A fool for luck, or, The boy who turned boss

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A fool for luck, or, The boy who turned boss

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A fool for luck, or, The boy who turned boss
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Wide awake weekly
Warburton, Fred
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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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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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032046503 ( ALEPH )
07700117 ( OCLC )
W20-00012 ( USF DOI )
w20.12 ( USF Handle )

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."'-:-' _:-------:...--\ A-EDMPtETE_________ STORY--"We'll do you, too!" roared the Drum, as Ben jumped in to save his employer . "Pile in, fellers, an' kill 'em---the plunder's worthit!" The whole Hoo-hoo gang rallied .and chargeda .swarming avalanche of human greed and hate! -


WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE ST07lY EVERY WEEK. Iaaued Weekly-By Subacriptio n f2.50 per year. Entere'c! accordin g t o Act o f Congreaa, in the year 19011, in the otflce o f the Lib r arian of O o ngre11, W aahington, D 0 by Frook Touaey, P u b lfa h er, 24 Union New Yor1'1. No. 12 NEW YORK, JULY 6, 1906. PRICE 5 CENTS. A POOL FOR LUCK OR, THE .BOY w uo TURNED BOSS BY FRED 'WARBURTON CHAPTER I. "HERE'S YOUR HAT "How did it happen?" demanded John Desmond, sharp. "Oh, that unutterable idiot, Wright, ha s blundered again." "For about the one-hundredth time, eh?" demanded Mr Desmond, s taring sharply under his thickset eyebrows. "Jus t about the hundredth time, sir,'' nodded Prentice, the managing clerk of John De s mond s big New York commi s sion office that dealt in canned meat s "Send Wri ght in h ere,'' called Desmond, angrily. "At once sir." Desmond tilte d back in hi s office chair, behind his big, handsome roll-top desk at which he managed a business worth at least a quarter of a million dollars a year in clean-cut profit s This proprietor of a great business was not a wholly pleasant man to look a t at the best of times. He was tall broad, well-built-as far as mere appeflr ance went-and had a rather distinguished-looking face But his eyes had a disagreeable way of flashing from under those bushy, thick-set e yebrows of his. His voice almost invariably was harsh and disagreeable Generally, his face wore a cold, half sneering expression when it was not positively angry. Just now anger was written in every line o f his face Tap-tap! "Come in," rasped D esmond. The office door opened; the offender came q u ietly in. He was a boy of about seventeen, tall, and rather slim. There was a merry, innocent look almost always in his eye s The brown hair was combed neatly back from a rather; high forehead. Judged by any standards, h e was a good-looking boy, who gave promi s e of di s tingui s hed features later in life. His manner, u s ually, was quiet but confident. Just now, however, he looked uneasy-for he knew his boss. "Oh, it's you Wright?" demanded the man at the desk. "I was told that you wanted me, sjr "W!ho told you that?" demanded Desmond. turning griml y on the b o y. "Mr. Prentice, sir." "He might have put it in a different way," snapped the proprietor "Get your memorandum book." "I have it here, sir," Ben replied, producing th book from behind his back. "Turn back to la s t Thursday." Ben rapidly pa s sed the pages betwee n his hands, w hi c h shook a little, for he smelled trouble in the air "On that date Wright, what order did I give you for goods to be shipped to Swezey & Newbold?" "One hundred and eighteen cases of prime A l Chicag o canned roast beef," Ben read off, rapidly. "Exactly rasped his employer, picking up a letter. "And you sent down the order for corned beef "Good Lord, sir-did I?" ga s ped the boy, startled out of his senses. 'Good Lord, did you?' mocked his employer, cut tingly "Exactly what you did! And Swezey & Newbold


A FOOL F O R LUC K. have written me in great indignation, as I should think they would. '_\hey wanted those goods for immediat& han dling. And now, through having gotten the wrong stuff, they've lost an important customer-and so have we! Swezey & Newbold h ave been trading with us to the ex tent of two thousand dollars a year!" John Desmond did not speak excitedly, but in his wrath he had risen and walked-straight toward the shrinking, amazed, frightened youngster. "Well?" demanded the man, cuttingly, as he stopped short before Ben. "Have you anything to say?" "N no, sir," stammered Ben, who, after having been white for a few moments, had now turned a fiery red "Wright, thi s has been about the thousandth blunder you have made since you've been here," rasped the em ployer, returning to his chair and plumping himself down i n it. "I_:.I know I've made a good many, sir." "You can understand just about how valuable you are to me." "II understand, sir "When you came here," went on the man, speaking in a somewhat milder, though no kinder, voice, "I had hopes of you. You seemed so anxious to get ahead that I be you would work up into something As 9ffice boy you did your work well. At the telephone switch you did well, though I now remember that you made two or threeblunders that it gave us some trouble to straighten out. So I gave you some minor clerical work. You did fairly well at that, though you made mistakes that gave us trouble." "It's-it's all true, sir," stammered l3en, who wished that the floor under him would give way and carry him down int.o the cellar. "When our old shipping clerk died, and we promoted the assistant to his position," went on Desmond, in a hard, accusing voice, "we promoted the assistant You seemed so bright and an:fious for work that we gave you the assist ant's berth, and paid you the very unusual wages-for a boy of your years-of twelve dollars a w9ek. Now, the new shipping-clerk is away on his wedding trip, and you had a chance to show what you could do in charge of the shipp:i:.ng department Wh'at kind of a showing,have you made?" "Bad, I know, sir," quivered poor, crushed Ben "But is it to be considered at a ll sir, that one boy has been doing the work of two men lately, and that I have been rushed to death?" "The principal thing that I can see," rejoined Desmond, in his coldest, rhost cutting voice, "is that my income has been reduced by at least twenty thousand dollars a year, unless I can find other customers to 1eplace Swezey & Newbold, who have cut off with me-and by the great banner, I don't blame them!'-' Ben's eyes sudden l y snapped. He started forward eag erly. f'Mr Desmond," he cried, appealingly, "let me get other customers for you. Let me follow out ideas of my own that I have been pondering over in the shipping department, and I can almost promise that I'll get new customers who'll be worth twice as much to you as the firm of Swezey & Newbold!" "How?" queried his employer, but not eagerly. "By going on the road for you, sir. Oh, I can do it! I've thought it all out while in the shipping department!" "Send you on the road?" retorted John Desmond. "Humph! If you got into the selling department for me, I'd be a pauper within a year So you've been doing a lot of thinking about selling when your duties were in the shipping line ?" "Yes, sir "Humph! That's why you've made such a stupid ass of yourself in your new job. You've been thinking about everything but the business in hand. Wright, you're the worst and biggest blunderer that I've ever had in my em ploy." "I don't doubt it, sir,'' Ben admitted, honestly. "But that's because I !Thven't been in the right place." "Your right place? That1s in a lunatic asylum!" roared John Desmond, suddenly becoming angry in spite of him self. "Boy, don't you understand what this talk leads up to?" That gentleman walked over to a wardrobe c l oset, open ed it, made an elaborate gesture of taking down something from a hook, and wheeled upon the boy. "Here's your hat!" hinted Desmond, mockingly "Di charged?" asked B en, soberly "Fired-discharged-allowed to resign! Call it any thing you please,'' sneered his employer Ben drew himself up with sudden, quiet dignity. "I'll go aJ; once, then, sir, if you wish," he replied. "No; you can stay until your week is up to-morrow night. You can help straighten out the work with your successor But I shall put a good man up against you, so you won't have a chance to make too many blunders Desmond looked toward the door, as if inviting his young clerk to make use of it. "Just one moment, sir,'' Ben begged, quietly, his face white. "Will you let me explain my new ideas about sell ing?" "Don't want to hear a word,'' clicked Desmond, turning again to his desk. "If yot1 don't, sir, I'm very sure you'll be sorry l ater." "Oh, bosh!" sneered the man. "Then you won't even let me explain my plan, sir?" "Not a word. Get out! This is my busy day I've got to scheme ways of malcing up the two thousand a year that your brilliant blundering is going to cost me." "But if you'll only hear--" "I won't!" "Next week will be too late, sir.'' "Yes, for you won't be here. What do you think you'll do, anyway?"


A FOO L FOR LUCK. 3 "If you don't let me carry out my idea f.or you, Mr. Des mond, I shall take a try at it myself." "Go into business for yourself, eh?" grinned the employer. "Yes," Ben Wright retorted, fumly. "I guess it's the best thing, anyway. I'm tired of working for other peo ple. I've decided not to tell you my idea, anyway, Mr. Descond. I'm going to kick over the traces and become my own boss. Remember that, sir, when you begin to hear from me in the market." "Let me down easily, won't you?" jeered the rich man. "And now-get out!" The command was given in a tone that was not to be misunderstood. "May I give you just one hint, sir-about one of your employees?" "What is it?" asked Desmond, looking up He was always suspicious of his employees. "I think you would do well to keep your eye on your new porter." "An eye on Drumm? Nonsense! Richard Drumm is an honest fellow, and a good one. He came into my employ because, the other night, I was attacked by a gang of four ruffians near the Christopher Ferry. Before there was time to get a policeman Drumm pitched in and pounded the gang up so badly that he put them to flight. I found Drumm to be a poor fellow in hard luck, and at once gave him the job here." "But he-" "Shut up and get out!" "But won't you listen--" "No! Get out-on the run!" B en took the order literally at last. It was impossible to do anything for this man, whom he was anxious to serve faithfully up to the last. But as Ben closed the office door, and started to cross the outer office, he started back. Before him stood the new porter, Richard Drumm, black, wrathful, threatening "See here, kid, what you been telling the bos s about me?" demanded Drumm, sticking an ugly jaw forward close to the boy's face. "So you've been listening, eh?" asked Ben, quietly. "S'posing I have? What right ;ou got to try to queer me?" Drumm looked as if he intended to jump on the boy. "I don't believe I've anything to say to you, Drumm," the boy coldly, and tried to pass around him. But Drumm, wheeling, again got in his way. "I've got a few words to say to you," insisted the porter, in a hoarse whisper. "Keep out of my way! If you don't, things'll happen." "Rot!" snapped Ben. "You'll take a sneak off the earth-that's all," nodded Drumm. "So?" mocked Ben, smilingly. "If ye get in my way again, lid, or shoot yer mouth off about me, little old New York's streets won't be safe for ye! Savvy?" "Got a pull with the streets?" smiled Ben, still un afraid. "Some," mocked Drumm, in that same hoarse whisper. "Ever hear of the ::jioo-hoo gang?" Had he? The papers often contained long accounts of the doings of this gang of thugs, law-breakers, thieves. Even murders had been laid at the door of the Hoo-boo gang. "I pass the word, and the Hoo-boos foller ye about town! Are ye wise now?" demanded Drumm. "Oh, say, you make me tired!" retorted the boy, pushing by the porter and passing the next door. But as Ben Wright crossed the g!eat counting room, g oing between the desks of all the clerks, he was mighty thoughtiul. He opened the door of the little cubby-hole of a sepa rate office where the shipping department had its qua,rters. This room he had all alone just at present. Truth to tell, our hero, who had the one misfortune of often thinking faster than be could work,.sat down at his desk, but not to go over bis shipping orders Instead, he leaned back in a br9wn study. "The Hoo-hoos, eh?" he murmured. "I wonder if Dru.nun really has anything to do with those thugs? His mug is tough enough to make him the leader of the gang. Oh, bosh! That was just a bluff!" But Ben's thoughts soon took another turn. "Why, it must have been Hoo-hoos who attacked Mr. Desmond the other night, down near the ferry. The Hoo hoos often hang out in that neighborhood. So D r umm licked four of 'em, did he? Then it was a putup job, and Desmond hadn't the brains to see it. Drumm made believe lick a few of bis own crowd, so as to get a job here. But why did be want the job here? A feilow like D rumm, if he belongs to such a gang, wouldn't take a hard-work job unless there was a game in it. What IS the game?" Work still forgotten, Ben Wright leane d back in his office chair, thinking hard about Porter Richard D rumm And Drumm, in the meantime, was doing some dark thinking in his own hard, thick bead-some thinking about this very boy who blundered. There was trouble looming up all around! CHAPTER II. "THE DRUM:" AC'I:S QUEERLY. A voice through the pipe from the packing depa r tmen t brought B'en Wright back to earth. Then he gave a ga s p, as he glanced at bis littered desk and realized all that yet remained for him to do. "I'm shiftless and worthless-a dreamer," he muttered


A FOOL FOR LUCK. "Desmond did just right to pass me my hat. I'm no good here But I will be, from now on, up to the time I leave." He bustled away at the papers, yet working hard to keep his mind on his task. Ben Wright, though discharged, was much too honest a chap to meaningly slight his work during the few hours that he was to remain. So, for an hour, he worked away, until the general scur rying of feet out in the counting-room brought it to his mind that the noon-hour had arrived. "No lunch for me to-day," murmured the boy, though he was really hungry. "I've been loafing away Desmond's time, so I'll cut the feed and catch up with the job, like a sq?are, white 111an." Scratch! scratch! went the young clerk's pen unceasingly for the next half hour. "Wonder if I've got this right?" murmured Ben, hold ing up a slip that he was making out for the packing de partment. "It calls for No. 1 lunch tongue-but wasn't it No. 2?" He thought for a moment, but wit110ut getting any light on the matter. "If I make a mistake to-day or to-morrow," muttered the boy, uneasily, "Desmond will be sure I did it on pur pose because I got fired. There mustn't be any mistakes now." r John De smond, not caring to lunch just at noon, was usually in his private office up to 1.30. "I'll step in and ask him-that's the best way," Ben murmured, slipping down from his stool. Through the great counting room he went, then, in the outer office beyond that of his employer he went for ward softly over the carpet. A swinging door opened into the private office. "l wonder if the old man is too busy to see me now,'' Ben thought. "I'll take a peek in first, and see." Cautiously our hero pushed the swinging door. Then he almost shouted out with amazement. For he saw not his employer, but Drumm, the porter. That worthy was down on his knees before the door of the safe. In his left hand the porter held the little memorandum book in which Desmond always kept the latest memoran dum of the combination on the safe lock. Drumm, his eyes mostly on the page of the open little book, was thoughtfully turning the knob of the combina tion. "So that's what Drumm wanted to work here for!" throbbed horrified Ben. "If the boss could only see him now!" For one thrilled, yet hesitating moment, young Wright debated whether to rush in and grapple with the detected thief. "But that might be the worst thing to do," pondered the boy. "Drumm might grapple with me, and swear he caught me. Old Desmond would believe it, too. But I must get someone here, to SQe what I am seeing-and it's got to be done in a twinkling, tool" On tip-toes Ben Wright wheeled about. As he did so he found himself up against w::iat, in the first startled moment, appeared to be a big black wall. It was the frock coat of John Desmond, who stood there looking accusingly, searchingly at the young clerk whom he found peeping into his private office. John Desmond now opened his lips tc speak. There was no time to caution the merchant-and Des mond must not speak and pass the alarm to Drumm! Twist! shove! Ben fairly seized the bull by the horns. Darting around and behind his employer like a flash, the boy gave him a monster push. Flop! Under the impetus of that determined shove Desmond went staggering swiftly through the doorway, carrying the swinging door before him until he had passed it. Down upon his knees went the merchant, but as he gasped and glared he found himself staring at Poi:ter Drumm-that scoundrel also on his knees, book and com bination knob in his hands. Like a flash, and with a deep, growling oath, Drumm turned and leaped to his feet . He was confronted by John Desmond, who, though unused to fighting, was at least anything but !\coward. "You seemed very busy, my man," said the merchant, coldly. "I-I--" blustered the porter. "That's quite explanation enough, thank you. My book, if you please." For just an instant the porter hesitated, as if he would refuse and brave it out. Then, thinking better of it, Drumm passed over the lit tle memorandum book. At that instant Ben Wright stepped slowly, coolly into the room. "So this is yer job, ye stool pigeon!" bellowed Drumm, growing almost purple at sight of the boy. "You snooped, and then went off for the boss, did ye? I'll settle with ye!" Drumm made a rush for the boy. Bravely enough, John Desmond stepped in between the ruffian and the clerk w.bo had served him. But roaring like an angry bull, Drumm fairly swept the merchant aside. The ruffian's big and heavy fists the air as he leaped forward. But Ben was not slow. Snatching up an office cliair by its back, lie swung it over his head. "Keep off! "he warned, "or I'll brain you!" The porter, not stopping, closed in. Crack! Down came the chair. Drumm staved it off a bit with one of his arms, thougli he got a blow on the side of the head that sent him to his knees with a bleeding scalp.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. Lik e a flash he was on his feet again, however. Ben, as soon as he had wrecked that first chair, sprang for another, caught it up, and stood on his guard. "Put that down, or I'll hurt ye,'' warned Drumm, quiv ering with rage. John Desmond, with swift presence of mind, had step ped to his desk, running his finger over a row of call but tons. Ere Drumm could spring again at our hero, quick foot steps were heard. The door flew open, admitting half a dozen clerks who had just returned from lunch. Then other quick ste p s were heard in the rooms be yond. Drumm, caught at bay, turned, glaring at the new-com ers. He saw the folly of fighting at that moment. "You see, my man," smiled Desmond, "you -may as well stop. And of course you will go-for good. Go quickly, please, as I shall be Yery busy this afternoon." With a snarl, Drnmm started for the door. "He has the keys of the place,'' whispered Ben. "Oh, to be sure," rem elJlbered Desmond. "One minute, Drumm. Let me have the keys, please." Sull enly the porter returned and handed u;em over. "You could be sent to prison, Drumm, I believe," went on the merchant. "I am l ett ing yon off on that, in men1-ory of how you rus hed into the gang the other night and saved me. Perhaps yon clid that only in order to get a job here, so that you could rob the safe. It won't pay you to come back here, Drumm, in the night-time, for the combination on the .safe will be changed at once, and I shall not again be so careless as to leave my memorandum book in the desk. Mr. Prentice, see that Drumm is paid in full to the end of the week. And now I sha ll thank you all to leave me alone." While the others filed out, Ben stood stock st ill, as if the dismissal did not apply to him. "Oh, you are here, Wright. That reminds me that I owe you my thanks. You might tell me how you came to catch Drumm at his queer work." This our hero did quickly. "Perhaps I won't ask you to take your ha.t and gh ju st yet, : Wright," smiled the merchant. "You may remain, and try to do better in the shipping department." "Thank you, sir, but I have already made my plans for the future," Ben replied, very quietly. "Oh," said Desmond, but did not ask what those plans were. Then, seeing that Ben still lingered: "Anything else, Wright?" "Just one thing, sir. How can you be sure that Drumm won't come back in the night and have a lo:eig try at the safe? "He'd have to use a jimmy to get in, and that would set off the burglar alarm. He has returned the keys to the place." "But don't you imagine, Mr. Desmond," smiled the boy, rather scornfully, "that a scoundrel like Drumm would be smart enough to have duplicate keys made while he has had a set in his possession?" Desmond started. "That's so," he murmured. "The afternoon is early,''. hinted Ben. "By night you can have new locks on everything if you hustle. Then a set of the old keys would be good for nothing but scrap metal." Desmond looked at the boy, half admiringly. "Wright, do you know, all of a sudden, from failing to do enough thinking, you're beginning to think of every thing? By Jave, I'm not so sure that I want you to take your hat and go. Better remain on here." "Thank you, Mr. Desmond, but you discharged me this morning, and so I began to make my plans at once. I don't care to r emai n." "You wholly approve of your boss, eh?" "Perhaps not sir." "Oh! Well, what's the matter with me, boy?" "Do you really want me to tell you, sir?" asked Ben, finding that the merchant was looking very steaclily at him. "If you please," nodded Desmond. "Well, then," came the prompt answer, "you're not quite enough up to date for me." "Oh!" and John Desmond looked rather astonished. "Well, in what respect am I behind the times?" "For one thing,'' Ben went on, coolly, "I offered to ex plain to you a method of greatly increasing your business." "Oh, sit down! I'm ready to listen,'' rejoined Desmond, who seemed sudde nly to be in a better humor than he had been in the morning. "But I'm not ready to talk now, sir," came the young clerk's answer. "As you turned down my scheme with ouf even li s t e ning I feel that I don't owe the idea to you any longer." "Going to take the idea to a rival, eh?" asked Desmond, lookin g half amused. "Not quite," Ben s miled. "I'm going into business with that idea for myself." "Oh! Well, I wish you luck, Wright." "You haven t forgotten about the locksmith, have you, sir?" queried Ben, changing the subject. "Oh, no. You might go to my locksmith, Wriglit. You know where his place is. Tell him what we want, and rush him around here. Tell him the job has to be done by six o'clock to-nigl\t Ben made quick time out to the street, dodging three or four clerks in the counting-room who wanted to ask ques tions. Out in the busy street he hurried along, until a figure big and brutal loomed up before him. "So ye spoiled it, eh?" snarled Drumm, his face as black as a thunder cloud. "Fve no time to talk with your kind," Ben rejoined, stiffly. "Get out of the way, please."


6 A FOOL FOR LUCK "Get out of the way, is it?" leered the e x -porter, rough ly . "It' s in yer way I'll get, kid. Ye spoiled a job for me and for the gang. That settles you! The Hoo-hoos'll have yer life, kid, before they're thro1'gh with ye! Take my word for it." "I'm afraid I wouldn't take your word for anything," sneered Wright. "Oh, ye wouldn't, eh? Then take my word for a broken leg!" Drumm jumped forward suddenly, aiming a kick with all his might for Ben's near e r knee. Had he given no warning he would have broken the youngster's leg beyond a doubt. But Ben, cautioned, darted a si-de. The kick landed, but glancingly. Like a flash Drumm turned and darted around the near est corner. "Oh, bother him!" decided Ben, after wondering for an instant whether to yell for a .Policeman and g ive chase. A few curious pas s er s-by stopped, crowding about the boy, who was rubbing a knee that had narrowly escaped breaking. "It's me for the locksmith-that's my job," quivered the boy. Breaking through those who hemmed him in, he hurried onward, limping slightly. "Drumm showed his good intentions all right," mut tered the boy, wincing with the pain in his knee. He'll sure do his bes t to lay me up! But I wonder if he really belongs to the Hoo-hoos? They don't balk at murder jobs." Richard Drumm really did belong to the Hoo-hoos. In that interesting gang he was known as "The Drum," on account of the beatings he could take without a mur mur. And The Drum generally lell the Hoo-hoo processions of crime! CHAPTER III. IN THE HOO-HOO RUSH. "It must be closing time," muttered Ben Wright, look ing up from his desk toward the clock. "Thunder! It is!" Busily at work all afternoon, trying to catch up with his dutie s Ben had given no thought to the flight of time until the moving of feet in the counting-room told him that the c lerks were leaving for the day. "I wish I had an hour n;iore," sighed the boy. "The new man will be in in the morning, and I won't have things in s hape for him to break in . Droppin g his pen, our hero hurried to the private office. Desmond was at hi s desk, busily engaged. "Well, Wright?" he demanded, looking up. "You look as if you were not going right away, sir." "I'm not." "Then can I stay longer? I've got a lot I want to do with my work." "Want to stay overtime, eh?" asked the merchant, looking surprised. "Why, yes; when I leave to-morrow I want to leave things straight behind me." "How long do you want to stay?" "As long as you do, sir." "But I expect to be here until ten o'clock." "So mu c h the better for my work." "Go ahead, then," replied the merchant, briefly. But he muttered to himself, as Ben hurried away: "I'rriafraid I've been hasty with that boy. There's more in him than I thought." Ben, at his de s k, with the light turned on, was still busy at work when Desmond looked in on him at eight o'clock. "Young man, do you mind stopping long enough to go out and get some sandwiches and fruit for me?" "Of cour s e I don't," Ben replied, slipping down from his stool. "And I'll get something for myself. I haven't eaten since this morning." Our hero hurried into the street, taking a set of the new keys along with him. There were few passers-by now, on this downtoWn. busi ness street. But just across the street, a few doors up, Wright caught sig h t of a figure that made his flesh creep. "That' s Drumm!" he panted, and started to run. He did not care to meet that bully alone if it could be helped. "What' s he laying around there for now?" Ben throb bed, as he got away from the Drum s neighborhood. "What does he expect to do? And-Jerusha! I get back he ll sure jump me. I might stand tliat, but I don't want him to get the new set of keys away from me!" Around the corner young Wright bought san dwiches and fruit enough for his employer and himself. Then he started back, throbbing with alertness. A big, blue-clad form loomed up at the corner-a police man. "Just the man I want to see," greeted. Ben. "See here, I'm employed at a place down the street where a inan was fired to-day. He's ,laying for me and for the boss. He's a fellow named Drumm, and brags that he belongs to the gang." "Does, eh?" demanded the policeman, looking interest ed. "He'll be laying for me when I go back,'' Ben went on, hurriedly. "Will you walk down to Desmond's office with me?" "I won't,'' replied the copper, promptly. "But I'll trail along behind you in the shadow. If Mr. Hoo-hoo Drumm shows up I'll try to jump him the second he trou ble. Walk along, kid, and remember I'm not far away!"


, A FOOL FOR LUCK. "1\ ow, that's all right-sure!" glowed the boy, as he stepped forward "Drumm, I hope you do show your face!" But that fellow didn't. Ben reached the door, an.d turned in in safety, closing the door and locking it behind him. "Drumm has been laying around outside," our hero ann.ouncea, when he reached his employer's office. "That so?" Desmond looked a bit worried "Wonder what the rascal's up to? And just the night when I am to leave the office with funds about me." "Are yoa?" Be:ri gasped. "Does Drumm know it?" "I'm afraid he must, Wright. I sent him to the bank this morning, as a guard for Prentice, who drew out eight thousand dollars in cash for me. I'm going over to J er sey late to-night, and take the money with me." "And Drumm knows it!" "Does look so, doesn't it?" smiled the merchant. "Then you'll take me to the ferry with you, won't you?" our hero pleaded. "The fellow wouldp.'t dare attack two people, where he wouldn!t h esi tate to jump on one." "I'll see a.bout it, Wright, if you're here at the time I leave." "I shan't think of leaving until you go, Mr. Desmond Back at his own desk in the other office, Ben ate his own meal, then buckled down hard to work, There he sat until the merchant looked in. "Nearly ten o'clock, young man,'' announced the mer chant, who had buttoned his long frock coat and had hi.s high silk hat on "Going now, sir?" "Yes." "Got all tha.t money about you?" "In here,'' nodded Desmond, tapping the breast of his coat "I'll be ready in a jiffy." Ben's own books and papers were quickly stored in the safe behind hi s desk. "Want some good advice, Mr. Desmond ?" he asker as he locked the safe. "What is it?" "Let me telephone police headquarters and have a po liceman. sent here to escort you to the ferry . "Oh, I guess I'm not as nervous as I was," laughed the merchant. "I don't be l ieve Drumm would dare attack me on the way to the ferry "Any chance that is needless is a foolish one to take, sir," hinted the young clerk. "Oh, there can't be any risk," objected' Desmond. "At least, I can walk to the ferry with you," proposed Ben. "I don't want you doing anything of the sort, lad. I'm not afraid." "But you'll let me go with you, won't you?" "I won't hear of it." Desmond's lip s closed with a snap that showed the use les s ness of argument. So, at the sidewalk, B'en locked the door and handed the keys over to his employer. "Good-by, Wright, and thank you for all you've done for me to-day,'' acknowledged the merchant. "I shall be in to-morrow afternoon, and I shan't forget you "Let me walk down to the ferry with you/' pleaded the boy. "Don't you dare!" So Ben, with a muttered good = night, turned in the op posite direction A few doors above, i:iowever, he stopped, looking back down the stree t. "I \von't let him go alone,'' muttered the boy, and went on stealt hily after the man who had discharged him and b.een sorry for it. Down through the turnings of Christopher Des monil was soon walking on that warm May night. He look ed n eithe r to right nor foft, but walked on through and past the men and women on the sidewalk, only now and then pausing to avoid trampling _O!l the swarms of sma ll c hildren that played about . "Say, mister, ain't ye lost?" piped a s mall, shrill voice. Other youngsters laugh e d as they stared at the big, broads hould ere d, well dressed figure. . Through suc h throngs as were out on Christopher street on a ni ght lik e this Ben could follow with little danger of detection by his employer. Both got at last do\rn nearer to the ferry, where the crowds of dwellers became thinner. "That bloke with the s ilk man-hole cover's likely to get into trouble down thi s way,'' Ben h ear d a. hard-faced girl say to the other girl who was s tanding with her. "He looks lik e meat for the Hoo-boos." "Huh! Hain't none of the Hoo-hoos been heard of down this 'way lately," answered the other girl. "Hain' t, eh? There's always a Hoo-hoo around "hen there 's dough in the pan. That old geezer must haYe a watch and wad, if nothin' more If he ha s bet ye three to one he loses." And now, much nearer to the feny, the crowd on the street was growing much scanter. Many eyes followed the big prosperous-looking figure of the merchant. Those who were not in crime for them selves wondered whether Desmond would reach the ferry through a neighborhood that the Hoo-hoo gang had made famous in the wrong way Two men came out of a doorway and began to follow close at the heels of John Desmond. They were rough-looking ypung fellows, yet there was nothing really S'Uspicious in their movements But Ben Wright, watchfully alert, drew closer, trem bling a little inwardly "Are they Hoo hoos?" he throbbed, as he looked straight a.head. "That gang has a reputation for hating


8 A FOOL FOR LUCK. any wealthy man. They always more'n half kill the rich man they tackle!" Thin, indeed, was the size of the crowd at this point. John Desmond still strode on, as if unaware that he was being followed. Out of a saloon two more men. They fell in behind the first pair. "Gracious!" Now Ben Wrighfsprang forward at a leap. He had just caught sight of The Drum, sneaking softly out of a doorway. Ll.ke a cat, The Drum passed the other four men, going ahead of them and close behind the merchant. "Duck for your life, Mr. Desmond!" roared Ben. Out in the street, almost over to the other sidewalk, Ben was running at top speed. As he raced, out of the corners of his eyes he saw a dozen more men joining the first-comers. At sound of the voice Mr. Desmond halted, wheeling about like a flash. His cold eyes looked into those of The Drum. That worthy, hardly at arm's-length, suddenly drnpped & blackjack down out of his sleeve into his red, brawny right hand "Hand over!" sneered the ex-porter. "Come and get it!" jeered Desmond, eoolly, standing on guard with both :fists clenched. "Oh, I'll do you, if ye don't hand over! See the gang behind me?" "A hungry-looking lot,'' smiled D smond, his face pale, but his grit away up. "Then here goes for the soak!" growled Drumm, bouncing forward, with right arm uplifted. "No, you don't, you brute!" roared Ben, darting for ward. "We'll do you, too!" roared The Drum, as Ben jumped in to save his employer. "Pile in, fellers, and kill 'em tlit plunder's worth it!" Crack! The Drum made a lunge forward to brain his former employer. B'nt he had two enemies to face. That crack came from Ben's right :fist, which landed squarely over the brute's rrght eye. Down went The Drum, but the whole Hoo-hoo gang rallied and charged-a swarming avalanche of human greed and hate! Ben turned to face .the first-comer. Biff! Down went that rascaL Smash! De s mond didn't know how to run away in a cPash iike that. His fist caught a fellow under the jaw. The merchant' s lusty blow landed the fellow, head-first, through the plate glass of a saloon. "Down 'em! Kill 'em both!" roared The Drum, leap ing 'bo his feet. The Hoo-hoos came on, now-a solid fighting frpnt. It would have been folly to ky to run. Panting, side by side, employer and clerk backed to a wall. Here both used their fists as fast as they could. "Police!" "Help!" Both shouted, while :fighting desperately to defend themsel'ves from death. Three more of the gang went down before that pair of fists. But The Drum, hurling two light e r ruffians aside, broke through the front. Swat! He aimed at the merchant, but Ben ducked in under that raised arm. Under the force of The Drum's blow, Wright went down to the sidewalk. Trip! Ben made the best use of his fall by grabbing the ankles of The Drum. Flop! The leader of the Hoo-hoo s sat down with a force that made the sidewalk s hake. Not for nothing was the ex-porter named 'rhe Drum He could take his beating. Jarred by Ben's trip, but his :fighting courage not a bit cooled, The Drum reached forward with his fist. Ben dodged that fist, only to nm afoul of the slung-shot. The heavy, loaded end crossed Ben's jugular, laying the boy oulflat. "Police! Help!" shouted Desmond. He was still :fighting with the force and valor of three men. But The Drum was once more on his feet. More than that, Ben Wright, half-dazed and badly hurt, simply could not rise at that instant. Thump! thump! whack! Desmond was in the thick of it now, fighting for hi s very life "'We've got to kill .the geezer quick!" growled The Drum. "Let me at him!" Bink! That was what the slungshot sounded like, as it landed glancingly against the side of the merchant's head. Down went Desmond, the last of the fight of him. "Now he'll give up!" chuckled The Drum, roughly, as he knelt on his victim's chest. Rip! T ear Slash! The gang were aiding The Drum to tear away Des mond's clothing. Gasping, Ben sat quickly up, wondering if it would be possib le to get in a crac k that would count. Biff! From a fist caught .):iim in the back oi the head. Ben pitched forward to his knees, see ing more stars than there were in the sky above. "Kill that kid!" gruffed a voice. "He's living too long!" "Come on, fellers!" rumbled the Drum's exultant voice. "I've got the boodle." Crack! Another blow stretc hed Ben Wright flat.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 9 CHAPTER IV. THE FURY OF THE GANG. "Cheese it! A cop!" "Kill de cop, then!" Whiz! A shower of stones descended, aimed at the breast of a lone policeman running up. But that policeman knew how to meet' a ferry gang. Into a doorway he darted, then out again just as the stones had fallen. Flash! The street light shone on that policeman's re volver. "I'll kill the man that throws a stone!" roared the cer. Whiz! The stone came, but the cop dodged. Crack! It was a shot from a polic!;' pistol, but the stone thrower had no chance to dodge. He went down, yelling, a bullet through his right shoul der. In the meantime, Ben Wright was doing valiant dutyjust how good it was he did not know at the moment. As he fell, his hands had grappled with a pair of ankles beating it past him. Bump! He had brought down his man. Nor did the man stir, more than to quiver in pain. For that ruffian had landed on his forehead, the fall doing him pretty well up. Now, as Ben, still gripping his enemy's ankles, realized that a shooting policeman was at hand, looked up to see how the fight was going, his gaze fell on the form of his prostrate victim. "The Drum!" he throbbed, joyously. That was who it was. Like a fl.ash Ben fell upon his helpless adversary. Under him prowled Ben's hands. Sure enough, there, under The Drum' s breast, was the broad, heavy Manila envelope that contained the eight thousand dollars. Jerk! Ben had it away in a twinkling, th:r:usting the envelope into his own inner coat pocket. "Here's the worst one!" cried Ben, leaping up as the officer landed beside him. The gang had fled, all except their fallen .leader, for all around the neighborhood sharp rap s had rung outraps made by the night-sticks of other policemen respond ing to the call for help. "Got him I" clicked the cop, kneeling on The Drum. "He got my--" began Desmond, excitedly, but Ben boldly clapped a hand over his employer's mouth-a move that the police officer did not see. "Sh!" whispered Ben, taking his hand away. "Eh?" gasped the bewildered Desmond. "He hasn't got your money." "Where--" "I've got it," Ben nodded, exultantly. "You--" "Keep quiet!" "Hand it to nie." "Not with anyone to see." "What do you--" "Hush! Keep cool, Mr. Demond. Into the 'doorway. There you are!" Dragging his employer into a doorway, Ben swiftly pass-ed the envelope. "Don t tell anyone The Drum got it away from you," warned the boy. "Why not?" "If you do, the police will hold the money as part of the evidence. Keep the money, and let the police just think that the Drum tried for it. That'll be enough to jail him, and you won't have to leave the money at the station house." "Wright, you're becoming a genius!'" cried his employ er, admirin gly. "I und e rstand! If I said that fellow had once got the money away from me I wouldn't be able to take the money with me to-night." "\'"ou may not, anyway,'' smiled Ben, looking at Des mond's tattered clothing. "There! They'v e got our man." The first policeman, aided by a second who had run up, had succeeded in handcuffing the ex-porter, who was no longer in condition to put up a fight. .. Two more policemen were scouring the street ahead in quest of other Hoo-hoos. But these rascals; having slipped into the nearest saloons, and mingled with the crowds there, could no longer be recognized. "WQuld you know any of the crowd?!' asked a policeman, turning to our hero. "Couldn't swear to any of 'em," Ben replied. ,.. "But you'll swear to this fellow?" "You've got his slungshot," retorted Ben. "That ought to be goods enough to locate on any Hoo-boo. And W!'l know him-Mr. Desmond and I. That fellow's name is Drumm. He was Mr. Desmond's porter until to-day." "Fired?" demanded the cop, with, interest. "Just!" clicked Ben. "And soaked the boss to get square, eh?" "A heap like it," nodded Ben. "And robbery, too, I suppose," pursued the "Did he get anything away from you, sir?" "You didn t find any goods on the crook, did you i" broke in Ben, talking for his employer. "I had a good deal of money about me, and the fellow knew it," added John Desmond, coolly "But I've got All of the money yet." The Drum still lay on the sidewalk. He was conscious, but knew enough not to talk. Up came the patrol wagon. Prisoner and witnesses were loaded in. Clang! The wagon was started away from a neighborhood where not even policemen were always safe.


10 A FOOL FOR LDCK. "Duck!" yelled on1e of the policemen. decent little penny, a11yway, to jump in and risk your life Whizz! From a roof at the left a volley of stones debefore a crowd like that." scended. "I'd like the money well enough, of co_ urse,'' hesitated But the only one hit was the Drum, who sat bolstered up Ben. between two policemen "Then take it. You've earned it. You'd be a fool not "You lobsters!" roared the prisoner. "Can't ye throw straight?" The patrol wagon raced around the cor'ner, all the oc cupants of the hurry-up wagon breathing more easily. "This is my first ride in a wagon of this kind,'' uttered John Desmond, disgustedly. "That's not to your discredit,'' smiled the boy . The horses traveling at a gallop, it did not take long to reach the nearest police station. With<1ut any gentleness the policemen hustled their still half-dazed captive from the wagon and dragged him up the steps. "Dey've pinched De Drum!" Ben heard come from someone in the small crowd that had gathered at the foot of the station-house steps to take it." "You really think so?" "Of course I do." I'll take it, and thank you." "Now, Wright, I want you to forget our few words this morning," went on the merchant, smilingly. "I thought you no good, and of no use to me But I've found out differently. I want you to stay with me, and I'll give you something better, too, in the way of a job, as soon as I can :find it. But at this Ben shook his h ead. "I'm sorry, but it's too late, Mr. Desmond." "What do you mean, boy?" "Just what I told you to-da.y, sir. I've made my p1ans for the near future." "It'll be a cop or two to de dead-house, den-see if it ain't!" hinted another subdued voice. "De Hoo-hoos "Then unmake them!" "I wouldn't do that, sir, for a good deal." John Desmond stared curiously at his young and latelywon't up deir 'cap' widout some trouble!" "Dem's de geezers dat had De Drum slugged,'' was the last Ben heard as he and Desmond followed the police party up the steps. Propped up by two policemen, the Drum stood at the rail before the sergeant's desk while Mr. Desmond made the charge. Then The Drum was carried off below, and a police sur geon called to what looked to be a fractured skull re sulting from Ben's last trip. "Lucky the crook didn't get you r money away from you, or we'd have to hold it as evidence,'' grinned the ser geant "If you want, Mr. Desmond, you can go across the hall into the captain's office to wait until fresh cloth in g reache s you." Thanking the sergeant heartily, Mr. Desmond took ad vantage of the offer, he and Ben seating themselves in two comfortable arm-chairs. despised clerk. "What is this idea of yours, Wright?" he asked, bluntly. "I'm going into business for myself." "What line of business?" "Same as yours, sir." "To be your own proprietor? Surely not!" "Surely, yes!" smi led Ben. "But what capital have you got for a game like th.at?" "Well, this money, for one thing,'' laughed young Wtjght, holding up the money he had just received. "Boy, you can't do any business on a capital like that!" cried John Desmond, who now realized that his clerk in thorough earnest. "Can't I?" smiled Ben. "I'm eager to prove that I can. And besides, I've got other money." "What other money?" ".About ninety dollars that I've saved." "A littl e over three hundred dollars? Pooh!" A messenger was summoned, and sent for a change of "That's more than the first Astor, Gould, or Vanderbilt clothing for the merchant. had at one time,'' lau ghed Ben, contentedly. Ben had suffered more in his bones and less in his "That's true,'' nodded Desmond, thoughtfully "But clothe!. do you think you pelong in "their class?" "I need this money for use the first thing in the morn"Not now, of course But I may, after a while ing," explained the merchant, tapping his heavy envelope "If you're going into my line of business, Wright," "But fortunately I have other cash with me." urged the man, "you'd better stay with me a while, and He took out a purse that had escaped The Drum's sharp learn more of the tricks of the trade eyes. "I believe I've got a new trick now, that'll work better From this he took out five fifty-dollar bills, and extended than some of the old ones them toward the boy. "Tell me about it, Wright." "For me?" asked Ben. "Tell a business rival?" laughed the boy. "That would "Why not?" smi led his employer. "It was worth it-be stupid of me, wouldn't it?" to me." "Oh! Then we're to be rivals?" smiled the merchant. "I wasn't thinking of any reward," protested Wright. "Sure thing! Hadn't I better give this money back to "No; but you earned it, so it is all right. It's worth a J you before it's spent in getting business away from you?"


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 11 "Oh, no. Keep l.t," smiled the merchant. "But I hope, Wright, that when you get me in a tight corn.er, you'll be as eas y on nie as you can." "As easy on you as I can,1' Ben laughingly promised. "But remember that I shall have to live, Mr. Desmond." "And, hang it all," nodded the merchant, "I begin to believe that you will live." "I shall try." "Do you live at home, Wright?" "I haven't any home to live in," the boy murmured, sadly. "Oh! An orphan?" "Father died four years ago. Mother died two years ago." "Where on earth do you live?" "In a pit of the earth known as West Nineteenth Street," smil e d "A fellow named Steve Dor sey lives with me. We have a sky parlor that we pay three dollars a week for. We get our own grub. Sometimes we :fix something in the room, and sometimes we get the grub outside." / "And you've managed to save money, you say?" "Some, but not much. A fellow has to dress decently in business, you know." "By the way--" Pausing, Desmond handed the boy twenty-five dollars more. "What's this for?" "To buy another suit witli. -That won't look fit for busi ness after this. The Hoo-hoos took too good care of that." After a protest, Ben al s o pocketed this money. "Here are my other duds/' announced Desmond, as the door opened. "I'll wait in the other office for you;'' nodded the boy, slipping out. Within five minutes John Desmond appeared, looking as if he had not lately been through a desperate fight for / hi s li:fl!. "You'd better take a cab to the ferry-and take another ferry, too," advised the sergeant. "Good advice," nodded the merchant. "And this time you'll agree to my going through to the ferry with -you, won' t you, sir?" Ben queried. "I-I think I'd better take _your advice, young man. I'm growing to have more and more respect for your judgment every hour." A policeman called the cab. Outside of the station-house the crowd that had been there had vanished. The start was made quietly, but it was too good. to last. Swiftly the cab was driven across town. The n, while still a few blocks away from the Twenty third street ferry, there was a smashing of glass. "Squeeze up against the back of the seat!" cried Ben. Not less than a dozen stones came in through the shat tered windows. One of them struck the boy's leg close to the knee. "U ghi" gasped "Hurt, my boy?" came the merchant's query, in a, kindly toM. "Not more'n I can s tand, sir." Crash! Another shower of rocks from the head of an other alley way. But this time OJ?.ly two of the missiles entered the cab, neither doing any harm. "G.ot De Drum pinched, did ye?" "Oh, you geez e r s is marked for de dead-house-re memb e r d a t!" Then th e driv e r, whipping hi s hor ses to a gallop, soon drew up und e r the broad glare 0 electric lights at the :ferry. But B e n in s i s t e d on going with his e mployer as far as the latte r's train o n t!ie .Je rsey side Then our hero r e turn ecl-goi!Jg across Twenty-third str e et, under bright lig ht, and s o home to his lodgings, where he woke up Steve Dor sey to tell that youth some wonderful things. CHAPTER V. THERE ARE SOME "FOOLS" WHO HAVE LUCK. I "Got 'em nail ed-twenty-two more on this trip-a.nd each good for two wagon-load s a week!" chuckled Steve Dorsey, a s h e bur s t into the office. It was Ben's office, by the way. For this was five weeks later, and Ben's new idea was flouri s hin g He was down in the wholesale provision district on Four teenth str e et, not very far from the North River. It was not s o mu c h of a n office to look at, but there was business be'ing tran s acted there. And a s imple enough it had proved, as far as it had gone. For years the New Jersey farmers who s ell shiploads of farm produce in the markets of New York had been gouged by the "commission men" through whom they sold their wares. Th ese selling agents in New York were supposed to sell farm produce on a definite basi s o.f commission. That is to say, the commiss ion men sold farm produce to wholes ale dealers at the hi g h e st pri ces they could g et, keeping out a certain commission on the amounts realized from these sales and turning ove_ r the balance of the money to the farmers whos e goods they sold. This was an honest enough proposition-if it haq been honestly carried out. J?ut for y e ars the commission men, forming a clique of their own, had been systematically robbing the poor mers. Instead of a straight commission, honestly earned these selling agents had managed to trump all sorts of "charges" against the farmers who depended upon them.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. Thus, instead of small commissions, the bonuses charged "That'll. make some more profits," smiled Wright. by these selling agents took up most of the hrmer's profits. "Your salary may as well go up five a week, Steve The In addition, the farmer was usually kept waitfo.g a long business will stand it." time for his money. "Thirty dolla:rs a week? Whew!" gasped Steve, hap. The profit had gone out of farming a Jerseypily man. "Well, I can afford to be honest with you, as well as Yet such a man could find no relief by changing his with the farmers," nodded Ben. "I'm making my money commission man. through the new-fangled idea of being strictly honest in Nearly all of these New York agents were leagued tobusiness gether, so that the farmer who changed his commission "It's a winner-sure," said Steve. "It's a wonder noman fared no better. body ever thought of it before." But Ben had come forward with hardly more capital "Being honest is such a brand-new idea in business, you than would furnish his office scani1.ly, and pay the rent for see !" grinned young Wtright. a while. Steve was the Jersey representative of this new house His id ea had been to sell the farmer's produce on a of Wright. straight basis of ten per cent commission. It was his1business to go among the farmers and drum His books and accounts were open at times to farup new trade. mers who sold through him. They could discover just Nor was it in any way hard, n.ow that Ben had made how much he was getting for their produce, and could sea a good start, and had proved his claim of being honest. for themselves that they were actually getting their full Of course, the commission men, finding their business ninety per cent of the proceeds. dwindling, had tried in all sorts of ways to get their trade More than that, Ben sold all goods on a strict basis of back. ten day's cash. As every buyer from him had to settle They had lied about B:en, but that did little good, for within ten days, the farmers were no longer kept waiting the farmers were satisfied. fo'r their cash. Many of the hard-hit commission men. had even tried The. scheme had caught on with amazing promptness. the scheme of h1ming over a new leaf and being honestThe first few farmers who trusted their busi;ness in but not even that worked. Ben's youn g but hustling hands were quick to discover that, Very wisely farmers who had through the Wright they were actually getting their money. office refused to go back to older commission men, who Then other farmers flocked to this new and "square" had suddenly and suspiciously offered to turn honest. commission man, who did not belong to any "ring," and It wasn't extremely pleasant for our hero to walk down d id not need to. t .hat section of Fourteenth In five weeks' time Ben was handling nearly fifty per cent of the Jersey produce that came over the Twenty third street ferry. He had the first pick, and the best pick, of vegetables and fruits. Wholesalers were obliged to come to him, for the sim ple reason that they could not fill their orders without buying of this new young financier. But this was not the whole of young Ben Wright's idea. He was planning, also, to break into the canned goods market, and here he was likely to conflict with his old employer, John Desmond. "Nowadays it's might easy to pick up Jersey .farmers, and add 'em to our list," laughed Steve, as he sa nk into the armchair opposite Ben's smart, new-looking roll-top desk. "Of course it's easy to get 'e111," nodded Ben, with ent4yi;ia!;lm. "Our is wholly new-we use the farmer square." "I don't have to go looking for 'em now," Steve con tin'ued .'Just drop into a. town, go to the little hotel, and drop a hint about my business Before the day is over all the farmers in town have come in to look me up. Here a re t)l tw1mty=tW(> ?..gree!I!eY,t J pic!rnq lJP this triu." th!l down en !i!lro.?s. desk. Everywhere he met commission men who had suffered through his new methods, and they hated him cordially. "When are you going to reach out for the canned goods trade?" Steve inquired. "I'm reaching already," Ben smiled; mysteriously. "Got any stock in?" "Some." "Going to get more?" "As soon as I've worked up the customers to knowing about my trick." The canned goods game, in brief, was this: Many of Desmond's customers could not, or did not, order until the last moment. Then they wanted their supp lie s 'in a rush. This was especially true of wholesale dealers who sup plied s ummer hotels. The hotels could not be sure of their demands until they how the summer people were coming to them. A hot wave, a rush to the summe r hotels, and the pro prietors clamored to the wholesalers for prompt, rush sup plies of canned goods. The wholesalers fell back on the house of Desmond. But John Desmond conducted his business in an old fashioned way, never buying goods from the West much faster than he seemed likely te need them.


.A FOOD FOR LUCK. 13 H e nce, the whole s alers who wanted orders rushed were You make your customer s atisfied, and save him for a often indignant at Desmond's inability to supply goods while,'' Ben laughed. on the same day. "But you must s have some on that price to me, young Our h e ro from his work in the Desmond shipping office, man." knew jus t who thes e cu s tomers were, and their bu s iness "I couldn't hardly do'that," Ben protested. "You see, was a big one, worth going after. Mr. Desmond, if you can't fill your rush order your cus-"I've sent out circulars," Ben explained. "All of Destamer will have to come to me, anyway, and I'll make ju s t mond's rush wholesalers know now that they can look to the same profit that I m asking of you." me for goods s hipped on the same day." "But my c ustomer neveF heard of you, Wright." "And you havenit got the goods to ship if an order does "You're wrong there, Mr. De s mond. You forget that I come in!" gasped Steve. used to be your s hipping clerk, and that I know the names "How do you know that I haven't?" of all your people." "Have you?" "You young ras cal!" shouted John Desmond. "At any time to-day, Steve, I can order to the freight "That isn't rascality, sir-it's business. I'm trying to yards thirty thou s and dollar s worth of canned meat s." get all I can .out of it, too." "You've bought 'em then.?" "But you mu s t shave some on that price to me, young "In a wa.y,'' the young business boy explained. "I've s o that I can mak e a little profit on my own order." bought 'em, yes-that i s I've ordered the goods and I've "Why, Mr. Desmond your profit w:ill come through paid a five-per-cent deposit down. That took fifteen huny our abilit y to pl ease your cu s tomer, and keep him for dred dollars, and it holds twenty times tha.t amount of f uture business-if you can." goods ready for my order.' ? "What's your lowest price, Wright? It's. time to stop "But if you don't sell 'em, you're out!" argued Steve. non s en s e for I'm bus y to-day,'' s ounded the irritated voice "I'd be out my profit, yes ; but I'm jus t about dead sure of John De s mond. at the wors t, of b e in g able to sell at cos t, in any kind of a "My lowes t price was the one I gave you a few moments market." a g o." "I don t quite know how that scheme will work,'' said "Oh, well," s ound e d the merchant's annoyed voice, Steve, dubiously. s end me the goods then." The de0sk telephone rang sharply. Ben took up the re"And, Mr. De s mond?" ceiver, holding it to his ear. "Well?" "Rullo! Who's that? Oh, John Desmond? Row do; "Would it be too mu c h troubl e to sena me the certified you do, Mr. Desmond?" che ck? I need the money to-day in another little transacSte ve full of curio s ity, hitc hed his chair clo s e to the tion." in strument, so that he could was c omin g in over C h e ck wili reach you in an hour, you scoundrel! And, the wire. Wri ght!" "Wright," sounded the older mer c hant's voice, "I hear that you're laying up some canned goods again s t bad weather." "Yes, I have s ome Ben s mil ed. "Ready for s pot delivery?" I can mov e th e m all to-day." "What hav e y ou g ot, and where are they?" "Is n t that a rather larg e question, Mr. The goods are in N e w York city. T e ll me what y ou want, and I'll t e ll you if I c an s upply y ou." D es mond read off the lis t of a large order. Then Ben read off his list of what he had. "I think I can mak e tho s e goods do, if th e price i s right,'' Desmond replied, over the wire. "What is the price." Ben quoted the figures to him. "Why, you young rascal," shouted bis one-time em ployer' s mo s t rasping voice, "that's just what I get for the goods." "I know it,'' Ben admitted, coolly. "But you see I have to get that price, too." "Then what do I make, if I buy of you?" : "Yes sir?" "You're a very clever s coundrel to boot. "Row is th a t sir?" "Why, you'v e u sed me rathe r roughly, without niaking me angry. I con g r a tulate you. You'll along all right in bu s iness, I think." "Thank you, s ir. I shal l try to." A s the b e ll r a n g off, and Ben hung up the receiver, he bur s t into a g l e eful lau gh. "There ar e some fools who ha v e lu c k eh, Steve?" "How muc h did you make on that little s cheme?" asked Dorsey, curiously. "Guess. "Five hundred?" a s ked Steve, doubtfully. "Eighteen hundred!" Steve Dorsey fairly gasped. "You won't need to work much longer, Ben!" "Oh, a little while ye1," our hero retorted, coolly. "My bank account ought to show about eight thousand dollars now-but that's a long way from being rich." "Whew! I almost shudder to think what you'll be worth in a year from now," grimaced Dorse y


14 A FOOL FOR LUCK. "My bank account may be smaller by this time next week," Wright suggested lightly. "What in blazes can do that?" "How do you think Desmond feels just now?" "Pinched! Squeezed!" "Just so," Ben nodded, smilingly. "And he'll imme diately sit down to figure out how to pinch and squeeze me. He isn't the kind of a man to take a. licking. He'li scheme to get me. a tlght place and make me swea.t blood." "Then don't speculate, Ben." "I've got to, I'm afraid," sighed our hero. "Really, old boy, the game of business isn't worth much when you don't speculate a trifle." "If you do, Desmond, with all his cash, will pinch you hard yet." "I'm going_ to give him a chance." "Don't-you idiot!" protested Dorsey, his fa.ce show-ing real concern now. "Oh, I've got to, I tell you. See here, Steve, they're talking about ordering the armv and navy manceuvers .at Old Point Comfort." "Supposing they are?" "Well, the army and navy may have most of their pro visions, but the militia, who'll be ordered out, too, won't have. Then there'll be thou s ands of peopl e go down to see the :fun. The militia and the hotel people will want canned meats and vegetables to beat the band." "And you're going to get long on the goods?" "Just that! And before the manceuve r s are definitely de cided on. Any fool can order after the manceuvers are de cided on. I am going to stake my whole pile on buying up ahead with five-per-cent down." l "But if the government doesn't order the ma.noouvers?" Steve asked. "Then I'll probably drop my whole pile and have to start to get another." "Don't do it, Ben," begged Dorsey. "Be sati sfied with the way you are making money. "Don't stand to lose everything." "But I stand to win everything, too." "I don't like it," declared Dorsey, shaking his head. "I do. I can't keep away from it." "Haveyour own way, then." "I'm going to. Steve, in the morning I'll give you your full orders. You'll go out and buy cautiously against next week's delivery in New York. By the time the man ceuver news comes out I want to control a big slice of the canned goods coming into New York. See here. Here I are the people for you to go to and buy of." Ben Wright picked up pencil and paper and began to jot down the names of selling firms. Steve followed until his head buzzed. But Ben at last looked up. "Five o'clock! I never work overtime. See you here in the morning at eight o'clMk, old chap." to a. ibetter grade of boarding-house. Our hero lived at the St. Denis Hotel on Broadway. For a few moments Wright lingered in the office out s ide, giving parting instructioDB to the bookkeeper and four clerks there. Steve had gone by the time that our hero prepared to l eave. In all the whirl and excitement of the nevi life the new young financier had all but forgotten the Hoo-hoos. True, The Drum had been indicted by the Grand Jury, and was now awaiting trial before the fall term of court. Unable to get out on bail, The Drum was wearily passing his time in jail. His own friends did not dare to visit him. . John Des mond had made such a clamor that the police were e nga ged in earnest in running down the Hoo-boos. Anyone attempting to visit T'he Drum would have been arrested on general suspicion. Knowing this, the Hoo-hoos kept away :from their un fortunate Yet they had not :forgotten. Three or four threatening letters had reached our hero during the fir s t week after The Drum's arrest. Then nothing more was heard. The police said confidently that the gang, taking the alarm, had fled to other cities. But on this point, a s on others, Ben Wright was destined to receive further information. CHAPTER VI. IN BEAUTY'S SERVICE. Ben, passing through a cro s s thoroughfare on a sh:lrter cut to hi s hot e l, s topped suddenly. H e was ju s t at the h e ad of a short, narrow street known as Bigsb y street. It w a s not the stre et that halted him, but the sight of a gir1. Nor would a glimp s e at any ordinary 1girl have halted him. Thi s one was far from b e ing ordinary. In th e fir s t place, though plainly rwt more than seven teen y e ar s old, s h e was almo s t a s t a ll as our hero. Her fig ure, thou g h s lend e r, was as rounded as the sculp-ture d work of some classic worker in marble. Not like marble, though, was the tint of her skin. That was of the dark olive that Ben admired so much. La s t of all, in his. lightning-like survey, he noted how wonde rfully 'pretty s he was. Her soft, dark eyes, too, loOke d as if they might be able to dance in a way to set a fellow's pulses moving. The :friends no longer lived together. Steve had moved A.t a glance, though rather plainly garbed, she was a girl of wealth, though that was a feature that hardly ap. p e aled to the youngster.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. t ... "W1rnre have I seen her before?" wongered the boy, in "The sooner we go up, then, the soon.er we shall be that instant of survey. through,'' he hinted. "What is the nai:ie of the people?'' Then, almost at once: "Bagley." "No; surely enough I've never seen her before, or I'd "Come on, please." never have forgotten her. Yet that pretty face does look He followed her up the stairs of the four flights, the strangely familiar." sight of a shapely foot that flashed frequently before his Right now the girl looked in his direction for the first eyes reward ing him for his inability to see her face ar; they time. climbed. Though she flushed slightly to find the boy staring at her The Bagleys, a family of six, living in noisome squalor; so hard, she came straight toward him. occupied one of the two tenements on the top floor. "You are surprised,'' she smiled, "at finding me here." Ben stood close to the door while the girl talked with "Just a bit," Ben nodded, lifting hi s hat. the mother and father of the family. "Is it a very rough neighborhood?" she inqilired, aux-The fair visitor made some n.ites of supplies that the iously. family needed, then turned, with a sigh of relief, to our "We11, I understand that Bigsby street furni s hes its full here. share of people to the police courts." "And now, I think_, we are quite through here." "Yet there is someone in this street that I really must "Glad of it!" Ben muttered, inwardly, for he did not see," pleaded the girl. like the looks of the doorway of the rear tenement. "Do you know where the party lives?" That door had opened for an instant: "Oh, yes. At No. 24." Just a brief glimpse had our hero had o:P the faces of "Then you can easily find him." three men who stood there and peere4 out. "Do you think I shall be quite safe in going there?" she All were hard faces, and in the eyes of ea.ch there shone queried, anxiously. an e ager, wicked look that the boy did not like. It was Ben's time to be promptly bold. "Shall we go down now?" asked the girl, as she came "You'll be quite safe, miss,'' smiled steadily. "Quite toward the door of the Bagley tenement. safe, for I intend to go with you." "Might as well,'' Ben nodded. "If you are quite Sh d through." e showe no sign of offence, but rather of relief. v ) "Quite through." "Oh, if you will be good enough," she replied, halfpleadingly. "That is, if it is not too much trouble." "Then pass ahead of me, please, miss." "Trouble'?" echoed Ben. "I can't imagine anything else "Why not follow you?" she smiled back at him. "Just a whim of mine," he answered, lightly. in the world that woi1ld give me as much pleasure." v He spoke so earnestly, heartily, looked into her eye ; 80 Truth to tell, he wondered whether the three evil-looksteadily, that she flushed once more. ing men in the back tenement had formed any design of Yet she was quick to see that he means no offence, and s natching at the girl's purse, or otherwise attacking her. the flush was followed by a smile. "They can't do that very well if I am right behind "No. 24, you said?" he asked, before she could change her,'' Ben thought swiftly. her mind. "That will be on the other side of the street. Without a word the young lady passed ahead of him Allow me." into the ill-smelling hallway. He laid a reverent hand gently on one arm, piloting her across the pavement. They had but a dozen doors to go down the street, then halted before a dingy-looking four-story brick tenement liouse. Almost unconsciou s ly the girl halted at the door. "Of course :you will let me go in with you?" hinted Ben. "I wouldn't feel easy about your safety if I didn't go with you. On what floor are the you want to see?" "The top floor, I believe." "All the more reason for my going up with you, miss. You are going on an errand of charity, I take it?" "I am a settlement worker," she replied. "I have never been down in this street before, though. Candidly, I don't like the looks of the street." "You will be quite safe with me, I think." "Oh, I am sure of that," she anwered, with a swift flash of the dark eyes that set the boy's pulses to tingling. Ben kept about six feet behind her. She turned the stairs to go down. Jus t as our hero turned, however, the door of the rear tenement opened noisele s sly behind him. A brawny pair of hands shot out with the swiftness of s erpents. Clutch! The hoy's throat was gripped so tightly that he had no time or chance to make a sound. Jerk! That powerful assailant lifted hinl clean ofl' his ieet. It was a clever piece of noiseless work! CHAPTER VII. THE GA.NG GETS GRIMLY BUSY. Grip! Another scoundrel had Ben by the feet, while the third se.ized his arms.


16 A FOOL FOR LUCK. === --=======:::;================ I h Not a chance was there to struggle, or to reach out and Twisting his head, first to one side and t en to the make a warning sound. other, he tried to peer about the room. Added to that, all was growing black before his eyes, "Looking for the gal?" leered Kelly. so severe was the choking. "Yes," whispered Ben. Even the slight click of the girl's heels, .as she went "Don't worry about her." down the stairs, sounded faint and far-away. "She got away?" eagerly. Stealthily as so many cats, the trio bore Ben swiftly "No; we've got her all right, all right." back the other side of the qoor, which closed softly "Oh, you're lying!" flared Ben:. "Now, we've got him!" whispered the brute who held "Ha.ve yer own way, kid,'' replied Kelly, coolly. the boy so mercilessly by the throat. "A long wait, but "You want to torture me our time came at last! Let go of him. He won't move!" "Oho! So you're struck on the gal, are ye? That's bad Nor did Ben. for her." He had lost consciousness under that fearful strangling. This from another member of the trio. Like dead he lay when his first captor carried him into "We've waited a long time for ye, but we've got ye a room and lay him down on the floor. pickled at last," Kelly announced grimly. But the other two sped out, teaving the grimmest of "You're the-'"began Ben gaspingly, then stopped. the three to stand guard over the unconscious boy. "You'r_ e gessing close. Go ahead!" nodded Kelly, with Some moments passed. Then the vanished pair came evil encouragement. back. "You're Hoo-hoos ?" "All right,'' nodded one of them. As Ben pronounced the name he felt actually sick at Still Ben lay on the floor without stirring. heart. Perhaps ten minutes, in had passed when a slight "Somebody must have told ye," grinned Kelly. "Yes; moan came from the qoy's lips. we are The Drum's friends-which you ain't-more's the "Your kid's coming back, Kel,'' observed one of the trio bad luck for ye!" to Ben's first assailant. Though Ben Wright.is face was a sickly white, he was "Why wouldn't he?" demanded the other, gruffly. really thinking more about the girl than himself "D'ye think I'd send him off as easy as that?" Had she really fallen into their hands? "Not with The Drum to think about!" From the cleverness and silence of his own capture it "What The Drum got this kid must get-and morel" did not seem doubtful that they captured the girl, too, if growled Kelly, with an oath. they wanted. "But The Drum ain't dead." didn't I recognize these fellows?" groaned Ben. "He might as well be, though, as to be cooped up in "Now, I know the face of that biggest man. I remembet" a 6x9 with bars on the door!" seeing him in that Christopher street crowd that night. "What are ye going to do with the kid, Kel?" But that poor girl who trusted in my protection! Oh, they "Scare him to death, first." can't have got her! She'd be here if they had seized her!" "And then?" "So ye think we didn't get the girl?" leered Kelly. "Kill him-of course." "I know you're lying," sputtered Ben. Neither of the other two seemed alarmed by this state"Show him Jab." I ment, which Kelly plainly made in all honesty. The shifty-eyed individual addressed as Jab bent over The brute's greenish eye gleamed with a light that spoke to hold a lock of dark hafr before the boy's eyes. of many a past dark deed cheerfully performed. "Oh, you fiends!" quivered the boy, trying to rise. Ben opened his eyes with a gasp and a start. But Kelly gave him a shove back. Then he tried to sit up. "Now ye begin to believe, d6 ye, kid?" leered the brute. "Lay down!" ordered Kelly, giving the youngster a viciBen could not help but believe. ous kick in his side. That lustrous lock of dark hair could not be other than "Ugh!" from the head of the girl whom he had known fifteen minBen did lay down again, stripped of wind once more by utes. that vicious kick. "Stuck on her, ain't ye?" sneered Kelly. "And keep on laying there! Savvy?" growled Kelly, Ben did not answer. bending over the boy. "She won't be stuck on you, though. She'll be told that Ben nodded, not trying to speak. it's on yer account that she was nabbed. Then, when she But, as he lay there, still a little less than half-dazed, has had time to hate ye, she'll get the same that :vou're the wl'iole thing came back to our hero. going to get." "The girl-did she get away?" he wondered, feeling a "You wouldn't dare harm her!" Ben protested, a.iigrily sickness beneath the belt that was not due to his own rough "An' why wouldn't we?" Kelly demanded, with another treatment. oath.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 17 I don't really care about her," Ben cried, desperately. "We'll tell her ye say so," mocked Kelly. "I never saw her until a few minutes ago.,. "Keep that to tell the children!" "But it's the truth, I tell you," proclaimed Wright, hoarsely. "Oh, of course ye wouldn't lie about it!" Ben remained silent, closing his eyes, for he wanted to think. He no longer doubted that these boldly clever rascals, who had captured him with so little trouble, had also made a prisoner of the girl who was still a stranger to him. "This is awful!" he shuddered. "If they do harm to her-on my account! Oh, why can't the scoundrels be lieve me?" With a sudden twist he sprang to his feet. "Help! Police!" he bawled desperately at the top of his voice. At the same i'n.stant he dashed madly for the door of fbe little room. Whump! Kelly's fist landed against his neck, felling the boy, but not stunning him this time. Then the brute stood cooliy over him. I "No one can hear ye, kid, except Bagley," sneered the tormentor. "Bagley, he don't dare open his yawp about us." "Let him yell, if it'll do him any good," advised the shifty-eyed one. "Nobody'll hear that'll want to help." Ben's heart sank still further as he realized that this statement was true beyond a doubt. Criminals do not live in a house, and carry on their operations there, without being sure that the other ten ants are of their own kind. "Sa,Y, when are you going to let me go?" demanded Ben, hoarsely. He was crazy at the thought of tM girl's peril. "Go?" laughed Kelly, as if this were some new joke. "Ye'll go about as far as the kitchen!" 1 "He might as well go there now," advised the shifty eyed one, in a voice so husky with dread that Ben shivered despite himself. "Take him along, then," agreed Kelly. "But don't try to holler, kid. It won't do ye any good, and ye'll get knocked on the head for it." Of this Ben Wright had not a doubt by this time. These men were truly enough Hoo-hoos-members of a gang that had done a ghastly lot of head-knocking in New Yod. The other two picked him up, by shoulders and heels, Kelly walking beside the boy. Out into a narrow hall they bore him, and into a tiny, bare kitchen that contained only a small, rusty stove, a table and three chairs. Yes; one more article of furniture or fixture-a sink that was soon to play a ghastly part in the night's dread workl Chuck him on his face," directed Kelly, calmly. The order was obeyed with not a little force, as hi.s car riers turned Ben over and dropped him to the floor. Kelly's heavy knees were pressing against \V'right's sh oulder-blatl.es. "Put yer arms back of ye, or we'll break 'em!" came the cheerful promise. "My best hold is to obey," thought Ben, desperately. He gave up his arms, allowing them to be folded behind him. Then, with speed and skill, Kelly bound his arms. "Get him on to his feet," gruffed this leader. The other two lifted our hero, holding him at either side. "Now, show him the sink," commanded Kel. Over to that fixture they dragged their young captive. "Ye'll observe that in this sink," grinned Kelly, "there's a trap and a pipe connection. That pipe flows into the sewer 'Make sure of that much?" "Of course," nodded Ben, feeling that it was best to humor these men by answering them. "So that anything that flows into that sink will kE!ep on until it hits the sewer," continued Kel, as calmly as be fore. "Now, guess what's gain' to flow into the sink?" E'en realized, without another hint. Back he started, paling, but he could not get out of the grip of the pair who held him. From an inner vest pocket Kel produced something wrapped in a huge red handkerchief. "Ever see anything jest like this?" demanded the Hoo boo, unwrapping the folds of the handkerchief and holding up a grisly object to view. It was a short, broad-bladed, razor-edged knife. "Ye'll lose a bit of blood, I s'pose, when I draw this edge across yer," grinned Kel, wickedly. "Then, ye're able, ye can have the fun of watchin' the red stuff flow down the sink!" CHAPTER VIII. BEN FIGIITS AGAINST ROPE. "You won't do that!" gasped the horror-struck boy. "Won't we?n snarled the brute leader. "Feel it?" Kel drew the edge ever so lightly over' the boy's skin. Ben tried to draw back, but his captors held him close. "No, it didn't even start the skin," observed Kel, after bending forward for a look at Ben Wright's quivering flesh. "But this steel'll open the skin all right when I shove harder." "Do it now," begged the shifty-eyed Onf:!. "It makes me sick at the stomach waitin' fer such a job!" "Ye ain't much on nerve, Jab," sneered Kelly. "Oh, I can stand a job, all right, when it has to be done," retorted Jab. "But I don't like to play over it an hour."


18 A FOOL F O R LUCK T he n we'll accommodate ye at once," laughed Kel, lean ing forward for a better look at the boy's white face. Ben's captors held him absolutely fast this Ben saw the steel flash before his eyes. D o n't! he implored, faintly I can make it worth you r whil e n ot to Ke ll y calmly drew the knife back The brute was prepare(! to enjoy any lengthening 0 the torment, anyway "Wlhat's that ye said, kid?" "Let me go-" "Ohl Ehl''-" An d I can make i t wortli your while " H o w?" "I' ll pay you-pay you well!" Ben promised, frantic all y "Oh, ye'll pay for yer iie, will ye?" demanded Kel. "I'll pay you well, men," urged Ben, in a voice that grew steadier as he saw a ray 0 hope. "Only there's one con dition " A condition, eh?" demanded Kel. "Let's hear it." "You must set the girl free " Must, eh?" "And I must know that she's free." "The n ye are stuck on her, ain't ye?" guffawed Kel. T hat was my mistake!" Ben gasped, in inward terr o r. "How much for the gal's life?" demanded Kel, as i i nterested "Five hundred dollars!" quivered Ben, leaping at once to a high figure But Kel gave a snort 0 disdain Cheap sort 0 gir 1, ain't she?" B e n's eyes flashed sudden fire Thou gh he had known the gir l a scant quarter o f an h our-did not even know her name-she was all in the worl d to him Kel, reading the look in the boy's eyes, laughed coarse l y "Come Ain't she a dearer girl'n that?" insisted the bru te "I'll give you a thousand dollars to set her free," throb bed Ben. "Make it two thousand," hinted the leader Will you take it if I do?" demanded Ben, with spir it. H o w much for yerself?" q u eried Kel, with mild inter est. "Another t h ousand for my own life," came the prompt offer. "Making three thousand in all?" computed Kel, slowly That's what!" Ben declared in a flash. Can't you make it four?" calmly continued the tor m en t o 1 I would, i f I really beli eved you'd take it and act on the square. "Make it five, then," in the same dull voice. "See here," quavered Ben, "I'll do that. And that's top notch, too. It'll take every dollar I can raise in th e world." "Then ye've really got five thousand that ye can r aise?" Kel wanted to know "Yes. I have "It's a good deal of money for a boy of yer age to have," hinted Kel, slowly "Then relieve me of it, and act on the square," begged Ben "Act on the square, eh? That's not a bad idea all around," went on Kel, slowly. "You say ye've got five thousand. How do we know ye have?" Ben hesitated a moment He had the money in the bank, surely and fast enoug h Yet, even i at liberty, he could not get the money earlier than nine o'clock the next morning Those Hoo-hoos were not 0 the green, innocent kind who would accept a stranger's mere bank check. Even if they did, and let him go, Ben could stop pay ment 0 it the following morning-a fact that they must know as well as he. "Where is the money?" Kel demanded, at last. ''In the bank, of course "A bad place for a Hoo-hoo to get it out of," commen ted the brute, drily "You wouldn't take my word to act on the square, I sup pose?" Ben demanded desperately "Well, not easily," Kel grinned In that, thqugh they did not know it, they did Be n Wright an injustjce. So worried wi! he about the girl who had flashed into his life that, had they produced her, and then set her at liberty unharmed, B:en Wright would gladly have kept his word and paid the gang in ull as soon as the bank opened. "I'll tell you how we can fix it," Ben went on, presently. "Sit down," invited Kel, with pretended goodnature. "I always try to be a gentleman with my company He pushed a chair toward the boy. It was placed so that Ben, seated on it, had his back to the sink. "Now, 1et's hear bow ye'II fix the deal so it won't leak," proposed the brute. ,I' "First of all," began Ben, "I've got to know that you really have the young l ady. Without I see that for myself, the game won't be played "Well?" insinuated Kel. "Bring the girl in here, so that I can see her," Ben went on, throbbingly "Then leave her here all n i ght, so I can see she comes to no harm." "What's the rest 0 the scheme?" "In the morning get a cab." "That's jest our style," mocked Kel, winking at the others. "We always ride." "Take the girl in the ca.b, one of your crowd ridi n g with her. The other two of you wal k along wit h me t o


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 19 the bank, which ain't far from here. We'll step into the bank, myself and one of you o.n either side of me. The cab, with the girl and one of your crowd, c'an wait outside. I'll write my check for five thousand dollars, get the money, and pass it over to you. Then you're to turn us loose." "That ain't so bad for a scheme," admitted Kel, thoughtfully. "But there's a few holes in it." "What are they?" Ben asked, eagerly. He was beginning to have hope now, that he could get out of this fearful scrape. But his hope was still more for the dark-eyed girl. "Well, in the place," proceeded the brute, "it ain't a heap likely that ye've got any such wad at the bank." "But I have," Ben protested, tremulously. "You fel lows have been keeping your eyes on me. You know, well enough, that I've got a good business, with bffices and people working for me." "Most kinds of business are run on wind, though, in stead of money," Kel observed truly. There was a look of suspicion in his eyes that did not indicate his looking upon the plan with any great degree of favor. "Besides," went on Kel, a second later, "how do we know ye won't give the grand yo\vl when ye get on the street? Try to have us jugged the way ye did with 'The Drum?" "Why, with one man beside the girl in the cab, and myself between tw9 of you, don't you suppose I'd know the consequences of making an outcry?" argued Ben Wright. "Do you think I take you for such weak stuff that you'd ever let us get away alive if we tried any tricks you?" This view of the case. plainly flattered the Hoo-hoos. They grinned in a self-satisfied way that made Ben re solve to try more well-concealed "taffy" of the kind that suited their taste. "There's another trouble," Kel went on. "I guess that about settles the scheme." "What is it?" the boy demanded, his heart again be ginning to thump just as it had started to beat naturally. "Why, we know we ain't just the handsomest critters alive," continued the brute. "Fact is, we'd make the cops look twice at us, any time. Now, what'd the cops do if they spied ye passing along between me and Jab? They'd pinch us-sure! Same thing with Dink, in the cab with the gal!" "But I'd swear it was all right," urged Ben, desperately. "Ye would, if we had any show to crack ye," grunted Kel. "But, if ye had any chance to skin a dozen feet away from us ye'd hang us with yer lip!" "But you'd still have the girl in your power," Ben pleaded, his lips trembling as he spoke. '!Oh, yes, we would!" jeered Jab. "Let us think it over," begged Ben.' "We'll find some way yet." "We'll think it out fer ourselves, then," Kel. "Ye're a kid, with a kid's garret in the upper story, and ye can't help none in games like we play." Ben was still seated in the chair, his hands bound hind his back. Kel looked to make sure that the lashing was still secure. Then, out another cord, he tied the boy fast to the chair. "We're goin' to leave ye a bit, an' go out front to think the scheme over," Kel announced, confidentially. "Ye can holler fer help, if ye wanter; but if ye do come in and show ye the sink, with gallons of the red stuff run ning down it." With this parting threat, the genuineness of which our hero did not for an instant doubt, Kel signed to the others to follow him out of the room. Ben could hear them whispering in another room. Once in a while o"ne of the voices sounded in a low grunt. But not a word could our hero make out. Would they never agree. "What fools men can be when they're suspicious!" quav ered the wretched boy, inwardly. "They'd get the money if they'd try me. I'd use them straight, no matter what chance I had to do different. I'd do that and more, for that dear girl's sake." Then another thought came flashing into his mind: "I could offer them more than five thousand. Would it do any good?" Ben deliberated on that, as on a, happy idea. "But it wouldn't do a bit of good," he groaned. "If I made it the whole eight thousand that I could raise, they wouldn't trust me any -the more. Five thousand would buy these fellows if anything woul." But in this estimate Ben shot a little under the mark. The Hoo-hoos prided themselves on being the toughest, scrappiest gang that had ever infested the great city of New York. With them revenge was likely to count even higher than cash. More than an hour must have passed. Ben could still hear the arguing voices. At last, though, there came a lull. In that same instant Ben Wright felt a :faint thrill. After working busily during the whole time, he al last succeeded in getting his hands free, and in untying himself from the chair. "Can I make a bolt, and sneak-or will they stop me and get me?" he wondered, throbbingly. Vain hope..'.-.slight as it was. Out in the hall the feet of the men sounded. They "Even if ye've really got the wad n the steel pronounced Kelly, "I don't call yer schPme good." cage," were returning to him Jab and Dink came straight on in. /


A FOOL FOR LUCK. Kel halted in the doorway to gaze tauntingly at the A Hoo-hoo was quite capable of following, and of captive. ing the affair out to the finish in the midst of a crowd that "They've got me blocked, anyway!" Ben quivered. would flee in panic. "Well," he called, trying to make hope and confidence Straight onward dashed Wright, breaking his way sound strong in his voice, "you've decided that my offer through the crowd. is on the level?" Then up loomed a broad, gray-coated figure. "Somewhat different," smiled Kel, from the doorway. Bump! Ben collided jarringly with that well-dressed "Kid, we don't see no way to take up yer 0ffer. We're man. goin' to stick to the first plan. Help him Jab." Recovering himself, our hero used hi s eyes as be came to That worthy started toward the captive. a panting stop. In that brief instant Ben Wright acted so swiftly that "John Desmond?" he gasped. he had no time to think. "You, Wright?" demanded the merchant, looking won-He acted on blind impulse. deringly at the boy. Jumping up, he swung the chair over his head with But Ben had him by the sleeve. lightning speed. "Out ofhere, quick, Mr. De s mond! There are HooOrack! That chair landed squarely across Jab's head, hoos about. Neither one o'f us has a life worth a cent on sending that scoundrel sprawling. this block!" Still moving on blind impulse, Ben sprang forward two Yet, as Ben tried to lead the flight, Desmond gripped steps more. him sturdily by the sleeve. Biff! Down went Dink, with a broken nose. "Wright," gasped the startled merchant, "does that But Ben never stopped to find that out. explain what happened to my daughter?" One more barrier ahead-and Kel had had time to "Your-daughter!" clear for action. But Ben never paused to reckon conseq uences. He rushed straight at the burly, outreaching fis t. Then, just a he was on the jot of colliding with that fist, down he fell to his knees. Grip! He had both of Kel's ankles in his hold. Wrench! The strongest man alive could not have stood just then. Kel fell over backward, clutching out wildly with his arms. But he fell to the :ijoor, just the same, landing on the back of his head, and stunned for just a bare second. All clear ahead? B,en had no time to think of He raced to the hall door, which he found bolted. Quiveringly, trembling like a leaf, he fumbled at the bolt. Back of him he heard Kel getting on to his feet with a snort like that of a mad bull. Click! Back shot the bolt. Out into the hallway raced Ben, but he heard Kel after him in hot chase. Ben did not stop to run downstairs. He passed half a dozen steps at a time as he went downward at wild leaps. Still back of him, on the stairs, he heard the frantic Kel. Another flight, and another one! Only the last flight of stairs left now-but Kel, from the sound, was gaining! Ben never stopped to look or calculat e Wrenching open the street door, he darted out on to the crowded sidewalk in the last, dying light of the day. Yet not even here in the numerous sidewalk "throng did the boy dare slack up. "Yes. She failed to get home in time. I telephoned the College Settlements, and found she had gone to this street. The idiots didn't know the number." Ben liRten.ed, for a moment, in horror. "See here, Mr. Desmond, is your daughter about as as I am, slender, dressed in gray-a. girl with an olive complexion and the most wonderful eyes?" "Yes. You've seen her?" implored the father. "I'm on the way for the police-they must find her," flashed Ben. "Come! Rush!" Desmond had turned with the boy. Both were forging ahead fast now. "Where is she-what happened?" falterea the tortured iather. "The Hoo-hoo s--" "Good Heaven! Couldn't they respect an innocent girl?" "I was with her-didn't know who she was," flashed Ben, as they rushed almost breathlessly. "I don't know where-Police1" CHAPTER IX. A. HOO-HOO DEATH 'fRAP. On the corner just ahead a blue-coated, drab-helmeted policeman had just hove into sigh t, his head showi ng over the other citizens. At the frantic hail this active young officer came dash ing toward the rushing pair. "Get help!" gasped John De s mond. Taking in the solid, prosperous appearance the mer chant, together with his distracted look, the policeman bent over and sharply rapped the sidewalk


A FOOL FOR LUCK. Then, in hurried voices, Ben and his former employer ily. "And I rather think I do prefer to get out of this told their stories almost in the same breaths. odious place." Another policeman arrived on the run. J ohJi Desmond led his daughter downstairs, Ben fol-Eie they had reached the door of No. 24 a third officer lowed. A policeman accompanied them, for safety's sake,_ had joined them. while the other two officers went aloft to find Kel and his One of these was a roundsman. While he was crew, who were no longer there. command a fourth police officer sprinted up. Down in the street a crowd of hundreds had gathered. "Remain on the sidewalk, you," ordered the roundsman, "Get 011t of the way, there!" roared the two policemen. looking at one of his men. "The rest come with me . The crowd didn't fall far back, l:iowever, but stood at a Ben and his former employer followed without waiting little distance asking eager questions of each other. for anything as unnecessary as an invitation. "I'll get through this crowd and get a cab,'1 murmured Ra pidly the police party scurried through the house. Ben in Desmond's ear. Up on the third at last, at the rear tenement just Within three minutes a closed cab was at' the curb. under that from which our hero had so lately escaped, they John Desmond helped his daughter tenderly inside, found a bolted door to which no one came in answer. then followed her. "Down with the door!" commanded the roundsman. "Wright, you must go/with us," invited Desmond. Crash! Three strong p,airs of shoulder broke down that "Oh, by all means," Clara, and Ben sprang inbarrier in a twinkling. side in a middle room of the tenement, the glare of Then came the roundsman, who also got inside. a police flashlig,h.t revealed the Desmond girl, lying on the As the cab rolled away out of that curious, gapmg floor, bound and gagged. throng, the roundsman busied himself with getting an ac" Clara!" panted her father, and seemed so likely to fall count of the affair, to be turned in at the station -house. that Ben caught him and braced him. Then, at one of the corners, the roundsman alighted The roundsman, with the greater coolness of the trained and left them. policeman, whipped out his knife, setting the girl free in "Number Madison avenue,'' Desmond called to the a twinkling. driver. "Thank you," said the girl, coolly and sweetly, the in"Wright, let's have your story of what happened," begstant that the gag had passed from between her lips. ged the merchant. "You needn't worry, papa. I'm all right." Ben told it, with all the horror that had been a part of In another minute, standing supported by her overjoyed the grewsome experience. father, Clara Desmond was telling the story of her advenClara listened She did not seem like a fainting ture. sort of girl. She had not heard a sound when Ben was so neatly "The scoundrels-they've been following us closely, all trapped behind her. these weeks when we thought ourselves forgotten,'' cried Imagining him to be close behind her, she had gone on John Desmond. "They've even taken the trouble to find down the stairs until she, too, was as quickly and cleverly out about you, Clam. They knew you, and waited for caught as her young escort had been. you, and when you appeared in a neighborhood where Into this room she had been brought. Jab, it must they could get you they lost no time have been, who held at her throat until Dink had forced "I doubt if they knew Miss Des mond, sir," Ben inter a gag in. posed. "They knew me, of course, and they s upposed, Then they had bound the girl and had left her there. when they saw me with Miss Desmond-they supposed-" Then the pair left her. "Well, what?" demanded h e r father, s harply. Since then Clara had seen none of her captors. '!They supposed-er--" Ben tried, but flushed pain-Her time she had spent, though with less success than fully. Ben had had, in the effort to s lip out of her bonds. "Say it, can't you, lad?" commanded Mr. De s mond. She had heard the fight overhead, followed by the flight "Well, sir, they supposed your dau g ht er was someone and the pursuit downstairs. dear to me. They thought to break my heart by putting She had guessed-had dared to hope-that her young her in danger." escort had escaped, and that he would succeed in bringing "That must have been the infernal idea of it all s ure relief without delay. enough," nodded the merchant. "But, confound it, if the ''And so now, papa," she miled, "you see there's really police give this yarn to the newspapers, the Hoo-hoos will nothing to worry about." find out that they really did have my daughter. They'll "Me for a gritty girl like that!" quivered Ben, in devout know her another time, if they succeed in keeping at admiration. large." "When the young lady feels able to go--" began the In due course of time they reaclied the address on Madi-roundsman. son avenue. "Why, I'm all righ.t, thank you," 0lara broke m, cheerBen Wright found himself being ushered into ju s t such


22 A FOOL FOR LUCK. a big, spacious, elegant home as he would have exp-ected John Desmond to live in. "Come up to my room, Wright, and get yourself ready for dinner," proposed the merchant . Fifteen minutes later they came down to the drawing room. Soon after Clara entered, sweeter and more wonderfully beautiful than ever in an evening gown that showed her shapely neck and her firm, rounded shoulder and arms. It was a wonderful evening. Ben could hardly remem ber it in detail, afterward. But after dinner he talking with father and daughter, until his good sense told him that it was time to leave. Not much did he sleep that night, after his return to the hotel. Like a flMh Ben rushed to the next door. Then he fell back, amazed-terrified. That outer office was almost a solid mass of flames now. "The office people forgot me-skipped!" he faltered, tremulously. "This is Roo-hoo work, as I'm a sinner!" It would have been madness to try to cross tha.t outer office.' The flames would lick up his clothing in an in stant. There were no windows in the middle office. Back to his own inner office he rushed, with the smoke. But there the two iron-barred windows opened on an air-shaft. Even if he got through the iron bars, the ground was sixty feet below! "The Hoo-hoos didn't miss this tin:i.el" he gasped,. in Only toward daylight did he fall into a doze in which, in terror. dreams, he lived all of the last few exciting hours again. Yet he was astir at the usual time, and eight o'clock CHAPTER X. found him at his desk in .that flourishing office in Fourteenth street. SIXTY FEET OF DESPAIR. And with daylight, too, Ben Wright had become again the keen young boy of business. "I've got to get back and through that outer office some-He went over the last details of the new scheme with howl" quavered the fear-stricken youngster. Steve Dorsey. Yet, even as he thought of that desperate dash, be saw "Now, hustle out, Steve," directed our hero, finally. the uselessness of it. "Buy carefully, and without excitement or rush. Look "It can't be done," he decided, pulling himself together I out that your manner doesn't send the prices soaring on and taking the calmer thought that alone could offer any next week:s delivery of canned goods. Keep cool, keep chance of escape. "I'd strangle fighting through the hot your head clear, do a good stroke for me, and yesterday's air in that outer office. No, no! These windows offer me raise of salary may see something added to it in a day or my sole living chance." two." Though there were bars over the windows, there were Then came on the run of the day's business. catches on the inside that were supposed to release the There were farmers to see, buyers to talk with, and the bars. whole rrin of the day'-s busy work. Fearfully, Ben reached up and tried to open one of the Yet, it all, Ben had time to think mch of catches. the Hoo-hoos. It was a tussle, with death almost a matter of seconds! "They haven't forgotten, and now they're less likely There! The catch yielded at last. Desperately Ben to than ever," he murmured to himself as he worked busily swung the set o f bars outward like a shutter. away over the papers at his desk. "Hello! What's that?" But now he gazed despairingly down the sixty feet of A shriek in the outer office. He listened. There was sheer decent to the yard of the air-shaft below. a sound of hurried feet. "To drop down there would be a rough kind of suicide," Then all was quiet again. he reflected, grimly. "Wonder if anybody could hear me "Oh, pshaw! One of the typewriter girls frightened by down there?" some joke of the bookkeeper's," smiled the boy. "If it Filling his lungs to their fullest capacity, he bellowed had been trouble, there'd have been more than one yell down: with four women out there." "Hello! Can anyone hear me down there? I'm up here He bent over his papers again. on the fifth floor-hemmed in. Hello! Help! Quick!" "Smells like something burning," he murmured, glancHe listened, with a dull aching at the heart. ing up. But from below came not a sound in answer-only the Clang! Clang! The noise of approaching fire departcrackling of the flames in the front part of the building. ment apparatus. Another sound came soon-the playing of water and the "Wonder where the fire is?" muttered thP. boy, tising sharp hiss of steam. from his desk, and crossing the office. The air was heavy with the odor of burning benziM, As he pulled the door open he caught a whiff of smoke. which showed with what stuff th.e blaze had been started. There were clouds of it in the middle office. "I can't live here another two minutes," quavered


A FOOL FOR LUCK. choking and wheezing from the dull pain that the hot, poisonous air caused in his chest. Then, as he looked the sixty feet of space to the yard below, an idea came into his head It was a desperate one, with few chances of success, yet there was no hope whatever in any other direction. Over each of the windows below him were similaf iron gratings "If I can drop, and catch at the grating of the window just below," he quivered. "Then from there to the next grating, and so to the ground--" There was no time to think further. Any fate at all was better than standing there, we111dy waiting to be suffocated. Out on the sill climbed Ben, like a flash. Down on his knees, he took firm hold of the sill, hang ing there for just an instant. A glance downward-he had a clear head an d a .steady heart, and it did not make him dizzy. Drop! Ben shot through space Clutch! He had gripped at the grating just below. The force of it nearly tore his from their sockets. But he hung there Could he make the next drop in safety, or must he land as a dead, broken body? "I've got to go on, now, anyway," he breathed, grimly "I can't hang here all day, so I've got to try it." Again carefully measuring the di stance, he took the next drop. Catching sight of the boy, he started, shot a black look, then took to his heels. "Stop that fellow that's running!" yelled Ben "He set the fire!" Then Kel fairly sprinted, as if for life. He was a heavy man, but built for speed, nevertheless. For pacemakers the Hoo-hoo had Ben Wright and three long-legged, slimly built young policemen. "Stop him!" sh?uted police, sprinting at their best along Fourteenth street. Flash! Kel whipped out a revolver as he ran Then people dodged right and left, no one daring to get in his way. Two of the policemen drew their guns as they That cleared the street ahead for fair. Kel, with desperation on his side, was rapidly getting the best of it. If he raced around the next corner, and then the next,. he might succeed in getting away through the simple trick of darting into a doorway Crack! Crack! One of the fired twice, but' he was such a poor shot that Kel disdained to pay any notice There was a clear track now. Kel, working at his best to make speed, was confident of getting .away. But he failed to reckon on one thing-an enterp rising boy. That boy, the office boy in a store, stood at the doorway, the window pole in his hand. Again he caught, and held on, groaning 'vith the tearHe caught sight of Kel, running desperately with a gun ing pain in his shoulder. in his hand. But the die was cast. It was life or death-death to Back into the doorway darted the boy, but he lay low. remain-a hope of life if he want on downward, catching at the bars. Just as Kel passed that doorway, out shot the window Thus he landed, trembling, and all but but pallet. ht K 1 f 1 b t tl 1 h d f . ca. ug e air y e ween rn egs as e spe sa e on the ground of the au-shaft. Fl 1 d K 1 d A b"t d d t "H ll tl ,,, 1 b ll d . 1 h th op.-an e was own. i aze oo . e o, m rnre. ie e owe peermg m t1l'oug e B f 1 ld tl ffi f d th l" t b f d fl d e ore 1e cou rise 10 ru an oun e po ice a -op ars o a groun oor wm ow. f 1 Men of the protective department were in there in the 0 nm. "I'm not dead yet!" roared Kel, struggling to get upon ground-floor store, busily saving as much as they could of the stock. his feet, and lun ging out wildly, for his revolver had shot "Hello! Come here, please!" Ben battered busily against the iron bars Then one of the men heard him, came back, and opened the bars "Where on earth did you come from?" demanded the man. "From sixty feet above," Ben retorted, cool now that the strain was over Hastily through the store he went. Down here there was no smoke-only the steady dripping of water through the floors of the soaked building. Out on the sidewalk Ben hurried, to the nearest fire-line, where the crowd stood watching the progress of the fire. But Wright had just one object in view, and he carried it out. There was Kel, standing at the back of the crowd ahead of him as he fe ll. Jle threw one policeman, but the night-sticks of the other two played a savage tattoo on his head that b1;ought him down. "Now they've got him,'' throbbed Ben, as he stood by watching the officers slipping handcuffs over Kel's wrists Now they raised him to his feet. Snap! Straining with his powerful wrists, Kel broke the chain connecting the handcuffs Like a fl.ash, he turned and bolted. Crack! It was past the time for fooling. A lucky shot from a policeman's revolver brought Kel down with a hole drilled through his left calf. And now he was safely secured "Who makes the charge of setting that fire against this fellow?" demanded a roundsman, who irnd raced up. "I do," Ben rejoined. "He's one of the Hoo-boos.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. They have it in for me, and you'll find they set that fire, which was kindled with benzine and started at my office." "The Hoo-hoos?" repeated the roundsml)-n. "Are you Ben Wright?" "Just!" nodded Ben. "Then this man is sure our meat," grinned the rounds man, cheerfully. "We've orders to keep our eyes open for that gang. But you'll have to go to the station, Wright, to expiain the cfiarge." '"Oh, that'll be all right," smiled Ben. "Thei;e's notli iug on my hands at the office just now." He cast a look back at the old building, from which the smoke was coming less thickly now. 'rhen he followed two of the officers and Kel to the corner, where a patrol wagon picked up. Kel, in the hands of the police, remained sullenly silent, .but he glared blackly at Ben all the way to the station house. "He's trying to assure me that the gang won't forget me," thought our hero, not without uneasiness, for by this time he had learned that the Hoo-hoos attended very painstakingly to their grudges. The prisoner booked, and refusing to talk about the charges against him, Ben hurried back to Foti.rteenth streees wholesale district. The apparatus of the fire department was still there, hut the flames out, the fire-line& down, and the crowd all but deserted. As Ben hurried up to the door he kept a sharp lookout for his bookkeeper and the four clerks. There were none of them in sight. A policeman stood in the doorway. "Can I go up to my office?" asked Ben. "Sure thing. But you'll want to be careful. The stairs ain't over-sound, and some of the flooring upstairs is -treacherous. But the other folks are up there." Ben went hurriedly up the stairs. There he found his people, and not until they heard his story did they realize that they had come near leaving him to his death when they fled. "Why, I was sure you went out with Mr. Dorsey, sir," protested the shame-faced bookkeeper. "Well, since I got out after all, it doesn't much matter," our hero smiled. Then he turned to examine the office. The front of the building had been well burned, and the floors somewhat, but the destruction was not as great as he had feared it would be. "Papers and books are all safe, sir,'' reported the book keeper. "I jammed them into the safe 'before I left." "I don't see but we can go on with business just the same,'' our hero laughed. "Very easily, sir." "Call up central office, to make sure that the telephone is working." This was done, with the discovery that the telephoneindispeifSable in wholesale business-was still in working order. Posting his people to keep a watch out for further attempts to set fires, Ben hurried into his inner office. Almost immediately the telephone bell rang. The message was from Steve. "I'm doing first-rate," that young hustler reported. "I've placed nearly all of your orders already." So Ben, having little to do except to think, leaned back, with his feet up on the slide of his desk, and thoughtabout Clara Desmond. "And a nice thing I'm doing to please her,'' he mu t tered. "Trying to corner the market so as to put her father in a business hole. But he's my rival in business, and I suppose that all has to be in the game." Business was going briskly in the outer office, but tb'ere seemed to be little for the inside office to do this morn ing. Soon after our hero got back from luncheon Steve again called him up. "Prices are going up a bit," Steve reported. "Either someone else has thought of your scheme, or else your heavy buying is making a bull market among the cans." "Pay a little higher prices, then, if you have to," Ben directed. "But be as careful as you can. We can very easily go to the wall in this." "Do you want to make of all your orders?" Steve inquired. "Of course." "Then, as you're not strong in the market, it would be just as well to cover with certified checks. I can be back in an hour, and start out with the checks. Will you take off-the list now if I call it?" Ben took the list down. Then, as soon as the telephone rang off, he touched a bell a.rid handed the list to one of the clerks who came in. The checks were soon made out. Ben signed them at his desk, and waited for Steve. "What a heap sight easier life this is than working for some boss,'' Ben reflected, as he waited. "And yet I came blamed near giving this simple scheme to Desmond. This may be fool's luck that I'm having, but I'd a heap sight rathet:-be a fool, with a fool's luck, than be clerking for somebody else." "You'd better get out two more checks, and the busi ness is closed," called Steve, bustling in a little later. "Here's the memoranda .. The checks were ordered. Then Steve produced his notebook and some papers, and the two went thoroughly over them. The job had been well done. Ben Wright stood as the purchaser of one hundred and sixty thousand dollars' worth of canned goods, on hand. or due to arrive within the next three days. On this he was to pay, as a guarantee, eight thousand dollars, which took all but some three hundred dollars of his bank account.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 25 But when the two additional checks wwe brought in, Ben signed them without a tremor. "Well, I'm off," Steve declared, rising and dropping the checks into his wallet. "I'll be back with the receipts be fore the afternoon is over." Once more our hero settled back in his chair, raising his feet to the slide. Altogether, he was very well satisfied with being his own boss. "Even if I lose what I've put up to-day, it was money that I made easily, and I can earn more," he thought. An hour passed. Ben was taking it easy when his telephone bell jangled. It was Steve's voice. "I've just seen a stock ticker." that youth reported ex citedly. "Well?" "No, not 'well.' I'm afraid it's tough news old fel low." "What's wrong?" "The government at. Washington has just decided not to hold the army and navy inanamvers." "That settles it. I shan't vote for Roosevelt again," laughed Ben. "But this is serious, old chap." "How so?" "You've blown in eight thousand dollars, and you stand to lose it," sounded Steve's mournful predictio:R. "But I haven't lost it yet." "You're mighty likely to." "Cheer up!" "Glad you take it so easily," admitted Steve. <'Why, it's the only way to take it, Steve. Coming to the office, by the way?" "I'll be there within twenty minutes." And now Ben Wright had something in earne s t to think of. It was no longer playtime for him. His orders had been placed. His whole capital was up in the air. It was all well enough to say that he could make more money to take the place of what was lost; 0but now that he found himself face to face with the certainty of losing it seemed a di. fferent problem . "I may find some other demand that'll take the goods," he thought. "I've got to watch and hope, anyway." Then Steve rushed in. But he failed to find Ben downcast. Instead, our hero gave his representative a greeting so cheery that Dorsey stared. "Why, Ben, you look as if you were used to losing mon ey," that puzzled youth observed. "Probably I shall be, if I remain in business long enough," Ben smiled. Ting-ling-ling! Ben caught up the receiver. It was John Desmond's voice. That made Steve hitch his chair closer. "All right, Ben?" inquired the merchant. "Why, yes," the boy answered. "I guess Sl)--all ex cept a fire that the Hoo-hoos started here this morning. The police have got that fellow Kelly. I meant to have telephoned you about it." "The police may have Kelly, my boy, but afraid the Roo-hoos again have my girl." "What's that?" Ben cried, sharply. "Clara went out on her Settlement work again this morning. She wasn't home to lunch, so the housekeeper telephoned me." "Do you know which way she went?" Ben asked, tremulously. "Not a word as to where she went, W;right." "The safest thing, then, is to start from Bigsoy street."' "Have you any time to spare, Ben, to help me?" sounC.ed the old merchant's voice. "Any time,?" jerked Ben. "I've got the rest <>f my llf: if it's needed!" CHAPTER XI. ['HE EARTH STOPS MOVING! "I never quite knew the meaning of despair before!" "It's awful!" chattered Ben. He was in Mr. Desmond's library. It was two o'clock in the morning. , All the rest of that afternoon, and all through the night the s e two, aided by Steve, aided by the police and by private detectives who w e re call e d in, had been search ing the t()wn for a trace of Clara Desmond. But that young woman had disappeared as completely as if she had never lived. Only one thing s eemed certain. The police, as well as the other searchers, felt certain that this tragedy was the vengeful work of the Hoo-hoos. The Drum had been taken to police headquarters. There he had been put through the "third degree," with all its ingenuities. But The Drum had stolidly protested that he knew nothing about the matter, and that he had no present knowledge of the hanging-out places of any members of the gang. Kelly had been stiffly questioned as he lay on a cot in a hospital, but not a thing could be learned from him. Ben's descriptions of Jab and Dink had been furnished to the police and the but not a sight of these rascals had been obtained. John Desmond had askeQ. the newspapers to announce that he would gladly pay a reward of twenty thousand dol lars for the safe return of his daughter, and that he pledged himself not to prosecute. "I can't sit still,'' moaned Mr. Desmond. "You ought to get some rest, sir," urged Ben. "I'm younger, and I can stand the racket. I can stay here all


A FOOL FOR LUCK. the night by the telephone, if nothing else Lie down on that sofa, won't you, sir?" And Desmond did. He aroused at six in the morning. There was no news to be had. The police reported no progress. Bright newspaper reporters had been out hustling ever since the new spaper offices heard of the case The detectives-a dozen of them-had worked tireless ly. Hundreds of people, attracted by the reward, were busy ing themselves all over New York with trying to find some trace of the missing girl. Ben and the mer chant breakfasted sorrowfully togeth er. Then they started for their respective offices, agreeing to keep in touch with each other over the wire. 1\nother hour, and then in came Steve, with a long face. "No news about Miss Desmond, I suppose." "Not a word." "Then we might as well talk about other things. The news in the canned goods market is mighty bad." "Hang canned goods!" gritted Ben. "There may be a ten-per-cent drop by night. I hear that the Western market is overstocked, and is unloading cheap and shipping fat." This, if true, meant ruin for Ben Wright. Ordinarily the young business man would have been on. edge at such news. Now he merely smiled in a doleful way. "Steve, I can't get up any interest in the market." "You'd better try." "Not a bit of use." "You're thinking all the time about that girl," warned Dorsey. "So would you if you knew her." "But you'd better get back to your business a bit." "Well?" demanded Ben, dullv. ('Do you know any way to save the day?" "I can't see one plainly." "Neither can I," smiled Ben, sadly. "So what's the use of talking about such a dull thing as business?" "See here, Ben, you ain't going to be any good for a while. I can see that. You'd better let me handle your business for you for a while." "Not !s long as I cafi sit up and notice things, thank you," Steve Dorsey shook his head. "The money loss must have rattled his head," thought Steve, stupidly. "It is tough to lose so much." But Ben gave no sign, other than to sit there, dru:fn ming on his desk with the finge,rs of one hand. "There's nothing special for me to do?" Dorsey in quired, rising. "No." "Then I'll go out into the outer office until you wake up, old fellow. I hope that will be soon." It was! Jing-a-ling! Desmond's voice, and an excited one. "Ben, I can't stand this any longer. I'm coming up to your office, if you'll let me. If I don't do something I feel that I shall go crazy!" "Come right on up," Beh invited. "I'll be there in five minutes." Then you're in the neighborhood?" "Yes." "Come right over, then." John Desmond was as punctual as he had promised to be. He looked twenty years older as he tottered into his former clerk's office. Ben looked at him pityingly. "Mr. Desmond, what you need is plenty of walking to wear the edge off your nervousness. Will you come out with me?" "Where?" "We may as well start the search all over again, from the same point-Bigsby street." "I'll go, then." So Ben led the way through the offices. "Come along, Steve," he whispered to that youth, who was seated and reading a newspaper. "Where?" asked Dorsey, jumping up. "Come out and help me walk Desmond about a bit," our hero whispered, his former employer having already stepped outside. "I'm afraid the old man will go crazy if he isn't kept busy." Steve nodded, and at once became all business. "Do you really think there's a ghost of a show?" asked the hollow-eyed old n1an, as they reached the sidewalk. "Why, of course there is," Ben rejoined, almost su:Il nily. "Don't you suppose the reward will do its work when it becomes understood. People like the Hoo-boos would sell their souls for less than a thousand dollars. They've often done it. They'll sell your daughter back, on the jump, for the price you offer." "If they've not already made \vay with her," Desmond moaned. They turned into Bigsby street. All was livelier there than usual. The street felt proud of being in the newspapers in ?big case. John Desmond talked little. He leaned on Ben, who gripped one of his arms Then, all of a sudden, Desmond came within an ace of falling. l!'or Ben, his prop, released him and darted forward. Steve was after him in a twinkling. "Get the nearest cop and bring him right here," came back over Wright's shoulder. Steve turned and darted away. Ben stopped, suddenly, clo'Se to a door on which he had had his eyes. John Desmond, taking new hope, from the hasty, unex. plained actions of the boys, braced up and hurried forward, his eyes burning fiercely.


A FOOL FOR LUCK. 27 "What is up?" he demanded hoarsely. That rascal, Jab, may be on the other side of that door, listening." "Jab? One of the gang, you mean?" quivered the old man. "Yes; the fellow had just started to look out when he caught sight of us and bolted in again." "But this is not the last house the scoundrels were in." "No; it's a block and a hall away. But it looks like another Hoo-hoo hang-out." "But--" "Here come Steve and the cop!" Ben broke in, excitedly. "Now, perhaps we shall learn something." The policem!}n, a young man, came with a swift, long stride. He stopped when Ben darted forward, a hand up warningly. "Can you get another officer?" the boy asked. "Necessary?" "You'll have to go against the Hoo-boos, and our hero quickly told what was up. "You folks ll be with me, as witnesses, if I have to do any shooting?" inquired the policeman. "I'll E>tick with you. 1 So will the !'e'3t." "Come on, then. This the door?" Ben nodded, as the three gathered behind the police man. The door was not locked. They pushed it open and entered. "No one was in the hallways. "We've got to have a.ii.other officer," grunted the police man. "We've got to ha.ve one here at the s reet door to watch." "My job, then, to get one," panted Steve. He was out and off, in the oppos ite direction, the others waiting in the hall until he returned with poliqeman No. 2. This second man was posted at the street entrance. Then the little party started to ascend. "Top floor first, and we'll work down," the young police man whispered back. There were two tenements on a floor here as in the other building. The seekers, moving quietly, reached the top floor. In order not to give too swift alarm, the policeman knocked gently. There was no reply. Crash! In a jiffy that stalwart young man had broken in the door. "Twenty-three! The cops!" roared a voice. It was Dink, in the hallway of the tenement. He rushed swiftly back into the kitchen, and the police man, with drawn revolver, darted after him. There the policeman found himself confronted by two hard-looking characters. For Jab was also there, and both the Hoo-boos had drawn revolvers. Crack! That was the last of Jab, for he went down with a bullet-hole in his forehead. .Another shot-Dink's this time. It sped U.nder the policeman's shoulder, and down past the others in that stuffy little hallway. Crack! The third shot fired, the policeman's second, and a good one, for now Dink, too, was on the floor. His spirit had joined Jab's in the next world's receiv ing pla c e for Hoo-hoos. "The y won' t give us any trouble," observed the police man, coolly, after having looked the prostrate pair over. "Now, see if you can find the girl." B-i.1t B e n had a lready darted into the other rooms on that que s t. "He r e s h e i s !" s ounded his voice-not exultantly, but chokingly. Warned by that tone, John Desmond staggered into the little front room. There on the bare floor lay Clara Desmond, bound tight l y h e r eyes closed, and her face deathly white. By her s ide lay a little, empty bottle. Ben, choking s o that he couldn't speak, was feeling des perat e l y at the. girl's pulse. No pul se-no heartbeat. The stillness of utter despair was upon both father and love r a s they knelt there. The poli c eman stood by, in sympathetic silence. But Steve, always the mess enger, stole swiftly, silently out of that fearful place. In less than three minutes Dorsey climbed the stairs again. B e hind him, panting, came a medical man with hiS medi c ine case. That gentleman's examination was brief. "She' s been d e ad for a couple of hours," he announced slowly. .A cry of anguish. John Demond was on the :floor, a candidate for the doctor's attention. / CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION. "How do you know Miss Desmond's dead?" Ben broke in fiercely. "No pul se, no breathing-nothing," replied the medical man. "That bottle there tells the story. Someone gave her poison." The doctor turned to Mr. Desmond. "Does he have to be brought to at once?" Ben demand ed, sharply. "No; he'll come to himself if he's left alone." "Then leave him alone, doctor," rang our hero's com mand. "There's no sens e in bringing the poor old man back to his trouble any sooner than it has to be done. Steve, can you get another doctor?" Dorsey was off like a shot. not satisfied with me, then?" a.Sked the medi cal man, a trifle stiffly. "Satisfied?" repeated Ben. "Oh, yes. But we want two doctors here." "I'll go ahead, you.rw; man, but I warn you that I haven't


28 A FOOL FOR LUCK. any : hope Of c our se, I don t know what poison was given to this y oung lady, but poi s oned she was." Ten minutes of agony went by. The doctor, after havin g forced some medicine down the throat, went to work to try to cause artificial breathing. Ben help ed, hi s hand s s teady and hiS eyes dry though he felt if the world had ceas ed to be John Desmond was .just opening his eyes when the sec .. ond doctor an older hurried in with his medicine case. Steve carried the doctor 's battery. "We' d bette r try electricity don't you think?" suggest ed the olde r physician mildly. 'l' he youn g er doc tor nodded and both went to work. A t Jh e e nd of an hour a s light gas p was noticed in the thro a t and c hest. B e n was on hi s kn e e s now, as close to th e girl a s lrn could get without hamp e ring the medi c al man In the m e antime, the police had c arried out the bodies of th e d e ad Hoo-hoo s The firs t policeman s ummon e d s till r e mained. AnotJ:ier gasp. Then Clara gave a slight moan. fir s t chance in th e world now thro bb e d B e n bis old kna c k for lookin g on the bright s id e of thin gs c oming back to him. Desmond was on his knees, too beside the g irl. And then, at last, in a moment of g r eat joy for all Clara ope ned her e yes.' She starte d affri g h t edly, but t h e n a s her gaze m e t tha t of her father, and n ext o f B e n s h e s mil e d weakly -';\ft er a w bil e s h e was s o far recover e d tha t John De s mond .and B e n took th e young l a d y to h e r h o m e 'l' h e family doctor was called, and lat e in th e Clara w a s r e por ted out o f a ll d a nger. Sh e had no' recollection o f h e r capture, however. "Doing w e ll i n bu s iness, Wri ght? a s k e d John Desmo. nd, a s they sat in th e librar y afte r h a vin g heard the latest r e port from the y oun g l a d y s room. "Fairly well Ben nodded. It didn't seem ne c essary to add that h e had s tocked up on c anned goods a t high price s and that the market had dropp ed.' "Good s are going to be plentiful and cheap, so I sup pos e you' ll s tock up during the next few days," hinted the old man. "Are you?" s miled Ben The m e r chant s miled .. It was plain that neither cared to di s cuss hi s office plans in a business in which they were rivals. Click! clack! The telegraph ticker that Desmond had in hi s library began to reel off a message. "Belated baseball reports, I suppose," muttered the old man, ri s ing and moving toward the instrument. "No busi ness stuff comes in at this time of the night. Doesn't, eh?" he added quickly, a s he gazed at the tape. "Listen to this, Wright. TP,e president this evening signed the order for the army and navy manreuver s to take place at once And a washout on two of the C hicago road s Whew!, "What's the matte r, s ir [ a s ked innocently. "Great Scott, boy, we':re caught on the wrong s ide of the market, after a.11! The army and navy manreuvers Will make a big demand for our kind of goods. And rail transportation from Chicago will be to the bad for a few days. Whew! And I'm short on canned goods!" "I can let you have plenty," s miled Ben WTight. "Oh, yes. Up to about a hundred and sixty thousand dollars' worth. And all of my goods that a.re not in New York are a good way s this side of Chicago ''On what terms are you selling?" "The same as the oth e r d a y,'' laughed the boy. "That is, I can s11. v e my trad e but not make a dollar!" "Is n t that pretty kind to a man who's on the wrong s ide of the market?" B e n d e mand e d lookin g up. John Des mond lau g h e d "You've got me again Wright. How much do you make out of it this time? "About forty thou s and cl e ar "Ben," said the old man slow ly "don't you think you'd better cons id e r a junior partne r s hiu with me?" "Not for a minute, sir!" "Why not?" "I'm too w e ll s ati s fied with being my own bos s." "Humph! W e ll, you' v e r e a son to be!" Ben is still in bu s in ess for him s elf. The nearest that he has come s o far to being connected with John Desmond is that he i s now the old man' s s on-in-l aw. Later when John Desmond r e tires, Ben will merge two bu s iness house s with the help of his managing man, Steve Dor s e y The Hoo .-hoos are widely scattered in these day s The Drum g ot tw enty y ear s in Sing Sing, while committed suicide in his cell. THEJ END. Have you any idea what wonderfully good work i s done in these days by young reporters? Many of the best re porters on the staffs of our g r eat dailies are bright boys s till in their teen s You will learn all about one of them in a story written by a reporter about a boy reporter week. "THE GREAT GAUL BEAT; OR, PHIL WIN STON'S START IN .REPORTING," by A. Howard de Witt, will be publi s hed complete in No. 13 of "The Wide .Awake Weekly," out next week! It's a wonderfully good story of a reporter who is half detective and half adven turer. SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any new s dealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY ; PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.


THE LIBERTY BOYS. OF '76 A. Weekly Magazine containing Stories of the American Revolution. By HARRY MOORE. These st o ries are based on actual facts a nd give a fait h f ul account o f t h e exciti n g adve n t u res of a b r ave band 0 American youths who were a lways ready an d willi n g to imperil their lives for the sake of helping along the gallant cause of Independence. Every n u m b e r will con sist of 32 large pages of reading matter, bound in a beauti ful colored cover. LATEST ISSUES: 225 The Liberty Boys at Hackensack; or, Beating Back the Brltl1h. 226 The Liberty Boys Keg of Gold ; or, Captain Kidd' s Legacy. 227 The Liberty Boys at Bordentown ; or, Gual'dlng the S t ores. 228 The Liberty Boys' Best Act ; or, The Capture of Carlisle. 229 The Liberty Boys on the Delaware; or, Doing Daring Deeds. 230 The Liberty Boys' Long Race ; or, Beating the Redco a t s Out. 231 The Liberty Boys Deceived; or, Dick Slater' s Double 232 The Liberty Boys' Boy Allies; or, Young, But Dangerou s 233 The Liberty Boys' Bitter Cup; or, B eaten Back at Brand ywine. 234 The Liberty Boys' Alliance; or, The Reds Who Helped 235 The Liberty Boys on the War-Path; or, .After the Enemy. 236 The Liberty Boys Afte r Cornwallis; or, Worrying the Earl. 237 The Liberty Boys and the Liberty Bell; or, How They Saved It. 238 The Liberty Boys and Lydia Danah; or, A Wonderful Woman's Warning. 239 The Liberty Boys at Perth .Amboy ; or, Franklin's Tory Son. 240 The Liberty Boys and the "Midget" ; or, Good Goods In a Sma ll Package. 241 The Liberty Boys at Frankfort ; or, Routing the "Queen's Rang er." 242 The Liberty Boys and General Lacey ; or, Cornered at the "Crooked Biiiet. 243 The Liberty Boys at the Farewell Fete ; or, Frightening the British With Fire. 244 The Liberty Boys Gloomy Time; or, Darkest B e fore Dawn. 245 The Liberty Boys on the Neuse River; or, Campaigning In North Carolina. 246 The Liberty Boys and Benedict Arnold; Hot Work With a Traitor . 247 The Lib erty Boys Excited; or, Doing Whirlwind Work. 248 The Liberty Boys' Odd Recruit; or, The Boy Wllo S,aw Fun In Everything. 249 The Liberty Boys' Fair Friend; or, The W oman Who Hel p ed 250 The Liberty Boys "Stumped" ; or, The Biggest Puzzle of All. 251 The Liberty Boys In New York Bay; or, Difficult and Dangerou1 Work. 252 The Boys' Own Mark ; or, Trouble for the Tories. 253 The Liberty Boys at Newport ; or, The Rhode Island Campai gn. 254 The Liberty Boys and "Black Joe"; or, The Negro Who Helpe d 255 The Liberty Boys Hard at Work; or, After the Marauders. 256 The Liberty Boys and ihe "Shlrtmen" ; or, Helping the Virginia Riflemen. 257 The Liberty Boys at Fort Ne lson; or, The Elizabeth River C a m palgn. 258 The Liberty Boys and Captain Betts; or, Trying to Down Tryon. 259 The Liberty Boys at Bemis Heights; or, to Beat Bur goyne 260 The Liberty Boys and the "Little R ebels" ; o r, The Boys Who Bothered the British. \ 261 The Liberty Boys at New London; or, The Fort Griswo l d Mas sacre. 262 The Liberty Boys and Jefferson; or, How They Saved the Governor 263 The Lib erty Boys Banished; or, S ent Away by G e n e ral H o we 264 The Liberty B oys at the State Line ; or, D e sperate D olr:gs o n the Dan River. 265 The Liberty Boys' Terrible Trip; or, On Time In Spite of Every-I 266 The Liberty Boys' Setback ; or, Beset b;V R e dcoats, Redskins, and .rorl e s 267 The Liberty Boys and the Swe d e ; or, The S candinavian Re cruit. 268 '!'he Lib e r t y B o ys' "Best L icks"; or, Working H ard to Wlu 26 9 The Lib erty B oy s at R oc ky Mount; o r H e lpi n g G e n eral Sum t er. 270 'l'he Liber t y Bo y s and the Regulators ; or, Running the Royalists to Cov e r 271 The Lib erty Boys after F ento n ; o r The Tory D e sp e rado. 272 The Liberty Boys and Captain Falls; or, The Battle of Ram s our' s Mllls 273 The Liberty Boys at Brier Cree k ; or, Chas ing the Enemy. 274 The Liberty Bo ys and the Mysterious F r enchman; or, The Secret M esse nger of King Lo uis 275 The Lib e r t y Boys after the "Pine R obbers" ; or, The Mom:nouth County Marauders. 276 The Liberty Boys and G e n eral Pickens ; or, Chastising the Chero k ee s 277 The Lib erty Boys at Blackstoc k's; or, The Battle of Tyger River. 278 The Lib erty B oys and the "Bus y Be e s".; or, Lively Work all Round. 279 The Liberty B oys and Emily Gelg e r ; or, After the Tory Scouts. 280 The Liberty B o ys' 200-Mlle Retr eat; or, Chase d from Catawba to Virginia. 2 8 1 Th e Lib erty Boys' S ec re t Orde r s ; or, The Treason of Lee. 2 82 The Liberty Boys and the Hidde n Aveng e r ; or, The Masked M a n of Kipp s Bay 283 The Liberty Boys at Spring Hlll ; or, .After Cluny the Traitor. 2 8 4 'l' h e Lib erty B oys and R e b ecca Mottes ; or, Fighting With Fir e Arro ws. 285 The Lib erty Boys' Gallant Charge ; or, The Bayonet Fight a t Old Tappan. 286 The Liberty Boys' Daring Raid; or, Hot Times at Verplanck's Point. 287 and Simon Kenton; or, Fighting t h e B ritish 288 The Lib erty Boys B eate n ; or, Fighting at "Co c k Hlll" Fort. 289 The Liberty B oys and Major Kelly; o r, 'l'he Brave Bridge-Cutter. 290 The Lib erty Boys' D eadshot Band; or, Gen eral Wayne and the Mutineers. "'!..:. F o r sa l e b y all n e w s d eale r s, or will be sent to an y addre ss on rece ipt o f price 5 c en t s p e r c o py in mon ey o r postage stamp s by !'BANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.' IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS o f our Li b raries and c an n o t p r o c ure them f rom newsdealers the y can be obtained from t his offic e direct Cu t out and ftll in the f ollo wing O rder Bl anlt and s e nd it t o u s wit h t h e p rice o f t h e books you w a n t and we w ill send them to y ou by return m ail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN 1.'HE SAME AS MONEY. l FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ...... ... ............. 190 DE.AR SIR-Enclosed find ...... cen ts for which please sen d me: . . copies of WORK AN D W I N, Nos ................ ........ .. ...................... ......... .. & WIDE AWAKE WEEK L Y, Nos ................................... .-...... r ... ... "... " WIL D WEST WEEKLY, Nos ............... ...... ..................................... .. .. . " THE LIBERT Y B O Y S OF '7'6, Nos ..... ............... .. .. ... . : ..... : '' P L u C K AN D L u CK, NOS ....... -. . . S ECRET S E RVICE NOS ......... . . ; . .............................. .................. ........ flF. ., . -., "' FAME AN D F ORTUNE WEEKLY, !Nos .. . . . c ..... 1"'1 il TE!ll-Cent Hand Book s Nos ....... .. . .-...-... Name ....... . ............... S treet and No ...... -.............. Town .......... State ....... . ... . .. ,,


These Books Tell You Everything! .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! 1l]acb book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clep.r type and neatl.v bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Mks are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that any child. can thoroughly undetstand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjeclJB mentioned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL r.:m SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS JlJACH, Ort A r y 'l'HREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVJll CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the most ap proved methods of mesmerism; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo \lugo Koch, A. C. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. N

THE STAGE. No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a great variety of the latest jokes used by the m?st famous men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No .. THE OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. Contai!1mg a vaned asso,rtr:i ent of .it ump speech es, Ne g ro, Dutch and Irish. Also end m ens Jok e s. Just the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND JOK}j) B evel"J) book, containing the rul e s and regulations <>f billiards, bagatelle, family. Abounding in us e ful and effective recipes for general com backgammon, croqu e t. domino es, etc. plaints. No. 36. HOW T O SOLVE CONUNDRUMS.-Containing all No. 55. HOW TO COLI,ECT ST.AMPS AND COINS.-Con the leading conundrums of the day, amusing riddles, curious catches taining valuable information r e garding the collecting a:nd arranging and witty sayings. of stamps and coins. Handsom e ly illustrated. No. 52. HOW 'l.'0 PLAY CARDS.-A complete and handy little No. 58. HOW TO BEJ A DE'l'ECTIVE.-By Old King Brady, book, givif!g the rules 11:nd !x, '\rections for .pla y ing Euchre, Crib the world-known detective In which he lays down some valuabht bage, Casmo, Forty-Five, ce, Pedro Sanc ho, Draw Poker, and sensible rules for beginners, and also relates some adventures Auction Pitch, All Fours, and tri l rny other popular gam e s of cards. and experiences of well-known dete c tives. No. 66. HOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Containing over three bunNo. 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER.-Contain dred interesting puzzles and conundrums, with key to same. A ing useful information regarding the Camera and how to work it; complete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. als<1 how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Slides and other ETIQUETTE. Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated. By Captain w. Dew. Abney No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It No. 62. HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILITARY is a great life secret, and one that every young man desires to know CADET.-Containing full expianations how to gain admittance, all about. There's happiness in it. course of Study, Examinations, Duties, Staff of Officers, Post No. 33. HOW 'I.'0 BERA VE.-Containing the rules and etiquette Guard, Police Regul a tions Fire Department, and all a boy should of good society .and the easiest and most approv e d methods of apknow to be a Cadet. Ccmpiled and written by Lu Senarens, author pearing to good advantage at pa,rties, balls, the theatre, church, and of "How to B e come a Naval Cadet in the drawing-room. No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL C.ADET.-Complete In structions of how to gain admission to the Annapolis Naval DECLAMATION. Academy. Also containing the course of instruction, description No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECITATIONS. of grounds and buildings, historical sketch, and everything a b<>y --Containing the most popular selections in use, comprising Dutch should know to become an officer in the United States Navy. Com dialect, French dialect, Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together piled and written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become with maDy standard readings. West Point Military Cadet." PRICE 10 CENTS EACH, OR 3 FOR 26 CENTS. Address TOUSEY8 Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A NEW ONE ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY PRICE 5 GENTS A OOPY This W eekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of p a ssing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our mo s t successful self-mad e m e n 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 maga zine for the home although each number is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists. and every effort ls 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. 21 All to 'the Good ; or, From Call Boy to Manager 2 Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. 22 How He Got There; or, The Pluckiest Boy of Them All. !l A Corner in Corn; o r, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Rich. A Game ofir

WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE STORY EVERY \VEEK Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS --HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED COVERS -.J llf"' 32 PAGES OF READING MATTER -wJ --ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY -.i Price 5 Cents Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the World TAKE NOTICE! -._ This handsome weekly conta ins inte n sely inte r esting sto ries of adventure o n a great variety of subjects number is r ep l ete with rousing s itu ations ancl liYeiy incident s The h e roes are 1 bright, manly fell ows, who overcome all obstacles by sheer force of brains and grit and win well merited success We hav e secured a staff of new author::, \rho \rrite these stories in a which will be a source of p l easure and profit to the reaL1er Each number has a handsome col ored illu stration made by the most expert artists. Large sums of n1oney ar3 being spent to make this one of the best weeklies ever published ..... Here is a List of Some of the Titles ..... 1 Smashing the A uto Record; or, Bart Wil son at the 7 Kicked off the Earth; or, Ted Trirn"s Hard Luck Cnrc. Speed Lever. By Edward N. Fox. By Rob Roy. 2 Off the Ticker; or, Fate at a Moment's Notice. By 8 Doing It, Quick; or, Ike Bro,rn's Hustle at Panama. 'l'om Dawson. By Ci.lptain Ha,rthorn, U S. 3 From CiJdet to Capta in ; or, Dick Danford's \Ye::t i 9 In the 'Frisco Earthquake; or, Bob Dra g's Day of T e r-Point Nerve. By Lieut. J J. Barry. I ror. By Prof. OliYer o,rens. 4 The Get-The re Boys; or, Making Things Hurn in Hon 10 We, Us and Co.; o r Seeing Life With a duras By Fred Warburton Show. By Edward Fox 5 Written in Cipher; or, The Skein Jack Barry U nrav11 Cut Out for an Officer; o r 'orp ora l Ted i,n the Philipe ll ed. By Prof. Oliv e r Owe ns. pine s By Lieut. J. J. Barry 6 The No-Good Boys; or, Downin g a Tough Name. By 12 A Fool for Luck; or, The Boy Who Turned Bos By A Howard De Witt. Fred \Yarburton. For sale b y all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents p e r copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our libraries, and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office d i rect. Cut out and fill in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books yo u want a nd we will send them to y ou by re-turn mail. POS'l'AGE S'l'AMPS 'l'AH:EN 'l'HE SAiUE AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANK TOUSEY, Publish er, 2 Union Squa re, New York. ........ ............ 190 DEAR SmEnclosed find .. : ... cents for which please send me: .... copies of FAME AND FORTU E WEEKLY, Nos .............................................. '' '' VVIDE AWAKE VVEEKLY, Nos ..................................... .................. '' '' WORK AND 'VIN, Nos ............................................................... " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ............................................. .. .. " PLUCK AND LlJ CK, Nos ................................................ " SECRET SER.VICE, Nos ............ ........................................ . " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, No s ................................................. .. u " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ........................................................ N ame ................. ....... Stree t a nd No . . . ............ Town .......... State ............... ..


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