Lieutenant Hal on staff duty, or, General Fitzhugh Lee's young aide

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Lieutenant Hal on staff duty, or, General Fitzhugh Lee's young aide

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Lieutenant Hal on staff duty, or, General Fitzhugh Lee's young aide
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Starry flag weekly Thrilling stories of our victorious army
Wells, Douglas
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (32 p.) 26 cm.: ;


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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Fiction ( 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.
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025644976 ( ALEPH )
71278422 ( OCLC )
S52-00008 ( USFLDC DOI )
s52.8 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Starry Flag Weekly Imitd Wkly-By 8ubaet1ptton lfl.60 P>' yea'" JiJntmd as &eon01ear, 1Vhi11oto11, D. 0. No. 9. NEW YORK July 2, 18()8. Price Five Cents. LIEUTENANT HAL ON STAFF DUTY; OR, General Fitzhugh Lee's Young Aide. B y DOUGLAS WELLS. first Part. CHAPTER I A FAMOUS AMERICAN. "I-I beg your pardon." "It is really not worth mention, sir." A young man in civilian dress, bend tig 1ow and looking into the eyes of the fr] with whom he was promenading, ad bumped into the youngest army offi er in the army headquarters in the rampa Bay Hotel, Tampa. Recovering, with a flush of embarrass ent, the civilian had turned to the offier and made his apology. The young officer, who accompanied his acknowledgment by a bow that was the embodiment of soldierly grace, was Lieutenant Hal Maynard, who, when the war was but a few weeks old, had gained a fame that many of his rankiJJg officers envied. The event just recorded was a trifling one, over and forgotten, so far as the actors were concerned, in a few seconds. Yet one man noticed the happening with interest. That man was somewhat short, thick set, florid faced and kindly eyed; with a rather rounded head which a phrenologist would have explained as belonging to a man who would fight with dogged courage, yet who, at other times, was among the most amiable of men. His eyes, while expressing ki11dliness, showed also the keen penetration of an habitual observer He was a man wh o wonld be a fast friend or a dangerous enemy, yet a man incapable of harboring enmity after the moment when the cause for it had ceased. He was a man who was likely to be found where the affairs of men were most engrossing. Duty was his religion. Other men might falter in their trust, but he never! He was attired in a neat fatigue tmi form. On the brand new shoulder straps of his uniform glistened the two stars of a major general, lately placed there by commission of t11e President. In a word, the man was he, who during the month of April, 1898, was the most talked about man in the United BE PATRIOT IC-WEAR A BUTTON


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. States-one of the country's most con spicuous of shining lights-a patriot, a soldier, and-a man! Generai Fitzhugh Lee had recently arrived at Tampa. He had been appointed to the command of an army corps. As to the destination of his men, whether they were to go to Cuba or Porto Rico was not yet known. General Lee preferred to go to Cuba. He was eager to meet General Blanco again, confident that at their next meet ing the Spanish captain general would be a prisoner of war. Yet, if the orders came to go to Porto Rico instead, General Lee was equally ready to go there. He was a soldier at all times, and a soldier cheerfully obeys orders. It was his own possession of all the soldierly qualities that made General Lee appreciate the scene he had just wit nessed. "Good stuff in that young chap," solil oquized the general. "He turned just in time to be bumped into without expect ing it. He showed no surprise or awk wardness-se.Jf-possession His acknowL edgment and bow displayed as much grace as any man in the army is capable of-just the sort of commander who handles men coolly and well. A West Pointer, that young man, and trndoubt edly one who graduated well up in his class.'' But in this latter opinion General Lee made a mistake. Hal Maynard was not a West Pointer, but one of the very best men who had come into the army from civil life. Hal, on his part, had not seen the general yet, but he turned now just in time to see Lee looking his way. Hal's hand traveled up to the rim of his sombrero in salute. The gesture was not hurried, nor tardy either. '!A good soldier," silently commented the hero of Havana as he acknowledged the salute. Hal, who knew not how closely he had been observed, longed to take a better look at this famous American. He did not do so, however, since for a lieutenant to stare at a general would be a breach of army etiquette. After saluting, therefore, Hal moved away. It was early morning. There were few loiterers about the big hotel, many of the guests being yet in bed. "I'd like something to do for a change," mused Hal, as he stepped out on the veranda, seated himself on a chair and tilted it against the wall. _Since his last great exploit of foiling the plot of the Spanish dons from Mexico to blow up the fleet of transports at Port Tampa, our hero had been without assignment to duty. He had been wounded in the perform ance of that duty, and, though he was rapidly recovering, he was as yet by no means in the .pink of condition. His usually ruddy face was still paliid from the loss of blood. Though he_ walked with springy step, he had by no means fully recovered his strength. Further, he was still on sick report, and that fact prevented him from being assigned to any active duty. "When the doctors say the word I can get into harness again," mused the you11g. lieutenant. "I hope it will be mighty soon, too." While he sat there he was kept busy nodding to young officers passing in a11d out. .. ''Mr. Maynard, I believe?'' half queried a young man who had sauntered toward him. The questioner wore brown linen clothes with service leggings and an SEE OUR NEW COUPON OFFER-LAST PAGE.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. s army sombrero. It was not easy to tell, at a glance, whether he was or was not in the army. "Yes, my name is Maynard," an swered Hal. "I a111 McCorkle, correspondent for the New York Hustler," began the stranger, drawing a chair over close to Hal's. "Mr. Maynard, I'll be obliged if you'll tell me a little more than I already know about that affair the other day at Port Tam pa." "The affair?" repeated Hal, with a puzzled look. "Yes; the occasion, you know, when you fished some Spaniards out of the canal. I haven't heard the whole story of l that went on the correspondent, persuasively. Hal knew quite well to what McCorkle eferred. It was the famous affair of the captnre of the dons from Mexico. Quiet as the matter had been kept, however, the correspondents Jrnd heard something f!bout it from some source, though not one of them had as yet got at the facts of the case. But Hal knew qnite well that he had no right to oblige the correspondent. Such news, if given out at all, mu::;t come through Colonel Westinghouse, who had charge of the army's secret service work. "What was the story?" smiled Hal. "You correspondents have such facilities for hearing of things that it is refreshing for a poor officer to meet you. I shall be ; glad, by all means, if you have time, to I hear what the story was.,, "Now you are making fun of me," protesteri McCorkle. "I assure you that I am not." "Do you deny the story, lieutenant?" "How can I, when I don't even know what it is?" queried Hal, placing hand on the correspondent's shoulder. "But I have it on the best authority that you took a prominent part in the affair." 'That affair' again,,, laughed Hal. "Yon are making me curious, Mr. Mc Corkle. Are you going to tell me more, or are you going to keep me permanently on the anxious list?'' "See here, lieutenant," said the re porter, candidly, "all I know about it is this: It is said that you canght some Spaniards swimming in the canal, and that you fished them out. Do you mind telling me whether that was true?" "If that is the. story," fenced Maym nard, "I don't dare tell you. Fishing in the canal is forbidden just now, so I would be getting myself into trouble by confessing any such thing." ''How many Spaniards were there in the batch?" asked McCorkle, quickly. "Rather less than an army corps of them, I guess, from what the correspond ents tells me." Mr. McCorkle looked uncomfortable. This simple, green-looking young officer was not one who could be pumped easily. "I'm afraid you 're not talkative," d . "I'll grunted the correspon ent, ns1ng. get at the whole story, however, before the day is over.'' "Oh, Mr. McCorkle," called Hal, insinuatingly, and the war correspondent, ten steps away, turned and came quickly back. ''I can give you a piece of news, if you won't tell where you got it." ''Of conrse I won't,'' promised McCorkle. "I never betray confidences." "You promise?" "On my honor." "There was a big explosion over at Port Tampa this morning." "The deuce you say!" ejaculated the Hustler man. "Any details?" "Yes; the wind blew up the bay." FREE WAR BADGES. SEE LAST PAGE.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Mr. McCorkle looked highly crest fallen. "I'll remember that," he promised, with a sickly grin. "But I'm going to return good for evil, and tell you some real news. A bulletin has just come in to the effect that the Emperor of China has set his entire fleet to Manila." "What does that mean?" Hal wanted to know. "They're after Dewey's wash. Goodmorning, Mr. Maynard.'' And McCorkle, looking somewhat re lieved, walked away, but without the news he had hoped to get. A later General Lee stepped upon the veranda. He had overheard the reporter trying to pump the young officer, and had halted just out of sight. Now, however, he shot a swift look at our hero, who, rising, stood by his chair until the general turned in the other direction. "A good soldier," murmured Lee, once more. ''He knows how to talk without telling anything-a valuable accomplishment in the army." General Lee sauntered some distance down the piazza, while Hal, altogether ignorant that he had attracted even the passing notice of the hero of Havana, closed his eyes. It was not long before the heat of the morning sun sent him into a half doze. It was a piercing scream that brought Hal to his feet, wide awake. He waited only long enough to under stand that the shrieks came from a woman out on the lawn. She stood close to where the train of cars pulling out for Port Tampa had just started. The wheels were slowly moving, not yet having made a complete revolution. "0-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oh !" screamed the woman. Hal, descending the steps at one fly' leap, was now rushing toward her w the speed of a deer. As he ran he saw what had happene Under the car, while the woman's ba was turned, a baby had crept. No one had seen the child until af the conductor, giving the signal to t engh1eer, had stepped aboard the train. There crouched the child, too you to comprehend its awful peril, while t woman, paralyzed with terror, seem incapable of rushing to its assistance. Instead, she continued to scream wi fright. Only the cor:dqctor could stop the tra in time, and he, looking at the frighten woman, failed to comprehend the comi tragedy. But Hal saw and understood, his he seemingly coming up into his throat. There was no time to shout to the c ductor now. Before the signal could b1:: given ov the bell cord the rear trucks of the would grind out the little life. Putting on a frenzied burst of spe "the young lieutenant threw himself the ground beside the track. The next instant he was fairly un the car. CHAPTER II. LIKE AN AMERICAN SOLIDER. There was a passing glimpse only o yellow-striped trousers leg close t against the rear truck. Two lives instead of one! So it seemed, for the wheels roll relentlessly on. A baby's sharp cry added to the co fusion. Then the car was past, and Hal Ma nard, covered with dust from head t foot, rose to his feet, unscathed, holdini the sobbing child in his arms. WAR BUTTONS FREE TO ALL READERS.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 6 r Flop! The screaming woman gave a mort gasp, then collapsed on the ground. t Not more than a dozen people had witessed the affair, most of them from a iistance. All who saw, however, now came rush :ng to the spot. First to reach the scene was General Fitzhugh Lee. He had heard the shrieks, had started the same instant that our hero did, but, having further to go, had been dis tanced in the race. Hal, still holding the child in his arms, hurried to where the woman lay. In another second Fitzhugh Lee was \ the scene. l Off came his sombrero. His voice was husky with true emotion as he exclaimed: "Lieutenant, I hail a hero! That was agnificently done!'' Hal, looking up, saw who had comlimented him, and flushed with pleasure. "It's all in line with ar1ny work, gen (!ral, 11 replied the boy, disengaging one hand to raise it to a salute. "You are right, lieutenant, but :r ad nire the modesty which makes you say ;o. I will say more to you, lieutenant, when this poor woman, 11 turning to the fainting form on the grass, "has been attended to. 11 Among those who hastened to the spot were three or four women. Much to Hal's relief, one of them immediately appropriated the baby, declar ing that no man understood how to hold such a precious little thing. The odor of smelling salts filled th' e air, and the fainting woman soon senses, only to from one hysteri cal streak into another. l ''Poor creature,'' cried several of the \ women, sympathetically, for, by this time there was a good-sized crowd on the scene. Leaning on friendly arms, the young w?man was aided into the hotel and up stairs. "A negligent nurse, I'm afraid, 11 commented General Lee. "Not the child's mother, general ?11 queried Hal. ''No, indeed. Did you get 110 better look at the young woman than that, lieu tenant? She wore cap and apron.'' "I didn't really see her at all, 11 con fessed Hal. ''She wasn't in any danger.'' "Come with me, lieutenant," went on Lee, slipping his arm familiarly through that of the young officer, and drawing him aside. So great had the crowd become, so many accounts of the rescue were in the air, that Hal was able to get away without being identified as the hero of the moment. "Come up to my office, 11 added Lee, briefly, as they crossed the portals of the hotel. Hal followed in silence. Not until they were in the general's office, and the door closed, did Fitzhugh Lee speak aga:in. Then, turning aryd warmly clasping '1' Maynard's hand, the hero of Havana cried: "Lieutenant, I must thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing of what stuff the army is made. When I saw you throw yourself under the train my heart was in my mouth. I have seen men rush to certain death before, but your exploit affected me more deeply than any act of heroism I have ever seen. Your readiness I especially commend. If you had hesitated an instant to think, you would have failed. Your promptness, dash and intelligence are all thoroughly in line with the traditions of our army. You will do great things in the field, I hope, but you will never show more pure and simple heroism." READ THE GREAT PREMIUM OFFER ON LAST PAGE.


6 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. General Lee spoke quietly, yet with a warmth and earnestness that made Bal flush more and more deeply. "Thank you, general." "You are under General Shafter?" queried Lee. "Yes, general.'' "And you are hoping, no doubt, to go to Cuba with him on the first expedition that sails?" "That is my hope, general." "But as to the present--" "I am unattached." "Would you care to serve under me on ) special duty, for a while?" "I would be proud to, general," answered Hal, and he meant it. "Especially," he added, "as I owe it all to you, general, that I am in the army at pres ent. "Owe it all to me?" repeated Fitzhugh Lee, looking puzzled. "Lieutenant, I don't terr.ember that I ever saw you before this morning.'' "That's just why I owe my army rank to you, general." "Now, I am beginning to change my opinion of you," s!tf,iled Lee. "I thought you one of the most straightforward young men I had ever met, but now you are talking in conundrum. How could I help you if I never saw you before?'' "You remember the ninth of April, general?)' "I shall never forget it," answered Lee, his eyes flashing. "It was then that you took out of Havana with yon the last American who wanted to go-the last but one." "And that one?" "Myself, general." "How could you have been left behind, lieutenant? I would have sworn, when I stood on the steamer's deck, while passing under the guns of Morro, that I had with me the last American in Havana." "It was my own fault, sir. I reached Ha\'ana twenty minutes too late.'' "What happened to you after that?" "I had enemies there, and quickly found myself unpopular there. Jail was right next door to unpopularity, bnt I got out, thanks to to the best friend that a man ever had." "To w horn do you refer?" "To Captain Juan Ramirez, of General Gomez's staff. He is here in Tampa now, on business for the general. He and I escaped out of Havana in the night time, got hold of guns, and joined the Cubans. Each with the rank of lieutenant, we were sent to Key West with two Cuban pilots, who were to gliide the fleet along the Cuban coast at the outbreak of the war." "But your commission in the United States army? That is a prL.! not easily won.'' "The commission was offered to me wl1'ile I was waiting at Key West for a chance to get back to General Gomez. It was offered in order that I might be intrusted with dispatches from the Washington government to Gomez, dispatches to which I brought back that leader's reply." "Now," quoth Lee, "I know all about you. I have heard all about tbat splendid achievement, though the name of th officer had slipped me. Mr. Maynard, again clasp your hand and congratulat the service on having as a member of i such a young officer as yourself.'' It was again Hal's turn to flush. Ready at a moment's notice to g wherever duty called, and ready to d whatever that duty demanded, he wishe afterward to have his exploits, if not for gotten, not mentioned. The truest soldiers ure always the mos modest. DO YOU WANT A FLAG BUTTON OR PIN?


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 7 ''Will you take a seat and wait here, lieutenant?" "Thank you, general," replied Hal, but remained standing while in the pres ence of a general officer. "I am going to see General Shafter, and for two purposes. First of all, to tell him what you have done this morning, and to congra _tulate him on the possession of such a youngster. Second, to beg him to lend you to me for a little while dur ing my stay in Tam pa. This remark made it appear as if Gen eral Lee did not expect long to remain at this army headquarters, but Hal asked no questions. It is not customary for lieutenants to ask unnecessary questions of generals. As Fitzhugh Lee went out, Hal sank into the chair. He could not help looking about the room. It was one of the offices belonging to the general's suite. On a desk 11earby were piles and boxes of papers, probably all documents relating to the campaign about to be started. It would be folly to say that young Maynard felt no curiosity concerning the papers, which would undoubtedly throw mi1ch light on the very questions which all the younger army officers in Tampa were concerning themselves. Beyond a doubt these papers would throw much light upon such vexed ques ions as where the army was going to and in Cuba, what the strength of the orces would be, what regiments and bat eries would be cho5en, and a dozen other roblems concerning which the young ffic.ers 5peculated but knew little. Fitzhugh Lee's papers were safe, how ver, under the eyes of Lieutenant May ard. It is not too much to say that they ould have been equally safe from the rying of any other army officer simi11 REMEMBER THE MAINE!" larly placed, for honor and shoulder straps are found together in Uncle Sam's small but magnificent force of regulars. Outside in the corridors frequently heavy treads were heard. .Plainly it was a busy morning at headquarters. But nearly a half an hour elapsed be fore General Lee returned. "Growing impatient, Maynard?" he queried, as he stepped inside and closed the door. "No, general." "Well, our little matter is arranged. When general orders come out this after noon, it will be seen that you have been assigned tPmporarily to staff duty under me. But General Shafter, who has a big heart and thoughtful brain where his men are concerned, has exacted a promise of me relating to you. I have had to agree that, since you are not quite off the sick report, I will not give you any harder work than I can help.'' "I am ready for whatever duty comes, general.'' "Then take a seat at this desk, May nard,'' directed the general, leading the way. "Your work to-day, if not as stir ring as you have been use to, will be highly confidential." So saying, Fitzhugh Lee inducted his new young aide to the very piles of papers which our hero had before noticed. .,..., ---CHAPTER III. WELLINGTON DEPEYSTER PRATT. "Look these well over," requested the general, bringing forward one packet after another. "I want you to make your self familiar with all these documents, since I am sure you know how to hold your tongne concerning their contents. At the same time, be careful not to dis turb the order in which I have them at WEAR A MAINE II BUTTON.


8 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. present arranged. I shall be back here before long.'' In another moment Hal was alone, with orders to peruse the very papers that he was most anxious to see. His eyes opened as he proceeded rapidly with the reading. One after another the government's most secret plans were made clear to him. "What wouldn't Mr. Correspondent McCorkle give to liave what he would call a 'satisfying talk' with me now?" grimaced the boy. An hour passed. Hal Maynard had gained a very intelli gent idea of the contents of th':! papers by the time that Fitzhugh Lee returned. ''Mastered them, Maynard?" "I believe so, general." "Surprised a bit, aren't you?" "Candidly, sir, I am." "Not half as surprised, though," chuckled Lee, "as the Spaniards will be.'' "I can quite believe that, general," smiled Hal, for the reading of those docu ments had shown the young lieutenant how utterly the dons would be astounded and discomfited by the real plans of the Government, so different from the plan of campaign as laid down in the columns of the newspapers. "What do you think of the plans, lieutenant?" questioned Lee, sinking into a chair and biting off the end of a dgar. His tone was one of such fami1iar friendliness that our hero was surprised. "My opinion should be worth very little, general. But these pap-:rs have given me a great respect for the Presi dent and his advisers. From my way of looking at it, this campaign is certain to be conducted in a way that will simply crowd the Spaniards off the island of Cuba with the slightest possible loss of life to the Americans. It strikes me, general, that the plan of campaign is more like a general and irresistible evic tion than a fight.'' "You have struck the key-note of the Washington scheme," nodded Lee. "Japan whipped China with a loss of some eight hundred men. It begins to look as if we were to triumph over the don with even more insignificant losses.'' "Especially," smiled Hal, "unless the Spaniards take some real lessons in marksmanship before they face the American forces.'' "You have about penetrated the situa tion,'' again nodded the hero of Havana. ''And now let us get down to real busi ness, lieutenant. These documents, or some of them, are too important for me to take the slightest risk of their falling into the hands of the enemy. These that I have pencilled with a blue cross I want condensed into fewer words, and then transcribed into the army cipher." Hal rapidly sorted out of the papers that were so marked. "Here is the anLy cipher book," went on the general. "You will understand, of course, lieutenant, that not even crown jewels should be guarded more jealously than this cipher, for if it fell into the hands of the enemy, few of our secret would be safe from them.'' For some time General Lee went t explain in low tones the intricate metho of converting ordinary words into tb mysteries of army cipher. "Now, to your task, lieutenant," an Fitzhugh Lee rose and went toward connecting door. "J ndge for yourself, lieutenant, w he th any callers for me will really need to s me. If you deem that they do, ad them. If not, send them away on s o pretext or another. Lee opened the door of his room A BUTTON OR BADGE FREE-SEE LAST PAGE.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 9 fore he turned back once to add with a smile: "The office on the other side of yours is occupied by Captain Proffitt, who enjoys the distinction of being the most profane man in the service. When he comes in you are likely to hear him swearing from time to time. Should the racket disturb you to such an extent that it interferes with your work, knock on the door, open it, and ask him to swear more softly. You will find the captain a perfect gentleman, said Lee, with another smile. Left alone, Maynard buckled down to W?rk with an industy acquired in the old days when he had clerked for a planter in Cuba. Very quickly he found himself mastering the intricacies of the cipher code. The work proceeded rapidly. Rap tap! came on the door. "Come in," sang out Hal, throwing a spread-out newspaper over his work. That which "came in11 caused Hal a chi! of apprehension. He was a man of about forty, whose sallowness was almost blackness. His long hair, which came down below his shoulders, gave him at first, the appearance of a poet, but the clatter of his heavy club-feet on the floor dispelled that illusion. He wore a frayed crash suit, topped by a felt hat to which he had evidently tried o impart a military angle. In his left hand he carried a thick ackage of something, presumably papers. His right hand came up to a clumsy ttempt at a military salute as soon as be ught sight of Hal's uniform. He opened his mouth. From the heavy ake-up of the man Maynard almost excted to hear a voice of thunder. Inad, the tone which came forth was ill and quavering. Despite his vocal short-comings, however, the caller endeavored to impart an air of dignity to his words and bearing. "I wish to see General Lee at once,'' was his first declaration. "The general is very busy, sir," replied Hal. "My business is pressing, young man. "If you will tell me your name--" "Wellington DePeyster Pratt." "And your business?" Mr. Pratt drew himself up with indescribable dignity. "That, young man, is a matter that concerns only General Lee.,, "But I am required to know the business as well as the name of every caller that comes to the general.'' ''Just tell the general that I will explain my business to him in person," came the stiff retort. "I am sorry, sir, but I am afraid that, at the rate we are now proceeding, you won't be able to get to the general to-day.,, "This is outrageous," piped Wellington DePeyster Pratt. "Am I, one of the greatest living strategists, to be denied admittance to a general who would wel come me with open arms?', "Then you wish to see the general on some matter of strategy, eh ?1 "You have forced me to reveal my errand." ''It is too bad that you have come on the wrong day,'' answered Hal, in tone of commiseration. "You don't mean to tel1 me that the general has set a day on which he con siders matters of strategy?'' "'Not yet," replied the young scape grace. "At present General isn't considering strategy at all. As soon as he fixes on a regular day for that purpose th fact will be posted on the bulletin board down in the office. Until then HOW TO GET A BADGE FREE-READ PAGE 32.


io STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. there will be no .chance whatever for you to see General Lee.'' "I was not treated this way by General Shafter," complained the thin-voiced man. "He will see me, will hear my plans, and is sure to be greatly benefitted by them.'' "Then y ou have gained your purpose," Hal assured him, "since General Shafter is the one who will undoubtedly command the first expedition to Cuba." "But my system of strategy does not look to an attack upon Cuba," protested Wellington DePeyster Pratt, seating himself in a chair without waiting for an invitation. "Now, see here, young man, the plan is all wrong. The Government intends to drive the Spaniards out of Cuba. At the same time the American authorities intend to invade Porto Rico, because Porto Rico is a good station from which to intercept Spanish vessels or sup-:. plies sent to Cuba. My plan, and I have lain awake for three nighS s to prepare it, is much simpler, fifty times mort: effec tive. "Why drive the Spaniards out of Cuba? Why seize Porto Rico? Invade Spain itself, young man--" "I haven't time to 'to-day," interposed Hal, but the specialist in strategy was not to be put off with any such trivial excuse. "Invade Spain, young man. Seize the enemy's country and hold it as long as need be. When money and supplies stop coming from Spain, the Spaniards will leave Cuba quickly enough. When nothing can be sent from Spain, for the reason that the Government holds the enemy's country, then Porto Rico will prove to be worthless for the reason that there won't be anything there to intercept." "Not a bad idea," assented Hal. "I have here," resumed the strategist, "the most elaborately perfected plan for capturing Spain. In an hour, I think, I e s can explain it to you perectly." Hal groaned inwardly. He did not like to be openly rude to this crank, who, 0 after all, was harmless enou g h and who had done nothing to invite rudeness. e e "I am sorry that I haven't time to 01 listen to your plans,' bega n the young i lieutenant, apologetically. "The aqr1t is, I have a vast amount of work to do.1m "Then, if you will show me the to General Lee's own office, I shall b1e s J much better pleased." "1 "The general simply can't see any olocl for the present," Hal assn red him. "B "I 1 you have been very courteous, Mr. Pratity 0 Now, let me, in. return give y ou a pracl cal suggestion. Take your scheme "c H strategy to the newspapers." 10 d e "The newspapers?" snorted the 0 impatiently. "Bah! Wellington DePecc No ster Pratt holds in very light esteem tlib gutter gazettes of this country." "And quite properly, too," noddeKrot Hal. "But not all of our newspapers : :hus e gutter gazettes. Let me tell you, at matter of confidential information, tints. ] the Government is at present taking pretei i ts ide a s of stt'ategy from the helpful s 1y at gestions in the new s papers. So you "ant t see, my dear sir, that, in order to nisia s your plan reall y by the G" ernment, you will be obli$ed, first of '4. d to get it printed in one of our net111 G ,, 1e papers. ttacki Wellington DePeyster Pratt loc<>paoe r dubious, but, after staring for Sfi Mee twenty seconds at Hal's innocent, eaf ready face, he hesitatingly admitted: ;e t "Perhaps you are right, young mai.1cei Yet it is so long since I have read a news h 1 paper that perhaps you can advise e which one to take it to." "The very one!" cried Hal, his fae l t. 0f h h d k SO! ig;1hng up as i e a struc an tion. "But I must ask your word of hon: e d SHOW YOUR COLORS-GET ONE OF OUR FREE BADGES.


STARRY FLAG WEJj:KLY. 11 t you will not reveal me I .stor." as the sughad no business to sell me on that Chinese "I will not, young man,. I will not," e .dared Mr. Pratt, in what was intended ), be his most solemn tone. 10 l'The New York Hustler is the very k et, sir. Fortunately its brightest corre to \mdeut, Mr. McCorkle, is stopping in 1g s very house. He will telegraph your ic 11 plan to his paper to-night, though I afraid that it will be necessary to a:nd whatever maps you. have through e slower channels of the mails. 11 "I am going in search of him now," ::> oclaimed the specialist in strategy. "I must warn you of a certain pecnli-la ity of Mr. McCorkle's." c "What is that?" ''He is a pessimist-in fact, the fellow j !10 devised the expression, 'what's the of a11ything? Nothing!' iPell" Not an enthusiast, eh?" questioned t le ratt, slowly folding up his package ot at first. If you want McCorkle to r s r \use over your plau, you '11 have to l a.' at him in spite of all his discourage[ tr ts. Don't let him escape you, even if g >retends tflat he wants to. Hammer s y at him until you make oim, rel tho.ugh he may be, as great an : o 1 1us1ast m your plan as yon are your. l.f U i.nd you really believe, young man, ne. jthe Government will accept my plan l' lttacking Spain, if it is printed in a oc..jpaper ?1' [ s Ji McCorkle prints it in the Hustler, [ ear l to swear that the Government Se the scheme,'' was Hal's ready g answer. a goes for McCorkle, '' pipeo tn1gton De Peyster Pratt, rising and \ng his feet toward the door. is fa n;i sorry f6r McCorkle," grinned inspir the door closed. "But McCorkle fleet gag." CHAPTER IV. MISPLACED KISSES. There was undisturbed quiet for ten miuutes. Hal, working industriously, felt that he was making splendid headway. Then the door opened. There wasn't any preliminary tap, or anythmg like it. The very idea of preparation didn't seem to accord wit(1 the new visitor. She would never see forty again, this caller, and it didn't need a detective to guess that she was an old maid. She was more, in fact, for a second alance showed that she was undeniably "" "strong-minded.,, Her tread, as she approached the desk, was vigorously mannish. Her clothes, plainly severe, had a more masculine than feminine cut to them. "Where is he?" she demanded, severely. "Lost your husband, madam?'' in quired Hal, with an innocent stare. "Husband?" sniffed the visitor. "Young man, do I look like a woman who would have a husband?" "No, you don't," Hal admitted to himself, though he was much too clever to say it aloud. "The person I want to see, young man," insisted the caller, "is your employer.'' "Then I'm sorry, madam:" rejoined Hal in his most amiable tone, "but yon can't. Uncle Samisn'tinTampa. He lives at Wash--" But his visitor, throwing her arms akimbo, spoke very slowly and distinctly: "Young man, I-want-to-see-Ge1r eral'_,_Lee:" "Name and business, please, madam?" of hon CUBA LIBRE-GET A CUBAN BUTTON ...


12 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. asked Hal, dropping into his business tone. "My name doesn't matter," asserted the caller. ''As to my business-well, that will interest GeJlera! Lee more than it will you.'' "But I am required, madam, to know the business of all callers for General Lee. You will understand that it is an army regulation. I don't make the rule myself." "I-I-I--" stammered she, and now astonished Hal by blushing furiously. "Hal looked at her inquiringly. "I am from Boston," she went on, with a little gasp. "I am the president of the Society for the Advancement of the Female Intellect. In view of my holding that lofty position, I fear you will be astonished at the nature of my business here. There are some members in the society who are altogether too feminine. It was they who prevailed upon me, in a moment of weakness, to come to the hotel during my stay in Tampa and see General Lee. But, more than that, I agreed-in the name of the society, you understand -to throw my arms around General Lee and kiss him three times, in recognition of the splendid way he protected American women while in Havana. And now," announced the angular visitor, rising with an air of heroic resolve, "I am ready to meet the general and kiss him!" "Oh, dear, oh, dear!" inwardly uttered dismayed Hal. She was not woman with whom ob stacles would count, and the young lieutenant felt all the of diplomacy. "Madam, the general would be delighted, but-but, unfortunately, he is not in just now." "Young mau," came the severe reply, "I'm very much afraid you liaven't made a proper estimate of my disposition. I am not to be put off so easily '\\hen I have a serious duty to perform. While I regret extremely to throw any discredit upon your word, I am resolved to see for myself whether the general is in his office." Rising, she walked with determined, sweep toward General Lee's door. But Hal sprang before her. "Madam," he protested gently, "you are making a mistake.'' "I know my business, young man." "Doubtless you do, madam, but you are headed for the door of the genernl 's negro valet. '1 ''A negro ?'' shuddered the Boston ienne. "A big fellow, and as black as coal, with a weakness for flirting with pretty women." "The odious wretch!" shuddered the visitor. "Fol1ow me, madam, and permit me to show you General Lee's office." Reaching the door opposite, Hal tapped on the door. -; There was no response, for Captain_, Proffitt, as our hero had supposed, was out. Thereupon, our hero tli rew open the door. "You see, madam, there is General Lee's desk, but he is not in." "Then where is he, young man?" "That I do not know." "Do not attempt to deceive me!" "And if I did know, madam, it would be against the military regulations for me to tell.'' ''How soon will the general return?'' demanded the persistent visitor. "Possibly in an hour or two. I cannot say 11 "Then, young man, you may look fo me again." Bang! The door slammed loudly a the guest departed. Something like a sigh of dejection PATRIOTIC EMBLEMS GIVEN AWAY-SEE PAGE 32.


ST.rnRY FLAG WEEKLY. 13 caped the young lieutenant as he dropped ba<'k into his seat, uncovered his work and went at it again. Within the next hour there were seven more visitors. One was a newspaper cor respondent who succeeded in getting in to see General Lee, but the other six were cranks, all of whom our hero, with somewhat decreaser. patience, but still with courtesy, disposed of as quickly as could be. In spite of these interruptions, May nard's work went on rather swimmingly. Finally some 011e else tried the door without the formality of knocking. As it happened, the door-knob stuck. "---that blanketty dashed knob!" growled a deep-chested voice. Then the door swung open. "----measly hotel, to have --door-knobs like that!" grumbled the man who entered. "Now, that can't be anybody but Cap tain Proffitt,'' thought Hal, before he had time to turn aronnd. It certainly was a captain, and a cap ain of cavalry at that, who entered. He looked rather curiously at Hal as he latter rose and saluted. "Haven't seen you before," greeted he captain, with ready cordiality. "Lieutenant Maynard, sir; and you are aptain Proffitt, I believe.'' "You've guessed -----near ght," was the hearty answer. "And I'm ad to run across you, Maynard. You've rtainly got one of the -----finest records of any youngster in the ny. I've heard a -----lot out you, and ---, sir. I'm ---proud, Manyard, that we're get g such a ----lot of young s into the service nowadays.'' his was said honestly, and the captain 's hand-clasp was at least as warm as his language. In spite of Proffitt's shocking profanity, Hal could not help feeling that he was gazing npon an honest man, a soldier who could do his duty, and do it without being envious. "You've never seen me before, May nard," went on the captain, "and I reckon you 're ---surprised to hear a man use so many cusswords to each breath. I've tried -----hard to break myself of it, but I can't seem to. That's one reason why I happen to be on staff duty. There's a -------regulation in the army that forbids an officer to swear be fore his men. Actually, Maynard, they court-martialed one good fellow out of the army for talking before his men like a ----pirate. Don't mind my ----language, my boy, and, -it, we'll get along together first rate." Saying which, v.ith another cordial clasp of the hand, Captain Proffitt strode to the connecting door, and went into his room, whence there soon came the sound of a desk being opened. "----hot day to expect a Christian to work,'' Hal heard the cap tain grumble, and then all was still. "General Lee was right when he called Proffitt the most ptofane man in the ser vice," mused Hal. "If he isn't, I would be afraid to meet the fellow who could carry away the palm from him." Then for fifteen minutes Hal's pen glided smoothly over his paper, until the door opened with such a jerk that Hal muttered inwardly: "The lady from Boston!" He was right. The fair president of the society for something or other came into the room with the firm, resolute tread of a grenadier. "Good-morning," she said coldly, and YOU SHOULD HAVE A 11 DEWEY" MEDAL.


STARRY FLAG WE,EKLY. swept by Hal's desk, bdore the lieutenant could interfere, with the speed of a cruiser in chase of a prize. She -reached the left-hand connecting door before our hero, quick-witted as he was, could divine her purpose. "Hold on, madam," he expostulated. "If you please--" "I am doing just what I please,'' came back the icy answer, as the caller yanked the door open and charged into the next room. It was too late to prevent the catastrophe . Hal sauk back in his seat with a gasp, just in time to hear a shrill voice exclaim : "Oh, you dear General Lee! it-yes, I shall! I promised never default a promise!" I shall do to, and I Then the wind blew the door shut. Imme

STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 15 figl1 ts "As for you captain," declaimed Mrs. Proffitt as she prepared to follow, "you can write me after a few days at my mother's.'' And out sailed the offended wife, at a speed hardly less than that of the first victim o[ delusio11. Thud! Breathing like a winded race horse, the captain fell into his chair. Hal was on the point uf rising) to go ill aud speak to his ranking officer, when the captain took the initiative. "Maynard, ----:---yon," roared Proffitt, "what does thi-; ---scene mea11, --you?" "It was a slight mistake that I couldn't foresee, captain," answered the boy, horn:stly. "-----you, did you tell that woman with the frozen face that I was General Lee?'' "Let me explain, captain--" "That's just what I'm ordering you to do, ----you!" roared Proffitt. "It happened this way--" "See here, Maynard, give me a -----answer. Did yon tell that shrivelled-up Providence. River oyster that I was General Lee? Yes or no!'.., "Yes, but indirectly. I--" "A nice mess you've made of it," roared Proffitt. "Fortunately you are an army officer, and obliged to stand up to your reputation as a gentleman. I'm go ing down to the bar now. When I've cooled off sufficiently, I'll decide which officer to send to you. Depend upon it, Maynard, that I won't pass by such a ---------insult without fighting!" With which a.ssurance the captain tumped out the same way the two omen had gone. "This is nice," murmul'eiat calls for my wrath, count upon my getting ---ugly, all right. But it has struck me that I'd better hear your story before proceed ing any further. Now tell me, my boy, just what part you had in sending tl.iat herring faced female in to hug and kiss me in such a -----fashion. Tell me the whole -----truth. I won't say a ---word until you've finished." Captain Proffitt kept his word. He listened sober1y, at first to our hero's account. Gradually, though, his face broadened into a grin. Hal's concluding words were drowned out in a loud guffaw. cc __ --it, boy, you did just right. Anything to save the general from such -----harrowing disasters OUR PATRIOTIC PREMIUMS ARE ELEGANT-SEE PAGE 32.


16 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Never miud me. I reckon I'll survive it." "But Mrs. Proffitt," suggested Hal. "Oh, she's down in the parlor, fanning herself as if her arm ran by steam. She'll be all right, the dear old girl, for can't hold a bad opinion of me long. In twenty minutes more she'll be ready to roar vii th me over the whole occurrence.'' A conclusion of which the captain must have been reasonably sure, for, after shaking hands with the young lieutenant, he returned to his desk. In fact, the captain couldn't have been worrying at all about Mrs. Proffitt, for Hal presently noticed that another half hour had gone by. "I'll have this work nearly done by lunch-time," thought the boy "I don't believe, from the way the general spoke, he expected it before night.'' Then another fifteen minutes passed, with only one interruption, thi. s coming from a crank who had a scheme for applying his alleged air-ship to war pur-poses. But this fe.: '"" Hal got rid of with a facility gained u11ring his morning's ex-periences. Rap-tap. "Another!" sighed Hal. "Come in." He turned as soon as the door opened The visitor proved to be a rather under sized man, but what attracted the young aide's attention was that the caller's face was bandaged so that only the eyes and forehead were visible. "Good-morning," came the caller's greeting. "Good-morning, sir." "You are one of General Lee's aides?" "Yes, sir." "I do not want to take up much of your time. I can say all I need to inside of a minute." courteously, though he longed to be alone with his work: "I am a great admirer of the general," began the visitor. "I owe him a debt of gratitude. We are Cubans, but the general brought my mother and sister safely out of Havana. For that I shall be ever grateful to him." "You are a Cuban, then?" asked Hal, studying the other attentively. "Yes, sir," came the answer, proudly. "I have fought under Giberga and Acosta, I was captured not so very long ago. Those Spanish devils vented all their wickedness on me. You see the condition of my face-or, rather, you do not see it, for the bandages. The fiends who serve Blanco poured boiling water on my face; they tortured me in the hope that I would betray some of my comrades and officers, but they failed! "So they sent me back to a prison cell where I nearly died of the heat. On the nextday they would doubtlessly have tortured me again, but I contrived to escape. When I returned to the field, my officers told me I must rest and gain strength before I fought again. I pray every day that my strength may come quickly. 1< But I am keeping you, sir, with the recital of my own troubles. to the point. A chance was found for me to come to Florida. Here I shall sta until the Cubans now here go to thei own country. Before leaving Cuba m comrades gathered together the fines cigars they could get. There were jus enough to fill this box." And the Cuban brought into small box neatly wrapped in paper. "No better tobacco was ever grown i Cuba than these cigars contain," he d clared, proudly. "My comrades and I a a unit in desiring that every cigar in t "Take a seat, sir," requested Hal, box shall be smoked by General Le YOU SHOULD GET A WAR BADGE AT ONCE.


S'fARRY '.FLAG WEE KLY. 17 Will you take them into him now, sir, with the compliments of a score of poor Cuban soldiers, includiug myself?" "Certainly," assented Hal, taking the box. "General Lee enjoys a good cigar, I am told, as much as any man living. He will be delighted. Had you not better wait a minute? He will doubtless wish to thank in person a friend who pays him so ha'1dsome a compliment as the act of yourself and your friends amounts to." "Why should I bother him?" ques tioned the Cuban, shrugging his shoulders as he arose. "I am only a poor Cu ban soldier-he one of the greatest men alive. I should feel that I had wronged him by wasting his time. But you may be sure I pray that he will enjoy this box." Saying which the caller turned and alked quickly out. No sooner had the corridor door closed han another opened Fitzhugh Lee entered. "I heard all that the poor fellow said, r. Maynard. Since the prospect of eeting me really seemed to worry him, waited at the door until I heard him o. But I certainly appreciated this comliment from Cuba. I am going out now, eutenant. If you see the good fellow ain, kindly assure him that I am great indebted to him. Now, will you please ace the cigars on my desk? But hold 1; I believe I'll try one of the cigars ght now." Unwrapping the paper from around the x, Maynard handed the latter to his ief. "You'd better try one of the cigars, Maynard," hinted Lee. "I don't smoke, sir, thank you." Fitzhugh attempted to pry up the lie. the box. fust then a horrified yell came from young aide. Jefore Fitzhugh Lee realized what had happened, Lieutenant Hal sprang for ward, snatching the box out of the general's hands. CHAPTER VI. "HALT, OR I'LL FIRE." "What are you--" Fitzhugh Lee started the question amazedly, but Hal did not wait to answer. His face white as chalk, the young aide darted toward the open window. One frenzied look he shot out beyond. Down below, beyond the edge of the porch, extended a stretch of lawn. There was no living human being within a hundred yards. Ascer'"aining this in a second or two, Hal drev back his arm. Whish-sh-sh! Through the air shot Fitzhugh Lee's present, propelled by all the force that was in Hal's muscular arm. Chug! It landed on the grass. Then-Bang! There was a sharp report, a hole in the ground-no pieces of ho}(' visible. Pallid and shaking, Hal Maynard faced about. Bet General Lee had not even changed color. Shrugging his shoulders, he said, smilingly: "That Cuban, Maynard, was a Span-iard !" "Good heavens!" came from Hal's quivering lips. "When I realize how near that infernal machine came to blow ing you to pieces, general--" "Why, it simply shows how uncertain life is,'' finished Lee for him. "All my fault, too," cried Hal, con tritely. "I don't see it, Maynard. 11 "Why, I was taken in, sir, by that sham Cuban." LL YOUR FRIENDS ATTENTION TO OUR PREMIUMS-SEE PAGE 32


18 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "So wa s I, my lad. His story seemed very straightforward. I hadn't a doubt that he was spe aking the truth. My mouth was watering for the kind of H a v a11a tobai;co he described." "But I should have known better. "Should have known more than your ge11eral, lad? Come, come, Maynard, you are too severe with yourself. You showed true nerve, and the same quick intelligence that I saw in you this morning nhen y on rescued that child. But tell me what led you to so sndde11ly suspect the true nature of the box?" '' J nst as yon pried the lid, sir, I heard something that sounded like the faint whirring of machinery. the lid must have started it in motion. Had you g0t the lid wholly up, general--" Hal paused, but Fitzhugh" Lee took up the thread for him. ''I should have been, by this time, Maynard, where some of the Spaniards no doubt wish me to be-with tie sailors of the Maine." "It must have been uitro-glycerine, general, sin ce concussion set the charge off." "Undoubtedly. Look out, my lad, at the crowd gathering on the lawn. They're trying to figure out what has happened. Don't let them see us, or some oi the c o rrespondents may make too good a guess.'' A slight cough behind made them both turn. "Why, here's our friend, Captain Prof fitt," cried Lee. "Waiting, general," responded the captain, saluting, "to see if there are any orders .'' "General," cned the boy, picking up bis sombrero h a stil y "have I your per mi s sion to try to find and arrest that scoundrel?" "Yes, by all means. But don't let any inkling get out." "No general." And Hal sped out of the room. "General," supplemented Proffitt, ask permission to go, too." "For y.ihat purpose?" "Maynard may need aid." ''True; go by all means.'' Stopping only to salute, Captain Pro fitt hastened out. He caught up with Hal by the easter entrance of the hotel. -"Going with me?" whispered young aide. "Yes, sir! By you can bet I am As they hurried along up toward fayette street, Hal confided in low to1 the best description he could give of t pretended Cuban. There were few people near nearly every one within hearing explosion being now on the other side the hote1 grounds, where excited thro surged about the hole in the earth t marked the incident. ''Any ----iclea where yot going to look for the -----rascal?" murmured Captain Proffitt. "The fellow doubtless lingered to 1 whether General Lee was injured by machine. By this time he must be a that the general escaped. So I th captain, that we'll have to look for fiend about as far off as he will be ab "Yes; tell no one what has hap-get before we can overhaul him. pened." 1 Proffitt nodded, adding: But the captain's soldierly coolne s s re"You can be pretty sure, lad, that called Hal to one part of his duty that dage on his face was a ruse. He'll had not yet been performed. that off by this time." Spain in the Eagle's Claws is Our" Now Will You Be Good" Button-See Pa


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 19 "Of course. Suppose we at the two railway depots?" take a look i:;ervice sprang up into saddle, and, Hal I was about to suggest that," coin cided Proffitt, but there's one ----vexing probability. While we're at one depot, this ---candidate for hanging is likely to be at he other. 'J "But there are only two railway depots n Tampa, aad one can go to each." "That would be all right," grumble; i roffitt, "if I had any ----how to know the. dirty Spaniard when I ee him!" By this time they wene outside the gate f the hotel grounds, an d a s it hap ened that a trolley car was waiting there 1 the poinJ; of starting, Hal and his mrade reached the main part of Tampa ithout dela y. At the corner where the trolley line rminated it happene d that an orderly o d holding tl1e bridles of two saddle Each saddle bore white trimmings, 1ile in one corner appeared the figure 3" 'Thirteenth ffitt, aloud. Infantry, eh?" mu s ed "Wait a s econd, May-d. ,, arting up to the orderl y Proffitt de-1ded: 'To whom do these horses belong?" [Captain Emers on and Adjutant e," replied the orderly Emerson and Clive, eh? Do they en to be out on business ?-on im-ant bu s iness, I mean?" I think not, sir.'' hen tell them that Captain Proffitt wed their horses for half an hour on --important business. And, ly, please convey Emerson and Clive compli-following his example, they were off be fore the orderly had really time to speculate what he ought to do. As if by common consent, both wheeled sharply north, riding at a swift gallop toward the Plant S y stem depot. Going at such headlong speed, oth officers were at the dep o t in what seemed like a few seconds after starting. But their man was not there. Maybe 1n some of the ----saloons around here grumbled the captain a s Hal, dismounted, came up to him to report. 'Next 'train north goes in three min replitd Hal. "The re isn t a train out on the F. C. & P. for t wenty min-utes. '' We'll w a tch Proffitt. here, then, grunted And wait they did, though with6ut result. After the north-bound train had pulled out, both struck into an ea s y canter b a ck down the street toward the F. C. & P. As they neared the corner where Proffitt had borrowed the horses they per ceived the orderly. He was talking to two commissioned officers, and evidently, if his gestures were to I.le taken into account, was trying to explain something. "Oh, Emerson!" shouted Proffitt. Both of the officers standing with the orderly turned like a flash "-------horse s these!" called Captain Proffitt. Then, to the amazement of the iufantry officers, both brutes cantered off down the street before there was time for their owners to say a word of remon-strance. "-----fine fellows, Emer-1ing wliich the profanest man in the son and Cli\e," asserted Captain Proffitt. WAR BUTTONS AND BADGES FREE-SEE PAGE 32. --


iO STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Good natured enough to wait until we that Maynard was rapidly overtaking get back." him, suddenly halted. "They mnst be good-natured," Both of his hands reached for rear laughed Hal, in response, though he did pockets in the same instant. not turn to look at his companion. "Balked!" growled Hal. His gaze was focused, instead, on both Two pistols glistened in the out-sides of the street. stretched hands of the Spaniard. So igilant a search did he keep that, "Shoot!" jeered the fellow; taking despite the speed at which they traveled, point blank aim at Lee's aide. there was not a man on either sidewalk Instinctively, Maynard reined up, surwhom General Lee's aide did not scruti-veying the two muzzles that confronted mze. him. But the search of -the street proved frt" ;tless. As they neared the railroad tracks, Hal's gaze roved over toward the depot. "Great Scott!" he suddenly quivered. ''See him?'' ejaculated Proffitt. "On the platform-now he's turning to run." Turning to run, indeed! At first sight of Fitzhugh Lee's young aide the only man standing on the depot platform darted through the open waiting-room door. "I'll cover this side you ride around!" directed the captain. Hal's beast rounded the building on a dead run. His suspect bad already reached a field. "Halt!" shouted Hal. "Halt, or I'll fire As he shouted, Maynard reached at his hip for his revolver. Not there! In a flash it came over the young lieutenant that he had not worn his weapon that day. It rested secure in the.drawer of the bureau in his room at the hotel. "I'll grab him with my fists!" flashed the boy, resolutely. But an instant showed that this prop osition was not likely to be a safe one. If he was unarmed, the Spaniard was not. On the contrary, his enemy, finding CHAPTER VII. 1 W E L L D 0 N E, P R E X '' "I can't take a facer like this," grunted Hal, growling in the same breath at his stupidity in leaving his own weapon behind. "You will turn your horse a bout, senor," ordered the Spaniard, coolJy ''and ride back to safety as quick a Heaven will permit you." "1'11 do nothin_g of the kind," gritte Hal, resolutely. "You hope to gain time until some on else comes to your aid," divined th scoundrel. ''I shall give you fifteen se onds-short count-and then you die!" He meant it. Hal understood that once. "Yup!" chirruped Ha1, at the sa instant digging his heels into his stee flanks. That trained army beast vaulted f ward, straight at the Spaniard. But as Hal sent the beast forward made a flying side leap from saddle. By good luck he landed on bis feet. Ready to fire, the Spaniard reali when too late, that only a riderless h was before him. Spring! Hal was on the feJJow's b pinning both his arms to his side. "Car-r-r-ram ba !" snarled the foe. shall kill you yet!" I GIVE YOUR GIRL AN AMERICAN FLAG HAT PIN-SEE PAGE 32.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Hal struggled desperately, silently, but his superior strength soon told. Holding the Spaniard powerless, May nard reached down and forced him to drop one of the pistols. Wrench Hal dragged him by main force fifteen feet away from that spot. The Spaniard was breathing hard. Foreseeing defeat unless he quickly turned the tide of things, he strove to turn his remaining pistol backward. "You '11 shoot yourself," warned Hal, triving hard for the mastery of the quirming wretch. "Well, is it not as well to shoot my elf as to be hanged?" jerked out the warthy one. "Take your choice!" ground Hal, vagely. But the Spaniard suddenly succeeded pointing the muzzle under his arm, ady to fire. Hal tried to wriggle out of range with-1t letting go his hold on the dangerous Crack! Through Hal's blouse the bul tore. Wrench! flop! The Spaniard was on back, now, and Hal, kneeling upon fellow, pressed one hand against the arthy throat while with the other hand strove to wrench away the pistol. erk! He got it. The Spaniard was nne

22 STARRY FLAG WEEI{LY. Which Proffitt did, and five minutes later, just as the Spaniard was beginning to revive, a corporal and four men took him in hand and expeditiously removed him to a safe place of restraint. Thereupon, Hal and his companion rode back up the street. They found the orderly waiting at the spot where they had first procured the horses, while Emerson and Clive had returned to their camp, leaving instructions for the orderly to bring the horses back to camp when possible. "Were they mad about it?" asked Proffitt. "No, sir," answered the orderly, sa luting. "Captain Emerson said he knew yon wouldu't do such a thing without good reason." "Captaiu Emerson is a ----fiue fellow," cried Proffitt. "Wait a minute." Disappearing into a nearby store, Proffitt soon came back with a box of ci gars which he sent tc the two officers with his compliments, more or less pro fanely worded. "Come and have a lemon and soda," invited Proffitt. After partaking of this refreshment they boarded a car, and were soon back at the hotel. Here Captain Proffitt reported to Gen era] Lee, giving without envy all the praise to our hero. "You have both done well, gentlemen," said the general, cordially. "To tell the truth, I hardly expected that you would succeed. Whenever it comes my way to rem em her your services to day, be sure that I shall not forget you." That was all, but Hal well knew the value of such praise from a general of Fitzhugh Lee's stamp. Two minutes later the captain and the lieutenant were hard at work at their desks, with the connecting door closed. General Lee had gone out to see Gen eral Shafter, informing our hero that he would not return until after lunch. At lunch Hal and the captain sat to gether, while at a table but twice re moved from theirs Generals Shafter and Lee partook of their meal. "I will see you up stairs, Mr. May-nard, '' explained Lee, as, in passing our hero's table at the end of the meal he stopped for an instant. Therefore, while Captain Proffitt lingered behind to enjoy a cigar in the office, our hero followed at his com:.nander's heels. "How much have you done with those papers I in trusted to you?'' questioned Lee. "Twenty minutes of uninterrupted work will see them finished, general.'' "Indeed? I thought it would take you at least all of to-day. You have hurried, Mr. Maynard. As a result, I think then:: will be little more work for you to-day." "There is no immediate rush, then, sir?" "Why, no, not if you have hurried at this rate.'' "Then, general, I would like to ask for ten minutes for myself." "Now?" "Yes, sir. I have been so absorbed in my work that I have forgotten a poor dog that I am looking after. He is up in my room, without food or water." "Attend to him by all means. way, is he vicious?'' "No, general; although he's aggres sive eno11gh when he needs to be. He's a dog captured from the enemy, so to speak-the one the dons from Mexic called McKinley "I that pup," laughed Pitz hugh Lee. "Well, the poor brute rich! retaliated by nabbing the Spaniards i the end. Bring him down here at once. shall be glad to see so famous a dog.'' Whereupon Hal promptly went off, r tm11ing with his new four-footed irien Pr ex. General Lee, being fond of quickly established a friendship wi Prex, who wagged his tai. 1 joyously ai showed his appreciat10n of the introdt ti on. "Feed him and give him water, Ii tenant," suggested the general. "T let him stay with you here this afterno if you wish. He will be company you if you are to have much idle time your hands:'' Saying which the commander to his own apartment. IT'S EASY TO GET A WAR BADGE-SEE PAGE 32.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. B3 "There, it's done," murmured Hal, as he reached he botttom of the last page of his work. Folding the originals and the version in condensed cipher into two neat packets, Maynard rose with them in one hand and tapped on Fitzhugh Lee's door. Answering the summons to come in, he stepped to the general's desk and laid down the papers. Only a few moments later the corridor door opened in to Hal's office. Two black, snapping eyes peered in. Then their owner slid into the apartment on tip-toe. "Very well done, Mr. Maynard," com-mented General Lee. "You have caught my idea excellently in your condensation. These originals I will have placed in the ost secure safe immediately. Your copy can carry about me; it will be of no use o any one outside the army into whose iands it fell." In the next room the prowler was takg a comprehensive view of the room nd its contents. He could not cross to Hal's desk witht danger of being seen from the next om. But on a small table well within view sted another package of papers. these the prowler's eyes rested lfishly. "Carrajo I can get them easily," he 1ttered. "And I shall be out of sight ore--'' al and the general were still talking en the fellow's fingers closed over the ers. e securt::d them, turned, and made tod the door. ut his flight was intercepted. n his feverish survey of the room the nger had failed to observe one article s "contents." Gr-r-r-r-r uarely in his path now :stood the every hair bristling with wrath. asy, Prex !"admonished Hal, innoly from the next room. ere came a flash of steel, that ready t of Spain! t Prex had been brought up with iards. He knew their tricks and ways too well, presumably, to be <;a11ght in that fashion. Leaping past the halting, irresolute stranger, Prex seized him from behind. Just as Hal and General Lee sprang to the door to see what the commotion was about, a sight met their eyes that amazed them. Prex, giving an ugly bite at the fellow's leg, next seized the fellow's coat tails in his mouth, jerking the dismayed one back at his full length upon the floor. With a yelp and a flying bound, Prex set his teeth in the wrist that held the knife. '' Car-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-rajo '' howled the rascally thid in his anguish. Now Prex, as if feeling safe from the knife, stoc.d with his gleaming fangs over the Spaniard's throat just as Hal sprang to his rescue, exclaiming: "Well done, old fellow Third Part. CHAPTER VIII. DISPATCHES FOR GENERAL LEE. "Well done, indeed!" approved General Lee. Hal, after picking up the knife, persuaded the dog to let go. Then, seizing the terrified Spaniard by the collar and yanking him to his feet, Maynard saluted with his disengaged hand. ''General, your orders?'' "Captain," called the commander, and the captain appeared at the opposite door. "Go after a guard, and see that this fellow is placed in safe keeping." Then, as he turned toward his own room, Lee turned to say: "The skies of Tampa seem to be rain ing Spaniards to-day!" Nor was it long before one more of Spain's secret service men found himself in a Yankee limbo from which escape was out of the question. Hal, returning to his desk when the excitement was over, found himself with! out any work to do. GET A COLLECTION OF WAR BADGES AND BUTTONS


, STARRY FLAG WEEKLY, For three-quarters of an away his time. hour he idled will at once mount and ride with them to There was an absence of cranks during the afternoon. Two correspondents came in, to see if they could gain there any light upon the explosion on the lawn. Hal's professed ignorance, however, well acted out, soon sent them away without the news they sought. "Oh, Mr. Maynard I" hailed General Lee from the doorwa y Hal passed into the next room, taking the proffered seat. "Maynard," went on t>he general, "I am going to tell you something dential, and for a reason. The news is this: Much as I would like to go back to Cuba at the head of troops, I have reason to believe that the Washington government has other plans for me. "The probability is that my division is to be sent to Porto Rico, since it now seems plain that the latter island is to be occupied as soon, if not sooner, than Cuba. "In that case I shall be sent to Jacksonville to mobilize my division at that point. This morning I received dis patches to that effect. This afternoon I am likely to receive more dispatches on the subject. ."Yet I am compelled to start out to Palmetto Beach at once, in order to inspect a regiment which, I believe, will be transferred to my command. I shall start within five minutes. "Now, as to my reason for telling you all this: If such dispatches come for me, you, who will open all telegrams ad dressed to me in my absence, will place those particular telegrams in a dispatch bag and send them to me at once. You understand?" "I will send them, general, without an instant's delay." "Good, and now as to the messenger You know Lieutenant Kin1berly, of my staff?" "I have been introduced to him, general." "He is to be my messenger. His office is three doors below yours. As soon as the dispatches come, read them, then hand them over to Mr. Kimberly. He find me at Palmetto Beach.'' "I understand your orders, general." "Very well; you may return to your desk, Mr. Maynard. Oh, one word more. As soon as you have attended to the dis Eatches, if any come for me, you may then consider yours elf at liberty for the rest of the afternoon. Lock your desk and the room door, and report to me this evening when I return." "Thank you, general." Five minutes later General Lee, pre senting!!. very stnking figure in his major general's uniform, passed through the room on his way dut. Having nothing else to do, Maynard rang the bell and sent a boy to procure for him the latest New York papers. Reading these, attending to a few unimportant callers, and listening to occas ; ional profane outbursts from Captain Proffitt in the next room, furnished all the diversion there was for the next hour. Then a messenger boy came in with some telegrams. These, however, concerned only a f.ev. unimportant communications concerninf quartermaster's and commissary arrang men ts. Fifteen minutes later more telegra came. "These are the real thing," mus Hal, eagerly. The different telegrams proved to but parts of the same message. As rapidly as they came, our hero ranged the pages in the proper order. Within twe11ty minutes of the arri of the first page there came the final o bearing the signature, ''Alger, War." "All complete," reflected Hal, run through the pages once more to see each was in its proper place. "I wi was I who was to ride over to Paln Beach. A good canter would take m of this drowsy fit. As a next best tl though, I'll go over to the Casino's s ming pool.'' After lunch Hal had secured his ver. This he now belted at his picked up his sombrero, and lef room, after locking up as directed. SHOW YOUR COLORS-SEE LAST PAGE.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Come in," called Kimberly, as Hal knocked upon the door. "The dispatches for General Lee, announced our hero, in a low voice. "Expecting 'em," was the crisp reply. "All ready, my dear boy." And "ready" Mr. Kimberly was, for he had on even his riding boots and sombrero, while from one shoulder hung his dispatch bag. Into this he dropped the papers, locking the bag securc:ly and dropping the key into an inner pocket. ''General Lee shall have these papers s soon as I can ride out there," he an-1ounced, rising and striding toward the oor. He wa1ted only long enough for Hal to tep outside, when he locked the door. "My horse is feeling good," remarked imberly, cheerfully. "He hasn't been sed for three days, so I'm sure to make od time.'' "Success to you," smiled Hal. Our hero was about to go down stairs en he remembered Prex. "I'll take the old fellow up to my own m, '' decided the boy. his he did, next turned his attention getting out a change of underclothing on after the swim. omething impelled him to go to the dow. s he stepped to the embrasure his ce fell upon a bunch of army horses eted in the yard below. Hello!" exclaimed the young aide. 1ere 's Kimberly, just getting into le. Something must have delayed mething certainly had delayc:d the lieutenant, for he was now activity as if he were anxious to make up st time. t as Kimberly was settling into sad al 's eye moved to a spot some feet from the mounting officer. saw 011e man nudge another. t action of itself would not have ed the notice of our hero, had not f the strangers then glanced in .rly's direction. berly galloped off. much Hal saw out of the corner of his eye. He was still watcnitig the two strangers. Now the fellow who had been nudged left his companion, walking at fair speed down the line of picketed horses until he came to one that did not bear an army saddle. "Looks like the fellow's own mount," mused Hal. "Can it be that he is going. to follow Kimberly?'' Hal grew more uneasy as he watched the stranger gallop down the same road just previously covered by the dispatch bearer. "Bosh!" grumbled Hal. "I'm getting Spaniard on the braid I Every stranger I see I'm beginning to suspect of being in the pay of Spain." Thus he tried to laugh away his uneasiness, but the effort was not altogether an easy one. "Kimberly is a man who can take care of himself," reflected Hal. "What could one Spaniard do against him, even if the fe1low who just rode off had any sinister intentions. Bosh I l 'm too nervous an old granny for the army!" Still the feeling of apprehension would not down. Prex, starting uneasily, rose and walked toward the window. Arriving there, he turned and faced his master. "What an old fool I am, am I not, Prex ?'' laughed Hal. But Prex, throwing back snout and ears, opened his jaws to emit a low but long-drawn-out howl. "Eh?" questioned Hal, looking in tently at the dog. Prex repeated his howl. "So you're of the same opinion that I was, old fellow? Confou11d you, pup, you 're not a real comforter. "You 're making me uneasy." As if he really understood the reproach, Prex jumped up, resting his paws on the window sill, and looking out. "Wow I" he declared. "Bow-wow!" "By Jovel'" muttered Hal. "I'm really beginning to believe that you and my fears are right, doggie. Come on; we won't wase our warnings, anyway J>' Hal made his way quickly downstairs. Kimberly, by this timei had had two or "ADMIRAL SAMPSON" BUTTON FREE-SEE PAGE 32.


26 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. three minutes' start, and was doubtless far in the lead. "I'll see if I can borrow a horse," re flected Hal, glancing at every officer whom he passed on his way down the broad veranda. "Bow-wow!" came in a short, joyful bark from Prex. Quitting his master, the dog leaped boldly over the rail to the ground, then scuttled off across the grounds. "Now, what ails the old four-footed Spaniard-catcher?'' wondered Hal. Mottnting tQ the rail, in order to see better over the shrubbery, Maynard followed the swift course of the dog. "Eh? Hurrah!'' Of course!" uttered the young aide, joyfully. "That dog always' has the right eye open.'' Away out on the grounds a soldier was exercising a horse-Hal's own steed. No sooner did our hero discover this fact than he imitated Prex's course by leaping to the ground and running across the yard. "Here!" hailed Hal, as soon as he got within calling distance. Seeing him, the soldier wheeled and rode straight toward the officer. "Yott had my beast ottt at jttst tl1e right time," nodded Maynard. "I was just feeling the need of a sptti:t. Thanks.'' And no sooner had the soldier dismounted than Hal, seizing pommel and mane, sprang into saddle. He was off at a stiff canter. But was he likely to pick upon the same road that Kimberly had taken? CHAPTER IX. A FOUL BLOW. In all the service there was not a happier or more care-free officer than Lieutenant John Kimberly, aide-de-camp to General Fitzhugh Lee. He was a yottng officer with an excel lent record, a young man who invariably did his dttty and left worrying to' others who bad more liking for it. As he galloped through Tampa, with the dispatch bag securely slung over his shottlders, Kimberly's only thought was that he was enjoying his ride. "Just the time of ciay for man and beasts," he reflected. "We both feel better for this spin, eh, old Leander?'' Down past the last of the regular army camps he galloped, occasionally acknowledging the salute of a passing soldier, or nodding to some brother officer on his list of acquaintances. Then he struck into more lonely country. Here the houses were not frequent, and most of the passers-by were on the trolley cars that occasionally whizzed by him in one direction or the other. "Confound these trolley lines, Lean der," grumbled the young officer. "They were never bttilt to please men who are really fond of the saddle. We'll turn into a quieter road." This they found at the next corner. By turning off thus from the beaten road, Kimberly almost escaped the vigilance of a man riding at some distance behind him. Far better would it have been for that happy officer had lie made better speed and turned that corner a full minute ear-lier! "Diablo! I had all but missed chuckled the stranger who was followino on horseback. He looked ahead, and saw a road tha well suitted the purpose he hacl in mind Ahead the road appeared deserted for half a 111 i le. "I'll soon have the _gringo," mnttere the pursuer, "if Heaven is kind to Spai to-day!!" He dug his heels into the flanks of tl horse he bestrode, pressing forward at gait that caused him to gradually ga upon Kimberly. "I shall be up with him in a quarter a mile,'' muttered the pursuer. It looked like it, indeed, until of as den th{ lieutenant's horse began to fo ahead. ''Diab lo!" ground the stranger betw his teeth. "What does this mean? the gringo officer seen me? Can he s pect that my errand is not exactly frie ly to him?'' Yet this seemed highly improbable, the simple reason that Lieutenant berly, as he rode onward, had not turned to look back. HAVE YOU READ PAGE 32.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 97 "If it is to be a race," growled the evil-minded one, "I am poorly equipped, since my brute would lose one mile in seven to that long-legged beast ahead!'' Sweat poured out upon the brow of Spain's agent. He had worked hard, was prepared ts> sell his soul, if need be, to win, and here he was in great danger of losing the race! "Go, you snail, go!" gritted the pursuer, trying with his heels and hands to urge his beast onward. He met with some success, and that, too, just at a moment when it told best, for Kimberly's horse, having n111 off ome of its exuberance, had now slack ned its galloping pace a trifle. "If we but meet, I am ready," smiled he evil-minded one, as he thrust one and under his vest. The hilt of a knife met his hand. It as fastened securely in place. "Go, go, go!" panted the Spaniard, as e saw with exultation that he was pidly gaining. Kimberly's horse slackened still more. "We win!" panted the rear-most one. It seemed indeed hkely, unless the lien rnnt's horse should take it into his head try another spurt. he Spaniard narrowly scanned the n he was chasing. n plain sight bnng the dispatch bag. 'That bag, an.= a minute's start," 'lled the second man in the race, "and iall care not what else happens P' ut one thing that his eyes saw filled with apprehension. Curse the gril._1go Why does he wear revolver in such a peaceful town as ? And these gringos are such inferstraight shots. Ugh! If he once cts, and faces mewith that in bis I am not likely to reap the price of day's work. Why does Heaven ever the gringo to shoot so straight?'' enely unconscious of danger, Kimrodc on, the turn that his thoughts aken contenting him with the slow f his horse. cvas galloping still, but with nothing he speed that the stranger had ininto his own steed. me one comi11g after me? Can it be any one with more dispatches?" won dered Kimberly, as he turned in saddle . He saw the stranger, and saw him making signals at that. "He wants me to halt," mused Kimberly, slowly drawing his bridle-reins in. "Yet he can't be a dispatch bearer, for he's a civilian. Possibly, though, he brings some word from Ma ynard." Unsuspecting Kimberly! While not coming to an abrupt halt, he reined in sufficiently to make it an easy matter for the hard rider behind to overtake him. "You wanted to speak with me?" he hailed. "That is it. Wait until I can get alongside.'' Stil11111s11spicious, Kimberly put more restraining power into his grip on the bridle. "Well?" he demanded, wonderingly. "Your -horse--" gasped the stranger, as if short of breath. "My horse?" "Yes." "What about him?" "Something-wrong with--" But the stranger paused as if trying to recover his spent breath. "Cinch-strap belt loose?" demanded Kimberly, looking down, and shifting in his seat a little, as if to test the proposition. The stranger shook his head. "Wait a second, sir, and I'll be to tell you." Kimberly saw only an anxious man who had seemingly ridden hard to do him a friendly service. He waited, therefore, with all patience, while the evil-minded one drew in huge whiffs of breath. "Your horse appears to have the gasps as badly as you have,'' smiled the wait ing Kimberly. "I thank you for taking so much trouble." The lieutenant might have sprung to the grcund and quickly have looked his beast over, but he was far too polite to think of that. Since this stranger had gone to so much trouble to give him the information, tne lieutenant would wait until he could get it from that source. While pretending to get his breath ANT EVERY READER TO HAVE A PATRIOTIC BADGE-SEE PAGE 32.


28 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. back, the stranger was really making the stranger, moving nearer to his in much better use of his snapping eyes than tended victim with the stealthy, gliding of his lungs. movement of a snake. He noted every detail about Kimberly, "You've got blamed sharp eyes," eyed the dispatch bag hungrily, saw the grumbled the officer, starting to take an lieutenant's magnificent physical build, other look. and noted just how handily placed the "Sharp enough, sir, to take in the cut. officer's big cavalry revolver was. As I suspected, sir, it is a very thin one, "There is but one way to get the better bt:.t I have no doubt it is deep. Hold the of him," murmured the agent of Spain, foot still, sir, and I will point it out to inwardly. you." Kimberly waited with good-natured One hand the evil-minded one held patience. straight out to point to the alleged cut True, he was in a hurry, but a min. for which the lieutenant was looking his ute's delay could easily be made up on hardest. such a horse as he rode. Slowly, yet infallibly, the other ban That was, unless something serious traveled toward the lapel of his vest. was really the matter with the brute. But Kimberly did not see the secon "It would be to have the movement. beast go lame at this point," murmured A thorough lover of his horse, h the officer. thought only of the alleged hurt. "Now I can speak," said the stranger, The eyes of the evil-minded one wer more easily. "I noticed some distance now fully upon his. back that your animal showed the first Of a sudd e n it flashed upon the liet symptons of going lame." tenant that all was not well. "Why, it's odd that I didn't detect the But the consciousness came too Jate fact in his gait," responded Kimberly. There was a gleam of steel before _h "It was only the first sign of lameeyes. ness," replied the other. "It is the aniConsiderably lower down the poi mal's nigh hind foot that struck me as stuck in-driven home with a force th acting peculiarly. And I am enough of a had hate behind it. horseman to tell you what is the matter." A groan !-one of Uncle Sam's Kimberly had now dismounted, and was lying in the dust, with a fou stood regarding the way in which the driven dagger in his breast. brute stood upon its nigh hind foot. Strange creatures horses are I "Looks to me like a sound foot," With its head turned, Kimberly's hr spoke the officer. saw the deed. "Not quite," responded the stranger, As if determined to give no aid to also dismounting. "My eye cannot deenemy, that animal made a sudden 1 ceive me. The brute has cut the foot on forward, then veered to the left, lop a sharp wire, or a splinter of glass. It into the woods. will pay you to look into the matter." "I would have liked that bru "Leander, sir," commanded Kimberly, sighed the Spaniard, looking after tapping the horse's leg, "put up your vamoosing horse. "But it matter's uo foot and let's have a look at it." the dispatch bag is mine!" Up came the foot into his hand. Raising the officer's head and sh The stranger, standing at a little disders, be roughly tugged at the shout tance off, watched his chance with strap. ing eyes. He had spoken the truth-the disp "Don't see a thing,,, negatived the bag was bis-! lieutenant, still looking. "Shoe's worn a little thin, perhaps, but that would lame any horse. As for a cut, there's not even a pin-scratch." "Ah! Now you are in error, sir," cried READ THE LIBERAL OFFER ON PAGE 32.


STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 29 CHAPTER X. CONCLUSION. "Father in Heaven! Missed by a second I Oh, that was fiend,s work P, From the only human spectator of the horrible scene came this shocked cry. Hal Maynard had just galloped into view. He was too late to save his com rade. It was not his fault. He had ridden hard-so hard that he had all but winded his steed, which was now panting at a rate that showed how little longer he could keep in the race. Aud Hal had all lost the trail, too, for he had kept along the main thorough fare whetl Prex, who was running beside his horse, 11ttered a sudden short yelp, and, with his nose close to the ground, started up the narrower road. "Hanged if I don't follow you, Prex !>' muttered the young aide. He was already past the entrance to the road, but, wheeling, Hal cut across a bit of forest instead of waiting to go hack. So it happened that he and Prex were now on the road, too late for the rescu "!, u ( possibly in time for vengeance. "And the dispatches must be saved, ven if it were to cost me the revenge," hr;lled the young staff officer. For a few minutes it looked as if the vil-minded one were to be hampered by roubles of his own. For even his own horse now seemed to ave taken a sudden aversion to the mur erer. As its late rider grabbed for the bridle, e brute yanked its heac away. "Steady, you brute,,, snarled the im riled one as he sprang forward to make sure capture. He would have made it, had not the imal reared squarely up, forcing the aniard to dodge out from under its

30 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. as he rode close to the stranger. "I can "Poor old chap!" cried Hal, throwing drop you at any second I choose." himself out of saddle. "Yon tackled Back came the defiance: him? I forgot that the brute had a knife. "Do it!" He has used it on you like a fiend, old "He chooses lead over hemp!" ground chap. Now, show me the rascal's the boy between his closed teeth. "Well,. course." th e n, I won't leave it to his choice!" Wheeling, Prex cavorted through the Riding alongside, he reached over and bushes. seized the bridle of the other's horse, at They had not gone thirty feet whe the same time thrusting his weapon's Prex gave another short bark that halte muzzle close to the Spaniard's face. his master. In a jiffy, the other tumbled ont of There upon the ground lay th saddle, rolled in the dirt, got upon his stranger. He did not get up, did no feet, and went sprinting for the forest as even stir. fast as his feet would carry him. He never would again, of his ow1 .For an instant, Hal thought of pur-motion. slllr .g. He was dead. Everywhere about hi Then the remembrance of the dispatch throat were the savage marks of the dog' ba g flashed into his mind. teeth. "No, no! that first!" he resolved. All about the ground was soaked wit Wheeling about, he sent his animal blood. back at a gallop, bending low in saddle Hal now understood Prex's bloo as he neared the bag. snout. Dive! One of his feet quitting its The dog, getting the Spaniard

STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 31 Followed now i:Jy Prex, our heFo cantered back down the road, dismounting by Kimberly's side. As he did so, the latter opened his eyes. "Glad to see you couscious again, old ellow, '' thrilled Maynard. "I was when you first went by," came be faint answer. "Why didn't you call to me?' "I was afraid you would stop-did,n't ant you to until everything was all ight." "You stanch old soldier!" gulped Hal. But now--" "Get those dispatches to Lee as fast as u can, Maynard.'' "And leave you here, unattended(" "Yes." "I'm afraid I don't know how to do' at, old chap.'' "You must. I direct it, as your rank-g officer.'' "Oh, if you put it that way. But I'll ep my eyes wide open on the way. rst chance I get I'll send back help.,. "Do! It will be all right, Maynard. I 1 that I've got a constitution good gh to pull me through this." al pulled his comrade gently to the e of the road, resting him on a patch grass, and making a pillow for the ve fellow with his blouse. hen, in shirt sleeves, Hal mounted, ned to Prex, and called : 'Watch the lieutenant, old fellow. Do rduty!'' ith a satisfied whine Prex crouched n in the sand, while Hal galloped off n the road. ess than a mile off he passed the camp regiment. 1 a twinkling two surgeons were ding off down the road. It was not more than twenty minutes after that that our hero stood in the presence of Fitzh11gh Lee, to whom he turned over the dispatch bag. When Hal Maynard turned to ride back to Tampa, his face was flushing from well-earned praise. Lieutenant Kimberly, who also came. in for great praise, remained on sick report for three weeks. Yet better even than Fitzhugh Lee':; commendation was that general's you11 g aide's consciousness of a day's duty well performed. Into one day of staff duty Hal Maynard had crowded more good, effective work than some men could have done in a month. [THE END.] There was never a more picturesque element in the army than that presented by Roosevelt's Ro11gh Riders, sometimes called "Teddy's Terrors." All are picked men, men who k1lOW how to ride like the wind, shoot as straight as the eye can see, men inured to hardships, an

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