The prairie pirates; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s trip to Texas, with his electric vehicle, the "Detective."

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The prairie pirates; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s trip to Texas, with his electric vehicle, the "Detective."

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The prairie pirates; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s trip to Texas, with his electric vehicle, the "Detective."
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
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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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
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.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00118 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.118 ( USFLDC Handle )
024951940 ( Aleph )
65177478 ( OCLC )

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,.._ N oname's" Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library. Ente1ed as Second Class Matter at the New Yo1k, N. Y., Post ODtce, October 5, 1892. -..T0 151 {coMPLETE} FRANK TousEY. P(TRT.JSftll!R. 3! & 36 Noata MooRE STREET, Nn:w YoRK. { rnmE } Vol VI .L,. New York, January 22, 1897. ISSUED WEEKLY. 5 \============================================================================== r Entered accordino to the Act of Conoress, in the year 1897, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the o.(fice of the Librarian of Conoress, at Washinoton, D. c. The Prairie Pirates; Or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Trip to Texas With His Electric Vehicle, the Detective.,. By "NONAME.'' But with the quickness of a lightning bolt, Rivera whirled and dealt Pomp a crushing blow on the jaw and hurled Barney aside like P. puppet. Ere the two could recover he had made one mad leap and gained the back of a broncho tethered near. I i


2 THE PRAIRIE PIRA fES. 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. THE PRAIRIE PmATES; Oll,, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Trip to Texas, With His Electric Vehicle, the "Detective." AN EXCITING CHRONICLE OF DARING DEEDS. By "NONAME," Author of "The Black Mogul,'' 'Below the Sahara," "In White Latitudes," "The Lost Navigators," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. THE DETECTIVE'S STORY, "THE James Boys never committed such atrocities as are placed at the credit of these Hinkley Brothers," declared Detective Jim Stuart, as he adjusted his quid aoct took a fresh chew. Why, the West bas never th e ir equal. They are dare devils in everything, and so merciless in their d e alings as the Apaches!'' He stood on the steps of the Southern Hotel in St. Louis as be ut tered these words. Hal! a dozen men stood about as listeners, men who bad faced danger in its most desperate form, typical !ron tiersmen. "They are well called the Prairie Pirates," continued Stuart. "Why, the upper part or Texas is terrorized by them. They set even Uncle Sams troops at defiance. Nothing can clean them out.'' How many do you reckon their gang consists of?" asked one of the party. "I should say fully two hnndrt>d of t!:Je toughest scoundr e ls in the Southwest. Nobody but the Hinkley Brothers could keep such a set under subjection." "But t here ought to be a way to clean 'em out. Why don't the coun-try al>out rise and make common cause against them!" "Ah, my friend," said Stuart, With a smile, "that shows that you don't understand the situ a tion at all. Texas is a mighty big territory and the ranches are scattered, there being sometimes fifty miles be tween them. It is hard to get all the berllers and rancheros together for a snfficient length of tim e." Wbat is the method of these desperadoes!" Their methods vary according to the work they have to do. H it is to loot and burn a ranch they are sure to descend upon it while the cowboy3 are out on the range. In hol!!iug up a train they are allepts. Their accompllces and colleagues lurk everywhere, and it is not sale to speak your mind in public, for many a rash man baR been round with a knife between his shoulder blades, or a bullet in his brain. "As for attacking them in their lair it will be no light task, for they find a. biding place iu a deep range or almost impenetrable bills which it is almost impossible to safely invade." Stuart's auditors one and all drew a deep breath. It could be seen that they were deeply impressed by his words. "And yet," continued the detective, "I have been commissioned to invade the den of the Hinkley Brothers and rescue a young girl whom they abducted from her father's ranch a month ago. Htlr father is Colonel John Alden of the Double Star ranch, and he offers a reward or ten thousand dollars for her rescue." "And are you going to undertake it!'' asked one or the party. "I am," replied tbe detective, firmly. Do you expect to succeed!'' "I hope to." A!l were intensely interested in the detective s story. Indeed there were not wanting volunteers to assist llim when it was known that a beautiful girl wasin durance vile. Among the listeners to the detective's words was a tall, fine lookin.,. young man, with a diatinguished air and a stamp out of the After a while, as Stuart moved away, htl walked quickly forward and ov e rtook him. "I your pardon," be said, "but I was a listener just now to your story of the Brothers.'' "Ah," exclaimed Stuart, looking him over critically. "Yes," replied the young man, "1lnd I was much interested.'' "Yes?'' Particularly when you mentioned the name of John Alden who is a man or whom I have oft e n heard.'' The detective gave a. start. "Ob, you know Mr. Alden, do you!" he asked. At least by re pute!" I do," replied the other. "H you were to hand him this card, be would know at once whom you referred to." The detective took the card, and glanced at tile name upon it. "FRANK READE, JR., "READEITOWN, U. S. A.'' He gave a start. "Your name is familiar," he said. "Are you not an inventor!'' I am," the other. The detective looked at Frank R e ade, Jr., for a moment in deep thought. Then a great light Hashed across his face. "By Jupiter!'' he cried, "the Fates h nve sent you here to-day! If there is a mao in the world who can bring the Hinkllly Brothers to terms, I'll vow you are the man!" Do you think so!" "I am sure of it. Yon are an inventor and a man of brains. If you will only co-operate with me I will pledge my sacred word to bag the game within six months or less!'' Frank Reade, Jr., the famous young inventor, who was now the cyno sure of all eyes, smiled and said politely: "You apeak confidently; yet the undertaking you have mentioned is a serious and a difficult on e." Yet you can overcome all difficulties." cried the detective, eager ly; "only say the word. Will you help me! I will give you the lion's share of the reward, and--" Frank made a slight gesture, which the detective understood. Then they mond away together, leaving the others out or earshot. They walked into a private room in the hotel and closed the door. They did not come out for an hour. When they did appear, the


THE PRAIRIE PIRA'rES. 3 detective bustled out upon the street, while Frank Reade, Jr., went I to the hotel counter and called for his bill. a small deck with a guard rail. On this deck was a swivel electric dynamite gun. Going to leuv& us!" asked the atlable clerk, in a perfunctory way. "To-day," replied Frank. "Have my baggage at the first train for the East." "All ngbt, air." A few hours later the young inventor was in his berth on a Pull man car bound for Readestown. In due time be reached his destina tion. Readestown was ll. smart little city among high bills, and upon a river which led down to the sea. It bad been for a number of genera tions the home of the R e ades. The maclline worl1s where Frank perfected hi@ inventions were near the river and were very exten s ive, consisting or a number of large shops and yards. On the day or his arrival in Reudestown, Frank was driven to the works. At the gate he was met by a comical little Irishman, who ducked his bead and shouted: Shure, it's glad I am to see yez hon1e wanst more, Mia tiler Frank. An' did yez have a foine trip!'' A very pleasant one, Barney!'' replied the young inventor. "Whe re is Pomp!'' The naygur, sor! Shure, he's the watber tank over there, a sorry place fer him. Whist!" Barney let out a shrill wllistle, and a jolly-looking coon came bound ing into view. He turned a llandspring at sigiJt of ]!'rank and came running up. "GG lly! I'se awful glad fo' to see yo' horne once mo', Marse Frank." "Very goo rl, Pomp! Now I want you anrl Barney to get ready at once for a lively expedition to the soutllwestl" "Whur roo!" shouted Barn ey. Golly!" gaspee: the coon. When am we gwine to start, Marse Frank!" "Jus t as soon as possible," -replied the young inventor; "how is the new macbme! Have you fiuishe:l putting on the brasswork!'' Shure we have, sor, an' she's as tit us a tlddle!" cned Barney; wull y e z lolke to take a look at her, Misther Frank?" Tbut I will! replied Frank. Golly, Marse Frank. l'se cur u s to know wha' am de name yonae gwine fo' to gih her!" "Name?" excl a imd Frank. "Oh, we will call her the Detecti1 e!" D a t am a b e rry good name, salll" A very appro priate one when you consider what sort of au expedi : tiou abe is bound on.'' Pbwat is th a t, sorf' To tracl> down a gang or prairie pirat e s. One or our company will be tbe famous western detective, Jim Stuart!" By this time they had reached the wide doors or one of the shops. BarutJy opened it and they entered. Upon tbe levellloor stood the latest triumph of Fra nk Reade, Jr.'s inventive genius, tlle electric v e hicl e D e tective." For a moment the youn g inv e ntor ran his critical eye over i t. The n be smiled his approv al. "You bavtl done well, Barney and Pomp he said. '' She looks complete. Now 1 want you to g e t a car of the railro a d company and pack ber aboard it in sections. W e shall go as far west as Fort Worth, Texas, by rail. From thenc e we shall strike overland into the Llano Estacada or the Staked Plain s." "All right, sor t replied Barney. "We 'll do all that, sor, at wanst Fra nk went hack to tbe office and late r sent a dis p a tch to S t. Louis, as follows: "JAMES STUART, S outhern Hotel.'' "Shall leave here by special train with the on the 11t h inst. You may expect us in St. Louis accordingly, and join us there for the trip to Texas, FR A N K READE, JR." CHAPT E R II. I N T E X AS, IT might not be amiss at tb1s juncture to take a look at the Detect ive, as completed and ready for the great western trip. b'rault's idea bad been to construct a machine which could travel at a rapid rate of speed over a level surface of ground, anj furnish a traveling abode for the purposes of exploration in any foreign coun try. The Detective was able to move over any kind of ordinarily smooth surface at a tremendous rate of sp e ed. Sbe was also so constructed that she could ascend or descend hills with perfect ease and safety. The body ot the machine was long and narrow, and rested upon l running gear or strong and peculiar make. There were a series or s prings, which we1 e Frank's particular Invention, and deadened the jolt or jar or the v e hicle almost completely. Four steel wheels with ball bearings and rubber tires were affixed to the strongest or axles. The motive power or the electric engmes wal! furnished to the rear axle, the forward gear being made to re volve under the machine so that it could be guided by means of a wheel in tbe pilot house above. At the rear part or the Detective was a steel walled structure called the main cabin. This was bullet proof and rurmshed with two win dows, a door and several loopholes tor defense. Over this cabin was Tbia was very light, being only a cylinder or steel with pneumatic air chambers for the expul s ion of tbe projectile whieb exploded lly impa<:t. A shell could be thrown a mile with disastrous F'orward was a smaller cabin and the pilot bouse. 'l'hrougb tlH steel prow or tbe machine tllere projected a second electric gun lighter than the other. Between tbe main cabin and the pilot bouse was a section or steel netting in which were loopholes. The voya g ers were safe behind this netting, for it was bullet-proof and in a warm climate was excellent for tbe fact that a circulation or air was to be always had. Over tbe pilot bouse was a powerful electric searchlight. Tbe Detective was primarily constructed with an eye to otl'ense as well as defense. It was provided with the necPssary requirements for travel in a perilous region, where there were wild beasts and savage men. Provided with arms, ammunition and stores, the crew could live aboard the vellicie for an indefinite length of time, and with the daadly dynamite guns the Detective could hold a small army at bay on open ground. With this invention, the latest effort or his genius, Frnnk Reade, Jr., was about to essay the invasion of the Pedro Hills and &be stamping out or tbe lawless band known as the Prairie Pirates. How !le succeeded and what were his thrilling adventures will form tbe subject matter of this story. When Jim Stuan, ti l e detective, received tbe telegram (I'Om Frank Reade, Jr., quote:! in a previous chapter, be was beside himself with joy. It is needless to say be watched every day for tbe special train. And finally it came rolling into St. Louis. Frank Reade, Jr., Bar ney and Pomp and the Detective were aboard. It rel)uired but a few momenta for Jim to join the party. He wall quickly introduce.:! to Barney and Pomp, and they were at once friends. "Golly!" declared Pomp when a abort while later they were rolling away through Missouri en route for TextJs, "dat detective am a berry nice gemrnen. I rect;on he hub got lots o b grit.'' "Begorra that's roight, naygur," agreed Barney. And seldom it was tbat be did ngr6e witll Pomp For, while they were the warmest of friends, tllere was nothing each liked better than to nag or play practical jokes upon tbe other. In this respect it was an even game between them. Tbe special train made a rapid run to Texas. Frank had selected F ort Wort h as the best possible point from whence to sturt out into the wilrl r e gion beyond the Llano Estacado, or where the Prairie Pi rates h eld forth. When Fort Worth was reached the special was side-tracked, and the voyagers began to diserr.bark. The Detective was taken from the cars, and Barney and Pomp proceedtld to put the sections to-1 gether. While thus engaged a large crowd collected, and with them came a tall, '>road-sllouldered Texan, who wore a wide sombrero and a distinguish e d air. He carne directly up to Frank Reade, Jr., and held out his hand Welcome, strawnger. I reckon you're the sharp from the East what has come out here to help me run down the Hinkleys and find my gal Alice." "I 'leg your pardon!" anHI Frank. "Same here r e plied the o ther in bis off-hand way. "I'm ColonPI John Alden or the DoutJle S tur Ranch. Most anybody w1ll vouch for me in this town." "I am glad to meet you, Mr. Alden," said Frank. "I am Frank Reade, Jr. You are the very man I want to see. Did you antici pate our arrival?'' "I did," replied Alden, "and I'm ready to discuss matters with you at once." At this moment Jim Stuart came rushing up and fairly embraced Ald en. Well, this is luck! How did you get here, colonel!" "Came all the way pony back," replied Alden. "I have twenty or m y best cowboys with me, and we're all ready to strike into tbe Pedro Hills with you." "Good!" cri e d Jim. "You have madA Mr. Reade's acquaintance?" "Just now,'' replied the colonPI, and Frank bowed. At once the three became the warmest or friends. Then Frank pointed out the de tails of tlle Electric Doteclive, as Barney and Pomp were putting it to getber. Tbe colonel was tremendously impressed. "You say it is bullet prooff' be asked. Yes," replied Frank. Wall, by jingo! I don't see wby you can't with perfect safety travel anywhere in them hills. How air they ever goin' to lick ye?" Well, they will have a hard job," laughed Frank. "Of course nothing is Impossible; but we can give them a bard tussle." Well, you bet! But the more I look at you, tbe more you remind me or your father, who was a very particular friend or mine.'' Whoever was one or my father's can count me the same,'' replied Frank. "Well said! Your father died some yeari ago!" "Yes." Well, be was a gentleman and a smart man. I've no doubt llis


4 THE PRAIRIE PIRATES. sou takes after him. Now, my boy, do you know tl!at we h11Ve under"And tbera is the stage!" cried Jim Stuart suddenly. taken a lively tusk?" And sure enough there across the rolling plain in the distance was "I

1'HE PRAIRIE PIRATES. Barney pointed to an object in a cleft of the cliffs near. It was a man with fie1ce, desperate features, coweriD!; under a leaf of cacti. He seemed to be unarmed nod evidently desirous of escaping obser vation. But Frank gave the lever a sudden twist and brought the De tective to a stop. "Pbwat will yez do, Mislher Frank?'' asked Barney. "Jump out there and bring him aboard," said the young inventor "Make a prisoner of him. He is one of the gang and perhaps we can get some valuable information out of him." Whurrool" cr1e or my own choice. Oh, holy saints defend me." "Really, I'm half a mind to ltlt the poor devil go free," said Frank. "Wait till we get to Paradise and we'll give him a fair trail said Jim Stuart. If nollody proves anyttine: against him, he shall go free.'' The twenty mile trail to Paradise was covered without further in. cident. The big yellow stage finally rolled down into the town, and the De tective and the cowboys followed. A great sensMion was created in Paradise when the party appeared. Never in its history bad it witnessed tba entry or any vehicle but the yellow stage. CHAPTER IV. THE WARNING. CoNSEQUENTLY when the Detective appeared In their midst, the denizens were utterly dumfounded. In all their career they had never seen anything like this curious horseless vehicle or the tenderfoots from the effete East. They came from all quarters to gaze upon it. Paradise Lost was a typical mining town. In tile main it was little more than a collection of pine shanties. There was the long Hume fed tly the water from the gulch stream, and the big stamp mill of the PamdisH Com puny. Deep in the heart or tile hills were sunk the shafts of the company. Here the red-shirted to1leru w e re at work most of the time. But besides th1s the gulch was crowded with shanties and claims or placer miners. On the of the stage, or after the day's work was over, these men came from near and fnr into the town. There was a frume ho. tel, with a wide and spacioub lounging room. Here miner and sport, -card abarp and tenderfoot, were to be found. There were gambling deus, and in ruct all the other nsuullixtures of the frontier town. Twice a week the stage came in, bringing fresh arrivals and some times mails from the east. Jim Bri s co reined the big stage up in front of Bngbam's" as the hotel was known, he let out a yell: "Whoa!" Thea be sat still on the box, while the armed guards climbed down and the passengers alighted. Then the news of the hold-up spread. Brisco Jim was ollliged to recite an account or the whole affair from his high position. The excitement of the crowd was int .. nse. "And tllar is ther tenderfoot rig what pulled us ouL or ther scrape!" he shouted, pointwg to Colonel Alden and his men. "If it hadn't been for him, we mought not be now!'' "Hurrah, hurrah!'' yelled the crowd, and Colonel Alden gripped hands with a score of the brawny miners. At this moment a man came lounging out of the hotel. He was a typical westerner, with revolvers stuck all around in his helt. "How air ye Stu art!" be cned, as the detective came along; "what air ye doin' in Paradise?" Keno Jim," exclaimed the detective, "you are just the man I want to see!" "Ehf'' exclaimed the other. "What can I do fer ye, Sluart!" "We've got a fellow here 10 our team who I think is one of Antonio Gardo's men. We want to give him a fair trial! See!" "Oh, yew want ter call a special meetir.g of tiler district court, eh?'' said Keno Jim, with a grim smile. Wall, I'm lawyer, jedge, justice of the peace and everything else combined here. Bring up yer man!" Where will we hold the trial?" In Brigham's bar room," said Keno, pulling out a big revolver. I'll jest go over now an' clean it out!'' And with this he strode away. Stuart knew well what Western justice was Unless Jose Rivera could prove his innocence hour would see him dangling from a mountain pine. So be started back to the DetDctive. It required but a fe.w moments for the crowd to get onto the fact that one of Gardo's men was about to he tried for his life in Brigham's, The crowd at once made a rush for the bar-room of the hotel. Not half of them could get inside. But the others wai:ed without for the prisoner to come nlong. .As Stuart sprang aboard the Detective, he sail! to Frank: Now we'll of tbis poor devil of a GreasPr. If he tells a good story we'll let him If be don't-why, Judge Keno will settle accounts with him.'' Barney and Pomp led,itbe panic-stricken outlaw on deck. He begged piteously for his hfe. So al.Jject and groveling wns he that his captora did not think it ne cessary to bind him. Barney and Pomp on either side of him led him toward the hotel. The crowd surged toward them to get a look at the outlaw. Keno Jim bimsell came forward and when not ten distant gave a hoarse cry. 'l'he prisoner's goze and his had met. What followed to&k such an infinilesimal space of time and was so unexpected that none afterwards could recollect just how it happened. But with the quickness of a lightning bolt, Rivera whirled ami dealt Pomp a crushing blow on the jaw and hurled Barney aside like a pup pet. Ere the two could recover he bad made one matl leap and gained the back of a broncho tathered near. A di!! at the animal's Hanks, and it broke the tether and away it went like a thunderbolt down the gorge. Judge Keno fired four quick shots but nona took effect. T!le scene which followed hafHed description. Cowboys were instantly in pursuit. Shots were fired and a great but> and cry was made. But they might as well have spared themselves the trouble. Rivera was not caught. And an hour later the disllomfited pursuers returned to the town. Stuart was much pot out and Barney and Pomp were frantic at what they considered their stupidity. But Frank Reade, Jr., was incli!Jed to laugh until Colonel Alden came riding up excitedly. "I sny, boys;" he cried, "do you know who that fellow really was!" asked Stuart, hreathlE>ssly. "Keno Jim says he is Goff Hinkley himself!" "Thunder!" exclaimed Stuart, and then gazed blankly at Frank. Well, what fools we are! To have the game right in our hands and let it slip like that!" His clever yarn about Antonio Gardo 'Vas easily disproved by a number of Mexicans, who swore that Gardo and his gang were far That the supposed Greaser was indeed Gofl Hinkley theie was n j doubt.


6 THE PRAIRIE PIRATES. down on the Pecas river. This proved that the gang which held up the were really the Hinldey gang. Excitement that night in Paradise Lost was at fever beat. The rough miners were quite carried away with the incidents of the day. All sorts of heroic plans were discussed. When it became known that Frank Reade, Jr., had come with Jobu Alden and his men to hunt down the Hinkley Brothers he became the hero ol the bour. And manv or the bluff westerners went on board the Detective and inspected the electrical machinery. Keno Jim was particularly pleased, and as he was the autocrat of Paradise Lost, everything was 11mnoth for the new comers. There was not the sllghtest clew, however, to guide the rescuers to the mountain stronghold of the Hinkleys, or as to tbe place of cap tivity of Alice Alden. That night an excited meeting of the miners was held in the bar room at Keno Jim officiated, and it was voted and decided that the Paradise twenty men should co-operate witl! Alden's cowboys and the Electric Detective. A plan of operation was indorsed by Frank Reade, Jr., and was as follows: As it was believed that the Hinldeys were in force in tlle Pedro Hills, Keno Jim and the vigilantes were to enter the bills from the snuth and Alden from the north, while the Detective made its way di tectly in through Calamity Pass. In this manner it was hoped to force the fiends from their hiding placR by surrounding them. Attacked from ull sides, they would surely be driven to bay, It was no light undertaking. Nor was it the first one. Several times the invasion had been attempted in much the same manner and bad failed. Many brave men had lost their lives. The Hinkleys bad proved alm'lst 1nvincible. So the miners knew what they had to face. But this time they bad the asaistance or the Electl"ic Detective and the dynamite guns. It was believed that this would count. The next day all were awake at an early hour, aud a startling sur prise was in store. On every cabin door, and even upon the rail of the Detective itself there hung a placard upon wh1ch was traced in letters of blood: Beware! The Doom of Paradise Lost Bas Been Decreedl Fly While There is Time. "Per Order (Their X mark) HINKLEY BROS.'' Those of the timorous sort shuddered and muttered ominously. But Keno Jim pnt out a big card inscribed as follows: "One Thousand Dollars Reward! For the Bodiee of the Hinkley Bros., Dead or Alive! "Per Order "PARADISE VIGILANTES, KENO Jnr, Captain." Matters were getting exciting indeed iu the litlle mining town. Knots of meu gathered aud discussed the situation in ominous tones. Nobody felt safe for it was not known at what turn a foe might be encountered. The outlaws were known to lurk in disguise in every part of the town. But preparations went on rapidly for the invasion of the bills. The Vigilantes armed to the teeth formed under Keno Jim, and the cow boys rallied nuder Colonel Alden. 'l'here were many volunteers to go aboard the Detective. But Frank said: We need no assistance. There are four of us with Mr.' Stuart, and that is a sufficient number to efficiently protect the macllir;e!" But there was one person who attached a deadly significance to the message of the Hinkleys. This was Jim Stuart. The detective's fuce wore an anxious expression, and be declared: It will be well for the people of Paradise to keep on their o-uard. There is trouble ahead." "' CHAPTER V. 'THE WATF.R 'fRAIL. FRANK READE, JR., wus disposed to share the detective's fears. "In what manner cun they do harm to the town!" he asked. "Do you know of anv particular opportunity!" "I can think of none just uow. But when the vigilantes are gone and the place is practically then l'lokout for ttie Uinkleys.'\ "Bot we must engage thE>ir attention iu the meantime." "Yoo mean that we will try. We! are by no means sure of succeed in)!. They are very slippery." Frank could see the force or the detective's reasoning. But it was not easy to see bow the plans could be changed to advantage. So they werJJ not changed. In a short while the vigilantes galloped eut of the town to the south. ThPy were followed hy the cheers of the denizens of the town. A few minutes later Colonel Alden and his cowboys struck out to the north ward. Then the Detective, with Frank Reade Jr., Barney and Pomp and Jim Stuart aboard, rolled out of the town. Tbey went straiabt ahead for Calamity Pass. "' Tbia was about ten miles distant, nnd the real entrance to the Peuro Hills. Beyond this pass they might quite reasonably expect to encounter t he, if, indeed, tbe latter should stand their ground. That their hiding-].Jlace could be found, there was uo great cr>r tainty. The fastnesses of the h1lls were many, and it would be easy for such a band to find a retreutCin some pocket or cave from whicu_ it woulc be almost impossible to dislodge them, But Frank felt that if the lair of the outlaws could be found, much would be gained. He was sanguine of success. The townspeople cheered the Detective heartily as it rolled out of the place. Soon it was threading the mountain trail Around the bigb mountain wall, down through gorges, over divides and at times following the brow of some deep canyon the trail led. The s .cenE>ry was wild and rugged like all of tbat on the New Mexic border. But there was no sign visible anywhere of hum au life. Tbe miner and the bunter seldom ventured into these bills. They could tell great stones of the perils they held, while the super stitious Greasers and half-breeds counted them the abode of evil spirits. And indeed there was very good reason for their fears. For a more desolate, wild region the eye never rested upon. The most vivid description of the entrance to Hades could alone describe it. Yet these h:Us were no doubt rich in minerals. No vegetation of any account grew there. The soil was arid aud useless, bnt in the beds or the creeks and gulches in the strata of the clitl's aud the quartz ledges gold abounded. All it awaited was the picl;: of the placer miner or tbe huge rollers or the stamp mill to yield untold wealth. Years before this had been a favorite rendezvous or fortress of the wily and trllacberous Apache. Here be bad be\d the white man at bay, and was not dislodged un til Htarvatiou got in its work and retired him to the mesas farther west. The sensations of our upon entering this gloomy regioa can not be very well described. There was a strange sense of mental depression, which was aug mented by the sense of a deadly peril ever lurk111g near at band. The Detective made its way through Calamity Pass and came into a narrow, barren valley. Here the machine was obliged to proceed slowly, as the ground was Tlle voyagers were busily engaged scrutinizing every point near and far for some s1gn of the out!ILws. But no_f a thing was seen whicb would suggest their presence in the hills until suddenly the Detective cnme to a shallow stream. Frank: was preparing to ford this when Stunrt clutched his arm. "Wait a moment, Frunk,'' he sa1d. "What is the matter!" asked the young inventor. "Look: down there in the wand! Do you see any footprints?'' There, m the snnd, which extended to the water's edge, there were the prints of horses' hoofs. They extended into the stream. "HorRe;nen bave been this way,'' said "Just so," agreed the detective. "Allow me to get down. 1 would mncb like to examine them." The machine halted, and the detective went out on deck. He down into tbe sand and examined them. Then he in spected the shore carefully up and down sLream for a hundred yards. Next he waded across it and examined the opposite shore. He gave a sharp cry: It's just as I thought, Frankl" he cried. "What!'' asked Frank. This is a covered trail. They have gone up the stream, lind tha water bas covered their trail.'' The detective came over and clambered aboard the machine He exchanged comprehensive glances with Frank. What is your theory!'' asked the young inventor. "There are several explanations," declared the detective "first it is possible that the outlaws heard us coming and have don'e this throw us otl the trail. In the next place at is not impossible that this stream is the hidden entrance to their stronghold." "It is a clever trick," declared tbe young inventor, "and makes it easy for them to throw us off tbe track." "YeL it is something gained We have found their trail.'' '' Though a water trail.'' "Still I thmk it can be followed." "Let us try it!'' At once the plan was made. It was arranged that Frank should follow oue bank of the stream and Jim Stuart the other. While Barney aud Pomp would follow in the re:.r with the machine. And thus the start was made. Carefully Frank and Stuart made their way along the of the stream. loolling cautiously lor any si2;n of the foe. Presently the level or a plateau was reached. Here it was pretty smooth g-oing for the explorers. But it also furnished a set back for them. They paused iD she10r disappointment. For Frank suddenly came upon footprints at the waters verge showin:r plainly that the outlaws had here left the stream. But this was all. It r.;ould not be pursued further. This was the end of the trail. For the hard, lli11ty surface of I be plateau left no mark whatever. The horsemen had cleverly eluded the trailers.


I I THE PRA.lHI E PIRATES. "J The pursuers were bafilell. By Jove!'' exclaimetl Frank, this is a bard one. What do you make of it, Stuart!'' "It me:tns tllat we H

l 'l'HE PRAIRIE PIRATES. But where shall we strike now!" "1 would like to reach that mountain wall. But I don't see how we are going to get through all thnt tangle of under:.;rowth.'' It is impossible unless we may succeed w finding a path. But I have au idea." What is it!" "Suppose we cut away to the northward here and make a detour or the whole mountain?" Approach it from the other side?" "Yt!s.'' "Very well," agreed Frank, "we will do that." Accordingly the D e tective was turned about and headed in the op posite direc: ion. A cl

THE PRAIRIE PIRA. TES. 9 hours the machine was all ready so far as the machinery was con cerned. Barney and Pomp had also succeeded in riveting the armor platea, and the Detective was intact once more. But now the question arose as to bow it was to b11 got out of the quickMand. And this was a problem. But before it could be solved an unlooked for incident occurred. Suddenly Pomp pointed out over the plateau, and shouted: "Golly, Marse Frankl Dere dey cum fo' all dey is worfr It am de 4lebbils oiJ outlaws!" This wns seen to be the truth. Out on the lev e l plain a great body of horsemen were seen and between tteir ranks was the fielJ piece. They bad spied the machine and were coming toward it lull bent. If they should once more succeed in getting within range it would be all up with the Detective and its voyagers. Tbe cannon would quickly destroy lt. Bot Frank Reade, Jr., smiled in a grim fashion. "We will hardly give them the chance this time," he muttered. They must come to close quarters to do any harm, and before they get into range I think I cun stop them." He went to the forward gun and carefully trained it. He waited until he saw the cavalcade hall. They came to a bait just behind a hummock in the plain. The can non was in the act of being unlimbered. Frank knelt down and carefully sighted the dynamite goo. Then he pressed the electric button. Straight to the mark went the dynamite shell. It struck the hum mock full and fair. There waR a tremendous upheaval of earth and debris. Men and horses were scattered, nod the cannon was didmounted, The outlaws scattered right and left. Frank sent shell after shell after them. The fearful danger was averted, and it looked permanently. The cannon surely was or no furtber use. "GooJ!" yelled Jim Stuart. "That is the way to treat them! We are saved!" "Whurroo!" shouted Barney. "Now if the !Dacbine cod only travel bow we cud give them a batiu'!" Pomp stood on his head with delight and then went to wrestling with Barney. Bot Frank stopped this. "It is no time for fooling,'' be declared; we must first of all get the machine out of this quicksand." cried Jim Stuart. I suppose there is danger that she may settle deeper aL any time." "Certainly," replied Frank; "and the qmcker we get her out the better." "Then let us get to work Yon must tell us what to do, Frank.'' The young inventor went into the cabin and brought out a long and strong cable. This he carried to the Detective's rail. CBAPT.I!JR VIII. A GREAT VICTORY. IT was no easy maHer to get off the deck of the machine down upon level ground. The quicksand was very treacherous. Bu t by putting out a ladder forward, Barney and Frank succeeded in gettiue: out upon terra firma. Th e y carried one end of the cable and a strong chain to a eycamore tree, about fifty yttrds away. Frank placed chain about the trunk of the tree, and then placed a strong pulley bloclt nAainst it. This made a double line of tlle cable to the maclnne and back. The cable on the machine was placed about the forward axle. As it was turned by the engllles the cable should wind up, and thus exert a powerful pres sure to pull the machine out or the sand. It a clever arrangement, and Frank fancied thut he might thus be ahle to pull the machine out. So he went into the pilot-house and I Frank's new plan was to disconnect the rear truck. '!'Ius would dispose of the anchor. This would enable the fcrward part of the macuioe to be dragged safely onto terra firma. But what Frank most was that the rear trucks would then sink out or sight and reach in the quicksand. Be tried to think of some plnn to avoid this contingency. Carefully he studied the situation. Finally an idea occurred to him. He procured an extra cable and fastened it to the rear truck. This was carried to another tree directly opposite the sycamore. Then Frank disconnected tile truck from the main body of the machine. Again he returned to the pilot house and turned on the power. The great ropes strained and creaked. The Detective gently and slowly slid from the quicksand and out upon terra Jirmn. Instantly all eyes were turned upon the trucks left behind. "Hurrah!" cried Jim Stuart. They did not sink in the mire as bad been feared. Instead they re mained in exactly the same position. Tllis w a s indeed a matter of joy. Quickly the rope from the trucks was connected with the rear axle of tile macuine and they were drag ged easily out o! the sand. Tl:e Detective was safe. '!'he voyagers were so delighted that they wildly and fran tically. Barney and Pomp at once set to work cleaning the truck and then it was placed back under the machine, which was cow little the worse for the experience. The cables were taken in and once more all was ready for the fray. At once Frank set a course back for tile bills. In a short while they were once more near at band. But no trace of the outlaws could be seen. For several hours the Detective ran on to the nortbwa::-d. Then they began to make a turning of the mountain wall. And tllis brought them suddenly into a region the like of which none o! them bad ever before seen, It was akin to the famous Bad Lands of Dakota, there being all manner of strange shaped rocks nod earthy formations. Among these the machine picked its way. Suddenly Jim Stuart, who was on the upper deck, shouted to Frank: "Come up here quick!'' The young inventor sprang up beside the detective. Listen,'' said the latter. But already Frank beard startling sounds coming from the west ward. They were dull and taint, yet recognizable. There is a light going an over there," declared Stuart. "You are right," agreed Frank, excitedly. "Do you think it can be Alden?" More likely the vigilantes; perhaps both of them.'' '' At any rate it means tbat they have bit upon the gang and are making things lively," declared Frank Right you are. Ougbt we not to make an investigationr Certainly.'' Frauk at once changed the course of the Detective. All speed was pot on. It was, however, not easy to proceed with the greatest speed among the rocks of lhe region. But yet the sounds of confiict drew nearer. The rapid lire of guns, and the yells of the combatants were plainly heard. N earer the machine drew. Then suddenly it ran out into an open clearing it the base of a high cliff. A lrmge of trees and rocks occupied the lower edge of this clearing. Here both bodies of men, the vigilantes and the cowboys, were stationed nuder cover and keeping up a hot lire on the cliff above. Out from \he cliff jutted a rocky table one bnudreu feet above, and back of this was seen the entrance to a big cavern extending back in to the hills. started the engines. Here the outlaws were skulking and hotly fusillnding those below. The IJig rope tautened and creaked with the immense strain Then '!'here were steps cut in the race or the cliff for an ascent, bot slowly tbA machine began to yield. to have such a thing in the face of the bot fire from Bot Frank saw nt once that this would not. do. would have b een sure death, The rear whe els acte d as a sort of au anchor, and held the machine But the outlaws' den bad at last been found. This was one firmly where it wns. The strain wus bre:.king in two. great object accomplished. So he shut of! the pow e r. And as the Detective appeared on the scene a mighty cheer went What's the matter?" asked Jim Stuart, from forward, where he up from the vigilantes and cowboys. Their spirits went up one hunbad been watching operations. dred per cent. "Hatter enough," replied Frank; "it wor;'t work, that's all!" "We got here just in the nick of time,'' cried Stuart; "Jet's go "But why notT'' over and see Alden and Keno Jim!" "Ensy enoul!h. The strain will brenk the machine in two!" The Detective was the recipient of a bot fire from the cliff above, Do you believe it?" but the bullets did no harm. "Yes. Once back ot the cover of rocks, Alden and Keno Jim sprung The d e tective was keenly disappointed. He knew that it was losing abonrd. It was a joyful meeting. valuable time. Mutual experiences were recounted. Then Alden exclaimed: Be swept tbA horizon with his gaze. The outlaws bad all disap" I tlunk that Alice is somewhere confined up in that place. If we peared. Not one was in sight. could only get np there--" "Well, he said finally with a tinge of impatience. "What sl:all we We ctm," said Frank. do obont it!"' "Bow!" "I have one other plan," sa1d Frank, "if that does not work, then "I will show you. Have your men ready for a charge. I will send I fear we shnll have to abandon the machine!" a dl'namite shell up there and clean the cavern's month or those rasA gloom fell upon all. They watched Frank's next move closely. 1 cnls. Then you can send your men up there safely." The young inventor went down into the lower part of the VAhicle. I And Frank proceeded to carry out this plan. The trncks of the Detective could be severed from the main body of Be sighted the dynamite gun and sent a shell up into the mouth of the macbme by disconnecting certain bolts and nuts. the cavern. It exploded with terrific effect.


,. 10 THE PRAIRIE PIRATES. A great section of the ledge came tumbling down. Not an outlaw was to be seen after the explosion. With a cheer, the cowboys, led by Colonel Alden, rushed to the at tack. Up the face of the cliff they swarmed like bees. A few moments later they were in the mouth of tbe cavern, and then the fighting began. The Vigilantes followed. Into the cavern they charged. The outlaws were driven back before such an overwhelming force. They fiell into the furthest depths of the cavern, and soon not one of them was to be found. Colonel Alden was victoriously leadtng his men through one of the passages when a feminine scream reached bis ears. Be turned as if with an inspiration and threw his weight against a wooden partition across one corner or the cave. It gave way. He dashed into a square chamber ruaely furnished. It had but one occupant-a young girl with pallid far.e. "Alice!" he cried. "Thank God, you are safe!" The next moment Alice Alden was clasped 8afely in her father's arms. It was a happy meeting. To every part or tbe outlaws' stronghold the victorious invaders penetrated. Tbe very ease of their victory made them over confi dent. Tile outlaws had incontinently llad. Not a trace of l,bem could be found anywhere. There were of plunder and stores in the great cavern. The victors proceecled to overhaul the spoils. But Colonel Alden, with Alice, went back down to the base of the ciHl and aboard the Detective. Frank at one1l gave the young girl a stateroom on board the ma chine. "She will be safe now!" declare:!. Colonel Alden; "oh! this is the happiest moment of my life!'' far the expedition had been a grand success. "But I can't understand why the Hmkleys didn't make e harder fight," said Stuart, in surprise. "Can it be possible that we have broken up tllis bard gang so easily!" "All! they may be some big coup!" declared the colonel; iL is well for us to keep an eye 011t." "You are right!" said Frank; ''we are not done with tllem yeti" But what will be their next move!" asked Stuart. Tbat we can hardly tell,'' replied Frank; but rest assured we shall hear from them again." By this time the day began to come to a close. There seemed no way but to spend the night on the spot. CHAPTER IX. A COUNTER MOVE. So preparatiocs were made for a camp. The Vigilantes and cowboys were content to rest in the cavern, where they found many gClod things to eat aud drink, but Colonel Alden was to stay at>ourd the Detective. 'J'bus the mght was passed. When daylight came again, a consultation was held as to what it was best to do. Finally it was decided to continue the scouring of the hills for the eutlaws. "If we can only deal them a deatll blow now,'' declared the colonel, we will effectually dispose of the worst curse part of the coun try has ever known.'' ''It can be done,'' said Jim Stuart. "I tell you we did a big thing when we got Frank Reade, Jr., to enlist with us!" That is right!'' Frank smiled and bowed bis acknowledgment of the compliment. '' You do 111e too much credit,'' he said. "I am not entitled to ILl" sothe cowboys and Vigilantes se: forth to scour the bills. The De tective followed slowly in their wake. Thus two lY: "Forward, with all The horsemen gave their mustangs full rein. The Detective went forward with full speed. It could run faster t!Jau the horses, of course, and soon had out stripped them. Mile alter mile sped by. And now a single horseman was seen galloping like mad from the direction of Paradise. As be drew nearer it could be seen that he was half lying over the pommel of his saddle as if exhausted. Nearer be drew. Then, as he came up alongside the Detective, it could be seen that be was covered with blood. One shoulder ba:l been shot tbrough. He was half fainting from loss of blood. "1t is Tom Melton!" cried the detective. "Hey, Tom, is "The Hinkleys!'' gasped the wounded man; "they bave attacked Paradise! Half of it is in flames! For tho love of heaven go to tlleir help!" 'l'he Detectivl' stopped just long enough to take the wounded courier aboard. Then away it sped. Frank took the wheel. 'l'hat ride down iuto Paradise none on board ever forgot. Down steep descents, tbrouglr gorges and canyons, arou, nd precipice walls the machine sped like a meteor. Now the fearful scene came plainly to view. Far below iu the little mining valley the town seemed to be in Jlames. The crack of firearms and yells of combatants could be beard. It was plain that the small number of men left in Paradise were defending tbe place witb their lives. Frank set his teeth and sent the Detective down the mountain trail. Had he reached the town he would quickly have turnet! tlle tables. But a catastrophe upset all plans. Tbe suddenly narrowed. The machine was going at fearful speed. 'l'llere was not time for Frank to check the machine, though he set tbe brakes bard. A great bowlder bad slid down into the trail. 'l'btl next moment the Detective slipped and slid and grazed it. A little more room and it would have been all right. But there was just enough of R collision to tilt the machine over. Then she plunged into the opposite bank. Frank tried to back her out, !.Jut the engines would It was easy to see that they were again out or order. Appalled, all exchanged glances. It was a hitter moment. "My soul!" exclaimed Stuart; "we can do nothing to help them.'' "Then Paradise ia doomed!" groaned the wounded courier. INo," said Frank, resolutely; "we must.go to,tbe rescue ourselves.'' And leave the machine!'' Leave it." "But--" "Well!" Will that be safe?" "Pomp will stay aboard and guard it. With the dynamite gun he will be all right.'' The detectie could say no more. "Well," be said, "you know best, Fran!\. You are the comman der." No time, however, was to be lost, Barney and Stuart ancJ. Frank, with rifles, left the machine. Pomp and and Alice Alden were left aboard the DAtective. The darky at once began work on the rept.iring of the engin es Mebbe I ldn gil dem afo' Marse Frank comes back,'' said the coon. "Yo' kin bet I'll try ll pretty hard.'' Down tile trail the three plucky men ruhed. They had just r each ed the outskirts of the Rettlement when Alden anc! Ken() Jim, with their men, came thundering behind. It was a !earful scene which met the gaze of all. It seemed more like the work o! fiendish Apaches than of white men. The ground was strewn with corpses of men, women and children. It was an attacl\ of extermination with the Hink!Py gang. It maoe the blood of ev.,ry man in the rescuing party fairly boil. With white silt faces they rushed to the rescuP. On one side or the flume every cabin bad heen fired. On the other side the desperatA miners had l!athered in Brigham's hotel with their families and were fighting f'lr their lives. The relief came nune too soon. ..


'l'HE PRAIRIE PIRATES. 11 The outlaws were' pressing bard against the doors of the building atJd were just a')out to put the torch to it. But when they heard the avenging cry of the returning Vigilantes, they melted from sight like mist before the warming sun. In a few moments not one of them was in sight. The darkness of the gorge swallowed them up. In their black suits and masks they looked like veritable demons, which in practice they were. 'l'be infuriated Vigilantes pursued them savagely. But as usual they gave ,heir pursuers the slip. The state of atrairs in Paradise Lost was deplorable in the ex treme. As soon ns the burning embers were extinguished and the dead and wounded cared for, a meeting was called at Brigham's Hotel. These miner and tenderfoot, gambler and bunter, trapper antl half breed, even the Chinamen took a solemn oath to pursue the Hinkley gang until not one was left alive. "I can tell you, declared John Alden, confidently, "that if Mr. Reade, Jr., had not sutrered an accident to his !!lachine comm11; down the trail he would have wiped out n. few of the dorrs.'' :=; You are right," cried Jim Stuart, "and we must enlist his services in the hunt!" A great cheer went up. A speecb was called for and Frank was obligetl to respond. He promised generously to aid the Paradise people in bringing the villainous gang to justice. And then the me e tiug dissolved. Colonel Alden embraced Frank elrusively, and offered him the Doul>le S tnr Ranch and all he had In the world, as a recompense for his services iu rescuing Alice. But Frank modestly declined any reward, saying: 1 am in Texas for my own diversiOn, and I ask no pay for per forming what wus to me an actual pleasure." "Now, let us go back and see how tlle Detective is," sa1d Stuart. "She must be repaired." "011, that will not be ditllcult." said Frank. "It is not imp ossible that Pomp bas her tixed a!I rigllt now!" At this moment Barney gave a great shout. "Sure, Mlsther Frank," lie cried, "there cams the machine now, and the naygur is in tbe pilot house!" This was the truth. CHAPTER X. ENTRAPPED. THE Detective was rolling down into the little town and Pomp was at the wheel. The darky had kept persistontly at work after his companions left bim, aud had actually succeeded in repniring the delicate machinery and getting the Detective out of fbe sand bank. Melton, the wounded courier, and even Alice Alden, bad assisted him to the best of t!Jeir ability. To say that our voynl!ers were overjoyed at sight of the machine once more intact would be a mild statemtlnt. Tlley rushed forw&rd to meet it ami were quicldy on board. 1'hen Melton wns taken in charge by his and Alice Alden by her l:appy father. Comfortable quarters were secured at tbe Brigbam for the colonel and his daughter, for Alden was determtned not to return tu his ranch until the Hinkley gang had met with utter extermination. Tbe next day bands of men scoured the mountains for miles about. The Detective went over every trail within fifty miles. But not a trace of the Hinkleys was to be found. If they were in biding near they were certainly exceedingly clever in keeping so close. Thus a week passed. Tben an unexpected clew was gained. An eastern stage brought in a wounded man round out on the trail not a dozen miles from Para dis e. He was recognized as one of the Hinkley gnng, and made a dying confession. He declared tbat tlle gang had moved one hundred miles south and bad laid a to bold up a treasure train on the Texas Central Railroad. Tlle details of the nefarious project were obtained. Then a consul tation was helu as to what it was best to do. Of course it wns proper to send word to the railroad company. But there was no telegraph and a stage would not reach there in time. Nor would the best horseman in the town either. In this state of affairs someone mentioned tbe Electric Detective. Frank at ooce stepped forward nnd said: "You may count on me. I will take the message and endeavor to prevent the hold-up." A great cheer went up. The crowd gathered about the young inventor, who was the lwro of the hour. When can you start, Mr. Reade!" naked Tom Brigham. "Within ten minutes." The nir was rent with As Frank promised, ten minutes later Detective was en route for China City, where the Bmkley gang were expected to meet. Out of Paradise rolled the machine and quickly climbed the moant ain trail. Down on the other side of the divide sbe rolled and came out upon the great plain, extending all the way to the railroad. It was clear sailing and Frank gnve the machine its heaj. 1 One buullred miles!'' he said. It is now eleven o'clock A. We will be in ChiurL City at dark." Whew!" exclaimed Jim Stuart, "tbnt is fast going!" "Well, you shall see!" The machine fairly !lew over the plain. Twenty miles an hour Wall an easy clip. But, of course, there were some delays. There were detours about swamps and the fording of streams. But just as the sun sank upon the horizon Barney gave n shout. Sllure, sor, there be the tilly graph poles!" be cried; it's the railroad!" And this was the truth. The railroad was injabers, they'll be altber tllinkin' the world is cumin' to an ind," declared Barney. In the gloom, dim forms could be seen working at the bridge. The outlaws w e re layiug their train of dynamite. Frank and Stuart even ven t ured to aescend almost to a point from whence th e y could easily see them. Tne time was now growing short. Everyhody was upon the qui vive. Frank was at tbe electric gun. Stuart was 3t the forward rail, and Barney and Pomp at the search-light, ready to turn it on at the word of command. Thus matters were when the distant whistle of the train was Iaeard Then far down the tmck its headlight showed. The sunreme moment had come. Every nerve was strained. But while all WAre intently watching th e trniu they did not see a numlJer of shadowy forms climbing silently over the mil in their rear. Suddenly the train wbistled. Then there wns a great ronr and a. volcanic burst of !lame from the bridge below. The next instant it was in the air. The shrill shriek of distress and warning from the locomotive followed. Then it came to a stop not many yards from the end of the destroy ed hridge. At the same moment a great lire blazed up from the side of the track, showing all as plain as day. And armed men went rushing up to the locomotive cab. The hold up was complete. Where was tne sequel so cartlfully planned by our friends! It was not enacted. Frank bad given the word. "Now!" Then be had sprung forward to discharge the electric gun. But a powerful arm was \brown al>out his ueck, and be was flung to tile deck. Jim Stuart shared his fate. Barney was instantly in the clutches or ball a dozen armed men, as was Pomp. Yield or you die!" was the stern command. In face of such odds resistance was sheer madness. In the twinkle of an eye they were bound and prisoners. Such a turning of tnbles was most astounding. Our were hart.lly able to realize their misfortun e Me!lnwhile, of the outlaws with lanterns, surged on boar

12 'l'HE PRAIRIE PIRA. TES. All now came crowding nbo:lt the machine. They began to over bani it, to Frank's dismay. All went well until they reached the engine room. Tben one of tb e greenhorns placed a band unwittingly upon a live dyn amo. He was killed as if with a lightning bolt. Astouude tt, one of !lis companions picked up an iron bar nod to u c h e d the dynamo. H e wus knocked senseless, the bar knocking three others down with its ecstatic kick. Tbe de a d man w a s carried out, and the death dealing part of the machinllry wus regarbout there. From that it grew into a meeting place for gamblers, robbers an d all the worst ele men ts or prairie life An y unsuspecting traveler who happened to descend upon Big Di vid e was lucky inde e d if he escaped with a whole skin. As the machine now approached the Divide it could be seen th11.t the place was in something of a state of excitement. Mounted men were dashing about an d one or the streets could be seen to be barricadAd What does tl :at mean?" excl u iwell Jim Stuart. "It means t.h a t they are expecting us," said C a ptain Odell, grimly. We have got to qave a hit of a rnciion with thAm !" "Bejabers, I hope we will!'' cried Barney. "Shure we'd give tbim all they want av that, I think." Everybody agreed with the Celt. They took their stations at the loop holes in the netting and w a tch e d the progress of affairs. Very rapidly the machine now drew nearer to the town. Straight on Frank ran until he was within hailiug distance of the barri cade. Behind this was the aggregation or men ever seen. They brandished their weapons and yelled furiously as the macbine ap peared. The Detective remained before the barricade for some time before the dJn subsided sufficiently to admit of a parley. Then Odell acted as spokesman. Who is the leading spirit out there?" he shouted. "We're all leading spirits," yelled one or the gang. "Down with the Vigilantes!" "Hang 'em!" Shoot 'em!" Then a tall, desperate-looking fellow leaped upon the barricade and shouted: I'm 'Frisco Jim an' I'm ther high-cock-of-ther-walk here. What have ye got t!'r say to me!" "All right, 'Frisco," said Odell. "I am High Sheriff or this locality and I am after the Hinkley Brothers. Are they or any or their gang here!" "No!" was the defiant reply, "We have tracked them here." A mnd yell went up. "Wall, if they are here they ain't goin' to surrender! High Sheriff or not, you hed better go on about your business! Divide ain't no pluce fer you!" "Oh. you thiPk so, do you?" cried the sherjff; "we'll see. I demr.nd that you give the Hinkleys up to the law. It you don't we'll batter down every building in this town and hang every man IJ! you!"


THB PRAIRIE PIRATES. 13 This 1 hreat was too much for the denizens of Divide. They instantly opened llre on the Detective. That is enough," cried Odell, angrily; "there is only one way to deal with them! Give it back to 'em!'' Sv the llre was returned, With their Wiucheat e rs tbose on board the Detective could pour a tire into the midst of the outlaws. And so the battle opened. lL raged for a while with great fury. Of course Frank could have opened fire with the big guns and re duced everything about to powder. But he was averse to this, for it meant wholesale slaughter. Moreover it was his belief that after tlle foe had stood tlle tire or tlle Winchesters a while, tlley would be over glad to surrender, or come to terms. Moreover, in course of time the rest of the Vigilantes would arrive and then an could be plan ned from the rear. As it wad, the bullets of the Divide people could do the part y aboard the machine no harm wllatever. This fact finally be::ame apparent to \bern. Tlley at once changed their tactics. Firing almost ceased, and finally the ruffian who claimed to be their leader, appeare(! once more on the barricade with a Jlag of truce. "WeiiT" asked Odell as he opened the parley. "What do you want!" "We want tew know what kind 0f a condemned prairie schooner llave yew got tbar! We kain't E>hoot through it!" "Of coursa you can't," retorted the sherilf; "it is or steel!" "Steelt' Yes, and what is more we have a dynamite gun here which if we those to use it would blow you into perdition.'' Why don't ye use it!" sneered the wretch. We don't want to kill all of y ou. WA want simply to get our hands onto the Hinldeys and to compel them to give up that hundred thou aaud dollars they robbed the traiu of at Chinn City!" Oh, you do, eh!" yelled the ruffian. Wall, you'll have to want. Ther Hinldeys are here, an' we've taken keer or the hundred thousand. As fer yer dynamite gun, lJlow away an' be banged!" With this he disappeared. Frank shrugged his shoulder. Then he W"Dl forward. What are you going to do, Frank!" asked Stuart. "Nothing much!" said tbe young inventor. "I'm only going to teach tbose scamps a bit of a lesson.'' With whlcb be placed a shell in thll dynamite gun and trained it upon the barricatle, CHAPTER XII. WHICH ENDS THE TALE.. FRANK READE, JR., wa.s deatlly in earnest in his purpose. He very earefully sighted the gun. He believed he could destroy the barricade without killing many of the people behind it. He s e lected the center of the barricade as the objective point. Then he sighted the gun and discharged it. The shell struck lull in tne midst of the barricade. The result was lhrilllng to witness. Tlwre was a tremendous roar and a mighty upward burst of Jlame anti smoke. The ground trembled as with an earthquake shock. When the amoke and dust cleared a mighty hole was seen to have beau blown in the ground enough to bury the mac hine. And tbe defenders of the barricade were scurrying for their lives in all directions, Some or them bat! been killed or wounded in lhll explosion. But the number was not great. In a few moments every outlaw or tough was out of sight. In the aheerest of terror they had sought refuge in every builtlmg or biding place about. Frank could have kPpt on in his deadly work and have destroyed every builjing in the place, and for that matter, every person as well. This fact had become patent to the desperadoes. They were of a class which, once mastered, were always subdued. No further resistance was thought of. Odell was astounded. "Whew!' he exclaimed. "You have tamed them this time for sure. won't dare make another tight." "Now the question Js," cried F1 ank, "bow are we going to find the Hlllkleys and recover the money!'' "I think the Hinkleys are in that building yonder," said Jim Stu art, indicating a long, rambling, adobe structure. I think I saw them rush in there." "Go for it then!" cried Odell. Frank ran the macbine up to the entrance of the building. Then Odell shouted: "We will give you three minutes to prodnca the Hinkleys dead or nlivel If you refuse, we will blow you an up!'' One of tlu windows of the place Jlew open, and a voice shouted: "Do ye mean that, strangers!" "You may be sure we do!" "Then we'll agree to it, if ye'll keep away from Divide with that concern of yours!'' "That is a bargain," said Odell. "We want the two men and the money.'' Kain't 11:ive ye the money, as it's all scattered amongst the men." Well, give us the Hiukleys then.'' "All rigllt This announcement wns followed by the sounds of a terrilic fiabt in the building. 0 Shots were tired, curses were heard, and tinnily the door was burs t open, and a crowd of rough men surge:l out. In their midst were the two outlaws securcely bound. Odell and his four men leaped down and secured the prisoners. They them aboard the mac!Jine. Then Frank brouaht the Detective round and starLed to leave the town. It was easy to assume t!Jat the deniz e ns of Divide drew a deep breath of relief when the Detective vanished from view on the prairie ho r izon. Ten miles on the return route the Vigilantes were met. Most of tbe men were for banging the Hiukleys at once, but Frank objected to this. It IS better to take them back to Paradise Lost and give them a [air trial .. he said. .. or course, there IS no doubt or their gUilt.'' "That is right," agreed Odd!, "it is well to observe tbe law, and they shall have justi;:e," So the party l

14 THE PRAIRIE PIRATES. "Well, .Mr. sai d Frank, "we have accomplished the ooject of our trip to 'l'exas." "You are Frank," agreed the detective. "And do you know I am sorry that it is over.'' "Indeed!" "Yes, for I fear that it means our separation. I have enjoyed my travel on board the Detective.'' "Tile trip bas oeen exciting and enjoyable," ngreed Frank, "but 1 all things comtl to an end." l '' Oh, that Is true! What will your plans be now?" Well, 1 !lave thought of continuing the trip as far as Tucson. Thence we will strike north to Salt Lake City." "Through the Great Basin?'' "Yes.'' "And then--" u Home.'' The dete::tive drew a deep breath. "How long will that take you?" he asked, "Two months or more!" "Ah, of course our contract ended with the defeaL of the Prairie Pirates." "Well, yes." Stuart fidgeted around a bit. ]'rank read his mind like a printed book and smiled. "Of course," said the detective slowly. "1-er-that is, I think I have earned a vacation. I would like to take that trip with you, Frank, if you'll take rne!" "Would you really!" '' Yes. "Very well!" agreed the young inventor. "Ynor offer is accepted. I am glad that you have d e cided to accompany us!'' Tbe detective to his feet. "Do you mean that!" he cried. "Every word of it." "How can I thank you enough?" "It is nothing." "Oh, it will be a jolly trip!'' and Stuart went out to tell Odell and Keno Jim of his luck. The machine remained in Paradipe a week. I During that time the voyagers were lionized and treated tnnd somely by the people. It was with regret that they were finally com1 pelled to leave. But one day they went aboard the Detective and took their leave of Paradise Lost ar.d also of Texas. A few days later they were in the wilds or Arizona chasing am! be ing chased by the Apache. As the incidents of that trip would fill another book, we cannot give tbAm here. Our story ends with the termioatlon of the 'l'rip to Texas and the end of the Pr:..irie Pirates. But the machine kept on from Tucson up through the region of the Great Basin, and finally over the Rockies to Suit Lake. Here th e y created a sensation among the Mormons. Everywhere they went they were well received. Many thrilling adventures and pleasant experiences were had. But we cannot give them here. At Salt Lake Frank chartered a special train and took the Detective !Jack to Rendestown. It wonld never be possible to take another trip in her, for the wear and tear of h e r machinery had been great, So Frank broke her up for old iron. But be said: I will ouiid another to bent her. I can make an improvement on her, I think.'' When you get the new machine finished maybe I'll have another case for you!" said Jim Stuart. "Would you undertake another!" "We will decide when the time comes!" replied FraiJk; "for the present I have bad enough of travel.'' Jim Stuart went back to St. Louis and resumed his detective duties, but he will never forget t!Jat trip with Frank Reade, Jr., to Texas io quest of the Prairie Pirates, He often boars from Colonel Alden and Alice, who are yet at the Double Star Ranch. Tiley are in their gratitude to Frank Reade, Jr. Barney and Pomp went back to their duties at the machine shops with a relish. l:lut they are quite ready for another tour. And Frank Reade; Jr., meditates another at oo very distant day. Until such time let us patiently wait. (THE END.) rrsef-u..1 an. d. I:n.s"tr-u..c"'ti ve :B<>qks. BOW TO RAISE budS, P03LTRY, PIGEONS AND HABBITS.-A useful and. instructive book. Handsomely illustmted. By 'ira. Dro fraw. Price 10 cents. For sale by all nelvsdealers in the 1!"!!ted States and Canada, or sen t to your as, postage free, on receipt of price. Address J:t,rank 1 nusey, publisher, 31 and 36 Moore Street, New York. Box 273J. HOW 1'0 WRITE LE'.I'TERS 1'0 full dl rections for writing to gentlemen on all subJects; also gtvmg sam pie letters for introduction. Price 10 cents. For sale by al l news dealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, postage free, on rAceipt of price. Address Fro nk 'I'ousey, publisher, 34and 36 North Moore Street. New York. ilox :.!730. i!OW TO FENCE.-Containing full instruction for fonmng and the use of the broadsword; also instrction in archery. D oscnbed with twenty-one practjjlal illustrations, giving the best positions in fenc ing A complete book. Price 10 For sale by all newsdeale rs in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post on receipt of price. Address Franb: Tousey, J'Ublisher, 34 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. BOW TO BECOllib AN boy should kno w how tn -yentions originate. This book explains them all, giving examp\ea in e lectricity hydraulics, optics, pneumatics, ete., e tc. The most instructive book published. Price 10 cents. For sale bv aU newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sene to your address, postage free, on receir,t of price. Addree& Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North l\Ioore street New York. :Box 2780. efOW '1'0 HUNT AND .FISH.-The most co;n.plete hunting and 'lisbii!tl guide e ver publisheu. It contains f.u11 ins:: ructions.about hunt. ing dogs, traps, trapping, and flshmP, together With of game and flsh. Price 10 cents, For sale by all newsdealers m the United Stat e s and Canada, or sent, r ostpaid, to your address, on re ceipt or price, by Frank Tousey, iJUblisher, 34 and 36 North MOON New York. Box 2730. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINS1'REL GUIDE AND JOKE BOOK.Sometbing new and very instructive. Every sllonld obtain hook as it contains full instructi:.ns for orgamztng an amateur mm strel 'troupe, and will cost you but 10 cents. For sale by all news dealers in the United States or Canaua, or s en t to any, pof't a<>e free on rec e ipt of price. Address Frank 'l'ousey, publisher, 34 36 North Moore Street. New York. Box 2730. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKE.h.-Contain!ug a vartea assortment of Stumv Speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also End M en's Jokes. Just the thing for home amusement nod amateur. shows. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, postpaiLl, to any address oo r eceipt of price, by Frank Tousey, Publisher, 34 and 86 North Moore Street. New York. P. 0. Box 2730 HOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Containing over 300 interesting puzzles and conundrums with key to same. A complete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. Price 10 cents. For sale by ail newsdealers, or sent, post-paid, upon receipt of the price. Address Frank Tousey, Publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore St., New York. P. 0. Box 2730. HOW TO MAKE MAGIC TOYS-Containing full directions making Magic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Ander s on. Fully illustrated. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, post-paid by mail, upon receipt of price. Ad dress Frank Tousey, Publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. P. 0. Box 2730. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER. Containing useful information regarding the Camera and how to work it; also how to make Photographic :LI'laJ>iC Lantern Slides and other Transparencies. Handsomely illustratea. By Captain W. De W. Abney. Price 10 cents. For sale by I'll newsdealers in the United States and Canada or will be sent to your address, postpaid, on receipt of price. Ad dress Frank Tousey,Pt1blisher, 34 &36 N. Moore St., N.Y. Box 2730. HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TRICKS-Containing over one hun dred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals. By A. Anderson. Handsomely illustrated. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent post-paid, upon receipt of price. Address Frank Tcusey, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, New York. P. O.Box 2730. HOW TO MAKE A MA(;rlC LANTERN. Containing a descrip tion of the lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions for its use and for painting :;;!ides. Handsomely illustrated, by John Allen. Price 10 cents. For sale by all news dealers !n the United States and Canada, or will be sent to your address, postpaid, on receipt of price. Address Frank Tousey, Publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.-A handy book for boys, con{,111 airections for constructing canoes .and the most popular manne r of sailiug th<'m. By C. Stanfield Htcks. Pnce 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers in the 8tates and Cauada, or eent to any address, postage free, ou rece1pt of priCe, Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 ani 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730.


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The book is edited by ODA of the most successful men of the present age, whose own examvle is in itself guide enough for those who aspire to fame and money, The book will give you the secret. Price 10 cents. No. If>. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN, Containing full instructions for c onstructing a window garden either i n town Qr country, and th6 most methods for raising beautiful flowers at home. be mos& complete book of the kind ever published. Price 0 ceuts. No. 17. HOW '1'0 DRESS Oontaining full instruction in the art of dressing &l..l.d appearing weJI at home and abroad, giving the selections of colors, material, and how to b.ave them made up. Price 10 cents. No. 28. HOW T O 'l'ELL FORTUNES Every one is desirous of knowing what future life wiD bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wen.ltb or po'f'oo erty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fort unes of your friends. Price 10 cents. No. 29. 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Contaiaing over thirty Illustrations of guards, blows and tBe different positions of a good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful 11.nd instructive books. a.s it will teacll you how to box with

LATEST ISSUES OF THE FIVE CENT COMIC LIB 17 T'"o Hard Nuts; or, A l'erm of Fun at Dr. UrackRm'e Academy, by :Sb.m Smiley 68 Tbe Sbot'tys' Country by Peter Pad 69 Muldoon' s Vacation, by l' otn 'reaser :f Left, 82 Joseph jump and His Old Blind Nag, by Peter Pad 63 'l'wo in a Box; or, The Long and Si.Jort ot It, by l'om Teasdr 64 The Shorty !{ide; or, Three Chips of l'hree Old Blocks, by Peter Pad 65 Mike Monuinness; or, 'f' ra.velin&: for Pleasure 66 'fbe Shortys' Christmas 67 The Mounce 'l'wins, or, '!'be 'I'wo Worst Hoys 10 the World, by Sum .Smiley &8 Nimble Nip, the Imp of the School, by Tom Teaser 69 Sam Spry, the New York Drumme1; or, Busmess Berore Pleasure, bX Peter Pnd 70 Muldoon Out \Vest, by l'om reaser 7l'J'bose Quiet 1 \Yios by Peter Pad 72 Muldoon, the Fireman, by 'J'om J'easer 73 A .Rollin g or, Jack Ready's Lire of Fun, by i;)eter Pad 74 An Old Boy; or, Maloney After Education, by Tom 'l'easer 75 Tumbling Tim; or, Traveling With a Oircns, by Peter Pad 76 Judge Oleary's Country Court, by 'l'om Teaser 77 Jaok Ready's :Sohool Scrapes, by Peter Pad 78 Muldoon, the Solid Man, by TeAser 79 Joe Junk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere for Ifuo, by Peter Pad SO The Dei\COn's t:;on; or, The Imp of the Villaate. 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Truthful Jack; or. On Hoard the Na&.ocy Jane, by I 01n 110 lfred Fresh; or, As Green as Grass, by 'I' om 'l'easer Ill 'l'be Deacon a Boy; or, '.l'he Worst in 'l'own, by Peter Pad 112 Johnny Brown & Co. at School; or, 'l'I.Je Deac-on's Boy at His Ohl '!'ricks, b v Peter Pad 113 Jim, Jack and Jim; or, 'l'bree Hard N11ts to by Tom l'easer 114 Smart .l; Co., the Boy Peddlers, by Peter Pad 115 Tbe .rwo Boy tJlowos; 01, A :Summer With & Oirl.lus, by Tom .reaae r ll6 Benny llounce; or, A Block of the Old Ubip, by Peter Pad 117 Younl( Dick Plunket; or. The Trials And 'l'ribuJations of .Kbenezer Crow, by ::lam timiley 118 Muldoon in Ireland; or. 'i'he Solid 1\fao on the Old Sod, by 'l'om 'J'easer 119 Mulrloon's Grocery Store. Part I. by 1'om 'J'eeser 120 Muldoon's Grocery Store. .Part If, by rom Tenser 121 Bob Hright; or, A. Boy of BusinesA and "f4 ... un. Part I, by Tom Teaser 122 Bob Bright; or, A Boy of Business and Fun. 123 Trip Around the World. 'l'easer by 'fom Teaser 124. Muldoon's Trip Around the World. .Part 11, by Tom Teaser 125 Muldoon's Hotel. PKrt 1. by Tom Teaser 126 1\tuJdoon s Hotel. Part II, by 'l'om reasar 127 Muldoou's Ohr1stmae, by Tom rea.Rer 128 'l'he :;hortys' Obr1stmas Rackets, by t'eLer Pad 129 bnm :Smart, Jr.; or, lfollowtng in the J t'ootsteps of His Part. I. by Peter Pad 130 Sam l:imart, Jr,; or, FollowiDit in the J.!"ootl:Steps of His Dud. Part !I, by 1 eter Pnd 131 Three of Us; or, Hustling for Boodle aod !fun. 132 Us; or, Hustling fo r 133 or Six Months 'Vith A 'l'tHtBer uy P eter 'Pa.d 134 Diok. Duck, the Boss of the rown, by 'I' om 135 'J'be Sbortys Doing Europe; or, On & Urand '!'our for Part l, b)' :Sam Smiler 136 'J'be Shortys Doing .11urope; or, On a Grand 'J'o1:r for Fun. Part 11, by Sam 137 Aunt Maria; or, She l 'hougbt :She Knew It All, by Sam :Smiley 138 Muldoon In Chicago; or. 'l.'hd Solid I\14n at the World'slt', by Tom Teaser 139 Oousin Harry; or, An E nglish Boy in America Part I. by Sam ::5mi1ey 140 Cous in Hlt.rr.Y; or, An English Boy in America, Part ll. by !Sam Smiley 141 A New Tommy Hounce; or, The Worst of the Lot. .Part 1. by Sam S1uiley 142 A New Tommy Bounce; or, The Worst of the t.,ot. P.t.rt 11. by :-::. .. m Smiley 143 Stump; or, .. Little, But, Ob, My!" Part I. by Peter Pad 144 Stump: 01 "!little, But, Ob, My!" Pttrt. ll. by Peter Pad 145 Shoo-Fly i or, Nobody's:Moke. Part I. 14.6 Shoo Fly; or, Nol.lody'e Moke. Partil'om Teaser by Tom 'reABer 147 Ohips and Chin Cbin, the Two Orphans. Part 1. by Peter Pad US ChiJts and Ohi o Ohio, the Two Orphans. Part II. by Peter l'ad 149 The Shortys on the Road; or, In the Old Busi-ness Just for Fun. Part I by Peter Pad 150 'l'he :Shorty& on the Road; or, In the Old Busi-151 'g;, {he by Tom l 'easer 152 Plaster and Stiokem; or, Out Htutf, by :SAm Smiley 153 Muldoon's Flats. Part I. by Tom 'l'eASer 154 Muldoon's } lata. Part 11. by Tom Teaser All the above libraries are for sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post paid, o n receipt of price. Address P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, New York. lATEST ISSUES OF THE FRANK READE LIBRARY. 92 :E'rank lhade, Jr., In Central India; or, The Search For the Lost SAvants. 93 Reade Jr.'s Wonderful 94 Over the Andes Witb Frank Reade, Jr in His New Air-Sbip; or, Wild Alventnres in Pern. 95 Frank ReRde, Jr.'s Prairi"' Whirlwind; or, The Myst&ry of the Hidden Oanyoo. 96 Under tbe Yellow Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for the Oave of Peurls With His New Submarine Oruiser. 97 Around the Horizon for 'l'eo Thousand l\li1es; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Wonderful Trip With H1s AirShip, 98 Frank .Keade, Jr.'s "Sky Scrape";" or, North and South Around the World. 9t or, l!"rank 100 From Ooast to Coast; or, Frank Jr.'s Trip Across Africa in His Electric" Boomerang .. 101 FriLnk Reade, Jr., and His Elect,ric O&r; or, Outlltit ting a DespertLt.e For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post-paid, on receipt of the price, 5 cents. Aa dress P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, New York.


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