Kicked into luck, or, The way Nate got there

Kicked into luck, or, The way Nate got there

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Kicked into luck, or, The way Nate got there
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
Roy, Rob
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey Publisher
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1 online resource (28 pages)


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
032057147 ( ALEPH )
864602305 ( OCLC )
W20-00024 ( USF DOI )
w20.24 ( USF Handle )

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"Yoilr .life is safe now!" cheered the stranger, reaching -out a strong arm to the boy on. .the sUiiken reef. ''My life?'' chattered Nate. "I've lost far more than that-lost everything that I had to life at all worth living!"


WIDE A WAKE WEEKLY A .COMPLETE EYERY WEEK. l11ued WeeklJ1-By Subscriptio n $2.50 per year. Entered according to Act of Congress, m the year 1906, in the of fhe Ltbrarwn of O o n g rea1, W a shington, D. o., bl/ Frank T o use y PubH ahe,., 24 U nion Square, New Y o r.k. No. 26. NEW YORK, OCTO BER 12, 1906. PRICE 5 CENTS. }\iGked Into OB, THE WAY NATE GOT THERE By ROB ROY CHAPTER I. KICKED,. .AND HARD "Listen to Fred Joyce There's the boy who's going t o g e t a head in life!" It was Billy Bragg who spoke, and at Nate's party. Nobody ever accused Nate of any disp o siti o n to get ahead He was s eventeen, a nd what had he ever .done, except eat a nd s leep, and work whe n he had to. "It was get tin g that jol;> a s telegraph operator this sum m e r Fred, that gave y ou y our start," put in Will Slater. "Humph!" r e tor te d Fred, a handsome, dark -eyed. lad of eighteen. "No; it wasn't, either. It was just my ideas of pu s h that put me where I am." Conceit rang in th a t voice. Yet it wasn't a bad form. o conceit, either. It was the self-pride of a fellow who had: thought and hustled for what he had. Fred had a right to be proud. "How did you ever come to learn telegraphing, Fred?" asked Jim Tre at, who was a fairly recent comer i n this little sea-coast town of Dreamhaven "How'd I learn?" asked Fred, laughingly, as he glanced around to see if all the girls were listening Kate Tremont was anyway "Why," Fre d went on, "Farrell taught me, so I could h e lp him out Tuesday aHd Friday nights, when he wanted t o g o and see his girl. It was I who put him up to teach in g m e I fooled around, and spent a lot of time at the I station, earning nothing ait the time. B u t I was learning a trade, and le'arning it free of cost. Then, when Farre! got laid off for four months for letting that freight go by, and almost causing a collision with the passenger-train, I just cheeked my way into the job. Held it just four months until Farrell came back. Got forty-five dollars a month. Lived with the folks, so didn't have to spend a cent. Saved all the money and bought my team of horses to day." Fred looked around beamingly over the crowd, but his glance rested longest on the shining eyes of Kit Tremont. She was smiling back at him. "You're going to do mighty well this winter, ain't you, Fred?" demanded Billy Bragg, who was Fred's chum and devoted admirer "Well, said Fred, trying hard to keep his tone modest, "with my team I'm going to get four dollars a day every pleasan t day this winter, teami n g logs out of the woods. That ain't so bad." "Bad?" echoed Nate's middle-aged Aunt Minnie. "I call it downright good pay for a boy of eighteen. I do hope, Fred, you'll do as well all through your life." "Why, Mrs Lawrence," protested Fred, warmly, "I don't intend to stop at log-teaming. I'm going to make money, put it by and get ahead By the time I'm twenty -one I mean to have money enough to stai-t in contracting .'' "And you'll do it, too, Fred," said Billy Bragg, who was never so happy as when praising his chum Nate Fletcher felt miEerabl e enough when he saw the whole crowd around Fred--even Kate Tremont


KICKED INTO LUCK. It was Kit's manifest interest in Fred and the latter's performances that hurt our young friend mos t of all. For, 'way back in his bashful heart, Nate wished for two years that Kit would take more interest in him. 'fhis was Nate's party, given him through the good natured indulgence of Aunt Minnie Lawrenee, with w!iom Nate lived. Nate's party, buf Fred Joyce, with his new prosperity and his big chances for the future, was the hero of the evening. Dreamhaven was a small place, without any very rich residents. 'rhe people there were plain, hard-working Americans, who earned their dollars slowly and parted with them cau tiously. There was a good public school there. Boys had a chance to make a decent start in life. 'fhe farming and lumbering, the fishing and some work on the railroad gave the men of the town a fair chance to make a living and to bring up families in decent comfort. ; But that was all. Most people in the town lived and died without having seen much of the world. Most of the smart boys, as is the rule everywhere in slow towns, moved away when they grew up. There was plenty of vim, plenty of "go" in these haven boys. Plenty of health, cheer and good looks among the girls. Kate Tremont, who was the sole daughter of the town's one dressmaker, was the beauty of the place. Had there been money enough behind Kate to dress her as a beauty should be dressed, and had she had a chance to go out into the world, she would have had wealthy suitors a.t her feet the door on the laughter and the chatter going on in the "setting-room" and the parlor. "I declare, Nate," she murmured, "it does me good to see a young fellow getting along the way Fred Joyce is doing." "He's a good fellow, and lucky," Nate declared. "Lucky?" sniffed Aunt Minnie. "Do you know how folks become lucky? Mostly by getting up in the morning early and hustling and working for luck all day long! You could have had that telegraphing job all summer, just the s ame as Fre d did, but for one thing." "What's that one thing?" asked Nate, moodily. "You ain't as smart as Fred," declared his aunt, with what was meant to be but the words stung ancl hurt. "You hain't got the brains and the push that Fred Joy c e ha s." "Maybe I haven't/' Nate sighed, watching Aunt Minnie cut into the pies. ''Nate !H uttered his aunt, sharply, as she looked up keenly at him "what on earth are you going to do? You'll have, b e fore winter's all the schooling this place can give you. Then, what are you gojng to do to be a MAN?" "I don't know Nate said, half-wonderingly. "Humph! Then it's time you woke up and found out! By the time y ou've got your first job, a fellow like Fred Joyce will be well-fixed and married to Kit Tremont." Kit! The re it was a g ain Nate with a choke 'In his throat opened the door and stepped into the next room. For a wonder Kit Tremont was sitting on a sofa alone. Fred Joyce was showing the boys-and the girls-a new trick in bending For once in his life Nate Fletcher a c ted with decision. B t D h . f He plumped hims .elf. into the seat bes ide Kit Tremont. u a ream aven dressmaker had littl e m th e way o His heart was beating fast, but he came to another de-money. Kate was expected to marry one of the Dream. h b csion. aven oys in time, and settle down as the town's other "Kit, he whis pered "I'm going out on the front porch." women had done. ".Arl3 you?" a s ked Kit, not in the least surprised. So far Kate, who was seventeen, had showed no disposi"Yes; will you do me a great favor, Kit-a great big tion to accept serious attentions from any lover one?" That was Nate's one hope, as he gazed at her to-night. "What?" inquired Kit, calm-eyed a.nd politely interested. She was in no hurry. Perhaps, later on, there would be a chance for him. "Slip out after me will you?" "What?" demanded Kit, now permitting herself to be So thinking, Nate strolled disconsolately out into the kitchen of the little farm cottage. After him came .Aunt Minnie, all hustle and all bustle, her mind seemingly wholly on getting the party-supper in shape. Minnie wasn't wlrnt you would call rich. She owned this little nine-acre place free and clear. She raised what could on it, with Nate's help. He was not always the best helper; for, at times, for days, he would only dream of work. Aunt Minnie had her soldier's widow's pension of twelve dollars a month from the Government. For the rest, it was her hustling, not her nephew's, that kept the pl;,ce going. As soon as she reached the kitchen, Aunt Minnie closed surpris ed. "Run after a boy?" But, for once, Nate was not to be downed. "It isn't like that, Kit, and you know it," he protested, firmly. "But-well, come on out, won't you? It's-it's mighty important With that, Nate rose a.nd walked toward the door. Pres ently he opened it ani! slipped out into the September night. He ha .cl not dared boldly to ask pretty Kit Tremont to walk out there openly with him. He dre aded the chaffing that such a procedure would be sure to bring. Besides, such a move might have brought out the entire rollicking crowd. Once out there Nate peered int.> the lighted room with a heart that was going fast. Would Kit come? Or would she treat his request as a


KICKED INTO LUCK. joke, perhaps make it a jest with the other young rollickers ? But presently the door opened. Kit stepped quickly out and closed it again. "Now, what do you want, Nate?" asked the girl, looking at him straight in the eyes. Nate's courage all but forsook him, but he braced up. "Kit," he asked, desperately, "do you think you could ever like me?" "Why, I like you now," admitted the girl, calmly. "At least, I'd like you better, Nate, if you weren't so-wellshiftless. Purposeless. If you had more go and snap to you-like most of the other boys." "You think I'm stupid, then?" asked Nate, humbly. "No; not that," said Kit, with friendly frankness. "But you don't seem to think there's much of anything to be done to-day. Look at Fred, now. See what a hustler he is. And there's Billy Bragg-going to business college in the city, after Tom Downing has already gone off to work his way through college and be a doctor. Jake Johnson is promised a job on the railroad soon, and Ed Muench starts, in two weeks, to drive the mail-stage. All the young fellows that you've grown up with are planning to do well. What are you going to do, Nate?" The girl was looking with such searchin g friendliness into his eyes that Nate, stung to sudden speech, retorted: "Kit, I'm going to do better'n any of 'em!" "At what?" "I'd rather not tell you just yet, Kit," he replied, quietly. "Let me keep it for a secret a little longer, will you?" "Why, of course, if you want to keep it a secret," Kit repli ed, glancing at him without suspicion. She hadn't even an idea of the truth-that Nate didn't know any secret about his future plans. But now he branched determinedly into the rest that he had to say. "Kit, you ain't keeping compsny with anJ. yet, are you?" "Why, of course not," Kit sm iled back at him. "Why should I?" "Honest?" "I don't tell fibs," replied Kit, with a toss of her head. "Of course you don't," Nate returned, with sudden tact. "Now, for the next point in the business! Kit, will you l et me keep company with you?" "Why, why should 1 ?" laughed Kit. "I don't want a beau yet." "But I want a sweetheart, Kit!" cried the boy, with al most sullen passion. "That's just what I need to make mi3 succeed. If you'll agree that I can keep company with you for a while-and let other folks see it-I'll show you, then, that there's something in me that'll make a big man of me!" Bnt Kit only laughed. 1You do that, Nate," she answered, more seriously, "and I'll talk about keeping company with you." "But won't you take me for a beau, now, Kit?" pleaded the boy. "You can ship me any time that I don't show up well enough, you know." "I'll wait until you do show up," laughed Kit, saucily, and turned to go back into the house. "But, Kit," murmured the boy, catchibg at one of her hands and holding her by force, "you won't keep company with any one else until you've given me a chance to show whatls in me?" "Not this year, anyway," replied Kit, laughing seriousness. She knew well enough that she not yet ready to think of l

4 KICKED INTO LUCK. "You don't need our horse, do you?" flared Nate. I prospered well enough to own an automobile was driving the "Yes; very much; but the horse'll come back to you be-car down the road. :fore daylight. Open that gate!" I As the keen lights :fell across the boy's figure, the solitary "I won't defied Nate. man in the car put on the brakes Then he stopped. With a swift movement the stranger drew a revolver from "Boy, have you seen a young man in a gray suit-a tall, his hip-pocket and fired. smooth-shaven chap in a soft brown ca_E ?" The bullet struck almost at Nate Fletcher's feet, throw. "Have I?" gulped Nate. ing up the dirt and making the boy quiver with dread. "Yes; talk up, quick!" "You see," smiled the young stranger, coolly, "I'm in "I've seen him," nodded Nate. earnest about having that gate opened." "Where?" "You'll bring a crowd out on top ,of you now," chal"On the back of our horse!" lenged Nate. "He hired it?" demanded the automobilist, eagerly. "All the more reason, then, for being quick!" "No! Swiped it!" The stranger rode a few feet nearer; then, with a steady, "And you saw him and didn't stop him?" demanded the unflinching hand, held the pistol so that the muzzle covered st ran ger, in amazement. Nate's heart at a distance of eight feet. "I was too late to," said Nate, non-committally. "Open that gate at once, boy, or you won't have to "Which way did he go?" say your prayers before you're in the next world!" "Down that way,'' Nate replied, pointing. That settled it. The determined stranger spoke as if he "Boy, you know all the roads about here?" meant business. "Yes ; o:f course." "Don't shoot!" begged Nate "Hold on!" "Jump in, then! I'll pay you well!" He swung the gate open. "Are you after that horse-thief, to catch him?" cried "Thank you," acknowledged the stra nger, riding through Nate, eagerly. at a trot. "Every time!" Just outside he urged the horse into a gallop and rider Nate was beside the auto at a bound. Grasping a ha.nd-and beast disappeared down the roacl. rail, he pulled him self up beside the driver. Now the door :flew open, and Fred Joyce's voice called "Where are the nearest sailboats kept, clown that way?" out: cried the automobilist, a big, portly, rec1-:faced man who "You out there, Nate?" looked to be close on to fifty years old. "Yes," replied the .boy, hoarsely "Ain't n:iany in the water at this time of the year," Nate "What was that shot?'' replied. "There wasn't any." "Where's the neare st one?" "We thought we heard one." "About the only one I know of is an old sloop of Hun" It was me, slamming the gate," lied Nate, on the spur ter's. That' s at Hunter's Point, about two and a of the moment. half from here." How could he face this crowd-and Kit mosf o! all-and The big man jumped out, extinguishing his lamps. admit that he had held the gate open :for a horse-thief to "It's against the law to go along these roads without a elope with Aunt Min's only horse? He must have time to light,'' ventured Nate. think the t errible situation over. "Not when you're after criminals!" jeered the big man, "Humph!" said Fred, coming across the lawn followed springi ng in again. "Now is there a shorter cut than the by Billy Bragg and two or three other fellows, "it's mi gh ty regular road to Hunter's Point?" -:funny that you slammed the gate when you're holding it "Yes; a side-road tha.t cuts o ff about half a mile." wide open!" "Guide me by the s hort cut, then. Rememqer, boy, "Oh, run along! Chase yourselves won't you, you .fel there's money in this if you serve me well!" lows?" grumbled Nate. "I want a minute to myself." Chirr-rr-rr The y flew over the road through the dark Offended by this lac'K o:f hospitality Fred short ni g ht. At the turn, our yonng friend pointed out the on his heel and led the crowd back into the house. s h or t cut. "What am I to do? What am I to sai?" wondered the In almost no time it seemed, they r eached the Point-a boy. "I stood like a fool and let that thief go off with bleak, lonel y place, with only a low pier at which an old, Dolly. What a guying I'll get! Oh, I wish I had never almost useless thirty-foot sloop bumpefl against the piles. been born! Aunt Min will wish the thing, too! And "Jump out here and wait a miute,'' commanded Kit? She'll look straight past me when she sees me after the big man who then ran the auto down the shore and thi s !" hid it behind a grove of trees. It was almost too much misery to be borne. Puffing the big man ran back. Nate stood there, leaning over the gate from Listening, they heard the st ill rather distant sound of a the outside, after he had closed it. hor se's hoofs at a slow trot. Ohirr -rr-rr chug! He looked up. Somebody who had "Our man's coming!" whispered the big man, eagerly,


KICKED INTO LUCK. tremul ously "See here, boy, I want you to get down into Bump! Nate heard the young stranger's feet l and in that sloop. Hide in the cabin. After the boat's under way, the sloop's cock-pit. well out from shore, you can come out, and pretend that At this juncture, young Fletcher remembered the crisp you 've been asleep in the cabin. Tom Treadwell won't re-1 bit of paper that still lay crumpled in his hand. He tucked member you as the same boy he saw up yonder. Just mak e believe to help him, and watch your chance to cut some rope that'll make it impossible to sai l the boat further. Under stand? "No," said Nate, dazedly. "All you have to do is to slip along and disable the boat, somehow, s u ch as cutting a rope. The officers who have the warrant have gone. on to another point to get a motor-boat. You make this s loop helpless, and they' ll pick you up all right, and catch the thief. Boy, there's a tremendously big r eward out for Tom Treadw e ll. You'll get a s lice of i t, if you h e lp. Here! This will s harpen your wits! R emem b er, this is only a sma ll advance payment at that!" Nate found a hundred-dollar bill s pred out in his h and. "See here, I want to know more about this," he mumbled. "You don't need to!" gruffed the big man. "You know what you're to do, and you'll make a big pi l e out of this if you do it right. Get down into tha t sloop, qu ick!" "Not until I know more about this game, protested the boy. The trotting horse was coming nearer in the da.rk. "It'll n ever do for Tom Treadwell to catch me here!" grunted the big man, half to himself. Then, his face distorted by anger, the big man, his voice trembling, growled out: "Confound you You know what to do, and you'v e got to do it! It's the chance of your kid-life to make money! There!" Whumpf Getting behind Nate, the big fellow delivered a tremendous kick that s ent the boy flying down from the into the cock-pit of the sloop. "Now, stay there, and do your work!" called down the big man, gruffly Nate heard the big man's retreating steps A moment or two la ter he heard a hors e 's trot end at the pier. Then, recovering his wits, our young friend crawled swiftly into the sloop's dark cabi n. CHAPTER II. AFLOAT WITH DEATH f Hiding theie in the dark, Nate heard that slUlle young man's voice call blithely: "Go back to your home, good old brute! You'll know e nou gh to go st r aight back to the poor people who own you, I know!" Slap Nate heard the sou nd of a st rong youn g hand de scending on the gray mar e's hide. Th en the young li ste ner heard Doll y trotting away from the pier. "Why," glowed Nate, "that fellow's no horse-thief!" "Nobody in sig h t, and all dark at the near est house, mused the youn g st ran ger "It couldn't be better. Now, I hope this old tub of a sloop is seaworthy! it c autious ly away in an inside pocket But presently he forgot about even that amazing hundred -dollar b ill i n his inte rest in what was taking place about the b oat. The young man, whom the portly driver of the automo bile had called Tom Treadwell, was humming as content edly as if at peace with all the world. Yet he moved quickly, as the sounds of making sai l told "This fellow is at home on a sailboat," Nate mused At last our young friend heard the casting -off of t h e bow and stern lines. Then the boat keeled, began to move throug h the water "I wonder if that fat old party expected me to go o u t there an d face a revolver in a desperate man's hands, just for the fun of the thing?" wondered Nate, crouching in the darkness of the little cabin. They w e re sailing st rai ght out to sea, as Nate could tell by the position of the headl8.nd, as seen through the cabin door over the boat's stern As Fletcher's eyes grew more accustomed to the dark, he could make out the young man rather plainly Yes, it was certainly the s ame who had so reso l utely "borrowed" Dolly a few minutes before. Now, the headlands quickly vanished in the darkness of the night. The sky was lowery, as if 11. storm might be expected. For perhap s a mile off coas t they went. Then Nate was just able to make out 'that the young stranger was lashi n g the tiller. "What's up now, I wonder?" quivered Nate, curiously. He was not long l eft in doubt. With a quick s tep the young stranger leaned over the cabin-door, pulling a long, black tube from his pocket F l are Nate, crouc h ing a s he was, was revealed in the g low of a pocket sear c hlig ht. If F l etc her was st artled, he was not less s o than the st ran ger Tpat young man fell back, letting the light go out as he rested a hand on the tiller. "Whoever you are," he commanded, "come out!" "I might as well," mumbled N ate to himself. "He's too mighty handy with that revolver." So the boy s tepped slowly out on to the deck, t h e st r ange r regarding him curiou s l y The stare was now r eturned in all coolness "If it didn't seem impossible," beg an the strange r "I'd s ay you were the same youngster who so courteously loaned me a horse." "If y ou put it that way," grimaced Nate, "I am." "Then how on earth did get h e re ?n blurted the s tran ger But Nate, having come to the test was developing inna te courage.


/ ) 6 KICKED INTO LUCK. ------------======;=============== 1 there was a fortune to be had by captur ing th!s goodI "Boy, do you know why that fellow wait to catch looking young criminal, he meant to have it. me himself?" So Nate did not answer until he had humped up, seating "No; of course not." himself over the hatchway, his legs dangling. Then, look"He feared for his miserable life!" hissed the yoimg ing the stranger st raight in the eyes, he demanded: s tranger, sharp ly. "What's your name, boy?" "Your name's Tom Treadwell, isn't it?" "Nate F l etcher ." "Yes," replied the other, with surpr i sing candor "Nate, if you ever meet that fellow again, give him a "You' re escaping from the officers, aren't you?" Nate wide bertJ1. Don't trust his offers of reward, or anything persisted. else. He's a li ar, a scoundre l, a cheat! He's the biggest Treadwell started, paled, the n looked at Nate with angry, villain that ever escaped hanging!" suspicious, s teely eyes. Treadwell was si l ent for a moment after that, but his His eyes in that moment, were not pleasant to look at breath came sharply. At length he went on: They were the eyes of the hunted beast who would kill its "Nate, I've been studying your face as well as I could too-daring pursuer. in this darkness. I rather like your face, on the whole. "Young man," queried Treadw ell, softly, yet in a busi-I'm going to tell you something about how I happen to be nesslike tone, "do you realize that you're afloat with in this fix. In an hour or two I'll either be safe, or e lse death?" I'll be dead-shot through and through So it can do no "You mean this unseaworthy old tub?" queried N.ate, harm to talk to you It'll ease my mind to have some one bluffing with a smile to talk to. Do you care to listen?" "I mean danger that may come from me," replied Tread"Why, of course I clo," Nate, eagerly. well, firmly "I mean that come upon "Then I'm going to tell you. But, speaking of the possi you at my hand if you interfere in any way with my plans bility of my being killed, I may want you to send a note to-night!" for me. I know you'd do that, all right, so I won't even That was definite, positive--not to be gotten over. trouble to ask you. Got paper and pencil with you?" And 'fom Treadwell looked like a man who would do all Nate nodded, producing the articles. he sa id when it came to the pinch. "Write down this address: Miss Nancy Graylock, 234 "What do they want you for?" asked Nate, trying to gain Ellis Avenue, Cincinnati. Now, Fletcher, I'm going to time. tell you somethng about this affair If I do happen to be "That isn't any of your business," replied Treadwell, killed to-night-for I won't be caught-you will be able to coldly. "All you've got to remember is that, now you're write Graylock-understandingly. At the O.II this boat, you've got to keep mighty quiet and not try same time, if we are overhauled and there's a fight, you -to hinder me in any way." can note something else to tell Miss Graylock. Impress "What are you trying to do?" upon her that I died w i thout blood-guilt. I fire at "How did you learn my name--that officers were after the officers, if they get near enough, but I shall sh oot past me?" Treadwell p ounter-questioned. "How did you come them, and only close enough to provoke them into killing to get down here, in fact?" me. "Its your turn to answer questions first," proposed Nate, Nate gazed at the y oung man, fascinated by his quite, baldly. but terrible, earnestness A swift flash in Tom TreadwelFs re s olute eyes warned "By the way," smiled Treadwell, "if the fight begins, the boy that he was going too far. you'll naturally want to keep out of the re ach of bullets. "You answer every one of my quest ions now," directed Sl ;in up the mast as high as you can get ;' the young stranger, "or I'll th1:ow you overboard without a "I'll wait until the fight begins," Nate smiled back at sec ond's hesitation. Understand?" him "Yes." "You believe I always mean what I don't you?" "Yes," Nate felt forced to admit. "Then tell me just how you came to be aboard." "Here goes, then," replied Nate, trying to pretend a cool n e s s that he did not feel with those angry, steely, watchful eyes on him. He told the whole story of his meeting with the portly man-all except the passing of the hundred-dollar bill. "Describe that man more fully," ordered Tom Treadwell. Nate did so. Treadwell's eyes lighted up with a new light of hate "Oho!" he growl ed, s howing his fine, big, white teeth. "Perhaps you 've guessed, already, that I'm :from Cincin nati," went on the young stranger. "So is Jasper Gregg. He' s one of the very rich men of the place. We were both of us suitors for Miss Graylock's hand. I won. I didn't know what a scoundrel Gregg was. "My father had just failed and died, l eaving me very near to being penniless. Gregg tried to show his good -will by organizing a stock company to operate a factory tha.t Gregg had owned. He allowed me to buy five shares, and sold one to a clerk, keeping the rest of the shares for him self That enab led us to organize as a stock company. "You see, Gregg owned about everything in the company. But h e made me manager and treasurer, and prom-


KICKED INTO LUCK. ised me a good thing when the business grew How was I to know that he meant something different "One day Gregg came to me. We. had a lot of the com pany's money l ying idle, not yet invested Gregg sa i d he wanted a hundred thousand dollars of it. You understand, Nate, that, since he owned a l most all of the company, it was his own money Gregg explained to me that he didn't want any entry on the books to show that he had drawn money at such a time Then he showed me how to make cross e n tries on the books in such a way as not to show that the money had been drawn. So I made the entries as he told me to, got the money and handed it over to him "Nate, I don't know whether you'll how big a scoundrel a fellow like Gregg can be. Soon after, he had an expert accountant at the books, the cross-entries were discovered, and Gregg denied that he had ever ordered me to do anything of the sort "Do you understand, youngster? Though an honest man, I had been tricked into appearing as a defaulter to the tune of a hundred thousand dollars? "Then the lawyers got after me! Then Jasper Gregg, through another person-he ditln't dare to see me himself gave me to understand tha.t the whole row would be hushed up if I would give up Nance Graylock and h6lp Gregg to win her "The scoundrel!" broke, indignantly, from N a te. "He ought to be hanged!" Tom Treadwell smiled drearily "I'm glad to see that you understand, Nate! Well, after that, the only thing to do was to skip, and skip fast. There was even no chance to see Nance. But I got a message from the dear girl She trusts me, and will wait and stick to me through thick and thin!" "But how can you get away now?" asked Nate, dubiously. "Easily enough, if my luck doesn't fail. Though I'm about strapped, Nate, I have friends who are n<;>t. One of them owns a f'team yacht. He is cruising.somewhere around here now. Through the night he'll pass this part of the coast It only rests with me to get aboard. Then off for some foreign shore until this trouble b lows over! My friends will fight for me if once I can be gotten safe away from prison bars and bolts "Listen !" urged Nate, suddenl:v, holding up a hand. Awa)' to the south of them could be heard a steady chug clrngging "A motor-boat!" thrilled Nate. "Is that the one the officers are in-after you?" "Must be!" cried Torn, desperntel_r. "And, if Gregg has had chance to communicate with the officers, he'll tell them just where I put off." "Row do the officers rome to be so close on your trail?" asked Nate, with awe in his voice at the thought 0 how soon a fata 1 tragedy might occur. "The Lord only knows how detectives get after people!" cried Treadwell, bitterly. "But they do. I was hiding i n this section 0 the country for the laRt twenty four hours, waiting until to-night. To night I saw many men pass my hiding-place on foot. 0 cour5C I suspected them all of being officers. I felt that I mus t be mounted, so that I could beat pursuit That was why I borrowed your horse." "Listen urged Nate "That launch is getting closer "Boy!" cried Treadwe ll with sudden suspicion, "you're not going to go back on me, are you ?" "What's that?" Na.te c1emandec1, sharp l y "Do you class me with scoundrels like Gregg?" "But that reward--" "Blood money!" spoke Nate F l etcher, con temp t r inging honestly in his young voice. "You'll stand by me, old chap?" cried Treadwell, s u d den joy in his voice as he gazed peering l y into Nate's eyes. 0 course I will! Stand by an. h o n est man in trouble every time!" Their hands met in fervent clasp. 'Fletcher, I don't understand how you trust me, w i th only my own word back of me?" "I trust you the same way you trusted me/' smiled Nate "You said you believed in my looks I believe in yours. There! That launch is still getting closer! Woul d n t it be wise to shape off a bit more to the northeast?" "Correct," nodded Treadwell, thrnwing over the w heel. "Nate, can you sai l a boat like this?" "Of course. Any ell ow in our town c ould." "You'll be able to take he r back to shore t h en?" "Sure enough!" Treadwell relapsed into silep.ce. B ot h li stene d to that chug-chugging. "Those chaps in the l aunch seem t o be g o ing more in shore," Nate whispe red. Treadwell nodded. "Now, they're putti n g out a bit, but sout h e a st," w his pered Nate, a ew moments l ater "I wonder how far away t hey can see a w hit e s ail lik e ours," murmured the fugitive, g l anc i ng at t h e canvas . Nate glanced up at the thick, b l ack sky. "In weather like this," he rep li ed, I d o ubt if our s ail can be seen much more than an eigMh of a m il e aw:iy." "How fast are we sailing, Nate?" "About seven knots on this tack. "How fast does the average l aunc h a r o un d h e r e go?" "From eight to ten knots perhaps e leven, with c rowd ing." Treadwell shrugged his s l10ulder s "Our onl y hope of safety lies i n n ot b e ing seen," he ob S'ervecl, grimly. Once, later, they heard the chug chugging come s o clos e that it seemed as if the launch still invisib l e i n the black ness, must soon come out of the unseen and r u n the m d o w n They changed their course slight ly, hold i n g their breaths, until the chugging receded. "Scares like that grow gray hai r s ove' night!" muttered Tom Treadwell, bitter ly. They lay to, now, Nate having d e clared that they were j ust about three miles off s hor e


8 KICKED INTO LUCK. Our hero went forward, to keep a sharp lookout, Tread well remaining astern. "Hey!" warned Nate, softly, at last. "There's something moving off there!" Trcauwell ran lightly forward. "My good old friend's yacht, I do believe!" he cried, joyously. "A steam yacht making no noise?" murmured Nate. "Be sure the engines are not moving," retorted Treadwell. "That craft is only under sail now, but with the engines ready to start in a second. By Jov e Nate, indis tinct as that mass is, it must be the yacht!" "She looks to be a quarter of a mile away," breathed young Fletcher. "I'll chance it! I'll run alongside." "Listen urged Nate. "Whd for ?" "What's the course of that launch with the officers aboard?" As best they could, they located the position of the police launch in the dark. "Quite a bit to south," whispered Treadwell. "We'll chance it!" Running back to the helm, the fugitive hauled in his sheet. The sloop began to move, Nate remaining at the bow for lookout. Within a few minutes they ran so close to the big craft that Nate made out, with fair distinctness, a s team-yacht schooner-rigged, of some three hundred and fifty tons. Tom Treadwell, trembling as if with ague, rose in the cock-pit. Making a trumpet of hi s hands, he bellowed: "Bonita, ahoy!" "Hullo, there!" came back the answer, through a megaphone. "Who's that?" "Tom!" "Thank heaven, old chap!" "I'm coming alongside." "Make it as quick as you can!" But Nate, pointing tq the southward, called softly to the fugitive: "There's that infernal launch-headed straight this way!" CHAPTER III LOST! "Let me take the helm!" cried Nate, leaping a ft. "Yon get forward, and get aboard as fas t as you can. Then I'll sail off and try to get the police boat on a false chase." "God bless you, old chap!" cried Tom Treadwell, huskily. He gave up the helm, gave Nate's nearest shoulder a squeeze, then ran forward to "the bow. In his best style of seamanship Nate Fletcher ran the old sloop up to the windward of the big steam yacht. Graze! He ran the sloop just lightly alongside, that Tom Treadwell might safely leap up to the rail of the larger craft. "Good-bye, and good luck l" hailed Nate, just loudly enough to be heard. 1But the fugitive, wheeling swiftly about, after grasping the hand of a man who had met him at the rail, cried: "Phil, don't let that brick of a boy get away until you've been down on his deck and wrung his hand for his kindness to me." "What did he do for you?" asked the man addressed. "That boy, Nate Fletcher, was sent to help catch me, and dazzled with offers of big reward. Instead, he has helped me to get out here. I owe all my safety to him "Thunder Is that so?" bellowed the man addressed as Phil. "Nate Fletcher, wait just a second until I get an important message for you to take ashore!" With that, the man named Phil, who must be the owner of this handsome yacht, disappeared through a doorway in the deck-house. But he was out again, almost instantly, with a small package in his hands. Down on the deck of the old sloop he plumped himself, then darted aft. I{e was a short man, as rounded and plump as Cupid himself, and with one of the jolli est faces Nate had ever seen. "My boy, God bless you!" cried Phil, grasping Fletcher's hand. "You don't know what you've done for a lot of folks in helping -dear old Tom Treg,dwell to get away from Gregg! Remember, Tom has friends l We'd have bought his way out of fool scrape, but Gregg simply wouldn't have H-the nnhung villain l Take this box, Nate! It's yours! Guard it carefully l Good-bye l'' "We'll show you what we can do!" laughed Phil, joy ouslv, as he ran forward. "Captain full steam-due east!" B.y the time that the command was out of his mouth, this jolly little man in the blue yachting-suit had climbed back to the deck of his own craft. "Sheer off. quick!" called Tom, waving hi s hand. "God bless y011, Nate! Write, in the morning, to that address I gave you!" "I will! Good-bye, and good luck Tom Treadwell!" A deep-throated, challenging came from the whistle of the yacht All of a sudden lights shone through the windows of the Bonita's deck-houses. The green and red sidelights beamed out; a m:rsthearl light glistened high up in the forward rigging. One bell! T'he Bonita began to move and to tnrn, as Nate filled and fell off. Two l:ielk! Witli a series of barking blasts from her whistle, the Bonita scurried away at a :fifteen-knot clip, a blazing mass of glaring light on the water. "She's just scooting off lik e some grand old throbbed NAJe Fletcher af:, with hand on wheel, he watcheil h er go for a minnte. Then, recalling himself, he sent the sloop's 11ead around, s tartin g ,back toward Hunter's Point. "I don't hear the laun ch now!' muttered the ing. "I'll bet she's racing with the swift Bonita."


KICKED INTO LUCK. 9 Which was just what the launch was doing, and hope lessly. Now, Nate sudden ly remembered the littl e wooden box, given him by Phil, and on which our hero was now sitting. Easing off the sheet, Nate stepped below. 'rhere was a bracket lamp at the further end of the cabin He lighted it; then turned to the box, pushing out the sliding -lid. "It's raining money to-night!" he gasped There, in the box, lay banknotes-some of them old and worn. There were fives, tens an .cl twenties-and ones! this Nate's eyes discovered as his trembling fingers ran over the ends of the pile. On top of all lay a card. One side bore on it the en graved name, "Philip B e ntley." On the other side was written: "This would have been more, but cleans up about all the ready cash I have on hand!" "More?" vibrated Nate, hi s face flushing hotly. "Great Scott! it's enough-if ever there was e nough of anything. 1Vl1ew What a lot! How muc h, I wonder?" Feverishly he ran over the ends of the banknotes, hastily adding the figure s together. "Five hundred and ten dollars!" he throbbed. "I s hould say Tom Treadwell did have friends-and they're princes at that!" Tn an ecstasy this boy, who had never owned a five-cloHar bill before, r e member e d and drew out the bill which Gregg had pressed into his hand. "I didn't do anythin g to earn that hundre d though," he mused. "I s uppose I'll have to give it back to Gregg if I can find him. By thunder, though! He ought to owe me that much for the fearful kick he gave me. But, say Aunt Min right, though? She sai d I'd have to be kicked into luck before I could mak e anything out of life." A whining of wind in the s loop's halyards and a lurch ing rocking. of the old hull told weather-wise Nate Fletcher that it was time to get out on deck. He placed Gregg's money with th a t which Bentley had given him thrusting i t under a mattress m one of the bunks. Then Nate bounded out on deck. It was high time: Just as he hauled the sheet in, a puff of wind caught the sail, burying the sloop's lee rail under water. Just in the nick of time Nate let go the s heet. Glancing astern, he saw a great, black wind-cloud blowing in toward him. "It's time for scant sail," he panted, scrambling forward. Down fl.uttered the great mainsail. "Shall I put a reef in the jib?" wondered Nate. "No; lowance of spread. Nate, used to the coast all his life, felt no concern about making a safe berthing "Over six hundred dollars!" he told himself, again ancl again. "My Don't that make Fred Joyce 's team of horses 1ook sick! Why, I can buy three teams if I want!" But Nate, with money, found himself more undecided about the future than he had ever been when there was no money in sight. Yet, in this moment of prosperity, some good sense dawned on him. He would allow himself twenty dollars for pleasure-not a cent more! The rest must go into ness of some kind This is my chance for a future--and Kit!" The future, he decided, could wait until he had had a good sleep, and then a good talk with Aunt Min How asto und ed she would be But that twenty for pleasure! What a wide worl d of c hance s the spend of twenty whole dollars opened to him. "A shotgun?" he wondered. "N 0-00 -0; I s'pose not. A good one would eat up the whole twenty. A bicycle? That's just as bad!" Then his mind turned on a lump of small things, each one of which could be bought for a few dollars. Nate was piling them up before his mind's eye, when-Bump! The sloo.p, sailing fast before that half-gale, ha .cl crashed against something under her bow. Tear! That someth ing ripped plank after plank out of the bottom of the craft as she forced on to the rocks Then a high wave lifted the sloop clear of the rocks, forged her ahead, and swiftly clown out of sight. Startled Nate had just time to jump astern and clear himself of th. e craft before she went to her doom. Once in the water, Nate swam as a matter of course. One of his :feet struck something hard and rocklike. Nate l et clown both feet, standing erect on a reef whose top was below the white-capped water. "I forgot the Sow's Back ledge!" chattered the boy. "Hang it! I was thinking so much about that money-and now!" His despairing eyes saw the sloop stagger on and si)lk in water deeper than any d.iver could go clown in. The money's clone for-my only chance gone!" he half sobbed, as he fought to keep his footing on that narrow reef that had wrecked his fortunes. Just because he was young, Nate fought to keep his foot ing-struggled to keep alive, where an older man, as dis couraged, might have given up the battle then and there A dozen times through the night Nate Fletcher was swept from his unstable footing. A dozen times he regained the SoW's B ack ledge I'll chance it!" The breaking of morning came as dark and gloomy as Clambering back, he played out the jib-sheet a bit, after Nate's own feelings. feeling the :first few tugs of the wind at it. He had kept his footing all through the night, though "Wonder where the chug-chug boa.t is?" he smiled, to often had he been near to perishing. himself. "I haven't heard it lately." The sky was black. It was beginning to rain with The sloop was behaving b e tter, now, under her scant al- fl.m:hes of lightning and distant rumblings of thunder


10 KICKED INTO LUCK. Nate, sweepi ng t h e horizon in all directions, saw a sloop t o th e . It was a away, but coming nearer. "They may see m y signa l," he thought, listlessly, pulling of hi s j acket and waving it. An d a.t l as t t h ey" did see. The small cruising sloop, with a ro w b oat in tow, bore down close to the reef. The n two young f e llows, after waving friendly hands, pil e d i nto the sma ll boat, leaving a third young fellow a board t he s loop. Ahoy, t h e r e cal l e d o u t one of the rowers. "Safe to c ome right up al o n gside of you?" Yes," Nate answe r ed, l i stless ly. "In a l ight -draft craft lik e you rs." In a moment the rowboat was alongside. "Your l ife is safe now! cheered the stranger, reaching out a stro n g arm to the boy on the sunken reef "My li fe?" chat t ered Nate1 as they pulled him into the b oat. I 've l ost mor e than that-lost everything that-I had to m a k e li fe at all worth living!" CHAPTER IV. CRCESUS UP TO DATE. up so close to the box that Nate Fletcher, leaning feverishly O\ er the lee rail, srooped the floating box in. "Excuse me, won't you ?" he choked, and darted down into the cabin. There, with no prying eyes but his own, he slipped the lid of the box. Yes There it wasall the money-none the worse, ex cept for being well water soaked. That mattress in the bunk must have floated the box with it. On the waves they had parted company But Nate had his money! That changed the whole uni verse again He staggered up on to the deck a wild light of joy in hi s eyes. If the cruising youngsters had thought him dotty" be fore, they were sure of it now. Nate was st i ll silent, though trembling The first words he sai d were those of thank s when the cruising youngsters put him ashore at the point where he had asked to be landed. Still clutching the precious box, which he would not tn1st even to a pocket, our hero hurried home. It was so early in the morning that he met no one on the way. "How o n earth did you ever come to be out on that bit But Aunt Min was up. She yanked the door open vrith of s u nken reef, anyway?" curiously a>

KICKED INTO LUCK. 11 upstairs-this time to carefully hide all but a few dollars of his wealth. The very next thing that Nate did was to write a long letter to Miss Nance Graylock, as he had promised Tom Treadwell to do. That letter mailed, Nate bought stationery, stamps and a daily. newspaper, and hurried home. He wrote many more letters that day. They were short ones, but they did the trick. Within the next fortnight Nate Fletcher had all Dream haven-except Aunt Minnie-<>n the guessing-list. There were strange stories going about. Nate Fletcher, on a few dollaJ"S, had made a very small investment in Wall Street. It had paid, ; and, with the money, he had gone into other ventures, in a small way. He was st ill making money, but making it faster now, and in larger chunks. There were some who sniffed at s uch stories-yet how could they doubt? For, in the first place, Nate looked prosperous He was the owner of two of the "dandiest" suits of clothes to be seen on any young fellow in .Dteaml1aven. Besides, didn't he get l etters, lots of 'em, every day, from people who used envelopes that bore the addresses of brok ers in New York City? And couldn't Nate himself be seen, any forenoon, going to the postoffice with at least a half-dozen letters addressed to New York brokers? And so every one had to that Nate Fletche:r was "making money fast." As for Nate, he had nothing to say. He kept a smiling face as his sole answer to questioners. Nevertheless, he had seen to it that such stories were started on the rounds. It was all part of N a.te's plan to account for his having so much money as he intended presently to use. It doesn't take much to get letters from brokers. If one writes, asking advice about investments, to the brokers who advertise in newspapers, he is sure to get replies from those brokers. And that was all Nate was doing-asking questions of brokers, but investing never a copper -His letters of in quiry brought brokers' replies and set the postoffice people to ta.lking for Nate in that little town Fred Joyce, the saving, hustling young fellow, didn't talk much about his team of horses in these October clays. He couldn't find anybody interested in his small business venture. Everybody was marveling at Nate-who was growing locally famous on pure bluff! "Say, Nate, give us a tip!" urged Fred Joyce meeting our hero, one clay, on Main Street. "I've got eleven dollars." "What do you want to do with it?" smiled Nate. "Why, I thought, maybe, you'd be willing to give me a hint on what I could do with it by sending it to some broker in Wall Street," stamme red Fred. '"Wall Street?" echoed Nate, with a look of surp rise. "Well, everybody says J:OU're making a heap of moneY, there." "You'll be rich, one of these days, if you believe all you hear," smiled Nate. But st ill the Wall Street rumors persisted. Had anybody been smart enough to trace these rumors down to their s ource, they would have found that the most startling ru mors came from Will Slater, who was a sort of chum of Nate's. Will understood what he was to do. He and Nate had talked that over. Once in a while Nate stole ofi to his room to read over again the long, grateful letter he had received from Miss Nance Gray lock, and to look at the portrait of herself that that young lady had sent him. But, mostly, in his spare time, Nate kept about the st re ets, looking for a chance meeting with Kit Tremont. That young lady, sharing the general curiosity in Dream haven, took a good deal of intere st in young Fletcher these days. .... It was not long before Nate began to look about for a business to buy-and then Drea.mhaven got at the fever heat of its curiosity! But Nate found one fault, or another, with any business in town tha.t was offered fo him. But, at last, Old Sam Gardner's mill came into the mar ket. It was a combination grist and saw-mill, with a very fair average of business always. A fair price for the property would have been four t.l19u s and dollars. But Mr Gardner, who had saved some money, had been advised by his doctor to spend his winters South after this. So he put up the mill at three thousand dollars, spot cash, in order to make a quick sale Then Nate scurried around He found that the bank would lend twenty-five hundred on so good a property. Nate put :five hundred of his own funds with the bank money, and swiftly bought the mill, Aunt Minnie acting as his guardian and signing the mortgage papers at the bank. Just after the deal was closed Nate ran into Fred Joyce on the street. "I reckon I'll see a good deal of you this winter, Fred," smiled Nate. "Why so?" asked J oyg_e, curiously. "You haul logs to Gardne:r's mill this winter, don't you?" "Yes; you going to work there?" asked Fred. "Probably. I've just bought the mill." "What!" The news spread like wild -fire. Dreamhave n gave an other big gasp The local newspaper wrote Fletcher up as "our youngest business man." Right after that Nate, who had learned that Hunter had tried to sell his sloop for fifty dollars sent him that amount in an unsign e d letter. "That squares my conscience for losing hl.s boat," uttered Nate to his aunt.


12 KICKED INTO LUCK. The morning after the purchase of the mill Nate went down to have a look at it. The mill ran usually by water-power, there was a gasolene engine for use when the water was low. For the past two weeks it had been closed, but the begin ning of the grinding season w .as at hand. "It's going to take some mighty hard mucking and sav ing to ever get the mortgage paid off on that place," sighed Nate, as he dr e w near to his property. "But I never had much of anything, anyway, so it won't seem hard to do without things until I get the old mill all paid off." He went through the mill, doors and windows, to let air and sunlight' in. Toot! toot! There was a sound of wheels down in the below. Nate hurried down, just in time to see a big touring-car slow up at the door. "Crickets gasped the boy, receiving a shock. "It's old Jasper Gregg! Now, what on earth--" Gregg was coming in through the door by this time. He tMk a shrewd look around the mill, then g lanced with a jeering smile at our hero. "Pretty fair place here, Fletcher." "Yes," Nate responded, wondering what was coming next. "You're the new owner here, I h ear." "So folks say," Nate assented. "Must have taken quite a bit of money to get this place." "Oh, some," Nate admitted. ",And you didn't have any money before a certain night that we both remember." "What are you driving at, Mr. Gregg?" Nate Fletcher demanded, bluntly. "I don't believe it'll take me long to explain myself,'' re torted Jaspe r Gregg. "You've got a good little properly here, where you didn't have any money until very lately. You got that money by helping Tom Treadwell to escape from justice! To help a fugitive escape from justice is a crime-a state prison crime! In this case," thu;n.dered Gregg, "its a crime that I'm particularly interested in, seeing you punished for to the full exten t of the law!" CHAPTER V. GREGG HAS TIIE FLOOR. "Oh," asked Nate, hiding a yawn behind his hand. "Is that all?" "All?" thundered Gregg. "Isn't it enough?" "I don't know, Nate smiled. "Any idea how you're going to prove the things you charge?" you d eny that's the way you got the money that you've spent here?" "I haven't been a.sked to deny H," Nate smiled, coolly. "I ask you now? Do you dare deny that you got a lot of money through helping Tom Treadwe ll to get away from the officers?" "Oh, fu-u udge !" yawned Nate. 'I don't talie any in t e rest in jokes Jasper Gregg flushed angrily. He knew that he had no case against the boy, but had hoped to scare the youngster by a bluff. For Gregg had a strong notiop. that he could use Nate Fletcher. That very idea, in fact, had brought the old schemer back to Dreamhaven. "You've got the usual smartness of a v e r y fresh youth, Fletcher," cried Gregg, angrily, as he turned to ward the door. "But I believe I'll be ab l e to show you that you've gotten yourself h ea d over heels in trouble!" "Good-b ye," said Nate, with mock politeness. He followed Jaspe r Greeg to the door, slammi ng it shut and bolting it as soon as his vi sito r had stepped over the sill. Still smiling, Nate watch e d through a window until Gregg and his automobile were out of s ight. Then our hero threw the door open again, "He must think I was born just before daylight this morning," smi led Fletcher, as he s tood looking over his mill-yard. "Hullo, Nate!" hailed Will Slater, from the mail-stage. "Receivin g visitors this morning?" "Always, when you're the visitor," Nate called back. "Drive in." "I've got four trunks from .the hotel, but I guess they can wait," announced Slater, as he drove up to the door, and rein e d up For half an hour the two youngsters rambled over the mill. "Jupiter! But there'll be a howl over those blamed trunks up at the hotel!" he cried "And two of 'em belong to a well-fi xed old rooster, who has t h e best rooms in the place." "What's his name?" asked Nate, with s udden interest. "Tell you in an instant," Will r e turned, bounding out to the wa gon. "Gregg!" he ca lled back, after an inspection of the trunks. "And here's another belonging to a chap named Purrman. I heard he was Gregg's lawy e r. Now, what can a visitor to a place like want to bring along a J awyer fa;?" But Nate's heart gave a s udden bump. A lawy er ? He believed he could guess wliy Gregg had brought along a limb of the law. "Is there any possib1e way Gregg can maJie trouble for me?" Rate asked himself, hastily. "Because, if he can, old Gregg will do it! I can see that he hates me worse than poison, for l etting Treadw ell get out of his clutches!" "Better come on up to the hot el and play you're helping me take the trunks in," suggested Will. "You can help me fac e the music, too, if there's any row." "Wait till I close the mill up," Nate requested. I This done, he climbed up on the stage beside Will. "Take all three of the trunks up to Mr Purrman's room -number seventeen,'' was the hot e l clerk's direction. Nate and vVill just fini s hed carrying the third trunk into room seven teen, which was unoccupied at that time. This trunk they had s tood on end, close to the door that connect e d seventeen with room fifteen.


KICKEn INT O LUCK. 13 Then suddenly Nate caught Will by the sleeve, at the same time making a sign for silence For, from the next room, our hero heard the faint spu nd of voices. To Will Slate r's utter amazement, Nate climbed up on the trunk beside the connecting door. In another instant Nate was silently at work at the tran-, som. Stealthily, an inch at a time, down that came, until it was all but wide open. And now the voices in the next room were distinctly au'." dible to the two youngsters. "It's your busines s to bring that boy, Fletch e r, into camp, Purrman," declared the voice of Jasper Gregg. "You're shrew d enough to do it." "But there's one thing I must know, before I go any further," al\Swered the s mooth, oily voice of another man. "What it is, Purrman ?" questioned Gregg. "I must have the real inside of that Tom Treadwell business : ''What inside?" "Did Tom r eally s teal the money?" "Of course he did." "Now, my dear Mr. Gregg, "I hope you are telling me the st rict truth." "Why should that interest you?" sneered Gregg. "Beca;use a lawy e r if he is to work for the real best in terests of hi s client, must always know the exact truth." "Oh!" "Otherwise, my dear Mr. Glegg, at s ome critical moment that lawyer, if he does not possess the r ea l, exact truth, is sure to leave some hol e uncovered, and his client slips into that hole." "I don't see why," interpos e d Gregg, in an uneasy tone. "It happens, often," spoke Lawyer Purrman, more firmly. "Gregg, at the easiest, this is a deep game that you want me to play. If you deceive me as to one single point of the truth, I am in d a nger of failing you, as any other misinformed la wyer would do in my p lace." "Then what if I haven't told you the whole truth?" ques tioned Jasper Gregg "I have felt all along t .hat you hadn't t o ld me the full truth. But now you must, 1\fr. Gregg. You needn't hesi tate. I have been your lawyer for a good many years. Have I ever tricked you, or played y ou fal se?" "No, Purrman, you haven't." "I won't now, either, Mr. Gre gg Now, for the truth. Diel Tom Treadwell r eal l y stea l that money?" "No, he didn't," admitted Jasper Gregg. "What was done, then?" "At my order he drew the mone y from bank and turned it over to me." "And you used it?" pursued the lawyer. "Yes." "Tom Treadw elJ got none of it?" "Not a penny of it," laughed Gregg, harshly. "But as to the books?" "Tom Treadwell fixed the books up as I suggested." "And then, when you put an expert accountant on the books, the accountant found evidence that would easily put Treadwell behind the bars?" "That's the case,'' Gregg admitted. "Jasper Gregg," came admiringly, in that smooth, oily voice, "you're a genius I And now, that you've told me the exact truth, I shall know how to go ahead, if Treadwell is ever caught, and put him behind the bars as safely as if he were a sure-enough defaulter!" "Great heavens broke in sudden, startled agony from Jasper Gregg. "Look at that open transom!" Both lawyer and client made a dash for the door. They got it open just in time to see two boys disappearing at the top of the staircase. Yet, in that short instant's glimpse, ,T asper Gregg recog nized our hero and cursed. "Say, what on earth is that game all a bout?" panted Will Slater, as soon as he and his chum found themselves rattling down the street on the stage "Will," breathed young Fletcher, tremu lou sly, "will you remember every word that you heard ?" "Sure I will," assented Slater. "And remember those voices, so that you can to them again when you hear 'em?" "That's easy," nodded WiU, cheerfully "Then soon-very soon, old fellow-I'll tell you what it's all about. But, now, drive me around to the depot-;--quick !" In the little railway station Nate Fletcher, with all his wits at boiling point, concocted a telegram to Miss Nance Gray lock. To one not in the secret, that telegram would have seemed rather stupid But Nance Gray lock's sharp woman's wit, sharper still by her anguished love, would understand every word of cheer that the words veiled. Nance Gray lock would at once understand the big chance there was that her Tom Treadwell could once again walk the streets unmolested . "Now, Will, old fellow, if you haven't got anything else to do, you can drive me home," s uggested Nate, limp when he came out from the telegraph office. Once back at the little farm, and left there by departing Will, Nate didn't go into the He wanted to walk about the place, keeping quiet and doing a heap of thinking. An hour later a soft, but eager, voice hailed from over the fence: "Are you Mr. Nathan Fletcher?" With a start, Nate looked up. On the seat o f a buggy, beside a colored driver Nate saw a tall, slim man of middle age, dressed all in black. The man our hero had never seen before, but the voice he knew. "Yes; I'm Fletcher," he answered. The visitor came in hurriedly by the gate, and straight up to our hero.


H KICKED INTO LUCK. Clasping his hands behind his back, Nate smilingly in quired: "How do you do, Mr. Purrma.n ?" "You know me, then?" "I'd know that vok-e wherever I heard it!" Again Nate wa,s smiling broadly into his annoyed caller's face. The caller glanced around, to make sure that no one was within hearing. Then he went on, in a low, cautious tone: "You seem like a very bright young man, Fletcher., I und e r s tand that you have been able, already at your age, to go into business." Nate smiled. "I am sure that so bright a y oung m a n wants to get quickly and surely further along the rorrd to success," purrE'itil the lawyer, in his s lick, oily tone. Nate was still smiling. "Now," continued the lawyer "we two understand cer tain things. Do we not?" Nate's smile was unchang ed. "I would like to have an exact talk with you," purred the visitor, "and show you just how you can greatly add to your chances of success in life." No word from Nate ; only that qui e t, provoking smile "Well?" complained the caller. "Haven't you a word to say?" Still that tantalizing s mil e I "I see, Fletcher, that I'v e got to be plain and to the point with you. Well, th en, in behalf of my client-you know whom I mean-I am prepared t o offer--" "Oh, Nat e !" called Aunt Minnie's shrill voice from the house. Nate turned, still smi ling. "I'm want e d," he r e marked coolly. I shall hope to see you again, sir-some time." "Just one minut e !" inte rrupted Lawyer Purrman vim full y "I'm sorry," Nate smil ed. "But my aunt wants me. Good-bye!" That smile was still on Nate' s face when the boy reached the door. "Well, of all the confound ed, cantankerous, unmanageable, fool boys!" growled Purrman savagely, under hi s "He turns me down-that little country bumpkin! Turns me down as some one he doesn'tcare to deal with. Oho, my boy! You need soine r e al taming I And I reckon Henry C. Purrman is the experi e nced man who can do that taming We shall see CHAPTER VI. STRIKING THE SOUL A BLOW. "Good evening, Nate!" "Good evening, Kit!" The two had met just outside the postoffice, in the little crowd that always came for the eye ning mail. Kit blushed a li t tle und e r Nate s strong, ardent gaze. There was somethi ng in his eyes to-night that she hadn t seen there since that night on the porch when he made his nervous appeal. "I want to s peak with you jus t a minute, Kit," Nate went on, with a low voice. "You can spare me the time, can't you?" Kit blushed again ; next answered, demurely: "I suppose s o." Nate step ped at her side as they moved off 4own the side walk, stopping just out of earshot of every one else. "Do you remember, Kit, what you agreed to one night not very long ago?" Nate asked, with the energy that ha

KICKED INTO LUCK. 15 "What's the charge, alltl who are you?" demanded Nate, briskly "A deputy-sheriff of the county," replied the stranger, unconcernedly. "And the charge is that you committed a :felony-a prison offence-in aiding in the escape from jus tice of an accused defaulter, to wit, one Thomas Tread well." "Oh," replied Nate, his face still white and set, but a curious smile appearing theri. "So that's the charge, is it?" "It's charge enough," replied the deputy. Then, turning to the crowd, that officer added : "A fine young hustler, this! He aids a fugitive criminal to escape from justice, and gets the price Jor his crooked work. Then he sets up as a rich young man, or, at least, as a money-making hustler. Now, friends, you know just how Nathan Fletcher brought about his s1tdden prosperity. \Vere any of you yo.ung folks at Fletcher's party a few weeks ago?" "Yes," nodded Fred Joyce, and Kit Tremont shot an angry look at him. "You may remember," hinted the deputy-sheriff, "that Fletcher left his party, and didn t show up a g ain that night." "Yes; that' s right," murmured Fred, looking around at the crowd. "That night," sneered the deputy, "young Fletcher dis appeared, in order to help a defaulter get away from t be officers. I was one of those officers, so I know. When Fletcher"'left the party, he went out to meet that fugitive, ThomaE.'>'l'readwell." After the boy and his captor came a friendly chorus of: "Good-night, Nate!" It was followed by a cheer; Down to the station-house Nate was marched, and turned over to the constable, The deputy now had no more to do with the matter. "You don't have to lock me in a cell just yet, do you?" our hero asked of Constable Jimpson. "Not so long, Nate, as I'm sure you won't try to get away," came the answer from Jimpson. "Oh, you know well enough that I won't try to get away," replied the young prisoner, calmly "I want to stay out of the cell until I 've seen :Lawyer Hinds." But just as the messenger whom Nate hired to go in search of the young lawyer was leaving the station-house, Mr. Hinds bustled in. Kit had gone straight to get him interested in the case. Withdrawing to a corner, prisoner and attorney talked the matter over in lmdertones. "Why, they haven't got a particle of a case against you!" cried the law yer, cheerily. "You'll be free in the morning." "Get Will Slater and bring him here," urged Nate. "We'll tell you plenty a.bout what we overheard Gregg and his smooth lawyer saying to-clay. You can draw it np in a paper, and we can both swear to it. Then, I reckon, it may be old Jasper Gregg who'll be yelling for the court to be good to him." "I'll get Slater and bring him here at once, agreed the young law yer, jumping up But he was gone for two hours Nate, from being anx ious, after a while, became tormented by anxiety. "That isn't so--not true-:-not a word o.f it!" broke in "I can't find Slater anywhere," annom iced Hinds, runKit, defiantly. "I know )Vhy Nate quit the party that ning in, breathlessly, at last. "He isn't at home, or any night, and I'm going to tell. He took me out on the porch where else that I can find. I'm going back to his home, to ask me if he might keep company with me!" now, to stay there all night, if need be, unless I see him "Oh, he did, did he?" jeered the deputy. sooner." "I wouldn't give him an answer then," Kit wenb on, For the :first time Nate showed signs of alarm. proudly, "and he went away from the party because he felt "Will missing?" he whispered, hoarsely. "l\fr. Hinds, badly. He asked me again to-night--and I've said 'yes.' do you think Gregg's crowd have done anything to him?" Nate flushed, all his lost color coming back. His eyes "They may have lured him away with money," admitted shot look of joy in Kit's direction. the lawyer, slowly and thoughtfolly. "And I'm g lad I did say 'yes,' Kit went on, defiantly, "No, they haven't!" Nate interrupted, with vim. "You looking fearlessly around at the little crowd of her neighdon't know Will Slater, or you wouldn't say that. If Will is missing, then the Gregg crowd know what happened to But tlie deputy, who had been pajd to make a scene of him. Mr. Hinds, I'm a good deal more anxious about WilC this arrest, feared that Kit would turn sentiment the other now than I am about myself. Bring me the first news you way. can of poor old Will!" So he growled out: Not very long was our hero left by him self "Wish you joy o:f your sweetheart, miss! Now, come His next visitor was-Lawyer Purrman along, Fletcher!" "Ah, Fletcher," began the lawyer in his oily tone, "I "I will wh711 you show your badge," retorted our hero, trust you're willing to ta]k with me to-night." holding back. i'I'm not!" Nate retorted, shortly. The deputy had a badge, and displayed it. "It might bejust as well :for us to have a few words," "Don't worry about me, neighbors," spoke Nate, coolly. urged the lawyer, persuasively. "Good-night, now, but I'll see you all to-morrow." Nate was on the point of giving a short, final answer, but "Yes-in court," sneered the deputy, as he led the boy something in the lawyer's voice made him refl ect. away. "Come to the other end of the guard.-room, where we cun


16 KICKED INTO LUCK. talk by ourselves," pleaded Purrman, and Nate allowed himself to be led. There, where they could talk in undertones, without being overheard, Mr. Purrman began, briskly: "Fletcher, you and a friend of yo-urs overhead a conver sation to-day that might be embarrassing to my client. Now, we'll get you promptly out of your trouble here, and pay you enough to go, a .way and make a new start somewhere else, if you'll do what we want." "What do you want?" asked Nate, curiously. "Fletcher," whispered the lawyer, "I'll draw up a paper in which you confess that you and your friend, Slater, put up a plot to swear to a pretended conversation between Mr. Gregg and myself. You'll sign that under oath. W11at do we want it for? Simply for the protection of my client. Then, if you and Slater ever attempted to swear to the conversation that you sneakingly overheard, Mr. Gregg could produce that paper and spoil your testimony." "I. won't sign it!" Nate retorted, promptly. "Will wouldn't, either." "Slater isn't going to bother us any," remarked Lawyer Purrman, coolly. Nate shot a swift look at this crooked limb of the law. "Now, agree to sign this paper," whispered Purrman, eagerly, "and I'll prepare it and bring it to you at once. Then, in the morning, the case against you will be so flat that you'M released at once. You'll be safe, and so will Gregg!" "The case will go flat, anyway, in the morning," jeered Nate. "Your crowd haven't a particle of evidence against me that can be used, and you both know it." '"If you defy us," returned Purrman, harshly, "the case won't fall flat in the morning. The case will be so strong that you'll be bound over to the grand jury. The case will be so strong that you'll go behind the bars for a few years. Fletcher, I hear that you have a most young sweetheart. How will she like to see you in the stripes of the convict?" But Nate, proudly refusing to even allude to Kit Tre mont before this blackguard, retorted, coolly: "It seems strange that a lawyer should expect to get a conviction without evidence." "Evidence?" smiled the lawyer, cruelly "Fletcher, the very money that you've been refusing to take from us will buy all the evidence we need against you. Yes, call it per jured evidence, if you will, but even bought evidence will send you to prison!" Now Nate Fletcher's cheek blanched in earnest. He understood at last-saw just how these scoundrels could land him in for years CHAPTER VII. THE GLORY OF THE FIGHT. Lawyer Purrman kept his gaze eagerly fixed on the boy's horrorstruck face. "I think you begin to realize, Fletcher, what wealth can do when your enemy holds that wealth." "Wealth should never be in a swundrel's hands!" uttered Nate, vengefully. "We won't discuss that,'' said the lawyer, smilingly. "There is only one question we have to consider. I have come to draw up a paper that I have described to you, and I shall then be ready for you to sign it." 'rhe lawyer spoke as complacently as if he considered the matter settled. 1 But Nate suddenly rose, fire flashing in his eyes. "We've talked long enough, Mr. Purrman," he cried, a new note ringing in his voice. "Yes; we have," assented the other. "I'll get to writing at once." "To get to walking would be more to the purpose," re torted Nate. "Eh?" questioned the lawyer, looking up from his search through his pockets for writing-material. "Constable!" called Nate, loudly, across the room, "I am not obliged to see this fellow any longer, am I?" "Not unless you want to," called back the officer. "Be careful, boy!" menaced the lawyer, under his breath. "This is your last chance for lib.erty !" But Nate, not favoring him even with a look, answered the officer : "Please take this fellow out-,.at once-if he doesn't go willingly." Purrman flashed a look at the boy that meant all sorts of threats. Then, drawing himself up, Purrman_ asked, loudly enough for the approaching officer to hear : "You really have no desire to talk with me further?" Still Nate refused to look at Purrman, but said to the constable: "Make him walk, if he won't go willingly. I'm tired of listening to him." With a stiff bow, the rascally lawyer turned on his heel, stalking majestica1ly down the guanl-room. "The scoundrel!" choked Nate to himself, striding up and down the room when he and the dozing officer were again the only occupants of the room. "Just because they have a little money--" But Nate gulped hard, despite his wrath. "They can do a whole lot! Money always can!" he cried to himself. "There are men in this world-:-Clean enough looking chaps, too-who'll swear to anything for a hundred dollar bill, or a few of 'em. Of course a lawyer like Purr man will know where to find a half-dozen such people if he needs 'em." But Nate's eyes soon began to glisten under the lash that his thoughts supplied him. "Let 'em do it, if they want!" he resolved, clenching his hands. "I am right in doing what I am doing. I couldn't be right if I swore to a lie as Gregg and his poodle want me to do Gregg wants me to do a crooked thing. The very insult of his proposition is agreater wrong to me than prison itself could be! I'll fight Gregg to the finish -no matter what happens now!"


KICKED INTO LUCK. 1 '1. Th'e love of :fight-the very glory of battle when one's falling with especial earnestness on Aunt Minnie and on cause is just-fired Nate Fletcher now. Kit. "The :fight is on-we'll have it to a :finish! And I've Then back to the lock-up he went, to wait for a fortnight got Right for my ally!" he uttered, grimly. more. Lawyer Hinds was in once more that night--to say that Aunt Minnie sent him a couple of his favorite books, 1tit he had hunted high and low, and that Will Slater could a nosegay. Nate tried to make himself comfortable through not be found. the day. "It's mighty queer!" muttered Nate. Late in the afternoon Lawyer Purrruann was led to the "It's more than queer," agreed the lawyer. "It's--" door of the boy's cell. "Suspicious!" When the constable had gone to the further end of the "Just the word I was going to use," nodded the lawyer room, the lawyer whispered in between the bars: "Gregg and his lawyer are behind Will's disappearance," "Changed your mind any?" Nate cried angrily. "Will couldn't be hired simply to skip "Constable!" shouted Nate. "I wish you could keep and leave me in the lurch. There's been foul play some such vermin away from me. I've nothing to say to this where." fello w now, or at any other time. Don't let him in agaili "But saying so," put in Lawyer Hinds, s hrewdly, "won't to see me, please!" prove anything again st the enemy. So we'll have to keep "All right! Take your full dose of the bitter! You'll quiet on that point, unless the chance comes to prove someget it!" whispered the lawyer, venomously : then turned. thing." and stalked away . After his lawyer had gone, Nate was forced to go to his Just about an hour after that, Lawyer Hinds hurried cell. up to the door of the cell, followed by the constable, jingling There he spent a wretched, wakeful night. keys. Breakfa st, in the morning, was brought him by his aunt. "It's all right, now, Nate, my boy! You can come out! But Kit came with her. I've just put up cash bail with the judge!" Aunt Minnie, who knew the whole story, kept her lip s Which happy news the constable promptly made good by grimly shut, only to remark once: 1' unlockin g the cell door. "Of course there's nothing in this fool charge, Nate, and "What--" began Nate, walking out almost in a daze, so they won't be able to prove anything against you." J "Not a word!" commanded Hinds, gripping his arm ) Two hour s lat e r the little court-room was 1crowded, every: But, outside, the lawyer whispered : one having come to gape at the solitary prisoner. "Go up to the hotel. Not right away, you understand. But Nate stoo d their gaping well, nodding smilingly to A little lat e r on. Ask to see a Mr. Carter. He'll explain those of hi s friend s who sti ll thought enough of him to it all fo you, for he has the advantage of knowing wha:t it smile, or wave their greetings. all means. I don't." Lawyer Purrman had taken it upon himself to appear as "Does Aunt Min know that I'm loose?" the prosecutor. "Don't believe she does." "May it please the court," oegan the lawyer, rising, '"it "Then she finds out ri _ght away," purposed Nate. has been impossible for us to get our witnesses here as "That's right. You've got time enoug h to go home. soon a s this. In order that the case may be thoroughly Don't go to Mr. Carter soon enough to attract attention to preparecl, we ask that this case be adjourned :for two weeks." him." "You will oppose the release o:f the prisoner into my So Nate hustled home up the road, stopping only to nod custody?" suggested Lawyer Hinds, sarcastically. and call out to the few friends whom he saw on the way. "Mos t emphatically would we oppose it," retorted PurrJust a moment did he tally with Aunt Min, to t e ll her man indi gnant ly. "This boy is accused o:f a most infamous the gla d news that some one-unknown-had corne to his crime-that o:f h e lping a fugitive :from justice to escape rescue. We will ask the court that bail, in this case, be made high Then off to Kit's house flew the boy. enough to cover the possibilities that the prisoner might But Kit had already heard the good news, by rumor, and seek to escape. we ask the court to fix bail in the sum of was staying at home, sure that he would call as quickly as five thousand dollars." he could. "Might as well make it a million!" uttered Nate, in his law:yer' s ear. Then Lawyer Hinds went on the warpath of oratory. But the court presently cut him short by fixing bail at two thousand dollars. "I'd just as soon it was a million," smiled rising. None of the friend s who would have trusted our hero on bail had means enough to supply such bail. Nate looked smilingly around the court-room, his gaze "There's some great mystery behind this a1l," said Kit, looking at him with anxious eyes. "One of these days I suppose you'll tell me what it all means?" "When I have the right to, I will," Nate replied, promptly. Then, at last, he drifted down to the hotel, sending up his name to "Mr. Carter." In a few moments more that gentleman opened his door to Nate.


18 KICKED INTO L UCK. Our hero did not c ry out ; he was too smart for that, and had too much presence of mind. But, the instant the door was closed, he rested hi s hand in Mr. Philip Bentley's "I thought it best to come here under another name," explained the yachtsman, in a cautio us whisper. I was in the city, and got a telegram from Miss Graylock, telling me of a telegram s he had received from you I hustled here at once, to find out what was doing, and the first thing I learned was that Gr egg is up to his old tricks of making trouble for other folks. Fbrtunately, I had seen to bring ing plenty of cash with me, so I was able to turn your bail money over to your lawyer." "But Tom Treadwe ll ?" breathed the boy, as soon as he had uttered his own thanks. "Safe out of the country!" smiled Bentley. "I got well out to sea, and then put Tom aboard of another vessel." "Then things are all right," smiled Nate. "All except for y ou, my boy. Gregg is a scound rel. Frankly, I am afraid of what he might try to do with per jured testimony and that infernally slick lawyer of his. But, of one thing be s ure. You'll have everything done for you that my money can secure-except the buying of false evidence." "And that I don't want. But I've a friend who got in trouble through this matter. I am a fraid there's been foui play. I want to talk to you about it." "Wait a bit, then." "Mr. Carter" rang the bell, ordering a horse and buggy. "We'll take a drive, my boy, and feel saf e r from eaves dropper s." "Look out that something doesn't happen to us!" "Mr. Carter" smiled, showing his fine, white teeth. At the same time he di splayed oth er "teeth"-the butt of a revolv e r in his hip-pock et. As they drove over country roads, first making sure that no listener was "cutting behind," Nate Fletcher poured out all his troubles in Bentle y's sympathetic ear. "As to Will Slater," proposed Bentley, "don't be too un easy about him. I'll put expert searchers out to track him. We'll find him-never fear. And now"-glancing at his watch-" I guess it's about time to return to the hotel. The train will be in by the time we get there, and you' re to meet some one else who's interested in this affair." "Who?" "Miss Nance Gray lock, the girl who was the innocent cause of all this trouble." "She--coming here?" "Don't you doubt it!" clicked B entley "She's wrapped up, heart and soul in Tom Treadwell 's cause She'd go to China, if there was anything doing for Tom. The instant she got your telegram sh e wired me, then got on the train and started East. You'll find Nance a famous girl!" Half an hour later Nate was presented to Nance Gray lock at the hotel, where she was stopping under her own name. Nance Graylock was of the queenly beauty type, but she knew how to be pleasant and kind. She won Nate Fletcher at once. Ile was glad he was involved in the terrible case, now, if it enabled him to serve fhi s splendid young woman. "I must, if possible, get some suitable young lady in this village to live here at the hotel with me while I am here,'' Nance announced at la st "Mr. Fletcher, do you know of such a young lady-one whom I can r eally make a friend and chum of?" "Give me a little time, and I ll find out," proposed Nate, rising and taking his hat. To Kit, whom he found at home, he painte d Nance Gray lock in such glowing colors that Kit's curiosity equ aled her desire to earn a little.,money. Nate brought them together within the hour. The two gir l s liked each other immensely from the start. Before the evening was over, Kit knew ino st of the story -knew it from Nance's lips. In the meantime Philip B e ntley, at work with aU proba ble vim and snap, had put searchers at work to try to find out what had become of Will Slater One night's sea. rch, however did not solve that question Nor did the next day's sea r c h, or a week's. Ten miserably anxious days dra.gged by without a sig n or word from Slater. Will's mothe r was r eported to be almost out of her mind fi:om worry and grief Kit's sharp, anxious mind saw anothe r worrying a spect of the matter. "It s hows," she told Nate, "what t he power of that' wicked man, Gregg, really is." "The power of Gregg's money, you mean," Nate mut tered "It's all one and the same thing," Kit dec l ared. "Oh, Nate, you poor dear, sometimes I can't help shudde1injt !" CHAPTER VIII. GREGG'S WEAK KNEES. "Now, just what are you going to do, Nate?" asked Nance Graylock, in her low, sweet voice, fixing her eyes on the boy's face. It was in Nance's rooms at t he hotel. Kit was there, too, also the faithful Bentley. "I don't know. Its mighty close to the tria l but I can't do a thing, lmtil I find out what Gregg's move is to be," d ecla red the boy. He tried to speak bravely, and there was a smi le on his face, but an ache at hi s heart. "Tell you one thing you can do." s miled B entley. "Wha.t?" "Skip your bail! Fly!" "And leave you in the lurcn as my bondsman?" de manded Nate, indignantly. "Forget that part of it," laughed Bentley. "You stoo d by Tom and I'll stand by' you. So, if you think well of


KICKED I NTO L1JCK. skippi n g the country, I'll put up th e funds for you to get i Ile Muld ha re bolted throu g h th e door, into the s t o r e away with had it n o t bee n for the antics of Jas pe r Gre g g Don t talk like that! begged Nate. The s coundrel, seeing the d a ng e r that was s o c bsc "Why not?" hand, became afflict e d with weak kne es. "I'm not of the skipping kind." Nate, watching the fellow sink to his kn ees on th e siclc-"But if it looks like your only chance for liberty'?" walk and raise his hands supplicatingly to heaven, stood "Even then I would not skip. I'll stay and face the looking on, :fascinated by the sight. music . Why, do you think I want to be a fugutive from "Oh, Lord," chatt e r e d Gregg, his voice hoar s e with terr or, justice? And, besides, it would look like a confession of "spare the vilest of sinners! Lord, I will repair all the guilt wic k e dness I've done!" "Did it look like a confession of Tom's guilt for him to It was all over in a second. get awa,;: to safety?" demanded Nan ce, in an almo s t hurt A y ell from a window a cros s the stre et, t he flaunting of a voice. r eel tabl ecloth, and th e m a d bull v e er ed, plunging :first t o I'm not going to do it," the boy retort e d w a rd s th e flaunting red, then keeping on up the middle of "It looks like your only chance," Bentl e y urged. "We all th e s treet. know how heartlessly that s coundrel, Gregg, will use paidTh e n the bull gone, p eople flocked out of the houses. for eviden c e against you." Jasp e r Greg g still very w e ak and trembling, recovered "I'm going to stay and :fight it out," mut t er e d Nat e hi s feet a nd tot t ered into the hotel office. resolutely. "Why, I n e ver had a fight on my hand s before, Nat e was in the crowd on the s treet. Close to him was a and I'm rather g e tting to enjoy it!" man w ith a rifle. His eyes glowed as he spoke. Kit smiled at him en"Pity I couldn't snatch up this rifle in time to use it!" couragingly. growled the man. All girls like bravery in a fellow. "Ob, Graciou s Look out I Here' s that awful bull "Well, do as you like," s ighed B e ntl ey. "But I'm afraid coming back!" you won't like fighting as well if you happen to los e and There was no mistake about it. have to go behind the bars for a few years." Up the stre et was th e bull, headed their way again "I won't go behind the bar s !" d e clar e d Nate, rising. Th e re was a n in s tant flight for safety indoors. "Another reason why I won' t s kip i s that that would b e Even the m an with th e rifl e joined the flight. l e aving Will Slater to hi s fate N ate s prang after him, laying both hands on the rifle ., "That's all we seem able to do," groaned Bentley. "I've b arrel. had men out, and good m e n, too, but the y can't bring me a "Leg g o !" s quealed the gun's owner. trace of your young friend "Gun load ed?" breathed Nate "I'm going out for a walk d ecla r e d Nate. "I want to "Ye p think. There are a few cobwebs that need to be cleared "The n you let go!" away from my brain." N a te s natch e d the gun away, its owner too intent on Gregg was still s topping in the hotel, though Lawyer reaching s af e t y to make any fuss about it. Purrman was away for th e time b e ing In a twi n kling Nate Fletcher and the mad bull had the As Gregg did not know Bentl ey, the latter still kept up stre et to th e mselves once more. his name of "Mr. Cart e r P eople, as soon a s they gained safety, looked on out of Of cour s e Gregg kn e w th a t Nance Gra y loc k was in the windows in horrified wonder. hotel, but the y n e v e r m et. a nce took good care of th a t. Nate had tak e n up his position, leaning agai n s t a tele-As Nate pa ssed throu g h the hot e l office now he caught g r aph pol e s ight of Gregg stro llin g b y th e door. In t hi s pos ition be figured that, if the bull charged him, "Its a pity he can't get some of his own medicine," it w o uld crash its own head again s t the pole. thought the boy, bitt e rly. Y e t, e ven with that kind of protection, it took n e rve to By the time that N a te rea c h e d t he s idewalk he discovered wait th e r e that Gregg had s topped t o look in a s tore window two door s Na t e h ad bee n developing nerve of late. b elow. He h e ld the rifle s teadily aimed, the hammer cocked. "Hi, there Run for your lives!" E s p y ing the boy and the gun, and seeing in the sight The appeal came hoarsel y from a nearby doorway, folsome s ort of menace, the bull charged toward the pole lowed by the banging of a door. Pray ing a bit even as Gregg had done, our hero waited It was high time to run. until the bull's lowered h e ad was ten feet or so away. Down the s treet coming s traight t o ward them, at a mad Then th e re came a :flas h from the muzzle of the rifle. gallop, was a bull, its horn s lowered clos e to the s idewalk. It was a fair hit betw@en the eyes. Only a glance was needed to t e ll that the bull was utterly : Staggering forward the bull lu:rched then fell almost maddened bent on a tour 0 des trnction l at our hero' s feet. Like a flash Nate dodged into the store doorway. Two more qui c k s hots sound ed. The bull, with three


20 KICKED INTO LUCK. holes in his head, was past the possibility of ever harming anyone again. Now the crowd flocked out once more in eager joy. But in all that little country throng Fletcher looked for but one face--J asper Gregg's. Gregg did not come out of the hotel. With a grim s mile our hero hande d the rifle back to its shamefaced owner, at whom many of the crowd were now jeering. Straight into the hotel office mar c h e d Nate. He found the room deserfed by all except Jasper Gregg and himself. Straight up to the scoundrel walked the boy. Jasper Gregg looked at him in intense astonh;hment. "You?" blurted out the scoundrel. "Are you going to have the cheek to ta1k to me?" "Why, that was what I came in here for," Nate admitted, coolly. "To talk to me? What about?" gasped Gregg. "That little conversation." "Eh?" "The one I happened to overhear ju s t a few moments ago." Greggls face was a study in perplexity. "You cheeky young vagabond, I don't recall any conver sation just now." "I mean," propos e d Nate, coolly, "that conversation you just had out on the sidewalk." "Conversation?" gasped Gregg. "With whom?" "With the Lord!" "With--? You young vagabond, what are you talk ing about?" "Perhaps I dreamed it," s ugge st ed Nate, grimly. "But I was sure that I heard you promise the Lord that, if He'd protect you from that mad bull, you'd undo all the wicked ha.rm you had done." "GQ away from rhe !" roared Gregg. "Then you deny using those words?" "Go away from me!" ra ged the scoundr e l. "That's the way some folks keep the promises they make to the Lord," utter e d the boy, contemptuou s l y "Gregg, don't you ever hate or des pise yourself? I am sure the Lord must des pise you !" "Get away from me, or I'll --" Just what Gregg would do remainerl a secr et, for at that instant the hotel door was forced open by an in-rush ing throng. "Here he is "What's the matter with Nate Fletcher?" "He's all right every time!" "Confusion to his enemies !" Before that blast Jasper Gregg thought it wise to hurry away. But the crowd paid no atte ntion to him. Those who had seen, or had heard of Nate's gritty stop ping of the bull were eager to get him up on their shoulders and parade him before the Main Street crowd. As Jasper Gregg, puffing and very red in the face, found his way upstairs, his ears were assa.iled by the cheers out, side for Nate Fletcher As soon as he could, Nate, escaping from the hero wor shippers, hurried out on ,the road that led to home. "I don't know but I'll turn in at the mill, though," he reflected. "It's quiet in there, and I can walk up and down and think. Gracious What happiness and profit I had hoped to get out of running that old mill! And now it looks as if I'd never have a chance to do it!" He turned down the by-road that led to the mill beside the little river. Just as he reached a pile of weather-worn s lab s that stood heaped up near the main door of the mill Nate got one of the shocks of his life. Around the pile staggered a worn, spent and bleeding boy. A boy whose eyes roved around him unreasoningly. In those eyes there was the glare of a pproaching mad ness Just a s Nate sight of him that other youngste r re eled an d fell in a heap. "Will Slater!" almost screamed Nate CHAPTER IX. TRICKED BY ZEAL. "Poor old Will!;, Nate almost sinking on his knees besi de the w reck of a boy. "What on earth has hap pened to you?" "They--they tried to--keep me--but I was-too smart for 'em!" babbled Will, with a wild laugh that cut into Nate's heart. "Will, do you know me?" "Oh, I know a hea. p W boaste d Will. in a discordant tone that hurt the h earer "Do you know who I am?" "Do you know who I am?" leered the other youngster. !'Gracious! Sornething's got to be done here quick!" th robbed Nate . "Shall I get help and take him home?" But a sudden dread assailed our hero. "H Will was abducted before, and taken away, he most likely has escaped. If the rascaJs know where he is, they'll try to abduct him again. Poor old Will! You couldn't stand another trip l ike this !" Nat looked swiftly around him, discovering that the coast was clear. The mill was in a rath er lon e l y spot, anyway. Running quickly to the door, Nate unl ocked it. The n, returnin g a nd bending over his chum, young Fl etc h er resolutel y lifted him. Will was a good-sized, heavy load but Nate managed to stagger in under hi s burden. Shutting and locking the door behind them, our hero got his wind, next lifted Will once more and got him a few steps at a time, up the flight of Rtairs to a room above. Here, on a pile of old canvas, Fletcher laid his friend.


KICKED INTO LUCK. He lay like one in a stupor. Nate felt his pulse. It was doing just a little more than flutter. "I'll go for his father. I'm glad I know where to find him!" breathed Nate. The elder Slater, a carpenter, was at that time engaged on a house just outside the village. To him Nate went about as fast as he could travel. "Get the doctor, Mr. Slater, and come do'."n to the mill/ urged Nate "I'll be there to let you in. And the doctor' d better walk, for the s ight of a bugg)'. outside would put folks wise." Then Nate hurried back. But he was not there long before Mr. Slater arrived Will seemed just about half to know his father. Then Dr. Spencer arrived, on foot. "He's had a :fight, and it must have been an ugly one," pronounced the doctor, shaking his head. "He's had hard usage, poor lad." But you can pull him through? That's the question!" breathed Will's father, almost fiercely. "Your son's likely to have an attack of brain fever," announced the doctor. "We can never tell how such a fever is going to turn out." "Will it be safe to take him home?" asked Nate. "Or will there be danger of.his being seen by the rascals who are at the bottom of this outrage." "Oh, the lad must be taken home," declared Dr. Spen cer. "There are no facilities here for taking care of as sick a lad as this young man is." ';He'll be safe at home," uttered Mi. Slate!') grimly. "I'll answer for that-answer for it with a gun! I'd like to see anyone do harm to my boy at his home. I'll be there to meet 'em!" So Dr. Spencel', after doing what he could immediately, went off to send a wagon. On the mattress in the wagon Will was laid, and taken to his home, Nate and the boy's father riding with the patient. Like wild-fire the news spread. Many people called that day at the Slater home. One of Will.'s younger brothers was stationed at the gate to tell all callers that no one could be allowed at the house. Will tossed in a fever, but the physician had yet some hopes that the attack might not go as far as brain fever. All the while Nate by hii? chum's s ide; the boy's father and mother moving about the room at their tasks in ca.ring for the sick one. "It's a. mean place to keep anyone-in an old cellar like this!" moaned Will once, in his delirium. l\T' ate heard, and pricked up his ears. "What pla .ce i s this? Do you know?" he asked, softly. "Of course I do !" Will retorted sharply. "I don't believe you do!" "Yes, I do!" "Then tell me, and see if you're ri ght." "Oh, ain't you smart?" taunted Will, in his delirium. "But you said this was a cellar." "So it is !'i "Where?" "In the old house next to --" "Oh, you're away off, taunted Nate, shrewdly. "Arri I, though?" raged the delirious boy. Both Mr. Slater and his wife had gone out of the room for the moment, or they might have objected to this talk with the sick boy. "What is this cellar next to?" Nate persisted, teasingly. "Don't you s'pose I know, when Nate and I have played around here so often?" insisted the fevered one, shrilly. ''I don't believe you know. You're fooling me/' per sisted Fletcher. "You sai d it was in the house next to the--" Here Nate paused sharply, on purpose'. "Charcoal pit!" spouted Will, triumphantly. "There! I told you I knew:!" After that he mumbled a bit, then lay quiet, as if likely to go to sleep. "I believe he ha s told me right," murmured Nate. "He made a great effort to get it off his mind, and now he feels so easy that he' s growing drowsy." That old charcoal pit? How well Nate knew it, and the old house, close by, in which the owner of the pit had once lived with his family and workmen; About three miles out of town, up in one of the loneli est spots among the hill s was where the pit still stood. It had not been us e d for years, the gradual cheapening of coal having driven the charcoal industry away. "Its a bully place to hide anyone, in that old house. No one ever goes there," muttered Nate. "Jupiter, but I'd like to go up there. The fellows that had Will so long may st ill be there, waiting orders as to what to do next. And, gracious! They may be the same gang that are to supply the alleged witnesses against me. Wouldn't lt be great, though, to connect Will 's tormentors with the :fellows who are going to swear against me?" Nate thought of it until hi s face glowed almost as warm as that of poor, fever-racked Will Slater. But h e st uck to his post through the afternoon, until it was time to run up home. for hi s s upper. That meal eaten, Nate, who had difficulty in concealing his new excitement from Aunt Mi"!lnie, announced that he was going down to the hotel to see "Mr. Carter." "About your case, I suppose?" asked Aunt Minnie, anxiously. "Yes." "Oh, dear! I ao hope he'll be able to do something to help you get off," sighed Aunt Minnie, the tears beginning to come to her eyes. Nate kissed away the tears, laughing as merrily as he was able. Then, out on the roa.d, he made fast tracks :or the hotel: But there a disappointment awaited him. B entley had gone away that afternoon, not to return until the next day.


I' I 22 KICKED INTO LUCK. "Stay and spend the evening with us," invited Nance, But he had come this far in the hope that he would get hospitably. on the trail of the enemies whom he dreaded mos t. Kit's eyes seconded the invita.tion Crackle l Will had stepped on a twig. It broke with a But the boy shook his head. noise tha.t made him jump and caused his heart to go faster. "I'd like to, but I've got something else on hand. It's "Oh, pshaw! I mustn t be a regular baby I" he protested a little matter of business that really won't wait. Perhaps to himself, and went forward again, still stepping as if I'll drop in a little later." walking on eggs. "Be sure to," urged Kit. Crackle! Again he jumped, for that sound was several Smiling hi s assent, Nate withdrew. feet away from him. H was a great disappointment not to have had Bentley' s Ere our hero could turn a pair oi sinewy arms wound company. themselves around him. "But the matter can' t wail," Nate told himself. "Its got "I've got someone-a kid!" growled an exultant voice. to be attended lo to-night. Who else can I get up to the old "Take care of those that may be coming behind him!" pit with me?" There were steps made by others now. Yet, as the bo.Y. thought over the names oi Iris few Nate str uggled to free himself, but his big captor t4rew friends he shook hi s head. the boy to the ground with ease. "Not one of 'em would be any good for a matter like Then that rascal sat down hard on Na te, a big, this," he told himself. powerful hand on Nate's windpipe. So he decided to go on the long tramp alone.! "Your comfort depend s on yourself now," anp,ounced this "I can easily enough snoop around and find out whether scoundre l coolly. "No talking is allowed." there's anyone there now," he told himself. 'If there is, I Those other men whose footsteps Nate heard had gone I can come back and get Hinds to set the con-further off, until no more sound came to him. stables on. There won't be any risk in going alone, if I'm But presently they came trudging back again, ene of them careful." calling out : He burned with zeal ta be doing something. "Where are you?" With his trial so close at hand, and his friend s unable "Here," declared Nate's heavy captor. to see anything that could be done to save him from the Three other men crowded about the s.cared prisoner. other side's perjured evidence, Nate Fletcher felt wholly "Strike a match !" ordered one of them. des perate. Flare! The li ght of the match glowed a sickly yellow Nor did his courage or determination :flag once during clos, e to Nate Fletcher's face. that long, lonesome tramp up into the distant hills. "Whew!" whistled one of the men. Three miles of rough hill-climbing is harder work than a "What's up?" tramp twice as long over level roads. "We've got the very king-pin of all the trouble!" Nate was almost footsore, and rather out of breath by "Not --" the time that he got within easy distance of the old pit. "Young Nate Fletcher-and be hanged to him I" growled It was situated well away from the rough highway. the ugly voice of the man who announced the discovery. Once upon a time there had been a fairly good wagon road from the highway to the pit, but thi s had l o n g fallen into disuse and had been overgrown. "It'll be just as well to go cautiously, now," said the boy to himself, as he came near what was left of the old wagon road. Not for a moment did he think of approaching the pit along the old, disused road. "I've got to be slicker than that, if there are any real epemies thel.'e," he told hims e lf. The night had grown s teadily darker s ince his start from Dream haven. "I don't believe I'll lose my way-I've been here so often with Will," murmurd the boy, not without a chilly little shudder, as he stepped into the dense blackness under the trees. An ill-at-ease feeling began to creep und e r him, but he would not turn back. It,seemed alm6st ghastly to be going alone through those dark woods. If they did not contain enemies, it would oo all right. CHAPTER X. '.A. RED HEA'r "Nate Fletcher?" asked another of the group, hoa.rsely. "Yes, its him!" "But we don't want him!" "We want him the worst way-now !'r "Its against orders. We might have got him any night in the last fortnight, if we hadn't had orders against it." "But now that he has found us out--" "Oh, I suppose we'll have to keep him. Bring him along-and stave his head in if he. d!!.res to make any racket." I s it time :for me to say something?" Nate asked, in a as cool a voice as he could summon. "Depends on what you want to say," grimly returned the fellow who appeared to lead this quartette. "All I want to say is that I'm able to walk." "And you'll do it?" "Yes, and without putting you to the trouble of ma s saging my head with a club."


KICKED I NTO LUCK. 23 "He's a fre s h, cool young ste r, all right l" grinned one 0 the ruffians. "I guess he'd have to be, to p;t up all the fight we've heard about," opined another. "His fighting days are over-now l" retorted the leader. "Let him walk then, but hold on to hlm in case he tries any fancy steps Nate found the charcoal pit readily enough now, with four eager guides to pilot h im. One 0 the crowd went ahead to unlock the door 0 the run-down old shanty of a house. "Bring him right in and make him feel at home," grinned this fellow, holding open the door Nate was forced inside, and held there while one of the gang fumbled for a lantern and lighted it. They were in the main living room of the house. Leaves and fir bough s had been spread at the s ide of the room, to take the place of mattresses, and over them blan kets were thrown. The shutters on the windows were closed, but blankets had been nail e d up over the windows as an added precau tion against letting out any tell-tale rays of light. "Sit down on the floor," order e d the l eader of the gang, gmffly. "Its the best we've got to offer." Nate obeyed w i thout demur, thoug h h is eyes traveled from one to another of the group The l e ader himself, and two of the others looked as if they would make a fairly presentable appearance in better clothes. But .th e big fellow, t he one who had ca11ght and thrown our liero, had a face that would have been di s trusted by any judge in Chris t endom. I ts the oth er three who'll tog up a bit better anc1 s wear against me," decided the boy. "That fa, if I'm to be allowed to go into court now!" "So your friend has given you a notion of whe r e he was, has he?" demanded the l eader "You n e v e r happen e d to think that his escape might give us a notion to watch the woods to-night?" "What difference does it make what I think?" Fletcher nskcd, trying to force a smile "It doerm't-her e," agreed the l eader "Ray, we ain't going to sit here and look at the kid all night, are w e? demanded th e big man. "No need to," agreed the lead er. "You can fix him," "Lay over on your face ordered the big man, gruffly, as he ste pped he;wily toward our hero. judged it best to obey, though he wond e red, with a s hudder, if they m e ant to kill him. But the big fellow kn elt on his s houlder blades, doing nothing worse than tying the boy's hands b e hind him. Fll'tcl1er's feet then suffered a similar confinement. "Gag him?" inquired the big man. "You'd better, to-night," assented the may be others hanging around." leader. "There use of putting up a hopeless fight against all this brute strength "Now, then," ordered the leader, "dump him!" :Another of the crew r aised a t rap-door in the floor. Towards this opening the big fellow dragged the now helpless youngster. Shove! bump l Nate l anded unceremoniously, on his side, on a s oft, clayey bed at the botiom of the cellar "Now, how much better am I off for my night'.s work?" wondered the boy, des perately. "Thunderation Now, old Gregg can do anything he wants to m e What's next, I wonder?" He'knew he must be in the place where Will had lain for days. "But I won' t stay here, if there's any ghost of a show for me to get out l" he groaned. "And I've got to be moving, too, for these fellows are about certain to send to Gregg for orders. Those orders may not be the kine! I'd like, either." While his wri sts were being tied N 8,te h a d tried art fully to make the muscles, arteries a nd veins i::tand out. At the same time, he had tried to pull hi s wri sts ju s t a bit apart, though not enough to excite the s u spicio ns of hjs captors Now, he made a trial to see whether he could force these lash ings. It was not as easy as he had hoped it would be. While he tugged and s trained, he could hear the low voices of his captors overhead. At t h e encl of nearly an hour' s work Nate Fletcher suc ceeded in wriggling hi s left hand out of the las hing. After that it was not difficult. Jus t after he had r e moved the las t bit of cord from his wrist s he h eard the tread 0 feet overhead. Then all was still. "Perhaps they've all gone out, to take another look for prowler s? thrilled the boy. "Gracio11s I hope so." The gag was quickly out o.f his mouth, nor did it take him long, with the aid of hi s pocket knife, to s la s h the cdrd s froil'l his ankles. "Now,'' smi led Nate, st raightening up and st r etc hing, "I'm free-all except the getting away." At the ris k of hi s light being seen, he felt it bes t to s trike matches down there in the dark. Ry s o doing he found an empty box. He was able to move this, softly, just under the trap door Standing on this box, he could reach above with freedom He tried the trap door. That yielded easily e nough. Slowly, inch by inch, Nate pushed it further up. There was no light, now, in the room overhead, which made it look a s if all his new jailers had departed. Swiftly Nate Fletcher tlrew himself up throngh the hole. Then, crouching on the floor, he listened. Hearing no s ound, he stood up on the floor, the n movecl with the soft feet of a cat Groping, in the darkness, he reached the door, tried it. Nate opened his mouth without protest. Where was the _It yield e d


24 KICKED INTO LUCK. Taking a long breath, Nate pushed the door further open. At a distance of a dozen feet stood the big man. His glance had been attracted by the apparent blowing open of the door. They saw each other in the same instant. "You?" exploded the big man, making a bound forward "By--" At the first g l ance of the enemy our hero fairly bolted, straight into the woods. Strength was the big man's specialty-not speed "Hey he bellowed, at his loud est "The kid's getting away. Catch him!" Nate dodged. behind a tree, then stopped short, pis heart beating furiously. Past him crashed the big man, who had not seen the fugitive's sudden side step Then, not mor e than a hundred yards away Nate Iieard voices. "That shows me the way not to go," grimaced the boy . Softly he stole back away from the voices. But now the crackling of a twig in the forest in the direction in which he was headed, brought him to another throbbing stop. "That's the worst of it!" he groaiied. "Whichever way I go, I'm almost sure to stumble upon one of the crowd And they've pretty s ur e l y got the ground covered by this time!" Not daring to br eathe in earnest, Nate c rouch ed close to a tree, li s tening, st rainin g In this terror a half an hour passed. It seemed more like a month. "I reckon I'm safe now," hazarded the boy. "That you, Jed?" demanded a voice right in front of him. "Yep," answered a low voice riot far behind our hero in the dark Nate Fletcher thought he could feel his hat rising on the hair s that were standing straight up. "Gracious! That was a close one!" h e squeaked, in wardly. For another hour that game of hid e and seek-of the silent, most terrible kind-went on. But Nate did not again attempt to st ir. He had resolved to wait for daylight, that h e might be able to see in which direction he could attempt an almost hopeless break for freedom. "I shan't be surprised at finding myself gray -h eaded when daylight comes," quivered Fletcher "Aw, grow led the voice of the big man, at la st, "the best we can do is to beat it out of here. That Fletcher kid is asleep in hi s bed by this time." "If I thought so," grumbled the l eader, "we'd go there and shake him out of it." "Wouldn't do no good," declared another voice. "That kid is smart enough to keep out of our way, after what ha.p-pened to him ton ight , Now trembling Nate f elt devoutly thankful that he had not stirred in the last hour. These voices came from all sides, showing what a net work the ruffians had acGidentally set around him. "We'd better beat it ourselves. There'll be trouble brew ing her soon," urged another of the crew. "Just as well to play twenty-three, I guess," assented the leader "Come along, then." Nate, peering from behind the trunk of a great tree, could just dimly make out the figures of two of the quar tette, so closely did they pass him. Then, after a moment or two all was quiet in the woods. "But I don't stir yet," Nate told himself. "They may have skipped. Then again, that move may be only a trick." For another hour he squatted silently on the ground. "Oh, hang it, I guess they re r e ally gone by time, or I'd have heard something," decided the youngster. He rose, feeling more confident, though well he knew that he was not yet surely out of danger. He reached the highway, but did not attempt to travel by it. Instead, he stole softly across, taking to the woods on the other side. It was a long, tortuous way back to town that he took, all the while going with the utmost caution. Daylight was coming in by the time that he trod once more on the streets with a feeling of greater relief. "They'll be sure to be up at Will's," decided the boy. "I'll drop around and see how the poor fellow' s pulling through." At the little cottage h e found Mrs Slater, looking done up, sitting on the front door step. "Will isn't here," she announced. "He talked so much about the mill, and seemed to think he was there, or wished he was there, that Doc Spencer said it'd be b est to take him back there. So they took him there on the wagon 'most two hours ago. They took a cot and some other things, and Ab Macey went along with his shotgun, to help watch against that awful gang. Doc Spencer was by h e re a little while ago, and said that Will seemed easier since he was taken to the mill." Nate hurried down to the mill to find Abner Macey seated in the doorway with his s hotgun close at hand. Upstair s Will, watched by his father, was sleeping sound ly at last. "He's going to pull through all right," declared Mr. Slater, confidently. Then, beckoned out into the ne xt room, Mr. Slater heard of our hero's adventures through the night. "I wish to goodness you had taken a crowd up there with you!" cried Slater, angrily. "It wouldn't have done any good," negatived Nate. "The gang were on the lookout, and a crowd would have given them the tip to get away." Worn out, our hero decided not to climb another hill to the farmhouse just now. Instead, he waited until it was time to get breakfast at the hotel. Then, after sending a message to his aunt to let her know


KICKED INTO LUCK. 25 that he was safe, Fletcher went into the hotel dining-room for the breakfast-and the coffee-that he felt so much in need of. Jasper Gregg did not put in an appearance--not even in the hotel office where Nate went, presently, to read a morn ing paper until it almost put him asleep. At last, when the office clock pointed to nine, Nate the stairs to knock on the door of Miss Nance's "But Tom hopes to be cleared soon," Nance confided. "Poor Tom!" "Poor Nate!" murmured Kit. "Is there no such thing as right or justice in this country any longer?" breathed Nance, passionately. "Must two splendid, upright fellows be ruined for life just because their unp rincipled enemy has more money than he ought to be allowed to have?" rooms. In a few moments, however, Miss Graylock was calm "Who's there?" called Miss Gray lock. enough to ask: I "It's I-Nate Fletcher. But I'll come later, if--" "What would you advise, Nate Fletcher?" The door opened suddenly Miss Nance admitted him, "I think Tom ought to go away. He's in danger, every then locked the door after him. minute, of being caught here. But he will want to talk Kit Tremont was in the room, too. with Mr. Bentley, and Bentley isn't here. It won't do for Both the young ladies looked extremly strange Tom to leave the hotel now, in daylight, but he ought to be "I'm going to show you something," Nanc e whi s pered, gotten away from here some time to-night. That is, unless tremulously, in our hero's ear. "But don't make a sound!" Mr. Bentley comes in the meantime. Then he can advise. Wondering, Nate allowed himself to be led by the arm. I But for Tom to stay here--right here-with both Gregg Nance Graylock led him to a cupboard door, pulled it and Purrman around so much-that spells c-a-p-t-u-r-e." softly open, and there stood -"Where can you take Tom, w:Qen night comes,?" Nance Tom Treadwell queried, thoughtfully. CHAPTER XL THE LIGHTNING STRIKES. "Howdy, old chap?" whispered smiling Tam, holding out his hand. Nate gripped the hand, to make sure it was real flesh. Then he drew back a step, sta ring hard. "You here?" faltered our hero. "Don't you see me?" whispered gleeful Tom. "But I thought you were out of the country?" "So I was, until --" "Tom, dear interrupted Nance's tender whisper. I'd better shut the door now. I can tell Nate all about it." Still smiling, Tom Treadwell h e ld out his hand once more, and Nate wrung it with fervor. Then the boy turned his back, while there came a sound as if Tom and Nance had some tender little business of their own on. Then the door closed. soft ly and Nance, taking our hero by the arm, led him to the sofa, where he sat between the two girls. "Why, down to the old mill. Nobody will ever think of going there . Besides, we're taking care of Will there, and, if we're seen going in and out of the mill, it will be thought that we're going there to see Will. Now, up in the old grain room, on the top floor, you and Tom can have hours and hours together in safety. That is, unless Mr. Bentley advises something different." "You look worn out, Nate," observed Kit, sympatheti cally. "I should think I might be," shivered the boy. "Yes, I'm all in for a sleep." "Why can't you and Tom go into the inner bedroom and s leep through the day?" whispered Nance, eagerly. "He's all tired out, too, poor fellow. We'll mount guard while you two s leep." So Tom Treadwell was allowed to come out of the cup board, and he and Nate were promptly stowed away for their rest. It was dark, when Nance called them. Kit, in the mean time, had slipped out to her mother's dressmaking shop and had returned with a black dress ; bonnet and veil for a "It was a fearu1ly foolish thing that Tom did," whis-1 d h h .d. very tall woman. pereo Nance. "T cab e him-e was i mg safely in Guat e mal!!, in Central America-that evidence was "We're going to masquerade you, Tom, dear," whispered at hand that would clear him. That was when I got your Nance, pointing to the feminine raiment, at which Tom tele g ram Nate. T also tolo '!"om in that cablegram that made a humorously wry face. I had wired Mr. Bentley, and that we w onlCT both work to But all the same, it proved a handy costume, and Kit's clear him. The poor, foolish, impatient fellow! He skilful fingers made it fit as if it had been ordered for the jumped to it that he was right away, and hurried big, athletic fellow who now wore it. up north on the first s teamer. He came right here--arrived The girls smuggled in some supper, which the two lovers an hour ago." itte with fine relish. "Wnat is he going to do now?" asked Nate, anxiously. Then, about ten o'clock, Nate slipped clown to the hotel He wants to hide in this part of the country until we get office. It was almost deserted. Neither Gregg nor Purrhim clear e d before the law. man were in sight. "With Gregg, Pmrman, ancl J1eaven only knows wlio else) "Oh, said suddenly, as if remembering somet hing, working against his interests here?" and turning toward the desk. "I don't want to disturb Miss


26 KICKEn INTO LUCK. G r aylock by going upstairs again at this time of the night. II But will yQu kindly senQ this note up?" Nate scribbled a few words, handing the envelope to the night clerk. up went the note, and then Nate, strolling s lowly through the office emerged upon the s idewalk. just a n instant he stood at the corner. There he was joined by Tom whom Kit had sly ly piloted down the back stairs Torn appeared to ask som ething in a low tone "Why, madame," r esponded Nate, politely, "I s hall ba tlclighted to show you the way myself. It's on my way home." 'l'hat was for the benefit of any watcher who might be prowling about the neighborhood. 'l'he two moved off together. Nate soon heaved a sig h of relief when he felt that they were not being followed. There was not another soul in s ight as they turned into the mill yard In a noth e r moment they were safely by Abner Macey, who was still rather drow s ily on guard Tom went in and had a look at Will, still s lumbering under the influence of drug s Then, after a few moments, they came out, after pressing the hand of Mr Slater. "Now," whispe red Nate, who was carrying the l antern, "I'll show you up to the grain room It's a bully, s afe place!" But just at this instant there were sound s of commotion at the door. Tn a twinkling there was a ru s h of feet on the stairs, while the glare of pocket searchlights streamed up at them. "Officers," rang Gregg' s triumphant voice, "you'll find Tom Treadwell wra. pped up inside those women's clothes!" "And," rasped Lawyer Purrman' s voice, "you'll have evi dence enough, now, that Nate Fletcher is engaged in help ing a fugitive escape from just ice!" Poor Nate and Tom They w e re utterly bewildered and overwhelme d when they found themselves in the clutches of three deputies. The lightning had struck! CHAPTER. XII. CONCLUSIO N "Handcuff 'em quick They're desperate!" yelled Jas per Gregg, who was in the background. "Officers, you'll be h eld r esponsib l e if you let either of these criminals get away thi s time," uttered Lawyer Purr man, almost harsh ly for that oily man "Oh, bosh !" r etorte d Nate, disgustedly. "Don't let u s hav e so much noise There's ::t very sick boy in that room-a young fellow who has bee n fea rfull y mi8Lreated through Gregg's orders. Let's go dowi1 into the office, officer s Tf there seems to be anything at all again st us, we'll go along with you peaceably enough We're not going to fight or fly-or even try to." "Handcuff 'em right now!" shrieked Jasper Gregg. But the c hief of the deputies shook his head. "That won't be necessary, Mr. Gregg. We three officers ca n hold 'em. We've got revolver s to shoot em with if they try to make a break away from u s ." Gregg was muttering and very ill a t ease when Nate led the way into the office. Tom, who had been tottering, su ddenly stagg ered and fell "What's the matter, old fellow?" c ried Nate, rushing to his friend and kneeling beside him. But Tom, with one hand over his hea rt, and looking badly frightened, moaned only: "Water! Quick! Nate ran to the tap, filling a pitcher and pouring some out into a gobl et. Then, s upporting Tom's head, he poured some of the water down Treadwell's throat "Excitement too much for the heart!" breathed Tom, hoarse l y "Heart trouble runs in the family." "Grea t Scot!" cried Nate anxiously. "We've got to have a doctor here mighty soon. Abner !" Macey, his eyes rather wide open, was hovering at the office door. "Abner," quivered Nate writing a few words on a card, "take thi s on the run to Miss Nance Graylock, at the hotel. Then get Dr. Spencer, or whatever other doctor Miss Gray lock prefers. R.ush It's a matter o:f life and death!" Snatching at the card honest Abner fairly raced away from the mill. "All bos h and humbug!" quavered Jasper Gregg. "Offi cers, you re responsible for getting these prisoners to the lock-up at once. Don't let them play s uch a trick on you." Nate turned to the scoundrel quivering with wrath. "Be s till, you beast!" the boy c ri e d, i n dignantly "You're in the presence of a very sick man-perha p s a dying one. His death will be on your head, too, you miserable old sin ner! You'll have it to think of when your dying hour comes!" Jasp e r Gregg c hanged color s wiftly. He was fearfully afraid of death, as Nate had discovered wh e n the mad bull charged through Main Street the day before. "Officers,'' plead e d Nate, "you won't allow my friend to be moved or bothered until the docto r ha s arrived, will you?" "No, of cour e not," s poke the chief dep u ty, promptly. "The doctor will be boss now." Tom lay on the floor, breathing but slight ly, yet writhing a good deal. Nate, with a glass of water, hovered close. Jasper Gregg stood looking on s u s piciously "Trick,'' he s neered. 7 Bnt the chief deputy, who had ju s t knelt to feel Tread well\; pulRr, c ame back to 1m1rnrnr in Orcgg's ear: "'l'hat poor frllow's pulse is mighty shabby I shouldn't wonder if the Creator rescues our pri s oner from u s These s udden hearL attacks, untlcr grea t grief or s hock, you know--" .Ja spe r Gregg shuddered. Afraid of death himself_, h e trembled even in presence of death.


KICKED INTO LUCK. 27 From watching and growing steadily more frightened, Gregg soon began to feel a bit queer around his own heart. Knowing that he would nd no sympathy in that crowd, he turned and made toward the table on which the pitcher had rested. But Nate had the pitcher, as well as a glass, at Tom's side, now. However, a glass, filled with water, stood on the table. With trembling fingers Gregg lifted the glas s to his lipB and drained the glass. Crash! Nate, returning with the pitcher, dropped it, starting in terror at Gregg. "You didn't drink out of that green goblet?" almost screamed young Fletcher. "Yes," gasped Jasper Gregg, turning with sudden fright. ".Anything wrong with it?" "Wrong?" shuddered Nate, clutching at a chair to steady himself, "Wrong? That green glass contained rat poison that I had mixed to use in the grain room!" Thud! Jasper Gregg collapsed and lay stretc hed on tha floor. Nate was kneeling beside him, his face full of consterna tion. "I-I didn't know the stuff would work as quick as that," he faltered. "But, oh, the stuff's deadly!" Tom was getting but scant attention, now, as those present made haste to get close to Jasper Gregg, now ip convulsions. Nate looked up at the deputy with horror written in every line of his face. "Th-they won't hang me for murder, will they?" h e faltered. "I didn't know he was going to drink that stuff. I-I didn't put it there on purpo s e for him. I swear I didn't!" "You did-you murdered!" gasped Gregg, holding to his stomach in awful agony. "Oh, will that doctor never come!" groaned Nate. ".And two dying men needing him!" "Oh, I won't die I" shrieked Jasper Gregg, rolling worse than ever. "Oh, Lord, ddn't let me die I I'll do better after this!" "Don't take it as badly as this," urg e d Nate, in a shaking voice, as he knelt once more beside the suffe ring man. "Sea how bravely, coolly, Treadwell takes his blow. He isn't afraid to die!" "Die!" shrieked Gregg. "I don't want to die! I won't die; Lord of Mercy!" The sufferer's lips moved tremulously. He was praying to himself. Then -" Purrman !" he groaned. "Run for a doctor!" "I don't want to leave you, Mr. Gregg," returned the lawyer, in a shaking voiee. "Go, Purrman-go, I tell you Run!" "Not and leave you in this crowd, Mr. Gregg." replied the lawyer, more firmly. "Purrman, you scoundrel!" shrieked 0the sufferer. "You rush off for a doct01; at once, or I'll call for pen and paper and cut you out from my will." For only an instant did the lawyer hesitate. Then: "Keep up 31our grit, Mr. Gregg! You won' t die right off! I'll have a doctor here in a jiffy-as soon as I cah get one and rush him here!" With that, the lawyer streaked through the door. Nate rose and went over to Torn, who, lying with his eyes closed, seemed to be resting more quietly, but breathing very little. The chief deputy stepped forward to lay a hand on Nate's s houlder, but the boy shook him off, and looked up, crying out: "Don't interrupt. These men will both be soon out of this life. One has done the other a grievous harm. If Mr. Gregg is still conscious enough I am suggesting that he make his peace with Heaven now." "Oh, oh, oh !" sobbed the sufferer. "Gregg," Nate went on resolutely, "you cooka'd up that defalcation charge against Tom Treadwell, didn't you? You really got the money, and then made it appear that he had sto len it, didn't you? Come, since you will both be through with this life, look up to heaven, man and tell the exact truth Didn't you plot against Tom Treadwell just as I have s tated?" "Yes," whispered the sufferer. Then, after another writhe of pain : 'Oh, it's all true! It's all true! I'm the vilest sinner that ever lived, and now I've got to go Up Above and answer for my sins! 0, Lord-have mercy!" "Let one of these officers take your statement in writing," murmured Nate, softly, drawing out fountain pen and a pad of paper. "Tell the exact truth, Mr. Gregg I .An honest confession, full, free and frank, will do more than anyt hing else can do to make your last peace with heaven!" Jasper Gregg, shaking, green and frothing in his agony, groaned out the sentences of that. confession of the series of dasta rdly outrages against Tom Treadwell. He told, also, of his enmity for Nate, and of the ways he had tried to crush the boy. "But why were you so anxious to cru s h me?" questioned our hero. "Why did you strive so to ruin me, even when you knew that Nance Graylock would never have you under any conditions?" "Because," moaned Gregg, "if I-I didn't crush you, then you and the Slater boy might have proved what you overheard me saying to Purrman. Then Tom Treadwell would not only get off, but he would have had a splendid case against me for great damages!" The chief deputy, listening, wrote this down. "And you are making all this as your dying statement to right a great wrong you have done?" asked Nate. "Yes. Oh, yes! 0-o-o-h This agony is fearfui." Won't that doctor ever come." "I wish we. had a notary here," sighed Nate, looking around him. "I'm a notary public," murmured one of the deputies


28 KICKED INTO LUCK. "Then, or heaven 's sake," quivered Nate, "get in and The two scoundrels departed, but breathing threats of jake that man's signature under oath before it's too late." vengeance. Gregg was s lightly raised and supported while his trem"Mr. Nate Fletcher/' said the chief deputy, solemnly, bling fingers signed that sta tement.of past unutterable wick"my hat's off to you!" edness. The officers soon departed-a cour s e without the prisThe notary acknowledged, the rest standing solemnly oners the y had come after. by as witnesses. "And to think, Nate," whispered Kit, as soon as she got "Is that someone coming now?" muttered Nate, stepa chance, "how we all used to think you hadn't brains or ping toward the window. "You there, Abner Macey?" pu s h enough to get on in the world!" "Coming!" replied Macey. "Well/' grinned the happy youngster, sheepishly, re"Hullo!" roared Abner, who h a d just had a whispered membering that night at Hunter's Point, "I guess I was word from Nate, "What ails the old chap?" Kicked Into Luck, if ever anyone was!" "Oh, its terrible," shuddered Nate. "He drank the rat Luck, indeed!. For Phil Bentley and other friends of poison that I had mixed in the green glass. Tom took charge of the m atte r for him for a while. "Did, eh?" blurted Abner. "Then he' s a mighty clever They didn't have Gregg or Purrman arrested, but they one-for I spread that rat poison in the grain room this made the former settl e out of court for a very comfortable afternoon, as you asked me to, Nate. I've had two or three fortune in the way of damages. drinks out of that green glass s in c e then." With that money Tom and Nance married, and are fa" There's no sign of poison about you, man!" -spoke Dr-mous ly happy. Spencer, sharply, after a look at Jasp e r Gregg. But grateful Tom saw that Nate and Will, who presently "0-o-o-oh I'm in such awful agony, doctor!" moaned recovered, were splendidly remembered. the wretch. Nate married Kit happily in time, and Will wedded Polly "Then its because you're very much afraid ef death, and Brander. have a strong ima g ination;" lau g hed th e doctor, rising. The two young men went into business right in Dream Get up and brace up You've heard Mr. Macey say that hav e n, on the money that Tom turned over. The two there wasn't any poison in the glass." partners own not only the mill but a very large part of all Jus t at this moment Lawyer Pur-rman rushed in breaththe other valuable business property in Dreamhave n. lessly with another doctor. The second medical man con-Aunt Minnie jg h avi ng the time pf her life these days. firmed the statement of the The ra scals who maltreated Will s o fearfully at the time Th e n Gregg got upon his feet, his face white as chalk that he succeeded in esca,ping from them up at the pit, from another cause. escaped from Dreamhaven. "Give me that paper I was tricked into signing I" But, if they have gone the usual way of criminals, they he screamed, :flying at the chief deputy. are no doubt behind the bars for some other crime by this time. But Nate, stepp ing in between them, knocked Jas per Gregg spinning across the room'. But Nate and his wife are happy, anyway. They don t need any more luck than theyve got. "What paper?" gasped Lawyer Purrman. (THE END.) Ite found out quickly enough. Both the lawyer and his employer threatened, stormed and bullied, but all to no avail. "I'm feeling a good deal better already laugned Tom Treadwell, leaping to his eet and throwing an arm around Nanc e "But those heart attacks are surely awful while they last Then hi s happy roaring laugh seemed to shake the tim ber s of the mill. "Officer hinted Nate to the chief deputy, "I don't sup pose you want u s as badly as you did?" "With this paper that I've got?" grinned the deputy. "No, I don't b e lieve I do." He passed it to Tom. Jasper Gregg was again watchful for a chance to snatch it, but Nate had lynx like eyes work ing w.ith Gregg. "Come," said Nate, suddenly, "this i s my mill and I don't want trash in it. You two fellows"-to Gregg and Purrman"will be trespassing if you stay here any longer, and then I shall call upon the officers to throw you out." Death Valley is a vas:e waste stretch in Southern Cali fornia. There are no landmarks to guide the traveler, the compass becomes bewitched by the metals sifted through the sa nd s of the desert. There are huge fortunes there in jewels and in gold but the trav e l er goes into the dreary desert only to los e his way and wander about aimlessly until he dies for want of food and water. A. Howard De Witt tell s all about that dread, mys terious, wonderful country in his splendid story "THE PRINCE OF OPALS; OR, THE MAN-TRAP OF DEATH VALLEY, which will be published complete in No. 27 of the WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY, out nex t week! It is a wonderful story! 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 tbe copies you order by return mail.


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Everything I .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA I These Books Tell You Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in c lear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated covet. Most of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manne1-that an.Y child can thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjedil m entioned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY 'l'HJlEE BOOKS FOR '.rWENTY-FIVE eENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM, No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the most ap proved methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of d iseases by animal magneti sm or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo Hugo Koc!:t, A. C. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Oontaining the most 11p prov e d methc; cl,;; of readi n g the lines on the hand, together with P fuJI explanation of .their m ea ning. Also explaining phren ology, and the k ey for telling character by the bumps on the h ead By Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and in &tructive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved methods which are employ e d by the leading hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S. SPORTING. No. 21. HOW TO BUNT AND FISH.-Tbe most complete huntinc and fishing guide ever publish e d. It contains full in structions about guns, bunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game 11nd fish. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully Illustrated. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, together with in atructions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE.A complete treatise on the horse. Dtscribing the most u sefu l horses for business, the best horses for the road ; also valuable recipes for diseases pecaliar to the hors e. No. 48. HOW TO'BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A bandy book for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated By C. Stansfield Hicks. FORTUNE TELLING. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great oracle of human destiny; also the true mean ing of almost any kind of dreams, together wi t h charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A complete book No. 23. HOW 'l'O EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dreams, from the little child to the age d man and woman. This little book gives the explanation to all kinds of dreams, together with lu cky and unlucky Jays, and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. No. 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.-Everyone is desirous of knowing what bis 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 TELL FORTUNES BY THE Co11taining rules for telling fortunes by the aid of lines of the band, or the secret of palmistry. Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles, marks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A. Anderson. ATHLETIC. No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.-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 anJ healthy by following the instructions contained in tllis little book. No. 10 HOW TO BOX.-Tbe art of self-defense made easy. Contain ing over thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the dilfer en t p csit ions of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these usefu l and books, as it will teach you bow to box wi1 hout an instructor. No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.-Containlng full h ;struc:Lio:i s for all kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises. Tumhmc ing thirty-five illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A and useful book. No. HOW ro FENCE.-Containing full instruction for fencing and the use of the broadsworJ; also instruction in archery. Describ e d vrit b twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the positions in frncing. A complete book. TRICKS WLTH CARDS. No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Containing explanations o f the general principles of sleight-of-band applicable to ca rd tricks; of card tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring sleight-of -hand ; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of apecially prepared cards. By Professor Haffner. Illustrated. No. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Em bracing all of the latest and most de ceptive card trick1, with Il lustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 77. HOW TO DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CA.RDS. deceptive Card Tricks as performed by leading conjurors and mag1Clans. Arrange d for home amusement. Fully illustrated. MAGIC. No. ? HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book of magic and card tric ks containing full instruction on all the leading card tricks of the also most popular magical Illusions as performed by ouz: magicians; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, llB it will both amuse and instruc t. No: 22. HOW TO DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's seconJ sight explamed bJ'. bis former assistant, Fre d Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secre t dialogues were carried on b etwee n the magician and the boy on the stage ; als o giving all the codes and signals. The only aut h e ntic explanation of second sight. No. 43. HOW TO BECOME A MAGICIAN.-Containing the grandest assortment of magical illusions ever placed before the pu blic Also tricks with cards. incantations, etc. No. 68. HOW '1'0 DO CHEl\IICAL TlUCKS.-Oontainillg over one hu11now how o ri.ginated. This book explains them all, g1vu'.!g examples m electr1c1ty, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechanics, etc. '.rhe most instructive book published. No. 56. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.-Containing full instructions bow to pro ceed in order to become a locomotive en g ineer; also directions for building a model locomotive 1 together with a full description of everything an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW TO MAKE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.-Full dire ctions how to make a Banjo, Violin, Z ither, 2Eolian Harp, Xylcr ph.,ne and other musi cal instruments; together with a brief de8cription of nearly every musical instrument used in ancient or modern tim es Profusely mustrated. B y Algernon S Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.-Containing a description of the lante rn, together with Its history and invention. A l so full directions for its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated By John Allen. No. 71. HO-W '.rO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Containinr complete instructions for performing over sixty .Mechauical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. Nd. 11. HOW TO WRITE most com plete little book, containing full directions for writing love-letters, and when to u se them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction, notes and requests. No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for instruction. No: 53. HOW TO WRITE LE'CTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you b ow to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, siste r, 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 taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation and composition, with specimen letters.


THE STAGE. THE .BOYS OF YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Contammg a great variety of the latest jokes used by the famous men. No amateur minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book. No .. THE OF NillW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. Conta1!11ng a varied of speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end mens Jokes. Just the thing for home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE :AND JOK1!J Bw T9 .BECOME A SPEAKER.-Containing four teen 1llustrat1ons, g1vmg the different positions requisite to become a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. Also gems from all the popular !luthors of prose and poetry, arranged in the molt simple and conc1s3 manne1 possible. No. 49 .. HOW TO DEBATE.-Giving rules for conducting d bates, outlmes for. qu_estions for discussion, and the bed sources for procurmg on the questions given. SOCIETY. No. 3. HOW TO arts and wiles of flirtation art fully by this little book. Besides the various methods of ha_r.dkerchief._ fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it con tams a full ltst of the language and s entiment of flowers which i in.teresting to everybody, both old and young. You cannot be happf without one. No. 4. HOW TO DANCE is the title of a new and handsome littl e book just issued by i r r a nk 'l'ous ey. It contains full instruc tion s in the art of dancing, e t iqu e t t e in the ball-room and at partie1 how to dress, and full directions for calling off in all popular square dances. No. 5. HOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A

Fame-and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE ,MONEY By A SELF-.MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A NEW ONE ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY PRIOE 5 OENTS A OOPY This Weekly contains interesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our most successful self-made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseveranc e and brains can become famous and w ealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes "Fame and Fortune Weekly a magazine for the home, although each number is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the illustrations are by expertartists, and every effort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the rtews stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. l A Lucky Deal; or, The Cutest Boy In Wall Street. I Born to Good Luck ; or, The Boy Who Succeeded. A Corner In Corn ; or, How a Chi cago Boy Did the Trick. I A Game ot Chance; or, The Boy Who Won Out. G Hard to Beat; or, The Cleverest Boy In Wall Street. Building a Railroad; or, 'l.'he Young Contractors of Lakeview. 'l Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor In Gree n River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy. 8 llHp and or, The Young Brokers of Wall Street. 10 A Copper Harvest; or, The Boys Who Worked a Deserted Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny ; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Boy. 12 A Diamond In the Rough ; or, A Brave Boy's Start In Life. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, 'rhe Nerviest Boy In Wall Street. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Could Not b e Downed. 15 A Streak of Luck; o, The Boy Who Feathered His Nest. 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune. 17 King of the Market; or, The Young 'l'rader In Wall itreet. 18 Pure Grit; or, On e Boy in a Thousand. 19 A Rise In Life ; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 20 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 Got There; or, The Pluckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, The Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 'l.'he Way to Success; or, The Boy Who Got There. 27 StrQck Oil ; or. The Boy Who Mad e 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 Clrcua. 30 Golden Fleece ; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street 31 A Mad Cap Scheme ; or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Cocoa I1lanct 32 Adrift on the World; or, Working His Way to Fortune. 33 Playing to Win; or, The Foxiest Boy 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 Done." 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. 41 Boss of the Market; or, The Greatest Boy In Wall Street. 42 The Chance of His Life; or, The Young Pilot of Crystal Lake. 43 Striving for Fortune; or, From Bell-Boy to Mllllonalre. 44 Out for Business; or, 11.'he imartest Boy In Town. 45 A Favorite of Fortune; or, Striking It Rich In Wall Steet. 46 Through Thick and 'l'hln; or, The Adventures of a Smart Boy, 47 Doing His Level Best; or, Working His Way Up. 48Always on Deck; or, The Boy Who Made His Mark. 49 A Mint of Money; or, The Young Wall Street Broker. 50 The Ladder of Fame; or, From Oftice Boy to Senator. 51 On the Square; or, The Success of an Honest Boy, 52 After a Fortune; or, The Pluoklest Boy in the West. 53 Winning the-Dollars; or, The Young Wonder of Wall Street>. IH Making His Mark; or, The Boy Who Became. President. 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 :PB.A.BX 'l10USEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square; New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this oflice direct. Cut out and tlll 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 Amail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS .MONEY. 1 I FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, Ne w York. 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: ... : copies of We>RK AND WIN, Nos ................ ,. . ... .. ... . . " WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY, Nos ...................... ................... .. " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ............................................... : " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ............................................... " PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos ...................................................... " SECRET SERVICE, Nos ............................ .. .. .. .. ........... " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ........................................ ..... " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos .................. : .......... ............... .. lf11De . ; .. Street and No ...... Town .......... State .........


WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE SJ.'ORY EVERY W"EEK .... Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS 't! Price 5 Cents .. lt6r HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED COVERS 32-PAGES OF READING MATTER ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY ,_ Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the World TAKE NOTICE! This hand s ome weekly contains inten sely intere s t i ng s tories of adventure on a great variety o f subjects. Each number is replete with rou s ing s ituation s and livel y incid ents The heroes are bright, manly fellow s who overcome all obstacles b y sh e er force of brain s and grit and win well merited succ ess. We have s e c ur e d a s taff of n e w authors, who write these s tories in a manner which will be a s our c e of pl e a s ure and profit to the read e r. Each number ha s a hand some col ored illu s tration made by the mos t ex pert artists. Large sums of money are being spent to make this one of the bes t weeklies ever published ... :.Here is a List of Some of the Titles .. .. 1 S mashing t h e Auto Record; or, By Edward N Fox. Bart Wilson at the Spee d Lever. 17 The K e g of Diamonds; or, After the Treasure of the Caliph s. By 2 Off the Ticker; or, Fate at a Momen t s Notice By Tom Dawson. 3 From Cadet to Captain; or, Dick Danford' s W est Point N erve By Lieut. J. J Barry. 4 T h e Get-Th ere Boys; or, Making Things Hum In Honduras. B y !<'red Warburton. 5 Written in Cipher; or, The Skein J a c k Barry Unravell ed. By Pror. Oliver Owens. 6 The No-Good Boys; or, Downing a Tou:Jh Name By A. Howard De Witt. 7 Kicked off t h e Earth ; or, T e d Trlm's Hard Luck C u re. By Rob Roy. 8 D o ing It Q uick; or, Ike Brown' s Hustl e at Panama. By Captain Hawthorn, U. S N 9 I n the 'Frisc o Earthquake; or, Bob Brag' s D a y of T erro r B y Prof. Olive r Owens. 1 0 We, Us & Co. ; or, Seeing L ife with a Vaudeville Show. By E d ward N Fox. 11 Cut Out for an Offic er; or, Corporal T e d i n the Philippines. By Lieut. J J Barry. 1 2 A Fool for Luck; or, The Boy Who Turne d Bos s By Fred Warburton. 1 3 T h e Great Gaul "Beat" ; or, Phil Winston' s Start In R eporting. By A Howard De Witt. 1 4 Out for Go ld; or, '.rhe Boy Who Kne w the Differenc e. By Tom Dawson. 1 5 The Boy Who Balked ; or, Bob Brisbane's Big Kick. By Frank Irving. 1 6 Slicker than Silk; or, The Smoothest Boy Alive. By Rob Roy. Tom Dawson. 18 Sandow, Junior; o r The Boy Who Looked Pun y By Prof. Oliver Owen&. 19 Won by Bluff; or. Jac k Mason' s Marble !<'ac e. By Frank Irv i ng. 20 O n t h e Lobster Shift; or, The H erald's Star Repor t e r By A. Howar d De Witt. 21 Unde r the V endetta' s Stee l ; o r A Yanke e Boy In Co rsic a B y Lieut. J. J Harry. 22 Too Green to Burn; or, The Luc k of Being a Boy. By Rob Roy. 113 In Fool s Paradise; or, T h e Boy Who H a d Things Easy. By Fre d Warburton. 24 One Boy in a Million; or, '.l'he Trick That Paid. By Edward N F o:l(. 25 I n Spite of Himse l f ; or, Serving the Russian Poli ce By Prof. Olive r Owe ns. 26 Kic k e d Into Luck; or, The Way N a t e Go t The r e By Rob Roy. For s a l e b y all n e w s d eale r s o r will be sent t o any addres s on re c eip t o f p rice 5 cents p e r c opy in m o ney or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BAC. K NUMBERS of our librari es, a n d cannot procure t hem from newsdealers, they can b e obta ined from this offics direc t Cut out a nd fill in the fo ll owing Order B l a n k and se n d it to us w ith t h e pri ce of the books yo u want a nd w e w ill sen d them to you b y re-turn mail. POSTAGE S'J.'AMP S '.l'AREN 'l'HE SAME AS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... ...... .......... ................ ............... FRANK T OUSEY, PubliSher, 24 U nion Square New Yo rk. ..... , ........... 190 Dr.:. 1 n Sm-Enrlo,e o fino ...... c ent, for w h ic h pl ease send me: ... cop ies of FAME AND FOR TUNE WEEKLY, N o s ........................... ....... ,. " ' IDE AWAKE WEEK L Y, Nos ....................... ............................. ,.= " AND V I N Nos . . .... . ........ . ..... .............................. ... " W I L D WEST WEEKLY, N o s .. ...... ................................. . .............. " T>T .TT('K A l'IID L T H :K. NOS .................................... ............................ " SECRET SERVICE .... ....... . .................................... THE LIBERT Y BOYS O F '76, No s . ........... ................................. " T en-Cent Hand Books Nos .. ... ........ .......................... ............. < Name ........ ........ ........ Street and No .............. . ... Town ... ...... State .... ....


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