Tornado Bess, the kidnapper, or, The outlaws of Rabbit Island

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Tornado Bess, the kidnapper, or, The outlaws of Rabbit Island

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Tornado Bess, the kidnapper, or, The outlaws of Rabbit Island
Series Title:
American Indian weekly.
Dair, Spencer
Place of Publication:
Cleveland A. Westbrook, c1911
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm. : ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Outlaws -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Western stories ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
D14-00529 ( USFLDC DOI )
d14.529 ( USFLDC Handle )

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W I L ]). F J J( E BY COLONEL SPENCER. DAIR THIIRTHUll W RUBIOOK COIPUY; CIJnKWD, OHIO, . U. S. I . tl. lfO. 30 Published Weekly. By Subscription, $2 .50 per year; $ 1.25 for 6 months . Copyright, 1911, by The Arthur Westbrook Company. TORNADO BESS, THE. KIDNAPER, o r ' . The Outlaws of Rabbit Island c.By Colonel S pencer D ai r . I \ PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS IN Tl-IIS STORY. DAviD DRYDENK ing of the Outlaws and Road Agents at V i rgin i a City, Montana, i n the good old flush days when the City of Golden Dreams knew Alder Gulch and the outl aws, desperadoes, gamblers and honest men that thronged lo one of the richest placer mines i n the world. D r yden masqueraded as Daniel honest man, and shielded himself further by another name famou s in o u t l aw annals , but was merely a knight of the road and his end points a moral and adorns a tale . JACK HILTONA young man, who began life in error but re trieved himself and fought a bitter and long campaign with his tempter David Dryden, the outlaw. His search for his missing bride was a long one and was prosecuted by him with consummate art. BANNACK BILL-A sure-shot gun-man, who kept a gambling den, da nce-hall a n d sal oon in Virginia City, Montana, and acted as the secret agent of David Dryden, the king • of the outl aws. ETHEL ERRINGTON-This beautiful g i rl' was snatched from the side of t h e man she loved by a ruse planned by David Dryden, the outlaw, who later lured the remarkable girl in his powe r in an effort to make her wed him. Her struggle to rejoin Jack Hilton, the man of her choice, proved to be a series of thrilling events which almost ended in her total destruction. CRAZY TrM -Although of beclouded mind, this doughty per sonage managed to assist greatly in the fight that Jack Hilton waged against the outlaw David Dryden. He showed that sometimes when wit is out, one can do better work than when it is in. JosH GRIFFITH-An outl aw and trusted m ember for a . time of Davi d Dryden's band. He passed out after an attempt to save his chief, who had suspected h i m of treachery. ToRNADO BEss-A beautiful young woman in the days that s h e was unfortunate enough to meet Dav i d Dryden, the outlaw becoming later an old hag who inhabited Rabbit 1 fs land 'as the consort of Dryden, the outlaw . She assisted in his abductl'on of the two childre n of his sister, whom he afterward murdered in an effort to gain wea lth they wou l d have cHAPTER I. ROBBED IN THE DEN OF OUTLAWS, AND DESPERADOES.-!\ DUEL FOR GOLD. -THE POISONED FLOWERS FOR A BRJDE. -VIRGINIA CITY, I N FLUSH DAYS. M idnigh t bells wer e ring ing i n the straggling t ow n of V irginia C i ty, Montana. . l t was the hi g h-water mark day of t h e C 1ty of Go l de n Dream_! A l de r Gu lcl1, w i t h its m illi o n s of gol d-dus t, h a d FRANK SEWELL-A miner and prominent member of the Vigi l a ntes of Virginia Gity, Montana. TmERIUS-A Great Dane dog, who knew a good deal more tl1an most men about outlaw hunting. brought a flood of miners, outlaws, gamblers, and desperadoes to rule supreme i n a lawless c ity, built in a sprawliqg way about the wonderful placer mines that had called i t in t o being. Mid night! , And the city sti ll a hot-bed of lights, revelry, and the unguarded hours of the motley horde that streamed . down thi s street o r that; while the ope n windows and doo rways of houses poured forth floods of light show in g that e ntertainment awaited every p leasure s eek e r t hat ca r ed to e nter .


2 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. lt was tlu s h times in the city ;dlus h times in Mon t a n a. Had one peeped into o :1e o f the more brilliantly lighted h o uses one could have seen groups of red shirted, wide-brim-hatted min'hs gathered about green-baize covered tables , while the quick, strident rattle of ivO'r y chips, the soft ring of coins, spelled the s tory of a ambling den. And for that matter every other house in this part of Virginia City, was a gambling-dive, or a saloon, into w hose coffers flowed the gold-dust of the miner to be grasped by hands that knew not what it was to delve and t oil and wrest the precious metal from the grim earth. Outcasts of society were these lily fingered robber's of hard-working miners. They were quick with the deadly six-shooter; scientific in their grasp upon the handle o f a Bowie-knife, and pistol and knife was the social arbiter of the day and also settled all business disputes. The man who "got to his gun" first or "drawed hi s knife" quickest lived l ongest; he made the laws of the city, and d'ictated its creed of manners and morals. There were many such men, with here and there a tender-foot, in the gambling-hell this night. The build in g whic h held up the flag of Dame Fort-une, was constructed of r o u g h logs. A table too k up all the center of a room o n the first flo o r, around-which were grouped player s and spectators. A rough board counter or bar ran across one end of the r oo m , where' stood a seethin g crowd, boisterous in the drinking of many vile liquo r s handed t o them by coyote-like men behind the uncouth bar. Revo lver s peeped from between bottles of liqtw r ready for the bar-tender's hand should a " fuss" a rise needing their use; revolvers and liquor were equally deadly. Each could kill quickly! Men with long-barreled six-shooters sticking down from broad belts were busy as bees about the various gambling table s and where the game ran high the crowd was thickest. There was a crowd about a central table and it was evident that here was running the big game of the hi g h game s of the night! Sever a l men stood by the side o f the dealer of this hi g h game, eagerly scanning the turn of the cards and the heaps of co in , chips o r g-old-dust that lay thickly about t h e faro " lay out." The strains of a violin and a ricket y harp came faintly f r o m a roo:n on the upper floor, al o n o with, the shufflin g of .many feet as if their owners were enjoyin g the dancing in the dance hall annex to t h e gambling room, where tawdry women danced with men who p aid large prices for the privilege o f dancing'with the outcasts of civilization. But the gamblers paid n o hee d to the sounds of merriment a nd of the dance that raged about them. The I ' confused burr from the t o n gues o'f the gamblers seemed to strike silence a t the other sounds in the place. The r e was a hum about the table that not only seemed to drown out the other sounds but also appeared to almost clrowp out the voice of the faro-dealer. 'rhere was a fierce note in the air about the table; the notes that strike the chord of Greed! And the light of several k e rosene o il lamps served to bring out to view the wolfish-g-lare of ci!!pidity o n the faces of the crowd_ about the hi g h game table. J\lmost in the centra l seat at the table was the in tent f:1rf' ;:-nr] frq., o f a youn g man, who was narrowly w' t c +i:1;:; dealer. e ; u d , t o the watcher was a person whose evil face seemed to glow with satisfaction. There was a secret joy upon the face ' that made it .aflame wHh. pleasure, and the man's cold, pale gray eyes were fixed upon the pallid face of his companion, who was try ing with success, to make his feelings less apparent. There was a mocking sneer about the mouth of the owner of the cold, pale gray eyes. " King wins! Queen loses! " droned the. voice of the dealer as he made a turn of the cards, following it with a steaC!y motion of his right arm as he pulled toward him the losing bets, and with his left hand paid off the winnin_g wagers. A groan burst from the lips of the young man while a fiendish smile flickered over the face of the person at 1-iis side. " Better luck, old chap, next turn of the cards," the lips of the man who had smiled rnuttered to hi s companion. '' You can't lose always, my boy-don' t get di scouraged." . The younger man did n o t r e pl y, but like a machine laid a quantity of gold coin upon the ace. "God forgive and aid me!" he murmur. ed. "It's the las t of my ill-gotten gains-it's my last bet! What s h all I do if I lose?" The youth stared at the dealer as if he were a tiger cat about to be robbed of its prey! The-gambler's fing ers trembled as he touched his dealing-box of solid silver , se t in rare jewels that sparkled and shone in t h e pale light. There was only o n e more turn of the cards in the box left and o n this s in g le turn the youth had staked hi s last d ollar! The white finger s of the dealer, with their array of diamond rings rested the jeweled fai i O-dealing b ox. He made the shift of the cards. ' "Ten wios, ace loses!" the dea l e r sang in hi s s low, purring voice. He stretched forth hi s hand to rake in the l os ing bets. His hand clutched the m oney of the unfortunate youth, who had played the "ace t o win "-aNd it had lost , so th e ga1nble1 cr -ied! But quick as the lightning's flash the youth leaped forward and with one h and seized the gambler, and with hi s disengaged h and grasped the cards that had jus t been withdrawn apparently from the dealing-box. " Stop! " he cried, in tones tha t thrilled all around the boa rd. " Don't you dare to place your hands on that cash. If you do you 're a dead man!" The fa r o-dealer's face turned a deep red. he grew white with rage that followed the surprise of his attack . " '\tV h a t do you mean?" the gambler howled, as he to shake off the iron grasp of the young man. "You cowardly cheat!" cried the young man. "I mean that you have cheated, and if you dare lay a finger upo n one penny that I placed on the ace to win. I'll kill you!" . The faro-dealer's face was livid with rage. He struggled to free himself from the grasp of the young man. " Let go! " he hoarsely shrieked. " Return the money you have robbed m e o(! You have cheated me! I can prove that you have, you c.ur! " cried the gambler's assailant. c'c Then prove it, you lying hounq! " bawled the gambler beside himself with rage. " If you don't I'll kill you as you stand there! "


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. I " I w ill p r o ve that y o u a re a s windler," r e pli e d th e y outh. " Here's the card you dealt from the b o x. See, the King win s-but, clo s e to the card-stucll to i t with wa x-is the A ce! The A c e is the winni ng c a 1 d! I d e mand my m o n e y, and I further demand all the mone y I l os t t o night. I ' ve b e en che a t e d out of it all! " A cr y of r?-ge and surpris e b!"cke iro m the min e r s a r ound the tabl e ! ' T h ey saw tha t they, t oo, mus t have b e en fleeced in a lik e m a nn e r. The youth h a d exposed the swindlin g gambler and the mi sc reanfs lif e was run, ever y man in the ranks of the r ed-shirte d g r oup kne w full w e ll. T h e detected c a rds h a rk knew this as w ell as a n y m a n in the r oom. fie ma d e o n e d es p e r ate bid f o r . hi s life. W i t h a qui ck m o ti o n the villain ' s hand s lid into the breast o f hi s coa t , a nd a revo l ver fla s h e d in his gras p as he withdre w it. T h e re w a s a puff and a sharp e x pl os i o n as the weapon c r ac k e d close t o the youth's temple. Only a severed l o ck of h a ir fell t o the floo r , cut b y the swif t passa g e o f t h e gambl e r's bull e t thro u g h the l oc k s o f hi s youthful assaila n t. Befo r e t he gamble r co uld again press his fin ger up o n t h e trigger o f hi s w e ap o n the youth had seized a pi s tol fr o m the b elt o f the nearest min e r and the next mom ent the co ld muzzle o f the w e;t p o n was pressed close t o the vill a in's temple-s o close that the poli shed tube see m ed t o b e imbedded in the gambler's forehead. The r e was a baleful light in the ruffian ' s eyes. H i s pi s t o l dropped fr o m his nervele s s grasp and fell with a rattl e o n the floo r. The gambler saw the look of determina ti o n upo n the features of his v ictim , and t h e fla s hin g eyes o f the youth t o l d the gambl e r t h a t hi s swindl e r's lif e w a s,Jl an g in g tha t m oment b y a s l ende r thread. " G i ve m e back m y m o n ey, " said the youth with cle n c h ed t eet h. " I hav e been robbed-and, alas, I, too. a m a r obber! I robbed my benefactor to r isk tni s cas h th e r e up o n your gambling table, and you, in turn, , have robbed me! You hav e r obbed me by cheating. R eturn m y m o n ey, o r , as the re i s hi g h Heaven above u s, yo u a re a dead man! " The gam bi e r in stinctiv el y slid his 11and into his m o ney drawer and placed without a word, s e veral s mall ca nvas bags of g old-du s t before the youth who n ow h e ld the swindler a t his m e rc y . The young man seiz ed upo n the preci ous dust with a cry o f j oy. H e placed the bag in hi s p ocket, but never o nc e r e m oved hi s pisto l fr o m the gambler' s f orehea d , o r cea sing t o note the swindler's s li ghtest m otio n . But during a ll o f this startl in g scene, the m a n who stood be s ide the brave youth when the trouble broke f orth, and had s a t near and adv ised him during the faro-ga me , and had at the first hostile movement s lunk f!.way, leaving his companion to any fate that might overtake.J 1im , was viewing the epi sode a distant part of the r bom. "Jack Hilton's life isn ' t worth a straw;" the d eserter muttered t o -himself . " The gambler will rid me of him . . Jack Hilton ' s life i s at the hazard of an outlaw who i s a dead shot! After a ll , I win ! I have made a thief and a gambler of that ca llow youth there, . a1'ld now my v engea n c e is compl e te ! " The evil-faced man ground h is teeth in rage a few moments later when he Jack Hilton' s rapi d . . whic h t e r m in a t e d in the youn g man's ho ld i n g the gambl e r at hi s mercy . " Curs e him! " murmured the on-l o oker, "he w ill me yet. No! He can not escape me. Bannack B1ll, the sureshot gun-man will fix him before he l e a v e s this place. And yet-stayif Jack recove r s the money he h a s l ost m y plans are ruined! I t mu s t n o t be!" scoundrel drew a w a y, and then to hi s rag e arr d c hagnn he s a w the gambler return the gold-dus t to Jack, and s a w the y o uth s t ow the p r ecio us metal i n his pockets. A n oath b rok e fr o m the thin lips o f the wat cher and he nervously t oyed with a concealed weapon. * * * * * * * * * And now take a step back into the past; the buried past of . the men who hav e just figured in this tre'mendo u s scene in which the g amu.t of hope, fear, reven ge, and sudden and viol ent death has been struck. _ _Do you wonder w h ythis perso n , pretending t o be on t n en d l y t erms with J a ck Hilto n, i s trying t o cau s e his d estruc ti o n ? \ V h y doe s the man with the c o ld gray e y es , b e w a i l t h e t riumph of J a ck H ilt o n over the w iles of a cheating gambl e r , now quailin g b ef o re the young m a n ' s revol ve r ? The m a n with the thin lip s and c old gray eyes i s D av i d D r y d e n. His business trenches upon the s windl e r 's m etho d s f o r he c alls hims elf a speculator, but men w h o k n o w him w ell hint d arkly that he i s a s pecul ator i n bogus min es and worthless m ining stocks . D r y d e n in youth li v ed in Chicag o , and s o di d Jack H i l t o n , sunny, rough and reagy, g ood -temp e r ed tru eas-steel J ack Hilton . I n this J a ck differ e d fro m his sc h oo lm a te, w h o fro m b oy h oo d was s n eak in g. ftir ti ve, a mole of an ev il b oy, a few year s older than Jack, and s in ce boyh oo d the t emperament o f the two had not c h a n g ed . Jack was still sunny, and easily led , while Dryd e n with a career o f vice and v illa iny, had stamped his features s t ill deeper with the sneaking, furtiv e l ooks of his bo y hood. A n d a t s c h oo l these two boy s had known beautiful Eth e l Errington! \ 1\Tith advancing years Jack Hilton became the successful suito r , and Dav id Dryden became J a ck ' s unsuccessf u l ri val. F r o m tha t m o m ent Drycfen be ca m e the bitter and sworn e n e m y o f Hilto n. D ryden S \ V O rethat Hilt o n's l ife woul d soo n e r o r l a ter pay t h e p e n alty f o r the crus hed h opes of the ri v a l, and t h e n D r y d e n disappeared, and the day for the wedding of J ac k and Ethel daw ned , and the young c oupl e await e d with l o n ging anxie t y the supreme moment w h e n they were to be man a nd wi fe. . Jus t befo re the w e ddin g ceremony a beautiful bou quet o f flowers were sent to Ethel. She inhaled their fragr a nce . The n she fell to the floor insensible and to all appearances dead! R e storatives p1' o ve d f u t i l e a n d th e c erem ony of t he wed d in g w as tur1'led i nto tho s e of a f une ral . The flowers had been saturated with a subtile poison , whose very odor alone could cause death. The drug was of unknown origin. It baffled the skill of wise phys i c i an and eq u all y wise chem i st . Experiments s h o wed that one whi ff o the poison was enough to ca u s e death .


• , THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLi. The perpetrator of this dastardly crime upon the beautiful g irl could not be unearthed. All that could be determined was that a tall stranger had handed the bouquet to a servant who answev ed the ring a t the door of the Errington mansion on the day of fair E thel's projected '?-redding, and had asked that she be given the testimonial to her happiness, This action had been.taken and the terrible tragedy followed. This was a ll t}1at shed the slightest clue to the mystery! And it was not of much avail to the police and the de t ec ti ves. For no trace of the stranger could be found. The body was placed in the family vault for the fea tures still retained the rosy complexion of youth and h ea lth. But a second shock awaited Ethel's grief-wracked family . For th e n e.'rt morning after the in t ennen t it was dis cove1•ed that th e body had been stolen f r om the vault . And not the faintest trace could be found that in any way showed even a slight due to the dastardly perpetrator of this second crime; detectives far and w i de worked for m any inonths but only to report that they had bee n completely baffled in their search for the ghoul who had robbed the grave of its lovely in.: mate! CHAPTER II. BACK FROM TJ;IE GRAVE.-THE TREA<::I-IERY OF A FRIEND DE TECTED .-ETHEL ERRINGTON'S PERIL . . A VILLAIN' S REVENGE. Jack H ilton' s gdet. was indescribable. For weeks he rav ed lik e a man bereft of hi s ser1,ses after the awful pass in g from him of the g irl h e year that dragged by while detectives tried to the facts b e n eath the baffling mystery-the d o ubl e mystery-Jack seemed to change and not for the better! I e g-rew l{llOrb id , and then r eckless . Finally his friend s , seei n g that if h e remain e d in Chicago he would e n d i11 a mad-house, made him seek change of scene. And s o at len gth the reckless youth, dri ft ed t o Vir. gin ia C ity, Montana, there trying to drow n in ex citements about a gol d -cr eated city, the m e mo r i e s o f his dead past! , O ne ev e ningJ ac k m e t his o l d enemy, and once sc h o o l-fri e11cl Da v id Dryden in the streets of the scat t e r ed to wn. Ast o n , i shme,nt was followed by exp lanations and D r y d en , a V.r ily vi lain always, told a plausible s t ory about hi s disappeara n ce from Chicago, a nd then ex JFossed g reat s orrow for hi s former rival, over th, e passing of Eth e l Errington, a nd with the easy going n ature o f J a ck, Dav i d D ryclem did not find it a h ard m atter t o make a fri e nd of hi s once ri va l in l ove. Step by s t e p Dryden l ured hi s friend Jac k t o the g a m in g -tabl e s , a nd finally ir1cluced hi s victim to appro p r iate funds c o nfid ed to hi s care by hi s empl oye r in the c i ty, for J ac k had sec ured a lucrative po sition soop afte r h e a rri ved at V ir g inia City. Jack, fa s cinated by t he lure of the gambling mania, l i stened to the s n ake hissiug at his side, and he too k funds fr o m hi s employer's safe. In the m ean time, Dryden arranged matters with B a l J n ac k Rill, the proprietor one of the largest gamb lin gd e n s in the town, t o fleece Jack; and the v ill ain saw with joy Jack lo se every d o llar of the stolen n ' ioney, w h'icli he was fle e ced of by a crooked faro <;iealer, at Bannack Bill's order. It h a d b ee n Dryden's intent to denounce Jack the moment the money he had filched was lost and thus disgrace him forever with the brand 0f a detected thief; but the unexpected turn 0f affairs on the part of J had dashed the scoundrel's plans to nothingness. It was with a f eeling that was akin to murder that Dryden watche d Jack pocket the gold he had wrested at the p oint of hi s pistol from the cheating faro-dealer, and he was about to signal to Bannack to <;Iestroy Jack b e fore he left the room with the gold-dust in' his pocket, when over the r oo m there rang a woman's scream. The scream electrified the assembled group in the ro o m as if a b olt h a d descended from above and danced throug h the place. . " Save me! Save me!" the piteous voice of the woman wailed aloud in accents of horror. The cry of di stress caused each man to pause and for a moment the quarrel of Jack and the detected cheat of a gambler was forgotten. ' Following the scream an oath burst from the l ips of I)avid Dryden, and then a .woman darted into the room as if flying from the onslaught of some unseen enemy. girl came from the upstairs room in which the dance was still in progress. The g irl, for she was scarcely more than nineteen years of age, reache d the center of the room with a grand rush of s peed, and the stalwart m ipers fell back to give her a . free space, and to ascertain the cause of her t erro r . Her golde n ' h air strea med out behind as it swept aside its s li ght fastening and the girl's pale but beau t iful f ace, was turne d toward the group as if mutely imploring their ai . . In' a n;oment her eyes re sted upon Jack Hilton and a thrilling cry broke from her lips as she staggered toward him and fell at hi s feet. " J ack ! Jack ! " she gasped. " Ethel! My darlin g !I Can the grave yield up its dead.?" cried the young man as he tenderly raised the girl fr o m the rough floor. " A m I awake or am I dreaming?" _ " I'll wake you from your dream! " yelled David Dryden, clas hin g f o n;vard , and his hand sought a murderous l ooking knife tha t fla shed instantl y into v iew. Jack supported the fainting g irl in his arms while he turned t o face hi s newly found e nem y. "DaYid Dryden, " cried J ack. "What i s the meaning of this "It that o nc e aga in you have crossed my path." h owled Dryd en. "On ce again your presence threate ns t o clash my hopes to the earth! But we meet unde r differen t circumstances this time. You are in the lawles s regions of M on tan a , and I am b oth powerful a n d influ e nti a l h e r e ! 'lv e a r e sworn ene mies, you fool, and } ' O U are in 111y power! Look 'your last upon g • irl you n ow h o ld in your arms. You are d oom eel ! " ' The v illain almost yelled every word, and as con c lud ed the l as t words o f his w ild spe ech, he brandished hi s weapon 'in a threatening manner. But another character came then upon the scene. It was the person in pursuit of the gid. With an o a th tfpo n his coarse lips this person bounded into the '


THE AMERICA)N .INDIAN WEEKLY. room in time to obtairi a glance at the tableau afforded by the strang e group. . ' H e saw Ethel in the arms of a strange young man, and witnessed David Dryden's hostile attitude. the matter, C aptain?" the stranger cried as he (lrew n ear. " Confound y ou I " h i s s ed Dryden as he turned sav agel , Y t o the new comer . " Why did you allow her t o es cape f r o m tha t room? Curse s upon you and the o ld hag! \i\fhat g o o d are yo u t o me? ,See what you hav e d o ne I " The ruffian p ointed to the young couple and adde d : ' " Out with your weap on! He mus t n o t ] ea v e this pla ce a live I " " Stop! Advanc e ano th e r s te p a t your peril! This g i-rl is 'unde r m y protectio n , and I'll def end h e r with my lif e . Men-o n e word with y ou , " and Jac k turned to the groupJ o f min ers as he sp o ke. "I am sin gle-handed and encu mbe red with this fainting gi rl. Thes e t w o ruffians a r e arm e d and r ea d y t o take m y li f e. A ll I a s k i s f a ir playo n e a t a t i me. F air play is all I aska m I to have it?" ' 1 Y es ! " r o ar;ed a d o zen v oices and full as ominous c li ckings o f fire arm s echoed the shout. For a moment Dav id Dryden q u a iled and his brutal f o ll o w e r slunk b e h ind him. The d e t ecte d gambler-cheat so u ght a secu r e plac e b e h i nd the faro-ta bl e a n d t oyed w i t h a h idde n pi s t o l. T h e three ruffi a n s k new the spirit o f the r o u g h m ine r s, and t h ey knew full well tha t the redshirte d g r oup bore them n o l ov e . T h e yo ung ma n h a d exposed the gambl e r 's t r i ck and t h a t a l so appeal ed t o the m iners, a n d d i d much toward t u rnin g the group in h is favor a n d h i s appeal for f air p lay h a d caused a f ul-th e r . feel ing t o predo minate i n favo r of J ack ; m i ne r s l ove fa i r play. D av id Dryden , a n d hi s outlaw and renegade gang was g r ea t ly feared although u nive r sally ha t ed by the miners. No positive p r oof co u ld be la i d at his door regarding numerou s stage-coac h robberies; but i t was a l mos t a certainy t hat Davi d D r yde n was tl1e rec ogni z ed , head of a des pe rate band of o u t laws, who infested the regi o n s and who were known to have a hang-out i n the mountain s and a l s o at Rabbi t Island, i n the Alder R i ve r , that ran near the c ity. At Rabbit I s land a woman, known as Torn ado Bess, h e l d full sway. She was the hag, that h a d b ee n spoke n o f in h i s hurr y by Dryden , several men in the c rowd knew Dryden was a t t h e head o f the m o u n t a in r e sort gan g ! T h a t D r y den had a l awless cre w of b andits a t his bac k was n o t t o be d oubte d , a n d even in the very group in t h e r oo m now surrounding J a ck , were so m e . o f the ruffial) f o llowers o f Dry den' s bandit band, ready to d o hi s bidding , many of the honest miners knew; but feared n o t the outlaws. But the outlaw s were a waiting the signal for a general conflict and were re ady to obe y their leader' s orders . • But' the majority in the room, fortunate ly, were h ard fisted miners, bent upon seeing fair play, and to allow no 'harm done to the fair g irl whb had sought protection in their midst . . As the . o f the miners fell upon the ears of the outla w :Qry de a-for 'suc h he really was-he saw that the tiU1e, had arrived f<;>r _ a desperate and rapid conflict . "Now's the time I" yelled Dryden. "Down with him, and de ath to all who oppose us I" His rev o l v e r cracked spitefully and a bullet winged its way clo s e to the young man's head. A scream broke from Ethel's lips I F ollow in g the shot came an angry shout from the a sse m bled g r o up. Instantly as if by/ mag ic , e very l amp was ext inguis hed , and the r oom was plu nged in t o t a l darkness . T hen follo wed a rap id di s charge of w e a pons and the sound of fa llin g tab l es , chairs, and the cras h of bottles! "This wayt hi s way," w hi s p ered E t hel, seizing Jac k's h a n d . " Com e in this direction ! " Carefull y avo i d in g t h e m ass of strug g ling m en , she qui ck l y l ed the way toward the d oo r through w h ich s he h a d first entered l ea din g upstairs, a s s h e could not es c ape by the outlaws tha t barre d progre ss to the str ee t . By the momenta r y g l a r e of d ischarged fir earms she saw the d oo r , a nd a se c o n d late r h a d opene d it a n d thus the yo un g c o upl e escaped from t h e room. Beh ind them the yells o f t he c ombatants a rose lik e t h e howling o f a tempes t , a n d the pi s t 0 ls hots f ollowed in q ui ck s u c c ess i o n as both fr ien d and foe struggled in the da rk . Ethe l has tily a s cend e d a ricke t y flight of s t e p s , fo l l owe d by J a ck. They h a d s ca r cel y r e ach e d t he l a n d . i n g ab ove w h en t he mot l ey c r ow d th a t h ad been engaged i n d a n c ing r us h ed f o r t h p ell-me ll , t o a1s certain the cause of t he row. In a few mo m en t s a floo d o f li ght cam e f rom the lig h t e d l amps, r eveal in g a scene o f wil d confusion; Me n grapplin g in deadly combat lay on the floor, an d the sulphurou s smoke of revolvers fille d the room and hung like a pa ll f rom the low ce i l i ng. David Dryden s t o od at the doo r l ead ing to the street. He grasped a brace of sixshooter s, and it was eviCient h e had hastil y taken possess i on o f the exi t i n order t o intercept the fugi tive and h e r champion. A yell of rage i s sued from his purple lips as the ligh t revealed the mass i n the room and fa i led to disclos e the forms of J ack Hilton and his beaut ifu l companion. "A thousand c u rses up o n you, Josh G r iffith ; they're gone! T hey have escaped," and the outlaw h o wled lik e a madman, a n d shrieked imprecations i n his fur y . The conflict ceased as the desperado yelled the con cluding words. The burl y ruffian addressed as Josh Gri ffith darted toward Dryden. "You say they h ave escaped? W hich way did they go? D i d you p _ ass them?" he cried , breat h l essly . "No, " replied Dryden , " they d id not pas s ou t through t h i s . _, " T h e n they a r e sti ll' in the h o u se. They are caged I " s h o ut e d G riffith, a n d he darte d toward t he l ow doo r w a y , foll o w e d b y Dry den. In a m oment, a h a lf doze n w ell-armed me n had form e d a barrier betwe en t he outlaw s and the d oo r , to prevent the a ngry crowd o f miners frorri foll owing the two outlaws. Their threatening aspect and ugly re v ol ve r s h e ld the miners in check . In the me antime the girl had rea ched the uppe r part of the r o u g h w o oden building and d a r ted into t h e upper floo r , o ver the gamblin g room, and the verj s p o t that G riffith and Dryd e n h a d hurried f o r , 'when they saw tha t Ethel h a d escaped. ' . " Q uick I " cried the g irl to Jack, " follow me into this'.room. It's our only chance . From this window we may" be able to make our escape . vVe certainly. . cannot do so from the lower part of this house."


6 fHE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. Ethel s ei ze d ha11d and drew him into the r oo m , jus t the he avy f ootfalls of the t w o pur::;u e r s , and G riffith , the outlaw s, sounded upon the steps and t h eir hars h voi ce s aros e in exulta tion. Ethe l cluser and eageriy g l anced about for the h e a \ • y woode n bar b y which Jt was s ectfr e d and the dim light. o f a kerosen e lamp di s d osed the bar l y;ng upo n the floo r and a second l ater the noiJle girl had. thr1.. mining t own. The g ul l y ans w ered the purpose o f a cellar t o each buil din g and also a convenient hidi n g -pla ce fo r t hose s e eking safet y in rapid flight . . The outlaws in charge o f Ethel ;>roc e edecl clown stairs an cl passed into a room in the rear o f the gam blingp l a ce . In the center o f tl1is they rai sed a trapd oo r , di sclo sing the g lo o m y depths o f the g ully . They descende d into the depths b y means o f a ro u g r flight o f s t e ps. The tumult outs id e was increas in g every m oment, ::mel a vo!ume ' o f s m o k . e came p ouring down fr o m the room o v e r head. . " Ri ght! The Captain fired the o ld s h anty . V / a it a mom'ent. He may want t o u s e this passage also. " The b l ack -whiskered rlespe r ad o paus ed upo n the steps , h o ld i n g t he trap-door o pen. . A m oment later and the hurri ed tramp o f feet came fr o m t h e adj oming r oom . . and David Dryden, followed b y h i s v illa inous crew, came b ounding into the room.


\ THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 7 ' Each outlaw descended through the trap, leaving one d their number to close it 1after all had safel y reached the _ b otto m of the gully. , \1 olumes of smoke rolled down into the room from a . b o ve, and a sound told 'that the flames were d evouring the dry combustibles ana rapidly spreading .. Dryden led the way under the buildings. He was f ollowed by hi s men. They followed the zig-zag cburs e o f the gully until they emerged from beneath a rickety o ld w oo d e n shanty and .came into an open s pace. Several hor. s es s t ood in a clump of trees not a dozen rods away and an out)aw held them ready for im-mediate u s e. Scarcely had the, for e m os t ruffi a n appeared in the , open s pace. when a bullet whizz. ed past his head and a chorus o f shouts broke upon the night air; a score of men came dashing toward the retreating rascals. "The V i gilantes!" roared Dryden. " Each man strike out f o r him s elf and make for the headquarters. " The desperado seized Ethel in his brawny arms as if she had been a mere infant and sprung toward the h o rses , f ollowed b y several o f his companions. A mo ment later he was in the saddle, and reaching down he seized the girl and placed her upon the pommel before him. Then he s un k the spurs into the flanks of the . he be stro de and the animal sprung forward like an arrow from a b q w . A rapid discharge of pistols awoke the slumbering echoes and cut the ir close to the escaping bandits. David Dryden's mounted confederates dashed after their l.eader while the remainder of his followers sou ght flight amo n g . the hug e boulders and thick bushes skirting the hillside. The sounds of pursuitgrew fainter as outlaw and his cavalcade plunged into the wild passes and canyons o f the vi cinity . . " Now , my pretty o ne," Dryden whispered to the tre mblin g g irl , "yo u are a g ain in my keeping and I'll warrant y o u will n o t a g ain e scape. This has be\!n a sad night's work: for y ou. Y o u have hastened your l over' s death. H e is bound and helpless in yonder burning builqing arid n o power can save him from the flam es.' You will f orget him and remember hereafter that y o u are mine and mine alone." Dryden turned in hi s saddle and uttered a fiendish lau g h a s he beheld the dull glare in the sky-re'flecting the flames of the distant burning building. A low groan of anguish issued from the iips of the fair captive and her head sunk upon her bosom and tears pattered down upon cheeks. "Why do you persecute me?" she. mo'aned. "I have never harmed you, and yet you ha' ve kept me in captivity, and compelled me to remain in this .wild , c ountry-far 'from home and kindred." The. .laughed-a cruel and mocking laugh tl1at c aused the girl to shrink away from fiim. "Why do I persecute you! That questiqn is easily answere d. Y o u mistake my love for persecution' . Once you refused the attentions and accepted the love of one whom you will never see again. When one plan fails I generally try another. You remember the man-ner in which I cheated Jack Hilton of his bride? I stole your' inanimate form from the-vault and bore you to the Far \tVest-not without trouble and care, h owever. @ nee here you were in the paradis e of the fea 2 less and t!1e free . Surrounded by a devoted band of I \ f ollowers I rule supreme. Your home is among the brave and reckless spirits, and you ' will never again behold the cities of the East. If you remain here for years you will see the same bleak mountains and dis mal ravines, for they are my home and yours. Mine you will be, though I patiently wait.years. for your free consent. Kindness has failed to gain yotir heart but force will eventually win it. You begged hard to ac comp(\ny me to Virgina City, and I fool that I was, granted your request, although I placed you in the care d f one of my trusted followers. You managed to elude him and discover that Jack Hilton still lived and was s o near to you. But that discovery has proved fatal to him. He is beyond the aid of human power, and you have caused the tumult that ensued. The Vigilantes 4re on my track and I will be compelled to remain in the m ountains. Once in the impenetrable chain of hills, I defy an army to dislodge m(!, or trail me to my secret rendezvous." David Dryden's voice grew harsher as he proceeded, and when he spoke of the Vigilantes he fairly hissed the words, and maliciously spurred the horse forward while a muffled oath lingered upon his tongue. Ethel failed to suppress the sobs that arose to her lips. ,She had again met the man she loved devotedly and bee.n rudely torn from his side, while he was d oomed to a horrible death mid the flames . The wretch who had wrought all this misery sat close beside her, and she was a helpless captive in his hands. In her hour of sorrow her lips moved in prayer, and even as she rode among that outlaw band her supplications arose to the Allseeing Ruler and implored His aid. Perhaps. Jack was saved fr o m his perilous position, and the flame s had be e n r obbed of their victim. She still h oped agains t hope. After the l ong separation she had met the one who was h e r husband in the sight of Heav en, a n d yet she was f orced away by the man she l oathed and feared. No w onder the p oo r girl's tears fell thick and fast, and she drew away fr o m the ruffian as if his very touch was far more p o i so;wus than the adder's. Perhaps an . opportunity would present itself whereby she could escape and successfull y elude the outlaw. Buoyed up b y this tho u ght she p a rtiall y checked her tears and a gain murmured a pray er. Dryden's f o ll owers r o de at a respectful di s t ance, and in the dim light the ca valcade resembled grim phan t o m s m ounted upon spectre steeds . U p o n either side the tall jagged r ocks t owered like the wall s o f an ancient f ortres s . N o w and then the horsemen crossed swift but narr o w streams that swept across the roadway. It was evident that the outlaws had selected in tricate road through the rav ines in order to mislead any parties -following in pursuit, and also t o select good points in ca s e of cl os e quarters, whereby the pursuing party could b ' e l 1 eld in check and destroyed. It was ea sily to be seen that David Dryden expected no pursuit, for he all owed the h o r s e t o pick hi s way over the rough road in the defile. His confederates grasped their weapons and rode behind their chief, ready to 'turn and face any pursuing party. Not a word came from the mounted bandits. They rode in silen c e but on the alert, while mile after mile was rapidly traversed, and the gloomy shadows deepened in the ravines. Again and again Dryden endeavored to with his captive, but she refused to reply or


I I I ' THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY . even to glance toward the brutal creature who held her in his power. " You won't talk to me?" he said gruffly . "Per haps I can induce you to talk by mentioning Jack H il ton's name." A slight shudder swept through the little form and a moan issued from her lips; Dryden saw the advantage he had gained! " I thought that would cause you to utter a word or two," he said' ; " out you might as well cease to think of him. He is dead -dead to you, and the sooner you realize the fact that you are to be mine-the better for you. " , " Yours?" she gasped. " Sooner would I die the. most horrible and lingering death that human agency can suggest! Yours? Never ! when I see that all hope is gone I will kill myself at your feet, but while I live and breathe you can never claim me. You never break my resolution; I will die still gasping the words I hate you-murderer of the one I love even beyGnd the grave." . , Het' voice thrillea the outlaw and its tones rung in his eart] . . He listened attentively, and when she had concluded he bit his lips to suppress the rage that surged upward from his hear-t and he even clenched his hand to strike the beautiful girl that had denounced and defied him, but he wisely checked himself. . "ou will change your opinion before long. You will sue for a kina word and beg for a smile. I'J:l break your proud spiri t . You forget that we wre far from the haunts of civilization, : ' rejoined Dryden, "We are in w ild regioh:> w 'here II,light makes right. I _ rule the11e regi o n s and the name of Wild-Fire is drea. ded even by b.-av e m e n, and shall I , allow . a vyeak girl to openly d e f y m , e and dictate to 1 a 1 e ? No! Enough of this fool i s h talk. W illin g o r unw illin g you are mine . Threats,. tears a n d supplications willnot , avail you. .My word is la w , ' b ' oth with my iawle s s follovvers and with. you." D ryden g r asped the reins, of his steed and again urged the bea s t }orwa,rd. '"Coward! d o y out ; w orst! I still breathe worcls of d efia nc e ! " sa i d E thel. P l ace d i n such a: p os iti o n and having no hope of cy frm t ' t he v illah1 , her proud and .spirit ha:d asserted itself and' the young girl fully determined u po n d es p e r a te m easures an,cl to protect herse lf. . T h e very n a me or ";wild-Fire" 11ad always sent a thrill o f t erro r through Montana territor y. He was the m os t cra f t y and daring of all road-agents-the most reckless of all outlaws, and. his exploits sent dismay into eve r y part of the g r eat sil ver a:nd gold country. '\iVild-Fire h a d s kill:fully concealed his identity urider a most repulsive mask. His followers were :masked in the same manner. Various rewa.rds had been offered but no amount of money h a d yet put the Vigilantes on the track of this outlaw of the road. The treasure-boxes of the coaches continue d to pour out their valuable contents into the treasury of the bold robber, and the mining.:. camps paid the tribute exacted by the fearless ruftjan. But who was Ji.e? No one had ever caught a glimpse of his f a ce. Surrounded by his bold riders and fol lowers he moved a living mysterya man without a face-a man without a name. Yet Ethel had discovered the identity of the robber . chief. Dav:id Dryden had in his anger revealed the secret to her! The man whom she had rejected: was the man feared in the silver and gold regions-hunted by the Vigilantes with a price upon his head! ,. The gmup of hGFsemen plunged into a deep ,er and had just emerged upon a level plateau when a vmce came from the gloom beyond. " Who goes there? " was the challenge. " The Wolves of Satan's Gap," responded David Dryden. CHAPTER IV. IN DANGER OF FLAMING DEATH.-A WOULD-BE ASSASSIN. THE GALLANT DEED OF C,RAZY TIM.-A WRONG THAT NEEDED RIGHTil'J:G . Clouds of smoke rolled through the little room where Jack Hilton laYi helpless on the floor, bound hand and foot in the center of the fiery cirde. Tongues of flame wildly toward him, fed by the oil upon t ,he floor, and each second drawing nearer t

AM-ERICAN . ' INDIAN WEEKLY. • l d ark of a by-street and was lost to view be for e any one could in purs. uit. 1 ,. The person was Josh Griffith, and ten minutes after-' .• ward he w a s 'speeding away to the outlaw leader's stro n g h o ld to acquaint him with the of the. ing h o u s e and its intended v ictim. ,. " ,The captain' s pl a n was , a failure , " chuckled the as h e sped a l o ng,. " but m y pi s t o l finished him, ai1d I ' U cl aim a rewal,"d f o r tl) a t. " J ack turne d t o thank hi s d e l i v e r e r and at the same ' tim e t 0 .discover w h o it w a s that h a d risked his life in o 1 ' cler t o r escue him f r o m the d eath w hi c h the s coun-dre l , Davi d Dryden , h a d d opme d hi m t o . .A met.hi s g a ze . A mass of s haggy gray . w hi skers a lmost cov e red the stranger's feature s , and a flowing ,mas . s of h air f e ll do w n upon the red , shirt w hi ch h e w ore. . A broad s l o u c h ed h a t partly imprisoned ' t h e h air and a dd e d to the perso n's w il d appear a n ce . Small pierc e i n g b lack e y e s , aE\ t h e sea, peeped fro m b e n eath t l } e shaggy eyebrows. A b r oad lea ther b elt enc i rcled h i s w a i s t and held his slender, but r , usted dagger . A pair of w e ll worn t o p b oots encas ed his fee t. The toes w e r e Jilro t rudinl'> fro t n the t orn boots .t h a t match e d t h e t attered pair o f p a n t a l oons worn b y the oddlo o k ' i n g creature . E v e n the r ed shirt w as patched and torn, a n d b a r e l y c ov ered t he b ody of the strang e in di v i d u al. A s Jack t urne d to g aze upon his de liverer:, t h e odd p e r so nage r e m ove d hi s h a t and bowed l o w to the y o ung man, utte r in g a w i l d l augh. " Ha! Ha! H a ! The . fire didn' t b urn you ! No, sir, the fla mes did n ' t s c orch you! I wouldn' t _let them! No, sir!" A n o th e r peal o f w ild l;;tu ghte r burs t from h is lips and he c ontinued" I k new you w e r e there, and the fir e w as c r e eping towards y o u , s o I imag in ,ed myself a s q u i r r e l and I fle w UJ? the tree and 'pull ed you out, didn't I ? " . . "You have save d my l i fe," r e pli e d Hilton. "How ca n I ev e r repay yo u , my brave fellow?'" Hil t o n ext e n d e d h i s h and and the strange per so n ea gerl y s e i ze d i t and wrun g it co rd i ally . "Y:o u a r e t h e fir s t one who h as talked so kind l y to me, a nd the fir s t t o s hake hands w ith C razy 'Ti m. I'll n o t for g e t i t-no1t forget i t." And t h e h a lfw itted crea tur e rep eated t h e sente n c e o ver and ove r again . ' '"Hurra h for Crazy Tim! " c ri ed a n:iiner. And the c r o w d b u r s t for t h into a deafe ning c h eer. ' "Young fe ll ow, we'r e mi g hty glad you g-ot out o f t hat sc rape so easy, f o r you were i n a t i ght fix and n o _mistake. Craz. y T im h as saved your li fe, and hereaft e r a n y ' m a n w h o makes fun of the idi o t o r p lays any tricks o n hi m ' i s a cur, and I f o r o n e , w ill g i v e him a l ea d pill out of m y s h oo t e r. D arn me, if I d o n 't! " The t a ll mi n e r who h a d ste pped f orth and d e li vere d the a bove spee c h, w a s g-r ee t e d by a l oud shout and cri e s o f aP,proval. In the meantime the flame s h a d spre a d with won derful rapidity, and the gambling den and. dance.,. h ouse . were a see thingmass of flames , threatening to destroy , th e adj Q inin g bupdings. , , , The' unfortunate creatures w h o h a d f a llen in the bloody b a t t le in the g-amblingr oom were proba bl y s till in , the burning bt_tildin g. D ea d or d y in g , they were left tp .. their f

10 , . ............ . -.c4 •• THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. I I '< share of it too. So David Dryden, alias Craig, is your man, eh?" " Yes, he has again stolen the young woman from p1e and holds her in captivity." Again the low cry-a muffled moan issued from the fool's lips and he laid his hand upon the hilt of a rusted 'c!agger. "No matter what they call him," Crazy Tim murmured, apparently to himself; "I' ll find him yet. Her blood is upon this blade and cr:ies aloud for vengeance. Tiberius will know him if my eyes fail to recognize his features; he'll know him-he'll know him-for he has got m o re sense than Crazy Tim. Call him by whatever name you will, he will yet fall into my and Tiberi u s will tell me if h e is th e man!" Jack gazed upon the idiot as he uttered his threat, and drew nearer to the p oo r fellow . "Have you, too, a wrong that needs righting?" he asked. "I have a wrong that nothing but blood-his blood -can wipe out! Not until his blood covers this rusted blade and hides he?' blood from my gaze can my wrong be effaced. But where is Tiberi us?" The idiot placed a curious bone whistle to his lips and blew a shrill blast upon it. A moment later and the deep bay of a dog res ounded from the outskirts of the crowd, and a huge Great Dane bounded into the circle, to crouch at the maniac's feet and lick his hand. , The great beast glared upon the group as if his strang e master was in periJ. A low -growl came from it s blood red throat, and it displayed its gleaming fangs in a ferocious manner. "No, no, he i sn't here!" said the idiot soothingly, as he patted the dog's head. " But we'll find him yet. Patience ! Patience! We'll find him yet!" I' CHAPTER V. THE WOLVES OF SATAN'S GAP S .HOW THEIR FANGS.---QUTLAWS A'.(' WORK.-JOSH GRIFFITH TELLS HIS STO R Y . Surrounded by inacce ss ible rocks and masses of boulders was an open space deep in the very heart of the wild range of one of the spurs of the Rocky Mountains where the outlaw band ha:d selected their rendezvo u s and permanent abode. Scarcely a quarter of a mile away to the north was the stag e coacl r oad leading to Virgina City. It wound along the bas e of the mountain and then throug h a g l oomy canyon. Hal way through this canyon was a wide, dee!) fissure. lt was a vast cleft in the r oc k y upheaval o f the earth. A rude but strong bridge of logs and trees formed a bridge across this chasm and ove r this structure the coach was compelled t o pass in it s journey to and from the mining t ow n s. B1ack mas s es of r oc k towered high above the road, completely shutting out the rays of sunlight. A more desolate spot could s carcely be f ound as no sign of life reli eve d the awful gloom and oppressive silence. Not a shrub o r blade of grass made its appearance in the dismal precincts of Satan's Gap, It was rightly named, for if the prince of darkness eve r frequented a spot, it surely must have been this awful region named after him . The open s pace referred to was on the summit of the rock, OYrlooking Satan's Gap and hewn out of .the r o ck y mass by the hand of nature. It resembled a giant eitaclel o r fortress perched upon the peak of a mountain. From these fantastic battlements could be the gloomy_ gap far below, and a good view of the road was obtained in like manner. , The cunning mind that selected the spot knew full well that a handfnl of armed men. coul d hol d an army at bay from this oitadel. h was into this open space that David Dryden had ridden when the outlaw sentry challenged him. I n a harsh voice the ruffian gave the pass-word. " The \Valves of Satan' s Gap . " . The faint m oonbe_ams revealed the form of the sentrv as he came forward to hold .the bridle while his C'hief di smounted. ' • David assisted 'Ethel' from the saddle and led the way toward a dark cavity in the side of the r ocky wall. A man c a me forth from the aperture, bearing a blaz ing t o rch, and led the way into the clark depths of a rock-b ound cavity followed by Dryden and his cap tive. The remainder of the bandits dismounted and a few seconds l ater both men and horses had disappeared within hidden openings at1d a silence reigned in the space. There were no signs ot life anywhere except in a figure hidden b y a boulder who guarded the only entrance and who s t oo d as if carved from the rock itself. David passed through the first vaulted passage until he reached a large chamber. The guide fixed a torch in the side of the apartment, and cast a few sticks upon the remains of a fiie . In cine corner of this chamber was a couch compos ed o f furs and robes. Ethel walked to this, casting herse lf upon it, and hid her face with her hands. Dryden did not notic e his captive, but drew near to the fir;e and flung his hat into a corner. " Back again!" he murmured, "and a tough night's work it has been too. I came near losing the girl and _had a scrimmage with the miners. I had to burn down Bannac}<: Bill's shanty in order to destroy a dangerous rival. Get me a glass of brandy. I'm tired and thirsty." • . The ban ' clit who had preceded the outlaws into the' cabin advanced to a little cupboard constructed in the side of a rocky wall and, after he had opened it, produced a bottk and a few glasses. Dryden poured out a portio n of the liqu o r and drank it. . "You say that you've had trouble to-night) Captain" " Yes, l ots of it! " responded the villain. " But thank fortune, it's over now and the girl is stlll in my hands." Dryden then gave his listener a graphic account of the night's adventu!e, and the manner in whici{ he bad disposed of his rival. He had barely concluded when a slight commotion in the narrow passage was borne t<9. his ears and the next moment, the well-known form o f Jos h Griffith entered the chamber. This out Jaw was breathless. rHe sank down upon a keg before the fire and rested a few moments before he spoke. " What's the matter?" demanded Dryden. "Matter eno_ugh, Captain. The young feller that you ti e d up and left in the room to be burnt up, escaped.the flames." Dryden hurled the glass, to the rocky floor , and an oath burs t from his lips as the shattered vessel rattled upon the hard surface. 1 "You lie!" he fairly shrieked. as he leaped to his feet, trembling with rage' . A glad cry escaped from the lips of the girl lying


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 11 upon the couch, as she heard the tidings of her lover's escape fr o m the dreadful fate to which he harl beeri doomed, and she clasped her hands in silent prayer. " Y o n lie! " r oared Dryden. " No human being could possibly e scape from that fire, for I did not lea v e until I saw the flames leap upon hirr:, fed by the oil whic h I threw upon him and upon the flo0r . " "Neverthe les s . I s a y that he has escitped!" reas serterl G riffith. calmly. • I hav e _jus t come from burning h o u se, and saw him res cued. " " By w h om?" thundered the bandit " By a crazy p e rson-that wild-l ooking creature they call C razy Tim." 1 ' Curse him! \N"h o i s ht?" " I do n ' t kno w . . I have seen hi m o f late l o it ering around the town , but I can1t pl ac e his features, n o r d o I recollect ever hav in g see n him b e f o re. " Dryde n p aced 'the chambe r lik e a wild beast in its cage. H e r o undl y cursed the i d i o t that h?..rl foile d him of t h e o f k n o win g tha t Jac k Hilto n was a s hapeless a nd c h a rred mass in the ruin"o f the building . A grin1 s mil e p layed upon G riffith's lip s b e h e l d . hi s chief's rage. He r e m a ined silently regar ding t h e ban d i t as h e p ac'::d t o an d fr o , and excl a im e d : "\\' hat would you g ive i f you knew h e w a s d ead?" "I'm i n n o hnn10r for j o kin g ! " "I'm n o t j o kin g. J:'m asking you a f air and s qu a re ques ti o n : what woulj you g ive if you kne w h e w a s positi vely cl ead? " <• Ask m e f o r a n ything v;ithin the bounds o f reason; but l o o k you , Josh G riffith , :'m in h o m oo d f o r pl e a s antries . a nd b e w a r e h ow you t rifl e with m e ! " D r y d e n again r esumed hi : ; measured t r ea d upo n the rocky floor. "Vliould you g i ve a tho usan d dollars?" o utlaw s t oppe d sudde nl y a nd fat::ed G riffith. "Yesa tho u sand d olla r s g l a dl y ! " "Th e n hand over the s p o ndu1ix 'ior I've fixed your Jnq ll. " "vVh a t d o you m e an?" "Be barely r e a ched the g r ound when, , I d arted f o r ward with my pi s t o l , a n d let him hav e it p oint bl<,nk. ' ' " \ Vith wha t r esult? " cried Dry den , eagerly , "He dropped dead at m y feet. " Ethel uttered a piercing scream, and sunk insensible upon the c o u c h. 'You are positive that y ou saw him fall dead?" " Yes, I'll swear to it! " replied Griffith. " I knew you ".'Ot!ld feel p1ea s ed t o kno w he was destroyed , sq I. t oo k big chanc es b y d arting into the c r o w d and givin g him the bullet, p oint bla11k." G riffith's e y e s gleamed s a vage l y , 'he s p o k e and he n o t e d with satis faction the please d lo o k that swept over Dryden1s fa c e . ' ' I h a d t o rttn f o r it, Captai n . The Vi gilantes were a t m y h ee l s,1 and gave m e a li ve l y chase." The l ying villain gav e a thrilling a c count o f a hair hreath e scape in o rd e r t o c onvince the bandit c hi e f o f the magnitude o f the daring deed he h ,ad accom p1is hect. " Yon a r e sure that Jack Hilto n i s dead? " Dryden demanded. "Yes; I .saw him fa ll. " "Ver y well; the amount wiii be yours. Now for the curs ed meddling f o n l who interposed i n Hilton' s d o you think y 011 wot1ld know hil'n again? Strange that I . hav e never met him during my frequent visits to Virgina City." " l ' d know him captain, for he's the craziest lookin& specimen you ever saw,': and Griffith described the idiot minutely to his chief. Dryden listened attentively and appeared much an< noyed. Ethel revived and overheard the description given o f her lover' s rescuer, and ble$sed him. ' l.Jr yden walked to the cupboard and poured out an other deeJ? potion of the fiery liquid and imbibed it. " Look you! This fo c i idiot, or whatever you cal! him, muM be de . stroy ed. He may be in our way some ru tu re t i 111 e." Little di d the r oad agent dream what important p art t h e too ! would play in t h e drama about to be enac t e d, a n d that he would m eet the maniac at. a critical p oin t o f the elrama in question! D r y d e n murmured a fe w word s to himself and again 8ea t ecl h i mself befo r e t h e fire. T h e o u t law w h o h a d entere d the ca vern in advance of the bandit leader rema ined a silent spectato r and listen e r of t he interview be t wee n D r yden and Josh Gri f fith . He fina il y s t e p p e d for ward and laid his hand upon the road-a g ent's s h o ul d er. . " Captain l Do you forget tha t t o -ni ght the Virgina C ity coac h passe s thro u g h the gap with a valuable treasure -box and a n a r me d e scort?" " Co n found it! I had almost forgotte n it. My mind was fixe d upon the e vents o f this night's a d venture. Q ui c k ! Pass the word to the boys. Expect a stubborn resistance, f o r the treasure is a rich one and the armed es c o r t a r e o n the qui rive for the r oad-agents . They'll have t o b . e mighty cute t o evade vVi l dFire--" "Or the \ 1 Vo l ves o f Satan's Gap," add ed Josh Grif fit h , dramatic a ll y, and h e b ounded out of the chamber into a low and narro w pass a g e close at hand. " Her e . you Hank! K eep your eyes on the beauty yon de r. D o n't allow h e r to leave t h is pl a c e under any p retext . 1\ ow fo r b u s iness! " Dry d e n pass ed within a fe w f eet o f the c ouch and g l a n ced a t the captiv e , but she turned her face from him. The b andit utte r e d a light laugh and passed ou t fr o m the ch amber. Hank sat be fo r e the fir e and watched the reclining f orm upo n the c o uch . E thel t r ied in vain t o suppres s the tears that welied up into her eyes. One m oment her heart had rejoiced .... to hear of her lover's safety. The next minute she had been plunged into abject sorrow by Griffith ' s w o rd s. Outs i de o f the r o ad-agent's h aunt the night w a s inten se l y cla rk. and the m oo n o c casi onally struggled to n eep through the dark cloud-s that swept over her fac e . Crou c h e d amon g t he giant boulders upo n either side o f t h e gap were m o ti onless figures eagerly lis t ening t o t h e a d va ncin g . ""Sh! The r o;>rh ; " Be o n the alert! Remem b e r t he signal-' W e l v e s s h o w you fangs ! '" said a voi ce in hushed whispers . Near e r dre w the c o ach. The h o r ses' hoofs sounded at hand . and a d ark mass m oved toward the bri dg-e over the chas m . The nex t m oment the horses w e r e 111)011 the bridg e. and the v e hicle roiled u po n t he structnre. A m oment later and the coach wa<; i n Sat a n's Gap. The m oo n Etrug gl e d thro u g h the clouds f o r an in-


12 ,, THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. I stant only, but in that brief interval it r evea led t h e 3-rmed e scort upon coach and m g through the wmdows. Then dark forms iss u e d rapidl y from the bo.uloers and leaped out into t h e roadway. moon shone brighter, and revealed the fig ure s di s ti n ctly. Each form had the hide o us h ead and , fe atures o f a w o lf, and a brace of rev olvers was grasped b y eac h mysterious bein g . CHAPTER VI. FIRE'S GANG.-THE T REASURED CHEST , -DIETRICH SCHUTTLEHEIMER GET S A SUR PRISE.-BANDIT HANK'S BOA RDER . an outla w threw open the lid contents of , t)1e chest to, the surrounding group. ' It was filled with small s a ks of gblq-dust 'and. bars of metal. . " A ll ri ght! N 0 cheat about that! Drive on. Remember yo u ' re not out of d a n ger until you have left S a t a n's G a p f a r behind you! From every a p a ir of eyes is watching eve ry movbn e nt. Good-night,1 a n d r e m em b e r your bl oo dl ess m eeting 'wit h the Wolves o f S a t a n's Gap ." The mas ked fig u r e lau g h e d g l eef ull y and motioned the dri ver o nward. The coach r o ll e d along throug h the gap , r e li eve d o f its treasure b ox. The wheels rum bled over the ro ug-h r oa d a n d the coach was soo n Althou g h t h e armed escort upon and within the swallovved up in the g l oom and the ' n o i s e of tl i e v ehicle stage c o a c h h a d b e en up o n the a l ert and prepared to di ed away in the di s t a n ce. m ee t r e s i stan ce in tha t dreade d l oca l ity, yet so suddeR A t the very firs t a p peara n ce of the wolf-masks and h ad b ee n the attac k, ' a nd a i de d b y t h e inte n s e gloom, the s h out of t heir l ea d e r , a p ortly figure had dropped that t h e w e ir d-look in g figures i n the roadway had c ov -t o the g rou n d fr o m t h e rear part' of the c oac h a n d . no w ered the a r med me n with the i r weapons. One look l ay c o n cea l e d be hi H d a huge r o c k . T hi s p e rsonage at the f orms w h ose h eads wer e in cas ed in the m asks watche , d tbe g r o u p of ba n d i ts a n d to hi s c o n s t erna,.tio n f o r me d of w o l f he a ds, and t h e driver reined in the h e saw o ne b url y ruffi an approach the very spo t w here h o r ses w i t h a cry of surpri se . h e lay c o nce a l ed. "Wi l dF i r e' s gang!" lie g asped. Befo r e t h e hi dde n watcher co ul d cra w l away in the " w i t h y o u r w e ap . ons ! T h e among you da r k n e s s 'the advan cing o u t law c a s t the rays o f a tha t r a t se s but a fin ger cites ! " s h o u t ed a l oud v oice . l antern up o n t h e boulder, and e x pose d the p e r so n hid fr o m b e n eath t h e r e pu l s i v e mas k. " Y o u s e e we h a ve den b e hi n d the r oc k . t11e dro p on you . Eve r y m a n of y0u i s co vered by a , "l; I ell o ! H e r e ' s someb o d y t hat wants t o inte r v i ew brace of revo l ve rs, and t h e pe r so n s in s id e of the coach t h e WoLves ! " excl a imed the b andit. Each are t r eate d in the same w ay:" ' 1 figure drew a weapo n , a nd the cl ick, c,Ii c k o f h e The road a gents w o r ds t r u e i n every: respect, tri g g e r s w wrned the <;li sc oV'ere d jntruder that hi s h our f o r eaclQ bideo u s l y-m . a s kecl outlaw h ad s in g led ' out his .was at h and. m a n, a nd t h e pol is h ed tubes of the weapons were "Oh , 'gentle m a n s d o n ' t shoo t ! I v as f alle n off dot 1 l eve l e d dire c t at t h e pe rson selec t e d . . c oac h es , unt I didn't k now bow to clim b e d o n again." Even as t h e a dvanced fig u re c o ncl u de d, a do ze n o f T h e p o r t l y figure . e merg ed from t h e s hadow o f the the s a m e m asked fig u r es a rose up o n ei t h e r side o f the boulde r , an d came into full view o f t he outlayvs . He c oac h , apparentl y f rom t h e ver y earth its elf , and the s tarted h'}c k a s if i n terror, and utt e r e d a cry o f a l arm o.f t h e ir weapons peep e d omino u s l y as h e saw the hi d e o u s h e ad and features o f the wolf mto the wmdows of t he coac h . Stlently and swiftl y the surmounting the of eac h arme d p e r so n that r oada gents h a d sprung u po n t h e ir prey , and without s t p-rot111cled him. tbe slightes t r es i s t a n c e the coa c h and its armed pas" Gch ! H i m m e l! Y ot i s q ot? O h , vo t kind of p ee pl e s se nger s wer e ,at the m e rcy o f the bo ld outlaws. It was i s d o t ? Man s mit wolf 's head s o n d e m b o di es . Och, tha t c ontrolli n g o f t he r obber league de m v ill ea t m e l ik e a cat v ill dere m o u ses ! " and the l a tcllu s p l an s s l qllLull y , and h1s followers e xecutecl'them Ge r ma n tremb l e d a nd drew away f r o m the road-agents. w i t h t h e prec i s i o n o f c l ockwo r k . T h e stage-c o aches "vVh o are y:ou?" thund e r e d t he f o r emos t o u t l aw, h is wer e n e ve r stopped in t he s a me spot , there f ore it was eyes g l eam in g thro u g h t h e aperture an d resemblin g the ). mp oss i b l e t o know w h e n a nd where to l oo k for the a t o rb s o f the s av a g e anima l w h ose h e ad cov e r ed his f a c e t ack. T h e esc ort knew t hat S a t a n's Gap w as the clana s trange light o f f e r ocity probabl y occ as i o n e d b y the ger o u s r av in e , but a s it was full y a quarter of a mile ray s o f the d ark lantern, w h ic h flashed' its light f ull l o n g i t requir e d c o n s t ant v i g il a n c e until the dread upo n t he mask. r e g i o ns wer e p ass ed in safe ty. "Wh o I v os?" repeated the stout German. "I vos T h e p ass en ge r s h a d but time to o b serv. e the wolf-Dietric h S11t1ttleheimer . \ V ho vos y ou, an yhow?" h eads m as kin g the feature s of the attacking party when " S ilenc e ! Do you know y ou are upon the the l e a der again spoke . brink of eternity?" . " Down w ith the t r easure-chest and be lively with The fat German started backw ard, a s if he had been 1t! Cove r every man, b oys! Keep your fingers standing upon dangerous g r o und, and e x claim ed: u po n the triggers! Upo n the le ast si g n of treachery "Himmel, I didn't sl:ioost know dat I vos standi1rg shoot and d on't miss your man! Come, pay toll to the on d o brink! " King of the R o ad-A gents and outlaws. Wild-Fire ''What are you doin g here? Were you left by acnever a sks but once f o r the toll." or did you leave the coach i!!tentionally'?" . A moment l ater and the iron-bound chest was pro-fie rcely asked the leader of the masks. ducecl and handed down. Two masked figures seized " No, sir! Der coach left me." 'it and l a id it upon the ground. A third advanc ed w ith A l o w laugh came from the a ssembled group, and as a heavy 'ax and struck: the chest several blows, shat-they g azed upon the features of the frightene d Dutch t ering the lock . . man they c.ou l d disco ver no si gns of the real emotion "Light! E xamine the contents!" ordered the fore-that was at that moment uppermost in s tout Ger most figure. ' . m an' s mind. He appeared terror-stricken, and tFem' . A d a rk -lantern fla shed its rays upon the box while blin g in every limb he sunk up o n his lo ; 1ees, and his


THE INDI:AN 13 I, ' teeth The cause of his terror was the heavy revolver that was suddenly presented to his head by the chief of the Wolv es. 1 " Down on your knees ! In five seconds you're a dead man! " said th' e outlaw. " Oh, Mister Wolf!" groaned the kneeling figure. " I don'd got any' grudges against ydu. I don'd care if you vas robbed the stage coaches fifty times a day; vot is dot my business ?-nottings. I wish I vas a robher. By Himmel, I vould rob pennies von a dead man's eyes . I vas yust so big a t'ief like all you gentlemans." The bandits laughed, and the German, seeing the advantage thus gained, quickly followed it up. "Yust giv e me a chanc-e to rob somebodies, unt you vill s ee dot I can be yll'st so big a rascal like any von vot you are." "Arise!" comm anded the outlaw leader. "Now blindfold him and lead him into the. prison-vault." A bandit stepped forward and placed a bandage over Dietrjch's eyes w hile another bound the German' s hands behind him with a stout piece of twine. " S1ty, h o ld on! I can't vas see nottingS:-;! " protested Dietrich in a tone of perfect simplicity. "That's all ri ght! le a d on!" The m as k ed figure s m oved onward t o the rock bound citadel. T w o o f the outlaws carried the chest while two more l e d the blindf o lded Dutchman onward. Dietrich k ept up a c ontinual flow of funny remarks w hile guides led him over the rocky pathvky, causing him to stumble and s wear in German as he proceeded toward the ba n dit's retreat. Even as he fell and pre t ende d t o hurt hi mself, t h e crafty German mana g ed to m ove the b a ndage i n such a manner that he c ould obta in an occas i onal g l i m ps e o f his surroundings. The o u t laws ente re d the glo omy passag e l ead in g into the cavern retreat a n d Di e t r i c h f ound--hims elf in the chamber w h ere Ethel sti ll r e cl ined up o n the couch . So meth i n g like a thrill of pleasure swept thro u g h the , Germa n 's f orm and he s tarte d v i s ibl y . Only for an instant, h oweve r , for Hte next moment h e w a s c a lm and , indiffer ent t o the SUrrEmn d ings. Hank s till l ounged b efo r e the fir e and l oo k ed up in surpris e as the t w o wolf-m as k s l e d the cap tu red D utchma n into the r o om. The two masked o u t laws retired and a fe w moments l a t e r Dav id D ryden e nter ed t h e apartment. Div e sted o f hi s wolf-m as k , the a r c h scoundre l entered the cha m b e r and a g ri m smil e p l aye d upon hi s features a s his e yes r es t e d up o n t h e bli n dfo l ded Dutc h ma n standing lik e a s t atute in t h e c e nter o f t h e vaulted chamber. The band i t c hi ef walk ed toward a small d ea l t a ble and placed hi s two rev olvers upm:t it and unl oo s ened hi s leather b elt. " t Hank y o u will hav e a new boarder, " s a id Dry d e n . "When I r eturn yo u ca n put him into tha t small cha m b e r at the ri ght, and b e sure tha t he i s secure d . I'm afra id I'v e got an el ephant on m y hands. " " P y Himmel ! I v i s h I c ould ge t di s rag off von mein e y es so d d t I c ould 5 e e d o t el ephant o n your h a nd s-ha! h a ! h a ! D o t's funny ! A elephant o n hi s hands!" Die t r i c h l a u ghed heart i l y a s h e p i c tured the o utlaw w i t h ' a n e l ep h ant o n hi s hand s . Dry d en walk e d s l ow l y out o f the cham b e r and Hank , the g uard , seated h im se lf in stjch a m a nn e r t h a t h e c ould o bserve t h e Dutc h m an . " H<<, :r vant t o talk so me tings m it yo u ! " Hank star, t e d in surpris e as he heard the Dutc hman c a ll him b y natr;te . " How did you know .my name w a s Hank?" demanded the seated o " utla:w. " Oh, Mister Wild-Fi're told me dot Hank would loog oud for me und Hank vould loog oud for Miss Ethel, too! : • answered Dietrich. looked up in surprise as she heard her name mentioned: . She saw notping in the red features and yellow hatr of the Teuton to make her recall any previous meeting. Ev'en as she looked t oward the Dutchman she saw him walk toward the table. " N o w, loog here, Hank. I vish dot my hands was loose . I got a leedle bottle of vhiskey in my pogget, und I bet dot you neffer drank sometings like dot. Hank, lige goot vhiskey! I can told dat by your n ose, Hank ! " Hank arose from his seat and approached. the Dutchman. The excellence of the whiskey had excited his curiosity and before Dietrich had spoken a dozen words the outlaw had released his 1i.ands, and the w hi skey flas k was e agerly seized. . Hank quickly sampled the contents of the :flask and w hile he was thus engaged, Dietrich walked toward the table. He made but one movement and that one mo v e ment was as rapid as a lightning flash. In that one mov em ent he had s ei zed both rev ol vers and they were c o nc ea l e d in his p ockets. When Hank lo wered the flask ; the Dutchman was standing imm ovable as a statue and at a respectful distance from the table. The m ovement h a d e s caped the outl aw's n o tice, but Ethe l had observ ed the act. Why did the p ri soner s eize upo n the w e apons of the bandit chief? Was h e a frien d o r was he m e rel y c o nce al in g the w eapons for his p erSOI].al advantage? Yet he had m entioned her name. How had he ascertai ne d it? Ethel p ondered these q ue s ti o ns ove r and ove r a s she gazed up o n .the bl in dfo lde d fig ure. H ank had barely t i m e to return the fl.ask t o the German 's w ai s t-coat pocket when t h e hec:tcvy foot fa ll of the , outlaw chief r esounde d in the passage a n d Dryden s t rode into the r oo m . vVoul d he d iscove r t h e los s of hi s weap o ns? CHAPTE R VII. THE TORC H OJ" DEATH. -THE TABLES ARE TURNED. -ABAN DONE D TO A TERRIBLE FATE.-THE OUTLAW ROAD -AGENT'S ORDERS. Han k di d n o t h ave t ime to agai n bin d t h e hands of t h e Dutc h ma n . A n d th a t i ndiv idual p lac e d h i s hands beh i n d h im i n s u c h a mann e r t h a t o n ly a cl ose observe r would have no tice d that the h a nd s were untied and at lib erty. The outlaw e ntered the

.. , TH.l!. AME!U CAN lNDlAN WEEKLY. ... tended to and I am again at liberty to devote my at "" tentio n s t o you, Miss Errington." . " You can spa re yourself that' trouble! " replied, Ethe l , haughtily. ., " A h, don' t be so sarcastic! You forget where you are. You reaily forget you' re not in you r own home, but in mine . But it w ill be yours als o , for as my wife, you will have to share my cast le. " Dry de'n drew still nearer to his beautiful captive, and essayed s p eaking in s o ft tones. " You wi il learn to lik t me. I d o n ' t ask you to love me, b e c a u s e I know you h av e plighted your love to Jack Hilto n ; but he is d ead. You mus t banish him . from your thoughts and d evote them to me. " A bitte r s mile hovei ed upon th e g irl's lips as she l i s t e n ed to the outlaw's worcis. " I g l o r y in the love I b ear Jack Hil t.Qn, and m y heart returns a s true t o it as the' needle does t o the pole. Never m entio n your name i n the s a me breath with his, f o r his nam e i s s acredt o my ear s , w hile yours awakens o nl y feelings o f loath i n g .1 " _ " Heaven b : css her!" murmure d the Dutchman in a w hi s per. Ethe l's r e pl y stung the outlaw t o the quick, and his face p l a inl y s howed t h e rage tha t now swept thi ough eve r y fib r e of hi s f r a !'l1e. His vo i ce beca me hus k y and he advanced towar d t he g i r l i n a blus t e rin g m anner. . "En o u g h of your insol e n ce ! " h e c ri ed . " I will stand n o more of it! G u ard' your t ongue well and , carefull y avo id insul t s in your r e pli es . 1 a:m in n o mood to eve n listen to r.our s arcasm. I have wasted too muc h valu a bl e time m trying t o reconcile you. I nave ilri e d f air means, but hereafter I will use force, if it is necessa r y ! " 1 You threate n a woman , who can off e r but s l1ghl r es i s t a n ce t o your J;>rula l .language and stren oth. l have re m a in e d a pnsoner 111 your hands for wear y m o n t h s, but you w ill neve r s ub d u e my spi ri t and .gain m y co nsent t o link m y fa t e with yours ! " ' Eth e l _ had r ise,n from the c o u c h and s tGod with features p a 1 e as the drive n b efo re -th e outl a w , and the d espe r a d o qu a ile d b efo r e h e r pi e r cing e y e s and imperi o t 'S moti o n o f h e r hand. For a mo mP.n t h e s t ood re g ardin g t h e beautiful facE o f his prisoner ; the n ex t moment h e h a d steppe d fo r w?rd q u ic kl y a n d sei ze d h e r h and. hi s he took t h e de licate hand closed h1s finger s hke a dee upo n i t. Ethel utte r ed a little c r y o f p a in a nci sou ght i n va in fo rel e a se the g rasp . T hat l i ttl e c r y h a d reaci1ed the ea r s of a n anx i o u s l i s t e n e r . T h e m o m ent t h a t s h e had utte r e d the m oan, t h e Dut chma n t o r e away 'the bandage from hi s eyes and lik e the l ea p of a p anthe r he w a s upo n the outla w and with o n e effort h e flu ng the b andit headlong up o n t h e r oc k y floo r . . ' Ha;1k leaped t o hjs feet and Dry d e n a rose from the pavem ent with a bl eed in g gash upon l:i s f'?rehead. With 8 roar lik e t hat utte r ed b y a n mfunated bull, the outlaw flung toward the Dutchma n , but as he r e a c h ed forth hi s h a nds to se i ze the offender, he was agai n sent down to the floo r b y a w e ll-directed blow fro m the D u tcli.m a n's fis t . Dryden was u po n hi s feetagain in an in stant and his h a nd s so u ght hi s b elt f o r h is w e apons . He re memb e r ed havin g l a id them up o n the _He dash ed toward tha t a n c l . an oath broke fr o m Iu s hps. The p is t o l s 'were gon e ! " Death a:nd Fury!" he roared. "Where are my pistols? " , . .. Here!" shouted the Dutchman, and 'as he spoke -he d rew the brace of revolvers and l evelle d them fu ll at the bandit's h ead. . Dryden was roo ted to 'the spot w i t h s urprise;. he t ou l d no!: articulate a single word. Ethel uttered a glad cry and sprang toward the German, as if her safety la.v in that direction. ' Keep close beside me, miss," said the German in tones th'tt thrilled her and almost forced another cry from her lips . "Shoot! Hank! Shoot! Why do you stand there like a mummy! " cried Dryden. " Silence! " hissed Die trich. " Don't t a l k above a whispe-r, o r I'll let d aylight into yonr skull ! Move h and or f o ot, eithe r o f you, and you 're dead m en! " It was stra n g e that the Dutchma n had abandoned hi s di a lect and h a d spoke n in a changed tone of v oice, but the two ruffia n s did n o t , n o tice it. Their attenti o n was ri ve t e d up o n the de adly -;;eapons which held them r oo t ed t o t h e spo t and in watching the fing e r s tha t r es t e d up on the trigger. It was a thrilling scene. A stra n g e li ght snclclen l y shone in _ the outlaw's eyes. Something h a d sent a glint of hope, even . a s he s t oo d befo r e the w ea p o n . Even , while Dry den s t oo d apparentl y at Dietrich' s merc y , s e vera l f orms wer e quietl y .stealing into the ro o m . Several of Dryden' s ruffi ans appeared in the narro w pass age di r e c tl y behmu tne lJmcl1nJan . lt i.•.ras their co n , 1 in g w hi c h h a d se n t t h e g leam of pl e a sure into Dry den's eyes . Quietly a n d quickl y the bandits s t o l e behind to sud d en l y spnng upo n him, t o p ini o n hi s ami's a nd, pre s s them b ackwa rd. A yell o f t riump h broke fr o m the ban dit c hief. "Th e t a bi e s a r e turned!" said h e , a s he o ent over 1 h e prostrate figure \a nd removed t he weapons from Dietrich's h a nd. "Yo u won' t have any further use fci these, m y fin e f e llow! I'll t reat you t o a death w hereby you won ' t s uff e r ve r y l o n g at the clim::tx, but you 'll s uffer a tho u sa n d d eaths b e fore you are put out c•f your miser y ! " A seco nd late r and D i etric h 's h ands were secured. D r y d e n turned t o Hank. " I'll s c ttle with you fo r y ou•: c:J.relessn ess!" g rowl e d h e . _ " I'll tea ch you t o k e ep your eyes open in t h e future." "But , .Captain--" "Not a word! It was y our duty tc see that the pri so n e r was s ecured and you hav e neglected that duty. A s f o r yo. u, miss," and Dryden turned to Et}1e l , "you are n o t yet out o f my h a n ds! Your cham p i o n i s in good k e epin g, and yo u will n o t be troubled with hi s attentio n s he r ea ft e r ." Ethel attempte d to reach the German and tri e d to thank for his effort s in her behalf, but Dryde n anticipated the movement and prevented the meeting. 'The Gierman glanced toward the young gir l and their ey';S met. Tl;la t one glance t o ld more than It re v eal e d volumes. But before she c ould fil'ld the real s olution to the mystery, the Dutchman was forced out o f the room by the outl aws, and Ethel, weeping, sou ght h e r c o uch o f furs . Hank kept ' a stric. t watch over the po o r victim. \ '.


THE AMERfCaN INDIAN WEEKLY. Dtyden's ruffians led their pri5uner into a winding passage that opened into several smaller chambers. The gro4p finally entered a low vaulted room and the light of the torch, borne by the outlaw in advance, 1 revealed the dreary looking place to the men and their prisoner. , . Overhead the huge rock layers were interlocked in such a manneF that one held the other in position. Water trickled down from the dome of this cavern. and the sides of the room were covered with a greenish s lime. ' In entering the place, t1te outlaws had opened the d oors f ormed ' o f heavy timbers apparently the only entrance to the vault-like apartment. " This is the place, " said Dryden. " This abandoned chamber will suit my purpos e very well. The s hock will bring d,own the bould e 1 s and the y w ill fo n n a tombstone for The outlaws l ooked a skance and the bandit leader ' c ontinued: " I se e you d o n ' t quite se e throug h my plans. But you w ill presently . My v en geance will be quick and terrible. This meddling f oo l has pried into our d i s covere d our r etreat and actually s o uglh t p a gam steal t h a t g irl fr o m m y keeping . R o ll out a keg of powder from our magazine! Liv el y there! And I'll treat you t o a s i ght w orth seeing!" A nimb l e de s p erado darted awa y in ques t o f the plosi ve. . If the G e rm a n was appalle d a t the fate in s t o re f o r him, 1-ys fac e did n o t b etray his feelin g. He s to o d calmly regarding the o u t law chieftain with. a sneer upo n his florid features . ' " This f e llo w . sought our retreat with a purpose i n v ie w ! What that purpos e w a s i s o f n o c o n sequence, f o ' r in ten minutes h e w ill be l a un c h e d into Eternity!'' anno un ce d Dryden. The ruffi a n w h o h a d made hi s exit t o obta in the p owder n o w r eturne d with a kf:g o f the expl os ive and placed it upon the floo r. " Wha t nex t, captain? " Dryden approached the d oo m e d man,. and in hissing t'bn es he said: . " D o y o u . n o t trer i1ble ? D o yo u n o t fea r t o mee t death in the shape it i s n o w prepared f o r you?" The German bent a penetrating up o n the ruffian , and then contemptuo usl y turned his head a w a y without deigning a reply. The outlaw' s orde r s were qui c k and t o the point, as he saw. the prisoner turn away . He had hoped to the doomed man s ink upon his kne e s and beg f o r hi s life. But in this he was disappointed. Dryden witlidrew the plu g from oneend of the keg and scattered a heap of powder upon the rocky floor. He then poured o'ut ' several handfuls of the black compound and laid a train toward thedoor. He arranged this train so that it led toward the heavy door and passed beneath it. It was arranged so that it could be fired after the door was closed , and the inflammable mixture would flash along: toward the bulk in the keg. He next placed. the keg in the center of the chamber, and several ba .ndits forced the prisoner over the powder barrel, and by means of an iro n rin g fixed in the floor, Dietrich was seeured. in such a manner that he was fastened upon . the' keg and unable to move hand or ,foot. "Now then! All leave this chamber. Now; my fine spy, say your prayers, if know any; A speedy trip to the unknown land awa1ts you." The outlaw chief and his bandits passed out of the room and closed the heavy door, leaving the helpless man bound upon the powder-keg. Dryden seized the torch, and stooping down applied it to the powder-train. A flash ensued and the train leaped forward like a fiery serpent. CHAP'F-ER VIII. A LOST LOVED ONE.-A WISE DOG.-THE BANDIT S E NTR'S DE ATH.-cRA ZY TIM'S DISCO VERY. It will be rem em be red that Jack Hilton stood before the burning, building intently gazing upon the demente d creature known a s Crazy Tim, and the idiot was speaking to the huge Great Dane as if the brute understoo d every word uttered by its master. Not long did the maniac remain with his dumb companio n , but he again came toward Jack in a mysterious manne r. 'You hav e l os t ' o n e . who m you loved ? One for w h o m you w o uld bear sorrowone f o r w h o m you would la y d own) ife itse lf? Ah! I know what it is to l ose a treasure like tha t," said Crazy Tim in a t one of deep sadness , and he hastily brushed aside tears that dimmed his eyes. " But yo u can find her. Search! search! It i s you r o nl y h o p e , " a n d t h e i d iot's v oice suddenly arose. "Wh y do you stand ,here while the lamb is in the fo ld o f the w o lf? Why d o you stand here w hile she n1a y b e shrieking for help ? GoJ search Sat a n ' s Gap! I t i s the re all e v il spirits h o ld f orth, and it is an e v il spirit that has s t o l e n your treasure. Follow upon the track and search Satan's G a p altho u g h you have to p ull d own e very b oulder in the accurse d spot. She is t h e r e! S h e i s there, a nd t h e fie nd w ill n o t rel e a s e her." A light suddenly broke in u p o n the' young man. Se well, t h e mine r , had mentioned Dry d e n o r C r a ig's name in s uch a m anner as to c onnect it with the bandits that infe sted the dreaded l o calit y know n as Satan' s Gap. If David Dryden, alias , was in league with the "Wolves" then it v v a s very e vident that he had b orne a w a y his pri soner t o t.hat rendezvo us. The idi o t was ri ght; that was the spot where he mi ght h ope to find his lost o ne. But, how was he to enter t 1at den? How c ould he h ope-to penetrate its mysteries and discover if Ethel w a s really an inmate of the robber' s -head-quarters? Jack mentally asked himself thes e questions while the words of the idiot s till rung in his ears. He knew that the coach would leave Virginia City, shortly after midnight with an armed escort, for it bore away a valuable treasure-box. The coach would be compelled to pass through Satan' s Gap. Perhaps he could journey as far as the outlaw and , r oad.:agent's haunts and there lea v e the c oach and pursue his search? 1n two hours the coach would lea v e and J a ck re solved to carry out the plan he had hastily f o rmed. But he wisely concluded to reveal that plan t o n o ne save the idiot. He would first of all return to 1 1 is e m pl oyer and restore the gold-dust that he had obta ined from the safe , and then pursue his intentions s 9 hastily ' f o rmed. Jack called tlie idiot to his side , and thanking Sewell f o r his proffered assistance, he led the maniac away


16 from the scene. The ragged creature followed him quickly, while the huge Great Dane trotted at his heels. When a short distance from the assemblage gathered about the ruins of the building, Jack paused and spoke to his strange companion. ,. ' . " Tim, the advice you gav,-e me is good, and I have resolved to follow it. I am going to Satan's Gap! " . " You will find her there. But you will also the Wolves hungry and bloodthirsty. The way is filled with danger, but she whom you love is there. Go ! go! Crazy Tim is your friend and advises you to go." . The idiot extended his hand and Jack grasped it and wrung it cordially. The next moment the fool had whistled to the Great Dane and both dog and master s ' uddenly: disappeared in the gloom. Then Jack started toward the building where his employer's office,. was located and gained admission. A huge safe stood in oRe corner of the room, and having the com.:. bination Jack easily opened it and replaced the gold dtist which he had purloined but a few hours before at the instigation of David Dryden. Having accomplished this he relocked the safe, extinguished the lamp which he had used , and fastened the outer door. He wehded' his way toward a wooden building where he l0dged , and once there he ,changed the damp and stained garments that he wore. He had almost an hour and a half to spate before the coach would 1eave town, so. he began prenara,tions for the trip. , ' . A larg e chest stood in one corner of the room, and from this box he produced, a quantity of garments and select e d some clothing. He stood before the small mirro r J i t h several brushes and tablets cif paint, and at the expiration o f an hour a transformation of the features had taken piace whereby his most intimate fri e nd w ould have failed to recognize him. In t h e meantime , the idiot had stumbled 'along in the darkness, f oLlow ed by his hug e do g . About a mile f r o m the t own he bent his fo otsteps into a by-path a mong the r oc k s, and finally pause d before a curiousl oo kin g structure puilt among the sto nes. It was c o m p ose d 'Of seve r a l 9 ld packin g ca se s , which he ha;d prob abl y obtaine d fr o m the t own. The cases were placed in s u c h a 1 a 1 anner tha t they a fforded sufficient shelter t o the demente d being that lived .and slept beneath them. Seve ral o ld battered tin cans f ormed his kitchen ute n sils , a n d ' r o m a s eclud e d c orner he produced a tin l a mp , a nd soo n illumined hi s strang e abode with its f ee bl e rays. A. h e ap o f leaves f o r the idi o t and tl og, and a .few crackers and bones gave e v idence of a recent' meal. The d o g enterelf the " a p artment" a nd sou ght the furthest corner. "Tibedus ! you will hav e to occupy the parlor all to y ourse lf t oni ght, f o r I'm going out. There' s busines s o n h a n d . I want y o u t o s l ee p with on e eye o p e n , . d o . yo u h ea r ? If I'm n o t h o m e in t wo o r three hours, I waT,Jt yo u t o c o m e and l oo k f o r me, sam e y o n al w ays do." The idi o t s p o k e in a l ow, soo thin g t one, and the brute listen ed as if l:l.e unde r s t oo d the imp ort o f the m an i ac's in structio ns. The i d iot e x t in guis h e d the lamp , and a g ain s peakin g a f e w wo rd s o f cautio n t o the clog, he stro de away at a r ap i d g-ait t o wa,rd the di stant haunt o f the \i\Tolve s o f S a t a n 's Gap. Like a ghostly visitor from the other world the idiot flitted along, . talking incessantly to himself, but i . n a .hushed voice. Mile after mile he traversed, until' tile . datk precincts . of the Gap hove in sig4t. .' . l The moonbeams. now and then sent slanting rays of silv 'ery ligb,t across the path; but Tim seemed anxious to avoid it. . He crept along in the gloom like an e v il spirit, shunning the bright spots and . se_!ecting the dark. Finally his steps became slower, and he1 glided forward very cautio. usly. 1 Suddenly he sunk to the earth, and crept on his hands and. knees ap.d peered over a large boulder that arose in his path. He gathered himself as if for a sudden leap. slight paus e and he darted forward, and the next m ' annent he , had bprne , a human figure down upon the rocky surface of the .earth. His long fingers encircled the throat of the person he had overpowered, and liis knees were planted upon the prostrate man's chest. , It was. the bandit sentry. , . . ' " Not a word, you whelp ! . " hi s sed the idiot, as his g1'asp tightened about the bandit's throat. 'The desperado made several efforts to ?hake off his antagonist and call for help, but the idiot choked the -.cry in its very utterance. ' " I'm a fool," said he, "but I know how to go to work when I have an object in view. Don't mbve, or I'll choke y,;ou dead." Then; was no need of thus"waming the prostrate 9entr,y, for his struggles had and, 'he 'lay perfectly; motionless. ' .. . 'Fhe maniac had him! strange being aros e , and for a moment he stood gazing .at the form ly-ing motionless at his f e et. "He's dead, " he chuckled; "I couldn't it. He was in the way, and h e'd kill me if he could. Ah! that's the way it is in this world; we're all taking chances. It's by mere' chance that we s , ucceed. N o:w -what next?" said h.e, r nusingly. He aga in b egan creeping forward and .crossep the open sp a ce l e adin g the s eries of hidden caverns in , the .mountain of r o ck. He flitted from boulder to ' boulder, searching. for a favorable ingress. He had ap proached the G a p by a different route, and therefore a much mo r e difficult one than that traversed by th,e stag e line . \i\Then Crazy Tim reached the summit of the outlaws' citadel, the stag e-c o ach robbery had transpired fully an hour previo us. The idiot continued his c a reful scrutiny of the surroundings. Everything was as silent as the grave; not a sound broke the quiet, save the distant hoot of an owl or the plaintive Qry' of a night bird. N o t a ray of liglit came from the Heavens upon thE: s ecti o n o f the \ vhere the idiot ':"as his investigations. He haq reached a point of massive rocks overlooking the center of the Gap, when his att ention was attracted by the low hum of human voices and a f e eble ray o f light that suddenly gleamed thro u g h the cre v ices in the layers of rock. He drew n ea r e r , and sought a s p o t where he could obtain a v i ew o f the inte ri o r o f the place reflecting the light. T o hi s astonishment he beheld a low cavern and a half d oze n human b e ings flittin g to and fro wi'thin it. A n outlaw b earing a torch reveal e d fhe interior o f tl'\e chamber to the hid pen watcher. The cau s ed a slight exclam ati o n t o fall from the idi ot's lips was the b ound figure o f the German in the act of peing


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. )' ' I 'over the powder-keg and fas tened t o the i r o n ring in''the rocky floor. The idiot saw the powder train upon the I cavern's fou1;1dation, and a hoarse c r y of ftJ.ry es caped fro m him. H e .understood the situation at a g lance. Scarc e l y had he n oted the scene below when the outlaws strode o u t o f the r ocky chamber and closed the. heavy door. ' The idi o t tore at. the yielding rocks with despera , n. He flung his tattered jacket into a pool of water t1ea'r Qy and seized the wet garment in a frenzied man per. A cry of horror b_roke from nis lips, for a flash appeare d under the d oor. . The bandit had fired the p ow d e r train ! " After them ! By all means, capture the Dutchman! But ,use e v -ery e xertion to catch the person who entered tl:lis cavern! He possesses our secrets and it is saf e to say that he know s our hidden retreat. Go! Go! Why do you stand here listening and yawping like idiots ? " With a hoarse cry, David Dryden clambered up the rocks and passed out through the passag e made by the maniac , f o llo wed 'by his confederate. The 'bandit chief gained the open air a h d his eyes scanned the surroundings for some traces of the fugi tives. I n the meantime,'Crazy Tim and his companion were soo n without the ca vern. C H APTER IX. Both pau sed f o r a s in g le minute to determine the TIBElHUS TO THE RESCUE.-DAVID D R Y DEN I S B A F FLED. ' nex t mo ve. DIETRICH' s NARRQW ESCAPE. A FLIGHT F O R LIFE. ':__Which way n ow ? " crie d Tim. " W ill you fly or C razy T i m made a superhuman eff ort and dislodged w ill you assi s t the wom a n w h o m he hold s i n his talons severa l s l a b s o f s t one i n s uch a m anner tha t it made as the h aw k h o lds the little, helples s bird?" _ .an openin g l a rge en o u g h t o admithis body. " I ' w ill n o t l e ave this pl a c e until I have made a final T h e next moment h e h a d le a p e d ' through this a per-effor t t o her! " s a id Dietrich firml y . ture and Wfi.S s tandin g upon the cavern' s floor . Not ' The di alect w as c ertain l y far fro m German or broken a n in s t ant too soo n, f o r the fie r y trail of was Eng lish, but t he mania c did not seem to notice the tone sputterin g a nd flas hin g a l o n g the damp floor toward of voice or the accent. t h e b o und m a n o n t he keg. "Then f o llo w me! " said he. " I'll show you the The i d i o t sprung ' f orward midway b e t w een the vicentrance, and while w e are busy at the other end of tin 1 and the door. and da shed hi s wet j acket upo n t}1e their den, we'll f o r c e a n entrance into this part o f it. " p owder train and flun g himse l f upon it, , crushing, The stra n g e creature, perfectly .rational in his ads m o , t h e rin g and scattering the t ra il that was 1eading . v i ce and plan s, d arted for ward, cl osely f o ll owed b y the the fier y serpent to a final e x pl os ion. s t out Germa n . A s hort run b r o u ght them to a luw The flashing e x pl os i ve hissed and ptruggled beneath r o un d o p e n i n g in Hie face of the towering r o ck s, a n d the garment, but cit failed t o pass the barrier thus into this par t i c ul a r aperture the idi o t r a n , foll ow e d by interp0sed . D i etric h . Both rushed o nward qu. ickl y but silently . The per so n b ound t o the • keg was saved. A m o A d oze n yard s b rought the m into th l ow, vaulted pas m ent C razy T im was d arting toward the Gcnnan , sage and then b y a s eri es o f cha mbers, the Dut c h m a n and ' w i t h hi s curi o u s dagger h e seve r e d t he r o p es and led t h e way toward the r oo m w h e r e Eth e l r emai ne d drew Di etrich away from the keg. cl ose l y watched by the o u t law k nown a s H a n k. . "Nc:iw up thro u g h than h o l e you see there!. Q ui ck! It w il! b e r e membered tha t Diet ri c h , altho u g h apq u ick! o r you 'l1 go thro u g h the roof h e lp e d a l o n g b y parentl y "'b l indfo l de d , had obser ved the passages and the powd er!" c ri ed t h e idi o t ; w il d l y, as h e p ' u s h e d the gaiBed a knowledge o f the c hamber s . Ge rman towar d the h o l e in the side-of the c h a mb e r . I n a few m .oments he searched the ro cky apartment. The Germa n d i d n o t await a secon d biddi n g, but d arte d Hank s till sat b efo r e t h e fire ; a n d the e ffects o f t h e toward the exit m a d e oy the idi o t. li q uor. wer e causing t h e outlaw t o n od a n d partially Outside o f he heavy d 9o r , but a t a safe di stance, fa ll as l ee p . . s t oo d Davi d Dryden <;J:nd ruffia n s awaiting the ex\i'IJith o n e quick bound Dietri c h was a t H a n k's s i d e , plos i o n . a n d o ne w ell de alt blow sent the b a n di t sprawlin g f rom The 0Utlaw s t oo d a t a res p ecta bl e dist a nce, with a his seat. grim s mil e upon hi s fa c e . Hank's heaa cam e in v i o len t co n tact with the h a r d Several s e conds e lf!.p sed a n d a l oo k o f uneasiness floor , a n d hi s se n ss were, c o m p l e t e l y kno cke d out of sto l e u po n t h e bandit' s features . hi s h ea d. He lay passi ve a n d m otio nl ess, w h i le t h e , H a d the pl a n f a il ed? \i'IJ as t h e powd e r not fired German s p ra n g quic kl y toward Ethel. 'properly? . The g irl uttered a g l a d cry of s u r pri s e a s her eyes. "No," said the r uffi a n , in re p l y t o hi s . m enta 1 inr es t ed u po n h e r ' d eliverer. quiries, for had he not fir e d t H e po wder train himself S h e had w i t n es?ed sce n e where h e r champion and see n the fla sh? . had b ee n l ed away t o certa i n de ath and hi s sudden a p 'Som ething was sure l y wron g .' After a few pear a n ce and esc ape from the crew who had of impatience , Dryden d arte . d toward the , d oo r. Callhi m f r o m the cavern was something beyond . ' ing for the bandit b earing the t o r c h , h e flun g o p e n the h e r co m p r e h e n s i o n. S h e . uttered a g l a d cry t h a t sud. heavy' doors and held. the t o r c h in s u c h a m anne r as to . d e nl y seemed t o come f r o m h e r very heart and she revea l the c h a mb e r . l o oked a t t h e Ge r ma n with e y es still dimmed with : A h o r iib l e oath flew f r o m hi s lip s . T h e c a vern co nt ears . t a in e d ' n othi n g b u t th e keg and p ieces of severed r ope . vVhy did s h e fin d her he art attracte d toward t h is . T)1e d oo med , maa w a s go n e ! The powd e r tra il was person? vVh y d i d h e r heart t hrob so wil d l y w h en her scattered, h a lf co n s umed! Anoth e r excla m a ti o n of e y es l oo kedinto his? She co ul d not find an answe r to ,. rage a n d b l asp hemy issu e d fro m t he v ill a i n's lips as h e th ese qu e r i es, al though she had sough t one over and d ! sco v e recl t h e h o l e in the wall o f the cavern w h ere b y o v e r a ga i n , s in c e the , ruffia n c rew had led h e r cham hi s v i ctjm and hi s r esc u e r h a d escaped , David Dry d en pio n away t o t he death t hreatened by the b a nd i t leader . f.oam.ed a m adman. o f the. lea gue. ' • I , 11 \


18 ' . ... " THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEK1.4Y. . ' Again tht;! glad cry issued from her lips. Dietrich s prangtoward her and i1er \1ands. ' ' Trust me! Come with !:'le! I am sent here by J <>ck Hilton!': said the German in quick sentenc. es. And then he gently out hurriedly led her trom the t:av--=rn, while the idiot ran on in advance. F;:om the dist::1nt part of the chambers came the wild shouts of the outlaws whom Dryden had delegated as A hurried ,tramping of feet .:a m e from the various passages close . at hand., Wuick! Don't l ose a moment, OJ "' escape is impos s ible! " c;-ied the idi o t . " ' They' re on our t rack!" Dietrich knew by the of many voices that the bandits had reached the chamber from which he had Jnst e scap ed and they had discovered the ab:sence -of Ethel and had also found the prostrate form oi the sentry. T lije German bas:ened onward and sought tc speak a n e n couraging word to the trembling J5irl at his s id e . " Cotuage! " he whispered. " A few moments longer and we a ' r e out oi these vaults!" .. Now. then! One mor:! dash and we are c ri e d the. m a niac . But allow in g the expression came a cry of mingled rage and surp r ise fr o m his lips , and without, :wother word, he climbed the s ide of the passage ljke a h uge ape and disappeared in the gloom. D ietrich started back nervously and <.lrew the girl •.<}wards him . . , He saw the c ' a use of the ma. niac 's strange action and a of despair arose to lips . Standin g directly in the narrow e;:;.tr::m.ce and barring all further passage was the leader of the outlaws, David Dryden, and behind him, with weapons ready fo r immediatE: use, Wct e 'iully twer, t y of his ruffianly follower s. C l o se b ehind the . m ca me the t rump of the remai'llder of the purs u e r s . They hemmed in upon all sides! Before they co uld recover fr(•m their surprise, the outiaw l eader's hoarse rang through the arched passage: " S o yo u ' r e n o t sati sfie d with escape and safety for vourself, e h ? You mus t t ake my promised wife with y ou! iY our race is run and you have fallen out of the t r y in g pan into the tire." . Even as the b andit concluded, a :warm of scowlmg ruffians , was at the German's back, and encumbered wtth the fr i ghtered girl he was o'l! e!powered and again a h e l p l ess v i ctim in the hands of his merciless foe. But where was the idiot? Crouching between the rocks and viewing the from his elevated . postttOn. His re stless eyes wandered until they rested upon Dryden's features. A muttered exclamation fell from !lis lip s, but h e stifled the words ana his hands wi!dlv. " It i s he!" he murmured. "But Ti;1erius will tell me i f I am ri . ght or w rong!" He wat ched the outlaw group bearing away their prisoners until the torches faded-away in the gloom of the passage. He then descended and made his way toward t h e ex it. He peered out into the night and paused. " It won't do to leave him! I' rnust follow a differ ent plan! The odds are too much for us! I have got to r ack my brains-brains! Have I got any? They all say I am a fool. I am crazf Tim. I don't know any-thing. I'll show 'em some day whether 0r not l'P.1' as big a fool as t l,ey think I am! Oh! If shou1.d be .the man! If this should be the one I am tracking! But Tiberi us will be sure o f it! He's got mere 5ense than I !-lave. L hayeri't got any at all. I'm fm a fool! He' ! He! He! " 1 ' he idic:: suddenl y ch tcked outburst of':aughter. . " ,Somebody might hear me," he niuttcred, "and then I'd be prevented from helping. my fr:ends." He passed out into the g-loom ot night made his way toward the portion of the rocky walt where first he. ' "had seen a ray o f light through the rih, •in the rocks. He determined to seek an entrancf' to che cavern from that point. The moo n oc ca s ionall y s hown through the mass of clouds, but the of the towering rocks pre.vente(l a safe passage toward the abandonee:. cave wh:!re the German had so narrowly escaped a fearful TJ1e idtot reached the spot where he had thiust as;de the r o cks, and was in the act ot passing inward when , was se ized b y a p ai,of hands and borne backward upon the g r ound and colii muzz le of a pistol wa.::o presented to his temple. Quick :ts a flash the m a ni ac thrus t prang forwaru :o attack the idi o t, he had thrown aside the w c!f-head which he wor e and thus, unencumberecl by the mask, he nimbly leaped upon the person who wa>; to enter. -"' The huge Great Dane now stood above the oieer' ,mg mass of humanity and at a low call from its master came forwar-d leaving the mangled outlaw 1 eluctantly: " Let him alone," said the idiot in a low t o ne. " He . can't do any more mi s chief. Com .e, let's get him out of the way." _ Crazy Tim raised the body and bearing it towards the verge of the cliff , he removed the pec,1liar coat ' worn by the dead man and then pushed the corpse from the awful heights. Both dog and man listened from the brink of the cliff as the corpse shot downward into the intense g\oom below. . The weird figure of the idiot leaned over the tower. in g rocks awaiting some sound from the gloom be-. neath. . A dull crash came from the b l ack gulf. A grim smile 1)layed upon Crazy Tim's features as he heard the sou.nd. Then the withdrew from the verge of the cliff and placed the dead man' s coat upon himself.' . . ' . ' .


TH:E AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. It SeveFal I"ods away from the spot. where the en counter had taken place, Tim found the revolver and further on the curious mask worn by the bandit. It was the head and features of a gray wolf or rather the skin of that animal mounted ' Upon a frame-work of cloth and pasteboard. It covered the face, and the -loose. skin falling over the head and neck completely masked the person who wore it. Two eye-holes en abled the perso n to s ee distinctly and also to breathe with ease. The idi o t placed the mask upon his face and then spoke a few words to his dog. "Tiberius, you niust get out of this place, but I want you to prowl around in the neighborhood. You know what I am saying, don't you? Now go, and mind you keep y.our ears open in case I call you again." The intelhgent animal seemed to understand, f o r uttering a l o w whine, he di sappeared in the shadows. "There's no use talking . That dog's the , wi s e s t o n the f a ce of the e arth. He understands Crazy fim and obeys hi s wishes. P oo r Tiberi us! If any.:hing s h o uld happen to me, what would he do?" A f orm suddenly emerged from the rock y wall o prosite and approached idior. .. Millington, is mar you?" For a moment Crazy Tim hesitated ab out making a reply . . ' 'Yes. What's the matter?" he demanded. The mas k he wore muffled his v o ice and the ap (Jroachin g bandit appareP.tly did not di scover the trick. S o far Crazy Tim was safe in the character he had as.: s umed. A m oment later the newcomer was cl ose at hand and he halted. "\IV bat are y ou doing with your mask o n?" asked the bandit, prestntiy. ' O h, I kept it on jus t f b r d eviltry. I'm on p ost to night and I found it easier t o wear it than t v carry It or take it to the cavern." -\ The idiot s poke at random, but strang e to say the explanation was perfectly satisfactory to the bandit, who did not dream of the daring cheat thus perpet:-ated upon him. "What's the Captain going to do with the Dutchman?" Tim inquired. "Oh, he'll give us a treat, no doubt. The Captain i s a great hand to originate sensational thing s to please boys. But Millingt:m, between us, I think the Cap tain's a little g one in his upper story. He's fooling :aluahle tim e away on that'g irl he's got in the cavern. You know our business motto is 'Make hav while the sun shines .' We made a big haul to-night,' but the ::hances are we won't make another in a hurry. Now, you see , while the Captain's brain is full of !<.:lVe and he can't plan as he'd ought to. A man in this wants a clear head and no anchors around his !1eck. The robbery to-nignt will raise a breeze in Virginia City, and you bet, the next treasure box that ieaves the town won't fall into our clutches as easy as r .h1s one did. If Captain 'Wild-Fire wasn't getting love.;;1ck and soft-headed, he'd be in Virginia City to-night get the points' for the next move." .Crazy Tim listened attentively to the bandit's revela-tions, and now and then grunted an approval. "What do )JOn think of it?'.J said the o .utlaw. "Same as. you do!" replied Tim. "I tell you what it is, Millington, while Wild-Fire 'tended to business he was trulv the best of them all. N o t a single treasure-box escaped the Wolves of the Gap. But see! th. ls is the first one in ' two weeks when we might have several more. He's kept this girl a cap tive in these regions just long enough to lose his brain. I tell you he's losing ground with us, and you needn't be surprised if we oust him out of the league and put some one in his place who will work better for the interest o f the, \rv o J ves . " Here wa& an open rebellion in Wild-Fire' s camp, and that fearless ruffian was even now in danger of being deposed or destroyd by the lawless men he rule( ! and who he had ruled like a tyrant. W hile he led them on to spoils they submitted gracefully , but now that his love-making interfered with the " busintss " of the league, he was in danger o f being ex-• terminated by his " W o l v e s . " Lr,az:y Tim coincided with e verything said by the ban(ht and appeared to j o in heartily in the mut:ny. Thanks to the mask that the idi o t had placed over hi s head and features, he e scape d detectio u in v oice and appearance. ' Keep mum about wha t I ' v e told you Millington," v,;arned. the bandit. " ' 0 / e wam t o know who tcrbe sure of befo r e we make a m ov e -savez?" ' Conect!" replied Tim. " But am I to be relieved tc;-night ,, Y e s, I'm out here f o r that I thought yuu kne w that. Y o u 're getting absent-minded, aiP .' t . ' ' ' Yes. It's lom. s c m e out here, and I'm apt to get e>. b s t:nt-minded ," confe ssed the maniao in a rational .anncr, and at h ome with his unsuspecting listener. _ .: Don' t stay out here too l ong, " said the outlaw; ' ' take off that mas k when you g o in. Keep mum a!Jo u t racket w e're fixing up f o r Wild-Fire.' Without another word the bandit sentry strode

20 T HE AMEltl:C A N lNi)lAN. WEEKLY. throw in g dice for sums of money that iay scattered upon the roug h table. Several bottles served to show the real cause of their hilarity. , They were di vested of their masks and their features were pl a inly visible as they sat beneath a swinging l a mp. Even as Tim discovered the group several of the assembl age looked up and esp ied the masked fig ure. " H ello ! Here's M illin gton! " . said one of the player s . " Come , pard; you're just in time. Only five dollar s ante and three to beat." It V'{as an unexpecte d invitation, and Tirri scarcely knew w h a t to say. "Wait till T take off my mask, " said he, turning to depart. / "No matter about that; come on, we're waiting for yo u, " s aid the desperado. at the table. "Put up . y our s h e k e ls and t ake h olQ. of tlie b o x ' ! " Unco n s ci ously Tim s lipped his hand into the coat p oc k e t o f the garment he w ore, and w hich he had re mov e d fr o m the dead bandit, and his fingers came in contao t with a small. sack which he ri ghtly assumed . c onta ined g old-dust. He approached the table and l a id the little bag u pon it, and seized the dice-bo x . He rattle d the dice in their leather, sheath and rolled them out u pon the table . "Thr ee s i x es ! " roared the bandit. "There's luck f o r y o u . Scoop it in, pard!" . • , Tim gathered in the amount upon the table, and the ante again was advanced for aqother trial. " H e wears the mas k for luck! " roared the des p e rado a t the head of the table, and after qu a ffing fro m the bottle, h e sei eed the dice-bo x and again in v oked t h e fick l e go d dess . "That's so . If h e win s this time h e 'll have t o 'take it off ,' ' cri e d anotlier. " G ood! good! " yelle d the g r o up , r ea d y for any s u g g e s t i on. A n ew d arig e r had s u dden l y a ri se n . O f c o u rs e there were ninety-nine c h a n c e s out 0 f a hundred tha t T i m would n o t w i n, b ttt i f h e c i"d he would be c o mp elle d to r e m ove the m a s k, and then-what? A despe rate struggle for life a n d lib erty . It would never d o t o r ef u s e unmasking, and the strange cre a ture s eemed t o r ealize hi s p eril , for hi s hand tremble d a s lile p l ad:d t h e amount of m o n ey u po n the t a ble . T h e ou tlaws began t o p lay. On.e after a n other ca s t the dic e upon the b oar d s, and b o i s t e r o us lau ghte r f o l l ow e d the s m a ll counts , w hil e che e rin g e xpress i o ns greete d t h e mor e m embers o f the g r qup. " Now t h en , M illington! G r a b the box and l e t ' s see w h a t kind of lu c k y o u ' ll h av e this time. Here' s m y regard s, " and the outlaw again emptied the bottle o f a cop i o u s dra u g ht. Tim t ook the di ce -l:Jox in his tremb lin g hand. a nd h es itat ed a momen t. The hi g h es t c o u n t w a s sixte en. Upon the casting o f the dice hi s very exis t e nc e hung. H i s l ife was a t stak e ! If h co u l d bu t n'lan age t o throw the ac curse d pi e ce s of b o n e i n s u c h a manne r as t o regi s ter a low count he w o ul d b e safe. A quic k s h o r t movement o f the three di ce and h e cas t t h e m up o n the tabl e . 1 ' l I el1 a n d furies ! Three s i xes a g a i n ! " r o a r e d the g r o u p as t h e y b e n t f o rward t o asce rtain t h e r e s u l t. Bef o r e T i m could s t ir h a n d o r foo t a 1 1 urri e d footstep sou n d e d in a n ad j o inin g passage a nd a hoar s e cry .ar os e a s i f fr o m ma n y in qui c k purs uit. \ ' I ,The next the figure of D ietrich, German, bounded into the room. . . . •, ' Tim seized a bottle from the table and hurled it at, the/ swinging lamp, smashing it, and plunging the chamber in darkness. ' CHAPTER XI. "BIND HU.f . H AND AND FOOT! "-THE GERMAN' S PERIL.' J . THE DISCOVERY IN THE CHEST.-THE OUTLAW S , HIDEOUS CRIME. David' and h i s entered the cavern I with the German in their midst. The outlaw chief was in high glee and a demoniacal expression rested upon his evi l countenance as he reached the central chamber, . . "' , " Bind him hand and foot. Bo not le;tYe the slight-est chance open for escape. Where's Hank? " , up. He' s g o t a t o u g h blow on the top o f his head. He hasn' t co m e-to ye t, " responded a bandit. Dryden' s rage was something terrible to behol d. He cursed the assembled group for their lack of vigi lance . He knew that some one had aided the prisoner's' escap e and thus prevented the consummatio n , of hi s well-laid plan . The manner in which he had bound the German to the powder-keg and laid the traih c o uld pot possibly fail to accomp lish his purpose unless aided by a traitor among the men he commanded, or by some outside friend. Who was it?. Who was the person that had fo i led him? Dryden, f ound n o satis fact ory reply to these questions. He c ontented himse lf -by ordering the German b ound in such a manne r that he could not move. , , , The n 'the o utl a w looked scornfully at tfie helpless 1 nan an d spurne d him with his f o ot. " Y ou dog! I'll teach you a lesson that you'll remerrib e r until yo u ' re l a un<;hecl out of this world . Rest e asy until m orning, and then y ou'll take a w alk out of t hi s sph e r e , mi g hty-lively." Dryden s a w that Ethel was a gain pl a ced in her a p artment a ncl pos t e d several o f his c bt1f ed erates to g u ard the passages l ead in g into tha t 'particula r cavern. He attended t o the d e tail s in person and then returne d t o the c h amber w h e r e the G erma n l a y up o n the rocky floor. D r y d e n 'had resol v ed t o fo rce a confe s si o n fr o m the lips of his c aptive a n d thus disc over who it was that h a d a id e d 'h:in1 ' t o e s c ape fr oin the ab andone d vault. F i r s t h e drew a: b r ace o f pi s t o l s and the n summoned seve r a l of hi s fo ll owe r s . lI e appro ach e a Dietrich and in a harsh t one o f voi ce addressed him . " You ' ve h a d a n a ccoi:nplice t 0 aid you to escape. No li v in g m a n c ould pos s ibly esca p e from that cavern b ound as y o u were to that keg by the iro n rit1g and the p owder tra in a ctua lly fir e d . , Now I hav e ' m a de up my , mind t o know it was tha t ai de d yo u . D o n ' t try to e v a d e t h e ' ques ti o n fo r I'll have a n a n swer if I hav e to put y o u t o the t orture and rac k e very b one e.nd m u scle in your b o d y ." T h e Ge r ma n made n o r ep ly; in f ac t l.te did n o t raise hi s e y es to see w h o it was that addres sed him . , " Did y o u h ea r m e speak ? " thundered the chie f ;.,Vas yo u t a l king mit . m e ? " a s k ed Dietric h ' calmly as met the g aze o f the r u f fian. " Yes; w h o wa5 y our ac c o mplice ? Gi v e me his n a m e." " V ot i s do t----{lccom pli c e s ? "


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. " . .. •! •' I. ; • your 'stupidness!" cried the ifupatient ."Enjoy yourself if you can," Dryden sav':illain . you? ., . . ;. ,, . " ,1 ., "' agel y , " fbr I can assure you th'}t you'll face death in a . " I al\ra y s hell up, m ines elf!"".. .. " I • ,. most f prjn! '1 -'. " ,, -' . ''"Y1.Jir ,dol' s !ep1y wiU not,av:ai( : you . , I Death ain'd afraid o f me!" :responded _s o me otte • cut the ropes and helped yo u through tfie hole _ Dietrich calmly. (. ' r , n1a d e .1nthe ofthe cave. Who was it?" / ';.watch.hirn!" cried Dryden to his m en. "Don't ' " I d o n ' t v a s know. I didn't se e nobodies." one. of you leav e ' this ch a m ber for a moment. Your '.' Here , ! , S e veral of y o u taK e do w n those ropes and li ves are r e sponsil:)fe for his safe keeping!' ' stt:in g . up .. I'll bet.tha t will: soon n i ght, Cap tain!" . ' bnng h1m t o Ius senses," cried Dryden. The outlaw chief . strode 'out o f the cavern and Two outlaws ' unf astened t o p es that attached s ou ght hi s o w n quarters. A comfortable couch stood to the tl } e cav:ern, and all o w e d theni tp fall to in o n e c orner of a small rock-bound chamber and a the floo r . in q uch a m anner that b y seizing one end of'' rou g h table and several box es the furniture. the r ope the other e nd c o uld be drawn upwarq, thereby . Stacks o f firearms lay in ap c orners as if the outlaw elev, a tin g w h a t eve r mi ght b e attached to the other ' had s ele cted a chamber at -once for his ,sleeping apattstrarid . 'A moment Late r and Dietrich's . hands wete ment and arm0 ry. A larg e ches t occupied . one corner they fast e n e d to this rope. o f the roo m. . A few shelv e s lined the rocky'wall q.nd . A t a s i g nal fr o m the outla w chief the Ge rman :was u po n the t'op m os t was the mask 'worn by the outla..w hauled u)_:>ward. u ntil hi s fee t were a few yards from the chiefta in. 1 r oc k y floo r . . . A swin g in g lamp s hed its fitful gl are upo n the sur" Now my fine fellow, i f yo u d on't unloosen your roundings a n d a beholde r would h a v e been transp orted tongu e -I'll put we, i ghts t o your fee t , and you: n be t o the roc k-b ound d e n o f the_buccaneers o f old instead m i ghty _ g l aCI. to c o n ' fe s s b efo r e ' m a n y o f them are ato f to the modern retreat of ' the outlaw . tach ed, I , ca n tell yo u . " . J The r e i g n o f the ni g h t s o f the road is short but ter" A ll rig ht; l e t m e down ; I . w ill t e ll ' y o u all about i t ," ribl e . in its s w a y . Until the o u traged community s a i d Dietric h , . • ' a r ise s in its m i ght and l ynch la w is m eted out to the The German was lowere d t o the floo r . da ring. outlaws, they c o n tinue t o spread terror and dis" W h o was i t ? " demanded D r y de n ; ' impatiently . may_ and a r e never d ri v e n fro m their strongholds with.: "Dot f e ll e r vo t you ca.ll Han !?!" out a ter rib le c o nflict amd l oss of li fe . -U Hank a traitor! " s h oute d the b andlt leader. " I Dry den sat down f o r a few moments, and a fter a , tho u g h t so. H e di es ! " ' : s h o r t' r es t , he appr oac h ed the chest, op ened it and By this fa l s eh oo d . Die t r i c h imperil e d the life of a took from its d ep ths a small p a ck a g e , and bringing it hu:man beit).g; b u t was not h is own at stake?. And to the t ab le h e unl oose d the bind ings. was n o t the entire leagu e h is e n em i e s? He had e s" I t strikes m e that I' have a valuable d o cu m e n t caped t h e dreadful torture that Dryd e n would s u rel y h e smil ed. " \ V h e n m y s w a y be comes shaky i nflic t upon hi m , and al s o c onceale d t h e f act that Crazy and t h , ese regi ons t oo h o t for m e , it w ill become m e to T im was a t that m o ment in tbe o f "tl).e robb ,ers' s e ek other past u r es . I h av e l a i d -t lp a goo dly sum and c ave rn. , can, li v e a t the best p laces of other cli m es , in ease for " Release him f ro m t he r o p e," said Dryden " and the rema inder o f my li f e . W i t h Ethel as m y w i f e my m ind yo u put into a s a f e pl a ce . " You _know the ex i s t en ce w ill , h e b li s sf ul. This p ap e r w ill bring m e a -.fat e o f a tralto r ?'" s mall fortune. It i s my u n cl e ' s w ill. He l eft the bulk ' " D eath!" y ell e d the. v illainous cre w . o f hi s prop erty t o m y s i ster and in c as e • o f h e r d eath,' "Yes,''and a spee d y one," a dded 'Dryden. ,ul am n o t having childre n , the property was t o . b e m in e . c o n v in ce d tha t Hank is a traito r and connived at his My s ister n;arried . A h , how n e a r t hat cameto the upe s c a pe, fo r , I l ef t him b ound s e c u re l y, and when i re-setting o f my p l a ns! If she h a d childre n it would eel m y pi s t o l s were go ne and the Dutchman's s urely dash, my_ h o p e s t o the g r ound. A n d she had . hands werej! free; and now hi s c o nf ession • settles all c hildren-.too l a t e did I s ee m y erro r she never doubts tha t w ere in my mind. Hank dies." : s h 0 ul d h ave beena llowed t o li v e t o marry. " Again was the Germa..n secured, but the bai 1dits w ere A fie n d i s h e xpress i o n came o ver the outlaw's writhliste1;1ing s o to Dryden' s wod:ls that ,they acin g fcic e a s he spok e. . "But then I had no rear glances to aid m y judg ecompl\ shed the ir work in a bungling manner, and ment> " he a q ded . " I studie d everything carefu ll y , Dietrich placed his ,hands in such a manner that one of resol v ed ,that neither s he, nor the two children t11ehnv,a s a free frol.n the thongs. she bore, a boy 01'1 girl, shbuld inherit the money. •( In r espects 'thari one Dryden' s , plan of putting Come' what may the three must not' stand ' in the way ,'tJ-ie' torture. tese ,had far, _ highly of my fortune; cash I needed so badly. Then came ' beneficial ' t o the Teuton. . more heavy losses at the gaming table, until I w as re. ,.In tl1 e excite ment, the ;imperfect tying not duced to be ggary, and she thinking to reform me, ana :Oietrich as if the thongs were denied the paltry dollars begged for . . What w as tocutting int( y his wrists. The cast him upon be done?/ ' the floor i q a rough manner.,.. In his retrospection Dry den arose and paced back ' u I,.a y a , few hours, " growled Dryden . and forth. Then res1;1med his muttering confes ' pictu;e t p y o ,4rsev death Y_?. U can I I . . and y;our: death, for I w , tll ,rac k y I was desperate. Th' e children must be got out : ..:.r,qy noyel hideo ,us one fbr ' of the way' first : .I could look ' out for the boy.:,! stple . ',you. . -'"'"' . 1 '. l' \; • him one dark night and sent him to my outlaw' friends ' "Much ()151iged • mit 'you," ansvvered in the West. He went down to oblivion at their hands . " Don: t you, hurry about dot! . " / -but the girl? Try as I would I could not get a • ['. ' , ; r;' ' It • .,


, J ., THE AMERICAN lNDIAN, WEEKLY. chance to her. I had intended to steal both the boy and the girl at once. But my plan miscarried. S o I enlisted Tornado Bess, the old hag, that presides over that part of the Wolves who are stationed at Rabbit I sland-they are the Outlaws of him, and a voice seemed to shriek in his ears: " Murderer! Your hour is at hand!". •, ' / CHAPTER XII. Rabbit Island-and there I send the injured of our THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE.-DIETRICH GETS HIS CHANCE. -h h d C . RAZY TIM'S NEAT RUSE.-A NARROW SQUEAK. gang of Wolves h e re, to be nursed back to ealt an usefulness ( t o me) again. " Dav. id Dryden, the outlaw, started cdnvtilsively and B usy with hi s tho u ghts, .Dryden paused and gazed turned as if the voice had issued from the tips of some thoughtfnlly about him. . , one at his s ide. "The old T ornado Bess, was a pretty g1rl then, It was only the voice of hi s . con sc ience that thus terri-he murmured. "Sh ' e ' s oothing now but a wreck. But fied him. and a s he realized that he was absolutely alone Bess E lm o re was a pretty lass in those days and she in a small cavern hi s fears passed away and hi s f eatutes loved me and for me 'consented to abduct the golden-wore a . calm Like men of his cla ss , he was haired child, the baby girl of my sis ter. I remember really a craven at heart. Yet this same outlaw plunged that w e ll. Bess clash

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