A lucky contract, or, The boy who made a raft of money

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A lucky contract, or, The boy who made a raft of money

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Title:
A lucky contract, or, The boy who made a raft of money
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
Creator:
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 pages)

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00121 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.121 ( USFLDC Handle )
031446068 ( ALEPH )
840820121 ( OCLC )

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"You rascal, what are you up to?" cr.ii3d Dick Bristol, springing from the hedge and dealing Hoogley a stunning blow with his club. Down went the .rufilan, while his companions1 with cries of rage, rushed to his assi.na.nce.

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I -SEE PAGE THIRTY-TWO --I Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY luuea Weeklu-B11 Subscription 12.50 per year. Enter e d according to Act o f Congrea a in t h e vear 1908, in the office of the L i brariala of Congress, W.uhington D C ., b11 Frank Tousey PubUsh er, 2 4 U nion Square, Ne w York N o 133 NEW YORK, APRIL 17, 1908. PRICE 5 CEN'Ji'S liaeky Gontrraet OR, THE BOY WHO MADE A RAFT OF MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN CHAPTER LI TOM TROWBRIDGE AND DICK BRISTOL. "Well, if this isn't a blari:ied shame!" exclaimed Tern Trowbridge to his chum, Dick Bristol, as the pair, with :fish ing-poles and lines in their hands, came to a stop at a point of a wide tidewater creek where a wooden bridge, erected and used by the Englewood & Preston Trolley Company, spanned the stream. "It's an outrage!" coincided Dick. "Talk about greedy corporations," said Tom, with a look of disgust, "I think this trolley company is the limit." "It goes 'way beyoncl i.he limit. The idea of r\)moving six or eight feet of the ties from this eno, placing a triangle of boards plentifully smeared with grease over the stringer, and a slanting boar
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2 A LUCKY CONTRACT. "Jimmy Dunn, of Preston, isn't built that way, and his father could buy and sell Deacon Fitch twice over," said Dick. is a first-class chap," admitted Tom. "Bet your life he is. Well, how are we going to get across the creek now without taking that car that's coming on behind us?" "Give it up. I'm not going to pay a nickel for the priv ilege of getting over sixty feet of water.>' "Me, either. It would be just the same if the distance were only a dozen feet." "If somebody would come along with a boat," said Tom, "that would solve the difficulty." "Or a balloon," chuckled Dick. Here the trolley car came gliding up. The motorman slowed down, thinking perhaps the boys wanted to get aboard so as to rea c h tho other side of the c r eek. rrhere was a broad, malicious kind of grin on his face that made Tom and Dick hot under the collar. "This is a fine trick for your company to play on the pub lic!" snorted Tom. "Want to ride across?" chuckled the man "Sure, we want to ride, as we can't walk,'' said Dick jumping on the front platfonn. "Here, you're not going to put up a nickel just to cross the creek!" cried Tom, in astoui shment. "Jump on, Tom,'' was all the answer his chum got hack. As the car started to move on again, Tom, much against his will, jumped aboa.rd '"This will cost you ten cents," he growled to his com panion. "I wont pay a cent for a sixty-foot ride." "Don' t you worry. The motorman invited us to ride across, so it won't cost us a C?0nt," grinned Dick. "I invited you!" replied the man. "You must think I want to lose my job!" ''You asked us if we wiited to ride acro ss, didn't you? W' ell, we wanted to ride across and accepted your imitation. The company wouldn't think of cha.rging us ten cents to taike us sixty feet." "Fares," said the conductor, coming to the .door. "You'll haYe to step inside. Nobody is permitted to ride on the front platform." "What! are you <;harging to carry us across this old bridge?" asked Dick, in well-assumed surprise, for the car had reached the other side b:y this time. "What a nerve you've got! Jump off, Tom. We're not going any further." 'l'he two boys leaped off and gave the conducto'r the laugh. "That's where we got back a.t the deacon,'' chuckled Dick, as the car continued on its way. "Now we'll go on fo our :fishing grounds." They shouldered their poleR and proceeded on their way in high glee at having tricked their way across the bridge. "The summer visitors will be as mad as thunder over this hold-up at the creek,'' said Tom, as they walked along. "You bet they will; but the deacon won't care how mad they get as long as he harvests their nickels." "There won't be near as much walking done as there has been." "The sumtnCl' people can do their walking on their own side 'Jof the creek. They don't have to cross over." "I wish I knew of some way to balk the trolley company," said Tom. "There isn't any way except by building a foot-bridge, and if the county won't do that nobody else is likely to." "I'll tell you what we might do," said Tom, suddenly struck with an idea. "'Yhat ?" "Get a small fiat-boat and hire a kid to pole the peo ple back and forth for a penny each." "T11at isn't a bad scheme, if the boy was honest enough to turn in all the cash he took in." "Widow Dooley's son, :M:ike, would be glad to take the job, and he's as honest as the day is long. He's doing nothing now. We could give him half of what he takes in. The main idea is to queer the trolley company." "Where could we get a fl.at-boat?" "I know where I could get the loan of one :for nothing." "That's chea p enough. I've a good mind to stand in with you. We needn't let on that it's our scheme. We'll put Mi ckey on to it and get the boat for him. We can have the boat painted red, white and blue so it will look at tractive." "And put a small flagpo le in front on .which we'll hoist a white banner with the words 'Down with monopoly' painted on it. At the end of tl1e i::ummer season we'll pre sen t Mike's mother with our share of the profits in a lump s um. She's poor, and it will come in handy to help tide her over the winter." "Well, I'm with you. I hope it won't cost much to start the ferry, for I'm not a bloated capitalist." "Oh, :five dollars ought to float the ferry company. That's two-and-a-half each. You can stand that, can't you?" I guess so." "All right. I'll start the ball rolling when we get baok. Well, here we are at our fishing ground. .I'll bet you a nickel I catch the fir s t shiner." "I take you," said Dick, beginning to bait his hook s in a hurry so as to get the first cast. Toni and Dick lived in adjoining cottages in the village of Englewood, which was about half a mile from Englewood Beach, a popular summer resort on the short of a big bay which made in from Lake Michigan. Tom was an orphan who made his home with his aunt, a widow in very modest circumstances For the past year he had been employed as time-keeper and general office hand at the Englewood Wagon Works. Owing to stagnation, due to general money stringency, the establishment had shut clown for the sum m e r on the previous Saturday, and so Tom was now out of a job. Di ck had been working for the same company 1n one of the workrooms, and was out of a position for the same cause. His mother was also a widow, and he had an older sister who "as employed in the one millinery and fancy goods store of Englewood. The fact ,that the two boys were out of work was bound to ma:ke a difference in the internal economy of both house holds. Tom, however, wasn't worrying over the ma.tter as yet. He was a smart, enterprising lad, and had every confi dence in his ability to make his way ahead in the world.

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A LUCKY CONTRACT. 3 He was not a boy who meant to work for other people any longer than he could help. His ambition was to have a business of his own-not a small, one-horse business, such as many people are contented to plod along in, but something in which he could see large profits. Every time almost that he passed the residence of Deacon Fitch he mentally told himself that some day he would qwn a mansion as fine, or even finer than that. More than once he had mentioned his hopes and expec tations to his aunt, whom he thought the world of, for she had raised him from a small boy and been as good as a mother to him; and she, worthy little woman, sympathized with .and encouraged his ambitious ideas. She thought that there wasn't a smarter, nor better, boy in the world than Tom, and prophesied great things for him in the future. If there was one recreation the boys liked more than an other it was to go fishing together. While waiting for the finny inhabitants of the bay to bite they could talk over plans and schemes that were always cropping up in their brains. Dick had ambitious notions about his future, also, but they were all associated with Tom. Some day he expected to go into partnership with his chum in some enterprise, or at least to be his mana()'er or 0 supermtendent. And so, whenever the two beys were they amused themselves building all kinds of castles in the air which seemed pretty real to them at the time. CHAPTER II. TOM INTIMATES HOW HE COULD MAKE A RAFT OF MONEY. "Hurrah!" shouted Dick, in grea.t glee, as he vanked a silvery object out of the water and landed it on sho;e. "I've caught the first fish. Come up with your nickel, Tom." "You're lucky. Here's the coin," and Tom handed over a five-cent piece. "I knew I'd do you," chuckled Dick, as he rebaited his hook and cast his line in again. "You didn't know anything about it. You only took the same chance I did. Here, I've got a fish now myself. You didn't get so far ahead of me after all." "I got far enough ahead to win the nickel." "You'll need it when you come to cross the trolley bridge again. We're not likely to work that trick twice on the same afternoon." "Why not? It's easy." "The motorman and the conductor will probably pnt the other men up to the dodge, and we'll get left if we try it." "The trolley company has no right to maroon us on this side of the creek." "What does the trolley company care for us?" "We have rights, haven't we?" "Not on that bridge. The trolley people per mitted the public to use the footboard as a privilege at their own risk. From tlie present look of things they have cut the privilege out. Now, the public have the choice of three things--they can pay a nickel, or swim, or walk to the head of the creek and come around that way. That's the whole thing in a nutshell." "The people of Englewood ought to get an injunctic>n against the trolley company." "On what grounds?" "The county presented the franchise to the company. As it was a gift, the people ought to have some ri ghts that the company should respect." "Did you ever hear of a corporation that had any grati tude? They take all they can get, and return as little as they can. The people who own the stock want their divi dends regularly. If the company makes too much money on its original investment, the stockholders get together and water the stock so that their profits may not appear to be too large." "What do you mean by watering the stock?" "Oh, they increase the issue. If there are 50,000 shares out on which the profits warrant a twelve per cent. divi dend, if they increase the issue to 100,000, then the divi dend will be reduced to six per cent. But as each stock holder receives an extra share for every share he already owns he gets the twelve per cent. anyway." "What difference can it make if he does get twelve or fifty per cent., as long as the company earns it?" asked Dick, rather puzzled to understand just why stock shou ld be watered in order to apparently reduce its income. "Well, if a gas company is known to be making an extra profit on its invested capital, the customers have good grounds for demanding a lower rate per thousand feet, and if a street car company is making huge returns on a five cent fare the public have a right to expect that the company should reduce the fare to three cents. So, one of the opera tions of high finance is to keep the outsiders from knowing too much about what is going on inside." But Dick had another bite, and for the time being he lost interest in the subject of high finance. While he was unhooking the fish Tom got a bite, too, and gave his attention to landing his catch. When the boys threw their lines in again Tom did not have anything further to say on the late topic, and his chum did not ask him to resume it. When Tom did speak again it was on an entirely different subject. "If I had a thousand dollars, Dick, I believe I could make a raft of money," he said, with a thoughtful loo-k. "If you had a thousand dollars you could make a raft of money?" repeated his chum, in a tone of surprise. "That's what I said." "How could you do it?" "Do you know the Locke Farm, up the river?" "I guess I do. Everybody around here knows that lemon. It's been on the market for years at about a third of the price per acre that any other farmer values his land in that neighborhood, but though a hundred strangers have during that time looked at what appeared to be a bargain cottnter sale, not one would touch it with a ten-foot pole after a good squint at it. What about it?" "Locke will sell it for $20 an acre, cash." "I wouldn't give him cents an acre for it if I had to go out there and try to make a living off it." "There are fifty acres altogether, and $1,000 will buy it." "That's what his advertisement says, but nobody but a

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4 A LUCKY CONTRACT. blind man will ever buy it at that price, and to my mind nobody but a fool at any price." ''Why not?" asked Tom, .a bit sharply. "Because it's no good." "Why isn't it any good?" "Oh, come off! You know as well as I do why it isn't any good. Because it's about as stony a piece of ground as you could find anywhere on ea.rth. It's long and narrow, and forms practically the whole of the outer face of the bluff. Since Locke had to part with the only really salable part of his original farm he hasn t been able to raise enough fodder on those fifty acres to feed his horse an
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CHAPTER III. A LUCKY CONTRACT. 5 About a week previous Tom was s unning himself one morning at the e nd of raised boardwal k in front of the liue of bathhouses attachecl to the Bay View Hotel, when two gentlemen, one of wliom was Major Willard Nutte, a wealthy resident of the neighborhood, and vice-president of the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, w a lk e d down th e walk m1d came to a halt right above the spot wher e Tom was sitting. He heard the whole of their conver s ati o n, and its import gre a ily s urpri sed and intere s ted him The facts he gleaned amounted to the following : A dam was to be built near ih e s iie of the old water p ower on the Ste. Marie River, ten miles above its outlet i nto the bay, and several manufactories, as well as a big s awing and planing-mill, w e r e to be erected. T11e most important of these plants was to build freight THE CHANCE OF HIS LIFE. a nd passenger cars for the M St. P. & S. Ste. l\I. R.R. Co. The boys parted at the junction of the beach road and Other industries in view were a fish-canning esta.blishJefferson Street, Dick taking the former which led to th e ment; a fl.our and grist mill; a furniture factory, and a Bay View Hotel, while Tom followed the latter, which newly invented breakfast-food product. would take him into the heart of Engl ewood Village. A syndicate of capitalists, headed by Majo r Nutte, was He took Dick's string of fish,. as well as his pole and line, a lready formed to carry out the scheme. to leave at his chum's house, which, as we have said, was It was expected that the plans and specifications would next door to his own. be ready by the first of August, when bids would be invited When Tom walked into the house with his own fish he for the erection of the dam. fourid his aunt in the kitchen fixing the fire in the stove. Later on bids would be asked for the construction of the "Wha.t do you think of these beauties?" he said to the factories, as well as for several hundred small cottages for cheerful-looking little woman, holding up hi s s tring of the the people who would be employed at the various industries. finny tribe. "There's a dozen of them just out of the bay." The saw and planing mill would be put up in advance "They are fine,'' his aunt replied. "I'll fry three of to suppl.r lumber on the s pot for the buildings. them for supper. I guess you won' t be able to eat more than The r a ilroad company would build a branch line to the two yourself. You'd better take half of them around to place, and it was expected that a thriving village or small Mrs. Dooley. Her son isn't doing anything at present, and town, that would put Englewoocl far in the shade, would I don't believe they 've got any too much to eat in the s pring right up out of the wilderness, as it were. house." ll'he site of this projected village, including the ground "I intended to do that, Aunt Mary," said Tom. "I'll on which the factories were to be built, had been purchased clean three of the fish for you and then run a round with a year previous by Major Nutte, but possession, by special six of the balance to Mrs. Dooley. I've no doubt but she'll agreement with the former owner, a farmer who cultivated be glad to get them." the land, was deferred until after the present year's harMrs. Dooley, mother of Mike D'ooley, whom Tom had vest. mentioned to Dick as a. likely lad to.conduct the ferry en-Its boundaries began at the ':foot of the northern end of terprise at the trolley bridge ju the creek, was a poor widow the short bluff owned by Andrew Locke, a shiftless indiwho earned a scanty living ass isting her more fortunate vidual, who had parted with all the tillable acres he had neighbors in their house cleaning and washing. originally owned, and with his wife was now confined to Whenever Tom and Dick went fishing, if they were forwhat was considered the comparatively valueless bluff, the tunate, they never failed to save a few of their catch for area of which was fifty acres. the worthy widow. Locke and his wife were living on the $6,000 he had gotThey also her in other ways when the opportunity ten for his land. offered, and,' consequently, Mrs. Dooley had a warm spot in Their residence was a small farmhouse on the top of the her heart for both boys. bluff overlooking the river and the surrounding country. On his way to the widow's cottage with the fish, Tom's The outbuildings, no longer of much use to their owner, mind was occupied with thoughts about the Locke Farm were in poor shape, and going to ruin. on the Ste. Marie River, about eight miles from EngleThe bluff was largely composed of limestone, and this wood. fact had been noted by Tom Trowbridge a few months be-In fact, he had been thinking of little else for more than fore, when he was up that way on his wheel. a week, ever since he had accidentally learned about cerAfter Major Nutte and his companion had walked away ta.in projected improvements that were to be made at that from the end of the boardwalk, never suspecting that they neighborl}.ood. ha.cl had a listener to their important conversation, Tom The projectors of the enterprise were keeping their plans continued to sit there and think about the revelation he a profound secret as yet, not even a hint of what was in had got on to. contemplation having reached the ears of the editor of the He easily saw that it \\'as going to be a big thing for Englewood "News." that part of the State.

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A LUCKY CONTRACT. Probably a million or more dollars would have to be spent before the syndicate could begin to look for results; but, in the long run, he had little doubt that Major Nutte and his associates would realize largely on their investment. The major's connection ancl influence with the big rail road company was an asset which would go a long way to ward rendering the project a success, for the car works was -bound to pay from the very start. What particularly interested Tom was the contemplated dam. This would require a large amount of cheap stone for its construction. And that stone was right on tpe ground in the shape of Andrew Locke's fifty acres of unprofitable farming land. But for that fact the stone would have to be brought from a considerable distance, and that would cost money. Whoeyer got the contract for building the dam would find the Locke Farm a valuable asset, and it was now in the market for a paltry $1,000. "If I could buy that bluff I'd stand to make a raft of money out of it," the boy told himself, with a thrill at the possibilities of the scheme. "But, as I haven't a cent of capital, and no possibility of getting any, I stand as much show of getting it as I do of buying the Englewood & Pres ton Trolley Line. Here is the chance of a'fellow's life going to waste for the lack of a fow hundred dollars. It's tough, that's what it is!" Tom knew that the first contractor who came to estimate on the building of the dam would as a preliminary measure snap up the bluff at the low price at which it was offered, for its possession would enable him to easily outbid all rival competitors. "If I 0-wned that farm I could make good terms with the successful contractor for the stone," thought Tom. "The money I'd make out of it would give me the start in the world I'm lookin g for. If I were only a civil engineer I could even put in a bid myself for building the dam. Ho w fine it would sound to have the following notice appear in the 'News': 'Tom Trow bridge, one of the rising young men of the village, has secured the contract for building the new dam across the Ste. Marie River. We congratulate him on his success, which is largely clue to his foresight in securing the Locke Farm, the hitherto unproductive acres of which will now prove of great value in furnishing the material for the construction of the dam. We predict for this young man a brilliant future.' After aU, it was only another of T om's castles in the air, for where was he to get $1,000 to buy the Locke Farm? Nevertheless, the possibilities of the thing appealed so strongly to his ambitious nature that he returned home that day feeling like a different ?oy altogether. CHAPTER IV. .A RACE FOR .A LIFE. After supper that evening Dick Bristol ran in to his friend 's home to tell him that he had gotten the job as assistant to Captain Blakeley, who would have charge of the string of bathhouses connected with the Bay View Hotel. "That will carry me over till the factory reopens in September," said Dick, who was in a happy humor. "Mother and sis are tickled to death over my good luck. They were afraid I'd be idle all summer, for jobs are mighty scarce around Englewoocl. I told the folks that you go,t me the opening, and they want you to come in so they can thank you." "I don't want to be thanked for doing you a favor, olcl chap. You'd c1o the same for me if you had the chance." "Sure, I would," replied Dick, in a tone that showed he meant it. "When are you going to work? Next week?" "I start in the moming. The houses have got to be painted, and I've got to help the captain do the work. That will take the balance of the week. You don't come on till the house opens next Wednesday, do you?" "No," replied Tom. "Then you'll have another week's vacation. I wouldn't mind if I had that, too. How a.re you going to put in the time?" "I couldn t tell you. I'll attend to that ferry scheme for one thing, so it will be in working order when it's neeclecl. I've got to borrow the flat-boat, paint it up in gaudy colors, and rig a mast for the white flag that's to have the legend of 'Down With Monopoly' on it. That will occupy half a day, at any rate." "I'd like to see Deacon Fitch's face after that boat goes into commission and the fact is reported to him," chuckled Dick. "Maybe he'll put a stop to it." "How can he? Mike or any one else has the right to row passengers across the creek if they want to go by boat in preference to the trolley. That's one of the a.dvanta.ges of a free country." "Are you sure that Mike doesn't require a franchise?" grinned Dick. "I guess it won't be necessary to ask the State Legisla ture to grant him one." "I'll bet Herbert Fitch will make it his business to try and bulldoze Mike out of the scheme." "Mike doesn't care a rap for Herbert Fitch, and he can't be bluffed worth a cent. I ll tell Mike not to pay any at tention to him." "Herbert will be hopping macl ii Mike doesn't take his hat off to him." "Who cares if he does get mad? He isn't so much, except in his own opinion." "That don't count a whole-lot in my opinion." Nor in mine, either." The bo}'s then got talking about something else, and after awh'ile Dick went home. Tom had told Mrs. Dooley to send Mike over to the cot tage in the morning, and the lad was on hand before Tom got through breakfast. Tom explained the ferry scheme to him, and Mike was en chanted with the opportunity it offered him to make a little money. He declared that he would stick it out all season if the summer visitors were disposed to patronize him. Tom took Mike with him when he went to borrow the flatboat. On the way Tom bought some red, white and blue paint and a couple of brushes to apply it. They hauled the boat out of the water, cleaned it thor-

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A LUCKY CONTRACT. ,, oughly, and then painted tl;i.ree stripes a round i t from stem to stern It was left to dry in the s u nshine under Mike's ca re. Tom then went over to see how Dick was getting on a t the bathhouses He found him arrayed in a pair of overa ll s with a pot of white paint and a brush, working away for al l he was worth. "Hello, Dick, how are things coming on?" he asked "All right. "Where's the captain?" "Mr. Sandford sent after him a few minutes ago." "Well, Mike and I painted the outside of the flatboat red, white and blue, and it is drying now. As soon as it is ready to turn over I'm going to have Mike give the in side a couple coats of white. To-morrow I'll fit the pole in it, and then the boat will be ready for business as soon the flag has been prepared for nailing to the top of the pole "You didn't lose any time over the matter," said Dick. "No. I don't believe in putting off t ill to-morrow what can be clone to clay." This was not extraordinary, as another ben d a thir d o f a mile further on cut off an extended. view of t h e ro ad Tom put on a spurt and was soon flying around t h e o the r turn himself Then a strange and unexpected scen.e met' h is s ight. Two tough looking men had stopped the h orse and the fair girl, and whi l e one was holding the steed by the bri dl e the other was trying to unseat Miss N utte. As Tom came in view she was striking at the fe llow with the heavy end of her whip, but as it was but a ligh t fa ncy affair, he minded the blows very little Tow saw that it was up to him to rescue the girl fro m further indignity, so he put on fresh speed a n d bor e down upon the scene of trouble at a rapid rate. The tramps were so intent on the job in hand that t hey did not notice Tom's approach until he was right upon them. As he rushed up he dealt the rascal who had ho l d of Miss Nutte a swinging blow in the face which bowled him over as clean as a nine-pin He struck the road heavily and -lay quite unconscious. Tom could not stop until he had gone nearly a hundred feet ahead, then he turned and started back for the ruffia n who held the bridle. The girl had been partially unseated by the fellow t hat Tom had knocked Ol1t, and as she jumped back on the sadd l e 'The i1aint was dry enongh to permit the boat to be she struck the other man a. blow in the face with h er turned over, and then 'l'om aml the widow's son gave the inha!ldle. side the first coat of white color. Tom remained an hour talking to his chum, and then went back to the place where Mike was watching the flat boat. The man uttered an imprecation of mingled pain and "I'm going home now, Mike. You'd better do the same. rage, and releasing the bridle, seiZed Miss Nutte by the Corne back some time this afternoon anrl 0oive the inside arm and jerk e d her partly from her saddle a second coat of the white. I won't be around again till At that moment Tom came up and strnck him in t h e to morrow morning, when I'll put the pole in. mouth with his fist. Tom went home and found his dinner waiting for him Just as he did it, the mare, who was a spirited an i ma l After he had eaten it he got out his wheel and started and had been exceedingly restive under the unusual con d i for a spin llp the road in the direction of the Locke Farm. h tions, sprang forward. T at locality had now a peculiar attraction for him, The girl uttered a shrill scream as she felt herself fall ing. though he did not see the rE>motcst chance of benefiting by The sleeve of her dress gave way, leaving a piece of t h e the advance information that he had accidentally got posclC\th in the rascal's hancl. session of. IThat saved her, for with admirable presence of mind she Still, he wanted to go out there and inspect lhe prnbseized the mare's mane ancl {':lung lo it frantically as tile able site of the dam, ancl sec where the factories and new animal dashed a.way. down the road. village would probably be built Under the circumstances she was unable to rega i n h e r He had nothing else 011 his hanclR, :mywa.y, and it was seat 011 the saddle, but hung over Stcleways and backward, as good a way to kill time and amuse himself as he could lier foot caught by the stirrup, in great peril of her l ife, think of, anyway. clinging to the mane while the mare plunged ahead o n It .was a gorgeous afternoon for a run up the roacl, and, her course, clearly in a state of terror. though he missed the companiom.hip of Dick, he thor-Tom took in the situation at a glance, and sp i n n i n g OUf!'hly enjoyed the invigorating exercise. around, started in pursuit. The fa.rm was about <'ight miles by the road from Engle The mare was a fleet animal. but she was grea t ly ha n d iwood, and he rapidly reduced that distance as the moments capped by the way her rider hung on to her. sped by. 'Tom, fearful that the girl might tumble off at any mo-As he passed Major Nuttc's residence that gentl eman's ment, got down to work and spun along at high rac in g daughter, Hazel, came dashing out on her coal black mare, speed Queen Bess, a thoroughbred of exquisite proportions. The spokes of his wheels flashed i n the sunsh ine like She was a lovely girl, a pure b l onde, with go l den lrnir, circlets of fire. blue eyes, and a form like a fairy. S'ilrtunately, the road was in fine condition, hard an d She was a daring, graceful and experienced equestrienne. smooth, with no stony obstructions, and the boy began to Tom favored her with a. l ook of admiration as she flew gradually pull up on the fleeing horse. by him, bound in the same direction as himself. But his work was cut out for him, just the same A curve in the highway soon hicr her from his sight The first mile was pulled off at a clip that would have When he got a.round the curve she was not in sight won Tom a p rize at a bicycle race.

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8 A LUCKY CONTRACT. The second mile was covered in hardly less time, with He staggered a few feet away, sank to the sot sod and the boy much nea rer the mare. fell back unconscious, with Hazel Nutte clasped in his arms, The third mile brought them in sight of the Ste. Marie When Tom recovered his senses he saw Miss Nutte bendRiver, glistening in the distance. ing over him. Farmhands working in a :field close by stopped to gape His head was in her lap and she was rubbing his temples in astonishment at the fltrange race, expecting to see the and forehead in an effort to bring him fo. endangered girl all under the mare's legs any moment For a moment or two he looked into her face in a conas she and the animal swept by. used' way, as if wondering why he was in that situation, They yelled encouragement to Tom, as, bent forward then he remembered the cause 0 it all and raised himself over th'e handles of his machine, he swept by, pedaling with up, feeling a bit sheepish to think that he had succumbed all hi might, for they easily divined that his object was to under the ordeal to which he had been subjectec1. rescue the imperiled girl. "Are you much hurt?" asked the girl, sympathetically. Foot by foot Tom crept up on the frightened mare, but "I guess not," replied Tom. "I don't know how I came the race was now growing more serious every moment, for to faint away. I suppose I overdid mysel on the bicycle the animal was making straight for the river, and whether chasing you and the horse. I feel as weak as a cat, but I she would keep to the road as it swung around a sharp curve guess I'll come around in a few minutes. I hope you are all and ran down the stream was a question in her excited conright, Miss Nutte You and the mare had a narrow escape dition. of going into the river. I barely caught you in time." As she approached the hun Tom, by a special spurt, came "I know it," she replied. "You saved my life, and Queen 11p \rith 'her flanks Bess's, too. I am very, very grateful to you. You are a A few moments more and he was abreast of her brave and plucky boy. You rescued me from those two Then the plucky bo_v, now thoroughly winded and extramps, also. How shall I ever be able to thank you hausted by his terrible ride, made a last desperate effort to enough?" win out, fOI' he felt that he could no longer sustain the "Don't worry about that, Miss Nutte. I am very glad speed he had been going at. to have been able to render you a service. When I saw the It caITied him up to the mare's neck, and, reaching out, fix you were in I could not do otherwise than try m:y best h e seized the bridle just as the mare let the road and to save you. Anybody else would have done the same for plun ged on toward the river bank. you under the circumstances." He threw his left leg over the handles anc1 a llowed the "I am sure nobody have clone any better than you machine to take care of itse1f, at the same time he wound did You had better lie clown on the grass You look very h i s right arm around the mare's neck to support himself, white." a n d threw his let arm across the animal's eyes, bending "I guess I will. I feel all knocked up," he said, lying h e r head clown. back. This had more effect than anything e lse in stopping the "I will walk Bess up and clown while you are resting, flight 0 Queen Bess. for I'm afraid she might catch cold, notwithstanding that Unable to see, she made frantic efforts to free h e r head, it's a warm day. She's as wet as though. sbe'd been in the and not being able to do so, for Tom clung on like grim riv er." death, she began to hold back, and finally came to a ull She went to the horse, which was walking quietly about, stop at the very brink of the river bank, where she stood and rubbed her down as well as she could with her hanclker t r embling in every limb and white with sweat. chief, and then she led her up and clown the bank of the Tom slipped to the ground, and running around grabbed river lmtil she was cooled off. the half unconscious girl in his arms and shoved her up on By that time T 'orn felt pretty good again, and was on his t h e saddle, where she swayed back and forth, like a reed feet. shaken in a soft wind. "I shall never forget what you've done for me as long Then he slipped around to the other side and grabbed as I live," said the girl to him, when she rejoined him. her again, releasing her foot, which was entangled in the "Neither will my father. What is your name?" stirrup "Tom Trowbridge." Pulling her toward him, sho fell limply into his arms, but "You live in the village, I suppose?" still maintained her death-like grip on the mare's mane. "Yes." "Save me!" she breathed, letting her head drop on his "I don't remember having seen you before, though I've shoulder. bee n living in the :o.eighborhoocl of Englewood for two "You are safe, Miss Nutte," he replied. "Let go your year s." hold on the mane." "I suppose not, miss, as I've been working all day in the She did so, and then with a sigh fainted clead away. Englewood Wagon Works for nearly two years. The place CHAPTER V. "YOU SHALL HAVE THE THOUSAND DOLLARS." Tom's legs seemed to give way under him all at once His brain began to swim and a mist came before his eyes. He had overdone himself, and the reaction had set in is shut down for the summer now, and I'm idle at present. But that will only be for a week, as I have been engaged by Mr. Sanc1ord, owner of the Bay View Hotel, as night clerk, up to September first." "Well, I'm glad to know you, Mr. Trowbridge. My name is. Hazel Nutte. My father is Major Willard Nutte, as you probably ln10w. He is vice-president of the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad. You must go back

PAGE 10

A LUCKY CONTRACT. 9 wiih me Lo my home, so that my father and mother can thank you for what you did for me." "I don"t think it will be necessary for them to thank me, as you have already done so," replied Tom. "0 h, they wouldn't be satisfied unless they did. You will go, won't you?" Tom couldn't refuse. In fact; the prospect of being awhile in this charming girl's company, and being so favorably regarded by her, was particularly delightful to the boy. 'J'here wasn't a girl in the village who could compare with her in grace and loveliness, and Tom felt proud of the honor of her society for even a limited time. He looked around for his wheel, and found it some dis tance away, lying on its side close to the river1bank. He was glad to find that it had not been injured in the least. "Shall we ride down. the river a bit before we go back?" Hazel Nutte said. "It is early in the afternoon yet." "Anything you say goes with me, Miss Nutte," answered Tom. He assisted her into saddle, and mounting his wheel they turned down the river road at a slow gait. "I should love to go up on that bluff where that farm house is, for one could get a fine view of the country from that elevation," said the girl. "Well, I guess there will be no objection to our go ing up. A man by the name of Locke lives there with his wife. The place is for sale, as you can see by that sign, but no body wants it." "Why not?" replied the major's daughter, in some sur prise. "I should. think it was a fine, airy spot to live "That part of it is all right. People, however, don't buy land around here just to get a fine view of the country. They expect to make a living and something better off the ground. There's no way of doing that on the bluff. It's too stony." "Then why did this Mr. Locke buy just the bluff when he came here?" "He didn't. When he purchased the place there was a hundred and fifty acres to it, one hundred of which was good planting ground. He has the reputation of being a shiftless kind of man, for he never worked his farm to much advantage, and gradually got into debt. Finally he had the chance to sell tbe hundred good acres to his neighbor on the east The man would have taken the whole farm, but Locke wanted too much for it, and, as the bluff was of no use to the oiher he made the owner an offer of an acre for the available land, or above $10 than land around here was fetching ancl Locke sold it to him, and is now living in idleness on the bluff off the money. Within the last year he's hacl the bluff in the market for $30, and then $25, an acre, and lately as low as $20, which shows that he wants to get away altogether. If I had $1,000 I'd buy it, for I'd like to get the place badly. But I haven't got a cent, so there's no chance of my getting it." As he spoke they were slowly ascending the path that led to the top of the bluff, Tom on foot trundling his wheel. "What would you do with the place if you owned it?" Hazel asked him. "I'd make a pile of money off it-many times the $1 ,000 that Locke wants for it." "Indeed!" she exclaimed, much interested. "Then why not explain your plans to my fat h er? He will be g l a d to help you in acknowledgment of tbe great service you have rendered me "There are reasons why I wouldn't l ike to explai n my plans to your father," replied Tom. "I will explain every thing to you if you will promise me not to say a word about the matter." "Of course, I promise," she said. "Let us stop at this spot while I tell you how, if I owned this bluff, I cou l d make a l ot of money." "Very well," she replied. "Will you help me dismo u n t ?" Tom assisted her down "To begin with, may J ask you if you know about any plans that your father, in connection with other moneyed men, has with respect to this neighborhood?" She looked at him i n great surprise before answering "How did you learn that he had any plans about this place?" "I will tell you, though I am n o t sure that you w ill ap prove of the way I ca.me to hear about the matter How ever, I haven't said a word on the subject to any one, and don't mean to, yourself excepted." Tom then explained how he had overheard her father talking to a gentleman at the <::nd of t11e boardwalk in front of the bathhouses belonging to the Bay View Hotel about a week since, and he told her everything he had learned on that occasion "I dare say. I should not have listened to a conversation not intended for my ears, Miss Nutte, but I was so inter ested in the matter under discussion that I overlooked the fa.ct that I was not exactly doing the proper thing. I hope you will excuse me for doing so, for I should feel very bacl if I suffered in your esteem." "I owe you too much to think of chiding you for playing the pa.rt of a listener," she said, gently. "I am sure no harm will come from it, as I know you will be silent about what you heard. Mother and I are acquainted with father's plans, but it is a great secret. It might embarrass the rn terprise if the news received premature circulation." "You may depend that no one will ever hear a whisper from me." "I believe you," she said, laying a hand on his arm. "Now tell me in what way does my father's plans affect you with ielation to this bluff." "It will take a considerable quantity of suitable stone to build the clam that is to be constructed across this river. That kind of stone is right here in the bluff. If I owned the bluff I could sell it at a big profit to the contractor whose bid is accepted. It would be to his interest to get posses sion of it, for he would have to buy the stone at a distance and pay heavy transportation charges on it. The nearest station at present on the railroad is more than fif teen miles from here, and I doubt if the contemplated branch line will be started before the dam is well under way. Look what it would cost to haul the stone to thie spot. Under these circumstances think what the posses sion of $1,000 means to me. It would give me a start in life, and that's what I'm looking for "Tom Trowbridge, you shall have the thousand dollars, s,aid Hazel, regarding him with an approving smi le.

PAGE 11

CHAPTER VI. A LUCKY COI\TRACT. They saw no sign of the two tramps on the way back, and in due time reached the Nutte mansion. Major Nutte and his wife were sitting on the veranda TOM SECURES THE LOCKE FA.RM. when Hazel and Tom entered the groumls. If a bomb had exploded under Torn he couldn't have 'felt The girl introduced Tom to her parents, and then des more astonished. scribe
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A LUCKY CONTRACT. 11 Then you will hold the property in your name for me. You '11 do this to oblige me, won't you, auntie?" "I'll do anything in the world Lo oblige you, Tom." "I knew you would, aunty, dear," he saicl, ki s sing her. Next morning Tom went down to take a look at the flat-boat 1lnd found that Mike Dooley had applied the second coaL of white paint in good shape, and that the boat made quite a presentable appearance. 1T e deferrecl putting in the pole until he had attended to his property business. At ten o'clock he was back at the cottage waiting for Hazel to put in her appearance. She arrived soon after, and Tom introduced her to bis aunt, who was quite ta.ken with her good looks and ladvlike ways. After a short visit she and Tom went to the bank to gether, and be got the $100. As soon as dinner was over, Tom bo rrowed a horse and buggy and drove his aunt out to the Locke Farm. When Tom stated the object of their call, Andrew Locke 'ras ready to ao business. A new and unexpected difficulty, however, presented it Relf. Locke wanted an additional $500 for the farmhouse. Tom made a strenuous objection to this, and told him he could move the off if he wanted to. Locke said he wasn't going to move anything but his personal property, and refused to make anv deal that did not include the house at $500 extra. Of course the boy wasn't going to let the $500 stand in his way of getting the property, for he would manage to raise it some way when the time came to close the deal, so Locke accepted the $100 deposit and agreed to come to the village next morning and sign the contract. This he did, and Tom hired one of the two village lawyers to have the :fifty acres surveyed, Locke's title to the ground passed upon, and a deed transferring the rocky farm in a legal way to his aunt. A few days later he called on Hazel Nutte, toJd her he had bought the property, and then explained how he would require another $500 to pay for the farmhouse. She agreed to loan him the additional sum, and the boy returned home perfectly satisfied that his start in life was now assured. CHAPTER VII. TOM'S NEW SCHEME. On the follo wing Wednesday the Bay View Hotel opened with three guests, and Tom went to work that nigl:It. The Englewood Beach Hotel also threw open its doors, and every day thereafter more guests arrived, most of them permanent for the season. Both houses were crowded and everything in full swing by the Fourth of July. A few days before that Mike Dooley put -the flatboat in commission, and the summer visitors who preferred to walk over to North Beach to taking the trolley patronized this unique mode of conveyance across the creek. Mike's ferryboat was soon known to everybody at bofo beaches, and many walked to the creek just for the fun of being poled across the short stretch di water. Although he had a sign on the boat stating that his remuneration was a penny each way, he got more nickels than coppers, and sometimes. he got ten cents, and occasionally a quarter from those libeially disposed. Consequently the trolley people gained nothing by their shabby trick. Deacon Fitch, as soon as the facts were reported to him, sent a couple of his men to put Mike out of business. The men happened to appear at a time when a number of the summer visitors were waiting to be taken across the creek, and Mike appea1ec1 to them for protection. Several strapping college lads seized the enemy and ducked them in the stream, and that put a temporary end to the raid. Tom, being notified of the action of the trolley a.ttendecl a meeting of the Town Council of Englewood and secured Mike a permit to continue the business, explaining that Mike was a poor boy who needed the money. Finding that the trolley company was getting disliked for its meanness, the ordered the bridge restored to its former shape. This action on his part, however, did not break up the ferry, as by this time all the visitors had learned that Mike was the son of a poor widow who needed financial help, and continu e d to do as much bu s ines s as before. About the middle of July the deed conveying the Locke Farm to Mrs. Mary Dean, Tom's aunt, was signed, and the fact that the rocky bluff had pas s ed into her possession was duly chronicled in the Englewood "News,"'and created considerable speculation among the villagers, who had the idea that the Locke property was a quince. People wondered what Mrs. Dean proposed to do with her purchase. Others, who had been under the impression that Tom's relative was not very well off, were curious to learn where she had gotten the $1,500 to pay for the place. The general idea was that she had come into a legacy. Tom was quizzed on the subject, but had nothing to say. The Lockes carted their household goods away and then Tom induced Mrs. Dooley to go out there and take charge of the house. Of course Mike had to accompany her, and that put the creek ferry out of business, much to Deacon Fitch's satis faction. After deducting the expenses of the enterprise out of the s hare of the receipts that Mike had faithfully turned over e ach day to Tom, the latter had a balance of $6, which he presented to the Wido-w Dooley. Tom had bought Locke's cow and his small stock of poul try, a11d the widow and her son had the benefit of these in addition to free rent. Mike got work on the adjacent fa.rm, and his mother secured quite a bit of washing to take home, so that three or four days a week there was always a display of clothes on the lines on the top of the bluff. About the first of August the plans o:Hhe syndicate which was going to improve .that section were completed, and the news was permitted to get out. The Englewood "News" printed a column about Major N utte's enterprise, and the facts created not a little excite ment in the village and neighborhood. 'l'he farmers whose property adjoined, or was not far

PAGE 13

12 A LUCKY CONTRACT. from site of the projected factories and the new village which the starting of the industries would cause to spring into existence, began to hug themselves with satisfaction. TIJe mere publication of the project made their proper ties more valuable, and in due time the facilities offered bv the branch railroad, which would run to Englewood, fo.r sending their produce to market was bound to bring an added income to their pockets. to work out my own fortune. He shall have the same in terest frommc he woulcl exact from anybody else proposing a similar scheme I intend to do business on business prin ciples It is the only way to feel thoroughly independent. There's a big fortune in this properly for me if I'm smart enough to dig it out, and I don't mean to let any grass grow under my feet in the effort to make a gTand success of the enterprise." No one, however, as yet s:.1spected that the new owner of the bluff would benefit to any great extent by the new condition of things, unless possibly it was covered with homes for the workingmen who would in time come to work in the factories. "I am satisfied you will succeed, Tom," replied Hazel, confidently. "Papa says you have the right stuff in you, and I knew you had from the day we first met." "You are very kind to enco,urage me, Hazel," said Tom, with a look of appniciation. But it would cost money to build houses, and houses had to be built before they could be rented. Pos sibly Major Nutte might buy the bluff at an advance on the price paid to Locke, the gossips argued, and in that way Mrs. Dean might be able to double her investment. Tom, in getting possession of the bluff, had thought of nothing but the profit to come out of the stone that would be needed to build the dam. It was about this time tha.t another advantage occuITecl to him. He and Hazel, with whom he was now pretty thick, went out to the bluff one afternoon for a ride in the girl's pony phaeton. As they were slowly mounting the pa.th to the farmhouse, Tom said : "Say, Hazel," he called her by her first name now, and she called him Torn, "I see another chance to get additional profit out of this property, with your father's backing, and he promised to do me a favor any time I asked it." "What is it, Tom?" asked the girl, in an interested tone. "Why, wh.en this rock has all been cut away and used up it will leave me with a fl.at piece of ground on my hands. What's the matter with having a couple of streets laid out through it and making it an addition to the village? With the profits I expect to realize out of the rock I can build a numb er of small cottages and rent them at a rate which will induce people to take them. That will largely Taise the value of the whole fifty acres. It will enable me to mortgage it for enough more money to build additional houses. Then I can mortgage those for enough to build a few more. By that means I ought to be able to become quite an extensive landlord. What do you think of the idea?" "It is just splendid! Papa will lend you all the money you'll need, for he'll have security for it. Then, if you should for any reason ever get into temporary financial dif ficulties he will carry you over. He's very anxious to help you in some way. I heard him tell motheT so the other day. He feels under such great obligations to you for sav ing my life that he wants to give you some substantial evi dence o.f his gratitude." "Well, the only substantial evidence of his gTatitude I will accept will be the advantage of his influence in connec tion with this new plan of mine. I be glad to boTrow of him the money necessary to push it on a big scale. Every speculatoT has to borrow money to cany out an ex tensive enterprise. If your father has confidence enough in me to put up the coin it must be on the same busimss basis as I would have to make with a stranger, for I mean "Why, I'm only telling you the truth. Some day you'll be rich." "I hope so. Not because I'm in love with money itself, but because of the advantages it brings a person. There is another reason, too, why I want to be Tich." "What is it?" "That's a secret I don't dare tell even to you." Hazel looked at him a moment, and then said : "This is some new business project you are thinking about?" "No. It is something more important to me even than that?" "Something more important?" she said, in a puzzled tone. "Yes. It is a dream, and yet I am sure the whole happi ness of my life will depend on whether it can ever be realized or not." "It must be very, very important." "It is. The pTize I would win is the most precious thing in all the world." "And you can't tell me what it isJ" "Some day I hope I may be able t? do so, but if I told you now," he added, with a strange, wistful expression, "you would think me pTesumphrnus." "Presumptuous!" she said "In what way?" "That's my secret. We are good friends now. I don't want anything to come between us that would make us less so." "You would have to do something very, very bad to make me think less of you, Tom," Hazel replied, earnestly. "And I am certain you never will be guilty of an act which you would regret." "I should hope not. The secret I am speaking about isn't anything I am ashamed to tell you, but it's something I'm afraid to tell you." "Afraid to tell me?" she replied, in surprise. "That's the size of it." "Why are you afraid to tell me anything that you're not ashamed of?" "Oh, because-it might not exact ly please you." "How can you tell that?" "I can't tell; but I don't like to take the chances." "You ridicufous boy! C<>me, now, tell me what this big secret is. I am curious to know," she said. coaxingly. They had reached the top of the bluff by this time, and Tom had driven the pony under a tree that shaded the front door of the house. "No," he answered. "I'll tell you some day, perhaps, but not now."

PAGE 14

A LUCKY CONTRACT. 13 He jumped out of the phaeton ancl tied the pony to the l ;, It's none too good for him, but it doesn't pay to run tre e chances of gettin' your neck stretched," returned Dan. "We Then he held oui his hand to her, and she sprang lightly don't want to kill him." to the ground. "We'll leave him till we finish goin' through the house, "I don't see any sign. of Mrs. Dooley around," he said then we'll attend to his case," said Bill. "Lock that door "She may have gone to deliver some wash." so if anybody comes they can't get in He tried the knob of the back door. Dan lockea. and bolted the door, and then the two rascals It was not locked. left the room through the passage. "lVIrs. Dooley is somewhere around the house, after all," Tom sa.t up and looked at Hazel, and the girl looked at he said. "We'll walk in and surprise her." him. They entered the kitchen and shut the door. Neither could speak on account of the gags. Hazel sat down and Tom opened the door leading into The boy's hands "ere tied behind his back and his ankles a passage which connected the front with the back of the were also secured together. house. Although comparatively helpless, he did not despair on Ins tantly two rough-looking men sprang out and seized that account. the boy. He looked around the room and put his ready wits to 'I'hey were the two tramps who had held up Hazel that work. afternoon six weeks before. On the table in the center of the room were a plate, a cnp CHAPTER VIII. WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HOUSE ON THE BLUFF. Tom, taken by surprise, was an easy victim. He put up a struggle, of course, but it amounted to very little against the two ruffians. Hazel sprang up with a low scream. She was a plucky little girl, and had no idea either of fainting or running away and leaving her escort in a bad pickle. Her eyes lighted on a broom. She seized it and attacked the nearest rascal with such vigor that he had to let go of Tom to defend himself. He grabbed the broom handle and wrenched it away from her then he caught her by the wrist with one hand forC'ed her into a chair and put his other hand over her mouth. While he was doing this the other tramp threw Tom on the floor anc1 sat on him. "You're the chap who butted in that clay on the road," gritted the ruffian. "You slugged me in the jaw and nearly broke my face. I reckon I'll fix ye now for that." "If you do anything to us you'll land in the county jail pretty quick replied Tom, stoutly. "We'll take the chances of that," replied the man, with an ugly laugh. "Tie and gag that girl, Bill," he added to his companion, "so she can't do nothin', and then lend me a hand with this young rooster." The man Bill took a towel from the table, wo1md ib around Hazel's mouth and tied it at the back of her head. Then he secured her to the chair with some cord he took from his pocket. The girl being now helpless, the rascal helped himself to the chatelaine watch she wore on the bosom of her gown, took the diamond drops out of her ears, and the expensive ring from one of her fingers. He slipped his 3'1.under in his pocket and then went over to help his companion tie up Tom Trowbridge. "I owe you somethin' myself for that crack you gave me on nut," said the rascal named Bill, "and I always pay my debts, don't I, Dan?" "I reckon you do," replied his associate. "We both owe him somethin'," continued Bill. "What'll we do? Chuck him off the bluff?" ancl saucer 'ancl a knife and fork, just as Mrs. Dooley had left them after eating her dinner. She had evidently gone away in a hurry. Tom saw the handle of the knife projecting over the edge of the table, and the sight of it put a.n idea into his head. He dragged himself over to the table, then got on his knees, and then on his feet. Turnincr his back to the table, he felt along the edge with his bound hands till he was able to grab the handle of the knife in his fingers. Then he proceeded to hop toward Hazel in the same way that participants in a sack-race try to cover ground. It took some little skill to maintain his balance, but he succeeded. When he reached the girl he looked at the way she was bound to the chair. If the rascals did not reappear too soon he believed he could free Hazel, and then 'it would be an easy matter for her to release him from the cord. Grabbing the blade of the knife firmly between his fingers with the edge out, he a.ppliecl it to one of the cords. It took him but a few moments to cut the cord through. Hazel, who easily understood what he was abo\1t, pulled her right hand free and tore the towel from her mouth. "Give me the knife, T om, and I will cut you loose." Tom worked around so she could take the knife and use it on his cords. In less than a minute his hands were free. "You're -a brick, Ha.zel," he said, after getting rid of the gag. "I'll do the rest It was but the work of a rnome11t to cut the cord a bout his ankles, then he released the girl from the chair. Going to the open passage door, he listened. The two men were rummaging about upstairs with poo r luck, as Mrs. Dooley's possessions were not very valuable. Tom then shot back the bolt on the outer door and un locked it. "Do you think they can catch us before we can get a.way in the phaeton?" she asked him. ".We can't drive fast down the bluff." "Are you willing to take a chance with me?" he asked her. "What do you mean?" 1

PAGE 15

14 A LUCKY CONTRACT. "You're a plucky little girl. I'd like to capture those tramps and turn them over to the authorities. Remember the chap who bound you has all your valuables." "Oh, dear; that would be too dangerous for us to at tempt," she remonstrated. "I'm not sure of that. If they are not captured they may lay for us the next time we come out here, and we come frequently, you know, of an afternoon, for they s('lem to be revengeful rascals." "What are you thinking of doing?" "There's a club yonder that I'll use. You can take that rolling-pin, which is weighty enough to crack a man's skull. We'll lay for them when they come back to this room, and take them by surprise. I'll guarantee to knock one of them out at the first blow, and you ought to make the other chap sick till I can jump in and sett le him. Then we'll tie them up the way they served me. Mrs. Dooley ought to be back soon, and she'll take care of them till I send the constables out to take charge of them." It was a daring thing to do, and Hazel was rather nervous about attempting it, but finally, like the brave little girl she was, she agreed to help Tom. "You ta)\e the second one," whispered Tom as they took up their positions on either side of the passage door. Presently they heard the two ruffians coming downstairs. They were in bad humor because they had picked up nothing of value in the house. "We'll pickle that young monkey now," Tom heard the man D'an say. "We'll tie him to one of the trees outside and welt the life half out of him." "You will-I don't think," chuckled Tom. "Not unless your hea.d is much harder than this club." The men shuffied along toward the kitchen. Dan entered the room first, a nd no sooner had he crossed the threshold of the door than Tom felled him to the floor. He went down like an ox and lay there motionless. The man Bill halted in stupefie d s urprise, only to face a heavy rolling-pin that hmtled through the air and hit him a whack in the upper part of the chest that staggered him. Before he could recover his wits Tom sett led his hash with a tap that made him see so many stars that he concluded to go to s le ep. "Hurrah!" shouted Tom. "We've got them dead to rights. Now I'll s ecure them." There was cord aplenty to do that with, and when the rascals recovered their senses they found themselves helpless. By that time Hazel had her watch, and ring, and ear rings on again, just as if they had never l ef t her. As the rascals had not been gagged they began to say things that caused the girl to open the kitchen door and step outside. They swore at Tom and threatened all kinds of trouble for him. "You might as well save your breath, both of you. You're slated for the co1mty ja.il, and I'll bet Major N utte will make it hot for you. for the indignities you offered his daughter." At that moment Tom heard Haz e l talking to someone outside, and soon after. the girl re-entered the houpe with Mrs. Dooley. Mrs. Dooley was an Irish lady who never looked for a scrap, but could hold her end up if a row was forced upon her. "So thim are the blackguard s who assaulted you and the young lady," she said to Tom, as she looked on the bound ruffians. "Sure, it's sorry I am I was away whin they came here, or I'd havo made thim look two ways for Sunday. faith, I would. Ye have got thim nicely trnssed up, like a pair of pigs in a poke, so ye have. And what do ye in tind to be afther doin with thim ?" "I want you to see that they don't get away from here till I can send the constab les after them in a wagon." "Get away, is it? I'd lik e to see them," replied the Irish woman. "Sure, I could kape watch on thim with one eye, so I could." "You won't mind the trouble, will you, Mrs. Dooley?" said Tom. "Tro11ble, faith! Sure, it's no trouble at all. I'll see thot they're here whin the pola.cemin come." you Mrs. Dooley. Then Miss Nutte and I will lose no time getting back." Tom took Hazel by the arm and led her to the phaeton. Assisting her in, he untied the pony, and getting in him self proceeded to drive down the road. TheJ were soon spinning up the road toward her home. He left her at her gate and went on iri the vehicle to the office of the head constable in Englewood. The guardian of the peace was on hand and heard Tom's story Then he lost no time in getting his rig in readiness for the trip to the bluff, while Tom drove back to Major Nutte's. Th e major was as mad as a hornet over the treatment Hazel had been subjected to by the tramps, and he said he would see they got all that was coming tO them. Tom remained to supper, as he often did days, and then mounting his wheel drove to the hotel, where his duties began at eight o'clock CHAPTER IX. FRANK FLEETWOOD, OIVIJ, ENGINEER. The head constable and one of his deputies went out to the bluff and brought the two tramps back to Englewood with them. They spent the ni ght in the village lock-up, and next morning were arraigned for examination before the justice. Tom and Hazel were present to press the charge against them, and Major N utte was on hand to see that they were remanded for trial. The justice's office overflowed with spectators drawn there out of curiosity. The ruffians having pleaded "not guilty," Tom went to the witness chair and told his story. His testimony was corroborated by Hl!zel. One of the rascals endeavored to make light of their of fense, but no one believed his excuses. The justice held them for trial, and that afternoon they were taken to Preston, the county seat, where they were put in jail to await the next term of the Circuit Court. It was about this time that an advertisement appeared in several of the more important Chicago newspapers asking

PAGE 16

A LUCKY CONTRACT. 15 bids for the construction of a dam across the Ste. Ma.rie River. Specifications were to be seen at the c,ompany's office in Sault Ste. Marie, and bids, accompanied by a certified check f $20,000, had to be submit.ted on or before Sep tember 1. A week later Tom and Hazel maile anoiher visit to the bluff. This time the girl rode Queen Bess and Tom went on his wheel. They found several men making measurements, and i!o ing a lot of figuring, in the immediate vicinity of the dam site. They had a printed copy m the specifications and several blueprints .with them. "I guess that crowd consists of a contractor and his as sistants getting the necessary data far a bid on the nrw dam," said Tom, pointing towards the group "Yes. Papa said this morning that a young man from Chicago would be up here to-day with some other men to figure on a contract price for building the dam," replied Hazel. "And there will be others later, for it is a job worth bidding on Tom and the girl went to the top of the bluff as. usual and sat down under the shade of a tree near the edge facing the river They talked together in a chummy way and watched the movements of the men near the dam site. Hazel had forgotten all about that -secret she was so eager to learn at the time Tom spoke about' it, and the boy was glad that she did not take it up again. Tom was always very happy when in Hazel's society, and she seemed equally contented to be with him. Their friendship grew stronger every time they came to gether, and there was no doubt that Hazel greatly aamired the stalwart, good looking and manly boy who had saved her life. As for Tom, he had reached the conclusion that the girl was abs-olutely necessary to his future happiness, and he made up his mind to win her love if he could. While the well-matched pair were enjoying their tete-a tete under t11e tree the men finished their work and piled their surveying instruments and other apparatus into a light wagon and prepared to leave the spot. One of them, who seemed to be in charge of the party, walked ahead as far as the bl uff and began to examine it.q face with a look of interest. 'He climbed up here and there and looked at tlie rock, breaking off pieces, and, after studying their composition, put them in his pocket Tom watched the young man with a satisfied smile. He was satisfied that he would hunt up the owner of the bluff and try to see i he could buy it. Other contractors would probably do the same, so that his aunt might expect more tharr one flattering offer for the property. There wasn't the least doubt that the man C'Ontrolling the bluff could easily underbid his competitors and secure the i..:ontract for building the dam. At length the you11.g man walked up on top of the bluff ancl knocked at the door of the house. Mrs Dooley answered the summons. "I beg your pardon, madam, but may I ask wh o i s the owner of this property?" he inq u ired, poli te ly. "Mrs. Mary Dean." "Does she live here?" "No, sir Sure, she lives in Englewood, o.n Madison Siratc. Her niphew, Tom Trowbridge, is sated under thot lree yonder with a young lady. Faith, he can t ill ye a ll about the place, sor." So the young man went o ver to interview Tom. "Are you Tom Trowbridge?" he aske d "That's my name," replied the boy, getting up. "Your aunt, Mrs. D'ean, owns this p r operty, I und0rstand ?" "She does," replied Tom. "Has she ever had any idea of sellin g it?" "No, sir "How many acres does she own?"' "Only the bluff, a.bout fifty acres "It does not seem to be adapted for growing anything "Poultry is about the only thing grown here/' "Do you think your aunt woul d consi d e r an offer for the property ?" "No, for the b l uff rea1ly be l ongs to me "Indeed. Then perhaps it cannot be dispose d of 'l:mtil you come af age Is that the way the matter sta nds?" asked the young man, looking disapIJoinwcl "Not exactly. But I can positively say that the bl uff is not for sale. Are you a contractor?" "No, I am a civi l engineer My name i s F r ank Fleet wood. I intend to put a bid in for the new clam same as any contractor If I am successfu l in securing the job I will then be a foll-fledged contractor as a matter of course." The young man, who was good-looking and spoke frankly, and Tom took a l iking for him o n the spot. "Why do yau want to buy th i s property?" he asked Fleetwood hesitated, as if he didn't want to admit wbat he was after. "Isn't it because this bluff would furnish you with the stone you would need to build the clam?" went on Tom. "Yes. That' s my reason for wishing to buy the place. But if I can't purchase it I take it for granted that no other contractor will be abl e to do so either." "That's correct. I control this bluff. My purpose is to sell the stone to the successful bidder at a price l ower than he can bring similar rock to this place. If you want to make an offer on those lines I will consider it." "You would have to employ a gang of men to blast the rock out in a proper way. Why not let me make you an offer for the property as it stands?" "Because I have use or it after the bluff shall have been cut away." "Then you e-xpect to blast the stone out and sell it to the man who builds the dam?" said Fleetwood "That's it, exactly." "Then I will make you an offer for the rock per ton. Where shall I send you a letter?" "You can send it care 0 the Bay View Hotel. I am night clerk at that house "Indeed! I am going to stop there for a clay or two, and will therefore have an opportun i ty for seeillg y ou aga in l\fr. 'Trowbridge."

PAGE 17

16 A LUCKY CONTRACT. "Very well," replied Tom "I shall be pleased to meet you a.gain." Fleetwood bowed and turned away to retrace his steps to the road below, where his wagon was waiting, while Tom rejoined Hazel under the tree. CHAPTER X. TOM MAKES A PROPOSITION. While Tom was on his way from the cottage tq the hotel that evening, his mind filled with visions of the anticipated profit he expected to get out of the stone that composed the bulk of the bluff, a new idea suddenly occurred to him. A brilliant idea iii was, too, and the very nerve of it al most took his breath away. The scheme he thought of was this: Instead of selling the stone even at a big profit, why not try to get a half interest in the contract to build the clam? If he combined with the young engineer the latter would be in a position to put in a lower bid than any other contractor could possibly do and make a profit on the job. Then the contract was bound to be awarded to the firm of Fleetwood & Trowbridge. Fleetwood would look after the engineering pa .rt of the work the junior partner would superintend the quarry end. Torn was so taken with the plan that he determined to speak with Frank Fleetwood that evening on the subject if the opportunity offered. If the young engineer considered the proposal in a favorable light he would make an appointment with him on the .following afternoon to go into the details. He saw Fleetwood on the broad veranda talking to an other guest when he entered the hotel, but the young en gineer did not enter the rotunda where the office was uniil half-past ten, when he stepped up to the desf{ to get the key of his room. "Glad to see you again, Trowbridge he with a cheerful smile. "I will trouble' you for the key of No. 61." "Certainly," replied Tom, ;reaching for the pigeon-hole where it reposed. "By the way, have you a moment or two to spare, Mr. Fleetwood?" "Why not? I was just going to bed, and it make s no difference to me when I go." "Well, I've a proposition to make you with reference to the dam that you are intending to submit a bid for,'' began Tom. "You mean about the stone for building the dam." "I Jnean about the whole thing. You may think me rather cheeky, but I can't help it. I'm out to do busines s on the most profitable basis." "Well, what is your proposition?" smiled the young en gineer. "Leaving the matter of the stone at the olu:ff out of your calculations altogether, what chance do you think you will stand of getting, the dam contract?" "That would be hard to say. The lowest responsible bid will, of course, scoop the job. I have superintended a num ber of big contracts in the interests of other people, chiefly for Sherlock & Mosby, with whom I've been employed for several years. Recently I had a break with the firm n.ud am trying to branch out as a contractor for myself. While ,I consider myself perfectly competent to malrn out a bid and carry the contract through to a successful conclusion if I sho1\ld get it, still there are many things I'm up against. Sherlock & Mosby, I understand, are going to put in a bid on the dam, and I expect to see Sherlock and an engineer up here to-morrow to look the ground over'. The firm has been in the contracting business over twenty yearn, and owing to their facilities will probably be able to figure closer than I can if I cannot get your stone at a price that will enable me to make a.n exceptionally lo\v bid. I might as well admit to you right now, for I have figured the mat ter out since I talked with you on the bluff, and have come to the conclusion that unless you are willing to help me out a little I will be out of it.n "Suppose all you had to do was 1.o consider the cost of quarrying the stone out of the bluff, how would that affect your bid?" asked Tom. "Why, I could easily underbid Sherlock & Mosby, or any other contractor," replied Fleetwood, "because I'd have the material on the spot. That would niake a mighty big difference. To bring the stone required for the work from the nearest quarry, as I have been figuring on, will cost a whole lot of money The man who. can get his stone from your Lluff will control the situation." "That's the way I look at it. As the case stands now, every contractor who comes down here 1.o e s timate on the dam will consider the bluff as an important factor in ihe case, and I shall get offers fron\ them all for the ground. Under no consideration will I part wiih the property, though I am prepared to dispo e of the rock above a cer tain level, which would be all any contractor would care for. Now, my proposition is thi s : That we go into partner ship as contractors--you to furnish the expert experience and I to furnish the stone in the bluff as it stands The partnership can be limited to this one job, or it can be extended to take in the other improvements on which bids will subsequently be asked." "What are the other improvements?" Tom told him about the factories and the homes for the workingmen that were to be put up. Fleetwood lookecl at Torn in surprise. "'l'hat would be a mighty big .contract to tackle. It looks like a million-dollar job." "I have no doubt it would cost close on to that sum." "And you are actually taking that into consideration in proposing 1.his partnership?" "I am. I am out for everything in sight." "The firm bidding on that work wonlcl probably be re quired to furnish a bond or the ca.sh for ten per cent. of the estimated cost." "You could leave that part of the matter to me, Mr. Fleetwood," replied Tom, coolly. "However, I don't wish to discuss other issues just now. The only question before us at present is-will you take me into pa. rtnership on the dam? If you agree, I will guarantee that we get the job at a good profit. I may as well tell you that I have considerable influence in a very important quarter. Major Xutte, the president and general manager of the Ste. Marie River Corporation, is a friend of mine, and is just aching to do me a favor If it was the question between our bid and that of another firm equally low, his vote would be cast with the side in which I was interested. So, you see,

PAGE 18

A LUCKY CONTRACT. it will not be necessary to put in an exceptionally low bill to get the contract, but one which the possession of the bluff will enable you to draw up with the certainty of being lower than that of any contractor who will have to Qgure on getting the stone from a distance. Now you have my plan in a nutshell. Sleep on it and let me have your an swer to-monow. Call on me at my aunt's cottage any time after one o'clock. It's on Madison Street in the village, and anybody will direct you to Mrs. Dean's." "Upon my word, Trowbridge, your proposition has as toui s hed me," replied the young engineer. "I have never met such a business-like young fellow of your years. There are features about your offer that entitle it to my earnest consideration, and that it shall have. I am bound to say that I have taken a great fancy to you personally. There is something about you that attracts me. I may as well say right now that I look upon your proposal with favor. I will meet you to-morrow and we will talk the matter over. Then I should like to take the boss stone-mason I brought with me out to the bluff and examine the ground ns thoroughly as possible." "All right,'' replied Tom. "I think you will find that it will be greatly to your advantage to go into this deal with me. Just as it will be to my advantage to be connected with you, since you have the experience which I lack. It will make a whole lot of difference to us both if we don't come together, but in any case I shall make a good thing out of the bluff, and a small fortune afterward out of the ground which, through my pull with the major, will become part of the village." "You seem to be an uncommonly smart young man," re plied Fleetwood, "and if I take a partner tha.t's the kind of person I want with me. Well, good-night. I will meet you to-morrow at one o 'clock at your home and we will go all over the matter. I have an idea tha.t we will hitch if the prospects are really as ros:v as I imagine they will prove to be after a thorough sifting of all the conditions of the case." CHAPTER XI. TOM: RECEIVES A FLATTERING OFFER FOR THE BLUFF. Frank Fleetwood called on Tom next day at one o'clock, and they had a long and earnest conversation on the matter of the partnership and the construction 0 the dam. At three o'clock they rode out to the bluff on the wagon with the boss mason, and the party spent some time going over the ground and examining thelimestone outcroppings. Another contractor, with two assistants, was making notes at the dam site, and Fleetwood recognized the gen tleman, who was expensively dressed, as Job Sherlock, head of the contracting firm 0 Sherlock & Mosby, of Chicago. While Tom and his companions were inspecting the bluff Mr. Sherlock took note of their presence on the scene and walked down to see what they were doing. He had incidentally noticed the rocky eminence when he first came out there, and intended to have a look at it. "Hello, Fleetwood," he said, rather gruffly, when he came up, "what are 7ou doing out here?" "IJooking this bluff over, Mr. Sherlock," replied tbe young engineer, politely. "Who does t1ie property belong to?" "It belongs to a 1lrs. Dean." "She lives in that house up there, I "No, sir. She resides in Englewood." "Ah, just so." Mr. Sherlock said no more for awhile, but busied him self examining the indications of the presence of lime stone all along the bluff. Finally he rejoined Tom and his party "Look here, Fleetwood, are yon working in the 1 of some contractor contemplating putting in. a bid for that dam?" "Just at present I'm looking after the interests of t be new firm of Fleetwood & Trowbridge." "Indeed!" replied Mr Sherlock, with a tinge of sarcasm in his tones. "Civil engineers, I presume?" "And contractors," added Fleetwood, with a smile. "Humph I You are down here to estimate on the dam, I take it?" "That is my mission." Mr. Sherlock grinned. "What chance do you expect to stand agai1ist our firm?" he asked, aggressively. "That will be seen when the bids are opened on Septem ber 1." "You are :figuring on using this rock, maybe, if you are so fortunate as to land the contract?" continued Mr. Sherlock, in an unpleasant voice,, for he saw the possibilities that lay in the bluff, and mentally determined to try and get his own nooks in by outbidding. Fleetwood for the prop erty. "I was merely looking the bluff over to see whether th<> material for building the dam could be got out of it," re plied Fleetwood. "Just so," replied Mr. Sherlock, rubbing his chin. 'I'he young engineer knew what that action meant, for he had seen Sherlock do it time and again when he was an noyed and meditated some sharp move. Fleetwood, however, was not worried, or he knew he had a cinch on the bluff. Although he and Trowbridge were not yet actually part ners, they had come to an arrangement which needed only the drawing up 0the papers to make the firm a legal one_ 1.Ir. Sherlock accompanied them over the bluff and took mental notes of all he saw. He was satisfied that he must buy the bluff if it was to be gotten at a fair price. At any rate, he was determined that no other contractor should get ahead of him in the matter. While Tom, Fleetwood anrl the mason sat down under one of the trees at the summit of the bluff, Mr. Sherlock re turned to his companions. Shortly afterward he and his assistants got into his auto mobile and started for Englewood. "Sherlock is going to hunt your aunt up and make her an offer for the bluff,'' said Fleetwood, as the three watched the Sherlock party disappear up the road. "I'm afraid he's only wasting his time," grinned Tom. "Fleetwood & Trowbridge are going to use this rock when the firm gets the contract to build the dam." 'l'he party remained half an hour longer on the bluff and then returned to the village. J

PAGE 19

f A LUCKY CO:N"TRACT. After puttinf the wagon up at the stable, Fleehrood and the mason went on to the hotel, while Tom. returned home. "There was a gentleman here about an hour ago who is very anxious to buy the bluff," said his aunt. "He offered me $3,000 for it." "Said his name was Sherlock, didn't he?" said Tom, q11ietly. "Why, yes; that's the name he gaYe mr. You have srcn him, then?" "I met him out at the bluff, bnt was not introduced to him.J' "I told him, that you were the one who had all the say about the bluff That while the property was in my name it was really yours. Then he said he would be here early this evening to talk with you about it." "If he doesn't call before half-past seven he won't see me. If he calls la .ter you can tell him that the bluff is not for sa l e at any price." Mr. Shedock called, however, at a few minutes after seven He was surprised, and perhaps a little disconcerted, to recognize Tom as the boy he had .that afternoon seen iri company with Fleetwood a. t the' bluff. "My name is Sherlock," he said, brusquely. "I hav:e call ed to see if I can make a deal with you for the purchase of the bluff by .the river." "The bluff is not for sale," replied Tom, politely. "I am willing to pay you $3,000 for it. That's twice as much as it's w.orth to anybody but me," said the contractor, paying no attention to his answer. "No, sir. I wouldn't take $3,000 for it." "ThenI'll make you an.other proposition. I'll give you that for the privilege of taking .out all the stone I ma y need in the building of the dam." "Are you sure of getting the contract for building it?" asketl Tom, with a slight smile. "I am willing to take the chances of getting it. I will pay you $1,000 down on account of the stone privilege," went on Mr. Sherlock. "The balance to be paid on Sep tember 15." Tom, however, declined his offer. "May I ask how you expect to do any better, young man?" asked the contractor, in a nettled tone. "I shall have to decline answering that question Am I to understand that Fleetwood made you a better offer? If he did, I advise you to go slow before you commit yourself. In dealing with me you are doing business with one of the most responsible contracting firms of Chi"' cngo," sa id Mr. Sherlock, with a consequential expanding of his broad chest, on which glowed a big diamond pin, easily worth $1,000. "Fleetwood has no responsibility as far as I am aware of Until lately he was in the employ of our firm as a civil engineer, but we found it convenient to let him go. Shall I draw up a memorandum for you to sign and hand you my check for the thou.sand on account?" con tinued the contractor, putting his hand in his coat pocke. "No, sir, for I cannot accept your offer." "You cannot accept $3,000 for the stone in the bluff?" almost gasped Mr. Sherlock. "Why, the ground will be improved a hundred per cent. after that bluff is cut a.way, and you will have the money to boot." "I am aware of that fact, sir; but if there is any cutting away to be done I think it. will be clone under my supervi sion." "Under your supervision?" "Yes, sir." "Arc you aware that it will eost a. lot of money to blast the rock out of the bluff? The offer I'm ma;king you throws that expen e on my shoulders. You will get your property practically clearecl of the rock for nothing, wilh a bonus of $3. 000 thrown in." "I understand that, sir." "And you refuse to accept my offer ?" "I do." "I'll make it $4,000. How does that trike you?" "No better than yom: other offer." Mr. Sherlock regarded Tom as if he were some new freak which had come under his observation. "Upon my word, young man, I don:"t understand you at all," said the contractor, testily. "I have made you a most extraordinarily liberal offer, and yet you turn it down. I cannot for the life of me see how you can do any. better, or even as well." Tom smiled and made no reply. "Will you take $5,000 ?" said Mr. Sherlock, after eome cogitation "No, sir. I .told you at the beginning of this interview that the bluff was not for sale." "Do you mean by that tha.t you have already closed a deal with Fleetwood ?" "Well, I have made a business arrangement with l\fr. Fleetwood which prevents me from disp.osing of tbe rock of which the bluff is composed." "Why didn't you sa y so at once, then?" demanded the con.tractor, angrily. "I told you the bluff was not for sale." "But you didn't tell me thfat you had sold the stone, or the property, to Fleetwood," said Mr. aggressive ly, for he was hot under the collar to think that his late employee had got ahead of him. "I haven't sold either the stone, or the property, to Mr. Fleetwood." "Then what kind of a deal did you make with him?" "I cannot answer that question, sir." The c0ntractor was puzzled to understand j11st how the land lay. The bluff itself could be of no possible use to the young engineer except so far as it would furnish the material necessary to build the dam in case his bid was acc_epted by the Ste. Marie River Corporation. Then the idea occurred to Mr. Sherle.ck that Fleetwood had secured an option on the bluff with the intention him-. self of selling the rock to the contractor who would make the highest bid. That stn10k him as a more reasonable move on Fleet wood's part than figuring on putting in a bid fo!' building the dam. IIe determined to interview his lat e employee, who he knew was stopping at the Bay View Hotel, on the subject at once, for he was determined to get hold of that stone if it were possible to do so, otherwise he could not see how his firm would be ab-le to submit a succe sful bid. "All right, young man," he said, rising from his chair. "I won't ta'ke u;p any more of your time. There is my

PAGE 20

A LUCKY CONTRACT. 19 business card Should any change happen in your present arrangements you can communicate with me at that ad dress." That closed tl).e interview, and Mr Sherlock took his leave CHAPTER XII. .1 rroM SECURES THE PROMISE OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. Mr. Sherlock lost no time in hunting up Frank Fleet -wood. The interview produced. no satisfactory results as far as he was concerned Next morning he and his companions left Englewood Beach for Chicago That same afternoon Tom and Fleetwood went to the office of the justice of the peace in the village and had part nership papers drawn up, which both signed in duplicate in the presence of the justice, who was also a notary. On the following morning Fleetwood departed for Chi cago to make out his bid and get the certifi ed check for $20,000 which his rich uncle had promised to loan him. That afternoon Tom wheeled ont to the N utte mansion. "You bad boy!" cried Hazel, when he presented. him self before her; "where have you bee n for the la.st five days? Come, now, you must give an account of yourself." "All right. I'm ready to do that. Did you miss me any, or were you g l ad to be rid of me for awhile?" he asked, regarding her intently. "I don't know whether I ought to flatter you by saying t h a t I missed you,'' she saio., with a. sidelong glance in his face that was particularly fascinating to him. Those eyes of hers were dangerous weapons, and it re quired some control on his part to refrain from seizing her in his arms then and there and kissing her. Theri. you didn't lniss m.e ?" he said. "Yes, I did, so there! A.re you satisfied?" "Very much so. Now, listen, and I'll tell you what kept me away. I've great news for you, ahd I expect you to congratu l ate me." Thereupon he told her about the paTtnership he had entered into with Frank Fleetwood, the yotmg civil en gineer. I am now the junior partner of the contracting firm of Fleetwood & Trowbridge, and onr first business act will be to put in a bid for bui l di _ng the Ste. Marie River dam. What do you think of that?" "You don't mean it, Tom she cried, almost incredu l ous l y "I do mean it,'' he replied "Instead of selling the stone to some other contractor, we're going k? use it ourselves, for with the bluff as an asset we should easily be ab l e to put in the l owest bid for the work." "But can you build the dam according to the specifica tions?" asked the girl, with a doubtful look. "Mr. Fleetwood can do it, for he has superintended the construction of two dams already for Sherlock & Mosby, the Chicago contractors, with whom he was associated for over six years By the way, Mr. Sherlock, of that firm, was up here two days ago fig1uing on the jol:>. He offered me $5,000 for the privilege of taking the stone out of the b l uff at his own expense." "That was a pretty good offer, wasn't it?" "Not so fine when you figure how expensive it w ould be to furnish the stone at a di s tance and have it trans p o r ted here." "A.re you goiDg to tell father about your new business arrangements?" "0 course I expect him to see that we get the contract if our bier is the lowest and be finds out on investigati on that Mr. Fleetwood is competent to c
PAGE 21

20 A LUCKY CONTRACT. work on the dam shows up as I sure it will, there is no reason, except the lack of working capita l that need prevent us from putting in a bic1 for the erection of the factories Mr. Fleetwood has looked after the erec tion of buildings of that kind before, and i s competent to continue the work. Of course, we \l'On't be in it unless your father helps us o ut. Still, I'm afraid that will be a?.king too much of him. If he backs me up on the contract it will be as much as I can reasonably expect from him, even for so important a service as sav in g your life. I am sorry that I have to go to him, anywa y, as I would prefer to hoe my own rnw if possible. But it isn't possible in such a big thing as I and my partne r are about to tackle "Well, Tom, I cannot say just what father will clo, but I know he is very anxious to serve yon, anc1 he will do it in Cl'ery reasonable way. Don't be afraid to exp l ain every thing to hi m, and give him every cha nce to lo(}k into the matter, as he will want to do it in your interest as well as his own." "Oh, I'll give it to him straight. Tell him I'll be around to-morrow afternoon to see him on important business, that is, if he hasn't any engagement "I couldn't tell you whether he has or not, but I'll tell him you want to see him. If he can't see you to-morrow when YOU come we'll go out ancl take a ride." the matter with our taking one to-clay, say, in the phaeton? We'll go out to the bluff, as usual, unless you want to go somewhere else." Hazel was willing to go, a.ncl sent an order to the stables to have her pony-phaeton brought around to the front of the l10use. Fifteen minutes later they were off down the road. Next afternoon Tom rode out to the Nutte home again and found the major waiting for him. Hazel escorted him into the library, where her father was, and left them together. Tom lost no time in getting down to business. He astonished Major Nutte by telling him that h e had gone into partnership with a smart young Chicago civil engineer who had come up to that neighborhood for the purpose of inspecting the site of the new dam and putting in a bid for the contra ct of building it. He told the major how the bluff, which he had pur chased at a bargain from Lo cke, was almost a so lid mass of limestone-just the materia l with which to build the dam. "The pos sess ion of that stone will give us the inside track 0 every other contractor in making out our bid, so that we calculate on securing the contract through the lowest bid," said Tom, as he warmed up to the subject. "But, Trowbrid ge, you ara only a boy," remarked the major. "The contract will not b e awarded to the lowest bidder unless he or they are perfectly responsible The com pany must have some guarantee that the work will be prop er l y and expeditiously executed. One of the conditions is that each bid must be accompanied with a certified check for $20,000, as an evidence of good faith and responsibility. There will be a penalty clause in the contract that unless the clam is ready for the acceptance of the company within a stipu l ated time the contractor will forfeit a certain amount for every day that he is behind in his work. The whole sum will be deducted from his deposit after the dam shall hav'.) been accepted. The company will l n1ve its own engineer to keep tab on the contractor lo see that he is doing the work according to the specifications I'm afraid, my boy, that your ambition has caJ-riecl you upon a wild goose chase." "I hope not, sir," repJied Tom, rcspcctfull.\'. "My partner is a thoroughly capable engineer, who has been Rix years in the e mploy of a big Chicago firm of contractors He has superintended the builcling of at least two clams already, and knows his business "How did he come to take you into partnership?" "Because, being the owner of the bluff, I could furnish the stone right on the ground for the clam. The $20,000 check that is to accompany our bicl is already promised to l\fr Fleetwood by his uncle. We will also have funds enough to get the machinery ne esRary to quarry the bluff. But that's our limit. My object in coming to you to-day was to as k you to hack the firm, through me, with capital sufficient to put the contract throup;h ir we secure it. You told me that if I ever wan tecl a favor of you to ask it. Well, I'm asking you now. Jf you will stand by me in this mat ter I shall make a raft of money. The fact that my partner will also benefit through any favor extended to me I hope will not count against my request for :financial aid If we can' t raise the money to ca. rry the work on, why, we'll lose the chance of a lifetime-at any rate, I will." Major utte had gotten over his surprise anr1 was now somewhat interested in Tom's business aspirations He asked the boy how the firm of Fleetwood & Trow bridge proposed to carry on the work in case the contract came their way Tom gave him all the facts and figures that he had gotten from his partner on the matter, and told the major about how much working capital the firm stood in need of. Major Nutte questiohed him closely about every point that occurred to him, and the boy, in the main, gave him sat i sfactory anSWefS. The interview lasted about two hours, at the end of which time the major had a diff erent opinion of the new firm of contractors. He assured Tom that if the firm complied with all the requirements of the bid, and the contract to build the c1am was awarded to them, he would loan the hoy enou g h money to see them through the job. "I am satisfied that you have all the elements of success in you, Trowbridge," he said. "It is up to you to utilize them to the best advantage. I am glad to have the oppor tunity to help you get a good start, ancl I look to see you win out." Tom, having carried his point, on which so much hinged, l eft the library after thanking the major for his assurance to stand by him. CHAPTER XIII. TOM ASTONISHES DICK. Although Tom droppec1 around lo the bathhouses nearly every afternoon to see his friend Dick Bristol, he had never even told his chum that he had gotten possession of the Locke Farm, as the bluff was still designated by the vil lagers. His object was to surprise Dick when he got ready for business.

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A LUCKY CONTRACT. 21 Since he entered into partnership with Fleetwood he had made up his mind to engage Dick as time keeper and general assistant at the quarry as soon as work was begun on the bluff. On the morning following his satisfactory interview with Major Nutte, Tom received a small package a.nd a letter by mail with the Chicago postmark. He knew they came from Mr. Fleetwood. The letter stated that the young engineer had made out his bid for the building of the dam, and was now waiting for his uncle to return to the city so that he could get the check to enclose with it, then he would send the packet by registered mail to the Ste. Marie Riv e r Corporation at Sault Ste. Marie. He told Tom what the amount of the bid was, and what profit he expected they would make, s uppo s ing that his cal cul ations with reference to the cost of quarrying the stone turnc(l out approximately correct. The difficulty they now had to face was to raise the funds to carry on the work, h e sa id, and he was going to try and fix that up with his uncl e The package contained 100 bu si ness cards, printed as follows: FLEETWOOD & TROWBRIDGE, Contractors, Room 50-1, Eclipse B1clg., LaSalle Street, Chicago. Branch Office: Englewood, Mich. Tom immediate l y wrote :i short l etter to his partn e r acknowledging the receipt of his l ette r and the cards, and telling him not to worry about rai sing the funds to carry on the work if they got the contract as he had already made arrangements to secure all the money necessary for that vurposc He knew this bit of info rmation would astonish Fleet wood, although Tom had told him he had a good friend in 1'.Iajor rutte. Putting half a dozen of hi s business carc1s in his vocket, he walked down to the bathhouses to see Dick. "I might as well take his brea.th now as later on, for everything seems to be settled except so far as the getting of ihe contract is concerned," he chuckled; "and I guess we're almost sure of that, as things stand." Ile found Dick in the room where the money was taken in and thc bathing-suits given out. The captain was outs ide repairing the lock on on e of the houses. "Hello, Torn. Hot day, isn t it?" said Dick, wiping his face with hi s handkerchief. "What do you expect in the middle of August?" laughed Tom. "I meant that to-day i s extra warm. All the houses are in use and there are a numb e r of people on the wa.iting list," ana Dick noClded at l1alf a dozen of the hot e l g-;iests who were l ounging around the door watching the bathers and waiting for a chance to get a bathhouse. "Which means that you are extra busy." "Well, I haven't any time to go to s leep," grinned Dick. "Wait here, will you, while I go on the roof and see if the bat ch of bathing togs up there are dry enough to take in." "It oughtn't to take them long to dry in this sun," said Tom. Dick went out by the back door, m ounted te> the roof, and in a few minutes returned with an armful of suits, which he proceeded to sort out, fold up and stow away on a shelf behind the counter. "Now I'll have a breathing spell until somebody turns in the 'key of his bathhouse," he said. "Two weeks more and you will be out of a job again," said Tom. "So will you. But we don't need to worry. The wagon works open up again on the 15th of September "I'm not worrying. I don't care if the works never open up again." "You don't!" exclaimed Dick, in a s tonishment. "I don't repeated Tom, nonchalantly. "Got another and better job in sight?" asked Dick, cu riously. "Yes I'm in bu s ines s for myself." "In business for yourself! 'Vhat do you mean by that?" "Can you reac1 ?" grinned Tom taking one of his cards from his vest pocket. "Cast your optics on that bit of pasteboard," and he tossed the card on the counter. Dick picked it up and glanced at it. 'Fleetwood & Trowbridge, Contractors,' he read. "What does this mean?" he went on, looking at Tom in a puzzled way. "It means what it says." "That Trowbridge isn't you; just the sa.me," said Dick. "Isn't it? I was lmd e r the impre ssio n that it was. Don t you see that our branch office i s in Englewood? Do you know of any other Tro wbridge in Englewood?" Th a t reply took the wind out of Di ck's sai ls, so to speak, and he dicln't know what to say. "Who is this Fleetwood?" he finall y ask ed. "An expert civil e n g in eer, who lives in Chicago." "And you and he have gone into partnership?" said D ick, still apparently unconv inced. "That's it exadly. If you don't believe me, ask Justice Cullen He drew up the pap ers a few days ago, and we signed them in his pres e nce, or drop into the house to -night around seven and I'll s how you my document." "What do you know about the contracting business?" "Not much, but l. hope to l earn all about it in time." "How olcl i s Fleetwood?" "About twenty-eight, I sho11ld think. I didn't ask him his age." "What did you put into the business as capital? You hav en't any money." "I put in the s tone that fonns the underpinning of the Lo cke Farm. "Now you're kidding me." "Not a bit of it. I bought the Locke Farm a bout two month s ago. Didn't you see the notice about it in the 'News'?" "No, I didn't. If I had I s hould h av e asked you to ex plain how you could pay $1,000 for that bluff "I borrowed the money. It cost me $1,500 altogether, for Locke wanted $500 extra for the hous e." "What kind of a ghost story are you giving me?" "I'm telling you the truth. The Locke Farm is my property. Don't you remember the last time we went 'fi sh ing together I told you that if I had $1,000 I'd buy that p lace. a n d make a raft' of m o ney out of it?"

PAGE 23

A LUCKY CONTRACT "Yes. And I thought you were talking ragtime." "Well you see I wasn't. The Locke Farm is now in my a u n t's name, but I am the real owner of it." "If that's a fa.ct, you've me s illy." "I thought I should "And you've owned it two months?" "Yes." "And never tol d me a word about it before!" "No. I wanted to give you a big surprise at the proper time "You've done that, all right. Where did you get tho $1,500 :from?" "That's one of my business secret s," laughed Tom. "You seem to have a l ot of business secrets," growled Dick "I've got ai few." "Ho w are you going to make a raft of money out of that rocky l emon?" "You'll see, one of these days By the way, I'm going to give you a job with our firm "Oh, you are?" "Yes, if you'll take it. How will time keeper and gen eral assistant suit you?" "Anything will suit me if there's wages in it." "There's six dollars a week in it to begin with, with good prospects of a dise." "Then I'm your huckleberry. When do I go to work?" "As soon as work begins." "When will that be?" "I can't tell you till after the first of September Fleetwood & Trowbridge expect to get the contract for building the new dam across the Ste. Marie River. The stone will come from the bluff, and that's why I bought the Locke Farm." "You and your partner expect to build the dam 'across t he Ste. Marie River! I think that's pretty good," said D ick, with a sarcastic laugh. "Yes, it will be a pretty good contract.'' "I should say so-for some big contracting firm." "We'll have a bid in for it in a few days." "You will-like fun. "All right. Wait till after the fir s t of September. If the contract comes to us we'll know the fact by that time." Dick bad to attend to his duties jus t then, and Tom said he guessed he'd go, as he had an engagement. CHAPTER XIV. FLEETWOOD & TROWBRIDGE WIN THE CONTRACT Before the first of September came around Tom had had seYeral more talks with Dic k Bristol, and his chum had gradually come to believe that Tom had gotten next to mighty big prospects. On the 31st of August Tom got a lett e r from Fleetwood in which the latter told him that he was going to Sault Ste. l\Iarie that day to be present at the opening of the bids on the following afternoo:. Although Tom felt reasonably sure that their bid would prove the lowest presented fo1 the consideration of Major syndicate, still he began to feel a bit nervous over the resu l t It was possible that his partner, in making his estima.te, might have :figured some item s too high, anc1 that the sum total would equalize or overstep 1.he advantage the new firm po sessed in having the stone on the spot. Or, again, some of their experienced owing to their s uperior faci l itie for undertaking such a big job, might be able to figure lower than Fleetwood calculated on. Tho difference of $1,000, or even $500, would turn the scale in favor of any bidder. To say the truth, Tom was afraid o.f Sherlock & Mosby. They might put in a bid almost at cost in order to make sure of the contract if they could and euchre their late employee out of it. The firm was a wealthy one, and could afford to do the work at a loss if there was some special object in it. Be s ides, if they got the contract Tom would have to make terms with them for his rock or let it lie as it was, which would mean a big loss to him. Sherlock, in that case, would 1.ake advantage of the situa tion, and give as little as possible for the material. Tom that his plans for adding th e ground under the bluff to the MW village would be knocked in the head i.f the rock was not removed for the dam He couldn't afford to blast it out s imply to obtain a build ing site. Altogether, when the morning of the first day of Sep tember dawned he was on pins and needles over the situa tion The hotel didn't close till the 5th of the month, so be had several more nights to put in as clerk in the office. Most of the season's guests bad gone back to their homes, and Dick's job was now a sinecure. 1 Tom had called on Hazel the afternoon previous and told h er how all his plans hung on a thread, as it were, and that if Sherlock & Mosby got the contract he would probably be in the so1ip. He was so nervous and worked up about the matter that the girl felt very s orry for him and tried to assure him. That night she had an interview with her father and told him all that Tom had said. She begged him, for her sake, to see that Tom and his pa.rtne r had a square deal whe n the bids were opened, and that none of the more experienced contractors be favored unless their bid was actually lower than Fleetwood & Trow briclge "s. The major promised his daughter that the young firm sh ould get the contract if tl1eir bid entitled them to it, i';)r he had already made it his bus iness to investigate Frank Fleetwood's reputation as a capable engineer and superin tendent, and although Sherlock & Mosby tried to say as little in the young man's fa.vor as they could, they did not dare assert that he was not thoroughly competent in his line of business. Thero were other contiactors who knew Fleetwood's cap abilities and spoke well of him; and the major also inter viewed the presidents of several corporations for whom Sherlock & Mosby had done work under Fleetwood's super intendence, ancl their rcpoJ't was favorable to the young engineer. When 'J'om reached the hotel at eight o'clock to resume his dui.ic:-;, a telegram, which had come over the wire to the two hours be.fore, was handed to him by the day clerk.

PAGE 24

A LUCKY CONTRACT. Tom's heart beat like a trip-hammer as he tore the en velope open and looked at what he felt was one of the most momentous messages he would ever receive. For a moment the hotel ope:rutor's writing seemed to nm together, and he could make out nothing clearly. Then his vision cleared and he read the following : "Sault Ste. Marie, Sept. 1. "To Thomas Trowbridge, "Bay View Hotel, Englewood Beach, Mich. "We win by a margin of only $100 over Sherlock & Mosby. Sherlock entered protest, but it was overruled by Major Nutte Outside 0 the major, the syndica.te favored Sherlock & Mosby, on account of their reputation and our lack of one. Major Nutte made a speech in which he complimented me as an expert, and insisted that my firm was entitled to the contract. It was finally put to a vote, and we won by a single tally. Your friend carried us through and you can't thank him too much. Look for me to-morrow. "FLEETWOOD.'' "Yes. Why ?" "Ilave you any objection to going out to Major N u tte's 110use at this hour?" "I'll go if you wish me to." "All right. Wait a moment." Tom scribbled a few. words to Hazel and enclosed his partner's telegram with the note in one of the hotel en velopes, which he addressed "Miss Hazel Nutte." "There you are, Dick. Deliver that at the major's house and I'll be under a big obligation to you." Dick took it, placed it in his pocket, and a minute late1 was on the road to the nabob's home. CHAPTER XV. TOM OVERHEARS A DASTARDLY PLOT. With the last week in September blasting operations were begun at the upper end of the bluff. Only a small gang under a foreman was employed at first, and the men were boarded at the farmhouse on the top of "Gee! But we had a narrow escape," breathed Tom. the bluff and lodged in a building built for the purpose out "One hundred dollars only stood between us and defeat, of the lumber taken from the outbuildings and erected on and even that wouldn't lrnve availed had not Hazel's father low ground at the opposite end of Tom's property. made it his business to see that ire got justice. That was The carpenter and builder employed by Fleetwood & a mighty close call. Sherlock & Mosby were evidently out Trowbridge declared that it would be quite practicable to blood. They couldn't have made a dollar on the job remove the farmhouse as it stood to the bottom of the bluff, without my stone, and it looks as if they were figuring on and it was decided to do this when the blasting operations intimidating me into clisposing of it at their own price if got well under way. they got the contract. Well, it's over, thank Heaven, and Torn and his aunt took up their :vesidence at the farrn Fleetwood & Trowbridge.. are the people who will soon make house, with Mrs. Dooley as housekeeper and Mike as general things hum in the neighborhood of the bluff. By George! helper, so as to be on the ground all the time. I feel like a fighting -cock. I could hardly eat anything Dick also boarded with them, and so did Fleetwood, when for supper, and now I'm as hungry as a hunter all at once. the o.perations on the dam were begun. A load has been lifted off my spirits, and I'm as light as When things got going in ship-shape style, and more men a feather. I wish I coum send the news to Hazel. She'd came there to work, another building was erected at the foot be tickled to death to learn that Fleetwood & Trowbridge of the bluff, and regular arrangements were m(lde to feed have won the contract for the darn." the men in that building. Just then Dick strolled into the rotunda and up to the Things went along in fine shape up to the latter part of desk. October, when the blasting gang was largely increased. "Hello, Tom; what makes you look so happy?" The men were brought from Sault Ste. Marie by Fleet" Read that telegram and you'll nnderstand why my wood, ancl Tom didn't fancy foe looks of several of them, spirits are tr:ying to get llp through the top of my head," especially a stalwart, mal10gany-featured chap named Bill Dick read it. Hoogley. "Let me be the first to congratulate you, old chap," he / He stood six feet in his stockings, and a wicked expressaid, holding out his hand. f'ion seemed to hover around his jet-black eyes. 'rom seized it and they shook like good fellows. "Say, Tom," said Dick, one morning, "Hoogley is "I s'pose you'll get down to business before long," said mighty chummy with the greater part of our gang. It's Dick. my opinion he's trying to make it so hot for Foreman "Yes. Fleetwood will be here to-monow, and then I'll Brown that he'll leave. I heard him tell one of the chaps know just ]1ow soon he intends to set the ball rolling." the other clay that he'd be the foreman 11ere before the "Well, T'm ready to start in whenever you say, Tom. I'd month was up." sooner work for you than anybody else." "You heard him say that, did you?" replied Tom. "You won't lose anything by working for Fleetwood & "I did. Between you, me and the post, I don't like Hoog Trowbridge, I can assure you. I'll take care of you, and ley for a cent. I think he's a bad m;m from Badville. Fd push you al1ead as circumstances permit." be willing to bet you'll have trouble through him before "It's funny to of you as my boss. I was tell,ing long. He's up to something. Whether he's merely con, the folks about the possibility of it the other night, and niving to get the foremanship, or he has some other object mother and sis laughed. 'rhey said they hoped you would in view, I can't say for certain. I advise you to keep your succeed in getting the contract, as you were a first-class eye on him. I will as far as .I can in your interest. Better fellow." have a talk with your partner on the subject when he gets "I'm much obliged to them for their good opinion. By back from Sault Ste. Marie." the way, have you got your wheel outside?" Dick's words rather worried Tom. l

PAGE 25

24 A LUCKY CONTRACT. He had not been blind himself to Iloogley's movements since the man hacl come to work at the qua.rry. He distrusted him from the :first, and now he began to consider if it wouldn't be for the best to get rid of the big fellow. Ile determin ed to put it up to Fleetwood as soon as the engineer returned. Right after supper that evening Dick took his wheel and started for the village to leave an order {or certain supplies with a storekeeper with whom Fleetwood & Trowbridge had a contract, and in cidental ly to stop at his home and see his folks. Later on Tom left the house on the top of the bluff for a stroll. He directed his steps up the river to the point where the dam operations had been begur As it was a dark, cloudy night, he couldn't see much of anything when he got there. However, he hadn't gone up that way to see anything, as he had time during daylight to inspect the dam site as much as he chose. A kind of caisson had been built close to the bank to lay the shore foundation of the dam, and work had already com menced in it. While Tom i was standing in the shadow of a pile of rock he heard the voices of two men approaching. As the young contractor glanced around the corner of the stone to see if he could make out who they were, the moon suddenly shone through a rift in the clouds, and to his sur prise he re cognized Bill Hoogley and a man who, though muffled up in a heavy fur-lined overcoat, with an automo bile cap, looked the picture of Mr. Sherlock. "What can this mean?" Tom asked himself, with a thrill of anxiety. "Surely that is Job Sherlock, the big con tractor. What is he doing up in this part o-f the country, at night-time, too, and in company w'ith Bill Hoogley? There's soine crooked work in the wind, for Sherlock is no friend of the firm of Fleetwood & Trowbridge, and I have little doubt but he'\ to see us slip up on the job, so he could step in and finisl. it. It would be greatly to his ad vantage and mu. ch to his satisfaction if he could bring about our ruin. Hoogley is not to be trusted, and I'm afraid Sherlock is trying to tinker up some scheme to do Frank and me up. I'd give a whole lot if I could hear their con versation." As if in answer to the boy's wish, the two men walked right down to the pile of rocks, as the moon hid her face again behind the opaque mass of clouds, and came to a stop close to Tom. "You have played your cards well, Hoogley," said Sher lock, in a tone of satisfaction "I knew I could depend on you." "Yes, I pulled the wool over Fleetwood's eyes, and got him to hire me and three chaps who are hand-in-glove with me," replied Hoogley, with a short laugh. "In a few days we' ll manage to get Brown, the foreman of the quarry gang, out of the way, and then I'll show the lett ers I've got as to my ability as a foreman and strike Trowbridge for the job. I'll get it, never fear, for when Brown skips that boy will need somebody to direct the men, and I'm the most likely party he has here to fill the bill. Then I'll have possession of the keys to the dynamite chest." "Good," replied Sherlock. "There'll be many dark nights like this. You and one of your pals can slip up this way some night when all are in bed and plant a couple of sticks of the stuir in the caisson with a ,'low match attached. Then you can light the fuses and get back to your bunks. In the course of an hom au explosion will wipe the cais son out, and do a whole lot of damage to the dUJD site. Fleetwood & Trowbridge haven't capital enough to stand much of that kind of work, and I wouldn't be surprised if the first setback they get will cripple them so badly that they'll have to throw up the contract and forfeit their bond. Then we'll step in and take up the contract at an advance on our original bid "That's about what'll happen, Mr. Sherlock," said Hoogley. "No one will suspect that I've had a hand in the matter, and you'll give me the $1,000 we agreed on for me to come here and help you out in the matter." "You'll get the money, don't you worry about that. My word is as good as my bond, as you ought to know." "Your word is all rlght, 1\Ir. Sherlock. I've worked long enough for you to know that you always do as you agree Besides, it wouldn't be healthy for you to go back on your promise after the job bad been done. A suspicion might get out some way that you had a hand in doing up your business rivals," said Hoogley, significantly. "And that would be apt to create a bad impression, and prevent you from getting your hooks in on the job." "Look here, Hoogley, I don't want any insinuations!" replied the contractor, angrily "I'll take care of yon as I promised to do. All you have to do is to attend to the work I sent you here to perform and keep your trap shut." "All right, sir," ansll'ered Hoogley. "I'll see to it that things turn out your way." "That's all I want. Do your part and I'll do mine. Now, I'll have to be going. I've a lMg spin before me in my auto, and I am not sure but it may rain before I reach Preston. If you've anything else to say before I go, speak quick. Now that I understand things are running the way I want them t<>; I sha.ll not be up this way again until the contract land s in our hands." Hoogley said he had nothing moie to say, and so 1 he two men walked away, leaving Tom half paralyzed by the :knowled ge he had so fortunately obtained of the contem plated treachery of his business enemies. "There's only one thing for me to do, and that is get rid of Hoogley and his cronies at once. I wish Frank were here to consult with, but since he is not I must act 011 my own judgment. It is fierce to !mow that Sherlock & l\Io s by, with their reputation and wealth, are capable of originati1)g suc h a dastardly scheme against a firm new in the business and trying to get a start. I wish Dick was with me to furnish corroborative evidence of this interview. I could make it hot for Mr. Sherlock. As the matter stands, I can do nothing to show the man up. His denial, backed up by Hoogley's, would offset any statement I might make against them, even under oath. All I can do is to protect the in terests of the firm against this conspiracy. I'll discharge Hoogley and his three pals to-morrow, and have Brown re move our supply of dynamite to a more se(.'llre place." Tom then walked back to the bluff, and entered the house in a very thoughtful mood, for the of his position preyed on his mind.

PAGE 26

A LUCKY CONTRACT. 25 CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUSION. When Dick returned from Englewood Tom was waiting up to sec him "Come here, Dick, I've got something important to tell you," the young contractor said, when his chum appeared Dick walked over and took a chair facing him. "What is it?" he asked. "It's something pretty serious, old chap," replied Tom. "Serious, eh?" "Yes. Your suspicions about Bill Hoogley are well founded." "Have you found something out about him?" "I have. Listen." Tom then told Dick all about the interview between Hoogley and Job Sherlock that he had overheard that even ing. "Gee!" cried Dick. "It's a regular conspiracy to ruin you and Fleetwood." "Tha.t's what it is." "What are you going to do about it?" "Fire Hoogley at once, anfl. his three associates, too." "You'll have trouble doing that, I'm afraid." "I s'pose I will; but I've got to do it for our protection." "\Vhat reason are you going to give him for the bounce?" "The fact right from the shoulder." "He'll deny them." "That won't make any difference. He'll know he's guilty and that I know he is. Then I'm going to set a watchman at the caisson to provide against accidents." "Your partner ought to be here to back you up. Hoogley will try to bulldoze you because you're a boy." "Ile won't bulldoze me worth a cent," replied Tom, res olutely. "I'm not afraid of him if he is six feet in his Ftocking:s." "Well, I'll help you out all I can, old man," said Dick "We can't get rid of that rascal and his pals any too soon, I guess." They talked the matter over for half an hour more and then went to ber l. Jext morning when Bill Hoogley and his three cronies fliarterl to "ork in the quarry as usual Dick handed each of tlH'm a hl11e envelope contaiuing their week's wages and told t ie1i1 thr.'' wrre laicl off indefinitely. "Laid off!" roared Hoogley. "Who says so?" "'frowbriclge say so. I am carrying out his orders" replied Dirk. "Wlrnt does this mean?" glowered Hoogley, striding up to 'Tom, while his associates remained in the background. "Your time-keeper handed us these envelopes and savs wr'1e rli0chargecl." "It means that T don't require your services any more. The wagon will be ready to take you to Preston shortly, where you can catch a train back to Sault Ste. Marie, where yon came from." "What's your rea on for dischargin' us?" "1\f :v reMon is that you're here for no good purpose. I hn1r fmmrl out that Ur. Job Sherlock sent you here to work trn I J l e for u"." "It's a lie ff' cried Hoogley, who was nevertheless stag gered by the accusation. "It's no lie You met Mr. Sherlock last night and went with him up to the site of the dam. There you had a. con versation with him, which I overheard. You arranged to blow up the caisson some dark night as soon as you col1ld get hold of the dynamite to do it with. You are a snake in the dark, and I won't have any reptiles around here while this contract is going on. That's all I've got to say. You and your crowd h&d better leave quietly or I'll expose you and Mr. Sherlock in a way you woo't like." As Tom concluc1ec1, Hoogley utteroo a howl of anger and struck the boy to the ground. As the. young contractor lay dazed the ruffian seized him in his arms and dropped him feet first into a shallow bole close by. Then seizing bis shovel, he began to throw the earth in around him as fast as he coulc1 work, and in a few minutes had the boy buried up to his chest. "I'll fix you, you young whippersnapper!" roared the rascal. "You'll not tell any lies on me and Sherlock, you kin bet your bottom dollar I'll pickle you, dern you, if I hang for it!" The big fellow was clearly in a murderous mood, and it would have gone hard with Tom but for the fact that help was at hand "You rascal, what are you up cried Dick Bristol, springing from the hedge and dealing Bill Iloogley a stun ning blow with his club. Down went the ruffian, while his companions, with cries of rage, rushed to his assistanre. The scrap that followed was brief, and IIoogley's pals were knocked down and held by Brown and the laborers Dick got rope from the shed and they, together with the unconscious Hoogley, were tied up hand and foot. Tom was quickly dug out of the hole, and he ordered that the four rascal& be conveyed to the farmhouse and held there under guard l-intil he could get the constables from Englewood to come out and take charge of them. When the three associates of Hoogley saw how deter mined Toin was to have them punished, they weakened and agreed to confess the particulars of the plot in which they were all engaged if he would let them off. Tom consented. Their statements were taken down in writing by the contractor in the presence of Brown, and they signed their names to it, the foreman witnessing the paper. The four rnscals were then sent to Preston in the light wagon and put aboard a train for Sault Ste. Marie. When the constalrles arrived from the village Tom told them that the trouble had been patched up, and the men implicated had been sent back whence they came He paid the officers for their trouble of coming out on a bootless errand and the incident was closed. When Fleetwood returned he was greatly astonished to learn the particulars of what had happened during his absence. He was surprised and indignant at the part Mr. Sherlock had taken in the outrage, and wrote that gentleman a sig nificant letter, in which he stated that he had evidence in black and white, signed by Bill Hoogley and his associates,

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2 A LUCKY CONTRACT. which, if published, would compromise the firm of Sherlock & Mosby to a very considerable extent. The facts, however, woulcl be suppressed if Mr. Sherlock minded his own business in the future, and left Fleetwood & Trowbridge alone. Sherlock had a fit on receipt of the communication and tried to find Hoogley. That worthy thought fit to keep away from Chicago, and the contractor's efforts to get into communication with him failed. Fleetwood & Trowbridge had no further trouble in con nection with the building of the dam, which was duly completed to the satisfaction of the corporation. The greater part of Tom's rock was used in its construc tion, and the balance was employed in the fou,ndations of the factories, the contracts for which Fleetwood & Trow bridge secured also. They also put in a bid for the houses to be put up for the accommodation of the workmen, and seemed it without any competition, as the firm was now in high favor with the corporation, owing to the excellent manner in which they had fulfilled their former contracts. A period of two years elapsed from the beginning of work on the dam until the big i:ailroad car shops and other build ings were completed and the dwelling houses were under way, and bv that time the bank account of the contractino firm of & Trowbridge showed a considerable ance, well up in the thousands, in their favor. Tom had already interested Major Nutte in his p l an of adding the fifty acres of rock-cleared ground to the pros pective town, for it was definitely settled that 1.he place was to become more than a mere village. Its name was to be Ste. Marie, and the mnjor was lo be its guiding genius. By this time the railroad company advertised for bids to build the twenty-one miles o.f track from the town of Pres ton, on the main line, direct to Englewood, through Ste. Marie, and Fleetwood & Trowbringe got the contract for that, too. This contract also called for tbrec stations and various necessary additions. By the time the construction of the branch line was well under way, work was begun by the Ste. Marie Corporation (the word "River" being dropped from their corporate title) on the car shops Enough houses were erected bv 1.his time to accommodate the initial foTce, and as fast as others were :finished more hands weTe added to the shops. One by one the factories were leased to the parties for whom they were put up and the village, as it was called for the present, of Ste. Marie, presented every appearance of a thriving hive of :industry. Tom Trowbridge was twenty-two years old when the first train ran over the new Preston & Englewood branch line. It was a gala day at Englewood Village, for railroad connection with the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. l\Iarie line was what the inhabitants had been looking for ward i.o for years Deacon lt1tch, through his political connections, had heretofore managed to prevent the establishment of such a branch, as it was bound to hurt the business of his trolley line, but when 1\Iajor Nutte decided to establish the _car works at Ste. Marie, which was but eight miles from Englewood, the continuation of the railroad from that point was a foregone conclusion which the deacon could not prevent. Everybody in the county knew of Tom Trowbriclge's rise .from nothing to a paTtnership in the now well-lmown and important contracting :firm of Fleetwood & Trowbridge, ancl the village of Englewood was proud of him, notwithstanding that hereafter he was to be identified with the rival burg of Ste. Marie, where the firm now had its branch office. During the progress of the three years' work between the time the dam was begun and the branch line completed and opened, Tom and Hazel only saw each other in the summer and at the Christmas holidays, for during the rest of the time the fair girl was being educated at a well-known woman's college in the East. They corresponded regularly, howeve.r, and the interest each hacl in the other grew with separation and the lapse of time. During the previous Christmas holidays, before Hazel went back for the last time previous to her graduation, Tom mustered up the courage to tell her his "secret." The sum total of this was that be had loved her ever since the day he saved her life, and that all his future hap piness depended on whether he could win her for his wii'e. He wound up by asking her the momentuous question, and her answer was "Y cs." He then interviewed her father on the subject, not with some misgivings as to what that gentleman would think about it. The major and his wife had long foreseen what the friendship betweentheir daughter and the rising young contractor was leacling to, and had decided that Tom pos sessed all the requisites of an cligihle son-in -law, conse quently when the young :hrnn asked Major Nutte for Hazel he was told he could. have l1er. They married soon after her graduation in June, and hac1 a swell wedding at the Nutte honie. A ft er t l wir return from their wedding trip they went to live with the bride's parents, for as Tom had to be a.way often on business trips, Hazel nafurally preferred to remain with her mother an
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FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. 2'i Fame and Fortune Weekly NEW YORK. APRIL 17, 1908. Terms to Subscribers. Single CA>ples ............................................. One Copy Three nonth.s .................... ............ ::::::'.".'.::: :::: Postage Free. How 1'o Sli:ND. MON&Y. .05 Cents .65 .. $1.25 2.50 At our 7is.k send' P. 0. Money Order, Check, or Registered Letter; re m1 ttances many other way are at your risk. We accept Postage Stamps same as cash. \Vhen sending silver wrap the coin in a separate piece of paper to avoid cutting the envelope. Write your name and address plainly. Address letters to Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union Sq., New York. OOOD STORIES. Years ago the Gordon setter was quite a favorite ahd much in use by sportsmen of this country. In later years, however, this really good dog was displaced in greater part by the pointer and English setter. The Gordon, says Ed. F. Haber lein, in Dogdom, is the largest and heaviest of all bird dogs, more clumsy and usually slow. Where most hunting is done in woodland aJld thickets and a slow-working dog is needed so as not to get "lost" almost continually, he fills the bill well -works close to gun, has good nose, is steady on point, and, if properly trained,, a very good retriever from land and wa ter. The Gordon is easily trained and retains his training well, is also of a good, pleasant disposition and an admirable companion. At this age, however, when so very much stress is laid on speed and wide range, the Gordon is not "in it" be cause he is a slow, pottering dog as a rule. Who does not admire butterflies? Who does not like to see them fluttering in the air, to watch them emerging from the and unfolding their exquisite wings? To most peo ple this is a holiday delight, not to be had often, but an en terprising young Englishman has managed to make it an everyday experience and to make it pay. Six years ago this young man, whose name is Newman, was wearing out his life at a desk. One day he asked himself a question: "Wh_y bookkeeping?" he thought. "Why not butterflies?" Accordingly he bought a farm in ancient Bexley and proceeded to raise butterflies. As every one knows, butterflies of the rarer spe cies are greatly valued by cellectors, who will pay well for them. The most costly butterfly is the purple emperor, be cause its habit of flying high over the tops of the trees makes it hard to catch in the wild state. For a male of this species Mr. Newman charges 4 shillings, and for a female 5 shillings. At this butterfly farm collectors may find the ova, larvre and pupre of many species, the prices, of course, varying accord ing to the rarity of the species. But what a delightful occu pation-a butterfly farm! There has always been more or less emigration from Spain to the Philippine Islands, Cuba and Porto Rico, and during 1906 this was but slightly increased. But South America now seems to be the Mecca of the Spanish emigrant, and this 'fact was accentuated during 1906. The German and English steam ship lines are conducting a vigorous campaign in their ef forts to stimulate emigration, and have invaded nearly every corner of Spain with their agents and their literature. The North Germat>. Lloyd and Hamburg-American Lines are par ticularly active in the northern and northwestern provinces, while Spanish and Italian companies are handling business from the southern ports. A feature of 1906 was that manv entire famhies emigrated. Heretofore emigration has largely confined to men and boys who left their families at home and sent money back to support them. This was re garded as rather a good, economical measure for the country, but now, that whole families are emigrating, the Government may take a different view of the matter. In one instance a whole village, composed of some 2,000 men, women and chil dren, finding it impossible to earn their living, emigrated to Paraguay, their transportation having been paid by the Gov ernment of that country. Whether the various substitutes for coffee serve their in tended purpose successfully or not may be an open question, but there is not doubt whatever that one of these products was greatly appreciated the other day. A gang of Italian workmen, who had been engaged in their usual occupation of tearing up the street, had stopped for the noon hour, and were sitting around, eating their midday meal. Presently a man came along, carrying a basket, from which he distributed at every house a small package containing a substitute for coffee. These he merely laid at the door-sills, not taking the trouble to ring the bells. Behind him at a considerable dis tance, so that his presence would not be noticed, followed an Italian. Gathering up all the packages, he took them to where a group of his fellow-workmeh were sitting. Apparently the proceeding was not an entirely new one, for the men opened the papers as if they were accustomed to doing it, and, 'Yith out a moment's delay, emptied the contents into their pipe bowls. The mixture was soon going up in smoke, and the Italians appeared to consider it agreable as tobacco, however it might have been regarded in the light of coffee. JOKES AND JESTS. Discontented Artist-I wish I had a fortune. I would never paint again. Generous Brother Brush-By Jove, old man, I wish I had one! I'd give it to you Salesman-Of course we have square and upright pianos. Rural Customer-That's jest what I want fer my darter, mister-straight, honest goods Mr. Goss-What side of the street do you live on? Witness-Oii either side. If you go one way It is on the right side. If you go the other way it is on the left. I Mrs. Naggs (at telephone)-Is my husband in the office? Office Boy-No, ma'am. Mrs. Naggs-When wlll he be in? Office Boy-I can't say. Mrs. Naggs-Why0 can't you say? Office Boy-Because he told me not to. '"What are you doing?" asked the justice, as the defend ant's counse l began his argument. "Going to present our side of the case." "I don't want to hear both sides," replied the justice. "It has a tindency to confuse the coo1t." First New Yorker-Traveling a good deal now, aren't you? Second New Yorker-Only back and forth to Camden, New Jersey. I have business with some factories there. "Ah, 1 see. Do you remain in Camden overnight?" "Well, no. I generally cross over to Philadelphia to sl. eep." Passenger (alighting from cab)-What's the charge? Cabman-One' dollar. "Well, that's quite reasonable. I knew by your face that you wouldn't try to be extortionate." "Thankee. I knew by your face that you'd be too mean to pay more than the legal fare without a lawsuit." President (New York Rapid '.rransit Commission)-The at tendance to-day is very small. Secretary-All the members are here, sir, except the six who were blown up this week in pavement explosions, the four who were killed by electric light wires, the ten who were smashed up on the elevated railroad and in the subway, and the half dozen who were run over by automobiles in Broadway.

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28 FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. THE RED WOLVES By Horace Appleton. I We lighted a fire to cook our supper, which consisted of tur ties that Pepe had brought from the neighboring marsh, and were laid on the embers, shell side down, after which the scales could be very easily taken off. We made a miserable meal. The flesh of the turtles was execrable; it had a strong taste of mud. Supper over, we proceeded to make our preparation for the night. In the vicinity of the marshes, and notwithstanding that the warm season had come, the nights were cool; it was therefore decided that the fire should be kept up until the next morning -a matter easy enough, since the jarillas, among which we were camping, are shrubs of so resinous a nature that they feel sticlry to the touch, and that even the green wood burns with a brilliant :fl.ame. 1 For another reason also, we deemed it obligatory to keep the fire up all night-it was necessary for our personal safety, inasmuch as we were liable to be attacked by beasts of prey, which are very common in this part of South America. It was agreed, as usual, that Charles should keep watch for the first two hours, and then Luiz. Our horses were tethered to the stunted trunk of a willow standing some twenty yards away; then we wrapped ourselves in our ponchos, and with our feet turned toward the fire, we slept a sleep well earned by ten hours of slow but continuous travel. ( But the sleepers were not more tired than the watchers. Charles, feeling himself compelled to yield to sleep, could not awake Luiz, who naturally continued to snore while the fire died down for want of fuel. We had been sleeping quietly, when, about 11 o'clock, we were suddenly awakened by a prolonged and plaintive cry. We sprang to our feet and instinctively rushed to our gunsall except Miguel, who was stirring up the ashes in the hope <>f finding one live ember. Then several other cries just like the first were beard, but nearer. They sounded like the howling of wolves. "We are lost," tranquilly observed our guide; "thos!l are the red wolves." In the mouth of Barlejo, those three words, We are lost, had a terrible signification; they were equivalent to a sentence of death. Whether it was natural coolness, or the habitual indifference gained by an adventurous life, I do not know, but we made our preparations of defense with all the calm of men who are not overfrightened by the prospect of death. The howlings continued-they steadily increased in volume as they drew nearer-in a little while they suddenly redoubled at a short distance from the camp. We felt especially anxious about our horses. Armed with our hunting-guns, which we had charged with buckshot, we were on the point of approaching the poor animals, which we could see trembling all over by the moonlight, when the vaqueano requested us to do nothing of the kind. "Don't bother yourselves about them!" he exclaimed. "Stand all right there in front of Miguel, who is trying to start the fire-that is our only chance of safety. Silence, now! -and be careful not to shoot until I tell you!" At that moment a dozen wolves sprang out of the cover be fore us, their eyes glowing in the night like burning char coal. "Eh! what hawseholes cried the incorrigible sailor, Loan nec. "Look, Miguel! there is something to light your :fl.re with!" I struck the sailor on the back pf the neck, as a means of re minding him of the order given; he held his peace. Meanwhile, after a moment's hesitation, the wolves ap proached our horses, which began to perform a singular ma neuver. Pressing closely against one another, with their heads all turned to a common center (the willow tree to which they had been tied), they formed a ring; motionless, presenting their croups to the enemy, they awaited the attack. The wolves began to turn around the living circle-first at a cautious distance, then nearer and nearer-and all at once they leaped at our steeds. But they had reckoned without their hosts. At the same moment that the wolves leaped, our horsesall together, as if moved by one spring-suddenly gave a ter rific kick; the assailants were flung ten yards away, and rolled on the ground, uttering another kind of howl-strange and funereal. It seemed as if they were calling for help. "What a magnificent kick!" cried Loannec, with admiration. "That howl is a call," said Barlejo, thus explaining to us the difference we had already noticed in the way our enemies howled. "In a little while we'll have the whole pack on us." Barlejo was not mistaken. Other howls responded to the howls of the wounded wolves, and almost immediately we saw about fifty rushing in our di rection. 1 "Fire!" commanded the vaqiieano. The new arrivals were received with a volley, immediately followed by another. Startled by our firearms, the survivors scattered in all directions with horrible yelpings. It was the signal for the general invasion. All the underbrush, which seemed so lifeless a little while before, now appeared one enormous lair of wild beasts. Right and left, and in front, new packs came rushing into the open space of which we unfortunately occupied the center, so that our enemies were able to surround us. Volley followed volley, but wolves ever succeeded to wolves. Every discharge carried death into the mass of wild beasts, but every cry of death brought a new pack to the scene. The ground was covered with their carcasses-some had been rid died by our buckshot, others killed by our horses. Men and beasts defended themselves; yet the more numerous the vic tims, the more numerous seemed to become the assailants. Vve expected to have them upon us at every second; evi dently we should never be able to overcome the hungry pack who only retreated from the very flash of our volley. A few minutes more, and we should all be devoured. Meanwhile we kept on firing-with buckshot, small shot and ball. We hardly knew what we were doing; our brains seemed to boil. We were at the very white-heat Of excite:r;nent. As for myself, I thought I should go mad. Luckily Miguel had succeeded in rekindling the fire. "Get behind now!" cried Barlejo; "but take care not to turn your backs, and keep on firing." Obedient to the orders of the vaqueano, we retreated slowly, firing buckshot all the while. firing!" At the same time Miguel and Barlejo threw in front of us two blazing fagots, from the vicinity of which the wolves at once beat a hasty retreat. In a few minutes we were surrounded by about ten bonfires. While the two gauchos kept lighting their fagots at the principal fire, we continued to shoot, so as to protect them. Then the fury of the wolves seemed to be turned against our horses. "Do as I do!" cried the vaqueano, lighting another fagot. We all followed his example, and in a minute or two each one of us had a gigantic torch, and we began to place these in a line, a little distance apart from one another, in the direction of the horses. We went back, lit more fagots, placed them a little further, and so continued the line of fires until they formed a circle large enough to surround ourselves, our horses, and a small thicket of jarillas. One thing which impressed us all a great deal, was the way that the wolves would retreat to quite a distance whenever we approached with the improvised torches in our hands. The sight of the fire evidently terrified them much more than the discharge of our guns. Fire was, indeed, less murderous than our weapons-in fact 'it was absolutely harmless to the wolves; but it constituted a far better safeguard for us. Consequently we began to feel a little hope again, and to consider our situa

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FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. 29 tion l es s de sperate although it was still anything but assur-1 melted into bars about a quarter of an inch thick. These are ing. The whole question of life and death for us could be rolled into a ribbon as thick as note paper. After passing summed up in the single word, '(ire, and, thanks to the plan through the hands of the bea'ters it is put in books, interleaved of Barle jo, we could supply ourselves with fuel enough to keep with manilla tissue, and twenty books are put in a package. our fires going until morning. The ordinary sells for $7 a package, and the best $7.50 to Then the scene in which we were performing so important $7.75. No dross comes from the gold as it is beaten, but there a role became really fantastic. are ragged edges that drop off. The leaf is used by gilders, Terrified by the flames whose weird glare lent a lurid color bookbinders, dentists and sign painters. to all the surrounding shrubbery, the wolves had retreated to "The wages of gold-beaters are $11 a week. A piece hand a little distance. Like monsters vomited from the nether gets $5 a beating. A good O!fe can possibly do two a week, world, they turned swiftly round and round our fire they and as many as nine in a month have been done. Extra is dared not cross, and which made a sort of rampart for us. Their paid if the workman beats the gold below five grains to a thousand eyes, which shone like thousands of burning coals, book. Some can go to four and one-half and even four grains shot out phosphorescent gleams; their howlings, their wild per book." leaps, their enormously enlarged shadows, gave strange and "How thin can you get it?" a beater in Broome street was terrible effect to the scene. It suggested fancies of anthroasked. pophagi dancing the death-dance around their victims. "It is beaten to one three-hundred-thousandth of an inch Suddenly a change, which we could not explain, .but which thick at five grains to the book. If it gets down to four grains we noti<;ed a t once, took place in their movements. Their it is one three-hundred-and-sixty-thousandth of an inch. The leaps became systematically regular; their ranks formetl in New York system employs men only, with girls to do the cut order; their howlings became a chorus, almost a harmony-ting. The German system employs children of eight or nine, to disorder succeeded order, symphony to cacophony. The cirwhich system Hastings of Philadelphia tried to introduce cle Which they now made around us was mathematically regu-here but his workmen struck and he lost his lead. On that lar; they wheeled in a gallop, measured and automatic, like men do the beating and girls do the priming and filling." that of circus-horses. "How is the gold beaten?" Little by little their course quickened; they began to gallop "rt is beaten in molds made in London from the intestines with dizzy rapidity, but always at one pac e, like cavalry upon of cows cleaned and varnished with a secret preparation a day of review. manufadtured by Puckridge & Nephew of London. The skins Thoughtful of the danger that menaced us, we kept watch-are put in packages of 900 skins each, and three of these molds ing them; we almost admired them. But the thousands of go to a beating." luminous points whirling around us-appearing and disap"How much gold is there in a beating?" pearing with the rapidity of lightning, dazzled and fascinated "Fifty pennyweights in a beating. The ribbon of solid gold us, like the glittering tinsel trappings of those wooden horses is divided into 170 or 180 pieces, each about an inch. square. circling under a thousand lights at one of our great fairs. These are put into a cutch made of French paper four inches The howlings, now monotonous and cadenced, made us drowsy, square. That is beaten until we get the gold to the edges. It made us dreamy. is handled with pincers at that time. It is beaten half an And in a little time it seemed to us that we were being hour. The pieces are then piled twenty on top of each other. drawn into a great inverse movement; we felt ourselves carThey are then cut in four and doubled over, making 720. They ried along in an infernal dance, in a devilish whirl-ourselves, are then put in a 'schoder,' or finer mold cut down. We fill the our horses, and even our fires. The wolves no longer appeared schodr with those leaves in the middle, and beat it out to the to move; it was we who were circling round and round under edges. we beat it about two hours, until we draw about te11. the gaze of those thousand flaming eyes, motionless, glaring pennyweights off the schoder." with frightful fixity. The wild beasts were the spectators"Does it have to be kept dry?" they were the orchestra-we were only the actors. "We have to keep the windows shut; but the cutches, "Shut your eyes, everybody!" cried Barlejo. schoders, and molds take up so much moisture that they have We all started at the gaucho's voice-we obeyed him; it was to be put in a hot mold to press the moisture out. high time, we were on t he point of falling. "Does that finish it?" The faseination had passed; the charm was broken. "Oh, no. The leaves are cut again into four with a tool The wolves still whirled around us-still kept their eyes called a wagon, making 2,880, but the molds hold only 2,700. fixed upon us; it was evidently a maneuver to make us dizzy. The molds are beaten four hours, at the erid of each hour there Imitating our guide we flung some burning brands into the being what is called a close, when they are heated. Then the middle of the pack. beater is through with it, and the cutter takes it. This is the Terrified, and howling louder than before under the bits of only work done by the girls in New York. They can cut from fire, the beasts of prey disbanded-their howlings were no thirty to sixty-four books a day, at 2 1-2 cents a book. The longer the same, they were cries of fury and pain-they felt leaf when it gets in a book is so thin that it is handled only the game was lost-they knew their prey would escape them. with a breath." Thanks to Barlejo we had triumphed over one of the great"How is the work tested?" est dangers which threaten all travelers bold enough to ven"Only with the eye. There is no rule about the business. ture into the chanars of the South; the vaqueano had saved but it is purely a matter of skill and judgment. The best is our lives. the kind used on glass, which shows all imperfections." The situation remained unchanged until the first gleams of "I notice gold-beaters usually work in basements. Why is dawn began to whiten the sky; with the coming or the. mornthat?" ing, the carnivorous beasts returned to their gloomy haunts. GOLD BEATERS AND GOLD BEATING Gold leaf is manufactured in about twenty shops in New York and its suburbs. It is estimated that 20,800 ounces of gold are consumed annually here in making gold leaf. Gold can be beaten so thin that it will take 1,200 leaves to equal the thickness of the sheet upon which this paper is printed. An ounce can be beaten down to 2,500 leaves, 3 3-8 inches square. At an establishment in Hudson street a reporter was told that the gold is bought of brokers in small ingots, which are "A firmer blow can be given. If on the first story, there is a jar, which the quality." "Is there any adulteration in the business?" "The Germans beat what is called a metal leaf with an alloy. It is sold very cheap, It is the oleomargarine of gold leaf, and will tarnish. Much of it is used by bookbinders." "When did the trade start?" "It is very ancient. It is mentioned in the Bible. Gold leaf was used on Solomon's Temple. 'l'he Chinese beat gold leaf, but it cannot compare in quality with American leaf. Some of the Chinamen had trouble with their employers, but they spon ended it. They got the employer into their lodge room, and then one after another took a big bite out of his flesh."

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These Everything I !. COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! Books Tell You Eacb book consists of sixty-four pages, prlnted ;n good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in attractive, illustrated oover. of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all ?f the subj"?Cts treated up.on are explained in such a simple manner that al!J' uld. can thoroughly understand them. Look over the hst as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjedil men boned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT 01!' PRICE, TEN CENfS EACH, OR ANY 'l'HREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE eENTS. POSTAGE STA.MPS TA.KEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the most approve d methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of dis eases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A.. Q,, S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PA.LMISTRY.-Containing the most ap proved methods of reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bumps on the head. BJ Leo Hugo Koch, A.. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and in1tructive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explai ning the most approved methods which are employed by the leading hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A..C.S. SPORTING. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT A.ND FISH.-The most complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains lull instructions about guns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together witb descriptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A. BOAT.-Fully illustrated. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, together with instructions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No.-47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A. HORSE. A complete treatise on the horse. Describing the most useful horses for business, the best horses for the road ; also valuable recipes for diseas es peculiar to the horse. No. 48. HOW TO BUILD A.ND SA.IL CA.NOES.-A. handy book fo r boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. By O Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of human destiny; also the true meaning of almost any kind of dreams, together with charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A complete book. No. 23. HOW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. 'l'his little book gives the explanation to all kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky Jays, ru1d "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. No. 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.-Everyona is desirous of knowing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness 011 mi sery, wealth or poverty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. '.rell the fortune of your friends. No. 76 HOW 'l'O '.rELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, or the secret of palmistry. Al s o the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A.. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOME A.N ATHLETE.-Giving full in /ltru ction for the use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and various other methods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing over sixty illustrations. Every boy can become strong anJ healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. No. 10. IIOW TO BOX.-The art of self-defense made easy. Containing over thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the ditferent positions of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these us eful and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor. No. 25 BOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Containlng full instructions for all kinds of gymnastic sports ano athletic exercises. Tumbracing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and book. No. 34. HOW ro FENCE.-Containing full instruction for f encing and the use of the broadsworJ; also instruction in archery. Described with twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the best positions in fencing. A complete book. TRICKS WITH CARDS. No. 51. HOW TO DO TRIOKS WITH CARDS.-<'!ontaining -...;:planations of t'he general prindples of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of card tricks with ordinary'Cards, and not requiring sleight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of prepared cards. Bu Professor Haffner. Illustrated. Nf magical illusions ever placed before the pubhc. Also tricks with cards. incantations, etc. No. 68. TO DO .CHE1"II9AL TlUCKS.-Containing over one hundred highly amusmg and mstructive tricks with chemicals. By A.. Anderson.. Handsomely illustratea. No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGHT HA.ND.-Containing over !ifty of the latest and best tricks used by magicians. Also containmg the secret of second sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. No., 70. HOW '..rO MA.KE MAGIC TOYS.-Containing full direct10ns for makmg. Magic 'l'oys and devices of many kinds. By A. Anderson. Fully 1llustmted. No. 73., HOW. TO DO TRICKS WITH NUMBERS.-Showing many cur10us with figures and the magic of numbers. By A.. Anderson. Fully illustrated. .No. 7.5. Hmy TO A CONJUROR. -Containing tricks with Dommos, Dice, Cups anJ Balls Hats etc Embracinr thirty-six illustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 78. TO DO '.rHE .BLACK A.RT.-Containing a com. plete descript10n of the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand, together with many wonderful experiments. By A.. Anderson. Illustrated. MECHANICAL. No. 29. HOW TO BECOME A.N INVENTOR.-Every boy shoul<:i bow o.ri.ginated 'l'his book explains them all, m hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mecbamcs, etc. ] he most instructive book published No. 5f?. HOW 'l'O BECOME AN ENGINEER.-Containing full mstructions how to proceed in order to become a locomotive en gi?-eer; also dir<:cti.ons for buildi_ng a model locomotive; togethe r wilh a full descript10n of everythmg an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW 'l'O MAKE MUSlfCAL INSTRUMENTS.-Full directions how to a B!lnjo, Violin, Zither, JEolian Harp, Xyl<>pb.,ne and other musical mstruments; together with a brief de scription of nearly every musical instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty bandmaster of the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW 'l'O MAKE A. l\fA.GIC LAN'.rERN.-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.-Containing complete instructions for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A.. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A mO!lt com plete little book, containing full directi<.'ns for writing love-lettel"I, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Givinr complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction, notes and requests. No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for instruction. No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LE'rTERS.-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. Every young man and every young lady in the land should have this book. No. 74. HOW TO WRI'l'E LETTERS CORRECTLY.-Con taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation and composition, with specimen letters.

PAGE 32

t-----:==============:=;:==:==:::====:;===========;.=::============ ===== THE STAGE. No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containiog a great variety of the latest jokes used by the m
PAGE 33

32 FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. READ "Wide Awake Wfekly" -NUMBER I 0 5 --Containing -YOUNG WIDE A WAKE'S TERROR OR, Brave 'Work in a Burning Coa ... Mine COLORED COVERS OUT 'TO-DAY SECRET SERVICE OLD AND YOUNG RING BRADY, DETECTIVES 32 PAGES j p RICE 5 CENTS 477 The Bradys in London; or, Solving the Whitechapel Mys tery. 480 The Bradys and the Dynamite Gang; or, Ten Hours of Deadly Peril. 478 The Bradys and the French Crooks; or, Detective Work in Pa;ris. 479 The Bradys After the Policy King; or, The Plot Against Captain Kane. 481 The Bradys and the Fan Tan Queen; or, Lost in t h e H eart of Chinatown. 482 The Bradys in the White Light District; or, Trackin g the Broadway Sharpers. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANX TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N. Y IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Weeklies and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this offic e direc t. Cut out and fill i n the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the weeklies you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY . . ... . . . . . . . . . . FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Squa-re, New York. .................... 190 DEAR Srn-Enclosed find ...... cents for which pl e ase send me: .... copies of '\V"ORK AND WIN, Nos ............................................................... WIDE Aw AKE WEEKLY, NOS ........................................................ '\VILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ............................................................ 4 11 THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos .................... .. 11' PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos .................... SECRET SERVICE, Nos ................................................................ .. FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos .................................................. Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ............................................................. ,. Name ........................... Street and No ... : .............. Town .......... State ...............

PAGE 34

. Fame aml Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO M AKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN COLQ!ij:D COVERS PRICE 5 Cts. ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY 32 PAGES This Weekly contains interesting stories of smart boys who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in Uie lives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. ALREADY PUBLISHED. ... I : 50 'l'he Ladder of l<'ame; or, From Office Boy to S enato r. 51 On the Square; or, The Success of an Honest Boy. 5:! Arter a Fortune; or, The Pluckiest Boy in the West. 53 Winning the Dollars; or, The Young Wonder of Wall Street. 54 Making His Mark; or. The Bo;v Who Became l'resident. 55 Heir to a l\llllion; or, The Boy Who Was Born Luc ky. 56 L ost in the Andes: or. The Treasure or the Burie d City. 57 On His Mettle; or, A Plucky Boy In Wall Street. 58 A Lucky Chance; or, Taking Fortune on the Wing. 59 The Road to Success; or, The Career of a Fortunate Boy. 60 Chasing Pointers; or, The Luc ki est Boy in Wall Street. 61 Hieing in the World; or, l<'rom l'a ctory Boy to Manager. 62 b'rom Dark to Dawn; or, A Poor Boy' s Chance. 63 Out for Himself: or, Paving His Way to l'ortune 64 D .amo;:d Cut Diamond: or, The Boy Bro k ers of Wall Street. 65 A Start in Life; or, A Bright B oy's Ambition. 66 Out for a l\Iiilion: or, The Young i\!1das of Wail Street. 67 l;very Inch a Boy; or, Doing His Leve l Best. G8 ey to Burn; or, 'l' h e Shrewdest Bo;v in Wall Street 69 A Eye to Business; or, The Boy "'ho W a s Not Asl ee p 70 Tipped by the Ticker; or, An Ambitions Boy in Wall Street. 71 On to Success: or, The Boy Who Got Ahead. 72 A Rid for a Fortune: or, A Country Boy in Wall Street. 73 Bound to Rise : or, Fighting His Way to Success. 74 Out for the Dollars; or, A Smart Boy in Wall Street. 75 For Fame and Fortune ; or, The Boy Who Won Doth. 76 A Wall Stree t Winner; or, Making a Mint of Jllon e y 77 'l'he Road to Wealth : or, The Boy Who Found It Out. 78 On the Wing; or, The Young Mercury of Wall Street. 79_ A Chase for a Fortune: or, The Boy Who Hustled. 80 Juggling With the l\Iarke t ; or, The Boy Who Made it Pay. 81 C'ast Adrift: or, The Luck of a Home less Boy. 82 Playing the Market: or. A K ee n Boy in Wall Street. 83 A l'ot of Money: or, The Legacy of a Lucky Boy. 84 From Hags to Riches: or, A Lucky W a ll Street Messenger. 85 On His Merits: ot', The Smartest Boy Alive. 86 Trapping the Brokers; or, A ame Wall Street Boy. 8't A l\Iillion!Gold: or. The Treasure of Santa Cruz. 88 Bound ke Money; or, From the W est to Wall Street. 89 The Bo nate : or, Making Baseball Pay. 90 l\la,ng oney O J'. A Wall Street Luck. 91 A vest of Gold : or. The Buried Treasure of Coral Island. 1)2 On e Curb: or, Beating the Wali. Street Brokers. 94 'l'h e Prince of Wal! Street; or, A Big Ueai fol' Big Money. \J5 His Own Business; or, The Boy Who Caught On. 96 A Corner in or, The Wall Street Boy Who Won. 97 First in the Field; or, Doing Business for Himself. 98 A Broker at Eighteen: or, lfoy Gilbert's Wall Street Career. 9fl Only a Dollar; or, From Errand Roy to Owner. 100 Price & Co., Boy Brokers; or, '.rhe Y oung Traders of Wall Street. 101 A Winning Risk; or, 'l'he Boy Who Made Good. 102 l'rom a Dime to a Millio n ; o r, A Wide-Awake Wall Stree t Boy, 103 The Path to Good Luc k ; o r, The Boy Miner of D eath Valley. 11.04 Mart M orton's Money ; o r A Corner in Wall Stl'eet Stocks. l 05 Famous at Fourteen ; or, The Dov Who Made a Great 1106 Tips to Fortune; or, A Lucky \\Tall Stree t Deal. 107 Striking II.s Gait; or, 'l'h e J'erils of a Boy Engineer 108 l'rom Messenger to J\Jillionalre; or, A Boys Luck in Wal! Street. 1 on The Boy Gold Hunters: or, After a Pirate' s Treasure. 110 Tricking t h e Traders: or, A Wall Street Boy' s Game of Chance. 111 Jac k Grit: or, Making a Mau of Himself. l 12 A Shower; or, The Boy Banke r of W a ll Street. 113 Making a Record or, The I u c'< of a Working Boy, 114 A Fight for Money; or, From S c hool to Wall Street. 115 Stranded Ont West: or. The Boy Who Found a Sliver Mine. 11.l:l Ben Raseford's Luc k : or. Working on Wall Street Tips. l l 7 A Young Go l d King: o r '!'he Treasure of the Secret Cave8. 118 Bound to Get Rich: or. How a W a ll Street Boy Made 119 Friendless Prank : or. The Boy Who Became l"amons. 120 A $30,000 Tip; or. The Yonr.o:; \Veazel of Wall Street. 121 Plucky Bob; or, '.rhP Boy Who Won Success. I 122 l'rom Newsboy to Banker; O t', Ilob L a ke's Rise in Wall Street. 1 123 .A Golden Stake: o r The Treasure of the Indies. 124 A Grip on the or. A Hot Time i n Wall Street. 125 Watching His C h a n ce : or. From l'erry Boy to Captain. 126 A Gam e for Gold: or, The Young King of Wall Street. 127 A Wizard for Luc k : or, GettiJCg Ahead in the World. 128 A Fortune at Stake; or, A Wall Street Messenger's Deal. 129 His L>tst Nickel: or, What it. Did f o r Jac k lland. 130 Nat Noble, 'l'he Little Broker; or, The Boy \\'ho Started a \Vull Street P1tnic. 131 A Struggl e for Fame: or. The Gamest Boy in the World. 132 The Yo1111g Money Magnate; or, The Wall Street Boy Who Broke the l\fo .rket. 133 A Lucky Contract. ; or. The Boy who Made a Raft or Money. 1 3 4 A Big Risk; or, The.Game t lmt \\'011. 93 A.,eak of Fortune ; 'l' h e Boy Who Struc k Luck. For sale by all ne lers, or will be to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FILANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK .NITMBERS of our Weeklies and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in th llowing Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the weeklies you want and we will send them to you by retu 'l. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE AS MONEY. EY, Publi s her 24 Union Square, N e w York ...... .................. 190 Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos .. : ............... WIDE AWAKE 'VEEKLY, Nos ............. .... WILD VVEST 'VEEKL.Y, Nos ................ .. THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ........... PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ................... '' SEC RET SERVICE, NOS ................................................................. FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ................................................. Ten-Cent Hand. Books, Nos ..... Name ............................ Street and ll o .................. Town .......... State .......... ... 'r I 1 t : f


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