A golden stake, or, The treasure of the Indies

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A golden stake, or, The treasure of the Indies
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Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
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New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (29 pages)


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Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Wealth ( lcsh )
Entrepreneurship -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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F18-00115 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.115 ( USFLDC Handle )
031444451 ( ALEPH )
840610002 ( OCLC )

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Dime Novel Collection
Fame and Fortune Weekly

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As Jack lifted the first box of coin out of the opening two forms suddenly appeared upon the rocks behind him. Tom and Mat recognized the piratical-looking Jim Crowe in the lead, and sprang forward to defend the treasure. .,


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY luved Weekl11-B11 Subscrip t io n $ 2 .50 per 11ear E11te1ed acco rding to Act of Congre, i n t h e fle a r 1908, '" the olfce of the Librariall of C o ng1eu, JVarh ington, D. C ., b11 Frank 7 'ouse11, Pub lia h er, 2 4 Uni o n Squar e, New Yor k No. 123. NEW YORK, :FEBRUARY 7, 1908. PRICE 5 CENTS. A 'fiOLDEN STAKE OR, .. THE TREASURE OF THE INDIES CHA PTER I. JIM CROWE, A. B. By A SELF-MADE MAN he 's known as C ap'n Josiah Norris," a n d the sai l o r p u t a strong accent on the word "captain "Yes, he is,'' replied Jack. "Hello, sonny!" "Thank ye, sonny," replied the visitor, with a sa. tisfied Jack Dalton, a stalwart, &ood-looking boy of seventeen grin, "I'm glad 1 to hear it. The cap'n and me is o l d years, who, with his back to the counter, was sorting over friends a score of letters he had j ust taken from the mai l pouch, "Old friends!" exclaimed the boy, somewhat surprised preliminary to distributi n g them in the pigeon-holes l et That's right, sonny. I sa il ed with the cap'n a numbe r tered from A to Y, turned around and looked at the p erson of v'y'ges in his old hooker, the Mary Ellen. I've been who had addressed him. huntin' for him thi s ten yea r back." He had not heard any one enter the store, which was a "What's your name?" general one, kept by Josiah Norris, a reti red sea captain, "My name is Jim Crowe, A. B." on Main Street, in the village of Blueville, Long I s land. "A. B ? What does that mean?" As he faced the visitor Jack saw that he was a perfect "That means able bodied, sonny I'm a sai lor from kee l strange r in the village. to truck, and I'm that pickled with brine that ye kin sme ll Anybody could see with half an eye that he was a sailor, the salt in my breath." though he was in a new s uit of shore going togs, Jack was of the opinion that the fellow's breath sme l t and not a prepossessing l ooki n g one, eithe r of something stronger even than sea brine, but didn't conThere was an evil glint in his shifty eye that the boy si d e r it necessary to say so. did not like. "Well, what can r" do for you, Mr. Crowe?" he asked If he wasn't a rascal at heart the n h is face belied him. "A vast there, rriy hearty Dlop the handle. I ain't used At any rate, that's the way J f;lCk sized h i m u p as they to it. Call me Jim, or Crowe, nr both tog et her, if ye like, look ed at each other across t h e counter. but don't lay on the mister "Well, sonny," said the mariner, with a wicked sort of "What 'Cl o you want?" chuckle, which seemed to come from his boots, his voice was "I want the cap'n. As soon as I ran foul of a clue to his so hoar se, "when ye have got through takin' a sight at me bein' in this here port I made all p l ain sail from New York I d like to ask ye a question or two and here I am. It's a satisfacshun to know that I. hit it all "What do you want to know?" asked Jack, not over right." politely, for he distrusted the man. "You want to see Captain Josiah Norris?" "I'll ?llow this store is kept by Josiah Norris, for his "That's what I said, sonny. I want to see the cap'n, and J).amc is on Lhe sign over the door, but I'd lik e to know if I to see him bad."


A GOLDEN STAKE. "Well, he's out jus t at present." "When d'ye expect him back?" I couldn't say. He might r eturn in, and then he mightn t be back till after dark." "Then, with your permisshun, sonny, I'll wait "I think you'd better come back later on,'' said Jack, who did not relish the idea of having the hard-looking sailor hanging around the p lace. "Sorry, s onny, but I ain't no place to go. That chair by the stove looks like a snug anchorage and I'll take pos ses shun of it. P r'ap s y e wouldn't mind handin' me out a hunk of cheese and some crackers. I ain t had nothin' to eat s ince I left t he metrop o lis, and I f eel kind o f e mpty 'tweendecks." "I s'pose you've got the price?" s aid Jack, without moving \ I recko n I have, sonny, but the cap'n wouldn't charge me nothin' if he was here." "As I don t know you I ll have to a s k you to come up. If you're an old friend of Oaptain Norris he'll probably return you the money "What's the damage?" "The crackers and cheese will b e ten c e nts. If you want a mug of; cider, too, that will c o s t you another nick el." "Haven't you got s omethin strong-er' n c i der, son ny ?" "No. you want anything in th e line o f s pirits you'll have to go to the tavern in .the next block." 1That's a pity I reckon I'll have to put up with the cider, though it's a poor thing to swa b -a chap' s throat out after swallerin' a cargo of fog H ere' a qu arte r. Y e kin give me a dime change." J im Crowe, A B., took possession of t h e armch air j u fro n t of the stove, where he proceeded to make himse lf at home with the cheese, cracker s and cider that J ack placed before him. The boy resumed the s orting of the l et t e r s and the n h e placed them in boxes, after w hi c h h e foll o wed the sam e course with the dozen odd papers tha t th e pouch c o n t a in ed, during which operation he cas t sev eral. furtive g lances at the strange sailor, wondering wh a t h e h a d c a ll e d to see Cap tain Norris for, and whether the captain w ould be g l ad t o see him after so many y ears Jack was an orphan, and to his kno w le dge h a d n ot a r e l a ii l'e in the world. When his mother died, eight y ear s s ince, h e h a d c o me to live and tend store for the captain, who a s h ort t i me b efore that had retired from active s ervic e as s kipp er of t h e b ri g Mary Ellen, which was in the West Indian t r ade, a nd h a d come to Blueville and i nvested a portion o f hi s s avi ngs i n the general store. While Captain Norris had relative s with w h o m he o c casionally corresponded, he was not troubl ed wi th v i sits from them, and lived with Jack as hi s onl y compani on i n three rooms above the store. He was very fond of Jack, treatin g tp.e boy as i f h e w ere his son, and Jack thought a whole lot of him i n conse q uence. The captain was now a.bout six ty-fiv e y ear s of a g e with bu shy gray whiskers ancl a thick h e ad of hair of the s am e tinge. His comple x ion was tanned to th e colo r o f mal10g an y b y the sun and winds of t he tropics, and h e was as hale and hearty as any man could be at his age. Jack was a great favorit.e in the village, not only with the girls and boys, but with the grown-ups as well, for h e had a s unny di s po s ition, and was always willing to do a favor for anybody that wanted it. He had all the liberty to enjoy himself that any" bo y could a s k for und e r h i s circum stances, and with rugged health and a lar g e fund of animal s pirits to draw on, he was a s contented a s th e da y was long. Wh e n Jim C rowe had fini s h e d hi s fo1g al lunch he picked up a copy o f t h e v illa g e pap e r he found a t hand and plant ing hi s m ud dy boot s a gai n s t the gra t e of the s tove, for the s prin g da y w as c hilly, he proceed e d to r ea d the loc a l and other intelli g enc e Cus tomers dropped in occa s ionally and were waited on by Jack. All of them noti c ed the sailor, becau s e he was a strang er, and t h e y as k ed the boy who he was, and what he was doing in the st ore. Jack 's an s w e r t o a ll w a s that the man's name was Jim Crowe, a nd tha t h e h a d G alled to see Captain Norri s who w a s out. Amon g t h e v i si tor s to the s t o re w e r e Tom Trimble and Ma t M ul ford, two p artic ular fri e nd s of Jack's T o m came in t o g et a package. of tobacco for hi s father, and Ma t a rrived almo s t immedi a t e l y afterward to get something t hat hi s m ot h e r w anted. "Wh o's the cha p over by the s tove?" asked Tom "He looks like a sailo r "He i s a sailo r," r e plied J ack. "His nam e is Jim C rowe. "He seems to b e ta kin g t hi ngs easy for a stra n ge r. J ack exp l a in e d why t h e sa ilo r was there A t that p oin t Ma t entered t h e s tor e and the first thing h e noticed was t h e m aritime v i s i to r. J ack h ad to tell him who th e sailor was and the object of hi s c a ll. I d on t l ik e his 'looks," said M a t "Neith e r do I chim e d in Tom "He's got a bad e ye, sa id J a ck. "I don't fan c y the way h e sized me up w hen h e cam e in the s tor e I wis h the captain would com e and send him about hi s booiness." Whi l e t he boys wer e talking toget h er the s ail()r got up a n d app r oached t h e m He look e d Tom and Ma t ove r and the n said to Jack: "\Ve ll son n y it's bout time the cap n hove in. s ight, a in't it?" "Captai n Norris usu a lly takes hi s time when he goes anywhe re," rep lied Jack. J est so," grinne d the s ailor I s'pose y ou'r e s kipp e r here when he's away. You ain t hi s son are y e ?" "No." P 'r'aps you' r e his neph e w? } "No. I'm no relation of hi s." J est so," c huckled Crowe. "Cap n marri e d ? "No,'' r e pli e d Jack. D 'ye s 'pose the cap'n has a s par e roo m for an old s hip mate ? Jack s h ook hi s head. "There s o nl y three room s up s tairs. Captain Norri s o c -


A GOLDEN ST AKE. cupies the front one, I use the small one next to it, and the back room is kitchen and dining room combined. We've no room for visitors." "So there ain't nobody in the house 'cept the cap'n and you, eh?" said the sailor, with a look of satisfaction. "That's jest like the old man. He was always for keepin' to himself At that moment the door opened and Captain Norris en tered the store. Captain Norris now," Jack. The sailor turned, and then with a grin advanced to ward the storekeeper, holding out his hand. "I reckon I've found ye at last, cap'n, and I'm mighty glad to see ye ag'in arter ten long years that ye managed to put between us. Ye ain't changed much in that time, and I don't reckon that I have, either. I'm the same old shellback, and it ought to put ye in mind of old times to see me once more Captain Norris didn't look as if he was overjoyed at seeing one of his old hands again. In fact, the unexpected appearance of Jim Crowe, A. B., seemed to give him a chill. The boys noticed that he started back aghast and looked much discomposed He made no effort to welcome the sailor, but stared at him with mouth half open. He started to say something, but the words died away in his throat Evidently if Jim Crowe had expected a royal reception, with a fatted calf in the background, he was disappointed. CHAPTER IL "I WANT THE CHART, AND I':l.1 GOIN' TO HAVE IT OR YOUR LIFE." "Ain't ye got a word of welcome for your old shipmate, cap'n ?" grinned the sailor, sardonically, as he fixed the retired skipper with his wicked eyes. "Maybe ye thought I was dead and buried years ago, and ye are so overj'yed at seein' me alive that ye can't speak ." "So it's really you, Jim Crowe," said the captain at last, in a hollow kind of voice that didn't seem natural to Jack or the other boys, who regarded the meeting of Captain Norris and the stranger with no little intere!lt and curiosity. "Right ye are, cap'n; it's me, sure enough. I told ye there warn't no use of ye tryin' to shake me. I ain't to be shook, leastways not so long as ye hold on to that there chart which--" Hush! said the captain "Come this way and I'll talk to you." Captain Norris led the way to the back part of the store. "I don't know how you managed to find me out, Crowe, but since you have we'll talk business right from the start." "That's what I like to hear, cap'n," chuckled the visitor. "It won't do you no good to hang around this village keeping your eye on me, Crowe. You won't gain anytl\ing by it. I haven't used the chart, and I don't expect to now." "Ye couldn't find the island, I reckon. Ye can't tell me that ye didn't look for it, for I know ye did." "I'll allow I hunted for it, but I couldn't find it." "Then ye are willin' to give up the dockyment, are ye?" "No, I'm not," replied th e s torekeeper, firmly. "There's a fortune in it for some one younger me, and I've picked out the party who's to enj'y it." "Oh, ye have," snarled Crowe, with a wicked gleam in his eye. "Ye have picked out someone ye mean to give it to?" "I have." "And where do I come in? Half of that there gol d belongs to me. "No," replied the captain, firmly, "you never any right to that chart at all. -If you had I woul d have seen that you had a fair show along w.ith me to realize on the strengt h of it." "I never had no right to it, eh?" gritted the sailor. "Not the slightest You as good as murdered the man who owned it. He gave it to me in gratitude for what I did for him when he lay dying at the hospital in ,Rio. He gave it to me also on the condition that I would keep it from you. I swore. to do so, and I've kept my oath "Jest so," sneered Crowe. "Well, it ain't done ye no good, has it?" "Not a pa rticle." "Then I'd adwise ye to give it to me and save trouble." "I doubt if you could find the island either." "Ye needn't worry 'bout that. If I don't find the island there's no harm done. If I do find it I'll send ye a portion of the gold, though I don't reckon that I QWe ye much a.rter the way ye'v e treated me. However, I figure that there' s more gold on that the re island than I kin spend, and I'll allow ye are entitled to what I don't want." "I' ll make no deal of that kind with you, Crowe. I'm going to will that paper to somebody I think the world of. As I expect to live some years yet the chart is safe enough till the Lord calls on me to go." "Ye may live as long as ye think ye will, and then ag'in," with a wicked leer, "ye may die sudden like. If I was a insurance comp'ny I wouldn't take no ris k on ye as long as ye hold on to that there chart." "Do you mean to threaten me?" demanded Captain Nor ris, angrily. "I reckon I ain't tellin' ye more'n ye suspect yourself, otherwise ye wouldtrt have taken suoh precious good care to throw me off your scent." "You're a conscienceless scoundrel, Jim Crowe. I have no doubt you wouldn't hesitate to take my life if you saw your way clear to that chart; bu,t you'll never find it, mark you. It's hidden where you nor no one else can find it till I die a natural death." The sailor seemed considerably taken aback by the cap tain 's words "Jest so," he muttered "Ye've hidden it. Ye've done this to prevent me from gettin' my rights Well' s'pose ye have hidden it, ain't your life worth somethin'? Do ye want to run the risk of bein' cut off sudden like, and leavin' that there dockyment as a extra hazardous risk to some one ye think the wo!ld of?" "You villain roared Captain N OITis, seizing the sai l or with both hands "I've half a mind to "Why don't ye finish it?" replied Crowe, who made not the slightest resistance to the captain's attack, although bis muscular frame showed that he was well abl e to defend


4 A GOLDEN STAKE. himself if necessa ry. "Why don't ye say what's in your mind?" "You're an infernal rascal "Jest so,'' replied Crowe, coolly. "Keep on. My feelin's is that hardened I kin stand it. I'll allow when we sailed together ye coul d lay the law uown to us chaps from the Lreak of the poop as strong as any cap'n I ever knowed. Ye warn't no milk and-water skipper. Ye warn't afraid of no man 'board the hooker. But it's diff'rent now. It's been diff'iient these ten year back. Ye are afraid of me." "Afraid of you "Ye have shown it in a doo:en wa.ys. What has changed ye? '!.'hat there chart, and ye !mow it. Ye know I intend to have it if-I have to take your life," the sailor hissed. "So what's the use of tryi,n' to hold me off? Ye are takin' chances holdin' out ag'in me When a chap has waited ten year for sornethin' he's determined to git he ain't in no humor for triflin'." 1The sailor clearly meant every word he said, and Captain Norris knew it. However, he deemed it prudent to temporize with the rascal. "I'm willing to give you $500 cash, Crowe, if you'll agree to quit the village and not return,'' he said. "\V11at's $500 in cash when maybe there's a million in gold hidden away on that there island?" "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush There's no certainty about the treasure being on the island even if the chart eventually leads to the island." "You hand over the chart and I'll take all the chances of findin' the island and the gold, too," replied the sailor. "You refuse my offer, then?" "I wouldn't look at it. I want the chart, and I'm goin' to have it or your life!" gritted the sailor. "Then you'll have to take my life, for the chart you'll never get while I'm alive." "I'll give ye another chance. Fit out a schooner, take me with ye and we'll hunt for the island and gold together. If we find the treasure we'll divide even. Then ye can go your way and I'll go mine. Is it a bargain?" The speaker's eyes snapped as he uttered the words. "I'll think it over. Call here in the morning and you shall have my answer, one way or the other," said Captajn Norris. Crowe :fixed the captain with his wicked eyes, and seemed to be debating in his miJ?,d whether to give the old man time or not. "I'll let ye think it over;" he said finally, with a treach erous twinkle that ought to have warned the skipper that the sailor was not to be trusted "I'll be around for your answer in the mornin'. See that it's yes, or it will be wuss for ye. D'ye understand?" and Crowe turned sharp around and walked out of the store with that peculiar roll ing gait which characterizes an old sailor. Captain Norris heaved a sigh of relief as he watched him disappear, and then slowly walked upstairs with bent head and shaky step "The has come at last, after all these years," he whispered to himself "I feared it in spite of the lapse of time. It was my hope that the rascal was dead. I knew that as l ong as he lived he never would cease for Ille. He swore that he would track me if he spent his whole life doing it, and he has kept his word. Well, his perse verance shall do him no good as far as the chart is con cerned. My oath must be kept even at the cost of my life. For me the treasure of the Indies has no further signifi cance, but the chart shall be my legacy to Jack. He is young, and plucky, and stalwart. He may be able to locate lhe island some time, and if the treasure is there it shall be his The captain entered his room and shut the door behind him \ CHAPTER III. THE CAPTAIN'S STORY. The three boys had watched the interview between Cap tain Norris and the unsavory-looking sailor in a furtive 1rny, Tom and Mat wholly forgetting the erranps that had brought them to the store They only caught a word now and then when either the captain or Crowe raised his voice above the low tone in which they were carrying on their conversation. The actions of the two men, however, spoke volumes, and the boys readily believed that the subject under discussion was a weigl;ity one "That sailor seems to be laying the law down to Captain Norris," said Tom Trimb l e, in a low tone Jack could not help agreeing with him, and he wondered that the captain did not tbJ:ow the rascal out of the store The captain made no attempt to do so, however, though when his passion momentarily got the better of him, and he laid his hands menacingly on the sailor, the boys looked to see a scrap, but it didn't materialize. Finally Jim Crowe left the store and Captain Norris went upstairs. "That sailor acted as though he bad a hold over the cap tain," said Mat Mulford, with a suggestive shake of the head. "Otherwise, from what I've seen of the old man, he'd have got the bounce." "That's," coincided Tom. "Captain Norris isn't a man to be trifled with, is he, Jack?" "No, he isn't. I can't understand why he put up with the rascal," said Jack. "Looks very myste r ious," interjected Mat. "It certainly does," agreed Tom. "What do you think about it, Jack?'? "I don't know what to think I'm bound to say that I don't like it. That Jim Crowe isn't up to any good coming here." "I guess he'll bear watching," said Mat. "I wouldn't like to meet him on the county road of a dark night,'' put in Tom "Neither would I,'' said Mat. "He's a hard customer." "Well, I must be going,'' said Tom, recollecting what had brought him to the store. "I want two spools No. 60 black, and one spool No. 70 white, Clark's thread." "All right,'' replied Jack. "I'll get them for you." He stepped across to a cabinet behind the counter on the opposite side of the store, picked out the spools, wrapped them up and handed them to Tom "Anything else?" he inquired. i


G OLDEN STAKE. 6 "No, that's all. So l ong," and Trimble left tj1e store. "I want a package of Old Crow tobacco," said Mat. Jack handed it to him "That's all," said Mat, putting' it in his pocket "Will you be down to the club to-night?" "I guess so," answered Jack, picking u p the salesbook and entering the two purchases in it. While he_ was doing it 'Mat said good bye and went away "I'd give a whole lot to know what that sailor had to say to the captain," he said to himself, looking reflectively at the chair by the stove l ast occupied by Jim Crowe "He wasn't a welcome visitor, that was evident I n fact, the captain looked surprised a.nd m u ch disturbed as soon as he saw him. I'm afraid Mat was right he said that rascal has some hold over Capta i n Norris. I can't see how such a fellow as he could have any ho l d on the captain I'm sure the o l d man. never did anything in his l ife that he was ashamed of. He isn't that kind of man I hate any thing like a mystery. I wonder if that sailor will be back? I shall be tempted to show him the door if he does return, though if he won't take the hint there isn't much likelihood that I'll be able to put him out bodily. He looks as if he could handle me with one hand. It's a pity he turned up Just then two men came in to see if any mai l had come for them. There was a p aper for one of them, and the othe r t reated to cigars. Then a girl came in with a jug apd asked for a quart of molasses. While he was waiting on her Captain Norris came down stairs and re-entered the store. He went to the stove, and seating himself in the chair vacated by Jim Crowe, leaned his hea .d. on his hand and dropped into a brown study. The girl departed with the molasses and Jack busied him self about the store, and waited on other customers who came in. At length it grew dark, and the captain still sat motion less in his chair. Jack watched him occasionally with some uneasiness. It wasn't at all like Captain Norris to act in such an odd way Jack, as he started to light the lamps, was satisfied there was something out of the common the matter with the old man. Whatever it was, it evidently arose from the visit of Jim Crowe. However, unless the captain chose to take him into his confidence he wasn't likely to learn anything about the matter. At length Captain Norris raised his head a?d called Jack over to the stove. "Jack," he said, solemnly, "I've got something to tell you." "What is it, captain?" "You saw that sailor who was here awhile ago?" "Yes." "He's the giea.test scom;idrel unhung." "I believe you, captain. He's got a bad eye, and I sized him up as a rascal when he fir5t came in the s tore and asked for you." "He has threatened to kill me, Jack." "What for?" asked the boy, greatly startled. "Because I have something in my possess i on that he covets "Why don't you send for t h e constab l e and h ave him arreste d ? "I've bee n thinking of doing t hat, J ack; J;>u t I fear it would afford me but a temporary respite Whe n he got out of jail he would, seek to carry out his threat. I've known him for the matter of fifteen years, an d he's the o nly man I've ever felt power less to handle "But if you don't have him arrested b e may do y ou an injury." "I'll have to risk it, J ack He's coming he r e in the morning to get my answer to a proposition be made me On account of an obli gation, a very sacred one, I entered into e l even years ago in Rio de Janeiro, I cannot comp l y with his stheme, even if I felt disposed to do so, and conse quently I cannot say to what extremes the villain will go when he receives my u ltimatum. Owing to this crisis in my affairs I have decided that it is necessary to take you into my confidence I am going to tell you a story that will probably astonish 'you. It is the story of pirate go l d, buried on a certain island in the Caribbean Sea "Pirate gold!" ejaculated Jack, in surp r ise. "Yes. You remember that I have told you ma n y tales of the pirates of the Spanish Main, and of the West Indian. waters." Jack nodded and waited with great interest fo r the old skipper to go on. "I told you how those rascals originated; how under dif ferent leaders :flourished and painted the tropical seas red with human b l ood; how they plundered richly freighted galleons, most of which in those days flew the flag of Spain, a n d how they spent the bulk of their ill-gotten spoils in riotous living, and eventually ended their crimina l caree r s, as a rule, a t the end of a halter. You remembe r a ll this, Jack?" "Yes, captain." "Well, my boy, you also recollect that I told you it was the custom of those villains to bury their plunder when hard pressed by justice, or when they were unable for divers reasons to dispose of accumulated swag, expecting to recover it at some later time when a s afe opportunity presented itself." "Yes, sir. I rememb e r all that, and I've read about it, too." of the stuff was no doubt dug up at a future date and squandered by the rascals; but a good deal of this treasure still lies where it was originally buried, mostly in the sands of secluded coves on unfrequented islands in the Caribbean Sea. It is to one of these unrecovered treasures that my story relates," said the captain, wiping his brow with his red bandana handkerchief. Jack was now an eager listener, and he waited impa tiently for further developments. "When I was at Rio twelve years ago," w ent on Captain Norris, "I was one night traversing an obscure street close to the water side when I heard a cry of 'murder!' A man ran out of a narrow alley, closely pursued by another with a lm.ife in his hand. As the first man stumbled blindly


6 GOLDEN STAKE. toward me, repeating his thrilling cry, the second man closed upon him and raised his lmie to finish his bloody work. I bad paused in the shadow of one 0 the buildings and was unnoticed by either. Seeing that murder was about to be committed I sprang out just in time to airest the impending blow that would no doubt have finished the fleeing man As I seized the upli.ed arm 0 the would-be murderer, he turned furiously upvn me and it was then that I recognized him as a member 0 my crew-an able seaman named Jim Crowe." "Jim Crowe!" ejaculated Jack. "The man who called here this afternoon?" identical man He was rather staggered when he recogmzed me as his captajn, and as I always was a. man who stood no nonsense from my men, and they knew me, he made no further effort to attack me, but dropped his kme and stood in sullen silence until I released his a.rm he immediately took to his heels and disappeared mto the alley whence he and the other man had just is sued. I then looked for the object 0 his murderous as sault and saw him lying huddled all in a heap a dozen feet away. He was unconscious, and I discovered that he was bleeding from an ugly wound in his breast. At that moment a police patrol came upon the scene and I had the victim of Jim Crowe carried to the hospital. "Next day I visited him. He was a sailor, stranded in the port, and taking pity on him; I let orders that eve" ry thing possible be done for him. I went to some small expense to see that he got nourishing food and sundry deli cacies, for I felt that I owed him a duty since his assailant was a member of my crew. The poor fellow seemed to be grateful for the attention I gave him, and when he learned from the surgeon that he could not live over twelve hours he sent for me. Then I discovered that the possession 0 an old chart, disclosing the hiding place 0 a la.roe store 0 pirate gold, was the cause 0 his plight. He had made the casual acquaintance of Jim Crowe at a low drinkino house 0 and when somewhat under the influence 0 liquor had told Crowe about the chart, and the latter evidently determined t6 get possession of it by foul means. He attacked the man in the alley as he was leaving the house, stabbed him, and was following up his evil work when, as I have told you, I happened upon the scene and defeated his purpose. To make a long story short, the dying sailor gave me the chart which had cost him his life, and at the same time, on learning that Crowe belonged to my ship, made me swear that i the rascal found out I had the chart, under no consideration should he benefit even to the extent 0 a dollar in the buried treasure. Next day the sailor was dead "Crowe had not returned to the ship and I gave his description to the police. As I had to sail in a day or two I made a deposition 0 the affair before a notary and left it in the hands of t'he authorities. Hardly were we in blue waters when Jim Crowe made his appearance from the hold, where he had been hiding with the connivance of several of the I called him up, told him tha.t he was a murderer, and that I considered it to be my duty to hand him over to the authorities 0 Havana, whither we were bound. He gaveme an ugly look, but said nothing Next day :while I was examining the chart in the cabin I hap pened to glance up at the open skylight and detected the looking down at me. "From lhat moment his shadow has always been upon me. I soon discovered that I hau cause to fear the same ate that had befallen the stranded sailor at Rio. He dis appeared the night we reached Havana, but turned up a.gain as soon as we put to sea. He had the nerve to propose that we make a joint search for the treasure. I refused and then he threatened me." I had him put in irons, and in tended to turn him over to the police in New York, but the day we anived he escaped with the assistance of two sailors who were chummy with him. Detectives hunted or him in vain, but I felt that I might expect him to turn up when I least expected it. "On my r:.ext trip to the tropics I made a hurried search for the island where the treasure is, but could not locate it. On my return voyage I repeated the quest, but without re sult. When I returned to New York I found that I was constantly shadowed by the villain or somebody in his in terest. I had several narrow escapes for my life, and at length the strain proved too much for me. I resigned my command and determined to bury myself somewhere in the country I selected this r<.'tirerl village, bought this store, and have lived here undisturbed for ten yea.m. "As time passed I believed that I had e[edually thrown the off my track. A month ago I had an ugly dream. I thought the rascal had found me at last. Since then I've lived in constant fear that my dream might be realized. To-day it was. The scoundrel has discovered me, and once more I'm at his mercy. But he shall not get the chart, though he kill me. Long ago I decided that the treasure on that Caribbean island should be yours, Jack, if in the course 0 time you were so fortunate as to ;find the place described in the chart." "Mine!" cried the astonished boy. "Yes. You are young, with the probability of many years before you. The chart shall be yours to do with as you choose. It is hidden--" At that morrient the sound 0 cat-like steps in the room above their heads-the captain's room-reached their CHAPTER IV. THE CHART "Hark! What's that?" exclaim eel the captain. They listened intently. Presently they heard the cautious tread 0 footsteps again, followed by the fall of some small article on the .floor. "There's someone in my room," cried the old skipper, springing to his eet and starting for the stairs at the back part of the store. Jack was.about to follow him when a small boy entered and handed him an order for sundry supplies that his mother wanted "I'll attend to it, Billy," said Jack, a.ter glancing over the list He handed the lad a few candies, placed the order on a file, and as the door closed behind the boy, he started for the stairs to listen at the foot, or ascend to the floor above if he thought his presence was necessary there.


A STAKE. 7 =======================;=======================-He had hardly taken his stand there when he hea.rd muffled sounds of a struggle on the floor above. That was enough for Jack. The captain bad evidently sU:rprised the intruder and was trying to capture him. The boy started up the stairs, two steps at a time. A s he struck the corridor he heard a cry from the captain followed by the words: "Villain, you have stabbed me!" Jack's blood ran cold, and for an instant he paused aghast. Then he recqvered his nerve and dashed for the old skip per's room. The door stood open, a gleam of light shi:ning into the corridor, and when he reached it a dreallful sight met his eyes. Captain Norris lay stretched upon the fluor, like a dead man, and standing o ver him was Jim Crowe, )rnife in hand, looking down at his terrible work. With a cry of grief and rage Jack sprang upon the rascal. The fellow, taken by surprise, started back, tripped over the captain's body and, losing his balance, fell backward. His head struck the cornE:r of the chimney and he rolled over stunned, the knife falling from his grasp. Jack paid no further attention to him, but devoted his energies to Captain Norris, who seemed to be recovering his faculties. The boy tore open the old man's vest and shirt and saw that he was bleeding profusely from a wound in his side. Taking the handkerchief from his pocket he tried to stanch the flow of blood. The captain opened his eyes and looked at him. "Jack," he said, feebly, "I fear I'm done for. That villain played a march on me. He came back on the sly, and I caught him searching my room for the chart. I grabbed him, and in the struggle that took place between us he knifed me. I am gi:owing weaker every moment. I believe I am dying, Jack. But before I go I must see that you get the chart It is hidden in the chimney. Put your hand up the flue You will feel a loose brick at the back. Remove it, and you will find the chart in the back of the hole. Secure it at once. Do as I tell you, Jack. I want to know you have it in your possession before I die:" I can find the chart any time, captain," sobbed the lad, for he loved the old man and the prospect of his death, in such a sudden and tragic manner, was a terrible shock to him. "No, no; get it now, Jack. Let me see it in your hand and then I can die satisfied that it is beyond the reach of that scoundrel. Where is he? Has he escaped? "No. He is unconsciqus on the floor." "The chart, the. chart!" cried the skipper, with a frantic kind of eagerness. Jack saw that it would be necessary to humor him, so he jumped up, stepped over to the chimney, inserted his hand up the flue, removed the loose brick, felt around the aperture unti l his fingers touched something like a small packet, which he drew forth. The wounded man watched his movements with feverish intere st "That's it, Jack," he said in a voice hardly above a whis per. "That's it. Hide it, quick! Hide--" His head dropped back and the next word died in hi s throat. Jack thrust the packet into his pocket and sprang quickly to the captain's side, unconscious that the sailor had re covered his senses and had heard a portion of the wounded man's words. "He is dead! He is dead!" moaned the boy, noting the pallor on the old man's face and seeing how still and death like he lay. Half frantic with gi:ief he felt for the skipper's heart. To his great joy he noticed that it was still beating, though faintly. "I must get a doctor at once," he cried. "There isn't a momeQ_t to be lost." Without thinking of the motionless ruffian near the chimney, he dashed out of the room, down the stairs and into the store, where he found Tom TTimble standing with his back against one of the counters waiting for somE'bod:y to turn up. He was much start led by the excited appearance of J a c k Dalton. "What's the matter, Jack? What's happened?" "Murder is the matter," palpitated Jack. "Murder!" gasped Tom, turning pale. "Yes. That sailor came back and has stabbed the cap ta1n. I'm going for a doctor as quick as I can. Mind the store, will you, till I get back?" With those words Jack snatc hed up his hat an d rusheCl out at the door There were two doctors in the village, and the nearest one lived about a quarter of a mile from the store: Jack made for his house as fast as he could run The doctor was in and the boy hurriedly acquainted him with tlrn facts of the case. The physician agreed with the lad that there was no time to be lost. He got his emergency bag and accompanied Jack back to the store Tom was doing his best to wait on two customers who had come in, and without stopping Jack led the doctor up to Captain N orris's room. The old skipper lay ju s t as the boy had left him, and Jack was afraid he was past all help. Jim Crowe was gone. The physician examined the wound and pronounced it dangerous, but not necessarily fata l. He washed it with an antiseptic preparation and then carefully bandaged it. Though the o1d skipper had lost a good deal of the physician hoped that his rugged constitution would pull him through. With Jack's assistance he was put to bed, and this had hardly been accomplished when the captain came to his senses. He was very weak and could not speak above a whisper He asked the doctor if there was any hope of his pulling through, and the physician told him that he thought he had a good chance of doing so. It was arranged that the doctor should send a nur se to attend to Captain Norris, since Jack would have his hands full looking after the sto re all by himself.


8 A GOLDEN ST.AKE. ==================:::;::::===========-------After the physician hacl departed Jack went downstairs and sent Torn for the constable. When that official arrived, wl1ich he did in a huny when Tom told him what had happened at the store, Jack put him in possession of all the particulars of the case. "You say it was a sailor named Jim Crowe who stabbed Captain Norris?" said the constable. "Yes, sir," answered Jack. "Describe him, please." Jack did so, and Tom corroborated the description. ''If the captain i's in a critical condition I had better fetch the justice pere and hav e his ante-mortem statement taken." "Dr. Harper said that he thought he'd pull through owing to his strong constitution." "Well, Dr. Harper ought to be a gooa judge of the rnan s condition. Still, it's well to be on the safe side I think his statement ought to be taken, finyway Can I go up and see him?" Jack said he could, and accompanied the constable to Captain N orris's b e dside. As the old skipper was not in condit ion to answer ques tions without weakening himself, the officer concluded to postpone getting his statement for the present. He went away to start an immediate search for the ras cally sajlor In a short time the nurse came to attend the captain When Jack came downstnirs again he found Mat Mul ford in the store with Tom. Jack locked up the place and the three boys sat around tho stove and ta.1ked about the advent of Jim Crowe in the Yillage, and the well-nigh fatal attempt he had made on the captain's life. Although Jack, having heard the old skipper's story, knew the reason that prompted the villain's desperate a ct, he did not consider that he ought to explain ma.tters to his companions, though they were his particular friends. In fact, he coul d not have made matters clear without telling the story of the chart, and that he did not propose to do Torn and Mat were both satisfied that the sailor had a strong grudge against Captain Norris to cause him to make a murderous assault on the old man. They hazanlcd a dozen reasons to account for Jim Crowe's animosity against his former commander, but not one came anywhere near hitting the tnith. Jack had little to say on the subject, though his chums plied him with numerous questions, thinking they might get a clue to the mystery through his answers In the end they went home as much in the dark as ever. \\'hen Jack \rent to his room, after looking in on the captain and learning from the nurse that the skipper was re-ling easily, he li ghted his lamp and then, full of boyish curiosity, he took tho packet that had caused at least one murder and nearly two, out of his pocket and started to examine it. Unwrapping an outer covering of several folds of an olrl new s pupcr, Jack found a piece of stout paper folded twice. s hape, as though it had been especially prepared for some pmpose The paper was firm, thick and whole, and seemed like a kind of vellum. In one or two places it was discolored, and some parts of the writing had faded, as we know that ink will in time, yet all the words were so plain that Jack could read them without any study or hesitation. "Why, this isn't a chart," he said, in some surprise. "It's merely a bit of writing. Let me see what it says." He held the paper up close to the lamp and read the fol lowing, in large, legible handwriting: "LUCAYOS. Little Key abt 4 Leagues N E Grand Caicos. L. abt 71-16. L. abt 21-30. Big mound close to W end of island Entrance facing E abt midway N-S. Dig 1 F, N. W.'1 That was all, and to say the truth it was not very in telli'gible to Jack. He was very much disappointed to find that this so called chart, pointing the way to a pirate's treasur13, was, at urst sight, at l east, little better than so much Greek to h im. It was impossible for him to go to the captain now and ask for an explanation. That would have to bo deferred till the old skipper grew 'lieticr, if he ever did. Jack, however, was curious to l earn the meaning of the writing as soon as he could, and he thought he would try and see if he could study it out for himself. He first ta c kled the word "Lucayos." "That must be the name of the island," he argued. "It's a liltle .key, or island, about four leagues, that is twelve miles, northea s t of Grand Caicos. That's easy enough to read, but what is Grand Ca.icos ?" He had never heard of such a place as Grand Caicos before, and was inclined to believe that it was a town on some island in the Caribbean Sea. As Jack believed in doing things methodically, before proceeding further he got his geography, which had a very good map o.f the West Indies, and opened it up at the proper place. Starling with the Bahama Islands where they began off the southeastern coast of Florida, he took each one in turn and studied every name printed on the map. He met with no encouragement till he drew near the end of the group, at a point directly north of Hayti, then his heart gave a great thump when he saw the name N. Caicos a ttached to a small isfaricl, and then right near it a larger island lab eled Grand Caicos. "Why, it's an island!" he exclaimed, with a thrill of sat isfaction. "The little key where the treasure is buried is twelve miles northeast of this place." He studied the location with no little curiosity. There was no little island marked on the school map. "I dare say it's down on a regular ship's chart, all right. Opening it out with care, it proved to be about six inches one wily by four the other, perfectly regular in its oblong Probably it's too insignificant to find a place on such a map as this. Now, if it was down on a ship's chart of these waters how is it that Captain Norris failed to find it in two attempts?"


A GOLDEN STAKE. 9 That was a puzzler for Jack. Whi l e he was ittud ying the map before him he noticed a word in small type, enclos e d in parentheses, directly under the worcls " I s lands." He look ccl at it closely and sa w that it spelled "Lucayos." 'rhen he und ers t ood that Lucayos was the former or or i ginal name for the Bahama Islands. "So that isn't the name of the little island after all. Its presence on the paper means that the little key is one 0 the Baliama Islands. I'm beginning to under s tand this writing, alter all," he said, gleefu lly. "I'll bet nine dol lar s that I'll get at the bottom 0 it before I'm done." Having mastered the first part of the writing to his satis faction, he took up the n ext sentence, which was a short one, "L. abt 71-16." It took him about fifteen minutes to translate this into "Longitude 71 degrees, 16 minutes," west, 0 course. Then naturally the next sentence meant "Latitude, 21 degr ees, 30 minutes" north. '11he next was easy : "Bigtmound close to the west end 0 the island." The next was also simple: "Entrance to the mound aced to the east, about midway north and south." 'Ihe last read easily to his way of thinking: "Dig one foot northw est," but still it didn't seem to be quite clear as a definite direction. Jack decided to write the whole thing down on another piece of paper, s o that if, by any chance h e lost the original he would have a copy that would answer fully as well or all practical purposes. So he got a clean piece 0 notepaper and made the foll?win g copy : "Lucayos, or Bahama Islands. The little key (island) about twelve miles north east 0 G rand Caicos Island. Longitude about 71 deg. 16 min. Latitude about 21 deg. 30 min. Big mound close to west epd of island, entrance to which aces east about midway north and south. Dig one foot, northwest." "There," said Jack, with a feeling of satisfaction, "I g uess I've got it down all right. I'll show it to the captain when he gets better. Perhaps he'll be able to make the last sente nce clearer to me." with those words Jack folded up the copy and placed it in his vest pocket. At that moment he thought he heaid a noise at the win dow. Turning his head quickly he saw something that made his heart almo s t stop It was the face 0 Jim Crowe pressed against the glass of one 0 the lower panes, his baleful eyes glaring full at the b<>y. CHAPTER V. THE HOLDUP AT TIIE BRIDGR For a moment the two s tared at each other without mov ing, Jack fascinated by the basi li s k gaze of the murderous rascal then Jim Crowe lifted his arms to the s ash, threw up the window, and proceeded to c rawl into the room. "Stop V' cried Jack. The re was someth ing in the boy;s ringing tones that arrested the scoundtel, and he paused with his knee on the s ill and his body half through the opening. Jack looked around or a weapon with which to defend him self, but saw nothing that seemed available for the pur pose. After favoring the boy with a deep scowl Crowe's features relaxed into an ugly kindzof grin. "I'll trouble ye, s onny, for that dockyment ye have in your hand. Hand it over and I won't hurt ye. I came all the way from New York to get it from my bld cap'n who wanted to defraud me 0 it. f he'd acted squarely with his 9ld shipma.te he wouldn't have got hurt." "What do youwant with it?" asked Jack, to gain time to think. "That's niy business, sonny. That there dockyment be longs to me. The cap'n hadn't no right to keep me out of it. I've been huntin or him ten years to get it back.Now he thought to fool me by givin' it to you. But I was too sha rp or him. P'haps ye don't know the clanger 0 holdiu' on to that there chart. Then I'll tell:ye. What happened to the cap'n happened to another man tw e lve years ago, and it's likely to happen to ye i ye don't turn it over to me. Possesshun may he nine p'ints 0 the law, but the p'int 0 a knife is a mor e powerful argyment than all the law in the world So hand it over i ye would save your skin." "Nev er!" cried, desperately. "Then I'm sorry for ye, sonny," replied Crowe, with an evil grin. "I ain t got nothin ag'in ye 'cept your objec shun to part with that chart. Since I've mad e up my mind to get it, no matter what the risk, I'm thinkin ye'll have to give it up whether ye have a mind to or not." With the ability of a cat he made a sudden leap into the room. As he did so, Jack snatched the lamp from the braclfot and threw it full at him. It struck him square in the chest. The chimney broke into a score 0 pieces, the :flame of the wick flared up, igniting his flannel shirt front, which was spattered with oil, and in another moment his chest was a mass of flame. As the lamp fell to the :floor and rolled on its side, the wick still alight, Jim Crowe uttered a wild yell 0 rage and terror and began beating out the fire that was fast en veloping bis s hirt. J, who was wor.ked up to a high pitch 0 excitement, sprang at him and struck him a heavy blow. in the face. The sailor staggered back and fell out 0 the window. He would probably have broken his neck by the fall but for the fact that his body landed upon the ladder by which he had ascended ancl <>ne of his arms passing through an upp e r rung arrested hi s downward progress enough to sav e him. After hanging for a moment in midair he slid to the g round, landing in a heap at the foot and rolling over on his ace. The grass extinguished the fire and he lay for solllc min utes thoroughly dazed. Jack snatched up the la:m.p and held the flame above his


1 0 :A GOLDEN STAKE. bead, looking. down at him, until he felt a hand on his shoulder, and turning around saw the nurse looking a.t him with a startled face. "What's the matter?" the old woman asked "The ra scal who stabbed the captain was in this room I threw the lamp at him and he tumbled out of the window. There he is now the foot of the la

A GOLDE \\'hen the time came for J ae;k to go Lo the station for the mail he left Tom lo look after the store while he went to the barn _t.o hitch up the light wagon. He found Mat Mulford in the store when he drove around in front. Mat wanted to go to the station, too. "You can go, but there isn't room on the seat for three said Jack. "What's ihe matter with putting a box in and I'll sit behind you?" said Mat. There was no objection to this arrangement and it was carried out. About half-way to the station the road led through a wood a nanow stream, connecting with Great South Bay, was crossed by a bridge. It was at this point that, had he been alone Jack would have feared an ambush on the part of Jim as it of fered many advantages for such a thing owing to the dense shrubbe ry that grew along the road. Now that he had two stout companions with him the store boy was not troubled with any apprehensions on the STAKE. ll Unhitching the mare,. Jack climbed up and started .for the village. He whipped up the horse, as he was anxious toget back to the store. It was dark before they reached the wood, and J kept his eyes skinned when they entered it. He hardly expected to encounter Jim Crowe, but deemed it prudent to keep on the lookout. They struck the bridge at a good clip and were dashing across it when the mare fetched up as if she had hit a stone wall. A stout rope stretched across the further end of the bridge was the cause of her sudden stoppage. The shock toppled Mat .and J backward off the seat, and sent Tom and the box :floundering in the bottom of the wagon. A stalwart figure darted out of the bushes, climbed into the wagon, and singling J out, yanked him from the vehicle, half-dazed as he was, and dragged him away. CHAPTER VI. '.':a:eno !" Tom, when they reached the bridge, IN THE HANDS OF JIM CROWE. pomtmg at a sloop lying half hidden among It didn't take Jack many moments to realize that he was the rushes, "whose craft is that, and where did it come in the clutches of a powerful man, and though he couldn't from?". see the fellow's face in the darkness he knew that it must "Give it up," replied "I saw it tb.ere yesterday 'be Jim Crowe who had trapped him .. afternoon when I passed here." He put up a despe rate struggle to get free, but the ra s "You _don't suppose that it belongs to that sailor, do ca.Uy sailor was twice as strong as he was, and paid little you?" said Tom. attention to his efforts. This suggestion rather startled Jack, and he looked hard He had a strangle-hold on the boy, and Jack, seeing that at the lonesome-looking and apparently deserted craft as the scoundre l had him dead to rights, began shouting for they drove slowly across the bridge. help, hoping that Tom and Mat would come to his rescue "Well, it might," replied Jack, as he started the mare Jim Crowe crashed down through the bushes toward the mto a trot. stream, dragging the boy with him. "Then we'd better put the constable on to it when we He was aiming for the rnsty black sloop, moored to the get back," said Mat. stump of a tree by a slip-knot, such as sailorrs know how to "There wouldn't be any harm in you doing so on your make. way home," replied Jack. In the meantime Tom and Mat pulled themselves lo'rhey reached the staiiou a few minutes be.fore the train gether and stood up in the stalled wagon. was dtw and hitched the horse to a. tree while they a.U went "What the dickens did we run against?" askea Mat, rubon the platform. bing a lump on the back of his head. "One would think "Hello, Jack," said tho station agent. "You'll have some we'd struck a fence from the way we fetched up. The road t.. i seems clear enough as fa1 as I can see." ime o wait for your mail-pouch." "I::r tl "Ask me something eas1"e1 Mat,11 repl1"ed Tom, a :iow rn. mt?" ash.ed the boy in surprise. "'rhe irain will be late. There's been a washout down rueful grimace, not apparent in the g loom. "Blamed i:f C 1 I know what we struck, though I'll swear I hit the bottom near ar meville and traffic both ways is held up." "You don't say! How long do you suppose I'll have to of the wagon ha.rel enough to put a hole through it." wait?" "Where's Jack?" asked Mat. "I don't know where he is. I guess he's looking for the "I couldn't tell you, but I guess some time." obstn1ction ." ( This wasn't particularly pleasant new for the bovs but "Help! Tom! Mat! Help!" came the voice of Jack they had to make the best of it, since it was 'auty at that moment. to wait for the mail, even if it took several hour s. "Hello!" said Mat. "There's Jack's voice now. He's in 'o they proceeded to kill time as best they could. some trouble and is shouting for us. Come on, let's see It was something over two hours before the train pulled what's the trouble." in at the station. Both boys leaped from the wagon, slipped past the horse Jack shoved the outgoing pouch aboard the mail car and and then fetched up against the rope which had stopped received the one containing the mail for Blueville. the mare. He tu_mbled it, into the wagon, as his companions got in, It took them both acrosc their necks, and they went down 11\fat Laking Toms place on the seat for the return trip. like a couple of tenpins.


12 A GOLDEN ST AKE. Scott!" gasped Mat. "What was that?" "That's what I want to know," gurgled Tom. "Some thing hit me across the throat. I won't be able to swallow for a week." 'I'hey struggled on their feet only to go do-wn again, as their heads this time came in sudden contact with the rope. "Suffer ing Egypt! Is the road bewitched?" roared Mat. "Gee whiz! There's something doing that's mighty mys terious." "Help! Help! Help!" shouted the half-strangled Jack, as Crowe yanked him through the bushes. The two boys got up more carefully and then saw what had upset them. "Why, it's a rope stretched across the end of the bridge!" said Mat, in some astonishment. "That's what stopped the horse and played the deuce with all of us. Who ccmld have put it there, and wha.t for?" "Mat! Tom! Help!" came again from Jack. "Jack is certainly in some trouble down near the creek," said Mat. "Maybe he is stuck in the mud and water. Come on," and he started off in the direction of the hail. "What co-uld have taken him down there?" asked Tom, as he followed his companion "How do I know? He's there, at any rate, and he's call ing for us to help him out of some scrape." The boys said nothing more, but made all haste to reach their hapless companion. They struggled through the bushes in the darkness, half afraid tha.t they m1ght :find themselves in the mire and water before they knew where they were. "Help! Help!" shouted Jack, not far away. "Shut up, ye infernal young sculpin, or I'll choke the wir.d out of ye!" came a second and decidedly hoarse voice to their ears. and Ma.t recognized the tones as belonging to Jim Crowe, the murderous sailor, and they both came to a sud den halt. "It's the rascal who stabbed Captain Norris," said Tom, in a tremulous whisper. "I know it is," returned Mat. "He's got bold of Jack a.nd Lord knows wba.t be means to do to him." "What shall we do?" palpitated Tom who had a terrified vision of a knife coming bis way in the darkness, if he and his companion went too fa.r. "Do!" cried Mat, who was full of spunk. "We've got to help Jack out. We can't desert him when he's in trouble." "But, suppose--" "Suppose nothing! Come on," and dashed forward. Tom foUowed, ashamed to hold back. He was not wanting in courage, but the reputation the sailor had already made in the village had its effect on him. The two lads reached the edge of the creek where the sloop lay just as Crowe had thrust Jack into the ca.bin, and shut the door on him. He was hastening to slip the moorings when Mat, fol lowed by Tom, came piling over the bows of the craft. "Hi, there, you rascal, what are you doing with .Tack Dal ton?" demanded Mat, advancing aft with a stout stick in his hand. Jim Crowe was a bit staggered by their unexpected ap pearance He hurled an imprecation a.t them, and ordered them off the sloop. "We don't go without Jack," replied Mat, resolutely. "What have you done with him?" "None of your blamed business, ye young monkey Get ashore, both of ye!" "Not on yO'llr life, Jim Crowe. We're not afraid of you. We want Jack and we're going to have him." "Ye are, eh?" snarled the sailor. "I'll see if ye are!" He rushed at the boys. If he had his lmife about him he disdained to use it on the lads, whom he expected to crush with his ponderous, hairy :fists, which were like a couple of sledge hammers. Mat aimed a blow at his head. The sailor saw the stick coming, a.nd throwing up his arm grabbed it as it descended. With a jerk he yanked the brave boy toward him, struck him in the face, and tumbled him down the short stairw1J,y leading to the cabin. Then he sprang at Tom, snatched the stick from his grasp, and grabbing him bodily, threw him on top of Mat. The two boys were thus placed hors du combat in no time at all. Jim Crowe slipped his mooring rope, hoisted the jib and then the mainsail, made the sheets fast, and went to the helm as the sloop ga. tbered way ancl pointed her nose down the creek in the direction of Great South Bay. The wind was light and the little craft didn't make very rapid progress. The sailor secured the tiller so that the sloop would hold her course steadily down the creek, and then, with a couple of pieces of rope in his hand, he went forward to where Tom and Mat were just recovering from the effects of their en counter with him. He reached down, and seizing Tom, hauled him up on the deck, where, in spite of his struggles, he bound his hands behind his back. Mat was not so easy a victim, and Crowe had to handle him pretty roughly before he could render him as harmless as his companion. "Now, ye pair of sculpins, see what ye get by buttin' in/ where ye ain't got no business. Lie there, both of ye, till I make up my mind whether I'll feed ye to the :fishes or put ye ashore somewhere along the Sound." Having said his say, Jim Crowe returned to the tiller and proceeded to guide the sloop down the creek to the point where it connected with the Bay. CHAPTER VII. THE SECRET OF THE CHART. In the course of twenty minutes the little vessel was -in Great South Bay, with her head to the west. Crowe once more secured the helm, and then went to the door of the ca.bin, which he unfast ened and entered. A dim light from a. swinging lantern partially dispelled the gloom, and s howed the :figure of Jack Dalton stretched out on the :floor with his bands and feet bound. "Now, you son of a sea cook, I'm goin' to 'tend to your


A GOLDEN STAKE. 13 case," said the sailor, with an evil leer. "Ye nearly done ain't got no objecshun to you callin' me all the names that me up last night, soye can't complain if I fix ye for keeps ye kin think of if it will do ye any good. I reckon this now that I have ye in my power. First of all, I'm goin' here applicashun to your bare skin'll make ye tell where to see if ye have that chart about ye. If so, p'raps I'll let ye've hid the chart. I've seen stubborner chaps than ye up on ye." come to the scratch when fire was brought ag'in the soles He began a close search of Jack's clothes of their feet." From his vest pocket he drew forth the copy the boy had With another crafty chuckle he bega. n pulling Jack's made of the vellum document. stocking off. The rascal took down the lantern and examined it. I "Hello, sonny! What have ye got in your stockin'? "So that's I saw ye d.oin' .last night-copyin' the if I don't it's the chart," he added, shaking chart,'' he said, with a sarcastic gnn. "Well, ye kin have the little packet out m his hand it back. It's no good to me, no more'n the chart was to my It took him but fifteen seconds to assure himself that old cap'n The man who gave it to him didn't tell him the such was the fact. real secret of the paper. So he followed the writin' and "Ye are more clever than I took ye to be," he said, with went on a wild goose chase Ye kin dp the same if ye ever a satisfied chuckle. "And I never thought that it was in get the chance. I know how to get the real meanin' out of your stockin'. That saves ye from a scorchin', sonny. I that there dockyment The chap told me while he was three reckon ye have got off easy This here chart wouldn't have sheets in the wind, but for my old cap'n buttin' in done ye no more good than it clicl the cap'n. He hunted for I'd have been livin' in clover these twelve years. However, that there key accordin' to direcshuns, and he didn't find it, I reckon it ain't too late yet, pervided I get the chart, and though the latitud!) and longitude is writ down here as I mean to get it if I have to go back to the village and s'arch plain as daylight, till it would seem jest like plain sailin' the cap'n's house from cellar to rnof. Ye've either got it to go to that there ishmd. Ye'ye got a copy of it in your about ye or ye've hidden it. l ye haven't it in your clothes pocket, which ye kin keep, and go huntin' for it on your own. ye'll tell me whe:re ye've hidden it or it'll be wuss for ve." hook some day if ye've a mind to. But ye might sail around While Jim Crowe was talking he was searching Jack's that there Grand Caicos till ye was gray-headed and ye garments, and feeling every inch of the cloth of his jacket wouldn't find no little ]):ey, l eastaway not the little key and his vest to see if he'd sewed it into the lining. where the gold is buried. P 'raps ye don't believe me? I'll Jack mainta.ined a dogged silence, hoping that the rascal jest show ye. Ye kin go back to the cap'n then and tell would not think of searching his right stocking. him how he failed to find the island. This here writin' As he met with nothing but disappointment the fellow's ain't the keyrect direcshun. It was put there to fool any temper grew steadily worse. one what hadn't no right to the chart. The chap that give Finally he pulled off Jack's shoes and looked into both it to my old cap'n forgot, or didn't want to give th e secret of them. away to him. But he gave .it away to me when hi s brains The boy's heart jumped into his mouth, for he expected was thick with licker. Now, look at the back of that there nothing else but that his stockings would come off next, and chart. Ye don't see no writjn' on it, do ye?" he grinned. then the chart would come to light. The rascal held the vellum against the hot glass of the As cunning as the rascal was he didn't suspect the real lantern chimney for a few minutes. hiding place of the chart, much to Jack's relief When he took it a.way it was no longer blank, but covered The sailor made a second and more careful search of his with a faded kind of writing. prisoner's garments, and as he didn't find what he was "There ye are There's the keyrect latitude and longi after, he gave up the quest, fully satisfied that the boy had tude, which ain't near Grand Caicos at all, but near anoiher hidden the paper somewhere about the captain's house. island 250 miles or more from it. Now ye understand why "I see ye haven't got it," he said, with an ugly scowl. the cap'n couldn't find the little key. He was huntin' in "Well, ye'll tell !11e where ye've hid it or I'll make ye wish the wrong place for it. When ye see him ag'in ye kin tell ye'd never been born. Come, out with it! What have ye him all about it. Ye see now tha.t that there copy ye made done with it?" ain't worth the paper it's writ on, so ye're welcome to keep "You won't find out from me,'' replied Jack, firmly. it. Ye made the marks out mighty well, considerin' ye "Won't I? I'll see if I won't. When a bird won't sing ain't no sailor. The only mistake ye made was ye writ down he must be made to. I reckon I kin make ye warbl e afore 'dig one foot northwest.' That there 'F' don't stand for I get through with ye." feet, but for fathom, which is six feet. Since ye'll never see Crowe got a piece of rope and tied Jack's right leg to the mound on the treasure key I don't mind giviu' ye .that one of the legs of the small stationary table. piece of informashun. It might do ye some good if ye Then he took down the lantern, opened it and took out ever should find another treasure chart with that there the lamp. letter in it. "Now, sonny, ye gave me a taste of fire last night, and The last sentence he spoke ironically, for he knew there ye knocked me out of the winder on top of it," he said, with wasn't much chance of Jack ever getting hold of another a villainous scowl. "I'm goin' to let ye taste of fire tochart like the one he held in his hand. night, jest to see how ye'll like it yourself." Jim Crowe folded up the chart, from which the char "You scoundrel!" groaned Jack, who realized what the acters traced in sympathetic ink on the bac)<: of it had al sai lor was up to. ready faded away, and put it carefully in his pocket. "That's right, sonny. Spit it out," chuckled Crowe. "I Then he released the boy's leg from the table leg, re-


14 A GOLDEN STAKE. -============================== tumcd the lantern to the hook where it had swung before, "Your friend Jack kin do that for ye. Now, vamose !" antl went on deck. Tom and Mat obeyed the order, and lined up on the Jack lay still and thought over what had just happened. shore waiting for Jack to join them. He was staggered by the strange revelation of the real Presently Jack walked out of the cabin followed by the secret of the chart. sailor. No wonder Captain Nonis had failed to discover the ]itWithout a word he stepped on the beach. tle island where the treasure was buried. As soon as he did so, Crowe slipped the mooring rope, "'fhat rascal seems to be the only one a:fter all that the and the sloop drifted off till the wind filled her sails, and chart was any good to," he muttered, "for he alone knew then the sailor headed her for the channel. about the secret writing on the back of the paper. The "Good-bye, sonny," he said, in great good humor. "I'm captain will be wild when I tell him about it, and how the obleeged to ye for bringin' me that there chart. Maybe I'll villain got the chart away from me. It seems strange that remember ye in my last will and testyment. Tell my old fate should play into the haJ.'lds of such a scoundrel. But cap'n that I'm sorry I did him up, but I reckon he's too it has, and that's all there is to it. I wonder what he'll do tough a knot to turn up his toes easily. Tell him that me with me now? Land me somewhere alonoshore and then and the gold will soon be on good terms." sa. il for the island, I suppose; that is, if he's got grub The rascal took off his hat, waved it ironically, and was enough aboard to last him for the trip and the time he soon lo st in the gloom of the night. expects to remain on the key. He must be so}\l1ething of a The boys looked after the receding sloop as long as it navigator if he hopes to reach the latitude and longitude remained a blot on the water, and then they looked at eacrr where the island is. Most sailors like him couldn't do it other. no more than they could fly, even if they had spent the "Out us loose, Jack," said Mat. most of their lives at sea. He'll have to have a quadrant, "All right," replied Dalton, whipping out his knife and and be able to use it, and then be able to firure out his pobeginning on Mat's bonds. "I didn't know you fellows sition on a regular chart of the Caribbean I never aboard until that scoundrel released me from the cabm. would imagine that be knew enough to do that. Maybe he How did it happen that he carried you and Tom off?" means to take a navigator as partner with him. He could Mat explained how it came about. do that all right, if he's willing to divide the treasure on "Well, I'm much obliged to you both for trying to help any reasonable basis. At any rate I'm out of it, which is me, but Jim Crowe is a mighty tough proposition, and I pretty hard luck. In fact, I never was in it. Neither was don't wonaer that he did the two of you up," said Jack, Captain Norris. The secret writing on the back of the cutting Tom free of his fetters. chart seems to be the key of the whole thing. Neither the "Where the dickens are we now?" said Tom, looking captain nor I would probably have ever learned of its exaround in. the darh"Iless. istence, ancl consequently the chart would have been value"Somew,here along the south shore of Great South Bay, less to us." I I should judge," replied J Such was the tenor of Jack's thoughts as he lay helpless "How are we going to get back home? We can't walk on the floor of the cabin. across the bay." He was not aware that Tom and Uat were also :prisoners There was no doubt about that fact, and the three boys on board the sloop, though he had heard the rumpus on deck gazed blankly at each other. before the sailor slipped his moorings in the creek. "I wouldn't ca. re so much if it wasn't that the horse :md About all he knew was that the little craft was out on wagon with the mail-pouch was left standing on the Great South Bay, and that the water was not rQ.ugh. bridrre" said Jilek. "Then the captain being under the CHAPTER VIII. LOST IN THE FOG. For an hour or so longer the sloop sailed along and then Jim Crowe r an her close in to a small island just north of Fire Island, which forms part of the narrow strip of shore marking the southern bovndary of Great South Bay. A short distance away was a channel connecting the bay "ith the great ocean outside. It ran between Oak Island ancl Fire Island, and at the extreme point of the former flashed the Oak Light. The sailor stepped ashore and the sloop to a large -;;tone. Then he returned on board. "Now, you young shavers," he said to Tom Trimble ancl :Mat Mulford, "I'm goin' to let ye go, and your friend with ye. So get up and jump on 'to the beach while I fetch t'other chap out of the cabin." "Aren't you going to cut our arms loose?" asked Mat. 0 b k 'rcather, too, with the nurse waiting for me to get ac is rather tough." The boys started to walk slowly eastward while they canrnssed the situation. In about fifteen minutes they arrived near the end of the island. Suddenly Tom gave a shout and rushed clown to the water's edge. "Here's a boat, fellows," he cried, joyfully. "There's a pair of oars in her. We can row back to the north shore, and then we'll be able to walk to the village." Luck had evidently run in their favor, and Jack and Mat were just as pleased as Tom was over the of the boat. Jack struck a match and examined the little craft. The first thing he saw was a :fine shotgun lying across the seats Then there was a hamper forward which looked as if it contained provisions. '"This era.ft belongs to some sportsman who was out


A GOLDEN STAKE. 15 shooting It must hav e s lipp ed its moorings and floated away, leaving him marooned somewhere along sh o re One person's misfortune i s often another person's good luck," s.<.lid Jack. "Let's see what's in the hamper," sai d Mat. "Looks to me as if it was g rub. If it is it's mighty welcome, for rm so hungry I could chew a tenpenny nail." "Me, too," c him e d in Tom, his mouth watering at the prospect of food. They examined the hamper and :found it stuffed with sandwiches, a whole pie and a quart bottle of milk. "Oh, my!" cried Tom. ''Do we have s upp er or don't we?" "I'll pll t it to a vote," g rinned Jack. Tho se in favor of eating this grub will say 'aye.' l\fat and Tom yelled "Aye" at once. The mo tion i s carrie d unanimou s ly. We'll proceed to eat, and then we'll row a.cross the bay, each of u s taking his turn at the oars." There wasn't much left in the hamp e r when they finished their meal, and the milk bottle was empty. While t hey were eating a fog had been slowl y 5oming in from the ocean. 'V-hen they pushed off for the north sho re of the bay Jack remarked that it looked misty. Before they had gone a quarter o:f'. a the fog rolled around the flatboat a11cl i ts three occupants, and they soon lost all track of their sur r o undings. ''We're liable to be lo s t on the bay all night if this fog doesn't blow away," r emarked Jack, a bi1 anxio usly. There doesn't seem to be any wind to blow it 'away," said Mat. "It's almost calm." They kept on rowing by turns, unconscious that the out going tide had gradually worked the head of the boat around and that they were being carried both by the tide and the action of their oars towaJ:d the channel at the east ern end of Fire I s land. B e lieving that they were still heading for the northern shore w hile in point of fact they were proceeding in the oppos ite direction, they worked ha.rd to get a.cross the big bay. "I wonder how close we are to the shore?" said Mat, a t la st "I'm about played out." "I'm done up, too," said Tom, though he hadn't been working the oars for half an hour. "I'll relieve you, Mat," sa id Jack, and the other was glad to l et him do it. .J' ack rowed stead ily for about twenty minutes, and then stopped to rest "We ought to be nearly across," he said. "We've been rowin g for more than two hours, I sho uld judg e." "Seems.more like four hour s," growled Mat. "H0iw far i s it across from the south shore ?" "From three to five miles at this point, I should think," replied Jack. "I'll bet we've rowed all of five miles," said Tom. '.'We've rowed enough to be over, I'll swear, asserted Mat. To say the truth, they had, for at that moment the boat was already three miles out in the Atlant ic, south of Long I s land. Had the boys dreamed of the seriou sness of their s itua tion they probably would have had a fit. Jack resumed his rowing, expecting every moment to hit the shoce But though he worked his best in order to bring their trl.p to a s peedy conclusion, they met with nothing in the shape of land. "I'll bet we've got turned around ill this fog," said Jack, resting on the oars, "and are rowing either up or down the bay. Ifwe are we might a s well quit and wait till the fog lifts, for the bay is all of thirty miles long, and as we were in about the middle of it wihen we started, we'd have a mighty big job on our hands trying to reach either end. Besides, it would take us greatly out of our way." "That's cheerful-I don't think,'' grumbled Mat. "The fog may not lift all night, and we'd have to float around till morning." "We c an keep on awhile lo.nger," replied Jack. "If we don't st rik e shore in fifteen minutes we ma.y know tha.t we're off our course." Tom reluctantl y took the oars, but he worked l ike a per son who had little hea1t in the job. His arms were tired an d so re, and he was feeling c id e dl y g lum. "What's the u se? h e said after ten minutes' exercise. W e're in for it, so we might ju s t as w e ll float till we can see whe r e we are." Accordingly the oars were taken in and no mor e rowing was d one At that moment they were.nearly five miles south of Long I s land, and gett ing further out to sea every minute. They talk ed together for an hour longer and then they began to grow sleepy. Tom dropped o.fl' first, then Mat followed his example, and finally Jack, having no one to speak to, commenced to doze. And while they slept the boat continued to increase h e r distance from the s hores of their native country, the fog gradually drifted a.way, and the wind began to blow a gen t l e breeze. Under a dear, star -lit sky, the flatboat floated softly upon the bosom of the mighty deep with its freight of thre e sleep ing boys, two of whom were probably dreaming of hom e a.t that moment, while Jack's slumber was disturbed with di s quieting visions in which Jim Crowe large l y figured CHAPTER IX. SIHPWRECKED. When the fir s t r ays of the ris ing sun s truck Jack in the face h e awoke with a s tart, rubbed his eyes and looked around him. He sa w nothing but an unlimited stretch of water -in whatever dir ect ion he gazed. He gaped dumfound e d at the sea sky, and b egan to wonder if he realll( was awake. "Where in thu...,der have we got to?" h e asked himself, thoroug hly bewildered by the situation. At that moment Mat awoke, and in stirring his legs he kicked Tom, and he awoke, al so.


16 A GOLDEN STAKE. They, too, looked around and saw the same picture J aclv They remained under hatches several days as miserable was st1rve ying. as thTee mortals could well be, for a terrific gale was blow" Great jawbones! What does this mean?" gasped Mat. ing, and the vessel pitched and rolled in the heavy seas in S uffering sixpence! Where are we?" palpitated T 'om. a way that was very trying to them. By that time Jack had realized their terrible plight. On the sixth day the weather was, if anything, worse than "We're out at sea," he replied, in a solemn tone. ever, and they didn't show their noses on desk, nor evince "Out at sea!" ejaculated Mat, his heart rising into his any interest whatever in life. I throat. They heard a strange clanging noise on deck, whieh went "Out at sea. !" gurgled Tom, tutning pale. on for a time. "Yes, fellows. We're out on the Atlantic. That fog last Finally a sailor came down into the contracted forenight did us up." castle where they were huddled together ordered them "Oh, lord What will become of us?" asked Tom. on deck to help work the pump, as the schooner was leaking "I give it up," replied Jack, feeling pretty blue. badly. "Can't you see the Long Island coast.?" asked Mat. They didn't feel much like doing this in their condition, I can't see anything but water and sky." but there was no help for it, ancl on deck they had tO go. "Gee! But we're in a fine fix now," said Mat. "With The exercise had one advantage--it cured them of their nothing to eat or drink we'll starve to death pretty soon." illness, and they soon forgot that they had been seasick. "We may be picked up by some vessel," said Jack. "We They passed a tough night, about two-thirds of their time should be right in the track of ships and steamers bound in being spent at the pump. for Jew York." "The schooner only carried five hands, and three of the s e "If it should come on to blow hard before we were picked were swept overboard by a giant wave before daylight and up we'd all be drowned," said Tom. lost. "No fear of it doing that for some hours, from the looks Just at daylight, when the gale appeared to be breaking, of things," replied Jack, enpouragingly. a long, low island was discovered right ahead. There were three sandwic11es left in the hamper, and the At that critical moment the rudder was rendered u s eless boys each ate one. by a heavy wave, and the schooner drifted broadside on to They had nothing to wash them down with, and as mornthe land. ing grew apace they became quite thirsty. There was no hope now of averting the threatened disThey saw several sails pass in the distance, and about aster, and everybody looked after his own safety. eleven o'clock a big steamer hove in sight. Ten minutes later the vessel stnlCk on a submerged rock She did not come near enough to obs erve the little boat, a short distance from the island, and all hands found themfloating like a ,speck on the surface of the ocean. selves in the water fighting for their lives. So time passed away, afternoon came and the boys became The three boys seemed to have the least chance 0 escapravenously hungry. ing the swirling sea., and yet, as the sequel proved, they They grew discouraged, too, and lolled about the boat as were the only ones that reached the shore alive. if they didn t care whether school kept or not. They were cast up on the beach, one by one, rolled over After the lapse of an hour Jack sat up and looked around. and over like pebbles, and finally left by the receding water. He ga .ve a shout that attracted the a.ttention of his com-There they lay unconscious for some time, in the midst panions. of the wreckage of the fruiter. 'They looked eagerly in the direction he pointed. The clouds broke up and fled before the beams of the A large schooner was bearing down upon theln. morning sun, whose rays in time warmed the boys back to In about half an hour the schooner was close to them and life. were sighted as they rowed toward her. Jack was the first to recover consciousness. They were received aboard and the boat was allowed to He sat up in the sand and looked around him in a dazed go adrift. way. Jack, acting as spokesman, told their story of how they Behind him, and as far as he could see in either direcgot lost in the fog on Great South Bay the previous night, tion, was a dense mass of tropical vegetation, with here and and how they found themselves at sea that morning, with there groves of plantains,.and many single palms. only three sandwiches between them and starvation. In front of him was the surf-lined shore, the tumultuous They' lea .med tha.t the schooner was a fruiter, bound from ocean, and the rising sun. New York to Santiago de Cuba. On his right was the motionless form of Tom Trimble, The captain said he'd have to carry them to Cuba, and if while on his left Mat Mulford lay with face almost buried they would make themselves useful in helping to load the in the sand. vessel at Santiago he would be willing to bring them back Around them were broken planks, pieces of rope, like to New York City, whence they could easily reach Blueville creeping snakes, and the remains of one boat. in a couple of hours. Jack crawled to Mat and turned him over on his back. The cook got a meal for them, and it tasted better than His first impression was that Mulford was dead, but he anything they'd ever eaten before-at least they said it did. soon saw that he was not. The boys turned in that night feeling like fighting cocks, Mat made several convulsive movements with his hands but as the weather changed for the worse during the night and feet, as though P,e thought he was in the water and was they awoke in the morning dreadfully seasick. making an effort to swim, then he opened his eyes.


A GOLDEN STAKE. He stared up at Jack, recognized him and sat up. "Hello I Where are we, anyway?" "Washed ashore," r eplied Jack. "Where!s Tom?" "Yonder; but I don't know wheth e r he's alive or dead. I'm going to see. As J ack spoke Tom moved, rolled over on hi s face, then on his back again, and finally scrambled on his feet. "Hi, Tom said Jack. "I see you're still in the land of the li ving. Come over here." Tom walked bver to his two friends. "Where's the sch ooner?" he asked, looking across the agitated waves "Gone to the bottom," repli ed Jack. "There's a spar belon ging to her coming ashore yonder "Where is the captain and the two men?" "I'm afraid they're gone, too." "Are we the only ones who--escaped ?" "Looks very like it." "Where do you suppose we are?" "On s ome island." "I hope it's inhabited," said Tom, "so that we can get something to eat. We haven't had a square meal since the afternoon we were taken aboard the schoone r. "Let's start ahead, then, and see if we can find any of the inhabitant s We'll walk up on that ridge where those palms are growing. Perhaps we'll be able to see somet hin g from there--a hou se, maybe." Jack's suggestion wa< adopted an cl the boys started for the ridge. It was only a short walk and they were soon sta nding among the s cattered palms. The view they obtained was not particularly encouraging. They saw a s lopin g of tropical vegetation running down to the ocean on ine other side of the island. At the most the land was only about a quarter of a mile wide at that point. There wasn't the lea s t sign of human habitation any where within range of their eyes. The island seeme d to be long and nanow, pointing east and west. Dense foliage cut off their view westward, and a grove of trees intercepted their vision in the opposite direction; "Looks to me as if the i s land were not inhabited," said Jack; "but, still, you can't tell. There might be a village on the other side of that grove for all we know." Then we'd better push through the grove," said Mat. "No good stan ding liere. I hope we find somebody, for it would be fierce to be' all alone on this island." Jack and Tom agreed with him, and the parlJf made for the grove. They were within a few yards of it when suddenly a young and pretty white girl came out from among the trees and faced them. CHAPTER X. COMPANIONS IN MISFORTUNE. The meeting was clearly a su rpri se to both parties par ticu larly to the girl. She uttered an exclamat ion of astonishment mid seemed about to retreat when Jack spoke: "Don't run away, miss," he rnid. "We've just been ship wrecked on this island, and are about half-starved. Is there a village near by ?" "Shipwrecked!" exclaimec'k the girl regarding them no11 with great interest. "Yes. The schoon er we were aboru:d was caught in a big storm and s truck on some rocks out yoncler this morning before sunrise. We're the onl y ones that esca ped." "How unfortuna.te! cried the girl, regarding the stal wart, goocl-looking Jack with some admiration. "Well. c ome with me. I ll take vou to our c1wcllingplace where my father is. We're the o"'n1y ones on this island." "'rhe only ones-you and your father?" ejaculated Jack. "Yes. Our s loop-yacht was driven ash o re h ere in a ter rible gale about three months ago, and we've been living here ever si nce." "You don t say. And you haven't been able to get away?" "No. We've only see n a few vessels in that time, and they were too far away for us to signal." "How have you managed to liv e ?" as!red Jack, curiously. "By the most wonderfUl luck our vessel was driven high aDL1 dry on the sandy s h ore anclZdid not go to pieces. W e' re livin g aboard of her, and h ave provisions enough to last us s ome time. Besides, we find plenty of s h e llfi s h among the rocks. Father also has no difficulty catc hing fis h from the encl of a r eef of rocks. Then there's lots of plantains, cocoa nuts and some bananas on the island, as well as a spring of fresh water. There i s no danger of any one starving on this place. We could have managed to get along even without our own provisions." "I'm g lad to hear that," interject ed Mat. "We haven't had but one decent meal ib. three days. We were seasick t ill yesterday afternoon, when we were made to go on declo and work the pump because th e scho oner was leaking. Now I'm so hun g r y I believe I could eat a raw fis h, and I guess Tom and Jack here feel the same way." "You can bet your life I do," s aid Tom. "I could eat anything." "You shall breakfa s t with us," said the girl. "Father was ma.kin g the fire in the cookstove when I came over to the spr ing in this grove for a pail of water. I was on my way to the banana grove at the other end of the island when I saw you boys. I was so surprised I didn't know what to do. We won't mind the bananas now, for we have plenty of other food without them. Here is the spring." She took up the pai.l to dip it in the bubbling basin when Jack interposed "Allow me, miss. I'll carry the water for you." "Thank you," she replied, with a smile "But, dear ine., you haven't told me your names." "My name is Jack Dalton. This is my friend, Mat Mul ford, and this is Tom Trimble. Now will you tell us your hame, miss?" "Eva White. You three don't look at all like sailors." "We!re not. We belong in the village of Blueville, Long I s land It was all owing to a fog that caught us in a boat oh Great South Bay, three nights ago, that we're in our present unfortunate pickle. I'll tell you

18 A GOLDEN STAKE. fate to be wrecked, I'm glad you came ashore on this island, for you'll be company for us until we're all taken off. You don't lmow how lonely we have been-just our two selvessince we were wrecked here." "We're mighty glad to find somebody on the island, too," said Jack. "But what became of the crew of the yacht? Were they lost?" "Yes. We had a sailing-master, a cook and one sai lor. They were on deck when our yacht struck the beach. Father and I were in the cabin. ]';:ither went pn deck after the yacht ashore, and then there wasn't a soul aLoard but he and I. He told me that they must have been washed off by a big wave and drowned." They now emerged on the othef siclc of the grove. Right before them, well up on the beach, with her bowsprit and bows Jammed between two stout cocoanut trees, which held her on an even keel with a vise-like grip, was a .graceful-looking sloop-yacht, about thirty-five feet long. She had a good-sized trunk cabin, a cook-room, which held two bunks besides a stove, forward, and a standing room, or cockpit, aft. A short stovepipe projected from the roof of the cook room, and at this moment smoke was issuing from it. "Father," cried the girl, as she stepped on the deck, after ascending a rude fonr-runged ladder, with the boys behind her, "I've brought some visitors." Almost in stan tly the head of a :fine-looking man, evi dently a gentleman, popped up through the entrance to the cook-room, and he gazed with astonishment at the three boys "Why, where did they come from? Is there a vessel an chored off the island?" he added eagerly, for he would have gladly welcomed the prospect of release from the island prison. "They were wreckeci on the northei'Il shore of the island this morning," replied his daughter. "Indeed," replied the gentleman, surveying them with interest. "They are the only s urvivors of a schooner from the United States. This is Jack Dalton," she added, laying her hand on Jack's arm "Happy to make your acquaintance, young man," said Mr. White, stepping up the two stairs that led down into the galley and extending his hand, which Jack took. Jack then introduced his companions. "I will have breakfastfor you right away," said Eva White, taking up the pail of wa.ter Jack had deposited on deck and disappearing with it into the cook-room. "We are companions in misfortune,'' said Mr. White, smiling. "This yacht of mine was driven ashore here three months ago, and since then my daughter and myself have been living aboard of her like a pair of hem1its. We are very thankful to have fared as well as we have under the -circumstances. Had the yacht struck on the reef yonder :Jhe would undoubtedly have gone to piece.s, and we would have sh:.ired the fate of our sailing-master and the two hands. As it is, she selected a very snug berth to beach herself, and was so good as to jam herself into an upright position, as you see. I believe if she could be hauled off she'd be as JiOod as ever, for she's a stout boat, and there are four 11ir tight compartments in her hold that woi1ld prevent her from sinking even if she capsized at sea What was the naine of your schooner, and where were you bound?" "The schooneY was called the Ellen Lane, sir," replied Jack. "She was a fruiter lrniling from New York and bound for Santiago de Cuba." "And you boy.s are the only s urvivors ?" "Yes, sir." "You h11nlly look like young sailors. Perhaps you were p11ssengers ?" "We were, sir, but against our wills." "Passengers against your wills?" ejaculated \fr. White, in some surprise. "Yes, ir. We were carried out of Great South Bay, Long Island, in a sma ll boat three nights ago in a fog. Next morning we found our.cehes at soo out of sight of Janel. We were picked up by the schooner in the afternoon That night a storm came on which lasted two clays and three nights, and it finished the vessel this morning off this island." "You've been the victims of quite a chapter of accidents. Where do you belong?" "In the village of Blneville, Long Island." "You were out sailboating on the bay, I presume?" "No, sir. We were carried off from the county road between Blueville and the railroad station by a rascally sailor." "Carried off by a rascally sailor !" exclaimed Mr. White, astonished. "At least I was carried off by the sailor, who had a grudge against me. My chums here tried to save me and were knocked out by the rascal on board his sloop. He 7!.,r ried us across the bay, landed us o:ri an island near the south shore, and left us marooned there. We found a boat along the beach, took possession of it and started to row across to the north shore. We had hardly started when the fog set in around us and we lost our bearings. We rowed for several hours, and not fetching the shore gave it up till the fog should lift. We fell asleep in the boat, and when we awoke we were out in the Atlantic, a s I have already told you." "Upon my word, you lads have had a most remarkable series of adventures. I'm afraid the loss of your schooner was the worst of all, for you are now ashore on an island that I fear is seldom visited. We are all likely to remain here some time. Perhaps for months. Fortunately, we are not likely to suffer for food and water while we are fated to stay here. That, at least, is some consolation. In the meantime, the worst feature in your case is that your par ents will have no idea where you boys have vanished to. They will hunt for you in vain, an

A GOLDEN STAKE. 19 Mr. White said that Jack could occupy the sail:Wg ma s t e r's stat e room in the c abin, while Tom and Mat would no doubt be contented to berth in the galley where there were two bunks. Any arr8:gement at all was s atisfactory to the boys, and a s Mr. White was about to show them into the cabin, Miss Eva. appeared up the galley s teps with a smoking dish of fish m one hand, and another of fried potatoes other. The appetizing smell of the food made the mouths of the boys water. "Will one of you boys go into the galley and brinothe coffee pot?" asked the girl as she passed them on wav to whe:e the table was already set for two. I 11 !Set it, Eva," said Jack, with alacrity. He disappeared mto the cook-room in two bounds Mr. White piloted Tom and Mat into the cabin where Eva was .P!acing three more plates around the boa;d, with the reqms1te number of knives, forks, spoons, cups and saucers. She cut !oaf of bread she had made herself, and sup it with a dish of soda crackers and some plan tams. By the time she had things to rights, Jack appeared with the hot coffee. The yacht owner helped the boys to liberal supplies of fish and potatoes, while Eva poured the coffee. "I'm sorry to say that we haven't any butter said Mr. White, as he passed the bread around. "We had a good supply aboard when we were wrecked, but it only la s ted us three weeks, though we managed to keep it fresh by sinking it in the spring of the grove." "We can get along without butter," said Jack, who sat next to Eva, with his mouth full of :fish. "This breakfast is a regula r feast. I never tasted anything so good in all my life. Isn't that a fact, Mat?" "Bet your it i s," mumbled Mat, who was filling up at a great rate rn common with hi s assoc iates. Eva had cooked a liberal supply, knowing that the bovs were famished, s o there was enoucrh for all though was nothing left but the bones the was :finished. The boys insisted on making th e m selves useful to the extent of clearing off the table and washing up the dishes the of Miss Eva, who laughingly declared that it was qmtc a treat to have three such active assistants at her disposal. CHAPTER XI. WAS THIS TIIE TREA S URE KEY? Aft e r everything was clear e d up Jac k proposed that the four of th e m t ake a walk around the island. "You'll need hat s said .Miss Eva. "There' s a couple in the cooking-room that b e longed io the cook and the sea man. I'll see if I can get another from the cabin." She got a soft hat that formerly belonged to the sailincrma s ter, and it fitted Jack e x actly. 0 The other two were white canvas-covered ones similar to tho s e worn by the naval re s erves, and by putting strips of paper in the lining they were made to :fit the heads of Torn and Mat. The party then set out for their walk. The boys soon found that the sun was hot in that region, and it wasn't long before they were glad to suggest a temporary retirement under the trees. While they were sitting down in the shade J told Eva the story of their adventures from the moment they were waylaid by-Jim Crowe at the bridge on their way to the vil lage from the railroad station to the wreck of the schooner off the island that morning. 1 "You boys have had an exciting time of it," said the girl. "You can gamble on it we have," said Mat, in a vigorous way. "If anybody had told me last Tuesday that in le1;s than a week I'd be down on an island in the Caribbean Bea I'd have thought he was crazy. Yet here I am down here four days later." "And likely to stay here for awhile to come," grinned Jack. "That's the :fiercest part of it," admitted Mat. "If ves sels never put in here how are we going to get away at all?': "We must keep a sharp lookout for a:y craft that ap proaches near enough to see a signal and then build a fire, and by covering it with wet leaves send up a column of smoke to attract attention," saicl Jack. "Those aboard might not pay any attention to such a sig nal," interjected ll'om. "We'll have to take our chances on it." "What's the matter with our trying to get the yacht afloat again?" suggested Mat, as though he thought he had originated a brilliant idea. "It would be fine if we could do it, but there's no way of getting around it that I can see, replied Jack. "It would take considerable power to dislodge her from her present pos ition and then push or haul her into the water. If we can't get away without :floating her, we'll stay here till our hair turn s gmy. Come, let's go on. It will be pleasanter to k eep in th e shade of the grove as far as it goes." They continued their walk westward across the island They took another rest in the banana grove, and ate some of the luscious fruit. When they left this grove they saw the end of the island and the ocean a short distance away. There were several large rocks between them and the beach. There was one in particula.r that attracted Jack's notice, for it looked like a huge mound. He walked around the three sides that were not obs tn1cted by the rocks, and studied it with so much care that Tom and Mat asked him what there was about it that inter ested him. "It puts me in mind of something," replied Jack, think ing of the mound on the treasure island as recorded on the chart taken from him by Jim Crowe. "This island runs due east and west, judging from the course of the sun." "That's what it does," replied Mat. "Do you think this island is o'ne of the Bahamas, Miss Eva," said Jack, tur:ajng to the girl. "Yes. It's what father calls a little key." "Little key, eh?" said Jack, reflectively. "Is there :my big island not far a way?" "Oh, yes. Watling's Island is about ten or fiftee11 miles to the south. We put in there for a few hours on the after-


20 A GOLDEN STAKE. no on of the day we went ashore heTe. We left there about sundown and stood north. 'l'his key is not down on our chart. Probably that's the reason our sailing-master did not give it a wide berth as he would have done, I am sure, if he knew it was in our path." When they returned to the yacht Jack asked Mr. White if he had a chart of the Caribbean Sea aboard. "Certainly. We wouldn't think of sailing around among the islands without it." "May I see it?" "Of course Come into the cabin and I'll spread it out on the table." "Where is W a.tling's Island?" asked Jack, as soon as the chart was before him. l\Ir. White pointed at it and then said: "The island were on is right here," and he pointed to a small pencil mark on the chart. "How can you tell that it's there?" said Jack! "Your dapghter told me that it was not down on this chart, and that was the reason why the sailing-master did not give it a wide enough berth, because he didn't know it was in the way." "It was not down on the chart until I p11t that little mark there to designate its pre s ence,'' replied Mr. White, "and my daughter was right in saying that Mr. Jay, our sailing-master, did not know that there was an island about twelve miles northeast of Watling's. Now I will answer your question as to how I know the island is where I placed it. Mr. Jay showed me how to find the position of the yacht any day at noon when the sun was shining by taking a sight with tl1e quadrant, and making the proper calcula tions afterward. Well, a few days after we were wrecked on this key it occu, rred to me to locate its position just as if i t was the I took my bearings at noon, made my calculations, ancl discovered that this island was practically in longitude 74 degrees, 16 minutes west, and latitude 24 rlegrees, 30 minutes north. You see I have marked it on the chart. That makes it just about 12 miles northeast of Watling's Jack took the copy he had made of the cha .rt on the night Captain Norris was murderously assaulted by Jim Crowe from his pocket and examined it. He found that while them was a difference of three de grees in the longitude and one degree in the latitude, the minutes corresponded in both cases with the figures he h?.d ta ken down from the chart. "vVhat w o uld be the distance in miles between longitude 71 and 74, Mr. White?-'' asked Jack. "About 200." "That wouid be in a horizontal l ine, of course?" "Of course." "Now, suppose the line was at an angle, say from Grand Caicos to Watling's Island; what woul d be the distance in miles?" "You want to know the distance in a straight line from Grand Caicos to Watling's, is that it(" "Yes, sir." .Mr. White made si.mdry calculations, and then said: "About 250 miles." \bont 250 mile s," repeated the boy, his heart beginning to beat quickly Jim Crowe had remarked, when he pointed to the faint outlines of writing which the application of heat had pro duced on the Wank side of the chart, that the treasure island was not near Grand Caicos at all, but near another island 250 miles or so from it. What if he and his companions had actually been wrecked on the treasure island? Everyth1'n.g seemed to jibe with the writing on the chart except the important facts of the latitude and longitude, ancl the reference to the island of Grand Caicos. Suppose Grand Caicos was to be read Watling's? The more he thought about it the more certain he became that thi.S was the Little Key referred to in the chart. 'l'he island lay east and west as it should according to tlre chart. The mound was at the extreme western encl as the chart indica tecl. Everything s eemed to point to the conclusion that the boy might be now said to have arrived at. Jack looked up and saw that Mr. White's gaze rested on his face inquiringly. He was evidently wondering why the lacl hacl asked the questions about distances, and what reference they had to the paper in his hand. "That is all, sir," said Jack. "I am much obliged to you for showing me this chart, and for answering my ques tions "You are quite welcome," said the yacht owner, returning the chart to a locker. "I may want to have a little talk with you, sir, after dinner," said J, as they walked on deck together. "It is connected with a story which I will relate-a story that directly concerns the old sea captain with whom I lived in Blueville, and incidenta lly with myself." "I am at your service at1 any time, Dalton," replied Mr. White. "I shall be glad to listen to anything you may have to say to me." "Thank you, sir. I think this is a very impo rtant mat ter, and one that will rather astonish you. I must tliink it over well before I see you about it. Miss Eva was just starting to prepare dinner, with the assistance of Mat Mulford and Tom Trimble. Jack, however, did not volunteer, as he would eagerly have done under other circumstances, but left the yacht and entered the grove to consider without clanger of interrup tion all the facts of the piratical treasure that he was now almost fully persuaded was concealed in the mound on the western end of that very island CHAPTER XII. JACK TELLS HIS STORY OF THE TREASURE KEY. When dinner vas on the table Mat and Tom looked around for Jack "Where the dickens did he go?" asked Mat. "Blessed if I know,'' replied Tom. Mat went to the stern of the yacht ancl yelled out: "Helloa, Jack!''. He repeated the hail several times and then the two boys saw their comrade coming toward the stnmded vessel from the grove.


A GOLDEN STAKE. 21 "Where have you been, old man?" asked Mat. "Come you two to help me, if we hadn't been delayed so long at aboard-dinner is ready." the station that it was dark when we reached the bridge Jack didn't say where he had been. near which he had his sloop moored. We couidn't see the He came aboard and followed Mat and Tom into the rope, which you told me was stretched across the end of cabin, where they found Eva and her father waiti.n:g for the bridge, and so we bumped against it, and in the confu them. sion that ensued the rascal got me into his clutches and When the meal was finished Jack said he had a story to carried me aboard his vessel. You fellows, hearing my cries tell and there was no reason why everybody present should for help, followed and got into trouble. As you know not hear the particulars. were carried across the bay and left on that island, while After a moment or two Jack began: Crowe sailed off to parts unknown. You don't know, how" Captain Norris possessed a chart, which J,ie got from a ever, what took place in the ca. bin between the villain and dying sailor in Rio de Janeiro twelve years ago, which purmyself," and Jack told all the particulars. ported to reveal the hiding place of a pirate treasure. Jim When he explained how the visible writing on the chart Crowe, the sailor who called at the store on the afternoon was misleading in its most important point, that the true you two were there and saw the interview between him and latitude and longitude of the treasure key was inscribed on the captain, knew that he had this chart, and it was. to get it the reverse side in invisible ink, which could be brought out away from Captain Norris that he turned up in the village, only by the application of heat, his hearers were astonished. called at the store and made his demand for it. The cap"Then the copy you made was no good," said .Tom._ tain refused to give it up and Crowe went away, as you "Not on its face, but I think it will turn up a wmne.r know. He returned later, as you also know; climbed into after all." Captain N orris's bedroom from the outside and started to "How?" asked Mat. hunt for the chart. The captain and I were in the store "Because by the most a.Stonishing good luck I am satis-at the time and we heard a suspicious noise upstairs. The fied that this little key on which we were wrecked is the captain rushed up I followed him. I reached his room treasure island." after he was stabbed by the sailor. I jumped at the rascal, Tom and Mat gasped again. he tripped over the captain's body, fell up aga.inst the cor"Before I go any further I will read you the I made ner of the chimney, and rolled over unconscious." of the chart," said Jack. "He did!" exclaimed Mat. "Why didn't you secure him He took it from his pocket and read it, altering the last when you had such a fine chance to do it?" sentence to "dig one fathom, nor thwest," instead of one "Because I thought about nothing but the captain. I foot. tried to stanch the blood that was fl.owing from the wound "The latitude and longitude as given here would no in his side, and partially succeeded When Captain Norris doubt be correct for an island twelve miles northea st of regained his consciousness he made me get the chart, which Grand Caicos, which is 250 miles southeast of this key," he had concealed in the chimney, because he said he wanted sai d Jack. "The treasure key is not there, however. The to know that it was in my hands before he died. As soon writing was made purposely misleading by the man who. as I got hold of the chart, the captain fainted, and I started wrote it, who put the true directions in sympathetic ink on off at once for the doctor. You remember I found you the reverse side. Captain Norris made two vain attempts elone in the store, Tom, and you asked me why I was so ex-to find the island in the neighborhood of Grand Caicos. cited," said Jack. Had it been there he would no doubt have located it.'' "That's rjght," nodded Tom. "I asked you what was Jack then proceeded to explain why, in addition fo the the matter, and you replied that murder was the matter, "fact of a large mound being on this key, he believed this and your answer kind of knocked me silly." to be the treasure island. "Well," went on Jack, "the sa ilor returned that night When he finished his story !Tom and Mat, as well as Eva, after you and Mat left the store." were greatly excited over the prospect of :finding a lot of "So you told me," said Tom. buried money on the island. "After :you two left I went up to my room, took the chart "I move that we start for the west end of the island right out of my pocket, and began to study it out. I succeeded away and investigate that mound," suggested Tom. all right after a time, and finally I made a free copy "Second the motion," cried Mat, with alacrity. of it. "I'm in favor of it;r said Jack, "if Mr. White can sup" At that moment I heard a noise at the window. I lO?ked ply us with implements with which to break into the and saw the face of Jim Crowe at one of the panes. He had mound." been lo!1g enough there to_ discover the chart was in, my "I can furnish you with a spade and a pickaxe," replied possession, and he determmed to get it away from me the yacht owner. "The latter will probably be the most Jack then went on .to tell what immediately serviceable fo{ making an impression on the mound. Did after, :ma how the affall' term.mated m the discomfiture of you notice what it was made of?" the sailor. "It appeared to be like the rocks that were near it, very He proceeded to tell wiilhout further interruption how hard, sir:" the sailor had evidently seen them going to the station for "You didn't see any sign of an entrance to it, I should the mail-pouch, and how he laid his pla ns to get him (Jack) judge, or you would have been satisfied beyond all doubt in his power when they returned along the road. that it was the mound referred to in the chart you "It is doubtful whether he would have succeeded, with spoke of."


2 2 A GOLDEN STAKE. ".i: o, sir; there is no sign whateve1: of a door." "If the e n.trance really faces eas t, about midway of the mou nd, you will, of course, direct your energies at that point." Yes, sir The entire party adjourned to the deck. Mr. Wbii.e told Jack where he would find the shovel and p ickaxe and boy got them I CHAPTER XIII. A GALLANT R ESCtlE. T h e young people were s o e xcited over the prospe c t of a genuin e pirate treasure hunt that they would have ove r he a te d them s elves in their eagerness to reach the mound if 1V[r. White liadn t curbed their impatienc e "I hope we'll be able to g e t this tre asure before Jim Crowe comes here," saia Jack. "He will :rfo doubt bring one or more companions with him, and there i s liable to be trouble if he catche s us on the ground." "There'll be trouble anyway/'said Mat. "If he comes too late and finds the mound brok e n into, and the treasur e gone, he'll be in a mighty bad hun1or He's sure to dis cover us on board the s tranded yacht, and the moment he pipes you off, Jack, he ll know where to look for the gold Then there'll be something doin g I'm afraid. "I have two excellent rifles and a brace of revolvers on board," said Mr. White. "I dare sa y we'll be abl e to give them a warm re c eption if they s eek to molest us." "That's fine," replied J a ck. "I was afraid we might be up against a good deal of trouble trying to defend the treasure if we round it. Sinc e YOll have such a supply of weapons I gues s we'll be able to take c a r e of oursel v e s In due time they reach e d the western end of the island and the mound was before them. "I took that simply for an unus ually large-siz e d ro c k," Mr. White. "I noticed it when I fir s t made the round of the island. So that's your mound?" "I am in hopes that it is," r e pli e d Jack. "This i s about where we ought to begin operation s," and he pointed at what appeared to be the cent e r of the eas tern face of th e mound. "Give me the pickaxe, Tom. I'll start the ball rolling." The point of the pickaxe rebounded a s from solid ro ck. Jack work e d away for five minute s wli e n h e desi s ted with t h e pe r spirat ion running down bis cheek s Mat then took a tum and after him Tom had his innmgs The sum total of their united efforts seemed to indicate that the mound was merely a big rock afte r all. 'rhe y dug into the rock over a space a yard square and n o thing came of it. Mat then declared he bad bad enough for that day at l eas t and Tom said ditto Jac k reluctantly agreed to knock off ope rations until the foll o wing morning The y left their tools on the ground and returned to the yacht. The evening was spent on deck in general conversation, under a brilliant s ky. About nine the moon ros e above the wat e ry horizon, p re s enting a lov e ly picture. Wh e n Mr. White s u g gested that it w as time t o retire, Eva declared that she did not feel the lea s t bit s l ee py and suggested a walk to the boys She seized Jack's arm, as if he were her special property, and they went off together, Mat and Tom following behiud. The sea was comparatively calm, but the w ater ebhe

A GOLDEN STAKE. 23 He let her exhaust herself, and then spoke to her reasThe honor of being the first to enter the treasure hole suringly as he supported her head well above the w ater. was accorded to Jack, as he was the head and front of the In this way he succeeded in calming her enterprise. "That's right. :qon't struggle I'll save you if you give Tom ancl Mat followed him. me the chance to do so. "The directions are to dig one fathom, or six feet, northShe didn't make another after that; but let her west from the entrance," said Jack. head rest against his. He asked Eva, who was standing at the entrance looking He struck out for the beach, touching bottom within a in, to pass him the compass; dozen yards of the s hore and leading the dripping girl the With the instrument in his arms he measured off six feet rest of the way. at a rough guess, which brought him close to the back of Her father, with Mat and Tom, were on hand when they the mound arrived. 'rhen he called for the shovel and began to dig, Tom and The two boys had already exp l ained to Mr. White how Mat getting outside in order to give him room to work. the accident occuned After going down .three feet he struck something hard The yacht owner pressed the girl to his breast and kissed that rang under the blow of the shovel. her. Clearing away the loose earth Jack saw that the obstruc She was his on l y chi l d, and his wife was dead, so he dill tion was a brass bound box not think of -chiding her for her foolishnes s but was only "That's the treasure,'' he muttered, excitedly. "This is too glad to have her restored to him lmharmed. where Jim Crowe gets left. Once we manage to transport Grasping Jack's hand she pressed il to her lips it aboard of the yacht I'll wauer he'll have a rniuhty slim "I I 11 "' 0 s ia never forget how good you were to come to my chance of ever seeing any of it." rescue," she said, earnest ly. "I shall be grateful to you as He put in half an hour digofoa the earth and sand from long as I live around it until he got about;: third of it exposed. "That's all right," replied Jack. "You don't suppose Then he reported his discovery to Eva and the boys out that I was going to let you drown when I can swim like a side. 1 Tom and Mat s houted and threw their hats in the air .l'fr W ute then tlmnkecl the boy in feeling terms, and "l 'm going back to the yacht to tell my father the news assured him that he would make it all right with him some and bring him over," said Eva. clay. "AU right," said Jack. "Get him over as soon as you The party hastened aboard the yacht and turned in for can." the night. He told Mat to hand him the hammer and the cold chisel. As soon as he got them he started in to break open the CHAPTER XIV. cover of the box. FINDING THE TREASURE ..A.ND AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. Eva turned out next morning as bright and chipper as if nothing had happened to her the night before After breakfast was over and the things cleared up, Eva and the three boys started for the western end of the island to resume their treasure hunt. 'rhis time Jack carried the yacht's compass When they reached the mound he placed it on the ground and looked to see how east pointed with reference to the rock. The result of his inspection caused him to take the pick and begin at a new spot, not far from where their first ef forts were directed. 'The boys worked with considerably irn1ustry for an hour before they achieved any encouraging rcsul t. Then Jack opened 11p a crack with the pick, and follow ing it alcing it prc e developed that a stone slab had been inselied in the rock. '"l'hat setlles it,'' said Jack, joyously "This is the mound, all right." 'l'hey worked away with renewed industry, anc1 in the cour s e of half an hour, in spit.e of the heat under which they sweltered, they succceued in uislodging the slab, which they moved to one side, disclosing an opening, like the porthole of a ship, on a level with the ground Looking inside, the boys saw that the interior of the mound was about four feet lower than the ground outside In the meantime a surprise was under way for the young treasure hunters. Unnoticed by them a small sloop had been approaching the i sland and was now close in shore. There were two men aboard of her-one sitting at the the other standing on the deck with one hand around the mast. The mound and rocks hid the boys and what was going on from them. It took Jack about a quarter of an hour to break open the cover of t11e chest. When be threw it up his eyes were dazzled by the s igl 1 t of the of gold money which the top tray of the ch est contained. Ile lifted this tray up after considerable effort, by the aic1 of its two handles, and saw that there was a similar o a c underneath equally wel.J filled with gold. As Jack lifted the first box of coin out of the openin g, two forms suddenly appeared over the rocks behind him. Tom and MaL recognized the pil'alical looking Jim Crowe in the lcacl, and sprang forward to defend the treasur e The sailor Cwwe was clearly staggered, and he paused on the top o E the rock, glaring clown at the boys as though he couldn't believe his eyes. Tie sprang down and reached for the tray of gold Mat swung the flat side of the pick around and struck him a. blow on the head that laid him out senseless on the ground.


. 24 A GOLDEN STAKE. 1 The villain's companion held back undecided what to do "Here 's my handke1:chief, Mat," said Jack, tos sing the under the circumstances. article to him. "Tie tha t f e llow 's hands b ehind him." The resolute attitude of the boys, especially as Jack had The man submitt e d to the oper at ion with v e ry bad grace. reached out and drawn Crowe's revolver from his belt, de-"Now sit down under that tree yonder s aid Jack. terred him from taking the offensive. The prisoner walked to the s pot and sat down. At that moment, too, Mr. White and Eva appeared on "Tom, you and Mat haul Jim Crowe over beside hi s the scene, astonished spectators of the incident. friend." "Tie that rascal's hands, fellows," said Jack. "It won't This was done. do to l e t him go now that we've got him in our power." "Tom, take this revolver and s tand guard ove r that pair What ll we tie him with?" asked Mat. of rascals." "Use your handkerchiefs for the present. When we get Tom took the weapon and proceede d to carry out hi s him to the yacht we'll substitute rope." instructions. 'rom and Mat quickly followed out Jack's directions, and "Now, Mr. White, will you pl e a se come with me? You they took care to make the knots good and fast. cari come, too, Eva." "I say, what do you mean by treatin' my companion that The three walked down to the beach and around the way for?" objected the sailor's associate. mound till they came in sight of the sloop, which was -Jack sprang out of the mound and covered the fellow anchored a short distance off s hore. with the revolver. "Now, Mr. White, you are something of a navigator, I "If you don't want the same kind of treatment just skip think. Don't you think you can fetch Watlin g' s Island, out the way you came. Do you understand?" replied the twelve miles to the southwest in that sl oop?" boy in a det e rmined tone. "No doubt oi' it." "No, I don't," answered the man, doggedly. "Crowe "Very good. You have no obje c tion to l e avin g the i s land me came all the way from New York to get that treasand, J guess?" ure. It belongs to us, for Crowe has the chart to it." "My daughter and I will be glad to do so." "Crowe stole that chart from me. I got it from a man "That's what I thought. And the three of u s will be who came into pos s ession of it honestly years ago. Conseglad to get back to the United State s as s oon a s we can. quently I am the rightful owner of this treasure; and We'll load the treasure aboard of the sloop, take whatever neither you nor Jim Crowe are entitled to a cent of this we may need for the trip to Watling's Island and leave money." those two men here marooned till they can be sent for by "Well, I call that hard luck. I navigated the sloop we the authorities at Watling's, where I propo s e to make a -came in all the wa.y from New York with the understanding charge against Jim Crowe. How does that plan suit you?" that I was to have a third of whatever we found on this "It is what I would have propo s ed my s elf," replied Mr. island," growled the man. White. "That's your funeral, not mine. You knew you were "You can engag.e a s teamer to come o:er here and dra g taking chan ces, anyway. You had no gua : rantee that the ? our yacht off the i s land. repalrs she may stand chart Crowe held out as a bait to ygu would turn up any-m need of no can be macle at W I s land. Then thing at all. Isn't that a fact?" I dare say you 11 be able to engage a s a1lmg-master there. The man made no reply, but cast his eyes longingly down Tom, Mat and will, with permission, act as at the tray of money. your crew. Though we are not sailors, we can make our" r ou've t aft f ld tl ,, h 'd "Y ht selves useful uncler any one who is competent to navi ga.te .1. go a r o go rnre, e sa1 ou m1g 1 h h aive a chap a small h y 'd 't,, t 1e yac t to t e Umted State s Have you any obJechon 5 s are. ou never miss i ,_t... t ? "I' ,o u111s arranaemen sir. m not gomg to argue the matter with you. You say 0 you came here in a sloop?" ... virer. Wil say it is exactly what I would "Yes" w1s, repiec m r. 1lte. is the vessel?" "Then we' ll consider the matter settled," said Jack. "I "Yonde ," replied the fellow, waving his arm back of sa.y we'll be able to reach Watling s Island befor e dark him. if we start soon. I would sugge s t then that Eva returns to the yacht and gets dinner ready for llS while we are get ting the rest of the treasure out of the mound and conveying our find on board the sloop. Then be able to leave the islalfd soon after we have had our meal." "Close to the shore?" "About fifty feet out. We rowed to the beach in -a small boat." "Well, come down here," said Jack. "Are you goin' to make me a prisoner like you did him?" asked the man, suspiciously. "Come down off that rock, do you hear?" The fellow hesitated. "I've got no time to fool with you. If you don't want to try and dodge a bullet you'll do as I say, and be mighty spry about it." Jack spoke in a tone that showed he meant business so the man reluctantly obeyed. Eva said she would go at once and get the dinner ready, and the three then returned to the entrance of the mound, where they found Mat trying to estimate the value of the gold in the tray. CHAPTER XV. THE TREASURE OF THE INDIE -CONCLUSION. Mr. White examined the coins and pronounced th e m Spanish money over 100 years o.Jd.


A. GOLDEN STAKE. !5 a whole lot more in a chest in the said j "All right, sir. Let's box up as much of it as we can Jack. "We'll take this lot aboard the sloop first. Mat, J and stow it aboard of the sloop I guess the balan"'ce can you go back to the yacht with Miss Eva, and bring some remain in the chest, which we can easily move now." line to tie those rascals with so they won't break loose and 4ccordingly the four boxes were filled, nailed up and re give us trouble. In fact, Toro had better go with you, and moved to the sloop. help you bring those empty boxes I saw in the pantr y. "I think we'd better get the anchor up and sai l around 1 Don't forget to fetch a pocketful of na ils, too to the other end of the island, Mr. White," said Jack, aftoc While the boys were away Jack and Mr White watched everything was on board over the prisoners. "I agree with you. I think, however, that the two rascals Jim Crowe remained insensible until Tom and Mat got had better be put in the mound. and left there till we are back with the rope and the boxes. ready to leave the is land." Both men were lashed back to back against the cocoanut The boys went ashore, dragged their prisoners into the tree. mound and left them there after placing the slab partl y When Crowe recovered his senses and found himself over the entrance. helpless, he was furious They then returned aboard the sloop, hoisted the main-N ow that several boxes were at hand, J decided to sail, and the little vessel carried them around to the other bring all the treasure out before removing any of it aboard end of the island, where they anchored and went asho r e to the sloop. eat dinner which Eva had ready by this time. There proved to be four trays of coin all toid, and Mr. "I don't l ike the idea of leaving those two rascals at l arge White roughly estimated its value at over $IOO,OOO. after we leave the is land," said Mr. White; "but as several The bottom of the chest, however, contained a colleciion days might elapse before we can return properly equipped of jeweled watches, rings of considerable value and beauty, to get the yacht afloat it would hardly be right to leave diamond and other jeweled ornaments once worn by ladies them tied up." of wealth, necklaces, gold snuff and tobacco boxes, and other "Couldn't we place a week's supply of provisions in the articles of more or less intrinsic worth, whose combined mound, release them anq fix the entrance so they couldn't value, Mr. White said, might be anywhere from a quarter get out?" asked Jack. t h lf f f th d' d d b" "We might do that," replied the yacht owner, reflec o a a m1 JOn, or many o e iamon s an n1 ies were of large size, and worth thousands of dollars apiece tively. fi 11 d t d themselves. J s suggest10n was na y a op e I.ieaving Eva on the yacht the others earned_ a good sup -At any rate, the treasme might easily be consid1 of the vessel's stores including a small keg which they ered worth half a million p y tl 1 d filled with cool water at the sprmg; across 1e is an The }:acht owner congratulated Jack on the results he They gathered some plantain fruit and a big bunch of had achieved. b l "You're a rich boy," he saic1, with a smile. "I don't know about that, sir," replied Jack. "I tbink this treasure by rights belongs to Captain Norris. Or, at least, he ought to be entifled to half of it." "Nonsense!" answered Mr. White. "The chart to this treasure, Lo your own statement, was given to you by the captain with the understanding that you were to benefit by it if you ever were so fortunate as to be able to locate the island to which it referred. Now, as things turned out, that chart was wholly useless as a guide, because the informatiov legible to the eye was misleading. There fore, it was useless to the captain, or any one not aware that the true directions were inscribed in sympathetic ink on its back. Pure accident brought you to this island, and your own sagacity in making the correcl deductions enabled you to find the treasure." npe ananas a so. The food wns introduced into the mound and the two men released from their fetters, Jack holding Jim Crowe in subjeclion with the revolver. One encl of the slab was broken off so that air cou l d enter the mound, ancl then it was fitted into place The party then returned to the yacht. Selecting what they wished to carry away with them, and taking it on board the sloop, sail was m acle for Wat ling's I sland. Mr. White expected that he would have to hire a navi gator to take the sloop to Na sau, in New Providence, about 250 miles to the west, in order to charter a small steamer to return to Treasure Key, as they call'd it, to get the yacht off. On their arriva l at Watling's Island, however, they found a good-sized steam yacht in little harbor, with a party of English people on board. l\Ir. White immediately boarded her and had a conference with her owner. His name was Sir John Blount, anc1 he graciously con sented to steam over to the little key and try to get Mr White's yacht afloat "That's true, sir; but if it hadn't been for the chart I would not have suspected that there was a treasure on this island. While the chart didn put me in the way of finding the i s land, it enabled me Lo get on the scent of the treasure after I got here. In my opinion the captain is entitled to a s quare half of the find after I have deducted a liberal allowance for Tom and Mat." "Well, you are the arbiter in the matter. If you feel that y s;i ought to divide with Captain Nonis, no one has any ri ght to object to your doing so. As the case stands the treasure is yours to do with as you choose." Accordingly, next morning the yacht steamed over in an hour, a hawser was made fast to the stern of Mr. White's boat, and she was. easily hauled out into deep water. She made considerable water, as the heat had opened her seams, but the owner of the steam yacht sent a coup l e of (,


26 A GOLDEN STAKE. hands aboard to pump her out on the way back, though it I "To treasure island," cried Jack, "and I found t.h(;' was impossible for her to sink owing to her airtight tanks. pirate gold." The yacht then stean1ed around to the we8tern end of the It was a long and wonderful story he had to tell the island, where Jim Crowe and his associate were released captain that day, and the old skipper could hardly credit from the mound and taken aboard the vessel. his narrative. They were ca.refully watched all the way back to WatOf course in the end he did, but he flatly refused to acling's Island. cept more than a few thousand dollars of the treasure trove. After thanking Sir John for his kindness, Mr. White, his "I don't want it, Jack," he said. "It's yours, and yours daughter and Jack returned to the sloop-yacht, which was it shall remain." moored alongside of the black sloop. Next day Jack returned to New York, according to ar1\fr. White's boat was put in shape to proceed to the rangement, and found Mr. White and Eva at their Madison nited States, and after the treasure. was put aboard of Avenue home. her the sloop was disposed of at auction, a sailing-master Jack learned that the gold had been placed in the vaults secured and the yacht sailed from Watling's, bound north. of a safe deposit company, while the jewels, watches, and Nothing of special interest happened durinothe fom other valuable trinkets had been turned over to the custom days' trip to New York, except a futile attempt the part house for appraisement. of the two prisoners to break out of a narrow section of Eventually they were taken out and the larger part sold, the hold where they were confined. after a considerable duty had been assessed against them Jack and Eva found especial enjoyment in each other's and paid. society, and were almost sorry when Sandy Hook lightship Jim Crowe was taken to the county seat, near Blueville, hove in sight, announcing that they were almost at their and subsequently tried and convicted of murderous assault journey's end. on Captain Norris. As soon as the yacht passed quarantine and came to anHi'S companion had been allowed to go free on the arrival chor near the Brooklyn shore, Tom and Mat were eager to of the yacht. get away for home, Jack deciding to accompany them, leavAfter the treasure had been duly converted into American ing the treasure in charge of Eva's father. money, Jack found himself V(orth about $100,000. They were landed and took a southshore train for the He divided $25,000 of this between Tom and Mat, and station near Blueville, the one where Jack had been accusthey considered themselves rich for village boys. tomed to go for the mail every day. Mr. White advised Jack to invest his money in certain The station agent knew all about their sudden and ungild-edged bonds that he suggested, which paid five per cent. explained disappearance two weeks before, and he gaped a year. when he saw the three boys get off the car. Jack did so, and thus secured a steady annual income. They were too eager to reach the village to stop and gratCaptain Norris sold out his country store and came to ify his curiosity. reside in New. York with Jack as his companion. There being no vehicle from Blueville at the station they rrhe boy enter'ed the College of New York, intending to had to hoof it, ana they put their best foot forwttrd become a lawyer in time. the well-remembered road. He became a steacly and welcome visitor at Mr. White's When they reached the briclge which ha.d been the scene home, and the loadstone that drew him there was Eva. of their trouble, and the beginning of their late adventures, In due time their friendship developed into love, and they stooped to rest themselves and look down at the spot they are now engaged to be married, which event will come where the rust-y black sloop had been moored. off as soon as Jack shall have been admitted to the bar. All their recent experiences seemed like a clrea.rn to them Tom and Mat often come to visit him, and he occasionally as they stood there and talked the matter over. revisits Blueville himself, where ev.erybody takes his hat At last they reached the village and began to meet people off to him, because the whole village knows that he is very they were acquainted with. wealthy through having discovered the Treasure of the Of course every one they met wanted to know where they Indies. had been, but they wouldn't say a word on the subject. THE END. Jack learned to his great satisfaction that Captain Norris was almost well of his hurt, but was told that the captah1 was greatly worried over his disappearance. The three soon separated, Tom and Mat rushing off to Read "A GRIP 01N OR, A HOT their homes and Jack-t0o the store. TIME IN WAI,L S'IREET, which will be the next num-The was not yet able to be downstairs, and Jack ber (124) of "Fame and Fortune Weekly." found a man he knew in temporary charge of the business. "Good gracious! That you, Jack?" cried the man. "Yes, it's me, all right," replied Jack, making a dash for the stairs. In two minutes he startled Captain Norris by rushing into the room and grasping the old skipper by the hand. "Jack," cried the astonished captain, "where have you been? SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.


FAME AND FOR'l'UNE WEEKLY. 27, Fame and Portune Weekly NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 7, 1908. Terms to Subscribers. .Single Coples ............... One Copy Three Months ..... ......... One Copy .Six Months ... ... ; ...................... One Cop;r One Year ....... ............ ....... .. Postage Free. How '.ro SEND MONEY. 4t our risk send P. O, Money Order, Check, or Rogietered Letter; remittances in any other way are at your risk. 'We accept Postage Stampe the same as cash. when sending silver wrap the coin in a separate piec e of paper to avoid cutting the envelope W1'ite your name and address plainly. Address lette,.s to Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union Sq., New York. GOOD STORIES. At least one relic of the old English navy is to be preserved. Thanks to Lord Charles Beresford, the boatswain's pipe, which of late years has been becoming more ornamental than useful, is to be retained, and the call s which for c entui-ies have brought men to the performance of their duties will continue to be heard on English warships. The Admiralty have ordered that at least 10 per cent. of the boys and youths in harbor training establishments are to be instrncted to work to the calls of the pipe-, and a prize will be given each half year to the boy in each establishment who Is considered most proficient in the art of piping. I was told at 8:30 It was time for limcbeon, writes an Ameri can tinsmith working in Leipzig. On stating that I did not care to eat, I was told that it would be better if I did no work, so I sat down for half an hour and watched the others. At noon we had an hour and a half, and at 4 o'clock fifteen minutes for lunch. It may be of interest to some 'readers to know what the German eats. For his first breakfast he generally has a milk roll and a cup of coffee. Tile second breakfast is almost always a slice of bread with lard or goose" oil, a piece of sausage or cheese and a bottle of beer. For dinner be has two slices of bread as above, with a herring or la1ge green pickle, cheese or sausage and another bottle of beer. For lunch another bottle of beer and a milk roll. For supper, soup and potatoes. This is the general variety of foods we had for the four months I worked in that shop, and they had it day in and day out. In Morocco the government wilf not allow grain to be sent from one pa11: of tile country to the other, and consequently a district may be so rich in corn one year that the harvest rots for lack of lauor to gather it and the following season may see positive starvation in the sarue section. Industry is paralyzed, for no sooner docs a man show 2igus of wealth than the local government comes down upon him for black mail, and if he doe s not pay he is thrown into a dungeon and left to starve-if, indeed, he be not decapitated and bis head stuck upon a spike above the city's gate as a warning to others. A Washington educator is telling a story about a young medical friend of his who is interested In insanity symptoms and is a sort of amateur alienist. The other day the student got a chance to visit one of the wards in the asylum for the insane, and having heard that there was a man confined there who labored under the hallucination that he was God the student asked that he be allowed to see this patient first, as he appeared the most promising for investigation. He was taken to the ward where the lunatic was confined and the fol lowing conversation ensued: Student-Are you the Deitr? Lunatic-From everlasting unto everlasting I am he. Student -Well, I've been lookin g for you for a long time. I have a question to ask you. How do you recon c ile the doctrine s of predestination and free will? The lunatic dre w himself up to his full height and giving the medico a s cornful glance, replied: "My dear sir, I never talk shop." The modern custom of wearing trousers was taken from the military dress introduced into the army by the Duke of Wel lington during the Peninsular war. In early days these w ere known as "Wellington trousers," after the Deke. when they were coming into general use at the commen-::ement of the nineteenth century the religious world and the fashionable were most determined in their opposition. A cb. use in tli e trust deed, dated 1820, of a Sheffield Nom'onf ormist clinpel provided that "under no circumstances wbate,,e r shall any preacher be allowed to occupy the pulpit who wear s trousers." But this was not all. Some doubts were expressed in many quarters concerning the question whether a m;:n could be religious and appear in trousers. One of the fot1nd ers of the Primitive Methodist body remarked to a co lleague in the ministry that "trousers-wearing. beer-drinking So-:rncl so will never go to heaven." Father Reece, a famous Metho dist minister, twice president of the conference (born in 1705, died in 1850), could not be Induced to adopt trousers, and among the 1\1:ethoclists was the last to follow popular fashion in this respect. RIB .TICKLERS. A canny Scot was brought before a magistr-ate on the charge of being drunk and disorderly. "What have you to say for yourself, sir?" demanded the magistrate. "You look like a respe ctable man, and ought to be ashamed to stand there." "I am verra sorry, sir, but I cam' up in bad company fra Glascow," humbly replied the prisoner. "What sort of company?" "A lot of teetotalers!" was the startling response. "Do you mean to say teetotalers are bad company?" thundered the magistrate. "I think they are the best of company for such as you." "Beggin' yer pardon, sir," answered the prisoer, "ye're wrong; for I had a bottle of whusky an' I had to drink it a 11 myself! "Didn't you ever have any ambition in life?" asked the austere matron standing in the kitchen door. "Wunst, ma'am," said Tuffold Knutt, sighing deeply. "I have not allus led this butterfly existence. Many years ago, ma'am, I tried to raise a pair o' elegant side whiskers, but they wouldn't grow. Since then I haln't had no heart to do anything." This mournful story failing to awaken her sympathies, lie shambled on to the. next house. "So you want more wages?" said the warden of the peniten tiary. "That's what I do," answered the cook. "This talk of punishing trust magnates Is getting me more nervous every day. If I've got to .learn to cook terrapin and lobster e. la Newburg, I want more pay. And what's more I want to be called a 'chef.' An aged colored man who had business in the News office ambled into the editorial rooms-yes, ambled is the word. H

FAME AND F O RTUNE WEEKLY. T H REE VISITS FROM THE FLYIN6 DUTCHMAN By Kit Clyde. From the day I set foot on the decks of the good ship Bardwell, sailing from Boston around Cape Horn I heard of "the Flying Dutchman. As 11. boy I believed tn all the yarns, .but by the tirue I was out of my apprenticeship I came to take these stories for whnt they were worth. I am going to tell you, however, that I really saw as mysterious a craft as the traditional ghost ship, and that if my eyes were de ceived, so were the optics of a whole ship's company. In April, 18G8, I was mate of an. English whaling bark called the Lord Rossmore, Captain Pierce McConnell, and we were off the mouth of the Amazon. We had then been out three months, and were having a big run of luck. The weather seemed to be made for our special benefit. Theie was day after day of good working winds and smooth seas, and there was no clay in which we did not sight whales. On the day of which I wish to speak particularly we had killed two fine whales, and by evening both were alongside, and the sea was as calm as a mill-pond. We should have begun the cutting-in process at once, but the decks were not yet clear of the last whale, while the men were so worn out that they clamored for a night's rest. The barometer was high the sea smooth, and the captain issued orders for all the men to knock off. This meant that the off watch should have their bunks, while the on watch could. sleep on deck while on duty. There wasn't wind enough to dnft us, and consequently we had no fear of any vessels except steamers, and they would hardly run us down on such a clear night that our ship could be seen a mile away. I own up that as soon as the vessel grew quiet I went to sleep on my post and that I slept for a lo,ng hour. When I awoke It was with a chill of apprehension. I felt that something was very wrong, and at once inspected the decks from stem to stern. The men of my watch were stretched out here and there, all fast asleep, and everything seemed all right. We had a whal.e on either side, and they were riding buoyantly while a dozen sharks were tearing at their rough hl\].es'. Our mgbt lights were all right, everything safe from fire, and I called myself a fool for thinking that anything was wrong. Nevertheless, I continued worried and nervous and the desire to sleep left me entirely. It might have. b ee n half an hour after my awakening, and I was softly pacmg the deck, taking in its whole length, when a large, square-rigged ship, with every sail set, and seeming to draw, came out :ir the darkness to the northeast. She had a bon e In her tee th, and h e r hull was careened over two or three streaks by the pressure of the wind, and for the moment I forgot where I was and tbe circumstances which surrounded me. The ship stood down to pass under our quarte r, and I never took my off her for an instant. She came swiftly, but there was a ghost-like movement that sent' over .me. As if she were a real ship, and as if a gen ume top-sail breeze w e re blowing, on came. the stranger, and as she was within a cable's l ength she shifted her helm a bit and1the two craft were broadside on for a moment. There were twenty-five or thirty men at the ship's port rail watch ing us in true sailor fashion, and on the quarter-deck I saw the captain surveying us through bis night glassei;i I could see that he was an old man, having long white locks and a long white beard. vVhy, sir, I would stake tny life on what I saw, though it would be useless to try to make you believe it. Just as the stern of the ship was P'iissing me her captain raised his hand, as if the motion accompanied an order, and there was a rush of the men to execute it. Sail was taken in while you could snap your finger, and the hel m was put down, and the ship came into the wind. She wasn't a stone's throw away then, and my eyes were still on her when some one behind me hoarsely exclaimed: "My God, Mr. Merwin, but did you ever see the likes of it?" I turned to find one of the men behind me. I turned from him again to the strange craft, and she was gone! It took me two or thr ee minutes to realize that there was no wind and no sea, and that no ship could have maneuvered as she did, and then I asked of the man: "Jones, what did you see?" "I got a chill, sir, though it's warm enough, as we all know, and awoke to find you looking off at the water. As I stood on my feet I saw the ship, and I was right behind you when sheshortenecl sail and cnme up." "And where Is she now?" "Gone, sir! That's a ghost ship, sir, and we are in for bad luck." I cou l d have kicked myself for beli eving in what I saw. I went after the g l asses, and just as I got them the lashings ho lding the whal e on the port side gave way with a great crash, the bark keeled over to startJoard with the weight of the other fish, and as she rocked back the other lashings parted, and we ran to the rails, port and starboard, in time to see the whales sink out of sight. '('he whole crew were aroused, and the captain stormed in a terrible way, but as no one was to b lame no one could be censured. Next day It was known through the ship that the Flying Dutchman had been sighted, and strangely enough, there was not a skeptic. The captain made me relate the details twice over, and then he ordered sail on the bark and we stood down the Brazilian coast for 150 miles. The whales bad suddenly left us and it was exactl y nine days before the cry of "There she was heard again. We lowered for a forty-barrel whale and got him, and our old-time enthusiasm returned. We had got him tried out and the d ecks cleaned up when it came on a quiet night again. The men hac'! bad a long rest, and every one of the watch was wide awake, when, at about eleven o'c l ock, with everything quiet below and aloft, the l ookout suddenly called: "There's a big ship close aboard of us on the starboard bow!" Every man sprang up, and we all rushed forward In a body, and there, plain as a lighted lamp at midnight, was a big ship bearing down upon us and only a cable's length away. Not one of us remembered that it was a dead calm and we yelled out in chorus to attract the stranger's atten'. tlon. He held for us until I could see the sparkle of copper under his fore foot, and then a shift of the helm sent him along our broadside, and the performances of the previous occasion were repeated. He went out of our sight after round ing to, and by that time our captain was on deck. He quC's tloned every man separately, and all told the same story; and later on, as he stood with me on the quarter, he said: "Mr. Merwin, that's bad luck again. It may mean some thing more than losing a whale." Next day we raise d a whale and he stove two boats' and killed three men, and It was eleven days after that before we raised anothe r. On the night of the tenth, with all the men In my watch wide awake, and the ship drifting off before a gentle breeze, the ghostly visitor came out of the darkness' again, ran us past from stern to stem this time, and was seen as plainly as before. Next day we raised three whales at once. Down went three boats, the captain l eading. I killed my whale almost at once. The other boats made fast and were run off, and from that day to this have never been heard of. We saw the stranger no more after that. Had he appeared once more I believe that every man of the 'crew would have. l eaped into the sea and sought death by drown ing. SEA MYSTERIES The sea Is Of itself a mystery, but the mysteries of the sea are many and deep and are added to each month. A ship's boat, from which the name b:u1 carefully been obliterated and which holds the emaciated bodies of two men who starved to death, is picked up in the Pacific to-clay; to -morrow a Cunarder crossing the Atlantic reports seeing a sailing ship bottom up; next day a d erelict schooner sails herself Into some port in the Caribbean Sea, and nothing can be learned of the crew who manned her. And it may ):le that on the next


FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. 29 some great steamer leaves port on her voyage to Europe and is n ever heard of more. As an old sailor, I have had the luck to encounter some

These Everything I COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA I Books Tell You Each book (l()Ilsists of sixty-four pages, 'Printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in :lD attractive, illustrated cove?. 'l!ost of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that al)7 l!hild can thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjedil mentioned THESE BOOKS AREJ FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CEN'rS EACH; OR ANY THREEJ BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE,-Containing the mo s t ap proved methods of mesmerism; also how to cure all kinds of dis eases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Containing the...most approved methods of reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bm:ps on the head. By L eo Hugo Koch, A. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and instructive information r egarding the science of hypnotism. Also e xplaining the most approved methods which are employed by the lead ing hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S. SPORTING. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH.-The most complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains full instructions about guns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, togeth e r with desciiptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully lllustrated. Every boy should know how to iow D.nd sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, togethe r with instructions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW '1'0 BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE. A complete treatise on the horse. Di:scribing the most useful hol."Bes for business, the best horses for the road; also valuable recipes for d iseases pecaliar to the horse. No. 48. HOW '1'0 BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A handy book for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. By C. Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S OilACULUM: AND DREJAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of human destiny; also the true meaning of almost any kind of dreams, together wilh charms, ceremonies, and curious gamGs of cards. A complete book No. 23. HOW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. This little book aiv es the explanation to a ll kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky Jays, and "Napoleo n's Oraculum," the book of fate. No. 28. HOW TO TELL FOR'l'UNES.-Everyone is desirous of knowing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or poverty You can te11 by a glance at this little book. Buy ode and be convinced. Tell you r own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends. No. 76. HOW 'l'O 'l'ELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, o r the secret of palmi stry. Also the secre t of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, etc. Illustrated, By A. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOl\IE AN ATHLETEJ.-Giving full instruction for the use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and various other methods of developing a good, llealthy mus cle; containing ovC'r s ixty illustrations. Every boy can become strong and healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. No. 10. HOW TO BOX.-The art of self-defense made .easy. Containing over thirty illu strations of guards, blows, and the diifer positio ns of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these u sefu l and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor. No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Containlng full instructions for all kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises Embracing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book. No. 34. HOW TO FENCE.--Containing full instruction for fencing and the use of the broadsword; also instruction in archery. Desc ribed with twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the best positions in fencing. A complete book. G TRICKS WITH CARDS. No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.-eontaining w:tPlanations of the general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of card tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring llleight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of 11f1Clally prepared cards. By Professor Baliner. Illustrated. No. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Em bracing all of the latest and most dec eptive card tricks, with il lw;trations. By A. Anderson. No. 77. HOW 'l'O DO FORTY 'l'ltICKS WITH CARDS C-Ontainini; deceptive Card Tricks as perform ed by leading and magicians. At'l'anged for home amusement. Fully illustrated. MAGIC. No. HOW DO TRICKS.-The great b.>ok of magic and card tncks, contammg full instruction on all the l ead ing card tricks of the also most popular magical illusions as performed by oui: mag1c1ans; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, as 1t will both amuse and instruct. No .. 22. TO DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's second sight explame d b.l'. his former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues were carried on betw een the magician and the boy on .the stage; giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of second sight. No. 43. hlOW TO BECOl\IE A MAGICIAN.-Containing the gran?est <;>f magical illusions ever placed before the public. Al s o tricks with cards incantations, etc. No. 68. 'l'O DO CHEMICAL 'l'H.ICKS.--Containing over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrateJ. No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGIIT OF HAND.-Containing over of the lates t and best tricks qsed by magicians. Also oontainmg _the secret of second sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. No., 70. IIOW '.f'O MAGIC TOYS.-Containing full d1rect10ns for makmg. l\Iagic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Ande ison. Fully 11Iustrnted. No. 73 .. HOW_ TO J:?O TIUCKS WITH NUMBERS.-Showing many curious tricks with figures and the magic of numbers By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. .No. 7_5. HO\Y TO A CONJUROR. Containing tricks with Dommos, Dice, Cups anJ Balls Hats etc. Embracini thirty-six illustrations. By A. Anderson No. 78. TO DO THE .BLACK ART.--Containing a com. plete descri_Pt1on of the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand, together with many wonderful experiments. By A. Anderson. Illustrated. MECHANICAL, No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTQR.-Every boy )rnow how o_ri_ginated. This hook explains them all, in electr1c1ty, }Dagnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechamcs, etc. The most mstrucl1ve book published. No. HOW '1'0 AN ENGINEER.-Containing full mstruct1ons how to proceed m order to become a locomotive engineer; also directions for building a model locomotive together with a full description of everything an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW TO MAKE Il'jSTRUMENTS.-Full directions how to a B!1njo, Violin, Zither, 1Eolian Harp, Xylo ph .. ne and other musical mstruments; together with a brief description of nearly every musi ca l instrument u sed in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.-Containing a description of the lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions for Its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John Allen. No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Contaiaing complete instru ctions for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LE'l'TERS.-A most com plete liltle book, containing full direcfams for writing lov eletters, and wh e n to use them. giving sp('cimen :etters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LFJ'l'TERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction. not<'s and reque sts. No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.-. Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sampl e letters for instru<' t i on. No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LE'lvl'ERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you how to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother, employer; and, in fact, everybody and anybody you wish to write to. Flvery young man and every young lady in the land should hav!' this book. No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LE'l'TERS CORRECTLY.--Con taining full instructions for writing letters on ah:post any eubject; also rules for punctuation and composition, with specimen letters.


. : THE STAGE. No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK ENIJ MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a gn:at variety of t h e lates t jok e s used by the m<;>st famou s men. No amateur minstre ls is complete without this wond erful little b o ok. No. 42 THE BOYS 01!' Nlatnes s, legibility and genera l com v ery valuabl e little boo k jus t p ublis h e d A compl ete c o mp e ndium posi t i o n of manuscript, es sential to a iuccessful author. B y Pri nce o f games, s p orts, card diver s i o n s comic recitatio n s etc s u itabl e Hila nd. for parlor or drawing-room e n t e r tainment. It con tains more for the N o 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DOCTOR.-A won-1 mon e y than any b o ok pnhlish e d. d erful b o ok CQnt;iining and information in the No. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAMES.-A complE>t e and use ful litt le tre a t m ent of ordmary diseases and ailments com mon to ev ery book, containing the rule s and r "gulations of billiards, bagatelle, f amily. Abounding in useful and effective recipes for general com b a<'kgammon. <'roqnP t. tlo minoP s etc. plaints. No. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRUl\fS.-Containing all No. 55. HOW TO COLLECT STAMPS AND COINS.-Con t he leading conundrums of the day, amusing riddl es curious catches taining valuable information regarding the collectin g and arranging and witty sayings o f stamps and coins. Hl}ndsomely illustrated No. 52. HOW 1'0 PI,AY '1>\RDS.-A com p l e te and handy little No. 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.-B y Old King Brady, b ook, giving the rule s and r-.. '\rections for pl ay ing Euc hre, Cribthe world-known d e tective. In which he lays do w n s ome val u abl e b age Casi no, Fort.vFive, ce, P e dro Sanc ho Draw Poker, and sensible rules for beginners, and a ls o relate s some adventure A uction Pitch, All Fonrs, and many o t h e r p opular game s of cards. and exp e ri e nces of w e ll-known detectives No. 66. HOW TO DO P UZZLES.-Containin, g oYer three bun-No. 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTO G R APHER.-Contaln d red interesting puzzles and conundrums. with k e y to same. A ing useful information regarding the Camera and how to w o r k i t ; complete book. Fully illu strated. By A. Anderson. also how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Sli d e s and o the r ETIQUETTE. r Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated. B y C aptai n W. De W. No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It is a great life se c ret, and one that every young man desire s to know all about. There's happiness in it. No. 33. HOW 'l'O BEHAVE.-Containing the n1les and etiquette o f good so c i e t y and the eas i es t and most approve d meth o ds of ap pearing to good advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church, and in the drawing-room. DECLAMATION. No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF lt:i!JCITATIONS. -Containing the most popular selections in nse, comprising Dutch ilalect, Frenc h dialect, Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together with many standard readings. Abney. No. 62. HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILI TARY CADET.-=-Containing full explanations how to ga i n adm i ttance, course of Study, Examinations. Duties, Staff of O fficers, Post Guard, Police Regulations. Fire Department, and all a boy shoul d know to be a Cadet. Ccmpiled and written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become a Naval Cadet." No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL 0ADET.-Compl ete i n strnctions of how to gain admission to the Annapolis Naval Acad e my Also containing the course of instructior;, description of gro u nds and buildings historic al sketch. and everythi n g a boy should k no w to become an officer in the United States Navy. Com piled and written by I,u Senarens, author of "How to Become a West Point Military Cadet." PRICE 10 FRANK CENTS EACH, OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS. 24 Uni1Dn Square, New York.


Issues -._ ''WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY Cowui::D CovEns CONTA!NlNG STORIES Ob' BOY FIREMEN 32 PAGES PRICE 5 CENTS 86 You:ig Wide A wake's Mysterious Fire; or, Almost at Death's J)OOI'. 87 Young Wide Awake O ver a Volcano; or, T)le Trick of the Mad Chemist. 88 Y r:, ng Wide Awake and the Frozen Hydrants; or, Fire F'ighting in a Blizzard. 89 Ycang Wide Awake's Well Won Medal; or, Winning Fire Department Honors. 90 Young Wide Awake's Call for Help; or, Shut off from His Comrades. 91 Young Wide Awake at the Firemen's Ball; or, Parading In the Face of Death. 92 Young Wide Awake's Daring Dive; or, Hot Work at a Mill Fire. 93 Young Wide Awake Beating the Flames; or, The Fire at the Gas Works. 94 Young Wide Awake's Battle for Life; or, Facing a Forlorn Hope. 95 Young Wide Awake' s Defiance; or, The Bravest D eed on R ec ord. "THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76" CONTAINING REVOLUTION.ARY STORIES COLORED COVERS R2 P AGES PRICE 5 CENTS 362 The Liberty Boys on the Rapid Anna; or, The Fight at 367 The Liberty Boys in a Tight Place; or, Dick Slater's Raccoon Ford. Lucky Sho t. 363 The 1Liberly Boys' Fierce Retreat; or, Driven Out of 368 The Liberty Boys Settling Old Scores; or, The CaJ?ture of Manhattan. General Prescott. 364 Tbe Liberty Boys with Hand's Riflemen; or, The Fight of the Hessians. 365 The Liberty Boys at Tarrauts Tavern; or, Surprised by Tarleton. 369 The Liberty Bqys and Trumpeter Barney; or, The Brave Bugler's Defiance. 370 The Liberty Boys in Irons; or, Caught on a Ship. 366 Tqe Liberty Boys' Drum Beat; or, Calling Out the Pa 371 The Liberty Boys and the Refugees; or, The Escape at Battle Pass. COLORED Cornns SECRET SERVICE OLD AND YOUNG RING BRADY, DETECTIVE::! 32 PAGES PRICE 5 CE TS 463 Tbe Bracly"s :rncl tile Hop rool