The great gaul "beat", or, Phil Winston's start in reporting

The great gaul "beat", or, Phil Winston's start in reporting

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The great gaul "beat", or, Phil Winston's start in reporting
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
De Witt, A. Howard
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey Publisher
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1 online resource (28 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. (lcsh)
Fire fighters -- Fiction. (lcsh)
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
032046513 ( ALEPH )
864166109 ( OCLC )
W20-00013 ( USF DOI )
w20.13 ( USF Handle )

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5 c e')_[S----.---... ;; Click! cliok! -came the answer. Phil's neart bounded with joy. he flashed. "Too late-train passed a minute ago!" The young reporter almost toppled from his perch. His fight for life had been useless.


WIDE A WAKE WEEK L Y I A CO,M'PLETE STO!R,.Y E .VERY WEEK. I ssuea Weekl11-B11 Subscriptio n ,2.5 0 per year. Enterea accoraing t o A.ct o f C on gress, the 11ear 1906, in the otrlce or the Librarian of 0-0ngreu, W ashngt o11., D 0., by Frank T ouse11, P ubUs'l e r, 24 S quare, New York. No 13. NEW YORK, JULY 13, 1906. PRICE 5 CENTS. The Great Gaul ''B t ' ea. O R PHIL WIN.STON; S ST ART IN REPORTING CHAPTER I. THE "KID" REPORTER AIMS HIGH. I wish s omething big would turn up," half sighed Phil Win s ton. "Why? a s ked Crosby, the assistant city editor of the "Mornin g Globe." "Oh, I'd like a chance to get hold of something besides the s mall-fry news," Phil replied. "If s omething big turned up an older reporter would be sent out on the c a s e," replied Crosby, without looking up from the paper that he was "going over" with a blue .pencil. "Yes; an older man would get it, I suppose," sighed Phil. This time Crosby looked up from his work. He eyed who was not now many days pa s t hi s twenty-third birth day, returned to hi s work with a b o red air. Phil Win s ton was only seventeen. He had been in the "Globe" office jus t three wee k s From a little c ountry home up in the State he had come to the city, leaving b e hind a moth e r who was firmly convinced that her son would soon become one of th e greate s t editors in the c ountr y Up to three weeks ago Phil had been in the High School of his native town. During the las t two y e ars, whil e att e ndip g school, he had also been writing for th e weekl y i n hi s town. But Win ston was neve r cont ent t o "stay whe r e he was put." Work on a country n e w s pap e r h a d fille.d him with an ambition to get into the life of th e n e w s p a p e r reporter in a gr eat c i ty. Armed with useless letters of recommendation from the the boy keenly. "Winston, you take my word for it-if you were sent cour1try editor, and provided with many clippings of his out on a b1g news story, you'd probably fall down on it. published work, Phil had come to town. By sheer pushing and "che ek" he had induc e d the city That would wind up your career in this office, you know." "I don't believe I would fall down on the story," Phil editor of the "Globe" to give him a chance as a r e porter. Every newspaper office has two or three "kids" among rejoined, with an air of conviction "It happens, once in a thousand years," Crosby half its reporters. sneered, "that a kid reporter goes out after a big news The astonishing thing about it i s that oft en, within a story-and gets it. But the old, time honored way is best, few weeks or a few months, the "kid" deve lops real talent my boy. A kid reporter should go by easy stages from as a newspaper reporter. small stories to big ones. If he climbs s lowly, the k i d P hil's salary, at the start, was eight dollars a week. gets his wits sharpened But you'll u ndersta nd that b et-,Th i s is the usua l salary for a "kid" in a newspaper office. ter when you've bee n i n the business as lon g a s I hav e In the office the "kid" ra nks only a step above the office And who h ad been a ki d reporte r himself, and 'boy, w ho receives four or five dollars a week.


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." Often, very often, indeed, the office boy gradl).ates into tram Prentiss, president of the Great Gaul & Western, a "kid" reporter. left his offices at the railway station. He went alone, sayEaton, the city editor, had strongly advised Phil to ing that he was going out for just a few minutes, and left begin as an office boy. an appointment to be back with the treasurer and auditor But our hero, with his usual mixture of ambition and of the road for a conference with thelll at three o'clock. stubbornness, had insisted that he was fitted to begin on Prentiss is known as a man who never breaks an appointthe "Globe" as a "kid" reporter. ment. Already the directors are worried. They've tele And here he was-already beginning to feel dissatisfied phoned police headquarters and all the hospitals, and feel with the slow advancement of the newspaper "kid." sure that Prentiss hasn't met with an accident. So they're For a long time it generally isn't much that falls to the sure it's foul play. It's nearly half-past three now. Hustle fot of the boy reporter. rigl1t down to the G. & W. offices. If Prentiss comes in, A good deal of the time he has to hang around the telephone us right away. If he doesn't come, keep us office, occasionally taking an item that comes in over the advised of anything that you hear. Hustle, and keep your telepbone. eyes open. If Prentiss doesn't show up in half an hour, '!'his he writes up and turns into the news desk. This I'll manage to get h.lld of so!Ile of our older men and get "desk" is in charge of the news editor, aided by assistants. them started on the case. If Prentiss disappears, it'll be The news editor's assistants read the "kid's" "copy," the sensation of the day, for he's one of our biggest moneycorrect it and send it up to the printer. men. Hustle!" 'l'he city editor and his have charge of the But that last word was hardly necessary. reporters. It is the work of the city editor, or his assisPhil was already half-way down the three :flights of tant, to send out the reporters on different tasks of gathstairs that led to the street. He was in such haste, in fact, ering news. that he had no time to wait for the elevator. When the reporter has got his news, he writes it out On the street he traveled fast. In less than ten minutes and turns his "copy" in fo the news desk. The city editor he hustled int

THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 3 Phil had had an instant idea that he didn't like the r "Pardon me, gentlemen," he began, "but can you tell fellow's looks. me when I'm likely to be able to see Mr. Prentiss?" As for the girl, the young reporter couldn't help liking "That's what we'd all like to know," retorted one of the her at the first glance. directors. She was about our hero's own height, which was :fivefeet-six, blonde and willowy, and distractingly pretty. The girl had appeared to be about seventeen years old. These two young people had come in laughing and chat ting, as if used to being together. Halting near the president's door, they had spoken a few words to a clerk, who disappeared into the president's office. Almost in a twinkling President Bertram Prentiss, of the Great Gaul & Western Railway, had stepped to the door, smiling, and with both hands outstretched. President Prentiss shoot{ hands with both of the young people at once. "Beth, my child, you know how deli,ghted I would be to have you here on afternoon but this." "It was mostly Fred's fault," smiled the girl. "Fred, my dear boy, is it anything that won't keep until this evening?" inquired Mr. Prentiss, turning to the young man with just a shade of anxiety in his face. "I would like your ear for one moment, uncle," replied the nephew of the great man. "Now, then, and in haste," rejoined the Iailway presi dent, slipping his arm through that of the young man and leading him aside. The girl stood there, smiling carelessly, while Mr. Pren tiss and his nephew talked in earne s t undertones a few yards away. Then uncle and nephew came back to the girl, both looking as if the conversation had not been wholly a pleasant one. "All right, Fred Carroll, boy," Phil heard the raHway man say. "Thank you, uncle. It will be the greatest favor." "Beth, child, come into my office for just a moment," added her father, and led the girl past the swinging door. Then, for just an instant, Phil caught sight of a sudden blackness in Fred Carroll's face. "Then he isn't here?" Phil persisted. "Not a sign of him!" Phil hurried to a telephone pay stat ion in another part of the great building and informed Crosby. -"Stay there and watch," was Crosby's 'order. So back to the directors' room went our hero. Reporters for rival newspapers were there by this time. Stepping forward, the vice-president of the railway call ed loudly: "I will ask the gentlemen of the press to withdraw from the room. They will be informed, presently, of any action taken that can interest the public." Phil found himself out in the corridor with half a dozen other reporters. "Going to guess where their president is, I suppose," grunted Charley Jenkins, of the "Herald." "They're making a hullaballoo about his being a few minutes late." "But it seems that Prentiss never has been a few min utes late before," rejoined another reporter. "There always has to be a first time," sniffed Jenkins. The other reporters seemed to have no opinion one way or the other They wer? a keen-eyed lot of young men, used to run ning through the big city at all times of the day or night after the news of the day's doings. "Your paper got any men out looking for Prentiss?" asked one reporter of another. "Don't believe they have yet," came the reply. "Time enough to look for the old man when he sure enough vanished." Phil listen(ld, but had nothing to say. A door opened and a clerk came ou.t. "Gentlemen of the press," came the announcement, "in the absence of President Prentiss, the directors have adjourned their meeting until ten o'clock to-morrow morning." "But what about Mr. Prentiss?" called several of the reporters. "All we know, gentlemen, is that Mr. Prentiss is absent." Left by himself, the nephew gritted his teeth, smiled snarlingly, and slightly shook one clenched fist after the disappearing pair. "And no word--" began Jenkins, but the clerk had But Carroll quickly recovered himself, before any but closed the door from the other side. young Winston had observed this by-play. Quickly the group of report ers broke up, each going By the time that Carroll had turned about Phil was his own way. looking in another direction. Phil's way led him to the telephone station. It was this scene that our hero now remembered, as he "Hasn't shown up, eh?" came Crosby's query over the heard the direators discussing the disappearance of Berwire. "What time do the G. & W. offices close?" tram Pretiss. "Five o'clock." "If that dark-eyed young nephew isn't enemy : "8tay there, then, until the offices close. Then, if then I'm a bad guesser," muttered the young reporter. there's no word, telephone me again." The-re was nothing more in the talk of these men to I So back to the offices upstairs went the boy. In one of interest the young reporter. the outer rooms, through which Mr. Prentiss woulll have So he stepped forward, boldly. to pass to reach l1is own office, our hero waited.


THE GREAT GAUL Five o'clock came, but the offices did not close. WinI It was some distance away, but in fifteen minutes ston had no to ask questions. He saw anxiety writhero was close to the great, handsome club building. ten in the face of every employe officer of the railroad The Pelham was the "swellest" club in the city. that passed through the room. Just as he neared the building Phil encountered Jo Six o'clock came, but still no word of Mr. Prentiss. son, one of the "Globe's" older reporters. Hi s house had been telephoned to, and every effort made "What are you doing up here?;, hailed Phil, pleasantl to get trace of the missi ng railway magnate. "Just been into the club to see Fred Carroll," yawn C At six o'clock, however, the offices were closed-an hour Johnson. after the usual time. "Would he Every fifteen minutes our hero bad called up his office over the 'phone. "Looks like a great story," commented Crosby, drily, over the wire. "Come back to the office. We'll send some other men out on it." "Oh, yes; but he doesn't know any more about it than anyone else. Just says that he, like the others of the family, is wholly at a loss to account for Prentiss's dis appearance. But Carroll says it will turn out all right in a few hours. I hope the office will drop this for the "Send some other men out on it-yes!" muttered Phil, night Winston. I'm in a poker game at eleven angrily, to him self, as he hung up the receiver. "That's o'clock." always the way with \he poor kid in a newspaper shop! 1 "S th t' f tl ffi d ld t ?" B t I 'll t fi h' 'f I d t 1,, o a s one o ie o ce s prize o er men, is i u ge a nger rn t is pie-see i on '! d Ph'l h t h d h lk b kl d H ffi smue i as e .wa c e "o nson wa ns y own e reached the o ce out of breath. th t t "C b t 'tt' k M h f e s ree ares more a ou si mg m a po er game r. Eaton, the city editor, was now in direct c arge o tha n he does about finding Mr. Prentiss. If young Car the city reporting staff. 1 roll is in there I'll stay here all night, if necessary, but To that middle-aged 0{1.Jlstler after news Phil made his I'll see him go away!" direct request to be kept on the sto ry. "This looks like a case that will call for our best men, Crossing street, the "kid" reporter stepped back I'm afraid," smiled the e:ity editor. "Better remain in into the shadow o f a doorway. . the office to-night, on call, Winston." From where he stood he could watch the mam entrance "On call?" snorted the boy, disgustedly, as he turned I to the Pelham Club. . away from the city editor's room and walked back to bis Nor had our hero been waiting more than twenty mincwn desk in the great city room. "That's bot stuffutes when Fred Carroll stepped out alone. being on call. Hang around all evening, doing nothing, As the May night -"Was rather warm, Carroll had while other reporter s are out getting all the news and the top coat unbuttoned, revealing his evening dress clothes. glory !" With a quick, nervous step, Carroll went off down the But Eaton was a city editor who was not accustomed to street. giving directions twice to his reporters-to the "kids" "Me for a follow," muttered Phil, starting on the trci+, especially on the opposite side of the street. But in the evening he walked toward the city Carroll turned three or four corners, then brought up editor's room, in which Mr. Eaton was now being helped in at one of the large hotels. the night's grind by his night assistant, Mr. Danbury. As that dark-faced young man stepped into the hotel "Excuse me," began Phil, in a low voice to Mr. Dan-office Pl1il was one of the throng. biury. "But have the members of Mr. Prentiss's family "Where's the telephone room?" Carroll inquired of a been interviewed?" clerk. "Oh, yes::' the night assistant city edit.or I But Phil never stopped for the answer. He knew where carelessly. ?la:ton has a few with s the telephone room was, and like a fl.ash he made for it. earlier m the evenmg. She noth 1. A young man, with the central-office "cap" over his mg wrong, and has gone out to an evenmg function at head sat at the switchboard. Mrs. Grosvenor-Pyle's." I Ph,'l' h d d l'k i ht t k t f .... "Th h t 't h ? Ph'l h' t d i s an ove i e ig nmg m o a poc e or one ere s a nep ew, oo, isn t ere.' 1 m e f th t t d 11 b'll th t h d 1 o e wo eno ar i s a e owne "Oh, yes; Fred Carroll. He's at the Pelham Club. l . d f fi Johnson has ju st located him there and has gone to the 1 "Brother, let me sit at that switehboar or ve mm, l b f t 'lu tes, and this ten is yours," whispered Phil, bending over cu or an m ervrew. "Ten o'clock, Winston, so you may as well go holl!e," I the operator. spoke up City Editor Eaton. He held the money so that the other could see it. "Thank you, sir," Phil answered. "What are you talking about?" demanded the operator, He hurried from the office ere that gentleman had time gruffly. to change bis mind. "It's a joke I'm playing on a bet," Phil lied glibly. "The Pelham Club?" quivered the boy. "That's on "It's all right. You won't get in any scrape. l'm a re Grauchy avenue. I remember the building." porter on the 'Globe,'" Phile added, pulling back his coat


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." to display the badge on bis breast. "You've got to jump, though, if you want the money. Ifs all right!" That ten dollar bill looked big. With a jump "central" took the money, took off and laid down his cap and crossed the room. Phil was at the desk, the "cap" on, by the time that Carroll stepped into the room. "Give me 3204 Grosvenor," said Carroll, huskily and nervously, as he dropped a dime on the table. Phil rang up central, got the 'number and jabbed in a switch plug. "In number three," directed the young rt:Jorter, with out looking up. Carroll disappeared into the closet marked "3." CHAPTER II. THE BOY ON THE BOX. In the side street around the corner from the Grosve norPy le residence stood many cabs and private carriages. It was a musical night in the great house. Guests had been driven to the door earlier in the evening. It was now nearly time for these guests to depart, hence the waiting vehicles. Walking up and down the line, bis soft hat pulled well down over his eyes, was Phil Winston. He had reached the corner nearest to this locality by spending some of his little, precious hoard of money on a cab for himself. Phil Winston, with his own ear sharply attuned, lis tened easily to what followed. It canie right over the wire from Carroll's lips to the young reporter's ear. Central can always hear what is being said by users of the wire That CP. b was now dismissed, and the young reporter was left here on bis own resources. when wish to. He bad glanced into each of the waiting carriages and "Hullo Who is that?" asked Carroll, quickly. bad discovered them all to be empty. "Jack," came back the answer from the other user of the wire. Now, our hero was keeping his eyes open for the expected arrival of Fred Carroll. "Everything all right?" Nor had our hero long to wait. "Yes, Mr. Carroll. But give me that number again, 1 "Here he comes!" murmured the boy. where you want me to meet you with the cab." I He had caught sight of that now well-known figure "Why, 317 Cumberland avenue. Got it straight this with the thrown-back top coat revealing the evening r ?" I ime 1 clothes. "Yes, sir, 317." l Into a doorway stepped Phil. But from his hiding"That's right. And be there soon." place he watched Carroll until that young man stopped to "I will, sir." speak to one of the drivers standing at the curb. Carroll rang off hurriedly. He came out of the closet "They're talking quite a bit, too," throbbed watchful, and left the telephone room. anxious Phil. I No sooner had the railway man's nephew left the teleThen he saw Carroll step into the carriage. phone room than Winston sprang up, doffing the "cap" The door was closed, but the horses did not move. In and leaving it there. fact, though Carroll was inside, the driver still remained "I don't have to shadow you this time," murmured the on the sidewalk. young reporter. "I know where you're going to be met, I "is this a wild-goose chas.e ?" young Winston demanded I and I can get there the shortest, quickest way by myself. : of himself. "Or is something worth while really going to But now why should yo want a cab to meet you there, happen?" Carroll? The swiftest way would be to take a cab direct 1 "Seventy-three!" bawled a voice up the street. A car tl1ere---unless you've got some shady work in the air. riage moved out of the group and went around into CumGracious !" berland avenue. That last ejaculation came as somethi'Ilg "struck" our 1 "Twenty-eight!" Another carriage rolled off: hero just as he was passing through the hotel office. I "The guests are leaving," thrilled Phil.. "Now's the He hurried over to a city directory, turning the leaves time-in a jiffy!" rapidly until he came to the name that he sought. j Stepping out the doorway, be went "Grosvenor-Pyle, 317 Cumberland avenue," read the past the carnage m which Carroll had stepped. But m young reporter, triumphantly. "I thought so. That's that moment of passing our hero got such a good look where Miss Beth Prentiss is spending the evening. And 1! the horses that he would know them again. Carroll is going to be there, too, with a cab that he has They were a mismatched pair-a bay and a sorrel. specially ordered? Ordinarily Miss Beth could attend to Around the corner Phil and up toward 317'. her own carriage. This may be all straight-and it may There were several of the departing guEl!ts now on the be all crooked!" I in front of the big house. Phil closed the directory with a bang. I Amung them Phil stepped, trying to keep as much in "I'll be there, too I" he exclaimed. the background as he could.


6 'l'HE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." One after another the carriag e s rolled up to the door 11nd took away the gues ts. Three of the s ervants of the great hous e stood at the curb, assis ting departing guests. Now all o f#; he crowd s eemed to have gone. The ser vants were there alone, save for Phil, who lounged back I against the iron fence. "What are you doing here, boy?" demanded one of the footmen, turning suspiciously upon our hero. "Be careful whom you call a boy," Phil retorted smil ingly, and at the same time displaying his reporter's badge, which he as quickly covered again. "I'm here on business." The footman, supposing thltt our hero was connected in some way with the secret service, asked no more questions. Ten minutes more went by. "I wonder if Carroll and his cab have skipped in some o t her direction?" thought our hero. But he did not dare to leave his post to find out. If he went around the corner, a pair of fast-moving horses might make his return to this spot too late. Next the footman went inside. "Sold! Fooled myself!" gritted the boy, desperately. But just at that instant a footmaJl came out onto the stoop and raised his hand in signal to the carriage-starter do\vn at the corner. "Nineteen!" bawled the starter, and then vanished down the s ide street. Around the corner rolled the carriage behind the mismatched pair, the sorrel and the bay. .-r-Now we' ll know!" throbbed the boy. He had drawn back into the areaway, hiding. But as the closed carriage halted before No. 317 the young reporter slipped out, behind the cab, and so gained th e street side of the vehicle. came in the carriage, that the strange driver might alarm you. Step in, little girl." "Why, this is all right, and I'm a fool," Phil told self disgustedly. But then, on the other side of the cab, he heard a f sound as though the girl had started to enter the vehi then bad drawn back. "Beth," sounded Carroll's voice, reproachfully, "you not afraid to drive home with me?" "Why, surely not," Phil heard the girl answer, with attempt at lightness, but her tone trembled slightly, n the less. "Does this man know our home address?" she asked. "Certainly, Beth. Jump in, child." Phil, in his hiding place on the other side of the c riage, heard the swish of her skirts as she stepped insi "Home, John," ordered Carroll, and then the furt door slammed shut. Then the driver came forward to the step to mount box. But things happened in a second. Doubting Phil, bis last indecision banished by the 1 words he had heard, and the girl's faltering tone, h made up his mind in a jiffy. "John" attempted to mount to the box. But Phil Winston was swifter. From his own side Phil leaped up to the box. Crack I Tpe young reporter's fist landed under jehu's jaw. Even before the thud of the falling body sounded, P had seized reins and whip Slash I Our hero was still standing as the horses, s fering under the lash, bolted away at a gallop. The swaying motion of that cab as it was rushed aw would have thrown a green hand down into the roadwa But Phil Winston, brought up in the country, was "Curtains downi" quivered the young reporter, glanc-new hand with horses. iug at the cab door. "That s ure looks queer!" Instead or falling, the motion jolted him back into th The driver was down on the sidewalk side of the carseat. riage. Stealthy Phil easily kept hid from the fellow. He was now firmly in his place, guiding a pair of m The door of the mansion opened, letting out a flood of dened, spirited horses. light in which Winston beheld Beth Prentiss, looking I Behind him he heard a roar of anger and a sharp co wonderfully more beautiful than ever in her fleecy white l mand. evening dre ss, over which a light wrap had been thrown But at the distance, and over the clatter of hoofs a that only half concealed the robe. the rattle of wheels, the voice did not sound distinctly. "No; I won't trouble you. Here's my driver waiting It was the driver that Phil had knocked down w for me. Good night." yelled as soon as that fellow could pick himself up. The door of the mansion closed as Beth came lightly "I guess the people inside didn't hear," throbbed P down the steps. listening for a hail from his "fares." But she started back from the driver, in astonishment, I Around two corners he pulled his fresh, spirited tea if not in dismay. down into a 'slower trot, though he still moved them at "I expected our own driver here," she said. "Who are .1 very respectable jog. you, my man?" "Now I've got time to think over what I've been d "It's all right, Beth, child," came in Carroll's low voice I ing," quavered Winston, with a sudden shock at the hea from inside the carriage. "If Carroll was really on the square to-night, then I r "Oh I Are you here, Fred?" asked the girl, eagerly. kon I've dished myself into the dickens of a scrape!" "Yes, Beth. Williams met with an accident. So I'. But there was nothing to be done for it now. He


THE GREAT GAUL. "BEAT." ,'I acted on the impulse of the moment-on the bare sushim. "It'11 my business to stay here until the young lady picion of a girl's dread. gives me an account of what's happened. And you're "If I've done a fool thing, there's nothing for it but to Mr. Carroll, aren t y ou, sir?" turning to the railway mag take my medicine like a little man," he smiled/grimly, to nae's nephew. himself. "Yes; this y oung lady's cousin," Carroll admitted, a s The real newspaper man must always be prepared, in I he s tepped out to the sidewalk. many a way, to face all kinds of music, and Phil Winston Then he .turn e d to lift the un c onscious girl out of that had in him that much of the true reporter. atmosphere of chloroform. The distance to the Prentiss re s idence, at the further I Carroll raised the insensible girl in his arm s and started end of the fashionable section of the city, was not quite a up the steps with her, and giving orders to tbe senants mile away. that sent them scurrying on ahead. Driving such horses as these, it was not long ere our The policeman followed Carroll into the house. The hero turned the corner nearest to the Prentiss home. 1.wo reporters tried to, but the offic er shut the door on "Whew!" he whistled, as he glanced ahead down the them. street. "What's the mob for?" The remaining plain cloth e s men from the police deOutside of the Prentiss house, on the sidewalk, stood a partment remained besid e the car r iage. uniformed policeman and two men in plain clothes. Down to him came the two reporters, i.:epulsed at the Up on the steps were three or four servants and two door. ;men whom our hero did not at first recognize. "This looks mighty strange, Mac," observed one of the "Gracious gas ped the boy on the box; "I've put my 1 foot in it. The driver I knocked off the seat has tele"Strange enough," Mac admitted. phoned ahead, and this mob is waiting to jug me!" "What can the driver tell s uddenly suggested the But, as he got just a little nearer, he recognized with a other reporter. start that tl1e two young men with the servants were rePhil beard the question, but he smiled griml y eno ugh. porters on two of the city's rival newspapers. For, whe n th e plain clothes man and th e two reporters "They're on hand to see me jerked, are they?" gritted c ame around the cab to interview the driv e r, there was no Phil. "driver" there. Yet, as coolly as he could, our hero drew up at the curb Profiting by the excitement, Win s ton had s tole backbcfore the Prentiss home. ward s acro s s the street, k e eping the c arriage b etwe en himI-lis cap was pulled well down over his eyes He was self and observation. rather surprised to note that the two reporters did not N ow our h ero was s tandin g far bac k in th e deep shadow seem to be paying any attention to him. 0 the area doorwa y oppo s ite. The im1tant he h a d stopp e d the horses Phil climbed He could he a r, thou g h h e c ould not s e e or be s e e n. down on the side away from the cab. "Funny! Did the driv e r go into the hou s e ? he heard Someone on th e sid e walk open e d the cab door. tlie plain cloth e s man demand. Then Phil, crouchi'A.g, hiding, ready for a sprint, got a Phil chu ckle d over the b ewilde rment of the trio wbo lt that made him shiver. were seeking him. For the voice of Fred Carroll cried out, as if in con-They s oon gave up the search, which left our hero to rnation: himself and his own thoughts. "What's thi s ? The Prentiss--" "That polic e man is a wonder if he don't arre s t CarRight there, a s if he had s pok e n in sheer, amazed imroll!" throbbed the boy. "Carroll was plainly amazed at e, Carroll checked himself. finding himself at B e th's home. He chloroformed her Then he went on again, more soberly, and in a voice and e x pected to stop at some other place. Whew! How hose tone trembled slightly: easily he could have dispos e d of Mr. Prenti s s in the same "Miss Pre ntiss was taken ill on the way home." way? And, by hok e y I believe h e did do that to Mr. "She seems unconscious," remarked the policeman Prentiss. Carroll, it isn t going to b e hard to follow your "I-I believe she is," Carroll admitted. trail, unless the policeman arre s ts you. By ginger, I "Chloroform!" sniffed the policeman. hope the cop doesn't do a fool thing like that-not until "Don't stand there like an idiot," blazed Carroll, in you've taken me to Mr. Prentiss, anyway!" den, pretended anger; "I'll carry Miss Prentiss into Across the street plain clothes man and brother reporte house. You get a physician, officer." ers seemed to have give up looking for the late "driver." I A doctor came swiftly along the sidewalk, accompanied thy the other plain clothes man. CHAPTER III. I Under cover of the doctor, both reporters succeeded in TRAPPED BY FORGETTING TO THINK. getting inside the house. )'ou go for a doctor," asked the policeman, tuming to! Outside Phil and the carriage horses appeared to be the f the plain clothes men who had been standing with. or;ly living things.


8 THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." "Is this a good time to shift my post a bit?" Phil won-I "Canoll doesn't live at the Prentiss home," reflecte dered, after the lapse of a few minutes. Phil. "Yet he must keep some of his clothes there, or he But just then the front door at the Prentis s house, bas borrowed a suit from some of the men servants." ne:ross the way, opened. At this late hour the throngs on the st reet were com "Carroll coming out!" throbbed the watchful boy. posed mostly of roysterers finishing up an evening in the "Bully' for the police! I was afraid they'd lay hold of saloons him and spoil my chance of shadowing the fellow. CarThey were a noisy, boisterous crowd, composed of the roll, you're sure enough the chap who caused the disapworkingmen who feel obliged to hand a part of their pearance of Mr. Prentiss!" wages over to the saloon keeper. Fred Carro ll came hurriedly down the steps, glan _ced Yet their P.resence suited Phil right down to the ground swiftly around, then started away at a swift walk that had now, for, with these workingmen were a few rough something cat-like about it. characters. The next time that Carroll turned be caught sight of Carroll, plainly to avoid attention from the rougher our hero walking along on the opposite sidewalk. part of the passersby, hurried along without stopping to But when, a block fu;ther on, Carroll once more turnlook sideways or to the rear. ed, he did not see the boy. Phil had, therefore, only to keep along at the same For Winston was on his guard. kind of a pace. To be seen once might do no great harm, but to be But, at la st, even the saloons grew fewer and fewer and caught again on the trail would only serve to make Fred the sidewalk throng lighter. Once more the young reCarroll sure that he was being deliberately followed. porter trailed his man with great caution But Phil was on the trail, just the same, and on the Then, arrived at the waterfront aven-qe, Carroll crossed same side of the street now. that now deserted thoroughfare. He was employing some of the tricks of "shadowing" Jus t opposite was a lumber yard that fronted on the that he had heard older and more experienced report ers describe. water. Over the big gate was a h1;1ge sign on which, even For instance, in this part of the city there were low iron fences in front of each yard. Every time that our hero saw Carroll about to turn he instantly vaulted one of these fences into the yard, re maining out of sight for a few seconds, then going once more in the chase. Or, if opposite a doorstep, it was a simple matter to dart in on the steps. Either tnck required hardly more than a seoond, which time was always affo11ded by the turning around of the game in this stealthy chase. It was not long, however, before Carroll's course took him away from the fashionable residence part of the town. Carroll now followed one side street straight along. "Headed for the waterfront," quivered the young re porter. "Well, that's the most natural place-if he's going to Mr. Prentiss. The waterfront.has many a queer hole where a prisoner could be hidden away." As pursuer and pursued drew out of the fashionable into the more crowded parts of the city, there were more people on the streets. Phil could now follow, at a little distance behind, with out much risk of his pursuit being detected by Carroll. "A swell fellow like him wouldn't be going down in this pai:t of the town unless he had something queer on hand," reflected Phil. Anc1 now he noticed, as Carroll passed under the glow of an electric street light, what had escaped him before. The railway magnate's nephew, while still wearing the same topcoat, had doffed his evening clothes for a light brown suit that would attract less attention in this part of the town. in the night, our hero could read the names: "Devine & Carroll." "Oho! So our young man is in business or himself," mused watchful Phil. "I didn't know that. But this lumber yard gives him a bully waterfront plaee for hiding a prisoner...'..-if he has one." Carroll had halted before a smaller gate, close to the bigger one for lumber trucks. Both gates were locked secur<:ily at thi s time of the night. "Letting himself in," Winston -discovered, as he saw his man take out a key and fit in the lock of the smalle r gate. "Blazes! I hope he doesn't lock it on the inside!" Mentally our hero calculated the height of the very high fence that shut out the lumber :yard from the water front avenue. "I could climb that fence ea ily enough, of course," muttered the boy. "But anyone watching could see me doing the climbing trick. And Fred Carroll is watching, if this is his nest for his evil work." Click. Opening the sma ller gate, Fred Carroll passed on into the lumber yard, closing the gate behind him. Tap! tap I sounded his feet. "He's walking through the yard," thrilled Phil. "I can sneak across the street now." In another jiffy our hero was at the gate. "Glory!" be throbbed under his breath, "Carroll didn't shut the gate hard enough to Stealthily, our hero pushed the gate -half-way open. He was about to step into the lumber yard, then drew back. "How safe is this going to be?" he wondered. "A fel-


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 9 low who'll play Carroll's game might not hesitate at mur der!" For a moment Phil hesitated, undecided. It was the first time that he had been called upon to risk running h!-mself into danger of. being murdered. "Bosh I" he gritted. "If I can't take a chance, I'll have to get out of the business. A reporter's life isn't much of anything else but taking chances." With that, he stepped resolutely though stealthily into the yard. There were the tall piles of lumber, with the narrow passages between. Phil heard steps a little way ahead. "That's where Carroll is moving," he thought. "He's making more noise than I dare to." Still following the sound of steps ahead, Phil stole on-ward, until- As he passed one pile of lumber an arm shot out, a stick landed across his head, and the boy staggered down to the ground. Before he could defend himself, Fred Carroll leaped out and down upon him. Psst! At the low signal two rough-looking fellows darted forward to help Phil's assailant. "Sit on him !" ordered Carroll, in an ugly tone. :'If he makes a sound, kill him !" In a twinkling the two roughs were pinning the boy by sitting on him, and the one nearest Winston's head whipped a knife into view. "I thought so!" chuckled Carroll, with grim savagry. ''From what happened to-night, I felt sure of being followed I" CHAPTER IV. TWO CAN PLAY FOXY. "Wind the kid up now, and have done with him!" gruffly advised the ruffian with the knife, who rested his hand against Winston's windpipe. "I've got to," nodded Carroll, an ugly, greenish light burning in the eyes with which he regarded our hero as :he stood looking down at the trapped youngster "Can I say a word?" Phil asked in a low, hoarse voice, for the pressure on his windpipe barely allowed him to !breathe. "Several," mocked Canoll. "Fire away!" "Why are yo11 treating me like this?" Phil demanded, oeently. "Why did you follow me in here?" retorted Carroll. "I didn't kn.ow that I did." "Humph I Not much use in your talking, then. Why you come into the yard at all?" ''Wanted a place to sleep," Phil replied, on spur of moment. at's that?" came sharply from Carroll. "Fact," Phil lied, desperately. "Broke and wanted some place to pass the night. Saw the gate open and thought I could find some sort of bunking place in here." "Don't try to lie to me," hissed Carroll, menacingly. "What need have I got to lie?" Phil demanded. "Go through his pockets," Carroll commanded one of the men. "We'll see if he's too poor for a night's lodg ing." Right then and there Phil saw the uselessness of his lie, and regretted that he had not thought out a better one. "Three dollars and a quarter," reported the ruffian who had rustled Phil's trousers pockets. "Look higher up for more," advised Carroll. And now Winston's heart almost stopped beating. For the man who had held him by the throat suddenly whipped the boy' s coat open. There, on the boy's left vest front, gleamed a little, round disk of silver. "What's this?" snarled the ruffian who had first discov-ered the badge. "Police?" 1 "Worse-ten times worse I" faltered Carroll, who had dropped to his knees to get a close look at the gleaming badge. "That's a press Ladge. a reporter!" Carroll 's face was of an ashen hue. He choked now, as if unable to speak further. 'Morning Globe?' shivered Canoll, after swallowing hard. "So-that's what you are I" "Well?" demanded Phil, coolly, for he felt, suddenly, that great coolness was all that possibly stood between himself and death." "You're a reporter?" insisted Carroll, fearsomely. "One of them," Ben admitted, with well-assumed in difference. "One of them? What do you mean?" "There are three more trailing me. They know I'm here," Phil lied desperately. "Rush back to the gate! Give a signal, if awone tries to get in!" Carroll quavered, turning like a flash upon one of his men. That worthy departed on the run, gliding in and out oi the piles of lumber like a man long used to dodging. "If they look they won't find this kid in here I" snarled the brute with the knife. In another instant life would have been over for Phil Winston. But ju s t in that twinkling Carroll, with an angry cry, struck out with his left hand, pushing the brute back. "Stop, I tell you!" Snarling, displaying a set of ponderous, ugly teeth, the brute glared up at his master. "You understand what will happen to you if you make a break of any kind?" leered Fred Carroll, wheeling and smiling savagely down at the boy. Winston not answering, the young man turned to his creature.


10 THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." "Get up!" he ordered "You're so crazy that I'm afraid you'll use that knife at any second." "I ought to!" growled the wretch In his insane greed for blood, the fellow bent over Phil once more, pressing the keen edge against the young reporter's white throat. "Quit, I tell you I" raged Carroll, in a low but aroused voice. "Stop that-until you get orders." The brute not taking the knife edge away from quiver ing Phil's throat, Carroll once more closed in, pushing with his left hand against the fellow's breast. "Get up and stand back! Are you boss, or am I?" vVith a suddenness hardly to be looked for, the brute leaped to his feet. But he stood there, glaring like a beast at his master. Carroll looked him over coolly, however. It was a tense moment, when a word hastily uttered might lead to a life and death clinch between this pair: "Now's the only chance!" throbbed Phil. It was the one moment in which was looking at him Up! Phil was on his feet like a streak As a part of the same movement he snatChed the re volver from Fred Carroll's hand. Just in time our hero wheeled to find the brute ab to spring upon him. Crack The third shot, It took effect in the wret knee, sending him to the ground. Panting, pallid, Oarroll halted behind his man. "You young fiend!" he snarled. "What are you d!>ing "Shooting," said Phil, coolly. "What did you expec Want one yourself? I'm in the business now I" "You're brave when you've got the only gun in t crowd!" sneered Carroll. Running feet soundt::d up the street that led down the waterfront. "The police!" faltered Carroll, turning paler thari b fore "To be sure!" Phil mocked. "Honest men don't nee to fear 'em!" Then, just as sudden ly, our hero made up his mind t make himself scarce. "At this hour of the night the police will serve it out t all the other papers!" he shivered, apprehensively. "Wow I must keep this great beat to myself!" "Shut the gate, if you want a respite," he whispere suddenly, to Carroll. "Don't. run, or your man will found and he'll give you away. Shut the gate-quick!" "Kill him now !" roared the brute, leaping forward with Seeing that the boy with the pistol meant it, Carro hi s lmife uplifted. . leaped forward to slam the gate shut and lock it. Carroll, uttermg a cry without words, wheeled around Cl' k 1 At th t d Phil w t t k t h. . IC a soun ms on oo o is o to find Phil distant a dozen feet and the bright muzzle of 11 1 l'd d th t f t th d ti t 1 1 1ee s, g i mg own e wa er ron avenue 1n e eep 1e pis o covermg um. I sh d th t h ld find 'It' '" th bb d th t \ a ow a e cou g my game now ro e e young repor er. 0 ll th t 1. uld d th ta k f lft "I' d k'll F 11 'f d 1,, arro 1n e mean ime, suo ere e s o i m as rea y to i as any one. j o ow me, i you are. b' b t d tt th t t h h'dd b h' d is ru e an ge mg a wre c 1 en e m a p1 e In that same second be wheeled, dartmg through the 1 b ) um er. lumb e r yard. Swearing, both jumped ahead in pursuit. he was two blocks away did swiftly, stealtbi Crack! Phil Win s ton turned and fired runmng Wmston draw up. His blo o d he cared not at all whether he killed one "It seems queer to be throwing the police off the scent of this pair. he panted, as he rested in a doorway. "But if the poli But his ::hot went just a trifle wild of the brute's head. got hold of this thing now every other morning pape Both st;i:Jppe

THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." u: e on, then, and we'll find out what it was," pro the policeman. n't believe I'll go," smiled Phil. "There may be shooting left up ahead there." e cop wasted no more time, but plunged forward at eft to himself, our hero made up the nearest cross street. the first cab he encountered he stopped. ake me to the 'Globe' office. Drive like the mis," he ordered the driver. was off, bumping over the rough pavements of this of the town. But he was not long in making Newsr Row. Come upstairs and get the order for your money," directed, and led the way to the elevator. ton, the city editor, was alone in his office when Phil ded in, his eyes shining with excitement. Give this man his order for hack-hire, please," begged young reporter. "Then I want to tell you something ,, Eaton glanced in mild surpri s e from under his de. Two dollars, sir." ton wrote the order hastily on a pad, gave it to the r, and added: Take that to the counting-room and get your money." en, after the driver disappeared' Wow, Winston, I hope you have something really good ell me. What's it about?" "The Prentiss affair," quivered Phil. "I haven't found ties yet, but I've got all the other threads of the I think, sir, we will have Prentiss within a few "Prentiss?" cried Mr. Eaton. "It' s more than merely ing him, my boy. His absence will bring about a h in the Great Gaul's affairs. If the railway is hutt, lf a dozen local banks will go to the wall. In fact, a money disaster is threatened in this old town if Pren show up quick. Now, for your story." r 11.'his Phil told as quickly as he could, with one eye on city editor's clock, for our hero had a good idea of how ng a time it would take to write out his amazing story the morning paper. Eaton heard him thr, ough with the calmness of the vet journalist. "Is that all, lad?" he asked, when Phil had finished. see here, don't you realize the situation? Prentiss isn't a prisoner at that lumber yard, or anywhere near it. Car roll knew that he must be shadowed, to have such a mis11 happen to his plans for abducting Miss Prentiss. So Carroll 1ed the chase to the lumber yard, and left the gate unfastened, just so that his shadower would follow him in and get caught. It was a good trick." "But how could he have his men on hand there, too?" "By sending a veiled telephone message from the Pren tiss house before he left it." "Then--" "Now, Carroll knows from what quarter the pursuit comes. You did just right in not going to the police witlr your tale. Fearing exposure, Carroll would have his uncle's body cut up in small pieces and destroyed so that it could never be identified. Then what colild we prove? "But Carroll, who is in hiding by this time, will wait for the morning papers. When he sees that there's not a word, even in the 'Globe,' he's likely to think we're hold ing off until we hear from him, and then he may send word and try to open up a deal with us. We this story, and we want a beat on it over the other newspap-ers, but what we want, first of all, is to save the Great Gaul from :financial disaster and to preve!lt a bad business panic all around. Do you follow me ?" "Yes, sir." Phil, in fact, saw the clear good sense of it all. A trained newspaper man like this chief of his could see I further than any younger man could. "In the meantime;" Mr. Eaton went on, "we'll keep right on at the cass. I'll send for Vaden and put the story in his cl;iarge. You and some others can help Vaden." "Vaden?" burst indignantly from .Winston. "Well? Have you any objection to him?" "I'll take help, sir, provided I'm left in charge of the story. I must be the boss, though, in getting this story for the 'Globe.' " 'Must?' echoed the city editor, looking at young Winston in she e r amazement. "Winston, am I not the city editor of this paper?" "That you are!" assented Phil; "but I've done better on this thing than any of your older men. I must remain in charge-absolutely in charge of getting the whole of this story, or--" "Well? Or--" "Or I resign from the staff at once!" Phil went white, next :flushed, as he delivered this jolt, but he meant what he said. "All, sir." His resignation wold leave him free to go to any othe:r Eaton toyed with Carroll's handsome revolver, which newspaper with the knowledge that he had of the Pren- had laid on his desk as a proof of the story. tiss ease. inston," said the city editor, slowly, "1 don't believe "See here, Winston," cried the city editor, irritably, print this yarn-not this morning." "you've got to be reasonable and take a sensible view of ot print it?" gasped Phil, going white and rising in thing." :sheer astonishment. "Mr. Eaton, do you think I've "Just what I'm trying to do, Mr. Eaton. But I carried lying to you?" this thing as far as it has been taken, and without any t a bit of it, lad. Sit down again, and listen. Now, help from your older men. If I'm reporter enough to do


THE GREA'r GAUL "BEAT." I that, I'm reporter enough to carry thisstory throug"h to the end. Mr. Eaton, I've waited for my chance to show whether or not I'm a real reporter. I've got to have this chance, and I mean to have it! Now, what do you say, sir?" Eaton no longer hesitated. "You're taking me where the hair is short, and I've simply got to give in," replied the city editor, slowly. "Very well, you shall have charge of this story, and you shall choose your own men to help you. But if you fall down on this affair, then--" "I understand, sir,'' flushed Phil. "If I fall down, I'm through here." "Through in a minute!" the city editor. "I'd deserve to be," gritted the young reporter. "Then that'll be the case-win or git!',. CHAPTER V. "Do the Prentisses trade here?" "Yes; sometimes." "Then I want you to take a bottle of medicine to M' c Beth Prentiss, and--" "Hold on! Stop!" breathed the clerk, angrily. "Oh, I don't care what the medicine is,'' Phil went earnestly. "Take sugar and water, if you want. I' not trying to poison her. I want you to hand her a no that no one else sees." "Excuse me," gruiied the still suspicious clerk. "T_ h looks fishy." "It wouldn't, if you understood it," Phil retorted, no displaying his badge for a brief instant. "Young ma you've got a chance to help the Prentisses out in thei troubles, if you're quick enough. And all you've got to d is to take the medicine, and slip the note to her at th same time. That note will ask the young lady to meet m here in this back room to help me in finding her father.' The clerk, mi s taking Phil's badge for a police one, ha become a bit less suspicious. "Why don t you go to the !J.ous e yourself?" he asked. "Best reason in the world, my dear fellow. I don' know who may be watching that house. I don't want t Phil Winston paced nervously in the back room of the I have it known that I've seen Miss Prentiss. Now, wi 11rug s tore nearest to the Prentis s re s idence. you take the pretended medicine, and s lip the note int THE GIRL. WHO HELPED. A few hours of restless sleep the boy had secured at the her hands-for the ten dollars that I promised you?" hotel nearest his office. "It-it begins to look straight," murmured the dru Then, sharp at six, he had been called. clerk. Taking a cab at that early hour, he had been driven to "And it is straight. And here s the ten and the not the s itle door of the drug store: and had stepped hastily Now, will you get over there? I'll watch the store fo inside. you." Winston's driver was a man whose stand was in News"It's too early to go over there yet," the clerk argued. paper Row. This jehu was well known to the reporters "Oh, no, it i s n 't," Phil retorted, quickly; "it's getti and could be trusted. on toward seven o'clock, and a girl who's crying her ey In a twinkling the cab had driven off again, but had out for news of her father is pretty sure to be awak gone to a point to which our hero could telephone if he Come, now, hustle, won't you?" wanted the driver again. After a moment's hesitation the clerk departed on The drug store, which had just been opened, was preerrand. sided over by one sleepy-looking clerk. Phil had plenty of money about him now. "What can I do for you?" he asked, eying the reporter. When a reporter on a big newspaper starts on a grea "Come into the back room a moment," asked Phil, lead-:\ case he is always supplied with funds by bis paper. ing the way. "I got the note to Miss Beth," the clerk reported, com The clerk followed, curiously. I ing back to the store: "You look like a fellow who would like to earn a little "Did" you get any answer ?" money,'' Winston hinted, smilingly. "No; but I whis pered that some kind of detective wa But the clerk drew up stiffiy. here wa. iting for her to bring her answer." "See here, young fellow, if it's any crooked business "Good enough-if she comes!" that you expect from me, there's the door!" So now Phil was pacing in that back room, wonderin "Not even a little thing-for a ten-dollar bill?" inand wondering whether the girl would, after all, heed sisted Winston. such a strange note. "There's the door out!" The minutes slipped by. Another c1erk had come "Good!" agreed our hero, cheerfully "That sounds help the first now, as the hands of the clock worked around as if you were the kind of man I want. I need a square toward half-past seven. man-and that means that I don't want any dirty work. "She's had more than half an hour to make up he But I mean what I said about paying ten dollars for a mind in," muttered the boy, uneasily. "What's keepin few minutes' work." her-if she's coming?" "What's the game?" demanded the clerk, suspiciously. From where he stood in the back room he could watc


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 13 e street along which Beth would come, if come she did. I "To work upon me, perhap s Sinee you were the one here was a painted window, but Phil knew how to scrape\ \rho saved me last night, y9u know all about that part of lear a spot as big as a pea. Through this he could Lhe affair." atch without fear of being seen from the street. "Except that I am wondering how Carroll explained FJ:om the window he took another feverish turn across your being chloroformed." e room. "Of course he was lame about that," Beth smiled', bit. Then once more he looked out. tcrly. "He told the doctor that he had taken chloroform ''Hurrah! Here she comes-if only she's headed for fdr a headache; that he had dropped some on his hand-ere !" quavered the young reporter. kerchief to inhale, and that he did not notice how it had It seemed like ages, but before long Beth was in the affected me until the caniage s topped at our door." uter store. "Lame enough," commented Phil. Then she came back, conducted by the clerk who had "It was, but I pretended to a ccept it, for it quickly rried her the note. That clerk ushered her into the flashed on me that my father was decoyed off bi Fred oom, then closed the door. Carroll in some way very similar. I had to make believe Beth looked at Phil as if she would pierce him through accept his story, s o that I ma y keep on the right s ide of ancl through, but our hero stood the scrutiny to her satismy cous in until our family lawyer ha s gotten the case well faction. in hand." "You are Mr. Win ston?" she asked, in a low voice. "You have told your lawyer?" a s ked Phil, with a start. "Phil Win s ton, at your service, Miss Prentiss," he re"Not yet, for he i s out of town, or was la s t night But plied, eagerly. I shall go to him this morning-as soon as I am through "Your note told ine that you are the only one alive here, in fact." 'who can give me correct information about my father?" "I beg you not to," pleaded the boy. she went on, still eying him searcbingly. "And you are "Not tell my lawyer?" s he demanded. a reporter?" "If you do, Miss Prentiss, I'm jus t about certain that Phil showed h e r his badge, then handed her a letter you won't have your father s afe in a hurry. I'm the only !rom Eaton, the city editor. one who ha s all the r e al thre ad s of this case in hand. If Beth read it through quickly. you work through the law y er, in s tead of through m e you "This i s all very s trange," sl1e murmured, only half-will certainly fail." believingly. "But you can go to my lawyer with me!" she proposed, "But I have convinced you, Miss Prentiss, that I am a eagerly. reporter?" "Certainly not!" "Yes certainly." "Why not?" "Then li s ten, plea se, to all I have to say." "We-ell," hesitated Phil, and then added: "It would And Phil told her the whole amazing story. be again s t my ord e r s from my paper." Beth did not appear to be as much surprised as he had The re a l reason was that Phil Winefton, with his chance pected. to make his name in the ni;iws paper world, did not mean "I am going to be frank with you," she flashed back at to play second fiddle to a lawyer and let the latter get all Above all, that is what I wish, Miss Prentiss. You have not told me anything that surprises me as my cous in. I have long detested, Fred Carroll." 'Yet you were with him, on the best of terms, at your er's office yesterday afternoon eth started, looked inquiringly at the boy, and then nt on: 'That was because he is my cousin, and it is well to be apparent good terms with one's relatives. Fred even ted me to marry him." "Oho!" fl.ashed Phil. Then, as he looked at th<;! girl: ''He is hardly to be blamed for that, Miss Prentiss." My father's great wealth was the att.raction," the girl ered, steadily, and without flushing. "Fred has some the credit. "Now, Miss Prentiss, let me tell you our plan-my paper's plan. In the first place, we want you to disappear, also." "I? Disappear?" cried the girl. "Yes; we want you to fade out of sight, s o that no one can find you." "Why?" "Simply to get Carroll guessing and unea sy. He won't be able to figure what's up. When we get him on the anxious seat it will b e eas ier to bring him to quick terms." "What is your-your paper's plan?" "First of all, w e want you to seek secret refuge-hiding-in the Convent of the Sacred Relic s ." "But I am not acquainted there," Beth replied, the puzzled look in her face deepening. ey, but not much." Did your father favor him?" t first, until he learned how "It isn't necessary for you to be. Ou; paper has already much I my arranged with the Mother Superior at the convent to re ceive a young woman who wishes to remain in seclusion hen, wny should Carroll want to abduct your father?" a few days. I will take you there-at once. You will


14 THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." be safe there, and you will have Fred Carroll on the rack I Beth had left the store. Beth herself had told them th' of suspense." and Phil had emphasized it by a cash present to each. "I-I am afraid I can't make any such arrangement Then, drawn curtains, the young people we with a stranger," Beth replied, slowly. bowle d across the city. "Simply becau s e you don't feel that you can trust me In time he ushered Beth in through the doorway of th in rnc h a strange matter. You're quite right in that. convent, where she was already expected. But y o u'd trust my paper, the 'Globe,' wouldn t you? "Remember!" thrilled Phil, as he took her little han you that the 'Globe' really asked you to accept this in his at parting. "Stand by us, and we'll win out fo plan a s tl1e only s ure one of :finding your father?" you! And we'll keep you posted on the news." "If-if I really knew-perhaps." Beth s eyes filled with tears as she bade him good-by "Nothing easier than to :find out," prompted Phil. Winston, who never did like the sight of tears, hurrie 'Tl1e telephone number of our office is 2,000 Gloucester. away. You can satisfy yourself of that in the directory. Mr. He left the convent in the cab. Eaton, my city editor, i s there at this hour-by arrangeWithin ten minutes' walk of Newspaper Row he left ment. There s the telephone over there. Call up the the cab, going forward on foot. office and talk with Mr. Eaton, won't you?" "If Carroll hasn't already staTted some move towards Even the naturally s uspiciou s Beth could hardly help dickering with us," reflected the young reporter, "he sure believing in the sincerity of this eager, flu s hed youngster,' will when he finds that his pretty cousin has disappeared '\ bo stood looking into her eyes with a look of such great from the face of the earth. The city editor isn't such a hone sty. fool wh e n he directs a case like this. I wonder if Carroll "I-I certainly don't object to talking with your ediwill come him s elf." tor," s h e repli e d, and crossed the room to the telephone. Phil had turned into a crowded side street near th Within five minutes Beth hung up the transmitter. Row. "I am sati s fied," she said, simply. Then something happened so suddenly that our her Then you will be guided by the 'Globe?' pressed had no chance to realize it. Phil. Out of the surging crowd just one man emerged an "I will be guided by you," she an s wered, fl.ashing a caught the boy's eye. swift look at him It was the unwounded one of the pair of Carroll's hel you will stay at the convent, not communicating 1 ers of the night before. with your lawyer or with any of your or friends?" I Something steely glistened. Beth dr e w back, a bit disturb ed. Swift a s a flas h the aimed a pistol point-blan ":Must I promise that?" she ask ed, s lowly. at Phil Winston and fired. Ilfost certainly. Miss Prentiss, if you break even a bit into our plans, you will upset tl10m." The girl heaitated. CHAPTER VI. "Perhaps, Miss Prentiss, you don t realiz e the great FACE TO FACE. power of a big, modern newspaper. You don t understand "Murder!" that we have more men and b e tter fa c ilities than other That was the yell that went up from the horrifie papers. You don t understand how long a n e w s pap e r's passersby. arms are, and how far they can reach out." The s uddenne s s and meanness of the crime to o k thei "It must be so," she admitted, "or e lse a boy like you br eath away. would not have been able to accompli s h all th a t you ha v e The y saw a man and a boy grapple in the same instant, done in my interest." saw the gleam of the pistol barrel and the flash from the "Then you agree to all I ask?" Phil insisted, pressing muzzle, heard the report. home his point. Then they saw man and boy go down together. "Yes, yes. I am in your hands." It looked like a death grapple. "Good! Then when you leave here, it will be in the Phil Winston meant it for that, too. cab with me." But in going down, his foot was twisted under him. B e th flu shed a bit, hes itated, then took a furtive peep at Wrench l A shoot of pain went through that suffering T>hil's strong, confident, self-reliant face. foot and ankle. H ncl she but guessed it, he was a very different youngSwift as thought the murderous assailant wrenched from yest.:irday. himself free of the boy. The "kicl" of the 'Globe office had become a man! A fl.ashing gesture with the pistol, and the horror-struc .Tust a few minutes later the clos ed carriage drew up at crowd fell back, making a clear lane of escape for the ma the side door. I with the gun. The two drug clerks had been impressed with the Phil, too, sprang up, blood pouring from a wound that they must, on no account, betray the fashion in which bis hand.


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 15 The fugitive was now running at top speed, none daring to stop him. Phil started to run in pursuit, but his weakened ankle wobbled. He fell against the plate glass window of a drug store, leaning there for support. tant will be here in les,s than an hour and I'll leave him a note to call me if I'm wanted." "What can I do on this job?" piped up a voice from a dark corner of the city room. "You, Dave? Oh, I'd forgotten you," laughed the c:ty editor. "Catch that scoundrel!" shouted Winston. "Stop him!" But none started in pursuit. "That's always the way," came a rueful, complaining voice, and then the alert but rather poorly dressed figure a of a boy of fifteen came into view. "I'm always forgotten when there's anything real to be done." It was nobody's business to chase a madman with pistol-until a policeman arrived on the run. From Phil and the crowd the cop got his directions. Then off at full speed went the bluecoat. "He won't catch him," uttered Winston, in disgust, for already the man with the pistol was out of sight around a corner. So sure was he that his assailant would not be caught that Phil hobbled into the drug store A bleeding furrow across the back of his hand had been cut by that bullet. Just the instant before the shot was fired our hero 'bad caught sight of the weapon and had grabbed at it. In this way he had turned aside a bullet aimed for his heart. But the leaden missile had ploughed its way across the back of his other hand. This was quickly remedied by washing and by pasting a strip of flesh-colored courtplaster across the back of his hand. This was Dave Bliss, the night office boy, who had st&y ed overtime with his chief. Dave considered himself as "good" as any reporter on the staff. He burned with eagerness to prove it. "There doesn't seem to be anything for you to do now," remarked the city etlitor. "You may as well go home, Dave, and get some sleep." "Sleep?'' snorted the boy, indignantly. "There's a big story oa or you two wouldn't be here at this time in the morning. Can't I do anything? Say, can't I?" "I know just how h e feels I felt that way myself," Phil murmured to himself. "Let him stay, won't you, Mr. Eaton? He may be of use to me." "Use," echoed Dave. "Of course I'll be." "Then go out and help Winston to keep from falling. Take care of him and his bad ankle," smiled the city edi tor just before he closed the managing editor's door from l:he other In the same back room of the drug store Phil had the "That's it," uttered the office boy, bitterly. "I want to ankle washed in lotion and well rubbed. do a reporting stunt, and I'm toled off for a trained "I can walk, with a hobble," he grunted as he tried. nurse. Oh, this is is!" "If you want to use that foot, the best plan is to keep "Never mind," returned Phil, as they went down the on using it," suggested the druggist. "It'll get stiffer s tairs together "You stick to me, Dave, for you're und er and stiffer from rest. Use may work all the soreness my orders now. If anything happens I'll find something out." for you to do." "Use will cure, eh?" cried the boy. "That's the most I "Say, will you, now?" insisted the office boy, eagerly. comforting news I ever heard, for I never wanted to use "Something big? You're on the Prentiss case, ain't my feet as much as I do now." you?" The policeman not having retumed, Phil found his "Very much on it," Phil laughed. ay out through a back door and made a short, though "What'll I do first?" inful "cut,'' to the 'Globe" office. "When we get in the street, don't walk with me, but There he found Mr. Eaton. The city editor can go near. Keep your eye on me. If anyone speaks to me, or without sleep as well as the reporter can at a time when a anything happens, just keep your eyes open." great news story is "on." "Then what?" Dave demanded, eagerly. "All well so far,'' nodded the city editor, with a smile. "If you don't know what to do, then, you're no news-"Now, we can afford to rest a little while, to see what paper man-that's all." ove the Carroll crowd will make." "Thanks!" retorted Dave, drily. ''Much!" Phil sat down for a few minutes, to see what the other Phil stepped out on the street first. Dave followed orning papers had had to say about the disappearance some little distance at the rear. of Bertram Prentiss. For half an hour our hero strolled around through the .All of the papers had long articles about the missing shorter thoroughfares close to Newspaper Row. railway president, though not one of them, not even the Once or twice he turned, but always to :find Dave close 'Globe,' contained an inkling of the real story. at hand, though the office boy did not appear to be watch "I can't give this foot too much rest, or I'll stiffen up," ing him. unted Phil at last. "I've got to get out and exercise.'; 1 "That youngster's going to do for a shadow," thought "I'm going into the managing editor's office, then, to Phil. "He--" 'e down on \he sofa," replied Mr. Eaton. "My day assisWinston stopped short, halted and challenged by a pair


16 THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." of dark eyes that gleamed at him from out of a dark doorjou," went on Carroll, laying what was meant to be way. coaxing hand on the boy's arm. "There's no use in o Well back in the shadow stood Fred Carroll. being enemies." Re was scowling, savagely, but beckoned to our hero. "Of course not," the boy returned, drily. :f Without hesitation, Phil turned and stepped in under "Join hands with me." ihe doorway. "How?" queried the boy, turning in genuine surpris "Been looking for me?" smiled our hero. "Drop your newspaper. What do you get there? "Guess!" sneered Carroll. few dollars a week. Join hands with me, and I'll make i "I guess that you very much want to see me, and find worth your while. Help me, and I promise you-a fo rut what I know, and what I'm doing," Winston went on, tune!" coolly. "Well, as you know, I represent the 'Globe.' My "Where'll it eome from?" :fl.ashed Phil. pEople have this matter in to being in a "Never mind that. Never mind my plans just now position to decide whether you shall go to jail or not. Do But there's a fortune ahead in my scheme. Join me, an JOU know what would be the best thing for you, Carroll?" part of it is yours. See here!" "What?" From his inner coat pocket the rascal drew out a flat "Come around to tl!e 'Globe' office with me and see one thih roll of crisp new bank notes. of our editors. Tell him where you took your uncle and "I can pay you something down, you see," whispered what made you do it." Fred Carroll, his eyes glowing. "Don't talk quite so loudly," ordered Carroll, showing "How much?" demanded Phil, thinking. his teE:th in a snarl. "One thousand dollars!" "Don't try to me, or to order me "Pshaw!" smiled back Phil. not afraid of you. All I've got "Think how long it would take you to earn that on to do is to holler for the police, turn you over, and there your paltry newsvaper." you are." "A thousand is not up to my price." "On what charge?" jeered Carroll, now cool agam. "I'll make it two then." "Abducting my uncle? Prove it I What happe.ned in tlie Carroll, reaching into another pocket, displayed the ti lumber yard last night? You'd be the only witness for, of another wad of banknotes. your side. No, no, Winston, you can't hold the police over "Still too little," smiled Phil. me. You couldn't make a charge that'd hold water." "But this is only earnest money," urged Fred. "Then what did you want of me, anyway?" Phil in"Too little, anyway," Phil smiled. sisted, curiously. "And how do you happen to know my "But think how little you've got to do. In fact, I don' name?" need you, Winston, for any real work. You're simply th "I know more than that about you," retorted the rascal. cnly human being who has succeeded in getting betwee "See here," cried Phil, with a sudden pretense of anger, me my job. You're the only fellow I'm afraid of. "you haven't stopped with hurrying your uncle off into don't want you to do anything for me-just go into th captivity. What have you done with your cousin, Beth country with one of my men and disappear for a while." Prentiss?" "And disappear?" mocked Phil. "That seems to be "What do you mean?" specialty in your line. But-no, I thank you!" "Come, riow," snorted Phil, "don't try any of that. "Do you mean to stay in town and queer me?" snarled Beth Prentiss has vanished-has disappeared as if the Fred. earth had swallowed her up I" "Perhaps. What i I do?" "What's that you say?" gritted Carroll, his face paling, "Then you'll be out of the way quicker than you think!" as he gripped our hero's arm. hissed the scoundrel. "You can't do anything against "That shot went home hard," thought the young reme as yet, for you haven't got the proof. But I can do a porter. "He hadn't heard about Beth yet. Her disaplot against you. Do you know that every large city has a pearance has spoiled his scheme somewhat." swarm of men who'll take life for a small price? Win"What did you say about Beth?" insisted her cousin. ston, either you come under me and follow my orders-or "Disappeared, and you know where," returned our hero, I swear that I'm going to pay to have you killed-in a gtolidly. jiffy!" "Upon my soul I didn't know it, and can't believe it, "Good l Now, we understand each other," jeered Wi:ne;ther," faltered the young rascal. ston. "Tell that to the marines!" snapped Phil, clever dis" "Your answer, then?" belief written all over his face. "Carroll, you're just what I believed you yesterdayCarroll was actually shaking with emotion over this an utter scoundrel !" news. "And a dangerous one, as you'll find if you fight me!" "Beth's :flight upsets all his plans," divined our hero. "Then fight you I shall, to the last "Now, see here, Winston, I'll tell you what I want of Phil stepped out of the doorway, his mind 'bent on sum-


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 17' oning a policeman and tiling a chance on placing Fred arroll under arrest-proof or no proof. With a cry of rage, mingled with fear, Carroll leaped after him. Up went the wretch's hand, something flashing there. Phil turned, but too to avoid the stroke. Down came a knife, the blade's point sinking in his neck. "You won't trouble me again!" flashed Fred Carroll. As Phil Winston 1sank back, the blood streaming from his neck, Carroll dashed into the street. Just a few doors away, and before anyone on the street understood what had happened, Carroll darted into a \Vaiting cab and was whirled swiftly away. "Now, I've got a clear field!" gasped the wretch, sink ing back on the cushions. CHAPTER VII. THE OFFICE BOY'S STUNT. "That was just about the time you nearly cashed in your checks." This was the comment of the druggist who dressed and bandaged Phil's wound. The crowd had found the boy lying there in the door way, rapidly bleeding to death. The crowd had roused a policeman. That officer ap plied first aid in a jiffy, then got the boy to the nearest drug store. An ambulance doctor found the parted. had been summoned, but the young druggist doing all right, and soon de-The point of the knife had come within a quarter of an inch of the jugular vein. Had the knife entered just on the vein there would have been scant chance of saving the boy's life. As it was, the wound was nearly an inch deep. But powders had been applied to stop bleeding, which the cut was stitched. Then sticking plaster and a light bandage had closed p the opening. "You look as if you'd been through a wreck," com mented that editor, looking up. "Feel like it," smiled Phil, ruefully. "That you, Winston?" hailed a voice from the managing editor's room. "Yes, sir." Then Mr. Eaton came out. "Anything new, my boy?" "I've just seen Fred Carroll," and our hero hastily told what had happened. "Where was that little pest, Bliss, all the while?" cried Eaton, angrily. "Oh, he was attending to business, you bet," Phil re turned, with alacrity. "Or lost sight of you in the crowd," suggested the city editor. "Perhaps, but I don't believe it, sir. Wait. And now, Mr. Eaton, you:d better get three or four good reporters at work." "What for?" "Why, to hunt the city for Carroll. When found we want that scoundrel arrested." "Get about four of our good men by 'phoning to their homes, Crosby," the city editor ordered his assistant. S'o quickly does a sleeping reporter arouse when the tele phone bell rings in his sleeping room that within a half hour the four men so summoned were iil the city room of the "Globe." They were out again within five minutes, one under orders to remain near the Pelham Club to intercept Car roll if he showed up there. Another was sent to lumber yard, a tj:iird to the Great Gaul railway offices and the fourth to try to trail the young scoundrel among his acquaintances and cronies. If Carroll still remained in the city there was every reason to believ:e that one of these reporters would locate him. "If you find him," was Phil's last word, "have him ar rested." Then our hero remained at the office. "You'd better go to your doctor and then get home for e day," advised the druggist. "You're in no shape to go out, so yo'.l'd better lie down "Not with my day's work to do," said Phil, gritty on the managing editor's lounge," advised Mr. Eaton. ugh his face was pale from shock and loss of blood. "Now that Crosby is here, I'm going home." To the policeman Winston had already given his name But Phil steadfastly refused to lie down. d business and a pretended description of his assailant. He walked back and forth through the long, narrow As to that assailant, our hero had declared, stubbornly, city room, gently exercising that lame ankle. at he did not know who the fellow was, or why the stab"What are you waiting for, anyway?" Crosby demanded. g had been done. "Waiting to hear from Dave." "Now I'll get back to the office-what's left of me," "Bosh!" snorted Crosby. "That boy behaved as most ttered the boy. kids do-fell down at the important point in the story." He still limped a bit, but the wound in the neck did not "I don't believe it," Phil retorted, stubbornly. "Yesw. terday you said I'd fall down on a big story, didn't you?" That had been inflicted deep down under his collar, so Crosby snorted and went on with his work. this clotl\ng concealed it. Half an hour later the office telephone bell jangled,. osby, thE day assistant city editor, was at his desk "Mr. Winston!" called the day office boy. "Someone Phil en ered the editorial rooms of the "Globe." wants you at the telephone."


18 THE GREAT GAUL "BE.AT." "Hullo," Phil hailed, seating himself at the instru ment. "Hullo, Mr. Winston," came a shrill, excited voice over the wire. "This is Dave Bliss." "Good! I knew I'd hear from you. Where are you?" "At the Great Gaul depot. So is the fellow who stabbed you." "The deuce you say!" "That's right, Mr. Winston," Dave went on, earnestly. "Maybe you thought I was slow in not helping you when you was stabbed. But I just figured L'd better follow the fellow who did it. He was off like a streak in a cab. I was off like another streak, Mr. Winston-on the trunk race behind the cab. Your man drove to a theatrical costuming parlor. Say, you wouldn't know him now. He's shaved off his black mustache, and he a light brown wig that's a dandy on a fit. He has eyeglasses and is rigged up like one of those hunter chaps. He has a shot gun, too. Oh, you'd never know him for the same fellow.'1 "Is he going anywhere?" Phil demanded, anxiously. "Going anywhere?" repeated Dave, in great excite ment. "Just that! He's bought a ticket for Covenden." good many miles apart. If I have a story to send i rush I'll need a box reldy very likely." "And an operator?" asked Crosby, touching his bel nothing!" Phil retorted. "I'm my own rator at a pinch. I've been used to sending messages my own town before ever I saw the city." The offi.oe boy was despatched in a hurry. He retur with a box relay and with a permit issued to Phil W ston to tap the company's wires if he founu it neces so to do. The noon train bore Phil Winston out of the Gr Gaul station. Having taken his seat in the smoking car, where could be at ease, with his box relay in a grip at side, Phil opened a novel that he had bought at the new stand. There were not more than a half a dozen men in the ca Phil glanced them over just after the train had starte "No one that I need to watch out for, I guess," was h decision as he settled back in his seat. But he could not read. He was trying to puzzle out what could have been Fre Carroll's motive in abducting his uncle. Certainly it had stirred up trouble enough in the boar of directors of the Great Gaul railway. ,, Covenden? That was a long ride from the city, and fairly well up in a wild bit of mountain s through which the Great Gaul railway passed. Yet how could Carroll profit from the possible grea loss to the railway that would follow the sudden and pr three 1 longed absence of the railway's president at this critic "What time does his train go?" Phil demanded. "Eleven-two I" "Great Scott!" roared Phil. "And it's within and a half minutes of that now." time in the company's affairs? "I know it, but I couldn't telephone before. There's another train in an hour. You'll follow, won' t you?" An.d why attempt to abduct Beth? Of course, the last move was understandable, if Carr really wanted to wed the girl. "Won't I, though?" "Good! And I'm going on the same train with the Yet why abduct Mr. Pre ntiss at all? crook. I'll keep him in sight until he reaches "Oh, it's too much of. a puzzle," sighed Winston. answer is-find Prentiss." say, Mr. Wmston, you be the lookout at each . t '' t If M c k t ff t t t th' 'd f Yet this was Just what the young reporter hoped to s a ion. r. roo ge s o a any s a ion is s1 e o th. t Covenden, I'll leave a note to be handed to you by the j on 18 very np. t t t A d h 1 I' t t f If Fred Carroll had undertaken a Journey so remo s a. ion mas er. n -w oop. ve go o run or my . t. G db I" from the city it was only because, in some way, the rai mm. 00 -Y h way president had already been spirited up into the wild Ting! Just one of the telephone bell, and us-desolate cou.ntry around Covenden. tlmg Dave was off the wire. "Carroll wouldn't get so far away from the old man as "You'll change your notion about Dave Bliss being a t h t t h t 1 t th h Phil a a sue a en ica porn m e sc eme, conJ ecw?n't Y?u_?" Phil .demanded, after he had burtured. "But how' did he ever get the president of the nedly detailed his mformation to Crosby. railway off a prisoner over his own road?" "Well, you've got plenty of before you take that In the next instant the young man could have kicked next train," mused the day assistant. himself for his own stupidity in asking such a question. "Time enough for you to send an office boy down on "Got him away in an automobile, of course In ten the run to get a box relay fro;n the Vtestern Union pea-hours a good automobile would have the prisoner up in ple," Phil urged. the country around Covenden." ".A box xelay ?" Crosby repeated. "What for?" The remembrance of that shotgun made Phil grimace a "I suppose you know, sir," Phil returned, with some bit. irony, "that a box relay is an instrument that can be con"The fellow who'd knife a crowded city stree nected with a live telegraph wire anywhe:r;e, and then that would never hesitate to fill me up with bucksfiot in a wil box relay, with its batteries and soUllder, becomes a telebit of country." / graph office. Well, the wires run through the mountains Then came a thought that made the boy' almost jum up around Covenden, but the telegraph stations are a out of his seat. 1


'l'HE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 19 =====-=-=-=-=:..===.:-::....=-=-=-====-=-=--=---------------------"Is Carroll's trip nothing but a decoy to trap me off .. "Oh, you're welcome." look place where he can finish me?" in the fellow's eyes a s he hurried from the train. But this thought was almost at once dismissed. "Are we on time?" asked Phil, as the conductor came "Carroll either believes that he did kj]l me, Qr else that through after the train had started. he hurt me too badly to follow. But in that case he may "Not quite. It's eighteen minutes to Covenden, so be only going into hiding until he finds otlt whether he's we're a few, minutes late." wanted for the crime." "What kind of a place is Covenden ?" There were, in fact, so many speculations possible as to "Wild." the reason for his enemy's :flight to the mountains that "Any town there?" Winston sighed and gave up all speculation. "Nothing but the depot and the station agent's cot"It's wise to wait until I know," he @oncluded. tage." The train was stopping at the first station. "Where's the town?" Mindful of hustling Dave 'S" plan, Phil rose, carrying "There ain't any." is precvious box relay with him to the platform. "The postoffice ?" But the station master here seemed not to be looking "In the depot." for anyone. "Oh!" At each succeeding station Phil went to the platform. "Blazes!" ejaculated the conductor. the mat-Had our hero but known it, 11is movements gave a good ter ?" deal of satisfaction to one quiet-looking, middle-aged man For Phil had suddenly fallen back in his seat, gripping with a low, animal-like brow, who sat in about the middle with both hand s at his abdomen. His face was as white of the car. as chalk, and his breath came This individual did not seem to be paying any attention "Sick?" demanded the conductor. tu the young reporter, but he was, none the less. But into Phil' s mind a suspicion of the real truth sud"That' s the kid. I'd know him without a description," denly flashed. murmured the low-browed one. "Lord, ain't he green, "Pois oned!" he moaned, bending forward and rocking though? Seems bent on attracting attention to hilself." slightly a s he gripped tightly at his abdomen. This certainly was a fault with Phil. In truth he was deathly ill and in great pain. Like all boys lacking in experience, he allowed the restl "That fellow-he gave me figs; there are people who've lessness that surged up within him to be seen in his sworn to do me up," Pliil murmured, weakly. actions. That conductor was a man of action. Swift as thought A man who had bee n through the mill, no matter what he lean e d ove r, got one of the figs and tore it open. his excitement, would have seemed to be asleep instead of "Paris green, by hokey!" he roared, as he regarded the terested in his trip. little green specks that dotted the inside of the fig. It was six o'clock in the evening before the train was "Get a doctor-if there's one on the train!" Winston e at the little station of Covenden. appealed, faintly. Ai 5 :40 the left Delby b e hind, and the next stop "There ain't. I know all the passengers that's lelt as to be Malton. aboard. Not a doctor among them." Just as the train pulled out of Delby the low-browed l "Can we_ get one-ttt-C ovenden?" Phil whispered, his e rose from his seat and moved down the aisle toward breath commg faster and shorter now. hil's seat. "Not one within eight miles!" choked the conductor. you might like some figs," hinted the low"I'm done for-then!" announced Phil. owed one, sociably. He staggered up, then fell in the aisle, rolling over in He offered Phil a box half-filled with the pressed fruit. his agony. "I am hungry a bit, thank you," smiled Winston. "Eat hearty, then,'' smiled the stranger, seating him-, CHAPTER V,III." f in the seat just ahead .of our hero. "I've had my. AN EVIL NIGHT. already. Finish 'em up." J "Good Lord! I can't let a fellow die that way!" muttered "I may not have any time for supper when I reach Cov-1 the conducto:r. en," murmured the boy to himself. He thought swiftly for a moment. hese two were now the only passengers left in the car.. "There's old Mrs. Jones-she travels with a lunch basPhil ate rather greedily, for the figs "tasted good over\ ket. She may have mustard with her!" empty stomach. I Before this had all :flashed through the conductor's mind Malton! Malton!" cried the brakesman. he was traveling. swiftly through the train. y station here," announced the low-browed one, ris-1 In the third car back he came upon the middle-aged "Well, good-by, lad!" lady whom he sought. od-by, and thanks for the figs," answered Phil. Mrs. Jones, having heated a pot of water over an alco-


20 THE GREA'I' GAUL "BE.AT." hol stove perched on the car-seat in front of her, was in I "Yes; if your name is Dave Bliss,'' replied the agent. the act of pouring a handful of tea into the water. "It is," nodded Phil, for he at once realized that "Stop that!" roared the conductor, snatching the pot bright office-boy had left the note thus addressed in or of hot water from before the woman's startled eyes. that Winston's naine, which Carroll's crowd might rec "Got any mustard?" he demanded, hoarsely. nize, would not appear. "Why, law sakes--" began the woman. "Never mind notes now," urged the conductor. "If you've got any mustard, give it to me like lightany milk at the depot, Smith?" ning!" roared the conductor. "There's a young man's "Some for my supper." life at stake in the smoker." "Trot it out swift, then, and hustle over to your ho That roused the woman to action. Fumbling in !).er for more." lunch basket she brought out, sure enough, a little tin bo_ x of yellow mustard. Without a word the conductor turned and flew back to the smoking-car, gathering in the brakeman as he went. Phil still lay on the floor of the aisle, rolling in ago!lY "l\Iake him sit up-hold him in his seat,'' ordered the conductor, breathlessly. A liberal allowance of milk, following the use of t mustard water, pulled Phil through, though it left stomach wretchedly weak. And now the train, delayed by a few minutes, pulle out again, though not before 'our hero had thanked every one concerned in saving his life. "How'd it happen?" asked Smith, the station agen curiously, after the train had gone. Then, dropping a liberal handful of the mustard into the hot water, the conductor stirred the powder with his finger, regardless of the heat. "Mistake," replied Phil, briefly. "Here," he ordered, pressing the pot to Phil's lips. But Phil was speculating over the office boy's note "Drink this stuff-no matter how hot it is." which had read simply: Hot mustard water acts as an emetic. "Fellow got off here. Still following." Phil drank the stuff gaspingly. Dave inquired which way the writer of the Almost in a moment it warmed his stomach up. gone, but on this point Smith had no information. 'I'hen, retching heavily, he began to throw the stuff off. "It looks as if Dave had the case, instead of me," smile But the second he stopped vomiting the conductor Phil, grimly. "I hope, though, they ain't mixing thin forced him to swallow the rest of the mustard water. up for him the way they've done for me." More vomiting followed. "Going to wait here a while?" asked the station agen "The mustard water is gone,'' the conductor muttered pausii;ig with the keys in his hand. alotid. "I'm blessed if I know what to do next!" "Yes; I think so." "What ails the boy?" quietly asked Mrs. Jones. who had "Then I won't need to lock up. This bag yours?" :followed. Winston gave a great start as he remembered the ba "Paris green." which the brakeman had been thoughtful enough to pu "Then he wants to drink this milk," sugge'sted the wooff for him. man, holding forward i:t. bottle in which there was at least "It's mine," said Phil, briefly. a glass of milk. "I'll be back about nine o'clock, ff you're still here,'' Phil took it as ordered. It felt grateful to his now raw nodded the agent. "Come over to the house if you get 8tomach. lonesome." "That'll lay the P aris green, now you've cleaned his 1 Left by himself, our hero did not remain at the stomach out,'' nodded the woman. station. "Is it milk enough?" asked the conductor. "I can be found here too easily, if people are looking "Lord, no! He wants quarts of it." for me,'' she decided grimly. "Covenden, in a minute now," muttered the brakeman, On a side track there was a freight l;ar with the door after looking out' of the window. open. "Cheer up, lad. We'll get you through this yet,'' enInto this the young reporter climbed, all but closing the conraged the conductor, slapping Winston's shoulder. door. Then the train was run into Covenden. He could still command a view of the station. Leaning on the two railroad men, Phil was helped to the "If I'm guessing right about Dave," murmured the platform. young reporter, "he'll cohi.e back here as soon as he has any Seeing them coming, the station agent hurried forward. real news to tell." But Phil's mind, off of death now, was active on his The sun went down, darkness soon following. newspaper work. Phil was about to venture out of the car when he heard "Any word waiting for me here?" he asked, though a low sound close by. It was the signal whistle used berather faintly. tween members of the "Globe" staff.


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 21 Returning the whistle, our hero softly pushed the car Phil came to just in time to hear the words. or open. But the young reporter felt too ill and weak to take Dave was there on the ground waiting for him. much interest in anything just then. "I know where your party went," whispereo the office "How on earth did he get way up here?" growled Carboy, excitedly. "I trailed him right down to his stopping roll. "I thought I had finished him in town. But, by place." Jove, I can make sure of it now." "Where?" throbbed Phil. More reason, this, as Dave dully thought, for concealing "Up at the end of a gully, about two miles from here." the fact that his consciousness had come back to him. "What kind of a place.?" "He must have nine lives," snickered another voice that "It's what's left of an old saw-mill," Dave replied. :Phil well remembered. "It was only by a fluke that I did"Can you lead me there now?" n't get him in town with a bullet this morning." "Straight as a string-if you can stand the trip. Say, Flare! Phil knew that a match had been lighted, and you look kinder used up," Dave finished, anxiously. was being held close to his face. Phil smileq ruefully. He closed his eyes the tighter, determined to betray no "If I'm not used up, Dave, it's not the fault of tlie sign of life. enemy. "Ouch!" "But must you go to-night?" persisted the office boy; A drop of red-hot sealing wa.x had been dropped on his himself as fresh and bright as a new dollar. "It's a rough skin. road, Mr. Winston, and you at the end of your rope." The boy could not keep back the cry that this scorch"l'm going, just the same," gritted Phil. "I sleep ing brought to his lips. again until I've seen this thing through." "Playing possum again!" jeered Carroll. "Yank him So Dave led the way along one of the two roads that to his feet, Jim." wound away from the depot. Dave opened his eyes in time to find th!l face of the They dia not talk much, and even when they did speak fellow who had shot at him in town close to his own face. it was in whispers. And now, for the first time our hero realized that his They l eft the road soon, Dave lea ding the way through own hands were tied tightly behind his back. a forest. "G1ad to see you, son!" hailed Carroll, gleefully To our hero's surprise, his foot behaved better as they But Phil did not answer. progressed, though his head was meanly light. His mind was busy with taking in his surroundings. Then they reached the gully. The place in which he found himself looked like a long"Less than half a mile to go now," whispered Dave, as unused room in a mill. ey turned in between wl:iat had been the two banks of a The windows were four in number, but heavily boarded earn in days gone by. on the inside. It was pitch dark in here, for the trees grew heavily There was absolutely nothing in the way of furniture or ong either bank, and the boughs interlaced overhead. fixtures in the room. Mj'eover, the footing underneath was decidedly stony There were two lanterns on the floor. many places. Carroll and Jim were there, and two dark-faced men "Less'n' a quarter of a mile now," Dave whispered, en-who looked like Italians. uragingly. "Thugs, all of 'em!" throbbed the boy. "Sure, I'm in "Glad it ain't another mile," sighed Phil. "My bad a nice place, with a fine crowd. And poor Dave! What le is grumbling some." of him?" But they plodded on, until-"You remember the warning I gave you in town, don't Flash! Bang! I you, boy?" leered Carroll. "I swore I'd have you killed if A shotgun roared out from a clump of bushes hardly you didn't join me." ore than arm's-length away. I "Well, I've joined you, haven't I?" Phil demanded, Wlith a scream of agony, Dave Bliss went down to the grimly. ground. "A little too late for your own safety, though." Whump! Ere Phil could turn a heavy blow from beBut Phil faced his enemy unflinchingly. ind stretched him and unknowing on the ground. "If it's all up," he resolved, "I won't help matCHAPTER IX. A DISCOVERY GREATER THAN A BATTLE WON. "Yes, that's the boy!" Fred Carroll so announced in a voice expressive of the eatest satisf!lction. ters any by showing cold feet. There'll be some satisfac tion in dying game, ii that's all that's teft for me." Carroll suddenly chuckled as if in high good humor. "Jim," he turning to his henchman, "bring in the other guest." With a nod Jim picked up one of the lanterns and left the room.


22 THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." I He was soon back, pushing before him an old man at i only a criminal could have thought it out. eight of who, m Phil Winston could not repress a shout of exultation. "Winston is my name, sir." He had at last found Bertram Prentiss! "Winston, my nephew places my wealth at twenty miL The railway president, whose hands also were bound, lions of dollars. He may be wide of the mark, but that seemed to have aged twenty years in a little more than not for me to say. that number of hours. "But to go back to yesterday. He made an appoint "Uncle," announced Carroll, sneeringly, "this enterprisment to meet me outside of my offices. He told me tha ing young gentleman is Mr. Philip Winston, of 'The he was in great trouble, and that a word from me to Globe.' Ever since you disappeared he has been untiring bank's president would save him. in his efforts to find you. I suppose, after the fashion of "Winston, I was an idiot enough to believe, and I me reporters, he wants to interview you." my nephew. He got me J!o 0n into a cab. The ne "A reporter?" queried Mr. Prentiss, looking our hero thing that happened was .. forced a chloroforme sharply over. He's only a boy. Fred, this cloth u'iider my nostrils, an. cld me tightly until I faint-is another lie of yours." ed. "Your nephew is quite right, sir," Phil broke in. "I am "After that I found myself coming back to life, but in a 'Globe' reporter. Yesterday afternoon I was down to a closed automobile that was traveling fast. This morning report the meeting of your railway's board of directors. some time we arrived here. When I heard of your disappearance I remembered a look "Late this afternoon my nephew arrived. Then he un of hate that I had seen your nephew give you down at your :folded his plan to me. I must write a note to my daughter office. I put two and two together, and so the whole that would compel her to marry this criminal nephew of 'Globe' staff was put on the trail of Mr. Frederick Oarmine. I must also agree that, when he brought my daugh roll." ter and a marriage certificate to me, that I would settle That young scoundrel gave a start of disagreeable surupon him the sum of ten million dollars. If I refused I prise. was to be murdered, and my daughter to be followed and nephew, Mr. Prentiss, is bound to be run down. hounded to her death. There, Winston, you have the The 'Globe' staff is engaged in running him to cover now, whofo plan." and if necessary all the other newspaper staffs in the coun"And quite worthy of the scoundrel who formed it!" try will get busy, and hundreds of detectives will be callPhil, contemptuously. "But it won't go through, ed in. When a newspaper once furnishes the clew, a crimMr. Prentiss. Search as he may, Carroll will never fin inal's career is a short one." your daughter. She's past his power: of search." "Entertaining-quite so," sneered Carroll. "But I "So, then, my dear nephew,'' mJJcked the railway presi want to be quite fair to all sides. Uncle, you've got the dent, turning upon the wretch, "you see that I have n latest news about your certain rescue. But this boy rethe slightest reason for giving in to any of your demands. porter hasn't got what he was after-an interview with "Not even to save your own life?" questioned Carrol you." sternly. "" "But first tell me about my daughter-Beth!" implored "My life? Bosh! You are too to have the old man, tremulously. "Wlhat about her? She is-" me murdered when you can nothing by it.'> "Safe!" clicked Phil. "Absolutely so." "I might make such seemingly determined efforts to "You can assure me 9f that?" cried Mr. Prentiss, avenge your murder, uncle, by trying to run down and contrernulously. vict the murderers, that Beth would marry me out of sheer "I give you my word o:f honor, sir, that Miss Beth gratitude." Prentiss is safe in a place where your nephew can never Mr. Prentiss paled at the cold-blooded threat, but Winfind her, and where she will be protected." ston broke in decisively: A t this Carroll bit his lips, and looked as if he meant "Your daughter, Mr. Prentiss, won't be deceived She's to interfere: But he thought the better of it. in possession oi all the information that the 'Globe' men Will you tell me, sir,'' begged Phil, "just why your have about this scoundrel." nephew has committed such a crime as he has done in your "Stop that brat's talking!" commanded Carroll, wrathcase?" fully, turning to Jim. "Greed of money-the greatest cause of crime," answer"I'm through talking now,'' Phil rejoined, coolly. ed the old man sadly. ('Fred," appealed the old man, in a strong, brave voice, "How did he expect to get it by making a prisoner of as he turned to his nephew, "since all your success in this you?" wild, foolish, criminal enterprise depends upon my aiding "Through my daughter." you, won't you take my word :for it that I'd die sooner th "How?" give in to you by one inch? Can't you realize the simpl "It was a simple plan," throbbed the old man. "Yet uselessness of what you're doing?"


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 23 "I've gone too far, uncle, to realize anything but the fruits of success," retorted the nephew, stubbornly. "Eith er I conquer you, uncle, or I wind up a bad business by killing you." "Killing me? Pooh! You will not do that when you can gain nothing by it. You are too great a coward to take life, unless you're cornered." "Jim," commanded the nephew, "bring that long coil of rope." "Sure," grinned the fellow, and once more disappeared with the lantern. But he was back within five seconds, so it seemed. "Climb up and make one end fast over the rafter," was Carroll's next order. In the work that followed the two Italians, as 'silent as ever, gave their help. The rafter was a dozen feet or so from the floor. From this the rope swung. At a whispered word from Fred one of the Italians dis appeared, returning with a barrel. "Now, let our guests imagine what we intend for their entertainment," laughed Fred Carroll, as Jim began to tie a noose in one end of the rope. Phil glanced at the railway president, who looked back at him. Unalterable grit was written alike in the faces of the young boy and of the old man. Yet both half hoped that this preparation so dramati cally carried on was but a bit of clever "bluff." "Up with the kid!" Carroll ordered, carelessly. One of the Italians lifted our hero to a stand on the top of the banel. Nothing was to be gained by jumping down again, hich would only result in his feet being tied before he as laced up there again, so Phil stood as he was placed. hen Jim climbed to the barrel-top beside him. 1 ugg! The noose was dropped swiftly about the boy's k, the two Italians holding the other end of the rope. Right then Phil Winston realized that this was not mere y. Frantically he strove to jump down. He succeeded in tting the barrel and giving Jim a tumble to the floor. But that was all, for the Italians hoisted the hanged :ung reporter up close to the beam. Phil Winston, as the strangling went on, kicked consively in his fearful torment. But the Italians coolly carried their end of the rope to e side of the room, where they made it fast over a hook. "Look at that swinging body, uncle,'! commanded Fred rroll, directing the old man's fascinated gaze. "You ve taunted me with being afraid to take life. You shall y here to-night, and look often at that dangling, lifeless dy. You shall realize, to-night, the truth-that I am too big a coward to take life!" CHAPTER X. THE FLOP OF FATE. "Cut that unfortunate young man down!" implored Mr. Prentiss. "Not until you give in, my good uncle!" "You infamous scoundrel!" "Hard words win no battles here, uncle," sneered the nephew. "Cut him down, I say." "Do you accede to all my terms, then?" demanded Car roll, swiftly. Old Bertram Prentiss hesitated. He knew that Phil had risked his own life to save him. Nor was Prentiss the kind of man to go back on those who had come to grief on his behalf. He hesitated, then brightened a bit. "Cut the young man down for a few mome_nts, Fred, and then we will discuss terms." "There are none to discuss," retorted the nephew, stern ly. "Agree to all, or your young friend goes on swinging." "Yet even now, Fred, it may be wholly too late to cut him down. "That's your chance, uncle. 'Every second increases the danger that it will be too.Jate. See! The young re porter is not moving his legs as much as he did. He is dy ing fast!" "Some money, Carroll, but leave the girl out of the terms!" "Beth and the millions must go together! Speak quick, uncle, if you want to save that reporte!'s life." "I--" President Prentiss's speech was cut short by the ah8,rp crack of a firearm. Thud! Phil's body had fallen to the floor, the rope severed by a bullet. Crack! Crash! One light was out. A third report, and the glass of the second lantern scattered over the floor, the flame flickering out. "A trap!" screamed Carroll, showing the white feather once more in this terrifying crisis. He himself led the flight to the only door of the room. Jim and the two Italians, in a panic, were close at his heels. "Whoever our rescuers are, I beg them to come quick ly,'' shrieked Mr. Prentiss. "I am tied, and cannot go to Winston's aid. He is strangling to death!" An instant's delay. Then in the darkness the scurry ing of a single pair of feet was heard on the :floor. Scratch! flare! In the dim ring of light made by that solitary match the old man saw a young boy's white face. That youngster located Phil's inanimate body, and rush ed toward it. In the darknes Prentiss heard soft but frantic work, as this sole rescuer cut away the noose from Phil's hands and from the reporter's wrists.


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." "Have you freed him wholly?" cried Mr. Prentiss. "Yep," came somewhat quaveringly from the boy. "Then free my hands, that I may help in restoring Win e-ton:" In the dark the cords over the railway president's wrists were very cleanly cut away. "Now we must do everything possible to bring Winston back to life," quavered Mr. Prentiss. "Help me, please. You shall be well rewarded." "Hang the reward!" came the retort, in a voice of shrill contempt. "But I'd better guard this door for all our lives." "Give me your match-box, then." That was passed to the railway man in the dark. By the aid of a little light Mr. Prentiss made an examination of Phil's condition. "There seems to be a bit of life left," murmured the old man. Then he worked at inducing artificial re s piration. He worked such good effect, too, that soon a long, gulping sigh came from between the reporter's lips. "How you g$ltting on, mi s t e r ? a s ked the boy from the doorway. "Famously! splendidly!" came the eager answer. "Keep the good work going, then," came the cool re. Soon Phil '}'as able to speak. "What has happened? Why is it so dark?" he mur mured faintly. "We've been rescued, lad!" thrilled the railway president. "Then why are there-no lights?" They've been shot out." "Who rescued us?" "Guess, Mr. Winston,'' came the boy's dry voice from the doorway. "Dave Bliss?" thrilled Phil. "0. K. Ring off until your line's working better." Uttering a sudden cry, Bertram Prentiss lighted another match, holding the flame close to his fingers. "Blood?" he s huddered. "Where did that come from?" "The wound in my neck must have been opened by the rope," hinted Phil, coolly. "Wound?" "Oh, just a little knife tickle that I got fu town on this case." "Let me see," pleaded the railway president, striking another match, and holding it between a trembling thumb and finger. He gave a gasp as he saw the wound, now looking more ugly than ever on account of t4e inflamed edges around the wound. "My lad, you've got to have this attended to at once," quivered Mr. Prentiss. "Nearest doctor ten miles off/' said Phil. ".At least we can get out of doors. The starli give us some chance to see what we're doing." "Come on, then," whispered Dave. "I'll go first, this pistol ready. You two keep close. There may trouble ahead." Prentiss helped the young reporter to rise. They slowly, but so did the office boy ahead. Through a short hallway they went, then co steps that led down to the grou:d. "This way," whisp' ered Dave. "I know the lay of land." Young Bliss led the way to a clump of bushes the trees some two hundred yards away. .As he went, Dave hobbled badly. But .no one spoke. .All were wondering how far a Carroll and his wretches were. .At la s t they crawled into the bushes, then listened a f ".All safe, I guess," said Dave. "But I'll watch, w you, mister, see what ails Mr. Winston's wound." "But you, Dave? You're limping badly." "Oh, I've got a little right to," said the office boy, indif ferently. "When tlrnse chaps opened fire on us with the shotgun, I got a charge in the left leg. The shot is under the skin yet, I guess, but I stopped most of the flow of blood." ".Attend to Dafe now, please," begged Phil. "Don't you listen, mister," begged the office boy. "I shan't," smiled Mr. Prentiss, warmly. "Your wo Winston, is the more dangerous." The sticking plaster was still there, however. With aid of water that Dave brought it was soaked off, then applied and bound with Mr. Prentiss's handkerchief. Then, while Phil stood up, gripping the pistol t young Bliss turned over to him, the railway magnate amined the office boy's leg. There was but little bleeding, though. The shot Ii passed well under the skin, showing only raised purpl blotche!. "I can't do anything. It needs a surgeon, at the fir moment,'' advised Prentiss. "And now let us think what we're going to do," urge Phil. "Get to the Covenden railway station, if we can," urge Mr. Prentiss. "And face four armed enemies?" inquired our hero. "They would not dare molest us there.'' "Wouldn't they, though?" demanded our hero. "That's just where they'll make for. Nor do we know how many more men Carroll may have in this neighborhood. There's only one man at Covenden whom we could count on our side, and only one at Malton. The station agent is the only man at either place. Mr. Prentiss, I'm afraid that when we strike a railway station we run into the enemy. In my belief, that's where they'll hike for, in order to head us off."


THE GREAT GAUL "BEAT." 25 "True enough," nodded the old thoughtfully . "My box relay?" throbbed Phil, suddenly._ "Carroll's trowd brought that along with me, for I remember seeing it back in the mill. I must go back after it." I "Not on your life!" Dave objected. "You've got the pistol. Stay here on guard, and I'll go back." '"Who is that wonderfully bright youngster?" whispered Ir. Prentiss. "Dave Bliss, night office boy on the 'Globe.' "I wonder if I could have such a youngster as that for y own private office?" hinted Mr. Prentiss. "You couldn't," Phil smiled. "You couldn't get any body away from a good newspaper office. The newspaper life is one that no one in it wants to quit." "Here it whispered Dave, showing up again, with the bag tightly held. "What's the plan, then?" asked Mr. Prentiss, who seem ed to turn instinctively to our hero. "Well, sir, in some way, we've got to get a few miles down the line. We want to keep away from the railway track for a few miles. Perhaps seven or eight miles down the line we can reach the track, well between stations. Then can climb a telegraph pole, get this box relay tackled 1, and send a message for help." CHAPTER XI. TOO LATE! "Well, hang it, we're here!" uttered'Dave. "It's raing, too." "I'm glad it wasn't many miles further to go," smiled hil Winston. hi boys were grit to the core, though they had su:fferrments on that march of peril. ce in the night, for it was now just barely daylight, had encountered Italians armed with shotguns. itber of these were of the pair that had been at the u with Carroll, which showed that plotting scoundrel ore help in these wild mountains than his hunted s knew. e Italians had been encountered, separately, in crosso roadR, one of which led to the Covenden d epot, and ther to the Malton station. th had been passed in safety, by making a wide cirround them. the encounters showed that Carroll was still hope eearching this vi ild country for the victims who ud

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