Wild Frank, the buckskin bravo, or, Lady Lily's love

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Wild Frank, the buckskin bravo, or, Lady Lily's love

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Wild Frank, the buckskin bravo, or, Lady Lily's love
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Arthur Westbrook Co.
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1 online resource (31 p.) 20 cm.: ;


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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Adventure stories. ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
026007289 ( ALEPH )
07325366 ( OCLC )
D22-00039 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.39 ( USFLDC Handle )

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t.:opyr lght 1881 1886. by Bead l e & Ad ams. Ente red at. Pos t Otflce. N e w Y o rk N Y., a s second clas s matte r Mar 15. 1899. No. 38 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO Cleveland, Ohio Vol. III WITHOUT lllUCB APPAR!':l

1881-1886, by Beadl e & .a, 1ams E ntered a t PoRtOtflce, N e w York, N Y as second c l a s s m at. t e r. !1la r 15, 1899 THE l\RTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland Ohio l\Tol. II] WU'HOllT lllUCll Al'P..!.RBNT EFFORT, WILD FRANK PITOHE O HUI INTO T HI!: POO L HEA-'1118et 1118 DEl.8 B R.41i,lllSBRIG W ILD L Y IN :l'HE AIR.


I Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. Wild Frank, THE BUCKSKIN BRA V O : OR, LADY LILY'S L OVE. BY EDWARD L WHEELER, HOR OF" D EADWOO D DICK NOVE L S "ROSE BUD ROB" NOVELS, "BOSS B OB," E T C., ETC C H APTE R I. THE WOU NDED STRANGER'S GIFT. IT was a moonli t n i ght o n ttre vast expanse o f rolling country near the Powde r Rive r. F o r mile upon mile it stretche d a way toward the eas t in undulating billows divided by tiny valleys and with no t a tree visible to the nake d eye. The night was,keeoly cold ev e n for the month of December, the air being filled with bitina: frost, yet clear and pure. The m co n whi c h rode at its full a cros s the blue vault overhead bathed ihe landscape b e low in a m ello w radian:;e whi c h made the night nearly as light as the day that had preceded-i t A horseman dre w r ein upon the crest of a land billow, som ewhat rugh e r tha n its surrounding neighbors, and swept the prairies with his eagle glance, an express ion of kindling admirat10n corninf; over his bro wned features. Jt is a b eautiful night, ain't it, Bess?" h e said, patting his c oal-blac k mustang on the neck. It reminds m e of tbe night old Spotted Tail and Ills party gave us a whirl, over on the Loup. I wondo r if there's any reds around, to-night." He unslung a field glass from its bolster, and gazed long and earnestly through it, s weeping the landscape on every sid e "Nary a varmint, I guess, was the conclu sion as h e put up the glass I reckon they're off on a raid som ewhe re, or else they'd b e ala.yin' for me Ha! ha! maybe they're sic k of layin' for Wild Frank l" He chirruped t o hi s h ors e and away the faith ful mustang gal lop e d down the hill s i d e and across the valle y t o the n ext billow, and away and on like an a rrow s o swift h e went. A mile was quickly spent, and Wild Frank was just crossin g a n othe r ravine or v a ll e y when he beard a peculi a r cry. Instantly h e reined Black B0S:l back upon h e r haunc h es and listened, his features gro win g s u d d e nly stern in their expression. Boy of seve nteen summe r s, thoug h he was, daily e x p erie n ce o n the frontie r from infancy h 1 d taught him the well-known maxim to lo o k before leaping." Wild Frank, tho u g h in years. and short i1;1 stature w a s strong and rug ged, and the clear cas t of hi s countenanee, and the eag l e glanc e of hi s e ye, told better than words that h e was a son of the frontier, brave and d !lring to a fault. He was c l a d fro m chin to toe in buc kskin, with a bearskin cloak as cape abou t b is s h o uld e rs, and broadbrim s l u u c h h a t upon a h ead, who se curling brown hair s w ept his s houlders His weapons consisted cif a pair of r evolven and a knife in bis belt, and a rifle slun g a cross Ills back, and tills h e now unslung and brought into hand as be dre w r ein. "'Shi Bess-b e quiet," be said softly. "It w asn't no anima l that tbe t yelp. Mebbe the r e are r eds iu t h e vicmity. Listen I They did li$te n the a s well as bet rider, and w e r e soon r ewarded. A lon g m oaning cry came floatmg to them on the c risp brecze--ca m e fro m a clump o f alder bus h es that g r e w in the ravine, but a f e w yards a w a y "The r e I know'd it wasn't an animal ki-yi !11 Wild Frank said. "No r it ain't a u Indian as give t h a t pee p I o pine I'd best investi g a te. H e g uided Black B ess c lo se t.o the tlll c ket, and dis m o unted. P arting the shmbbe r y b e pee red into a s ort o f clearing that had b ee n made in the c e nter by the use o f a kmfe. H e r e a sce n e was r e veal ed to his gaze that sent a thrill of sympathy through bis heart, and a c hill of h orror to attack him. Lying u pon the ground, partly supported Oh bis elbo w was a man, with a full beard and un k empt hair-with haggard eyes and features, the fotter bloody from fl es h wounds Besid e this strange r was a little girl some two y ears old-a pretty little thing she was, with sunny hair, and tast aslee p with her little head pill owed against the man' s breas t "Thank God!" the woundoo stranger uttered, as b e saw Wild Frank. "I was afrai d it was an Indian coming to finish m e." "But, it ain't, you see," the y oung scout re plied What's the matter? Done for?" The stranger nodded his bead in the affirma tive. "Yes, I am woundOC. beyond repair,'' he re plied, sorrowfully. "The Indians gave me chase, and I escaped to this covert, but not u ntil they gave me a bull e t in my side to remember them hy. It don' t bleed externally, but I am fast filling up insid e and cannot last muc h longer." "Well, tills is too bad, sure enough," Wild Frank said. "Is there n othing I can do for you?'' "Yes, there is," the strange r answered, g l anc.ing at the child, piteously. I have not mau:y lninutes to live and I mus t leave m y lit tle girl alone on a pitiless w o rld. GOO knows how I have sufferecl. for the past few hours in fear tha t I should die ere J could make any pro vision for h e r, and s h e wculd be left alone here upon the prairies to die fro m starvation. Oh! my boy, you surely will not l e t my innocent babe com e to that! T ell me that you will not!" "You can bet I won't, stra nger! I don't kno w much about b abies to be sure f o r w e n e v e r had many up a t our ranch, but I'll take the little on e if you St1y so and do t h e b esl I know bow. 'l'b e m as kno w s Wild Frnnk, w ill tell you be n e ver l e t e v e n a dog w ant for grub. " \}od bl ess you my bo y. Take her and call her M yrtle Car e for h e r tenderly ; t eac h h e r t o reve r e h e r Goel, and H e will bl ess you for i n She bas n o mothe r, poo r b a by, and Roon wil! have n o father. Obi it is a bitter cup I have quaffed."


Wild F rank, t h e Buckskin Bravo. 3 And tears trickled down over the face of the wounded father fast. don't grieve my friend," Wild Frank said, kneeling beside him. I ain't much v e rsed in the matter, but there's them as says there's peace and haopiness in the world beyond this. I'll take your gal, and see that it is cared for. Here. Kiss it, and I'll take it out where it can have a better bed upon my blankets." He tenderly raised the child so that the dying man could kiss it; then the latter drew a tiny ebony box from his pocket, and pressed it into the young scout's hand. "Take that," he said, "and always k e ep it with you. lf ever any question arises that you want to know who Mirtle r eally is, you will :find the neces sary prool in that box." Wild Frank accordingly shoved it into his bunting-sack, and then carried the babe from the thicket. Laying it upon the grass, be care fully arranged a bed out of blankets, upon his mustang's back. Placing his protegee upon this, he strapped her down so that she could not fall off-then leaving his mustang to graze, he returned to the thicket dell A change had taken place. The stranger was outstretched, prone upon the earth, rigid in limb and feature, and with blood oozing from his mouth and nose. One pitving glance then the young buck ::ikin kmght turned and retraced bis step s to bis gorse. CHAPTER II. A WIFE'S UNFAITHFULNESS. Two men met upon the streets of London, and paused, with a nod of recognition, the elder of the two extending hi> band, which the younger man took with seeming reluctance. "Good-evening, Sir Ralph!" the elder man said, cordially, "Just through your d u ties at the bank eh?" I aU:, your lordship,'' Sir Ralph replied, rather stifHy, and in surprise that he should be hailed upon the thoroughfare by the moneyed aristocrat, Lord Mt. Morey. I left the office but a few moments ago." "So I inferred you would, and strolled this way to intercept you. Step over to my office, Revere, for I have something of importance to tell you." At your request, my lord, I will do so," Sir Ralph responded, bis words and tone indicating that be would much rather decline than accept the invitation. Nevertheless be did not refuse bis lordship's arm, and the two sauntered along the busy 'Change toward Mont Morey's broking-house. There was a marked contrast between these two men, noticeabl e to an observer. Lord Mt. More y was a man of portly stature, with a florid fleshy face, brown, dull eyes, irongray hair, and side-whi skers to match, and was what would have been classed a business and a society man combined. His manner was habitually easy and suave, and his general appearance attractive, for he dressetl richly i..!!.S well he might, being one of the J1abobs of the west End. Sir Ralph Revere was dark both in complex ion, eyes anr\ '.lair, and wore a heavy black mustache, which lent him a rather brigandish ap pearance. Traces left by trouble about his eyes, told that bis life had not al ways been the easiest and most succes s ful, and the y spoke tmly. Although knighted, he was not wealthy like Mt. Morey, his title being the means of his position in the --Bank, -as director and acting cash ier. His dress was far from elPgant, as compared with that of Mt. Morey, yet his manners were !"efined. A short walk brought them to bis lordship's el egantly appointed private office, where they became seated. "Now, then,'I suppose you are wondering why I brought you h ere, Mt. Morey said, tossing him a ci gar and lighting one himself. "In truth. I am rather in the dark," Sir Ralph repli e d. "And mv hours of leisure being limited, I trus t you will be brief in what you have to say, my lord." In that respect I will try to be obliging. You probable know that of late I have Leen an QCcas10nal visitor to ;rour lodgings, in Lynn Place, durffig your busmess hours at the bank!" I have heard as much,'' Sir Ralph replied with darkening brow, "but Cecil always denied it, and therefore I never bothered to ask my lady about it." Mont Morey smiled. "Cecil is French you know," be remarked, "and was bribed. it was the truth you heard, R e vere. I have called upon your wife, Isabel, several times. It was first upon solicitation pre ferred by a note in her handwriting. I found her in a wretched state of mind, complaining bitterly that you did not fulfill your promises to her." "In what respect, pray!" Sir Ralph demand ed with sudden anger. 1 Ohl not from negl e ct, my boy, but from in ability to kyep her. That is to say, your purse was inadequate to the bills she must make in order to bold her own in her social circles. Then, too, the lodgings you provided were far from satisfactory to her." Sto:i;> I will not listen to this!" Sir Ralph cried, bis dusky eyes ablaze with passion. "Is abel is proud and ambitious, I'll admit, but she bas.always been reasonable, and accepted with good grace such as it was in m:r power to provide." Ab I yes, my boy, because sbe did not wish to worry you. You will r emember that Isabel was ranked among the beauties of social London when you wedded her, three years ago, and knew not what it was to be in cramped circum stances, until her uncle renounced her when she took you. She bas not lost any of ber l:leauty yet, and the natural desire to queen it in society still clings to her. You will also remember I was a form e r favored suitor, until you stepped in, by some mistake a reputed millionaire. Your mon ey, youth, and bnght promise won her from m e I did not rave nor seek tb.(inside of a lunatic asylum, but quietly bided my 1ime. I knew she would r egre t choosing the young for the old, and it bas prove n so. On finding her so miserable I kindly lent her a few thousand pounds to satisfy her current needs, and have continued to


4 Wild Ft'a.nk the Buck1kln Bravo. favor hei: thus. Yesterday she confessed her love for me, and begged m e to take her and go to Canada or AmeriC'a I was thunderstruck, and reasoned with her the scandal such a move would causti, but she would hear to nothing. She declared she did not, nor never could love you as a husband, and should seek a divorce if she could not obtain h e r freedo m in any other way. [ finally told her I would come to you, and offer you t.en thousand pounds to leave the country and never return. This will her the freedom she so much desires and will start yon anew in another country. 'of course you would not care to live with one who can neve r l ove you, and there is but one course for you to pursue. "Nol" Sir Ralph said, gazing'atthefloorin a diued sort of way. "I would not live with her, if all is as you say. But before I can be lieve it I must have bett.er proof. I must have the proof from her own lips." Perhaps her hand writing will do as well," his lordslup said, tossing a tiny perfumed el'.\vel o pe upon the tabl e at his elbow . She directed me to give it to you." Sil' Ralph seized it1 almost savagely; it needed but-glance to convmce him as to the origin of t h e graceful'fe:ninine chirography. A n d with such feelings as can better he imagined then described, he perused the contents: "Sm RALPH:-"LYNN Pr..&cE, .August 1 You will have he ard a ll but my confirmation of the truth ere this, and it cannot add much to your grief to know that these few lines are to confirm his lordship's words. Go hence, I beg of you, k nowing my sincere pity for you, and nev e r cast one simple thouo;h\ on the whose hand has wrecked your life. Pierre wi ll bring baby Lily to the Bon Ton Gar den to-night Take h e r, and leave Lo ndon forever. ISABEL." Sir Ralph was upon his feet, stern and erect, as he finished reading. "Tne train leaves for Liverpool at nine tonight," he said. "I will leave on that train!" CHAPTER Ill. SHADOWED FROM ENGLAND. "BuT, hold," Lord Mt. Morey said, as Si" Ralph turned to depart. "Let me first give you the t e n thousand pounds I offered you." "Never!" R evere replied, turning on him, with flashing eyes. I will not sell a wife's honor, even if you stand ready to purchase, and she b e willing. Henceforth, sir, consider me your enemy!" He then turned and left the office. The door had scarcely closed behind him, when a little withered-up old individual emerged from an inner office, and took .the seat Sir Ralph had lately oecupied. "Well, well1 it worke d like a charm, eh?" be sa.i?, wiping his watery eyes, and putting on a pair of goggles. "Capital," his lordship replied. "Revere leaves London to-night, and then, off goes Isa bel to Dr. Parrot's private asylum, while Cecil steps in as Lady Isabel, marries me1 and I get the magni.ficeut fortutle. Hal ha! it's a great scheme "Why not marry Isabel instead of the maid 1" the withered man asked. .,,._ "Because she'd die first, before she would wed me. She hates me, and my only wonder is that she has not long ere this denounced me to Sir Ralph. It is possibl e however, aft.er she finds herself caged, t hat she will take me. 1'1J try it, before I make swe of Cec il." "How is she to l>e trapped?" "Easy enough. Dr. -Perrot visits her in person to inform her that her husband has been seriously hurt in front of bis own private hospital, where he li es in a critical condition Very naturally, she will fly to hlm, and into a padded dungeon, several of which the doctor has at his command. How like you the idea, Caspe r Slick?" You are a shrewd schemer my l ord shrewder than I gave you credit l r being. Is it sure that Revere will leave England?" "Positive. I've an-anged it so that it will be necessary ha!" Sir Ralph went to Bon Ton Garden that evening1 and found Pierre with the child as Lady lsaoel's letter had promised. Pierre w a s the only man servant the y had ever kept-an honest fellow, who never made it his business to mind any one's business but his own.Sir Ralph did not stop to ask any questions, but took his little two-year-old girl and left the garderi. She l ooked wonderingly u p into his face, and h ugged c l oser to him, as if satisfied to be with him. He took a cab and was driven to ttie Liver poo l train, arriving at the station just in time to purchase his ticket, and get aboard. Something had warned him t? lal?8-1'. e him self, and, there no one in he had .no difficulty in clipprng off his mustache, with a pair of scissors, and donning a full false beard of sandy t int. Scarce a moment lat.er two rough looking men came along the platform with lanterns. QuiC')dy laying baby Lily on the seat, h e threw his overcoat over her, and, leaning over, his e lbow on the windowsill. The men with the lanterns ,came along, and paused. Humph I" one said. I told r,ou it was more likely the Folkstone train, Dick. "Maybe it was," the other growled, doubt fully. "The chap ain't here, anyhow. Then, they gave Sir Ralph anothen searching glance, and passed on. They were after met the wronged husband muttered. In Heaven s name, what foul con spiracy can n o w be working against me?" It was a question he was not able to solve, just then. His opportune disguise evidently had saved him from trouble. Three stations out of London a long-whiskered, portly man got into the compartment and took a seat. When the train was once more under motiO.'.I., this person touched Sir Ralph upon the shoulder, and said: '' Revere, I know you. The baronet wheeled around with a smothered curs&. Who are you 1" he 'demanded, his eyes 4ig desperately.


Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. 6 "I am J oe Demond, the detective." was the reply, "and I am sent to find :.i. defaulter named Sir Ralph Revere. Do you think I will be like ly to finrl him, here?" Sir Ralph did not reply. He was dumfounded-borror-struc k. "What do you mean?" be after a i!one: silence. "In God's name, what's the matter?11 "Ohl nothing unusual," Demond replied. Lord Mt. Morey suggested to me to-night that the bank of which he is a director, and you have until to-night been acting as cashier, 1s l acking in funds, to the amount of ten thousand dollars, in bonds and paper, and sus picioned you. I jumped ahead one train to in-tercept you, and here I am." This is an outrageous lie. I left the bank without drawing even my own dues, much l es s stealing," Sir Ralph cried, indignantly. "If you don't believe me, search me and my effects." "That is needless exertion," Demond responded, quietly. "If you will take painstoputyour hands iu your side side coat pocket you will find the neat little package where you were seen to pla-00 it." With a gasp of incredulity, Sir Ralph obeyed, and drew forth a package, as the detective bad said. "Heaven help Ifie! this is an infamous conspiracy to ruin me;" be cried. I ne..ver put that package in my pocket." "That is uot for me to say, Sir Ralph. My duty is to recover this money, and h elp you to s lide out o f"England." "Wbatl you h elp me to escape?" "Yes Tbe bank h as detectives waiting for you, at Live rpool. I am employed by your friend, Mt. Morey. H e directed me to recover this money, put it in my own pocket, and help you dodge ttle force at Liverpool." I cannot see through it all," Sir Ralph said, slowly. "It is all in explicable to me." "Be that as it may, the next thing to consider is your escape: There is an old English woman of my acquaintance in the next car, who w ill take your child, muffle it up, and take it aboard the steamer as her own. 1 have au old man's disguise with me for your use, and wiU fix you up so Satan won't know you, after the guard takes your ticket." .. And so it was arranged. When Sir R a lph left the train and went aboard an ocean steamer, at Liverpool, it was as an infirm old man, while baby Lily was bundled up and taken a.board by an old emigrant. woman. The detective, Demond, was on hand, and by lying threw sPvera l detective!' off the scent, who had assembled to nab Sir Ralph-at least so the baronet was told by Demond. And it was not until tbe vessel was well out of the Mersey that the baronet removed bis dis guise and felt easy and recovered his child. 4.nd when he reviewed bis narrow escape from a conspiracy to ruin him, be could but thank Mt. M orey and Demond, little dreaming that it was all a put-up job, cancoot,ed by the former, to expedite his departure from English sheresl CHAPTER IV WILD FRANK DECLINES. THE scene once more reverts to the broad prairie, but at a period fifteen years later in tbe onward, stride of this life we live. Fifteen years from the keen November night when Wild Frank of Montana had left in 11is charge a little baby over whom to watch and care. He bad been a youth. then, but now the bar:d of time bad matured him to robust manhood, as he swept across the Wyoming plains to-night, on the back of a thoroughbred mustang, an. exact mate of his Black Bess of fifteen years ago. A man of barely medium bight, compactly built, yet clean-limbed, wiry and muscular, be sat bis saddle with the reckless ease characteristic of the true son of the frontier, bis elab orately-fringed buckskins and slouch bat pro claiming that be still followed the calling of a prairie scout. Iu face be was changed. His features were more tanned from exposure, and a long, sweeping mustache and goatee fu.. getber with bis wealth of curling hair, wlnch swept bis shoulders, .gave him a dashing appearance. His weapons, consisting of a rifte and revolvers, were of Government pattern, and richly trimmed. His course pointed westward to-rught, and be urge d bis horse with an occasional application of the spur, hi s eagle sweeph:Jg the landscape before him, inqmringly. The night was clear moonht, as bad been the memorable one fifteen years before, only void of tbe stinging coldness, the air now being soft and warm. "On, Startle," the scout "Said-" on, my boy I It's but a matter of five miles from yonder motte to the Papanaugh's, where food and rest await US both." I The mustang kept on persevering-ly, though it was evident tbat be was wearied from a long journey. Presently they approacbed,1t r.rairiemotte or a small body of timber, and Wild Frank reined bis horse down to a walk, for he knew of a spring therein where water could be obtained for bimsel f and steed He bad not gained the corner of the timber, however, when a horseman suddenly dashed out in view, and drew min before tbe scout's path. A glance sufficed to warn Frank that it was a red-skin, and bis rifle came to bear upon the In dian with wonderful The Indian gave a !?runt in the negative. "Wild Frank fool P' be said, raising bis rifle with the muzzle pointed upward, to a ramrod in which was attached a white rag. Scar-Face come not on war-path-come to talk.". "It's lucky you cbaneed t.o bavetberagrPady. my fine buck," the scout said with a grin, "or you'd be smokin' the eternal pipe o' peace long afore this. What d'ye want with Wild Frank, 'Scar-Face sent to meet Buckskin Bravo on prairie," was the stoical reply. 1 "Obi iO Wyoming Bill sent you, did he'!''


a Wild Prank, the Buckskin Bravo. i'rank demanded, his brow darkening. He trotted you oft down here to shear off my pre cious top-knot, eh1" and the scout's rifle crept once more toward his shoulder. "Nol" Scar-Face cried Hbstily. "Wyoming Bill uo l onger want Wild Frank's scalp. He sent message which explains." And riding near, he took a folded paper from his belt and handed it to Wild Frank. Opening it, the Buckskin Bravo glanced over it, and then read it aloud in a voice filled with sarcastic contempt: OUTUw's RA.Neu, N o vember 20, 18-. "WILD FRANK:After many attempts ml\de to capture you, none of which hav e been successful, I have dropped that game You have been a baid pill fer us to swaller an' w e've concluded we'd rutller hev a man o' yer grit as a fri end than a f oe. So e f you'll quit warrin' ag'in' us. an' join the make y e my first lieutenant. an' whisky is plenty, an' you'll find our lawless life a heap more moral an' eddifyln' than yer own, Send an answer back by Scar-If ace. Yours tru!! WvolltING Bn.r . ,, A wild laugh escaped the Buckskin Bravo as he tore the paper into bits. So the bold lion of the hills has got his fill with the prairie panther, eh!" he said, mocking ly. "Well, I am not surprised. My only amazement is that Bill should not know me well enough from experience to be assured I would tear off mr own scalp before I'd acceRt such tenns from him. A bitter foe to outlaws, villains and ruffians at large, from infancy up, I am not likely to change my feelinj!;s toward them at this lat he rode, over this meeting with ScarFace. So d eep were his reflections that he did not arouse until he heard the crack of a rifle and the whiz o f a bullet close to his head. It took but a glance to discover the author of the attack. A horseman was just disappearing over the crest of a prairie billow, not a thousand yards in advance of him. Wiih a shrill yell Wild Frank gave his mus tang the rein, aad daRhed away in hot pursuit, bent on learning who was bis new foe. His first tb'ougbt was that it was some mem ber of Wyoming Bill's infamous gang. But on gaining the mest of the billow, over which his assailant had vanished, he saw his error. Below, in a. snug little pocket valley, was pitched a camp, where several camp-fires were burning in front of marquee tents, with a couple of prairie schooners and teams of mules near at hand. A man was just dismounting from a horse near one of the camp-fires, and a knot of sever;J m e n and women clustered around bun. With his rifle read y for use, Wild Frank gal loped down into the camp, expecting overy mo ment he would be fired upoI!, but in this was happily mistaken. The people appeared to be more alarmed than bE>lligerent, and when he drew rein they stood huddled together and regarded him with doubt ful glances. "What do you want here!'' the dismonntAii horseman, a burly, well-dressed man, with heavy side-whiskers, asked. I came here to inquire what bus iness you have to practice target shooting upon inoffensive travelers!'' the Buckskiu Bravo r eplied "I don't generally swallow l e1 d pills without know ing why the y were prescribed." CHAPTER V. WYOMING BILL, THE OUTLAW. PAPA.NAUGH'S RANCH was not a city. Some half a dozen log cabins and their outbuildings were scattered at.out on the prai rie, of which John Papanaugh owned tbe largest of the lot and it bore the same name which clung to the settlement. The population did notexced seventy, not counting the transients1 and were for the most part h erders and their ramilie The Ranch was a combination of tavern, post-office, grocery store and trn.ding post, pre sided over by John Papanaugh or his pretty sis ter Ella, who was known far and near as the Humming Bird. The Papanaughs were half-breeds, but despite this facEi._ no prettier maiden existed on the bol' ders of vv yoming than Humming Bird. She was of medium hight, well r ounded and as a fawn. Her complexion, though Just a trifle dusky harmonized well with her joyous features. and the brilliancy of hE'r mag netic black eyes1 and her hair when allowed to fall back; over n e r shoulders reached half-way to her feet, in a silken rippling wave. Except when angered, she was ever joyful and nearly always singing. PoSSEISSed of a rich, pure voice, and a knowl edge how to use it, none could rival her in song, and she won h e r Indian name of Humming Bird: from her musical proclivities. John Papanaugh was a swarthy, herculean fellow very reticent, and inclined to mind no one's bus iness but bis own, He never spoke un less spoken t.o, and when aroqsed to anger, he was known as a rlesperate fighter. Papa.naughs Ranch was a general sto 'lping paint for trappers, hunters and overland parties bound for the mines, and it was not unusual for the population of the town to be considerably in crease d by these transients. Yet, strange to 911.Y, on that same night, on whic h Wild Frank rode down into the tourtsts' camp, the Ranch had a scarcity of custom. Three men only, besides John Papanaugh, sat


Wi'd Frank, the Buckskin at a table playing a game of cards1 and punishing cqnsiderable whisky to wasn aown the dust of tile cards. Two of the three, judging by the dose resemblance, were brothers. Both were burly, broadshouldered men, with heavy black hair, mus tache and goatee$, nnd were roughly dressed. Exposure to the sun and wind bad tanned them to almost an India n color, and, too, the expres sion of their faces was anything but saintly. They were armed to tLe teeth, and mig1it safe ly have b ee n classed as customers. The third man was a slim ind ividual, with apparently but little fles h upon his bones, and a spare, pinch e d face fully as villainous in its expression as those of tbe'two brothers. His mouth was broad, his nose hooked, and bis insignificant eyes were shaded by a pair C'f spectades. He wore a Frenebified mustache waxed to a point at the ends, and was dresse d in a suit of seedy broadcloth, and a misused, out-of-style silk hat. An observer would have set the two first de scribed down as thoroughbred ruffians, and the little man of the goggles a villain. Yet, at Paflanaugh's, the trio were r egarded with no particular disiike by the residents in general, despite the wonderment ever rife as to how they made their living. The little man, Dr. D eering, had first set himself up as a Justice of the P eace, but Wild Frank had proven.him a humbug in that capacity, as he had no papers or authority whatever for sucn an office. He liad then mixed in with the Harris brothers, and the trio loafe d about -without any particular occupation, except once in a while to purchase a few furs from the Indians. Yet they always to have plenty of money, and when hanging about tbe settle ment kept well soaked with whisky. At times thev would be absen t from the settl!'ment for a week to a month or longer, and then would re turn and hang around for as l ong a time and drink gamble and carouse. Perbaps it was from some secret fear of them that the people of Papanaugb's never molested them, for there was suspicion in the mind of more than one that they did not come by their money honestly. To-night they to be more interested in a subdued conversation that ran between them, than in the game of cards tbey were p}aying, and frequent at stolid John Papanaugh, who sat dozmg near the fireplace, with a pipe in his mouth, proved that they w.ere not desirous that he should catch the drift of their conversation. "If he refuses to join us," Dr. Deering said, with a low oath1 "then be must die-that i s all. We've either got to move out, or Wild Frank has." Curse him!" Jim, the eldest of the Harris brothers, hissed, spitefully. "I would like to see him planted, even better than would the boss. For five years hi;'s been pickin' ofl' the gang until there's only four whites left, and devil only knows how many of the reds he's checked ofl'. Yet be goes on killing them, and esGapes the traps set for him. as though possess ed of as many lives as the proverbial cat. Somethiug, truly, must be done." 'I reckon I've got the most cause to com plain,'' Bob Harris growled. 'As ye well know. et's the cussed scout that's turned Humming Bird's thopghts from me." "Bah! you're weak!" the doctor sneered. "Faint heart never won fair lady, you know. If you've got a grudge ug'in' vVild Fi auk,you're the very one best calculated to slip a knife int<> him." "Humph I I ain't a fool," Bob declared, sour ly. "If you'll find a pilgrim about the Ranch, with grit enough to tackle Wild Frank, single handed, I'll buy a round of whisky. Fer one I want him quieted, so I can sail iu and win Humming Bird." l::lo ye'r' bluffed down by the little scout, eh 1" Jim Harris grunted. "Waal, now 1 opine ef it war my love case, I'd tell durned quick wh<> was the bestman-me or Wild Frank. .AU you want to do is to talk turke y to tbe Humming Bird, an' tell her ef she don't marry you her fate is decided. Ef she sees ye mean business, you bet sne' ll come to terms." '"Sh!" warned, as the door to th& Ranch opened. Here comes some o.ae. Ahl the captain, in disguise." A man of great stature hall. just entered. He wasfullyasix-footer, and broadly proportioned. He was clad in browr:. overalls, overshirt and stogy boots, with a slouch hat upon his head, and a cloak thrown around his shoulders. The bat was slouched down to the eyes, and was met by a shaggy black beard that nearly hid the rest of the face, except the nose nnd piercing black eye, He entered '9th a quick glance about the room, and then advanced to where the trio were seated. Playin' keerds, eh?'' he "W aal, I don't keer ef I do take a hand fer Iii drink." When he had seated himself at the table between Bob and Jim Harris, be continued in ll. hushed tone: "'Sh! mum's the word. Big stake ahead. Tourists camped in Pretty Pocket. Old English lord with money_tban Crresus lovely daughte r m th!) barga; n. '" CHAPTER VI. THE TOURISTS' CAMP. THE wors zey are very poor," the Frenchman replied, adjusting a pair of gold-rimmed glaSlles to the rim of his nose. "Ze American no business abroad on ze prairi!'s when ze night falls, for zeo travelPrs to frighten." I opine it is Uf>'!ltl of your business who roams this free r nightfall," Frank said. sternly. "It is evt:Fr t you are a coward, and I can read in your ('..,< 1 that your shout at me


8 Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bra.Yo. was intentional. But for the presence of these ladies, I should be tempted to give you a good sound thrashine: on the spot. That's the kind or a man I am! "Awl ze American really must parding ze French nobleman for refusing to fight. I have ze distingue honor of being Count Alphonse de Rablee, ze chemist merchante prince of ze city of Paris. Ze French gentleman nevar fight ze inferiore in rank." "Ze French coward nevar fight ze bold knight of ze prairies," Wild Frank retorted, sarcastically, "because he is.afraid. Hal ha!" And he wheeled his horse around to depart. "Stop," another man of the group said, commandingly-an older person, with white hair and side-whiskers, and every appearance of advanced age. "Don't be so fast, my man. I will apologize to you for the count, who was merely winning a wager. Re sallied forth on a wai;er that he'd get a s!iot at one of the Aborigines, and doubtless mistook you for one, this being bis first visit to the plains. If this explanation is satisfactory, we should be pleased to have you camp with us for the night, as we are sadly in need of a scout and guide, which I perceive you are." True, I am a scout, but at present not at libertyi:" the Bravo r eplied "May I inquire whom am addressing111 "Certaiuly, sir. I am Lord Henry Mt. Morey, of L ondon, and a membe r of th\;' English parliament e l ect. The lady on my right is my Lady Mt. Morey, and the young lady on my left is Lady Lillian, my ward. TQjj rest of my party is composed or Uount Alphonse d e Rablee1 Casper Slick, a noted barrister, ana Henry Irviug, my footman. Ab!" Wild Frank said, with a slight start of surprise, and a quick searching glance at Lady Lillian, who was one of tbe prettiest maidens be had ever seen-a sunnyfaced, sunny-haired little thjng of seventeen or eighteen, attired in a tasty walking habit and jaunty fur cap. Then he turned to L:ird Ml;. Mdrey. "But, what brings you here on the prairies so late in the season, sir?" "Address me as my lord,' please," the Eng lishman said, austerely. It sounds better, you know-more respectful." I prefer not," Fra '1k answered. There is but one Lord whom IJook up to, and h e is not of flesh. I therefore will address no man on earth as my lord. If you wish to address me and receive a civil United States answer, I am open for a confab. Otherwise, I am not I" "Good for you, scout! I honor your senti ments, Lady Lily cried, with enthusiasm, but Mt. Morey only flushed with rage. "Curse but. your insolence is unpa1don a'!ile I" h e the ground fiercely with oa:ne, and W!Jre it not for ou r unenviable s1tuat10n, from which we must be extricated, I'd have yon horsewhipped within an inch of your life!" I "I dare say," the Buckskin Bravo said, with a peculiar smile. Your condition would prop ably need still further repairs, after such a change. If your health is at all satisfactory, l'ou'd better remain calm, as sudden changes or temperature have been known to result fatally, here in the W "You are right. I'll not quarrel with you," Mt. Morey wisely concluded. "You see, our case is like this: We are a party of English tourists who have been doing tho T erritories for health and pleasure. We started several weeks ago, overland for the nearest raiiwuy point, bound for the States, when our guide-a half breed-took offense and deserted us, yesterday; and here we are, at a standstill, without any knowledge of our surroundings, or bow 1o reach the railway." "A bad fix, sure enough," Wild Frank de clared. You could never reach the railway now, even with a guide-at least, it would be a risky undertaking." "Why, pray1" his lordshlp demanded, with a scar.ed look. Because you'd fall into the hands of one of several bands of vagabond reds, who are lying low for just such picnics as this1 between h ere and the railroad. In addition, there will be a. blinding snow-storm of the blizzard pattern, day after to-morrow, which would be apt to use np what the reds leave of you." The faces of the tourists breame doubly anx ious-all except that of Lady Lily. "How do yon know this to be true?" she ques tioned, modestly. I know tbar's reds, because I'm jus t in from a week's scout among them," Frank replied. "I know there will be a storm from signs taught me by lifelong experienc(} on the frontier." Then what are we to do!" "Yon have a choice of two things: turn back to Papanaugh's Rab.ch, or c _amp nere, and pre pare for a week of winter, or more." 'We will remain here," Mt. Mor e y decided. "And ze scout better go now," the count SD gested, with a frown, noting Wild Franks glances at Lady Lily. Cl;IAPTER VII. THE HUMMING BmD, "You could hardly press me to remain, I fancy," Wild Frank returned. "I have beard said a jealou s Frenchman was akin to a rattle snake bite, and so I will vamoose, until an opportm!ity comes for me to draw the rattlesnake's fangs. Hal ha! Good-night to you all!" "Good-night!" Lady Lily said, earnestly, while the others looked displeased, Count Al phonse in particular ._"I am sure we are all greatly obliged to you, and shall be glad to have you call again." Seeing that the Frenchman was greatly ag gravated, Wild Frank waved bis slouch som brero back, gallantly, and Lady Lily rook off her own pretty tnr cap and returned the parting salute. "She is a pretty maid," the Buckskin Bravo muttered, as h e up out of the valley, and across the l e vel prairie, to t_he westward. "Fair and gra

Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. 9 in his eventful life be bad been crossed by some \ love her t'.' the half-breed girl said. "Humming maiden, fair but over proud. Bird wi11 never marry unless s he can have the A strange fit of moodiness seemed to fall over Bravo. She has said it." him as he rode along, and his head dropped for"Say not so," Wild Frank replied, "for you ward upon breast, with a long, deep sigh have many other admirers worth two like me, The moonlight sbo'l'l'ered down upon his shoul-in a husbandly sense. There is Jack de Herne-ders, as if in sympathy with him, and scintillated as wealthy and worthy a young hPrd e r as we upon several tear-drops that had fallen upon his have upon the border. He would cut off his ueck. right band to possess you He did not arouse until his steed came to a He has never spoken words of l ove to the halt, and then he came out of his reverie with a. Humming Bird," was the doubting answer. start. "Because you never gave him the c hance, from Before him was a circle of l ow g rowin g always hovering about me," the scout declared shrubs, of the sage-bus h order, and within that "You had better go now-it is getting well on circle was a green grassy mound, at the head of into the and John Papanaugh will be anxwhich glee.med a little marble slab, partly overions about nis siswr. grown with creeping vines. "John Papanaugh is no fool," tbe maiden re"AW Startle, wh:y did you bring me h e re, to-plied. "The Humming Bird knows these prai n!ght? h e said, passmg bis hand across bis fore-ries too well to be l ost in a dark night even. head. Did some subtle instinct tell you that I Where is Frank going?" was thinking with sadness of the one who lies "Over to the camp of my pards, on Lily buried yonder?" Creek. It has been a round month since I re-. He slipped from the saddle and went over and ported." kneltbesidethemound;hiscbinrestinguponbis "The Humming Bird will go back to the bandJ and his eyes fix e d upon the headstone over the girl announced "But before she which vines crept clingingly, and proud myrtles goes, .tSuckskin Bravo must promise her one nodded in sympathy. tbin.it--promise it sacredly-swear it!" "There is to be a clearing up of the mystery, is that, Birdie? It is seldom Wild by and by," he murmure.i-" something plainly Frank registers an oath-it is neve1 he breaks tells me that. And if I mistake not, it will rend one." more hearts than one. "I want you to swear,'" the half-breed girl H e again relapsed into silence, and r emained said, raising h e r dusky orbs toward the great so until a touch upon bis shoulder caused him to moon1 which soared overhead-" I want you to start to bis feet. promise that if you cannot love and wed me, Humming Bird I" be exclaimeQ. gazing in you will never love or wed any one else---espe surprise at the beauteous gi;rl who cially the pale-faced, stuck-up girl at the tour stood n ear. "Why are you here, so far from ists' cam." the ranch1" Wild Frank started, so sudden was the thrust. "Because I thought I could find you here, Humming Bird had been near then, at the time scout. Many times the Humming Bird has of his visit to the camp! found the Buckskin Bravo kneeling by this Jone-But he disguised his surprise by a light little ly p,;ave. Why is it so1" laugh. The same answer that I have given to you Oh, as to that, there is no need of exacting as many times as we have chanced to meet here, a promise, for the haughty Eng:Iish beauty Birdie," the scout said, sadly. '' T'..ie grave conwould disdain to be courted by the rough son of tains all that is earthly of one wh ,,m I once h new the plains, even were \le disposed, w bich he is as a pure, true-hearted friend. i never pass this not. The refore there -is no necessity of such a. spot unless to stop in to tbe remempromise, Birdie." oored dead. But, tell me, E:umming Bird, what "I say there is 11 the girl flashed back, stamp-briugs yeu here to searc.11 for me, when you in?. her foot knew not -.Ut what l was far away upon the 'Well, well, we won't quarrel about it," the trail!" scout said, patting her on the head. "You told the Humming Bird that she have always been a friend to me when others would find Wild Frank here, and she came. Sbe have turne d aside. so I will make the promise, was lonely at the ranch, and she yearned to see in a modified way; If perchance I fall m Joye the scout, once more to tell him that she lov es with another, and wish to marry, I will first him." come and ask your permission, and abide by A pained expression shot athwart the Bravo's your decision." features, and he came closer to the pretty half"Good! Humming Bird thanks the Buckskin breed girl, laying one band upon her fair, round Bravo I" the girl said, tears of gratitude entering shoulder. her eyes. She will go now." "Birdie," be said, slowly, "I have on more She turned abruptly and darted 8:way over than one occasion told you that I could not rethe prairie, in a southwesterly direction,_ never gard you in a Jover-like way. From infancy we once looking back until she was out of sight of have known each other, and I have regarded you the scout. with sisterly affection, but not as a husband Then she paused, and shook her httl.e brown should think of a wife. Heart-fI:eef, and hand-fist toward the tourists' cmmp, the expresSion of free, as I am, I prefer to remain for the few years lier face growing dull and moody. yet allotted me to live." "It is the pale-face girl whOlXl Wild Frank "If heart free, then Humming Bird may still is attracted to. No-maybe not, fo;r he has hope that tbe Buell!slHn Bravo will yet learn to long ere this told Humming Brrd he bad ne lO'lle


10 Wild Fra.nk, the Buckskill Bravo. for her. Bird is not blind, however. "True; but we must manage t.o cage him It is in the prairie back yonder, that this so he won't break loose. I have a Frank's love lies buned, and it will never be plan whicn I think will be successful I will see resurrected unless by the proud-faced beauty ai; 1 Scar-Face to-night and arran&e t.o have him the tourists' camp. For Hummine; Bird no hope pounce down upon the tourists, to-morrow is left-no hope is left, except in the grave!" night, and capture them. We'll come here, to-And she burst into sobs or lonely grief. morrow night, also, and if Wild Frank turns up, as I've an idea he will, we'll take him and run him off t.o headquarteni.. Should he chance t.o be here, we'll nab the Humming Bird, whom Bob s struck on, and take her along. When Wild Frank learns that both the gals are gone, h e'll rightly conclude who's got 'em and make a strike for the hills again, in search of our retreat. We'll have spottiirs out, and be fore he is scarcely aware of it, he'll find himself in our power, and at our mercy. How like you the plan1" CHAPTER vur. OUTLAWS PLOTTING. To return t.o thti Ranch. The words of the new-comer caused the three villains to start up interestedly. What's this you say'I'' Jim Harris demanded. "If thar's anything spicy, give us the full particulr!.rs." The stranger glanced cautiously round the room, again, and then continued, in an under t.one: There's a fat stake, if properly worked. A party of English tourists lS camped over hPre, a ways-four and two "'omen, all told. One of the women is a g'bal, and a reg'lar bloomin' primrose, too, you bet! Set it down { n your meJ1orandum, she's my meat. Then there's a grizzled old English cock-sparrow-a reg'lar old ari>tocrat from London, with Lord hit!}hed onto the fore-part of his name-he's the kingj>in of the party, and carries the swag." .1:1ow muchi'' the doctor asked, eagerly. "That remains to be t old," Wyoming Bill re plied, significantly. "You kin bet high his treasury is fat, for these old British skunks don' t go &.-ballooning about the country without plenty of ballast." "Of cour e not," B )b Harris agreed. "'Fhe fruit tastes good, ani there is no reason why we shall not pluck it." "It may prove to b e like Eve's fruit," Dr. Deering suge;est e d, philosophically. "How ever ttie captam is b o ss." "It ca.n be workei like a. cha.rm. There is no need of our e"en venturing a hand. Scar-Fa.ce and the re:l> can swoop down and gobble 'em up, and fetch 'em to the headquarters. Them we e&!l relieve them of their valuables, retain girl, and turn the old 'uns loose on the prairje to graze." "A good plan," Jim Harris decided. "But whi!G we're talking ove r matters, what's to be done with his nibs, Wild Frank? He's been alt.ogether t o o flu s h o' late, t.o suit our notion, an' I he's s'picioned us, too. First we know he'll have us pounced upon by the marshal for bein' connected with you and the gang." "He mus t be planted," Wyoming llill cried, apringing excitedly t.o bis feet. He quickly drop>:>e:l b1ck in his chair, however, with a muffl e d curse. I forgot mvself, so inten<;ely do I bate that scout," be adde:l, in a low, hoarse voice. "I can prescrib 9 no better fate for bim than handing him ove r to the reds, for Wile stake. I ooine there's grease about him to make.him burn first-r'! te." thq doctor said, drawlingly. "But 1s talk. How miiny traps b'l.ve '"e laid for this devil's own, all to no avail. Three times we've had him in our oower'"" only to havA him rescued by his pards-LP-""' u' Len and Eagle Eye." -"It is a bully one!" Bob Harris agreed, elated at his prospect of gaining possession of the Humming Bird without openly attacking the Bravo, Wild Fraqk. Yes, it suits us," the doctor and Jim Harris assented. "Then it is settled. To-morrow night we will meet here, ready for business. I will come in a different disguise, but one that you will recognize wlien she bad recovered from the paroxysm of grief, the Humming Bird turned her steps back t.oward the settlement, mechanically, her face still gloomy and tear-stained. When she arrived in sight of the settlement, she halted, and drawing a little whistle from her pocket, blew a shrill blast upon it. Shortly after a trim Indian pony galloped out from among the cabins, and over to her side, with a whinny of recognition. Springing upon his back and heading him toward the west, Humming hird gave the word, and be galloped a way gracefully. For fully an hour the half-breed girl rode on before she drew rein; then it was in a dee p, rocky canyon that split in twain a range of rugged bills. It was a. dark, lonesome place, where the moonlight did not penetrate, yet enough light crept down from the starry dome above to enable one t.o see a few yards before. Dismounting, Humming Bird left her pony to while she hurri ed on into the depths of tbe .: ... nyoo. All around her rocky walls rose high &.:1d steep, and upon them were enJ!;T!lven strange de pictures of Indians, Rnimals and weapons, 1.;l1iseled ont probably by savage sculptors of centuries past and gone. Taking no nol;'ice of these pictures, the Hum ming Bird hurried on until she camA to where a series of stone steps bad boon cbiseled into the face of the left rot'ky wall. at the top of which there was a round bole in the fe ce of the mountain. no larl?.'er than would admit a person's hand. yet ext.Pnding to untold depth. Asrendine; t.hPSe sroos and knooline: before the itperture, the Humming Bird spoke in the Sioux t.on!!'ne: "Ue;b I GreRt mP.dicine-woman I" A few minutes elapsed, then came back an an..wPr in a voice that sounded strange and sepulch...U


Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. 11 "Who Calls upon Ummai?og, the Spirit Medicine-Woman of the Manitou?'' "It is Humming Bird the girl replied. What wants the hair-breed girl in the mid of night, when earthly beings are supposed to slumber?'' was the n ext query. "The heart of the Humming Bird is sad. Her lover, the Buckskin Bravo, no longer cares for her, and will not take her to bis wigwam. Humming Bird comes to the Great Medicine for words that will bring back the Bravo to her." "It is not in the power of the Great Medicine to change the likes or dislikes of mankind," came from the aperture. "Let Humming Bird return to the Ranch on the prairiPs." "Humming Bird will obey. But first she wishes to ask one favor." "What is that?'' "She prnys the good medicine-woman to put obstacles in the way, so that Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo, may not hereafter meet and love the English ladycalled Lady Lillian." "Who and where is she1'' She is with a party of tourists, encamped upon the prairie ten miles e'lst." Lady Lillian who!" "I do not know." "Who are her companionsY" An English lord and lady, a French count, a doctor, and a valet." "What is the name of the English lord1'' "Lord Mt. Morev." "And the count!1 Count dfl Rablee." And the doctorY" Casper Slick "Very well; medicine-woman will remember the request of the Humming Bird, who ootter look for another lover. Let her choose one of her own race." The pale-face is as much Humming Bird's race as the red-man,'' the maiden returned, then she ttlrned, descended the steps, sought her ilorse, and rode away once more over the moonlit prairie toward Papanaugh's. -CHAPTER IX. ANGEL GABRIEL. WILD FRANK, after parting with the Humming Bird, rode directly t.o the camp of his pards, Laughing Len and Eagle Eye, which was located about four miles northeast of Papa naugb's settlement. The camp was pitched in a tiny prairie valley, or pocket, upon the shore of a little pond, which was fed by a spring that gurgled out from the f'ide of the bill. It was a famous night-stop for overland par ties familiar witb the country, as there was plenty of timber of the chaparral order near at hand, pure water, fresh grass and lots of bu11'alo fish in the lake. A brij!'ht :lire was burning before a solitary t.ent, as Wilci Frank descended the slope toward the lalrn, and around it were gatlhered three persons. Two of them he re&dily re<'ognized-the wiry, hump-backed littlP trapper, !Pn, and the stalwart, brawny ex-Sioux chief, Eagle Eye. The thj.rd persoo ho could not place in bis mem-ory, and yet failed to recognize him even when he rode into camp and dismounted. He was a very aged person, of over medium hight, yet very thin in flesh, with long hair and a great sweeping beard which covered the most of his face, and all of which was of snowy whiteness. He reminded Wild Frank of a picture he had once seen of legendary Rip Van Winkle, as he sat upon a log near the fire, partly leaning forward on a staff, for be was even as ragged as Rip after awakening from bis long repose. "Hello! Back, aire ye1" Laughing Len IITllilted, knocking the aShes out of his pipe. lnjun1" "Rather noisy. Indications are that it'll oo a blustery winter with 'em," the Bucksltin Bravo answered. "Who's this old delegate you have here?" I am the Angel Gabriel!" the old man said, facing about and eying Frank keenly. I ani here to warn all sinners to prepare, for it lacks but a few days of the time when I shall toot my trumpet." "Ohl is tnat so1" Frank exclaimed, but with a smile, for he quickly saw the light of insanity burning deep in the eye s of the stranger. "S<> wi can all prepare to shufile off our coil, ehY" Verily so saith I,'' was the grim response, and the prophet again fixed his gaze upon ths fire, and relapsed into silence. "Yes, that 'tarnal cuss tumbled down inter camp ter-nigbt," Len said, "an' preached dom kum, as long as yer arm, so I reckoned 1t must be so, or h e wouldn't say et. An' I war jest cons1derin' about sendin' Eagle Eyeoverter tl;ie ranch to git a suppll, of tobacco for the trip when I see'd you comm !" Then the scout went off into a hearty laugh, and laughed till he had to hold his sides in pain. "Ugh! Grabel crazy," Eagle Eye said, gruflly. "He big fool like drunk squaw. "No, I am not crazy, or drunk,'' the stranger spnke up. "I'm Gabriel-the great and only Gabriel1 and the toot of my trumpet shall be heard the land." Where 1s your trumpet, brother Gabriel!" Wild Frank asked. "It shall be handed down to me by a regiment of winged m e ssengers from above, in due time," was the wlemn response. Then the old fellow rolled himself up in a. blanket that Eagle Eye had given himt and lay near the fire, closing his wild eyes as 1f for 'What's to be done with him?" Len demand ed, ralling Wild Frank one side, after a while. "He's crazy eh?" "Y somewhere. Let him alone, and he'll harm no one." Get out I He might lift our hair while we'rs sleeping!" ,..._ "Pshaw! I'll run the risk of mine and it's longer than yours. Angel Gabriel's ail right, if you let him alone." He appeared to be Rleeping pt>acefully when the scouts rolled themselves up in their blanket., and they felt no particular fear from his pres enre. Yet it is an old and wise saying that


Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. ances are deceitful, and it proved so in this !Jase. sooner did the distinct heavy breathing of the soouts become audible, than the maniac stirred, tbeu cautiously raised upon one elbow. His eyes were now gleaming with intense 1:mnning. Not apparently satisfied that they were sleep ing, he seized a pebble and tossed it over on the ground near their h eads, and lay quickly back upon his blanket. No stir was made by the pards, which appeared to be proof that they were asleep. The bearing of the prairie scout i9 as keen as the scent of 6 hound, and, unless very sound asleep, it does not require much to disturb him-a fact that the mania& seemed to comprehend. Rising, he took a g<>Q!i look at the surround ii.ngs before making a further move. Then, crouching, he stole cautiously toward where the pards were rolled in their blankets, making not so much noise as a cat might have made. Taking a vial of whitish li'.:luor from bis ;pocket, be held it to Wild Franks nose. Then be repeated the operation on Laughing Len, and next on Eagle Eye. This seemed to satisfy him, for he gave vent to a strange laugh, an1 spurned each of the sleepers with his foot, and, as they awakened not, he knew that they were unconscious. "Now I will know what I want to know," he said, kneeling by Wdld Frank's side and rum maging in his pockets. "They thought I was a fool, but made a grand miscalculation." This seemed to please him, for he laughed long and loud. He took everytb,ing out of Wild Frank's pocket, but failed to find what he sought for there. "Yes, this is he-I was not be mut tered; "but hlil has not the proof-toe blessed proof. Ha I ha I with that I could meet the vultures, and face them out iu their imposition." 1 He was not satisfied still, and next searched Laughing Len and Eagle Eye, and the saddle trappings of the party. But with the same re sult. He t!)en rose to his fe et, and glared about him fier ce ly, paosing bis hands before bis eyes sev Qral times "I have failed. My only hope is to lie in wait for my man," be muttere d, "and get him cor nered. Then, if I don't find out what I want, I'll cut his heart out and eat it." His threat seemed to remind him of some thing, for he went back, remov ed EagleEye 's belt, and strapped it upon his own waist, and then thrust the weapons of the three scouts 1nto it. wildiy, he turned and pranced out of the camp, rn the way a fri sky colt mi ght have done, seeming to b e overjoyed at his freed om. His course he ghaped so that it would bring him to the touris t < camp, but he was destined not to reach it wi thout mterruptio n. He had accompli s hed half the dis tance when there was a whizzing sound, and a Jasso settled around his waist, and threw him to the ground. with a sudden fury, he tore the noose asunder with as much ease as though it had been made of straw, and sprung onc6 more to bis feet with a pair of cocked revtllvers in his hands, to meet-Doctor Deering! "The d-11" the doctor gasped, evidently not expecting the weapons. "Put up your hands!" "He! he!" sneered the maniac. "I won't do it. Free again, devil-free this time for gOOd. We ain't in Deermg' s private asylum now, are wel Ho! bot I guess not. I'd shoot you now, only I've got other matters to attend to. But you shall hear the toot of Gabriel's trumpet, soon-take my word for that!" CHAPTER X. DEERING TRIES A DEAL. DEERING grew livid with raJl:e wllen he saw that Angel Gabriel was prepared and disposed to defend himself. "Fool!" he cried, stamping his foot, "do you not know that your plau is fruitless? Drop your weapons at once, and return to the cave and remain there till I return. "I won't!" Gabriel answered, doggedly Refuse, curse you, and Pll let the blood hounds loose, that nightly howl before the door of your dungeon. They'll make qui>!k work of you.'' Ha 1 ha I let 'em l00<;e !" the maniac replied, with a cunning grin. "They won't hurt any one." "Why not1" "Be.:ause I cut their heads off when I got free. He! be! Mr. D e ering, you've lost your patient! Go seek another. I'm free-free. For years I've been crazy, but, now that I am free, I feel bett.er.. Twice before I eluded you, and the Mother of Satan came to me and anointed the spot on my bead you used to pound. I'll find her. He! he! then you'll bear the trumpet. HA. ha I hat" I ""i" And turning he sped away once more. The moon went under a cloud at this instant, and when it emerge d De ering had lost sight of the maniac. "Curses <;>n my stupidity!" he roared, grating bis teeth together. H I do not recover him, my pie is dough. But, pshaw! it will be no diJll cult m atter to captwe him, if I set the ri ght agents afte r him. And in the m ean time the plau I h ave been so long conceiving has arrived at som e thing like maturity, and it behooves me to strik6 while the iron is bot." With a villainous expression of he placed a mask upon his face, and then struck ofi' toward the tourists' camp at a rapid On arriving on the crest of the hill, overlook ing the camp, he lay flat upo n bis stoma.ck, and took a surve y of the situa tion. A c a mpfire was burning in front of the tents, but no peo ple w ere vi s ibl e near it. "They'v e turned in. lik e ly, whi c h i s jub -t as w e ll for m v purpose," h e muttered. H e the n tried a similar plan to that of Anirel G abriel's earli e r in the eve nin g-burled a sto n e down into c amp. The fall of the stone aro u s in g nri o n e h e boldly rle s cende d into the camp, and began to r econnoi te r cautiously. The large r o f the t.ents seemed to strike his funcy the most, and a keene-dged


Wild Frank, the Buc k skin Bravo. 18 hunting-knife from his belt, he cut a slit in one lide of th11 tent large enough to admit of the 11>assage of a man' s body without trouble He then stood still aud li s tened, to learn if the noise thereby occasioned had aroused any of the :>ecupants of the tent. No stir being audible b.e waited a matter of ten parted the canvas, and peered within. Lord Mt. Morey lay with his head close to the aperture, a fact whic h seemed to inc r e a se Deerillg's satisfaction, for his eye s gle amed, Wickedly. Seizing the }}aronet around the throat with a \>ise-like he haule d him fro m the tent, and then qIDckly thrust the muzzle cf a :revo l ver into his mouth. "There I silence. now!" he commanded, stern ly. "Utter but a singl e peep, and I blow your brains out." Mt. More y was d coward at heart and gre w white with fear. Indeed, most any m ortal would scarcely have envied him his position That's the tic k et," the d octor said, as he witnessed this obedienc e. "Now, the n, put up your paws, above your head, and follow me to the top of y onder billi where we will sit down and have a confid entia cpat on busin e ss." And he proceed e d to walk off up the bill, backward, still k eeping on e hand on his lord ship's shoulder and the r e volver muzzl e between his lips Mt. Morey followed wiih lamb-like submission, and altogether it was a moving t ab leau suc h as had never been seen on that prairie before When they reached the crest of the hill, the doctor motioned his lordship t-0 a seat upon the and assumed a like position himself, not forgetting however, to keep his man cove red. There I we're by ourselves, now," he an nounc ed, with a chuckle of delight. "I went down and tuk you, purty clever like, didn't 11" "I cannot understand the meaning of this strange and unwarrantable indignity," his lord ship growled half in anger, half in fear. Oh I probably not," D eering answered with provoking composure. Thar's many a man as Slips inter ther next world w'at don't expect it till it comes, kinde r sud dint like." "What I you don' t mean to murder me1" the nobleman demanded, in h orror. "We ll, that dep ends how you act," the doctor averred. If you answer all my question s business-lik e and make everything as clear as Taos lubricatin' oil, I opin e I may l e t you re tain possession of your ethereal substance awhile longer. But if y o u go to acti11' up mule ish, I'll guarantee your baggage will pass over Canaan's suspension bridge without any re checking or transfen-ing whatever-you bet!" Go o n. I will answer any question in my pow e r ," Mt. M o r e y humbly answered, his eye s n e v e r o n ce lilavfo g the revolver. "Ob! ye will, e h r Well, the n we'll r esort to busin ess You're Lord Mt. More y, a high-cock olorum from the Isla nd, e h 1" "I a m Lord Mt. M o r e y "He v b ee n travelin' all o ve r the U. S.1 ebf" "I h a v e t r a v e led exten s ivel y in "Bee n searc hin' f e r s o me one1" "I h a v e .. Been advertising f ei som e onet" "Exactly, sir." "Found him!" "I have n ot." "Revere was the name, eh!" "Yes-do you know him?'' "Shut up. What do you want of him1'' "That, sir, is my private business." Look out! Tell me just the solid facts/lf the case o r I ll perforate you." "What can it matter to you!" "A great de>tl. Answe r my question-what do you want of Ralph Revere! Mt. M orey was silent n moment. "It c annot hurt to tell you, as I see," be said. I want Revere to prove an beirship. Years be fied from England to this count.ry, to evade justic e. Shortly afterward a h eavy acy was bequ eathed, as we first supposed to his wife, but afterward found to his daughter. Re vere's flight had crazed bis wifo and she was the inmate of a private asylum. ?io one seemed to know what bad become of f be child, which had been left alone upon the wor'Jd, so I took the matter into my own hands, andl bunted it up. Whe n I produced it, the executors of the de cea se d man vho bad l eft the fo1-tune, wei:e sus pic ious and over-careful, and would not surren der the fortune until they had proof from both of the pare nts. I took them and the child to the mad-house, but the mother would not recog nize h e r own offspring. I then threw the mat ter into the, courts, but accomplished nothing, after y ears of lawing. F o r five successive seaS-ODS I have since toured America, in search of Ralph Revere, but all to no purpose." "The girl you have, of course, is not Revere's own child!" Deering said, in a matter-of-faci wav. 'rWby not, pray!" "Oh I you' d bardlr, lavis h so much time B>d expense on another s child-un)ess you saw a wide channel for reimbursement." Mt. More y smothered an oath. That matters not, sir. know where Revere is, do you?'' Ob I perhaps-again perhaps not." "What will tempt you to tell bis wbere aboutsr' "I am not prepared to set terms to-night. Who has charge of the fortune! "An Eng lish representative of the party on his way to join me upon the way East, now in a few days." "Ohl then I ll wa.it," D eering said. "I'll see you again. And be arose abruptly and took his leave. CHAPTER XI. THE FRENCHMAN WAXES BAD. THE following day was a glorious one fer Nov ember. The sun 'arose in a clear d ee p-blue sky, and flooded mot h e r earth w'.th a brig!1t, warm ligbt1 whic h glis te ned upon the pntll'i e pools anCl stream s, and ki ssed the mountain tops with warm caresses A dim, hazy mist or vapor I seemed to b a n g around the ho rizon, and this alone caused a tro ubl e d expr ess ion t0 come to 111on1 than one brow. fo r it bes pok e what to


14 Wild Fra.nk the Buckskin B r a.vo A storm was but a few hours off-a "blizyour aim and let h e r pass, I'll put a bullet in 2ard," a! it was termed upon. the prairies, which your h ead on my own accord!" is composed of a blinding whirl of snow and Rablee staTted as tbough he had been shot in wind, which lasts all the way from ten minutes reality, and whee led about to find himself conto five days without cessation as the case may fronted by Lady Lily, who had stol e n into the be, and in which no son of the prairie eve r timber unawares. cares to be caught. For it is certain bewilder"Diablo! Ze Lady Lily here1 he gasped, ment and death to attempt to wander in one of flushing, and not knowing how to excuse fum these storms when they last, as usual three or self. four days and it equally dangerous to remain Yes, ze Lady Lily h ere!" young woman still, in o u e place. rerorted, contemptuous ly. "You are a pretty And although the morning was warm and InpuVpy, now, aren't y o u, Gus d e Rahlee1" dian s ummer-like, it did not deceive the settlers Ze puppy I Mon Die u I ze insult, ma'm'se lle-. of Papanaui;:h's, and they could be seen g allop-just t'ink of ze insult. Ze lucky t 'ing you not zu ing ove r diff erent parts of the prairie o cean in man or I chall enge y o u to fight ze duel." que3t o f their respective herds, to bring the m in Bah! you are a coward and sneak, so there I" to corral. Lady Lily retol'too. "Young lady, you can go -"Big Stormi" John Papanaug h said sentenon. I wish to talk to bis honor, ze grande ti6usly, as he stood in the doorway of the Ranch, count!" and with his pretty sister, gazed out over the With a thankful glance, Humming Bird. rolling expanse, which lay seemiugly unbroken! bowe d, and the n sped on to the d epths of for mil es to the eastward-as far a s the nakea mot te. eye could reach. "Bigger storm tha n com es in "And now, sir, what have you to say fo1 years Humming Bird mind Ranch-John go yourse lf?" her l adyship demanded, turning im. hunt up cows. periously upon h e r companion touris t. Ohl no! Letmego for them," the maide n "Nothing!" Rablee r e plied "Ze Injine llll.id. eag.erly. "Humming Bird find 'em easJiOams in ze forest, anl I hunt ze savage and ily." make ze grande catch, and win ze wager of ze "As you like, then. Hurry e m into the cormi-lord." ral or the blizzard'll catch you." Yes, I understand. You'd probably haTe With alacrity the Prairie P e t as she had been harmed the ID.offe nsive thing had I not oppor aptly christened, obtained her horse, and was tuuely arrived. You Frenchmen are cowards soon dashing away merrily across the dun prai-and ruffians, count!" ii e riding with seeming recklessness. "Not so; ze La Y Lily is mistaken." Sbe nad seen the ten cows which composed her "Don't contradict rue-I know better," she brother's herd, a couple of days before, in the answered, with temper. "I came over here to vicinity of the prairie motte where Wild Frank tell you they are packing up at the camp, pceo h'ld met the renegade chief, S car-Face! and ac-paratory to moving over to a place called Papa, corJingly headed her mustang in tbat airection naugh's Ranch. In the mean time while we now are h ere aloue, Alpho n e de Rablee, I want t. 1n the c ourse of mi hour she drew rein at the come to an understanding with you." of the and dismounte d. Entering Rabloo's eyes spa':'kled tile tirnb e r she a hasty search for the cat"Anythin"' to a ccommodate ze lovely Lady tie s in ging the wai.J.e with touching sadnes s in Lily!" he said, rubbing his hands together. "I h e r t o n e pray for ze g;rande occasion wh e n I may spill ze S he was perhaps thinking more about Wild noble blood in zese veins in behalf of ze Lady Frnnk than of her errand, for, without being on Lilr" h e r natural lookout for danger, she ran most Bahl your would-be gallantry i s disgusting. unexpectedly upon a foe. Do you know I'd rather have a grizzly bear hug A man she m et, almost face to face, and that m e than lou, sir?" man held a shot-gun leve led directly at ner. R a blee s countenance fell, and his gray eyes It was the C uunt de Rablee aild an exultant grew hard in their expression. 11mile mantled his disacrreeahl e countenance. "Ze Lady Lily insult ze count twice !" he "Ze grande catch!"he chuc kled. "Ze French growled coun catc h ze wild Injine H e he! Z e Lord "If you call it insult, you'll get insulted all Mt. Morey t'ink ze count no great warrior, but your life One thing I want to a s k you-am I .he will find ze grande mistake." or am I not the real child of R e v e r e and the "What do y o u mean, air1" Humming Bird rightful claimant to this fortune? You can tell demanded, sternly. "Be kind enough to lower me, and thus reliev e me Qf the doubts that of your weapon and Jet me pass." late years have a s sailed me, like a -phantom. "Oh, no,"Rablee said, with 1mother villainous "Of course, you are ze original," Rablee an-smile. "Ze Lord Mt. 1orey: say ze French are swered promptly. What ze world ever make cowards-say ze French 'fra1d of ze American you t'ink ze diff e r ent from zat'I'' Injine. I make ze grande catch of ze Injine, and "I d on't know. I could neve r make it seem how ze Lord Mt. Morey zat ze Frenchman reso I h a v e ever b ee n in fear that I would turn semblee not ze coward." ou t to be s o m e pic ked-up waif, to fill the proud "You are a fool!" Humming Bi!'d said, indig position I occupy." nantly. I am not an Indian, and you are a "Ze Lady Lily need not fear ze least. Her cowardly squaw to molest a defenseless girl, rights promise to b e e stablished as ze rightful eve were I an Indian!" heir of ze baronet, Sir Ralph Revere, in a shon Yes, Alphonse.Rablee, and if you don't lower t:ime."


Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. u "God grant that!'' the beautiful girl said, gazing at the ground. "If I should turn out not to be, I would kill myself. Alphonse d 9 Rahlee, why is it you always form one of our and pay your attentions t-0 me? Answer me I-is it not because there is an understanding between Mt. Morey and yourself, that I am to be your wife, when I come into possession of this. t0rtune I" Ze Lady Lily has expressed ze exact terms of ze understanding." Ral:ilee confessed with an exultant smile. Ze French count anl ze English lady make ze grande match, and set ze Parisian circles on ze qui vive !" It bas occurred to me such might be the llchemel" the young woman said, biting her lips, and her face paling "But bear me, now, sir, swear that fortune or no fortune, I will never wed you-no, a thousand times no!" "We will see!" Rablee said, drawing a dirk. "You shall swear you vill marry me, now, or you n evar go back to ze camp, alive. Zat is .>worn to." CHAPTER XII. RABLEE TAXES A MUD BATH. "MONSTER!" Lady Lily cried, stepping back, her face growing deathly pale. "You surely would not attempt such a ghastly crime as mur d er?" Ze lov e of mankind will ofttimes drive rat man to desperate deeds," Rablee returned, fiercely. You say zere is no love in your heart for me." "Nol no! I do I'">t love nor do I even respect you!" Lady Lily answered, courageously. "Who else is it you love?" the Frenchman demanded, savagely. "Show him to me-mon Dieu, I cut bis heart out!" Bah I the man I love would not deign to fight so contemptible and cowardly a cur as you. He is a man as brave and fear1ess as all these prairies ln1ow." "Ze devil! You do not mean ze insolent scout?'' "Ayl just that very insolent scout. He is my ideal of brave and noble manhood. To be sure, I do not suppose that 1 love him, for our acquaintance bas been no acquaintance at all. But I took a real liking to himindeed I did." "Then ze infatuation shall end now," be cried fiercely, raising the knife. Swear nevare to t'ink ol' ze scout again, and zat you will marry me, or I will plunge dagger into your heart, now and here. That will settle ze little affair of love, without ze trouble of a duel with ze scout." "No! I would die a hundred times before I would swear anything of the kind!" Lady Lily responded. "Strike me if you dare, you cowardly wretch I" "Ho! ho! you shall see!" Rablee yelled1 rushing upon her with uplifted knife like an infuriated animal. Bnt the blow he undoubtedly would have given remained unstruck, for the knife was suddenly torn from his grasp, and be was deaJt a blow be side the head that sent him tumbling to the ground headforemost. When be scrambled to his feet be had the chagrin of seeing the dashing Buckskin Bravo . Wild Frank, by Lady Lily's side, with his arms folded his breast. Di.ablo /" he hissed, his countenance flaming with rage. Ze,scout!" "Yes, the scout!" Frank answered sternly. "so now, if you're itching for a tussle, I'm on hand to accommodate." "Curses on you!" the Frenchman gritted, rub bing his bruised ankle. I have you arrEisted for ze 'sault and ze battery." "Ohl you contemptible cur," Lady Lily cried. Oh, you big coward. Why don't you fight it out with a man, if :you dare?" Mon Dieu I Ze French nobleman vill nevare soil his hands on ze rude American._ I will re turn to_ ze camp and have ze scout arrested for assault and ze battery." "Ohl no, don't be in a buny!" and Wild Frank leveled a revolver at tlie chemist's head "If you try to sneak off without apologizing to this estimab}e lady for your ungentl emanly conduct, I will have to make a hole in your head to remember you by." To ze Lady Lily I apologize humbly-to ze scout I make none I" "Obi you won't, eh? Well, well. We shall have to see to that. Throw down your arms, and I will box your ears." "Ze verrr zing, sari T have ze grande pleasure of makmg ze scout's head ache." The alacrity with which the count threw down his knife and seemed to indicate that he had had expenence in the manly art of self defense. "Oh! you will get hurt," LadyLilyprotested, laying a hand upon Frank's arm, anxiety de picted upon her fair, pretty face. "Hal ha! no-not by the French delegate,,. the Buckskin Bravo replied, with a smile. If you watch sharp, you'll see his exce llency stickmg head-first in yonder bog." Close to where they were standing was a miry pool more commonly known on the prairies asa "buffalo wallow," the stagnant condition of which made it anything but a de sirable for it was about an equal mixture of water ana mud. Springing quickly forward, Wild Frank seized the count in bis arms, anJ without much ap parent effort pitched him into the pool, head first, his heels brandishing wildly in the air. "There! I reckon he'll need to polish up a little before he assaults you again, lady," the scout announced dryly. "Have you a norse bandy'I" "At the edge of the grove, sir." "Then allow me the honor of escorting yon to it." And she accepted bis arm and they walked out of the matte. I cau never thank you too much for your brave interference," Lady Lily declared, giving him her little i:.loved hand, after he bad gallantly assisted her to mount her snow-white pony. "I-" "No thanks required, ma'am," the scout replied, raising the hand to bis lips. The words I by cha.nee overlleard more than repaid me for any trouble I may ever be nnt to in your behalf." } Lady Lily's cheeks grew scarlet. "You must pardon me," and she averted her


11 Wild Fran k. the Buckskin Bn.Yo. face. "You know we often say things we hadn' t ought to, just to spite a disagreeable person." "Oh! yes I see. I shouldn't for a moment have thought a lady like you could admire a rough burr like me!" be said, bis face slightly pained in expression. "Yes, you should, too," she cried, impulsive .ly, lor>king full in bis face, with her lustrous eyes "I do admire you as a true and brave son of the prairies, and am n o t ashamed to own it, and', what is more, I shall esteem it an honor to have your friendship " T hanks, my lad.y. The friendship was yours long ago, rough and unpolished, but yet tru e If ever you are in need of a strong arm of assistance, remember Wild Frank is the oue who carries it for you, when be is around. You bad best go now, for I hear ze French cuss a-snorting and blowing like a porpoise, back in the woods, and in his rage h e may accidentally shoot you." "But, be will harm you also!" "Never fear of that. i' will see that he don't touch me. I overheard you say your camp was moving to Papanaugb'sr' "Yes. Something bas suddenly changed Mt. Morey's mind, and he has resolved to stay on t he prairies a part, or maybe all of the winter, and the r efore he will move to the settlement. "It is wise. As I told you the last evening, ere to-morrow dawns this prairie will be envel oped in what we term a blizzard." "U gb I I cf read storms. Will I see you again, soonr "In all probability, yes. .Au revoir I'' And the .Buckskin Bravo raised hio broadrimmecl hat, gallantly, as she touched up her horse and gallop e J gracefully away, the mean while kissing her finger-tips to him, with a roguish smile. Wild Frank then stepped into a clump of b u shes, and waited until the French nobleman e me r ged from the motte, and struck o ff toward camp, swearing deadly vengeance against the author of bis .troubles. H e was a sorry-looking being, drippiug and covered entirely with mud and slime from the pool, bis face as black and streaked with mud as it well could be. "Revenge! revenf,el ze grande diabolical revenge on ze scout, Wild Frank heard him roar, as be struck o utacross the prairie. Whe n b e had gone from sight down beyond a wave in the dun expanse, the scout shouldered .:iis rifl.e and strode away to the northwest at a rapid gait. And; unknown to him, a pair of watched him until he was out of sight-the eyes of the Hummin11: Bird. who bad seen their parting, with a fl.ushep face, and rapidly-btlating heart. ''They love each other!" was all she said, but said ii bitterly. CHAPTER XIII. T1lll GR.A. VE AND ITS CONTENTS. THAT night the mooti arose early, for it was near full TH sky was overcast with a faint filmy fleece et iaevillg ele uU. wllich @a.used the radi.a!leij Qi t h e great luminary to s hed a ghastly light upon the p r airies. The wind was rising and blowing keenly, and the indications all seemed to be that the pre dicted storm was not.far off. The moon bad cleared the horiz o n about an hour when '\Vild Frank dashed down across from the north, and drew reio at the little prairie cemetery, with its grave, where he had stoppM the previous night. The little headst thrown out but a few more shovelfuls of dirt, -however, when be paused again, and this time. detected the scarcely audible sound of in?. footsteps. I thought my ears were reliable as ever," he muttered, stepping to the side of his mustang, and seizing his trusty rifle. Some one is ap.. proaching !" He swept the prairie in all directions with bis keen glance, but could see no: hing within the range of his vision except the dun-hued prairie grass. "I'll send a tester, anyhow,'' be said, listening again. "It may scare 'em off. It wouldn't be exactly to my liking to have an intrud!>r step in, just now. His acute sense of hearing told him pretty nearly where the prowler was, coming along in the course with the stiff breeze, and, raising bis rifle, be chanced a shot in that direction, his rifle speaking savagel.v The report was followed by a wild, strange yell-then all was stiil "The t warn' t no Injun squeak, nor a deatb yell, either, I allow," be said, standing quietly, awaiting d e v e lopments. Soundetl like as if it might have b0en the Angel Gabriel, who blowed his trumpet when my little horne t stun9; him. Hope it didn'i d o him mucb whoever it was. furthe r was heard, and he naturally concluded that he had scared off the game. Seizing his shovel, he again set to work, and soon bad the grave opened and came 'Al rough box. It was pretty well rotted, and he had no diffi. culty in tearing off the lid. Within, fully revealed in the ghostly moonlight lay a human skeleton, the wealth of hair 1.et clinging to the grinning skull pronouncing it the remains of a woman. The face of the scout grew pained in expreso sion as the ghastly sight met his gue, and tears his 111es.


Wild Frank, the Bucks k i n Bravo. "Poor Myrtle!" broke from bis lips in a husky whisper. Goel grant you a place beside His throne,. for no purer angel ever existed upon this earth." He then took a little ebony box from beside the skeleton, slipped it into bis hunting-sack, and replaced the rude coffin lid, shutting out the view of the dead. Springing from the grave, be gazed around, sharply. No one was in sight; so seizing the shovel, be proceeded to fill the grave, and restore things to their former condition. When he had fi.D.isbe d, b e knelt in silence beade the mound, with bowed head, and thus :re mained several minutes, until something startled him. It was but a flake of fallen upon his band. But to him its message was of the utmost signifi cance and he leaped quickly to bis feet and into the saddle. Away up in the moonlit northwest a dense gray line was visible which was approaching with tre m endous velocity. It was the t lizza:rd. "Now, tbeu, my boy," Wild I'rank said, giving the r ein to bis impatient mustang, "scoot_ the best you know bow. It's a reg'la:r snorter like we bad ten years ago, and with us it's Papanaugh's or-death. And as if seeming to fully understand the words, the mustang leaped away over the prairie at the top of bis speed, and bis rider b ugged low upon bis neck to facilitate his progress. But 'twas no use. In less than five minutes the whole surrounding country wao enveloped in the vortex of the blizzard. The blizzard struc k Ranch soon after the Buckskin Bravo bad discovered it, and ,,ilook the stanch cabin until it trembled throughout. More of a crowd than usual was congregated within the Ranch to-night, for the warning of the approaching storm bad driven in such trappers, hunters and betders as had no regular abode, besides some transients from mountain and prairie among whom was the male ixp;tion of the Mt. Morey party, the ladiP.s having been quartered in a vacant cabin close by. The two Harris brqthersJ?r. Deering, and the mountain outlaw tenor Wyoming Bill, were seated at a table in a corner of the room, drinking and playing cards. The outlaw chie f was disguised in a sandy wig and full beard, and though there were a score or more in the room who were bis deadly enemies, they did not suspect his presence. The Humming Bird was assisting her brother behind the bar, and looked prettier than ever, it seemed in the lamp-light-at least so thought Bob Harris, whose baleful eyes were ever fixed upon her. Y air, et's a re&"'lar old-fashioned blizzard, b'yees, an' she's gom' te:r make things hum a couple of days at least!" remarked old Red River Salll, one of the veteran Indian-fighters and nappers of Wyoming and New Mexico-a gray ha.fred, roughlooking old codger who could show more scars than any man in the room. "An' et's a comfortable thing not ro be out on the prairies ter-night, ef a feller 'h'ants ter survive, tho' here's what did stan' et out in a. consarned blizzard, ten year ago, for three mor tal da;y-s, and then come out bunk. 'Spec tber pards is all beer ter-nigbt." The remark set the inmates of the Ranch to looking around them to see if any of their ac quaintances were missing. One man is missing, an' te,n to one e t 'll be bis last blizzard!" Jim Hanis said, in a low tone to his companions. "Wbo1 Wyoming Bill asked-" not our man1 "Yes, Wild Frank. 'Sh! the rest have di& covered bis absence "Hello! Wild Frank Waddle isn't here!" Laughing Len cried. He left camp this morn in?. and said he'd be here to-night." 'He's not here," John PaJJanaugb addedi who alwaY.s kept an eye on those who came ana went. "He hasn't been h ere to-day." "Then he's a gone goose!" Red River Sam averred. "Hear it bowl outside! No bnffi'Lll kin live ter hunt bis war out o' this storm." "Wild Frank gone!' Humming Bird cried, excitedly. "Then I shall go hunt him!" "No ye won't, nutherl" Bob Harris demurred, scowling. "Ye ain't _goin' ter Jose yer life fer thet skunk-not while I'm n;y-ar." "Nor is tbar any need of it!" a voice cried, as the door swung open1 "for Wild Frank's on hand, in time for the picnic!" CHAPTER XIV. A RUSE THAT DIDN'T WORK. IT was in truth the Buckskin Bravo who strode into the Rauch, covered with snow until be looked like a snow-man. A cheering shout arose from the lips of bisseveral particular friends and acquaintances1 and Humming Bird ran forward and put botn h& bands in hi s joyfully, much to tbe chagrin and rage of Bob Harris. "I am so glad you have come back, Wild Fi;ank," she said, earnestly. Then she quickly added1 inan undertone; '"Sb! watch out! !fear there is mischief brewing." Thanks Birdie," be said1 pressing her band, and the n releasing it. I will bear it in mind," He bad to shake bands with others whom be knew, for all were glad to see him. "Yes, I came pretty near having to make a. river trip," he confessed, in answer to many questions. "In fact, I couldn't have found my wa(,, but for the sagacity of my mustang. W aal, I'll j'ine hands wi' ye

Wild Frank, the Buckaldn Bravo. "Bully fer"you, Franklin', old alligator, Rn' ef you want backin', call on Red River Sam, sir tbe old warhoss of Wyoming." I guess he wouldn't lack backing," Laughing Len r eplied "bein's the majority knows whar Wild .Frank ll ves when he's to hum. So if thar's enny one go t any bones to pick, now' s tba time to start the musi c." Not a word was saicl by the four outlaws in the corner, but they went on playing as if they bad uot the broad hint slung at them. They heard the conversation, however, and knew it meant business. ' I we shall hev to postpone the plan we've been makin' calculations on," Wyoming Bill said, in an unde rtone. "Thar appears to be a fearful big mice smelt somewhar, here abouts, an' I reekon you're ther ones what's suspected. I'm so w ell disguised, that I'm all ri,,.ht." 9 Well! what's to be done? Are we going to 1&1; tha ch.tnce slip?" "No, not exactly. I'll tell you my plan. We ce.n't git Wild Frank, now-that's certain, for he's t'>:> many pards here, to-night. But, if we work it right, I reckon we kin snatch the gal, and make otf with her." Who in thunde r kin reach the cave to-night, in this howlin' blizzardl'' Bob Harris growled, not fanc v:ing the prospe c t as he l istened to tho mournful s hrieks of the wind around the cabin. "B:it o:ie man in fifty cou l d lead th" wa,y to the :inuntains, and we have that man!" "Who "Scar-:;'o.ce the renegade: " But w11ere hel'' "Outside with a score of the braves, crouch ing beside the cabins." "Then it's a devilish good time for an attack." Da9ring declared. "By no m eans," Wyoming Bill protested. Thar's too many fightin'-men present. My plan is this: You three separat.e, watch your chance, an1 slip from the Ranch, leaving me alone. I'll look out fer myself. As soon as ye can, find S car-Face, an'.l tell him to get ready for a start. Then you make for the cabin wbar the tourists hev put up, and capture the gal for m9. Then ride for the mountains as fast as ye can. yer horse s all be las soed t ogether, with the red-skin in the l e a'.l, an' he'll take ye thr'u' all hunk1e. When ye get to he!l.dquarters shet the gal up in the C3ll till I come." "But what's to become o' you?" D eering d e mqn

Wild F rank, the Buckskin Bravo. 19 "I can answer that question I think, boys," Wild Frank said, step\)ing forward. "This man is Wyoming Bill, m disguise, and is my prisoner!" CHAPTER XV. A DOUBLY BASE DEED. THE words of the Buckskin Bravo rung out clear and distinet, and as he spoke he sprung forward and shoved a cocked revolver fairly against the outlaw's face. "There! stand!" he continued, sternly. Throw up your hands, or I'll blow a hole in yow head." Wyomiug Bill obeyed, with a baffled oath. "You li e I am not the man you say," he ex postulated. Let me alone, or yon shall smart for this indignity!" "Ohl I shall, e h!" Wild Frank replied, calm ly. "Well, I don't just happen to with you, William. You've been promising me various kinds of death and destruction for the last three years, but it never came. So I con cluded to turn the tables, just to see how it would seem." "I insist that it is all a terrible mistake!" the chief again protested '' Gent l emen, I again ap peal to yo u. "Bi...c appeal in vain," Laughing Len supple mented, producing a piece of lariat w ith which to bind his bands. You were never known to listen to the appeals of men, women, and little c h ildren, whom you and your red gang of cutthroats have slaughte r ed, and yo u needn't ex p0(!t any me r cy, now He was securely bo u nd by Len and Eagle Eye, while Wild Frank held him pinned by t h e re volver. When he was fixed u p beyond a possibility of his getting away, and disarmed, Wild Fran k np his revolver "Well see, now, Bill, whether yo u are not our" man. Ah! yes, you look quite familiar. Ha! ha!" a n d Frank tore off the sandy wig a n d fal se beard. A swarthy, villainous-faced fellow stood re vealed, with black hair, mustache and goatee a man the ugly expression of whose countenanc;:, was a sufficient mirror of his evil nature. "Curses on you!" he breathed as he stood thus unmasked You've won, this time, but your victory will be short-lived you'll tl.ndl" "Not so short-lived as you'll I send you over to the fort, with my compliments," Wild Frank assured, triumphantly. "Your little proposal for me to join you, I had to de cline, Bill, as I wanted you rather more than you wanted me. Is there any more of your gang here, to-night1" "Were there a hundred, you'd not be apt to find it out by me," the outlaw assured, with a sneer. "Oh I I presume not. We'll take good care of you, pet!" the scout said. with sarcasm. John Papanaugh had had a strong room built within the Ranch, purposely for the accommodation of pl'ison e rs, when, as was a frequent oc currence, the U. S. Marshal stopped over night at the Ranch, en rnute for the fort with pris oners. The cell was built of double thicknese of logs, and provided with an iron grated door to which was attached an intricate lock,. to w h ic h no one possessed a key exc'.lpt J oh n Papanaugh h imself. Into this place Wyoming Bill was turned, and the door locked on him, U'lltil the blizzard should subside, when it was Laughing Len and Eagle Eye's job to escort him to the nea r est military post, and turn him over into the bands of the marshal. Loud was the rejoicing at tbe Ranch the re mainder of that stormy night, over the capture of the notorious outlaw and ruflian1 whose terrible deeds for three years and over, nad thrown the surrounding co untry into a state of dread and fear. Wild Frank, of course, was the lion of the occasion as being the captor, and was laude d with praise and thanked generally for his daring deed-for it was a deed of daring to face a human tiger of Wyoming Bill's stamp, whose hand was stained with the blood of scores of men. No thought of further danger seemed to dwell with the rejoicing party until o u t in the wild storm of the night a piercing scream rung out, and Lord Mt. Morey stagge r ed from the bar where he was standing, with a face as w hite as death. Lillian I my God, some harm is come to my ward I" he cried. Every man l eaped towar d the d oor and o u t into the night, weapons in hand, W il d Frank leading off, with a strange, cry. The cabin where the two l adies of the touris t party had, been q uartered was not a dozen yards from the Ranch, and toward it W il d Frank darted through the furio u s sto r m a ccompan i ed. by a dozen of the men In almost Jes.<; time tha n it takes to r ela t e it, the cabin was reached : and entered, and there, lying upon the floor, they fo ubd Lady Mt. Morey scalp l ess and with a knife driven t hrou g h ber heartdead! Lady Lillian was gone I Great God I this is fearful!" Wild Frank cried. Boys, l ook to the woman. I'm off after the girl." "Stop! it is madness to think of enterin g the b l izzard!" Laughing Len cried Mad or no mad, I'm going to rescue the young lady!" was the fierce repl y "Scar Face and his infernal gang has done tbis work, and my musta.ng will mighty quick pick their trail. If I come back with the girl, all right. If I don't, ye kin look for me in Wyoming Bill' s stronghol

f.;O Wild -Frank, the Buckskin Bravo. caused him intense pain, but he never faltered or ce!UlElible to see ahead. Fully an hour the scout kept desperately on, hopes of overtaking the savages strong in his breast; but the further he w ent the more furi ous raged the storm, but still no signs of suc cess. As a last resort be finally stopped and dismounting, felt u pon the snow with hls hand, movipg fo r some distance and left. "I'll either find their trail, h e muttered,. or l ose myself in the blizzard, and perish." Ten minutes of search elapsed-then he uttered a cry. H e had found where many horses' feet had trodden in the snow, but recentJ_y:. Smell, Startle l" he cried, shovinfl his sagacious mustang's nose into the snow. 'Now, old boy, follow-or die!" He remounted, and with his nose close to the ground the mustang leaped away like a blood hound on the trail. __ Thus they dashed on, at a ra}lld gallop, tht renegade chief keeping only a few yards in ad vaice1 and "feel.i11g" tl1e ,way. Life-long ac quainmnce with the prairie between Papa naugh's and the mo1mtains put it in his power, if necessary, t-0 a;:complish the whole distance with his eyes shut. "What are you going to do with me1" Lady Lily finally manage d to ask of her ruffianly cap tor, "Why am I thus taken away from my friends1" W aal, as this ain't a night fer a.nswerin' riddles, I don't know." Bob Harris replied. "I however, Bill cal kerlates ter make a wife duten you when he gits hum!" "Bill? W h o is he, pray1" "Why, Wyoming Bill, to be sure! Ain't ye never heerd of him1 Ef ye ain't, it's a wonder, fer he's ther worst outlaw we've got on the bor der." "Heaven help me, thPn! Surely you are not going to place me in the power of such a wretch?" "Waal, yes, I reckon them's the orders-that is, ef the captain turns up at headquarters." "Are yo u outlaws " We have that honor," Bob returned, dryly; then he and Deering laughed loudly. On, on, dashed the i;:trange cavalcade of storm riders\ accomplishing mile after mile of the dis tance oetween the settlement and the hills Larly Lily grew very cold, as the merciless storm beat against her, but stood it bravely, rather than to ask for a share of her rough cap-tor's blanket. I reckon ther ciaptain cut his ow n windpipe, to-night," Deering said., as they rode along. CHAPTER XVI. Why so1" Bob Hu.rris demanded. A. DAR ING FEAT. "Because, he'll like as not git inter a row at Tm!: surprise upon the two ladies, and the cap-the Ranc h. I shouldn't wonder, when I come to ture o f Lady Lily. had been sudden and quick, think of it, ef Wi,Id Frank 'spicioned him, the and the poor girl found herself bound hand and way he spoke about a picnic, and ef they were foot and in the hands of Jim Harris, almost be-to ever find him out, Bill'd hev a slim chance, I fore she bad time to know what was occurring tell you." Whild Sear-Face was securing the scalp of "Pshaw I ten to one you'll see him along with Lady Mt. Morey, Harris bore Lady Lily from u s ere we get to the hills." the cabin and handed her to his brother Bob, "Mebbe-mebbe not," the doctor rejoined. who was U')On horseback near the door, as were "Anyhow, ef he don't come back, ye can set me also Deering and a score of honibl.)!: painted down as capt'in." savages. "It'll likely take mere'n one to decide The whole tragedy did not consume five moquestion Ef Bill turns up his toes, beer's wha1 ments, ere the party were dashing away. turns Mormon, an' marries this gal, an' the L arly Lily managed to scream, just as they Humming Bird, too were pa.s5ing the Ranch, but after that Bob "No women on my plate, ef ye please," Deer Harris held his rough hand closely over her ing answered sarcastically. "I'd ruther hev a mouth, until they had left the settlement far mule-load o' sage-bushes tied to my back." behind. "Thar's whar we can't agree!" was Bob's re-"Now, then, my beauty,. you can yell if ye joinder. want toi" he said, taking away his band, with a "I pray to God that the noble scout, Wild brutal augh "I reckon tho' the storm kin Frank, may come to my rescne," Lady Lily scream nigh onto a notch higher than you can." breathed, shuddering as she contemplated her In utter horror, poor Lady Lily could not ut-fate if not taken from the power of thesamounter a sound, but trembled in fear and affright. tain outlaws. The cavalcade moved oTer the prairie abreast, "Waal, ye needn't in tbet direction," the mustangs being lariated together through Harris chuckled, f e r ild Frank don't come the bits-all except Scar-Face's, who led the nosin' around the hills _arter us, fearin' he'll git way. shot." It so chanced that Bob Harris was the outer "I don't believe be is capable of fear-he is so horseman on the left hand, Deering beini;next, brave and dauntless." and then the red-skins, Jim Harris haVlllg the "W aal, ye jest chaw on et, my gal-his brav, right end. .,.... __ e..!Z wen't never to you be any good


Frank the Buckskin Bravo. Then there was another l ong pause in conver sation, during whic h the wind shrieked more horribly and the biting storm tore over the prai rie with redoubled fury. "Hark!" suddenly cried. "I thought I heard a yell I'll bet a copper the capt'in is 1tfter usl" Y as, probably," Harris grunted. I al lowed he'd find it too warm at the Ranch for comfort." A horse's hoof-strokes distinguishabl e from those o f the cavalcade, were plainly beard, and soon after a horseman dashed along a few yards to the left of Bob Harris. Who h e was the ruf fian could not have told, however, had he been only a few feet from his face, owing to the den sity of the whirling flakes. "Hello! is it Bill?" Deering howled through his hands above the shriek of the storm. "Blazes, yes!'? was the hoarse, as the horseman drew nearer. Hev !ye got the gal all safe? "Yes; beer she isl Whar's Humming Bird?" Bob Harris bellowed. At Papanangh's. I barel;r got out o' the cussed place with my life. Wild Frank oi:ened on me, an' I knifed him and skipped. Let me bev the gal. I've got a blanket for her." "I'm cussed glaJ ye want her," Bob Harris cried, "for she's heavy. Then, in the midst of the blinding flurry, the new-comer galloped al,mgside and took Lady Lily in his arms, and at the same time Bob Harris received a blow alongside the bead that caused him to grow dizzy. "Thunder and lightningl what d'ye mean by hitting me?" he roared. There was no answer. Lady Lily's new captor had wheeled his horse abruptly and disappeared like a flash over the back trail. "What's the rip?" Deering demanded, as Harris swore frightfully. Matter?" the ruffian roared. "Why, blast it, the capt'in snatched the gal, punched me be side the head and's gone!" i.tJJ.er of those charges, sir."


JU! Wild Frank, the Buckskin B:ira.vo. "Perha.ps-perha.ps. not. I will not d eny a. affection for her, Birdie. No strona-er IS it, hOwever, than my brotherly regard for you. But, as to reciprocation on the part of a great aud titled lady like her, I cannot saycannot dare to hope for it." "You would marry her, then, if she were to consentP' I do not know. The thought of matrimony ha.s been the least of all my life troubles. Per hal15 if she were to consent, I should accept of an alliance -with your permission." Humming Bird was silent, her face buried in her pretty hands, her bosom heaving with emo ti on. If you can be happy with her I will not hinder you," she said, finally. "I am going to re tire, now. When r,ou get ready, you know where you usually sleep. She then arose and left the room. Wild Frank did not retire at once, He up the fire, and sat down again in its bright light, and took from bis huntingsack the little ebony box h 3 had brought from tbe lone prairie grave. It was a pretty little trinket, about four inches square, and the corners were bound with gold brackets. For several minutes the scout seemed undecided whether to open it or not, but finally he touch ed a tiny spring, and the lid flew open. box wh e re s o m e one may find it a.fter I am d ead. Tf my child survives m e I pray that whoev e r finds her will t a ke her and rear her c 1 refully teaching her to l o ve her God and grow up to be a good and useful woman. I Riso pray that the tinder will do me an othe r last favor. Wrie to London, put detectives on the track, and find if the wife of Sir Ralph R e v ere was faithful to him If so r estore my little Lil Iian to b e r mother's care and tell her that it was Mt. Morey who drov e me away by villainous lies, and it is at Mt. Mor ey's door my d eath can be laid. I will go now and if I can catch some fis h to appease my hunl!er, and my poor b abe's. May God granll me success. RALPH REVERE." That was all, but it was a wonderful revela tion-and one that con.firmed something of a. theory Wild Frank had formed since the tourist party had camped on the prairies. "'l'be conversation I overheard between the Frenchman and Ludy Lily is now explained. She i s occupying a false p osition!" he muttered, passing h i s band a.cross his forehead. She iii not the rightful Lady Lillian R evere, as she bnpes-for the real child of Sir Ralph was laid in her last resting-place by me, five years a.go, in the grave yonder where the storm holds riot. Poor Lily I She told Rablee she would kill herself if she should prove to be some nameless waif. But she must never know the truth, if that is the case." CHAPTER XVIII. The inside was lined with satm, fancifully quilted in colors, and c ontaine d a document tied with a silken string and three likenesses. TIT FOR TAT. These Wild Frank proceeded to examine, critTHE blizzard which had struck that section of ically. Wyoming Terptory, continued to howl and One was a youn" ma.n, of some five-and-twen-rage until the middle of the fourth day1 when it ty years-a dark, handsome fellow, with a kindabat.ed as suddenly as it had begun, ana the sun ly expressioned face, dark hair and m1L'\tache, shone once more A great d epth of and plain but tasty attire. snow had fallen, however, and it was worth a The se cond was a woman perhaps a couple of man's life to attempt wallowing a c ross the years younger-a fair, fresh-faced lady with prairies, to any given point the fieec,y body of brilliant eyes, sunny hair, and good-natured ex-white averaging fully seven f ee t in depth on the pression-a woman plainly a fitting companion level. for the man, with purity and faith engraven in Lady Mt. Morey had been temporarily in-the countenance. tarred near the scene of her murder1 ou the The third likeness was of a sweet little twosecond day, and since then things baa passed year-old girl, and Wild Frank recognized it without noteworthy incident at the Ranch, for with a low cry. snowed up as they were, the inmates could do It was the picture of the same child he bad little or nothing but eat, drink and sleep, unles11 on the prairies, years before, of the it was to play cards. woundea stranger-of the same loved one whose Wild Frank was much in the society of Lady grave he had visited and opened, early in the Lily, and it was apparent to more than one ob .evening. server that the intimac y between the two was Laying aside the pictures, he took the pa.per fa.st ripening into an earnest mutual affection. from the casket, and opened it. Lord Mt. Morey looked on with savage disIt was written in a graceful business hand, pleasure, but said for, while he feared and read as follows: the dauntless Buckskin Bravo, he was also un "Mm-Pru.mm, November-, 186-. d e r obligations to him for saving Lady Lily, To chom.80lv

Wild Prank. the Buckskin Bravo. 23 "But ze danger, my lord-you do not consider ze danger. Ze cons11mmation may occur at ze shortest noticA." "Bahl no danger, yet. The girl knows her business. If she gets the heritage and is proven the heiress, then you can rest assured she'll feel too far above the Indian-fighter to even wipe her feet upon him. If she shoulcl not be estab lished1 she might be fool enough towed the longleggea vagabond, if I didn't, as Ler guardian, forbid the match." "II; is certain she will be established1 Wbat if Revere s'all no identify1" 1 "Leave that to me to arrange," the e1cler villain said, with a chuckle. "rve broken refractory people before this." And thus the matt.er r estecl. Mt. Morey did not deii;n to notice the Bravo, and Rablee took good care to keep at a proper distance from him. Wild Frank had encouraged Jack De Herne, a well-tO-do YOUI1g herder, to pay lover-like attentions to the Humming Bird, and the fellow bad done so with a will, a r esult of which was that the pretty half-breed girl grew to be once more her gay, happy self. No sooner had the blizzard abated, than the sun broke forth with springtime warmth, and the weather moderated until the snow began to rapidly disappear from the prairie. By the next morning iu had so far melted away that the crests of the prairie billows once more showed their color of brown, and it was sa!e to venture forth on horseback. Wyoming Biil was then brought from his cell, and mounted upon a horse, preparatory for his trip to the militar;r p<>st, in charge of Wild Frank's pard, Laughing Len. Eagle Eye7 Red River Sa.in, and Jack De Herne also wem; along as escort, for it was two days' ride to the post, and there might be an attempt on the pa.rt of the outlaws to rescue their chief, and save him from the fate that swely awaited him in the hands of the authorities. Soon after their departure, the other transient storm-bwnd visitors took leave, and the Ranch was left weak-handed. Only John Papanaugh.i his sist.er.J.. Wild Frank, and the tourists were Jett at the .ttanch to de fend it in case of an attack, except the herders of the settlement, whose cabins were scattered about at various distances. Still, there was no particull\r danger of an attack, unless it should come f1'9m the reds associated with Wyoming Bill's gang, and it looked probable they would la.Y low, as it was known that the United States cavalry at the post was ready to take their trail at a moment's notice. During the day Wilcl Frank scoured about the prairie, but saw no signs of invaders, and re turned to the Ranch, and spent the remainder of the day in Lady Lily's society. A.bout supper time he met by chance with Lord Mt. Morey, outside the Ranch, and the latter paused to speak, seeing which intent:Jn, the scout bait.eel also. "I wish to say to you, young man," bis lordship began, impressively, "that your attentions to my ward, are extremely obnoxious to her, and a discontinuance of the same will be thankfully received by both her and myself." Ob I is that so?" Wild Frank replied, with sarcasm. "Well, sir, I dare to presume that when my attentions become unbearable, the young lady will kindly inform me of the fact." "But sbe is very sensitive nbout woundix-g one's feelings1 or she would have long ago dis missed you I" nis lordship protested, angrily. Well, when I gt to see by any bint that my presence is objectionabl e I will quit," the scout replied, coolly. "I have taken a great interest in her, sir, and I shall take care tbat your villainous game neve r brings her to harm." M;r, villainous game, sir? Wbat do you mean?' and up came the baronet's formidable cane, threateningly. "Ohl you can put down your stick," Frank returned, with provoking calmness. Y e n are probably aware I am not easily sca r ed, sir-a long life in the backwoods bas made 1?1e owlproof-to modify an old saying. You are playing a game, Mt. Morey, and a deSp<'rate game too, which you are not going to win. "Wbat know you about my business, sir!'' the schemer demanded, fiercely. "More than yon think," was the quiet reply. In fact, I know nearly all. See! do you recognize that?" and be held up tbe likeness of baby Lillian Revere within a yard of his lordship's face. "A thousand furies! Wbcre did you get that I"' he cried, grabbing for it, but without success. "Tell me, man, how came you iv possession of that likeness of her?" None of your business, sir. I'll bid you good-by, and leave you to imagin be rest. Hal bat Success to you I" And with a laugh the Bravo passed into tbA Ranch. For the moment the baronet stood gazing aft.er him, speechless and livid with rage. Curses on his soul I ' he gritted, clinching his hands until the nails cut the flesh. I hated the fellow from the moment I first saw him, and now I have a cause. But, aha! he'll find his supposed triumph over me is shortlived I" He hastily sought Count de !ta blee, and drew him one side. "'Shi" he uttered, in a husky whisper. "Arm yourself with a sure powder to-night, and man age to drop it into Wild Frank's coffee." "Why?" the chemist demanded, in surprise. Because we must be rid of him. He knows the whole secret." "Nol" "Yes. Will you do this for me?" "I will guarantee my rival never sees to morrow's run rise/' the Parisian assured, show ing his teeth in a norrible grin. Mt. Morey turned away then with a feeling of relief Just at dusk he lit a cigar, and took a stroll outside in the early gloaming. He had not gone five steps ere he came face to face with a masked man I CHAPTER XIX. A DASTARD'S ATTEMPT. Ir took but a glance for the l ord to recog nize him as his visitor of several


Wild Fra. nk, tha B u c kskin before-for it was, in reality, Dr. Deering in disguise. Hello I I was watching for yon,'' he said. Come along out of sight, if yo u want to talk businest." Mt. Morey obeyed, for he was even more eager to arrange mattel"l'I than the renegade, who led the way to a liM!le valley near the Ranch. H ere they paused and became seated upon the grass Deering filliBg and lighting a pipe. "Now, to begin with, what will you give me to produce this man Revere?" he asked. "Money is money with me, and businesll is business. if you come down in good shape, I'm your man; if !.ou don't, I'm off again. 'I'll give you five thousand dollars if you will bring him before me and my ward and cause him to swear, in the presence of others, that, according to his best belief, the girl is Jii.s own daughter:" ''That would be im'OOSS1ble,'' Deering aver red. "Revere hates me worse than an Indian does a rattlesnake, and I could not persuade him to da..anything like that. All I can do is pro d uce him, which I will do for ten thousand." I do not want him unless he c11n be persuaded to identify the girL l will give you a hundred dollars to take him a prisoner and de liver him to me at some given point not far from here, where I can induce him, by coaxing 01 by force, to accede to my wishes Oh! no. You are just nine thousand and nine hundred dollars below my terms," the doctor declared, decidedly. i'll g:ve you five minutes tv decline or accept." "I do not need that time,'' his lordship re sponded emphatically. "I decline, forthwith. I am not a bank on which you can draw at will." "-But you are a dainty little game-bird such as I occasionally make it a point to pluck. Hal ha!" and with a wicked laugh, the renegade drew and co c ked a formidable revolv er, and leveled it at Mt. Morey's head. If you will be so kind and accommodating, my royal British buc k, I'd like to have you hand over your plethoric purse and your chronometer, diamond ring, pin, and such other wallybles as you may chance to h a ve." "What! you are not such a villain that you would rob me!" his lordship gasped, in genuine alarm. "I am sorry that nece ssity so compels me to violate the biblical commandments," was the cynical r eply. "But unfortunately f0r : you, is th e case. Either you must give me the cosey little sum of ten tho usand dollars for de ) liverincr up to you one certain pilgrim name d 1 Ralph R e v e re, or I shall have to relieve you of such lucreas you carry about your estimable person, and run the risk of g etting a s much." I'll see you in Iceland before I'll yield to your demand, siri" I'll see you in a place of extremely oppo si1le temperature if I ever show you the man you want," Deering chuckled. .. Throw up your hands and let me go through you, or I'll pat a bullet into your cranium, and then strip you." Mt. Morey obeyed with a bitter curse. He did not for a moment doubt that tP,e renegade would be prompt to execute his threat, ff pro voked, and bis valuation of life, as compared with what valu ables he had about his person, was great. Deering proceeded with his search in a sys tematic way wbkh showed he had served a n apprenticeship at it. And after be had secured all tbat was of any particular value to him, he turned to leave. "By-by, John Bull!" he said. "Go back to the is land and tell your countrymen how you came over to see the e lephant and found him tew home I" / He then backed out of the valley keepin;:: Mt. Morey covered, until the hill hitl him from view His. lordship went back to the Ranch and sought his room, where he could cwse. himse l f unmolested. He had lost about three thousand dollars in money, besides a bandsoine watch and other j ewelry. "Foiled again!" he hissed, pacing the floor like a caged lion. "But, by Heavens, I will fight it out on this line till I win or lose all. If Ralph Revere is in tbis countrv, alive, I will find him and make him answ e r.Jny purpose. To that I solemnly swear." Sho tly after his meeting with Mt. Morey, Wild Frank entered the supper room of the Ranch to g e t bis evening rations, which were being prepared. As he did so he saw Rablee in the act of dropping somel;hing into his (Frank's) cup of coffee, which had already been placed upon the table. Suspecting his horrible intention, the skin Bravo whipped his revolver from his belt with a lightning movement, and fired, the bul let shattering the treacherous Frenchman's wrist, and causing him to leap about and yel\ lustily. The supper-room was the scene of confusion in an instant. John Papanaugh accompanied by several herders, rushed in, armed with rifles, and were followed almost instantly by Humming Bird and Lady Lily. "What is the matter?" John i'apanaugh de mantled of Frank. "Who fired that sh o t?" I am the man," the Bravo r e plied, com posedly "I entered tbis room jus t in time to detect yonder bowlin g coyote in the act of putting something in my' coff e e Suspecting his devilish design, I shot him through tha wri st." "Row is this?" Papanaugh demanded fie rcely, drawing a revolv er, and advancing toward De Rablee Explain, sir, or' I'll finish the job Wild Frank has just "It a)l ze grande mistake," the Parisian chat tered, b e tween groan s of pain, his fac e deathly pale. Ze mi-lord bilious, and be told me to prepare ze proper remedy, and put it in his coffee, at ze end of ze table. I do zat, when ze ruffian shoot me in z e wrist with z e pistol." Is this t.rue?" Papanaugh demanded, turning to Mt. Morey, who had Pntered just in time to overhear what had been said. Of course it is true, only the devilish fro)


Wild Frank. the Buckl"kin Bra.vo. 95 bas made a. mistake in the end of the table where I sit," bis lordship lied unblushingly. This may a.ll seem plausible to the rest of you, but I do not feel inclined to swallow it, no more tba.n would I yonder coffee/'. Wild Frank replied. "If it is true that what nis Frenchness dropped into the coffee was simJ?.lY a. remedy for biliousness-then perhaps be will not object to drinking the cup of coffee t.o satisfy my sus picion of fou.l play.' "Pshaw! this is nonsense!" Mt. Morey pro tested, blusteringly. "Zis is utter madness," Rablee a.dd'ed. "Ze remedy cure biliousness.J. but be sure death to any person who is not amicted with ze ailment. I am in ze most perfect hea.lth-mon dieu, it would be ze death of me!" andne looked all the horror b e knew bow. "Your story is weak," Wild Frank said. "But I 'll give you one more chance. Let the one drink the coffee fer whom it was prepared. If it does not kill him, I'll drop the matter here." "Curses, Mt. Morey nried "I have quite recovered from my attack, and it would kill me, of bourse. "Presumedly!" the Buckskin Bravo r etorted, "Your disease evidently was short-lived." Then turning to Rablee h e added: "And to you, sir, I'll give one hour to forever leave this vicinity. If I ever catch sight o f you after that, I'll cut your treach e rous heart out!" CHAPTER xx. THE BIRD AND THE VULTURE. "WILD FRANK big fool!" John Papaua.ugh ;a.id, growlingly. "Ought to kill and scalp the isna.ke on the spot." "No!" the scout said, calmly, "for it ha.s always been my rule to give a.n enemy a. chance for :.ris life. As I would disdain to cross wea pons with_yonder wretch, I'll do the next best thing-give him a cha.nee for his life, safely promising him that if be ever crosses my path again, it shall be his death-signal. Go, sir ;::i:iake haste, lest I be tempted to kill you on the spot!" A window wn.s ope n at Rablee's elbow, and without waiting for a second invitation, he leaped through it and disappeared, glad, no doubt, to escape with his life. "And now, as for you," Wild Frank said, fa,i;i1;1g Mt. Morey, "whom I believe to be impli caled in thiS cowardly attempt on my life, I shall extend to you the warning not to get Jlea.rer to me than five feet, lest I slap your mouth for you, and thus necessitate an affair of honor, in which you would come up missing He then turned and strode to the barroom, a.nd sat down as though nothing bad happened. Mt. Morey took advantage of the cbancir-a.f forded him, and returned to his room, where once more be paced the floor in a. state of baffled fury that knew no bounds. Wild Frank retired early that night, for it was bis intention to take a. ride to the moun ta.ins early the following mornjn.,-, for a. purpose which he alon e knew. In fact, every one witbin the ranch retired earlier than usual, &xcept Humming-Bird, who up after the rest had retired to talk with her new suitor, stalwart, handsome Jack de Herne. it was nearly midnight ere the herder took l eave, and the pretty half-breed girl accom panied him to t h e door to say good -night as he strode a.cross th" nrairie to his own cabin. She stood thus fn the doorway, the cool evening breeze tossing her luxuria.i;it hair, until bis footsteps had grown inaudible, and w as a.bout turning to re-enter the Ranch, when she beard a. fa.int cry. With a. start, she stopped breathing for an in stant, a.nd bent forwurd in au attitude of listen ing. The cry had n o t sounded more than a dozen yards away. "Birrliel h elp! help!" she now heard, distinct ly, a little further off "Something has, happened to Jack," she gasped, and ran swiftly out on the prairie in the direction of the cry, n o t stopping to consider. And, scarcely a. r 9 d bad she gone, when a. man sprung up from behind a. little prairie knoll a.nd ooized her. She instantly recognized him as being Bob Harris, and uttered a shrill scream of alarm. With an oath, he sprung a.way, with her in bis arms, holding a. band over her mouth. Her scream had been the signal for two-score of red-skins to leap from tli a grass, and surround the Ranc h with hideous war-cries, and a. fierce attac k was made upon the ca.bin door, which had been slammed shut, and barred, just in time to prevent their entering. It was Wild Frank who bad done this, just in the nick of time. H e bad heard Humming Bird' s scream, leaped from bi s couc h of skins and down the stairs all in almost an instant; be sa.w the swarm of dusky forms out on the prairie, and shut and barred the door in -another in sta.nt. He was already dressed, as lnck would have it, not having undressed on retiring, and, sei.z.. ing bis trusty rifle, be took a. place at one of the lo()p-boles, on the defensive. He was speedily jdined by John Papana.ugli, who ca.me tumbling down the stairs more asleep than a.wake "What's the matter!" be cried, intuitively seizing bis rifle, and rubbing bis eyes. "The matter is that Birctie's p;one, and we're surrounded by reds," Frank replied. And, even as he 5'Poke the Indians without commenced a fie ce atta<'k upon the door of the cabin with their tomahawks. "You bearT' the scout contirued, grimly, They mean business and there s only of us in theRancb, four of whom cannot tie depended on It remams for us two to-icork !" Pa.pa.na.ngh nodded understandingly. He was fuliy awake now, an<:'. griped his rifle with sav a.ge determination. Several shots were fired, hut were only an swered by derisive yells. 'fbey did not reach the savage attackers.: "We must manage to re!lch them from some other source, before they get the door down, or our game is up," Frank declared, anxiously "Me got it fixed," the half-breed replied, as he pointed to two plu11:s, one of wbkh WllS driven slant-wise into either door-post, the slant being toward each other, a.nd pointing tg a


28 Wild Frank. the Buckskin BraYo. center without, oppos1te the c enter of the door. Pull plugs out, and find loop-boles." This was accordingly done, and a literal volley fired upon the horde of savages around the door, followed by another and another as fast as the two defenders could manipulate their re rifles. It was not cries of dericton that now answered their fire, but yells of mortal pain, and of rage, and there was a general stampede from the vicinity of the door, followed by a brooding stillness without. Lady Lily came down-stairs, now, .carrying a light sp<>rting rifle of handsome finish. "Am I too late1" she cried gayly. "I'm sure I could hit one of the savage brutes." "We've scattered 'em for the present," Wild Frank replied, smJing. "You may possibl;r have an opportunity yet, before the night 1S over. Where is his lordliness?" In the hallway above, crouching in one corner like a scared poodle," Lady Lily replied. "I wouldn't be such a timid goose as he is for the world." For nearly an hour the quiet continued, and not a sign of the enemy could be seen or heard. "I reckon they've gone for good," Papanaugb said. Don't fool yourself. They'll not give up without another attack," the Buckskin Bravo rephed. "Ahl didn't I tell you!" A loud chorus of yells now pealed forth on all aides of the cabin. They had surrounded it. "Now, then, each one take a looP.-hole and watch for a painted head," Frank said, and accordingly three sides of the cabm were taken nd guarded. After the i;aries of yells all again became quiet without. What the reds were doing was unknown to the three defenders1 for nothing could be seen of them for upward or an hour. Then Wild Frank discovered them, mounted Upon their Jlitiv e that yau know whether I am the real Lillian Revere or not. If you do know, for Heaven's sake t.ell me, and relieve me of an awful sus pense." I will tell you all on condition that you will consent to be my wife on my return from finding Humming' Bird," the scout said, earnestly. I have grown to love you sincerely since meeting you, and trust you give my honest af fection encouragement." I d o not deny a strong love for you, Wild Frank," was the slow reply, as she gazed up into his eyes; "and if I am really Lillian Revere, I will gladly give you m:r hand. if I am some nameless outcast-picked up b;r. Mt. Mo rey-I will neve r wed an;r, man; I will kill my self and end my-misery I CHAPTER XXI. THE MEDICINE-WOMAN REVEALED. "THAT would be very wrong," the scout an swered, taking her slender hru:ids in bis strong ones. "To thr JW away a life because you could not command a title, would be utter non sense, e s pecially when you would have a true and faithful protector in m e." "Then am I not the real Lillian Revere?" she. demanded, wildly. It must be so, or you would not talk that way." 'Pshaw! Do not get excited. I cannot ar. swe r your question until my return, when l may possibly llring Sir Ralph Revere with me, and also his wife. lf "Oh, do not! They will denounce me as a fraud and impostor." Maybe not. If the y should, you know to whom you may fly for love and protection through li f e." "No-nol Gladly will I accept your offer, Wild Frank, if I can come to you in bridal with a title and plenty of money, but never will I wed you knowing that I am some nameless waif of the streets of London, picked up by Mt. Mo rey to further his mercenary schemes. I would rathe r go away to some lon ely spot and lay down and die, in the consciousness that I was guiltless of casting my humble lot with a man of noble nature like you!" "Well, when I return, I do not think you will have cause for a moment to. consider such a rash move. By-by now I A lover's kiss, and then I am merr:ily off over the prairies to the rescue of the Humming Bird." The kisses were exchanged between the strange ly contrasted pair; then Wild Frauk !lift the Ranch, procured his horse, and was soon gallop ing away toward the northwest, through the waning moonlight . He did not follow the trail of the red-skins, who, with their pursuers, had disappeared from view down a decline in the prairie, but struck off in a course which experience had taught him was a nearer route to the hills. An hour's swift ride brought him to the foot hills of a rocky range, and h e enrered the same gulch that Humming Bird had entered a few nights previous, and was soon !!l!!mding at the mouth of the singular apeI'ture where she bad stood. "Hello!" be challenged, through the ho1e. Spirit Medicine-Woman ahoy I" What's wanted and who calls?" was the a}.. most immediat.e answer in an unearthly e.nd se pulchral tone. "It is I, Wild Frank, the scout,"theBuckskin Bravo answered. "I have come to beg a per sonal and immediate interview with the Spirit Medicine-Woman." Imoossible !" was the reply. Earthly beings can never gain access to the realms of Gleo parted spirits until after death."


Wild Frank. the BuckEkin .Jravo. 27 "Pshaw I enough of nonsense!" Wild Frank returfled, impatiently. If you are the one who fifteen years ago was i he of Sir Ralph Revere, in London, for Heaven's sake Jet me m, as I have something of vital importance to com municate." "What cause have you for imagining me to be Lady Revere?" the secret medicine-woman demanded. "Because I have pictures of yourself, your husband and child, and have seen your face on one or more occasions during my rambles over in the mountains," was the scout's prompt an swer. Following which there was a silence of several minutes' duration. So long did it continue that Wild Frank grew impatient, and once more applied his mouth to the aperture. "Well, are you going to admit me or notP' he ask ea. "Yes, follow me/' voice a said at bis elbow, and turning he oebeld a matronly-looking woman of some fifty years standing near him. She was attired in a dress of buckskin, and wore her hair down over her shoulders. Her eyes were brown, and her face, though fur-this life romance in which I have had a band1" "I can," wa.s the reply, "for I have compared stories with my husband, and we thoroughly understand tow basely we have been wronged by the villainy of another. But tell me-is LOrd Mt. Morey here in the West, as I have beard1" There is such a mau now at Papanaugh's Ranch," Wild Frank r e plied, respectfully. And is he accompanied by a young woman whom he claims is our child-mine ancl Sir Ral b's1" "1Yes, my lady." "Then, what we most want to know-is that our Lillian1 You, sir, should know1 ito wbOSQ care my husband placed the little tning fifteen years ago." Wild Frank did not answer immediately. He was suddenly assailed with a temptation to de clare the one he loved so dearly to be the right and only Lillian Revere. Wbat harm could it be? No one but he and Mt. Morey would know different, perhaps, and it might save a life. Then bis thoughts reverted to the little prairie grave. and a of ex quisite sadness stole o'er him. rowed by time and its neighbor, sorrow, still CHAPTER XXII. bore of aL early beauty. A BITTER REVELATION. She led tbe way down the steps, up the gulch "You do not answer," Sir Ralph said. a few yards, and into a black fissure in the "What are we to infer br, your silence? that rocks, which barely admitted the passage of our child is living or dead1' their bodies. Following the fissure a short dis'She is dead," Wild Frank replied, gravely, tance, they suddenly emerged into a cavern of ''and lies buried upon the prairie but a few cons1derabie size, which was lighted by a ruddy miles from here. After you gave her to me, I fl.re burning in the center. took her to my solitary mo _untain borne and A few rude stools, couches of skins, a rough there carefully reared ber untll she become a. table, and some pots and kettles comprised the pretty, healtbful little maiden, of sweet dbpofurniture, witb the exception of a rifle. and winning ways. I taught her as much Upon one of the couches of furs, near the fl.re, as I knew bow, and bought her books to read, reclined a man, who arose upon bis elbow as the when at the settlements, so that she was soon medicine-woman entered, accompanied by the able to turn about and teach me. She never Buckskin Bravo. left the cabin further than to seek a ne1ghbor-It required but a glance from the' scout's eagle ing peak which commanded a view of the brood eye to recognize him as the lunatic, Angel Gaprairies, and when she died, of a sudden fever, briel. sh" requested me to place her grave down in the Be se.ated," the woman said, and state prairie. I fulfilled her wish, and placed a'lllaryour errand." ble slab at her head, to mark her last resting" J will do so. Are you the wife of Sir Ralph place. She was as dear to me as if she were in Revere1" reality my own child, and her death cast a deep "I am," was the reply. gloom over my life." "And tb1g man is-" "How long ago did she die I" "My husband, sir." "Nearly five years. I never examined the "I thought as much, when I saw him a few contents of the box you gave me, until a few nights ago. He is laboring undl'r insanity, is be nights since." not?" There was a short silence, and then Lady "No, for, thanks to this good Samaritan, I Revere said: have fully recovered, so that all is clear to me I will now relate m;r story, and we will and I recognize you I" Sir Ralph said, rising and compare notes. According to my husband, extending his hand. "You, sir, are the one to previous to his fl.igbt from England, Lord Mt. whom I consigned in.y two-year-old child, on Morey prejudiced bim 11.gainst me by a lying re that November night, fifteen years agl!>, are you port that I was in love with him-Mt. Morey not?" -and oo longer wished to be tied to my own "I am Wild Frank, yes and received such a husband. This was the cause of Sir Ralph's child. But, you were dead ere I left you flight I learned it afterward from. Mt. Morey, "No, not dead-only in a swoon, superinduced who taunted me with the faot. About the by the taiutness caused by my arm, and want same time my husband left London I was sent of food. I aftel"'Nard recovered, but bereft of word that he was dangerously hurt, a11d lying TIJason to some exteot.11 in a private hospital in another part of London. "And you1" the BCOut said, turning to Lady Leaving my child in charge of my French Revere-" can you favor me with the faclis of nurse, I hastened t.o the place, euspecting llO


SS Wild Fra.nk, the Buckskin Bravo. evil until too late, when I found myself incar cerated in a private mad-house, hopelessly in sane, they said. Maybe I was. At times it seemed to me I should go crazy. In due time Mt. Morey called upon me, and offered to ecure my release if I would marry him oofore t saw the outside of my dungeon. I refused him, of course. Again and again he came with bis offer, and as many times I scornfully repulsed him, until one day, in a taunting mood, h e told me how he had been the projector of one of the most devilish plots eve r concocted, the result of which you already ean see-my husband driven ,from England, and I placed in an asylum. The object he said was to get possession of some money which he first hA!ieved had fallen to me, but later learned was willed to my child. After that his visits ceased for a time, until one day he visited me in comp:my with a:iothe r man, and a>ked me if a little g irl, whom be bad also brought along, was my child, at ma as much as to say that if I would identiry the child as mine, h e would liberate me. "Of couna I d enied the child, emphatically, and they left. After that I was not visited by any one except my keepers. Nearl:v a year I remaine d in the mad-house; then I escaped You may re3t assured it was the happiest day of my li(e. Iu a secluded part of London I went to work, until I bad accumulated enough money to defray my expenses to America. Here I came, in search of my husband and child, prayin" Goi to assist me to find the m. Knowing h e had al ways talkeg much onVestern America, I cama to the W e>t in search of him. For twelve y aars I roamed throu11;h the States !&nd Territories as a n lnlian medicine-woman, ever 011 the search. I had a knowledga of medi cina, a11 l by oxpetie11ce acquired more. "Twelve years witbr n1t success. Two years a*o, I ran acr:>s'l Sir R ilph, as I b e lieved, and foun: l him a luo'.l.ti c I brou;ht him b&re, and w .)rkej over him to restore his mind, but when f W:LS ju>t b agianin" to have hopes, h e dis a!Jpe!tred, a"ld I did not see him agam for moittbs. Thus four tim3s did I run across him and be escape me. A few nie;hts ago, I found him wounded, upon the prairie, and brought him and by the grace of God I have succeeded in bringing back his full reason." "You are a noble wo:n!tu," the scout said, heartily, "and H e who ever watche3 over u s, will ever after guide you into a happy pathway. .(feel sorry for one person-the poor misled gir;t who ha baen to suppose that she was Lillian R 'Vere She is a n o ble, sweet-hearte d girl, and my only wish is that she might always be led, in toe future as in tbe past, to suppose that she is r eally your daughfor." ".If she is such a pure, noble girl as you de scribe, I see no reason why we should mar her young life by not claiming her, as 0ur own, so long as own chiM is dead," Sir Ralph said, turning to L'.l.dy :B,evere. -"I will not object, d ear husband, for I have keen enoug;h to

Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bravo. 88 nished with furs, weapons and usual camp appurtenances, was the retreat of Wyoming Bill and his desperate gang of renegade red and white outlaws; but, alas! for the aforesaid band, they had lost their notorious chief. Among those who surrounded him Wild Frank was nbt surprised" to see the Harris brnthers and Doc Deering. He had long sus pected that they belonged to the outlaws; but, until now, had not been able to obtain any proof against them. Y as, this is our head-quarters," Jim Harris remarked, interpreting the meaning < f the scout's glance around. How d'ye like the looks of it? Reckon it don't look purty come, eh?" "Better git him a Bible," Bob Harris sneered, 'so tbet he kin beg'.n ter learn how to say his "You need not trouble yourself," Wild Frank ,-etorted. T en to one you three ruffians will ne 2 d to say your prayers before I will." At this the outlaw laughed loudly, and turned away. The Indians tl:en bound the scout's fe et, and he was tossed upon a plle of skins iu a corner. of the cave, where he was left for hours. Daydawn soon peeped in at the mouth of the cave, and he could see the red-skins congregated uron the plateau without, and also the white outlaws, and concluded that they were holdinr; a pow-wow-probably concerning what disposi tion was to be made of their prisoner. What would be tlie result? To Wild Frank it was apparent that some honible plan of torture would be devised, which would end in death, unlesshewas r escued. That no one would come to his he felt certain, for his two pards were on their way to the military post, and there was no one else in the vicinity who would come in search of him. The prospect was therefore anything but pleasant. He was in the .midst of contemplation of bis situation when be felt a slight touch upon his baok, and whirled around to find no one less than the Humming Bird near him. "'Shi for your life, don't speak above a whis per!" she said, in a smothered tone. "I have managed to get h ere without attracting notice. Do you know what they propose to do with you'!'' No more than that they threatened to roast me "the scout replied. many him as soon as we get there. I shall con sent to this, and thus get back to my brother, and then denounce these ruffians." "But, is this not risky? They may force you to keep your pledge." '' That they cannot do. Before they can make me you can c9me and arrest them," ,/If successful in escaping, yes. It would be a triumph I would crave." Then I will look for you. 'Sh! some one is coming. I must go." She glided away through a fissure in the rdck, into some inner cave, and that was the last the scout saw of her, in the rendezvous. The three outlaws now entered, andaproach ed where Wild Frank still)ay, as if bound and helpless. He had the knife c:mcealed in the sleeve of his puckskin jacket, ready for instant u se, however, and was resolved to seU his life dearly. "Well, we've held a meeting," Jim Hanis said, folding bis arms, and the reds reckon as how they orter bev ye fer a roast. You've killed a heap of their brothers, and raised the deuce generally, and they allow they'd feel safer ef you war evaporated in a cloud o" smoke. An' so, as we're under deep obligations to the aforeraid reds, we must rend our hearts-in sorrow, and l ose you, our loved one." How long before the interesting ceremony is to commenc< ; may I ask?" Wild Frank inquired with the utmost composure. -"You'll be informed, as. soon as we decide," Jim Harris answered, turning away, followed by bis comrades. They returned in about an h our, however, and Bob Harris said: "The fair Humming Bird has ccIJEented to become Mrs. Bob Harris, old boy, so y o u see we've won everything. I start at once for mid prairie, whertJ the ceremony will be J>llrformed to-morrow eve, at six o'clock, by the Reverend Doctor Deering, here. Part of the reds will keep us company. Tbe remainder of 'em, and brother Jim will stay here, and to-morrow eve, at six o'clock the fires will be lighted what is to burn ye up. Tai ta! old long hair. I wish you a warm and pleasant trip. Drop me a postal card when you cross the line, and tell me how you like it." "Perhaps you ,will h ear from me again," Wild Frank suggested, significantly. CHAPTER XXIV. 1Yes; tbat is just what they intend to do,'' the half-breed girl assured. "You must escape now if ever." "i'bat is impossiblei I fear," with a dubious A TIMELY VICTORY. sbalte of his bead. am bound and helpless, BOB HARRIS and the Humming Bird accom and unarmed." panied by Doc Deering anrl a renegade "I will free you of your bonds,'' Humming red-skins, soon feft the cave en route for the Bird replied, producing a sharp knife, and sevprairie, where the ceremony was to take ering the cords that bound bis hands and. feet. place. "Now take this knife and watch your chance to After they bad gone, and when the shades of make your eseape." night were creeping into the cave, Jim Harris "But yon-I came to-rescue you, and cannot bli> 1ght a heavy blanket and lay down between go back without you?" Wi d Frank and the mouth of the cave. Do not risk your own safety on my e outlaw rolled himself in bis blanket, pre--count,'' the girl answered. "I have a better tory. for a nap, and it was but a sh'?rt p]an, which will work with less danger. Bob while ere bis heavy breathing proneunced hrm Harris to give me my li)er1Jy, and to he asleep. tia'ke me back_ to.the Riinch, if I ;fill. C)J)sent Wild Frank himself for tlie ts.sit ""-.


ao Wild Prank, the Buokekln before him. All the reds were rolled in their blani. e ts in another part of the cavern-Harris's boiy the only obstacle between the scout ani libertvt his knife firmly in_ his right hand he aro3e qui c kly and softly to his feet. To his surpris9 Jim Harris did the very same tl1iug, and for the instant the two ene mi es stood g laring at each other, neither mak int up y e r sniveling!" Bob Hi..:ris was say ing, "fer It won't do ye no good. Ye've gut ter marry me now an' here, an' ther. sooner ther better. Ye needn't think ye kin git out of it, fer ye can't." I ""8.llt to go to the ranch-I won't marry any one till I see my brother," Humming Bird tearfully protested. "Ye'r' goin' to do as I want-not as. you want!" Harris growled1 drawing and cockin<;{ a revolver and placing It against the side of her head. It's jest six o'clock now, and we'll pro ceed witk the ceremony, knowin' that the flames even now begin to tickle the legs of Wild Frank! Hal ha! Revenge is sweet. I can even now smell his flesh sc orching!" "Monster!" Humming Bird gasp!ld. Shet up!" h e r proposed spouse gruffly re plied "J E'S t y e mind what ther minister sez. Go ahead. d octor: let thefuneral purceed." Accordingly, Deering proceeded to read from the book a marriage service, and soon came to the query passag e which he modified to suit the If thar's enn v one present who has got any l'EJ..'''l ter say why this shall not take place, let him step forward s.nd aay so, l'.1r f.Clf'o ever bereafter shet up I" And I step for .d on m e Mt. More y bus sent mo


Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bravo. n a tau nting letter tellingme that Jam not t h e c h ild of tue Reveres but the d aughte r or a rum-drinking old ru.atchwoman in Lond on. God forbid, now that I should ever have lived to l ove and be l oved wh e n my low birth p l aces an eternal barrier between us . Good b y, love. May we meet to know one another in the next world. "Your betrothed-in death, HLILY." With the keenest anguish the Buckskin Bravo read this, and for oays, weeks-ay, eve n months, he scoured. the prairies in searc h of his lost darling, but neve r found her. The n he plunged deeper into the wilderness as guide of the United States exploring and surveying expediti.::.n a man with life imbittered-with affection seared by De!tth's grim band. Several years have passed since that memo table season, and time deals gently with the Buckskin Bravo, and not a month goes by that is not indelibl y stamped with some startling scene of his wild career. The R e v eres r eturned to England; Jack De H erne married Humming Bird and still lives at Papunaugb's; Wyoming Bill and bis pards were taken from jail and lynched without any trialj Mt. Morey and his crew were never after heara from; ttt this writing Laughing Len and Eagle Eye are u p in North Montana trapping; Wild Frank lies sic k in Kansas City, Mo.-and here we lay our P!ln in its bracket, light our sanctum pipe, and bid o u r friends au reroilr, THE END, DIME HAND-BOOKS. Young People's Series. BBADLE'S DIME HANDBOOKS FOR YOUNG .f'KoPLB cover a wide range o r s u bj e cts, and are 3specially adaptea to their end Ladies' Lettel'Writer. I Book or Games. G e n ts' Le t tei Writer FortuneTell e r Book of E t iquette. Lov ers' Cask e t. Book of Verses Ball-room Compa ni on. Book o f Dreams Book of Bea u ty. Hand-Books o f Games. Handbook ef Summ e r Sports. Sook of I Yachting and Rowing Instructor. Riding and Driving. Cricket and Football Book of P e destrianism. 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