Written in cipher, or, The skein Jack Barry unravelled

Written in cipher, or, The skein Jack Barry unravelled

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Written in cipher, or, The skein Jack Barry unravelled
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey Publisher
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1 online resource (pages)


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Dime novels. (lcsh)
Fire fighters -- Fiction. (lcsh)
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:
032035228 ( ALEPH )
863219825 ( OCLC )
W20-00005 ( USF DOI )
w20.5 ( USF Handle )

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"Look out!" exclaimed Jack. "Some one coming!" Footsteps sounded on the stairs. Then the white-bearded old man appeared. He was followed by a scowling ruffian, armed with a rifle. The boys were caught in the act of examining the papers!


WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY A CO}f'PLETE STORY EVERY WEEK. Issued Weekly-By Subscription ,2.50 per year. Entered according to A.ct of Congress, in the year 1906, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C by Frank Tousey, Publishei, 24 Unio11 Square, New York. No. 5 NEW YORK, MAY 18, 1906. Price 5 Cents THE SKEIN JACK BARRY UNRA YELLED. By PROF. OLIVER OWENS. v CHAPTER I. "That wasn't brave," scoffed Jack. "Look at a.11 the in.en there were out fighting those safebreakers. All I did A LIFE FOR A CENT. was to ge t in with the crowd, Tom." "And you wasn't brave when you--" "Jack, I don t believe I'm a coward, but--" "Oh, let up, Tom! You make me feel like a fool!" Of course you' re not a coward," the other boy broke in, "Huh!" heartily. "Real cowards are mighty scarce in this world "Fact! So shut up. Get back to case. We were talk"Oh, I don't know about that," argued Tom Eustis. ing about old Zach Gregg." "Yes, they a re. Real cowards are mighty scarce." "That was just what I was &Qing to say, Jack. Some"You say that, Jack Barry, because you're so brave that times that olu ;fellow gives me the creeps." you don t understand the meaning of cowardice "What's wrong about pim ?" ''I don't know whether I'm brave or not smiled Jack. "I don't know He's worth a lot of money--" ''I never had a chance to find out "That ain't generally reckoned as a crime," smiled Jack. "Didn't?" retorted Tom Eustis. "Huh! S'pose you "But why should a man worth so much money live the wasn't brave when you got out i n the street and stopped the way he does?" persisted Tom. parson 's horse and saved hi s wife from being killed." "Why, I suppose a man with a lot of money can live any "Why, there wasn't anything else to do but jump out way he pleases," retorted Jack. "That's one of the nice and stop the horse," Jack disclaimed "What would other things about rich." boys do? See a sickly woman killed by a runaway brute?" "But Zach Gregg lives alone, except for me. He pokes "And it wasn't brave when you jumped off the bridge and me away off up in an attic, in that big house, and has all brought Hen Spencer's baby out of the river, the time the the rest of it for himself. He cooks for me and for him careless nurs e -girl let the hd fall overboard." self, and has a woman in once in a while to clean house." "Brave nothin g," disdained Jack. "That job only called "Well, he uses you well enough, as boys' jobs go," sugfor a good swimmer, and I suppose I'!Il that." gested Jack Barry, thoughtfull y "He feeds y'ou on enough "You weren't brave when the yegg men cracked the postgrub, gives you tolerabl y good clothes, and sends you to office and the explosion woke up all the men around. There school in season. And he ain't never downright mean with were five of those desperate yegg men, but you routed them you, is he?:' out of the store with a shotgun and filled one of 'em up "No-0-0-0," Tom admitted, thoughtfully. "But I 'm with buckshot." half afraid of him most of the tim e."


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. "Oh, he seems' like a decent enough man," argued Barry, calmly. "He ain't mean, for he lets me come to sleep with you Saturday nights, and always gives me a decent enough breakfast Sunday morning." "Jack," whispered Tom, mysteriously, as if unwilling to let the matter go, "I can't believe that old Zach Gregg is right in his head." "Does he show any signs of being luny ?" "Nothing that I can put my hands on." "How does he act about me?" Jack asked. "Why, that's one of the things I can't understand. He seems really interested in you, and talks about you often, old fellow." "Sure sign he's bug-house," Jack returned, drily. "Oh, I don't mean that, of course. But ther e's one thing I want to tell you about. You know the scheme you've been talking about, of trying to work your way out to the Philippine Islands, to see if you can make a better start in lif e?" "Of course I remember," .Tack replied, brightening up. "I've got a firm notion of doing that in my head. Not that I care about the Philippine I s land s Don t care a hang about them, butt I've got a notion that out th ere a fellow can get a hustle on in s hort or der and heap up money." "Old Zac h Gregg got that out of me this afternoon," went on Tom, excitedly. "What do you suppose he said? It n ear keeled me over!" "Well, what did he say?" "Zach Gregg said you were a mighty bright young fel low, and that it would be a s hame for you not to get your best chance for a start in life. ;He said,'' Tom went on, as importantl y as if he were telling a great state secret, "he said that he had a good mind to look around and see if he couldn't help you to get out to the Philippines. There, now! What do you think of that?" "And you call him crazy?" Jack demanded, halting and eyeing hi s chum reproachfully. "And I half believe he'll find a way for you to get out there," :flashed Tom. "Bully for him! I wish him all success," answered Jack Barry. "But why should he wan t to get you out there--:so fat away?" half argued Tom. "Why should he want you at the other side of the world? Jack, is there some deep, dark plot in it all?" "Now who's crazy?" laughed Jack. "Why should the old man have to 'plot' to get me out of the way? E;ow can I possibly be in the way?" "I don't know," Tom admitted, frankly, but puzzled none the less. "Let's sit down on the wall and think it all over," pro posed Jack, halting a t the wall that separated Zach Gregg's big grounds from the village street. It wa:s a night in early summer, and wa.rm. Both boys began to mop their faces. Jack was an orphan, and had been for the last six years. His father he could just barely remember in the early babyhood Ja,ck's earlier boyhood had been spept at Langville, some two hundred pliles from this present home in Belmont;. Six years before, when a boy of eleven, Jack's mother had been killed in a railroad accident. He had not been with her at the time. She had been away on some busine'3s that Jack did not understand, and had been killed close to Belmont. Jack had not been at the burial, but friends over in Langville had brought him here that he might see the grave. A handsome, manly !ittle fellow at the age of eleven, Jack had caught the fancy of good old Deacon Spencer, who ran the general store in the village. Deacon Spencer, learning that Jack was an o rphan, had taken our hero in and had been good to him. The summer before Jack had finished his schooling, and was now working in the deacon's store-for wages and board. Though he had finished his actual schooling, for the present, at any rate, Jack was far from feeling that he had finished his education. He owned a microscope-a Christmas present from the deacon-owned also some batteries and other electrical goods, and had a general leaning toward scientific things. Deacon Spencer was vro:y far from being a rich man, or he would have sent our hero to college. In facl, the deacon was so poor that he often urged Jack to find some better chance in life than Belmont offered. Almos t from the first, Jack and Tom Eustis had been chums. Tom was a great, big-hearted f e llow, who was much to our hero's liking. Tom's family lived in Belmont. It consisted of a father, shiftless and often drwik; a patient mother, and brothers and sisters. A year before Tom had had the chance to go to live as chore-boy with old Zach Gregg. He had ta.ken the jop op. the condition that Jack Barry might s leep with him Saturday nights and spend a part of Sunday thro:e. Much to the surprise of both boys old Zach Gregg had consented willingly enough. Of Gregg, folks ]Qlew only that he had come to Belmont, a childlesa widower, some fifteen years before. At first Gregg had worked hard enough fo.t his living. Then, 11fter :five years of t.oil, he seemed suddenly possessed of enough money to buy & ra.ther :fine old place on the ma:in street, a little way out from the village. IIere, on Ms sixty acres of ground, Zach Gregg led the lire almost ol a. he:rtnit. IIe spent Jittle on himself, though he bought mu-ch real estate of the kind th'!t could be rented at a. good Zach had one queer, book-filled old room that he called his library, ro:r he had always been a well-read, e\Yen if very silent and disagreeable, old ma.n. "It's neitrly half-past ten,'..1 said Jack, glan.eing at his w-afoh, aft:er the two boys had chatted in low rones fora


WRITTEN. rNi 'CIP.HER. a Jl\QmeDbi, ''I11i ttm. we W4'.'t gettinc W. bed1. M.r. Gregg lllaY l9Ck QU\ anyway, if Jl()l m." "Lock us out?" BGhoixl Toni. Wfluhl He's never abed before twelve or one o'clock, and yet he's always up at six in .thfil morl'.ling." ''What does he do?" Jack asked. "Sit and read?" ''Sear<,Jh me," agreed Tom. "I never know what he does late, for I'm always asleep." Gruff gruff I came the deep-throated, savage notes of bulldogs' voices as the youngsters neared the fine old house that was going to decay. "That's one o:f his bughouse notions," uttered Tom, dis gustedly. "Keeps -thoi;e four savage dogs chained up all day, and won't allow me to get acquainted with 'em. Why, Jack, those dogs would chew me if t4ey got a chance!" "They won't get the chance," Jack observed, coolly, as they approached the front entrance. As they reached the porch the front door swung open, old Zachary standing in a dimly lighted hallway. Gregg was tall, slim, stoop-shouk(ered. His hair and beard w!')re white as snow. He looked weak, yet in his eyes there was often a fiery flash that made others stand in awe of him. "Home for the night, eh, boys?" he asked, rather gruffly. "Come in. I want to talk to you, Barry." ''It's about the Philippines," Tom whispered, as they followed the old m.an down the long hallway. "Shall I let him know that you've told me something about it?" "Not a word I" Tom whispered back. "Don't go Ii. word :further tha.n he leads you." They had come how into the sitting-room, where a big lamp burned on the table. Half a dozen books were lit tered there. Zach Gregg, dropping into his reading-chair, turned to the boys standing before him. "I hear, Barry, that you want to go to the Philippines," began the old man. Jaa.k said "good night," with an unusual attempt to be respectful. It was quite worth while to stand pat with a rich man who seemed to take an interest in helping him to carry out his ambition. Both boys were silent as they trod up the stairs to the attic. It was a big, roomy old place. About one-fourth of the attic had been partitioned off to make this room. It was about twenty :feet square, furni s hed with an old, four-post bed, a rickety bureau and two chairs that had seen hard times. There was another great room in the attic that had its own private stairway. In this great other room neither of the ever been. It served as a sort of store-room or Mr. Gregg Whatev e r the old man kept th er e was a mystery. "Say," quivered 'l'om, as the two boys undressed, "it looks mighty bright, somehow, for your getting to the Philippines. The old codger has been reading those books on the Philippines all th e evening." "But it don't s e e m reasonable that he'd spend the money to send me the re," argued Jack, eagerly. "That's one gueer thing about old Gregg," Tom ob served, sagely. "If he talks much about a thing he winds up by doing it." "I hope he will in this case," J a.ck s i g hed, unbelievingly. "You'd be mighty glad to skip off and leave me behind, wouldn't you?" uttered Tom Eustis, reproachfully. "Why, Tom, old chap, just the first thing when I got to saving money up I'd send some to bring you out to the Philippines, too." "Honest, now?" Tom, with sudden interest. "Cross your heart? Hope to die?" "Hope to die if I wouldn't send for you to join me just as soon as I could," Jack promised: readily enough. That promise was enough to restore good feeling between the chums. "Yes, sir," Jack admitted, promptly. Tom was soon :faS1t asleep, to dream of the Philippine f'It's a great place for a: boy that can hustle. You want Islands. to go there and make your fortune, eh?" ''Yes, sir." ''Hm I I've been reading about those far-away American island!! replied the old man, waving one hand toward the pile of books. "You could do muoh worse, Barry, than to go there. These books are bound government re porf;s on the kind of books that the gov ernment at Washington gives out for nothing. But they tell all about the PhilipP.ines and show how fine the chances are." "I'd like to see some o:f those books!" cried Jack Barry, eagerly. "Perhaps you can-to-morrow. But run along to bed now, boys. It's getting late." Tom disappeared into the kitchen, to come back with :the little lamp that he used in his den in the Jack, too, was quickly asleep. Some time during the night something happened that roused Jack Barry with a start. He awoke with such a start, in fact, that he sat bolt up right in bed, almost in a cold sweat. But he laughed off the creepy feeling, lay back on the mattress beside snoring Tom, and prepared to go to sleep. "What's that?" cried the boy, suddenly starting up again. He was creepy this time for certain. For from some vague place in the distance the sharp, far-away murmur of angry voices reached him. "Where do those voices come from?" Jack wondered, getting up and prowling curiously in his bare feet. "Gra cious! Can it be that thieves have gotien into the house, in spite of the dogs? Old man Gregg is rich. Is some one trying to rob him or him out o:f a P.ile"?,,., J'


WRITTEN TN CIPHE.R. By this time Jack, hearing the vowes again, realized whe r e they cam e from A c himn e y pa sse d throu gh, the room There was a s tove h o le, with a s heet-iron c ap ove r it. S o ftl y Jac k s t e pp e d ove r to the chimney With the g r e a test s tealth h e g ot the c a p out from its place and put one ear close t o th e hol e An c l n o w a voice t ravell e d up to him that he recogniz e d di s tinctl y as th a t o f Zac h Gregg. Th11.t voice was har s h, angry, threatening. Jack came clos e to having a cold chill as he recognized the old muff' s words: "Curs e y ou! I'll kill you for a cent! I mean that, mind you!" CHAPTER II. JAC K'S H EAD GET S ON FIRE! "Graciou s c hok e d lis t e ning Jack. "I've heard about h o l ding life c h eap,' but that's about the cheape s t price I ere r l1ear d placed o n a life! Th e cold s weat began to s tand out in earnest, now, all over th e boy's flesh. Hi s teeth wer e a ll but cha ttering It i s a gre wsom e thing to be w ak e d out of a s ound sleep in the d ead o f tl{e night to l e arn that a murder i s being p l anned i n t h e h o use. Not for a n in s t ant clid h e d o ubt that a murder would be committ ed. Zac h Gregg h ac1 th e r e putat i on, in B e lmont, of doing a n yt hin g that h e thr e at e ned to do. Th e v o ices w e re s till going on in the s itting-room down stai rs, b u t n o w h a d fa ll e n s o l o w that Jack could make < rn t n o thin g, until-" I see th a t th e o nl y thin g I c an do i s to kill you!" Jack 's hai r stoo d up. Goos e-flesh c rept ail over him. F o r a n in stant he was s impl y frozen with the horror of thi s bu s iness of the night. Then in desp e r atio n, h e s tole bac k to the beds ide, vig or o u s l y s hakin g 'l'om Eu s tis, and at the same time holding o ne fir m hand over that slee p e r 's mouth. 'l'om seem e d t o be awak e at last, and t r y ing hard to talk. "Hu sh!" w hi s p e r e d J ac k s t e rnly Don t dare to talk out l o u d Whis p er !" "Wha.t's up ?" tre mbl e d Eus tis, a s soon a s the restraining hand had been taken away from hi s mouth In a f e w e ag er but low, phra ses Barry told him. "Ug-gg h !" s hudd e r e d Tom b e ginning to s hake. "If you d o n t b e lieve me, get np and li s t en!" "I-I'll tak e your w-w-word for it' falt e red T 'om. "Nonsense! Don't b e a fool or a c oward! Get up and listen. I t e ll you Tom, the r e's murde r afloat in this old house!" Tom got up though v e ry likely he would have preferred lying abed a nd hiding hi s h e ad Uilde r the clothe s There's something mighty unna.tural and "creepy'' about getting up in a dark, rat-ha.unted old attic to listen to the sounds of a violent murder But Jack firmly marched his chum to the hole in the c himney, signalling by a grip that Eustis should listen. The sound of angry voices was still.there-angry sound s "Do right-for Jennie Barry 's s ake! a s trong voice pleaded below. "Why s hould I?" demanded old Gregg s voice. "I disowned her ye!U's ago!" Then I'll make you "YOU will ?" Thump i It was the hideous sound of a falling body Jack, hi s head on fire, flew noiselessly to the hea .vy door of the atti c In a twinkling he was back at his trembling churn's side. "Tom, he whispered, in a voice of horror, "the atti c doo r' s locked!" "Glad it is!" chattered Tom. You don t mean that," Jack retorted, pityingly. "Torn, w e' v e s imply got to stop that murder." Too lat e !" trembled Eus ti s I reckon the who.le job has b een done." "Then we've got to bring old Gregg to justice." "Ouch!" "What's the matter?" Don t talk Fke that, Jack!" "Why not, you idiot?" "Not until it's d-d-dayli ght, an yway!" "Bosh! Are you a coward ?" "I d-d-don't know." "Tom, we've simpl y got to get out of here and see what dreadful thing has happe ned or i s happening P e rhaps we can stop a crime y e t It's tim e for 3 ; o u to stop being a crying little girl!" "Who' s a girl?" flared Tom Eus tis, hi s pride hit in a so. re spot. "Then brace up and b e a man-a boy, at least!" "But what can we do?" "Get out of here somehow You must know the way bett e r than I," Jack urged firmly. "If that door i s loc k ed, there 's a padlo c k on the outside that' ll hold And w e can t break down the door. Even if w e did old Zach Gr e gg would hear and be up here in a jiffy. Jac k," in a tone of horror, "if old Gregg has done o n e killin g ju s t n o w h e 'll b e ripe for a dozen more if there's any need of it "The window th e n,'' proposed Jac k Barry. Hardl y had our hero whi s p e red this tl1an he had stolen away on tip-toe to the one window, which was faintly visi ble on account of tlie starlight outs ide The window b e ing ope n Jack looked out through this dormer hole in the roof. "Tom," he whi s per e d, to his chum, who had reached hi s side "I'll bet I can crawl out along the edge of the gutter, reach the lightning-rod and let myself down to the ground." "And drop right into the jaws o f four hungry bulldogs that are loose by this time," Tom unsteadily


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. "Whew! That's so. I'd forgotten that." "That's what would happen. You'd be steak for the dogs!" Tom had gained a little courage, here by the window, where he could l .ook out at the stars. He felt reasonably safe, anyway, at having such a coo\ brave fellow as J a.ck Barry with him. "I wonder what has happened down below?" Jack whis pered, as they stood just inside from the window. "Something awful, anyway!" shivered Eustis, the horror coming back in full force. can we do, anyway?" J a.ck demanded, puzzled. "Stay here," Tom returned, promptly. "Stay here until morning, and then scoot as fast as our legs will carry us. That is, if old Gregg lets us away from here alive!" "Tom, you're shaking like a leaf!" "I kllow it, confessed the other boy. "I'd give worlds, Jack, if I could be as cool as you are." "Cool?" sniffed Jack, turning like a flash on the other. "That shows jus t how much you know about it. Tom, my head's fairly on :fire, and with good reason!" "Of course!" "Do you understand, then ?" "Of course! A m-m-m-murder is enough tO set any one's head on fire!" "But it's more than that in this case." "You heard what was said, Tom?" "Downstairs?" "Yes." Of course." "You heard that stranger's voice appealing to old Gregg to do right for Jennie Barry's sake?" "Y-y-y-yes; I heard." "Tom, Jennie Barry was my mother's name !11 I G-g-great ghosts I" ''Tom, in some way I'm mixed up in this whole thing." "Jupiter! It looks that way." "Looks that way?" Jack sniffed, scornfully. "It's a cinch I Whatever can there be between old Zach Gregg and my mothet ?" The two boys, white-faced, stared at each other there in the dim starlight by the open window. "Oh, I've simply got to get down out of here I" groaned Jack, despairingly. "Two ways of doing it I" clicked Tom. "One is to break down the door and bring up old Gregg and one of the guns he keeps. The other is Y> shin down out s ide and drop into the teeth of a few bulldog s Hear that?" "That" was the uneasy growling of the loosened dogs below. "\Vhew but it's tough," Jack confessed. "Tom, I really don't know what to do." "What time is it?" "Great idea!" Carefully our hero prowied back until he found his watch. With this he returned to the dormer window. "Quarter past three he announced. "In another hour it'll be daylight." "That's so." "Then don't do anything just yet," Tom urged, his heart thumping. "Wait!" "I suppose we'd better," Jack nodded. Both felt sore, as if they had been beaten. Soon t11ey returned to the bed, where they lay with their, heads clos e together, whi s pering. "Tom, ever since I heard my mother's name mentioned, I've been so crazy that I can't think straight." "I don't blame you, Tom admitted. "I'm crazy, toowith the awful horror of this night's bus iness." "But why s hould my mother's name be mentioned?" it was some other woman with the same name." "Forget that!" Jack retorted, decisively. "In the first place, Toin, it seemed like a crazy freak for old Gregg to want to send me out to the Philippines." "That's so." "Now he won't do right for Jennie Barry's s ake, and he wants me to go to the other side of the world-has been planning for it. He want s to get me out of the wa.y. Tom, it was my mother we heard tho s e two men talking about!" "It-it looks that way," Tom admitted, quiveringly. "Now, what interest should Gregg take in my mother?" "He-Zach Gregg-said he had disowned her," supplied Eustis. "That's it-iliat's it!" cried Jack givin g a great start. He sat bolt upri ght in heel for a few moments, and now he was trembling for fair-trembling so that he made t11e bed shake. "Wh-what ails you?" palpitated Tom, sitting up b e sid e his chum. "Tom, why did Gregg-why could Gregg-disown my mother? What was she to him?" "Jupiter!" "Could old Zach Gregg have been her father?" Jac k rambled on, wildly. "What was your g:i;andfather's name ?" "I never knew," Jack confessed. "All I ever guessed at, from what little my mother said, was that she had dis plea sed her failier. Probably by marrying She never m e ntioned h e r fath e r 's n a m e to m e." "Then, what if old Zac h Greg g is your----.-->.(' Tom could go JtO further, he was shaking so with the int e n s ity this new iliou g ht. "It's-it's awful!" Jac k confessed. "Tom if we-if we stir up this murder bu s iness downstair s who knows but I may be sending my own grandfather to the gallows-0-ooh Ouch!" "Better leave it all alone," advi sed Tom, uneasily. "Leave it alon e ?" echoed Barry wonderingly. "Not much! l any one has done wrong by moth e r whe n she was alive, I'll find him out and make him-sweat blood for it! I don't care a hang who he is!" Jack's head was again on fire. He s tepped bri s kl y though softly out of bed and stole to the vHndow to get the cool night air.


IN CIPHER. But in a twinkling he was back. "Tom," he whispered, fo hoarse command, "get -qp !" "Oh, Lord! What is it now?" chattered the other boy, "Get up!" "What for?" "Come to the window-quick!" Curiosity quickly getting the better o:f him, even on this ghastly night, Tom Eustis stole tremblingly from his bed, joining our hero at the window. "See that-over there?" demanded Barry, pointing. What both boys saw was a light under the trees at the edge of a forest, perhaps half a thousand yards from the 'house. To their ears, as they listened, came a faint sound as of pick and shovel. "Lordy !" groaned Tom. "He's burying the-" But the poor fellow could go no further. "Confound those infernal dogs!" muttered Jack, sav agely, under his breath. "Let's get back to bed," urged Eustis. "It ain't right to look on and rubber at such sights." "Go back to bed, then," advised Barry. "Not unless you do !'' "Stay here, then-but shut up!" Jack remained at the window, staring at the light, which remained stationery, as if resting on the ground. "I've got that spot well fixed," muttered the boy. "I can't orget it in the daylight. Oh, what a earful, twisted up ske in of wickedness this is Yes, skein's the right word. But I'll unravel it! I'll get it straight, and see what my mother's name has to do with it!" Then, ater a .few minutes: "Tom," he whispered, "that light is coming back this way!" "I-I'll take your word for it, Jack. I don't want to look!" So Jack Barry stole back to the windbw and watdbed until he saw the light come toward and reach the house. More than that, our hero made out the tall, stooped form of Zach Gregg as the be&-rer of the lantern. -He heard a door clbse below, and then our horror-sick ened, head-burning, dizzied young man stole back to the bed. "It's a fearful skein that my mother's life and mine seem to be twisted up in,'' he muttered to himself, again and again, as he lay there. "But I'll unravel it. I'll pick it to pieces, strand by strand, thread by thread, until I've untangled the whole grisly mystery!" CHAPTER III. TRACING A FEARFUL DEED. As for om hero, his slumber tQok_ the fopn of nightmares, in which he lived the whole thiTJ..g again -in which he saw shocking murders over and over again, and afterwards watched the bodies being buried out in the woods under the of great trees. But at last the sun, shining in his eyes, woke Jack Barry up. For a moment he lay there, 111bbi:Q.g hie eyee shalting with some species of terror. Then, softly, he got out of bed and tried the door, "Tom I Tom!" he whispered, an instant later, ehaking his chum. "Get up! The door's unlocked I" Eustis awoke with a tremendous start. "What's that?" "The door's unlocked. We can get downatairs now." Shaking as if with an ague, Eustis got out of bed, heBtily and dumbly dressing. But Jack beat him out at getting dressed,. "Listen, now!" warned our hero. "Keep ypur nerve straight when you get downstairs. Probably we'll meet old Zach Gregg face to face Keep cool, T 'om. Wha.tever you do, don't let him see that you've got a line on anythini that has happened. Your very life probably depends on your keeping your nerve. Don't shake. Don't act like a iirl I" "Who's afraid?" demanded Tom, gQ.illig new courage, now that he was fully awake in the broad dayli&"ht, and es pecially now that he had cool, dare-devil, re.sol\lte Jack Barry at his side. "I'm glad you ain't afraid," Jack retorted, grimly. "Come downstairs, then.'' Jack went down the stairs as if he gl!!-d to get away from the attic. Tom :followed as a matter of dreadful course. They passed into the dining-rooui. There, on the bare floor, the first sight that Barry's eyes was the presence of a grea,,t, dark More than that, it WilS plaiu that the floor, at just that s pot, had been hard and persistently scoured as if to rem9ve the stain. "Blood stains b.e washed out. I've always heard that," thrilled Jack. "It's a. good thing they can't, too." Tom, catching sight of the same grisly sigp.t, and un derstanding it, tip-toed outdoors, sick at his stoma.ch. Jack quickly followed. There in the yard, strolling slowl;Y abo\lt, head bent towards the ground, was the old man of this house o:f horror. He looked up, sharply, keenly, as he heard the steps of the youngsters. "Morning, boys. How'd you sleep?" was Gregg's gruff greeting. But there was a tone of keen interest under it all. "Never slept better in my, life, sir," Jack lied, bra.vely. Strange as it may seem, both boys got some sleep after "Didn't wake up once all night, eh?" persiswd the old th rt 'fom managed to snore, in fact, though in a queer, 1 "Not once, sir," came from Jack, while Tom looked startled way. away, afraid to trust to his voice,


/ WRITTEN IN CIPHER. r. "Boys can sleep that way. I wish I could!" sighed the old man. "Well, it's pretty near time for breakfast. Get washed up, and I'll have something on the table." "Why, I forgot to say something last night," Jack broke in. "What's that, Barry?" "Why, sir, the deacon's wife invited us both over to her house for breakfast this morning, and Tom and I, sir, kinder thought maybe we'd like to go, for a change-if you wouldn't think us rude, Mr. Gregg." But the old man seemed greatly relieved. "Go, by all means," he agreed. "I suppose Dea.con Spen cer's wife is a great cook." "Mighty good, sir," Jack agreed. "And there's one thing more, Mr. Gregg." "Out with it, then, Barry!" "Toip. an!l l were wondering if you'd mind, sir, if he slept with me at the store to-night. I've been telling Tom about my 13xperiments with electric things, and Tom thought he'd like to have an evening with me, and watch what I'm doing. So, can Tom stay with me to-day, sir, and to-night?" "That'll be all right, I guess," nodded the old man, gruffly. "I can att.end to the few chores here to-day, I guess." "Oh, can Tom go at once, sir?" "Yes; run along." Not a whit of rging did either boy need. "Say," blurted Tom, honestly, as they hurried up the street, "you;re a wonder at lying!" "Well, you're satisfied to put in th13 day away from Zach Gregg, ain't you?" Jack queried. "Satisfied l" gasped Eustis. The breakfast at Mrs. Spencer's had, of course, been a pure invention. But Jack let his chum into Deacon Spencer's store'. There, from the well-stocked grocery shelves, and with the aid of &Jl oil-stove, Barry all the breakfast that hungry youngsters could demand. There, safe behind the shuttered doors, they could eat with relish, too, for, whatever else boyhood is hungry! And there, through the day, 1;4e boys talked with grow ing courage and coolness. Around Jack's u sually mild moll th, firm, grim lines were settling. "I under stand, old fellow, or at least have a sneaking suspicion, of why old Gregg was willing to interest himself in my getting to the Philippine Islands," Jack explained. "And I s'pose you wouldn't go on his help, now?" Tom propound!)

8 WRITTEN IN CIPHER. "We can keep our eyes peeled in the woods, and from there we can see whethe r hi s light is going at the house." "It--;-it ain't altogether the living that I mind," Tom ad 'm itted, uneasily. "Look here, you ain't g oin g to talk any ghos t nonsense, are you?" Jack demanded, disgu s tedly. "Of course not." 'Cause if you a.re, I'll take you back to the s tore and leave you." "I'm a-going through," Tom Eustis a sse rted, with all the boldness he could mus ter. "Wben a. fellow has as much nerve as you've got, Jack, hi s partner ha s to be of the same s tuff." "That's all right, then," Jac k Barry nodded. Yet it mu s t b e a.c1mitted that both youngsters f elt a bit "queerish" a s they neared the spot whe re they had seen the lantern the night before. As nearly as Jack could judge, the exact place where he had seen th e light l ay between two great old elms that they now were nearin g "Gregg's li ght i s all right in his s itting-room," whispered J ack, as they gazed across the field and orchard at the run-clown big, old house. "I hope he's there.'; "Of course he's there. You don't s uppose he'd b e stroll ing out here again for hi s health, do you?" Jack taking off his straw hat, go, t down on hi s knees close to the ground. "What you going t o do?" Tom whi s p ered. "Look for the place, of course. You watch around here while I do the huntin g.'' Tom took an extra-b rave g ri p on the gun while our hero, s hading the pock e t e l ectric li ght behind hi s hat, began to go carefully ove r the gr ound. "I've got it!" quiv e red th e young sea rcher at last. "Sure?" Tom whispered, a trifle shaJdngly. "Sure enough! Look her e l You can see where the sod' s bee n cut and th en tamped down again. See! The line is almost clearly marked. You can see how it runs." "Just s ix foot by two gasped Tom Eus tis. CHAPTER IV. WRITTEN IN CIPHER Chug! That low, almost smothe r e d sound wa;;; made by Jack Barr y's trowel str i king in to raise the first sod. These sods being loose, he pried them up with surprising speed Th ere below the earth s howed how fre s hly it had been tamp e red with. "It can' t take u s lon g !" thrilled the young investigator. "That's on e comfort Tom confessed. "But when we get down there, o-o-oh--" Tom broke o:ff, but valiantl y took another tight grip on gunstock and barrel, a s if he r e lied upon that weapon to fend off all danger from both world s But as for Jac k he worked on with feverish ha ste and soon, groWing in confidence and boldness, he seized the lar ger s hovel and began to work cautiously with that. Gla ncing around, he saw T om's fas c inated gaze. '-'Better creep closer tp the edge of the woods and watch s harp with the gun,'' whi s pered Bany. Tom, glad of any excuse to get a.way from that rapidly deepening hole, s tole a few yards away But Jack worked on with an energy that knew no time for f e ar. H e was si mpl y consumed by a. wild desire to get quickly to the bottom of a. mystery that tormented him as no fear could do. Three feet down now Chug The point of his shove l s t ruck agains t someth in g s olid and woodeny. "That's it!" he thrilled, and worked with m ore f everish haste before. He did not call ou t to Eustis, but worked all around the lid of a box that had come into view, until he had it a.11 bared Then he whistled softly. J "IVhat i s it?" hailed whispering Eustis. "Come here!" Tom came, though with anything but an eager step "See that box?" Jack dem a nded, pointing down. into the hole. "Oh, Lordy !" "It ain't nothing to run from "Who's running?" Tom scowled, fiercel y "There ain't an y body in that box,'' Jack c1ecla.red, with an air of conviction. "What's that saying?" "There ain't anybody there. It's something else. That box ain't over four feet long. Help me get it out.'' Tom obeyed with as much pluck as he could summon Soon they had the box out. "Aga in no body Jack declared. "This box is so light that I cou1d cany it alone." "The n what on earth can be in it?" Eustis demanded. "We' ll know after a while "Going to open it?" "Of course, but n o t here "Where?" "At the store, where there'll be no danger of any one looking on." "Going to carry it there?' "Of course "But s'pose there shou l d 'be a.-a. body in it?" in s isted Tom showing pa.le once mo re. "Rot and rot! It's something ver y diff e r en t from any one's remains I tell you. Stand by, now, and wat c h out while I fill the dirt in." This Jack did as best he c ould using all his skill, befor e he replaced the sods, to hide the fa c t that the hiding place of the box had been tampered with.


WRITTEN IN1 CIPHER. "Now, then!" he called, sha.rply. With their other things to carry, it was somewhat awk ward to manage the box between them. Yet they contrived it, nor. did their extra burden prove very heavy. In time they got to the back of the store. Jack's ready key admitted them. First, making sure that the shutters were all in place, Jack lighted one of the lamps. "Now we'll have a look at the thing," proposed Tom, as brave as a soldier, now that he knew he had not been on a body-snatching jaunt. "But there's one thing puzzling me," admitted Jack, as he sat on a counter eyeing the box. "There's more than one thing puzzling me," retorted the Eustis boy "Tom, there certain ly was some one killed there at Greggs house last night." "Wl1y, it seemed like it, Jack." "And remember that big blood stain on the floor." "And it's s ure that old Zach had tried hard to scrub the stain out." "Then, where's the body?" propounded Barry, plumply. "Search me," returned Tom try ing to grin. "I'm mighty sure I haven't got it." "But we've simply got to find that dead body Don't you see that, Tom?" "No, s ir, I don't see it, can't see it-and won't see it! We've looked hard and haven't found it, and that ends it. I'm no rubb e r-neck," prote s ted Eustis, with the air of one who has taken an honest stand. "Well, we'll see what's in here," propose a puzzle, indeed! thrilled Jack Barry. "It's a cipher!" "A cipher? Do you mean a nought ?-a zero?" "No, sir; just what I said-a cipher." "What's that?' "\Vhy, a cipher," Jac k went on, eagerly, "is a secret style of writing. People llSe a ciphe r alphabet when they want to write down something that they mustn't forget and they don't want other peopl e t o read "And what does this cipher say?" "Why, if I knew that," Jack exclaim ed, in exasperation, "I'd b e almo s t as wise a s you are foolish!" "The n what good does it do u s to have this tin shingle?" "I'll find out what thi s c ipher means! I 'll decipher it!'' breatJrnd Jack, fiercely. "It's a ll a part of the big skein that I've set out to unrav el. Tom, before thi s time tomorrow night I'll know jus t what this message mean s !" "Then you won't get an y s leep to-night, old chap." "Sleep ? I don't care whether I do or not. But wait." Jack l aid the tin disk on the store counter, then once more bent over the box. "Hurrah!" h e quivered, in a moment. For now, from among the bottommost garments in the box he h ad lifted up a steel box. It was not more than a foot long, nor much more than four inches sq uare at the ends, but for its size it was amazingly heavy. "Money!" breathed Tom. "That must be the way old Zach k eeps his hoard s." "Nonsense vibrated business-lik e Jack. "It's out-of date for misers to bury money in the woods. They trust the banks nowadays. But this little old box must hol d something of interest." "How are you going to open it?" Eus tis questioned, as he caught sight of the l ock on the front of the box.


10 WRITTEN IN CIPH]jR. "With a can-opener, of course I'' Barry retorted, dis gustedly. "Yes, you are I" "Oh, we'll find a way h> get it open to-morrow," Jack promised. "We have this stuir here now and we can take our time about finding out what it all means, and what this box holds." "Have we got to wait until to-morrow?" quivered impatient Tom. "It looks that way." "What'll we do to kill the time until then?" "We might sleep, if we've nothing else to do," Jack hinted, drily. "You're going to hide this truck for to-night, then?" "Of course; we can find a bully good place down in the cellar, among all the old packing cases. But, first, let's have a good look at this queer old cipher message." Jack held the tin disk up to the light, regarding it through half-closed eyes. "There's something mighty important hidden here," he muttered, agog with curiosity. "What is it?" Tom asked. "G.reek?" "No, you ninny. Some queer kind of an alphatet that the writer invented for the purpose of keeping his informa tion from reaching other folks." "He did his job well," Tom sighed. "We can never read that stuff." This was the queer-looking cipher message at which both boys stared : 0@034$ 59 ?9 ;0#353 8%3 ;58"8 ?@589: "9745= A49; A#994 8: @558 ?. "9 **$ ?@: ?9 ;0#353 5=3 ?#73 3@$8#6 8: ?@$3 9A :33%. "Now, what on ear .th ca.ii any human being make of that rubbish?" sighed Tom. "We'll read it and even you will admit the straightness of the reading,'' Jack retorted, vimfully. "For now, help me to get this big box downstairs." The job of hiding their night's find accomplished at last, the two youngsters retired to such rest ,as they could get. Tom Eustis soon was snoring, but as for Jack, his dreams were many and queer. CHAPTER V. THE CODE OF THE DEVIL. "Oh, Dot!" Jack Barry, to all seeming, just loafing on the porch of th e store the next morning, called to a girl who was pass ing o n the further side of the street. Then, as she halted, Jack went bounding across the street to meet her. From all appearances, Dorothy Crothers was a girl well worth running to meet. She was a year younger than Jack-that is to say, just sixteen. Rather tall, slender, though rounded, with an olive tinted, comely face and dark, sparkling eyes, she looked, in her thin, summery gown and fragile white hat, as pretty a girl as one could find in a day's march. As the two looked swiftly into each othets eyes it was plain that they understood each other very well. They were sweethearts, in fact, and had been for the last year. Dot's father was the village blacksmith. "There's something unusual up,'; guessed the girl, as Jack reached her side. "What makes you say that, Dot?" "The look in your eyes." "I can't see it." "Of course you can't, you goose!" not laughed. "You ca n t look into your own eyes without a mirror. But what's up, Jack?" "Oh, just-just-a queer old scheme that Tom and I are working out. We want your help, bot.1 "What on earth can you want me to do?" "Dot, can you slip into your father's shop and get us two cold chisels-one medium-sized. and one small?'' "vVhy can't you walk up with me and get 'em yourself?" "I could if your father doesn't see me take 'em." "What's that?" Dot demanded, a trifle sharply. "'.Don't you want him to know that you've got the cold. chisels?" "N-not to-day." "Wby riot, Jack?" Dot demanded, rather hastily. "Oh, it's a secret." "Oh, have secrets from me, if you want!'' pouted Dot. "It ain t that, Dot," the boy hurriedly explained. "But it's-well, a sort of little surprise, that's all.'' "Then, why can't I know about it?" "You can, in a day or two, Dot. But please don't ask me any more just now-please." "Oh, well, then," murmured the girl, thinking to herself how fine and manly Jack looked just at that moment, "nl get you the chisels, and keep mum, if you don't want them to break into somebody's safe." "Dot!" Barry exclaimed, in a hurt voice. "Oh, of course, I know it's all right, Jack. l3ut don't see why you can't tell me." She looked so curious and. so teruiing that it was hard to resist her. But just then, by a happy inspiration, Jack realized. how he could put her off with a white lie. "Dot, you make a fellow tell so much! Now, this secret is something that I want to surprise you with bye and bye." "Oh, why didn't you say so at first? Can't 1 have even a little hint? No? Well, come on, then-but you're aw fully mean." Jack and Dot strolled slowly up the street, talking together. "Come into the shop with me/' whispered Doi. "Get your eye on the chisels you want, then pick 'em up when


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. 11 Dad isn't looking. But you're not going to do anything wrong with the chisels, Jack?" "Have I got to assure you of that again?" he demanded, reproachfully. "Oh, you silly boy-to think that I meant it!" They strolled into the blacksmith shop Mr. Crothers, who was working there alone, looked up long enough to greet them, then went on repairing a wagon tire. Jack looked slyly around until his eye lighted on a little heap <;>f cold chisels. There were so many there that a couple surely would not be missed. "Come out and look at this horse, neighbor!" call e d a man who had driven up to the door of the shop. Mr. Crothers went. In a twinkling, Jack Barry had swooped down upon th e pair of chisels that he wanted, stowed them swiftly away in a pocket "I've got 'em," he confided to Dot. "And now you're going, eh, Jack? That's right! Run off as soon as you've got no further need of me." "You know better," Jack declared. But this is import ant." "Well, I.don't mind if it's a nice surprise coming for me." But Dot'.s eyes danced unbelievingly. Jack hurried back to the store. Deacon Spencer, a kind-faced old man, slim and b e nt, was inside, waiting on a couple of customer s Tom was there, too, sitting on a packin g case. "Can you spare me a little while, Deacon?" Jack asked. "Yes, I guess so," assented the old man. A signal to Tom, and the two boys disappeared down into the cellar. There they lighted a lantern, then went rummagin g antong the piles of old barrels and pa c king boxes. They found their own hidden box in short time, and g ot the little steel box. "Now, I guess we'll soon crack thi s," Jac k d e clared. He placed the edge of the heavier chisel again s t the lock on the steel box. Tap! tap! Thump I It took some minutes of pounding but at last the lock snapped off. His heart beating fast, Jack pried up the lid, looked inside. A single paper rewarded his search. He unfolded it trembling hands. "A marriage certificate," Jack whispered, as he read. "Jennie Orossleigh to Richard Gregg. That's all." "Not much of a find," grunted Tom. "Yet it was important enough for old man Gregg to want to hide. But, great Scott! Could my mother's maiden name have been Crossleigh? And did Gregg have a son or brother named Richard? But, no, my mother didn't marry_a Gregg. She married my father, William T. Barry. Yet what can this whole thing mean?" Jack thought and thought, but the more he did so the more puzzled he became. "We'll figure out, bye and bye, what this marriage cer tificate means, but, :6.rst, Tom we've got to get at the mean ing of the cipher." "Easy said, but hard to do," clicked Eustis. "Oh, now you keep quiet a while, and we'll see about thiit," Jack proposed, as he brought the tin disk once more to light. Squatting on the cellar :floor, close to the lantern, he rested the disk across his knees, then drew out paper and pencil. "Wish you joy," yawned Eustis. "Shut up, can't you, old fellow?" Tom s ubsided, and Jack busied himself with making many copyings from the disk. For half an hour our hero did not speak. Then he looked' up to say: "I believe it's coming, Tom, old boy I" "What does it say, then?" Eustis demanded, eagerly. "Oh, of course, I can't say that yet. But see here. Look at th}s piece of tin with me and do some thinking. Now, what's the letter in the alphabet that is most often used?" "Blessed if I know." "Well, it's the letter 'e.' Now see here, there's one char acter that appears ten times. That's '3.' That looks 'e,' too, turned the other way. Now in this cipher alphabet '3' must stand for 'e.' Now 'the' is a very common word of three letters that ends in 'e.' Here we find such a word, written '5=3.' Suppose that stands for 'the.' Then we already know three letters in this cipher alphabet. Here's a word of two letters that beg;ins with a '5.' That must be 'to.' If it is, then we know that '9' stands for 'o.' So we have another letter. Now here's a word of se'Jen letters, writt e n '?9 ;0'1t353.' Here we know or guess that the la s t three letters are 'ete.' There 's al s o a '9-' in the wBrd, ju s t whe re it would be in 'complete.' So let's call that word compl e t e,' as it undoubtedly i s and just see how many n e w lett e r s of the-.cipher alphabet we have." J a ck's eyes were dancing with the excitement of his search. Tom Eus tis looke d wonderingly on, trying to grasp it all. Such l e tter s as he had already solved Jack fitted into the oth e r cipher words where they occurred. Now and th e n h e shook his h ead. The new letters gu essed at did not seem. to fit, and he was forced to try over again. Yet, a s he progres sed in reading the cipher, he became more and more f e verishly absorbed. "It'll all come straight in another half hour, Tom!" he quivered. "Look at how far I've got already." And, indeed, in another half hour he looked up with a stifled cry of joyous success. "I've got it!" he thrilled. "I knew I'd do it. Look here, Tom, here's the cipher alphabet, as far as it has been used in this message." 1 On a sheet of paper Jack Barry showed figures and let ters, groli.ped. The figure, or mark, appeared first, in each pair, and


12 WRITTEN' IN CIPHER. after it stood the letter of the alphabet that it represented. Here was the alphabet, as far as Jack Barry had been able to go: Op @a 3e 4r $s 5t ?c 9o ;m #1 Si %d :n"f 7u =h "b *g 6y. CHAPTER VI. IN THE TEETH OF THE TRAP "Here we are!" "Can you read the message, then?" Tom a s ked, as he "Lord, I wish we were out of it!" gazed over thi s q ueer-looking fa. y-out. Jack's whispering voice had an exultant note in it. "The whole of it!" Jack throbbed. But Tom's scared voice shook and quivered. "What does the message say, then?" Saturday night had come around once more. "That's the puzzling part,'' Jack confessed, with, a sigh Through the week the boys had managed to live some-of disappointment. I can't make much out of it yet. how, without exploding on account of their overwhelming Here's the message, though, as I've translated it from the curiosity. cipher." Zach Gregghad been much as usual. And Jack read from his notes: Tom had lived at the in fear and trembling all "Papers to complete identification fourth from floor in the week, but no harm had come to him. No questions had attic. Boggs can complete the clue easily in case of been asked of him. need." Apparently the old man was wholly free from suspicion "That's no clearer. What on earth can it all mean." that the boys were meddling in his affairs. "Why, first o:l' all, old fellow, there aJ:e some papers in On this Saturday night the old man had greeted our hero Gregg's attic--" pleasantly enough, and had again asked him about his "In his store -room? His strong -room?" "Exactly." "But we can't get in there." "We can, and will," Jack snapped. "Now when we get in there, we've got to be able to figure out what 'fourth :floor' means When we get the papers we've got to try, in some way, to .nd this fellow whose name is Boggs. Then we'll be a long way on our road, won't we, Tom?" "Yes; when we've done all these things Tom retorted, with mingled scorn and unbelief. "That's the tangle we've got to sort out," Jack went on, his cheeks b lazing and his eyes glowing. "It mightn't seem worth while, but my moth e r s name is mixed up in it, and we know that it was worth while to commit a murder about." "If a murder was committed at all," Tom hinted, slowly. "Yes, that's so, too." "It's a mixed-up old a ffair !" "It's a tangled skein that we're going to unravel, Tom Eustis." "But how?" "First of all, by getting into Gregg's strong store-Toom." "How?" "Tom, we can make use of these chisels." "But how are we going to get the chance?" "If nothing wrong happens, old fellow, I can go over to sleep with you next Saturday night. Then we'll get into that room. Between then and Sunday morning we'll know all that's to be known." "Or. be caught and kill e d by old GTegg !" trembled Tom. After fir s t carefully hiding their secret again, and the chisels, too, the youngsters returned to the store above. "It's the kind of a tangled skein I like, especially when :ny dead mother's name is mixed up in it," Jack Tepeated over and oveT again. ambition to go to the Philippines. Later on the boys had gone up to bed, in T'om's attic, next to the mysterious store-room. Then, late in the night, using their chisels cautiously, they had pried off enough boards to enable them to step straight into the store-room. And here they were, Jack holding the lamp high above his head as he peered abput in the musty aid place. 'Fourth from the floor,' he repeated, over and over again. Then he gave a sudden start. "That must be it, Tom," he throbbed. "It's the only thing here that appears to be 'fourth from floor.' Look for yourself." Jack Barry was pointing straight at a heap of trunks and boxes, four in number, that stood piled up against one wall. "There's four of 'em," Tom confessed, "and no mistake." "Then down comes that trunk! Get hold of the other end Easy now! It may .be heavy." Thrilling, as if they feared being caught at house brnaking, the two young pTowlers got the trunk to the floor without making any particular noise. It was locked, this trunk, but a few vigorous prods with one of the chisels scattered the parts of the fastening. "Hold the light, Tom," Barry thrilled, as he bent oveT the trunk. Tom did as directed, while Jack delved eagedy into the contents of the trunk, which was only about one-thiTd full. "Seems to be all legal papers," Jack announced, in his eager whisper. "We can't caTt 'em all away, so I suppose we'll have to look 'em through here. Put the lamp on the flooT, and I'll sit down and go through the lot." With a dozen legal-looking papers in his lap, our heTo began to read. "A mortgage," he checked off. "And another mortgage. A 'conveyance.' A deed. Why, thesQ are all old Gregg's


, I WRIT'I'EN IN CIPHER. 13 legal papers straight enough, and nothing to give a ghost of a clew to anything." "Wha:t we're looking :for will be there somewhere," soothed Tom. "Get another armful, and have another look." Jack rose, standing over the trunk. Tom, on his knees, turned t.o watch. Both were absorbed in their r work, but Jack's keen ears were still on duty. Look out!" Jack exclaimed, suddenly, in a whisper; "The law has a whole lot of funny words to explain what people do," he jeered. "Well?" sneered Gregg. "Last Saturday night, for instance, Mr. Gregg." "wen, what then?" Jack stepped close to the old man before he whispered : "Might as well be careful, Mr. Gregg. Tom and I know all about that visitor last Saturday night. You know, the one whom you said you'd kill for a cent. We heard all that!" "Some one coming!" If our hero expected to see Gregg weaken he was misFootsteps, stealthy though they were, sounded on the taken. stairs. Instead, the old man threw both arm's around the boy. Then the white-bearded old man appeared. As in a vise, he held the boy and searched hia pockets. He was followed by a scowling ruffian, armed with a rifle. Then, fl.ashingly, he held up a thick roll .of bank-notes. The boys were caught in the act,, of examining the papers! "So! You've been robbing my chest of the money that "Thought I heard some one coming," Jack tried to say was hidden away there? That's.what you were here for!" and pleasantly. Jack, released, reeled back, staring at Gregg in amazeBut the words froze on his lips under the savage glare ment. that Zach Gregg gave them. "You put that money i.n my yourself and took "Thieves, eh?" snarled the old man. it out again," blurted the boy. "Why, no, sir Jack protested. "We were rummaging "Did, eh?" jeered the old man. here :for a lark." "Yes; and it's a chestnutty, mean, low-down trick that Tom Eustis appeared too stricken with terror to say won't :fool anybody." anything. "We'll see about that," sneered Zach Gregg. "This "Don't let 'em get away!" Gregg warned the rascal with money was in the chest, and you took it out. You mea.nt h to steal i.t. That's why you burglarized this room. See Im. "They won't get :far!" growled the man, holding the rifle so that he could turn it on either one of them. There he remained on the stairs, with the rifle's muzzle thrust in under the railing, ready to shoot' a,t need. But Zach Gregg, quite unafraid of two juvenile burglars, finishing climbing the stairs and stood between them. "Well," he demanded, harshly, "what did you expect to find here?" "Captain Kidd's treasure," joshed Jack. Zach's :face blackened with a diabolical scowl. "Don't try to get fresh with me, boy! Tell the truth and the whole of it. Why did you break into this room, and why are you going through my private papers?" "I've told you, sir, that we did it just for a lark," Jack lied, desperately. "We were curious, and so we came in to nose around. I suppose any other boys would be as curious about a my erious room." "Queer kind o:f curiosity," snarled the old man. "There's another name :for this kind of work. Know what it is?" "What is it, sir?" came from Jack, for Tom was still fa.r too scared to mutter a single word. "L:igal word," hinted Gregg. "What is it, sir?" "Burglary!" How Gregg's eyes gleamed as he uttered the threatening word. Then he laughed harshly as he saw the pallor creep into our hero's cheeks. But Jack, a:fter the first moment of daze, proved equal to the occasion. i:f any sane person won't believe that?" "You don't mean--" Jack began, quiveringly. "Get downstairs with you! Both of you! March!" The man with the went down ahead o:f them, waiting at the floor below. Zach Gregg brought up the rear, with the two boys between him. They went along, quietly enough, for the simple reaaon that there was no chance to resist. "Burglary, and stealing my money!" stormed the old man, as he :forced his two youthful victims into his sitting room, while the with the gun mounted guard alertly "What's the use of saying that, Mr. Gregg, when you know it ain't true?" Jack Barry blazed, indignantly. "What do you mean to do to us." "What do I mean to do?" echoed the old man, with a gasp o:f amazement. "Why, I'm going to do just what any other man would do who finds burglars in his house. I'm going to send you off to jail. Rot there, too, confound you, you young prowling sneaks!" "Won't you listen to reason, sir?" urged Jack. "Yes, I'll listen to any real reason that you can give :for being there in my store-i:oom," retorted the old man, his eyes glaring like those of a wild beast at bay. "But I've already told you, sir, that we went in there just out of plain curiosity." "And I tell you that you lie, Jack Barry thundered the old man. "That yarn might do :for some boys, but you're a boy of too much brains, Jack Barry. You had some stronger reason, and you're hiding it from me. Bi1t I can send you behind the bars to stay. and that's enough


14 WRITTEN IN CIPHER. for me. To jail you go. Watch 'em, Boggs, and see that' they don't get away. I'm going for a constable." Boggs! The man who could supply missing clews in this tangled skein in which there was not yet as much as one straight clew! Jack heard the name, and fairly trembled. Here before him stoo d the man who knew all that our hero burned to know. Here the man, and he standing guard untii an officer could come and put an end to 'a.11 the activity that Jack Barry had planned What, then, was to become of the skein and its unrav elling? Jack felt his knees giving way beneath him. "Mr. Gregg, won't you listen--" he faltered, des perately. Bang It was the door closing after the departing old man. Jack raced toward the door. "Come or I'll blow your hBad off!" It was Boggs, levelling the rifle full at our hero's head. In the scoundrel's sma ll, snapping black eyes was a glint that showed with how much relish he would pull the t rigge r. Truly, Boggs did not look like the kind of man from whom to force information freely Jack, with a sigh of utte r helplessness, turned. "Come back her e! ordered Boggs. "Oh, you needn't be afraid--" began Jack. "I ain't," grinned Boggs. "I don't want to get away." "So I've been noticing." "Can' t you be decent, Mr. Boggs? Or do you feel that you have to be as nasty and unreasonabl e as Gregg him self?" "Calling the old man names are you?" ''Well, he's sure unrea sona ble." "That's hi s business," retorted Boggs, grim l y "But what do you mean to do with us?" "Kill you, if you. try to get away before the old man comes back!" "Bosh! You wou ldn't dare to shoot boys!" "Try me!" dared Boggs. "I'll follow orders from Gregg He always stands by a fellow, and pays well for what he wants done." So Boggs the utter and willing tool of the old man, held in lea sh by money? "It'd be a mi g hty hard job getting anything out of Boggs!" quavered Jac k Barry, hi s heart sinking. Tom Eus tis had sunk, tremblingly, upon a chair, where he sat motionless, the picture of misery. "Won't you let us go? pleaded Jack. "Nary go!" grinned Boggs. "That is, not until you go to jail." "You don't mean it-can't mean it!" screamed Jack. Then Boggs laughed a gruff, evil laugh. For .Jack Barry, abandoning himself to his anguish, threw himself on the floor, rolling over and over as he sobbed. CHAPTER VII. THE BOYS WHO TURNED BATS. "What good'll that do you?" leered Boggs, unfeelingly, as he watched the unhappy boy. Then the watcher turned to leer at T om Eustis, drawn up in a heap of misery on the chair. But that instant's glance proved the undoing of the watcher. For Jack, who had been rolling nearer and nearer as he sobbe d, suddenly saw the chance for which he was waiting. Like a fl.ash, Jack Barry was up, his head diving in between the man's legs. Up rose Jack, like a fl.ash, bearing the other on his shoulders. In a twinkling Boggs slipped and fell, landing rather heavily on his head. "Scoot, To:in, scoot shrieked Jack. Our hero made a dive for the gun, which had fallen on the floor. But Boggs, groaning considerably, did not seem in-clined to get up. J ac k, too, scooted for the door, following in the wake of agile Tom. "Gr-r-r-r-r !" came the growling chorus of the tied-up bulldogs. "For the woods, Tom panted Jack, and both boys hoofed it as if for dear life. "There! Now we can stop for breath, I reckon," panted our hero, as they got in under the trees. "But, gracious! That was a close squeak!" "Where'll we go now, I want to know?" Tom demanded, between panting gasps for breath. "That's so," Jack uttered, in new dismay. "Where can we go?" "Gregg'll send the constables after us, anyway." "And folks'll take his word that we were robbing him. It look s like jail Tom, poor old fellow!" "W fire outlaws," said Eustis, solemnly. "That's just it!" cried Jack, suddenly almost happy. "We're outlaws, rovers, fugitives! We'll have to keep out of the way, and we'll get a h eap of fun out of doing it." "Huh!" Tom uttered, disgustedly. "I'd rather not be an outlaw, thank you." "Oh, take your choice!" Jack mocked. "But w-w-what can we do?" "Hide, and plenty quick, too. If we're seen, we'll be nabbed ahd locked up." "And it'll be the same to-morrow," Tom muttered, dole fully. "Then we'll have to stay hidden to-morrow."


.. WRITTEN IN CIFiiER. 11 11 And what'll we eat?'; quive:red Bustis, who could never get far from his stomach. "Why, 'We can run down to the store and lay in a stock. I;ve got the store key. Hang it, no! We can't go to the store, either. It's right in the '\Tillage, lllld we'd be seen and pinched." "Good-by to three squares, then came the dismal sigh. "Why, Tom, after all, 1 think 1 can :fix that." "llow ?'' "Mr. Crothers's house is out of the village. No one would look there for us. We'll go over there and. try to wake Dot up." "How?" "We might toss pebbles up and in through her window." "She'll be scared, and holler :for help." "Dot scared?" .Jack you dare say that agam. She am't that kmd of a girl. "Well, we'll try, then," Tom assented, as Jack moved off. "I'm beginning to feel hungry already." Jack snorted, and led the way in silence. They were soon out of the woods, and moving rapidly along the narrow :r;oad on which the Crothers house stood. It was a little cottage, w ell away from neighbors. At this late hour all the lights were the family sound asleep. "That's Dot's window, I'm sure," whispered Barry, pointing, as they halted at the edge of the little lawn. "But I'rn beginning to be shaky, now. I don't know just how Dot'll tak!'! this sort of freshness. She's a girl with plenty of spunk when she gets it up." "We'll be hungry in the morning, if we don't get some nudged Tom. "Yes; and we'll need Dot in the morning, too," Jack admitted. here goes to see how she'll stand for it." Leaving Tom at the edge of the lawn, our hero stole for ward, gathering up a few pebbles as he moved. Under her window, he cautiously tossed one of the little missiles in through her window on the floor above. Whack What a noise the thing made as it landed on the floor jn the of the late night! Plunk! That second one made a much lighter sound, as if it had fallen on the girl's bed. Chug! That, again, went on the floor. There was the sound of a low exclamation, and then of some one moving above. Jack, with his heart in his mouth, waited until he saw Dot's shapely litt]e head appear at the window. "Who's that?" she called, in a tone hardly above a whisper. "Jack!" "Jack who?" "Barry." "Wait a minute." Then, as our hero crouched there, close to the wall, he heard her moving about the room. After that all was still, for a few moments, until the front door of the cQttage opened softly. Footsteps, and then Dot trod softly around the corner of the house. "Jack, what does this mean?" she whispered. "Will you come over under the tree? Tom's there." Dot nodded, theTu walked at Jack's side, a very serious look on her sweet young face. Eustis awaited them eagerly, though he looked a trifle shamefaced. "Now; what's wrong, boys?" demanded Dot, as she hal ted under the trees. "Well, I reckon the constables want us," Jack answered, his color rising. "What for?" she shot out, point-blank. "They'll call it burglary, I suppose." Dot gave a queer little catch at her br e ath then demanded: "Oh, Jack, that wasn't really what you wanted those chisels for?" "No," Barry replied, truthfully enough. "But we used 'em, just the same, to-night," Tom put in, eagerly. Dot again looked startled, until Jack jumped into the breach. "Tom, you shut up! Dot, I guess I'd better tell you the whole thing, from the beginning. You're a girl that knows how to keep a s ecret." "Thank you; I think I am," Dot smiled, pleased at this compliment. Then Jack plunged into the telling of the whole story. Standing there in the dark shadow under the trees, Dot Crothers listened for at leas t :fifteen minutes. Then Jack had it all t9ld. "I'm glad it wasn't anything sneaky, boya," she said, gravely. "But we're in big trouble, ju s t the s ame, breathed Jack. "You can go away for a while." "But then how will I ever find out anything more about this whole tangle, Dot?" "That's true." "You know our cave, Dot?" She nodded, eagerly. Often had she peered into the cave, when in company of the two boys.' This cave was a little, close affair, that ran a short dis tance into the face of a low cliff over in the woods. Its entrance, in summer, was hidden by a clump of bushes that grew there. This cave was a "secret" with these three young people. Many the romance they had spun about it! "What on earth--" "Dot, I'm in trouble!" "Stomach ache?" "Don't tease, Dot. Can you come down?" "You're ncit fooling me, Jack Barry?" "Not a bit. It's real trouble, Dot!" "I've been thinking, Dot," our hero went on. "You could come to us in the morning. Go out with that big 1 tin case that you gather flowers into when you're afte r botany specimens. Then folks won't think anything about


WRITTEN IN crPHER. it if they see you go prowling through the woods. You can come to the cave and tell us the news nd then maybe I can think of something else you can do for u:s. Will you do it, Dot?" "Of course I will," she replied, simply and directly. ':Oh, boys, you can't realize how glad I am that you haven't really been up to something wrong!" Jack pressed her hand in silence, then remembered and asked: "Dot, can you smuggle us out a little food in that tin flower can?" "Nothing surer, J a.ck "Then, good. night, Dot, and thank you ever so much. We mustn't keep you out here longer. It don't look right." "Who's to see us?" laughed Dot. But she and made her way noiselessly back to the cottage. Jack and Tom watched until she had gone inside, and had waved her hand from her window. "Now for the cave!" breathed Jack, after a last look after the trim, slim little figure that had vanished from the window. "She's a brick!" glowed Tom. "Of course she is!" Jack cried, proudly. "She's a real girl." It was not needful to go back into the village in order to reach the stretch of woods in which their cave lay. Ten minutes later Jack paused before thick bushes that grew at the foot of the low cliff. He held back the boughs while Tom crawled through. Then Barry followed into the dark, rather damp little hole. No need of a bed was the r e In form e r times tJie boys had strewn the floor of thi s cave with lea".es. "This is comfort, after all," yawned Tom Eustis, as he stretched himself out flat on the bed of leaves. "It's safety, anyway," Jack returned. "But I hope Dot don't forget the grub in the morning," quivered Eustis. "Don't you worry about Dot s lipping up on anything that belongs to her to do," warned Jack. G-r-r-r Tom was snoring! CHAPTER VIII. THE DIRT A RIVAL CAN DO. Plumb, clean tired out, Jack Barry slept on his bed of leaves until the cht 'uch bells woke him up that Sunday morI\ing. Gr-r-r-r Tom was still asleep, snoring rather hard. "Quit that racket!" ordered Barry, giving his chum a hard poke. Tom rolled over slightly and quit snoring, though he did not awake. As for Jack, sleep was banished for the rest of that day. He lay there, in the heart of -the woods, in tha,t u.n.kilQWD little cave, thinking, thinking, thinking l Not of his own peril was he thinking, either, but of th.at badly tangled skein in which his own mother's hi.swry must form one of the threads. "I'll know all about it before I'm through,'' he throbbed. "But what my mother could have had to do with old Zach Gregg beats me. Did she even know him? Yet-Jupiter She was killed in a railroad accident clo:se to this town Could she have been on her way here to see Gregg about anything?" The thought stirred up the boy like an electric shock. He fairly squirmed with tlie puzzle of it all. Yet, to save him, he could not think it out. It had not been such hard work to solve the cipher. But to guess this greater riddle-that was a task "And Boggs, who holds the key-he's bought over by the enemy. Not a word out of Boggs!" growled the boy. "Whistle, my lad, and I'll come to you!" trilled a young voice clmie by. It was Dot 's voice, s inging softly as she stepped her way through between the bushes. Jack did whistle-just a soft, low little measure that he and Dot both knew. Then she appeared, suddenly, before the Dot certainly looked wonderfully nice in her pretty, white, Sunday dress. "All right in there?" she hailed, pausing beside the bushes. "All right!" Jack smiled, as he parted the bushes and looked out. "How's your appetite?" she laughed, as she opened the lid to the big tin specimen can that she carried With her. "Appetite famous," nodded the boy. Dot passed in sandwiches, a can of baked beans and a can-opener. "This'll have to last you until evening," she whispered. "I didn't dare rob t.he pantry of more, or it would be missed." "This is a feast!" glowed Barry , gratefully. "But "7'hat's t.he news, Dot?" "Bad! Tough!" "Gregg has made a charge against us, then?" Dot nodded, looking down. "But you don't believe it, Dot?" "Of course I don't-Jack," she retorte d, raising her eyes and looking full at him, "Then I don't care a hang what any one else thinks!" cried the boy. "Yes, I do, though, of course-poor, de11r old Deacon Spencer and his wife What do they say?" "I haven't seen Mrs. Spencer, Jack. But the deacon is all broken up." "Does he believe that we're thieves?" "He says he can't and won't believe it." "Good old deacon!" throbbed the boy. "But what do other folks say ?"


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. "Some believi yolire ba.d 'boys, and other.s don't." "But mostly, I suppose, Dot, folks do believe we tried to rob old Gregg? Eh ?'1 "Well, at least half the folks in town are against you. But that isn't the worst of it," Dot added, tears again coming to her eyes. "What's wrong then, Dot? Don't be afraid to tell me. I can stand anything as long as you're not against me." "It isn't so much what folks say--" "Then-what?" "Mr. Gregg has got every one looking for you." "How has he done that?" "By offering a reward." "Reward?" "He has offered one thousand dollars for either of you, dead or alive!" choked the girl. "Whew! Lordy, he doe s intend to get us, doesn t he?" "He's the meanest old scoundrel that ever lived," Dot half sobbed. "No m'atter, girly We'll get even with him. I won' t rest until I do." "I wish I could do something to help!" Dot cried, full of vimful energy. Her eyes :fl.ashed with an eager light. "Why, I'm sure that you can't help, Dot." "How, Jack?" "You've got that botany can with you." "Yes, yes I" "Aud Gregg doesn't kn.ow that you and I are-chums?" "No-o, I .suppose not." ".And every one in the town, Dot, is used to seeing you off gathering specimens of plants. Why can't you go over to Gregg's place and ask him for permission to gather speci mens on his groUllds? He couldn't very well object." "What's the rest of the plan, Jack?" Dot eagerly de manded. "Why, if old Gregg s cared he'll likely s end for some of his accomplices to-day,.if he has any Just nose around in his grcmnds, Dl)t as if looking for spec imen s But keep your "eyes open to see who visits him. Then come here later and tell me." "bd is that all, Jack?" "That's all I can think of, Dot." "Then I'll do it!" "Good little Dot! But before you go--" "Well?" "Do you think you could reach your face half way in between the bushes?" "Why?" But as she thrust her face obediently forward Jack Barry caught her by the shoulders and promptly kissed her. Dot :flushed and flustered. She was not used to such liberties. "That'll do!" Dot said, hurriedly. "It'll have to, if you're goirig to be hard-hearted," sighed Jack. "Hard-hearted? When you're in trouble?" Dot thrust her flushed face in again between the leaves, and Jack snatched another kiss. Then, turning, with a. very red face, she scurried away. "A thousand dollars for either of us-dead or alive?" throbbed the boy. "Lordy, this is mighty close to being like war between old Gregg and us two youngster s But I'm forgetting Tom's stomach!" He awoke his chum and displayed the food. Tom fell to in splendid earnest. In fact both boys at e eagerly, and, as they did so, Jack, in whispers, told the news. They finished every morsel of the food, and every thr e:i:l. of the scanty but startling news. Then, through the day, they lay there and watche

18 WRITTEN l:N CIPHER. Then, as swiftly, our hero drew himself noiselessly back into his concealment. More foot steps were sounding dose at hand. A man tramped by, perhaps fifty feet away. He car ried a shotgun, and both boys knew him-Williams, a constable in the villa .ge. "After the blood-money!" Jack thrilled, disgustedly. "And I can't get out on the trail of that man Dot's with! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" Yet Jack fidgetted waited, hoping that the constable would hurry along on his way. Williams, much to the contrary, appea .re.d to have taken a sudden liking to the spot. He halted and stood looking all around him But at last he started forward again, when he had un knowingly but utterly hindered our hero from going on the trail of that <#;her man. More minutes passed, and then Dot was swiftly before them. "That man--" Jack began, in a breathless whisper. "He called at Gregg's," Dot nodded. "That's the very fellow we thought Gregg had killed." "He was at Gregg's a little while ago," Dot hurried on. ''When he was l ea ving he asked me for directions. I told him I'd show him the way. That was so I could take him by here. I thought a sight of him would be oceans better than jus t a deseription o.f him." "Dot, that man is the key to the whole puzzle!" vibrated Barry. "Oh, dear, I w ish I'd knoWn. it!" "Dot, do you know who he is, where he lives, or where he went?" "He went to the railroad depot, and had to run to get his train," Dot replied, remorsefully. "Oh, dear, why didn't I guess how important a man he was." "No matter, Dot. You'll know him if you see him again." "And stupid me I went home first, instead of coming s traight back! But I thought you'd be hungry, and so-'' Dot opened her specimen can, and began pass ing in food. "I'll have to be here again in the morning," she went on, 1Jravely. "I don't dare take too much at a time, or I'll get caught. Worst of all, that might lead to your being caught." "All I'm worried about, Dot, is your being caught here," cried Jack, in alarm. "Oh, don't mind that," laughed the girl. "That would b e easily explf!-ined. You could just M any one suppose I had just found you by accident.'; "You must hurry home now, anyway, Dot. It'll soon be plumb dark in these woods." "Yes, I'll go now. Good night, boys-and you'll see me in the morning!" Dot scurried away, while the boys fell to eating. They were still at it, five minutes lat.er, when other 3 t eps sounded-stealthy steps at that. Then, suddenly, the muzzles of two shotguns were thrust in through the leaves, while a harsh voice commanded: "Get out of that, you young scalawags You're caught all :cight. Come out, I tell you!" "Dead or alive-and perhaps old Gregg would sooner pay for us dead!" throbbed Jack. "Coming out before we shoot?" challenged a voice. "Yes," Jack answered, dully. He crawled out, followed by Tom. In the dusk the two young fugitives stared at the hard faces of-their captors---two constables. And th ere, grinning and smirking behind them, was Matt Boler, red-headed, freckled and mean to the core. Matt had the impudence to fancy himself in b>ve with He hated our hero with all the hatred of an unlucky lover for a succl!ssful rival. Now, in a flash, Jack Barry understood. Matt Boler, in some way, had suspected that D<>t wu took us alive." "Oho You've heard about the reward, have you.?" At this eager que stio n from the constable, Jack became at once silent. He dreaded to say anything that could possibly lead to mixing Dot up in this business. "How did you hear about the reward?" demanded the othe r office,r, Cons table Williams. "Didn't you just give me a hint of it?" Jack demanded. "That wasn't enough for you to know that you was to be taken dead or alive. This thing will have tC> be looked into." "Look into it all you want!" Jack retorted, "Some one has been giving you a tip." "All right," smiled Jack. "Some one has been giving you a tip, too." With that our hero turned and glowered at Matt Boler. "Oh, you needn't mind me!" sneere d Matt. "I'm doing well and feeling well, thank you. I get a third o:f the thousand dollars "You'd sell out your own father .and mother :for less than that!" flared Barry "Now we won't have any 1hard words," hinted Haley, good-naturedly. "We'll just attend to business. You boys,


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. 19 being valuable to us, we'll take you along in a business-like boys in the rabble dinned in their ears as the young prisonway." ers were led inside. With that he produced a pair of handcuffs. They stopped in the office a moment, for "booking." 'l'his Jack :flushed with the shame 0 it all; Tom gmaned. done with, the youngsters were led out into fue ceU:room. "You don't have to do-that," protested our hero. "Room 3, boys," grihned Constable Haley, as he thrust "Opinions differ," returned the constable. "Watch 'em, them into a cell. Willia.ms, while I rig 'em out." There he took the hand cuffs from their wrists. There was no use in resisting. These officers craved the reward and meant to have it. They would shoot either youngster who dared to bolt. Click click Jack felt as if turning to ice as the stee l rings snapped tight about his wrists. Then Tom was served in the same fashion. "Now we're pretty sure of you," announced Haley. March! You know the right direction." Matt Boler, ashamed in spite of himself, slunk well behind the constables as fue little party turned into the near est village street. People were just coming out for their Sunday sum.mer evening strolls. Anything like the sight of prisoners under armed guarcl is always enough to collect a crowd in a small town. Scores of men, worn.en and children turned and followed the party that was heading for the lock -up. "That's Jack Barry and Tbm Eustis. They've turp.ed burglars." "Always thought those boys would come to a bad end!" '"l'hey 'll always be regular jail-birds after this." "Tom's father is a worthless hulk, anyway. Like father, like son." nobody knows anything about Barry's father and mother. -Pretty queer people, most likely." These comments and others were made without any particular effort to keep them from reaching fue ears of the boys. Both flu s hed and paled alternately. "If anything would make a criminal of me, it would be the itch to get loose a nd hit some of these mean wretches over the head." But the small boys were ;worse than their elders. "Stop thief!" "How does it feel to get pinched?" "You get great grnb at th e jail "Jack Barry's a burglar!" "Tom. Eustis is a thief!" Nowhere on the streets did Jack catc h sight of Dot, or any member of her family. For this much, at least, he was thankful. Nor were good olcl Deacon Spenc!':)r or his wife in th e throng. Burning hot, Jack heaved a sigh of relief when he found him self at the door of the village lock-up. "Thief!" "Ring or anything you want," grinned fue officer, as he slipped o:utside and locked the iron-barred door. Then they were alone, yet not alone, for they eould hear, further down the corridor, the restless steps of the officers who had arrested them, and who were determined not to let such valuable prisoners get away. "Tom, old fellow," whispered Jack, his lips trembling, "I've got you into this fearful scrape." "Forget it!" retorted Tom, doggedly. "I'd rather b e in a scrape with you, Jack, than in clover with some peo ple I know." Barry g ripped his chum's hand hard. "There'll be a way out of this, i there's justice ,in heaven," Jack choked. "No matter," grunted Eustis. "We won't worry. I believe dad got in jail once. It won't do me any harm, I guess." Putting his lips close to his chum's ear, Jack whispered: "Old Zach Gregg has a pretty good idea of how far we're on his trail, or he never'd have gone to this len gth." "Then he won't stop short at much of anything," Tom retorted. "He won't let matters drop at this pqint." There were visitors now a.t the cell door. Deacon Spen cer and his aged wife stood out there in the con!dor. "Jack," faltered the good old man, "I can't believe that you've done any serious wrong. I don't believe it, and I won't. If it does you any good, l ad, to know that your friends stick by you in your trouble, then feel as happy as Y.OU can over it. When you come up in court I'm go1ng to see that you have a lawyer to look out for you." "And he'll work for Tom, too, won't he, Deacon?" Jack demanded, eagerly. "It was through me that Tom got in to this scrape." "The lawyer'll work for Tom, too," the deacon promised. I can't believe that either of you are bad boys, though you may have got into some mischief." "Of course they ain t bad boys," chimed in Mrs. Spencer, ea rnestly. "And I've brought you some supper The offi cers say you can have it." She passed two boxes of "best home cooking" in through the bars. "And now you'll keep your spirits up, won't you, boys?" demanded the old man. 'Cause you know no harm can come to them that do right." "And you won't forget to say your prayers, boys?" Mrs. Spencer urged. "That does a heap o' good when you're in trouble." "Burglar!" For some minutes more the old couple talked, and then "Got pinched!" went away. "Oh my! Ain't they stuck up about it?" Tom's mother, Mrs. Eustis, a hard-working, faded little The volleY, 0 jeer s and taunts from some of the small woman, came next.


20 WRIT'DEN IN CIPHER. She was sobbing hard. "Oh, Tom, how could you do such a thi:.ig ?" she cried. "I didn't," Tom returned, promptly. "We're not either," Jack shouted, defiantly. telling Mr. Perkins that--" "But you can't make any one believe that," moaned the tormented woman. "Oh, I guess we can, mother," Tom replied, cheerily. "Deacon Spencer has just been h(lre to s ay that he'll get a good lawyer for us." a lawyer can't help much, when ther e s them as will s wear they caught you with the s tolen money on you." Tom tried to cheer his mother, though not with huge s uccess, for she went away, weeping. "That's harder than getting arrested," s ighed T om, try ing hard to keep the tears back after hi s mother had gone. They were not destined to be without visitor s Gregg and Boggs s tood outside the door scowling in at them With them was Perkins, the1 head con s table of the village. "Those ar e the young scoundrel s," Gre g g declared hotly. "Perkins, I c harge you to see that they don't get away." "We'll hold 'em all right, sir," the head constable prom ised. "You must warned Gregg, "fo1 the s e young s coundrels have threatened that they'll take m y life if ever they get loose." Jack gasped in s heer amazement. This was lying, pure and s imple Neither he nor T'om had ever even hinted at such a threa.t. But Perkins chos e to believe th e rich man. "Don't you be une asy, Mr Gr egg These young desperad .oes won t n e v e r g e t a.way from this jail." "I want you to make sure of it, continued the old ma.n. "Oh, I'll mak e s ure of it, sir "But I want y ou to make doubl y sure. Perkins, this man with me, Mr. Boggs, is a wholl y reliable fellow. You have authorit y to s wear him in a s a s pecial constable and I want you to do it." "A special?" repeated the head con sta.ble. "What for, Mr. Gregg?" "So he ca.n help your regular men watch the s e young criminals to-night." "I protest!" cried Jack, leaping up from his cot and leaping at the barred iron door. "There, you see!" CTied Gregg triumphantl y "These young criminals have their plan s alr ea dy made to get away fr<>m They object to having my man put her e as an extra watcher." "Yes, we do object!" Jack cri e d with tre m e ndous vim. "We object for every reason. Mr. P e rkins, Gr e g g wants to leavl'! this man guarding us so that he c an work some f e ar ful deviltry. You don't know Zach Gr egg's wick e dness as I do. This fellow, Bogg s i s his paid tool for doing the wickedest kind of dirty work. You'v e c on s t a bles enough, Mr. Perkins. If y ou leave this fell o w Boggs to watch us, I warn you that s omething will happen that will make yO'll s orry." "You needn t trouble to tell me anything," broke in the head con s table, as he turned to walk away, followed by Gregg and Boggs. "Remember, I protest!" Jack shouted after them Then he turned to Tom Eustis. Dismay was written in both their faces "That's about the.limit of old Gregg's wickedne ss!" Jack quivered "Who can tell what'll happen if Boggs chances to be left alone with us late at night?" "It's awful!" chattered Tom. A harsh laugh at the door drew their attention there. "We ll I'm appointed special con s table," said Boggs, in a low, jeering voice. "You scoundrel!" Jack hissed. "Keep the change!" s neered Boggs, turning on his heel anCl going a ,few paces down the corridor. "It won t pay for both of us to sleep at the same time to-night," Tom whispered quiv e ringly in his friend s ear. "Oh, I won t s leep anyway," Jack returned, dismally. On either s ide of the cell wa.s a rough bench that s erved al s o as a bed The two youngsters seated them s elves, staring dismally at each other and then for a change, at floor or walls. At the further end of the room was a window at which the y often looked longingl y It was open, and beyond was the world. But over this opening stout iron bar s were fastened. Eleven o'clo c k came, and the town outside was still Boggs walked down, from time to time, and peered jeeringly into the cell. But the rascal was not yet a.lone. There were two other con s tables on duty with him. "Late in the night Bogg s will find s ome excu s e to s end the other fellow s out for a while," Jack whispered a s he bent forward over Tom. "Then we'll find out what real reason was for sending him here." Clink! A v e r y tiny pebble fell on the floo r at Jack's feet Barry started staring around him. What could this mean? Clink! Another! And through the open window too "Get to the door Jack whispered to his clrnm and Tom s tealthily obe yed. Whump A rath e r larger s tone came in this time but it stopped, neatly cau ght in Jack's hands. There was a cord tied around this st.one. Ev e n a s Jack gazed wonderingly at the cord, he felt it being twitc11e d from outsid e He gave it a twitch in turn. Now the cord came in loo s ely, as Barry pulled it sle>wly I m "You see?" le e red th e old man. threats against you now, Perkins." "They're making There at the very end of t.he cord, :fluttered a card "Dot's writing!" he quivered as he held the ca.rd close to his eyes in that dim light. "Oh, the blessed girl! She wants to tell me that she's staunch, 'no matter what hap pens." But Jatk ha.d another guess coming.


WRITTEN IN 11 It was a very different message that greeted. his eyes as he read: "I overheard Gregg tell that man to be alone with you late to-night,'' ran Dot's pencilled news. "He's to kill you both, and swear that you were shot while trying to escape. Desperate Pull the string again." That was all. There was no signature, but Jack Barry needed none. Like a flash he let the string out again, waiting breath" lessly until he felt another twitch. Once more he hauled carefully in. There was a slight clinking sound, which made him draw in the cord more cautiously. He rubbed his eyes hard as he got the further encl of the cord once more within his grasp. For, this time, there were tied to the card three small 5teel picks that Dot must have got out of her father's black smith shop. Hastily untying them, Jack slipped them into his pocket. He twitched the cord once more. There was an answer ing tug from outside. Feverishly, our hero pencilled on the other side of the card: "God bless you! Now skip, quick, out of harm'lii way. We'll do the rest." This he tied to the cord and threw the whole affair out. "I hope Dot gets mighty quick," our hero quivered. "Gracious, what chances that girl is taking to help me out 0 my scrape. But I'd rather be hung than have her caught at it!" He crossed the cell on tip-toe, nudging at Tom, who stood faithfully on .guard at the cell door. Just for an instant Jack displayed the tools, and made a sign that his friend understood. Then Barry was quickly back at the window. He knew for just what purpose the tools had been in. The jail was old. The window-bars, set deep in brick and mortar, were secure enough unless some one had the tools for picking out the mortar. Trusting to Eustis to pass the alarm in time, if n.ny one came, Jack worked with the fury of fever, yet with the stealth of desperation. That mortar proved softer t}fan he had dared to hopesofter, undoubtedly, than the village authorities had guessed. One bar was loose at th& end of five minutes' work. Then another, and a third. The middle one Jack wrenched from its fastenings, yet so softly as to make no noise. The other two bars, still fastened at the top, he pushed aside. Now the opening was big enough. They could get through. "Tom!" Jack whispered the one syllable, and pointed. Tom understood, but shook his head. "You :first, Jack!" "Not until you're out." "I won't go first." "Yes, you will! Don't waste a second of our precious time, Tom! And be careful! Not a sound! Hurry, or we'll get caught. Lordy, what an excuse this would give Boggs!" That decided Eustis. With Jack's help he climbed up, Wriggled softly through, then let himself down outside. Just twenty seconds later Jack Barry thudded softly on the ground. He turned to find Eustis at his side. Just beyond, in the darkness, a white handkerchief, waving, urged them forward across the back yard of the jail. "It's Dot-'-reckless girl!" came Jack's thrilling whisper, as he pushed Tom forward. From inside came the frantic bawl in Boggs's voice: "The prisoners are loose! Quick!" CHAPTER X. THE WORD THAT STAGGERED JACK BARRY. The handkerchief lowered, but Dot stuck to her post until the softly running boys reached her. "You dear, heedless girl Jack Barry choked, as he caught at her arm and forced her along with them. "You're out, anyway!" flashed back the girl. "And you've got to get away, Dot!" "I'll get away all right. It's you I'm worried about." "Leave us, Dot." "I hate to, Jack." "You must-now!" Can you--" "Run! God bless you, Dot! Good night! Hurry!" They had reached the corner of the stables at the opposite corner of this lot at the back of the lock-up. Beyond was a lighted street. Dot hurried away by a darker thoroughfare. Now the boys, hunted, as they ki;iew they would be, darted in through the open door of the stable. "We may get caught in here," panted Jack, "but we can't take a bigger chance on the street." "Oh, I don't think they'll look for us as close ais thiR,'' Tom whispered back. "They'll think we're farther away." "Who's there?" called a voice from the open doonvay. Frozen with terror, the boys crouched back in the dark ness against the wall. "Must have been the rats," they heard a man's voice mutter. Yet the newcomer stood listening for a few moments, while the scared boys dared not breathe. "Hullo! What's the row over at the jail?" muttered the stranger, turning to look out of the door. "Guess I might as well walk around and see." For, by this time, many voices sounded at the lock-up.


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. And now, right on top of it all, came the loud clanging of th e bell tha t announced a pris oner's escape. "We've got to scoot for it like blazes !'t trembled Jack. "Try to r each th e s tor e with me, Tom!" Jac k s lid out through a s ide door crouching low and li s t e ni ng a s h e r a n s oftl y Tom k ept ju s t a t hi s heel s So they turned around the corner of another building. Ahea d o.f them lay the lighted stre e t. If they could but cross that without being seen they co uld th e n reach the back of D e acon Sp ence r' s store. But foots t e p s and voices sounded. Two o f the con s tables w e re comin g thi s way. Swift as tho u ght,' Jack du c ked into an empty rain-barrel. His s i g nal brou ght T o m aft e r him. Down they c ro u c h e d w e d ged clo s e together, th e t ops of th eir head s jus t b elow the rim of th e big b arrel. s ite, but Barry, who was some ten feet behind his chum, heard the sharp, hot hi s s of a bullet just over his head. Then Barr y caught up with his friend. "Around this building, and then ro the store!" throbbed our hero. "Oh, quick, Tom!" Speedin g on their toes, ma.king scarc e l y a s ound, the hunted boys reached the rear door o.f Deacon Spencer's store. Jack thrust his key in the lock, turned the b olt, drew the key out again. They could hear footstep s and voices close at hand. "In with you!" pul sed Jack. He s ta g gered in after his friend, pushed the door s wiftly but s oftly to and stood f e eling as if he would reel and faint. Tom, too l e an e d a g ain s t the closed door which Jack did n o t dare lock for fear the grating of the key would betray th e m "Like lookin g for a n e edl e in a hay stack, they h e ard "I saw them cros s the s treet declared an excited voice, H a l e y say, a s tha t officer halted within t e n fee t o f th e outside, and not more than a dozoo feet away. barrel. "You dreamed it,'t scoffed another voice. "The little rascals may be much nearer than w e think,'' "No, I didn't!" growle d William s "You shouldn't shoot wild like that. Might hit some ''.To think of letting good"' money get away a s easy as o ne." that!" Hal e y groaned. "Where can they have gone to?" "Won't Gregg pay if w e don' t get the kid s back? "I don't believe you saw them." "Of course he won't-no t a c e nt. It mak e s me cra.zy to "Get a lantern and if we can find footprints,'' argued thiaj< o f los ing so mu c h money !" one of the speakers, just before the voices passed out of "No u s e running down the street, anywa y l the kids hearing. have g ot far, we won't find 'em in the dark "Oh, Jupiter!" ga s ped Barry. "The n l et's search close 'ca u s e mayb e th ey're n ot far "They'll find us y et, if we stay here,'' trembled Tom. away." "Where can we run to?" The trembling boys in the heard William s "Nowhere,'' r e torted Jack, as he thrust the key in the and Haley turn. lock and cautiously shot the bolt. "Thatinfernal alarm Evidently the two, cons tables were ta.king a clos e look at b e ll has brou ght out half the town. We're sure to be seen ever y thing in. the neighborhood. a nd caught if we stir out. This i s the s afest place for a "Dear little Dot's work for nothing!" Jack falter ed, inwhile---unless some one happens to think that I'm likely wardly. to have the key to the s t ore. Come along, now, and be Yet, even had it bee n worth whil e to s cramble out a,nd careful!" trus t all to a swift dash for f re edom, this was impos s ible. Groping our hero led the way to the cellar door. They wen:i. wedge d so tig htl y in that barrel that some Down the s tairs they crept. little time would be needed to get out. Help your s elf to thi s e x celsior," Jack whispered in "l.iet's go around and look in the stable-!" they heard the dark. "Spread it out thick. It makes a bully good H aley propose b e d "Noble idea!" Jack gritted. "Success to you!" "You ain t going to sl e ep, are you?" fluttered Tom. A moment later Jack cautiousl y wriggled out of the "No; but I'm worn out, body and soul. It'll seem barre l, after first having peered to make sure that no one mi g hty good to lie down for a while." was within sight. Pres entl y both boys lay comfortabl y on the cellar floor. "Come out quick, Tom,'' he whispered. I d o n t b e li e v e thi s place i s going to be tho'l-ght of,'' Our hero. stole to the street corner. Jack announced, b y e and bye. He could hear voices both up and down the street, but could see no one close at hand "Put for acro s s the street-it's now or never!" titrilled hunted Jack. Crouch Scoot Tom was off Ducking low, J a.ck followe d "The r e goes some one c ried a voice off i n t h e d a rkness. B a n g T o m was already safe pa s t the end o f t h e building oppo -"But if it is--?" "We'll likel y be caught like rats in a trap. But I don't believe any one is going to think 0 the store. When things quiet down, though, we'll get fa.r from here." "Whe re?" Tom wanted to know. "I've b e en thinking about that, old f ellow. Why not go t o the last plac e that any one would think of looking for u s-over a t Gregg's." With the bulldog s to gi v e u s a w a y ?"


WRI'rTEN IN Cl'PE:ER. 23 "Oh, not a.rourtd the house, but over in the woods where we dug up the box, for instance." For an hour more the boys lay thete, alternately listen-ing and talking of their plans. "I'm going to see if it's safe now," Jack proposed at last. "Be mighty careful!" "Won't I, though?" Both boys stole up into the store, but it was Jack who opened the back door and went out alone. He was back in a very few moments. "Everything has quieted down, Tom. No one seems to be around." "Going to make the break?" "Right now-as soon as wffve got what we need." In that familiar old store Jack knew where everything was kept. He pulled Tom after him, :filling up the pocket s of each with food that could be sto}Ved away. Then each provided himself with a coil of stout clothes line. Last of all, from under the counter, drew out a pair of stout cudgels that he had been seasoning qr hockey-sticks in winter. "Now for it!" breathed Barry. Opening the door, they stole out. 'l'he town was, indeed, quiet again. In safety they reac hed the nearest woods, then trudged through to the woods back of Gregg's place. "Here's where we got the box," thrilled Jack, as they halted under the big elms at that still hour in the late night. "The box that was the start of all this," sighed Tom. "Well, we won't complain, Tom, for it don't seem possible to keep our luck down." "Which tree?" asked Tom. "This is the biggest, and therefore the best. In the cellar of the store they had talked this out. Now they climbed the tree, Jack going up first. Thirty feet up from the ground they stopped climbing. Here they halted, standing on two limbs that branched out frotn the trunk at about the same le7el. And here, with the rope they had brought with them, they lashed themselves to the tree. "Even if we drop asleep, we can't fall," chuckled Jack, growing keen as the sense of adventure dawned on him. "The branches and the leaves will hide us, even from any one on the ground underneath. We can sleep and be safe. And we've grub enough for two or three days! This is hunkadory, Tom! Could anything be safet ?" "Not much," Tom admitted. "Itush !" Late. as it was, voices and footsteps were coming close to them. "It's no one on honest business," Barry thrilled, in his cautious whisper. 1Must be Gregg.'1 "Does that man never sleep?" 'fhen they stopped even whispering, for the prowlers, whoever they were, seemed headed for this same spot. "I'll wait here," they heard Gregg's low voice say. "You go on, Boggs, and do your part. Don't fail me, for you let the boys get away, which makes it ten times more important for you to do the right thing by the young man who thinks he's coming here to meet me to-night." "Do you want me to do just what you've told me to?" Boggs asked, in an unbelieving voice. "Kill him-that's the programme. 'rhe young man w i ll make trouble for me if you don't. So kill him!" "It's a tough job!" "But not so tough when you know that you're to get five thousand dollars for doing it." "It's tough enough, knowing what I do," growled Bog gs "And it's a new move that you've hit upon mighty sudden." "You're wrong there," retorted Gregg, in a low voice that barely reached the straining ears overhead. "When the young man came to see me this afternoon I saw that this thing might have to be done. That was why I made the appointment for such a late hour and got out here. Now, Boggs, you're not going to balk and. fail me, are you?" "Oh, I won't fail you! I'll do the job!" "Hurry off, then, man! You know the clump of bu s he s under the red oak by the spring? He'll come by there. Hide in those bushes and wait for the young man. Don't make any mistakes and spoil my plans. Now go!" With a growl, Boggs s tole off through the night. Catching his breath sharply, old Zach Gregg seated him self on the ground under the tree. "Murder!" throbbed horrified Jack. "That's what it is! And the victim is to be the man I wanted to follow this afternoon-the one who walked by the cave with Dotthe one we thought was killed a week ago!" Tom was gripping Barry's arm. The two boys stared into each other's faces. Then, into eyes came the light of a desperate purpose. Bending over, parting the leaves without noi se, he looked down through the darkness. Yes, he was sure he could make out the location of Gregg's white straw hat. It was almost under where Jack stoocl. "I may kill him!" faltered the boy. Then a strange li gh t gleamed in his eyes. "What if I do? It'll be to save a better man's lifefor any man who is against Gregg must be a good man!" Yet Jack hardly dared to breathe, or think, as he brought his cudgel forward, poi sing it carefully, as he looked to make sure that it was pointed straight at that straw hat below. Flop! Jack let the cudgel go, then shivered. It wasn't such an easy thing, after all, to risk taking a human life! Whump The cudgel had landed. From below there came no other sound.


WRITTEN 1JN 'CIPHER. But our hero, looking again, could see the white straw hat lying on the ground. "Down, like lightning, to save that other life, Tom!" the boy vibrated. Feverishly unknotting the rope s that bound them to the tree, the youngsters shinned down to the ground There lay old Zach Gregg, stretched out, breathless and still. "I hope we haven't killed him!" throbbed Jack, wretch eclly, bending over the still, old man. But there was a :flutter at the pulse. Zach Gregg would live to he mean another day, even though at the present moment he knew nothing whatever of what was happening. "Hurry, Tom!" Like two ghosts, the boys stole <>ff through the woods. They traveled with even greater care as they neared the bushes under the red oak where Bogg s ha.cl been ordered to hicle in waiting. Jack sto le close enough to make out a part o.f the form of the crouching, waiting, murderoUB Boggs. Then, with a shudder, he led the way on down the forest path Nor did they stop until nearly a quarter of a mile away from Boggs. "Gracious I hope the poor fellow will be sure to come this way!" quavered Barry, as they drew up, waiting. "If he doesn't come this way he won't meet Boggs, any way," declared practical Tom. "Well, he's coming. Here 's some one, anyway." By a common impulse both boys darted back into the shadow, lest the approaching one be some one searching for them. But Jack, peering, saw a sturdy-looking man heave into sight. His face was that of the stranger who had walked with Dot Crothers that afternoon. "I beg your pardon!" uttered Jack, in a low tone. Our hero's face was pallid as he stepped forward "What's this?" cried the stranger, stepping back, his right hand, reaching for his hip-pocket. "Put your gun up, if that's what you're after," Jack smiled, grimly. "At least-you don't need it here "Who are you, a)ld what are you talking about?" cried the stranger, eyeing both boys with natural curiosity. "Sh!" Jack cautioned. "Down the path a bit a man is stationed who has been hired to kill you He got hi s orders from Zach Gregg. I know that, for I heard the order given!" "What's that you say?" hoarsely cried the draw ing back. "And Zach Gregg is my father!" ."Your father!" Jack echoed, in a daze, while Tom caught at a tree-trunk for support. r "My father," nodded the stranger, steadying himself. "But you can guess what kind of a father he has been. I am Tom Gregg, at your service. But how did you know about me?" "It's a queer, wonderful, twisted, tangled-up mess," Jack spoke, hurriedly, his voice sounding as if he were in the s pell of a daze. "But I heard you speak the name of my mother a week I am Jack Barry, the son of Jennie Barry, a woman who was killed near here in a railway wreck some years ago." It was Tom Gregg's turn to start. "You're Jack Barry, son of Jennie .Barry?" he mur mured, slowly. "Then, Jack Barry, lad, I'm thinking I have news that may s tagger you. The woman who was killed and buried was not Jennie Barry-that I can swear to!" Staggered? Jack Barry felt as if the world were turning upside down! CHAPTER XI. A LYNCHING FOR A WOMAN'S SAKE! "Hold on!" moaned Jack. Tom Gregg caught him by the arm, lettipg him gently down to the ground. "That's right," nodded young Gregg. "Sit down and let me t e ll you what I can." "My mother?" quivered Jack. "It can't be that she's alive!" "I can't say anything about that," replied young Gregg, grave ly. "All I know, for certain, i s that the woman killed in the railway wreck and who was buried under Jennie Barry's name, was not Jennie Barry. It was a mistake in i dentification, as I know, for I knew Jennie Barry well. When I looked the matter up to be s ure, I found that the dead woman didn't answer at all to your mother's descrip tion." "What was my mother to you?" Jack asked, suddenly. "My brother Richard' s wife," replied the stranger, s lowly. "That couldn't be," Jack retorted, quickly. "She was my father's wife." "All straight enough," rejoined young Gregg, quickly. "Your mo'ther was Jennie Orossleigh. She married my brother Richard who, I am s orry to say, made her anything but a good husband. Your mother and my brother were in a steamboat wreck on Lake Michigan. Richard was drowned, and it was supposed that his wife went down with him. Jennie Gregg, which was her name then, reached s hore. She didn't take pain s to di spute the report of her death. Af t er wards she married your father, Barry, who proved to be an excellent husband "But why did my mother never speak of her girlhood days?" Jack asked wonderingly. "Because she married my brother against her father's wishes. Old Orossleigh-your grandfather-drove her from his home-disowned her. Your mother, in turn, felt too bitter against her father to mention his name." "But what can old Gregg-I beg pardon, your father--" "Don't beg my pardon for disrespect to Zach Gregg," urged the stranger, with a bitter smile.


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. 25 "What gndge can Zach Gregg have against me?" Jack asked. ". \ good many years ago, Jack, lad, your grandfather, Orossleigh, relented, but he couldn't find his daughter. He llicd, however, leaving her all his money." "But that don't explain," Jack pro./tested. "It helps," returned Tom Gregg. "At the time when your mother was supposed to be drowned in Lake Michigan she was Orossleigh's heiress. Now, the law takes it for granted that, when husband and wife are drowned together, the husband, being the stronger, lives at least a few longer than the wife. That would have made my brother Richard inherit your mother's fortune, if she had drowned with him, as was supposed." "I see," murmi1red Jack, like one in a dream. "Now, as Richard also died, that would leave the money to my father and myself." "And your father got it?" "In after years, yes. It was years, though, before he heard of his chance and jumped at it." "And you got some of the money?" "No; for I had long ago stopped having anything to do with my father. But lately I heard of the queer business, and came here to see him, for I knew what he did not know at first-that your mother was not drowned with Richard Gregg." "Then your father knows who I am, and that I might keep him from enjoying his fortune?" "That must be the truth of it," nodded Tom Gregg. "And the woman who buried in this town as my mother was not my mother?" "That I can swear to," Tom Gregg promptly answered. "Then my mother may be alive?" "That I can't say, Jack, lad." "Oh, she can't be alive," Jack sighed, miserably. "If she had lived she would have come back to me." "But my father was livin g in this town, enjoying the money, at the time your mother was reported killed," hinted Tom Gregg, smiling bitterly "It's likely that zach Gregg had the wrong identification m ade ." "Then what happened to the woman who was really my mother?" "Perhaps we would have to a s k Zach Gregg," re s ponded the son. Suddenly Jack Ba;rry sat bolt upright, feeling as if he had received an electric shock. He remembered the words in the cipher message that he hac'l translated. 'Boggs can complete the clue easily, in case of need!' he repeated. "'Vhat's that?" Tom Gregg asked, curiously. "Oh, I haven't even time to tell you now!" vibrated Jack, leapin g to his feet. "Boggs knows the answer to the riddle that's tormenting us-that's all. And Boggs, who knows all, is lurking down the path even now! Tom Gregg, are you armed?" "Yes-a revolver and two strong arms." "Will you-nail-Boggs-then-if we show you where he is ? He can answer us, if we can make him Tom Gregg straightened up on his feet, drew a r evolver, and answered simp ly: "Show me where he is." Then did Jack Barry turn scout in the woods, leading the way to the untangling of the great skein that had knotted in his life He halted at last, with Tom Eustis behind him, while Tom Gregg, fully posted, went forward alone to the clump of bushes that had been pointed out to him. There was a sound of quick, sharp voices, the noise of scuffling; then Tom Gregg appeared again, revolver in his right hand and his left hand gripping at the collar of the sea.reel, captured Mr. Boggs! "If you try a single trick, my man, I'll kill you I" warned Tom Gregg, gruffiy. Then, without warning, the captor hurled his prisoner to the ground, levelling the revolver point-blank at his head. "Jumping beeswax!" gasped Mr. Boggs, suddenly star ing as if he feared that he had gone mad. For now he found himself being regarded by the two boys, who ha.cl moved forward out of concealment. "You kids?" choked the scoundrel. "Roll over on your face!" ordered Tom Gregg, steritly. "That's it. Now put your hands up behind you, Bogga !" "W-what are you going to do?" faltered the wretch. "Going to kill you, if you hesitate a second about obey ing orders." Up went the hands, and the man who had taken charge of matters handed his revolver to Jack, saying: "Kill him if he stirs, la.cl!" Mr. Boggs trembled not a little as the process of tying him up went on. The job was done at last, and Tom Gregg yanked the brute to his feet. "Now, come into the woods with us a bit," urged Tom Gregg. "W-wlrnt are you going to do with me?" "Corne along and find out, man!" Boggs, like many a brutal bully, showed how utter a coward he could be when some one else had the whip-hand. He went, sullenly, with his three captors for some dis tance into the woods. "Sit down!" ordered Tom Gregg, at la st, pushing the fellow. "Now, Jack, it's your turn. Explain to this fel low what's to be done with him." "You know who I am," ripped out Jack, throwing him self on his knees before the terrified brute, and holding that revolver suggestive l y close. "Y-y-yes," assented, the terrified wretch. "I'm Jack Barry, son of Jennie Barry. You know what has been done to my mother and you know the part you've played. Now, what could you expect at my hands?" "W-what do you mean?" "I mean," Jack went on, his face pallid in its sternness, "that I'm going to settle Jennie Barry's account and my own in full with you. I mean that I'm judge and jury and


26 WRITTEN IN CIPHER. everything else just now. I am going to settle this whole fearful business with you right now. Boggs, this is lynch law, pure and simp le! You've got to die for your villainy! You have five minutes that you can say your last prayers in, if you know how to say any. Then I'm going to kill you -pop off !--and it won't do you a ghost of any good to howl for mercy." "Y-you're going to butcher me?" shrieked the brute. "Butcher is just about the word, I guess," Jack retorted, with terrible calmness. "At the fir s t shot I'm going to blow the top of your head off, and the rest of the bullets I'll scatter into your carcass. Oh, I'll make a good job of it! Now, then, begin to pray, if you're going to. Tom Eust1s, take my watch and tell me when the time is up." "B-but don't do this awful thing!" blubbered the brute. "Have some mercy!" "Just as much merc y as you've been showing others all through your life clicked Jack. "I told you not to waste your time begging for mercy. Get ready for death! You can't dodge it!" "But I can tell you things that' ll make it worth your while to l e t me go," pleaded the wretch. "Wha t could you tell me now?" Jack demanded, scorn fully. "Will you let me try?" "If you'd rather use your time in that way irrstead of praying." Then Boggs began to talk, wildly and ramblingly. Yet he told the very things that Jack Barry wanted to know. Jack's clever questions brought out the story in full. As it proceeded, our hero felt, inde ed, as if the worj.d had begun to s tand on its head. Yet he listened, wondered and thrilled, for now he felt convinced that the rascal was speak ing the truth. The story was done at last. Boggs had told all that his hearers wanted to knowfar more than they had expected to find out. "That'll do, you cur!" Tom Gregg brok e in, at last. You can shut up, Bogg s ." "B-but you won't kill me?" whined the wretch. "I don't ]mow," solemnly respond ed Jack Barry, who, o[ course, had not had an instant's notion of shooting for Yc11geance s sake. "Let me go, for I've told you the truth-the whole truth," pleaded Boggs. "We' ll tie you up tighter, and gag you, anyway," broke in Tom Gregg. Then we'll leave you stowed away in the bushes If we find that you've lied to us, we'll come back to you-I)ever fear!" With that they bound and gagged the wretch more secure ly, dropped him in the thick brush, and left him there. "And now for a team!" throbbed Tom Gregg. "For tunately, I can wake a man up at this hour of the night without fear of trouble. And you boys can hide in the woods until I drive by and pick you up "But, first of all, I'm going b11-Ck to where I left your father," Jack announced. "What for?" Tom Gregg smiled, bitterly. "I'm worried. I want to make sure that I didn't kill the old man with that cudgel." "Oh!" Again that strange, bitter smile from the young man who could take no interest in the fate of a despised father. "You run down there, boys, and I'll drive by when I get the carriage. Hurry, though!" Some minutes later Jack Barry and Tom Eustis stole cautiously up to that well-remembered spot under the elms, where Zach Gregg had buried the cipher. Zach was not there now. He had gone, and with him had gone the white straw hat. "He's not dead, then-not by my hand, anyway,'' Jack throbbed, thankfully. "Now for the road, Tom Eustis!" Within ten minutes Tom Gregg drove by, in a surrey. The boys climbed in upon the back seat, and Gregg drove off. But the long night was through at last. Summer day wa.s as they reached the edge of the town. "Hey!" bellowed a man after them. "Hold up, there! You're running off with two boy13 that the police want! Stop, there! It's against the law !" Both Jack and Eustis ducked from the expected shot But none qame. Instead, the man who had hailed ran to the nearest telephone to send the news along the road. CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION. "Hold up, there! Stop! The law wants you!" A man, with a' police badge in plain sight on his coat, stood in the middle of the road. It was four miles beyond Belmont. Tom Gregg had been driving rapidly, and the horse now showed the effects of the pa'.ce. "You're my prisoners!" sang out the constable, who blocked the road. "All right," hailed Tom Gregg, reining in the horse. "Turn the muzzle of that gun away, though. You may hit us." He had brought the horse almost down to a walk as he neared the constable, who obligingly lowered the muzzle of his weapon. Crack! It was a rousing blow of the whip that llllllded on the horse 's back just as the officer reached for the bridle. Away bounded the horse at a gallop, leaving the con stable to the rear. Bang! There was a business-like sound to that shot. Whizz-zz ,.,."Ouch!" blurted Tom Eustis, bending forward. "He hit you-the quivered Jack, eyeing the


WRITTEN IN CIPHER. 27 aplash of red that showeQ. at the wp of Eustis's nearer the years that followed, and Boggs had been her principal shoulder. keeper. nuitter-it ain't much!" Both ]/)r. Craven and Boggs had been well paid for their Tom Gregg, still urging the horse at its best gallop along trouble by money-loving old Zach Gregg. the :i;oacl, turned" into a narrower, rougher road. During the last two years Jennie Barry had fully re--"We've got to keep off the main ro11,d," he explained, covered her sanity, though without thanks to any care from reil\i:P.g i:Q. and turning around. "Word has gone by teleDr. Craven. phone, and we've simply got to dodge shotguns, revolvers, She had demanded to be set free, but had been ruthlessly old thing if we expect to finish our drive." kept a prisoner, at the command of Zach Gregg. "We must finish it-if we live through it!" gasped Jack. She had demanded news of her son, only to be told that "Eustis is hit alreadv." he was dead. "If we meet any more officers, I don't know what we But now all was forgotten. She was happy with Jack. shall do," grimaced Tom Gregg. "I shall make a guess The past counted for nothing in her new happiness. at all the b!l.ck roads on the way." "Well, I suppose we'd better start back," announced Tom The stop was made at last on a lonely looking road, Gregg, gathering up the reins. "And dodge constables all before Ao rqstic gate. On the grounds beyond nothing but the way, too." thickly planted trees showed. The house that they sought "Why, Dr. Craven can't set constables upon us," prowas hiQ.den behind the trees. tested Mrs. Barry. "He was frightened enough to release "Now, yoi.i'll wait here," proposed Tom Gregg. "I'll me at once when you demanded it." go up alone and talk to that doctor-crook who runs this "The constables belong to another story, mother," Jack asylum.') laughed. "But we won't let it bother us. The constables Then followed the most toFtured half hour that had ever will let us alone when we spread all this wonderful story." come into J acJ :BaFry's life. "You've got the skein Jlnraveled at last, Jack," grinned "Here they co,ne !" quivered Tom Eustis, at last. Tom Eustis, who felt as proud and happy, now, as if he Jack turned, saw, thrilled. Then he leaped from the had done it all himself. carriage, darting into the grounds. "All but one little twisted thread," laughed Jack. "What On Tom Gregg's arm leaned a woman who seemed unable does that 'fourth from floor in attic' mean that we read to support her own weight, so helplessly was she tottering. about in the cipher?" Yet, when she caught sight of Jack darting toward her, "We'll find out," promised Tom Gregg. "If we can't she straightened up, drew herself free of Gregg's arm and make my father tell, we'll hunt for ourselves." came speeding toward our hero. Mrs. Barry looked from one to the other, in a puzzled She caught the boy by the shoulders, then swayed as she way. peered, feverishly, into bis face. "More mystery that I can't understand," she sighed. "Oh, wait a little, mother!" Jack begged. "We'll explain "Jack! J aek, my darling boy, is it really you?" Jack knew his mother. He could not have been deceived. it all bye and bye, when we're a little more used to having That well-remembered face had changed somewhat with each other again." the years, but he still knew her! Tom Gregg kept to back roads so well as to dodge constables until just before they reached Belmont. Boggs had told them most of what had happened. Here Haley suddenly bobbed up from behind a stone In that railroad wreck, years before, Jennie Barry had wall. been all but killed. Close to her was another woman who had been killed out right. Zach Gregg, coming upon them, had recognized the woman who stood between him and his weitlth. It had beerl. a simple matter for him to change the hand bags belonging to the two women. In Mrs. Barry's satchel, found later in the grasp of that other dead woman, were papers and letters that confused the coroner and led him to certify to the death of Jennie Barry. The real Jennie Barry had been found with a severe in jury to her skull. She was delirious at first, and afterwards demented. Zach Gregg had seen to it that she was removed to the private asylum of a Dr. Craven, a physician without prin ciple, eager to sell himself to any good bidder. J;.u this asylum, Jennie Barry had been confined through "I guess I want you boys-'want you bad!" he grinned. "Walk alongside of us, then, i:nto the town," invited un dismayed Jack. "We won't try to get away, this time, I promise you." "If you do you won't get far," warned the officer, as he walked beside the surrey. Into the village they drove. There, standing at the jail door, they espietl Zach Gregg. Almost immediately the old' man turned, catching sight of the occupants of the surrey. He his own son, saw Mrs. Barry, saw her son, the latter grinning derisively. The old man started, paled, choked and swallowed hard. Then, all in a twinkling, Zach Gregg clutched at his throat, next sank to the sidewalk. It was apoplexy. The old man, taken to his home, died within two hours. "Are you going with your father?" whispered Jack, as


28 WRITTEN IN 'CIPHER. the unconscious old man was lifted into a wagon at the store. "I shall go up to the house bye and bye," Tom Gregg answered. "But, sorry as I am to have t o s a y it, lad, m:v duty to you is greater than to m y own fatl1e r, and that on of his own conduct. I mu s t see you through your affair with the cons table." Haley had been standing by, s ilent but watchful. "I'm ready for you, officer," Jac k announced. "Then we'll go to the justice 's offic e replied Hal ey. He l e d the way. Jus tice Simp son was in r e ady for bus iness. "Where's the warrant?" a s k e d the ju s tice. "Br--er-there isn't any," was Haley's dis concerted an swer. "You see, judge, it was a felony cha.rge, and a war rant wasn't needed." "Where's the complainant, then?" "Dying, I guess." "No warrant, and no complainant!" s napp e d th e ju s tice, crustily. "A pretty case, thi s !" Then Tom Gr e gg broke in with a fo" w e llc hosen words "No cas e at all," s aid th e ju s tice, shortly "The pri s on ers are discharged. Boys I'm n o t s ur e but you have a good case against the cons tabl e for damages for false ar rest." ''I shan't push it," laugh e d Jack. I kn o w too well my self what it feels like to b e in tro ubl e ." "And I won't see any part of th a t two thou s and dollar s reward, either Haley. "My fath e r couldn't pay you i f h e liv ed, s aid Tom Gregg, shortly. "Every cent that h e ha s b e long s to Mrs. Barry." Jack Barry now took his mother direct to Deacon Spen cer's house. They were sitting on the porch talking. "Who is that young lady who is looking thi s way?" asked Mrs. Barry, pre s ently. "She seems greatly intere s t e d in us." f'Mother," cried Jack, suddenly, as he wheeled and looked, "here is Dot Crother s the greatest girl that ever lived-the truest and the swe--" But Jack did not finish. He was bounding down the path to meet Dot, who had stopped close to the gate. "Oh, Jack, I heard in the village how the case against you had fallen fiat through Zach Gregg's dea. th," Dot rat tled on, breathlessly. "And l heard about a strange lady--" "Dot, dear girl, the most wonderful of things-my mother isn't dead! That's my mother on the porch. Come right along, please. You two have simply got to know each other, and like each other." Later, in that happy, busy day, Jack found time for a short run over to the Gregg house. 'l'om Gregg and Tom Eustis had gene out into the woods and harl liberated Boggs. Neither that ra s cal nor Dr. C'raYen w e re punished; the y fle d as promptly. "Jack," glowed Eustis, "that 'fourth from :floor in attic' is all solved. And mighty lucky for you that it is!" "It was s imple enough, after all," smiled Tom Gregg. "That chimney m the s tore-room in the attic is a dummy c himney. I du g out the fourth brick up from the floor, on the side toward the s tair s and th e r e I found a box of papers that will e nable y our mother Jack, to step right into this r ather hand s ome fortune." "But why s hould your father have written that informa tion in cipher?" Jack a s k ed, greatly puzzled. "For m y information probably, or the information of some one aft e r hi s death Tom Gregg replied, thoughtfully. "For one thin g I knew that c iph e r of hi s My father had used it for year s Th e other night, after that quarrel which you overheard, in whic h m y father threatened my life, he undoubtedl y w ent out and buried the cipher so that r s hould never find it and t hwart hi s plans. Though I did not lrn.ow whe r e yonr moth e r was I had begun to suspect that she was alive. I v isited my father and advisedurged-him to d o ju s tice to her." Deacon Sp e ncer a nd hi s wife, retired from active cares, are li v ing now with Jack and his mother in the handsome n e w home that M rs Barry bought in Belmont. Tom Gregg is living with them, too, and nothing strange a bout it. In youth he had bee n an ardent wooer of Jack's mother, only to see hi s broth e r win her. But now T o m Greg g ha s won his sweetheart. So has Jack, for that matter, for he was wedded to Dot C roth e r s b a r e l y two months ago. The honeymooh is hardly over. As for Tom-we ll, Tom i s trying in earnest to amount t o more than any other member of his family ever did. Tom, too, live s with Jack and the latter's mother. With Jack's help, is fitting out for college. THE END. A grand s tory of hard-luck s truggles and of "worms that turne d," a. s tory that throb s with interest and is full of downright e x citement at every turn, is "THE NO-GOOD BOYS; OR, DOWNING A TOUGH NAME," by A. Howard de Witt. You've never read a better story than this one, which will be publi s hed complete in No. 6 of The Wide Awake Weekly," out next week! It is the kind o f s tory that no young man can put down until he has :finished the last line of it SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from a.ny newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies But they had other news to tell. you order by return mail.


.A. c CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF STORms. EVERY STORY COMPLETE. D PAGES. BEAUTll'DLLY COLORED COVERS. PRICE 5 CE:N'l'S. L.ATJllST ISSUft: S82 Down the Shaft; or, The Hidden Fortune of a Boy Miner. By 348 Howard Austin. Jilek LeYer, the Young Engineer of "Old Forty"; or, On Time S83 The Boy Telegraph Inspectors; or, Across the Continent on a with the Nlgllt Express. By Jas. C. Merritt. Hand Car. By Jas. c. Merritt. 347 or, In Search of the North Pole. By Ber384 Nazoma; or, Lost Among the Heitd-Hunters. By Richard R, 348 The Boy PraJrle Courier; or, General Custer's Youngest Aide. A Montgomery. True Story of the Battle at Little Big Horn. By An Old Scout. 385 From Newsboy to President ; or, Fighting tor Fame and Fortune. 349 Led A.stray la New York; or, A Country Boy's Career In a Great By H. K. Shackleford. City. A True Temperance Story. By Jno. B Dowd. 386 Jack Harold, The Cabin Boy; or, Ten Years on an Unlucky Ship. 350 Sharpshooter Sam, the Yankee Boy Spy ; or, Winning His ShoulBy Capt. Tbos. H. Wilson. der Straps. Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. 387 G?ld Gulch ; or, Pandy Ellls's Last Trail. By An Old Scout. 351 Tom Train, the Boy Engineer of the Fast Express; or, Always at 388 Di ck Darlton, the Poor-House Boy; or, The Sltruggles of a Friend-His Post. By Jas. c. Merritt. less Waif. By H. K. Shackleford. 352 We Three; or, The White Boy Slaves of the Soudan. By Allan 389 The Haunted Light-House; or, The Black Band of the Coast. Arnold. By Howard Austin. 358 Jack Izzard, the Yankee Middy A Story of the War With Tri390 The Boss Boy Bootblack of New York; or, Climbing the Ladder of poll. By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. Fortune. By N. S. Wood (The Young American Actor). 854 The Senator's Boy ; or, The Early Struggles of a Great States391 dn Adventures of a Young American In man. By H. K, Shackleford. 392 General Sherman's Boy Spy ; or, The March to the Sea. By Gen'!. 355 Kit Carson on a Mysterious Trail; or, Branded a Renegade. By Jas. A. Gordon. An Old Scout. 393 Sam Strap, '.rbe Young Engineer; or, The Pluckiest Boy on the 356 The Lively Eight Social Club; or, From Cider to Rum. A True Road. By Jas. c. Merritt. Temperance Story. Bf Jno. B. Dowd. 394 Little Robert Emmet; or, The White Boys of Tipperary. By 357 The Dandy of the Schoo ; or, The Boys of Bay C!Uf By Howard Allyn Draper. Austin. 395 Kit Carson's Kit; or, .The Young Army Scout. By An Old Scout. 358 Out In the Streets; A Story ot High and Low :(.lfe In New '.iork. 396 Beyond the Aurora; or, The Search for the Magnet Mountain. By N. S. Wood (The Young American Actor.) By Berton Bertrew. 359 Captain Ray; The Young Leader of the Forlorn Hope. A True 397 Seven Diamond Skulls; or, The Secret City of Slam. By Allau Story 9f the Mexican War By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. Arnold. 360 "3" ; or, The Ten Treasure Houses of the Tartar King. By Rich-398 Over the Line; or, The Rieb and Poor Boys of Riverdale Scbool1. ard R. Montgomery. By Allyn Draper. 361 Railroad Rob; or, The Train Wreckers of the West. By Jas. C. 39'9 The Twenty Silent Wolves; or, The Wild Riders of the Moun-Merritt. talns. By Richard R. Montgomery. 362 A Millionaire at 18; or, The American Boy Croesus. By H. K. 400 A New York Working Boy; or, A Fight for a Fortune. By How-Sbackleford. ard Austin. 363 The Seven White Bears; or, The Band of Fate. A Story of Rus401 Jack the Juggler; or, A Boy's Search for His Sister. By H. K. sla. By Richard R. Montgomery. Shackleford. 364 Shamus O 'Brien; or, The Bold Boy of Gllngall. By Allyn Draper. 402 Little Paul Jones; or, The Scourge of the British Coast. By 365 The Skeleton Scout ; or, The Dread Rider of the Plains. By An Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. Old Scout. 403 Mazeppa No. 2, the Boy Fire Company of Carlton ; or, Plucky 366 "Merry Matt"; or,_ The Wlll-o '-the-Wlsp of Wine. A True Tem Work on Ladder and Line. By Ex-Fire Chief Warden. perance Story. .HY .B. K. Shackleford. 404 The Blue Mask or, Fighting Against the Czar. By Allan Arnold. 367 The Boy With the Steel Mask; or, A Face That Was Never Seen. 405 Dick the Apprentice Boy; or, Bound to be an Engineer. (A By Allan Arnold. Story of Railroad Life.) By Jas C. Merritt. 368 Clear-the-Track Tom; or, The Youngest Engineer on the Road. 406 Kit Carson, Jr.z... In the Wild Southwest; or, The Search for a By Jas. C. Merritt. Lost Claim. .Hy An Old Scout. 369 Gallant Jack Barry, The Young Father of tlie American Navy. 407 The Rivals of Round Top Academy; or, Missing from School. By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. By Allyn Draper. 370 Laughing Luke, The Yankee Spy of the Revolution. By Gen'! Jas. 408 Jack Mason's Million; or, A Boy Bro ker's Luck In Wall Street. A. Gordon. 9 By H. K. ShacklefbordA. d 371 From Gutter to Governor., or, The Luck of a Waif. By H K 40 The Lost City of t e n es; or, The Treasure of the Volcano. Shackleford. (A Story of Adventures In a Strange Lund. ) By Richard R. Month d .. gomery. 372 Davy Crockett, Jr.; or, "Be Sure You're Right, Then Go A ea 410 The Rapidan Rangers; or, General Washington's Boy Guard. (A 373 Hunters; or, Two Runaway Boys In Treasure Story of the American Re volutio n .) By Gen'!. James A Gor-Land. A Story of the South African Mines. By Allan Arnold. 411 .. t" Tb Fl B f B d B E Fl Cb! f w 374 The Phantom Brig; or, The Chase of the Flying Clipp er. By d en. u ; or, e re oys 0 ran on. Y xre e ar-Capt. Tbos. H. Wiison. 412 Dead Game ; or, Davy Crockett's Double. By An Old Scout. 375 Special Bob; or, The Pride of the Road. By Jas. C. Merritt. 413 Barnum' s Young Sandow; or, The Strongest Boy In the World 376 Three Chums; or, The Bosses of the S c hool. By Allyn Draper. By Berton Bertrew. 377 The Drummer Boy' s Secret; or, Oath-Bound on the Battlefield. 414 Halsey & Co.; or, The Young Bankers and Speculators. By H K. By Gen'!. Jas. A. Gordon. Shackleford. 378 Jack Bradford; or, The Struggles of a Working Boy. By Howard 415 Alow and Aloft; or, The Das hing Boy Harpooner. By Capt. Austin. Tbos. H Wilson. 879 II'he Unknown Renegade; or, The Three Great Scouts. By An 416 The Meteor Express; or, The Perilous Run of a Boy Engineer. By Old Scout. Jas. C Merritt. 880 80 Degrees North; or, Two Years On The Arctic Circ le. By Ber417 Buttons; o r Climbing to the Top. (A Story of a Bootblack's ton Bertrew. Luc k and Pluck.) By Allyn Draper. 881 Running Rob; or.i,. Mad Anthony's Rollicking A .rale ot 418 The Iron Grays; or, The Boy Riders of the Rapidan. By Gen'!. The American nevolutlon. By Gen. Jas. A. Gordon. Jas. A. Gordon 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 FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher. 24 Union Square. York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS er our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill fn the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POS'.rAGE STAMPS 'rAKEN 'rHE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... ... FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ................... 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: ... :copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ............... ................................................ " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ............................................... " FRANK MANLEY'S WEEKLY Nos ................................................... " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ............... ............................................ " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 Nos ..................................................... " PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ..... ........................................................ 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These Everything I !. COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYOLOPEDIA I Tell You Each book consists of sixtYfo1,1r pages, priRted Qn rff41 pa.per, h1 clear type and neatly bound in an attraotl11e, illuett'lltec\ gq'1r. Most of t he books a1e also illustrat\l(), and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple that al!1' child. can thorou ghly understand them. Lo!Jk over the list as classified a.nd see if you want to know anything about the mentioned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY A:i:,.. L OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICEJ ON RECEJIPT OF PRICEJ, TEN OEJNTS EACH, OR ANY THREJE BOOKS FOR TWJilNTY-FIVE CENTS. :li'OSTA.GE STAMPS T.AKJllN THE SAMEJ AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publillher, 24 Square, N.Y. ...... No. El. HOW TO the most ap pro 11>d methods of mesmerism ; s,lso bow t1> cure all kinds of dieeas es bl animal magQ.eti1:>m, or, magnetic healing. Prof. Leo f;!ugo Koch, A. C. S., author of How to Hypnotize," etc, PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO J>ALMISTIO'.-Containing the most ap prov ed methods of reading t)le lip.es on the band, together with a full explapation of tbeit meaQ.i.Qg. Also explaining i;>h. renology, and the l!:e;y__ for teljing by the bumps 011 tbe head. B7 A, C. Fully illustrated, HYPNOTISM, No . 83 .. HOW ri;o HYPNQTIZE.-qonta. iing and in struct1ve mformat1on regardmg the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved methods which are employed by leading hypnotistl:I of the world. LE!9 ll\!JO l{gcb, a.p.s. SPORTING. No. 2i. HOW TO lIUNT A.ND FISH.-The JI1QSt complete hunting and fis hing guid e ever puplished. It eont ll,ins full in structions about gups, bunting traps, trapping a.nd fishing, together with descriptions of game and fish. :NO. 26. HOW TO llQW, SAIL A.ND BUILD A B0.\11\-Fuliy illustratl!d Every PoY s}j.ould )!:now how to row and sail a poat. Full instructions are given in this little book, togethl!r with in structions on swimming and compa:q\on sports to boa.ting. No. 47. HOW TO BRE)AJ):, RluE AND DRIVE A HORSE. A complete treatise on the horse. Desoribing the mbst useful horses for business, the best horses for the road; also valuable recipes for diseases pecoliar to the horse. No. 48. HOW 'l'O BUILD .AND SAIL GANOES.-A bandy book for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. By C. Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of j:mman destiny; also the true mean ing of almost any kind of dreams, together wifu charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A complete pook. No. 23. HOW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the p.ged man and woman. This little book gives the exp)anation to all kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky Jays, and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. 28. :aOW TO TELL FOiiTU?-!ES.-Evecyone is of knowing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealfu or poverty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends. No. 76. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, or the s ecret of palmistry. Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars, etc. Illustrated, By A. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.-Uiving full in for the use of. dumb bells, Indian c;:lul:is, bars, hor1zcmt11.l bars and various other methods of developmg a good, healthy muscle; containing over sixty illustr11.tions. Ever;v boy can become strong llll d liealt)ly by following the instruQtio.11s contained in this litt le book. No. 10. HOW TO BOX.-The art of self-defense made easy. Con t aining over thirty illustrations of guards, blows; and the differ ent positiOns of a good boxer. Every boy shoulil obtain one of the se useful and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor. No. 25. HOW 'I'O BECOME A GYMNAST.-Oontaining ljlll instructions f9r all ,kinds of sports and at)lfetic exercises. Embracini.t thirty-five illustratjons. By W. Macdo:12ald. A handy and useful book. No. 34. HOW TO FENCE.-Containing full instruction for fencing and the use of the broadsworJ; also instruction in archery. Described with twenty-one practical iHustrations, giving tbe best position11 in fencing. A complete book. TRICKS WITH CARD$. No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS W'ITH CARDS.-Oont1ti11ing exvlanations of t'he general principles of i;;leight-ofhand applicable to card tric]!:s; of card tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring sleight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of llPCially prepared cards. B.Y Professor Haffner. Illustrated, 72. aow TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH OARDS.-Em bracmg all <;>f the latest and most deceptive card tricks. with il luatrations. By A. Anderson. No. 77. BOW TO DO .FORTY TRICKS WITH ook of mugle and card tricks, containing full instruction on aU the leading card trick11 of the day, also the most popular magical illusions as performed by our leading magicians; every boy should obtain a. copy of thili book, as it will both amuse and instruct. No: 22. HOW TO DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's seconll sight explamed by his former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues were' carried on between the magician and the bo! on the stage; also giving all the c9des an!l si!Jlll\l&, only authentic explanation of se c ond sight. No. 43. ROW TO BECOME A MAGIOIAN.-Containi.ng the grandest assortmen t of magical illusions ever pla.ced before the public . Also tricks with cards. incantations, etc. NQ 68. HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TRIOKS.-Containing over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with. chemicals. By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrateJ. No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.-Containing over pfty of the la:test and best tricks us e d by magicians. A!llO contain. mg the secret of SE!!)ond sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. No .. 10. I:fOW '.J'O MAKE MAGIC TOYS.-Containing full directions for makrng Magic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. No. 73. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITHNUMBERS.-Showing many curious with figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. .No. 7_5. HO'Y TO A CONJUROR. Containing tricks with Dommos, DICe, Cups anJ Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing thirty-six illustrations. By A. Anderson. No, 78. TO DO THE .BLACK AftT.-Containing a com plete description of the mysteries of Magic and Steight of Hand together wifu many wonderful experiments. By A. .Anderscm'. Illustrated. MECHANICAL. ]'f o. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.-Elvery boy should know how inventions originated. This book explains them all, givil!g examples in electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, me c hanics, etc. The most instructive book published. No. 56. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.-Containing full instructions how to proceed in order to become a locomotive en gineer; also directions for building a model loc0motive; togetlier with a full desc;ription of everything an engineer spoulcji know. No. 57. HOW TO MAKE Ml]SICAL INSTRUMEJNTS.-Full directions how to make a Banjo, Violin, Zither, lElolian Harp, phone and other musioal instruments; togefuer with a brief de scription of nearly ev ery musical instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW TO MAKE A MAGIO LANTERN.-Containing a description of the lantern, togfft.her with its hi.story 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 Tfieks. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrs.ted. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A most com: little book, containing full directions for writing love-letters, and when to use them, giving spe c imen letters for young and old. ;No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIE:S.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on 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 LETTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you bow to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother, employer; and, in fact, everybody and any body you wish to write to. Every young man and every young ladY in the land s'hould have this book. . No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRECTLY.-Con taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation and composition, with. specimen letters.


THE STAGE . No. 41. THF? :130YS OF N.JllW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Contarnmg a great variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous end men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No .. 4f. THE OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. Conta1!1mg a varied of i>tump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end mens Jokes. Just the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND JOKl!.l BW T9 .BECOME A SPEAKER.-CoI\taining foul" teen 1llustrations, g1vmg th11 different positions requiSite to become a good sp11aker, reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from a.I! the popular of prose and poetry, arranged in the 111mple and conch;" manqer posil>le. No. 49. !:JOW TO DEJBATE ,-Giving rules for conducting de bates, outhnes for de9ate11, qu.estions for dis cussion, and the besli sources for procurmg lllfotmat1on on tb,(l ques tion s given. $C>Clt::TY. No. 3. HOW TO FLIRT.-'fhe arts and wiles of flirtaticn are fully by this little book. Besides the various methods of ha.ndkerch1ef,_ fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it contams a full list of the language and sentiment of flowers which is in.terest ing to everybody, both old and young. You cannot' be happy without one. 4. J'I.OW _TO DANCE is the title of a new and handsomo _book Just issued Frank Tousey. It contains full instruc tions Ill the art of dancmg, etiquette in the ball-room and at parties how to dr<'ss, and full directions for calling off in all popular dances. No. HOW TO MAKEl LOVE.-A compl ete guid e to love courtship and marriage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquetto to M observed, with many curious and interesting things not gen erally known. No. li. 'rO full instruction in the art of dressmg and appearmg well at home and abroad giving the selections of colors, material, aJld how to hav e them made up No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAUTIFUL.-One 0f the brightest and_ most \'aluable liHle books ever given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to become beautiful both male and female. 'fbe secret is simple, and almost costless. Read this book and be convinced how to become beautiful. BIRDS AND ANIMALS. No .. HOW. TO BIRDS.-Handsomely illustrated and cohtauung full 10struct10ns for the management and training of the canary, mockingbird, bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc. No. 39. HOW TO RAISE DOGS, POULTRY, PIGEONS AND RABBITS.-A useful ati.d instructive book. Handsomely illus trated. By Ira f)rofraw. No. 40. HOW TO MAKE AND SET TRAPS.-Including hints on how to catch moles, weasels, otter, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harrington Ke e ne. No. 50. HOW. TO STUFF BIRDS AND ANIMALS.-A valuable bOok, giving in$tructions in collecting, preparing, mounting and preserving birds, animals and in sects No .. 54. TO KEEP AND MANAGE PETS.-;Giving com plete mformat1on as to the manner and method of raismg keeping taming, breeding, and managing all kinds of pets; also giving fuii for cages, etc. Fully explained by twenty-eight illustrations, makmg 1t the most complete book of the kind ever published. MISCELLANEOUS. No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTIST.__.A useful and instr1;1ctive b.ook, givi!lg a compl. ete treatise O? chemistry; also ex periments Ill acoustics, mechamcs, mathematics, chemistry and di-E NTE RT A 1 NM ENT. rections for making fireworks, colored fires, and gas This Nd. 9. HOW TO BEOOME A VENTRILOQUIST.-By Harry book cannot be equaled. Kennedy. The secret given away. Every intelligent boy reading No. 14. HOW TO MA!{f!) CANOY.-A complete hand-book for this book of instructions, by a practical professor (delighting multimaking .all kinds of c andy, etcu etc. tudes every night with his wonderful imitations), can master the No. 84. HOW TO BECOME AJ.Y AUTttOR.-Containing full art, and create any amount of fun for himself and friends. lt is the information regarding choice of subjects, the use of words and the greatest book ('ver published. and there's millions (of fun) in it. manner o.E prepa ring and submitting manuscript. Also containing No. 20. HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.-A valuable informa.tion as to the Matness. legibility and general com very valuable little book _just. A .com;Plete Po.sition of manuscript, essential to a successful author. By Prince of games, sports, card d1vers1ons, comic rec1tat10ns, etc., suitable Hiland. for parlor or drawing-room entertainment. It contains more for the No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DO CTOR.-A won money than any book published. derful book, Containing useful and practical information In the No. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAMES.-A complete and useful little treatment of ordinary diseases and ailments common to every boek, containing the rules and r egulatio ns of billiards, bagatelle, family. Abounding in Useful and effective recipes for general combackgammon, croquet. dominoes, etc. plaints. No. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRUMS.-Containing all No. 55. ltOW 'l;O COLLECT STAMPS ANO COINS.-Con the leading conundrums of the day amusing riddles, curious catches taining valtlable information regarding the collecting and arranging and witty sayings. of stamps and coins. Handsortte)y illustrated. No. 52. HOW TO PLAY CA.RDS.-A complete and bandy little No. 58. HOW TO BEl A DElTEdTIVE.-B:v Old King Brady, book, giving the rules and f11,.. '\rections for playing Euchre, Cribthe world-known d etect ive. In which be lays down some valuable llagi11 : Ca11ino, FortyFive, Pedro Sancho, Draw Poker, and rules f6r beginner!, and also relates some adventures :Auction Pitch, All Fours, and many other popular games of cards. and experie,9ces Of well-knewn detectiee. ?l\o. 66. HOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Containing over three bunNo. 60. HOW TO B1!lCOMEl A PBOTOGRAPHER.-Containdred interesting puzzles and conundrums, with key to sam(). A ing useful inforniatl6n regarding: the Camera and bow to work it; complete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. also how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Slides and other ETIQUETTE. No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-lt ill a great life secret, and one that every young man desires to know all about. There's happiness in it. No. 33. HOW TO BEHA VE.-Containing the rules and etiquette of good society and the easiest and most approved methods of ap pearing to good advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church, and in the drawing-room. Transparencies. Handsome!;\" illustrated. By Captain W. De W. Abney No. 62. HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILITARY OADET.-Containing full explanati6ns bow to gain admitt ance course of Study, Examinations, Duties, Stall' of Officers Post Guard, Police Regulations, Fire Department, and all a boy should know to be a Cadet. Ccmpiled and written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become a Naval Cadet." No. 63. HOW TO BECOME .A NAVAL OADE;T.-Co.mplete in structions of how t6 gain admission to the Annapolis Naval DECLAMATION. Academy. Also containing the course of instruction description No. 27. BOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECITATIONS. of and buildings, historical sketch. and evervthing a boy -Containing the most popular selections in use, comprising Dutch should know to an officer in the United States Navv. Com dialect, FreDCh dialect, YaDkee and Irish dialect pieces, together piled and -.vrittcn by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become witla aany staadard readiDcs. West Poiat Military Cadet." PB.ICE 10 CENTS OR 3 FOB. 21) CENTS. Address FBANK TOUSEY. Fu'blis.b.er9 24 Unioa Square, New York.


Fame and Fortune Weekly 8TORIE8 OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A New One Issued Every Friday 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 the lives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes "Fame and Fortune Weekly" a magazine for the home, although each number ls replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists. and every effort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy in Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. 3 A Corner in Corn; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 4 A Game of Chance: or, The Boy Who Won Out 5 Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street. 6 Building a Railroad; or, The Young Contractors of Lake view. 7 Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy. 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers of Wall Street. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys WhoWorked a Deserted Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Boy. 12 A Diamond in the Rough; or, A Brave Boys Start in Life. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy in Wall Street. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Could Not be Downed 15 A Streak of Luck; or, The Boy Who Feathered His Nest 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune. 17 King of the Market; or, The Youngest Trader in Wall Street. 18 Pure Grit; or, One Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise in Life; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A Barrel of Money; OT, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. 21 All to the Good; or, From Call Boy to Ma'ilager. 22 How He Got 'l'here; or, The Pluckiest :aoy of Them 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, the Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 The Way to Success; or, The Boy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oil; or, The Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk; o;, The Young Miners of Della Cruz. 29 A Sure Winner; or, The Boy Who Went Out With a Circus. 30 Golden Fleece; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street. 31 A Mad Cap Scheme; or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Co cos Island. 32 Adrift on the World; or, Working His Way to Fortune. 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 FBANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Squa.re, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdeale r s they can be obtained from this uffice direct. Cut -0ut and fl.11 in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... FRANK TOUSEY Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ......................... 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me:' .... copies of WORK AND WIN Nos ................ ................................................ " WILD WEST WEEKLY Nos ....... : ................ : ................................ " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ''l'6, Nos .................... ............................... " PLUCK AND LUCK Nos ............................................................. " SECRET SERVICE, Nos ............................................................... " FRANK MANLEY'S WEEKLY Nos ................................................... " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY Nos ................................................ I " THE YOUNG ATHLETE'S WEEKLY, Nos ........................................... " Ten-Cent H and Books, Nos .............................. ..................... Name .......................... Street au No ..................... Town ... _. ...... State ......... ..


WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE S1:'0RY EVERY \VEEK Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS Price 5 Cents .... HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED COVERS -wl llf"' 32=PAGES OF READING MATTER .... ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY -.. Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the World 1 TAKE NOTICE! ,_. This handsome weekly contains intensely intere sting stories of adventure on a g:reat variety of subjects. Each number is replete with rousing situations and lively incidents The heroes are bright, manly fellows, who overcome all obstacles by sheer force of brains and grit and win well merited success. We have secured a staff of new authors, who write these stories in a manner which will be a source of pleasure and profit to the reader. Each number bas a handsome col ored illu stration made by the most expert artists. Large sums of money are being spent to make this one of the best weeklies ever published .. Here is a List of Some of t h e Titt


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