Al, the boy acrobat, or, Flip flopping into fame and fortune

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Al, the boy acrobat, or, Flip flopping into fame and fortune

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Al, the boy acrobat, or, Flip flopping into fame and fortune
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Pluck and luck
Draper, Allyn
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New York, New York
Frank Tousey
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29 pages ; 28 cm


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Dime novels ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Sea stories ( lcsh )
Treasure troves -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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033202065 ( ALEPH )
903169274 ( OCLC )
P28-00039 ( USFLDC DOI )
p28.39 ( USFLDC Handle )

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NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 1927 Al caught a.s the man drew back to strike a. blow, and jerked the 'instrument of torture out of his hand. "What do you mean by whipping the boy in 'such a horrible manner, Y.OU brute!'" cried Al. Price 8 Cents


PLUCK AND LUCK 'llsned Weekly-Subscription price, if:4.00 per year; Canadian, $4.50; Foreign, $5.00. l:op'yrlght, 1927, Dy Westbury J'ublishing Co., Inc., HO Cedar Street, New York. N. Y Entered as Second Class Matter Dec. 8, 1911, at the Post-Uttlce nt New l'.o rk, N. Y., under the Act ot March a. 187:1 No. 1516 NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 1927 Price 8 Cents. AL, THE.BOY ACROBAT OR. FLIP FLOPPING INTO FAME AND FORTUNE B y ALLYN DRAPER CHAPTER !.-The Circus Billboards It was a beautiful day in the month of May. Gathered about ;i. billboard that had been temporarily erected ;:ilong the side of the little park in the center of the village of Wyburn, in central New York, was a crowd of boys ranging from ten to eighteen years'of age. Pasted upon the billboard in question were flaming posters which announced that "Rawson's Great London Circus and Menagerie" was coming to Wyburn, and that it would be there, "rain or shine," on the 23d inst. Standing on the outskirts of the crowd of boys and taking no part in the conversation, was a bright, handsome, blue-eyed, curly-haired youth of about eighteen years. This youth was Albert Payson, but was commonly called "Al" by the other boys. There wa.s something of mystery abc;ut the handsome youth. He was not a native of Wyburn, but had appeared in the village one evening a few weeks before the day on which we introduce him to the reader's notice and had made the rounds of the business houses, asking for work. On being asked for references, he said, frankly, that he had none to give, and when asked where he was from, stated that he had no home, but wished to get settled down somewhere, as he was tired of running around. Impressed favorably by the fr.ank, honest face of Al, "Old Man Boggs," who kept a feed store, had given the youth work, but as Mr. Boggs' business was not a very extensive or lucrative one, he could do little more than board Al-in fact, in three weeks' time the youth' had received just two dollars in cash from the old man. Al was looking at the billboards, the same as were the rest, but there was a good-natured smile hanging around the corners of his handsome mouth as he listened to the extravagant language of the youths. The smile was not one of scorn, but more of sympathy with the youths in question, but Tom Burke, who was the village bully, noticed the smile on Al's face and interpreted it to be one of scorn. At any rate, he pretended to. He had been wanting a chance to pick a fuss with the young stranger ever since he first appeared in the village, but had found no excuse for doing so, but now he saw his opportunity and was quick to improve it. "What yer grinnin' 'bout Al Payson?" he growled, frowning fiercely a stepping up close to the youth. Al made no reply, but looked his questioner' straight in the eyes with. a cool, unflinching look, mingled with which was a tincture of scorn. "Didn't you hear me?" asked Tom Burke, an-grily. Al nodded. "Yes, I heard you," he replied, quietly. "Well, then w'y don't yer answer? I axed yer wot yer wuz grinnin' about?" Al nodded again. "I know you did," he said, as quietly as be fore. "See here," Tom cried, "yer don't know me, I Yer don't know thet yer goin' ter git yerself inter trubble by puttin' on sech high an' mighty airs, but I knows et, an' so does ther boys here. I wants ter know woe yer wuz laffin' at, -an' I wants ter know et mighty quick, for I think yer wuz makin' fun uv us fellers, an' I wants ter tell yer thet we're ez good ez ye air enny day in ther week. Now answer." Al started and a troubled looked appeared on his face. "I. was not making fun of you, boys," he said quickly, addre'ssing not Tom Burke, but the other boys. "I would not do such a thing for the world. There was no reason why I should want to make fun of you. I was looking at the pictures, the same as you were, and I hope -you will believe me when I say that the smile on my face did not mean anything of that kind. I was smiling at what you were saying, but there was no idea of making fun of you iI). my mind." "Bah! Tell that ter ther mareens!" cried Tom Burke, who, not being a judge of human nature and seeing. the look of distress on Al's face, thought the youth was frightened and was disclaiming any idea of making sport for fear he might get a thrashing. "Yer acknowledges thet yer wu.z laffin' at us fellers, an' than is jest wun thing yer kin do." "What is that?" as Tom Burke paused. 'Polergize ter ther hull crowd of us, an' say thet yer knows thet we air better nor wot ye air, thet's wot!" A fla sh of scorn shot into the eyes of the hand some youth and he gave Tom Burke a look that made him almost jump, it was so sharp and piercing and so full of bitter scorn. "Yes, I'll apoligize, and acknowledge that you are better than 1-1 do not think," Al said, al-most fiercely. Al had spoken coolly and calmly, but. there


2 AL THE BOY ACROBAT was an earnestness to his tone that was not to be mistaken; and even Tom Burke was impressed. He was rendered terribly angry by the youth's words, however, and with a howl of rage he sprang at Al like a tiger. "I'll maul" ther life outer yer he cried, and he began to rain blows at the handsome. face of the youth who had angered him so. But if he thought to beat his opponent down he was soon to realize his mistake, for Al Payson was as fine an amateur sparrer as there was in the wh6le State of New York, if no.t in the United States, and the way he parried the blows of Tom Burke was beautiful to see. He parried, ducked, side stepped and brought .into play all the elements of scientific defense, watched by the crowd of boys in breathless excitement and admiration, and then finally, when Tom had become tired by his own exertions so that he was forced to drop his arms, Al took the offensive and rained in blow after blow at a terrific rate, striking the svrprised almost dazed youth whenever and wherever he wished, driving him backward several yards,. when Tom, who was an awkward youth, 'tripped himself, and one of Al's blows catching him just at th,at instant, down he went, kerthump. The boys did not know this, however, and thought that Al was in luck to l!.ave floored the bully. Their delight was great, and it showed in their faces, but they ilid not dare give voice to it, as had they done so Tom woald have taken them one at a time and given each a:tid every one of them a good thrashing later on. "Get up, you big booby!" cried Al, with scorn. "What are you falling down for? To escape the licking you know you so well deserve and going to get? You can't escape. I am going to give it to you now, if I have to do it while you are on the run, EO you might as well get up and face the music as nearly like a man as is possible. Get up,' quick, and I win knock you down once to. show you the difference between being knocked down and falling down." Evidently Tom did not like it, for he lay still for a few seconds and then rose to a sittiitg pos ture and groaned in a dismal manner. "I'm 'most killed!" he howled. "I've be'n hit with er club. Ther cuss tried. ter kill me. He's got er rock in his ban's, .fellers-I know et. Look an' see ef he hain't." "Oh, get up, baby, and quit h.owli{lg !" cried Al in a tone of contempt. "I hit with my fist, nothinlf. else, and you know it. You're the biggest ba:by I ve run across lately. I don't see how you ever managed to become the bully of Wyburn. You have no more courage than a rabbit." "I'll show yer whether I heven't er not!" howled Tom, scrambling to his feet. "I kin lick yer-I know I kin, an' I'm a-goin' ter, too! I'll pound yer ha'f ter death." Then he rushed at his lively antagonist again. Al gave ground not at all, and, taking the offen sive from the start, showered the blows upon the youth and forced him back till he was almost against the billboards, and then, getting a good opening, he let go a terrific stroke, which caught Tom in the breast and hurled him against the billboard as if he had been shot out of a cannon. Crash. went the boards, and, not having been braced very strongly, one section, or panel1 of the billboards was knocked backward by Tom s body, the top portion toppled over forwarrl and. with a crash, down came the e ntire section on top of the fallen youth, who kicked and floundered; around underneath the boards like some wild animal in a new kind of trap and howled like a pig. under a gate. CHAPTER II.-Al and Dick. "A feller'd think Tom wuz killed ter heer him howl." "Perhaps he is hurt," said Al Payson, w ith a show of concern. "The boards may be heavier than we think. Help me lift the boards off him, anyway," and two or three of the boys seized hold and helped Al and soon the howling youth was freed.' "Now;. shut up; you are not hurt," said Al. "Are you ready to fight again?" Tom Burke grunted out some unintelligible re ply and started away in the direction of his home, limping in an exaggerated manner and holding h,is hands on his stomach. Evidently he to create the impression that he had been severely injured by the billboards falling on him. This did not ta:ke well with the boys, however, who began jeering him. .. 'Where yer goin', Tom?" '"What's ther matter?" .... What yer limpiil' fur?" As for the other boys, they were delighted, and one of their number, a bright-faced, handsome youth of sixteen years, who had stood aloof and had but little to say, cried out: "Three cheers for Al Payson, the champion boxer and whitest boy in Wyburn!" And the cheers were given with a will, causing Tom Burke to grit his teeth with rage and discom fiture "Ther boys won't be afeerd uv me enny more," he said to himself, "an' I won't dare ter bother 'em. Oh, Al Payson, I-I'd like ter choke yer!" "Thank you, boys," said Al, earnestly. "I am glad that OU feel friendly toward. me. I was afraid that you would believe what Tom Burke said-that I was laughing at you, which I was not, I assure you." "Oh, we didn't believe that, Al." With a nod to the boys, Al turned away, but was joined by Dick Hardy, who accompanied him to the feed store of Mr. Boggs. "I have to go away for an hour or so, Al," said Mr. Boggs. "Stay here until I return." "All right, sir," replied Al, and the old man took his departure. "Say, Al, I wish you would give me boxing les sons," said Dick, as soon as they were alone. "I have always wished to learn to box, and if I had known you could box I should have struck to give me lessons long ago." "Not so very long ago," smiled Al. "I have been here onlv about three weeks." "Wen; I should have been after you right away, I mean," said Dick. "Say, will you give me lessons, Al?" "I should be glad to, Dick, but we have no glpves." "I have two pairs-dandy gloves, too, Al-at home!" cried Dick, eAgerly. "Will you come up this evening and give me a lesson? Say you will, that's a l!'Ood fellow . We'll ha:ve some games, too,


AL THE BOY AQROBAT a Mabel will flay on the piano and sing for you. r know you wil like that, old fellow." "You are right, Dick. I should like to hear your sister play and sing, and if you will promis e to keep your promise regarding that part of the proposition, I will come up this evening after supper and give you a lesson." "I promise, old man," eagerly. "Sis thinks the world and all of me and will do anything I ask her to. I guarantee that she shall play and sing for you all right." CHAPTER III.-"Al, The Boy Acrobat." After suppe r Al Pays on made a cal'eful toilet, dressed himself in the handsome suit that had been the wonder and envy of nearly all the young men of the village, and made his way to the home of Dick Hardy. The Hardys were 'well-to-do and kept a _servant, w'ho answered Al's ring at the door-bell, and ushered .. him into the parlor, which was lighted, as if company was expected. Of course; Al could not kilcw it, but .this had been the work of Dick s sis ter l'll.abel, who, if the truth must be told, was greatly pleased at the prospect of having to way and sing for the handsome 3 'outh whom she had so far seen only at a distance. With feminine instinct, she recognized that Al Payson was different from the great majority of youths with whom i:ohe was acquainted. Al was hardly seated when Dick came rushing into. the parlor, and, seizing the youth's hand, s hook it as heartily as if he had not seen him for six months at least, instead of three or four hours. "How are you, old fellow?" he cried. "Say, I'm glad to see you and so will sis be ah-, here she is now. Sis, this is Mr. Payson, of whom you have heard me S{leak; Al, my sister Mabel Shake bands and be friends." Mabel Hardy was indeed a beautiful girl and was as mode"st as she was beautiful. She ack nowledged the introduction gracefully and extended her hand, over which Al bent with all the grace of. a Chesterfield. "I am indeed pleased to make your acquaint ance, Miss Hardy," Al said, with a pleasant smile, which enhanced his good looks in a wonderful manner. "Dick has spoken of you so such that I feel ai:: if I had known you for some time." "It is the same in my case with regard to Your self Mr. Payson," smiled Mabel. "Dick talks about you half the time. He thinks there is nobody like you." "Pleas e play and sing soml!thing for u s Miss Hardy," said Al. "It has been so long since I heard any music that I am anxious to bear some." "I am afraid you will be disappointed by my poor efforts," Mabel said, but she went to the piano and played and sanga number of pieces and was applauded freely by both Al and Dick, the latter being fond of music and rather proud of his pretty sister's abilitie s as a player and singer. A couple of hours were spent very pleasantly and then Al asked Dick if was r e ady to take his lesson. Dick said he was and then they rep.3ired to a large attic room, which Dick had fixed up as a gymnasium, an!l donning the gloves, sparred for an hour, Al teaching Dick much that he could not have learned from any book on the art of self-defense, as it takes actual demonstration in practice to enable a learner to acquire science 'in the art of boxing. Al did not see Mabel any more that evening, but went home as soon as the boxing lesson was ended, and for the first time in a long while he dreamed that night-dreamed of pretty, sweet faced Mabel Hardy. 'his was the beginning of a very pleasant period for Al Payson, for he went to Dick Hardy's home every night to give Dick a lesson in boxing, but a couple of hours was spent in the parlor at music and games each evening and Al joined in the singing, he having a splendid tenor voice. In deed so finely did he and Mabel sing together that the girl's parents came into the-parlor to listen on several occasions All things must have an e nd, however, and this state of affairs came to an end-the day "Raw son's Great London Circus and Menagerie" came' t<) town. On that morning Al was sent to deliver a lot of corn and baled hay at the show tents the-manager having bought some feed for the hors es at the feed store of Mr. Boggs, and while unloading the hay and corn he overheard a conversation between two well-dressed men who we1e :Seated on a box a few feet distant. "I'll tell you what is the matter, Mr. Williams," said one. "the skippin g out of Robbins leave us in a mighty bad hole The Wellington Brothers' -great acrob!l.tic work on the carpet and their tumbling and 1eaping from the springboard were our strongest features, and now to have the main one of the three skip out and leave us in the lurch irr this fashion iswell, simply awful. Williams, what to ?". \ "I give up, old man," the other re plied. "Say what made Robbins skip out anyway?" "I'll tell .You what I think. He has received an offer from Wells Brothers' Circus and has gone to join it, I am confident.'He is really a very fine performer, you k'now, and we were payirtg him only fifty a week, while they have doubtless of fered him seventy-five or a hundred. Money knocks, you know." Al Payson had iistened to this conversation with eager interest. He was a boy, and was naturally interested in everything peitaininp; to circuses and he understood the situation perfectly. Robbin s Harkins and Burton had been doing acrobatic and springboard leaping work together under the name of the "Wellington Brothers," and Robbins, the best performer of the three, had serted the show, leaving his two companion per formers and the owners of the show in the lurch. As all this passed through Al's mind a sudden impulse seized him, and, stepping quickly forward, he confronted the two men who, looked up in surprise. "l ov erheard your conver s ation, sirs," he said, "and now I would like to a s k what you will give me to t a k e the place of the man Robbins?" The m e n stared at the youth for a few moments in amazement and then looked at each other and laughed. A peculiar, determined look appeared in thl keen blue eyes of Al Payson


AL THE BOY ACROBAT "I don't blame you gentlemen for doubting me," Al heard t h e girl's exclamation, and, looking !e s aid, quietly, "but I suppose that if you were straight at the beautiful girl, he bowed and kissed 1b see yo u would believe." his hand toward he.r and then, turning, took his "Oh, yes!" with a s mile. pp sition for beginning the "Wellington Brothers' "Well, if I prove to you right here that I am a Great Acrobatic Act," a s the show bills demon srood acrobat in ground work, will you give me strated it. a: trial on the springboard and give me a chance to Al then went to the hou s e which was only a )Tove that I can do what I said?" distance ,from the feed store, and after "Sure thing," was the reply. "What can you do telling Mrs Boggs that he was going away, and the ground ?1 to the expression of her regrets--for, "I'll show you." With these words Al looked hke her husband, she )lad learned to like tlie about him. to see that there were no snags or bright manly youth, and hated to have him go loards with nails in them to light on, and then, JiWay-Al went to his room and pa'cked his cloth lracing himself, he looked at the men, who were ing and other belongings in a P'rip. Then, having watching him intently with something of interest, nothir.g el s e to do Al went out for a stroll. tlnd said: Just upon the outskirts of Wyburn, in the midst "I can do a whole lot of things but there is one of beautiful grounds from five to ten acres in ex aifficult trick which very few acrobats, s o I am ter.t, was a beautiful mansion-the one building i:irformed, can do, and if I do that I should think it of the kind in the village. This mansii>n was w ould be sufficient to cause you to decide to giverowned by a stern-visaged man of about fifty me a trial on the springboard." years of age, whose name was Austin Hanover. :"What is the trick?" Mr. Willil!ms He had a family consisting of wife and two ."This,. I stand on one foot, turn a half ,somerchildren, a boy of eighteen years;named Gerald, 113ult, .make a half -reverse while in the air and and a girl of sixteen, named Gertrude. This lght my face in the opposite from family was very .exclusive, with the vil _what lt was when I made theleap."' -' lage people verY.' little; and this httle was confined : "Ah!'! ejaculated Williams,.. with-a. quick.glance to brotner and sister, .who conql:!scende!i to ocThompson; "do that little trick for us., my b

AL THE BOY ACROBAT the open rear do .orway with the speed of a greyhound. "Where are you?" he c!"ied. "Help is at hand! "In which room are you'? Answer, if you can!" and the youth tried a door on the right-hand side, to find it was locked. Instantly there was the sound of shuffling feet on the insjde of the room this door opened into and a voice cried, gaspingly, as if it were a dying effort: "In here! Help! Mur--" "Help is at hand!" Al cried loudly. "We will be in there in a jiffy!'' and with the words the youth leaped against the door. The door shook, and gave way slightly befo:re the fierce assault of the youth, but still withstood his efforts. "I'll fetch it next time," the youth muttered, and setting his teeth, he leltped against the door once more, with all his might, and as had predicted, the door gave way with a crash. Any one else would have fallen to the floor as a result of his own 'impetus, but ,Al-was an Acrobat, and by leaping on through the do .orway, he kept upon his feet and was just in time to see a rough, evil-IOoking fellow climbing through a window at the farther side of the room. That the fellow was a footpaCI Al did not doubt, and he leaped forward and attempted to catch the scoundrel before he could get through the opening. He was too late, however, the man dropping .from the win dow just as the youth was about to seize him by the wrist. Feeling that he could not catch the fellow, w!io had alighted upon his feet without injury, a nd was running away at the top of his speed, Al turned his attention to the scene within the room. He almost fea:rea to look, as heexpected nothing else than thi.:t he would see a human form lyingupon the floor, gore, but no such sight met his gaze. A man lay upon the door, stern-: visaged man of about, fifty years of age, but he was not bleeding from any wound, so far as Al could see, and as he looked the man suddenly gave a gasp and sat up with a jerk. "Who are you? What has happened!" theman asked, as his eyes fell on Al. "Ah!" with a start. "I remember now. Sam Sto--I mean a footpadentered my room and attacked to murder me! Where is he now? Did he escape? Did you frighten him away?" "Yes, sir," replied Al, quietly." "I heard you cry for help ::;md came up here and frightened him away before he could complete his crime." At the s ound of Al's voice, the man started, and look e d at the youth searchingly. He gave another .start, and looked at the youth questioningly. "Who are you?" he asked, "and where did you come :(rom? You do not live in tl1 e village?" "My name i s Albert P a yson, sir," r e plied. "I am a new comer to the village having been here only a fr.w weeks." might give you employment if you were desirol!(l of securing work." And .a,s Al explained his connection with the circus, .. the man was plainly agitated. As .AfL started to leave he said: "One moment, in addition to my thanks, whidt I hereby heartily tender you, I wish to make yo .11. a little present of a more substantial character, if you will accept it. I--" "Thank you, no!" said Al, almost coldly. ll want no pay for rendering assistance to a fellow being in distress. Good evening!" and he left thfl room, the man staring after him with a strange look upon his rather sinister face. After supper, Al went to the home of Dick ani Mabel Hardy, and spent an hour there very pleas-. antly, 'notwithstanding the fact that he was soo11 to go away from the village. "Mabel and I are going to the show to-night, ro see you act again, Al!" called Dick, and thm knowledge gave the youth; considerable pleasure when he left. He made his way to the home of Mr. Boggs, got his grip, bade the two old people good-by, ari?t then made his way at a rapid walk to the show grounds, and entered the dressing-tent. His tw acting partners, Harkins and Burton, were al ready dressing, and Al began to. do so, too. He hall just finished, when a rough-looking fellow entere the tent and said something to one of the who quickly left the tent, and then the who was a man of fifty years of age, and one whom drink had reduced to the ranks of bumlio turned and faced Al, who gave a start, and almo!111 uttered an exclamation aloud. The fellow was the person he had seen escaping from the room ot Mr. Hanover, in the mansion, only a few hourc : .be.f.or.e--the person 'vho had, as Al believed, triel to murcler Mr. Hanover! As this man's eyes fell upon Al, he gave :a start and exclaimed, exci .tedly: ; "W-who .are y-you? W-where d-did you co;ln.f) f-from ?" "My name is Albert Payson. What is yours? "My name? Oh, my name is Stokes-Sa Stokes. Don't mind me, young fellow. I'm a roustabout, and I say things sometimes that haven't much reason to them. Don't mind me." ''Very well, I won't then," and Al went aheal getting ready to go into the ring for the acrobatie act on the carpet. He pretended to pay no more attention, to Stokes, but Al was a shrewd youtl). and he kept watch of the fellow out of the cornE!t' of his eyes, and saw that the man was eyejng searchingly; was evidently studying him. Presently the call came for the "W ellingto Brothers," and Al and his two companions weJt; intQ the ring and took up their position on the. carpet. Al swept the sea of faces in the reserveti sections, and presently located Dick and MabEI' Hardy. He gave them a smile and wave of hand both waving back, and then the act comr menced. "Ah! that is it; I thought I did not r emember having se en you before. Are you --do you intend to make Wyburn your permanent home?" As in the day performance, Al did the morf' difficult single feats and took the most prominent part in the "brother" acts and he received -a good deal of applaus e, for the majority of th The r e was repressed ea .rnes s in the man's tone, ;i.ncl Al noted it and wondered at it. I c annot say for certa'.1'1, sir," he replied. "Why do you 11sk ?" "Oh, out of curiosity; or, I was thinking I people present had learned by this time that Afi. Pays on, the boy who had been working for Mt:. Boggs, the feedstore man, was the youthfii, member of the "Wellington Brothers" trio.


.' AL THE BOY ACROBAT At !ast the act was finished, and the three returned to the dressing-tent; and Al looked around for Sam Stokes. The man was nowhere to be seen, however, and the youth asked his two com panions a few questions regarding the man. They said Stokes was a roustabout, much given to drink, but a good workman and thoroughly up jn the circu s busine&s. As at the afternoon performance, the men took turns running down the inclined track leaqing to the springboard and, leaping onto the springboard, turned somersaults. 1'.hen the two small elephants were brought in and all turned over these, hfter "'hich the large elephant was. placed between the two smaller ones, and all turned over these. Next camels were brought and added to the' aggregation, and several of the tumbler!? dropped out, as this was too big a leap for them. Al and five or six of the others made the however and then the horses were brough.t out. All the performers save Af and his two "brother" dropped out now, and the three made their.way up to the top of the inclined track, 1and one after the other ran down and turned a somersault over the aggregation of animals. Thif;; performance brought them considerable applause, and they returned and repeated it. They were applauded, again and again, and then Al went back up to the top of the inclined track alone. As in the afternoon performance, the ringmaster made the announcement that Al ;would turn a double somersault over the animals, and when he had finished Al made the run, leaped upon the springboard and turned a beautifUl double somersault, alighting on his feet on the other side, neatly and smoothly as could be And then such a che!!r went up! It almost burst the canvas roof of the tent and, aftel' bowing in every direction, Al made his way back to the top of the inclined track and, running down, made the leap a second time, turning the double somersault as neatly and successfully as before. Again the spectators cheered and although Al tried to escape to his dressing-room li.e could not do it. Mr. Williams stepping out and telling him to repeat the leap. Al did scr, with perfect success, and then without pausing for an instant ran to the dre s singtent and disappeared within it. One of the acts which now came on was that of Marie Monsell, the lady tiger I tamer, who within an inclosure made of steel bars fastened together with iron chains, put so closely together that en animal of any size could not get through the openings, put three tamed tigers through a series of maneuvers. This inclosure was about twenty feet in diameter, and was open at the top, but the flaring gasoline and electric lights being right above, this was sufficient to keep the tigers 'from leaping over the top of the inclosure, the steel bars being only about seven or eight feet in height. The cage containing the tigers was backed up against the inclosure at a point where there was an opening the size of the door of the cage, and the tigers were iade to leap down a sort of bridge reaching from the floor of the cage to the1 ground, when they would be within the inclosure. 11ThiS inclosure was, of course, inside the ring where the main performance had taken place. The lady performer, Marie Monsen, had en tered the cage, after ithad been backed up the mc1osure, and ,having opened the doo r at rear had driven the tigers down into the in ciosure. Then she followed, and at once had be putting the animals through their series of Wneth!!r the lady was caL'e less, or whether the tigers were eut of humor will never be known but it is tha. t for some reas on the largest and most tierce-Iookmg beast oi tne tnree retused to obey his mistress and, as was her custom she applied the whip and tried to make the obstinate animal do as ne was bidden. While she was the tiger he crouched back and snarled w1t.h anger, and becoming suddenly very angry, the gre t beast gave utterance to a shriek of rage and leaped upon the hapless woman bearing her to. the earth! Then, as a shriek esc;{led the poor yvoman, and a great ioar of fear, of mortal ror, went up from. the assembled multitude the tiger, with both great paws upon its mistress' form, stood staring around at the great sea of faces in savage defiance. CHAPTER V.1-Al's Brave and Wonderful Act. As the woman's shriek and the roar of terror from the people fell upon Al Payson's hearing he leaped to the doorway of the dressing-tent looked out. The sight he saw almost froze the in his veins, but, shaking off the terrible clull of fear for the safety of the imperiled woman, Al leaped out of the dressing-tent and ran toward the inclosure .within which the terrible drama .was being nacted, with all his might. he ran a plan ti.ashed through the youth's mmd, and he determmed to enter the inclosure by the shortest route-viz., over the top of the bars. To this end he selected a spot from which to make the leap, and, increasing his speed to a wonderful sprint, he leaped upon the spot he had selected with all his might and then shot into the air as if thrown by a giant catapult. Up! he went, and when even with the top of the iron bars, Al turned a somersault, clearing the top of the inclosure neatly and alighted on his feet within the inclosure, to the affright of the tiger, which gave vent to a startled snarl of fear and rage commingled, and crouched almost to the ground. The brute was unwilling to give up its prey, however, and stood its ground, eyeing Al with eyes which shone with a wicked light. As the great crowd witnessed the wonderful and daring feat of Al, the boy acrobat, a great cry of fear went up and then at a gesture from him it became silent, and watched the scene with staring eyes and .bated breath. Never had such a startling scene been witnessed as was before their eyes at that moment, and it is probable that there. was hardly an individual in that entire crowd who did not think the daring youth and the woman as well would be torn to pieces before their eyes Dick Hardy and his sister Mabel had recognized Al the instant he appeared and started to run toward the inclosure, and they had watched the youth with wondering eyes. They could not think what he was going to do, until he had leaped into tlitl air and turned the somersault into the inclosure, and then, with a cry, Mabel caught. hold of Dick's arm. "He will be killed, Dick!" she cried. "He will be torn to pieces by that terrible animall Oh, it


AL THE BOY ACROBAT 7 !s terrible !-horrible! Cannot-will not some one go to his aid? Cannot something be done to help him?" "I'm afraid not,sis," replied Dick, in a hoa.rse, strained voice. "Wait, though; maybe Al knows what he is about. He is a level-headed fellow generally. Maybe he \ viil succeed in saving the woman's life, and his own, too." "Oh, I hope so, Dick But I don't see how he can possibly do it." "Neither do I; but watch!" Al Payson was a youth who, in his short lifetime of a Jittle less than eightee n years, had had many strange This is neither the time nor place to. speak of any of those adventures; suffice it to say that the-Y<'Uth had years ago learned that he was possessed of a strange puwer-the power of contI oiling even the of wildest beasts by simply looking them in the eyes. The possession of this h a d been. of great service to Al on more than one occasion, and he thought that he could make it of service now, not omy w pl'otect himself from injury, but to save the life of the brave woman who, while not severely injured as yet, and having full pos-session of her senses, lay perfectly still and kept her eyes n early closed, looking out between the nearly closed lids. To this end., then, after making tne gesture for the to kee p silent, Af -faced the crouching tiger and fixed his eyes full upon those of the animal. The battle _of the eyes was on. It was a strange one-tl!e will power of the human against the instinct of the brute to leap and tear and rend his foes. For half a minute the youth stood there, transfixing the animal with his piercing gaze, and then slowly the boy raised. his right hand and extel!-ded it toward the tiger. '1'he anu:nal had not yet given up, though its eyes were wavering, and it growled and crouched, but Al kept J:iis eyes fixed full upon those of the brute, and presently extended the other arm. Then, after standing this way for perhaps a half-minute, the youth took a step for-: ward; again he waited, and then he took another step, and then, believing that he was safe in mak ing the attempt he had in view, Al suddenly cried, "Back!" and leaped straight at the crouching animal, as if intending to grasp it with his hands. The plan succeeded, for with a startled, snarling growl the tiger leaped back and, crouching, gazed sidewise at the daring youth, a frightened look in its yellow orbs. "Up, lady!" said Al, in a low, tense voice, and Monsen leaped to her feet. "Thank you, and may heaven bless yc.u, my bi-ave boy!" she cried. "Now we can control them, I think." "Give me your whip," said Al, and the woman obeyed. Then; stepping boldly forward and frowning in the fiery face of the tiger, with a look that made the animal tremble, gave the brute a cut with the whip, at the same instant crying, sharply: "Into the cage, Sir! Into the cage!" With a wild half-shriek of fear, half snarl of rage, the tiger made a great leap, reaching the bridge leading to the cage and rushed into and to the farther end of the where he paused of necessity and, turning, staring out at Al with great yellow eyes that glowed with anger and terror. At the same moment Marie Monsen drove the other two tigers to and up the )>ridge, they being much more docile than their ion, and they were soon in the cage, after which -Al swung the door to with a clang and fastened it: -Then, woman-like, as a great shout of triumph and admiration went up from the tude, the overwrought woman tiger-tamer fa.inted in -Al's arms. "Hurrah for Payson!" chrieked Dick Hardy, wildly. "Three cheers for the boy acrobat!" Such, and scores of more, were the exclamations given vent to by the excited people, and while they were uttering the exclamations Al told a couple of roustabouts to pull the cage out of t;he way, after which he lifted the unconscious woman through the opening in the inclosure Marie Monsell was then laid upon some carpet an d a doctor was called down from the crowd and began working to resuscitate the woma.n who had come so close to death's door and escaped. CHAPTER Vl.-Al and Marie Monsell. Marie Monsen had only swooned, and soon re covered consciousness, and when she was able to walk to her dressing-room she was assisted-to it by one of the lady performers. Al hurried away. and got out of sight within his dressing-room as quickly as possible, bt he had scarcely got there ltefore the people began callipg for him. He did not wish to go out, but the people would not quiet down, and finally Mr. Thompson came and asked him to come into the ring. So Al appeared the ring and bowed in several different directions, his face as red as a beet, .tor he really was embarrassed. He managed to stand with his in the direction of Dick and Mabel Hardy while the proprietor made a little speech, tellmg the people what a wonderful feat it was that "Master Albert Wellington" bad performed. He dilated upon it to some length, stating that the tiger was one that was very dangerous, and said that the feat the youth had performed was one that no other living person could duplicate. When Mr. Thompson had finished his seech the people yelled, "Speech! Speech! Al Payson, speech!" and the proprietor told Al to make a little speE!ch of some kind. . "I can't make a speech," he said, iTI a low tone, but the proprietor said he must say something, and as the people kept on clamoring for a speech, Al said: "Ladies and Gentlemen: I do not know why you should wish me to make a speech. I have done nothing that calls for anything of that kind. I was in no danger when I leaped into the inclosure and faced. the .tiger, as I have always pos sessed the power to control all kinds of animals, and I knew I could control the tiger. I can only say that I am glad I saved the lady's life, and I am also glad that you appreciate it. That is all. Good-night, and thank you!" Then Al withdrew to the dressing-tent, pausing at the door an instant to wave his hand to Dick and Mabel. As he stepped inside the tent he was faced by Sam Stokes, who regarded the youth with ill-disguised eagerness. "Well, my boy," he said, "you did a good thing awhile ago, didn't l.ou? You saved Marie's life." "I suppose I di ," Al replied, coolly.


8 AL THE BOY ACROBAT I "Of course you did! That tiger would have chewed her to pieces but for you. I've told her he would do the trick, more than once, but she has always laughed at me. I guess she will give the matter her serious attention now." "That is a dangerous animal," assented Al. "He is not a fit brute to take into an open inclosure to do tricks with." "You are right, my boy, and I ,\lope you will try to persuade Marie :hot do so any more." "I don't suppose persuasion from me would have any effect," replied Al. "She is her own boss, and has a right to do as she pleases." "Oh, yes, she has the right to do so, but if the youth who saved her life asks her to do a thing she will certainly be willing t and you may save her life by speaking a few words. If she doesn't stop it you will only have lengthened her lease of life a little instead of saving it.'' "I will try to dissuade her,'' the youth replied. "I know the tiger is not a fit animal to use in such a performance. Have they no other in menagerie that would do to take the place of this "Yes there are othe1s in there that might be used with safety, but Ma:fie has insisted on keep ing on with the brute that so nearly robbed her of her life a short time ago.'' "T'l ""'""' le tJl },.,,. "ntl tl'v tn O'At. hAl' tJl m"\"' '!1 the change,'' said Al, and at 'this moment a caU! d boy entered the tent and approached Al. Marie Monsen wants to see you in her dress ing-tent," he said. "Will you come along now?" "G-0 on!" urged Stokes. "Yes, I will go with you," said Al. "Lead the way." The boy led the way to the dressing-tent of Marie Monsell and, announcing Al. turned away. The lady arose from a stool as AI entered and, advancing, held out her hand. "I wish to thank you for saving my life, my boy!" she said, in a sad, sweet voice. "You are the bravest boy I ever saw!" "It was nothing," Al replied, blushing like a girl. "It was very easy for me to do what I did Mrs Monsell. I am an acrobat, you know, so ad I had to do was to turn a fiiptiop into the inclosure; and then, as I have always been possesser of the power to control animals with my eyes, it was a simple matter for me to rid you of the tiger." "And that is the very thing which I wish to .B!\k you about," the woman said, eagerly. "Sit down," and she indicated a stool, at the same time seating herself on the stool she had occupied when Al entered. Then, as Al seated himself, she continued: "You are a wild animal tamer, my boy, and I wish to ask where you learned how to do this? It is something that very few people can do." Al had taken a good look at the woman, and he found that she was seemingly about thirty-five years of age. She might be a year or two older or younger, but she was quite beautiful, and there was a sad look to her face and in her eyes, as if she had known some great trouble. "You ask ;ne where I learned to control animals, lady, and I shall have to answer that I do not know. So far as I know, I have always known how but sometimes it seems to me that I remember, as in a dream, that I used to be taught the art, or whatever it may be, by a beautiful ladybut, of course, this may be a dream, a mere idle fancy." The woman gazed into the handsome face of the boy intently, seachingly, and with something of eagerness in her beautiful eyes. "You have been an animal tamer in shows, have you not, my boy?" she asked. Al started, hesitated, looked all around to see that no one was near, and then said, in a low tone: "I will tell you, lady, if you will promise not to tell any one; will you promise?" "Certainly I will promise, my boy!" replied the lady, gently, and gazing searchingly and wonderingly into the youth's handsome face, which now, for some reason, had grown pale, as if the subject brour,ht up something that was frightening to him. 'Go on, and tell me if y.ou have not been ,a wild animal tamer in shows. "I have, lady," he replied, and then, sinking his voice, he said: "I have been traveling with shows ever .since I can remember-practically all my life! And in that time I have been both animal tamer and acrobat and tumbler. When I was a little fellow I 1({as with a man who claimed to be my uncle and guardian, and he was very cruel to me, beating me and sometimes nearly starving me, and I had do to whatever he told me to cln. I rln nnt lcnow hnur nlrl. I was t.he tU-


AL THE BOY ACROBAT p 9 when my first remembrance of the man begins, but I should judge I was four or five years old, and I was with him ten loni&:, weary years, traveling with a dozen different shows, and in all parts of the world. I tried to escape from him a number of times, but was caught and brought back each time and, as I could not dispute his guardianship of me, or his right to control me, 1 did not appeal to outsiders for help, but kept on trying to escape, seizing every favorable opportunity, and at last succeeded, making my escape three years ago when the show we were with was in Central India. I made my way, after a month of hardship in the jungle, to Bombay and worked my way to Naples in Italy, where an American circus was showing. I got an engagement with this circus, appearing in the capacity of animal tamer and as an acrobat, and earned good money. I stayed with the circus a year, and traveled all over Europe, and went with it from there to South America, where we were for another year, traveling all over the continent. From there we ume to the United States, and I was with the show seven or eight months here, showing over the eastern half of the country. I had saved considerable money and, desiring to rest up, I set out across New York State, walking, and pretending that I was in search of work. I .got work with a man in this village, and have been here a few weeks, but when this show came to town the old fever returned and, as something seemed to tell me to join the show, I did so. I am I did so now, as I was enabled to save your life as a result." CHAPTER VII.-On the Road. Al paused and gazed at ground, while the woman, who had listened with eagerness to the strange story of the handsome youth, gazed upon Al's face as if fascinated. "My poor boy!" she said, softly, reaching out and taking his hand and pressing it; "you have indeed had a hard time of it. I am glad, how ever, that you have joined this show, and I hope you will remain with it throughout the rest of the season." "I think I shall do so, lady," he said. "There is one thing I wish to ask of you, and that is that you wn not take that tiger into the inclosure again. He s not fit to use in such work. You can never trust him. If you keep on with him he will be the death of you." "I thank you for the interest you take in me, my boy," Marie Monsell replied, "but 'India' is my property, and the contract with the proprietors of the show ealls for India's appearance once a day in the performance in the inclosure, so I cannot leave him out, much as I would like to." "That is too bad!" replied Al, sadly. "Well, if you must kee-p on using India in the perform r-nce, you must promise to let me appear in the inclosure with you each time. Will you do it?" Marie Monsell hesitated. "Yes," she said, presently; "I promise. You shall be in the inclosure each time and I thank y0u for your kindness. You are a noble youth." "Don't talk to me tha.t way, Mrs. Monsell," said AI. "We wish to

10 AJ;. THE B9Y 4CROB ,_t\T "I think there is no doubt regarding that," Al assented. "If Marie doesn't stop using that tiger in her act he'll be the death of her one of these days." "That is what I told her. I tried to get her to promise not to u s e him any more, but she said her contract called for the appearance once each day of India-that's the tiger's name--in the in closure, in that act, so she has to use him." "That's too bad. Thompson and Williams ought to let her off, though, after tonight's hap pening." "I think so. If they do not do so, however, I am going to appear in the inclosude with her, and I think that with both of us to watch him he_ will not dare attempt any more funny business.". "That is a good plan; and it is good of you,_ too, my boy I guess it will be safe to use India with both of you in the act." : "I think so.'! ; The tr.ain started at.this moment, and as it was late, being half-past eleven,. !ind all were: tired, the inmates of the car retired, and soon sound 11-sleep, as the Ii:(e Of a showin .an soon : learns one to be able to go to sleep anywhere and at any time. : CHAPTER VIII.-A Brutal Barebac;k Rider. . AI Payson into d _uties devolving upon him easily and naturally, and was soon perfectly at home. He seemed to know all that old veteran showmen knew, and his knowledge was taken note of. by Harkins, and it made the, man all the more sure that the youth was an old hand at the show business. At the next stand Al made as great a hit as he had made at Wyburn, the people seeming to think the turning of a double somersault over the ten animals, three of which were elephants, a wonderful feat for a boy, as in deed it was. Messrs. Thompson and Williams, the proprietors of the show, were .veT:y glad indeed that they had secured the services of the youth, but they were careful not to too much that line, as they were afra_id the youth get too exalted an idea of his worth and strike them for higher wages. Had they known he was an old stager it would have been different. As Al was getting ready foi: the evening's ance, Sam Stokes came m and approachmg t _he youth, said: . "You had a talk with Marie Monsell last mght. Did rou ask her to stop using that tiger in he,.r act?' "Yes," Al replied. "I asked to do so." "And what she say?" eagerly. . "She said that she could not stop usmg him m the act, as her contract called for his appearance A disappointed look appeared in Stokes' eyes. "I am sorry to. hear that," he said. "That means that sooner or later she will be torn to pieces by the beast." "I think n o t, Mr. Stokes. I am going to be in the inclosur e each time with her, and both of us will be inore than a match for India, I > The face of the man lighted up at this. "Are you?" he cried. "I am glad of that. So 'long as you are with the show she will be toler ably safe, then. At the performance that evenin g Al went through with his part in the acrobatic work and in the tumbling and leaping fro m the board, and wh e n the time came for Marie Mon sell s act :Q.e appear ed in the inclosure with the w oman a nd the tigers. Mr. Williams, one of the proprietors, came out and made a little speech, stating that the large tiger had come v ery near killing Marie Mons e ll, that indee d he would have done so but for "Maste r Albert Wellington," who, being something of an aimal tamer himself, ha.d leaped into the inclosure and saved the lady's life. The tiger, being a dangerous beast, it had been thought only prudent that he appear in the inclosure with Monsen. The majority had read the#account of the affair in the county papers, .this town being only eight or nine miles from and they gazed upon the youth with interest. India was in a bad humor tonight, as might have been expected, and he growled and thre!ltened, but with Al's help he was made to go through his paces. Both he and the. woman were glad when the act was ended, however, for-there \Vas .an ugly look on the tiger's face. Th,e people breathed freer,. too, and were as glad as the wo and the boy were. When the next stand was reached, the town being seven or eight miles farther on, Sam Stokes was found to be missing.-As he was one of the boss canvas men, he was sadly "!pissed, and inquiries were made for him of the <> en1ployes by the proprietors of the show. The tents were gotten up in time, however, and the performances given afternoon and evening. At the next town Sam Stokes turned up and went to work as "if nothing had happened. He did not isay a word about having been absent, but as soon as the proprietors lea:rned that Stokes had shown up they came to interview him. "Hello, Stokes! Got back, have you'!" remarked Mr. Williams. "Where have you been?" "Got full back at the other town," was the short reply; and as Stokes was a valuable man the proprietors decided to not" deliver the lecture they had intendPd giving the. man. Instead, Williams said: "Humph! Well, don't do it again!" and both of them withdrew, Stokes paying no attention to anything but his work. As is often the cas e with traveling shows, one of the bareback rider5, "Hank" Jones by name, but known on the bill s a s Monsieur Jacques Le Fontaine, had under his control a boy of about eight years whom he was teaching to ride. The boy was a bright little fellow, named Harry Dale, and would have learned much more rapjdly had he had. someone else to teach him, for Hank Jones was a brute, who whipped the boy unmercifully if he made the slightes t error, thus keeping him in a con stant state of nervous nes s A s it happened, Jones had not done more than cuff the ears of little H;, rry since Al joined th. e s how, but even that had been almost more than the youth could witness without interfering. n reminded him of his own boyhood d a y s when another jus t s uch a bruta l taskmaster had pounded him when he did n o t l earn to turn flip-flo p s as rapidly a s the man thought he ought to. On this day, howf.ver, while the canvas was being put up around the s ide s of the great t ent, and before the t i me for the parade, Hank J ones put Harry Dale to work practicing. The little fellow mus t have been mor1;1. than, u sually _ner vous for he did not do a s well 'its usual, f allmg off onc e or twice, and encountering great difficulty in keepinit on the hors;e 11.t all. witn the result that the ...


t 1 ;; :I AL THE BOY ACROBAT 11 : became vecy angry and suddenly began whipping the boy with the whip which he always had in his hand, ostensibly to use on the horse, but the boy got the benefit of it oftener than the horse did. When Hank Jones began whipping Harry the boy was standing up on the horse, but, startled a;; well as hurt, he foll to the ground, and the man kept on whipping, every stroke of the lash bringing a shriek of agony from the boy, for the whip was not a toy by any means, but a wicked thing made for the purpose of cutting blood out of an animal if the wielder so desired. _<\J Payi::on happened to be passing and, as the sound of the shrill cries of boy and the swieh swish! of the whip came to his ears, he gave vent to an exclamation of anger and darted under the canvas and into the tent. His eyP.s took in the situatian in an instant, and he JP.aped forward, like a panther. So angry was Hank Jones and so intent on his work of flogging the helpless boy that he did not see or hear Al, and the first intimation he had of the youth's approach was when Al caught hold of the whip as the man drew back to strike a blow and jerked the instrument oftor ture out of his hands. "What do you mean by whipping the boy in such a horrible. manner, you great big ugly brute!" cried Al, a dangercus look in his eye s i'You ought by rights to be tied there to the cen ter-pole and given a dose of your cwn medicine!" CHAPTER IX.-AI Defeats a Bully. Hank Jones turned upon Al and gazed at him for a few in speechless astonishment and iage. Then he suddenly found his voice. "What is that?" he cried. "Do you dare to talk to me in such a fashion, you little whipper snapper, you? Why, I'll break you in two! I'll wring your neck! You are the most impudent young scoundrel that I ever saw!" "And you are the biggest brute!" retorted Al calmly. The man' stared at Al a few moments in breathless astonishment at the youth's temerity, and then, quick as a flash, made a cut at Al with the whip. The youth was on the watch, however, and ducking, he avoided the stroke and, making a quick grab, secured a firm hold on the whip 4nd jerked it out of the man's hand. "I guess not!" he said quietly. "You are a good hand at boys but you will find I am a shade too large for you to upon with success. You had best confine your attempts at castigation to small boys like Harry there, and give boys like me the go-by." "Curse you! I'll give you a good pounding for, that!" Jones cried, and he leaped at Al like a tiger and struck out at the youth's face with all his might. Undoubtedly he thought that he would ]and on the youth and knock him down and out with one blow, but he was destined to meet with a surprise. Al knew the blow was coming before it started, and as Jones struck out, the youth leaped backwar

12 AL THE BOY ACROJ3AT surprised and impressed. Jones suddenly remem bered that Al was an acrobat. and the thought struck him that the youth was going to play some of an acrobatic trick upon him. . ;"I'll not give him any chance to do that, .how ever," he .said to himself. "I'll close right in on him and make it impossible for. him to do any funny business." "I see there is no use of talking to you," Jones aid. "You are determined to get yourself. into trouble, so the quicker I bring th_ e affair to a head the better.Here goes for you .!" and Jones suddenly leaped forward and began Al with both fists as rapidly as he could. The youth was on his guard, however, .and by giving ground slightly and parrying and ducking, he managed to avoid all the blows, doing so so neatly as to bring exclamations of admiration from the spectators, some of-the--performers having l>v this time appeared on the scene. ,./'What is Jones up to now?" asked one. "Why. is1he the boy;" kid interfered with him .when he .wuz lic'k in' the little chap,'' replied one of the canvai"men / 'Well, it"s an outrage that he should be all1;rived to whiv a little like Harry as if hewer.e a dog, .and then attack a boy ,like Al." "I don't think you need worr.y about Al..'' said Harkins, who was one of the sp.ectators. "Un I am mightily mistaken,. he is able 'to take care:of himself." Harkins provei to be a very good prophet, for the youth remained on the defensive until -Jones grew tired of thrashing the atmosphere, :-ind then when the big fellow dropped his hands to let __ them rest, Al took the offensive and sailed into the man in great shape, raining the blows unon him quite as rapidly as Jones had attempted to rain them upon the boy . There were live!y,times tltere for a few moments, and as Al's blows landed upon the face and body of Jones he staggered backward and threw up his hands in an awkward and vain attempt to ward the blows off. Having got his man started backward, overbalanced and. ra:ttied, Al kept up the rain of blows an.d then,' when a good chance offered, dealt him a terrible blow on the point of the jaw, flooring .Jones as if he had been struck with a sledge-hammer. It wa:f a terrible blow, one such as none who were watch ing the combat had thought. the youth capable. of delivering, and they uttered exclamations of astoniSh'ment. rifle left-hand s wing'-on the jaw. This blow dazed Jones, and he lay for nearly a minute unable to ri!le to even a sitting and the spectators, none of whom seemed to like J cnes, expressed their pleasure at the result of the combat. "That was a daisy tap!" "I'm glad he slugged Jones!" .'So am I. I have thought of interfering when he w:as beating the little chap there, morf;! .than once, but did not do it. Al is all .right." Stokes talked a while longer, but seemed to be this time." . This. was scarcely true, for just at that moment Mr. Jones was hardly in a conditiou to realize. .anything. He rallied shortly, however, and rose to a sitting posture, rubbed his eyes and then scrambled .to his feet. Instead of renewing the combat with Al, he caught little Harry Dale by the hand, said, "Come along witJi me,'' and made his way to and into the dressing-tent without e_ven so much ag_ a glance ;it. Al. "The sh')w is over, gentlemen,'' remarked the. youth, with a smile. "Mr. Jones has withdz:awn from the field." ""I wouldn't have thought Jones would give upin such fashion,'' said.Harkins "I thougbt..he WM a. man ()f moi:e courage than that.1! didn't,'' said Al quietly. "A manwho will }!eat a little fellow as he has been in the habit. of, beating li'ttle ,Haxry is a coward. 1He could not. help being; for no one but a: coward would do such a thing. I knew he wouldn't star1d for a thrashing." CHAPTER X.-Sam Stokes and Marie Monsell. The thrashing Al had administered to Hank Jones gave the youth considerable prestige among 1.)le show people; it had a good result otherwise, too, in that the bareback rider did 'not -beat the boy again as he had been in the habit of doing. Evidently he feared to do so. For some reason Sam Stokes seemed to take a great interest in Al, the boy acrobat, and was usually around where "Great Scott! What a blow!" t)le youth was as much as it waspossible for him to be, which was a good deal, as he was a sort of privileged character. He often engaged Al in con. versation, and talked of traveling with shows in foreign countries, watching the youth the while closely. It seemed from Stokes' account that he liad traveled pretty much over the world, and :A:l w.ondercd sometimes if this talk was not intended was like .the kick o:( a mule!" "Thet wuz a sockdolager, sure enuff!" The bareback rider was a tough fellow, and-was not knocked out, even though ,jarred cqnsiderably by the blow and fall, .and after lying a few mo IIH!nts, blinking upward at the roof of the canvas, he rose to a sitting posture and then scrambled to his. feet. \ : "I'll :make you sorry for that, you yrmng scoundrel !" he cried, and he forward again, bent on crushing the youth by superior strength and force. ;, Al woulq not permit himself to be cornered, however, and kept out of reach, parrying, ducking and evading the blows showered upon him, until, as in the first instance, Jones tired himself out_ and dropped his hands from sheer exhaustion, when Al attacked his '.Jpponent,. driving him back atul finnllv knockin2' him down again with a ter-to draw him out and get him to t11lk about him-. self and where he had been. Al kept his own counsel, however, and if such was Stokes' purpose he made nothing by it, for the youth never gave the man a hint that he had traveled with shows in foreign lands. One day, fl week or so after Al had given Jones the thrashing, Stokes was in the. dres!"ing-tent, talking to the youth, and he spoke of this feat of Al's, and then said: "You must be an unusually strong boy, Al. Let me feel of your muscle." and he took hol'ci of Al's arm and pressed it with his fingers. Then he slippe\l the sleeve of Al's shirt up, as if tc see the muscles work, and as his eyes fell upon a red scar en the youth's arm just below the elbow he started, in spite of mself, and a queer light shcne in his eyes. "."Ah! tliat's quite a little scar you have there." Stokes said . "What caused it?"


,' .. . AL THE .BOY ACROBAT 13 "I don't know; it has always been there," replied Al. Stoke s talked a while longer, but seemed to be thinking of something else than what he was talking about, and presently he cut the conversation short and left the dressing-tent. "It's the boy, sure as shooting!" he muttered. !'Well, well! Who would ever have thought of such a thing as that we should all come togethzr again in this fashion? What shall 1 do? I dcn't know. I hate the man. He is a scoundrel and ungrateful; while the boy is a fine youth. I don't know what to do. I will talk the matter OY':'r with Marie, and see what she thinks about it." That same evening he entered the dressing-tent of Marie Monsell, and she greeted Sjokes with grave kindness of manner. is it, Sam?" she asked, for she knew by his looks that he wished to say something out of the ordinary. Stokes seated himself on a stool near where Marie was sitting and, after looking at the wo man reflectively for a few moments, he said: "Marie, I've made a discovery." The woman started and looked at Stokes quickly and sharply. : "Have you?" she asked. Stokes nodded. "I have; and it is a wonderful rliscovery, too, Marie. You would never guess what it is if you were to guess till you are as old as Methuselah." A qiuet smile overspread the woman's face. "Don't be too sure, Sam," she said quietly. "You think you can guess, then?" "I do." "Suppose you try, then." "Very well. You have discovered that the boy acrobat, Al, is the boy we knew years ago in Australia." Stokes started. "Y GU have hit it!" P,e exclaimed. "You have guessed it the first time." "I have been sure of it since the night he saved. my life, Sam." "You have? What made ou think of it at that time?" "I hardly know. Perhaps it was the fact 'that he possessed the power to control wild animals. You know that I u.sed to teach him to do that when he was a little fellow. And his being an aerobat, too, made me -think there might be some thing jn my suspici!ln that he was the same ehild, grown up to a handsome youth. There was a look in his eyes that reminded me of the little fellow we used to know, also, and I asked him if he had ever been with a show before this one. He i;aid that he had been with shows all his life, ever since he could remember; that he had been forced to learn to be an acrobatby a man wlio claimed to be his uncle and guardian, and that he had a remembrance of woman who had taught him to ccntrol dogs and other animals with his eyes. He said, further, that he had escaped from the man when he was fifteen years old, in India, and that he had reached Italy, .where he joined a show, with which he went through all the countries of Europe, from there to Sout!i America, and then to the United States. I w confident, then, that he was the same boy." "And he is, Marie. I s uspected it for some reaEon, and today I, under pretence of looking at his muscle, s lipped up his shirt-sleeve and--" "Found the red scar." Stokes nodderl. "Yes, it's there,'' he assented. "It is the boy. There is absolutely no doubt regarding the mat. ter." ... "I knew it," the woman said. And then she looked at Sam steadily for a few moments, and said: "Sam,' is there not some way that we can make some money out of this?" Stokes smiled. "I have already tried to do so, Marie," he said, "but--" "Failed?" "Fa.iled utterly." "But what did you do? Where did you go?" "I guess you know. To--" "I have forgotten his name, I believe; no, I re:'. member now. It was .Hanover. Isn't that right?": "That's the name: Austin Hanover, and he lives, as you will remember Bill Sykes said he did; : at Wyburn, the very town where Al joined the show." ,' "Yes, I remember now. But what do you sup pose the boy was doing at Wyburn? Do yo1i think that he has any knowledge or suspicion of the truth?" hardly think so, Marie. I am confident that' it was the 1esult of a accident." "You must be right; he would nQt have joine4 this show and 1eft Wyburn otherwise." "You are right about that." "But you say you went to Hanover?" "Yes." "When Wt! were at Wyburn, of course." "Yes." "Well, what did you say to him? How did you.. approach him?" "I went to his home and called on him and tol41, him that I was an old friend of Bill Sykes." "You did?" "Yes." -"What did he say?" "He pretended ignorance of wllat I was talking about." "He did?" "Ye!:. He said he did not know, and had never known anyone by the name of Bill Sykes." '"What did you do then?" "1 told him that his memory must be bj\d, and then I commenced tlllking about a boy t'hat Hill Sykes had had with him in a show that I was with. in Australia, and he cut me short with the statement that he had neither time nor inclination to listen to fairy tales, and ordered me out of the house." "Well, well! He was rather nervy, wasn't he?'" "I should say so! And then, when I did not obey his command, but remained and kept on talking, telling him what Bill Sykes told us on his death-bed last winter down in Texas, he got very angry and tried to throw me out." "He mu s t be a rather hot-headed man." "Yes, he is that. In fact, he is, in my a villain who would hesitate at nothing, not even murder. To tel I the truth, if he had been able. I think he would have murdered me then and there." "Indeed! Well, if all Sykes said .is true, and I have no doubt it is, this man, Austin Hanover, would not hesitate at any crime. What would not a man do who is capaole of doing what he did?'"


.. f 14 AL THE BOY ACROBAT -"Nothing but what he would do, I guess. Anyway, I was startled and in self-defense grabbed him by the thr-0at and began choking him. Then he began yelling murder at the top of his voice, and then I heard footsteps on the stairs, and someone jumped against the door, it being locked. I let go of Hanover's. throat and ran to an open window, and just then the door was burst ooen and into the room leaped-who do you thinK:?'; "I could not guess, Sam." "Al, the boy acrobat!" CHAPTER XI.--Stokes and Marie Decide to Help Al. Marie Monsen uttered an exclamation of aston-ishment. . "You don't mean it!" she cried. "How did he happen to be there?" "That is what I do not know. It must have been an accident; but it was a strange occurrence, to say the least." "I should say so; but what did you do?" "I climbed through the open window I spoke of and dropped to the ground and escaped." "Did the boy see .. vou?" "He saw me, of course, but I don't know whether or not he saw my. face. I was badly frightened when I saw him the first day, when he joined the show. I was afraid he W!Juld recog nize me, and in ariexcess of zeal, go dnd out a warrant for my arrest, as naturally he must have thought the man he had frightened away from the mansion of Austin Hanover was trying to murder the man." The woman was silent, and seemed studying for several moment's. Presently she looked up. "Sam,n she said, "that was before you knew where the boy was, or that he was. alive, so I do not blame you for trying to make a rise out of the man Hanover. Now, however. that we know the youth, and since I owe him, my life, I wish if you are willing to do all we can to get him what is rightfully his own. What do you say, Sam'!" St9kes studied a few minutes, and then said: "I am willing, Marie. I can't say I'm stuck on that man Hanover. He is an old scoundrel, and we would never be able to make a cent out of him, anyway. He is closer than the bark on a blackjack." "Well, theri,Jet's tell the boy all we know, which is a good deal, if all Sykes told us is true; what do you say?" "I say, ye11, Marie. I should like to get even with old Hanover, to tell the truth." "Tomorrow is Sunday. That will be as good a time as any. We can invite him to go riding or walking' with us, and then tell him the whole story." "That is a good idea. We'll do i .t." Then Stoke s left the woman, who presently went into the ring, and, with Al in the inclosure ,to render er assistance in controlling India, the savage tiger, she w.ent through her perform l ance. Next day was Sunday, and was a lovely 'day. Stokes hired a two-seated rig and invited 1Al t-0 go riding with him. "Marie Monsell is going," he said, "and she requested that I invite you to go along, too. Don't aav no, now, my boy, for !'won't have it. Marie would be terribly disappointed, if you did. Come along." Al saw that Stokes was in earnest, so did not refuse. "Very well; J will go," he said. "It is such a lovely day that I shall enjoy a ride." "Of course ydil will; and Marie and myself will enjoy better if you are along. MariEl, has taken a hkmg to you, and I kinder like you tco, my boy." you,'! said Al quietly. Then he ac to the carriage and took a seat beside Mane on the rear seat, Stokes sitting in front to drive. "Jove! but Stokes is slinging it on somewhat for a romitabout, isn't he?" exclaimed Harkins as he saw 'the three drive away. "Yes,'' replied Burton. "But it is whispered a:r:ound that he and Marie Monsell are man and wife, old man. I wonder if it is true?" "I don't lmow, I am sure. I had heard the rumor, but not credit it until today.' It looks, however, as if there may be something in the ium or." Stokes far out into the country, and the three were delighted. It was haying season, and the smell of the new-mown hay and the beauty of everything was enjoyed hugely by the three strangely assorted people. They were in a beautiful section of country, and all were lovers of Nature, so. the time passed rapidly. After three hours of riding Stokes drew up in the shade of some trees on the bank of a beautiful little stream, and then, turning around in the seat and facing the youth and the woman, Stokes looked at Al and said, impressively: "Marie and I have brought you here for a Al, my boy. We are going to give you. a great surprise." "Indeed!" remarked Al. What kind of a sur pris1:1 ?" "This, my boy We are going to tell you who you are, and about you." "+-:--CHAPTER XII.-Telling Al the Story. Al stared at Stokes in amazement. "What!" he exclaimed, presently, in a wondering voice, "you are going to tell me who I ani, and all about me?" "Just that!" nodded Stokes. "Yes, indeed!" coincided Marie Monsell, with a smile. "But how can that be possible?" almost gasped Al. "How can you, whom I hav e never see n before I met you a short time ago on joining this show, know what I do not know myself-namely, who I am?" "That is just at present secret," smiled Stokes. . "But we're going to tell you the secret, Al,'' ,the woman said. "That is what we brought you here for." "Exactly!" nodded Stokes. Al stared at first one, then the other. "You have me all he said. "Who are you, and how, when and where did you learn aught of me?" Marie Mon se ll turned toward Stokes. "Shall I tell him the storv, Sam?" she asked.


AL THE BOY ACROBAT 15 Yes, go ahead, Marie," the man said. "You a better talker than I am." "Very well, then. First, Al, I will tell you what you may have heard ru)Jlored among the show people. Sam here and I are man and wife." Al stared in surprise. "Is thatrso?" he exclaimed. "No; I had not heard it rumored-probably because I have not been with the show long. Well, well! This is quite a surprise to me!" "We are man and wife," repeated Marie Mon sell, "and have been for twenty years. We have been traveling with shows for that length of time, and have be e n all over the world." "But you told me your real name was Mary Scott, said Al in surprise. "Tha t was b efore I had any idea that we should let you into the secret that we are married. Mary Scott was my maiden name." "Oh!" "Twelve years ago," went on Marie, "Sam and I were with a show in Australia. With that show was a man by the name of Bill Sykes--" "The man who had control of me for so many years!" exclaimed Al, a look t>f repulsion appearing on his handsvme face. "And Bill Sykes was a boy of six years--" "Myself!" said Al. The woman nodded. "Yes I now know you are the youth who, as a little f e llow in Australia, I thought so much of," the woman s aid. "I used to feel sorry for you when Syke s beat you, and I wondered many times where he got hold of you, for, although he claimed that he was your uncle and guardian, I never believed it. I could not believe that the blood of such a brutal man could fl.ow in the. veins of such a handsome, good little fellow as you were." "I am confident he was not related to m e ," said Al. "Oi:, if he was the' relationship was so dis-tant as to amount to nothing." "He was not related to you," the woman declared. "Sam and I have his own word to prove that." "You have?" exclaimed Al, eagerly. "Did he admit it to you at that time?" "No; not at that time," the woman said. "He would not admit anything of the kind then." "Whe n, then, did he admit it?" asked Al, with interest. "Las t winter!" was the reply. "Where did you see him las t winter?"he asked, with an anxious air. "In Texas." "Why I was in T exas myself las t winter," said Al "and if I had known that Bill Syl<;es was in State I s hould have made tracks out of it s o fast tha t i t w o uld have made m e d izzy!" The woman s miled, and the n s ob e r e d up again. "We ll, y o u will n ever need to f e el afraid on hi s account again," M arie said, quietly and s o berly. "He i s dead!" "What! Dead?" e xclaimed Al. "Ye s, h e died in T exas l ast winter, and Sam and I w e r e at hi s bedside whe n he breathed his last." Al was silent for a few moments and then looked up. "Of course, it w ould be hypocritical in me if I were to feel much sorrow at hearing of Sykes' death," saidAl, "but I can truthfully say that I feel sorry for him. I wish that he might have lived long enough to repent of his sins." Al started. "What did he tell you?" he asked, eagerly. "Anything about me?" The woman nodded. "Yes, indeed! All about you, AI. And it is a strange, a wonderful s .tory, too." Al was becoming greatly interested and excited. He gazed first at the woman and then at the and fairly trembled. "And-and you will tell me what he told you?" he asked. "That is what we brought you here for, AI .. We are goin g to tell you all that Syke s told us,._, and when we get through you will agree with us that it i s a remarkable story." "Go on, and tell me all!" Al urged. "Ah! you have no ide a how I have longed to know who I" am! It is not pleasant to be a nobody, not know ing that the name you bear is your own. Tel me, please, as quickly as possible." "I cannot remember to tell the story a s he toll it, Al she said, "so will go ahead and tell th substance in my own way. It will amount to th8 same thing." "Tell me, if you can, first and foremost, who I am. Tell me what my name is "Very well, Al. Your name is not Payson, but Hanover." The started and an excited look appeared in his eyes. Hanover!" he exclaimed. "Why, there are people of that name at Wyburn, where I joined the show! It can't be!-it is impossible that---" "That the Hanovers at Wyburn are related to you? No, it not only is not impossible, but it is a fact! You were born heir to that big mansion., standing jnst on the outskhts of Wyburn, my boy!" Al stared at the woman as if dazed. He seemed scarcely to comprehend, but at last his eyes kindled and an exclamation escaped him. "Can it be possible?" The man and woman both nodded. "Hanover!" Al murmured. "Is it not wonderful to think of that I s hould have found my wal to that town? It seems as i f fate had something to do with leading m e -to the place." Then to Al' s mind came the remembrance of having s een Sam Stokes escaping from the up ,stairs room of the Hano:ver mans ion af.ter having, as the youth s uppos ed, tried to murder Mr. Austin Hanover, and he looked at Stokes, wonderingly. "Mr. Stoke s ," he s aid s udd e nly, "what were you trying to do that afternoon when I frightened you out of the room in the Hanover mans ion, Why did y ou _try to kill the man?" CHAPTER. XIIL-The Story Continu ed. 'Stok es lqok e d confused for a moment, and then gave v ent to a half-forced laugh. "I did not try to kill him," h e said. Al looker! at the man in a doubting manner. "You did not?" he asked Sam Stoke s pondered for a few moments. "You might a s well tell him the whole story, Sam," said Marie Mon sen, quietly


16 AL THE BOY ACROBAT Sam Stokes pondered again for a few moments and then began: "I did choke that man, Al, but I did it in self defense. I knew his secret and went up there to see if I could not get some money out of him, but failed, and not only that, but he threatened to throw me out if I did not get away in a hurry. As I did not go quite as fast as he liked, or thought I should, he attacked me, a:r;id I simply defended myself, choking him till he was glad to let go of me. He managed to yell, 'Murder!' once or twice, however, and you heard him and came to his aid. I should have gone .myway when I did, had you not come; so your cuming really did no good at all." "So that was it, was it?" remarked Al. "But how did you expect to get money out of him?" "Well, as I said, I knew his secret, and I went to him and tried to frighten him into giving me some money, but he wouldn't scare worth a cent." ''Go ahead and tell Al the secret of his birth, Sam,'\ said Marie. "No; you do it, Marie," said Sam. "You are better at talking that I am. Tell him the story just as Bill Sykes told it to us." "Very well, I will do so. To begin with, then, your name is, as I said awhile ago, Albert Han over. Your father was Austin Hanover's half brother, Austin, as he had no other -.;.elatives, and made him your guardian." "Well, well! That is a 3trange story," said Al, as the-woman paused. "But how came I t-0 be traveling about the world with circuses, ilhd with Bill Sykes claiming to be my uncle and guardian?" "I will come to that presently. Your father, Ali was very v:ealthy. He left stocks, bonds and rea estate in New York City, and property in different parts of the State to the value of two or millim dollars. Of course he left the bulk of his great fortune to you, hi s s on, leaving his halfbrother about one hundred thousand dollars to pay him for taking care of you." "That s eem s quite liberal," said Al. "But Austin Hanover did not think so. He cov eted the entire fortune, and began scheming to get it into his hands. He studied for a long time and finally worked out a plan. He had a family of his own, consisting of a wife, son two years old and an infant daughter, and taking you and' hls family, together with all the papers, including the will, records of your birth and s o forth, he went off up to Wyburn, to the mansion where he now lives." "Ah!" breathed Al, "I begin to have. an inkling of what he was up to." "In Austin Hanover's employ was a man, a sort of confidential servant. He had been with Austin for years and, if the truth were known, I think he had been employed in many shady transactions, his master keeping in the background. He the same as said so-for this servant was Bitl Sykes, Al, your old taskmaster!" "I begin to understand," said Al. "I judge that you do. Well, not long after go ing to the mansion in Wyburn-this is Sykes' story to Sam and myself, you understand-Austin Hanover made a proposition to Sykes, nothing less in fact than that. he should take you and leave the country, with the intention that you hould never, if you lived, return to the United States. In oroer that he might have an excuse for sending you away, Hanover pretended that you were ill, and sent to New York ostensibly for a doctor; instead, he sent for an old crony of his, who was not a doctor at all, but who came on to Wyburn, wearing a plug hat and spectacles, and remained at the mansion several weeks, posing as a doctor andostensibly attending on you, and at the end of that time he returned to New York, firlilt recommending a sea voyage for you. If you re1'tained in Wyburn you would, he said, surely die. This, of course, waSl'what Austin Hanover had been scheming to bring about, and' a couple of weeks later Sykes left Wyburn for good and all, taking you with him. Sykes had been instruct ed to take you to some foreign coi.intry, wait a few weeks and then report that you had died, and this he did. He took you to Austl'alia, as he had Jived there once, and, after having reported you dead, he adopted you, calling himself your uncle and finally, four years later, he joined a circus. He had once traveled with a circus, and he went back into the profession and began to try to teach" you to become a show actor. He taught you little. feats in acrobatic work, and about this time Sam and I became members of the same show. It was then that we first knew you, and I taught you how to control dogs by simply looking at them. You were then six years old. We were with the. same show that Bill traveled with for two seasons and learned to think a great deal of you. Of: course we did not then know you were nothing to Sykes, but we did think that you must be very distantl related, if at all. I used to interfere ofter., too, to keep Sykes from beating you, for h was a brutal fellow. The next season, however we went with a different show, and. that was the last time we saw r,ou until the day you joined this show at Wyburn. Al had' listened, as was natural, with close at tention and g reat interest, and when the woman got through he asked: "Did Sykes tell you all this down in Texas last winter?" The woman nodded. "Yes," "she replied; "and not only that, but he had us take it down in black and white, and signed it; so we have full proof that you are Albert Hanover and the heir tQ that great fortune which is now heing enjoyed by Austin Hanover, your half-uncle." "You said someth.lng about his having told you where valuable papers were hidden," said Al. "Yes," the woman replied; "he told us about the papers. He said he saw the papers hidden, although Austin Hanover was not aware of the fact." "And where were they hidden?" "In a secret hiding-place in attic, rebind a sliding panel Austin Hanover hid them there, I suppose, because he was for some reason afraid to burn them. It would have been better for him if he had done the latter, for it will be a bad thing for him. It will enable us to throw him out and return you to your rightful place as the heir to and owner of the Hanover fortune." CHAPTER XIV.-A Triple Alliance. Al was silent for some little time, studying. "It is pretty hard to decide upon a plan of pro-


AL THE BOY ACROBAT 17 eedure," he said, "but I think there is one thing .that is self-evident. If I am to secure those papers I must go where they are." "There is no doubt abo11-t that," assented Stokes. . "That proposition cannot be disputed," from Marie Monsell. "This being true," continued Al, "it is the ...-e;ame as settled that I must return to Wyburn." "Yes, that is the thing to do," nodded Stokes. "And you will wish Sam and I to go with you?" asked Marie. "Yes; so that you will be at hand when needed. If you go to Wyburn, however, Sam will have to keep in the background, or Austin Hanover will see him and suspect something." "That's a fact," assented Stokes. "I can do that easy enough, though; in fact, our work will be done at night. We will have to do some burglar work, Al." ''Yes, but I think there will be nothing wrong er criminal in thus entering my own house, Mr. Stokes. I am going to do it to enable me to re gain what is my own, and to .defeat the schemes of a scoundrel." "That is true enough, but if Hanover should catch us at the work, he would have us in jail eefore we know what was taking place, so we ah.all have to be careful." "Of course; we will not be caught, if we can help it. By the way, have you Syl.Ces' confession with you?" "Yes, I brought it along on purpose," replied Marie, and she handed a paper to Al, who unfolded the document and read it with interest. "This is a valuable paper," he said. "Be sure and keep it in a safe place." "You may take charge of it. yQurfielf, if you like," said Sam. "It is yours." "Thank you! I will do so," and, folding the paper, Al placed it carefully in the inside pocket of his coat. Then the youth was silent for a few minutes, during which time he gazed down at the ground, and then he looked up and said: "I think I had better return to Wyburn a day or two ahead of you two, as we will not wish anybody there to know we are working together; tllen, after I have been there a day or two, you two can come in. What will you do, board at a hotel, or rent a little cottage?" "I guess I will rent a cottage," said Sam. "You see, if I work with you at night, I will have to come and go at almost all hours, and the hotel :people would soon get onto that and suspect me of being a burglar or criminal of some kind. I can come and go from a cottage of my own at my pleasure, and none will be the wiser." "I think that will be best," assented Al. "And now the question is, when shall we leave the show?" "Our contract expires the last of the week," iiaid Sam. "I don't just like Williams and Thomp son, but I do not feel like quitting them before our time is out. The time is so short, anyway. I think Marie .and I will remain with the show through next week. You, however, can quit when ever you like. You really iave no contract with them, -have you?" "None calling for a specified season. They could discharge me at any time, if they wished, and I can quit if I wish." "So I supposed. Then you will quit a day or two sooner?" "I should think so," assented, "butGreat Scotti 'speak of the Old Fellow!' If there don't come Austin Hanover down the road I'm a liar! Now what in the world is he doing here?" "Hard telling!" replied Al, in a low voice. "Won't he suspect "'Something if he sees and recognizes us? Can't we drive on before he does recognize us?" "No; he's too close. We will have to brass it out.", And, indeed, Stokes had told the truth; Austin Hanover was approaching-was almost opposite the three, in fact-in a buggy, to which were attached a team of matched bays. He was alone, and as he came opposite he pulled up his horses and, looking straight at Stokes with a look and air as if he had never seen the man before, asked: "Will you kindly tell me how far it is to Marvin, and also inform me as to whether or not I am on the right road to reacb that village?" "It is about seven miles to Marvin, I judge, sir," replied Sto'lces, coolly, p retending not to recognize Hanover; "and you are on the right road." "Ah, glad to hear it. Thank you!" and with a sharp glance at Al.and Marie the man drove on. "Now what can lie want in this part of the country?" asked Stokes. "That is what I should like to know?" said Marie. "It is hard to say," said Al. "It is likely, how ever, that he has property interests in Marvin, and is going there to look after them.'> "You don't suppose he is' after me, do you?" asked Stokes, his face paling slightly. "I hardly think so," the_youth replied. "Still, such might be the case. What are you going to do, risk it and go back?" "Yes," said Stokes, doggedly. "Let him have me arrested, if he wants to; he will wish he had not done so before he gets through with it." "I don't think he is here for that purpose at all," said Marie. "If he had wished to have you arrested he would have done so before you left Wyburn that day." "I think so," coincided Al. "He is here on private business and did not expect to run across you, in all probability." "I think so myself," said Stokes. "Well, what do you say to returning to Marvin? We stand each other thoroughly." "I am ready," said Al. "And I," from Marie. Stokes started the horses at once, and after a roundabout drive of a couple of hours reached the tow n. When they reached the hotel Austin Hanover was seated upon the piazza. A quiet looking man sat near him, and as the three step ped upon the piazza Hanover pointed to Stokes and, addressing the man beside him, said, sternly: "Arrest that man! He tried to murder me in my own home at Wyburn a short time ago!" CHAPTER Gives Notice. The 'man leaped to his feet and started to con front Stokes, but the latter did not fancy being


18 AL THE BOY ACROBAT deprived of his liberty, and, with a cry of fiance he leaped off the piazza and ran around tpe cornel'. So quick .and unexpected had been his action that the dectective-for such the man was-was taken entirely by surprise, and before He could recover from his astonishment and make a move Stokes had gotten a good start. The cj.etective leaped down the piazza steps and ran. around the corner, only to find that his man had_ disappeared from view. There was an alley at .he rear of the hotel and, thinking his man h;i.d gone up /this alley, the detective ran to it and .made a hasty observation. Again he was doomed .,o disappointment; the fugitive was not in sight. The detective, anxious'to do his du'ty and earn the extra fee Hanover promised him if he suc ceeded, tried hard to find stokes, but could not and was forced finally to give it up and confess himself beaten. Marie Monself had stepped to the en d of the piazza and looked down, and when she saw that her husband had escaped for the i;ime being, she entered the hotel and went to her room "Sam \vill be able to look out for himself, I guess,'' she said to herself. As the woman entered the hotel, Al started to follow, but the man, Han()ver, called to him: "Ah, my young frieml, I am glad to see you,'' he said. "'You are, I believe, the youth who came to my rescue that day in my }).ome in Wyburn, when that fellow, Stokes I believe his name is, tried to murder me." Al nodded co.Idly. "Yes he replied. The 'man looked at the youth se ,archingly, as if trying to see if he could recognize any resem blance to any one he,,had ever known, and then asked: "Do you like the show business?" "Fairly well,'' was the cold reply. "Did you, ah-did you ever go with a show before this one?'.' "Yes,'.' was the reply. The man started and looked slightly eager. 1'When ?" he asked. "Last winter, down in Texas." "Oh!" the man looked relieved. "Good day!" said Al, and he entered the hotel, Hanover making no effort to stop him this time. After supper that evening Al saw Marie in the parlor. "I have seen Sam,'' she said, in a low, cautious voice; "Have you? Where?" asked Al. "In the hall awhile ago. One of the men is a friend of Sam's and let him come into his room : "Ah! what is he going to do?" "He is going to lay low until we get to the next town. He does not think any effort will be made to arrest him after we leave here. It is his opinion that Hanover just happened to see him and the thought of having him arrested was suggested in this manner." "I think so myself," said Al. "I do not think he will be in danger of arrest after he gets away from this p.Jace." "Nor do I. He is going on to the next town on the regular train. He is afraid that if he tries to get on the show-train he will be arrested, as likely the detectives will watch for him. in the expectation that he will try to do that very thing.'' "That is the best scheme-going on to the next town on the regular train," said Al. "Yes, I think so. By the way, when are you going tws before this one?" ,.,_, Al smiled n "Yes, it is true,'' be assented. "I have gonei., with shows before, lots of them. In fact, I traveled with shows all my life, since before


AL THE" BOY ACROBAT 19 can remember, and have been in nearly every country in the world. So, you see, being a veteran, I am entitled to a rest." "I knew it," said Harkins, triumphantly. "I knew you were an old hand from the first.' CHAPTER XVI.-An Angry Elephant. When Marie Monsell and Sam Stokes gave Messrs. Williams and Thompson notice that they were going to' quit on the coming Saturday evening the two worthy gentlemen nearly had a fit. ;To lose the three was going to be quite a serious loss and would make a hole in the list of acts, as ;Marie Monsell's trained animal act was a winning one. The proprietors tried to persuade Marie ;Monsen and Sam Stokes to iemain with the show throughout the season, but could not prevail upon them to do so, and the upshot was that they had to go to work and try to get attractions to take [the places left vacant by Al and Marie. The show worked along and by Friday had reached a town called Rawlings. The town was not far from Albany and was a place of about four thousand population. A good crnwd was out at the afternoon performance and everything bade fair for a good crowd at the evening per :fol1Ilance. There was trouble brewing, however. The big elephant, Bolivar, had been getting crankier and crankier for a week or more, and he had trumpeted around and acted very mean at the afternoon performance-so mean, in fact, ;that his keeper went to -the proprietors and bild them he did not think it would be safe to bring Bolivar into the ring at the evening's performance. The sight of the lights angered the big fellow and he was always more or les s unruly. The proprietors would not listen to the man, however. The elephant keeper went to Al and told him that the elephant was likely to give trouble and warned him to look out when it came time to turn the double somersault over the animal. Al thanked for the warning and told -him he would be careful. The performance went that evening. The tent was crowded and the people seemed to enjoy the performance hugely. It went smoothly until the time came for the turning of somersaults over the animals, and as soon as the big elephant was brought into the ring it became evident that he was very angry. He trumpeted and w ould not stand still, although the' keeper yelled at him and jabbed him with the iron spear, and every minute he became more and more un mana.Reable until Al told the keeper he had better take tlolivar back to the menagerie 'tent. The keeper started to do so, but found he could not control the eiephant, which suddenly broke 'fl.Way from him and began fighting the two smaller elephants and the horses and camel s. These animals became terribly frightened and ran hither and thither, finally escaping from the ring ap.d runmng toward the, grand entrance. Meanwhile a panic had started in the great tent. The people had become f:rightened and were stampeding as fast as they could, and in the rus h many were knocked down and tramj '1ed upon. Each and every one expected that the elephant would come charging out of the ring into the crowd at any mo in which event would be killed. B.olivar, having chased the small elephants, camels horses. out of the ring, his ; faction and whirled around and around in his clumsy fashion, as. if dancing in glee, and tlfen he and stared at the shrieking, fleeing people l\ttle, beady eyes that. glittered viciously. could all these pigmie s be skurrying. so for? Bolivar seemed to ponder over this question and'. he ::;uddenly bethought him self that it was incumbent upon him to aid in clea:r-ing the tent. If!stantly he started to leave the ring, only to find by an insolent little pigmy with a whip m one hand and the cruel iron spear in the other. The pigmy was Al, the boy acrobat, and he had_ run down the board track leading te> the sprmgboard and seized the ringmaster's whip and the elephant keeper's spear, with the intention e>f i:lephan.t and making him keep wlthm the rmg, 1f possible to do so. Al face.d the big elephant fearlessly and stared up at Bolivar, and he, surprised at. the temerity' of the youth, stared down at him. Only for a few moments, however, and then he made a move to leave the ring, only to be met with a cut from the lash of the whip, the lash cutting Bolivar across his trunk and bringing an angry bellow from him "Back!" cried Al. in a tone of fierce "Back, Bolivar! You shall not come out!" Bolivar trumpeted and started to come out anyway, but Al cut him over the trunk with the whip :y:elled at him and the great beast changed lns mmd and turned back once more. Still eager to get out of the ring, he ran back to the other side, but was again confronted by Al, who threatened Bolivar with whip and. spear, and the big beast was afraid to try to-go past the determined youth. The shrieks and cries of the frightened sounding if! Al's e:irs, and, wit.b. turnmg his head, he cried out m a loud, Clear voice: "There is no need ofteingfrightened. Remain seated, everybody, I can control the elephant. Stop trying to get out of the tent." of the actors and employees oi the show, seemg that Al spoke truly and that he was keeping elephant/ back, began yelling to the people to sit down and stop struggling and pres-ently the stampede was stopped. "Tell the keeper to come here!" cried Al and presently the elephant's keeper put in an appearance He was trembling and frightened but wheJ;J. he saw that Al was keeping Bolivar bay he plucked up courage and, accepting the spear, went at the elephant so fiercely, being angry that lie had Bolivar to frighten _him, that the gave m and obeyed his keeper with all the doc1htv of the tamest of elephants. With Al's help, Bolivar was gotten out of the tent and into the menagerie tent, where, among the other ani mals, he became quiet once more, but to make safety assured, the keeper chained the elephant's feet together. Then Al returned to the tent and greeted by cheers. Mr. Williams came out and made a speech, telling the people who Al was and spoke of him as a great hero and wild animal tamer, and told about him having saved the life of Marie Monsell, the lady tiger tamer, only a few weeks before. Al blushed and finally, to escape being further emba_rrassed, ran up the boardway, and then, runnmg down, leaped upon the springboard and turned a double somersault. The people cheered


20 AL THE BOY ACROBAT him to -the echo, and he repeated the and then ran to the dressing-tent. The performance went on now as if nothing had happened, and when Al appeared in the inclosure with Marie Monsell in her act he received an ovation. CHAPTER XVII.-The Return to Wyburn. The performance went off smoothly, what there was left to be gone through with, and the people went home satis fied; they had gotten their mon ey's worth for once Luckily nobody had been badly injured during the stampede, after Bolivar got rampant, and before Al made him behave himself. A few had been knocked down and bruised -but nothing at all serious. The next stand was at Wolcott, and this was to be the last day that Al, Marie and Sam Stokes wo.uld be with the show. The afternoon and eve ning performance went off without a hitch, and next day the three bade good-by to their friends among the showmen and took the train for Wy_ burn. The train reached Wyburn at ten o'clock that night, and the three went to the leading hotel. Next morning Marie went out to look for a cottage, and Al," after dressing himself carefully; made his way to the home of Dick and Mabel Hardy. He was shown into the parlor by the maid. and he had been there only a short time when Dick came in with a rush. "Al! Al Payson! Is it you, old man, back here so soon? Great guns, but I'm glad to see you, old man, and Mabel will be tickled half to' death-though don't you tell her I said so I Shake, old man! How are you, anyway?" "I'm all right and fine as a fiddie, Dick," re plied Al, shaking hands with Dick heartily. "How are you and how is "I am.all right, Al, and so is sis : Say, old man, have you come back to stay with us perma-: nently?" "Maybe so, Dick. I thought I ought to come back and finish giving you that course of sparring lessons." "Good enough! I'm ready to take them, you bet. But say-ah, here's sis now!" Mabel Hardy entered the room at this moment and when she saw Al an exclamation escaped her. "Al, you here?" she cried. "Yes, he's here; can't you see him, sis? SayJ kiss him, now, that's a good girl. Maybe if we'll be real to him he'll stay in Wyburn-eh, Al?" "Well, it wouldn't do any harm to try me, any way," he smiled. But Mabel laughed-a musical, rippling laugh it was, too. "Dick is a very bad boy. I have hard work keeping within :reasonable bound s Don't pay any atteRt10n to him, Al--Mr. Pays on." "Call me Al please, and if you do not object I will call you Mabel." "Very well, Al," replied Mabel, with a pretty blu s h. "But have you left the s how for good?" "Yes, I have l eft the show for good, Mabel. I got tired of it and thought I would r eturn to Wy burn. I think I shall remain permanently." "Say, I'm awfully glad to hear that, old man!" cried Dick, "and so is si s but, of course, she won't say so -,-t "Dick, I will pull your ears for you directly if. you don't stop talking so much," "Well, I hope Dick is telling the truth, Mabel," said Al. The three talked and laughed and Al told the two his adventures and experiences since leaving Wyburn with. the show-all save the secret of who he was, and finally, after an hour of conversation, Dick got Al to go to the gymnasium with him to give him a lessen in sparring. They donned the gloves and for half an hour or so they sparred at a lively rate, and Dick proved himself a!1 apt pupil. ?-'hen stopped to rest up a bit a_nd _Al surprised Dick by telling him the st<>ry of his hfe. To say that Dick was astonished is statingit very mildly. He was nearly paralyzed with astonishment and sat there and stared at Af with eyes that stuck out like visual horns Finally he got his breath, however, and gasped: "Al, you-don't-mean-to say-that-your name is-Hanover, and that--you-are-thereal -heir -and -owner -of-the--Hanover -mansion!" Al nodded. "Dick, I do mean to say that very thing," he said. "And here is one paper that proves and he held Up the Sykes confession, which he had drawn from his pocket. "Let me read that, Al," said Dick. "All right, go ahead, my boy," smiled Al. "I don't wonder that it seems strange to you. It did to me at first, and it has not entirely stopped seeming that way to me yet." Dick took the -confession, unfolded it, and read it with more interest than if it had been a thrilling story. When he had read it all he folded it up slowly and handed it back with a long breath. "It's all right, Al," he said. "It's all there, just as you said. Jove, but it seems wonderful when you come to think about it. Isn't it strange that you should have come to the very town where your p ossessions are located?" . "Yes, was a strange happening, Dick, and it was entirely by chance, as I had no suspioion of such a thelg when I came here." "Well, well. And to think that you are the heir to an estate worth three million dollars. Al, the whole thingseems like a leaf out of the Arabian Nights." "So it does, but it is a fact just the sanie." "And you say there are .other valuable papers, Al?" "Yes, in a secret hiding-place up in the attic." "And you are going to try to-secure them?" "I am, Dick." "Good boy! That's the way to talk. But how ar-e you going to work it?" "I am going to do the burglar act, Dick." "Going to enter the house at night, eh, and by stealth?" "I "Good enough! And, Al, I'm going to hell? you. Together we'll get those papers or know the reason why." J"'t-C _HAPTER XVIIJl.-Ready to Begin Work. o.' "Much obliged, Dick," replied Al, when Didt' Hardy said he would help try to secure the paper;J from the Hanover mansion; "I shall be glad ofi'. your aid, but there will be considerable risk at-


AL THE BOY ACROBAT 21 t;i.ched .to the affair and I don't want you to get into any trouble on my account." : "Oh, I'm not afraid," said Dick, his eyes sparkling. "I shall be glad of the chance to have an adventure. You are entering your own house when you enter the Hanover mans ion, and if you wish me to go with you, I have a right to do so." "Yes, but I have first to prove this, Dick. And r need the that are hidden in the mansion to help me prove it. Until I secure those papers, I shall not be ready to set up a claim, and will be i:ri as much danger, from entering the mansion, as a stranger would be in. Don't you think you liad better keep out, Dick?" "No; don't ask me to do that, Al," said Dick. "Nothing in the world could give me more pleasure than to get tq help you in this affair. And maybe I can help you a lot-be of considerable service to you.' "I haven't the least doubt of that, Dick. I have a: friend, as I was tellingyou-Sam Stokes.-who is going to aid me, but three of us would be better than two, as two o.f. us could the building, while one remained outside and gave the alarm in case of danger." : "That's it, Al!" crie!l. Dick .. "I can be of service to you, I know. lts settled, then? I'm to b'e in on this l].nci help yo-g?" "Yes:' replied Al; "you may go into it arid help me out, Dick. l hope you won't get into any trouble OIJ accOUJlt of you:i; and_ I don't' think you will; as we will be careful and take no chances.'' , "Sure. Of course we'll be careful, Al, as to be caught might result in spoiling everything.'' "So it might." "How are you going to go to work, Al? Have y-0u formulated any plans?" .-"Only in a general way, Dick. We are going to enter the mansion at night and search for the papers, all." !'And when are you going to begin?" "Oh, at once; tonight. I don't want to wait any longer than I can help, as my estimable half uncle might take it into his head to destroy' the papers.'' "So he might, and that would be terrible, wouldn't it?" "It would, indeed. So you see the necessity for prompt action.'' "I do. And you are going to try to enter the mansion tonight?" 1 "I am." . "Good! I'll be with you. At what hour will you make.the attempt?" "Not until late in the. night-or, rather, early in .the. mor.ning. At about two o'clock. Every-. body is sleeping soundly by that time." "Yes, unless they possess extraordinarily bad consciences.'' "Well, my half-uncle ought to have a bad con science. It may be, however, that he has no con sCience at all.'" _"That -is the most likely th-ing. I should think that no man who possessed a conscience could have treated a child left in his care as he treated you." "It W')Uld look that way. Well, we shall have to be very careful and .look amt for people who awake, tormented by bad consciences." "That's right. Well, I'll be with you tonight. . here shall I be and at what time?" -.t "I'll tell you," said Al. "Your househere is where we will have to pass on the to the mansion and you can be down at the corner by the stone wall. Be. there at about half-past one o'clock. If you are not there when we get there we will wait for you, and if we are not there, you wait for us. "All right, Al. I'll be there, you may be sure I wouldn't miss it for a farm." "All right. Well, that being settled, shall we have another round or two with the gloves?" "Sure. I want to become as good a boxer as you are, Al, if such a thing is possible, so that when I get into a scrap I will be able to give the other fellow all that's coming to him.'' Al laughed. "At the rate you have progressed since the first lesson 'I ga:ve you I guess won't be much difficulty .in-.your doing that from 'Dow on, Dick." "I hope ;pot.'' The.youths put on the gloves and went at it, and Al gave Dick some lessons in ducking and side-stepping; with blows to be used on conjunc tion. Wheh they had sparred another half an hour they sat down and_rested and talked, and then went'dowhstairs to thee parlor, where Mabel was seated .at thepiano playing amL singing. Al j()ined in the singing, and an enjoyable how.was spent, when, it being near the noon. hour, Al took his departure, being pressed to call often. Al returned to the hotel. and found Sam and Marie Marie had been out looking at cottages, and had found one which suited her nicely. "I am going to have the furniture placed in the cottage this afternoon," she said to Al, "and by using rags instead of. we can get in this evening. I think I shall like it here very. much." "I think so,' said Al. "This is a beautiful village; just the place to live in quietly and happily." "Indeed, ye8. It seems ljke a perfect haven of rest, after the long years of rush and worry of constant travel, as has been our por tion." "I know how .it goes," said Al, with a sad smile. "You know what my life has been and I can truthfully say that the most happy weeks of my life were the three weeks that. I spent here in this village before the circus came along. What ever possessed me .to join it and start out on the road again is one Qf those mysteries which "it seems impossible of fathoming, but to my mind, in view of the results, it seems to have been Fllte." "It iooks thatway-," coincided : Marie. "If you had not taken the noticm and joined the show you might not, in all probabi\ity would ncit, have ever known the story of your life." "True. Well, I am glad I did join the show/' Al spent the afternoon aiding Marie hi getting the furniture selected and into the cottage, for he wished to get the couple installed there as quickly as pos s ible, so that Austin Hanover would not be so likely to see and recognize them.''. "This will make you a nice little home," said. Al. "You have a nice view from here." "Yes, indeed. And there is a lovely flower garden at the rear. Oh, I have so longed to some time have a little home of my own, where I could get out and breathe the p-ure, freshair of the early morning and have fl<>wers and plants.'" . "You certainly can have them here," said Al. "Oh,yes; and I am going 1R hav<> them, too."


/ AL mE BOY ACROBAT When the furniture, rugs, etc., were all in piace gan work. Al inserted the sharp end of the-crowMarie went down to the grocery store and ordered bar under the window frame and pried uoward. s ome groceries and when she returned she inThe spring at the top of the sas h held :fimly for vited Al to take supper with them. a while, but as Al increased the pressure the "I am a good cook, Al," she said. "I learned strain proved to be too much for it and the catch that years ago, when I was not a star, and it will gave way. be of benefit to me now." "There!" exclaimed Al, in. a whisper. "Now I "So it will," assented Al, "and I Shall be glad guess we will have plain sailing. I'll get in :first, to accept your kind invitatio11." Dick, and you can follow." "And I shall be glad to have you accept it. Well, "All right," was the whispered repiy, and then it is getting along toward evening, so I will get Al pushed the sash up, placed the end of the crowto work. You come when Sam does.'1 "Very well," and Al went to the hotel and to bar against it and, giving the other end to Dick with instructions to hold the sash from coming Sam's rooin, where they talked the matter over, down, he leaped up onto the window-sill anil discussing the ways and means of getting into climbed gently and silently through into the room the Hanover mansion and securing the papers. beyond. Then he took the crowbar and arranged A little later they left the hotel, :first paying it as a prop for the window, after which he aided their scores; and !l\ade their way to the cottage, Dick to enter. The youths stood perfectly still where they found a splendid supper awaiting and listened for a few moments before making them and which all enjoyed hugeJ.y. any move, to see whether or not their entrance '"Al is going to stay here with us till he is had awakened anyone; then, hearing nothing, Al ready to take his place in his own home, Marie," opened the slide of the dark-lantern he had said Sam, and Marie said: brought aJong and flashed the light around. 'He "I shall be glad to have him stay here, Sam. s oon located the door and, moving forward, hied There is plenty of room.'' the knob. The door was not locked and, opening "And I shall be glad to stay," said Al. "I will it, Al stuck his head through and found, to his feel more at home here than at a hotel, and then, satisfaction, that the door opened into the hall. -as Sam and I are working together, and at night, it will be better for us to be together.'' "This way, Dick," he whispered, and he "Yes, it will make it better," said Sam. "We stepped through into the hall, followed by the can start out together and come back together." othe r youth. "We are going to have help, Sam," said Al, A staircase led to the next door, and the two and then he told about Dick Hardy. made their way upstafrs, treading as softly f's "That is all right, if he is a bright, discreet though on eggs. Al wished to reach the attic, boy," said Sam. ''Three will be better than two.'' but not knowing where to look for the attic stairs; -"Yes, indeed," said Al. "He is a bright, brave the only thing to do was to search for them. This and discreet boy andwill be a big, help to u s.'' he pGrceeded to do and, after reaching the next "All right. I'm glad he is to 00 along, Al.'' floor, he tried the doors, one after another, and Sam and Al lay down at about nine o'clock and finally found the right one. slept till midnight, when they were awakened by "Here it is," Al whispered; "'come along, Dick. an alarm clock. They made all necessary prepa-We'll have those papers before an hour has rations, and then, bidding Marie good-by, sallied passed or know the reason why.'' out into the night and darkness at one o'clock. As "I'm right at your heels, old man," was the he had promised, Dick was at the corner, and the whispered reply. "Up we go.'' three then made their way at a rapid walk in the And up they did go, Al taking the precaution direction of the Hanover mansion. Ten minutes to close the attic door behind them. When they later they stood on the lawn, under the dense reached the attic -they paused and as Al flashed shadows of the trees, and looked up at the man-the light around his heart sank. The attic was si on. a mammoth affair, and as he gazed ar,ound at the '!There it is," said Stokes, in a whisper. "There walls the needle in the haystack simile flashed is your home, Al.'' into his mind. How was he ever to :find the panel "Yes, there it is," assented Al. "It is, I feel sure, behind which, according to the story of Bill Sykes, my rightful home, but I've got to do something to / the papers had been hidden? get it. Our work is all cut out for us." "Great Scott, Dick," he said, in a guarded tone, CHAPTER XIX.-The Finding of the Papers. "You are right," assented Stokes. "Well, how are you going to work it, Al? Who is going to go into the houi:e and who stay outside?" "You had better stay outside, Sam,': said Al. "Dick and I will go in, as we are younger and than you and can climb around better. You stay here and keep watch, and if you see anything suspicious. blow your whistle and we will get out in a hurry." "how are we going to :find the papers in this big place?" "I give it up, Al. It is going to be a job, isn't it?" I "It surely is unless the blind goddess, Luck, favors us and we happen onto the hiding-place of the pap1;,rs." "Perhaps we shall do so, old man. We can try, anyway." "So we can, but it looks t9 me as if we had bet ter go back and get provi sions and bring them UP. here-enough to las t us a week or two. We would'. "All right, Al. Well, here's the tools. 'em and get to work." Take be lucky to find the papers in t!1at time, so -it The tool s in. question were a small hand crowbar and a glass cuttt!r, and, taking: them, Al stole toward the mansion, followed b.y Dick. They soon reached the building and, selecting a window, beseems to me." "On, I don't know, Al; I think we can get pretty well around the walls tonight. Then, if we don't succeed, we. can come back tomorrow "So we can. Well, let's get to work. Let's com,


AL THE BOY ACROBAT 2 3 mence right here by this beam. You go one way h ard to s ay. Doubtle ss it will be loose or will s lip back. I guess we will know it when we find it." "Maybe so. I hope s o." "So do I." Then the youths began their work and one went to the right, the other to the left. They thumped lightly on the panels one at a time, pus hed at them, tried to shove them to one side-tested them fn every way they c ould think of and gradually: they moved away from each other. The panels were abtrnt six inches wide and fitted dos ely to gether, sci cl o sely, in fact; that they were quite tight .and did m1t shake or rattle when thumped .aud pushed upon., The youths worked .f?J: it seemed to them an. hour. at least; but it haa m re'ality been only aQOUt half that length Of time. : In that time they had tested at least a hundl'.ed : panels and were but getting fairly started on the task before them. "Say, Al, is' monotonou s isn't it?" said' Dick, in a gu,arded tone., : "It certainl;v is," was the reply, and then both: youths s topped and drew long breaths and looked around at the long stretch of walls with lool ,ds of dismay on their faces . "Sam'll ge't tired of waiting, won't he?" smiled Dick. "He'll think. we have been gobbled up." "I expect I had better slip down and tell him what we are up against," said AL "What do you .think?" "I think you had better do so." . "All right, l will do 3.0. You won't be afra1a to stay here in the dark, will you?" "Oh, no, go along. Al left the attic and stole down the stairs. He was gone quite a while and when he returned he said: "Sam was getting nervous, but now that he knows what i s delaying us it will be all right." "You didn't hear anyone stirring in the hou s e, rud you Al?" "No, 1but I s tumbled-as I was coming upstairs and made con s iderable noise. I was afraid I might have aroused s omeone, but listened and did not hear anyone stfrring. I gues s I didn't .anyone." "I hope not. The youths returned to the work of testing the panels and worked steadily for another half hour, when s uddenly an exclamation e s caped Dick. "Come here, Al," he called guardedly. "I have found a loo s e panei." Al has tened t o Dick's s ide and examined and tested the panel. It was loo s e, a s Dick had s aid, and the youth began working at it. He pushed at it and tried to work it sideway s but it refu!led to be moved. Finally, how ever, he pu s hed upward and the panel s lid upward eas ily, .revealing an aperture behind. Then an exclamation escaped AI. < "The papers are here!" he cried. "They are :there a s sure a s you live, Dick Then, r e aching und ed from behind the youth and, whirling quickly, they saw a man standing at the top of the stairs . "What are you doing here?" the man angrily. "And how did you enter this hou s e? Drop these papers, you young scoundrel, or it won't be good for you!" -The man was Austin Hanover. CHAPTER XX .. -Con. clusion. For an instant Al was dii;concerted and then, feeling that :tie was .in the right; that he was in his own home, held in his hands the proofs of his birth, the will left' by his father-that he was, in fact, master of the situation, he faced the man who had so terribly wronged him and looked him. in the eyes unflinchingly. . "What ain I doing here, you ask, Austin Hanover?" he said; in a clear; .ringing voiee . "I came to secure \hese papers, the will left. by my father, pr9ofs of my birth....:....fot I am Albert Han over, son of your half-brother, -Go1don Hanover..:.... and other important papers. I have the paper:. and I am going to keep them. You have wronged me -terribly, Austin Hanover, but you have come to the end of your rope and I am going to take p ossession of that which is my own by right of birth." "Boy, what do you mean?" gasped Austin Han over, turning paler stiff at the youth's word s ; "what wild talk i s this? You Gordon Hanover's son-impossible.. He is dead He died many years ago in Australia, where he was sent for his health.", 'He is not dead; he stands before you!" said Al coldly "He was sent to Au stralia by you for t.he purpose of being gotten rid of so that you might inherit all my father's wealth. You have had possession of this wealth for years but the time has at last come wh

24 AL THE BOY ACROBAT you must, so far as you are able, right the wrong you have done me." _.\ustin Hanciver seemed to realize that the game was up. "I guess you have told the truth," he said. "I recognize a likeness to your father's features in your face. I give in. I am willing to acknowl edge everything and will make all the amends in my power. In this connection I must ask you, for the sake of my family, for the sake of my wife and children, to deal as lightly with me as po s sible. May I hope that you will do so?" "You may," he said earnestly. "I shall not bring the law into requisition to punish you, but will let you go you r way. All I ask is that you yield up everything to me that is my due at this time." "Oh, thank you!" the man said fervently. "You take a great load off my mind. And there is enough for you. The property is worth as much as it was the day I got control of it, if not more. and you are worth at least three million dollars. Think .of it-three million dollars.'! "It is a good deal of money," said Al quietly, "but I don't care for that so much as I do for the fact that I have at last learned who I am; have found that there i s a place that is my home. I have been a homeless wanderer for many yearsall my life practically, and it seems pleasant in deed to think that at last I am to have a home. And now, how will we work this affair so as to_ keep the public from learning the truth of the matter?" "It will be enough to simply give out to the public that the report of your death that was sent back from Australia was an error and" that, all these years, you have found your way back to your home. I, of course, will restore to you all your propertyand will leave Wyburn, goingto the city, where I can begin life anew. Of course, you will not even let me have the one hundred thousand dollars left to me by your father for taking care of you, since I was false to my trust?" "On the contrary, for the sake of your family, I Rhall allow you to keep that amount, Austin Hanover. It would not be right for me to be mean simply because I had been wronged.'' Austin -Hanover was almost overcome by Al's generou s treatment of him and thanked the youth brokenly. Then, after some further talk, Al and Dick left the mansion, going out through the window as the y had come in and lowering it from the outside. "Did you succeed?" inquired Stokes eager ly, as th e youth s joined him in the shadow s of the trees. "Yes indeed, Sam," replied Al, and then he told all. Whe n it became known tha Albert Hanover, t h e s on and heir of Gordon Hanover, who had been sent to Australia for his health when two vear s old and had b e en reported to have died :here, was alive and had returned, it created p-eat excit ement in Wyburn, and when it became mown further that Albert Hanover the routh who had be e n known as Al Pays on, the ex was at fever heat. Some people refused to believe the story at fir st, but when, a couple of weeks. later, Austin Hanover and his family left Wyburn, gr1ing totlie city, and the youth they had known a s Al Payson took up his abode in the, aansion, the doubters could doubt llt' longer, but had to acknowledge the fli!ct. The change of mas ters at the mansion was not a distasteful one to the people of the village, however, as all liked Al and they had not liked Austin Hanover, but of all the people who were pleased by the change none were more so than the-Hardys. The older Hardys, the parents of Dick and Mabel, had liked Al when they thought he was a poor boy, and now that he was a more than millionaire they, while they did not like him any better, for they: were sensible people, were, nevertheless, glad tc> know that he was a friend to Dick and MabeL And Dick and Mabel were more than pleasedthey were delighted. A year has passed. Al has long since installed Sam and Marie in his mansion, Marie as housekeeper and Sam as his right-hand"man, and it is a happy little household-but the villagers, if you were to ask them, would tell you that they think it will some day be a happier one. Their reason for thinking so was simple. Albert Hanover spent so much of his time at the home of Mabel Hardy and took her riding with such regularity that, t() the minds of the village people, it was as plain a11 A, B, C Some day the young master of the mansion and the sweet, beautiful girl would be m11r ried. The story of "Al, the Boy Acrobat," is ended. The youth had had his name on show-bills as "the boy acrobat" in a dozen different countries ancl half a dozen languages and had thus "flip-flopped into fame," and by leaving Wyburn with Rawson's Circus he had made the acquaintance of Stokes and Marie and had learned who he was and had recovered his property-had "ftipfioppt>d into fortune" as well-in fact, he had, as the sub-title of the story states, "Flip-flopped into Fame and Fortune." Next week' s issue will contain "THE NINE IN RLUE; OR, THE CHAMPIONS OF THE DIA MOND FIELD." TYPEWRITER GIVEN FREE for selling only 25 packages of Shampoo Powder at 15c a package. Write to-day. PERFEX PRODUCTS CO., 10 John St., Torrington, Conn. Dept. N 25. .... Be A Detective Make Secret Investigations .Earn Big Money. Work home or traveL Fa11cinating work. Excellent opportu nity. Experience unnecessary. Partio-11lars free. Write: GEORGE R. WAGNER Detective Training Dep0,rtmenl 2190 Broadway, New York\ j I .i'.


PLUCK AND LUCK 25 AL, THE ATHLETE, OR, THE CHAMPION OF THE CLUB By R. T. BENNETT (A Serial Story) CHAPTER XIV-(Continue d) "Good-by!" and he rang off. The Midwoods, headed by their young cham pion, marched back to the gym in a body, and a s the news of their glorious victory had preceded them to the townspeople who had not gone to the meet, they were cheered all along the line and felt very proud of their achievemnts The trophies they had won were put away, and after a short talk to the boys, in which he praised the strenuous efforts they had made, Al dismissea the youngsters and all started for their homes. Al's mother had not gone to the meet, but she met him at the gate with an inquiring look on her kind face, and asked eagerly: "Well, my son, how did you make out?" "Beat. them to a standstill," was the laughing reply, and she flung her arms around his neck and kis s ed him with all the pride of a fond parent, and said in happy tones: "I am proud of you, Al!" "That pays me for all the trouble I had," he exclaimed heartily. During dinner he gave his mother a detailed account of all the events of the day, and only refrained from telling her about the mean treachery of his rivals, as he did not wish to worry her. After dinner he prepared for hi s call and made his way up Sunset Hill to Banker Harlow's handsome residence. Jennie was at a window and saw him coming, and she answered the bell. They met at the door with beaming faces. "Oh Al!" s he cried, as he took her hand and raised it to her lips "I am SQ> glad you won today that I can hardly express my joy." "It wasn't only the pleasure of winning," he ans wered, as he followed her into the parlor and down, "but s ome of my fellows nearly equaled the best professional records." "Good! Good!" crie d Miss Harlow. "Now tell me all about it." The boy complied, and when he gave h e r the ;particulars of the crooked work practiced by the !Mercurys., she was overcome with anger and indignation and exclaimed: "Shame on them!" "No w you can jurlge what sort of a fell o w Dre w is," said Al. "He i s a villain!" she exclaimed. "He can never ente this hou s e again. a strong suspicion in my father's mind that he was the burglar poor little Bud saw coming out of here ithe other night, and tha t i s quite enough to make ,him an unwelcome caller." "Any news of the boy yet?" "None," she answered, tears starting to her eyes. Rut these words had scarcelY left her lius when the telephone bell in the liltary rang, and they h eard Mr. Harlow answer it with: "Yes this i s 75 Suns et. Who a r e you." An interval o f sil e nce, and then: "Yes Al Adams i s here. Do you wish to speak to him?" Another silence, finally broken by: "I'll tell him. Good-bye." Then the old banke r entered the room, and s hook hands with the boy. "Al," said he, "I just had a call on the phone from a person who called himself Scotty. He wants to see you right away on very important business at the bridge which spans the Blue Mountain brook." "Why, Mr. Harlow," exclaimed the startled boy, "the only man of that name is the tramp who stole your son!" "Good gracious!" cried the old gentleman excitedly. "He may wish to speak to me about your boy." "Heaven grant that it may be so?" "I'll go and find out at once," said the young athlete, starting up excitedly "Perhaps I may be able to bring you some news!" "Wait!" muttered Jennie, laying a restraining handupon his arm. The boy looked into her solemn eyes wonderingly, and asked: "What now?" "It may be a trap to get you in trouble." "Don't worry; I am not afraid." "You must not go alone, Al!" "Nonsens e! I can--" ."Jennie is. right!" interi;:upted Mr. Harlow. "I will send Patrick, the coachman, with you, and I intend to go mys elf, if nece ssary." "No, no!" exclaimed Al. "You are too old a man to engage in any dangerous work, Mr. Harlow. will oblige me by staying here with your family. They may need your protection in this house." "Then I'll ring up the chief of police and have him send a couple of officer s to the bridge to see tha t y ou are not foully dealt with." Al s mil e d and shrugge d his s houlders. "I'll be back so on," said he. And putting o n hi s hat, he departed. The moment he was gone Jennie rushed down into the kitchen where the coachman was and told him to follow and aid the boy if it was necessary. She then gave him a hurried explanation, and he depa r t e d As Al walked briskly down the moon-lit i-oad he did not se e the big brawny Irishma n follow ing after h i m, with a revolver clutched in his fist in his jacket p o ck e t but Patrick was there just the same. CHAPTER XV. The, L o ne Hut in the Wood s The r o ad, to the Bl_ue _brook ran past the bankers hou s e m the direction opposite to that leading to the town. Al in_ the of the dusty road, and in five mmutes he arnved in sight of the little iustic span and muttered: "How in thunder did that tramp know I was at Mr. Harlow's?''


26 PLUCK AND LUCK He concluded thaa Scotty had been shadowing him from his home,'i>ut had not dared, for some reason, to approach him before he entered the house. "After all," cogitated the boy, "it might have been some of Scotty's who saw me and told him about it afterward. At any rate, if there is any treachery going on I shall be on my guard to defend myself." He reached the bridge and glanced around, but saw nob0dy. The faithful Patrick had quietly slurik into a clump of bus hes, from whence he could see the bridge without being s een himself. "I wonder if that call was a fake?" muttered the boy, as he leaned against he hand-rail and waited to se e if t he tramp would put in an ap pearnce. "It my not hve been Scotty, after all!" Five minutes pass ed by deep sil e nce. "I'll give him fifteen minutes," thought the young athlete, "and if he don't show up I'll go back to the house and tell the Harlows." Another five minutes slipped by, and all of a sudden a voice that seemed to come from under his feet roared out: "Hello, dere, kid! I'm glad ter s ee yer Al glanced down, and there was Scotty's head peering at him frotn under the bridge foot-path, the res t of his body being hidd,en underneath the structure, where he had evidently been concealed. "Come up out of there, you rascal!" coolly an-swered the boy. "Is der coast clear?" "Certainly." "Sure yer hain't got no fly cops sneakin' ter nab me?" "I came all alone." "Alright, den, I'll come up!" and up he climbed. He looked just a s dirty and ragged as he was the last time Al had seen him, and he had a nasty leer on his bristly face. The boy regarded him in silence a moment and demanded: "What did you telephone to me for?" "Jif:t ter have a little chin wit' yer." "What about?" "De banker's kid, o' course." "Oh! Then you are prepared to return him to his parents ?" "Soitenly-fer a consideration." "And what is that?" "Ten t'ousa.n' bone s. "Oh, you are on the make, eh?" "Say, yQung feller, d 'yer s'pose I'm workin' fer de benefit of me healt'?" demanded Scotty, with a <;heerful grin. "What is your game?" "I don't mind yer off ter me graft as Jong a s dere ain' t .no guy around ter prove wot I say agin me in court." "Out with it," ordered Adams curiou s ly. "Well, it's di s way: I'm de bloke wot hooked de kid when h e wuz a baby, an' I'm d e same gazabo wot s wip e d him from de woman in New York wot brung him up. Lastly, I'm de hairpin wot got him from you se-se e ?" "I know you go t him from me." "Well, I wuz paid te:r do it, I s 'po s e yer know." "So I pres umed." "We ll, I can't git nuttin' more outer de lobster wot hired me, s o I am goin' over ter de enemy ter1 git paid ter retain de Jong-lost child-see? Dat's I me wrinkle, an' you're de kid wot I'm doin' busi ne s s wit'." 'You want me to act as a go-between, to see that you gej; the morn;y in payment for the safe return .of the little fellow eh?" "Dat's de ticket. Yer a good guesser, son, an' I'm proud 0f yer!" "Where is the boy?" Scotty shut one eye and laid his finger along side of hi s nose; then he squirted a long stream of t o bac c o-juice at a knothole in the bridge. "Do n t be s o fly," said h e "I'm not looney yet, child "What do you want of me now ? "I want yer ter go back ter ol e Harlow an' tell him de n e w s T e ll him dat I want yer t e r bring de dough t e r di s bridge termorre r ri.'ght at t e n o'cl o ck, an' I will be here ter git it, an' de moment it i s in my flippers I'll take y e r t e r where d e mi ssin' boy i s see?" "I unde rstand." "If ye r t e ll de p'lice we'll kill d e kid, an' Harlow will nev e r s ee his brat a g in. Dere i s four in my gang, an' we ll a ll b e on de watch ter s ee if yer layin' any traps fer u s-understand?" "If I were to nab you right now,'' insinuated the boy, "I s uppo s e w e co,uld force you to tell us where the little fellow is, couldn't w e? "I reckc.n yer could, if y e r WUZ big enough ter toin de trick," grinned the tramp, who thought Al was joking. "Then her e goes for a try!" And with one spring Adams landed against Scotty's breast like a cannonball and knocked him down on the planks. He made a grab for the tramp's throat as they went over, but unluckily he mis s ed his grip, and Scotty let out a wild yell of "Hey, Rube! Hey, Mike!" "Comin'!" roaTed a husky voice in the bushes; and a tramp appeare d. "Bad luck ter him, we'll help yer!" came an other voice, as a second villain came from behind a tree and ran for the bridge. "Hang on to him, Scotty!" advi s ed a third man who rus hed from under the bridge, and Al saw that h e was going to be attacked by the whole gang. The bo:'t'. was v ery !:?Punky, however, and gettmg a grip on Scotty's long, unkempt locks of hair, he banged the tattered rascal's head on the planks with s uch fierce vehemence that he saw stars At this juncture Patrick suddenly sprang into. view, and leveling his revolver at the onrushing tramps he s h outed wa!"ningly: "Shtand back, there, ye blackguards, or I'll dhrill ye!" A y e ll of terror escaped one of them, and he suddenly paused, and tha t brought the to a stop, 1with glaring e ye s and panting breath. .I' Bang! went a shot from the revolver, and a howl of agony e scaped one of the mi screants as the ball grazed his cheek. The n ext 'instant h ; was off at a run. "Help!" bawled the rascal. "Save me, fellers!'', Al was having a fierce struggle with Scotty. j (To be continu ed) '' ti '.:4'


PLUCK AND LUCK 27 . PLUCK AND 'LUCK NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 1927 TERMS TO SUBSCRIBERS HOW TO SEND MONEY-At our risk send P. 0. Money Order, Check or Registered Letter; remittances in any other way are at your risk. We accept Postage Stamrs the snme a s cash. When sending silver wrap the Coin jn a separate piece. ot paper to avoid cutting the envelope. Write your name and address plainly. Address letters. to l:llngle Coples .............. Postage Free 8 cents .One Copy Thrt!e Months . . " . .One Copy Six Months........... " .. ,.., .On Copy One Year.............. 4.00 $i.50; Foreign, $5.00 WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Inc. 140 Cedar Street, New York City. l!'BED liNIGHT, Prt>s. and Treas. B. W. MARR, Vi\)e-Pres. and Sec. INTERESTING ARTICLES "SILVER THREADS" FOR $3 Eben E Rexford, author of "Silver l'hreads Among the' Gold," sold the poem to Frank Leslie for $(l, it was recalled at College re cently. Years later the words were put to music and the song swept the Nation. Rexford was eighteen then. He died in 1916 at Shiocton, Wis. A very simple medium has been for many years employed in Russia for the of wooden -ties and telegraph poles, which 1s but httle known, i. e., impregnation with brine. It was ac cid tally noted some years ago that the burying of a few pounds of salt alongside a telegraph pole very materially increased its dural1i.lity. Since 'then the met.hod has been systematically prac ticed with the aid of brine on the sea coast. In basins on the Siwaschen Bay the ties ,and poles are allowed to soak for three to four months, during which the wood abs'orbs about 70 to 100 per cent. of its weight of salt solution. They have been discovering some extraordinary plants in England, plants whic.h puzzled the best know gardeners in the entire city of London. One naturalist picked on the grounds of the Bradford sewage. works 160 species of pla.l}ts. Amon.[!; these were several Australian buns Jimson weed, pricltly poppies from Mexico, other native to Per:.u, Siberia and the Azores. All were of a prickly nature. Investigation proved that the 'dust from wool combing establishments was being used as fertilizer, and the washings of wool were run into the sewers. The burrs of these foreign iPlants had come in the wool and grown. Other 11>Jan c; had sprung from seed in rags and others h_een nought in soil on fore ign. timber. Th 1 United States National Museum has in its historical collection the arm&air of Marquis de Lafayette in which he is said to have sat on the day of his death. The chair is a recent acquisition, presented to the museum by the Marquise Arcoaati Yisconti, of Paris. and it was throu2:h the in-terest of Professor Franz Curmount of BrusseIS the presentation was brought ab'out. chair is in excellent condition. Its frame of s imple design, is con structed of plain, pieces about two inches square. While it 1s a comparatively low chair, the seat being only a little more than twelve inches from the fi?or, the curved back stands more than three feet The slightly rounded front legs s upport horizontal and at the junction are surmounted with carved figures representing the h!lads ?f sphinxes. These constitute the only decoration on the chair. The seat and back as !Vell as the. sides under the arms are m green silk worsted cloth, interwoven with a floi:al 9-esi&n resembling tulips. After the marquis _died m 1834 the chair became the property of his _Edmond de Lafayette, who in turi;i it to the donor, Marquise nati Visconti. .. __ .., .. LAUGHS CAME THE DAWN One fre;Shman stayed up all night, trying to see poillt to one of ms professor's jokes and then 1t dawned on him. Qarolina WHA'.f! A WOMAN DANGEROUS? A little woman is a dangerous thing. -Columbit Jester .. D:RINlC 'EM DOWN Little Johnny: Mother, make brother play hide and seek with me. Why, your brother is too old for such a childish game; he doesn't play hide and seek any more. Little Johnny: Then why did he put-everybodj under the table last night? -Virginia Reel. -----'--SAYS WHICH? Governess: Here is a nice book from which J shall read to you. Little Girl: All right read it, I'm going to sleep, -Old Maid. IS '!'HERE A MORAL HERE? Rome wasn't built ln a day, but it was burned down in on.._ night. -Louisville Satyr. HER BEAU IDEAL The beautiful girl in the restaurant leaned back languidly. It Rad been a wonderful dinner. In the soft glow of the shielded lights she had eaten the meal of meals. And he had been so attentive yet so unobstructive" He had carefully ordered for her, and had' said never an unnecessary word, or made a gesture to spoil the spell. She felt she could love a man like him. Now he was drawing nearer. The bosom of his dress shirt gleamed brightly. His Tuxeda fitted him like a glove. His tie was immaculate. He bent over her caressingly. What was he saying ... ? "Here is your check, madam: do you wis!1 anything else?'' -Colgate Bantet,


28 PLUCK AND LUCK Pistols On a Locomotive Some years ago I used to run the engine d the "lightning express" from .Burnham to Cannondale. I left the former town at 12:17 at night. My return trip brought me home at 10 :'11 the following day. This trip, up and back, made my day's work; and it was enough for any man to do, though the furious speed of this express conden s ed my actual work in the cab to about four hours. I wculd rather have liver! a little slower, and b een em ployed more hqurs in ,the day. I had time enough to sleep in the round-house at Cannondale, but I used to take a three-hours' nap every evening before I started on my trip. Burnham was the location of the state Prison. My wife had lots of friends, and when any'of them came to see us, as. they often did, they want ed to visit the prison. They all seemed to have a taste for looking at rogues. -I always had to go with them on thesetours of inspection. I was well acquainted with several officers of the institution, and, after a few months, I k11ew the principal rogues and villains by sight. Among these was a man whoni I shall call green, though that was not exactly his name. lle had a fearfullv bad record a s a rogue, and hail spent nearly half of his ljfetime in prison. He had been a burglar and bank robber,. and was so intelligent and skilful as t:o be a very gerous fellow. He had been sentenced to six months before I first saw him, to a term of twenty years, and I have no doubt the prospect before him was ex: ceedingly dark and . Pillgreen. WlJ-S a very good-looking man, nearly or. quite forty years of age. In the ordinary walks of life no one would have suspected that Pillgreen was anything but a good man and a citizen. His face was a pleasant one, and I was rather interested in him. The officers said there was no better prisoner in the institution. He was careful to observe all the regulations, was docile and tI'actable in learniI)g his trade. On my return from one of my trips to Can nondale, I read in the local papers that Pillgreen had escaped from the State Prison. He had been seen and noticed just before thll prisoners were marched to their cells for the night. It-was evident that he had concealed himself in the shops, and during the night ha.j scald th.:i walls-. It was certain that if Pillgreen was not appre hended within a brief period, hi s pre sence would s oon be manifested by the robbery of. s ome bank. For three days the search was continued in the vicinity of Burnham without succe ss . The various parties on the alert for him had been unable to obtain even the faintes t trace Of the missing robber. The boat was found at the bottom of th e lake, near the placl! where it had been moored. It was heavily ballasted, and being an old tub! it had leaked water enough to 1ier, with help of what was thrown into her in a squali night. On the fourth da:v after the flight of Pillgreen, a cousin of my wife wanted to visit the prison,' and I went with her. While there, I had some talk with one of officers about the fugitive. I found that they felt very sore about the escape of their man .. for such an event was an im-, putation upon their fidelity to their duties. "I am sure he had a .confederate in said Lockwood. the officer who showed my visitor' about the Institution. "Have you heal'd of any suspicious characters' about the place?" I asked. "No: but these rascals are cunning enough to : hide their tracks." "Why do you think Pillgreen had a friend int town then?" I continued. "He has had some help or he would have been discovered within twelve hour after he got out," persisted the officer. "He wore the prison uniform; and that would have betrayed him. He' could not have lived five days without food." The next night was Saturday, six days after f the escape of Pillgreen. At m1d11ight, I had my machine ready to back. up to the train as soon as the other engine should. switch off from the roam track. . ." While I was aiting, a man by the name of Howth, whose acquaintance I had made within a1 week, jumped into the cab, and asked me if he might -ride on tP.!! engine as .. far as Ucayga. Bridge. Howth had come to Burnham on Monday, when lln uncle of my own had spent the day with me. In the afternoon we had gone to the prison,: and Howth, who had come up in the train :with my uncle, went with us. 1 He was a.Il)an of good appearance, and I con-, eluded that he was an old friend of my relative'.. At any rate, he spoke of Uncle John as though he had known him all his life. ; "The train don't stop at Qcayga Bridge," I plied, in answer to his request. "It don't make any difference where you stop; for I only want to ride o"n a locomotive in the night," he added. . "We slow down at the bridge, but we don't stop till we get to Venega, fifteen miles further," I continued. "Perhaps I can jump off at the bridge when you slow down; if not, I will go on t<' Venega-," said he, evidently taking the permission for granted. 1 :1 was speaking to your Uncle John about riding on a locomotive: and he told me you would give l me a chance to do so." "As a rule no one i s allowed to ride on the en-! gine but the engineer and the fireman. But I i;hould be glad to do anything I can to oblige my 1 Uncle John. t' "I will not speak to you on the way, or do anr,. thing to di sturb you," he protes ted. I con sente d to allow him to ride with me, and I have met others t ho had the same curiosity t1> ride on a loc o motive. ' The night was chilly, though it was in the eal'l.Y. autumn, and he ran ov e r to the hotel, which oppo site the station, for his overcoat.


PLUCK AND" LUCK While he was gone the "lightning express" thundered down the road to the_ s topping-place. No stay was allowed beyqnd what was neces to shift the engines, and I b egan to think my locomotive passenger would be too late. But just a s the tender was shackled to the baggage-car of the train .he presented himself, closely 'Wrapped up in a long overccat . Howth leaped lightly upon the engine and took his station on the footboard behind J.C. He did not speak to me, or I to him. I never talk to anyone on the machine, for by keeping my mind wholly, on my b usiness, I have escaped all accic;lents so far which can be charged to me. All went well till. the train ap.proached Ucayga Bridge, where I bean to slow down. This was a precaution against accident, for a steamer left the landing early in thi) morning which was. loaded dui:ing the night, and fr. e ight. cars were sometimes left where they shoulp not ,"I think i will get .off here,''said His voice was so hoarse that. I came to the elusion that he h _ad taken a bad. cold during the nin. : : . "I can't stou: t.he.. t.rain:,''" 1 replied. It was a cry of agony, and I jammed in the throttle agam. The was nearly at a stand before, and the brake on the tender stopped it before it had gone fifty feet farther . Brook s took his lantern, and we leaped from the foot-board. Howth' was lyi _ng on hi s stomach on the cowcatcher, hokling on with both hands, while hii> legs were dragging on the ground betwe e n the tails. Both hi s legs w ei;e bl:'ok e n and bent back. .Taking the lantern from Brooks, I looked the man in the face . It was not Howth. It was Pilgreen. vVe put him on the train, and carried him to Cannon dale. Tlie surgeon s there attended to his case, and he was conveyed back to Burnham-en my tiain in the morning. He \vas returned te the State Prison. "!t was s ix month : ; b e fore he was abie to walk aj:>;ain, a!ld no doubt will stay_ out the balance of his long term. of course, Howth, or whatever his name 1nay have been, was his confederate. preten4ed. to oe rne agenf of gas works company. -"Yes, you can-,.'' replied he,-. in a very. decided He concealed _Pillgreen in the hotel till the : wa s relaxed in the vicinity of Burnham, ar:id. then reeort. ed to the scheme indicated in my tone st.ory to get him away. tone. I explained-that :it.was-contrary-to my orders,., and I was already four '.He was very imperati\Ce; and his high vexed me. :As the best reply to this, I pulled out the throttle, and the machine began to j ump. I had hardly done so before I was conscious that a pistol was aimed at my head. -"Stop her, or I'll blow your brains ouU" said Howth, and it seemed to me that his voice liad changed very much, though it :was not so hoarse as it was when he spoke the first time. turned to loo k at him, and I found that in-6tead of one pistol, he had one in each hand, pointing them at my devoted head. He repeated his threat in a more savage tone. "'Hold on a moment tilf I 1

SQ:-PLUCK AND LUCK ITEMS OF An acre of 12-inch ice usually will provide a harvest of 1,000 tons. Venezuela has nearly 5,000 of tel egraph lines, with nearly 200 offices. Nearly 200,000,000 residents of India are dependent upon agriculture for their living, says the Chicago Tribune. The Rev. James Cameron Lee s at the age of s eventy-nin e las t year walked 1,654 miles, and while minister at St. Giles's, Edinburgh, walked a distance greater tl_lan the circumference of the globe. The people of the United States u s e more coffee per individual than those of any other country ex cept the Netherlands, and i s the fourth in rank in the consumption of tea in proportion to the population. Dr. Walter O. Snelling, con sulting ch emi s t of t'fit Bureau of Mines and of the Panama Canal Commission, now doing laboratory work in Was h ington, has developed a liquid gas of which a little steel bottle will carry enough to light a hou s e for a month. Snelling puts 2,000 feet of gas into a steel container four feet high and six inches in diameter. NEW IDEA IN TAILORS' DUMMIES Wax "Sheiks" with insipid features and graceful postures are giving way in tailors' windows of Paris to figures representing real pe1sonages. One shop displays its spring offerings on a figure obviously portraying Rresident Doumergue Not far away boulevardiers and Mayol, star of the Revues, done in wax, singing a song and set ti}!g off1the latest in evening clothes. Some of the new dummies are far from handsome, portraying as they do, tall, short, thin, fat and sometimes bald men. POLICE TO. TEACH PEDESTRL.\Ns TRAFFIC ORDINANCES IN PARIS -"Pedestrian Day" is shortly to be staged by the police to give jay-walkers a post-graduate educa. . Every law and every ordinance is to be strictly enforced by traffic officers and every violation will be noted. Offenders probably will be informed of their guilt, but arrested only in ex treme cases. Pedestrians, generally, ate "fairly good the city traffic commi s sion has agreed, after a recent survey of the streets and inspection of police records, but further improvement is considered pos s ible. s po!lge ready, and every tear that wells mto h i s eye is s opped up before it has a chance to escape. The undertaker tiptoes politely about and extends tentatively the crystal vase and those who anything to add to its coiitents, squeede their ponges solemnly therein. Then, "'.1th a bow o acknowledgment, the undertaker on 1!-1s way extending the vase politely now t6 the right and to the left, murmuring in his gentle and soothing voice: "Have you slied, sir?" "Madam, have you shed?" Old -time bandits were much more attractive tha n thos e of to-day. There is nothing chivalrous about the automobile robbers of America and France, a s there was about such men a s Cartouche Here is an anecdote of which Cartouche was the hero: One evening he was cro ssing the Pont Neuf in Paris when he s a w a poor about to leap over the parapet into the Seine. The brigand stopped him and a sked why he wanted tO bid adieu to .life. The would-be s uicide informed him tha t h e was on the point of bankruptcy, and that he preferred facing death to facing his creditors Cartouche was touched, and told the man t.o call .his creditorstogether on the morrow and they should be paid in full. The creditors Cartouche went over. their accounts paid them all and said good-by to his grateful ben e ficiary. It i s almost needles s .to add that when the creditors left, Cartouche relieved them of all he had given. PLANE RUSHES BABY FOOD Modern transportation methods came to. the assi stance of Mrs. William Johnston of Detroit, now visiting her mother, Mrs. S A. Glbver, when a s pecial brand of food required for ner baby could not be obtained in London. Mrs Johns ton telegraphed her husband that the baby food supply was exhausted and that it was not on sale in London. He wired back that he would rush a supply. A short time later an aviator presented himself at the Glover home with three. packages he had carried by airplane from the border. He landed. at Carlings Heights and persua

n PLUCK AND LUCK 31 T I ME LY T 0 P I C S .TAKE CHAINS WITH YOU ON SPRING TOURS delicate are the instruments used in such measuring that the motion of a vessel on the surface of' the sea interferes with their proper function ing; out in the submarine Dr; Meinesz obtained entirely satisfactory results. Take along chains on your early seas on touring. Tliis i s the advice of the safety bureau of the National Automobile club. A trip which may start in fair weather sometimes encounters rain or snow or muddy roads; and it is better be APPROPRIATE COLORS IN E .ACH ROOM within the 'bounds of safety than to encounter ADD TO BEAUTY OF HOME-... difficultie s through lack of proper preparation. A modern home is not modern iinless it!s filled /with color. rooms must have theirwarm FRENCH GIRLS PREFER. TiRA,DES OF SEMIstinny.hues ; bedchanibers TRAINING . Even kitchen. and baths are no longer done all in : French girls prefer-dressmaking, millinery and white; they must have color, t.oo. . similar "women's work" to the "dressed-up" jobs That mistaken notion that white alone is saniof stenographer and saleswoman.. tary is fast disappearinf:. So long as the surface A third of the Paris gfrls gradated from trade waterproof and : will stand washing .with .. soap schools are and only. one in twenty-and water, it answers all req.uiiements on the five seek trainingas a stenographer or sec retary. score of-sanitation . But thewise purchaser 'of a .Girls outnumber ,the boys one in these. home makes sure'th'at'trim,-fioors-11,:rid schools, which graduate :approximately 1,000 well faces _which need strictly trained young persons each year. waterpr?of ... they. are hard to keep . clean w:1thout mJury are. marred easily by TAXI DRIVER WITH ONE ARM such thmgs as leaky radiators, spattered water, Coubard; crippled French war veteran, ot liquids spilled through accident. though he lost his left arm at Verdun, has-since The one way to make sure of satisfaction on dtiven a taxi soo,ooo miles through the streets of this s core is to insist that on!Y finishes which have Paris without causing a single accident of any a national . reputation. for wateFpl'oof qualities kind. With extraordinary dextarity he manages ai:id durab1hty be employed-there are varnish to make his remaining arm do the work of two. fini shes (the term includes liigh grade enamels His ear running at full speed. Coubard -lets go '. and varnish stains) which are not injured even of the steering wheel for. a fraction .of a second so by boiling .water, strong soap or acid spilled from as to enable his only hand to blow the horn .at a storage battery. street crossings'or to apply the emergency.brakes, according to circumstances. MORE HOME BUYERS IN LAST TEN YEARS While only 28 out of every 100 families in the United States O\\o'.n their. homes the proportionis encouraging as more than fifty p e r cent. of the present total of home owners became such during the past ten years. Senator Fess, of Ohio, is authority f(JI' the statement that houses owned by cur laborers number two and one-half times the total of all homes owned in the Britis h Empire. Demand for the farm land in the east end and central part of Long Island, showing the trend'in that direction of disrputed farmers nearer the big towns and of Course to New Yor.k city, together with increasing attention to parking pro blems, are sure signs that the Island is being m ore densely populated. . :WORLD SUBMARINE TOUR REVEALS EARTH'S SECRETS '!'he exploit s of Jules Verne's v oyager under the sea have be e n emulated by a young savant of Holland, Dr. Vening Meine s z, who has recently returned from a circumnavif:atio n of the globe in a submarine, during which he made many val uable sci e ntific ob servations of the earth's crust. "At c ertain plac e s, he reports, obj ects weighed :rfiore than at othe r s Thes e difference s which were actual though s o slight ,,p.s to be m e a sured b".Y only the most delic3:te. insti;uments, ai:e be ll(ived to be .due to variations m the density of the rocks composing the crus t of the globe. So ART SOCIETY FOR 60-FOOT STANDARD TO RESTRICT HEIGHT OF.SKYSCRAPERS Drastic limitation of the height of buildings is suggested in a series of recommendations sent to the Board of E stimate by directors of th.e Municipal Art Societv of New Recommendations by the s ociety have, in the past, been given1 serious consideration bv municipal authorities. The society would limit the height cf future buildings to sixty feet, with the prnvision that they may rise to anv height if adjacent space is left, which, if built to the standaTd height, would equal the additional cubic space occupied by that 'part of t}le building which extends above the standard height. A retail busines s use territory would be established. This would differ from the business u s e territory by a limitation of 5 p a r cent. floor area for manufacturing instead of 25 per cent. Unrestricted t erritory would be changed to business territory wherever po s sible. Bus iness .territory would be changed to retail bus ines s or residence territory wherever possible. Court area space would be increased. More adequate parking and delivery ar-eas would be pro vided on adjacent property or ins ide all buildings, the locatio n and use of which. is liable to create special street congestion a s a result of trucking or passenge r traffic and parking. The recommendations were made a s a result of a study made by a committe e compo s ed of Gios venor Atterbur y, Walter D. Blair, H enry H. Cur ran, Samuel H. Ordway, Jr., Daniel L. Turner, Charles W. Stoughton and Richar d Well:ng.


PLUCK AND.'.LUCK .. Latest Issues H65 The Timberdale Twins; or, The Boy Cham pion Skaters of Heron Lake. 1'66 The Boy From Tombstone; or, The Boss of a "Bad" Town ; 1467 Rob Rollstone; or, The Boy Gold Hunters of the Philippines. 1468 Driven Into the Street; or, The Fate of An Outcast Boy. 1469 Across the Pacific in a Dory; or, Two Boys' Trip to China. {4;0 Young Cadmus; or, The Adventures of La-fayette's Champion. 1471 The Boy Sheriff; or, The House That Stood on the Line. 1472 Little Red Fox; or, The Midnight Riders of Wexford. 1473 Dick, the Half-Breed; or, The of the Indian Chief. 1.t74 The Nihilist's Son; or, The Spy of the Third Section 14'15 The Star Athletic Club; or, The Champions of the RivaLSchools. 1476 The Aberdeen ,4thletics; or, The Boy Cham pions of the Century Club. 14'17 Left on Treasure bland; or, The Boy Who Was Forgotten. 1478 Toney, the Boy Clown; or, Across the Continent With a Circus. 1479 The White Nine; or, The Race for the Oakville Pennant. 1480 The Discarded Son; or, The Curse of Drink. 1481 Molly, the Moonlighter; or, Out on the Hills of Ireland. 1482 A Young Monte Cristo; or, Back to the W'Orld for Vengeance. 1483 Wrecked in An Unknown Sea; or; Cast On a Mysterfou s Island. 1484 Hal Hart of Harvard; or, College Life at Cambridge. 1485 Dauntless Young Douglas; or, The Prisoner of the I s le. 1486 His Own Ma ster; or, In Bu s iness Jor Himself. / 1487 The Lost Expeditiol!; or, The City of Skulls, 1488 Holding His OWil; or, The Brave Fight of Bob Carter. 1489 The Yayng Mounted Policeman. (A Story of New York City.) 1490 Captain Thunder; or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Robbers' Reef. 1491 Across the Continent in a Wagon. (A Tale cf Adventure.) 1492 Six Years in Siberia; or, 2000 Miles in Search of a Name. 1493 The Slave King; or, Fighting the" Despoiler-'. of the Ocean. 1494 The Man in the Iron Cage; or, "Which Was the Boy?l.l. 1495 With Stanley On His Last Trip; or, Emin Pasha's Rescue. 1496 Appointed to West Point; or, Fighting His Own Way. 1497 The Black Magician and His Invisible Pupil. 1498 In the Phantom City; or, The Adventures of Dick Daunt. 1499 The Mad Marcen; or, The Boy Castawa'YS of the Malay Islands. lLOO Little Red Cloud, the Boy Indian 1501 Nobody's Son; or, The Strange Fortunes of a Smart Boy. 1502 Shore Line Sam, the Young Southern Eiigineer; or, Railroading in War Times. 1503 The Gold Queen; or, Two Yankee Boys in Never Never Land. 1504 A Poor Irish Boy; or, Fighting His Own Way. 1505 Big Bone Island; or, Lost in the Wilds of 1'3iberia. 1506 Rolly Rock; er, Chasing the Mountain . 1507 His Last Chance; or, Uncle Dick's For tune. 1 1508 Dick Dareall ; or The Boy Blockade Runner. 1509 The Rival Wines; or, 'The Boy Champions of the Reds and Grays. 1510 On 'the Plains with Buffalo Bill; or, Two Years in the Wild Wes t. 1511 The Smuggle1 s of the Shannon; or, The Iris h Meg Merrile s 1512 A Haunted Boy; or, The Mad-House Mys-tery. 1 5 13 N at-0-The-Night; or, The Bravest in the Revolution. 1514 Hustling Bob; or, The Smartest Boy In Town. 1515 Jac k Jordan of New York; or, A Nervy Young Ame r ican. l"o ale by all newsdealers, or wiU be sent 'to any addtess on receipt of price, 8 cents per copy, ia noney or postage stamps. WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Ive. 140 Cedar New York City I


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