The mysterious millionaire, or, The queerest job on record

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The mysterious millionaire, or, The queerest job on record

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The mysterious millionaire, or, The queerest job on record
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Matt Royal
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 30

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028875833 ( ALEPH )
07230932 ( OCLC )
B15-00024 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.24 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
Brave and Bold

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LONGER STORIES THAN CONTAINED IN Al'tY FIVE CENT LIBRARY PUBLISHED A DIFFERENT COMPLETE STORY EVERY WEEK T o m wa s ol.Jllg e d to submit, and they carried him to the water' s edge and laid him in the bottom of a small sailboat.


RAVE-.fl Diffe14ent Complete Story Every Week Iuiuii Wulrly, .By SubscrijtilJM /11.50 per year. Entered according' to Act of Congress in the year IQ. C. STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. NO. 30. NEW YORK, July 18, 1903. Five Cents. THE MYSTERIOUS MILLIONAIRE; OR, The Qtteerest Job on Record. By .NCA 'I''I' ROY AL,. "Boyl" "Yes, sir/' CHAPTER I. "Come here. yYhat are you looking for?" "For work, sir." "Work!" "Yes, sir Can you give me something to do?" "I can, indeed Ste p right in here. Be quick!" Young Tom Walcott had good reason to feel surprised He had been four weeks vain \y seeking employment in New York; he had tramp e d the streets till his shoes were almost worn off his feet; he had met with discouragements and rebuffs S\)fficient to knock the hope out of any but the bravest and most persever ing, and now, just when he had about given up the task, just when it seemed impossible for him to find employp.1ent, he heard the cheering news we have recorded. \. It was a singular meeting in more respects than one. Tom was going along Wall Street about dusk in the evening, strutting along moodily with his head cast down and his hands thrust deep in his trousers pockets, when a door of one of the offices in front of him sudd enly opened, and a man thrust his head out. He glanced nervously. up and down and across the street, and was just about to go in again when his eye fell on Tom. He then began the conversation with which our story opens. "Come right in here, boy he said, as he held the office door open. "Come in quick for I'm in a hurry." His manner showed that he was under the influence of strong excitement, though he was not intoxicated as the young pedestrian at first supposed. He was a big, portly man of about fifty-five years of age. His face was clean-shaven and his hair was an iron-gray. He was dressed in the height of fashion. His emotion, the young lad thought, ill became him. He seemed like a man that se ld om emerged fronm an aristocratic impassivity. He closed and locked the door afld led the youth through an office in which there were desks and chairs, to an inner apart ment which was elegantly furnished. "Sit down," he said. taking a chair himself. "What is your name?" "Tom Walcott, sir." do you come from?" "The village hf Irving, Massachusetts." "Stranger here?" "Yes, sir. I'll tell you my whole--" "No, you won't. I'm in too big a hurry. You say you want work?" "Yes, sir." "QJ.Iick, then, get at it. You look like a boy I can trust, and I'll take the risk. Here are five dollars. Put it in your pocket; you'll need it." While the lad stared in absolute bewilderment fingering the bills that represented ten times as much capital as he had had on his person, the gentleman quickly took stock of his prepossessing exterior-the well-chiseled face, frank and fearless in its expres-


2 BRA VE AND BOLD. sion, the fine head, and the superbly knit figute that showed sup pleness and strength. He noted that, though the clothes were shabby, the wearer had the and dignity of a gerttlemart. He was satisfied with the inspection, for he exclaimed: "Boy, I am glad I met you so opportunely. I'll swear to your honesty. Begin at once.'' "What am I to do; sir?" 'fFirst of all, you're to keep all affairs between you and me Cart you do that f" "I can." "Do you promise?" "I dil." "Goud! Go then immediately to Central Park, by the Street gnte. Proceed to the M:rll, find take note of the first tree direct east of the farther end of it. Count a dozen sttpa from that tree in tlie direction of the nearest bench, wher ever it ma}' be, and when you find that spot-" "Well, sir?'' "Sit down.'' "Sit down!" "Yes, and remain seated on the grass till some one comes along and spea ks to you." J ,. "And then?" asked Tom, amazed beyond expression. "You will lis te n to every word that person says to you, and be sure to remember it. You must not look up. You must not speak to the person. Remain silent till you report to me.''. I understartd, sir.'' "You will notice which direction the person takes on leaving you, but you must not follow. At the end of five minutes, how ever, you will take the same direction and walk in a straight lineno matter what the distance may be-till you come to a bench. There you will stop, and be careful no one notices you.'' I'll be watchful; sir." 'Underneath that bench you will find something! Bring it to me without delay. Now be off as quick as you can. It's a matter of the gravest importance. You s hould lose not o ne moment un necessarily.'' "What do you expect me to find, sir?" "Ask no question 8 ," was the reply, somewhat tat'tly uttered. "Brirtg me. whatever yoq find under the bench and report tl1e per son's exact words. Go!" There was something in the man's earnest, extited manner that forbade Tom to hesitate or ask furtber questions. He leaped to his feet, seized, an made for the door, determined to carry oqt the. work, fof}lish and whimsical as it "Stop!" It was the man that spoke. To1TI turned and saw him trem bling with suppressed excitement. He saw him reach to a glass of colored liquid on the table and gulp down a portion of it, pre sumat>ly to quiet his nerv es. "Young man," said he, "ene word before you go. I am c6mpelled by circumstances to trust to an entire stranger on a matter of life and--" "Look hete, sir; you have trttsted me with five dollars I have not yet earned, and I'll try to prove to you that; lack of satisfaction I give you in other respects, you will have no fault to find with me on that score." "Begone, thert, and hasten back. I'll await you here. Tap lightly twice on the d oo r when you return." "I will, sir Tom hurried out of the office. Five minutes later he was on an "L" train flying uptown. His mind was filled with the wildest conjectures. : . What was the meaning of this strange mission on which he was being sent and for which he had been so liberally paid? Who was this man that was willing to accept a stranger at his lace Was he demented? Was he crazy? "By George, I may have done wrong in taking his money,'' thought Tom. "He can't be right in his head or he'd never send me on such a ridiculou5..ftrand-tne1 a !tdnger, too. I--But no, he didn't look insane, either. He looked like a shrewd, level headed man, laboring under temporary excitement. Like Hamlet, 'there's method in his madness.' !'ti follow the job through I promised, anyhow and see what tomes of it.'' It was a ne\v to Tom to have money in his pocket, and to ride on a train instead of tramping the streets. J-Ie had the wherewithal now to appease his biting hunger by a good supper at a, but llis conscience would not let him do this till he had removed his employer's anxiety. The man had pald him in fldvance for work which den'landtd the greatest haste, an d on which, it seemed, grave and important hung. When that work was done it would be time to think of supper Some men can think faster when they are walking. Motion seems to stimulate their minds. '11/hen Tom had got off the train, and while he was walking to the Fifty-ninth Street gate, he tried to build some kind of theory that would account for the mys terious errand on which he was being sent, but it was no use. It was a puzzle for which he could find no s o lution. B:e walked fast till he came to the end of the Mall, and then stopped and looked about him in a careless kind of way. There were numbers o f people driving and walking through the park, but none of them could see hiin unless they came close, as it had now got pretty dark, and he stood in the shadow of the foliage. He-lbcated the tree without any trouble He sauntered over to it, and then looked around for the nearest bench. There were two that appeared equidistant from the tree, but on a careful examination he found that one was a few feet closer than the other. He counted a dozen steps toward it from the tree He sat down. CHAPTER II. So far as he could see there was no one around. The park in the immediate vicinity seemed deserted. Voices were wafted to' him on the chatfing of jovial companions, the 1angh ing of childten, and the noisy argument of some street Arabs at a distance-and he could hear the din of the near e r part of the city_:_the rattle of vehicles, the click of the h o rses' hoof s 011 the hard "p;nvement, the ru!rtble of the elevated trains, and the jingling bells of the street cars-all of which seemed to emphasize the stillness immediately about hitn and to make him feel very much alone ... I . "This 1s the best-paid iob I've evet had," he muttered when he had been sitting on .the' grass for about ten minutes and had not seen a living soul within two hundred yards of him; "but I forgot to get a clause put into the bargain which wo.uld release me' in case no one comes along. I wonder how Jong I'm supposed to wait here?" The grass was damp the dew being heaV'Y, and it was"'not pleasant fot a thinly-clad person to sit in it; still, Tom did not mind that. The consciousness of having materially bettered his stand ing would have reconciled him to things more unpleasant than sitting in wet grass. It was the first inch of progress he had made in many weeks,


BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 By way of passing the time and keeping himself company, he recited some pieces he had learned while at school-Gray's "Elegy," Shelley's "Ode to a Skylark," and Bryant's "Prairies." He was starting on a canto of "Childe J;larolde," when his ear caught the sound of a footfall behind hifu. He turned his head, and-lo! within te n yards of him was a lady. She was coming directly toward him, walking quite fast. His heart beat more quickly when he sighted her, for he divined she was the per s on who was to meet and speak to him. He him self was to say noth ing-absolutely nothing; but he was to hear and remember every word addressed to him. On she came, and in another moment she was by his side. She appeared not to see the figure reclining in the grass, and almost ran against him. "Oh, excuse me!" she exclaimed; and she gave a nervous little start. She was evidently frightened. Tom sat perfectly still with his ears on the alert to catch every word of the myst e rious message, but he heard nothing more than the rustle of her sKirts, and looking up, he saw that she had passed on. She was walking faster than ever, as if she dreaded pursuit. Tom had got one glance at her face. The light had shone on it just as she spoke He saw she was \:>eautiful. He was sure he would know her again by her superb figure, her graceful walk, her golden hair, and a general impression he could not define. She was attired in a dark-green dress. Soon she was out of sight, and he was impatiently waiting for the "real messenger" whose words it was so important for him to remember. / He could not bring himself to think that the lady was the one expected. She had said nothing, and her whole manner had in dicated she did not expect to meet any one there-that sh,e had I stumbled upon him quite by accident. A half hour passed and no one else came along. Tom's patience was exhausted. He had had time to think the matter over, and he reverted to his former theory Uiat his em ployer was "a bit oil." No sane man would employ a person to do such a foolish th i ng. No sane man would employ a stranger. "Confound it! I'm making an ass of myself sitting here; I'll go back to the fellow and return him hi"s money. Yes, that's the only wise thing to do l don't want to get pneumonia. Let me se.e. Which way did that woman go? As she )aS tpe only one came along I may as well take the same cour s e and thus follow the instructions." Tom waited a little while longer, and seeing no one coming his way, he got up and started off in the direction taken by the lady. He took care to walk in a s'traight line toward the point where s he had disappeared, as the instructions had been very explicit in that regard. He was to proceed till he came to a bench. It was now quite dark, and there was no lamp in the vicinity where he last saw the woman. But, when he had proceeded a little farther, a lighyfrom a distant lamp enabled him to pick his way By and by he came in sight of a bench. It was directly in his path. There was a man seated on it. He appeared to be asleep. Just as Tom got within a few feet of him the man awoke,.arose slowly to his feet, and walked off among the trees. Soon he could be heard whistling nearly fifty yards away. Tom got down on his knees and searched under the bench. He could find nothing, though he ran his fingers back and forth through the grass. He bad not expected to find anyth1nj, for he regarded the whole thing as the empty freak of an insa,e man, and the with the lady purely accidental; but It was more satisfactory to com plete his contract. He felt the grass from one end of the bench to the other, and not anything did he find-not a thing but a piece of orange peel. "Pshaw I" he muttered. "I might have known by the man's manner there was something wrong with him. He's likely got the D. T.'s. I'll go back and tell him the whole trip was a fail ure, and return him his money. I'll tell him if he can give me some sensible employment I'm willing to work at it." He was about to throw the orange peel away, when it occurred to him that it would be wise to take it, just to show the man wh a t a ridiculous thing he had done. It might help to bring him to his senses. He put. the orange peel in his pocket. He left the park and hurried downtown. He paid his carfare out of his own moneythe half dollar he had left when he first encountered the liberal but eccentric stranger. He would not break into the five dollars. Arrived at Wall Street he sought out the office and located it after some difficulty. Wondering what could be the occupation of so singular a person, he up at tli.e sign on the window and read: "THE WALL STREET COMPANY, "Bankers and Brokers, "HENRY PAYNE, Manager." He tapped lightly on the door twice, and it opened with a sud denness that quite startled him. "Come in," he heard a voice whisper, and the same moment hi s arm was seized and he was almost dragged into the dark office. "Did you succeed, boy? Did you succeed?" he heard the voice ask. No, sir, I did not," he replied, and he tried to release his arm, while with the other he groped around in the darkness. "Oh, dear I" he heard the gentleman exclaim in a tone of dis appointment. I The latter turned on an electric light, and his pale face was revealed. He was trembling more than when Tom had last seen him, showing that the strain of suspense and excitement had been severe on him. "Do you mean to tell me you hav; failed, boy?" he asked, looking Tom squarely in the face. There was suspicion in his glance. "I do," said Tom, "and I want to give you your money back." The suspicious look fled from the man's face. "Hang the money," he exclaimed. "Why didn't you do what I told you?" "I did." "You went to the park?" f Yes." "And saw no one? Heard nothing? Found nothing?" "Not a thing, sir. I have actually nothing to r e port." "Oh, dear!" The man sank into a chair near the table, and, leaning his head on his hand, stared moodily at the light. Deep disappointment was written in his face. Fur some moments he sat silent, biting his finger nails lik e one lost in perplexity Then he arose and paced up and down the floor, muttering to himself, and now and th e n scratching his h ead. H e paid no more attention to Tom, who stood wa t ching him, than if he had been a piece of furniture. "I think, sir, I had better--" "Shut up." "I beg your pardon.''


.; 4 BRAVE AND BOLD. "Sit down Tom obeyed, wondering to himself If he was in the company of a madman and resolving to take the first opportunity to get out. Suddenly the man stopped in h l s walk, and, turning to Tom, said: "Are you sure you found the right tree?" "Perfectly sure. The nearest one to the east of the farther end of the Mall." "That's it. Did you sit in the grass as bidden?" I did, for nearly an hour." "And no one came to ygu ?" "No one c a me with i n fifty yards o f me except--" "Except whom?" "A young woman." HA y o ung woman? Go o d heaven s 1 why 'didn't you say so? What did she do? What did she say?" "Nothing. She was some o ne who just happened to come along that way. She nearly stumbled over me in the darkness. She was dressed---'' "Ne ver mind her dress. What did she say? Speak quick l" "Nothing. She pa s sed on, going v ery quickly toward--" "Did s he n o t speak? Did she not s ay something ? "Not a w o rd, 01 ly just when her foot struck me she said--" "VI/hat?" "'Oh, excuse me l' and hurried--" "Ha I thought so. Go on, boy, go on." "That's all, sir." "Ha I she said: Oh, excuse me! Just so. Go on. You followed afterward?" "Yes, perhaps half an hour afterward--" "And found the bench?" "Yes but there was nothing under it." "Nothing I Did you look carefully-did you search the grass?" "Thoroughly." "And did you n o t find s o mething?" "Nothing." "Curse the luck!" "There wa s absolutely n othing under the bench but--' "But what? Speak quick, for mercy's sake. What did you find?" "Only a bit of orange peel." "Ha! Did you pick it up?" "Yes." "An orange peel! Let me see it-let me see it." He had leap e d to hi s f e et and wa s now h o lding out his hands eagerly a s if he wa s to r e c e ive some pre cious jewel. Tom o v e rwhelmed w ith am a zement, and s taring like an owl, drew the ora nge p eel fro m hi s pocket and handed it to the gentleman. latter, fairly wild with ex c it e ment, grasped it, ran to the table and turning on tw o m o re light s sat down to examine the simple object that i ts di s c o verer h a d s o n e arly left behind. fresently he utt e red a cry, of pleasure, wheeled around, and grasping T o m's hand, exclaimed: "Boy, you re a t re as ure Y o u enter my empl o y at once. Here are tw e nty -fiv e d o llar s for y our s ervices t o -night. I wouldn't have lost this for tw ice that s um "Now, young man, y o u can go, but I want t o s e e you agairt to-morrow at nine o clock. Whe re are you staying ? "I ha v e n o ab o de, s ir." "No abode I Ah, 'r for got; y6u said you had been having ill luck. Well, we'll fix th a t all right. You re to enter my employ. I h a ve work for you-g r e at w ork I like you; you appear discreet and hofiest, and reliable, and I think we'll get along; I'll give you an address at which you'll call to-night/' He hastily scribbled a few lines on a paper, and, inclosing it in an envelope, handed it to Tom. "There," he said; "present that at the addrcs.s and you will get board Remain there for the present. They're respectable peo ple, and will take you on my recommendation." "Thank you, sir." "To-mo rrow you must get a new suit. Here," and he forced another bill into Tom's hand. T o m w ent out into the night and made rapidly for the nearest restauratit. For the first time in we e ks h e was going to have a square meal. His spirits had risen with his new success. H e seat e d him se lf a t a t able and gave an order for a meal that, earlier in the day, w o uld have app eared a banquet to him. He in tended to all o w him s elf ab out h a lf an h our for eating, and then start for his new boarding house. There were about twenty other pers o ns seated in the dining room. Presently a gentleman came in and seated himself at the same table with Tom, and directly o pp osit e to him He gave his order to a wait e r, and began to read a newspaper He was a very dark-complexioned, rather good-looking young fellow of about twent y -four years of age, and he was very stylishly, and even a little loudly, dressed. His mustache was oiled and curled in a way that showed he w a s a bit of a dandy He eyed Tom over the t o p of his paper without the latter noticing it, and a peculiar smile played about the corner of his mouth. By and by he spoke, using words that one stranger might address to another without giving offense. "It's not quite so warm to-night." "No." T o m looked up, took him in in a glance and went on eating. "I'll tell you where a man ought to sleep such nights as these." "Where?" "Under 3' bench in Central Park." Tom started and darted a second look at the speaker. There was nothing remarkable in the words, but they touched upon a thought uppermost in bis mind at the moment. He had been mentally reviewing his late adventure in the park. He made no reply, and showed by his manner that he had no desire to carry on a conversation. Presently the stranger spoke again, this time to the waiter: "Bring me a couple of orangas." "Yes, sir." "And look here Jeems." Yes, sir." "Bring them peeled. I have a great antipathy to an orange peel." "Yes, sir said the waiter, and he departed, bowing. Again Tom got a shock. The stranger bad for the second time mCJ;)tioned an object as soci a ted with his late adventure. The m e ntion of any other ob jects in the world wo u ld have passed without Was it chance or design ? Tom concealed his surprise, and for a few moments scrutinized the sharply, taking care to do it furtively. Another p\'!culiar 1 thing now happen ed. The stranger arooe, laid a coin on the table and, seiz ing hi s hat and cane, went off without waiting for the fruit which he h a d o r d e red t o be served. Tom could not refrain from turning a round in bis chair to look at him. He saw the stranger stop t the desk, present his check and a


-BRA VE AND BOLD. coin, light a dgar, and walk out. Not a remarkable thing ab ou t him Not an action that was not strictly conventional. He did not even look back when he gained the street. The on ly thing was the amazing fact of his having mentioned a ben c h in Central Park and an orange peel. "Wonderful coincidence l" thought Tom, and the matte r then went out of his mind-at least for the tim e When he left the 1estaurant he hurried to the address given h im by his new employer. T h e place was o n Fourth Street. He found it without any diffi c ulty. It was a nice-looking brick building, formerly two resid e nces, o ne of which, as a brass plate on the door showed, was occupied by a phy s ici an. 1 Tom went to the other door and rang the b e ll and presented hi s letter. A stylis h -looking, middle-aged lady appeared,' who l ooke d some what askant at him when she h ad surveye d his extc rior1 and in a rather ascetic voice asked him what he wanted "I want to boa rd here said Tom. "Board here? You I You mu s t go somewhere else, sir." "I have a rec ommendatio n madam-.-" "It makes n o difference. I cannot take any boarders to-night." "Perhaps--" She was about to close the door in his face when he handed her the letter. Her eye caught the handwriting even before she t o uched it. She opened it, glanced over it, and in the twinkli!ilg of an eye h e r whole manner changed. Sh e smi l ed affably on Torn and said: "You mu s t ex<;use me. I didn't know that--" "That's all right, m a'a m," said Tom, good-naturedly, trying to ease her embarrass m e nt. "Come right in. You can board here as l ong as you find it agreeable," said she "Thanks." Tom entered and found the house well and even sumptuously furni shed. It did not take l ong to arrive .at satisf11ctory tenm; they were surprisingly l ow fo.r such a pretentious l;loar

7 6 BRA VE AND BOLD. chief stockho'1der, and he is on his way to Europe. Sailed four days ago." "One more question," said the tenacious Tom: "How long have you occupied this office?'" "About fifteen years," was the reply. There was no use trying to swim against a tide like this. Tom made the most graceful and speedy retreat he could, in order to escape the questions which the wondering manager was about to ask him. When he got outside he looked up at the windows, expecting to find he had made a mistake; but-no I he read, as plainly as the evening before, the words : "THE w ALL ST.REJtT CoMPANY, "Bankers and Brokers, uHENRY PAYNE, Manager." "'Well, this is the mo!lt mysterious thing I've seen yet," he said to himself as he walked away. "If it wasn't for the twenty-five dollars I hold in my pocket I'd swear it was all a dream. But the money is tangible enough. It shows that at least I have my senses. Who the deuce can my employer be? I'd go back to the office and made further inquiries if I hadn't already made a fool \ of myself there." He turned into Broadway and trudged along through the crowd. His brain was busy as he went. He tried to decide the question as to whether he ought to search for his mysterious em ployer or at once sever all connection with him. He would then and there have decided on the latter course had it not been for the money he held, which he called "unearned in crement."He thought he ought to return at least a part of the money. He made up his mind at last and started at opce for Fourth Street. He must leave a boarding house secured by the influence of a man with whom he wanted to part company. He met the landlady in the hall. "There's been a gentleman here see you, Mr. Walcott," she said. "Indeed I Who was ?" "I don't know. He said he had appointed to meet you at nine o'clock. He called within five minutes after you left. He was much disappointed." Here was a new light on the matter. I.t set Tom thinking he must have made a mistake the night before, The man meant the meeting to be at the boarding house and not at the office Still, that would not account for the mystery of the office itself. "Did he leave any messagel" he ;i.sked .;> "Yes; he said he would either call during the day or send you word." It struck Tom as f strange the woman did not know who the man was, when it was the same person whose recommendation she had so quickly accepted. "Did you see t}:le man, Mrs. Moffat?" he asked. She seemed to divine what was passing in his mind and, blushing, answered : "No; it was the servant who went to the door. Ah I here is a Jetter for you on the hat stand. I did not see it till now." Tom took the letter eagerly ppe ned it. "DEAR WALCOTT," it ran. "We misunderstood each other last night, it seems. Come to me at once. I am at the Taylor House, Jersey City. Don't delay a moment. Inquire for Mr. Hardy." There was a sort of explana ion for everything now except the mYStery of bis employer's not being known at his own office. Tom took the ferry across to Jersey City andentered the Tay lor House. "Room 37," was the clerk's answer to his inquiry for Mr. Hardy; "I think you'll find him in." Tom walked quickly upstairJ. "Show me 37," he said to a bell boy. When he came to the door he heard voices inside. He did not wish to play the eavesdropper, so without delay he tapped loudly. The door was opened by a man, at the first sight of whom Tom started back in surprise. It was the stranger he had seen in the restaurant the night before-the mustached young dandy that had astonished him by mentioning two objects then uppermost in his mind. Tom drew back; whereupon the young man smiled, and bowing threw open the door. "Step in," he :aid, and then he passed Tom and went quickly downstairs. Tom looked into the room and, to his delight, saw the man he was looking for-his new employer. "Ah, Walcott," called out the latter when he saw him. "Come in here. Close the door. That's a good fellow. Sit down a moment." Tom entered and took a chair His quick eye noticed that the gentleman was still agitated. He seemed, if anything, in deeper trouble than the night before. There was a redness about his eyelids that prompted the belief he had been crying. In fact he looked so unhappy and dejected that Tom's heart instantly softened, and the suspicions with which he had entered fled from his mind, or, at least, were temporarily forgotten. "What can I do for you, Mr. Hardy?" he asked. "Eh? eh? Did you speak, Walcott?" said his employer, turning around quickly-he had risen from his chair and stepped across the room to lock a door. "What did you say, boy?" "I asked if I could be of service to you?" "Of service to me? Well, I should say so. I sent for you purposely. I need you this mcrment. I want you to perform a great service for me-a secret service. I'll pay you well--" "You have paid me enough for the present, sir." "Hush! Don't speal/ of terms. Leave that to me. Do you know how to get to Staten Island?" "Yes." "Good. You will cross at once and take a train to Pleasant Plains. When you arrive there you will inquire the way to the Institution for Homeless Children. Do you understand?" "Yes." "You are not to go to the institution, but merely follow the way that leads to it. It's a lonely road. You pass under an arched gateway and follow a sidewalk for about a mile till it enters a bush. Here you will notice that there are two railings on the sidewalk, and that these railings commence at the very entrance to the bush. You will count the trees on the right of the rail ing and that stand within ten feet of it, and stop at the fifteenth tree. You will recognize it by some of the bark being torn off. You will conceal yourself within, say, twenty yards of this tree, and in a pla..:e wh e re you can easily see it. Somebody will come along and deposit an article behind that tree. Thu are to bring me the article, and as good a description as you can of the person." "Mr Hardy--" "Hush! I wouldn't have that young man overhear us for the entire world." "When do you expect this article to be laid behind the tree?" "Ab, yes; I had forgotten that very important point. Just as '-


BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 is cdmlng on, and you must arrange to be there before that hour. Now go." Tom did not like the errand he was beirtg sent on. Besides, he wanted to ask his employer some questions. He felt he had a right to know one or two things. But the impetuotts haste of the gentleman prevented him ask ing those questions. "Walcott," said the latter, placing his hands on the lad's shoulders, "if you intend to as lst me in this, please start at once." He threw a great deal of pathos into his words. "Go this vety moment and relieve a troubled man. I'll teward you well-I'II I'll-" "'Shish that'll do, sir. I'll go." "Good! That's the man. Be off at once. I'll await you at your boarding house." Five minutes later Tom was crossing the ferty. A half an hour later he was on his way to Staten Island. He took the train about two o'clock, and after a ride of some twenty-five miles got off at Pleasant Plains. He loitered around till sundown, and then betook himself to the bush mentioned in the directions. He had 110 difficulty m finding the place; ho difficttlly in finding the tree. Just about dusk he stepped behind a rock to tonceal himself, when two dark figures sprang upon him, a cloth was thrown over his head, and he was borne to the gr.ound. CHAPTER IV . Tom struggled to get to his feet, but the hands that held him were powerful and forced him back to the ground. The cloth was pulled so tightly about his head that he supposed the intention of his was to .smother him. He tried to shout for help, which made his captors use him the more roughly. One of them struck him on the head, and threat ened to repeat the blow if he dtd not give up resistance and keep quiet. The sound of an approaching wagon was heard. Tqinking it might be some one who would come to his assistance, Tom struggled more desperately than ever, and, as there was but one holding him at the. time, he succeeded in tearing the cloth off his face sufficiently to let him cry out. The same moment the wagon stopped, and a blow descended upon his head that caused him to reel and fall. Consciousness left him, and he was completely at the mercy of his assailants. They lost no time in putting him in the wagon and covering l\im up with a piece of old canvas. The whole thing had occupied but a few moments. Though considerable noise was made, there was little or no chance of any one having heard it, for they were in a very lonely place. It was fuily half a mile to the Orphans' Hon1e, and nearly a mile to the public highway. The captors were but two in number, both very large men, and singularly alike in appearance. To judge from their dress, and even their looks, few would beii "e've them capable of such act as they had just been guilty of. Yet their faces expressed considerable brutality. "Come, Jim," said one of them, "take the lines and let us get out of this. We have the game in ofar hands at last. We mustn't risk being found out now." "Wouldn't it be better to wait Hll it gets a little darker, Mac?" "What for?" I "To drive through the village." "No. There's some one likely to come along any moment, and, if he were to wake up and shout! it would put us in an awkward fix. Drive on. They'll iuppose it's one t>f the teams from the OtDhanage." "\71/e can soon stop his wakin' up "No, don't hurt him." "I don't intend to if he behaves himself." "What then?" "Chloroform." "Splendid I Quick! I hear a IJuggy coming yohdct." "There you are! He'll not wake up for hours. Now let us light a cigar Nothing like a cigar to give a man an look. Right through the village?" "No. Better take the stone road to the left." Now it happened that' the chloroform was weak and badly ad ministered. The man who held the bottle knew very little about the liquid, and seemed to be somewhat afraid of it himself, as if one drop of it brou -ght near the nostrils would h&ve effect. As a result, Tom was scarcely chloroformed at all, and before the wagon had dtiven three miles his senses returned. At the eru:l of an hour or more the wagon came to a stop, and Tom felt about as a m:tn feels who is momentarily expecting some heavy weight to fall cio him. Cold shiv ers ran up and down his back, and his hea rt beat with the rapidity of genuine fear. So long as the wa'gon had rattled along he had not felt this fear; the cessation of motion and the deep silence, broken only by a strange murmuring noise, brought it on. The men Iihed him out of the wagon and bore him along some yards A terrible fear that they meat1t to end his lite then and th-ere caused him to raise his arms and tear the cloth fi'otn his head. It was bright enough to see that he was in a very lonely place on the seashore. It was the murmuring of the sea that he had heard. He saw for thP first time the faces of his assailants, and the view gave him very little encouragement. He judged them to be men who wot! l d stop at notf1irig to carry out t11eir purpose. ''What does this outrage mean! Let me go!" he cried. "Hush. Keep qu?et or it'll be the worse for you!" said the man who held his fret. "\.Vhere are yott taking n1e ?" "Hold your tongue! If you speak or make a struggle we'll....:_" Tom did struggle as vigorously as hig weakened C'.Ondition would let him, and got for his pains sorrte t'tlore hard knocks. He was obliged tci submit, andl. they tied him fast, hand and foot. Then they carried him to the water's edge and laid him in the bottom of a small sailboat. While one of the men sat in the boat with Tom, the other drove off in the wagon. This man was gone about half an hour and he returned without the horses :md wagon. ,. He was considerably excited. He hurriedly got into the boat, whispered to his companion, and the two of them snatc h ed u p the oars and began to row. The boat shot out from the land and was soon a considerable distance from it. Tom, raising himself on his elbow, peen:d over the gllhwale. He thought he could descry a couple of dark forms on the shore His movement caused the tloat to rock a little, and thus drew the men's attention to h im. ''Lie down," said one of them. "If you open your mouth we'll shoot you." He then whispered something to his compahi on. The !titter nodded and returned an ;mswer, in which Tom caught the word "chloroform." It was plain that their intention was to chloroform him . It occurred to Tom that if he could retain !;is senses and yet


8 BRA VE AND BOLD. appear to be unconscltius, it would give him a decided advantage in the matter of learning what their purposct was. He had a horror of being stupefied, anyhow. They dropped their oars for a couple of minutes, and proceeded to hoist a sail. Tom availed himself of this chance to circumvent their in tended act. Though his hands were bound together at the wrists, he was able to use his fingers a little. He managed to tear a hole. in the lining of his coat, and extract from between it and the cloth a httle piece of the wadding. Rolling up two little balls of this wadding he stuffed them in his nostrils, all the time lying quiet in the bottom of the boat. The men did not notice what he had done. They got the sail in order, hauled in the oars, and, while one of them took a seat at the tiller, the other came forward and knelt at Tom's side. Tom breathed through his mouth till the man had taken the bottle from his pocket and saturated a handkerchief with its contents. Then he closed his mouth, anc! made a pretense of trying to draw his head away. The man held the handkerchief tightly against his nose for several seconds. Then he took it away and used the bottle again. This gave Tom a chance to open his mouth and draw in a couple of breaths. \ It was too dark for the m;m to see his face distirlctly, especially as he was in the bottom of the boat: The second time the handkerchief was thoroughly soaked and was kept to Tom's nose till he thought he could hold his breath no longer The man now arose. He was satisfied he had made a success ful job of it this time. He looked for a moment at the lad, who had every appearance of being unconscious, and then betook him self to the middle of the boat. Tom opened his mouth and quietly drank in a dozen good breatha. Then raising His hands, he drew forth the wadding that had saved him from t:hc effects of the chloroform, and pre pared himself to lie quiet and listen. He saw the men take a drink from a flask and light their pipes; and presently one of them said : "I think we can safely pull up at the point, Mac. There's not likely to be any one there at this hour." "Better not decide till we get there," replied the other. "If necessary we can lay off till about two hours after midnight. Wouldn't wonder if we had a shower before long." "Mac." "What?" I "Arc you sure we've got the right man?" "Oh, pshaw l I wish I was as sure of our plan turning out as we want it, and I'd be satisfied." "It would be a bad mess of things if we had made a mistake." "Listen how I figure it out, Jim." "Go ahead." "First place, this young fellow tallies with the description, doesn't he?" "Yes, pretty closely." "Closely enough to make the description a fair one, eh?" "Yes." "Now, he came along at the right time, didn't he?" "Yes." "And he looked as if he was counting the trees?" "I thought so." "So did I. And he stopped at the fifteenth tree and examined the bark, didn't he?" "Yes; though it may have been accidental." "Accidental? Bosh! There are not so many coincidences in this world as you think. No stranger could come along and hap pen to do fifteen expected things in succession; he acted stealthily, too, didn't he?" ''Yes." "And looked up and down to see if any one was coming, and examined the ground behind the tree, and concealed himself, and carried out the programme in every respect?" "I guess you're right, Mac. We've got the man that was told to go there and wait." "Certainly we've got the right man." "Good-looking chap, too, isn't he?" "Yes; they d made a nice-looking couple. She's got darned good taste." "I believe the very boldness of our plan will bring us success. Nothing succeeds like daring. The scheme is original, brilliant, and especially bold. It is of the kind, too, that disarms rather than invites suspicion." "I hope so. It would be nice to be worth a million. Oh, my l How I would sport on it! Talk of Italian groves, myrtle bowers, sparkling fountains--" "You see we are now in a position to shut Master Harry off from other influences, and if we could only combine it with Caleb's scheme--" "The other girl?" "Yes." "Ah, that's the We'd have to wait. My idea is to manage this thing before he gets back." After another hour or so they slackened sail and held a short whispered conversation, during which one of them kept a tele scope to his eye. Presently they lowered the sail altogether, and, picking up the oars, began to row easily. The boat touched something and stopped. One of them got out and the other took up the oars and rowed away from the spot. After a while h e ceased rowing, but worked the oars gently to keep the boat in the one place. By and by Tom heard the sounds of wheels and the tramp of horses' feet. They came nearer till they were probably but a quarter of a mile away and stopped. A few moments later the boat began to move in the direction whence the sounds came, the man rowing slowly and cautiously, as if afraid to rely too strongly on whatever signal he had re ceived. Suddenly it grated on the sand and stopped. Some one took hold of it to steady it and the rower stepped out. Tom Walcott was thoroughly frightened; he knew that some thing was going to happen him, but knew not what that something was. He shivered. be tied hand and foot, to be a prisoner in a lonely place in the hands of unknown men of undoubtedly bad character, to be the main cause of a series of mysterious acts that could not bear the light of day, and to know that there is no friend near to help, are things not calculated to make one feel very comfortable. Tom's nervousness in no way diminishing by what fol lowed. A cloth 'as laid over his face and he was seized and lifted out of the boat.


BRA VE AND BOLD 9 CHAPTER V. Tom was carried some distance and placed tn a cab. The cab started. Tom could hear that there was a third man in it. Who was this third man, who, as yet, had not spoken? His presence certainly did not tend to give Tom mental tran-quillity. / Whoever he was, he showed himself not unaccustomed to this kind of thing, for he lit a cigar, threw his feet carelessly upon the opposite seat and, in general, took things very coolly. There was so much individuality in him that, despite the darkness, Tom already formed a pretty correct estimate of his character. "Well," said he, after they h a d got settled down and the vehicle was humming along n icely, "you succeeded a great deal better than I expected." "Yes ," said Mac; "and we hadn't the slightest trouble. He seems a peculiar kind of duffer-a sort of compound of innocence and cunning. You ought to have seen the way he counted those trees We spotted him a quarter of a mile off." "He followed the directions well, eh?" "He had them down fine." "He took the bait nicely?" "Didn't he? I was surprised. Most young uns would have got suspicious when they heard such peculiar directions." Tom was li stening with all his ears, and, in spite of his fear, now ten times greater than ever, he was boiling with rage, for the whole tenor of the word s went to s how that Hardy had sent him on the errand to get him into trouble. What on earth did it mean? Why should Hardy do this to a stranger who had served him so well? Was he in league with these men? "I'm afraid we're going to have some trouble with the girl, Mac." "Why?" "Oh, she's '1cting rather-Say, can this fellow hear us?" "No, h e's d osed. If he wakes up this week it'll surprise me." "Just as well to keep him that way till we hitch him. He'll be easier to get rid of. She seems to have a sort of inkling." "Pshaw, Caleb! Don't fret about her; I'd wring her neck if she sulked with me. It's not that that troubles me." "Well?" "It's whether our information about all this money, and bonds, and stocks, and buildings is correct." "It's the general ht.lief." "Well, thto public sometimes makes mistakes. Reputed million .. aires are often as hard up as ourselves. But there s one thing ab out it." "Yes." "We can't come very badly off anyhow, unless she actually slips out of our hands and goes back on us." "Hardy telephoned me this a,fternoon." The journey became so monotonous that Tom fell asleep. He was awakened by tne vehicle sto pping. The door was thrown open, and, without any loss of time, he was lifted out and carried away. At the end of some minutes he was deposited on a hard floor and the cloth was removed from his face. He feigned unconsciousness, keeping his eyes tightly closed, bu t he could tell there was a light in the room. "Don't fret, Jim," he heard one of them say, "we've captured the right man." "Yes, Mac,'' said his brother, "I agree with you. We found him t the appointed place, at the appointed time, and under the appointed conditions. We've certainly got the right man." They loosened the captive's bonds, and, taking the light with them, went out of the room, locking the door after them. The prisoner, being left alone, s;id to himself: "Yes, they've got the right man." But he was mistaken, and Mac and Jim were sadly mistaken. They ha(! captured the wrong man. Investigati o n carried on in the darkness, by the sense of touch alone, finally convinced Tom Walcott that he was in a room from which it was impossible to escape unaided. As high as he could reach there was not a window, and there was not even a streak of light to modify the intense darkness. The room was not at all close, so that he felt sure that air en tered somewhere. The only articles of furniture-he very easily identified them by feeling-were a sofa and a washstand-articles strangely at vari ance with the nature of the room He found the sofa, when he stretched himself upon it, to be an exceedingly comfortable one. The pillows were ordinary bed pillows Tom Jay thinking of his home away up in Irving, Massachusetts; and this prompts us to tell the reader something more of Tom Walcott's personal history, to let the reader into some of the secrets of his life, so that h'e may the better unders tand what he had to suffer. * * * When Tom set out from his native village, toga to New York and seek employment, he left behind him a dearly-loved mother and a sister and brother, both younger than The family was very poor, and Tom was its only support, the brother b eing a cripple, the sister delicate in health, and mother herself far fr o m strong. The father had died about three years before the opening of our story, leaving behind a small legacy of debt. He had failed in business through no fault of his own, and the shock hastened his Since that time Tom had contrived to keep starvation away from the home by working steadily in a mill at Wendell Depot, some three miles from Irving. Many a morning, before dayiight, had he trudged along that hilly road through a blinding snowstorm,. or a dense fog, to put in the day's work that would buy bread for the next, and sup ply, perhaps, a pittance toward the liquidation of his late father's d e bts, responsibility for which he had voluntarily assumed. It was a hard struggle for a youth of his age, but he bore i t bravely and manfully for the sake of the dear ones at home. Night after night he came h o me to them with an outward show of cheerfulness when his heart was heavy and sore, It was such a struggle as would sap the very springs of vitality in an ordinary youth. .. At last one day there came a heavy blow. The Wendell Mills were burned to the ground and was deprived of his only source of income. -He tried .hard to get work elsewhere in the neighborhoocl, but failed. Times were hard and work was scarce. A presidential election was in sight, and most employers of labor were, to use the common expression, "shortening sail," that is, limiting the number of their hands. There was clearly nothing for Tom to do .around home. He was vaguely conscious of having abilities of a high ordcrindeed, his friends freely credited him with pi;issessing them-but the vicinity of Irving was not the place for a youth o f that kind. for half of the laborers there were unemployed. I


IO BRAVE AND BOLD. To get work he must go away from home, and, what was terribly hard to bear, he must leave behind him the loved ones de pendent upon him. It would be madness to think of taking them with him, when he had no situation in view, and he could not take them if he wanted to. Poor fellow He had barely enough to take himself, after he had left with them what might support them for a couple of weeks. The leave-taking as a sad one. It almost unmanned him. It would have brought tears from the hardest heart. His gentle mother and his sister Nell sobbed with grief, while his crippled brother Dick was unable to speak. A hurried kiss and warm clasp given to each, and Tom literally tore himself away. Five minutes later he was on the train and making for the great metropolis. Most rural people foolishly think that in the big cities lucrative employment can be had for the asking. Tom partly shared in this delusion, for he had all the vitality and h ope that belongs to youth, and misfortune had not yet tried to crush it out of him. But he had a stronger reason for going to New York. About a year before an uncle of his, who had long lived in the city, wrote him, offering to procure him a good situation if he would go down there. 1Tom, in his then desperate circumstances, hated to leave a cer tainty for an uncertainty, and besides, his mother was very sick. ,He now thought of this uncle and determined to hunt him up. He had carefully preserved his address. He got to New York, and-irony of fate!-found that his uncle had moved away to some town in Nebraska. We know how for weeks Tom tramped the streets of the big city trying to get work that would enable him to send some money home to his mother. ,We know how he met discouragement after discouragement, and failure after failure. He had promised his mother to write to her every second day, and up to the present J;ie had done so. While his letters were not untruthful, they told little of h}s_ sufferings. He could not b

BRAVE AND BOLD. II Tom had not intended to speak, but he found it hard to leave the woman in such apparent anxiety. He made up his mind to answer her in some way, so as to re lieve her. But he would take care to keep in the dark comer and to change his voice by affecting a heavy cold. "What!" he grunted. The sound was like that of a man speaking from the bottom of a well He waited in breathless suspense to see what the effect would be. He had a vague idea that his danger would be increased if she discovered he was not the individual she supposed. CHAPTER VII. Several seconds passed. At last Tom was relieved from his anxiety by hearing the woman exclaim: "Oh, Harry, you are really there? Forgive me. I am sorry." Immediately there flashed upon his mind the thought that he might make this woman useful to him. Through her he might be able to effect his escape. She evidently had some sympathy for the individual known as Harry (whoever that might be). He would play upon that sym pathy as long as he could, which meant fur as long a time as he could conceal his identity from her. He must not let her see him. He must not let her get even a glance at his face. He must keep up the assumed voice with which he had begun. It had so far been satisfactory. "Harry, speak to me." ,.'What do you want?" was the guttural reply. "You are angry, Harry, aren't you?" "I should say so." ''Well, I can hardly blame you, for I am the cause of your being here, though I didnlt mean it. Indeed I didn't. Believe me, I did not understand what they meant till they told me you were here. You'll forgive me, Harry, won't you?" There was considerable distress in the tone of her voice, though it did not go so far as to indicate love for "Harry." He did not know what reply to make. He did not know whether he could draw her out better by pretending to be angry or by expressing forgiveness. He decided on the former course as the best way to avoid saying too much, thus betraying himself. He kept qui e t, and she continued to plead for forgiveness, say ing sh e had been an innocent party to his capture. She had had no idea whatever that any h;i.rm was intended toward him "All right I'll forgive you," said Tom, seeing she would talk about nothing else till that point was settled. "Oh, I'm so glad Harry! I did not want you to think I would do such a thing. They made me do it." "Do what?" "Oh, I must go. They "might find me here. n ''What would they do?" "Those men? They are capable of doing anything. They might kill me if they got angry." "Who are--" Tom was going to ask who the men were, but that, perhaps, would betray his ignorance of who the girl herself was. It might reveal to her the fact that he was not "Harry." He had to exercise great care. "Don't go yet," he whispered. "Don't go yet. I want you to tell me why they brought me here?" "Oh, I can't do that." ''Why?" "Oh, don't ask me. It was not my doing. They forced me to--" ''What?" "I can't teU you, Harry." "Do you know what they mean to do?" "I didn't then." "But now?" "Oh, I must go. I am afraid they will find me here." "No, no l stay." "I can't. I hear them coming. ''Will you come back?" "I dare not to-day." "Why?" "They will Vehome. To-morrow--" "Yes. What?" "They will be away." "And you'll come?" "Yes, Harry, I'll come if they go." She disappeared, and the window closed. Tom had the dar ness and his own sad thoughts as companions once more. It almost distracted him to think of his mother, whose cir cumstances had become so desperate. He might be kept impris oned here for days, and even weeks; and what would she do? Perhaps t this moment she was expecting help from him. She was certainly expecting a letter. He had about twenty dollars in his pocket. Why had he not mailed it to her? She would have received it before this, and have been relieved from immediate want. He had intended to send her a post office order, but had de layed too long; he should have done it before he went to Jersey City. "Oh, if he could only send it now! If he could only break out of his prison for one hour. He would regard it as a favor from Heaven to b e able to send it with a short, encouraging letter. "Poor Dick and Nell !" he groaned; "poor mother I Starving, perhaps. They must have been almost in a destitute condition three weeks ago; and I haven't sent them a dollar since." In his agony of mind Tom did what it is ever safe to do under such circumstances. He prayed fervently. The long day passed. About ten o'clock that night the door opened and In walked Mac. He carried a lamp that lit up his dark, swarthy face, show ing features marked by a career of wildness. Resolution was the dominant note of his character. It showed in his counte nance, in his walk, in his manner and in his speech. "Well, how are you getting on, youngster?" he asked, as he set the lamp on the washstand and took a seat on the sofa. "Do you think you could enjoy this kind of life very long? Not so nice as playing billiards and pool, is it?" Tom was sitting on the floor. He looked a t the speaker and read his character in a glance. He saw that he had to deal with a man who, whatever good points he might have, could be re lentless when it came to carrying out anything that would aerve his own interests. There was, under the circumstances, only one way to deal with such a man, and that was to employ the arts of cunning. "What's your object in keeping me here?" asked Tom. "Don't be so inquisitive, my dear Harry!' Tom could now have told him he had made a mistake ana taptured the wroni' man, but he doubted if it would do him much good.


!2 BRAVE AND BOLD. It certainly would not bring about his releast. To release him would expose him. Besides, if he di sclose d his identity he would not be able fo learn the secret of the plot, and already he had his heart set on that. There might be some innocent victims to wari1, perhaps even a life to save. He resolved to keep up the deception the y had brought on themselves But he made a blunder at the outset. "Mac," said he, quite familiarly, "this sort of work won't do I--" He stopped when he saw the effect of his speech. The man leap e d lo his feet in amazement; his face became livid with rage. "Where did you get my name?" he asked. "How did you--" He paused and stared steadily at Tom's face, his steely eyes seeming to pierce to the depths of the boy s soul. He showed fear as well as bewilderment, and this told Tom that the real Harry was supposed to know nothing about these men. "How did you know me?" he cried. "Speak; I must know!" "I'll not tell you," said Tom, feeling he had an advantage, and determining to keep it. "I know more about you than you think.'" Fatal words. The man's face fairly blazed with passion. With a lightning Jike movement of his arm, he drew a pistol from his pocket and leveled it at Tom's face. CHAPTER VIII. "Speak, you y9ung scoundrel, I'll blow your whole head off!" The gleaming barrel of the pistol pointed directly in his face; the menacing words, uttered in tones, and the steely, wicked eyes flashing with anger, gave Tom the worst shock he had ever experienced in his life His heart, for the moment, stopped beating, cold ran up and down his back, and his tongue cleaved to the rooi. of his mouth. He could not have spoken a word if he ?ad got a for tune. seemed paralyzed. It was almost a miracle that the man did not Instantly pull the trigger, as his temper h;id got quite beyond his control. / And such a temper 1 Tom had never seen anything like it, though he had seen a ma d bull that got loose at a fair in Irving, and he had seen a mad dog foaming at the mouth, that had to be shot. For fully a minute the two stood looking each o ther in the eyes The man delayed carrying out his threat through the force of &ome motive known only to himself. Tom stood motionless, cinply because he dared not move He was too horrified tb move. It was well for him it was so. Had he tried to dodge or crouch ba ck he have been shot down like a dog. Nay, bad he stirred his head, or moved a finger, he would have in vited the full charge of the pistol in his face, and that in spite of the man's desire not to kill him. At last the pistol was lowered. Tom, the terrible tension being relaxed, felt so weak that he staggered over to the sofa and sat down on it. "It was well for you you didn't provoke me further, young man," said his captor. "I just want to war0n you that Mackenzie McLeod's temper is an ugly one, and he can't always control it." "Wh at have you got against me, anyway?" asked Tom. "What h ave I done to you?" "Stand up!" Tom obeyed. There was n o res1stmg a command uttered in such a tone, especially when backed up by a temper so ungov ernable, and the possession of a pistol kept at full cock. But, while he obeyed, he tried to hid!! his fear. He tried to s how his captor he was anxious not to provoke him further, and that, so far as he was concerned, he had no enmity, or even any ill feeling, except what might naturally arise through a sense of having been unjustly dealt with. Hi s demeanor to have an ameliorating effect on Mc Leod, who lowered the trigger and pocketed the pistol. "Let us understand each other now," said the latter, in a voice well under control, but still stern and wrathful. "I want to have this point settled." "So do I," said Tom. "I am just as anxious as you to come to an understanding." ''vVell, begin." "Begin? How?'' "I say begin !" "I know you do, but--" "Are you going to provoke me again?" "Not if I can help it." "Why don't you speak, thert ?" "I don't know what to say. I supposed you would explain first." Out came the pistol again. The man's face grew almost purple. "Are you going to answer me?" he cried. "Yes." "Go ahead, then, and be quick about it, or by thunder I'll--" "What do you want me to te11 you?" "Tell me how you knew my name. You called me 'Mac' just now. How did you come to know it?" There was a pause, during which the two could hear the beat ing of their hearts. During that pau se there came to Tom'smind-by divination or in spiration, or what you will-an idea that instantly developed into a firm conviction; and that idea, or rather the action it led to, was the turning point in his life. The idea took this form: "Mackenzie McLeod believes me to be 'Harry;' if he now finds out his mistake he will kill me on the spot!" This conclusion was correct. The only thing that had so far saved him was McLeod1s desire not to make way with "Harry'' just yet. Tom saw that self-interest was the motive power that rnled Mackenzie McLeod, and that it alone could check his furious temper. "One moment, "Let us not get I'm quite--" "Shut up!" now," he said, speaking as calmly as he could. in a rage. 1 don't to provoke you, and "All right." "Speak." "How can I do both?" You kn ow what I want." "What?" "An explanation." ' "I'm willing to give it." "Then do so. I want no long string of talk. How did you know my name?"


BRA VF; AND BOLD. 13 "Mackenzie McLeod ? "Yes. ' Mentioned it yourse lf " Y o u lie I You called me M a c b e fore By--" "Hold on." Tom saw that h e had t o yi e ld a supp o sed advantage. He had imagined it would be a benefit to him if his captor s thought he wa s in pos sess i o n of s o me of them But he was determined to surrende r his advantage as spar ingly as pos s ible to pla y upon words, to equivocate, quibble and do anything but actually lie. "Mr. McLe o d, he s aid "I t e ll you exactly when I first learn e d the names of you and Jirn "-this was perf e ctly true; he did not know whether it was und e r the tree, in the boat or in the cartiage-"but I will say this, that up to the time you cap t ured me, I knew anything particularly bad of either of you. "Look her e ; drop that." "Drop what?" "That balderdash. Speak d e finitely or I ll kill you. I feel like killing y o u anyhow." Tom knew differe He believed that so l o ng as he could make beli e ve he was Harry he was safe, unless there was an oth e r explosion of temper "I d on't know much about you at all." "What do y o u know?" ''I'll frtght e n you a bit now thought Tom; aloud he s

14 BRA VE AND BOLD. "You have no idea who we are?" "No." "No idea of our scheme?" "None whatever." "Well, now that you know so much, we ma1 as well tell you that we want you to help us." "In wiat way?" "Oh, you'll see that later on." "And if I refuse to help?" "You'll get your head knocked off!" It was Mackenzie that spoke the last sentence. He would have struck at Tom but for his brother, who laughed as he interfe. red, and said: "Pshaw! Mac, don't make a fool of yourself. We can force the young duffer to obey our will. Look here, Macdonald," he continued, "I've saved your life as well as my brother's, but I'm not going to continue saving you if you remain stubborn-at least, not without a salary. We have something for you to do. When the time comes we expect you to do it." "And we won't put up with any hesitation, either," added Mac, with a threatening look. "The time will come when we will issue a certain order. Take care that you oJ:>ey it at once!" "I may not know how to do it," said Tom, innocently, fishing for information. "Oh, you'll know I" returned Jim, laughing. "It's the easiest work imaginable. You may like it, too," he added, with a glance at /Mac-"wouldn't wonder if you'd enjoy it immensely." "Is it anything--" "Shut up I" Mac. said no more. He saw that asking questions was only inviting trouble. He was no safer in the presence of the two men than in Mac's alone, for Jim, though he was now mollifying his brother, was a no less dangerous man. He could simply con trol his temper better. He was just as ready for wicked deeds. They spoke once again before they left the room. "Macdonald," said Jim, "be in readiness for our orders. We're likely to set the thing going any hour." "And say your prayers if you don't to obey," said Mac, who, when he got outside, said to his brother: "I started in to scare the young duffer, and his coolness so tantalized me that I came near finishing him." "And spoiling everything;" said Jim. It is unnecessary to describe the feelings of Tom Walcott, or tell how he passed the next six hours. Apart from the worry concerning his family-worry-that would certainly kill him if no relief came-he had before him the horrible prospect of being drawn, by foree, into some dark, criminal plot, of losing his reputation, his honpr and his freedom. He was awakenecf from a light sleep by hearing a shriek. It seemed to come from over his head, to the right. He got up and lit the lamp which Mackenzie McLeod had left on the washstand. He saw that the small window was on the aide whence the sound came. CHAPTER ::it. He moved the washstand over under the window. He blew out the lamp and set it on the floor. He climbed upon the washstand, and at about the height of his head, touched the window. He pulled it toward him and it opened e:rsily. Feeling around with his hands in the embrasure, he touched the door that covered it. It did not yield to a gentle above, but when he ahoved hard it flew open, and something-probably the eatch that fastened itdropped to the floor on the other side, and made a rattling noise'. Before him he saw light-lamplight-and the ceiling of another room. At the same time he heard a sound as of some one moving. Catching his hands on the edge of the embrasure, and allow ing his head to go into it, he pulled himself a few inches higher up and tried to look down into the o er room. He did not succeed very well, as the embrasure was fully fif teen inches deep, and on the farther side the hole was less than a foot square. Besides, from the awkwardness of his position he could not hold himself up any length of time. But he got a glimpse of a portion of the contiguous apartment. It had the appearance of a kitchen or a dining-room. He saw a young girl reclining half asleep in a chair. At least, she had been asleep. At the very moment his eyes fell upon her she gave a start and sat upright. Tom pulled himself up again to take another look, but this time he did not see the girl. The chair was empty. He lowered himself till his feet touched the washstand, and this left his head just as high as the in a place where h e could see no more than a part of the ceiling of the other room. While he was standing in this position he got a sudden shock. A face appeared at the other side of the hole. It w.:S within fifteen inches of his own. With the darkness on his side and the light on the other, he had the advantage. He was able to recognize the girl, while she could not see him. "Harry," she whispered. "What?" She gave a start when she found he was so close to her. "I was dreaming of you, and I shrieked out with fright, be cause I dreamed I had caused your death." "I heard the shriek," said Tom, "and that's why I climbed up here." "You're in danger; Harry. They have not gone away yet." "When do they go ?" "Not till evening." "Will they be gone long?H "Till to-morrow, they say." "Could you help me to escape?" "Oh, I dare not l Both of our lives would be put in danger." "Well, look here. I am in terrible trouble over a duty I have to perform-a promise I have to keep." He was thinking of the letter he wished to send his mother; he longed for the power to remit her the few dollars he had in his pocket. They might save her, and Dick and Nell from starvation. "Is that so, Harry?" "Yes. If I could get out of here for three hours, so that I could visit one place and write and mail a letter, it would lift a terrible loac;I off my mind. If I could do that I would be content to be a prisoner for a week to come. With thia duty unfulfilled I am frenzied-I am--" "I wisb I could help wou, Harry, but you must n 'ot ask me to aid your escape. It's impossible." / "Couldn't you let me out for a time if I promised to come baek?" "Ohl" "I'd stay no longer than was necessary to perform the duty I speak of." "I'll think it over, Harry, and if--Hark I I hear a foot step. Go down, quick; I'll call you when they're gone." The door quickly closed and Toni closed the window. ., ..,


BRA VE AND BOLD, to a 4egree, he descendect and the stand back to its place. dusk of the evening of the same day the window opened and the girl's voice called: "Harry," "Yes," said Torn. "I have thought that matter over, and I'll grant your request if you'll pledge yourself on your honor to do one thing." Tom's heart leaped for very joy. There w

16 BRA VE AND BOLD. / well turried toward Tom, her attention was not taken away from her own reflection. And such a reflection. Tom knew what it was like, for, while he was rearranging the bandage, he got a good view of her. Perhaps he lingered over the o peration of tying a little. No one could blame him if he did, for the sight b e fore him was one on which the eye might well d e light to linger. She was a beautiful young woman. He was certain )1.e had never seen one so lovely, so stately, so grand. She was more beautiful than his sister Nell, whom, th o ugh belonging to the fragile type, he had long r egardeo as the beau ide a l of f em inine loveliness. Her magnificent face, with its creamlike coll)plexion, the speaking brown eyes, the glorious profusion of blonde hair, and the superb figure, would have made her the envy of titled ladies. Defore s he turned arot1nd Tom had blindfo}ded himself. He had taken care to cover hi s whole fac;e with the handk e rchief. Shi; procured him a hat, and, again taking his hand, led him out of the house. "Softly," she whispered. "Let us not speak at all for the pres ent Mind the steps." Tom. c o unted seven steps in the descent to the ground. He was suie they were st o ne. He ran his disengaged hand along the balustrade, and he no t iced, or fanci e d he noticed, one peculiarity. There was the figure of a lion, or some such animal, couchant, and its tail was I curled up -Over its back. One of its ears was brok e n off, and there was a hole in the place \Vhere that organ ought to He drew a lead pencil from his intending to make a mark on the balu st rade, but he had not time, as the girl turned toward him; and, somehow, in the excitement of the moment, he dropped the lead pencil in the hole left by the missing ear of the animal. Had he been asked why he tried to make a mark on the balustrade he could hardly have answered. He scarcely knew what he was thinking of He only knew that he was delighted with the prospect bf being able to communicate with his dear mother, and he felt most grateful to the lovely girl who, at risk to herself-for she had said so-was aiding him and-trusting him. He meant to keep his word. He was determined to come back with her. He had never broken his word yet, and he WO'Uld. not begin by deceiving a woman. She led him along a short, graveled path. She asked him to stoop and bow his head for a yard or two, and shortly afterward she put his hand on the side of a carriage and asked him to enter. She had to wait a few moments for driver. Then she got in and sat beside Tom; the door was closed, and almost imme diately the carriage .. started. It turned to the left and got on ground that was somewhat rougn. In less than a.,minute it turned again tu the left ahd shortly afterward to right, and for the next half hour the turns were so frequen that Tom was obliged to give up all at tempts to follow the coursl' \n his mind. He was partly prevented by his companion who at first was inclined to keep quiet, but > who, as they proceeded, showed a dis position to become talkative. "I am sorry for has occurred, Harry," said she. "I assure you I was completely deceived. I supposed that you and I were to --'' "What?" : "Oh, I forgot myself. I can't tell." '.) "But you should-especially since I have pl e dged myself to re-turn with you. Do you know the plot o f these men?" "No. What plot? I only know that I am to--" "What?" "Oh, there I am again. I am pledged to secrecy, Harry." "Who are these men?" "vVhy what a strange question. You know why they are. Don't y o u remember me telling you about them?" "No. What did you say?" "W:hy, I spoke of them to you a dozen times. Don't you mind I pointed them out to you in the theatre and told you--" "What?" "Oh, Harry, it is so hard to keep a secret from you." "You shouldn't." "I feel I shouldn't, but it will all come right yet." "What must happen first?" "Harry, you surprise me. You are changed." Tom saw his mi stake, and instinctively began to arrange the b andage more ti ghtl y about his face. "We are at Madison Square now," she said. "You may take off the bandage till we're coming back." "Oh, I'd just as soon keep it on." He had to ke e p his :face concealed, but, availing himself of he permission, fixe d the silken bandage so that he could see with one eye without her knowing it. And what did he see? f Somethinir that he long remembered. J CHAPTER XII. They were going slowly through Madison Square, when a young man who was passing happened to see a face at the car riage window. Instant)y he dropped hi s cane and sprang forward to the horses' heads. H e stopped the team and then, calling to the driver to wait, hurried back to the door of the carriage and tried to open it. It was at this very moment that Tom was arranging the hand kerchief so that he could see with one eye without the lady knowing it He was just in time to see tpe face of the stranger, who was a young man of about his own age with a fine, well-cut face, dark hair and dark eyes. It was only a glance, but it enabled him to see every feature of the countenance now lit up with some wild excitement. The driver whipped up his horses, and the stranger was soon left behind, having failed to carry out his intention of opening the carriage door. The lady did not appear to n o tice the incid ent at all. She gave a little shriek of alarm when the horses started up so quickly. She leaned forward to give the driver a direction, and Tom took advantage of the chance to look out of the little glass win dow at the back of the carriage. He saw the young man running behind ; trying to overtaJ

BRA VE AND BOLD. to bring him back to a prison where he was liable at any time to be killed by the wicked Mac and Jim? The idea was monstrous. The girl must have a heart as cruel as Nero's to demand such a thing. Did she not know she would be putting his life in great danger? Ah, but she had released him. She had relied upon his word to come back. She was helping him. She had shown some honor. To Tom, who had seen nothing but mystery for the five days, this was the greatest mystery of all. The girl to like Harry Macdonald and feel sorry for his captivity, and yet she wanted him to return to it. Tom did not forget the little incident that had just happened in the park, but he was quite ignorant of the fact that tl1e stranger was still following them. "Tell me, Flora," he said, still disguising his voice, "couldn't you do without taking me back with you?" "Oh, no, Barry. Please do not ask that!" she exclaimed, ex citedly. "Please don't break your promise." "Do you mean I am to go back to that room and be locked in again?" "Certainly, Harry; just as soon as you have written and postetl your important letter. The men must not know you have been out of the room at all. Let me see-it is now nine o'clock. We ought to be back by eleven, at the furthest." "Are you aware that they are likely to kill me?" "Oh, I hope not! I trust not. You know you could save yourself by--" "By what?" "Oh, I can't tell you !" "Thfre is a means of escape, then?" "Oh, yes." "You mean by obeying them?" "By doing the one thing they ask." "I shall not." "Oh, Har.ry !" "What?" "You intimated once before you would do it." "Did I?" "Certainly. You surely don't forget it." Tom was more and more puzzled. He thought for a moment, and said: "Flora, what if I don't go back with you?" The girl burst out crying. She seized his hands and implored him to go back for her sake. Her life, she said, would be in danger if he did not return and submit to being locked up in the room. "Oh, Harry I" she pleaded, "don't break your word to me. Think how I trusted you. Please come back. Come back and save my life!" "Would your reall:\' be in danger?" "Yes If they find you gone my life would be in danger." don't you go back, either." "Worse and worse. We would both die then." Tom really had no intention of breaking his word. All this talk was to get at the key of the mystery which was every hour becoming darker and deeper. "Rest easy, Flora.'' he said, "I'll go back with you." Her joy was great. "Oh, thanks, Harry," she said. "You've relieved my mind. Ah, here we are at Washington Square. Yonder is Fourth Street. You hao better get out, Harry, and I'll wait for you here. How long will you be?" "About half an hour:" "Well, I'll drive slowly around the square here. I'll not be any distance from the monument. You'll see the carriage easily." "Yes. All right." The carriage stopped. Tom, in getting out, took the greatest care to keep his face turned from his companion. He alighted on the side on which there was the least light. He stepped onto the ground and got qukkly behind the carriage. He had succeeded so far in deceiving the girl as to his iden tity. She still believed him to be Harry Macdonald. "Good-by, Flora," he whispered. "Your comi ng back, Harry?" she asked, in a tone of reat anxiety. "Yes." "Don't be long. You'll find me here." Tom hurried under the arch, crossed the street ana steppea onto the sidewalk. He was now safe and free-if he could only break his word! Was he morally bound to keep such a promise, given under such circumstances? he asked himself. "Yes, if he would be a gentleman," answered his conscience. He looked after the carriag.e. It was in the little park going slowly. The girl was looking out of the window, no doubt trying to see what direction he was taking. Tom was just about to move away when a carriage pulled up between him and the arch. He saw a young man step out of it, and he immediately recog nized him as the stranger that had acted so strangely and so excitedly in Madison Square, that had stopped the horses and tri e d to open the carriage door. This young stranger saw Tom. That was plain from his man ner. He scowled and began to approach. Tom walked off quickly to Fourth Street. Before he had gone a hundred yards he was surprised to see that the stranger was following him, assuming an air of indifference. Arriving at his boarding house, Tom went inside the porch and remained there watching the stranger, who took up a position across the street. "What does want?" thought Tom. "I'll not go inside till I find that out." Presently the stranger moved away. Tom, anxious to know who he was, came out of the porch, crossed the street and followed him. The stranger walked very rapidly, making straight for the ., park. He never once looked behind. When he got near the arch 11e quickened his pace, and, to Tom's astonishment, headed directly for the lady's carriage, which was going slowly past the monument. Tom, thinking harm might be intended toward the lady, hur ,ried forward to protect her. Before he could get to her, however, he saw the carriage stop, the door open, and the stranger step into it. Away flew the carriage with the lady and the stranger. Soon they were out of sight, and Toiv was left in the park alone. In order not to break his promise, he hung around the Vicinity for hours, but the carriage with the lady and the mysterious stranger never came One would have thought Tom's troubles were over.


, r8 BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER xnr. Three months have passed since the events recorded in the last chapter, and great changes have come to some of the of our story. '.fom Walcott h<1s brought his mother, brqther and sistei; to New York. They are all living in humble, but fairly comfortable, rooms on First Avenue. '_l'om ia steadil>; pow, and deriving from his work enough, income to keep the family from want. They aFe far from beinlj o .ut 9f debtJ but their circumstances are an improve ment upon what they were in Irving, especially after the. Wendell Mills burned down, and while Tom was tram.Ping the streets. of New York for work. The rea 'der. wiff natu' raliy ask how did this desirable change come about. How did Tom make 'enough to move the family down from Irving? We will explain. when he went back to his boarding house the night he lost .track of the lady, Flo ra, ip Washington Park, he found, to his st'lrprise, tpat M.-s. Moffatt had moved away, and in her was another woman named' Mrs. Fleming: He was more surprised when he found that the was to make no to bim-,-that Moffl).tt had made ar rangements with her succfssor by which Tom was to continue as a boarder as long as he liked, a11d th;,it she Jiad left a letter ''fo be handed to Mr. Walcott when he ccifnes." The big?'es.t -surprise :of rrll \'{ail when th! : s letter. He found 1t to contam fifty 'l!ollars and the {bllowmg : it \ "MY DEAR WALCOTT: I w11-s much th;t )lOU dicl .notr return to me .. tho evening.' you went to Pleasant J;'la.ins, and I (:jl.nnot L1ndersland has siru;e kept you, for,. pf cciurse, I know you are too honest fo lntenlio1rnlly break your word. Your ttip. niust have been' a Sutcess, however, as thLngs turned' out' well." Yol.I will fi'!\d inclo sed .. fifty dol1ar$, which I' deJ Y9\lA.ll accept. t.\m leav ing townfor 1 a few days, apd when: f return I hope tE>.fit:id,..,you Moffatt's,'' : i . ':'1 .,. "-There was no signature, no sup e;scription of any.; k,i.nQ. 1,'o. m que ti _oneq 1Mrs . .J;len:ing . She knew 11othing, she said, al'lout Mrs.' Moffat( or' gentleman. Next morning he .s}rit'tl;irty dollars home to his and honrs an of, business. it., .... ..,. \-.. < . ; . ; : )je boug\1t th, e .. good .. 1wi,\l .. ?f a bQotblack 1, yho a chair a'.ri_d a small at the of <,! hotel on '.h1rd A,ven ue. , .. . :.Jle c .1.uhe . bargain,.. quite aq:identally. f.!:e happened to be the corner11 apd heard the bootblack telling a friend :'' \ 'r I he w1s.hed pe could sell out, as he had something better 111 \ l teiV. Tom was not abov the bootblacking industrv. He had never ldrncd ib feel the in. i:ngnity of laho1r. f. He arran,!l'ed with tlie hotel man to pay a part of the price for lihn and accept his agree rnent to give him a portion of the profits until the business should be entirely his own. was the' fockie'st stroke of his 1 thl!.t eVetling he started for Irving, Massachusetts. He found 11iis .mother, Dick and Nell in dire poverty, but still alive and well. The thirty dollars ar rived about the same thne-he did. 7 ' He unfolded his scheme to his mother, and got her consent' and blessing. " He spent a in .sellfng out all the' 'furniture artd ;tuff they did not rieed, and 'then be rn:oved' tile whole family 't6-New York, renting rdorns, as be en "sa'l'cl,' Avemie. ir Hettciok Die)( busl'neh *ith hifu.'-'Ditk .. ii'-to rrilnd the newsstand, and be himself was to do the more laborious wovlc of shoe-polishing. The morning tqey beg;m business their assets amounted to the following: Newspapers (usele ss after day of issue)................. $2.25 Cash on hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Total .................... ,. .............. .. $2.60 The plant, consisting of the newsstand and the chajr, with the blacking kit, were still the hotel man's property, Tom having paid but a trifle on them. Dick, the cripple, proved a capital business man. He in his chair and sold his papers and answered questions in a manver that pleased every one with whom he came in contact, He was delighted with his new occupation. It was easy anJ P leasant, and it made him pi;oud to think he was no longer idle, that he could aid Tom to support his mother and Nell. At the end of a week they were four dollars ahead, and at the end of the second week their profits totaled $13.70. They were not becoming Vanderbilts, but they were hopeful of getting out of bitter poverty anq t1ltimately out of debt. Tom's manly, cheerful manner aud Dick's courtesy began to attract the a,tte11iion of gcntkmen who passed Hie corner eYery day., and, littl e by little,.. thesi. 111en got into the habit of purchasing their morning papers from the cripple, and getting tlwir shoes po,lished by Tom. So. that the three months that passed since Tom's last adventure had put him on a better footing with the world. He had the business stand more than half paid for, and the prospects were getting even brighter. And now to answer a question which the reader has been wait-ing to ask: .: .. Walcott, du,ring these three.months, see or hear anything of the people with whom he had been associated in strange adventures? Did he find out the -mystery of the orange peel that he had picked up from under a bench in Central Park? H:tdJte' learned the-mystery of the mysterious errand that brought him to Pleasant Plains)Had he solved the plot of Mac and Jim? "No: I ot ,''f "'> '' From" the night 'foe, c;arriage had off and left him in Wash.ington Park, he had neither seen heard con' cerning his employer, his captors, Jim, Mac' and Wilson, the girl1 flora,' that had a ccornpanie!f him in the c :ir riage, the mus: tached"'young dandy \\'horn had met in the restaurant. The whole thing might have been a dream, so far as proofs were left of these people having existed. They Jived -011ly in Torn'i; memory, and oftentimes he said to himself:. "Either I dreamed the whole of it, or it is the most mysterious series of events I ever heard of." ' H e made several trips ti) Wall and the Taylor House, Jersey City, hoping t&'find some news of his 'late employer; he visited MrS'. Fl ming's boarding house every second day; he watched the papers; he searched and re-searched the city dfrec tory; and he walked around many varts of the city looking for a house with a couchant Hon In front of' it. All in vain. The mystery was deep and dark and beyond his power to fathom. He often thought of the girl, Flora, who to the Jast had mistaken him for a certain Harry Macdonald, and, as her and gentleness came before him, he wondered if she' wa!i rc;a14y


BRA VE AND BOLD. 19 in the secret of the plot, and how it was she was in the company of villains. As for finding out who Harry Macdonald was, he gave that up as hopeless, when, having looked at the directory, he saw several pages with the name Macdorntld. It seemed as if the whole original clan had settled in New Yark. One morning, after the first great rush of business was over, the majority of their regular customers having gone to their offices and their work, Tom and Dick, as was their wont, sat down to glance over the papers and discuss some of the chief events of the day. Diek was behmd his counter and had a New York World in his hand. Dick had been reading some time, when he suddenly ex-claimed: "Poo r fellow! That's pretty hard." "What's that, Dick?" asked his brother. "It's an exciting piece of news in this morning's papers. They're all full of it. lt'-1 going to be the sensation of the hour, and while it will increase our sales for a while, I feel sorry for the poor fellow that--" "Let us hear it. Who he?" "A young fellow namea Harry Macdonald." '-L "What!" To Dick's absolute amazement, Tom leaped out of his chair, sprang across tht sidewalk, and, reaching over the counter, snatched the paper out of his hand. "Let me see it!" he cried, and, while his face grew deadly pale and his eyes expanded, he hurriedly read the paragraph that had caught his brother's attention. CHAPTER XIV. The newspaper article, which was at that moment being re}d and discussed by thousands on the streets, read as follows: "MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE. "Is IT A C::ASE OF Fot;L PL.A.Y OR SuxcmE?-CoMMODORE MAcDoN ALD's SoN MISSING. "Young Harry Macdonald, son of Commodore Macdonald, the 'Wall Street King,' has mysteriously disappeared, and grave doubts of l his being alive are entertained. It is fully three months since he was last seen by his friends, but it is only withi.n the last few days that the matter excited comments and fears, a:; his father had been absent from home for same time, and it was supposed that th. e son might tie with him. The father is distracted with grief. He fears that' his son has met with play. He offers a large reward far information that will lead tfr his being found." There was considerably more in the article, but it referred wholly, and in eulogistic terms, to Commodore Macdonald, who was reputed to be a multi-millionaire, and acknowledged to be a gentleman and philanthropist. Tom Walcott was literally shocked when he read .the news. It had a'.deeper effect upon him, th on one else in New York, outside of the father of the unfortunate young man. He uttered an exclamation of norror and sat down in his chair, letting his head rest on his hand. "What's the matter?" asked Dick, in alarm. "Matter,? Oh, :Oick. you don't know anything about it. This is awf.W--" "What's awful?" "This .,. .. '. "About young a_cdonald ?'" .. ... "Yes, yes Oh, dear! oh, dear !" "Why should it excite you, Tom? You don't know the man, do you?" "No. Never saw him, to my knowledge." "Why do you worry over it, then?" "He's gone. He's been captured. The plot has succeeded. Those infernal scoundrels have--" I "Why, what on earth are you talking about, Tom? I don't un derstand you. One would think that---.. What scoundrels are you referring to?" "Oh, Dick, don't bother me! There, that'$ a good fellow. Let me think." And Tom did think. For upward of a quarter of an hour he beat his brains and tried to remember little detail& that had be fore to him. Dick watched him, wondering what it all meant. Tom had not confided any of his late adventures to fam i ly, consequently Dick was wholly unprepared for anything ap proaching the nature of a mystery. It was hard for as sociate secrecy and mystery with the open-hearted; frank brother that he admired as a chivalrous hero. I After a while Tom jumped out of the chair and said: "Dick, I'm going to leave you for an hour or two. I won't be any longer than I can help. There's a little matter I want to at tend to. Get Micky to watch my chair." Micky Flynn :ivas a boy whom Tom was accustomed to quite frequently to assist him whei:i there was a rush of business, or to do all the shining in case he, Tom, had to abient himself any length of time. For Tom did often emselves, who had even 'the faintest idea of what might have become of Harry Macdonald, and. he 'hid got this knowledge by inference. The infonnation he could give the nwst In their hands it might soon clear t up the ; he wa1 morally bound to tell it. ,:. This is the way it appeared to when .he leaped up ftom, the chair. But a new thought struck h. as he stopped at the corner. fj" ad he a right to tell the police what had happened? Had be not hi s elljp!oyer to keep secret everythipg in cp1; mcc: tion with his 1:11ystc:rios ei:rands to Central Park and Pleasant Plains? And had he i:iot pledged lady, .Flora. to


20 BRA VE. AND BOLD. say nothing about what happened from the time she released him up to the time he parted with her? He could not go back on his sacredly-pledged word. He could not, without perjuring himself, relate his story to the police. He could tell patt of it without breaking any promise; he could relate his capture and imprisonment by Mac and Jim; but that would not do any good. Seeing he was keeping back something the would only susi>ect he had been accessory to the plot. It was a hatd problem for a scrupulously conscientious young fellow to soh-e. The more he studied it the more clearly it pre sented two alternatives to him : He must either tel) everything ot keep his mouth closed and' say nothing. He decided to do the latter. "I'll keep my word, no matter what happened," he said; "and, besides, I'll-" He walked back to the stand ag<\in. "Dick," said he to the lad, who had been watching him for the last five minutes, "do you think you could run the business yourself for a week or so-with Micky to do the shinlhg1" "I guess I could, Tt>m. Why?" Dick's innocent blue eyes were full of wonder as he watched his br9ther, who spoke with affected -indifference. Tom, not able to meet his gaze, carelessly glanced over the World, which he had again picked up. "Well, I can't just te1J you the cause, Dick-at least not yet. I will 'as soon as I can." The eyes of the cri'pple beamed with loving concern for his brother as he said : "You're not going away, are yon, Tom?" "No; I'll be around here off and on, but I want to be free to stay away a while If necessary. I want to be footloose." "Will you tell mother and Nell?" "No, no, Dick. They must know nothing." Just at this moment Tom's eye caught something else in the paper. He saw a name among those registered at the Astor House, and of all the persons he desired to meet it happened to be th! one. "I have a bit of work to accomplish, Dick," he continued, still toying with the paper. "and if you can get along without rue yo'll be assisting me," "T'om.'" "What?" "There's a mystery." "Well, yes, Dtck, there is." "You'll depend on me keepinli:' .quiet if I guess it?'' "Yes." I "You know aomething about this young l\facdonald ?" "l do/' "And you're going to kll the chief?" "No.11 "What then?" "I'm going to clear up the mystery single-handed." "Oh, Tom!" "Honor compels rue to do it. My llps are sealed. Harty Macdonald without :relp." m\1st save CHAPTER XV. Half an hour later Tom walked into the Astor House. After looking about in th. e reading-room and smoking-room, he went up to the desk and looked at the hotel register. Yes, sure enough. there was the name of his late employer, Mr. Hardy, among the late arrivals. He had registered the even ing before. "Strange Ile did not send me word he had returned," thought Tom. "I was at Mrs. Fleming's this morning. Of course, it may be some other Hardy." "Well?" said the clerk, looking up with the peculiar interrogative frown which most of the guild acquire. "I want to see Mr. Hardy, who is staying here. Is he in his room?" "I think so. Your card?" Tom wrote his name on a card and the clerk dispatched a bell boy upstairs with it. Presently the lad returned, and handing the card to the clerk, whispered to him. "Well?" said To1;11. "Not in," said the clerk. Tom wondered why the bell-boy smiltd as he took his seat. Just at this juncture another man stepped up to the desk. Tom was turning away at the time, but he overheard the words addressed to the clerk: "Send my care! up to Mr. Hard)!, please." He could not help turning around to take a look, and what he saw surprised him. The clerk dispatched a bell-boy with the stranger's card, despite the fact that he had, but a moment before, said Mr. Hardy was not in. Was it possible Hard:y refusing Tom an interview? That is / what it meant if he was now in his room. "I'll Just watch this thing and see how it turns out," said Tom to himseJ; and he took a seat a little way off, where he could see all that passed. Neither the bell-boys nor the clerk noticed him, for such func tionarie,s ca11not remain interested jn one individual longer than it takes to receive a tip. Th(' man standing waiting at the desk was well worthy of the study of a physiognotnist, and he Interested Tom very much. He was an aristocratic-looking individual, in spite of the fact that his trousers were. a little frayed and his coat well worn. He was fully sixty years of age, yet as straight as an arrow and as active in appearance as a man of thirty. He was over six feet in height. His hair and must<1che were gray; his eyes were singu larly dark and piercing. There was a certain yputhful, jaunty air about him that would have made most people look at him twice. With his glasses astride his prominent nose, he studied an oil painting on the wall with the air of a con11oisseur till the clerk said: "Mr. Hatdy ls in his room. He will be pleased to you." The jaunty old get man followed the bell-boy to the elevator, and Tom Walcott sat back ln his seat with the feeling of a man who had just got struck with a snow-slide. "Well, this beats the deuce I" he muttered. "Why should Hardy 'be in' to this man attd ignore me? There's some mystery about it." Tom's temper was nsmg. He was not the kind of youth that could meekly bear a snub, even from an employer who had hith erto treated him well. He arose from his seat with a peculiar light flashing in his eyes.


BRA VE AND BOLD. 21 He moved to another part of the room, where he co1\ld watch the elevator without being seen. He had about come to the conclu3ion hi5 employer was one of the plotters, when he saw the elevator descending. The door opened, and out stepped several men. Two of them were together. One was the jaunty old gentle man w'ith the prominent nose, and the other he could not get a good look at. The two walked out to the street door and stood on the steps talking, with their faces tO\vard the street. Tom stepped over to the registry desk and spoke to the clerk. "Who is that man out at the door?" he asked. "\l\Thich of them?" "The one with his hands in his pockets." "That's Mr. Hardy." "Mr. Hardy?" "Yes." "Is that the man oc c upies No. 37 ?" "Yes." Tom went halfway down the hall and sat down to wait till the conversation was through. Presently the two men shook hands, whispered to each o,thei; and separated. The jaunty old man went down into the street. The other turned to come back up the hall: ,,. Tom Walcott to his feet. .1, He could scarcely suppress an exclamation ot astonishment. The man before him was the mustached d andy had last seen coming out of the room in the Taylor House, Jer' sey City! How the mistake had been made was clear in a:n instant. Tom, had been told to inquire for "Mr. Hardy," and this \Vas the man that lJeen occupying the room where he found hisemployer. The latter had only been visiting Hardy. A very natural mistake, and its discovery would have eased Tom's mind considerably for the moment had it n ot oeen for what followed. The. dressy young Hardy was sauntering slowly alo'ng towarO. the desk, when suddenly he caught sight of Tom. Instantly his face became as white as a sheet' 1' He turned quickly around and made for the elevator, trying to act as if he had just remembered something he had forgottei1. But Tom Walcott was too quickfor him :;. be caught up to him at the elevafor door and said: 1. ,. "Mr. Hardy! One moment, pleasei''1 The young dandy turned arourtd and stared with well-feigned surprise. Tom' was compelled to admire the nerve that enabled him to change nis countenance so quickly. "Well?" drawled out Mr. Hardy. "Doli't you remember me?" asked Tom. "Remember you? No, I never saw you in my life before." "I met you at the Taylor House, Jersey City, don't you mind?" "f don't. I'm in a hurry just now, and-.-'/ "I'ii not keep you. I simply want to ask you a question." "Well? Be quick I What is it?" "What is the name of the gentleman who was in. your room the day I "I have told you I never saw you before." "Oh, yes, you did; don't you--" : ' ; "I say no." "It was at the Taylor House, about three months ago. I got a note from my employer telling me to inquire for Mr. Hardy. I met you at the door of the room coming out; don.'t you mind? You went downstairs, and I found my employer in your room.'' "Who is your employer?" "I don't know. That's--" "Well, I'm sure I don't.'' "But--" "Men nowadays generally know who they work for.'' smile was annoying to Tom, who was so desperately amc ious to learn his employer's and recognized this as his only chance. "Mr. Hardy--" "I b I h 4 must e gomg. ave an appomtment. "One moment. Try to think. It's of great importance that I should know the name of the man who vjsite,d you day. You were both together. I met you in a restaurant the .night be fore, and you seemed to know--" "Wh'.lt the deuce are you talking about? Who are you, any how?" "I am Tom Walcott; and I tell you right here you recognized me just now when you saw me." "I'd advise you to take care. This hotel keeps merl who-" He tried to step into the elevator as he spoke, but Tom cleverly got in front of him, managing to do so in a way that appeared accidental. The two stood staring at each other for several trying 'to read what was in the other's mind. "!n 'that moment1 there was generated a reciprocal feeling >0f dislike. In the mind of one it took the form of c,J,eaqly and In honest heart of other it resolved itself merely' into a feeling of avetsio11. But aversion a bad thing to get into the head of Tom Walcott, especially it was 'fith such as he now entertained. It was sure to stir up whai was most dangerous within ' 1 f I . "Look here, Mr. Hardy," said he, "I want lo that name. Now you know it and--" "I lc11ow neither him nor y0U." , "You do.'' 1 "I don't, nor d'on't want to." "You're a liar I" Smash! .'J ', I .... i .. The1 blow struck.Tom fairJy on the nose, and for a moment }le thought the whole top of his head was knocked off. Mr. Har1dy, smiling, calmly stepped onto the "So I've run against a scrapper, have I?" mutt'ered Tom Wal-. Cott, as he wiped the bloocj off his face and looked iJ.t theempty elevator cage through which Mr. Hardy had ju't ascende

I BRA VE AND BOLD. He wheeled around and walked rapidly back toward the Astor House, which he had left only about a quarter of an ho"ur before. ."I'll comer him and make him speak," he thought. "I'll men tion the name Harry Macdonald, and see how he takes it. 'If he do bleach,' as Hamlet says, 'I know my cause.'" He again entered the hotel. He expected to see the clerk smile at him, but that worthy, though he had witnessed the blow, acted as if he had neveT seen him. To the question: "Where is Mr. Hardy?" he calmly answered: "Gone." "Gone I" exclaimed Tom. "He left ten minutes ago." "Where has he gone to ?" ffWe keep a hotel only, my son." This was 110 less a surprise than the one Hardy had already given him, \>Ut he regarded it as throwing a great deal more light on the question. \ It showed clearly that Hardy was frightened, that th?re waii some strong reason for his getting so quickly out of the Questioning failed to elicit any further information from the impassive clerk. He did not know, he said, what train Mr, Hardy was leaving the city by. CHAPTER XVI. Two days later Dick sat down behind the counter of the news stand to re ad. 1t was his favorite way of enjoying himself when he got the chance. He had an active, restless mind, that delighted to be working, and he loved books. They had lately added to their stock a large number of novels and magazines, and Dick was trying to read as many of them as possible before they were sold. At that moment two well-dressed men turned off Broadway and started toward Third Avenue. They kept close ether as they walked, and chatted very confidentially. "Are you sure you'd know him P" said ono. "Positive Don't let that trouble you." "It's astonishing he hasn't talked about it." "Miraculous, if lt'1 true." "Of course it's true. The papers would be full of It if he had." "Unless he had confided It only to the detectives." "Even then it would have raised a row. No, I tell you, we're safe so far; he has held his tongue." "That's no guarantee for the future," said Jim McLeod, for he it was. "We can't go a step further till we feel safe." "And we're in danger as long as he's hanging around loose. It's like sitting on the crater of a volcano." The last speaker was the jaunty old man Tom had seen in the Astor House-Caleb Wilson. "Well, now, Caleb, suppose we find him to-night?"! "Well r' "How are we going about it?" "You leave that to me. Just point him out." "Remember, he's cunning. and will be suspicious." "Ht has never seen me." HNo; but, if you try to persuade him against his will, he'll catch on, and, if he docs, the game is up. He's then sure to blab." "Don't you fear. I'll just bet we have him safe in our clutches before he sleeps to-night." They came to the corner opposite Dick's stand and stood talk lni toicthcr aa arJ two ientlemen miiht who had just met. Nn he comes back. Will he be long?" He's just gone to supper, sir. The moment he comes back I'll get him to take them to--" "No. 29 -Street, Long Island City. Just across Thirty fourth Street Ferry, Hunter's Foint." "That's all right, sir.'' "Here are five dollars, my lad, and I insist upon your brother taking this half-dollar for his kindness in delivering them. Be sure he brings them to-night. I am not likely to be home, but my daughter--" "She will get them, sir. Thank you.'' took theaddress, bade the gentleman good-ni!?ht, and be gan to pack up the books. "A nice man," he said to himself, "a thorough gentleman. Wish we had a few more customers like him.'' At this moment the "thorough gentleman" was telling his com panion, Jim, how successful he had been. The two moved away shortly afterward and took an uptown car. Tom and Micky Flynn, who had been off to supper, returned about the same time. The former was much pleased and not a little surprised, to learn that his brother had made such an ex cellent cash sale "You're a splendid business man, Dick," he said. ''I promised you'd deliver them to-night, Tom,'' returned his brother. "He's an awfully nice old man, and I'd like to keep my word with him." "So you shall, Dick. I'll start this moment. I Jtut feel like a walk." "He left a half-dollar for your car and ferry fare. You're to deliver them to his daughter, No.. 11.g Street, Long Island City." "Pshaw 1 that isn't far. Do you want a ramble, Micky?"


BRA VE AND BOLD. was glac;J to be asked to accompany Tom. The two stjirted off, took an "L" train, crossed the Hunter's Poi11t Ferry and arrived in Long I s land City. About twenty minutes later they stopped before a large brick house that was little distance back from the st1eet. It had a vine-covered lattice-work in front of the veranda, anc;l running its whole l e ngth, and in other respects, it presented an old-fash ioned appearance. "That's the right number," said Micky. "See, it's on the little window." The little "{indow to which l\licky referred was over the front door, and was lighted. All the rest of the house was in darkness and gloom. "No w onde r his daughter's an invalid," said Micky, when he had surveyed the "Why don't he get a lamppost in front of the house?" "This is where he lives, anyhow," Tom, little dreaming that the name on the package was a fictitious one. "I wqn't keep you a minute, Micky." "I'll walk ro the corner and wait for you," said his companion. Tom opened the little iron gate and started up the gn1vel path toward the house. He noticed that to hjs right there a larger gate, from which a carriage drive ran past the side of .the house, There wen stone steps down to the basement entrance of the building, and steps up to the veranda, which was about five feet from the ground. Up these steps Tom went. It was so dark that he had diffi culty in finding the do o r bell. He found it at last and gave it a pull. Each side of this was a dark avenue formed by the house and the covered lattice-work, and he thought it must be a 11ice place to i;it on summe1 evenings. Having waited quite a while, he pulled the bell again. He. was about to gp <1rolmd to a side door when he fa11cied he heard steps in the hall inside. Suddenly the door opened and a tall stood before him. Tom could not see hi s face, as the hall was but di1nly lit. "Good-evening," said Tom; "I was told to leave a parcel here -some books." "Ah, yes; you are the young man with the books. This is _very kind of you. Come in "Thank yl:lti," replied Tom, "but I'm in something of a "Ob, just a minitte," said the man; "I think my can give you another ordPr. Step in." The tone of the speaker was so nice, and the prospect of fur ther cash business so pleasing, that Tom expressed a willingness to comply. He not see the gentleman's face in the semi-darkness, the hall light being behin1 him, but he noticed he was quite stooped, as if from great age. The man stepp d back to let him enter, and then proceeded ahead of him mto a room on the right. Tom heard the door close b ehind him, and wondered who closed it. He was the gentlem<1n did not. "Sit down," said the latter; "I was sleeping when you rang and had the lights turned low." Tom seated himself on a sofa, and, as he did so, some one closed the door leading to the hall-the door through which he had entered. He and the gentleman were alone in the semi-dark room. "This is pleasant weather, sir," said Tom. "Very pleasant," was the answer. "We need rain. ':\here now, .. n non h r'lt>r l1f' added, as he touched a match to a couple of jets in a chandelier. The room WEIS lighted up, cccpt ti}at they were covered 011 the with closed shutters. Had it not been for the shutting of the doors, and the fact that he had seen this man talking to Hardy, he would hav e had no cause to feel uneasy. But now-he could not help feeling nervous. He waited fully five minutes, and by that time he was posi tively frightened. He quite distinctly heard footfalls and hushed voices in some other part of the house. He was just about to rise from the sofa when the gentleman reappeared. "Your name i s Walcott, isn't it?" he asked, seating'_ in a chair between Tom and the door "Yes, sir, Tom Walcott," "How long have you been in business?" "About three months." "Have you always lived in New York?" "Only since I began business." "Just so. What were you doing immediately before that, ni:;iy I ask?" Tom thought it was good policy to be frank and civil. He told the man pow he had lived at Irving. "Ever have any strange 11dve11tres in your life?" continued the questioner. "Any narrow esc<1pes ?" Tom laughingly replied that his career had been of Q quite commonplace character. The man's expression changed. His face became stern. "Young man," he said, "I want you to be frank with me. You have a secret on your mind, and I know it. Explain to me how it is th<1t you have kept quiet about it so long.'' "To what secret do you refer, sir ?'1 "The one that occupies your mind the mQst." "Every one has sei:rets." "Not s.uch a one as yours." "You can't expect me to tell you--" "I can. I must know it, and I must know your reason$ for h<1ving kept it." "Are you sure I kept it?" "Yes." "What is the secret?" "Do you want me to tell you?" "I do." The man. arose, with a stern, set face, and threw opep the cur tains through which he had just entered. "Come here,'' he whispered. "Now look there!"


24 BRA VE AND BOLD. Tom followed him and IQoked into the next roam. The same moment his heart nearly ceased beating, for the sight before him made him realize his danger was awfuL CHAPTER XVII. Seated at a table in the next room, and enjoying pipes and a decanter of liquor, were the two desp erate ruffians, Jim and Mackenzie McLeod They were pretending not to see Tom, and to be holding an animated conversation. Tom instantly had recalled to his mind, in the most vivid manner, all of the adventures he had gone through since his capture by thest men. The tones of their voices made him feel as if he was back in the prison from which Flora had released him He saw that the whole matter of the purchase and delivery of the books was a sch e me on the part of the Villains to get him in their power. They had made a tool of the innocent Dick to effect their evil purpose. He, Tom Walcott, was now in the most frightful danger. He was in the hands of men who, he believed, would not scruple to take his life. He had had proof of this wh e n, to carry out their plot, they had captured him in mi stake for Harry Macd o nald. To save themselves from expo s ure, they would go even further. It was a terrible shock to the lad. Brave as he was he felt himself trembling all over, and a cold sweat broke out on his brow. The touch of the old man' s hand on his shoulder aroused him. "Well, does this recall to your mind any secret, young man?" "How do you mean?" "Have you seen these men before?" "Yes." "Thought so. No need to introduce you, then. Come in. Tom was in a position where he could not refuse to comply. He preceded the wonderfully youthful old man into the room, and the door was closed after them. Mac and Jim looked up and fixed on him a piercing gaze. "How do you do?" said the former, showing no surprise. "Sit down. Glad to see you again. We've been lonesome without you." "What do you mean?" stammered Tom. "We want to have a talk with you. Tell us how you escaped." "I'm under a solemn promise to tell that to no one, and I don't intend to." "Oh, indeed I Who let you out?" "I won t tell you." The men exchanged glances, and then Jim McLeod spoke. "Oh, hang it, Mac, what need we care?" he said. "He held his tongue, and we've got him again, and what more do we want?" "I'm sorry now I did not reveal all," said Tom. "Why?" asked Mackenzie McLeod. "Because you n.ien have either committed a crime, or intend committing one. It was my duty, knowing what Idid, to hav.e you apprehended." "What did we do P" "You know that best. Where is Commodore Macdonald's sonf'' Mackenzie McLeod arose to his feet. His temper was fast rising. "Sit down," said Jim and Caleb Wilson together. "I'll not sit down," he cried. "We've got this chump safe in our hands and I'm not going to stand hi& impudence. He's got to tell what he knows about us." 1. 'l-know said Tom, angrily, "and I tell you you had better open those doors and let me out quietly, for I left a companion waiting at the gate, and if I'm kept here much longer his suspicion will be aroused." This shot told. The men looked at one another in alarm. Jim McLeod and Wilson drew their chairs together and began to whisper. It was plain to see the y were frightened. Mackenzie McLeod drew forth a pistol and commanded Tom to tell who this companion was. "Give his name," he cried, "or I'll kill you !" Tom saw his mistake. If he had waited till he was sure Micky must have left his post, he would have had a power to hold over them. He could have kept them in constant fear of exposure. Now Micky was in danger of being captured, and that meant the death of all hopes No one ejse had seen him enter the house. "Wha t s his name?" repeated Mac, cocking the pistol. "Mi cky Flynn, said T o m "What does he look like?" Tom was forced to g"ve a description of the Irish lad. "Did you bring him with you purposely?" "No; he c a me of his own accord." "Does he know anything about us?" "No." The pistol was lowered. "We've g o t to secure this lad," said Mac, turning to the others. "He's a menace to our safety. He might wait all night out there and. then talk about it." "Yes," said Caleb Wilson, rising. "We've got to capture him. It won't do to leave any loose fish hanging around. "Go you and Jim, th n, and I'll watch Mr. Thomas Walcott, who'll get a bullet into him if he moves off that chair. Tom saw Wils on and Jim leav e the room, and his heart sank. He knew how ea s ily Micky would listen to plausible talk, and be entrapped into the house. With both captured, the villains were safe from di sc overy by any one else. Mackenzie McLeod sat down and laid the pistol on the table bes ide him. He seemed to have no fear of Tom's making any attempt to escape, yet h e would be ready to thwart him if he did so. He lit his pipe, and, picking up a newspaper, calmly glanced it over. Tom looked around. He ,saw that,_ to get out of the room, he would be obliged to pass Mackenzie McLeod, who could seize the pistol before the second ste p could be taken. It would be madness to make a rush for the door. "In five minutes they'll have Micky a prisoner," he thought, "and then all hope for both of us will be g o ne. What will poor Dick think? What will mother and Nell? Heavens! I must escape-I must'.'1-act now." He felt in his pocket and found he had a silver dollar.' He concealed it in hand and let his hand rest on his knee. In his .other hand he held his cap. Knowing McLeod's eye was on him, he sat quite still for sev era! seconds, looking as innocent and as frightened as possible. Suddenly he let his cap fall tO' the floor. He timed the act so that McLeod' saw it, and. he did it so naturally that it appeared quite accidental. McLeod turned apage of the paper, and went on reading as confidently as if he was guarding a child four years old. Tom, purposely assuming a most frightened and nervous man ner7 stooped down from the chair to pick up the cap He timed :this so that McLeod would not see him, but wo.ld .know what he was doing without looking at him.


BRA VE AND BOLD. The hand that reached to the floor for tble cap held the sfiver dollar Suddenly, through the force o f a dexterou! twist of the fingers, the silver coin went fly ing up over McLeod's head, without be ing seen by him. It struck the wall behind him, making a noise that caused him to turn in his chair. This was the opportunity Tom wanted .. and he had the nerve to grasp it. He bounded to his feet, gave the ch air a shove with his foot, and Macken z ie McLeod losing his balance, fell to the floor. Before he could rise, the chair descended with such force on his head that he uttere d a groan, rolled over on his back and lay still. Tom snatched up the revolver from the table and hurried out of the room through the nearest d o or. He found himself in the hall that led to the front door. The front part of the hall was lit up Where he stood was d a rk. T he front door was a few inches open. He was about to make a dash for it when he h eard footsteps on the piazza. He looked about him. Underneath the stairway wa! another stairs going down to the basement. He put his hand on the banister and guided himself around to the head of it. Concealed thus in the darkness, he stood for some moments looking down the hall. His fear was intensified by the horrible thought that he had probably killed the m a n who was lying in the room T he front d oor suddenly opened and Jim and Wilson entered. "Curse the luck I" growled the latter. "It may be just as well," said Jim, sooth i ngly. "He' s gone home and he'll think Walcott h a s done the same." In spite of his fear a throb of joy went through Tom's heart. M i cky Flynn was still free. The men had failed to secure him. This was enough to encourage Tom to fight hard for his life. He stood watching the men to see if the y would leave the door unlocked, his heart beating wildly with the fear that Mac would revi v e and emerge from the room before the men had entered it. C a leb Wilson lo c ked the front do o r and put the key in his poc;ke t. He the n turned and followed Jim into the parlor wh er e Tom had first s a t. Tom hesitated for a moment. Like a frightened, hunted deer, he kn e w not which way to tum. To g e t out by the front door was an impos s ibility. He would be caught b e fore he c o uld att empt t o force the l o ck. To go down the hall the other way was to rus h into he knew not what dan ger, for he could see a streak of light under a door, and to go d o wn in the dark ba sement seemed the sa me. He had but little time to think. The men were crossing throug h t he parlor. They had but a few steps to take to get to wher e Mac wa s lying s e ns e le ss. On e glan c e at him would tell the story. They w-0uld dash out into the hall after the fugitive. Tom took two steps down the dark stairway and stopped. A. thou ght struck him this was the first place tl!ey would seek I He turned, ascend"d the steps again, stole quickly along the hall and bound e d up the carpeted and lighted stairway, making as little noise a s po s sible. He had got no more than halfway up when he heard ex clamations of horror and rage in the room below to his right. The men had discovered Mac H e got to the head o f the stairs just as the door of the below was thrown 0pen. "Quick, before he gets out of the house I Take no but shoot him down like a dog I" he heard Caleb Wilson say. Weakened by fri ght h e stood lea ning against the balu!trade, a thrill of going to the very depths of his aoul. CHAPTER XVIIL Tom Walcott was as frightened as a man can be and attn have power to move. He had thought Mackenzie McLeod a person to be dreaded, but this man Wilson's voice had a sound that was terrifying. It be spoke a will that would not stop at the of blood. Tom still had the pistol he had picked up from the table. For a moment he thought of remaining where he was at the head of the stairs and shooting the first man that threatened to come up. It was fortunate for him that he changed his mind, as he would certainly have been shot. He lis.tened He heard the slamming of several doort and then the quick tread of some one going down into the basement. He also heard the savage voice oj Mackenzie McLeod, and, frightened as he was, he experienced a feeling of glad relief, for it showed him he had not taken a human life. "Stand at the foot of the stairs there," came a voice from below. "Mac, you search the dining-room, quick! If he's not there he must have gone upstairs." "He may have got out." "He couldn't." "I mean while the front door was open. "He didn't have time. Look in the closet." "He's not th e re. Have you searched below?" "Yes. It was dark here. He couldn't have had time to hide." "Then he's either gone upstairs or into the kitchen. Look in the kitchen, Mac." Tom was almost frozen with terror. \ He looked around and saw there was a hall running longitudinally from w here he stood He darted on tiptoe down thi s hall, not knowing where he was going, but feeling that anything was better than to stand at the head of the stairs, where he must be seen the next moment. Ahead of him was a dim light. It came through a transom over a door. He passed the door and stopped. He found another hall running transversely, and near the inters ecti o n, was a second stairs leading to the lower floor. H e pau s ed in greater fear than ever. He dared not go further and ri s k meeting s ome one coming up this stairs. He turned back and had just got in front of the room wherein was the light, when h e again heard the voices of the men They were ascending the front stairs At l

BRA VE AND BOLD. t ell. He had not time to look, and the light was turned so low that he could scarcely have seen if he had looked. 'fhe liftittg up of the curtain showed him a window with iron bars across it. The bars were close to the glass. Scarcely knowing what he was doing, he drew the curtain aside, stepped onto the window-sill and let the curtain fall down in front of him. He had plenty of toOli1, as the embrasure was fully a foot and a half deep. Re new had th,e eurtain on one side of him, solid, plastered walls on two sides, and the iron bars on the other. The men had ceased talking. They were probably listening neat the hend cf the stairs. Tom had great difficulty in suppressing his rapid bre:ithing oc c:asioned by his terrihle excitement. He wondered if thete was l'!ny one in the room. l so had they heard or seen him? The light was so dim that it scarcely showed through the cur tain. He dared not push the curtain aside to look out, lest there should be some one at the door. Presently he heard in the hall, the quick and stealthy tread of feet and whispered voices. A rap came on the door. He held his breath. "Who's there?" called out a voice almost beside hitn. Heavens! There was an occupant of the room! There was some one in the \Jed-some one who had just been aroused from sleep Tom's heart stood still. "It's me--Jim," said the voice in the hall. "What do you want, Uncle Jim?" asked the voice in the room. "Did you hear any noise?" "No, Jim. I just woke up when you rapped. What's the matter?" "Is your door locked?" "No. Why? You frighten me." "Don't be frightened I want to know if any one entered your room just now?" "Oh, goodness gracious! Oh, Jim!" There was a little nervous scream, caused solely by Jim's words, and the occupant of the room shuddered so that the bed creaked. Tom was now almost paralyzed with fright. The occupant of the room was a woman. She had been asleep when he entered, and consequently knew not that there was any one concealed behind the blind. But her nervousness-the excessive nervousness and fidgetiness peculiar to a woman in such circumstances, was likely-almost certain-to lead to his discovery. "Oh, Jim!" she cried again. "What?" "Did you say any one came in here?" "No, Flora. Be calm. bon't get scared.' I merely asked if any one entered." "Why? Oh, why, Jim?" "Are you in "Yes." "May I enter a moment? or will you turn up your light and look around the room?" "Heavens!" muttered Tom. "Oh, mercy I I dare not, Untje Jim. Come in if you please. Oh, please do come in and see. I am almost frightened to death." Tom gave himseff up for lost when he heard the door open and Jim McLeod enter He instantly thought how natural it was for a woman to insist upon every hole and corner being searched before her fears would he quieted. "Don't be frightened, Flora," said Jim, gently. "Are you in be d?" "Yes, Uncle Jiru." "Well, if there's a burglar here I'll catch him." "A burglar! Oh, oh!" Jim spoke of a burglar as much to calm his niete as for any thing else, b11t he also wanted to hide from her that they had a prisoner in the house. A flash on the curtain gave Tom 11 new start. It was caused by Jim's turning up the light. Oh, the agony of the next few moments! Tom thought surely the beating of his heart, or his quick, excited breathing, must betray him. He could hear Jim going quickly about the room, and every moment he expected the curtain to be raised and a pistol thrust into his face. He would not have been half so much frightened if the oc cupant of thf' room had been a man. How he prayed she would not think of directing Jim's atten tion to the window. The latter's search was short. He was evidently in a hurry to join the othet searchers, who could be heard in another part of the house. He had likely been convinced there was no one in the room almost as socn as he entered it, and had kept up the search merely to satisfy the timid Flora. "All right, Flora,'1 he said. ''You may go to sleep. There's no one here." "Oh, Jim, tell me 'what was the matter." "Well, Flora, to tell the truth, it was only that pup of mine that got upstairs. I thought he might have got in here." "Oh, and you frightened me so!" "Sorry, Flo ra. Good-night." "Leave the light lit, Jim. I couldn't sleep In the dark after that fright." "I will. Don't be afraid." "Oh, Jim!" "What?" ... "What's that n0ise ?" "What noise?" "Listen I" Tom Walcott scarcely breathed . He was almost fainting from '-fright He was every moment expecting the curtain to be raised. "Downstairs, Jim. Don't you hear it? Who's tramping around?" "Oh, it's Mac and Caleb. They're helping me look for Carlo." Jim's lie to quiet his niece's fears, and to prevent her having any suspicions, was a blessing for Tom Vhlcott, and he appre ciated it. Off tvent Jim, closing door after him and leaving the lamp turned up. His footsteps died away down the hall. Siience followed, broken only by an occasional creak of the bed, due to Flora's nervousness. Tom turned for a moment toward the window, and immediately his heart gave a A new fear came upon him. The light of the lamp was casting his shadow on the window. Was there anybody on the other side? He was turning to look out of the window when there was blinding flash almost in his face, a startling report, and a bullet crashed through the glass. The same moment the lady shrieked out in mortal terror.


/ BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER XIX. When Tom !aw the flash, almost in his face, and heard the explosion and the crash of glass, he gave himself up for lost. He thought some one on the other side of the window had seen his shadow and was shooting in at him. He leaped out from behind the curtain just as the lady shrieked the second time, and in an instant he saw the cause of his fright. There had been no one shooting in at him. His own pistol had been accidentally discharged when he le a ned against the bars to look out of the window. It was still smoking in his hand. He looked around. The woman was in the bed. She had gone off in a dead faint from the effects of the shock. He sprang again behind the window curtain; he was certain the tremendous noise would bring the men upon him instantly. He could hear them running about below. Hark I what was the matter? There was the noise of a terrific struggle going on below. What did it me an? Why were the men so long in coming to see the cause of the uproar he made? He d i d not know that at that m oment the three of them were struggling with the pugnacious Micky Flynn, who had broken into the house as soon as the do o r was opened. He listened again. Some one ran up the stairs and then ran down again. There was running here and th ere-it seemed all over the house. But as yet no one to be coming toward the room. The woman was reviving. She emitted a slight scream. She was struggling to rise. She was sure to shriek again from fright when she was able to do so. If she did this the men would certainly locate the sound, for the uproar below had ceased. She must be prevented from shrieking or Tom's life would pay the price of it. He w a s in a terrible dilemma To remain still was to let her betray him; to step out was to take chances of driving her into hysterics. / He must risk his life on a bold chance. "Flora," he called, putting his face close to the window to sGften his voice and give to it the effect of dis tai'i ce. "Flora," he rep ea ted She uttered a smothered cry. In her fright she had covered her head with the b e dclothes. He listen ed. There were no sounds of any one in the hall. He sprang out of the window,-rushed acr o ss the room and turned the k e y in the d o or. "Flora," he called aga in this time putting all the pathos possible into his voi c e "Flora," he whi s pered, c o ming clo ser to tl)e bed, "I am the y oung man you sa ve d before. Oh, please listen! Don't shrie k again. Don't be afraid. I am in dan g er. She did s hriek, but the bedclothes mod ifie d the sound. The n a s he pl e ad e d in a low, so ft v o i c e that w as calculated to dimini s h terror in any o ne, she drew the c o verlet down from her face and l o oked at him She would have shrieked again in fright but for his presence of mind He had taken out the silk handkerchief with which three months before she had blindfolded him in the darkness, and which he had preserved ever since. He tied it quickly around his forehead to m a k e himself look as she had last seen him. Ingenious device. She shuddered, lo o ked at him again, and-the great source of danger was gone. She was no l onger afraid. She recognized him. "Flora, you know me?" he said "Listen. The men are looking for-me They m ea n to take my life. Hark! I hear them on the stairs Can you save me?" "Step into that clothes room Quick I quick!" She pointed to the door as she sp o ke. Tom fairly flew across the room on tiptoe. He entered the clo s et and drew the door softly after him, as a heavy rap sounded on the outer door. "Flora!" called a voice from the hall "Yes," answered the lady. Tom could hear her stepping across the room. He knew she was hastily donning a dress. She turned the key and opened the do or. "Oh, what ia it1 Uncle Mac?" she cried, before he had time to ask a question. 'What is the cause of all that noise below? I am fri g hten e d almost to death." "Did y o u hear a shot just now?" "Yes; oh yes. It terrified me. What is the ?n "Where was it, Flora? Where did it seem--" "It sounded in the room above the parlor. Tom knew this was at the opposite end of the house. Flora had told a lie to save him. He could hear Mac turn away and run down the hall, and the same moment the lady threw open the closet door. "Come I" she whispered. "Quick; I will try to save 'i'ou, but oh I-my life and yours are in if they--Hark l' "The y are not coming this way.' "You must cross the hall to the room opposite this. When there you 'll find a door to your left. It lead s to an unused room o ver the kitchen. Quick! I'll endeavor to get Uncle Mac down stair s ." She k ept her promise. As Tom stole across the room mention e d sh e hurri ed d o wn the h a ll. \ A moment later she could be heard calling: "Uncle M ac Uncle Mac!" "What?" cried the latter, rushing out to meet her. "What's that n o ise, Uncle Mac?" "Whe r e? where?" he a s ked, excitedly. "Outside in the back yard. Her strata g e m worked successfully. D o wnstair s flew Mac, three steps at a time, to find oot what was going on in the back yard. Me a nwhile Tom Walcott had got to the garret over the kitchen. Whe n he clos ed the door on himself he saw, in the midst of the darkness a round hole of light in the floor. It was an open stove pipe hole. Hearing sounds below, he crawled on his hands and knees over t o th e h o l e and lo o ked down. He..r.saw, to his surprise, Mi c ky Flynn tied fast, hand and foot. and Ualeb and Jim mo1,mted guard over him. CHAPTER XX. The men were questioning Micky, and he was answering them with the most admirable readiness and candor, at the same time cunningly pretending to be about three times as frightened as he really was. Tom, with his face the hole; could see the three of them and hear every word distinctly. "What were you doing at the back door?" asked Jim McLeod. "Watchin'," said Micky. "Watching for what?" "To see that none of you escaped." "Wha t do you mean?" exclaimed the two villains, in alarm. "I m e an I was standin' guard till the police came." "What?" "Oh !-o-oh I" shivered Micky, "you're frightenin' me. They'll think I'm in league with you--'' "Who'll think?" "The police Oh, let me go. They'll be here soon." "Here? Who sent for them?" "I did. I dispatched a boy who passin' the gate, an' a mo ment later I t o ld a man to go He sar,s: 'What for?' says he. I says: 'Call the police quick I' says I; there's a friend o mine de tained by thieves and villains in that house." This was a simple invention on Micky's part1 but it was told with such an air of truth that Tom himself oelieved it foe a time. It created consternation among the villains. Mack e nzie McLeod had entered in time to hear it, and it set him wild. "Good heavens I" he cried; "we'll be caught. They're prob ably on the way here now." "They must be," said Micky, "for both the man an' bey said they d run their hardest an' all the hel\', they could. Ough I They'll capture me, thinkin' I m one o' you.


28 .. BRA VE AND BOLD. Tom feared that Mac, in his temper, would do Micky harm. The scoundrel was in a rage that was suppressed only by his fear. He ground his teeth and shook his fis t at the prisoner. Tom noiselessly cocked his revolver. He resolved to shoot down at the first one that attempted to lay a hand on Micky. But it suddenly occurred to him to examine his weapon and see how many chambers were loaded. Heavens 1 Every barrel was empty I He had fired his last shot and he and Micky were helpless. "What are we to do?" said Jim McLeod. "Did you find young Walcott, Mad" "No; he's gone. He must have escaped while you were out: aide." 1 This was a c;ue for Micky, and he was not long acting on it. "Yes, he's gone, too," he exclaimed "Gone where?" cried the men. "Afthel' tire police. That's how I ea"]e to mountin', over the back door. Tom says to me-Micky, says he, I ll go for the police an' you--' The remainder of Micky's artful speech was drowned in a howl of rage. Mackenzie McLeod was about to spring upo n the lad, but the others held him back. "Let him alone," said Jiw: "We'll settle him later. We have our owr;i safety to think ofUfirst." "You're right Come and help me get out the horses and wagon, Caleb. We must Ay to the r etreat. We' ll take this fel low and Flora with us. Jim, you'll follow on hors e back, close behind, so that if there' s any danger o'f the wagon being stopped you can ride up and--" "I understand. Your plan is the best. Go ahead, you and Caleb, and I'll .get thi's fellow ready and tell Flora." Mac and Caleb hurried out the back way, and Jim ran off to call Flora. Micky, tied fast to the chair, was left in the room alone. "Hist!" said Tom in a whisper. ''Who's there?"' said Micky, l ooking up. "It is I-Tom Walcott." "You, Torn? Good! You're safe. D'ye see how I'm throwin' thirn di vi ls off the track?" "Yes. Oh,' take care Don't arouse the temp e r of that man called Mac. My only fear is they'll kill you. Lis te n." "What?" "Go with them quietly. I'll try and save you." "You'll follow?" "If I can." "If I wasn't tied I'd--" "Shi sh! Make no struggle, or they'll kill you, Micky. Trust to me." "But you may lose the trail." "That's the great fear. l lose it on the start-Micky." "Shisb! Not so loud! What?" "Can you think of no plan?" "Never mind plans. Listen to me. If I never come back, if men kill me, I want you to-" 'What, Micky?" "Tell m;r mother not to fret about me--" ''Oh, Micky l" "An' tell Lanty Whale n I'm sorry for stalin' his terrier. If I die tell Jinsey Dolan he can have my boxin' gloves, but if he don't give back the game rooster he tuk I 'll punch his head an'--" "Micky!" "Whist! he's comin'. Not a word on your life!" Micky made a with his h ead as he stopped, and almost the same moment Jim McLeod r e-e ntered the room. Tom was powerless to do anything. He was in fear and trem bling lest Jim would kill the lad below. In a few minutes Jim had Micky tied in a way that enabled him to safely release him fron"l the chair. Caleb Wilson entered out of b reath. "Quick! Help me carry th i s duffer out to the wagon,'1 he said. "Hold on a minute till I gag him. Just as the two started to carry Micky out Tom left the stove pipe. hole and began to crawl back quickly toward the door. He had a slight hope of being able to get out of the. jiouse b efo re Wagon could get away. But he had great difficulty in locating the door. It maddened him when he found he had not even a single match in his pocket. He found the door at last, after a delay of about three min utes. Ffom there he had little trouble in reaching the hall where he had ast seen Flora. He stole noiselessly to the head of the stairs. If he could get down to the front door and get it opened before he was discovered, all would be well. He started, and had d es cended about six steps, when he heard a noise in the hall below. He s topped, listened a moment, and then drew back. S o m ebod y was advancing up the hall toward the fron t door "Hurry up, Flora!" he heard Mac calling fr o m the dining-room. He looked over the banister and saw the! girl dressed ready for the journey. She saw him, and made a sign to him to go back, that there was dang er. She seemed to be crying He waited till he heard the noise o f a door closing at the back, and then started down the stairs again. He was in darkness n o w, for the girl had turned off the light as soon as sh e signaled to him. He rea4'.hed the front door and felt for the key. It was gone. A big padlock whose chain rattled when he touched it, s h owe d that the door 'was secured by no ordinary fastening. Be could not get out that way. He groped his way to the front room in which he had first sat and tri e d the window. It had shutters o n the inside! They were locked His on ly means of exit was at the back of the house, and there h e dared not go, as the men might not yet have left the kitchen He listened. There was a noise at the b ac k of the house, but whether inside or out h e could not tell. He must get out before the wagou left. Otherwise the villains would escape him They would probab ly murder poor Micky and throw him m the ri ver. Hark! there. w:is the noise again. lt was the wagon! And it w as now at the s id e of the house. There was no time to be Tom hurried out into the hall and traversed the whole of 1t. He boldly opened a door in front of h im. The room was dark. He g roped his way across a nd found wother do or. It also was unlock ed, and led him to the kitchen, where a lighted lamp stood on a table This s howed th e y had not all gone yet. He stole soft1y across the kitch e n, pa ssed hrough a porch, and entered the back yard. He heard a noise in the stable. It wa s no doubt Jim McLeod getting a horse ready. Tom sto l e around the h ouse an d ran down the gravel path to-ward the front gate. . ., He a rrived t here in time to see a vehicle disappearing down the street to his left. 1 Back down the p at h toward the stable he ran again, keeping in the sha dow of the fence and m ak ing as little n o ise as p9s s ible. He saw the h o r se sta11d'it1g in the middle of the hack yard. Jim had gone into the house to put out th e fight and close the doors. Nbw wa s the time. Torn ran forward and c;aught the horse's IJridle rein. Next m o m ent he was on the animal's back and galloping off as Jim appeared at the porch door. CHAPTER XXJ. followed Tom's about keeping quiet. In fact, he had to do so, for he was bound and gagged so tightly that he c.ould neith e r move n o r speak. He was roughly h a ndled, and a pistol was to his h e ad to emoha size the threat' that hi s brains would be blown out 1f he tried to give any troub le. He was laid under the two seats of a light wagon, a nd a buffalo skin was th1,own over him. 1facli;enzic; McLeod's feet rested o n him, so that h e could net mov e As his h an d s were tied behind his back, and his whole weight was on them, Micky's p ositio n was decidedly 11ncomfortable The jolting o f the wag o n, which started off at a good speed and was soon be ing driven at a furious rate, matje rpattcrs worse. He thought if the jouniey should be long his arms would be bro ken. To c ry p ossible. n1outh out for h11lp was not oniy d 1mgero u s, but. ,.;holly imThe gag was so tight that it was alm os t cuttmg his


. BRA VE AND BOLD. To escape by his own efforts was clearly out of the question. Unless Tom should save him he was lost, for he had heard the men express their intention of "putting him out of the way." Mac wanted to do it before starting, "to get the trouble off their hands," as he expressed it, but he was overruled by Caleb and Jim, who thought it safer to wait till they got to the Retreat, or at least out of the city. Mile after mile was traversed, and Micky at last gave up hope of rescue. At the rate of speed he was being carried away he deemed it impossible for Tom to keep up with them, even if he got the trail on the start. When Tom galloped out of the yard and gained the street he found that the wagon was out of sight. But he knew the direc tion it had taken, so, giving rein to the horse, he started in hot pursuit. His great danger was in being stopped by the police for fast riding; his next greatest was that of taking the wrong road on the start. At every cro ss ing he pulled up a little and looked right and left. Then he bounded on. In about ten minutes, to his great roelief, he came in sight of the wagon, so that one of the two dangers was removed. He believed he could keep it in sight if he was not stopped. But another thing bothered him. He not only wanted to pur sue the wagon, but he also wanted to get help. He wanted to give the alarm to some of the city police so that they rnight mount and join him in the chase. This seemed the only way to insure Micky's release and the capture of the villains. To get this help was a difficult thing. It necessitated a stop of at least a couple of minutes, and to stop now, within the city, where the streets and intersections were so plentiful was to let the wagon get too far ahead. It meant losing the trail for a time at least. Moreover, the wagon was increasing its speed. It required a good smart gallop to keep up with it. It turned corner after corner, and altered ,its course so frequently that Tom was obliged to use all his efforts to keep it in sight. Sometimes, when he got to one corner, he saw it just dis appearing around another, and once he came nearly losing sight of it in this way. He was within an ace of turning in the wi;ong direction. CHAPTER XXII. As he neared. the Tom saw on the side of the road a bank about fifteen feet !ugh. He had gained such control of the horse that he thought he could make it do anything He made it balk a bit, forced it off the road, and urged it up the path that led to the top of the bank. When he got there he quickly dismounted and pretended to be trying to quiet the animal. He was in the shade of a clump of trees; he could look down upon the woman and the two men in the wagon, and they could but just see the outlines of him and the horse. "What's the matter, Jim?" asked Mac. "The darned horse!" grunted Tom, groaning as if i n pain and manipulating the rein so as to keep the ho,rse moving. "Is there anybody following us?" ''Yes." This was the truth, for presumably Jim was following. "Then we must lose no time," said Caleb Wilson. "Let us drive on. First thing we know this duffer'll get the gag off a,nd shout. A thrill of joy shot through Tom. He knew that Micky was still alive. "Jim!" said Mac. "What?" groaned Tom, in a voice that would pass for that of Jim or any one else who was wounded. "You'd better go ahead of us." "Yes." "Take the bridle path here and cross to the Retreat. See that all is right and have lhe big gate 'Open ready; we'll have to the wagon around by the road." Tom looked across the road and saw path referred to; if he only knew where the Retreat was he felt he would be all right. ''Do you think anything's wrong there?" he groaned. He was trying to draw out an answer that would enable him to locate the Retreat, and he succeeded. "No, but it's safer. The signal is all right. Sec I" "Where? I can't see it from here." Mac pointed to the hill away to the left. "See the two lights one above the other?" "Oh, yes!" said Tom. He saw a house about three-quarters of a mile distant by the straight course, and two windows lighted up, one above the other. "Go on, go on, quick!" he groaned. "Danger! I'll take the path." "Yes, hurry UJJ," said Mac, and he started the wagon. Tom waited till they had gone a couple of hundred yards, and then led the horse down off the bank. The path, which Mac had spoken of ran at art angle of about eighty de!l"rees from the road and in the direction of the house on the hill, which, at that distance, could be seen and distin guished only because it loomed up against the sky. Tom, realizing that fortune had come to his aid, crossed the; road, got on the J.>ath, and mounted the horse. He soon perceived why the wagon could not take this route. The path, in some places, was very narrow and ran between high rocks. The wagon seemed to be going in an opposite direction. The noise of it was becoming fainter every moment. It evidently had to take a very roundabout course. Tom now made the greatest speed he could. He wanted to arrive at the Retreat first, and gain as much time on Mac and Caleb as possible. He reached the hill, ascended more than halfway and stopped. He dismounted and tied the horse. The hill was long, but not steep. The house was situated near the top of it-a two-storied frame building, with a barn a little distance from it. No other building was in sight. Tom approached cautiously but quickly. All was still about the place. It would have seemed uninhabited but for lhe lights in the two windows. Thinking some one might have observed his approach-though it was so dark he could not see the horse where he had left himhe stopped and listened. There was no sound near at band, but, away off down in the valley, he could hear the noise of the approaching wagon. It would take it a considerable time to reach the house, as it was no nearer thart when Tom parted with it. Suddenly one of the lights in the house-the lower onemoV'ed. The window was darkened and a moment later another window was lighted up. The l amp had been carried from one room to anothe r Tom took this as an indication he had not been seen, and made bold to approach more closely. He got right up to the window and found he coufd sec under the curtain, which was drawn down to within an inch of the sill. He looked in. "He;tvens I" he exclaimed, and in his excitement he nearly fell into the cellar window below. He felt himself trembling like a leaf, but it was with rage rather than fear. His hesitation was gone. He advanced boldly to the door and rapped loudly. While waiting, lhe heard the wagon still quite a distance off, but rapidly approaching. "Who's there?" called some one from the inside. "Me," said Tom. "Open, quick I Mac and Caleb arc coming." "Jim!" "What? Be quick!" "Oh, all right." There were sounds of bolts being withdrawn. Tolll closed his fists. The door was thrown open. Before him in the lighted hall stood Hardy, the mustached dandy. The sight of this individual was enough to make Tom feel like a rr1'id bull with a red rag before him. He bounded into the hall, kicked the dooishut behind him, and gave Hardy a blow in the face that sent him &taggering back against the stairs. "You scoundrel!" he cried. "We've come face to face at last." He stood back and waited for Hardy to rise. He felt he had a right to do so, as he was partly wreaking a personal satisfaction.


BRA VE AND BOLD. Hardy got slowly to his feet. The look of surprise on his face made him loo k much m o re frighten e d than he was He tried to draw a revolver from his pocket, but Tom covered him too quickly. "Put up y our hands!" / Hardy raised his hands and Tom took the revolver from his pocket . "Now answer my questions. Who's in this house?" "Only me-not so loud plea se." "Why not so loud? Who's in the house?" "No one. Hush!" "Where is Harry Macdonald?" "I don't know." Tom saw by Hardy's looks that there was some one else in the house who di<;! not. share all his secrets. He wanted to bring matters to a close, so, laying down his revolver behind him, he said: Come, now, fight me this instant. I give you what you don't deserve." Hardy took the chance offered him as being better. than answering questions with a pistol leveled at him He sprang at Tom and received a whack in the face. He staggered, got to his feet again, and the n tried to escape by the door nearest him That aggravated Tom beyond endurance. He pitched in and smashed Hardy right and left, finishing up wit h a blow that caught the hapless dandy on the chin and stretched him out sense less on his back. "Take that, you villain," he said, "and regard the matter as settled by contra account." Two minutes later Hardy was bound hand and foot with cords which Tom ruthlessly cut off from a set of curtains covering an arched doorway leading into the parl o r. He was on his knees, gagging his pri soner with his handkerchief, when a pair .of hands were laid on his shoulder and a voice behind him crie'1 : "What are you doing? Leave that _POOr youth alone." Tom turned at the sound of the voice, and the same instant the grip of the hands pulled him over on his back. He seized the legs of his assailant and wrestled with him, and the next moment the two of them were rolling over each other on the floor. The man was stout and heavy, but not strong. Tom, with his activity and strength, was too much for him. Their struggle knocked down the hall lamp and broke it, and in the darkness the man contrived to shake himself free and get to h'is feet. He made .for the archway and got through between the cur tains Tom followed and clutch e d his coat tails, and for the whole length of a dark room the struggle was continud. Two things militated against Tom's fighting with his usual vigor. One was that his opp onent showed no viciousness what ever. He seemed to be afraid and fought wholly on the def e n sive. He want e d to protect Hardy. The other reason was that the contest was uneven, the stout man now being out of breath and almost helpless ,, Look here," said Tom, at last, catching him by the arms, "if you desisl I'll not hurt you. Don't attem pt to draw a weapon." "I'll not-I-oh, let me go." "Bring me to a room where there's a light." "I'll light the chandelier here if you'll let me: "Be quick, then." Tom released hini and drew his revolver, to be ready to in case of treachery. The man lighted up the chandelier, and then turned with pale and frightened face to look at the man with whom he had struggled in the darkness. "Good heavens! Young Walcott I Is it you?" he cried, and, falling back, he leaned against a chair for support. The revolver dropped from Tom's nerveless hand, for the shock was the greatest he had ever received. He saw before him the last man he expected to find in the rendezvous of a gang of thieves It was the man who had caused him all his trouble-the name less individual for whom he had made such long and diligent search. It was his mysterious employer. CHAPTER XXIII. It was several seconds before either of the two recovered suf ficiently to speak. At last-"Good Heavens I Walcott!" exclaimed his employer, "what are you doing here? What--" "What are you doing h

, BRA VE A D BOLD. Tom fired up in an instant. "So have 1 been an -employee of yours," he said. "Without even knowing your name I served you, and in your service risked my life a dozm times. It is to serve you I am here. Choose be tween Hardy's word and mine right now!" "Oh; I apologize, Walcott; I didn't mean to imp 'ugn--" "Shish say 110 more." 'fom had Spoken in righteous indignation, fired chiefly by the thought of Hardy's perfidy. At the first word of apology he softened In a few words, quickly uttered, he gave Macdonald an idea of what was taking place. "There'll likely be a struggle now," he said, "and we've simply get to overcome the villains both to insure ou r own safety and rescue my friend." "By force, Walcott?" asked the frightened listener. "By force or stratagem, or both" answered Tom. "All I know is my friend is not going to die while I have strength to fight. Come to the back doqr with me. Quick!" "Are they here yet?" Tom opened the shed door a few inches and looked out. "They are just entering the yard. Now is the great danger." "What?" excltey thete ahead of them. Presently there came a thunderot1s tap on the fro!\t door. "Caleb!" called a voice from without. It wa11 Micky Flynn, who no sooner rllpped and tmt than he made for the back door in l'lceordl'lflte With Torit's directi o ns . Wilson \Vent to the front dour, opened it, anti Instantly Tom darted down the hnll l\nd turned the key in the front door. Then he called out "Mac." and ran quitkly b-ac:k to the kitchen, where he met Micky. Mackenzie McLeod emerged fro,111 the parlor walked down the ha!l;.and received two Mows in the, face as he reached Micky and Tom sprang upon htm, upset him, and, in spite of his struggles, hauled him to the trapdoor leading to the cellftr. At the point of 1.he pistol Mac was forced dowrt the steps, and the door was lowered upon him and fastened. "There," said Micky. "!hat's number pne disposed of. Now for Master Caleb.'' "And we must be quick," said Tom, "for Jim McLeod's almost here." CHAPTER XXIV. Micky had l ocked the back door so that Caleb cbfild Mt to assist his companiort. . A loud knocking on the froni door \Vas now lieard. Mr. Macdonald wa!' standingl shiverif!g in the hall Rflowing what to do. "Open the front door,'' whispered Torn, to hiti't ft'om the kitchen. "and act as if Mthing had happened-quick 1" Macdonald opened the door; caJeb Wilson, pale and panting, rushed in. ''What's the matter? Who locked .the door? Where's Mad" he cried, looking around in bewilderment. Macdonald stammered in reply, and turned to go into the parl or. 1 '. ,. ,t ;, Caleb s t

BRA VE AND BOLD. He had thrown open the 'l)Or betwe e n the two rooms. Jim McLeod leaped to his feet and rushed toward the dark room. Tom fired, to frighten him on ly, but the bullet struck Jim's arm, and his rev olver dropped. Micky and Tom sprang upon him but, before they succeeded in gcttfng him tied, they had to call in the assistance of Mac donald. So the whole gang was captured by two clever boys At d ay light Mr. Macdonald started off on horseback for Long Island City, leaving Tom and Micky to guard the helpless prisoners. He returned before noon with no less than eight constables, and Hardy, Wilson and the desperate McLeod brot hers were taken into custody. They found young Harry Macdonald in the same cellar in which Tom had imprisoned Hardy and Mac. He had been con fined In the house for three months, and the m en had taken turns In staying with him and watching him. At the time of the capture Hardy was serving his second turn. Little by little the whole plot came out, and, like every othe r mystery, it proved to be a simple one when it was understood. The McLeod brothers had conceived the design of getting their niece, Flora, marriecl to young Macdo n ald, he being the son of a multi-millionaire, and having something like two millions in his own right. The idea suggested itself to them very naturally, for young Harry, as they learned, had been keeping company with the girl, and aeemcd very fond of her, till his father had interfered to put,a stop to the clandestine courtship. The commodo re did not know who Flora was, but he guesse d fhe was not high enough In the social scale for a son of his, and he brought such pr essure to bear upon Harry, that it seemed, for a time at least, as if the latter was forsaking his sweetheart. This determined the Mc Le od brothers upon forcing matters. They had never seen young Macdo nald, but they managed to learn how the affair was going. They plotted with a friend of theirs, Caleb Wilson, to abduct Harry and hold him till he had married Flora. Wilson had a son who was clever at artifice. By means of forged rec ommendations he got into Commodore Macdonald's employ, assuming the name of Hardy for greater safety. He succeeded so well in ingratiating himself into Mr. Macdonald's favor that he soon won his entire confidence, and in this way wa s able to post his colleagues It was he that conceived the idea of leading Harry Macdonald on to his capture by playing upo11 his greatest weakness nam e ly, his l ove for the romantic. He compos e d a romantic letter and got the McLeod brothers to induce Flora to write it to Harry. It asked him to go to Central Park to a certain tree, and then to a certain bench, under which he would find something of the nature of a m essage The letter intimated that Flora hers e lf was und e r restrictions, and was obliged to resort to this as the o nly me a n s o f communi cating with her l over. In t he orange peel wa s a small pap e r say ing th/t if Harry went to a c ertain t r ee near Pleasant Pla i n s Staten Island, at a certain hour, som e b o d y w o uld c o m e along a nd iay a glove, or some 5ucb article, b e hind th e tree, and that it would likely be somebody he would be g l a d to see. A strong hint that it would be Flora herself. What yo ig man, imbued with romanticism would not take such a bait. It showed Hardy had a d eep ins ight into human nature. Now Flora was forced to write the first letter; the other was a forgery. She was not a willing party to the plot in any way. She was an innocent and worthy lady who, scmehow or other, was completely dominated by her strong-minded uncle, Mac kenzie McLeod. She .loved h er uncles who, with all thei r faults, were invariably kind to her, and. until the last, sh'e fully trusted them. She herself went secretly to Central Park, intending to con fess to Harry what she had been obliged to do. We know h ow she was disappointed at not seeing him. The reader knows by this time that Harry Macdonald never received Flora's lett er, and that he would not hav e been captured at all had he not accidentally been in Madison Square when Tom Walcott and Flora were driving through. He recognized Flora's faee at the carriage window. He followed the vehicle to Wash ington Park an?, as we know, s tepped into carriage ahea? o f Tom. Flora did not know the difference till they had arnved home, and Mac and Jim, who had unexpectedly returned, seized the new prisoner. It was Commodore Macdonald who received Flora's letter. He purposely opened his son's letter to see whom he was cor responding with, for he had a fearful dread of a mesalliance. He gave out that he was going to Europe simply so that he could guard his and only his friend, Mi:s. Moffat, and his private secretary, Hardy, were in the secret. That was the information Hardy telephoned to Wilson the day Tom was captured. To Commodore Macdonald's efforts to remain in concealment may be ascribed Tom's being unable to find him, and all tho se actions of his that appeared so mysterious. He was the leading stockholder in th e wall Sti'<'et CC"'rian y a nd b d the e11tree to the office, but he went there only at night, as he did not w i sh even the members of the firm to know he was not in Europe. His reason for employing Tom to go to Central Park was that he wanted some one to pick up the something and get the before his son Harry could again be drawn under the girl's 111fluence. So that when Tom came to the trysting place at Pleasant Plains it was quite natural for Jim and Mac to assume that he was Harry Macdonald. Hardy's mentioning the orange in the restaurant was not the result of chance. He had seen Tom in Central Park in the vicinity of the bench; he had followed h im downtown and; hav ing lost sight of him for a time. had again seen him entering the restaurant. He went in for the purpose of testing Tom. He came out satisfied 'that Tom had had nothing to do with the message. The four villains were to participate in the profits expected to accrue from Flora's marriage with Harry; but Wilson had a wild scheme of his own in addition to the other. He had such con fidence in his son s clev e rn e ss that he hoped he would ultimately succe e d in captivating Commodore Macdonald's lovely daughter,' I sabel. Perhaps none of those interested anticipated the exact results that followed. / Harry Macdonald did marry Flora McLeod, and there came a day wh e n the ari stocra tic commodore was not ashamed to own her as his daughter-in-law. As for Tom \Valcott, \\ hose life she had twice saved, he was proud to acknowledge her as his sister-in-law-for be it known that Tom afterward marri e d Isabel Macdonald and lived in a magnificent mansiorv:Jn Fifth Avenue, next door to the elegant mansion occupied by his mother, Nell and Dick. The commodore pres ented him with a million dollars the day he wa s married. and this, in addition to the snug little sum of half a million which he had got from Harry Macdonald for saving his life k ept him from the pangs of poverty. l\Iicky Flynn got a thousand dollars from the commodore, ten thousand fr o m Flora, and fifty thousand from his friend Tom, and he is now running a first-cbs s h o tel in Harlein. Perhaps none are more happy than the three who suffered the most-1\Irs. Walcott, Dick and Nell. The y are so closely as sociated with Tom aod Isabel that they kn o w not a single care. To see them driving through Central Park in their elegant eqt:ipage, and to n o tice that though they are well dressed, they a ss ume no more th a n when they were in the direst poverty, is to feel the effects of' a sermon as g oo d as any ever preached. The y are noted fo r th e ir kindness to the poor especially Dick, wh o se eyes a t the s i g n of distres s or p o verty shed tears as fas t as the Arabian tree s their medicinal gum." He holds more hearts in his keeping to-day p e rhaps, than any other man in New York. The gentle reader will not tak e any pleasure in hearing how severely the four villains were punished, but will be satisfied to learn that th e y we r e dealt with in a way that-to borrow again from l\licky Flynn's vernacular-"heads off the dange r of their ever again becomin' obstreperous." THE END. Next week's issue, No. 31, will contain "Saved by His Luck; or, What Followed the Yacht Race by Cornelius Shea. This is a story of a party of American boys who set out to see the internati0nal Y

LARGEST CIRCULA TION OP ANY LIBRA RIES IN THE WORLD. Five Cent Libraries Our Five Cent Libraries for boys always finish first in the race for circulation. Why ? Because the read e r knows that, in them he is getting really good, interesting stories, his money's worth, and a chance to win a valuable and useful prize There are others in the race, but they can't begin to compete with the S. & S. Libra r ies LARGEST CIRCULATION AMERICA. TIP TOP WEEKLY The ideal publication for the Ametican youth. Contains stories of t h e adventures of Frank Merriwell the famous Yale athlete, and Dick, his younger brother, who the p ride of Fardale Academv. There are competitbtis con .. tinually running in its columns, whereby the successful teams may win complete outfits, in cluding uniforms. The follow ing is a list of the latest numbers: 372. Frank Merrlwell Marked; or, The M ystery of Blac k Touch. 373 Dick Merrlwell's Firmness; or, A Stead y Hand and a Sure Heart. 374. Frank Merrlwell's Oo/d Train; or, His areal Victory Jn Mexico. 375. D fo k Merrlwell's Miss i o n ; or, From Fardale to West. 376. Frank Merrlwell's Battle Royal; or, Up Against the Wizards. A Diffe r ent Comple t e Story E v e r y Week. BRAVE ANO BOLO This hne is sure to please every boy who likes variety. T'he stories are long, and detail the adventures of an entirely new set of c haracters each week. The authors are the best k nown, and have made excellen t reputa. tions by their highly interesting and original stories. Boys, if you want a treat, get this library every week. The following is a list of the latest numbers: 25. Submarine Mart; or, The Wonderful Cruise of the Fire-Fly. 26. Joc key S a m ; or, Riding for Fortune. 27. Frank W arren, A l chemis t ; or, The Diamond Makers. 2 8 The Ja// Breaker of Sh lrley ; or, The Boy Who Dared and Won. 29. Rob ert Brendon, Bell-Boy ; or, Under the Hypnotic Spell. l'llore Reading Matter Tha n A n y Five Cen t Detective L ibrary Publis h ed. Ola WBBKIY Old Broad brim is a wonderful detective, boys, and ore whose adventures, as detailed in this line, will interest you greatly. He is a protector of t h e weak, and a terror to evil-doers. The following is a list of the latest numbers written especially for this line: 41. Old Broadbrlm Tracking the Dead; or, The Hidden Battery of Doom. 42. Old Broadbrlm Always on Hand; or, The Target of an Infamous Band. 4 3 Old Broadbrlm In a Fight for Mii/ions; or, The Daring Impersonation a t S tone/ow Orange. 44. Old Broadbrl m a t Close Quarters; or, The Puzzle of the Blue Siik Cord. 45. Old Broadbrl m Under Cr1 m e s Thumb; or, la the Confines of the Dread Circle. Greatest Detective Alive. NicK Carter WBBKIY No detective stories published can compare with those pub lished in this library. Nick Carter has had innumerable thrilling adventures in which he was assisted by Chick and Patsy, two. fine, intelligent young fel lows. Boys, you ought to buy this publication every week and read about Nick' s wonderful escapes and captures. 175 fine books for boys are be ing given away as prizes in competition now running in this library. Get into it, boys, and 1 win. The following is a list of I. the latest numbers : 334. Nick Carter's Crooked Tral/; or, The Plot for the O/a ssford Miiiions 335. Nick Carter's False Clew; or, Playl;,g the Dupe for Big Oame 336. Nick Carter's Drag Net; or, Forcing the If ands of the S ecret S i x ,. 337. Nick Carter's Death Photo; or, Revealed b y a Came r a. 338. Nic k Carter and the Will Forgers ; or, Playing for a Portune. STORIES O F THE FAR WEST. Oiamona WeeKly These are stories about the great Diamond Dick and his son, Bertie. Every boy will be more than satisfied with these tales, becAuse they are drawn true to life, and are extremely interesting. Diamond Dick is a dead shot, and never allows a des. perado to get the drop on him. A competition is now open, in which a boy may win a hand some photographic outfit. Enter into it, boys, you're welcome. The following is a list of the latest numbers: 351 Diamond Dick's aolden Spike; or, Bucl


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