Issued Weekly. By subscription $2.so per year. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1qo7, in theofftct! of the Librarian of Con![ress, W ashington, D. C, Application made for entry as S e cond-class Ma tter at the N. Y. Post Office, by THE WINNER L IBRARY Co., 165 West Fzfteentlz St., New York, N. Y. No.68 NEW YORK, JUNE 8, 1907. Price, Five Cents Reddy could only lay where he was tied, utterly helpless. Every twist of the pony's neck bent sideways, and every backward kick of iti> f.lyi , 1g feet seemed stretching out his own feet.
IKllf . ij W Issued Weekly. By Subscription, $2.50 per year . Hntered according to Act of Congress in tlie year 1Q07, in tlze office of tlze Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C., by THE WINNER LIBRARY Co., 165 West Fi(teentlz St., New York, N. Y. No. 68. NEW YORK, June 8, 1907. Price Five Cents. THE LOST MILLION , OR, 13oys of tlie E:x:press. By "ONE OF THE "Drop that!" "Who says so?" "I do." CHAPTl!R I. EVERYBODY'S FRIEND. "Who are you, anyway?" "Sample him and see!" "Won't I?" "Guess he doesn't know what he's running ;rgainstguess he isn't ' aware that he's tackling Reddy the Cham peen !" The scene was a busy, hustling quarter of New York. In one group were present all the elements of interest thq.t, fifty times a day, go to make up a stirring street drama in that great metropolis. A dozen newsboys, bootblacks, and messenger-lads for . med a semicircle around some iron steps. At their bottom was a pale-faced, ragged girl of ten, half a dozen "extrys" in her lap, and as many more torn in half at her feet. ' She was weeping bitterly, and was nursing one arm, where a gaping tear in her thin dress-sleeve showed the marks of cruel fingers. Just before her, his fine eyes flashing fire, his earnest face expressive of the intensest sympathy and indignation, was a boy, every inch a gentleman in bearing, every inch a hero in looks. Slouching toward him, with doubled fists, shoulders hunched down, and chin tilted up, and having the general air of one who doesn't want to be good, was the evident marplot of the occasion. "Won't I?" repeated this typical' specimen of the Bpwery bully. "You'll interfere, will you? Well, I want your ear." "Come and get it." He reached out for it. Evidently, "Reddy" bore no en lightenment for him; apparently, "Champion" held no terrors, and he rushed blindly on his fate. . Reddy Morris, helper of the helpless, rough and ready as was he gentle and . generous, wasted n_.o time in trifling. He promptly knocked down his cannibalistic iidversary. There were too many such cases to handle daily, and he had handled too many to make a merit of cowardice or waste time temporizing. That wasn't the city way of doing things, and Reddy was city-bred-head, heart, and fists. No particular demonstration greeted the bully's down fall. Since Reddy's admirers could. remember, their hero had always done the right thing at the right time, and the awed look on the flattened, twisted face of the aggressor was no novelty. "Had enough?" demanded Reddy, iii a businesslike tone' "Yep-oceans," mumbled the downcast bully. "What your fists made of-iron?" The brawler slunk off. Reddy rolled down his, sleeves, patted the head of the little girl reassuringly, and then, his tones ringing with sarcasm, he turned a withering look on the crowd. "You're a good lot, I don't think," he remarked, "standing around like frozen-toed hens when a little child's getting jumped on." "Don't be ropy, Reddy," suggested a deprecatory voic ,e; "we're not like you-right arm, big casino, left fin, pedro all rolled into one." "That so? \Nell, you fellows don't seem to know anything except looking pretty."
2 l\1IGHT AXD MAIN LIBRARY. "We ain't your size, that's a fact, Reddy; a king ain't born only onct i11 a while." Reddy smiled. He had to. This picturesqu\! and whim sical, but thoroughly honest, praise, naturally pleased him. "Well," he continued, a trifle mollified, "that fellow was a bruiser in size, but it ought to give the man in the moon the jumps to see him abuse a little girl. Now, then, here's the law: This girl keeps this corner to peddle papers, and don't you forget it !" "We never said no." "No; but that bully did. He claimed he was to have i1 when little Billie died. Is that so? What's the matter with the poor little kid's sister, with an empty pantry, and a blind mother at home, taking her dead brother's place, and keeping the pot boiling? Here, sis, let any one disturb you again, and he won't open his peepers for a month. Take that as a luck-starter." Out came a quarter, and into the child's lap it went spin ning, like a sun of good cheer, for the happy ace broke into a whole glow of tearful smiles. "Oh, don't he do it grand!" murmured an admiring urchin. ' "Like the prince in the opery. T'ree cheers for Reddy!" Swat! â€¢ The present was one of the proud moments of Reddy's life, for he always felt good when doing good. The cynosure of the admiring eyes of his friends, he was, however, humbled. He was thrown off his dignity in a most ridiculous fashion. ' Down on his head, dropped from above, had come a two pound wad of soaked, dripping paper. It mashed his cap, it deluged his fac e . "Who did that?" he flared up, looked up, and caught sight of a pair of heels just disappearing into a third-story office, from the window-sill, where their possessor had ap parently been cleaning a broad pane, bearing the legend: "Cohen-Lawyer." "Ah! that rascal Hod Livesey, eh? I'll .make a note of this, my fine fellow, and I'll be around here to see you home when quitting-time comes!" "I pity Hod," feelingly observed one of Reddy's friends. "Fellows"-as Reddy started off-"ain't it too bad we ain't men, so we could vote to make him mayor?" To listen to the discussion of the favorite that followed, a stranger would soon have learned that Reddy was re garded as a sort of junior place officer, with his hands full most of the time_._a kind of "everybody's friend," who had won the respect and regard of the general juvenile street crowd with who!Th he had cast in his fortunes ever since they ' could remember, and who, as well, ever since they could remember, had been brave as a lion, busy as a bee, and straight as a trivet. ' With an easy swing, Reddy proceeded on his way, whis tling like a blackbird . He kicked a piece of banana-peel gutterward, to save some one Jess observant from a slippery fall; he paused to loosen the chafing bit of a horse at the curb; he helped mend the broken crazy cart of a little gamin. Then, dart ing into a court, running behind some stores, Reddy nosed around like a ragpicker. When he came out the tip of his head was just visible above a great armful of barrel-staves and box boards. These he bore to the entrance of a dilapidated tenement house, pushed open a door, and, entering a cheerless room, threw the heap beside a battered stove. "Kindling, granny," he piped, brushing the splinters from his coat. "And how's the rheumatism to-day?" "Better, thank goodness!" crooned an old woman, shivering by the window. "You never forget me, do you?" "Why would I," rang out Reddy's cheery hail, "when twenty steps out of my way provides you with fuel for a week?" "And it warms my heart to be called granny." aoh, I've got uncles and aunts and grannies everywhere I go," laughed Reddy. " Never had any, you see, really, that I know of, so I like to pretend I'm related to the whole world." "Bless the boy! If there was more like him!" mumbled the old lady, as Reddy departed with a bright smile. He walked two blocks, briskly, and halted before a florist's windows. That he loved all the bright things of nature, his ardent inspection of the pretty roses and carnations plainly showed. Reddy drew out a handful of loose coins. Pennies pre dominated, but the heap represented nearly a dollar. "I've got to spare another quarter," he decided. "It runs me down pretty close, but-why, this is Cohen's day, the twenty-second, of course. I'll give the old skinflint a call, and attend to his precious clerk, Hod Livesey, at the same time. I'll be an Astor this evening, so what's an odd dime or two now?" Reddy entered the store and came out again with a neat little bouquet, wrapped_in tissue-paper. He looked conscious and carried it awkwafdly, for Reddy knew if he met any of his humble friends they would sarcastically infer that he had joined the Fifth Avenue set, and was bearing a floral offering to some heiress. . No lady-love was in sturdy Reddy's mind, however. His f . ace softened as he approached a grim brick structure with the word "Hospital" over its entrance. An inquiry at the door brought out the information that .it was not visitors' day; that little Tim Ellis, the newsboy, who had been run over by an omnibus, was resting easily; that the "bouquet from the boys" would be conveyed to Tim at once; and, leaving another bright speck of sunshine in his path, Reddy darted down a wretched side street, some what with the air of a physician anxious to terminate his varied rounds of duty. It was here that Reddy had lived for some months-"baching" it, as he termed it. Opening a door, he entered a characteristic room. It was large and rather bare, but the walls were highly deco rated. Pictures of all Reddy's heroes predominated, pasted over cracks and holes in the plastering. The bar, the pulpit, the ring, the baseball and football arenas were all repre sented in the heterogeneous display. At a. table, one arm in a sling, sat a boy about qis own age reading a book. "Well, Tom, how goes it--" began Reddy, checked him self, and stared across the apartment with the startled words: "Well, I'm jiggered!" Suspended from hooks was a broad wire, and cross-legged at its center swung a grinning, reckless urchin. Beyond him in the corner, standing on his head, and in dustriously spelling out words from a tattered leaflet, was a second boy, who, despite his topsy-turvy face, sufficiently resembled the wire expert to be his twin brother. "What's this?" blurted out Reddy, askance, as both boys came to their feet promptly. "Only keeping in circus-practise, Reddy," submitted the smiling wire performer. "It's all we know, and so long as we learn to read, and spell, and keep in hiding, you don't care particularly if we do it on a trapeze, or up like snake cortontionists, do you?" "I say, Reddy," spoke the lad with his arm in the sling, "aren't you getting tired laboring to support such an idle outfit?" "Not a bit of it," asserted Reddy stanchly. "When your hand gets well you'll soon be busy; and as to Tip and Davy here, as soort as that drunken old scoundrel of an uncle, who has licked and scared the life out of them, imagines they've escaped to some other city, and leaves to locate them, I'll have them earning money fast enough to make up for a few days' loafing. Just dropped in as I passed by. I'll be home for supper." Reddy walked more slowly as he reached the street again, for he seemed to have completed his list of responsibilities for that morning, at least. He smiled pleasantly to himself as he sauntered on. He
I ,; . I MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. 3 had sold his full quota of papers before nine o'clock, had established a forlorn little creature' in her business rights, had brightened up an old woman's dark hours a trifle, had convinced the injured newsboy at the hospital that he was not forgotten, and had seen that his three charges at his room were all right. "I guess it's my luck to lend a shoulder to every wheel," he ruminated, "but what would the poor unfortunates do if some one didn't? I'm not saving much; it's like taking care of a lot of helpless babes, but-long may she wave! Hello!" To a dead standstill Reddy came, and peered curiously and keenly ahead of him. A big, raw-boned, honest-faced .giant of a fellow was a few feet in advance, his arm linked confidently with that of his exact opposite-a flashily dressed, ferret-eyed individual. "Hello !" repeated Reddy, with emphasis. "If that old fellow don't need some attention, I my guess. Talk about the helpless ones at home-why, here's the biggest baby of the bunch !" In a flash the experienced Reddy saw what the plainly dressed old man ahead of him was-some granger, probably, visiting New York for the first time in his life. In a flash, too, Reddy recognized his companion as one of that pestiferous ilk which haunts all large cities-a confi dence man. "A sharper with a victim in tow, as sure as life!" de cided Reddy. "Where's the police?" He looked up and down the street, but no uniforms were visible. Then he drew nearer to the strolling duo, walked as they walked, and listened as they conversed. "I take it mortal kind of you to go out of your way to start me straight for my hotel, stranger," the victim was saying, with heartiness. "Oh, that's all right," retorted the confidence man glibly. "My uncle, who is in Congress, always cited me the maxim -'Take the stranger in.' " "It's just sickening," commented Reddy, "to see those in nocents pop right into the hands of these harpies. They fairly break their necks to do it. I should think the face of this schemer would warn any smart-looking old gentle man like that. But, no; he's like all of them-like the fellow in the play, sitting on the booby-hatch listening to stem stories-'a greenhorn with a gold brick in one mitt, and a roll of the J9ng green in the other.' I say! there's a new wrinkle-to me." Reddy grew immensely interested as he saw the sharper drop something, unobserved by his companion. Then he feigned to notice it for the first time, halted, stooped over, and picked the object up. "Why, what's this?" exclaimed the schemer, with pre tended surprise. It. was a padlock. Plain and simple, a padlock, but the curious Reddy knew that it must be some part of a swindling-scheme, and how he was determined to find out. The confidence man turned it over in his hand, and Reddy saw that it was of brass, smooth and shiny, and having no keyhole. "Padlock, eh?" spoke up the old man. "Does look like one, but-how does it open?" "Oh, I know now!" exclaimed the "No wonder they're throwing them loose around the ' streets!" "Eh?" "They can't be opened." "What are they made for, then?" "I mean generally. They're a puzzle. A fellow got them up for such. My brother, who is chief of police of Boston, worked over one for two days, and gave it up in disgust." "Hold on! Let's have a look," interrupted the old man, as his companion feigned to throw the padlock away. "You'll only waste your time; I saw a bet of a hundred dollars over one, and of course the padlock-opener lost." "Sha!" suddenly ejaculated the granger; "sure as my name'.s Ben Walrod, I've-I've--" Click! "Why, what's that?" inquired the sharper. The old man chuckled, and turned a pair of bright, ex cited eyes orl his companion. "I say, stranger, how much did the man bet against opening this brass concern?" "A hundred dollars." ''I'll take him up on .two !" "You'll--" "Just that. I'm no bettor, mind you, despise it, in fact, and don't want the money, but I'd like to show some of these smart Alecks that an old grizzly from the Rockies â€¢ like myself sometimes does pretty cute things." "Then--" "I can open the padlock." "Say!" vociferated the sharper, in seeming astonishment, "never!" "I can." "But--" "Because I just did it. Look here!" And he held up the padlock. "See that little pin-head? That's the trickjigger ! Never thought of it? Ha, ha! I did. Here she goes. Click! open; click! shut. See? Ain't it great?" The old fellow chuckled like a tickled schoolboy, while his companion slapped him on the shoulder in open-mouthed admiration. ,-"You come with me," he insisted. "I've got friends we'll just set wild. Fact is, I hate to confess it, but it's the truth," lamely stammered the; speaker, with an admirable as sumption of sheepishness, "I lost ten dollars myself on that pesky little padlock." "You don't say so! Come on," chirped the old man. "I'm in for just such fun. We'll wade into them! We'll pay them back !" . "Roped in!" murmured Reddy, as lion and Iamb pr.oceeded. "That's the den, eh?" Sharper and his victim had turned into the side passage way to a suspicious-looking cigar-store. Reddy waited till they reached.Cs other end, and disappeared. Then he fol lowed. He investigated a'dark entry, a back porch, and a Iittered up yard, before the sound of voices led him aright. Crouching near a shuttered door, he took in the last act in the interesting fraud that had begun with the trick. pad lock. Four men, all of the stripe of the old man's decoy, occu pied a room with the two latter. The "old grizzly from the Rockies" was desoanting on his ability to open the padlock, now passing from hand to hand . The sharper's confederates were vociferous in denouncing an impossibility. They kept getting their victim more and more excited. "Money talks!" suddenly yelled the old ma1;1. "Come on: I'll bet an even two hundred dollars I can open that pad lock in two se conds." "Done!" cried a prompt voice. The old man drew an immense cowskiR wallet from his pocket. As he slapped it defiantly on the table and drew from a sumptuous pile of crisp bills two of ' large denomin1tion, Reddy could see the eyes of the motley horde snap hungrily, while he himself goggled at the many thousands thus carelessly exposed to view. The old man put his money in the hands of his guide, carelessly thrust his wallet back in his coat side pocket, and reached for the padlock. Reddy saw its holder fumble with it, and wink craftily at his fellows. "It's easy," chuckled the old man, "it's easy as-consarn take it!" "Time's up, you've lost !" announced a sharp voice. "But go ahead-take two hours, if you like. Y
4 :MIGHT Al\D LIBRARY. "But I did!" mouthed the dumfounded victim, punching and pushing at the little pin-head ineffectively. "Do it now." With dogged persistency the loser worked at the pad lock. Reddy understood the game folly. The padlock, fixed to decoy the old man in the first instance, hacl since been manipulated so that a safe-blower could not have budged it. It was a portion of the confidence man's swindling-outfit -warranted to open or shut, just as its crafty owner cal culated. As the loser stood frowningly and obstinately fumbling at the contrivance, Reddy noticed one of the men whisper to another, and the latter moved noiselessly behind the vic tim. Deftly he extricated fro111 his pocket the immense wallet, with its hoard of treasure, and started stealthily for the door. . " Police I" shriJly and suddenly yelled Reddy, pushing open the door, and confronting the thief. The robber recoiled with a startled ejaculation, and made for an open window. "Mister!" shoute
MIGHT AND MAIX LIBRARY. I 5 for acting a man'st part. I'm bu'sting with gratitude, and I'm going to have my way. Will you come with me quiet?" "Where?" "To my hotel. That's more gentlemanly and friendly. Ha! ha! barreled him up!" He set Reddy on his feet, but kept hold of his arm. Fatherly as he meant the caress, it was more like the clench of the grizzly he fancied likening himself to. When he got to his hotel he planted Reddy in a comfort able chair and ordered a sumptuous meal. Reddy was not unwilling to eat, for such a repast he had never seen before, except through plate-glass windows; nor talk, for old Ben Walrod, as he called himself, drank in all this animated type of the smart, bustling city boy said with genuine avidity. "It's a great city, and you'.re a great boy," he declared. "Glad to meet you, sorry to part, but hope you'll not forget me. Now, then, what can I do for you?" "Oh, I'm reasonably comfortable as it is," insisted Reddy. "You're the right kind, that's certain," said \Valrod en thusiastically. "There's a little nest-egg to put in the savings-bank, lad, and if double as much will ever buy out some little business for you , a scratch of the pen will bring me to time." "Mr: \Valrod, ' ' said Reddy, glancing with delight and surprise at the roll of bank-notes put into h'is hand, "this is generous. I hope I earned it. You know best. If I could do something more for you, how ?" "You can. I just thought of it." "What?" "I want to get on the track of some good orphan-asy-lum." "Eh?" ejaculated Reddy, puzzled. "Orphan-asylum." "Why-" . "I'm on the hunt for an active, reliable of them, if both suit." "What for?" "To take back \Vest with me." "Mister," observed Reddy explosively, "the woods are full of them !" "I want to find the kind that will appreciate growing up in a country where there's plenty to eat, lots of adventure to \ keep the blood circulating, and a heap of money to be made by industry." "That's dead easy . " "You see, I'm the one man on the northwest coast who can draw a map of Oregon, washington, and Alaska, and put in every creek, gulch, and settlement just where it ought to be." "I see," murmured Reddy, in a wonder-lost tone. "You're one of the kind we read about." "That is-at home with bears, Indians, and snow-storms, and a regular lamb among city sharks. Maybe, though, if those coyotes knew my record they'd have hesitated. Look here." \Valrod drew out a long piece of. ivory. "Toothpick," he vouchsafed. "See the marks on this side? Bears." "You've killed that many !" . "In scrimmages-I don't count grub shots. See this side? Indians." "You--" "Protected myself when partners were falling like ten pins. Well, experience has helped me. Bears shy, Indians meek as butter. . It's the fur-trade and gold now, all hands in a scramble for money, and I'm in with the rest." "How in it?" "I've started a bank. You'd ought to see it-way up on a peak, _ Lookout Point, we call it. Fifty miles from nowhere -bleak, lonely, but the connecting link for all that country. The Indians swear by me, th,e miners tie to my word strictly. I hank their dust, ship it, it, trade it." "All alone?" interrogated Reddy. "So far. That's why I want company. Men? Not for Benjamin! The sorest spots in my memory are where friends have played me false. I want likely boys, who need a father because they've got none, and I'll treat them like sons. I'm going to start a pony express, and I want to make them horsemen the world will be proud of." "A pony express!" repeated Reddy, thrilling with the vivid picture of stir and adventure the sug[estion devel oped; "why, I've got the very boys for you. Tip and Davy Parker." "\!Vho are they?" "Their uncle, a dram-drinking, vicious old reprobate , has been playin " g the slave-driver with them. Apprenticed them to a show, and took all their earnings"-and Reddy ex plained his guardianship of them. "The harm the idle life did them I'm trying to overcome; the only good it did them was to make them so they can ride, eat, sleep, contort on a horse till your head would swim. Mr. Walrod, these boys are in hiding, sick of their hard life, and they'd just jump at the chance to get 1away from it. They seem exactly built to star it in your pony-express scheme." "Well, lad, I see that, and I'm gone on you more than ever," responded Walrod heartily. "vVhy, you seem to be running a sort of a free orphan-asylum yourself? Say! don't hurry to answer; take your time. But, you couldn't--" Wal rod fixed a pleading look on Reddy, and paused. "Couldn't what, Mr. Walrod?" "You wouldn't--" "\i\That do you stop for?" "Because my heart's sot, and I'm afraid you're going to say no." . "Give yourself a chance to find out by telling what you mean," suggested Reddy. "You're all city," sighed Walrod. "I can read that. No bright fellow like you sees <'mything in a Switzerland of snowy peaks, catching wild horses, holding your breath while you get a mint full of gold-dust past the mountain out laws, and through by daylight." "Oh, that's what you're getting at?" exclaimed Reddy . "You "I beg--" "That I'll go \i\T est, too?" "Just that." "B'ut you only wanted two boys?" "And a third to keep the other two in order. Didn't I mention that?" "You didn't. Mr. Walrod, give me a few hours to see my friends--" "Days, lad, days !" piped the old man excitedly. "A few more to fix my business-affairs, and--" "Yes, yes," uttered Walrod, with eagerness. "I'll go to work for the pony-express." CHAPTER II. "THE PONY EXPRESS." "It's a dream !" "The old fellow's romancing!" "Reddy, you've been to a wild-west show, and imagined it all." These forcible criticisms rang out, as, just after dusk, Reddy told his friends the story of the day's adventures, and submitted \.Valrod's proposition to take all hands across the continent inttl> a life new as that of another world, into a service of dash and enthusiasm-the pony express. All that afternoon his head had buzzed with it, and Reddy had decided that his career as a "ity boy had ended fJreve r , as he went home to make disclosures that created as much commotion as if he had dropped match into a Vesuvius o f gunpowder. Tip made him tell it all over again, and danced his most reckless jig an the slack wire. â€¢
6 MIGHT AND LIBRARY. His brother Davy reached the cupboard-top in one spring, claiming to be aching for the . chance to mount the untamed steed of the West without aid of stirrup, saddle, or check rein. "If your wonderful friend really included me, Reddy--" observed Tom. "Which he did." "You know my mind-I go where you go, if I'm let. I'll try a little of the same, if you please !" "That settles it," spoke Reddy conclusively. "Mr. Walrod leaves New York to-morrow." "And pays the freight?" "Who else? It is freight, too, boys." "Eh?" questioned Tom. "It's a funny thing, but we cross the continent 111 a box car." "What sport!" piped Tip. "I don't quite understand it, but Mr. Walrod will explain in the morning. He came here to attend to the transfer of a very important shipment from Australia, and has en gaged two freight -cars to convey it West; it requires atten tion clear through, so I imagine we go the-same as live stock men." "Bet it's a baby elephant," suggested Tip. "Or an anaconda," put in navy. "I don't know," replied Reddy, "but it will be just grand! for there will be plenty of comfortable hammocks, chairs, and eatables. I'm going, boys." "Where?" asked Tom. "To Cohen's, to draw my princely monthly stipend." Reddy proceeded down street till he came to the spot where he had befriended the little gid that morning. "Cohen's in," he soliloquized, glancing up at the lighted windows whence the soaked wad had been dropped on his head. Reddy ascended the dark stairs with a bound. They were quite familiar to him. Five years previously he had been brought from Boston to New York by the only protectbr he had ever known, a man named Burgess, who appeared periodically at a cheap boarding-school to pay Reddy's bills. At New York he left Reddy at a hotel. The next day he did not appear, but a stranger did. He introduced himself as Cohen, a lawyer. He stated that Burgess had left the country. Hereafter Reddy would have to shift for himself, al though Burgess was willing to pay a trifle toward his support. .,,, This money, ten dollars, would be given him by Cohen on the twenty-second of each month as long as Reddy re mained in New York. If he left the city he was to for feit it. During his monthly visits Reddy had met Hod, but they had never become friends. Hod seemed jealous of Reddy's popularity with boys and continually provoked him to quarrel. .Reddy observed that the door of the lawyer's outer officr was open. Cohen, he decided, was in his private den. Seated near the window, in front of him a tray which evidently bore the remains of the lawyer's supper, was mean-faced Hod Livesey, acting in an extraordinary manner. With the air of a millionaire he was daintily picking over this and that dish, while he toyed with a full bottle of seltzer and a nearly empty one of brandy. "What's he putting on those Delmonico airs for? Oh, I see !" chuckled Reddy. Across the street, at another lighted window, sat two youpg ladies knitting, and it was patent that Hod was posing for their benefit. . . "I'll spoil him," smiled Reddy, advancing. "Hello, Hod!" Fizz! "You know you dropped some water on me this morning, Hod?" Fizz! "I'm only paying you back, Hod." Fizz! "A last spurt, Hod. " Fizz! Fizz! Fizz! "Ow! murder !"-crash! Across the street Hod's observers were screaming with laughter; his finger pressed on the syphon-valve of the seltzer-bottle, Reddy never let up spraying his enemy. The starched collar wilted, the colors in the gorgeous necktie ran, the matted hair rose askew. A dripping wreck, Hod kicked up his heels and over came table and tray on top of him. "What's this?" challenged a sharp voice, and Cohen ran into the office, staring aghast. "It's Hod, Mr. Cohen," announced Reddy coolly. "He can't keep away from water." "You rascal ! you blunderhead ! You-you--Half this week's salary for damages!" Reddy, with a cruel wink at Hod, followed the lawyer into his private office. "After your regular pension, eh?"' insinuated Cohen. "Here it is." Reddy pocketed the tendered bank-note. Then he looked up into the lawyer's face. "Mr. Cohen," he ventured, "I suppose there's no use trying to find out why Burgess pays me this money?" "Take what's offered and say nothing." "But he has a motive?" "Perhaps." "And, it all depending on my staying 111 New York, it looks as if he wanted to keep me here?" "I'm not paid for guessing." "Well, announced Reddy, "I don't suppose there's any great mystery under it, only I thought I'd speak of it before I < went away . " "Before you went away!" gulped the lawyer, with a start. "Exactly." "You're not thinking of that?" "I am." "You mean a little jaunt somewhere?" "I mean that I'm going to leave New York-maybe for ever." "What!" Reddy was amazed at a sight of the lawyer's face. It' was quite white. He seemed completely upset. "You mustn't do it,'' he vociferated. "Leave New York? why, the ten dollars a month?" "Oh, I don't care for that any longer." "And where-where may you be thinking of going?" voiced Cohen, with an attempt to appear calm. "To the northwest coast-::Oregon, W9-shington, Alaska." "Oregon!" Reddy's last disclosure seemed to completely overpower the lawyer. He ran up to Reddy and grasped one wrist as if he would crush it. "Boy," he hissed, "who told. you? What . is sending you to Oregon? How did you find out?" "Find out what?" "Don't you try to fool me!" roared Cohen. "Going away ! Oregon ! Alaska! Don't want the money any longer ! You can't leave New sha'n't !" "I can and I will, and I'll be gone before to-morrow night." The lawyer's face was writhing. He did not let go of Reddy's wrist. "You have found out something about that money," he "You know that it is paid to keep you in sightthat of all the places you . must never go to it's the place you just named." "Aha!" cried Reddy, "so that's the mystery, is it? I am bribed to stay here. why?" "Be warned," choked Cohen, losing all control of himself. "I am paid to see that you stay, and you shall. I have , a warrant against you in this desk. A trumped-up charge, but I am smart enough to convict you. I keep it purposely ready. I will use it to detain you, if necessary. Don't tempt me: leave well enough alone. You can't, you sha'n't, you daren't leave New York!" "I can, I shall, I dare-let go!"
MIGHT AND LIBRARY. 7 . With each word Reddy gave a jerk. He got !\lose and started for the door, but Cohen blocked egress. "Hod!" he shouted. "Boy, I 'll s . end him for an officer. It's all up with you then. Don't drive me." Reddy ' as uot scared, but his eyes opened to the fact that , after all, a most interesting mystery must underlie the pension-money, and, knowing that the crafty lawyer was wicked enough to swear his liberty away, he determined to get out of his clutches. Hod's malevolent face appeared as Red , dy's eyes lighted on a glass door at the other end of the room. He ran it. Jerking a big cus hion from an easy chair , he brought it against the clouded pane. A spring carried him through, but he fell prostrate. When he got up he saw hi s enemi e s advancing. "Grab him!" ordered the law y er, but Reddy was too quick. H.e ran forward, landed against a ladder, and blindly put up it. "He's caged!" voiced Hod; "it's the roof up there ." "Run for my brother on the ne x t floor; I 'll guard here," fluttered Cohen. "We've got to down the boy now-he knows too much." The flat roof lay before Reddy. It seemed as if there was no escape, only a faint suggestion of a steeple-climbing course to liberty at one side. The glass apex of a theater roof rose there. Reddy could step to the slant, but would it s upport him? 1-Ie was des perate, and he took a desperate chance. He dropped to the leaded ridge of glass. It seemed strong enough. â€¢ "Why, this is all right," he soliloquized , climbing toward the top. "The skylight ends at the plain roof , and--" He checked him s elf with a jar. He had reached the apex, unaware of the fact that directly in its center w e r e two light windows dropping inward for ventilatiort . Reddy crept over them. Like unfolding traps they let him down, and a cry of ter-ror surged to his tips. Back they flapped on their rope pulleys and hinges, and his clutching hands slipped across them. Flashingly he saw a blur o light and color, heard the music of an orchestra, was aware that a vast throng crowded the edifice. His elbow struck one of the flapping sashes, smashed it, and downward he plunged . Twenty feet, and he came to a halt with a shock. Only for a second it was, bt in that second Reddy discerned that he was way up from the pit-that he had fallen across a swinging double trapeze. Was the hand of the man whose performance he had in terrupted put out to save him? Reddy could not tell. He heard frightened yells far beneath; he knew th a t something broke-a bar. or a rope-he knew that in frantic helplessness he clutched at the acrobat's spangled arm. Then, free of all guide or hindrance, both went hurtling to the white, .wild uplifted sea of faces a hundred feet below! . The double-weighted trapeze-bar had broken. Whiz! Downward with sickening velocity, dizzied and horrified, plunged boy and acrobat. B lare! The orchestral instruments came to a top with a startling discord. Redd y Morri s , in top s y-turv y terror, knew from an appalled roar from many throats that ev e ry eye in a vast audience was witne ss in g a s cen e . not put down in the bills. "Let go! " panted the owner of th e spangled arm to which he so frantically clung. "But--" "You're all right-let go, I sa y ! 'vVe mustn't drop to gether." ,\11 right! In that quivering second, during which his conipanion plunger spoke, Reddy marveled at his calmnes s , fancied everything all wrong. "Spread out!" Did the imperturbable aerialist deem his companion a bird-yet Reday had the sense to obey . Blindly he let go, blindly he threw out arms and feet. Then, shuddering at a thought of landing mangled on iron-backed parquet-chairs, } and mangling crouching on lookers upon them as well, diving changed to bounding. Down he went on an india-rubber swoop, up he came on a springlike flop, over he rolled, tossed, buffeted as if by gentle waves. Then, breathless, stunned, but uninjured, Reddy gripped, swayed, and stared. "A net!" he voiced inarticulately. â€¢ "Huzza !" screamed a chorus of relief and satisfaction, and the orchestra covered the confusion with a rollicking dash into a triumphant two-step. Reddy sat like a bump on a log, too overcome with shock and thankfulness to help himself jus t yet. The acrobat was crawling over the meshes of the net toward him like an agile human spider . "That was close," he spoke . "Where did you bolt from, anyhow?" "I'm sorry--" began Reddy. "You're smart, and that saved you . If you hadn't let go my arm weJd have come together in the net like two egg5'. Be brisk, now. The s how's got to go on." How he helped Reddy over the net and swung him from its end to the stage, the never remembered. 'It was an unnatural progress to the benumbed boy. The clapping , stamping, and hooting were deafening as, holding Reddy's hand , the acrobat bowed and scraped, and scraped and bowed at the footlights. "Gentlemen a!ld ladies," spoke the manager, appearing' from the wings, ".this unfortunate interruption--" "Do it again. Great stuff!" yelled the front row. "Merely an accident." "No! Was it?" "The flying wonder will resume his act as soon as the trapeze is repaired." "Fellers!" just here screamed a fog-horn voice in the gallery, "it's Reddy!" "W-what !" roared a chorus, and as necks aloft were craned, it seemed as if half a dozen of their owners would come bolting over the rail. "T'ree cheers !" "Hi! Reddy, old boy . " â€¢ , "Speech! Hooray!" It was futly five minutes before Reddy's senses got back to normal shape. The actors questioned him, the scene shiftet's stared at him. "You stay here till I come back , " the manager enjoined him . "I want to get a couple of reporters here . Make it lurid, will you? It'll be as good as two pages free adver tising." "Not this date," soliloquized Reddy. "Cohen's is alto gether to near to risk lingering . I'll walk out while the way's open . " Unnoticed, Reddy stepped through the stage door. The route to the street was through a space flanked by the building in which were the lawyer's offices. FamiJiar voices sounded as Reddy neared the sidewalk. "That's Cohen,'' he murmured, listening. "That's Hod. Some one else? It must be the lawyer's brother." "He couldn ' t fly away," insisted the l a tter. "No, " growled Cohen ; "but he ' s nimble Jack enough to drop from cornice to awning and street. Oh, he's made off. Now it's to catch him. You hear me, Hod Livesey, you're discharged." "Wasn't my fault." "J:t's your business to find him. Do so, and I take you back. Don't do so , and fin d a new place." "That's pretty hard '1n me. "
8 MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. "\'/\/as I ever soft? Come, there's no sleep for me till I find that boy. Why, if he barely guesses the truth, and is really off to Oregon, it's-it's blue ruin." "You don't say so !" ' .'I do." Reddy discerned that he was bobbing up with conspicu ous magnitude as part and parcel of some interestingly in tricate plot.' "They want to keep me here," he ruminated. "Why? It's enough for . the present that Cohen is after me. I've heard of his knocking out fellO\vs that he did not want in his way, swearing them into jail. I'm not afraid, but I don't want to make any slip on the pony-express business . " Reddy proceeded on a run, but suddenly checked himself. "It's eyes wide open and get in . the back way while those fellows are hunting for me," he decided. "It's likely they'll be nosing around my quarters . " Reddy started the occupants of his room through a window, \ and Tip and Davy stared "Be brisk, fellows!" he ordered tersely. ing." "Why, Reddy--" by appearing vaguely . "\'11/e're mov-"There's trouble .in the air. Pack what we own." "Are we to start in box car to-night?" fluttered Tip. "We'll never start at all if Cohen gets his claws on me. Don't ask questions. Just hustle. Where's Tom?" "Oh, Reddy!" explained Davy, "he's left. You know lie had a brother in Philadelphia?" "What of it?" , "He wrote him. He got here just you left. He had to hurry to catch a train, and, although Tom told him about his prospects, he made him think it best to go back home with him." "Well, Tom wasn't in any too good shape for roughing it," commented Reddy. "If he's got a show for a comforta ble home, he'd better stick to it. That's all, is it?" he de manded, as their portable possessions were bulked on the table in three little bundles. "Hush!" "Hark!" "Not a word, boys!" All three had started at susp1c1ous sounds. Some one turned the knob, and low whispering ensued. Reddy blew out the candle. There came a sturdy knock on the panels. "Hey, there,.! Reddy Morris!" sang out familiar tones. Reddy did not respond to Hod's hail. It was repeated. "Maybe he isn't here?" suggested a second voice, that of Cohen. "Yes, he is. I heard him talking; he blew out the light. Hey, there! You know who it is. Mr. Cohen has some business with you. If you want to fix it up with no further trouble, it's your chance now." Still Reddy deemed silence the best mask r to his inten tions. "You needn't pretend you don't hear me," pursued Hod. "You're in there, and the Parkers, too . I know where their uncle is, and I'll have him down here in ten minutes if you don't open." "You'd better answer !" cried Cohen impatiently. Reddy's eyes snapped. The threatened betrayal of his charges made him mad . He noiselessly lifted a stool to the door, and when he got up on it lifted also an overflowing pail of water. "There's my. answer!" he shouted through the transom, and tilted the pail to keep it company. "Ough ! Whew! Brr-rr !" "Come on!" directed Reddy, to his astounded friends, and they followed him through the window. "You heard what Hod threatened?" remarked Reddy, as they rea-::hed the s tre e t through back yards. "He me.ans it. Now, fellows, step quick. \Ve mustn't.be caught. vVe must I \ shake dust of New York from our feet this night , 'Jr the jig's up!" "They'll keep us here?" queried Tip plaintively. "Just." "And no pony-express?" "Not a hoof." , It must have been nine o'clock when Reddy reached the hotel where he had been taken b y old Ben Walrod that day. He stowed his young friends in the reading-room, and the next minute followed a servant to the old man's apartment. Walrod was just getting ready for bed, but hl! slipped back into his coat and grasped Reddy's hand. "Mr. Walrod, it's a shame to bother you this late-" began Reddy. "Hoity-toity !" "But I'm in a bit of a muddle that calls for prompt action;" and Reddy narrated the developments of the eve ning . . "You see how I'm placed?" he concluded. "This Cohen is a fox, a wolf--" "And I'm a grizzly!" roare d old Ben-"a terror, a rip snorter ! Let me at the rascal! Threatening you? Why, I'll-I'll . chaw him up!" "Rowing won't answer," demurred Reddy. "The plain fact is here-I have defied him; he's ' bound I sha'n't leav e . You don't know that man's power with trickery. He's no . boaster. He's prepared to down me, and there's only one hope of my going with you." "And what's that?" "Keeping Otâ€¢t of his way-getting out of the cit y at once." "Can't leave till to-morrow eveni'ng , lad," muttered \ V al rod. "Train don't go till then." "That's all right if we can hide." "Oh, hide? That's easy," chuckled vValrod. "You come with me. Where are your three friend s ?" "Two, you mean. One can't go . They're down-stairs." Down-stairs Walrod proceeded. He eyed the Parkers so keenly that Tip got frightened. "Say, mister," he faltered, "you're not going to say we won't do?" "No, not if you were twice small," declared the bluff old fellow. "I was only taking you in as future kings of the wilderness. You can ride , I hear?" "Just trot out a horse!" cried Davy, with sparkling eyes . "Or even a mule," supplemented Tip. "You're going to do," nodded VValrod approbatively. "So crphans are so cheap they let them starve hereabouts, but so precious when they make a run for c o v e r you have to steal them away, eh? Good! I'm equal to the occasion. I'll show you where they won't find you." He left them, returning to convey them to a close carriage outside. Boys and bundles were soon in place. The drive lasted about an hour; the carriage crossed a ferry, and finally halted near a great freight-yar
?IIIGIIT AXD LIBRARY. 9 The far half of the car had glass boxes set in rows like bee-cases, with movable slides. "Here's where I keep my herd," smiled the old man, admitting his goggling guests, "and it's to attend to it that we have to travel by freight." "Your herd?" repeated the mystified Reddy. "I don't see any herd." "Don't?" "No." "You see those boxes ?" insinuated Wal rod. "Oh, yes." "The herd's in there. Don't seem much, eh? But it .costs an even twenty thousand dollars to put it on this train from Australia and deliver it in California." "Why, what kind of a herd can it be?" propounded the perplexed Reddy; and old Ben Walrod answered simply: "Bugs!" "Bugs?" repeated Reddy interrogatively. "A herd of bugs-exactly," assented vValrod . "Insects might be more polite, as they're a species of lady-bugs." "And they're so valuable it costs twenty thousand dollars to cart them around the world?" "Twenty millions wouldn't cover the good they may do," declared Walrod. "Don't bulge your eyes so, bub"-to the gaping Tip-"I'm no mystifier, so I'IJ just explain. Those cases contain a herd of insects from Australia, and they are intended for the orange-flowers of California." "What for." asked Reddy. "Because they're cannibals . " "Cannibals?" "Of the most voracious type, and they are expected to des troy the insects doing so much damage in Pacific orange-groves. They eat other bugs; and when they can't find such they eat one another. On account of this charac teristic it has been found ' very difficult to import them. Box after box sent here in succeeding ships were opened to dls7 close the fact that the little creatures had exterminated themselves. A large orange-grower appointed me to receive this consignment carefully guarded on ship, and as carefully carry them through regardless of expense. That's how they and I come to be here. They're not many, but they're precious as diamonds, for one bug in six months becomes the proud grandmother of three hundred and seventy-five million buglets." "And we're to travel with them? \li/e're to live in this cozy, delightful car?" spoke Davy hopefulJy. "You're not to put your nose outside under any circum stances till it's started \Nest. You wanted to be hiding. T.hink yo.u'll be found here? Just read, sleep, and eat till I come back to-morrow." ' "Say, Reddy, this is royal!" The enthusiastic Tip did not sleep many . winks that night, and he kept his companions awake with him. The novelty of their situation, the prospect of adventure and variety ahead, threw even Reddy off his us1-1al practical balance. He had never been in a good-sized woods in his life, had never picked a wild nut or berry, had not seen even so much of game as a scurrying rabbit in its native surround-ings. â€¢ So Reddy felt as if he wap bound for a new w
I IO MIGHT AND MAiN LIBRARY. to have found out what game Cohen . is working, too; but, bah! it's some mean game if he's in it, and bring any good to me, so I'll forget all about it . . Pshaw l one thing must be attended to-I'd ought to have written to Percy Blair." Whoever Percy Blair was he must have been a warm friend of Reddy's, for the latter was as flustered as a school girl, as, acting under a sudden resolve, he began to scribble a few lines on a pad of blank paper which, with envelopes, lay on the table. "That will tell him all about it so he'll understand," mur mured Reddy. "It wouldn't do not to post a friend . who did so much for me as he did. Have I got time? Yes. The train won't probably start for fifteen minutes, and there's a drug-store and a letter-box in sight." , Beyond the gate-guarded crossing near the siding Reddy could see both . He stepped out on the platform of the car, calculated a quick dash and a speedy return, and, letter in hand, ran across tracks, street, and business square, a dis tance of perhaps two. hundred yards. "Give me a stamp. Thank you." Down went two pennies on the druggist's counter, flap! went the stamp in place, snap r the letter-box enclosed it, and, with his last cam off his mind, Reddy made for the train again, feeling as if he could fly, in th"e rare exuber ance of a free heart and pleasing prospects greeting it ahead. ' A passenger-train whistled, and the towerman at the crossing sounded his gong preparatory to lowering the gates as Reddy neared it. He was about to venture a dash and gain the insect-car, when he halted sharply. "That's him I" "That's--" ... "The boy Reddy . Jump-down; it's the one we've been hunting high and low for . _It's the one Cohen wants." "Hod Livesey!" jerked out the astonished Reddy. He stared at the two spe . akers. They were dismounting hastily from the seat of an express-wagon drawn up near the tracks. Quick as a flash, as Reddy recognized its driver as the same man who had delivered Walrod's load that morning, he unde ' rstood how Hod came to be on hand at a critical moment. In some way he had traced the fugitives to \11/alrod's hotel, and Walrod's car through . getting a trace of the expressman . Words, face, and actions betrayed the fact that he had impressed the expressman into Coh ' en's service, and that meant just one thing-Reddy's capture and detention. But Reddy decided not to be caught and detained, ventured no risk with security offered in the shape of the locked insect-car and friends within call. The approaching locomotive was whistling shrilly, the towerman's gong was clanging furiously, the creaking gates were already beginning 'to descend. "Stop him!" yelled Hod, landing with a slam on both feet. "We want you, young man," bawled the expressman. "Get me if you can!" railed Reddy, and sprang forward. Creak-flop-he counted on crossing the Before they could follow, the speeding express-train would afford a temporary barrier to pursuit. . With a shock Reddy was brought to a standstill, however. Held as if in giant arms, wedged tight and helpless, he stared, gaspe'd, and wriggled. '. The . gate-arm, just coming down, had closed tight and trim over his head, fitting his shoulders and embracing them as if made on purpose, and the next minute the triumphant Hod Livesey was at his side. I CHAPTER III. "PUT. ME OFF AT BUFFALO." The express-locomotive shrieked by, and the dust, smoke, and steam in its wake hid gates and Reddy from the view of the towerman. "Here he is !" Hod, twisting his malicious face close to the helpless Reddy. "Aha! you ain't so smart as . you thought." Reddy squirmed, but his arms were pinioned tight to his side. "I'll take charge of you, young man," remarked the e;_pressman, approaching closer. Reddy could not strike, but he could kick, and it did him good to send Hod reeling back with a limp. Just then the gates began to rise . The tug of the com pressed air and the struggles of the frantic Reddy shook him free. Both of his enemies instantly made a dive for him. Reddy dodged. Then, across the tracks all three put. Reddy ran rather blindly, only thinking of distancing his pursuers. . Taking a quick sweep of the yards, he abruptly changed his course. He had run away from the insect-car instead of tqward it . There it was, over beyond several tracks and clusters of single and grouped gondola cars. "You stop!" panted a voice, fairly at his ear. / Whiz! "Oh, you wretch!" â€¢ Reddy turned now. With the mandate Hod Livesey had hurled a, missile he must have picked up in the race. It was ' a broken coupling-pin, weighing fully five pounds, and as Reddy comprehended its murderous capacity and the utter fiendishness of its wielde,r, discretion gaye place to indignation. . He turned on the rushing Hod, to receive him fairly in hill arms. The expressman, less agile, was q\lite a distance off. There was time to give Hod the dressing down of his life . He deserved it, and he got it. With compound interest .Reddy set at work to square off the slate , all he owed the miscreant who plagued and , insulted him for five years, winding up his record with an act worthy of a thug. He knocked Hod down, picked him up, slammed him against a car, flattened his nose, banged his chin, made him think a cyclone was playing tag with him. Then, just as the expressman arrived within ten feet, he gave Hod a spinning flihg that landed him with a stagger ing slam against his fellow crony, and satisfied, y , et feeling mean as a boy who has d!rtied his hands, Reddy turned to reach the insect-car. The expressman let out a yell, and Reddy obser.ved that two men a little ahead were hurrying to the spo.t. They from his attention, however, in a flash, as, looking beyond them, Reddy observed something that made his hair rise up straight. "It's going-the train has started!" fairly screamed Reddy. Yes, time was . up, p.nd all aboard ! The insect-car marked the tail of the fast freight, and it was wagging good -by to yards and boy as it curved the crooked rails . â€¢ So settTed in his mind did tbe fact seem that if. he al lowed that car to escape him, the chance of a lifetime, the prospect of a century, would depart with it, that Reddy just kept it in his eye, and ran over ties, stones, coal-lumps, and switches unheedingly. "Now, then, what you been up to?" "Eh? oh ! let me go. That train--" One of the two approaching men had snatched at Reddy's arm as he flew by. Both blocked flight. One carried a cane and one wore a badge, and Reddy saw that they must be yard watchmen. "Hold himi mister!" yelled the expressman, supporting the blubbering, manged-up Hod, and hobbling up excitedly. "Don't you do it t" vociferated Reddy, dancing with sus-
MIGHT .\ND MAIN LIBRARY. II pense, eyes fixed on the disappearing insect-car. "That's my train. My friends are aboard !" "What's he done?" demanded Reddy's captor. "Nigh killed this boy-fugitive from justice!" panted the expressman. "Oh, I'm winded! Oh, you villain! Tell them," he urged to Hod, pushed him forward, and sank in a switch with his hand to his side. "He's wanted," declared Hod. "Who by?" questioned the watchman. "The police . There's a warrant out for him. He's been in hiding, trying to leave the city." Reddy Manis turned his gaze around now with a groan. Hod's scheme had succeeded in one particular-he had sep arated him from his friends. The train was no longer in sight. With a saucy, jaunty switch, the insect-car had disappeared around a curve. So mad was Reddy that he lost all control of himself. He made a jump for -Hod, and woe for Hod if he had reached him ! Rut the, man with the cane had interposed. Reddy had broken the grasp of his captor, but he could not get at the miserable wretch who had spo\led his prospects. "A desperate young criminal, evidently," observed the watchman, putting out his arm. "Hands off!" ordered Reddy meaningly. "You have no right to grab me, and don't you try it again." He was ready to stand his ground now, but not in the at titude of a culprit. He had stooped quickly and picked up a jagged, ugly-looking cinder. â€¢ "You'll get this if you bother me," he menaced, and the watchman saw by his determined face that he meant every word that he said. "Now, you mean-faced, white-livered . sneak, tell the truth, or I'll-I'll smash you!" "Don't let h1m at me!" shivered Hod. "Make him come to the nearest J2._olice-station. Telephone to Mr. Cohen, the lawyer. He's got the warrant for his arrest." , "On what charge?" demanded Reddy, with compressed lips. "Burglary," retorted Hod, rather shamefacedly. "What did I burgle?" "His office . \Ve found the papers at your room. It's a clear case, and five years . " , "You mean you put them there," spoke Reddy sternly. "Go ahead; I'll face it." A bitter frown crossed Reddy's features: The train was gone. His absence would not be discovered by \IValrod for hours, and then he might believe it a case of desertiona wilful change of mind. At all events, it could hardly be expected that he would come back. How could he do so? Great railroad systems and twenty-thousand-dollar lady-bug experiments could not stop progress to hunt for an obscure New York newsboy. "Oh, I could bite steel nails in muttered Reddy savagely. "And the worst is to come. Cohen means busi ness. He won't back out now . I'm in his net. It isn't right. Say!" He drew suddenly from between his two guardians. Each shot out a hand, but he was too quick for them. Reddy had sprung some ten feet away, just against a throbbing, purring switch-engine. . Its crew were up at a shanty beyond, filling oil-cans and waste-cases, and had left the fir'e-box scraper tilted against the cab. "I've decided that I won't go," announced Reddy, and put his startled addience at a safe distance by sweeping the iron weapon in a semicircle. "Now, don't be foolish, lad--" began one of the watch , men, in a temporizing tone. "Vvould I be wise to walk into the clutches of a scoun drel who confessed to me that he had a trumpetl-up charge ready to face me if I defied him?" demanded Reddy. "Men, if you have boys at home, don't aid these two villains. Go down to Newspaper " Row and ask any one-police, boys, my customers-if Reddy Morris ever did a mean thing, or thought of doing a dishonest one." "Don't heed him," urged Hod; but the scraper tapped him, and he subsided with a howl. "Lad, you speak fair," acknowledged one of the watchmen; "but duty is duny; we saw you fighting in the yards, and that's disorderly conduct . A citizen claims our author ity in the matter a warrant, and--" "Then I'll ad on my own responsibility. Stand back!" Quick as a flash Reddy turned; what he did was do1;1.e so promptly that he must have been inspired for the mo ment. The scraper was flung toward the quartet, and they dodged back. Up the steps and into the cab the amazed spectators saw Reddy spring, the polished lever glinted, the locomotive gave a bound, and Reddy, thrown back into t,he tender by the sudden shock, felt his beat with direful misgivings as he realized the desperate purpose to wh i c h he had bee9 nerve'1. Swish! The locomotive seemed to fly. He must have turned on every pound of steam possible. "The other train-the one my friends afe on! MaybeI-could-catch-it." â€¢ The words jolted out in jerks as Reddy s . truggled to his feet. Then he almost wabbled off as the o l d engine swayed and creaked and followed dangerous curves. "It's madness!" he told himself, as he g l anced ahead, and knew that amid the network of tracks, the hundreds of trains, the myriad switches, such a thing as a clear course in the wake of the vanished train could not be possible. No. Approaching dusk, twinkling lanterns, -all around and ahead, warned him that a crash into some train, a wreck over some siding, would certainly ensue unless he stopped the present wild progress. , He was safely far from Hod and company now; that was a great point. The next--_, Buffalo! Why, of course! Walrod had told him that would mark a stopping-station in the dash across the con tinent. With pockets lined with money, what was the mat-.' ter with beating the fast freight by taking the lightning express? Yes, but what was the matter just at present w ith tj:irottle, and lever! Reddy was no engineer, but he knew how to drop a valve and pull a bar, he should hope! "My ! she's whizzing, and right in among freight-cars. I must stop her. There !" He gave the lever a tremendous jerk. "Gracious !" gasped Reddy, appalled. The locomotive seemed to creak in every joint-it rose up like a mad bull pawing the air. He had stopped it, but he could not stop himself. Reddy was sent through the open cab window on a straight dive. His shoulder struck a freight-car at one side, he re bounded and then dropped like a lump of lead between the tracks. It must have been ten minutes later when two dim forms came down the same cindered path-,frowsy, unkempt tramps, from the tip of their gaping shoes to the battered top of their picturesque tiles. "Is dis de car, Hung y ?" asked the one in the rear, wh o was carrying a tomato-can carefully. "Right enough, pard. She's going to start, too. Dere goes de signal. Open she comes . Oh, de luxury of empti ness! Knock me holler! Now, w'at's dis?" "Eh? It's a man"-peering. "Croaked? Nit. Fell? No bones bruk. \Vhy, it's a kid!" "Let's have a look. Why, it's a coat-a good hackable coat, and a wad-yes, here's a wad, mebbe money. In wid him; de train's starting. Vl/e must have time to examine dis stroke of luck." They hoisted the insensible Reddy into the car and drew shut the door, Waiting until the train had got into rapid motion, one of the two tramps drew out a bit of candle and lit it. ' â€¢
â€¢ !12 MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. "What do you make out?" asked his companion. "Some kid. . As to portables--Ah! flag de train, t'row water in me face, I'm fainting!" "What's up-w):iat's up?" "Look! a lump of dough, a fortune! Oh, to t'ink of leaving eight saloons in every block wid dat roll! Hungry, we get off and walk back at de fust stop." "1\nd de kid?" _ "He'll wake up about Albany, mebbe sooner. It's a pity he can't come to afore we leave to t'ank his friends for der kind ministrations!" The train jarred on, the two hoboes chuckled and gloated over their rich booty; poor Reddy lay like a stone. "We're slowing up," announced one of the tramps. "Get de door ready to flop out. Eh?" "I didn't speak." "Den de kid did . " "Listen! dat's so." Reddy rustled. Then a faint sigh and a murmur fl'oated from his lips . "Hungry," whispered one of the tramps, in awesome tones, "he's singing!" "He's what?" "Singing." "Nonsense !" "He is-hark! He t'inks he's in de Bowery-h_e's giving us de latest popular. Listen!" No song was poor, broken, bewildered Reddy Morris sing" ing, however. If he expressed the rhythm of a ballad, it was because it chanced to coincide with a confused realization that he was on some train, with a dull memory of the destination in view before he took that reckless dive from the gyrating locomotive. He opened his eyes and moaned; he closed them again and murmured, drifting back upon. the dark sea of insensi bility with the words: "Put me off-at Buffalo!" "Here's another one !" "What? Why, there's a stowaway on about every train that comes in." "Well, get ready to give him a boost. These ride-stealers are altogether too common." Two yardmen, inspecting the empty freight just arrived from New York, had come to the car in which Reddy Mor ris had been placed by the tramps after his wild dive from the runaway locomotive. One pulled the door open a crack, and espied his recum bent figure; his companion, expecting the usual dash of a disturbed stowaway, stood with his foot suspended. "Now, then, give him a lift," ordered the other, . pulling the car-door clear back. "I'm afraid," suggested a plaintive voice, "that you'll have to give me a lift, indeed!" "Eh? Don ' t hustle him, Jem. Looks hurt." Reddy Morris turned a white, peaked face toward his challengers, and got up rather weakly. "I suppose it's a rule to hustle a fellow when you catch him stealing a ride," he observed, "b 1t I don't think I could stand much. Besides, I was put here; I didn't come." Reddy slipped to the ground and almost fell. The men caught and supported him . "You'd ought to be marked 'hospital,'" suggested one of them roughly, but sympathetic, all the same. "Oh, not as bad as th a t. Let me get some fresh air and the wrinkles Qut oi my bones, and I'll take my medicine." "Who said anything about medicine?" demanded one of the men shamefacedly. "Oh, I know railroad discipline-free boots for trespass ers." "That means hoboes." "Hoboes !" repeated Reddy gruesomely; "if they've not made me one I'm dang e rously near it. I've lost my friends, and some one has robbed me of every penny I had. I got hurt in the bargain, and"-looking around bewilderedly"won ' t you just start me right which "way is the ferry?" "What ferry?" "Any going over to the city." "What city?" "New York, of course." "Five hundred miles east." "Eh?" "Why, lad, don't you know you're in Buffalo?" Reddy nearly fell over. Then some road official called to the two inspectors. "You go over to the switch-shanty beyond the wreck pile and rest up," directed one of the duo. Reddy got as far as the wreck pile in an unsteady fashion and sat down there. It seemed as if his head had been buzzing ever since the dive from the locomotive the evening before, and it was buzzing yet. He must have lain all night in a lethargy, for at first he could only recall waking up, sore and helpless, about an hour before. His first discovery was the loss -of his money. Then dim flashes brought back the two tramps vaguely, occasional rousing up during the night, confused .jumbles of dreaming; but Reddy supposed all the time that he was in some box car in the Jersey City freight-yards. Buffalo ! The announcement had stupefied him for a moment. Of a sudden his face lighted up. "'Why," he ejaculated eagerly, "that's where Mr. Walrod spoke of a stop, and--" Reddy stopped there. What in the world was the matter with him? With a whirl, tracks, trains, sky, sun went spinning. â€¢ The two yardmen, chancing by the spot half an hour later, found Reddy lying back across a broken brake-beam. "Pretty well played out," spoke one of them. "I wonder what's the matter?" "It can't be much. He talked and walked, so his running-gear's all .right. That bump on his head may be the mischief-looks like a fall. Carry him to the shanty and giye him a comfortable bunk for a while." It was in the shanty that Reddy woke up, toward afternoon, on a pile of old plush car-cushions. He was weak, .he was hungry, he was dizzy-headed, but his ideas came a trifle clearer, and he could remember his tumble all right now, and what had occurred since morning. "Oh, I've lost time!" he ejaculated, ruefully glancing at the sun. "If J got here hours ago, what must not the fast freight, with Mr. Walrod and the insects and the boys, have done?" Reddy went outside and looked over the Jong trains of cars. In a blind but eager way he chased down this and that group, thinking they resembled the make-up of the train he had missed. He questioned men he met, got short replies from some, jibing ones from others, and a sharp order to get off railroad property fn;im the crabbed ones. "I'll never find the train in this wilderness of cars," he told himself despairingfy, at last, and a few minutes later he knew it. A man chalking dates on the doors of some cars paid a little more attention to his questioning,. and questioned hi . m in return. Reddy told enough of his story to interest him. "What time did the train leave New York?" "About dark last evening?" "On this road?" "Oh, yes, bound by way of Buffalo." "I know,'' smiled the man; "but did it start from the Erie yards, or the Central, or the West Shore, or--" "Oh, I don't know that," confessed Reddy. "Then, you see, it's like hunting for a needle in a hay stack. And you don't know how it's making West, either, I suppose-Canada, Detroit, or Cleveland?"
MIGHT AN"D MAIN LIBRARY. 13 "No. sir," gulped Reddy, rather guessing that the muddle was getting worse than ever. "Then you'd better make up your mind that you can't find it-unless you've got a balloon to chase the twenty odd daily freights across the continent. And left New York at dark? Then it's Frived and gone at least four hours ago." "That settles it-and me," murmured Reddy, and he left the yards dejectedly. "It's all up-the pony-express business. My bread has fallen buttered side down this time, sure. I'm left and stranded. What's to do, I wonder? Talking of bread, I'd better get some somehow, if I don't want to peg out en tirely." Reddy left the yard through a break in the fence. The spot about was not thickly built up, but a square or two beyond he saw plenty of houses and stores. Making for these, he came upon a boy about his own age seated on the edge of the sidewalk, with a liberal lunch of crackers, cold meat, and gingerbread in an open newspaper. ' He had eaten all he wanted, it appeared, and was idly toasting a piece of cheese on the end pf a pointed stick over the flame of a three-cornered Jard-oil torch-lamp. This was attached to a pole over twenty feet long. Reddy guessed curiously, but in vain, what it was used for, and halted with his most engaging smile. "You've got it rich," he remarked jauntily, hoping the juvenile Freemasonry of rough-and-ready ways might open the boy's heart. "\Vh-ltuh !" vouchsafed the latter indifferently, munching. "Got plenty, haven't you?" "More'n I can use." "\Vish I had some." "Do? Well, work for it as I have to," grunted the boy. "Jus t give me a show I" ''I'll do it!" came the prompt answer, to Reddy's sur prise. "Pitch in. I'm through. I give you the grub; you > pell me an hour's work." "Two, if you like," retorted Reddy gladly, and under took the first section of the contract like a good fellow. 'Sow, then," he cried briskly, looking grateful and fifty per cent. better generally, as he finished the last crumb, "trot out your labor." "Burn the block!" directed his lounging companion, with a sweep of his hand. "Eh?" stared Reddy, wondering if he had fallen into the hands of a juvenile firebug. "Burn the block. Take the pole and lamp and start in. I've finished this far, and the next block makes a day's work. Oh, you pokey ! Can you not see? Up there." "Up where?" goggled Reddy vacantly, wondering if he was expected to touch off the sun, or fireworks, or a balloon, for the boy pointed to the zenith. "Why, the telegraph-wires, of course. Clear them to the corner-all the 'pediments. My father is a railroader, and got this job for me." Reddy understood now. The impediments were kites, string, tail, sling-shots, deposited in the course of time against the wires. The long-poled lamp was to burn them free. Reddy found it a neck twisting task that took him an hour and a half. The unique character of the employment rathe.r tickled him. New York wasn't the whole world, after all, for he had gone abroad to find some decidedly new wrinkles. His young employer pocketed the lamp and trailed the pole after him, announcing that he was going home, and Reddy kept him company, hoping to get some information out of him that might suggest a way of finding supper and a bed. His companion did not prove very sympathetic. He de scribed a roundabout rout e to the business center, guessed â€¢ there was papers out aiter fiv'e o'clock, though a willing boy might pick up a dime or two offering to carry in coal or chop kindling, and then as he muttered s omething about here and going home," he faced Reddy abruptly with a Jerk. "\Vhy, say!" he remarked, "idea struck me. I know a man wants a boy." "Do you, now?" nodded Reddy eagerly. "I want to be wanted, I can tell you." . "See those places down the square-two in this block, lots of shrubbery around them, one in next square?" inquired the lad, pointing, and Reddy asserted that he saw them vividly. "That's the one-last one; you go there-you ask for Doctor Heckyl. You say does he want a boy. l!e want s one." "What for?" "I don't know, but I don't want any jobs of him," ob served Reddy's informant solemnly. "You catch me. I heard about it and started to inquire, but the fellers say the old doctor is one of the kind that cuts people up for medi cine and 'speriments on 'em, and all .that." "Well, he can experiment on me if there's food and lodging in it, till I get braced up," declared Reddy heartily. "A thousand thanks, old fellow." "Thasalri." The boy was too indolent to more than drawl his words, and too to loo k back at the victim he had placed in the way of the alleged terrible doctor. Reddy, however, briskly enough made his way toward the house indicated. It looked somber and grim, for a fnct, with its high iron fence and fir-shaded grounds and closed shutters; but he clanged the gate as if he meant business, and tapped an old knocker on the door as if witches and hobgoblins couldn't daunt his energy in his present neces sitous condition. A man opened the door, lank, colorless, and solemn. He looked out inquiringly. The minute his big fishlike eyes fell upon him, a cold streak seemed to run down Reddy's back. CHAPTER IV. BURIED ALIVE! "Well?" propounded the man curtly. "Are you--I was directed to Doctor Heckyl," stam mered Reddy. Somehow he was flustered. Practical Reddy was not given to nervous fits and starts, but every time his host's strange eyes lit upon him it gave him the shivers. "That's me," nodded the man definitely. "What do you " ant?" â€¢ "Work," bolted out Reddy desperately. "Oh ! Come in." He surveyed the applicant, and another queer chill ran up and clown Reddy's frame, just as if that criticizing eye was a pencil of ice. The vestibule was gloomy, the hall gloomier, the room into which the doctor ushered Reddy the gloomiest he had ever seen. It reminded him of a tomb; the air was damp, there was a skeleton in one corner, a mummy in another, and any number of ponderous cases filled with specimens of skulls, bones, and animals. Seated at a table was a man thinner and even more solemn-looking than the doctor . . "Sit down," said the latter , and the three faced. "Professor Dale, here is another applicant." Reddy lqoked around, fidge ting. Another! It sounded ominous. \\That had they done with his predecessors? In some of those padlocked boxes? Nonsense! \i\'ith a determined shrug Reddy shook off the uncanny feeling that oppressed him. The kite-burner had v.repared his mind for eery impressions, and, besides, he was
14 ::OfIGHT _\.;D :\L\IX LIBRARY. not yet any too strong from the shock of his recent rougt experience; but business, Reddy, business! he told himself manfully, and he braced up and awaited the further pleasure of his host, who sat studying him narrowly, rubbing his thin hands together in a reflective, abstracted manner. "Who sent you here ? Where do you come from ?" The doctor fired off a volley of rapid questions. In two min utes he knew enough about Reddy to understand that the applicant was a stranger in the city, and the fact seemed to satisfy the inquirer immensely. He looked positively pleasant as he made the remark: "You seem a likely subject, young man. A very like!y subject. We shall soon see." "Subject for what?" demanded Reddy, rather leery of the word. "Business-isn't that what you came for?" inquired the doctor severely. "Yes, sir." "You want work, as I understand it? Very good. I want a subject." "I suppose you mean to-to experiment on in some way?" ventured Reddy. "Just so. Just so. Now, if I find you'll answer--" "I'll try to, sir." "What do you say, professor?" asked the doctor, turning to his companion. The latter arose and came over to where Reddy sat. He felt of his pulse and listened to his heart. Then he pursed his lips musingly. "I should say, doctor, a remarkably fine subject," he announced-"heart-beat normal, temperature fair, but any un equal conditions from weariness 1 or the like are completely offset by the natural vitality of youth and perfect health." "Provided he is. tractable?" "Thatis your province, doctor." "See here, young man." Reddy turned to face the speaker. The doctor had struck a rigid pose, and, taking a ring from a drawer, held it ex tended toward Reddy, while he kept his eyes fixed steadfastly on his face. "Look at that! Do you see it? Ah, we see it! Don't shift your eyes. It's a biight ring-a diamond ring. Keep looking. Ah, so very clear and dazzling! How beautiful a ring! A lovely ring! A sparkling ring! Good !" That word "ring" kept getting fainter and fainter to Reddy's hearing, the last repetition sounding like a far away echo. Then he appeared to float with an exquisite sense of restfulness. Then there was a blank, and he started as from a dream at that word "Good!" "Why, I thought I was back in New York, selling pa pers; seeing the boys," he began. "You have been in a hypnotic trance," smiled the doctor. "Don't look scared, lad; nobody is going to hurt you." "I-I'm not scared," answered Reddy, "but I don't know as I like it--" "He is an admirable subject. Why, professor, he is the very subject for our great experiment," interrupted the doctor unheedingly. "Now, then, young man, my time is too valuable to waste. If you are so timid-hearted that a mere bugaboo of science frightens you, don't stay. If other wise, I am ready to talk business." Reddy hesitated. He had not bargained for necromancyhe did not one bit like this hocus-pocus, which he had seen demonstrated before by mesmerists on the stage. "Here we are," continued the doctor. "\Ve are reliable and well-known members of the profession, and you are perfectly safe in our hands. I wilJ engage you for three days. Then I am done witb. you. During that time you shalJ be comfortable and safe. Only you deliver yourself absolut,ely over into our charge. Do you see that money?" and he placed a small roll of bills upon the table. "Fifteen dollars-five (iollars a day. The last applicant got chickenhearted and wouldn't earn it. Will you?" "! never crawfished yet," replied Redd)' sturdily, "and .L need the money. Three days? It's a bargain. Give me your orders, sir." "Put the bills in your pocket to give you courage when you feel like changing your mind," directed Doctor fieckyl. "Go out into the dining-room and see if you can find any thing to tempt your appetite." "\Veil, for a queer go!" Reddy uttered the soliloquy five minutes later, one hand caressing the wad of bank-notes in his pocket, the other lifting from a plate on a welJ-filled table a tempting piece of fruit-cake. Some of his old reckless dash was returning to him, with money easily earned in his possession and plenty of good food and a comfortable roof guaranteed. "This is easy as rolling off a log," he decided, luxuriously stretching himself on a cushioned couch. "What do I mind being hypnotized or mesmerized, or alJ the other scientific jiggering, so long as no harm's done? It's a fad with these fellows, and business with me. Fifteen dollars-well, that's a lot of money." Reddy passed into a glowing day-dream over the prospect. An hour previous he had but one emotion-homesickness for New York anafamiliar faces, but now every thought ran in the direction of Walrod, the insect-car, and the boys. "I could telegraph to New York and trace up the .car. I could telegraph West aml locate it. Money will do lots in that way," he reflected. "There's a difference between a penniless stowaway and a gentleman of fortune. Did I lose my grit a bit back? Who wouldn't? Will I again? I dont deserve my good luck if I do. I'm headed west; I won't go back; I'll overtake, I'll find the train. I'IJI be one of the pony express yet, or-die in the attempt!" "Young man, we're waiting for you." Reddy jumped up promptly and followed the doctor intb the next room. He glanced about it curiously, for some changes had been made in it since he had left it. The shades were drawn and a lamp was lighted. In the center of the apartment was a queer-looking half-circular box. It was cushioned and tufted. Its cover, with screws half embedded, had extending from it a long piece of lead tubing. Both the doctor and the professor looked brisk and ani mated. The former motioned Reddy to a chair. He obeyed the indication. Again the diamond ring was brought into play. Reddy noticed a variation in the effects of this second hypnotic effort, whether because he unconsciously resisted it or be cause the doctor's power was weakened by lack of concen tration, he could not tell. He did not lose consciousness as in the first instance. He was helpless, powerless, and yet the senses of sight and hearing were only vaguely dulled. The doctor operated a lever in the chair and tilted it. "Put the tongue back in the throat, professor," he di rected. Reddy could not stir a muscle. He felt the professor manipulate his tongue till it seemed no longer to exist. It was accompanied by a passing sense of suffocation. "The pill, doctor." Something rolled into Reddy's mouth. It completed the dull, dead sensation. He was inert now as a mass of clay. "That suspends animation completely," declared the doc tor. "Every function is now at a halt, except respiration." "And that we have provided for with a ventilating-tube." "Perfectly; I have followed the Persian formula to the letter. I.t will be a great triumph, professor. They produce the cataleptic trance for a month. If we succeed in a threeday test, it will demonstrate a marvelous principle in physics. Lift him into the box." , Reddy now felt like a person in some horrible trance. Somehow the arrangements of the experimenters must have slipped a cog, for they talked as if he was practically dead, and he was frightfully aware of every step they were ad . vancing:.
MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. 15 Yet he could not move-he was rigid; he could not cry out-the powers of speech seemed paralyzed. What were they going to do with him? What was the box intended for? The cover was screwed down tight. It was lifted. From the change in the tread of footsteps Reddy could trace progress over a soft soil. They were probably bearing him into the garden of the place. Then the box was set down. He heard voices dimly, yet he hea . rd. "How deep?" asked the professor. "Four feet; but I dug it this morning so as to be ready. Lower gently. Be sure to keep the tube clear-an inch or two above the ground. He must have air. Now to leave him to his three days' sleep." Thud! A voiceless horror tore at Reddy Morris' heart-strings. An awful consciousness of the truth overcame liim like a destroying pall. Thud-thud! Clods of earth were falling across the box-cover-faster -faster! He could not cry out and he could not move a muscle. Only his soul seemed to shrivel up within him as he realized the overwhelming, the crushing truth: He wa's being buried alive! In a dull, dead way Reddy counted the clods as they fell above him, estimated succeeding spadefuls on top of these, and knew finally that the work of interment h
-16 MIGHT AND LIBRAR1. "You are sure it's not hop-notized ?" insinuated the drug gist. "I'm sure of what I say," went on Reddy. "More than that-I've been given a deadening pill. I've read that people feel the way I do when they've taken opium and such." The druggist stared skeptically. Such a queer application was entirely novel. "Well, what do you want?" he asked. "I want to get braced up-I want to feel right." "I guess I can fix you . out. Drink that_ and rest a few minutes," and the man mixed a glassful of liquid from vari-ous bottles. Reddy maintained his seat, awaiting the effects. He shud i:lered as he reflected on his recent awesome experience. "I suppose I'll have to hunt up that Doctor Heckyl and explain affairs," he ruminated. "Not but that I've earned the money me. Huh! fifteen hundred doJ.lars wouldn't hire me to try that experiment over. Then to get out of this city. It's not built for me, that's certain. Get where, though? Back to New York? I don't see anything else to do. I'll see if ready cash can tr.ace up the train. If it can't, why, it's home. It may be running into Cohen's . clutches; but I'm half-minded to go back boldly straight to the police, tell my story, and making him show his hand. Hello ! here's a time-table." A paper lay on the counter. Reddy noticed it as he picked up the change from the druggist. "Lots of trains. Yes, I can take my pick on time. I'll make for a railroad-depot first, anyway, to work from there on inquiries about Mr. Walro
MIGHT AN"D. MAIN LIBRARY. 17 huddled up, as if bent on a nap, and Reddy paid no further attention to him. . How the paper rustled, though! It was tumbled so . as . to bring Reddy into focus; apparently, the form it hid fidgeted as if or rest were impossible. . There was . a sudden stop of the train, and Reddy shaded his eyes with his cap, and peered out of the windows. Then came sharp tooting, responsive signals, several false starts, and then slow, continuous progress. "What are we stopping for, conductor?" asked a passenger, as that official hurried through the car. "Local freight in the way." "All right now?" "Oh, yes." Reddy, looking out, traced the obstruction in the reel rear. lights on the next track. Then . his eyes, taking in the ca boose-end of a stationary freight-train, took in its radiant top as well. "What's that?" he shouted excitedly. It was a plain view of the tower skylight of the caboose -the little black glass, over which white letters and figures, slotted directly in front of a lantern, showed to passing station-men the technical character of the train: "L. S., No. 156." There it was-a flash, but a certainty, a distinct chronicle. The mail had overtaken the local freight, and Reddy was less than four feet away from the object of all his anxiety! The boy under such circumstances who would not do actly what Reddy did would be a graybeard before his time. Reddy nearly broke the window in a crane of his neck to make sure of the glowing slide announcement. Then he bolted up from the seat as if made of india-rubber. He darted for the platform, grabbing up his bags of lunch. The huddled-up passenger in the next seat started up rigid and to his feet, and uttered a curious ejaculation, but Reddy did not notice or heed him. He got to the platform,. The train was now on a clear track, and increasing its speed every minute. Reddy reached the lowest step and peered down, to locate a sure footing when he jumped. Outward he swung. "Stop-say!" Something grasped his arm. The clutch was strong enough to half-turn Reddy, but not sufficiently firm to drag him back. "Let go. what are you about? Never!" Into the darkness Reddy followed the momentqm of his tilted body, Japded insecurely, whirled-to a sitting pos ture, and stared agape. The lights of the rear coach formed a frame oj radiance for the one dark figure that had attempted to detain him. "Hod Livesey!" cried Reddy, in amaze. He rubbed his brow fiercely as that vivid presentation was dashed out by a turn past other cars, he pinched his nose, he tried to imagine that mixed medicines were re sponsible for a hallucination. "It was Hod ! They are still after me. Did he see me before the train started? No, it was accidental', and he's following up the same train I am, only-I'll get it first!" Get it! Reddy bubbled over with joy, as he arose-and ran his eye down the freight-train with the lighted caboose on its end. The ne;irer he got to that caboose the plainer did that glad lighthouse of hope stand out against the blackness of the night, with its: "L. S., No. 156." The train rolled slowly forward, just as Reddy swung to the platform. He pushed open its rear door. Three men occupied the car, and all three stared inquiringly at the bold intruder. One was sitting on a , stool on the little platform in the middle of the car, watching for locomotive signals from the lookout window. His companions were playing cards on a tool-box. "One-fiftY--six ?" bolted out .Redd,Y.. "Yes," nodded the man aldft. "Last ?" "Exactly.' "Bound for Chicago?" "Quite right.'' Reddy took a relieved breath. Then he resumed : "I'm all right, then-live-stock pass; you've got two cars somewhere in the train-special freight, Benjamin New York to California--" Then the man aloft interrupted and transfixed Reddy . Coming like a lump of lead, a, wet snowball, a slap in the face, his unexpected reply greeted Reddy with a ''No!" .CHAPTER V. THE FRIEND IN NEED. "One thousand miles from home, and . only ten cents 111 my pocket!" That was the burden of Reddy's soliloquy on the after noon of the clay on which he had made his impulsive jump from the passenger-train, allured thereto by a flashing sight of freight-train L. S., No. 156. That jump had turned out a disastrous one. It had sac rificed, by invalidating, a through ticket to Chicago, good only on the train he had left; it had brought him face to face with an overwhelming "No I" that meant that the cars containing Walrod and the boys were no longer part and parcel of the train he had run clown. All its conductor could say was that when the train reached Buffalo the two cars destined for California were switched off. He understood there was some question of time-limit in delivery at the Pacific coast, and that they had been reclassified as express-specials. At any rate, he could give no clue as to their course after breaking away from his jurisdiction, and poor Reddy had his pains for all his trouble. 1 There was not a great deal of hea!J_ in the decision he finally arrived at-to go as far as Chicago, at least. The slimmest of chances seemed offered that the insect-car would be traced at that point, but Reddy tried to hope. The men in the caboose found out how much money he had, and offered to carry him through for six dollars, and that was the reason why Reddy found himself standing on the street-corner of a strange city, one thousand miles from home, and with exactly ten cents in his pocket. He had put in an hour stating the subject of his solici tude to various railroad men. Finally, his investigations narrowed clown to the office of the transfer-agent of the road. It had just been closed, the books were locked up for the night, and the clerical force had gone home. "It's a wait till morning," concluded Reddy. "How shall I put in the time, or, rather, how shall I put in the dime? Why!" he suddenly ejaculated, his eyes brightening, "has my mind turned to a blank that I never thought of Percy Blair?" Reddy spoke th!t name with the well-rounded accents of, friendly familiarity, for it beloHged to the person to whom he had written the Jetter in Jersey City, the posting of which had caused him all his trouble. Percy Blair was a name to conjure with, to Reclcly's way of thinking, and if ever he counted on a true friend he counted on Percy Blair, althol\gh he had mot seen him for -two years. . Double that period back, Reddy had not yet found his place in life. A friendless outcast, he had come very nearly sharing the fate of many such-had just grazed going to the dogs. He had naturally run among rough company. On the verge of becoming a seasoned smoker, a toughened idle ' r, with no thought above cheap shows and cheap slang, Reddy's face was abruptly set in the right direction, Reddy's feet' were turned from the downward path.
MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. The boy wlrn performed all this good Percy Blair. It happened that one evening there was a street-fight. In the swoop-down of the police, principals and s_pectators were alike gathered in. Reddy was frightened to death when he felt the clutch of a policeman. He pleaded, insisted that he was innocent of harm-doing. Just then a , pleasant-faced, well-dressed boy stepped up. 'His winning ' ways caught the officer's fancy, for with a grave reprimand, a warning, he allowed Reddy to go free. The strange boy's interest did not sfop here, and Reddy, once attached to a friend, was willing to die for him. He was a Chicago boy, traveling over the country with his uncle. He engaged Reddy in conversation; he fascinatingly depicted the rewards of industry and integrity. The next morning Reddy started out on a definite business principle, in a new suit of clothes, the lessee of a comfortable room, all acquired under the gentle and liberal guardianship of his new friend. Six months later, when Per"cy made a flying visit to New York, he sought out his protege. His satisfaction and en thusiasm over the splendid advancement made am,rly repaid Reddy for the hard knocks he had received. from the gang till he gave them to understand he would endure no imposi tion. When Percy got back to Chicago he wrote to Reddy, told him his uncle had settled down there, and informed him that any time he meditated a change of base he would find a friend and helper in himself. So, if Reddy "swore by'' Percy Blair it was no marvel. To him he attributed the influences that had made him manly, independent, and respectable. To Reddy, Percy was the model of all that was fair-minded. He had written the letter, telling of his glowing plans and prospects west ward, because he knew Percy would be interested. And now, hght in Chicago itself, Percy had abruptly come into his mind . Why, here he was, directly on the spot where Percy lived! Here, at ready hand, was a friend, an adviser, who would soon solve for him the problem of his distresses, and discover a sure way out of them . Reddy had Percy's address vividly in his memory. He had put it on the letter; he started to explore it now. The number and door-plate of quite an imposing man sion ended a brief quest. Reddy started up the steps to ring the bell, when a red-faced old gentleman and a servant came around from the side, staring at the ground, kicking over leaves and bushes, and apparently searching for some thing. "Here, boy !"-suddenly hailed the old man, observing Reddy-"have you seen anything of an envelope?" "Me, sir? Wl/y, no!" responded Reddy. "With a thousand dollars in it?" Reddy nodded negatively. This must be Percy's uncle, for it was his home. "It's gone!" stormed the old gentleman; "and yet I know I dropped it in the garden, for I haven't been away from the place to-day. Search, Brown, and search well. what do you want, now?" "I-I am a friend-that is, I think it's your nephew, Percy Blair, I'm looking for." "Don't know him !" bellowed the old man, ready to ex plode with rage. "Get out!" "Don't know him?" murmured Reddy; "aren't you his uncle, sir?" "I was-not now. Ung)4tlteful. Outrageous. Disowned him a week ago. Bad egg. No good. You're another, or you wouldn't know him. Get out!" "Whew !" whistled Reddy, retreating to the street. "If there isn't salt and pepper, with ginger thrown in! Percy not here! There's been a row. How can I find him? I want to worse than ever now, if he's in trouble." "Good for you! That sounds friendly. Well, Reddy?" "Why, Percy!" cried the astounded Reddy, staring at a boy who had stepped from behind a tree, anti confronted him as he turned from the gate. "Come on," smiled Percy, linking his arm in that of his companion. "Startled not to see me, and then startled to see me, eh? Well, I can explain very easily. What was my uncle saying to you, Reddy?" "He disowned you, and ordered yciu away. I guess, though, he was out of sorts because he had just lost an en velope containing a thousand dollars." "Ah, indeed?" remarked Percy, and Reddy fancied his hand gripped somewhat nervously; "well, it might just as well go that way. He's pretty near the end of his rope." "I don't understand," murmured Reddy. "My uncle has been a confirmed sot and gambler for two years now," explained Percy gravely. "During that time I have tried to attend to his business, but every dollar he can get his hands on he squanders. I warned him a month ago that I would not remain under' the same roof if he per sisted in beggaring himself. Well," continued Percy, with a sigh, "he wouldn't reform. I've left him, and-for good. Reddy, how came you here?" "You got my letter?" "No; did you write one? It must be at the house yonder. I'm sorry to be so situated, when I always calculated on giving you such a royal time--" "Oh, don't talk of that!" spoke Reddy heartily. "I'm here on business, and-if you haven't too many troubles of your own, would you mind listening to some of mine?" "Not a bit of it . Troubles of my own? I . f it wasn't that I hate to see a foolish old man come to beggary, I'd feel free as a bird and bright as a dollar, with all the world before me. Come to my room, Reddy. \11/e'll have a glorious chat that will make the old time hum once more, eh?" Percy led Reddy to a building a mile or more distant. Reddy made some remark about being pretty high up, as the elevator kept ascending. "Yes, I'm on the thirteenth floor," smiled Percy. "Why? Cheap. You see I'm on my own resources now, and have to economize. I have the whole floor pretty nearly free and pretty nearly to myself. Did you ever know that about two thirds of the big buildings can't rent their thirteenth floors? \Vell, it's so. People are so superstitious. Here we are." Reddy stumbled over many a word and dragged whole sentences wrong end forward in his long account of his latest experiences. His companion acted more than interested-excited. "Why, Reddy, it seems as though your whole life de pends on catching that box car, don't it? Cohen's emissary is after you, a sterling old friend, this Walrod, is getting farther and farther away from you, and every step you take has had a knock-down so far. Now, then, tell me once more all that the railroad men said about the probable move ments of the two box cars." When Percy had digested the entire case he pointed to a couch at one side of his room. "You lay down there and rest, Reddy. I'm going out to do a little investigating. If the cars are here, and tele phoning or telegraphing can clear the situation, I know how to bring it about." Reddy felt as if he had found a solid rock to lean on, a strong arm to protect him, and he went to sleep like a baby as soon as he was left alone. How long he slumbered he did not know, . but when he opened hi$ eyes it was to observe his friend Percy pacing the room softly, but nervously, his head bent in deep thought. He looked worried, and Reddy did not speak. Pausing in his walk, Percy came to the table where the lamp stood. He drew something from his pocket. It was an envelope, and it had two initials on it in big letters, and these stood for his uncle's name. He drew . from it 1 some biils. There were ten of them, and as he turned them over, Reddy could not help but see that they made up just the amount his uncle had lost-one thousand dollars !
MIGHT A:.JD ?i1AIN LIBRARY. -19 e:'.HAPTER VI. T1'1E THIRTEENTH FLOOR. Reddy felt as if he were dreaming. A thrill of wonder held him spellbound. Then he gasped, and his heart sank within him. "I found it, and__:_ I'll keep it!" he heard Percy say, with compressed lips and frowning brow. He left the room forthwith. Reddy did not hail him. He could not. It seemed as if, with one crushing, sudden stroke, all his faith in humanity had been knocked out of him. "Oh, it's never so !-him-Percy-a-a thief!" almost wailed Reddy. "This is worse than-than losing the train. Or the tumble from the roof. Or-or being buried!" Poor Reddy felt as if all the friendship and honor he had clung to as spars of security were being buried now. Percy Blair had been to him a model-a preceptor, an example on the loftiest pedestal of goodness. The idol was shattered. Reddy actually covered his eyes with his hands, as if to shut out some vision of wreck and rum. He might theorize, he might attempt to explain, but a great staring fact was apparent. . Percy Blair had in his possession his uncle's lost envelope . containing the thousand dollars, knew it was being searched for, and intended to keep it ! Reddy was a queer boy. He had never posed as a saint, but he was no hypocrite. He sat up and got up. It seemed late in the night, but his mind was fully decided-he was going to run away from the boy he had so diligently run after! "I couldn't face him again, 1 I can't accuse him, I simply drop him," murmured Reddy, with a pitiful catch in his throat. "I wish I'd never found it out. It just seems as if-as if somebody was dead!" "Why! where are you going?" Reddy's hand on the door-knob, to turn it, he was borne back forcibly into the room. ' Flustered, he was faced by Percy, to observe Percy flus tered, as well. The latter looked pale, half-frightened. He shut the door quickly, and . turned the key, but stood still, his ear bent, as if listening intently. .,.. "I-I was going out," stammered Reddy. "You see--" "Mustn' t do it. Lucky I stopped you," interrupted Percy, in the sharp tones of one laboring under considerable keen agitation. "But--" "Say, Reddy!" broke in Percy excitedly, "did you notice any one following you after you got to the city-to my uncle's-to here?" "Following me? Why, who could? who would?" "What did you call that emissary of the lawyer's-Cohen ?'' "Hod-Hod Livesey." "A mealy-faced fellow, shifting eyes, stoop-shouldered, greasy mouth?" "Why?" exclaimed Reddy, "you know him?" "I just formed his acquaintance, then," declared Percy. "He knows you're here." "Knows ! How? What of it?" "And he followed me from the car." "What car?"' "The box car." "The what?" almost shouted Reddy. "Walrod's outfit." A surge of delight swept Reddy forward irresistibly, for getful of everything now, except his old friend, the boys Tip and Davy, the pony express. "You don't mean to tell' me--" h,e_ Pjlpitated. "That I've located them? Yes. Stopped them? Yes. Here-get!" With marvelous dexterity Percy whipped out a card, scrib bled on it, thrust it into Percy's hand, and said rapidly: "Just think of one thing, getting there-I'll rejoin you. Walrod is waiting. I was followed from the car by some one watching it. For you. A boy-this Livesey. He may have overheard. I noticed him, but not much. Just now I went out. He was at the stairway, two policemen with him, and the janitor. He's got a warrant, he can take you back to New York. Run when I open. Up a flight-pst ! Too bad, too late." Reddy was quivering under the influence of so many start ling explanations and directions. He heard footsteps in the hall, and a voice he recognized instantly. "It's Hod, sure enough," he muttered. "My! Cohen's a determined one, to have me chased across the country." ,. There came a knock on the door. Percy looked around the room excitedly. "Wait, don't reply," he whispered, and opened the door of a connecting apartment. Not being used for an office, the janitor's wife had ap parently employed it for a drying-room, for it was crossed and recrossed with clothes-lines, attached to hooks . The wondering Reddy saw his friend cut several of these. In half a minute he was back at Reddy's side, trailing them after him. There came a second rap at the hall door. "Pay no attention,'_' ordered Percy. "Listen. It's get to Walrod in an hour, or back you go to Cohen. I heard enough of what this fellow Livesey said to the policemen to know he's got legal papers that just rope you in a net. They'll break in if I don't let them in." "Let's-let's fight !" suggested Reddy grimly, his fists clenching. \ "Nonsense! I'll open the window. I think there's a fire-escape two stories just below. Then the iron ladder to the ground. We'll use the rope. It's sort of scary, but you've got nerve." / "Scary? I've played tag on such." "Play it for keeps this time, then. Dear! I was mistaken!" Gently lifting the sash, Percy looked down, and Reddy peered after him. There came another tap at the door-sharp, impatient, ma+idatory, this time. Percy was mistaken, indeed. The platform he had re ferred to was below the next tire of offices, twenty feet away. / "Not a show," he muttered, in dismay. "Yes, there is. What's this?" inquired Reddy. "Can't I hide?" "Just the thing! I use it to put my eatables in. Sort of ice-box. Crouch low, keep still, and I'll try and throw those fellows off the track." "Open this door, you within!" shouted a gruff voice with out, and a bang came at the much-abused door. Percy helped Reddy to the window-sill. Along its outer edge was screwed on a strong iron platform. It might have been used for plants, or by the former occupant of the for exposing photograph-plates to the sun. At any rate, Percy had utilized it as a cupboard. Quite a good-sized shoe-bo:iv was in place there, used as a re ceptacle for food-supplies he wished to keep fresh and cool. "Crouch in the box. I'll try and attend to the rest," whispered Percy. "Open this door!" came from the hall. "Who are you?" demanded Percy, advancing toward it, and temporizing to gain time. "Officers of the law." "In search of a boy you've got in that room who is a criminal, a malefactor, a fugitive from justice!" put in a voice that Percy knew. must belong to Hod Livesey. "Oh, break her in ! Don't you see he's trying to hold us off?" Creak-smash-the door gave. Precipitately, three forms bolted across its threshold. Hod Livesey was first to enter the room. Hod's eyes were
20 MIGHT AND }.L-\IX LIBRARY. the first to penetrate every nook and corner of the apart ment. "He ain't here!" he shouted; "but he was. I saw two through the keyhole. He's bolted. I bet by the window ! I bet--" "You get back!" Excitedly, Percy sprang in front of Hod. "Some one's outside the window-I saw a movement there," declared Hod. "Officers, look and see !" He gave Percy a push, and Percy fell against the window sill. Pale and excited, he directed a glance across its ledge to ward the iron shelf. Then his heart stood still. A scream of mortal terror rang from his lips. Holding to the jamb, he wavered half-in, half-out, the open window. For something faded from view as he stared. The shelf was empty now ! Over it the box-the box into which he had ordered Reddy Morris to hide himself-tipped, toppled, and slid. And there it went, shooting through the air, as if fired from a cannon, thirteen stories down ! Thirteen stories down I Reddy Morris' stanch friend, Percy Blair, watched t!1e box that had fallen from the iron window-shelf dive on its way, and shuddered. He heard a dim crunching contact far, far below, and swayed ori the verge of fainting. The others, Hod, the two policemen, and the janitor, had crowded to the window at his thrilling cry of horror. "You don't mean--" gasped Hod. "I told him to hide in the box!" almost wailed Percy. "And he ! Say !"-to the officers-"he's there, and didn't take no stairs. Say !"-to the janitor-" cable us down, quick. My! he must be a jelly." Hod started excitedly from the room and the others fol lowed, even Percy, awed, white-faced. Each one fancied what would greet them on the pavement. All their thoughts were down. When they had peered from the window, when they had noted the apparent im possibility of the fugitive having gone any way but that way, they never thought of looking up. But up Reddy Morris had looked, and up Reddy Morris had gone, and at that moment Reddy Morris was safe and sound as the best of them, and was running a race with the descending elevator by sliding banisters, leaping half-flights at a bound, tumbling, rolling, any way to get out of that building before the others did. "He don't know Hod, if he thinks he won't look here," Reddy had muttered, the minute Percy had bade him hide in his impromptu ice-box. Besides, it was narrow, and, besides that , it was so dan gerously near the edge of the shelf that Reddy, the minut e his friend turned to temporize with the officers at the door, firmly made up his mind that he would not rely on the box for security. How, then? Percy had dropped the cut clothes-lines on the window-sill. Reddy's quick eye sought o chance to util ize them-none showed below or sideways, but overhead-What was that, twelve feet up? Two extending metal brackets, meant to support just such a shelf as he was on, but minus the shelf. Could he lasso one? Surely. A loop of the ropes, a fling. Just as Hod and the others had burst into the room , Reddy started up the quivering bunch of ropes, hand over hand. It was a daring exploit. It took his breath away to real ize that the bracket was giving, as if insecurely screwed into place. As his foot accidentally joggled the box, and sent it tipping, he shuddered as he fancied how much faster clown he would go, should the rope break. But it held, ' and had the appalled occupants of ' Percy's room happened to glance up they would have seen a pair of nimble heels disappearing over the sill of the correspond ing apartment on the fourteenth story, for Reddy had found a window an inch up, forced it up a foot, and dropped into a long, dark hall. When he reached the street he waited for nothing. He had no idea that Percy and the others supposed that he had accompanied the box in its shoot for earth. Percy, when he had scribbled on the card, had told him what to do. He determined to do it promptly. Percy had located the box car ! Reddy could hardly hold himself together for suspense and joy-was almost tempted to stop at the lamp-post in front of the building, to ex amine the address. When he got around the corner of the next street he ven tured a look at the card, It was an explicit direction; a freight-depot by number, a street by intersection. Reddy made an inquiry of the first man he met, and was started on his way rejoicing. "There's a mystery for your life back of this," soliloquized Reddy, "and yet I don't want to know it. I only ask to b e let alone, to strike out into a new career and join the pony express. If Hod has got onto the car, though, and intends hounding me down by keeping it in sight, won't he bothe r Walrod and myself all along the line? And Percy !" That was the other baleful cloud, and it obscured all per sonal danger or anxiety, as Reddy thought of his friend. Percy had befriended him, had located Walrod, had tried to save him from being apprehended, and yet--That thousand dollars !-that thousand dollars which Percy's uncle had lost, which Percy knew his uncle had lost, which he had not returned, which Reddy had heard him say he intended to keep ! "If it's not his, if he don't return it, what does that make the boy I'd have staked my life on?" demanded Reddy bit terly. "A thief? Yes. Oh, Percy ! Percy! if you had die d I couldn't feel worse." But Hod and Percy momentarily drifted from Reddy's mind as he neared the spot indicated on the card. He wos all eyes now, all eagerness and emotion. There was th e freight-depot. There was a train all ready made up. An other: "California Fruit Express--" "It's true!" shouted Reddy, and felt like hurrahing. There was the car he had last seen in Jersey City th " insect-car. So often had he sought it, thought of it, clrea n m l of it, that if it had been upside down, painted reel, and a mi:c away, he could have told it. Trembling with excitement, Reddy stepped to the plat form. Through a window a light showed. He pushed the door, it gave. But where were his friends? Cozy, neat, inviting the interior showed, but no \Valrod was in view. And the boys? Ah , hark! On tiptoe Reddy approached a hammock, attracted by the sound of gentle breathing. Tip. Another by its side. Davy. Both asleep. Reddy did not wake them up. He stood and reflected. What had he better do? What was there to do but wait for the appearance of Mr. Walrod? He could not be far away. Perhaps the adjoining car was the one containing his special freight. He might be there. Advanced half-way to the door, Reddy paused. No, no! Once he had left the box car, only for a minute, and it had taken him over fifty hours to get back to it. He was safe in harbor once more. Nothing but the law should lure him forth till he was in sight of the Pacific ! "There's some one!" exclaimed Reddy suddenly, bending his ear toward the platform. ''I'll hide. If it's Mr. \Val rod I'll jump out and give him a surprise." A cretonne curtain ran across two shelves containi n g plates and the like, and, as Reddy knew as well before, some nails on which superfluous garments were hung. Under it he qwckly ensconced himself. Then, from th e half-parted folds, he looked out, eager-eyed and expectant. Some one fumbled at the door, then pu s h e d it ajar, the n peered in, and . then walked in. Never in his life was Reddy so taken aback.
MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. 2! The intruder advanced to one of the hammocks, and looked down at the slumberer there. "Huh!" he muttered. Then he regarded the second sleeper. "Humph !" he shrugged. There was a stool at the table. He sat down and drummed with his finget-tips impatiently upon it. CHAPTER VII. DUE WEST. Reddy's first impulse was to jump out from his conceal ment and face the boy who had caused him so much trouble with fists and facts . He checked himself, however, as he realized that Hod's speedy arrival and bold entrance betokened some fancied power back of him that passed for courage. Besides that, Reddy had made a good many bad breaks of late by being too precipitate. He calmed himself consequently, and pro ceeded to study Hod. The latter was very much excited. One minute he would sit up, very stern and erect in his brand-new suit of clothes, as if all the dignity of the firm of Cohen rested on his shoulders, and he must maintain it at all hazards; the next, a spasm of anxiety or dread crossed his face as he uneasily listened for some new arrival, and he would swallow a lump in his throat, but at the same time try to look brave and resolute. And then, to Reddy ' s infinite satisfaction, Hod fell to soliloquizing. Reddy bent his ear for keeps. "I'll throw a bombshell," declared Hod. "It's the only way. If those officers had only come here with me, I'd be bold as a lion. 'Point out the boy you want arrested, and we'll nab him, according to orders,' they say; 'but we ain't expected to . chase him when he flies, nor run from one end of the city to the other on false alarms.' Well, I'll talk business to that old fellow, Walrod, like . a deputy marshal! If he's independent, I'll check his gay course, I'll bet. I haven't been criminal lawyer's assistant for nothing." "Assistant? Oh, my!" gulped Reddy, choking himself with a corner of the curtain. "Then I'll act. Cohen said spare no expense, move boldly, and the letters he gave me to the police are strong ones . I pity Reddy Morris when he gets him into his clutchei:;, and I'll never take my eye off this car till I see Reddy Morris enter it, for here's where he'll make for. There's some one. Aha !" Hod sat up, stiff and firm . He drew a card from his pocket and held it ready in his hand. At the sound of familiar voices Reddy pricked up his ears . . "Mr. Walrod and Percy," he murmured. "Hello!" ejaculated the latter, entering and starting back at a sight of Hod. "I should say so! Make yourself at home, young man," broke in Walrod. "It's that fellow, Livesey, I told you about--" began Percy. "Eh!" shouted Walrod, making a movement as if liable to start in at any moment and r oll up his sleeves. "I can introduce myself, thank you," spoke Hod severely, to Percy. "Here is my card, Mr. \Valrod,'' he announced, with a grand air tendering the bit of pasteboard, "and--" "Say!" snorted \Valrod, looking dangerous, "how do you come to know my name's Walrod?" "Why-you see -I-that is--" . stammered Hod, chan ging color. "Perzackly. You was sneaking around this car about two hours since, trying to find a friend of mine named Red mond Morris. Further, you spied on this other friend of his till you located Reddy. Then you got the pol i ce a n d made the lad jump, climb, fly, or evaporateJ Now you have the cheek to come back, and--" "Hold on I" interrupted Percy, suddenly springing for ward , and throwing his arms around Walrod. For he had anticipated what the excitement and indigna tion of the old man was leading to. In another moment he would have seized Hod and have thrown him through the nearest window. "Mr. Walrod,'' spoke Hod, cringing a minute before at the warlike break of the old man, but now trying to look very collected and businesslike, "I represent Mr. Simon Cohen, of New Yark City. I am here as the authorized bearer of a warrant, backed by a State requisition, to follow up till I locate, and to seize the body of one R. Morris, ipse di.xit, per se, de facto . " "Who's he?" blurted Walrod suspiciously. "Legal terms, sir. Vve have lots of them. Cohen is all legal, and never makes a mistake. Deliver up this boy--" "Have I got him?" "Prepare to do so, then, when you have. Further-more--" . "Say, bub!" almost howled Walrod, "I'm holding in. Get through, get out, I warn you, pretty quick, for I feel a cy clone coming." "From here," continued Hod, starting toward the door, "I shall go to Mr. Cohen's warmest friend, the Chicago chief of police. I shall not only have every detective on the force looking for Reddy Morris before morning, but I shall have those two sleeping boys, Tip and Davy Parker, .on their way back to their uncle, and I shal . 1 have youyou, sir-arrested on a charge of kidnaping them, and of , aiding and abetting a malefactor, a fugitive from justice, one R. Morris." "Lemme be !" Walrocl's manner had changed so remarkably that Percy's fears for an attack on Hod were dissipated, and he had al lowed the old man to shake off his detaining grasp. There was a smothering volcano under this suddenly as sumed docility of manner, but Walrod well disguised it. He smiled soft as butter as he advanced, and slightly headed off Hod. "Say that again, young man, will y9u ?" he purred. "I say that, if driven to extremities, I shall have all hands arrested." "Including me?" "Yes, sir." ""When you leave this car?" "At once." "You'll swoop us all in?" "Every mother's son of you!" declared Hod severely, sup posing he was scaring the old tnan at last. "I'm the law, sir-the dignity of the law-as I stand here armed with authority, and--" "I'm a grizzly from the Rockies, and I'm a-coming I Oh, you ! Arrest me? Kidnaper? Waugh! Zip I Lie there; stay there, or I'll break every bone in your miserable, spying, sneaking body !" Percy Blair made an appalled forward movement, but he was too late to pn; vent a catastrophe . Reddy stared, thrilled queerly, and almost tumbled forward from his con cealment in sheer consternation. For Walrod had swung forward abruptly. Crimsoned with royal indignation, he gave vent to his pent-up emotion. He seized the petrified Hod, regardless of the part or texture of his glorious new array, , and gave him a fling. Cling-clump! he landed on a bunk way at the far end, yelled, groaned, and, stunned, if not flattened out, lay mo tionless, afraid or unable to move. "Now, then," roared \Valrod, still bristling and blazing, "y9u move a peg, you murmur a word, yo4 even so much as look, and I'll-I'll use you for a mop! My friend," he added half-apologetically to Percy, "I'm a man of peace, but rile me too far, bru s h the fur the wrong way too much and too long, and I'm-I'm human like the rest. Keep your eye on that-that cactus, will you? If he moves, lam him. I'll see if he has any more like him hanging around
, 22 iVIIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. outside. Hello! there's a jerk, and that means start soon. I say, we can't leave without Reddy. You're sure you gaye him the address here?" "Yes, sir." "And he got away at your . room?" "He escaped in some mysterious manner-how, i couldn't fathom, for he's a boy of resources," responded Percy. "He didn't fall to the street, that's sure. The roof, a side win dow, a monkey-climb or a dolphin-dive-I don't know-but he must be safe somewhere." "Ah ! but where?" "Here!" "W-what?" "Reddy?" "That's who." From his concealment Reddy darted forward, all smiles. Walrod pawed him over in exultant welcome and admira tion. He propounded questions five at a time, as if he was firing off a revolver, all chambers at once. He seemed as proud of Reddy's pertinacious endeavors to '.'get there" as if it was himself. Then another switching lurch of the car reminded him of starting, and he went outside. "They're going to move," spoke Reddy excitedly. "My! so much has been crowded into the past two hours my head's spinning. And, just as I meet you, I've got to leave you, Percy." Percy smiled softly. "That would be too bad, wouldn't it?" he propounded, watching the lights and shadows chase one another across his companion's ingenuous face. "Hello! what big thought is striking you now?" A big thought had struck Reddy's mind, intleed, and his face showed it. Supposing that he was at once to part with Percy, it seemed as if s _ ome irresistible influence drove him to refer to the theme that had lain like a lump of lead on his heart a little back. "Percy," he said, his voice quivering, "I can't leave you, the boy who made me what I am, my model, the boy who gave me faith in humanity, without saying something that haunts me . " "Eh? That's an ominous beginning, Reddy." "It's a bad, black thing under it. Percy, I saw you count over a thousand dollars in an envelope this morning." "Hello !" remarked his companion, with a start, and he frowned slightly. "I have reason to suppose that it's the money your uncle lost." For a second Percy hesitated. Then he avowed, rather coldly: "Yes, it is." "And you know it's his?" "I do." "And you have decided to-to--" "Steal it! Blurt it out, Reddy. Yes, if keeping it is steal ing it, I steal. Reddy, I'm glad you spoke about it. I found the envelope with the money, and I saw my uncle looking for it." "Oh, Percy !" "Now, listen. I told you why I left my uncle-he bas slowly squandered in drink and cards nearly all his fortune. For a year I have been attending to his business, and not receiving a cent for it. Fast as I got money ' together for him he threw it away. I left him. I plainly see that in a year, at the farthest, he will be a pauper. \Nhen I found that money, an idea, a forlorn idea, right or wrong, came to my mind." "What, Percy?" "I determined to keep it-not for myself, but as a sacred trust. I shall seek strenuously for some good opening for it. I shall invest it in his name. Think I personally would use a cent of it? \Vhen he has run through his spendthrift course, and is at poverty's door, and has learned a lesson, I will go to him and tell him what I have done, hoping that he will make a new and ' a right start, knowing that a thousand dollars then will be to him than ten thousand now." "Oh, Percy! and I misjudged you--" "I am going \Vest to find that opening, and invest." "Oh, Percy! not--" "On this train, with you, by the generous invitation of Mr. Walrod, who knows all I have told you, and prom\ses me a show." Reddy Morris was swaying with delight; he had hold of his friend's two hands, and in an incoherent, delirious way was shaking them J:v:ith; and through his tears trying to ask forgiveness for his mistake about the money. Just then a groan sounded through the car, and Hod Live sey sat up. In a dazed way he stared about him. "She's going!" announced Walrod, bolting in and closing the door after him; "the train's about to roll out. All ready, lads? Everything explained? Ah ! the happy family on its travels at last." "Hold on!" interrupted Reddy. "Well?" " "Him?" He pointed to Hod. The latter, staggering to his feet, looked wild and scared. "Say, let me off!" he quavered; "say, this won't do, you know; say--" "Sit down!" thundered \Valrod ominously, and Hod sat. "You ask me, what about him?" continued Walrod to Reddy. "Yes." "\Veil, I Goan tell you in a word-I shall take him along with us for safe-keeping." Toot-toot. "We're started!" sang out Tip and Davy here,' waking up simultaneously. "Clear for the Pacific coast!" chimed in Walrod, with a satisfied smile. Toot! And the boys of . the pony express started on their final dash across the continent. * * * * "Good boy!" "Just watch the little fellow." "Zip! he's a flier and a sticker." * * * Shouts and yells rang out in mingled excitement and en thusiasm under the bluest of skies, across the of hilly stretches, and they greeted and cheered the boys of the pony-express. Reddy, Percy, Tip, and Davy had that morning arrived at Vigo, under the guidance of old Ben Walrod. It was here that, previous to starting East1 'the latter had left his horses in charge of some friends, anJ it was here now, an hour after arrival, that his companion journeyers, let loose like boys from school, were enjoying them selves in a wild, reckless fashion, as new to them as their surroundings. The dash across the continent had been uninterrupted hy any exciting or untoward event. Arrived in California, the contents of the insect-car had been duly delivered to Walrod's friend, his goods transferred to the next car, a rather crowded experience indulged in until they reached the terminus, and here it was side tracked, and a stage-coach taken for Vigo, twenty miles dis tant. A rather interesting performance was indulgecf in just after leaving the car, however. All the way from Chicago, Hod Livesey had been kept under close watch. A11 the way, too, despite cajolery and threats from /alrod, Hod had kept a close mouth. He played the grand and gloomy captive, he refused to divulge one hint concerning the remarkable determination of Cohen, the lawyer, to get Reddy back to New York City and keep him there. '
MIGHT AX1' MAI:\ LIBRARY. 2" .) Just as grand and gloomy he acted when Walrod, all . ness, led him from the car, turned his face due east, placed a little roll in his hand, and said: "Young man, we have taken up your time, in round calcu lation, for a week. There's car fare back to where we took you in charge for safe-keeping, and five dollars a day added to pay you for your lost time. I advise you to get back to your precious employer, and tell him that this is the danger-line for such as him. The man who treads on Benny Walrod's toes here, or those of his friends, might as well make his will. Don't let me hear of -your ha1lging around here when I come back after my freight-plunder. You'll find it healthy to drop all interest in Reddy Morris at this point. Git !" That was all, and Hoel Livesey "gQt."' He had no secrets to divulge, hi: h;,icl no threats to make, but as Reddy caught a sight of his malevolent face he felt somehow that they had not seen the last of him by long hazards. During the trip West, Walrod had told the boys so fully of his plans that they were eager, yet half-prepared, for what awaited them. They were to stop at Vigo, and get his string of horses in shape to return to the railroad-terminus, load up his traps, and strike out for Lookout Point. That was his home, his "bank," that was the objective point from which the pony express would branch out as a collecting and distributing agency to the isolated miningcamps north and east. -The Parker boys had talked horse half the time since they left New York. A sight of the hundred odd steeds that included Walrod's stock made their eyes sparkle, Half a dozen ranchmen gathered around the boys. They knew how Walrod intended to utilize them, and the first move they suggested was that they try their mettle as horsemen. Broad grins went the rounds, as one old fellow with a sly wink led out a particularly active and vicious horse, not belonging to Walrod at all, and a wiry pony, with mis chief-boding eyes. They chuckled as Tip made a tunning leap, and looked up in the air knowingly, as if following the course Davy was bound to pursue as the 1atter made a grab for the mane of the pony, and described a flinging curve. Reddy's eyes bulged out, and Reddy's nerves jangled as he saw the horse Tip had mounted give a bound, almost poise on its hind legs, and rear, and plunge like mad. Tip only laughed, and dung on like a, good fellow. But Davy! The ranchmen looked sheepish; they had counted on having some fun with greenhorns, but the laugh ing was now all on the other side. Only ortce did the vicious pony try to buck. Then, from a stubborn V-shaped bunch of ugliness it braced back to go9cl behavior like magic. \i\Thatever Davy, ex-expert of the sawclust ring, had clone to curb the fiery animal was his secret, but, to the aston ishment of the onlookers, the next moment it went skim ming along as evenly as if trained to a steacly course of speed. Up on both feet spran()" Davy. He described a pirouette W'!Y out on the flanks; he balanced one foot on the pony's neck; he threw imaginary nosegays to his audience, smiling l ike a cherub, as much at home as a sailor on a yard-arm. "Good boy!" "lust watch the little fellow!" "Zip ! he's a flier and a sticker!" "Say, Walrod, what you running in on us-a lot of circus riders?" "Well, those two are in that line a little," smiled \i\Talrod; "ought to see the biggest one dance on a wire. These two-ever see a real hoss before, Reddy?" "Not like these," answered Reddy. "They're magnificent animals. I'm afraid, Mr. \i\Talrod, it . will mean many a breakneck fall and tumble before I manage one of those lively fellows." . "Oh, we'll start you right. Here, bring out Nance. There's the pony I've had .in mind all along for you, Reddy," announced walrod, as a coal-black animal, glossy and hand some, was saddled and brought up. "She won't cavort or play tricks. She's all business, only she will run. Run! She's a streak of lightning at times. So long as a hoss don't buck I call it gentle. Nance is one of that kind. All aboard, now!" "Me?" demurred Reddy dubiously. "You've got to ride her for the freight, and from there home, so you may as well practise." "I never was in a saddle rn my life." "Make a start, lad. Here, trot her out. That's it. Sit easy, but firm, hold the reins tight. Now, then, ready?" "Y-yes." The assent was a gasp, for the minute the man "holding the bit let go, Reddy fancied he was flying. \i\Talrod had said the horse could run, and he had not ex aggerated the truth. Around the sweep of land in sight the pony dashed. All Reddy knew was that the landscape was a blur, that he was holding on for dear life. "That'll do!" sang out Walrod, as Reddy shot past the group of onlookers. "I can't stop her. \i\Thoa ! whew!" Reddy had touched the pony with his heels. Turning sharply and perversely from its straight course, the animal made like mad for the north. "Running away-oh, sure!" joggled out Reddy . "I'm in a desperate fix. Whoa! No use. It's just hold on like grim death tiII . she gets ready to stop." That was what it looked like, but when would the pony stop? They had passed the crest of the hill, and ranch and friends were out of view. Not for so much as a second did the horse let up on a steady, plunging forward rush. \i\There was she taking him? Straight on, always, and the ranch farther and farther in the rear. They skimmed level stretches, shot through clumpi; of brush, in among the timber, out again, in again-chug! What happened happened so quickly that Reddy did not know how it came about. Either the horse slipped or stum bled, or ran against a tree, and, shying, sent his head against it next. . At all events, he felt as if a sledge-hammer had dropped pat on his skull, and the consequences of such a blo"w, a crushing, sinking sense of nothingness, supervened. He was still on the horse when a glimmer of conscious ness returned, but bent over. He was still on the horse, but the horse was stationary. He was still on the horse. but his feet were strapped to the girth, and his hands were tied around its neck. Reddy believed himself dreaming. No; he tried to sit up, and couldn't. He looked on a level with his uncom fortable pose, and gasped wildly. By a long lariat the pony was tied to a tree. Under the tree was seated a boy. It was Hod Livesey, eating pie! â€¢ CHAPTER VIII. HARD HIT. "Say!" ejaculated Reddy. "Hello!" piped Hod Livesey, looking up coolly. He had an open package at hjs side-lunch. It was made up of an enormous pie, cut into slabs. Reddy had to crane his neck painfully to keep his enemy in view. He tried to hunch up, to pull away from the ropes that held him. "Did you do he demanded. "Uh-huh," noclclecl Hoel, with a chuckle. "You tied me this way?" "Flat as a pancake . I had to." "\\Thy?"
24 );IIGHT :\ND MAIN LIBRARY. "Written in the fates. I'm your'n. You left me where the railroad ended. I followed. Run across you. Flip flop-bang! East you go." Reddy tugged and writhed and panted. It was humiliating to be helpless and endure the gloating malignity of Hod. The latter wa:s tantalizingly cool, provokingly con fident. "It's come his way as if made for him on pitrpose, " breathed Reddy, on fire with irritability. "He just run across me at the right time, and he's nailed me. I used to say he was a chump. I take it back. He's got one bull headed trait-peg away at an idea through fire and water. Cohen sent him after me. He's followed faithfully, that's sure, and now-Hod bivesey, look here." "I'm looking," grinned Hod. "You're not crazy enough to suppose you're going to get me back to New York ?" "Daffy as all get out." "Nonsense!" "Is it?" "Rank. My friends will be searching for me everywhere, , and horse-stealing means a yard of hemp ." "Oh, I'm going to leave the hor se soo n as I reach a rail road. You said look here ; now I say look here . Cohen sent me after you. I'm going to take you back to New York, and once I .get you to a town where there's law and order, money and papers say you go." "You'd think your life depended on your getting me to Cohen." . "No, only my position, the satisfaction of doing you up, and, incidentally, five hundred dollars." "I seem to come high," snorted Reddy. "You do that-a ten-twent-thirt combination, and no mistake." "They just fling money around to circumvent a porir, harmless fellow. I'd like to know why?" "I'll tell." â€¢ , "Oh!" "For a thousand dollars," pronounced Hod, with a chuckle. "Oh, I'm no fool. Say, I'll get just that to open my mouth or shut my moutl) before I 'm through with this case . You're my cinch, Reddy Morris-my goose with the golden egg-my luck, so do you go East-straight." Reddy writhed. The confident, the upper-hand exultation of his captor galled him to the marrow , Hod was in high good humor. He lifted another s lab of pie, and mockingly invited his helpless enemy . to partake, with rare hilarity . "Soon as I get through filling up-'What, ho! my charger!' and away we trot. See? Have a bite." Hod waved the piece of pie, and shook with laughter. He was so 'ickled that the tears a\:tually stood in hii eyes, and between shaking and tearfulness he mistook the meaning of a sudden jerk on the lariat from the and a yell from Reddy. "Pull away," jibed Hod to the horse, and "holler ahead," to the boy. "No, no!" choked Reddy, as best he could, with the horse moving in short jerks. "Look, see; get up, hustle!" "Eh, look? Murder ! . " Hod looked up with a roar of terror, but he did not get â€¢ up. , He saw now what Reddy had seen first. Coming down the tree noiselessly was a bear. â€¢ As Hod looked up it had about reached him. One paw closed across the pie. The animal slipped, and pie, bear, and boy went tumbling in an indiscriminate heap . Reddy fancied he would be twi sted and jerked to pieces. The pony he was tied to had become fairly frantic. It whinnied and reared, tugged at the lariat, and leaped to either extr.eme of its scope. Amid these wild antics Reddy could keep Hod in sight only by spells. -..... "Murder!" howled the latter; and Reddy saw him scoot ing away, his coat ripped clear up the back, his face plas tered with pie, his hatless head bristling like wire. Snap! A whish of wind came free and forcible-the pony had broken its tether. â€¢ Reddy was scared. If the animal had gone like an arrow a spell back, its progress reminded him of zigzag ligh.t ning now. He could tell by the quivering feel of it s body, its fre quent snorts, its erratic, but speed-undiminished course, that terror had a,dded to its mettle. He could only lay where he was tied, utterly helple ss. He was jolted and. jarred; every twist of the pony's neck bent him sideways, arid every backward kick of its flying feet seemed stretching out his own feet. Hod had secured him artistically. wherever there w a week later, and after two successful trips east and north had been madeby Reddy and Percy, and two successful trips south had been made by Tip and Davy, and the pony express was a grand reality operating on a definit e system, that vValrod had asked his favorite if he was bored, if it was dull, and had only to look at Reddy's glowing face to know that he was fitting into the exciting, adventurou s border-life as if he _ had been especially trained for it. Reddy was to reach a place called Mersey by morning with a letter for a miner there. On the way there he fell in â€¢ I
I , MIGHT AND LIBRARY. / with a boy, whose name was Karl Dewey. Reddy took his new-found friend back with him to ranch. Mr. Waired knew the boy, and while the three stood chatting in the duorway , a boat shot out from the opposite shore. A little while later a man beached it and ran up to lVIr. Walrod. "I have found the lost million !" exclaimed the strange man. "Are you telling the truth, Abel Morse?" Mr. Walrod demanded hoarsely. "Give me a chance to prove it." Wal rod sank to a stool. "Don't be too hard on old Abel Morse, Benjamin," pleaded the old m a n . "It's a long time since I've seen you after our quarrel years ago. I'm broken; I'm humiliated-I'm on my last pegs. I simply want to do right. You and I were partners a few years ago. v\'e were on the track of the lost million. I got covetou1> ; I sloped, carrying with me the papers referring to our track, and a little money not my It soured you. It's blasted me. I've had no luck since, but I worked out the riddle of the lost million, and I've come to you to offer it as a reparation for the wrong I did you." "What is the lost million?" demanded the man calling himself Abel Morse, and his eyes took a strange fire to their depths, as if the theme momentarily stirred him as it had year:;; agone. "On the twentieth day of February, forty years ago, in a howling snow-storm, the big California over land stage-coach and gold-express, Buenaventura, whipped out of Armida with a cool, clear million in gold and gems locked up in its stout steel treasure-chest. It was never seen again. Between Armida and the California north border they later found the driver and the four guards, with their throats cut, in a dark gully, but the coach, the horses, the vast treasure, had vanished !" The speaker paused to catch his breath. Then he re sumed in a tremulous, retrospective tone: "They traced robbery to Idaho Ike, the bandit. They traced it to him single-handed . They hunted high and low, and when the vigilance committee ran him to earth he was game. They hung him, they shot him, they roa s ted him. He never flunked. He died with his secret, the world said, and they planted an acorn in his mouth, and the leaning oak in Spook Hollow yonder is all that is left to remind the world that he got his deserts." Tip's eyes were big as saucers. What a magic fairy tale! Davy looked skeptical. Karl Dewey nodded to him self now and then, as if keeping tab on a recital familiar to him. i "Who first found a clue to the hiding-place of the lost million? My partner and I. Vi/e were always at fault, though, as to definite details. Then I sloped. But I put in my time good. I ran down the secret, Benjamin, I located the lost million last month." "Where?" Walrod lifted his head long enough to direct the sharp query. Abel Mors e simply waved his hand north. "I located it after great ri s k, trouble, and hardship. Ben jamin," he purs u e d plaintively, "in a scrimmage with fel lows watching me I got a blow on the head. Something wrong buzzes up there ever sihce. I lose my memory, and I tumble over every once in a while." "If you found the lost million, why didn't you bring it home with you?" demanded Walrod. "Was I in shape to do it? No, no. I was so afraid even that I might never get here unless helped, that I had that doqe," and Morse exhibited his marked head. "I got to Spook Hollow, and I've been trying to get up nerve and strength to come to my old partner af\d say: 'Ben j amin, here's a spec. It's yours. Take it all, only forgive me for the wrong I've done you.' " A deep sil e nce fell over the little group . The o f a watch, the fall of a pin, might have been heard. All were watching Walrod. "Abel," said Walrod, slowly ansmg to his feet; "I can't shake hands with you as I used to just yet, but give me time. As fo forgiving, it isn't in me to harbor resentment. Bury the past . You 12ropose ?" "To guide you to tne lost million." "It's a heft; I reckon?" "Twenty-seven hundrea of solid bullion, the rest in lighter compass." "Is it far?" "No." "Is it beyond the danger-line?" "Yes." "Are otl;iers in your secret?" "Not a soul." "Are others watching you?" "I fear it." "That'll do. You rest up, you feed up; I'll talk with you later on. Percy will be back soon." Reddy's new friend, Karl Dewey, to his surprise, was no longer in the room. Reddy hurried outside. \He liked his new acquaintance . His frank manner and willing W,jiys had pleased him. He fancied he would like him as . a Chum in the pony-express group. "Hello, Tip!" he said, finding only that youngster in sight. "\Nhat are you staring at?" ''l' m staring at the river. I was staring at a swimmer in it." "A swimmer?" "Yes." "Vvho ?" "That fellow you brought here with you." "Karl Dewey?" "Is that his name?" "It is." "Well, is he cranky?" "Not that I know oj." "Must be," asserted Tip. "He comes out when you was talking with Mr. Walrod. He looked terribly flustered. 'Look here,' he said, 'is that boy's name Reddy Morris?' 'Of course it is,' I said. 'You're sure?' he kept on saying. 'you're sure?' 'It was, back in New York,' says I. ''That settles it,' he says. 'This is no place for me.' He went down the ladder . I never saw a fish swim prettier than he did. Look there !" "Where?" "Across the river. No, no; under the old dead pine. See?" "Why, it's Karl! It's the same boy!" cried Reddy exci tedly. "\V ait ! say! I want to see you!" shouted Reddy, making a speaking-trumpet of his hand, and endeavoring to hail the boy. "He's signaling , " reported Tip. At any rate, Karl was shaking his head as if In dissent to any proposed delay or parley, and was waving something white in his hand ! This he slotted into a split branch, pointed to it, stuck it in the sand, and, leaving it there, darted for the nearest bushes, and disappeared. Just as he imagined, the white object in the stick proved to be a written note, and, after securing it, Reddy puzzled his head over it all the way back to the island again. "I know what to do now," it ran. "So you're the old and original Redmond Morris? Just count me the friend I'd ought to be after owing my life to you; and look out for some startling develqpments. I'm going to stir up a whole nesf full of them, and you'll soon hear from me. I'm going to right matters. KARL DEWEY." Reddy thought ahout the writer of that note a good deal during the remainder of the afternoon, a good deal as well over all ii!-suggested.
MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. This boy had acted as Morris at some time in the past, and there was a scheme mixed with the per formance. But for the dramatic interruptions he might have ex plained all about it to Reddy. As soon as he learned Red dy's name, however, apparently it furnished him some kind of a clue, confidence, or suggestion to a plan for "righting matters." "My! that fellow with the white beard is pumping Mr. Vvalrod full of fairy-stories," remarked Davy. "Come down below on the beach," Mr. Walrod finally said to him. "Something has happened.?" began Reddy apprehensively. "No, I only want to telf you something." "About the lost million, I wonder?" murmured Reddy eagerly, and hurried on his clothes, and was soon at the spot designated. "Now, then," spoke the atter promptly, "we're three to gether. Reddy, you heard what my old partner had to say to-day about finding the lost million?" "Yes, sir," nodded Reddy. "Well, I guess he's done it. At any rate, we're going to find out." "How, sir?" "By going after it." "When, Mr. Walrod?" "We plan to start to-morrow evening." "All of us?" "Not the other boys: No, Reddy," replied Walrod, a certain fond expression in his eyes, " . too many cooks spoil the broth, and this is a move that needs men's sense and men's grit. I couldn't leave you out. You're my right hand, Reddy." "Thank , you, Mr. Walrod. That's worth hearing from you." "We'll leave quietly and secretly, making our prepara tions to-morrow. Now, Abel Morse, everything is settled but one point. You ar'e agreed-three of us go together?" "If you think best, Benjamin." "I do. You've told everything now except the exact spot where the lost million is hidden. Tell that." "To you?" "Yes, whisper it. Go ahead." Reddy rustled about so as pot to seem to be listening, while Walrod bent his ear to the lips of the old man from Spook Hollow. It took Abel Morse quite a time to reveal the secret. Walrod finally looked up with satisfaction beaming in his face. "Come here, Reddy," he called. The latter advanced. "Tell him, now," ordered Walrod, to Morse. "Eh?" muttered the old man dissentingly. "See here, Benjamin, you aren't going to trust an outsider-a boy?" "You tell him, or I don't go-have nothing whatever to do with the affair. Reddy Morris is my right arm, iny sharer, the lad I can trust and am proud of. It's three or nothing." "Oh, all right," mumbled Morse. "I like him myself, right enough, only-well, I it to you-whisper; lad." Reddy . was duly impressed 'with a 'len>e of importance, as into his keeping was delivered in low, whispered measure the secret of the hiding-place of the lost million. It was a vital acquisition, and he experienced a certain weight of responsibility on his mind after the information was divulged. "Now, then," spoke Walrod, "hands across. Here's for getting there, or sink!" "Aye, aye, we'll get there," nodded Morse emphatically. "If one drops, two go on?" "Surely." "If two fall, the last survivor carries the scheme through?" "That's the 'pact, Benjamin." "Good! We'll start to-morrow night." The next morning Walrod was his old bluff, energetic self again. He infbrmed Percy, Tip, and Davy that he was going to make a business run to the north some time within the next twenty-four hours, and gave Percy explicit direc. tions how he should manage affairs until their return. Just at midnight\Percy was so far let into the secret as to be called up to get six of the ponies over to the mainland. Mounted one on each and leading a mate, Walrod, Reddy, and the old man from Spook Hollow started forth on their search for the lost million. CHAPTER IX. A DASH FOR FORTUNE. "I don't like it !" declared Reddy Morris. What Reddy did not lik was an incident that disturbed him at the very outset of the midnight expedition, and he expressed hjs sentiments very forcibly to himse)f. W afrod and Abel Morse were in the lead. They had just turned from river into the brush. Lookout Point was out of sight, and Reddy was sure, positively certain, that some one had watched their departure. Once, near the starting-point, a human form had dodged behind some trees; once, when they turned from the stream, Reddy observed a vague figure dart through the fringing shrubbery and disappear in the direction of Vigo. After that, however, the haunting presence was absent. Reddy thought of the possibility of Karl Dewey hanging around the spot; of some tramp wayfarer. He did not like to interrupt the conversation going on ahead, and two hours later all serious impression of the episode had faded from his mind. "I don't like it." Exactly the same words left Reddy's lips upon the evening of the following day. They had passed Spook Hollow, ha,d reached Mersey and twenty beyond, were making camp in a thicket, when Reddy fancied he again discerned a prowler. ./ But again the spy, the trailer, if such he was, dis-appeared, and, listening to some old-time frontier reminis cences of his companions and partaking of the rough-and ready cheer of an appetizing camp-fire meal, Reddy again forgot. the disturbing element that had reawakened his sus picions.
' MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. "I don't like it!" For the third and last time, and more emphatic than ever this time, Reddy voiced an energetic criticism on the flash ing appearance and disappearance of a skulking form. On this occasion it w as at the edge of the settlement they had re a ched at nightfall. Here Walrod had discovered an old acquaintance, and after supper had gone "with him and Morse down into th e town. Reddy had imparted his suspicions of the double v isitation of some spy on their trail as they left, but Walrod had only confidently tapping the revolver at his belt. "Maybe fancy , lad," he remarked; "at any rate, prowl e rs are common, and often follow a good-looking layout like ours to see what they can pick up. I'll keep my eye out, and if any on e is particul
, MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. trying to force them to give up secret. They almost know where the treasure is hidden. Only a hint, and they're there. They made for the cabin to gather you in, and I got ahead of them. Plain so far?" "Yes," gulped Reddy. "You know I guess where the lost million is. Then I say, get to it, remove it, or other hands will soon nab it .. There's a strong crowd after it, J can tell you." "But, Mr. Walrod--" "They can't scare him, and they daren't hurt him. He'd tell you what I tell you-save the treasure. Is it far from here?" . Reddy did not at once reply. He was momentarily lost in consternation and doubt. Dare he act on the bare word of a comparative stranger, take that stranger into his con fidence? "I believe you're . my friend, and true blue, Karl," he a id finally. . "No time for chatter-it's action, if you want to save the treasure." "Yes, I guess it is," admitted Reddy, with
MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. 29 A thunderous roar filled the hollow chamber, a choking, blinding cloud of dust swept over the prostrate boys. "What's happened?" faltered Reddy. "It was rotted to the very limit-a touch fixed it. Give us a light. There you are." There, indeed, they were. Like Cinderella's fairy coach, the gold express had disappeared, and it was hard to recon struct it, even in fancy, from the mass of kinding-wood and rubbish on the ground. In the center of the widely scattered heap arose a hillock of definite shape, and upon this the eyes of the intruders were fixed staringly in wonder. As many as a dozen iron boxes, rusted and green with mold, but still showing the great red seal of the express company, lay mixed up together as they had fallen. "It's in them," mused Karl. "'Nhew, Reddy, heft one. Talk about lead! Why, that chest must weigh fully two hundred pounds." Reddy mechanically pulled at a handle of one of the boxes. He could budge it, that was about all. "I don't see what we are going to do?" he spoke anxiously. "About what?" "Getting them away." "Y cs; they've got to be moved, hidden." "You thinl< the men who have learned our secret will trace this spot down?" "I'm sure of it." "Soon?" â€¢ "Yes, soon." "Then, as I say, wha,t are we going to do? might lug one box if he had the proper harness, The pony not more." "We're like Ali Baba in the 'Forty Thieves,'" remarked Karl. "Come, Reddy, get your wits at work. This much I know-the crowd that has \Valrod and Morse in tow have pretty nearly guessed where this cave is. Even if not pre cisely they'll ransack the vicinhy. was the program, and-hark!" The match had gone out, and the boys were talking in the dark. Karl, with the quick warning noted, glided to the aperture through which they had crawled. Outside several whistles had sounded. Now there were more. Then Reddy, painfully anxious, caught the echo of human voices. "What is it? Oh, surely not those men so soon?" he fal tered, pressing close to his companion's side. "Just. Keep quiet." At the aperture Karl continued to look and listen. Stand ing near, and not being able to see, but catching vague sounds of commotion outside, Reddy was in an agony of suspense and dread . In a few minutes Karl retreated from his post of observa tion. He groped for Reddy's arm and led him a little back into the chamber. "It's them," he whispered. "How many?" "Five." "Are they coming in here?" "They're going to post themselves directly in front of here . It's as I told you, they've got a lot of Morse's signs, and they've followed them to the big white pebbles you knew to be the final mark. Pity you didn't remove those." "Isn't it? But do they guess there's a cave here?" "They know the coach is hidden somewhere within fifty feet of where they are lounging.'' "And are going to begin a search?" "Not until"-Karl checked himself, about to speak a name-"their leader appears. He's with Walrod now. They've sent one of their number back after him to the settlement. Hold on, don't go wandering about blindly, stumbling into you don't know what." ''I'll take care of myself . I think I see something." "See! in this blackness?" But Reddy did not reply . What he saw, or fancied he saw, was the vaguest contrast in blank surface way back in the chamber, and he began to creep slowly and cautiously toward it. It was fully ten minutes later when he crawled back to his companion's side. He was breathing rapidly, and slightly shaky as if from excitement. "Karl," he spoke, "I've discovered something." "Eh? What?" "Another opening." "Ah ! then we can escape if driven to it?" "I hardly think it. I'm not thinking of ourselves, though. It's of those iron boxes." "They're worth thinking of, I should say! Outside of the people they belong to getting their ri . ghts, I'd tug my arms off to give-the man who is after them a disappoint ment." "We can do it." "Sure?" "Yes." "How?" "There's an opening, as I say. It looks square down into kind of a gully. I tossed a stone, and it sank in among verdure thick as a haystack. The gully is more like a shut-in cairn than a ravine. It's steeper down than the place where you cut your name in Spook Hollow, and about as far ." "Then you propose?" "To get to work at those boxes, lug them to the hole, and pitch them down," was Reddy's reply. CHAPTER X. LIGHT. "Strike another match, Reddy." "But they may see us-those men outside." "Suppose they do-which I don't think?., "I:hat's so." Karl Dewey's chuckle, mingled with the snap of a lucifer, and its sudden glow, sho,-.;ed his face fairly beaming with satisfaction. "That's it," he said, glancing all over the coach rubbish heap, and poking it about to see that nothing but rubbish was contained in the scattered pile . "Well, Reddy, we've done it. Now, let them come, soon as they please." Yes, the boys had done it-the boys had executed a her culean task, and they looked it. That match-flare showed them grimed like coal-mim:rs,
30 MIGHT AND MAIN LIBRARY. perspiring, clothing torn, hands chafed and scratched, frames 'Here, Percy Blair-a letter, from your uncle, I reckon. slightly wilted as if from undue exertion. Here, Reddy, a newspaper-clipping. Your precious lawyer Dox by box, they had dragged, lifted, and pried into friend, Cohen, tricked and cheated ; the wrong man, is in progress the last metal receptacle of treasure, had got it to . jail, and Hod Livesey has sk ipped with the contents of the hole in the rear of the chamber, and had-dumped it. his safe. 'B irds of a feather,' 'the biter bit,' etseterry, you As the match went out they sank down to rest, satisfied know . Here, Abel Morse"-and Walrod fluttered a n oblong -...that not so much as a penny's worth of value had been piece of paper-"check. I made the officials of the express overlooked. company who bought out the old gold express fall off their "If those fellows only don't guess what's become of th e chairs when I asked them if the original company, forty boxes," suggested Reddy. years since, offered five per cent. reward for the recovery "Why should they? I don't think I would, under like of the missing stage-coach, Buenaventura, and its lost milcircumstances." lion." The boys made their escape without being seen by the "And they paid it?" robbers, and informed Mr. Walrod of all that had occurred . "Paid it! We were hone s test crowd they'd ever heard A posse was organized, the robbers captured, and the treasof, and, when I told them all, added ten thousand for int c r ure taken to the ranch at Lookout Point. est. I told them they'd paid the original losers, and we apOne of the robbers, Burgess !Dy name, was shot down. preciated it, '1nd were no pirates. Vve're pretty fix ed, The man had something he wanted to confess, and Karl partners all, and, say !-we'll build up a pony express that bent over to hear his last words. will beat the world." "What did he say?" asked Reddy, after the man passed It was talk-talk-talk-all the evening and all the night away. \ through. It was "this one's share," and "th.at one's share , " "It seems, Reddy, that when you was at school in Bostill their brains were spinning with figuring, and wheq they. ton , Burgess was acting as your guardian for your fahad got money-matters settled so that even littl e Tip felt ther," explained Karl. himself an incipient millionaire, and had planned out im"My father!" murmured Reddy. "I never knew him. provements and extensions for the pony expr,.ss ramifying I hope he was a good man." as those of a big railroad system, walrod unfolded a n ew "He must have been or he would never have been fooled budget of news. by a bad man. He died out here, leaving a document that The estate of Reddy's father, he had ascertained, would, gave you a good deal of land, but also givi_ng Burgess great with careful handling, prove a small bon.za within a few . control over it and you. Burgess took you to New York, years. 'lost' you, hired Cohen, the lawyer, to keep you there, and "And I've got something for yO'U, young man," Walrod came out here. He needed a boy to personate you, and he continued, to Percy. "We invested your thousand dollars in fixed on a homeless not old enough to suspect evil-the Crresus ' Lode, you remember? " myself. That was when I took your name. I remember "Don't mention that-you are very welcome," responded signing papers and going into court and playing I was Percy heartily . "This letter is from my uncle, in re sponse Redmond Morris for a month or so. He got hold of the to one . I wrote. He's run tiyough his fortune, and is ready property rightfully belonging to you; I learn he has mortto come out here and live moderately now, and as I can gaged it and sold lots of it, but, with careful handling, in return him his money doubly over from what you so gen a few years it can be made the basis of a comfortable erously allowed me from the lost million reward" living for you." "That?" interrupted Walrod. "Why, that's a bagatelle Reddy looked pleased enough at this final explanation of to something else! Crresus Lode stands in your name, you the mystery surrounding his life, but he murmured rather know?''. sorrowfully: "So Reddy says." "I wish I'd known my father when toiling for my sake." he was tugging and "Well," announced Walrod, "they've struck gold rich right alongside of it, and you can sell your claim for just exactl y Old Abel Morse spent the time dreaming over how he could now settle down from hard labor. Reddy was con stantly planning how he would get out of the wreck of his father's fortune sufficient to repay Percy his borrowed thousand dollars; the others were wondering what WiJ.lrod would do with the pony-express scheme. "He'll keep right on with it, I , can tell you that, " declared Percy, "for he said so. He's going to broaden the scheme, send Reddy East next year to bring out some more of his promising friends to grow up with the country, and make men of us if we give him the chance. And there is now!" Shortly after this, while the boys were sitting before the fire, a messenger came in. \\ialroc;l took the packets and said: five thousand dollars any time you want to take it." They went to bed on that. Walrod had called himself Santa Claus-he looked it, as he lay slumbering, an hour later, a peaceful smile on his benevolent old face. Even in his dreams he was thinking of his young com rades, who had warmed his heart lately till he felt almost youthful again, whose friendly devotion he valued far more th.an he had The Lost Million. Their happy features reflected the contentment and satis faction of his own, for they glowed with all the anticipation and enthusiasm of the fair prospect before them as BoYs OF THE PONY EXPRESS. THE END. Next week's issue , No . 69, is entitled "Hal Larkin's Luck; or, The Fortune of a Plucky Princeton Athlete."
. l ' I â€¢ STORIES OF BOYS WHO SUCCEED l:::=======================I:N:======================== .......................................................... LARGE number qf boys have become tired of that "sameness" about most five cept lil;>raries. Might and Main is published especially for boys who want a big ) 'five cents' worth and still want to be interested. . .. The stories in this are at least one third longer than in any other library and deal with the adventures of boys who reached the. top of the ladder by their own efforts. _ A story is published every week, dealing with the adventures of a set of characters. J?rice I?er Copy for sale by all newsdealers, or sent by the publishers to any address . upon receipt of money Qr postage stamps 40---From Switch to Lev er; or, The Young Engi n e er of the Mountain E x press. 41-Little Snap, the Post-boy; or, Working for Uncl e Sam. 42-Frank Marvin 's Search; or, The Brookville Boy s Club. 43-His O ne Ambition; or, The Mishaps of a Boy Re porter. 44-All Aboard ; or, The Cruise of Rodney Marshall. 45-The Mud River Boys; or, The Fight for Penlow's Mill. â€¢ 46-Thrown on the World; or, A Young Clerk's Adventure s . 47-Neve r Give Up; or, Harry Bolton's Resolve. 48-Striking Out for Himself; or, The Myst e ry of Giant Forest . 49-A Business Boy; or, Hal Hartley's Race for Fortune. 50---The Copper-Coterie; or, Froin Rocks' to Riches . 51-Pluck Beats Luck; o r, Tom Talbot's Trails and Triumphs. 52-A Team of Thoroughbreds; or, The Mystery a Postage-stamp. ' 53-"Little Hickory;" or. Ragged Rob ' s Young Re public. 54-The Young Klondikers ; or, Jud Ken es Golden . Stake. 55-The Boy Musician; Playing to Win His Way. 56-Winning His Rights; or, The Fortunes of . Vernon , Craig. . . . 57-Brig ht and Early ;,or, The Boys Who. Got There. 58-Clyde Crawford, Cbampi ,on; or, How the Worst Boy in 1 own Won Out. Full Steam; or, The Tugboat Route to Sueâ€¢ cess. 60--TheRoustabout Boys; or, A Tiip to Maine. 61-Bringing Back the Gold;-cir, Adventures Under African Skies. 62-A Game for l\;Iillions , ; or, The Luck of a Young Reporter.. 63-His First Thousand ; or, The Boys of the Honor Bright Company. _ 64-Phil Farley, C?haser; or, The oi a Black Sheep. .. 65-A Bee-line to 'Fortune; or, The Luck of Two Young Gold Hunte rs. 66-Crossed Wires; or, The Boy E:!ectrician. 67-For Home and Honor; or, A Brave Boy's Battles. 68-The Lost Million; or, Boys of The Pony Express. IF YOU WANT BACK NUMBERS of our librarte s, and cannot get them from your newsdealers, they can be obtained fl'om this office direct. Cut o u t and fill in the following Order Blank and send it to l!J! witil the price ot the books you want and we will them to you by return mail. P@STAOE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. , / THE WINNER LIBRARY COHPANY, 165 West Fifteenth St., New York. â€¢ â€¢â€¢ , â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ iao . Gentlemen :-Enclose d find ...â€¢â€¢â€¢..â€¢.â€¢.â€¢â€¢.â€¢â€¢. cents tor which send me: â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ copies of Bowery Boy Nos .... .................... .......... .. .......â€¢.. copi e s of night and natn Nos ..................... â€¢â€¢â€¢uâ€¢Hâ€¢oOD11t100-. Name .â€¢ : .................. .. No â€¢â€¢â€¢ _ ............................ o:. .â€¢--Town â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ _ â€¢â€¢â€¢ â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ _; . f
---MINE FOR OUR B 0 Y S! Second -Grand ' Letle;r Competition Wli received so many hundreds of really excellent letters from readers of the Rough Rider Weekly in response to our first offer of gold dollars, that the Committee awardiQg the twenty leading prizes had considerable difficulty in carrying out their work ; which, how ever, was finally done, the names printed, and the rewards sent forward. From time to time we shall print in our Chat Columns all these letters entering into the competition. And we also hope that every one who participated in the first contest will decide to take of our second great offer. Tell us what, in your mind, a cracking good story of RANCH AND RANGE LIFE should be, and whether these stories by Mr. Ned Taylor fill the bill. We believe they stand in a class by themselves; and from many a W estem cattle State we daily receive letters full of praise and enthusiasm for the work of â€¢ ' OUR CO\VBOY AUTHOR which letters are written by those entirely familiar with life on the prairie ranches, and who would laugh to scorn stories by an author whom the.y knew never could have ridden a bucking bronco. Make up your mind to try for these golden prizes right away. Even if you fail to secure one of the twenty leading prizes, we expect to send a splendid consolation offering to every one who competes. Let us know in what way these tales of the Wild West appeal to you, and what you have done to influence your boy pards to read them regularly. '11' The competition is open from April l until October I, 190 7, when the prizes will be awarded. '.ii full name and address of every winner being published in the Rough Rider Weekly. HERE ARE THE PRIZES $10 in Gold for the Best Letter. $5 in Gold for Each of the TJtee Next Best Letters. $2.50 in Gold for Each of the Six Next Best Letters. $1 in Gold for Each of the Ten Next Best Letters. I .-rf The letters should not be longer than 250 words and should be plainly addressed to "Mana.ger of Rough ':ii Rider Letter Competition," care of Street & Smith. Now, boys, jump in and r esolve to win a cash prize. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 79-89 Seventh Avenue, NEW YORK -
THE FA VO RITE LIST o F FIVE-CENT LIBRARIES Might and Main These are stories of the adventures of boys who succeeded in climbing the ladder of fame by honest effort. No more interest ing tales can be imagined . . Each number 1s at least o ne-third longer than the ordinary five-cent library. RIDER WEEKLY Ted Strong was appo inted deputy mar shal by acc i dent, but he resolves to use his authority and rid his ranch some very tough bullies. He d oes it in such a slick way that calls him "King of the Wild West" and he certa inly deserves his title. $1 oo in cash are give n to the readers of this publication, Buy a copy and learn how to come in for a sha r e of it. Buffalo Bill is the hero of a thousand exciting adventures among the Redskins. These are given to oLir boys only in the Buffalo Bill Stories. They are bound to interest and please you. BOLD Every boy who prefer.s variety in his reading matter, ought to be a reader of Brave and Bold. All these were written by authors who are past masters in the art of telling boys' stories. Every tale is complete in itself. DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY The demand for stirring stories , of Western adventure is admirably filled by this library. Every ' up-to-date boy ought to read just how Jaw and order are estab lished and maintained on our Western plains by Diamond Dick, Bertie, and Handsome Harry. NICK CARTER WEEKLY We know, b.oys, that t!1ere is â€¢ no need of introducing to you Nicholas Carter, the greatest sleuth that ever Jived. Every number containing the adven tures of Nick Carter has a peculiar , but delightful, power of fastination. BOWERY BO. Y LIBRARY The adventures of a poor waif whose only name is ''Bowery Billy." Billy is the true product of the streets of New York. No boy can rea d the tales of his trials )Vithout imbibing some of that resource and courage that makes the character of this homeless boy stand out so prominently. The Tip Top 'Weekly Frank Merriwell and his brother Dick are known and loved by over one hundred and fifty' thousand of the best boys in the United States. They . are both clean-cut, vigorous fellows who dare to do right no matter what the consequences. Get the current number. We are sure you will like it. â€¢ .