A lemon for his, or, Nat's corner in gold bricks

A lemon for his, or, Nat's corner in gold bricks

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A lemon for his, or, Nat's corner in gold bricks
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
Fox, Edward N.
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:
032057274 ( ALEPH )
864629456 ( OCLC )
W20-00031 ( USF DOI )
w20.31 ( USF Handle )

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/ / ....---"'I send you the best there is i11 life for you,'" Nat read from Jessie's letter. With a throb he the dainty parc el, drawing forth---ari.other lemon. Dock and Tib with laughter, but Nat's eyes 1lashed forth a new fire


I WIDE A WAKE WEEKLY A CO/d'PLETE ST01lY EVERY WEEK. IHued :Weekl1/-B11 2.50 per 11ear. Bntered accordtn q t o Ao,t o f Oo11gt"ess, in the 11ear 1906, tn the ofltoe or the Inbrar,an o f Oonqre11, Washington, D O., 1111 Frtmk To1'Be11, P u bHthe1, 24 Union Square, New No. 34!. NEW Y O RK, DECEM BER 7, 1906. PRICE 5 CEN'fS 011, By EDWARD N FOX CHAPTER I. "He hasn't seen much of the world," Dock agreed. "But # I'm betting money that he'll change all that in the next THE CHAMPION DREAMER. year or two." "Humph!" "How did you ever come to pick up such a funny little Tib would have been surprised if anyone had told him mutt?" asked Tib Freeman, lazily. that he was jealous of this yery new Nat Furman. Dock Hayes laughed lightly, then his face grew more But Tib was a bit jealous, for two reasons. serious as he replied: Dock was not only one of the "best-fixed" boys in Cres -"Hold on there, Tib Nat may be green, but he's n o 1 ton, but he was by long odds the most popular mutt. He's a lon g way from being a mutt or a fool." Dock's father owned one of the biggest stores in this "He's the biggest drea.mer I ever saw, anyway,'' comhustling y o u n g city of some forty thousand inhabitants. mented Tib, obstinately. Dock himself was a finelooking fellow, always well"Well, Dad says there are two kinds of dreamers," dressed, and u sually with considerable money shovea down argued Dock. "One kind never does do anything but into one of his p o ckets. dream. But the other kind wakes up once in a while, and But nothing O()uld spoil Dock Hayes. He liked almost puts hi s dream through. That's true of s ome of the bigeveryone he met, though he had a certain shrewd way of gest inventors, some of the men who'v e made the greatest judging people and holding his tongu e about his opinions sudden piles in the money market; Columbus was a of them. dreamer, but he discovered the other half of the world." He was good-natured, energetic and always ready to go "And you think your boy marvel is going to do something out of his way to do another a good turn. of the sort, do you?" 'l'ib's second reason for not liking Nat any too well was "I'm interested in seeing what he can do," evaded Dock. on account of Jessie, Dr. Crane's very pretty young "Humph!" quoth Tib. "You must be--to bring such a daughter. queer fellow into your home. I'll bet its the first time in Tib had been sweet there for a year past. his life that that youngste r ever stepped on an Axminster Now, Nat had come to town a fortnight before, as the \ carpet." guest of Dock -"Oh, that's very likely," agreed Dock. "I guess Abe Within three days Nat had met pretty, saucy Jess, and Lincoln got grown -up before he got in for much luxury." I had made up his mind that she suited him. "This wonderful Nat has never been anywhere, has he?'' That being the case, our green young hero immediately,


2 A LEMON FOR HIS. decided that she must be his sweetheart. He accordingly laid close siege. 0 course, as even Tib knew, Jessie's sudden liking or' Nat was all because of her sense of humor. She, like Tib, must have discovered that Nat was "the funniest little hayseed-though Jess would have found a more polished way of expressing it. And so, :finding a lot of fun in the study of Nat, she encouraged him to call. Three times lately Tib had called at Dr. Crane's house, only to :find Nat already there. Nor did Nat seem to be able to discover any reason why he should hurry a.way on the arrival of Tib. Worse than that, Jessie had gone out with our hero twice-once to church, and once to a party. Dock, who understood pretty closely what lay in Tib's mind, was wise.enough to say nothing. "How on earth did you come to get acquainted with Nat Furman, anyway?" demanded Tib, after a pause, .as they sat in the handsome morning room in the luxurious Hayes house. 0 money, too, but somehow there's always a gold brick in it, and he doesn't get what' s coming to him." "It's what he gets for trying to be smarter than lioys 0 his age," replied Tib, disgruntled. "Hush! He's coming now." A rather brisk step sounded in the hall-way, then Nat ]'urman stuck his head a bit int<1 the room, saw Tib, and inquired: "Engaged, Dock?" "No," answered the boy host "Come right in, Nat." So Nat entered. He was just a little taller than the average boy of seven teen, somewhat narrow of chest, and a trifle inclined to stooping shoulders. Every time he rememb ered those s houlders he tried to stand up straighter. He was none too well dr essed; in fact, compared with Dock and Tib, he looked shabby. He looked, too, sometimes, as if he were a.ware of this fact, ana as if the knowledge hurt him. His hair was brown and straight; somehow, it looked half lifeless. 1 His eyes were a light brown. More than half the time he seemed to be studying or thinking of something, and hardly seemed to see people or things. But, when he looked straight .at you, those honest brown eyes won you. They made you think that you were talking to a wholly honest human being who would scorn any kind of deceit. A good nature that seldom or never got ruffled and a. mind that was free from ugly thoughts about others-these qualities shone in Nat's eyes. Now, in the early winter afternoon, with his hands rather blue and cold, Nat stepped over to the grate :fire, st anding there with his back and hands to the blaze. "Why, Da.d and I went over to the Auto Show. Dad had some notion of buying a machine. Hanged if we didn't :find Nat there; swelling around with a card which pro claimed that he was salesman for the Nonesuch. Somehow, that youngster got acquainted with me in side of :five min utes. Next thing I knew he had it out of me that Dad was in for buying a machine. That sett led it. Nat walked us over to the Nonesuch enclosure. Dreamer? Say, that youngster knows something about machinery He knew his own machine, hangedif he didn't, and he knew the points in all the other machines. He just hung on to us for the re st of the evening. In the morning he was on our trail again. Dad took a great liking to Nat; said he had the enthu s iasm and the conviction that makes the world move. W eU, sir, by noon, Dad owned a Nonesuch-and it has proved a mighty good car so far." "Been busy, old fellow?" Dock asked, kindly. "Not so busy this morning. Just walking and thinking," "But why did :you bring the fellow home with you?" persisted Tib. Nat replied. "But la st night I got off a hustle of a mail. "Why, I took such a liking to him. And Dad did, too." I hope nobody in the house heard me when I stole down" And so Nat came here to live here on you, and stopped stairs, at half-past one, and made my way to the postoffice." rustling for an auto house?" / "Nat came here for a little while because he lost hi s "Answering 'boy-wanted' advertisements?" suggested position," Dock retorted, almost stiffly. Tib, half-ironically. "Couldn't sell any more machines, eh?" "What do you mean?" inquired Nat, mildly. "He sold three in that week, and his commissions as sub"Looking for a job as boy in some store or office?" 'rib agent ran up to over two hundred dollars." explained. "Then why didn't he stick to the business?" "No," Nat replied, promptly. "I don't want such a job. "Fellow he worked for was too much of a snide," retorted A boy office gets three or four dollars a week. I want Dock. "As soon as Nat wanted to draw some of hi s com-something that pays man's wages." mission money on account the agent told him to go to "And you expect to get it?" asked Tib, half-pityingly. blazes." "Yes," Nat answered, simply. "Couldn't he force the agent to pay r" questioned Tib. "Some new seheme on, Nat?" Dock broke in. "Of course not. Nat's a minor, isn't he? Under age, You see, fellows, it takes some brains in these and can't sue for what's owed him. It isn't the first time days for a fellow to :find out something that a smart, has been up against that game,' either. He's been capable boy can make man's pay at." sliifti:i,.g for himself for a year, now. He has earned "Indeed it does," Tib agreed, with a smile


A LEMON FOR HIS. 3 "I've been doing a heap of thinking lat ely," Nat went "So the two men at the head of the company got paid on. according to what they could sell?" broke in Dock. "Dreaming, you mean, don t you?" suggested Tib. "You "They did, and they'd have had their pay doubled if they strike me as being the champion boy dreamer of the world.'' could have sold twice as much of the goods as they did." "Perhaps I am," Nat assented, without offense. "But what would have happened if your father had sud. "What's your general idea of getting man's wages at denly come to know twice as much as he did?" hinted Tib. seventeen?" broke in Dock, kindly. "He'd have been fired for knowing too much," pursued "Did I say wages?" questioned Nat, somewhat surprised. Nat, drily. "So it happened that he went along, toiling all "I didn't mean that. I meant a man's income--a man's through life, and never making much money. He couldn't chance to get comfortably rich!" afford to send me off anywhere to school, and couldn't look "How can a four-dollar-a-week kid do that?" Tib wanted forward to putting me through college. I just had to grow to know. up in that backwoods Pennsylvania town, with all the rough Nat pulled up an arm-chair close to the fire, faced both folks of the oil region .s. of his companions, and went on, quietly: "Of course I've never had such a heap of education, and "I don't believe, Tib, I ever told you much about my life, no doubt I'm as green as grass," Nat went on, honestly. and what I've noticed in the few years that I've been on "But at least I had a chance to look around me and see earth. In the first place, my mother died when I was three what ailed things. If I nevf!r found out anything else I years old. As Dad never married again he and I were found out, anyway, that the man who walks away with the thrown together a good deal. I had a good chance to study bank-roll is the man who knows how to sell something better his mistakes in life." than anyone else can do. So that's what I'm aut for-to "Mistakes?" muttered Tib. "You're sure an easy critic of your father His mistakes." "Well, he made some," Nat insisted. "My Dad was one of the smartest men in his class at college. He came out trained to be a chemist, and he got a job at one of the oil fields in Pennsylvania. It doesn't matter how little Dad went to w()rk for at first. But, as the years went by, he became head chemist for the big coal oil concern that grew up on those "A head chemist ought to get big pay," observed Tib. "So you'd think. But Dad didn't. The biggest pay he ever got was fifteen hundred a year. He was one of the first to discover all the different b y -produ cts that can be obtained from coal oil. Paraffin is only one of the valuable things. "Well, Dad went on discovering more and more things that could be extracted from coal oil. His discoveries fairly made that coal oil company buzz in business. Yet he always worked for a small salary, though it was his brains that made the big, growing business possible. "While Dad was getting fifteen hundred a year, what do you suppose the owners paid their general manager? Thirty thousand dollars a year! And the advertising agent got eighteen thousand!" "Yet it was your Dad who had the brains that made it possible to supply the goods?" murmured Tib. "Yes; now, you see where the difference came in. Dad had the brains and a bunch of 'em The general man,a.ger and the advertising agent didn't have a quarter as much brains, but they knew just how to go about it to sell the goods. "Lots of men have the to make the finest goods, but they don't know how to make the public want or buy the goods after they've been made. Now, it's no use for anyone to have the best goods in the world, if he can't sell them. Do you see?" sell!" "And you've been at it a year?" asked Tib. "I've been trying to get at it for a year," Nat corrected, thoughtfully. "Two or three times I ve made fairly good efforts, and have earned some good bunches of money, but somebody always cheated me out of the most of it." "You've got a knack for buying gold-bricks, eh?" in sinuated Tib Freeman. "So far I've been doing that," Nat assented, readily. "But I'll get over it, as I know more. And, one of these days I'll show that I'tn th e real, genuine goods at the game of selling. In fact, I think I'm the real, genuine goods at the game of selling. In fact, I think I've struck the two six-and-a-quarter gait now." "The new business that kept you up late last night?" hinted Dock. "Yes." There was a pause. Neither of Nat Furman's hearers felt quite at liberty to ask this earnest, if dreaming, young ster ju st what his new business was. "It struck me a few days ago," Nat went on, almost sleepily, "that, if you want to sell something for big profit, the best way is to sell the thing that most everyone wants." "That sounds correct," murmured Dock, surveying the ceiling of that comfortable room through half-closed eyes. "What is it that most people want?" pursued Nat. "The earth!" grinned Tib. "You've struck it right the first time!" laughed Nat, bringing his hailds together with a snap. "That's what I'm going to do !" "What?" "Sell the earth !" "Eh?" queried Dock sharply, sitti ng up and staring at his friend, while Tib found himself gaping at "the mutt." "I'm going to sell the earth," Nat went on,. ceolly: "That's the new game. Of course, I exp ect to seitrronly


4 A LEMON FOR HIS.' small bHs of the earth. Bits of real estate, you know. Here's the whole earth, divided up into so many building and farming lots. A man buys one of these lots, but he's always ready to sell again if he can get a good enough price. Hence, in every state there is a big crop of real estate agents. This little city of forty thousand people has twenty-eight real estate agents, and I've gone to the trouble of :finding out that seven of them are making a decent liv ing, and that three of that seven have even got rich at the trick. So me for the real estate game, for I believe that to be one game that a boy can play as well as a grown mun." "You've got your nerve with you," grunted Tib. 1 ot nerve at all," oorrected Nat, good-naturedly. "Now, see here, what do owners of real estate want to do? Sell it, of course. They don' t care who sells it for them. They'd just as sobn pay me for selling it as anyone else. Now, fel lows, you can take it as straight that there's a chance wait:. ing, in town in ,the country, for any boy who is wide awake enough to make people want and buy real "Whe re aie you going to open your office?" smiled Tib. "That's one of my trouble s," Nat admitted, regretfully. I haven't got money enough to start an office. But I spent my last money in having some circulars printed that I've sent to all the real estate agents in town. The circular explains that I'm ready to sell any property on their books, and to do all the planning, thinking, scheming, hustling, in return for half the commission of seJling for them. I've sent a letter with every circular." "' "And you think the reaT estate agents are going to divide their profits with you?" queried Tib, aghast. "They'll be glad to, when they find that I can sell prop erty that they haven't been able to sell," spoke Nat, con fidently. "Oh, thfa boy is certainly the star dreamer of the uni verse!" murmured doubting Tib to himself. "I hope to hear from some of the agents soon," Nat went on. "I've asked 'em to furnish me with lists of the prop erties they have to sell, with maps, and all such informa tion. I have asked them to make appointments for me to see 'em and explain my ideas. Fellows, I tell you, I'm in the real business, at last-selling the earth, in small chunks. And it's a game any boy can go into and win out with, if he has the hustle." Tib smiled in a superior sort of way, but Dock sat look ing quietly at his young friend, wondering just how much there was in this dreamer's scheme. They heard the door-bell ring, then the parlor-maid came to the door, saying: "A young man just left this package and letter or Mr. Nathaniel Furman." "Why, it's from Pawlow, the real estate man," cried Nat, springing forward. "My first answer to my letters and fellows!" Nat tried to look cool, but he was inwardly throbbing with excitement as he plac e d the r a ther bulky package on the table and started to tear th e end off the envelope. "Real estate maps in the package, I suppose," he said, aa he pulled the letter from the envelope. CHAPTER II. THE FRUIT MAN DOES A RUSH BUSINESS. Dock looked on eagerly, in friendly interest. Tib, though he wouldn't have admitted it, was waiting breathlessly. Nat, candid Nat, without any effort at secrecy, read the Jetter from Pawlow: 'Dear Sir: Yours, with enclosure, received. Your scheme is clear and concise In a word it's a winner.' ."Hear that!" broke in Dock, delightedly. "And Paw ]ow. is one of the shrewde s t real e s tate m e n in this part of the country!" Tib s aid nothing. Nat read the brief conclu s ion of the letter: "In token of my appreciation of your brilliant scheme, I beg to hand you the enclosure in the package accompanying th is note." Nat' s hea d was a trifle hi g h e r hi s chest ju s t a bit more out. There was a glad, p1eased, almo s t proud look in his eyes as the letter-head :fluttered from his hands to the table top. "Now, we'll see what's in the package!" The young dreamer's voice rang gladly as he drew out his pocketknife and cut the string. He came, first of all, to a pasteboard box. "There's a lot of wrapping on it, whatever .it is," he an nounced, as he unrolled length after length of paper. "And it's something small and round, too, whatever it is. I won der what?" Then the last thickness of paper came off from around the object. At sight of it Tib emitted a how], then feJl forward on his face on the carpet, where he rolled, choking with laughter. Nat, looking intensely puzzled and bewildered, held in one hand-a ripe, sound, golden, handsome lemon Dock didn't want to laugh, but for th e life of him he couldn't help slapping his thigh and roaring. "Wow! Oh, dear! Wow!" howled Tib, from the floor. That look on Nat's face, a look of utter inability to un derstand, was th funniest pa.rt of it all. Dock got another look at that face, and fell back in his chair, laughing until he grew purple in the face. "Now, what can Mr. Pawlow mean by that?" queried Nat, wonderingly. That brought another chorus of shrieks from the two better informed youths. "Why don't you know?" Dock murmured, chokingly. "No, I don't." "Why, the lemon is the fruit of the dotty tree," ex.plained Tib, as soon as he could find his voice.


A LEMON FOR HIS. 5 "The dotty tree?" Nat a s ked, wonderingly. "I never heard of it." By an effort Dock Hayes got his face s traight. Then he started to explain : "Nat, passing the lemon is the way that a fellow takes of telling you that you have rats in your belfry." That made it worse. Young Furman looked absolutely bewildered. "It means," Tib added, solemnly, "that one-half of your brain isn't there, and that the other half of your brain is sick." "It's a way people have of telling you that you're a chump-a phantom-chaser, a moonbeam-hunter," Dock put in. "In plain English," queried Nat, "is it a way of telling me that I'm' a fool?" Both boys nodded their heads. Young Furman :flushed. "It's an impudent way, then, of making fun of me? An insult?" He looked s o hurt that Dock mad e haste to b r eak in with: "Oh, no old chap It's simply a humorous w a y of being called down." Nat looked just a shade reHeved. "It's one way of telling me, then," he a s k e d, "that low doesn't think anything of my scheme?" "Exactly," Dock agreed. "Couldn't Paw low have found a more gentlemanly way of expressing him s elf." "Oh, don't be so sensitive, Nat," Dock Hayes remon strated. "It's only a joke, you know. Why, in the last f e w weeks I've had enough lemons to me by friends to stock a fruit stand with." By degrees they made the green young s t e r und e r s tand just what "passing the lemon" meant. The bell rang again. The parlor-maid, coming to the door of the room, lrnr face wreathed in smile s pa s sed Nat another lemon. To a string tie d around the fruit was a card bearing another real e s tate broker's name. Tib smiled again, but Dock hinted, gravely: "You see, Nat, what a common custom it is in these days to pass a lemon." "Another man who makes fun of my scheme," s igheq the young dreamer. And there was a third in evidence mighty soon. It came in the shape of a lemon wrapped in a small bale of tissue paper, the whole accompanied by the card of a real estate man. "The y 're overdoing the trick," grumbled Dock, who began to f e el d e cidedly sorry for his green young friend. "I can see what has happened," hinte!l Tib. "You know the real e s tate men have a couple of rooms in Smith's Block that they call the Real Estate Exchange. When they got together this rooming they discussed Nat's plan and agreed upon the trick of each sending him a lemon." "The n all the real estate men have clubbed together to--'' "To club your scheme to death!" put in Tib, teasingly, upon which Dock shot him a threatening look. Nat took out a pencil and paper, and quietly began copying the names from the0 cards and letters. "What's that, now?" Hayes wanted to know. "My black-list." "What's that for?" "I'm marking down the names of the real estate men that I won' t ha .ve anything to 'do with," Nat responded. Or that won t have anything to do with you," Tib sug g e st e d, whe reupon he got another black look from Dock. "Same thing," Nat rejoined calmly. "Cause and effect." "Wait a little while," urged Tib, "and you can write down tog e ther the names of all the real estate men in town." Nat b ent over to scan a letter, which gave Dock a chance to bend fiercely. "Tib," he whispered, "if you don't shut up, I'm going to thump you Do you want to discourage the poor fellow altog e ther? Suppose you hadn't a soul in the world and had to hustle for yourself, how woufd you feel?" "What' s that?" asked Nat, looking around unsuspect ingly. "Oh, nothing," replied Dock, drily. "I was only sugges ting to Tib that it might be a good idea for us to go outsid e and get a little exercise." "Exercise in the fresh air is always good," nodded Nat, and went on writi ng. Jang l e went the bell. "Another real estate man heard from," trembled on the tip of Tib's tongue, but he didn't speak, for Dock's blood thirsty eye was upon him. Again the parlor-maid came to the door, holding out a letter and a small, dainty-looking package. "For Mr. Nat," she announced, trying hard not to laugh right out. "This is a 1refreshing change," murmured the boy aloud his eyes lighting as he scanned the handwriting on package and envelope. , Then they began to arrive fast-so fast, in fact, that "Why?" asked Dock. bock suggested that soon he'd have to help the parlor-maid Nat :flushed a bit shyly, before he went on: I answer the bell. "When I was sending out the letters last night I sent Some lemons came bare, with a card tied to the fruit. of my circulars to Miss Crane, and a letter explaining my Offi.ers came in packages more or less elaborate. new move. I knew she'd be interested in what I'm doing. Several were accompanied by letters more or less funny. I asked her what she thought of my scheme. I knew she'd "The fruit man is doing a rush business to-day," uttered write me, and I'm glad shJ d,id, for; honestly, fellows;i<.L Nat, smiling, but with a rueful face. need some cheeri;iig after all this guying." t ls-


6 A LEMON FOR HIS. He looked uncertainly from package to letter and back again. Next he broke the string on the package, but then, almost trembling, and alternately white and red, he broke the seal on the envelope, and drew forth the enclosed sheet. "Can we hear?" asked Tib, green with jealousy, but trying hard to hide the fact. Our hero nodded as he unfolded the sheet. "I send you the best there is in life for you!" Nat read from Jessie's letter. With a throb he opened the dainty parcel, drawing forth -another lemon Dock anci Tib roared with laughter, but Nat's eyes flashed forth a new fire. "Perhaps, some day, she'll know what a friend is worth!" spoke the young dreamer, grimly. Dock suddenly ceased the laughter that had come to"his lips. Then, as quickly, he rose. and crossed the room, slapping Nat on the shoulder. "You can be sure she will, old chap And, if she doesn't, she's not worth worrying about!" "Don't say that!" begged Nat. as if I were a lunatic. You know the Hemmenway tract, on the edge of the town?" "Yes; a mighty valuable piece of property." "Well, I'm trying to find a customer to buy that tract." "You?" "Yes, Dock. The other day I saw in the newspaper an advertisement calling for offers for a forty-acre tract for manufacturing purposes. The concern that advertised is the one that puts up Limene, a temperance drink that is selling like blazes in these days. Now, when a big con cern is manufacturing a beverage, that concern needs to know all about the water supply on its tract. There's a good spring, one that can't be exhausted, on the Hemmenway land. So I got a jug, filled it full of water, and wrote a letter saying that I had" such land to dispose of, and added that I was sending a sample of spring water from the land in question for their chemist to test. I knew that much from my own father being a chemist "Well?" asked Dock, wonderingly. "Here's the answer," and Nat passed the telegram over. Dock read: "Ship ten hogsheads of water, our expense, for testing on large, practical scale. LIMENE COMPANY." "What does it mean?" asked Dock. "Gracious That fellow won't even get mad or take a "Mean?" blazed Nat, as he rose and began to pace the hint when a girl turns him down," quivered Tib Freeman, room. "Why, it means that the chemist for the Limehe inwardly. "Why, I suppose he'll have the cheek to call on people has found that the water is just what they want her to-night. Maybe he'll gather up all those lemons and . t k th t h f .lY! 1,, for puttmg up their beverage for the market. It means a e em o er or a peace-ouermg. h N t ank 1 1 d t h t d th bl that, if I m half way clever, I can sell this tract for t e 1 a. s th 8 owt Y own m 0 a c air, s u ymg e azmg owner and fill my pocket with a large, fat commission." coa s m e gra e. "But you've got to get authority from the owner to act ;r'ib, and remark.ed that he guessed that as his selling agent?" be nor. did urge him to stay. "Oh, yes, of course." Don t take tlus busmess of to-day too seriously, old "And you've got to have a little cash to buy and fill your fellow," Dock urged, gently. hogsheads." "What? Oh, the lemons? Oh, that page is turned over "I suppose so." and cl?sed already," Nat muttered. . "You'd trust my father?" Agam the doorbell rang. Dock went himself, this time, "I'd trust him as quick as I would you, Dock!" spoke to stave off any more lemons. Nat in a tone that was full of warmth. But, instead, he came back with a sealed telegraph en"Then, come along," cried Hayes, reaching for his hat. velope. "Where to, Dock?" "Excuse me," said Nat, politely, then broke the seal and "To the store to have a talk with my father behind closed read. doors t Maybe in fortnight, Nat Furman, folks In a moment he looked up, with just the gleam of a won't laugh at you as much as they have dotle !" twinkle in his eyes. "I guess I'm not wholly a fool, Dock," he said, quietly. "Why, I don't believe you're any part of a fool. Neither does Dad," Dock protested, warmly. "Then what does ail me?'' ou've lived in that backwoods oil town all your life, and you're just a bit green-that's all," Dock assured him. "Greenness wears off, doesn't it?" "In your I'll bet it does mighty soon!" "Maybe folks will believe, before long, that I ain't so very green, either. At least, I believe I'm on a good stroke." 4 1 Sqmething in that telegram?" hinted Dock. "Yes,, and I'm to tell you, for you don't treat me CHAPTER III. HEADLONG INTO DANGER. Many people who met Nat for the first time were in clined to think that he was either asleep or wild in his head, according to the mood in which they found him. The truth was that our hero was woefully green. Beyond that not much could be said against him. Four days brought about a great change in him and in his affairs. In the meantime he had made the acquaintance of Aaron Hemmenway, the owner of the forty-acre tract of land on which the spring was located


A LEMO N FOR HIS. 7 Carroll Hayes, rich merchant of ?res ton, h.ad intro -1 "Whee Wouldn't it be great if I pushed this saw duced the boy, which made a great difference m young through!" he throbbed, under his breath. Furman's reception by the owner of the real estate in One great fascination of the real estate business is that question. the -agent often wins his fattest fees through mere chance, Nat had cautiously stated that he thought he had a or, at the most, by the exerc ise of a little brains. buyer for the Hemmenway tract. Oft e n he has only to bring seller and buyer together. At that Aaron Hemmenway pricked u p his ears and These two talk over their own terms, but if a trade is wanted details. made the real estate agent receives his commission just "I don't believe I'll the details until we've agreed the same-and all for merely having brought seller and on the terms that I'm to have if I bring about a sale for buyer together! you," Nat replied, gravely. In this case Nat had seen an advertisement for a :factory "Oh, you bring me a customer and I'll see that you are site u sed right," protested Hemmenway. He also1knew that Hemmenway wanted badly to sell his "What the boy wants," interposed Carroll Hayes, valuable tract. gravely, "is a contract, an agreement, that cover s his comIn addition, Nat knew that a chemical company, in mission in case he brings you. people who will buy your choosing a site on w hich to manufacture a beverage, is land." largel y governed by the character of the water on the lan d "But I can't make a contract with a minor," protested One concern may want a tract on which there are s prings Hemmenway, slfrewdly. "And it wouldn't be any if of soft water. Another concern may have to have hard I did." spring wa.ter. "But you can make the contract with me as the boy's tru stee," hinted Mr. Hayes. And that was done, for Hemmenway was anxio u s to sell his valuable tract of land, if it could be done Nat promptly shipped his hogsheads of water, as re quested, and awaited the answer. It came., John Haslett, the manager of the Limene Com pany, would be out on the 2 .30 train to meet our hero and the owner, to inspect the land and talk over terms. "But you can hardly meet the manager of a rich com pany in such clothes as those," argued Hemmenway, g l anc ing over Nat's rather shabby, out-of-date atti re "They're the best I've got," Nat admitted, ruefully. "Then I'll have to take a chance and stake you to an upt-o-date outfit," Hemmenway opserved. That was done. Nat was "built over" from head to toe, in the store of the livest clothier in Creston. In addition a smal l roll of bills was tucked away in one of his pockets. "Don't throw the money away," suggested middle-aged Mr. cautiously. "But you may hav e to spend a little in entertaining the Limene people while they are here." To cap it all, Nat was provided with a stylis h carriage, drawn by a spanking team of horses, with which to meet his people at the depot. Aaron Hemmenway was to be there, too, though he was not to appear too openly at the depot. As soon as Nat and the Limene manager left the depot in a carriage, Hemmenway was to jump on hi s bicycle and hurry on to his office, there to meet Manager Haslett. Nat reached the depot at a little after two o'clock, so eage r was he to be on time Outwardly, he looked half asleep, but that was only on the surface. Inwardly, he was trembling and quiveriug. One concern may want water in which there is much iron ; to another concern the fact of there being iron in the water would be a bar to buying the land. And so on. But the spring water on the Hemmenwa y tract appeared to just s uit the Limene people. "It seems like a fairy story," Nat chattered to him self, as {le waited. "Oh, I hope it comes true! What an easy way to make money. After all, real estate is the game for a boy, if he can keep himself wide awake and be on the move all the time Why, if this thing goes through, I can be one of the big depositors at the bank." "Who's that sty lish -l ooking young fellow on the plat form?" asked Jessie Crane, as she strolled near, one hand resting lightly on Tib's arm "He looks familiar to me." "So he does," agreed Tib. "Why, "Nat Furman!" cried Jessie, in amazement. "The huma n lemon-squeezer!" J essie laughed merrily. "But what a difference good clothes do make in him," went on the girl. "Rather!" agreed Tib, jealously. "They make his awkwardne s s look a ll the more pronounced." "Oh, I'm not so sureiof that," argued J essie Crane. "I think he carries good clothes rather well." "Guess he's getting ready to leave town," suggested Tib, hopefully, for he didn't care much about listening to praise of Nat, who might, at any minute, become a rival again. "Let's go over and speak to him," suggested Jessie. ".Aw, what's the use?" demanded T'ib Freeman. "I'm curious." "To know where he got the clothes?" Jo," pouted Miss Crane "I'm cur ious to know whether he's goi:r;ig away for long." As Jess had dropped his arm ap.d had started toward the depot platform, Tib had no choice but to follow her or give up the victory .to "the champion boy dreamer.!.,.y


8 A LEMON FOR HIS. Nat's face didn't light up much as he saw Jess coming toward him, but he lifted his hat and greeted her politely. "Going away for a while?" Jessie inquired, while Tib looked hopefully at the other boy. "Oh, no," smiled Nat. Then, as Jessie continued to look at him questioningly, he added: "I'm waiting for some one who's coming on the 2.30 train." "Some people on ?" queried Tib, half laughin gly, half sneeringly. "Yes," Nat answered s imply. ."What handsom e horses!" cried Jes s s uddenly, noticing the team of handsome bays. "It's the team that I'm using to meet the people with," Nat explained, coolly. "Oh!" said Jess, but now her voice rang more with in terest than with mere curiosity. "Got a job at last?" demanded Tib, whose jealousy was booming up to the boiling point. "Oh, no," came the reply from the young dreamer. f At least, not exactly. I'm in busines s for myself." "It must pay!" Tib uttered, looking hard at the s panking horses "I think it is going to," Nat replied. "At least, I hope so. Tib wanted to stroll along, but J essic didn't. So Tib stayed. But even Jessie Tesented the fact that Nat Furman, though he was wonderfully polite, did not volunteer more infoTmation about his present business . As. the three young people stood there chatting, a man drove up in an a,utomobile. Behind, hooked on by a chain, was a second automobile, not under its own power, but being towed while a man sat in this second machine to steer. Slowly the leading automobile towed the other one around to a s pot by the frei&ht sheds. The n the first machine, after being uncoupled, came gliding back. Behind it clank e d the towing chain, rattling oveT the frozen ground. "That fellow doesn't keep,his head about fiim," grumbled Tib. / But the driver of the machine halted close to the depot platform to speak to an acquaintance who hailed him. From the conversation that followed it soon appeared that the man in the auto was quit e deaf. "Tell him about hi s chain,'' whisp e red Jess i e "What's the use?" demanded Tib. "He'd hand me a lemon, or want to, for being too fre s h. He'd ask me if I didn't s uppos e he knew that his chain was trailing." But Jess hardly heard, for she had turned to talk to Nat. "It seems that I'm only a handy third party to have around to run errands and be pleasant," growled 'rib, sav agely, to himself. The poor fellow was becoming more jealous every minute. "What can she see inthat fellow Furman, just be cause he happ ens to have passably good clothes on?" Tib wondered, gloomily. Truth to tell, Jessie was feeling secretly a good deal ashamed of having sent that lemon to the young dreamer She wanted to sho. w him, now, that the prank had not been caused by any .real contempt on her part. But Nat, still sensitive over tlie matter, took great pains to be very polite and not a bit too cordial. "You haven t been to see me lately," challenged Jess. "I've been so extremely busy," Nat explained, coolly. Jess pouted "When you've nothing else in the world to do I s uppose you'll call?" Jess, tossing back her head, deman ded. "That's very kind of you," he murmured, coolly. Jess b ega n to feel more than half offe nded. She was be ginning to realize that this sleepy looking boy was more clever than he looked. "Well, so l ong!" roared the deaf man in the automobile. He gave a wren

A LEMON FOR HIS. He had the chain some four f eet above where Jes sie's ankle was caught. Now a s the machin e g ave a sudd e n bump backward, in passing over a rough p art in the road, Jess was yank e d forward toward the boy. In that twinkling in s tant, holding to one part of the chain Nat profited by the s la c k part at the e nd. Twist! J e rk He freed Jessie' s ankle like a fl.as h. She lay in the street daze d but motionless now. A s Nat was jerked forward at f e arful s p eed he saw her lying there. Then he had the pre s ence of mind to l e t go of the ch..ain. At the sam e time h e had the g r eat g o o d lu c k to escape having the heavy hook s trike him in the fac e a s it went by. But his face got its puni s hm ent jus t the sam e He fell heavily, hi s face ploughin g up the frozen ground. "Safe! The wors t i s over!" throbb e d the boy. He got up, aching and tre mbling but hurri e d wobbingly, toward the girl. "Jessie! Miss Crane, I mean! How badly are you hurt?" She looked up at him in a dazed way, the n bur s t into a torrent of tears. "You-y ou nearly kill e d yourself!" s he sobbed. "Not quite," protest e d Nat, dril y "And y ou re safe." "You're all right!" cheer e d Tib, da1ting up and offe ring his hand to help the girl to rise. But Jess dre w away from h im. "I'd rather have the sam e help that I'v e bee n h a ving she retort e d half angril y N 11.t, without a word offe r e d h is hand to h e lp h e r ris e Jessie fac ed Tib flarin g l y "You couldn t hear whe n I c all e d you! s h e cried, h e r vpice ringing with contempt. Then again, her voice broke down in sobs a s Nat helped her toward the d e pot platform They w e r e g r e et e d with c heer s b y the t hirty or forty peopl e who had ha s til y g ath e r ed. "My, my, boy, but you'r e t he g ritty on e cri e d on e man, admiringly. "And quick? A cat couldn t beat t he way y ou leaped after that girl! My, but it took grit, though. I almo s t shut my eyes, for I was c e rtain you' d both be kil1ed !" "Of cour s e it took grit, falt e r e d Jessi e sobe rly. "Mr. Furman, I don't know how to th a nk you now, and I'm not goin g to try to. Bu t when I'm mor e myself I'll try to t e ll you what I think of y our spl e ndid a c t. I owe it to you that I'm alive." "Let be help y ou home Jessie," s ugge s ted Tib meekl y "Shall I get a carriag e ?" "Wait and I'll talk to you b y and b y," r eturne d Jessie, coldl y "Re ally, Jessie, I trie d to save you. But I w a s too .far away, and--" But-Jessie turned impatiently away from luckle s s Tib Freeman. She looked pityingly at Nat. Truly, the boy was a sad-looking figure. His n e w clothes had been torn to shreds-almost. Had they" been torn any more than they were young Fur:ran would hav e needed a barrel to get inside of. His elbows and knees, his hips, too, were battered and bruised. They ached so that he could hardly stand up. A s f o r his late neat derby hat, that had been pounded to a wreck while he was being dragged over the ground. Added to that, his nose was now freely, while he had one na s ty-looking cut on his forehead and another on one cheek. Altogether, he was a ragged, battered, torn, bruised and bloody wreck of a boy. But his bones were still whole, and so w e re Jess Crane's. That was all he thought of for the moment. So abs orb e d all the people on the platform that no one noticed the arrihl of the expre s s particularly. Th e train, making a brief stop, pull e d out again. Th e n a puzzled voice was heard demanding, loudly: "Is Mr. Nathaniel Furman here?" "Yes; h e re I am," c'ried Nat, s tarting forward. Aaron Hemmenway, standing in the background, gasped shiveringly: "My Lord! what a villainous-looking agent to meet the buyers for my land!" With a bound forward, Mr. Hemmenway pushed Nat bac k a s t e p or two, eyeing thestranger and murmuring: "Furman has met with an accident. 1 you're Mr. Has' l ett, I'll tak e the young man's place." But one of the bystanders ha s til: r broke in with a few wor d s of what had happened'. Mr Has l ett, who was a ta11 and rather di s tingui s hed looking man pa s t middle age, looked Nat over attentively. Then Jes sie broke in with her own grateul account of how her life bad been saved. "I'll take pleasure in s howing y o u over the land, while Furman g e t s away and tidie s himself brpke in Hemmenway, anxious l y "Thank you, Mr Hemmenway;'' retorted Ha s lett. "But I've rather a weakness for the doers of heroic deed s I take it that young Mr. Furman will want time to wash away t11e blood that he s o s plendidly s acrific ed, and that he'll want to get into other clo_ the s So I'll wait, for I assure you that no one except Furman can show me tract I've come to look at." Th e n th e manager of the Limene Company drew forward a trav e lin g c ompanion whom he introduced a s Mr. D?lli ver the c ompany's engineer. Nat showe d the visitors into the carriage. Hemmen way g ot in with them. The owner of tlrn land tried to engage the Limene peopte in conve r s ation but Mr. Haslett quickl y showe d that he pre f erre d t a lking with thE! boy. Tib, in the meantime, coaxed Jessie into one of the depot cabs and took her home for her torn dress was hardly suitable for promenading. /


A LEMON FOR HIS. A stop was made at one of the stores Within twenty minutes Nat, looking much more pre sentable, again at Hemmenway's expense, came out and re-entered the carriage. The party was driven out to the tract in question, which la y close to the railroad track. Mr. Haslett expressed himself as being rather well pleased with the looks and location of the land. "What first attracted us to your land, Mr. Hemmen way," Haslett explained, "wa s that :first sample of water from the spring. You see, we have to be decidedly careful about the water we use in our plant. In fact, I may say that we probably wouldn't have given another thought to this tract if it hadn't been that you directed young Fur man to send us a jugful of the water for our chemist to test." Hemmenway looked a trifle sheepish under Haslett's keen eyes. "Oh, it wasn't your thought, then, but the youngster's?" queried Haslett at once. "Young Furman, my opinion of you is going up every minute. If we should buy this tract of land, then you may be sure that it was you who brought the sale about." You see how much room there is for a freight siding, and all that sort of thing," urged Aaron Hemmenway. "Yes." But Haslett turned and went on talking with the boy. Hemmenway sensibly decided that if the land could be sold it made little difference who brought the sale about. So he did not begrudge Nat his sudden favor in the eyes of the manager of the Limene Company. "I think my people are going to like this tract fairly well," said Mr. Haslett, as the party turned back to the carriage "Mr. Hemmenway, you can send us on a map of the land, and we'll correspond about the price and that sort of thing. Make the price low enovgh, and there's 'some chance that we can put the deal through." When it came to parting at the depot, both Haslett and Dolliver paid more attention to our hero than they did to the owner of the land. "Even if we don't close for the land, Furman, I s hall hope to hear from you again," declared Mr. Haslett, press ing the boy's hand at the parting. In the evening Nat paid a call of politeness on Jessie Crane. He found Tib there, too, that youngster looking decidedly un comfortable. "Tib doesn't seem to think that you did so much to day," suggested Jessie. "I didn't," Nat admitted, "But you did it right on time, and you risked your life like a soldier!" cried Jess, admiringly. "I'd have done it if I could," muttered Tib, sheepishly. "But how could I?" ".Are you asking me?" questioned Nat, as Freeman's eyes met his. "Why, yes." "What you need," Nat answered, "is a little more head. That is, a head that ca;n think quicker. You were as close to the chain and Miss Crane as I was." He felt that he owed Freeman this thrust for all the merciless guying that the other boy had sprung on hilll days before. "Can you stay and spend the evening?" asked Jessie, sweetly. "Very kind of you, Miss Jessie," N .at murmured. ".And you'll stay?" "Unfortunately--" ':Now, don't begin that way I" cried the girl, poutingly. "But it is' unfortunate," Nat rejoined, very coolly. "I have several letters to write to-night. I'm hustling in you Good-night, Tib. Good-night, Miss Crane. Sorry I can't stay." Nat bowed himself out. He wasn't quite ready to forget the lemon the girl had sent him. CH.APTER V. THE TRICK OF THE RIVAL REAL ESTATE MAN. Then matters dragged for many days. Nat, in his :firs t venture jn real estate transactions, learned how long it takes to. put a big deal through. There was haggling over the price, for one thing. Fortunately, all this time, Nat had a hospitable home with the Hayes family. They had confidence in his ability to win out if he had a little show. During these days of delay, Nat, who began to feel that he had some genius for selling real estate, began to look more thoroughly into the other properties in and around Creston that were for sale. Winter weather had set in. There was ice on. the ponqs, and snow on the ground. Thanks to the quick sale of one small building lot, Nat gathered in commission enough to buy himself an over coat. But still success was a long while in coming. Many of the people acquaintance he had made felt their :first impression-that he was a dreamer-to be the right one. One cold evening, just as he was leaving the house for a walk before s upper, Nat received a letter from the post man. "From the Limene people, eh?" he thrilled to himself, and stood under the corner gaslight to read it. "We are sorry to keep you waiting so long :for our de cision," wrote Mr. Haslett. "Apart from other consid erations, we have recently received samples of spring water from another tract of land. Much as we liked the water from the Hemmenway tract, we are bound to say that we like the new sample of water much better. We shall be obliged, tlrerefore, to delay our answer to you for the present." "Got a sample of water th<;!y like better, and from another


'.A LEMON F O R HIS 1f place, eh?" muttered Nat, a s he walked along, feeling a curious sinking at the heart. "Then my fat commission i sn't so lik e ly to pan out? Oh, dear! But I wonder if Haslett i s onl y bluffing, to get a knock-down on the price? Haslett see med a mighty nice fellow. Still, he may have his own idea s a bout the way to succeed in business. I won der whether it's a bluff or a real throw down?" The more Nat thought about it the more his head throbbed with anxiety. "I reckon I'd b e tter take a good, brisk walk, and clear my h e ad," he murmured "I need a clear head t o deal with t h is disappointment." He walk e d for some distanc e He r e a c hed t h e

12 A LEMON FOR HIS. "Near here?" "What's loose?'' "Near enough." "Joll is," answered Nat, drily. "Big Bill Joll. Do you "Can you smuggle the kid to the place without getting know him, officer?" copped?" "The rE>al estate man?" "Sure, unless I have the luck of a geezer," promised "That's the one." Scamp, slangily. "What did he do to _you, kid?" "All right, then. You don't need any help?" "It was Joll who set this thug on me." "Nary bit." "Never heard of Joll being in any such business as thiit," But it was certainly up to Scamp to reconsider. protested the polrceman. For the last minute he had let up on the clutch at Nat's "He was to-night, though." throat, contenting himself by holding the boy by one arm. Nat had darted around the corner, hoping to catch sight All of a sudden Nat doubled his arm, then shoved his of Bill J oll. elbow forcibly into Scamp's wind. But that rascally rival, hearing what was happening It was a telling blow. The fellow doubled up for an before he reached the scene, had wisely halted, then faded. instant, letting go of hi s young captive. He was nowhere in sight, now, as Nat was forced to "Here, stop that!" puffed Joll, angrily. admit after looking. But Nat, profiting by his instant's freedom, was off like 1 "One bird at a time," gru nted the policeman. "Come a shot, racing straight for those despised boarding houses. along, kid, so you can make your complaint." Scamp, too, after an instant spent in regaining his wind, There oeing a suburban police station, a small affair, was off, keen on the chase. close at hand, Scamp, who gave hjs other name as Heifers, Joll, aghast, but not speedy, brought up a distant rear. was soon booked. As he ran, Scamp caught sight of a cudgel lying on the Within fifteen minutes Nat was free to hurry back to the snow, 11 cart-stake that had fallen from some passing hospitable Hayes roof for his supper. truck vehicle. But on turning a corner into Main Street he bumped Just long enough to snatch up this bludgeon, Scamp into Bill Joll. stopped and bent. 1 "Oh, hullo !" greeted Nat, smilingly. Then, straightening up again, he darted on in the pur'"Huh!" retorted Joll, unea sily suit at speed. "You faded out in the rural districts." Nat, glancing backward over his shoulder, saw that the "Huh!" fellow was gaining on him. "Too bad we didn't. catch you," mimicked Nat. "We got "I don't nt any more of his style," throbbed th_ e boy, your friend all right, though. He's in a cell, doing a lot alive with terror, for he believed th11t Scamp wouldn't of thinking. hesitate to beat out his brains. "Huh!" "Help!" shouted Nat Furman, as he neared the corner "Maybe you'll be doing some thinking to-morrow, too," at which he had first come upon this pair. "Help! help!" predicted Nat, smilingly .' Then he darted around the corner. "Huh! Whatcher mean?" As he so he almost collided agltinst a blue coat, "Well, from the way your friend acted, I reckon he's inside of which was a big, husky-looking policeman. getting about ready to squeal on you. It'll upset your Nat just darted aside-to make room for Sea.mp, who real estate swindle, and very likely land you in jail into ra n plump into the cop. the bargain." "What's this?" roared the cop. "Don't you try none of that warned J oll, sudden men" Grab him !" appealed Nat. ace shining in his narrow eyes. Scamp dropped his but fuo late, for the po"I sh.an't try anything that isn't square, anyway," agreed liceman had seen it. Nat. "If you hadn't, either, you might not find jitil and "What's all this up?" gruffly demanded lhe cop, as he ruin facing you right now. Good night!" folded his big arms around Scamp. He walked on, J oll to stare after him in utter The latter struggled, until he saw the policeman reachrage. ing for his club. "Jail and ruin, eh?" pulsed the big fellow, his face "Hol4 on to him, officer!" begged Nat. purplin g and his fat sides shaking. "We'll see about that! "What's he been doing to you?" But I wonder if Scamp will peach to save his own skin? "He tried to kill me with that club." If he does-wow! Things might look better for you, Bill "Lie!" growled Scamp.. Joll !" "I'll hold you, anyway," grumbled the officer, letting The white tinge of fear crept into the big fellow's go with one hand, but holding Scamp tightly with the other face as he watched our hero walking briskly down the while he flourished his locu st "The station-house is the lighted street place to spin yarns in : Come along there, both of you." "You're likely to be just one too many in the world for "Wait a second," begged Nat. me, kid!" muttered the big fellow.


.. A LEMON FOR HIS. 13 He glared until he saw Nat turn a corner. "And now to see what we can do about it!" quavered Bill Joll, as he half crawled, half staggered away, his face a sickly greenish hue under the street lamp. CHAPTER VI. "GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU !" That evening was not very old when a strange thing happened out illthat police station in the suburbs. The sergeant in command sat all alone at the desk, his single house-man having gone to a restaurant, an eighth of a mile away. A rough-looking fellow entered, bearing a bouquet of most handsome flowers. "Hey, you're in the wrong house!" grinned the sergeant. "There ain't going to be any wedding here." "The wedding I'm talking about," grinned the roughlooking stranger, "happened 'bout five years ago." "What wedding?" "Have you got a gentleman here named Heifers?" "We've got a thug, a yegg, a hobo, answering to that ame," replied the sergeant. "That's him." "What about him?" "His wife sent these posies." "He:ffers's wife?" derided the sergeant. your kidding!" "I'm talking right," nodded the rough-looking pne. "He:ffers's wife. He's got one, and she's a beaut. Real beauty, I mean. And she's long on credit with the dry goods stores, too. My, what a swell dresser Mrs. Heifers is!" . "Oh, g'wan !" ordered the se'rgesnt. "What would Ref fers be doing with such a wife?" "Well, he's got her,, anyway," declared the stranger. "You wouldn't think it to look at Scamp. But he was a smarter feller five years ago. And his wife, though she don't like his hoboing, hasn't thrown him down altogether. Once in a while, when he talks of bracing up, she takes him on her hands again, rigs him up and puts some money in his pockets. Mrs. He:ffers heard that her man had been pinched again to-night, so she sent me here to hand him these posies and to say that she'll be on hand in the morn with a good lawyer." "Whatcher giving us?" insisted the police sergeant, eye ing his visitor keenly. "Well, I've got this bo-kay to back up my string with, hain't I?" demsnded the stranger, calmly. "Certainly a fine bouquet." "Any objections to my handing it to Scamp?" "Why there's no law against it," confessed the sergeant. "Still, it seems like a shame. to chuck away such loveli ness on a hobo like Scamp Heifers." "Come 'round here where you can 1 smell 'em," jnvited the stranger, amiably. The sergeant, leaving his desk, stepped out in front of the rail. He bent over, burying his in the blossoms. Then, suddenly, he reeled. Chuckling, the stranger pressed a bulb attached to a rubber tube that ran up through the bouquet. A spray of chloroform dashed into the sergeant's face, down his throat, up his nostrils. As he fell, dizzily, the stranger leaped upon him, press ing the drugged flowers close to the officer's face. In a very short twinkling of time that sergeant was past doing immediate business in his line. Slipping his hand into the sergeant's hip pocket, the stranger drew out the police revolver that he found there. Then, with a swift bound, he gained the enclosure back of the railing. The cell-room keys. lay there upon the desk. Snatching them up, the stranger hurried down below, the revolver in his right hand. "Scamp!" he called, hoarsely. "Here!" came a voice in answer. The stranger followed the v_oice,. caught sight of his friend and rapidly began to try the keys. "Rags!" gasped Scamp, hoarsely. "How on earth did you--" "No time to talk now," retorted Rags. "Get a hustle on. Talk in the dark woods, under the ta.11 timber. Hike!" Swiftly the two men quitted the station-house, leaving the sergeant still drugged, and fully ten minutes ere the ::i. bsent house policeman returned. But Nat Furman had of none of these doings. The Hayes family having gone out to a theatre, our hero sat alone in the living-room, when the telephone bell in the next room rang. "Hullo! 'rhat Hayes's house?" hailed a voice. "Yes." "Young Furman there?" "You happen to be talking to him now. I'm Furman." "Good e:qough I've got news for you." "Yes? What?" "Mr. Haslett is in town. "Eh? Who are you?" "I'm with Mr. Haslett. He has run down on the quiet. He wants a talk with you." "Tell me where to find him, and I'll get Mr. Hemmenway and run around," suggested Nat. "Hemmenway come in in this. Mr. Haslett doesn't want to see him." "Oh!" "At least not until he has talked with you. He wants a word or two with you before he goes a bit further with Hemmenway. Got that straight?" "Yes." "Come on over, then, and see Mr. Haslett at once." "But where is he?" "Right here. Oh, I forgot. You don't' know where I am." "Hardly."


A LEMON FOR HIS. "It's just out of town. 1'>u know where Adams's roadhouse is, on the Marathon road?" "Certainly." "Well, Mr. Haslett is here for the night." "I guess I can get over there in twenty minute s or so.'' "Good enough. And be sure not to mention it to Hemmenway until you've seen Mr. Haslett." "I won't/' Nat promised. "Hurry over, then. Good-by." "Now, what can all this possibly mean?" wondered the boy, a s he scribbled a note which stated, merely, thq.t he had gone out. As he hurried into hi s overcoat and drew on his mittens he found himself no n earer to having guessed what this strange visit of Haslett could mean. "And why should he go to that road-house, instead o'f to one of the better hotels in town?" wondered the boy. But that point was soon clear. lf Haslett didn't care to meet Hemmenway for the pres ent, he was taking the surest way to avoid him. "All ready,'' muttered Nat, looking at the clock, and looking, also, to make sure that he had his latch-key with him. He stepped out into the keen, cold, brisk winter air, walk ing rapidly. "Why Haslett should write me that letter and then follow it right up by coming on the next train is something that I'm curious about," reflected our hero, as he strode along. "But, maybe, that chemist of his has found out that some trick had been played with the sample of w&ter that Joll sent him. My, but won't I have a flea to put into Mr. Haslett's ear!" Another thought came that made the boy feel brighter. "If H!islett has taken the trouble to come all the way over to Creston, then he surely ha. sn't given up the idea of buying our land. Whee I But that commission looms up in a.JI its fatness once more!" The Marathon road, for which he was headed, was one of the rural roads between two towns. Had there been more snow on the ground the Marathon road would have been swarming with horses and sJ.e. ighs at time of the night. But the slipping was so poor that Nat, as he walked smartly along to keep himself warm, passed no pleasur e vehicles. Half a mile out from Creston, Nat looked down the road nearl y anot her half mile. "There's the lights of Adams's place," he A little way ahead lay a bridge over a narrow stream. Beyond, on the left, stood a canvas-topped hay-cock. Nat walked by this, unsuspecting, until he heard a hurried step. Turning, he quivered with fright as he beheld two men advancing upon him, and hardly at arm's length away. Nat turned to. run, but it was too late. As he felt rather than saw them bounding upon him, he t urned to fight. There 's a vast difference between being afraid and being a coward! He struck out, but the two men, coming at once; bore him fairly down to the ground. "Thought ye had me jugged, did ye?" gritted Scamp, as he struck the boy full in the face. "Ye bit, anyway, when you got the talk-words over the wire,'' chuckled the other rascal, as he reached for Nat's wind-pipe. He took a warning hold, but not a strangling one. "That telephone message a fake?" throbbed the boy to himself. "Blazes, but I s ure was gold-bricked that time!" eWhil e Rag s calmly seated himself on the boy's chest, Scamp stood up to see that there were no possible meddlers near. "We're going to have ye take a little walk with u s," confided Rags. "Oh, of course!" groaned the boy to himself. "Joll wants me out of the way for two or three weeks. And this I time i s where I go-I have to go!" "Get up and walk and act decent," advised Rags, helping to get the boy on to hi s feet, and taking a restraining hold around Nat's arm. Jt seemed no use to try to escape, nor yet to shout for help. The countr y roundabout was too deserted-looking for any good prospect of a.id being within reach of legs or voice. So Nat, who ha(i summoned his utmost coolness to his aid, sensibly concluded to walk quietly between the two men, who immediat e ly led him across the field in which thev had hidden. are you going to do to me?" Nat asked, with all the calmness he couid summon "Going to do something that'll be good for what ails you," announced Rags, grimly, while Scamp chuckled sav agely. "You've got me guessing," proposed Nat. "What does ail me, anyway?" "Why, mostly,'' declared Rags, "you're too fresh, arid you have a way of butting into other folks's slick games." "Meaning Big Bill J oll ?" "Some," grunted Scamp, savagely. some because of your getting me pinched to.:.night." "You had something to do with that yourself, you?" questioned the boy. Scamp swore, by way of answer. "But you haven't told me what you're going to do with me," hinted our hero, turning toward l)ags, who appeared to be much the more amiable of the pair of scoundrels. "Oh, maybe you're going to travel a bit suggested Rags, drily. Again Scamp chuckled. Nor was it a pleasant chuckle to hear, either. That chuck l e had in it'little of mirth, but much of the tone of a dire threat. "Well, I s11ppose I'll know soon what is going to hap pen," sighed Nat.


A LEMON HIS. 15 "A bully good guess, kid," approved Rags, evenly. They were leading him toward the railroad track, in a deserted stretch of the country. Ahead there loomed up only a toolhed used by the section gang. Nat looked about, wondering, as they halted beside this shed. "Down on the ground for yours," commanded Scamp, gruffly. Seeing nothing to do but obey, Nat lay down. In silence, but with despatch, his captors bound him at the wrists and ankles. Then Rags took out a curious-looking bunch of keys. With these he had quickly picked the lock of the tool-shed door. A tug, and the two men pushed out a hand -ca. r and placed it on the rails of the main track. Next Nat was lifted, laid on the fl.at top of the car, and then his captors grimly proc eeded to tie him there. "J"oll didn't say anything very definite," grumbled Rags, as they worked at their task. "All hj:! said was that he wanted the kid to be out of the way, sure, or quite some time." "It'll be a good, long time all right, I reckon," glowered Scamp. "Careful, or we'll get in the track of a passing train," admonished Nat, anxiously. "I reckon we will!" grimaced Scamp. "What's that?" gasped Nat, in sudden alarm. He was beginning to half guess the awful plan. Toot! Too-oot sounded a di sta nt, shrill whistle. "Quick!" muttered Scamp, hoarsely. "We don't hap pen to want any of this for ourselves." "You're not going tb l eave me here in the track of the train?" shrieked young Furman. "In the track of the express," confirmed Scamp. "Come on, Rags!" The pair bolted, leaving the boy helpless on the hand-car. "Come back! Save me I Don't do this!" Nat begged. piteously. But the roar of the night express was the only sound now. It came on, roaring, rattling, cracking, snorting. Then there was an indescribable roar in the boy's ears. The engine's great headlight loomed up in front of his terrified eyes. The flying train was upon him I Crash! Smash! Bump! CHAPTER VII. ANOTHER GOLD-BRICK -. The stationary hand-car was struck full by the engine's cow-catcher. It swerved, jarred, then left the track. 'Slowly it rolled down the slight banking. In the same. instant the slowing express engine came to a full, sudden, hard, jolting stop. For back on the rail s the headlight had shown the en gineer a something dark on the track. At the first startled glimpse it looked to the engineer like a break in the track. Jam went the brakes in an instant. The train began to slow. But a great modern land:fl.yer, of a dozen cars or more whizzing along at fifty miles an hour, cannot be brought to an instant stop. The roar tllat Nat had heard was the release of steam, combined with the straining of the engine and the crunch on sanded rail s Still going with some force, the engine struck the small hand-car, hurling it from the track. As the hand car reached the bottom of the short slope, it turned over on one side. A moment more, and the train hands were rushing forward. They found Nat Furman unconscious, blood oozing from a wound in his head. Then came a physician, who was among the passengers "Scalp wound," he said. "Let us see if the skull is broken." His examination seemed to show that it was not Nat, of course, in the meantime, had been unbound. Now he rested in a pile of trainmen's coats in the baggage car. And so he came to He looked about him wonderingly at :first, while the physician plied him with questions. In a dazed way Nat told what had happesed. Doctor, trainmen and passengers all believed that hi s mind was wandering "But,'' said the conductor, "we must admit that we found him bound to the car." "What can you do with him?" asked the doctor, look ing up quickly. "Well, we've got to back into Creston and wire for or ders, after this stop. He can go to the Cre s ton Hospital." Nat's head still troubled him, beyond the pain. He felt more like lying in a half doze. He had just sense to know that he was 1.afe, at last, from Scamp and Rags, and that was all that mattered. So he awoke the next morning in the hospital. Word was sent to Carroll Hayes and his son, Dock. They came in haste that morning, but were not allowed to see the sufferer. Toward afternoon Nat rallied His mind was clearer. He wanted to leave the hospital, but the doctors would not listen to it. So he spent another night there, but the next day he insisted so strongly on going that, about noon, he was helped to dress. In the middle of the afternoon he left the hospital hind him, walking slowly away


16 A LEMON FOR HIS. As h e turned into Main Street the boy' s fir s t impulse was t o g o to Big Bill Joll's office. He followed that impulse, but it l e d only to disappointment. No one but the t y pewriter girl was there. "M:r. J oil is out of town : the girl informed him. "Can you tell me when he will be back?" "Perhaps not for two or thre e days." "He's away salting' his s pring :flashed through the boy's mind Thanking the girl, he left the office. \ He was going slowly up Main Street when a fami l iar, cheery voice h a il e d him from behind "Here y ou, Nat Furman, stop right where you are!" It was Doc k Hayes, who came up beside him, resti n g a strong and friendly arni around the weak boy. "How on ear t h did you e s cape?" demanded Dock, a l most gruffl y "\Yhy, was I a prison er?" "It looks as if you ought to have been," uttered Dock "Do you know t hat you were wobbling just now?" "Was I?" You were. Now, take it easy, and we'll get y o u to the h o use a s soon as we can comfortabl y." Dock got him to the hou s e at last, helped him to shed h at a nd @>Ver c o a t, and the n led h i m into the cosey living room. H e r c down in a chair b e fore the grate fire, Dock plumped him. Now, you sit her e and doze if you can," ordered Dock. "I' m going out of the room, but I'll put this bell near you s o you c an rin g if y o u need anythin g Ke e p qui e t and r est." Nat mus t have dozed, and dozed quite a bit, for it was dark when he woke up. It was dark in the room, too, save for the l ittle g low that the open fire thre w out. Y o u h e re, :'.\fr. N a t?" q u est i o n e d the parl o r maid, ope ning th e door. "Yes, than k goodness!" an swere d th e boy. "He re 's a letter for you, jus t came." N a t took the mis sive, wondering what it could be about Then h e caught s ight of the familiar Lim e n e imprint in the corn e r of the env e lope. "Hullo what's up ?" c ried Dock, coming into the room. "Jus t got a lett e r "From whom ?" "It' s a bus iness l ette r from th e Lim e n e peopl e." "Good n e ws, I hop e ?" a s k e d Doc k ; an xious l y know. I haven t ope ned it yet Had Dock b een in time h e would have l aid that l ette r by until th e morrow, but now it was too late. "You want some li g ht, I s uppo se?" l augh e d Dock, fl.a.r ing a. mat c h and turning on the gas A s the blaze illumined the room Nat tore the end off the envelope. Then he took out t h e sheet, unfo l ded, and read. "What's the matte r ?" ask e d Dock suddenly, for he was secret l y watching the b oy's face. "Nothing Nat muttered, feebl y "Nothi ng, eh ? Rot " N o t hin g much." "See h e re, you had no bus iness to have that letter!" crie d Dock, angrily "I-I su ppose I ought to be glad I did get it-at once." It's bad news, then?" "Read i t Nat passed the sheet to eager Dock, who g l anced at the signature of John Has l ett. The main portion of the letter read : "Owing to changes in the policy of this company we sh a ll not make a change of lo c a tion for a year at least Perhaps not even then We feel it bes t, therefor e to notif y you and a s k you to inform t h e owner of our d e c;1s10n. Und e r th e circum s tanc e s w e do n ot, of course, e:xpept you to k eep ths Hemmenwa y tract open to our pur chase "My, b u t that's too murd e ring bad!" grunted s ympathetic Dock not knowing what to s a y "That's just what it is," r eturne d "Murdering! Th ink o f the hopes that are blasted by that l et ter. Think of the time, the effort, the thought I've put into that land! And now all the huge profit ha s slipped away from me!" "Don't l et it make you sick old fellow "I'm not going to :flas h e d t h e boy. "You don t know me, Dock, if you think that." H e gave Hayes a peculiar SIJ.lile. "Cheer up o l d fellow Some one else will buy the trllct." "If th e y don't, I'll find some one to bu y some l a nd some. whe re. I'v e s old one lot s inc e I 've been on thi s s cheme you know." "And you' ll s ell a lot more, too, old fellow chee red Dock, and l eft him. "Well, the r e s one satisfaction in it all," uttered the boy, grim ly, when l eft to himself. "Joll won' t profit any by all his rascality. He can t sell to the Limen e people either." Yet o u r h ero, weak and beaten as he was could not help feel ing g loomy. Yet how was thi s poor, green y outh to know that the dis heartening l e tter was jus t another g old-brick. One can ofte n brib e a poorly paid s tenogr a pher and se cure a few lett e r head s and printed e nvelopes of a gre a t corporation And some p e ople hav e a knack for for g ery. As Nat lay back in the chair, thinking, a tear trickled down either cheek. He a ngrily bru s hed both wet drop s a s ide. ,CHAPTER VIII. DOING THE GIANT FLOP. During the next fortnight Nat brou ght him s elf back to his o ld trim He began to hust l e again, a s if nothing had happened.


A LEMO FOR HIS. 17 Som ehow, noth ing went right. Yet h e did n q t despa ir, but kept right on, as if he exp e ct e d to find a w inning around every corner. Of course he had mad e his report to the police. Th e polic e authori t ies, in fact, came after that report. Now the members of the force, not only in Creston bui in other nearby place s were on the lookout for Scamp and Rags Nat und e r took to t ell the police about Big Bill J all s p art. in th e a ffair, but a s our h ero had no proof again s t J oll th e polic e a dvised him to "forget it." N at had b een out all the forenoon, .de& pite the fact it i s diffic ult to get p eople tQ. look at land when there is snow on it. He had hurried home for lunch, and was setting out again, when h e encoun te red Jessie Crane on the sidewalk. H e was a bout t o lif t hi s hat smil e a nd pass by, when Jessie m ad e it p l a in th at she want e d to s p eak with him. S he was p a nting s lightly. Her face was :flushed and d e l icious l y prett y "I'v e been hurrying along to find you, N-Mr. Furman," s h e began almo s t breathlessl y "To find me?" quest i o ned the boy, astonished. "Yes ; I've got news for you." "Ne w s ?" "At least I thought it was news, Mr. Furman. You ma y think th a t I'm only m e ddling in your business." "I'm ver y s ur e you wouldn t do that Nat responded, gallantl y "I thou ght you o'1ght to know," Jessie rippled on, then paused. Sh e w a i te d to see s o me of curiosity in the boy, but was disa pp oin te d "I don t b elieve y ou'd car e about knowing, after all she u t t e red di s ap p ointedl y "How c an I tell until I know?" Nat But s till his face was unruffled b y any sign of curiosity. Green as h e was, h e kne w b et t e r than to let every emo-tio n s how in his face "It's about Joll ," began Jess, a s if to tease him into curiQs i ty "Yes, que ri e d Nat. "Whe r e d o you suppose h e s gone?" queried Jess. T o jail I hope " W e ll h e h asn't, the n :flash e d Jess. "I'm di s appoint e d." "He's ju s t gone away on the train " Yes? " T o see the Lim e ne people!" N ow, ind eed, Nat was interested. But Nat did not betray th e fact a s f ull y a s the girl had expected. "Why, I'm g r eat l y o bliged, Jess-Miss Crane-for your c o ming t o te ll me t h at. I am interested. May I ask if you know, for certa in th a t it was th e Limene people he wen t t o see?" "Wh y I hav e hi s own word for it." "His own word? How was that?" "Wh y I w a s at the depot to send a telegram. I was ju s t in s ide the door an d h e was ju s t o ut side, talking to his t y pewrit e r girl. He s aid he was goin g over to see the Limen e people, ancl 'clos e that d eal.) "That d e al?" Again Nat Furman jump e d thoug h not outwardly enoug h for Jessi e's rath!ir kee n eyes to note th e f act. "And he's gone, you say?" e choed Nat. "Gon e on the last train. I thought you' d like to know." "And I'm glad you thought so. Thank you, v e ry, very much Mis s Crane." Jessi e was so gr e atly dis appoint e d that s h e r e turned hi s bow and walked quickly away Perhaps at thi s moment, she had some notion of ju s t how Nat felt when h e received the l emon from her. But a s Nat w a lked qui ckly along he f e lt in his inner co. at pocke t Yes, the re the fa te ful l ette r he had recei vecl,, a s he supposed, from the Lim e n e C ompany. And ther e was another l ette r received a t an earlier date. Nat halt e d ju s t beyond a corn e r to compare the two signature s of Hasle t t's n a m e "Why, this la s t sign a ture was a gold-bri ck-a forger y !" he breathed, fiercely. "Oh, w hat a fool I was not to guess it sooner. J all's gold-brick on m e And I took it for the genuine!" H e thrust l'loth the lett e r s back into his pocket. Then h e strode :fierce l y on hi s s tride soon growing to a run. Re reached the railway station, almos t out of breath. Hi s hand tremble d a s h e s tart e d to writ e a di s patch. But h e fini s h e d it. It was t o Has le t t, and ran: "Don t close any dea l with Joll until you see me. I suspect he forged your name to l e tter to m e a nd I know he ha s been s alting s pring on prop erty h e tri e d to sell you. Am coming on n e xt t win. Wait for me." Thi s h e sent at once. Th e n h e b o u g ht a ticke t and waited h a lf an hour. "Thank goodness Jess h e ard. Anc1 thank goodness s he came and told me. I s uppose s h e f elt she had to do that much to squ a re up for my getting her out of that auto s narl. iVell s h e's sur e l y don e me a good t urn all ri g h t." Would that inf e rnal t rain never come? But it did two minutes b e h i nd ti me. Nat w a s a board almost as soon a s it s topp ed. Th e n h e fum e d ove r t h e stop at e v e r y s tation on the way. But at ]ast h e reache d th e town whe r e th e Lim e n e Company was l ocated He d i d not hav e mone y enoug h t o s pa r e for a cab, but asking the dire c tion h e s tart e d on a jog-tro t for the Lim e n e Company's gr e at works B e fore l e a v ing th e howeve r h e a s c e r ta in e d t h a t his telegram to Ha s l ett had been d e livered . Nat Furman reached th e works almo s t out of br e ath. He inquired the way to the office building, and ha s tened there.


18 A LEMON FOR HIS. Just inside the entrance he met a gray-hair e d man in a uniform. "Whe re can I find Mr. Haslett?" he demanded, eagerly. "Go down thi s corridor, then turn to the left. You'll find a young man at a clesk. Give him your card or your name and he'll see if Mr. Haslett is in." "I reckon he'll be in, with a vengeance, when he knows what I 've got to tell him," bre;thed Nat, to himself. Down at the end of the corridor he turned to the left, as directed. There was th e desk, but no young man behind it. In Nat' s way loomed a tall wire gate. The desk was on the other side of that gate. Nat tried th e handle but it would not yield. It would open on tbe inside, but a brass plate stood in the way of hi s thrusting his hand in at the catch. Impatiently Nat waited for a few moments. Then he ran back to the main corridor to question the old man. But that individual was no longer in sight. Back to the gate bounded our hero. "Where can that young man be?" he groaned. To call any one who might be within hearing, he beat upon the brass plate with his hands, then shook and rattled the gate. That very ordinr 7 din failed to produce any dne. "And at this very morrient J oll may be ,finishing that deal," half sobbed the impatient boy. "Good Lord! I won der if my telegram had such a job in getting through this gate?" He called loudly but th e r e was no response. "Any one would think this was a holiday here!" uttered the boy, angrily. Ah There was a door opening beyond at la st Haslett and Bill J oll stepped over the sill. Nat wanted to shout, but he stood there as i petrified. "Thank you for coming to-day, Mr. Joll," Haslett was saying. "I guess you're very welcome," grinned the big fellow. "I hope you' re pleased." "I am," Joll affirmed. "What over?" quivered Nat. "My telegram, I wonder?" "I hope you'll find everything satisfactory," J oll went on. "I haven't a doubt of that," Haslett beamed. Nat Furman, in that dazing instant, could only listen. He felt deprived of the power of speech. His tongue seemed to be sticking in the roof of his mouth. Ah Haslett had closed his door and J olf was coming down that inner corridor. Nat drew back around the corner. Bill Joll reached the gate, opened the catch, and was about to step through the gateway when something got in his way. It was young Furman wh'o bumped into him. Nat pushed the big fellow back, gained the inner 1corridor, snapped the gate shut and stood with his back against it Tust at first Big Bill J oll started to pale. Then all his cheek and impudence came to the surface. "You kid?" he blustered. "Watcher doing here?" "You know well enough what I'm doing," panted Nat, his voice sounding hoarse but angry. "I've come here to show you up." "Show me up ?" "Yes! And stop you from selling that tract of land with the fake, 'salted' spring on it!" J oll looked a bit startled, then laughed. "'You're talking puzzles, kid," he sneered. "No, I'm not, you big lf;.r and swindler cried Nat, hotly. "I'm talking the truth, and you know it. Mr. Haslett shall know the same thing, too. I'm going to tell him now!" "Ob, go ahead, then," mocked the fat man, stepping out of the boy's path, with a mocking smile. "Trot right in and tell him. It won't do any harm. Can't do any harm." "We'll see!" and Nat toward Mr. Haslett's door. "I've sold my tract," J oll jeered after the boy. "You've done the giant fl.op down hill-that's all I" "I don't b e lieve you." "And it's all paid for I" "I've got through with your lies Bill Joll !" cried Nat Furman, hotly. "I'm going straight to headquarters-to Mr. Haslett himself!" "Who is using my name?" called a voice. The door of the g enera l manager's office open ed. John Haslett stood on the sill. "Mr. Ha s l ett," cried Nat, "have you bought a tract of land from this .fellow, this scoundrel, J oll ?" "I've just bought some land through Mr. Joll," replied J the manager. "And paid for it?" "Yes; ju s t paid for it. The deal is settled." CHAPTER IX. THE OHALLENGE AND THE BIGGEST BRICK. Nat fell back, aghast. "Bought the land and paid for it?" he cried, gaspingly, miserably. "Yes, the ded is closed, Furman," Haslett replied, in a kindly voice. "At one time I had hoped to buy the Hem menway tract, through you. But the land Mr. Joll had the selling of proved to have a water much better suited to our purpoi>e." "That fellow 'salted' the spring!" cried Nat, pointing an accusing finger at J oll, who pretended to look astonish ed. "This .i; a very queer charge to make, Furman," ex claimed Mr. Haslett. "The boys' out of his head-nutty! Don't you see that, sir?" cried J oll. "Oh, if you've bought the land and paid for it," broke


A. LEMON FOR HIS. 19 in Nat, bitterly, "you won't have to take my word for it, Mr. Haslett. Just as soon as you begin to use that spring for yoursel f you ll find there isn't the same stuff in the water that your chemist found in the samples. J oll fixed that spring, all right, and you'll find it out when it's too late. You ll see!" Mr. Haslett looked inquiringly at Joll, and then doubt ingly at the boy. "You can get the money back, if you find that spring has been 'fixed,' can't you?" demanded Nat. "Why, I-er-er--" "The spring ha sn't been fixed," broke in Joll, shortly. Nat's lip curl e d in a sc_ ornful smile as he looked at Joll. "Come into my office, both of you," invited Mr. Hasl ett, s uddenly. "I've got a train to catch," broke in Big Bill J oll. "I guess your train, can wait a bit-or, at lea s t you can get another train, can't you, Mr. J oll ?" asked the general manager. "Hardly." "You are much less accommodating Mr. Joll than you were before you had made the sale," said Has lett, half suspiciously. "It don't make any difference what I am now," cried JoJ l, cheekily, insolently. "The land i s sold, paid for. That's the {!nq of it." Has lett looked at the fa:t man with a flas h of anger in his eyes. "Com e bac k into my office, Mr. J oll," spoke th e g e n e ral manager, firmly. "I won't, then!" J oll moved as if to pass through the gateway. "Joll, come back-or you'll be sorry!" At that ringing voice J oll hesitated. He looked at Haslett and his gaze f e ll. J oll shuffled his feet uncertainly for a moment, the n turned and cam,e back toward the office door. As he neared Nat he gave the boy a look of tig eri s h hate. Has lett led them into his office and placed s eat s for both near hi s desk. But both eif his callers preferred to remain s tanding "Mr. Joll," spoke Haslett, slowly, "I prefer not to believe this young man's charge." "That's whe re your head's level," grinned the fat man, looking relieved. "Never mind my head, Mr. Joll. Tha t s my own care. I prefer not t o believe this young man s s tory but I mus t add that your own behavior in the la s t minut e or two had given me an unplea s ant impression of you. "I'm sorry, then," spok e the fat man, more humbly. "You can regain your place in my good esteem," went on the general manager, quietly. "How?" "I remembei' tha t, in the deed, there is no clause concerning the spring on the property. Suppose we revise the deed s o that it declares that the s pring i s a natural one, and has not been tamper\}d with in an;r way." "Well?" queri e d Joll, hoars e l y Will you c o nsen t t o adding s u c h a clause to the deed?" "N o-o," replied th e ra s cal, slowly. "Wh y not ? Ha s l ett's voice r a n g s harply Nat looked on, i ntensely inte rested. He felt certain that H1tslett was a m a n who c ould m a nage his own affair, if the affair hacl n o t gon e too far. "I haven' t any authority to put in such a clause," re plied J oll, slowly. "Why not?" "Because I haven't." Then if we s hould find th a t s pring didn t hold out, according t o th e s a mples of th e water that you sent us, c ouldn't w e sue th e own e r who m y ou repre s ent?" "No," replied J oll, with e mphasi s "Why not ? "Because n e ith e r th e deed, nor the correspondence, claim that the w e ll will hold out forev er." "Suppo s e;" said Mr Hasl e tt, s t e rnly, "that we were to notify your owner that w e had our s u s picions? Suppose we w er e t o not ify him that w e would s u e for the re c overy of our money in c ase we had r e a son to suppos e the spring had b e en 'fi xed' or t ampe r e d with?" Well?" d e m a nd e d J oll, d e fiantly "The n d o n t you s uppose th a t the owne r that you represen te d t o-day w ould decide t o h o l d back y our commission o n t h e sal e un t il h e found o u t whe t h e r we m e ant to sue?" "If h e did hold bac k m y commis sion cried Bill Joll, angrily, "I'd sue him and th e c ourt s would make him pay m e." You seem to think th a t you have a pretty smooth case for yourself, Mr. J oll." "And y o u, a s a bus iness man, kn o w that I have," grinned the fat man. Mr. Hasl et t looke d a trifl e d p uzzle d a s indeed, he was. But Nat s t e pped into the br e a ch. May I i n te rrup t Mr. Has l e tt, just l o n g enough to inqui r e whe th e r you ever wrot e t hi s l etter?" Ha s lett took the s heet and galnced at it. "Never!" h e c ried "You are c e rtain, Mr. Haslett?" "Certain? Of c ourse I am. W e ha v e bee n anxious to move our pl ant for some tim e s o why should I write you that we had decided not to ? Besides, thi s s i g n a ture, though it loo ks some thin g lik e min e i s only a clums y forgery, after all." .., "I g ot that l ette r in the mail two weeks ago," Nat went on, solemnly, whil e Bill J oll tried to look a s if the present l talk did not interest him. "The n some one forg e d my nam e to it for an improper reason affirmed the g e neral mana g er. "Don't you think it lik ely that it was done by the same man who fixed a spring in order to play a business trick on you?" Nat queried. Bill J oll started forward, his face purpling, his fist upraised.


20 A LEMON FOR HIS. "You young hound! If you m e an to say that Lforged a letter or 'fixed' a spring--" he began, tempestuously. But Mr. Haslett stepped between them, pushing J oll back. Then the general manager touched a bell, and a young man entered. "Clark, just s e e that J oll doesn t molest the boy," commanded Mr. Haslett. The clerk, who looked like a capable football player, took his stand in silence bes ide J oll. "Furman went on the general manager, "what reason ha" c you for claiming that that spring was tampered with?" "I overheard Joll talking it over with an accomplice. When Joll discovered that I was listening, he and his accomplice tried to injure m e ." "A lie!" quivered the fat man. "The accomplice was caught and locked up," Nat con tinued, coolly. "He w e nt under the name of Scamp Hef fcr s A pal of S c amp 's known as Rags AbbOtt, got him out o f th e police s t ation b y a tri c k that same night. Then the two tel e}J'.honed me in y our n ame to meet you at a roadhouse. On tfie way I was caug ht by that pair, tied to a hand-ca1:, and left in the path oj the night express. By good luck the engineer saw me in time to slow down so that I wasn't killed.. All this, Mr. Ha s lett, you can find out from the polic e at Creston." "But where do I fit in, in this yarn?" demanded Joll blusteringly. "I( we could prove where you fitted in," retorted Fur "you'd b e b e hind bar s n ow. But you can easily find out about my mis hap s :Mr. Ha s le tt, and they came about through the fact that I was awar e of J oll's trick. I would have written you a bout the trick, but of course that letter, forged, ma e me think it wouldn t be worth while. And so I put it off." Haslett remained silent for some moments, eyeing the sulky J oll thou g htfully. "This is all plausible enough, Joll," said the general manager, at last. "Maybe it is, but a lie just the same," asserted the fat man. "Mr. Haslett," continued Nat "why did you go ahead and buy the land after receiving my telegram this after noon?" "Your telegram?" repeated Haslett. "I didn't see one from you to-day." "But I sent one." "It never reached me." "DQwn at the depot I learned that it had been delivered here." Haslett turned to his clerk. "Clark, how many telegrams did you receive for me this afternoon?" "Nine, I think, sir." "Make sure." The clerk glided from the room to consult his record at the desk by the gate.Haslett stepped to his desk, picked up several yellowish sheets and counting them. "Nine was riglit, sir," hailed Clark from the doorway. Then he came forward into the room. "I have only eight here on my desk," muttered the gen e ral manager. "Clark, do you remember you handed each of the telegrams to me personally?" "Eight I did, sir." "And the other?" "I laid on yout desk while you were out of the room." "Was any one else in the room at the time?" "Mr. J oll was." "And he was here all alone." "Yes, sir, for a few moments after I left the room." Haslett wheeled instantly upon Joli. "Well, sir, have you anything to say ?" demanded the generaLmanager. "I don't know anything about any telegram," rejoined the fat man. But Clark, stepping suddenly forward, thrust one hand lightly down into one "of Bill Joll's overcoat pockets. He drew out a yellow envelope. J oll made a dive for it, but the clerk brushed the at man asic1e and handed the envelope to his employer. "This telegram is from you Furman, and warns me and advise s me to wait until you g e t her e." J oll was breathing hard as Mr. Haslett faced him sternly. "My man, I don't like the looks of things!" "You're just like m.e, then," uttered Joll, cheekily. "I don't like the looks of things, either. It looks as if this kid had gone to great pa.ins 'to fix up his tricks against me." "He certainly didn't steal that telegram," smiled Has lett, grimly. "No; but he copld have rigged it up and dwpped it in my pocket," bluffed that fat man. "Bosh, of course!" spoke Nat, impatiently. "The tele g raph people will prove that they received a.n.d delivered that telegram h ere. Mr. Clark has accounted for its being on your desk, :Mr. Haslett. Now, bow could I have fixed anything up beyond sending you that wire from Creston." "You couldn't, of course," admitted the general man ager. "Joll, I feel bound to say that things begin to look worse and worse against you." "Let 'em look, then. I'm not guilty!" cried the fellow, sullenly. "I think," said Mr. Haslett, quietly, "that we'd better take a day or two more to consider this matter of the land sale, Mr. Joli." "You can't!" cried the fellow, triumphantly. Haslett did not answer, but instead (}f using his desk telephone, he went to a closed booth in 1 a corner of the room While the door was shut and the general manager was


A LEMON FOR HIS. seen to be talking into the instrument, Joll took a step Big Bill Joli's legs trembled under him as he saw that toward Nat. clerk depart. Back there!" warned Clark, growing suddenly threat"Things are all coming your way, ain't they, Mr. Haslett, ening. "I have my orders, Mr. Joll. If you attempt to and against the poor real estate agent?" cried Joll, half reach this young man I shall slam you down on the floor whiningly. and sit on you until Mr. Haslett orders me to let you up." "Why, if I can be convinced that that spring is all right, J oll purpled in the face, but he looked athletic young after my own experts ha'Ve made some searching tests right Clark over and conc1uded to take the forcible hint. on the land, and if I am as well pleased in every other way, I "You're putting up all the dirty trouble you know how, then, Mr. Joll, I imagine I shall apologize to you for what ain't you?" snarled J oll at our hero. has happened this afternoon, and stand ready to make a But Nat would not allow himself to answer. new deal, on a better deed." Folding his arms over his breast, he leaned with his back "I'll force the bank to cash that certified check," defied against a corner of the general manager's desk. tlie fat man. After a couple of minutes Mr. Haslett came out of the "To prove that I'm sure you can't do it, Joll, I'll hand telephone booth. you back your deed right now," retorted Mr. Haslett;passHe looked at J oll with the plainest disfavor. ing over a bulky document. "Mr. Joll, since you have declined to amend that deed Joll refusing to take it, the deed fell on the floor. At a to the land in such a way as to protect our interests in sign :from his employer Clark it up' and dropped it the matter, I have concluded to call the deal off." in a waste-basket. "But you can't," blustered the fat man, confidently. "Now, Joll," went on Mr. Haslett, with the air and tone "Have you cashed the ch.eek yet-the check that I gave of a man who is closing a matter, "you know the condiyou in payment of the land?" tions on which you can get a fresh deal through. "No," the rascal admitted. "Furman, if Joll doesn't suceeed in making $ood, or "The:i;i. I'm going to stop payment on the check." doesn't care to, then you see me about buying the Hemmen"But you can't stop payment on a certified check!" 9ried way tract, which you represent. Unless Joll's tract is as Big Bill Joll, triumphantly. good as he originally led me to be1ieve, then, my lad, I "Can't?" smi led JI.fr. Haslett, sarcastically. "Well, I've shall be very willing to consider the Hemmenway property. just done it!" And now good afternoon to you both." Joll started, then an ugly grin came into his face. The general manager stepped forward, offering his hand "How can you stop any kind of a check, Mr. Haslett, to our hero, but he did not do as much for Joll, who headed after banking hours?" demanded the rogue. for the, door. "Why, I thought some of the bank's officers might be "It looks now, lad as if you had told th e full truth and there yet," replied the general manager, coolly. "So I nailed a s harper," whispered Haslett, as soon as the fat called up and found the president was there. I ordered man had gone. "If you have done that for me then you payment stopped on that check which you hold." have earned a greater gratitude than I can express to you." "And the bank president told you that it couldn't be Nat did not linger, but left the building soon after J oll done : had done so. \ .... "The bank president inform e d me," replied Mr. "Not such a bad afternoon's work," mused young Fur slowly, "that it wasn't customary for banks to accept stop.I man, as1 he stepped through the big outer gateway to the orders on certified checks." 1 Limene works. "I can see my big, fat commission looking "Same thing!" blurted Joll. 1 my way again." "Not quite the same thing, ill this case, my man. I. As Nat turned into the road he gave a slight start. warned the bank president that if he cashed that certified "Hullo!" he grunted. "There's Bill Joll, and he looks check I'd hold him responsible for the full amount of the as if he were waiting for me. Well, what if he .is? I'm money right up to the last court of appeal. Then the presinot afraid of a big, fat, overgrown fellow like him. I be dent weakened, and said he wouldn't cash the chi;ick if I sent lieve I could thump him easily if it became necessary." him a written order against it at once." So Nat walked steadily on, returning the other's sharp "Well?" demanded hoarsely. look. "My man I'm going to write that note now." 1 "Think you've done something smart, do you?" deJ oll took a step forward, but Clark pushed him back and ) mand e d th e fat man, as Nat was about to pass, held him. Our halted, looking at his man more closely than Mr. Has lett wrote rapidly with his own hand, touched a/ evey. bell, and a clerk came in. "I guess I've stopped the deal for you, Joll, if that's "Johnson, :ake this down to the president of our bank at) what you mean," came the cool answer. once. Ask him to call m e up on the 'phone and let me "Yes, you did!" raged the other, shaking with passion. know that he has

A LEMON FOR HIS. ''Of course I don't." "Thirty thousand dollars!" J oll almost screamed the words. "That was a very big and handsome commission," Nat replied, ca1mly. "And I was broke, and spent about every dollar I could get to put this deal through!" quivered the defeated one. But Nat only replied: "Bill Joll, I'm sorry for an honest ma.n who slips a.nd goes down. But I've got no sympathy to was te on a scoun drel who puts up a swindle all around, and then finds that di s onesty never pays!" "Oh, I didn't expect your sympathy, none leer e d the rogue. "Then, what?" "All I WaI\t now, Nat Furman, is to get square!" "How?" "This way!" Joll drew one hand swiftly from an overcoat pock e t, aimed a revolver point-blank at the boy's chest, and fired. With a yell, partly of fear, partly of pain, Nat Furman threw up his hands, then fell. Evidently the assassi _I\ had meant to send );\is bullet through the heart. The l e aden missile had just escaped the heart., but had ploughed through a section of the left lung. "Can the lad be pulled through?" qeried Mr. U:asle tt. "There's always a chance nowadays," repUed the surgeon. "That's all I dare to say." "Can you take care of l;iim here?" "No." "Can y9u move him to :iny house?" "Mr. Has lett, the best chance for this boy's life w'll be found at the Creston Hospital. There he may pull through. Th e re are some clever men on the sta:(f there." "Creston? That's where the lad lives.'' So Nat was moved over to Creston, attended by the phy s ician. In the darkness of night he entered one of the dimly lighted wards, after he had been examined in an operating room. Out of hi s head, the lad neither knew nor cared where he was For days he hardly knew. Then at last he came to his old mind, a wandel!ing, won dering one, at first. CHAPTER X. JESS DOESN'T LIKE SOMETHING. "Oh, you'll soon be all right, now," doctors and nurses / assured him. Nat lay there bleeding, silent. For a few moments, now that his vengeance was glutted, Bill J oll stood there, the smoking weapon still ii;i his hand. Then the rogue came out of his trance. "Nobody making a row," he muttered. "I guess nobody saw this, or heard the shot fired." / A high, board fence shut him off from the view of work people in the factory. "Maybe I can get out of this all right," muttered Joll, suddenly. "I'll try it, anyway. If I can get as far as the depot, I'll know I'm all right. I can los e the revolver through a car window, or o.ff a platform. They may arr'ils t me at Creston, but what can they prove?" Then J oll looked down at the white face of his victim. The s ight made him shudder. "Ugh!" he muttered, then turned and fled. It was fully twenty minutes afterward that a driver, coming out of the yard pf the Limene Company, on a truck, c11ught sight of the figure of Nat Furman, lying there in the snow. His yell brought Mr. Haslett, who, at that moment, was leaving the office building for the day. He quickly ran. up to where the teamster was standing over the boy. "I think I can account for, all this," cried the geperal manager. "Help me lift him on to your truck, Coggswell. Cover him with blankets, and don't drive roughly. We'll get this lad to a doctor's office, and then I'll hustle off to the police!" Nat was lifted and driven away. The physician found that our hero was not dead. But the bull e t still lay in his lung. The doctors knew not whether he could be saved, but they tried to cheer the boy up. Nat, however, was so ill that he cared whether he pulled through or not. He concerned himself little with his trouble s but lay there, much of the time under opiate s At la s t on e of the triumphs of mod e rn, highly skillful surg e r y was attempted in bis behalf. The bullet was e xtracted by the surgeons. Then the doc tor s did the i r b e st to pull him through. Every day Dock and others came to the hospital to in quire him. One day Dock was allowed to go to the cot-side and speak to bi s fri e nd. Jes s followed him. N a t gave them both a smile, stretching out a thin hand in gre e ting. "J oll did this, didn't he?" whispered, after a while. Nat nodded. "It's all right, then, old fellow. He's in jail. He was pinch e d that s a me night here in Creston. He denies know ing anything about it, but he's in jail, and he'll stay for a while." "You have been having nothing but hard luck," Jess murmured, when it came her turn to speak. "Getting gold-bricks all the time," Nat whispered, with a smile. "I'll soon ha".e a corner in that kind of junk." "It's a long lane that has no turning, you know, Nat, old fellow," cheered Dock. "Your bes t and biggest luck will he on band soon, and you'll forget the ''And the lemons," whispered Nat, with a grin.


A LEMON FOR HIS. 23 Soon there moved softly on the scene a very young and f "Rave you stopped to think, Jess, what a lonely life the very pretty woman, who looked wonderfully sweet in her poor fellow has lived? Re hasn't had many to care for I dainty nurse's unifq;m. him, and has hardly known what it was to have a woman "You've stayed long enough, I think," annqunced the pleasant with him. Jess, if he pulls through this siege; I nurse. "Patient Furman can't have long talks for a little can tell you that I surely mean to make him realize that while yet." he has some friends left on earth." The nurse seated herself in a chair by the head of the "E:e has had a good enough friend in you," protested cot, resting a slim, epol hand on the lad's brow. Miss Crane. "But that nurse--do you think she really looked up at her, with a pleased smile. cares for him?" Jessie noted that much as she turned to go. "Row on earth should I know?" asked Dock. "I hope After that the young people came every afternoon, just so." a little while before dark. "Oh I" On this second call the nurse hovered near all the time. "Nat would be a good deal happier if he had a few girls During the last half of the visit the nurse Nat's thin interested in him." hand within her own. "A few?" At last she hinted the visitors away. "Why, yes, nearly all of us fellows know a few nice girls, "That young nurse," explained Dock, as he and Jessie and knowing them ;makes life smoother for us, and makes walked away from the hospital, "is Amy Creswell. Very it easier for us to keep straight." pretty, sweet girl, isn't she?" "It seems to me," uttered Jess, "that this is just a hos" I didn't notice," said Jessie, coldly. pital flirtation." "Take a good look at her the next time you see her, "Well," agreed Dock, "maybe that's all it is." then," suggested Dock. "She's a splendid girl. I know "But if Nat grows to care for her--" her well. Just look her over the next time we go to the "I don't see how he can help caring for her-Amy Cres-hospital." well is so good to him." "If I go again," Jess assented, carelessly. "But ii he grows to care for her, and then this-this Dock shot a swift, covert look at his companion. Creswell girl only laughs at him--" stammer7d Jess. Then, if he thought anything, he was wise enough not "Let me tell you something, Jess," retorted Dock, to speak. warmly. "The girl who laughs at Nat Furman hasn't got Jess did go again, three clays later. as easy a road as she may think. Nat is one of the kind In the meantime Dock did not mention that Nat had of fellows who'll do anything he sets out to do, if he is asked after her particularly. given time enough. When the time comes that Nat really On this next vi' sit Jess was accompanied by Tib, as well falls in love, he'll win the girl the as he'd do any-as by Dock. thing else he set out to do. And the giPl would be glad "Rullo, old fellow!" cried Nat, stretching out his hand to have him in the end. Don't you worry, dear girl." to Tib. "I was wondering if you had forgotten me." Jess tossed her head, but was silent. Then he talked much with Tib, while Jessie sat by, trying She did not go to the hospital again for four days, not to look bored. and then she permitted Tib to come along, too. But Jess a good look at Amy Creswell, and made up Nat treated her just as he had done from the first. her mind that she didn't wholly like her. He seemed to like to see her, and was grateful for her Jess said nothing then, but the first time she met Dock, thought in coming. in the absence of Tib, she began: But Jess couldn't help noticing how often the lad's eyes "I don't see that that young nurse is SQ very pretty." wandered in the direction of Amy Creswell, wherever in the '.'Don't you?" asked Dock, idly. "Well, I suppose men ward that faithful young nurse happened to be. and women always look at beauty from different viewSlowly Nat began to mend, though he could not sit up, points." as he was not yet wholly out of danger. "She's pretty forward, isn't she?" asked Jess. "Dock," he urged one day, "I wish you would do some"I never noticed it." thing for me." "She seems to hover right around Nat all the time." "You've only got to name it, then," Dock replied. "She's his nurse." "Write Mr. Haslett for me, and ask him to let you "Does a nurse have to hold a patient's hand?" questioned know, for me, how the real estate maj;ter stands." Jess. "I didn't wait for you to ask me that," spo]{e up Dock. "I don't know," Dock admitted. "But I suppose a wise "What clo you mean?" nurse does anything she can to make patient comfort"Why, I wrote him a fortnight ago." able." "And his reply?" "Yes; Nat seems to like the hand-holding well enough," "I didn't get one." hinted Jess. "That was strange." "Well, why wouldn't he?" demanded Dock, warmly. "So I thought, so I went over on the railroad to see him."


24: A LE;MON FOR HIS. "And--" / "They told me that Mr. Haslett was South for his health, and that their were not to give his address." I Nat heaved a great sigh. "I've been worrying about that not a little," he ad mitted. "Then, stop it," commanded D'ock, authoritatively. "What good is worrying going to do?" "Dock, you knew well enough that success in that matter would mean a big boost in life for me ?" "Of course, but if you don't get that boost you'll fix up some other boost for yourself. You're not one of the helpless kind." "I feel like it, lying here," Nat groaned. "Then stop it. You're going to sit up in a day or two, if you don't torment yourself sick again. Think how soon after that you' ll be out and hustling, if you take care of yourself and don' t fret. Why, we're getting things ready for you up at the house." brightened under that talk. Not long after he was sitting up. Then, by and by, towards the middle of the fifth week after the shooting, Nat was taken to lhe Hayes home. It was Dock who took him there in a closed carriage. Soon after Nat had been made comfortable in his old seat by the grate, the bell rang. Dock himself went to the door. Nat heard voices and knew that Jess and Tib were pay ing a duty call. Then the voices came nearer the door of the room in which N at sat. "Don't you tell Nat that-not to-night," warned the voice of young Hayes. "Oh, I heard what Tib said, Dock," Nat called out, cheerily. "He brought the news that Joll has escaped from jail, and that Scamp and Rags are believed to have helped in the jail delivery." To himself, despite his cheery look, Nat added : "I ought to know, by this time, that that news mel!Ds the red flag right in the middle of the track!" CHAPTER XI. THE VULTURES AND THEIR PREY. "Say, it's a great day out, Nat!" cried Dock, entering the room early one afternoon. "I've been looking out at the bright sunshine," replied Nat, wistfully. "Well, cheer up, old chap. I've been down to the doc tor's, and have leave to take you out for a spin in the cutter." "Have JWU ?" Nat cried, eagerly. "Yes. Enjoy it?" "Whoop!" "The horse will be at the door in half an hour," Dock went on. "Now, we'll take it easy and get everything ready, so you won't have to rush at the last moment." "Why, you all treat me like a sicf kitten," grumbled the boy. "I'll bet I could walk a couple of miles, if I was al lowed to." "That'll come in a day or pr'1posed Dock. "It's a drive for this time." Promptly on fame Nat was in the cutter, Dock tucking him well in and then getting in beside him to drive. It was a warmish winter day, the snow melting slowly. But the sleighing was still good a:od keen. Dock, had taken a good animal from his father's stable, urged the animal into good speed. "We'll go right through the town, and a little way out,'1 proposed Dock. "And look for J oll and his crowd?" smiled Nat. "We've got two things in our favor, if we meet any of those people," Dock, darkly. the first place, a horse that very few animals of any kind ca. n overtake. In the place-this!" He opened an overcoat pocket sufficiently for Nat to peep down and see the butt of a revolver. "But Joll and his crew are not in this part of the world, nowadavs," declared Dock. "You can gamble that they didn't running until they got a long way from Creston, You can also gamble that they've kept their faces turned away from here ever since." The speedy stepper too! them out of the town and out upon the road that Nat had once trod on his way to the road house. A cutter passed them, the occupants giving them a gleeful hail. "Tib and Miss Crane, eh?" smiled Nat. "Tib's with her a good deal," remarked Dock, carelessly. "They a fine-looking young said Nat, honestly. Dock shot a swift look at his companion, then whistled softly to himself. "Whew Once, not so very many moo:ris ago, Nat gave every sign of being badly struck on Jess. That lemon did the trick, I guess!" On out past the road-house they drove, and then through a stretch where the woods bordered the road or came up near it. Dock flecked the horse's back with the whip. The animal spurted forward, at the same time throwing its tail over one of the reins. 'After trying in vain to jerk that rein out from under the tail, Dock was obliged to stand up, lean forward, and lift the tail. As he did so the animal shied at something. Wrench! Dock flew headlong out of the cutter, striking on hisJorehead. Nat gave a startled glance backward, and saw his friend lying very still on the snow. "Must have struck his head against a piece of ice," throbbed Furman. The horse was running away, too. With a swoop Nat gathered up the reins just as they were slipping over the dasher. -


A LEMON FOR H I S. 25 Then, for the next few moments, he had all he could do to bring the runaway down to a stop. accomplished, "at turned around and drove back, peering all the way for a sight of Dock coming toward him. The stopping of the frightened horse had happened least h alf a mile from where Dock had pitched out. When Nat got close to the spot again he saw Dock l ying just as he had fallen Carefully, Nat drove up. There beirfg no one else in sight, our hero's first care had to be to tie the horse to a tree at the roadside Then he hastened to ])ock, who s till lay unconscious. "Can't you talk, old fellow?" quivered Nat, he bent over. There was no answer Nat felt at the pulse of hi s friend That was still beat ing, and fairly well "Oh, if somebody would only come!" gr.oaned the boy, looking about in both directions. But that part of the road was bare of other vehicles than their own. "I've got to try to bring the dear old fellow to," quivered Furman. "I'm afraid I could never lift this great, husky fellow into the sleigh. How can I bring him to?" Nat bent over, lifting a handful of snow and chafing Dock's forehead. Once there was a little sigh from the unconscious one. "That's a mighty good sign!" cheered the :roungster . He fell to work with renewed vim, chafing Dock' s fore head and wri s ts until his own fingers were numb from handling the cold stuff -Up on a slope that overlooked the road a man came out from between the trees. One good look this observer took. Then, with a start, he turned and hast e ned back into the woods. Soon that solitary figure up on the slope was multiplied into three Like wild beasts they came forward, stealthily, over the snow that deadened the sound of their :footfalls As they came closer, their hand s worki.ng eagerly, rest lessly, they would have made one think more of vultures watching their chance to down upon their prey Nat, still busily engaged, and watching his chum's face all the while, caught no glimpse of these human vultures. Nearer aml near er they crept, with infernal patience, secure as they were in the belief that Nat would continue to be thus occupied. Then, a swift hand s hot out behind him and clutched him around the throat "Got ye, this time!" clicked Scamp. Nat tried to fight, but what could he do, weak as he was? "Gimme half!" grinned Rag s "Hurry, both of you," quavered Bill Joll, who was the third of these vultures. "We don't want any interference, o r any fluke this time." J oll, in fact, was already in fair flight back to the rise of land from which he had first recognized our hero. He gained the top of the slope ahead of his compan i ons, who bro ught Nat between them. J oll was anxiously scanning the road in both directions "I don't see any one coming yet but hurry!" he called out. Nat had ceased to fight, from realizing the sheer use lessness of it all. "I don't know that I'd care so much, anyway," he groaned, "if it wasn't for poor, splendid old Dock lying there in the road so helpdess !" ; J oll watch e d hi s companions pass in under th safe, hiding shelter of the trees. Then he followed afte.r them, having once more and fin ally made sure that there were no other conscious human beings in sight. An eighth of a mile into the )_\'Oods stoocl an old shanty of a place of one st ory and even of one room. Its windows were loosely boarded up. 'l'he door lookerl as if it might fall down at a touch. Yet, in such a s helter, these three human beings had been living for days. The y believed that they were safer from the police in some wellhidden place near the scene of their crimes. Nat was so weak that Rags could hold him without trouble. Scamp let go, throwing open the door. Inside, the place was lighted by a lantern. As soon as they had dragged the boy inside, Bill J oll followed, pulling the door to. For a few moments the panting fat man looked the boy over, gloatingly. "You didn't think old Bill J oll had so much stick-to -it iveness, did ye?" chuckled the fugitive real .estate man "I had always a high idea of Mr. Joll's ability to be a sincere rascal," mocked Nat. The fat man made a mocking bow. "But let me ask you a question," Nat went on. "Of course, if it's a short one." "What good do you expect to get out of this move?" "What do I expect to get out of it?" growled J oll, his face becoming purple again. "Well, I hope to get squarethat's abo11t all." ."I reckon you can do that," Nat admitted "Look at the kid trying to make believe he ain't afraid," taunted J oll, looking at his companions. "We'll attend to making him afraid," proposed Rags, amiably. t "Afraid?" remarked Nat. "Yes, I'm afraid, all right Who would:'t be, in such company?" "you'll be more so in a littl e while," rejoined J oll. "And a little while after that still more afraid, eh?" mocked Nat. "No; a little whileafter that I reckon you'll be quiet responded J oll, with a cold-bloodedness that made the boy s hiv e r under his skin "What have you got against me, anyway," Nat broke forth, "that can make you feel willing to go to such lengths


26 A LEMON FOR HIS. to get square? If I had been defeated in business by some other man I'd grin and bear it. I've had all sorts of defeats-nothing else so far. And I've had some pretty mean tricks played on me, too. Yet I never found it necessary to hammer anybody lame, and I never wanted to take a life that I couldn't give back." "Going to preach, are ye?" inquired Rags, composedly. "That'll be fine. A long time since {'ve heard (l.Dy real preaching." "Why can'f'you fellows be men?" Nat went on. "Isn't it as easy to be a man as to be a snake or a skunk?" "Going to call names, are you?" quivered Bill J oll, the purple tint coming back into his fat face. "That's bad judgment under circumstances like these!" "Why, surely you fellows don't think you are men, do you?" Nat challenged, directly, looking from one face to the others in turn. "I suppose you could be men, though, if you. got some sense in you. But one can't be a man and a snake at the same time." Rags looked as if the speech was ma.king some impre s sion on him. He nodded his head, thoughtfully. "Have you fellows any idea," Nat in sisted, "that you can escape the law or better yourselves in any way by bringing more harm upon me?" "We can ease our feelings a bit," declared Joll, gruffly. "What kind of feelings are they that can be eased in such a way?" N 3:t pressed home, again looking at all three of the faces in turn. "I am not making any plea for myself. I can't stop your doing whatever you want to do to me. But I wish you fellows could get more of a notion about being manly." "Say, that would be great," assented Rags, his face light ing up, and now Nat realized, with an inward shi;ick, that this rogue had only been guying. "You did m e out of thirty thousand dollars," accused Big Bill J oll, wrathfully. "No, I didn't," Nat retorted. "You broke the deal, when it had all been fixed and I had the certified check in my pocketbook. Wasn't that dojng me out of the money? 'Cause the owner had agreed that, if I got that P!ice for his land, I was to have thirty thousand dollars as my own commission." "I_ didn't do you out of it," Nat insisted. ''You did yourself out, by putting up a crooked piece of busines s ." "If it hadn't been for you I'd have gc;it the thing thro111h," roared J oll. "So I'll leave it to my friends here if didn't do me out of the money?" 'Course he did," growled Scamp. 1Looks that way," murmured Rags, thoughtfully. "It seemseiiard to appeal from such an intelligent jury," mocked Nat. "But still I tell you, J oll, if you had acted on the square, and had had anything like you pretended to have for sale you would have got your money." "I'd have got it anyway, if it hadn't been for you!" "You think you would, Joll, and you might really have had the money in your hands for a little while," Nat retorted. "But crooked money doesn't stay by a man, even if he gets it. You'd have lost the money in a little while, ancl would have been worse off than ever." "I didn't get the money, and yet I couldn't be any w6rse off than I am now," quavered Joll. "I was hard up when I went into that deal. I saw :failure staring me in the face, and I took the only chance I saw of getting enough together to look out for me in my old age. Now, what am I? What folks call a 'bum,' and the cops are after me at that." "I tell you again," but Nat spoke gently, "that it was your own fault, J oil. You've got a chance before you yet. Why don't you and your h e re stop acting like s akes and skunks? Turn around and act more like men. You can get away from h ere You can reach some other part of the country ancl act more like men. In time you can so that you' ll honestly like yourselves, and have some reason for it." "And, jus t as we get to doing right, have the cops jump down on us and bring us back here to do our little bit of time!" It was Rag s who spoke, and Nat again suspected that the fellow was guying. But Furman answered, honestly: "As far as I'm concerned, I'll give you my word that I won't speak of having seen any one of you h ere I won't do or say anything to make the police go more keenly after you." "What do you say, gent lemen?" proposed Rags, solemnly. move we do it," responded Scamp. "I move we get away from here to-night and travel by fast freight until we get a couple of thousand miles away. There we'll start in to lead a different sort of life. But--" "But," took up Rags, "we ain't quite as sure as we'd like to be that this lad won't peach on us as soon as he finds himself safe again. So--" He g l anced at Scamp, who, noddin g, stepped over to a cupboa rd in the wall. "First of all, Furman," Joll announced, "before we start for that fine new life we'll make sure of your silence." Out of the cupboard Scamp produced a rope. At one end of it there was a running noose. "Just to keep you from gettin' restless with your hands," proposed Rags, slipping behind the boy and pinioning his arms. J oll quickly tied Nat's wrists behind his back. T 'he boy did not st ru gg le, nor did he cry out. He knew well enough that both would be useless, so he gave all his thought to keeping his nerve to the last. Scamp, rolling a barrel into the middle of the room, upon it to pass the rope over a hook in the ceiling. Then, moving the barr e l, he shoved a box directly under the noose. "Stand the kid on the box," he directed, hoarsely. "Sorry," murmured Rags, softly, as he lifted Nat to a standing position on the box, "but we have to do this, owin' to a lack of confidence that we feel in you."


" A LEMON FOR HIS. 21 Scamp, with an impatient growl, quickly slipped the noose over Nat's head The rope was drawn as taut as pos sible, and the end then carried over to the wall and made fast. "I'm afraid this is anytl;iing but a bluff!" Nat faltered, inwardly. Yet, outwardly, he managed to keep his composure. "Get your firearms out," muttered J oll. "We don't want to take the smallest chance of having this thing interefered with before its through I know you two chaps will figbt when you have your guns in your hand s ." All three of them ranged about the boy, watching his marble-like face curiously. Their revolv e r s were in their hands. "Kick the box!" commanded Bill Joll. In a twinkling it was knocked from under our hero's feet. The la s t act in the drama had come. Hi s sense s reeled. He choked, and forgot as h e swung at the end of the halter. CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION. In silence the three scoundr e ls watched th eir young vic tim, s trangling to d e ath . Though they had the brute courage to plan thi s revenge, the sight of it working began to get on their nerves.' Yet here cowardice came into play. Not one of the three had the courage to cut the dying boy down in the presence of his comrades in crime. There was a noise. All three started. The door flew open. Through it dashed Dock Hayes, hi s face ghastly white, but full of daring and purpose. The knife in his hand fl.ashed against the rope . Nat's body would have fallen to the floor had not Dock, utterly ignoring these scoundrels for the moment, caught that weakened form and laid it softly on the floor. "Get back eut of this!" roared Big Bill JolJ thrus ting his revolver in Dock's face. "We can take c are of two as well as one!" "You'd better take a look at the door," mocke d Dock. All three turned, then cowered. Half a dozen men, looking unafraid, peered in through I the doorway. Rip Tear! Crash! The rotten boards were coming off from over the window casements. All in a twinkling other men were staring in through the stripped window s "Why don't you f e llows go ahead and s hoot b e for e all these witnesses?" Dock mocked, as he b ent ove r Nat, free ing his wrists, easing the halter and s lipping it off. "Get together, boys!" roared J oll, rai s ing his revolver and aiming toward the doorway. "Follow me! We'll break out-and death to those who get in our way!" He was almost frothing at the mouth. But John Haslett, who was among the men in the doof way, r e plied, coolly: "J oll, there isn't a man here who'll fl.inch before your muzzles. We all know that you simply don't dare to shoot. Why? Because many of us have weapons, even if we're not displaying them. Y-ou shoot one of us and we'll have you allthree nailed and on trial for your lives No; you don't dare do a thing before so many witnesses, who can s end you to your deaths in legal fashion if you do. So put your guDS down on the floor!" "You go to the--" began Joli, blusteringly. "Put your guns down on the floor! Last call! If you don't it'll be too late to save yourselves!" It was proof of the power of the law. These rascals, thou g h they would have fought to the death, dared not defy the law in the presence of so many sure witnesses. "I'm agreeable to the gentleman's witnesses," announced Rags, rather coolly, and laid his revolver down on the floor. Scamp, with a growl, followed suit. "You white-li\r ered snakes!" frothed Bill Joll. "You yellowstreaked--" "It's your turn to put your gun down, Jon., or take the cons e quence s," ordered John Haslett, coolly, firmlf J oll could have shot his enemy, but he did not-did not dare. He bent, and his trembling hands let the gun drop to the floor. Then, as suddenly, Bill Joll keeled over on the floor, a c tually frothing now, while his face grew purple indeed and his breath came short, fast, irregular. But none paid any heed to him until Dock had brought his friend around. Nat braced by Dock's strong riluscles, looked around and began to understand'. t'Poor wretch!" muttered Furman, looking closely at Joll. "He's got what I always expected him to have, a stroke of apoplexy." "Never mind him just now," coaxed Dock. "How do you feel, Nat, old fellow?" as he helped Furman up to his feet. 1 "A little weak, of course," smiled the boy, "but mighty thankful." "Do you think good news would make you stronger?" it was v e ry good news," murmured the boy, wonderin gly. "Do you see Mr. Haslett standing there in the do. orway?" "Why yes, of course. How do you do, Mr. Haslett?" "Nat, just as soon as you're strong enough to attend to business, Mr. Haslett is willing to close the deal for the H e mmenway tract!" "What' s that?" quivered the boy, stra.ightening up. "Stro n g ? Why, I am as strong as a giant already! Whoop!" The re were constables in the party that Dock and Has lett had brought. They now moved into the building and took charge 0 ihe three rogues.


' \ A LEMON FOR HIS. D0.c1c, in the m e antim e pick e d up Nat in h is strong arms and carri e d him all th e way to the waiting cutter. There were other vehicle s th e r e including the cutter in which Mr. Ha s l ett h a d come upon the scene. "We ll go to your house, suggested Mr. Has lett, as he stepped into his o w n c'Mter. "There we can fix the business up, and after that I guess your young friend will feel that h e c an tak e a littl e time to get well." "Well?" mutter e d Nat, as the Haslett cutter glided on ahead. "With a good sli c e of my fortune made at the age of I feel as well as I need to be." By next day the whole transaction of the sale of the Hemmenway tract to the Limene Company was Two hundred tho1fsand dollars was the price paid for the land: Und e r th e law governing tlie straight commission of a real estate a g ent, one p e r cent. i s the commission paid; But an owne r may offer a larg e r and s p ecial commission, and thi s arrang e m ent our hero had m a d e with Aaron Hemmenway. Nat's commission, paid him through Mr. carroll Hayes, acting a s tru s t ee, had amounted to ten thou s and On that s ame d a y Bill J oll died of apoplexy at the jail. Rags and S c amp, b e ing made of healthier stuff, were re s erv e d for the criminal court s and are now serving their sentences. Dock has since entered th e firm with his father. But Nat, when invit e d b y two or three local real estate men to go into partnership with them, sent each a bright new lemon by way of answer. Then, with a snug bank account, he rented his own suite1 of three offices on Main Street and hung out his own shingle a s a real estate agent. That was thre e y e ar s a go. To:day, by following the real e s tate game, faithfully, and lea rning more of it all the time Nat ha s obtained a fortune that would satisfy mos t men. He i1> t o b e found at hi s offices in Creston however. One spring day, about two month s afte r h e opened his offices, he was standing at the s treet entrance,, when he saw Jessie Crane coming toward him. "You hav en't seen my offices y et," Nat greeted her. "Wouldn't you like t o take a peep in ? Jessie gravely accept e d th e invitation. The inspection wound up in our hero's private office. Nat placed a chair for her, then s eat e d hims e lf behind his desk. "I saw by the paper this morning that Amy Creswell is to be marrie d Jess observed. "Yes," Nat answered, calmly. "To young Dr. Porter." "Yes; she'll mak e him a noble wife." Jes s looked flt th e young business man, keenly. "You don't app e ar to be sufferin g any 'she remarked. "Why should I be?" Nat wanted to know. "I thought y

WORK AND WIN The ALL 'l'H:E READ Best Published. Weekly 'N'UMS:EB.S AB.:E A'L W' A YS ONE AND YOU WILL READ THEM IN PB.INT. ALL. I LA'rEST ISSUES: 383 Fred Fearnot and the Snake-Charmer ; or, Out With the Circus h W II St t Fakirs. 347 Fred Fearnot's Change of Front; or, Staggering t e a ree 384 Fred Fearnot' s Pony Express; or, A Rough Ride in Texas. 348 New Ranch, And How He and Terry Managed It. 385 Fred Fearhott H edldtBh ; orh, ;rI;h_e Time KTer? Him. t G Id 349 Fred Fearnot and the Lariat Thrower ; or, Beating the Champion 386 Fred Fearno an e oug no ; or, e e p ng e eace a 0 of the West. Bar. 350 Fre d F earnot and the Swindling Trustee; or, Saving a Widows 387 Fred Fearnot and "Nobody's Boy ; or, H e lping Along an Orphan. Little Fortune. 388 Fred Fearnot's Promise; or, H e lping a Drunkard's Boy 351 Fred Fearnot and the "Wild" Cowboys, And the Fun He Had With 389 Fred Fearnot and the Hunted l\lan; or, Solving a Queer Mystery. Them. 390 Fred U 'earnot and the Girl of G old; or, The F e male "Wizard"' of 352 Fred Fearnot and the "Money Queen" ; or, Exposing a Female Wall Street. Sharper. 391 Fred F earnot and Unc l e Josh; or, Saving the Old Homestead. 353 Fred Fearnot' s Boy Pard; or, Striking it Rich In the Hills. 392 Fred Fearnot and Long Luk e"' ; or, 'Th e r o ugh est Man in 'l'exas. 354 Fred Fearnot and the Railroad Gang; or, A Desperate Fight for 393 Frea Fearnot on the Diamond; or, Playing P ennant Ball. Life 394 Fred Fearnot and the Silv e r Syndicate; or, lleatiug the Wall 355 Fred Fearnot and the Mad Miner; or, The Gold Thieves of the Sueet Sharks. Rockies 395 Fred Fearnot's Conquering Stroke ; or, Winning the Silver Sculls. 356 Fre d Fearnot In Trouble; or, Terry Olcott's Vow of Vengeance. 396 <'re d F'earnot's Summ e r Camp; o r Hunting in the N orth Woods 357 Fre d Fearnot and the Girl in White; or, The Mystery of the 397 Fred B ase b all B oy s ; or, Playing in the L e ague Steamboat. 398 F,red Fearnot and the "Wharf Rats" ; or, S o lvi n g a North River 358 Fre d Fearnot and the Boy Herder; or, The Masked Band of the My s t e ry. Plalna. 399 Fre d F earnot and Hi s No-llit Game ; or, Striking out the Cham-359 Fred Fearnot In Hard Luck; or, It in the Silver Digplons. glngs. 400 Fred Fearnot and the Boot-Bl ack; or, Givin g a Poor Boy Hts 360 Fred Fearnot and the Indian Gulde; or, The Abduction of a Beau Rights. t!ful Girl. 401 Fred Fearnot's Puzzling Curves ; or, Fooling the League Bats-361 Fred Fearnot's Search for Terry, and Terry's Faith In Him. m e n :!62 Fred Fearnot and the Temperance Man; or, Putting Down the 402 Fre d F earnot' s l 'riple Play; or, How He and T erry Won the Rum Sellers. G ame 363 Fre d Fearnot's Fight for his Life; or, The Cunning tbat Pulled 403 and N ed, 'l'h e N ewsy"; or, The Sharpest Boy In Him Through. 364 and the Wild Beast Tamer; or, A Week With a 404 Fre d Fearnot and the Farme r's Boy; or, A Greenhorn from the 365 Convention ; or, The Music that 405 and the Whi .te Moo s e ; or, Out on a Strange Hunt. 366 Fred Fearnot's Wall Street 'Game; or, Beating the Brokers. 406 l ? r e d Fearno t s Swim for Life; or, H o w H e l'ool e d His l<'oe s. 367 Fred Fearnot and the Wild Mustang; or A Chase of Thirty 407 Fre d Fearnot and the G raft ers; or, 'railing the Eas t S i de Days. Crooks 368 Fred Fearnot and the Boasting Cowboy; or, Teaching a Brag-408 Fred Fearnot and the Bell-Boy; or, '!'he Great Hotel Robbery gart a Lesson 409 !<' r e d F earnot and the Council of T e n ; or, 'rhe Plot Agains t His 369 and the School Boy; or, The Brightest Lad in New 410 Football Boys; or, Winning on the Gridiron. 370 Fred Fearnot's Game Teamster; or, A Hot Time on the Plains. 411 ? r e d Fearnot and the Broke r s Game; or, Downing a Wall Street 371 Fred Fearnot and the Renegade ; or, The Man Who D e fied Bullets. Gang. 372 Freq Fearnot and the Poor Boy; or, The Dime that Made a For-412 Fre d and Wild Will ; or, Reforming a Bad Boy. tune. 413 Fre d Fearnot and the Range Robb ers; or, Seeing Justice Done; 373 Fred Fearnot's Treasure Hnnt or, After the Aztec's Gold 414 Fred Fearnot' s Drop Ki c k ; or, Playing Great F o otball. 374 Fred Fearnot and the Cowboy King; or, Evelyn and the "Bad" 415 Fre d Fearnot and the T emperanc e Boy; or, Driving Out the Men. Home Wreckers. 375 Fred Fearnot and "Roaring Bill"; or, The Wlckede1t Boy In the 416 Fred Fearnot' s D e a l in Diamonds; or, The Strange Man from West. Afric a . 376 Fred Fearnot and the Boy Prospector; or, The Secret Band of 417 Fre d F earnot and D eadSh o t D ick; or, B eating the Western Indian Guieb C hampi o n. 377 Frfge and the Banker's Boy ; or, The Lad Who Cornered 418 F'r e d l 'eurnot and the !lli ll GIFl ; or,. The Factory Gang o f Fair 378 Fred Fearnot and the Boy of Grit; or,. Forcing His Way to the dale. Top. I 379 Fred Fearnot and the Diamond Queen; or, Helping the Treasury Department. 380 Fred Fearnot and the White Masks; or, Chasing the Chi c ago Stranglers. 381 Fred Fearnot at Sandy-Licks; or, Taming a "Bad" Man. 382 Fred Fearnot and the Drunkard' s Son; or, A Hot Fight Against Rum. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address o p receipt of price 5 cents per c opy in money or postag e stamps, by !'BA.BB: TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, Bew York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS ot our libraries, and cannot procu 're them from newsdealers, they can be obt ai ned from this office direct. Cut out and 11.11 in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by re-turn mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN '.rHE SAME AS MONEY. I FRANK TOUSEY, Pblisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ....... ., .............. 190 D EAR SrnEnclosed find. . . cents for which please send me : ... copies of FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ............................................... " WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY, Nos .................................................... " WORK AND WIN, Nos............................................. . : ............... " WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ................................. : ............ .. ... ... " PLUCK AND LUCK Nos ........................................... . a., " SECRET SERVICE, Nos .......................... .... 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Everything I .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! These Books Tell You Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Uost of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the sub jec ts treated upon are explainefi in such a simp le manner that an,1' child can thoroug'hly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjeda mentioned. THESE BOOKS A.RE FOR SALE BY A.LL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MA.IL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY 'l'HREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the most ap proved methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic By Prof. Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S.; author of "How to Hypn'!mze," etc. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Containing the most ap proved methods of reading the lines on the hand, toge_ther with a full explanation of their meaning. Also exp laining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bumps on the head. By Leo Hugo Koch A. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and instructive information r egarding the scien c e of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved methods whi c h are employed by the hypnotist.a of the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A..C.S. . SPORTING. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT A.ND FISH.-Tbe most complete hunting and fishing guide ever published. It contains full instructions about gDns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully illustrated. Every boy should know 11ow to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book together with instructions on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE. A complete treatise on the horse. Describing the mo s t useful horses for busin ess, the best hoi-ses for the road; also valuable recipes for

THE STAGE. No. 4:1. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a great variety o f the latest jokes us e d by t he m

' Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN 32 Pages of Reading Matter Handsome Colored Covers A new one issued every Friday Price 5 cents a copy 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 \1 boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes "Fame and Fortune Weekly a magazine for the home, although each number ls replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the lllustrations are by expert artists, and every effort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. 1 A Lucky Deal ; or, The Cutest Boy In Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck ; or The &oy Who Succeeded. 3 A Corne r I n Corn ; or, How a Chicago Boy Did the Trick. 4 A Game of Chance; or, The Boy Who Won Out. li Hard to Beat; or, The C lev e rest Boy in Wall Street. 6 Building a Railroad; or, The Young Contractors of Lakeview. 7 Winning His Way; or, The Youngest Editor in Green River. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-Made Boy 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers of Wall Street. 10 A Coppe r Harvest; or. The Boys Who Worked a Deserted Mine. 11 A Lucky Penny ; or, The Fortunes of a Boston Hoy. 12 A Diamond In the Rough; or, A Brave Boy's Start In Life. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, The Nerviest Boy In Wall Street. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Could Not be Downed. 15 A Streak of Luck ; or, The Boy Who Feath ere d His Nest. 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who Made a Fortune. 17 King of the Market; or, The Young Trader In Wall Street. 18 'Pure Grit; or, One Boy In a Thousand. 19 A Rise In Life; or, The Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A Barrel of Money; or, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. 21 All fo the Good; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He Got There: or, '.rhe Pluckiest Boy of Them All 23 Bound to Win; or, The Boy Who Got Rich 24 Pushing It Through; or, The i rate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, The Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 The Way to Success; or, The Boy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oil ; or. .rl!e Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk; or, The Young Miners of Della Cruz. 29 A Snre Winner; or, The Boy Who Went Out With a Circus. 30 Gold en J<'lee<'e; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Stre et. 31 A Mad Cap Sche m e : or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Cocos Island. 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 Shi.ms. 35 A Young Monte Cristo ; or, The Richest Boy In the World. 86 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 TheLChance of His Life; or, The Young Pilot of Crystal Lake. 43 Striving for Fortune ; or, From Bell-Boy to Mllllon&lre. 44 Out tor Buslneso ; or, The Smartest Boy in Town. 45 A Favorite of Fortune; or, Striking It Rich In Wall Stlleet. 46 Through Thick and Thin ; or, The Adventures of a Smart Boy. 47 Doing His Level Best; or, Working His Way Up. 48 Always on Deck; or, The Boy Who Made Hiii Mark. 49 A Mint of Money; or, The Young Wall Street Broker. liO The Ladde r of Fame ; or.1. From Office Boy to Senator. 51 On the Square ; or, The i:success of an Honest Boy. 52 After a Fortune; or, The Pluckiest Boy In the Weit. li3 Winning the Dollars; or, The Young Wonder of Wall Street. 54 Making His Mark; or, The Boy Who Became President. 55 Heir to a Million ; or, The Boy Who Was Born Lucky. 56 Lost In the Andes ; or, The Treasure of the Burled City. 57 On His Mettle; or, A Plucky Boy in W11-ll Street. 58 A Lucky Chance; or, Taking Fortune dn the Wing. 59 The Road to Success; or, The Uareer ot a Fortunate Boy. 60 Pointers; or, The Luckies t Boy in Wall Street. 61 Rising m the World; or, From Factory Boy to Manager. 62 li'rom Dark to Dawn; or, A Poor Boy's Chance. 63 Out for Himself; or, Paving His Way to Fortune. 6 i Diamond Cut Diamond; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street, For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in mon ey or postage stamps, by !'BANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 'Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our a:id cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out aud fill in the following Order Blan k and send it to us with the price of Hie books you want and we will send them to you by re-turn mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SA.ME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANK 'l'OUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. ......................... 190 DEAR Sm...-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: .. copi.::s of WORK AND WIN, Nos ................ ... 1 . " "\VIDE A w AKE WEEKLY, NOS ........................................ , . " \VILD \VEST 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 ................................................. Name .......... Street and No ......... Town .... State .... .,


WIOE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE Sri'ORY EVERY \VEEK Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS Price 5 Cents ILLUSTRATED COVERS 32-PAGES OF READING MATTER ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the Wodd .,TAKE NOTICE! 4'WJ This handsome weekly contains intensely interesting stories of adventure on a great variety of subjects. Eac h numbe r is r e plete with rousing situ a t ions and lively incidents. The h eroes are bright, manly fellows who overcome a ll obstacles by sheer force of brains and grit and win well-merite d success. We have secured a staff of new authors, who write these stories in a manner which will be a source of pleasure and profit to the reader. Each number has a handsome colored illustration made by the most expert artists. Large 1l'ums of money are being spent t o make this one of the best weeklies ever published. ALREADY PUBLISHED: 1 Smashing the Auto Record ; or, Bart Wilson at the Speed Lever. 20 On the Lobster Shift ; or, The Herald' s itar Reporter. By A. By Edward N. Fox. Howard De Witt. 2 Oil' the Ticker; o r Fate at a Moment' s Notice. By Tom Dawson. 21 Under til e Vendetta' s Steel ; or, A Yankee Boy In Corsica. By 3 From Cadet to Captain; or, Dick Danford's West Point Nerve. liy Lieut. J J. Barry. Lieut. J. J Barry. 22 Too Green to Burn; or. The Luc k of Being a Boy. By Rob Roy. 4 The Get-There Boys; or, Making Things Hum In Honduras. By 23 In or, The Boy Who Had Things Easy. By Fred ?red Warburton. 24 One Boy in a Million; or, 'l'h e Trick That Paid. By Edward N. 5 Written in Cipher; 01-, 'l'he Skein J a c k Barry Unravelle d By Pror. Jo'o;(. 6 OiiveGr OdweBns. D 'I' h N By A. Howai d 25 In Spite of Himself; or, Serving the Russian Police. By Prof. The Nooo oys; o r, owning a oug 1 ame. Oliver Owens. D e \Yitt. 26 Kicked into Luck ; or, The Way Nate Got There. By Rob Roy. 7 Kic k e d oil' the Earth; or, T e d Trim's Hard Luck Cure. By Rob The Prince of Opals; or, 'l'he Man-Trap of Death Valle y By A. R o y. Howard D e Witt. 8 Doing it Quick; or, Ike Brown's Hustle at Panama. By Ca ptain 28 Living in His Hat; or, The Wide World His Home. By Edward I-Iawth orn, U. S. N. N. 9 In t h e 'Frisco Eaithquake; or, Bob Brag's Day of T erro r. By 29 All for President Diaz; or, A Hot Time In Mexico. By Lieut. J. J_ Prof. Oliver Owens. Barry. 10 W e, Us & Co ; o r Se eing Life with a Vaudevill e Show. By E d30 The Easiest Ever: o r H o w Tom Filled a Money Barrel. By Capt. wa1 N. F'ox. Hawthorn, U. S N 11 Cut O u t for an Officer; or, Corporal 'l'ed in t h e Philippines. By 31 In the Sultan' s Eye; or, Beating the Porte's Game. By Tom Lieut. J. J Barry. Dawson. 12 A Fool for Luck; or, The Boy Who Turned B o ss. By !?red War32 The Crater of Gold; o r Di c k Hope' s Find in the Philippines. By burton. Fre d Wa1burt on. 13 'l' h e G r eat Gaul ''Beat"; or, Phil Winston' s start in R eportin g. 33 A t the Top ot t h e Heap. ; or, D aring to Call His Soul His Own. By Rob By A. Howard De Witt. Ro:v. 1 4 Out for Go ld ; o r 'l'he Boy Who Knew the Dill'erence. By Tom 34 A Le111on for His: or. Nat' s Corner in Gold Bricks. By Edward N. Fox. Dawson. 1 5 The Boy Who Balke d ; or, Bob Brisbane's Big Kick. By Frank Irving, 1 6 Slic ker tlrnn Silk ; or. Tbe SmQoth est P o y l v c "y Rob Roy. 17 The I


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