o the swag and li ght out for St. Lou is or s ome o ther point w est p lu c k y l a d s who had captur e d them, a nd assisted i n t heir Mulbr ook paused and l ooked nt his ass o c i a tes. con v i ct ion and in c arc e r atio n for a l o n g te r m in t h e p e ni" 'f'hat scheme is all rig h t, sa id Curl ey. "I'm with you tentiary, fro m whic h they had just escape d thro ug h one in it." of those pec uli a r c ircum stances tha t o ccasiona lly c rop up "And you can coun t on me too put in Meiggs. in S t ate pri sons "Theri t h ere's nothing more to b e s aid on the s ubject," "We'r e with you M nl b rook," Raid Cur ley. "It will be r e m arke d Mulbrook, kn ocking the ashes from his pipe and some satisfac tion to g l oat ove r t hem w h en they see that returning H to his pocke t "Now, l et s get re ad y for o u r their minutes o n thi s earth are nnmbered. n i ght's w o rk. You h itc h u p the team, M e i g g s Whe n "You bet y our life," n oddccl l\feiggs, wit h a sa r donic y ou've done that and fetc h e d i t a round to the roa d in front grin. "I ain t f qr g ott e n how Street d r agged me abo u t that jus t let llS kno w and we' ll be r ea d y to start f o r the quarry." ni g h t on m y twi s t e d l eg The thre e men arose fro m t h e tab le, whi c h w as a s ignal "Then we're all o f on e mind are we?" asked 1\ful broo k. f o r Tom Harri e r to take his ear from t h e knot bole an d g e t "Aye a ye r e pli e d his asso cia tes m rnnimous l y on the other side o f t h e f e n ce as fa s t as his l e gs could carry "Now that w e'v e di sp o s ed o f that matter l e t u s figure him on the oth e r s ch e m e w e hav e in view," w ent on Mulbro o k "Well, talk about desp e r ate s coundrel s, breathed drawin g a pipe from his po c ket fillin g i t with tobacco and boy a s h e hurried alo n g toward the Trent f arm to commum li ght. in g i t fro m the wick of th e can d l e w hich furnis h e d the cat e the startling news to J ack "I guess those t hree chap s illumin a tion of the r o om take the m e d a l. So thev mean to b lo w J ack and me up "You mean the r a il ro ad j ob, d o n't you?" aske d Mei ggs with d ynamite to -night. d o they ? I'm thinkin g they'll gettin g out hi s p ip e antl goi ng thro u g h t h e same p e rformmeet with the surpris e of thei r lives in tryin g to carry out a nc e that little sch e me. How l uckv it was that my s u s picion s "Wj'lat else s ho u ld I mea n ?" w e r e aro uf'ed about that Bradley. An d to think he "Tha t s right," nodd etl C u r ley, produ c in g a p i pe, too was s o w e ll di sg uised t hat neither Jack nor I w a s able t o and joinin g t h e o t h e r smoke r s reco gnize his r e al id e ntity. T ho s e villians think nothin g "vYell," c ontinu ed Mulbrook, t he best p l ace to do the of fakin g a human life. Why, if t hey su cceeded i n their tri c k i s c lose to t h e cut, abou t two miles south of Parsons' d esig n upon the ra il road probab l y fift y peop l e wou l d be farm. It's a lonesom e s p ot, wit h n ot a h ouse i n sigh t. If k ill ed and m a imed It's up to Jack and m e to l and t h em t h e locomotive was t o l eave the track t h ere i t woul d d ump back in the Sta t e pri s on and I r eck o n w e' r e abl e t o d o it a ll the t r ain or th e fro n t part of it at l east ii a cou p l ing b r oke, r icrht." I 0 d own into t h e v alley s i x t y feet bel o w T he car s "ou l d be In hi s hurry a n d e x c item ent, however Tom who was in to kin d lin g w ood and th e e n gine woul d go to the ta ldng a short cut a c ross the field s didn't notic e in the jun k pile rla1kness a r l cep g ulley that l a y in hi s path until h e I g uess tha t 's right," n o dded Cur ley, b l owing a clo u d den ] y pitc h e d forward in to the lio l e of smoke fro m his lip s He s truck hi s hea d against a hard root, r o ll ed over and "The train clue a.t Bre ntwood at 11. 10 every night car -l ay uncons c ious ries a coupl e o f s tron g boxes filled wit h m oney and coin sent thro u g h fro m Bridgewat er to t h e B rentwood Natio n a l Bank an d t h e Trus t Comp a n y T hose boxes we want to get hol d of." B et you r life w e do," interjec t ed lHeiggs. "After we've disposed of t h e young j i ggers at the quarry w e'll drive dow n to the cut in 011 r team, draw the spikes out of the fis h p l a t e s that hold down a couple of the rails, leav in g the ra.il s in their plac e so the encrineqr won't notice t h a t th e r e i s an ything the matte r with the track. We've IN THE DYNAM ITE HUT. A T seve n Jack left t h e hous e for t h e little offic e near the q uarry Ile had waited half an hour for Tom to call and accom pany h im, but wh e n his chum fail e d to show up he w ent to t h e office alone. -It was a c l o udy night and cons equently a da r k one . A c o o l br e eze swept thr ough the b r a nches of t he trees

PAGE 25

OUT FOR HIMSELF. and they nodded at him in th e gloom a .; if they recognized his importance as the smarte s t boy in the county. As he approached the office door he looked around for the bright ray s of the lante rn whic h alway;; hung after dark at the entrance to the quarry. Jack was greatly surpri sed to find ii abs ent on this oc casion The fir s t thing that Harry Bmi s e ti, th e si:deen-year-old lad who filled the post of night watchman, did when he came on duty every evening was to light that lantern and hang jt in its accustomed place. He bad never been known to .fail in this before. The circumstance was rrll the strang er .from th e fact that b efore Jack went to supper he the quany and saw Bassett lighting the lamp in the shed. So instead of entering 'the office Jack continu e d on to the quarry to see if he could find out why the lantern was not in ii.s place. The quarry was a s d a rk and s il ent a s the g r a v e There was no sign of Harry Bas sett anywh e r e .Jack then went on to the hut wher e th e d y namit e was stored, thinking the watcher might be g oin g his round in that neigbborhbo
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