The keg of diamonds, or, After the treasure of the caliphs

The keg of diamonds, or, After the treasure of the caliphs

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The keg of diamonds, or, After the treasure of the caliphs
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
Dawson, Tom
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New York
Frank Tousey Publisher
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1 online resource (28 pages)


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Dime novels. (lcsh)
Fire fighters -- Fiction. (lcsh)
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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032056729 ( ALEPH )
864555768 ( OCLC )
W20-00017 ( USF DOI )
w20.17 ( USF Handle )

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.. He has dug excellently," sneered Ali Abba. "Since we must keep the keii, let him have the bole for himself! All in an instant Phil realized that this was no grim jest, but that he was t Q be buried alive! ..


' A COftl'PLETE STORY EVERY WEEK. lnuetJ Weekli1 -B11 Subscription f2.50 per year. Entered according t o A.ot o f Congress, in the year 1906, in the otfl-Oe or the Librarian o f O o ngreaa, Waahlngton, D 0., bt1 Frank T ouse11, P ublish er, 24 Unio'!. Square, New Y ork. I No 17. NEW YORK, AUGUST 10, 1906. PRICE 5 CENTS The Keg of Diamonds OR, AFTER THE TREASURE OF THE CALIPHS By TOM DAWSON I C H A PTER I. MISCHIEF BREWING IN THE DESERT. I don't like the way these Arabs are acting," declared Phil Winston I "No r I, by 1 a long sight," muttered Vance Carroll "Why, I have seen nothing wrong about their con duct," asserted the professor. It was one 0: the pro:essor's oddities, by the way, that, when he saw nothing wrong, there wasn't a n d couldn't, be anything tha\ really was wrong But that was what came of being a professor! The three Americans were the only people of their na tion in all that part of the great country of Arabia. Most Americans, by the way, think of Arabia as a .little country somewhere down on the Red Sea, where Moses led the hosts of Israel across Arabia being a country some thirteen hundred miles one way, by fifteen hundred the other way, would fill a space equal to a very large slice 0: the United States. These Americans had dropped down in the land 0: the Arab on business that shall be explained immediately. From Aden they had journeyed up the Red Sea on a tramp steamer, and had been put a s hore at a little town on the bleak coast 0: the Yemen, or southerly Red Sea district o f Arabia There, through a loca l native official, they had secured six Arabs; led by one of their number, Bojee, w h o was a skil:ul pilo t o f the great inland from the mountains. Horses and camels for bea s ts 0: burden had also been rented for this strange expedition. They had toiled up o v er the l::lieak red sandstone moun tains that lined the coast. They 11ad descended the more :ertile slopes of these same mountains on the inland s ide, and now they were on the great table-land 0: desert b eyond the mountains. Two weeks they had been out from the shore, and had traveled but a little over a hundred miles. But now that they had struck the level desert, these American travelers hoped to move much :as t er. "You shall travel as the bird flies," Bojee hai promised them in his flowery Arab way. It was just before dark now. Soon after sun-up they had started, traveling until ten in the morning. Then had halted throu g h the heat 0: the day, starting on their way once more at four in the afternoon. At a little before seven they had halt e d at this oasis, where there was a well 0: rather stagnant water, two score 0: palm trees, and coarse grass enough to :eed their ani mals Here the camp was pitch ed. It consisted 0: a large, dirty-white t ent :or our a smaller tent in which Bojee and his five companions herded, and a shelte:i; flap to protect their food supplies and baggage from the sun. Bojee and his men were moullted on very fair Arab steeds. Phil, Vance, and the professor also were mounted on hired horses.


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. In addition there were three camels to serve as baggage desert wanderers. As far back as history goes they have carriers. always beep. known as great hands at robbing caravans." "I am sure I have noticed nothing wrong with our ex"But not the caravans they were hired to guard!" Arab servitors," went on Prof. Briggs, as he and protested the professor, in a shocked voice. the boys strolled away from the camp over the hot sands "I don't l:ielieve they'd make a l'eap of distinction about "I have," Phil answered, decidedly. that," proclaimed Phil, stubbornly. "But whatever they "What, for instance?" are thinking about so hard, professor, I'm still sure that "Well, in the first place, they are uneasy." you'll find them playing some shabby trick on us." "So am I," sighed the professor. "With all this hot "I hope you're not a prophet, then," replied the profesthickly populated by tantalizing insects, I don't see sor, a serious look coming into his face as he came to a how any sane being can help being uneasy." halt under a solitary date palm that stood at a distance "Oh, pshaw! They don't mind a few sand fleas, profes, of an eighth of a mile from the edge of the oasis on which sor. That isn't the kind of uneasiness I mean. But these the camp was pitched. fellows talk and mutter much among themselves, and look Now that the sun had gone down, dark was rapidly at us." coming on, as it does in the low tropics. "Then, when we go near them," took up Vance Carroll, Over at the edge of the oa.sis a fire glowed red through "the fellows stop their talking." the darkness. "That they may the better listen for orders, perhaps," One of Bojee's men was cooking the simple supper of hinted the professor. the travelers. "It doesn't look like that," conte:qded Phil. Vance Carroll walked slowly away, but Phil seated him-"Then what does it look lik!'l, my boy?" self on the sand beside their teacher. "If those dark-kinned rascals aren't plotting some kind "Surely," murmmed the professor, "you don't think of mischief between themselves ; then I'm a bad judge of that these Arabs suspect 'the real reas9n of our visit to appearances," asserted Phil. this co1mtry. We have told them that we have come out "13ut what plans can they have agal.nst us?" insisted the here into the desert to observe certain stars with our teleprofessor, who was a middle-aged man with a positive woy scope." of speaking. "They may believe that," assented Phil, but his tone "T-hese Arabs are casting a good many more glances at implied a strong doubt that the .c\rabs had been so easily our baggage than they used to, professor," put in Vance. taken in. "I suppose," mused the professor, "that they wonder "But these fellows are ignorant and unlettered. These why sane men think they so much baggage.fl Bedouins do not read or w1ite," argued the professor. "So "And they look especially, sir," added Phil, "at the surelY, they have never heard of the diamonds of the fa long cylinder in which you have told them you carry the mous caliphs of Jokwat." telescope with which you mean to look at the stars." "Sh!" warned Phil, looking swiftly, uneasily around . "I suppose their untrained, ignorant minds are more "There's no one near us except Vance," returned the or less awed by the idea of scientific instruments," murprofessor, lightly. mured Briggs. "There doesn't appear to be anyone, you mean,'' filled "That isn't it-not a bit," retorted Vance, shaking his out Phil. head very positively. But Prof. Briggs was so certain there could be no spies "Then what, my boy?" within earshot that he went on: "At the very least, sir, they're wondering whether there "These Arabs have some traditions that are handed is anything in the baggage that it will be worth their down by word of mouth, to be sure. But their traditions while to steal." do not go back of the time of Mohammed. Now, how long ''Oh, pooh, pooh!" returned the professor, growing al-ago did the last caliph, or sultan, of Jokwat flourish?" most heated. "Why, the native governor at the town quizzed the professor, in the same tone that he would have where we landed assured us that thes e were honest men." used with his class at the Alger Academy. "Honest, as Arabs go," smiled PhiL "The last caliph of Jokwat died some three hundred Professor Briggs wheeled upon our hero, surveying him years before the prophet M'ohammed was born,'' Phil anvery impressively. swered, correctly. "My young friend, let me assure you that the Arabs are "Exactly. And Jokwat is to-day only a name. Only a a ver'y, very old people, and that they have a high sense few of the Mohammedan priests, here and there, would oi honor." know what you meant by the name .. Now, as diamonds are '"An Arab sense, eh?" smil ed Phil,' still unconvinced. no part of the gem production of Arabia, how did this "Er-er-of course, their sense of honor if founded on great collection of bright, sparkling stones come into their own notions of honor. Of course!" possession of the caliphs of Jokwat?" "Exactly, sir,'' fl.ashed back Phil, exultantly. "And "Why, Arabia has always be .en famous for its pearl fish-these Arabs with us belong to the Bedouin class-the erics along the shores of the Red Sea," Phil answereo.


' I. TIIE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 3 "So the caliphs havjng seen some diamonds that traders 1 diamonds, put up in bags of skins, were buried six feet be brought from India; became crazy to own a lot of the low the book. bright stones They sent barrels and barrels of Arabian "That was enough for Uncle B en. He had sold the diapearls to India, and brought back diamonds." mond, and had money enough for another trip into Arabia. "What happcmecl to the g reat state of Jokwat that once So out here he hiked, with an'expedition some thing like flouri shed in Arabia?" went on the pfofcssor. ours But h e was a crafty one, uncle B e n was, s o he told "Why, the caliph of H anfez, another Arabia n state, tliese Bedouins that h e thought of turning Mohammedan? heard about the marvelous Jokwat coll ection of diamonds, and said he wanted to be a).one n ear the olcl, ruin, to pray and made a demand for some of them, and that led to a for a week with hi s face to Mecca. war between the rival eaJiphs." "So his escort left him there near the old ruins of one "What happened then?" of the country places of the Jokwat caliphs In a week "J okwat fell, and its last caliph was killed. But. before the escort came back. ncle Ben had found the diamonds, he went under that caliph had the diamonds hidden so sethough the skins in which they had been planted had curely out here in the desert that the conquerors from totted to dust. He g thered up the diamonds, put them Hanfez never got a glimpse of the sparklers -in a water-keg, and then planted them again." "Go on with this most interesting history," desired the "And a lucky thing he did," assented the professor, professor. eager l y "After the all of the last caliph of the state of J okwat," "It sure was," Phil rejoined. "For when the escort Phil resumed, as if he were reading from a text-book, "the came back they had with them some sor t of a native gov story of the diamonds was gradually forgotten So far as crno r. Unc le Ben had some Eort of a row with that gov is known by travelers of to-day, no mention of the famous ernor emir, I believe they call a governor in this hot, Jokwat diamonds exists among the Arabian writers." worthless country Uncle Ben was lu cky enough to get off "Then how is their presence known to-day?" out of the country with his life, but the diamonds were "That," returned J:>hil, his eyes flashing with priae, "is l eft behind in the buried keg. where my fami l y began to get busy." "That wasn't the end of Uncle Ben's hard luck. He got "How? off on a steame r, with hi s trunk and the old patchme11t uncle once crossed this district of Yemen. His manuscript. On the steamer h e wrote down, in the same Arabs were digging near an old ruin, in the hopes of strik old Arabic, a short account of hi s own doings. Befor e he ing water. They had the well ahri.ost .finished when they had finished writing, though, he came down with some p11nFed to rest through the heat of the day Uy uncle sort of a fever he had caught out here in the desert. Ben, glancing down into the bole, saw something glisten "Uncle Ben was out of bis head when h e rea c hed Aden. that made him take notice at once. He died in that town. H;is trunk went to the eustom a "Jumping into the hole, he found that something hon. e There, for some reason, it la y year after year, but bright to be a large, pure, valuable diamond. It was set finally was opened. The cus toms house people notifi ed in the cover of a parchment manuscript, written in old the United States consul, who, finally, through Washing Arabic characters." ton, discovered that I was the only living relative and heir "And your uncle couldn't read the language?" "Not a word!" "What did he do then?" persisted the professo r as if he were hammering a lesson into a dull pupil. "Why," retorted Phil, proudly, "my uncle Ben wasn't as m11ch of a fool as he might l;iave been He stopped the men from digging further, tel1ing them that the water that would be found below would be most unhealthful. He made them fill the hole up insteatI of digging further." "And your uncle's next move?" "Wny, he knew that that book, with its cover set with a diamond worth at least thirty thousand dollars, must have some information in it worth someth in g "So he got the book translated?" insisted the professor. "Not by a hanged sight he didn't!" blurted Phil. "There was where h e was less of a fool than I may have been. Uncle Ben, though past fifty, started in right away to l earn Arabic By and by, when he could, he translated '' t n1anu:=:cript on parchment It was a hi story of the diamond s of the caliilhs of :Tokwat. It also stated that the .. ,, .-1. of Uncle Ben. "And poor little I was at the Alger Academy, getting education thanks to the fact that Unc l e Ben had left me some money whi ch must have been a part of what he got from the imle of that g reat diamond." "And now the story is a short one," almost cooed Pro fessor Briggs "Yes," laughed Phil. "Probably I wasn't as bright a s Uncle Ben, for when that trunk came to me and I struck the old writing and g u essed that it was Arabic, I brought the old parchment and Uncle Ben's newer writing to you, as a scho l ar in that language." / "And I to ld yon, honestly enough, "hat the writing was, didn't demanded Professor Briggs, warmly "That you did, Prof. You nsed me sq uar e "And I proposed that we drop everything else, and come out here at once to look up a treasure that mw;t be worth millions." "That was your proposal,.'' smiled Phil. "But I'd have come,


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. "And I agreed to put up half the money for tl!e ex penses?" "That also is true-quite true, Prof." "And then came the rather remarkable part of it all," hastened on Briggs. "You picked out the poorest boy at the academy-a youngster who couldn't put up a single cent, and insisted that he must go with us, and share what ever we might realize out of this strange expedition." "Why, I couldn't do anything different," cried Phil, warmly. "Vance Carrol\ may be poor, but he's one o"f. the best, grittiest, staunchest, truest fellows that ever lived." "A very admirable youth,. indeed," nodded the profes sor." "And he's my chum, besides," P il on, almost hot ly. "Whatever luck I have is part his, in anything, just as he always shared even an apple with me ... "A regular modern instance of the ancient chum-ship of Damon and Pythias,.'' smiled Professor Briggs. "How ever, it can do no harm at all to have a third person in to share the great luck with u s. Unle s s your Uncle Ben was one of the greatest liars that "Which he wasn't!" broke in Phil Winston, rising with a snap. "Of course he wasn't," admitted the professor. "And so, when we reach the oasis of Ringmur--" "Which is a hundred and ten iniles further "Why, then," finished Professor Briggs, triumphantly, "we're pretty sure to dig up the keg of diamonds-the famous, marvelous and ,.onderfully hidden treasure of the caliphs of Jokwat!" "Hadn't we better be going back to camp, professor?" hinted Phil, again peering around through the darkness. They sta'rted off. Soon after they had gone, a figure rose out of a burrow in the desert sand. The figure was that of a man clad in turban, a long, flowing white robe, and red sandals. The figure of Bojee, the leader of their Arab escort. And Bojee's dark eyes were glowing strangely, as if he had heard every word uttered by the treasure-hunting Americans who had hired this Bedouin, this rough ma_n of the desert-this robber at times!-this Bedouin whom the Americans had hired to guard them from the very dan gers of the great Arabian desert! CHAPTER II. THE TRICKERY OF THE NIGHT. "Va.nee, old fellow, where were you?" Phil' put the question as Carroll joined his two friends at the little folding table on which the simple supper had been set by the light of candles. "Oh, taking a walk," said Carroll, briefly. "Is it interesting out on the desert after dark?" in quired Professor Briggs. "Not very," replied Vance, quietly. -"Did you think it would be?" "I didn't know." "So you went for a walk, in order to find out, did you?" quizzed the professor, smiling slightly. "I-I wanted to be by myself," spoke Vance Carroll, shortly. "Oh, a headache?" "Close your face tight!" ordered Vance, looking briefly at the old man. Professor Briggs fairly gasped. What! One of his pupils dare to address him in such language .as this! "You must have a grouch on, Vance," laughed Phil. "Put a padlock on your teeth, both of you," rejoined Carroll, now smiling pleasantly at them both. "But your very extraordinary--" began the profes sor, sputteringly. "Slang is sometimes more useful than a choice of words that is too apparent to eavesdroppers," went on Vance, without looking at either. But Phil understood in a twinkling now. Vance wanted to stop the questioning of himself that had been started, and he was trying to say so in a kind of English that Bojee could not understand. "Professor," began our hero, "I begi:iJ. to think. I'm next. Are you?" "Next?" repeated Briggs, more mystified than ever. But Phil, rising to reach across the table for something, managed to scowl into eyes and whisper: "Hush! discreet!" "If to-day's journey is as hot as yesterday's was," went on Vance, trying to change the subject instantly, "we shall glad of less travel, and more rest." "Undoubtedly," murmured though he was still far from understanding or forgiving what had seemed very much like an insult from our hero's chum. The meal was finished, however, without any more fric tion. Long before they left the table, however, Phil Winston located the spot where Bojee sat on the ground, back in the shadow, his eyes fixed gleamingly on them. "Suppose we all try a stroll, professor?" hinted Phil, as they rose from the table. The three stepped just beyond the fringe of camp-light. Yet, out there in the darkness they could look back. They could see Bojee and all five of his men, now, within the circle of light. "I didn't mean to be rude, profesor," began Vance, in a low tone. "But I saw that Bojee had his eyes on us, and I didn't want to have him suspect that I had seen." "You saw what?" demanded Briggs. "That Bo;fee heard your whole conversation with Phil!" Our hero fairly gasped. "You don't mean that,, VanCe!" f, "But I do!" 1


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 5 "You mean the conversation that the professor and I had while sitting out there under that solitary date tree?" "He heard you," Vance declared, solemnly. Phil looked in acute despair at Briggs. "Pooh!" ridfouled the professor. "You don't believe me?" flushed Vance. "I know you mean to speak the truth, lad." "You think I'm a fool, then?" There was sometimes hot feeling between these two, Vance and Briggs. So Phil made haste to pour oil on the waters. "Tell us just what you mean, Vance, old fellow,'l beg ged our hero. "You remember that I went off in the dark?" Vance demantled. "Of course." "At first I meant just to take a short stroll beyond where you were. But a little off to my left," explained Carroll, his face showing serious, indeed, l'I saw a flutter of dirty white cloth. At first I didn't know but what it was some desert prowler. But. I didn't m 'ake a sound. I just kept on." "And then?" Phil's voice was heavy with dread as he put the eager question. "Why, then, as soon as I had gotten far enough a.way, the fellow's head being turned your way, I dropped t<;> the ground." "You could see the fellow in the sand near us?" "Easily. You seemed to be talking. He lifted his head. He kept his head up, as if listening," Carroll went on, tremulously, "'until you two rose and walked away." "And then?" "He lay as flat as he could, again, until you were some distance on." "Then he was really listening," decided Phil, in a flash. "An honest man wouldn't have been afrald of being seen." "Just the way I figured," nodded Yance. "Could you see that it was Bojee ?" "No; it was too dark to make the fellow out." "Then how do you know yet that it was Bojee?" de-mantled Briggs. "Why, I followed him back to camp, at a safe distance through the dark," Vance Carroll answered. "When he got up close to the firelight I could make out, sure, that it was Bojee himself. And when he found I wasn't in camp he started curiously, and turned around, as if to see where I was." The three looked anxiously at each other now. Out here on the desert they were practically at the mercy of these Arabs. Professor Brigg's face was the first to clear. "Pooh!" he remarked. Vance shot an indignant, questioning look at him. "Oh, no; I'm not doubting your word, lad-not a bit. But I feel that you have tal}en a more serious view of the matter than is necessary. Undoubtedly Bojee just went out 1on the sand to take a nap. He happened to wake in time to rise and seem to follow us in. But I am certain that he didn't hear a word of our conversation. We talked in very low tones, didn't we, Phil?" "Not all the time," returned our hero, regretfully. "Oh, well, you may be sure that Bojee, though he speaks some English fairly well, suspects nothing-knows; nothing." "If he does murmured Phil, tremulously, "we may be in a mighty bad way." "You forget that we are armed," returned the profes sor, tapping at the buft of the revolver in a holster at his side. "Oh, yes, we're armed," Phil admitted. "But, even so, we're three against six, and out here on a great, desolate des.ert that these men know like a book, while we couldn't get anywhere on it without them." "Then you feel--" began Briggs. "Uneasy!" returned the boy. "What can we do, lad?" "Keep our eyes open_.:.that is all, I suppose." "We can

THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. "But just where?" "Out a little way past that lone date palm, I think, ex cellency," the chief of the escort answered, pointing, and speaking softly "Did you sleep long?" ''Until after your excellencies had seated yourselves at the evening meal," Bojee replied. ''I am glad to know, for I missed you, and wondered," replied the professor, pleasantly. "Tlhit is all, t Bojee. Unless you will have a cigar?" The professor hel out a Havana. These Arabs, though well supplied with pipe and cigarette tobacco, seldom taste ciga1s in the interior, and look upon theni as a treat. Afte r the Arab, ta.king the and bowing low in hi& thanks, had steppe!f to light hi s prize, Professor Briggs strolled to the tent. Neither Phil nor Vance followed immediately. Be fore they did enter the tent they made sure that none of lhe escort were prowling near. "Well?" demanded the professor, in a triumphant whis per. "Bojee seemed to answer straight enough," Phil re plied. "And he told the truth, too, lad! Now, a dishonest man, who had listened, would suspect that we knew." "l\faybe Bojee does suspect." "He doesn't," retorted the wise man, firmly, "for the simple reas _on that the fellow didn't anything we said. His whole manner, and ills simple honesty, proved that!' "Then you think I'm way off the track?" Vance in quired, in a low whisper. "I'm sure of it!" came, with emphasis, from the pro fessor. "All right!" sighed Vance . "But we will keep our eyes open, anyway," broke in Phil's low whisper. Professor Briggs wandered outside again for his last cigar before turning in. The boys followed, throwing themselves down on the coarse grass before the tent door. Now that the sun was down for a couple of hours past it was almost cool, furiously bot though it had been during the day. Caravans in Arabia often travel at night, the people preferring to sleep through the heat of the day. But our friends, accustomed to night sleep all their lives, chose to be up at daylight, travel until the heat grew too intense, and then to finish the day's in the late part of the afternoon. The clothing of these Americans was of the simplest. At Aden they had chosen to buy the light-colored khaki which is used in the tropics by most of the armies of the world. They wore light linen shirts and underwear, khaki trou sers and pith helmets, and sometimes khaki leggings. It was the coolest and most enduring kind of garb for a journey like this over the desert of Yemen. In addition, each sported a cartridge belt, well-filled, to which was also fastened a holster containing a good Ameri can six-shooter. Their Arab escort were atmed with long, keen knives, old-fashioned pistols, and long-barreled rifles, some of them antique :flintlocks. Yet, crude and old-styled as these rifle were, Bojee and his men could do some wonderfully straight shooting. Like all Arabs, Bojee and his men were fearless and skillful horsemen. They could ride at a wild gallop, and yet shoot straight at a mark or at a foe. "I'm going to turn in," sighed Phil, at last. Unlacing his leggings and unlacing his shoes he went slowly the tent. t In another two minutes his clothes were off, and he lay orr a heavy blanket and under a light one. His revolver' lay at the lower edge of his air-filled rubber pillow. On the next blanket lay Vance Carroll. Both youngsters were solmd asleep by the time that Professor Briggs, his last cigar finished, came silently in to join them. It was just after daylight that our hero awoke for the first time. He had a dim notion that something was wrong, t_hough just what it was he could not understand. All was as silent in the camp as it 'was anywhere else out on that great desert. Still, Phil Winston felt uneasy. For greater security he thrust his right hand upward for his revolver-but did not find it there. "Eh? What's that? Where is it?" Phil thrilled with alarm as he sat up quickly. He lifted his rubber pillow. No sign of any revolver there! Next his nervous hand sought under the blanket. But nq weapon there, either! "Vance!" he throbbed, shaking his chum by the shoul der. ...., "Eh? What's--" Vance started to grumble, drowsilJ. But Phil's hand was tightly over his chum's mouth. Then Carroll woke up sufficiently to realize what a troubled look lay in Winsijm's eyes. "See if you can find your revolver, Vance!" begged Phil. Now Vance sat up like a :flash, searching as Phil had done. But not a sign was there of Carroll's weapon, that had been in place a few hours before. The boys turned startled looks, wondering, yet signifi cant, upon each other. "I guess it's hardly worth while to ask Briggs if he has his shooting iron," whispered Pqil, d:ryly. "I will, though!" ,,


' THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 'I. And Vance stirred the sleeping professor. Briggs, with his fifty and more years, was a light sleeper. He roused readily, without making a noise, and was quickly acquainted with the situation. "By Apollo, boys," groaned Professor Briggs, his face whitening, as he sat up, "I begin to believe that you were right last night. It's no use to ask me where my pistol is." "I'm going to ask someone who knows!" Phil, springing up in his stocking feet. "Eh? What?" demanded Vance, looking up. Carroll started to rise, also, but our hero pushed him back. \ "Stay where you are, old fellow!" quivered Winston. "One of Us is enough to do the trick. Stay right where you axe!" Then, on tip-toe, Phil stole out into the early morning light. As noiseless as some spectre, Phil crossed the hot sand in his stocking feet, not stopping until he reached the door of the tent used by the escort. Peeping in, Phil Winston gave a start. There, on the ground inside the tent, lay the three American revolvers. Beside them knelt Bojee. Phil's sharp gasp reached the Arab's sharp ears. He wheeled, leaped to his feet. "I see you have our pistols here, Bojee," spoke our hero, trying to smile. But Bojee met the American's gaze with a cool, easy smile, as he stepped to the door of the tent, barring our hero's way. CHAPTER III. undertook to clean the pistols for you, and to put them in better condition." I "Why-Great Scott!" gasped Phil, startled out of his self-control, for, as be took his own weapon, happening to hold the hammer side downward, the hamm er fell back loosely. "What's wrong here, Bojee?" demanded the boy, quiver ingly. "I fear your will not forgive me," replied the Arab, ih his calmest voice "I tried to strengthen the spring of the pistol, and I had the misfortune to break the spring." "I should say you did!" Winston retorted, disgustedly. "And-by thunder I-you were as clumsy with the other revolvers." "Your excellency cannot forgive my blundering now, I know," cried Bojee, in a polite, troubled voice. "But in time you will forgive your servant-when you learn how faithful he can be! From now on we-my men and Iwill guard you as you have never been guarded before. Fear not; we are excellent shots, good riders, and know not fear when we serve princes like your excellenciesJI' Bojee bowed low, but Win s ton, in his and in the certainty that the Arab was inwardly laughing at him, could have kicked the fellow with good relish. It wouldn't do, however, to show anger 'open ly. Gripping the three now worthless revolvers, Phil turned without a word, stalking back gloomily to the American tent. "Seel" he whi s pered, holding up the revolvers so that the hammers swung. Then he threw the weapons down again. Professor Briggs' face was utterly and hopelessly white with dread. "What are we going to do, Winston?" faltered the wise THE DUSKY DIPLOMAT. man. "We'll have to wait and see, I guess," replied the boy, Bojee's black eyes were turned gravely on our hero's. with a dreary smile. "Whatever we do, we mustn't show That dark face was calm Even now Bojee was not forfear. Smile, I say, and act as if the matter were of no getting at least the appearance of politeness that is drilled consequence. And d9n't appear to watch the Arabs too into the calm Arab. closely." "What does your excellency wish?" the fellow asked, Outside there were sounds and smells of preparing in his deep, musical voice. breakfast now. "Why, I mis. sed my revolver," smiled Phil. "So I came Then one of tlie Arabs brought water, ju st as usual, to see if you knew anything about it. I see you have them. for the Americans to wash. all. Pass them to me, please." Within fifteen minutes more breakfast was served on But Bojee didn't stir. the folding table under a date palm. Winston, glancing past the chief of escort, saw that the Canned baked beans, canned brown bread, and fresh other Arabs were sitting up, close to the American fl.redates from the trees around-that was the meal that arms. would have tasted primely good to Americans whose minds "Didn't you hear me?" insisted Phil, tP,ough still speak-were easier on this sunny, warm morning. ing pleasantly. "The pistols, please. You are not often "Bojee," spoke Phil, quietly. as slow, Bojee." "Excellency?" politely replied the chief of escort, ap-But now, to our hero's great relief, the Arab stepped pearing and bowing. slowly back, bent, and picked up the revolvers. "I note that one of your men is gone, with bis horse." "Beg pardon, excellency," spoke the fellow, softly. "I "Ah, yes, excellency-a misfortune." had hoped to return the weapons before you awoke. I "Misfortune?" repeated Phil.


8 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. .,'Yes; one of my best men became homesick. He le-Now that impassive, grave, calm chief haC. wheeled his fused to go further, and I could not force him to remain. horse around and had raised one hand. But .we are till five, a;nd wholly at the service of your "The signal to stop," announced Phil, reining up. princely excellencies." "What does it mean? Have they seen something? It Three Americans heard with jumping hearts. can't be danger-that is, not more than we're in from our Bojee's grave, honeyed words could fool not one of them own guard." now. Bojee came slowly back on his walking horse. A messenger had been sent off by the Arab ;vho was "Excellency," he announced, soberly, "we halt here.'' now their master. "Why not at the oasis?" Phil demanded. Where? For what pul\pose? They could not guess. "My men and I halt at the oasis, excellency. You and' But all three realized that trouble was swiftly coming to your friends stay here." a head. Though the words and tone were polite, there was an Wh th th t th t t d d undercurrent of mockery in both that could not escape the I e e ree were ea mg e en s came own an were loaded on to the camels. Americans. ,, Th ddl d h b ht "What do you mean? Phil cried, lookmg sharply at en sa e orses were roug up. As politely and respectfully as ever Arabs held the the fellow. horses while the three Americans mounted. "We may have to part company now," Bojee announced, 1 Just as ever BoJee sent one of his armed men scouting coolly. "Ohl" a half a mile in advance of the littre caravan. Bojee himself rode, with one of his men, at the head of leaned :forward in saddle, looking the :fellow keenly h h 1 h b h h in the eyes t e caravan, w i e t e remaining two roug t up t e rear ,, "I hi k d "th th 1 BoJee, spoke the boy, sternly, t n we un er-w1 e came s. . stand each other. There is no need to say more. We Long strung out as the little procession was, the tl;iree t? y ll B t :f d d I keep par ery w.e u we-my Tien s an -w1 Americans, riding together in the center, had chance to b ,, our own aggage. wi;hout being . ,, "What does your excellency mean by that?" questioned We ve got enough to thmk about this mormng, sighth A b ki h hl. t 1 t e ra spea ng aug Ll y a as ed ,;ance, sorrowfully. ?" "You are man enough of the desert, Bojee, to know -that Yet what on earth are we to thmk. throbbed Profest 1 h th t t t w t ke th t we canno ive ere w1 ou our en e w1 a a sor Briggs. "For one thing," replied Winston, mighty soberly, "we can think just how foolish \ve were not to keep one of our number awake as a guard last night." "But what is the future to be-for us?" asked the pro-:fessor, anxiously. "Heaven only knows," sighed Phil. "It's a waiting game now-just!" Vance, delib erately. He spoke so coolly that the professor looked at him quickly. The wise man felt a sudden res pect for this boy, whom he had formerly rather looked down upon. "You don't seem afraid, Carroll," remarked the older man. "Afraid? No, I'm curious." Phil shot a swift, gratified look at Briggs. He was pro ud of the chum whom he had been wise enough to take on i!his expedition. * * * * Something happened up front! It was nearly ten o'clock in the morning. ( Barely a mile away stood a fertile-looking little oasis, the grass and the trees o:f which proved that there must be a good well of water thei;e. But the Bedouin riding ahead as a scout had just come currying back on his Arabian ltorse. He had halted and spoken a few words with Bojee. from the camel. We need also the long glass by which we look at the s tars by night. We will keep that also. The rest is yours." "It is good," spoke the Arab, his eyes gleaming These :fool Americans had forgotten to insist upon food or water. Without the s e two pecessities of the desert, they would very soon be where torment would force them fo ilo any thing that was ordered. "So be it," 'pronounced Bojee. "You shall have your things." He spoke to one o:f bis men in Arabic, who made a camel kneel. But Phil had ridden swiftly ba.ckward, after a flashing glance that forbade his friends to follow him. Whump! Off came the big landing in a bundle on the ground from the back of a kneeling caniel. "Careful with the great glass," rang Phil Winston's sharp voice, in which there was not a trace of fear. He spoke so sharply that the Bedouins obeyed, lifting down to the ground with infinite care a long cylinder of leather. It was more than eight feet in length, this leather case, and secured from prying eyes by three stout padlocks. "The rest is yours, Bojee!" called oor hero, as if anxious to be rid o:f the Bedouins. And the petty chief, as if anxious to be rid of the Ameri cans in turn, called out to his men. ......


KEG OP DIAMON DS. 9 They moved forward, the came l s going with them "By Apollo! We are soon kicked out of our king dom!" grunted Professor Briggs "Yesterday we were princes; to-day we are vagrants, left to perish of hunger and thirst on the desert "We have at least one advantage," muttered Phil, tart ly . "To-day we know our Arabs for just what they are worth. And we know what they think of us:'' "All would have gone well enough," declared Vance, "if Bojee hadn't' heard you talking last night.'' Briggs winced It had been his fault, that long talk under the date tree, for Phil had counselled silence "Going to put up the tent?" demanded the professor, turning to ou.r hero, as if to change the "I'm waiting," returned Phil. "For what?" "I want to see if Bojee really means to halt his crov/d at the oasis, and, if so, for how long he expects to stay there.'' "We have the telescope with which to watch," smiled the profllssor, dryly, and then thej three looked at each other queerly I "We Cll,n thank the rascals for one thing, anyway," hint e d Vance. "Oh, indeed?" asked the professor, curiously "They might have shot us down like so many dogs," continued Carroll. "Then they'd have been the goats," Phil. "Why?" queried Vance. "Why, from all we hear, the oasis of Ringmur isn't actly a small place. They may know that there's a keg of diamonds there, but suppose the oasis is two or three thou sand acres big? One thing the professor and I didn't men tion Jast night was the location of the spot1 where that keg is buried We know that, of course, but we didn't mention it. So, if Bojee wants the keg of diamonds, per haps he realizes that he needs us to find it for him.'' "He took the wrong method, then," gruffed the pro iesso:r. "Not a bit of it," Phil denied warmly. "He has taken just the right course He and his fellows ride forward to an oasis where water is abundant. We can stay here and look over where the water is, but we can't go there for our lives Bojee knows that soon we'll beg for water on any terms. By thunder, I'm as dry as a fish already!" "There they are, over at the oasis now!" cried Vance, pointing at the caravan that lately had been theirs. And there goes one of Bojee's men, riding southward like mad," puzzled the proJessor "Now, what--" "There's the answer to the south," supplied Phil, wheeling and pointing. Over a ridge in the endless sand of the appeared a long line of animals. Half a dozen riders, well spread out, came They rode like skirmishers or scouts, and were perhaps a mile antl a half away Then, slowly, behind them, came into sight some thirty horsemen. Nor did this body of irregular Bedouin cavalry concea l the long line of camels and walking drivers that moved along at the rear. "A caravan, and a jolly big one!" glowed Phil: "Heaven grant there are white men there, who' ll take kindly to us!" throbbed Vance. MotiOnless in their saddles sat the three Americans, watching the oncoming line with fascinated gaze. The scouts were riding at a slow trot,' the caravan behind coming on at a walking gait "Bojee is afraid the newcoyiers may spoil some of his tricks,'' proclaimed Phil, watching, eagerly. "That's wh_y he has sent one of his men-to find what's in the wind!" "If it's help for us it never can be more welcome," sighed Professor Briggs Bojee's rider had just fired his rifle in the air. It was answered in similar fashion by the nQarest scout of the onmoving car.avan . Then th,e scout who had answered r o de forward at a gal lop to meet Bojee's messenger. The two riders met, both moving at a gallop, and c i rcled around each other in true Bedouin fashi o n. "Now they're baiting and powwowing," breathed Phil Winston. "By jove, it's soon over, tho u gh! See those scouts turn and wave thei r guns And gracious!. What's up now?" Phil and his companions were gasping With migh ty good cause, too, seemingly For suddenly the score and a half o f horsemen at the head of the caravan were moving swiftly forward to join the scouts 'fSee that one chap shoot ahead on his horse-the sheik, the chief!" throbbed Phil. "By thunder, they're wheel ing this way, coming on at a gallop-and spreading out as if for a charge!" A charge, inpeed. For now the fast moving body of Arab horsemen, after brandishing their lowered the muzzles and :firedstraight at the Americans. "We're out of range yet," throbbed young Winston. "But, by crackey! we won't be in three minutes morel They mean murder!" Firing and yelling, the Bedouin cavalry of the deser t f

10 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. "Get the padlocks off as quick as we can," cried Phil. They had them off in a jiffy "Catch, Prof. !" thrilled Winston, tossing an obj ect through the air. It fell upon the sand, but Briggs quickly had the article in his hands It was about as neat an automatic g u n as a maker of firearms turned out. "Cartridges!" clicked Winston, racing up and pressing a box into his old teacher's He and Vance were provided with similar automatic guns. even than cavalry carbines, and weighing not more than six pounds each, these little rifles were deadly and perfeCt as a means of defence Down in the rather bulky stock each of these automatics carried twenty-five small cartridges. Small though the cartridges were, they had s topping power" and carried iurther than the cartridges of the United States army. Click! click! click! These three Americans, the onl y o nes of thefr kind out on the great, vast desert, and de pending only upon themselves for their safety, s lipped the clips of cartridges rapidly into magazines "Open up at once, and for business!" cried Pl1il. "Kill at the first shots?" the professor. "Bring 4own horses! Don't hit men, if you can help it!" commanded young Winston "Don t waste any shots, e ither Not one of the three paid any heed to his abandoned horse now. These creatures, Wholly used to the strange life of the desert, were standing still, awaiting the pleasure of thei r riders. It was not a volley that rang out from the automatic r ifles The noise couldn't be compared to that: It was more like a series of small sputters. The Americans, dropping to their knees, fired a few shots apiece as rapidly as they coul

THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 11 "Then you suspected us, excellency?" quizzed the Arab, gravely. HWe did not know what to think, oh noble sneik." "I declare to your excellency that we do not seek to harm you." ''That is well," Phil smiled, coolly, "for, if you sought to harm us, most noble sheik, we have weapons that would lay your caravan low.11 "I have never seen the like of such weapons," went on the Arab, curiously, as he dismounted. "May I look at one?" ''Our nob!e brother will pardon us if we do not let him take one in his own ha:ads," rejoined Phil, drawing back a couple of steps Bowing, gravely, the sheik stood where he was, though his gaze still rested on the weapon in hands. "What manner of caravan is yours?'' questioned our hero. "A slave caravan, bound through to Tifiis, Persia," came the unexpected answer. All three of the Americans made theht surprif?e and disgust plain in an instant. "Then that trade still floulishes in Arabia?" gasped Phil. l "Infamous?" asked the Arab, in amazement. "I do not understand your excellency's word.'' "It doesn't matter," our hero retorted ; drily. Then he glanced swiftly at Vance, a new idea popping into our hero's mind. "My noble brother, the sheik, "knows that we could de stroy many and camels of the caravan, if we chose?" "And slaves, too, perhaps," admitted the sheik, scowl ing darkly. "Then you would be willing to do us a slight service in return for kindness from us?" young Winston. "What is it that your excellency wail ts?" "Does my brother, the sheik, know one Bojee ?'' "I know the man your excellency m1mes." "You have many times as many men as Bojee, nobl e sheik. If we agree not to fire upon your horses and camels will you, in turn, agn,e to bring Bojee here-and alive?" HNow, what is in yo-ur excellency's mind?" dentand ed the A1'ab, suspiciously. "Bojee was om' se11vant, and has played us a scmvy trick. We would punish him-that 'is all. And you will be good enough to bring Bojee here?" 1 Punish him ? How ?" demanded the sheik. "With the bastinado, as the fellow richly deserves,'' Phil explained, as coolly as a Bedouin could have spoken. The sheik deliberated, scowling. Yet he was at the mercy of these Americans. They had already satisfied him tha4 with their rapid-ffring rifles of great range, they co1:1.ld destroy most of his horses and perhaps many human beings-ere his own followers could get within battle range with their own old-fashioned muskets. ''You shall have Bojee;" said the sheik, curtly, at last. "Good enough! We'll wait for you here,ll SII).iled Phil. "But do not allow any of your caravan to move back, or we shall feel that you do not trust us.'' His eyes blazing, this sheik of the slave caravan rode off at a swift gallop. Half a mile away, he was seen to beckon some of his men. Then a score of the slave caravan's Bedouins went iiCurrying over toward the oasis. "Now, Prof.," cried Phil, exultantly, "kindly give the telescope a swirl that will make Bojee's emotions plain to us. For I'm thinking htt's up against the of his desert life." "Here you are-and the rascal's well focussed,'' announced Briggs, a few moments later. / Grinning, Phil stepped to the eye-piece of the seven foot telescope. Those powerfu1 lenses not only showed Bojee at close range, but much of the oasis around him as well. Their late chief of escort, s tanding sorrowfully beside the wounded horse that he had been compelled to kill, atood curiously awaiting-the coming of the slave sheik. "They're meeting," reported Phil, watching with huge enjoyment "Whee! isn t Bojee making a fine bow, though? And our sheik and his men-gracious Three of 'em have jumped off and are seizing the wretch. By ginger! I'd like to hear what he's saying now. And his own men don't dare interfere-or, at least, don't think it wise to." A minute later Phil reported, gleefully: "Here comes Bojee on foot and an escort of the slavers behind him to see that he comes straight." On carrie the party of mounted men, driving the petty !lheik before them. "I wonder if Bojee knows yet what he''3 up against," grinned Vance. 1'Are you going to let that whole Arab escort come up with him?" asked the professor, uneasily. "Of course not," clicked Phil. "Try a shot, please, Prof., and see if you can bring down a horse as a hint." Within :fifteen seconds one of the Arab horses toppled. Bojee's escort came to an instant halt. There was a hul'l'ied consultation. Then on came the slave sheik, alone, mounted -and armed, his men :teturning toward their own caravan. And even this sheik, as he came nearer, held his rifle aloft as a signal to the Americans, then dropped the gun to the sands and rode on without a rifle. near enough for you!" called Phil, as soon as the two sheiks were within hailing distance. "Let Bojee come on alone, while you dismount and stay where you are." ,,,.. "Hold on!" quivered Vance. "You want the big sheik to apply the bastinado to the soles of the little "Vance Carroll, you're a genius!" throbbed our hero, delightedly. "Of course that's the scheme-the only one in sight!"


12 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. So, in a twinkling, the late order was changed, and now both Arabs came forward, though the slaver left his musket 'the sands behind him. Bojee's manner was dignified but polite. "What does your excellency wish of me?" he asked of Phil. "Down on the sand with you!" Phil retorted, coolly. Bojee drew back, a flush mounting to his forehead. "Down with you i" insisted . "For what purpose, excellency?" "That you shall soon find. Down with you, unless you want to see two caravans destroyed." "Your princely excellency must not forget that I am a sheik," cried the fellow. "If you are another second in falling on your face," I threatened our hero, raising his automafa:, then you wjJ.l lose one of your camels. is by the camel that a I!lan's wealth is measured in Arabia. Bojee, not being a rich man, snorted, then threw him self forward on his face. "As for you, sir," ordered Phil, turning to the slaver, "tie the fellow's bands." 1 "I? A sheik!" retorted the fellow, indignantly "Tie the fellow's hands unless you want to lose at once two or three of your camels." Thereupon, the slaver got down upon his knees. With his own turban he tied Bojee's hands behind his back. "Now, take off the fellow's shoes," Phil insisted, calmly. "But what--" began slaver, starting. "Take the sandals off," repeated Phil, more sharply, reaching back for the stick that Vance brought to him. "Now, sheik, take this cudgel and rgive the fellow the bastinado in the shortest time you can!" The slaver's iace showed 11im to be in open revolt. "Vance/' murmured Phil, "take a straight sight at the nearest camel in the slave caravan. If I give the word, shoot-and don't miss!" "Now, then," Phil roared, "the bastinado !" Bojee did not appeal for mercy. After a moment's doubtful pause the slaver seized up the cudgel. Slap It was a feeble blow of the stick that landed on the bare soles of Bojee's feet, which the professor had just bound together. "Harder. !" commanded Winston, irritably "If you don't do it hard enough, doWn. you go yourself, sheik, and take the bastinado, too!" Though the slaver's eyes flashed fire, he now obeyed by on the cudgel with a force that made prostrate Bojee grate his. teeth. "Harder!" quivered Phil, stamping his feet. "Harder!" Then did Bojee get all that was due him. The slaver's hardest blows tormented the prostrate one's soles until our hero had counted twenty-five blows. "Stop!" requested our hero "That's. enough 1" "Too many, you shall find!" hissed Bojee. "Give me that stick," requested our hero, turning curi ously white. Poising the cudgel, he stood over his late chief of escort. "Bojee, you cannot talk to me like that. Now, I lay on the bastinado myself. Nor shall I stop until you ask for mercy. If my arms tire before your feet do, then one of my friends will take up the good wo. rk. Now, re member l You must beg for mercy before you get it!" Chug chug sounded the cudgel, rising and falling in perfect time Nor did Phil count or pause, but went on laying on the stick until at last Bojee, frothing at the mouth, moaned: "Mercy!" "Dp you heg for it?" demanded Phil, pausing with the stick "I beg, most generous prince!" "You will never threaten again?" "Never, excelle:q_cy !" "Nor try to work me any harm?" "Never!" "Bq_jee, I think I shall need your oath for that," an nounced Phil, deliberating. "Then, excellency, I swear by the winds that I shall be your faithful dog from this hour "That oath won't do." '-._ "By the woods, then, I swear!" "'r;hat won't dG, either. Bojee, swear by the honor of the Arabs!" The slaver started. This is the strongest oath that can be required of a Bedouin. 1 Bojee, too, hesitated. "More of the bastinado, the," asserted Phil, co9lly "No, no, excellency, By the honor of the Arabs, I swear!" "Never to be my foe again?" "Never to be yom: foe again, most generous prince!" "You can set him free," nodded Phil, turning to the sheik of the slavers. Bojee limped sadly as he got upon his feet. Hobbling, he stood there as if awaiting further orders. "Excellency," he said, at last, "you shall find your camp ready when you are pleased to ride over to it." "Humph!" snorted Ppil. "Do you imagine, fellow, that I'm going to trust you around my camp again. Begone with you! But leave the came ls and both the tents. When I return to the coast I will settle with you." "Does his excellency no longer desire his servant?" whined Bojee. "Nothing to cY> with you," Phil uttered. "Be gone, but leave the tents, the supplies and the camels. Try any tricks on us, and you shall pay for theni thrice over. Now, why do you hesitate? Be gone, I tell you!" Bojee hesitated no longer, but turned and went hobbling off over tre hot sand. "It'll take him half an hour to go less than half a mile," uttered Vance. But Phil did not hear. He bad turned, suddenly, to


, THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 13 stare at a figure 0n that had left the slave cara van at a flying gallop. Behind that one horse and rider rode a dozen Arabs, shouting and firing their rifles in the air. "Professor," quivered our hero, "turn your telescope on that outfit and see what it's all about." Rapidly Briggs swung the tube around. "Why, bless me, bless me!" trembled the professor. "As I live it's a white girl who rides that leading horse!" "A white girl-on the Arabian desert?" blurted Phil Winston in wonder. "By the Prophet's beard, my white slave girl!" throbbed the slave sheik, straightening up and peering w,ith one hand sbadii;ig bis eyes. "Oh, but my fleet horsemen will catch her!" 1 "Will they?" demanded Phil Winston, hotly. CHAPTER V. THE FLIGHT OF THE WHITE SLAVE. HWatch the sheik!" ordered Phil, himself lowering his weapon and starting out over the desert on a run. Girl and rescuer met. She was dressed all in white, in a single loose, :flowing robe, the garment of Arabia. Around her head was a band of white. From behind a thick handkerchief fell down over her and shoulders. From the front of the band depended a heavy white veil. But this the young rider had thrown back some time before and she now reined in a score of feet from :Phil Winston. "Whew!" gasped the boy. For he found himself staring, almost fascinated, at a wonderfully lovely face-the face of a white girl of the purest, highest type-the face of a European or an Ameri can. "Parlez-vo-qs francais ?" she cried, tremulously. French, eh? Phil shook his head. "Only English and a little Arabic," he replied, in the latter tongue. "Oh, then, we shall understand each other," smiled the girl, and the witching gleam in those pretty eyes set Phil'.s pulses to fluttering. "You are English?" "They'll catch her, will they?" panted Phil again, sink"N 0 ; American." ing to one knee. "Professor, be good enough to keep "Ah! But that is better!" she cried, laughingly. "I your eye on the sheik! Vance, help me get a sight on gathered from what the Bedouins around me said that you those pursuing horses!" were white men. That was enough to make me feel that I "What would you do, you dogs of infidels?" cried the1 should make no mistake in trying a dash for life." slaver, his eyes blazing. "You haven't mMe any mistake," Phil declared, But Professor Briggs turned one of the automatic carpromptly. "You have found three Americans who will bines on the dusky fellow, and he drew back, hesitating. protect you with their lives. Not that I know how far "Do?" echoed Phil. "We're going to shut off the pur-that will go against all Arabia," he added, wistfully. suit of that white girl." "I have brought great danger to you!" cried the 0girl, "But she's a slave!" quavered the sheik. "My propher eyes :filling. erty." She had spoken coolly so far, but now her lips trembled. "If she's a white girl, she's no man's property!" rang From head to foot she trembled, and now the storm Phil's voice. "Blaze away, Vance! Try to shoot a horse broke. at a time until they stop the pursuit. Don't hit the girl!" "You can hardly keep in saddle, you are so Spit! spit! went the automatics. With ten shots or so hinted Phil. "Here, let me help you down to the ground, three of the foremost horses in the chase dropped. where 'my arm can serve you.''. The slave sheik, held back by the treacherous-looking She thrust out one daintily-booted little foot for him muzzle of the professor's weapon, yet cried out: to take. "Stop This is a savage crime-to rob me of my "Boots, eh?" murmured the boy. "And those came slave!" Paris, I'll wager. Then you've not been long with "It's a worse crime to have a slave_:especially a white slave!" Phil ripped back. But he and Vance had stopped sho 1 oting for the very simple reason that the pursuers had halted. But the fugitive girl seemed to know where to look for friends on that vast desert. She turned her horse's head straight toward the Ameri can party, riding with the skill of an accomplished horsewoman. "My most precious slave-fit, even for the Emir him self!" murmured the shocked slaver, aloud. "Oh, these are wild, wrong doings for the desert!" that infernal slaver?" "But four days," replied the girl, asPhil helped her down and caught her in his arms. "Oh, it is a terrible story, but I shall tell it all to you soon. Just no\v all I can do is to realize that, I am free-for an hour, at least!" Phil took the bridle of her horse with one hand, reach ing out his other arm for her to lean on. In this fashion they returned to the waiting the slave sheik glaring on with eyes that spoke danger. "Mademoiselle," whispered Phil, in her ear, "if you will favor me with your name-" "Oh, how stupid of me! Well, then, my brave Ameri-'


, 14 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. ciaii, let IDe present to you the Mademoiselle Ermi Dau vannes." "And I am Philip Winston, very much and devotedly at your service-to the death, if need be, ii the boy replied seriously. upon. Vance could not remove his gaze. The professor, who had remained a bachelor all his life, was now g&zing covertly but wonderingly at that lovely, fresh young face. "You are arranging to buy me?" she asked, making laughing pout as Phil came back. Now he :introduced, to her Vance and the professor. "And what beco:ines of my property?" demanded scowling slaver "Yes, mam'selle; but not with a notion that any s"Qffi the price could be set," laughed the boy, "Awl with no notion that I own what I buy." "Sheik, I win speak with you oneside, if yo11 are read..y," Phil returned. The sheik moving asi:de, Phil followed out of ear-shot of the gkl. "At what did you value your slave, man?" demanded the boy. "At eight hundred of the golden sovereigns of the lishmen," replied the fellow, without hesitating. Four thousa:nd dollars Winston beg1m to get a :Pigher idea of the cost of slaves in Arabia. But he auswered at once i "It is not too much. The young w-0man is of my own white race. I wiU purchase her freedom from you." "You carry that :much money in the desert?" cl,'ied the slaver, his eyes gleaming curiously. "Oh, no; but I will write you a bill of exchange, and will hand the money to you, or to whomever you :i:iame, when I return to the coast." This did not ca,use the sheik any uneas1ness or doubt. All white travelers are supposed, in Arabia, to posse s s wealth without limit. "And I sha.11 want another of your slaves," Phil w ent on, coolly. "A w?man of middle age to wait upon thi1> young Frenchwoman." do not know that I have such another slave as you would want," hesitated the slaver. "Your caravan doesn't move on until yo :fi.l\d o:ne," Phil snapped back. "Then I shall do my best, ex cellency. In fact, if you allow it, I will ride back to the caravan myself." "Good enough," nodded Phil; then added, drily: "But of course no will be made to move the caravan until you have brought back another slave." "Nor until I have the bill of exchange ip payment for this, my most valuable slave-the girl whom I had hoped to sell to the Emir himself," replied the sheik, with an other peculiar gleam of his eyes. Then, as the sheik regained his horse and rode back to his -caravan, Phil returned to look well at Mam'selle Ermi. Well worth the trouble of looking at was this captivat ing French girl. She was a blonde of the purest type, a type that is fasci nating to the dark-skinned Arabs. Not more than sixteen and sleight, yet rounded and moulded like a bit of rare Mam'selle Ermi look ed, at one moment, the child, and then, 1't the next in stant, the woman. But either as child or woman she was bea1,ltiful to gnze "And at what value am I held?" she demanded, turn ing serious again. Phil named the price. "Mon dieu I am not sure that my friends can repiiy yo." "It will :i:iot be necessary for them to/' the boy answer ed, adding under his breath: "If it were a ql\1Jstion of trade, l couldn't sell such a rare prize." "But y ou mu s t be both very rich and very gr:acious !" cried Mam 's elle Ermi, wonderingly. "You are a white woman. That is enough for me," Phil answered simply. "Are there any other white wo men in tha t caravan?" another f'It is hot here in the sun," Vanee, thought fully, "Bojee has nearly r\jaohed the c:nnp now, Why not follow him?" While Vance and the professor caught the Phil assisted Ermi to mount again, Now as the y started for the oasis, Mum' s elle Ermi, as a matter of cour se pulled her horse in at ?hil'a right ha.nd find rode with him. l!e r story was simple enogh, She waa the daughter of a poor French physician, surgeon to one of the French Oriental steamers. On th e last trip she had been permitted to travel with her father. Ashore at one of the Arabian towns hardly more thilil a week before, Ermi's beauty had been observed. A street fight, in which the girl had been separ;i.ted from h e r father, and then she was hustled away to a s ecr e t slave mart. Four day s before s he had been purcha.sed by th\:l sheik of this caravan, a fellow named Gabban. "And nqw my government mu s t be making a pretty fu s s about my abduction!" glowed the girl. "But poor papa I wish he could know how safe I am at this mo m ent!" Safe? Phil realized, with a wrench at the heartstrings, that he was not so sure of that. The y were out on the great desert, with all Arabia against them Bojee and his men, according to orders, left the camel s and camp equipment behind as they saw the American party approaching. The tents were up, and all was ready. Phil, helping Mam1selle Ermi down the saddle,


THE KEG O F D IAMO NDS. 11 led her to the better of the two tents, bowing low before her as they r eached the door and he signed to her to enter the tent. "This must be you:r home until we can reach the coast, mam's e lle," he informed her. "Soon, I the Sheik Gabban will be here with the s lave woman who is to at tend to your wants until you are s afe with your friends once more. In the meantime, a,s always, command us "A woman to attend m e ?" cried turning and showing a smiling, d e light e d face.. "Yo u think of e'ler y thing Oh, if it were not for papa I hardly think I should be in a hurry to leave this desert that ha s bec ome s o friendly Gabban quickly arriv e d now. H e brou ght with him, on a. came l, an almo s t coal-bla c k s lave a Somali from the northern coast of A fri c a ..... Ermi looke d approvin gly ove r this atte ndant. A bargain was quickl y s tru c k now, the price for Ermi's horse, for Phil was not dispose d to ha gg le He s i g ned the bill <>f exch a n ge afte r the professor hacl drawn it up in Arabi c and Gabban accepte d it, thou g h not without a strange h in hi s eyes ancl a lon ging look to ward the captivatin g Fre n c h g irl. The n, as Gabba u r o d e awa:\\ and Phil and hi s friend s stood looking after the s lav e r, Win s ton turn e d to hi s chun 1 with a smile "If Gabban tries to cas h that bill of exc han g e before we g e t back to the coas t, h e' ll be m a d, Vance!" "If he ha

16 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. "Do we hive to throw ourselves on our faces before the Emir?" wondered Vance, aloud. "Nothing of the s ort," the professor informed them. "The Arabian Emfr, while a great official and possessing great authority, i s yet a v e ry plain man among the Arabs, and any man may approach him if he does it respectfully. The Emir wears no robes or badge of authority. You will find him plain e nough in every way, just like an American Governor." And now the Emir's party rode up on some superb animals. There could be no mi s taking who_ was the Emir. He rode at the head of his party of armed horsemen, easily most distinguished man that the boys had seen in Arabia. Not until they had reached the tents did the Arabs pull rein, and then they stopped their animals with a sudden ness that would have unseated poor riders. Phil's gaze was fas tened on the mighty Emir. He was a man of from thirty-five to thirty-eight, s traight as a mast and more than s ix feet tall. His skin was dusky, yet by no means black. His fea faues were well-shaped and strong. His jaws had a firm set to tbeni, which yet qid not destroy a mild, courteous smile that his face usually wore. This was Ali Abba,' all except for his coal-black eyes, which had an inten sely expression whenever he loqked.intently at one. His garb was the usual loose, long white robe, with the .feel morocco slippers and the headband with white cloth trailing behind over his neck. "I rather like his looks," Phil murmured to hi chum. Then Phil Winston went forward as one of the Emir's men helped official to dismount. "If this i s the Emir, His Excellency, Ali Abba," began Phil, using the words that the professor had taught him, "then His Excellency's servant bids the Emir welcome to this poor camp." "You are the leader -here, then?" asked the Emir, brief ly, as he turned upon our hero. "Even your excellency. Will you allow me to show you the way to our poor tent?" The Emir followed into the tent, accompanied by three of his men. He courteously took the seat that our hero offered him, the best there was, on a box. "What do you in thi s desert ours?" asked the Emir, crisply. "We are but a scientist-a wise man-and two stu dents," Phil have come that we may view the stars from this desert." "And you are one of the wise man's two students?" quizzed the Emir, glancing :flashingly at our hero. "Yes, your excellency," Phil answered promptly. "Then, boy, how happens it that you are the leader here? Why does not the man lead his students?" This was a poser, and a hard one that young Winston I had not expected. But he had to rise to the 0ccasion, and at once. r'Good boy!" throbbed admiring Vance, under his breath. "How far you journey?" asked the Emir next. "Perhaps sixty miles further." "And then--" "Then, your excellency, we study the stars for a few nights." That sounded wholly reasonable and sensible, for the Arabs themselves are constan t observers of the stars, though they do not possess telescopes. "Will your wise man mak.e me welcome, too, if I desire to study the stars with him?" asked the Emir, looking sharply at our hero. This was the last thing on earth that Winston had ex pected or wari.ted. Yet there could be but one answer: "If his excellency, the Emir, the great Ali Abba, honor us with his company, we shall then be happy indeed." "Say," choked Vance under his breath, "I never knew Phil was such an expert liar!" The Emir's face was as grave as ever as he replied: "Perhaps, then, the wise one and yourselves will see me again befpre we leave the desert," announced the Emir. "G:ood Lord, I hope not!" gasped Phil, under his breath, but what he said aloud was just the opposite. Then, still looking at our hero searchingly, the Emir shot out: "I have reports that you strangers have slain many horses and camels out here on the desert." "Only when it was neeessary, your excellency," Phil returned, uneasily, for there was an accusing look in the governor's still mild eyes. "But, your excellency, when men ride at us, firing their gu:s, and leading us to believe that we are in danger, is it not right that we ghould .stop them by shooting their Jiorses and camels?" "Horses ;md camels are the wealth of Arabia," re sponded Ali Abba, drily. "But we not defend ourselves, your excellency?" insisted the boy, respectfully. "Undoubtedly, if you were really in peril," rejoined Ali Abba. "But into that I can inquire when we meet again,." "Meet again?" quivered Winston to himself. "That's the very thing that I hope won't happen." ((See if my caravan is approaching;' requested Ali Abba, turning to one of his followers. "It is, illustrious one," replied the Arab, coming back. Then to the professor the Emir turned, saying: "In Arabia we know how to esteem wise men. Arabia was once the seat of nearly .all the world's learning. So I have brought some more camels, more carpp equipage and a dozen good men who will serve you as long as you remain on the desert." Professor Briggs's face was a study. Men of the Emir's were the last kind or people that


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. these Americans wanted around them '1t the Oasis of Ringmur. "Your excellency does us too much honor," stammered the poor professor. "Why?" demanded Ali Abba, fixing his intense gaze on the face of the professor. "We are not of consequence enough," stammered the professor. "All wise men are of consequence," replied the Emir, gravely. "And I cannot even think of permitting you to go out on the desert without a suitable guard. I would sooner, even, forbid your expedition, disagreeable as that would be for me." "We are honored, indeed, your excellency," cried Phil, jumping into the breach. "And thank you most heartily." But to himself the boy added: "We'll have ,to do some bully good thinking in the next two days to decide how to get rid of the escort." "And now I must not detain you, since --you have so far to go on your journey," went on the governor, gravely, and rising. He moved toward the door, followed by Phil, who was profuse in his "thanks" for all the honor showed them by the illustrious governor of the district. Espying the other tent, the Emir walked gravely to it, thrust the flap, looked in, then entered. Ermi, catching sight of the official, uttered a short little scream, then tried 'to cover her face. "Where did yo-q get such a beautiful woman?" asked the Emir, turning to Phil. "She is of our party," stammered Phil, growing hot and cold when he saw what admiring eyes this governor was turning upon the handsome girl. "A slave, was she not?" asked Ali Abba, quietly. It seemed tha.t he must know all about the affsir, so Phil answered truthfully. "I will buy her from you," hinted the Emir. "Oh, your excellency," cried Phil, his knees threaten ing to give way beneath him, "I beg you not to speak of it." "You do not care to part with your slave?" demanded the governor, gravely. "It would be the .loss of the greatest treasure I have," prot ested poor Winston. "Then we will speak of it later, as of some other mat ters," replied t1rn Emir, in that same ominous way. He stepped out of the tent now, hugely to our hero's relief, and signed for his horse to be brought up. The Emir's caravan had just come up. Four camels and a dozen mounted men he ordered de tached from the caravan and left "at the orders," as he phrased it, of the strangers "You will find Hassan an. excellent and trusty lieu tenant," observed Ali Abba, indicating the leader of this dozen. They were a mixed lot, these new guards, none of them pure Arab, and most of them very black. But now the Emir was going, striking off to the south of them, while the way of our friends led westward. Left by themselves, our three friends stepped back into their tent, then stood looking at each other . "Up against it!" quavered Vance Carroll. "Not a move can we make, except under the eyes of the Emir's men." "It's the only way we can go," declared Phil. "So we've simply got to make the best of it. As we travel, we'll think out our plans. We may-we must-find a way to beat the game! We' ll do it, too-never fear. Yankee wits weren't made to be fooled by Arab trickery!" With so many men at their orders a start was made almost at once. Nightfall found our travelers at anotlier oasis, with camp pitched for the night. "We've got to mount guard among ourselves, just as before," Phil whispered to his comrades. "Both for Ermi's sake and our own!" "But Hassan and his fellows may take offence," ob jected the professor, uneasily. "They don't need to know that we've got a guard We'll stay in our tent at night, but one of us must remain always awake during his trick at watching." Two hours after sunset our friends retired. It was Phil's first trick at inner sentry duty. He sat on the edge of his cot, wide awake, with his automatic handy for in stant use. At eleven o'clock he called the professor softly for a two hours' tour of duty. Briggs rous!)d drowsily, then rose and sat on the edge of his cot. Outside one. of Hassan's men patrolled softly as sent ry. But still another of Hassan's men was asthon this quiet night. He was a fellow wholly and utterly coal-black-in seem ing. But his face was colored artificially, for, beneath the stain was the face of Twice this fellow stole to the tent-door -towards mid night. At the second peep Bojee was just in time to see Briggs nod, then roll over on to his cot. Swish! Out :flashed steel, as Bojee softly lifted the flap of the tent. Ph11 and Vance were breathing heavily, the professor snoring. "No truer words were ever spoken/' grated Bojee to himself, as he crept forward, "than the saying that an Arab never forgets! This dog of an infidel had me basti nadoed-I, a sheik! I have not forgotten!" With knife raised, the assa.ssin crept ;forward until he leaned over our s leeping hero.


118 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS . CHAPT:u.JR VII. Phil's automatic rifle sent out a fine, bright flash, and a fine, bright splash showed on prostrate Bojee's forehead. The fellow lay still n'ow, his nerveless fingers falling WREN ARA.BS SULK, BEW ARE! away from the butt of the half-drawn pistol. Life was over for Bojee. "Mon dieu I Monsieur Phil!" "You've killed one of our comrades!" cried the Arab Mam'selle Ermi's scryam of terror rang through the sentry, turning his own rifle on Phil. tent-through the camp. / Crack! That Arab gun went off, but the bullet went "It is murder I" screamed the French girl, as she saw harmlessly into the air, for once more Vance Carroll, with flying forms in the tent. his great presence of mind, had been on the right spot at For, at first sound, the dozing professor had risen. the right moment, and had struck the muzzle of the gun Seeing the Arabian-clad figure in the tent, he had up into the air leaped for it. But now the whole camp was astir. Watchful Hassan As fol' Phil, sleeping uneasily in that second, he had came running from the tent which he shared with his men. awakened just in time to see the flash of the descending "What has been flonc here?" he demanded, angrily. knife. "I've s hot one of :your men wbo prO'Wled in our tent There was but one thing to do-to wrench himsel side with a knife, and who tried to harm the younl lady," ways and fall off to the floor between the and the wall. Phil replied, drily, as he straig htened up. And here his hand closed over 11is automatic rifle. He held Errni by the hand after rai s ing her . Professor Brig gs, leapin g to seize the fe llow was con"This is a s trange tale," retorted Hassan, sulkily. fronted by the wheeling, whirling Bojee. "What would one of my m e n be doing in your tent?" Flash! 'l'he steel would have sunk in the professor's But Phil, who had turned to look down with a sh udd er chest, but Vance Carroll was up and doing. at the man whom he had found it n ecessary to kill, sud-He caught at Bojee 's wri s t, and then ensued a fierce, denly bent over the fellow and rubbed his fingers over the wr enching struggle. face. "Throw him down!" gruffed the professor, himself Some of the black came off. seizing Bojee from behind. "I understand," commented the boy, drily. "Wttsh this But in that brief twinkling of concentrated action the wretch 's face until all the black is off, and underneath you powerful Arab wrenched himself free of both' of them. will the face Bojee, the rogue whom I had to bastiThe angry Arab's gaze was on frightened Ermi now. nado. He was in my tent after revenge." She still stood in the doorW?-Y of the tent, quaking, "A strange tale," Hassan insisted, sullenly . shaking. The other Bedouins had gathered around, looking on in With, a cry like that of a wild beast, Bojee, his eyes scowling silence glaring with hatred, leaped forward tip strike the long, Vance, taking a hint f rom it all, nudged the professor, slim steel into the girl. and both stepped back into the doorway of their tent, from It was Phil, leaping around the end of the cot, who whence they could use their automatics with greater ease stopped him. if it becan;_e necessary. Bill'! smash "The Emir will not like this," declared Hassan, coldly. In grand old American style Phil Winston's left fist shot But Phil was ready with his retort. out, catching Bojee under the jaw and sending him spin"Won't like it?" he echoed. "Of course he won't! ning. He'll be angry enough at finding that one of his guards Yet, in pitching headlong through the doorway of the tried to murder me. But his excellency was not at fault, tent, the fellow caught at the girl, carrying her out and Hassan. Neither are you. You did not know that you down to !he ground with him, though they fell three or had such a rogue among your nien." four feet apart. "But you do not seem to understand," retorted the Roused by all the commotion, the Arab sentry of the li eutenant, in cold anger. "You, a dog of an infidel, have camp came rushing to the scene his rifle lowered ready to dared to kill a true follower of the Prophet." shoot. The Arabs murmured wrathfully. But Phil, as he leaped through the door of the tent, They would have followed Hassan's lead in an instant, had eyes only for Bojee. wiping out the strange rs. 'rhaf scoundrel ; whom our h ero still failed to recognize But again -Phil was ready: under that thick coat of black that was over his features, "Now, Hassan/' he cried, turning blazing eyes on the was reaching into his blouse for a weapon. fellow, "you are a wretch yourself, since you have dared Swift as a fl.ash the Arab lrnd part of it out-the silver-to call his excellency's guest a If you open your mounted butt of a pistol. mouth again I will kill }'OU on the spot, as I did Bojee There was but barely time to save Ermi. Begone! Dare not speak to me again until you have re-


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. li fleeted and r e pented. In the mornip.g I may :permit you to ask my pardon." Hassan recoiled before this unexpected defia nce. Nor was the fellow qt1ite sure to just what extent the Americans might be the favored guests 0 the Emir, Hassan had his orders, to be sure, but those orders did not cover this present case. ''And begone, the rest .-i you,11 added young Winston, in a milder voice, as he turned to the otlier sullen Bedouins. "Since you have not shared Has. san's impudence to me, I do not hold you guilty as yet. l3ut begone, and carry that carcass with you." Sheer bluff and the determination to master carried the situation for the moment. -Yet there could be no telling how long would last. "Mam'selle Ermi," whispered the boy, aa the Arabs turned and departed, "how on eaTth diq you happen to see and give the alarm?" "I CO\lld J\Ot sleep. I was une asy. I knew not what about. '.But I looked oi1t of n1y tent a&nd I saw tbt fearful Wfetch stealing close to your door. Not knowing what was wrong, iind not wis hing to make trouble I fol lowed softly in my bare feet, And then--" The, thot1gh still serving the Americaps, were s\llkier than ever by late afternoon 0 the followi:ng d11y. That was when the expeclition reached the Qf the Oasis 0 Ringmur-the hiding place of the kegful of marvellous diamonds CHAPTER VIII. IN THE BLAZE OF GLORY I The Oasis 0 RingJP.t1r covered perhaps fl. half fl. square mile. In the desert an oasis is a spot at which th\']re is one or more wells of water. On account of the water, there are also grass ancl trees. Hence the traveler must seek O\lt oases when crosiiing the desert. Here he will find water for himself and beasts, and grass as well for the animals. Here, also, in Arabia, he will usually find dates to help out his ob larder. Within a :mile and a half 0 Ringmur another and much smaller oasis. "The rest I know, or can guess," nodded Winston, "And now no mo 1 &n t 1 t I 11 th In all, within sight, there were five oases peal' E.ingmur. re s evl' or me o-mg 1 sna wa c ot1tside yo.ur tent, mam selle Sleep soundly, for you will '?n olden times, there must have a m\lch be well O"Uarded." 1 fertile spot," declared the professor, looking l\.fOUnd him "It all my fault," groaned the professor. "I was with keen . "There may have. been a tribe, or so stupid that I could not keep awake." even a fioUTishrng city here at one. time, or "With Bojee in the camp; it had to come some time," of ago. But now this country is pretty Phil rejoined. "I'm glad it oame whe:u it did, since it we,:l d:ried out.. . ,, turned out well." Are you gomg to dig for the keg to-:rught? whlspereq "The pr. ofesso.r can get his sleep, anyway," smiled Vance. "The one on guard' outside Mam'selle Ermi's tent can watch over both tents. And call me for the second trick, before daylight, Phil. I won't s leep on guard." "I don't believe I ever shall again," muttered the mor tified wise one. As Phil walked softly back and forth before the qoor of the girl's tent he noted that the Arab sentry was no lon ger on his beat around the camp. Instead, all of the Arabs had 1gathered in Hassan's tent. There they were sulkily discus s ing the slaying 0 a com rade by a stranger, who was also an infidel. The fellows were still Sl:llky the morning, though they attempted no open insolence. "They're going to mak e trouble," predicted Professor Briggs, uneasily, as he watch e d the dusky men moving about their camp tasks before breakfast that moming. "Then perhaps they'll be up against some trouble, too," smiled back Vance Carroll. "When it comes either to making trouble or meeting it, Phil Winston has a rare knack of his own, professor." "' "Bl1t one boy can't beat &11 Arabia," sighed Briggs to himself. Vance. "'Yes," nodded Phil. "Delay wowd be apout the worst thing possible for us." "I wish these infernal Ar11bs were a thousand miles from here !2' gritted Vance. "They're not going to stay here," retort\'ld Phil. "l've settled that in my own mind. B-t, that, M get our tents \lp." "And I will Ci.Ill two 0 them to help we 11npack the telescope," observed the professor. "Sure thing," 11odded Phil. "That fake fa absol\ltely nece ssa ry, if we are to do any fooling at all." So the professor got busy wiil\ his owl\ pet instrument. Vance stood by to direct the erecting of their tent and of the one that Ermi and her woman -used. Phil, in the me1.1ntime, still in saddle, a:Ad with his automatic hangi11g from the saddle handy tct his right hand, rode over the eastern end of what was left of the Oasis of Ringmur. The grass here was scant; there were but few date palms. Even the well that had been here or hundreds, of years was now almost dry and filled on top with souin and dead flies. At the far western end of the oasis were the J,'uins of several ancient hi,rildings.


.. 20 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. Here at this eastern end stood only the ruined gateway "We may be able to defend ourselves here, lad, but we of what must have been once a splendid palace belonging can never cross the desert in the face of hundreds of to the ealiphs or rulers of J okwat. enemies. On this oasis we are as tightly bottled up as if All of walls and foundations beyond the gateway we were behind bars. We may find the keg, we may find had crumbled into white dust long ago. it to be as full of costly gems as your uncle stated, but we Even this remnant of gateway looked as one good shall never reach the coast now with our plunder." cyclone would settle it for good and all. "One croak at a time, please, dear old Prof.," laughed But Phil did not dare remain too long by this gateway, the boy. "We haven't even the keg yet, and this for it was within ten feet of that structure that he must may not be the right place to look for if. My, but Naga's dig to find the wonderful keg of diamonds. supper smells good!" "Hullo, I must stop that," mused boy, sharply, as So they went over to the shaded space between the he turned to see what Hassan's men were doing .now. tents where tQ.e folding table had been set up. They were unloading their own. big tent preparatory to Mam'selle Ermi, smiling as ever, and with two :flowers putting it up. that she h:id picked in her hair, was waiting to preside Hassan!" called oiir hero, sharply, as he rode down" over the table. upon the men. ''Well, excellency?" queried the lieutenant, sullenly. "Do not place your tent there." "Why nnt ?" "Is it for you to question me?" blazed Phil, reaching for the automatic. "You are not the Emir," sneered Hassan. "But I am here with servitors of the Emir's supply ing/' reto:Pted young Winston. "And as long as you serve me, you will also obey." "I may choose to do neither/' defied Hassan, his black eyes glowing like coals all of a. sudden. His sullen followers stopped work to watch what was happening. "Then, when you serve, you will be no longer here," announced Phil. "For two days you and your men have acted more like sullen scoundrels than like men whom your Emir had sent to serve us. So I will have no more of you here. Choose one of the other oases nearby, and go to it. All of you! Begone!" "Perhaps we shall have to learn who really is master 'here,'' snarled Hassan, all his Arab politeness fading as a cloak is cast aside. "Then let us learn at once,'' proposed Phil, coldly, rais ing the automatic and taking clear aim at the lieutenant's breast. "Tell me who is mastex. before I shoot!" Darkness came swiftly on as the meal was being :finished. The professor, lighting one of his inevitable cigars, strolled slowly toward the gateway. Phil, trying to restrain his wild eagerness to get at the work of the night, strolled over to the telescope, pretend ing to look through it. It stood pointed at the heavens. Vance peeped into the tent, His eager glarice fell upon a pick and shovel that had made the trip hidden in the portly telescope case. t Ermi fooked curiously a:fter the three Amerieans. She had never been told the real object of their expedi tion, nor had she even asked. Secure in the manly protection o:f these friends o:f the desert, she had been content with the friendship alone. N aga, stolid, silent, heavy woman of fifty or more, who seldom spoke, had gone off to her couch as soon as the work of the evening was done. "Erini," whispered our approaching the girl, who started at hearing the "mam'selle" dropped for the first time, "do you want to help us to-night?" "Oh, can I serve?" thrilled back the girl, clasping her hands in delight. "Your eyes are keen, Ermi. You can help us watch to night, since at least two of us must do other work than watch." Phil's voice rang so clear and unqisturbed, his eyes "Oh, I shall watch, then!" glowed the girl. "And I fl.ashed so much as they had done after1 the shooting of shall prove my eyes to be as sharp as you think them !" Bojee, that Hassan weakened. "If they were as b ight as they look just now," uttered "I see," he muttered, surlily, "that I shall have to wait Phil, his pulses throbbing as he looked at her, ''your eyes for the Emir to tell me who is master here." would light our every move and betray us to the Arabs.'' ".Wise man!" hailed Phil. "And, until the Emir "Oh, then there is mystery?" cried the French girl. told you, take your crew and go to another oasis!" "Some!" Phil returned, drily . Hassan turned away, conquered for the moment. "And romance?" He signalled to his men, who, mounting and urging "If can find it, dear girl!" their own camels on, rode off the Oasis of Ringmur. "And danger?" she insisted, clasping her hands tighter. Phil sat in saddle, grimly, watching the Bedouins move "More of that than I care to think of,'' the boy an away swerea, moodily, as he wondered, with a sudden flush of "It'll be a fight to the finish now," predicted Professor anguish, what chance there W1as \o get this superb-and, "The breach has been made." but for them, safely out of the desert. "We can stand off that dozen men with our automatics, "Oh, then I shall feel utterly at home to-night!" thrillif they attack us,'' said Phil, his jaw tightening. ed the girl, joyously., "Thete were many soldiers1 many;


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 21 brave old knights, in my family. Danger? I shall welcome it with you." "Please heaven," murmured Phil, softly to himself, "there won't be enough of danger to recognize it for a welcome!" "Who's going to watch, and who's going to dig?" questioned Vance, coming closer. "I was thinking of having two dig," Phil replied, "but I've just changed my mind. Vance, your eyes and mine are sharper than the professor's, but he has muscle enough for the pick and shovel, if he takes the work slowly. You and I will sneak out in the dark, to watch that none of Hassan's rogues creep too close. And Ermi shall lie on the ground halfway between our posts, since she will be even safer there than in her tent. And the professor shall dig like a good fellow !" Even Briggs agreed to this arrangement when he was called up and informed of it. "When you strike the keg, professor," asked the boy, "give a low whistle, and we'll come in. And make all the haste you can, for the nights are short here." Armed with pick and shovel, Pr. ofessor Briggs hastened eagerly, feverishly to the spot where he and his young friends believed they were to :find a big of the wealth of the Indies. Each at a distance of some two hundred yards from the spot where Briggs was to dig, Phil and Vance divided up the territory to be watched. They did not stand or lie, but paced softly back and forth, with Ermi seated on the now coolE}r sand between their beats. Only the softest plink I plink! came to their ears from time to time, for the old professor, wealth-crazy as he had grown within the last few hours, still realized the vast importance of digging without much sound. The sky hazy and overcast, few of the stars showed. It was not possible to see anything clearly at a distance of two hundred fee t. Yet Ermi never once tired of peering off into the dark ness, nor once r e laxed her vigilance. No,;r. did she fear, for she knew that a slight cry would bring two staunch young Americans to her protection. Once, toward midnight, Phil came softly toward her. "Watch for just two minutes, Ermi he begged, hand ing her the automati c "I must see how our work is going on." was just on the point of going after you lads. I've come to the slabs above t!ie keg. I can't move these slabs alone. I'll have to have help!" But there was no need to say more. Phil was already bounding off as fast as he could go in search of Vance and Ermi. "Oome'back We're needed now," was his message. "But our watch?" questioned. Vance. "We can't keep it up any longer, old chap, for if we do we can: t get up the slabs. So hurry!" The boys having spoken in English, Ermi looked on wonderingly. But as they turned swiftly toward the scene of the fessor's long labors, she understood that something critical was in the air. And so they came upon Briggs. That learned gentle-' man had just succeeded in tossing all of the dirt away from the larger slab. Vance brought ropes in a hurry. With these they started the task of raising the slab. It was both hard and awkward. Laughingly, the girl added her tiny pulling power. At last the slab was up. Then, after infinite but haJfcrazed, wildly eager toil, the second slab was up. There, old and stained with age, lay a keg, beyond a question. Nor did it seem to take the eager explorers more than a second to get this up on the face of the earth. ( And now Vance ran tremblingly for a hammer and chisel. "Don't be in too great haste," begged Phil, as Carroll started in to use the tools on the keg. "Remember that we don't want to smash the keg." Clink I clink plink plink plink I As the eager ones in fevered waiting held their breath, it seemed as if each light stroke with the tools made a sound like the discharge of a cannon. Yet no one now thought of going on guard, or even of turning. Then, at last, the head came out of the keg. In the first moment a sigh of disappointment went up, for all that s howed to their eyes was a mass of dried, rotted oasis grass. But Phil exeitedly pllfnged a hand down into the mass. He drew forth, in treibling :fingers, a mildewed sack of Clink I clink The sound came from the shovel, making canvas. more noise than had been made before. Fumbling, it took him a long time to untie the old "Sh!" warned Phil, creeping closer to the hole that he string that was around t):i.e peck of the bag. There were now discovered at the spot beyond the gate mentioned in only a few small bags filled with gems in the keg, but they his uncle's manuscript. were worth a big fortune. Clink clink Phil crept close to the edge .of the hole, Then, as he threw his helmet down on sand and above which Professor Briggs's head just showed. dumped the pouch into that headgear, four different cries "What's up, professor?" whispered the boy, as he bent of wondermg admiration sounded. over the hole. Even i!). the darkness of that Arabian night they were "I wish these great slabs of stone were up!" grunted I gazing into a very blaze of glory! the professor, as he paused and wiped his forehead. "I Gems of the purest white rays, and larger than any that


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. any of them had ever seen, :flashed fire into the black night. "Diamonds!" breathed Ermi, _in a very delirium of fascinated joy. "Yes," breathed Phil, very low. "Mon dieu But what wonderful ones!" "They once belonged to a great prince," Phil rejoined. Then, gallantly, Phil pounced upon the largest, most glittering one in the lot. "The first shall be yours, Mam'selle Ermi," he throbbed. "And it is only the first of those that shall be yours!" 'rhen Professor Briggs, fond of money as a smoker is of the weed, seated himself tremblingly on the ground and drew into }\is lap Phil' s glowing, glittering, beautiful hel met that he might better contemplate the sight, "Wealth quivered the professor. "Wealth greater than we have ever troubled to think about before ""' ealth, indeed," sighed Phil, ecst&tically, "for here, bE:neath the grass, are stiff more pouches." It was Ermi whose thoughts first came back to earth and the desert. "Suppose we are being watched," she ivhispered, throbbi:pgly. "W e'rc a pack of money-mad fool s cried Phil, dis gustedly, snatching his automatic and rising swiftly. "Hark!" From over by their tents all these sfi:aining ears heard a sound. "Whew!" Like a shot Phil Winston was off. He was in time to see the garb of a woman :flutter as it :floated swiftly away from the tents. "Halt, whoever you are!" he called, in a low, thrilling voice. But the white sped on in the blackness. "Stop, or I fire!" challenged the boy. But Ermi, dashing up behind him, quivered: is tl1at wretched Nagai She has left her tent!" "We can't shoot a woman!" quavered Phil. "We've got to catch her before she talks to anyone, for she must lrnve seen what we were doing. Come on, Vance-speed!" Momentarily they ha d lost sight of the :fleeing white figure in the great blackness bpyond. But now, as they darted forward, the sharp rat-tat of a horse's heels came to their ears. "Off on a horse-the wretch !" faiteTed Phil, stopping short. "Too late! By the time we .could get on our own horses and pursue she ll be at the camp of Hassan!" "Was she a spy?" quivered Vance, bis eyes :flashing with wrath. "Hassan must have known bow to make one of her!" throbbed our hero. "Vance, we've got to fight for our treasure now-and fight like grim death!" "Oh, we'll' do it!" uttered Carroll. "At least, back to your treasure, eh, my friends," broke in Ermi, sweetly, coolly 1 "That, at least, is the best place to be Fhen you must defend it.H Back they stole to where Professor Briggs still sat on the ground, with the helmet in his lap, st11ring raptur .. ously at the glo'."ing, marvellous bits of pure, hard stone. '' ow, for the watoh and fight!" sighed Phil. ''Oh, for daylight, to see what we have to fight! There is so much treachery luJ:king in the dark night!" CHAPTER IX. TEl'J EMIR TRQUBT,ES HIMSELF ''Be careful, won't you, Mam'selle ?" implored Phil, y. For the French girl was now walking nervously baok and forth, and ever increasing the length of her distance from the great hole from which the ma,rvellos keg had been lifted. It was still dark. Phil, Vance and th. e professor, out at three different points, formed a triangle of protection for their great treasure. There w re yet two hours of dark. The last hour of dark would be more than enough time for them to do all that remained to do there by ruined gate. So the immediate hour was to be spent in watching ai;cl trying to learn whether N aga's treacherous flight was de stined to bring clown Hassan and his crew of Bedouins. "It's not wise to go too far beyond us, Ermi," called the boy, in a low toRe that was hoarse with downright anxiety. "Oh, I shall not get beyond your seeing and hearing me," the girl responded in a wl"iisper, "I-oh, mon clieu !" For Ermi was now just far enough away from our hero to have fallen into the strong arms of a dusky Bedouin who had sprung up from out of the at her feet and s e ized her. "Good Lord! It's abo-qt all in for us!" gasped Vance. But to that Phil gave little heed. Snatching up his rifle, he darted g_irl, who was struggling in the 1\rab's grasp. "Here Let go of the young lady !" Winston roared, letting the muzzle of his automatic fall so that 110 covereq the man. Swish! With a quick jerk the Bedouin had Er1ui be tween himself and the boy. There was the flash of steel in the air, and Ermi, strangled almost insensible by the Arab's dark hand, lay helpless against his shoulder 1 "Shoot, a.ud the girl dies jeered the fell ow. ''And stand back, too, if you wish her to live!" Gasping, trembling, Winston obeyed. He was afraid to shoot-afraid that Ermi wm1ld stop the bullet intended for her assailant.


'l'HE MG O_F DIAMONDS. 23 Then, while our hero hesitatecl, the Bedouin raisecl his in a loud cry that carried far over the desert. Answering it came a rumble, faint at first, but growing gradually louder as it came nearer. ''Don't choke the girl to death," implored Phil. "Not if you put your rifle on the ground and go bacl>:," hinted the Arab Phil started, in a new thqught of terror. "And your other friends must bring their rifles out and lay them on the ground with yours," smiled the Arab captor of Ermi. Phil swiftly began to understand. They must surrender and become prisoners, if Ermi's life was to be spared. But would the fellow keep his threat? Phil groaned with the awful suspense -of the thing. From what he had learned to know of Arabs, this fellow could be relied to kill En:i if it became ne cessary ; "Your gun down at once, or I s"tab !"ins isted the Arab captor of the now unconscious girl. He raised his knife'. Phil could hesitate no longer. Down went his automatic and lay there on the sand. "Your friends must clothe same," jeered the Arab. "Shall I, Phil?" called Vance. "Old fellow, I'm afraid you must, if we are to save Brmi." 1 Manfully, without a sigh for the treasure they were giv ing up, Vance marched out and lay his weapon beside Phil's. our friends, who, from the uselessness of the case, offered I no reslStanee . "Bind them," oraered the Emir, simply It was rnugh that followed. Without cere mony the tlll'ee Americans were thrown down a,nd bound securely. / While this was going on the Emir commanded : "Bring the girl before me!" So Emir was led before him. She conscious again now, and the terror in her great, wide eyes, with, the deat h like pallor in her face, made her ten times more lovel y than before. The Emir looked at her but with evident admi ration. "She' is a charming woman," he said, gravely "See that she does not escape. She shall grace my own J10use hold." At this terrifying announcement Ermi's shriek rang on the air, and Phil, for the first time, regretted that he had not been merciful enough to slay her when he had the chance. "Now, let u s go forward to the old gateway," suggested the Emir to his companion. These two rode. Others of the Arab s followed, but on foot, while by far the greater number renrninetl behi nu with the horses. Slowly, thoughtfully, the Emir rode around b e hind the gate. Here he and his companion dismounted also. Then, as grave and calm in their manner as if they were merel' on a visit of official inspection, they walked back to where the hole had been dug. Professor Briggs hesitated. He was older than the boys wealth better But Ali Abba started when his eyes rested on the keg, and had learned to love lying not far from the hole. "Then it was not a wild, imaginative tale that Bojee "But it's no use trying to fight, without the help of the sent me, after he had lintened to the talk of the foreign youngsters," he quickly decided Then he marched out, ers,'' murmured Ali Abba. "The keg exists! It is here adding his rifle to the others. / And mine, now!" And now the thre friends stood back, close to the hole Next the Emir tur"ned to look at the prisoners, who had that they had dug. been brought forward. For the first time Phil began to pay heed to the ever"So, youth, you thought to rob me of this prize?" he increasing roar on the desart beyond demanded, fixing his stern gaze on Phil. "Horsemen," he groaned, "and a big body of them. "Could r rob your excellency of what you never posOh; we have been cleverly trapped!" sessed ?" Phil demanded. The Arab who had captured Errni now moved forward "There you are wrong," replied the Emir, gravely "All .w-ith her and stood close by the surrendered guns, one of ta xes and ail found treasure in this district belong to me. which he picked up It is our custom-our law. So you have tried to rob me And now, out of t}le night, the horsemen came thunderAnd how horrible was the crime! For here, my prop;rty, jng up to the spot There were some forty of them. is a keg with priceless diamonds!" "What, my good fellow?" cried their leader, delighted-=A hoarse murmur rose from the listening Arabs. l y "You have already subdued the enemy alone?" "My children," went on Ali Abba, speaking to his peo The speaker was Ali Abba, the Emir of the district. ple, "yon have always. known me for a just ruler I shall "Oh, it was not difficult, your excellency," smiled the be just now." fellow. "I had nothing to do bi.1t to get the girl in my He made a sign to two of his men, who grabbed Phil arms and threaten her with my knife." and bore him to the brink of the deep hole."Do these strangers care so much for the life of one "He has dug excellently well," sneered Ali Abba. woman?" demanded the Emir, wonderingly "Really the youth should have some reward. -So, sfoce Now several of the horsemen dismounted, surrounding we keep the keg, let him have the hole for himself!"


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. At another sign the two men started to lower our hero. 1\.11 in an instant Phil realized that this no grim jest. He was to be buried alive to ask for the lives of my friends-for the lives of those who have befriended me?'' "But is it reasonable, woman, that I should grant their lives, after they have tried to rob me of what our law says is mine?" insisted the Emir, coldly. CHAPTER X. "Have these strangers done your excellency any harm?" THE RIGHT SORT OF GIRL. demanded the girl. Chug! Half fainting with the fearful horror of the "They tried to. Only the faithfulness of my people thing, Phil Winston landed on his back at the bottom of prevented." that stifling hole. "But they would not have profited, even had your exHe had not protested There had not been time. cellency not come b'ere,'' cried the girl. Nor would it have been of any use. -"Not have profited?" demanded the Emir, showing the The Arab is one of the politest men alive, but with all first sign s of anger. "They would not have profited, his polish he is at heart a cruel savage. they reached the world's markets with that keg of dia"l wonder if the rest have got to be buried here ?" with me?" throbbed the boy. "Father in Heaven, grant "Yet your ex-eellency does not know that these strannotl'1 )' gers-my dear friends!-found that which they sought." Above he heard the Emir's still calm voice: "That can soon be determined," replied the Emir, won"My children, will you advise your Emir? We have deringly. dropped the leader of these foreign thieves into his grave. Calling to two of his men, he commanded them to open Shall we send the others after him?" the keg. "Oh, no, no! Not that!" quivered the terrified boy. This they did with infinite care that, in the opening, But he kept the words under his breath. not one of the precious gems should be spilled. To have pleaded aloud at such a time, and with a man While the fellows were thus engaged, Ali Abba stood by as firm and hard as the Emir, would have been to condemn looking impassively on, nor giving a single glance at the his friends. tearful girl. While the Emir paused for the reply, which his men At last the keg was open. would think over carefully before giving, a softer voice Then, despite all his gravity and repose, Ali Abba startsounded: ed forward with a low cry. "Oh, if the Emir be a thoroughly just man. let him lisStand back, my children," he ordered. ten to me!" Down on his knees he dropped, thrusting his own hands It was the voice of Ermi Dauvannes, her voice growing into the keg. in strength and courage as she went on: All he brought out was sand. "Let every man remember that a woman was his mothUttering a cry of disappointment, he thrust in his hands Let no man call l1imself just, nor even brave, if he reagain. fuses to give ear to the voice of a woman in trouble!" But still sand-and only sand! "Good girl!" throbbed listening Phil. "But she can do "What hoax is this?" demanded the Emir, starting up, l).bthing to soften the heart of this pirate. An Arab does his face gray and drawn. "Where are the priceless dianot hotel women in high enough respec't to listen softly to monds of India?" <>ne." would the girl say?" asked the Emir, slowly. "Let her come here if she will be brief." 'so Ermi was led before the Emir. "You have spoken of your justice," Ermi began, falter ing now that the dark, searching eyes of the Arab govern or were fixed searchingly on her fair young face. "If you really possess that justice, I ask you for some of it." ,pAnd what have you to do with mercyf" querie\l the Emir, slowly. "You have said that I am to be taken to grace your household," faltered the brave little French girl. "It is even so, child." "Then I may hope that you would do something to bring pleasure to my heart?" asked Ermi, looking straight at this powerful man. "If it be anything reasonable, child." "Is it not reasonable then, oh, your excellency, for me . "There were none," declared Ermi, boldly. "Great prince, if you have been deceived, so have these strangers, my friends. They have suffered from the hoax more than you, for have they not traveled half way around the world in search of the same keg? And truly, the keg was there, yet it contained only sand-a cruel hoax indeed on the part of him who wrote the manuscript!" But the Emir, though half-dazed by disappointment, was wholly suspicious. "Have that dog thrown up out of the bole," he com manded, harshly. "I would question him." Two of the Arabs leaped down into the hole. They quickly lifted our hero to the surface, where other hands stretched forth to place him on his feet before the Arab governor. "Now, if you would krtow mercy in this life, or in the life beyond," adjured Ali Abba, fixing his stern eyes on the boy's calm though white face, "speak the truth."


THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. 15 "That I ha'Ve always done," Phil returned, coolly. "Where are the diamonds that you found here?" did not find any, your excellency." "You lie! You are a dog!" "Then I cannot answer your excellency, since a dog can only bark." "Where are the diamonds?" roared the governor. "I have assured your excellency that we did not find any. That the keg con]ained only what you have found yourselves." "Search the dog," commanded the Emir, turning to his men. "And search the other prisoners." Roughly enough the three Americans were thrown to the ground, and still more roughly they were handled in the search that followed. "Oh, your excellency," pleaded the professor, "a great favor!" "Speak, wise men," commanded the Emir. "I have only to ask," went on the professor, meekly, "that rude hands do injure that instrw;nent which is one of the greatest value to the who are trained to see and to think." "But even that wonderful,__ star-gazing instrument of yours rr.iust be searched," protested the Emir. "Yet,' your excellency, it will make a vast difference i r am allowed myself to take that priceless instrument of leai:ning to pieces and shq_w you the empty parts. I can do it all before your own watchful eyes. Surely, it is not much of a boon that a man of wisdom asks at the hands of a great ruler!" "Have one of our women brought to search this pretty "Be it even so replied the Emir almost gently. child," the Emir commanded. . "You shall take' the inst;rum Jnt to 'pieces, while I Away went one of the Arabs, scurrymg on his horse. look on." It wa_s nearly half an hour the fellow returned, ac-Under the direction of the professor the boys quickly by an ATab woman mounted on a camel. had the telescope out of the case and lying on the sands Phil and his friends, in the meantime, had been lited while watchful Arabs clustered a:ound. to their feet again, the search of their clothing proving worse useless. But now our hero fairly throbbed with torment as he saw the Arab woman approach Ermi and begin the search. For, all the time, the French girl had been so closely watched that she had had no to cast the diamond away unobserved. Five anxious minutes passed: Then the Arab woman reported: "First,'' announced the professor, "I will take out the eye-piece." He unfastened and drew out a long cylinder of brass, with a heavy lens fitted at either end. "And how do yo1l take the glass away from the ends?" demanded the Emir. "Oh, that is never done, your excellency,'' the professor assured him, lyingly. "Your excellency must know that it is a solid piece of glass that runs through this brass tube." 1 "Most just and generous Emir, this young woman pos sesses nothing of the kind that I was ordered to find." "What? The woman dear to this stranger's heart has "It is eve'Jf so," admitted the Emir, gravely, after due no gems? That is strange, for women always snatch for thought. The governor, like many another great man in these baubles. By the beard of the Prophet, I begin to other lands, did not care to admit or display his suspect that they really may have found no gems." before his people. "May I speak, your excellency?" requested Phil, in a After tliat it was easy. Professor Briggs displayed other very respectful tone. eye-pieces in their separate boxes, and also the great object "Even so, if you have aught of interest to say." glass at the larger end of the telescope. "I wished only to beg your excellency to have all our Then, half in a daze, but trembling with happiness, Probelongings searched as thoroughly as we been. Then fessor Briggs was allowed to replace his telescope and its it will soon be seen that we no such gems as you parts. imagined." "We have searched everywliere now," cried the Emir, "Let their things be searched, then," ordered the Emir. disappointedly. "And there are no gems, unless these "Search their tents, their boxes, their containers of food, foreign dogs have buried them beneath the sands of the their blankets-even that great leather box yonder!" desert." He pointed to the long, broad case in which the tele-1 But his own men had already search:d far, and re-scope had been carried. ported th;it they had been unable to discover any signs of "May not my friends have their hands freed, that they recent . may help in the search?" pleaded Ermi. "And now, merciful Emir," cried Ermi, casting herself "It can do no harm,'' nodded the Emir, "since my on her knees before the governor, "since my dearest friends people will kill the dogs if they dare to play us strange in the world have done no harm, you will show that you are tricks." really just? You will let them go?" It was with huge relief that Phil, Vance, and the pro"But they tried to wrong me, even if they have not suc-fessor found themselves again able to use their bodies. ceeded," cried Ali Abba. But the professor watched anxiously as the Arabs went "Why did they do wrong, you:r; excellency,'' insisted toward his beloved telescope. Ermi, "when, in case. they had found what they sought, i\


26 'I'HE KEG OF DIAMONDS. ' was their intention to tell you all and to show you the gems?" "That i s a silly story," sneered Ali Abba. "Look in my face;exhellency! Search my eyes, aii.d tell me if they are the eyes of a woman who lies?" throbbed Phil. But the Emir, now. that his first disappointment was past, seemed to take a more kindly view of matters "What, then, child, if I l'ermit your friends to go?" he demanded . "Then shall I be grateful to you ill my life!" promised the girl, eagerly. "And always strive to make my household pleasant for me after I marry you when I return from -my journeys?" queried the Emir, half-smiiing. "Gladly, your excellency!" promised the girl, her voice almost imploring "0 ly set my friends free." But Phil was at her side 'now, seizing her almost angrily by the shoulder. "This is madness, Ermi," he whispered. "Do you think we \rotlld purchase our liberty at the expense of seeing you go into this man's harem as his wife?" "But I must go, anyway," retorted the g irl. "Whatever you feel, or whatever you do, you cannot hinder that or s:.ive me from it." They both spoke in Arabic, the onlY. language that the young people had in common. The Emir heard them, and laughed, turning to the official with him to whisper something That instant was enough for Ermi to whisper swiftly in our hero's ear: "Take your lives and freedom on any Do you believe in woman's wit? Then trust me to use mine in j oining you again." So Phil Win s ton stood back, bowin g in res ignation. "Well, my pretty child," smiled the Emir, "since it will make you happier, and will cause you to smile more pleas antly upon me, your friends sha11 have their lives and.'their freedom." "And their horses and camels, and their supplies?" begged the girl, swiftly "Else how shall they reach the coast alive?" "They shall have those things, child." "And their firearms? Else how shall tliey pr o tect them selves against the thieves of the desert?" Ali Abba hesitated. "Their rifles are infernal," he grumbled. "My people can bear witness to that." "But they are only three, and you command an arn1y, at need," urged the girl. "Surely, Ali Abba does not fear three strangers." m.ushing a bit at the taunt, Ali Abba quickly gave in. Dawn was coming, as he ordered the horses of the Americans and two camels brought up. "Now, take leave of your friends, pretty one!" jeered tli e Emir. "They are starting at once. I Phil caught Ermi's hand in his, sank to his knees, and imprinted a kiss there. "Find the way to join us, and swiftly," he found chance to whisper, "or els.,e we shall risk all and come back for you." "Tru_st me. I shall be with you soon," the gritty Prench girl whispered back. Then she turned to offer her hand to the other Americans. Then out on the desert started the three ..(\.mericans, this time without guards, guides, or helpefs, and, what was infinitely worse-without Ermi! CHAPTER X I "HIGHWAY ROBBERY" TO GOOD PURPOSE. }'There comes a horse now!" panted Vance Carro ll "By the great flag, then, it must be E r mi !" u ttere d Phil, wheeling about in his saddle Yes; there came a fleet Arab horse, tear i ng ove r the wide sandy plain. "There starts the pursuit!" throbbed .our l1ero, a few seconds later, as he saw nearly a dozen flying horsemen de tach thems(llves from the Emir's caravan, now ne arl y thr e e miles dis tant. -"Can she reach us?" quivered Vance. "She'll reach us," vented W i nston, "if t h e re,s a ny suc h thing as justice in the world." By keeping their own horses at a wild gallop, they rap idly lessened the distance between themselves and the fugitive. But now Phil discovered something else t hat fille d him with uneasiness It 16oked like a woman who was riding toward them, ahead of the pursuing horsemen But thi13 woman wore a brownish robe E rmi 's was white! "Hold up, now!" shouted Phil, reining in bard. "We can drop some horses now, if we don't let anx i e t y s poil our aim!" f Down in the sand, each on one knee, they fired swiftly at the 1pursuing horses. "One down!" gritted Phil, presently. "Another to keep the first company!" smiled Vance. And so, while the remaining horsemen hesitated, still out of mnge with their own old-style muskets, f ugitive came rapidly toward our young friends "My brave Americans!" thrilled a clea r you ng voice, carrying far on that ho.t, dry, still desert air "Did I not say I would come?" "It's Ermi-glorious girl!" chuckled Phil, a l most delirious with joy "Easy, old fellow! Steady!" counse lled Va nce. T hose rider s are starting forward again." drop every horse you can hit, whether they stop or not," commanded Phil Winston. "Every horse you can hit now is one less on which to follow us. Por this chase is going to l ast a ll the way to the coast


f THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. l'l' Then, indeed, did the automatic rifles sputter forth uTu ceasingly fol a few moments. Then, to their joy, the boys saw the last of the Arab horses go down-the riders of the last three having turned in flight. And now Ermi was near enough for them to see her face. In another twinkling she had reined up, and they looked into her spirited eyes. She bent down just a moment. Phil daringlty, though instinctively, kissed her. Then Ermi straightened up, :flus hing hotly. "The diamonds? They are still safe?" "Still safe," smiled Phil, nodding over at the great telescope case on the back of one of the camels. "Oh, how my hea_rt was in my mouth while those Arabs clustered around the telescope!" fl.uttered the girl. "But they never suspected!" "Never a suspect!" laughed Winston, gleefully. "And I never before guessed how many quarts and quarts of anything could be hidden between the len ses of an objec tive-piece of a telescope. Why, we could have hidden two quarts more of diamonds in there if we had them." The work of hiding the diamonds inside the brass cylin ders of the telescope's eye-pieces had been carried on in the long interval Qf waiting for daylight, after the treach erous flight of the serving woman, N aga. And so our friends had their precious trea sure-with an offset in the shape of the watchful, following Emir. For the next half hour there was no sign of pursuit. Then four Arabs rode forward, one of their number flut tering a white cloth from a lance-stick. "Take no chances," uttered Phil. "You, Vance, wait and drop those horses." This Vance accompli s hed. "And now we'll forge forward at our best s peed," cried Phil, as Carroll returned. J By four o'clock in the aternoon, on horse s that were well-nigh ready to drop, our friends reached an oasis, with Ali Abba probably at ieast a dozen miles to the rear, since his caravan was nowh ere in sight. "Why, there's a carav;m there ahead of us!" groaned Phil, drawing rein while still three-quarters of a mile from the oasis. "What are you going to do?" demanded Vance, won-deringly, for Phil was sighting his automatic. "See those camels?" queried our hero. "Sevenof them grazing. Yes." "Waj;ch what happens!" There was a tiny little puff of smoke at the end of Jack's automatic. One of the camels at the oasis dropped. Then up popped half a: dozen Arab heads. "There's great excitement there," grinned Vance. Phil fired twice more, bringing down a second camel at the third shot. "Here comes a fellow, riding like mad, and with a white flag!" chuckled Vance. "For what reason do you foreign dogs fire, with such kmg-range guns, on the harmless caravan of the Sheik v Yira?" he demanded. "Are you the Sheik Wira?" Phil demanded. "Even so." "Good enough! I want to talk with you, 1'!heik, for you look like one destined to win wealth out of the battle of life! Ride to one side with me." Wonderin gly, the Arab rode away with our hero. Then, after a long talk, Phil held up one hand as a sign to his own people to move on toward the oasis. Phil, moving ahead with the Sheik Wira, was there at the Arab camp to receive them. "It's all right,'' c huckled Phil, as he drew his friends around him. "Wira i s just the sort of chap I thought him to be-a regular desert pirate who cares not a whit for Ali Abba so long as he can keep out of the Emir's clutches. Wira i s a half outlaw, as near as I can make out, and he and hi s fellows are crazy to get o'Q.t of Arabia, and across the Red Sea into Africa. I've promised to take him thrnugh with me, if he'll serve me. And I've promised him and his men big bills of exchange on the ba:iikers. That part is all r1ght. These Arabs believe that all white men have enormous bank accounts1" "Do you m ean to say that those fellows are going to escort u s-and what we've got with us?" demanded the pro fessor, tremulously, as he glanced sideways at the Arabs, to whom Wira was now talking. "They'll do what's even better," promised Phil. "What?" a sked the professor, doubtfully. "They'll help u s hold up any caravan we meet, and help us to make the caravan give up fresh horses and camels. We'll give the caravan people bills of exchange. That goes the same as money in this hot old country. And all the bills of exchange will be made good when we get our possessions to market. So no harm will be done any where." * * > * I Phil's wild plan proved to be simplicity itself, Eight caravans they met on the way, and all had horses and camels that could be taken. For these our hero gave bills of exchange. Throughout the journey Wira and hi s fellows, lured by the promise of great reward, proved faithful. Just before dark on the fifth day Phil Winston, at the head of his little caravan, rode down the slope of the last coast range. Now, half a mile further on, white, hot, and quiet, lay the little Arabian seaport town of Falwahr. In the harbor lay three vessels flying foreign :flags. "Safe in less than an hour," Phil smiled, as he reined up and waited for Ermi Dauvannes. "We can bribe skippers to hoist anchor and sail at once!" "And with what will. you bribe them?" hailed a laugli ing voice in Arabic. From out of a grove at their right hand rode an Arabian officer. "What do you want?" Phil demanded, eyeing the offic.e:i:


28 THE KEG OF DIAMONDS. I curiously, and catching his fir s t glimp se, now, of a com pany of native cavalry in the shadows of the grove. "His excellency, the Emir, AH Abba, has asked me to detain you until he comes," smiled the officer, politely, aS' his men rode out and around the now: frightened party. Ermi, with Wira and his wild men, and last, if not least, the Arab cavalry officer himself, went aboard a British bark in the little harbor. Anchor was weighed within another hour. By morning the bark had cros8ed the Red Sea, and was skirting the coast of Africa on its way up to the Suez CH.APTER XII. Canal. CONCLUSION. Not until a trustworthy banker was reached at Port Said Professor Briggs nearly fell out of his saddle in a faint. did Phil show any of his diamonds. Then enough money Not so with Phil Winston. After the first great jump of for immediate needs was raised. realization he was as ready as ever. The Arab officer who had aided the escape was paid all "What did the messagti say?" Phil asked the officer. the bribe money promised. Wira and his men w:ere re you strangers were wanted for high crimes, and warded and dismissed. that I was to hold you and all your baggage until his ex-It was in Paris that many of the diamonds were disposed cellency arrived." of, making all four of our friends ric .her by far than they "Then nothing was said about the diamonds!" thrilled had any need to be. the scheming boy to himself. "Thank goodness for that. Ermi, reunite;l to her fond old father, objected to taking Oh, if I can only think up something fre s h and bright!" her share, but all three of the Americans forced it upon He was smiling still when he next spoke to the officer. he1. '"Twas a mean way that his excellency took to win the "Here's an odd receipt that I have, Ermi," Phil told 'wager, and I shall not pay it when I see him the French girl one day when he called upon 'her at her "That, of course, is no concern of mine," replied the offi-handsome new home in Paris. "It's the receipt of the cer, gravely. slaver from whom I bought you." "Of course not. And we are your prisoners. But one "Then I owe you the amount smiled the girl. thing I must impress upon you, faithful servant of the "Do you think I'd sell?" demanded Phil Winston, indig. "What is that?" He didn't either, and there was no need to, for Ermi was "We are people of distinction." ) as willing to become Mrs. Winston as our hero was crazy to "I have no doubt of that," replied the officer, bowing have her do so. gravely. Vance, in his travels, found and won the prettiest and "Therefore yre must not be locked up in any common, jolliest kind of Western girl in the United States. filthy prison while we are waiting the coming of the Emir. Just now the two young couples are restless, jovial, You must take us to your own quarters, and d o thebest happy globe-trotters, enjoying their money. you can for us. Fear not; we s?all be able to pay well for But they keepout of Arabia! all the accommodation that we ask of you." Professor Briggs has retired from teaching. He keeps Every Oriental government official is a born grafter. bachelor hall in a handsome o)\d house in Washington, in This Arab officer, having no doubt that these foreigners a dome on top of whicP. he has mounted his huge tele were wealthy, scented a fine opportunity to line his wal-scope. let. So he took them to his own quarters, providing even for Wira and the latter's men. ."Do you enjoy serving in the Emir's cavalry?" Phil queried, simply. The officer s hrugged his shoulders. "There is not much honor-and no money!" he grum bled, shrugging his shoulders. "There are other and better countries than this," hinted Phil. "'l'urkey, for instance, is a country where you could reap great honors and live like a prince, if you have a little m,oney saved." "But I have not," murmured the Arab offiper. Then, as soon as he could, Phil Winston sent out warn .. ing looks that caused his friends to leave him alone with the officer. Money is a great power throughout the old East! A poor Arabian official is sometimes easily tempted! Jhst after dark that night the American party and THE END. "SANDOW,.JUNIOR; OR, THE BOY WHO LOOK ED PUNY," is the title of a genuinely fine story by Prof. Oliver Owens. It is as bright, sparkling, crisp, and excit ing a story as this tremendously popular author can ever write. It will be published in full in WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY No. 1s; out next week! No. 18 is a number that no lover of great stories can possibly afford to miss! SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of.this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies I you order by return mail.


WILD WEST WEEKLY A magazine Containing Sto-11ies, Sketehes, ete., of Westeirn hif e .A.1'T C>:C...::O SO.C>"UT. 32 PAGES. PBICE 5 CENTS. 3S PAGES. EACH NUMBER IN A HANDSOME COLORED COVER All of these exciting stories are founded on facts. Young Wild West is a hero with whom the author was acquainted. His daring deeds and thrilling adventures have never been surpassed. They form the base of the most dashing stories ever published. Read the following numbers of this most interesting magazine and be convinced: LATEST ISSUES: 169 Young Wild West and the Railroad Robbers; or, Lively Work In Utah. 136 Young Wild West and the Rio Grande Ruetlers; or, The Branding 170 Young Wild West Corrallng the Cow-Punchers; or, Arletta' s Swim at Buckhorn Ranch. f o r Life 137 Young Wild West and tfle Line League; or, Arletta Among the 171 Young Wild West "Facing the Music"; or, The Mistake the Lynch Smugglers. ers Mad e 138 Young Wild West's Silver Spurs; or, Fun at Fairplay Fair. 172 Young Wild West and "Montana Mose"; or, Arletta's Messenger 189 Young Wlld West Among the Blackfeet ; or, Arletta as o. Sorceress. of Death. 140 Young Wild West on the Yellowstone; or, '.J:he Secret of tile 173 Young Wild West at Grizzly Gulch; or, The Shot that Saved tbe Hidden Cave. Camp. 141 Young Wild West's Deadly Alm; or, Arletta s Gre'atest Danger. 174 Young Wlld West on the warpath. or Arletta Among the Ara 142 Young Wild West at the "Jumping Oil'." Place; or, The Worst pahoe 6 ' Camp In the West. 175 Young Wild West and "Nebraska Nick"; or, The Cattle Thieves '143 Young Wild West and the "Mixed Up" Mine; or, Arletta a Winner. ot the Platte. 144 Young Wild West's Hundred Mile or, Beatlng a Big Bunch. '176 Young Wlld West a\d the Magic' Mine. or How Arletta Solved &. 145 Young Wild West Daring the Dan1tes; or, The Search for a Myst e ry ' Missing Girl. 146 Young Wild West' s Lively Time or The Dandy Duck of the 177 Young Wild West as a Cavalry Scout; or, Saving the -Settlers. Diggings ' 178 Young Wild W est Beating the Bandits; or, Arletta's Best Shot. 147 Young at Hold-Up Canron; or, Arletta's Great Victory 179 Young Wild W est and Crazy Hawk" ; or, The Redskins' Last 148 West's Square Dea ; or, Making the "Bad" Men 180 W est Chasing the Cowboys; or, Arletta the Lariat 149 Young Wild West Cowing the Cowboys; or, Arietta and the Queen. Pralrle Fire. 181 Young Wild West and the Treacherous Trapper; or, Lost in the Great 150 Young Wild West and Navajo Ned; or, The Hunt for the Half North Woods. Breed Hermit. 182 Young Wild West's Dash to Deadwood; or, Arletta and the 151 Young Wild West s Virgin Vein ; or, Arletta and the Cave-In. Kidnap p ers. 152 Young West' s Cowboy Champions; or, The TriR to Kansas 188 Young Wild W est' s Silver Scoop; or, Cleaning Up a Hundred City. Th<1Us and. 158 Young Wild West's Even Chance; or, Arletta's Presence of Mind 184 Young Wlld West and the Or e gon Outlaws; or, Arletta as a 154 Young Wild West and the Flattened Bullet; or, The Man Who "Judge." Would not Drop. 185 Young Wild West and "Mexican Matt"; or, Routing the Rawhide 155 Young Wild West's Gold Game ; or, Arletta' & Full Hand. 186 Young Wlld West and the Coman che Qu een; or, Arletta as an 156 Young Wlld W est' s Cowboy Scrimmage ; or, Cooking a Crowd of Archer. 157 West and the Arizona Athlete; or; The Duel that Young Wlld West and the "Gold Ring"; or, The Flashy Five of Lasted a W ee k Four Flus h. 158 Young Wild W St. d th K c b A 1 tt Cl 188 Young Wild West's Double Rescue; or, Arletta's Race With e an e ansas ow oys; or, r e as ean D eath. 159 West Doubling His Luck. or The Mine that Made a 189 Young Wlld West and the Texas Rangers ; or, Crooked Work on Mllllon. ' the Rl o Grande 160 Young Wild West and the Loop of Death; or, Arletta's Gold 190 Young Wlld Wests Branding Bee; or, Arletta and the Cow Cache Punchers. 161 Young Wlld West at Bolling Butte or Hop Wah and the High-191 Young Wlld West and His Partner's Pile, and How Arletta bind ers. ' Saved It. 162 Young Wild West Paying the Pawnees; or, Arletta Held for 192 Young Wlld W est at Diamond Dip; or!.. Arletta's Secret Foe. Ransom. 193 Young Wild West' s Buckorn Bowie; and, J:towit Saved His Partners. 163 Young Wlld West's Shooting Match; or, The "Show-Down" at 194 YoungWildW estin the Haunted Hills; or, Ari e tt.a.and the AzteoArrow. Shasta. 195 Young Wild West's Cowboy Dance; or, Arletta's Admirer. 164 Young Wlld W est at Death D i vide ; or, Arletta's Great Fight. 196 Young Wild West's Double Shot; or, Cheyenne Charlie s Life Lina. 165 Young Wild West and the Scarlet Seven; or, Arletta's Daring 1971 Young Wild West at Gold Gorge; or, Arietta and the Drop of Death, Leap. 198. Young Wild West and the Gulf Gang; or .Arletta.'s Three Shots. 166 Young Wild West' s Mirror Shot; or, Rattling the Renegades. 167 Young Wlld West and the Gr easer Gang; or. Arl etta as a Spy. 168 Young Wlld West losing a Mllllon; or, How Arletta Helped Him Out. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher. 24 Union Square. 1'1ew York IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS ot our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out an<;l fill in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAK EN THE SAME AS MONEY. .. ...................... 1 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: ......................... 190 ... :copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ........................ ...................................... " WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY, Nos: .............. ..................................... " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ............................................... " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ........................ ; .............. : .................. THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ._ ................... .' ....... ......................... re PLUCK AND LUCK. Nos ............................................................. SECRET SERVICE Nos ..................... ....................................... " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos .... .......................... ............................. Name ...................... Street and No ... .... .' ............ Town .......... State .................


Everything I .! SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! Boo ks Tell You Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illusfrated cover. llPSt of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that aJ!Y d!ild. can thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjeclill m entioned. . THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS !'ROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CEN'l'S EACH, OR ANY 'I.'HREE BOOKS FOR 'l'WENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STA.MPS TAKEN 'I.'HE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO l'tlEJSMERIZE.-Containing the most ap ]lro .ved methods of mesmerism ; also bow to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PA.LMISTRY.-Containing the most ap proved methods of reading the lines on the hand, tog ether with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bumps on the head. By Le o l'!ugo KQch, A. C. S. Fully illustrat ed. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and structive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved methods whjch are employed by the leading hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A..C.S. SPORTING. No. 21 HOW TO HUNT A.ND FISH.-The most complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains full in11tructions about guns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A. BOAT.-Fully fllustrated. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat, Full insttuctions are given in this little book, together with in atructions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE. complete treatise on the horse. the most us efu l horses for business, the best horses for the road ; also valuable recipes for disease. pectlllar to the horse. No. 48. HOW 'l' O BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A bandy bOok for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes end the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. B y C. Stansfield Hicks. F'ORT UNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK.Containing the great oracle of human destin:t ; also the true mean ing of almost any kind of dreams, tog ethe r with charms, ceremonies, and curious gan\es of cards. A complete book. No. 23. HOW 'I.'O EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. This little book ives the explanation to all kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky JaysJ.. and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fnte. No 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.-Everyone is desirous of kno\V:ing what his future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or poverty You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends. No. 76. HOW TO '.rELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.Containing rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the hand, or the secret of palmistry. Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A.. Anderson. ATH LETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.-Giving full in struction for the use of dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and various other methods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing over sixty illustrations. Every boy can become strong and healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. No. 10. HOW TO BOX.-The art of self-defense made easy. Containing over thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the ditf e rent positions of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful and instructive books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor. No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Contain!ng full instructions for all kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises. Embracing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book. No. 34. HOW ro FENCE.-Containing full instniction for fencing and the use of the broadsword; also instruction in archery. Described with twenty--0ne practical illustrations, giving the best p ositions in fencing. A. complete book. TRICKS WITH CARDS. N o 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.--Oontaining e xplanations of the general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable t o card tricks; of card tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring ! eight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of lflM!Clally prepared cards. By Professor Haffner. Illustrated. N?. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Em all of the latest and most deceptive card tl"icks, with il lustrations. By A. Anderson. -.. No .. 7.7. HOW .TO IJO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-d ece ptive Card 'I.'ricks as performed by leading and mag1c1ans. Arranged for home amusement. }j-..ully illustrated: MAGIC. No. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book of magic an(1 card tricks, containing full instruction on all the leading card tricki of the also most popular magical illusions as performed by oux:_ mag1c1ans ; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, as 1t will both amuse and instru c t. No .. 22. HOW TO DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's seconJ sight explamed b.l'. his former a,ssistl!-nt Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues were carried on b etw e en the magician and the boy on the stage; also giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of second sight. No. 43. HOW 'I.' 0 BECOl\IE A MAGICIAN.-Containing thE of m agica l ill u s ions ever placed before the pubhc Also tricks with cards. in c antations, etc No. 68. HOW TO DO CHE:\IICAL 'I.'HICKS.-Containllig over one hundred highly amus ing and instrn ctive tricks with chemicals, By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrated. No. 69. HOW 'l'O DO SLEIGHT OF HA JD.-Containing over of the latest and best tricks used by magicians. Also contain mg the secret of second sight. Fnlly illustrated. By A. Anderson: No .. 70. HOW '.J.'O JU.AKE MAGIC 'l'OYS.-Containing full d1rect1ons for makmg Magic 'I.' oys and devices of many kinds By A.. Anderson. Fully illustrated No. 73 .. HOW. TO J?O TRICKS WITH NUMBERS.-Showing. many curious tricks with figures a.nd the magic of numbers By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated .No. 7,5. HO,;\y TO A CONJUROR. Containing tri.cks v.;1t1!-Domm?s, Dice, Cups and Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing tlurty-s1x illustrations. By A. And e rson No. 78. TO DO THE .BLACK ART.-Containing a com. plete de'!lcr1pt1on of the m ysterie s of Magic and Sleight of Hand togethe r with many wonderful experiments. By A. .Anderson: Illustrated. MECHANICAL. No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR-Every boy )tnow how originated. This book explains them all, examples_ m electri clty, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, me c hamc s etc. 'lhe most instructive book publi s h ed. No. 5?. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.-Containing full mstruct1ons how to proceed in order to become a l ocomotive en ; also for buildi_ng a model locomotive ; together with a full descr1pt1on of everythmg an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW 'I.'O MAKE MUSICAL INSTRU:MENTS.-Full dir ections how to a B_anjo, Violin, Zither, Harp, Xylo phone and other musical mstruments; together with a brief de scription of nearly every musical instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald for twenty years bandmaster of the Ro y al Bengal Marines. No; 59. HOW TO MAKE A l\IAGIC LANTERN.-Containing a description of the lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions for Its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John Allen. No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Containing complete instruct ions for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A most com plete little book, containing full dfr ections for writing love-letters, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving, complete instructions for writing lette r s to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction, notes and requ ests. No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for instruction. No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LE'l''fERS.-A wond e rful little book, telling you how to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother, employer; and, in fact, everybody and any body you wish to write to. Every young man and every young lady in the land should have this book. No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRECTLY.-Con talning full instructions for writing lette rs on almost any subject also r\jles for punctuation and composition, with specimen letters'.


. THE STAGE. No. 4:1. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a creat variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous end men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No. 42. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. Containing a varied assortment of speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end men's jokes. Just the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND JOK)jJ BOOK.-Something n e w and very instructive. Every boy should obtain this book, as it contains full instruction!J for or ganizin g an amateur minstrel troupe. No. 65. MULDOON'S JOKES.-'.rhis is one of the most original joke books ever published, and it is brimful of wit and humor. It contaios a large collection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc., of Terrence Muldoon, the great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the day. Every boy who can enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy immediately. No._ 79. H9W TO BECOME AN ACTOR.-Containing com plete mstruct1ons how to make up for various characters on the stage; together wit h the duties of the Stage Manager, Prompter Scenic Artist_ and Property !\Ian. By a prominent Stage Manager'. 80 GUS WILLIAl\IS' JOKE BOOK.-Containing the lat est Jokes, anecdotes and funny stories of this world-renowned and ever popular German comedian. Sixty-four pages; handsome colored cover containing a half-tone photo of the author. HOUSEKEEPING. No. 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.-Containing full instructions fo1 constructing a window garden either in town or country, and the most approved me thods for raising beautiful flowers at home. '.rhe most complete book of the kind ever pub lished. No. 30. HOW 'l'O COOK.-One of the most instructive books o.n cooking ever .,publis h ed. It contains r ecipes for cooking meats, fish, game, and oysters; also pi!ls, puddings, cakes and all kinds of pastry, and a grand collection of recipes by one of our most popular cooks. No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSEJ.-It contains information for everybody, boys, girls, men and women; it will teac h you bow to make almost anything around the hou se, such as parlor ornaments brackets, cements, Aeolian harps, and bird lime for catching birds.' ELECTRICAL. No. 46. HOW TO MAKE A 'D USEJ ELECTRICITY.-A de scl'iption of the wonderful uses of electricity and electro magnetism; together with full instructions for ma!dng Electric Toys, Batteries, etc. By George Trebel, A. M., M. D. Containing over fifty il lustrations No. 64, HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL MACHINES.-Con taining fnll Jirections for making electrical machines, induction coils, dynamos, and many novel toys to be work e d by electricity. By R. A. R. Bennett. Fully illustrate d. No. 67. HOW '1'0 DO ELEC'.rRICAL TRICKS.-Containing a large collection of instructive nnd highly amusing electrical tricks, together with illustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 31. HOW TO BECOME A SPEAKER.-Containinr fou .. teen illustrations, giving the different positions requisite to become a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems fl'Ol9 the popular !luthore of prose and poetry, arranged in the moa 11mple and conc1s:i manner possible. No. 49. _HOW TO DEBATE.-Giving rules for conducting d .. bates, outlmes for debate(', questions for discussion and the bed sources for procuring info: mation on the questions given. SOCIETY. No. 3. HOW TO FLIR'l'.-The arts and wiles of flirtation art fully by this little book. Besides the various methods of haLdkerch1ef, fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation it con rains a _full list of the language and sentiment of flowers, ,;..,bich la m.terestmg to everybody, both old and young. You cannot be happfi without one. No. 4. HOW 'l'O DANCE is the title of a new and handsome little .book just issued by ]!'rank Tousey It contains fu!T instruc tions in the art of daucing, etiquette in the ball-l'Oom and llt pat'tiea, how to dress, and full directions for calliQg off in all popular square dances. No. 5. HOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A complete guide to love, courtship and marriage, giving sensible advice, rules aud etiquette to be observed, with many curious and interesting things not gen erally known. No. li. HOW .ro DRESS.-Containing full instruction in the art of dressing and appearing well at home and abroad, giving the selections of colors, material. and bow to them made up. No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAU'l'IFUL.-One of the brightest and most valuable little books Elver given to the world. Everybody wish es to know how to become beautiful, both male and female. '.rhe secret is simple, and almost costless. Read tliia book and be convinced how to beyome beautiful. BIRDS AND ANIMALS. No. 7. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.-Handsomely illustrated and containing full instructions for the management and training of the canary, mockingbird, bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot:. etc. No. 39. UOW TO RAISE DOGS, POULTRY PIGEONS AND RABBITS.-A useful and instructive book. Handsoll\el;v illus trat e d. By Ira Drofraw. No. 40. HOW TO l\IAKE AND SET TRAPS.-Including hint1 on how to catch moles, weasels, otter, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. HairingtOD Ke e ne. : No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AND ANIMALS valuable bonarens, author of "How to Become with many standard readings. West Point Military Cadet. A PRICE 10 CENTS EACH, OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS. Address FRANK TOUSEY, 'Publisher. 24 Union Square, New York.


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers I A NEW ONE ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY PRICE 5 CENTS A UOPY This Weekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our mo s t successful self-made men, and show how d boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can b ecome famous and wealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes "Fame and Fortune Weekly a magazine for the home, although number is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the best obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists, and ilvery efl:ort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy in Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. 3 A Corner in Corn; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick 4 A Game of Chance; or, The Boy Who Won Out. 5 Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy in Wall Street. 6 Building a Railroad; or, The Young Contractors ot Lakeview. 7 Winning :EJis Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy. 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers o f Wall Strel!t. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys WhoWorked a Deserted Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Boy. 12 A Diamond in the Rough; or, A Brave Boys Start in Life. Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy in Wall Street. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Could Not be Downed. A Streak of Luck; or, The Boy Who Feathered His Nest 18 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune. 11 King of the Marfret; or, The Youngest Trader in Wall Street. 18 Pure Grit; or, One Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise in Lif1 ; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 10 A Barrel of Money; or, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. .. 21 All to the Good; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He pot There; or, The Pluckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Win; orJ The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, the Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 The Way to Success; or, The Boy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oil; or, The Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk; or, The Young Miners of Della Cruz. 29 A Sure Winner; or, The Boy Who Went Out With a Circus. 30 Golden Fleece; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street. 31 A Mad Cap Scheme; or, The Bo;y: Treasure Hunters of Cocos Island. 32 A .drift on the World; or, Working His Way to Fortune. 33 Playing to Win; or, The Foxiest Bo:y"in Wall Street. 34 Tatters; or, A Boy from the Slums. 35 A Young Monte Cristo; or, The Richest Boy in the World. 36 Won by Pluck; or, The Boys Who Ran a Railroad. 37 Beating the Brokers; or, The Boy Who "Couldn't be 38 A Rolling Stone; or, The Brightest Boy on Record. 39 Never Say Die; or, The Young Surveyor of Happy Valley. 40 Almost a Man; or, Winning His Way to the Top. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in' money or postage stamps, by FBAIJX TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY. BACK NUMBERS 9t our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and ftll fn the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by re-thrn, mail. POS'.rAGE STAMPS TAKJ

WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE s'T'ORY EVERY 'WEEK Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS Price 5 Cents: Otr HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED COVERS 32-PAGES OF READING MATTER ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY -.i Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the World TAKE NOTICE! ..._ This handsome weekly contains intensely interesting stories of adventure on a great variety of subjects. Each number is replete with rousing situations and liv ely incidents The heroes are bright, manly fellows, who Overcome all obstacles by sheer force of brains and grit and win well merited success. We have secured a staff of new authors, who write thes e stories in a manner which will be a source of pleasure and profit to the r eader. Each number ha s a hand some col ored illustration made by the most expert artists. Large s ums of money are being spent to make this one of the best weeklies ever published ..... Here i s a List 6 f Some of the Titles .... 1 Smashing th


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