Volunteer Fred, or, From fireman to chief

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Volunteer Fred, or, From fireman to chief

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Volunteer Fred, or, From fireman to chief
Series Title:
Wide awake weekly
Lennox, Robert
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New York
Frank Tousey Publisher
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1 online resource (28 pages)


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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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032070893 ( ALEPH )
864876338 ( OCLC )
W20-00033 ( USF DOI )
w20.33 ( USF Handle )

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i come on. now! You see how easy it is!" cheered Fred, b11t his heart thumped su1focat ingly. If he lost these brave little fellows he weuld feel like a murderer. I'll die sooner than leave their mother there!" he quivered.


WIDE A WAKE WEEKLY A CO/ff'PLETE ST01lY EVERY WEEK. Iuued Weeki-Ji-Bii S u bacrlpHo n f 2.50 per 11"4r. Entered accordmq t o .d.ot of Co11g,.ess, m the 11ear 1906, in the offlctJ ot the Librarian of Oonqren, Waahmq t on, D 0., by Frank T ouae11, PubHah er, 24 Unwm Square, New York. No. 3'1'. NEW YORK, DECEMBER 28, 1906. PRICE 5 CENT S VOI.tUNTEER FRED OB, FROM FIREMAN TO CHIEF B y ROBE RT L ENNO X CHAPTER I. "BOY FIREMEN? NOT FOR THIS VILLAGE!" Th e s olitary business street of the town was well thronged, too, by people who had come out to learn the decision. Usually the semi-monthly m eet ings of the Wakefield Vil-So f a r as known, the Board stood two or the admission lage Board of Trustees were dull enough affairs of the boys and two against it. Month in and month out the prosy, dull old village No o n e knew just how Asa Hold e n, Pre si dent of the fat hers were permitted to hold their ses$ion in quiet and Board sto o d peace, and no one else attended who did not have to. His would probably b e th e decidin g vote. But to-night it was different. "Boy firemen? Not for thi s villag e !" exclaimed Trustee As many of the townspeople as cou ld crowd into the lit-Burt. "Boys are too flighty, a nd too full of l arks." tle meeting room were there "But we have to make some move," argued Tru s t e e At times the discussion waxed hot indeed. Hick s "The underwrit e rs have notifierl us that we mu s t Th ere was most unusual business on tonight. provide a better fir e depa rtment, or that insurance rates An md: raordinar y thing had happened. will be greatly increased You can all und e r s tand what The local fir e department, oeing short of men it was indignation th e re will be from our busines s men a.nd proppropo s rd to authorize the swe8.ring in of i::ix boys as regular erty owners if the in s uranc e rates bound up a11 through membe rs of the local volunteer :fire department. Wakefield. Why, eve n a twenty per cent. increas e would Had it been propo s ed to put a mortgage on the village cost this village a few dollars a year g reen or to l e t out the s oldiers' monument for adv e rtising "If I may s peak, gentlemen--" b egan George Byron, purposes, a greater amount of discussi on c o uld not have the assistant fir e c hief of the village. been provoked. "Yes," responded President Hold e n l et u s hear what Yet the boys had their friends. The boys themselves you have to say." were on hand, too, although only the six who had been "If the Board," went on Holden, "will allow us a few proposed for the fire department had been allowed in the days longer I think we can safely promise to recruit up hall. the full strength of the fire department with grown men. The dis cussion had been on for more than half an hour You know, we have twent y-two m e n now, and are only Outside, two hundred other boys waited, prepared to six men shy." c l wer or hoot the trustees a c c o r d i n g as the decisio n should J "Then you think gr own men are d e cidedly better as mem be made. bers of the fire department?" asked Pre s ident Hold en.


/ 2 VOLUNTEER F RED T here ain t any doubt about it!" warml y cried the assi stant chief, who was a big, b r oad s houlder ed, lithe, dark an d rather handsome fellow of twe nty-eight. "We' ll hear your views ri ght through, if you please, Mr B yron," re q u e sted the P r esi d e nt. B y ron wen t o n at length and w i t h heat The gi s t of h is remarks was to the effect/that boys a r e not a s s trong as men, cannot endure as much, hav e not their coura g e deY eloped to the same pit c h a n d ar e altogether l acking the full developmenE of the qualities that bring out g rit, power a nd j u dgment in m en. Whil e the assi stant chief w a s s peak ing a nd, to t e ll the truth he was scor i ng against t h e boys heavil y-the o t her lad s present looked at their l e ad er, Freel H o p e Freel was on e o f t h e acknow l edg e d lead e r s of boydom in W akefie ld. H e w a s seventeen, rath e r t a ll ; s l e nder wiry, a n all-aroun d good amateur athlete He s tood a s erect l y a s a s oldi e r Rio fine face could be seriou s and fu ll of purpo se; or it could be full o f m ischi ef a n d fro lic, as the b u s in ess in h a nd r e q u ired His face was u s nally even in its asp ect ; h is eyes w e r e quiet and goodh u mored. But t h ere were tho s e who had see n him a n g r y whe n the r e was need to be, and at s uch bmcs, as som e peop l e expresse d it, "Fred Hope was a t error." J u s t now h e had t he look of being qui e tl y but wholly i n earnest Fred, in fact, had set hi s heart on joinin g th e loc al fir e d epa1tment. H e wa8 who ll y in earn est about taki ug his comr a des in w ith him Without these c omrades in t h e fir e depar t m e n t, too, there w o ul d be l ittle pl e asure in joinin g F r ed' s brow did not dark e n, n o r d id an y snee r come to hi s face as h e li stened to Georg e B y ron s scor c hing arraign m ent o f t h e i dea of hav i ng boy s s erve a s D.remen. "He's ent itl ed to his opinion, of cours e,'' Fre d whi s pered, to h is clos est chum, Tom Darrell "I hope somebody put s i n some good l i c k s for u s to offset thi s," whis p e red back Tom. "Sil ence among th e s pe c tator s," order e d President Hol de n rapping s harpl y with his g avel. B oth boys reddened a trifle und e r t h e r e buk e Fre d was a l one in the world s av e for h i s moth er. To g eth e r they car r i e d a news and c and y s tor e t hat did fair l y well. T h e y eke d out a livin g at a n y r ate, a nd a fa i rl y decent one. Fre d had gone two year s to th e hig h school. but h a d been compe ll e d to l eave at last, a s hi s m_oihe r need e d him in the stor e To m Darrell was th e son o f t h e dru gg i st. / As for tlie othe r four boys who w e r e propose d for the fire cr ew, p e rh a p s it will b e best to m ent i o n Phin Holmes fir s t of a ll. P hin was anoth e r l e ad e r amon g the boys. Und o ubtedl y h e owed muc h of his promin e n c e to the fact that his fath e r bein g a r e tired br o ker, and w e a lthy Phin had the mea n s to buy m any of the thing s that boy s cr a v e in their s ports. Phin, having been abl e to s upp l y foot balls, and e ven uniforms for a baseball nine or a football e leven, h a d naturally come to have a c onsid e rabl e p lace in the loc a l coun c i l s bf boydom. Phin was g enerally pl eas ant, and it was eas y enough to get o n with him if he was stro ked t h e right wa y H e was as d::kly hand some as Tom was air. Bill y Gray was known a s a bun g l e r. He was born so, the v ill age folk s declared H e could not seem to helpt bun g li ng t hin gs at times, but his g r eat stre n gt h won him a plac e among the boys of W ake:&eld. Ther e was Mik e Fly nn, g e n e rally ca lie d "l\Ii c kcy." H e was comica l and good-nat ur e d as an y Iris h lad tha t e v e r liv ed. l\fi ckey," th o u g h not us uall y q u ar r e lsome, cou l d alwars b e c oun te d up o n t o fight i f h e was a sked to by a boy b ig enoug h. That was one strong poin t about Mickey's fig h t in g-he always wante d a fellow much mor e than hi s own size "An oi' m goin t 'kape on foi ghtin' c h aps biggern' m e self," h e declared. "Con s t a n t p ractice i s the onl y way Oi can ever l e arn t'lick a b igger m a n t han me s elf Dave F r eeman was not ver y t all but he made that up in br e adth of s hould e rs. Tho11g h a y oun g athl e te, and not a poor on e he was ra th e r slow, on the who le, b o th in mind and body Yet h e was so t h or o u g hl y good a nd s o solidl y h o n est that t h e r e wasn't a fe llow in town wlio was mor e q uickly tru s t ed. George B y r o n cea sed speakin g at la st. "Now th a t w e' v e h a d a l o n g address from the opposition l\llr. Preside n t, s u gges t e d T r u s tee Hicks, "mig llt it not b e w e ll to hear wha t t h e boy s have t o say : for the msel v e s? lt woul

VOLUNTEER FRE,D. 3 "It seems to me that there is certainly one, yet, from whom the Board should hear, and he is present. I refer to Fire Chief John Watson. Chief, have you anything to say, or do you endorse what your assistant has said "I'm sorry to say that I don't approve of what Byron has said," declare(l the fire chief, slowly. Byron's eyes flashed in the direction of his superior, but President Holden replied : "Chief, we sha ll be very glad to h ear what your views are Every eye now turned upon the well-known chief of the Wakefield fire department. Honest old Watson, though a heavy and solid man. t' 1 k I m ac rnn, was no speec 1ma er. Moreover, he h ad a dread of public speaking But now the chief felt as if the occasion ran very close to the lines of duty. So, clearing his throat, while h e turned very red, he began, in a roaring voice, as though he were bellowing through a t1.J1111pet at a fire : "1\fr. President, and gentlemen of the Village Board of Trustees, I'm in favor of enlisting these youths in the fire departm ent-wholly in favor. ] '11 tell you why." Clearing hi s throat, and all but overcome by the em barrassment of seei n g so many eyes turned upon him, the chief went on: "I'll tell you why, gent l emen In the first p lace, do you und erstand why our fire department has fallen into such bad shape? I'll tell you. It's because the men of this village who ought to be in the fire department have other things that they'd rather do. "Some go down to the Alpha Club and play cards and drink. "Others hang out around the hot e l bar. "A whol e lot of our men, between twenty and thirty think that a pool-room is the only place to hang out of an evening. "There are men in this town who'd rather go to a dance ... than perform a pub lic duty. "Some of our best young men belong to the militia com pany ove r at Dakin. I haven t a word to say against them It's a public duty to serve in the militia, and a man can t be a State soldier and a local fireman at the same time. "But there are scores of men in this town who'd r ather court girls than show the girls how a house and a neigh borhood ought to be take n care of "But after all, Mr. President and gentlem en, the main troubl e with the men of this town who ou ght to be in the fire department is that they'd rath er drink liquor, play cards o r pool, or some other foolishness than perform pub lic dut y ." Several of the men in the audience b egan to sq uirm. They felt that they were b eing rapped, and that everyone e lse knew' it. But Chief John Watson, when he had anything on hi s mind, had a hard and fearless way of hitting straight out. "Now, Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Board," be r I thundered on, "just take a look at the kind of material that's offered in these l ads. Not one of 'em drinks. Not one of 'em gambles Not one of 'em stays up late at night unles s he's got some real bus iness that keeps him up. "Most of the men you'd want to put in the fire d epa rt ment are pasty-faced, played-out and got rum-soaked breaths "Look at these lacls All good boys, of good habits. We know 'e m all. We know, too, that they're baseball boys, football boys-boys that can sprint or run hard, boys that. can stand the strains that come upon ath l etes. "1\lore'n that, Mr. Presid ent and gent l emen, when it was give n Ol1t that the fire department was shy, Fred Hope comes right forward ancl says h e can raise enoug h of the right kind of boys to fill up the vacancies. "Now, JI.Ir. Presid ent and gent l emen, in concluding my fow remarks I want to say, right here, that I'd rather have these six stro n g -limbed, well-grown, gritty, healthy and clea n-minded chaps than any twenty of the poor trash of grow n young meu that you find hanging round on Main Street at ni ght. "Finally1 if I've done any good while I've been chief, I ask you to vote to let me en list these very same six boys as fircp'len of Wakefield!" Th e re was t r e m e ndous cheering now. It came from the friend s of the boys, and spread to t h e crowds outside. Chief Wat son's hot shot h ad left the opposition too much ashamed to mak e any further objections Rap, rap, rap! went Asa Holden's gave l at last. Then the din st illed clown. "Gentlemen of the Board," asked Mr. Holden, "a;re you ready to vote on this matter They s i gnified that they were. In a noth e r minute there was more tremendous cheering. For President Hold e n had cast the deciding vote. It had been determined to admit the boys into the :fire department "And I'll take their signat ure s right now, and swear 'em in," bellowed Chief Watson, his big, honest face aglow with pleasure. Re was shaking Fred Hop e's hand, and without letting go of that member drew Fred through the crowd to a sid e table. Here the chief laid down the book contain in g the roll of the department. Then, in an im p r essive voice the chief swore them in. "Humph! A fine lot they'll prove!" grunted George B y ron, di sg ustedly, to one of his cronies. Clang Ding The alarm sounded at this instp.nt, on the bell in the cupola on the :fire department building, which was next door to the Village Hall. Their first alarm. "Follow me Punch the fellows up broke from Fred, almost in a whisper, as he turned to Tom Darrell. The other fellows were close at hand, and all of them


4 VOLUNTEER FRE:D. near e r the door than the o the r members of the fire depart-1 One fiat-house was almost wholly in flames. ment. The one adjoining was seriously threat e ned. With a rush and a football flying wedge on a small scale, "We can't save the Gillett!" roared Chief Wat s on, the Fred and his boy friend s c leareda path through the goodin stant that he took,in th e s ituation. "But we must stop natured, jostled crowd. the fi9.mes getting at the Royalton." "Hey, you, Jack Burk e !" called lj'red, as he and his One of the firemen, wrench in hand, ran s traight to the chum s bur st through the e ntranc e into the st reet. hydrant, turning on the water Jack Burke was close at hand, with two large paper-In the same twinkling others made th e coupling. wrapped parcels. And now the men were in place at the bars ready to Fred Hope caught hold of one package, breaking the pump at the word. s tring and scat tering the pap e r. "Swing off that longest ladder lively!" snapped out Tom Darrell did the same with the otJrnr parcel. George Byron. Ea c h contained three br a n-new fire helmets, and these He and his men speedily had ij up against th e front of were passed around and donned like a flash. the Gillett apartment house. 1 At s ight of the boys responding so quickly the crowd gave Two women and a boy w e re at one of the windows on the another cheer. floor next to the top. "Three to e ach machine--in pla c e quick," ordered Fred. Around them pour e d the smoke, lit up by the still disHe was not trying to take command of the depart-tant flames. ment, but he was almost crazily eager that the people should "Be quick!" screamed one of the women. see how quickly boy firemen could re s pon(i to an alarm. "Coming!" George answered. The six boys were in place, three at the hand engine, and He was proud of his ladder work. thre e on the ropes of the truck, by the time that Byron and He ran up now as nimbly as an ape goes up a tree. the first of the grown-up firemen dashed into the fireBehind him, on the ladder, trail e d three more men. house. The boy, more daring than the women, had dropped a A moment later Ohief Watson bellowed out, fro:r:n the few feet and caught at the la dder. pole of the hand engiine : Now, the boy ran nimbly down, George passing him on "All your men in Byron?" to the men below. "Yes, chief!" "Crawl over the sill," B y ron shouted to one of the "Swing out, then. Halsey and Davis Streets! Streak it!" women. "Don't be afraid; I'm here to catch you. Now, be Out rolled the hand engine, going as fast as the willing, quick! Drop!" bounding, eager muscles of men and boys could make it. Plump The woman was in hi s arms, and a cheer went After it rattled the truck. up as George Byron handed the woman on down the ladder. Th e whole start had tak e n barely thirty-five seconds from Then the other, after a fearful pause, dropped too. the first peal of the bell. "Get down for your lives!" bellowed Byron, choking and "Three cheers for Hope and his boy firemen!" bawled gasping. Trustee Hicks, from one of the windows on the second For the smoke had become denser, and the flames were story of the next building. licking out of the front of the now, threatening to "'l'hree cheers for the boys!" consume the ladder. And the crowd gave them, with a will, as it started to run Just in time the firemen reached the ground, and drew after the reorganized fire department to the scene of the their ladder away. blaze. It had begun to burn. "Here, you boys!" roared Watson. "Take axes and run CHAPTER II. up thrpugh the Royalton to the roof. You, Hope, take a FRED MAKES GOOD RIGHT QUICK. rope with you. We'll run the hose up along the ladder as Long before the fire department r eached the scene, those far as we can go. You let down a rope and so dra.w the running with the apparatus could see that they were up hose up to the roof. Quick, now!" against one of the fires of the year. The order was bellowed through the trump e t. Halsey and Davis Streets was right in back of the largest Nor did Fred and the other boy firemen linger an inhot e l in Wakefield. stant At Halsey and Davi s S t reets "er e three buildings taller Fred caught up a coil of rope, snatched an axe down than thos e generally in the town. from the truck, and made a bolt for the entra nce to the They were occupied as flat-houses, and in them dwelt Royalton. a number of families in moderate circumstances. He was followed so quickly by the other youngsters that .. "Its going to be a hot one," muttered Fred to himself, as I they all but wedged in the doorway. he ran. "I wonder if we can do any real good?" A moment later they were on the roof. Around the corner at last dashed the firemen, into the I Below, George Byron had just got the Ieng ladder placed; red glow. and was running up it with the nozzle of the hose.


VOLUNTEER FRED. 5 "Help us! In m e rcy's nam e h e lp us quickly !" The agonized app e al came from the roof of the blazing Gillett. A woman and h e r two y oung boys s tood on the roof, clos e to the tbrink of the chasm that yawne d between the two apartment hou ses. The space between the two building s was at least .fifteen f e et. Even a s Fred looke d h e suw th e flames. break out clos e und e r the roof. The smoke was pouring out i n thick clouds. A delay of five minute s and, between smoke and h e at the woman and h e r sons must surely perish. Tend to that rop e and the hos e Tom s hout e d Fre d to s sing the coil to hi s chum. shout down and beg the chief to send up long board s i he can. No; don t eith e r. The flames would lick up the board s W e mus t do quick e r work." "Can' t you save us?" shrieked the woman in a tone of agony. She was thinking of her children, not of h e r s elf. "Yes!" vibrated Fred Hope, chee rin g ly, throu g h the heat, flame and smoke. "Look out for an in ;tant; th e n kee p y our nerve and follow orders." Over on the roof of the Gascoyne Hous e several people stood watching the progress of e vent s "Save that woman and her children!" bawled one man, hoarsel y without, however, offering an y adv i c e a s to how it was to be done. Fred did not even stop to an swer. His quick e y e had not e d th e only poss ibl e means of escape. It was a desperate c h a nce, but bet t er th a n n o thing. On the roof of th e Roy alton s tood a tall flag-pole. Crash! Fred struck his ax e bri s kly, hard into the wood, cutting up then down. Again and again he s tru c k choppin g in desperation, for he realized how time pressed. As he chopped, he kept an e y e on the cour s e of t h e pol e "Look out!" he bellowed, a few minutes lat e r. The pole swayed toppled,, and lay a brid g e across the chasm between the two roofs. ''Now's where the nerve comes in!" bellowed Fre d between his hands. "Madam, let your elder son, the one in the red shirt, lie down and get a good hold, with hands and feet, on the pole. Let the little fellow g e t on the larger boy's back and hold on for all he's worth." "Oh! They'll be killed!" s cr earp.ed the mother. "I believe they can make it," Fre d Hope shouted back. "At all events, its better than s taying where you are and being roasted up. Hurry! Its your la s t, best chance." The elder of the two boys s e ttled the matter for himself: Lying down, close to the edge of the hot roof, he called to his little brother to sit acros s his back and hold on around his neck. As one too paralyzed to think the smaller boy obeyed. Then the plucky little fellow at the pole began his course over the chasm. For the first few feet he made his way grittily, though the strain on his young arms was intense. The smaller fellow seemed dazed, but he did not forget to hold on for all he was worth. ; "I hope I can make it!" gritted the larger boy, halting to ease his aching muscles. He looked almo s t despairingly ahead. "Come on, now You see how easy it is cheered Volunteer Fred, but his heart thumped suffocatingly I he lost the s e brave little fellows i1e would feel like a murderer. "And I'll die s o oner t han leave their mother he quiv ered. There was a creaking as if the pole would snap. Freel felt his heart stand sti11. He steadied the pole s o it would not roll. But the brave little fellow who was doing all the work out there in mid-air came pluckily along. Fred, leaning far over the edge of the roof, caught hold of the little fellow and helped him up to safe footing. At the same time the littler fellow was put d own on his feet. Instantly he turned around, piping anxiously: "Mama, come quick!" "Shall I try it?" cried the woman. Fred's comrades, having got the hose to the roof, and waiting for Byron and others to run up through the house, now turned to look at our hero. "I don't know that the pole's safe," cried Fred. "I thought I heard it crack when the boys came over. Wait! I'll find out in a jiffy!" Ere any one could gue s s his purpose Fred Hope had leaned over the edge of the roof, just as George Byron came on to the roof. "What's that crazy youngster doing?" he demanded, as "Can't you see?" retorted Tom Darrell. For Fred was now out in mid-air, swinging along, hang ing to the pole and moving hand after hand. The pole creaked fearfully. Two or three times Fred, with a sudden stilling of the heart, fancied that the pole was about to give and dash him to death below. But at last he was close enough to the roof of the Gil lett to make a swoop forward with his hands, grasping .t the coping. An instant more and he had drawn himself up beside the terrified woman. "That pole isn't safe," Fred assured her, his voice steady though his face was white. "We'll have to find some other way to get you across." "What are you doing over there, you young idiot?" glared George Byr?n. "If one of you'll throw me a rope," Fred retorted, "I'll show you what I want to do."


6 VOLUNTEER FREP. Tom Darrell, without waiting for orders, threw the rope that had been used to haul up the hose. Byron gave the nozzle into the hands of two men who had followed him up. Then he ran to the edge of the roof, bawling down through his trumpet: "Play away, Volunte._er One!" Next he ran over to the edge of the roof to stare at Fred Hope. That youngster, having the rope for which he had asked, now raced back to an iron stanchion that he had espied: Swiftly as hands and mind could work, he made the rope fast. Then he ran back to the white-faced mother. "Can you be strong for an instant ?" he demanded, tensely. ,. "I can try to," answered the woman in a subd ued voice. "Double your arm-hard I want to feel it." She obeyed. Fred believed that she had muscle enough to aid him in the desperate feat which alone could save them. He sized her up swiftly, judging her weight "1'11 do it unless it pulls my arms out of their sockets!" he gritted Then, to the woman, he added, sternly : "Watch what I am going to do, and obey my order s If you do, and keep your head, I'll take you safely to your children." He sa.t down at the edge of the roof, his legs hanging over. Reaching forward he caught the rope with both hands. "Now, reach out,'' he commanded. "Get your hands clasped tightly around my neck. Hurry, for the rope may ge_ t afire Like one in a trance the woman obeyed him. Fred felt her a rm s arouncl his neck in a despairing clutch. "All fast?" he breathed. "Yes." "Hold on-tight! Now "The little fool!" groaned George Byron, as he watched Fred, fascinated. "He'll hurl the woman and himself to destruction Fred was crossing the chasm, now, slowly, deliberately. He felt, indeed, as if his arms would be torn from their sockets. But the woman aided him by holding on tightly around hi s neck and making no struggle or outcry. Slowly, an inch at a time it seemed to the thrilled, throb bing spectators on the other roof, Fred made his way across. At length he was close enough for Byron and others, lying flat, to reach out their am1s. "The woman! Never mind me l" panted Fred Hope. They got her, and raised her, almost swooning. Freel felt a great surge of relief just as her weight was .taken from him. He heard the frantic cheering from the thrilled specta tors down in the street, but the noise seemed a mile away. "Catch him quick! He's going!" panted Tom Darrell, reaching out on one side for his chum. Dave Freeman got an arm on the othe:r side. Together they drew him up to safety. Then, for an instant, Fred Hope seemed to collapse. But in another instant he was on his feet, even if some what wobbly. "That was a slick act, Hope," grunted George Byron. "Just what any boy fireman with muscle ought to be able to do," retorted Fred, coolly. The woman and her sons were led to the roof pent-house door and shown the way do. wnstairs to the street But Fred was already looking about with an eye to his duties. There was not much that could be done, as yet The nozzle-men were drenching the roof and the wall of the Royalton that was nearest to the blazing Gillett apartment house. Unless the Royalton actually caught, there was little else that the firemen up here on the roof could do. "All spectators get roar e d Chief Watson, in the s treet. "The Gillett may come crashing down at any mo ment." Firemen and police drove the crowd back. Meanwhile, the fire-fighters up on the roof of the Royal ton felt as if soon the heat from the blazing pile must drive them back. The intense heat was already blistering their hands and faces. But just then came a lull in the blaze. Then, suddenly, a current of air caught the flames and drove them away from the Royalton, out over the street. So far the wetting of the Royalton had stopped it from catching fire. But now the change in the wind had saved the firemen themselves. Crash The upper part of the Gillett caved in, sending up a shower of sparks. The roof of the Royalton was no longer in danger, but the side of the building might catch at any moment now. Lying on the roof, Byron took the nozzle, playing down and wetting wall until a man arrived with a coil of rope for lowering the hose to the streets "And the chief orders all men down now!" added the messenger. The hose was lowered. Then Byron led his men down to the street. "There's Fred Hope!" shouted someone in the pushed back crowd. "Three rousing cheers for the fellow who made good at his first fire!" "Stop that shouting!" bellowed Chief Watson, through his trumpet. "This isn't a picnic. My men must be able to hea.r their orders." So the cheering subsided. /


VOLUNTEER FRED. "l Fred and his friends, in the had been ordered j "Why, that's what firemen are for-to save life and back to the bars of the hand engine. property," laughed young Hope, easily. They were pumping, now, qS sturdily as they had d o ne "But it was magnificent work, just the same, from what other work aloft. I hear of it." There was another crash, as more of the Gillett's frame "There are twenty eight men and boys in the company came down. who could and would do the same thing," contended Fred, The wall of the Royalton was now so well wette d that care l essly. attention was turned to playing on the blazing ruins. "I d on't believe it. A third crash, as more of the doomed building came "Mr. Thorpe; saying that would be to give our fire dedown. . partment a black eye." Then three men sprang through the crowd, bearing Chief. "I don't care what you say, Hope, ifs to you that my Watson. ,... gratitude must and does go out. In the morning I shall be That doughty old veteran had been caught unawares. able to give you a feeble sign of what I think of your "Don't stop to look roared George Byron. "Every heroism." man and boy to his duty." "Heroism is a word that is abolished in every fire cleAxemen and pikemen were now fighting forward in the partment," laughed Fred, lightly. ruins, trying to pull blazing rafters apart. "It can't be banished from my mind, anyway," retorted The Gillett was clown, now, and the Royalton saved l'lfr. Thorpe "In the morning--" The worst of the fire was over "See here, sir, if you're thinking about any reward, any About all that remained to be done was to play a steady present or testimonial--" stream of water over the glowing heaps of embers that littered the late site of the apartment house. "Why not?" demanded Thorre "I can tell you right now," rejoined Freel, quietly, "that Now the crowd surged through the street again Of Fred you're after the wrong fellow. I was enrolled to night as a Hundreds pressed forward, eager for a sight Hope. member of the volunteer fire department. Now, a volunteer One of the first was President Holden, of the Boa rd of is, or ought to be, one who puts in everything for the good Trustees. of the cause. So, if you endeavor to give me any reward "Hope,'' uttered the President, gra.ping our hero's hand, "I'm proud of my vote to-night. I'm satisfied as to what boy firemen can do. If there are more like you in town, I wouldn't be afraid of a fire department made up wholly of boys!" "Keep at your work, Hope!" growled George Byron. "No time for heroics." Then the assistant chief grumbled to himself : "Watson is laid up for many a day I'm fire chief now. We'll see what i can be done to squelch this forward young ster CHAPTER III. THE BRA.VE GET THE FAIR. "Mr. Byron, here are some people who have a right to see lil'ed Hope I think you cal,l :mfely excuse him now." So spoke Mr. Holden. The acting chief, who did not dare offend the President of the Village Board of Trustees, scowled as he replied : "All right. Fall out, Hope!" Fred stepped away from his place at the hand engine, as Mr. Holden took him by the arm and led him away The woman whom Olff hero had rescued, a Mrs . Thorpe, was hurrying forward, accompanied by her husband and sons. "Hope," exclaimed Mr. Thorpe, huskily, "I don't know how I'm going to thank you, or how my family are, either." "There' s no need to," smiled Freel "No need?" echoed Mr. Thorpe "What on earth are you saying, lad?" of any kind, I'll simply hand it back. I'm glad it came my way to help your dear ones to night, :Mr. Thorpe. If it ever comes your way, you'll do as much for me-I know you will. Shake on it!" Laughing, Fred held out his hand, which Ur. Thorpe clasped. 1 Then our hero offered his hand to 11Irs. Thorpe, after which the young fireman seized the hands of both the young Thorpes in his own two hands "I want to tell you that you're two of the pluckiest little fellows I know," smiled Fred, warmly. "If it hadn't been for your grit, boys, you wouldn't be alive now. Thank you for helping me out." With that Fred turned and hurried back to his post. He was followed by a murmur that grew to a cheer Hearing it, Acting Chief Byron scowled again. "That's the worst of having boys in the department," he told himself "First thing we know the folks will be wanting to raise a Heroes' Monument to the boys in this depart Now, that I've got full swing, rn sec what can be done to work these ybungsters out." In a very short time afterwards Byron sounded the re call. Tired and hot with their hard, brisk work 0 this early September night, the two crews of Volunteer One fell into their place and dragged engine and truck back to the fire house. Probably two hundred citizens followed. After the appa:;atus had been housed, the members of the crews hung up their helmets on the hooks provided for t h a i


'/ 8 FRED. purpo s e on the trucks, aDu res umed their onlinar y h ead g ea r. Fred, in addition, d rew on his jacket and .buttoned it up a l most h idi n g the fireman's shirt that he had worn to the meeting of the Board earlier in the evening. At the time of the meetin g :B'leu had wholly concealed that shirt by wearing a handkerchief tied around his neck. Now, he felt that he ha cl earned the right to wear a fire man's shirt, and he was not quite so partic ular about con cealing it. Phin Holmes, as he stepped almo s t swaggeringly out of the fire-house, caught sight, acro s s the s treet, of one whom he had hoped to see. Over there, and alone, stood Nellie Thurman. She had been at the public library when the alarm came in, and had been drawn to the scene of the blaze Her fa'ther's doachman, driving into town in search of her, had fai l ed to find her. And now Nellie was waiting, feeling quite sure that Phin would see her and escort her home. They had been sweethearts for at least two yea11,s, though Phin was much the more ardent. His father being a retired broker of considerable w e alth, Phin had felt that he, by right, should pay attentions to Nellie, who was the daughter of Banker Thurman, one of the richest men in the county. As for Nellie, she had found Phin g0od-looking, s weet tempered 1.isually in her pre s ence, and very attractiv e She rather more than liked him Nellie, who had just turned sixteen, was, by anyone's standard, the prettiest girl in Wakefield. She was rather tall for a girl,lithe and slender, yet sp l endidly rounded. Her black hair and dark fla.ohing eyes, her pretty oval face, her rich comp lexion-all these charms made her the belle of the young set Yet Phin Holmes was the only youngster in town of family rich enough to aspire to one who would be a great haress. Phin stepped across the street to where Nellie stood, walking very erect and with a self pride that was almost comica l to see. He lifted his hat as he neared the girl, and they ex c h a n ged greetings. "Well you see we got into the fire department," began P hin "Yes, and what a splendid chance you boys had to show your mettle at once,'' cried N cllie "Were you pleased with us?" asked Fhin, his face glow ing. "Everyone certainly ought to be pleased with the work of o n e of your number to -night," Nellie answered, promptly a n d warmly. Eh? What--who---'' "Why, Free Hope, of course!" cried Ne1lie. "Wasn't he sp l end id ? I s to od just where I could see his whol e per fo rmance It w as gra n d "It was e h ?" growled Phi u. "Why of course you know it was Phin. Yon were i;tp on the roof with him, so you mu s t have seen it all." "I-I wasn't paying much attention," returned Phin Holme s sourly. "We all had our duties up there, and I was husy with mine." "I'd like to see Fred Hope, and thank him, as one of the re s idents of this village," suggested Nellie. "Oh, you would?" gasped Phin, uneasily. He was so smitten with Nellie Thurman that he hatetl the idea of having any hero come up to obscure his own lustre. "Yes," pursued Nellie. "I'd like to tell him how splendid I think his conduct was." "Huh! Why Fred Hope ain't much of anybody," warned Phin, enviou s l y "He isn 't?" demapded ellie, her eyes indignantly open. "His mother is a newswoman and a candy-peddler. Fred is her a s sistant. It wouldn't do to make too much of a fellow like that." "Will you ask Fred Hope if he'll step over and speak to me?" demanded Nellie, coldly. "No, I won' t flared the boy. "Thank you, Phin," returned the girl, still more frigidly. "I shall know b ette r than to ask a courtesy from you again in the near future." "If you think I'm going to in,iroduce you to anyone like that fellow, you' re asking too much," glowered Holmes "I know Mr. Hope already," replied Nellie, coolly. "You do?" "I've known him for s ome months." "You n e ver told me," glared Phin. "There was no rea s on why T should. Good-night; Phin." That was a dismissal direct and cool. Phin started glar e d at the girl, was met by her own cold, defiant g aze, and the n turned wrathily on his heel. He eve n forgot to lift his hat as he stalked across the street "I'll just l e t her come out of a fit like that by herself," he raged within him s elf. "It doesn't do to let a girl think s he owns a fellow and can say and do what she pleases to him." Nellie, with equal coolness, t'urned _and walked along the stre et in the direction of her home. Fred Hope in cro s sing a street on bis way home, met h e r unexpectedly at a corner. "Good evening, Miss Thurman," he greeted her, pleas antly. "Oh, good evening, Mr. Hope. I didn't expect to meet you, but I'm glad I have. I want to tell you how splendid your--" "Miss Thurman," Fred broke in, anxiously, "you won't think me rude ii I ask you to say no more on that subject, will you "But--" "Honestly, Miss Thurman, if I've got to listen to praises every time I have a chance to do my duty as a fireman, it


VOLUNTEER FRED. 9 will driv e m e out of the d e p a rtment. Now,. please don't say another. word on the subj e ct, will you?" "We ll, t hen, I won't," a g r e ed the girl, reluctantly. "But--will you take my hand?" "With th e g r eatest happiness in the world," the young :fire man assured her, and took h e r pre tty, w a rm little hand in hi s own with a s e n s e of a d e licious thrill. Are you going hom e without an e s cor t Mis s Thur man ? a s ked Fred. "Why Phin c a n t know that you' re here. If you'll come back with m e we c an :find him and--" Thank you. I don t wis h to :find Phin to-night." "Oh, I b e g your pardon." "Phin ha s b e en a ct ing di sag reeably," lau g h e d the girl, "and i s in di s grace un t il h e does pro p e r p e n ance "If I w e r e Phin I d try to find out at once what the penanc e i s," smiled Fred. "Pe rhap s h e won't." "Oh, y e s I'm s ure h e will," F r eel cont inu ed. "Phin is a good f e llow all aroun d Once i n a whil e h e may h ave a little crotche t but in the long run he means to be as good a fellow as an y." "If you don t mind, we won' t di scus s Phin Holmes any mor e," Nelli e r e joined, a trifl e icil y "Well, then, we wo)'.l't,'' a g r eed Fred. "But Miss Thur man, surely you' re not going home alone. Will you permit me-'' "If you' re offering your escort, I s hall be g r e atly plea s ed with it,'' the girl a s sured him. "I wish I could always please a s eas il y a nd a s pl e a s antly for myself, Fred _ass ured h e r gallan t ly, as, with some 'hes itation, h e offe red h e r his arm. N e llie took it at once, re st in g h e r o; y n s oft, warm l i ttl e Ji hand on his arm with a touch that sent a thrill through the boy. "I must keep my head about me,'' he murmured to him self "I mustn' t b e foo li s h enough to ima g in e that I'm fall in g in love with a princess like Miss. 'rhurman ." Sin c e his own conduct a t th e fire, and Phin 's c ondu c t aft e r it, w e r e forbi d d e n topics b etween th e m t h eir atte mpt s at c onv e r s ation a s the y s troll e d nlong might h a v e result e d in di s mal failure, had not l\fiss e lli e been fa r mor e at ease than was Fre d Hop e "I n e v e r see you at a n y of our y oun g peoples' paxties," s h e observed. "I n e v e r go-where you clo,'' Fred a dmitt e d "But why not?" she pressed. "We ll for on e thin g, I'm not in vite d,'' Freel replied, without s h a me. "The n I s hall get some in vitation s for you," s h e r e plied ver y d e cid e dly. \ "I'd r a th e r you didn' t, Mis s Tpurman," h e s a id, has t i ly. "Why, may I a sk?" "Miss Thurman I'm a workin g boy. N o one would r e all y want m e at the partie s whe r e you g o." "Why, you're on e of th e born lea d e r s of the boys in W ake:field. "Somewhat, perhaps, in sports and that sort thing. That' s one place where the working boy can hold bis O"lfll." "You could hold your own anywhere,'' Nellie replied, with a sweet positiveness that set the young :fireman's beaxt a-bumping. "But I--I don't care to go to any of the parties, Miss Thurman." "Would you go to please m e ?" she insisted. "I'd hate to say no." "Would you go to some of the parties if I asked you to take me, and be my escort?" suggest e d Nellie. Perhaps she was thinking that this would be a fine way to rebuke Phin for his snobbi s hness. N e llie Thurman didn't, by any means, encourage all s orts of a cquaintances, but she hated all downright snobbis hne s s with downright American disgust. She mu s t have felt the young :fireman's arm tremble as s he re s ted upon it. Would be go as her escort? Would he ente r heaven if someone held th e gate open? "But it would be only for once or twice, and then I'd be miserable when I saw her on any other fellow's arm,'' he groaned within himself. "I couldn't bear to look at Phin if I saw her out with him after that." "Would you go?" she insisted, looking straight into his eyes. 1 "Yes,'' surrendered Fred, weakly, but eagerly. A nd will you call at the house soon, to meet a f e w of m y y oung fri e nds?" went on the girl. I b e lieve Miss Thurman, that I'd do anything that you a s ked me to, Fred answered, honestly. And N e lli e who was thinking that. a hard-working, honest, br ave like FrM would be all the better for a few social opportunities, resolved at once that he should have them. There's your home," he half sighed, as they reached the g ate th a t opene d into the driveway and footpath leading up to the ne old Thurston mansion. "You're going to let me see you to the door, aren't you?" "I s hould b e o.ffended, if you didn't,'' she answ ered, slow: ing her step down. So they strolled slowly, and chatted some moments before the door. Of course s he a s ked Fred if he wouldn't come in, but he had the good sense to thank her and to decline. Then, after he had said g ood-night, and had seen the door clos e upon her Fred turned and hurried desperately down the driveway "Fred Hope, what a you are!" he groaned. "You'll g et in Fool's Paxadise for once or twice, and thenHullo!" Thi s la s t word was uttered aloud, fqr, as Fred turned out throu g h the gateway he encountered Phin Holm e s on the side walk just beyond. Phin was scowling and black-brow e d Fre d hacl n e ver seen him look s o ugly


10 VOLUNTEER FRED. "Been seeing Nellie Thurman home, have you?" hi!;)se d Phin. "Yes," smiled Fred "With her permission, of course." "That's got nothing to do with it," uttered Phin savage l y "Hasn't eh?" smiled Fre d bant eringly. "Why, I thou ght it hacl everything to do with it. If she hadn't con sented, I woul dn't have thought of such a thing!" "Oh, shut up!" quivered Phin Fred opened hi s eyes v ery wide "What ails you, Phin ?" "I'm going to show you!" raged the other lad, hauling off his coat and dropping it on th e gronnd "What--" "Shut up--and put up your hand s !" Ph.in was dancing about, doing some remarkable foot work, for Fred, the instant that it dawned on him that a fight couldn't very well be avoided, bad fallen into a s urprised but excellent guard. Biff Phin swatted for FTed's nose, but a pany drov e his arm up. "You ought to hav e more sense, Phin," uttered J Hope. "Shut upP> Swat! Phin tried again to get in, but Fred drove him back. Th en both boys sparred in earn est Ph.in, at la st, got in a slight tap on the nose that brought blood and drove Fred's dander up. They sparred viciously now. Biff It was a beautiful, straig ht-arm left-hander that caught Phin over the left eye with s uch force as to knock him down flat. All the stars :in the sky seemed to come down (!lose to that eye for a few. moments. It throbbed as if fire had 8truck it. Phin had had enough, and that was no discredit to his courage, either. That damaged eye was close d up tight, whil e the pain was so severe a s to make him s ick and dizzy. Fred instantly let his hands fall. I m sorry you were such a fool, Phin," he observed, quietly. "Oh, we'll find out l ater who's the bigger fool sneered young Holmes. "This isn't the last 0 thi s." "Oh, ju st as yon please, then," retorted Fred, coolly. "But, for your own sake, I hope you won't want to fight any more to-night. After that jolt you re not in shape ." He waited for a moment to see whether Phin had any in t ention of renewing the fight. But young Holmes continued to sit on the ground, swab bing the damaged eye with a handk e rchief. "Good -nigh t Phin," uttered "Sorry it had to be done." "Good-night, eh?" growled the vanq ui shed boy under his breath. "Fred Hope, I don't believe you know as well as you will later what it m eans to make an enemy of me!" "Phin !" "Shut up! CHAPTER IV. THE TEST OF GOOD METTLE "See here, my boy." "Don't you talk to me like that !" "Phin," grumbled Fred Hope, "are you going to be a chump always?" "Who's a chump?" flared Phin. "You're acting lik e one, Phin Holmes. H e re, or three days, I've been trying to have a word with you. "Wait till this eye gets straight," grow led Phin. "Then you can have as many words as you lik e !" The eye did not look as badly as it felt Druggi sts, or many of them, in these days, are artist.:; with the bru s h and flesh paints They are expert, often, in painting out a bla c k eye so that little or none of the damage sho\\s. It was about nine o'Clock in the evening, and the scene before the littl e shop on Main Street that Mrs. Hope owned. )frs. Hope herself was seated behind the counter inside, patient l y knitting She was a very sweet-faced woman, who had once bee very pretty. Fred, owing to dull;ness of business at this hour, had s t epped outside for a few breathi:; of fresh air. While seated there h e had seen Phin coming As Holmes passed, h ead stiffly up in the air and looking straight ahead, our hero had hailed him. "Phin," went on Freel, "wo haven't met but once since-the other night. We can't alway s b e st rang e rs, if we're to serve in the same fire department. H we're to be brought together oft en--" "How are we going to be brought together?" glared Phin. "Why, if we're in the same fire company--" "We won't be very long. "Ph in, you're not thinking of resigning already?" "What? Me resign? Don't you think it!" "The n we'll keep on being in the same company." "No, we won't,'' warned Holmes, in a low tone "Not if I'm as smart as I give myself credit for being!" "What on earth do you mean, Phin ?" "Oh, you ll find out all right," grow l ed the other boy. "Then you--" Clang It was the first peal of the fire-alarm bell. "A fire, mother!" called Fred, and was off like a flash. Phin, too, bolted, trying to overtak e and pass Fred Hope. But he could not.Hop e was one of the best junior sprinters in the county. "Box fourteen, Phin," called Fred, over his shou ld er "Why, that's the box in front of Mr. Thurman's place." The same fact had dawned upon Phin Holmes as he ran and counted.


' VOLUNTEER FRED. r 11 Ahe ad, up t h e s treet, they saw th e e n g in e and truck 1 swee p out of the fire-hou s e and go clatt e ring up the street. Bot h boys put on e x tra s purt s of speed and did their best to overtake the a pparatus. Fre d c a u ght up a full minute b e fore Phin did. Alon g the st r eets pe ople were running fast. For all had r e alized that th e re was a chance that the cos tliest dwe ll i ng in town was in flames. No one wanted to mis s that s ight. On account of the many trees, however, the firemen could not see the location or extent of th e blaze until fairly close to the T hurman mansio n. Ye s ; the fire w as sure l y the re. It was a s quar e woode n tower a t the eas t end of the mansion that was in flames. Wakefie ld 's fire-fighte r s br eat hed m or e easil y whe n they saw what kind of w ork was c ut o u t for t hem. 'fhe t ower, whi c h was t hree sto ries hi g h mi ght burn co. mpl e t e l y a nd yet th e re s t o f the dwelling be s aved if the fir e-fighte rs worke d bri s kly. Moreover the re was an a bund a nce o f water for B a nker Thurm a n had tak e n the pre caution to have a hydrant pla ced ne a r e ach of the four corners of hi s great abode. "Straight to the tower," bawled Geor g e Byron, the act in g chie f Th e r e t h e appa r at u s was rus h ed, and t h ere i t was halt ed. Wit h t h e preci s i o n o f t ra i ne d m e n these fire fig h te r s got t he hose c oupl e d t h e hydrant on, an d a stream s oarin g aloft almost a s soon as they halt ed. Mr. Thurman. and hi s wif e a nd a doze n servants could be seen runnin g a bout on th e broad verand a b e yond the tower. "Are you all out of the house?" b awled George Byron, a s th e w ater hissed ag ain s t th e flames and pikemen stood by whil e oth e r s ra ise d a s hort l add er to t h e second s tory. It was from the second story that the flames were now bursting out fie rc e l y A servant, on that second s tory, had dropped a kerosene l a mp which h ad exploded and sta rted the bla.ze. "We 're all h e re e x cept my daughter," called the banker, hurrying to w ard th e acting chief. i She, I believe, i s out for the evenin g." "Anybody live on that second story?" asked Byron. "No; it was a r e tirin g room for m y wife, and s he's s afe." "And th e third story?" asked Byron crisply. "That's a kind of snuggery for my daughter." "You're s ure she' s not there?" "Why, s he can't be, or we'd have heard from her," replied the old man. But a t that instant, as if to undeceive him, a window in the third s tory of the tower shot up and a girl's white, appall e d fa c e s tared down at the destruction leaping up .to h e r. "He l p !" s he cried . "Nellie!" scr e amed h e r father. "I was readin g an d fell asleep on the s ofa, papa," called th e g i r l in a trembli n g voice Alread y G eorge B y r o n was roaring: "The long ladder! Run it up! Run it up!" A dozen pair s of hands had wrenched the ladder from the truck. Up it went, resting just under the sill of the window where Nellie stood, white-faced and stifling. George Byron ran to the foot of the ladder, glancing swiftly up. But, as he did so, the flames surged out, licking the ladder and setting it afire. Then smoke poured out s o that the girl was seen to totter, and then hang over the s ill as if swooning. But her s taring, horrified eyes w e r e open. She saw the flames below, th e clouds of smoke, and she saw e'\7en further. "Up, man, and get her, quick!". appealed Mr. Thurman, franti c ally, pu s hing his way to B y ron's side. "I'd like to, sir but it can't be done," protested Byron. "She'd be burned up bringing her down, and so would I. We' ll have to hold the net and eall to her to jump." "But she's swooning, man.!'' "The jump i s h e r only chanc e ," c ri e d Byron, hoarsely. He was no c;oward, but he felt that the rescue by the ladder was impossible. "Good heaven s men!" quavered the banker. "You're not going to let my child burn to death. Here, let me go up!" Phin was at the foot of the ladder, too, staring upwards. Mr. Thurman s t a rted to climb, but was pulled back. Then he was roughly pushed back as a new :figure apon the scene. It was Fred Hope. A gasp, partly of comprehension, went up as they saw how Fred, sca lin g th e ladder s wiftly, }Vas provided. Swiftly he had thrust his arms into the sleeves of a fire man's rubber coat. Over one arm he carried a rubber blanket, of the kind that is used to protect goods in a burning building from the damage of water. "Ah!" It was a gasp that was half a sob as they saw Fred Hope passing through the very flames, which leaped greedily at him. But he was through the :fire zone like a flash. He saw N e llie hangin g over th e s ill, trying, by closing her mouth, to shut out the suffocating fumes that came up to her. But she was compelled to breathe, and so she swallowed an amount of smoke that was s ur ely taking her life away. Ai3 Fred reached her and leaped upon the sill, he did not speak. / Every instant was needed for action Swift as thought he wrapped the rubber blanket well around the relaxing form. Then, with the girl in his arms he sprang upon the sill, thenc e to the ladder. With one arm h e h e ld her tight now, with the other hand clutchin g a t th e run g s of the ladder. No cheer w ent up.


VOI,UNTEER FRED. All the da.zed spectators looked for the boy and his lovely burden to be caught by the flames on their descent. Those flames were now belching out more angrily than ever, despite the stream of water poured upon them. Fred took as deep a breath as he dared in that awful atmosphere. Then he fairly ran down the ladder. It was a sight well worth seeing, this feat of athletics! And now the cheers broke forth wildly, as Mr. Thurman seized his fainting daughter in his own arms and bore her away. Fred followed a few feet, then stopped ancl looked queer. Tom Darrell sprang to his side. "What is it, old fellow?" "Legs burned, I guess," mutter e d Fred. "It isn't much of anything, though." "Lean on me, old fellow." Thus he limped some yards away, and then lay down on the ground, on top of the rubber blanket that had done such good work jn protecting Nellie Thurman from the flames. Fred lay for some time without attention, for the only doctor in the crowd was busy trying to reviv.e Nellie. But at last someone called the doctor over to Fred. "Pretty tough burns," the medical man. "It may be a fortnight before you're much good, my lad:" 1 Fred smiled up at the doctor and at Tom and Dave, for now the fire was so well under control that all except the tower could be saved. "I got off easy, didn't I? askecJ. Fred. "Well," replied the doctor, pursing his lips, "opinions might differ as to that." The crowd stood close by, looking on, and again Fred Hope was the hero of the department. "That kid is bound to make himself the most talked about fellow of us all," uttered George Byron, moodily. As soon as he knew that Nellie was conscious again, Phin hastened over to her. She was seated on a chair P1 the lawn, tp. breathe well again. "You had an awfully close squeak, Nellie," h e assur e d her. "Fortunately the best man in the fir e department was on hand," she smiled, ironically. "Why, Nellie, I'd have come up for you, if Fre d Hope hadn t been so quick," protested the boy. "Would you, Phin?" "Why, you can't doubt that, Nellie. I was just about to start up when Hope dashed through us all." "He showed grand presence of mind," murmur e d the gii"l. "His presence of mind, in fact, seems to equal his splendid grit." "Why, Nellie, it wasn't such a much of a thing that he did." "Do you know, Phin, as I looked down the length of that ladder, I didn't see anything in your face that showed any willingness to come up to me." "Oh, Nellie!" "I hope I was wrong." "You are, Nellie, I assure you. But," he went on bit terly, "these days you seem bound to think tha,.t Fred Hope i s superior to me in everything." "I don't think anything about it, returned the girl, with a meaning so plain that Phin fell back cursing under his breath. Mr. Thurman was over beside our hero. "Hope," he said, with a good deal of emotion, "you are not to get any notion in your head that I shall forget your splendid a c t. I have sent for a carriage to take you home, and Dr. Emerson will attend you without expense until you are all right again. In the morning I shall drop in to see yo:, and then I shall endeavor at least to make some sort of reward to you for what you have done." "If you do, I won't let you in to see me again," returned Fred, coolly. "I intend to c1o my duty as a fireman as long as I remain in the department. And I don't intend to accept any rewards for doing my duty." "I trust you'll think better of that in the morning, Hope." "And I trust you'll think better of your.plan, Mr . Thur man." "Well, well, lad, I'm going to get my daughter and bring her over here to thank you b e fore the carriage comes." Nellie's first smile of gratitude was all the reward fred Hope wanted. She took his hand and chatted with him gratefully until the carriage came. Then Fred, the doctor and Tom Darrell went away in that vehicle, and the days had now come when Fred Hope, lying on bis cot, or s e ated in an arm-chair, was to learn some of the costs of a fireman s heroism. CHAPTER V. THE ALARM FROM BOX TWENTY-EIGHT. It was earl y in Octob e r when Dr. Em e r s on pronounced Fred Hope fit for duty again. Even now Fred' s legs felt a bit s tiff. Still, with care he could do duty. While he was under the phy s ician' s care Fred had not gone once to the fire hou se. That was to pleas e bis moth er who felt certain that, if an alarm came in, her s on would re s pond with the others, fit or not fit. During the time that he was laid up Nellie came every daJ to see him, her bright face and her laughter livening the little back room in which Fred spent his time up to the day when he could get out of doors again. On his first walk out of doors Tom Darre ll was his com"No," murmured Nellie. "All he did was to save my panion. life." On his second walk Tom and Nellie shared his com"But would have done it." 'pany.


VOLUNTEER FRED. 13 All of boy firemen came (}ften, except Phin. He did not come once to see our hero. Mr. Thurman had called frequently, too. On his first vi sit he had tried to talk Mrs. Hope over to the idea of accepting some for Fred's services. "It woulch/t do, Mr. Thurman," Mrs. Hope replied, firmly. "I've always taught Fred that it isn t the right thing to take a reward for doing on e's plain duty. I'm glad that he refused." So l\fr. Thurman, whose gratitude did not lessen with time, as some men's does, wondered how and what he could do to discharge his great debt of gratitude to the young :fireman. A c:v of the grown-ups of the fire department dropped in evenings. George Byron came but once. He 0made it almost too plain that hi s was only a "duty call." But now Dr. Emerson, after looking the boy well over, had said: "Hope, I'm afraid you're r ea ll y fit for duty again." "Afraid?" laughed the boy. "Well, I'm afraid you'll only run yourself into more danger." "Doc, wouldn't you adviseme to run into danger, if I could save human lives?" The doctor coughed. "I don't see how I can say 'no' to that, Hope." Tom smiled. "But don't run into needless danger, my boy." "Needless danger?" echoed the young fireman. "Why, doc, I think the fellow who nms needlessly into danger, is-. -" "Well?" "Just a plain, ordinary fool, with a lop-sided brain." "Stick to that idea, Hope, and I'll be glad to see you back on duty." So on this evening Fred was around at the fire-house. So were all the othe r youngsters, Tom and Dave walking up with our her.(j. Phin saw him coming in. Without even as much as a nod, Phin got up and stalked stiffly out. "Now, I wonder what ails him?" flared Tom Darrell, grouchily. "I've a good mind to go after him and remov;e his block "Don't," Fred a lmost ordered. "Let him alone." Phin was s ore, indeed. He had seen but little of Nellie Thurman, of late. But, only the day before, he had sent her a note, asking her to go under his escort to the big party at the Ander son'. In his breast pocket, at thi5 moment, Phin carried Nel lie 's note in which s he re grette d that s he must decline his very kind invitation. "It's all that F.red Hope," muttered Phin Holmes, angrily, as he plooded down the street. "She's crazy about that upstart just now. But I'll show h e r that I don't mean to be passed by for suc h a-ragamuffin!" In his anger, Phin forgot that Fred, even if he was poor, was decently poor, with fairly goocl clothes and the means of getting rriodestly through the world. "Seems good to get back, don't it?" was Byron's gruff, rather backward greeting of the boy whose popularity he didn t like. "Very," replied Fred, amiably. "Well, we've just had two fires while you were laid up, Hope," observed one of the men. "One of them was in an ash can in a cella r, and tb.e other was a affair in a barn. You haven't mfased much." "I'd just as soon miss good fires the year around, if I could miss 'em by thrre not b<;ing any," lau g hed Fred. "Oh, well," ieplied the man, whose name was Davis, "at a'ny time we're likely to hav e--" Clang Jangle! The alarm was coming in now. Every man present made a l eap for his fire togs, then fell in at the ropes of the machine that h e ran with. From up the street Pbin came back on the dead run. "Two counted Byron, as the bell ceru:ed for a pause. Th e n it began again. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight--" "Twenty-eight!" "Burdick's Mill I" That shout was on every fireman's lips as they dashed out with the engine and truck. The mill was half a mile away, on the bank of the river. It was a rather large cotton goocls plant, employing some five hundred people. A fire from this locality generally meant a stubborn fight. Sometimes the fire would start, by spontaneous combus tion, or from other causes, in the great coal-bins down by the tracks. At other times fires had been lrnown to get started among the bales of raw cotton. Either of these fires was apt to be di sast rous. On the other hand a fire caused by the friction of shaft ings close to the ceiling was easily controlled as a rule. Every man and boy woncler.ec1, as he ran, what kind of blaze to expect. They saw, plainly enough, as they turned into the short street leading down to the river front. There was much smoke, splashed h ere and there by flame c oming from the window s of the shipping ro o m, next to the offices of the company. "It's going to be one of those f mllen, st ubborn fires, drep 'clown in cotton good s," g runted George Byron to himself. They drew up, mal"ing close conne ctions with the hose. Several brawny men from the night shift of workers were standing outside, waiting for the arrival of the appa ratus. With them, highly excited, was P eyto n Burdick, presie dent of the company.


VOLUNTEER FRED. shouted Mr. Burdick, running toward Byron, "order my men in any way you like. They're all used to fighting fire." "Put them at the bars of the engine, then, Mr. Burd ick. I want my own men inside with me. Here, six of you get pikes, ten axes, and the rest run with rubber blankets to throw over goods that haven't caught yet." Only two of the men did Byron reserve to run in with him carrying the line of hose. While Burdick's men pump e d with splendid brawn and muscle, Byron led the members of his department almost at a run through the office of the company. As they opened the door of the shipping room beyond, a great bur st of hot smoke belched out in their faces. "Crouch down, those who can! Don't stand too high!" ordered Byron. "Pass word to play away!" "Play away!" was the word sent back by lusty throats. Fred was one of those who had snatched up a fire axe Phin, pick in hand pressed close to him, not looking at our hero. The first few hundred gallons of water only made the smoke denser. It was evident that the fire would be a lon g and stub born one. But, by degrees, Byron and his fought the flames back from the office door. After that they were able to get some distance into the shipping room, "Now, axemen and pikemen!" bawled Byron. "Jump in and be quick!" He him self led the way, his men where they could batt er down blazing wood, or haul it down with the pikes. Those with the rubb er blankets found tha'.t they could do much better by pitching in with a will and hauling out the cases. "Pass 'em this way!" called Fred, from the door of the office. "We will take care of them for you!" He and Tom worked like beavers, taking the packing cases of goods at the office door and pushing them back into the office. Mr. Burdick himself stood behind them, watching and giving an occasional helping hand. "I'm glad I stayed late at the office to-night, going over the books," he muttered. "Books are tight in the safe, now, aren't they, sir?" Fred called back without turning around. "All secure," nodded. Mr. Burdick. "What's the matter with the stream?" bawled Byron, from the smoke-filled air of the shipping room. "The water's coming mighty slow." "I'll :find out," answered Mr. Burdick, and, turning, da s h e d from the office. He found that his .nie n had been l etting up in the ardor of their pumping. He set them harder at work, and by to watch them. As the water came faster, the smoke and stea m grew in volume. Phin, fighting well for some time with a pike, staggered back, gasping. Lung s full?" asked Byron, noticing him. "Yes," gasped Phin Holmes. "Run out and get some fresh air for a minute. Then c9me back. There is a load of work here to-night." Coughing and breathing hard, Phin stepped back into the office. He passed :Fred and Tom without speaking "Oh, he's sore," whispered Tom, vindictively. "We can't help it,'' said Fred, carelessly. The two chums stood with their backs turned to the office. Just at this moment no more cases were coming their way, but they were wait in g and watching the efforts of the others. Phin circled curiously around the office, on tip-toe. Then, sudden ly, he started as his eyes fell upon the desk that Mr. Burdick had abandoned so swiftly when he discovered the presence of fire. A long, thick wallet lay there. Glancing swift l y toward the two chums, Phin then st r etched out one hand. He l aid the wallet open. It was well-stuffed with crisp, new bank-note s CHAPTER VI. "FRED HOPE, YOU FELON!" It was a stubborn fight for three-quarters of an hour. By the end of that tim'tl everythi:Qg in the s hipping room was so well dren ched that the fire sizzled out. There was still smoke and s team, but Geor ge Byron, Mr. a3urdick and the mill's night enginee r after going well over the scene of the la te fire, p ronounced it to b e out. "By George!" exclaimed Mr. Burdick, suddenly, s lappin g the breast of his coat. "No, it isn't there," he muttered. "Could I have put it in the safe?" "What's that, sir?" asked George B yron "Why, I've just remembered my wallet.'' "What about it, sir?" "It was on my desk when the fire started." "Much in it?" asked the acting chief. "Two thousand dollars that I was to pay out for tiues to-morrow!" Mr. Burdi ck was moving fast toward the office door. Byron went swiftly after him. Mr. Burdick took one glance at his desk, then uttered: "I'm sure I left it there." Nevertheless, he ran over to the safe, working the combi nation on the lock with trembling fingers At last he swung open the dQOr of the great safe, and explored inside. "It's not here," he said,


VOLUNTEER FRED. 15 Ar e you s ur e you le:Ct i t o n the desk Mr. Burdick?" que ri e d B y r o n "P osi ti ve. "We r e any of your m e n i n h e r e befor e the d epart m e nt arriv ed?" "I'm rather certain not," replied Mr. Burdick, with a grave-looking face. "None of our m e n would take it," went on Byron, quickly. "Oh, I didn t thi nk that,' r e pli ed the president of the company. "But the onl y fact i s that th e mone y was in the wallet, lying on m y desk and it i s n t the re now. "Call in the chi e f of poli ce," s uggest e d B y ron, hi s face looking grim indeed. What do you-"J: t hink Mr. Bmdic k y ou s hould make a s tatement to th e c hi ef of poli ce,' B y ron r e tort ed. Thi s i s a serious ma t ter inde ed." M r. Burdick s tarted for the outer door looking very worri ed. Rai s ing his voice, Byron called: "No member of the d e partm ent will leave, a t p resent Mr. Burdick came back follow e d b y C hi e f W atts a n d th e s olitary o t h e r night polic e man of the v illage. "Whe re did you leave th e w allet?" asked t h e c h ief, l ook-. d I rng aroun On the desk." "Look in the drawers yourself, Mr. Burdi ck. I ll on the floor." Both m e n were bu s y for a few tense, sil e n t, won d e r i n g mom ents "Not in any of the drawers,'' report e d Mr. Burdi ck. "Not on the floor, either," said the chi ef. Th e two m e n s traight e n e d up and l ooke d a t each oth e r. : 'Mr. Burdick w ent on Chi e f W atts, you' r e positive th a t none of y our men went through h e r e b e f o r e the :firem e n came? "As pos itiv e a s a m a n can b e at a time o f g r eat e xcit e ment." "Hope,' brok e in the a ct in g fir e chi e f y ou and Dar r e ll w ere h e r e at the office d oor most of t h e time. Did e ith e r of you see an y mill e m ployee, or any s trange r in the office?" "I saw non e but m embe r s of th e d e partment passin g throu gh," Fre d r e pli e d wit hout an in st an t's hesita tion. "Which m e mbers?" "Oh, sever a l, chi ef. I can't r e member a ll w h o wen t throu g h her e I was bus y w ith m y duties, and didn t p a y mu c h atte ntion to anyone else." _"What have you got to s ay, D ar r e ll ? p e r s ist e d Byron. "Sa m e thin g as Fre d T o m an s w e r ed, at once. "It begin s to l ook,'' said Byron, "as if none but firem e n pa s sed throu g h h e r e." Thi s son of a wealthy broker c ould have l i ttl e motive for stealing. "But I'd like to be searched," proposed Phin, eagerly. I feel that it's only right and fair "That's so," spoke up Fireman Davis. "And I'd like t o b e s e arch ed, too. I think we all ought to be searched. It's the quickest way of clearing us all of suspicion." "I'll stand for the fir s t search," proposed George B y ron, advancing and holding up hi s hands "Line up men!" Quickly they lined up in the office, and h e l d u p th eir hand s Every membe r of the fire departmeIJ.t di s played th e greatest willin g ness to have hi s poc k e t s a nd c lothin g e xplor ed. "The r e's no need to Mr. B y ron objcted Bur dick. "I in s i s t upon being searched," r e torted the acting chief, g ruffly. Chi e f Watts made the s earch in p e r son. "You haven't any stolen wallet on you, I'm glad to s ay, George," r e ported the chief of police. Then the police chief turned to Phin Holmes, who happened to be ne x t in line. N othing was found on Ph in. "I don:' t know what I'd do or feel like if s tolen mone y was found on a member of the Wakefield department," utte r ed B y ron sole mnl y "The mos t criminal thing that a fireman cHn d o i s t o s t e al from a burning: building that has beon p laced under h i s e s pecial prot e ction." "Right! Th a t s so!" came th e re s ponses from seveI'ill present. D avis, T o m Darr ell an.cl Micky Flynn were n e xt sear c h ed, but without result s "You may have the wallet, you know, Hope," s miled Chi e f Watt s .as he beg an to run hi s hands down over Fre d s clothing. "Eh? What?" Chi e f Watts s taggered back in horr or, clutching at a long, bla ck wall e t that he had ju s t drawn from the inside of Fre d's rubber coat. If the chief of police felt utte rly s taggered and para l y z ed, h e didn't b e gin to know how our hero felt. "Why I never saw that thing b e for e !" Fred Hope prot ested, hoa r s ely. There was a fearful s ilence in the room. Then the polic e chief spoke, huskily: "Fred, I hop e y ou c an acc ount for thi s.''. "But I-I can't," s tammer e d the boy. "Le t me see the wall et," cri e d Mr Burdick, pre s sing forward. "Yes, thi s is the wall e t and the money." Count t h e money, Mr. Burdi ck, and s e c if i t i s all t h e re," s u gges t e d Chi e f Watt s No one s tirred, i;ave the pr e sident of th e mill c ompany, as h e w alke d ove r to hi s d e k too k out t h e fa t p a d of bank notes and commenced to count. "All h e re, to a dollar, I think," announc e d Ur. Burdick. "I hope there as he finished. I was b ack h e re for on e," s p o k e up Phin. can be no su s picion about me--" "Hardly," replied Chief Watts, tersely. All throu g h this t erise, painful s ilence, Fred Hope had s tood hardly seeming to breathe


16 VOLUNTEER FRED. But now he broke out, fiercely: "You surely don't accuse me of stealing that wallet!" Chief Watts looked at Mr. Burdick, who "I'm sorry, Fred Hope," went on the policeman, in a grave but sym pathetic tone. "I'm afraid the evidence looks rather bad. I shall be obliged to lock you up on a charge of the greatest crime that can be laid at the door of a fireman-stealing from the building that he entered in the disctiarge of his duty!" "Take me, then," groaned the boy. Though his face was ghastly white, hi s head was up as he was led away from the s ilent crowd. CHAPTER VII. THE DARK DAYS. "If the evidence does not cliNctly fasten the c rime upon the accused, yet the evidence is at least strong enough to compe l the court to hold the prisoner in two thousand dollars' bail for the action of the Grand Jury!" Those fateful words, pronounced by Justice in the district court at Wakefield, the following morning, went through Fred Hope's heart like so many knive s The young fireman looked utterly wretched. Nor did his looks belie him. He had spent night in a cell, the solitary prisoner in the lock-up. His moth e r, tearful, but firm in her belief in h er son's whole innocence, had visited him. So had Tom, Dave, l\'Iicky and Billy Gray, and a few other friends. But none of them had possessed or commanded the wealth nece ssary to bail the crushed youngster out for the night. And now, in the morning, he found himself bound over in twice as high a bail, with the prospect of spending weeks in the county jail.ere his case could be reached. l\fost of the of the fire department were in court this morning. So were as many other people as could c rowd into the littl e courtroom. As Justice Seabury pronounced the fateful words, a low, sti fled sob came from Mrs. Hope. Fred glanced swiftly at hi s mother, bnt no tea1s came to hi s own eyes. H e was too dazed, too bewilder ed, too indignant at blind justice, to feel ai1y of the s ofter emotions at that moment. "I've h eard of innocent people being convi cted of c rime be.fore," groaned the boy inwardly. "I never before real izell how possible such a thing i s." "Prisoner," asked the court, "have you any bail to offer?" "I-I'm afraid not," Fred answer e d, huskily. "Yes, he has, yes, he has Let me through, please, n eig hbor s Old Mr. Thurman was at the bac k of the court-room pu s hing hi s way through to the front. Out of respect for the old man the crowd parted as readily as it could. "Your honor," cried the banker, flushed and panting, :.r wish to go on the bail-bond of Fred Hope." The crowd looked on and understood. Mr. Thurman was not proclaiming his belief in the prisoner's innocence. The old was m e r ely proving that .i1e still remem bered his gratitude for the saving of his child's life by this now disgraced young fireman. Amid tne curious silence Mr. Thurman qualified on the bail -bond. At first Fred had flushed with pleasure. But now the old, white, set ook bad come back into hi s face. He understood as well as the other s did why Mr. Thurman was doing this thing. "Prisoner," spoke the court, h a lf-kindly, "you are ad mitted to bail and are at liberty to leave the court room whenever you please But Mr. Thurman had leaned over the rail of the dock and was shaking hands with the young prisoner. "I don't believe you did it, Hope," s aid the old man, earnestly. "Thieving doesn't go with such conduct as you've displayed at other times Get your mother and come with me." Few of the spectators had left as yet. Now they looked on curiously a s the respected old banker walked out of the court-room with Fred and his mother. An instant later the crowd surged after them. Outside, in a carriage sat Nellie Thmman Her sweet eyes look e d s ad and full of trouble, but h r r head was held high. She leaned forward to give h e r hand swiftly to Fred, and to look swiftly, confidently into his eyes. Then she grasped the hand f Mrs. Hope, who was sobbipg softly behind her veil. "It'll all come out right, Mrs Hop e," cried N e llic. "You know that as well as we do. Now, get in, please. We want you to drive away with us." "Home," ordered Mr. Thurman of the coachman As the wheels began to move Tom Darr e ll shouted: "Three cheers ior Fred Hope, the best and squarest feilow in Wakefield!" A crowd is easily influenced. The cheers went up h eart ily as the carriage roll ed away. Out on the edge of the crowd there was a commotion. Mickey Flynn was doing his best to "knock dayli ght through" a man who had looked on with a sneering smile. And for once Mickey won his fight, against a man twice hi s own weight. "Where are you taking us?" asked Mrs. Hope, softly, r.s soon as she noticed the course the carriage was taking. "To our home," said Nellie. "We wish y ou to pay us a little visit this forenoon, and to have luncheon with us."


:VOLUNTEER FREJ). 17 "I don't feel as if I could ever eat again," said Fred's mother, tremulously. "I want to say right now, Hope," broke in Mr. Thurman, "that I meant to, and insist on, providing the lawyer and meeting all the expenses of your defense. If we find it worth while, we will even put trained detectives at work on the case. But acquitted you must and shall be! That has been decided upon by my family and myself!" Then, at last, poor Fred did brMk down. Not that he cried. He wouldn't have done that for worlds. I But the color came and went in his face as he tried to thank the Thurmans. Mrs. Hope, too, did her best, until Nellie, patting her hand, broke in, softly: "There, there, don't thank us, Mrs. Hope. Remember how great our debt is." They drove into the Thurman grounds, and, two minutes l ater, after Mrs. Hope had been carried off "j:Jy Nellie, :Mr. Thurman took the boy into his roomy, cosey liblary. "I don't pelieve you ever stole that money, Hope,'' said the banker, confidently. "Jone of u s b e liev e it. And we're going to find a way to back up our opinion o t you. In the first place, though I'm not a Ja.wyer, I don't believe that the evidence is of just the kind that convicts you. Some one else, who had a grudge against you, could have slipped that wallet 'into your pocket, and I believe that any jury can be made to r ealize that." "But, even if I am acquitted," groaned Fred, "most people, I am afraid, will still believe me guilty." "They're fools if they do I" broke out the banker, wrathily. "But they'll still suspect me, I'm afraid, sir. And, knowing that they do, it will be worse than death for me." "Oh, come, come! Cheer up,1Hope I" "If you think I'm afraid, or lacking in nerve," retorted Fred, "then you don't know me. But it will be fearful for my mother. I'm afraid, in any case, s h e' ll have to leave Wakefield. She couldn't bear to stay here, especia lly if--" "Well ?'J almo s t growled Mr. Thurman "If I happen to be sent to prison," finished Fred, bit terly. "Nonsense, you're not going to prison. And we'll chase some one up a tree and keep him there, for thiR outrage against your good name, Fred Hope!" cried the old man. It was very pleasant to be among friends at s u ch a trying time. Fred was made to feel the :fineness of the Thurman friendship for him that forenoon. Ere long, the ladies, who had been j oi n ed by l\1rs. Thurman, joined them in the librar y Mrs. Hope, under influence of so mnch friendly sympathy, found h e r appetite for luncheon and was in almost gay spir its through the meal. Mrs. Thurman invited them both to remain at the house for the present, but this, :Fred's mother gratefu lly declared, was out of the question. So, along toward dark, a carriage was brought around to the door, and Fred and his mother made the journey bak to their little home of three rooms behind the store. The store was promptly thrown open to the public, and Fred's mother, forcing a smile bravely, went behind the counter to wait on any customers tha.t might come. Fred, too, remained in the store. But customers were very few that evenin g Many passers-by, however, looked in with an evident curiosity that made Mrs. Hop e's face fltis h painfully. "Who got the boodle?" yelled a thoughtless small boy in pas s ing. Fred's face but beyond that he paid no heed. Then some older hoodlums, from across the st reet, called out insulting remarks. Fred could stand it no l onger He vaulted a counter, dashing through the door. 'l'hese hoodlums were old enoug h to know better. Two or three of the hoodlums started to walk when they saw Fred corning along und e r such a h encl of ste am. "Don' t run, you cowards!" he mocked, angrily. At that they turned back. There were seven or eight of the hoodlums, but Fred wouldn't have cared had there been a score. He sailed into them with the ener .gy and the force of a pile-driver. Three of them he knocked down ere they realized that they had been picked out for his attack. "Jump him! Biff the crook!" yelled one of the fallen hoodlums. Then the gang jumped on him. But they had started just a second too late. "Save the best two f'r me! Whoop!" yelled 1\fickey Flynn, darting into the thick of the scrimmage. Tom Darrell had s in g lei! out the hi_q;ge8 t hoo dlum of them all, this time, a nd began to hammer him roy ally. Dave Freeman grappled with one hoodlum and coolly threw him over a fence info a yard. Billy Gray, the bungler, wanted his share of it. He made a dive for one hoodlum, rushed at him, tripped and But, even at that, Billy got the fellow by the feet and toppled him over. Before stich ons laught, though they outnumbered Fred's crowd, the hoodlums were soon begging for quarter, or else running as fast as they could. "Get out of this neighborhood and stay away!" ordered Tom Darrell, his eyes flashing. "We know who you fellows are, now, and, if you show up around here again, we'll thump the life out of you!" That was plafo enough talk to prevent loitering of hood lums anywhere near the Hope s tore for a week after that. "Thank you, fellows," acknowledged our hero, gratefully, s haking hands all around.


18 VOLUNTEER FRE,D. 'l'hen these four staunch friends, who had been prowling At the next corner Phin ran into Tom Darrell. quietly in neighborhood for some time, crossecl the "See here, Holmes, you were trying to pick flrow with s tre et and stoo d before the store door with Fred. Freel Hope, were you?" It was pleasant to ha .ve such friends as these and the "Is that any of your business?" snarled Holmes. Thurmans. "I'm going to make it so," retorted Tom. "You Yet there was no disguising the fact that these were me to a good :field near here, and we'll have it out." dark days. "I'm not going to fight you," sniffed Phin. Fred wouia not consent to keep in hiding. "Oh, yes, you are ! you don't, I tell all the fellows He showed himself free'ly, and with h ead up and eye;; that I called y ou a ll the names I c ould think of and that quie t l y defiant. you--" Yet he felt the darkne ss of these days just the same as "What?" quivered Phin. they dra gged .by. "I'll tell the fellows that you took it all just like a g irl-It was the fourth clay after Fred's arrest when he came baby!" :finished T om, explosively. face to face wit4 Phin Holmes for the first time. "See here, Tom, what are you trying to pick a fight with Both were walk ing along Main Street, in opposite direc me for?" half-whined the coward. tions, so that they met. "Because you're low-down enough to torment a spl endid "I won't s p e ak to him unless h e spealcs to me," Fred fellow like Fred Hope, whose little finger i s worth more d ecided in a flash. than your whole carcass. Now, the question is, are you Phin was lookin g straight ahead as they met. going to fight, or are you going to take the lau gh from "He i sn't going to speak, of course," murmured Freel every fellow in town?" Well, there's one friend I can just as well do without, "But I tell you, I wasn't bothering Hope." I gues s." "And I tell you, you lie!" s napped Tom, who na:l seen Phin was now three feet past our h ero. the look on his chum's face, even at the distanc e "Are "Huh!" vented Holmes, sneering l y you going to s tand being called a low-down liar? Or will Fred could not, for the life of him, repre s s the tempta-you go with me to the :fie ld I just mentioned to you?" tion to turn and look after his enemy "Lead the way," snarle d Holmes, who saw that there Phin had turned at the same time. was no safe way out of a fight with this hot-head. "Huh!" repeat e d Phin. Th ere, behind a hig h-b oar d f ence, Tom Darre ll polished "Hu11 !" echoed Fred, coolly. off Phin Ho lmes until the latte1; was contented to admit "If I was you," Phin, "I'd go and hide my that h e had had enough fa.ce." He also promised that he would never annoy Fred Hop e "You wouldn't if you had half the courage a man ought again to hav e," Fred snapped. As a small f eat ure of the fracas, Phin went away from "Huh! You've got ycur cheek yet. But I don't intend that encounter with a swelling eye that soon needed the to stand here chinning with you. It won't do me much services of the decorative artist at the drug-store again. good to be seen confabbing with a thief!" Tom, whose father owned the drug-store, smiled grimly "It won't hurt your r eputation an y to be seen fightingwhen he heard of it. with me, will it?" cried Fred, in torment at th e insult. Later in th e day Phin ran afou l of Mickey Flynn, who His face very white, he went back to Phin, rendy to hit' was looking for him everywhere. out in an instant. Another adjournment to a :field was necessal'y. But young H;olmes drew back. There, though Mickey put up a good, st iff, all-a.rounll "Say, you' r e brave, ajn't you, Fred Hope?" he sneered fight, he devoted himself, first of all, to ca using a decided "You know you can li ck me, so you want to do it." swelling under Phiu's other eye. "Take back that word 'thief,' insisted FTed, more Yet all this sta unch and enthusiastic work by hi s few quietly, "and I won't attempt to thrash you." clos e friends didn't by any means bring l ife back to the olcl, "I'll take ba9k nothi ng," snarled Phin. happy plane for Fred Hope. "Then I'll thump you!" Those were dark days for the lad-darke r still, for his Fred advanced, full of his purpose. mother. His flashing eyes scared the other youngster. "Hold on," faltered Phin, dropping back, "I'll withdraw the word, since you're so touchy about it." "Any honest boy ought to be touchy about a word like that," retorted Fred, l etting his hands fall at his sides again. Then he turned on his heel and wal ked on. "Oh, you big bully," growled Phin a:fter him. But to this taunt our hero paid no heed. CHAPTER VIII. THE VALUE OF A FRIEND. The music of an orchestra crashed out merril y in the big, well -l ighted double drawing -rooms of the '11hurman residence. Miss Nellie was giv ing h e r Fall party, the biggest and J:>rightest of the year in Wakefield.


V OLUNTEER FRED. 19 Already a t least two score of the young people o f the town had arrived. Thei r merry laughter and chatter threatened to drown out the orchestra., but who cared? Mr and Mrs. Thurman, both beaming happily, looked on at the lively scene Miss Nellie, in pure white, and without a jewel, but a dark red rose in her jet-black hair, stood near the door receiving those who entered. Phin Holmes was not there, and not going to be, much as he hated to keep away from this lively affair at which Miss Nellie presided. He had had his invitation, as a matter of course. "But every one in town know s that I'v e got paint e d eyes," he grumbled. "l'd have to stand too much guying. Besides, Tom Darrell will be there." Tom was there, in fact, at this very moment. He always had been invited to Miss Nellie's parties. But some surprise ran around the room when Mickey Flynn entered. He was accompanied by Billy Gray, who promptly tripped in a drapery at the door and fell fl.at, rising in much confusion. "Why, they've never been her e before," observed one gir l with a turned up no se to another girl at her side "Is Nel lie Thurman going to invite everyone?" "Mr. and Miss Freeman!" called the footman, and Dave and his sister entered, to receive a very friendly greeting :from the young hostess. The orchestra was tuning up for a waltz now. Word had been passed around, and the young people were pairing off in anticipation. "Mr. Frederick Hope!" The orchestra had just begun, and some feet had started to glide, but that announcement 'took the breath away from almost every one in the rooms who was not ex pecting it. Fred, just a trifle pale, but very self possessed, crossed to where Miss Ne ll ie stood and made a very low bow before her: He had practiced that bow in private! "Ob, I am so glad you're here, Mr. Hope," cried Nellie, extending her hand eagerly, and with her most engaging smi l e "It had grown so l ate that I feared you weren t coming." Fred made his excuses, which were very graciousl y ac cepted. Then, as he turnecl a"'._ay from the hostess, his own specia l ch1;1ms c l osed i n gladly around him A few more came forward to extend him their hand s But, for the most part, the young people contented them selves with eying him curiously from a distance. He had not come to please hims elf. Miss Nellie had dropped in at the store to hand him h e r in person "Surely, you don't WJ.t me there, Miss Thurman," he had gasped, in great surprise. "Most surely I do," she had retorted "But I'm hardly respec table, t hese uays, you know," h e smi led. "Hasn't papa declared that you are?" fl.ashed Nell i e "Yes." "Haven't the re s t of us also?" "Yes; I su:1ely have some very good friends "Are going back on the declarations that we've made?" challenged l\Iiss Thurman. "Why, that's a strange way of putting it, Miss Thu r man "Are you going to spoil my party?" "I spoil it? How, Miss Thurman?" "By remaining away from. it." "But sure ly th at wouldn't--" "Just as surely it would,'' retorted Miss Thurman, posi tive ly. So Fred yielded,He accepted the invitation, and here he was, very nearly as well dressed and fully as self-possessed a s any of t h e sons 0 b etter -to-do parents who were there. 'J'he paying no heed to the sudden diversion, had gone on playing. A few at a time, the young people s tarted in dancing. But st ill many curious glances were cast toward Fred He could not pretend that he was ignorant of those g lances. Nellie, too, and understood. But s he waited, biding her time. As the music ceased, she walked over to where F r ed Hope's little group of friends s tood. She joined them, chatting heartily and unaffecteuly. It soon b ecame plain to all, however, that most of her remark s were being addressed to our hero. "Well, of all the brass, for that fellow.to come here muttered one priggish young f e llow to the gir l on his a rm. "What i s there against him?" "Why don't you know?" "I know nothing." "He belongs to the local :fire department-" ','That's no disgrace,'' broke in the girl, quickly. T hat's an honor . / "But he sto le tw.o thousand dollars at the mill, while pretending to :fight a fire ther e "Then why isn t he in prison?" ask e d the girl, inno-cently. "Why, he hasn't been convicted yet "Then perhaps he isn't guilty," contended the gir l. "Oh, it's a cinch that he's guilty." "Then Nellie Thurman has b.een guilty of a great breac h of good taste, hasn't she, inviting a felon here ?" asked tho gir l, with an innocence of tone that hid a good dea l o f irony. "Why-er-er---" sta mmered the young prig, caug h t in his own trap. "I believe I'll ask you to excuse me, Mr. Sidney,'' :fin i she d the girl, dropping hi s arm and strolling over to where Nellie Thurman stoo d with her guests. -


.q I ,. I' 20 VOLUNTEER FRED. But not every gossiper was treated as justly as young Sidney. The buzz of comment flew around so lively that it was a wonder that the chorus was not audible to the hostess apd to the friend whom she was so publicly honoring. "He might a.t least have good sense not to comehere until his trial i s over and his innocence proved," hinted one young miss. "If his innocenc e ever is prov ed!" "Yes; there's gm vest doubt that it ever will be proved." "Anyway Fred }I_ope never belonged in our set." "That's just tlie 1ray with these nobodie s." "Yes; they Ii ke to cheek themselve s in where they know they don't belong!" "Oh, I tell you, Fred Hope is one of the best of good fellows," ch imecl in another young fellow. "How long have you known him?" "At least ten years. We've been at school together." "He thinks a good deal of himself, doesn't he?" "I never saw any signs of it. But I'm pretty sure that I'd be stuck on myself, if I had a record of having saved four lives." "Huh I" "I think I'll go early tonight. I don't exactly like the crowd. Nellie Thurman used to be a little more select." Yet, on the whole, the comment was g ood-natured, or curious. "You dance, pf course?" asked Nellie in a low tone, as soon as she could speak to Fred without b e ing overheard. "I've danced some." "The next number is a polka," Nellie went on. Fred looked at her keenly. "Well?" she hinted, a little i;npatiently. "Well?" repeated Fred. "I don't understand-I'm afraid." "I'm giving you a chance to ask me to dance the first numb e r of my evening with you." "Miss TeJlie !" he c ried, in a low but inte nse tone. "I was in hopes you would like the idea," she smiled, poutingly. "Why, 1--" "Stage fright?" demanded Nellie, laughingly. "You don't want to be seen dancing with me. Miss Nel lie "Well, I'm not going to ask you-again!" smiled Nel. "B'nt will you really honor me with the dance?" Nellie nodded smilingly at him. Just then the orchestra's strains floated through the rooms. Miss Nellie went away on his arm. Tom Darrell followed wi h Dave's sister. Da v e himself had found a partner and joined. Nor had Billy Gray or Mickey Flynn been overlooked. 1\Iiss Nellie had already introduced them to partners. "My gracious!" sniffed one girl to her partner. "Fred Hope is plainly the guest of. honor this evening,'' laugh e d the young man who was dancing with her. "I don't begrudge him, though. A fellow who goes in to save life at every risk of his own must be a good fellow about all the way through," "You think so?" fl.ashed the girl. "It's just a little private notion of mine. Of course I may be wrong, but--" And so it went-all kinds of comment. Miss Nellie, at the conclusion of the dance, did not re lease Fred's arm. Truly, as one young guest had observed, she was doing her best fo make him the guest of honor. That being the case, it was not lo;ng ere most of the young people were smiling very cheerily on Fred. For few of those present cared to run any risk of b e ing left off Miss next invitation-list. The next dance, and the one after that went to Fred. His head began to be in a whirl. "I'll. wake up later, and realize what a dream it's all been,'' he told himself, grimly. He noted Phin's absence and wondered at it. Had that disagreeable youngster been left out of the affair? "But that's not like Miss Nellie,'' the young fireman told himself. "Even if she knows there's trouble between us, she wouldn't take sides. She'd let us have it out be tween us." Presently, almost before he realized it, he asked: "Phin Holmes won't be here to-night?" "I'm afraid not," Nellie answered, calmly. "He was invited, though." "I wonder where Phin can be then?" "I don't know, Fred." Phin was morose and sore this evening, for a certainty. He wanted baclly to be at the pa.rty, but was afraid of being teased about his damaged eyes. He was hungry, too, for a glimpse of Miss Nelli e anll a good chat with her. He longed to worm himself back into her good graces. "But I can't talk sentiment with a damaged lamp on either side of my nose,'' he growled, roughly. Two or three times through the evening he felt strongly tempted to throw all prudence to the winds. He came very near hastening home, dressing and pre senting himself, even late, as a guest t the party. "At least that would be one place wher e I wouldn't meet Fred Hope," muttered young Holmes, disgustedly. Yet, though he couldn't guess it now, Phin was fully destined to encounter Fred Hop e ere the night was over. CHAPTER IX. "NOi CROOKS WANTED HERE." As the lively, happy evening wore on, our hero almost forgot that there was such a word as "trouble" in the English language.


VOLUNTEER FRED. Nellie Thurman possessed, in the fullest degree, the wonderful knack of making those around her happy. By the time that the party had worn off its first stiff ness she had succeeded in making every one present under stand that she wanted Fred Hope treated with the greatest consideration. And that without saying a word directly to any one on the subject. Fred actually forgot to be wretched, or to feel any fore bodings as to what the courts might do to him in the near future. "What a wonderful girl she is!" Fred murmured to him self. He was looking at her with his soul his eyes. Nellie, turning at that instant, and catching his gaze, smiled at him with a friendliness that made his pulses jump. Then she came toward him, whispering almost: "I'm going to present you to Miss Preston. I know you'll enjoy the next dance with her. But you asked me for the one after that, didn't you?" So Fred whirledoff in a waltz with Miss Preston, whom he had never met before. He quickly realized that she was one of the nicest young ladies it had ever been his pleasure to meet. He did not dance every number with Nellie, but many of them. When she did not dance with him, Nellie found him a partner who was sure to be agreeable. "I can't remember that I've ever had such a splendid evening," Fred confided to one of these partners. "That's because you're at the Thurman's," smiled the girl. "Nellie always knows how to make her parties de lightful. Every one is happy here!" "I know I am sighed Fred. The music had just ceased. Fred had led his partner back to a seat at the side of the room, but she still remained standing to chat with him. "What's that?" cried Fred, suddenly. He started, turning toward an open window nearby. Ding Ding, Dong The fire alarm Instantly the five young firemen present stopped in the midst of their talk and looked at each other. < They were counting and fidgeting. Well enough they knew that, for them, the happy even ing was over. Duty was calling. Fred lingered by the window long enough to finish the count. His foul' friends in the department had hurried over to him. Nellie, too, had joined the little1 group. "Do you have to go--to-night ?" she asked, dis appointedly. "A fireman has to be on swift feet every time he hears the alarm bell," Fred smiled wistfully. "Forty-two!" broke in Toi:n Darrell. But now Mr. Thurman had hastily joined them. "Wait!" he cried. "I'll telephone the stable for the three-seated Rockaway. Forty-two is at the asylum, a mile and a half from here. You'll lose nothing in time by wait ing for the Rockaway. I'll drive you!" There was a scurry for hats_, while Mr. Tln'\rman tele phoned. "Me best clothes t'foight a fire in!" uttered Mickey, in disgust. "We have to go, just the same," returned Fred. "A fire man ca:q.'t wait to dress for his job." "Where can the fire be this time?" wondered Tom. "The box is to the asylum," Fred replied. "I hope it isn't there. Think of the poor lunatics, made mad by the flames. If it's there I hope it's nothing but a fizzle of a fire." "Carriagft is ready, young gentlemeh !" called the ban ker, as the roll of wheels was heard at the door. "You get in the front seat, Fred. The-rest of you pile in bebind." A pair of handsome, strong-limbed blacks was hitched to the Rockaway. "Good luck, boys!" cheered Nellie from the door, as the start was made. "Don't any of you boys know how to cheer; our brave young firemen when they set off on their great, noble work?" 1 So, ere the Rockaway reached the gate, Fred and his friends heard a rousing yell from the porch : "Three cheers for our boy firemen! Tiger!" The cheers came faintly after them. Mr. Thurman, who loved driving, had urged his fine blacks into their best road gait. "Whew! But it is from the asylum!" burst from ri;om Darrell's lips as the carriage whirled through the -qillage and out upon the country road. "It's the biggest blaze we've had in Wakefield gasped Dave. "What an illiga.i:1t fight it'd be av it was a man of that soize, instead av a foire !" murmured Mickey. "Fellows, there won't be anything that the department can do, except to save life," announced Fred, turning back to his chums. "The whole building is doomed. Look at the flames leap up! Our little stream of water won't do a thing there but make a little steam!" "Now, I hope you youngsters get foolhardy," warned Mr. Thurman, a.she lookecl aheacl at the fierce con which they were approaching. "Don't rush in unless there's someone to be saved." "We're under the acting chief's orders, sir," Fred re plied, quietly. "He doesn't spare anyone at a fire, not even himself." "What are firemen for, if. they can't face danger?" Tom wanted to know; "Here comes the apparatus, behind us," announced Dave. "We'll be there first, then:'' glowed Fred. "Being at &


VOLUNTE E R F R ED party did n't inte rfe r e any with o ur d i s c h a rge of du t y Thanks to Mr Thurman! Several men could be s een runnin g a bout the g rounds as the carri a ge da s h e d up th e lon g road throu g h the asylum ground s One m a n, s hrieking at the top of hi s v o ice, s p e d down across the lawn pursu e d b y a uniform e d keep er. "The poo r lun at ic!" t hrobb e d F re d p i tying ly. Over at one s id e of th e ground s th e b ri ght g l a r e o f the flames showed t w o y oun g doct ors, a few keep e r s a nd a t l east a score o f t h e i n s a n e whom they w ere tryi n g to q u iet. "All out yell e d F r ed, th e in s t ant t h e black s stopp e d Five l ea p s were made from the c a rri age in the same i n s tant. Then Mr . Thunna n drove th e blac}):s away at a distance to hitch them Dr. Dou g lass the s up erinte nden t of t h e asylum, came hurry in g t o m e e t the boys a s the y ru s h e d towarcl t h e g r eat, blazin g pile. "Do you b e l o n g t o th e fir e depar tment?" he c alled. "Yes," Fred a n swered. "And the a pp a r a tu s i s ri g h t behind u s "Thank heaven you' r e a ll s o prompt!" I don't believe we're g o in g t o save t h a t buil d ing doc "I don t expect you to. But I'm a fraid some o f o u r poor inmate s are s till -in t h e r e I'v e IJeen wait in g for some of you train e d fire-fig hter s Now, I'll lead you th r o u gh in side, if you' ll follow "Le ad o n th e in s tant," Fre d r eque s t e d "Hold on, voi ced Dave. H e r e' s th e appa r atus, and the acting c hief." So the five t urn ed, and r a n o v e r to wher e the eng ine an d tlie irru.ck had just stopped. D r Doug la s s followe d them. "Wher e's the c hi ef?" he c alled anx iou s l y "I'm the acting chi e f," re s pond ed George B y r o n l eapi n g forward. "How about your inm a tes, doct o r ?" "I fear that at l e a s t six of them a r e st ill in the r e "We'll d o o ur best to get th e m out, the n rep lied B y ron. "Davi s you and Cassell rig th e hose and p l a y it where you think it will do any good. But the real w o r k cut o u t for u s this tim e i s to try to save lives. Come on, men! Let n o man on Volunte e r One hang back o r flin c h to-n i ght! Forward they ran, Dr. Dou g lass doin g his b est fu keep in the lead '.'Around to the east door !" h e s houte d "I thinlt we can g et u-p the s tair s there!" "In th e re, all of you or dere d B yron, h a ltin g an instant to mak e s u re all hi s m e n leaped forward. Then hi s g l a nce fell on Fre d Hop e "What are you doing her e ?" scowled the act i ng c hief. "Re ad y to do' m y du ty, an s wered Fred, palin g "No c rooks want e d h e r e !" roa r e d the acting chie f ang ril y "Get back a nd keep out !" H e gave Fre d an i mpatient push T hen, a,; 1.he humil iated daze d boy s t ill s tood t h e r e B y ron st.ruc k him ha.rde r, throwing him back. So hard was the b low, i n fact, tha t Fre d Hope fell over backward h i s h ead st rik i n g on a s tone that lay t h ere. I n s tant l y h i s eyes closed. The re was no si gn o f l i fe H e was d own and out! CHAPTER X. F R E D'S BIG STEP. "Shame crie d s ome of th e f e w spectators who had g a th e r ed. G e o r ge Byr o n turne d l ooke d a t hi s uncon s ciou s victim, and looke d woni ed. "All into the b uildin g w ith you, qui ck!" he cri ed. "That was the mos t cowardly thin g I e v e r s aw!" blaze d Tom Darr e ll l eani n g over hi s c hum. "Into th e hou s e w i t h you! "Don't you t h ink th i s poor fellow ne e d s a s mu c h atten tion a s any o n e in that b u ild in g? d e mand e d Tom, indig n antly "Yo u r e talkin g Loo mucl 1 Darre ll I blu s t e r e d th e act in g c hi ef. N o t h a lf a s muc h a s I'm g o i ng to reto rted Tom, boil in g over. I f th ii; i.11m s out seri o u s for Fre d I'm g oing t o h a v e yon arr e s ted for y our cow a rdly act. You' ll find that you' ll be put thr ollg h for i t, t o o ." You 're s u s p e nd e d fro m the depa r t m ent, D arre ll! blazed G e orge B yron. Yes? vVha t for?" Mutin y !" "You'll find a g o ocl deal wors e you!" thre at e n e d 'Tom. Th e n h e kn elt bes id e Fre d than mutiny ahead of H e re, Dave, w e ought to get hi m a way fr o m h e r e It's too hot," cri e d Dave. Dave Fre eman, w ith never a loo k a t the acting chi e f, turn e d ancl came quick l y back. Togeth e r they l i f ted F red a nd bore him back t o a spot und e r th e trees, whe re t hey laid him d o w n up o n a rubber blanket One man who ha d just alighted fro m a b u ggy came swiftl y ove r to t hem. It was M r. Holden, President o f the Board o f V illage T r u s t e e s "Whom have we her e ? ask e d M r H o lden i W h y i t 's Hope? Was he hurt in t he discharge o f d uty? "No; he was s truck down by that fe llow, B yr on." Tom r et o r t ed. "Struc k down ? Dave cooll y t old the sto r y o f what had happened "That was g oin g altoget h e r too far d ecla r e d Mr Holden. "We sha ll have to have Mr. Byron up before \ he Board to explain h i s act ion." "If Fre d don't come out of this e a sily, I'll have him up befor e t h e judg e !" b l u r te d Tom. Dave h ad brou g h t w a t e r, and was was hing away the clotted b lood o n t h e cut at t h e back of our h e ro' s hea d


VOLUNTEER FRED. .,,-. u "What are you fellows all doing?" asked Fred, suddenly, opening his eyes. "The n you r e all rig ht, old fellow?" cried 'I'om1 joyou s])'. "I feel a bit of a headache, but I guess that's the worst of it," responded Fred, as he sat up, feeli n g of h is inj ury. "But what made By.ron act that way ?" "He'll exp lain that to the Board," hinted Mr. Holden again. Fred got upon his feet. "See her e," h e murmured, "you fe llow s don't need t o stay with me. And you're ne e d e d ini:;icle---badly I guess Then h e added, wis tfully: "I'd go myself, if it wasn't for order to keep out." "Do you feel fit for duty to-ni ght, Hope?" asked Mr. Holden quickl y . "Why I feel as strong a s a lion. responded Fred, wist fully. "Then I r e in state you in th e departm ent, over the acting chief 's order!" cr ied Mr. Holden. "Go on in, a n d t e ll him what I've sai d if you meet him." "Whoop!" vented Tom Darrell, and made a break for the door through "!hi c h Dr. Douglass had led the fir e m en. Fred and Dav e follow ed, Mr. Holden up the r ea r more slowly "Hold on, boys !" called the Village Presid ent, s uddenly. "Here they are, coming out." A group. of fir emen appeared, l eadi n g three of the de mented inmates whom they h ad found insid e But the last comers among the firemen were bringing George B y ron, hi s face white with pain and his teeth hard set. ,,... "George had a beam fall on his a nkle," exp l ai ned on e of the men, quickly. "We' re without a c hief." "Here's Mr . Holden!" c ri e d several of the men. "Tell us who'll lead us, Mr. Hold en." It was a moment for quick action. Holden's eyes rov e d around over the per s piring, grimy group. Many a heart beat fast at that in s tant. s uddenly the Villag e President's eyes turned in another dir ect ion. "Freel Hope, I appoint you acting chief of the fire de partm ent I believe you'll di s tinguish yourself, too. Take command!" Freel fl.as hed a s in g le grateful look at Mr. Holden. Then he l eape d forward. "Where 's Dr. Douglass?" he called. The firem e n looked blank. "Was he left behind?" quiv e red Fred. "He may have been," answer e d several voices._ "Follow me, Volunteer One! We've got to find out." Fred dashed into the building, followed, first, by his own immediate friends. "Well?" roared Mr. Holden, indignantly. "Don't y ou men follow your chief?" _; The fir e crew leal2.ed forward almost as one man und e r tba t rebuke. Just inside the doorway Fred s tood waiting, his pale face lighted up by the splas hes of flame that leaped out from the nearest timber s "You can get upstairs yet, I think," he called out. "The fire ha s caught downstairs, but you ought to be safe for at l east five minutes. S catte r through every room up staiTS.' Don't stop the search until you have to unless you hear the recall. Hustle!" With that our h ero himself plunged ahead up the stairs, into t h e thick smoke that choked. All of the rooms up her e had been filled with smoke but now the flames were gain ing the mastery over ttie thick clouds Th ere was li ght enoug h now, and heat--s uch fearful heat! All of the boys had gotte n up s tairs in advance of the men of the d e partm ent. Phin was th e r e for one. He h eard the swift announcement of Fred's elevation. to t he p osition and. was ful'iou s "\Vhat did t hat fool Holden want to do that for?" he raged. "Fred Hope chief? Huh! He'd better not give me any orders For fear t hat mi g11t happen, B.nd cause trouble, Phin, though he did not desert hi s post, but h e lped to search the rooms up sta irs d evote d even more attention to keeping out of our h ero's way; Th ere was a n e t-work of rooms on the second s tory of the asylum, and man y of them had iron-barred windows, in tended to prevent the escape of lunatic s Now, in the fire, these rooms '\Yere equally certain to offer no escape to a fireman who might find himself hemmed in by the flames. It is the si mple s t thing in the world for a hemmed in fire man, if he be as s turdy a nd brave as he ought to be, to leap throu g h a secondsto ry window. Ninety-nine times out of a hundr e d he will land on the ground, jarre d perhaps, but not injured. Phin steppe d into one room where the flames were just begi nning to crack l e up through the floor from below. "This is a mighty t icklis h place," he mutt e red, ,as h e stepped in. "I'll look under the bed and in the closet, and then I'll get out mighty quick." He h a.d looked und er the b ed, and was turning away from the closet, in which he had found only some clothing, whe n he 'heard a quick step in the room. Re wheele d about, coming face to face with Acting Chief Fred Hope. "Be tter get out of here soon, Holmes," hailed Fred. "This isn't going to b e saf e much longer." "Aw, you dry up!" g lare d Phin. The two boys halted, facing each other at arm's length. Fred's face was set, but he was not ugly. Instead, he was trying to control himself, that Jie might not abuse the aut hority given liim for this night.


24 VOLUNTEER FRE.D. "Why can't you be manly, Phin Holmes?" demanded Fred, shortly. "l know you're sore against me, but I'm no t carrying personal feeling into this serious business." "Personal feeling?" grunted Phin. "I can tell you, Fred Hope, that I'm chock-full of it!" "I'm afraid you are," answered Fred, s imply, and was turning to go, for duty still called imperiously. But Phin, his eyes blazing and his face white and twitch ing, bounded in front of the acting chief. "Fred Hope, you thumped me! You turned the fellows against me, and--" "I didn't," Fred denied, coolly. "You lie!" For just an instant Fred's fist clenched and raised. Then he let it fall to hi s side again. "And you're trying your best to cut me out with Nellie rrhurman !" choked up the broker's son. "No one but yourself earl do that, Phin," F : red returned, in a voice of unnatural calm. "You lie again You're trying to spoil my whole lif e It'i time for me to put you out of my way-and I'll do that!" With a swift, fiendish, furious energy, Phin bent for ward. With both hands he pushed Fred Hope thropgh a hole in the floor, where the flames now surged up. With a cry of terror Fred Hope shot through the rotten, burning, crackling flooring-down into the fiery pit below With ne 'e r a thought of a mean act, but stirred only by the brave and generous impulses of a true fireman, Fred darted back. He caught up Phin and bore him away, at the top of his speed. "Oh, you're murdering me!" shrieked Phin, for Fred had no time to secure the gentlest hold, and so Phin's broken leg caused him the keenest agony. Out of the room, through a door, and into a hallway rushed Fred. Then an open outer door stood before him. Through this doorway Fred bore his enemy, out on tJ the porch. It was as hot here as in a furnace, though the actual flame had not yet reached h e r e "Here, quick, some of you people!" bawled Fred, lustily, as he deposited Phin on the porch as gently as he could. A half-dozen of the more adventurous spectators sprang forwa rd, busying themselves with putting out the flames on Phin's clothing As for Fred, he attended to himself. Throwing himself on the ground, he rolled over and over. He quickly had the fire in hi s clothing extinguisherl. Then our hero got upon his feet, a trifle stiff, for some of his burns ha.d been painful. Just at this instant the spectators !'.!ame past, beaxing the screaming Holmes youth. "Listen!" screamed Phin. "Fred Hope kicked me through the flooring from above! This is all his doing!" CHAPTER XI. Fred staggered agha st THE BATTLE OF HIS LIFE. "Phin, you can't be as wicked as that!" he gasped . "I As he fell, Fred Hope righted himself. <;lid nothing of the kind!" He came down, landin g on his feet between two sheets "If I die, you're my murderer!" shrieked Phin. "I acof blazing, leaping flame, his hair singed and his skin cuse you now!" scorched. Fred's face betrayed all the horror that he felt at this Only the swiftes t leap away saved the young <;Jiief fearful, wicked lying accusation. the peril of having hi s c lothin g catch in the flames, and he Chief Watson st epp e d quickly forward dlapp ed a handk erchief over 'hi s nostrils to prevent himself "I deny his a\vful charge. Am I und e r axre s t, sir?" br eat hing in the fir e Fred asked, in a s hocked whisper. For just an instant, Phi n, now really overcome by horror "I can't arrest the fire chief when he's on duty," replied at what he had done, stood peering down into the live furWat s on, gravely. nace beneath. Mr: Holden stood close by. "Great! That's the way to use 'em!" chuckled a crazy To him Fred turned swii\tly. voice behind him. "You've h eard the charge, sir? I am innocent. Do you Ere Phin Holme s had tim e to dodge or turn, a powerful relieve me from command?" lunatic wound hi s arms around the sneak frbm behincl. Mr. Holden h esitated Up into the air shot Phin's body, then was hurl ed heavily "Not yet," he sa id, slowly. "I can't say that I believe down through the same hol e that he ha pushed Fred Hope. it. There may be, ought to be, must be, some mistake." Fred saw nothing of it, but h eard the thud of Phin's body "Hope i s still the fire chief, then?" ask e d Police Chief striking on the floor behind him. Watson, lookin g keenly at the Village Pres id e nt. Like a flash our hero wheeled about, just a8 h e was going after the fire." to save himself. Fred had still his duties to attend to, then. With flame everywhere, there was light enough for him to He waited to hear no more, but ran to one of the young recognize his enem y in the smoke. doctors who stood neaxby. "Help help! s hrieked Phin, wildly. "Are all the inmates out?" h e asked. Ue lay there with a broken leg, and his clothing was "All but one-a big powerful man." rapidly catching "And Dr. Douglass?"


VOLUNTEER F R ED. a Haven t you heard? He was brougl.t out just b e .fore "Will you let me show you the right way to the flame;;, yon came." then?" panted Fred Hope. "Brought out?" "Yes; dying, I'm "Poor fellow," murmured Fred. He was wondering if he could not, in this way, l ure the maniac along to a place from which help coul d be sum "But you say t here's moned for the rescue. one inmate in there yet?" "One, the most powerfu l of all, we believe Freel glanced at the building. It was now a consuming furnace. "I can't keep my men in there any longer he quive red. Raising his trumpet, clearing his throat, he sounded the recall, bellowing at his loudest From. the many doors the members of Volunteer O n e poured through. Then Fred leaped forward The young doctor, a puny looking fellow, leaped after him. I "Where are you going, chief?" "In there myself!" "It's to your death!" "A true chance for a fue chief to t11ke !" called back Fred Hope, over his shoi1lder. Then, while the onlookers gasped, Fred's youthful figure was seen shooting thTOugh the red splotches of fire He. was inside, and a shudder seized the crowd. But Fred had gone in there animated by no sense of heroics There was still a life to be saved-,and, at that, a man with a helpless mind-a poor, demented unfortunate There was little use in searching on the ground floor. Fred shot up the stairs that threatened to give way u:ader him Of a sudden the remembrance of Phin's mishap fl.ashed upon him. \. "Holmes may have been chucked through by that same powerfu l lunatic shot into the young qhief's mind "I'll look in that part of the building first of all." It was the most dangerous part. of the building to be in, situated in the very center of the hot work of destruc tion. As a matter of caution Freel held a handkerchief over his mouth to keep out as much of the smoke as possible He reached the door of the very room from which Phin had hurled him below. There was no one here. Just befor.e Fred turned he heard a har sh, l eering chuck l e behind him Wheeling, Fred was just in time to see the big fellow aiming a blow at him Fred's only chance was to clrop to his knees. The blow passed over him, but the lunatic, in trying to recover himself, gave Fred a fearful kick in the breast. Fred staggered up The lunatic leaped up . The two stood facing each other, both wary. "Come with me," grinned the crazy man. "In to the flames! Oh, it will be glorfous !" "Let you lead?" leered the big fellow. "Of course n ot! What do you know about jumping into the flames?" "Come," coaxed Fred "No, no! Back into that room! That's the place! There's the real fiery pit-!" "No, no! Let me show you a better place," coaxed Freel "Ancl we haven't much time to lose, either-for the fire will be out mighty soon!" For an instant maniac regarded Fred with a goocl deal of interest. Then, with a sudden roar of laughter he l eaped forwar d upon the boy .. Fred dodged once, but the as quick as the youn g chief, wheeled upon him and wound his arms aroun d Fred was forced to fight back now-forced to fight for his very life! Together they locked, and swayed, battling stubbor nly. He was, indeed, a powerful fellow-that maniac Fred soon realized that mere strength would avail him ( nothmg now. rf he depended upon that, our hero lmew that nothing could save him from death in the "fiery pit" of this lu na tic's frenzied fancy Yet, wrapped in that crilShing clutch, Fred fou ght as best he could, trying to use hjs knees as they 'rolled over And, at last, Freel got in a good jab with one of his knees, straight against the other's wind. The big fellow la.y there, gasping. Fred jolted him again with that knee, in the same p lace, and the strong arms relaxed their clutch ever so l ittle. With his strongest wrench, Freel wrigg led o u t of the clutch. But he knew that this lunatic would soon have his win d again and become as dangerous as ever It seemed a fearful thing to do, but there was n o h e lp for it. Fred leaned swiftly forward, striking the ma niac his hardest blow squarely between the eyes. "That's the only thing to do!" hailed a chok in g behind. Fred turned to behold the same young doctor who h a d told him that there was still one inmate left i n t h e b uild ing "I had to clo it," panted Fred. "Of course you did. I saw that." "Now, help me to drag him out," appea led Fred. "I'll do the best I can," coughed the young doctor He was a puny little fellow, but game and gritty as t h e y . come. This little fellow seized the maniac's feet Fred got a strong hol d under the fellow's shou lder s


V OLUNTEER FRIDD. So they fought their way through the smoke filled corridor. Near l y strangled, all but overcome by the fumes, they wondered if they could get their heavy burden down the stai r s? F or t hat m atte r w oul d the stairs holcl? Th e r e's onl y o ne c ha.nee," breathed Freel "S1ide lfl.im to the h ead o f the sta i rs, feet first Then get ahead an cl drag hi m dow n. H e ou ght t o s l ide easily." "But if the stairs give way--?" '"We'll go through wherever our man does," Fred r e torted, grimly. Swiftly they worked, and got their charge in position. Then, each seizing the insensible lunatic by one foot, they dragged him clown those hot, trembling stairs The fellow came, swiftly enough, but they had to u s e great care not to bump the poor unfortunate's head h e avily aga i nst the edges of the steps. But at l ast they got him clown. Then Freel darted to the doorway, which was threatening to totter "Volunteer !"he bawled. "Two good to bring someone out!" Freel stood there swaying, until he saw om or five fire men leap forward, pick up the body, and carry the trouble some l unatic outside. r T hen o u r hero pitched forward H e kept from falling until he was clear of the building. T hen "Tom Dar r ell jumped forward and caught him. All t hat ailed Freel was that his lungs were so un of the smoke that he could no l onger breathe. His face was beginning to blacken, in fact, thou g h that detai l escaped the on -l ookers on account of the grime a.nd s o ot that streaked the face of the young acting chief. P ump handle him gently," commanded Tom Darrell. "Star t some air into his lungs But don't be rough!" C r ash T he main part of the asylum building now c r ashed clown, sending up a volume of sparks But the building had been doomed from the out set. The l ast l iving being had been gotten out of there-that was a ll that counted .After five minutes Freel began to breath e more easi ly. His l ungs were still sore, though, and his body smarted in many places where he had been burned in trying to save Phin Ho lmes. But now hurried up Billy Gray, honest and earnes t, but b u ngling as usual. "Heard the news, Fred?" he challenged, eagerly. "The news? What is it, Billy?" came, w eak ly, from .Act ing Chief Hope "Shut up, you idiot," sajd 'l'om Darrell, in Billy' s ear. But too l ate The news came bursting from Billy's lips: ..... "Phin Holmes is dying fast from his burns!" P hin Holmes dying?" shot through Fred' s dizzy, tor tured brain "'l'hen that accusation of hi s again::;t me will prove the most damaging kind of evidence. It' s murder that I'll be charged with!" CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION. Fred went so white, and staggered so blindly, that he seemed on the .verge of dying himself "You blamed little idiot," glowered rrom, savagely, as he seized Billy by the shoulders and wheeled him around, "get out of here Billy Gray retreated a few yards, then stood wonde r ing what he had clone. "So, after being accused of theft that I didn't commit, I must now an s wer to a charge of murder that I'm not guilty of!" throbbed Fred. It was his mother that heethought of, more than himself And Nellie Thurman? What would she think W oulcl she again believe wholly i n his innocence. ""Where i s Phin ?" he asked, weakl y "Over in one of the tents they used fpr outdoor patients," replied Tom "I think I'd better over ther; a.ncl see him, if they' ll l et me." "Lean on me, then," urged Tom while Dave Freeman sprang to the other s ide of the weakened young chief In tb'e meantime other things were happening in other tents in this little group of white canvas houses under the tall trees. / In one of the tents, on a cot, and held safely in a strait jacket, lay the violent lunatic whom Fred had rescued at suc h a fearful risk to himself. N ea rbv looking on, stood a man whose face was con .1' ....., vufae d by sympathy. In the doorway of the tent stood Mr Thurman, looking quietly on. Pre sent l y the sympathetic one by the cot turned and saw the old banker. They appeared to know each other, for 1\Ir. T hurman nodded and said: "Your brother is all right now, Allison." "Thank heaven, yes! responded Mr. Allison, sig h ing and stepping out of the tent. ".And thanks, also to that brave young fellow, Freel Hope," suggeste d Mr. Thurman, mildly "Oh, I'm going to thank him," return e d Alliso n, earnestly, as he and the banker walke d slowly away "How?" queried Mr Thurman. "By the voice of the thing that talks loudest in this que er old \Vorld of ours!" cried young .Allison, uMoney?" "O.f course." "Too bad for you, murmured the banker. "What are you talking about, Mr. Thurman?" "Why, Fred Ilope won't take a cent of reward for any thing that h e ha s done in the line of duty." "He won't?" "No, sir It's a fixed principle with h im that no rea l man will accept reward for doing his p l ai n d u t y."


VOLUNTEER FRED. 27 "Then I'll make him take the money!" glowed Allis on. "If you succee d," smiled Mr. Thurman, pl ease come to me and tell me how you worked it. Fred Hop e rescued my daughter, and, with all my persuasion, I wasn't able to make him accept a single penny. You won't succeed, either." ''Won't I, though?" demanded Allison, and halted, seeming to be lost in thought. "Good evening, Penderbury," greeted Mr. Thurman, as a man passed them. Mr. Pend e rbury, who carried a gre e n cloth bag under one arm, and walked briskly, was the leading lawyer of Wakefield. "Anything in your line here, Pender bury?" queried the banker. "Rather," answered the lawyer, smiling sadly. "I'm called here to draw up the will of Dr. Dougla ss, who i s reported to be dying. So you'll excuse me, I know." / They watched the lawyer disapp ear into anoth e r of the tents, where the light of a lant e rn s hone. "Great Scott!" broke suddenly from Mr. Alli son. "An idea has struck me. Mr. Thurman I d lik e to give Fre d Hope at least five thousand dollars for what h e has done for mehere to-night." "I'd like to give him as much, but w e can't either one of us have our way." "Let us see if we can't. Come alon g You'd r e ally give Hope five thousand, if you could?" "In an instant," ejaculated th e b a nk er. They halted at the door of th e t ent w h e r e Dr. Douglass lay dying. "It's a simple will, Penderbury," they hear d t h e d ying physician sa.y. "Just leave everythin g to m y s i ste r, Alice." "May we coi;pe in?" asked Allison, softl y "Yes," whispered the clying man. "You'll both do for witnesses to the will," n odde d P e n derbury. "Dr. Douglass," murmured Allison, a s he lean e d over the dying man, "while you're making your will c an do u s the greatest possible favor. Mr. Thurman and myself bot h wish to give Fred Hope five thousand dollars, but Hope, I understand, has foolishly proud notiJ>ns and won' t take money for doing bis duty." "He ought to be well rewarded,'1 said the dying man, weakly. "Just so, and you can help us, doctor." "How?" "Where do you keep your money-what national bank?" "The Wakefield National Bank." "Then, in your will, Dr. Dougla ss, have a paragraph in serted that you direct the payment to Hop e out o f your deposit in the Wakefield National, of the sum of t e n thou sand dollars. And direct your executor to pay the amount at once." "But I haven't ten thousand there." "Where's your bank pass-book?" "In the satchel uncler the cot.'' "Let u s tak e th e pass-book, then, doctor, and the fir;;t thin g in the morning Mr. Thurman and I will deposit ten thousand dollar s to y our account. Then we'll turn the book back to Mr. Penderbury. Will you do this for us, doctor?" "I--I'd be only too glad to," murmured the dying man, weaJdy. "Goo cl enough Then you'll put the clause in the will, Mr. P e nder bury?" "Ce rtainly, since Dr. Douglass wishes it." "Good enough .Ancl now, call us when you wish us to witness th e will. We' ll be at hand." These two b e neficent plotters again stepped forth into the n1ght. But, from another nea rby tent, they heard Phin Holmes scr e aming: So the two entered the tent where Phin, swathed in bandag e s lay tos s ing in pa.in. "Oh, Mr. Thurman," screamed Phin, "this doctor tells m e I've got to di e !" "Le t u s hop e it isn't true, my lad," replied the banker. "But, if it prove s to be true, you'll die in brave and manly fas hion, won' t you ?" But I c an't clie I--I-oh, what a lia.r and sneak I've been!" sobbe d the suffering boy. "Is there anything on your mind, Phin, that you'd like to s ay?" asked the old man, gravely. "Any lie that you feel will b e orf your soul if you don't right it." "Yes!" s hri elred the terrified boy. "Oh, yes!" T e ll m e all about it, then," urged Mr. Thurman, kneel in g beside the cot. Fred Hope didn't push me into the fire to-night," shud d e r e d th e youngster. "I didn't suppose that he did," replied Mr. Thurman, q ui e tl y "So that was all a lie on your part?" "Yes, yes!" "Why did you tell such a lie?" "Because I hated Fred Hope." "What did happen, then?" "Oh, I--I pushed him through a burning hole in the flo or but he saved hims e lf after falling to the floor below." "How did you come to be hurt, then?" "A big lunatic seized me and hurled me after Hope." "And then--? T e ll the whole truth, Phin." "The ,n--Fre d brought me out of the buildi!lg." "He saved you where you had tried to destroy him, eh?" "Yes, oh, yes! It was fearfully wicked, wasn't it?" "Ve r y," replied Mr. Thurman, quietly. "But you're doin g all you can to right the sin by telling me now." "And the r e's some thing else," sobbed. Phin. "Te ll m e then," urged the old man. "Fre d Hope didn't steal that wallet at the mill." "Do you know who did?" "Yes." "Who?" "I did! Oh, oh!" "You stole the wallet, Phin? Why?"


VOLUNTEER FRED. "Because I hoped it W

THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 A Weekly Magazine containing Stories of the American Revolution. By HARRY MOORE. These stories are based on actual facts and a faithful account of the exciting adventur e s of a brave band o f American youth s who were always ready and willing to imp e ril th e ir lives for the s ake o f helping along t h e glillant caus e of Independence Every number will consist of 32 large pages of reading m atte r, b o und in a beauti ful colored cover. LATEST ISSUES: 244 The Liberty Boys' Gloomy Time ; or, Darkest Before Dawn. 2 4 5 The Libert y B oys on the Neuse River; or, Campaigning In North Carolina. 246 The Liberty Boys and Benedic t Arnold; or, Hot Work With a T raitor. 247 The Liberty Boys Excited; or, Doing Whirlwind Work. 248 The Liberty Boys' Odd Recruit; or, The B o y Who Saw Fun In Everything. 249 The Liberty Boys' Fair Friend; or, The Woman Who Helped. 250 The Liberty Boys "Stumped" ; or, The Biggest Puzzle of All. 251 The Liberty Boys In New York Bay; or, Diffi cult and Dangerous Work. 252 The Liberty Boys' Own Mark; or, Tro ubl e tor the Tories. 253 Tbe L i b erty B oys at Newport ; or, Tbe Rho d e Island Campaign. 254 The Liberty B oys and "Blitck Joe" ; or, Tbe Neg 1 0 Wbo H elped. 255 Tbe Liberty B oy s Hard at W ork; or, After the M arauders. 256 The Liberty Boys and the "Shlrtmen" ; or, H elping the Virginia Rifl emen. 257 Tbe Liberty Boys at Fort Nelson ; or, The Elizabeth River Cam palgn. 258 Tbe Liberty Boys and Captain B etts; or, Trying to Down Tryon. 259 The L iberty Boys at Bemis Heights; or, Help1ng to Beat Bur goyne. 260 The Liberty Boys and the "Little Rebels" ; or, The Boys Wbo Bothere d the British. 261 The Liberty Boys at New London ; or, The Fort Griswold Mas sacre. 262 The Liberty Boys and Thom.i.J Jell'erson; or, How The y Saved the Governor. 263 The Liberty Boys Banished; or, Sent Away by General Howe. 264 The Liberty Boys at the State Line ; or, D esperate Doings on the Dan River. 265 The Liberty Boys' Terrible Tri p ; or, On Time In Spite of Every thing. 266 The Liberty Boys' Setback ; or, Beset by Redcoats, Redskins, and Tories. 267 The Liberty Boys and the Swede; or, The S candinavian Recruit. 268 The Liberty Boys' "Best Licks" ; or, W orking Hard to Win. 269 The Liberty Boys at Rocky Mount ; or, H elping General Sumter. 270 The Liberty Boys and the R egulators; or, Running the Royallata to Cover. 271 The Liberty Boys after Fento n ; or, The Tory D esperaqo, 272 The L i b e r t y Boys and Captain Falls ; or, The Battle of Ram sour' s Mllls. 273 The L iberty Boys at Brie r Creek; or, Chasing the Enemy. 274 The Liberty Boys and the Mysterious Frenchman; or, The Secret M essenge r of K ing Louis. 275 The Liberty Bo y s afte r the "Pine Robbers" ; or, The Monmouth County Marauders. 276 B oys and General Pickens; or, Chastising the Chero 277 The Liberty Boys at Blackstock's; or, The Battle of Tyger River. 278 The Liberty Boys and the "Busy Bees"; or, Lively Work all Round. 279 The Liberty Boys and Emily Gelger ; o r Afte r the Tory Scouts. 280 The Liberty Boys' 200Mil e R e treat; o r C h a s e d from C atawba to Virginia. 281 The Liberty B oys Se c r e t Orders ; o r The Treaso n of Lee 282 The Liberty B oy s and the Hidde n Av enge r ; or, The Masked M a n of Kipp' s Bay. 283 The Liberty Boys at Spring Hill; or, Afte r Cluny the Traitor. 284 'l'he Liberty B oys and Rebe cc a llfottes; or, Fighting With F ire Arrows. 285 The Liberty Boys' Gallant Charge ; or, The Bayonet Fight at Old Tappan. 286 The Liberty Boys' D aring Raid ; or, Hot Times at Verplanc k s Point. 287 The Liberty Boys and Simon Kenton; or, l!'lghtlng t h e British on the Ohio. 288 The Liberty Bo y s Beaten: or. Fighting nt C o c k Hlll" Fort 289 The Liberty Boys and Majo r Kelly; o r, Tbe Bra ve Brid ge-C utter 290 Tbe Liberty B oys' Deadshot Band; or, Ge n eral "'ayne and t h e Mutineers. 291 The Liberty Boys at Fort Schuyler; or, Tbe Idio t of Germa n Flats. 292 The Liberty Boys Out With Herkimer; or,. Fighting the Battle of Oriskany. 293 The Liberty Boys and Moll Pitcher; or, The Brave Wo m a n Gu n -ner. 294 The Liberty B oys' Bold Dash; or, The Skirmish at Peeksklll Bay. 295 The Liberty Boys and Ro chambeau ; or, Fig ht.ing with French A llies. 296 Tbe Liberty Boys at Staten Island; or, Spying U pon the British 297 The Liberty Boys With Putnam; or, Good Work In the Nutmeg State. 298 Tbe Liberty Boys' Revenge ; or, Punishing the Torie s 299 '!'he Liberty Boys at Dnnderberg; o r, 'l'he Fall o f the Highland Fort s 300 The Liberty Boys with W ayne; or, Daring Dee d s a t Stony Point. 301 Tbe Liberty B oy s as Cavalry S couts; or, The Charge o f W ash lngton s Brig a d e. 302 The Liberty Boys on Island 6; or, The Patriot of the Delaware. 303 The Liberty B oys' Gallant Stand ; or. 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Books Tell You These Everything I .! COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! Ea.ch book co nsists of shty-four pages printed on good paper, in clea r type and neatl y bound in Jn attractive, illus trated cover o f t h e books lire also profusely illu strated, and all ?f the subji;cts trea.ted are explained in such a simple manne r that an_y .fluid can t h oroughly understand them. Look over the hst as classified and see if you want to k now anyth ing about the subjeda men tioned ______ ------------THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAI L TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CENJ'S EAC H, OR ANY 'l'HREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN 'l'HE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publishe r 24 Union Square, N Y. M ESMERISM. No. 8 1 HOW TO MESMERIZE.-Containing the mo s t ap prove d m e thod s of mesm erism; al s o how t o c u re all kinds of di seases by ani m a l ma g n e ti s m, or, m ag n e ti c healin g B y I'rof. Leo Hugo K o ch A. C. S author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. N?. 7 2 HOW TO D O SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARD S.-Em b r a cmg all of the lates t and most deceptive card trick s, with illustrat i on s. B y A. Anderson. No. 77. HOW 'l'O DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS Oontainiul! 'deceptive C a rd Tric k s as perfo rm ed by l e ading and mag1c 1 ans. Anange d fo r home a mu seme n t Fully illustrated PALMISTRY. No. 82. now T O DO PALMISTRY.-Containing the most apMAGIC. p rove d m e thod s of reading the lines ou the hand, t oget h e r wi t h No. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book o f magic and a full expl a n a ti o n o f their m eaning A l s o expl a i n ing phre nolog y card t ri c ks, contain ing full instruc tion on all the l e ading card tric ks and the kl'y for t e lling charac t e r b y the bumps on the head. By of t he d ay, al so mos t popular magi cal illusions as performed by Leo H u g o Koch A C. S. Fully illustrate d. ou1'. m ag1c 1ans; every boy sho u ld obtain a copy o f this boo k HYPNOTISM. as it will bot h amuse and in struc t. No. 83 HOW TO HYPNOTIZITI Containing valuable and in-No'. 22 TO DO SECOND"SIGHT -Heller's seco nd sigh t 1tructive information r egarding the s c i e n ce of hypnotism Also ex pl a m e d b.l'. !us fot m e r a ss istant, Fre d Hunt, Jr. Explaining how e xp l aini n g the most approve d meth o u s wh ic h are empl oye d by the t h e s ec iet di a logues w ere carrie d on b etween the magician and the leadi n g hypnotists of the world. By Leo Hugo K och, A.C.S boy on .the stage ; al s o giving all the cod e s and signals. The o nly aut h entic e xplanation of sec ond sight. SPORTIN G No. 43. HOW TO BECmIE A l\1AGICIAN.-Containing the No. 2 1. HOW T O HUNT AND FISH.-The most complete gran?est ?f magi cal illusions e\' e r placed before the h u n tin g and fishing g uide ever publi s h e d. It contains full inp ublic Al s o tricks with cards incantations, e tc. s t ru c tions about g v ns, hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, No. 68 HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TRICKS.-Containing ove r t ogethe r with descriptions of game and fis h. o n e hundre d highly amu s ing and instru c tive tricks with chemicals No 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully H y A. And e r son. H a nd s omel y illu strateJ. ill u strated. Every boy should know h o w to r o w and sail a boat N o 6U. HOW 'l'O DO SLl!JIGHT OF HAND.-Containing o ve r Full inst r uctions are given in this little bo ok, togethe r w i t h in-fifty of the lates t and tnc k s u se d by magicians. Al,so containstrnctions on swimming and r idin g co m p ani o n s p o r t s to boating. mg t h e of sec,ond s i gh t. Fully 1llustrat ed. B y A Anderson No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVITI A IIOl tSE.. No._ i O H O W llIAKE M AGIC TOYS.-Containing full A comp l ete t r eatise on the horse D esc ribi n g the most u sefu l h ors e s direct i o n s for m a kmg. l\I a g i c 'l'oys and devi c es of many k inds for b u si n ess, the best ho r ses for the road also valuable recip es for I A. Ande1 s on. l!'ull y 1Jlust1ated. disease s p ecalia r to the horse No. 7 3._ HOW. TO J?O TRICKS WITH NU.J\IBERS.-Showing No. 4 8 HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A handy many c u r io us wi t h figures and the magic of numbers. B y A. bo o k fo r b o ys, containing full directions for constr ucting canoe J Fully illu strated. ; and the m o s t popul a r manner of sailing them.. Fully illustrate u .l'io '.5. H O Y TO A CONJUROR. -Containing By C S tansfield Hicks. tnc k s "'."1 t1!-D o mm?s, Dic e, Cups and Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing t l 11rty-s1x 1llustrat 1 o ns By A. Ander s on. FORTUNE TEL LING. No 7 8 HOW 'l' O DO THE BLAC K ART.-Containing a c om. No. 1 N APOLEON'S ORACULUM A N D DREA M BOOK.p lete d esc rip t ion of the my s teries of .J\Iagic anu Sleight of Hand Containing the g reat oracl e of human de s tiny; also the trne m e an1 oget h e r with many wonde r fu l experime n ts. By A Anderson' ing o f al mos t any k in d of dreams, togeth e r wi t h ch a r ms Illustrated. and c u rio u s gam e s of cards A co m plete boo k M No. 2 3. H O W TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybody dre11ms, ECHANICAL. from the little child t o the aged man and w o man. '!'his liLtle book N o 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.-Every b o y g ives the explanati on to all kinds of dreams togeth e r w i l h lu c ky how originate d. This book explains them and un l u c k y Jays, and "Napole on's Orac uln m," th e book of fate. all, i n el ectric ity, hydrau lics, magnetism, o ptics, No. 28 HOW TO '!'ELL FORTUNES. -Eve r yone i s d esirous o f mech a m cs, etc 'l'h e mo s t instruc tive book published. know i n g what h is future life will bring for th, wh ethe r h appi n ess or No. 5ok, t e lling yo u h o w t o w ri t e to you r s weethear t your father, TRICKS WITH CARDS. mot h e r sister bro th e r emp l o y e r ; and, in fact eve r ybody and anyNo. 5 1. HOW TO DO TRICK8 WITH C ARDS.-Containing body y ou w i s h t o w r ite 1o. F.Jve r y young man a nd every y oung explanations of the g e neral princ i p l es of sl e i ght-ofhand appl icab l e la d y in t he la nd shou l d hnve th is b o ok. to ca r d tricks; of card tric ks wi t h o rdinary car ds, a n d not requ i rin g No. 74 HOW TO WRITEJ L ETTERS CORRECTLY. Co n 1leight-of -ha nd; of t ri cks i nvolvin g s l eigh tof-ha nd, or the use o f j tAining full inst ru ct i o n s for writi n"' l etters on almos t any subject 111tCially prepar e d c ards. B y Professor Haffner. lllustr a t e d a l so rules for punctuation and w i t h s peci me n letters'.


THE STAGE. N o 4 1 THF.l B OY S OF NEW YORK END MEN'S J O K E BOOK.-Containing a great variety o f the latest jokes u sed by the most famous end men. N o a m ateur minstrels is complete withou t this wonderfu l little book. No 42. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKERContai;iing a varied a sso,rti;ieut of t1tump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Insh. Also end mens J okes Just t h e thing fo r home amuse ment and amateur shows. No. 45. 'l'.HE BOYS O F NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND JOKJD BQOK.;--Something new and very instructive. Every boy. should ob tam this book, as it contains full instructions for or gamzmg an amateur mmstrel troupe. No. 65. M is one of the most original Joke books ev e r pubhshed, and 1t 1s brimful of wit and humor. It contains a large collection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc., of Terrence Muldoon, the great wit, humorist, and practical joker of t he day Jj)very boy who can enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy immediately. No .. 79. H

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 ot passing opportunities Some of these stories are founded on true in the lives of our most successful self-made men, and show h o w a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. Every one of this series contains a good moral tone which makes ''Fame and Fortune Weekly a magazine for the home, although each number is replete with exciting adventures. The stories are the very best obtainable, the illustrations are by expert artists, and every effort is constantly being made to make it the best weekly on the news stands. Tell your friends about it. ALREADY PUBLISHED. l A Lucky Deal : or. The Cutest Boy In Wall Street. 2 Born to Good Luck; o r, The Boy Who Succ eeded 3 A Corner in Corn; or, How a Boy Did the Tric k. 4 A Game of Chance: or, The Boy "l'i ho Won Out. 5 Hard to Beat: or, The Cleverest 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 Whee l of E'ortune: or. The Iteeo,d 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 P enny; or, The l<'ortunes of a Boston Boy. 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. H A Gold Brick; or, The Hoy Who Could Not be Downed. 15 A Streak of Luc k ; or. 'l'lr e Boy Who Feathered His Nest. 16 A Good Thing ; or, The Boy Who Made a: 17 King of the lllarket; or, The Young; Trader In Wall Street. 18 l'ure Grit; or, One Boy in a 'l'housand. 19 A Rise in Life ; or, 'l'he Career of a Factory Boy. 20 A Barrel of Money : or, A Bright Boy in Wall Street. 21 All to the Good ; or, From Call Boy to Manager. 22 How He Got There; or, The !'luckiest Boy of Them All. 23 Bound to Win ; or. The Boy Who Got Rich. 24 Pushing It Through; or, The Fate of a Lucky Boy. 25 A Born Speculator; or, The Young Sphinx of Wall Street. 26 'l'he Way to Success; or, The Roy Who Got There. 27 Struck Oil; or. The Boy Who Made a Million. 28 A Golden Risk ; or, The Young llliners of Della Cruz. 29 A Sure Winner; or. The Boy Who Went Out With a Ci r cus. 30 Golden Fleece; or, The Boy Brokns of Wall Street. 31 A Mad Cap Scheme; or, The Boy 'l'reasnre Hunt'ers Of Coco s Island. 32 Adrift on the World; or, Working His Way to Fortune. 33 Playing to Win ; or, The Foxiest Boy in Wa11 Street. 34 Tatters ; or, A Boy from the Slums. 35 A Young Monte Cristo; or, The Richest Boy in the WoJid. 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 .Neve r Say Die; or, The Young Surveyor of Happy Va11ey. 40 Almost a Man; or, Winning His Way to the Top. 41 Boss of the Market; or, The Greatest Boy In Wail Street. 42 The Chance of His Life; or, The Young Pilot of Crystal Lake. 43 Striving for Fortune; or, From Bell-Boy to Millionaire. 44 Out !or Busines. ; or, The Smartest Boy In Town. 45 A Fa-,.orlte of Fortune; or, Striking It Rich In Wall Street. 46 Through Thick and ;I'hln; or, The Adventures of a Smart Boy. 47 Doing Bis Level Best; or, Working His Way Up. 48 Always on Deck; or, The Boy Who Made His Mark. 49 A Mint. of Money; or, The Young Wall Street Broker. 50 The Ladder of Fame ; or.t From Office Boy to Senator. 51 On the Square ; or, The of an Honest Boy. 52 After a Fortune; or, The Pluckiest Boy In the West. 53 Winning the Dollars; or, The Young Wonder of Wail Street. 54 Making His Mark; or, The Boy Who Becam e President. 55 Heir to a Ml111on; or, The Boy Who Was Born Lucky. 56 Lost In the Andes ; or, The Treasure of the Buried City. 57 On Hie Mettle; or, A Plucky Boy in Wall Street. 58 A Lucky Chance; or, Taking Fortune on the Wing. 59 The Road to Success; or. The Career of a Fortunate Boy. 60 Pointers; or, The Luckiest Boy in Wall Street. 61 Rising m the \-\T orld; or, From Factory Boy to Manager. 62 ll'rom Dark to Dawn: or, A Poor Boy's Chance. 63 Ont for Himself; or, Paving His Way to Fortune. 6 4 Diamond Cut Diamond; or, The Boy Brokers of Wall Street. For sale by all newsdealer s, b r will b e 3ent to any address on receipt Of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FBA:NX TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libfarles and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this oflice direct. Cut out aui till 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 lly return mail. POS'l'AGE STAMPS TAKEN' THE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........... ...................... FD. \NI\ TOUSEY, Publisher, 2 Union Square, New York. .......... ...... 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find ...... cents for which please send me : ... copi()s of WORK AND WIN Nos ................. .. ......................... " "\VIDE Aw AKE WEEKLY, NOS. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . '' '' WILD VVEST WEEKJ_;Y, Nos ............................................................. THE.LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ....................... .................... PLUCK AND LUCK Nos ............... .................................... " " SECRET SERVICE. Nos ..................... 1 " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ...................... ._ ........................ " Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ...................... ... . ............. Name ... .. ................... Street and No ............... Town ....... State ..... .,


WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY A COMPLETE S'I'ORY EVERY W"EEK Price 5 Cents BY THE BEST AUTHORS Price 5 Cents or HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED COVERS 32-PAGES OF READING MATTER ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY Interesting Stories of Adventure in All Parts of the World .-TAKE This handsome weekly contains intensely interesting stories of adventure on a great variety of subjects. Each number is replete with rousing situations and lively incidents. The heroes are bright, manly fellows, who overcome all obstacles by sheer force of brains and grit and win well-merited success. We have secured a NOTICE!-.i staff of new authors, who wri te these stories in a manner w h ich w ill be a source of pleasure and profit to the reader. Each number has a handsome colored illustration made by the most expert artists. Large sums of money are being spent to 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, '.rhe Herald's Star Reporter. B y A. By Edward N. Fox. Howard De Witt. 2 Oft'. the 'J.'lcker ; or, Fate at a Moment's Notlce. By Tom Dawson. 21 Under the Vendettas Steel; or, A Yankee Boy In Corsica. By 3 From Cadet to Captain; or, Dic k Danford's West Polnt Nerve. Isy Lieut. J. J. Barry. Lieut. J. J. Barry. 22 Too Green to Burn; or. The Luck of Belng a Boy. By Rob Roy. 4 The Get-There Boys; or, Making Things Hum In Honduras. By 23 In or, The Boy Who H a d Things Easy. By Fred 5 The Skein Jack Barry Unravelled. By Pror. 24 One Boy in a Million; or, '!.'he Trick That Paid. By Edward N. Ollver Owens. Fo:<. 6 The Ko-Good Boys; or, Downing a .rough Name. By A Howard 25 In or, Serving the Russian Police. By Prof. De \Yitt. 26 Kicked into Luck; or, The Way Nate Got There. By Rob Roy. 7 Kicke d off the Earth; or, Ted Trlm's Hard Luck Cure. By Rob 27 'l'he Prince of Opals; or, The Man-Trap of Death Valley. By A. H oy. Howard De Wltt. 8 Doing it Qulck; or, Ike Brown's Hustle at Panama. By Captain 28 Living in His Ilat; or, The Wide World His Home. By Edward Hawthorn, U. S. N. N. 9 In the 'Frisco Earthquake; or, Bob Brag' s Day of Terror. By 29 All for President Diaz; or, A Hot Time in Mexico. By Lieut. J. J. Prof. Oliver Owens. Barry. 10 We, & Co.; or, Seeing Life with a Vaudevllle Show. By Ed-30 The Raslest Ever; or. How Tom Fllled a Money Barrel. By Capt. ward N. Hawthorn, U. S. N. 11 Cut Out for an Officer; or, Corporal Ted In the Phillpplnes. 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 '!.'urned Boss. By Fred War-32 The Crater of Gold; or, Dick Hope's Find in the P)lilippines. By burton. Fred \Varburton. 13 'The Great Gaut "Reat"; or, Phil Winston's start In Reporting. 33 At the Top of the Heap; or, Daring to Call His Soul.His Own. By Rob By A. Howard De Witt. Roy. 14 Out for Gold; or, 'l'he Boy Who Knew the Difference. By Tom A Le111on _for H,iR: or. '"t's Corner in Gold Bricks. By Edward N. Fox. Dawson. 3 o By the i\ l 1k11do s Order; or, T ed Terrill's "Win Out" in Japan. By Lieut. 15 \\ho Balked; or, Bob Brisbane's Big Klck. By Frank 36 His or, The Lnck ofa Green Iris h Boy. By A. Howard 16 Slicker than Silk: or. The Boy Alive. Ry Rob Roy. 37 v I t Fr d F F c 17 The Keg of I\iamonds; or, After the Treasure of the Caliphs. By 0 1111 .Per. e ; or,,, rom ireman to bief. By Robert Lennox. 'l'om Dawson. 1 : or, Ihe Volunteer Fire l:loys of l:llackton. J:ly Robert 18 Sandow, Junior; or, The Boy Who Looked Puny. By Prof. Oliver Owen&. 19 Won by Blull'; or, Jack Mason's Marble Face. By Frank Irving. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU .WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our libraries, and cannot procure then: from ne:vsdealers,. they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut ouf and tm in the f?Ilcwing Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and w e will send them to y ou by re-turn ma.ii. POSTAGE S'l'AMPS 'l'AKEN THE SAME AS l\1 0.NEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. FRANK TOUSEY, Publi sher, 24 Union Square, New York. ....... , . ............ 190 DEAR SrnEnclosed find ...... cents for which please send me: ... copies of FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ................................ ....... ,. WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY, Nos ............ ; ..................... . . .... ..... ..... " " " WORK A.ND WIN, Nos ................................................. ....... . ..... WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos .................................................. .... . PLUCK AND LUCK. Nos ........ : ...................... ... ........... on e r, SECRE T SERVICE, NOS .................... ............. ........... ... . u THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. NOS .......................... ............ 0 " T en-Cent H a nd Nos . ...... ..................... Name ........................ . Street and No ..... .... ..... ...... Town .......... S ta t e ................


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