A million in gold, or, The treasure of Santa Cruz

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A million in gold, or, The treasure of Santa Cruz

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Title:
A million in gold, or, The treasure of Santa Cruz
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
Creator:
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 pages)

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00089 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.89 ( USFLDC Handle )
031335479 ( ALEPH )
839677184 ( OCLC )

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serial

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PAGE 1

"Will the young senor take his last look at the sparklers?" grinned the Mexican, malevolently, holding the jawel box tantalizingly toward Tom. Bound firmly to the post, the fast rising tide laving his shoulders, the boy me. t Mercadess despairing gaze:

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Fame and Fortune Weekly I STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY lutud Weekl11-B11 Subscription IZ.50 per year. Entered according to Act of Congresa, in the year D07, in the oj/ice of the Lilirarian of Congresa, Wdds, in Cobalt village, edged away from the speaker-a coarse, freckled faccd boy, who had burst suddenly from the bushes by the roadside and confronted her. She :fiaRhed a look of mingled displeasure and apprehen sion at the newcomer, and it was easy to see that she rather objected to his companionship. "What's the matter with you? Ain't I as good as Tom Danvers?" continued Moses, advancing on her as she re treated, while a disagreeaqle l o ok came o ver his sallow face. "I wish you wouldn't bother be, M oses Gilpin I said the girl. "Don't you like me?" he aske d in a menacing kind of way. "No, I don't! So there!" That was plain English, and straight from the shoulder. "W11y don't you?" snarled the b oy. "Because I don't!" "I s'pose you think there ain't no one l ike that beggar. Tom Danvers," sneered Moses. '"He's a gentleman, and you're not," she retorted frankly. "Oh, he is?" with a malicious chuckle. "He's a gentle man, is he? A fellow whose brother is an escaped jail bird!" "Aren't you ashamed to say such a thing!" cried the girl indignantly. "No, I ain't, 'cause it's the truth. He was arrested for stealin', and put in the lock-up. If he hadn't broke out and run away, he'd have been sent to the State prison, where he ought to go!" "I don't believe he was guilty," replied Jennie "It don't make no difference whether you believe it or not. Everybody else in the village does. My old ma11 seen him comin' down the Squire's lane at two in the mornin'. If he'd ol)ly known as much as he did after ward, he'd have stopped him and found the goods on him. But that didn't matter much anyway, as he was caught diggin' the stuff up next night. He's a thief, and that's all there is to it. "You're a mean, contemptible thing!" exclaimed Jennie. "You say that 'cause your sister was goin' to marry him. Now she can't. He'll never dare show his nose in Cobalt again, and I'm glad of it, for I never liked him, no more'n I do his brother Tom." "If I told Tom what y o u've said about his brother he'd make you smart!" "Yah He wouldn't dare. My old man would fix him if he laid a hand on me. I'd just as lief as not tell Tom Danvers to his face that his brother is a thief, for that's what he is."

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2 A MILLION IN GOLD "You're a liar, Moses .Gilpin!" cried a voice close at about that time, and Tom and his mother were reduced to hand, and Tom Danvers, a stalwart, goocf-looking boy of great straits to make ends meet. seventeen, with brown curly hair and a frank, honest ex The Deans, mother and two daughters, were warm pression of countenance, sprang from the same line of friends of the Danvers. bushes and confronted Gilpin with clenched fist and a Agnes Dean carried on a millinery and dressmaking bus menacing look. "My brother is not a thief, and I've half iness in the village, and was the main support of the family. a mind to cram the words down your throat!" She and Jack Danvers, at the time of his arrest, we1'e Moses jumped back a couple of feet ancl looked scared. engaged to be married. "You'd better not touch me if you know when you're Although the bright young fellow, well off!" he snarled, darting a venomous glance at the last carpenter, had fled the village under .arrival. not break the engagement. who was an expert a cloud, Agnes did "Then don't you dare call my brother a thief, for I won't She firmly believed in his innocence, and determined stancl for it!" to remain true to him. "If he isn't a thief, what is he?" snorted young Gilpin Jennie Dean assisted her mother to keep house and her "Wasn't he snatched baldheaded diggin' the stolen stuff sister in her business. up at the foot of a tree in the Parson's orchard? If that She was a bright, vivacious girl, and a great favorite ain't proof, I'd like to lmow what is," concluded Moses, tri-with the boys. umphantly, as if he felt that his was indisputTom thought the world of her, and she had a very high able. opinion of him. "I'm not going to argue the matter with you, Moses. 'rhe Moses Gilpin Jas her particular aversion. whole thing was a mistake, and time will show it." She didn't like him even a little bit, though he was al"Yes, it will," replied Mo;,c s sarcasti c ally. "W110 do ways trying to make himself solic1 with her. you suppose believes that cock-and-bull Ftor:v of his that He was the only son of John Gilpin, the village auctionhe saw a tough-looking tramp bury the stuff, and he started eer, church deacon, and general man of importance. to dig it up in order to return it to the Squire?" Mr. Gilpin was reputed to be well off, though he and "It's the truth, whether anybody believes it or not," re11.is family didn't put on any style, being close-fisted to plied Tom stoutly a degree, making a dollar go as far as it was possible to "I believe it, Tom," spoke up J ennie, ea rnestly, "anc1 stretch it. so c1oes Agnes and mother." Mr. Gilpin owned the cottage where the Dai;i.vers lived, "Thank )1ou for saying that, Jennie," said Tom Dam ers, anc1 he was always most punctual in calling for his rent. :flashing a grateful glance at the girl. "'I didn't expect Mrs. Danvers paid eight dollars a month, and even that anything else of you, and of Agnes and your mother. Jack sum she was unable to raise when the landlord put in an will prove his inp.ocence some clay, ancl he will neYer forget appearance on the last day of the preceding month, for those who stuck by him in his trouble. she did not pay in advance A sneer curleil the mouth of Moses as lie li s tened to As the Danvers had lived many years in the cottage, Mr. Tom's words, but he did not c1are to express hi s feeling's GilIJin felt obli15ed to give the widow time, though hf) did openly. so against the grain; and he told her he would call He hated the fugitive Jack Danvers because the young again on the :fifteenth, when he intimated that he expected man had given him a whipping for cruelly maltreating a her to have the rent. poor dog; and he hated Tom Danvers because Tom was She didn't have it when the middle of the month came tlie most popular boy in Cobalt and attracted all the girls, aro1md, a.nc1 then Mr. Gilpin suggested that if she couldn't especially Jennie Dean-, for whom Moses had a sneaking pay regularly he'c1 prefer she'd leave. liking himself. She appealed to his sympathy, but as that was an unSince Jack Danvers had been arrested on the charge of known quantity, matters now around the last of the month breaking into Squire Penrose's house one night when the looked very black for the Danvers. the family was a.way at a wedding in a neighboring town, Although they were now poor, and the ta-int Of a crime and had subsequently escaped from the village lock up and rested on the head of the elder son, they were proud, and disappeared, Tom had been the sole support of his widowed suffered in silence rather than make an effort to borrow -mother. money and chance a refusal. But it seemed as if misfortune never came singly, but shoals, for Tom, who, up to that time, had been attend ing school in the next town, riding to and from the acad emy ea.ch day, found it almost impossible to get anything to do when he found himself obligea to put his shoulder to the wheel. On top of that, the bank in the next town, where Mrs. Danvers had a deposit of several hundred dollars, failed "You a.re returning to the village, aren't you, Jennie?" said Torn, after thanking her for standing up for his brother. "Yes." "Then I'll go along with you, if you don t mind." "I shall be if you will," she an s wered. So they walked on, ]pa ving. Gilpin standing by himself in the middle of the road.

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A MILLION IN GOLD. 3 "Yah !" muttered 1\Ioses. "I wish you were out of the ; Tom. "As he coulcln "t get a square deal in the village he village, Tom Danvers, like your thief of a brother. Maybe I went where he could." you ll have to go soon, for my old man says your mother "Why doesnt he write to us and tell us where he is?" is behind in her rent, and don't seem to have nothin' but "Perhaps he's afraid, mother." her furniture left. I hope he'll turn you out in the street. "He might write anyway, and let us Im.ow that he is Then you'd take your stuck-up face somewhere else. After well." you're gone, p'raps Jennie would listen to me, then. She "I have no doubt he will, mother, after a while." wouldn t have you at her elbow to fall back on. Ugh I How "But we may have fo leave the village, and then he'd I h11;te you!" lose track of us.n Thus speaking, Moses left the road, re-entered the bushes "I may have to leave the village, mother, but you won't and disappeared. have t('). If worst comes to worst, you can go and live with the Deans. They'll stand by you, don't you fret." CHAPTER II. TOM: RESENTS AN INSULT. When Tom Danvers reached home, an found mother in great distress. "They are very good and kind to us in our troubles, Tom, and I shall never forget them; but they're not any too well off, and I woulqn't think of imposing myself on hour later, he their generosity." "You've been crying, mother," he said. matter?" "Ho! I guess you could help them enough to pay for "What's the your board i{ we have to break up." "Mr. Gilpin bas been here again for his rent, Tom." "vVhat if he has? We're not going to cheat him out of it. pay him as soon as we get the money." "Heaven alone ]mows where or when we'll get it, my s on," replied Mrs. Dam ers, tearfully. "At any rate, Mr. Gilpin says he won't wait any longer." "He won't, eh?" "No. He says we must moYe right away." "Did he say that?" "Yes Where can we go? We have no money with which to rent another cottage, even if I knew of one in the village s uitable to our circumstances that was to rent. Besides :Mr. Gilpin says he'll have to levy on our furniture to pay himself for the two months rent we owe. He's been look ing around the house, and declares that all we have wouldn't fetch twenty-five dollars at auction." "The old vil1ati !" cried Torn. "What right has he to bulldoze you? He hasn't any right to touch a piece of our furniture-it's against the law. If we had a cow or hors e he might attach it, but he can't levy on our furni ture. He has made a big bluff because he wanted to fright en you. Maybe he thought you had a little money in a somewhere, and he could make you show it up. After all the years we've paid him rent he ought to be ashamed himself to push you because we happen to have been hit by a streak of hard luck. "I'm afraid he's a hard man, Tom." "I'm sure he is-and his son Moses is just like him. I had a run-in with Moses on the county road a while ago." "What do you mean?" asked his mother, apprehensively. "I was making a short cut through Farmer Wood's field, after trying without success to get a job on his place, and when I came to the fence alongside the road.he was talking to Jennie Dean. I heard him call brother Jack a thief, so I just jumped out on him and called him down for it." "Poor Jack!" said Mrs. Danvers, the tea1s welling up in her eyes. "If I only knew where he is now I" H e 's s afe, at any rate. That's one satisfaction," replied "But I don't want to break up, Tom, and lose you. You are the only boy I have left to cheer me, now that Jack is a wanderer," said Mrs. Danvers, beginning to cry again. "I don't want to leave you, mother, but I .can't firid anything to do in the village. It's up to me to get out and hustle somewhere else. I'm going io Brentville in the morning to see if I can get a place in a store there." "Well, Tom, perhaps that is the right thing for you to do. As soon as you get work I'll move to a small house there." "All right, mother, and then the postmaster would know where to sell'd any letters that might come for us. By the way, that reminds me that I got a letter at the post office for you." ".A letter!" exclaimed the little widow joyfully. "From Jack?" "No, mother, not from Jack, or I shouldn't have forgotten I had it about me." Mrs. Danvers' face fell. She was greatly disappointed. "Who is it from?" "I don't know. The handwriting is strange to me. You'll liave to open it to find out," and Tom produced the letter and handed it to his mother. She looked at the address and shook her head. ''I can't imagine who it can be from." "'!'hat's easy to discover. All you have to do is to open the envelope, and then you'll know." So Mrs. Danvers' opened the letter, out of which an enclosure fell to the floor, which Tom picked up and held in his hand without looking at it, and glanced at the signature. 1 "Harley Roberts," she said in a mystified way. "I never heard of the man before." "The letter is surely for you, isn't it, mother?" said Tom. "Yes. There seems to be no doubt of that." "Read it, then, and see what he says."

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A MILLION IN GOLD. 1\Irs. Danvers did so. This is how it ran : :Mas. FREDERICK DANVERS. DEAR MADAM:: Sh years ago I borrowed $100 from your late husbm1d, which I promised to return as soon as I could. He had faith in me, and trusted me without even a note of hand. Not lmtil now have I been in a position to pa y that money. My circumstances having changed for the better, I take great pleasure in sending you the sum in ques tion, trusting that you have not at any tinie been in nee
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A :MILLION IN GOLD. 5 become a fugitive from the village-to return only on the pain of arrest ? "Well, mother, I suppose I could remain, and get off with a fine; but our funds are too limited for that sacrifice. I can return any time that I can afford to pay the fine. At least, I've had the Ratisfaction of resenting an insult to my brother from a man for 11 hom I have no respect." Tom went to his room filled his suit case with such ap as be needed, and"1'.hen, kissing his mother good-b)'e, left the house. Re went directly to the home of the Deans, told them about the trouble he had got into through his loyalty to his brother, and said that to avoid anest he was going to leave Cobalt right away. They were sorry to learn that matters were so serious, and Jennie was particularly depressed by the news. Mrs. Dean promised to bring his mother to their home and see that she wanted for nothing so long as circuw stances rendered it necessary for her to depend upon their hospit_ality. Tom told MrR. Dean that his mother had just received $100 from an unexpected source, and this, together with the money he expected to remit to her from time to time, would enable her to pay her way, and be independent of the world. Jennie accompanied him to the door. "Good-bye, Jennie," be said, taking her hand in his. "I'll write to you, and I hope you'll answer my letters, if only to let me know that you haven't forgotten me." "I'll never forget you, Tom," she replied, with quivering lips. "I am so sorry that you have to go." "I'm sorry myself that I have to leave mother and you. Otherwise, I'd just as soon go as not, for I'm anxious to make a start in the world, and I don't think I ever could do that in this village." "How long do you expect to stay away?" she asked him. "I haven't the least idea, Jennie. It may be a good while. It will all depend on my luck." He took a ring off his finger and handed it to her. "There's a keepsake for you. I hope I shall find it on your hand when I come back.". "Thank you, Tom. Whenever I look at it I'll think of you." "If Moses Gilpin takes advantage of my absence to an noy you, I'll do him up in first-class shape when I come back. You can tell him so from me." Then they clasped each othei;'s hand and parted, Tom making a bee-line for the county road leading to Brent wood. Before he reached it he encountered Moses Gilpin on his way home. That youth favored him with a deep scowl. "I'm sorry I met him," muttered Tom. "When he learns that the constable wants me he'll put him on my track. Well, it can't be helped now." Night came down upo_p. him by the time he was half way to the neighboring town. Soon afterward he heard the sound of wheels on the r oad behind, ancl fearing that it might be the! constable in pur-. suit, he took to the fields, pausing in the shadow of the hedge to allow the vehicle to pass by. Re knew Constable Blark well, and recognizing him as the :man who was driYing the light wagon, he easily guessed that he was the cauRe of the officer's presence on the road. As a matter of fact, he was right. J\lr. Gilpin hacl out a complaint against Tom be fore the jnRtice of lhe peace, and a warrant had been give n to the constable to serve. He had gone to the cottage, thinkihg he would find him there, but was disappointed. Mrs. Danvers would giYe him no infotmation regarding her son's whereabouts, and the constable went away, with the intention of returning after supper. While eating the meal Moses came to his house and told him that 'fom had left town, taking the road to Brentwood. Acconli.ngly the officer hitched up his team and startea in pursuit. 1 Tom was about to resume his walk along the as soon as the wagon disappeared in the' distance, when he was grabbed hy an arm and pull'ed back. "Hello, sonny! Who were yer hidin' from-the man in the waggin ?" said a voice at his elbow. Tom turned and confronted a hard-looking man in a dis reputable outfit. He had closely cropped hair, an unshaven chin, and a leering countenance. On the whole, 1 he was not a desirable acf[uaintance. "Runnin' away from home, I s'pose," grinned the man, when the boy did not answer. 1 "What's that to you?" answered Torn, aggressively. "N othin', except I'd like to see what yer got in ye r bag." "That's your game, is it?" replied the boy. "l'i'cll, T don't propose to be robbed without making a fight for it!'' dropping his suit case and doubling up his fists, ready for act.ion. The fellow laughed derisively "Yer a spunky chap, derned if yer ain't; but it w:on't go, fer there are two of us. Show yerself, Jim!" Jim came forth from the bushes. He was a fairsizea youth, miserably clad, but his face, though tanned and sunken, was not a bad one He had a hopeless look on his features, as if the fact that he was alive was a matter of continual protest. Tom looked at him, and mentally figured that one blow would put the forlorn-looking youth out of business. "Yer see," said the man, "yer don't stand no show a' gin' us. We don't want to clean yer out. Jest open yer bag an' if we see anythin' that \\'e specially fancy we'l1 horry it off yer, to be returned with thanks when we git wca 1th"." "Sorry to disoblige you," replied Tom,

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6 A MILLION IN GOLD. "but I'm not making any lo ans at present. I want all l've got, as I'm strapped for money, and can't afford to lay in a new stock at present." "Are yer really strapped?" asked the man, in a tone of disnppointment . "Yer don't look like a boy as was hard up.'; "Looks are not always to be depended on. Good-night!" "Hold on! It's so long since we wuz in perlite sqciety that we don't like to part with a well-dressed young gent like you Jim, where's yer manners? Why don't yer take him by the arm and tell him how glad yer are to make his acquaintance?" Jim, however, made no effort to avail himself of this kind invitation. Wherel,lp on the man uttered an imprecation and macle a pass at his companion's head. Jim dodged in a weary kind of way, as if he was accus tomed to that sort of thing. "Are you goin' to let this chap get away from us?" 1 growled the unshaven individual, reaching out one arm to c1etain Tom as he moved off. Jim's only reply was to put his hands in his pockets aud lean up against the fence. He made no attempt to head Tom off as he sprang over the rails and took to the road once more. Tom, as he walked off, heard the man berating his companion in round terms for refusing to assist in the hold-up ; then he dismissed the strangely assorted pair from. his rnind and headed once more for Brentwood. CHAPTER IV. TOM IS HIRED BY DR. QUACKENBUSH. Tom reached the outskirts of Brentwood an hour later. He kept his weather eye lifting lest he run foul of Con stable Black as he entered the town. To avoid the possibility of such a misfortune he turned aside from the main street and tramped across some vacant ground. Drawn up in the center of one of the lots was a large covered wagon. Through the folds of the canv as back Tom saw a light burning inside. Through the top a small stovepipe projected, and from this smoke was issuing. A pair of horses denuded of their harness was tied to one of the fbrward wheels, and tlie animals were eating their supper out of bags tied around their heads. When Tom came abreast of the outfit he stopped'to r ead a big painted sign attached to the side of the wagon, an nouncing some of the viitues of the "Great Kickapoo Throat and Lung Medicine, Warranted to cure Coughs, Colds, and similar affi.ictjons inside of three days," and consumption after the internal application of the content s of s:Lx dollar bottles for $5 While he was standing there a tall, smoothly shaven man, dressed in black, came out of the vehicle. He had sharp, piercing black eyes, that missed nothing in their eagle -lik e sweep, and naturally he spied the boy \rith the suit case. With an eye to extracting half a dollar, or even a modest quarter, from the pockets of the lad, he approached Tom and said: "Better buy a bottle of the Great Kickapoo Remedy, young man," he said, in a seductive way. "You may not want it now, but it will be handy to have on hand when you catch a cold, which you're to do at any moment. It will cure a cold in the head inside of three hours, an ordinary cough in twelve hours, catarrh in--" "I don't think I need any, sir. I haven't the price, anyway." "Haven't the price?" exclaimed the man. "Why, I can let you have a small trial bottle for a quarter." "I'm sh.ort of quarters." "Two dimes and a nickel, or five nickels, will answer just as well." "Can't afford it, sir I'm practically strapped." "Strapped! You don't look it," replied the man, sur Yeying him with some curiosity and perhaps interest. "Live around here?" "I've been living in Cobalt. That's the next village down the road." "Don't you live there now?" "No. I've come to Brentwood to hunt up a job." "Hunt up a job, eh? What do you expect to turn your hand to?" "I hope to get a position in a store." "Ever w or ked in a store?" "No." "On a farm, perhaps?" "No, sir. Haven't worked at anytbing yet." "Going to school, eh?" "Yes, sir." "You aren't running away from home, are you?'' "Oh, no. The Brentwood Savings Bank failed three months ago, and mother lost all her money; that's why I've got to get out and hustle. As there isn't anything for me to do in Cobalt, I've come on to Brentwood." "How would you like to see the world, young man?" "I'd like it first rate if I could afford the luxury." "Well, you can afford it, I guess, if you will travel with me." "Travel with you?" exclaimed Tom, in some astonish ment. The man nodded briskly. "I want an assistant, and I want him right away. The young man I had took sick with congestion of the lungs--" "Congestion of the lungs I thought your medicine--" "My mccli.cine would have cured him, but he wouldn't take it. So I had to send him to a hospital, and my busi ness suffers in consequence I can't attend to everything and sell m:v famous rcmcd.v, too, without serious incon venience. If you'll hire yom services to me, and agree 1.o stick for six months at least, I'll pay you $6 per week

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A MILLIO N IN G O LD. 7 and find you. That is, you'll sleep and eat in the wagon dong with me. Can you cook at all?" "A little," replied Tom, wondering whether it wouldn t be a good idea to take up with this offer, for he didn't ex pect to get more than three or four dollars a week at first in a store, while the ic1ea of gQing from town to town, and State to State, rather appealed to him. "Well, what do you say?" asked the man in black. "What will I have to do?" "You'll have to do all my errands; look after the horses, fe ed, water, and occasionally clean them; help make, bot tl e an cl label the mixture; help get the meals, and attend to such othCl clulicR as 'vill fall in your way." "Will I get the six dollars every week?" asked Tom. "You will. You can send five of it to your mother regu larly. You ll want the other dollar to spend." "Which way are you traveling?" "Straight out West and Southwest. You'll get a look in at all the prominent mining camps on our route. This i s the chance of your life to see the countrv "I'll try it for a week, and if I'm to con linuc i n agree to stay with "OU for six rnoniltR or lon()'cr i J 0 you want me to." "That's business. I shall want you lo r ign a JJ.apcr to that effect." "I'll do it aflcr a week's trial.'' "Very weli. My name is Dr. Quackenbush. What's yours?" "Tom Danvcn;." "Danvern That Rounds familiar. About six weeks ago I met a young man named Danver R He about twcnty two, and said his first name was Jack, I think." "Where did you meet him?" asked 'l'om eagerly. "That must have been my brother!" "Your brother, eh? I ran across him in Peoria He told me that he had just come from Buffalo, and was bound for the gold-fields." "He must have gone to Buffalo, i.hen, after he left our village "Didn't you know that lie had gone there?" "No. Mother and I didn't know where he went We haYen't heard from 11im sinM he le.ft Cobalt." "'l'hen he left home sudden like, ch r" "Yes." "I remarked that lie was a fine-looking young chap. So he' s your brother?" "I am sure it must ha\'e been my hrother you met. Did lie s ay what gold-fields he was going to?" "I asked him the ciuestion, hnt lw wonld.n't teU me; that is, he said that. lw haeyonc1. 'l'o :find out i he was going to be up against this diffi culty, he asked his employer if he expected to pass thro ugh Cobalt "We'll start for there in the morning, as I am thr ough with this place," replied Dr. Quackenbus h. "And you expect to do busi ness t h e r e ?" "Certainly "Then I can't go with you." "Why not?" asked the doctor, sharply. Don't want your friends to kno"' that you're connected w i t h the me di cine business, is that it?" "It isn't that exactly," replied 'l'om, hesitating ly. "vVhat's the reason, then?" Tom concluded that the best way was to t e ll D r. ,Quack enbueh the truth, and he did so, exp l ai nin g that o n e of the most important men in the village h ad ins u lte d hi s absent brother, and he had knocked him down for it; con sequently, the constable was on the lookout to arrest him "That's it, eh?" said the doctor, afte r Tom had fin i s h e d his story "Well, then, I'll shp Cobalt, as fa r as d o ing business is concerned, and go straight o n to Athens I ll drive wagon from here to a point bey ond t h e vill a ge, and you can remain inside out of sig ht. You ll find l ots to do to keep you busy I've got a cou p l e g ross o f bottles that will h:rve to be washed, fill ed w ith t h e r eme d y an d labelled." "That will suit me, sir. I don't care, as long as I'm not spotted on the wagon I don't intend to go to t he lock-up if I can help myself." "Put your case into the wagon The bunk on the l e fthand side is yours. Did you walk here from Cobalt?" "Yes." "Had you r supped" "No, sir "Then I guess you rimst be hungry. Jump inside ancl cook a mess of bacon eggs, if you know how to do it. "I can do that," replied Tom prompt l y "You'll find several slices of bacon on a plate, an d t h e eggs arc in a box on a shelf in a closet at the foot of my bunk. There is brend a.ncl butler on the tab le, an d there's coffee enough for you in the pot on the stove You ll have to stir the fire up a bit and put mor e coal on. Wh e n you're through you can wash up the d i shes and put them away in the closet "All right, sir," rep li ed Tom, springing u p the s h o r t l adder into the wagon, for he had s u dde nl y becom e aware

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8 A MILLION IN GOLD. 0 the fact that his stomach was making strenuous demands and wind. In cold weather I can always find a place to that only a square meal would satisfy. stable Lhem in ovel' night." V IN WHICH T O M DOES UP CONSTABLE BLACK After placing h i s suit case beside his bunk, which con sisted Of a naITOW mattTeSS covered with bedclothes, On Lop of a Jdnd of locker, he looked around the interior of the wagon A narrow, oblong table, with flaps that could be raised lo extend its size, stood in the middle of the wagon. A cup and saucer and several plates, on which were the of a meal,"were spread out on it. There was a small cooking stove clamped at the rear end of the vehicle A red glow shone through the grale There were a dozen boxes piled in the forward part of the wagon, which Tom subsequently ascertained contam:ed empty bottles of different sizes. A tier of shelves running along each side, above the bunks, were filled with shallow boxes, some of which con tained the Kickapoo Remedy, ready for sale. There were two closets, one at the foot of each bunk. One contained a modest display of cups, sauceri:;, disres, etc., with knives and forks and spoons, while beneath was a space used as a receptacle for food. The other, Tom afterward found out, contained a sup ply of lhe ingredients used in the concoction of the remedy, and the various graduated glasses and other paraphernalia employed in manufacturing the mixture. Tom iost no time getting his supper, and though he wafi only an indifferent cook, he thoroughly relished the bacon and eggs, and left not a morsel on his plate. Ile ate up all the bread and butter in sight and finished the coffee. Behind the stove he found a dishpan, and from a fair E
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A 1\HLLION IX UOLD. J 9 Gilpin hunted up CouRtahl<' Black and Lold him under of aafu,LiLla. "Draw 11\e c:ork arnl lel !Jim h11Ye a if whai circumRlnneeH he hatl rnel Tom Danvers on ihe roa. caught him by the ankle. Doctor Quackenbush directed him to pull up alongsitle "I've got you, Tom, so you might as well give up I" exthe road, water the horses, and supply them with their claimed the constable, triumphantly. "You're a pretty accustomed bag of oats. foxy boy, but you can't fool your uncle this trip." While 'I'om attended to the animals the doctor prepaxed Ile reached up to ha. the hoy down, when Tom, quick a s ubstantial lunch, which was soou on the table. as a wink, drew the cork from the small phial and dashed After they had discussed it, Tom asked the doctor what some of the fluid in the officer's face. was in the different phials he saw arranged on on_c of the Comtablc Black released his grip and fell to the ground shelves. us if he had beeu shot. His employer gave him the Latin names of the conlents He lay there, gasping for breath, a truly pitiable object, of all but one bottle. 1rhile Tom clapped the cork into the mouth of the bottle, "And what's in the last bottle? You didn't tell me and holding his nose on account of the horrible stench that," said the boy. that filled the air around the officer, jumped to the ground "That," said Dr. Quackenbush, with a grim smile, "conand made for the wagon as quick as he could. tains the juice of a large plant. It is a kind of fetid sap 8pringing to the horses' heads, he yanked their empty that is imported from Persia and the East Indies, and i s dinner bags away, threw them into he doctor's lap, who much used in medicine. H I were to sprinkle a few was laughing heartily at the success of the boy's ruse, and, drops around in here, you couldn't get out into the open climbing up beside him, seized the reins and started the air quick enough." team forward at its best pace. "It must be powerful stuff," laughed Tom. "I hope the As for Constable Black, he staggered to his feet, a mighty cork won't come out accidentally." sick man, and the last Tom and.the doctor saw of him he "It won't if it's left alone." was leaning against the fence gasping. Just then there was the sound of wheels and the rapid trot of a horse along the road, coming from the direction of Cobalt. Neither Tom nor the doctor paid any attention to it. Presently the vehicle came to a sudden stop. A moment later the canvas at the back of the wagon was pulled aside, and the unwelcome features of Constable Black appeared at the opening. Tom Danvers started up in surprise and consternation. "Well, Tom," said the constable, with a wicked smile, for the boy was not a favorite of his, "I've come for you. You've got to go back with me to Cobalt." "I'd rather not," objected Tom. "I'm afraid your wishes will not be consulted in the matter. I hold a warrant for your arrest signed by the justice. So just step lively, unless you want me to come in there and drag you out." "What'R the charge against this boy?" asked Dr. Quackenb11sh, lmitting his brows. "Assault with intent to do bodily harm," replied Con stable Black. "Come, Tom, I'm waiting for you." "What am going to do?" the the doctor. "Can't you stand him
PAGE 11

A MILLION IN GOLD. Dr. Quackenbu sh. "I doubt if he'll give you any more trouble." "He might t e l egraph to the police at Athens i.o arreet me. Do you t hin k I had better keep away from the wagon w hile you re i n t own(" asked the boy, anxi.ously .. "Perhaps y o u had better do so, to be on the safe sicle," r e plied th e doctor I can get out a n d walk after we get into the main stre et. I'll keep the wagon in sight, and hang around at a d is t ance until you're ready to go on again." Acc o rding ly, just before the outfil reached promi ne n t corner at which the doctor intended to stop, Tom a li ghted and crossed to the otheifside of the way. It was well that he did so, for the wagon had hardly b een on the comer ten minutes before a policeman ap peare d a nd, j umping into the vehi.cle, asked tl1e owner of t h e Kic k apo o Remedy where Tom Danvers was. The doctor rep l ied that the boy had left him soon after t hey had entered the town, and he could not say with cer tainty where he had gone The officer was permitted to search the wagon, and being satisfied that the Lioy was not in the vehicle, departed to make his report a.t headq u arters. Tom watched the policeman from the other side of the w ay, and chuckled o think how easily he had foiled tl1e efforts of Constab l e Black to get into h i s clutche s He sat on a box and watched the doctor draw a crow
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"' A. MILLION IN GOLD. 11 thu s on ll1c Tom r ceog n izcd llic intruder as the to ng h indi v idu.il \\]]()had Lrie d lo holtl him up behind the hc d gc o n lhc ro u d to Brentwood the evening before. ':::lo ifB you, it> it?" cried Tom. "What are you doing it1cidc this wagon?" "1\ othin'. Only came in to have a snooze," said the foll o11, s ulkily. "Oh wme now, that won t go down. You came in to see what y ou could pick up," amwcred Tom. "You tried to ro b me l as t evenin g on the road lo Br.entwood, so it's plain you aren't above faking what corncR in your way 'l'he
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12 A MILLION IN GOLD. "You're Jim, aren't you?" said Tom, pausing, and swinging the pail to and fro. 'rhe boy nodded. ''What\; your other name?" "Dunno. Ain't got none, I guess." "Oh, come o1I You must have another name." "Nope." Tom regarded the young dereliqt in wonder, and the other his stare without any speci;u emotion. wwhere's your companion r" asked Danvers. at length. Jim jerked his thtmib up the ravine. "Up the gulch?" 'rhe boy nodded. "How far up?" "'Bout three miles." "Three miles! And what are you doing here?" "N othin' He shook me:" "What are you going to do?" "Dunno. 'Spect I'll starve. Pretty near done up now." A feeling of sympathy for this lad came over Tom. "So that rascal is done with you for good?" "That's what he said. Told me to git or he'd throw me down the mount'ns." "I shouldn't expect much else from him. He's a. hard nut." "Yep." "What's his name?" "Dan." "Hasn't he got another name, either?" "Yep. Calls himself Mullins." "What did Mullins shake you for?" "Didn.'t want me round, I guess." "What's he doing up the gulcb. ?" "Diggin'." "For gold?" asked Tom, in "Dunno." "Is be all alone?" "Nope. Got a young chap with him. "Another boy?" "Nope. Older'n you." "You look hungry, Jim. Don't you want a square meal?" The boy's eyes.glistened, and he ran his tongue over his dry lips. "Where kin I get one?" he asked eagerly. Come with me and I'll see you get enough to eat." "I'll come," said Jim, getting up from the stone. Tom filled bis bucket and started for the wagon, which out of sight around a turn. Jim followed hill; with a meek and shuffling gait, his hands in his pockets. "f\Tho ha Ye you there?" asked the doctor, as they came 'Fom exp lained the identity of the boy, and Dr. Quacken regarded the young stranger with no little astonish1nent. "So thia is the boy you met that night behind Lhe hedge, with that rascal who afterward tried to rob me?" "It's the same boy." "W1rnfs he doing out lierc in the wil<.lerness ?" "You'll have Lo ask him, docLor; l didn't. He's half :>Larvcd, and, with your permission, I'll give him some sup per when it's cookccl" "He's welcome to all he cari cat," said his employer, criti cally examining Jim with his eyes, and mentally deciding that he was in pretty bacl Rhapc. Tom, who had got to be a tolerably good cook by this time, und er the doctor's instructions, went ahead with the meal as daylight gradually died out of the landscape, while Dr. Quackenbush amused himself talking to the stranger, whose laconic as well as odd replies Romewhat amused him, Although Jim was desperately hllngry, and his eyes wan dered wistfully toward the wagon w)1cnce proceeded the aroma of hot coffee and fried ham and eggs, he bore the torture with Spartan-like fortitude. "Where are you bound for?" asked the doctor. "No place in pertickler," replied Jim solemnly. "Did you know there's a big mining camp up the moun tains?" "Nope." "What did you expect was going to become of you way out in these wilds?" "Didn't expect no thin'." "Didn't you and Mullins have any provisions?" asked the doctor, in astonishment. "Yep. W c had f'orne, bllt he ate most of it llP himself." "And yon stood for that?" "Oo,uldn't help myself." '['hen the doctor asked why Mullins had chased him off, and what the man was doing up the ravine. The la.d's answers convinced the proprietor of the Kickapoo Remedy that MullinR and his new companion had diEGO''ered gold and were working their find. HC" couldn't understand, however, why they had not availed themselves of Jim's services, which ought to have been valuable to them. It was little short of murder to drive that boy off into the solitude, with almost certain starvation staring him in the face. 'l'here must be something at the bottom of it. CHAPTER VITI SOME TALL SIIARPSHOOTING. Tom now called the doctor and J irn to supper, and for the first time the stranger lost his listlc!'sness and moved about briskly. There was room enough at the tahle to accommodate the three hy crowding the plates, and Jim was furnished with an empty hox to sit on. A liberal snpply of ham and eggs was placed before him, and the food disappeared into his mouLh with amazing rapidity. It was like shove ling coal into a furnace the way Jim

PAGE 14

A MILLION IN GOLD. transferred the provender from the plate to nature's ing aperture. His eyes i::tuck out like those of a lobster during the operation, which evidently afforded him grea.t delight and satisfa ction. It was clear he hadn't enjoyed such a m'eal for heaven h."D.ows how long. The coffee followed the food like a gush of water into a cleft in the rocks, and when there was nothing left Jim uttered a kind of sigh of content, although he wasn't h alf satisfied yet. The doctor thought it best not to let him ea.t any more for the present, but permitted him a second cup of coffee, which vanished in a twinkling. After the dishes were washed up, in which operation Jim was allowed to assist as the wiper, the team started on again toward "The Lucky Chance" mining camp. Jim went along as a matter of course, and he offered no objection to the free ride, nor the destination they were bound for. There was no moon up, but the night was bright with and the road was straight and plain before them. T'om and Jim sat on the driver's seat, the former looking after the horses, while Dr. Quackenbush lay on his bunk, inside, taking the world easy. "How would you like to go on with us to Goldfield, Jim, if the doctor's willing to take you?" asked Tom, who, for no reas9n that he could understand, had taken quite a fancy to the strl boy. "I jest soon go as not," replied Jim. "Mebbe I'd rather go t n not,'' he added, "for I'd like to get clean away from :Oan." "It's a wonder yo11 stuck to that rascal," said Tom. "Ho:v came you to do it? According to your account, he treate d you worse than a savage." "I dunno why I didn't. Afraid, I guess. I was alwus goin' to cut loose, but somehow I never did. He wanted me to help him steal, but I wouldn't . I guess that's why he knocked me around." "Why did he come away out here?" "Said he was goin' to the mines." "What mines? Any one in particular?" "Dunno. He never told me nothin' except what he couldn't help." "It's a wonder you two weren't arrested as vagrants East, if for nothing worse, and sent to jail." "We WllZ twice; but Dan had a lot of files sewn up in his clothes, and he broke out bqth times, and I went with him." "Now that you've shaken him for good you ought to get on. You'll find plenty of work to do in Goldfield." "I'd like to work where you do," said Jim. "I kinder like you." "I don't know whether the doctot will have anything for you to do out there," replied rrom; "but if he has, I'll try to get him to take you on." "l kin work," asserted Jim. "I'll work for my grub and lodgin'. I ain t got no use for money. Wouldn't brn'V what to do with it if I had. I'd jest as soon you the money if you let me stay >V'ith you." "You're foolish to talk like that, Jim. If you 'vc use for money now, you will one of these days, so all you'll have to do is to save it." "There's a hull lot of lights yonder," sa id Jim s uddenly, pointing off to the right, where the Toad swung around in a semicircle "That must be 'The Lucky Chance' camii," answer cl l Tom, chirping to the horses, they having been taking things easy ever since leaving their last stopping place. He called in to the doctor. The proprietor of the Kickapoo Re:rnedy outfit came up behind the seat and looked ahead into the night. "That's the camp, without a doubt," he said. "Pick out the best vacant spot you see neaT the center of the place, and we'll come to anchor for the night." Their advent created something of a sensation, and a crowd of miners and other habitues crowded around the wagon when Tom drew up, not far from the store, which was also a hotel in its war, though its way was rather tough "Hello!" exclaimed a burly six-footer, pushing his way to the front "Tenderfoots, I reckon. What in thunder have yer got in that waggin? The Kickapoo Remedy for cou'ghs, colds, and-haw! haw haw!'' The cTowd joined in the laugh, and looked at the two boys on the sea.t with interest. "Hey! Whar did you come from?" inquired the six footer.' "Denver," replied Tom. "Who sent you out this here way lookin' for coughs) colds, and-haw! haw! haw!" "No oll6 sent us We're going on to Goidiieiu. ; "You're goin' to Goldfield, are you? Wall, you won' t find no coughs nor colds out there, neither. Is thar any thing the matter with your upper story, stranger?" "I hope not," answered T 'om, pleasantly. "Are you ther boss of the outfit?" "No; I'm just the dTiver. The propriet.or is inside." "Tell him to show himself, then. We'd all like to see the feller who's peddlin' medicine for coughs, colds, andhaw haw! haw!" Dr. Quackenbush iinmediately came to the front. "Are you the man who's come west to cure coughs, colds, and-haw--" "Yes,'' replied the doctor, interrupting him, "and I think you need a bottle badly." "Oh, you do, stranger? I 1004: as though I was on m y last legs, don't I?" sarcastically. "Wall, I'll tell you what I'll do w'ith you. If you kin get the drop on me quick e r'n I can have you covered, I'll--" "Buy a bottle,'' said the doctor, yanking a pair of n volvers from his pockets like greased lightning and aimin g them at the six-footer just as his hand w ent to hi s hi p

PAGE 15

14 A MILLION IN GOLD. "Come, now, ante up your dollar, or maybe I'll have the coroner sit on you to find out what you died of." The crowd gave a gasp of surprise, and the six-footer i urned green. It was all over in a moment, for Dr. Quackenbush re turned his guns to his pockets with one movement, while Tom gazed apprehensively at the big miner, wondering what he would do now. "Say, stranger, you ain't no tenderfoot, ancl I'll come up with the dollar, for you've earned it fairly. You're the first rnnn l know that has ever got the drop on me, by the horned toad you are! the dollar, and shake." The doctor leaned down, took the money, and shook h:mds. "Nop come over to the saloon and liquor," said the six-footer, in a friendly way. The crowd cheered the doctor as he alighted, and the whole mob escorted him across the -\vay to the principal sa.loon in the camp. Tom, assisted by Jim, took out the horses, tied them to the front wheel, and put their blankets on. There was nothing else to do, so Tom asked Jim to watch the wagon while he went across to see how the doctor was getting on with the crowd. \ As a matter of fact, he was getting on swimmingly. When Tom appeared, he had just ordered drinks for the house, and that made him solid with the mob at oncc1 for they were already predisposed in his favor. "Tell you what I'll do, said the six-footer. "After that lightnin' exhibition you give us out s ide, you ought to be somethin' on the shoot. I've got SL'< s hots in this gun'r mine jest achin' to match six of yours If you kin shoot as good as me in six trials, I'll give you the price of a hundred bottles of that stuff 'r yourn. lf you can't, you'll hand me out a hundred plunks. Are you game to call me?" "I am," replied the doctor quietly, to Tom's amazement. '"N ough said Bill, stick a six -spot again that wall yonder," said the big man. The six of spades was fastened up at ten paces. The six -footer then drew his gun, and one by one he plunked the six spots in the center. This remarkable performance occasioned no imrprisc among those present, who regarded the doctor with great interest as he drew his revolver. "Git another six spot, Bill, and put her beside the other," said the crack shooter, with a grim smile. "Never mind;" put in the doctor. "Just move that card over a couple of inches." "Why, what are you goin' to do?" asked the six-footer, in a mystified way. "I'll show you Do as I request y9u, Mister Bill." Bill moYed the card over just far enough to leave the si \'. bullet holes exposed. When the smoke had cleared away the card looked jus t the same as before. "Why, you hain't hit the canl al all, s trang er!" cried the big man, bursting into a boisterous and sarcastic laugh. ''I
PAGE 16

A MILLION IN GOLD. 15 Remedy or coughs, cqlds, sore throat, weak lungs, etc., etc. What's your name?" "I'm Gid Parsons, superintendent of the Lucky Chance Mine. You're on your way tolGoldfield, eh?" -"That's my destina.tion." ''Expect to do business out there?" grinned the six footer. "I am interested in gold mining, and expect to get in on the ground floor in some payll).g proposition." "I should advise you to try one of the newer districts beyond Goldfield, pard. Say Manhattan, or Paradise. The latter place, I hear, is a comer I'd go there myself if I wasn't a fixture here. Let's liquor. Step up, boys, and have somethin'." This invitation caused a rush for tile bar, and the men in the saloon lined up two and threo deep. Tom had been an interested obRerver of the rather ex citing proceedings. Dr. Quackenbush had been preRentecl to him in a new light. He marvelled greatly at the doctor's extra.ordinary ae cnrary as a pistol shot Ho wa.s certainly a wonder, and could not ha .ve introcl.ic-ccl himseH in a better way to the notice of the denizens of the Lucky Chance camp. It was at this stage of the pl'Oceedings that a man rushed into the saloon in a state of considerable excitement "Say, boys!" he exclaimed, "I want you to help me out!" "What's the matter?" asked Giel Parsons, wheeling around from the bar. "What's troubling you, Ike Baxter?" "You all know I've ta ken up a claim clown in Placer Gulch?" "Yes, we know it, and we've all thought you was a fool to do it," replied Parsons frankly. "Have you come to tell us that you've made a strike, eh?" "I ain't sayin' nothin' about a strike, but it's a good claim, all right. I want your help because my pToperty has been jumped." "Jumped!" cried a dozen v'biees in a breath. "Yes, jumped!" "Who are the critters tha.t have it? I thought the example we made of the last chap who did such a thing was warnin' enough," said Pa.rsous. "I dunno their names. There's two 0 them. One is a smooth-faced, iough-lookin' critter. He ordered me off wi.th my own g1m. The other is a young feller, 'bout twenty, I should say, who didn't take no hand in the pro ceeclin's, and I'll give him the credit 0 bcin' willin' to argue the matter; but the other chap shut him up. It's up to you, boys, to clear 'em out in short order, for I can't do it1 alone." "We'll do it all right. came those fellows to get the upper hand of you in the first place?" "I was obliged to go down to Red Dog .for some tools yesterdriy, ancl I stayed all night and part of the mornin' 1Yith some friends 0 mine I onnu there. When I got back to-night there was them two fellows in the little cabin I put up on my claim. I explanation, and the tough lookin' rooster said he'd give it to me with my gun, which he snatched up and pointed at me. He then ordered me off, declarin' the claim was his and that he meant to hold it. Only two days ago I struck a promisin' vein on that claim, and I don't reckon I'm goin' to let the first onery cuss that comes along do me out 0 it, after I've put in three months 0 steacly >1701:k on it." ''No .one's goin' to do you out of it, pard," said the superintendent, reassuringly. "This claim jumpin' don't round here no more'n We'll let those squat ters know that we do business in a shorter way than goin' to law and wastin' money to get air 'l'om had listened to the discussion with considerable interest, and noted that there was a menacing significance 1 in the superintendent's w01;ds that augured ill or the two men who had jumped Ike Baxter's property. __ He was curious to learn wba t the crowd intended doing to the two interlopers. He wondered if they really had thoughts of lynching / them. He easily guessed that the tough-looking chap must be the rascal who had brought Jim out to that locality and then driven him off into the wilds. "Step up and have somethin', Ike," said Parsons. "We'll go clown to the gulch by and by and clean those misfits out in short order." Tom went back to the wagon, and found Jim squatting on the seat "Say, Jim," said Tom, "your friend Dan Mullins will soon be up against it hard." "How?" asked Jim, without any pa1ticu!ar interest. "He and his iiew companion have jumped another man's claim down in the gulch, and there'll be something doing in a way he won't like before long." Jim grinned, as if the act tha.t Mullins was likely to see trouble didn't worry him greatly. "Whi:ire did you meet with that young man that's with Mullins now?" asked Tom. "He came up the gulch after Dan and me struck a cabin with a lot 0 stuff in it, as though somebody lived there, where Dan said he was go.in' to stay a while. He got talkin' to Dan, and showed him a bunch of money that he saic1 he earned at a place called Red Dog: Dan told him he'd sell him a half interest in the cabin and ground. for the money, and took the feller out to show him the place. Then they started in to dig a hole in the ground, and afore long Dan came up to the cabin and told me to git, as he didn't want me round any more." "Did the other fellow know that Dan drove you off?" "Dunno. He didn't seem like a bad chap. He ha.cl a sma ll moustache, and Dan called him J a.ck, which I guess must have been his name." Tom caught his breath, for somehow the name and the slight description remindecl hin\ of his fugitive brother. "llow tall was he?" he asked Jim earnestly.

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.. 16 A MILLION IN GOLD. "A little taller'n you." "You didn't hear his other IJ.ame, did you?" "Nope." "Did he have a scar over his right eyebrow?" asked Tom suddenly. "Yep. A sort of half moon. How'd you know that?" "Gracious!" gasped Tom. "I do believe that's my brother." "Your brother?" said Jim, wondeijngly. "Yes. Did you notice if he had a gold ring on his little finger?" "Yep. A kind of snake with red eyes." "It is my brother!" cried Tom. "And he's with that rascal Mullins. I must see him at once and warn him against that scound1:el, who means no doubt to rob him of his money. No time is to be lost, for the miners here mean to visit the gulch pretty soon, f\Ild it may go hard with my brother being in that fellow's company. Will you come with me, Jim? I'm going down to the gulch as fast as I can get there. I want you to show me where the cabin is." "I'll go," agreed Jim, apparently anxious to .serve his new friend. Tom, with a resolute expression in his eyes, told Jim to wait a moment, and then crossed over to the saloon. "I want to borrow one of your revolvers," he said, ad dressing the doctor. Dr. Quackenbush handed him one without a word, and Tom returned to the wagon. "Come on, Jim," he said. "Wfive got to hustle." With that they started o.ff down the road. They were hardly out of sight along the moonlit trail when Gid Parsons, the doctor, Ike Baxter and nearly a dozen miners came out of the saloon and started down the same road toward Placer Gulch. A very significant feature of the procession, was that one of the men carried a coil of thin rope over his shoulder. CHAPTER X. The sight that met his eyes caused him to hold his breath. On a pile of blankets in a corner of the cabin lay a figur e he recognized at once as his brother. Bending over him was the man Mullins, with a knife in his teeth and his hand in his companion's pocket. As Tom looked, Mullins drew out a buckskin pouch, ana then, rising, stood near the candle and unwinding the string that secured its mouth poured the contents, a number 01' gold coins, into the palm of his hand. With a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes he wa R r r turnin g the mo:pey to the pouch when the sleepin g n1>in Tos e on hi s elbow, detected what he waR iloing, felt fnr his propert y in his pocket and then sprang to his feet. "So, yon would rob me, Mullins, would you?" he cried, reaching for the pouch. The rascal drew back, with a snarl of surprise and anger. "Give me back my money. Then I'll leave this place, for I wish to have no dealings with a thief. I am satisfied now that you do not own this claim." "Hang you I'll give you this knife in your gullet!" cried Mullins, snatching the blade from his teeth and springing on Jack Danvers. Tom sprang for the door, pushed it open and rushed in side. Mullins had his companion at a clear disadvantage, and, seeing his chance, raised the knife to plunge it into his victim's breast. Tom, seeing his brother's peril, drew his revolver and fire<\ at the rascal's shoulder . With a howl of agony, Mullins's arm dropped helpless at his side, and the knife clattered on the floor. Jack Danvers immediately pushed him back, and rose quickly to his feet. "Jack-my brother!" cried Tom, to him. "Tom! Is it possible it is you?" exclaimed the asi:.Qnished young man, grasping his brother by the hand. "It's me all right, brother Jack," replied Tom. "I see I've arrived just in time to save you." WHAT HAPPENED .AT THE CABIN IN PLAOER GULCH. "You did that," gazing at the writhing Mullins. "I The boys had more than a two-mile walk before them tho ught I was a dead one when that fellow raised his knife down the road, and as much more up the gulch. above my head." Tom set a rapid pace, however, as he believed time was He stooped down and picked up his money-pouch, which precious, and, besides, he was in a fever of eager anticipalay on the floor. tion to meet the young man he implicitly believed was his "I was a fool to trust the rascal, but I thought he owned brother Jack. this claim." In less than twenty minutes the boys reached the gulch "He owns nothing. This claim belongs to a man named and turned into it. Ike Baxter." They then proceeded with more deliberation, for walk"A man came here and claimed it some hours since, but ing was not so easy and the way was dark and somewhat I had my doubts as to his right, for he was tougher-looking difficult. than this Mullins." "How much further is the cabin, Jim?" asked Tom. "He'll be back again with half the miners from the "Not far," replied Jim, who was in the lead. Lucky Chance camp to support him, so you'd better come Fifteen minutes later they saw a dim light ahead. away with me, Jack, before they reach here, or you'll find It shone through the cabin window. yourself in trouble." Tom, dubious as to the reception they were likely to re"Why, wha,t trouble can I get into? I haven't made any ceive from Mullins, crept softly up to the window and claim on this shack or the ground. Mullins is tbe man looked in. who will have to face the music, if anybody."

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A MILLION IN GOLD. 17" "Well, you were in bis company when he held 1ke Baxter off, ancl you'll be regarded as his accomplice. As there's no use of you taking any chances, I want you to come away aL once." "All right. I was going, anyway, as I wouldn't stay any longer with Mullins for a share in a gold mine. I hate to leave him in the condition he is, though, for you seem to have hurt him badly." "I didn't give him any more than he deser--" The sentence was cut short by the banging open of the door and the entrance of Gid Parsons, Ike Baxter, Dr. Quackenbush and as many of the miners as could crowd inside the cabin. The intruders were rather surprised at the scene that met their eyes. "Tom," said the doctor, starting forward, in astonish ment, "what brings you here?" "This ,is my brother, doctor," replied Tom. "Don't you remember him? You met him once, back East." "Of course I recollect him/' replied the doctor. "Hello!" said Parsons, "what's the matter with that chap on the floor? Seems like he's hurt." "That's the fellow who ordered me off my property and said the claim was his," interjected Baxter. "So ho And the other chap? Is he t'other one?" "Yes; but he didn't make any move ag'in me." "I'll go bail for this young man," said the doctor, plac ing his hand on Jack Danver's shoulder. "I'll warrant he meant no harm in this matter." "All right, Doc, what you say goes with us every time. Now, you chap, whatever your name is, what's the matter with you?" "I'm shot," groaned Mullins. "Shot, eh ? Who shot you?" "That cub over there." "Yes, I shot him," spoke up Tom, and he explained why he had to do it. "You seem to be a pretty cussed sort, Mullins," said the superinte ndent. "You deliberately jumped another man 's claim without as much as sayin' by your leave, then you turn around.and rob your companion, and when he catches you doin' it you try to knife him. Seems to me there's only one way of dealin' with a scoundrel of your stamp, anc1 that is to give you a lift in the world. What have you got to say tor yourself?" Mullins had nothing to say-he simply scowled and groaned with the pain of his wound. "Well, boys, you're the jury in this here case. Is he guilty or not guilty?" "Guilty," was the unanimous verdict. "Correct. Now what's to be done with him?" "Hang him!" suggested sever11l. Others, however, as they didn't fancy the idea of executing a wounded man. Dr. Quackenbush made an examination of the wound and declared that he was not seriously injured. "The ball is imb edded in the tissues under the shoulderblade," he said. "It will have to be extracted before he can his arm again. Beiter carry him up to the camp and I'll operate on him. Then you can decide what you'H do with him, but in an case I object to his being strung up. He deserves it, perhaps, but I'm opposed to lynch law." The majority agreed with the dad.or, but the men were averse to carrying the rascal a matter of five miles. "I don't want him 'round here," said Baxter, bluntly. "If you leave him I'm liable to pitch him out into a gulle.\ where he may lie till he rots, for all I care." M: uch against their will the men consented to burden themselves with Mullins as far as. the road, where they proposed to leave him for the doctor to drive down in the wagon to attend to him. "'I'hen you can take him on to Red Dog in the \nornin'," said Gid Parsons, "with a note from me to the deputy :>lieriff of the county. He'll clap him in jail, and I guess won't bother this part of the country no more." The rlelegation from Lucky Chance camp then took up return line of march, accompanied by Tom, his brother, .Jim (who had remained in the background) and Dr. Quackenbush. l\fullins was deposited on a soft spot beside the road, with .Jim and Danvers to watch him, while the rest went on to the camp. Tom hitched the horses to the wagon, and drove doc tor down to the entrance of the gulch. Dr. Quackenbush had Mullins lifted into vehicle, his coflt off and the upper part of his body extended on the table. While he probed for the ball the rascal raised a terrible howl, for operation hurt him like sixty. No attention was paid to his strenuous kicking, however, the bullet was located and extracted, after which the doctor applied a bandage and he was laid on Tom's bed. When the wagon returned to Lucky Chance the rascal was accommodated with a bunk for the night in the back of the saloon, his hands and feet being bound to prevent him taking French leave if he felt in condition to at tempt it. Tom hiid a long talk with his brother before turning in that night. He told him how he had come out West with the doctor, after being obliged to leave Cobalt suddenly to avoid arrest for knocking down Mr. Gilpin because the auctioneer called .Tack a thief I "We, that is the Deans, mother and I, know you're not a thief, Jack," said Tom, "but I'm sorry to say that, owing to the fact that you were caught digging up the Squire's stolen property, the bulk of public opinion is against you. I hope the truth will yet come out so that you can return." "I hope so, but how I'm going to prove my innocence is more than I can see," replied Jack, with a melancholy shake of his head. And it was more than Tom ionld see, as the case stood.

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18 A MILLION IN GOLD. CHAPTER XI. A GJL\.S'rLY DISCOVERY. Next morning Giel Par. ons and those of the miners aronntl ga vc Dr. Quackenbush and his Kickapoo outfit a hearty send-off. The wagon was uncommonly well loaded, for Dan Mul lins was in one of the bunks, and Jack Danvers and Jhn !1ail been assured of a free ride and feec1 to Goldfield. The mining town of Red Dog was in the valley between two ffiOlll' cain ranges, and eight miles from the Luck y Chance mine. The wagon drew up in front of the hotel at ten Dr. Quackenbush got out ancl went into the building to make inq1uiries for theldeputy sher iff. He was to his office a little distance up the street. rri1e deputy sheriff was entertaining a. squad of idlers in the room when the doctor arrived ancl asked for him. "I'm the man you want," said a. tall, angular individual, in a rough suit, who was straddling a chair, with his C"ossecl over the hack oi it, squirting a stn,am of tobacco jnice with great accuracy into a Rpil.toon two feet a.way. "l'i'hat can I do for you, stranger?" Dr. Quackenbush handed him the note he., hac1 brought from Gld Parsons, and the deputy sheriff read it with some ii el i bera ti on. "Glad to make your doctor," he said, af fably, rising from his chair "My name is Henry Case. Roys, this is Dr. Quackenbush, from the East, but no ten clcrfoot, by the Great Horsefly, for he's Clone what no one else has clone to my knewleclge, and that is beat Gid Parsons at a shootin' match. Gid put a bullet intO every mark on a six spot, which he's clone before more'n once, ancl tl1is gentleman perforated every one oi the holes immediately afterward. That's tall shootin', by gum! Where's the prisoner mentioned by Gid ?" "In the wagon, outside." "He seems to be an onery cuss, from what Gid sa:vs. We'll have him in here. I'll lock him up in the strong-room and we'll liquor." Mullins was brought into the deputy's office. Mr. Case looked him over ancl then marched him into a cell-like room at the back of the office. Having secured the door with a stout padlock, the deputy invited the doctor and all hancls to the nearest saloon, spent half an hour together. .TaC'k and Tom Danvers were requested to make deposi tions hdore a notary, the doctor also swore that Mullins hai tion, he wa11ferl to go where 'l'om dirl, and the doctor >laicl he might stick to the cnrnvnn. Accordingly, arter laying in some additional supplies, th horses' heads were turnccl Routhward and the ldl Red Dog en route for Mexico. It was a considerable journey from central Colom!lo clown through the wilds of cw :Mexico to the Mcx ic:n border, for there were mountains to climb in part ancle to get around where the trail was lwacticable, and for man , cla.ys they did not meet with a Rou l along tbe route. The wagon entered :'.\fexiro within Right of the Sierra Madre mouni.ain rm1ge. The weather was so warm now as day advanced the sun waxed hotter and hotter, and all hands down to the verspiring horses, found traveling a born. Naturally they proceeded but slowly, and most of the iourneying was clone during the hours of darkness. Dnring the heat of the day the horses were lmhitched an cl stabled under their canvas awning, while the doctor and the boys Rlept the hours away. Dr. Quackrnbush conld Rpeak Spanish like a native, and this stood him in good Rtead down in this region where the langnage was all .the go. After stopping for the greater part of two days and a night at a big hacienda in i.he fooi.hills oi the Sierra Madre, i.he Don who livecl there furnished the doctor with a peon guillc to point out a trail through the range into Sonora County Leaving the mountains behind they coni.inued on to the soui.h, and west toward the Gulf oi California. At lflst they reached their destination, a little :Mexican town near the coast. Not far away was the mountain range, running parallel with i.he gulf, in whose fastnesses was the New Eldorado Silver M:ine the doctor was interested in.

PAGE 20

A MILLION I N G OLD. 19 On the morning after their arrival at San Ignacio, soon after Jack Danvers and the doctor started ofI to visit the mine, Tom, attracted by the blue water of the gulf, only a short distance away, decided io go io the Rhorc to see if he could find a secluded spot to take a swim. Jim, as a matter of couri;e, went with liim At this point the shore was lonesome ancl unfrequented, and there was no l ack of places where thcy could sport at their leisure in the water Directly opposite, p r obably a mile away, was a small island called Santa Cruz. After remaining in the watrr as Jong as lhey carec1, the boys dressed and walke d along the shore. "Hello!" exclaimed T om, as they rmmclP
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20 A :J\ITLLION IN GOLD. CHAPTER XII. A MILJ,ION IN GOLD. Tht> poor wret c h seemed to b e conscious of their pre s ence, for he crierl out, in a hoar s e whi s per: ."Water-water-water!" "']'her e 's some c rooked work h e r e," sard Tom. "The man is dying for want of water ancl plJolw.bly food. Some in fernal scoundrel has, no doubt, robbed him and secured him h el'e so that his crime might go unaclectca. I won der where I shall find any water?"Tom made out a lantern on the table and lighlc c 1 it, then, with his clrawn jack-knife,. he cut t.he man's bonds. The poor fellow e s sayed to ri se, but the effort was quite beyond his strength, and he fell back, with a despairing groan. "Water-water!" he gasped. "Where shall I find some? Any in the c abin?" asked Tom. With an effort the sailor raised his arm and pointed at a small doorway leading into the hold. Tom took the lantern and went in that directi o n He stepped into the hold, traversed an empty space and then came to 'the galley, which Wru1 fitted up with a stove and several lockers. There was a keg jus t outside the door o f the bu lkhea .cl which separated the galle y from the hold proper. Tom kicked it and the sound it retumed showed that it was partly full of something which, on inve stiga.tion, proved to be water. The boy seized a panniki-n that lay on a locker, filled it with water, and returned to the s ide of the forlorn wretch as soon a s he could. He put it to the man's lip s . The sailor seized it with his hand s and almo s t bit through the tin, such was his eagerness to get a tas te of the precious :fluid. His throat, however, was half paral y z ed, and he showed symptom's of strangulation after the :firs t swallow. Tom pulled the pannikin back, though it took an effort to do so, until the man recovered his breath, and then a'l lowed him to drink again, but more slowiy. He clung to the tin until every drop and gone down his throat and then with a sigh he let his head fall back oo the pillow and his eyes closed. "I:e he had some iiquor now it would brace him up until he was in condition to eat s omething," thought Tom. He return e d to the pantry again and looked it over, but nothing in the shape of liquor was there. There was a suppl y of eatables, however, some 0 which w ere no longer fit for use, as if they haa lain there several q;tys, untou1hed. Returning to the cabin, Tom examined the locker unrler the sailor's bunk and discovered a black bottle nearl y full o.f whiskey, and a glass. Pouring some of this out h e held it to the man's lip s . 'l'he smell of the liquor aroused th e marin e r, and he opened his eyes Then he opene d his mouth and Tom l e t the s tuff trick l e down his throat. It acted like magic on him. He revived and his voice grew stronger. "Thanks, my lad. I feel better; but I'm afraid I'm d one for. Who are you and how came you h e r e ?" "I'm an American, just arrived in Mexico yest e rda y I and my companion here came down to the coast from San Ignacio to take a swim. We sa'f tn1s s tranded vessel and came aboard to lqok her over. Then we heard y our cries for water and entered the cabin to see what was the matter. Now tell me, if you can, who you are and how came you to be bound hand and foot here and left to perish "My name is Bob Short. I've been livin' on the old hooker for some time. A Mexican ras c al, named Mendez Pinto, discovered the object of my presence in this localit y and had been tryin' for some time to get possession of the secret that I possess. I wouldn't. tell him, in spite of the promises he made, for I distrU.sted him, feelin' certain he would do me up the moment he found out what he was after. A few days ago he visited me again and succeede d in druggin' me. When I came to I was :flighty and fa s t ened to the bunk, as you saw. Next day he came again and s aid that unless I told him the sec;ret of the treasure buried on the island of Santa Cruz, I sh<; rnld lie here till I rotted. I refused to say a word, and he left me. But each day h e has called agai1i. It is onl y a r hour since that he was h e r e last. I begged him for water in my d eliri11m. He laughed at and taunted m e H e said I should not have a dro p until I had told him what h e wanted to If I told him he would only leave me to my fate s o I said nothing and he left in a violent rage. He will return again b e for e long, I am sure, for he fears I will die with the secret un told. Give me some whiskey. I feel I am growing w e ak er once more." Tom gave him another drink, which s e emed to brace him up. "Well, if he comes while we're h e re we'll kick him out," s aid Tom, resolutely. ."Perhaps; but you don't know what a treacherous dog h e is. He has a knife and a revolver in his clothes. You would be no match for him. Still, I can help you to. th e means of standin' him off should he surpris e you her e Look in the locker under me. You will find a 'Pair of loaded revolvers. Take them, between you. You woul d do the world a favor if you shot the rascal." Tom found the revolvers, and putting one in his pock e t placed the other beside the sailor. "You'll be able to defend your s elf now," he said. "No; I'll never be strong enough again to use it. G ive it to your companion. He may need it to def e nd hi mself." Tom, to humor him, handed it to Jim, who was sea t e d on a box nearby. "Oh, you ll come around all right, Mr. Short," s aid Tom

PAGE 22

A MILLI O N IN G O LD. 21! encouragingly. "We' ll see that you get on your pins again, and then we' ll see if we can't make it hot for the Mexican "No. I'm booked for Davy Jones. I shan't live many hours. I feel it here. My insides are all gone like That rascal has fini s hed me; but ii won't do him any good. No, no; he ll n e ver learn my secrei-tlic secret of a million in gold. "A million in gold I" exclaimed Tom, wondering ly. "What do Y.Ou mean?" "Giv e m e another drink and you shall know Y o u've been good to me and shall profit by the knowleage that the Grea.er c ouldn't wring from me. lt is a fortune, my lad, a g reat fortune. Think of it-a million dollars in Spanish g old." "My grac ious!" cried Tom, as he poured anothe r dram down the s ailor's throat "It's buried on the island of Santa Cruz You know the island. It's a c ross from this shore, a mile out in the gulf "You mean that small island yonder?" asked Tom, waving his arm waterward. Ay ay, that's it. Now listen and I'll tell you how you can find it. But :first send your companion to watch at the h e ad of the companion-.stairs. It would not do for that villain to come upon us unobserved. He's like a cat H he heard voice s down here he would creep in somehow and hide, a nd list e n to a ll I told you. Then he'd know what I have trie d to k eep from him. He'd follow you to the place, a nd kill you for posses sion of the treasure. Ater you've l e arned the s ecret you must be cautious and not let him find out that you know it, or he'd contrive some way to force y ou into yielding up the knowled_ee. Beware of him as you w ould of a venomous reptile that crossed you r pa,th. "Whe r e does he live? Do you know?" "On th e i s lanrl; so, rem e mber, be cautious ho w y ou go t h ere." J i m s aid Tom, "go to the head of the compa n ion s tair s an d keep watch Let me know at once if y ou see an y one approaching thi s ves sel." Jim obedi e ntly obeyed, and Tom cautioned him to keep und e r cover a s mu c h as possible, so that Mendez Pinto mi ght not become aware that there were visitors on the stra nd e d sch oone r. "I will go bac k to the beginnin'," said Bob Short, in a weak voice "and t e ll you how I came to learn about t his tre a sure. I am a R ailor, as yon have no doubt guessed, and have :followed the sea s ince I was a boy. Last winter I was strand e d in San Franci sco. While huntin' for a berth in som e coas t e r I ran foul of an old skipper I sailed with once, anel h e s e e m e d mighty glad to see me. 'Bob,' he said, I want you to take a s hort trip with me.' 'I'll do it,' said I ri ght off t h e rec] for I was anxious to get a ship. 'This is somet bi n out of t he u s ual. Bob,' he saicl. 'I don't care what i t is, cap n ,' I an s w ercr1, 'count me in.' 'All right,' h e said, a nd h e up and told m e thnt the ilestinat ion of his schoon e r was i.he GuH of On l i rornia, and the object of the voyage was t o discover a million in Spanish gold hidden more than a hundred years ago by a Spanish pirate n a m ed Vasq uez. 'Ar e you sure the money i s the re, cap'n ?' I asked him 'Sure as I'm a sittin here lookin' at you,' said he, in a positive way that showed he was dea d in earnest. With that he pulled ouL a time stained chart and showed it to me. 'That gives the :full pariic-lar s ,' he i::aid. 'Any one could find it with that there chart.' 'A million i s a lot of money, cap'n,' I said 'A powerful lot,' he answer ed, s olemnly. 'I suppose if you find the gold the re s t of u s will get a rakc off over and above their wages as an induc e m ent to do their best?' I said. 'Sure,' said he 'There'll only be four of u s all told, includin' the cook. You and the other foremast hand are to get $10 000 each, and the darky $5,000 Are you satisfied .?' he asked. 'That suits me,' said I. 'I shan't know what to do with so much money when I get it.' 'Put it in a bank and live off it for the rest of your lif e ,' said he, and I thought that good advice, and meant to profit by it. Well, we l eft 'Frisco on Christmas mornin' and sailed straight for this place. But we hadn't more than struck the Gulf before a storm caught us; sudden like, and before we knew where we were the schooner was ashore. When I came on deck from the cabin where the e a p n sent me for someth i n', I forget what now, I found him dead, crusheg by the fall of the mainmast, and the other man and darky nowhere in sight. As they never turned up from that time to this, of course it's natural to suppose that they went overboard and were los t. N ext day it clear e d off. and then I realized that I was strand e d on a for e ign coas t. I buried the cap'n in the sand near the point, but before I did so I took possession of all his effec ts, inq_ludin' the treasure chart Then I made up my mind to try and get that mil lion in gold myself, though how I was to carry it away after I found it puzzled me greatly. I couldn't go to the island to look for it without a boat, so I hunted around and bought an old sailin' boat from a Mexican fis herman, with some 0 the cap'n's money Then I went to the island, and after a little while I located the treasure. I was gettin' ready to carry it off when that Mexican scoundrel, Mendez Pinto got wind of m y game He knew the treasure was hid somewhere on the island, and had been huntin after it for years, as he aterwarc1 told me when h e tri e d to get me to go in with him and divide up. That's why h e's livin' there -him and a gal named M e rc edes, whom he ca1ls hi s niece. I'd have been g l ad to divvy with him only there was that in his eye which to l d me he was not to be trnsted. I sized him up a s a chap who 'Would kill you as quick as winkin if there was any object in it, and I guest1ed half a million, the share I was supposed to get would have been object enough At any rate we couldn't come to term s and since then I've found it impossible to go near the plac e without him knowin' 1) it. At length he got impatient and started in to threaten me. I laugh e d at him for I thought I had him on the h i p But I didn't know the cuss I was dealin' with, and this is the end of it. The sai l or did not tell all the foregoing as we have wri tten it. It took time, and many drinks from the bottle to keep him going

PAGE 23

22 A l\IILLION IN GOLD. Them were many interruptions while he lay back and looked like a dead man. But he finally got it all out. "He re's the chart," he said, finally, hauling it out from nnder a slit in the mattress and placing it in Torn 's hand. "I've m ade some marks on it myself, as you will see._ The place is at the north end of the i s lancl, ,in a little cove. You won't have to make none of them measurements. I've don e that myself and s potted the In fact I've seen th e chest that holds the money. It's in a cave, the entrance of whi c h i s just below the low-water mark, and can't be see n at any time. But you'll see three trees on a bluff over l o okin' the water. The chart will guide you t<;i them, and then you won't need it any more, for all you ll have to rl.o, if you can swim, is to dive at the rock directly under them tree;'? and you'll find your s elf iri a marine cavern. Strike a light and the money-chest you ll see right b e.fore you, with its million in Spanish gold." "There's a mari comin this way," s aid Jim, appearing at that moment. "That's Pinto," said the sailor. "Hide, both of you, for your lives." CHAPTER XIII. MENDEZ PINTO. "Douse the light b e fore you go, said the Railor, "and try and keep within hail, for I don't know what the chap will do to me when he finds I'm loose, and I'd rather not be murdered in colc l blood, for I'll di e soon enough as it i s." Tom blew out the light, and he and Jim took up their stations, revolvers in hand, on the other side of the door leading into the hold. They had hardly secreted them s elves when they heard a light step on the planks overhead. Presently the companionway was darkened by a man, and Mendez; Pinto stepp e d down into the cabin. He stopped and listened intently. Bob Short remained as qui e t a's the grave. "Perdition!" exclaimed the Mexican, in Spanish, "can the dog be dead? If so, I have cheated myself out of the prize I seek. I will see. Thi:;; time he shall tell me what I wish to know, or--" His voice ended in a hiss. He approached the bunk and felt 0 the sailor. "Warm-ah Be still breathes. Caramba What is this? The ropes cut. What does this mean?" He struck a match, looked for the lantern and lighted it. "Ha The glass is warm. Some one is here, and he ex tinguished the light when he heard me on deck." He drew his revolver and :fl.ashed the light around the cabin. "Not here, ha! Then he's hiding in the hold. Caramba I will have him out in a moment. What is another life, more or less; to me with such a stake in sight? Nothing. You want the sheep, or the bullock; or the fowl, for your pleasure, and you kill. Suppose you want the life of a man wlil.o stands in vour way? You kill him, too." The s ailor heard and unde r s tood the villain 's wor d s p e rfectly. The boys heard him pl a inl y e nough also, but a s he spoke in Spanish its s ignificance was to a g real exi.ent los t on them. His acHon s 11.owever, s howed that he b e li e ved th a t the r e was some on e els e bes ide s the s ailor and him sel.E n nd cr th e deck of the derelict, and the boys b e gan to loo k for t r o u b l e 'l'om plucked Jim by the s le e v e and s tarted for the galley. Jim ac c ompanied him on tipto e As soon a s they were behind the bulkhead Tom stnick a match and looked around for a hiding-plac e fo r himself and his companion. There waR a pile of dun:age .forwanl or th e ga ll e r y "I-Iiil e unde r thi s," said Tom am1 they d id The y had hardly got under c over befor e M e ndez Pinto appearer1 wi lh the lantern in hi s hallLl He flaRhccl the light around th e galley a n d seein g n o s ign of an intruder he began examining th e s pace behind it. In one hand he carri e d hi s r cvolvci read y for act ion, and he looked very formidable indeed lo the boys. They kept very quiet in their hilling -place, and althou gh Pinto looked the dunnage over tJie light was not b r i ght enough for him to discover their pro x imity. He stood a moment a s if puzzled and then r eturne d to the cabin, muttering Spanish oaths under his bre ath. He went out on deck and looked around the immediat e vicinity, carefully, but all to no purpose. He returned to the c abin in a bad humor, and, pla c in g the lantern on the fobl!'l, turnerl to Boh Short. By that time Tom and Jim had returp.ed to the s hado w of the doorway looking into the cabin, and were watchin g for development s "So, Senor Short," s aid the Mexican, in Englis h, "you have had a vis it o r, eh? Caramba Had I caught sight o f him there would hav e b e en something to feed the fis he s with. You do not feel s o b a d a s when la s t I wa s her e This visit9r not only cut you loose, but ga .ve you something to drink." 'rhe rascal smelt of the whiskey bottle, then poured out a portion in the tumbler and drank it. 1 "Well, are you tired of this? Shall we come to term s ? It is as you say whether you go to the island with me and dine on the, what you call, fat of the land, or-is it neces sary that I go to the trouble of e x pres s in g mys elf cle ar er? You gringos are stupid. Of what use is it t h at you hold out, eh? What you gain by it? You are now the picture of a dead man, and all because you thought to g e t the better of me. Caramba I am like an old fox. It is not s o e a s y to get the better of m e Suppose you refus e to tell me where the treasure is hidden, what then? Y qu die and I search on as I have done th e s e five year s pa s t till I find it. I am not so old but I have many years before me to examine every rock and bush on the island. It is a question of time before I find that million, and then it will all be mine. Think well, senor, is it worth while that you die to cheat

PAGE 24

/ r .. __ / A MILLION IN GOLD. 23 me out of hall of that million anc1 yourself out of the other hall? I promise you a good boat, and will help you load your share on her, if you agree to point out where the treas ure lies. Is not that fair enough ? Your life and half a million of gold money are at yom disposal. Are you mad that you throw both to the winds? Come, I .am for your answer." "My answer is ihc same. I do not trust you. You would not keep faith with me." "I swear by all the saints--" .., "It is too 0laie. I am as good as a dead rna:n. An hour or two and all the gold in the world will be nothin' to me. 'fhe R ccret dies with me. You may hunt yourRelf till you're whit e-he aded, but you will not :fiJ1Cl that million. Never, Pinto." C aramba You laugh at me!" cried the Mexican, fi1ri ousl.v. "You are not as .yet dead. Perhaps I find a way to ope n your lips. You are in my power, Senor Short. I cm1 clo with yousas I choose. Perhaps you have never heard liow Cort ez, who conquered this country, treated the Aztec c h i ef s who would not Teveal the hiding-places of the Mon tezuma. tre asme. Shall I tell .you one ordeal they underwent? Their feet were tied over a brazier of live coals. What tl1ink you if l try that on you, eh? You can .feel pain, Senor Short, is it not so? Well, I shall go now to il1e g alley to prepare the torture. When I return, it you
PAGE 25

A MILLION IN GOLD. "I'll send Jim to San Ignacio for a doctor,' said Tom. "Maybe he'll be able to save you." "It is useless. I'll be gone before he could get back. Give me a drink of the whiskey, for I feel deathly fai.nt. Then attend to tbnt rascal." Tom gave him a drink, and it brightened him up a bit, but not near so much as it had previously done. Even ihe boy saw now that the signs of dissolution were near at hand, and that no earthly power could save the sailor. "And it's all y01ir fault,'' mused Tom, bitterly, regarding the unconscious Mexican with small favor. "After all, I "' don't know whether I'd be sorry or not if I had killed you.'1 He motioned to Jim to bring the pieces of line had lately seemed Bob Short to the bunk, and then called on him to assist in making a prisoner of Pinto. Then they carried him into the hold and left him to re cover bis senses as best he might. Bob Short lingered an hour and then died like the puffing out of a candle. Tom then took the lantern and went into the ho1d to take a look at the Mexican. He was still insensible. "I wonder wbep he'll come to?" the boy asked himself. "The doctpr ought to be back from the mine by this time I guess I'd better bring him over here to attend to this rascal. That bullet may have given him concussion of the brain. I'll have to bring the wagon over anyway to carry the sailor's body to San Ignacio for burial. Yes, I guess the doctor had better see this fellow." Tom decided to cut Pinto loose, and did so. Then he and Jim started for the town. Tom decided to say nothing about the treas\.ire hidden on the island of Santa Cruz to the doctor. He meant, however, to take his brother into bis confi dence and with his help and Jim's set about recovering the million in gold. If they were successful in getting it into their possession he would hanc1 over a large slice of it to Jack, and hold probably $50,000 in trust for Jim, whom he had got to like very much indeed. Then they would charter a vessel of some kinrl to take them to San Francisco, they would proceed East by rajl. He calci1lated that his brother would be able to sqnnre himself somehow at the village by making a liberal dona tion to the place, and he hoped th.at in time he might be able to folly establish his innocence. As for himself, it would be l;l. simple matter to submit to arrest and then pay the small fine that he would be as sessed. Then he would build a fine hous'e for his mother to live in, and perhaps some day in the future Jennie Dean would become his wife and its mistress . These were the dreams he indulged in as he and Jim walked silently ba'ck to San Ignacio. They found the doctor am1 Jack waiting in the w ag on for them to show 11p. "Wl1ere have you boys been ?n a s ked Dr. Qua c k e nbus h. "We've been holding dinl\er back haH an hour for yq11." "Ob, we've been down io the taking a for thing, and 11p against a pretty strem1ons e ,x:perie nce, for another," replied Tom. "You don't Ray," replied the doctor. "Sit up to the table. You both look hungry. After you've filled up you can tell your story." All hands showed that they possessed excellent appetite s, for they cleaned up about everything in sight. "Jim can wash up the dishes while you t e ll us about this stirring adventure that you hinted at," said the doctor after they had finished the meal. 0Tbe proprietor of the Kickapoo Remedy got out one of his cigars, Jack produced his pipe, and then Tom be g an hi::; story. He relater] everything just a1:1 it happened to Jim and himself, but he said nothing at all about the treasure on the island. Jack and the doctor were greatly astonished, and the latter agreed to go down to the wreck, in the wagon, and give the Mexican the benefit o.f his services. Accordingly, Tom and Jim hitched the horses to the wa.gon and the former drove the vehicle to the shore. "'l'here's the old derelict, yonder,'' he pointed to the d o ctor. "Hard and fast ashore in the sand, isn't it?" was the reply. "Yes, she's sailed her last trip on the briny," laughed Tom. He guided the wagon close alongside of the wreck and, with his brother and Dr. Quackenbush, stepped on her deck. The lantern was still burning on the table in the cabin, and the face of the dead sailor looked calm and peaceful. "Poor fellow, he's gone to his final accourl't," remarked the doctor; "We'll take him with us to the town, pre s ently." Then, taking the lantern in his hand, Tom led the way into the hold to the spot where he hadleft Mendez Pinto. The Mexican, however, was not there "He's gone," said Tom, in some surprise. "Recovered his senses of his own accord," replied the cloctor. "The wound couldn't )lave been a serious ove. The ball pTobably only stunned him, though from your description I judge that he had a narrow shave of it." "I guess he did," replied Tom. "I didn't aim at his head; but, then, I'm no great shot. The kicked and the ball was deflected upward." "Well, my professional services will not be called into requisition, I see So let's attend to the dead sailor now,'' said the doctor. The body of Bob Short was wrnpped in a blanket and carried to the wagon. Then they drove back to San Ignacio. As the wagon receded from the wreck a heacl, bound up

PAGE 26

r A MILLION IN GOLD. 25 in a blood-slainecl rag, appeared above aud g lared after lhem. the companionway I goL lo keep our eyes skinned for that Mexican, Mendez It was Mendez Pinto who had recovered his senses a little while before the vehicle drove up, and seeing that he could not leave the derelict without being observed had concealed himself behind the galley until the party left. "So, young senor, l have your face well booked in my memory," he gritted, with a look that augured ill for 'l'om Danvers. "You balked me at the moment of success. It will be my turn soon io pay you back, with interest, the debt I owe yo u. Yo. u shall regret the homl you interfered wi\h Mendez Pinto. I will make you dance to the tune of the dead march." Ile shook his .fis t after the departing vehicle, and when it had vanished around a bend in the road he emerged entirely from the companion-la
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