Diamond Dick's double or, The crystal chip of Gunnison

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Diamond Dick's double or, The crystal chip of Gunnison

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Diamond Dick's double or, The crystal chip of Gunnison
Series Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
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1 online resource (31 p.) 26 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Adventure stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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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:
030810575 ( ALEPH )
15933340 ( OCLC )
D21-00005 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.5 ( USFLDC Handle )

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lmteri WtJP1tt11-B11 Subscriptum, J3.ll0 per 11ue1 011 Tu. No. l2l. Price Five Cents. THE WEAPON FLEW OUT OF BIS HAND BROR;EN AT TBE BUTT BY TBE GIRL'S LIGHTNING SNAP SHOT. t >


Diamond Dick, Jr. THE BOYS' BEST WEEI

DIAMOND DICK, JR. -THE BOYS' BE8'1' WEEKLY. were hung; others, of lower grade, were escorted out of town and warned to remain out; and others still, about whom hung a suspicion of evil doings, were ordered to leave the city within a prescribed time. An act of such a nature was taking place on the outskirts of the city; and as the characters are of interest in the action of this narrative, we will follow them in their adven tures. A detachment of the vigilantes were gathered about one individual, and the leader of the border policemen remarked laconically: "Y e've had yer notice, square-ye've bin told to vamoose the town in ha'f an hour, an' we wanter see ye git." 1 he man to whom these words were ad dressed answered, promptly: "Git! you bet; I'm a-goin' outer here so derned quick, thet ye'll hev ter look moughty sharp ter see me in ther smoke." "We'll be lookin' right peart, ye kin buck on that." "I ketch holt, cap'n mebbe ye will see me -a little; cause I can't do as well's I usterI've got rusty ramblin' in this here burro, lop-sided town frum way down-why, ye ain't got life enough here to tickle the heels of a mule." "Then scoot fur a grave-yard thet'IJ suit ye more on the ante; an' 'f ye hear me, do it quick!" the vigilante remarked, grimly. i'Cap'n, yer voice breaks on me ear like the whispers of a sow stuck in a cross-bar fence," the outcast individual retorted, coolJy. "It ain t offen as Diamond Dick gits ther int erest of a city guver'ment throwed on him, but ye air twenty an' I'm playmg a lone hand. You calls me an' I show up, ther pot is yours, pard, I ain't no hog, an' I knows wlit:n I've got enough. "But I wish ter remark, cap'n," he contin ued, as the vigilante leader made no reply, "'f it ain't too fur out of yer memory, will ye give me ther information fur why I am ambulated outer the city?" "We wa'n't formed ter answer questions, butter give orders-ay, an' see them follered out," the vigilante observed, coldly. I hear ye, cap'n-I ain't kickin' 'bout gittin'," the exiled individual answered, quickly; "thar's onny one thing as makes it bad." "An' what's that?" "I'm broke, busted 'way down under bed rock." "Wal, we'll give ye a lift 'f ye want it sowith a rope," the vigilante said, significantly. "Oh, no, cap'n I wouldn't put ye to all thet trouble; I war onny ventilatin' ther state of my bank account. I ain't hankerin' arter what I ain't used to. See? And a low laugh broke from his lips as he finished speaking. A remarkable looking man was thi s fel low, who seemed to have falJen into such evil fortunes with the newly self-appointed regulators. He was fully six feet tall, straight as an arrow, superbly powerful of development, and darkly, though pallidly handsome, with a silky mustache and long curling locks black as the raven's wing, and piercing black eyes. There was also that in hi s free, commanding air, suggestive of much more culture than was betrayed by his manner of speech, which might therefore be more or Jess assumed for the occasion, though this would not have been suspected by the rough, .rude men by whom he was now surrounded-cornered on the prairie edge of the town as you might say. As for attire, he was rather uncouthly en veloped, as h e had been, in fact, during his lurking, rather suspicious stay in the ne1ghborhood for a number of days past, from neck to heels in a voluminous, not over clean traveling duster, while even his felt sombrero was rendered hideous by a brown flimsy scar f wound around its crown in numerous folds. "See here, stranger," said the vigilante chief, impatiently "don't give us no more slush an' rot about your bein' the celebrated Diamond Dick, but jest say whether you're goin' ter git or not." "Time enough fur that, pard," respon ded the suspected party, good-humoredly. "But why shouldn't I b e Diamond Dick, pray?" "Oh, give us a rest," interrupted a dozen voices in chorus. "Wall, whar's your dia monds, then?"


DIAMOND DCCK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY The stranger hesitated. "I did intend to conceal my identity sumwat, boys," he replied, half as if speaking to himself. "However," with a lau g h "here goes!" With a swift, graceful movement, he flung as ide his muffling robe, cast the scarf from off his hat, and stood before them sori1ewhat agreeably, not to say magnificently, transformed. Clad in admirably fitting black velvet, cut i n the Mexican ranchero style, every button v f his costume was the metallic setting for a real diamond of no mean value, while a brilliant loop, or buckle, studded with the same precious stones, adorned the band of his now elegant-appearing sombrero. Furthermore, his shapely f eet and legs were incased in high boots of richly dressed leather, while his belt was well s upplied with cartridges, and a trusty revolver reposed in its half-sheath, or holster, on either hip. "Gosh all hemlock!" c ri ed a voice from the crowd, amid various other remarks, "but you air a daisy, an' no mistake, stranger." "Mebbe it ain't Diamond Dick at all!" shouted another. "P'raps it' s that imitation Diamond Dick up in the Saddle Range, what goes hy the name of Crystal Chip, an' is suspicioned 'Of h eadin the road agents there on the s l y." The eyes of Diamond Dick, for it was, in deed, the famous far West adventurer of that name, flashed with indignant fire. "You thar," h e shouted, in a white wrath, "don t couple me with that scoundrel agin, o r." h e laid hi s hand menacingly on his pis tols, "wall, you an' I may quar'l, that's all. Oh, yes," regaining his composure, "I'm not kickin' agin bein' run out of your town in this way, f must be, understan' th e t, all on you; but don't add insult to injury, 'f you pl ease." "Ef you're the real Simon pure Diamond Dick," called out another vigilante, "whar's the lightnin' little kid the baby snap-shot Bertie, th e t aimed fame an' fortun' with ye down in Tombstone an' elsewhar? Say?" Diamond Dick's brow again momentarily darkened. "Thet's nuther here nor thar," he replied, with irnpatient gesture. "Ef the bright boy hez-hez gone on over the Big Divide," fiercel y, '"what's thet to you?" "Wall, ye hevn't been slow fillin' up his place, anyway,'' sneered yet another. "Only it's a gel now, the little Cactus Blossom, what's your pard; though she do seem," with a coarse lau g h "to hev gone back on ye : n this s nap, Diamond." "Let be, I tell yer !" growled Diamond Dick, hoar ely. And then turning to the vigilante chief, he resumed. "Ez I said be fore, you're twenty to one, an' I ain't kickin' at this send off." '"Why don't ye cut your stick, then?" re plied the man addressed, coldly. "F,or, whether you're the real or bogus Diamond Dick, we've got orders for you, an' you've got to git. You hear me!" "'Thet's all right-perhaps," nonchalantly. "But what's the particular squeal agin me? Can't ye say?" "Loafin' and lurkin' round Gunnison, sus picious-like, ginerally. Thar ye be! Let th e t content ye." "In other words, strickly mindin' my own business. Thet's the complaint agin me, eh?" "Air you goin' to git or not?" menacingly. Diamond Dick was turning scornfully away when a light hand was suddenly laid upon his arm. "Hold on, pard," a voice clear as a bell rang out; "don't you let no newly hatched, hairy-headed ugly-mugged bipeds of the genus Lynch ring in a cold deck on you in this shape. If you want to stay among the luxurious palaces or gin-gutters of Gun nison City, just sling me a sly symptom of a wink, and I'll back ye up against all the vigilantes from here to Hades." Diamond Dick looked into the face of the new arrival, seemingly a young girl of about sixteen years, her features fair and very beautiful, eyes big, brown, and flashing with indignation, lips and cheeks tinted like the rose, and a mass of yellow golden hair flow ing from beneath the jaunty hat set upon her head. She was dressed in dark-blue cloth, cut and made partly man fashion, the fringed edges of the coat reaching to her knees, her shape-


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' B8ST WEEKLY. ly limbs and small feet incased in shining leather boots. Her form was beautifully developed, her m o vements as lithe as those of a panther, and as graceful as a fawn in action. A belt about her trim waist contained a brace of silver-mounted, self-acting revolvers, over which her hand hovered restlessly as she cast defiant glances upon the vigilantes. Diamond Dick smiled as he looked upon the fair features of the young girl, but he shook his head gravely at her bold remarks. "It won't do, little 'un, ter buck agin these fellers; they air onny ther cropin's of ther lode, so ter speak. Ye mean well, I know, but I want ter git out o' here." "That's square as a tea-box, pard, but what have you done to make these ground hogs kick ye out?" "I give it up, Blossom; ask me some easy ones fust." "That's what I thought!" the girl said, quick ly. "You ain't done nothing worse than these virtuous vigilantes do every hour of the day; but as sure's my name is Cactus Blossom, I'd use my salivating cylinders on these jackass rabbits before I left the shadows of these classic structures called Gunnison; you can bet the gold filling in your teeth on that!" And the hands on the revolvers, the flash in the eyes of the fair-faced girl, indicated that she meant every word she uttered to convey its full meaning. Cactus Blossom was a likewise comparatively new arri'{a l in the city, but her bonny form and bright face had instantly attracted the eyes of many an evil-hearted scoundrel, and more than one bold, atrocious attempt had been made to gain her faV'or. But the fearless expression in her eyes, the sudden, deadly way in which she handled her revolvers, soon warned the ruffians to be more cautious in their designs. Diamond Dick had at one time, it seemed, rescuad her from a vile plot, and ever since she had called him "pard" and take a pecu liar interest in the romantic and pale-faced adventurer. But her l as t taunting observations had aroused the resentment of the vigilante leader. "Look a-here, me Cactus Blossom," he said, sternly, "this ain't none o' your funeral an' ye needn't be slingin' yer tork around like dirt from a shovel. We ain't afeard of ther dynamite destructors in yer belt, an' I reckoii when we git down to pay rock, ther wurst weepon ye've got air ther rattle-weed 'tween yer teeth." Cactus Blossom laughed mockingly. "My! how you are improving, Jack Barr," she retorted, sarcastically. "You're getting as sharp as a mummy's teeth. All you want now is to corral some of the records of ancient Egypt, get a pair of shears and a glue pot, and start in as funny editor of some humorous paper-heaps of wealth in it, Jack, heaps!" The leader of the vigilantes uttered some words in a growling undertone, among which a few notes like curses could easily be imagined. As he was a man illiterate in speech ugly in features, and ungainly in form, the sarcas tic words of the girl caused a low laugh to run through the few spectators who were standing around. But Diamond Dick interrupted the con versation, which indicated a fatal denoue ment. "Hold on, Blossom! ye'r chippin' in on a game that'll throw you cold fust thing ye know," he observed. "Ye've got a good torkin' machine in yer head, an' ye know how ter work it, but they've told Diamond Dick ter git up an' git, an' git up an' git he will." "Then, by all the chow-chow of a Chinook chief, I'll go with ye!" the spirited girl exclaimed, firmly. "Just you wait for me until I git my double X locomotive power, and I'll wipe the mud of Gunnison City from my pedal extremities, you bet!" Then, without waiting for a reply, she darted down the street. Diamond Dick, too, turned and took a cross-cut road. "Wall, cap'n, I'll jist git my hoss," he remarked, at parting, "an' then ye'll hev ter look derned sharp ter see me shake ther town."


DIAMOND DICK, JR.'HE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 5 "We'll be lookin'-don't let thet worry ye, Diamond," Jack Barr retorted, significantly A faint, curious smile flickered for a moment on the lips of the be-diamonded Hercules as he strode away, closely followed by the vigilantes. His destiuation was near at hand, and soon he paused at a rude log-built hut wherein his steed, a beautiful, strong animal, black in color, was confined. In a few moments he completed the saddling of the animal, strapped his blankets behind the seat, and, with a careless "So long, boys!" he vaul tee! into the saddle and galloped from the city, whose newly formed, rugged ethics had driven him into exile. A minute or two later Cactus Blossom came flying up the road, mounted on a wildlooking, dark-hided mustang. She uttered a sneering laugh as she passed the vigilantes But Jack Barr, with a muttered "She's onny a gal, .boys," led the way back into tlie town. CHAPTER II. A HORRIBLE DISCOVERY. When fairly upon the road, Cactus Blos som put her horse to his fullest speed, and soon overtook Diamond Dick, who had checked the gait of his steed to await her coming. The fearless, fair-faced young woman gave a clear, ringing laugh as she rode alongside of the pale-faced, handsome man of mystery, and her eyes and features were glowing with an expression hard to designate. "I say, pard, those fellows back there play ed it fine on you, didn't they?" she remarked, g l eefully. "Why, the way Jack Barr talked, ye might have taken him for the king-pin of the whole country." "He war t:idin' a high-boss, thet's a fact, my little beauty," Diamond Dick answered, laughing; "but you chipped in mighty peart, too, my-er! Blossom of ther cactus." "Bet yer pedigree from way back on that!" cried the girl. "I war there as natural as a knot in a log. But, I say, pard, did Jack Barr know what sort oi a hand he war play-ing when he ordered you to vamoose the ranch?" "Did he? Wall, I shed remark so! It war a salted idea 'tween me 'n him ter keep me on ther wrong side o' human life, 'cause I'm on ther pay drift at last an' I mean business." "I sabbe, pard; you've struck the right lead." "Wall, not jess in ther bull's-eye, but I panned out a few bottom facts that'll fetch me onto ther ledge I'm drillin' fur." "Thet's fine as fl.our, pard, but where are we emigrating to?" "Sumwhar up in ther Saddle Range," was the reply; "thar's a curious new diggin' up among them mountains thet I wanter find, an' when I reach thet camp I reckon I'll git my eyesight an' grip on what I'm arter." "And I'll be with ye, pard, from seconds to centuries-you can bet your shadow on that, every time!" Cactus Blossom observed, with a grave shake of her golden-haired head. Diamond Dick smiled, and for a time con necteel conversation was debarred by the rough nature of the road over which their horses proceeded only with great difficulty. They had left Gunnison City shortly be fore noon, and about seven hours later in the day they entered the district of the precipi tous, rugged, and grim-looking range of the lofty Saddle Mountains. There were no defined roads or trails among these barren, rocky peaks, but mond Dick l ed the way, and Cactus Blossom followed close. The crystal-gemmed, melancholy faced, handsome man never hesitated, but urged his animal up the steep inclines, and along nar row ledges, wfiere a single misstep would re sult in a dangerous fall. It was evident that Diamond Dick had cer tain information upon which he relied to reach his destination, a somewhat mysterious mining town, whose location was a secret, and which was known by the electric title of the "Lightning Lode." Some wonderful rumors had been circulat ed of the enormous treasure in the mines over which this town predominated, and many parties had been organized to visit and become part of this new bonanza "find."


DIAiVIOND DIC!{ JR-THE BOYS' BES'f WEEKLY. But so far not a sign of the Lightning Lode had rewarded the daring explorers, and finally the existence of such a place was dis credited by the majority-the reports set clown as the invention of some disordered brain. Nevertheless Diamond Dick rode steadily onward, his dark eyes glancing swiftly about from side to side, noting every object with the keen, inquisitive looks of a trained sleuth hound. Shortly before nightfall, however, he slack c:med the pace of his horse, and finally halted in a small ravine, his features overcast with doubt and bewilderment. Cactus Blossom eyed him for a time with curious glances. "What's up, pa rd?" she inquired, at last; "struck yer bull's-eye?" "Wall, not by er mile or two, Blossom," Diamond Dick answered, somewhat dubi ously. "I reckon we air in ther wrong tunnel-leastwise the lay of ther land don't oiler suit to my lead. Mebbe I missed a p'int, or else ther information I got war a lie." "Then we are in a hole, with no ladder h a ndy to climb out on," the girl remarked, coo lly. "It'll be night soon, and I reckon we are stuck here until sun-up." "I dunno but what ye air right, Blossomit'll be dark right away, an' thar's no sense in goin' back on ther trail in ther shadder o' night-we mought lose all ther indications. So, what do yer say? Shall we hang up here fur mornin'?" "I say you have struck pay dirt right in the spinal column, pard," Cactus Blossom observed, cheerfully, as she sprang from her mustang. "There is water here, and plenty of grass for the horses, and I'm tired, to boot. But I say, pard, will we sup on the splendid >hadows of the starry night, or have you anv thing more substantial to try our teeth on?" "Wall, I reckon thar's sumthin' in this pack thet'll mount our hunger," Diamond Dick replied. "But ye won't find the grub ther softest in ther eatin' line, me Cactm; Blossom." "Packed down for a close deal, eh?" "Jess so; ye've hit it right in ther head, fust time." "Well, I don't care if it's as hard as the cheek of a railroad ticket-slinger; I can get myself around it-give me time," and the fair-faced girl laughed sweetly as she fin ished. Both the girl and Diamond Dick were soon engaged in unsaddling the steeds, which were turned out, and pickete d securely. Diamond Dick returned to the edge of the stream and busied himself in building a fire, but Cactus Blossom roved about the ravine and lingered a short time at the upper end. As she turned to rejoin her comrade, she suddenly halte d and utte red a startled cry, and stood for a few moments like one turr.ed into stone, an expression of horror upon her bright face. Startled at her attitude, Diamond Dick hurried to her side, a revolver in his hand his dark eyes flashing keenly. But he, too, gave vent to an exclamation of mingled horror and surprise at the sight which met his gaze. Lying upon the rocks, and partly concealed by some thick underbrush, was the body of a woman whose years of life had not been many, but whose form was magnificent in outline and development, and whose features had possessed a beauty that was almost unearthly in splendor. The dress in which the unfortunate woman had been clad was almost completely torn from her body, and right over the heart the silver hilt of a stiletto appeared, the sharp pointed blade driven deep into the white, beautiful bosom. The face of this unfortunate creature was cut and gashed in an inhuman manner that rendered it ghastly beyond description. On her forehead two cuts formed a cross which laid the skull bare, both of the cheeks were horribly slashed by a keen-edged knife, either during the struggle which her clothing indicated had taken place, or after the dagger had penetrated her heart. Nor was this all. In a number of places on her neck, shoulders, and arms the same weapon had perpetrated similarly hideous work. "In ther name of God! who is the blackhearted, cussed coyote that could a done thi s foul deed?" Diamond Dick gasped out.


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Cactus Blossom exclaimed through hei clenched teeth: "The devil, or an In jun, none other." "Muss bin a devil-a white one, 'cause no redskin'd a left his dagger behind," and Diamond Dick bent forward, gently lifting an arm of the murdered woman from the ground. "Be durned !" he remarked, s lowly. "It ain't long since this war did, Cactus Blossom; look here! She ain't even stiff yet. I r ec kon on ther feller as did this heered us a comin', an' scooted before he could cover his --ardly work." "By all the howls of a hurricane, I believe you have sized it up right, pard," Cactus Blossom assented, sternly; "but what, in the name of Satan, was the terrible deed com mitted fur?" I dunno, me gal; we'll look aroun' fur signs; but you kin bet ther roots of yer hair t'het 'f I strike a trail, I'll run ther cuss down as done this." Diamond Dick's pale face was stern and dark, and his low words were uttered in a tone which boded ill for the murderer, should they chance to meet. He was carefully searching the pockets and garments of the mutilated woman, to dis cover an indication of her identity, or the cause of her awful fate. But nothing rewarded his search-not <.l. jewel, not the slightest scrap of paper, not even a ring on the fingers was found to point out a possible clew. Whatever might have led to the poor vic titn's identification had been removed from her person, doubtless by the foul-hearted scoundrel who had committed the hideous deed. Unknown, cut down in the splendor of youth, her face marred almost beY'ond recog nition, the beautiful form had been left where it fell, to form a feast for the savage animals of the mountain wilds. Meanwhile, Cactus Blossom had been moving about th e scene of the tragedy, her form bent, her keen eyes scouring the ground for any sign which would render a clew to the mysterious murder. But daylight was fading fast in the little ravine, and she was finally compelletl to abandon her search. "It's getting too dark, pard, and I give it up," she said, as she came to the side of Dia m<;md Dick. "The ground is mostly rock, and I could find nothing." "Wall, we'll have ter throw up the job fur to-night, little un; but I'll give it a shake up ter-morrer, you kin bet yer inheritance on thet!" was Diamond Dick's moody response I dunno what's got inter my head, but I'm 'way up sure thet sum low down, doublebanked work hes bin done here, and I'm g-oin' ter foller ther lead if I kin ketch bolt. of a keerd or two." "And I'll back you up, tooth and nail, T d rd But say, Diamond, that woman must have been a bang-up butterfly when she was living-ay, and she don't look like a mining town beauty, if you hear me." "No, she was pure and good, I'll bet my top-not on thet! She wa'n't none o' yer flimsy-footeci flyers of the dance hall. But what gits me air how she got down inter this gully." Well, pard, my idea is this. She was either hunting some one, or was led here by a "fellow she trusted, and that man put the knife into her." "I reckon ye'r right, Cactus; and as ther dagger air the onny pint left, I'm goin' ter corral it." Then, with a visible shudder, Diamond Dick gently drew the deadly blade from the breast of the murdered lady. It was a curious weapon, the blade triangular in shape, and about eight inches long from hilt to point, the haft of solid silver, handsomely engraved and chased. But neither on blade or hilt was there any indication of where it was made, or to whom it had belonged. Diamond Dick thoughtfully wiped the crimson stains from the weapon, and care fully placed it in his bosom. "I say, Diamond inquired the young girl, "are we going to leave this-erthis poor body here for the night?" Wall, I reckon so," was the reply. "She ain't fur from ther camp-fire, but I wanter git a sight of her in daylight. See, Blossom?" Cactus Blossom made no further remark,


DIAMOND DICK, JU. 'fHE BOYS' BESl' WEEKLY. and they returned to the fire and set about preparing their eatables-some hard tack and smoked bacon, washed down with a canful of strong coffee. The meal over, blankets were spread on the ground, the fir e replenish ed, and a stock of wood gathered to keep it going during the ni g ht. For an hour or two Diamond Dick and his bright little partner sat n ea r the burning brands, their conversation, naturally, about the awful crim e which had been committed in the ravine. Presently, however, they forced themselves to forget th e gruesome subject for the time being, their talk drifting into personal matters in an odd way, to say th e least, or what would have puzzled an invi s ible outsi de auditor not a little, at all events. At last Blossom. eyeing her companion in an oddly quizzical way, burst into a musical laugh. "l\.1y eye, Diamond! how naturally you and I manage to pard it together on-on-a short acquaintance, eh?" The man's lips trembled a little humorously, too but then he scratched his head s l ow l y, and steadfastly maintained hi s gra'litv. '''Nall, yes, Blossom," h replied, "'pears that way to me, too, me littl e gal. But th en mebbe our 'quaintance ain't quite so short as them Gunnison smarties thort fur, yo u know." "An! how 'bout th et little boy, Bertie, what one of the fres hi es inquired about, Dia mond?" continued the girl, still with a latent merriment. "Mebbe he's d ea d, Blossom-really gone up over the Big Divide," was the grave re sponse. "You orter know ez w ell ez me." "True as you live, pard. But how long air we to keep this little comedy up between us? "You heerd the t chap ask about that bogus duck what's imitatin' my style, didn't ye?thet Crystal Chip, as he calls hiss e lf?" was the question Diamond Dick put in re<;ponse. "Did I? Well, I sho uld say so, pard." "Wall, then, nat'rally, this new dodge betwixt an' between you an' me, an' the pore leetle chap what mought hev gon e up over the Divide, i s boun' to continner, me Blossom, till thet double of mine, thet ornery Crystal C hips i s run to airth in this here leetle game of ourn. You s urely orter understan' thet, me honey-pot and beeswax." Blossom again burst out laughing, but she controlled herself enough to say: "Yes, yes, old pard, of course I understand that it's a sly, an' a de ep, an' a waitin' game with thet chap an' hi s secret gang. But why should we k eep up th e deception so strictly, even when we're quite alone together, you know." "In order to k ee p in practice when we ain't alone," Diamond Dick r eplied, with somewhat unwonted severity. "But hevn't I 'splained this to ye r often enough, sonnyor, ruther, me own lee tl e gel, ez I should say." "Yes, yes, pard," the girl replied, with sudden humility. "I'll try not to forget agin. Only," the ripe lips twitching a little still, "it will keep a-seemin' so singul a r pard." L e t h e r keep a-seemin so, ez long ez the secret's k e p' sol id an' dark, me beauty. Now, let's bunk in, fur a change." A11d setting the example, Diamond Dick roiled him self up in his blanket by the fire. Cactus Blossom dutifully followed suit, but presently called out: "Say, pare!, what name does the Crystal Chip gang call themse lves b y, I wonder?" "Dunno!" was the s l eepy r e joinder. "P'raps they'se the unknown, or mebbe they come 'thought callin' excep' by a dinner bell." For a long period a g rim silence rested over that small ravine, only the snapping of a log in th e fire every now arid then breaking the stillness. But just how long h e s l ep t without disturb ance Diamond Dick never knew, but finally he f elt a rnde hand shaking him by the shoulder. At the same time a cold object was pressed against his t e mple, and a deep-toned voice growled into his ear: "Git up! an' don't 'tempt ter draw a shootin' iron or I'll put a blastin cartridge into yer head. In startled amazement Diamond Dick


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-'fHE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. s raised himself to a sitting pos ition, and gazed about the camp, refusing to beiieve the evidence of his eyesight. He saw Cactu Blossom seated upon her blankets in a position similar to his own, and at her side stood a of beings clad in white, their faces masked with some covering designed after the human features, but ghastly as death. Near his own person stood two or three of these masqueraders, each revolver in hand; and as Diamond Dick reached to his belt he found that his revolvers had been removed. All about the camp, in motion some, but motionless the most, still more of the masked men were gathered, human beings all, Diamond Dick concluded, but one and all so thol'oughly concealed by their death-like dis guises that not a part of their forms was left exposed to view-only the eyes gleaming through the sockets of the sightless masks were visible. In a few seconds the bediamonded man of Gunnison had recovered his coolness, and, glancing into the eyes of the masked leader at his side, he said ca lml y: "I hear yer ca ll, cap'n, an' I show up; I've got nothin', an' I reckon ther pot air yours." "And I reckon we' ll take it 1n," was the equally cool response. "We are the Salamanders of Saddle Range, an' we generally mean business when we show up. Jest now we want you, Diamond Dick-want you bad." CHAPTER III. A STRUGGLE WITH THE SALAMANDERS. The significant words of the curiously disguised being, who was evidently the leader of this mysterious band, seemed to astonish Diamond Dick into a state of mind bordering on stupefaction. This was the first time he had ever set foot in the Saddle Mountain region of Gunnison, and that these masked men knew of his coming and had sought him out for some pur pose, good or bad, seemed an incident beyond his comprehension. But, afte r a few moments of silence, Diamond Dick apparently recovered his fac ulties of speech and motion, for he rose slow ly, threw aside his blankets and remarked coolly: "I say, cap, ain't you driftin' on ther wrong lode-playin' poker with a keno outlay, as it were? What in ther name o' sin do yer want me fur?" A low curious laugh came from the motionless lips of the mask which concealed the face of the disguised chief, and then in stern accents his deep-toned voice rang out: "What we want you for you shall know soon enough. As for the other matter, the Salamanders of Saddle Range never show their hands unless sure of the game. You are Diamond Dick, of Gunnison?" "I'm Diamond Dick, sure's yer born, cap, but you kin use me for a hole in ther groun' if I knowed there war enny one up here as wanted me." "No? Well, my fragment of jewel fame, we've been expecting you every day since you left Denver, after your interview with the chief of police. Diamond Dick looked upon the masked being apparently with an expression of blank astonishment upon his features. "Wal may I be chawed inter mincemeat, cap," he said in a tone of V'Oice which seemed to plainly indicate that he was puz zled, "but 'f you Salamanders ain't on a blind trail, I'm a liar!" The masked chieftain laughed mockingly. "You play it fine, Diamond Dick, but it won't do," he observed, sneeringly. "We know all about your designs in coming to this section of the land-ay! Knew it even before you set foot in Gunnison City. As soon as the police chief issued your com mission the fact was sent to us, and when you l eft Denver you were shadowed mile after mile by one of these men. You were banished out of Gunnison yesterday by the vigilantes; but you had already received in formation that apparently pointed out the secret road by which to reach Lightning Lode. It suited your purpose to get there; but, pilgrim, the points you picked up were cast out by a Salamander of Saddle Range for the purpose of leading you here where


10 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. we could get hold of you; and, look you, Diamond Dick, alias John Sherry, detective pro tempore, your police spy business ends now and here !" Diamond Dick had listened to the Salamander leader apparently in speechless amazement; but now, as the chief finished, the romantic visaged captive bent a peculiar look upon Cactus Blossom, and made a slight, swift gesture with his left hand. It was evidently a secret signal of importance, for the girl nodded her head and ut tered a sligh t cough. Then, turning to the masked chief, Diamond Dick coolly remarked: "Cap, I r eckon ye mean all ye say, an' ye'v e played yer cards as square's a dice; but I tell ye agin thet yer way off yer centre. My name ain't no more John Sherry than yours is." "What is your name then?" the chief inquired, sh arply. "That's my biz," was the composed an swer. "An' as fur thet Denver busines s ye've bin slingin' out, ye've made a bad mis take. I never seen no perlice chief, an' I ain't no dertective, an' ther man what shad dered me frum ther capital city o' Co l o rado, orte r stan' on his head ter see 'f he couldn't dro r sum brains from ther groun'." "Don't fool yerself on that point, Jack Sherry ; the Salamanders of Saddle Range don't make no mistake in such matters, and you either go back or remain here suspended from the limb of a tree!" Diamond Dick gave a sneering laugh. There was an expression upon his features, a gleam in his eyes, which was not pleasant to behold. "I reckon I ketch on ter yer game now, me chief of ther fireeaters," he said, mockingly. "You fellers air frum Lightnin' Lode, an' ye've panned out this perlice spy story ter scare us away. But ye can't do it. When Dia mond Dick heads fur enny place, he gits thar, or sumthin' breaks! Ye hold ther drop on us now, but by all there pitchforks o ther devil, we don't turn back on their trail, fur no set o' sard in es like you fellers!" "Do ye hear that, my splendid sunflowers of fiery food?" Cactus Blossom chipped in, evidently influenced by the defiant words of her handsome dare-devil pard. "That's the way we tal K when we mean business, and you can bet the nails in your boot heels, that we'll get to Lightning Lode if we have to pay Satan for it, and no pitch hot." It was the first time during the curious sc ene that the girl had ventured a word, and her clear, silvery-voice startled the masked men. "You're ten and we two," Cactus Blossom continued; "but give us half a show, and if we don't make shadows out of your Salaman der team, I'll agree to bury myself forty feet under ground The eyes of the Salamander chief flash ed upon the features of th;! fair-faced girl a look of stern contempt. "You keep your talk out of this or there will be two forms swinging above ground in the noose of a rope," he exclaimed. But C actus Blossom, with a mocking grimace coolly confronted the masked bravo. "You-don't-say-sol" she said, in a nasal, drawling tone, "wal now, if you was to hang me and I found it out, I'll put a stop to it so utterly quick, that it w ould be next year be fore you knew what happened." "An' 'f ye hear my voice lubricating yer ear-drums," Diamond Dick interpos ed, "ye don't hold no rope as'll go roun' my neck." The masked chief uttered a grating curse. "Fools! you will have it then?" he hissed. "Seize them boys! tie th e girl, and swing the cursed police spy up on the first handy limb!" The Salamanders sprang forward, eager to carry out his fierce orders. But a cold, ringing voice suddenly shouted: "Back ye dogs, or by ther eternal God, yer chief goes down !" It was Diamond Dick who uttered the words, a small revolver concealed in his sleeve, flashed into sight, the hammer raised, the muzzle pressed against the white mask which concealed the face of the Salamander l eader. At the same moment Cactus Blossom, with a motion like lightning in its swiftne&::., whipped from beneath her coat a Drace of pis tols and with gleaming eyes leveled the weapon full upon the masked men.


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. For a moment or two all was silence the Salamanders, momentarily taken aback b; the sudden turn of affairs, standing motionless as statues of stone. The chief of the band glared into the eyes of Diamond Dick with a look of stony aston ishment the hand holding the revolver hanging motionless at his side, his breath coming and going in quick-drawn gasps. Then the voice of Diamond Dick rang out sharp and commanding. "Put up yer pistils," he cried; "everyone o' ye! back ter yer belts with 'em!" The ringing voice of the bediamonded man acted upon the masked men like a command from their leader. One and all they replaced the weapons in the sheaths strapped about their waists, evi dently so dazed at the deadly change in their position that they obeyed more through in stinct than willingness. "Hold 'em steady, Blossom," Diamond Di ck called out, sharp and crisp ; 'f e .nny of them 'tempt ter draw, salivate 'em!" "I hear you, pard," Cactus Blossom an swered, laconically, and the revolvers fu her hands never quivered a hair's-breadth. "Now then, me fire-eating fairy, jess you open yer han' an' let thet shootin-iron drop!" Diamond Dick observed to the Salamander chief, and his voice was as chilly as an ice berg. The masked leader uttered a low curse, and for the instant some desperate resolution seemed to fill his heart. But the weapon in the hand of Diamond Dick stared him in the face, and the magnetic eyes of the melancholy adventurer gleaned over the sights with a glance whose deadly warning could not be denied. "Ye h ea r what I say?" Diamond Dick con tinued, icily. "Drop that pistil, an' do it quick!" With a furious imprecation the Salamander leader allowed the weapon to slip from his grasp. "Curse you!" he hissed ; "I'll get even on you for this deal! By all the power of the Salamander circle. I swear to hunt you down to death if yo u don't take the back track!" "Will you!" Diamond Dick sneered. "Y e'll be

ll:I DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY say one or thef) other, an' it derned quick!" For an answer the form of Salamander Sol dropped slightly, and then, like a flash of lightning, his clenched hand shot out, landing upon the breast of Diamond Dick a blow so terrific in force that black-ringleted man was whirled half-around, the shock causing his pistols to discharge harmlessly into space. The next second a revolver was in the hand of the masked chief, and his voice, hoarse with passion, rose on the air: "At them, my bullies! clown with the cursed spies!" he shouted; and, leveling his revolver, i1e fired at Diamond Dick. But, like a flash of light, the cliamoncl stuclclecl adventurer dropped to the ground, the deadly bullet hissing harmlessly over his head. Then, with a tiger-like motion, he raised his weapon, pulled the trigger, and Salaman der Sol uttered a groan of pain. Following this shot like echoes, four suc cessive reports flashed from the pistols in the hands of Cactus Bloss0m, and high above the yells of the masked men and the reports of their pistols, rose the shrieks of the creatures whom the unerring aim of the girl had sent into eternity. Then, with the spring of a squirrel, Sal amander Sol dashed away into the darkness, and a moment after his masked men followed like shadows-all save the four whom Cactus Blossom's revolvers .had placed beyond mo tion. "Out of ther firelight, Blossom!" Diamond Dick shouted. "Into cover with ye afore ye git a back shot!" And he himself bounded out of the circle of light thrown by the fire into the bushes, while Cactus Blossom imitated his example on the instant. Then, with eyes alert and ears strained to the utmost tension, the fearless girl and her handsome parcl watched, with pistols ready for instant use. But the footsteps of the fleeing Salaman ders had ceased to echo in the ravine, and a dead, grim silence hovered over the mountain barriers. For over an hour they crouched in the bushes, watching and waiting for sign or sound. But nothing of a suspicious nature again broke the solitude of the rock-bound gully, and Diamond Dick finally rose to his feet. "I reckon they've lit out fur good, Blos som," he said, guardedly; "an' it's about time, fur, see, day is breakin'." He pointed to some faint gray streaks in the sky-heralds of the sun. "Yes; and I reckon our horses are gone, too !" cried Cactus Blossom, gazing discon solately toward the space of ground where the animals had been picketed, a look of disgust upon her face. "Sure 'nuff !" Diamond Dick growled. "Them cusses must 'a' bin in a 'tarnal hurry ter git away." "I reckon so, but some of them didn't seem to be in haste to leave us." As the girl spoke, she pointed significantly tc the inanimate forms of the masked men who had perished by her deadly shots. Diamond Dick knitted his brows moodily as he gazed upon the motionless forms. "We had ter do it, Cactus Blossom," he said, slowly. "They played a strong game on us, an' they meant business-it was their lives or our'n. But let's have a look at 'em." He led the way to the inanimate forms of the masked men, removed the white, human like disguises, and gazed into their rigid faces, distorted by pain and the spasms of death. All of the slain men were brutal looking fellows, and each had a bullet-hole in his fore head, just betwen the eyes. But in none of the features could Diamond Dick recognize a face that he had ever be fore And then, whi l e Cactus Blossom was preparing the morning meal, the man stood over these dead forms, his brow again dark, his head bent in deep thought. "Thar's only one solution to this mysterious attack," h e muttered at l ast. "These fel lers were l ed by a man who knew my busi ness, and that man must have been my game. Now, by all the fates, I'll tear the mask from Salamander Sol's face, sooner or later, if I have to follow him to the North Pole-if he's my animal, I'll fetch him in, dead or alive." And with this Diamond Dick turned away, and busied himself in gatherin g up the few articles that constituted their outfit. The simple meal prepared by the girl was soon dispatched, the few cooking utensils packed away, and then Diamond Dick said, sternly: "Now fur ther trail of the coyote as murdered thet young woman Come, Blossom; for' arc!, march's the word!" Then swinging the traps over his broad shoulders, he moved up the ravine, Cactus Blossom at his side The riding harness was necessarily left be hind, the horses having been run off by the Salamanders, but the weapons which had been treacherously removed from their belts while they were slumbering they had r ecov ered.


D IAMOND DICK, Jlt. '!'HE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY So, with resolute face, Diamond Dick set out to run down the cruel being who had ut short the life of the beautiful woman. But, reaching the spot where the unfortunate woman had met her horrible death, he suddenly uttered an astonished cry. The mutilated creature was gone! Spirited away, doubtless, during the night ty some agency so silent in its action that no sound had betrayed its presence, and no sign being left as to the direction in which it had vanished with its dread burden. Search as they might, like beagles on a broken scent, not a trace was discovered, not a foot-print, not an indication revealed to their keen, questioning eyes. Long after sunrise they roved over the ground, but the task was useless. The body of the beautiful woman had disappeared as utterly as if the earth had opened and swal lowed it up. "It ain't no use, Blossom," Diamond Dick observed, at last. "We've lost the grip, an' there ain't no use wastin' more time here. Whoever yanked that body away knew enuff ter leave no trail. "You're right, pard, but I wonder if those Salamander coyotes didn't have a hand in it," Cactus Blossom observed, curiously. "Mebbe they did; but thar ain't nothin' to s!Jow for it," Diamond Dick replied, his voice plainly betraying disgust. "An' to tell the honest truth, I dunno what ter think. Them fire-eaters acted so durned curis, mebbe thet war onny a blind ter cover this work. "It looks that way." "Wall, it won't do no good standin' here a speckerlatin'. We've gut one lead, anyway. It don't amount ter much, but it may work in fine. I've got ther dagger as killed the poor woman." "That's a fact, pard, and that stiletto will run the fellow down, if you hear me squeal." "I hope so; but let us get on ther move. I wanter make Lightnin' Lode They were standing on an emmence which commanded a good view of the surro nding country, and Diamond Dick's face _bri&"htened as he caught sight of a lone tree JUttmg out from the side of a cliff. "Thar's the pint I missed last night," he cried. "An' thar, in the heart of yonder mountain peak, we'll r : m against ther shan ties of ther Lightnin' Lode." "Then let's ambulate," Cactus Blossom re-marked, laconically. Diamond Dick said no more but, takmg the lead, headed straight for the objective point. About noon they reached the edge of an immense forest, black with shadows, and so thick with underbrush as to be almost im passable. Out of this forest the giant mountain peak seemed to rise, but it was evidently a matter of difficulty to reach its base. Diamond Dick, however, did not hesitate. At a certain point he entered the forest, and threaded his way among the giant trees, never at fault in finding a pathway thr.ough the matted vines and thick underbrush. Later in the afternoon they reached a point where the forest grew thinner, and pausing at last on what appeared like an opening, Diamond Dick pointed before him. "Thar's Lightnin' Lode, Blossom," he said, quietly. "An' now we buc;kle down to work." CHAPTER IV. THE FARO QUEEN OF GOLD BRICK. After all the reports, true and false, and the general disbelief in the existence of the wondrous mines, the town of Lightning Lode was really an established fact. But that it was difficult to find, unless g u ided by the most minute instruction, was a matter easily understood, for no mining camp was more snugly hidden from the curi ous explorers or keen-sighted prospectors than the twenty or more log-built structures which formed the "city" of Lightning Lode. The smooth-faced peak which rose high into the clouds, and was belted with an al most impregnable forest, miles in circumfer ence, was cut opea at a certain point, and formed a blind canon or gully, not quite a mile in length, and less than quarter that in width. In this canon a vein, or lode, rich in gold and silver, had been discovered by a party of prospectors who had finally located the town, and as the future developments re vealed a source of wealth far beyond their utmost imagination, they had given the col lection of huts the electrical name of Light ning Lode. In a very short time the population of the town had increased to a hundred and twenty souls; a few saloons had been established, a free-and-easy dance hall, a store, and a p ara mount gambling establishment called "The Gold Brick." Sometimes a stranger would tumble on t h e city through pure luck, but they were few and fa, between, and were allowed to remain but swvrn to keep the existence of the wo11< derful wealth-laden lode a secret.


14 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BES'f WEEKLY. Thus Lightning Lode became, in an in dividual sort of way, one of the liveliest and roughest places on the border. It is a few hours after sunset as we enter the town, and work in the tunnels having ceased for the day, the miners are enjoying themselves in the places of amusements. But in resp ec t of numbers the gambling saloon of Gold Brick contains the majority. .It is a large structure built of logs, this gambling den, and the whole ground floor is but one apartment devoted to games of chance. But it was a cozy place, and well fitted up for that out-of-the-way spot. The log walls and rafters were covered with canvas, and a soft carpet was stretched upon the floor. The back end of the apartment was oc cupied by a bar; a faro-table and about a dozen tables, with plenty of chairs scattered about, lined either side of the room. There was a large number of miners in the gaming saloon, early as was the eve ning, for the Gold Brick contained an attraction even greater than the nuggets and gold dust which were nightly staked upon the tabl e s Seated in a cushioned arm chair near the faro outlay in the centre of the room was a beautiful young woman of eighteen or twenty years of age. She was slightly above the medium height of her sex, and every motion of her faultless form was accompanied by a grace that was bewildering. Her feature s were regular in outline and plump as a p ea ch ; her eyes black as sloes, and sparkling with the starry radiance of the midnight skies. Her dark hair was simply coiled upon the back of her head, and through the dark strands a gold-hilted, keen-pointed dagger was thrust for ornament. This weapon was small in size, but a story was current among the miners that its point was so coated with a subtle poison, that a mere scratch of the blade meant certain death. This girl was Annie Darley, the daughter of the handsome, middle-aged proprietor of the Gold Brick, but about the town she was more popularly known as the Faro Queen. Well educated, pleasant in compliment and sharp in retort, witty, bright, generous, no one could say, with truth, anything against her name. She seemed a fair flo-wer blooming in a miasma more deadly than the noxious exhalations of typhus. It was yet too early in the night to open tht faro game, and a number of brawny miners were gathered about the girl, exchanging words in which the men received the worst of it. "Ah! there's Tom Wilson ," the girl re marked, as a young fellow entered the room and advanced eagerly to her side. "Good evening, Mr. Tom, I hear that you have struck luck at last in your mine." "Not luck but gold," was th e prompt 1 eply. "If I had struck luck, you wouldn't be in this place." "Oh, thank you!" with a light lau gh; "but I am informed that you have become desperate-have, in fact, threatened no l ess than to break up our bank through the medium of faro." "Well, why s houldn t I? You hav e broken my heart, and I intend to hust the bank. To be revenged, is mortal, to forgive, divine, or something like that, the poets say." The beautiful Faro Queen laughed pleas antly. And then a burly, broad-shouldered miner suddenly remarked: "Hello! here's Crystal Chip!" A ft.ash of light, an expr essio n more delightful than pleasure l eaped into the eyes and f eatures o f the Faro Queen as she gazed upon the tall, graceful form advancing toward her, a smile upon his pallid face. Dressed very similarly in the close-fitting, black velvet costume, with sombrero, top boots, and weapon loaded belt, such as characterized Diamond Dick himself, whom h e likewise considerably resembled in form and feature, this individual, Crystal Chip, who had for some time been unenviably notoriou s in the wild community of Li ghtning Lode and thereabouts, came forward smilingly and with something of a swagger in response to the greeting gaze of the Faro Queen. But if Crystal Chip was something of a startling imitation in luoks dress and bearing, to the nobler and more reputabl e adventurer, it was an imitation that was only suc cessful in an external sense. His hair and mustache were coarse, straight and bronze-hu ed instead of j et black, silky and curling; in lieu of the romantic pal lor that distinguished the true Diamond Dick this man's complexion was ft.oriel, though sunburned; there was also something coarse, cunning, and sinister in his air that was altogether foreign to the other's proud and r e served bearing; and lastly in plac e o f the g e nuine diamond ornamentation that wa Diamond Dick's distinguishing trait in the matter of apparel, Crystal Chip's dress, as hi s name indicated, was merelv loaded and be dazzled with crystal butto;,s and gewgaws. sparkling and flashing of their kind, but as inferior to the real article as the wea .rer


DBMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. evinced himself to be in comparison with the finer and more sterling character that it seemed his ambition to emulate. However, apart from these differences, the resemblance of the two men in feature and general charactertistics was sufficiently strik ing, not to say startling, as to have caused no little wondering comment if placed side by side, as they were presently destined to be. Crystal Chip bowed eagerly over the pretty hand that was cordially extended to him by the Faro Queen. "Ah, Crystal," she exclaimed, with a co quettish shrug of her shapely shoulders, "bet ter late than never." The bronze-faced man brightened up at the warmth of her greeting, which, however, he should have been quick-witted enough to note as being more in her words than in the tone that uttered them. "Thanks!" he replied, and as he proceeded it was evident that he was studiously aping a culture of language and address but little congenial with his native promptings; "but you might have known I couldn't be long away from where you were shining, my princess." "But where have you been for the past two or three days?" the girl searchingly demand ed. "We have missed you greatly, Crystal Chip. In short," and her voice put on a slight tinge of spitefulness, "we were beginning to have a grave suspicion that you had eloped with that lovely lady friend of yours." Crystal Chip smiled pleasantly. "You were quite wrong in your suspicions, my queen of faro," he replied. "It was a slight matter of business, not love, which to1 c:: me from your beautiful presence." "But in that case, what has become of your lady friend?" the Faro Queen inquired, keenly. Crystal Chip glanced at her, a puzzled ex pression in his eyes. "I do not understand you," he answered, gravely. "What! are you not aware that Miss Carey has been missing for the last three days?" the Faro Queen remarked in surprise. "Missing!" Crystal Chip repeated. "Ay carried off by spirits or something more substantial ; at least she has disap peared, leaving bag and baggage behind." The face of Crystal Chip became stern with displeasure, and something like a curse came from between his clench e d teeth. "At the old husiness again, are you, my beautiful fiend?" he muttered, in a voice al most inaudible. But the Faro Queen was keenly listening; she caught the full import of the words, and a smile of satisfaction brightened her face. "Really, Crystal Chip," she continued, "as the young lady was seen leaving the town with you, we all thought it a case of marrying on the sly." "What? Marry that woman? never!" Crystal Chip answered, a fierce look coming into his florid face. "I would rather cut a hand from my arm !" "Ah! by the way, what is wrong with your right hand? I see that you have it ban daged," the Faro Queen remarked, curiously. ''A bruise; severe, painful-nothing more!" Crystal Chip answered, quickly. "But I must investigate this disappearance of Dora Carey, and without any delay." "And I must o?en the game," the Faro Queen observed, rising from her seat. Then a sudden, startling hush fell over the room. Two persons had entered the portals of the Gold Brick gambling saloon-the one a hand some, romantically pale-visaged man, the other a fair-faced girl, dressed in semi-mas culine attire. They were Diamond Dick and Cactus Blossom. Careless in manner, and as lithe as a tiger in his movements, Diamond Dick advanced leisurely into the apartment, taking no par ticular notice of any one until he stood face to face with Crystal Chip. Then he stopped suddenly, and an expre. sion both of wonder and annoyance came into his face as he gazed upon the bronze-hued florid features of his crystal bedizened counterpart. And Crystal Chip looked upon the faced stranger with a gleam in his steely eyes which was hard to define. All eyes were fixed upon the two men with astonishment, for the contrast no less than the resemblance they afforded to one another, was sufficiently remarkable. Then the two powerfully built, gracefully formed fellows gazed upon each other in si lence, their features overcast with wonder, a curious gleam in their mutual searching brilliant eyes. The voice of the Faro Queen broke the sudden hush. "Well, may I never play a card againmay I-as sure as I am a living being, there stands your double, Crystal Chip !" CHAPTER V. DIAMOND DICK AND HIS DOUBLE. As the voice of the Faro Queen rang out, Crystal Chip drew in a long breath, and something suggestive of a shudder passed over his frame.


16 DIAMOND DICK, JR-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Cactus Blossom, ever ready with her tongue, quickly chipped in: "By the great horn spoon! my diarnond studded pard, is that bronze-faced chap of the bogus brilliants, your twin-brothersay ?" But Diamond Disk answered only with a seemingly amazed: "Wall, may I ber durned !" The eyes of tbe Faro Queen were roving from one face to the other, her own features the picture of blank astonishment, for never, she thought, in her span of life had she gazed upon men who so nearly resembled each other as did these two. "Wall, stranger, I'm durned 'f ther sight o' ye didn't most take my breath away!" Diamond Dick observed. "I sw'ar, by all crea tion, I thort I war lookin' at my ghost!" "And pray, who are you that imitate me so closely?" Crystal Chip inquired, his voice cold and stern. "Immertate you?" Diamond Dick blurted out, with a guffaw; "come, now, thet's good! Me? Why, sure's shootin' ye must 'a' heard o' me, stranger," he continued, good-naturedly. "I'm the_r rip-tearin', snort in' ole alligator, called Diamond Dick, late of Gunnison, you understand? An' you, I reckon, air ther high-toned, galivantin' galoot as goes by ther name o' Crystal Chip, Es quire?" "Reputation, and my characteristic dia mond outfit combined," stiffly rejoined the other, "have bestowed upon me the title of Crystal Chip, and my friends address me as such; but to strangers I have a name with a handle to it-Mr. Christopher Conover." Diamond Dick broke into an amused horse laugh, whose loutishness few would have sus pected as assumed, it was so natural and pro longed. "Ho! ho! ho!" he roared; "haw! haw! haw!" "Your reppertation, an' your dia mond outfit!" with a filliping gesture at the garish, spurious adornments, in such cheap contrast with his own. "Wall, I mus' repeat it over ag'in-may I ber durned !" The spurious adventurer flushed angrily, though managing to keep his temper under for the nonce, the merriment that was evoked around him telling him plainly enough whom the laugh was against. "All right-0. K., Mister Christopher Conover," continued Diamond Dick, cheer fully; "an' let me hope thet you won't walk inter me too deep 'f I ventur' to chip inter yer purtensions a bit." "I'm not used to submitting to familiar ities from strangers, sir," said Crystal Chip, sharp and icy, drawing himself up. "Let me advise you to understand that!" "Ho! ho! ho!" roared our hero. "But jest look here, me friend," his mood suddenly changing. "Crystal Chip's your name fur me 's long 's I stay in this town, an' don't you furgit it. But it's durned strange thet I've happened to hear of you afore, my quartz specimen, an' nuthin' pertic'lar to your advantage, nuther." Crystal Chip drew himself up yet more haughtily, and there was a look in his florid face indicating that, sham as he might be in his pretensions, he could be a dangerous man on occasion. "Enough !" he retorted, coldly. "Of course," sarcastically, "what you have seen or heard with regard to me is vastly mate rial." "Wall, thet jest depends, Crystal," with a shrug of the massive shoulders that set the rtal jewels that gemmed his dress to glistening like the sparks of fire. "But so long as you're livin', I s'pose you kin answer to your feldsparry an' quartzy name. So long, me consterlation !" A cold, steel-like gleam flashe.d into the eyes of Crystal Chip, but Diamond Dick, after his last remark, sauntered carelessly up to the bar, where a tidy negro served out the liquids. "Hello, Snowdrift!" the man of diamonds called out, heartily, "jess set out yer A1 elec tric fluid. I'm dry 's sand-paper. Have sumthin', Cactus Blossom?" "I reckon a double-barreled cigar 'II suit me," the girl answered, and in a few moments she was puffing away at a strong weed, while Diamond Dick was imbibing with the air of a connoisseur. Meanwhile Crystal Chip, with a hasty good-night to the Faro Queen, had left the room, seemingly in undisturbed good humor. But as he passed through the doorway he made a rapid, peculiar gesture with his hand. A few moments later, three men who were playing poker at one of the side tables, threw up their cards, and with a careless air sauntered out into the open air. Then the fair face of Cactus Blossom drew the attention of the miners, and the girl with her easy grace and witty speech soon became an object around which the men circulated with eager delight. Diamond Dick, on his part, had drifted to the side of the Faro Queen, where he was having a set-to in words with that fasci nating young lady. Annie Darley discovered after a half hour's conversation, that she was taking an extraordinary interest in the pale-faced, ro-


r DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOY8' BEST WEEKLY. 17 mantic man of diamonds, which conclusion rather surprised her. As you may believe, the Faro Queen had many admirers among the inhabitants of Lightning Lode, but the girl had seemingly thus far cared for no one, excepting only Crystal Chip. For this bronze-haired, rather specious in dividual, indeed, she had felt a sensation which was almost akin to love But now Diamond Dick was apparently working his way into the young woman's susceptib l e heart, stranger tho u g h he was; for it was a positive fact that the romantic cliamoncl-stuclcled frontiersman could on oc casion use words a& fitting and witty as could the Faro Queen h e rself and this ran him far up in the beauty's favor in short order. The two were very nearly alone, the third party in their presence being Hank Darley, the father of the Faro Queen, who for some reason had taken an inexplicable liking to the new-comer from Gunnison. After a period of commonplace conversa tion, Hank Darley drew from him an expla nation of why he had visited Lightning Lode. Diamond Dick affirmed that it was only a matter of curiosity; he had no design to lo c ate a mine as his financial standing placed him far above the need to labor, he said. And then cunningly turning the conversation he related his adventures with the Salamanders. "The what?" Annie Darley inquired as he first mentioned the name of the masked band. "Salamanders of Saddle Range they called themselves," was the reply. "An' their leader introduced himself as Salamander Sol." "Well, this is the first time we ever heard of the existence of a band of road agents of that name," the Faro Queen remarked, in sur prise. "Is that so?" Diamond Dick exclaimed, a keen glance in his eyes. "As sure as you are here!" Mr. Darley chipped in. "The road agents must be a new gang." "Wall, thet seems kind o' curis ter me, 'cause I war almost sure they belonged here in Lightning Lode," Diamond Dick re marked, evidently puzzled; for he could see by the marked surprise upon the features of the gambler and his daughter that his infor mation was news to them. "I give you my word of honor that they are not people of this city, as far as I am aware," Mr. Darley remarked, earnestly. "There are some rough fellows here, but one and all are making wealth hand over fist in th e min es Once in a while we have a row here. but it is a sort o f family affair, to which no strangers are admitted." Wall thet kind o' knocks me out, Mister Darley. I thort dead sure it was a game ter keep Cactus Blossom an' me away frum here, an war got up by ther citizens of Lightnin' Lode. "Well, if it is so, it's the first time we ever heard of it, Diamond Dick," the Faro Queen interp osed ; "and we keep pretty well posted on what is taking place," she concluded with a pleasant laugh. The brows of the handsome adventurer were wrinkled w ith thought, but after a few mom e nts he finished his story of the Sala manders. And then his voice low, he related in graphic words the finding of the murderer woman; describing her horrible mutilation and the final spiriting away of the body Both the gambler and the girl listened to his narrative with intense interest, the face of the Faro Queen, especially, growing pale with ex. ci ement. ,And as Diamond Dick paused for a mo ment, she inquired quickly: "Could you describe the appearance of this woman-her age, features, dress?" "Wall, me Queen of Faro," was the drawled reply, "she war pretty well cut up about ther head but she war very beautiful in face an' form; her eyes war blue, an' I no ticed a small mole on her chin thet--" "Dora Carey!" the Faro Queen cried, with horror, her eyes wide open, her face blanched to the hue of death. Diamond Dick gazed at her eagerly. "What! did you know her?" he demanded with surprise. "Did the poor woman have hair of a yellcwish hue?" the girl inquired. "Yes; yeller 's gold." "About eighteen years old?" "Jest about thet age." "Her dress a black and white plaid-small design? A ring containing a diamond, and one of plain gold upon her hand?" "Thar warn't no rings jewels or letters about her, but ye've got thet pattern of ther dress all right." "Then it was Dora Carey-a lady who dis appeared from this city three clays ago; but who, in the name of heaven, could have butchered the beautiful young creature in such a horrible way?" "We could find no sign o' th et. Not a trail was made; no footstep printed on ther ground. Ther only clue we found war this dagger sticking in the bosom of the poor lady." And Diamond Dick drew from a breast-pocket the triagular bladed, silver h ilted stiletto which had cut short the life of the beautiful victim.


18 DICK, JR.-TRE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. The Faro Queen uttered a low cry as her straining eyes rested upon the keen-pointed weapon, her hands and arms trembling as she shrank from contact with the deadly imple ment. Her father, too, was looking at the dagger in startled amazement. "\Vas-was that the weapon which killed the woman?" he gasped. Something in the tone of his voice guided Diamond Dick in his next question : '"That was the tool-do vou know it, sir?" l.111t before the gambler 'could answer, the door of the gambling saloon was thrown open. and six or seven dark-browed, stern fac c d men entered the room Three of them were those who had fol low e d Crystal Chip; the others had joined them outside. Straight up to Diamond Dick came the men, revolvers in hand ready for instant use. Then one remarked sternly, as he placed his hand heavily on the shoulder of the man from Gunnison: "Diamond Dick, I arrest you in the name of the law of Lightnin' Lode." "Arrest me !" Diamond Dick exclaimed \ Vhat in ther name o' ther devil's fiends do yer want ter arrest me fur?" "Fur murder!" the man retorted, sternly. "Murder! What in thunderation air ye gittin' at, pard ?" Diamond Dick inquired, in unfeigned amazement. "You have murdered a woman called Dora Carey!" "You're a liar!" And, with a bound like that of a tiger, Dia mond Dick sprang to the wall, his face to his enemies, his eyes flashing along the gleaming barrels of a pair of six-shooters which ap peared with the swiftness of magic in his hands. The next instant Cactus Blossom was at his side, a mocking smile upon her lips, and her big, bright eyes glittering over the sights of the deadly, self-acting revolvers she knew how to use so well. CHAPTER VI. A HIGH-HANDED ROW. Following the quick tiger-like bound of Diamond Dick, and the prompt action of Cac tus Blossom in ranging herself by the side of her pard, the room became a scene of the wildest confusion. Believing a deadly fig-ht imminent. the miners strove to get out of the line of fire where some bullet might accidentally send them into the hereafter to answer for their crimes. But now, quick as thought, the gentleman ly gambler, Hank Darley, stepped in between Diamond Dick and his accusers. They were not of the better class of inhabi tants, these self-styled border policemen, and the gambler held in his hand a revolver, ready cocked, to check any sudden demonstration of a fight in his cozy gaming den. does this mean, Jim Cardy? By what right do you come into my place with the evident intention of .raising a row?" he inquired, sternly, of the leading man of the gang. ''We don't want ter raise no row, Darley," Jim Cardy retorted. "All we want is ter yank thet air gal oot away from this sherbang. He's murdered the lady, Dora Carey, and, by the footroots of ther saddle peaks, we air going to make him suffer for it !" A low murmur of astonishment rang through the room. It was the first knowledge the miners had received of the tragedy. But then the voice of Diamond Dick rang out, crisp and sharp as a bell: "How did you know that the woman war dead, Jim Car dy, and that I murdered her?" But just as promptly and composedly, Jim Cardy answered : "I got it from ther fellow who saw you strike the b l ow which laid her cold." "Then I tells you an' him both thet ye air a brace o' bloody liars!" Diamond Dick re plied, defiantly "An' I've got a pair o' dogs in me hands thet '11 back me up." "And when they quit, I am here!" Cactus Bl0ssom remarked quietly. But Jim Cardy betrayed no sign of fear or backing down. He was notorious in the town as a bad man, utterly reckless and ob stinate in his designs be they good or bad; and his comrades were known as equally reckless and desperate. "You fellers had better lay down yer shootin'-irons at once, 'cause it 'll save a heap o' trouble Jim Cardy remarked, darkly. "We 'uns hav' come here to arrest ye, and we'll do it if this hull house has ter fall down in the act!" "But I say mister man, what'll we be doing all this time?" Cactus Blossom observed caustically. "Wall, I tell ye what you might be doing, Jim Cardy remarked, sarcastically, "you had better draw away frum this afore ye git hurt. W e ain't after you, me gal, so ye'd jest b es t git oute r this muss." "A ncl I tell yo11 that if I desert a pa rd in


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOY8' liEST WEEKLl'. 1 9 such a cowardly way and find it out, I'll walk from here to Halifax on my head and kick myself all the way going!" the girl returned, defiantly. "It won't do, Cardy-you're got to play your hand a little softer," Hank Darley put in, coldly. "And, coming right down to bed rock points, who in the devil's name made you sheriff of this town?" "Ay and how comes it, Jim Cardy, that it was this weapon which ended the life of Dora Carey?" the Faro Queen said, sternly, as she held up before the eyes of the self-instituted officer the stiletto which Diamond Dick had drawn from the body of the murdered lady. The voice of the girl had in it a peculiar intonation which was evidently meant to impress Cardy with its significance. But Jim Cardy's eyes never so much as winked as he gazed upon the dagger. "What the devil shed I know about the knife?" he said, rndely. "And, as fur the matter remarked about, Darley, I ain't actin' on my own hook, but on orders I received." "And .who was it gave yol,l this command?" the gambler inquired, haughtily. "Crystal Chip." "\i\fhat he told you to do this-he, Crystal Chip?" the Faro Queen gasped, her face pale as ashes. ''Jess so; but that fellow, the double of Crystal Chip, needn't kick up a row about this; we ain't going ter run him up a tree lickety-split, but will give him a fair trial according to the border code of Judge Lynch." "What do you say to this, Diamond Dick?" the father of the Faro Queen inquired. "I' say thet I'd see them fellers seventeenhundred miles under ground afore I'd trust myself in their hands with weapons gone!" Diamond Dick answered, defiantly. "You know what I tol d yo u about findi n ther woman-Dora Carey, as you calls her; an' I swear every word I said war ther truth! These fel lows, under this Crystal Chip's leadership, air up to sum game thet ain't fur my good; but, Mr. Darley, 'f ye will jess glance over this little paper, ye'll see thet I a in't bin lyin'." And Diamond Dick extended to the gambler an envelope unsealed. From this Mr. Darley extracted a paper evidently short in writing. but of such impor tance that it caused an expression of mingled astonishment, respect, and admiration to spread over his face as he rep l aced the paper, and handed back the envelope to the owner. "Of course, I'm playin' a long l ead o n yer honor, Darley, an' expect ye ter keep ther sayin' of this lette r ter yerself," Diamond Dick sai d, s i anifican tly. "Most assuredly," t h e gambl e r answer ed, firmly. Then turning to face t h e miners in the room he went on, warmly: "Boys, from what I have just read, it's a doub l e-banked low down dea l to try and ring in a charge of murder on Diamond Dick. You have heard me promise to keep secret the words on that paper, and I shall do so; but you all know me, boys, and you know my word is good for what I say, and I tell you, by all my hopes of the future, that Diamond Dick never killed Dora Carey. and the paper proves it!" His words greatly impressed the honest better class of the miners, some of whom had been at first inclined to help Jim Cardy and his companions in arresting this stranger. Hank .Darley was a gambler, it was true, but never, since he opened the Go l d Brick, was there anything but fair p l ay goi n g on i n the apartment, and his few, straight words, cool manners, and pleasant talk had made him in the town, despite his call mg. But Jim Cardy and his companions were not to he daunted by words or documents, and to this speech of the gambler Cardy re torted, angrily : ' I don't keer a cuss fur a hull cart-load of papers, an' all the talk in creation! I was told to bring thet feller in fur t ria l and I'm going to do it-dead or a l ive "Ye don't say so!" Diamond Dick interrupted, sneeringl y. \ .Vhen will ye start in ter do it?" 'Right now!" Jim Cardy grated through his clenched teet h ; and with a quick, cat-like bo u nd h e sprang fo r wa r d, h is pis t o l l eve l ed at the heart of Diamond Dick, whil e with t h e yells of fiends ringing from their lips, his comrades seconded h i s onset like so many shadows. But even quirker than their l eaps, t h e r e vo lvers i n the hands of Cactus Blossom rang out in s harp detonations so close together t h a t the reports sounded like a continuous roar. Once, twice, thr ee, four times the silvered self-acting inst ru ments of death flas h ed out their deadly contents. Neither was Diamond Dick idle. \ .Vhile t h e bullets of t h e l ynchers were wh istling past his ears w ith om inou s h iss, some even scraping his flesh, his r evo l vers were hurling out their leaden messe ngers of sudden, swi ft destructi o n Jim Cardy carr ied on by the impetuosity o f his leap. fell forward against t h e w a ll, re hounclec\ and sank to the floor, a ho l e in h i s forehead, right betwee n the eyes, w h e r e t h e unerring aim of the girl h ad sent a b ullet: and t hree mo r e of t h e me n went dow n under h e r deadly a im As fo r t h e others they n eve r so muc h as


so DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BES'l' WEEKLY. placed a hand upon the pale-faced man from Gunnison, who looked like the god of war in the sudden, savage fight, his ready revolvers completing the fate of the men whom Cactus Blossom had left unharmed. Not ten seconds after the first shot was fired did the fight last. When the noise made by forms scrambling away, the clash of overturned tables and chairs had ceased, and the powder smoke had cleared away, Diamond Dick and Cactus Blossom still stood side by side, the girl unharmed, but her companion wounded and bleeding, though still unwaveringly erect. Before them, one above the other, piled in a heap as they fell, lay the seven creatures who had been delegated to bring them into the grasp of grim Judge Lynch-dead all." Everywhere about the room miners were crouched under tables, standing motionless behind some slight protection, revolver in hand, awaiting the end of the deadly battle between the two parcls and the minions of border law. Annie, the Faro Queen, was standing near the bar, the gold-hilted dagger before men tioned as being sheathed in her hair, clutched ir: her hand. Her father was at her side, the revolver still in his grasp, his eyes seeking to penetrate the smoke which filled the room. But gradually objects became clearer, and all could see the result of the short, terrible battle. Annie Darley's face grew pale with horror qS she gazed upon the awful sight stretched about the feet of Diamond Dick and his girl pa rd. And from all parts of the room came quickdrawn gasps of awe and astonishment as the miners bent their g l ances upon the inanimate forms lying upon the richly carpeted floorterrible evidence of the prowess of the darkhaired, bediamondecl man, and the fearless faced girl. But the affray was over, and Hank Darley came forward followed by the Faro Queen and some of the miners, while the negro bartender righted the overturned furniture, and others drew the dead bodies to one side, where a cloth was thrown over them. "Serves 'em cl urned right!" a black bearcled, burly miner observed. "Thet Jim Cardy war runnin' about too liv e ly; an' his mates warn't fur behind him." "I reckon ye'r right, parcl." another ob served. "But I want to remark thet Diamond Dick and the gal air a team, an' don't ye furgit it." "You've struck ther ace there, me boy!" a third chipped in sagely. Meanwh11e, Darley and some of the men were congratulating Diamond Dick on his fortunate escape from the clutch of the savage mindecl, reckless lynchers. "Thank ye, boys," Diamond Dick modestly made his acknowledgements, but in a voice that had a lingering tremor of sadness in it. "I'm moughty glad ter hev yer good wishes, an' I won't furgit ye fur yer kind words; but I can't say I'm adzactly altogether satisfied with ther way things hev turned out. I don't like ter shoot a man 'f I kin help it; still a fel ler don't like ter have a dirty charge slung at him, an' say nothin' in defense." "That's square; a man s got ter be a man, an' no mistake," a miner observed, cheerfully. "Besides, I don't know as we'll miss them fel lers much; they've been runnin' things a little too fresh here lately." "You knows better about thet then I do; but thar's one thing ye kin settle yer mind on, boys. What them fellers charged me with war a clear, straight lie. Dora Carey is dead, that's a sure fact; but nothin' of me sent her clown; an' I swear, by all ther stars in Heaven, thet I'd give ha'f o' my wealth ter git a crack et ther coyote as clone ther dirty deed !" The voice of Diamond Dick was low as he uttered these words, but the intense gleam in his brilliant eyes, the firm contraction of his brows, the stern set of his lips, all told how eager he was to revenge the mysterious murder of fair Dora Carey. But the proprietor of the Gold Brick put in a word of warning. "You were right eno ugh in resisting an un lawful arrest, but you will have to be on your guard hereafter," he said. "If Crystal Chip ordered this act, you have made an enemy who will try every means in his power to make you pay for this night's work." Diamond Dick uttered a laugh whose into nation was anything but pleasant to hear. "Thet may be," he replied, significantly "but you kin bet ycr bottom bank dollar thet me'n this galoot, Crystal Chip, 'II have a talk about this affair-an' mebbe sumthin' more'n talk-you hear me cooin', my friend!" But here the Faro Queen cried, anxiously. "Are you wounded, Diamond Dick? I see blood dropping from your finger tips." "Not bacl-T got a few scratches frum ther bullets, thet's all." "Let me look at them," the beautiful girl insisted, gravely. Diamond Dick threw off his coat, rolled up the sleeve of his shirt, and displayed a gash in his arm, near the shoulder, where a leaden pel let had plowed its way. Carefully, gently, the Faro Queen bathed and bandaged the wound, assisted by the


DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BEST WEEKLY. daintily clad negro who presided over the liquid refreshments. But rtance was brought out in the conversation, and finally Diamond Dick and Cactus Blossom took their leave. But when once outside in the night air, Cactus Blossom said, quietly. "Pard, ye want to keep your eyes on that Faro Queen. She knows more about this affair of the murdered Dora Carey than she Jet out to-night." And Diamond Dick answered, laconically: "I know it." CHAPTER VII. STRUCK DOWN FROM BEHIND. It was a week after the arrival of Diamond Dick and his girl pard in Lightning Lode, and during that short interval of time the pallid faced man and the fair-faced girl had become well acquainted with the inhabitants, and in fact had managed to become the favorites of many During these few days both Diamond Dick and Cactus Blossom had been on the alert, and had picked up here and there some slight dews, as favoring their secret designs. No further attempt had been made in the name of Judge Lynch to put Diamond Dick in danger of his life; the prompt way in which he had maintained his rights, and the deadly manner of his resistance to an unlawful ar rest, having evidently gained for him and his girl pard the respect of the rough miners, no less than the fear of the mysterious beings who were working for their ruin. Diamond Dick and Crystal Chip had met, indeed, on the clay following the fight in the Gold Brick gaming saloon, where the darkhaired man had now become a daily visitor; and certain explanations and significant ex pressions had passed between the two men so alike in face and form.


22 DIAMOND DICK, JR. THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Crystal Chip, on this occasion, denied emphatically that he had given Jim Cardy and his men any such order as the leader of the lyncher s had indicated His manner of speech was still haughty in the extreme, and h e intimated, in a voice not to be mistak e n, that he needed no help in any encounter where the chances were equal. Jim Cardy being dead, there was no way of proving that Crystal Chip had had a hand in the scheme to arrest and hang Diamond Dick; and the man from G unnis on therefore r ea lized that he was checkmated on that move to a certain degree. But still he was not altogether satisfied on this point, and, cunningly shifting the conver sation, directed the talk once more to the mur-der of Dora Carey. Crystal Chip list ened to him coldly, but as Diamond Dick became warmer in his speech, and finally produced the dagger which had slain the woman, the bronze-haired man of crystal fame started violently at sight of the stiletto. "Was Dora Carey slain by that weapon?" he exclaimed, in evident astonishment. "Thet's the very identical weepon I drew frum ther heart o' th e r woman, whar ther co yote as killed h e r left it, Diamond Dick an swered, firmly. Crystal C hip took the weapon in his hancl.s, and for some time examined it curiously, without speaking. As this interview was taking place in the Gold Brick, Mr. Darley the Faro Queen, and Cactus Blossom were present, and one and all were watching the handsome, crystal-bedi zened man's face with various emotions, ex pressed upon their own features. "Well, this is a strange affair," Crystal Chip at last remarked, slowly, as he handed back the stiletto. "I nev e r expected to see that weapon in this part of the country." "Eh! what?" Diamond Dick cried. "That's what I said, and what I mean is that the weapon you hold is the exact counterpart of one which I possess," continued the other." "An' you have a weepon like this?" Dia mond Dick asked in astonishment. "Here it is. You can judge yourself how it compares with the blade in your hand." And as he spoke Crystal Chip produced from his breast pocket a dagger so similar in size, shape and embellishment to the one Dia mond Dick held, that the two weapons looked as if they had been both cast in the same mold. Diamond Dick gazed upon the companion weapon with a look of stupefaction ; the Faro Queen gave a sigh of relief, and Darley a snort of satisfaction. It was only Blossom who looked doubtfully upon the face of Crystal Chip. Diamond Dick felt a sensation as if the ground was slipping from under his feet. He had been buildinghigh hopes on tracing down the ownership of the stiletto to Crystal Chip, but now, even as he was a lmost sure of victory, his bronzed-aairecl double had pro duced evidence which crushed his theory and suspicions like an egg shell. "That stiletto is part of an inh eritance left me some years ago," Crystal Chip went on, calmly. "I hav e cherished it more as a speci men of art than as a deadly weapon, for the arabesque engraving upon the silver hilt is s omething wonderfu .. "It air so--an' :.o mistake," Diamond Dick affirmed, somewhat crestfallen, "but I'd give a pile ter know who this belonged t;)." Crystal Chip smiled scornfully, a strange, m ocking light coming into his eyes. "I can tell you that," he said, "and tell you without r ewa rd. The dagger you hold belonge d to Dora Carey." "To ther murdered lady? nonsense!" "Don't let any unbelief muddle your mind," Crystal C hip continued, coldly. "I kno what I am saying. These two stilettos belonged to tlie brother of Dora Carey, an amateur anti quarian. On his death he willed me a lot of his curiosities, among which was the dagger I have shown you; the other one descend ed to the lady. She prized it highly as a gift from her dead brother, for he had assured u s that these two weapons were of very ancient make and the only ones of t :.eir class in existence; but Dora Carey's relic had been misplaced or stolen from her some time ago." "Then, accordin' ter yer story, the f e ller as killed her got thet steel from her and plunged it into her heart." "It looks :ike it; but what object he or they had in murdering the lady I cannot imagine, for she was kind in her way, generous with her wealth, and in everything worthy of re spect. I have heard a description of the place where Miss Carey's body was found by you, and I shall visit it at once. If the slightest clew will l ead me on, I swear to follow it until I run down the one who committed the terrible crime !" "An' I swear ther same!" Diamond Dick cried, in a tone which sent an icy chill through the hearts of all who heard. At this they had parted, Crystal Chip leaving the town with the firmly avowed int en tion of running clown the murderer or murderers of his lady friend, and Diamond Dick to study out some new th eory of the crime. During the next six days Crystal Chip had remained away, while Diamond Dick kept


/ DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. asking himself day after day, "Has thet feller struck a clew ?" "On the night of the seventh day, however, Diamond Dick had dropped into the Gold Brick to await the arrival of Cactus Blossom, who had gone out during the afternoon for some purpose which she kept a secret. But hour after hour passed, and the girl did not reappear, until finally Diamond Dick's anxiety for the girl deepened into positive alarm. Bidding good-night to the Faro Queen, he passed out into the street, assuring himself first that his revolvers were in good condition and handy to the grasp. He walked rapidly up and down the street, peeping into dark corners and out of the way places, ente red the saloons and other places of amusements, and made inquiries of such per sons as were abroad, but with no success. No one rememb ered having seen Cactus Blossom that evening. "Wall, I'm darned f ain't curious!" Diamond Dick soliloquized. "Cactus must hev struck some lead that's kept her busy; or else some one's knocked her out sumwhere." He paused on the dark street and glanced about keenly, but no signs of his girl pard rewarded his sight. As a last resort he entered the "Tip-Top Star," the dancing hall of Lightning Lode. A wretched band of music was in full blast, and a waltz in progress-rough-bearded min ers and frail women going round and round in a "bear-hug" whirl. But even here the search of Diamond Dick was uselss. Cactus Blossom had not been in the rude dancing hall that night; and no inquiries could elicit any information of her present where abouts. Afte r a short time Diamond Dick returned to the Gold Brick. "Was my pard here since I bin gone?" he inquired of the Faro Queen. "Not to-night, Diamond Dick" the card queen answered, with a pleasant smile. Annie Darley nowadays always took pleasure in talking with Diamond Dick, for it must be confessed that the pale-faced black-ring leted man from Gunnison had already woven a spell over her heart which was beyond her power to crush, even had she so wished. "\.Vall, I can't make out what's become o' ther girl Diamond Dick remarked, dubious ly. "She war to meet me here at eight o'clock an' it's 'way arter twelve now." "Run off with another fellow, perhaps," the Faro Queen suggested, in a quiet, careless manner. "Or maybe shifted into another sphere as did poor Dora Carey. By the way, have you discovered any clew to the fiend who killed the beautiful young creature?" "Not sartin'; but I'm gittin' thar !" Diamond Dick replied, significantly. The Faro Queen looked at him curiously. "I was right glad that it was not Crystal Chip's dagger which killed poor Miss Carey," she said, after a pause. "That night you showed us the weapon, and, as .1_ then believed, as I recognized it, I was horror-stricken to im agine such a horrible crime of that dashing, handsome fellow." Diamond Dick smiled grimly. "It did look kind o' bad fur him, then, did it not?" he observed, calmly. "But you don't still suspect him of having a hand in the murder, do you?" the Faro Queen inquired, with a keen glance. "Not fur a moment, me Queen o' Faro," Diamond Dick remarked, with a curious, grim look upon his features. "I'm jest as dead sartin, sure's I'm alive, thet Crystal Chip didn't so much as raise a finger agin thet lady -let alone a dagger." "Oh, I am so pleased to hear you say that! I have always admired Crystal Chip as an honorable gentleman, incapable of any action so horrible as the murder of a woman." "\Vall, me Faro Queen, 'f it's enny pleas ure to ye,"l say it agin that Crystal Chip had nothin' ter do with thet affair-never even knew thet the woman war dead until-but never mind now what he didn't know. Cactus Blossom ain't showed up, an' I reckon it mought be as you remarked awhile ago, she may hev given me ther shake, an' picked up another pard. So, I'll jiss say good by to yer once more, an' this time fur good." And with a pleasant smile, Diamond Dick bowed and left the Faro Queen to her game. Most of the miners had retired for the night, and the street was completely deserted, as the black-ringleted man wended his way to the cabin which he had pre-empted for a home. A short time before he came in sight of the hue, his attention was attracted by a slight built form lying to one side near a cabin, and he also heard a groan of pain. Some peculiarity in the prostrate form struck Crystal Chip as being familiar, and he sprang to the side of the prostrate shape. "Air thet you, Cactus Blossom?" he in quired, anxiously. A pitiful exclamation of pain was the only answer. Bending his eyes closer to tne face of the prostrate being, the bronze-hued man saw that it was not his girl pard, but a slightly formed man dressed as a miner. At the same instant he made this discovery, a sound in his rear-slight rustling, a faint footfall, attracted his attention; but before he


DIAMOND DICK. JR-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. could turn round a swift, terrible blow de scended upon his head, and he fell forward upon his face unconscious or dead. CHAPTER VIII. IN THE CIRCLE OF THE SALAMANDERS. It is night in the heart of a great, dark for est oi huge pines of firs and of oaks, whose towering tops are lost in gloom, and within whose gigantic forms time has recorded years of age; a forest that circled the peak of Light nir.g Lode like a belt; where tangled creepers grow, thick matted bushes bar the footsteps of man, vines of poison ivy and of oak spawn their noxious dew, and bunches of Spanish moss hang from the arched limbs like ghostly veils; a forest where a breath of wind liardly rustles the leaves, where the purring of the panther is heard like the sobs of a lost child, and where the growl of the grizzly and the roar of the fierce puma are the only sounds of life. Here, in the midst of these giant trunks, in the dead of night, and in a little glade formed by nature's hand, a solemn scene is being acted. The stars that look down into this opening are blurred from sight by the glare of a fire which lights the little glade with weird, flickering light. And where the fire casts its brightest light, in the center of the glade, it falls upon and il luminates every detail of the terrible drama about to be enacted. In the middle of the forest stand a number of beings, disguised from head to foot in loose garments, white as hue, and with faces cowled with masks representing a lm man face, likewise ghastly in hue. In their midst, bound firmly to the trunk of a strong sapling, is a man whose pale face is streaked with blood, the outflow of a cowardly blow, but whose brilliant eyes are flashing glances of scorn and defiance into the motion less features of the masked men. Each of the white-clad beings holds in hand, ready for use, a revolver, upon the glittering barrels of which the fire-flashes play with a savage gleam. And slightly in advance of the rest stands one who is evidently the leader of the band. But, surrounded as he is by merciless ene mies, bound almost beyond motion, the eyes of the captive return the fierce looks of the masked men with unflinching defiance, and not a trace of fear is upon his handsome face. With a smile upon his lips, he looks death in the face, for he is Diamond Dick. and the masked men are the road agents, led by mander Sol. At last the disguised chief speaks, in a low, solemn voice : "Diamond Dick," he says, exultantly, "we ha".e you at last in our deadly circle, from which no enemy ever escapes with life." "Ye've got me sure enuIT, Salamander Sol," the dauntless captive retorts, "but ye were afraid ter face me when armed, and caught me only by a cowardly blow, struck from be hind." The masked chief laugl.ecl sternly. "What would you have?" he cried mock ingly. "Look upon us as we stand you, and count our numbers. A week ago we an swered 'here!' to twenty-four names-tonight we reply to only thirteen. Where are the others gone?" Diamond Dick made no reply, for well he knew what had thus more than halved the number of the Salamander band. "Listen to my words, Diamond Dick, for they are to be the last you will ever hear," the masked chief continued, slowly. "About a week ago you entered a small ravine not far from here, where you found the body of a woman who had been killed not an hour be fore. "That woman was Dora Carey, and, Dia mond Dick, it was my hand that drove that dagger into her heart! "Ah, that announcement surprises you, eh? Well, hark well to my words, and I will relate l!er story to you. "Some years ago, how many is not material, I lived to the east of here in a large citv. My life was a bright one; I knew not the meaning of crime, my position in business was influential; immen e sums of money passed through my hands. "About a-well, a short time ago, I became acquainted with Dora Carey, and not long after her beauty, wit, and winning grace brought me to her feet. "And then and there, mad with the wiles of l:er bewitching beauty, I declared my love, and was accepted by her with a warmth that drove me into a heaven of joy. "Bnt she had been reared in luxury, and my position in business. while it was high, as the word goes, did not bring me the revenue nec essary to support her in the manner to which she had been accustomed. "But after a season of love-making, in which I laid bare my situation of the present, and my hopes of the future, she, Dora Carey, threw out hints and suggestions of how I could improve my financial standing, and finally defined a plan which horrified me, but which, in the encl, influenced by her loving smiles and arguments, gained a hold upon me that I could never shake off. "Her plan was that I should rob the-rob


DIAMOND DICl(, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. my employers of a sum of money on which we could live for the rest of our lives in luxury and ease, and I did it. "It was a : 1 easy matter for me to do, but unfortunately I was caught in the act by one of my employers and I killed him, and when the murder and the loss of the money were discovered I directed the search for the crim inal in a direction which cleared me of anything like suspicion. "In crue course of time Dora Carey and I were married. I resigned my position and travelled with my wife on a quiet honeymoon. "But I soon discovered that the woman I had married was not the pure, loving being I had imagined her. Instead, she was designing, cruel, selfish; and two months after our marriage she des erted me for another, and I dared make no move, for she held in her pos session proofs of my crime, and most of the money I had stolen. "After she had fled from me, I drifted out here and the wild, border life of the West delighted me. I threw myself into it, body and soul. "I became known to a lot of men, good fel lows, and bold c..nd we formed the circle of the Salamander league; our earnings in these disguises have been immense, for our order extends into prominent places, and we receive full information when to strike and where. "You may say that you never heard of us before the other night, and our words would be true, for our disguises are varied and many. "But now to the point. "Four weeks ago Dora Carey came to Lightning Lode and sought me out. "She represented herself as penitent for her past career, and prayed with tears in her beautiful eyes and all the blandishments of her fascinating form and face to be taken back into my affections "But I laughed at her; scorned her proffered love, and laid before her in plain language a sketch of my outlaw life, into which she had driven me with her temptations, and then left me to carry my burden alone. "I maddened her; aroused all the latent fury of her nature and she swore that she would place me behind the iron bars of the j ail, if she died for it. "But I treated her threats with contempt until I found out that she was corresponding with the authorities to deliver me into their hands. "This sealed her fate. "A decoy letter supposed to have come from a noted detective, led her to the ravine where you found her body. "And there I killed her-ay, took her life with as little regret as if I had slain a rabid dog. "But before we could dispose of the body you and your pard came upon the scene and obtained a knowledge of the crime. "You know what happened afterward. "We came down upon you that night, not with the intention of killing you as our threats implied, but to scare you away from the city of Lightning Lode. "But you wou l d not have it so, and your re sistance cost four of the Salamanders their lives. "The night of your arrival at Lightning Lode we had our plans arranged for your re ception. "But we failed again and seven of our clan fell before your deadly weapons. "This was the last stroke which rent all feelings of mercy for you into shreds; a ing was held, a vote cast, and you were unani mously condemned to die. "That was your sentence, and here is the place where it is to be executed-not by hand or weapons of ours, but by the fangs of the wild animals who make this their home. Here you shall remain, bound_ and unarmed, until the fierce beasts drink your blood and rend you limb from limb. "Such, Diamond Dick is to be your fate. You have seen fit to investigate an event which concerned you not the least; you pitted your single strength against the power of the Salamander Circle; your evil nature-your deadly bullets cut us down man after man; but your work in life is over. "And I am done-I have said what I wished." As calmly as though reading a story aloud the outlaw-chief had spoken, without an accent of anger in his voice; plainly, simply he had related the history of the part of his life, and the terrible deeds of murder and robbery which found eventful epochs in it. And Diamond Dick, despite his bold bearing and fearless eyes, felt a sensation in his heart that was almost akin to despair; for he rf'alized that he was doomed to a death horrible to contemplate even, and still more awful to pass through. But his features never flinched, and he returned the glance of the masked chief with a look of real contempt. "You have played yer game well, Sal amander Sol," the captive said, slowly, "but ye've bucked agin the wrong man when you tackled me. You have slung out yer story in a singsong style, but ye didn't sing it all. An' jest remember what I say ter ye now, the time will come when ye'll hev ter give us ther c horusay and the hour is nearer than you know." "Well, let it be so," Salamander Sol re marked, coldly "\IVhen my turn comes to face death you will find me there." I


26 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BES'f WEEKLY. "But who ther devil air you ennyway, Sal amander Sol? An' why hev ye bin chasing me around so much?" Diamond Dick de manded. "Who I am does not matter; even my own men do not know that," Salamander Sol re plied, quickly. "But our enmity to you was reasonable enough. You are a detective; you were sent into this country to hunt down a man who happens to be one of our band. You know more of the murder of Dora Carey than we wished, and you had openly avowed the fact that you would investigate the deed, and hunt down the murderer. You were playing against the Salamanders of Saddle Range with all your faculties of invention and power, and the blood of eleven men called aloud for vengeance upon you." "Oh! as fur thet, I reckon ther men brought death on themselves," Diamond Dick replied, with a sneer. "Ye must a sized me up fur a way down critter ter let a lot o' no 'count fellers drag me whar they like." "They were obeying orders; they were not merely human beings, but agents of the Sala mander Circle." "I see! It was not man agin man; it was man agin moles." "Call it what you wish, Diamond Dick, but even moles have teeth, and you shall feel them." "How? In ther back o' ther head when I ain't lookin' ?" The Salamander chief made no answer, but gave a signal to his men, a fev of whom advanced with strips of cloth to gag the voice of the bediamonded captive man. before this could be accomplished Dia mond Dick cried out, fiercely: "Ye dogs !-coyotes! and you, ye leading cur! I know ye all. Tie me fast, if you wish, and let the wild beasts rend me piece by piece; but, living or dead, I swear, by the God above us, that I shall follow you in form or spirit! Ay, hunt you down as merciless as a tiger in the jungles hunts its victim, and place you each and all where you belong-on the gal lows." Thus far they allowed him to speak, but then the gag was thrust fiercely into his mouth, his head forced back and firmly lashed to the trunk of the sapling; and thus, un armed, helpless, even denied speech, the cap tive was left to his horrible fate-either to die of starvation or be devoured by the savage an imals who roamed about the forest. Their captive thoroughly secured, the masked men tramped out the fire, and at a sharp order they left the glade, no one uttering a word, and each one moving with the s oundlessness of a phantom. Salamander Sol only said a few parting words to the bound captive. "Diamond Dick, you came here to arrest Christopher Conover," he whispered into the ear of the bound man, "but no living creature shall ever bring him within the grasp of the law." Then, with a fierce glance through the loop holes of his mask, the Salamander chief flitted away ill'to the darkness, and Diamond Dick was left to his fate. After a time, assured that he was alone, he exerted all his Herculean strength as far as he was enabled to stretch or break his bonds. But the effort was useless. He had been fastened to the sapling in a manner which re sisted any power he was enabled to exert, and he finally desisted in despair. Then he noticed that the gray streaks of daybreak were struggling with the twinkling light of the stars. At the same instant he saw the bushes in front of him parted, while a form dressed in the disguise of a Sabmander advanced cau tiously toward him, crouching low down, and making no sound audible to the ear. The eyes of the masked being were fixed upon the face of Diamond Dick with a curious look, and in its hand was the gleaming blade of a long l:nife. Then a horrible conviction flashed into the mind of Diamond Dick. This masked being had been secretly sent back by Salamander Sol to make his death a certainty CHAPTER IX. CACTUS BLOSSOM PLAYS HER GAME. But while our hero, the dauntless Diamond Dick, was in this terribly perilous position, where was Cactus Blossom? It will be remembered that she was a wit ness to the interview between her pard and his double the day following the one on which the fight had taken place in the Gold Brick gaming saloon. When Crystal Chip left the saloon, with the sternly avowed purpose of hunting down the murder of Dora Carey, the girl had re marked to her pard : "Well, Diamond Dick, what do you think of this dagger racket?" "I'm derned 'f I know, Cactus Blossom ; I'm all knocked in the head about it," Diamond Dick had replied in evident disgust. "It warn't Crystal Chip's dagger as killed ther woman, thet's sure." "Not his weapon but for all that it might have been his hand which drove the blade you


DIAl\lOND DICK, JR.-'l'BE l30YS' BEST WEEI{LY. 27 hold into the heart of the beautiful body we k und," Cactus Blossom remarked, coolly. "What reason or suspicion have you to believe him capable of such an act?" the Faro Queen, who was present, inquired quickly. "Wall, it was just this. Crystal Chip was too ready, in my estimation, in producing evi c!cnce that this dagger was not his, and in re lating a yarn that seemed to throw him way ou t of the affair. But I'll bet the bottom l 1 ather of my boots that he kn ow s something 01 the affair, I don't say that h e struck the blow, but that I su spe ct him of it." "Oh, ye'r 'way off ther trail, my gal," Diamond Dick had cried, decidedly "I war sus p ect in' Crystal Chip. too, when I heard this dagger war his; but he proved that it warn't, an' th e r story lie told about the two weepons seemed straight to me." Cactus Blossom smiled in a peculiar way. "You may be right, pard," she said, calmly, "and I will say no more about it just now; only, the subject was on my mind, and I gen eially let out what I'm thinking of." "Bet yer lif e ye do thet, Cactus Blossom," the man of diamonds had observed, with a sig nificant laugh. "But you must be more cautious in throw ing out such hints in this town," the Faro Queen rather angrily interposed again. "No such man as Crystal Chip would listen to such a charge as you make without punishing you swiftly and terribly." Cactus Blossom drew her form haughtily erect, and her big eyes gazed defiantly upon the face of beautiful Faro Queen. I say what I think, and I generally mean what I say," the fair-faced girl retorted, sharply. "And if my talking don t suit my hearers, I've got something that will back my words and maybe please them better." She significantly tapped the revolver in her belt. The face of the Faro Queen flushed hotly, and she bit her lips to keep back an angry re tort. For some unknown cause the two women did not admire each other, and if the truth be told, Anni e Darley was jealous of the in timacy existing between the girl pard and her handsome companion. There seemed a feeling of the same order with Cactus B l osso m who at l east affected to look with decided disfavor upon the good fel lowship and admiration with which her pard sought the presence of the Faro Queen. But Diamond Dick, seeing the l ooks pass in g between the two, put in hastily: "Well, me Cactus Blossom let us hunt up some lon e ly spot whar we kin think this curis thing over." And he accordingly led the way from the gaming den. For the next week as I have relat ed, the girl and her handsome pard had scouted about the town of Lightning Lode and its n eig hbor h ood, list ening h ere and there, trailing lik e sleuth-hounds on sus picious clews and alert a& weazles to catch any indication that would carry forward their plans On the afternoon of the clay when Diamond Dick was captured by the Sal amanders, Cac tL1s Blossom was l y in g among the underbrush oi the forest, resting h e r weary form after a Ieng tramp, when suddenly a quick, shrill whistl e rang on her ea r A f ew mom e nts after, faint but d istinct, an answering signal came from the dire ction of the t own. Then the footsteps of a man f ell upon the kc.en ears of the girl and, parting th e underbrush cautiously, she bent h e r piercing eyes upon th e invad e r of h e r solitude. "Ah!" she muttered to herself, a satisfied li ght in her eyes, it is C ryst a l Chip." It was non e other than the bronze-haired man of crystal fame, and h e h alted not five paces from where the girl layconcealed. Then once more the peculiar whistle came from his lips This time it was answered much nearer, and a few moments late r a sli g ht-built man, of quick, lithe motion and c r afty-looking face, parted the bushes and advanced t oward Crys t a l Chip. "Hello, ch i ef, when did ye g it back?" the man said, familiarly "The boys kind o' thought ye'd gon e under, as we didn't hear from you fur so long." "Oh I'm alive yet, and I haven't been idle ," Crystal Chip answered, quickly. I've be e n up near D enver, Bob and I tell you I've been working up some bonanza schemes." to hear ye say it cap; 'ca u se we've had i t easy here of late." "Well, you will have enough to do pretty soon. I've got some big schemes on hand. A re all the bo ys in ?" "I r ecko n they air all around town, somewhar, cap' n. "That's well Bob, and I want you to give th e m all notice to come to the meeting place in the forest, and to get there as soon as p o s sible." "All right Crystal, I'll let them know. Do ye want all hands?" "Every one that you can give the order to. Tell them to get to the m eeting place inside of an h our; we h ave important work to do, and it must b e done at once, or we are lost." what's up?" the man mquired in surprise. "Well, here's the whole business in a nutshell. While up a t Denve r I learned that the Salamanders have been shadowed by one of the cutest d e t ec tiv es in th e business ,and that


28 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-'fHE BOYS' BE8T WEEKLY. the most damning proofs of our work have been sent into the hands of the authorities by tbis police spy. If we wish to exist. we must get this fellow out of the way, and that is what I want the men for-to lay out some plan to get rid of this hound of the law." "The devil!" exclaimed Bob. "But look here, Crystal, air this Diamond Dick and the celebrated John Sherry, of Denver, one an' the same, as you once kinder give it out to the Salamanders?" "Hardly; that was a bluff. But Diamond Dick is the Denver detective's spy-his ad vance courjer, to to speak. I've learned that much for a certainty. And, in addition to smashing our Salamander organization, this Diamond Dick-curse him-has an individual object in running me-Chris Conover, alias Crystal Chip-down to the gallows' foot on his own account." "Hello!" cried the subordinate outlaw. "No wonder you want the chap out of the way, an' without no delay nuther." "I should say not," moodily. "But what air he got agin you personally, cap? I don't exactly understand." "Bob," said Crystal Chip, after a reflective pause, 'you are about the only one of our Salamander crew that I have ever confided much to of my personal history." "Thet you hev, cap; an' I'm much obleeged, you bet. You'll never regret trustin' me, cap." "I know that. Listen to me, then. In the first place Diamond Dick and I had a private difficulty in another territory long ago. Never mind the cause. But it was after that, that in view of my resembling him so much in form and features, the idea occurred to me of carrying out the re3emblance to a yet greater extent by copying him in his style of dress and ornamentation, as you have remarked, for the purpose of cdmplicating matters, and perhaps even mixing up his personality-of which he is proud as Lucifer-with whatever slack business I might thereafter be engaged in. See?" "Don't I?" admiringly. "A moughty shrewd dodge, too, cap!" "That for one thing. This for another, and the worst of all, that Diamond Dick knows me as the murderer of Dora Carey. And, how soever I may glaze the thing over, he doubt less knows, or nearly knows her to have been my wronged and in3ured wife, Dora Conover; and probably also suspecting the real truththat I was prompted to get rid of her to satisfy the jealousy of the Faro Queen." "Whew!" exclaimed the minor villain; "and she's now gone back on you, too, charmed, like enough, by the softer pale mug an' real diamonds and assumed rough style of Dia mond Dick hisself ?" Crystal Chip ground his teeth and stamped his foot in a manner that was a sufficient an swer in the affirmative. "But, look here, boss," continued the other, "that's one thing I can't adzactly understan' ?" "What's that?" surlily. "Ef this galoot's the real, genuine, original Jacobs Di'mond Dick what hez made sich a name for h1sself fur an' wide, what's become o' the little boy, pard-Bertie, ez they called him, an' ez was b'lieved to be his son-the snap shot little golden-haired chap-that allers traveled with him, an' was growin' skeercely less famous than Di'mond hisself ?" "Humph! That's as much of a mystery to me as you. It's a girl parcl, now, it seems; an' she seems as dead a shot as the boy, for that matter." "You're right, Crystal," rejoined Bob, sternly. "Not a doubt of it; the sooner we put both John Sherry and Diamond Dick under ground the better it will be for us." "No more, then, Bob!" continued Crystal Chip. "So get away with you, and hurry up the boys all you can. I will leave you now and proceed to the place of meeting." "All right, cap! count on me." The pair separated, the man, Bob, plunging into the bushes, and moving rapidly toward Lightning Lode. And then, with stern set features, a curious flash of satisfaction gleaming in her eye, a revolver gripped fast in her hand, Cactus Blos som l eaped to her feet, and, like a panther on the scent, she followed Crystal Chip. "He spoke of the Salamanders," the girl muttered, "and I believe, by the living light above us, that Crystal Chip sometimes calls himself Salamander Sol." For nearly an hour she kept the rustler's form in sight, but at the encl of this time the man halted in an open glade, and the girl realized that the place of meeting had been reached at last. With the utmost caution she drew herself into a thicket of bushes on the edge of the glade, from where she could see and hear all that passed. It was not long after their arrival when the men from Lightning Lode appeared, all eager t0 hear the news, of which the man Bob had given them an inkling. When they had all put in an appearance, Crystal Chip called them to order, and related to them much of what he had already said to Bob. A plan of action was soon arranged, and how successfully it was carried out we know, for these men whom Crystal Chip addressed were none others than the Salamanders of Sadrll e Range, and he was their leader. But before disbanding, after all the details


DIAMOND DICli, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 29 of Diamond Dick's fate had been agreed upon, the leader of the Salamanders drew a letter from his pocket, and, calling Bob to one side, spoke with him in a low tone. But Cactus Blossom, who had been a keen observer of all that passed, heard the closing sentence of his orders. It was as follows: "You will find a horse in the usual place, so make all the haste you can, and let no one but him whose name is upon the envelope see that letter." "All right, cap; you can trust me." And, shovingthe missive into the bosom of his shirt, Bob plunged into the forest, while shortly after the rest of the men dispersed. Then a wild desire to re:i.d the contents of the letter in Bob's possession seized upon Cac tus B lossom. Quick as a flash she sprang from her con cealment, and followed the messenger of the Salamander chief. But the man had obtained a long start, and it was some time before the girl caught sight of his figure. Finally, Bob was drawing from a hollow log his white Salamander disguise, when Cactus Blossom almost stumbled over him. Quick as thought a revolver flashed in the hand of the Salamander, as he hc:ard the approaching footsteps, but Cactus Blossom spran g behind a tree just in time to escape the shot. Then one of her revolvers was l eve led at the h ead of the Salamander, and her voice rang out, shrill as a bell: "Drop that pistol, and do it quick!" "\i\T all, what do ye want with me?" Bob in quired, seeking meanwhile to conceal the white disguise which betrayed nis connection with the road agents of the :::iaddle Range. "I want the letter that Crystal Chip gave you an hour ago," Cactus Blossom said, stern ly. A wild light flashed into the eyes of the man. "A letter?" he gasped. "I've got no letter." "I know a heap sight better; I heard all that passed in your meeting-your Salaman der Circle, as you call it-and saw your chief hand you the envelope. And I want it." "Then take it if you can!" And with a snarl of rage, Bob leveled his revolver, and fired. But Cactus Blossom was on the watch and simultaneously her weapon rang out as the man fired. The Salamander uttereC.: a low cry, and fell forward upon his face, a bullet in his brainin the forehead, just between the eyes The next instant Cactus Blossom was searching the motionless form, and she soon held the letter in her han d. The superscription of the missive read: "Seth Brownson, Gunnison." And in one corner of the envelope was written: "Important. S. S." Tearing open the envelope, Cactus Blossom drew out the paper it contained, and read the following: "SETH :-You can go ahead now with vou r plan. Dora Carey is dead, and the only man who knows anything about us will b e put out of the way to-night. I mean, of course, Diamond Dick, the Denver detective's sleuthhound in this big game. Make claim to the girl's estate in my name, and I will furnish you, in a few days, with all the necessary doc uments which will prove me the heir, and help you in the scheme. I have been up to Denver, and have made arrangements with the au thorities to hand over the men of the Sala mander League, of which I am the apparent head, and everything is in the right shape to go ahead on. I want to get to Chicago as soon possible after delivering up the Salaman ders, and get a grip on the girl's property. So I will make it a point to see you day after tomorrow, and deliver to you all the details nec essary to work our scheme to a successful end. I remain, Seth, truly yours, "C. CONOVER (Salamander Sol.)" Cactus Blossom uttered a cry of satisfac tion, as her eyes glanced upon the signature. "So we have you at last, Crystal Chip, Sal amander Sol, or whatever you choose to call yourself!" she exclaimed. "You have played your game under the imitation character of a man fifty times your superior, but you have played your last card, and it's our turn now!" Then, securing the letter about her person, she drew forth the disguise of the Salaman der, and was quickly arrayed in the white garments. In this garb she was a witness to all that passed between the Salamanders and Diamond Dick. And, of course, it was the girl whom the captive saw advancing, knife in hand, not with the design of taking his life, as he had im agined, but to free him from his bonds. Cactus Blossom gave a low laugh, as she saw the look of astonishment upon her pard's face, when the raw-hides which bound him were cast off. "I've been near you right along pard," she cried, gleefully. "Eh is it you, my dearie ?" Diamond Dick cried. "Right from the g round up! and I ain't been laying around doing nothing either. Just r ead this l etter." Diamond D i ck read it through carefully, and his eyes blazed with light. "Wal I think we w ill cl ose i n ; t hi s l ette r is


30 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYa:, BEST WEl<:J\LY. pcsitive proof that C r ystal Chip is the man we want." \Nal, I should remark." "All right then; to-day we wind up this affair. Meantime I want you to go down to the rz.vine where we found the body of Dora Ca rey. You will find John Sherry and his men there; guide them here and I will meet you; make the Dest time you can, and give this note tu the detective." .. All right, pa rd," and after a few more in structions, Cactus Blossom hurried a way on her mission, while Diamond Dick disappeared within the forest. CHAPTER X. CONCLUSION. The meetings between John Sherry, the Denver detective, with his posse of assistants, and Diamond Dick, which was brought about, unde1 Cactus Blossom's clever guidance, about noon of that day in a spot of the for ested wilderness, about midway between Lightning Lode and the secret rendezvous of the Salamander gang, was cordial and satis factory in the extreme, as we may well im agine. Sherry now expedited his orders, and the entire party, which numbered about a dozen in all, including Diamond Dick and Cactus Blos som, forthwith set out through the forest, under the girl's guidance, to effect the surprise of the miscreants at their rendezvous. The expedition was successful. In less than an hour the glade was com pletely surrounded by the posse with the utmost secrecy, and not long after the entire gang, including their leader and Drownson, had gathered at the spot, apparently without so much as a suspicion of the stee l y net that was being closed around them with the relentlessness of doom. Fortunatel y for the captors, the Salamanders were there in much greater force than had been anticipated, and it was subsequent l y learned that members from the various ramifications of the nefarious band, far and near, had been apprised to c.ttend the gathering by Crystal Chip, with the express intention of ultimately betraying them to the authorities in a so l id body, and thus lessening tlhe chance oi h is falling a victim to the personal revenge of one or another of them, or their friends, after securing his own dastard safety in flight. T h ere were fully thirty of them altoget h e r and, with the except i on of their leader him se l f and the foxy lawyer from Gunnison, who were undisguised, all were duly white robed and masked after the regulation manner char acteristic of their organization. As the detective and his assistants com-pleted their silent and secret cordon around the glade, the Salama.nder leader was just on the point of making his crew what seeme

I DIAM O ND DICK, JR-THE BOYS' IlEST WEEELY. 3l "Bertie-the Bertie of o ld and don't you furgit it, Mr. Imitation Diamonds!" sang ou t the heretofore Cactus Blossom, with her mocking laugh, in which the re was no longer any mystification for th e baCfled clcs p e raclo chid, for J o hn Sherry, detect ive or for any one else. "Only that, and nothing more, Mr. C rystal C hip murderer of your poor wife, Dora Carey, and h eave n only knows how many ot h e rs-Mr. Crysta l C hip alias Sala mander Sol, alias Christopher Conover, and what not! A nd I say, old man, don t you feel already a littl e hempy about the throat?" But Bertie, otherwise Cactus Blossom, was a litt l e too previous, after all; inasmuch as the villainous Crystal Chip was desti ned to cheat the hangman's noose, even at l ast, though at the expense of even a more dreadful fate At this juncture ther e was a pandemonium of shouts and yells, and a mob of savage, reckless men, with a sparse sprinkling of the gentler sex, appeared upon the scene. It was the mining population, out for its Sunday frolic-in fact, nearly the entire community of Lightning Lode, with Hank Darl ey, the gambler, and the fascinating Faro Queen, in their lead In a few minutes they had all mastered the particulars of the wholesa l e captu re, and everything that it portended Then, as the whisky bottles pass e d from hand to hand in their maddening rounds, the surrounding wilds were the witnesses of such a savage picnic as had doubtl ess never desecrate d the Sabbath solitudes of the Rocky Mountain wilderness before. It was finally climaxed by a body of in furiated m e n making a sudden rush, overpowering the detec tive and his assistants with good-natured violence, seizing upon Crystal Chip and his lawyer pard, and bearing the m off into the woods, lik e so many jaguars hurrying off with their prey. These two w ere soon suspended from the nearest tree, and then the mob returned and served the remainder of the Salamanders in like manner. So it happe n ed that, though no prison e r s were taken back t o D e nver, the detective e nterprise in behalf o f law and order was none the less a signal and substantial success, so far af. act u a l results were concerned, and we ca n depend upon it that, on the way thith e r, the return passage of Diamond Dick and Cactus Blossom through Gunnison was characterized b y an ovatio n that was in striking contrast with their rough and misunderstood treatment there, such as was d esc ribed in the opening o' our story. TIIE END. The next numbe r of Diamond Dick, Jr., will contain'' Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Deputy," hy W. n. Lawson. APPLAUSE. I see in the latest issue of the Diamond Dick. Jr., that you would like to know how the boys lik 1 hat weekly. I like It tip top, and would like to hav" t11e set, but a m not abl e to afford it. I think it b Lhe best weekly on record. LEO GREENWOOD. N e w York. Thanks for your kind words. I have read many weekly publications, but h.:tve found none to compare in interest with the Diamond Dick, Jr. I have taken it two years, a n d a m more eage r for it now tha n when I first began. Cowan d, N. Y. LLOYD BATES COLLINS. Your experience is one common t o all the Weekly's readers. '.rhanks for your warm praise. A cting upon your recent advertised request. we assume the liberty of writing to express o u r opin i o n of the Diamond Dick, Jr., Weekly. W e consider the m the most fascinating stories of Western life w e have ever h a d the pleasure of reading. K indly convey to the author of "Nick Carter" the request tha t h e h ave Kid K ent appear again in the very near future. We would suggest that Diamond Dick, J r ., t ake a trip East, and tha t h e get his hair cut (unless h e cont emplates becoming the m a nager of a football e leven) a n d wear civilian's clothes. W e think he ls much like the modest peerless, unassuming h ero of heroes-Frank Mernwe ll. It would be a grand thing to have him meet Frank. We send our best wis hes. WILLIAM DAVIDSON. CHESTER A. DeGRAFFENREID. Atlanta, Ga. We you cordially for your good words for t b e Dia.111011d Dick, Jr. Youl' suggestion has been h a11Cled to M r Lawson. We hav e been readers of the Diamond Dick. Jr., Weekly from the first number to the present issu e, and we all pronounce lt the best and most Interesting d e tective story we h a v e e v e r read. T h e l.Jlamond Dick, Jr., and Tip T o p Weekl y are the two leadin g libraries. We congratulate Mr. L a wson on Ill s excell ent sklll as a write r for h e certainly is a spl en did author. We admire Handsome Harry the most next to Dia m ond Dick, Jr. We think the old "Sarpint" Irresistible, but w e admire Diamond Dick, Sr., too. W e hope Mr. Lawson wlll stlll l e t us hear from him, as we w ant to see how his claim p ans out. No. 113 was just splendid. We wis h the Diamond Dick, Jr., weekly long life and success. THE BOYS OF CLARKSBURG, W VA. The boys of Clarksburg show a very kee n and int elligent appreciation o f the merits of t h e Diamond Dick, Jr. Mr. Lawson Is muc h g ratifie d by your kind words, and on his behalf and our own we thank you. 1\ Great Series! F R ANK MERRIWELL'S BICYCLE TOUR ACROSS THE CONTINENT Comprising Thirteen Issues o f the '1...'i p Top Week:1 y Complete in No. 5 of the TIP TOP QUARTERLY, with all the original illuminate d illustrations. Admirers of Frank Merriwe ll should have this book by all me a ns. Price, 50 Ce1-its. Sent by mail, postpaid, on r eceipt of price by STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 81 Fulton S t ., New York.


fiigb PriCS Jf r On Uacation--.._ THE ME01\L LIBR1\RY. Jf money Saving triumpb. Oliver Optics Books for ten tnts. There is a line of classics for you th-the books your fat h ers read-the books you want to read t he books the boys and g irl s will r ead and like as lon g as the English language endu1 es. They have done 111ore t o shape t he mind of American boys for the last fifty years than any othe rs. We refer to th e writings of Oliver Optic, Horati o Alger, Edward S Ellis, J. G. H olland, Lieut. Lounsberry, Harry Castlemon, e tc. These na111es are fallliliar wherever the American flag floats. Unfortunate ly, they have heretofore been procurable on ly in expensive bind i ng at from $1.00 to $1.50 each. The average boy has not ,ot $1.50 to throw away. Ten cents is nearer his price. We have made the t e n cen} booif t he leader with the elder readers Now we are goi n g to do the same thing for th e boys, and give the111 th eir favorites in a form in every res p ect equa l t o ou r well-known Eagle and Magnet Libraries, at the uniform pnce of ten cents. Thousands of boys have asked u s to issue thi s line. Thousands m ore are r eady to buy it 011 sight. There is no line like it in the world. We can justly call it the Medal series, as every book will be a priz e winner. lt will con t ain no story that the boys h ave not approved as a "standard.'' They have bought them by thous a nds at $1.00 and up wards, and now they can get them for TEN CENTS A COPY. MEDAL LIBRARY No 1-The Boat Club, Oliver Optic. No. 2-Cadet Kid Car ey, Lieut. Lionel Loun sbe rry. N o 3-All Aboard, Oliver Optic. N o. 4-Lieutenant Carey's Luck Lieut. Lionel Lounsberry. Others Equally Oood to Follow No. 1 will be r eady the latter part of J an u ary, and the succeeding numbers will follow weekly. Order them once If you cannot ge t them send to us. Rem embe r thes e are 121110 books, printed from new plat es, with elegant covers, and are the" real thing," and only TEN CENTS A COPY STREET & SMITH, Publishers AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY. Many people imagine Lhat a photographer's camera Is n dltllcult machine to ham.lie, nnd tha t the work is dirty nud disngreeable. All tills ts a mistal{e. Photography ls n clen11, light, and ple asa11t acco11Jplishme11t, within tlle rench of all. The cu.mera will prove a trie11d reporter, and helper. \Vtth u. Yery i11e xpe11sive n.11y boy or girl can now learn 11otonly to take good piclnres, hut pictures that there ls everywhere a. ctemand for at r emunerative prices. A comple t e g uid e to this fnsci11nling art, AMA'l'li:llH !IIANUA L o.v PBO'I'OARA 1 nv will hA 011 receipt of ten cents. Address !lfANUAL UBRARY 25 Rose St., N Y. WRESTLING. History tells us that wrestling was the first form of athletic p astime. Without cloabt it gives stre ngth ttnd combined wltll a11d pliability, to til e 1i1nbs, vigor to the body, coolness and discrimloo.tiou to the bead a nd e lasticity to the t e m .. p e r the whol e forming an energetic combin ation of the greatest power to be found in man. The book is entitled PROFESSOR M:ULDOON'S WRESTLING. It is fully Illustrated and Will be sen& postpaid on receipt of ten cents. Address .MANUAL LIBRARY, ZS Rose Street, New Yori<. OUT-DOOR SPORTS. Complete h1structlons for playi11g mnny o f the most pop11Jar ou ot-door games ls fonnrl in this took. 'rile games are illustrated and very easily masterecl Price 1 en cents. Address MANUAL LIBRARY, 25 Rose street New York. Diamond Dick, Jr., Quarterly. rrue earlier issues Of Diamond Dick, Jr. are now on ea.le in the form of Qnarterl1es, ench inclndi11g 13 consecutive issues o f this tavorite weekly, together with the 13 origiual il111mi11nted illustra tlo11s, n.ud a11 elega11t cover in colors. The price i s 50 Cents per volume, for wt1ich sum they will be sent by m ail post-paid to any addreBB in the Unllegant cover i11 colors. Tile price is 50 Cents ver volume, for w hi c h sum they wi ll he sent U y mail post-paid to a11y address iu the Uulted Stu.Les N o. I. No.2. No. 3. No. 4 No. 5 No. 6. No.7. NOW READY. Nos. 1 to 13 of Tip Top Week ly. Nos. 14 to 26 o f 'l'ip 'l'op Weekly. Nos. 27 to 39 of 'l'ip 'l'op Weekly. Nos. 40 to 52 of Till 'I'op \Veek l y. Nos. 53 to 65 of 'l'ip 'l'op Weekly. Nos. 66 to 78 of 'l'lp l'op 11eekly. Nos. 79 to 91 o f 'rip '!'op Weekly. It your Newsdenler has not go t the QuarterJies, remit direct to the pubiishers, & Sl\IJTH, 81 Fulton St. N, Y


Dianiond Dick, Jr. STORIES OF THE MOST FASCINATIN G WE S TER N R OMANCE IN WHICH THI S HERO IS THE LEA D ING CHARACTE R CAN ONL Y BE FOUN D IN THE DIAMOND DICK, J R., A WE E KLY LIBRA RY. $ .:132 Pages. Colored Cover. 32 Pages. Back numbe r s alw ays in stoc k. Price, post=paid, F ive cents e ach. i7-Dia m o nd Die l Jr. 's, Divin g 8 u :t; or, At Work ln t h e Fl o od ed Min e 78-Dia mon d Dick, J1 's Cir c u s ; or, AU In A t t h e r J uln JJa n ce. 79-Dia mon d Dic k J ., and th e Hoboes ; or, H a n d some H a rry ln a N e w Role. SODiamond Dick, Jr. s T e x a s Trump; or, Th e Horn e ts of Hopscotch. 81-Diamond Dick, Jr'.'8 W alk Ove r ; or, A D e ad Easy Gam e at Dou0 h Spoo u 82-Diamond Dic k Jr. 's Gr eat Old Pard; o r Hand so me Harry's Hi g h es t Honol's 83Diam o nd Dick Jr.'s Warning; or, A Chip in a t th e JJast L a p 84-Diamond Dic k Jr. s Sub stitute; or, A Blo c kade That wns Rai sed. 85Diamond J)i ck, Jr.'s Tri c k y T elegrams; or, 'rhe N e w Sc hoolmarm at i::iu g al' N ot ch. 86-Dia mond Dick, Jr.' s J)a ngerou s B e t; or, One W ay to S av e a 8 7 Dium o nd Dic k, Jr. as Sta tion .Agent; or, Fun and Fight at Flu s h C ity. 8 8 Diamond Dic k, Jr. 's Ord ers; o r H a ndsome Harry i n an Up T o D a t e IJold U p 89Dia mond IJick, Jr.'s l 'toTI Gall; or, A Piece Not in th e 90-Dia m ond Dic k Jr.'s Puzzling Purchase ; or, A Bundl e of l fao-s W ell L ined. 91-Dia m oncl Dick J r s l\fat c hl ess M a te; or, 'l'wo o f a Kind Agains t a Full H o u se. 9 2 0i a m oncl Dic k Jr. s Front Seat ; or, First Come First Se rv e d 9 3 Diamon d Tr.'s D y n am i te Bla s t; or, .A B o l e Jn th e wall At Bnzza rd Pa ss. 9 Dia m o nd Dic k J r ., S a v es th e r wins ; or, A Verdict '! bat Did N o t Go. Dic k J r 's U h all' M ark; o r, T o u gh Nu t J a c k 's Disapp e arance. 9o-Dia m,.nll Dic k Jr., Traps a Tra pp e r ; or, A T en der root 's !'a l e o f t h e 't i ght M a11. 07Diarnond Dic k J 1 .'s Wid e -Aw a ke Whis tle; o r, D own liI'a k es o n a N e w '!'nick. 9 8 H a n dsome H arry s !lot ll o rse Pl ay ; or, A Run in with t h e B ad M a n F r o m Giuto n 99-Diarno n d l>ick, Jr.'s M ysterio n s Ally ; or, In Dou b le H a m ess for a Big Deal. JOOA Freez e Ont For A Life; or, Diamond Dic k, Jr.'s R e s c u e in the Nick of''rime 101-Dia m ood Dic k Jr. s .Aerial Tussle; or, A Des p erate Chan c e to i:iave a Life 1 0 2 -l;>ia mond Hick Jr 's Diamond Dirk ; or, M eeting a Greaser On His Own Ground. 103-Diamond Dic k Jr. Draws A Prize and Sells it For a Photo graph. l04---Dasbing Diamond Dick; or, The Tigers ol 'l'ombstone. 105Diamond Dick, Jr. Calls a Hand; or, Reading the S i g ns ror a Noted Out law. 106Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Private Mark; or, Jerky Just1ce at Jericho Junction. 107-Dia mond Dick Jr. s Pat Pointer; or, .An At t empt at a Game of Bmfr. 108-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s Vigilant V i g il; or, One Eye Open in Pedro's Tavern 109Dfamond Dick s Death Trail. 110Diamond Dic k, Jr,'s F eatherweight Friend;. i or, A Large Weight in a Sm all Package. 111-Pia mond Dick, Jr s Silken Knot; or, A 'l'an- g l e 'rhat Work e d Out Well 112-Dia mond Dic k Jr.'s Photo g raphi c Find; or, A Flash Light Clue t o a Fortune 113-Dia m o nd Dic k 's C laim ; or, 'l 'b e Gold Bu g of F r isc o 114-Dia mond Dic k J r .'s Foothill Favo rite ; or K e n o Kar'! in Hun g r y Hollow 115 Diamond !li c k J r.'s Hurric an e J-lnstle; o r A R o u g h Dia m oud Deep U ut. 116 lJiamond Dic k Jr.'s :-'ac k , f S an d; or, T urning the Tabl es o n th e Minin g \ V o l ves 117-The ::>bad e of Diamond D i c k ; or Th e Gho s t of th e Min e 118Diam o n d Dic k Jr. 's Kid Glo v e Ga m e; or, .A Tend e rfoo t C rook in the Wro n g D e al. 119-Diamond Dic k Jr.'s P e n Stro ke; o r A N ew W ay t o P ay Old Sco r es. 120-Dia m o n i l Dic k Jr.' s Big Coup ; or, A Quic k H es p o n se to a C r.v for H elp 121-Dia m o n d Dic k s Double; or, The Crystal Chip o f G unni son 122 -Dia m o n d D i c k Jr. s De puty; or, A R eturn 'l'i c ket Wi t hou t Charge. STREET & SMITH, P UBL ISHERS, NEW YORK. For Sa1e by all Newsdea1ers. ,. I t .: f


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