Frank Reade, Jr's electric terror the "Thunderer;" or, The search for the Tartar's captive.

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Frank Reade, Jr's electric terror the "Thunderer;" or, The search for the Tartar's captive.

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Frank Reade, Jr's electric terror the "Thunderer;" or, The search for the Tartar's captive.
Series Title:
Frank Reade weekly magazine
Senarens, Luis 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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29 p. ; 28 cm.


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Dime novels ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Inventors -- 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.
Resource Identifier:
024677735 ( ALEPH )
63145601 ( OCLC )
R18-00006 ( USFLDC DOI )
r18.6 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Js:iued JVee!;lyBy Subacription_:$2.50 j!ntered _as Second Class Matter at New York Post n.!fice, 1 9 0 2, by Prank No. 6 NEW yoRK,, J)ECEftiBER 5, 1902 Pl'ice t Cents: Frank sent the blinding rays the searchlight down Mardo Turgi, with the order for Pomp's execution upon his lips, threw up h i s arms, and fell It was just in the nick of time.


T hese Books Tell You Everything. A COMPLETE .SET IS A REGUL A R ENCYCLOPEDIA! Eac h book consists of sixty-four p11ges, printed on good paper. in clear type and neatl y bound in an attt:active, illustrated co\cr. l\Iost of the books are profusel y illustrated, and all of the subjects treate d upon are explained in such .a simple manner that aur ch ild can thorough l y understand them. Look over the list as classified and s ee if you want to know anything about the subjects PlCntioned. : -------------------,--1 THESE ARE FOR S .ALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OH WILL l'!E SEN'l' BY

RANK READE "WVEE:EE.L ONTAINING STORIES OF ADVENTURES ON LAND, SEA AND IN TilE Affi. IBBUed Weekly-By Subscription $2.50 ;pe r year. Entered as Second Class Matter at New York, N Y., Post Office. Entered a c cording to Act of Congress in the year 19021 in the office of the Libmrian of Congress, Washi ngton, D, C by Frank Tousey, z4 union Square, New York. No.6. NEW YORK, DE .CE:M:BER 5, 1902. Price 5 Cents. \ :frank Reade, Jr.'s Electric Terror "The Thunderer" OR, THE SEARCH FOR THE .TARTAR'S CAPTIVE. By "NONAME." CHAPTER I. "A'right, sah I" Pomp disappeared with the card. THE STORY OF NICK WARD. He carried it into an inner room, wnere a young man of frank, handsome features and a distinguished air was en One beautiful day in June a man alight e d from a train gaged in studying up some the Readestown depot, and jumping into a carriage, said o the driver: Drive me to the res idence of Frank R eade, Jr., the in ventor." "All1ight, sir," said the cabby. A short while later the carriage s topp e d at the door of a beauitful mansion, and the trav e l e r di s missed the carriage and mounting the step s pulled th e door b e ll. In respons e a darky of mos t comic al and good-natured appearance came to the door. "Is Mr. Frank R eade Jr., at home ?" a s ked the caller. 1 Th e darky ducked his head. "He am, sah What wo'd kin I take to him, sah ?" "You are Pomp, are you?" Th e darky gave a start of s urprise. 11Dat am who I am, sah," he replied. "I thou gh t so," said the visitor, with a smile.' "I have heard much of and Barney and Mr. Frank Reade, Jr., the inventor. Please take him my card ." "Marse Frank, dar am a ge'mmen to see yo'," said Pomp, with a bow. ['he young inventor, for such he was, and whose name was known the world over, sprang up. "All right," he said, brusquely. "Who is he?" "Here am his card, sah I am very busy to-day, but--" Frank took the card and glanced at it. He gave a start. NICHOLAS WARD. Thi s was the nam e up

2 READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC T1RROR, THE "THUNDERER." Jr. He was a trifle older, ?u( handsome and straight as "However, I was jus t reckless enough to fall in with t an arroW'. plan. We left Baku one day on a sailing vessel, and pr "Well, Nick, old boy, how are you?" cried Frank, corceed e d up the Caspian to Gouri e f at the mo"uth of t dially. Ural Hiver. "Very well, indeed, thank you," replied the vis itor. "And you?" ''Quite well, thank you," replied Frank. I am d e li-ghted to see you." "From th e nce it is a wes t erly cours e to the s t e ppes o 'l'artary W c equipp e d ours elves with ons and cam p equiprn ents and started "A foolhardy no doubt you will s a y 1_., <'. "I may say the same. It has five years s inc e we o f us, not greatly exp e rienc e d in the way s of the count la s t met." "Yes; and you have been tra vcling in A s ia, I hear?" "In Tartary, Indo-China and Hindostan. I have s e e n much of life in the last five years And you have been to almost every co:r:ner of the world witl) your wonderful in' vcntions." or the manners of the people, and y et we were takin mi ghty chances. "We took no guide or bodyguard, for we w e ll knell" thei tre ach e ry. "We ll, we mall e v ery ex c ellent progress for a ftw hun ched mile s W c left the border settlements behind an "I have traveled some and experi e nc e d a few adventures," poon were upon the boundle ss s teppe s said Frank, modestly "It is no exaggeration," said ally, "when I say that you are the world to-day." Nick Ward, cnthus illStic the most famous man in "Here we had plenty of fun fighting wolve s and bear s and having an o c casional skirmis h with wand e ring Kirghiz '

FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE 3 h isit the prisons of Sib e ria. They wer e 1o have a guard and do you mean to say that t he girl is yet in the power of the r afe e s cort. Kirghiz ?" h "I do. "It was a rare honor, and they acc epte d it with delight. But one day, betwe e n Tobol s k and B c r c tchin s lc,;'l. they were O l uddenly attacked by a band of bri gands. P "Their guard was s laught e r e d and they wer e made captives. Their c aptor sold them to a Tartar chief, and they 1' 1tnally found their way into the mountain retreat of Mardo r J 'ru.rgl, the cru e l est of the Tartar bri g and s who told them lSthat they would be held for ran som, in failur e of whi c h they would be ki1led. i t "Letters w e re b y poor W es t e rv e lt, but the y wer e e ver answer ed. 'fhe Tlij'tar c hi ef becam e impati ent, and I l-n1att e r s w e re seriou s until on e da y Westene lt mad e his descape. "His hope was to teach England and Inte rced e f o r the >,rescue of his daught e r Madg e "Thus w e found him upon the .d esert s teppes. A wild b desire se iz e d u s to attempt the rescue of Madg e West e rve f t. l "We f e d West e rvelt and g ave him s ome c lothin g Then 1w e atte mpted an excursion of rescu e into the mountain s l. "But we s peedily found the Kirghiz s o numerou s and so w e ll f ort lfied, that it was wholly out of the que s tion to at b y any strategy to accompli s h our "'l'he onl y m et h o d of r e s c uin g Madg e was b y fighting but w e finall y hit upon a strate gi c pl an. "A tnessnge was sent to Mardo T u r g i b y one of the Tar tars whom '"e c apture d "We offe r ed: to treat with him for ransom, pro v id e d he would w a it until on e of u s c ould g o to ,England and back. We named te n month s a s t h e limit. H e want e d on e mil lion dollar s in gold f or the ransom fee Great H e aven! That is awful! And you lu1ve come !o me for aid ?" Yes." "But-I am powerle ss. What can I do in the matter?" "Frank, you are a great inventor You have an airship--" "Ah! That was wrecked!" said Frank, in des pair. "It would take too long to build another." Ni c hola s Ward s prang to hi s feet. don t say that y ou cannot help u s !" he cri e d, e xcit e dly. "Think of that poor father; thi-nk of that b e autiful girl and what her fate will b e Think of it and r e fuse if y ou can The appeal was a passionate and powerful ohe. Frank Reade, Jr., in much agitation paced the floor for a moment. Then his face lit up with Sli.dde n re s olution. "I can and will save her!" he cried .CHAPTER II. ON THE STEPPES The announc e ment had s u c h an efl'e ct upon Nic k Ward that he ru s h e d forward and thre w his arms around Frank. "God bless you!" he cri ed. I khew yol'l would not rcfuse, Frank." Of c ourse I would not, r e pli e d the young inventor "I w a s onl y driven t o a s ore trait to think of sotfie feasible "This would b ankrupt poor Wcst e ryelt; bu t h e was n e verplan for ac c omplishing the purpose." theless willin g to pa y it to s a v e hi s daught e r "I thought of your air-ship "But an idea c am e t o me, and I ha s t e ned to put it into e x e cuti on. "Yes; if I had an airship constructed \ve would have no difficillty whatev er." "But what is your plan ? I left Wall ancl"West e rv elt at Gourief on the Ural, and travel eel b y qui c k e s t s t ages to C onstantinopl e and the n c e Frank looked thoughtful and did not answer fot a rna t o London and to Ameri c a H e r e I am afte r a hard trip, ment in y our presenc e I t h o ught of y ou and a s I live, Frank, The n h e s udd e nly turned and said: l b e li e v e you arc the onl y man in the world to-da y who ha s "You s ay these Kirghi z are hard fighters?" it in hi s pow e r to save the Tartar's c a ptiv e, b eautiful Madge Y\T estervel t. Frank Reade ; Jr., had li s t e n e d to this thrilling recital fro m fir s t to last with the keenest kind of His f ace glow e d, hi s eye s s hon e with excite m ent; and h e drew a de e p breath a s Ward .finish ed. "My God!" he exclaim e d, "that i s a t e rrible tal e And "Warriors from the cradl e." "But the y hav e no c annon or anything of that sort?" "Oh, no Frank walked bac k and forth for s ome moments. "Did you c onf e r with the Englis h c on s ul at Cgnstantinople ?" he ask ed. "I did."


4 FRANK READE, JR.' S ELECTRIC TERROR THE "THUNDERER." "What did he say?" whil e not imp e rviou s to a c annon ball, would easily wil "He said he would present the matter to the Porte, but s t a nd bull e t s he said that neith e r the Turkish nor the Russian govern-There w e r e sev e n circul a r bull 's eye windows in the ments could deal effectually with the Tartar brigands in At eith e r e nd the re was a porthol e through which p their remote quarters. would require an army sent j e ct e d the b arre l of pn e umatic dynamite gun, a wonder: thith e r, which neither power would do." inv e ntion of Fra nk 's "I see the point," said Frank. "The pos ition is indeed Th e oody o f th e Thund e r e r rest e d upon a cleverly 01 a hard one. But we will save her if it is in human power to s truct e d fra m e w o rk, with two rever s ible cirdes for do so. I have no air-ship at pre sent; but, as luck ha s it, prop e r turnin g of the m a chin e in any dire ction desir 7r I have just finished an invention which I think will be even Eight wheel s with broa d groov e d tires, with axles dri, by e lectri c s haft s c onn e ctin g with the electrical machin in side the hull. better for the purpo s e." "What is that?" cried Ward, eagerly. "I call it my Electric Terror, the Thund e rer. I could not have devi sed anything better for the purpo s e required." "That is an ominous name," laughed Ward. "And on ominous machine," said Frank. "Is it perfected?" "Quite! I had inte nd e d taking a trip down into the Apa c h e c ountry with it, but it will travel the steppes inBy thi s arr a ngem ent the Thund e r e r be made to in an y direction desir ed. Upon th e top of the hull was a s quare frame, wiH thin n e twork o:li finest s teel to cove r it. This made a s of deck up o n whi c 4 the voyage r s could sit and view i country about. The r e w e r e looph o les in thi s n e tting to fire thropgh c as e of an a tta ck. stead." Above th e n e twork w a s the towe r or pilot-house, and "I know that you will realize the prime imp9rtance of the top of tha t was a powerful e lectric searchlight. immediate action." Entrance to the Thund e r e r was effected by means o '"You need fear nothing on that score. If the Thunderer g a ng ladd e r l e adin g up to a door in th e n e twork So m1 goes to Tartary, she will be packed and aboard the train for New York City to-morrow." "Good!" cried Nick, joyfully. "I would give much for a look at' this wonderful invention." "You s hall have it." Frank led the way into the ball and called Pomp. "Have the brought around at once," be or iiered. for the ex t e rnal appearance of the machin e Fran).c now took hi s v i s itor on board the Thunderer. The hull was di v ided into three compartments. Th e one in the cente r a nd connected b y s tairway with pilot-t o w e r, was the d y n amo a nd e n gin e room H e r e the s ubtl e e l e ctrical machin e ry, the outgrowth Frank Read e Jr.'s clever br a in was tO' be seen Forward was a d e l ightful cabin, fitt e d up luxuriou "A' right, Marse Frank," said the darky. with rich furnitur e a s mall librar y v aluabl e chart s in s t Frank and his vis itor stood upon the front and m e nts and curios. chatted pleasantly until the carriage came. Aft, or prop e rl y at the oth e r of the Thunderer, Then they w ere driven down to the big machin e shops. th e rooms and bunk s Frank led the way in the big yard. There, where the Of these th e r e w e r e seven whic h was the large s t num workmen had jus t run it out from the shop, was the new of passenger s the Thund e r e r c ould carry. Frank unlocl invention, the Thunderer. And as Nick Ward gazetl at it he gave an exclamation of wonderment and delight. th e door of one and s aid: "This s h a ll b e your s Ni ck!" The young Ame rican was d e lighted. H e could har He saw the theory and practicability of the machine at contain bimselt a glance. "It will b e s impl y g r a nd traveling a cross the s teppes "Wonderful!" he cried "Upon my word, Frank, it i s this way!" h e d e cl a r e d "And w e s hall c e rtainly succ just the thing for the steppes!" in M a r d o Turgi and rescuing M a dge!" The Thunderer was, as Frank had said truly, an ominous Frank R e ade, Jr.'s inte ntion to visit Tartary with machine. Thund e r e r l e ak ed out in some way that evening, and bef The body was cigar-shaped, witb keen rams at either morning the n e w s had been t e l e graphed to every city in end. It was of lightest steel, rolled fine and hard, and Unite d States.


FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." 5 A tremendous sensation was created, especially in official ircles at Washington. By order of the President assurances we!e sent to Frank hat he would through Asia under the protection of and rathe r than ha:ve trouble yielded to the cranky old pasha's command and made a circuit of the town. But now the Turks and their ilk had been l eft behind. The Thund erer was really in wild Tartary, a nd thrilling he United States Government and with the Executive adventures were in s tore for them. ion. Nick Ward had written to Westervelt and Wall appointEverywh e re the excit'ment was most intense, as the roing a place of meeting. antic nature of Frank's errand was known. This was at a small Tartar settlemen t upon an arm of Everybody wished the party the best of success\ and mighty throngs gathered in Readestown to see the Thun der e r packed liboard a special train. the Caspian. The people here received the travelers quite hospitably, and it was decided to make this a r endezvous for all future operations. The machine was safely packed and billed to Constaninople via Mediterranean steamers Then Frank Reade, The name of the place was Irluk, and arrangements were Jr., Barney and Pomp, and Nicholas Ward took a train for made with the inhabitants for the procuring of necessary New York, and later boarded a steamer for Europe. A.. the voyage to Constantinopl e was uneventful we will pass over it quickly, and take the reader to more stirring scenes. Arrived there Nick found letters from Wes tervelt and Jack Wall at Gourief. They were still holding Mardo Turgi's envoy, and were in a very n e rvous state of mind over the situation. "We will relieve their minds very quickly, now," said Frank. Arrangements were made to cross the Black Sea oy sailing vessel, and then an overland trip was made to the shores of the Caspian Sea. All this was safely performed, and the Thunderer placed aboard a vessel on the Caspian Sea, aft e r crossing which the party were really upon the borders of Tartar land. The Thunderer may be said truly to have created a sensa tion in the country through which it passed. Indeed, among the barbarous settlements along the bor ders of the Caspian Sea some of the natives essayed a hostile attitude. But they were hardly strong enough in numb e rs to make an attack, and no trouble was encountere d of any serious kind. Many curious peopl e were seen and many stra nge scenes. Kurds formed the bulk of the population, and they were at all times surly and uncommunicy.tiv e supplies there Two days the party waited at Iriuk for the coming of the two men. But neither showed up, nor was any word received from them. "That is queer," said Nick Ward, anxiously. "They ought to be right on hand. There is something wrong." "Perhaps something has befallen them," ventured Frank. "T cannot think that," said Nick. "No; they have not received my lett e r, or they would be here." "Golly, Mars e Frank," said Pomp, with a grimace, "if we stay in dis place much long er, de beggars done git efer fing we hab." "Be jab e rs, that 's roi ght, if yez did say it, naygur," p.ut in Barney. The two servito rs were ever nagging at eacb othe r in a good-natured way, and Pomp at once turned upon Barney. "What am dat yo' say, sah? J es' yo' pleese be a l eet le bit mo' disrespectable when yo' talks to a gemme n !" "Begorra, thin I'd niver be afther talkin' to yez at all!" said Barney, with a grimace. Pomp made a whack at Barney with a deck swab, whieh he had irl. hi s hand. The Irishman dodged so quickly that the darky los t his footing, and swinging about went down upon his flat nose. When he scrambled up the claret was bursting from it in torrents. Barney screaming with laught er made a dive for the Frank was careful to avoid a close encounte r with any cabin to escape a rush by Pomp. of them. At one village tlie head sheik or rul e r appeared and sav agely threatened dire things if the Thund e r e r attempted to ...... pass through the place. Frank could easily have blown the village to atoms with But as he reach ed the stairs he missed his footing and slid the whole l e ngth of them on his spine. "Och, murth e r !" he howled. "Shure, it's kilt I am in toirel y." It was now Pomp's turn to laugh, and h e did right royalhis pneuma.tic.guns, but h e stuck to his conservative course, ly between his efforts to keep his nose straight.


r I 6 FRANK READE, JR. d ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER. But at this mom ent a s tartled c ry from Nic k Ward caused the two s kylark e r s to forg e t fh e i r jokes. They s crambl e d forward to whe r e Frank Read e Jr. and Nick were. And a s tb. e y did s o a thrilling s i ght r e w al'(le d t h e g a z e of all. CHAPTER III. THRILLIN G NEWS. Down the village street came a hors e and ride r. The rid e r wa s a s pecim e n of the 'rartar mce, and dresse d in their wild and picturesqu e fa s hion. But jus t now his pers on w as in a s ad pli ght. His clothing w as t orn, hi s face blood staine d and a s hen white, a nd h e l e an e d h e avil y ove r the pomm e l o f sa ddle. H e rod e straight up to the Thunde r e r and thre w himself f rom the s addle. Messieurs, I a s k your atte n t i on!" h e c ri e d in Fre n c h ln a"'"mom cnt Frank and N i c k w e r e b y hi s s id e But h e fell in a faint b ef o re them. A dra u ght of bran dy, h o wever brou ght him to and he r e viv ed and look e d up. W ell," sai d Frank, i n Fre n c h "wha t i s i t and who a r e you ? I am t he onl y on e left alive, m o n s i eur!" he s aid. "You see-we l ef t Gourie f three days ago In a mountain pa ss w e w e r e set upon b y Kirg hiz, and all were kill e d but me "Monsiem, it was the Pass of the V olti," r e pli e d i Tartar. Nick dre w som e gold coins from his pocket. He thrus t th e m into the fellow 's hand, and cried: Y ou have been faithful and you deserve r e ward. and h a v e y our wound s car e d for and await our r eturn." The n Ni c k and Frank scrambled aboard the Thunde r Barne y and Pomp fle w to the engine room. Frank w ent into the pilot tower, and Nick sat b y s ide and dire cted the cour s e of the Tlnmdcrcr. They w e r e rulllling dire c tly for the YoHi Pass b y n earest route The region upon the bord e r s of the C a spian S e a N knew w e ll. Out upon the l e v e l s t e ppes the Thundcrcr ran. U 1 J l e v e l ground lik e this it was not difficult for the m achi to attain the s peed of a railroad train. Over the ground they fle w a t frightful s peed. Far ahead a drov e of elk w ere see n. But a s the Tin d e r e r came on with a ro a r and rus h the animal s fled Now a band of prowling Kirghiz were seen ah e ad. Mounte d l lpon their swift ponies they tried to ontr the Thunde r e r but they might have spared thems elves 1 trouble. They w e r e di stanced a lmo s t b e for e they were able to 1 unde r way On w ent the Thunde r e r lik e a lo c omotive on a rampa On and o n fas t e r and f aste r. M i le afte r mil e s p e d by. M y God!" crie d N i ck with an a wful wail. "Jack F t t h d d d d 1 t or y s 1 x y on e un r e w e re covere a n s car ce y Wall, m y dear frie nd, i s d ead! He and Wes terv elt--" 1 h d d 1our s a passe But the y ounO' Am erican paused. But th1 s r a t e of s peed could not b e k ept up forever, a H e bc:At down ove r t h e w ounded man, and his v oice had ;;. t e rribl e ring a s he s aid : ''Now, look h e r e m a n no fooling or you di e see my kill e d with your own eyes? Ah, mon s i eur, the re i s no hope!" "Ans w e r m e D i d y ou se e the m killed ?" Did y ou "No, m o n s i eur; but t hey w e r e capture d a nd t h e Kir-gbiz alw ays kill t h eir p ris on e rs. They a r e d ead b ef or e this." There wa s a wild desp e rate lig h t i n N i c k 's eyes a s h e sprang up. "The r e i s a c h a nce!" h e cri e d "Frank, w e mns t a ct The r e i s no time t o l o s e i f w e would s ave them!" I am read y, sa id Frank R e ad e Jr. "Whi c h ll' a y i,; it?" "What pa ss i. it that you w e r e attacked in?" a s k e d N :c k. it cam e to a sudde n s top. A riv e r Jay in their path. But Frank had provid e d for this Ther e w e r e prop e ll e r bla des to fit o n the whee l s, anc t emporary rudde r f o r t h e rear of t h e craft, for s u c h mi ght n o w b e call ed. In the wat e r .the Thunde r e r w as c apa b l e of floating e ily and e v e n m aintaining a fair r a t e of s peed Int o t h e w ate r the 'rhunde r er s lid and m a d e i ts w ay w rapid s p ee d to t h e o pposi te s h o re. The n tb e prop e ll e r blades w e r e t ak e n in a n r l the Th1 d e r e r r < m np on t h e shore. On c e more it w ent thundering ac ross the pl ain like whirlwind. Mil e afte r mil e s p e d by and at l e n gth N i c k Ward stud the di stant horizon thron g h hi s gla sses aud c ri ed:


.. .._ ....... .., FHANK JR'S ELEC 'l'RIC 'l'EHROR THE "'l'HUND E RER." l'here is the Volti range of hill s We arc right in the t of the Kirghiz country!" l'he n we may look for squalls,'' s aid Frank Reade, Jr. mxactly! W(j cannot be too carefu. i in proceeding Golly exclaimed Pomp, "dis chile done fink dem callions b ettah not git in de way ob de 'l'hunderer !" A.b, but I can tell you they are not a foe to be despised," Nick. [ agree with you," said F-rank. "It will at least be s e clue caution. They might lay som e sort of a fatal for us. Of course, in the open field no doubt we could them, with the aid of the electric guns. But in the it will not be so easy." T u s t the idea," said Nick, eagerly. "You can see my -----=====-= "Yes,'' replied Frank. "Well; what do you think?" "They do not look like T artars." "No." "Can the y be o f the robb e r b and?" Nick s hook his h ea d No," h e replied deci s ivel y And that i s th e very strangest part o f it Row t hey hav e dare d to pass thes e hills i s a m) r s t ei"y t o me, unless--" "What?" "They are a p art of the robbe r brrnd in di s gui se.: The two youth s gazed a t e a c h oth e r. "Do you b e li e v e that?" Frank a s k ed. Nick s lapped his kn e e vigorou s ly and c ried: "No; I do not! They a re Arm e nian traders f rom To t _Frank? bolsk, going to Constantinopl e a n d they taking mighty [ c an. Now, you are sure that tho s e are the hill s in chance s for the s ake of trading in the peaceable 'l'artar set' h your friends are held as prisoner s ?" lf the Tartar messenger at lrluk i s to be b e li e v e u." [t mus t be true." [ think s o Yonder i s the Volti Pass." rank s aw a mighty cleft in the mountain wall. B e yond w e re vi s ible jagged peaks and caps. h.e country was extremely wild and primitiv e 'lme of all s orts abounded, and there wer e no eviden c e s l e v e r of any of the perquisites of civilization or huslr y Not ev e n a peasant s hut had been s e en in the huB.dred miles. was jus t s u c h a wild, unsettl e d r e gion a s briganus s elect for a sttonghold. tl e ment s along the Cas pian S e a \ It look e d a s i f Nic k had hit right. Frank nodded approvingl y I guess y ou are right, Ni c k," h e s aid ; "but they s eem to b e trav e ling along safe ly jl_ls t now." -"True ; and yet they are right in 'the very h eart of the robber' s r etreat." This was certainly an anomalou s cond ition of a !fairs. The t .rave ling Arm enians w e re watch e d with inte re s t for awhil e Slowl y they desc ende d the mountain p a th, until the mountain wall hid the m f rom further view. The y mus t in a few moments r e a c h the b e d of the pass, rank care fully s tudied the pass and the hill s about. and it c ould not take t hem a great while to e merge upon the f cours e none in the party knew exactly whe r e the Kir-plain. robb e rs had their den. i t was somewh e r e in the hill s it was certain. llt t hey were no t destin e d to r e main long ina c tiv e 1dd e nly, as Nick was s tud y ing a part of the hill s The y had not seeme d to perceive the presence o th8 'rhundere r I But the ma c hin e was 'in the o f a c lump o f tr e e s I ugh J1i s gld ss, h e g ave a s harp cry and this may have afford e d the explan a tion t an ins t.ant Frank was by his side. After th e party had di s app eare d from vi e w Frank Reade, What is. it?" he asked. "Have you made a di scove ry?" Jr.; dre w a deep breath. f es, replied Nick, excitedly. "We ll what do you th/ nk o f it? a s ked Nic k iVhat ?" "If that party of trader s ric h with money and fine g oods, ru s t look up yond e r on that spur of the mount a in can safe ly trav e l through the Volti Pass, the n c erta inl y the ank turpe d hi s g lass in the direction indicated robb e r s have eith e r deserte d their s tronghold, or for s ome a w as g i v en a stunning surprise. reason the y f ear to attac k the party." mund a spur of the mountain and f ollowin g a rude l y You are right, a g reed Nick. "Well, I c an t a lk a little ed p ath w e re a num)J e r of mount e d m e n. in the Arm e nian ton g u e and whe n the trad e r s appear we 1 ey look e d like Armenian s mor e than Tartars, and a rr p a c k mules followed the m h e avil y l a d e n. ) o y on see them ?" a s ked Nick. w ill c onf e r with them.'' A good id ea!" Nick lit a cigar and s troll e d up and down upon the


8 FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." screened d eck of the Thund e rer. Frank w ent into the The re was the cra s h of firearm s the cla s h of arms an cabin a mom e nt. yell s and ag onized cries of victim s The r e was no doubt Perhap s thirty minutes pa ssed, and y e t the Armenian s but that the tra d e r s w e r e g e tting th e wor s t of the fitfit. did not app-e ar. Frank h e ard a nd r e aliz e d all this. Nick was b e ginning to g e t imp a tient It endowe d him with a feelin g a kin t o desp e ration H A f e ar seized him tha t they had found some othe r meth-was an x iou s to go to the rescu e of the Arm e nian s and kne Gd of leaving the hill s than b y th e pass. But second thought the n e cessity of prompt action. assur e d him that thi s c ould not b e so. But how w a s the Thund e r e r to pass this obs tacle? I But s udd e nl y a s ound r e a c h e d his e ar s which drove the sure ly could not br e ak through nor run over it. color from hi s face. It could b e cut awa y with a xes, but this would requi This was the r e p ort of fir e arm s and the s ound of s hout s tim e and b y the time it was acc ompli s h e d it might be t and c ries from the di s t a nce. late to r e nd e r the unfortun at e Arme nian s any s e rvice. Ni c k ru s h e d to th e c abin door, and s hout ed, exc itedly: "Grea t H e aven s !" exclaimed Nick, desp erate ly. "Fra nk, come qui ck! ['he trade r s hav e been attack e d th e r e no way to g e t over that b a rri e r Frank?" b y the robber s !" Frank h e ard thi s with a thrill and s prang to the cabin A' mom ent lat e r h e was by Ni c k s s id e "You don t mean it he ga s ped. "Lis t e n 1 There was no d e nyin g the fact. The s ound s of the c onfli c t c am e plainly to the h e aring of all. Thi s w as e nou g h for Frank. Pomp h e cri ed. "Go to your places in -the engin e -room. W e mu s t save those p e opl e at all hazard s !" Frank himself s pr a n g into the pilot-tow er. The Thunderer l e ap e d ah e ad and made for the mou t h of the pa s s at "The r e mu s t b e," r e pli e d the young inventor "Hark! I b e lieve the y ar e cutting the poor cha ps a to pi eces !" "The re i s no doubt of it." But at that s upr e m e mom ent an idea came to Frank "I have it!" he cried. He w ent to th e pilot-hou s e and back e d the Thundere some two hundre d feet from the obstruc tion. Then he w ent to the forward gun and charg e d the pneu matic chamber. A d y namit e proj e ctil e wail inserted H is purpose was seen by the others, and cried: "Go ll y I don e fink d at will fix d a t obs truck s hu mighty qui ck. It am a s uah fing." t e rrific s p eed. The inte rv e nin g distance was quickl y cove r ed. The pass B e jaber s I'm glad I'm not on the top av it," s aid Bar was ope n e d b e f o r e the m A wid e c ut with a s mooth floor n e y ove r whi c h th e machin e bowled r a pidly. For some hundr e d ya rd s into the pass the Thund e rer found no obs tacle. But now one itse lf. A land s lide h a d caused two l a rg e trees to fall athwart Fra nk s ighted the gun and pull e d the valv e open. The r e was a s li ght s hock, a recoil, and the projectil s truck the obstruc tion The result was t e rrific The air w a s fill e d with fly ing d e bris, and in less than second the s mok e cle ar e d away and s how e d the floor of th the pa ss. These blocked it to the h e i ght of a couple of feet, pass to b e cle ar of obs truction s and trav e l e rs fou nd no difficul t y in l e aping their horses ove r the obstruc tion But it was suffic i ent to effectu a lly block th e wheel s of the machin e The Thund e r e r ca m e to a full s top. What was to b e don e ? It was extremely important that the obs truction should b e removed. CHAPTER IV. Only a h e ap of s plint e r s and of pulv e riz e d s tone occupi the s pot. A cheer went up from the voyage r s and the Thund e rer w ent forw a rd onc e more. Up the pass it thundered at full s peed. A long stre tch of level floor was cove r e d ; then several an g l e s w e re turne d, and the y cam e out in a sort of d epres s ion in the heart of the mountain s This cove red, p e rhaps, six or sev e n acre s and was smooth and l e v e l like the floor of the pass itself. A TR U C E PARLEY. It was in this place that the Armenians had bee n attack M e anwhil e th e sound s from the conflict going on above by the Kirghiz. w e r e of a t e rrible sort. But now as the Thunderer appeared upon the scene, t


FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDEREiR." 9 ;ight which rewarded the gaze of the voyagers was an as-But where did they come from? For some moments this ounding one. was a mystery to the voyagers Not a living man was in sight. Nick had thought of leaving the Thunderer for a rna-The battle had been fought and was over. It seemed inment, but if he had done so no doubt his life would have redible, yet there was the awful testimony. paid theforfeit. There had been twenty-five in the traders' party. "Jericho!" he exclaimed, in amazement. "Where did Of these not one was left alive. that compliment come Their bodies, horribly mutilated, were lying about the lace. The robbers had slaughtered them like sheep, rifled heir persons, and driven off their pack mules. Our adventurers gazed upon the scene with horror. Not one of the .Armenians but had been beheaded, so "That is a mystery," said Frank. "Golly, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, "I done fink I can tell yon.') )llj' "Eh, where?" asked Frank. The darky pointed up to edge of a cliff which was here was no possibility that any of them were alive. .A lined with bowlders. From behind one of these a faint ore horrible massacre human mind could not conceive. wreath of smoke was seen ascending. All gazed upon it aghast. This was the only clew, but it would seem a sufficient "My soul!" exclaimed Frank Reade, Jr., witJ?. horror. one. l ''I have always considered the Tartar race as barbaric, but hat there could exist such an inhuman set of wolves seems 1 "Indeed, you are right," said Nick. "I told you they rere a haffi lot, Frank. I lived among them, and had a good chance to observe." I "What chance is there then of our finding your friends alive?" "There is butone." ".And that?" "Possibly they may have spared their lives in the hope of gaining ransom. The Tartar is fond of mon e y obtained in that way." "It is a slender hope." "Slender, indeed! But it is enough to cling to." "Very true. We will not abandon it." The Thunderer went on through the pass for some in pursuit of the Kirghiz. But they had taken narrow mountain paths, which the Thunderer could not follow. For the time it seemed useless to attempt to overtake This only be done by essaying a sally from tlie ma chine, and this woufd be attended by too much ri sk. So Frank rev ersed the lever and sent the Thunderer bow ling back to the scene of the mas sac re. It was indeed a terrible scene. But as the party gazed upon it there was the sudden crack of rifles, and a storm of bullets struck the Thu:nderer. Of course no harm was done. The bullets only rattled harmlessly against the steel net ting. No doubt behind that bowlder there lurked a number of the Kirghiz who had fired this volley at the Thunderer as a test. Frank studied the cliff's edge a moment. "Upon my word," he cried, "I do believe that is their hiding place!" "Ob co'se it is, M:arse Frank!" cried Pomp. "Don' yo' se de puff ob smoke?" "I believe Pomp is right!" declared Nick. "We will wait awhile. They may fire again." Several minutes passed. Pomp and Barney were at loopholes watching eagerly for a head to appear from behind the bowlders. It would have been a sad thing for the owner if such a thing ha_ d occurred. But it did not. The Kirghiz proved wily foes, and discreetly kept their hiding place. .After awhile Frank said: "There is no doubt but that they are up there, eh, Nick?" "I b e lieve it!" replied the young .American traveler. I "They are too wise to show themselves "Yes." ".All right. I will fix up a nice little dose for them, then!" Frank went forward to the pneumatic gun. He it to tlie right angle, and sighted the bowlders above. Then he opened the air valve and put in a projectile. There was a hissing sound, a shock, and an object went tearing through the a-ir. It struck the bowlders full and fair. ... A terrific explosion was the result, and a mighty tongue of flame shot up into the air.


If-- es ,., ,....,. ...., ._ 10 FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." The dynamite had exploded, and the rocks were reduce-a to powder. The bodies o:f half a. doz e n Kirghiz wer e hurled aloft. A numb e r o:f the surv ivor s were seen fleeing up the mountain s ide. Barney 'and Pomp opened fire upon these. The assault of the Kirghiz upon the had not proved a s uccess. :B,rank was w e ll pleased with the r_csult of th e sho t. "That will inform them that we mean bnsincse !'' h e "You are right, agreed N ick. "It i s a pity there couldn't hav e been more of them in that scrape." W e will :fetch th e others yet," sa id Frank, confidently. What do you s uppose they think of the Thunderer, now?" "I can't imagine. I hope it will terrify them into r e l eas ing the prisoners." But Nick shook hi s head. "There is scant hope of that," he said; "they will lik e ly go home and kill them now, if they hav e n t done so al ready." "Do yoN believe it?" "I fear it." "What can we do?" He made a queer sort of salute with the palms of hands, and then stood facing Frank in a leering, defi ;manner. The young inventor aclclresse(l him in French, fellow shook hi s head He did not unde r stand it. 'l'hen h e tried German, Italian and Spanish, but the fe low each time look e d blank. At this moment Nick came to the r esc ue. "Hold on. Fral1k !" he c ried, "I can talk with thatIt' low." "All right," sa id the young inventor. cas -e, come along." Nick was not s low to comply. H e l eaped down from hi s perch and approached the trn bearer. "Wel, what can we do for you?" he said, in the Turkis language. The :fellow's face assumed an expression of comprehen s ion, and he r e plied: "I come from odak Khan, the king of these H demand s the meaning of your presence here." "Why do es he make that d emand?" asked Nick, de fiantly. "He don't own these hill s." "This is the territory of Modale He d emands that yo "We are powerless!" groaned Nick. l eave it at once, or your h eads shall be cut off!" Barney and Pomp had bee n testing their skill at hitting "Humph!" said Nick, conieinptuously. "Mighty littl the fleeing Kirghiz. Suddenly Barney ceased firing. we care for that." "Be jabers,". he cried, "phwhat do yez call that, naygur? "What do you want here?" On me word, I believe it is a flag of truce!" "We are h ere to d emand of lVIodak Kahn that he r e l cas This seemed a fact. i.wo Englis h pri s on e r s he h as in ke eping for ranso Upon a spur of the cliff th e re s udd e nly appeared one of :M:odak Khan i s a robber and a scoundrel. If he docs n the Kirghiz band. comply with thi s dema'nd we shall see that he is skinne He carri e d in his hand a white flag, which he waved alive. Go to him and tell him that. We will give yo vigorously. one minute to get out of sight." It was certainly intended for a truce. With which terse ultimatum Nick pulled out his watch. "A truc e !" cried Nick.. The fellow took the hint and s lid out of sight. "Begorra, they've come to their sinses at lasht !" cried But he paused at the e dge of the cliff just long enougl Barney "Shure, they want to s peak to us!" to thunder back: Frank boldly stepped out of the cage and made a reassur"Modak Khan am I. Dogs o:f Christians, I will have ing motion to the Kirghiz envoy. your hearts for thi s !" 'l'ho fellow descended from his per c h and approached Frank. He was a tall, strapping fellow, with muscl es like an ox. But his features were coarse ana heavy and of the mo s t brutal type. He was dressed in the barbaric fashion of the Kirghiz Tartar, with the skins of wild animals forming of his costume. CHAP'I'ER V t THE KHAN ENTRAPPED. "Thunder!" exclaimed Nick, in amazement. "Don't tell me that that was Modak. If I had only-but' no, it


FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, -THE 1 11s a flag of truce and could not be brok e n. But if we )Uld get that wre tch in our power .the game would be "You are right!" cri e d Fz:ank, with s udden in s piration s the r e no w a y t o do it?" Nick w as thou ghtful for a mom ent. Ye s," h e cried, I b e lieve t h ere i s !" "How?'1 The y sprang up the gang ladder and reac h ed the door i n the cage Crack-ack-crack! The r attle o f bull e t s c am e down upo n the cage. Jus t i n time t h e two voyage r s s pran g ins id e a nd clos ed the door. The treach e rou s Kirg hi z had r a lli e d and fir e d a volle y at th e m On e o f t he bull e t s p ene tra te d Frank's s leeve and another "You know t ha t this i s onl y a pa r t o f t h e Kha n s ga n g g r aze d Nick's finger but n o1furthe r h a rm w a s done. t h ese hil1;. 'l'he real s tron g h old no d o ubt i s fa r from It was a close s have. re." J e ri c h o N i ck; "that was a powerful cloae "We ll ? e:all." "The y will not r eturn the r e at once, and Wester v elt and Fra nk 's face flu s h e d angrily. all in the m e antim e a r e safe Bu t the m o m e n t Modak I will t e ach the m a lesson or that!" he cried turns thithe r h e will no doubt, c au s e the m to b e exe -He was about t o s pring to the e l e ctric g u n, but second t e d thou ght checked h i m "Ah !" "Hold on a bit Frank!" said Nick. "Eve r y thin g i s now Now, t h e dodge i s to ca t c h the o l d rogue b e fore h e c a n in om : f a v or. turn to his den Frank c au g h t the id ea. "You a r e rig ht, N i ck h e c1ied; "that i s t h e gam e I w i t h you." "The w a y t o do it, I beli eve, is by f ollowing up the fight osely." "Yes. ''In ord e r to do that w e will n eed to d ecoy the wretches t of their pre s ent st ron g posi tio n "But can tha t be d o ne?" I believe y ou!" c ri e d Fra n k "Let u s make the run a t once. The youn g inven to r gave hurried in str. uction s to Barney what to d o The Cel t hurried to t h e and at onc e s tart ed the 'l'hunde r e r for t h e o p e n pla i n In a ver y short tim e they e m e rg e d f rom the pa s s and r N c h e d the s teppes. It was a c lever dod ge. A t a slow and lumb e rin g pace the Thunde r e r s t arted out upon the plain "I see no r e a s on why L e t m e think o f some goo d p l a n All the w ay down the pass the ma c hin e had been purNick krtit hi s brow s in a p e rplex e d way, and s trod e up l s u e d b y a showe r oi bull e t The Kiribiz wer e c onfid ent d down for a few mom ents, Then he sudde n l y e x -that their foe wer e fleein g from a sen s e o f fear. a i med: "I have g o t it!" 'l'riumphant cricsand d e ri sive yel ls burst from their lip s and t h e y c am e on at full s peed in the pursuit. G ood e nough," said Frank. "Wha t i s 1Jhe plan?" Th e Kirghiz are a m o n g t h e horsemen in t h e w o rld W e will r eturn t o the plain and m a k e a f eint to l e ave In a t w inkl i n g f rom a hid i n g p lace i n the hill s they e v i cinity They a r e not s avages if their curio sity doe s h a d b r ou ght for t h th e i r horses and now h alf a hundr e d of t l ea d t h e m to follow u s th e m were ri d ing m adly over the p lain in purs ui t. W ell? "The n one{! out upon th e plain, it will be a s imple mat-1 r t o pre t e nd to rnn away f rom them. The y will purs u e d w e will the n turn upon t h em. The Thunde r e r will t run their horses, and we s ha ll be able to capture any of em we choos e." "Modak Khan preferred "Exactl y "Nick y ou a re a born genera l sa. id Frank, in c o mp l i e ntar y terms "You h ave hit the best po s sible sch eme e cou l d work. H ere is for s uccess Frank could e a sily h ave t rain e d t h e pn e umatic g un upon them and h ave blowe d th e m to a tom s But this was not the ga m e Nick was in high spirits; a nd ru b b e d hi s hands w ith glee. Could an y thing hav e work e d b ette r, Frank?" h e cried "It i s jus t a s we want it." Yo u're right, Nick," s aid the y oung .inv e ntor, g ri m ly. "We'll giv e them a bit of a s p a r t y." "You' re ri ght w e will." "Is not that Mod;J.k Khan riding ahea d ?" "Yes.


JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." I 1: "He is the man we want. Let the others all go!" "Exactly." The Thunderer kept along at the same pace. The ponies of the Kirghiz could outfoot it, and the barbarians kept up a steady fire upon the machine. It was not answered by the for politic reasons. Nothing could have worked with better success. Several miles were covered in this manner. Then Nick called to Frank: "Now is the time!" "AH right!" The young inventor sprang into the pilot-tower. He seized the wheel from Barney's hand. "Go to the pneumatic gun, Barney," he said, "and await my orders." "All roight, sor." Away wen.t Barney. Frank now turned the Thunderer sharply to the right and singled M:odak Khan out from the others. Straight for him :the Thunderer made. The nimble pony at first managed to keep out of the way. But this was only for a time. _... The speed of the machine was increased, and the Kirghiz warrior became alarmed. "What is that?" asked the captive, humbly. "That you will release the two English prisoners have, and allow them to return safely to us!" The Khan's eyes gleamed a cunning light. Nic saw this. "Effendi shall have his wish," he said to Nick. "Set me free and I will in turn set your two friends free." "No harm must be done them, or you die!" said' Frank. "I will go at once and set them free," said the wretch. Nick had acted all this while as interpreter. He shrugged his shoulders. "Humph!" he said, with a laugh. "You are a cunning' rascal, M:odak Kahn. Suppose we set you free now, when you get back to the safety of the hills you will forget yo;ur promise." The defeat of the barbarian showed itself in his treach erous eyes. He appeared dejected. "I will swear by the Prophet!" he said. "We don't want your oath," said Nick, sternly. "And we mean business. You must call for one of your men and send him with an order for the prisoners. When they are 0 brought here safe and well then we will allow you to go." The wretch's eyes gleamed. "No one but M:odak can open the door of the prison :md The bullets fired by the gang did not seem to have any efset them free," he said. feet upon the machine, and now that it turned upon them they began to see their mistake. Frank shouted quick orders to Barney. T'he Celt trained the pneumatic gun upon the Kirghiz and opened the valve. There was a terrific explosion in their midst as the pro jectile and dozens of them were torn to pieces. "That" is nonsense," declared Nick. "But I see. You cannot bring your mind to it. You have got to die!" M:odak looked defiant. It was plainly his belief that he wouM bluff his cap tors out of the decision. Nick turned and winked to Frank. The latter gave a whispered order to Barney. The Celt came up from the engine-room with the end of The others in terror scattered across the plain like sheep. a long wire in his hand. Frank singled out M:odak Kahn, and pursued him hotly. He uncoiled it until he had reached the chair in which In a hundred yards the Thunderer had overtaken him. the Kirghiz sat. Pomp with skillful aim brought his pony down, and the Barney had on insulated gloves, and handled the wire, Kirghiz chief tumbled upon the ground half stunned. which was a live one, with impunity and ease. Before he could recover himself, or make further effort to "Shure, M:isther Frank," he said, with a comical grimescape the Thunderer had halted, and Barney and Pomp ace, "it's mesilf as awaits your ordhers, sor." springing out bound him hand and foot and dragged him "Put the wire to his feet :first," said Frank. "Give him aboard. Th'e mighty robber Kahn was a prisoner, and a great stroke had been made by the rescuing party. quite a shock." "All roight, sor." Barney applied the live wire lightly to M:odak's feet. Upon realizing his position the Kahn showed his cowardThe effect was thrilling. ice by going into a frenzy and humbly begging for his life. The barbarian's muscles began to tingle and contract, "You will not kill me, effendi!" he cried, in the Turkish then a yell of pain and horror escaped his lips. language, to Frank. "Spare my life!" Yell after yell pealed from his lips, and Barney with" Upon one condition," said Frank, feigning fierceness, drew the wire. He was a penitent Kirghiz, and willing now "we will permit you to live." to agree to anything .


could not und erstand in the cr udeness of his nature it was that had hurt him t the pain had made a tremendous impression upon readily agreed to Nick's demand. ey were now near the mouth of the pass. A number e robbe rs hovere d there, anxious to l earn the fate of chief. ck went out and waved a flag of truce. ry soon one of the robb e rs came up to the Thunderer, ast himself down in an abject way for salutation. ck turned to Modak, and said : ere is one of your men. You can send him." e Tartar crept close to the stee l netting of the and gave his followers some explicit directions in the ar tongue. e fellow hurried away, and then Frank R eade, Jr., and f grasped hands, and the latt e r said : rank, we have done it. ou are right." ortune is with us." hope it will continue." t may; but I have an idea that Mardo Turgi i s a harder to beat than Modak. But we must in some way res adge West e rv elt." TEiiiWR, THE 13 He knew well enough what it meant if the messenger did not return. It meant that all was over with the prisoners, and that they had been executed. Suspense most terrible weighed upon the party. Darkness was near at hand. }.fodak Khan's face grew black and ugly. He muttered fierce things under his huge mustache. Suddenly h e addressed Nick in the Turki s h language: "Effendi, have you seen aught of my servant yet?" "He does not come!" replied Nick, coolly "Can you explain?" The Kahn :rputtered an Oriental oath "By the beard of the Prophet, I will have his head!" he roared "What ho! bring me another slave t"' He was in earnest in what he said, and Nick saw this. So the young American traveler picked up the white flag. "What do you say, Khan?" he asked. "Do you desire another man?" "Ay, effendi,'I do." "Very well." Nick waved the flag, and in response two of the Tartars galloped forth from their retreat in the They drew r ein ten feet from the Thunderer and par leyed with the Kahn. e will do it." Modak thundered several fierce ord e rs at them, and they bile waiting for the r et urn of the messenger, the Targalloped away. Nick turned to Frank with a significant hief remained sullen and morose. wink. is did not disturb the voyagers at a ll. Time passed, "That will fetch them," he said. "This is a rare opporhe messeng e r did not return. tunity for you to see some good Tartar bluffing and tricke robber Kahn kept a sharp and eager lookout. But ery." e hours passed and the messenger did not r et urn, he Frank was interested in what Nick said and awaited deto get uneasy. velopments wonder, for his life depended upon his success in reSuddenly from the pass there dash e d forth at full speed g the prison e rs safe and well. CHAPTER VI. BROUGHT TO TERMS. the messenger who has been first dispat c hed. His horse was reeking with foam, and he had the appea r ance of having ridden a great way. He came up to the cage and made a low salaam He conversed excitedly with Modak, who pretended to be fur ious. Finally, the Khan turned to Nick, and with sorrowfu l dak Khan 's life was at stake, and it did not seem attitude, said: ble that he would give his messenger other than ex"My slave brings me sad news, effendi. He says that orders to return with the prisoners. t the time was up and they did not come. t he did not feel more anxious than the friends of the ves. the prisoners are dead!" Nick's face for a moment paled. Had h e not been possessed of the ability to easily pene trate the purpose of the wily Kahn, he would have fainted ck Ward walked up and down the cage in a s tate of with horror. I anxiety. As it was he recovered himself with a mighty effort


14 FitANi>l<'i{;EADE, JR.'S ELECTRIC 1'ER1WR, 'l'HE ''THU:NDERER.'' Approaching the Kahn h o bent over him with his form j "'l'hen you believe that they will bring W este rvelt trembling with passion, and his eyes flashing with hatred \Vall back all safe?" and rage. "You s hall see.'' "Dead! h e sa id, scat hingly ; "then they w ere executed Thinking h e was unob served, Modak had been ma by you r orders." oigns to his distant followers through the 'rirc screen "X ay, 'effendi," prot ested the 'l'artar ch i ef, earnest ly, Bnt Pomp observed the dodge and to ld Frank of it tlmt is not true. Your fl'iends di ed of a fever.': 'l'he young inventor told ;,[ick, who only nodded :Ni c k was for a moment t empted to brand the wretch as laughed. the liar that he was. "You will see," he said. But he wisel y restrained himself and adopted a more Time passed. Perhaps an hour a lipl)ecl by. Dark politic course was now close at hand. "Barney," he said, turning to the Ccl '' briu g me that But yet the messenger did not come. 1\Iodak Kahn live wire again. This fellow needs oome m ore medicine.' su ll en and fierce He would vouchsafe no convcrsa The Celt hastened to obey. whatever. At sight of the wir e the Khan s face fell, but h e was, nevertheless, resolute, until Nick held it to his feet and gave bim a gentle shock 'l,hen a yell of agony escaped him and he began to beg and pray. But the game was won. Nick had brought the fiery olJ 'Tartar to terms in a n hollow manner, thanks to the li vc electric wire. Suddenly from the pas:; there dashed a number of ho men. I thought you \I'Ottld come to your sen:;es, '' said Nick, Nick gave a loud cry as he saw h.:o familiar forms coolly. "Now, si r, tell me the truth. You have been lying ing in their mid:;t. It was Westenclt and Jack \Yall. to me.'' The Kahn protested that he had not. You m ean to say m y friends arc dead?;' '"I'hcy arc, noble effendi." "Then what will you do?" "Th eir bodies shall be brought you if you desire'' "But they must be brough t io me alive. Do you unYour l ying game won't work. Bring them to me aliYe within the hour or you sha ll die." Onc e again Nick placed the live wire at the fel l ow's feet. 'l'hc wretch yelled and begged again. This time all the was knocked out of him complete ly. "Yes, effendi," he cr i ed, "your friends shall come to you alive." "I thought so," sai9 :Nick, triumphantly, turning to Frank R ea de, Jr. "A nice little game, was it not r" "'I' h e wret c h was lying, then?" said Frank, with sur "Hurrah!" he sho uted, "tho game is ours. \rc h won!" A moment later James W este r velt and Jack \\all dimbing aboard the Thundcrer. 'l'hcy were frantically e m braced by Xick, and then qu ly intro<..luced to Frank Rcade, Jr., and Barney and Pom W estcrvelt was a fine patrician looking gentleman, possibly sixty years of age. Jack Wall was tall, Hlen and and a good mate for Nick Ward. That was a happy meeting indeed. The prisoners were a trifle pale and 11'01'11 from their l captivit y, but ot h e rwise they were al l right. After salutations and explanations were orcr, tbey loo about them in amazement, and Jack cried: "But hat on earth ls:ind of a vehicle i s thi:;, Xi Where did you find it?" "It is an inventi on o H ca(le's," replied X i ck, ", prise. he is the mos t famous inventor on the globe to -day.'' "Of course he was.'' "Upon my word, bu.t it is a wonderful thihg dccla "And they are not dead?" W cstcrvclt. "Of course not. He tried a little game on us. lf I had It was lh en in order to show them o ver tl1e Thund not bluffed harder than he, our friends have been and explain its mechanism. Both were delighted. brought to us thei_r heads cut off." "It ,Vj[] be easy to whip M:ara'o Turgi with ti;i s mach!n "A Tartar trick," laughed Frank. "you know them cried W cstervelt, enthu s ia"Stically. "Really, Mr. R ead e well, Nick." I ought to. enough." I have lived among the wretches long is a wonder." Staterooms were assigned to the newcomers, Nick thought of 1\Iodak Kahn. \


y Jupiter!" he exclaimed, "the old fellow will think I don't mean to keep faith with him." 'et him free, Barney, at once," commanded Frank. rney has tened to obey. The Tartar c hief s bond s were 15 'fhis wa s conceded to be more of a tas k than the one just accomplished. Mardo 'l'urgi was a greater chief and ruled a great province. and he was led to the gangway. In his owl) region he was wholly despot, and he conld e desce11ded, and without a word in a s ullen, defiant have withstood the attack of a army. stalked away. A hundre d yards out on the plain he Nick Wa rd kv c w this well and told Frank as much. m e t by a numbe r o.f hi s men, and mounting a pony, urned and s hook his in a madl y defiant mam1er at rhunderer. erce demmciations he hurled at the party who had so rly outwitted him. But the young inventor smiled. "We will give him a lively time," he sa id, resolutely "whether ve win or lose." 'fhe pro\ r ince oJ' Madra Turgi was s?me f.ew hundrerl miles from the Volti Pass and deeper in the heart of Kirgank Reade, Jr., smiled grimly and w ent forward to hiz Tartary. lectric gun. 've a mind to give that wr etch a good sca re," he s aid. e deser\')es it," agreed Nick. ank put a projectile into the pneumatic gun and ed it s o that the dynamite would strike the ground yards in front of the defiant Khan and his gang. en he pulled the valve ope:f! .. Befor e darkness shut down c ompletely the Thunderer >Jas enabled to run a dozen miles, and camp was made upon a small river which flowed across the steppes. Darkness most profound settled down over the plain. Pomp cooked a good supper and it was upon deck All did justice to it in royal fashion. Then the darky got hi s banjo and pla,vel 1 and sang plan-cstcrvelt and Wall had watched his movements with b:: tion airs. t inter<'st. It proved the first time they had set.;1 the Barney procured his fiddle and played Iris h jigs and matic gun work, aflcl they w e re deeply intc resteti. sang ballad s of the green isle. ere was a s hock a hi ss ing of air and the projectile left The night was made merry for a time. outh of the gun. But th e o yagc r s were not alone in their. carnival. Out struck the ground fairl y in front of the ranting Tartar upon the s teppes the wolves were attracted by the sound>-, ere was a t e rrific roar. Sand and stone s and turf were 'd fifty feet into the air and a p erfect mound of earth ten feet high was raised. ad Prank seen fit to elevate the gun to the right angle uld have blown th e Tartar c hi e f and hi s companions eternity. t that had not b ee n his had inte nded m e r e ly to give th e old villain such a t as he 1rould not s oon forget. Anr1 h e had s ucceeded soon as the du s t c l eare d awa y the Tartars w e re see n like mad upon their poni es for the pass. to this they das hed full tilt and were ont of s ight. 1cy did not appear again. wre was a general laugh at the comical s p ecta cle, and attention wa s turned to oth e r and more important ers. and came down in swarnis to investigate matte rs. CHAPTER VII. TI-IE BATTLE WITH WOLVES. The wolYes came swarming about the Thunderer m le gions. Their din was something frightful. 'l'he voyagers on the deck of the 'l'hundcrcr coul d hardlr l1ear themselve s talk. Frank turned the searchlight 1.1pon the gang, and the scene revealed was one not to be forgotlcu. It seemed a s if there were thousands of the fierce mon s t c rs which came swarming about the machine. 'l'o .fire into them was Barney and Pomp's firs t move. But the effed was frightful to witnes s 1e great point had certainly b ee n gained. 'fhe fir s t wolf killed was almost in stantly devoured. c pri sone r s had b ee n rescued from Modak Khan. Tt Scarcely a. tuft of fur was left of hi s cmcas And so been n clOie caH, bnt they had esca p e d with their lives. \rith the others. is was ga in e d But now a great nnd crtakl as 11 h ea d and thi s w a s to -rescu e Madge W cs terv e lt. The \ oyagcrs amused themRelvc s with this manner of d es troying the brutes for a time


-Then Frank Reade, Jr., said: "I will fix them." "How?" asked Nick, eagerly. "With the dynamite gun?" "No.". "But it would blow them all to pieces in a jiffy.'' "No doubt it would destroy many of them, but that is not the idea. Wait and I will show you." Frank brought out two long wires from the cabin. 4 These he trailed behind the Thunderer for several hunPomp, who was on guard, was in the pilot-tower, a sudden, curious thing happ e ned. There was the clatt e r of hoofs, and through the Pomp saw the1form of a horse and rider flas h by. In anoth e r moment a second passed upon the other In a moment the darky was all alert. I "Dat am powe rful cur u s !" h e muttered what e bber d e y kin m e an, anyway? S 'pos e I uu!!wct:r Marse Frank." But the darky conclud e d he would not as yet do dre d yard s by sending the machine ahead for some ways. Th e re was as yet no indication of actual danger. Then he connected the wires with the dynamos, and It would b e in full tim e when this s hould appear. turned the searchlight back upon the struggling mass the d a rky continu e d to kee p a cautious and careful wolves. As the current shot into the wires with the force of sev, eral thou s and volts, a thrilling scene followed. In an instant 1there was a mad yelping, and the mass of wolves w e r e seen in one long line to leap in the air and fall dead in heaps. Their mat e s fell upon the carcas ses, came in contact with the live wires, and were al s o killed. Frank l e t the Thund e rer go ahead at a slow pace, and this pulled the wires right through the pack, killing the wolve s right left As it was an unseen power the brutes 1 did not realize their danger, or that their turn was coming next. Time passed slowly. Pomp 's n erves w e r e t e nse. Eve ry br e ath of wind, e v e ry ru s tling of the dry glass _to him for a moment w a rnin g of an approaching foe. But h e finally c alme d himself after an hour had a nd nothing more was seen o f th e passing horsemen. "It am powerful queer who d e y was," he muttered, mys tified way. "We ll I kin jes' warn dem dat dey not monkey much aroun di s 'e r e chile." At this moment Pomp h e ard Barn e y crawling up stair s and kn e w tha t hi s w a tch was 'at an end. Ordin a rily thi s would h a v e d e li ghte d the darky, bu was s o much inte rest e d in the m a nifest a tion s he had The slaught e r w'as something frightful. h t that h e was loath to l eave I S pos It seemed a s if thou s ands of the wolve s were piled upon .1 h B Up the s tair s into the pi ot-ous e cam e a rney. the plam. h' f f The Celt had the ru e ful expressiOn upon I S ace o Frank, however, tired of the slaughter, and shut off the who had l eft a good warm bed and was loath to leave current. --That was the la s t of the wolves that night. The s urvivor s occupied themselves in feasting upon the r e mains of their comrades. Thu s the pests were gott e n rid of. Frank allowe d the Thunderer to proceed for a dozen miles, wlth the sea rchlight to make a clear path ahead. The n a halt was made, and all retired to rest. There was need of this, for there was work ahead for the 1 ollowing day. Pomp was d e legated to watch the first half of the night, and Barn e y the latter half. "Be gorra, naygur," h e e x claimed "I wud give wee k's s alary for y e r part av the noight, av it warn't me principles "Sho dar, chile!" e xclaime d Pomp, earnestly. yo' fink about d a t. am lik e l y to be some funny gain on afo' mornin I don e fink d e bof of us had be on guard!" Barn e y was amaz ed. "Phwat's that y e z s ay?" h e exclaim ed, in amazeme "Do I undh e r s tand yez ari ght?" "Huh! I don' see why yo' can t. I spoke good Engli All w ere tired, anc,l readily surrendered to the goddess of sah !" slumber. "Whurroo! av yez wud explain yure meaning I wud lo' But their dreams were not to remain undi s turb ed, as it it b e tther." happ ened. "I kin jes' do dat, !'is h, ea s y enu:ff.': The steppes at this point cons i s ted o broad, level plains, Then Pomp r e lat e d the circumstance of the horsem overgrown with a crop o dry gras s which beneath burning das hing pa s t the Thunderer. Runs had _grown as dry as tinder. Barney listened with interest.


fZ a FR1fi READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, .,.THE "THUN;DERER." 17 "Begorra, th e r e s some thin in the wind!" he s aid, with conviction "Shure t him w a r Tartars as I'm aloi ve." "Ob co'se d e y w a s "Begorra) thin, I'm aith e r thinkin; th e both av u s b etthe r kape watch! "Dat am w h a t I :fink." The wind being in the right direction drove the flames a cro s s the plain in a mighty volume It a close and exciting race. The dry grass was just like tind e r, and the flames went on_ at race h o r s e speed. On w e11t the Thunder e r. "All roig h t, n ayg ur Wud y e z be afthe r wakin up Tho s e in the cage watched the flames with awful fasMisther Fra nk?" c ination. \ "I don .:fink a h woul d yet, I'is h They seemed to reach the zenith in a lurid wave and the "All roi g h t, t h i n yez are th e boss, an' by th e cowl a v plain was like day. In the path of the flames came variou s Mag Murph y's p igs Whurro! Tare a n ound s Murdroves of wild anim a ls therm:, bla zes! Wud -yez lu k yend e r, n ay gur, an s e e th e It b e in g dark Frank couJ d not tell what would b e loikes !" the end of the mad rac e Pomp had seen t i 1 e thrillin g s p e ct a cle almo s t a s soon as Barn ey, however. The r e mi ght hav e been a chance to dodge the flames to the right or left, but he could not see it, and dared not ac1 The C e lt 's :finge r was point e d to the horizon lin e w h e re a cept it. thrillin g s i ght was to b e seen. This was a l o n g hne o f flre whi c h h a d s udd e nly s pran g up and seem e d runnin g a l o ng the horizon at rac e hor s e speed. The pl a in h a d been ti red. Almo s t in an in s t ant it seeme d the flames w e re mount ain high and rushi ng down across the plain lik e a w hirlwind. The y w o uld sweep the w h o l e p l a in in a destructive man ne_ r, and s h ould they over t a ke tli e Thund e r e r its fate would be s e aled This was certa in. The excite m e n t o f B arney and Pomp can hardly b e e x pressed in w ord s Both spra n g up a nd began rus hin g excite dly about Fin ally, it cam e i n to B arney's head to rin g th e a larm g ong. As thi s br o k e t h e s tillness o f the ni ght the s leep e r s be-On and on they went at furious speed. But suddenly Fra nk exp e ri e nced a p e culiar motion from the wheel s which gave him a gratifyin g realization. The y had struck a part of the plain which was clear of the g rass, havin g b e en rec e ntly burned over Upon the y would be sa f e e nough, for the :fire could only g o s o f a r a s the dried grass offe r e d itself as fuel. for a half mile upon thi s burnt Qf the plain the Thunderer was brought to a stop The flame s had r e ached the limit of the combu s tible grass and w ere dying out. A f e w mome nts later only the smouldering spark-strewn plain was to be s een. The :fire was out. The Thund e rer had e s caped. But a n excit e d confer e nce was held by the voyagers. Who had attempted to des troy the Thunderer in this low w e re a roused and carne tumbling, exc it e dly up on d eck. What 's th e matte r ?" c r ie d Fra nk, in a s t e ntorian voice m anner? This was the questi_on, but it was not a difficult on e to an s w e r. "Shure, s or the p l ai n i s all afir e c_Jied Barn ey. But F r a nk saw t his quickl y e nou gh. His face p aled. \ Of c ourse, some of the of M o d ak Kha n had done it. They had f a n c i e d that th e voyag er s would b e aslee p, and "My G o d! h e excla inl e d "tha t 'is true W e mu s t run b e i n g overta ke n b y the flam es, w ould b e burn e d up alive for e it! If those flames ov-ertak e u s w e are lost!" b efo r e they c ould m a ke a mov e to escape. He spran g into the tower. But th eir game had f a iled He s eized the lever w hi c h set the e lectric machin e r y in It was v e ry fortunate for all that it h ad. If the fla mes otion and pull e d i t open. h a d g ot a l e a s t bit of a s t art the Thund e rer would have The Thund e r e r l eape d a head a nd w a s quickly ra c ing over been destroy ed. he plain in a d v a nce of :fire Word s cannot express the anger and e xci t e m ent of Ni c k The sea r chlight s howed fa r a head, and in this mann e r ob-W ard ruction s wer e avoid ed. Had i t not been for this th e Thund e r e r would h ave das h e d self to pieces up o n some l a rge o b s tacl e in the path. On over the lain the y w e nt. "We ought to go back and t e ach that Modak KJh1 m a red hot lesson," h e d e clar ed. "He i s not e v e n c i v il." But th e opportunity to do this was nearer at h a nd than Nic k imagined.


18 'FRANK EI.,h a sharp c ry came from Barney in the s ignal t o wrr. Oc:h hone, :Jlisthe r Frank, shme an' it'8 com in' for u s OlL.) are i n Run fer yer loif e to the e l l'!cthr i c i! llll At either end there was a large and keen.pointcd ram. I'hi s was capable of resi sting great pressure and cuttin it s way throug h a ,;ol4d body like thi s Therefore, as the body of 1.'artar s came on, th e Thun d er er 's ram tnrnecl them right and l eft. \ t tlwt momt:nt t he thunder of m y riad hoof s upon i:he Rone of the bold rid er s de sire d to impal e on k \ t;! p la i n \I u::. h ea rd. the dC'adly ram. Through the gloom, s hadowy like, 2 huge body seemed,. Bnt lik e a whirlwind the ga n g swar m e d abont the Thnnupon the Thunder er. 1 cJcrer. [nan in stant all was excitement. man for I .:_'here l"nlly a thou sa nd of th em, and the"}' trie d in hi, weapon for lively times IYer e at hand r ain to cnt their way through the cage CHAPTER YilT. AN UNSUCGESSL

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    " "Shu re, sor, maybe yez ca:fl tell betther than 1." There were evidently one hundred or more i n the party .. All right!" said Frank, as he began to climb the stairs Three hundre d yards from the 'l'hunderer they drew rein. the cabin. Frank also brought the Tlnmderer to a stop. In a few moments he was in the pilot-hou se. It was e vidently the d esire of the Kirghiz to enter into ''Shure, s or, would yez take a peep to the westward there, ::;. parley a n phwHt wud yez call that? I am thinkin' that it is Frank s aw thi;; and made a s how of a white flag at t h e Frank picked up a g1as;; which lay at hand, and com-front o the Thunderer. The Kirghiz answered this, and then two of their number came riding forward. He saw plainly the object mentioned by Barney. lt was a long moving line of black objects upon the brow a distant hill. Rough s avage-looking fellows they w ere, and they drew r e in a doz e n yards from the Thundere r and ::at upon their. ponies regarding it curiously. The glass brought them near<>r to view, and Frank s aw they were moun ted men. Frank stepped outside of the cage a ml r11d to add Lhem in French. That. they were Tartar" there was l ittle doubt. But they did not understand, ancl thr ,rotlll innu!or The youn/S inventor watched them with interedt for a cried: ilc. "Come, Nick, you'll have to 'talk 'l'urk \\' i th rdbe glass with a s nap. low s." \r ell, 01," ::>aid Barney, "ph wat wud yez think av I l 'Perhaps they won t know that," Tepl ied Nick. d 'l'hey arc Kirghi;.;," s aid Frank. "Try it, anyway "Of course." Phut will yez do about .Kick addressed them in th_ c Turkish language. 'Shure, sor, an' I b ela n.! ycz. One of '"" "We will give them chase." "Chase thim, is it, sor ?'' 'Ye s ." them understoo d it, and made answer: Nick oatechised the fellow sharply and ly. Then he turned to Frank: This &uited the Celt well, and he sent the Thunderer aring along in that direction. But the Tartars were not disposed to flee. "They are rogue s and c u t-throats. They belong to Mardo Turgi's band, and 1vant u s to give them backsheesh. I've a mind to give them a tas te of cold lead." In fact, their cu rio s ity seemed as great as that of the "No doubt they deserve it," s aid Frank. "But haYe you for it was seen with that they were a s ked them about ?" "Yes." "What have they to say?" ll'atc:h ing tb e distant 'l'urgi her in his mountain palac e for a It \\a certa in thnt they were of Mardo Turgi::; band, and runs om. I asked them where the palac e was, and they never see n o r h eard of the Thundcrcr before. to go straight ahead until we came to three mountains jus t Tt could be safe ly reckoned, therefore, as a surprise party The n we would sec it upon the s ide of one of ti 1cm." them. "Good enough Let u s go ahead at once." It was certain that they would be hostile ancl aggressive. "Wait until I catechise them further." Preparations were made on board the 'l'hunde1'cr for a ble conflict. I Every moment now t h e Kirghiz conld be se e n t o be drawn g n earer. Their persons were now quite readily nd it 1ras see n that they were of a higher c lass than J-Iodak band. This Nick proceeded to do. But he could learn no more. The K i rghiz now, holl'eYcr began to 1'ealizc that they were not likely to get bach s hcc s h and mad e s avage enes. They brandi s h e d their arms, and by 1rord s and l'iigns made foolish threats Nick told them pointedly that if they did not clear ou t they would b e shot down like dogs. they cnm e at a f u ll, swingi11g gallop, giving their This infuriated the and t hey made t h e air free r ei n hideou s for a time with their cries. \

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    -But finally they found that this would not work, and galloped back to their friends. Then the entire band set up a howl and for a time were very noisy and rude. Then they began to assume an aggressive and hostile atti tude. They began to circle about the Thunderer, in the air at first. Then the bullets began to rattle against the cage. The rescuing party gazed up at the mighty height, their hearts sank. It did not seem an easy matter by any m e ans to Madge' from that place. How to get to it to make an attack upon it was a auu""'UI But time would reveal whether this would be at all IJU''"'u-or not. Darkness was fast coming on. Thus far not one of the Kirghiz ha d b e en seen i "Shure an' shall we give the spalpeens a dose?" asked vicinity.' Barney, fingering the lock of his rifle. Whether they were aware of the pre sence of the "I think not," replied Frank. "It would be a useless derer or not it was not easy to say. shedding of blood." But if so they had not demonstrated the fact by Frank gave directions that the Thunderer should be put show of an attack. to its best speed and distance the foe. This was done, the ponies of the Kirghiz being left behind easily. were covered at this rate, and soon the party were left far behind. It was now a question as to whether the Kirghiz had told Nick the -truth or not about the three mountains and the llome of Mardo Turgi. If they had, it was safe to say that the field of action would soon be ',reached. The country was the wildest of any they had yet passed through A good spot was selected for a camp, and the Th there was laid up. One thing seemed cert a in. The and very li kely the .:? of all of the band of Mardo Turgi was on the tain side. !I Frank had done a heap of thinking, and had made up his .1. J mind to a daring move. The castle of the Tartar chief was certainly to an attack by the Thunderer. To be sure dynamite proj e ctiles could be thrown up there and demoli s h it, but whe n it was r e m e mbered that There were deep forests, long plains, valleys and gulches, Madge was confined within the wall s thi s seeme d out of the and at times shallow streams were crossed Then suddenly three mountains of about the same height and very similar in rose to view. These were undoubtedly the mountains the Kirghiz had told Nick about. In this respect they had certainly uttered the truth. The voyagers were now all interest and eagerness, and looked forward with great anticipation to see the mountain palace of Mardo Turgi. Suddenly Frank pointed up to the mountain wall, and cried: question. Frank's plan, therefore, was one of mi g hty risk, but deep strategy. He called Nick and Jack a s id e and s aid: "Are you fellows willing to take a littl e bit of risk?" "What do you mean?" a s k e d Ni ck. "I will tell you. Of cour se, you can see how useless it is to attack Mardo Turgi with the Thund e rer ?" --: I "Yes." "Now, I have a plan. We mu s t v e nture a climb up that m_"quntain to-night in the dark. It will require strategt "There it is! See for yourselves!" and skill and great care. We may g e t caught and our lives All looked in the direction indicated, and saw a massive pay for it. But I can see no other or better way of effectcastle-like structure far up on the side of the mountain. ing the rescue of Madg e ." It was roughly constructed of logs and stone, but was "You are right!" cried Nick. "We ar e with you. Eh, quite an imposing fortress, and in an altogether inacces s iJack?" ble position. "Depend upon it!" r e pli e d the young E ngli s hman. CHAPTER IX. -"Then it i s s e ttl e d." "But who will stay with the machin e ?" a s k e d Nick. POMP DOES SOME GOOD WORK. "It will hardly b e prudent to take Mr. West e rvelt along. The rest of us will Mardo the .had certainly select e d j We will let him stay with Barn ey. a most unassailable pomt for h1s pnson fortress. go." I

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    I FRANK READE, JR.' S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." 21 luding Pomp?" d !" cri e d N i ck. "Whe n s hall w e s t art?" t as soon a s it i s d ark e nou g h. The d arke r the two young m e n w e r e e nthu sed wit h the sch e me. id not s t o p t o think of danger. That was not one r attributes. is s e ttl e d then!" cri e d Ni c k, "we will g o But--" ll ?" ve you an y decid e d plan of action, Frank? W e e m o untain and-wha t then?" an hardl y say If possibl e w e will find the loc ation fortress whe r e M adge i s confined. The n if w e c a n, break in and rescue h er!" gr ant tha t w e may," s aid Jac k Wall, f e rv e ntly y oun g Eng li s hman 's mann e r was to F r a nk an somet h i n g whi c h b e had not g uessed b e for e h e first o p p o r t un i t y h e whi spere d t o N ick: It was a g reed tha t th e y s hould dress as lightly as possi ble, and carr y only necessar y w e apons. These cons isted of a 11 revolver and a knife. A sys t e m of s i g n a l s was arra ng ed, and the equipment was compl e t e All tha t was necessary now was to await until it was sufficie ntly dark, and the n mak e the s tart. Light s w e r e seen in the fortress far above. At length Frank decid e d t h a t the proper tim e had come. The p arty l e ft the Thund e r e r and cr ept into the d eep gloom. The y approached the mount a in s lope until they entered t h e e dge of the forest Her e a cons ultation was held. It was decid e d that all s hould sep a rat e and mak e their way, e a c h ind e p e nd ent of the oth e r, up to the w a ll s of the castle. A syst e m o f s i gnals was to b e used so that e a c h could be i nform e d of the movem e n ts o f the oth e r. Then the s t art was m a d e l me, i s n o t W all in love wit h th i s you ng g i r l ?" As Pomp was t h e one destined to have the mos t thrilling s," r e pli ed Nick, bluntl y H e i s compl ete l y gone adventures, we w ill follow him in hi s c ourse. r.'' 'l' b e darky crep t thro u g h the d e nse und e r g rowth up the k mutteted a n excl a m a tion of keen di sap po!n tment, s lop e sur p rised Nick. His comp a ni o n s had long s inc e passed from s ight and y ? h e ask e d in s urprise. I s the r e a n y thin g a b out t h at, F r a n k ?" b eanng T o b e sure l1e cpuld have s i g naled th e m at any moment, t a thin g," a id t h e youn g inven to r w i t h a g rimace. but t hi s b e did not choose to do. I wis h I had kno w n it in the firs t p lace. y?" ould h a v e l eft him on b o ard." was dum bf ound e d y s hould you d o that?" h e a s k ed, in s heer amaze" Jack i s plu c ky." I j es' rectwn dat w h e n M a rse Fran k want s to see dis c hil e h e call fo' him," mutt e r e d the darky. "I'm not one bit af r a id ob da t. So Pomp k ept on making hi s way up the mountain side. The d a rk y was shrewd a nd apt in matter s of this kind. H e h a d trail e d India n s with Frank Read e Jr. upon the ; but a love r i s a lways sure to do ra s h thi ngs do plain s a nd knew the art of woodcraft w e ll ? H e may get u s a ll into trouble." u are ri g h t," ag reed N i ck. I never t h o u ght of H e kne w that th e 'rarta r s w e r e s up e rior in fig hting abilities and gen e r a l inte lligence t o th e N orth Ame ri c an India n Thund e r e r was in a secur e nook, w h e r e it would es But h e d i d not b e lieve tha t the y c ould exce l the American l y t h e closest scrutin y fro m the v i c ini ty. D ar kness a bori g in e in p oint of stra t egy or c unnin g d evice. utting down als o h e lp e d to secr e t e it. The d a r k y 's pl a n s w e r e qui c kly laid and outo t h e r s w e r e informed of the f o rlorn hope w a s going to essay t h e rescu e o f M adge. West ervelt did not object to b e left out of p arty. i s all right!" h e said pleasa n t l y I a m too old ff. I b e o f lit t l e serv ice. It i s for you agil e o go. G o d grant you may win s uccess." hope to," said F r a nk Read e Jr. W e w ill ri s k :lor it." party was soon e quipp ed. lin ed. "I'll j es' do a bit ob scoutin' around de e n e my's camp," h e mu t t e r ed. "An' d e n if I gits a chain c e I finds out whar d at youn g ga l a m k e p '. With t hi s set purpose in view Pomp went on his way. It w a s a l o n g a nd toil some climb. The r e wer e th o rny s hrub s which tore his garments and lac e rat e d hi s flesh. Rough ledges and jagged rocks to climb over. I

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    FRANK READE, JR. 'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." But yet he kept on until after what seemed an age he saw a light through the d ense foliage above. Pomp came to a halt. "Hum I" he muttered. done fink dat mus' be a light from de Tartar's camp. Now, chile hab got to proceed very sophilious-very." With which conclusion Pomp continued his upward climb, exercising the most rigid care 'l'he r esu lt was that he soon reached a point where the .farest ceased and a wide plateau extended before him. ln the cent er of this there burned a large watch fire. There were ligh ts in s id e the fort, and Pomp cou the sounds of revelry. rrhe rrartars were evidently a high old time. 'l'hc darky chuckled to himself, and lying upon h' at the foot of the earthwork s surveyed di stanc e open porthole above, and the chances of climbing up 'l'h ere were clinging vines, sim ila r to the st rou teria, over the face of the stru cture. Pomp had no doubt that with the aid of these he climb up i.o the porthole It was large enough to easily admit his body. Back of it Pomp saw the walls of the Tartar fort. If he could reach it, certainly it would be no d The watch fire was evidently intended for a precaution thing to enter the fort. r.gainst the at ack of an enemy. But what was a very curious thing thus far Pomp had n?t encountered a guard, or even seen a sing l e Tartar But now, at intervals across the plateau, he saw sentries 'l'hey were tall fellows, with long lances and shields The darky hovered in the edge of the for some while and watched them. "Humph!" he muttered. "I done fink dis chile hab got quite a serious job fo' slip by clem chaps But jes' de same, J..'q like fo' (to sec what am inside ob dat fort." PomP" ha4 plenty of daring, and an all powerful curi osity. "' It was the latter ; perhaps as much as anything that led him to take the course which he did. Pomp a spot whi ch was between the picket posts, and which was totally dark. "P'r'aps di s chile lin fin' de young missy, an' sa aftah all," muttered Pomp, jubilantly. "What wud P r ank an' do odors say den? l done fink dey gib di credit for knowing a fing or two!" Thus reassuring himself Pomp proceeded to attem caring feat. Much of risk and danger was irrvolv.eU. in it. CHAP'l'EH X. A DARING RESCUE. Certainly Pomp had distinguished hin1self might the work he had done thus far. It looked as i f he would in carrying out his He crept cautious l y up over the eart hworks, and r Then he emerged from the shadows of the forest ancl be-the masonry of the fort. gan to crawl on hi s belly out upon the leve l plateau. Pomp wormed hi s way along lik e a veritable snake. And so great was the gloom that he was wholly unseen by the Tartar guards against the blackness of the ground. Had he been upright, or even in a crouching position, ne would certainly have been seen. But the wily darky had adopted the one ful meth od for passing the Tartar outpost. Lik e a veritable snake Pomp made his way slowl y acros;s the plateau. He passed just beyond the circle of light from the big fire, and soon had got well beyond the picket line. Pomp was elated ?-t his signa l success. rrhis was of the crudest kind. Huge bowlders had simp ly been piled up in a masE there were huge niche s and inte r stices by which good holds could be had. AI o the strong vines, fully as firm as the ratlin s of 1 would have been, afforded mean s of s upport. Pomp was a good climber. Up went the darky like an agile monkey. rrhe light from the fires below .in certain s pot s illtu the wall of the fort. But Pomp was in the $hado ws, which wel'e made a more by reason of contrast with the firelight. It \\ras hardly lik ely that he could be seen by the g Certainly hi s plans had worked most admirably. It had below. ileen no slight undertaking to outwit those vigilant 'l'artar s Beyond the picket lin e the coast sef.'Jllcd clear. I However, he willingly took the risk did not 'by it. There was a slop in g line of earthworks above which rose l Up he went, and now came to that part of the fort' the log and s ton e walls of the fortress. was posed of logs.

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    .FRANK READE, JR. S El.JECTRIC TERIWR, THE THUNDERER 23 his foothold was not s o se cure. it," muttered the d a rky. J. "Seems Il' it was quite a snap logs were slippery and the vin es more yielding, and fo' to be a robber in d ese y e r parts." times he slippe d bac k a .nd nearl y fell the whole disBut the darky did no t was t e a great deal of time in watching the s c e ne. he s lowly perse v e r e d and vic tory reward e d him. hands grippe d the s ill of the window and he drew up. moment hi s h e ad was abov e the s ill and he beheld ing s cen e I aw a mighty courtyard, w.ith a hard, l e v e l floor, c o J ully a coupl e of a c res. He realiz e d tha t the r e was lively work ahead for him, and he was not s low to get down to it. He crawl e d along the s loping rooi cautiously until h r reached that part which he kn e w mu s t b e ove r the main citade l or hou se of the fort. H e r e h e was fortunate enough to find an aperture o r tra pdoor, and a ladder leading down into darkness 'l'hi P was n car a tall flagstaff1 from which floated t h e w as dott e d with ca mp fir es and hundre d s of arme d e n s i g n of Ma rd o Turgi. were there congreg at e d in variou s attitudes of ease wer e a savage and barb aric lookin g c r e w p saw at a glance that t hi s was but a p art of a ba s H. main citfld el. o,r house part of the f ort was more to t and upon the corne r o the w all. a s the light .frqm thes e camp fires whi c h s hon e 1 the porthol e e n yard s from the o p e n port the r e walk e d a n arme d t e r b y this window was out o f th e question. uld be s im p ly walkin g int o the wid e op e n a rm s of s aw thi s at a glance ; and at once s lid ba c k from Pomp did not hesitate to s lid e clown the l a dd e r into thr darkness b e low. I In a f e w moments his feet touched the floor. He lis t ened intently. The re was no sign of life about him, and he became sati)lfie d that he was all alone in this part of the fort. The darky hesitated a mom ent, and then scratched a match. By its momentary glow he saw that he was in a squar e t o w e r chamb e r, from which stair s l e d clown to room s b e low. Porn p had gone too far now to turn back. H e proceed e d to c r ee p down these stairs and cam e to a long corridor dimly lighted. Oil lamps w e r e placed at intervals. Upon either s ide of the corridor w e r e Joors of strong wa s to b e don e ? wicker work and s teel. g r ot t e d now that he had attempted to s cale the wall The se doubtle s s opened into chambers beyond. If any point. he darky was not long in hitting upon a plan. timated the h eight of the' roof above, and then be climb for it. s a long and hard climb. of the s e were occupied the darky had no mean s of knowing, for they were all dark but one. This on e a light s hon e from through a small grating in the door. Pomp paused at the end of the corridor, and did s ome tall as now fully sixty f e et from the ground b e low, and thinking. ould mean d eath. omp r e a c h e d the roo f in sa f e t y on his It look e d to him very much as if the s e were pris on c e ll s Instinctively h e thought of Madge. now h e could look down into the 'l'arta.r c amp. "P' r ap s d e young missy am in one ob clese," he muts certainl y a large on e, the r e b eing man y hundre d s t e r e d unde r hi s br e a t h "Dis c hile am g win e fo' t o see!'' arbarian s the r e congregate d. But jus t a s Pomp w as a bout to make a mov e forward a w e r e engage d in many c uriou s and interesting ocs oun d bl'ought him' to a n instant halt. S' Som ething lik e a deep s nor e had c om e to his hearing from regard e d the m wit h inte r e st. th e oth e r end o1 the p assa ge w e r e pla ying a t ga mes of chance, oth e r s were wre st'l'he darky's nerves w e r e t e nse. nc at s word pl a y [\ud othe r athletic games. "Golly!" h e mutte r e d, "what am da:t? I s' pecs dar'3 s a vast and inte resting panorama. Pomp had s omebody else in dis place." en the lik e befor e in his life. rtc had thought of r etreating to the darknes s of the y! Dey seem to b e havin' a mighty good time ob tower .. I

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    FRANK READE, JR.'S ELEC'rRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." But at that moment h e caught sight of an object at the far end of the pa ssage. It was the form of a man. It was a powerfully-framed Tartar; who sat with hi s head btween his knees. Pomp saw at once that he was the prison guard. But he was at present powe rless. Sle e p held him enchained. Pomp 's delight can imagined. The dark,y realized a t once that he had penetrated to the "No; fo' de good Lor', missy prote s ted come fo' to sabe yo'. I'se from yo' fader an' from Ward ana Jac;k Wall!" Madge nearly fainted with joy. "You are not deceiving me?" she whispered. "No, missy!" "But how did you get h e r e? "I'se done climbed up on de vines, an' de roof." "But how did you get across the plateau. part of the robber's stronghold where his prisoners were armed guards there?" kept. "Dat am so, missy. But I jes' by This was the greatest possible bit of luck, and the darky dark." knew it. "Heaven be praised! But how can we "Golly!" he muttered, "I reckon dis chile may fin' de here?" young missy aftah all. What would Marse Frank say if "Jes' yo' wait a lily bit, missy. Dis chile fin' I should?" How yo' git di s do' open?" Pomp's delight was intense. "The guard has a key. But is he not here?" He waited a reasonabl e l e ngth of time to make sure that "He am fa s' asleep ober yender ?" the Tartar guard was fa st asleep. "Mercy! Fortune has favored you!" cried Then he crept forward and looked through the grated "He i s a giant, and you could hardly hope to worst door of the first cell. he s hould wake up. There is no way to open tllis All was clark and he could see nothing. Whether anybody was in there or not the darky could not tell. Next he went to the door of the cell through which the light came. with the key, and he has it." "Am dat so?" "Yes." Pomp scratc h e d hi s h ead a moment He had begun to consider the possible safety of Gazing through the grating Pomp beheld a thrilling ing to stea l the key from the s leeping g uard 's sight. the giant began to move and mutter in his sleep. Seated at a grated window looking off over the va.lley, Pomp saw a young girl, as petite and beautiful as a dream. It was Madge Westervelt "Heavens!" exclaimed Madge. "He is waking Thi s seemed true Fo'r a moment Pomp was in a fearful dilemma. The darky was so excited that for a moment he forgot was to b e done? himself and said in a hu s hed voice : There seemed but one thing. "Missy, wake up. I'se done come fo' to sabe yo'; I'se Pomp!" The effect of this upon Madge Westervelt can well be imagined. In an instant she spra ng up with a low cry of amaze ment "What?" she gasped. "Did I hear aright? Ha s some It was a desperate move, but there seemed no The darky's mind was made up. He picked up a heavy bill et of wood which lay corridor. Pomp had a repugnance to taking the Tartar's il was a question of saving his own. For there was no doubt but that the wretch one come to save me?" him upon sigh t. Ther efore Pomp took this "Yes, missy!" replied Pomp, eagerly. "J es' yo' cheer measure. right up, now!" "Great Heaven s Who are you?" "I'se Pomp!" Then the girl captive saw the black face pressed against the bars and her heart sank. "You are mocking me," she said. Pushing forward he dealt the brute a powerful 't the head. The giant started up with a g urgling cry. rain e d blow aft e r blow upon his thick s kull. Nothing could withstand such an onslaught jailer reeled back and fell unconscious to

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    FRAN:{( READE, JR.' S ELEQTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." 25 p tore the f ellow's girdle from him and b ound him It was about s i xty feet to th e ground as the darky nd foot. The n h e thru s t the j ail e r s scarf into hi s knew. 'ng up the bunch of k e y s Pomp s pran g t o the d o or g e' s c e ll. qu i red some time to select th e ri ght k ey. h e :finally succeed ed. lock swung back, and for th e :firs t tim e in m a ny Madge West e rvelt saw freedom b e for e h e r p realiz e d w e ll .the necessity of prompt a c tion ny moment a r e li e f guard mi ght come : and s h o uld pe b e di scove red the result would b e t e rribl e e darky took Madge s hand in hi s and c ri ed: The rope was a mpl y l o ng e nough to reach that di s tance. Pomp carefu ll y t i e d th e r o p e u n a e r M adge's arm s and & aid: "Now, I'se gwine fo' r, lower yo' down to de groun,' an' whe n yo' g it s d a r, j es' don' wait fo' me, but jes' slip into de trees and cut dow n d e mounting side as fast as eber yo' kin Whe n yo' gits to d e plain b elow dis chile come down a n fin' y o'. See?" Ye s," r e pli e d M a dge, "I will follow your instructions." The n s h e bravel y advanced to the edge of the roof. Pomp l e t h e r car e fully over the edge, and continued to e missy, I'se gwin e fo' to see yo' saf e l y out of h e r e l c w e r on the rop e until it was nearly out. no mattah what ebbe r b ecomes ob m e !" Madge r e a c hed the g round in s af e ty. CHAPTER XI. POMP F.A.CES DE.A.TH. p was in earnest. a s thoroughl y in keeping with hi s g e nerous nature. uld willin g ly have given hi s lif e to s ave the y oun g Thus f a r the ga m e was a glaring s"licce s s Pomp was delighte d H e f elt the rope s la c k, and quickly dr e w it up a few feet, a nd secure d it mor e s trongly to the frame of the flag s taff. H e was h e avi e r than M a dg e and thi s wa. s why he took thi s precaution. 1 "Th e n he swung himself over :he roof and went down the rop e lih a monk ey. g the corridor h e l e d h e r and up into the towe r. Down he w ent rapidly. e was a plu cky girl and not afr a id to climb. Sh e H e c ould see the li ghts of the pickets. Suddenly trouble the r e fore in a sce ndin g th e ladd e r to th e a curiou s thin g happ e ned. The big wat c h :fire seem e d to blaze up quickly, and threw p follow e d and now the probl e m confront e d the a mi g ht y radiance upon the wall about him s to how h e was to g e t hi s ch a rg e down from that erch. ight have tak e n the risk to climb down upon th e 'ms e lf. f M a d g e could not do this. h e darky was not lon g in doubt. Thi s was a s tartling and unlook e d for development. It s truck a chill into Pomp 's breast. H e h e ard a loud s hout from the plateau b elow, and then a bull e t w ent s ing ing pa s t him. H e kn e w that h e had been s e en. Pomp waited for nothing now. ea cam e to him quickly. ent to the fla g s taff and flag. H e kn e w that all d e p e nded upon his reaching the ground boldl y haul e d down_ the in the qui c kest possibl e tim e his knif e Pomp cut the halliard s and pull e d the m e block. Down he w ent on a long s lide. The rope burn e d hi s clothing and hi s flesh. But he c a r e d not for that. ad now ove r one hundred feet of good s tron g rop e The moment hi s f e et s truck the ground Pomp started for nd of thi s h e la s h e d about the flagstaff, and the n th e trees. But b e for e h e could reach their cove r a dozen burly y am yo' a bit afraid fo' to hab me tie dis rope form s w e r e about him. wai s t an j e s lowe r yo' dow n to de groun' ?" H e was hurled to the ground in the midst of an excited, e promptly repli ed: jabb e rin g crowd of Tartars. He was a prisoner, and knew better tlian to make re am a brave girl," said Pomp, joyfully. "Da.t am si s tance ff." "Golly sakes!" thought tlie affrighted darky, ''qjs chile I

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    \ 26 FRANK RBADE, ELECTRIC l J..:.lUWR 'l'HE "'l'HU.NDEUER." Hill Hl it to suah. Well, I jes' hopes d e mi ss y got away, i Doubt l ess this w o ul l l b e plenty wid e enough to all a n yway F Pomp momentarily exp e cted his captors to kill him. But they did not. H e was picked up bodily and carried up the s lop e and a fe w moments late r into the yard o 'the fort. the s afe passage of the 'l'huncler e r up the hilL "Once I can g e t the e leetric gnn traine d upon the_ mutte r e d Frank, "I will bring Mardo 'l'urgi to terms. The r e was no doubt of this. So Prank k ept on boldl y H e r e the mo s t tremendous e x citement pre vail ed. Thus far h e h a d see n no o a Jiving 'l'artar. The entire Tartar cre w fle w to arms, and Pomp was in I In thi s resp ect hi s e xp erie nce was similar to Porn th e mids t of th e e x cite d hord e Dut s udd e nly h e came to a l e vel s h elf, from which A t all, po1r erfull#-frame d m a n dresse d in the extre m e 1 iew o.f the fo rtifi cations coulu l>e had. o f barbari c f as hion now appr ; a r e d upon the sc en e I L\ght w e r e gleaming thro u g h th e portholes in the A sort of inqui sition 1ras hastily h e ld. The e scape of 1 of th e for t, and })ank s; tw arme d Tartars upon the th e g irl captive had been discove r e d ancl Pomp beli e v e d H e r eflec t e d at once that it would be impossible that hi;; l as t hour h a d com e t empt to c reep into the place from that s ide. 'l'hc but uijfortunate, darky was at once c onH e abando n e d any s u c h ide a. d e rrmcd to d e a t h b y the angry 'l'artar l e ad e r Neithe r hall h e b ee u able thus far, to see any possi H e was l e d out into th e cente r of t h e y ard, and two po\il-of getting th e Thunde r c r up ove r t h e h eight. e l'ful Tartars w e r e b idd e n t o stand o v e r him with drawn s word 6 l t was e vid ent tha t P o mp's h e ad was about to l:Ome ofl'. 'L'hc darky was t e rrifi e d b eyond m easure. Hi s e r es bulE:e d f rom their s o c k e t s aml his wool s tood .. Ltpon end. H e tremble d lik e an a s p e n l e af. The darky's n ec k w as b a r e d and the rartars brandis h ed their sw ord;; aloft. The Tartar chie f Mardo Turg i stoo d with the ord e r upon hi s lips wh e n a thrilling thing occurred. But what of the othe r m e mb e r s of the 'l' buncl e r e r 's party? Frank, R e ade, Jr., had pus h e d u_p the mountain s id e s om e hunched yards furthe r to the right. Jac k Wall and Nic k Ward w e r e jus t beyond him. '-L'his was a mo o t diticourag in g r ea li11ation. \\'hat w as to b e done ? Frnn k wholl y a t sea H certainly would see m lik e foll y for the mere h of m e n that they w e r e to attempt an a ssault aid of the Thundc r e r caus e look e d lik e a hop e l ess ouc. Y e t Frank would not g iv e up. "The r e i::; a way h e rnuttc rc>tl. "
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    F RANK Rl
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    28 FRANK READE, JR.'S 'rERROR, THE "THUNDERER." .. Frank sent it forward noiselessly and shadow-like to a them into eternity quick e r than one could aay J point upon an emin ence from whe nce the y could look d own m son. into the stronghold. 'l'hi s settl e d the affair. The whole inte rior o the fortr ess yard was v i s ible And a thrilling scen e w a s witnessed. It was jus t at th e mom ent whe n Pomp was l e d forth to Overwi h elme d with awful t e rror the Tartars b fle d for th eir lives. Over the p a r a p e t and into the wild forest they rus be executed by the veng e ful Mardo Turgi. The vic t o ry was won. The brutal Tartar exe cutioners had jus t advanc e d with M a rdo Turg i was d e ad and his invincible robber their gleaming s words and s tood ove r th e cond e mn e d d a rky. hold was c a ptured. All h a d been accompli s h e d in A gre at cry went up rom all on board the Thund e r e r. few minutes. "My God, what i s that?" It was a clear d e mon s tration o the triumph oft "Some one is going to be slaught ered!" "He aven s it is Pomp!" "Save him!" "He mu s t not die!" Barr1,ey was the :firs t on e to a c t The C elt sa w t h e awful, deadly p e ril o hi s confr e r e the flrst o all. His blo.od was at roiling pit c h. "Whurroo !"he y e ll ed, "the y s h a ll niver kill the loik e s av him!" Quic k a s a flas h h e raised hi s rifl e and took a im Frank sent th e blinding r ays e sear c hli ght down and tran s figur e d the whol e s c e n e Crack! over brut e forc e Cheer upon cheer went up from the victors. Pomp h a d g a in e d th e d eck o t h e Thunderer h e a nd Barn e y were e mbra c ing e ach othe r It was a joyful mome nt. But w h e n the :firs t excite m ent had di e d away inte tions began "How did you get into this d e n 0' a s ked Frank o: Golly, Marse Frank," r e pli e d the darky, "I jes' Cl in, sah !" "Crawled in?" "Yes, sah !" "How did you d o that ? Pomp w ent on t o d eta il hi s s tory. Mardo Turg i, with the o rd e r or Pomp 's execu t ion upon A All li s t e n e d wit h th ri lling inte rest. great crJ his lip s threw up hi s arm s and e ll. It was ju s t i n t h e nick o tim e The ord e r to cut Pomp 's h e ad off was n e v e r utter e d Crack! Cra c k The two executi o n e rs dropp e d Pomp in an in s t ant saw the sear ch li ght's g l a re, a nd kn e w what it m e an t H e a c t e d With wond e rful presence o mind h e seized the sword from th e h and o one o f the d e a d execu t i o n e rs. up w h e n h e d e clared t h at h e had set M a dgE: at lib e rty. "Brave f e llow! c r ied F r an k Read e Jr. "you erecl you r s e l f wit h g l o ry, Pomp." The o th e r s join e d in the prai se. "You a r e a h e r o !" G o o d for you "It was a w on d erfu l fea t Pluck will win!" But a s t artle d t h o u ght h a d come t o Nick W a r H e began to la y about him furiou s ly. "My soul!" h e c ried. "Whe r e i s M a dge now? C At that mom ent Frank R e ad e Jr., pull e d the valve of the t e ll m e i f s h e i s safe? electric gun. Clar to goodness I couldn t t e ll yo', chile!" A proj e ctil e struc k t h e fort wall. P o mp The r e was a roarin g explosion, and the air 'vas full of "He aven s!" c ri e d Jack W a ll. "We mu s t search flying d e bris. a t o nce. If s h e i s in those woo d s the n h e r position When it clear e d awa y it was seen that a huge h o l e had d a ngerou s for those fleeing Tarta r s have all gone been blown in the w a ll o f th e fort direction." It was a bre e ch full y t e n f eet w id e Down throu g h it The thou ght ga v e a ll a a m of h o rror. went the Thund e r e r full tilt and head on In an ins tant Jack a nd Nic k and Barney and Po Down into the mid s t of the T artar cr e w w ent the ThunMr. West e rv elt picked up their rifles. derer. There was a momentary effort at resi s tance. But a projecdle from the electric gun blew hundr eds of Mr West e rvelt was fr a ntic. But Frank R e ad e Jr. said: "Wait a mom e nt. Nothing is to be gain e d by ha

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    FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, THE "THUNDERER." 29 "Listen to :Mr. R eade," said Nick right." At once Frank's whole soul was fired. It seemed as if he could not act quick enough. Around "Let us have a concerted plan," said Frank. ."We know came the Thunderer and down went the switch. t the young l ady is no long e r in this place." All the speed the machine po'ssessed was called into play. Yes." 01,1 ove r the plain s ped the Thund e rer in hot pursuit of. is supposed that she escap e d safe ly into the woods, the Tartar abductor. has mad e her way to the plam below. Of Cli>Urse, the machine could easily outrun the horse That i s it!" Every moment the Thunderer gained upon the Tartar. Then ther e is no need of any of u s remaining here?" But now Frank behe ld a thrilling and mos t dreadful Not a bit." s ight. Then I will undertake t o take the Thunde rer back down The villain had anticipated the result of being overto the plain. You gent l e m e n can strike down through tak en. He proceeded at once to fully show up the brutal woods. We may all meet an d compare notes below." his plan m et the approva l of all : It was, undoubtedly, wise s t and best plan that could be a dopt e d. the par ty set out on foo't, while Frank started with Thunde r e r down through the ra v ine t r e quir e d some little. time for the young inventor to his way down the r avine again. ut he finall y s u cceeded in reachin g the plain b elow in ty. rank l e t the Thunde r e r run s lowl y along the base of characteristics of his TaTtar nature. Maddened at the certainty of def eat his mind took a veng e ful turn. He turned his head and took a backward look at the Thurid ere r. It was close upon him. In a f e w moment s more it would ove rtake him. The hug e ma c hine could eas ily outrun his fleet pony. The brut e's f.ace wore a positively fiendish expression. He lifted the light form of Madge from the pommel of hill, and li s ten e d for some sound s of th e searc hin g party. his sadd l e as if it were but a f e ather. e fancied h e could hear them far up on the sid e of the The n Frank saw' the brute draw a long knife. In an instant the young inventor foresaw his fiendish young invento r was mor e on the lookout for purpose. It was to take the captive's life. There was no time to lose. t seemed mor e reasonabl e to him tl1at the you n g g irl Frank in an instant dropped the wheel and picked up hi s come down the hill in safet y and was in the v icinity. rifl e All occurred in the flash of a second. f she should see the Thunde r e r s h e would no doubt The brute held the knife ready to plunge into the fair, w h e rself. white breast. o Frank proceeded to send t h e machine along the base h e mountain slowly. udde nly, as he was approac hin g a clump of trees he OHAP'rER XIII. t was in a feminine voice, and the youn g inv e ntor saw THE END. gleam of a white dress throu g h the g loom e knew at once that the young girl had utter e d that At that awful moment when !fadge Westervelt's life did and that s he was in trouble. not seem worth a straw, Frank Reade, Jr.'s nerves were her e was the s ound of a st ruggle, and th e n the clatter lik e iron. oofs. ut upon the plain a horse and rider had das hed. t fir s t, in th e blackness, Frank could not id e ntify the ut he quickly pull e d the s lid e of the searc hlight. Thi s a pathway of :acliance out ove r th e plain for a miie. its focu s h e saw plainly a giant Tartar, mount ed, and ing across th e pommel of his saddle the insensible of Madg e West erve lt. He to o k quick lighting-like aim, and fired There were a million chances against him. The murd e r e r 's arm was in midair, yet not so very far out of range of the young girl's form, as Frank drew aim. To miss might have been to s end the bullet into her brain To miss would have given the brute the chance to plunge the knife into h e r heart. In either case it was death. J ..

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    30 FRANKt HEADE, JR.' S ELECTlUC 'fERROR, 1'HE 1 'HUNDERER." 'l'he r e was but the one d e sper a te chanc e, and Frank knew that it was all in the world that would s ave Madge. H e did not he sitate t o take i t Crack! The rifl e s pok e shar ply The effect was in s t ant, and Frank R e ad e Jr., reeled back T with the awful t e n s ion upon hi s nerves. The bullet h a d stru c k the wri s t of the murde r e r fair and s qu a r e The r e was a s hahering of t h e bon e an d th e knife dropp ed; The re was a quick s"'erving of the Tarta r r J on y and t h e Yide r went t o the g rou n d. The pon y w ent on it s m a d 'lll' CCr. I And dinging b y h e r d r ess catchin g over t h e pomm e l, the young girl still remain e d up o n t h e animal's bac k lt had b ee n a desp erate and close call. But the pon y had begun t o fag a n d seem e d willing t o com e to a stop. And this but echo e d the sentiments of the oth e rs. The mission of the 1 'hunde rer in Kirg hiz Tarta been a c compli s h e d. T,h e T artars' c aptive had been r esc u e d and now t was over, e v e r y b o d y looked f o rw a r d t o the r eturn Even Barne y and Pomp, those ind efatigabl tr w e re eag e r to return. "It will j es' see m g ood fo' t o see o l e R e ade sto' mo !" cried Pomp. B ejabe r s yez are roi ght, n aygur !" n ive r w ant any more a v the Tartars nor their c u s tom s N o time was was t e d 'l'h e 'l'hundere r wa s quickly sent on its homewa a n d a fe w w ee k s late r was on ce m or e at Irluk A f e w week s late r still the party w e r e a t Constan and th e Thunde r e r plac e d aboard a M edite rrane-an s t H e r e :Mr. West e rv elt, l\Iad ge J ac k Wall took l Frank lowered the entirely the party. Thunde r e r and suddenly s topp e d it 'l'hey r eturned to England, wh e r e late r J a c k and He descended from the pilot tow e r and in an instant a s upon the plain. The had gon e a s fa.r a s its would p e rmit. It was s taggerip.g lik e a drunke n man not tw enty yards away. Frank e a s il y caught the anima l b y the bridle ; and quit:kl y reli e ved it of i ts burd' e n. Bac k t o t h e 'rhunde r e r h e w ent with Madge' s unc on scious form in hi s arms. Once on board, h e qui c kl y applied r es torative s brought Joe r to. H e r s m pri sc at b e in g o n b o ard the Thunderer was now inte n s e Frank overjoye d h e r with th e n e w s that s h e was to b e v e r y shortly restore d t o h e r fathe r safe and w e ll 'rhe run b ac k to the mounta in wa s qui c kl y made. There t he r est of the part y w e r e found safe and w e ll. w e r e m arrie d N i c k \Yard returne d to the United States wi t h R eade, Jr., B arney and Pomp. In t h e cours e o R eadesto wn was safe l y r ea ch e d 1'he t ri p h a d been a s u ccess, b u t t h e ocea n g iven Frank a n e w id e a for an inv ention, whic h we able to t e ll the r ea d e r about in a future story THE END. The next numbe r ( 7 ) o f the "Frank R e ad e Ma g azine" >yill contain an ot h e r thrilling story, e "FRANK READE, JR.' S AIR WONDER, 'KITE'; OR A SIX WEEKS' FLIGHT OVER 'I hey had e xperi ence d a slight s kirmi s h with the Tarta rs, ANDES. but beyond this all was w e ll. That r e union on board the Thundere r was a joy ful on e indeed. Fathe r and daughter, on c e mor e cla s ped in e a c h I SPECIAL NOTICE: All bnck numbe r s 'flllhfs are alwa ys in print If y ou c annot obt a in them "And we owe all to you, Mr. Reade," s aid fhe over-n e w s d e al e r se nd the price /in money or po s tage sta1 joye d f at1wr. Rest assured y ou have our undying gratoth er's arms were happy. Ht1d.:." mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 U "Do not give me all the credit, sai.O Frank, modestly. SQUARE, NEW YOHK, and you will r ecClive th "It bt:lo11g' to yon !' cried Nick Ward, earnestly. you order by return mail.

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    ORK AND WIN. The 6%.%1 T!IE READ Best "'Weekly P ablished. larktown. Fred Fearnot's Open Hand; or, How He Helped a Friend. Fre
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    \ A BOYS' MAGAZINE CONTAINING COMPLETE STORIES OF WESTERN LIFE. DO NOT FAIL TO READ rr 32 PAGES PRICE 5 CENTS. EACH NUMBER BOUND IN A HANDSOME COLORED COVEB. All of these exciting .stories are founded on Young Wild West is a hero with whom the author acquainted. His daring deeds a11d thrilling adventu have never been surpassed. They form the base of t m9st dashing .stories ever published Read the numbers of this most interesti magazine and be convinced : No. 1. YOUNG WILD WEST, THE PBINCE OP THE SADDLE, 1 Issued October mo. 2. YOUNG WILD WEST'S LUCK; or, .Striking It Rich in Hills, Issued October mo. 3. YOUNG WILD WEST'S VICTORY; or, The Road Last Bold Up, Issued N ovem No. 4. YOUNG WILD WEST'S PLUCK; or, Bound to Beat the Men, Issued N ovem'ber mo. 5. YOUNG WILD WEST'S BEST SHOT; or, The Rescue Arietta. Issued November mo. 6. YOUNG WILD WEST AT DEVIL CREEK; or, Helpiug Boom a New Town. Issued November mo. 7. YOUNG WILD WEST'S SURPRISE; or, The Indian Legacy. Issued Decem No. 8. YOUNG WILD WEST MISSING; or, Saved by an Iu Princess. Issued December FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS, OR WILL BE SENT TO ANY ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, 6 CENTS PER COPY. BY FRANK TOUSEY. Publisher. Union Square, New Y

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Giving com plete information as to the manner and method of raising. taming, breeding, and managi ng all kinds of pets; also full instructions for making cages, etc. Fully explained bv twentv-eight illustrations, making it the most complete book of 'the kin d ever published. MISCELLANEOUS No. 8. HOW 'l'O 13IWO:\IE A SCIENTIST.-A useful and in srructive book. giving a complete treatise on chemistry; a l so ex in aco.nstics. mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and di rectwns fo1 makmg flleworks, colored fires, and gas balloons. This book cannot be equaled. No. 14 HO\Y 'l'O i\IAKE CANDY.-A complete hand-bool< for making all kinds of candy, ice-cream syrups, essences, etc., etc. Ko. 19.-FRAKK TOUSEY'S U ITED STATES DISTANCE TABLES, POCKET COMPANION AND GUIDE.-Giving the official distance<> on all the railroads of the Uni ted States aml Canada. Al so table of d istances by water to fore i gn ports, ha<'k fares i n the principal c ities, reports of the Census, etc., etc., making it one of thP most comph>te and handy books publ i shed No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DOC'l'OR.-A won del"ful book. containing use ful and pmctical information in t h e treatme.nt of di seases and ailments common to every family. Abounding in use ful and effective r ec ipe s for general complaints. No. 55. HOW '1'0 COLLECT STA;'IfPS AND COINS.-Con taining valuablf' infot" '.lation r egarclin:! tlw collccting aud arranging of stamps and <'oins. illustrat,d. Ko. UOW '1'0 BE A Old King Brady. the world-known detective. In which he lays down so me valuable and sensible rules for beginners. ann alse relates so me adventures :mel experiences of wf'll-known <1etectives. No. tiO. HOW TO BECO;\IE .\. PIOTOGRAPHER.-Contain ing useful information r ega rdi ng the Camera and how to work it; also how to makP Photographi( ;\Jagi c Lante m Slides and other Transparenci es. IJ:md some ly illustrated. By Captain ,V. De "7 ETIQUETTC::. Abner 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, TiOOK CF ETlQUETTE.-It No. 62 HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILITARY life nnd 'Ill' that e.e ry young :nan desires to know CADET.-Containing full explanations how to gain admittance, happiness in it. ('Ourse of Examinations, Duties, Rtaff of Office rs, Post HO'W '1'0 BEHA YE.-Containing the rulf's and etiquette Guard, Pol:ce R"g:tlations. Fire Deprutment, and all a boy s hould and the easiest most approved 'thods of apknow to be a Cadet. Compiled anol wl'itten by Lu SeuarPns, author to g:oocl advantage at part1es. balls, the thea
    PAGE 36

    A SPLENDID NEW ONE ran CONTAINING STORIES OF ADVENTURE ON LAND --UNDER THE SEA--IN THE AIH t :a-yo'' N'"C>N'" .A..:at.t:E '' THE PRINCE OF STORY WRITERS. Cover. Each Number in a Handsomely Illuminated ...-A 32-PAGE BOOK FOR 5 All our readers know Reade, Jr., the greatest inventor of the age, and his fun-loving chums, Batney and Pomp. The stories to be published in this magazine wi contain a true account of the wonderful and exciting adventures of the famous invento with his marvellous flying machines, electrical overland engines, and his extraordina1 submarine boats. Each number will be a rare treat. 'l'ell your newsdealer to get you copy. Hete are the first EIGHT titles, a.nd each number will be better than the previous on No.1. No. B. NO. 3. No.4. No. 6. No. 6. No. 7. No. 8. FRANK READE, JR.'S WHITE CRUISER OF THE CLOUDS; or, The Search for the Dog-Faced Me Issued October a FRANK READE, JR.'S SUBMARINE BOAT, THE "EXPLORER"; or, To the North Pole Under the If .lssued November FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC VAN; or, Hunting WilrtAnimals in the Jungles of India. Issued November J FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC AIR CANOE; or, The Seareh for the Valley of DilliDonds. Issued November: FRANK READE, JR.'S SEA SERPENT"; or, The Search for Sunken Gold. IssuedJNovember FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTRIC TERROR, The "THUNDERER"; or, The Search for the Tarta1 Captive Issued December FRANK READE, JR.'S AIR WONDER, The "KITE''; or, A Six Weeks' Flight Over the Andes. Issued December 1 FRANK READE, JR.'S DEEP SEA DIVER, The ''TORTOISE"; or, The Seareh for a Sunken Isfan Issued Decembe1 For Sale by All New s dealers, or will be Sent to Any Address on Receipt of Price, 5 Cent s per copy, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New Yo IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdeale r s, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and 1 in the following Order Blank and send it to u s with the price of the books you want and we w ill send them to you by 1 turn mail. POS'l'AGE STAMPS 'l'HE SAME AS MONEY. FRANK TO USEY, Publi s her, 24 Union Square, New York. .......................... 190 DEAR SIR-Enclosed :find ...... cents for which please send me: ... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ............................................................ WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ..................... ..................................... FRANK READE WEEKLY, Nos ....................... ... : ........................... PLUCK A D LUCK Nos ............................................... .............. SECRET SERVICE, NOS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. Nos ........... ........................................ . Ten-Cent Hand Books, J .................. ............. .............. .; ......... Nam e .......................... Street nll(l 1\o ..... ............... Town .......... State ... : .... ....


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