On his merits, or, The smartest boy alive

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On his merits, or, The smartest boy alive

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On his merits, or, The smartest boy alive
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 pages)


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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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F18-00088 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.88 ( USFLDC Handle )
031335426 ( ALEPH )
839676777 ( OCLC )

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The situation became desperate when Fernandez, backed by his associates, partially forced the door "Caramba!" cried the Mexican, "open or we kill you!" Jack and Bart tried to close the door, while Edna., with flashing eyes, stood ready to shoot.


Fame and Fortune Weekly. STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY hsued Weekl11-B11 Subscription 1 2 50 per 11ea.r. Entered according to Act of Congresa, in the year 1901, in the office of the Librarian of Con oreH, W

2 ON IIIS .MERITS comes here to see you, :for that's what brings her down here." "Oh, nomense I She comes here to get her weekly allow"Of course. I know thal; but she manages i.o hang around your desk just the same, as if you were the only thing on earth that attracted her." ofl', Bart Foster," replied Jack, with a flushed face "No, I won't come off. It's the truth. Don't you s'pose I've got eyes? She's a c01king pretty girl, all right-go:J.den brown hair, a mouth like a rosebud, two eyes that sparkle like a pair of sapphires, a figure-" "Bart, you're wasting your time. H Mr. Spencer should come in now and catch you he'd--" "He'd do nothing Ain't I busy looking over these in voices?" said Foster, with a chuckle, holding up a bundle of documents, "to see which ones I haven't copied yet into my book?" "The end of my desk isn't the place for you to do that. You've got a desk of your own." "Oh, all right. "I'll go there if you don't want me here." "I didn't say that I don't want you here. I'm glad of a chance to talk to you, but T don't want to see you get into trouble with the boss." "The boss!" exclaim e d Bart, with a sneer. "I don't rec ognize him as my boss :Mr. Fairchild is senior partner. He's a gentleman, while Spencer--oh, lor' Here he comes now," and Foster flew to his desk and got ,lery busy as Gideon Spencer came into the office. anrl after a sharp glance into the counting-room walked over to his private room. iug-room employees iL i:; quite nalural lo believe that he was not well liked in return. Bart threatened to punch his head morr than once, and 1\Iorris bad dared him to do it, which would have brought on a scrap between them only for Jack, who persuaded Bart to hold off, as he was afraid Mr. Spencer would sustain his nephew and bounce Foster. Morris played the spy on the office employees whenever he could, which was not near as often as he would have wiRhecl, because his duties kept him almost constantly in and around the warehouse However, he managed to learn that Bart came to work late that morning, and 0 course he intended to report the fact to his uncle at the first chance. The firm did a very air shipping trade on Lake Erie, bei ween Buffalo, C l eveland and Toledo The house had been long established under the name of Fairchild & Garrison, and bore a good reputation Ur. Garrison, now dead two years, had married Mr. Fair child's sister, and was the father of Edna Garrison, who "as quite an heiress in her way. Soon after Mr. Garrison's death the surviving anc1 senior partner employed Mr. Gideon Spencer as a kind of general manager in the business. Spencer was a shrewd and clever man, and played his cards so well that Mr. Fairchild soon began to regard him as a valuable addition to the house. At the expiration of his first year of service he intimated to )fr. Fairchild that he was considering an offer from a Chicago firm that cauiec1 with it the promise of an ultimate intrre st in the business. :'.\fr. Fairchild, not wishing to part with him, offered him a quarter interest in the shipping business on favorable terms. Mr. Spencer looked over his mail and then rang for his As this was just what Mr. Spencer was after, he closed stenographer, a pretty young lady named Mamie Dunn, with the proposition, and his name was thereafter printed who had a desk in a sunny corner of the counting-room, in small letters in one corner, /while Mr. Fairchild's ap and who, to tell the exact truth, didn't like Gideon Spencer peared in the other, just above the name of the old firm, for a cent. which was not changed, on an the stationery used by the Neither did the three or four men employed in the warehouse. house adjoining the office like Mr Spencer. either, so it is Although he hel

ON HIS MERITS. s CHAPTER II. MR. SPENOJm's VISITOR. Mamie Dunn was closeted quite a while with Mr. Spen cer, for he had quite a good many letters to dictate that mornjn g. While she was thus engaged Jack and Bart worked away industriously at their desks; the silence being alone broken by the occasional entrance of some caller who had business to transact with Mason Finally Mamie came out and went to her desk, and soon her typewriter was clicking merrily away., After a while Mr Spencer came into the counting room, gave Jack some instructions, and then he went into the warehouse. In half an hour he returned and called Bart into his "Bart," called out Jack. "Tell Mr. Spencer there is a man here who wants to see him on business. His name is Manuel Fernandez Bart broke a.way from Mamie and started on his mis sion, but the Mexican, perceiving the door for whic h he was bo1md, intercepted him. "I will not trouble the young senor to announce me. I walk in myself." "Hold on," objected Bart "You can't do that. I've got to tell Mr Spencer first." "Caramba !" exclaimed the Mexican, fiercely, seizing Bart by the arm and whirling him around . "Take yourself out of the way or I do to you wha.t you shall not like Bart was paralyzed, and before he could furt h e r Fel').rnndez strode into the private office unannounced. Mr. Spencer was seated at his desk, buslly rummag i ng the drawers and pigeonholes, and there was an anxious, worried look on his face private office. "Where could I have misplaced those papers?" he asked The boy emerged in a few minutes with a red face and himself, resting bis elbow on the desk and supporting h i s perturbed m!lnner. forehead with his index finger "If they were to get into "What do you think?" he said, going up to Jack's desk. anybody's hands who understand their significance, I'd be "That little sneak, Morris Abbott, saw me when I anived ruined. It is evident that they're not in my desk, as I this morning, and he bas told Spencer that I came half an supposed they were. I must ha .ve taken them home, t hough hour late I do not recollect having done so. Bah! What a fool I "The dickens he did," Mason, with a look of sym-am to excite with vague fears I'll take a g l ass o r pathy. "What did Mr. Spencer say to you?" whisky. That will pull me together." "He was going to fire me right off the reel, and I had He pulled out one of the lower drawers, from which he all I could do to square myself. I ain't si.e yet how it produced a bottle and a glass, and filling the latter half will turn out full of the amber-colored liquor drank it down and re" It's a shame," said Jack. placed the articles "It's an outrage. I've half a mind to go right into the At that momera Manuel Fernandez pushed his way i nto warehouse and knock the suspenders off Abbott the room. "Don't you do it," interposed Jack, hastily. "That Mr. Spencer turned around at the sound and h i s face would ruin all your chances of holding on to your job. changed color as he noticed who his visitor was. It's my opinion that Abbott wants your place, and is doing Fernandez, what brings you here?" he asked all he can to queer you." gruffly. "And how came you to walk in unannounced ?" "Yes, I'm sure that's bis game. It's too bad that Mr. The Mexican showed his teeth in one of his unpleasant Fairchild is away Bue if that little rascal does get me smiles, coolly walked to a chail' alongside of the desk, fired I'll break every bone in his body." threw one Jeg carelessly over the other, and producing from Bart walked over to tell the story of his grievan .ce to a pocket a small oblong piece of rice-paper and some tobacco Mamie, whom he was sweet on, and who he knew would began to roll a cigarette into form sympathize with him Whether Mr. Spencer was astonished at his visitor's At that moment a swarthy looking man, with earrings nerve, or moved by some other feeling, he never uttered a in his ears, entered the room word while Fernandez proceeded with the utmost de1ibera, That he was a Mexican Jack saw at a g l ance. tion to make and light his cigarette He walked up to the little opening in the brass partition, "What shall bring me here, Senor Spencer ?" observed favored Mason with an impudent kind of leer, and then the Mexican, after blowing several rings of smoke froin his asked if Gideon Spencer was in. lips "What you suppose ? money "Yes, he's in," replied Jack, wondering what business "Money!" exclaimed the junior partner. this fellow could have witl1 the junior pa.rtner. "Si, senor," and the Mexican smiled again. "Ha! Very good. I want to see him "I am not aware that I owe you anything, Fernandez,'-' "What's your name and your business?" replied Spencer coldly. The Mexican's eyes glittered and a sarcastic smile re "It is a short memory you have, senor It is not so l ong1 vealed two even rows of white teeth. ago-'-six, seven month, perhaps-that you did arrange with "My name-ha! It is Manuel Fernandez My me to sail the schooner Neptune---" -that I shall myself' explain to him." "You needn't go any further. I did make an arrange ....


4 ON HIS MERITS. =========----:===== =-. -___ --ment with you to s ail th e Neptune from the port of Buffalo to th e port of T o l e d o The vess e l was lost somewhere in mid-lak e W e ll you w e r e lib e rally paid for your part in the transaction, w e r e you not?" "That is as it may be," replied Fernandez, blowing out more rin g s of s mok e "I was what you c all it strapped at the time and did not m ake s o good a bar g ain a s I could have wis h e d . I h e ld myself too che ap co:r;is idering the-ha! ri s k." "We ll, I am not re s pon s ibl e for that. I named the pri c e I would pa y You accepted. It was a busine s s transaction betwee n u s." "Si. It was a bus iness tra n s a c tion as y ou call it, but not one such as s hall b ear th e li g ht. The N e ptune was a rotten craft; you load e d her with a worthless cargo; you did insure both at, shall we s ay, tw e nty times its value; then you fixed matters with me to wreck her s omewhere between this place and Tol edo. I s it not s o? Was it not all arranged that you mi ght s windl e th e in s uran c e companie s ?" "For heav e n 's s ake, not s o loud Fernandez!" exclaimed Mr. Spenc e r ; in a panic. "Why have you come here to rake that matte r up? It i s ove1: and I hope-forg otten." I have a good m e mor y and do not so easil y forget, senor. After I r e port e d tli e loss of the schooner I had to go befor e wha t you call' the Board of Underwriters and Mr. Spencer wiped th e p e rspirati o n fr o m hi s for e h ead. "I understand your purpose. You came h e r e to bleed me. To l evy blackmail." "Call it what you will, Renor r e pli e d the Mexi ca n carelessly. "It is n e c e ssar y that T hav e the price to live. The r e is no one to whom I can make the touch but you. What say you, senor?" "How much do you want?" asked the junior partner desperately. "How much? Ha! Now you are talking. I see we shall come together. S.uppose I say one thousand dollars? It is not too much, eh?" "A thousand furies!" cried Spencer, angrily. "I'll give you one hundred." "It shall not be enough, senor. It would be wh11.t you call a fl.ea-bite. I want what shall let me s pread myself. You understand?" Mr. Spencer under stood, but did not t a k e kindl y to the suggestion. "I will raise the ante to--" At that moment th e r e came a knock o n th e d o or. CHAPTER III. THE BEGINN I NG OF THE PT, OT. . make under oath a s tatement. I do not remtw:nber that I "Come in," said Mr. Sp e ncer. was paid for s o doing Jac k Mas on entered with a fill e d-in print e d form i n h i s "It was part of our arran g ement and a duty you CN1ld hand. not ver y w e ll escap e witho.ut bringin g s uspicion on your"Will you ploos e put your signature to thi s sir?" aske d self." the young cashie;r. "I under s tand, s enor," replied the Mexican, preparing The junior partner took the paper, glanced over it, and and lightin g a fre s h c igarette. "You got your mooey, eh ?" r then signing it without a word handed it back to Mas on, "That i s a matter that need not concern you," replietl who immediately retired. Sp e ncer sourly. The bri e f appearance of Jack Mason in the room see med "But it does concern me, senor. I have c alhd to make to have marle a change in Mr. Spencer's thoughts. what you call the touch. Understand? I want the ma"Did you take note of that boy, Fernandez?" be asked zuma." the Mexican. "It i s not my custom to pay twice for the same service "'Si, senor. He is a smart boy, i s he not? What you repli e d Sp e ncer. call a comer." "No? Perhaps in this case you will make an exception." "He's a viper!" almost hissed the junior partner. "Why should I 7" "A viper!" exclaimed the Mexican, looking surpri sed. "Because I want the money." "Yes, a viper. Do you know what that is?" "I do not admit that fact as a sufficient reason." "I do not quite understand, senor," s aid F e rnandez, r o ll" Then s uppo s e s e nor that a hint, shall I say, of the ing his third cigarette. "A vip e r, a s I know it, i s som e truth s hould reach the ears of the Board oi. Underwriters? kind of a reptile-a snake. In what way shall this boy reWhat then?" semble-" "Would y ou b e tray my confidence, yoh ras--" "Supp0!3e a viper cro s sed your path Fe rn a ndez, wha t The M e xi c an s hrug ged hi s shoulders and smiled shrewdly. s hould you do?" said Spencer in a t e nse l o ne. "Look here Fernand e z you do not seem to under s tand "I'd crush it with my foot r e plied th e Mexi c an c a lml y that if you turned upon me you would only be putting "Of course you would. Well, that boy who just cam e in your own neck into a noose." here is as hateful and dangero.us to me as the reptile I have "And yours too, eh, senor?" g rinned the visitor. "You named." have much to lose, I think. I have-nothing. It i s not Fernandez seemed to comprehend hi s meaning for a

O N HIS M ERITS. 5 !!Cherne I have b atc h ed up fa il s m e you ?" Ca n I depend on M o rri s wants my job, and is the new partner's nephew, thin gs look kind of blue to me." "Si seno r i f you will p ay m e well." "I will m a k e it worth y our while, d e p end on it; but I h ope i t m a y not b e necessary to c a n on yo1l." "As you p l e ase, senor. But this thousand I asked for? Yo u w ill h and i t over?" I w ill give y ou $ 5 00 now. If I have to u s e you in con n ect i o n wit h this boy I will Cfl.ll on you and talk business. Whe r e c an I find you?" Fernand e z m e ntioned an addre s s where he c ould be found an d Mr. Spe ncer not e d it down. "Whe n s hall I h ea r from y ou senor?" To-morrow, or ne x t day, p e rhap s." I will t a ke the five hundred s aid the 1\1exiclj.n, slowly, "on account." The junior partne r made no remark but leaving his seat w e n t into the c oun t in g-room and a s ked Jac k for $500 in bills. He r eturne d with the mon e y and handed it to hi s vis itor. Do not come h e re an y more," he s aid "It might cause s u s pi c ion. I will ca ll on y ou i f I find it n ecessary." "If you do no t come I s h a ll want the o t h e r five hundre d -re memb er." Thus s peakin g tb e Mexi c an g ot up, nodd e d to the s hipp e r and t h e n l eft the office and the building. "Now to pu t m y little sch e m e into .exe c ution th;it I hope w ill end in the utte r ruin o f th e o ld man 's f avorite-Jack Mason sa id t h e junio r p artne r t o himself. He has pre sumed to turn hi s eyes o n Fairc h i ld's and s he daz zl ed, no dou bt, b y hi s good look s y outh and prospects, re c e ives hi s attention s with fav or, w hil e s h e turns a c old s houl de r on m e But I a m n ot to b e thwarte d. Sh e hold s the b a l a nce of powe r in this bu s in ess, and through her I m ean to s u cceed t o the e n tire managem ent. Fairchild is an old man. His h e alth is broken and he c annot long survive. I t i s up to me to mak e the b est us e of m y opportunitie s With t he old m a n out of the w ay in Florida I ought to be a b l e t o s hap e m a tter s so that in the end s u ccess will b e mine. H e that has t h e brain to contrive and the will to execute s h o uld b e abl e to ove rcome e v er y obs tacle tha t lie s in his pa t h The r e for e I fancy I s hall not fail. I think I can depend on m y n e ph e w Morri s H e hate s b o th of thos e boys-espec iall y F oste r whom h e seek s to displ ace He ought to b e an e a sy tool. I will s end for him now. He shall bait the trap." Mr. S pence r touch e d a bell on his desk and Bart responde d "Tell M orris that I want t o see him in m y offic e." "Yes, sir," r e pli e d Fost e r. He p aused f or a mom ent besid e Jack's desk. "The boss h as sent me for Morris," he s aid with an anx ious exrressi o n on his face. you s 'po s e it ha s anything to d o with m e? "Oh, I g uess not," r e plied Jack. "Don't cross a bridge before y ou c ome to it, Bart." "Well, Spencer has got it in for me, 11.nyway, and a.s "Don' t worry, old man. If. the worst comes to the worst I'll t ell Miss Garrison how you re placed and ask her to write to her uncle in your behalf. You stand well with Mr. Fairc hild, and he won't let you b e discharged; at least not without good cause ; and I know there's no reason why you s hould b e put out." "Thank you, Jack,'' replied Bart, gratefully. "You're a g ood fellow, and I .sha'n't forget it." "That' s all right. Now run along." Bart then went into the warehouse and told Morris Abbott that his uncle wanted to see him in his private office. Morris received the summons with a grin of satisfaction, and bes towing a triumphant look of malice on Foster he started for the office. Bart shook his fist after him. "I'd like to take some of the conceit out of you, you vindictive littie reptile," he muttered. "You're a snake in the gra ss that's what you are." Morri s entered the private office and took the chair lately by Manual Fernandez. "You sent for me, Uncle Gideon." "I did. I want you to go down to the wharf of the Buffalo Cleveland & Toledo Steamship Line ana buy a through ticket for Toledo. Here is the money to pay for it." Abbott's face showed his disappointment. He thought his uncle had called him in to tell him that h e h a d de c ided to discharge Bart Foster at the end of the w eek, and he was to take Bart's desk. "Don' t lose any time in getting the ticket, and bring it r ight in h e re. I have something to say to you." Abbott 's face cleared. Tha t was more encouraging. He decided to hustle s o as to get back as soon as he could. "Bring a time-table back with you, and remember, don't s how the tick e t nor your mouth on the subject to any body. Understand?" "All right, uncie," replied Morris. He returned to his place in the warehouse for his hat and the n started for the offices of the steamboat company. The twe lv e -o'clock whistle was blowing when he got back and r e port e d to Mr. Spencer in his office, laying the steam boat tic ket on hisdesk. "Now, Morris, I've got something to say to you," said his uncle, re g arding the boy with fixed attention. "You don't like Ba.rt Fost e r, do you ?" "I hate him," r e plied Morris, venomously. "You want his place, don't you?" "You bet your life I do," the boy, eagerly '. while his eyes sparkled with anticipation. "I suppose you would be willing to do me a favor if I agreed to give you Foster's place?" I "Sure I would," responded Morris, looking at his uncle in some surprise.


6 ON HIS MERITS. "You haven't any special liking for Mason, either, have you?" "Not much," replied Morris, promptly. "I hate him; too He sticks up for Foster right along. They're as good as chums. I wish they were both out of here." "So do I," answered the uncle. "Especial1y Mason." "Do you?" exclaimed Morris, wondering what was com ing. "Yes. Mason is a thorn in my side." "Is he? Then why don't you fire him? You're the boss." "Unfortunately he is a prime favorite with Mr. Fairchild. I am obliged to admit that he is an uncommonly smart boy. He attends to business right up to the mark. He's made his way up in this house from errand boy to cashier and head bookkeeper entirely on his merits. The old man is ready to swear by him. said so to me sev eral times. Now the only way I can get him out is to bring some serious charge against him and-prove it." "How are you going to do it?" "I have a scheme, and I want you to help me carry it out. Will you? It will be greatly to your interest." "Sure I will." "I hope to eome into complete control of this business one day, and then there will be nothing to prevent you from working yourself up to the post that Mason now holds. You will have me at your back." This was a glittering bait, and Morris snapped at it eagerly. Privately Mr. Spencer had no intention of ever ing his nephew to the cashiership. He was fully aware that his nephew had not the capacity to ever make good in any position better than that of an ordinary clerk. Besides he knew that Morris could not be trusted with the charge of any considerable sum of money. Presently both Jack and the stenographer entered the private office. Bart also departed on his mission. "I wonder what Uncle Gid's scheme is?" Morris asked himself as he made his way to the place where Jack's coat now hung alone against the wall. "I'm dead glad he in tends to get Mason out of the way. I never liked him for a cent. He's too stuck up to suit me, and he takes Foster's part all the time. I'll have things my own way when they are gone, and I won't have to work so hard and will get more money. I'd like to see Mason hauled up on the charge of stealing this ticket," he continued as he deliberately dropped it into Jack's pocket. "He'd get a year in jail for it at least, and that would give me lots of satisfaction. What's this he's got in his pocket? Blamed if it ain't Miss Garri son's picture. Where did he get it? I don't believe that she--" "Has Mr. Mason gone to lunch?" asked a sweet voice al most behind him at that moment. Morris jumped nearly a foot with consternation, and as he turned hastily around he jammed the photograph into his pocket. CHAPTER IV. JACK MASON AND EDNA GARRISON. His eyes rested on a vision of loveliness attired in a gown of navy-blue cloth. A jaunty little hat was perohed becomingly on the top of her golden brown head, and she carried a blue silk parasol in her hand. "M-Miss Garrison!" gasped Abbott, with a face as red as a boiled lobster. "Yes. Why, what's the matter? You look frightened." "N-no, I-I ain't frightened. I was just lookin' for somethin', that's all," he replied. "Well, you didn't answer my question. Has Mr. Mason gone to lunch?" "No miss. He's in with my uncle." But he was willing to promise, or at least intimate, anything that would secure his nephew's present co-operation -the future could take care of itself. "Very well. I'll sit down and wait. Where is Miss "What is it you want me to do?" asked Morris, curiDunn?" ously. 1 "She's in the private room, too. They'll be out in a min" You know where the boys hang their coats, don't you, ute. I'm in a hurry," and he made a break for the door of near the washroom?" the warehouse, through which he disappeared like a shot. "Yes," nodded Abbott. "How funny that boy acted," mused Miss Edna Garri"'rake this ticket and slip it into one of the inside son. "One would almost fancy he was doing something he pockets of Mason's coat. Take care no one sees you." was ashamed of. He looked guilty, and, oh my! how he "I'll do it," grinned Morris, taking the steamboat ticket jumped when I first spoke to him. I wonder if that is he had purchased. "Going to charge him with stealing it?" Jack's coat? I am almost sure he took something out of "No. I've a better scheme than that. Tell Mason, as one 0 the pockets and put it in his own. I must speak to you go out, that I want to see him." Jack about this. "All right." Evidently she was on unusually friendly terms with "Wait a moment. I'll make your job easy for you. Send Mason to call him Jack. Miss Dunn in also, and tell Foster to run up to the staAt that moment Bart rushed in with the package of foolstioner's and get me a quire of foolscap. That will leave the cap, and Jack and Mamie came out from the private room. counting room empty long enough for you to do the trick." The girls smiled and shook hands, and Mamie went to her Morris chuckled gleefully and went outside. desk and prepared to go out to her lunch.


I ON HIS MERITS. 'I BaH, having del ivered the paper to Mr. Spencer, put o n his hat preparatory to accompanying the s tenographer. "This is a delightful surprise, Miss Edna," said Mason, going up to Mis s Garrison and taking 9-er by the "Is it?" she l aughingly replied. "I like to give people delightful surpri ses. "I am v e ry glad to see you. Your presence here is l ike a sunb e am in a coal mine." "How complimentary you are, Mr Mason," she answered blushingly. "You deserve all the compliments I could possib l y pay you" repli e d Jack. How pre tty you look to day "My goodne s s! Do you want to make me va in?" she ask e d with a rippling laugh. "I don't think anything would make you vain Miss Edna. You are too sensible a girl," he answered. "Thank you. I suppose I must accept that as another compliment "I hope you will accept it as the truth. "We ll let us change the subject, please. I got a l etter from my uncle this morning He's on his way back to Buf falo." "You don t say!" exclaimed Jack in a plea sed voice. "Mr. Spencer said nothing to me about it." "Mr. Spencer doesn't know anything about it. "Doesn't he?" ejaculated the boy in some surprise "No. And you mustn't mention a word about it to him I'm afraid there's something wrong "Something wrong?" "Uncle didn't explain He onlY. told me to be sure and not tell anyone except you, and that you were to keep the news to yourself "I wonder what's in the wind?" "Well, aunty wrote me also, and she said that u ncle had received intelligence from a business friend in t his city which reflects upon some business transaction in which Mr Spencer was engaged before he became a partner in this house. It seems he bought a schooner called the Neptune to carry a load .of dry goods and other merchandise he had bought on specu l ation to Toledo The vesseI and cargo were heavily jnsured, which was fortunate, as she was lost while making the trip. The money he got from the insur an c e companie s he paid for his interest in this business Now it app e ars that there is a suspicion that all was not right about the vessel and her car go." "You astonish me, Miss Edna," said Jack. "We ll, Jack-I mean, Mr Mason," she corrected her s elf with a vivid blush "I don't assert there was anything wron g mind you ; I only said that a s u spicion exists in some quar te r that the transaction was, shall I say irregular. At an y rate unc l e is coming back to investigate matters for he i s jealol1s naturally lest the reputation of the firm of Fair & Garri s on should suffer thr ough any persona l act of Mr. Spencer's "And l1ow is Mr Fairchild's health? He must be better to risk thi s trip north?" "He is much better I am thankful to say Indeed, aun t thinks that he is almost himself again." "I am mighty glad to hear that, for, to say the truth, Mis s Edna, neith e r Bart nor mys elf have been in a bed of roses since Mr. Fairchild went south. Mr. Spence r is not just the kind of boss that we can get al o ng with "I don't wonder much., I don t lik e him myself He makes me nervous. Why, he paid m e a visit the othe r even ing, and I was on pins and needle s the whole evening I really believe he was trying to make love to me." "Make love to you "Of course I must have been mi s tak e n, but he was so pointed in his remarks, and he said many things that rea ll y embarrassed me He said he would call again, though I gave him no encouragement, a:r;id he trilild to force me to accept an i nvitation to the theater; but I told him that I never went to any place with a gentleman unless chap e roned by my aunt or some particular lady friend "I am glad you have mentioned that, M iss Edna," said Jack. "I was j ust about to ask you to go to the thea.te r to morrow evening with me. If you think you could hon or me with your company I shall be glad to get a third t i c k e t for any lady you would like to accompany you." "Oh, it isn't necessary with you, Jack-I beg your p a r don, Mr. Mason," blushing again. "I shall be g l !ld to g o with you alone I shall feel perfectly safe with you. You are almost like one of the family "Thank you for saying that, Miss Edna A lso for call ing me Jack. I wish you would always call :r;ne Jack." "Do you?'! s he said softly, with a sly glance into his face "Yes. Mr. Mason doesn't sound familiar t o me Ever y body calls me J ack-tbat is, everybody but you. O f cour s e if you prefer not to why--" "Oh, I don't mind calling you J ack if you reall y w ish me to, Mr.--" "There you go again "Well, Jack, then with a laugh and a blush. "Thank you, Miss Edna," be said, seizi,ng one of her hands and pres s ing it to his lips. At that moment Mr Spence r entered the counting -roOil} and saw the action CH APTE R V. IN i.VHICH TWO PERSONS ASK A MOMENTOUS QUESTION WITH DIFFERENT RESULTS. The junior partner' s eyes fl.ashed ominously as he a d vanced toward the youn g people "Good afternoon, Garrison," l1e said, forcing as plea sant a smile as pos sible upon his features Jack and Edna both t'!uned a s lightly startled look upon the acting head of the establishment, for his approach had been noiseless, and they had not dreamed of h is p r esence on the scene "Don't l et me interrupt you if your conversation is con fidentia l," said Mr Spencer, with a tinge of sa r casm in his <


8 ON HIS MERITS. tones; "but when you are quite through, Mr. Mason, I should like you to take this check to the bank and cash it." "I'll take it now, sir," replied Jack, movi:ug away from the young lady. Spencer held the check out to him, which he fook. "Probably I'll see you when I return, Miss Edna," said the boy, after obooging his office jack-et for his street ooe and pa'llsing near her, hat in hansl "I hope so," she answei;ed with a smile. "I expet!t to remain a little while." Jack bowed and left the office. "Will you walk into my private office, Miss Garrison?" said Mr. Spencer, when they were alone, waving his hand towai-cl his sanctum. "Thank you, Mr. Spencer, but I can sit here just as well," she answered calmly. "I would prefer to have you come into my room, as I have a few words to say to you," he said, in an oily tone. She bowed and preceded him. He motioned to the chair beside his desk. "Miss Garrison, I am sure you will forgive me if I seize this opportunity to say a few words which-which--" "I am listening, Mr. Spencer." The junior partner looked at her in a way she didn't like. "I have something of great importanl:!e to sayto you," he went on, after a pause. "To me!" she exclaimed in surprise. "And why not? Is it singular that I should wish to speak with tile one worn.an who is more to me than all else in the world?" "Mr. Spencer t" ejaculatetl Edrut, rising in her embar rassment. "Don't go, Miss Harrison," said the junior partner, seiz ing her hand and detaining her. "Forgive me for being so abrupt, but it is way allp I can't hsilp it. I want to tell you what I have been whispering to myseif for many weeks -ever sin-ce I first met you, fo faot. Only three words, yet they mean more to me than any other words in the .lan guage-I love you I want you to be my wife. Do you me, Miss-Edna?" Mr. Spencer, your avowal is a great surprise to me." "I trust not an unpleasant one. I--" Edna interrupted him. "Of course I appreciate the honor you do me by making this proposal, but I wish to say that it is quite impossible that I ever can be your wife." "Impossible!" he ejaculated, trying to hide his intense disappointment. "Quite impossible, Mr. Spencer," she repeated, decid edly. "I hope-.--" "No, no," he cried, earnestly. "I cannot take such an answer. I'll wait. I'll try to be patient. I'll give you time to think-to consider. I see I have been too hasty. I should have known that a woman likes to keep a man in suspense-when she's sure of him. A little later on you'll say 'Yes,' and make me the happiest man in Buffalo." "Mr. Spencer, can't you understand that my answer now is final? You say you lOile me? I believe you; but-I do not love you." "Maybe not as you ought; but I can wait," he went on, -eagerly. "It will a!l come in good time. I will not expect too much at fitst." "Why do you persist? I have never given you any en courag13ment to think of me oli1erwisc than as a friend." "Friend!" he exclaimed, biting his lipR. "I see you do not underst.and how you have grown eacb. day stronger.and Rtronger about my nature, since the day I saw you first. Love you! Why, I worship yon! I am jealous of every smile you bestow on others. I tell you I love you as no man loved a woman before." "I am very sorry, Mr. Spencer--" "Do you mean to say that you care for somebody else?" he deffi:anded, sudden,ly grasping brr by the wrist. "Is it true, then, that-that this boy, Jack Mason, has dared to aspire to you-no, no, I'll not believe he has had the impertinence to-" "Mr. Spencer, release my hand, please!" cried Edna, ris ing indignantly. "Not till you answer me," he said, rising also, and hold ing her "I will suffer no man, or boy, to come be tween us. I would kill him first!" he hissed. you out of your senses, sir? Let me go." "I say you shall tell me," he continued, almost fiercely. "Do you care for him?" "You ha;ve no right to ask such a question. Please re lease my hand," trying to free herself. "You are hurting me." "I say I haye a right, and I will know," he sa\d, tensely, not noticing the entrance of the young cashier at that mo ment with a roll of money in his fingers. "I swear--" "I beg your pardon, Mr. Spencer," said Jack, quietly, stepping up to him, "aren't you forgetting yourself?" The man and the boy eyed each other steadily for a mo ment, then the junior partner released Edna's wrist and said, in a threatening tone: "I sha'n't forget you, young man, depend on it.'" Jack took no notice of the remark, but held out the roll of bills. "Here is the money you sent me to the bank for, sir," he said, politely. Mr. Spencer too'k the bills ancl turned to his desk, while Jack and Edna left the room. "I'm so glad you came, I mean--" the girl be gan impulsively when they were in the counting-room. She was flushed and excited, and there were teal's in her eyes. "You mean Jack, don't you?" he asked, with a smile. "Yes, yes, of course," in some confusion. "I'm so glad you--" "Came. I know. I'm glad myself. No man, even if he is my employer, shall be r:ude to you in my presence," he said emphatically. "You are very kind to say so," she replied softly. ."Kind Non sense Did he hurt you ? Your wrist is ...


ON HIS MERITS. all inflamed," he said, taking her hand gently in his. "What a pretty hand you have?" "Oh!" she cried, drawing her hand a.way quickly. "I beg your pardon, Miss Edna," he said confuse dly, trying to iake her hand again. "I haven't offended you, have I?" "Oh, no," she answered, with a smile, permitting him to grasp her hand again. "What was the trouble between you and Mr. Spencer?" "Nothing," she replied hastily, with some embarrass ment. "Nothing And yet I heard you ask him to release you -that he was hurting you-in a tone that brought me at once to your assistance. While he insisted that he had a right to know, and would know, something that you evi dently dbjected to impart. Am I presuming in speaki ng to you thus? I hope not, for I would not offend you for all the world." "No, no, you have not offended me, Jack. I know you mean all right, and I am very, very gratefu l to you for re leasing me frotn that man's importunities." "I could not stand by you and see anyone use you roughly, Edna. I beg your pardon, I have no ri ght to be so familiar, but-I can't help it. You seem almost a s ist e r to me. I wish you were, for I have nobody in all the world to care for me." "Nobody?" in a low tone I mean in that way. I am an orphan, you know, and have had to work my own way in the world unaided." "And you have done so nobly, Jack-on your merits." you for that encouragement, Miss Edrta. I appreciate it more from your lips than from anyone else on earth. You have been very kind to me. I am not exactly your social equal--" "What non sense, Jack!" exclaimed Edna, with much animation. "I think more highly of you than any boy I have ever--" She stopped in some confusion "Do you really?" he asked eager ly. "Do you really like me--that is, do you-what I mean is--" "Now, Jack, you know I like you. You know--" "Yes, I know you think something of me, but I wishI wish that I was rich," he blurted out "Rich!" she exclaimed. "Yes. Then maybe I'd stand a show of-of-winning you for my wife some day," he said, desperately. "Oh, Jack!" she replied, looking down, but without tak ing her hand away. "Do you think I'd stand a show, then?" he persisted, eagerly. She did not answer. "Is there any show for me, anyhow?" he went on, im petuously. "I do love you, Edna I can't help telling you so, to save my life. If there isn't any ch, ance for me I'll not bother you any more. I'll try to-to forget you, though I don't think that I ever can do that." "I don't want you to forget me, Jack," she said, looking up with a s hy smile. "Don't you ? Don't you really ? Then you do care a little for me?" "Yes, Jack,' I do," she answered softly. "And may I hope that some day-in the future, you know-you will learn to love me as I love you?" "No, Jack." "No he exclaimed, dropping her hand. "No, you foolish boy, because--because I love you already with all my "Edna!" 1 He grabbed her unresistingly in his arms and pressed fi kiss upon her lips. At that moment Bart Foster and Mamie entered the room. "Oh, lor' !" exclaimed Bart, "let's sneak, Mamie." The pretty stenographer burst into a rippling laugh, and Jack and Edna broke apart in the greatest confusion. CHAPTER VI. ARRESTED. Mamie went to her des k and she and Bart turned their backs on Jack and Edna. "Ii's my lunch hour," said Mason. "Will you accom pany me to a restaurant, Edna?" "If you wish me to," she repleid, demurely. "I sha ll be glad to have you go along," he said. Then, turning to Foster, who seemed to be greatly interested in Mamie, he said: "B.r,eak away, Bart. Mr Spencer is in his room and may comeout at any moment and catch you." Bart took the hint and went to his desk as Jack and Edna left the building. It was well he did so, for the junior partner came out a moment later with his.hat on. Jfoster glanced furtively at him, and thought he looked uncommonly ugly. "I'm going to lunch, Foster," he growled. "While I'm awa. y I want yon to move my desk and pick up the Shipping Register that fell behind it." "All right, s ir. I'll do it right away," said Bart prompt ly making a bee-line for the private office. "He looks mad enough to make things mi g hty unpleasant for the rest of the afternoon," muttered the lad as he grabbed the junior partner's desk and swung one end out from the wall. "I wish Mr. Fairchilg would come back. He'd put the squeegee on Morri s Abbott's underhand efforts to get me bounced. Gee What a lot of dust there's of this desk. It's a wonder the porter wouldn't clean it out once in a. while," he added, as he picked up the Shipping Regi s ter. There's something else here, too. It's a package of p apers. I suppose they s lipped off Spencer's desk, too. I'll pick them up, anyway. lf theJ'.re no good, he can fil'e them into the waste-paper basket. Maybe I'd better look at t hem first. He might roast me for laying worthless dorumrnts on his desk, and I don't want to give him another excuse for


lU ON HIS MERITS. -hello! What's this? Bills of lacling-invoice -letters suggest a line of action. It looks as if I hacl Spencer where -mem9randums-all about Spencer's schooner, the Nepthe hair is short. How could he have been so careless as to tune, which he sent out on his own hook just before he lose these papers behincl his desk? lt'B evident that he came into the firm, and which foundered somewhere in the didn't h."1low they were there, or he never would have sent lake between here and Toledo. He collected the insurance me to move his desk in order to recover that Shipping Reg on her and the transaction is a thing of the past. I guess ister. I guess my job is safe enough now. Morris Abbott he doesn't want these any more. If he did he wouldn't will have to stay out in the warehouse, where he belongs. have let them lie there all covered with dust. He'd have That's one satisfaction. And there won't be any danger got me to fish them out same as the Shipping Register. of Jack getting firecl either, as I'll bet Spencer would like I'll look over them by and by and see what kind of stuff he to serve him, only he's afraid to do it. This is the greatest had aboard that vessel. discovery ever. I'd like to show these to Mamie, for she Bart shoved the package into his pocket and returned to doesn't like the junior partner for sour apples, but I guess his desk. I'd better not display them till Jack has gone over them." In a few minutes he ran against a snag in his work that Bart returned the papers to his pocket and rubbed his only Jack could straighten out for him, ancl afte.r glancing hands gleefully. at the clock and calcttlating that l\Ia son would be back At that moment Mr. Spencer returned. shortly he decided to stop and satisfy his cnriosity con "Where's Mason?" he asked angrily. "Hasn't he got cerning the paskage of documents he haa found behind the ba,ck from his lunch yet r" junior partner's desk. "No, i::ir," replied Bart. So he took them out ancl started to overhaul them. "Send him into my room when he comes in." In a moment or two his features began to express i.he "Yes, sir," chuckled Foster. "He won't talk like that greatest astonishment. after those papers have shown him up," he added, as the "Great Scott! Am I awake or what? Forty cases of junior partner retired to his room. cotton and sawdust, marked X. Y. Z., shipped as real ValA few minutes afterward Jack came in and was about to enciennes lace, value, $15,000; thirty cases old books and changl:! his coat when Bart told him that l\Ir. Spencer newspapers, marked P. & Q., shipped as waterecl silks, wanted to see him at once. value, $10,000; eighteen cases old rags, marked-Gee! "I guess he's going to give you a hauling over for staying What does this all mean?" said Bart, much bewildered. out so long," added Foster. "Maybe these letters will explain?" Mason laughed and started for the private office. The first letter was a scrawl, signed by Manuel FernanEvidently he didn't seem to worry much about what the dez, the offer of the command of the schooner. junior partner might have to say to him. Neptune. "Mason," said Mr. Spencer, "I'm going out, for I have The second was also from Fernandez, in which the Mexian important engagement to keep. Now, I expect a collec can stated he had secured a crew of men who, for a suittor to call here from the firm of Green & Patton, to whom able inducement, could be

ON HIS MERITS. 11 Mr. Spencer and Bart left the office together. 1 abs tracteJ th e money from the drawer, and absconded. His More than an hour passed and Bart did not return. I absence from his desk is suspicious at this hour of the Quite a number of persons passed in and' out on business day." with the firm, while Mamie continued to rattle away at her "Then you'd better look in your drawer .at once and see typewriter. whether the money is still there or not," advised the officer. At length Morris Abbott came to the door and glanced "You're right. Come on, sir," and the junior partner in. led the way toward his private office. There were no callers in the room at the time. Throwing open the door they saw Jack, who had at Re stepped back and made a signal to some one. last succeeded in opening the drawer, taking the bundle Presently a young man walked in with a quick, businessof money out of it. like st.ep and stepped up to the window. "We've caught him in the act, thank goodness!" ejacu"I've a bill here against Mr. Spencer for $2,000," he said lated Mr. Spencer. "Officer, do your duty!" to Jack. As Mason looked up in surprise the detective advanced 1 "From Green & Patton?" asked the young and grasped him by the arm. "That's right." "You are my prisoner, young man," he said tersely. "Let me see it, please," replied Jack. "Your prisoner!" gasped Jack, in wonder. "What do The caller presented it. you mean?" "All right. Receipt it and I'll get you the money," said "l mean that you are under arrest." Mason, going toward the private office, which he ent.ered "Under arrest! On what charge??' and proceeded to unlock the drawer of the desk. "Grand larceny, I should think, as the amount of money The key didn't seem to work well for some reason, and you were in the act of stealing amounts, I understand, Jack wondered what was the matter with it. to $2,000." While he was thus engaged the collector, singular to The detective deftly slipped a pair i,i handcuffs on relate, hastily left the office without his money. Jack's wrists. A moment or two afterward Mr. Spencer entered the The boy was simply paralyzed. place, accompanied by a shrewd-looking man. "You see, Mr. Sharpley," he was s aying, "I have missed money from the private drawer of my desk on several oc casions. I did not suspect this young Mason at all, for he stands high in Mr. Fairchild's confidence, and it seemed absurd to associate hill) with such petty robberies; but I put my nephew on the watch, and he has discovered enough to convince me that our cashier, instead of being the model, virtuous young man we supposed him to be, is neither more nor less than a common thief. My nephew has found out that he purchased a ticket this morning for a :first class passage on the steamer Lake Erie, of the Buffalo, Cleveland & Toledo line, which sails at half-past four. Why should he have done this unless he means to leave the town? As he hasn't notified us of hi s intention to go anywhere, it looks as if he's going to do it on the quiet." "It certainly does not speak well for him," replied the man, who was a detective. "Where is he now?" "At his desk, I suppose. Why, no, he isn't. I hope he hasn t given us the slip. And that reminds me. I left $2,000 in the private drawer of my desk to pay a private account of mine, and a s I was afraid the collector might call while I was out I left the key of the drawer with Mason, so that he could get the money if the man called for it." "What! You did this in the face of suspicions?" asked the detective in surprise. "I had not at that time been put in possession 0 the eviden c e against him. The moment my nephew convinced me of Mas on' s crookedne s s I hurried to the police station for a detective, and you were selected to accompany me. I fear now the boy has taken advantage of my confidence, CHAPTER VII. THE UNMASKING OF THE JUNIOR PARTNER. "What does this mean, Mr. Spencer?" asked Jack, tt terly at a loss to understand what the terrible situation meant. "Why am I arrested?' "It means, ungrateful young man, that you are caught at last," said the junior partner, with a malevolent smile at the success of his plot. "But I don't understand. What am I caught at?" "The detective has just told you-stealing the two thou sand dollars from my private drawer." "Why, you yomself gave me the key to that drawer and told me to take the money and pay Green & Patton's collector when he called," replied the partly dazed boy. "That is quite true; but perhaps you'll explain why you are taking the money before he turns up?" said Mr. Spencer. "Before he turns up l Why, he is outside now waiting for it." "Oh, he is?" replied Mr. Spencer, with a sardonic smile. "Yes, sir. You must have seen him when you came in. He presented his bill five minutes ago." "He did, eh? Well, :M:r. Sharpley is a witness that the room was perfectly empty when we came in. Am I not right, sir?" "You certainly are, sir," answered the detective. "You mean to say that there was not a sandy-featured young man standing by my window just now?" "That's just what I do mean. Now, look here, Mason., I think this farce has gone far I acouse you of


ON HIS MERITS. stealing various petty sums of money from that drawer at di:(ferent times during the three months." "You make such an accusation against me, sir?" gasped of such a thing. How dare Mr. Spencer accuse you?" s he. cried indignantly. tl1e astounded lad. -"I do. I have proof of it.'' "What proof? Why, sir, I have not been in this room at any time when you were out except the present occasion, when I am acting under your orders." "I shall produce a witness who will swear that he has watched you." "Who is yo"ur witness?" demanded Jack. "I think, Mr. Spencer, that this argument here serves no purpose," interrupted the detective impatiently. "l presume I am to take this young fellow to the station and lock him up. It will be necessary for you to come along and make the charge in due form." "I will go, much as J regret the unpleasant necessity," said the junior partner. "Fetch him outside. It will be necessary to obtain some proof of his intention to abscond with this and perhaps other moneys." "Abscond!" exclaimed Jack, indignantly, as they walked ID.to the counting-room. "It seems to me that you are making a great mistake in this thing, Mr. Spencer." "It would be well for you, Mason, if I were; but I have positive information that you purchased a ticket this morn .. ing at the office of the Buffalo, Cleveland & Toledo Steam .. ship Line." "I did no such thing, sir." "But youwere seen to do so." "How could any one see me do that when I have not been near:er their offices than this place ?" "Y 6u deny, then, that you pur(Jhasecl a ticket this morn ing for either Cleveland or Toledo?" "I do." "You will oblige me, officer, by searching him. Accord .. ing to my information he ought to have the ticket in his possession." As the detective proceeded to obey the request Mr. Spen cer was astounded to see Mr. Fairchild, followed by Edna and -Bart Foster, enter the room. "Why, Mr. Fairchild," exclaimed the junior partner, ''this is a great and unexpected surprise." He walked forward with outstretched hand to greet his business associate, but the senior partner drew back coldly. "I have no doubt it is. a great surprise, sir," he said, "but I think I have a greater one in store." "I don't understand, sir,". replied the discomfited. Spencer. "You will presently, as soon as you have explaip.ed the meaning of this scene. Why is that boy handcu:ff ed and being subjected to a search? What has he done?" "Oh, Jack! Jack! What is the matter?" asked Edna, in a tone of undisguised distress, as she walked to his side. means, Edna,, that I am charged by'Mr. Spencer with theft." "I accuse him because I have abundant proof of his guilt," replied Spencer. "I repeat that Mason is a thieffor he has abused the confidence of his employers." "I do believe vou, interrupted Mr. Fairchild. v ... "I have always found this boy perfectly honest; otherwlse I had not raised him to the post of cashier." "But, sir, the evidence against him seems to be conclu sive." "What evidence?" "I have missed money from a certain drawer in my desk on several occasions. I set a watch in order to discover, the guilty person. This afternoon I was informed 1 by an eyewitness that Mason has been in the habit of vis iting my office after I left for the day. This morning the boy was seen to purchase a ticket for either Cleveland or Toledo at the steamboat company's office--" "Did you buy such a ticket, Jack?" interrupted Mr. Fairchild. "No, sir. I just told Mr. Spencer that I was not near the company's offices at all," replied Mason, stoutly. "Who told you that Mason a steambop.t ticket this morning?" asked Mr. Fairchild sternly. "I will produce my witness in good time, sir," replied Spencer. "The detective searched him at my request to see if he had the ticket on his person." "I have not been able to find it," said the officer. "There is his outdoor coat yonder, Mr. Sharpley. Search that." Jack, I am so sorry that you have been subjected to this disgraceful indignity!" said Edna, with tears in her eyes. "Never mind, Edna, I'll come out all right. I am not guilty even a little bit." "Of course you're not." Then, to the astonishment of all, Mr. Spencer excepted, the detective came forward with Jack's coat in one hand and the steamboat ticket in the other. "Here it is-a first-class passage to Toledo, sir," he said briskly. "Are you convinced now, Mr. that your favbr ite clerk is guilty?" said the junior triumphantly. "No, sir, I am not. It looks to me as if some one has tried to ruin the l:ioy for some purpose not apparent on the surface. Did you know that ticket was in your pocket, Jack?" "No, sir. Its presence astonishes me." "It is easy enough for you to deny it, but tl).e evidence is against you," sneered Spencer. "Mr. Spencer, will you send Bart Foster for Morris Abbott?" interposed Edna at this point, f1 sudden recollec tion asserting "Why, Miss Garrison?" asked the junior partner, uneasily. "You a thief, Jack I Impossible I You are incapable "Because I wish you to," she replied, with some spirit.


ON HIS MERITS. 13 "Fosler, ask my nephew to step in here," directed Spe ncer. In a mome nt or two appeared. "Uncle," said Edna, in some excitement; "I accuse 'tha.t boy of putting that steamboat ticket in Jack's pocket." "Mis s Garrison!" exclai med Spencer, turning pale "On what g rounds do you make such a ridiculous charge?" "When I entered the office,, shortly after twelve, there was no one in the counting-room but Morris Abbott, and he was fumbling around Jack's coat." "I wasn' t touchin' his coat," snarled Morris, his face going white. "I saw you touch it. I was almost certain that you took something out of one of the pockets and put it into your own," said the girl. "I didn t tal{e nothin' out of his coat," blustered Morris. "What made you jump, and look so frightened, when I spoke to you?" "I didn't jump, and I wasn't frightened said the senior partner of the firm at this point, "sear c h that boy's pockets and see if he really did take something." "I didn't take no.thin'," snorted Morris, glancing around as if in search of an opening for escape. "I object to my nephew being subjected to such an in dignity," sputtered Spencer. "I guarantee his honesty." "But you had no scruples about having Mason searched," replied Mr. Fairchild. "What's fair for one is. fair for the other. I insist that the boy be searched." Mr. Sharpley had no objection against obliging the sen ior partner, so he caught Morris by the arm and, putting his hand in the lad's outside pocket, withdrew Edna's pho tograph. "This seems to be your picture, young lady," he said, holding it up. "Why, of course. I gave that to Mr. Mason," she said. "And I had it in the inside pocket of that coat,'' ex plained J a:ck. "How came this in your possession, Morris?" "That must be what I saw him take out of your pocket," said Edna, eagerly. "Did you put that steamboat in Mason's pocket?" a s ked Mr. Fairchild of young Abbott, whom he had never seen until he entered the room, and was not awal\e that the boy was in the firm's employ. "No, I didn't put it in his pocket/' replied Mor r is, sulk ily. "I don't know nothin' about it." "Officer," said the senior partner, "I request you to re mov e those handcuffs from Mason's wrists and relieve him of arrest." "But, sir--" began the detective. "I will be responsible for my cashier," said the old gen tleman, with dignity. "I am the head of this house, and I do not believe that Mason is guilty of any crime." "All right, sir;" replied the detective, unlocking the handcuffs and returning them to his pocket. "I thank you, Mr. Fairchild, for this exp r ession o f your con:fidence,"1 said Jack, gratefully. "Tut, tut, my boy, I have known you too l o n g to suspect you of robbing the house." "I suppose you wish thi s matter hushed up, Mr. Fair child," said Spencer, fith a palpable snee r. "Mr. Detective," said the senior partner, without noticing his associate's remaik, "I now hand you a warrant to execute. You will obs erve that it's signed by Judge Daly." Sharpley took the paper, glanced at put it into his pocket, and then turned to the junior partner. "I regret, Mr. Spencer, bu. t I shall have to arrest you." "Arres t me!" gasped Spencer, aghast. "On what charge?" "Conspiracy to defraud." "What!" "Did you ever see those papers before, Mr. Spencer?" asked Mr. Fairchild showing him the documents that Bart Foster had found behind the junior partner's desk. Spencer recognized the do_ cuments at a glance, and nearly collapsed. CHAPTER VIII.. THE ABDUCTION'. The junior partner saw ruin him in the fal:e. His only chance lay in immediate flight, if he could get away. That thought :fl.ashed like lig:\1.tning through his minc1 as he stood for a moment, spellbound, gazing at the papers in Mr. Fairchild's hands. Then summoning Jus energies, he broke away from those assembled in the r'll.om and sprang for the door. The detective was after him in a moment, but Spencer, perceiving the man would surely overha ul him, suddenl y stopped just outside door and struck him full in the face with his clenc:he'CI. fist, knocking the officer down. Taking advantage of the opportunity, he dashed up the street ; disappearl3<1 around the corner, and succeeded in losing himseif in the crowd. In the meantime, Mr. Fairchild managed to intimidate Morris Abbott into making a full confession of the part he had played in the conspiracy. The boy also admitted that the claim of Green & Pat ton was a :fictitious one, the head bookkeeper of that firm, being a personal friend of Gideon Spencer's, having pr e pared the statement o.f indebtedness against the junior part, ner a t his request, and the bill was presented by a young man paid by to carry out the part as arranged beforehand. Mr. Fairchild congratulated Jack Mason on his lucky escape from the trap set to bring about his ruin. He said that Bart .. Foster had accidentally run across him and Edna, and, had shown him the papers he discov ered that day behind Spencer's desk. The contents of the documents confirmed the suspicions imparted to him by a communication from a Buffalo friend which hac1 hastened his return north.


ON HIS MERITS. He therefore decided to proceed to his place of business at once, confront Mr. Spencer with the proofs of his in iquity, and demand his immediate retirement from the firm He took the precaution to secure a warrant for the junior partner s arrest, which he intended to use if necessary to force a s ettlement. To find his h'usted young cashier in trouble was the 'last thing he looked for He immediately suspected that at the Eot tom of it, and acted accordingly. After all explanations had been made; and the senior partner hacl attended to some pre s sing matters of business l eft unattend e d to by Spencer, he and his niece took their departure for home r' "You had a narrow squeak of i t J ack," said Bart, when they were left by themse lves. "I think so myself," admitted Mason. "Spencer had fLxed matters so that but for the arrival of Mr. Fairchild I must have gone to jail "I'd have spoiled his l ittle game, though, as soon as I heard of your fix, because I had those documents which in criminated him I'd have taken them to a lawyer and ha.cl him get you out as quick as he could." "I haven't any doubt but you'd have stoocl by me, Ba-rt." "Of course I would. I always will, old follow." "Thank you, Foster; I won't forget it. "That's all right You'd do as much for me if the chance was yours." "I certainly would . Well, it's about time we closed up shop It's five o'clock, and Mamie is putting on her hat." The papers, next morning, had a full account of the ex posure of the Neptune matter and the disappearance of Spencer, who seemed to have successfully eluded the police Mr Fairchild had an interview with the Board of Under write rs, and agreed to turn over to them the amount that Spencer had paid for his interest in the business While this didn't fully cover the loss that the insurance companies had suffered through the fraud, it reimbursed them to a considerable extent, and they were glad to get it. .Although Mr. Fairchild did not cliscP.arge Morris Ab bott, the chances looked good for him losing his job, as he had no chance now to cover up his mistakes and other and he wasn't the kind of boy who took any particu l a r interest in his work However, he saved himself from being fired by throwing up his job at the end of the following week. Jack saw Ednn frequently, both at the offic e and at her U"ncle's home, and the attachment which had developed between them grew stronger every day, The police failed to locate either Spencer or Manuel Fer nandez, and the inference was that the two rascals had left for parts unknown .About ten days afte1: the crisis in. Spencer's affairs left her h ome to spend the afternoon and even ing at the house o f a p artic ular friend. It was arranged that Jack was to call there about eight o'clock, pass the evening, and then see her home. At the appointed time Jack appeared, and he helped to make the evening pass in a lively and cheerful fashion. It was close on to eleven o'clock when Mason and Miss Garrison left for the home of Mr. Fairchild, half a mile away A car took them within four blocks 9f their destination, and they proceeded to walk the balance of the way. They were so absorbed in each other's society that they did not observe that they were being followed by two men They were nearing their block whell' a hack came driving up the street at a rapid clip. On the seat beside the driver sat a boy who bore a sttong resemblance to Morris Abbott; in fact, it was that young rascal. .As the vehicle passed the two men it eased up, and one of the men made a sign. The hack drove and stopped abruptly at the cor ner. The two men then hastened their steps and came up with J a.ck and Edna as they started ta cross the street. Before the young people woke up to the fact that they were in the slightest danger the men seized them with a s trangle grip that prevented them from uttering the slightest outcry, and bore them toward the vehicle, the d,oor of which was held open by Morris, who had descended from his perch for that purpose On reaching the hack, Edna and Jack were lifted in, the door was shut after them and their captors, and the hack s tarted for the lake front. Edna had fainted by this time, but Mason was strug gling for all he was w orth to break away from the vise like grip of the man who held him. He wns soon put out of business by the man who had relinquished the up.conscious girl. This individual drew a bottle from his pocket, s11:turated a hanclkerchi ef with its contents, and pressed it over the bo:v's nose ancl month. Jack's struggles grew weaker and weaker, and finally ceased altogether "He's safe now, senor," said the voice of Fernandez the Mexican "Good," replied his companion, who was unquestionably Spencer "Now I'll treat the girl to a small dose to insure her insensibility'.n This was speedily accomplished while the hack hurried on. The hack windows were lowered to let in the fresh air and nermit the fumes of the insic1iol1s drug to evaporate "ifotters have worked out all right," said Spencer, with a triumphant chuckle. "We'll have them aboard the sloop in a few minutes." "Si, senor," replied the Mexican. Fifteen minutes later the hack rolled on to a small, un frequented wharf along the water front of Buffalo, and stopped


ON HIS MERITS. l !') Morris Abbott descended from the seat and opened the door. "There's no on e in sight," he said to Spencer. "All right," replied his uncle, taking Edna Garrison in his arms and getting out of the hack. "Help Fernandez carry Mason aboard the vessel." Morris grabbed the insensible Jack by the legs, an operation that seemed to afford him great plea s ure. Between him and the Mexican they got Mason aboard the little one-masted craft that lay alongside the wharf, and lowered him down on a pile of rags at the bottom of a small square hole in the bows that was penetrated by the heel of the short bows prit. Then Fernandez placed the sc11ttle over the hole and secured it wlth a spit that ran through a strong hasp. While they were doing this the hack driver turned his horses and drove away. Spencer had carried Edna into the small cabin at. tre stern of the boat and l aid her upon the bunk that had been surrounded with a board partition, thu,'3 converting it into a very narrow stateroom Then he went on deck to assist his nephew and the Mexi can to get the sloop under way. This was soon accomplished under the direction of Fer nandez, who was a good sailor, and thoroughly at home in any kind of a fore-and-aft craft. The mainsail and a small jib were hoisted, and under the influence of a fair breeze the sloop headed out into the lake, her nose being pointed west by south. "How long should it take us to reach Toledo ?" asked spencer of the Mexican, who stood by the tiller. "About midnight to-morrow, if the wind holds fresh all the way,'' was the reply. "From there we'll take the Maumee River to Fort Wayne, eh?" "Si, senor." "And from there the Little River to its junction with the Wabash." The Mexican nodded. "The Wabash will carry us into the Ohio, near Raleigh, Kentucky, and the Ohio into the Mississippi?" "Si, senor." "Then down the Mississippi to-but no matter. We will not count our chickens before they are hatched "Shall we carry the hoy with us all the way, senor, or--" and the Mexican made a significan t gesture toward the water. "No, no! I am not as bad as that, Ftirnandez," replied Spencer, with a shudder. "The boy goes with us." "As you please," replied the :r.a:exican with a shrug of his shoulders "You are what you call the doctor. We must keep our eyes liftiri' or he may give us trouble." "I guess he's safe enough whi l e he's under hatches," replied Spencer. "He must have no chance to escape." "Trust me for that, senor. He is not the first I have attended to. It will not pay him to cut up what you call shines I am too old a bircl to be caught nappin'. better not :r;nake me troi1b1e, or I fix him." "I will relieve you at, say, two o'clock, and stand watch till siX. To-morrow you can instruct Morris so that he will be able to lend a hand at steering the craft." "All right, seI).or; it shall be as you say." "Follow me, Morris," said his uncle "It is time that we turned in. You can use the forward bunk in the cabin." They left the deck in charge of the Mexican, who, lean ing negligently against the tiller, rolled a cigarette, and, having lit it, puffed it with apparent contentment CHAPTER IX. A LIGHT ON THE SITUATION. When Jack Mason recovered his senses it was brnad day light, and he was rather astonished to find himself a pris oner in such gloomy and contracted quarters. The motion of his convinced him that he was in some vessel on the water, which, of course, must he Lake Erie He soon recollected a11 that had happened t11 e preced ing night, and his chief concern was naturally for Edna, of whose whereabouts or condition he had not the faintest Although he did not smoke, he made it a prnctice to carry a silver match-safe in his pocket, and he had found from experience that it was often a very handy thing to have a match to call on when he wanted to strike a light. The first thing he did, therefore, was to extract a match from the box and light it. The glare illuminated his narrow pen, and he saw that he was in the bows of a small craft. "This is a pleasant situation, upon my word,',-he said to himself. "I wonder what it all means? W11y should I be put aboard this vessel? And where is Edna? I s she aboard, too? Who are the persons respo nsihle for this out rage?" These were a few of the questions Jack put himself, que s tions that he could not possibly answer, for he had not penetrated the identity of the men who atta cked and cap tured Miss Garrison and himself on the previous night. Whatever kind of vessel it was he was on, she was drivin:r, through, the water at fl smart rate on a tolerably smooth sea. He knew that it was now bright daylight, because a mir row, glistening r-ay of sunshine came in through a small knothole in the scuttle lid. As far as he had been .able to see by the temporary flash of the match, there was nothing in the hole in which he was imprisoned but himself and the pile of gunny sacks on which he lay While he was figuring on the situation, and wondering what was going to be the end of this adventure, he heard a step upon the deck above his head.


16 ON HIS MERITS. Then something rattled and the scuttle was thrown sudand Morris AbboLL seated at a narrow, oblong table, condenly open. versing. The inflow of sunshine blinded him for the moment, and The sight of his two enemies explained in a measure the all he could make out was the shadow cast by some one cause of his presence on board the sloop. bending down over the hole. It was evident that Spencer had been hanging around "Hello, young senor!" exclaimed a voice in a foreign Buffalo instead of fleeing elsewhere, and had successfully key. "Ah! I see you are awake. You are hungry, is it not eluded the vigilance of the police. so? Here is your breakfast. You do not starve as yet. He now knew that the man who had brought him his Be thankful it is settled you are to li".e." meager breakfast, and whose voice had seemed familiar, The speaker lowered a shallow bucket containing some must be Fernandez, Spencer's Mexican accomplice. slices of bread and a jug of water into the hole, the n He scarcely doubted but that Edna was a prisoner someslammed the lid on again and fastened it. where in the cabin, and the only possible place that afforded That voice. seemed to have a familiar ring to the boy. concealment there was the newly con tructed bandbox of Where :ind when had he heard it before? a stateroom directly aft, and as he saw that the rude door He taxed his memory for a while, but could not place it. was secured by a padlock, he judged that she might be As his throat seemed parched, he seized the jug of water in there. and drained nearly 11,alf of it, then he ate one slice of the Listening attentively to the conversation between Spencer bread. and his nephew, Jack obtained a very fair idea of the It was meager diet for a healthy, growing boy, but being a prisoner, he had to put up with whatever came his way. An hour passed away, during which h e finished his sup: ply of bread and water The dizziness and peculiar feeling in_ his head, which bothered him at first, had now passed awa.y, and he felt like himself again. Jack was not accustomed to lying around doing nothing, ancl this enforced inactivity bothered him not a little. He struck anothermatch and more closely examined his prison. He found that it partitioned off from the rest of the vessel by a plank bulkhead, a .ncl had evidently been used as a kind of storage place for ropes and various marine odds and ends. On examining the bulkhead closely, he discover ed that several of the boards had worked themselves loose at the bottom, and that a good kick would be sufficient to dislodge them altogether. As Jack had no desire to remain in his contracted quar ters any longer than he could make a change, he speedily kicked the planks loose and, pushing them aside, looked into the space beyond. He could make out nothing but darkness in the hold. He flashed another match at arm's length, anrl saw that there appeared to be nothing in the interior of the craft but a ballast of paving stones. As the craft was only leaning gently to the leeward, Jack decided to pursue his investigations further. So pushing himself through the dislodged planks, he began to pick his way over t.he ballast, striking a match occasionally to take further note of his surroundings and to see where he was going. In this way he avoided contact with the heel of the single mast and reached the cabin bulkhead. Investigating the wooden wall he found a knothole, thrm1g h which he peered. H e gave a start of astonishment at seeing Gideon Spencer main rascal's purpose. He discovered that the sloop was aiming for Toledo, where she would enter the Maumee River and proceed to Fort Wayne, in Inclfana. From that point the Little River would take them into the Wabash, which would enable them to reach the Missis sippi via the Ohio. "Then," went on Spencer, "we'll proceed down the Mis sissippi to the Delta, and thence across the Gulf of Mexico to the Rio Grande, which is the boundary line between Texas and :Mexico, and up that river to Matamoras, as I outlined to you some days ago. Once on Mexican soil, Edna Garrison must either consent to an immediate mar riage or remain a prisoner until she does consent to become 1\Irs. Gideon Spencer. As soon as she is my wife I will open negotiations with Mr. Fairchild to settle matters with the "insurance companies so that all criminal proceedings against me ma.y 1 be squelched, and I can return with my wife to Buffalo "You're all right, uncle I s'pose you'll get back into the firm again and give me a job in the countin'-roo{u ?" replied Morris "That's the end I have in view, for Miss Garrison's half interest in the business will give me as much to say about its conduct as Mr. Fairchild "What are you goin' to do with Jack Mason?" "I'm going to use him as a lever for bringing Miss Gar rison to terms "How will you ?" "I'm satisfied that she's really in love with the chap and consequently would do a lot for his sake. Well, Fernandez will take charge of him, carry him off into the country somewhere, an d hold a prisoner, subject to my orders. I will make it p l ain to Miss Garrison that Mason is wholly in our power, a n d that unless she agrees to my terms Mason will never be heard from again." "What will be done with him?" "I can't say what Fernandez will do with him if it come8 to the pinch, but you may be sure that unless Miss Garri-


ON HIS MERITS. 17 t son becomes my wife, and turn s ove r th e management of her interes t in th e s hipp i n g bus iness to me, the boy will never ste p on Ame ri c an s oil a g ain." "To which I gave you a decisive answer in the negative, hoping that the subject ;ould never be renewed." At that momen t Fern a ndez thru s t hi s h e ad into the cabin scutt le and called Morri s on deck. Spe ncer conti nued to smoke and ruminate over his plans, whil e J ack, still watc hing him, began to consider how he could put a s poke in the rascal's wheel. CHAPTER X. I THE PIOTURE THAT SPENOER DREW AND ITS EFFEOT ON EDNA AND JAOK. "I told you that I could not accept such an answer: I' told you that I would give you time to consider--" "Time would make no differen c e whatever in my an swer." "Miss Ga: rris .on, this ''is the refinement of cruelty. Have you no look o!' kindn .ess-no word of sympathy for me?" "Mr. Spencer, I am already pledged to ap.other." "To whom?" "That is not a fair question for you to ask me." "Answer but this: Is it young Mason?" "Yes, it is Ja.ck Mason," she replied, with a touch of spirit. Hav ing' obt ained a general idea of Spencer's plans, Jack "And you love tha.t boy?" he said, biting his lips. felt th a t if he c o uld make hi s escape from the sloop at To"I do." I ledo he c ould notify th e authorities there and have the ves-Her tone was decided, and left no doubt in Spencer s .sel captu r e d af t e r s h e h a d ente r e d the Maumee River. mind but that she was thor oughly in earnest. E d n a w o uld thu s b e whil e Spencer, Fernandez, "I am sorry," he said, after a pause. "I suspected such and M orris Alfbott would be returned to Buffalo to stand' to be the case, and have made my plans accordingly." trial f or their offe nce. "What do you mean?" Edna asked, frightened by Spen" O f c ourse, I c an do nothing until this craft reaches cer's words and manner. T o ledo s oliloquized Jack. "That is, nothing except try "Simply this. That Mason, as well as yourself, is in my for some loophol e th a t will at the proper time, l e t me out power. His fate will depend entir e ly on you." of th i s hol d I'll h a v e to work cautiously and not let it "On me?" be found out that I've got out of my prison pen in the bow. "Yes. You may as we:ll make up your mind that you If my e n emies get on t o the fa c t that I had even the liberty never will have the chance to marry him, not as long a.s of t h e entire hold there might be s omething doing I I live. I have determined to win you for my wife." shou l d n't like. They mi ght tie me hand and foot like a "I never will be your said Edna, defiprize p i g on the way to market. That would put a spoke antly. in rriy w heel in s te ad of my putting one in theirs. It is "Never is a long : day, Miss Garrison," Spencer, 1 fortun a te that I can easil y detect the sound of s teps on with a crafty smile. "I think you will change your mind the deck w hich will give m e time to fly back to the bow if you care anything for Mason." before the scu t tl e is lifted, if I hu s tle. Hello! Spencer "I do not understand you," she said, with an undefined is goin g over to that padlock e d door. Now I shall probably feeling of fear assailing her heart. learn if E d n a is on b o ard." "You wlll in good time. When you are out of the juris-If h e h ad an y dou bt s at all o'n the s ubject they were set diction of the United States then I will show you how at rest a few moment s l ater, w hen Sp e ncer led the girl into utterly futile it is for you to oppos e th e d e arest wish I the cabin and mot ione d h e r to a chair. have on earth.'' She h ad e vid e ntl y been wee ping, for her fa c e was wet "Where are you taking me?" she a s ked, turning pale. with tea rs, and h e r manner showed great distre ss. "To Mexico." P ray sit down, Miss Garri s on," s aid Spen c er politely. "Mexico! Oh, heaven!" she gasped. "Can you tie so "There is no occa s ion for you to feel alarmed. No harm c ruel?" will come to y ou." "I regret the neces sity, Miss G a rri s on, but I am only "Why h a v e you br o u ght me aboard thi s vessel, andwhere r eturning measure for measure. You yourself are treating are you t a kin g me Mr. Spenc er?" s he a sked, in tremulous me with the utmost cruelty by refu s ing to become my wife." t ones "Surel y your intentions are not friendly toward "How can I when I do no_ t love you?" me, e Jse you had not a tta c k e d me on the street last night "You must l e arri1M.r do so." a n cl used me with a roughness that caused me to lose my "It is impos sible !' sen s e s." "Nothing is impossible in this world," he answered "My dear Mis s Garri s on, you know my sentiments tocalmly. "Many a woman iarries a man for whom she does w a r d you. I am s orry I was obliged to handle you in the not particularly care, and learns to love him afterward." way I did but I had no oth e r cour s e in face of the situa"I could not do that; besides--" ti on in whic h the discov e r y of tho s e unfortunate papers "I know what you are going to say. You are thinking p laced me. I c o uld n ot b ear to leave Buffalo without you, of Mason's cla.im on youl.'I heart You will hav e to forget for t o m a ke you ;my wife i s the one object of my life. Yeshim, so :fill' as considering him for a husband." t e r day I ventured to make you a proposal--;' "I never will do that. I love him dMrly. I lo'Ve hini I


18 ON HIS MERITS. wi t h all my h eart, and sooner than prove false to him I'd d ie will i ng ly." Her tones qu i vered with mingled love and d e fiance an

ON HIS MERITS. 19 Then Fe rnan dez, aitractecl by the crashes and Spencer's cries r u s h e d down the ladder and stared in astonishment at the scene before his eyes. CH.APTER XL IN THE HOLD OF THE SLO OP safe until we reach 1\Iexico; then it will be for you to de cide whether he shall be entombed forever or not. Even if you should consign him to such a fate you could not escape me. I should in time find other means to bend you to my will. At least you would remain my prisoner until you capitulated. So you see that the easiest way w ill be t h e best for you, as well as for your dear Jack." He was not long in getting on to the situation, though Edna made no reply, but after staring despairing l y at he could not understand how it had come about. the aperture through which the M"exican had forced .he:t The bulkhead accounted for the crashing sounds lover, she sank back on her chair and began weeping he had heard on deck. terly. Then he saw their prisoner struggling with Spencer, a n d Fernandez tied Jack securely to the hee l of the s l oop's without wasting any time in considering how the boy had mast, and left him in the darkness to his own reflections. escaped from the forepeak, he sprang to the aid of his asso -We cannot. say that the boy, in spite of the fact that he ciate in villainy. had altered his position ven much for the worse, reg rette.d The Mexican was both strong and wiry, and having his attack on Spencer. Mason at a disadvantage, he easily tore him away from He felt that he could not have acted otherwise under t h e the half-strangled Spencer, and held him, in spite of his circumstances struggles, while the chief villain recovered his faculties He may have destroyed his own, as well as Edna's cha nces and his feet. for escape, as he had figured on, but the provocatio n had "So," said Spencer, caressing his neck, where ,Tack's finbeen too great for him fo accept tamely. gers had left their impress, "you got out of your pen, did At any rate he had acted the part of a man, and that you? And you tried to murder .me on top of it, you young fact solaced him. villain? You're more dangerous than I had anv idea of A sound of hammering came to his ears, as t h e You'll find that you've only jumped from the frying-pan repaired the bulkhead as well as he could into the fire." Jack, however, had dest!oyed a part of its u sef ul ness, "You're an infernal scoundrel, Gideon Spencer!" replied and it was really only as, strong .now as its wea kest s e c J ack. "I heard what you said to Edna Garrison. Look ti on. at the poor girl now. Aren't you proud of your work? Sm :ral hours passed away, and then Spencer e n t er e d And I once thought you a gentleman." the h ld with a revolver in his hand, followed by t he "So you heard me, did you?" sneered Spencer "Then 1\Iexican with a tray containing some dinner for their pri s you know what lies before you if my plans miss fire. Lis oner. teners never hear any good of themselves, and you've had They came by way of the fore peak, after rem o v ing t he excellent proof of that fact." two boards Mason had previously dislodged. "Crow all you want to, Mr. Spencer; there'S" many a slip Fernandez carried a lantern slung on his arm. between the cup and the lip. You're a long way from "N9w," said Spencer, "as it isn't my purpose t o s tarve 1\Iexico yet-a mighty long way. Take care that a prison, you, young man, we've brought you something to eat We and not Mexico, may be the ultimate windup of your ras shall release you so you can eat, but I warn you not to cally schemes." make any effort to get away, for if you do, I shall cert ainly "I' ll chance a prison, young man," replied Spencer. shoot you in the legs, which would not be a pleasa n t sen "However, I've no more time to waste on you. I shall sation for you, and would rather interfere with you r f uture take added precautions after this to secure your tractabil usciulness if Miss Garrison decides to accede to my w i s hes, ity. Where shall I find some tough lirie, Fernandez? It and you, in consequence, regain your liberty." will be necessary to tie this frisky chap up The heel of Jack made no reply, and Fernandez, putting d<>wn the the mast in the hold will be a good place to lash him to, I'm tray on the stones, unloosened the boy's bonds. thinking. Let us do it at once." Mason was hungry enough by this time to accep t the "You will find what will answer the purpose in the are brought to him, which consisted of a piece of fri e d locker under yonder bunk, senor," replied the l\Iexioon. steak, a baked potato, some bread and butter and coffee. Spencer soon got enough io suit him, ancl then he pro The two men watched him while he ate, and when h e was ceeded to secure Jack's hands behind his back, whi l e Fer through the l\Iexican tied him up again. nandez held the boy. An hour later Jack saw some one approaching w i t h a Edna recovered her senses in time to see her boy lover lantern, and soon made out that it was Morris .Abbott. led from the cabin through the broken bulkhead into the "I thought I'd come down and see how you wer e get-hold. tin' along, Jack Mason," he said, with' one of his u n pleas" Oh, Jack! Jack!" she cried out hyRterically. ant grins Sp e ncer turned and regarded her with a satisfied smile. "Come here to crow over me, I s u ppose," rep lied Jack "No harm shall come to him yet, l\Iiss Garrison. He is scornfully. ,,


20 ON HIS MERITS. "I just wanted to see whether you was comfortable or not," chuckled Mon-is. "Well, you sec whether I am or not. How would you like to exchange places?" "Nixy. I wouldn'tbe in your shoes for nothin'." "And I'd iather be as I am than in your shoes, for it Fon't be long before you'll get all that's coming to you." "Sure I will. There's money and a good job comin' to tr1tl when my uncle Edna Garrison." ''Yes, when he does," replied J ac'k, sarcastically. 'Oh, he's gain' to do it all right," answered. Morris, nodding his head in quite a positive manner .. "Don't you. worry about that." "I'm not worrying about it at all." "I would if I was you, because if she don't give in when this sloop gets to Matamoras, you'll be done up in good shape. It's up to her whether you get free again or not." "I'd rather never get free than see her marry such a rascal as your uncle." "You talk mighty big now, but just wait till you get to Mexico, that's all." "I hope I'll never get there. It's some distance from here to Mexico, and lots of things are liable to happen between this and next week." "Nothin' ;n happen that'll help you any-nothin' un less the girl knuckles down to my uncle, and nianies him right off the reel. H she does that you'll be let go; wise, nit." "Look here, Morris, I think your room is better than your company. What's the matter with going back on deck?" "I'm gain'. This is a beastly hole, but it:s good enough for you, I guess." Thus speaking, Morris turned around and retired by the way he came. About dark Jack. was released again to eat his supper, and then left for the night. It was a.bout four in the morning when the sloop entered the mouth of the Maumee River, sailed past Toledo, and passed on up the stream. It was two in the afternoon when the sloop struck the Little River in the vicinityof Fort Wayne, and about half past four when she entered the Wabash. The Ohio was reached at midnight on the second day thereafter, and about the middle of the ensuing afternoon Cairo, at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, was sighted, and the sloop passed into the mighty Father of Waters on her way to the Gulf. A week later the vessel sailed out into the Gulf 0 Mex ico, with a straight run across that body of water of about 500 miles to the mouth of the Rio Grande. During all this time Jack Mason was carefullv looked after by both the Mexican and Spencer, for neither was taking any chances with him. Their vigilance relaxed a bit after leaving the Delta of the Mississippi, for they now considered themselves clear of the Uniteq States. Matamoras, their destination, was about forty miles up the Rio Grande, and they did not expect to meet with any difficulty in reaching that Mexican town, where Spenc e r hoped to be able to bring his scheme to a satisfactory cli max. CHAPTER XII. THE BRA VERY OF EDNA GARRISON. Edna Ganison, after she recovered from her first par oxysm of despair, seemed a changed girl. Spencer was rather surprised and nonplussed by her d e portment. He expected a series of hysterics on her par mingled with pleadings forherself and for Mason. Nothing of the kind happened. She locked herself in her little stateroom, which had been specially fitted up with every possible convenience for her accommodation, and refused to open the door except when Morris brought her meals. She wo'uld hold no communication whatever with Spen cer, and the Mexican did not bother her. How she employed her time the king-pin rascal bad no means of knowing, and after an ineffectual attempt to force another interview he ceased to trouble her, contented to believe that he bad her fully in his power, and that it was only a question of a very short time when she would have to yield to his wishes or take the consequences that were also to extend to Jack Mason. It would probably have surprised him if he had been able to penetrate her thoughts. He would have found that from a weak and confiding girl she had suddenly developed into a desperate and very determined young woman. The mental picture drawn by Spencer of her boy lover's probable -fate bad nerved her to attempt Jack's rescue at the first opportunity that presented itself. She knew where and bow he was confined in the hold, and through the long hours 0 each night she had watched for a chance to accomplish the purpose she had in her mind. But while the sloop was sailing down the different rivers she found that the vigilance of the two rascals was main taine!l at the highest pitch, and that it was u seless :for her to attempt' to interfere in ,Tack's behalf. She did not lose her courage nor her hope, in spite of that fact. She believed that her perseverance would yet be re warded. How to get into the hold, if a chance offered, was what most concerned her. By adroit questioning, she learned from Morris that Spencer and the Mexican visited their prisoner by way of the fdre-peak, which was covered by a batch secured on "the outside by a hasp. As either Fernandez or Spencer stood watch at ni ght


ON HIS MERITS. 21 in turns at the helm, the chance of reaching the fore-peak Putting her hand his mouth, she cried in his ear: unobserved was scarcely possible. "Jack! Jack! Wake up!" To attempt such a thing by day was absolutely out of In a moment his eyes were wide open, and he was staring the que8tion. int,o her face, partially illumined by the light of the lanShe kept tab on their progress toward the Gulf by questern. tioning Morris every da.y, and he wasn't clever enough to "Edna! suspect that she had any particular motive in asking for "You here, my sweetheart! In this hold I What does this information. it mean?" he cried, in a tone of astonishment. At length the sloop, as we have stated, left the mouth "It means, Jack, that I have come to save you," she of the Mississippi and steeied across the great Gulf for said, throwing her arms around his neck. her destination, the Rio Grande. As she spoke he became conscious that his bonds no Edna ascertained that they expected to reach the river longer held him to the mast. in two days if the wind was favorable. He struggled up and caught her in his arms. It was favorable for a matter of forty hours, and the "You came to save me, Edna! How did you manage girl was beginning to despair of success, when at sundown it?" of the second day the wind flied down to a comparative "No matter how I did it, Jack; I dare not waste the ealm, which promised soon to be a complete one. time now to tell you, for every moment is precious to us. When Fernandez came into the cabin at midnight to For two weeks I have been watching for this chance, and arouse Spencer to take his turn on deck, there wasn't a it has only come at the eleventh hour, for we are but a breath of wind stining, the surface of the Gulf was glassy, few hours' sail from the Rio Grande." and the schooner was drifting with the tide. "A few hours' sail!" he exclaimed. "Then we are in Spencer got up, yawned, and stumbled up the ladder the Gulf?" to the deck. "We are." The Mexican turned into Spencer's bunk, and soon his "And out of sight of land?" deep breathing announced that he was asleep. "Yes, since yesterday morning." Edna at that moment was the most wide awake person "Yet the sloop seems quite stationary to me." on board. "We are becalmed. There is not a breath of air stirring." She knew that if the wind sprang up, the following "How, then, are we to leave this vessel?" forenoon would probably see. the sloop in the Rio Grande. "Oh, Jack, I do not know! I did not think of that!" If Jack was to be rescued, it must be done that night. she cried, as she realized in its full sense their tenible pre-Half an hour after she had seen Spencer go on deck dicament. she left her room, and securing a sharp knife from the "Never mind, dear. Don't worry. But tell me how you locker which served the purpose of a pantry, she softly managed to reach me without discovery. Are the men climbed the upright ladder until her eyes reached the both asleep?" level of the deck, and then looked for Spencer at the helm. "Yes. Fernandez is asleep in the cabin, and Mr. SpenHer heart gave a great throb of excitement and hope, for cer is, through a fortunate chance, asleep on deck near she saw her persecutor stretched out asleep on the deck the wheel." near the steering apparatus. Jack considered the situation. Slipping back clown the ladder, she secured the lantern It was a ticklish one, and he hardly knew how to get which burned all night in the cabin, remounted the ladaround it. der, and stepped out on deck. "Where did you get the knife to cut my lashings?'' With the lightness of a fawn she ran forward to where "From the locker where those articles are kept.'' the scuttle cover was secured above the entrance to the "Well, remain here till I take a glance at the deck," h<> fore-peak. said. The piece of iron that held the hasp in place was easily He left her and made his way into the ore-peak. drawn, the cover raised, and down into the hole dropped the He had a half-formed scheme in his mind. courageous girl. Spencer had a revolver. Through the opening she passed into the hold, waving If it was on his now, and the man was still asleep, her lantern before her. as Edna said he was, perhaps he could secure it. In a moment she stood before Jack, who was seated on With that in his possession, he believed he could, pera pile of gunny sacks provided for his accommodation, with haps, stand the rascals off if it came to. such a pinch. his arms and chest bound tight to the mast. Unfortunately for the success of this scheme, a sudden He was asleep, dreaming, perchance, of old times in slant of wind struck the sloop just as he put his head out Buffalo. of the scuttle, and the heeling of the craft awoke Spencer. "Dear, dear Jack!" she breathed, bending doW11 and Jack saw him rise and grab the tiller. barely touching her lips to his forehead. "Blocked!" muttered the boy, dropping back out of Then with a few slashes of the knife she cut him free. sight. "What can we do now?"


ON HIS MERITS. The breeze continued to blow, and gradually became steady in the right quarter, the sloop slipping along at her former speed 1 Jack could only return to Edna and report the unfortu n ate change in affairs. Before leaving the fore peak he took the precaution to softly close the scuttle cover. "We are cornered, sweetheart, and mllilt remain here. Your absence from your stateroom will probably not be found out before some time in Ure morning When they bring me my breakfast they will discover that I am at liberty, and then I will have to try and stand them off as best I may." "Oh, Jack! Jack!" was all the girl could say. He endeavored to comfort and reassure her as the mo ments slipped away, and they stood in the darkness of the boid-for Jack had doused the lantern-clasped in each other's axms, hoping agai.nst hop!l that something would turn up to their advantage. CHAPTER XIII. THE CHASE OF THE SLOOP. The fact that Edna Garrison did not return to her home on the night of the abduction was not noted until next morning, and then her aunt and uncle supposed she had been persuaded to remain an night at her friend's 110use. When she did not appear at a reasonable hour during the forenoon, Mrs. Fairchild sent a servant around to find out if anything was the matter with her. The man returned with word that Edna, accompanied by Jack Mason, had left her friend's home for her own at about eleven o'clock. This was rather startling news for the aunt, and she sent the servant at once to the shipping office to inform Mr. Fairchild of the fact. Jack's unexplained a .bsence from the office had, of course, been noticed by the shipping merchant, and he was won dering what could be the cause of it. He was on the point of sending Bart around to Jack's lodgings when the servant appeared with the unlooked for news of Edna's non appearance at her home. The merchant was much disturbed, and started Bart out to see if he could get any intelligence about Mason. Bart returned in an hour and reported that Jack had not been home an night, and nobody had seen him since be left the house the previous evening. Mr. Fairchild could not understand the situation, and decided it was serious enough to call in the services of the police. Two detectives were put on the case, and thus the day passed, without results. When the next day slipped by without news from the missing ones, Mr. Fairchild was very seriously alarmed. Bart Foster was also very muqh concerned over the dis appearance of his chum . What could have become of him and Edna ? Mr. Fairchild inserted a reward notice in the papers, payable for information about the absent boy and girl. Toward the end of the week a tall, thin young man came into the office and asked to see Mr. Fairchild. "He's out," replied Bart. "Can I do anything for you?" "I've called about that advertisement of Mr. Fairchild's," said the visitor, in a hesitating way. "Do you know anything about the whereabouts of Jack :Mason and Edna Garrison?" aeked Bart, in some excite ment. "Maybe I do, and maybe I don't," replied the call e r, with a shrewd look. "Well, if you can put us on their track, it will be $500 in your pocket," said Bart eagerly. The visitor licked his lips, as i he would like to earn that sum. Just then the merchant came in. "Mr. Fairchild," said Bart, "here 1s a person who has called about your advertisement." "Step into my office," said the shipper, and the young man followed him in. "My name is Clarence Hale," said the visitor, arter seat ing himself. "I am a friend of Morris Abbott. I may as well admit that I am the person who presented that bogus bill from Green & Patton, and then made myself scarce. It was a put-up job on your cashier. I was to get $25 for my part in the matter, but owing to the failure of the scheme the money was not paid me." "Hum!" said Mr. Fairchild, impatiently. "What has this to do with my advertisement?" "This. Before I state what I have to say I want you to assure me that I will not be prosecuted for that little matter." "Very well. If your information is valuable, you shall not be troubled." "And you will pay me the $500 reward?" "Assuredly, if you are entitled to it." The visitor seemed to be satisfied, and proceeded. He said that he and Morris had been very thick for some time past. That it was to oblige Morris he had posed as the bill ltllector. That the evening before the disappearance of Mason and Miss Garrison be and Morris had been together until mid night, and that both had drunk more strong waters than was good for them. That on that occasion Morris had, when in a tipsy state, confided to him the fact that Spencer and Fernandez, whom the police supposed had skipped the city, were still hiding in Buffalo. Further, Morris told him that Spencer had a splendid scheme for mending his tangled fortunes-nothing more nor less than the abduction of Edna Garrison, whom he proposed to carry off to the town of Matamoras, in Mexico, where Fernandez was well known, and from which place Spencer could safely open negotiations with Mr. Fairchild


__________ ,. _______ c:::"'" ....... .-------ON HIS MERITS. 23 after he had compelled Miss Garrison to marry him as the price 0 lrer liberty. The shipper was thunderstruck at this revelation. "Why did you not come fonvard before with this infor mation?" he asked Hale, in a severe tone. "Because I did not take any stock in Abbott's story. He was more than half drunk when he told me about it. When I saw the account in the papers 0 the disappearance ci Mis s Garrison, as well as against wJwm I knew Spencer entertained a grudge, I began to think it was true, after all. I was afraid to come to you until I sa.w the offer 0 the reward, lest I might get into trouble over the matter." 1 "Well," said the merchant, "how dicl Spencer propose to carry off my niece, and what were his pians respect to young Mason?" "I can't tell you a thing about that. All I know is what I have mentioned fo yon." "Very well, I will call a deteciive to hear your story," said Mr. Fairchild, drawing bis desk phone toward him. "You don't mean to have me arrested?" asked the young man, in alarm. "No. Not if I find you have told me the exru:t truth." "I have, upon my honor." In fifteen minutes a cab brought a detective to the office. He listened to Hale's story, questioned him closely, and then decided that he must be detained at headquarter pending an investigation. Hale protested, to no purpose, and left the shipping house in company with the officer. Indiana, where the Little ,;River flows into the Wabash, and found that tl1e sloop had been seen there just ten days since. By this time the officer and his young ally had a pretty clear idea as to the course the vessel would have to taJrn to reach Matamoras on the Rio Grande. After tracking the sloop 0to Cairo, they took a train for New Orleans. Here, persistent inquiry developed the fact that a craft answering to the black sloop had passed down toward the Delta. the preceding afternoon . "That settles it, Foster," said Detective Ketcham. "We must go on to Matamoras and head the vessel off." They took the first train or Houston, in Texas, thence to Austin, where they changed to the railroad that carried them straight down to Laredo, a border town of Texas on the Rio Grande. Here they hired a small craft to tal{e them down the river to Matamoras, a distance of something over 200 mp.es as the stream ran. In due time they arrived at their destination. A close search of the water-front of the Mexican town showed that the black sloop had not yet arrived, so the detective decided to continue on down the river on their boat and meet their quarry either in the river, or when she came in :from the Gulf. CHAPTER XIV. I THE END OF THE CHASE AND A TRAGEDY That afternoon the night owl hackmen were rounded When Spencer went below, at our o'clock in the morn up and put through the third degree at headquarters, with iug, to call Fernandez to the helm, he was surprised to the result that the man who hacl been connected with the fiucl the cabin in darkness. abduction 0 Mason and Edna was discovered, and made 1'The lantern seems to have gone out," he muttered. to confess. "well, it doesn't matter." l He was put in a cell, and detectives were sent out to He woke the Mexican up, told him the lantern had gone ascertain something about the sloop which had been n19ored ant, and then took his place in the bunk, after removi?g at the unfrequented wharf. hi'! coat; vest, and, shoes. She was gone, of course, but telegraph inquiries to Cleve-Fernandez did not bother with the lantern, which lie land and 'l'oledo developed the act that a craft answering supposed was still hanging in its place, but slipped up the her description had been seen entering the Maumee River laO.G.er and took charge of the h elm. on the second morning after the abduction, bound west. When the sun rose the mouth 0 the Rio Grande was in The authorities were now sure they were on the right foll view straight ahead. track. At six o'clock Spencer came on deck and took the helm After an interview with Mr. Fairchild, it was decided while the Mexican started to prepare breakfast. I that Bart Foster, owing to his familiarity with Spencer's The small cooking stove was in one corner of the cabin, personality, should accompany Detective Ketcham in his and Fernandez soon had the fire going and the kettle on. pursuit of the $loop. He laid the table for two, and then proceeded to f

24 "Well, senor, it is gone from its place. Some one must have taken it. Who think you that is?" "How can I tell?" replied Spencer, impatiently. The Mexican grunted, and went below. He pushed the frying-pan back and l ooked at the door of Edna's stateroom. Then he walked softly over and tried the handle of the door. It yielded to his touch. This was suspicious, so he opened the door and looked inside. The girl was not there. "Caramba I What shall this mean?" he exclaimed. "The girl is not in the cabin. Where, then ? Ha Some thin' shall be wrong." He sprang up the ladder and communicated the news to Spencer. "What!" roared that rascal. "Miss Garrison not in her room? Take the helm and let me investigate." He rushed clown into the cabin. In a few minutes he was back on deck. "She is gone!" he cried, with a lowering brow. "She could not have jumped overboard." "Hardly," replied the Mexican. "Had she come on deck, either you or me would have seen her, senor. It i!DUst be she who took the lantern. Why? To go into the Ji.old, perhaps, to find the boy. Yet bow shall she do that? Not through the bulkhead. It is impossible. The only way then, is by the forepeak. She did not pass that way while I was on deck. Is it not a fact, senor, that you may have fallen asleep while on your watch, and she took ad vantage of you?" Spencer uttered an imprecation. He remembered that he had been asleep during the spell of calrh. Without a word he walked forward and looked at the hasp of the scuttle cover. He saw that the pin was out of it. Then he understoo

ON HIS 1\IERITS. 25 . a :a umber of g orgeous-looking birds among the trees on the I His right hand dropped to his hip, he pulled out his port side of the vess el, while the sailboat was coming up on! TevoJvcr, and with a hurried aim fired at the detective. the b tarboard side. The officer clapped his left. hand to his breast anc1 stag Tbe first inkling he had of trouble was when the de gered back, then, recoyering himself with a mighty effort, tective . closely followed by Bal't Foste r sprang aboar d t h e he took deliberate aim .at Spencer, who had started up the sloop. ladder, and fired Then he turned ancl confronted the visitors. With a cry Spencer threw up his hands and ,fell b_'.lck on He nearly had a fit when his eyes rested on Bart, the the cabin floor dead very last person he would have thought of meeting in that The detective then s l owly sank back against a locker plBce. and with a faint sigh expired ,, With a Ehrill cry of to his uncle, he tried to It had all happened so quickly before Jack's eyes that evade Bart, who made a dash at him. for the moment he stood spellbound half through the o pen Foster pmsuecl him to the bows, and then, as he cou l d ing, with the affrighted face of Edna Garrison "Peering over go no further, grabbed him. "You young rascal cried :j3art. we've got h old of you at last? It's the Buffa l o jail for you just as soon as we can get you there." Thus speaking he dragged the struggling boy aloft In the meantime the detective had dropped down into the cabin, where he came face to face with Spencer. From the description he had received of the ex -junior partner he judged this was the man who had led him a chase of sevaral thousand mi.Jes. "You are Gideon Spencer, I believe," said the officer, sharply "Who are you, and what do you want aboard here?" de manded Spencer scenting trouble. "I am a Buffalo detective, and I ha .ve a waITant in my pocket for your arrest." Spencer stepped back and put his hand to his hip pocket, while with a sarcastic laugh he said: "This is Mexican soil and1 your warrant doesn't go here !' "Throw up your hands or I'll shoot," said the officer, sternly, aiming the revolver he had whipped out on the instant at Spencer. The rascal sullenly obeyed. "Where are your prisoners-Miss Garrison and young Mason?" "None of your business," snarled Spencer, furious at the tables being turned on him. Crash Crash Two cobblestones crashed through the weakened bu l k head, and Jack Mason's head appeared in the opening He a.nd Edna, who for some hours had been the prey of the gravest anprehension as to their fate when they saw no chance 6 escaping from the hold, had been attracted by the loud and menacing words 0 the detective in the cabin. They had rushed to the bulkhead to investigate, and heard enough to convince them that help from an unex pected quarte r had arrived at the critical moment. "Grab a stone, Edna, and help me smash in the bulk head," he said to the girl, and the crash that rather startled the detecti"ve fol,lowed. Instinctively the officer turned to face what he fancied might be a peril in his rear. was quick to take advantage o f this. 'bis shoulder into the smoke clouded cab in. C HAPTER X V .A.T B.A.Y. "Oh, Jack," cried the girl, t r embling with fear, "wha t has happened?" "Spencer shot the officer sent from Buffalo to arrest h im and rescue us, and in tmn has been killed himself by t h e revqlver of the dying man." .Edna turned whi' te at this information and violently a'I Jack helped her through the opening i n t o the cabin where she saw the dead men. "Poor fellow," said Jack, bending over the officer past all help." He disengaged the revolver from the dead o fficer's Jin gers and thrust it into his pocket . Going to Spencer's body he secured his revo lver and handed it to Edna. At that moment Bart, attracted by the shots in the cab i n, and still hanging on to Morris sb:lck h i s head down the opening. "What's the trouble, Mr. Ketcham?" he asked. W hy, Ja.ck, is that you? And you, too, Miss Garris9n ?" "Bart Foster!" exclaimed Mason, in joyfu l astonish ment "Youhere!" "Sure I'm here. Come up. I can't come down, f o r I've got hold of that young villain, Morris Jack assisted Edna on deck,. and quickly followed him self. "Bart, old chum, I never was so glad to see you b\)fore i n my life," cried Jack. / "Nor I you Just help me secure this chap, will you?" "That's what I will?' said Mason, picking up a piece of rope from the deek and tying Abbott's hands behind his back. "Anybody hurt in the cabin?" asked Bart, t hinking that the detective had fired at Spencer or the Mexican, who, he thought, was also below, to intimidate the:rlJ.. "Yes. The Buffalo officer and Spencer killed eac h other "What! gasped Bart; while Morris turned white at the intelligence "It's the truth."


26 ON HIS MERITS. "And where is Fernandez?" "I don't know. He's not below. I thought maybe he was a prisoner on deck." "No. \Ve haven't seen him." "Where is he?" asked Jack of Morris. "Find out," Sl1arled the little rascal. And they did find out right away, for al that moment F e rnandez and several swarthy-looking compani o ns came out from among the trees a few yards away. "Caramba !" criecl the on perceiving the curious r:tate of matters on the s loop's deck. "To the boat!" "M:y gracion s !" cried Jack. "There's Fernanrlez with three chaps a t his back. Where's your boat, Bart? We must try to escape." "It' s along s ide. Jump in and we'll be off.'; While Bart helped Edna into the sailboat Jack fired his revolver at the l\Iexican, the bullet whistling by his ears, and causing the folir rascals to seek the shelter of the shrnb bery in short order, for they were not armed, and therefore not prepared for battle at that moment. That gave lhe three young people time to enter the sail boat, Morris being abandoned as a useless encumbrance, and shoved away from the sloop. ' The sail, however, was of no use now, as not a breath of the light air reached them in the basin. "We'll never be able to get away at this rate," said Jack. "Oh, lor', I'm afraid not," ;eplied Bart, dolefully. "If those chaps had guns now, they'd be able to make us come ashore in short order." "It's a good thing we've a couple of revolvers, with five shots left in each, or they'd be down on us with their boat before we could wink. Let Bart ha ve the gun I gave you, Edna." She handed it over to Foster while the boat slowly drifted toward the entrance of the basin. The were evidently following them behind the line of trees, but the drift of the boat was toward the other side of the narrow passage they were approaching. Suddenly they saw the bunch of pursuers running ahead among the trees, as though aiming for some spot where they expected to be able to cut the boat off. "It looks as if they'll get us," said Bart. "I'll bet they are going to do i,1s up at a bend of the stream about a quarter of a mile down. It's very Jiarrow there, I noticed, when we came up. Poor old Ketcham remarked that the sloop must have shaved both banks in passing. If they can find the trunk of a fallen tree anvwhere, all thev'll have to do is 1to throw it across that ben 'd" and then they;ll have us in a trap for fair." "Then what the dickens shall we do?" asked Jack, look ing rather blank at his chum's words, as the last of the swarthy rascals disappeared through the foliage. "I don't know," admitted Bart, in a tone of discourage ment. I think we'd better land here," suggested Edna," a11d try to escape by running." "If we do that we'll be at a great clisadvaniage on your account, Edna," said .Tack. "You wonldn 't be able to keep up a quick pace long." "I'll do the best I can, Jack, dear," she said, resolutely. "If we keep on we'll be caught anyway, according to Bart. Now that those men arc out of sight we may be able to slip away from them somewhere and hide until we think it is Rafe to continue on." .Tack considered the question a moment or two, and then nRkrd Fol'ter what he thought of the plan. "I guess it's the best thing we can do, Jack," he replied. "There seems to be a considerable wood around here. We ought to be able to stand a chance of giving Fernandez arnl his crowd the slip. If we go on I feel it in my bones that 1.hey'll have us dead to rights at the bend." "'fhen we'll land and trust to _luck. Speak to the boat man and if he'll go with us." The boatman refused to leave his craft, saying that he did not fear the Mexicans. He promised to wait for them at the mouth of the river if he was not stopped on the way down the inlet. Accordingly Jack, Bart and Edna stepped on to the bank and hurried away among the trees. They soon found, however, that the wood was not so dense after they had gone a little way as they had anticipated to find it. It gradually thinned out into an opQn country, which did not promise much in the way of shelter until Jack noticed a line of low hills near a\ hand that were covered with lots of projecting rocks. He led the way in that direction, which carried them around the back of the wood in a semi-circle. At length they struck the hills, and the boys kept their eyes open for some place that promised temporary security at least. They had proceeded half a mile when, just as they reached a collection of rocks, the gang of Mexicans, led by Fernandez, burst out of the wood and came toward them. The rascals saw them, uttered a triumphant shout, and started in hot pursuit. "Gee!" cried Bart. "We're in for it now. We've got to hustle at a lively gait." They rushed behind the rocks, but the boulders were of no advantage to them now. Presently they struck a kind of defile and darted into it. It led them in a circuitous way into the hills and finally right up to the mouth of a cavern. "I'm afraid we're trapped," said Jack, "for to turn back means sure capture anyway. We've got to keep on. They're bound to follow, but in the darkness we may be able to shoot a couple or more of them down, and that would even up things." Into the C<1Vern they pushed, and were astonished to find that it showed -signs of occupancy. It looked as if they had entered the rascals' lair. A couple of lanterns were burning against the rocky walls. "There's a door yonder," cried Jack. "If we can get


ON HIS MERITS. 27 in there maybe we'll be able to barricade ourselves against them." "What good will that do?" asked Bart. "We'd be fairly trapped then. They could s tarve us into submission." "Never mind. It will give us a breathing spell, at any rate. Come on." They ran over to a heavy fron-bound door, with a baned opening at the top which swung on ponderous hinges. .Tack pulled it open and th e y ente red. It was dark a s pit c h inside. I'll get one of those lantern s/' s aid Bart. He w ent back, s natch e d one from the wall and carried it into the inner cave, the door of which the y banged to, and then, to their dismay, th<'y found there wa8 n9 way oJ' holding it shut. "I'm afraid we're don e for unless we can find something to push against this door," said Jack. They looked around the s mall cave and w e re amazed at what they saw. First there was a big che s t, with its fractured cover thrown back, nearly full of golden vessels, plates, and other articles of considerable value. Then there was an iron ves sel, with a handle J'ull of gold coins, not far from the chest while the floor in its vic inity WM fairly littered with pieces of money, a s if the ras cal s had b e en di s turbed in the counting of the coin. "Help me push that chest against the door," cried Jack, energetically. "Here, take my r e volver Edna." They each seized an end of the chest, but it proved too heavy for them to move. "Dump some of the s tuff out 0.uick" exc laimed Jack, excited1y. Too late," r e plied Bart. "The ra scals are in the outer cave and will be here in a moment." "To the door, then," ejaculated Jack. "We'll have to hold it against them by s heer muscle. Kill the first scoun drel that tries to ent e r Edna." With a howl of exultation the gang outside ru s hed for the inner cave where they knew the fugitive s must have taken refuge. The situation became desperate when Fernandez, backed by his associates, partially forced the door. "Caramba" cried the Mexican. "Open or we kill you!" Jack and Bart tried to close the door, while Edna, with flaghing eyes, stood ready to shoot CHAPTER XVI. A WONDERFUL ESCAPE-CONCT,USION. One of the villains had pi c ked up a rifle in 1.he outer c ave, anrl it projected thr011g h the door at an ang le above F e rnandez s head. Althou g h Jac k anc1 Bart exerted all their s trength to shut the door, the weight of the four rascaJ s on the other side was s lowly but sur e ly overcoming them. Edna saw that it was up to her to do something, so she coura g eously walked up to t]:i.e door and, thrusting one of th e r e volvers into Fernandez's ace, cried: Draw back or I'll shoot!" The Mexican saw that she meant business, and with a fierce imprecation he drew bf!ck, and the two boys shoved the door against the b a rrel of the rifle. Edna thrust the revolver through the crack and fired at random. There was a shriek of agony from one 0 the attacking party, followe d by a string of imprecations, and the rifle fell to the floor. The pressure on the door was removed from the other side, and the cowardly villain s retreated. R c 1na r e ach e d down, seized the barrel of the rifle, and drew lhe gun into the cave, whil e the two b o yf. s lammed the d o or to. Th e y knew that it was but a t e mporary rcspi.te, bu t d ete rmined to make the mos t of it. Ednn s aicl Jac k "yon ancl B a r t tumbl e out that treasure stuff s o we can move th e clws t." The two hurriedly obeyed Jack's order and when half th e slnil' was out on the floor Jac k and Bart were able to drag the box a g ain s t the door. Th e v then r e turned th e plates and vcsseli:; to the chest a g ain : a nd retired to a dark corner to await further developme nts. Nothing happ e ned for a while, and all sound in the outer room ceased except the g r o an s a n d m a 1('c1ic tion s of the wound e d man, who had been rcm0\ W 1 fro m where he fell to anoth e r part of th e cave. "I wonde r what they' re doing now?" a s ked Bart. "Hush! I think I h e ar th e m out side." A s udd e n ru s h was mad e a g ain s t 1.he door and some heavy s tru c k it a resoundin g blow. The big ches t, however, held ii and it only quivered und e r the shock. The ras c als were evid e ntly surprised and the three young people could hear them jabberin g away at a great rate. A s econd attack was made 001 the door, followed by a third and fourth, but with no productive result. Then the villains retired to consult; at lea s t that is what the fugitives conjectured. At length they heard a kind of triumphant ring to their tones, as though the scamps bad fqund a way to solve the difficulty. "What are they up to now?" said Bart. "Looks as if they were figuring on g e tting us at last," replied Jack. "Give me one of th e revolvers, Edna. You take the other, Bart. We' ll sell our lives dearly if it comes to such a pinch." "Oh, Jack; dear, dear Jack!" cried the girl throwing her arms around her lover. Something outside was roll e d a g ain s t the door, and the fugitives were wondering what it was when, without the slig hte s t a trem e ndous explosion shook the cav ern s The heavy door was wrenched from its hinges and fell in


28 ON HIS MERITS. I over the chest, and the inner cave was filled with the suffo cating fumes of burned powder Through this dense pall nothing could be seen but the dim light of the lantern. "My gracious!" cried Jack, when he and his two com panions had recovered from the first effects of the terrible shock. "They've blown the door in Shoot now for your life, Bart." The two boys awaited the rush of their enemies, but it came not. Fnr half an hour the Y

SECRET SERVICE OLD A.ND YOUNG KING BRADY, 1'ETECTIVES. PRICE 5 CTS. 32 PAGES. I LATEST ISSUES: COLORED COVERS. ISSUED WEEKLY 3 71 The B r adys and the S even Students; or, The Mystery or a Medical Co ll ege. 1372 l h e Bradys and Gov ernor Gum ; or, Hunting the Klng of the H i g hbinders 373 The Brad y s and the Mine Fakirs ; or, Doing a Turn ln Tombstone. 3 7 4 1'he l!radys i n Canada; or, a \I. a ll Street "Wonder." 375 T h e B r a d y s and the lllg hb i n de t:,'l League ; or, '.rhe Plo t to Burn Chinatown 376 T h e B r a dys' Lost Claim; or, T h e Mystery of Kill Buck Canyon. 377 T h e Brad y s and t h e Broke r s D o uble; or, Trapping a Wall Street T rickster. 378 The Bradys a t Hudson' s B ay; or, The Sear c h for a Lost Explorer. 379 T h e Bradys and t h e K ansa s "Come-Ons" ; or, Hot Work on a Green G oods Case. 380 The B r a dys' :.re nTrnnk Mystery ; or, Working for the Wabash Road. 381 T h e Bradys and D r. Ding; or, Dealing Wlth a Chinese Maglclan. 382 T h e Bradys and "Old King Copper" ; or, Probing a Wall Street My stery, 883 T h e B r a dys and the "1'wenty Terrors" ; or, After the Grasshopper Gang. 184 T h e Bradys and Towerman "10" ; or, The Fate of the Comet F ly e r 8 85 T h e Bradys and Judge Jump; or, The "Badman" From Up the River. 886 T h e B r adys and Princ e HI-Tl-LI ; or, The Trail of the Fakir of F r isco. 88 7 T h e Bradys and "Badman Bill"; or, Hunting the Hermit of 'Elangtown 3 88 The Bradys and "Old Man Money"; or, Bustling for Wall Street .llfllllons. 3 89 The B r a dys and the G r ee n Lady ; or, The Mys t ery of the Mad house. 3 90 The B r adys' Stoc k Y ards My stery; or, A Quee r Case from Chi cago. 39 1 The B r adys and the 'Frisco Fire Fiends ; or, Working for Earthquake Millions. 392 T h e Bra dys' Race Wit h D eath; or, D eallngs With Dr. Duval. 393 T h e Bradys and Dr. S a m -S u e y S oy; or, Hot Work on a Chine s e C l e w 394 'he B r a dys and "Blackfoot Bill" ; or, The Trail of the Tonopah Terror 395 The Bradys and the "Lamb L eague"; or, After the F i ve Fakirs of Wall Street. 396 T h e Bradys' Blac k Hand My s t ery ; or, Running Down the Coal Mine Gan g. 3 9 7 T h e Bradys and the "King of Clubs" ; or, The Clew Found on the Corne r 398 T h e Bradys and the Chlnl! s e Banker; or, Fighting for Dupont Street Dia m onds. 39 9 T h e Brady s and the Bond Forger& ; or, A Dark Wall Street Myster y. 40 0 T h e Bra d ys' Mexican Trail; or, Chasing the "King or the M esa." 4 0 1 T h e Bradys and the D emon Doctor; or, The Bouse of Many Mya ter le s. 4 0 2 T h e Bradys and "Joss House Jim"; or, Trailing a Chinese Opium Gan g. 4 0 3 The Bradys and the Girl In Blue ; or, After the Malden Lane Diamonds. 404 The Bradys Among the "Bill Billies" ; or, A Case From Old Kentucky. . 405 .rh e Bradys and the Gold Miners; or, Working a Wild West 1 'rail. 406 '.rh e Bradys' Mysterious Shadow ; or, The Se cret of the Old S tone Vault. 407 The Bradys and "Mustang Joe"; or, The Rustlers of Rattlesnaka Run. 408 1 'he Bradys' Snapshot Clew ; or, Trace d by the Camera. 409 The Bradys and the Hip Sing Tong; or, Hot Work on a l:llgh bind e r Case 410 The Bradys and "Mr. Mormon"; or, Secret Work In Salt Lake City. 411 The Bradys and Cellar of D eath ; or, Ferreting out tile B os ton Crooks. 412 The Bradys' Lake Front Mystery ; or, A Queer Case from Chi cago. 413 The Bradys and the Dumb Millionaire; or, The Latest W .di Stree t Lamb. 414 The Bradys' Gold Field Game; or, Rounding up the Nevada M iuo Brokers. 415 The Bradys and Dr. Hop Low; or, The Deepest Mott Stree t Mys' t ery. 416 The Bradys and the Beaumont Oil King; or, Three "Bad" :M;;n from Texas. 417 The Bradys and the Prince of Persia; or, After the Tuxedo Crooks. 418 The Bradys and Captain Darke ; or, The Mystery of the China Liner. 419 The Bradys and the Canton .Prince; or, Working tor the Chinese Ministe r 420 The Bradys and "Diamond Don" ; or, The Gem Smugglers of the "Arctic." 421 The Bradys and Banke r Banks; or, Caught on a Wall Street 422 The Bradys In Little 'Frisco; or, The Case of Tlnf$. Long Lee_ 423 The Bradys and the Chec k Raisers; or, After a Wall Stree t Gang. 424 The Bradys and the Bad Land B ears ; oi;, The Bone Hunters of S o u t h Dakota. 425 The Bradys and tbe Car Crooks; or, Working for the Frisc o Line. 426 The Bradys and the "Queen of the West"; or, Trailing the Ari zona G e m Thie v e s. 427 The Bradys and the Wall Street Money Fakirs; or, The Mys t erlous Mr. Mix. 428 The Bradys and the Chink mugglers; or, The Huq-y Call te> Canada. 429 The Bradys and Kid Joaquin; or, The Greasers of Robbers' Can y o n. 430 The Bradys and Gump High ; or, The Mystery of the RulnecJ Joss House. 431 The Bradys and the River Pirates ; or, Arter the Dock Rats' Gang. 432 The Bradys and the Silent Five; or, Whe Secrets or Shadyside Hall. 433 The Bradys and the Opium King; or, Braving the Perils of Pell Street. 434 'l'he Bradys' Bleecker Street Mystery; or, Wile Bouse With a Hundred Doors. 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These Books Tell You Everything I .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! No n o s t bis Ne Each book' consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper'; in clear type and neatly bound in )n attractive, illustrated c0ve?. Jont lfost of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that a:gy m d 8(iild can thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjediil ncnt N1 \NI THESE BOOKS ARE FO. R SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS )oy. FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY 'l'HREEl BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE ca m Ci:ENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y .. kN 10 e MESMERISM. t No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Oontaining the most ap proved methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. C.. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Oontaining the most ap proved methods of reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bumps on the bead. B7 Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO B;YPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and in structive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved methods which are employed by the leading hypnotist of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.O.S. SPORTING. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH.-The most complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains full in structions about guns, hunting dogs, traps, trappig and fishing, together with descriptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW !l'O ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully illustrati;d. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, together with in structio11s on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE.A llQil\Plete heatise on the horse. Describing the most useful horses for business, the best horses for the road; also valuable recipes for pecaliar to the horse. No . 48. HOW 'l'O BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A bandy bo

THE STAGE. No. 41. THEJ BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE OOK.-Containing a great varie ty of lhe latest jokes used by the ost famou s end men. No amateur minstrels is complete without Ibis wond erful littl e b o ok. b No . THE B OYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER.onta1!'.lmg a vari e d of s tump speech es N e gro Dutch Iris h. Al s o e nd m ens Jok e s Just the thing for home amuse tncnt and am atf'ur s how s. No. 45. TBE BOYS OF NEJW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE JOKl!J BQOK;--S o m e thin g n e w and v e r y in struc tive. Every y should obt a m this book, as it contains full instructions for or nizing an amateur min s trel troupe No. 65. l\I ULDOON' S JOKES.-This i s one of the mos t original boke books eve r publi s hed, and it is brimful of wit and humor. It t,ontains a large collection of son g s, jok e s, conundrum s etc. of m err e n c e Muldo o n, th e great wit, humorist, and practic al joker of il he da y l!Jve r y b o y who can enjoy a good substantial joke should btain a cop y i mmed ia te ly. No. 79. HOW TO BECOME AN ACTOR-Containing corn;rs IPlete in structions how to m a ke up for various charac ters on the e d J1!tage; tog e th e r wi t h the du t i e s of the Stage Manag e r, Prompter, /i:!cenic Artist and rro p erty Man . By a prominent Stage Manage r. No. 80. G U S WU,LIAl\IS' JOKE BOOK.-Containing the latnd iest jok e s, anec dot es and funny stories of this world-renowned and ik lever popular (.;erman comedian. Sixty-four pages; h a n dso m e [b; IColored cover containing a half-tone photo o f the author. HOUSE KEEPING. ht No.16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.-Containing ull instructions for constructing a window gard e n either fn town o r country, and the most approved methods for raising beautiful y flowers at home. The most complete book o f the kind ever pub1 lishe d Jie No. 30. HOW TO COOK.-O ne of the most instructive books h <>n cooking ever publish ed. It contains r e cipes for cooking meats fe fish, game, and o ys t ers; also pies, puddings, cakes and all kinds of paslry, and a grand collection of recipes by one of our most popular r cooks. No. 37. HOW 'l'O KEEP HOUSE.-It contains information for ,. r every body, boys girl s m e n and women; i t will t e ach you how to r make almo s t anything around the house, such as parlor ornaments brackets, cements, Aeolian harps, and bird lime for catching birds.' hi ELECTRICAL. S y No. 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.-A: description of the uses of electricity and electro magnetism; F t ogether with full in structions for making Ele ctric Toys, Batteries, ... e tc. By George Trebel, A. M., M D. Containing over fifty il-l l ustrations. g No. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL l\IACHINES.-Conr t aining fnll k, giving instructions in coll e cting, prepari ng, m ountins and preserving birds animals and ins e cts. No. 54. HOW TO KEEP AND MANAGE P ElTS.-Giving com plete information as to the manner and method o f r a i sing, k e ep i nsf taming, breeding, and managing all kinds of pets; also givi ng fu[ instructions fo1 making cag es, etc. Fully explai n ed by twenty-eight illustrations, making it the most complete b ook of the kind ever published n. B y R. A. R. B e nn ett. Fully illustrated. ti, No. 67. HOW '1'0 DO ELECTRICAL TRICKS.-Contai ning a MISCELLANEOUS. l arge collection of in structive and highly amusing e l ectrica l tricks, No. 8. HOW TO BECO.i.\fE A SCIENTIST._..!: u s eful and In together with illustrations. By A. Anderson. struc tive book, giving a compl ete tre atise on chemist r y ; also exENTERTAINM. ENT. perim ents in acousti c s me c h anics, mathematics, c h emistry, and di rections for making fir e works, colored fires, and gas ballo o ns. Thia No. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTltILOQUIST.-By Harry book cannot be e qu a l ed. ;: for t udes every night with h i s imitations), can master the No. 84. HOW 'l.'O BElCOl\IE AN AU'l'tlO R .--Oontai ning full e rt, and create any amount of fun for hims e lf and friends. It is the information regardin g choice of subj e cts, the use of word s a nd the greatest book ev e r publi s hed. and the re's millions (of fun) in it. m anne r of preparing and submitting manuscript. A l so conta ining No 20. HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.A valuab le informati o n as to the n e a t ne s s, legibility a nd genera l com v ery valuable little book just published. A compl e te compendium positi o n of m a nuscript, essential to a successful author. By P r ince of games, sports card diver s ions, comic r e c i t ations, e tc suitable Hiland. !for parlor or drawing-room entertainment. It contains more for the No. 38. HOW TO BECOl\IE YOUR OWN DOCTOR.-A won m oney than anv b ook published. d e rful b o ok con t aining us e ful and practic al information i n the I No. 35. HOW 'l.' O PLAY GAMES.-A complete and useful little treatment of ordinary di s eases and ailm ents common to every 1 book, containing the rul e s and ri:!gulations of billiards, bagatelle, family. Abounding in useful and effectiv e r ecipes for ge neral c om g backgammon croquet. domino es, etc plaints. I No. 36. HOW TO SOLVEJ CONUNDRUMS.-Containing all No. 55. F{OW TO COLLECT STA'1.IPS AND COINS.-Oon the leading conunrlrums o f the day, amusing riddles, curious catches taining va l uable information r e garding the coll ecting and a r r a nging r and witty s a y ing s of stamps and coins Hands omely illu strated. No 52 HOW '1'0 PLAY OARDS.-A complete and handy little No 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.-By Ol d K in g Brady, book, giving the rule s and !I(,,. '\rections for playing Euc hre, Cribt h e World known defective. In which h e l ays down so m e v aluable b age, Casino, FortyFive, ce, Pedro Sancho, Draw Poker, and s e nsib l e rules for b e ginners and also r elates some adve nture1 A uction Pitc h, All Fours, and many other popular games of cards. and exp e ri e nces of w e ll-known d e tectives. No. 66. HOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Containing over three bunNo. 60 HOW TO BECOME A rHO'l.'OGRAPHER.-Contain dr ed interes ting puzzl e s and conundrums, with key t o same. A ing usefu l information regarding the Camera and how t o wo rk it; complete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson also how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Slides a n d o ther ETIQUETTE. Handsomely illustrated. By Captain W. D e W. No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It No 62. HOW TO A WEST POINT MILITARY Is a great life secr e t, and one that every young man desires t o know full expianations how to gai n adm itqmce,: all about. The r e s happiness in it. cours e of Study, Examinations, Duties, Staff o f O fficers, P o1t No. 33. HOW 'l' O BEHAVE.-Containing the ntles and etiquette Guard, Poli c e Regnlations, Fire Department, and all a b o y s h o uld o f good so c i e ty and the easiest and most approv e d methods of apknow to be a Cadet Ccmpil e d and written by Lu )Senarens, author pearing t o g ood advantage at parties. balls, the theatre, church, and of "How to Become a Naval Cadet." 1 0 the dr:i.wing-room. No 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL CADET.Com pl ete In strnctions of how to gain admission to the Annapolis Naval DECLAMATION. Academy. Also containing' the course of instructi on, desc r i p t ion 2";". HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF !u!JCITATIONS. of grounds and buildings, historieal sketch. and everythin g a hoJ Con t ain ing the most popular sel edions in use, Dutch should know to be<'ome a n officer in the Un i ted States Nav y Com dialect. Fr<:?nch dialect, Yankee and Irish dial ect pieces together piled and writtl.'n by J,11 S enar ens, a uthor of "How to Become e with r.nany standard readings. W est Point l\liliton Cadet. PRICE 1 0 CENTS O R 3 FOR 25 CENTS. Address FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher. 2 4 Uni!l>n S quare, New York.


WIDE AWAKE WEEKLli A COMPLETE STORY EVERY WEEK ..-STORIES OF BOY FIREMEN -.. By ROBERT LENNOX Handsome Colored Covers 32Page.s of Reading -Price 5 Cents Splendid II I u .strati ops 1.s.sued Every Friday Beginning with No. 41, this weekly will contain a new series of magnificent fire stories, written by Robert Lennox, the best author of this class of fiction in the world. They detail the exciting ad ventures of a company of gallant J'Oung fire-fighters under the leadership of a brave boy known as Young Wide A wake. Their daring deeds of ism and the tl:iey overcome, are in tensely interesting. These stories are not confined entirely to flre-fightmg, but' also contain many interesting incidents, humorous situations and a little of the love element. There is a charming girl in the stories whom you will all like very much. I LATEST 'ISSUES. 10 We Us & Co ; or, Seeing Life with a Vaudeville S .how. By Ed-34 A Lemon for his; or, Nat's Corner ln Gold Bricks. By Edward N. ward N Fox. B 35 B Fthox. l\I!k d 0 d T d T ll' Wl 0 t" I J B 11 Cut Out for an Officer; or, Corporal Ted ln the Phlllpplnes. Y Y e a o s r er; or, e erri s n u n apan. Y Lieut. J J. Barry. Lieut. J J. Barry. 12 A Fool for Luck; or, The Boy Who Turned Boss. By Fred War-. 36 Hls Name was Dennis; or, The Luc k of a Green Irish Boy. By burton. A Howard De Witt. 13 rhe Great Gaul "Beat" ; or, Phil Winston's start In Reporting. 37 Volunteer Fred; or, F'rom Fireman to Chief. By Robert Lennox. By A. Howard De Witt. 38 Neptune No. 1; or, The Volunteer Fire Boys of Blackton. By 14 Out for Gold; or, The Boy -Who Knew the Difference. By Tom Robert Lennox. Dawson. ;l9 Hook, Ladder and Pike ; or, The Life-Savers of Freehold. By 15 The Boy Who Balked; or, Bob Brisbane's Big Kick. By Frank Robert Lennox. Jrvlnl!. 40 Columbia's Pet; or, A Fireman at 17. By Robert L ennox. 16 Slicker fhan Silk; or, The Smoothest Boy Allve. By Rob Roy. 41 Young Wide Awake; or, The Fire Boys of Belmont. By Robert 17 The Keg of Diamonds; or, After the Treasure of the Caliphs. By Lennox. Tom Dawson. 4 Young Wide Awake's Biggest Blaze; or, Saving a Burning City. By 18 Sandow, Junior; or, The Boy Who Looirnd Puny. By Prof. Oliver Robert Lennox. Owen& 43 Young Wide Awake' s Life Line; or, The Narrowest Escape on Rec-19 Won by Bluff; or, Jack Mason's Marble Face. By Frank Irving. ord. By Robert Lennox. 20 On the Lobster Shltt; or, The Herald's Star Reporter. By A. 44 Young Wide Awake's Hook and Ladder Work; or, The Maniac Fire Howard De Witt. Fiend of Belmont. By Robert Lennox. 21 Under the Vendetta' s Steel; or, A Yankee U11y In Corsica. By 45 Young Wide Awake's Bucket Brigade; or, Trapping a Fire Bug. By Lieut. J J Barry. Robert Lennox. 22 Too Green to Burn; or. The Luck ot Being a Boy. By Rob Roy. 46 Young Wide Awake Smoke-Bound; or, Daring Work With the Lite 23 In Fo!'l's Paradise; or, The Boy Who Had Things Easy. By Fred K e t. By Robert Lennox. ,, Warburton. 47 Young Wide Awake's Pikemen; or, Hemmed In by Smoke and Fie.me 24 One Boy In a Mlll\on ; or, 'l.'he Trick That Paid. By Edward N. By Robert Lennox. Fox. 48 Young Wide Awe.ke's See.ling Ladders; or, The Boy Llfe-Saver'I 25 In Spite ot Himself; or, Serving the Russian Police. By Prof. Greatest Victory. By Robert Lennox. Oliver O\vens. 49 Young 'Vide Awe.ke's Fire Line; or, A Boy Fireman's.Nerve In Mid-Air. 26 Kicked Into Luck; or, The Way Nate Got There. By Rob Roy. By Robert Lennox. 27 The Prince of Opals; or, The Man-Trap of Death Valley. By A. 50 y011ns;i: Wide Awake's Axe Brigado; or, Hewing Hie Way to a Fire's Howard De Witt. Heart. By Robert Lennox. 28 Hat; or, The Wide World Hls Home. By 51 SLill Alar_'..11; or, At Bay with Blazing Oil. By 29 All tor President Diaz; or, A Hot Tln:te In Mexico. By Lieut. J J. 52 Young Wide Awako's Nozzleman Grit; or, The Midnight Ce.II trom Box Barry. H. 'Fly Robert Lennox. 30 The Easiest Ever; or. How Tom Filled a Money Barrel. By Capt. 53 Young Wi

Fame and Fortune Weeki STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE M A N COLORED COVERS PRICE 5 Ots ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY This Weekly c ontains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing opportunities. S ome of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our most successfu l se lf-made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealt h y. ALREADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy In Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck ; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. 3 A Corner In Corn ; or, How a Chicago Boy Dld the Trick 4 A Game of Chance; or, The Boy Who Won Ou t 6 Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street. 6 Building a Railroad; or, 'he Young Contractors of Lakeview. 7 Winning Hls Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The R ecor d of a Self-Made Boy. 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers of Wall Street. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys Who Worked a Deserted Mine 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The l 'ortunes or a Boston Hoy. 12 A Diamond In the Rough ; or, A Brave Boys Start in Llfe. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy in Wall Street. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Coul d Not b e Downed. 15 A Streak of Luck; or, The Boy Who Feathered His !\est. 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune. 17 King of the Market; or, The Young Trader ln Wall Street. 18 Pure Grit; or, One Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise In Life; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A Barrel of Money; or, A Bright Boy ln W al l Street. 21 All to the Good ; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He Got There; or, The P l uckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Wln; or, The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, Tlie Fate of a Lucky Boy 25 A Born Speculator; or, The Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 'l' he Way to Success; or, '.l.'he Boy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oll; or. '.rhe Boy Who Made a )Illlio n. 28 A Golden Risk; or, The Young Miners of Della Cruz. 29 A Sure Wl9ner; or, The Boy Who Went Out With a Circus. 30 Golden Fleece: or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street. 31 A Mad Cap Scheme; or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Cocos Island 32 Adrift on the World; or, Working Hls Way to Fortune. 33 Playing to Wln; or, The Foxiest Boy In Wall Street. 34 Tatters; or, A Boy from the Slums. 35 A Young Monte Cristo; or, Tb.e Richest Boy In the World." 36 Won by Pluck; or, The Boys Who Ran a Railroad. :!7 Beating the Brokers; or, The Boy Who "Couldn' t be Done." 38 A RoJllng Stone; or, The Brightest Boy on R ecord. 39 :-


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