Frank Warren, alchemist; or, The diamond makers

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Frank Warren, alchemist; or, The diamond makers

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Frank Warren, alchemist; or, The diamond makers
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Cobb, Weldon J.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 27

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
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:
028885545 ( ALEPH )
230440789 ( OCLC )
B15-00021 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.21 ( USFLDC Handle )

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LOrtG-n STO R T ES THAN CONTAINED fR Frve cer-tT s A g1FFeREr-fT COMPL.t;TE STORY WEefi( At the sight of Gil 'll revolvers the t hieves executed a prompt r etre at.


-BRAVEBOLD t \l! .fl Different Complete Story Every Week Jurud Weellly. By Subscnptio1' /a. 50 per year. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1qo3, in the Office of the Librarian of Conrress, Wasl1ingto11, D. G: STREET & SMITH, 238 Wltiain St., N. Y. No. 27. NEW YORK, June 27, 1903. Price Five Cents. fRANK W ARRtN, ALCH[MIST: -'"' .... '. OR, Diamond akers. By WELDON J. COBB. "Get out!" "You bet!" "And stay out!" "Won't I?" CHAPTER I. A OR x? Frank W arre n typical California boy, all fire, pluck and spunk, shot out the r a pid replies eyes flashing, erect, indign:mt. The scene was th e library o f one of the handsomest residences in that g r eat magnet city of the Pacific coast-Los Angeles. Frank stood in the c enter of the apartment looking like a young knight-errant facing a dragon and ready and eager for a c ombat. "' Lolling in a huge armchair, clad in a gaudy smoking jacket, a l anguid, dud e-l ik e young man not many years his senior, glared angrily at him. This wa s Fred Warren, but no relation to Frank-for which the latte r was devoutl'y thankful "Get out! get out! get out!" he repeated in an irritable snarl. "Through with you for good!" "Are you ?1 fired up Frank. "Mistake." "Oh!" "It's me that's through with you. Drop it you coward!" cried Frank, jumping at the other till that other trembled. "Puli a bell summon a servant, and I'll-I'll give you something worse than a tongue-lashing!" "Terrible 1 My poor shattered nerves! Doctor says--" "That you're a cigarette wreck, a fast-set idiot. Know what I say-the meanest sneak I ever met. Now then, I'm going, I'm going-for good, but-you sit still in that chair, and h ea r what I've got to say till I'm through." The gorgeous lounger looked uncomfortable and frightened. "Bri efly," b ega n Frank, speaking like a trained lawyer and orato r, "I've lived here for two years, practically the adopted son of Mr. Felix Warren, who di e d a few months ago." "Most accommodatingly." "Faugh You harpy. He was interested in me simply becau s e our name s were the same. When you came along he was whim sical enough for a like reason to be attracted toward you." "I caught his fancy, yes." "He died. He had told me that I should be his heir--" "The will was opened--" "And instead of Frank A. Warren, myself, being named in it, the legatet> of all this wealth was--H "Fred X. Warren, your humble servant, exactly!" gibed the other. "I f e lt that wrong had been done me," pursued Frank. "I had a mind to contest the will. I suspected that some one had doc tored it. It was easy to make F A. Warren F. X. Warrenonly a stroke of an ink-eraser and a pen." "Ridiculous!" comm ented Fred Warren, but he looked a trifle white about the lips. "I pass that. I ailowed my chance to slip by me. You wheedled me into making no row. You said what you had I should share. I beg11n no contest. The property was settled on you." '" '


2 BRA VE AND BOLD. "Sure and solid!" chuckled Fred. "Then you showed your cloven foot. You began to sneer at me, to cut me To-day I heard that you denoun ce d me at your club of empty-pated idlers as a sponge, a pauper!" "I-I--" up!" shouted the excited Frank, and he looked danger ous enough to shut the speaker up if he did not do it himself "Don't lie. You have used me for your crafty purposes, and are now ready to ship me." ''Well, I can't stand being sassed in my own house, you know." "I am going, but I am going to say this first: I now believe you are not entitled to one dollar of M r. \ Va rren 's property." "I've got it, all the sa m e "I believe by so me hocu s -pocus you changed :m A to an X in the w i ll." "Prove it." "It shall b e the effort of my life I" Frank spoke so solemnly, so re so lutely, that his auditor blinked. "I give you warning. Look out :for yourself. You've got a cozy nest here. Warm it while you may. Some day I'll cast you out as you now cast me out-neck and h ee ls. That's my say!" That w as Frank's "say," and hi s stu rdy lips closed meaningly, but it was not hi s fini sh. His auditor goggled as Frank tore off his coat, his vest, his natty silk tie He ca s t th e m at the feet of the gaper with the air of a king spurning a crown sta ined with dishonor Off came hi s shirt studs his wa tch his chain, two ring s ;md out from hi s pocket a well-filled wallet. "Take th e m b ack," h e s poke defiantly. "The livery of a briber! I'd go in rag s b efore I'd be beholden to you for one shred Now, then, I get o ut but you-look out!" Fran k marched from the apartment, arrow -strai g ht h eart mightily nerved under an impulse of pro found determination. He went to his own room and from a closet took a s uit of clothes. It was o n e h e had not wo rn for two years-patched, but clean; coarse, but paid for wit h hi s ow n money. I wore that when 1 first came her e," he s poke, soberly, "and now it's back to where I started homeles s wanderer, capital-pluck a nd h ope. No, I forgot-something else; a purpo se in life-to get my ri g ht s in thi s Warren estate, an d I'm going to do it." The light hid faded so by the time that Frank h ad got hi s old suit o n that h e could b a r ely see his only eart hly possessions-an old Mexican dollar, a knife and a gold pencil. "Don't know where I m going to l and," h e told himself. start ing for the door, ''but str aight out of this house fir st. Hello!" Frank dodged to the window. Jus t below it was the l ibra r y From o ut side came up a suspicidus sou nd half whistle, h alf call. .:he occu p ant of the libr a ry had lit a gas jet. Its radiance cast :hrough the open window made a bright s pot on the lawn. There, like a statue, with a halo around it, stood a man plainly \eal ed-slouclii ly-a ttired, dissi pa tea -looking. '..he minute Frank 's eyes fell upon him h e gave a great sta rt. "Why!" h e vo i ced in a flutter, it' s Belton, the abscon ding clerk "i :Vlr. Warren's lawyer-the man wh6 ran away with some 111( ncy, and h as not been heard of since. What i s h e ever doing here?" Going through some pantomime, it appeared, and Frank watched him in:crcstedly. The man threw a handful o f gravel into the library. There was a disturbed cry. "Who-how-oh, the dickens!" gasped its occupant, coming jo the window. "It's me," spoke the man outside, with an intoxicated leer. "Get away! get away!" "No!" ''I'll-I'll-have you arrested. "Try it." "What do you want?" "More money. A hundred this time." "Never!" "Go t o, or--" ,. ,M ... "Ii ... The ex-clerk did a funny thing just here-three funny t-hings, in fact. Quick as a flash he raised both a rm s till they form e d a distinct cross H e snatched up two sticks-of th ese h e made a distinct cross. He stepped to the gravel path. With his patch ed, ragged s hoe toe he scratched in it a distinct cross. Then h e chuckled, a nd o p ening his mouth to it s widest he a s pir ate d one hi ssing impressive : "X!" The absorbed Frank felt a wild thrill sweep over him-tb e man was not making crosses, but X 's-in other words, th e initial of Fred Warren's middle name! And he was the clerk who h a d been emp l oyed in Mr. Warren's lawyer' s office all th e time the will repo sed in its v a ult. "A hundred," he pip ed. "Hear me? Oti the nail-head n ow, or I'll tell who changed an A to a n X." Fra nk could not repress a mighty cry. Here, at his very feet, was th e cl e w t o all h e wis h ed to prove. Beyond d oubt. Fred \.Yarr e n h ad hire d this dissolute embezz ler to change th e will, and the l atte r h ad returned for another bribe. ''Take it, go, get away!" h e heard Fred gasp, and a roll of bills flew o ut o n the gravel path. 'Stop!" Just as the m a n stooped to pick up the money, the exc ited Frank glide d ove r th e upper window sill. ''Slop you embezzler; stop, you p,lotter !" he shouted. "Ah, Fre d warren! I have lea rn ed the truth at last!" With a start,Iing ru s h the speake r came to the ground. Be had grabbed at a trellis, but thi s tearing l oos e with him Frank l a nd e d amid a wreck of splinte r s a nd vines. As he struggl ed free h e m a d e o ut Fred Warrei1 with a n a p p alled face urging hi s ragged v i sito r to away, the latter makin g a frightened break thn?ugh the extensive rear garde ns. Frank r ealized that treme nd ous i s sues hun g on the dete n tion o f Fred Warren's emissary-his confession would reveal everything. Through so m e m ag nific ent flqwers the man ran. At their end b ega n a s p ace given over to g l ass-cove r ed beds, where delicate exotics w e re rais ed. The fri ghte ned fugitive dashed recklessly through these. Smash-barrg-cracketty-clip-the frail panes went fluttering to fragm ents lik e rubb e r ice ' Stop! I t ell you!" panted F.rank. "Stop, you-you vandals l" yelled a new voice The gardener came running from the toolhouse, da s hed back, and hurrie d out again with a revolver in his hand Frank had put afte< the fugitive ste p for step, re c klessly break ing what glass the othe r missed. He was clo se upon hi s h eels. He could cat ch his _panting brea th, h e fair)y 'dutd1cd l1is fiyiug coattails wh e n he stumblfd. ... "' -...


f .I I I r .I 1 .... 1. BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 Flat went Frank. He got up, cut and bruised, for he had flat t enca out a sash with twenty lights i n it. "Gc:1e !" he cried in a frenzy. "Th e man has slipped me. Sto p that!" Frank dodgNl. Crack-bang! The ga r dener, shouting "Thieves!" "Fire!" "Police!" had turned his pistol l oose o n the supposed vandal who was ruining his beautiful garden. Crack-bang! Frank had lost sight of the fugitive ex-clerk. He had to think of his own safety solely now. A third bullet pierced his cap, and he dodged past the last garden sash. Here an incline descended to a pool where water-lilies were grown. At its top was a hug e terra-cotta tile, which was to be used in the garden as a pillar grown over with vines. B e h ind it Frank dodged Crack! came a bullet, glinting dangerously near to him. Into its end, for better security, piled Frank, yelling at the frantic gardener that it was all a mis take. In the darkness, however, the shooter had eyes only for burglars and marauders. "Say!" exp l o d e d Frank the minute he climbed into the p ipe. His rough entrance had disl odge d the light wedges holding it in position. Jt quivered turned, and rolled with a sudden dash downward. Half the descent accomplished, it struck a rock. Crash! went one brittle e nd, the particl es striking Frank in a shower. \Vith new impetus the pipe res umed de sc ent. O\'er and over it w ent, and over and over spun its living freight. 1 h e n. splash !-it struck the pool and down into four feet of water completely immersed, went pipe and Frank. CHAPTER II. THE MAN WITH THE CLOTHES-PIN. "Helle!" Hello, yourself-getting blind?" was m ad as a hatte r and came very near to pitchinginto the gardener, as dripping, bruised and banged generally, he stag gered out of the pond. "Didn't know it was you, began the gardener, apologetically. ''\Vho was the other f ellow?" "Ask your lordly mas t er!" snapped Frank. "And, say! tell him Fm on that other fellow's track like a f erret!" Frank, nettled, worried, excited, left the gardener staring after him vaguely. He did not mind his own discomfort so greatly as the loss of the fugitive. The ex-clerk, B e lton, had hidden away for six months. vided w th money1 would he make a second disappea ranee? Frank hunted around the place, its vicinity, that quarter of the city for over an hour. "Give it up ; he's s lipp ed me, admitted Frank, finally "Well, I've found out som will was ch

. 4 BRAVE AND BOLD. quickly; it was: pay your dollar and wait for something to turn up I He was angry at himself for get}ing roped in, and decided to give the clerk a piece of his mind and depart, when a man en tered the door with a query that checked the impulse. He was a stoop-shouldered person, perhaps sixty years of age, with studious, intelligent eyes, and rather grim facially, but he looked thoroughly reliable and "Got any boys to hire out here?" he demanded, crisply. "Lots of them," vouchsafed the clerk. l4 "VIT ant one." "A dollar, please." "Eh?" ''Fee." "Oh!" Frank got another glimpse into a "system" that exacted toll at both ends of the line. The man paid the fee. The clerk consulted his register pon deringly. "No. 3218 !" he called out, as if singling an applicant from an <.rmy. Frank stepped forward promptly. "That's the boy?" interrogated the newcomer, casting an eye over Frank that bored him like a gimlet. "That's him, honest, industrious--" "I'll find that out for myself Come here, boy." Frank had met some queer people in his time, but he voted his pr()spective employer to be the most singular man he had enr nm across. The put on a pair of spectacles, he studied Frank's face, and Frank decided that he must be a professional physiognomist. He ran his fingers over the bumps on Frank's head, and Frank changed his mind-the man was an expert phrenologist. As, bowcver, that active hand ceased probing, and the man closed his eyes dreamily, was convinced that he was a hypnotist-for he seemed to feel him reac\ing his mind. "I'll take him," spoke the man, sharply. "Name, please?" challenged the clerk. "Have to keep a record of all transactions." "John Gillespie." "All right, And the boy goes to work at what trade?" The eyes of Frank's einp:oyer twinkled a bit. It seemed that he could be merry, with all his grimness. He poked his fingers in a vest pocket and drew out a sectional springed clQthes-pin. "See that?" he demanded. The clerk nodded. "And that?" j . I,.. He had placed it squarely across Frank's nose. "I do, but--" .. ., ., t "That's one of the things this boy will have to do, if he works for me." "Wear a clothes-pin?" began the clerk, wonderi11gly. "Yes. Come on, boy. You hired at siic dollars a week." Frank had not objected when his employer attached the clothes pin-he thought it best to let things drift, and see what came ')f it. As, however, he took it off and marched into the street, Frank decided that he was not called on to cater to miscellaneous erratic procedures without an explanation. "One word, please," he broke in. "We)!?" questioned Gillespie, sharply. "\Vhat-what is your business?" "'Call me a jeweler." "'-I ... y o u y o u wee foo ling of abot:t that clothes pin?" "Not a bit of it." "I don't see--" The man squared about and looked right down into Frank's eyes. "Boy," he began, "I like you." "Thank you, sir." "You're all right-I have a way of knowing." "I saw that." "It's a credit to your shrewdness that you did. I need a boy. A boy of your kind. Wh:::n we get to my factory--" "Factory of what?" "You will see when we arrive. When we get there I shall give you the chance of a lifetime." "To make money?" "All you want of it." "That suits me." "Stick to me, my boy," continued the alleged jeweler, "and you will wear diamonds' for--" The man paused impressively. Frank was divided between and wonder. "Yes, sir," he urged. "For the business I'm in, and the business I m going to teach you," resumed Gillespie, seriously, "is to make diamonds." CHAPTER III. THE DIAMOND-MAKER. "You make diamonds!" cried Frank, incredulously, staring at his employer, who from being erratic he decided had now gone suddenly rank, stark crazy. "I do-or rather I have made diamonds," answered the jeweler, quietly, but with confidence, "and I expect to have you help me make a great many more." Frank whistled softly, dubiously to himself. Gillespie marched on without another word, and Frank let that statement sift through his wondering mind. "I see," he cogitated. "He thinks he can make diamonds. Well, every man to his fad, and if this one can afford six dollars a week hiring a helper for his whimsies, l'm not going to waste time convincing him that he's a visionary." "Here we are," disturbed this soliloquy, and Frank rather dis appointedly studied the front of a little one-storied frame structure, with the sign, "Jeweler," on one window and "Repairing Done" on the other. "Modest quarters," he mu$ed. "Oh, say I sir." Gillespie had unlocked the door, admitting Frank tQ a gloomy room. It contained a shelf of old clocks, a wire hung with watches and a workman's bench full of tools. Frank had kicked something with his foot tbat nmg and glinted. Picking it up, he foqnd it to a gold "Thank you," nodded Gillespie, pocketing it. "As I thought." "What?" interrogated Frank. "Strictly honest." tt ''Me?" "Just. wasn't planted particularly for yotJ, but for whatever boy I happened to hire. Placed as a temptation, ;m experiment. None needed in your case. You couldn't steal a pin. Now, then, take off your coat." Frank did so. "Put on these gauze spectacles." "Yes, sir." "Cloth<';s-pin-don't wince; you'll need all these precautions." "Vv'ill I sir?"


' 1. I ' ... ,! 1: I. r ,; 1 I . JI. BR:\ VE AND BOLD. 5 See if you don't." Frank did see, in a twinkling. His employer opened a door at the rear of the little store, slid another back, pushed a third up, and at the inner threshold of a den of mystery triple-guarde d Frank pau sed, somew\lat da zed. Here was the r ea l workshop o f hi s guide-an apartment about forty feet square. Its windows were closely shuttered, and several electric lights were fed by a dynamo which whirred in one corner. Power was supplied to this by b e lting running through sli ts in the wall to some !)ear factory. There were l at hes, grinding machines, a furnac e-all the equip ment of a m ode l machine s hop. At one side were three doors leading into as many rooms. Gillespie opened the fir st. "Look in, suggested he. Frank saw th\! util ity of the eye-blinds as he peered. A series of steel were cutting away at some s par like substance, r e ducing it to a glassy dust that was blinding. The jeweler opened a second door. Frank got a whiff of some smarting acid gas proceeding from a deep aluminum trough, and knew that but for the clothes-pin he would probably have been overcome by the fumes. A third door led into a room where, under the action of a dozen gas jets forced by compressed air to a converging cent e r, some s ubstance was flashing and vaporizing. "You have seen my plant," remarked Gillespie. "We'll have a little t a lk now." He led Frank to a room we ll shut off from the main factory. It was provided with all the accessories of home comfoct, and Gille spie beckoned to an easy-chair. "What's your name ?1 he began. Frank gave it, and that was a starter to a series of questions, fired in gatling-gun order, until the jeweler seemed to have turned him clear in side out. "Ha, hum!" commented Gillespie. "Quite a story. I'll make a man of you, if you'll stick to me." Frank was beginning to warm up tci the brisk, cheery oddity, and told him so. "Think you'd lik e to try working for me ? interrogated Gil-lespie. "Why not, sir?" "You mus t have faith in me." "Yoi1 mean I must believe you can make diamonds?" "Believe? You must know it!" Frank fidgeted. "Mr. G!l!e spie, he confes se d bluntly, "I don't honestly think you ca n." "Don't?" smiled the jewe"ti:!r, pityingly. "No, si r." "When Bo\vker, of Paris; Ballenberg, the great Amsterdam lapidary; Haine, o f L o nd on; Dougall, the famous Brazilian ex pert, are s p ending fprtunes. are devoting years to experimenting? Boy, I can make you a diamond inside of ten minnte s right be fore your very eyes ." Frank murmure d so m eth ing a hont h o ping he could. "It's simple, it's easy as baking a cake Come with me, I will show you." The jeweler approached the electric furnace in the middle of the workroo m and took up a crucible I place in h ere." h e sai d, "half a pound of pure iron filling s," and poured a flickering m;iss fr o m a bottle. ''Next, powdered charc al-that is to s ugarizc the compound. Now, then, into th e furnace they go." .. Gillespie turned some levers that connec ted wires running to the dyn amo unde.r the furnace "Know how hot that crucible is?" he inCJ,uired. 1No, sir ," breath ed the extravagantly-interested Frank. "The highest temperature w hi c h sc ienti sts can m eas ure 1s thirty-s i x hundred degrees !1 ''Whew!" "h fifty times hotter th a n a sweltering summer's day. In that crucible, however, the heat is beyond the limit of accurate meas ure. Watch it. Gillespie turned a sw it ch. A blinding flash of light filled the room-the apparatus became a hissing, sp itting deYil' s caldron. With a terribl e glare the furnace spa t out molten metal-like spa rk s from a squib. The h ea t was kept in, oithe room would have been unbearable. "Now." said the jeweler, "th e crucible has bee;1 in the furnace five minutes. Observe me." He r e moved the cover. T h e caldron hi ssed m o re furiously than ever. "I t ake out the iron and plunge it in cold water. The outer ski n will contract arou nd the central liquid with a pre ssure of from fifteen to twenty tons lo the inch, the liquifi ed carbon will crystallize, and in a fortnight there will be diamond s." Frank was fascinated The diamond-maker's enthusiasm was contagious. "In a fortnight?" h e murmured, rathe r disa ppointedly. "Yes. Ah you are like everybody else! You expect to s ee the full-grow.n fruit expand {rom the seed in an hour. \ II/ ell, I will show you som e diamonds r made by this process last week." Back to the little room he led Frank, o_pened a drawer in a table, and pointed to a white piece of cardb oard "See them?" he queried I see a dozen or two pin-h ea d p o int s assented !Frank, staring his hardest to dete ct even these. Diamonds." "But they are so small." "Look through this." "Oh!" e jaculated Frank, enraptured, as a powerful mag11ifyingglass was handed him a nd the spec ks be.came mountains "Brilliant? pure? grand?" interrogated the jeweler excitedly. "They are the real thing-they arc what I j nst made in the crucible." "But--" "Minute? Unmcrchantable? Correct. Still-a step at time -I can make diamonds That's settled." "I now believe you can." "I can make big di amon d s just as well." 1 t "If you only can--" "Big as walnut;, big as your fist, big as a football!" ckclarcd Gillespie, emphatically. "That's why I want a boy. That's why I want you-to h elp me do it." "It's a wonderful thing!" breat hed Frank, ardently. "Isn't it? Now, lis ten There i sn't a sc ientist in the worl

6 BRA VE AND BOLD. eight hundred amperes at seventy volts and yielding a heat of five thousand degrees. This enables me to be sure that I can melt the iron just right, so that it saturates itself with the carbon." Frank understood clearly, despite the technical terms em ployed . "After that comes the tedious part of the process-attacking the metallic mass with solvents to liberate the diamonds-the crystals of graphite oxide, carbonado and boet. These minute diamonds, I find, burn in the air b e fore the blow-pipe into car bonic acid. Now, I have discovered something: Fix their luster, crystalline form, optical properties, density and hardness, and you have a product identical with the natural ston e How can you do this? By originating some process to solidify the particles. What? A substance. What substance? The miss ing ingredient." "Sir?" "The missing ingredient." "Is there one?" queried the wonder-lost Frank. "Certainly." "Have you found it?" "I have. You noticed the dosed steel cylinders near the fur Jiace ?" "Yes, sir." "Those powerful devices exert a pressure of ninety-five tons to the square inch. What I propose to do is to aid natural with high artificial pressure, put in my ingredient and-diamonds, big as you want them!" "When-where are you going to do all this?" fluttered Frank, worked up to great suspense and curiosity. "To-morrow evening." "And I shall see you?" "That's what you're here for, is it not?" "And I shall help you?" "Very greatly." "And-and--" "You shall share in some of the glory and profit. Frank, ac cording to the bumps on that smart, honest head of yours, you're going to amount to something in the world." "Oh, thank you, sir!" "And I'm g o ing to help you. Now, then, five o'clock. I call that quitting time ." Mr. Gillespie went out into the workroom and shut off the machinery. Then he returned to prepare a meal. Frank fancied he had never enjoyed one better. Not another worr! would the jeweler say about diamond-mak ing. As if his mind needed a rest from the subject, he talked about everything else. About eight o'cl o ck he brot!ght in an iron mortar and pestal. "There's your work for the morning." he said, anci something rattled into the receptacle. "Why, they're diamonds!" cried Frank. "Real ones--couple of hundred dollars' worth." "Did you make them?" "No. I bought those." "And I--" "You are to pulverize them." "You mean--" "Po und th e m to powder." "Why! Mr. Gillespie!" "I ne e d the dust in an experiment. Costly? Perhaps," smiled the jeweler, but I know what I'm about Frank. N ow, then, go out ;md take a brisk walk. The fresh air wilJ clear your h e ad for pleasant fairy dreams, preparatory to practical hard work in the morning.N "It' s like fairyland itself!" murmured Frank, as he left the place, and in a retrospective dream of all the fascinating things the jeweler had done, walked on and on. Frank had turned a calculating a short cut for home, wh e n he became conscious of hurried footsteps behind him. Three men as many feet apart were closing in on him, while a cab came slowly toward the curb, as one of them whistled slightly. Their actions were peculiar, suspicious, Frank fancied, as the for e most man caught bis arm. "What's your name. youngster?" he interrogated. "What's that to you?" demanded Frank, pulling away; "but it's Frank." The second man jumped directly in front of him. "Frank what?" he projected, eagerly. "'\Varren." "It's him!" called the third, jo.ining the group. "In with him l" "Stop!" cried Frank. The trio pounced on him. One grabbed his anns, a second his feet, the third member of the party tore open the door of the carriage, which had come to a stop. Into it, alarmed and struggling, Frank was landed with a violent shock. l \. CHAPTER IV. i t ..... ... 'ill .'J .,.1 -(,.., KIDNAPED! Frank felt his head spin as it struck the opposite carriage door. The vehicle rocked as his three captors sprang into it after him. "Hold on--" he began. "Drive on!" interrupted a gruff voice. Its owner jerked Frank erect and jammed him to the seat opp os ite. "Look here--" "Squelch him I" The man beside Frank slapped his great rough hand across his lip s like a padlock. Frank sat ql1ivering with uncertainty <>.nd excitement. Then he started as he recognized one of the men-it was Belton, the ex-clerk, whom he had chased in the garden of the Warren man sion the night previous. ''Oh, I see!" he muttered, and he fancied he did. He had, further, ev i dently seen too much to suit Mr. Fred Warren's ideas, and that individual was taking steps to prevent him from seeing any more lawyers, from making public his sus picions. Wherever the carriage was bound for, prompt dispatch seemed the order of the night. Within ten minutes they had crossed the city. Houses grew less frequent, the carriage drove into the darkness of a lonely country road. The man at Frank's side thought it safe to remove the gagging hand now. Qui e t it is, mate, or I'll run my fist down your throat next!" he warned. "Oh, there's no need of that,'' insisted Frank. "I can guess out the situation." "Do tell now!" jeered the man. ,_ Frank fixed his eyes on Belton. The latter wriggled and t evaded the indignant, accusing inspection. "Yes," continued Frank, bluntly, "you arc kidnaping me." "Well, sort of snuffing you out, temporarily, j ist I" chuckled the man. ,)


BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 "I can guess who put you up to this; Belton," spoke Frank, boldly. "Hist! Ha! P'st !" exclaimed the ex-clerk, with a nervous start. "Muzzle the boy! No names I I'm n 'ot safe around Los Angeles." '"Will you be any safer after this outrage?" demanded Frank. See here, Belton, Fred Warren has hired you to do this. The estate belongs to me rightfully and you know it. Come on my side, prove that an A was changed to an X in Mr. Warren's will, and you 'll find me a liberal fri e nd." Weak-minded Belton looked half convinced, and trembled hesi tatingly. "No, you don't!" flared out one of his associates. "Shut up, youngster-brace up, Belton. We're paid to ship this young fel low, and there's no backing out. Honor among--" "Thieves!" in sinuated Frank, hotly. "No, gentlemen-and that's the way sich pays insults!" thun dered the speaker, wrathfully. He gave Frank a cruel s l a p directly across the face.. Al! the fight in Frank's nature flared to the surface. Fire to the core, pluck to the core, he was on his assailant in a trice. If Belton and the other man had not dragge d him away the as tounded "ge ntleman" would have worn two black eyes instead of one. You young wildcat!" he panted. "Wait till we get you on shipboard--" "Eh?" projected Frank. ''Oho! didn't expect that lay?" you never dare--" "It's the coast, and a waiting cocoanut cruiser takes you swift a nd secret to a S o uth Sea i s land. Chase butterflies for a year or two, for s)10rt of that you won't find your se lf back on California soil."' '"Won't I?" flared Frank, but his heart sank as he realized that these m e n were intent on shipping him out of the country. Two years! By that time Fred Warren would b:ivc diss ipated the fortune rightfully his own. Two years! Awl in two days John Gille s pie would probably have demon strated his ability to make diamonds big as footballs, and he, Frank, would miss the glorious chance of h e lping him do it! It w as this thought m ore than any ot her tha t stirred and nerved Frank. The jeweler's experiments had his ardor :it fever heat. He w as lik e a pers o n vouchsafed a tantalizing glimpse of fairyland, and eag e r for a further enlightening exper i ence. must ge t free! he whi spe red tumultuously to himself, "but how ? how?" The man at Frank' s :tide was telling a joke now, and a bottle was pa ssi ng. The trio was off guard momentarily. Frank longed for a w e ap o n, a missile. Ee <;Ollld not r eac h his pock:"!t-knife without attracting attention. Suddenly hi s eyes snapped. He had found and placed on the in side l a pel of his coat t hat afternoon a brass pin larger than a darnin g needle. Fra nk drew it free, closed forefinger and thumb about its knobbed h eal.I, got his oth e r hand ready to snatch at the door catch, and-acted. "Murder!" Waiow!" "Stop him!" "Free!" Thus the man next to Frank, jabbed in knee, the one opposice prodded bone-deep in the forearm Belton suspending tl}e tipp.ed rum bottle, and Frank as he'snapped the door catch tumbled pro miscuou s ly outward, landed on all fours, struggled to his feet and da s hed away like the win.d "A sharp "Whoa!" halted the vehicle, there was a patter and whirl of excited voices, and occupants and driver, whip in hmc.l, were in hot pursuit. Darkness favored Frank. He had started across the stubby, rolling field. Half a mile ove r it rose some stunted trees. That was the point Frank determined to make for. All kinds of direful threats pursued him-yells, the clicking of a weapon, the crack of the driver's whip, but unheeding these, Frank gained steadily. "It's dead easy," h e jubilat ed. "I've as good as s lipped them already." Cricketty-crack Halfway acro ss the field Frank"s foot struck something that snapp ed. It seemed as if his ankle bone snapped in unison. H e went flat the breath nearly kn.ocked out of him. "What is it?" he panted, glaring. A wooden stake driven in the ground had caught his foot, and this he had broken nearly in two. From it ran a rope that strained q1,1iveringly. and from its encl Frank saw an animal ari se, startled "It's a CO\V !" lie decla red. "It's tethered hcr .e, and-ah! sick, or a fancy breed, for i t's overcoated:" He could make out that the animal wore one of those bag!,'Y canvas coverings often llSed on fancy stock farms to keep tronbie some insects at bay. I must make llp for lost time," he sop!oquizcd "Too bad I That was a knock! ' H e tried to rlln and limped instead. He looked at the distant trees-they were dreadfully far awa)' for a disabled runner. He g l anced back-his enemies were coming forward rapidly. "No llSe h e faltered. '"I'm caught. Co, b oss !" The animal came slowly up to the s pot where Frank had sank, and s niffed at him. "I see him!" Frank heard a distant but approaching shout. It was th e cow the pursuing s peak e r saw, but he soon would see Frank, the latter admitted with a groan of de s pair. That groan, however, was in stantly followed by an ejaculation of more stimulating import. A whimsical idea had Sllggested itself to Frank's mind, but it was the forlorn hope of a de s perate situation. The cow was pla c idly grazing, and Frank noticed that its overcoat was many sizes too large for it. Strapped at the ends there was a vacant s pace aiong the side into which two such boys have squeezed, if necessary. "They r e coming!" murmured Frank. "Co, boss! co, boss! I've m ade i t "Will they guess it?" Frank tugged at the front end of the canvas covering. He i;; serted his f ee t, he pushed himself along. A movement of the animal sla pped to taut the edge of the covering as he drew in his he ad Then it gaped enough for him to peer out. Frank lay s nugly as in a spread sai lcloth but he had his doubts of the bulge he mad e escaping notice. The only point in his favor was that his late captors were appl'oaching the animal from its other side. "We've run him down!" ran g out an excited voice. "Pshaw! it 's a cow!" "What? So it is." Frank heard the four men arrive, one by one. Their comments ran the gamut of surpr, ise,. disgust and mystification.


8 BRA VE AND BOLD. "He isn't here Where ls he, then?" demand e d Belton. ''I'll take my oath he isn't off the prairie." "That dratted cow fooled the life out o f me!" and there was a sharp c ra ck of the whip. Frank got a severe jolt. With a snort the cow kicked up its he e ls, frightened by the whip cut. It started on a run, a jerk parting the half-broken stake Frank was delighted. While hi s pursuers were nosing around in all other directions, his strange steed was making for a rise a quarter of a mile away. U p to the rise and up the rise the cow proc eeded H e re a shrill shriek startled it anew-the t oot of a locomotive. "That's pretty near," commented Frank. "Hello t Here! This won't do. My goodness!" He wriggled and struggled, but the cow tilted h im back from getting out as it ascended a gravel slant. There was that piercing signal once more. Frank grew fright ened, for the cow's hoofs c:Jattered over the ballast of a railro a d track. "It's running right into an advancing train!" cried Frank. "Yes, this is the out-track. I sc:e the glare. Oh, bother !" He had o pened his pocket-knife. It was no easy task getting out at the point he had crept into the canvas overcoat, and Frank had started to rip it from e nd to end. Three inch es cut, the front h oofs of the animal struck a side rail, a swvch, a tie clamp-Frank kn ew not what, but it stumbled to its knees. The s hock drove the knife out of his hand through the small gap he had made. The animal backed frantically. Toot-toot 1 Fra nk's hair rose the top of his h ead. T 0-000-oo t I App alli ngly near came the warning signal. As if dazed, trembling all over, the cow halted, rooted in dumb helpl ess ness Frank strained at the slight gap he had made in the canvas to enlar ge it. The material was strong as leath e r. He scuffed and clawed to get out the way he had got irL One arm out, his head following, Frank paused, paralyzed with horro r. Not thirty feet away, flashing d ow n the r a ils in the middl e of whi c h he was pl a nted at full speed came a loc omotive Its h eadlight glare seemed to bore into his very b rain "Gone up!" voiced Frank Warren, weakly. Crash! CHAPTER V. THE MISSING INGREDIENT. "Stop! stop!" screamed Frank Warren. The cry was a frantic, involuntary appeal of d esperatio n. It was like the pleading of a h elp l ess pigmy tO' an onrushing giant of destruction. Wobbling glaring, terrible, that fie rce, scathing h eadlight eye of the great locom o tiv e came down up on the bele ague r e d boy. Clang--crash-quiver Frank closed his eyes. Escape was impos s ible I He waj. natura lly brave, h eroically faced danger with the dauntl ess vim of a true, plucky California boy but this was an nihilation A sweep of furious air to o k his breath away-the scorch of hissing steam accompanied by a cutting hail of driving gravel crossed face and h ands. The cow wavered and b ent in a terrific suction, and then-the cycl one of cras h clatter and c on fu sio n passed by. "Never hit I" Frank sc r ewed his h ea d to look back, Frank thrilled warm wh e re he had streaked cold. H a d some imaginary, some magic, some phantom railroad tra in pa sse d over him, unde r him ?-for by him it had certainly gone. No, the train w as r eal-he could mark it ro c king to a stop two hundred yards be yond him Brakes off-reverse-toot-toot-swish-swish !-it backed to ward him, and then Frank di s c erned an enlightening fact; train was on the other trac k. He feared that the cow might take a notion to get in its path again and he scrambled and tore his way out of the c anvas c ove ring. Trembling, and drenched with perspiration from his vivid exertion, Frank stood starling stat ue-like as the rear car neared him sl owly. The brakeman, lantern in hand, preceded it. He signaled a halt as he came upon Frank. "A boy!" he muttered, dubiously, and Frank nodded, and stared e boy looks straight. Driv' that fool cow down the embankment." T h e animal, greeted with a sharp slap, di sappea red with a kick of the hoofs. "G oing to the city?" asked the conductor of Frank. ''I'd like to." "Get on, then. I want you to satisfy t he train dispatcher that it i sn't our fault tha t we are late "It seems like a dream!" breathed Frank, with a vast sigh of r elief and satisfact i on, as, t h e train starting ri g ht once more, from the rear coach pl atform h e observed no trace o f pursuers. He made h aste, when L os Angeles was r eac h ed, to repeat 1his story to a wondering official at the d e pot, and start for Mr. Gil i espie's workshop. Frank had to knock vigorously to get in, for his employer had l ocked up Jong s ince, giving up for the ni g ht. "A bad beginning, young man," he r ema rked rather severely. "A mighty good ending, I call it," dissen ted Frank, cheerily. "Don't scold, Mr. Gillespie. I've not been sky larking. Give me: a cha nce to explain." "Scold? I'm a n old bear! Skylarkin g ? Those villain s !" fla red out the indignant and e xci ted diamond-maker, when Frank had t ol d his story. I d ecla re, this is worse than an act of the dark ages. We'll have no m o re of this!" "No, I shall not go out on the streets again without & police-


BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 man's whistle in one hand, a fifty-two caliber in the other!" j oke d Frank. "You shall go where you like, when you l ike You sh:tll those scoundrels! You shall hunt down the last one of them!" decl a r ed the jeweler, vehemently. "My boy, I'm a busy man, but -wait a d ay or two!" "Till the grand experiment is over?" "Exactly. Then I'll settle the ha s h of that murderous crowd, believe me! I 'll get you your rights. Meantime-" "Yes, sir?" "You go to sleep. I've a plan to think over." Frank n o ted the la s t time he closed hi s tired eyes that Gill es pie w as gently waving a sponge in front of his face. "What-doing-Mr. Gillespie?" he murmured, dreamily. "Go to sleep, Frank. I'm o nly trying a little experiment that won't hurt you in the lea st." Frank knew what that exp eriment was when he woke up. Gillespie was waiting for him to c o me out of a dreamless sleep, and held a small mirror before him, first thing. "Look, Frank," h,e directed. "Say!" Frank jerked half erect on the couch with a startled cry "Think your mother would know you?" "My goodness !" Actually scared, aren't you?" smiled the j ewcler. "I'm-I'm-oh, Mr. Gillespie, change m e back! It don't seem natural." Frank stared at his own reflection in the looking-glass, and well he mi g ht. He understood now that, putting him under the influence of some powerful but harmless an:I!sthetic, Mr. Gillespie had given him a completely n ew identity. "' "Acid mask-I left it on all night," explained the diamond maker. "How do you lik e the rich Mexican shade of complex ion? Hair a gorgeous bleach-I could make my fortune with my n ew dyeing cap, I think. That touch on the eye brows com plet es the transition. Do you think that Warren crowd of sinners would r ecognize you now?" "Oh, I know they wouldn't'" declared F ran k, "but when I want to get back to the old Frank Warren--" "I'll fix it trus t me," promi se d Gillespie, confidently. "I can remove in a night what I produce in a ni ght." It took Frank an hour or two to get us e d to the fact that he w as most effectively "disguised." After breakfast his mind was promptly drifted in to new channels of intere st. Gillespie put on asb es tos gloves and a huge leather apron, eql;ippcd Frank similarly. closely locked all outside doors and shutters, and set the dynamo in motion. Frank helped in adjusting the furnace, clean the crucibl es, pul verize diamonds, mix liquids. At n oo n the j ewe l e r announced that a mixture he had in a cold crucible was ready to experiment with. "We will rest a coupl e of hours, Frank;" he said. "Y 011 see what I have done-heated the diamond dust red-hot, dropped it into liquid oxygen, and the mass sank without igniting. You have seen, too that a m ass diamond, heated extremely with the blow-pipe, caught fire o n touching the liqu efie d gas, and burned steadily on the surface of the oxygen, b e coming opaque from the carbon dioxide produce d, just as graphite will. This settles a theory. An artificially-produced di a m ond has been made time and again." "Big?" "As a p::a, yes.. l can do that. The trouble is, that they explode." l' "Do they now?" "Yes. I expect to m ak e a diamond of fair size this afternoon on account of the superior pressure facilities I possess." "Then we hav e the great secret safe!" "No more than Croo kes, or Dewar, or Hung. They can do the same-have done the same-but in every instance the stone, after exposed to the air, blew to atoms." 'Can you prevent that?" "I hope to." "Vl' ith the dis covery you spoke about?" "Yes, th e mi ssing ingredie nt." Frank was consumed with curiosity to ask what this wonderful material or compound might be but did not like to. "You have seen the spar-like piece I have been reducing to a fine p owde r in the steel grinders?" went on the j ewelcr. "Yes, sir." "It i s finest dust, impalpable essence I have caught in a funnel -that is the missing ingredient. Let me show it to you. Careful, Frank! A breath, a j;u would dis si pate it, so delicate is it, so little is there of it. Look." Gill es pie r emoved a cloth from an object on the table. An upt u rned glass was r evea led rest ing on a sheet of white paper. Upontthis was a minute he ap a n infinitesimal pile of the finest po ssible powder. "That i s the missing ingredient?" murmured Frank. "It is. When I produce the diamond, at once, the second I h ave separated it from its coating and slip it into the flame of the blow -pipe-that instant you are to tip the powder over diamond and flame." "And then--" "It will fix the diamond, it will solidify it, there will be no explo sio n, and we are-rich!" "And famous!" fluttered Fra nk. "What a discovecy--what a wonderful thing to find out!" Frank sat lost in a brilliant dream of the gorgeous po ss ibilities attending success. The jeweler was lost, too, in profound thought as t hey lingered at th e table after dinner. Somehow, to Frank's mind, however, Gillespie seemed rather apxious than enthusiastic, a.nd Frank looked somewh:it ingly at him, as with a sigh he arose, went over to his writing de s k and was busy there for over an hour. The jeweler's face was still more serious as he arose from his ta sk. I-Te had written three letters, and placed them in un scaled cnvei opes. "Read those addresses, Frank," he said. Very curiously Frank did so. "'Franz Joseph Batterman, Amsterdam,'" re ad Frank first. "The greatest living lapidary in the world," explained Gilles pie. "'Dom P edro Velasquez, Rio Janeiro,'" continued Frank, sc anning the second enveiope. "The expert diamond authority of Brazil," commented the jeweler. 'Farley Powell, New York,'" read Frank from the third and last envelope. "Professional gem collecto r for the Queen of England, the Shah of Pers ia and the Turkish royalty," announced Gillespie. "Se c, further." He took out the three and fll;ttered them constantly so that Frank could not see what was written upon them, but he could discern a single bit uf writing in t he corner of each sheet. "That little posts cri pt, call it," continued Gillespie, "is a word


IO BRA VE AND BOLD. divided into three parts-one syllable to each letter. One syllable for the Amsterdam letter, one for the Rio Janeiro letter, and one for the New York letter." He now sealed the respective inclosures and handed the letters, stamped, to Frank. "Put them in your pocket," directed the jeweler. Frank did so, on the keenest edge of suspense and my s tification. "'Those three men," pursued Gillespie, "are warm personal scientific friends o f mine. I feel a pres entiment-no, I will say that, for I am not a s uperstitious man-rather, I wish to provide for contingencies "As how, Gillespi e ? ventured Frank. "My calling is a precarious one-fraught with peril amid dangerous acids and chemicals. If anything should happen to me, I wouM certaii1ly wish to bequeath my great secret to som e active congenial spirit. I conside r these men worthy of the trust." "Then why do you giYe each only one-third of the secret-a porti o n only, I suppose, of the name of your wonderful missing ingredient?" "Exactly. Because all men are human, and, in justice, I do not wish to offer any one of them the temptation of trying to get ahead of the other. I have written each one of them what I have done. In order that the secret be effective the three must get together, put the syllables together. You are to pos sessions of tho se letters. In case only that anything serious hap pens to me--" "Yes. sir?" "Mail them." "I nnderstand." "Further," and the kindly hand of the jewde r rested on the shtmlder of the seriousfaced Frank. "you will find a letter in that desk addres sed to yourself. That you will present to Batterman, to Velasquez and to Powell. when they meet." "But how am I to know where they meet?" a s ked the wondering Frank. "You will find a second letter in the desk which you are to send to Mr. Powell in New York City with the others. That will be s ufficie nt. He is instructed to see that you have a full share in the working out of the experiment and its profits." Frank's face lit up with brightest sunshine, iess from the pros pect of gajn than from a realization of the considerate thoughtful ness of his employer. "Oh, thank you, Mr. Gillespie!" he fluttered with genuine emotion, "but nothing is going to happen to you." I hope not, I think not, but the wise man takes all due precaution; and now, my boy, to work. Before sundown we must prove to the world that we can make diamonds!" With a brisk step the jeweler led the way to the workroom. Frank was becoming used to his methods and the various mechanism he employed, and helped him promptly and intelli gently in the first steps of preparation for the great test. When its final stages approached, however, he was so anxious, so eager, so excited, that he could do little but stare, and hope and thrill. The crucible was put into the furnace, the levers placed, the powerful dynamc sent forward a blazing, flaring supply of flame. The crucible boile

BRAVE AND BOLD. II In a very few words Frank could summarize all that had been told to him. All that he had learned since being discharged as cured from the ho spital that morning. The bursting of the test diamond in Gill espie' s workroom had broken a bottl e cont aini n g some high explo s ive. This h ad communicated to other chemicals, wreaking destructi on, annihilation on every hand. Frank had been bl ow n through a window. That had saved his life. As to the jeweler, he had not been seen since, and it was supposed that he had perishe d in the fire. Since then Frank had hoyered between life and death at the hospital, whither he had been removed. They had turned him out as "cured" that morning. "Cured," in the sense of being salted with salves and peppered with medicines, Frank certainly was, but he was a pretty drearylooking wreck, as he turned his back for the second time that day on the great infirmary. He had wandered wearily, weakly about that morning, to find the Warren mansion shut up. Fred Warren, with a set of dis solute companions, had gone down to "do" the fiesta, or feast of roses, at Santa Barbara. Frank gave Gille spie up as losl He had doubtlessly been incinerated in the terrible fire that even burned bricks to ashes with the f ervent-fed he a t of high combustibles. l The three letters that the jeweler had given Frank to mail, Frank learned with wonder had been mailed a week after the explosion. A hospita l nurse had found them in his pocket, had seen they w e re properly stamped and directed, and had slipped them into a letter-box. Frank felt like a p e rson cheated out of something. John Gil lespie inte nded that he should b e nefit if the secret ever went to Batterman, to Velasquez or to Powell. But what claim could Frank make on them? The letter Mr. Gillespie had writte n to Powell, recommending Frank to his in terest, the fire had destroyed. As to going to New York, to Rio Janeiro, to Amste rdam, in search of the collector, the expert or the lapida ry, that was out of the question. "I give it all up as a dream too fair to last," Frank sighfully told himself. "From the glare of the diamond down to the plain, common hustling of grubbing-that's the programme, and I may just as well accept it and get to work. But Frank found him self unable to work. He was weak, di s couraged, bewildered He passed old-time friends on the street who nev e r even gave him a look of recognition, and that cut him worst of all. And then it suddenly occurred to Frank that !l.'l "di; gui s ed !" He lookeq into a s how"window mirror. Hair bleached, face brown as a berry, eyebrows changed-

12 BRA VE AND BOLD. up to the time of r e tiring that night, but now he sa t up with a start as vigorou s as though he had b ee n given a p owe rful cordial. "Belton!'' h e breathed simp ly. Six hours prev i o us he had decided that life had ve ry f ew at tractions and pro s p ec t s for him. Like a suddenly-fired train of gunpowder, h owever, brain, energy and ambition sp r a ng into vivid flame. He was po o r, homeless, fri e ndless-without a purp ose in life. In the l ight o f what a cnnfession from this man Belton might do for him, "Frank disce rn e d a mansion, position, th e free means to help unfortunate s lik e him se lf. The two vagrants smo k e d down into a s t ate of somnole nce finally. Frank got out o f hi s box noiselessly, l eft th e yard, walked to the n earest hotel, and joggled a pretty good geographica l knowl edge with th e inspection of a map. H e l ocated Piedmont and h<: l oca t e d Warwick, a nd h e guessed about where the tramp s' h o t e l La Grande, would be "A d efin it e t ask," h e murmured. 'Tm to ge t there Got there, I'm to find Belton. F ind ing B e lton I m to bribe coax, force him to tell me who changed the A t o an X in o ld Felix Warren's will. Then-I'm ri c h \i\T ell, I like th at, but-I got suc h a ta ste of th e m a rvel o us, o f the wonderful diam o nd m aking with that poor, dear old genius, Mr. Gillespie, that I don't think I'll eve r be contented again Frank put hi s fing e r definitely O'l the map whe r e his p o int of destination l a y Pennil ess h a lf sick, po o rly clothed-the two hundred mile tramp was n o m ea n undertaking. But he saw Belton at the end of the ri gorous jaunt, and that spurred him up to undaunted courage and e ndeav o r. Frank did n ot see diamonds a nd diamond making th e re also but they were there, all the same. Frank Warren wa s b ou nd, unknowingly, on a journey the r e s ult of whic h was to make the Warren fortune see m mean and obscure, that was de s tin e d to put him in line with the mo s t brilliant, dazzl ing Aladdin-l ik e opulence and splendor of the nineteenth centu ry. CHAPTER VII. DOWN. "Found!" It was a l ow but int ense cry of exulta tion, and Frank \.Varren waved hi s arm till its ragged sleeve fluttered in the bre eze. His po sition was a peculiarly heroic one-a lone figure o n an a pex, a statue silhouetted on the central roof of the La Grande Hotel near Piedmont. Looking north, he could fancy the two hundred mile trampcould r ecall eight days of l on ely, wearisome toiling, with no h e lp but a stick, no weapon save a stone. :;_,a Grande Hotel a model palace, had, indeed, b ee n r ejec t ed by the p ublic aband o n e d by its projector, taken compl e te possession of by Roving Jerry and hi s unseemly crew. Frank fancied paradise invaded by ghouls as he came upo n the beautiful grounds, the marble-tiled prome nade, the sp l e ndid ver andas, to find tramps eve r ywhere. They splashed th e i r feet in the lovely fountains, they decorated th eir greasy coat lapels with exotics w orth a dollar apiece-their grea t h o b nail s sc ratch ed the poli s h e d e bony pillars, the sat in-w ood desk panels. A roaming horde they followed the dictation completely of a horrible old fellow who sat in a kind of drunken state in the ladi es' parlor, and affected to enter all newcomers in the hotel r egister. Frank got to the place ;it noon. He was so fagged out that he s lunk unnoticed up the grand sta ircase, past a group of f e llows wh o were having a chicken fight in the State chamber, and en tered the fir s t empty room he came to. It was dusk when he awoke. His la s t waking thought had been of Belton-his first waking thought was of Belton. For, chewing th e last hard crust hi s pocket contained, Frank h ad started, as three m e n pa ssed the open door of the room and a voice met his ear like the command of a pow e rful influence calling him to actio n. "My man-Bel ton!" he said s imply flut te r ed with excitement for a minute, braced up magically, and pro mptly purs ued the trio. The way they went, the di stance they went, their furtive col l oquies, l ow-toned and mysterious, indicated from the start that they wer e bent o n some mi ssio n of secrecy. Clear up to th e top floor they procee ded, entered a r oom, lit a candle, and Frank l ingered in th e h all outside. "Now, then, partner!" he h eard a voice s p eak. "Now, th e n it i s." a n swe r ed Belton "We're alone enough here, only t ake a l ook around the floor-some prow ler might be about." One of the trio came so promptly out into the hall at this that Frank h ad no ti m e to get back to the sta irway. He followed a first impulse, and it directed him to grab at the knob of the first door at hand. "Here's luck!" he breathed for h e h a d p enetrated a little h all, and frc; i m it r a n stairs to a tra pdoor in the roof. Frank just go t this open wh e n the in vestigating tramp lo oked c a r e l essly at the sta irs, closed the door again, and r esume d hi s tour of inve st igation. "I w o nd e r who Belt o n' s new friends are?" murmured Frank, striding the trap casing. "I wonder what they're up to. A secret confab is on. Why, I d e clare! I can hear p e rfectly." In no little s urpri se Frank cautiously de s cended a step at a time as voices floate d up to him. Nearer they came, and nearer grew a faint gleam of light, and the n Frank's eyes snapped, as halfway down the sta irs he came to a little ventilating window set directly in the stair hallway. It l ooked into the very room wh e re the candle and the three m en were. Two of them sat on a b ed-Belton stoo d facing them. "Brisk is the word!" he was saying. "Cash is the word," correc ted one of his two companions em phatically. "Then I'm the man for your prospects," announced Belton. "Gentlemen, I'm tired of being p oo r, so are y ou. We have the chance of a lifetime. Did yo u get the h orse and wagon Bowen? "If the farmer we snooked it from isn't on it s track, it s waiting back in the .. hotel stables," answered the m a n addressed. Good!" chuckled Bel t on "Now, then, all we've got to do is to drive where I direct, is to do what I direct, after getting to a cer tain place." "And what, then?" asked the othe r two in a voice. "Three men camping." "Far?" "Twenty miles away. I spotted them yesterday. They're l ook ing for something-so me peculiar min e r a l stone. I heard them talking. I know their plans. We wait till they go to sleep. See?" grinned Belton. I dose them-slee p-p ow der right here 111 my pock et. We take their traps That's the first rake-off." "And the second?" "You kn o w who is up in the mountains?" "Sierra Tom?" ..


BRA VE AND BOLD 13 "Exactly. He don't dare to come down, but h e and his crowd are ready for company." "Ah I he tak es care of these gentlemen for us?" "That's the ticket." "And sells them their liberty later?" "For a h andsome penny, I can tell you! and divides with us "Can they pay it?" "Can they? Say!" cried Belton, getting en thu se d and excited at once. "Look h ere-they' r e togged out like nabobs. They're n otab les. That's it, notables, with bank account worth scan ning." Frank's face had grown very serious. He h ad found Belton. but Belton in l eague with two fellows desperate as himself-he h a d found them in the midst of a new scheme of crime and it b egan to dawn upon him that he would have a far more har

14 BRA VE AND BOLD. conspirators' confab had just taken place revealed no light any where on the top floor. It was to be presumed that Belton and his comrades had gone to start off on their mysterious night mission Frank had heard them discuss. Fr::mk went from one to the other of the magnificent stables. He proceeded cautiously, as he saw a light emanating from an open shed door. A horse and wagon stood ready for service. Belton and his two colleagues had just filled the latter with hay from a manger. "There's a lot of grain bags upstairs," Frank heard Belton say. "They'll make good pillows and coverings, if we need them." He took up the lantern he carried as he spoke, and ascended to the loft. The othei:s followed. Frank:s eyes snapped with in decision and suspense. "I'll risk it," he muttered abruptly; ''I'll get in." Frank had burrowed into the closest possible corner under the broad front seat by the time the others returned to the lower floor of the stable. He was glad to rest. The shock of his recent tumble had been a nerve-jarring one. He felt completely safe in his retreat, for as Belton got up on the driver's seat, his companions threw themselves on the hay, but the wagon was long, and they lay way back at its rear end where they could make a sloping bolster of the slanting tail board. Frank felt himself on the verge of some exciting if not im portant happenings. Whether these eventuated in putting him nearer to the secret of the Warren will or the mystery of Belton's diamond knowl edge or not, they promised a spice of excitement and danger, that, boy-like, nerved him up to the point of stimulation. He had all a native Californian's zest for action, and all the collateral grit, and if nothing else resulted from the evening s de velopments, he might be enabled to balk the schemes of the three desperate conspirators, whom he readily guessed intended to cap tur a party of camping tourists and sell them into captivity. Sierra Tom was a name quite familiar to Frank, as to every other well-posted Pacific slope boy. Train robber, 1 express rifler, mountain outlaw, this desperate criminal had defied justice for nearly two years With a price set on his head, he had vanished from public gaze, but Wells, Fargo & Co., the United States Mint, the San Francisco detective force, and a score of private police agencies were ever on the alert for some new demonstration from the desperado, whose long silence boded a broad swath of destruction when he should finally emerge from his hiding place. The wagon went rather slowly, for the road led up and up. It must have been midnight before a halt was made. Frank had been nodding. The two men in the rear of the wagon were fast asleep and snoring loudly, and Belton had to wake them up to tell them of their arrival. "Hello!" gaped the fellow called Bower, "11ave we got somewhere?" vYes, crawl out and shake your wits up. It'll be needed." The two men sleepily tumbled over the side of the wagon. well," spoke Bowen, "what's the programme?" He took out his pipe and filled it with tobacco. "Flare your matches cautiously around here," warned Belton. "Why?" "Because we're near our game." "How near?" "See where the ground dips-ah 1 better than that, you can sec glint, can't you?" "Like a dying camp-fire?" "That's the spot. Now, gentlemen! You pile back into the wagon, and no more snoozing, mind yon! In an hour at the furthest I'll have those tourists with solid sleeping caps on." Belton took a paper package from his pocket. and Frank, peep ing through the hay wisps, guessed it must contain the "sleeping powder" he had heard alluded to during the hotel confab. "One word, Belton," spoke Bowen, as the former moved as if to start away. "Spiel it!" "You're sure we won't have our work for our pains? There's booty in sight?" "Do you fellows imagine I'm going to all this trouble for fun?" "But I mean outside of Sierra Tom. We may have to wait an age before he gets action on these fellows' bank checks." "We get their traps instanter, don't we?" "Something in them?" "I should say it 1 I saw them. The picking on the first rake off is rich as plums. Why 1 look here-I said they were notables, didn't I?" "Yes." "Shall I call the roster? Franz Joseph Batterman, Amsterdam -the greatest lapidary in the world-how does that strike you?" "My!" Frank so it gave him a crick in the neck. "Dom Pedro Velasquez, Rio Janeiro-the expert diamond authority of Brazil," continued Belton, grandiloq'uently. "My!" "Farley Powell, New York-professional gem collector for the Queen of England, the Shah of _Persia and the Turkish royalty!" concluded Belton, and he rolled the titles under his tongue like a sweet morsel. "My 1 Oh, glory! I'm in a dream!" The quiverij'lg Frank fairly writhed with emotion. It was a wonder that the men by the side of the wagon did not hear him thrashing about. One stunning surprise, one vivid adventure after another had greeted Frank since night began to fall. He could compare them to firecrackers-big giant fellows going off in startling succession. But here was the king-bomb of the outfit, with a pyrotechnical explosion that scattered his startled wits like magic. The glib patter of the embezzling ex-clerk naming over the three men to whom John Gillespie had written the three letters bequeathing his secret of diamond making, the mysterious ip. gredient, fell upon Frank's ears like a far-away whisper from the past-a voice from the tome. In this lonely mountain fastness there seemed to dovetail into all the mysteries of that past, those of the present-vivid, vital, important. "Now, keep on the alert while I'm gone," directed Belton. "You see that spark of camp-fire?" "Yes," assented Bowen. "It's our star of fortune l" "Hope so." "Its the beginning glint that is going to lead us to bushels, barrels, cartloads of sparklers!" "It sounds big!" Frank heard Bowen say, as he scratched a match on the side of the wagon and lit his pipe. "It does, for a fact assented his comrade. They watched Belton disappear in the direction of the distant camp-fire glow. And Frank watched, too. "I'm needed, if ever boy was!" he breathed 11.ll a-thrill. "Those men must be warned-John Gillespie's friends, my friends. This


BRAVE AND BOLD. 15 doesn't mean a mere robbery-it means the secret of diamond making. They've got it. This scoundrel Belton is after it. Why I to save that l'd go through flood and tornado, 'and fire--" Ready at hand, brave Frank Warren. For at that moment, fired by the match Bowen had carelessly flung away, the hay flared up, and the wagon box burst into a sheet of flame. "Fire!" "S'st !" CHAPTER IX. THE CRITICAL MOMENT, "Look-it's ablaze-the wagon is burning np !" "Keep still, you dolt! Do you want to spoil everything? In with you, and put it out!" T'he two men guarding the vehicle in which Fra11k Warren was hidden saw the fire promptly. Frank, huddling under the seat, quivering, saw it as well. He was in a predicament he did not like at all, and the prompt ings of impulse were very contrary. If he jumped into view, he, would either be captured or, escap ing, so excite the suspicions of the crowd he was following or alarm them that his usefulness as a shadow would be materially lesse ned. The man BoweP had jumped into the wagon at once, and his companion followed suit. "The coverings!" cried the former. "Vlhat about them?" "Spread-smother the flam es That's the main point. The fire mustn't be seen by those touri sts In camp." Bags and burlaps were thrown quickly OYer the hay. "Now, jump, pot1nd rolJ !" directed Bowen. The heat was blistering, the s m o ke suffocat ing, and Frank had winced. As the m e n picked and pa wed and jumped all over the covered hay, he scrambled and s hrank. Where they had Jain the hay had been matted down and burned smoulderingly, but under the seat it was l oose and fluffy. So, as the bags flew over thi s and pr e s se d it down, Frank felt shut in a fornace and squeezed like a lemon. He up into one corner, and a kicj{ nearly broke his back. He wri"ggled to the other, and two feet plumped across both of his own almost disabling them. All the time shut in, sparks, cinders, heat and smoke came at face and hands in a way that broke his nerve. ''Got to get out of this!" decided Frank, and prepared to face his enemies. ''Whoof !" ejaculated Bowen just then, and went sliding. F rank felt the middle board of the wagon pull out from undc:r him. He tumbled and spilJed, and halfway through an aperture sud denly o pened, concluded tQ drop, did so, and landed flat on the ground under the wagon. He saw dim outlines of gyrati11g limb s below, and bobbing, dis mayed heads and arms above, where the twt'.> men wer e dancing a foothold jig. '-'I see," soliloquized Frank. "The. wagon is provided with a patent center-drop board, to shift grain or sand. That fe1Iow kicked the pivot loose, and-I'm out of it l" Frank was relieved of th& faet. He took instant advantage of it. He crawled qrntious\y almost under the llorses' Ji.qofs, some bushes, and resting at a safe distance, congratulated himself on an escape that gave him a free range for further observa tion anq action. The men at the wagon got things back to normal order, and subsided. The flare of the ani mated -adventure over sudenly remembered something that sta rted him up like the prick of a pin. "Those men!" he ejaculated. Batterman of Am strrd<1m, Ve l asquez of Brazil, Powell of New York-personal peril, the sudden whirl of fire and fluster had momen ta rily driven them out of hi s mind. Now in vivid force returned the thrilling conviction that in the crime of the night contemplated by Belton and his associates was involved not only the capture of these m e n, to b e held for ran so m, the appropriation of their per so nal belongings, but as welJ the acquirement of the secret of diamond-making, a knowledge of the famous "missing ingredient." How much Belton had found out about that glorious my s tery Frank did not know, but from the extravagant claims of the embezzling ex-clerk he guessed that it was considerable. Belton had bubbl e d over in a way that showe d he had got some y1kling of the fascinating discovery that dazzled sage and dreamer alike. At all events, the legitimate possessors of John Gillespie's secret were about to be removed from the sphe re of action, their knowledge wrested from them for a rascally scheme r to bungle or bargain with at his will. Frank Warren got to his feet and felt his heart swell, and all the courageous vim of his nature pervade every nerve with quicksilver rapidity. He would have made a great fanatic, once started in on an idea -a second Lord Kelvin. enthusiastic at the marvellous leaps and bounds of X-ray science. a faithful follower of empiric or alchemist of those ages when transmutation was the watchword of genius, and the great intellects of the world hung their faith o n the magic spell-symbol, Valency. But he was aiming for something tangible that passed isomar i sm, allotropic silver. 0ncl atomic chemistry on the wing-the rearranging of nature's elements so that charcoal could be changed into dia monds. He had been inoculated with the magic of sc ience, and the f e ver was working. Frank the old, eager, dazzled apprentice of Gille s pie at that moment, with one thought r eg nant, supremcdiamonds. "Where is the camp Belton spoke of?" he murmured. He could not see the spark or gleam of the camp-fire Belton had refrrrcd to, but he set at work to locate it by pursuing the direc tion he had seen Belton take. Two hours later Frank Warren sat down on a rock, tired : dis hcartened, anxious. He felt that he had made the mistake of his Jifo in leaving the vicinity of the wagon to find the camp of the tourists. He had now completely lost both, he had got turned all around. Not ". sound not a gljnt was in evidence. "Oh, it's too had-too terribly bad!" he told himself, dis trcssedly. "By this time Belton has probably covered e,very point h e aimed at-fireworks!" A knife of sudden flame ripped a sca m in the western sky, and Frank glared. Distant, dull, an aerial explosion echoed, attended O} a vari colored shower of brilliant sparks. "A siinal !" breathed Frank, tumultuous:y, start ing forward in the precise direction of the pyrotechnical display "That's a guide. Belton's crowd fired it. It's to tell Sierra Tom


16 BRA VE AND BOLD. to look out for his captives What else can it mean? A mile away? half a mile? I'll keep to a bee-line, straight!" Frank ran. It was up a hill, clown a slant, slide, trip, tumhle at times, but he pressed on untiringly. Found them I Frank let down to a breathless trot as he saw a light ahead. It gleamed through a thin grove of cedars. The light was a lantern. It sat on the ground near two menBelton and Bowen. Frank got as near to them as he dared. Sheltered by a tree, he viewed a spot evidently a recent camping place. There w a s a tent, a compact utensil outfit, several satchels, guns and other weapons. With great anxiety, however, Frank noted not the slightest trace of the three tourists Belton had allud e d to. Even the wagon and the third member of Belton's group had disappeared. Upon the ground before the two men was a blanket. Upon this the eyes of the twain were fixed, and Frank's as interestedly now peer e d there, too. lt cont a ined three watches three wallets, a lot of miscellaneous jcwelr.)I, and three enveloped letters. "Why," stared Frank, and paused with a thrill of augury and suspen se, for he fancied he knew what those were. And from loo king he took to listening. Belton was making a jubilant, animated remark. "The rocket tells Sierra Tom that his visitors are coming. \V c've capt11red the outfit." "It's worked like a charm so far," returned Bowen. "You are a regular general at scheming." "That's be.cause I'm a lawyer l" chuckled Belton. "When we're miilionaires--" "Will we be?" "Directly." "Say! you're sure of your grounds?" ''.Sure? Now look here, Bowen, hasn't every move come ofF at the tap of the bell, just as I predicted?" "It lrns, for a fact." "Then trust to me. I dosed the three tourists. \Ve sent up the signal rocket. We dumped the notables into the wagon, tied and doped. They're out of our way, off our hands, with no 'further interest except to collect a few thousands from Sierra Tom when he cashes their checks-say a month hence. We bargain with Jim. He's got no ambition-really he isn't of our sort, and I'm glad to ship him. He agrees to take the horse and wagon, the t e nt, all those traps, for his share of the plunder. We part company with him, taking the portable valuables, and-the secret.'" rubbed his head thoughtfully, and stared at the blanket. "In those three letters?" "Exactly!" "Belton, it is a strange story you're telling me!" "Not at all. Here a man named Gillespie in Los Angeles sends wee syllables in three different letters to three different men." "And those three syllabies put together make a word?" "A mystic word-a magical word-the keynote word, the king word of the universe-the. missing ingredient in nature, that will enable a man to make diamonds !" "It's great, if it's true." "Those three f e llows come from three corners of the globe, clear out here to California, not knowing Gillespie is dead." ''Don't they know the word?" "No." "\Vhy not?" "I don't i:xadly make out, but each preserved his secret syllable; it seems, till they saw Gillespie, and made some kind of a bargain with him." "And it's in those letters?" "It is." "And they're ours?" Yes We get to some city, convert those valuables into ready cash, put the three syllables together, get the missing ingredient, and turn out the sparklers-a ton at a time I" "Let's see what the word is." "Can't." "Why?" "It's written m some foreign langllage." "Ah, p shaw!" "That ne edn't bother us. Any college professor will translate it for a dollar." Belton," pronounced Bowen, his voice in a quiver of excitement and suspense, "you make me thrill!" ,.) "Oh, we've got the boodle of the world-millions by the neck!" declared Bel t on, confidently, "no discount on that. Now see here, bundle up that blanket. That's it. Come along." "It's a big tramp to the nearest town." "Not for u s ." "What do you mean?" "That we're not going to foot it." To?" ''Follow me, and I'll make your eyes snap!" Belton tucked the bundled-up blanket under his arm, and Bowen did follow him, and Frank too. The latter was a little surprised when they came to two tracks lining the extreme edge of a gulch. "He llo!" spoke Bowen, "here's a railroad!" "The old Gulf route. Abandoned, like the hotel. ment s sli g htly ahead of time in this part of the State. the brush." "A hand car l" ImproveLook in "Correct, and in passably good Order. Help me lift it on." Frank began to rustle. Unless he acted soon these meh would again evade him. "They shan't I The last ditch, life or death, they shan't I" he declared, desperately. "Three times and out-if the diamond secret misses me this time, my luck's gone, I feel it." He stooped dO\y n behind the bushes where he stood and com menced gathering up an armful of stones. Then he the folly of precipitating a volley of bullets against so ineffective a fusilade, and dropped them. The two men got the hand car on the tracks. "Steady!" ordered Belton. "Steady, what?" "Hold her tilted till I block the front wheels.'' "Why?" "Why I There's a ninety-foot grade here, and below-whiff! it's steep, I tell you." "Can we make it?" "Starting slow and keeping the handles under good control, without trouble." Belton placed a long, leafless tree branch across the track. He the blanket bundle on the car. "Get on," he ordered, and then as sharply supplemented, "Hold on!" "What?" querieJ Bowen. "I'm going back to get a share of those weapons. We're entitled to a revolver apiece, I should say." "Sure!" Frank stood quivering with excitement, indecision, anxiety.


BRA VE AND BOLD. He formulated a do ze n impulsive plans-to dash for the l et ters, to knock Bowen down unawares, to kick the blocking branch loose, but before he got fairly nerv e d up to action Belton re turned, threw a couple o f revolvers on the h a nd car, and said: "We'd better take off our coats. It will be hard pumping, part of the way." "All right." "My chance now or nev er!" thrilled the pulsating Frank. He m ade a da s h just as the two men had one arm each out of their coats. With a jarring slam he landed on the hand car. "Look!" "Who's this?" "Stand back!" Quick as pistol shots rang o ut Belton's yell of B ow en's cry of amazement, doughty Frank W arren's ringing challenge. Wavering, for the car was joggling from the shock of his sud den spring, but firmly planted, a quickly snatched up revolver in eit h e r hand, a gritty California boy faced two typical California desperadoes. It was a tableaux that lonely mountain side had never depicted before, but it was suddenly di s turbed. Grind-jar. F rank tottered. Then he crouched. The two men, desperale, started forward. From Frank's hand s both weapons went hurling. He was flung flat up o n the hand car. The front wheels began w slide, the bl oc kin g branch flew free Whir-rr I With q plunge it shot forward, and Belton and Bowen faded from sig ht. A curve--there was a swoop that made Frank's hair stream out st r a i ght in a tearing rus h of air. He clung to the e dg e o f the car, his eyes dil a ting, his heart thumping like a pounding beam The landscape w;s a blur, the hand car an arrow, a toboggan sled, a projectile. Swish-hh-r 1 CHAPTER X. A LEAP FOR LIFE. The air fairly whistled as the hand car clattered onward and down. Frank tried to gaze :ihead. It wa s all down at this point, and further on, according to Belton, it would be worse than ever. Frank would have been jolted, flung or blown from the car in a minute if he had not clung tightly. The roadbed lined walls o f r oc k cut into on one side. On the other it did not deviate eight ee n inches from the sheer drop of I To leav e that hand car, therefore, was to plunge to unknown depth s or b e b at tere d to pi eces against a wall of jagged rock. "The blanl

18 BRA VE AND BOLD. He had bolted squarely into such a strange receptacle in this strangely out-of-the-way place. What did it mean? For a brief spell, recovering from the shock of the grouped terrifying adventures of the previous few minutes, Frank did not try to answer that question. He closed his eyes and lay nestled in soft comfort, content to realize that he was secure. The letters! He groped to find them where he had plac ed them. They were all right. Then an exalted kind of satisfaction lulled his overstrained senses to dreaminess. He had won in a battle of superior numbers, overpowering circumstances-distinctly, undrmbtedly won. He had rescued from the marplot of his own fortune, the em be zzling ex-clerk,' Belton, the sole clews to the missing ingredient which made diamond-making a possibility. Was it. his? No, but he felt that he was o ne of the legatees, in actuality, if not on record, of John Gillespie's famous secret. Baffiing Belton was the first step-to nnd some means of reach ing the captured Batterman of Amsterdam, Velasquez of Rio Janeiro, Powell of New York, was the next consideration. After that-Frank pictu red only one reward, and his ardent heart glowed at. the thought of it; to be admitted into that magic circle of alchemy, within which, compared to what he knew, philosophers, prelates, cardinals, even kings, had occupied the position of the most bumble apprentices. He sat up in 'the hammock at last, disturbing a dream of glory that was a constant presence with the infection of the diamondmaking' project. Practical life claimed his energies, and promptly. He was in dangerous proximity to Belton, to Sierra Tom. He was, furthermore, in somebody's hammock. Whose? How came it placed there? Clip I A missile suddenly took Fran.k on the side of the head. "'Hello!" he ejaculated. He got out of the hammock and st r a in ed his vision. He was at the bottom of the slant. A second missile gr'!zed his ears Watching it drop, he saw that it was a good-sized crab apple. "Who's bombarding?" he demanded challengingly, aloud. A third shot exactly tip or' his no se. It was a s ensitive spot. Frank's anger got the better of him. He detected a rustle in near bushes, and he made a pounce. "Hold on!" "Let go I" ( Amid suc h 'contrary directions coherency was impossible. Frank, had grabbed somebo?y about his own size. ,.-'That somebody was a fair match for him, however. There was a scuffle, a trip, a slide, and the next minute Fr'ank and his antagonist went splash into the stream at the bottom of the gully. CHAPTER XI. A MYSTERIOUS ACQUAINTANCE. 'The sudden plunge into the water of the creek cooled the ardor of both combatants instantly. They released grips. Frank came ashore, dripping and ing the water from his eyes. His la te antagonist to a safe distance, and sto1,1d grimly staring at him. "Well, the cheek!" he remarked, "Me?" fired up l\rank. "Who else?" "I like that-pegging hard apples at a fellow, as if he was a scarecrow!" "W.hat did you get into my bed for, then?" "What bed?" "The hammock!" "Oh, was it yours? Say!" exclaimed Frank, ingenuously, "that's so. g pardon. Mine was the blame. Served me right!" "It don't make either of us very dry," dryly remarked the boy. "Who are you, anyway?" "I'm Frank. If you care to give me a handle, and I just tumbled over the gully here. Your hammock probably saved my life." "Oh, you wasn't-prowling?" "What' for?" projected Frank, innocently. "You needn't answer that question," quickly supplemented the other, catching a glint of Frank's honest eyes. "I see-it's a misunderstanding. Here, get off your shoes and coat and hang on a limb to dry. Then lay down in the hammock again." "You're the right kind, Mr. --" smiled Frank. "Gil." "But I won't rob you of your bed. Truth is, I want to get out of this vicinity." _"Why?" The boy calling himself Gil came a little nearer to Frank, and eyed him over keenly, putting a strong, interested emphasis on the word. "Well; I-I do," rather flustered Frank. "Afraid of something?". "Not exactly." "Trying to' get away froth somebody, then?" "You might say that." "If I guess who, will you tell me?" "You're a queer fellow!" commented Frank. "You look as serious as if it was some of your affair." "Maybe it is," answered Gil, enigmatically. "Just one que s tion: Are you in any deal where Sierra Tom is con cerned?" Fran.k gave a vivid start. He was, yes-he was not, no. Gil lespie's friends were in the outlaw's power, .but really he hadn't yet exactly planned what he would do. About all he had far thought of was in keeping qut' of Bel-ton's way with the diamond secret. ll "Suppose. I am?" he queried, (inally. "Then don't mah a move to-night," very sob erly advised Gil. "\Vhy not?" Sierra Tom's are thick as bees ai;bund here." "How do ybu know/1 "Well, it's my business to know. Look here, I don't want to' pry into your but just from a friendly feeling I offer to Jet you bunk in here till morning. Then 111 guide you to the l'learest settlement safely. That's all." "I'll just do what you say," spoke up Frank, after a brief reflective pause, "and I vote you the best kind I've struck jpr a long time. You don't live around here?" "Oh, bless you, no! I'd just as soon tell you this-I' m a college stu9ent, ha.Jfway through my course, and l'JTJ trying to earn enough to pay my way when school begins again." "Why, what doing ?''.1projected blunt Frank.. "It i s part of my., c?ntract," answ!lred Gil, co1,1rteously, but firmly, "that I tell nobody that." Frank his new a decidedly strange fellow, and he ,<;ould not ma kc out iat all. 1 .c Gil manipulated the hammock with pieces of wood so that


BRA VE AND BOLD. both could lay in it comfortably, and after some casual conver sation Frank went to sleep. He awoke once, about midnight. His companion was-.gone. Frank peered down the gully. He was sure that he made out Gil stealthily moving about, as if listening and watching, but fell to s leep almost immediately again, and when he awoke it was daylight. Gil had a little knapsack open by the side of the hammock, and from it was taking some hard, thick crackers and dried beef. Frank was not unwilling to share a breakfast to which he was made genially welcome. In broad daylight he liked his new companion's face even better than the night before. "I can take you to the nearest settlement just as well as not," spo ke Gil. "I ha v e to go there on a little business myself." ''I'll be glad of your company," said Frank. He was terribly curious to know if the boy was coming back again, and why. Thinking over the fact that Gil seemed to know s01pething about Sierra Tom, and realizing that very soon he, Fran'k, must make an effort to get at Sierra Tom's captives, the three friends of John Gillespie, he would have been quite willing to exchange a limited set of confidences with this queer fellow, who was earn ing his way through college by sleeping in a hammock, way out in the wildest part of California. However, Frank's mind mainly centered on stowing the three letters that contained the Gillespie clew to in some safe place, and informing the police officials at the nearest settlement of the hiding place of Sierra Tom, hoping this would urge them up to rescue Batterman, Velasquez and Pqwell. "Wait here. I'll bring the shoes and coats," remarked Gil. "They must be dry by this time." He proceeded to tne creek on his errand. Frank took out the three letters. They had got only dampened in the quick plunge the night previous, and he noted that they were quite dry now. He thrust them back quickly, as a sharp ejaculation startled him from the vicinity of the creek. "I call that meaner than dirt!" rang out Gil's tones. "What?" propounded Frank. "Come here and see." Frank approached the tree where their coats and shoes had been hung up to dry the night previous. All these had vani s hed, and in their stead, lyini on the ground, were two worn, ragged garments 1 and two pairs of coarse, heavy shoes, full of holes, and with worn soles. "Some one has stolen the others," began Frank. "And left these: It's a shame I Come, though. No cry ing over spilled milk. We can't go barefooted." Gil grumbled a good deal while they were trying to imagine the substituted articles fitted. Then he took down the hammock, rolled it up into small compass, and 'was.just putting it into his knapsack when he gave a sudden start, and arose to his feet in a flash. "Did you hear a whistle?" he dei:nanded of bending his ear sharply. "I thought it was some bird." "No. There it is again-at another point of the coinpass, and again!" "What of it?" asked Frank, very much surprised at his com panion's instantaneous seriousness and evident perturbation. Gil stood looking very grave and thoughtful Tli;n he rapidly: -"We will leave here at once-that way," and }. . one direction from which the whistle had not sounded, "Wait here a minuts:." He disappeared among the timber. Frank stood trying to guess what it all meant. Then he got tired of waitinc for Gil to return, and strolled restlessly about. He drew back, feeling that he was in a measure intruding on his friend's privacy, as quite accidentally he came across Gil, his back to him, stooping at the trunk of a tree. Gil was digging the dead wood out of a knot-hole as if to large it for a hiding place for something. Frank 5aw what. He could not help it, for two very marked and noticeable objects lay on the ground at Gil's side. One was a sheet of paper, and it had this indorsement: "Map of Sierra Tom's hiding place, and instructions." It was not very enlightening, but it was somewhat startling to Frank. The se1ond object, however, was a positive revelation to Frank. With tfuite a shock he regarded it, clearly guessing the col lege boy's interest in Sierra Tom now. It a bright silver badge, and it bore across its glinting front the two impressive words: "Secret Service." CHAPTER XII. A FATAL EXCHANGE. Frank backed from the tree where the boy Gil was hiding criminating evidences of his real mission in the wilderness, a little ashamed at even penetrated a personal secret, and decidedly impressed with a due sense of the impor tance of a person, who, boy though he was, represented a distinguished branch of the government. "Se cret service?" murmured Frank, "that means one of the highest powers in the land. I see how it is. The full-grown fellows can't catch Sierra Tom. They have hired Gil to help them. Those whistles he must trace to some of Sierra Tom's band, and he's getting rid of anything that would give him away." More than that; when Gil returned to the knapsack, never sus pecting that Frank had left it during his absence, he proceeded to' take from it a thick-leaved book a Jong tin tube. With one under his arm and another strurig with a strap from shoulder, he have passed anywjere as a collector of botanical specim e ns. He led the way along the gully, and Frank followed him. Gil was quite chatty, and conversed on a variety of subjects that were both eritertaining and instructive. Somehow, however, Frank proved a poor listener. He was and restless. Here was an individual who could direct him, probably best of any person in the world, how he could get at Sierra Tom and the captives, Batterman, Velasquez and Powell. Why not tell him how the land lay, and enlist his co-operation? They had been on the tramp for about two hours, and had just halted under the first trees of a forest leading awar from the gully, and Frank had just concluded to make a confidant o'f his companion, when once again in the those mysteridus whistles rang out. "I don't like that!" he heard Gil mutter, and his face fell per ceptibly. "Nights they might venture to prow! around, but they are getting decidedly bold to chase ahout in broad daylight. They must be after something particular." -'"It means Sieri:a Tom's band," murmured to himself,


. f 20 BRA VE AND BOLD. and remembering that Belton was hand-in-glove with the moun t!iin outlaw, he added: "Maybe it's me they're after I" "Wait here, I want to do a little inve s tigating, directed Gil. He threw his knapsack to Frank, and shot away like an Indian runner. Frank expected him back promptly, but half an hour went by and then an hour, and he began to grow decidedly impatient. He took out the three letters finally, and for the first time opened them There were the communications that John Gillespie h_,?d told him about. There in the corner of each was the one-third of the vital secret of diamond-making. Frank glanced at the fragmentary syll a bles that m eant s o much. "Oh, dear!" he instantly ejaculated, in dire di s may and be wilderment. Each one of the syllables was in a different kind of letters-in a foreign language. Not German, French or any of the Latin tongu e s as Frank had hoped, but in s ome s cript that looked like Gre e k or H e brew, and might be Chaldaic or Hindoo, for all Frank knew. /' "Pshaw!" he ejaculated. "But, say! anoth e r r e ason why I should make a confidant of Gil. He's fresh fr o m college. Why, he may be able to translate them quick as a wink. Frank got up, qui te taken with his idea and imm e ns ely pleased as well, as he saw Gil coming toward him at tha t m o m e nt All his plans faded away at once, however, as he caught sight of Gil's face. 1t was pale and worried, and he was all out of breath. "Quick!" he spoke, throwing himself on the ground. "Off with your shoes l" "What!" ejaculated Frank. "Do as I say. Don't lose a moment." He had his own off in a jiffy Frank followed his example, but wonderingly, almost with alarm. "If you'll tell me," he began "Throw them away Frank stare d stupidly at his eccentric companion who did just this with his own shoes, and snatching those ftom Frank's hand, gave them a vigorous fling as well. "See here I" cried Frank. "Now, run I" "What I barefooted?" "Don't stop to argue !" snapped out Gil, sharply. "But what does this mean?" "First, that we are ve" ry likely to be taken by Sierra Tom's band." Frank felt of the precious letters in his pocket, and thrilled quickly. "Next, we're in a bad fix on account of those shoes." "How?" "They belonged to some persons whom Sierra Tom is chasing down." "Well, he's after the owners, not the shoes, isn't he?" "Not in this case." "Why not?" "I;Iear that?" Frank started. His companion paled. It was not a whistle this time-it was a queer, ominous, pro longed baying sound. "That's what I mean-run for your life !" directed Gil. "Why, thcirc-" Frank Warren felt his heart beat faster at his companion's startling reply: "Sierra Tom's bloodhounds and they are directly on our trail!" CHAPTER XIII. TRACKED DOWN. Sierra T o m's bloodh ounds! Frank Warren fel t his blo o d curdle at the dread announcement. "Run for your life!" He ne e d e d no sec ond bidding to join his compani o n, Gil, in a wild forward da s h. The y were barefoo ted now, and Gil m a de strai ght through the timber Nut husks, twigs stones tho rns scr a ped and cut vines and tre.e roots s tubb e d and tripp e d but, a cyclon e o f de s perate, re s o lute action, Gil maintain e d a vigorou s r a te of s peed, caught Frank when he stumbled, grabbed him, urging him onward whenever he faltered. "Are we in great particular danger?" panted Frank. "Yes," came the concise affirmative. ""Why?" "I don t want to beseen-that is my main anxiety-by any of Sierra Tom' s men " Because the y d kno w you?" "Because they might suspect me-yes, and because--" Why, ho-w can they when--" Frank stopped sMrt in his talk and Gil stopped short in his gait "When what? he shot out in that quick, challenging way of hi s "When-say, I'm no sneak or pryer, but I accidentally saw s o meth ing y o u hid G i l frowned slightly and the n shrugged his shoulders phil osophically. L e t it go!" he remarked. "Perhaps it s as well you know the truth. Yes, I'm that." Secret service ? whispered Frank in an impressed way. Just. But d o n t lisp it. even to your s elf. Our present danger, however, is greater than what I thought. Those two men who stole our shoes are ei ther m e mb e rs o f Sierra Torri s band running away from him, or escap e d prison e rs He has set his blood hounds after them "Are they very terrible? "Like their ma ster-bloodthirs ty brutes and nearly the size of lions I saw them pull down an unfortunate once They tore him almost to pi e ces They have found the shoe s Hear them bay! Nearer than I thought. We shall soon know if we have brok e n the trail." Gil seem e d to be making for c e rtain point. A calculating eagerness in his manner betray e d this fact. Give me half an h our more he s aid, "and I promise to hide you where neith e r dogs nor men c a n find us." The trees werl! growing scarcer n o w The y were by no means out of the fore s t but the trees were much l a rg e r and higher. "Two mile s more and we've made it," encouraged Gil. "Say, venture d Frank, "I gu ess y o u 'll have to count me out," "Oh, come now! "Yes, I am out'f breath and my feet are cut to pieces You sec, I was s i c k a spell ago. " Rest a minute, then-

I / BRA VE AND BOLD. 2I "Run!" "They've run us down!" shivered Frank. He was on his feet in a flash. Every pistol-shot order of his Bang! companion meant somet hing. Frank had begun to learn that, and Frank sbrank. So near was the report that it deafened him, he n eeded no urging now. and a hot flash of breat h seared his face. Gil grabbed up his coat and wadded it together with his own Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang! und e r his arm. Seven shots, one frightful yelp from below, an angry snarl, and, "Was that anothe r bay of the hounds?" asked Frank. as the p owde r smoke drifted clear, Frank saw one of the hounds "It was, and corning toward us. It's an unfortunate thing we stretched back rigid, with glassy eyes. ever put on shoes." The other was running round and round, limping, but glaring "I should say so!" aloft with renewed ferocity. I am afraid we cannot reach the point of safety I spoke of." "Take care-oh, dear!" "What shall we do, then?" Frank, in a tremor of the most vivid excitement, jlggled the "You see those six or eight big trees ahead?" branc h at hi s elbow. "On a little rise? Yes." Upon it r ested an open box of cartridges which Gil had p)aced "Make for them. If the hounds seem to be gaining much on there, ready to reload his rapidly discharged weapon. us we will have to perch aloft." He shot out a quick hand, but a copper shower rained athwart "And what then?" his fingers. "Trust to luck. It won't do to get caught in th e open space ."Too bad!" murmured Frank in beyond. They're coming, st1ight Why do they chase us so "Yes, for the other box is in my coat pocket." persistently, when we dropped the shoes? Why-I know!" "Say! Where i s your coat?" "Why?" Frank, with a sudden, startled stare, looked quietly about their "Run-fly! I see the first hound back of us. He has just r esting place in the tree broken cover." "And mine!" he voiced breathlessly. Frank was in such a quiver of dre ad and eagerness to reach "I threw them away." even a temporary place of safety that he did not venture to look "What!" back. Frank's utterance was a vivid scream. He had something besides Gil's word for evidenc e of the prox"Fancied maybe they gave the hounds the scent,'' began Gil. irnity of their sanguinary trailers, as, fierce, re so lute, triumphant, "Where? Where?" frantically demanded Frank. almost, a new note of canine ferocity sounded dreadfully near "Back in the brush--" to them. Frank understood without further explanation. Panting and wild-eyed, Gil r a n to the first large tree of the Where the hounds had paused and diverged from the stroight group h e had d es ignated, a\1d Frank almost staggered against it. trail it had b ee n to investigate the bundled up coats there. "I'm strongest-I'll boost," hurried Gil. "Up you go I" "Say! hold on," began the mystified Gil. "Don't bother, I can climb." "My coat!" "To the first big limb Here we are. Whew!" "But--" "I should say it!" Frank Warre1;1. qashcd away the detaining hand of his wonderBoth boys were dripping; their breath came m short, ing companion. gas ps. He saw nothing but that garment in his mind's eye now. Gil however, steadie d his on a framework of limbs He cared nothing for a fifteen-foot fall, a gaping-jawed blood-and beg;.tn openi!1g; it hurriedly. .. hound, ;:iwaiting him below. Frank stare d with w.i}dly throbbing hea.rt back the course they "The letters...:-the diamond-making secret!" gasped Frank, fer-had come. viqly. "I left them in the coat!" "My!" he thrilkd. Frank dropped. A bounding figure, corning straight as an arrow for their place He struck the ground with something of a shock. of refuge, fascinated him. A great bristling object hurtled through the air the minute he A second slight!)". to the rear, followed, without the deviation land ed. o f an inch, it seemed, fro m the lei!d of the first bl oodhol.ind. It was the wound<'d bloodhound, with wide-open, great-fanged Tongues lolling, their mouths all afo arn, eyes red and lqrid, jaws aiming straight for his throat. covering the ground without seeming the immense animals, double the size of any dog Frank had ever seen, sped forward at the rate of speed employed by a blooded horse in a race. Suddenly the forward hound halted, w_ith a kind of challeng ing snarl. Its rnat e came up with a respond;ng note. Both sniffe d the ground and slowly made for some high brush to the l eft. "They are off the scent," murmured Frank, "No," and hi s heart sank; "here they come again!" Whatever had diverted them, its influen (! was only temporary, for, coming straight back .to the trail, th e y c ircled twice, and bound ed forward with fresh vitality and confidence. "They're h ere!" uttered Frank in a gasp, looking down with a shudder. Both dogs had haunched. Two enormous ht:!ads were lifted. CHAPTER XIV. THE SECOND SYLLABLE. Frank had acted, was acting under a strain of excitement so in tense that everything was obscured except the sole object in view -to r egai n the coat and recover the three letters it contained The di s mayed cry of his startled fri e nd alo ft mingled with the savage snarl of the enrage d enemy below. Frank saw the bloodhound coming, and he naturally dodged. It swept ove r him, its hot breath searing his face, one of its pa,v s st riking pis h and and lacerating it. Frank grabbed for something with which to d efe nd himself. T he m e re s t travesty of a weapon, the sharp sprint of a tree pranch was all his groping fingers reachecj.


22 BRAVE AND BOLD. Before he could get fully erect the hound reversed nimbly and came at him again. Frank put up his hand to feebly beat off that horrible head descending upon him. "Ugh!" He shuddered and shrivelled. He thought at first his hand was going down the animal's J hroat. It did, pretty near. The hound's jaws enclosed the opposing fist, but, as well, the short splinter it held. That jammed into the roof and bottom of the enormous mouth :lid-stuck. "Disabled I" gasped Frank. He sprang to his feet as the hound dropped to the ground In wild agony, blood and froth raining from its mouth, it rolled and pawed and snarled and yelped in frenzy. The splinter stuck like a driven nail. It held the jaws opened to their widest, divesting the animal of its most formidable means of assault or defense. "Catch!" came a comprehending, relieved voice from overhead. The revolver flashed past Frank. "Load-shoot I Quick I" Frank's fingers trembled as he groped for one of the scattered cartridges. He got it in place, ran at the hound, fired, missed it, and the next minute Gil came bounding down from the tree, snatched the weapon away and gathered up a whole handful of the cartridges: Frartk did not wait another instant. He darted back to where the coats had been throwri. Three reports rang out as he did so, but he did not look baek to note their eft'ect. He came upon the two coats. They had been nosed about by the bloodhounds, but were not otherwise disturbed. One, two, three-the letters were safe. Frank made sure of a secure stowage this time, thrusting the precious missives into his shirt pocket. The strain of the intense excitement of grouped and rapidly accumulating adventures was beginning to tell on him, and as he hurried back to the tree it was with a very unsteady step. He found the second hound gasping its last breath. Gil's bul lets had been effective. "Did' you find the coats?" projected the latter, with a curious tare. "Yes," nodded Frank. "Something you'd left in yours?" "That Wa! it. I got it. What's the matter? What did you hear?" "Those whistles again. Ah I The dogs were only the advance Uard. Their owners are followini' them up." "Where f" queried Frank, looking anxiously around. ''They'll be in sight very soon. We had better put all the space we can between the dead hounds and OUJ;.'lelves. We don't want to be identified as the persons who killed Sierra Tom's pets." "It was self-preservation." .'1-'He won't look at it that way," observed Gil, significantly. They pressed forward anew. Frank's gait had become a lagging one. Gil, looking back, abruptly pushed him behind a big tree they were near. "Don't show yourself," he ordered. "Some one in view?" "Back of us-yes. I don't believe we were seen. Get up into the tree, keeping close on this side. Can you make it?" "Surely." Frank got aloft, and Gil after him, without rounding the surface of the trunk. / From the screening shelter of thick branches and leaves they looked back through the timber. "One, two, three, four, five, six," counted Gil, peering keenly. "Men?" "They'll be demons when the y see the dead bloodhounds." "Do you think they will trace us?" "We can only trust to luck. A mile more and we could have defied them." "I'm sorry, but my strength seems all to have given out." "Oh, we ll make the best of this, and it may be better than we think," encouraged Gil. Frank could see the six men his companion had counted. They came forward on a keen run. "They've got another dog with t hem,'' said Frank. "Eh? What! I didn't see that. Why, so they have." "In leash." "To follow the trail of the others." "Oh, my!" Gil shot out a quick hand and grabbed Frank as the latter uttered the ejaculation in a piercing tone. From frank's quick start and flutter, he fancied he was to take another tumble. "What's the matter?" he interrogated. "Those men!" "Yes-Sierra Tom's crowd-some of them, at least." "One of them," pursued Frank, slowly; "yes, two of them, I know." "Do you?" "Belton-Bowen, murmured Frank, surveying the distant crowd with a lengthening face. "They may have been after the two men who stole our shoes, but they are also after me." "What you been doing?" Frank was fairly challenged. He looked earnestly, anxiously, into the clear, practical, business eye of his comrade. "Gil," he said, "I'm going to tell you." "That's right." "You've helped me out, and holding back my secret may com plicate affairs, which would not be right, after all you've done for me. They're sc attering-see?" "Yes; they're going to take a look for us, that's sure." The six men had been Jed straight up to the tree \vhere the two dead bloodhounds lay by the live one they held in leash. The boys could hear a wild outcry, a confab of enraged and vindictive ruffi a ns. Then the group deployed, and from their maneuvers it was certain that they were about to prosecute a systematic search for the fellows who had killed the bloodhounds. "Do you think they will trace us?" inquired Frank, anxiously. "With that new hound on the scent, perhaps, in time." "Then listen." It was a queer situation-it's duplicate would come rarely in the experience of the average boy, even a California boy, a type not unused to wild and adventurous environment. The two boys perched in a tree-both in deadly peril from the crossed interests, vindictiveness and suspicions of men who we 're outlaws, and, therefore. without mercy. Discovery haunted every passing moment. Frank Warren talked fast. He told his companion all that was necessary to make things clear. Gil listened like a person drinking in a tale of the magic and sorcery of the forgotten ages, and Frank saw that the glamour and glit ter of th e m:1gnetic project so dear to' his heart had the power to captivate every other that came under its influence.


BRA VE AND BOLD. 23 "Well," commented Gil, simply, but with emphasis, when the story was concluded. "Well!" "What am I going to do?" asked Frank, anxiously. vVhere's those letters?" propounded Gil, practically. Frank produced them. "Want my advice?" inquired Gil. r do-badly." ''I'll do a nything to keep that secre t from falling again into the hand s of that man, Belton." 'vVill you trust me entirely?" "Yes, I will!" voiced Frank, with final determination. Gil opened th e l etters and >pread them out. "Those a re the r ea lly important part of the matter?" he in quired, running hi s finger over the syllable written in the corner of each mi ssive Frank nodd ed an asse nt. Gil tore from each l etter the corner in which the sy llabics were written. Then he crumpled up the letters and envelopes, thr'ust them into his pocket and s pread the three scraps on his knee. "Now, then," he said. "Translate them, can you?" inquired Frank, eagerly. "The first i s Greek. "Oh!" "It r ea ds, 'Moil.'" Frank thrilled lik e a novice admitted to some my stic circle :mcl awarded the fiirst degre e 'The second-um-um-the last i s Hebre w." "Can you r ea d it?" "Just r ece ntly s tudied the alphab e t. It is '!TE.'" Frank m e m o ri zed the syllabie as if he wa s absor bing drops of pr ecio u s gold. ''And the secon d syllable of the word-why did yo u skip that?" he queried. Gil was hi s chin in a perplex e d and hopeless way "Because i t's a puzzler," he vouchsafed. "You mean you can't make it out?" I nev e r saw those svmb ols before." "B ut, of course. the; mean something?" "Oh, certain \ y [ dcn't comprehend the w i sdo m of the um ve r se and my being st umped i s quite n atu ral. It's so me obscure language, but I s uppo se the re 's profe sso r s up a t our college who can tell what tho se three little sign s mean in a twinkling. "They re coming! "Eh!" projected t h e absorbed Gil. Three of their pursuers, the bloodhound in th e lead, were coming st rai g h t for the tree "Take these, te a r th em to the merest fragment;;, chew tham up, obliterate them," direc ted Gil hurriedly, and he handed the letters and two of the syllal>le scraps to Frank. "But--" "Do as I say. Now, see here-you won t forget the two syl lables I've given you?" "'MON-ITE'-never !" declared Frank. "The third one i s the connecting link. How shall we preserve it? "They'll search me for the merest scrap of the letters," said Frank. "Yes. Let me see." While Frank made a litter of the rest of the letter s Gil studied the little scra p on hi s kne e closely. Then h e took out hi s pocket-knife. He began industriously cutting a smooth spot into the bark of the trunk of the tree. This done, he used the point of the knife as he might a tool. "See," he said, I have made 1. perfect copy of the third syllable of the secret." "Yes," murmured the intensely excited Frank. "Can you rem e mber this tree?" "I will take a good look around and fix it in my mind." "Th e n, whatever happens you will always know where to I 9ok for the signs we dare not perpetuate in any other way. Are you sure of your ground, Frank?" "Yes-'MON-ITE' and the second and missing syllable on the bark here, where no o ne will ever think of looking for it but ou selves." "1..'hat's it" Gil handed Frank the littl e telltale scrap of paper. Frank put it in his mouth and chewed it to pulp. "Now let Belton search all he wants to," he observed, tri umphantly. At that moment there came a sharp hail from under the tree. CHAPTER XV. CAPTURED! Three men and the bloodhound had halted directly under the tree in Frank-and Gil were hiding. Hey, you, up th ere!" Frank had disposed of every fragment of the three letters and l ooked exultant. Gil had taken out of his knapsac;k the book of the botanical cylinder and acted quite and r es ign ed. "Hey, y o ur self!" he call e d down placidly and then in an under ton e to Frank he a dd ed: "Let me run things with that crowd." "Hello!" uttere d a surprised voice, that d o n't sotmd like the traito r s we're after." 'Come down, you, or we'll bring you d ow n sang 9ut another memb e r of th e trio, and a pist o l snapp ed. Gil b ega n to descend, dropped from th e lowermo s t branch gave hi s cap a jaunty touch and, facing t h e three men and th'e d o g, said ch eerfully: "Morning, gents." W e ll, you r e a cool one," projected a big braw11y fellow who seemed to be the l eade r o f the pursuing party. "vVho are you, anyway?" Gil flipped the leaves of his book and tapped his tin hox. Flower picker," he pronounced "Bah!" ejacu l ated the man i di gust. Say to the others, "we've been hunting the wrong crowd. The two follows who ran away have given us the s lip. Tom, will have a fit over this." "But the hounds ran this trail." "Oh," spoke up Gil, "some one stole our shoes and we wore their s." "Youngsters," demanded the man, sternly, "how about those dog s ?" "We killed them." "Do y o u know its worth your life to confess it?" "It was our lives, anyway, if we didn't." "Hey! Hurrah! Zip! Say!" Just here Belton, who wa s one of the trio, made a dash. Frank feared and had been pn:tty slow in appear ing on the scene. Now that he did the embezzling ex-cl erk ran instantly for ward and seized him alive with excitement and joy. "Th at the boy who ran away on the hand car you told us about?" asked Gil"s interlocutor.


' I 24 BRA VE AND BOLD. "It is. Say! who are you? Say I where's those watches and wallet, and those letters-yes, those letters? You're the boydon't deny it. Where are they?" Frank was hustled about vigorously, but he did not lose his comp osu r e He discerned at once that the disgui s e John him in Los Angeles completely shielded his Belton. Gillespie had given true identity from "Don't shake the daylights out of me, quite I" vociferated Frank. "What watches? What wallets? What letters?" "In a blanket, on the hand car that y o u jumped on last night." "Why," declared Frank, innocently, "do you suppose I saw any thing but stars in that wild ride? It was my life I was af er when I got going licketty-switch. It ran off on a spu r You'll find the blanket, and your watches, and wallets somewhere stre wn along the track." "Sure, boy-sure, boy?" cried Belton. "What did you steaA our hand car for?" "To get out of the meanest, loneliest district I ever struck," prcclaimed Frank, bluntly. "Come on, Bowen!" shouted Belton exuberantly to a member of the second group of searchers, who now came running up. "I've found the fellow who stole our car." "Who is he?" "Some harum-scarum wildcat, who got his full of a free ride. I know where the stuff is----papers and all. Come on. Boys, tell Tom I'll see him busin ess now." Belton and Bowen started away, c o nversing animatedly. The other two men approached, one of them with a surly stare fixed on Gil. "I know that boy!" he proclaimed. "Eh? What!" queried the leader. "He's the one I told Tom about. He's. been spying around here for three weeks." "He says tie's a flower specimen gatherer?" "You bring him along. Tom saw him, too, and if h e knows him it's all day with you, youngster!" Gil's face changed its color a trifle. "So you're going to take me with you, are you?" he demanded. "Well, I guess so! Bring the other kid, too. Boys, we've missed the two runaways, but' maybe these two will make up for it in Tom's estimation, specially the big one." Frank looked anxiously at Gil. He got nearer to him. "Does Sie!:'ra Tom know you?" he inquired. "Yes," whispered back Gil. "Then--" "I took my risk, and I'll have to take my medicine," came the philos o phical response, attended by a careless shrug of the shoulders. "Grit to the core!" reflected Frank. "Well, I'll see Batterman, Velasquez and Powell now, I suppose." The four outlaws started the boys in front of them, heading back the way they had come. "I say," projected Gil, facing them suddenly, "I suppose you wouldn't do som e thing for a poor fellow?" "Shoot it out;" directed the leader gruffly. "Tliere's an old cabin about a mile ahead." "Is there?" "I've camped there at times. It isn't much out of your route. I want to get something I left there-another specimen book. Will you let me?" "Playing innocent flower boy yet, eh?" sneered the man who had identified Gil. "Will you do it ?-that is the question," retorte d Gil. < "Go ahead," growled the leader. Gil proceeded in the c ontrary direction. Frank kept by his side. "What are you up to, Gil? queried the latter in a whisper. "Escape?" "Don't think of it, unless you want a bullet." "What, then?" "Why, I told-I have another s pecimen book in the cabin." "Yes, but that's not all you' r e after." "Wait and see." Frank was curious and anxious. Gil's lips were compressed, his face glum He went along like a person revolving some steady purpose in mind that was serious and weighty. "Gil," ventured Frank again, after a pause, "are you afraid?" "Afraid!" "Gil silenced his comrade with a l ook. "Then-worried?" "If you mean, do I think Sierra Tom will ever let me loose when he gets me-no." "That's a bad prospect," muttered Frank, drearily. "I knew that when I began my task." "Secret service?" "S-st !" They had reached a broken-down h ovel. It was a little be yond the edge of the fore s t, and set squar e ly back against a perpendicular wall of rock. "This is the place?" inquired the leader. "Yes," nodded Gil. "Get your book. I'll go in and get it with you The two disappeared past the broken door of the shanty. Sure enough Gil came out with another book under his arm, and this seemed to throw the four men off their guard. They accommodatingly waited while Gil knelt near the side of the cabin, apparently r earra ng ing his traps in more p o rtable shape. Frank watched him nervously. Somehow, he could not divest himself o f the impression that Gil's face, pale, serious, resolute, predicted an unexpected move. He knew it, as with a sudden Gil land e d next to a pile of wood, where a keen-edged rested on the chopping Jog. This Gil had snatched up. His eyes were snapping with a mingled excitement and desperation. "Here!" "What's he doing?" Two of the outlaws instantly sprang forward. Before they could intercept him, however, Gil had reached the rocky wall For the first time Frank observed running up it and here and there covered by vines, a thick, h eav y rope. It appeared to' scale the cliff, run over it and sustain some immense weight on the other side, for where its near end was anchored by a chain around an immense rock it strained as taut as a ship's cable. "Stop him-he's up to something!" yelled the outlaw leader. Clip! With one deft stroke, Gil dealt the r ope a destructive blow. The keen edge of the hatchet severed the strands like magic. Tearing loose the immense cable went whirling aloft like a great gyrating serpent. Way over the cliff somethmg fell, something struck. Th<:n came a crash like sudden thunder, a crash that.shook th,e air with the far-reverberating vibrations of a tremendous dyna mite blast. "'\{\That have you done?" palpitated the electrified Frank. Gil turned to confront the crowd, a hero's triumph in his brave


BRA VE AND BOLD. 25 . face, a hero's thrilling intensity in his echoing tones, as he uttered three mystic, emphatic words: "Telegraphed to Washington I" CHAPTER XVI. HOLE IN THE GROUND. Telegraphed to Washington I Frank Warren r ega rded the heroic speaker, Gil, with a thrill. Those words rang out full of purp ose, fulJ of menace, every every accent falJing up o n the ears of the four outlaws lik e a m essage of doom. Their faces dismayed and startled, they formed a part of a tabl eaux so vivid that Frank could scarcely consid e r it real. Boom-m-m-m A t housand reverb erating echoes folJowed the first appalling crash. Frank could imagine the fleet wings of sound carrying further and furthe r away from that lone spot, nearer and nearer to some intended destination, a message, a warning, an alarm. Gil dropped the keen-edged hatchet. He looked unflinchingly in the faces of the four brawny, ferocious felJows who had failed t o prevent what the y instinctively r e cognized as a de ad ly menace. The giant of the quart et drew back his snarling lips till his teeth showed like ravenous tusks. The other three, hands to belts ad.anced upon Frank, bristling with the sinister crouch they would assume in surrounding a netted animal they intended to destroy. Vague as had Gil 's announc ement been, Frank fancied he guessed its meaning. One thing was apparent-the outlaws understood it completely, and t h e b earing of Gil as he now squarely confronted them s howed the desperate bravery of a person who had risked alJ on one big move and is willing to take the consequences. "What's he done?" demanded one of the quartet, hoarsely. "A signal explosion I" "Eh?" H atchet-rope--rock on other side-can of dynamite-bang!" "WelJ I" "!;[e's a spy, as we guessed-dared to come where fulJ-grown men are scarce and mad e scarcer the closer they get to Sierra Tom's lair. That explosion is a me ssage to fri e nds over the divide. They the settlement-San Francisco-the young tiger cub is right-he has 'tel egra ph e d to Washington I'" "Secret service force?" "Why not?" "TelJing them--" "Who knows? 'Mo v e ,' maybe. Mtve it will be when Tom hears of this, but, youngster," continued the speaker, with a ter r ible l ook at Gil, "you've signed your death warrant." Gil did not saw a word. Frank notic ed his lips compress tighter and the re was a little white line at their corners-that was the o nly emoti on he expressed The l eade r of the 'quartet proceeded to secure a pi ec e of rope a nd tied the two b oys arm to arm. "Now, then, march!" he o rdered, gruffly, "and no more hatchets o r other flare tricks or we'IJ constitute ourselves the judge and jury instead of Sierra Tom." Frank l ooked rue full y at hi s companion as they were hurried o n He r ead a terrible tragic s i t ua tion in their environment Gill,'' he manag e d to whisper, "you're in an awful fix." "Yes," nodded Gil, calmly. "'Death I" .i suppose so. I took my life in. my hands when I ca me here. They told me so. I knew it, but it was big money-a great temptation-for it meant enough to pay my way through college." Frank felt dre adfully sorry for his comrade. Gil s high purpo se s devoid of any sensational tinge of posing as a detective, touched him immensely. "Confound it all!" flared out Frank, indignantly. "It's a shame -killing a mere boy--" I "I took a man's place," remarkecf Gil philosophically. "What did you mean by 'telegraphing to Washington?"' in quired Frank. "Just what I said. It is understood by those over the line of the outlaws' dominion, ten miles away, that when I fire that dy9a mite I have reach e d the last ditch and it is now or never to make a descent on Sierra Tom's band. "That may save you?" "If the authorities act in time." Frank was dreadfulJy worried, so much so that his own pos sible peril, the results of a bootless return on the part of Belton, whom he had sent on a fool's errand, made no impression on his mind. He was thinking what a royally grand partner Gil would maKe in the diamond-making business, with alJ his learning and per severance But alJ projects of that sort, the secret syllable carved in tlie tree, the two in his memory, the glamour and fa s cination of the mi ssi ng ingredi e nt, were obscured completely and l os t all their zest as Frank fancied what lay before his friend and himself when they re a ched the lair o f Sierra Tom. Frank did not wonder, as the proceeded that the fugitive outlaw was able to hold the police force of a great State at bay. Strange, hidden paths, secret avenues, running through rocky gorges, tunnel c o urses, penetrating such in tortuous progress, the outlaws finally reached a summit looking down on an immense ravme. Frank at a glance took in the scene as the site of an abandoned mining property of con s iderable extent. The re were buildings, machinery and chutes. The same influence that fri g htened people a wa y from the La Grande Hotel, from the old gulf railroad route-the proximity of Sierra Tomprobably prevented the owners of these mines from getting at least wre ckage money out of their prop d rty. There was a abode but at the edge; of the ravine, and here their captors hurried th em. It had but one entrance--a sheet-iron door provided with an imm e nse padlock. I reckon you won't get out of th e re in a hurry, friends," chuckled the leader of the quart et. See here, began Frank, craving a parl e y and hoping to gain some trace of the p oss ible wher e abouts of the three c a pl:ured diamond expetimentalists, some inkling of their own fate. "No, see here!" guffawed the giant fellow, giving both boys a push past the thre s hold of the hut that sent them tumbling promi sc uously to its floor. "Say. your prayer ?!" jeer e d another of the four, significantly, to Gil. "Make up a pretty clear yarn you don't want to be made a sieve of by Sierra Tom,'' interlarded a fellow-outlaw to Frank. Cla ng! The great door slammed shut on the two boys. They heard the padl ock adjusted Frank shivere d at the ominous sounds. "Gil, he spoke, "what are you going to do?" "Untie this rope first." It was pitchy dark in the place. Not a ray of light penetrated. Th_: fingers of the two devoted fricds got into all kinds o! I


I BRAVE AND BOL D tangles groping to untie the rope that had secured their arms together. "Got your end off?" inquired Gil, after a spell of working "Yes," assented Frank. '.'Sit still a minute, then till I look around," directed Gil. "Look around?" "What's the. matter with that?" It seemed that Gil was prepared for contingencies common to an isolated experience in the wilderqess, for he flared a match, and by its rays Frank s aw that his companion was lighting a piece of candle. "Good for you!" he commenced, trying to cheer up. "Yes, this is bete.r," affirmed Gil, practically. "Now, then, let's find o ut wh a t kind of a place we're shut into Gil went all around the walls of the place. There was not a break in unifotm solidity except at the door. "Adobe composition," Frank heard him murmur. "Not hard to kick a hole through that. Ah! I change my mind-it is." "Is what?" asked Frank, as Gil gave the wall a kick with his heel, but did not repeat the operation. "Hard to get out. The adobe s imply covers sheet-iron' plates." "Well!" "I see what this hou s e is-it was the storage vault of the mines. Come and help me, Frank." Gil had set his candle on the floor, and, seizing an iron ring sunk in a grooved board, was tugging at it. Frank bent over and got a grip, too. "She's giving," uttered Frank in a gasp. "Whew!" Back flew the door, carrying both boys with it. They laughed over the mishap of skinned knuckles and bumped heads. The zest of ardent irtvestigation temporarily shadowed their recent u ncertainty and dread A cavernous abyss yawued beneath the trapdoor, and noisome, noxious vapors arose. "What is it?"' queried Fra11k, pre s sing cl o se to the side of his peering companion. "Some part of the system of t,he mine." "A shaft-a pit?" "I don t know," returned Gil, thou g htfully. "The rays of the candle d on't go far enough dqwn to s how, but we must find out." "Why?" "Why, Frank ?-the most natural reason i n the world, of course." "And that is?" "By that hole we escape, or not at all." Frank fluttered mightily He had not been thinking of escape He watched Gil as the latter took a cartridge from his pocket. "Keep very quie t, Frank," he directed, leaning over th e o p r a trap space, poising the carttidge, letting it drop squarely in the center and then bending his ear in a pose of concentrated att ention. Frank held his breath. They had to go down that hole, and he .. waS' anxious to know if it was very deep. O ne < secon d, \wo, three; four-seddenly a d istant snaJ?, feeble as 'that of a cap pi, stol, was hearc! Gil met his friljnd's glance calculatingly. "Well?" interrogated Frank, with eagerness. \Nill we have to go far to r each bottom?" "I should say," Gil, quietly "a matter o( about twelve ;-hun\ired CHAPTER XVII. THE DISAPPEARING CANDLE. "Twelve hundred feet!" repeated Frank in a startled voice "Yes," nodded Gil, "it's certainly that far to the bottom of the hole." "Then it's useless to think of trying it "Not at all." "Eh?" "Anything is better than Sier r a Tom." Gil pronounced the outlaw's name in a tone that was grewsome threatening and convincing all at once "There's little doubt of that," acceded Frank, promptly. "I'm 'with you, Gil!" "Now, then!" Gil had been swaying he candl e se veral fe e t down into the shaft with one hand and feeling with the other. "I know enough about mines to guess what I'm diving into," he remarked. There's a ladder here, Frank." "G ood!" "But it's primitive, upright tree log standards and ricketty pine step .s. Everything depends on care and c a ution." Gil proceeded to adjust, by means of a string, the piece of candle to one shoulder. He started the descent, directed, and Frank explici tly follow ing instructions, let the trap cover s lam shut after them. It was an awe s ome situation-the trickle of water, the heavy air, the jiggling of the support secti o n s and the ominous creak ing of the cross pieces were attendant to peril and un certainty that did not tend to put much s oul in a fellow. Once a rotted rung snapped in two, and Frank's heart stoo

BRA VE AND BOLD. The silent shaft had sudden ly echoed with a fu sillad e, the source of which they readily guessed. Bullets rattled, pinging and thudding; then a lighted pine torch came flaring past the m, then another, followed by hurtling pieces of rock. "Bound to wipe us out if we were anywhere on the ladder, which we didn't h ap pen to be," remarked Gil. "It's the outlaws-they have discovered our escape." "Of course." "And may come down after us?" "Hence, we'll put, prompt and brisk," was Gil's blunt rejoinder. "Frank, I d on't know as I'm doin g righ t in leading you into all sorts of trouble, where we will have to fight our way every inch of the journey." "What would you do-leave me up there to be butchered?" demanded Frank. "You're grit!" declared Gil, admiringly. "We've both got to be if we eve r expect to see day light again." Silence brooded once more as the two b oys started forward. They came to where a broad face of rock was penetrated with bl aste d tunnels. Down the first Gil started, Frank followed. "This is not so b ad," commented the latter. "Not if it d on't l ead us right out where a dozen fellows are waiting to trap us," replied Gil. After a considerable winding, always on a downward trend, the two explorers finally emerged into a large rock cavity big enough for a ball room. All the other tunnels, they saw, ended here as well. Gil looked puzzled and Frank inquiring. I can hardly make this out," spoke the former. "There's a hole boarded in. Wonder what that is? And here-I see, Frankl" "Do you, Gil?" "Yes-look! Here's a great boxed-in dumping bin. The tunnels drift the blast here, and they are s hov elle d into the bin. There -must be sluices running from it. We won't try getting out that WtY Let's see what other outlet there is." ti! tipped the candl e to pour a hot drop or two of grease on what he supp o sed to be a rock splinter lying on the floor. It hardened and stood safe, and, directed by the steady flare, bo t h boys proceed e d toward an opening cut in the solid rock. "Here we are!" d eclared Frank, peering ahead. "Yes, this the exit fro m the mine. It's straight sailing now." "Say, Gil it's getting dark." "Tlie candle must be going out--" "Crackey!" With a yell Frank jumped forward as he turned. "For goodness sake!" shouted Gil. An ama zing, a my st if y ing spectacle greeted their vision. The candle was walking away. CHAPTER XVIII. POWDER] As if it had feet, the candle was crossing the floor. At this marvel, at this miracle Frank and Gil stared in petrified astonishment. Then they started on a run after the receding light. Before they could overtake it, however, making straight for the boarded up place they had noticed before, the aisappearing phenomenon sli d under the inch or two of space beneath the bo ards, leaving Frank and Gil in complete darkness. "I say!" voiced the latter. "Ouchi" Frank had flopped down on the disappearing candle, had missed it and ran his hand promptly under the boards after it. A snapping catch clutched his forefinger, bringing the blood. .-"Gil," he panted, "know what it was ?-a turtle." "A what?" "A snapping turtle. What else? It just nipped me. Don't you see? You thought it was a splinter of rock that you stuck the candle to. As soon as it began to warm up the turtle made off." "And we're left in a pretty fix!" remarked Gil, ruefully. "Can we get beyond that barrier? Try and tear down the boards--" "Look out, Gil I" "Hello!" "Yes, we're cornered." Promptly both boys turned at a glare of advancing light. It was approaching steadily through the corridor they had just discovered. Frank could hear his companion's breath come in short, anxious jerks. "Do you want to risk facing them?" demanded Gil, rapidly. "Not if it can be avoided." "Do you want to risk the ore dumping box?" "As a hiding place? The very thing I They may not think to look there." It was the very first place that three sinister pairs of eyes did look one minute after the boys had jumped down into a huge box, the bottom of which was littered with lumps or rock and soil. "Thought they'd 1come this way,'' ominously croaked a gruff voice. "You two Cbme up here!" Gil gave Frank a push so sudden thaf it was something almost in the nature of an assault. The movement crowded Frank back into a box-like space about three feet square, and Gil followed him clo se. "Back and down," spoke the latter, grimly. "Back and down where?" "Into the sluice chute." "Is it--" "Our only resource. No surrender!" Zip! Frank's breath was jolted out of him as he obeyed orders and took a tremendous slide of about twenty feet. Here was another box-like compartment, and he had sense enough to crowd to one erlge so that Gil would not land on him. His companion arrived at his side. Frank heard him feeling around. "The sluice water pipe runs in here," reported Gil. "Take the next section down. Quick Frank 1 Those fellows may get to shooting." "More likely hurry and grab us where this thing ends." "Worse than that 1 Oh, hasten! hustle!" The sluice chute had begun where the ore chute ended. A new kind of progress was now possible, for cleats were nailed every three feet to catch coarse lumps of ore "It's like a ladder." began Frank, and then he traced abruptly the cause of Gil's urgency. Down came a spatter of water. It grew to "cl

BRAVE AND BOLD. "Keep it up!" gasped Gil s encouraging voke. "Daylight ahead!" "Whew!" Frank shot out where the chute, running on standards, was open clear down to a little creek. The water was racing as in a mill-c o urse It stopped over the unprotected top, and over it, too, Frank lifted himself and dropped ten or twelve feet to the ground. He rubbed his water-dashed eyes to see Gil by his side, but another person as well within an undesirable proximity. "March!" sounded a stentorian voice. "It was no use, after all our trouble !" murmured Gil, re gretfully. Not ten feet away stood a man, and he looked as ugly as the great cannon of a pistol he levelled There was no way of mistaking his directions, for a trodden path led up the ravine s i de. Frank and Gil proceeded along this, and the man kept up with them. "Go on, there I" he ordered as the y faced the mouth of an excavation. For fifty feet it was blind, though smooth, progress. Then the boys came upon a light, three men and the very rocky compartment where they had lost their candle. "Got them, eh?" chirped a familiar voice, and the boys recognized the giant l eader ortheir morning jaunt. He walked up to the crestfallen Frank and Gil, clutched a n arm of each, marched to tHe end of tl1e place furthest away from the ore dump and gave each a push up against the smoo th rock wall. -' "Well, youngster," he r,._rked, eying Gil coolly, "you've had your trouble for your pains." "Oh, it was a little variety!" retorted Gil, bracing up like steel. "You're a hot I" -,, "Am I?" "But you'll soon a c o ld one-des perately colcl,'' Gil acted unconcer11ed. "Sierra Tom would tear you to i he got his hands on you. He's beard about vou. He knows the sneaking and reporting and the ypu've hitn generally, I'rn a merci ful man. Fai'r, scii.1are, proper shuffling off th e coil, say I. You're to die like a gentleman I" "Thank you! Gil with a cool courtesy that gave Frank tj1e shivers. ' '' "Why have w e to die at all!" he cried, involuntarily. "Well. wdl Here's the boldest chicken in the coop!" the giant. "Sarfad, you actually amuse me! TJi!s fellow hasn't done more to down Sierra Tom than all the policem e n m Cali fornia, has he?" "I don't know ," murmured Frank "You didn't p l ay Belton any sly tri c ks yourself, did yQu ?" t o be searc hed y6u know 'for them papers," put in a second outlaw. "Easier whe n he's qu i ete d down. Get fellows Orders Is orders. Young ma11, how will you have it?" "Have what?" projected Gil, and his mas,k of reckless ence never broke. "Eyes shut, b a to the troops, or face about--" "Every time! ay, you miserable assassins!" blazed out Gil, the smoldering 'volca n o bur' sting it s bounds at fast ;0"'lisren -to me. Murder is your toy, robbery your second nah1fe : bu -t, nf,irk yoi1 tl'ie sign 'a! I fired to-day has gone around the civiffztrd world! You fq.ncy yourselves safe. Yot are rat s in a safe trap, mark me! and remember, 'when gallows come's, as if wilf[come/to the last one of you, that you vilest deed was, not dealing out to me what I might expect, but murdering in cold blood this in nocent boy, this friend, who never did you an injury." If quicksilver had been sudde nly infused into his veins, Frank would not have experienced a greater stimulation than that brought about by the heroic words that thrilled him to the soul. He put out a hand to Gil, trembling, not with fear, but some thing of that daring emotion that pervades the being of the sol dier on the battl e field, who, in the mad dash of glory, forgets self and knows he i s only one of many. "Gil," he whispered, "don't mind me. We'll show them the courag e of right, like men!" Gil s words had madly infuriated the leader of the group. Hitherto he had been facetious. The under surface ferocity of his nature blazed out now. "Gallows!" he growled. "First shot!" he sho u ted to the others, who had drawn their revolv ers. "You cackling bird of ill-omen, say your la s t word!" "The government will s peak it." "Bah!" Click I "Stop!" The big ruffian had rai sed his weapon. The hand of of his comrades swept it down, the same hand pointing to one side. "Look!" its owner stammered. "Eh? Zound s !" Frank and Gil looked, too. Emerging from under the bottom of the b oarded-in space there crawled into view the turtle. The blazing candle was still on its back. It crept a few s t eps and th en, in stinct warning it of danger among so many intruders, the turtle as promptly turned and re treated into' it s covert once more: "A candle!" cried the leader of the outlaws "Lighted!" "In there!" "Run for your life!" ,i The bewild'ei-ed boys saw the outlaws turn like arrant cowa ds. The rock chamber was emptied in a single instant. Gaping, staring to fry and guess the secret of this strange in tervention in their behalf, Gil looked at Frank and Frahk back at him, an d both thrilled grewsomely as a partfog voice explained the mystery of the sudden fright: "A lighted candle in the powder magazine!" 'f 1 I,:.. CHAPTER XIX. BLOTTJ!D OUT! "A lighted candle!" "In th e powder magazine!" Frank s hot ottt half the dread sente nce as if he was s pitting out hot lead _His stanch friend Gi_l, finishe

BRA VE AND BOLD. "The alarm has gone out!" panted Frank, not relaxing his gait. "See-everybody is running." "Stop!" Gil's command partook of the essence of an unmistakable cheer. "Why?" began Frank, and stared in wonder. Pandemonium seemed let loose. From two of the mine build ings a fusillade was pouring forth, and right into it, returning the hot, steady fire, a body of uniformed men were moving with un wavering system. Soldiers!" cried Frank. "My signal! The government has acted 111 exclaimed Gil, in tensely excited. "They have just arrived. Mercy!" What happened Frank instantly gues s ed. The light on the turtk's b a ck had done its deadly work in the powder magazine. What en s ued for the space of a moment or two Frank afterward clearly recalled. All was riot, wreck and confusion. He was lifted from his feet and hurled to the ground as by a mighty earthquake shock. He struggled erect, staggeringly, to view buildings tottering, smoke and flame hissing from the ground, and, above it all, amid the frenzied dash of human beings, shots and yells rang out. He could not make out Gil for the enveloping wreaths of smoke about him. Suddenly Frank sprang aside. A supe_rb horse bearing a superb rider nearly ran him down. "Halt!" Twenty paces beyond six uniformed soldiers held leveled their deadly Winchesters. The horseman br ght his magoifi1=ent steed to its haunches and shot back a maleoiction at the cold steel menac:e. Frank was so near to hlin that, as his glance shifted, it took him within its sweep. "Ha!" was all that left the rider's lips, but his eyes snapped. He reached out his arm. 1 Quick as a flash, he lifted won dering Frank from the ground and swung him behind him in the saddle, "Up!" The horseactually screamed with the pain inflicted by the sharply-dg rowel in its side. "Boy!" the rider's voicll; "cling, shield me, or I will turn and send a bullet through your brain!" 13ang Bang! Crack Ping! A leaden hail passed all around the two riders. Bril')g down the horse7don't shoot the boy!" rang 01,1t a commanding voice. "F(ee !" With an exultant yell the mac!, reckless rider turned into a narrow, path, shut in by towering roc;ks, blocking the sight of pursuers. Crouching close to him, Frank held his breath. It seemed that a swerve, a slip, going that tremendous rate of speed, would precipitate horse and riders to instant death alike. "On I" Frank felt as if he was behind some flying phantom. The horse seemed winged. He closed his eyes, chining with terror, as, squarely in front of them, appeared a bnl!ad chasm. One easy swillg 11nd the hor!le was over. Frank Warren could not repress a fervent utterance: "Magnificent!" On and on, through dried-up water courses, over steep hills by difficult ledge the horse kept up tha.t m11<;f, reckless pace. Then, at the edge of an opening, its rider halted it-foamIathered, panting lurid-eyed. ''.Now, boy, to 9p with ypu !" The man sprang to the ground, Frank. with hi1n. !Tis eyes blazed with excitement and ferocity. He had drawn a murderous-looking knife. "With me?" Frank. "Why, I just saved your life!" "What is that to the ruin you have wrought to all my plans?" hissed the man. "Say! Are you Sierra Tom?" The truth had suddenly dawned on Frank-it simultaneously brought an abrupt conviction to the mind of the sanguinary rider. "Hello!" he muttered. "Come to look, you're not the spy." "The other one Belton told me about," continued the man Frank now knew to be the famous fugitive outlaw. "Well-git!" Frank realized that he was spared. He lingered, however. He felt he must question Sierra Tom as to the three diamond ex perimentalists-Batterman, of Amsterdam; Velasquez, of Brazil, and Ppwell, of New York. "If I might ask you a question," he began. "Boy, you had better go before I change my mind I" ground out Sierra Tom. "There will be a power after you inside of three minutes that will make you wish you had made the start." "What does he mean?" Frank retreated slowly. The man was now in a half-stooping posture, where some high grass grew, and seemed going through the maneuvers of a person mowing more than anything else. "He's up to some dodge to baf!le pursuit," soliloquized Frank. "What a pity I have no weapon! If I had, I declare Vd risk try ing to take that bold fellow up against the reward offered for him!" Frank had not proceeded fifty paces before he made a discovery. This was the fact that he had reached a little pool of water he distinctly recognized as a point he had passed that morning in the company of the four outlaws. "Why, I know w)1ere I am," he murmt1red. "That wild ride mixed me all up. The outlaw camp is up ther.e. The place where I met Gil is down there's the very cabin where he Jed the outlaws and cut the rope signal." Frank waif instantly moved by two contending imp11lses. A powerful one influenced him toward at once returning to the attacked camp of the outlaws. There, he felt certain, the soldiers had the victory, and there he would find Gil-perhaps Belton-surely the three friends of John Gillespie, the diamond-maker-Batterman, Velasquez and Powell. On the other hand, less than a mile away was the old hut where Gil had fired the signal, and an equal di.stance to the east beyond it was the grove of trees where they had taken refuge from the bloodhounds. "See here!" exclaimed Frank, "my course is plain. While so near I'll h1,1rry to the tree where Gil carved th! middle syllable of the missing ingredient word. I'll copy it on something, get back to the outlaw camp and be in the very best shape in the world to talk to Batterman, Velasquez and Powell,' Full of this pl11n and back on '.he old fascinating trail of the diamond-maker's secret once more, Frank started, with the hut in view as a guiding point to the tree. He had not gone twenty yards, hqwever, when he turned like a ill an ominous, souitd. "Goodness !11 he voiced. A wall of fire was approaching him. I;J;e saw now what Sierra Tom meant when he had warned him that there would be a power after him inside O'f three minutes that would make him wish he had made the start advised. Sierra Tom was speeding away at his old mad, reckless course to the north. Between him and Frank the long grass was ablaze. Dry as I


30 BRA VB AND BOLD. tinder, it leaped at shrub and bush, lick ed them up and roared its way forward toward the timber with incredible rapidity. It had acquir ed a double crescent shape-probably so pur po sely started by the outlaw, an undoubted exp ert in woodcraft. One dip of the same was eating its way broadly across the atretch which pursuers from the outlaw camp would be likely to come the other was c utting in toward the old hut. Frank instantly saw that to gain a safe point he must get across a bare eminence just beyond him. He could not n ow get to the outlaw camp if he wished, nor ceuld he reach the tree he wanted by way of the hut. ''I'll keep down the so uth s lant of th: hill and cross over when I get about opposite the grove of trees," planned Frank. He adopted the course formulated at once. Out of sight, the fire was out of mind. Frank noticed that considerable smoke and feathery cinder dust came even across the range, but h e believed all the time he was leaving the blaze behind him. He was busy r eflecti ng. Now that the ordeal o f the morning had been p assed t hrou gh, exciting and p e ril ous as it was, it was as nothing except an exper ienc e Brigh ter, clearer, more favorable and promi si ng than ever lo omed up the great diamond-making project. Frank calculated that when h e told his sto ryrto th e three experimentali sts and supplied a copy of the sec ret syllables they would n ot fail to believe his statement that John Gillespie intended he should have a s h a re in the glory and the returns. ''I'll work Gil in, if I can," mused the free-hearted Frank. "He's simply the best and brave s t fellow I eve r knew. Oh! thin gs wouldn't have grazed us so marvel ously if i t wasn't down in the book s that this diamond-making business s h o uld come to the front again as the guidmg m otive of my life ." Full of excitement, enthusiasm, confidence, Frank finally started to cross the little hill range-he must certainly be opposite the grove of trees where Gil had carved the secret sylla ble. He was; but, with a frantic da sh a nd then a dismayed cry, Frank, coming to the apex of the hill, felt all his plans ot the present all the h o pes of the future vani s h as in an uplifting p uff of s moke. The fire had swept down the open. It h ad blotted out the cabin comnletely. / P assi ng this point, th e flames had reached the grove of trees. That grove, and, m ost desplorable of all, the very tree that b o re the vital, mysterious seco nd sylbble o f the missing ingredient was th e center of a bounding, roaring of flame. CHAPTER XX. ALL HIS OWN. A pale moon g-limm e red down on a somber night, and Frank Warren h elped fill in the picture. Des o l ation was everyw h e re. For twenty miles t he devastating fire had swe p t down the valley. For in the distance now, it was a receding monster devouring new fuel. Here in the grove where Frank a nd Gil had defied the b.loo d hound > that day, t h e flames had died down to black as h es that shifted in the night breeze with ghostly, shivering monuments Under the very t r ee w h e re t h e mystic second syllable of the rriis si1 'ngredient had beerfl carved by Gil lay F rank, sound asleep. It wa s nc sta tely Titan of the forest now, h owever-only a gaunt, blackened spa r lik e its companions about it. There Frank had mournfully dropp ed lik e the loser of a race The spur of h ope removed. he was paying the penalty of tw enty-four of vivid excitement and actio n "Wake up1 It mus 1 hav e been nearly mdnight. Frank felt hi mse lf rnn. He looked up with a sta r t Then his face lightened .. Gil!" "It's me, Frank Thought I'd find you h e re, if anywhere.': "Oh, Gil !-the carved syllable-" Frank ch o ked and pointed up to the charred tree. Gil ga v e a s i ghfu l nod o f sympat hy "I k n ow, Frank." h e murmured; "blotted out, ashes, butm aybe the case isn't so h opeless. Take your mind from it for a few minutes. I want to tell you something. Back at the out l aw camp--" "Oh, yes!" c ried ,Fr ank, springing up, all life and interest. "There were three men there-Batterman, Velasquez and Powell?" "You've got it right, Frank One thing at a time, though. Sierra Tom escaped." "Yes, he used me as a shield, thinking it was you, and got a way." "The r est of the outlaws are in chains or killed. Frank, they tell me I've done a big thi ng. "Have you? Rather! You've broken up the terror that has hun g over this section of California for years." "If we had o nl y caught the main fellow, Sierra Tom?" mur mure d Gil, regretfully; "but my work is dope. The government acted o n the s i g n a l in an h our. They call my task comp l eted and wrll done and all I've got to do is to forward a vouc her to the bra n c h office at San Fran cisco and get-011e thousand dollars! Think of it, Frank-eno ugh to carry me through-college, the dre am o f m y life!" Gil's face was aglow. The h ero was l ost sight of in th!! prac tical, energetic boy, thirtking only of fitting him5elf for life by acquiring an education. "They'd ouizht to p ay / you ten thousand dolla rs!" declared Fra nk em ph a tic ally. "What I want to come to is this," went on Gil "The three men you mentioned were prisoners in the o utlaw camp." "Yes, I knew it." I heard them tell about l osing so me !qt ers. I didn't want to pry into your sec rets-I o nly wanted to you." "I kn o w that, Gil, and I s ho ul d have told you all about those secrets if I h ad found a c h ance "Any way," pursued Gil, "little by little I picked out a fact-the letter s you h ad origi1nlly belonged to the three captured touri sts. I went to them and made so m e inquiries. I t made them curi ous. They were dete rmin e d to leaye the outlaw camp at o nce. I don't kn ow why, but I fancied I might run across you h ere or on t he way here. At all events, I accompanied them this far, and they are waiting ove r yonder, hoping to see yo u." "What!" exclaimed Frank. don't mean--" "Just what I say Come J.nd see them." Frank followed his guide, all a-flutter. When they cam e to where three men were seated on a stone at the hill-top, Frank was so flustered h e could sca r cely speak Here were the three g r eat experts of the diam ond wqrld-he stood before th e m at last. Batterman, of Amsterdam-Frank c oul d tell him from the national cha r acter i stics, speaking, in build and face; Velasquez, of Braz il. d1rk-featured, proud, aristccratic; Powell, of New York, the quick, nervous, calculating bu s iness m a n complete. I s this the boy?" It was t h e l atte r who prop ounde d the que stion. Frank steppe d forwan;l. "This is the b oy I told you about," assented Gil. L et me tell," began Fra.-,k, feeling that the way to avoid com pli catio n s was to explain fir st, and he told them his story He was a littl e surprised ivhen he came to speak regretfully of the l ost syllable, when ' he came to his glowing 2nticipations if it cou l d be found, t hat the r e was no enthusiast i c r es ponse from the three nota bles ,i 'Tis a st range story. This boy de se rves to be something great.. He h as enthusiasm, h e has patience, he has courage," phleg m atically observe d Bat\erman. "Oh Gillespie o nly infused him wit h his visionary id eas," spoke V e la sq uez indifferently. "Sir!" began Frank. indignantly. "Hold o n, lad ," interrupted P owell. "Easi est way is to h2ve n o discussions. Plainly . my two friends do not believe that John Gillespie cou ld make diamonds-missing ingredient or no mi ssing in g red ient." "Bnt he sai d he < c0uJd !/' d eclare d stanc h Frank. "Enthusiasts say many things they fancy they b e lieve," ob ser ve d Powell. "Truth is, ou r rough expe ri ence has sicke n e d us of California, I'm due in New York on important business.


BRA VE AND BOLD. 31 \Ve have no copy of the missing syllable, and we'll never be able to find any person who can make it out." Frank looked terribly disappointed at this announcement. "Therefore," continued Powell, ''we are inclined to drop the affair and go back to our own line of experimenting. I ought to tell you, perhaps, that since we started we have seen how it would be very possible for our friend Gillespie to have made what he fancied were diamonds, but which in reality are not such at all." ''You give up all work on this splendid project!" cried Frank, incredulously. Batterman, of Amsterdam, shrugged his shoulc\ers; Velasquez, of Brazil, nodded with irritation; Powell smiled in a polite way. "I think we shall be in pocket to do so," he asserted. "You abandon the secret of the missing ingredient?" "Yes." "Can I have it?" "That boy has a rare spark of genius!" declared Batterman, fairly startled at the forcible way in which Frank shot out his request. ''Yes, you can have it." "For all me, too," shrugged Velasquez. "I have no time to bestow Qn further investigations," said Powell. Frank arose up mightily. He felt like a giant. Faith in John Gillespie traversed every feature of his beaming, intelligent face. "Gentlemen," he said, "I thank you, not only for the oppor tunity to investigate this magnificent secret, but for the chance to prove that John Gillespie was no dreamec He made diamonds! saw them. r shall yet make them, too!" The three men arose. They were gentlemen, and they gave Frank a courteous adieu. Frank watched them go out of his life with queer emotions "Soured or. a big thing," soliloquized Frank, "because, as John Gillespie sai,1, they can't get the ripe fruit from the planted seed m an hour! All the time Gil had listened to what was said in a sort of a maze. "Well, of all the queer tangles I ever struck!" he commented. as. the three 11otables were lost to view. "Frank, it reads like a romance!" "Don't you see it is no romance?" cried Frank, with spirit; "don't you see that it's hard work, perseverence, courage that is required, and those T"len are not willing to make the sacrifice? Look here. Gil-they gave me the secret?" "Beyond all doubt." ''It's mine?" "What you've got of it." "I'll find out the rest-oh, never fear!" cried Frank, with confident resolution "Gil, if you had known John Gillespie--" "I know you." "You don't mean--" "That I believe in you-tha,t I believe the missing ingredient makes diamonds? Why not? They are making gold in Chi cago, a regular factory. Why s ,houldn't they \ make dia111ond,s? What are you going to do 11ext ?." "I dori't know-let me thfo\c" Let llim think! Frank's head seemed bursting open all the manifold and bewildering Ideas and plans that filled 1t to repletion. The secret was his. his alone-he. a boy. was the sole possessor, the legitimate legatee of John Gil)espie's Croesus secret. A syllable in a name was missing. That found-it must be found, if he had io ransack the universe for it! Past, present and future-actual accomplishment .and plausible promises came up before Frank in concis e reviewal. He saw with the eyes of faith. he planned with the soul of courage, he hoped with the hope of patience. He went up to Gil, a-quiver with resolution a.nd confidence. "You asked me what I was going to do next, Gil, a minute ago?" he said. "Yes .'' "I am $Oing to make diamonds, if diamonds can be made!" CHAPTER XXl. THE MAGJC CRUCIBLE. "It's cheap, you see, Frank!" "What's that to a fellow with a. thousand dollars in bank?" "And easy." ., . lo. I I won't dispute that part of it. Come ahead. The old scow b elongs to nobody, and I'll go with you to San Francisco." A good rest, a good meal, a good, sensible talk with his friend, Gil. had put Frat1k Warren in the best shape in the world. They had just discovered an old abando ned craft at a river's brink. It had paid Frank to make a complete confidant of his new stanch friend for Gil had given him nothing but good advice-had even advanced offers of hearty co-operation. Frank's first suggestion was to go back to the La Grande Hotel and see if, some trace could not be gained by Belton, who had not been seen in the outlaw camp at the time of the descent of the troops. His idea was to endeavor to coax or force the now baffled and penniless ex-clerk to help him proe his rightful claim to the Warren fortune in Los Angel<:!s, so hat he could get the means to promptly and properly pursue the diamond-making project. Frol'P this plan Gil dissuaded Frank. He showed how jt was extremely improbable that Belton would go again to the tramps' paradise, and he doubted if Belton could be induced to risk making an enemy of his old-t im e pensioner, Fred Warren, on the mere promise of a moneyed consi1leration. "You need cash, Frank, for a fact>," admitted Gil; "you h ave got to have it to support yourself while you chase down that missing syllable, you have got to have more to get the missing ingredient when you find out what it is, you have got to have still more to pursue your experiments when you have that. Well, come with me. Strike out a short cut direct for San Francisco. When we get there I'll lend you half of what is coming to me." "What!" voiced Frank, incredulous. "You have got that much faith in my prospects?" "I have that faith in you. I've said it-you're \velcome." It was 6 ust after this conversation that the boys came across an old ore scow on the river. Gil knew the geography of the country by heart. He showed F r ank how they could follow the st r eam tor over one hundred and seventy-five miles bringing them to an, active railroad point ; whence progress to San Francisco would be easy "It's better than a tramp across country to Los Angeles, and you have no particular business there at present," he declared. "I've got enough provisions in this package I made up at the ou t law camp to last us for several days. We'll float where its deep, pole where it's shallow and spend the time getting better acquainted." ., "I couldn't know you any better for a royally fellow in a thousand years!" declared Frank, with vehement enthusiasm. ''Oh, you don't know my faults. 'I'm an envions fellow, Frank." "You!" I '''Pon my word. -The more I !tet tO thi'llking of your1d iamondmaking secret the more l get \Vishing l w'a'.s in ydur boots." "'Honest?" "For a fact." "Say--" "I know what you're going to say-take half. That's you all over, but-'nay, nay, Pauline!' as the actor says-I'll help you w'th money tf you need it-with advice, with co-operation. I'll aid you in getting your prospects to the budding point. Then, if you'd hire me I'll put in still schoo l begins working for you at so much a day." '"Well. for a proposition!" railed Frank; "the capitalist fur nishes the funds. the brains. and the other hires him! Gil, come in with me. Let's make or break on the diamond-making busi ness together." "I'll think of it," murmured Gil. a nd wc:;nt to whistling softly and thoughtfully to himself. 1 It was like a picnic, a sort of lleneficent ca!Ih after t!ie storm, the next two days of facile drifting down the river. Fra. nk 1,oticed that his companion keP,t !'Ut a watch along the shores. \ "I believe you've come this wa,y because Sierra Tom came this declared Frank. ,' at all,"' dissented Gil. "You're hopin!!: to get a trace of him, l'll bet?" "Yes, incidentally Why not? It's two thousand dollars if we sho.uld round him up."


BRA VE AND BOLD. "You'd get half certainly. "Just as you're going to take half on the diamond business? Oh, I see !" smiled Frank. "' 'Nuff sed !'-don't throw yer millions around as if they were marbles I" "Oh, I'll have you wild enough when you catch the real flare of diamond-making!" declared Frank, positively. "There's a hail!" "I did hear some one." "First p e rson we've met since we started, if it is a person ," re marked Frank, peering keenly at the bush-lined banks. "Hello l there's action! Get out the revolvers, Gil." From the outlaw camp Gil had brought two of these weapons. They were ready at hand and the boys were promptly armed. There came a second demonstration from the shore, a less vairue shout now. A man crashed rough the bushes, slid down the little embankment and landed knee-d eep in the water. "A Greaser!" commented Gil. "Carrying something as if it was glass." The du sky, Mexican-faced arrival looked frightened. He breathlessly glanced back of. him, and then cried imploringly to the boys: "Take me aboard!" "What's the row?" asked Gil. "Chased." "Who by?" There was no need of asking. Just as Frank poled so near to the wader that he managed to climb aboard two fellows of his own type of countenance were visible in pursuit. At a sight of Gil's rev olver they executed a prompt retreat. "Who are they?" interrogated Frank. "Sneaks-thieves! They would strip a fellow down to his suspenders if they caught him ." "And who are you?" "I-oh, I am delivering some goods for the priests down at Rabida." "Who to?" "A man up in the mountains a few miles distant. It is just be yond the berid in the river, not more than two leagues. Can I remain on your craft till we reach it?" "Certainly," nodded Gil. Frank rather curiously regarded the "goods" the fellow was de livering. It resembled kind of a crock, carefully packed in grass matting, and the man placed it at the rear of the scow. Frank succeeded in getting into a conversation with the fellow, who could speak English fairly well. He said that the bundle he was carrying was a crucible which h ad been bought by a chemist from the monks of La Rabida, and to whom he was then taking it. "'What is the name of the man who engaged in chemical work in these wilds?" asked Gil, carelessly The Mexican held out a card and Frank and Gil glanced at the name on it. They nearly fell out of the boat with astonishment, 'for the name written on the card was that of MR. JOHN GILLESPIE. CHAPTER XXII. CONCLUSION. Two hours later the boys were shaking hands with John Gil same old Gille spie in the flesh and blood. They found him 11Ving in a large laboratory which he had fitted up in a ruined church in the wilderness. 'With him was a k e en-looking gentleman, who he introduced as Mr. Arnold Tyler, broker and man of business. Mr. Gillespi e 's face was marked with sc a rs, one of his ea rs W:\S gone, but h e had a hearty welcome for Frank. He had gon e temporarily insane after the explosion which wrecked his laboratory, and when he had r ecovered Frank had disap p eared Then he had gone out in search of th e missing ingredientM'1ntbolite and discovered it in considerable quan t :tie s near the old ruin. "And have you made diamonds?" asked Frank, eagerly. "Something just as good," said Gillespie pointing to. a glitter in g black stone on a nearby table, ''black diamonds." "But 'just as good,' you said," put in Frank, eagerly. "Just as good, Frank-every bit of it; except for being a brooch or a ring setting, better. What we have discovered," continued Gillesp ie, animatedly. "is a substitute for diamond s." "But if it's not the real thing, what is its value?" projected Ftank. I'll answer you that by telling you something," replied Gil le spie. "A year or two ago the French Academy offered a ten thousand-dollar prize for a substance to take the place of dia monds in drills." Frank started comprehendingly now. "For putting around the edges of large circular saws employed in cutting huge slabs of stone, for jewels for watches, for glass cutting for coloring artificial teeth." "And you've got it?" "We have it. My young friends, which is betterto be ablf' to make an ornament th a t simply flashes, or to dis.. cover that which will entirely revolutionize those industries w4ere abrasives are employed?" "And this--" "Carbide of titanium, that's what we call it," supplied Gillespie. "Yes, sir?" "ls harder than diamonds-it can be employed in cutting them. Why, they've been using bort heretofore. One lump found in Brazil two years ago, weighing 3,073 carats, was sold for one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. They export fifty thousand carats from Bahia every year. Reckon up what these little sparklers, made in an hour, mean in the way of clear, cold cash for Gillespie & Co." After a long talk, in which Gillespie offered to take the boys into partnership with him, he turned to Frank and said: I have some other good news for you. "This is the boy I was telling you about," he added, turning to Mr. Tyler. "Well, t hen," said Tyler. "I might as well infoon him that he has inherited a fortune of t h irty thousand dollars." Frank nearly fainted from excitement, and a long explana ti on followed. Mr. Gillespie had told Mr. Tyler, his friend, who was a law yer, as well as a broker, Frank's story of how he was cheated out of his fortune. The lawy e r had taken the matter in hand some time before, and althoui;(h they had never expected Frank to appear again, the case was investigated very thoroughly and the dissipated iind foolish Fred Warren forced to confess the forgery which Bel ton had committed. The lawyer had taken a percentage of two per cent. of the money as his fee and Jett the remainder in a bank in Frank's name. So Frank was ftow a rich man. As for Belton and Sierra Tom, they never bothered Frank aga;n, and they are probably both dead long ago. Frank agre ed to put his money into the business of making black diamonds. inve>ting half of it in Gil's name. "There's o ne thin;s y ou can do for me, Mr. Gillespie," suggested Frank, after everything had been settled. "What's that, partner?" "Change me back to the old, real Frai;ik \iVarren "Ah! Remove the stain from your face? That's right, lad. Ycu're through with the perils. the risk, the hardship of the experiments-now, in your proper person, winning the rightful rewards of energy, pluck and perseverence, get ready to enjoy the golden fruits of a California Boy's Diamond Luck." THE END. Next week's BRAVE AND BoLD will contain "The Jail Breaker of Shirley; or, The Boy Who Dared and Won," by Matt Royal. T he thrilling story of a noble American boy who tried to save a man from the death sentence. A marvelous escape from jail and a terrible discovery-"The Wrong Man Saved!" In the hands of a scoundrel and murderer. Given up for lost; we won't go any further. Enough said. The story is one of the best ever printed, as you 'll see when you read it.


A NEW IDEA! A NEW WEEKLY! C/3RA VE AND BOLCJJ Street & Smith"s New Weekly is a big Departure 'ram anything ever Published Be,ore. EACH NUMBER CONTAINS A COMPLETE STORY AND THE STORIES ARE OF EVERY KIND. Tha t means all description s of first-cla ss stories. For every story published in BRAVE AND BOLD will be first-class in the best sense-written by a well-known boys author, full of rattling incident and lively adventure, and brimming with interest from cover to cover. No matter what kind of a boy you are, no matter what your tastes are, no matter what kind of a story you prefer you w ill hail BRAVE AND BoLD with delight as soon as you see it. It is the kind of a weekly you have been wishing for. Variety is the spice of life, and Brave and Bold is well seasoned with it. STORIES OF ADVENTURE. STORIES OF MYSTERY. STORIES OF EXPLO= RATION IN UNKNOWN LAN DS. STORIES OF LIFE IN GREAT CITIES. STORIES OF WONDERFUL INVENTIONS. No. 1.-0ne Boy in a Thousand ; or, Yankee to the Backbone. By Fred Thorpe. No. 2 .-Among the Malays ; or, The Mystery of the Haunted Isle. By Cornelius Shea. No. 3.-The Diamond T attoo; or, Dick Hardy's Fight for a Fortune. By M. Boyington. No. 4.-The Boy Balloonists; o r, Among Weird Polar People. By Frank Sheridan. No. 5.-The Spotted Six; or, The Mystery of Calvert Hatha way. By Fred Thorpe. No. 6 .-The Winged Demon; or, The Gold King of the Yukon. By W. C. Patten. No. 7 .-Stolen-A School-house; or, Sport and Strife a t Still River. By E. A. Young. No. 8.-The Sea-Wanderer; or, The Cruise of the Submarine Boat. By Cornelius Shea. No. 9 .-The Dark Secret; or, Sam Short, the Boy Stowaway. By Launce Poyntz. No. 10.-The King of the Air; or, Lost in the Sargasso Sea. By Howard Hoskins. No. 11.-ThP. Young Silver Hunters; or, The Lost City of the Andes. By Cornelius Shea. No. 12.-A Remarkable Voyage; or, The Fortunes of Vv'an dering Jack. By Captain Geoff Hale. No. 13.-The Knowlhurst Mystery; or, The Strange Adventures of Leslie Norton. By Frank Sheridan. No. 14.-The Diamond Legacy; or, The Queen of An Unknown Race. B y Cornelius Shea. No. 15.-Bert Breeziway; or, The Boy Who Joined a Circus. By Bert Tallyho. No. 16.-Dick Hazel, Explorer ; or, Lost in the African Jungle. By Cornelius Shea. No. 17.-The Electric Traveler; or, Underground to the Pole. By the author of Dick H aze l. No. 18.-The Moonshiners of the Ozarks; or, The Boy Who Worked for: Uncle Sam. By Thomas P Montfort. No. 19.-Under Sealed Orders ; or, Lost in the Wilds of Yucatan. By Cornelius She a. No. 20.-The Mysterious Box; or, The Hidden Valley of Pirate Island. B y the ai.1thor of "Among the Malays." No. 21.-Among the Utes; or, The Marvelous Adventures of Two Young Hunters. By Major Herbert Clyde. No. 22.-Lost in tb.e Isle of Wonders; or, The Mysteries of the Echoing Cave. By Captain Basil Benedict. No. 23.-The Lost Lode; or, The Boy Partners of Diamond Bar. By Cornelius Shea. No. 24.-The Bicycle Boys of Blueville; or, Joe Masterson's Unknown Enemies. By the author of "Bicycle and Gun. No. 25.-Submarine Mart; or, The Wonderful Cruise of the Fire-Fly. By the author of "Second-Sight Sam." No. 26.-Jockey Sam; or, Riding for Fortune. By E A Young. No. 27.-Frank Warren, Alchemist; or, The Diamond Makers. By Weldon J. Cobb. No. 28.-The J ail-Breaker of Shirley; or, The Boy Who Dared and Won. By Matt Royal. No. 29.-Robert Brendan, Bell-Boy; or, Under the Hypnotic Spell. By John De Morgan. Copies of the Brave and Bold Weekly may be purchased for Five Cents from all Newsdealers, or from STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, New York.


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