I ssued Semi-Monthly-By Subsc i'ipt ion. $1.25 p e1 y ear. Ente ied as Second C l ass lifatter at New York, N Y., Pos t Office. Jtlaic h 15, 1898 b y F'rank Toiisey. No. 6. NEW YORK, M a y 25, 1898. Price 5 C e n ts. You . oF tH6 YoKoN, .-:-.. 'BY.AUTHOR OF1YOUNG KLONDIKE'.' ... _/ "Thunder! and my rifle is empty! Quick Edith 1 Dick shouted Ned. As Young Klondike planted his foot on the dead bear, Edith and Dick fired at the approaching Indians. "Give 'em another round, Edith!" cried the Unknown, from his perch in the tree.
Stories of a Gold Seeker. Issued Semi-Monthly-By Subscription $1.25 p e r y ear. E ntered as Second Class Matte1 at the N e w York, N. Y Post Offic e March. 15, 1898. Entered according to A c t of Congress in the year 1898, i" tl>e office of the Librarian of Congress, J Vashinoton, D. C., by F'rank 1'ousey, 29 West 26th Street, N ew York. No. 6. NEW YORK, May 25, 1898. Price 5 Cents. YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE; OR, The Gold Pirates of the Yukon. BY AUTHOR OF YOUNC KLONDIKE. CHAPTER I. THE MAN WHO WANTED TO BUY. "WHAT do you think of her, Ned?" It strikes me, Dick, that she's a dandy, and for the Klondike about the finest little steamer there is going." "That's what everyone sa)\s. You ought to have seen the crowd that was down here yesterday to have a look at her. I could have sold her twice over if I'd wanted to-that's a fact !" Two young men stood in Beacraft's boat building yard at Dawson City, away up in the Alaskan gold country. It was a pleasant afternoon in the late summer. The giant mountain on the opposite side of the great Yukon River, which flows past Dawson City, was beginning to assume an autumnal coloring. This added greatly to the picturesque beauty of the scene, which was wild and romantic to a degree. Moored to the wharf was a small steamer, which had just been completed by Beacraft. To some it may seem strange that such a trim little craft could be produced in this out-of-the-way cor ner of the world. Yet it had been entirely constructed in Dawson City, with the exception of a certain portion of her engine. Beacraft began building boats in Dawson long be fore the days of the great gold excitement. He had built for prospectors, fur traders and others. Most of his productions were very primitive, and never before had he turned out anything to compare with the Edith. There was no reason why these twa young men should not be the owners of the best boat ever built 'in Dawson City. The one addressed as Ned was the famous Young Klondike, the millionaire miner of El Dorado Creek, who signed his name Edward Golden when he had oc casion to write it in full. Dick Luckey was his partner, and together they constituted the firm of Golden & Luckey. They were not only the richest, but the most popular young men among the hundreds of miners on El Dorado Creek and along the Klondike river. Their fame had extended all over Alaska. and the British Klondike country. It was no wonder, therefore, that everybody in Dawson City had flocked down to Beacraft's to see the Edith launched, which interesting ceremony had taken place the day before. "Pity you were delayed, Ned, and could not have been here at the launching," remarked Dick. "I was sorry, but it couldn't be helped. Edith was not feeling altogether well, and we could not start." "Did Mrs. Colvin come down from Young Klondike with you?" "Yes; she's with Edith at the hotel now ; they'll be down before a great while. Of course the good soul wanted to be with Edith, when she heard that we proposed to make the run down to St. Michaels." "We couldn't go without her." "Certainly not. Edith wouldn't have been satis fied. We must never Dick, that our luck be gan when we saved the girl from the sinking steamer on our voyage from Seattle to Juneau. Besides, Edith is a full partner in the firm of Golden & Luckey, and we have no right to refuse her if she wants to go." "Speaking of going, let's go aboard and have a. look at the steamer, Ned. Of course I saw it yester day, but I shall enjoy seeing it again with you." The boys then climbed aboard the steamer. Ned went into raptures over the cozy cabin, the complete
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. cooking arrangements in the galley, the very superior engine, etc. While the y were inspecting their new purchase, Beacraft, the builder, came aboard. "Ah, Mr. Golden! Glad to see you. When did y ou get in town?" he asked. "Came in about an hour ago," replied Ned. "I was sorry you couldn't be here at the launching yesterday." "So was I, but that was quite impossible." "I hope you are pleased with the Edith, sir?" "More than pleased, but you needn't 'sir' me. I'm one of the plain sort. I don't forget that I'm only a "We are open to advice from anybody," replied Ned. "Don' t hesitate to speak your mind." "But I don't wish to be considered as interfering with your busin ess." "Say what you have got to say_..:_we ain't the kind to take offense, are we, Dick?" "Not at all," said Dick. "Go right ahead, Mr. Beacraft." "Then I say don t go to St. Michaels. You'll get frozen in as sur6 as fate." "Oh, but we must," cried Ned. I've got important business there." You are taking big chances. The season is well boy." advanced, and if the Yukon should happen to freeze, "I were .more boys in Dawson l.ike you, you would not be able to get back before spring, to then. I d like to bmld a boat such as this every say nothing of the chance of being frozen in along month." I the river where you might starve or freeze to death. "You'll build no more this season, I fancy, Mr. You two fellows are of far too much importance to "butne:x:tyearsomeotherluc.ky us here in Dawson to make me feel pleasant about fellow will be p.retty sure give you an order. with j your taking such a risk." such a travelmg advertisement of your skill a s But Ned and Dick laughed at the boat builder's this." fears, and a few moments later Mr. Beacraft was "Oh, thank you-you flatter me," laughed the called ashore. boat builder, bowing with much politeness. . . "N t t 11 ,, d N d y d 11 th While the boys were still mspectmg t!i.e mmor o a a sa1 e ou eserve a e . b t th Ed.th b t h l pomts of the steamer, they saw a man commg down we can es ow on e 1 u w 1 e we the wharf, who at once attracted their attention from wont flatter you we may as well pay you. Lets see, th f t th t h t b t th i t 1 k' h h th b.ll ?" e ac a e was JUS a ou e ug ies oo mg ow muc is e i . f h t th h d 1 .d "Oh, there is no hurry; no hurry, at all." specimen umam Y ey a ever ai eyes on. He was a man apparently about forty years of age, "But I'd rather pay now. I don't like to owe any one." "I wish there were more like you, Mr. Golden. I'll make out a bill and hand it to you before you leave." "Never mind about that if you've got the amount. A receipt will be all I want." "The amount is $4,300." "That's quite satisfactory. I'll write you a check on the Branch Bank of British North America. I suppose you can handle that?" -"I'd like to handle your check for a million, Ned Golden," cried the boat builder, enthusiastically. "I'm hardly ready for that," laughed Ned. He produced his check book and filling out a biank for the required amount, handed it to Beacraft and took a receipt. "Many thanks," said the boat builder. "Can't we have a little drink on this?" "Thank you ; I never drink." Perhaps Mr. Luckey--" "Not I," said Dick. "Water enough for me." '' How about tea and coffee?" or milk is good Oh, we both indulge in coffee once in a while, 'that is, when we can get any that's fit to drink." "When do you propose to start?" "To-morrow morning," said Ned. "If we are going to put it through to Michaels the sooner we are on the move the better, I suppose." "Decidedly so," replied Mr. Beacraft. "If it is not. presuming too much, I'd like to give you a piece of advice." long, lean and lank, with only one eye, and one ear gone and a badly pock-marked face. "q-reat Scott Who's that ugly looking duffer?" exclaimed Ned. "I'll be blest if I'll ever tell you," said Dick. "He's ugly for fair, ain't he?" "Well, now, he is. Say, Dick, he's coming this way." "I'll be hanged if he isn't. Well, I suppose we can't refuse to let him look at the Edith." "Certainly not. It won't do for us to put on airs." "And make ourselves unpopular with everybody. No, not at all." By this time the new-comer had reached the end of the wharf and he stopped and stared at the boys. "Hello !" he called. "Which of you fellers is Young Klondike? He's the one I want to see." "l answer to that name," replied Ned. "What did you want?" "Can I come aboard?" "Sure!" "Well, now, that's nice of you Heard tell of this steamer, and thought as how I'd kind of like to see her, but I was told you was such a tony chap that you wouldn't let no one aboard." "Whoever told you that told you what wasn't true," replied Ned. "Come right up, sir. What's your name, if I may ask ?" "Well, of course you may ask. I ain't ashamed of my name. It's Pod Dunbury. m from Montreal." "Wonder if they keep many of his kmd in Mon-
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. treal ?" whispered Dick, as the one-eyed man came to sell this streamer? I'm a man what wants to up the stea.mer's side. "Hush!" said Ned. "He might hear you. He's after something besides merely looking at the Edith. We want to speak him fair and try to find out what it is." When the one-eyed man came on deck, he took a long look around. "By gaul, this is a pretty snug craft," be said. "Neighbor, ain't that so?" We think so," replied Ned. "That's what it is. May I look down below?" "You may look anywhere. We've got no secrets here," declared Ned. Now, this was very frank, but after all we are bound to say that it was not quite true. There were secrets connected with the Edith. In the first place, she had been built for a secret purpose. In the next, she had a secret room on board, and one might look the steamer over a dozen times and not find it. That room was built to contain gold, and it was certainly no part of Young Klondike's purpose to betray its existence to Mr. Pod Dunbury, so the tour of the steamer was made and everything inspected, but Mr. Dunbury did not see the secret room. While the one-eyed man was looking over the steamer he said little, but when he came on deck again he began to talk. "Say, young feller, where you from?" he asked. "Oh, I'm from New York," answered Ned. And your partner?" "He's from New York, too." "So I've heard. What was business there?" "We were clerks." "So Hope you don't think I'm too inquisitive?" "Not at all. There's nothing to be ashamed of in having been a clerk." "No; that's so. They tell me you've had wonder ful luck up here." "We've done fairly well." "Well, I heard that your success was great-great. They tell me Golden & Luckey are worth ten mill ions." "Whoever told you that talks through his hat. We ain't worth anything of the sort." "Well, now! That's the way these stories get a.round, ain't it?" "Is there anything further you'd like to see, sir!" asked Ned, who was growmg tired of the man. "No," replied Mr. Dunbury. "I don't know as there is. In fact, I might as well say there isn't." "Then I'll have to ask you to excuse us. We've got business to attend to." "That's right. So have I. Came here on business, and I've been attending to it-I'm attending to it now." "If it concerns us I wish you'd state it, so that we may close matters up !" "Well, I will. Young Klondike, how would you like buy." We are not selling." "Not for a price ?" "It would have to be a high price." "What do you call a high price!" Who do you represent ?" "No matter." "You don't want to buy it for yourself alone?" "No matter, I tell yer. I'm prepared to buy the steamer and pay cash for her, if we can come to terms." "V.l e don't want to sell, do we, Dick?" said Ned, laughing. He had no more idea of selling the Edith than of disposing of his rich claim up on Eldorado Creek. "I guess not!" said Dick, emphatically. "Pshaw !" said the man. "That's nonsense. Everybody wants to sell for a price; name yours for this craft." "Twenty thousand dollars," said Ned, thinking that would settle it. "I'll take it," said the man promptly. "Stop!" cried Ned. "I didn't mean that." "Didn't mean what?" "That I'd sell the steamer." .But you said so." "No, I didn't. You asked me to name my price for the steamer and I said twenty thousand dollars, but I didn't say I'd be willing to sell her to you for any price." "I can't help what you meant, young feller. That's what you said." "I'm sorry if I deceived you, but I can't sell now." "You've already sold. I claim the steamer on payment of the money." Ned was in a dilemma. Situated as be was, it would have been extremely foolish to have sold the Edith even for double the sum named. The steamer had been built for a purpose, and with that purpose unfulfilled, Ned felt that he could not possibly part with her on any terms, and he now said so in the most emphatic way. "Can't help it. Can't help it," said the man. "You've sold the steamer and I claim it. If you don't stand up to your bargain it will be the worse for you -that's all." "I won't talk any more about it," cried Ned. "You can't have the Edith, Mr. Dunbury. You had best leave us now." "I will have the steamer, and I'll leave when I get ready!" cried the one-eyed man, most offensively. "I'm not going to be bullied by boys." "What! What! Threats! By the Jumping Jeremiah, I've got my man at last!" cried a voice right behind him. So taken up with their conversation had all three been that neither observed a man who had come on board the Edith a moment before.
4 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CH.ASE. But Mr. Pod Dunbury now became painfully aware of his presence For the man suddenly pounced upon him. Clapping a hand on each shoulder, he shook Mr. Pod Dunbury till his teeth rattled. "I arrest you in the name of the law !" he shouted. "Ye gods little fishes I've got my man at last!" CHAPTER II. THE Li:TTER IN THE SECRET ROOM. Now, one might very naturally suppose that Young Klondike and Dick Luckey would be rather startled by this sudden interference in their business, and would be disposed to resent it as well. Instead of that, they began to laugh. The intruder cut rather a comical figure. He was short and stout, and wore big cavalry boots and a battered hat of the variety commonly known as a plug tilted on the back of his head. But Mr. Pod Dun bury did not laugh. He seemed frightened out of his wits. Pulling himself away from the stranger, he sprang over the steamer's side, and ran off up the wharf as fast as his legs could carry him, passing on the way a very pretty young girl and a stout motherly looking woman, who had at that moment entered the yard. "Ha, ha, ha !" laughed the man with the plug hat. "The old Unknown sent him to the right about face, didn't he, boys ? What's the row ? What was he trying to bulldoze you apout? Was it into selling the Edith? Well, I guess that won't work What would Edith say? By the Jmping Jeremiah! here she comes now!" "Zed, you're a terror!" laughed Ned, speaking in such a way as to show that he was entirely familiar with the man. And, indeed, he ought to have been, for the newcomer was also a member of the firm of Golden & Luckey; a sort of silent partner, for it would be impossible for any man to enter a co-partnership without revealing his name. And this makes another bit of explanation neces sary, after which our story shall go straight ahead without further introductions or explanations, which are tedious, to say the least. The Unknown, as the new-comer called himself, claimed to be a now in the Klondike country searching for some mysterious criminal who, up to date, had not been found. Coming out from Seattle with Young Klondike and Dick, he had been with them ever since, sharing their fortunes and misfortunes, and yet during all their long and intimate acquaintance the boys had known him only as Zed, the Unknown, and had grown quite accustomed to his peculiarities, chief among which was the habit of suddenly pounc ing upon some stranger, declaring that he was "his man," and threatening him with arrest after. the style just shown. All this therefore, was an old story to Young Klon dike and Dick, and having explained this the cause of their merriment will be understood. "Who says I'm a terror ?" exclaimed the detective, gravely. "I thought I had my man, Young Klon dike Ye gods and little fishes, it seems that J was mistaken again, but I don't see anything to laugh at in that." "Mistaken for the hundreth time," said Dick; "but no matter, Zed, you helped us out of a nasty hole just the same." we got into through my own folly," de clared Ned. I had no sort of business even to listen tb a proposition to sell the Edith, and that's just what I did." "Sell the Edith! Never!" cried the detective. "What, sell the Edith after going to all the trouble to build her ? Not much Edith Edith Do you hear that? Here's Young Klondike talking .about selling the steamer Did you ever hear of such a thing in all your life?" Edith Welton and Mrs. Colvin were just ready to come aboard then. "What's all this, Ned ?" laughed the girl. "Talk ing of selling my' namesake ? Really, I'm quite ashamed of you for even entertaining such an idea." "I didn't actually entertain it," replied Ned, as he bent down and assisted Edith up over the steamer's side, Dick performing the same kind office for fat Mrs. Colvin. "Who was the man? The one who ran by us the wharf n, "That was the one !" replied Ned. "The Unknown got hold of him and proclaimed him his man, with the usual results. Can you wonder that the poor fellow was scared to death?" Well, hardly. Who was he, anyhow? What is all this about?" Ned explained. But his explanation did not make matters much. clearer to Edith. "I can't understand this business at all," she said. "I didn't like the looks of that fellow and I like him less than ever, now that I've heard what you have say." "I didn't like it from the first," said the Unkno\vn, dropping his trivial manner. "Young Klondike, there is something wrong with that man." "I think so, too," said Dick "He never meant to pay any twenty thousand dollars for the steamer-never in the world!" "Let's drop him and have a look round," said Ned. "Here's Edith, who hasn't seen her namesake yet, and I daresay Mrs. Colvin is anxious to see the steamer, too." "Indeed I am," said Mrs. Colvin. "From what I've seen of her already I should be ready to pronounce her a beauty-as she ought to be from her name."
l YOUNG CIIASE. 5 "I fully agree with you, ma'am," said known. the UnI "So tha1l's our gold is to be stored, is it?" asked Edith. "And I!" cried Ned. "Same here," said Dick. "Now, now, this won't do!" laughed Edith. "We may as well start up a mutual admiration society and have done with it. Come on and we'll look the steamer over, and if there is anything further to be said about that fellow Dunbury, it will be a good time to say it then." "That's the place," replied Ned. "You know my idea. We've got altogether too much gold to make it safe to keep it here in Dawson City. In fact, the bank refuses to accept the risk of taking charge of any more, and nothing remains but for us to look out for it ourselves." "For which reason, hearing of a steamer which is to leave St. Michaels at the mouth of the Yukon this Edith was charmed with the steamer, and Mrs. day three weeks, we have determined to make the run Colvin felt much the same way. down the river aud turn over the gold to be taken to they returned to the cabin after making the San Francisco," said the' Unknown. "That, I be-rounds, Edith asked for the secret room. lieve, is about the size of the case." "Can't you imagine where it is?" asked Ned. "It's just the size of it," said Ned. "That's ex" No, I can't. I've had my eyes open, too can't actly what we are going to do." locate it at all." Now, Ned spoke as though it was the simplest thing "How about you, Zed?" in the world to ship gold out of Dawson Citj\. "1 think I can find it." Actually the very'reverse wa s the case. "I don't believe you. And you, Dick ?" I Dawson is over six hundred. miles from the I am sure I can't imagine where it is." I coast, on the ba.nk Yukon, a Now, among them all the location of the secret room j larger than the M1ss1ss1pp1, is although it was known to Young Klondike alone, and henaturally I has not as yet been explored its entire length. felt a little curious to see whethe:r: the detective had During the summer when the river is open, been shrewd enough to discover it or not. steamers are constantly plymg up and down the river "Where :is it? Tell us where it is!" he cried. between St. Michaels and Dawson, a distance of be" It's all very well to say you know, but prove it." tween eight and nine hundred miles. "I can," said the Unknown, emphatically. Most of the gold is thus shipped, but not a little "Then do it; but stop! Has anybody told you?" goes overland, via the terrible Chilkoot Pass route to "Not a soul." Dyea and Juneau. "Nobody is supposed to know but myself, Mr. Bea-In either case it is dangerous work. eraft and the man who helped him build it. I should Lurking along the Yukon are the gold pirates; a. be more than surprised if you were able to ftnd it, gang of desperadoes ever on the lookout for plunder. Zed." Any small craft supposed to carry goid :is in dan" I ger until pretty well down the Yukon. Then, dear boy, I m ready to more than surprise B t th t f bl f th' d you for the secret room is here." u e river. rou e is pre era .e, or ieves an . crooks abound m the land route JUSt the same. There was a handsome mirror hangmg agamst the I th t 11 th 1 bl" d t k wall on one side of the cabin. n e. wm er a ese J?eop e .are o ige o see Th d t t t d t t d t d th shelter either at Dawson City or m Juneau. e e ec ive s eppe over o I an appe e In 1 many msta.nces they are well enough known g ass. and their nefarious busmess perfectly understood, Ned showed his surprise in his face. but such is their influence that no one dares to say "I've got to admit that's where it is," he said. a word against them. "Of course I knew it!" laughed the detective. I Young Klondike knew all about the gold pirates, "How?" and understood perfectly the risk he ran in attempt-ing the journey down the Yukon with a load of nuggets and dust; hence he had prepared the secret room "Judged by the thickness of the partition. I know that this cabin does not go quite to the engine-room. I got on to all that." in which to conceal his treasures, and followed by his I'm friends, he now entered it and began showing them how secure it was. "Open the door, Zed, and show us the room. just dying to see it !" cried Edith. "Ah I didn't promise. to do that," chuckled the detective. "I'll try, though." He did try and he failed. In spite of the most careful search the Unknown was unable to locate the fastening which controlled tile door of the secret room. But Ned pressed a bit of the moulding in the frame of the mirror and the door was open in an instant. The whole mirror flew back disclosing a small apartment between the cabin and the engine-room, just as the Unknown had foretold. "You see they would have a hard job to break in here," he said to Edith. "It is all plated with iron, and if Zed could not find the spring I don't believe the gold pirates could, even if we were unfortunate enough to be ca .ptured by them, which I hardly think will be the case." "l'll bet you it won't!" cried the Unknown. "Just let them try to board us I've got an old cutlass which I bought expressly for that work. The first man who dares show himself over the Edith's side, off goes his head
--< \ YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "Listen to the valiant Zed!" laughed Edith. "But what's this, Ned; a love letter or a dun?" Edith stooped and picked up a sealed letter from the floor, over in one corner of the secret room. "What sharp eyes you've got!" cried Ned. "I didn't see that. To talk of love letters in connection with me is all nonsense-and it can't be a dun, for I don't owe a cent in the world." "It's addressed to Young Klondike, all right enough, though," said the Unknown, looking over l:Cdith's shoulder. "Not altogether, Young Klondike; it means than that." "What more ?" "It means that the gold pirates of the Yukon have caught on to our plans, and that means trouble." "Let it come. We are ready. It ain't the first time the sharks of Dawson City have tried to down us. I ain't going to show the white feather now." It was now nearly midnigbt. According to the arrangements made, Young Klondike meant to start the Edith down the Yukon at one o'clock. Ned was disturbed. This strange hour had been selected in order to keep "This means that somebody has been here in the the sailing as quiet as possible. secret room since the steamer was finished !" he exA competent river captain had been engaged, a man claimed. by the name of Collamore, who was supposed to I don't know as it does," said Dick. "What's know every rock and shoal in the river all the way to the matter with Beacraft or some of his workmen its mouth. liaving left the letter in here?" Besides Captain Collamore there was Joe Judson, What's the matter with Young Klondike's open-j the engineer, and two deck hands. ing it and seeing what there is inside?" said Edith. I The fewer people the better, Ned decided, and he "Come, Ned. Here's your letter. Too much talk felt very confident of being able to manage the Edith here. Let's see what it's all about." J with this small crew. Ned opened the letter, his face assuming a puzzled expression as he read. "I can't understand this at all !" he exclaimed. "Read it, read it !" cried Dick. It's_ startling enough, I'll promise you. Here goes." He read. 'as follows : "MR. YOUNG KLONDIKE.-Deer sur, the gold pirates of the Yukon is dead onter yer. They know this here room-they mean to go for yer. Look out or you'll get killed. If you put the gold in here you'll be a fool. Yere frend and well \Visher, "JACK NOBODY." CHAPTER III. THE EDITH "Is the gold all aboard?" "Every ounce of it." SAILS. "In the secret room ? Did you put it there?" '.'Where else would I put it?" "But the letter?" ''Pshaw! The letter does not scare me. It will The gold had been brought down from the bank in a covered wagon and carefully stored in the secret room by Ned and Dick, before either capta. in or crew came aboard. Ned wanted to keep the matter a profound secret, but there was the letter to bother him. It was hard to say who knew of the existence of the secret room, and who did not, but in spite of the gloomy predictions of the Unknown he refused to be alarmed. While they were still talking Captain Collamore and Dick came up. They had been making a tour of inspection to see if everything was right on board the steamer, and so reported. "Nothing to hinder us from starting on time, then, captain?" asked Ned. "Nothing at all," replied the captain. "We'll have everything in shape for you by one o'clock. Joe Judson reports the engine in good working order. It only remains for you to give the word to start." "Which will be given on time," replied Ned. "Mr. Luckey and I will go up to the Victoria Hotel for Miss Welton and Mrs. Colvin, and then we will be on the move." take more than that letter to make me alter my plans. "How long do you expect to be gone?" asked Cap.What did you learn up in town?" Collamore, carelessly. The Unknown, whom Young Klondike was addressI IN_ot beyond the, and we may be ing, tilted his tall hat further back on his head and back m half an hour s time. leaned over the rail of the Edith. "We'll be all ready, sir. Is All was bustle on the little steamer then. the way, I don't know your name, sir." It was an hour after midnighJ, and the Edith was Captain Collamore turned to the Unknown. getting ready to sail. No, by the way, I don't think you do," chuckled "Why, dear boy, I didn't learn much," replitd the the detective. "Introduce me, Ned." detective in answer to Ned Goldep's question, 'but "Introduce yourself," said Ned. There were this much I did find out, yol'lr Pod Dunbury is not times when it annoyed him excessively to be ignorant known here in Dawson City at all." of the Unknown's name. "Just as I expected. This business has all been "Oh, all right. I'd just as soon. My name is John mere bluff to scare us." Jacob Astor. Captain Collamore, Mr. Astor-Mr.
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CJIA8E I Astor, Captam Collamore. There. Now we are introduced." "Come, now. Do you intend this for a joke?" demanded the captain, looking puzzled, as well he might be. "No joke at all. Dead earnest. What were you going to ask ?" If you were going up to the hotel, too." "No, sir. I'm going to stay right here." "That's all I want to know," growled the captain, and he turned on his heel and walked away. It was startling-terribly so. In a few moments they were at the end of the wharf and all hands made quick work getting out of the hack. The steamer's place was deserted. Out in the river Ned could see the Edith. She was just rounding the point of the mountain. There was not a soul around to explain what it all meant. "It's the gold pirates of the Yukon !" groaned Dick. "This is their work." "You've made an enemy of that man, Zed," said "And what about Zed? Has he been killed?" Young Klondike. "Why will you do it!" asked Edith. "He needs an enemy,'' whispered the detective 1 f' He's either dead or a prisoner !" exclaimed Ned. "I don't like your Captain Collar-me-I'll stay here "Or turned traitor," ventured Dick. ready to collar him if he tries any of his tricks." Never cried Ned. I' 11 bet on Zed every time. "Pshaw! You are always croaking," retorted Who warned us? It's all m.v fault-,--I wouldn't lisNed. Soon after he and Dick went up to the Victoria for Edith and Mrs. Colvin. Young Klondike did not hurry himself. He i .elt perfectly secure. Trouble might come from the gold pirates after they were once started, but Ned never dreamed of trouble now. As usual, Mrs. Colvin was not ready, and there was a long delay waiting for the good woman to get her things together. As there was. considerable baggage to be carried, Ned had engaged the antiquated vehicle which did duty as a hack in Dawson, to convey them to the wharf. Edith was decidedly nervous-something very unusual for her. All the way to Beacraft's ship-yard, she kept talking about the letter found in the secret room. "Good Heavens, Edith! I don't know that I want to go, if we are going to have our throats cut by these gold pirates!" exclaimed Mrs. Colvin. "We ain't," put in Ned. "Dear me, what's the matter with everybody? First, it's the Unknown, then it's you, Edith. I say it's time enough to bid trouble goodmorning when you meet it, and-what in thunder, Dick What's the matter with you ?" The hack had just entered the ship-yard. Dick thrust his head out of the window and drew it back with a startled cry: "The Edith! The Edith!" he gasped. "We met trouble now for fair !" "And what's the matter with the Edith ?" cried Ned, trying to get a look. "She's gone !" "Gone!" "Yes!" "Impossible !" Look for yourself "Heavens, it's so The Edith has sailed are left!" and we "And all our gold gone with her!" groaned Young Klondike. There was silence in the hack then. ten; but we won't a moment. We've got to chase the Edith and we've got to take her if we have to make the nine hundred mile run to the mouth of the river. We must act!" Now, when Young Klondike talked like this he meant business It was possible to down Ned Golden-it is possible to down any man, but Ned was a hard one to keep down. "We three will go in the launch!" he declared. "Mrs. Colvin, you'll have to stay behind and look to the baggage. Come, Dick Come, Edith W (' start now!" It seemed madness to talk of going tj.own the Yukon river for an indefinite distance in a naphtha launch. Worse still for Young Klondike's plans, the Edith could outsail the launch, and the case looked quite hopeless to everyone but Ned. But Ned absolutely refused to view it that way. "They ain't going to S1;. Michaels!" he declared. "They haven't any notion of it. Somewhere between here and Fort Cudahy the gold pirates have their hold-out. That's where we shall overhaul the Edith, and then there's always the chance of Zed's springing some trick on them to stop the steamer. I'll bet you what you like he's alive, and I'll bet he'll do it! In fact, I place more reliance in Zed than in the launch.'' But for all that the launch was a good one, and large enough to make it quite safe to undertake the chase. Young Klondike had purchased it in San Francisco the previous spring to run up and down from his El Dora.do Creek diggings. Although small, it was a craft to be relied on if one knew how to work it, and this Ned could do as well as any man alive. Bidding Mrs. Colvin good-by, Ned, Dick and Edith hurried to the place where the launch had been left, carrying with them their rifles, ammunition and such provisions as could. They met nobody by the way, and were able to get I the launch ready in a surprisingly short time.
I L .. I-Ol(rG KLONIJIKE'S CHASE. Then Ned started the engine going, and off they went down the Yukon under the stars. "Can it be the Edith?" questioned Dick. It was the beginning of a long chase, and one des tined to lead to many adventures which shall now be 'old. CHAPTER IV. "It's much more likely to be some steamer coming up the river,'' replied Ned. "Almost as important." "I agree with you." We may get news of the Edith." Exactly." "Ned, who recommended Captain Collamore to you?" THE FIGHT IN FALSE COVE. Oh, I heard of him through a man on the Ex change. He has certainly had a good reputation "NED, do you know you are a wonderful fellow!" until now." "What's the matter, Dick? What made you break "Well, he didn't deserve it then ; he is a crook, out like that? Just about now I'm thinking that I'm sure." a wonderful big fool." "Not a doubt of it. Heavens I only hope he It was almost dawn; the launch was still plowing hasn't killed Zed. That's what's worrying me jusL her way down the Yukon river, moving amid scenery about now." which cannot in all the world be excelled for grandeur. "It would break us all up to lose him, odd stick as Edith was asleep in the little cabin, and Ned and he is." Dick, never thinking of such a thing as sleep, were < r That's what There comes the steamer It's a driving forward in the almost vain hope of coming in strange craft to me." sight of the stolen steamer, when Dick suddenly The sun had just risen, and its first beams blurted out his complimentary remark. upon a small propeller with low, black hull and raking "Who says anything is the matter more than has masts. been," he replied. "Wha.t I was thinking of is the It was one of the many old tubs hastily fitted out promptness and decision with which you act." at San Francisco, to carry gold hunters to the Klon-Ned laughed. dike. "I wish I could do like you,'' continued Dick. Early as was the hour her decks were crowded with There's absolutely no such thing as keeping you men, all anxious to see every inch of this land of gold. down." Ned so headed the launch as to brin g them near to "Pshaw! I don't know that I'm any different from the steamer. anybody else in that respect." They attracted general attention; the passengers "Oh, yes, you are. If I had relied on my own judg-crowded to the rail to look at them. ment I should never have had the courage to come up "Give them the hail, Dick!" said Ned. here to the Klondike." "Hello! Hello!" yelled Dick, whose voice was shrill "Then we'd never ha. ve had the chance to lose half and penetrating. a million; that's one thing sure." The miners waved their bats and shouted back. "That's just it. Now we lose half a million, but it This was not what the boys wanted, and Dick called don't seem to bother you a bit." again. "Why should it? We've got as much more in ac" Hello Is the captain aboard ?" he yelled. tual gold besides our claims, and I tell you what it is, A man wearing a uniform came to the rail in a Dick Luckey, it would take big money to buy my in-moment. terest in them, but there's no use in complimenting "Hello, the launch !" he shouted. "What do you me. I don't deserve it. This trouble is actually all I want, boys ?" my fault." "Did you pass a little steamer going do>Tn the "If it is, you are doing your best to make good j river?" yelled Dick. that fault, but I don't admit it. I say you are not to "We passed one about an hour ago-yes. The be blamed. We were all ready. We had to start, Edith, of Dawson City." there was no other course." "That's her. We want to overhaul her. You're "That's the way I looked at it." sure it's an hour, cap ?" "There was no other way to look at it. To have "That's about it." hung back would have been to expose our plans to "How fast was she going?" everybody; and that wouldn't have answered at all. ."Going! She wasn't going at all! She was at But say, Ned, the-re's something in the shape of a anchor in a cove. False Cove, I make it on my .::;tea.mer ahead of us. Don't you hear?" chart." Ned was just thinking that the curious noise he "Hooray!" cried Ned. "Bully for you, cap. heard was the puffing of steam. l You've told us just what we want to know." The boys listened. I "Glad of it!" shouted the captain. "How's The sounds grew louder. things in Dawson?" They seemed to come from around a. point of land I "Booming !" cried Dick. a t no great distance away. "And up to the diggings?"
(i t YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "Booming like everything. have you got aboard?" How many passengers excitement. "Here we are up with her. What's to "Hundred and eighty." Send 'em up Eldorado Creek-that's the place for them . They can get all the work they want up there," shouted Ned. 1rt was getting difficult to make themselves heard, for they had already passed the steamer. On they flew. Soon the steamer was lost around the bend in the river. Hope had come to Ned and Dick. They began to feel that there was a chance for them yet. The shouting had awakened Edith, and she now came out of the cabin to hear the news. '' Probably False Cove is the hang-out of the gold pirates," she said. "Of course they can't hope to hold the steamer. More than likely we shall find her abandoned, boys." "What I'm hoping is that they don't get on to the secret room," said Ned. "Then you may keep on hoping indefinitely," said Dick. "There's no such good luck. Those scoun drels will tear the steamer all to pieces before they give it up." "We may as well get the rifles all ready," said Edith. "If there's going to be a fight, we must be There is nothing like taking things in time, cer tainly, but they had plenty of time to prepare. A full hour was to pass before they came in sight of the Edith. When they at last saw her they were wholly un prepa.red. Ned had moved over to the south side of the river, and was creeping along under the shadow of the mountains. They had passed many coves, thinking that each was the one they sought, when all once, passing round a wooded point, there lay the Edith between two hills. This was False Cove, and it had so little depth that it was scarcely worthy of being called a cove at alL ''Heavens There she is '' cried Ned, suddenly re versing his engine. But it was too late to prevent being seen. There was a man standing at the bow of the steamer. He wore a tall hat on the baclr of his head and big cavalry boots. It was the Unknown. As he caught sight of the launch he threw up both hands and ran back along the deck. The gesture seemed intended to warn the boys back. At least, Ned took it to mean that, and he had the lannch around the point and out of sight in a jiffy. Here they stopped and waited expecting to hear some sound from the steamer, but none came. "What's to. be done?" questioned Dick, m great be done next ?" "That remains to be seen," replied Ned. "They must have seen us." "Zed saw us-that's certain." "Of course be did, but I didn't see any one else on deck." "Nor did I, yet it can't be that he's the only per son on board." "Oh, no, certainly not. It can't be that," said Edith. "I think we shall hear from him if we wait a minute. That's what I took his gesture to mean." "Suppose we land and sneak round the point through the woods ?'' suggested Ned. We could get a sight of them so and find out what they are about." "I don't see any objection to your going," said Edith; "but one of us ought to remain here with the launch." "I'll stay," said Dick ; "you and Edith go, Ned." \ "Why not let me stay?" said Edith. "I know that you two want to go together." "No ; you're the best shot," replied Dick, a nd I can manage the launch where you can't. I think you ought to go." "He's right," said Ned. "Come. on, Edith, we'll 'make a move." Ned jumped ashore and helped Edith out of the launch. Shouldering their rifles they started around the point through the scrub cedars. It was no great distance to a place where they could get a sight of the cove. The steamer lay as they had last seen her. There was not a soul on deck except the Unknown, who was pacing up and down as uneasy as a tiger in a cage. "Why, Zed is all alone there, sure," breathed Edith. "Can everybody have gone? What does it all mean?" "I've a great mind to hail him and find out," said Ned. "No, no!" }, But we ought to know." "Don't run any such risk. Perhaps we could sig nal him. Look He's trying to let down the boat." Suddenly the Unknown had paused in his walk be fore one of the Edith's life boats. He seemed to be examining the tackle which held it suspended to the davits. Then all at once he gave a gesture of despair and appeared to give it up. "He'll never get that boat doWll, if that's what he's after," declared Ned. "He doesn't know any more about a ship's tackle than a crow. I must go over and help him off somehow. Edith, you stay here and watch." "Ned, are you mad ?" "Not at all. I'm going to act, though. know what all this means." "You shan'tgo !" I must
YOUNG KLONDIKES CHASE. "But I will! I don't mind a wetting. I can do it. "But will they?" If worse comes to worse, I can swim back under "I can't say. They talk of going down the river water. I've done doub le the distance many a time." I to St. Michaels if they find the gold." It was the old story. Young Klondike had made "Have they any idea where it is?" up his mind, and Edith knew that it would be quite I "Not the least. They are looking in the hold now. useless to try to stop him; but it was a most daring They don't seem to suspect the cabin at all, but I undertaking for all that. found out who wrote the letter, though." Ned threw off his coat, hat and shoes, and stepped "Who?" out from among the trees in full view of the steamer. "One of Beacraft's men. He saw a fellow snoop-Instantly the Unknown caught sight of him, and ing around just as they were finishing off the secret with excited gestures, waved him back. room. The man was a friend of his and he didn't like Ned shook his head and pointed to the steamer. to do anything, so he wrote the letter, but the skunk The Unknown shook his and pointed to the shore. never gave the secret away." "Don't do it Don't do it !" pleaded Edith. "Why?" "You see what Zed means. He knows the terrible I "Because he was soon past speaking. He was risk you run. For my sake, Ned, don't go." shot in a row in Terry Nolan's saloon th::i.t night." "I'd do a good deal for your sake, Edith, but I'm 1 "Who was telling you all this?" going just the same." "Captain Collamore." Edith said no more, for she knew it was no use. "You seem to be right in with the captain." Without the least hesitation Ned plunged into the "He thinks I'm all right. I've been doing my icy water. best, Ned. It was either that or get killed." The Unknown saw him do it and threw up his "You were wise, as you always are, Zed. Drop hands as much as to say: me a line now; I'm coming aboard." "Just like him! There's no use trying to stop "Don't be a lunatic, dear boy. Get back just as Ned." quick as ever you can!" At the same instant Edith saw Captain Collamore "Not without you." appear on deck. "You can't get me." She dropped down behind a rock, and watched. "I can lower the boat; we can go in that." The captain hurried up to the Unknown and e,x:cited "Think of the awful risk! I should die if you words seemed to pass between them. lost your life trying to save mine." Then the captain disappeared below again, leaVing Don't you fret about that. I ain't going to lose the Unknown on deck. my life, but every second we spend talking makes the Meanwhile, Ned had come to the surface. risk greater." He was swimming low in the water. "Go back, Ned, go back!" A few bold strokes brought him to the steamer. "Will you throw down that line, Zed, or shall I The Unknown, who was watching him, leaned over have to try to climb up over the bows?" the rail and called down: "No, no, no! They'd see you s ure, then." "For Heaven's sake, dear boy, what would you do? "Throw the line, or I'll take the risk." It is madness to come here." "You're the same old six-pence, bound to have "How many, Zed?" Ned caUed out. your own way or bust !" ''Six I" 1 And as usual Ned bad 11is way. "Gold pirates?" The Unknown threw down the line. "yes." Ned, who all this time had been treading water, "The captain is in with them?" caught it and went up over the Edith's side as nimbly "Yes, and the engineer, too. Your man, Pod Dun-as a cat. bury, is here besides." "I don't scare for a cent,'' he said. "This is our "Have they found the gold?" boat, and I guess I have a right to it." "Not yet. They are looking for it now. Oh, go "I guess you have, if anybody has, but that don't back, Ned! Go back! They may hear us. We are make the risk any the less," whispered the Un lost if they do. Some of them are liable to come up known. -0n deck any time." There was no more talking done then. "I won't go back without you, Zed." Ned had the boat loose in a moment. "Oh, I could never swim "Get in,'' he whispered to the detective. "I'll let "Can't you swim at all?" you down." "Just a little. Ever so little. They captured me, "Hark I Somebody is coming. Leave me, Ned I Ned, and I made out to chime in with them. Where's Jump overboard and save yourself. Oh, I tell you Dick?" they are a tough gang!" "Around the point in the launch. Can nothing be Ned's answer was to push the Unknown into the done?" boat. "Nothing, now. If they stay here till dark we Instantly he let it drop. might, though." None too soon
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. Captain Collamore came out on deck a second later. But in that second Ned had made a dive over the Edith's rail. "Hello, you! Hello, John Jacob Astor! Where the dogs are you?" the captain roared. Just then Ned was scrambling into the boat, the Unknown lending him a hand. "What in thunder shall we do ?" he whispered "lf he looks over the rail, we are goners!" "Oh, if Edith would only shoot him!" gasped Ned, whipping out his knife and cutting the boat free. He looked toward the shore, but could see nothing of Edith. The distance was so short, and yet the danger of covering it in that open boat was so great! "Have you got your revolver, Zed?" Ned br.eathed. "No; they took it away from me-they don't alto gether trust me, of course." "Take mine out of my pocket, and be ready to shoot him if he shows fight." "I'll do that with the utmost pleasure, and you ?" I'm going to pull ashore." 1 Ned caught up the oars, and the detective possess ed himself of the revolver. Meanwhile, Captain Collamore was charging around the deck, calling out for the Unknown. All at once he sight of the boat. Thunder and guns What's all this?" he roared. "Young Klondike himself.and my man!" "You're my man now!" bawled the Unknown. Up went his revolver. He fired, and so did the captain. Both shots missed their mark. Captain Collamore yelled for his men and dodged down out of sight. Up they tumbled, and the captain excitedly pointed to the boat, now half way to the shore. "It's Young Klondike! It's Young Klondike Shoot him down !" he shouted. "I haven't got an other shot left!" Then it was rifles and not revolvers. Ned and the Unknown dropped low in the boat, the shots whizzing harmlessly over their heads. "Again! Hit 'em again!" roared the ca.ptain. He seized Pod Dunbury's rifle then and himself. But it was his last effort. Suddenly a shot rang out from the shore. It was followed by another and another. There stood Edith beside the rock, calmly firing. Her first shot took the captain in the arm and he dropped the rifle with a yell and fell back. The next did the business for Pod Dunbury. lie got it in the left shoulder, and had an ugly wound to nurse after that. As for the rest of Edith's shots it is hard to say what became of them. In a moment the men on the steamer stopped firing. It was no use to keep it up. Already the boat had made the bank. Ned and the Unknown scrambled out. "Good for you, Edith 1 You've saved our lives!" panted the detective. Ned caught up his rifle and his clothes. Then all plunged into the woods and ran over to the launch, just in time to prevent Dick from coming around to take a hand in the fight. CHAPTER V. ON THE CHASE AGAIN. "WHAT in the world have you been doing? You've captured the Unknown!" cried Dick, as they came panting up to the launch. "That's what I'm captured Captured! that's the word!" cried the detective. "And I want you to understand there never was a man more willing to be captured than your humble servant. Oh, boys, I've suffered agonies this night." "Tell your story by ,and by, but tell us what to do right now," broke in Ned; "if there's any sort of show to get back the Edith we want to be at it at once." "There isn't," said the detective, gloomily. "There's no show at all. I wish I could encourage you, but I can't." "What are we to do? Stay here, and let those in fernal pirates rob us?" "Watch and wait." "A very good motto for a copy book, but it cuts no ice with me!" cried Ned, excitedly. "I must do something or bust." "Then you'll have to bust, dear boy, if you expect me to advise you, for I can't." "Listen!" cried Edith. "They are starting the steamer away, ain't they? Isn't that what the sounds mean?" All listened. They could hear the steamer's propeller grinding distinctly enough. "That's what it is," said the Unknown. "There's no help for it now; nothing in the world to do but to take up the chase." The words were scarcely spoken when the Edith came in sight round the point. Captain Collamore was at the wheel, showing that he was not so badly wounded as not to be able to at-tend to business. "Lay low We'll be apt to pick up a few shots when they see us!" the Unknown cried. There was no use trying to hide the launch, of I course, but all hands dropped down among the bushes. It seemed to be a needless precaution, for no shots were fired. The men on the Edith were all on deck and looking at the launch, though, and there is no telling what they might haive done if Young Klondike's party had been in sight.
12 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CH.ASE. As it was, Captain Collamore turned the Edith l Next to Dawson City, Forty Mile is the most im down the Yukon. and away they went at full speed. I portant town in the Yukon. Ten minutes later and the launch was following Beyond lies Circle City, and beyond that all is a again. wilderness. 1 Young Klondike's chase, hopeless as it seemed, had "If they take us past Circle City, it would be mere been renewed. suicide to think of continuing so," said Dick. "We've got to keep going," Ned declared. "There's "l tell you what, boys, I've let you do all the talkno telling what turn atfairs may t a ke in our favor; ing, but now I'm going to speak," broke in the Un-thw may take a notion to stop again." known. By this time the Unknown had explained the whole "Fire away," said Ned. situation as far as he knew it. "We are only too anxious to hear you," added The capture of the steamer had been a complete Dick. surprise to him, and before he knew what was going "An idea has occurred to me," continued the Unon he was a prisoner. known. "The other steamer will soon be along-it Shrewdly pretending to fall in with the rascally must. Collamore and his gang will be sure to tie up schemes vf the gold pirates, the detective had essomewhere and wait for it; that was the programme caped death and retained the freedom of the steamer. and what I've been wondering is why they haven't "But I don't believe they trusted me," he declared. done it before now." "They thought that I knew where the secret room "Where is she now? I don't see her any more!" was, and that is why they left me alone. Young Klon-broke in Dick. dike, you saved my life, sure. There ain't :the least Ned got out his night glass and looked ahead. doubt that they would have killed me in the end." It was true that the lights of the Edith had been "What did they stop there in the cove for?" asked visible a mile or more ahead only a few moments be-Edith. "I haven'theard you explain that, Zed." fore. "They were expecting others of their party down in Now. they had vanished, and what made it perplex-an old steamer from Dawson. Our gold is only a part ing was the fact that the river was perfectly straight of what they are after. The regular steamer, which here. If it had been daylight they could have seen leaves Dawson to-day, carries a million at least, and ahead for miles. some say two. They mean to capture her if they "The time has come !" said the Unknown. "This can." bears me out. The gold pirates have run the steamer "What steamer is it?" asked Dick. into some cove to wait for their friends." "The Gold Queen, of Seattle. "More than likely," replied, Ned. "We must be "Have they got force enough to capture a steamer mighty careful, or we shall run right into them; but like the Gold Queen?" asked Ned. we are safe for the moment; so go on, Zed, and unfold Twenty men are to meet them below Fort your wonderful scheme." Cudahy at some place I couldn't find out. Oh, I tell "There's nothing' so very wonderful about it, said 7ou they are a strong band! There is no use expect-the Unknown; "in fact, I may say it' s as simple as ing to get any help to fight them, either. They have rolling off a log. What I propose is tha. t we try to everybody along the river terrorized, and whatever capture the other steamer. Then 've'll be in shape to we are to do against them we've got to rlo our-take up the chase." selves." "What nonsense you are talking," cried Ned. They talked it all over as the little launch sped on. Might just as well talk of capturing the Edith." There seemed to be nothing to do but to continue "Not at all, dear boy, not at all!" the chase and take chances. "And if not, why not?" At the rate they were going they were able to keep "Because we can't capture the Edith, but we can the Edith in sight, and no more. ca .pture this other old tub." i All that day and through the night the chase con"You know something you haven't told, Zed," tinued. said Dick. Forty Mile was passed, and Fort Cudahy was "That's what I do. I know the signal that was to passed, but still no change in the situation came. bring the other steamer into False Cove, where they As one can readily imagine, Young Klondike and first intended to wait for it. You see, Collamore probhis friends were anything but comfortable. ably felt that with you after him he would be safer The terrible strain of imprisoned in the little below Fort Cudahy and Forty Mile than above them, launch, was beginning to tell on them all, and Edith and that's why he hurried off the way he did." was suffering more than the rest. "Steamer coming down the river!" cried Dick. "It won't do; we shall have to give it up," said "I see her lights!" Ned, just before the second day dawned. "If we can't "Sure as you live!" echoed Ned. "Do you supsee our way out of tbis pretty quick, the best thing pose it can be the gold pirate's craft?" we can d'o is to return to Forty Mile and try to get a "I'm dead sure of it," said the detective. "Now, steamer. Then we can run on down the river and see / then, will you leave an this to me?" what can be done." I "That depends."
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "On what?" It seemed a crazy undertaking to Ned and Dick. "How many men there are on the steamer.'' Their instructions were to lie in wait among the "Six at the most." bushes until the Unknown gave them word to move. "Same as the Edith?" From the place where they were, they could dis" Yes. The original plan was for all hands to come tinctly see the detective on the bluff, and all at once down in her, but when they found there was a chance I they saw him throw up his rifie and fire two shots in to capture the Edith, they divided up. Leave it to quick succession. me, and I'll show you how easy it will be to capture Then he waited a moment and fired three more. those scoundrels. Is it a go?" Aft.1w that he turned and waved his hand in the di" Yes. Since you are determined to make a rection of his friends. mystery of it, we'll call it a go," said Ned. "Go "That's his signal," said Dick. "He probably over-ahead and manage the business your own way." heard it talked about while he was a prisoner on the "Settled! I feel myself a man again!" cried the I steamer. Unknown. "If I can capture the What's-her-name, "Mysterious creature! He never will come out I shall soon forget that I was ever captured myself." fiat-footed and say what he means. Hark! There "By the way, what is her name?" asked Ned. goes the answer! I thought so !" "Same as mine," chuckled the detective. Two shots rang out over the river-then three. "Tbat means nothing." "You want to come ashore here! Captain Colla" It means that you don't know and I don't know." more says so!" the Unknown roartid, making a speak She's coming nearer," said Dick. "She's gain-ing trumpet of his hands. ing on us, sure." "Ay, ay Give us the word!" was shouted back. "Plenty of time Plenty of time !" declared the All could hear the call distinctly, although they Unknown. "We'll pull into the next cove and haul could see nothing of the steamer from where they the launch up among the bushes out of sight." were. It was daylight before they found a suitable place "What a cheek he's got," laughed Dick. "Of for the detective's scheme. course he hasn't got the word. Now see his fine When Edith awoke she found the launch being scheme fall through." dragged over the grass. "I'll bet you he's got it. That's his little secret," Ned explained when she called out from the cabin replied Ned. to know what the matter was. He was quite right. Meanwhile, the other steamer was plowing her way The Unknown had picked up the password of the down the Yukon and the Unknown stood watching gold pirates on board the Edith, and he was prepared her from the bluff. to make the most of it now. "She's right here!" he shouted to Ned. "We are going to have her. When we take up the chase' again it will be in something better than a naphtha launch I" --i CHAPTER VI. THE CAPTURE OF THE COMET. THE cove into which the launch had been run was a peculia r place. Nothing could have been better adapted to the de scheme. The entrance was a narrow passage between two bluffs; once past this the cove took a sudde n turn, and then broadened1 out into a regular lake so to speak, where a hundred such steamers as the Edith could have been anchored without crowding each other, and with no danger of being seen from the river itself. If the Unknown had been aware of all this, which he wasn't, he could not have chosen better, and as soon as he saw the sort of place it was, he declared that it would fill the bill to a T. If we can only get them to anchor here we shall be right in it," he said, as he explained his plan to Ned. "And I can do it. Don't you make any mistake! I can do it! Just leave it all to me." "Y-u-k Yuk! Yukon!" he shouted' out. There was no answer for a moment. Then a voice shouted : "The word is all right, but who the blazes are you?" "I'm a new man!" answered the Unknown. "Come ashore in the boat-turn right into the cove. I'll tell you my name when you land." "I'll bet you won't," laughed N e d, "and I'll bet they won't come ashore, either. Great Scott, it's hard work lying here doing nothing. I want to take a hand in this gaime." "We'll have all the hand we want in it soon enough," said Dick. "Just you hold on, Ned. I tell you he's going to succeed." They watched and listened. There was no more shouting. In a moment the dete ctive turned away from the bluff and ran down the hill. "They're coming! They're coming!" he cried. "It's working like a charm." "Thunder What are we to do now?" demanded Ned. "Capture them-you can do it." "How many?" "Well, now, there's seven, and two more left on the steamer makes nine !" "Phew We've got a contract on hand." "Yes, and one we can fulfill. Take it easy. Be j
.14 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. ready to act when I throw up my hand and snap my "Come, now Come, now That's a lie, sure. fingers three times." The Belle of Yukon has gone up the Klondike." Then the Unknown went down on the shore and "That's where you are away off. The Belle of waited. Yukon is at this moment at Forty Mile. You must "Got your rifle all ready, Edith?" asked Ned. have kept a good way out from shore or you'd have "All ready." seen her, and the Edith, too." "Hold it so. If there's any shooting to be done, Now all this bluff the Unknown gave out with perwe depend upon you." feet coolness. "I hope it won't come to that." It was remarkable how close he hit it, too. "More than likely it will. 'Tain't to be supposed These men had kept well away from shore when that.these gold pirates are going to give up tamely." they passed Forty Mile. "It's an awful risk to run," said Dick. ":tf we They were entirely unable to disprove the Unmake a miss of it, I tremble to think what Edith's known's statements-in fact, they were beginning to fate will be." believe. "We ain't going to make a miss of it." "Did Captain Collamore get the gold, that's what "There's going to be ho miss," declared Ned. I want to know?" asked Noakes. "Keep cool now. The critical moment is coming, and "No he didn't. He couldn't find a cent's worth of so is the boat." dust on the Edith." It had just appea;ed around the bluff. "What! What! Do you mean to tell me he didn't Ned could see that the men were perfect specimens get onto the secret room, after all?" of Dawson City toughs-men who came to the gold "That's what I am telling you, pard. You seem regions with no intention of working themselves, but to find it hard work to believe me." entirely willing to prey on their neighbors and rob "But where are they now?" them-yes, murder them, if necessary, to get posses"Gone up the cove to look for grub in Edith's sion of their gold. boats; they managed to get off with them as I told You." The Unknown did riot appear to be a bit disturbed when the men pulled into the cove and came ashore. "No, you didn't." "Well, where's Captain Collamore?" called out "Thought I did. They are tracking a moose and I one who seemed to be the leader of the band. expect them back any minute, for I heatd shots.just "He's gone further up the cove. His orders are before you came along. The orders were to have a for you to build a fire and wait there. They'll be fire ready and to wait here for them. They left me I along before a great while." behind to give you the word, but I'll be blamed if I "Gee! I don't like this," growled the man. "It don't wish they'd left somebody else." don't seem straight to me." "They oughtn't to have left a stranger, that's "Those were the orders, though," said the detectwhat," grow led Noakes, "but I suppose we've got to ive, coolly. "I s'pose you're Jack Noakes ?" put up with it. Hustle round, boys, and build the "That's who I am. Who the blazes are you?" fire and we'll have a little game of poker while we're waiting." "I'm Captain Collamore's brother." Never knew he had a brother." There was. plenty of dry wood on the shore, and "He has three, and I'm. the oldest." Jack Noakes and his companions soon had the fire Gee I I believe you can lie as fast as a horse can blazing. trot, but you seem to have the password and the sig-He then drew out a greasy pack of cards, and the nal all straight." men seating themselves on the ground, began to play. "What more do you want?" Now, Young Klondike and his friends had not lost "To be sure it's all right. Say, did cap get the a word of all this. Edith down the river all right?" They saw the Unknown's plan now. "Got her down and lost her again." With these men playing cards around a fire, cap" What? What?" ture would be comparatively easy. "What I tell you. Got her and lost her again. But still, seven to four were big odds, and the de-Didn't you see her lying off the levee as you passed tective evidently thought so, too, for he had not snap-Forty Mile ?" ped his fingers yet. "See her at Forty Mile? No! How was I to see Indeed, just about that time the Unknown seemed her when she wll'Sn"t there?" to be taking things easy. "She was there all right. You didn't look sharp. He sat near the fire watching the game, looking as Young Klondike captured her. He came down on us innocent as a lamb. like a thousand of brick in False Cove and got the He wa s only waiting for the gold pirates to besteamer and ran her into Forty Mile. He had twenty come thoroughly interested in what they were doing., men with him. They followed us down in the Belle and that time soon came. of Yukon and it was all we wanted to do to escape The Unknown put up his left hand and snapped with our lives." I his fingers; then he did it again and then again.
t I \ YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "What in thunder are you doing that for?" demanded Noakes. "Do you want to hoodoo my hand?" "Not at all. I've got cramp in my fingers," laughed the Unknown. "Guess I'll go up the cove and see if Cap Collamore is coming." Guess you won't. You stay right here." "What's the matter now?" "Sit down." "I'd rather stand up. 1 don't like to be ordered about." "Sit down!" roared Noakes, seizing his rifle. Noakes was getting ugly, and things were beginning to look rusty; but the time had almost come. The trap was just ready to spring. At the signal, Ned, Dick and Edith had made their move. The jungle of bushes extended down to the water's edge on both sides of the open ground, which Noakes had naturally chosen for his fire. Ned crawled through the bushes one way, and Dick went the other. Both moved as noiselessly as a pair of Indians; Edith remained where she was. All at once the boys sprang to their feet and covered the men with their rifles. Things were about right now, but they did not dare to fire, for Noakes was still growling at the Unknown . "Sit down, I tell you !" he snarled. "You stay right here with us. As soon as I actually know that you are Cap Oollamore's brother, I'm ready to make friends with you, but not before." "By the Jumping Jeremiah, who you to make friends with me? Take that!" cried the Un known, and he brought his clubbed rifle down over the gold pirate's head and knocked him over on his back. Every man was on his feet in a twinkling. The Unknown made a rush for the 1f shes. "Fire!" he shouted. "Shoot down every mother's son of them, unless they surrender." Then the rifles cracked. Killing was not in Young Klondike's line, and they felt that they could do without it-it was all arranged. Dick took one man in the arm, Ned another in the leg. Edith shot the hat off of two while the Unknown was roaring out all the while. "Shoot 'em down Shoot 'em down!" and firing over their heads. The result was just what he anticipated. The pirates very naturally thinking that they had a large force to deal with, took to their heels and ran off up the shore. The shots followed them. When they halted at what they considered a safe distance they saw where .,they had made their mistake. There was Dick and Ned scrambling into the boat, Edith and the Unknown covering their retreat. f'Move on! Move on!" shouted Edith. "If you stop now I shoot to kill!" Back Olean 'em out roared Jack Noak es, who had scrambled to his feet and gone off with the rest. There was a rush then. Something had to be done. Edith aimed at the pirate's shoulder, and tumbled him over wounded. The others stopped short, and fell back. This gave Edith just the chance she She sprang into the boat followed by the Unknown and Dick, and Ned pulled out of the cove followed by a shower of shots which fortunately fell harmless around them. A moment later and they had rounded 1;he bluff, and were safe for the moment. "Well done !" cried the detective. "Well done! Ye gods and little fishes, we've got there, but do you know I hardly believed we could do it myself."' "I was sa. tisfied we could the moment I saw them land," said Ned; "they're only a lot of chumps, and particularly thick-headed ones at that. They'll have a sweet time getting out of that unless they find the launch." "It's a blame shame about the launch," said Dick "Is there no way of getting it?" "I don't see any," replied Ned, grimly. "We are going to capture their steamer, and when we've done that we shan't need the launch." The Unknown laughed and clapped Ned on the shoulder. "By the Jumping Jeremiah, you're just a bully fel low to work with !" he exclaimed. "Do you know I expected you'd make an awful fuss about losing the launch." "Why should I? 'l'o tell you the truth, Zed, I fully expected to lose it as soon as I understood your scheme.'' Did you really? Then I'll own up that I never gave the launch a thought, and I've been kicking myself to think how stupid I was." "Drop the launch We've got the steamer" on our hands now," said Edith. "They'll be on the bluff in a minute warning their friends. You say there are two more aboard yet, Zed ?" Yes ; I counted nine men on board, and only seven came off. Of course, there may be more still, for all I know." "I don't see a soul," said Ned, looking toward the steamer. They were almost there now. They could see the name "Comet painted on the wheel-house, but there was not a soul on deck. "Let's pull around the bow and take 'em on the other side," said the Unknown. "No one on the bluff yet," remarked Edith. "They'll be there in a minute, though,'' added Dick. "What are you going to do, Ned; go right aboard?" You bet, if there's a chance. She looks a slow old tub. I doubt very much if we could ever hope to overhaul the Edith in a thing like this." By this time they were close under the Comet's bow.
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. As they moved round to the other side, they saw a rope hanging over the steamer's side. As the Comet, which was a small propeller, built to run on the California coast, sat low in the water, there would be no difficulty m getting on deck for the boys and the Unknown, but with Edith it was different. "I'll have to stay here till you can get me up," said Edith, seeing the state of affairs at a glance. "Go right ahead and never mind me at all." Hello Hello On board the Comet Hello shouted a voice from the bluff. "The fun is beginning," said Ned. "Look out, I'm going up the rope." "Me first," said Dick. "Not by any means; I'm the man who goes first," declared the Unknown. "Hello Hello the Comet !" cried the voice from the shore again. The gold pirates had come up on top of the bluff, that was evident, but as yet no answer had been returned to the hail. Young Klondike had already got hold of the rope and had no notion of giving up_his place to either of his companions. Up he scrambled as nimbly as a cat and swung him self over on the deck-just in time to confront a tall, heavily-built man, who came hurrying up from below. "Who in thunder are you ?" cried the man, attempting to draw a revolver. But Ned was too quick for him. "That's my name!" he shouted, whipping out his revolver before the man could get his hand around to his pocket. "Move an inch Call back to those fel lows on the hill, and I'll drop you on the deck !" "Young Klondike, I know you now gasped the man, falling back. "Perhaps you know me, too!" cried the Unknown, coming on deck, ready, just in time to confront a second man who came bounding out of the cabin. "Surrender, both of you I The Comet is ours! We are the kind that never get left!" Certainly there was no getting left on that occasion. Both men threw up their hands and surrendered. Dick came on deck just as the job was done. "Hooray We've captured the Comet !" shouted the Unknown. "By the Jumping Jeremiah, the day is ours-I mean the steamer, but it's all the same." CHAPTER VII. WHERE IS THE EDITH ? "THAT'S right Tie 'em up, Young Klondike. we'll take no chances with gentlemen we don't know." A ladder had been let down by Dick, and Edith -came on deck just as the Unknown made this valu able suggestion. Meanwhile, the men on the bluff were staring over at the steamer, calling out things which would not look well in print. "Say !" said the big man, gruffly, "you Jteedn't go to the trouble of tying me up. I ain't no fool! I know which side my bread is buttered. You've got to have someone to run your engine, and I'm your man." "Are you the engineer ?" asked Ned. "That's what I am !" "And this other man ?" "He's the cook." "A very important person, if he don't take a notion to poison us. Do you come over on our side, too, Mr. Cook? If you do we'll go light on you both." "S'pose I may as well," growled the cook. "But it ain't my style to poison people. I'm tough, I'll admit, but I hain't a s tough as that." "We'll give you both your liberty, then," said Ned, "and see that you qon't make us sorry for having done it. Search 'em, Dick. Take away any arms they may have and let 'em go." The search was quickly made. An extra revolver was found on the engineer and two ugly looking knives on .the cook. "Will you two work your best for us TIO'f\" ?" de manded Young Klondike. "If you will, it's a thousand dollars to each of you the day we set foot in Dawson City, if you won't, why, then--" "I will. I said so before," broke in the engineer. "Same here," declared the cook. "Settle Get back to your post, engineer. Stay, though. ne word. Is there anybody else on board?" "No one else." "Enough! Get below. Cook, get breakfast ready, and remember you'll be required to taste each dish before it's served." "Hooray for our side!" cried the Unknown, as the two men departed. "We've won the day and captured the steamer, now the sooner we pull out the better. I'll steer." "Do you know anything about steering a steamer?" demanded Dick. "I steered one twice as big as this for a week on the Amazon River, when I was down in Brazil after my man in '81." "Seems to me you've been looking after your man a thundering long while, Zed," Young Klondike remarked. "Long enough to have found him, dear oy, which I haven't; but that's got nothing to do wit steering steamers. I want you to understand I can steer this one well enough." "Blest if I don't believe you. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Get into the wheel-house and give the engineer the bell." "Down the river, I suppose." Of course. The chase goes right on. Hear those fellows howl Well, they can comfort themselves with the launch, providing they can find it. w onaer if Collamore and his pirates have found the gold yet?"
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CH.ASE. 17 "We want to find them, and then we'll know," cried the Unknown, hurrying away to the wheel house. A moment later the engineer got the bell, and the Comet started down the Yukon. Jack Noakes and his gang stood on the bluff, shaking their fists at them. But they were quite helpless, and all they could do was to stay there and watch the steamer sail away. This is immense!" cried Dick, once they were well started. "Come, Edith; let's you and I take a tour of inspection and see what sort of craft we've got." They went all over the steamer from bow to stern. It did not take long, for there was not much of it. \ : Edith declared that she preferred her namesake to this craft, as well she might, for the Cornet was old and dilapidated, as well as horribly dirty, but for all that she was fast, and they were making much better time than Ned supposed would be possible when he first came aboard. For a little while Ned remained in the wheel-house with the Unknown. Everything went along swimmingly. The detect ive certainly understood steering a steamer. "I believe you could run us down to St. Michaels without the least trouble, Zed," declared Young Klon dike, after watching his methods a little while. Of course I could," chuckled the detective. I could run you to Frisco for that matter. Oh, I'm right at home in the wheel-house. The only thing that is worrying me is the engineer." "Of course he can block our game if he wants to." "He surely can; there's no doubt about it." "I think I'll go down and have a little talk with his royal highness, the engineer," laughed Ned. He found the man quietly attending to his duties in the engine-room. "Well, how is everything going?" Ned asked. "First rate." "Glad to hear it. Look here, friend, what's your name?" Plain John Smith." A good name." "And it belongs to a man who is not quite as bad as you may think." "I'm sure of that. May I ask you a few ques tions?" "As many as you wish." "You ain't altogether satisfied with your life with these gold pirates?" "No, I ain't. Haven't been with 'em long. They hired me to run this engine and made big promises what they would do for rne. You may say I don't know them at all." "What's the matter with shaking them altogether, Smith, and working for rne ?" "I wouldn't ask anything better. I have heard that Young Klondike was a splendid boss to work for." "My men all seem to stay by me. If I succeed in carrying out my plans, I shall run the Edith regularly between Dawson City and St. Michaels next season; how would you like to be engineer? I shall pay three hundred dollars a month." "That would suit me right down to the ground." "Well, then, you do your best for me now, and you may consider the position yours." "l'rn very thankful to you, sir. I was always straight until I fell in with that scoundrel Collamore." He is a scoundrel "Worse than you know, sir. Far worse. You've taken a great load off rny mind; fact is I was just about starving when he picked me up." "Well, you tie to me and I'll see that you don t starve this winter, and in the spring you'll be right in it. How about the cook? Have we any reason to fear hirn ?" "l don't think so, sir. He's too lazy to make you any serious trouble. I wish I could do something to show you how grateful I feel." "You can tell me all you know about the gold pi rates." "That's next to nothing. l'd\ cheerfully tell you if I had anything to tell." "You can't give me any idea where we are likely to find the Edith then?" "No, I can't. I don't think Noakes knew himself. His orders to go to False Cove and meet them there, and if he didn't find the Edith to keep on down the river till he did." "You are sure that's straight ?" "As far as I know, it is, sir. I can't give you a single pointer. I only wish I could." Ned went on deck a g ood deal disappointed. He had hoped to get some definite information about the plans of the gold pirates, but it was evidently not to be had. The morning passed in anxious watching for the Edith. They were now passing through a section of country entirely uninhabited, and as the river here ran straight for an immense distance, there was nothing to prevent them from seeing the steamer, even if she was many miles in advance. But the Edith was not visible. Ned kept a constant look out, and it is hardly necessary to say that the Unknown did the same. There was only one conclusion to draw, and that was that the Edith had gone into one of the many fiords, or coves, as they are here called; deep chan nels winding in among the hills, making islands of them. There were hundreds of such, and in any one of them the Edith might lie concealed. The cook served a good breakfast and a better dinner. After dinner Edith retired into a state-room to lie down, and Ned and Dick went up into the wheel house to have a talk with the Unknown. "I don't believe there's any use in going further," ---
18 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. he said ; "I'm sure we've passed the Edith, so sure that I'm all ready to give up." "Good enough! Glad to hear you say so!" cried the Unknown. "You know what I told you an hour ago, dear boy ?" "I know, Zed. I give up now." "I said then we'd most likely passed her, didn't !?" "Yes, you did. I admit it now. We had better turn back." "It ain't possible we are making a mistake, is it?" suggested Dick. "The Edith is fast, much faster than the Comet, and there was a good deal of delay." "Not enough for us to lose sight of her the way we have," declared Ned. "Yes, we certainly ought to turn back; there's no doubt of it, and the sooner we do it, the better." "I don't agree with you." "But why ?" "Can't tell you, but I'm sure we'll be making a mistake if we turn back." "If you can't give some reason for what you say, Dick, I don't see how you can expect-" "Hold on!" "What?" "I couldn't have given you a reason a moment ago, but I can now." "I know your reason, Dick," cried the Unknown, "and by the Jumping Jeremiah, I believe you are right!" Suddenly the Unknown turned the Comet into a cove which they were in the act of passing. As her bow swung around, Ned caught sight of a column of black smoke rising above the high hill which formed the lower side of the cove. "You think that smoke comes from the Edith," he cried. "I'm sure of it," said the Unknown. "That hill is an island; they've taken the steamer in behind it." "More than likely their hold-out is there," suggested Dick. "I'd like to bet on it!" cried the Unknown. "Now, Young Klondike, it's time for you to act. How far shall we go with the Comet? It is for you to say." Ned was silent for a moment. He was watching the smoke. "That steamer is standing still," he said, at last. "That's what she is," replied the detective. "I know what I should do." "What?" "Won't tell you. I want to hear your plan first." "I'd leave the steamer here and go ahead on foot, get as near as we can to the Edith, and then watch our chances to spring a trap on the gold pirates." "By the jumping Jeremiah, how .great minds think alike The very plan I was going to propose." "What do you say, Dick?" Yes, every ti:rp.e," replied Dick. If we were to run the Comet up\ in sight of the Edith, it wduld be sure to lead to trouble, and couldn't possibly do any good." "There's nothing like harmony for quick and effec tive work." Young Klondike and his friends never quarreled, consequently whatever they undertook was pretty sure to succeed. The steamer ran up to the bank and stopped, Ned went ashore and made her bow fast to a tree. "What's the matter?" asked Smith, coming up out of the engine-room. "We're going back into the mountains for awhile," called Ned. "Can we trust you to take care of the Comet till we come back?" "You can trust me to look after the cook and do the best I can, but I ain't much on the fight, boss, I'll tell you that." "Do your best, that's all we ask for," replied Ned. "Dick, call Edith; we want to start right away." "I'm here. I don't need any calling," cried Edith, coming out of the cabin. "What's up now, Ned?" "Look there!" said Ned, pointing to the smoke. My namesake ?" "You bet l" "About time we struck her. What are you going to do?" "We are going up the mountain to have a look at her as she lies. We'll decide then. Get your rifle, Edith, and come along." Edith lost no time. Dick and the Unknown already had their rifles ready. Something was said about taking provisions, but Ned would not hear to it. He had great confidence in the engineer, and felt certain that unless something serious happened, they would find the Comet all right when they came back. A few moments later the ascent of the mountain began. It was hard climbing. Still, there was nothing for it but to go that way, for the shore was so rough that it was more than doubtful if they could follow it around. As soon as they entered the forest, they lost sight of the smoke and did not see it again until they came out on the top of the mountain which was entirely bare of trees. Ned was first out and he saw the Edith the moment he looked down on the other side. "There she is! There she is!" he cried. "Oh, what a mistake we would have made if we had turned back." "Ye gods and little fishes, it's the steamer, fast enough," exclaimed the Unknown, "but it's going to be a terrible job to get down to her. Did you ever see anything so rough as the mountain is on this side?" This was true enough. The descent was abrupt for about a hundred feet down to the stretch of level land where there were a few stunted trees. Beyond that it was a steep descent right over the rocks, down to the water's edge. The mountain was actually an island, the cove-it
j YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. 19 was nothing niore than an arm of the Yukon-run"A man!" exclaimed Ned. ning completely around it. The Edith lay right at "An Indian!" echoed the Unknown. the bend of the mountain; a run of a quarter of a How do you know?" demand ed Edith. mile would bring her out upon the river on the other "How do I know? Why, that foot wore a moccasin, side from where the Comet lay. and not a shoe." A good hiding-place," said Dick ; "couldn' t "Wait No don t wait-push on to the end of this be b etter. I don t see anybody on the steamer, I level, and wait for me there. I'm going to follow though." this trail a little way and see what it m eans." "Nor I," said the Unknown. "Get out your glass, "No, no! Don't let' s separate!" cried Ned. Ned, and have a look." "I'm gone!" w a s the Unknown's answer, and h e Ned surveyed the Edith long and earnestly. plunged into a thick clump of bushes where the trail "I certainly can't see anybody," he said, at last. lost itself, and in a twinkling was out of sight. "Thedeckisdeserted,andidoubtv.erymuchifthere "I don't like this," said Dick. "If there are In1 is any one aboard." dians about the sooner we get down the mountain the "Do you suppose they can have abandoned her?" better." asked Edith. "Come back, Zed! Come back!" Ned called out. "It may be so. 1Suppose you take a look, Dick." At t he same instant a shot rang out. Dick tried it andlreported the same as Ned. "Help! Help! This way! Edith! Edith!" "We may as well make a move down and get as yelled the Unknown. near to her as we can," said the Unknown. "Hold "Trouble !" cried Ned, making a dive for the bushes. on! What's that smoke on shore there? I thought "Just as I supposed!" echoed Dick. first it was from the Edith and had settled down, but Edith said nothing, but ran on with the rest. I don't think it can be that." They had not far to go before the whole situation "Take the glass and look," said Dick. was made plain. The Unknown seized the glass and directed it to-There was the Unknown scrambling up a treeJ and ward the smoke. running toward him was a huge bear. "It's a fire on the shore," he said, presently. Edith '&urst out laughing, for it was a comical sight "That's what it is. If I know anything the gold to see the fat little detective shinning up the tree, pirates have all gone ashore and left the Edith to shouting all the while for help. take care of herself." "Shoot him, Edith Shoot him!" he yelled. "Ye "That ought to be just our chance," said Ned. gods and little fishes! I don't object to being scalped 1 "Let's hurry down and see what we can do." by Indians, but I'll be ding-dong-danged if I want to So they started down the mountain. be hugged to death by a blame big bear f The mystery of disappearance of the Edith was Edith took aim and fired, but she was laughing so solved, but it was one thing to locate the stolen that she made a miss of it, and the bear losing his steamer and another to recapture her. interest in the tree, turned and made a rush for Edith That there was good hard work still to be done and the boys. Young Klondike felt well assured. "Hello This is getting serious It must be stopped!" cried Ned. He flung up his rifle and fired. CHARTER VIII. The bear fell dead under the tree. HOW THE GOLD PIRATES LOST THEIR PRIZE. "THERE Thank goodness we've got so far on the road to glory!" exclaimed the Unknown, as they came down upon the table land already described. It was hard to realize that they were on a mountain at all now. The table land stretched to a long distance right and left, and out to its edge where the steep ascent began was fully a quarter of a mile. Of course the river and the steamer had now vanished; the worst of the scramble down the mountain was still fo come. Led by Young Klondike they were hurrying across the plain, when the Unknown gave one of his sud den exclamations. What's this ? What's this ?" he cried, pomting down to prints of a human foot plainly visible in the thick moss which grew all over the ground. "Hooray for our side!" yelled the Unknown. "By the Jumping Jeremiah, I'm all right up here, and I guess I'll have to stay so, for I can never get down unless I jump down, and I'm sure to break my neck if I do tha.t." Ned ran forward., but before he had taken a dozen steps an awful yell rang out among the trees fur-ther on. ,,; To the general consternation a band of Indians came rushing out, yelling in blood curdling fashion. Thunder and my rifle is empty Quick, Edith Dick!" shouted Ned. As Young Klondike pl anted his foot on the dead bear, Edith and Dick fired at the approachmg Indians. "Give 'em another round, Edith!" cried the Unknown, from his perch in the tree The Indians, shouting madly and wavmg their tomahawks and spears, came rushing on. The situation was now critical.
20 YOUNG KLONDIKE"S CHASE. Ned saw that nothing but a stubborn resistance I "I reckon we must," said Ned. "It don't strike was going to save them. me we've. got any time to spend skinning bears, "Do your best, Edith," he cried. "Hit 'em again, though I'm willing to go into it if the rest of you Dick! I'll load up ma jiffy, and take my turn." insist." Edith never faltered. Dick faced the savages as I say let's start right down the mountain!" ex-calmly as if he had been shooting at a mark. claimed the Unknown. Before Ned was able to get his rifle loaded, the In"Start it is," said Edith. "Corne along, boys." dians knew they had met their match. As hard a scramble as any of the party had ever Each shot from Edith's rifle told, and Dick did good experienced followed. work. At times it seemed as if they never would be able With several of their number seemingly wounded, to get down over the rocks, but at last it was accom-the Indians turned and ran back into the woods. plished and they found themselves at the water' s Young Klondike fired a few parting shots after edge. but it was hardly necessary. . I Here the shore was lined with great bowlders which they belonge9. to some wild tribe but offered many chances to hide. little acquamted with firearms, for they were seen no J At no1great distance away lay the Edith, steam up more. and apparently deserted. "Good enough!" cried the Unknown, once it was The smoke on the shore was still rising, but they certain that they had actually gone. "That's the could see no one. way to do the business! I'd have taken a hand in, "Let's sneak up as close as we can to the fire and too, if I'd been able; do you think they are coming sec how the cat jumps," suggested the Unknown. back again, Ned?" "I make no doubt that the gold pirates arc there all "Don' t ; look so," replie d Ned; "last I saw of them right." they were making off as fast as they could go." "I could swim out to the steamer easy enough," "They've got enough," said Edith. "You won't said Ned. "In ten minutes I could be on her deck." see them back again. I'm sorry this has occurred,' "What good would it do you to go aboard alone?" though. If those shots were heard down on the asked Edith. \ shore it will warn the gold pirates, and make our "I 1 1 I ld th ,, 'd D' k h f t h Ed' h b t'f 11 1 ,, on y wis i cou go wi you, sai ic ; c ance o cap urmg t e it eau i u y ess. "b t I'd t th "w11 h th k d th d u ge e cramp, sure. . yway is e es, sai e n nown. ome i someone ave e m n ess, econ escens10n, 1 "M th b t ,, d th U k "c the everlastmg obligmgness, to help me down out of b d 1 W 'll k f kt h 1,, 11 d h U k on, oys an gir s. e snea rom one roe o an-t is tre e 00 e t e n nown. other. Perhaps we can strike one of the Edith's "What's the matter with jumping down?" laugh-boats along the shore." ed Ned. "Or sliding down?" said Edith. "If you had wings you might fly down," added Dick. Many thanks for your valuable suggestions," said the Unknown, "but I'm not equ a l to the shock of jumping, and my p antaloons won't stand the slide. As for the wings, it would take too long for them to sprout, even if I was to plant e m now. It begins to look to me very much as if I should be obliged to remain where I am." "I'll fix you," said Ned,' and he unslung a shorthandle d ax which he had found on the Comet and They moved forward with great caution, and in a few moments came in sight of the fire, around which a number of men lay apparently asleep. "Hello! All hands drunk!" whispered the Unknown. Do you think so ?" asked Ned. "I'm sure of it. What else would make them snooze away their time in broad daylight? Hark! what's that?" They were right abreast ofthesteamernow, and a s they listened, they could hear pounding below the d eck. "By gracious, there's someone aboard there," breathed Dick. brought along with them, and with it cut a number of notches in the trunk of the tre e. "Yes, and they are cutting away the partition, By the aid of these the Unknown was able to got trying to get at the secret room," said Ned. "That's back on terra firma, much to his relief. what they are as sure as fate." "Thunder! I wish I'd n e v e r shot at that bear!" They listened.The pounding k ept right on. he growled; "that fool shot set the whole thing Close to ,shore, near the sleepers around the fire, a-going." was the Edith s boat. "Perhaps it's a good thing y ou did said N e d "If we only had that it would be so easy to get "for now we know something of t he danger we've I around on the other side and get aboard," said the got to face. Indians don't retreat that way without Unknown. a reason. We shall hear more of them, and the sooner He looked at Ned inquiringly. we light out the better for all parties concerned." "Well, I guess I know what you want," said Ned. "It seems a shame to go away and leave that "I reckon you do, Young Klondike. Are you game beautiful bearskin," said Edith. "Must we do it, 'I for it!" Ned?" "That's what I am," 'vas Ned's answer, and he
I <'. YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CRASE. threw off his coat and hat, and began taking off his shoes. "Don't run any risk, Ned," said Edith. "I ain't going to," replied Ned. "I can get that boat. You keep those fellows covered. Look here, Zed, you know their number; count 'em and tell me how many ought to be on board." "I've done that already, qear boy; unless they've added to their number since I left the Edith, there ought to be only two aboard now." "Cap Collamore and Pod Dun bury?" "That's right. I don't see them among the rest." "That's good enough. We ought to be equal to those two." "I should say so," put in Dick. "Lively now, Ned. They may wake up any time." "I'm all ready," replied Ned. He dropped down and seemed to slide into the water. It could ha.rdly be called a dive, but he went in head first, and was out of sight in an instant. All watched breathlessly to see him come up, and when he did so there he was alongside the boat. In a mo:rhent the boat was moving toward them. Ned, with his head just about the water, was towing it. All had been done so noiselessly, that not a man of all those about the fire stirred. They had no more than started, when a shrill cry was heard on the mountain side. "What's that?" exclaimed Edith. Some bird," said Dick. There it goes again." The cry was repeated on the other side of the fire, coming out of a clump of woods that lay in that direc tion, as near as the boys could make out. "That's no bird, and I'm betting on it," said the detective. "What then? Men?" asked Ned. "Gold pirates or Indians-probably Indians." "I shouldn't wonder a bit. No doubt they are watching us." "More than likely. Look out for shots." Ned and Edith kept their eyes fixed on the mountain while the Unknown watched the steamer. Neither saw anything suspicious. Dick pulled around the Edith's bow, Ned cutting the anchor rope as they passed, and came up alongside. So far, so good," breathed the detective, "and there's the gangway open. Now to get aboard." 'l'hey listened. Voices could be heard talking in the cabin. "Here goes,"
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "Cap! Cap !" they called. "Turn the gun on Captain Collamore dodged down before the next them! Lend us a hand here! Where in thunder is shot came, and the Edith flew on down the cove. the boat?" At the same instant the wheel-house door came All these cries and others Young Klondike and his open. friends h eard; There stood Young Klondike and his party. Then the steamer swung round and they could no Four rifles covered the treacherous Collamore. longer see the shore, although the shots and shouts Captain, I'll trouble you for my steamer," said were still distinctly heard. Young Klondike, coolly. "Throw up your hands or There was a small cannon on deck which Ned had you're a dead man.'' provided in case of emergency. This was the gun referred to, but Captain Collamore had no idea of turning it on the Indians. The treacherous scoundrel would just as soon his pirates were all scalped as not. He hurried on deck, and Pod Dunbury went to the engine-room. Just then Ned moved away from the window and started for the door. "Where now?;' asked Dick. "On deck," said Ned. "I'm after Captain Collamore." "He'll collar me or I'll collar him," said the Un known. "I'm going, too." "Same here," said Dick. N ow's our time. Edith, you'd better stay here where you are safe." "Not if I know it," said Edith. "Is it my style to hang behind ?" "It never was yet," whispered Ned, "but it's our time though, and we'll all make a move togetherhere goes As they stole up the main stairway, they heard Captain Collamore shout: t "Who in thunder cut the anchor loose ?" "He'll know before he's many minutes older," breathed the Unknown. "Hold back, boys! Give him a chance to get into the wheel-house. We can do better work then." Already the captain had started for the wheel house. Meanwhile, the fight was going right on over on the bank. All bands were up and at it by this time. As Ned stole out on deck he gave one glance shoreward. The gold pirates seemed to be getting the best of it. Several of their number had gone down, but not a few of the Indians had been shot. All at once the whole band gave a wild yell and started on the retreat. "Cap! Cap! Let 'em have the gun!" roared Joe Judson, the engineer. "Go to thunder!" shouted the captain. He was in the wheel house now. Instantly he pulled the bell and the Edith started. The howl that went up on shore then was tremen-dous. "You've found the gold You're going to give us the slip!" howled-Judson. He turned his rifle on the steamer and fired. Crash! went the glass in the wheel-houso window. ------------. CHAPTER IX. RUN AGROUND. "YOUNG KLONDIKE, don't kill me! I cave." Captain Collamore was crawling on the deck at Ned's feet, begging for his life with a piteous whin e. "By the Jumping Jeremiah, you ought to be shot right now," said the Unknown. "Put a ball through his black heart, just for fun, Ned." "Tie him up There's your man, Zed; now's your time to make an arrest," Ned replied, as he sprang for the wheel. The Unknown pounced upon the cowardly captain, as a cat might spring on a mouse. The detective always had at least one pair of handcuffs about him. He pretended that he held them ready for his mysterious man, but be that as it might they came right into play for the captain now. The Unknown snapped them about the captain's wrists in a jiffy. "Lie there, you mean dog!" he exclaimed, giving the captain a k" c.!r which sent him tumbling over backward on the whecl-house floor. Meanwhile, the shots had been flying around the wheel-house. Shouts and yells came from the gold pirates on the shore, but they had done their worst, for Ned had been sending the Edith down the cove, and they were already well out of range. "What's the matter? What's the matter up there?" Pod Dun bury was shouting through t -he speaking tube from the engine-room. "It's all right now," Ned called back, making his voice sound as much like the captain's as he could; "you stay below and attend to business, Pod." "Gee whiz! I'm attending to businesi:;, hain't I?" came the answer, up .;hrough the tube. "He seems to be getting excited," laughed Edith. "Shall I go down and capture him, Ned ?" asked Dick. "Let him alone for a few moments; I want to speak to this dirty scoundrel here," said the.Unknown. Captain Collamore crouched in a corner thoroughly cowed. "I've clean surrendered, Young Klondike," he whined. "Don't let that man kill me. It won't do you any good, and I can throw a lot in your way if you will only let me live."
1 ---YOUNG KLONDIKE S CHASE. 23 "You don t deserve much from me," answered Get up and come with us. We'll put you where Ned. "Where's my gold?" you can't do any harm," Ned sternly ordered. "Down in the cabin." They drove the captain before them down into the "Did you find it?" cabin. "Just before you came aboard." The door of the secret room had been cut away and "As I supposed." the gold lay there all exposed. "Don't kill me I know I've used you rough,. "By time, it's too tough! To think that this Young Klondike, but I don't want to die." should come upon me just as I succeeded in getting "No one has talked of killing you." there," Captain Collamore groaned. "I talked of it," broke in the Unknown. "He "Perhaps you'll think it's tough when we turn you ought to be cut in quarters, roasted over a slow fire-over to the Northwest police in Dawson City," said that's what ought to be done to him." Ned, opening the door of the spare state-room. The Unknown winked at Dick who could scarcely "Get in there now. We'll attend to your case by keep a straight face, Captain Collamore was so thor-and by. oughly scared. They locked the captain in and proceeded to exam" Hold on!" said Ned. "I want to hea)' what the ine the gold. captain has to offer. What is this you can throw in 1 It had not been disturbed in any way. my way? Let's hear about that." Ned put back the boards which had been wrenched "Why, it's the Gold Queen! She'll be down to-off the best way he could, and when they had made night, and--" j all secure they went down into the engine-room and "Hold on, captain. I'm no gold pirate !" cried pounced on Mr. Pod Dunbury. Ned, indignantly. "You don't suppose I want to The rascally gold pirate was taken entirely by sur-capture the Gold Queen!" prise when he saw Young Klondike with Dick and "No, no, no I I didn't think anything of that sort. Edith standing there in the doorway covering him What I meant that you could save her from be-with their revolvers. ing captured. There'll be a reward for that, I sup"Great snakes! How did you get aboard?" he pose." gasped out. "Do you think I'm looking for rewards ?" "Throw up your hands !" ordered Ned, sternly. "Don't know. Most of us want all we can get." "Throw up your hands!" "That ain't my style. I guess it won't be yours to If it had been possible for Pod Dun bury to have capture the Gold Queen, either. Your wings are put his hands up any quicker, he would certainly have pretty well clipped." done it. "Not so much as you think for." He was a mean, snivelling fellow, and he whined "What do you mean?" worse than Captain Collamore, now. "Promise not to let that man kill me and I'll tell They paid no attention to his talk. you." While Ned held him covered, Dick disarmed the fel-The Unknown had been all the while making horrilow. ble faces at the captain and :flourishing his revolver. "What are you going to do with me, Young KlonThe leader of the gold pirates counted himself as dike?" he asked. good as dead if he was to be left to the detective's "Do you to stay here and run this engine for tender mercies. us?" inquired :Ned. "You have my promise," said Ned. "I'll protect "Don't let him!" cried Edith. "He'll be sure to you if you speak out :flat-footed and tell all you play us some trick!" know." "No, I won't! I vow I won't!" declared Dun" Well, then, here it is; there's a band of fellows bury. led by Jack Noakes who intend to hold up the Gold "Let him try it if he dares!" said Ned, sternly. Queen on her way down the river to-night." "Don't you show yourself outside the door of the "Oh, indeed!" laughed Dick; "that's great news." engine-room; if you do-well, it will be your last move. "I suppose you'll tell us next that they are on the Do you agree?" steamer Comet," said Edith. "Yes, yes I'll run the engine. You can depend "That's the steamer, miss. They're a tough gang, on me," Pod Dun bury declared. and you can bet they'll capture the Gold Queen." "He may as well be there as anywhere else," re" Not !ith the Comet," Ned. "Captain, your marked Ned, as they went on deck. "Neither of us news am t worth a crooked six pence. We captured wants to be tied to the engine-room. As soon as we the Comet hours ago." get back to the Comet, we'-ll put John Smith in "Thunder! Then I'm a back number!" groaned charge." the captain. They went back to the wheel-house and reported "Decidedly." their success to the Unknown. "Give him to me and let me carve him up!" cried Meanwhile, they had come out into the Yukon the Unknown, pulling out a long kmfe and beginning again, and the detective turned the steamer back up to flourish that. the river.
24 Y OUNG KLONIJIK E'S CHA SE. "About a mile run ought to take us back to the this is perhaps the worst of them. It's all my fault. Comet," said Ned. "I do hope we find her all right." I stand ready to admit that." "I don't know about this business. I don't like "S'pose we go ashore and see if we can't shoot the idea of leaving that infernal gold pirate in charge something for dinner?" suggested Edith. of the engine. There's lots he might do to down us," ''I'm with you there," answered Ned, "but I'll said the Unknown. make another suggestion that I think ought to be "Only till we get to the Comet," said Ned. "I'm acted on first." sure it will be all right-look out how you are steer"What's that?" ing, Zed. You'll have us aground next if you keep so "Dick and I will take the boat and run up to the near in shore." Comet. We'll make fast to the Edith and pull her "No fear. We've got to make a quick turn when off easy enough then." we get to the cove." "By the Jumping Jeremiah, that's good business!" Ned looked anxiously forward. cried the Unknown. "Am I getting stupid in my The shores of the island were sloping and sandy. old age or what's the matter with me that I didn't l1; seemed to Young Klondike as if the slope must think of that brilliant idea myself?" extend down into the water. "It's what's going to be done," said Ned. "Come That meant shallows, of course. on, Dick. We'll start right now. Edith, I think "Hadn't we better do a little sounding if we are go-you'd better postpone your shooting expedition and ing to keep so close in shore?" he asked. stay aboard till we get back." "No, no, no! All nonsense !" replied the detect"Decidedly," said Edith. "That's understood." ive. "I know my business. Who's running 1this "You ain't afraid of that man Dunbury ?" steamer, Young Klondike-you or me?" "Well, I guess she ain't if I'm around," said the "I think I ought to be allowed to have something Unknown. "I'll watch. If he shows himself on deck to say about it." I'll put a ball down his throat." "Say your say, but--Thunder what's this?" "Which you won't, unless you have to. We don't It was just as Ned anticipated. want any killing,'' said Ned, and he and Dick went There was a terrific shock just then. off in the boat a few moments after that. Edith was thrown over against the side of the pilot Now the Edith had already gone half the dista.nce house-it was all that Ned could do to keep his feet. to the mouth of the cove before the accident occurred. "Now you've done it, Zed!" cried Dick. "Ned Ned expected to see the Comet when they rounded told you how it would be." the projecting point right ahead of them, but there Sure enough the Unknown had run the Edith high was another deep indentation in the shore here and on a submerged sand bank. another headland beyond. They were there, and likely to stay there, it seemed. It was necessary to cut across this cove and pass Pod Dunbury responded to the bells all right and I around the second point before they could see the the steamer strained and tugged, but all their efforts steamer. seemed only to send her deeper into the sand.,, I The boys pulled for all they were worth, but only ought to be of cried to be disappointed. Edith here we are stuck out m the river, and here When they passed the point there was no Comet t we are likely to stay." be seen "l acknowledge the corn;" groaned the detective. "Young Klondike, forgive me. It's all my fault. There was the cove they first entered all right Wh t th ld t d ?" enough, but the Comet had disappeared. a m e wor are we o o B N But Ned could suggest nothing. .Y gracious, shes gone, ed exclaimed Dick. "Smith went back on us after all." There they were run aground on the sand bank, and 0 J k N k d h. d h r ac oa es an is gang came own on t e there, sure enough, they seemed likely to stay. 1 h d t d h It 1 k 1 CHAPTER X. A SMALL STRIKE ON THE YUKON. aunc an cap ure t em. was more i e y that." "Don't make much odds which; we're left, any how." "Do you think they went up the cove or out into the river ?" "WHAT we ought to do to you, Zed, is to make you "If they'd gone out on the river we'd have been get out and pull the steamer off, if it broke your sure to have seen them, wouldn't we?" back,'' said Ned, after it became certain that they "Not if they went up the river." fi b I t ld "That's so." were in a serious 1x; ut am t gomg o sco There's no use in it. My opinion is that we shall "Or down, either, providing they went soon after work off gradually by the force of the currentr Until we started up the mountain." then we've got to take things easy-that's all." The mGce Ned thought about it the more he was in" Thank you my lad for your great goodness," said clined to believe that the gold pirates had gone up the Unknown. "I have many sins to answer for and the river.
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. 25 The long, straight stretch which lay below the isl"Fool's gold," laughed Dick. "Edith, will you ands favored this idea. never learn the difference?" It scarcely seemed possible that they would not Now, Dick's remark was scarcely necessary. have caught a glimpse of the steamer if she had gone Many a shrewder person than Edith has been dedown. ceived into mistaking the yellow sulphates of iron, or "We'd better get back to the Edith as quick as we pyrites for the genuine stuff. can,"saidNedatlast. "Ifthey'vegoneupthecove Iron pyrites occur in most places where gold is they are sure to strike Collamore's gang and there found and in many where not a trace of the precious may be trouble. The Unknown and Edithcouldnever metal is to be had. hope to hold out against them alone." It is quite a different sp.ade of yellow and can be No time was lost in pulling back to the steamer. distinguished also from the fact that it is scattered The situation here remained unchanged. through the quartz rock in minute crystals of very "Just as I expected," said the Unknown, when Ned perfect form, whereas gold in quartz occurs in irregu-reported the disapvearance of the Comet. "We've lar masses and is always of a deeper yellow than this got to just take it easy and wain our chances." "fool's gold," as the pyrites are often called. "Any trouble with Pod Dunbury ?" asked Ned. Still, pyrites often carry gold with them, but in too "Not a bit. We locked him in the next state-room small quantities to make it profitable to work out. to Cap Collamore and tied him up, so we needn't be Edith was greatly chagrined. bothered with him. Now, I say, let's go ashore and I "I don't care," she said. "There's gold up there give Edith a chance to shoot something, for I'm as I as well as this stuff. I'm sure of it. Come and see." hungry as a wolf, and those infernal gold pirates have "Give me just. a minute to see if the Comet is com cleaned out every bit of meat we put in the storeI ing out of the cove and I'm with you!" said Ned. room." He ran back to the shore and took a long look down "Suppose the steamer works loose while we are on the Yukon, but nothing could be seen of the missing shore ?" suggested Dick. steamer. "Oh, we'll manage that easy enough," said Ned. When he joined the others they were further up the "We'll make our hawser fast to a tree below the creek, and Dick was down on his knees scraping up shoal, then if she does work off she'll be brought up the sand from the bottom of a little pool into which with a round turn." the creek came tumbling over the rocks." It took time to do this. "There's a color here, Ned !" he exclaimed. Ned bossed the job, and Dick and the Unknown "There's certainly a color!" kelped. Edith, meanwhile, went back in the woods in "I can see that right in your hand," replied Ned. search of game. "But what we want more than gold just now is Twice they heard her rifle crack before they had grub. What did those shots of yours mean, Edith?" the hawser fixed the way they wanted it. "It meant a young moose for one thing and a brace Then, as they started up the bank of a little creek, of ducks for another," replied Edith. "They are which ran down the 'mountain side emptying into the right up the creek here." Yukon, they heard Edith's shout. "Zed, s'pose you and I start the dinner," said Ned. "Ned, Ned !" she called. This way This way "Dick can work a way over the gold." Come and see what I've found!" "Can't work it without a pan and a shovel," said "'What is it?" Ned called back. I Dick. "Those are on the steamer and I'll go get them "Come Come and see!". if you say so." They hurried mto the_ Edith co_m-"You may as well see the thing through, now you've toward them, a dirty looking n:::i.ss which begun it," Ned replied. it was all she could lift. He tried washing out a few handfuls of dirt him" A strike!" cried Ned. "Hooray for you, self. Edith !" It's a big nugget," laughed Edith, and there's In each instance there was gold left behind in his ,, hand after he had washed the dirt away. lots more of them up there m the creek. y h 1 k' ,, h d "W 11 I es it s wort oo mg mto e sa1 e But when they came up and got a better view of . ,' ,; th t th U k b k t t 1 h you and Edith stick to it and we 11 go for the dmner. e nugge e n nown ro e ou m o a aug "y 11 th th t th" Ed"th ,, So DiCk pulled back to the steamer and returned ou may as we row a mg away, I he said. "It weighs like thunder and ain't worth a with the pan and shovel. cent." Ned and the detective left him to work away with "What in the world ails you, Zed? Ain't it Edith, while they skinned the moose and picked the gold?" ducks, after which they built a fire and started the "Not much!" cooking. "Why, it is! It certainly is. Ned, ain't it?" Now, of course, this could have been better done "Indeed, it is, Edith," said Ned, taking it from aboard the Edith, but Young Klondike and his friends her. "It's gold, but the trouble is it ain't the right j had become so accustomed to camp cooking that they kind." grea.tly preferred it. It would have come hard with
26 YOUNG K L O NDI KE'S C HASE. all of them to be obliged to get down to the ways of I There were two rifles for each, and revolvers and civilization again. knives in plenty. When the roast was well under way the detective Ned had provided an abundance of fire-arms before went down to the shore to have a look, and Neel strolled leaving Dawson, hiding them in the gold room where over to the creek. they were now found undisturbed. "Well, how's the diggings ?" he called out, as he By this time the steamer's whole outline could be drew near. distinctly discerned. "Fair, fair," replied Dick, who was industriously She was a clumsy craft, setting low in the water. panning. As the boat drew nearer, Young Klondike's suspi" And not fool's gold, either !"cried Edith. "You cions were fully confirmed, as he thought. don't catch me again in that mistake." "That's not the Comet," he declared. "It's cer" Where's your dust? I don't see any." tainly the Gold Queen!" "S'pose you raise that canvas," said Edith. There was a piece of canvas lying right behind them, and Ned picked it up. CHAPTER XL "By thunder! You have struck it rich!" he exclaimed. WHERE IS THE GOLD QUEEN? It was a genuine surprise. There lay a pile of coarse flake gold and small nuggets, worth fully five thousand dollars, for a guess. "This hole is a splendid pocket!" said Edith. "I believe we could keep right on taking it out here for a week." Ned lent a hand, and after a little the Unknown took hold for a while Fully eight thousand dollars was panned out before the roast was done. We'll mark this place and come back here again," said Ned. "I'll locate the whole island as soon as we return to Dawson City." It was a great hour's work. and no mistake, although in comparison with others Young Klondike had made, this might be termed a small find By the time dinner was over, the short day had ended and night came on. Tbe remainder of the moose was carried down to the shore, and then they brought the gold down and loaded it into the boat. "Do you think she's worked down any, Ned?" asked the Unknown, looking off at the Edith. She certainly has," replied Ned. You can see yourself how much slacker the hawser is. It's only a question of time when she'll work off altogether. I expect to be afloat by morning all right." They were just getting ready to pull off to the steamer, when a light appeared in the distance out in the middle of the Yukon, fully two miles away. "A steamer!" cried the detective. "Ye gods and little fishes What if it should be the Gold Queen?" They watched the light. Suddenly another appeared and then another. It was certainly a steamer. This meant that it must be either the Gold Queen er the Comet, for it was extremely improbable that any other steamer had started down from Dawson City since they left. "We must pull out and see what that means," de clared Ned. "Let's hurry the gold on board the Edith and then pull up the river and bead them off." A little later they started away from the steamer. "LOOK, Ned! Look!" "What now, Dick? I don't see anything different from what has been." "Don't you see that reflection on the trees over on the q_ther shore ?" Well, yes ; now that you speak of it, I do." Reflection of the steamer's lights, ain't it?" said Edith. "Of a steamer's lights, but not the Gold Queen's," the Unknown declared. "A steamer in some cove over there?" asked Ned. "That's what," said Dick. "You bet your life," added the Unknown. "I'll stake my last dollar on it that Dick is right." "Then it's the Comet, sure!" said Ned, excitedly. "She's laying for the other steamer. Oh, if we could only get in ahead!" "I think we can," said the Unknown. "We shall be up to that cove and past it in a few moments; if we keep the boat a-going as are going now, we are dead sure to get in ahead. " I wish there was a chance for me to help," said Edith. "There" ain't! Dick and I can pull just as good a stroke as if you and Zed each had an oar. Keep a sharp lookout. We may have to signal the Gold Queen in a minute. I'm for doing that the instant you see that light move." On they flew, every stroke shortening the distance between the boat and the steamer perceptibly, for, as they pulled, the big craft came bearing down upon the boat with far greater speed They passed the point where the reflected light was seen. Suddenly Ned perceived that it was moving. "Fire a shot, Edith !" he cried. "They're on the move now. Zed, be ready to start your blue light if that don't do." They had brought out several blue lights from the Edith, which Ned had taken care to provide the steamer with in case any accident should occur, and these bid fair to come in very handy now. As the shot rang out over the Yukon they could
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. see dark figures hurrying about on the steamer's deck. Instantly the detective pitched the light overboard, and the bo a t was in darkness. But the shot was not returne d, and there was "Back to the Edith, boys!" he exclaimed. "Pull nothing to show that the signa. l had b e en understood. pull for your lives!" "Is your light over there still moving, dear boy?" If ever Ned Golden and Dick Luckey hustled, it was asked the detective, after a moment. in the moments which followed this startling discov" That's just what it's doing," replied Ned; "look ery. and see for yourself!" They had been seen and what was more they h a d "Seems to me that it is." be e n recognized .. "Watch the side of the mountain cried Dick. Shot after shot came flying after them over the "I can see the light move," said Edith, "but it water. goes slowly." The Unknown was in favor of having Edith return "They arc working their way out of the cove," refir e but Ned would not have it so. plied Ned. "Probably there are a good many wind"It won't do any good," he d eclared;. what we ings. Now the light is gone altogether." want to do is to get over under the shadow of the isl" Right you are! They've got in behind a hill!" and and then make for the Edith just as fast as we cried the detective; "what's the matter with this becan." ing a good time to start my light ?" For a few moments the gold pirates seemed inclined "Just the very time, I should say." to follow them. But the Comet was a good sized "And I agree. Here she goes!" steamer and drew considerable water. The Unknown stood his blue light in a tin pan and Over against the island the river was full of rocks touched it off. and shoals, and this favored Young Klondike. Of course it made the boat and its occupants stand He soon had the boat in among the bowlders, where out with perfect distinctness. the pirates could not follow him without risking their Edith threw up her rifle and fired another shot. steamer. It immediately became evident that all this had Jack Noakes saw this and tried to return. to the fully aroused the attention of those on board the main channel, all of which maneuvering was being steamer. closely watched by Ned and the others in the boat, They could see the dark figures crowding to the you may be very sure. bows, and after a moment a rifle rang out. "They'll be aground in a moment if they ain't care -Edith answered by another shot. ful," said Edith. "Oh, wouldn't I like to see them Then the steamer turned slightly and changed her get stuck here among the rocks!" course so as to run nearer the boat. The words were scarcely spoken when they saw the Soon they were within hailing distance and well Comet suddenly keel over and a great shout went up past the entrance to the cove, where the shadow of from her deck. the light had become visible again. "Stuck! Stuck!" cried the Unknown. "This "Steamer ahoy! Hello! Hello!" roared the Ungives us just the chance we want!" known. "We want the Gold Queen!" cried Edith. "Ahoy the boat Ahoy What do you want !" 'How about the Edith?" asked Dick. "She's in came from the steamer's deck. just as much danger as the other steamer. We want "Who are you?" to look after our own." "Come and find out!" was the singular answer "Not much! When I set out to do a thing I like borne toward them on the still night air. to do it," declared Ned. "We've started m to save The steamer had stopped; the men were still the Gold Queen, and now is our ch a nce to finish the crowded together at the -'Jow, looking off toward the job." boat. "By the Jumping Jere miah, that's business!" "Upon my word I don't like the looks of things cried the det. ective "Young Klondike forever I I here," said the Unknown. "Young Klondike, are like to see a fellow stick to his principles. We'll cut you dead sure that's the Gold Queen?" across the river and save the Gold Queen." "I'm beginning to feel pretty dead sure it isn't," They l eft the gold pira t e s trying to get their said Dick steamer off. They could hear their shouts and s e e Ned was straining bis eyes toward the steamer. them running this way and that about the deck, as "It's the Comet!" he cried, suddenly. "It's the they dodged around a little island and then shot Comet, and she's been up our cove and taken the across the river. whole crowd of gold pirate s aboard." For if this steamer was the Comet then the othe r "Hello there! Hello!" shouted a man, leaning must be the Gold Queen, although N e d could not un over the steamer's bow. "Come aboard here. We'll derstand why she should have gone into the cove. take good care of you !" As they pulled on, the reflected light on the hillside "It' s that scoundrel Noakes!" cried the Unknown, was no longer visible. the blue light flashing in the f e llow's face. I Where was the Gold Que en?
28 YOUNG KLONDIKE S CHASE. At last they struck into a deep cove, which Ned de clared was the one where they had seen the light. Whether this was so or not it was hard to tell. Certainly neither the Gold Queen nor any other steamer was there now. But the Comet bad managed to free herself, and was now steaming across the river after them. Fatigued with their long pull, the boys lay back on their oars half in despair. "What in thunder are we going to do now?" cried Young Klondike. "If we attempt to cut across the river and get back to the Edith, they'll capture us as sure as fate !" And Ned thought of the gold in the secret room. It represented months of weary work. Was it destined to fall into the bands of the gold pirates of the Yukon River? l1i l ooked very much that way. CHAPTER XII. HOW THE EDITH WON THE DAY. MATTERS were now in rather a serious condition. Ned began to think that it would have been far better if he had taken Dick's advice and returned to the Edith in the first place, for it was perfectly evident that they would have to do it now. l "They are heading right for this cove," said the detective after they bad watched the steamer a few moments. Then they must think the same as we did, that the Gold Queen is here," Ned replied. "I'll bet you what you like we've got the wrong cove," said Dick. We've struck up too high." "Or else the light we saw reflected on the mountain wasn't from the steamer at all," Edith gested. "What in the world are you up to, Zed ?" asked Edith. "Are you going fishing here right in the mid dle of all this fuss ?'' "That's what. "Just like you. What are you fishing for?" "Fishing for fools." "You'd better throw your line inside the boat then," laughed Ned. "I don't believe there's any bigger fools going than you can get right here ?" .. "Perhaps I'm the biggest of the lot myself," said Unknown, pulling up his line and measuring it off. "What you driving at?" asked Dick "Three feet," said the Unknown, gravely, and over went the line with its heavy sinker again. "You're up to some trick, Zed," said Edith. "Two and a half!" said the detective, pulling up the line again. "Ned, my dear boy, steer for that big bowlder and do just as I tell you, and we'll have these infernal gold pirates where the hair is short in two shakes of a ram's tail." Down went the line again, and when it came up, the Unknown said "two feet By tbjs time the Comet was close upon them, and the boat was very close to the bowlder. "I see what you're driving at. You are going to run them aground!" cried Ned. "You bet!" Can you do it ?" "You bet!" "I see the light on the m0untain again!" sa.id Edith, suddenly pointiug up the cove. She had scarcely spoken when the light at the Com et's bow was extinguished. Then the stern light went out, and one after an other followed, until every light on board was gone, and they could scarcely make out the steamer at all. But the reflected light against the mountain grew more distinct. "If she would only run aground again. Ob, ye "I see how it is," exclaimed Ned. "This cove runs gods and little fishes! if she'd only run aground away in among the mountains same as all the rest of again l" the Unknown kept saying. them. Jack Noakes' gang know it, and they know Ned and Dick had begun pulling again, meanwhile. that the Gold Queen has gone away up to the other They were working the boat across the channel at end of it. the mouth of the cove "Why, yes!" cried Edith. "I'll tell you what it Ned's idea was to get in behind the Comet this time is, Ned, it's the Sandy Bar diggings that lie up at the and so to return across the river and get back to the head of the cove; they've been up there to collect the Edith, which as yet the gold pirates did not seem to gol d of the claim owners, and take it down to St. have seen Michaels-that's what it all means!" And there was a reason for this. Now, that this explanation had occurred t o Edith, Ned bad carefully extinguished all lights before all saw that she must be right. leaving the steamer. They had heard of the famous Sandy Bar diggings This was as sensible a thing as he ever did, other-times enough, and all knew that they lay back from wise the Edith would surely have been discovered be -the Yukon somewhere near this very part o f the river. fore this, and matters made worse than they were as Edith is right. I might have thought of it be-it was. fore," said the detective. "That's it. Noakes knows As they pulled on the Unknown stopped talking, the steamer is coming; he's put out bis lights to lay and pulling out a fishing line which he had brought for her; he expects to go up the channel and make along when they first started from Dawson City with his capture, but I'll bet a new hat against my old one, the idea of doing a little fishing, threw ii over 1;be that he won't do anything of the sort; but here we side. I are behind the bowlder. Whoa, January! Stop her l
YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. 29 Two feet will do the business and more than do it, I best could, for no light now burned to show so don't you forget it. Now, see the old man work I JUSt how she . the rifle. Keep your ears open, Edith, and hear those I Still they could d1stmgmsh her outlme under the fellows swear." I stars and were satisfied that she had not moved smce They knew the Unknown too well to ask any ques-they left her. . Meanwhile, the reflection of the light could still b e t10ns. t d seen on the moun am s1 e. When the detective undertook to work out one of It was evident that the Gold Queen was slowly his peculiar schemes, he wanted no talk. "Hold the boat right here. l'm going on top of the bowlder," he said. It was a dangerous undertaking to climb out on the slippery rock, and Ned fully expected to see the little detective take a sudden bath in the Yukon, tall hat, big boots and all. working her way up the cove. "She's got to pa ss right by them, and they'll take her sure," said Ned. "Oh, if we could only do something to help them. It does seem a shame that those rascally pirates should gobble up all that gold.'' "That's what's the matter, but with the Edith aground what can we do?" answered Dick. But the Unknown had no such idea. Re managed to get on top of the rock all right. "Live in hope!" cried the Unknown. "Keep on he 1 a-hustling; if we had given up before we wouldn't j have been this far on the road to glory, and I bet you what you like we'll be able to down them yet." "Now my tin pan and another blue .light," said. Ned passed them up. All saw what the detective was driving at now, and they could only hope that it would prove successful. The Unknown never said a word. Preparing his blue light he waited until the Comet was reasonably near and then touched it off. "'Help! Help !" he shouted. "Take me off of here!" Of course he attracted immediate attention on board the Comet. Jack Noakes himself answered the hail. "Where's your boat ? Where's Young Klondike and the rest of them?" he called out. Drowned answered the Unknown, as coolly as if it had been the truth. "The boat swamped and I'm the only one saved. Come and take me off and I'll tell you where the Edith is, and give up all Young Klondike's gold." Jack Noakes swallowed the bait, hook and all. It must be remembered that very little is known of the Yukon River. There are no skilled pilots who are acquainted with every rock and shoal. As Jack Noak es had never happened to run aground before this night during his piratical expeditions up and down the Yukon he did not appreciate his danger, and they heard him give the order to run the Comet over to the rock, something which Captain Collamore would never have done, for he knew the dangers of this channel-which Noakes did not know at all. Peering out from behind the bowlder the boys saw the steamer come. "Three feet! Two and a half! Two feet!" said the Unknown, solemnly, and then all at once be kicked the blue light into the water, for a shout from the steamer's deck told them that the business was done. The Comet was aground hard and fast, and while the gold pirates were swearing at their ill luck, Young Klondike's party pulled away across the Yukon once more. As they retreated they watched the Comet the Now, there is nothing like being hopeful, and the Unknown certainly was one of the most hopeful men alive As Ned and Dick were getting decidedly tired, he and Edith lent a hand at the oars. It was easier pulling down the Yukon than against the current of that mighty river, and they made short time back to where the Edith fay. "Hooray She's off !" cried Young Klondike, as the boat shot in between the steamer and the island. Sure enough, the Edith had worked herself free, and there she was tugging at the hawser, threatening to break it any instant. "By gracious, we can down 'em now," cried Ned. "Get aboard! Get aboard We'll show them how the Edith's gun can talk. I'm not going to rest .until we've captured the Comet and run every one of the gold pirates into Dawson City, and I believe we can do it, too." Everything on the steamer was as they had left it. Ned's first act was to release Mr. Pod Dunbury. That rascally schemer came out of the state-room sour and sullen. "What are you going to do with me now, Young Klondike?" he asked. "I thought you'd gone off and left the Edith for good "I'm going to put you back in your engine-room and make you run your engine," replied Ned. "Think you can mind your bells if I try you again p "Well, now, I'd rather do anything than be tied up in there.'' "Do that and I'll see that this little slip is not laid up against you, my friend; what's more, I'll give you a hundred dollars when we part company to help start you out in -the world as an honest man again." I "Will you do that, Young Klondike?" "Yes, I will." "You're white clean through. I mistrust that something is going to happen though. You've seen the rest of the boys and you're after them-that's what."
/ .. 30 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S CHASE. "Never you mind that. You stick to me and I'll stick to you. Is it a go ?" "Yes." "I think that's the steamer," replied Ned, peering forward; "yes, I'm sure it is." "And she don't seem to have changed her position, Now mind your eye. If you attempt to go back either." un us you will be promptly shot." "No; as near as I can make out she hasn't, but It was well enough to have an ally in the engineyou must remember we see her different away down room, and Ned felt that he could depend upon Pod here." Dun bury to a certain extent. "She's in the same place exactly," said Dick. "I'm The Unknown then into the J sure of it, and when we get closer you'll see that I'm Dick and Ned put off m the boat, and cast off t._e right." hawser. I "I see it now. She hasn't changed her place a bit." They to hustle to get back on board again, for That's all right for us, then, she's still aground,,, the current was very strong here and the Unknown said Ned. most awfully of getting aground agam. "Call up Edith, and ask her to right her gun; betOnce aboard the Edith was started, her nai:nesake ter let her decide what she can do before we bring our undertaking to guard the do.or m case beat up where they can hear us," the detective said. Mr. Pod Dunbury should take it mto his head to "Hold on They are moving !" Dick suddenly exleave. cla.imed. "We'll look after the cannon, Zed, and get every"N 0 sir You don't see it," said the detectiYe. thing in shape," Young Klondike declared. Steer "No; but I hear it, and so do you." right across to the cove and keep out of sight of the "Wrong," said Ned. "It's the Gold Queen comgold pirates if it's a possible thing." ing out of the cove." Now the Edith's cannon was quite an institution. "That's what it is," said the detective. "No It had been purchased at Fort Cudahy for the ex-doubt the pirates see her and are ready for business. press purpose of defending the steamer against the That means hustle. By the Jumping Jeremiah, I'd gold pirates, to which use it seemed likely to be put die of shame if we were to miss our mark now." now. "Which we won't! I'll get Edith right up!" exN ed had fired it twice when it first came into claimed Ned. Beacraft's yard at Dawson City and consequently He hurried below and returned, bringing Edith felt somewhat acquainted with it. with him. Ned's first care was to ascertain whether the big Pod Dunbury was attending to his duties all right, gun had been interfered with by the gold pirates. and there really seemed to be no necessity of keeping To his great satisfaction, he found that it had not. guard. He accordingly loaded up, and placed his powder Edith sighted the gun, and declared they would and cannon balls so that a second charge could be have to work up further, which they did. brought into use without a moment's delay. They were now within a short distance of the All this being accomplished, the boys went forward Comet, and occupied a very favorable position, being to the wheel-house. partly concealed by a point of land. "Everything working well, Zed?" Young Klon"Perhaps we've been seen, and perhaps we dil<:e asked. haven't," declared the detective; "really, I don't Fine as a fiddle. How is the cannon ?" think it makes much difference. There they are all "The cannon is all right. Couldn't ask for any bet-hard and fast, so what the deuce can they do against ter show than we've got now." us even if they try?" "That's the way it looks. I told you not to give "The Gold Queen is coming," said Dick. "We'll up hope. There's one thing, though-we've got to see the fun in a minute." make a clean finish of this business." What do you mean ?" The rattle of the steamer's paddle could be very I mean that the pirates and the pirate craft must distinctly heard up the cove. bl th The Gold Queen was a lumbering old affair, and be wiped off the Yukon forever. I say lets ow e would have fallen an easy prey to the Comet, if the Comet to smithereens if we can't bring it about any pirate craft had been able to move. other way" Ned was curious to see how the river thieves meant "Just what I've made up my mind to do," replied Ned "and I think we'd better let Edith do the blow-to work it under the circumstances. ing.' Any one of us can watch Pod Dunbury, but it His curiosity was gratified a moment later. takes Edith to fire a gun, big or little, so as to get Peering ahead they saw the gold pirates lowering the best results." their boats. "You're right t.here Ain't that the Comet "Boarders, eh? .As sure as my name isn't John now?" Robinson they don't see us!" the Unknown exclaimed. They had passed almost across the Yukon coming "What makes you so sure?" asked Edith. up to the other shore, at a point somewhat below the "Why, aw dear, don't they all know about our htcove. 1 tle barker? If they see us don't they expect us to
---....... ------------YOUNG KLO NDIKE'S CHASE. .. I use it ? Don't they know that all we've got to do is to touch her off and blow them galleywest ?" "I guess you are right," said Ned. "But here comes the Gold Queen, so now we'll know all about it." The critical moment had come at last. All oblivious of the presence of the boats, the Gold Queen swung out of the cove. Instantly a shot was fired. "You want to slow down there, cap We've got business with you!" Jack Noakes sung out. "Who are you and what do you want?" came the answer from the deck of the Gold Queen. "We are the Gold Hunters of the Yukon," was the answer. "We are coming aboard." Ding-a-ling! The Unknown sounded his bell and the Edith started then. "Man the guns!" shouted the detective, as the Gold Queen hove to, her feeble crew overawed by the dread name of the pirate band, for the Gold Hunters of the Yukon were known and dreaded from Dawson City to the mouth of the river, and few could stand up against them. Once the Edith started she made short work of the distance between the point and the boats, which were now being rapidly pulled toward the Gold Queen "Now, Edith Give 'em a shot !" cried Ned; "blow the boats from under them-that's the way to bring 'em to terms !" Edith promptly obeyed. The cannon's boom was the first warning the gold pirates had of their danger. The next Jack Noakes knew, the boat in which he had fancied himself so safe was blown into kindling wood, and he and his companions were floundering in the water. "Help us capture them, Captain Henderson!" bawled the Unknown. "Put out your boats and get the snoozers We'll do the .rest." Boom, boom, boom, boom Four times the Edith's gun spoke, fired by the brave girl for whom the steamer was named. L .. i Each shot took a boat, and as there were only four, and four from four leaves nothing, the pirates soon found themselves in a pretty bad plight. The long and short of it was every man among them found himself forced to swim for it. Some swam ashore, and some were captured by the Gold Queen's crew, who put out in boats after them. A few swam back to the Comet to be captured later, and three came aboard the Edith, which was soon up alongside the Gold Queen, and promptly surrendered to the boys. So the battle ended, for those who remained on board the Comet gave right up. "But," said Captain Henderson, when Ned went aboard the Gold Queen, "they'd have captured us, sure, if it hadn't been for your help, Young Klondike. We were just on the point of surrendering when we heard your shot." This ended Young Klondike's chase. The steamers lay by until morning-, for Ned de cided, now that the pirate band was broken up, that it would be best not to run the Edith down to St. Michaels after all. So the gold in the secret room was put in charge of Captain Henderson and transferred to the Gold Queen. The pirates were all locked up in the state-rooms of the Comet, which was taken in tow by the Edith. With John Smith and Pod Dunbury to assist them, Ned and his friends ran back to Dawson City and turned the gang over to the Canadian Governrp.ent, who sent them down into the Mackenzie River country, where they were made to do government work and forbidden to return to the Klondike on pain of death. Having abandoned their trip to the mouth of the Yukon, Ned, Dick, Edith and the Unknown turned their attention to gold bunting again, and the adventures they now met with will be described in the next story of this series, which in many respects is the most interesting of all It is ntitled YOUNG KLONDIKE'S GOLDEN ISLAND; OR, HALF A MILLION IN DUST.
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