Frank Reade and his steam team

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Frank Reade and his steam team

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Frank Reade and his steam team
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Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
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New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


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Inventors -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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R17-00028 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.28 ( USFLDC Handle )
024784492 ( Aleph )
63271251 ( OCLC )

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r Lates t and Best Stories are Published in This Library. No. 16. { COI\IPLETE.} FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISB,ER, 34 & 36 NORl'H MOORE STREE!z.NEW YORK, New York, January 7, lll93. ISSUED WEEKLY. { J'JtiCE } 5 CJCN 1.'8, Vol. I Entered according to the Act of Cong1ess, in the yeur 1893, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. Fronk Rende .ond His ,Steom Teom. By "'NONAME." A t len gth Frank brought the body of his wago n f a i rly alongs ide t h e bouncing tender, and only about a foot distan t from it. ''Jump!" s a i d Gorse. l h e engineer g o t a good brac e and sprang upward and outward from the wagon. I I


FRANK READE. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50: $1.25 per six months, post-paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. FRANK READE \ HIS STEAM TEAM AND !I By "NONAME," Author of" The Boy Balloonist," "The Crimson Cross," "'l'om, Dick and Harry," Etc. Etc., Etc. "FRANK!" "Charley!" CHAPTER I. THE STEAM TEAM. plunging, springing up into the air, kicking at the wagon with one foot ancl. then \ J ith the other, and snorting all the time. something that beats the life out of the Steam Horse." Wonderingly his two fnends followed the slenner young man out of the house. Frank led them to a spacious and well-made 1 1 And then the young New York genius grasped the hand of his coHsin from the west, and shook It in a manner that plainly told how glad he was to see his visitor. In the preceding stories of this series, the Steam Man" and the "Steam Horse," Charley Gorse, the Western cousin, was described as being of ordinary height, broad-shouldered, and s trong, just the kind of youth that the glorious weilt might be expected to produce. "I was afraid to go n ear him, and stood watching him for some time, wondering wha t was up, when suddenly; after an extra plunge and kick, away went the horse towards th e north. ''He didn t travel very fast, so Pomp conclud ed that the best thing we could do would be to follow on horseback, and before the old machine w a s a mile away we were speeding after on tleet mustangs. one-story frame building at the rear of the yard, J which he had erected as a workshop, iu which he could perfect and carry out his various ideas. He unlocked the door, and Charley and Bar/ ney entered. / :t'hey both uttered a simultaneous cry of surpnse. A Steam Team!" Frank Reade, the inventor of the two won derful pieces of motive mechanism, was thin and slight, but keen and smart, a thorough me chanic, and a genius of the first ord e r. "When did you reach New York?" the young inventor asked, as he and his cousin walked into the "This afternoon, and Barney Shea is with me.'' "Dear old Barnev. How is he?" "Well and hearty: full of the old Nick as ever, and seems to think that there is nothing better in the world to do than to fight, sing, dance, tell yarns, and play on his fiddle. He will oe here as soon as he looks after O!!r bag gao-e." me see," said Frank; it's just one year ago to-day since I sold you the Steam Horse, after tbe Steam Man blew up and nearly killed you and Pomp. How is the horse?" Oharley Gorse burst out laughing, and held his sides. Smashed!" be said. "What?" cried Frank. "Went crazy, and committed suicide as sure as fate," laughed Gorse. "Ob, talk plain," cried the in Ten tor of the metal steed. "It's all Gospel," said Charley. "That Steam I!orse went crazy, and then committed suicide. I'll tell you the Story, and then you'll be able to see that it's the truth." "Go ahead," said Frank. "About two months ago," said Charley norse, my old man moved out to Kansas, a\Jout fifty miles from Fort Mann. "One day I got up steam, and my Pomp, was just going to put the necessary arti cles ill. the wagon for a trip, when Barney Shea, who was sitting at the door playing his fiddle, yelled out: "' Worra-worra! my Gad! what has got into the harse, a.t all-at all?' "I looked up. Nobody stood near the horse, and yet, sure enough, the animal was acting in a most ex\raordinary manner, kicking and "What do you suppose that Steam Horse did ? He rattled along until he came to Pawnee Fork, made a turn, and dashed into a small Pawnee village. "He knocked down men, womep, and chil dren, scatt e red the reels right and left, k e pt turning and twis ting of his own accord, a nd finally be made a s traight rush for the gre a t council wigwam, the big gest bouse in the In dian village, and knock e d himself all to pieces against the solid wooden w a lls "We saw that there was nothing left of him, and as the reels were getting hostile, we turned our horses' heads towards home, and saill: goodbye to th e Steam Horse." Although Frank beard of the loss of his in vention with regret yet be could not help laugh ing when Charley Gorse described the strange antics of the machine. "Oh, it must have been funny," be said. "I wonder what could have ailed tile horse?" "Crazy as a loon." lo.ughed Cho.rley. "He must have been tired of life, and--" At this moment a ric h voice came up-stairs to their ears, saying: "Would yez have the extrame nateness and civility, ma'am, to inform :Mr. that Esquire Barney Shea, of the town of Clonakilty, County of Cork, Ireland, would like to have the rural felicity of mating him?" "Come up, Barney yelled Frank, and in a moment the nimble Irishman, the comrade of the young Inventor on former occasions, and the true friend who had stood by him in many a trying hotli', bounded up the stairs and caught the slim form !n his arms. "Aha!" be cried, hugging Frank like a bear, ''it warrums the cockles of me heart to mate ye ag'in, ye young jaynus." .. And Frank was equally glad to see the true hearted Irishman again. After their greetings were over, Frank said to Barney: "Charley just told me about the Steam Horse committing suicide." "Begob, and he md," said Shea. "'Come with me," said Frank. "I've got Yes, before them stood the steeds of met .al, united by a metallic harness. They were harnessed to a large wagon, which greatly resembled an oblong box. 'l:his was evi, dently a spacious body, and won,ld hold a number of people and a lar-ge quantity of bag g a ge. The wheels were large and set far apart, which gave firmness to th e v ebicle when in motion. "Yes," proudly s a id Fr ank, "this is my latest invention a Steam T eam-a nd having tried them, I can warr a n f th e m to go in double harness. They are c onne cted on the same plan as my S te a m Hors e The b elly contains the boiler and steam-chest, the valves for examina. t10n and regulating a re on the haunches, the furnace lies in adv a nce of the belly, the door being "in the chest, the fines run up through thE! ears o.nd the steam escapes by means of tile nostrils "Splendid," \Said Fr!lllk's cousin. "Illegant!" cried Barney. "It will require great pro.ctice and skill to drive the Steam Team," said Frank, "for as the power is equally divided it must be equally let on to get a uniform motion. If the reins which control the levers are not pulled evenly, then more powar would be let on in one horse than in the other, and the unequal motion i would rack the machinery and all else to pieces. The steam power being independent gives me the ability to run around in a circle, by putting on more power in one animal than in the other, which, of course, does not matter for a few seconds, although it would rack things, as I have told you, if the power were not usually equal in both steeds. "By reversing the power I can make them back, and the sharp spikes on their hoof s doesn't allow them to slip on any surface except glass I have arranged a small electric light in the head of either horse, and shall be able ta travel as well by night as by day, a,nd, mPre over, the light will have a startling effect. The body of the wagon, as you can see, is high, and when you kneel in i-t the sides will


-.......-term a bullet-proof breastwork for times of danger. At the rear I have mounted a small cannon; it's only a four-pounder, but rifled, and I could do some damage with it if neces sary. And I've got a score of new contrivances that I could carry with me." "Ocb, wirra-wirra! will I iver go home, I d'now?" "No," quickly cried Frank Reade. "Stay here and go out west with me and the Steam Team." "Ye mane it?" "I do." 1 1 Begorra, rm with ye, and I'll stand at yer back till the nails dbrop ofl yer toes, so I will. Horrah! what an illE>gant lot or rows and ruc tions may be in sbtore for me yit." "Count me in," said Charley Gorse, in de lighted tones, and you can bet that Pomp is just dying to get on a racket with you once more. He is the best shot in the west to-day a perfect marvel-and such another rider can't be found anywhere." "Then," said Frank, 1 the four of us can take a trip together behind the Steam Team. When will we go?" "Let's stop a week or so in New York and see the sights,'' said Charley Gorse, and then away." 1 All right," said Frank. "I shall have ample time to take the machinery apart, and pack it and the wagon in a secure manner for shipment to the west. Everything takes apart, and there will be no trouble in shipping them. Hurrah! once more we'll dash like the winds over tile vast plains, once more we'll revel in fun and adventure. I'll wake up the echoes, and strike terror to the wild men of the far west w1th the loud snort and thundering tramp of my Steam Team!" CHAPTER II. THE RAID ON REEFER'S BLUFF. WITHIN a few days' journey of the Missouri border, ard not far from Fort Mann, stood the little village of Reefer's Bluff. We say "stood," for although it may be standing at this moment, yet it was situated in a portion of wild country where villages are liable to be destroyed in a clay by some cruel band of prairie fiends, who live by murdering and plundering whenever and wherever occasion

4 when the clear notes of a bugle rang out on the air. "Mount ami away," shouted Black Jack. "There's a troop of cav a lry not far awey. His men leaped upon their steeds, and in a moment were llying out of Reefer's Bluff c a r rying wilh them half, at least, of what was val uable to llhe hard-working villa gers. They passed away in a eloud of dust, and a moment later there dashed into the village, not a treop or cavalry, as Black Jack thought was approaching, but Frank Reauty to telescope. poverty after years of toil. Crack! "Hold on," shouted Frank Reade. "Give Something dark went up into the air as it beme a moment. Black Jack and his men have came detached from the moving column. carried off everything that was valuable and "Kill do boss an broke de rider's neck, fot portable, inclouliog a uox containing the money shuab," crie

--------....... A rattllng volley was tired at him instantly by the horde of yelling pursuers. The bullets all fell short. "Safe!" cried Frank. We are out of rille shot from them." They all stood up to watch Pomp's shot. The black marksman slowly glanced through the glass stght. "Gemmen," he said, "dar's a niggar in dat 1 ar band, and he's a disgrace to de race. I'm agwlne to bore a hole froo his head." Charley Gorse caught up Frank s strong fiolcl-:lass to better note the efi'ect of the shot. Crack! The bullet had gone. "Hi-yah!" yelled Pomp. "Bully boy!" cried Charley. For, as they all could plainly see, the bullet bad not only knocked the colored thief over, but had also struck the man behind, and they were now both hanging by their stirrups head downwards. Crash! Another volley rang out, but the bul lets did not come near the wagon. The outlaws were fnrious, and they lashed their horses wildly. "Give it to them!" cried Frank. "Load and tire as fast as you can, Pomp." "I'se heab ebery time," cried the black dead shot, and he sent bullet after bullet into the crowded ranks terrible accuracy. Half a dozen of these death-dealing shots sufficed to discourage the now terribly incensed but impotent bandits, and thoy turned tail. "They're takin' the back thrack!" shouted Barney Shea. Arrah, Frank", me jewel, would yez have the extrame to rnn after and catch up wid 'em, so that I can have a crack at t!Jim wid me blackthorn stbick?" "I'd like to oblige you, Baroey, but that is not my program me." replied the young leader. "I'm going to pursue them now at the same distance that I led them, and Pomp can keep on galling tlu'lm." "That' s the ticket," cried Gorse; what a 3mashing idea. They can't gobble us up, be cause they can't catch us, and they can t get out or the range of that rille, because we can kt!ep just wttllin shot and be out of our selves. Oh, won't we make them sick?" "That' s just my idea," said Frank. "What [ want to do is to pursue them just in this way until I either reduce them so in numbers that we can attack tbem ourRelves, or else make the rascals drop their plunder. One of the two we'll certainly do." Pomp had certainly picked off fully ten of the outlaws before the rascals began to see a haven of safety in a large cluster of trees that formed a grove. They made a straight dash for the protecting grove, and wel'b soon under shelter. Frank turned shgbtly aside, and began to describe a large circle around the grove, keep ing well out of rit\e shot. But before he bad gone two hundred yards Wn this big circle, he beard a shout and a yell. The occupants of the wagon looked towards the grove, from Which the noise came. To their surprise they saw a man, !flOUnted on a mule, spur out from the cluster Of trees, J.nd dash away as though pursued by Old Nick. And although the latter gentleman was not after him, a half dozen of the outlaws certainly were. The mule had a good start, which was very fortunate, for though be might have been a .Bore-rooted and patient animal, he certainly was DOt very speedy. "Here goes to help the party on that mule," said Frank, turning Ills metal steeds towarcls )he scene of thill fresh "Pomp, get ready for biz." "l'se dar ebery time," said the black, as be linisbed loading. "And be jahers, '' said Barney, "I'd be therl', too, do ye moind. but f loil'e to use me short range weapon best, an' we've not kim to close quarthers yit. Ab, Frank, rna bouchal, jist land me in the cinter o' that gang, and see me Jay t him out in the illegantest stbyle wid me blaekth()rn stick." FRANK READE. Keep cool, and you'll have your bands full yet," said Frank, and with a burst of soeed closed the gap between the telfm and the purRuing outlaws. The mule had got about a quarter of a mile away from the grove, when the foremost pur suer caught up with him, and grasped the brielle rein. The mule gave a twitcll, released its head by jerking the reins from the man's band, and t-hen wheeled lil\e lightning aad kicked up with its hind legs. The man that rode the mule was sent flying over the ammal s bead, and the rascal who had clutched at the reins was knocked out of his saddle by the twinkling boors. And tben, at that moment of victory, the mule ran away, leaving its rider on the ground. Hurrah!" And with a united cheer from those who rode behind, the Steam Team came dashing up to the spot, Pomp and Charlie firing their rit\es. But when the prairie bandits saw them com ing they diu not wait to uispute the matter with them, but clapped spurs to their horses and got away with all speed. The black dead shot wounded one man, and be hung across his galloping horse in a painful way as the animal rushed back to the grove; Oharlie's buMet &truck the horse instead of the rider aimed at, but only resulted in making the animal dash on at increased speed. The man who had been kicked liy the mule still lay senseless oa the graund. The mule's rider was jusb getting up from the grassy plain. Frank brought the team to a stop, and his three companions jumped down and ran to the man they bad rescued. He was looking around him in a dazed manner, as though unable to comprehend just what had happened to him. "Youre all right, my friend," cheerily cried Charley Gorse. "Your mule bas skipped out, but you are safe and souml." The rescued man vras a very sedv.te and sober looking individual of about forty years of ag", with a body like a luth, a face hke a hatchet, a mouth like a big s!it, and hair that reached below his neck. What has happened?" he said, as though still puzzleu. "You must know, genLlemen, that I am Professor Isaac Newton Smith, and 1 am in this part of the country with one of my--'' Crack! A shot raD,g" out. They all turned around, startled by the unex pected report. The man who had been kicked by the mule was now on his feet, and running towards tile grove, a smoking pistcl held swinging from his right band. "Look!" cried Charley, and the others looked up in time to Frank Reade stagger on his seat, and tben fall heavily to the ground CHAPTER V. SUSPENDED ANIMA.TION. CHARLEY GoRSE understood what had hap pened at once. The outlaw had merely been stunned, and when he had recovered from the kick be bad received, the rascal had taken a sly shot at Frank Reade ere he ran away. The first impulse of all three of them was tp run after the brute, but in an instant they rec ognized the very dangerous fact that the chase after the rascal would soon bring them within range of the ritles, wl1ich were now to be seen glittering among the trEes at the edge of the grove, so they let the fellow slide and ran to Frank. "Is he kilt entirely?'' shouted Barney Shea. "I bope not," said Charley. but 'he felt bad. The black dwarf outran them, and reached Frank first On his face, by the side of the Steam Team, lay the young genius. "Fo' de Lord, I tlnk he really am gwine, fo' suah!" cried Pomp, as he tenderly turned Frank over. "Looker dar; shot in de head." Poor Frank," almost sobbed Charley Gorse, and a tear came into his eye. "Begorm, and is the gossoon dead and gone?" cried Shea; "oh, murdher and greens, he can't be really kilt, I k11ow betther.'' Perhaps," said Prof. Smith, putting in his oar, "perhaps I may be able to determine-" "Danger!" roared Pomp "Tare an' ouns, the divils are comin' for us ag'in," cried Barney. Liveljl" roared Gorse. "P001p!" "Yes, sar." "Into tbe wagon with him." The black caught up Frank Reade's limp form, and clambered into the wl!gon. What was the matter? Why, the outlaws, seeing the Steam Team standing still, were making a charg-e upon them in force. "All aboard!" cried Charley Gorse, spring ing for Frank's seat, and seizing the reins. Barney dragged Prof. Smith into the vehicle. "We're all aboard!" be yelled, and then Charley started the Team. They dashed away at n. wonderful pace, and the heavy wagon fairly bounded from the earth with the usual speed. The pursuing outlaws set up a yell of rage, and fireu a useless volley after them. In less than five minutes our friends were a mile or more away from the prairie handits, and then these latter, probably remembering the wonderful long range rif:le, gave up the pur suit and once more took the back traek. Pomp crouched in the bottom of the wagon with Frank in his arms. Charley ran on a little further, for he saw another little grove, and he thought it would be better to stop there and examine Frank than to do so in the sunshine, which was now very hot. He pulled up at the edge of the grove, under the shade of a tree, and then turned to spea.k to the new member of the company. Professor Smith was Lending over the youug inventor, as the latter lay in Pomp's arms. Well?" said Gorse. "Is the gossoon kilt?" inquired tl.1e gallant Irishman. "No," J.>romptly said Professot Smith, be is not killed." "Hurrah!" cried Gorse, swinging his cap up. "Homoo!'' yelled Shea, and theu they both shook hands in the wildest fashion, and hugged one another in their excess of joy, for they both idolized Frank Reade. "I am a scientist," rmarked Professor Smith, and am somewhat familiar with all sciences. is merely a case of suspended animation, and is owing to the pressure of a bone on the brain. Look." He pointed to the side of Frank's head, which was all bloody. "Now, observe," he said, in his pompous style; and, taking a wet handkerchief, he WiJ)ed away the blood, by which act be revealed the fact that something hard and round was im bedded under the skin. "Tliat lump is the bullet," he said. "It bas gone pretty deep, and had it hut gone half an inch deeper, it would have killed him. At pres ent he is just as good as dead, and would cer tainly die if that bullet were not removed. Yet a miss is as good as a mile, and when I remove the hall be will only need an hour or two in which to recover and be as well as ever.'' ''Begot>, I kiu philosophize and so forth," 1 said Barney Shea, "but that hates me.'' "Thunder! how glad I am!" was all Gorse, could say. While delivering' his little lecture, the profes" sor was not idle, but bad produced a case con taining lancet, scissors, oeedle, thread, plaster and salve, besiaes a few tiny bottles tbat con tained powderi, and also liquid mP.dicirles. "Begorra, and the moa is a reg' Jar walking docther-shop," said Shea. Prof. Smith took a piece of the plaster, gave it to Charley, with the scissors, and bade him cut it in strips. Barney he commanded to bring a. bowl of water.


6 FRANK READE. Pomp was to hold tile patient just as steadily I "Ha-ha-ha!'' laughed the company, at the as possible. conclusion of the song. Poor Frank lay like dead in the arms of the "Begorra, and that was a mouth, and no powerful negro. mistake," said Barney. "And be the same toVery carefully Prof. Smith cut into the skin ken 1t remoinds me that I sing a divihsb good on the side of tbe lad's head, the otlJers watchsong about a. faymale that lived in the town of ing him with intense eagerness, and praying Clonmel, and she bad a mouth that was fairful that the sharp lancet might not slip. to behold. I'm not much of a singist, but I'll Very skillfully the man of science made the try me best to iutertain ye. Pomp, would yez incision, cutting until the bullet was laid bare, have the extrame nateneds to assist?" and then, with a pair of nippers, he seized the "l'se dar," said Pomp, and Barney Shea troublesome pi e ce of metal and drew it out. struck up a "come all ye "melody on his violin, Then he seized Frank's head between both when-his hands, front and back, and gave it a "Danger!" shouted Charley Gorse, and sprang squeeze. they lost to his feet with his rifle in his hand. ;, Lively, now," he said, releasing the head ami catching up the water from Barney. He hastily washed away the blood from the wound, and then applied the strips of plaster to the cut, and ,in a moment the job was done in proper style. '' The operation is concluded," said the pro fessor. "Now to give Nature just a little assistance." He uncorked one of the little bottles from his cas0, and dropped just a trifle of the liquid be tween Frank Reade's lips. The etlect was wonderful. In a moment Frank's chest began to heave; a wheezing sound CiJuld be heard; he coughed, sneezed, and gasped for breath, and then open ed his eyes. Regardless or consequences, Charley, Pomp and Barney set up another cheer. "They couldn t kill the jaynus," cried the wild Irishman. Frank looked around him with the utmost wonder. "How do you reel?" asked Gorse. "I feel a bit dizzy, but otherwise I'm all right," said Frank. "You've had a close shave," said Gorse, and then he told Frank all that bad taken place, and what had been done for htm by the professor. ''And," said the professor, "you sbould keep perfectly quiet, if only for half an hour, by which time you may be all right. While you are resting I WJll take a glance at your wonder ful Steam Team." And he examined the invention with all the appreciation of a scientific man. Pomp," said Charley, "while we're making this stop we may as well have our dinner." "Dat' s a fac'," said Pomp, and he made a dive for the wagon. He came back laden with a small portable stove, some pots and pans, and something to cook. Frank Reade ca.rried everything for comfort and safety. Pomp soon had a fire started, and in short order some steaks were broiled and cotlee was made. Frank declared that he was all right, and in sisted on sitting up and eating his dinner During the course of the meal the professor told them that he was in company. with a friend, making a tour of the west, and pros pecting as they went along for coal, iron, cop. per, or gold. And we were just in the grove when that cut-throat horde poured in upon us, said the professor. "We both mounted our mules, but I guess we must have taken dif:lerent aourses in our alarm." Oi.J, we'll find your friend,'' said Frank Reade. "And your uncle, too When dinner was over, the dm key got out his banjo, Barney tuned up his fiddle, and they played a rattlmg duet. "Now give us a song, Pomp,'' requested Frank, and the obliging darkey reeled off the following in his rich voice: "DE GAL FROM DE SOUF.' '' Oh, once 1 bad a yaller gal. She come up from de sour; Her ba'r it nrled so bery tight She could not shut her mour. "I togk her to de tailor shop, TO hab her mour made small, M!' gal she took In one long brelT, An' swallowed the tallor an all." CHAPTER VI. TWO OLD ACQUAINTANCES. WHEN Black Jack and his men, in their eagerness to escape from the Ion,!!; rangEi'rifie, hastened into tlle grove, they came upon two men. These latter grew alarmed as they glanced at their unwelcome visitors, and hastily leaping upon their mules, they made tracks. One of these men, as the reader has learned, was the professor, and we know that he drop ped into good hands. The other one, his comrade, we will now take aglance at. For no. special reason other than that they fett ripping, tearing mad, and wanted to vent their passion on somebody, a number of the gang pursued the travelers, but, as we know, tb11y lust money on the professor. Tbe companion of the man of science was a young man with blonde hair and whiskers; be was dressed in a style that would haYe been just correct for Broad way, and wore a pair of goldbowe d eye-glasses on his nose, through which ilis blue eyes shone mildly He was certainly a queer-looking sort of a to meet on the plains of tbe rough and west. The mule on which he was mounted was a much fleeter animal than tile profpssor's, and seemed to share its rider's fright, fairly flying over the plains. But, strangely enough, ns the professor went out at one side of the grove, this foppishly dressed gentleman witil the eye-glasses went out at the other side. Away he went, clinging to his mule in a des perate manner; the breeze lifted his eye-glasses from the bridge of his nose and tbey streamed out behind him on a broad sliken cord, like a whip peunanl. The mule had it ali his own way, so far as the course went, for his rider's sole idea was to maintain his seat, afld the animal seemed de termined to reach ¬ber of the numerous groves that ahounded in that vicinity. It wa! about a mite distant. and there were good horses behind him, but tile mule held his own. "lialf a dozen of you bring that yaller-whis kered chap back here, and let me wipe my feet on the critter," was the order that Black Jack had issued. There were seven men who started in pursuit of the fugitive. The mule made good time, and got to the grove first. The outl aws spread out in a circle, surround the grove, and rode out with a yell of tri umph. To their great surprise they found that the man they pursued bad ridden into an encamp of Indians, and was just being rud ely dragged from his mule by a couple of tall red skins. "H'old h'on-h'old h 'on I say cried the chap with the whiskers, trying to 'preserve his balance; .. h'I really must h'enter a protest h'against this h'outrage, you know. This h'is not the way to 'andle a respectable member b'of the British h'aristocracy, you know, h'and I carn't allow it you know." But whether be allowed it or not, be was ro'ughly pulled from the sadclle and sent sprawl ing on the ground. There were about twenty men, and perhaps four or five squaws in the l!Bcapment. The outlaws pulled up short when thPy saw the Indians. "Hola on, there," said one, who acted as leader; "that man you 've got is our prisoner." The chief of the Indian band, a very dirl .ylookiug rait out in their reckoning. They had made no allowance for widow. And Shobbusguy, be it known to tl.Je readers was a tearer. She stood over the man she claimed for a bus. band, and brandished her knife in a wicked man ner. The white rascals rode directly at her, an<) made a clutch at poor Fltznoodle. 1 But the female guardian met the move in gal !ant sty le. She made a lightning-like t hrust and the ke e n t blade Rplit the very heart of the foremost rider. Down he went, tumbling from the saddle lik& a "Protect me!" roarl!d Fitznoodle. "Oh, dusky angel, protect me." And she did protect him by scouring her knife over the ribs of the next man, and making a wicked stab at the third rid e r. She missed him, but forced him to turn aside, I


] J and at that instant her friends recovered their wit.s and rushed to her aid. Then the fight became hanct to hand at once. Pistols flashed, and bullets whizzed through the air, and the knives of the combatants gleamed brightly The lovely Widow Shobbusguy took a hand in, and slashed away like a tigress, while Fitz noodle, the cause of the row, meekly crawled under a bush to get out of the way. The fight was short, sharp, and very deadly. Five of the seven white men were killed, and about the same number of Indians had gone to the happy hunting-grounds when the two sur viving outlaws discreetly gave up the unequal contest and left the grove in bot haste. "H'oh, Lord! h'I h' m doomed!" groaned the Cockm >y, when the Widow Shobhusguy, in a tri umphant style dragged him out from under the bush. "She'll 'old me tight now. H'oh, h'if Frank Reade were h'only 'ere to rescue me from this 'orrlble fate Little did he dream how nearly Frank was at hand! CHAPTER VII. A STRANGE SCENE. FRANK READE. Pepper them!" he shouted. froppin"' the glass and catchi!!g up his loaded rille. '' I 'know their faces, and they are train-wreckers." By this time the locomotive was close to tbe grove, and just as it was going by, Pomp and Charley blazed away at the men on the tender, and the wild Irishman yelled: ''Bring me to close quarthers." Boti.J Pomp and Charley fired hastily, not waiting to take much aim, and in addition to this fact, the human targets were bouncing up and down like rubber balls. Therefore, it is not surprising that they both misaed. But tho hullet sent by the black dead-shot whizzed uncomfortably close to the ear of one of the rascals, and it served to terrify him. He yelled out something to his two remain ing comrades, and at once they dropped from the tender. Of course they rolled over and over like balls when they struck the bard earth, and the fall must have been productive of bruises and sore bones, but in a moment they were upon their feet, and running away as fast as possible. The engineer, findmg that he was no longer in danger, shut off steam, and came to a stop about four or five hundred yards from the WHEN Charley Gorse leaped to his feet with grove. rifle in hand and shouted out" d.wger!" he cer"We'll wait here," said Charley, "be will tainly bad cause for alarm. come to us." His quick ears bad caught the distant and And ir a few moments the engineer walked rather confused sounds of yells, oaths, and a to the grove, leaving his locomotive standing peculiar rumbling noise. out on the plain. What the cause of all this was he could not He stared in open-mouthed wouder at sight 7 week. Pomp, lay out your loads for this long. range rifle, and we'll astonish "Hi yah!"laughed the darke.y. "Aft. e r him!" suddenly cried Charley Gorse, cocking his rifle and starting out from the gro-.e on the jump. "1'he locomotive!" The others looked. "Tare an' ouns!" cried Shea. "Curse the luck!" cried the engineer, for now they all saw that one of the men who had drop ped from the tender had in a very cunning man ner managed to reach the engine, and was now in the cab, and had let on a head of steam. The train-wrecker thrust his head out from the cab, and Gbarley Gorse fired at the fellow. A fierce scream told very plainly that the bullet had struck him, and they could see that he staggered, but the wound was not so severe as to keel bim over. The locomotive started but now the stel\m was reversed, and the engi,ne took the back track, pursuing about the same route that it had made in its journey to the grove. In an instant it came flying the trees, and the train-wrecker crouched low in the cab. There goes my pri cab, Even as our friends caught sight of him, the and then sm'nsb went the couplings, and the and with rapid aim he fired upon him, and hit engineer seized a hammer from the floor of his train was detached from the tender. I pulled him. cab, and with accurate aim threw it at one of up as soon as I could, my fireman putting on the The train-wrecker plunged forward with such the men clinging to the Lender. brakes." violencll, when he received the bullet, that be It struck the fellow on the head, and with a "And then?'' impatiently said Frank, as the hurled himself from the cab. dPspairiug cry he let go his hold oo the tender engineer pause. you may also save a great many lives." ing, busmess. Get aboard, and let's give him a "Six." "I'll do it," said the plucky engineer "I've lik! "Well filled2" no doubt the engine would into the cars They all jumped up into the wagon, and Frank' "Yes." v here the passengers are besieged." eeized the reins. "Plenty of good men?" "Ttty may have given in long ago to the He pulled a wire 1 and the Steam Team neigh"Yes, there may have been a hundred men rob hers," said Charley ed in the heartiest fashion. in the cars, and armed, to'l; but the most of '' Perhaps so," said the engineer "but I think The engineer on board the locomot.ive heard them are 'drummers,' and more used tb trade not." the sound, and turned to see what it was. th an f\gl1ting. But it's likely they're making a Frank carefully moderated the speed of his Meantime Gorse had caught up an operafigl-It for tbeir lives, and if your party will come Team, until he was once more in the rear of glass. along with this Steam Team--" I the plunging locomotive, whi9h, of course, ran With this be scanned the men clinging to the "Ob, I'll help them." said Frank. "I'm only as well alone as when under 'the hands of the tender.. waiting for this sort of a thing every day in the best engineer. l


8 Then the young genius increas11d his speed gradually, and slowly drew up to the tender. At length he brought the body of his wagon fairly alongside the bouncing tender, and only about a foot distant fmm it. Jump!" suid Gorse. '1'be engineer got a good brace, and sprang and outward from the wagon. lie landed safely in the bottom of the tender, and in a moment was on his feet, and crawling over toto the cab. "I'll stay here,., he said, with his hand on the lever; "you run on just as fast II.'! you can straight atead, and ru follow you." "All right." And then, with a grand burst of speed, away went the Steam Team to the rescue. Pomp loaded all the rifles, and each member of tbe party except the man of science his pistols. "lam not a ma.n of war," said the professor; "but you may tlnd me very usefal after the row [s over." "Patchin' heads, is it?" grinned Shea, with a comical leer. "Begorra, it's meself that's only axin' for a welt in the gob-what de ye see, Charley, dear?" Gorse had picked up the glass, and was ad justing it to obtain a view. "I see them," cried Charley "The cars are all together on the plains, just a few hundred yards this side of the tmck, and t)lere's a number of men mounted and on foot banging away with guns. Oh, I understand it all now The train-wrecke1"4!1 pepper away with their rifles at ordinary range, and the men in the car, armed only with revolvers, cannot return the fire with efl'ect, tbe bullets falling short. Put us there lively, Frank, or the rascals may wound any number of women and children "All right," said Frank. "Ah, I begin to see tbem now. Ready with that rifle, Pomp, you're nearly within range." "l'se ready," said the black, and picked up :.he wonderful gun. He put it to his shoulder, and glanced ;.hrough the telescopic sight. I'se got one ob de coons," be cried, and pulled the trigger. "You knocked him," said Gorse, who was looking through his glass. "Now for some abort-range work." The Steam Team advanced rapidly, and the unusual scene soon in full view before the occupants of the wagon. They saw the six cars standinf, on the plain 1-n almost a straight line, the window blinds up for the evident purpose of concealment and partial protection, while, out of pistol-shot range, fully a hundred men were gathered, some mounted and others on foot, as wild and mur derous a lot as ever rode the vast prairies of the west. Frank took one good glance at them, and then he pulled up. "We can't fight them with ordinary sort of weapons at close quarters," he said, to his com panions. "We must tackle them in another way." And he leaped down into the body of the wagon. "Take the he said to Gorse, and the latter did so. They had hn.lted abont a quarter of a mile from the cars, in full view of the train robbers. These latter had been thrown into some con fusion by the shot from Frank's wonderful rifle. and until they saw the Steam Team had evi dently not been able to account for the source of the mysterious bullet. But now they caught aight of Frank Reade's party, and fully fifty of the mounted rascals spurred towards our friends, yelling and shriek i ng in a crazy style. Charley Gorse very promptly started the Team, swerved a little to the left, and ran about the same course as the railroad. "Not too fast," said Frank, who was on his knees before one of the lockers at the side of tbe wagon, "because I only want to keep out or their reach until I can thin them out." "All said Gorse. I can manage the Team." FRANK READE. Frank produced two or three large cartridges from the locker, and in a momeut wns bending over the four-pounder at the reat of the wagon. The little cannon was a breecb-loader, and Frank could handle the piece very rapidly, He sboved in his prepared cartridge, lifted the ham mer, attacheclllis string, and then stood back a few feet. "Out uf the way," he said. "The thing might kick, for the ball that I put in is not a four pound one, but a hollow shell, lilleu with explosive matter, and I don't really know how it may act." They all stood back. The mounted train wreckers came on at the best speed their horses could show, and were now about as near to the wagon as Frank cared to have them come. Frank pulled the string, and down cami the hr..mmer. Crash-boom! The piece had been sighted by the young inventor, and adjusted to a point calculated to hurl a ball along about three feet or so above the ground. It discharged correctly, and did not budge from its rest Shut off steam," cried Frank. Charley Gorse did so, and as the tean1 ened its pace they all rushed to the rear ot tlJC wagon. The ball just reached the troop, and laid out three in succession who barred its path, and then the mixture within the shell exploded with terrific force The portions of\the fractured ball flew right and left, wounding or killing on all sides, bring ing the troop to a confused halt, men swearing and yelling horses rearing, plunging, and snort ing, and trampling upon the fallen men and steeds, altogether creating a scene of the very wildest disorder. "Give it to 'em, Frank," cried Gorse. "Don't let them recov& their wits. Remember, any- body might better have pity on a dog than on t hese men who live only by murdering and plundering." Frank r:eeded no urging, and in less than a minute after thP. first discharge the cannon was loaded, sighted, and fired again. "This is a solid shot!" announced the young leader. And it performed its work in a very solid manner It was well aime(!, &<:d struck in about the center of the confused lot of men and horses. It cut a terrible path through the close ranks, c a rrying death wherever it went, and so demor alized the now liadly frightened robbers that they extricated themselves as speedily as possi ble from the str!!ggling mass, ancl, iu great disorder, sred back towards the train. They left fully. twenty of their men l) ing on the ground, som" killed, some wounded by either shot or shell, and a number maimed by kicks received from the plunging horses. "After them, Charley," said Frank, "turn around and pursue them. Pomp, I look to you to see that everything is loaded; and now I'll put on my suit of armor and be prepared to drive through bullets." came his trunk from under the seat, and be produced a complete suit of armor, made with his own hands, and composed of closely woven chains of steel. It was a tritle heavy, but the air could cilcu late through it, and that made it just as cool as ordinary clothing. The entire front of the helmet was one net woTk of interlacing bars of finely tempered steel. Frank 11;0t into this suit, drew on a pair of gauntlets covered with steel scales, and then clambered up to h!> seat, and Cl:larley Gorse gladly got down into the body of the wagon, for they were now nearing the cars, and be came targets for the infuriated wreckers The party that Frank had routed with his cannon ha

l marked with its score or more of victims, some dead, a. numb e r wounded, and some so terribly mangled that they prayed for death to release 'hem from their agony. Of course this nad r reated the most wide spread confusion in the ranks of the train wreckers, and when tne locomotive stoppe within twenty yards or, the -cars, the engineer aaw that he baattle which was now rather one-sided, and with all possible haste they made off, spurring their poor, fright ened steeds in order t.o gM away as speedily as possible from the storm of bullets. The mounted onec tl.tus got away, but the ones on foot, to the numi>er of about twelve or flrteen, were left behind. Thflse latter were immediately riddled with bnlds, the incensed passengers pouring in a volley upon them that knocked over every man. At the same moment a shrill, prolonged whtstle was beard, and another train could be &bserved a few miles away, coming along the u-ack. There," cried FranK, "you must look to the other train to set you right. I'm g o ing to purne those fellows who are on horseback. Jump abQard, uoys, and we'll chase them." "Do," cried Barney, as he leaped into the waon, "and have the nateness, if ye plase, to make thim shtop, while I have another shin:'ly wid Anything to oblige you," said Frank, who .lOoked like a king of ancient times in his armor. Pomp and Charley fol.lowed Shea., and Frank .OOuted: "Good-bye, folks." Good-bye," was shouted back, am1 then three hearty cheers went up from the grateful passeng11rs. Then, with one last glance at the bloody bat tie-field, strewn with the wounded and the dead, Frank pulled the reins, and the Steam Team FRANK READE. darted away in pursuit of the fugitive trainInnocently enough, the big-hearted lrisbman wreckers. grasped it with l.Jts own hard but naked Jist. Altogether," said Charley Gorse, that But he didn't keep hold. was the greatest slaughter that ever I saw in He scarcely touched it, and then let it drop my hfe in so short a time. They must have like a hot plate. numbered over a hundred when they threw that He danced 11p and down like a toy figure. train from the track, and I'll wager they don't Murdher and Irish! tare and 'ouns!-Gcb, count as many by half at the present moment." me band-me hand! Worra, but it's that same "It was terrible," satd the professor, who was de vii's own whisky that ye dhrink through yer a man of peace. fingers. Oh, howly smoke, will 1 evoc go "Beg. orra, and it was a most illegant picnic, home?" so it was," said Shea. "Arrah, and would yez The others laughed until the tears ran down moind hoiV the tbaves run? Jist look at tbim." their cheeks to see poor Barney dance and hear The mounted men had a good start of the him bowl. Steam Team, but Frank rapidly overhauled The foolish fellow had received quite nse\ ere them. shock, which Frank could have ma!le more The wreckers rushed past a little grove, and powerful by grasping Barney's hand, or else by Frank was guiding his team past, when man touching him with both steel gloves at one rushed from the mi!lst of the trees, and yelled: time. "That was merely an ex!J'lriment, and I am Professor Smith, who was up !n the quite satisfied wtth the power of my little bat wagon, beard the cry, turned and saw his travteries," said Frank, as he ceased laughing. eling companion, George Augustus Fitznoodle. "You only got a mere touctJ. I expect to give "Fitznoudle!" yelled out Barney, Frank and some innocent red-skin the full force of the tw411 Charley, in concert, and then the form of a batteries in 11. few minutes, and then you can brawny squaw came flying out from the laugh." trees. "Begob, and ye've rattleer of Indians in among the trees. 1 saw several forms flitting back and forth, myself. If we made a charge into the grove we might get away with them, and-they might as likely kill any of us. But I think I can work the thing alone." "How?" deman!led Gorse. "I'll show you," said Frank. Please open that drawer marked with the letter E."' Charley did so, and exposed to view two small pocket-batteries, with \ fine wires attached. These were banded to Frank, and be at once removed one or his steel gloves and unlatched a portion of his suit of metal. Seeing Jirst that the little batteries were fully charged, he placed them in his pockets, the wires running out through small holes especially made for them. These wires, being thin and pliable, were easily twisted around the arms of tQe young genius, and the natural result was that his en tire suit was covered witli an invisible but quite powerful flood of electricity, but, of course, his clothing prevented him from receivwg any shock. Then he requested Charley to take his whip from the drawer. The whip was constructed entirely of floe wire, twisted together, and ran to an extremely slender point from a rather heavy butt. This Frank grasped with his glove of steel, and announced himself as ready for The fugitive train-wreckers bad taken advan tage of this delay to gallop out of sight. Not a sound came from the grove, and not a. form was seen. In all probability, and so reasoned our friends, the occupants of the grove were staring in wond6r at the Steam Team from behind the trunks of the trees. "Here goes," said Frank. "Good-bye, old friend, for I may never see you again." And be held ottt his band to Barney, covered with the steel glove. "Remember that I am priflf against lead or steel, and I'm able to take care of myself. However, if I don't return within lifteen or twenty minutes, then you ml'-y bunt me up." "All right," said Gorse. "Good luck to you." Frank waved his whip anbusguy. One glance at Momser assured the young genius that be was the chief of the band. and be advanced straight to him. Momser regarded him with a etare of won der. The suit of mail was a puzzler for him. Moreover, l.taving failed to kill Frank with a volley, be felt a trille shaky when the latter ap {>roached him. In the most friendly style imaginable Franlt Reade bowed. Not to be outdone fn noliteness, Momser awkwardly returnecl the bow. Then Frank extended both hands, with the evident intention of shaking, and 1llomser, not knowing what else to do, followed snit. The young; genius closed down upon the red skin's fingers with his gloves ef steel. And he gripped the chief's fingers as bard as possible. "Ugh! whoop-yah!" yelled Momser, interrific alarm, as he got the i>enefit of the full elec tric power, and he made' a big leap straight up into the air, trying to break loose, but Frank held on witlr a firm grip. Of course Momser was much heavier than Frank, but the latter was well weighted down by the complete suit of armor, and that enabled him to keep on his feet while the chief was try. ing to ureak away.


lO Thunder! bow poor Momser did jump and shout, kick and yell, and all tile time the streams of electricity were gomg through him like liquid fire. Suddenly he became twisted up and fell to the ground. Frank let go of him, and poor Momser kickea and bawled, and rolled over the ground with out hindrance. The other Indians were astounded at this novel performance. Frank thought be might be able to get Fitz noodle away during this season of surprise. He strode up to the spot where poor Fitz noodle crouched under the eye of the Widow Shobbusguy. I am Frank Reade," he said. Rise and follow me!" Frank Reade!" cried the astonished and delighted cockney; ''' why, h'I was just 'oping and praying for you to turn h'up, h'and, be' old, 'ere you b'are." And with alacrity he got upon his feet. "You no leave Shobbusguy." said the widow, catching him by the arm; you stay." Sorry," politely said Fitznoodle, but h'I must leave you. R'T h'am h'always at the command of the fair sex, but 'when they're h'ofi' color--" "Come on," growled Frank. "You no go!" tiercely snarled the very plucky widow, and she seized George augustus by the ankle and tried her best to pull him over. At the same moment she opened her lips, evidently with the ir.tention of shouting out an appeal to the rather demoralized warriors, when, with a most dexterous motion, Frank Reade snd deuly thrust the little end of the wire whip into the squaw's wide-open mouth. The effect instantaneous. The entire current of electricity ran down tbe whip and touched the squaw's tongue, giving her an intensely powerful shock. She gave one unearthly bowl, and then fell back upon the ground. Net a sound escaped her after her head struck the ground, for she was totally uncon scious. Frank withdrew his powerful little weapon, and walked away, George Augustus at his But by this time Momser was on his feet again, and a trifle more angry than scared. He made a. blind rush at Frank, and some of his men followed him. As the chief ran at Frank, the atter slashed at him with the whip. The slender wire coiled about Momser's neck, and once more he got a dose of electricity that made him feel as though his hl:lad was being taken off. He dtopped again, and all but two or his men turned back when they saw him fall. These two fellows Frank caught in his steel clad arms, and, as they were about half-naked, they got shocked in a manner that took every bit of tight out of them, and chilled their cour age with a new and nameless terror, for they hadn't the remotest idea about such a thing as electricity. Frank released them, and they ran bowling after their comrades. The young genius looked around for Fitz noodle. Tba.t gentleman had discreetly got away, and could now be seen making good time towards the Steam Team. This is a victory of science over the matters or brute strength and numbers, and I think I shall keep fighting on this line," said Frank, and walked ont of the grove in triumph. CHAPTER XI. FRANK READE. When pursued by the Steam Team, the band ran a number of miles from the village, and when tbe outlaws, in turn, became pursuers, part of the d1stance was recovered. In short, though being harassed by the Steam Team, wounded by Pomp with the wonderful rifle, and having their horses jaded .by unlookedfor work, the prairie bandits found it 1m possible to get away from the grove into which they bad been driven. "Curse the luck," growled the leader, as he surveyed wounded men and also wounded horses. "Here I've lost a number of good men, and am forced to stay here in this grove until morning, and all on account of a kid with some cursed new-fangled steam contrivance. Oh, if I only bad him here for a moment!" And the amiable land pirnte closed and opened his dirty band in a way that was very suggestive of the sort of treatment Frank Reade was likely to receive from him. ''Bring me that box," he called out to one of his men. The treasure-box constructed by John Gall was brought to him. "In this," be said, looking with very evident respect at the hox, ''is concealed all the money that those fools have been saving up ever since the tirst bouse was put up at Reefer's Bluff, and now it belongs to us. Row am I to get into it?" He turned the box over and over. Not even a key-hole of any sort could he lind. There were a number of polished round knobs protrud ing on all sides of the box, looking like large rivets, but be could discover nothing that looked like an openmg. "Thundering curious," he muttered, and be went at it again. No use-he could discover no opening of any sort. Curse the thing, I'll smash it," angrily roar ed Black Jack. But 'twas easier said than done, as he very soon found out. One of the red-skins he bad with him handed the incensed captain a sharp steel hatchet, and Black Jack pounded away at the box. As well might he have hammered at the anvil on which John Gall had very probably con structed it. Growing furious with his failures, be struck harder than ever, and one of his terrific blows caused the hatchet to fly into several Some of the men laughed, and more of them swore, but laughing or swearing, it was all the same. They could not open the treasure-box. Black Jack broke out into a horrible stream of profanity. "Why, curse my eyes!'' be cried, "this is like the story of the man who saw the valley of gold from the top of a bill, and couldn't get clown there. Here we've got probably a hun dred thousand dollars, mostly in bonds, in that box, and can't handfe the cash." "Wail until we get somewhere where we can smash it with a sledge," said one of his best men, a. sort of second i:l command, named Marco. "I'll find some way of managing the cursed thing," growled the irritated leader. "But is there as much money in the box as you say!" asked Marco. He was a Spaniard, this Marco, a tall, dark man, treacherous and cr el, and as fierce as a wild beast. "or course there is," said the other. "My information came all right. I know to a cer tainty that John Gall has got either a hundred bonds, or else a hundred bank-aotes of a thou sand dollars each in this box. And he's likely got a few extra thousands, too." Marco said nothing more, but with a long glance at the valuable box, he strode away. It was fully decided that they could not go THE TREASURE-sox. on until morning, so after looking to the horses To return to Black Jaek. and those or the band that were wounded, the Had the leader of the outlaws been allowed men lounged around the grove in idle mood, to travel straight away from Reefer's Bluff with telling stories, singing and cursing, gambling his plunder, in all probability he would have conand amusing themselves variously. ducted his band twenty-five or thirty miles Marco, the Spaniard, might have been seen away from the village before camping for the going around to several of the men, one at a night, but Frank Reade had made that impos-l time, and indulging in a short conversation, aible. ....... which was carried on in a low tone -The evening came on, and supper was for the band. With the goods stolen from the village the; feasted in good style. After the meal was over the Spaniard ap. proacbed the leader. "Captain," said he, "Jet me have one trial at the box." ''No," shortly spoke up Black Jack. "We'!; wait till we get to our retreat." ''I'm not going to wait." "Eh, what's that?" "I'm not going to wait!" repeated the Span iard. Several of the men beard the loudly-spoken words, and crowded near to the speakers. Much surprised at the manner of one whQ had been quite a favorite with him, Black Jack slowly got upon his feet. "What the devil do you mean Marco,are you crazy?" "Not at all," said Marco. "There is a bun dred thousand dollars or more in that box. I haven't been in a city to have a good racket in two years ; and there's lots of the boys in the same condition. We want some of that money, and we're going to have it, and start off for a good time. "Indeed?" growled the leader. "And how do you propose to get it?" "Well, I've asked for it." said Marco. "I refuse to eive it. What now?" "We'll haveit anyhow," sulkily said tbt Spaniard. "Come and take it," said Black Jack, in a defiant tone. Several of his men ran to his side as be pro. nounced these words, but an almost equalJ.y large number clustered around Marco. '' Ah!'' cried Marco "You see that I have got as much power in this band as yourself." "I do," said Black Jack. "It is the result of treachery, but I know how to meet it. Men, listen to me." Tbe,v were all silent. "My men," said the leader, "you appear tc. be about equally divided for Marco and me. Two men can't rule this band, and for the two factions to fight it out would be the means of killing half of you. "To prevent and to keep the band en tirP, I will fight with this man who disputes my rule. Whichever wins the battle rules the band.!' "Good-good!" yelled the men. That's fair." 1 "Yes, that's the way." "Marco," said Black Jack, "I could have shot you down. I have given you a chance for your me. You know how to use the kn;fe you wear in your l.Jelt; drawl" And out came his own glittering weapon, flashing in the bright and far-reaching light of the big camp tire. "I'm agreeable," said the Spaniard. He drew his knife. The two men faced each other, their flashing with hate. Clash! The steel blades met, and the sparks flew In a shower. Cut and slash, at it they went, both watching for a chance to stab. Two slight stabs were given and taken on both sides, and then the Spaniard parried a heavy thrust made by the captain, and dropped on one knee, as though forced off his balance. It was a mere design. With a swift move ment he made an upward thrust at Black Jack'l! stomach. Black Jack uttered a cry, and then staggel' ed back. The Spaniard leaped up, rushed upon him, and was about to stab bim again, when the capo tain fell heavily to the groupd. The Spaniard tossed his knife high into the air. "Victory!" be cried, and then made a rush towards the spot where the captain bad fallen, right on top or the treasure-box. "Now the money is mine!" "No!" cried a ringing voice, "the money Is mine!" I


A tall fQrm leaped from behind a tree, a club hummed through the air, and tt.e victorious Marco was felled to the ground by a man who hastily snatched the metallic box from under the form of the fallen captai,p. It was John Gall, the blacksmith! CHAPTER XII. THE THREE STRANGERS, WHEN Frank Reade reached the wagon, Fitznoodle was already there, shaking bands with Charley Gorse, and drinking Shea's whisky. "Be the piper that played afore Moses, I'm glad to see you," cried Barney, as he received back the pocket-flask, and put it to his own lips. "Ye bloody Britisher, ye've drunk every dhrop." "Just think l!.'of h exertion h'of running h'all that way," said George Augustus. "'Ow h'are you, professor?" ; Quite well, thank you,., said Smith. "But after our extensive travels, Mr. Fitznoodle, we find ourselves far from the haunts of civiliza tion, and with no means of traveling." "H'ob, that's b'all right," confidently said Fitznoodle; "h'I shall stay with Frank for the present, h'and you can do the same." "Certainly," said Frank. "How are you, old boy?" And they had a real hearty ebake of hands, which resulted in Fitznoodle turning up his heels, prancing like a skittish horse, bawling like a dog, and twisting himself double. "H'oh, b'ob, h'i h'am a goner now," shouted the Cockney, dropping down upon the plain in an agitated heap. "My blood h'is h'all on fire." The rest of the party laughed until the tears ran down their cheeks. "My gracious!" cried Frank, "I forgot all about the electricity. You don't know how !lorry I am." "But h'i can h imagine," mournfully said Fitznoodle, and by the expression ou his face e did not place much faith in Frank's protes tation of sorrow. The latter then explained to his comrades the manner of the rescue. "I left them running,'! he said, "and I'm not afraid that they'll trouble us. Give me a lift, Pomp." Pomp assisted him to remove l!is suit of mail, which was carefully stowed away in its proper place. "Now," said the young leader, "what is the neit thing to do? Shall we pursue train wreckers, or shall we hunt Black Jack?" "The train wreckers you can't very well follow;" said Charley, "for the reason that you can t see them. Frank, do you know that I've just made a discovery?" "What?" "Do you see that other grove, beyond the one left?" "Yes,'' "That Is where Black Jack and his band took retuge. If it was full daylight I might be able, with the aid of the gla,ss, to see whether they were over there still." It was beginning to grow dusky on the plain, and objects at a distance were becoming indis tinct. "I'll tell you what I'll do," said Frank: "I'll see to my team, and examine and oil all parts well, fix my electric light, and then we'll take a nigJt cruise. I want to try my light. While running around I'll get close to that grove yon der, and a ilhot will no doubt discover whether \hey are there or not." "All right,'' said Gorse, and assisted him to examine all the parts, both of the machinery and the running portion. Frank looked into the watar;tank found his supply running low. That's bad," he said. "Fitznood)e, was there a in the grove where you were?" "No, not b'any. '' "Then," said Frank, "my best plan will be to stop at the first grove I happen to sight and "'l!deavor to lay in a good supply, if possi!Jle." FRANK READE. II "Divil the sthep will the go for ye I "Well, boys, what do you think?" widout dbrinking," said Shea. I think that it would be just exactly the "All aboard," said Reade. cheese for us." The night was now closing in, and Frank "So do I. We could make night trips from turned on the electric light. the factory to the nearest city, and carry our The brilliant blaze shot forth in a bright 'queer' to the 'shovers' without any danger. stream from the eyes of the Steam Team, showEven if the Washington chaps got on our track ing a that rendered objects perfectly plain we could snap our fingers at them, for the)' at the dlstance of half a mile or more. never could catch us." "That's splendid," said Gorse. "True." "Wif dat ar light, an' de long range gun dat "I propose that we coll&r it." Massa Frank am got, dis chile kin kill jes' de "I'm agreed." same at night as in de daytime," said Pomp. "So am ,I." Away they started over the plain, and Frank "When shall we do it?" felt very proud as be drove his team. "In a few minutes, while they are at their He sighted a large grove after dashing along SUJ7Per. I think I understand the contrivance for about fifteen miqutes, and directed his team pretty well MW, and could run i.t as well as this towards it, with the hope of finding water to Frank Reade. By the way, that remmds me replenish his tanks. that this same bit of a boy helped Detective In a few minutes he reached the grove, and Hall to clean out Captain Prime's gang a few at once shut otl his light, so as not to waste the years ago You want to look out for him, foi electricity. he's a little wonder." Thlln he made a discnv11ry. "He killed my brother when he smashed A large fire was blazing in the grove, which Prime's gang," said one of the three, in a sav was very conclusive evidence that it was occuage tone. "I'd like to put a bullet through his pied. heart." "Halloo! who is here?" he cried. "Don' t do anything to jeopardize our Caution," cried Charley, seizing his rifle. scheme," said the first speaker. 1 If we can "Rest easy," said a pleasant voice "We work this thing right we can be sure of making are white men, like yourselves, and if you are our fortune, and laughing at the Secret Service honest men then we'll like you also." men." The speaker stepped forth from behind a tree, "They're sitting down to supper now," put and two otLers immediately did the same. in the other. "Let's light our pipes and stroll "We are merely three travelers out upon the around until we think

12 chemical powder instead of bullets, which wer& thrown out just the same as a bullet when the pistol was fired. These balls lasted from five to ten seconds, and burned with an intensely brilliant. white light. Frank raised this night pistol, presa.ed the trigger, and sent a bright ball of flame after the wagon. 1 The chemical light illumined the scene with the brightness of day, and as it went sailing over the Steam Team, Frank pre ssed the trigger again, for he bad caught sight of one of the men, plainly revealed by the ball of fire. 'fhe revolver, was a selt cocking one, and therefore, with the weapon raised, it was an easv matter to draw a bead and fire while the blazing ball still careened in the air. Frank's aim was true. By the expiring light of the blazing sphere, he, and the rest of his party, saw one of the men tumble from the wagon. This took about four seconds, altogether. But still the Steam Team was rushing away s t pretty good speed, and rapidly leaving the vicinity of the grove. Frank saw the man tumble, but be did not pauge an instant. Crack went the revolver again. Another blazing sphere careened over the still receding wagon, and then another one of the leaden bul lets carried destruction to a second member of the fraudulent trio. Frank kept on, but his next flying torch fell far short of the wagon "Two of them knocked over," sbout'ed Charley Gorse. "Yes," gloomily s a id Frank, "and the third one has got away with my Steam Team." "What shall we do? "Worra-worra, and it' s meself that wants to know what can we do." ''Hit'S" certainly h'annoying to 'ave such a thing appen," said Fitznoodle. With a rumbling sound that grew less and less aacb instant, the Steam Team passed beyond ,"'iew "Gentlemen," said the professor "I am a man of peace, but in this affair [ might advise." What can you advise?" demanded Frank, who felt decidedly out of temper "That you follow thjl team," suggested the professor. "What, on foot?" ":r{o, with the horses that they have so con siderately left you." "By Jove! not one of us ever thoucrht of the horses," said ch arley, and they mad'e a rush towards the spot where the horses were teth ered. Here a new difficulty arose. There were but three horses, and with the professor and Fitznooclle left out of the case, there were four persons wanted to ride-Pomp, Barney, Charley and Frank. "I'm going," said Frank. "I must go after my property." And he jumped ou the back of one horse. "I've sworn to stick to you," remarked Char ley Gorse, and then be jumped on the second horse. "H'I would cheerfully h'offer my services, but, h'as you h'all know, h'I b'am not a distin guished 'orseman, h'and h'in this h'extreme darkness--" "Clar de track!" yelled Pomp, and with more baste than grace he whirled poor Fitznoodle aside, and leaped upon the back of the third horse. "Musha, and are yez going to lave me bebind?" yelled Shea. I Yes," roared Gorse. "You've got your fiddle," said Frank, and then he led the pursuit, dashing away on the back of the strange horse, "and we'll not be long." And then they were gone. "Worra-worra, the mane devils," groaned the wild Irishman, "they're going off afther foightin', and lavin'me behoind tbim like a goa soon. Be the powers I'll soon be gittiu' rusty, so I will." "H'at this b'interesting h'epoch," said FRANK READE. George Augustus, "let h'us h'endeavor to while h away the time h'as pleasantly h'as pos sible, h'until the return h'of h'our friends. You can play on the violin'-" "Fiddle, ye mane?" "H'exactly. H'I can sing a very decent sort b'of a song, b'and the professor--" "I can furnish some very beautiful lectures on the inner surface of the dafi odil; and a mag nificent treatise on the human ear," gravely said the prof e ssor. "Then," said Fitznoodle, "we certainly can 'ave a very plea sant time." "Oh, illigant as bl'lzes," said Barney, and he raised his fid<:tle from the place where it rested. "Shall I sbtart?" "Certainly," said Fitznoodle, and Shea rat tled off a lively jig, which made even the staid professor feel like shaking his foot. WhHe Barney was fiddling away in his vigor ous, noisy style, Professor Smith was cooking another of buffalo at the fire. Had any one of the little party taken the trouble to loc1k around them, they might have become aware of the fact t!J4Lt s everal pairs of eyes were fixed upon them during the time that Barney was playing. "It's your turn now, Fitznoodle!" said the professor, turning the buffalo steak with great care. ''All right," said George Augustus, totally unconscioue of the fact that be was the observed of manv observers. "I'll sing you The Death h'of Nelson.'" "And I kin play it wid ye," s aid Shea, who happened to know the song, and he played a sort of prelude. Then Fitz noodle sang the first verse of th e song in really find style, and received a round of applause from a score of hands, and was rewarded with shouts of: Bully boy." "He's a nightingale." "Bully for the Britisher." "Clap him again." And another clapping ofhands then fol-lowed. Barney stopped playing, Fitz noodle's knees knocked together, and Smith allowed the buf falo steak to fall into the tire About twenty men, all hard-featured, rough looking fellows, walked from behind the tre es and bushes, and advanced tow a rds the campfire. After them followed half a dozen women as coarse, hard-featured, and brutal-looking as the men wllo preceded them. "Friends or foes?" yelled Shea, droppin@: his fiddle and clutching his trusty blackthorn stick. "Friends, of course," answered onP., who ap peared to be the leader. "Why, we've been yom: audience for the last ten minutes. Didn't we give you good applause?" "Dade an' yer did," said Barney. "But bow kim ye here?" got here on foot," was the rather odd reply. "We're looking for three men, but you are not the parties.'' Arrab. and are yez looking for the three omaclhanns that we found in this same grove? All min wid hair over their mugs?" "Yes." "Thin I kin inform ye that the daylight thaves wint off wid our coach, and the divil only knows whin they'll be back again." "We'll wait an' see," said the leader. "And while we're waiting we'll bave a rippin' old dance." "Hurrah!" yelled the men. "Bully!" shouted t he women. "'Ow very h'immodisL h'on the part h'of the members h'of the female sex," said George Au gustus. "What do yer say?" shouted one of the wom en, and she gave the poor Briton a back-handed blow in the stomach that doubled Fitznooclle up. "Jis' you say that I ain't a lady and I'll lay you out stiffer than starch, you slab-sided sardine." Which certainly proved that she was a per fect lady. George Augustus was indignant, but didn't clare say anything. In fact, the woman hadn't left him breath euough to utter a word. Barney Shea recognized tbe fact that be was surrounded with a very hard lot, and be bad reason to fear their brutal anger il he refused to ente rtain them. So he rattled off another uf his lively tunes The men grabbed hold of the womeu very unceremoniou sly, and formed a set. In two minutes they were dancing something that was a mixture of the lanciers and qua<.llille, with a bit of polka, an d plenty of skips and jumps thrown in. "Time!" cried the leader, who was one of the mo!t enthusiastic dancers, and stopping the dance for a moment, be ran up to Barney. "Swig at that, pard," he said, and handed the Irishman a flask. Barney took a big drink. It really fine whisky, and so be took anoLher big drink. "Now go it!" cried the leader, and be took a swig at the flask. Tile whisky was old and strong, and it warm ed Barney up. He began fiddling away at a fast and furious rate. The leader dropped his flask, and it rolled ta. wards Professor Smith. Tl.Je latter picked it up, smelled of its con tents, and then looked around him on all sides. He had sworn oft;" but he dearly loved whisky. Nobody was looking, and so he raised the flask to his lips. It tasted so good that he drank every drop. In just exactly three minutes he was crazy drunk, and two minutes later lw .vas in the midst of the danc e rs. "I'm a revolving e pitome!" hE> and be threw his long legs around in :s. P.Y'.e that was appalling. Barney, too, became excir e cr. The whisky g-ot int.o his head, e ,nd be couldn't restr ain himself. He bad bee n sittin g on a log '>v.t he jumpeC up and mix e d with the danc e rs, fiddling away like mad. "Worra, whist, now, but the as good as a wake!" he yelled jumping around lil'e a cricket. "Give me room till I rattle me tbrot ters." He threw himself one way, the profesS(Ir spun around another way, and the result wM Lt. at one of the women got a kick in the eye. She didn't know who kicked her, br)t e;he pull eel a kmfe, and tackled the nearest tUan. The dance was broken up; some neat to help the man, some went to help the WGTI!Im. They were all more or less drunk, aud in less time than it takes to write a general fight ensued. Fitr-x::oodle plucked up courage to pull Barney and the professor out of the row. "Now b'is h'our chance to h'escnpe," said he, and they were sobered enough to see that be was right." "Let' s travel," said Barney, and with fiddle and shillelah he led the way out of the grove. CHAPTER XIV. HUNTING THE STEAM TEAM. WHEN Frank, Charley, and the faithful Pomp dashed away on horseback iu pursuit of the Steam Team, it was wit1't a decidedly small chance of ever seeing young Reade's remark able invention again. The was dark, very clark, and, o! course, thev could not see the team. 1\foreover, they had no ide a as to the course followed by the present driver, and had to trust to luck. However they spurred their horses on in & strai,Q;ht line. .. "If he doesn't turn aside, we may yet eatcb up to him, for it's not likely that he'll keep on all night said Frank. For ten minutes or so they dashed on in silence. No si,Q;n of the team "He' s changed his said Frank Reade. and we're probably riding farther away from him."


"No-no, look dar!" suddenly yelled out the tlarkey. He pointed ahead, and slightly to the right band. They saw what he meant. .A brilliant flood of ligbt was flashing out about a mile ahead, streaming out upon the ,?lain like a bnrst of sunshine. "There's the team," cried Frank. "After it, 'Joys." At the very best speed of their horses, they aasbed on again. But the light continued M move away to the right. It maintained this corse, and ere our friends bad gone a quarter of a mile, the brilliant elec tric illummation was bearing full upon them. "Halt!" It was Frank Reade who uttered the sharp command. They pulled up. Why, what in thunder is the matter with bim?" demanded Charley, much pl!zzled by the eccentric course taken !Jy the rascally driver of the Team. Somethjug is the matter, either with the man or the Team, which is running around in a circle,., said Frank. Let ue get out of the way." 1'bey retreated a short distance and waited. On came the Team, the electric light blazing far ahead of them. They were probably at the ra. te of twen ty miles an hour, ana running in a perfect circle. With a rumble and a whirr that made the borses prance, PflSt them it went and spun away on the ring that it was descnbiug. They all looked intently at the wagQn n.s it bummed past, looking for the driver. They could not see him. v What can have become of him?" the young f5P.nius asked llfaybe he fell off," said Charley. "Perhaps so," said Frank. "But what keeps lJe Team on this circle if PO one guides them?" It certainly was puzzlilog, and they could not onderstand it. They sat motionless on their horses, and waited for the machine to come around again. It was describing about a mile circle, and within three minutes it dashed past them again. No sign of the driver. "Well, driver or na driver," Frank Reade, "I want to get possession of my con veyance, and I don't want to stop here 1,111til its power runs out, and chance to let it smash against some obstacle." "What are we to do?" demanded his cousin, who d1d not see the way for action very clearly. "We have got one desperate chance for it," said Frank. "The is now describing a perfect circle. I saw that when it came around the second time it ran upon the track made by the first round. Let one of us get upon the shoulders of another stand near w where it must pass, and leap into the wagon." Good," said Gorse. "And dis chile am de kid to take dat ar jump," said Pomp, who was a splendid leaper. "Massa Frank, you kin hold de horses, dis coon kin git on .Massa Charley's sho ulders, and dep de tiug kin be did." "Hang them," said Frank, "I don't like this drcle business, because it's apt to strain the machinery. Be lively." They leaped from their horses. Frank took the bridle-reins of the animals, and retreated 11ome distance from the course of the team. The machiM was coming on rapidly, and Charley and Pomp ran ahead as fast as they eould to obtain the position they wanted. Broad-shouldered Charley Gorse braced him self firmly, and the badly deformed black leaped lightly upon his back. On came the team. Frank, holding the hor>es in check, watched with anxious eyes for the result of the attempt. If this fai!P.d the young genius was that bis macliine would be damaged beyond repair, the power so umwenly divided "The next time that I explain the workings or FRANK READE. my rnacbinery to strangers, they are welcome to run away with the Team, he thought, I.Jitterly, remerni.Jering that it was his own f ault thM the theft had been commitJed. "Steady, dar!" yelled Pomp. The instant had arrived Charley Gorse stood there as solid as a rock. With a light, beautiful l eap, Pomp launched bl s ungainly body thropgh the air. The black athletic landed safely in the body o f the wagon. As a natural conseq u ence he rolled over and over two or three times, "!md then, clutcbing the sides, got upon Ius feet, and at the seat. And then he become sudden l y aware of the fact that a man lay extended along the seat. It was the last of the trio that had run away with the Team. In the one lJrief instant that Pomp had a chance to look at him, be could see that tJ.Ie fel low was bleeding from a bullet wound in the head, and 'j'as glaring insanely. The probalJle cause was tlus: One of the bul let!!< fr om Frank Reade's night pistol, afte r pass ing through the livin g ta1get aimed at by the young genius, bad wouuded the third one of the three villains. This man, as be l ay exte n ded a lon g the seat (his prostrate position was the secret of his in visibility). grasped the reins of the Team. It would appear that he had grown delirious, and had thrown himself down on the seat. re taining both reins in his grasp, but pulling more on one rein than the other. As Pomp toucbed him he raised up from the seat. "Aha!" he yelled, in a frantic, half-delirious fashion, and clutching the negro be lifted him fairly up to the seat. Pomp had no ide.a of allowing his enemy to gP.t the best of hi.11. He threw his powerful arm about the form of tf1e shouting thief, and endeavored to hurl him from the wagon. The man clung to him as tightly as a l eech to human flesh. The seat was a very narrow and unsafe place for wrestling, but the situation did not admit of any choice. "I'll tear your out!" hissed the hair crazy thief, and he clawed at Pomps body as though be really meant to do it. He was just enough out of his mind with the pain of his wound to prove an exceedingly tough customer to handle. Back and forth on the driving seat they swayed. "I'll squeeze de breff out ob de cussed fool, an' den he'll hab to gib in to dis chile!" cried Pomp, a nd with the words he concentrat!ld all his strength in those long, black arms, and hugged the rascal until be could hear his bones crack. "Now, oberboard wif yerl" cried the black, and he raised the half-crushed thief in his arms. The man did go overboard, but not in ex actly the manner designed and intended by Pomp. At the very instant that the darkey raised the white man in his strong arms, with the inten tion of hurling him aside. the wheels of the wap;on struck some good-sized and very solid obstacle. The result was just ex'lctly what might be looked for, considerir:g the insecure position of the men. White man and dnrkey flew from the seat like rockets, and went tumhling to the plain. And the Steam Team dashed on! CHAPTER XV. FITZNOODLE GUARDS THE FIDDLE. WHFN John Gall sprang into the midst of his foes, he presented a really odd and terrible ap pearance. His face was as colorless as a piece of cut marl>le. The injured eye, the one that had beoo so cruelly burned by Black Jack, was covered with 13 patch. The other eye gleamed with tbtt fires of llate and revenge. In his hands the po\verful blacksmith held a club about two feet long and two ioclles thick. It was made of solid iron! As Black Jack fell to the ground, his falling body almost cove1ed the treasure -box With a quicl\ kick John moved the fallen leader aside, and t h en clutched the box. Marco, the Spaniard, l eaped fiercely unon him. -"Drop that box!" he yelled, drawing a pis tel. Several of the band follo'lted the Spaniard. John Gall's move:neuts were made like ligbt!ling. Marco was just in the act of raising hi& pistol to shoot down the bold blacksmith, when the latter struck him a terrible blow with that iron clulJ. It cracked the Spaniard's skull just as thougt it were nothing more than an egg. Right and left flew tbe .brains over those who followed.him, and Marco fell back against his much-astonished comrades. Gall, very wisely, did not give them time to recover their senses. He whirled tile heavy iron club right and "left. It thandered through the air. and with irre sistilJie force it struck against a half dozen heads as it swept around a big circle. It cracked beads and knocked men over wherever and whenever it strock, and created a momentary confusion that was very favorabl& to the one man who dared to pit himself against so many. With the box under his arm be crushed through the demoralized crowd, and made a break for the open plain They were after him in a moment, and in such numbers that they bore him to the box and all, by sheer, overwhelming weight. The treasure was torn from his grasp by the violent jolt, and llew like a meteor through the bushes and trees into some

r i I 14 FRANK READE. the life out of more than one outlaw that CHAPTER XVI. night. BARNEY GETS TO "CLOSE QUARTHERS." He ran on steadily, glancing back now and WE will now follow Pomp in his adventures. then, and saw now that the lighted torches 'l'he negro could scarcely comprehend what were raised fully four or five feet above his had happened. bead. Fortunately for him, be fell on top, and his "I understand it," he said; they are mountenemy served to break the fall, which was a ed torch-bearers, and expect to ride me down, considerable one. ;binking that I've still got the treasure." Had the white man been in right ll.lind and The number of torches told him that about a condition he probably would have been killed by iozen mounted men were in pursuit. the fall, but he was too wild to notice it. They spread out immediately upon leaving With a furious yell, clutching the black the grove, thus covering a !ina nearly a quarter with all his strength, he rolled over and over, of a mile wide, and came sweeping on at a sharp trying, it seemed, to get on top or Pomp, but gallop. the latter would not allow it. John Gall found that be was now in great "No sah, not if dis coon knows it, sah, not a danger of being discovered, for the bright bit obit, snh," said the dwarf, and he gave the torches would certainly reveal him to some man a hug that would have done credit to a '!harp eyes. bear. But, trusting that be might be able to elude He nearly squeezed the life out of his foe; them yet, he ran on with a steady trot, hoping then he wrenched himself free, stood up, and that his foes would become discouraged, and caught the man up with his black paws. drop the pursuit. He raised him above his bead, and with all Oh, for one good man to stand by me!" he his immense strength dashed him down on the cried. ground. "Be me sow!, I think ye are callin' upon meThe man lay there without motion or sound. self, so I do," put in a rich voice, and three Whether dead or not, he certainly was \ no forms suddenly loomed up before Gall's gaze longer an active enemy, and Pomp paill1,., at through the darkness. "How good a mon are tention to him. yez axin' for?" The black looked around anxiousry for the The blacksmith stopped, recognizing Barney's Steam Team. voice. As the reader knows, the course of the team "You are the Irishman who travels with the running In a circle was the way in which the Steam Team party?" reins were grasped by the ma:n as he lay on the "I am that Celtic gintleman," importantly driving aeat of the wagon. said Shea, while the professor and Fitznoodle Now that the uneven pull was removed, the stood still and said nothing. Would yez have team dashed on in a straight line, and Pomp th' exthrame nateness and civility tu infarm me could see the brilliant headlight streaming out tf that's a torchlight preceshing out yonJher?" upon the plain aoout a mile away. "They are mounted men, with lighted torchHe looked aronnd for Frank Reade and es, hunting me down." Charley, bl!lt, of course, they were veiled from "Ye'll not be taken?" him by darkness. "Not alive." "Dey might be a mile otf, an' dey might be "Then it's meself that'll sbtand yer frlnd, or clus to me," said Pomp. "Guess I'll gib em :>e taken dead along wid ye," said Barney. a yell." Fitznoodle, d'ear." He placed his hand near his mouth, and gave "Yes. my good Mister Shea." utteraace to a peculiar, long-reaching yell. May I throuble ye to bold me dar !in' fiddle A moment later back came a yell in answer, nd bow while I kr.ock the smithereens out of and following close upon it the voice of Charley the haythenish moss throopers." Gorse: "H'ah: h'I h'am h'entirely at your service," "Pomp." Fitznoodle, apd took the fiddle and bow. "Here I is." "Professor, h'as this valuable h'instrument "We're coming." might be h'endangered by h'us remaining 'ere, He could hear their horses running towards b'I propose that we retire. Just a little ways him, and started -towards them. h'oll:" In two minutes they met. "Certainly, Mr. Fitznoodle," said the profes"WeH?" said Frank. sor, and then these two gallant men ran away In a few words Pomp told them what pad ocwith the fiddle and bow. curred. Look at the bogtl;lrotters run, would ye?" '' Let the fellow lay wherever he may be, and laughed Barney. "Niver mind, I think they'll be hanged to him," said Frank. "Only let me save me fiddle." get my Team back, and I'll be well satisfied. And then he grasped his shillelah in one Do you see it. Charley?" hand, and a pistol, ready cocked, in the other, "Yes," said Gorse, and it appears to be and awaited the coming of the mounted men, about a mile away, tCJ my eyes." Gall also drew a pistol, a heavy, long range "So I think," said Frank, and yet it may Colt's revolver, throwing a hall nearly as big as easily be live miles distant. We can only see a rifle would carry, and killing at a wonderful the electric light, and that is a very deceiving distance. "They are six to one," said Gall to his com"::;ay," said Pomp. pan ion in arms. ''Our plan is to shoot them "Say on." as they come within th., r11nge of our pistols; Does yer notice one t'ing?" get rid of as many that way as possible, and "What?" then use our clabs when they come to close "Dat de light don't seem to git any farder quarters." oft'!" "I'm wid ye, me boucbal, and I'll sthlck to "That's so," cried Charley. ye till the back of me head freezes, so I will,'' "I'm blessed if he ain't right," muttered said Barney, delighted with the idea of a rue-Frank Reade. "I see it all now. Boys, the tion, and he clutched his blac!'thorn stick fondTeam is standing still!" Jy, only hoping that the affair on hand would "How can that be?" said Charley. Tbere zome to "close quarthers." was nobody to stop the machine." Ready, now," said Gall, cocking his heavy "I don't know how it was, but the fact shows "They are within for itself," said Frank. "I'm very much afraid On came the horsemen at a steady pace, something is wrong." glancing to the left and to the right for the fu"Let's start for the wagon." gitive, flashing the to.rches nack and forth in "Come on." their keen search. They started away on a smart gallop dashin g The blacksmith drew a bead on the toremost on towards the brilliant light that was stream tider, just as the outlaw raised up in his stirrupw. ingout on the plains with a brrlliancy never Crack! seen in that wild locality before. '!'he bullet bad gone forth. I They had passed over about two miles of ground when they suddenly heard shots and yells. The sounds came from the right hand, an(f turning their heads, they beheld a number of torches executing queer antics about half a mile away. "Those torches are carried by mounted men, and they are pursuing some poor devil," said Gorse. "Let's see what it's about." It's not far out of our course, and as we) may be able to help some poor chap, we'll do it," said Frank. So th{l horses' heads were turned to the right hand, and they bore down on the torches. Of conrse, as the reader has probably sur mised, they came upon the mounted assailants of Barney Shea r.nd the man he had sworn to stand by, John Gall. The two brave men h!l.d met their mounted foes gallantly. They had one advantage over their enemieil in that they could see the outlaws very plainly in the light of the torches, while they, them selves, were more in the gloom, and they did not hesitate to improve this sligh& advant'lge by delivering a telling fire before the matter became a hand-to-band affair. With a terrific sweep of his iron club, the blacksmith swept aside half a dozeu weapons that were pointed at hil:n, and knocked two o1 his assailants from the backs of the horoeil they bestrode. 1 Barney's club was only a blackthorn stik, but he was a true and could handle his native weapon in wonderful style. He laid about him right and left like a giant, and used his shillelah with such skill that the prairie bandits had gained no advantage when Frank and his two companions galloped up to the spot. "Hurrah!" yelled Frank, and put a bullet into the body of th e first outlaw he could plainly see. "Pill number two from this traveling dis pensary," shouted Charley, and banged away. Room fur de black hurricane, if vonse please," cried the dwarf, and the sable dead shot poured in his bullets so that they sounded like a V<'lley. "Murther an' ouns," groaned Barney, as be broke the bead of a man who tried to stab him. "Here's Frank, and he'll be afther stboppin' the foight in no time. Bedad, and it's the first l'OOd fun I've had at close quarthers, so don't ind it, Frank dear." "I'll not," sai:l Frank, blocking a blow, ana sending back a bullet in return. "Fight it out." .But the bandits had no intention of fighting it out against so many tire-eaters. They turned tail and fled from the scene, leaving one man dead, with a bullet in his heart, and a second man witll his head fairly crushed by a blow from John Gall's iron club. More of the rascals were injured. but not so badly as to prevent them from riding off. After the first lire the torches had gone down to ground, and in the very uncettain light the shots fired by either side had not been ac curately aimed. Nevertheless, Frank bad a bullet in his leg, just under the skin, which was forced out with out trouble, and Barney Shea complained be was wounded. "Where?" asked Charley. He caught up a torch, waved It into a blaze, and approached the gallant Irishman. "Where?" cried Barney. "Begorra, and I'm wounded in siveral places. Look at the blood on me, would ye?" "Yes, and brains. too," said Frank. "Och, worra-worra, me head's broke, and I'm rumed, so I am," yelled the Irishman. "Murdher! me brains are IJ!owed out." But when they came to examine him more closely they laughed heartily at poor Shea. He certainly was covered with blood and brains, but they were from the skull that had been smashed by the blacksmith. "Thin I'm not kilt?" earnestly said Shea. "Not a bit of it!" "All right," said Barney, and made no farther complaint. The blacksmith, who was uninjured, told Frank and the others of the vain attempt he J I


r t I bad made to wrest the box or money from his enemies and carry it off himself. And I'm going back tllere," moodily said the avenger. "I have nothing else in life to do but to revenge myself on Black Jack and his band, and to recover the treasure. Tllat iron box contains the wealth of many people, and on its loss or recovery depends the prosperity or poverty of a good many hard-working fami lies." I'll be after you soon," said Frank Reade. "Well and said1 John Gall, and then he shouldered his iron club, and otr he went in the darkness. "Come," said Frank, "away, lads, to the Steam Team." Where are the professor and Fitz?" asked Charley Gorse. "Worra, but I forgot the mllk-and-watber eraythurs," cried Barney. ''They wint otf wllin the foight was comin' on, and, bedad, I think they're a divilish long ways otr, so I do." Charley yelled uut Fitznoodle's name at the top capacity of his lungs, but received no an swer. ''Let them go," impatiently said Frank, who was anxious to start. "Barney, you get up behind Pomp, and away we'll go." Pomp's horso was lleavily built, and stood the weigllt easily. They started otr once more. The bnlliant headlight from Frank's wagon was still beaming out upon the plain, and to their eyes it did not seem that the Team could have moved from the spot in which it bad been located at first sight. As they neared the wagon they saw forms in the brilliant stream of light. "There's a number of men in front of the Tea:n," said Charley. "I don't care," recklessly said Frank Reade; "I'm after my property, and I'm going to get it. Fire a to scare them otl:" Crack-crack-crack, went the pistols, and a number of sllouts arose. Tl1en there was a hasty scattering of the (strange forms thatstood before the Team. "Come on," said Frank. "If they're not gone we'll fight them. My blood is up now." He and hia companions charged forward, but when they reached the wagon they found it deserted. The strangers were gone. There stood the Team, motionless and grim. The valves were hissing, and Frank could see that there was a good head of stea,m on What in the world can be the reason that it stopped?" murmured the young inventor, care fully examining all the points to ascertain the cause of thA stop. Maybd the water's out," suggested the Irish man. Darn the luck!" sudd()nly snapped out Frank Reade, pausing in front of his Team and gazing down with a troubled look at the forelegs of his metal steed. Here I am, miles from a settlement, and both of the front shank-rods are broken. Here we are stuck until the Joss is made good." CHAPTER XVII. FRANK EXPLAINS THE BREAK. "WHAT is it?" asked Charley, and then they all crowded around Frank, as he stood ruefully in front of the Team. "Why, see here," said Frank. "From the thigh runs down an iron rod that works just about the same as all the connecting rods that run to driving wheels and engines. Both rods, or, rather, all four of them, have been broken [by some means. Prob:\bly, having driver, !the Team bounced over stones and stumps and the deuce knows what, and one after another of the rods were strained, and finally snapped. Just as soon as they were broken, the reverse action ceased, and the hind legs received no power. Thus the Team came to a dead halt." And we're at a dead halt until new rods are supplied?" anxiously asked Gorse. That's tune of it," said Frank. "My Team can't stir until the rods are in place. I'll FRANK READE. 10 get a bright lantern. and find out the full extent With Charley's aid, be drove into the plain, of all the damage and loss." at a distance of fifty feet from the wa,gon, a. He clambered up into the wagon in the exnumber of thin iron rods, about six feet long, pectation of seeing a number of things broken capped with glass. and scattered, and also fearing to discover the The rods w e re sunk iato the earth about a loss of some of his goods, but to his great joy foot, and formed a circle around the wagon. he found that all his drawers and lockers were A thin wire was then ftom one rod to untouched. the next, coiling about the gla s s cap. and jn e "That's a bit of luck," said Frank "At all few moments the rods \Vere all united. events, we can make a defense against aH eneThen the wire was carried from the last pole, mies." or rod, to the wagon, and united to the roam "And that reminds me that we have reason wires that ran to the electric light by means of to fear a raid," said Gorse. a binding post. Why?" Frank then attached another piece wire to "Those men we frightened otf." a large gong, loud enough to awaken the "They may return? soundest sleeper. "Without doubt." "There," be saicl, in a satisfied tone, "now "Then," said Frank, as we certainly we are prepared on the outside. 'l'lle moment not leave here to-night, I shall make prepara-that anything touches our fence we sball know tiona for defense as soon as I examine the Team it." fully." He opened his trunk, and took from it sev-He secured a lantern, made with his own era! pieces of paper, folded in a very curious bands, and which contained one long coil of manner, and placed them on top of the box, thinly-beaten magnesium tape, wound around where he could reacb them at a moment's no a drum that revolved by the power Qf a watch tice. movement set in the back of the contrivance, Then, from various boxes and drawers, hll' and fed the tape out as fast as it was consumed produced a bottle or naphtlla, pieces of cotton, by a small light from an oil lamp. fireworks large and small, and a variety of mys Frank ignited this lantern, and then at once sterious looking articles. extinguished the monster electric light. "Let them visit me muttered the Then, with the wontlerfullantern in his band, young genius "I'll scare the wits out of any he made a very 'thorough inspection of tile va-gang that comes fooling around here." rious parts of the machinery. Tllen be threw himself down on hie bunk, He found some parts a little bent and twisted, telling his comrades to do the same, and with and here and there a bolt or screw would require the utmost trust in the brains of their young some little attention before it would be safe to leader, they complied. go on agam, but all the requisite repairs could Within fifteen minutes all four were asleep. have been made in less than an hour, had it not Perhaps an hour had passed when the gong been fur tile rods. struck, and its ringing sound awoke thorn. Two of these were broken entirely, fairly Frank was one of that sort of people who snapped in twain, and were of no further use; come out of a slumber fully awake. the other two had nearly become detached, and With a swift motion of his hand he touched merely required riveting. the ktiob of the electric cut-out and united the ''What' s to be done?" asked Gorse. wires. "Well, you suggest something," said the The Instant that the circuit was made com young inventor. plete, a beautiful and sight was pre.. I propose that we make ourselves as strong sen ted. as possible here against any probable attack. Tile wire fence aflame with a bright blue Take turns in watching all night, and then in the tire. morning one of us can mount a horse and hie The flames leaped and danced on the wire away to the nearest village, where a blacksmith with a weird and ghastly light and revealed the can make the rods. It might only take the forepresence of about half a hundred Indians, who noon to go, get them, and to return." were slinking back iG sudden alarm from the "That's said Frank. "I guess we'll blazing fence. follow that plan. Where are the hor$es?" Three of the red rascals lay upon the ground, He flashed his brilliant lantern on I all sides, evidently prostrated by a great shock. and discovered that Pomp had secured the They bad probably been handling the wire at three horses to the rear of the wagon with ropes the time when the young genius turned the that were long enough to allow the animals to switch, and had received the full force of the teed. battery. "Take good care of them, Pomp," said Frank Frank picked up a ball that be bad put on to the darkey, for we'll need one of them in top of his trunk. It was about the size of a. the morning." billiard ball. "All right, sab." Barney, Pomp, and the young Westerner "How far away do you reckon the nearest banged away at the Indians as they stood there village to be?" asked Frank of Gorse. in astonishment, but Frank did not use lire" About fifteen miteR," said Charley. "It arms. lies thirty miles from Reefer's Bluff, I He stood up erect in the wagon, and burled and I estimate that we're about half way be-the ball high Ul'l in the air, and out towards the tween." dusky crowd. ''Lord only knows what sort of a blacksmith Up went the ball for fifty feet, and then de you'll find, and what sort of rqds he'll make scended : you," said Frank. But if they'll fit, and It struck fairly among tbe startled reds, make the Team travel once more, I'll not plainly revealed in the flashing electric blaze. grumble. Nl>w to fix things in shape fer the Boom! night." A report like that of a heavy cannon thunder He turned his lantern to all polnts .of the comed forth. pass. The ground shook, and even the heavy wag The magnesium light. backed by a polished on seemed to tremble with the effect of that tar reflector, lit up the plain with a strong light rible concussion. t3at would enable one to discern any object the Indians, in whole and in parts. flew up intG. size of a human being at the distance of a quarthe air, scattered right and left, and back and ter of a mile. forth, like bounding balls, while a chorus of Nobody was in sight, but Frank could dimly yells and shrieks rang out upon the midnight make ont a grove that loomed up perhaps half air. a mile away, and in which it was probable that the men were encamped who bad been driven away from the wagon. Without dGubt their curiosity will lead them back again," said Frank. "I wonder whether they're white or red?" He went on with his preparations for de fense. CHAP1'ER XVIII. F R A N K 's F I R E, W 0 R K S. "OH, de deb bill" cried Pomp. "Tare-an'-ouns!" said Barney. "What in thunder was that?" demanded Charley I


-16 FRANK READE. "Merely a little ball or nitro-glycerine-that So Charley loaded his weapon in very careful was all," grinned Frank. "Of course, it s a style, and mounting his horse be rode away. severe remedy, but what would have become of "You'll find us here when you get back, old CHAPTER XIX. A TERRIBLE DANGER. us with, perhaps, not less than fifty Indians barbey," yelled Frank. THE horse that Charley Gorse rode was a red from as merely by a wire? Had they broken "Without doubt," grinned Gorse. good one, and dashed along; over the plains like down that slight fence it would have been all The sun was just axisen as he rode away, and a racer. up with us, and by this time our scalps would feeling in excellent spirits he urged the horse lt was not yet nine o'clock in the morni.tlg be hanging from their belts. It was either into a swinging gallop, and rode along at that when Frank's cousin dashed into a thriving vii slaughter or to be slaughtered, and as the song -exhilarating pace for an hour. !age, and pulled up before the worksho-p of the sayiB: I like myself the b est.'" His steed slowed into a gentle canter, and he village blacksmith. "You're quite right," said Gorse. "But look was thinking of the events of the pre>ious night, He secured his horse and entered the shop. at them scatter." when suddenly he beard a rumbling, then a "Can you make me some iron rods afterthie The explosion of the ball of nitro-glycerine series of shouts, a number of lol!d yells, shots, pattern?" he asked; showing the sizes prepared had killed and wounded not less than a dozen of shrieks. screams and cries. by Frank. the astonished reds, and the rest of the pack, He pulled up instantly, and beheld a sight "I can," Baid the blacksmith. too badly alarmed to look after their wounded that thrilled him. "Then lively is the word," 8aid Gorse. friends, darted away at the top of their speed. About half a mile distant on the right hand "The quicker the job t-he bigger the price you'll They were not used to any such warfare. two white-covered wagons, drawn by four horses get." "Lively, now, and chase them!" Frank said, each, were plunging along at a high rate of Thereupon the smith fell to work with a will, and picked up some of his larg e fire-works. speed. and in less than an hour the rods were fashioned In a moment he and Charley sent two brillIn front of the first wagon rode two men, and out and given into Charley's bands. !ant sky-rockets careening over the heads of three more brought up the rear, following be-He paid the man a good price for his work, the flying Indians, and then gave them a show hind the second wagon. and then remounted his horse, gave him a drink of bright Roman candles Not more than a qu a rter of a mile in the rear fr()m the flowing butt outside t)le smithy, and Tho fire-works reveale the Indians, all run-of this little caravan, and speeding after them, rattled away. ning as though pursued by the Evil One. were fully a dozen of those prairie bandits who on his homeward road he kept a f!harp eye "Now for my giant," said Frank. "The infest the vast plains of the west like birds of out for the miners be bad left in distress. wind lies towards them, doesn't it?" prey. There they were, peeping out of the little ;; said The pursuers were firing as they rode, and rocky hills, keeping a sharp lookout for danger. Give us a said Reade, and he yelling between every shot. The prairie thieves had,not quitted their squatup one of the pieces of paper and unfolded .lt. One of the mounted men ridinoat the rear of ting place. Charley could see them in the ."Jump up on the seat and hold the top," the second wagon was very wounded, grass, playing C!lrds and sleE'ping. said Frank, and takmg hold of the top of for be swayed to and fro on his horse like a man He pretended to take no notice of either party, the folded zheet, Gorse leaped up on the dr1vmg under the influence of liquor. but kept on his way at the best speed of his good se;rtbe paper now appeared to be fully eig'bt or "A small party of with their families, horse. nine feet long and becran to look lille a lanky on the to the mmes, said Go;se, the mo"The rascals!" he muttered, thinking of the giant. "' ?;lent eyes rested on the white wagons. outlaws. "They would stay in that spot until Frank poured naphtha 00 pieces of cotton, seThey re pursued by some of those plunderers night-fall, Iiot daringto attack the people eneured them to thin wires that crossed the soles who rob the dead. More :wo to trenched behind the little mouuds, because they of the giant s feet, and then set fire to the satone. Ill help them-but _what Its more might get bullets instead of plunder. When urated balls. than two to one at that, With one,man darkness favored them the brutes would craw} In less than two minutes a large quantity Tbey are doomed, and 1 can see m the over rocks and murder, the WOI}len and chil of gas was generated, and filled out the interior wagons, and hear them cry dren 1.n <:old blood. But Ill try to put a checl!; of this strangely-formed balloon, so that the He got worked ?-P and stnkm., Ins he to the1r little game;.. \ giant appeared to have immense legs, and a forward like a true born American boy On be went, and by the sun It was not yeti considerable stomach. to the aid of the little party. high noon when he caught sight of the Stearn The giant was made of extremely thin tissue "Why they _come to !!' halt, and fight and heard and Barne! playing ll paper, and the light of the naphtha was sufficient hke men? Charley cned; but JUSt at ttat m?duet, and smgmg together m the most. to make the entire form like a live c.>al from ment be saw what had caused them to wb1p v1gorous style. head to foot. their horses into a run and endeavor to escape. Frank was cleaning the machinery and mak" Let him go said Frank. They were approaching a portion of the plain ing all ready. Charley the head. The giaq t went where nature, in one of her sportive moods, had "Got 'em?" be yelled. vp about two feet, and then be descended, but thrown a large 9uantity of rock ::Yes." at the same time he was moved by the breeze earth, which arose m the of Irregular h1l-Bully boy! out towards the fugiLive Indians, and passed locks and thus covermg about an acre of And he eagerly exammed the rods as Charley safely over the wire fence. ground m this strange manner. handet!l them over. Then he touched the ground, rebounded JUSt Towards this spot they were heading. "They'll do,: be said. as lightly as a feather, and was borne t There was but o_ne way to enter. tb1s strangely Then be put them m order as ahead by the breeze, keeping just about a foot mclosed retreat With such an affair as a wag?n, soon as you said Gorse;, "We are want from the plain, and movmg on in the most that was a narrow break between two high ed some few miles from here. grand and majestic style. billS. The others gathered around and gave their at-When the Indians saw this il!uminated giant With a yell the horses were forced to enter thia tention while Charley told of the scene he bad earning after them their fears were redoubled, strange gateway. The first team passed through witnessed that morning, and of the present atti and they screamed in terror as they rushed for The wagon qf the second team caught on the tude of the prairie thieves. the gro>e. side of the passage, and the frightened horses "'Ciar to gosh!" cried Pomp, "dar's moosic The breeze freshened. The giant fairly ran reared and plunged. in de air." them down, and careering just a trifle too much The mounted rascals spurred forward with the "Tare an' 'ouns!" yelled Barney, as he his legs caught fire, and in a moment be was in idea of taking advantage of the situation, but twirled his shillelah. "There's another illegant a blaze. the miners t urned on them and gave them a volruction brewin', and be the sow! of me black Then Frank and the others had a full view of ley. sow I'll crack the nose of the wan that thries to what followed. Charley, armed with a long-range carbine, put a stbop to the foif?ht. Moind now, ye little The giant bad just reached them when he poured in shot after shot, also, and leaving one contbrivin' divil, ye,' to Frank, "I'll be the caught tire, and in the most abject terror the of their number dead before the hillocks, away murtherin' of ye if ye thry to ind too soon." Indiana fell upon the ground before this unwent the discomfited fiends, only to pull up and "Never fear," !!aid Frank; "I'll give you knowng od of flame. squat down on the prairie when positive that your fill for once. If the boys say so, I'll let. In just fifteen seconds the entire sheet of they were out of gunshot. you tackle the gang alone." tissue paper was consumed, and all was dark Charley Gorse dashed up to the pass just aS "Not I," said Barney; "I'm not such a again. h d d mane omadb:mn to want all the honor an' glory "'!'here," said Frank. "The terrifying spirit t e secon wagon gli ed through mto the in for meself." closure. disaJ1Peared in flame before their eyes, and as "Thanks for your help," said one of the Frank fell to work, and with Cb:.trley's assist. they'll give him the benefit of all that bas occurminers to him. "But we're in a bad box, ance was putting the rods in place. red, why, you can wager your bottom dollar neighbor, and I don't see how we're going: to Pomp ..put away his banjo and got the din9 they'll not trouble us again." ner ready. At early daylight in tQe morning our party get out of it while those chaps are squatting Come 'long, Massa Frank," called out the woke up, and looked out upon the remnants of there on the plain, ready to pounce on us the darkey, "dmner is ready." minute we come out." the previous night's slaughter. K 1 "d Ch 1 Go "Just got one more rod to do," said Frank. The beads and arms and even whole bodies eep up your spirits,' sai ar ey rse. "But de dinner am spilin'," groaned the were unpleasant objects to look upon, so Pomp "Be watchful. Keep them off to-day, and if colored cook. buried them. all goes well with me I'll be here to-night with "Come along, Frank," said Charley; "Pomp They had breakfMt, and then Frank took the the Steam Team to rescue you!" is touchy about his cooking. You can fix the measurements of the rods he required, and it And then be dashed away. rod after dinner." was decided that his cousin should get them. And Frank complied, but he soon had cause


r I l l to regret Lhat he left his work unfinished on ac count or the dinner They were sitting together in the body of the wagon, eating and in the m e rriest style, and wondering what had become of Fitznoodle a nd the professor, when suddenly Pomp lifted bis head. "What's up?" asked Charley. "Am d a t lightnin'?" said Pomp. I didn t see it, said Frank. Me nudder said Pomp, but I clar to gosh ( heard de thunder." "Nonsense," said Gorse. "Listen-listen," said Pomp, holding up his black paw. "I kin hear de thunder agin." "By Jove!'' muttered Frank; "I can hear a rumbling like a distant peal of thunder, and yet the sky is just as clear as can be Begorra, an' I hear it meself, '' said the Irishman. "It kapes on rumblin' an' rnmblin', ao it does." The whole party now became fully conscious of the fact that there was a eteady rnmoling sound in the air, very low and distant it seemed, but steadily increasing. "What the deuce can it be?" said the youiig Inventor. "It sounds to me like an earthquake .. "And so it may be," said Charley. "We have a litLle shake up in these parts every few years." "I' ll just take the field-glass and have a squint over the plains," decided the young leader, and dropping the bit of meat he was eat ing, he caught up the glass. Putting it to his eye he began to look over the plains. When he turned the g lass so as to look back on a line with the wagon, he stood perfectly till, and a cry of astonishment esc a ped him. The others sprang np. "What is it? "Look!" said Frank, handing the glass to Charley This is what t.he latter saw: A few miles aw ay but plunging on with mad came an imm e n s e herd of buffaloes. The va s t congregation of animal s covered the p lain to the width of aboat half a mile, and the ranks were about a hundred de ep. Behind this brute army about h a lf a mile, yet steadily gaining on the madd e ned b e asts, there was a steadily advancin g wall of fla me. Th e pra iri e w as on tire; the bnfialoes wer e endeavoring to e s ca p e the fll:tmes, and they were b earing down lik e a mighty torrent direct ly upon tlte Steam Te am. Fra nk a nd Charley both recognized the danger at the same mom ent. They wer e in danger of being f a irly crushed <>ut of existence ben eath the hoofs of the brute army. "My God w e shall all be killed!" cried Frank. "The last rod has got to be put in po s ition be fore we can start. Quick, Charley, for your life!" They sprang from the wagon, and rushed to their work. Steadily onward :-arne the immense herd of buffaloes and now the thunder of their hoof beats made the earth tremble and filled the air with a deafening noise. ., "Get up steam, Pomp," shouted Frank, to the darkey. "Have all ready, or we are gone!" The darkey flew to his task, and soon bad the ateam hissing. Frank and Charley were working fast, but t heir hands trembl e d with excitement. "It's on ,., said Charley, as the ro

18 FRANK READE. speedily followed by the professor, whose shoes made him dance like a ballet girl. thin I heartily for tbe assistance they bad rendered stop for anything or anybody. Charley, do yo11 them, and gave them a hearty cheer when they see that hill ahead?" started off. Yes." "Safe!" yelled Frank. "Hurrah!" shouted Po11p and CharlE>y, and then tbey caught hold or the men they had thought to SQe no more alive, and hauled them into the wagon with a joyous shout that attest ed,.j!ow glad they really were We thought you were burned alive, and came to bury you," said Frank. "H'oh, no, h'I don't mind h'any such little thing h'as that," blustered George Augustus. The trees protected h'us from the cows, you know, h'and h'I knew h'of the 'oller log, you know, b'and 'ad no doubt we d he secure h in that, you know, &o h'I wasn't h'agitated h 'in the least degr ee, you know." "Come, Frank," said Charley, "don't let us lose any more time, but get away to the assist 'lnce miners who are hesieged in the tittle rocky hills." "JJst let me get my suit of mail on, and we're off," said Frank. He got into his heavy bullet-proof suit with Pomp's assistance, and then mounted his seat and starte:l oft', Charley giving him the course. Pomp busied himself in getting all the weapons into shape, and bact them all loaded and capped, when Charley shouted: "They're there still.'' The outlaws sprang up when the Team came dashing toward th em, and for a moment they didn't know what to make of the strange vehi cle and the stranger steeds. Pom1) lifted the long-range rifle, and bored a hole completely through the head of oue of them, and then they recognized their danger. Their horses were together close at band, and they for the animals with all speed, but the Steam Team dashed down upon them in a twinkling, and was brought to a stand3 till by llile skillful driver fairly between the outlaws and their horses. Then simultaneously, Pomp, Barney, and Claarley blazed away, pouring in a sharp volley that was terribly etlective, and Frank, as soon as he could geL hold of a re,ol ver that Jay at his side, cracked away as merrily as they. The llrst return fire was directed at Frank, each one of the rascals popping at him because he was so exposed; but the bullets rebounded in the most harmless style from the suit of mail. In less than five seconds as many of the out laws bad beem tumbled over by the bullets of our friends. A loud shout rang out, and the miners, issuing from the little hills, ran towards the scene of the conflict. "Hoorool'' yelled Shea, catching up his shillelah. Give tbim a chance, If they are llay thens. '' And he proved his benevolent ideas by leap Ing from the wag;m, and cracking the skull of the first outlaw be met, but he was instantly knocked lown with the butt of a rifle. A knife was raised against him, when Pomp leaped like a meteor upon the villain who had brandished it, and sent him headlong to the earth. Charley was tackled on either side the instant he left the wagon, :-.nd although he knocked one assailant over, the second one knocked him over, and drew a bead on him with a revolver, to put a ball through the young fel low'd heart; but Frank, from his seaL, coolly broke the outlaw's wrist with a bullet, and saved his cousin's life. L Tben the miners arrived, and finding that they rney were doomed, the outlaws made a desper ate effort, reaehed their horses, and dashed away, followed by a storm of bullets, and leaving more than half of their number eitbet dead or wounded on the field. The victory was complete. "Any bones broken?" asked Frank. "None," said the professor. "I have exam Ined all the combatants." "You're going to the grove where we left "Ten to one that is the plate where Black them yesterday, I suppose," said Gorse to Jack and his gang hold out." Frank. Th:l bill indicated by Frank rose up abruptly "Tbat's the best I can do,'' said the latter, on the plain some miles ahead. and by bringing putting on a trifle more steam, just to bring the glass to bear upon it Charley could see tllat the rate of speed up to forty miles an !lour. it was the shape of a sugar loaf, and ran up to "Wilen we get there we sball probably find a rather small point. their trail, and that's broad enough follow." It was probably three llundred feet higb, "But," said Charley, "you must beu. r in heavily wooded on one side, and very sparsely mind that they rest e d most of the afternoon wooded on the other. and all of the night, and were probably away The hill probably covered not less t!;an twenwith the first half hour of daylight." ty acres of ground, and it certainly presented a "What of that?" remarkable appearance, standing there alone "It is now about two o clock." on the vast plain, which, othenvise, was un" Yes ." broken ln its smooth, ocean-like extent as far "Then they have probably been on the road as the eye could see. nine bours, and by this time they're safe in "l think you're right," said Charley, laying their den, which certainly was not more than down the glass. "'l'hat must he the spot. fifty miles from th<> grove." They've probably got some houses up among "Aud thete you think they wiiJ be secure t!Jose trees. and live there with women to cook from attack.'' and clean for them.'' "I do.'' "1'11 rout them out," said Frank. "You don't know what I am able to do ;\'et," 'l'l.Jey were now approaching the bill, and said Frank. "If they are really in their Frank moderated the speed of his Steam stronghold you'll se e some lively times." Team. Onward rattled the Team, dashing over the "Get down in the bottom of the wagon, plain in a manner that made miles glide by every one of you!" he cried. "They may have very rapidly. sentinels hanging around in among the trees, In Jess than half an hour they were at the who would not object to popping at any of us. grove, and the d e serted appearance told them They can't hurt me." that Black Jack had departed. Tbe others complied, and in Jess than two "There's not even a stick of their large fire minutes the wisdom of Frank s advice became warm!" said Charley, who bad jumped down apparent. from the wagon as soon as it stopped; they Just as Frnnk discovered that tbe trail ran up have been gone for hours.'' the hill a shot rang out, and a bullet struck tlle "All aboard, til en," said Frank. "There is side of his the trail. plain enough.'' Frank looked for the marksman, but could And away they again on the broad not see him. track marked on the plain by the outlaw band. However, finding that be conld go no fnrtfler They maintained that same lasting pace that and not wishing to put his friends in danger COeted the miles so swiftly, and the whole Frank wheeled the Team, and ran them out w party experienced a feeling of e:\:' hilaration as rifle-shot from the hill. they were whirled along nearly as fast as the "Genllemen," he said, "it's very plain that wind ever travel.s. the gallg is there. Pomp, you take that ritle Just one hour s travel from the grove brought with the telescopic sight, and keep to their view a solitary form on the plain. around. If you happen to see a bead just bore It was a pedestrian, carrying what they at a bole through it, and charge 1t to me." first ghmce supposed to be a gun, and trudging "Hi yah, l'se 'greeable," grinned the black on with a long, swinging stride. dead-shot, and he picked up tne wonderful rifle As they neared him Barney set up a shout. very willingly. "Be the smoke o' Kate Kelly's pipe, and it's Frank had stopped the Team facing away the same chap that haudles that iron shillelab from the hill. so nately.'' He now dismounted from his seat, and pick" Right," said Frank. "It's our friend the ing up the field-glass, tried to discover the outblacksmith." Jaws, or catch a glimpse of their habitations. He whistled for Gall, and the latter came to AlJout a hundred feet up tbe bill be could see a halt a little cluster of rough houses, made of logs Frank shut off steam, and then the blackand standing closely together. smith came up to the wagon, a dusty arrd tired They were five in numlJer, and all one story man. high. He sat down wearily, and placed his iron "Now, said Frank, "if I can get my little club in the wagon. four-pounder trained on those buildings, I'll "What time did you leave?" was Frank's first g1ve those chaps such a shaking up that they question. won't get over it for--" "At daylight.'' Crack! sharp and elear. "And have you been walking ever since It was tbe sound of Frank Reade's remarkthen?" able rille. "Yes.'' Pomp had fired at an outlaw who bud expos-"Had anything to eat?" ed himself. "No," said the avenger; "I don't think of "Ho-ho-ho!" laughed the black, shaking witb food." laughter. "What a funny shot!" Frank bad now run sixty miles, with only "Ha-ha-ha!" roared Gorse, who bad been a short stop, and some of the joints were swellwatching the shot with a telescope. You ing. didn't allow for tbe short distance, Pomp; He called a halt for fifteen minutes to oil aimed too high, ana just burned the eDd of his and cool off, and during this time Charley got nose.'' somE) food for the blacksmith, and the latter de"An' how de cuss did jump!" laughed Pomp. voured it in a manner that told very plainly he "'Clar' to gosh, Ijes' took de end of bis nose had not tasted food for fully twenty-four clean off.'' hours. "Give me a help, Barney," said Frauk, and "I'll go with you," said Gall, and sat down the Irishman helped him to remove his suit ot in the bottom of tbe wagon, and nEwer said a armor. word during the journey. Frank wiped the sweat from l1is bands ancJ Now for Once more the Steam Team started off, now face, and then produced his cans of powder and "All aboard, then," said Frank. Blaak Jack ant the treasure!" heading towards a distant grove that stood a number of four-pound balls. near the trail, and where Frank was compelled "Shell or solid?'' asked Gorse. to stop for a fllw minutes to get in a full supply Solid shot," said Frank. "When I've bat-of fresh water. tered them with solid shot then I'll pour in the THE OUTLAWS' STONGHOLD. "Now," he said, "I guess we're in g-ood trim shells on them. Givens a help, old boy." THE grateful minera thanked our friends to work on for a day or two without having to _They soon had the little cannon loaded CHAPTER XXI.


r I and then Frank lay down in the bottom of the wagun, and, with great care, sighted tile piece. "I've got it now," he said. "A clear sig;ilt about the middle of a house, and I'm going to put n solid shot into that building as sure as .! am Frank Reade." He stood up, cocked the hammei', and at : Cached a strap to the trigger, Stand back, all!" The got out of the way, and Frank tired the cannon. Boom! Tile solid shot had gone forth! CHAPTER XXII. JOHN GALL'S DISCOVERY. WHEN the solid shot had ferth our friends fairly held their breath until the result was ascertained. They heard a crashing and spluttering, and then followed a loud chorus of angry cries. "Hurrah!" yelled Frank, and the rest joined in the shout. "You're right to crow," cried Charley Gorse. '' That shot cut right through the middle of a shanty. Give thern a second pill before they can recover from the first one." He rushed to Frank's assistance, and in a moment the gun was reloaded. Pomp, armed with the long range rille, was sitting on the driviDg seat, looking out for heads. A sentinel incautiously thrust his head from behind the protecting trunk of a tree, and the black dead shot very promptly bored a neat hole through the robber's skull. An instant later the cannon spoke again, and Frank Reade sent four more pounds of iron crashing through the trees, and plump into an other house through a window. 1 A fresh chorus of cries, mixed with yells and 'Jhrieks, told very plainly that the second shot !.lad found some victims. "Bedad, and it's quare min they are, to be sure," said Barney. Why?" asked Charley. To sthay up there bey ant the threes, and be pelted w1d thim iron fut-balls. whin they could rush down here and gobble the loikes of us." ''They think so, too," said the professor, at that moment "As true as fate they're rushing down the hill." It was true. Goaded to desperation by the dire destruc tion of the solid sl!ot, Black Jack and his gang poured forth from tbe huts, and rushed down tbe hilL Frank immediately sprang upon the driving seat, and grasped the reins in his bauds. "Lively, Charley," he said. "Load the can non with a shell and be ready to pepper them when I give the word." All right." "Pomp, keep loaded, and pick them oil' whenever yon can.'' "I'se dar, ebery time." Letting on an ordinary bead of steam, Frank started the Team away from the hills. The oulaws had rushed down in an excited and disorderly manner, all on foot. When they reached the foot of the hill they saw the Steam Team moving off in style, and then they realized how foolish it would be on their part to attempt a pursuit. They stopped short on the very edge of the thin bordering of trees that ran around the bas11 of the hill, and stood there irresolute. Frank stopped the Team. "Fire!" he said, and Charley Gorse obeyed the command. Crash! boom! The shell careened through the air and caused a hasty scattering on the part ot the outlaws, but Charley had not handled the gun skillfL1liy, and the shell broke up among the trees on the hill, wl!ereit did no damage to aught but green leaves. "I kin beat dat 'ar," said Pomp. "Look at dis ar agio Chinese labor." FRANK READE. 19 He drew a bead upon a powerful Chiaese vii"For heaven's sake, man, be just a little bit lain. and fired. reasonable," said Charley. The Chinaman jumped straight up from the "You are going to certain death)' said ground a distance of three or four feet, and fell Frank. dead. "I am going to blindness," returned the "Tile Chinese question is settled in this quarblacksmith: "and befote I become so I am ter of the world," laughed Frank, and the others going to strike a blow at my enemies. But I applauded the shot. am not so rasl! as you think. I am going to "The h'infamous b'outcasts h'are 'astily h'askeep fully out of gunshot, and go around the cending the 'ill," said Fit.znoodle, lookir;g at the other side of the hill. I can certainly do that disconcerted crowd of rascals, who had cooled quicker than they can climb the hill and de off, aml were glad to get out of range from the scend it, and as they are all on this side at the wagon, pres&nt time I may I.Je able to secrete myself on "They're not going very far up the hill, the other side. I may be able to help you con Frank," said Charley, watching them through a siderably." glass. "They're taking shelter behind rocks Then he turned away. The lads saw that it and trees." was useless to argue with so desperate a man, Where I can't reach them," said Frank, in a and so they sadly returned to the wagon. vexed manner. "Now what am I to do? there John Gall struck off into that long, swinging is no use throwing away my valuable shot when stride that carried him over the ground almost I can only fire at rocks and trees." as fast as some horses trot. "Well," said Barney, "suppose we make a He made a wide sweep, so as to keep out of rush on thim, loike they maned to make on us?" gunshot from the trees until he got past the "Thank you," said Frank, "I've no desire to line where it would be possible for those oppobecome a lead mine." site the wagon to shoot at him, and tilen he "Let us wait awhile, and e what they will turned in abruptly toward the other side of the do," said Charley. hill, and made a swift dash for the protection of "We can't help ourselves," said Frank. "It the trees. would be useless to fire at rocks and trees, and He ran fleetly, and was nearing the base or I'm positi1e there's not one of the rascals to be the !Jill without haYing seen or heard anything, seen. Pomp, keep your eyes skinned, and let when suddenly a big stone was !Jurled at him us know the first move you see." from the trees. "Fo' suah," said the black. He saw it coming through the air, and it While the black dead-shot watched for any was not a very difficult matter for him to dodge movement on the part of Black Jack and his it. men, Frank and Charley, feeling tired and He stopped short, and looked in vain for the sleepy, turned in for a nap. person who had hurled the stone at him. The profesaor aud Fitznoodle amused them'This is strange," he muttered. "Nobody selves with conversation, and Pomp kei.>t silent would hurl a stone at me if they're armed other watch. wiS!J. I'll make a dash for the spot it came The blacksmith said nothing, but he did not kom." seem to like the delay. Holding !Jis iron cluh in a position to strike, He chafed under restraint. His foes were he made a swift dash towards the locality from yonder, among the trees, and be longed to whence the stone had come. strike at them. Anotiler stone whizzed through the aii'. He thought of his faithful wife, of his pretty This time the aim was better, and the stone children, of his brother, all slaue:htered by the was hurled more swiftly t!Jan the first one had been. inhuman brute who headed the maraudiug It struck Gall 'On the thick part of his arm, horde, and his blood boiled. and caused him to l'hll on his side. Another reason, and a powerful one, t!Jere was that caused him to writhe with impa-In an instant three women, one an Incj,jan tience. squaw, and the other two most brutal and ae praved-looking white women, rushed from beBlack Jack had destroyed the sight of one eye bind a concealing cluster of busl\es D.nd rocks, with a hot iron from the blacksmith's own and clashed down upon the blacksmith. forge, and now John Gall could feel those peThey were armed with knives, and were eviculiar sensations in the remaining eye that told dently most willing to sink the keen blades iP. him plainly that the sympathy between the Gall's body. orbs was likely to make him blind. But ere they reached the blacksmith the latter "I can feel it coming on," he mattered, as he was upon his feet, the heavy iron club in his sat gloomily in the bottom of the wagon. 11 In a hands. few days, less, perhaps, I may be sightless. 11 I don't want to fight women," be muttered What will it avail me that my arm be nerved but it's their lives or mine, so down they go." with the strength of revenge? When I have "Cut his heart out!" yelled one of the white a1enged my wife and children, then good-bye to women, and then they closed in upon him. the world. I have naught. else to live for. Why Very reluctantly, indeed, Gall struck at them. should I remain here; had I not !Jetter strike It is probable that they did not know the club w!Jile I can see?" was an iron one. He J90ndered over it a tew moments, and The squaw was the first one that was struck. arose from his seat. Her head was cracked in half a dozen spots. Whar ) ler gwine?" asked Pomp. Then Gall made a quick lunge at one of the 11 To the bills," gloomily said Gall, and he white women, struck !Jer in the back and knockshouldered his iron club. ed her over. "Now, come back vere, an' don't go foolin' The other one turned from him in the greatest 'round dem 'ar chaps," remonstrated the black, terror, ran shrieking from the trees, and dasiled but the blacksmith paicl no attention to him, out upon the plains. marching ofl' towards the bills in the most He looked after her, anq saw that she was reckless mnnner. running straight away from the hill at the t.op "Massa FrankMassa Charley, wake up of her speed. yere," yelled the darkey, arousing the two sleepThen, as he gazed after the female fugitive, ers. he became aware that she was dashing along "You had better come back!" called out the a plainly marked track, and looking beyond professor. her, he saw, far away, a confused mass receding "Your blood will he h'on your h'own 'ejld," in the distance. cried Fitznoodle. "You are taking your life An idea occurred to him. h'in your 'ancls." In the most reckless manner he ran up the But the blacksmith did not deign to turn his hill, reached the group of huts, and gazed down head. the hill. Charley and Frank jumped up, saw the deWith immense, flying leaps he dashed down parting avenger leaped from the wagon, and the side of the hill, and in less than two ran after him. minutes stood at the base of the elevation. He paused, then, and waited for them to reach Swiftly be ran over the prairie to the spot. him. where the Team stood, and the rest of th .. us I 'd


20 party jumped from the wagon and ran to meet him. "Fine bunters!" he cried, bitterly. "To fall asleep and let your game make off in broad daylight. Black Jack and his men are miles away." CHAPTER XXIII. FRANK PLAYS POKER" AT LONG RANGE. YEs, it was true that Black Jack, profiting by the inactivity of his foes, had escaped with his band, leaving only a few women on the hill. The horses were very tired, but they were compelled to gallop along, spurred on by their cruel riders. They had been gone fully baH an hour from the hill when Gall discovered the fact. "If we could only bide our trail, then we could soon give them the slip," said Black Jack to one of his men, as they rode at the bead of the cavalcade. "But they will soon find out tba' we are gone, and in less than an hour that cursed Steam Team can overhaul us We've got most of our traps and household goods on the pack-horses, and if we get away from them for two hours, I'll engage that they never over haul us." "Why not?" "Because there's a stream that we can reach In tllat time. It's only a creek, aboat forty or fifty feet wide, and not more than three feet deep at any part. By walking the horses down the stream for a mile, touching at various points, and making false trails which lead back into the water again, we could probably throw them entirely oft' the track." "Your hope is in vain," said the other, glanc ing back over the plain, and scowling angrily "They are after us now." Bluck Jack turned in his saddle, and saw the Steam Team plunging after him at a rat.e that was rapidly overhauling the tired r. Curses on the luck," he cried. Some of us !l.l'e doomed men. They are carrying out a !!plendid plan of operations. They firs t pursue you and pepper you with a long-ran g e rifle that JHlLShoots all I ever saw, \!'ld th e n when you tur11 on them, they turn tail and blaze at you witT! their shells and solid shot, running oft just fast enough so that you can't catch them. I be gin to feel terrified with such an enemy pursu ing me. "Brace up,'' said the other, who was now looked upon us b e ing second in command; "I think that if we can reach that islana yonder I can outwit eveu thi11 terrible enemy (On the plains it is cuatomary to call the groves islands.) "I only hope you may,"said the leader of the outlaws. This little cuss is the worst enemy I ever had. Clap on all speed, boys, and see if we can't get to yonder island The grove was now not more than a mile away. Spurs were deeply sunk into the sides of the jaded animals, and the beasts exerted themselves to the utmost. The shrill neighing of the Steam Team rang out Frank Reade was not more than a mile be hind, and was coming on as fast as he cared to do. Crack! A rifle-shot rang out. T

r FRANK READE. oi:Jjects, and a bullet carried off a little piece of saw before," said Frank. "Yes, lean see that Barney's left ear. the gang still occupies the grove, and sqme of Tile report would have brought all the sleepthem are exposed. Pomp, is that rifle loaded?" ers to their feet, had not Frank shouted out: "Yes, sab." "Down low! Don't expose your bodies, "Give it to me." these is danger." He caught up the wonderful rifle, and brought "H'ab, don't ml\ntion such a word, h'I h'en-it to his shoulder. treat you," cried Fitznoodle, and the professor, One swift glance through the powerful teleJikewise, turned pale. scopic sight t!Jat seemed to bring the living "What is it?" asked John Gall. mark almost within reach, and then he fired. "Look out through the loop-holes on all Tbe crash of the rifle mingled with the howl sides and you will see," said Frank, in a bitter of a member of gang, who fell to the ground tone. "My friends, I think we're doomed." and then crawled into the grove. "Doomed?" cried the others, in a loud "We ain't dead yet," said Frank. "We have chorus. yet the power to make those wolves bunt cover. "Yes," said Frank. "We are now in a But,"andheturnedto his friendswithashake perfect trap, and ten to one we shall never get of his head, "we are in a trap, and to save my out of it alive." life I do not see how we are going to get out of The others looked through the boles in the it, either. We have quite a good supply of sides of the wagon, and this is what they saw. food, but our water will not last more than a On all sides of the wag@n, forming a rather day. To attempt to cross that trench would be irregnlar circle, there ran a trench. to smash up the Team and wagon, and then we This trench had been made about t!Jree feet would certainly be at the mercy of those fiends, wide, and probably fully as deep. who are at this moment thirsting for our The Steam Team never could cross that gutblood.'' ter until it was either filled up or bridged "Dar's one ling kin be did," observed the across, and Frank Reade had not been slow to black athlete. recognize that fact when he caught sight of the "What?" trench. Dis chile am the bestest runner around dese About ten feet back of the line of thi8 trench, yere parts." and placed at about an equal distance apart, "And suppose you are." stood the strange affairs that bad puzzled Bar"I kin run to the nearest fort an' fotch the ney Shea. sojers yere a-flying," earnestly said the brave Stakes had been driven into the ground, and fellow. proJected about four feet above tlti plain. A "If courage could do it you'd win," said cross stake had been p!aced on the uprigbt3, Frank. "But, my brave Pomp, you'd never which stood, perhaps, feet apart, and over across that trench alive. Good Heaven! is there the c.ross-piece bad been thrown two or three no remedy? must we die like rats in a trap?" buffalo skins. Furthermore, in front of this curtain, as it might be called, the workmen wilo dug the tr. ench bad piled up a heavy embankment of earth, which came nearly as high as the stakes, lind was somewhat wider than the stretch of the !Juffalo robes. Picture to yourself the fre3hly made trench, the buffalo curtains and the breastwork of earth and stopes, and also take into considera tion the fact that there were three men be hind each of the four breastworks, and you have a correct idea of the true situation, and can appreciate Frank Reade's gloomy con cern. Charley raised his head to obtain a clearer view of the surroundings. Bang went a gun. A bullet whizzed very close to his head, apprising him of the fact that the mea behind the butralo robes were con stantly on the lookout for a human target. "Have a care, all of you," said Frank. "If they reduce eur numbers it will not be long be fore they would make an attack in full force, and then good-bye to us for all time; but they don't care about facing seven sure bullets." Lord, what a trap," said Gorse. "We are fairly caught. But, Frank, couldn't you batter that curtain down? I know that a couple of well-seasoned bufl'alo skins are more than a match for a bullet, but your four-pound balls ought to tell." 'What's the use?" said Frank. "I have not got a great many, and it would take half a dozen shots to knock away one of those breast works, and even then they could drop into the ditch and we'd be but little better oft No, it's no use wasting my big shot." "Put on your suit, and then you can take a look around," said Gorse, and Frank lost no time In donning his well tried suit of armor. Then he stood up in the body of the wagon, ood looked comprehensively on all sides. Crack2ty-crack-crack, rang out tbe re ports from all sides, and fully half a dozen bul lets rattled against the suit, and fell, flattened to the floor of the car, or struck his friends as they rebounded from his mail-clad form. Frank could not refrain from putting the thumb of his right hand against the end of his nose, or where his nose ought to be, and, as well as be could with gloves, gently working his fingers, which called forth a howl of rae:e from hts concealed enemies. "Well, I can't see much more now than I CHAPTER XXV. SHOT AND SHELL. IT seemed as though Frank Reade, in his pas sionate outburst, bad fairly struck the keynote of the situation. Really, ti.Jey appeared tloomed to die like "rats in a trap." Allowing that a man, by the greatest good luck, might be able to pass beyond the tent-like affairs," said the professor, pointing to the buf falo skins behind the breastwork, "and also allowing that he might escape unharmed from the bullets of the men behind thorn, he certain ly could not e3capefrom the mounted men, who would gallop forth from the grove in numbers, and soon ride him down." True enough,'' said Frank. "It's no use, Pomp," said Charley to the eager darkey, "you'd only be rushing to your dea'.b." And so Pomp's idea bad, perforce, to be abandoned. Young man," said the solemn voice of the blaeksmith. "Well, sir?" said Frank. "You must not think that because you are trapped that those rascals over yonder will try to starve you out ere they try speedier measures. I warn you that before long they will try to take you by storm, You cannot run away: they can easily leap their horses across the trench, and can attack you in such force that they may carry all before them." "By Heaven, be is right!" cried Gorse. What is to prevent them?" I bad not thought of that," said the young leader. Crack! A rtfie-shot rang out, and a bullet struck Frank's bead-gear. It turned him around a trifle, but rebounded harmlessly. One of the concealed marksmen bad tried a shot at the headpin, thinking. probably, that he might penetvate it with a bullet. After that they wasted no more balls on Frank Reade. "I must prepa,re against this probable at tack," said the leader. "My gallant little four pounder is loaded with a destructive shell. Now to fix it so that I can cover a foe coming from any quarter." 21 He reached down under the carriage of the gun, and seized a protruding shank of iron. This works the screw that elevates or Jower.s the gun," he sllid to the blacksmith. "You tura it until I tell you to stop." Gall took the iron bar in his strong bands, and began working it around. The s crew was well oiled, and moved with ease. Gradually it arose, and at length the gun ap peared above the top of the wagoa body, sup ported by a solid steel screw shank not less than four inches in diameter, and fully able to withstand the recoil. The heavy piece was not adjusted a moment too soon. "Stop," said Frank, ;md as he uttered the word a wild yell arose on the still, morning air, and in full force the outlaws issued from the grove, all on horsei.Jack, and brandishing their weapons in the air. With a wild cheer they came spurring to wards the trench. "As you value your lives do not raise yuur beads above the sides of the wagon," said Frank. "Fire through the loop-holes." And as for himself, be stood by his g-un, ready to meet the oncoming foe with a shell. It was an easy matter to turn the gun around by meani! of the screw, and Frank brought it to bear upon the advancing borde. Some of these latter, riding in the van of 1 he attacking party, saw the muzzle of the cannon. They bad thought, doubtless, that the pie ce could only be discharged from the rear of 1 he wagon, and in making an attack on the side of the vebic.le they would run no risk of I.Jeing sa luted with big balls. They now discovered their error, and haYing a wholesale fear of the little thunderer, they set up a loud shout: "The bi"' gun-the big gun!" Thiil had the eflect of !:Jringing the entire party to a halt, just on the very Yerge of ttc trench But they bad halted too late. Frank, judging that they bad come nr:u enough to his party, had fired the piece at the very moment that they halted. Boom! The cannon spoke. 'fhe shell crashed in among horses and men, and broke where it had fallen to the ground. The yells and curses of tile men, and the shrill neighing of the frightened horses created a pandemonium, and threw the attacking party in the wildest disorder. Frank cast one hasty glance at his foes, saw that the shot bad told with fearful efiect, and without an instant's delay he caught up the pre pared cartridge and shoved it in tile I.Jreech of the gun. "Now I am ready to give them a second dose;' he said. They'll hot need a second dose of that physic this time," said Gorse, and he was right. When the shell burst it killed four or five men outright, and wounded as many more, some slightly and some seriously. The horses kicked reared, plunged, tore up and down, and acted in the wildest manner. Only those well accustomed to the saddle could retain their seats on tlte backs of their steeds. Fitznoodle, greatly worked up by this ab sorbing scene, forgot about the caution be had received from the young leader. .He jumped up in order to obtain a better Yiew of the badly demoralized outlaws, and thas foolishly exposed his body to the eyes or the concealed marksmen lying behind the I.Jufi'alo bides. Bang went .a rifle on one side, and went a rifle on the other and with a loud yell Fitzooodle fell to the floor of the wago1;1. H'oh-h'oh, why did h'I h'ever come to this 'eatbenish land, he groaned, rollin!! about. "H'I'm shot b'in a dozen places, b'and there's no 'ope for me." One of the plunging horse:s threw his rider. Then be made another mad leap, and landed within the circle marked by the trench. With flaming eyes the terrified horse plunged I J


2:2:: across the plain, rushing onward in a truck that m IJSt him close to the wagon. Gorse was peering through one of the loop bole in the side of the wagon, when he sud deuly felt a hand at his ant! saw his long rnnge revolver disappear lle turned around, aud was in time to behold a dark form leap from the wagon, and to hear Frank Reade give utterance to a command that was issued in vaill Pomp had leaped from the wagon, with only the long-range revolver for a weapon. "Come back!" yelled Frank. "Come back!" shouted Charley. "I tell you to come back. But Pomp heeded them not. He thought that he saw a chance to carry out his idea, and he was not going to let it slip by without trying to improve the opportunity. He saw a horse running towards tile wagon, he saw the outlaws thrown into a state of con fusion which made it improbable that they would pursue him, he made up mis mind to risk tbe marksmen behind the four barricades, and to leave that part of the country. Like a meteor he flew towards the horse. The men behind the buffalo hides were on the lookout. They roured in a united volley upon the darkey, but Pomp was leaping so w1ldly that their efforts to draw a bead on him were in vain. A single bullet struck the revolver he carried in his hand, and sent it flying from l11s grasp. The black athlete recognized his danger, but he kept on, leaping up and down in the most crazy manner imaginable, with the idea of dis tracting the outlaws' aim. He regained his pistol, throwing himselt on the ground to do so, and then rebounded like a rubber ball, and caught the terrified horse by the mane. With the ease of a practiced acrobat he threw himself ou the horae's back, extended his form at length, yelled at the steed with all his lung J:>ower, and dashed over the wire fence. CHAPTER XXVI. FRANK'S TERRIBLE WEAPON, "THE brave fellow is lost!" cried the leader. "Maybe not," said Charley, peering out through a loop-hole. "He's lucky enough to get through anything." And be was right. The outlaws behind the barricades poured in another hasty volley, as the horse bounded away with Pomp clinging to him. Only one of the bullets took effect, and that one raised a furrow on the tlank or the already frightened horse, and had the effect or making him leap on faster than ever. He was a good hor;,e, too; a well-built, clean-limbed stallion, with a stride like that of a camel. In less than half a minute he had taken the courageous 'Pomp aut of gunshot, and Frank felt the emotion of hope arise again in his heart as he saw the black speeding away like a rocket. Hurrah!" he yelled, and the others, compre hending that Pomp had run the gauntlet in safety, echoeJ the cheer with a will. "Didn't I tell youz?" said Charley. "That nigger is full of pluck." But the next moment half a dozen of the mounted outlaw8 extricated themselves from the ruck, and with a loud yell put spurs to their horses and darted away in hot pursuit of the darkey. One of the men stationed behind the barri::E-des stepped out for an instant to look after the darkey. He paid a speedy penalty for his rash act. Frank caught up a rifle, intending to lire upon him, but ere he could bring the weapon to his shoulder, a gun cracked at his very feet, and the outlaw tumblect lifeless. The blacksmith had been waiting for just a chance, and had fired an accurate shot. At full speed the half dozen mounted outlaws darted away in pursuit of Pomp, and it mill FRANK READE. readily be believed by the reader that the peo ple in the wagon watched the race eagerly. That seems a good horse on which he is mounted," said Frank. "So I think," remarked the professor, who was paying attention to the wounded Fitz noodle. "Is he badly burt?" asked Frank, looking down at the Englishman, who had fainted. Mr. Fitznoodle is much frightened and a little burt," said the professor, with a grin. See, one bullet clipped oft' l!. piece of his left ear, and the otber just passed through the tleshy part of his left arm. However, he imag ines himself mortally wounded." The remaining outlaws had come to their senses and regained of their horses lly this time, and they hastily gathered up their wounded and galloped back to the grove, leav ing their dead on the plain. "Well said Frank they didn't make much by' that charge." "I should say not." said Charley Gorse, look ing after the discomfited rascals as they rP.treat ecl. They'll not be in a hurry to make an other charge while that cannon can be brought to bllar on them." "Pomp is out of sight," said Gall, "and the others ()re fading." Frank looked, and just saw the outlaws fad ing from view in the distance. "A stern chase is a long chase," said the professor. If he is well mounted, I doubt that they'll catch him." "I'm very glad that the horse did not break my fence down," said Frank. "Now I can have a light on all sides through the night if necessary." But can't you, with all your inventive genius, devise someth!ng to dislodge those fel lows lying behind the four barricades?" asked Charley. "Let me think," said Frank. He sat down on the side of the wagon, and thought long and deeply. At length an idea seemed to flash across his mind. ''I have it," he said. "What is it?" demanded Gorse. "Well, it's only an idea, and I may not be able to carry it out," said Frank. ''I am en cumbered with this suit, ancl it will hinder me greatly, I fear, in executing this idea. How ever, I will try." He bent down, and unlocked one of tha many drawers. Reposing in this drawer was a box, not more than six inches sqmtre. "Open tbat box," said Frank to Charley, handing it to him, and for your life go easy about it." "What does it contain?" "Balls of nitro-glycerine." "You have no need to caution again," said Gorse. I've beard of it." He carefully the sliding-cover, and revealed a number of thin glass balls, t:lled with nitro-glycerine. The balls were all about six inches in diame ter. Charley Gorse regarded the light yellow liquid inclosed in the glass balls with curiosity. "What can it do?" he asked "Well, you can imagine what it can do," put in the professor, peering over his shoulder, "when I inform you that the explosive power of that yellow paste is thirteen times that of the very best gunpowder." "Thunder!" cried Charley. "Then one of those balls would blow us all to pieces." "You are right," said Frank. "See bow I am forced to carry them." Each glass sphere was surrounded by soft cotton, and lay in a small compartment, so that one ball did not touch the other. "Had one of those balls exploded, the entire lot would have gone," said Frank. "Such an explosion would have blown us and the wagon to the four winds of Heaven, and even dismem bered t.he Team." Charley shuddered at the thought. "Now,'' said Frank, "pick one of them out very carefully, cotton and all, and place it in my hand. Of course my Jlngers are rathe r clumsy in these gloves of steel." Very gingerly Charley Gorse picked out one of the ba-lls from the box, and placed it in Frank's hand. "Now," said the latter, "I intend to throw this ball somewhere near that little fort der," pointing to the buffalo bides on the ''and as I can't throw it from here, I am going to go about half way there, and Lhcn cast lt as well as I can. If they make a rush at me-attack me before I throw the b!'Jl, all better, for then you can pepper them with yonr rifles, and I shall have a fairer chauce at them, too. Please place my revolver in the place for it at my side." 1 The loaded revolver was placed in a socket at the Side of the euit, and then Frank carefully jumped down from tile wagon, taking great care ta grasp the ball lightly. Tbrougb the loop-holes the rest of the party, with the exception of poor Fitzcoodle, watched their leader with intense interest. "He's the most wonderful little jaynus in the worruld," said Barney, who had been de spondent and silent up to the present moment. "Begorra, an' the little divH handles lightnin' the same as wather. Cheer up, byes, for be the smoke of Kate Kelly's pipe, he'll take us ont of this inconvenient sitywation Very boldly Frank Reade advanced towards the southern barricade. He had not gone a hundred feet from the wagon, when a number of shots were tired, coming from two or three difl'erimt quarters. Several or ths tiuiiets struck him but did no harm. He kept straight on, and they fired no more useless shots. Qne outlaw Etationed at the western bani cade was so excited by this odd movement on Frank's part, that he forgot his customary cau tion, and for the purpose or obtaining a good view of our hero, he thrust his head into view from behind the protecting buffalo hides. The avenger in the wagon was on the look out Crack went his rifle, and the bullet pene, trated tbEI ekull of the incautious outlaw. "One less," said Gall, withdrawing the rill and seizing a loaded one. My debt of venge. ance grows less." With a steady stride Frank Rea!le advanced towards the southern barricade, holding the ball concealed in his right band. At the distance of a hundred and fifty feet from the buffalo hides he came to a halt. He raised his right hand, planted his left foot firmly, measured the throw with his eye, and then cast the ball high up into the air. Very gracefully the terrible explosive careened towards the mark. CHAPTER XXVII. CONCLUSION. THE ball was well thrown. It ascended fully fifty feet in the air, and then descended, falling in a direct line, which brought it fanly behind the butralo bides. Boom! A thundering crash rang out; a loud booming that shocked the ears, and made the ground tremble. Then followed a terrible sight. Dismembered portions of the humal! form flew up into the air. Arms and legs chased heads and headless trunks in a ghastly race, and hands, pieces of buffalo hide, portions of earth and rock, weapons, articles of attire, a ll mingled in one floating panorama. It was a terrible death, and yet must have been as painless as it was instantaneous The barricade was torn away, and shattered by the force of the might.y explosion, and a close view was thus obtained. In a perfect shower the torn and mutilated fragments, human and otherwise, descended from the air, and then Frank saw that his e n e mies had been swept away like chaff before the wind He looked at the remaining thrP.e barricades Not one of the men behind them was to b e


.. I aeen. An expression of satisfaction escaped Frank's lips. "l understand it," be said. "I have got them in a much worse trap than they bad me in. They dare not stir out from behind the buffalo skinstJor fear of getting plugged with bullets from me wagon, and if they stay where they are, they'll get blown to atoms." He immediately set off on a run to the wag on. "One gone," he shouted. Charley, give me another ball." He stretched his hand up ever the side of the wagon, and Charley handed him another ball. "Keep on the lookout for them," smd Frank. If they expose an inch of their bodies let them have a bullet through it." "Niver fare, rna bouchal," cried the Irish man. "Have they shown themselves at the grove?" asked Frank. "Yes, when that ball exploded they all rushed out for a view," said the professor, "and there may be half a dozen of them stand Ing on the edge of the grove now." "Keep 1!. sharp lookout for them," said Frank, "and if they m11,ke a charge while I am carrying out thi!! work you must give me warning by blowing the steam whistle, so that I can get back to handle the cannon. Keep a sharp lookout--" Hold on," said Charley. How about the steam? are the fires alight?" Frank had forgotten them in the great ex citement. He at once placed the ball carefully on the ground, and went to inspect the tires. He found them rather low, but not yet out. However, one glance at the steam gauges con vinced him that Charley never would have been able to blow the steam whistle to warn him of danger. The water supply, on examination, proved to be all right, and Frank lost no time in replen i shing the !'ires. "It's all right now," he said to Charley Gorse. "In five minutea there will be a head of steam that would carry us on at fifty an hour if we could only get away." Then he picked up the glass ball once more, and started towards the eastern barricade. As he walked steadily towards them, the men behind the buffalo hides could not resist the temptation to fire at such a fair target, and they blazed away in concert, but, of course, their bul lets did Frank no harm. He advanced steadily, gained a. similar posi tion to that obtained before, and once again hurled the terrible weapon high into the air. His aim was as good as on the first trial; the sphere descended in a graceful curve, and struck the crosspin that 3upported the buffalo hides. Boom! Another mighty roar. The results of the second explosion were simitar to the first. Perhaps the men were blcwn FRANK READE. into somewhat smaller fragments, but the ghastly scene was about the same. Frank, peering through the bars of the visor, beheld two objects flying up that seemed famil iar to his gaze, and he watched them intently as they came down. Two spades! Frank cast one swift glance on all sides He had destroyed two of the barriers, and a position midway hetween the two shattered \weastworks would bring a man out of gunshot from the re maining two. The young leader decided upon his course at once. He lifted his visor to allow his voice to be heard, and shouted out: .'Gall and Barney, jump down out of the wagoB as soon as Charley drives up to this spot. Charley, smash right through the wire guard, and drive within ten feet of where I stand.'' "All right!" shouted back Gorse, and the next minute, although no driver was visi\Jle, the legs of the Steam Team l>ega. n to move, and the big wagon was wheeled llround eo as to follow Frank Reade. The latter ran on, reached the scene of the latest disaster, and ceught up \.he two long hAndled spades from the ground. 'fhe Team smashed through the wire fence without difficulty, and at a walk advanced to wards Frank. The latter stood about ten feet from the trench, holding the two spades. The Team carne to a halt. Down leaped the blacksmith and Barney. "Take these spadea," said Fra11k; "work like heroes, and fill up a space wide enough for the Team and the wagon to go across. You are out of gunshot from the two remaining outposts, and I'll protect you from a general attack with the cannon.'' He leaped up into the wagon, and the two men fell to work with a will. The dirt seewed to fly in a clo.ud, and the trench was being rapidly filled up with earth and stones Charley Gorse left the wagon, and as the Irish man paused for an instant be caught the spade from his hand, and worked fast and furiously. Then Barney relieved the blacksmith, and under their combined etlorts the work which delighted Frank Reade went on rapidly. The trench at that point was fast disappearing when a loud Rhoutrang out, and the outlaws came gal loping forth from the grove once more, and the men stationed behind the bufl'alo hides left their places and came on at a run to take part in the fight. "Rush us across," shouted Charley, as he and the others leaped into the wagon, hot and dirty. I think we can do it now." Frank seized the reins, clapped on a good head of steam, and faced the filled-in portion. There was a scraping, a scattering of dirt, and the!) they were across. "Hurrah!" they cried, as the Team bounded away. "Safe again.'' But the outlaws come ou as steadily as be23 fore, and at this moment the half dozen me11 who bad gone in pursuit of Pomp appeared, coming on at a full gallop. Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!'' soundeW TO MAKE LOVE, a complete guide to love, courtship, and mar riage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquette to be observed, with many curious and things not generally known. For sale Oy all newsdealers, price 10 cents, or sent, postage free, upon receipt of price. Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, N11w York. Box 2730. H O W TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybouy dreams, from the little chil d to the man and woman. This little book gives the explanation to all kmds of dreams, together with lucky aoci unlucky days, and "Napoleon's Oraculull).," the book of fate. For sale by every news dealer In the United States and Canada. Price 10 cents, or we wiU. send it to your address, postage free, on receipt of price. Fmnkl Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street. New York. Box 2730. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.-Handsomely Illustrated, and containing full instructions for the management and training of the canary, mock ing-bird, bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc etc. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, post-paid, on receipt a f the price. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York. P. 0. Box 2730. HOW TO BECOME A MAGIIJIAN.-Containing the grandest assortment of magical illusions ever placed before the public. Also, tricks witb ca.rds, incantations, etc. Price 10 cents. For sale by all n ewsdealers, or sent to your address,,ostage free, upon receipt of price. Frank Tousey, publit!her, 34 an 36 North MC

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