No. 597. Published Every TllB Secrets of the Hollpw

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No. 597. Published Every TllB Secrets of the Hollpw Powered By Docstoc
					                                             r;;ljeadle    if'   fidalns, @ublishers,                  Ten Gents a Copy.
No. 597.                  Published Every
                            Weduesday. '             98 WILLIAM STREET, N. Y•• A;pril 2, 1890.
                                                                                                        $5,00 a Year.       Vol. XLVI.

TllB      Secrets of the Hollpw Hill.
            BY JOB. E. BADGER, JR.,
l'     "OLD .'49,". "LONG-HAmED PARDS,"
           "PACIFIC PETE," ETC., ETC.

                     CHAPTER T.
                    THE   BARBECUE.
    ' .. 'TENTION comp'ny I"
.  "Yar com~s the ossifer 0' the dayl"
   "Git onto yer dig, boys, fer hyar's the jig-
 adier-brin'le I"
   ., Head up an' eyes a'cordin'-s'lnte I"
   Cheering, crowing, whistling, uniform only in
 their good-humored laughter, the more-or-less
 battle-scarred veterans fairly tumbled over
 themselves lind their immediate neighbors in
 their haste to form Ii double line, through which
 t4e important personage EO recently sighted,
 might pass them in review.
   Yet, through the" horse play" ran a vein of
 earnestness, which those who felt it strongest          HOLDING THE PAPER SO THA'l' THE RED LIGHT OF THE FIRE FELL .ACROSS ITS FACE
 might have found no little difllcuIty in satis-                        THE BRIG_~DIER STUDIED THE MARKS THEREON.
                                                                  Big Bandy.
 factorily explaining, even to tbemselves. And                                                          I
                                                        " What's tbe matter with m", ~addy1" qui.ckly well a~,he hes done it, I ain't lookill' fer a betl;jlr
 when the person to whom this mock reception demanded the one addressed, his tall, soldierly o~,cer.                           ~".           .        '.
    qB offered, gravely glanced from face to face figure drawn up for i.nspec~ion, ~hou(;h there                 What ?1atter. cried a hars~ .•:VOlfe, Its
       he slowly paced down the double rank, came a threatening glItter Illto hiS keen black owner push~ng forward as be added. Its onll
          tiliouslyacknowledging each salute in due '                                                   I a crack-bramed looney- Hands off, cuss yel'
             each old soldier looked and acted as eY~1vhat's the matter with a peacock wben he I ?e ~imed a vic!ous blow at the fac~ of the he was on parade before bis own gen- spreadS his tail wide open an' fergits his ugly, bl"lgadler"wh~e bIg hands clCl~ed ~n hiS shaul-
 "'ral.                                              dirty feeM They wouldn't be nothin' the mat- ' der~, holdmg hIm helpless despIte. hI~ struggles,
    Judging from tbe outward man alone, tbere tel' with you outside ef you'd spread all over I while he uttered m grave, even dignified tones:
 was little in this new-comer to inspire either re- ye the polishl you've' piled up onto Gne         "I wasn't always so, 'Gene Fuller. Once I
 spect, awe or reverence.                            feator'" making mistake impossible by tappmg w~s a hull man, but you-go your way, pore
    His hroad sboulders were stooped, and, though his owh nose as be nodded grave disapproval. critter I You was born that way I"
 his army overcoat in part disguised this, his "Best keep out 0' tbe moonshine, Jasper                                       CHAPTER II.
 spine took a curve tbat left one shoulder cOn- Naugbton!"                                        .
 siderahly hil~her than its mate. His legs were         "You infernal old-bah I" with a forced laugh               THE GENTLEMAN FROl\! KENTUCKY.
 wouderfuJly bowed. When standing as erect as be turned away with a shrug of his broad                       WITH the last sentence his voice and mamier
 as that deformity wouk! permit, bis knees were shoulders.                                             • changed ahruptly, and half in pity, half in COil.
 still more than a foot apart, while in motion that     "'Twixt wind and water, both of us, mate,' tempt, Big BllDdy flong the fAllow from him,
 peculiarIty wail even more pronounced.              laughed Gentry, with a half malicious nod. brusbing his hands togetber as though they felt
    In addition to these drawbacks, his face was I "Out of the mouths of babes and idiots, you defiled.
 scarred as tboogh a platoon of horses had know I"                                                           Hardly more than a child in that migbty
 trampled over it, or he had been the victim            "He's more knave than fool, I'm thinkiu'," grip, Fuller spun around like a top, tripping
 of some terrible explosion. Of all bis features, frowned the younger mlln as they drew slightly over It mischievously protruded foot, falling in
 only bis eyes seemed to have retained their apart, yet lingering to watch and listen to the an awkward heap. But with calrlike actiTity
 original beauty: keen, honest, brave and kindly. dilapidated veteran, whose tongue seemed keen- he sprung up, cursing as he leaped back, an 'Ugly
    His hair, worn long and still luxuriant, was, er far thau his saber.                                  blade glittering in his grasp, murder glowing in
 like bis mustaches and full beard, of almost           " All the same, Naughton, he's a pewer in the his wolfish eyes.
 snowy whiteness; the only exception being a land, and We'1"e the fools if we don't make the                 " Steady, man I" cried Gentry, leaping. be-
 yellowish streak down in front, which plainly best of it, 'Which side do you reckon he'll favor, tween the twain, an empty hand flashing before
 proved a liking for the Virginian weed.             of his own wilH"                                     the ruffian's face. Don't be a fool, Fuller. Put
    On his bead was a felt hat, with hroad brim         " You tell-I'll never."                           up your knife, or-you know me?"
and curling plume, no less distinctively military       Gentry frowned. .Naugbton mecbanicaJly               "He wipe~ th~ gronnd. witb me, an'-".
 than his caped overcoat, his bigh boots, his fingered bis highly colored nose, tbe only                     .. He'll pamt I~, too, If you crOWd, him' too
gloves with stiffened gauntlets reaching to the blemish to bis otherwise bandsome countenance. hard, 'Gene," wlt~ a sbort, ~etalhc laugh,
elhow, his sash and belt wbich supported a brace And as a sbrill, bigh-pitched voice came to their "Simmer, man I" hiS tones growlll,g harder, his
of heavy pistols and a saber.                       ears from a platform some little distance away, gray eyes glittering like steel mIrrors as one
    VllIat though the overcoat was stained and their eyes met once more.                                  band closed on the fellow's sboulder. .. The
patched, its edges fairly fringed with rags and         Rig Bandy also caoght tbe sounds, and bis war is over. We came here to feast, not. to
tatters; the bat and plume weather-worn and eyes wandered curiously in that direction, but fight."
frayed; the hoots gaping at toes and run down before he conld make a further move, Green                     "Ef you say so," mumbled the ruffianlrelue-
at beel; the sasb but a gbost of its original Gentry stepped forward and spoke to the vet- tantly returning the weapon to the usual hiding-
beauty; the gloves witbout an entire finger? eran:
'Vhat thougb tbe saber was but one of the
                                                   I                                                      place. "But I'll even up with tbe crazy fool,ef
                                                        "Only the skirmisb line firing, brigadier, and it takes a lifetime!"
cheapest ever supplied cavalrymen, with scab- before the big guns open-of course yon're on                   "They's a mighty w.ide range outside. the
ba~d rust:r aud battered,. tbe blade notched, and our side, generaV"         .                            barbecue grout;lds, ~n' t~me 'tb';lut en?," g;rlmly
stallled With blotches which no amount of scour-        " Ef it's tbe nghtslde, reckon I 'be, comrade; nodded the hngadler, hIS nostrIls qUlverlllg as
iug could remove?                                   but-"                                                 with the loved scent of battle. II Mebhe I'm the
   All tbis was familiar to many a stout fellow        II Of course it's the right side. Do you reckon fool he calls me, but ef he'd ruther die by a
in those ranks, who had only ceased fighting all us old vets would flock to the wrong side of fool's hand then to wait fer the sheriff's rope, it
when the "lost cause" perished forever in "tbe the line, this late in life' No, sil'l We'll vote ain't your uncle that's gwine to balk thecrit·
last ditch." Before that day came, they had as we shot, and that means a straight hallot for ter."
seen real generals quite as wretcbedly dressed as Carl Krishtner, our next sheriff I"                        .. Gray bail'S in the pates of botb a' ye,yet
was tbis mock officer wbom they only knew as           Big BandY shrugged his shoulders, with 8 one'd tbink neither had begun to sprout a heard,
•• Big Bandy," or tbe II Brigadier of Brimstone wry grimace.                                              to listen I" laughed Gentry, wbo seemed hent
Butte."                                                .. Smells kinder Dutcby, an' I never did go on maintaining the peace. II Simmer down, or
   And, thougb such was far from tbeir inten- much on that scent; yit it's a mant..E0t a name, I'll cut a sprout and trim down both jackets-I
tion when those laughing cries were uttered, that we want most jest now. wbar did he just will, now!"
one and all saluted this ragamuffin mucb as they sarvCl?"                                                    II Simmer down, an' take a drink fer to keep
might bave saluted their old-time commanders           Gentry flushed a bit, for of all questions he it simmered, gents," a husky, peculiar voice
when on dress parade.                               bad dreaded this the most, put in such company. croaked as a new-comer pushed up closer to
   At other times they were free with their jeers For reasons of his own he was anxious to see this the principal actors. "An ef anyhody '11 fur-
and jests, for Big Bandy was. "soft," if not candidate for sheriff elected, and be knew that nish the jug, I'll bold it level while the gents
actually" simple," to use their own vernacular. every vote counted where the chances were so is wipin' off thar cbins--yes I will, now!"
Bnt now-                                            evenly balanced. He lmew, too, tbat the old              "Uan you keep whistling \\hile doing it, pard.
   "Ef he hain't hin bigh up, army-ways, afore soldier possessed a strange sort of influence over ner?"
he come-ye-so, then I don't know whatl" mut- many men in that benighted region, and he was                   II Ef I kin ~est wet my whistle onc'.l-jestonce,
tered one of tbo~e passed in review to his mllte.   particularly anxious to win bis support.              as a starter;' grinned the fellow, moistening bis
   II It jest sticks out an oVer him a foot!" was      "Well, Krisbtner did his duty, so far as sick- lips suggestively as one band went out as though
the low response.                                   ness would admit, and he hore arms through-" to grip tbe liquid receptacle. "A mellerel'
   Otbers seemed impressAd after much tbe same         II The Home Guards--no le~sl" came a jeering       whistle you never did hear, ef I do say it my
manner, and what had started as a jest, turned voice from the outer edge of the little gather- own self wbbh didn't orter, mebbe. Rut-
to something like earnest, each old soldIer keep- ing.                                               '    thay's only one key tbat knows how to unlock
ing the alignment perfect while the brigadier          "Go:Jd Lowdl" fairly snorted Big Bandy, bis my puckerin'-string; a key, with a whisk fer a
passed through, his keen, soldierly eyes noting face the picture of supreme disgnst. .. Ef he bandIe to it. Ef anyhody don't reckon I'm
each figure and attitude. But wben he paused was in the Petticoat Brigade, that cooks his slingin' gospel at ye, jest try me a whack! Good
at the other end of the lines, a clear, not un· goose fer mel"                                            Lawd I" with spluttering eagerness lIs Gentry
pleasant voice called out:                             "It's only a campaign lie t such as you hear at produced a pocket flask. "Jest let me git my
   "Speechl Give us a bit of a talk, General every barbecue in 'lectlon time," frowned hooks onto it afore ye spill any, hossl"
Bandy."                                             Gentry, trying to spot tbe speaker beyond those          "Sorry, stranger, hut this isn't your sort of
   .. Them as needs it most is fu'st to boller, lines. "Don't listen to all you hear, general, or key. I never use it, hecause brandy suits me
Green Gentry," nodded Big Bandy, his gaze you'll never git down to bard truth."                           better."
turning upon tbe speaker-a tall well-built,            .. That truth is plenty hard 'nough fer me," as       "Holy smoke an' little angels swimmin' into
ba!1dsome man of middle age, with close-cropped his deformed figure drew as erect as possible, bis itl" gasped the fellow, seemingly all on fire as
hall', and a hlonde beard that covered his swell- dark eyes glowing vividly. "When a man be pressed still closer, bis outstretched hand
ing chest almost to the waist. " But they don't comes 'fore the people to ax office, bis record be- trembling with eagerness, bis thick lips water-
giii.'ly git jest what they're axin' fer. So you. I comes puhlic prope'ty, an' tbe lowest of us hes ing. II Is tbey sech a thing left in the land 0'
Whar did you sarve?"                                the right to 'vestigate into it. As fer me, they's the Iivin' since the waM An' me dyin' 0' slow
   .. Under Stonewall Jack-God rest his sonll"      only tbe one p'int to settle-did he do his duty~" consumptiou jest fer lack 0 ' - Giner'l, kin I hev
   .. Amen!"                                           .. All eyes can't well look from the same jest one weenty smell 0' the cork wben you'nd
   Big Bandy doffed his hat and bowed bis head standpoint, brigadier.'"                                   t'other gents git through'l"
in reverence for a few moments-an action               "Ef they Was to, this world 'd he too mighty          If Gentry heard, be gave no beed, but pressed
which was imitated by all present at sound of good fer livin' into. I ain't axin' nigh so much. Big Bandy and 'Gene Fuller to drink together.
that· name, so justly Idolized by all who wore Ef a man fit ag'inst me, good. Ef he fit shoul-               "Wash out all bard feelings, e:entlemen. It
tbe Confederate gray.                               del' to shoulder on my side, better. But ef be isn't a day like this that sboufd hl'eed bard
   Replaciug bis hat andpausing before tbe man, didn't fight at all, when the hull world was try- tbougbts, and be who refuses, declares himself
Big Bandy added:                                    in'to do its duty, 'cordin' to the light it hed, my hitter enemy."
   .. You hed a good giner'l, comrade-none ever tben that man's like pussley-only fit fer hog-               "Decline? Who could do iM An' brandy-
hed better. He was more fer good works tben cbawin', an' most migbty pore truck at that."                 with a bead onto it wuss tben-ah-h-h I" sighed
good lookS; but eVen he wouldn't sca'cely pick         "But the sheriff we've got now is a Yank- tbe seeming hummer smacking bis lips and
you out as a mod"l fer his foot-cavalry to go by blue-hellied at thatl" frowned Gentry, adroitly then wipine: tbem ling~ringly on a ragged sleeve
on, 'sp~tion d~y-one foot pushed ahead li/re a appealing to the inborn prejudice which ho un- !is the flask passed from band to b!'nd until
skirmisher, while t'other bangs back bummer- derstood?O well. .. He was forced upon us with- It returned to its owner wbo gave It a sbake
fasbion. Then- What's tbe matter with your out asking would we bave bim or no. And now tbat sent the remnant making sweet music to
hands'l"                                            -it's our turn at last, and if we don't put in those attentive ears as be turned and swept a.
    " My bands? What do you meant" ejaculated office a man wbo naturally represents us, then keen glance over the strangllr.
Gllntry, lifting tbe members with an involun- we deserve to live on as' we have lived-worse                  Not a particularly pleasing sigbt, by tbe way,
tary glance.                                        slaves tban ever were those of black skin and for his garments were little better tban a mass
    .. Ketched 'bm in yout' own pockets, tbat's woolly sknlll"                                            of rags, wbile his frowsy hair and short stubbly
all."                                                   A growling, ugly cbeer greeted this speech, and beard of rusty rod were mixed witb hits of grass
    Gentry flushed with anger as bis mates burst more than one tbreatening look was met by Big and burs. Sucb of his skin as was visible called
into loud laughter over the threadbare retort, Bandy, as bis eyes passed over the gathering, loudly for soap and 'water.
but Big Bandy was graver tban ever as he tnrn- but he quietly waited nntil the sounds subsided,               .. A stranger to these parts, I reckon?" ven-
ed sbarply toward one of the otbers singling to say:                                                      tured Gentry, at length.
him ant with eye and finger 8.Il well as by name:       "Yankee or no, Johu Hooper fit hard, an' he           II From Kentucky, "8h," with an elaborate
    II Let tbem laugh tbat wins the right, Jasper; fit well.     An' wbllt we "all the rigbt side, he bow. II Wish't we'd met in the good ole times!
:Naughton." .                                       called the wrong. An' while he does his outy as . sah, when I .....-as-I raaJIy was, sah l-one ot
                                                                     Big Bandy.                                                                                 3
 the two-F-K's, sahl ·Whisky, an' nigger, an'              " And wheu yon waken up, brigadier1" cnri-            the turn, drawing an open buggy in which sat a
 brandy, sah L brandy 'til you couldn't begin to        ously eying the 0111 man.                               single person. Tbey seemed fiery creatures, but
 r~t, sahl lVow-jest Barney Budge, kivered                 l'Then it's gone-all but the faint echoes.            jnst then their owner, Gilbert Cochrane, was
 with misery wuss then a army blanket, an'totin'        Then I only know so mucb: that I went in with            paying them little attention beyond keeping taut
 more wownds than ever I hed gl'uy-backs in the         a musket, an' come out witb a carver," Big              reins.
 ole fightin' days 'long with Shelby-Giner'l Jo         Bandy frowned, dropping a haud on his saber                 His tall figure was drawn erect nntil it seemed
 Shelby, Bahl"                                          with a force that caused the stained steli.l to rat-    as though be must be rising from bis seat, and
    " You fought on our side, then I"                   tle in its rusty scabbard.                              he was gazing intently toward the humble horne
    "I fit on the only one side they was, sahl"           This was hardly a mood to suit the schemer's          of· the Barnes's, Only nntil he caught sight of
 stiffly bowe,l Barney Budge. "I didn't re-colI;-      purpose, and as the surest means of banishing            Luke alone in tbe farm wagon; tben he settled
 nize any other side then, nUl' I don't now, sab."     it, he entered Big Bandy at olwh tar'get, boldly         down and deftly made the sharp turn into the
    "Yet that side whipped us out of our boots!"       offering liberal odds against all takers. And            narrow, rough lane that led up to the front of
 grimly laughed Big Bandy, his curiosity plainly       these were not few, for hardly a man present             the building.
 al'oused by this gentleman from Kentucky.             but prided himself on being a proficient with                "Morning, neighbor!" he called out, cheerily,
    "I deny it, sah," still more stiffly. "We          firearms, having been literally raised with a gun        as be drew up near the otber team, then quickly
 whipped 'em, sah, but they was so mighty durn         in their hands.                                          doffed bis hat as Mrs. Barnes and her daughter
 ign'antthat they never Imowed it-wuss luck!"             All gloominess fled from that scarred face,           Myra emerged from tbe lpg-house. " Your
    There was such utter disgust crowded into the      aud for a time Big Bandy laughed and jested              servant, Mrs. Barnes-Miss Myra. Bonnd for
 last words that even those who strongly enter-        and clJattered like a boy again. No feat seelDed         the barbecue, of coursel"
 tainfJd much the same sentiments, were obliged        difficult enough to daunt him or to shake his                " Ain't any law ag'ill' that, is they!" frowned
 to laugh aloud. And with a prOUdly injured            nerves, for be was a "natural shot," and losing          Luke Barnes. "Climb in, motber, an' you,
 strut, Barney Budge was striding away from            his wits had by no means affected bis skill with         Myr' Ellen. Time we was thaI', an' hafe-way
 such unfeeling company, when Green Gentry             gun or pistol.                                            back ag'in, ef we want to hear-so I"
 checked him with out-thrust flask.                       Prize after prize was won, and though these               The wagon creaked dolefully as Mrs. Barnes
    "Drain it, man," was his unnecessary advice        were of litUe monetary value, or would be so             climbed in, turning a cold "boulder toward
 as BIlI'ney Budge grasped the peace-offering.         considered in a more wealthy section, tbey ren-          yonng Cochrane, who had hastily aligbted to
 "And then, if your thirst is still acute, maybe       dered the veteran joyous to a degl'ee, while             lend bis assistance. But before the younger
 you can win a fnll jug by out-pulling the candi-      Green Gentry chuckled in quiet satisfaction as           woman, hm' cheeks flushing and paling by turns,
 dates over yonder."                                    he jiugled the winnings in both pockets.                could imitate that vigorous action, Cocbrane
    " Ff I could borry'nough to enter, p'r'aps I          At length it was difficult to get up any test         hurriedly offered her a seat in his buggy.
 mought-"                                              without barring Big Bandy out, and Gentry                    "For .Jnce-will you not make me bappy,
    " All it needs is asking a chance. Krishtner       coaxed tbe veteran to another part of the                Myra?" he added in a tone tbat was far from
 puts it up, aud-"                                     grounds where" the gentleman from Kentucky,"             steady, his strong fingers pres.~ing the mittened
    "Free? Good Lawd Ilet me-git out 0' the road       Barney Budge, was venting his prowess in loud            hand which he had deftly intercepted.
-you I" spluttered Budge, almost falling over his      if husky tones.                                              " Don't-father wouldn't-" she murmured, a
own feet in his haste.                                    .. Whar's the next man wants fer to break his         shy, frightened light in her blue eyes.
    This congregation-and it was a truly large         back a-tryin' of the onpossiblel Come in a                   "May I take Miss Myra to the grounds, in
 one for that wild, thinly settled part of Missouri    platoon ef ye don't dast to come single, fer yan-        my rig, Mr. Barnesl" the yonng man asked,
-was a typical one, and such as only the double        del' bangs the darlin' jug, an' the thrapple 0' me       his dark eyes f!;lowing and his br.Jws wrinkling
attraction of a barbecue and a political meeting       jest parchin' into cracks wuss then a overflowed         with more tban anxiety as he awaited the re-
could be depeuded on to muster together. It            meader in tbe hot sun when the fresh hes gone            sponse.
 brought out the bone and sinew of the country,        back bome ag'inl Pull or beat the retreat I                  It came, slowly, with deliberation, but tbe
together with the comparatively few who were,          Last cbainee, fer ef they ain't any more critters        hastiest speech coald not bave contained more
 by common consent, still numbered among" the          wants to git lImbered up, I'm gwine fer to grab          that was nnfavorable.
gentry." And if a man came without wife and            tbe jng an' hunt a good sleepy place fer II social           " You go your way, an' we'll go ours, Gilbert
children, it was simply becanse he was not so          drunk all by my own lonesome self! I jest be I           Cochrane. I ain't plum' a beggar yit, ef you
blessed by fortune.                                    An'-Iast call, I!:ents, fer-"                            hev branded me as a squatter."
   Only in the far SJuth, or in the Sonthwest,can         "'l'hat jug isn't your sleeping potion until              "Put it straight, Luke," with a forced smile.
these peculiar gatherings be found in all their        you've given my man a round, Mr. Budge."                 "I've told you time and time again that the
glory; though the civil war gl'Catly curtailed the     langhingly exclaimed Gentry, pushing Big                 deeds §are waiting your taking, whenever you
olrl-time splendor and lavishnes~.                     Bandy forward, leaving him to confront the so-           say the right word. Why not make a begiu-
   True, on this occasion tbere was notbing more       faI' victor in the old-fashioned I' pulling-             ning now? Let me escort Miss Myra to tbe
important than the candidacy of two aspirants          Illutch."                                                bal"becue, and then this evening JOu and I can
for the office of sheriff to be discussed, bnt IJar-      With a half-vacant laugh the brigadier drop-          come together and talk it over on equal terms.
tisan feeling had been diligently fostered and         ped to tbe ground and turned his big boots to            Bend a bit on your side, man and-"
worked up until one would bave thought the             cross the ragged brogans worn by Budge, at the               "Stop right whar you be, Gilbert Cochrane!"
whole country was in danger. Tremendous ef-            saAle time grasping hold of the slDooth hickory          flashed the squatter, his bot temper at length
forts were made to onst the sberiff in office, and     stick, close to the hands of his adversary, who          breaking throngb tbe dull, sluggish exterior
replace him by another more in sympatby with           doggedly Dluttered:                                      which seemed part of his being. "I'd rutber
the voters, so far as his wishes during tbe war           "Ef I hu'st ye wide open, 'tain't me, critter I       yank the tongue out 0' the jaws 0' me tban to
were concerned.                                        It's the whisky I"                                       iet on they was any question 0' rights an' wrongs
   Sheriff John Hooper had fought through tbe             He made a desperate effort, hoping to "pull           about the bull matter. The prope'ty is mine,
war on the Federal side, and though he had beeu        up" Big Bandy before he could fairly settle              a'readyl"
placed in office while the vast majority of the        down t<l work, lmt in this be failed. And then               " Then all yon've got to do is to present yonl"
voters had been practically disfranchised, he bad      their muscles swelled, their sinews strained, nn-        proofs, Barnes," laughed the younger man, as-
made Ii good and trustworthy officer. Hisarmy          til-Big Bandy suddenly flung himself back-               sisting Myra to enter the wagon, resuming his
record was all that could be brought against           ward, gripping the stick as thongh his hands             former air of almost painful politeness as he
him, while Carl Krishtner had been in sympathy         were rivetad to it, fairly flinging Barney Budge         added: "Will you favor me, Mrs. Barnes, by
with tbe South, though he lacked the physical          over his head, frog-lIke, just as a wild alarm           accepting a seat to the grounds! The road is
courage of his convictions.                            broke forth from some little distance:                   rough, and my buggy-"
   Only for this-only for his lUCKless connection         "A fightl A fight!"                                       "I've got a man 0' my own, Gil Cochrane!"
with the so-called" Horne Guards "-he would                                                                     curtly interposed tbe farm-wife. "If I hadn't,
have bad a walk-over. But witb a "skulker"                              CHAPTER III.                            'taint one 0' your name I'd be pickin' up ef Ihey
on one band, and a hard fighter on the other, his                                                               laid thick as crooked sticks. Go ou, fatberl"
friends knew a tougb struggle lay before them.                     A TRICK, OR A TRAGEDyl                          Luke Barues, after a backward glunce to as-
   For this reason Krishtner had poured out               "MOTHER! Myr' Ellen I Efitdon'ttakeyou                sure himself that both women wcre safely
mouey lavisbly, providing many sports and              wimmin-critters longer to gitready to do nothin',        seated, started his team down tbe lane, without
offering liberal prizes to the winners; liberal in-    then I wouldn't say so!"                                 giving a siugle glance toward the young man
deed to men who had been left literal beggars by          Luke Barnes stood leaning against his work-           wbo bad received sucb a rebuff. Bnt Gilbert
tbe recent war.                                        team, hitched to the unpaiuted, rattle-trap of a         Cochrane only "miled, possibly because he saw
   Having S(lut Eugene :I<'uller away, and soothed     farm-wagon, and though there was a smile on             Myra shyly wave her mittened hand bebind
down Big Bandy's ruffled temper, Green Gentry          his gaunt visage as it turned toward the house,          tbe broad back of her unsuspecting motber,
bent all his energies to wiunmg the strange old        there wasil. touch of irritation in his slow, drawl-    then hide bel' sweetly ·blusbing face in tbe
fellow over to bis SIde, yet adroitly covering his     ing" tones that brought forth a hasty answer:           deptbs of bel' fresbly starched Bun-bonnet, like
hook with such tempting bait as the occasion              " I'm comin', father. It's Myra Ellen. Takes         one frightened by her own boldness.
might offer.                                           her longer todo nothin' when they's a hurry like            He entered his bugg.v, following the farm-
   He "steered" the vetaran np against each            -oh, dear I wbar is my-"                                wagon nntil out of the lane and into tbe main
contest in turn, cheering the deformed giant on,          Luke Barnes drew a long breath that was al-          road. Then, taking advantage of a point where
and boldly bacldng him against all corners with        most a sigh as he gave tbe np-climbing sun a            the road broadened, he drove alongside, speak-
both words and money.                                  glance before slowly climbing to a seat in the          ingquickly:
   Fortunately for his exchequer, Big Bandy·           wagon. The first barbecue of tbe season, and                .. Try to look at more than one side of the
proved himself an adept at all of these, thongh        late, even before starting!                             question, Barnes, and I've little fear but wbat
his interest could hardly be said to grow fnll            "Ef I hedn't bin cheat.ed out 0' my clean            you'll come to see I've my rights, as well as
until be came to a portion of tbe grounds, apart       rights, mebbe 'twould 'a' bin dif'rent," he mut-        yourself."
from the speaking and daucing-stands, as well as       tared, his frown deepenin~ and growing blacker              "Yours, an' mine too, dug-gnn yeP' f1asbed
tbe long trenches where fat shoats, plnmp sbeep        as he moodily eyed bis galmt, wQrk-worn horses.         the squatter, showing bis teeth savagely. .. I'll
and quarters of good beef were being roasted l         "'Mebbe I could 'a' rid in my buggy an' fast            stop short 0' nothin' but rigbt. When you're
where targets were pnt up for rifle, mnsket ana        critters like- 'l'1I1k 0' the devil!"                   ready to 'low me that, come ag'in. Now-pull
revnlver sbooting.                                        Almost savagely tbe last words were bitten off       out, or I'll take a wheel off! You cain'tjuggle
   "Jest sniff 0' that, will yeo manl" muttered        as he stood erect to add the evidence of his eyes       the law 0' tho road, anyway I"
the veteran, his nostrils qUIvering wit.h a sol-       to that borne by his keen ears.                            A touch of the silk sent the trotters ahead, and
dier's delight at burniug powder. "Talk 0' bar-           There came the distant clatter of trotting           Gilbert Cochrane sent over his shoulder:
becnin'trnckl That's the ginewine scent fer a          hoofs beating on the suu-baked rood, sounding              "The deeds are ready and waiting for your
man I"                                                 not unlike tbe rapid roll of a snare-drum, but          taking, Barnes. It only asks one little word to
   "When burned by a friend, "laughed Gentry.          growing clearer and more distinct until, even           turn 'ern over."
.. But how about it when it comes from the             before they came into view alone: that forest              "Mav ye never sleep easy ontel we say that
front, as a tail to a lead cometl"                     road, Lnke Barnes bad no difficulty in recogniz-        word, Gil Cochrane I" sharply cried Mrs. Barnes,
   " Then it makes drunk corne-an' it's the only       ing the well-matched team which was filling his         her face flushed with anger.
stuff J know of tbat will, with a man an' a
soldier. I live it all over \vhen I'm sleepin' an'
hev dreams. I kin hear the roar an' rumble an'
                                                       mind's eye at the very instant he heard them
                                                          "Look, dUI!;-guu YL'I" the farmer growled,
                                                                                                               I  .. Mother-on the public road, wbere-please
                                                                                                               hushl" murmured Myra, bel' face burning, her
                                                                                                               brigbt eyes dimming with tears of mortification
crashin'! I kin see the men fallin' all ways fer       barely above bis breath, sinking back npon the          and-was it regretI
Sundayl An'then I know I was a. hull man-              springless boar,l which served bim as a seat'l             .. Hush you, 'stead 0' hush mel" retorted her
then. I kuow I was better'n the pore, crazy,           .. An' mehbe ye'll take it out in lookin', too, Gil     mother, but settling herself to a. more comfort-
crack-brained fool men p'int out fell to laugh         Cochrane!"                                              able position, now that the object of bel' anger
over, like they do Dowl"                                  A span of matched bays came swiftly around           had fairly vanished around the nearest turn in.
 4                                                                Big Bandy.
   the road. The Idee I His comln' like that to ax- drove along, and heeded not the quick crashing have a fair opportunity of expressing their·
   'long 0' himl Ketch mel"                           amid the dense underbrush, until a startling ob- choice for the office.
      "I'd ruther ketch ye ridin' with the Old Boy ject sprung out Into the narrow road directly              Luke Barnes was quickly absorbed In the
   himself, mother," said Luke, with a guttural In front of his frightened horses: a horse and speech-making. Mrs. Barnes tried to feel the
   chuckle as thougb he saw something amusing in rider, but such a rider!                                 same Interest, but after reco/{llizing some neigt.-
   tbat grim conceit.                                    More like a bloody corpse tban a living man, bors, her attention flagged, wavered, ceased en-
      "You're jest a beap more apt to, anyway."       bound to the saddle with face turned to tbe tirely; and wbispering something about wlsh-
      "If-can't it be settled some way, father!" rear, and with the carcass of a dog hung about Ing a drink of water, she stole silently away
   timidly ventured Myra, leaning forward until a his neck.                                               from the side of her husband, leaving Myra to
   hand could lovingly rest on those bowed shoul·        "Good Lawdl it's Sherifi' Jobn Hooperl" kesp bim company.
   del'S as she added, hurriedly: ''It'smakingyou ejaculated Luke Barnes.                                     But even wbere political excitement forms
   grow old before your time, daddyl It's killing                                                         almost the only topic of conversation, as In thnt
  you by Inches! If It might only be settled so                                                           portion of Missouri tbose days, a malden who Is
  that-"                                                                 CHAPTER IV.                      still In her teens, can hardly spend a day In lis-
      She broke oll' abruptly as Lnke Barnes                                                              tenlng to dl'y If fiery talking; and as Lnke
  turned sharply, his eyes glowing angrily as they                   ALL FOR A WOMAN.                     Barnes had clearly forgotten bel' very existence,
  scanned her fall' face. And there was a touch          IN bis amazement be sprung; to his feet, call- and her mother was no longer to be seen, Myra
  of suspicion In bis tones as he harshly spoke:     ing loudly, and, as though frightened afresh, tbe silently stole out of the crowd, to catch a free
      "You heard how he wanted it settled, Myr' strangely-laden horse gave a sharp snort and breath of the bracing October air.
  Ellen Barnes. Would ye like It smo'Jthed that plunged across the road, quickly vanisbing                    "Where Is Sheriff John Hooper?" came
  fashion? Ef you're my da'ter, talk outl"            amidst the underbrush.                              hoarselv to her ears from the stand where a
      " Not that way, father, but if you could only      " Ef I ever see sech a- What was It, father I" red-faced man was vigorously sawing tbe air.
  -if you could only frove your rights I"            cried Mrs. Barnes, grasping an arm ",Ith such "He promised to be here, to face the hot shot
      "I axed ye, Myr Ellen, beca'se I wanted to energy that Luke dropped back upon bis seat whicb our noble candidate is only waiting to
  know ef tbe old stock was clean run out. I axed and lost the liues as bis frightened team spruug pour into his-bis ranks, so to speak. Where Is
  yA beca'se, though you're the only child I've got forward in a clumsy gallop.                           he, I ask you again, fellow-citizens? lVhere?
  left, an' one I love heap sight better'n I do my       "Whoal let v;o-whoa, dug-gun yel" splutter- Wbere he was when grand old Pap Price, Van
  own self. Yit-ef you was to say what he ed the farmer, breaking away fmm that startled DOl'n, Jo Shelby and their gallant lads in gray
  wants ye to-ef ye was to even hint that you'd grip jnst in time to snatch at the lines as they were on hand: taken to the brush I"
  marry 'long 0' blm fer sake 0' glttin' back tbe slid forward. "Stiddy. boys! One'd thlnk-                  "Do you care to listen to such bombastic'
  prope'ty that I'Vll done paid fer once out 0' the Ketch hold, mother, an' I'll go see what-"           trash longer, Miss Myra'" wblspered a well-
  sweat of my brow an' the ache of my weary              "Don't ye-help hold him, M.yr' Ellen I" splut- known voice close to her ear. and unheeding
  bones, I'd-·. Git up. cnss yel"                    tered his better-half, flinging both arms around her instinctive shrinking from his toucb, Gil-·
     The dust flew from where the tough gad fell, his waist and almost sufi'ocating him in her en- bert Cochrane slipped one of her hands through
 and the gaunt old horses broke into an awkward ergetic fears. "I won't hev ye meddlin' with- his arm, leading her quickly to a spot wbere a
 trot. the rattle of the worn-out wagon ef- If I ever did I"                                             little clump of trees and busbes would hide her
 factually putting an end to all conversation.          "Do you tbink-was he dead'!" panted Myrn, from her parents' eyes, should they remember
     Myra Ellen bowed her head and turned It tremblingly. " What can It all mean?"                       her existence Inconveniently soon.
 aside to avoid the keen glanco of her mother's         "It means-wish't I knowed-no, I don't,               II I ought not-this is wrong, Mr. Cochrane,"
 eyes. She did not wish to talk, nor did Mrs. nuther I" said Luke Barnes, drawing a long mnrmnred Myra, ber fair cheeks flushing pain-
 Barnes ofl'er to continue the SUbject. It was a breath as he swept an arm across his beaded fully as she tried to free her hand from his,
 painful one for all of the family.                  brow. "Git ap, critters!"                           warm, almost fierce pressnre.
     Years before, when Myra was but a Child,           " But-surely we ought to-can't anything be          "Naughty, but nice," he laughed, softly bend-
 and the mutterlngs of a coming war hardly done for the poor man, fatherT'                               ing his proud head nntil the primitive sun-bon-
 reacbed that remote region, one Kenneth Bar-           .. I reckon be's already done ferl" grimly mut- net conld no longer cheat his Eungry eyes.
 bour had owned nearly one-half of that entire !ered Barnes, using the whip and urging his                  "I onght not-I do not wish to walk with
 county, almost a king, after bis simple, rustic team on, instead of lingering. "Shet up, both you, Mr. Cochrane," she persisted, her voice
 fashion.                                            0' yel" with unwonted sternness In face and growing a bit Iiteadier as her spirit rebelled
     Luke Barnes was very poor when he married, voice, as he flashed R dark glance backward into against tbis masterful possession.
 as most of his neighbors were; but he worked their pale faces. .. 'Tain'b our mixin'. We                   .. MUMt I lose my only chance of setting myself
early and late, saving every penny he could do hain't got nobhin' to do with the likes o'-the ri(?;ht in your eyes, Myra'" he said, softly, but
 without spending, hoarding them up until they like 0' that, I mean."                                    WIth a touch of proud anger in his tones as he·
grew Into dollars, then proudly paymg the first        "But he may be dead-dying I"                     released her hand, putting his owu behind him,
 installment on bls farm to Kenneth Barbour.           .. I tell ye shetl Hain't I got trouble 'nough the better to resist temptation. You know how
     And as the years rolled by, be paid more and to bend the back 0' me a'ready, 'thout huntin' often I have tried to see you at your own home.
more, until at lasb the entire sum had been de- up WUBS? Shet, an' keep tight shet. I mean it, but-"
livered, when Barbour gave him the papers that both 0' ya. An' ef you don't want to put on tbe              .. Why do you keepclainrlng that it isn't really
made him owner of his bard-earned home.             cap-sheaf t you'll never open tbe bead 0' ye 'bout our own home!" the girl flashed, her eyes glow-·
     A prOUder man never drew the breath of life what ye tnink ye seen back yen' ways."                 ing brightly as they firmly met his gaze. " You
that day I But with tbat night came fresh              "Didn't I see It with my own two 100kin'eYeB, call it that now, but when fatber speaks, you
trouble. What If aught should happen to those Luke Barnesl" indignantly splnttered his wife, tell him he is a cheat, a robber, a- Go away.
precious papers1 Wbat If fire sbould destroy only to he coldly met with:                                and let me he, slrl"
not only his humble log-house, but wipe out the        "I reckon ye thought so, but I know better.          "Will you not listen to me, MyraT' casting III
sole proof of his ownership as weill And as the We never none 0' UB saw anythin' out 0' the com- swift glance around to make sure no other ears.
wakeful nights began to tell ou the simple fel- mono Ef you hold out we did, theu it's turn were inconveniently near. "You know I'm
low, he took his troubles to Kenneth Barbour, right back fer home tbis very minnitl"                    fairly dying for love of you, little girl, and-"
who acoepted tbe care of the deeds, at bis urgent      There wa.,q a brief silence, and Luke Barnes        I. Yet you are keeping us out of our rights,
desire, saying tbat he would have tbem record- gave his borses a jerk that set them to cramp- all the sameI" was the swift retort, and she ga VB'
ed, when all would be safe, even should the deedq ing the wagon preparatory to turning ahout In no signs of fully comprehending tbe confession
themselves be lost or destroyed.                    the narrow road, when Mrs. Barnes faintly he had just made.
    Doubtless this I?ledge was sincerely given, but mumbled:                                               "You have only heard one side of tbe story,
times were growlllg more and more troubled,            "Mebbe I didn't-don't turn back, father!"        Myra," was bls grave response, though he plaln-·
and Kenneth Barbonr bad much else on his               .. An' ye won't even whisper the ghost of a ly found it no easy task to hold his hot passions,
mind. And when the fateful gun was fired, hint in the crowd at the barbecue I Mind, it so well in hand, with tbat bewitchingly charm-
thE' rich man was among the first to rush to the may mean bitter black tronble fer me et ye do," lng face so near bls own, Its beauty only deep-'
front, there to fight for his convictions.          was his earnest warning.                            ened by the shade of the bonnet. "I'm not
    So too went Luke Barnes, leaving his wife to       The pledge was given, though only a woman blaming you so mnch for feeling hard toward
flght her fight at home. And it was not until who has lived a dnll, lonely, monotonous lito for me, remembering that; but if you would lis-
the terrible war came to an end, that anything years can fully appreciate the sacrifice thus de- ten to my side of the dispute, you conld judge
was said about the deeds I)n wblch his little all manded. But, when ouce extorted, the pledge better."
depended.                                           would be religionsly kept.                             .. I only know that you are demanding pay fol"
    Kenneth Barbour never returned to his near-        .. But-afore we glt fnrder-wasn't It the land that fatber has once paid full price for,'"
ly ruined home. Men said that he bad been sheriff, father1"                                             obstinately.
killed In battle, far away in tbe South. Some          " Sherifi' or governor, saint or devil, dead or     "So he says, but-well, you know, even the
named the very battle in which be had gone livln', 'tain't none 0' our doin's, nul' none 0' our best of men are apt to make mistakes when their'
 dowu with so many more of his brave com- business. Shell I turn back!"                             ,   Interest is deeply concerned, and your father
rades. Others said he had booncanght and shot          "No-I've bin lottin' on the barbecue so long rna!, have mistaken his rIghts."
as a spy.                                           that-I'm shet up tight as wax, father," sighed         ' Do you dare accuse him of willfully trying
     Only one thing was certain: he never came Mrs. Barnes, resignedly.                                 to swindle yon, M.r. Cochrane'!" slowly asked
hack to claim his own, and after many long             Less than an hour more brought them to the . M1cra, her eyes glittering ominously.
months, Gilbel·t Cochrane, as the son of the one- grounds selected for the barbecues and open-air            'No, I do not," almost doggedly, yet barring·
time wealthy land-owner's sister, came Into pos- political meetings from time Immemorial, and her way when she made as thongh to brush past,
session.                                            letting his women climb to the grouud unaided, and leave him. .. All I claim is tha t he sbows nt>
     He took complete charge of the vast estates, like a true-born Missourian, Luke Barnes drove proof to back up his claims."
and finding many old soldiers who had "squat- to a convenient spot for hitching, or unhltchipg             .. You know how those proofs were lost,
 ted" on the land without right or title, he set rather, leaving the animals toJ'ick at the coorse when-"
ahout removing them, thus adding to his un- hay With which the wagon-be was fllled.                        .. When Uncle Kenneth went to the war, leav-
 popularity as one who had fought throngh the          A strong politician, as most of his kind are, ing his papel"! In charge of Uncle Jnpe, his body-
war on the Federal slda.                            Luke lost little time in securing a place where servant-yes," nodded Cochrane, with just the
     Among those who could show no legal title he could drink in the speeches,. Mrs. Barnes ghost of a smile playing ahout his firm lips.
 was Luke Barnes. He told his story, but when and Myra bearing him close company, as In duty ,., I've heard It all, and hope time will solve the
 the records were examined, no proof could be bound.                                                    mystery. Yet, Myra, proof or no proof, all may
 found to back np his statement, and he was . As stated In another place, this was" the first be well with your father if he will only meet me
 duly notified to vacate.                           gun of tbe campaign," and though the m08& lm- half-way. Let him say but" single word-with
     T/Jls Was before Gilhert Cochrane saw Myra, portant office to be fllled was that of sheriff for your sweetpromtse to back It up, dear girl-and
 01' he might have act.ed with more lenience; as the county, the interest felt could hardly bave the deeds for tbe farm shall be placed in his hand
It was, when tho mlscblevous little god of love been greater had the balance of the globe de- that very moment!"
 fell to work, the harm was already wronght. pended upon their votes; had it beeu a presl-                 .. That word will never pas.~ his lip§I" flashed

 And be only made a bad matter worse by blunt- dentlal election, the candidacy for sherifi' the m9iden, quickly.
 Iy offering to give Luke Barnes a clear title If would have overshadowed the higher office en-            .. Give me your promise, then, and-"
he would coax Myra to become his, Cochrane's, tlrely.            .                                         .. Never, slrl"
 wife.                                                 Carl Krishtner, the candidate of the Confed-        "Do you mean all that, Myra BarnES'" slowly
     "Give me my bonnden rights fu'st, II was the erate element, was pres'mt, with a number of demanded Gilbert Cochrane, hi~ face pale as
dogged replY,and to that Luke Barnes stnck, able backers, but as yet Sherifi' Hooper ha.d not that of a corPfile, though his black eyPS filled
from that day to this.                              put in an appearance, though this was published I with a red lIjlow that !lOOmed to scorch where his
     He was pondering gloomily over all tbls as he lIB a joint discussion, where the voters might go,ze fell. 'Do you hate me IlO utterly as all
                                                                      Big Bandy.                                                                              5
    that would implyl Is my love WOI'8l' than            sending Myra into the arms of his wife without       about him, from that moment he was safe
    nothing to youl Must I bury my la~t fond             stopping to fully interpret the broken, agitated     against anything like foul play.
    hoper'                                               words which dropped from the scared girl's lips,        "Git out 0' the road, Luke Barnes!" growled
       "You are my father's bitterest! eneh11, and-         " Don't- Stop them I They'll kill- Ob,            Naughton, flinging the muscular squatter nside
    I must go, befor&-"                                  mammy I" with a painful sob as sbe hid her f~ar­     and tearing off his own coat as he added: "I
       Her av;itated speech died out, and she shrunk     blanched face in that expansive bosom, shivering     don't ax nur need no help, dog-gun ye, Gil
    back with an audible breath as a tall, atbletio      like a terrified kitten. II Take me home-take        Cocbraue! I kin walk yer log an' never kno\\'
    figure abruptly broke through the fringe of          me home I"                                           I'm doin' of it only fer the stink it I'aises! I
    bushes screening tbem, while a stern voice ut-          Instinct seemed to warn Luke Barnes if not        kin-"
    tered:                                               to tell him just what had happenoo, for he ran          "Stiddy, youl" sharply uttered Big Bandy,
       " Your mother wants ye, Miss Myra, an' I'm       swiftly to the very spot where that insult had        his saher flashing in front of the angry fellow's
    corne to take yo tbar."                             been given and been so promptly avenged. His          face, causing him to draw back and mechan-
      Toe lovp.-ligbt fled from tbose black oyes, and   gaunt visage was pale as its natural and acquired     ically lift an arm as a guard. "Ef nothin' but
    Gilbert Cocbrane swiftly stepped in front of the    swarthincRS would admit, and his pinchRd nos-         a trouncin' 'll suit ye, Jasp Naughton, take it in
    maiden, facing the intruder, at whose face he       trils quivered sharply as he caught sight of Gil·     jue order an' man-fashion, whar the wimmen
    did not need to glance twice bofore recognizing     bert Cocbrane standing on ~uard "'it,h a gleam-       folks won't be skeered too bad by yer howlin'
    a rival.                                            ing knife held in front of bIS breast, watcbing       let up."
       "Many thanks, Jasper Naughton, bnt this          his rival, who had just regained his footing and         "Take the crazy fool away, some 0' yel"
   lady is in my company, and if her mother             was brushing a hand across his temporarily            growled Naughton, but making no attempt to
    wishes her presence, I'll escort her withont        blinded eyes, while with tbe other he was draw-       assail this blunt speaker. "I don't want to hurt
    troubling you further in the matter."               ing a heavy revolver from its scabbard at his         him, hut he mnstn't crowd in whar he ain't
       "Did ye hear, .Myra1" persisted Naughton,        hip.                                                  wauted."
    without even glancing at that angry face,              Many others were crowding alOund the rivals,          " I'm backin' Gil Cochrane, ef he'll hey me."
  ·though he must have seen it, and ought to have       and Cochrane sharply called out: ,                       "And more than glad to accept your kind
   recognized that danger-signal as he looked be-          " Let him come, gentlemen, iE he has'n't got       offer, tool" quickly cried the one named, know-
   yond to where the frighteued maiden was              his fill so soon I"                                   ing right well that he might hunt the whole
  'shrinking back. "Your mother sent me to                 "Whar is he? I'll hev his heart's blood fer        crowd over without finding another friend so
   fetch ire to her, an' I'm ouly waltin' fer ye to     tbat lick I" hOllrsely panted Naughton, seeming-      hfluential, madman tbough the brigadier waS
   say ye II go 'long 0' me."                           ly bewildered hy his fall.                            popularly supposed to be. "I leave it all iu
      "Keep on waiting since you can't take a              Witb a bouud Luke Barnes gained bis side,          yonr hands, General Bandy. All I ask is that
  -:plain hint, Naughton,\' sneered~ Cochrane, turn-    knocking the revolver upward, then wreuching          we may get down to business with as little delay
   lUr, to offer an arm to the frightened girl.         it from the infuriated man's hand before he           as may be."
        'Stiddy-youl" grated Naughton, his hot          could realize what was intended.                         A faint, unceriain cheer arose at this bold
  'temper flasbing forth as he caught his rival by         " SUddy, boy I" sharply breathed the squatt~r,     yet cool speech, and Green Gentry, seeing that
   the proffered arm, swinging him arouud nntil         eluding a savage blow by jerking his head swift-      his chosen cbampion was only losing ground
   they stood face to face once more. "I was            ly to one side. "Cain't ye tell yer fri'nds from      with delay, also pushed the preliminaries as
  :talkin' to the ladr. You've got no right to lip      the inemy1"                                           much as lay in his power,
   in Gil Cochrane I'                                      "Hold, ye hot-heads I" came a voice of thun-          Long before this every person on the grounds
      His own hands were tightly clinched, and his      der, and scattering men to either side in his re-     knew that a flght was brewing, but llowever
   athletic figure was plainly braced to meet and       sistless rnsh came the Brigadier of Brimstone         great their curiosity might be, the women made
   overcome an attack; but bis rival smiled in          .Bntte, his drawn saber sweepinlJ through tbe         no effort to see or hear more, as a rule content
   cold eontempt as he saw as much.                     sunlight to knock tbe p;litterinli weapon from the    to wait for the story at second hand. And the
      " Early in the day for one of yonI' size to be    hand of Gilbert Cochrane. • Kick up a riot,           men, forg'etting the speecb-making for the time
  drunk, Naughton, but on no other grounds can          will yl'1 Simmer down, or by the blood 0' Stone-      being, surged apart from the grounds devoted
  -this conduct be excused. Go your way and             wall Jackson, I'll hev ye both bucked and             to that purpose, quickly forming a ring in a.
   hunt a place to grow sober in, before yon insult     gagf'"edl"                                            more retired portion of tbe forest.
  a lady by breathin~ in bel' face I" '                    Cochrane in!>tinctively tried to regain his           It was taken for granted that only nature's
      "Ef you say I'm drunk, you lie!" flashed          knife, but that ngly looking sword barred his         weapons were to be used on this occasion, and
. Nanghton, his clinched hand drawing back for a        way, and even his anger was not blind enough          that Big Bandy, with Green Gentry, were to
  l.low; but still Cochrane made no move that           to make him rush upon that point, backed as it        act as seconds, or "best men," to nse tbe )-'cal
  .could possibly be caught at as an excuse for per-    was by tile enraged eycs of the mad hermit.           term. Their main duty was to make sure that
  :Bonal violence, and his tones were cool as ever         There was a brief silence, during which mat-       both men were without weapons, and that no
   when he spoke again:                                 ters appeared to be at a dead-lock, and no one        outside interference took place before one or the
      "If not drunlr, so much the werse, for it         seemed to know exactly how it should be broken,       otber of the principals should admit defeat by
   brands you as a coward. There is a lady pres-        until the clear, ringing tones of Green Gentry        "hollerin' enoughl"
  -ant, and you know no gentleman will fight in         rung out:                                                "A lovely tool, Mr. Cochrane I" exclaimed
  such company. Come, Miss Barnes; permit me               " Bar the tools, and I'm open to luy odds on       Gentry, admiringly as he held up the knife
  W escort you to your mother."                         Jasper Naughtonl"                                     which Gilbert llad drawn to meet the attack of
      "Hands off, Gil Cochrane! You stole her              There was a rustle among tbe crowd, and the        his rival. "I'd fAel tempted to steal it, but
   home, an' now you want to steal tbe gal, but--       voice came again:                                     for your name engraved on the blade-I really
   .coward, liar, hog-thief I"                             .. Money talks, and I'm its prophet I Two to       would, sirl"
 -wJe~e d~~~r~~~l ;~:;~:~ :: :~~~~\~~shA~~~
                                                        one Naughton can lick the Yank clear out of his          "Aint it1" echoed Big Bandy, temporarily
                                                        leatherl"                                             forgetful of his duty, yet with a. trace of per-
 -the same instant. And Jasper Naughton went               II Make a ring and let 'em fight it outl"          pleXity in hiR manner as he gazed at the glitter-
 down before that blow, falling like a dead man I          A dozen voices caught up th_t cry, anll. as if     ing blade. "Never see'd a finer bit 0' steel, un'
                                                        by magic a rude sort of ring was made by the          yit-'pears like I've met np with its dead mate,
                   CHAPTER V.                           eager men, leaving only the principal actors in       sometime, somewhar-it jest do, now!"
                                                        the center.                                              "Time is passing, gentlemen," coldly but
         :aOT HEADS AND HEAVY HANDS.                       "Git out 0' that, Lukel" cried a neighbor.         impatiently said Cochrane. "You can examine
     WHETHEB or no the passing years has wronght        We don't want no killin', but it'd be a mighty        the weapon all you like, after this bit of pleasnre
 ,8 change in that respect, is not the question. At     pity to cut tbe fun short, now it's started. Skin     comes to an end."           ,
 the time treated of, throughout the South and          out an' let 'em chaw each other upl"                     "Ax him to leave it to yein his will, pardner,"
 Southwt'st, particularly in the mountainous re-           Big Bandy bad turned aside to pick up the          laughed Naughton, who st'emed even more
 ,gion of Miss.ouri, no more deadly insul~ could be     knife which he had knocked from the hand of           anxieus to fall to work than his rival.
 -offered than to apply the epithet of "hog-thief"      the young land-owner, and was inspectinv; the            The disarming was quickly effected, the men
 -to another man. And so well was this fact un-         really curious weapon with childish delight at        removed their outer garments, then stood
 del'stood that no mun gave the insult without          its beauty.                                           opposed to each other, models of muscular power
  holding himself in readiness to back it up by            Luke 13arnes saw that he could hope for            and pantberish activity.
 'force of arms.                                        nothing in that direction, and doggedly spoke up         There was nothing to choose between them as
     No man living was more thoroul!:hlyversed in       for himself.                                          to beight or weight, and thoogh the resem-
 these unwrittt'n laws tl,anJasper Naughton, and           "What's tbe racket about, anyway? Ef it            blance had b"en noted on more than one occasion,
  driven on by a blind, unreasoning jealousy, he        comes 0' what I fear, I'll not hev my-"               never before had their fact's looked more exact-
  caugh~ at the surest method of bringing his rival        "It's jest between him and me, Barnes,"            ly alike, as they stood foot 1;0 foot, lightly spar-
 down to bis own level, caring nothing for ap-          quickly interposed Cochrane, with a warniug           ring for an opening. Had they been twin broth-
  pfaranceS, only thirsting for revenge 011 the         ge~turo that cbt'cked the squatter's furtber          ers the likeness could hardly have been more re-
  prond, rich, arrogant man who bade fair to            words. "I cbanced to step on his pet corn, and        markable in all respects.
 'overturn all bis secretly cberisbed plans for the     he insulted me. I knocked him down, of course,           The eager witnessess were granted scant time
  future.                                               and-"                                                 to note or make comments on this resemblance,
     Hence it was that the plainly inappropriate            " He hit from kiver-cnss him 1" gratingly ex-     however. Cool as both mell seemed, outwardly,
 epithet was given, simply because that meant           claimed Naughton, beginning to recover from           each was burning with a fierce, deadly rivalry,
 'light without further delay.                          thl3 stnnning effects of that blow. II He's a         each was eager to settle forever their claim to
     And with almost any other man, Jasper              sheep-killer an' a hog-thief, an' I kin walk his      supremacy. For each felt that to the victor in
  N uughton' would bave gained at least an even         log'thout hafe tryiu', ef ye'll make a line he        this struggle must belong that glorious prize-
 'Start, for he was an adept at .. shedding his         cain't break through to run away!"                    the hand nnd-heart of fail' Myra Barnesl
  liuen," to use the vernacular, and even tbe hot-         .. Gray ag'inst the hlue ferever!"                    Jasper Naughton made the first positive move,
  test fighters" in that neck of woods" were ac-            II Climb all over him, Missouryl"                 following it up with a vicious storm of blows, be-
  customed to more 01' less tongue-lashing before          From every side came cries of similar nnture,      fore which Cochrane broke ground, deftly guard-
  the climax was reached.                               aud Gilbert Cochrane must bave heen blind as a        inl?: himself, keeping his head despite the derisive
     But Gilhert Cochrane had been bred in a dif-        hat not to have seen how few were his friends        laughter and enthusiastic cheers which cnme
  ferent scbool, and struck as he whirled, bis bard-    among so many enemies. But that proof only            from those whose sympathifs were with the man
  clinched fist landing squarely hetween those          served to cool bis overheated blood and to steady     who had worn the gray. For they,Ji]lt' Nangh-
  glowing black eyes, the weight of his muscnlar        his nerves.        '                                  ton, knew little about the niceties of tbo art,
   body backing up the blow. And with a hoarse,            A sneering smile curled his lips as he flashed a   and counted on one bull-like rusb to end tbe
  broken cry, Jasper Nanghton was lifted clear off      keen glance about him, a.ld no mortal could           struggle in their favor.
   his feet and sent backward to the hard ground,       have betrayed less fear than he as be quickly            Naughton only sought to inflict, not to avoid,
  with a thump and a shock that shook his every          spoke:                                               injury, and having a fair knowledge of the
  bone and muscle.                                          "I can and will prove him a liar, foul as the     SCIence, Cochrane found it easy to send ill an oc-
     Myra gave a sharp scream of fright as she saw       epithet he has just mouthed, if you gentlemen        casional .. hot shot," each blow leaving its
  that fierce stroke, and without waiting, to see it     will show me fair pl~.y. Is that asking too          mark in nmnistakable cbaracters. But though
  take effect, she fled at top speed in the direction    mnch of old soldiers, even thougb we fougbt on        his face was quickly a IDasK of blood, Narghton
  of the speakers' stand, where she ran blindly          opposite sides'"                                      never once ceased his endeavor to close, and by
  into the arms of her father, who, with the rest,          If he bad studied over his speech for an hour,     taking heavy punishment, he at length succeed-
  sprung into action the instant there rose the          Gilbert Cochrane could not bave chosen bis            ed.
  thrilling cry:                                         words better. They touched tbe honor wbich               "~ow I hev got yel"he savagely growled,
     .. A fi htl A fight!"                               forms part of every veteran's character, and          straining every nerve for the fall which should
     "Loo~ out for her, mother!" cried Barnes,           had he been doubly as bittedy hated by those          place his rival wholly at his mercy.
6                                                                  Big Bandy.
   For fully five minutes-seeming hours-that           that each effort made by Naughton was bring·         "Say you're a whipped man, Jasper Naugh-
fierce struggle lasted. Then, with a sickening         ing the end n~arer, and with that nssurane>e he   ton, or--out goes one ot your windows I"
force, the antagonists fell to the ground side-        could well afford to ignore the taunting remarks     "It's a dug-gun shamel" indignantly cried
ways. neither having the advantage.                    which hegan to come from the lirs of those        Luke Barnes, yet unable to interfere, so 0.11-
                                                       among the gathering who 1V0uld have yelled        powerful is unwritten law.
                CHAPTER VI.                            witll pure delight had their favorite filled that    " -Will you heg for him, Mr. Barnesl" qnickly
                                                       role.                                             spoke Cochrane, a queer smile flitting across his
          .. KILL ME, OR I'LL KILL you!"                  There is a limit to mortal power, and Jasper   pale face. "If you will-"
   THERE came a sobbing gasp as the thrilled           Naughton quickly reached his, thanks to his          "See ye double-over durned fu'stl" was the
spectators relievel their lungs, for while that        blindly directeLl efforts. He ceased to struggle, harsh reply.
fierce, deadly wrestle lasted without success          with an iuvoluntary groan.                           "Another ho~ gone g;limmering, Jasper,"
perching on either shoulder, hardly a breath             Gilbert Cochrane felt his lungs collapse, and 1 chuclded the_ VICtor, turnmg back to hIS ad-
was drawn by one of those present, so iutense          thilt told him his time had corne at lastl        versary. "Now-I can pound your face until
 was the suspense.                                        With a quick, fierce jerk he broke away from   your boastcd beauty will never come back
   Involuntarily the ring contracted, men surg-        thaI; death-grip, aUlI though Naughton imme-      again. I can put. out your light and so re-
ing forward, or being crowded out of place by          diately resumed his vain fight, he lay compara-   duce you to beggmg for your bread-unl.ess
those in the rear, less favorably situated for        tively helpless beneath his rival, whose kue('s    you prefer to adopt the .honorabl~ professIOn
seeing what was now transpiring since the rivals       were not loug in pinning each arm to the          you accused me of followmg: steallllg fat hogs
had both fallen.                                       g-round as their owner sat heavily across the     fOl' a living!"
   "Keep your places, gentlemen!" cried Green
Gentry, vigorously pushing back BOrne of tho
                                                      Ibody of his antagonist.
                                                          "Vith fingers interlocked "bout the brawuy
                                                                                                           "Kill me-I'll never beg I You c,!,in't begin to
                                                                                                         whip one side 0' me, durn yc, GIl Cochrane I"
foremost. "Fair flay-and plenty of room, as
ye are white men I'
                                                      Ithroat of his I'ival, Cochrane panted, exull-
                                                                                                         sullenly panted the luckless man.
                                                                                                           "If you hnd the same power, what would you
   "Back, ye hot-heads I" thnndered the briga-            " Beg, Jasper Naughton I Beg for mercy, or     do with it? Let loose, and beg my ~ardon for
dier, drawiug his sahel' and makiug it whistle         die like tbe foul-tongued cur you showed yonr-    proving yourself the best man!" moclnngly. "If
through the air in swift, awesome circles and         self a bit agol"                                   you had your thumb iu my eye-so / what
curves close to those excited faces. .. Back,             " Beg-nothin'I" carne in a hoarse gurgle as    would you dol"
I'm tellin' ye, all I Back, or by the grave Q'        those bloodshot eyes glared defiautly up at that     " Scoop it out, an' wish't you hed a thousan'
Jackson I PIl split ye into one-legged half-           pale, victorious face.                            to sarve the same way I"
men!"                                                    There was an uueasy stir among the wit-           "I don't doubt it, Jasper Naughton," was the
   Less fierce threats would have answered just       nesses, and more thau one ugly murmur rose aLl     cool retort, his manner abruptly changiug, his
as well, since not ono of those present would         thA air, plainly in sympathy with the nnder        voice growing graver, eveu dignified. "And
have disgraced himself by openly intet'feriug         man. And one voice cried out:                      that only goes to prove the difference hetwei'n a
 with the combatants. One and all knew and                "Give him a cbancel Yot~ never done it-       gentleman and a cur.
rtlspected the rules, and brother would have          'twas the root his head hit when he downed ye,       "I could pound you to a pomace. I could
fought brother rather than stand by and see           Gil Cochrane!"'                                   gouge out your eyes, and leave you a miserable
him violate them, eveu to assist the champion of          "Tbat's sol Jap kin walk his log ef he hed     wreck, Not a hand woul<l stretch out to saVe
them both,                                            fair play I" chimed in auother barsh voice,       you from this, Not an honest man would daro
   "Back-quit scrowdgin'l"                               "Stiddy, all both 0' ye," sharply cried Big    say I had overstepped the limits. set by tho
   "Kneel down iu front, so all kin hev a see I"      Baudy, his dark eyes flashing ominously as he     very code to which you and your frIends appeal-
   "Form to receive cavalry I" cried oue veteran,     turned, saber bared in his grip. .. Bite yer      eli. But-luckily for you, Jasper Naughtflll, I
and as one man the inner ranks dropped to             tongues ef ye cain't keep 'em silent any other    am a gentleman /"
their knees, leaving a clear view for tbos". in th"
                                                      way. Who put the root tharl My man didn't,
                                                      an' ef his· hed hin the head to bit fu'st, you'd
                                                                                                           With those words Gilbert Cochrane sprung
                                                                                                        nimbly to his feet, leaving his rival free to
   All this passed with marvelous rapidity, and       jest be slohberin' all over with pure deligbt-    arise, saying:
so severe had been the shock of their fall, thut      yes ye woulel, now I"                                "I show you this mercy because I know it
the rivals still lay side by side, their arms and        "Let 'em up an' try it over ag'in, ef your mallwill shame you even worse than to cry for pity,
legs still interlocked, their chins resting" on the   is good as ye seem to think, Big Bandy I"         Jasper Naul1;hton I"
other's shoulder, just as tbey had come to the           Tnrough this intercbauge, Gilbert Cochrane        .. Kill me-I'll Tcill you /" groaned the mal:,
-ground together.                                     had relaxed his deadly grip, which had lasted     staggering, to his feet, groping blindly about
   This much all could see, but the keen eyes of      hurdly an instant, for ho had only Illeant to     with wildly clutching hands. "Gi' me a wee-
Big Bandy saw more than that, anda spasmodic          show his antagonist holV completely he held him   pon,llOmehodyl GI'me-now I've got ye, Gil
smile flitted over his scarred face as he huskily     at his merey.                                     Cochrane 1"
muttered to Green Gentry:                                He cast a quick, contemptuous glance over         " E's me that's got yott, Jasper," sternly
   "All over but hollerin', comrade I Look at         those threatening faces, and at that last speech  cried Big Bandy, his arms closing with a mighty
your manl"                                            he cried out:                                     Vrip about the infuriated fellow.
   "Luck did it, not your man," savagely                 "If I was the under dog, would you ask the      '
growled the sporting man, his .eyes as brilliant      same favor for me, Dan Freesolel"                                   CHAPTER VII.
as his face was pale.                                    " I'd see yo furder fu'st-an' then I wouldn't,                A PERSISTENT LOVER.
   For be, too, saw that in falling Jasper Naugh-     Yankl" was the honest, if impolitic response.        WITH hardly an effort that could be recog-
ton had struck his head agamst a dirt-covered            This drew a short burst of langhter from some  nized, the brigadier lifted Naughton clear of
root which rose iu a snake-lil<e curve several        of tbose hard by, hut it had its effect in recall.the ground as he made that rage-blinded rush
inches above the level; saw, too, that though         ing the men to their rustic sense of fair play,   at his rival, handling him with au ease tbat
Naugbton was stubbornly resisting the efforts         though so differeutly intended.                   bore witness to the marvelous powers stowed
made by Cochrane to II turn him," bis strength           Even Cochrane smiled, though after a very      away in that deformed body.
was not equal to the task.                            grim fashion. And then he turned his attention       .. Stiddy, boy, an' l'arn to peddle I You're
   Neither had the younger man escaped that           once more to his comparatively helpless rival.    licked. ef you don't know it. So whar's the
terrible fall without harm, though the shock ho.d        "Do you ask it, as a favor, Jasper Naughton 1  sense 0' tryin' to kick furderl"
only driven the breath from his body, lessening       Shall I let you up and give you another chancel"     .. I ain't licked I He cain't begin to lick one
his stren/l;th and partially stunning his brain.         There was no reply iu words, hut the despe-    sirle 0' me! I kin walk his log-an' all his
But from this he was rapidly rallying, and feel-      rate man tried his level hest to fling off that   hackers at tbe same time!" raged the maddened
ing bow much \'\'as at stake, his entire energies     burden, only ceasing when his strength once       man, desperately striving to break away from
were brought into play,                               more failed him,                                  that bear-like embrace.
   Desperately as Naughton fought, that blow             "You're Il. whiter man thau I gave yon credit     .. Say ye kin!" chuckled Big Bandy, giving
had handicapped him too heavily, and Cochrane'        for, Naughton," said Cochrane, with a hard,       Naughton a toss that landed him on his feet a
slnwly but surely rolled him over on his back,        grim chuckle as he again relaxed his grasp. " I   dozen feet away, dizzy and uncertain-eyed.
then contented bimself with doing no more than        thought you just hog enough to take a favor       ""Vaal, Jasper, ef you cain't help fightin' some-
was necessary to maintain the advantage he            from your master's hand."                         body, s'pose you make a startin' with your
had gainetl, knowing I;bat while he was rapidly          " Kill me, or-I'lllcill yO'U flO panted the under
                                                                                                        Uncle Fullerl"
regaining his wind, his own weight was op-            mau, vieiously.                                      Grinning broadly as he whirled his fists round
pressing the lungs of his rival.                         "Is that your tune, JasperNaughtoul" laugh-    and round, like a boy who has heard of but who-
   "Toss him, Japl" cried Gentry, sharply,            ed Cochrane, his face anything but handsome       never saw sparring, Big Bandy still kept his
knowing that nnly by using his utmost powers          just then, so full was it of remorseless batred   stand between the' rivals, his clumsy antics
now conld Naughtou hope to save himself.              and savage resolve. "Yon're not broken in         bringing laughter from all sides, And before
   "Stiddy yer grip, comrade I" trumpflted Big        yet, so--beg, you foul-mouthed curl"              Naughton could fairly collect bis wits, Gentry
Bandy, not a whit leos interested, thougb out-           His tight-clincbed fist was raised above that  and Bnrnes were at hIS side, each bent on pre-
wardly cooler than his fellow second. .. Every        purple face, seemiu/l;ly in readiness to descend  venting further trouble, at least until their
hump he makes takes jest so much tuck out 0'          with brutal force on those unguarded eyes.        friend was better able to "bold up his end."
the critter! Stiddy goes, an' it's all over but          Again those menacing sounds broke forth, but      Gilbert Cochrane was standing at ease, ready
hollerin'!"                                           Cochrane never turned a glance in tbat direc-     for what might turn up, cool and seemingly
   "Stick to your knitting, Jap!" repeated            tion. He knew that he was safe from auy            wholly recovered from his desperate struggle.
Gentry, his eyes on fire, his long mustache flut-     actual interfprence, for the unwritten rulesof    His black eves never left t,be face or bands of
tering with his hot, quick breath.                    "rongh and tumble" permitted him to use any       his rival, and had Jasper Naughton succeeded
   All this was breath spent in vain, for neither     and all means of conquering an adversary, ex-     in snatching the wenpou he fiercely demanded,
encouragement nor depreciation was hAeded by          cept artificial weapons. Hard words were all      he would have found a willIng adversary for
the rivals. Better far tban those who thus            that could be brought against him from the out-   eitber bullet or steel.
sougbt to lend them aid, they realized what vic-      side.                                                With a swift stride forward, the young man
tory or defeat meant on that occasion. Tbey              His fist descended, but only to rub its        pusherl Big Bandy aside with a hastily mut-
were battling for the greatest prize young men        kuuckles mockingly across the face of his enemy   tered:
cau know, and either would bave chosen death          as he laugbed scornfully. Tho heaviest of blows      " I'm not asking your bonest body to hide he-
before defeat in such a cause.                        could not have hurt one-haH as badly I            hind, brigadier. If that isn't all wind, I'm
   Desperately Jasper Naughton strove to throw           "You've got to corne to your fodder, Naugh-    ready to repeat the lesson."
olr that crushing weight, or to slip, eel-like,       ton," he laughed, easily resisting the desperate     The las~ sen.tence cam~ iu clear, distinct tones"
from beneath bis rival. His brain was all             strug/l;les of the overmatched man. " Beg for     and even m hIS madness Jasper Naughton could
awhirl. HIS eyes blinded. His labored breath          mercy, and yon'lI have more sunlight to show      not help hearing and understanding its full
seemed to take the skin with it as it forced a        you a hole to crawl into where decent men will    meaning. And it seemed to calm his blind
way through his throat. His siuews straiued           not be affronted by the sight of your face. Beg,  rage wonderfully, though no one who knew
and cracked as though he was on the rack. But         or-what would you do were I in yvur place,        him at all could charge him with fear of mortal
through it all he struggled against fate.             Jasperl"                                          man.
   Cooler, yet nOlle the less resolute, Gilbert          .1 Kill you I" vicioualy gasped the other, over-  "Crow while you kin, Gil Cochrane, II he said,
Cocbran made the most of his advantage, put-          powered but still undefeated. "Kill you-hag-      his voice hoarse and bardly recoguizable... You
ting forth just enough strength to foil the wishes    thief /"                                          Jidn't lick me. YO'l couldn't make me holler.
of his rival, waiting with deadly patience fOl'         Swift as thought Cochrane twisted two fin- But I'll do both to you, sure liS the sun shines
the moment when he might clinch his victory           gel's in a lock of hair growing above Naughton's up yender!"
beyoud a doubt.                                       temple, then rested tbe nail of his tbumb iu tbe     Cocbrane laugbed shortly, both face and
   Surely as Big Bandy warned him, he knew            hollow between nose and eye, fiercely saying:     voice full of contempt.
                                                                    Big Bandy.                                                                             7
   " I'm willing to leave the question faT all who      knew from past experience that Mrs. Barnes way to the barbecue, aud bold men though they
looked on to settle, Naughton. You picked the            was far more likely to show fight than to beat a were, nearly everyone tried to eseape from,
quarrel. You'll have to take the first step again       retreat. And before eveu Myra could suspect ratber than to arrest the tortured horse with its
if we ever have another racket. But-maybe               his vicinity, he stood before her, his head bare uncanny burden.
you'll Catch me in a less merciful mood the next        and humbly bowed as he spoke in subdued tones:          Not so Big Bandy. He sprung to the head of
timet"                                                     "I come to humhly beg your pardon, Miss the animal as it came dasbing past, and with one
   .. Off bands, you two I" growled Jasper, try-        Barnes, for-"        .                               hand gripping its nostrils, his other arm closed
ing to free hi.:nself from the grip of the friends         "Git out-you /" spluttered Mrs, Barnes, star- about its neck, his whole weight [)earing tbat
who were urging him from the scene of his de-           tled by his abrupt appearance into waving her head downward even as his bony fingers sbut of!'
feat, before still worse should come to him.            arlIlS, much as she n:ight have done in shooing its wind.
~c~'h~~eg:d~~r' crowin'l Let up, 1 tell yel I'll        an impudent chieken.                                    Gilbert Cochrane sprung to the brigadier's 0'-
                                                           " As soon as I have discharged the duty a gen- sistance, after whIch there was no lack of air!•
    .. You're not fitten, Jasper," hurriedlv said       tleman owes a lacly for permit.ting her eyes to And the horse was held quiet while others started
 Barnes, as he and Green Gentry slowly "forced          witness a blow in anger, Mrs. Barnes," howed to release its rider, dead or living.
 the young settler back. "That root knocke:l            Cocbrane, a touch of :lignity mingling with his        " Sheriff Hooperl Who could 'a' done it.?"
 ye out 0' time, an' ontel that heals np-"              humilit..V.                                             "A deviI's doin's anyhow!" growled Big Bau-
    " I'll git even with ye vit, Gil Cochrane I"           "A gentleman don't crowd in whar his com- dy, as he received' the limp figm'e in bis arms
    "All right, Naughton," was the cool retort,         p'n,V isn't wanted, Mr. Cochrane," stiffly retort- when Cochrane cut the stout ropes which bouno
 "I'll never go out of my way to mix in a row,          ed the elder womau.                                  bim to the high-borned saddle. " Somebody's
 but I'll always try to hold my end level 'Yhen            " You are very hard on mo, my dear-"              got to pny fer this I"
 crowded."                                                 " Ketch me /" with a flush tingiug her honest        "Back-give him air, ye foolsl" thundered
    Satisfied that the eud had come, for that dar       face. "I'm dear to only one mau, an' be ;s a Cochrane, striking and pnshing vigorously to
 at least, Cochrane was quietly putting ou hIS         a man, which 1/0tt ain't, an' never will be wbile keep a clear space. Do you want to be mixed
 discarded garments, outwardly one'of the cool-         you hold down the right an'- Will you quit, up in a foul murder like this1 Back, I say I"
 est men on the grounds, only his unnsually pale        Gil or must I go 'way my own sel!!"          'l'his was no easy task, willing though those
 face showing the terrible strain he had undergone         If she only would t                               nearest might be, for already the strange tidings
 during those few minutes.                                 And, afraid lest. she shonld read that ardent had spread through the grouuds, and nearly
    Jasper Naughton ceased his vain efforts, and        wish in his eyes, the young man made haste to ' everyone was crowding around, eager to See and
 permitted his friends to lead him away to the         say:                                                  hear for them.elves.
 not-distant stream of water, where his cuts and           " I must beg Miss Myra's parclon once more,          "You look to him, an'I'lI open a way," said
 bruises might be cared for, his slow, unsteady         tbouj1;h I think she will do me the justice to say Big Bandy, reaching the spot where his armS
 steps, his relaxed mnscles, his droopiug head, all     that I tried all any gentleman conld to avert a had been placed, then keeping an open space by
 showing how severely he had been punished,             quarrel in h6r presence."                            the fierce Jla.hing of his bared saber.
 though, by far the worst was due to his unlucky           "You did-it was his fault that-"                     Even as Coehrane cut tbe dead dog loose from
 contact with that root-curl.                             " You shet, Myr' Ellen I" sharply interjected her abont the neck of its master-for the little Scotch
    Although the victory was clearly unpopular,         mother, bnt to this too persistent lover: terrier was almost as well kuown as was the
 a goodly number of men hung around to watch            ""Vhell youdo what's justlln' hon'able an'right, sheriff himself-he saw tbat the lnckless man
 the conqueror, exchanging whispered comments           Mr. Cochraue, I'll listen to ye an' welcome. But was still living, tbough terribly worn by his in-
 on the recent fight, but probably Big Bandy was        until that time comes, the les8 you hang 'round humal!. treatment.
 the only one who really gave Cochrane full             me or miue, the 1"8s apt you'll be fer to lose          Using water nnd whisky freely, Coebrane soon
 credit for his work.                                   what good looks you lay claim to. Come, Myr' had the pleasure of hearing Hooper gasp, and
    " I never thought it was into ye, young feller,"    Ellen!"                                              seeing his lids lift fl'om the bloodshot orhs be-
 the brigadier said as he offered his services in          She turned away with an angry flounce, but- llenth, and he soothingly said:
 dressing his principal, "-An' thougb I was             did Gilbert catch a my of hope in that shy faco?        "It's over now, friend, and you'll be all·right
 backin' of ye up, in a manner 0' speakin', I'd be      He tried to hope ho was not mistaken, and with in a few minutes."
 tellin' a lie ef I was to say I wantecl ye to come     audacio'ls resolution he caught her hand,               A motion of the parched Ilnd bleeding lips was
out ou top."                                           speaking hastily, so wholly in earnest that he readily interpreted, and Gilbert quickly held a
   .. That's all right, general. I'm standing on        cared little whether Mrs. Barnes heard him or flask so that the exhausted man could drink
my own bottom, and ask no man to side with              not:                                                 slowly, The first drops seemed to choke bim,
me. If I can't hold up my end, the sooner I                " I Jove you, Myra, better than all the world but after a fit of coughing, he swallowed more
know it the better."                                    beside I I'll try to win your love in return, and freely, and soon gave signs of restored strength
   "That was it, fu'st off, ye know," nodded Big       neVl'r abandon hope while your name remains by lifting himself to a sitting posture.
Bandy, his still keen eyes passing admiringly           Myrn Barnest"                                           Tllis brought his eyes upon the carcass of the
over that compact yet active figure. "It seemed            " You My'rellen /" cried the . scandalized dead terrier, and a hoarse, choking sob rose in
like the gray ag'inst the blue all over, don't ye       mother, snatching the girl's hand Ilnd hurrying his throat as he panted:
see1 An' ef I hev come out with the bralll 0' me       her away, giving a gasp of great relief as she           "Him, tool Little Sandy I Wasn'titeuough-
left ahind, I cain't holp 'memberin' that I fit fer     canght sight of hBl' husband approaching the Hell's blackest curses on their headsl 1'11-
the side 1 felt was in tho right."                      wagon.                                               1'11-"
   " The war is past, general; don't let's bring it        Gilbert Cochrane saw the same figure, and by         "Only name the fiends who darecl do such a
up again."                                             no means desh'ous of widening the breach still dastardiy deed,. and all the count.v will stand to
   .. Don't I know1" with a little sigh, his scarred   further by chancing a quarrel with the father of your back until they're pUlllshed I" sternly cried
face growing graver. "We fit you'-uns all we           the maiden he loved so ardently, he walked Gilbert Cochrane.
could. But-we got licked ont in the eena, an'          quickly a way from the spot, mechauically guided         "What is it? Who did it1 Was it just a
that's the wu'st anybody kin say. So now:              by the jolly sounds which came fr,lm the place trick,or-"
Jll.Sper fit his best, but he hed to go down. You      set apart for the" pulling up" matehes.                  " A trick?" harsbly laughed Hooper, stagger-
hed him Iicked,•.of you didn't make bim holler             When dragged laughingly back to that point, ing to his feet and searching for the mnn who
'nough. An'--mighty quarl Giner'l Grant was             Big Bandy had once more cast aside the some- uttered those busty questions.
jest that same way with Giner'l Leel Must run           what pompous dignity with whieh be was waul.            "Was it a joke, or simply a trick to carry the
in the breed-must b'long to the color, I do             to drape himself on state oecasions, and laying sympathy of the voters?" bluntly persisted the
reckon I"                                              aside his army overcoat, tenderly placing belt        speaker, who Was one of the men brought to the
   Coehrane turn6d his face aside to conceal a         and saber upou it, out of harm's way, he gazed barbecue to electioneer for Krish tner.
smile as Big Bandy heaved another troubled             blandly around while Barney Budge huskily                " Duly a fool or a knave would ask such a
sigh. Friends were not so plenty in those days         calleel upon another champiou to step forward question as thatl" hotly cried Cochrane, also
that he could afford to openly ofl'end even this       and be downed,                      :                 rising. " If you had seen this poor fellow-"
poor, witless fellow.                                      "Fer down be'll come, like a mountain 0'              "Poor enough, officially speaking," sneered
   "An' me a-waitin' an' a-waitin' an' a-lickin'       brick, a'ter takin' a frog jump that'll make his the other, turuing away without waiting for re-
tbe lips 0' me all this lonesome wbile, keepin' thE'   heels shiver fer fear 0' gittin' barked ag'inst the ply or aetion.
flies off 0' that blessed jug!" came II. doleful       stars! Waal, don't I know? Didu't I try itmy             He was shrewd enough to know when he had
whine in a husky voice as Barney Budge shuffled        own uulucky self? An' me that was never said enough. Already more than one of the
forward to shake an accusiug finger in front of        throwed afore by fo'legs, let 'lone two?"             crowd was gazing suspiciously at the blood-
that scarred face. "An' you off yar, lettin' the           A fire of jests ran tbrough the jolly crowd, but marked face of the sheriff, and here and there
precious minuits ruu to waste, an' never keeriu'       no one appeared to contest with tbe brigadier. an ugly jeer was finding life.
ef some dnrned tbief did run of!' 'long 0' tbat        The sharI:, burl:v bummer had proved his                 "The hoss made a mighty straight shoot fer
prize which I'd won afore you come to oond me          supremacy in a physical point of view over sev- help, anywayl"
playin' frog a mile or less! An'-say, boss," iu        eral of their picked men, and all had seen bow           "Now look fer them as helped him set up the
coaxing tonE's, " I know I ain't a patchiu' 'long-     easily Big Bandy disposed of his pretensions. trick!"
side 0' you, but I'll try ye 'nother whack ef          Not one among them all cared to risk the ugly           "Durned smart, but too thin fer to blind
you'll promise me jest one weenty swaller fer          fall.                                                them as hes jest got tha'r eyes open to even
my tumblet"                                                Baruey Budge heaved a mighty sigh, then smoother trieks I"
   Big Han<ily stared blankly at the fellow, at a      dropped' to the ground and grimly gripped the           And so the tauuts went the rounds, drawing
loss to comprehend his meauing for a time, but         stick, dolefnlly saying:                             those bloodshot eyes after each fresh speaker.
then, as the sport-loving crowd cried out for him          "I'll brenk the fool' neck 0' me in ninety while tbe misused man shivered with impotent
to give the gentleman from Kentucky another            pieces, but-I jest got to hev a smell 0' tbat jug rage, too nearly exhansted by his terrible ordeal
toss, he griuned broadly and permitted them to         -I jest hev, nowl"                                   to even onswer those brutal shafts.
lead him back to the spot where the" pulling              Big Bnndy, a boy among boys, showed no re-           "They're heap sight too many in a bunch,
np" had been conducted.                                luctance, and hardly bad their positions been lad," warningly muttered Big Bandy, who
   Gilbert Cochrane was notbing loth to be left        taken, than Barney Budge went sprawling over seemed unusually shrewd that day, for one who
alone, and replacing tbe knife which had so at-        that white-erowned head, to lie like one stunned was uuiversally accounted an idiot or a mad-
tracted the notice of both Green Gentry and Big        for several moments. But tbe instant he was man. "VVait fer a better time. Wait ontel the
Bandy, he slipped around under cover nntil COll>-      able, he scrambled up and snatched at the jug, sherif!' Jdn tell his side 0' the story."
vinced that he was no longer being watched.            which had just returned to Big Bandy-to give            "A joke, they call it, eh?" huskily mumbled
   He could see nothing of bis recent adversary,       a howl of despair as he found it empty!              Hooper, steadying himself by a hand on that
nor of Luke Barnes, but he Wlljl not long using           "Kin 1- Whar's the cob? Kin 1 jest bev strong young arm, gazing around on the lines of
his eyes before he caught bight of Myra Barnes,        one suek at thatT' he whined, when a loud up- faces, winldng rapidly as though hoping to thus
beside her mother, near where their rude vehicle       roar broke forth, mingling with the snort of a clear his blurred vision. "It'll be a joke that'll
stood waiting.                                         frightened hm"se, as a strangely-burdened ani- cost more'n one life if I C:1l1-"
   He frowned a bit as he saw how jealously the        mal came tearing through the grounds.                   His husky, uncertaiu speech broke of!' with e.
elder woman seemed guarding her child, but he                                                               groan of impotent rage and despair as he not
knew, too, that he had no right to hope for any-                         CHAPTER VIII.                      only failed to recognize the face he hoped to
thing better.                                                       A SHERIFF IN HARD LUCK.                 find, but heard as well tbe bitter words of
   " I'll never have a fairer cbance, ..fter this,"       "HOLY smoke! it's a dead mauliclin'I" cried mockery wbieb were now being poured upon his
he muttered to himself, arlogged resolution earn-      one pale-faced fellow as be caught sight of that "vile triekery" from the ~peakers' stand.
ing into his pale fnce. "The old lady can't ac-        strange rider, then fairly tripped bimself up in        T"uely; his opponents were losing no time I
cuse me of skulking, anyway."                          his haste to clear the W'ly.                            "Lpt 'em croak, sherif!'," soothingly uttered
   He passed around under c'over until he could           It was indeed the. sqme thl'ilJing vision which Big Bandy, slipping a supporting arm around
approach the wagon from the rear, though he            had so shocked the Ba,'nes family while on their the swaying figUl'e. "The truth'll come to the
     8                                                                      Big Bandy.
       top in the eend, an' it'll count all the heavipl' on    repeated; a short,lllocking laugh which both                  " Fooled ag'in I" ooarsely laughed one of thost)
     yOU!'   side fer the ugly words them hired talkers        men readily recognized.            '                       attracted to the spot'lJy tbe prospect of a row.
     i1;; spittin' forth jest now."                    '           "I knolVed it!" fiercely panted Hooper,                "A bag 0' wind, an' none too mighty sweet at
          At best this was but poor comfort, but Sheriff       springing to hi3 feet, staggering away in thnt            that. Eh, neighbor?"
       Hooper WM in no fit condition to malre a fi;;ht         direction before a hand conld be lifted to stay               "That's what! Le's go hetlr Kl'ishtner puuch
       just then, even wIth bis tougue armed by the            his rash movement.                                         a ,hole through it." ,
       foul injnry done him. And with banging head                 "After him,comrade!" muttered Big Bandy,                  A combined cheer and peal of laught"r came
       he permitted hiB two stanch friends to lead             only pausing ,to catch up lind buckle on his               from the ranks before the platform wbere the
       him apart from the crowd, where he would                sahel'. "He'H need help ef he means to taelrle             new candidate for office was standing, merCi-
       stand a hetter chance for recovery.                     that brash critter 1"                                      lessly scoring the" dirty trickste,'" who dared
          A numh(\r at curialis f"Hows bung close to               "Was it-who was it'laughing1" heeitated               hope to cast dust in honest eyes by posing as a
      their heels, until the brigadier put them to flight      Cochrane.                                                 martyr!
      by savagely threatening tbem with his 'drawn                 "Jasper Naughton} no less I" was the grim re-             Sheriff Hooper groaned again as he heard
      saber.                                              '    sponse as the brigacber strode in purBuit of the          this, for his night of torture had hrought his
         So far these rough, half-civilizer! men were in       sherifl'. .                   .                           pbysical powcrs very low hideed, while his
      accord with the red Indiam: tilPy held one de-               " Wish't I could 'u' seen the show I" Naughton        mind bad, suffered far more than words can
      prived of hi~ wits sacred from physical harm.            was saying, with another hard lau§h as he                 tell.
         The unlucky sheriff wus l;,d to tho creek near        added:' "Two dogB on one bassI An tbe dead                    "They've done the job fer me, Cochrane.
      the poiut where the rivals had fonght, und               cur was heap sight the best 0' tbe couple, too I"         I'Il11sver he able to show my face III compllny
      there the two friends did what they could to                 "Jasper Naughtonl" cried a boarse, yet c:Jlrl         again. I might as well tl,Jrow up the sponge
      restore his shattered powers, asking no qUl'stions       voice, eausing the man with sorely battemd                and let the devils have a elear field, first as'
      until he was ready to volunteer the informlltion         fllce to wheel ,suddenly, hand on revolver-butt,          Jast."
      Which, naturally, each WnS bnruing to IcarD.             to Bee the sberlff drawmg near.                               "Never say die, eomradel" cheel'i!y cried tbe
         Even then lie told his story in broken, dis-             " Got 'nother trick ready to spring onto ns            brigadier, l"hiJe Gilbert Cochrane slipped a sup-
      connected snatches, for when his weakne,s diil          sap-heads, Hooper'" be reeklessly jeered, seem·            porting hand throngh his arm, slowly leading
      not interfere, his growing rage hronght alJout a         ingly inviting an attack which would afford               the broken man away whila speaking:
      oreak; but before an hour had elapsed from the           him a fair exeuse for using his weapon.                      "General Bandy is right, sheriff. Never suy
      time of his rescue, be had given them a f"ii'               .. Ilmow thnt laugh-I heard it when y:Jur              diel Don't let those raBcals have the pleasure
      idea of how hi~ misfortune had been brought             gang downer! me, .Tasper Nanghton I" sternly              of even thiuking tbey bave broken your spirit.
      about.                                                  cried tbe officer, still advancing, though his            Face them now, even as you did in the old army
        'As that, with other events which had and             band~ were f'mpty. "You were one of them,                 days; figbt 'em from start to finish, and we'Il
      were yet to transpiro on this clay of jollificatiou,    and I'll pinch you despite all your law-breaking          come out on top at lastl"
      was fated to bear close relations with tho grim         gang I You're my-'-"                                          "I can't-they'd laugh me out of my saTen
     tragedy which was even then impending, it may                h Hands off, John Hooperl" Btriking the fin-          senses/' groaned the despondent officer. ., It's
      be as well to give his Btory in condensed Bhape         gers from his arm and apringil3g back a pace,             a deaa dog- Curse th(\/nl" with sudden fury as
      before going further.                                   his bruised face glowing with anger. "Show                ihat word recalled the faithful creatnre who
         As stated, .Tohn Hooper was a candidate for          your warrant, Or I'll' kill-"                             bad served him so long and 60 truly. .. They
      re-election to the important office of sheriff-             "I don't need 'any, Jasper Naughton. You're           even had to kill the 1?,uppyl They wouldn't
     doubly important in that wild, lawless region,           my prisonerl" steadily Bpoke the Bheriff, still ad-       spare even little Sandy I'
      where the arm at justice needed the strongest           vaneing.                  ,                                   "It was a vile outrage, from start to finish,
     hand it could bring to bear.                                 .. Hands off-fair wnrningl" harshly cried              Hooper; but who can say? It may turn out to
        He had proved himself an honest, fe;lrless,           Nanghton; then, as the sheriff persisted: .. Take         be a boomerang in their hands I It may: carry
     energetic, officer ever since his appointment,           that much of me, ~r you willluive it!"                    yon iuto office again, like. riding a wl\ve over a
      which took place shortly after the close of the            Sberiff Hooper fell like a log before that fierce      mud-bank I"
     civil war, when Missouri, together with other            stroke.                                                       "Not here-not in tbis rebel stronghcld," was
     unfortunate sister filtates, had to be ruled by a                                                                   the despondent response, both men for the mo-
     mailed hanel.                                                              CHAPTER IX.                             ment forgetting that one was with them who
        The worst of his lahars was connected with the                                                                  had horne armB on the other side. " It an an-
     illegal distilling of whisky, anr! his, vigorous                         A FRIEND IN NEED.                         gel shonld' eome down to bear me out in my
     efl'Jrts to put this down, 'quickly brought him             GENERAL BANDY stretched out his arms, but              story, those devils wonldn't believe- they'd
     into bad odor with not only the actual law-              was not near enough to save the weakened                  stick to what is beln!! said even now-listen I"
     breakers, hut many others who held that each             sberiff!\ heavy fall on tbe hard ground. He                   From the speakers stand there came to tbeir
    man had a right to do what he ,pleased with the           stooped to pick the officer up, flashing a look of        ears words of mockery and jeering, mixed with
    fruits of his own lahar.                                  mingled scorn and anger Into that bruiBed face            fierce denunciation. Carl Krisljtner was scar·
        M'lny a fierce threat of killing'had gone forth       as he cried:                                              ing his rival and pandering to the old war spirit
     against him, and more than once he had narrow-             ." That was a eoward's blow Jap Naughton I"             at one and the same time.
    ly escaped losing his life on that account. Bnt              " I give him fair warnin'. i axed to show bis            . "Will you give your snffrages to sneh a'
     evel'y such attempt only made him the more re-           warrant. I said keep all han's off, or-an' I say          manl" be was saying, when one of the crowd,
    solved to perform his Bworn duty to the best of           it to the rest 0' ye, gentlemen!" t is fierce tones       more entbusiastic than lettered, yelled forth:
    bis ability.                                              taking on a vicious ecbo as he held his revolver              "You ~est het we willI All the suffergs he
        He was still in office when the practical dis-        otlce more in readiness for use in case he Bhould          wants, an heap sight mo' too!"
    franchisement of, hundreds of voters in his               be crowded.                                                   "For, if yOtl do elect him, friends and fellow-
    county was lifted, aud though he knew his re-                "You couldn't help Beein' that he was too              citizens, the first new expense to be saddled up-
    election would be harrlly less than a miracle             clean plum' wore out fer to do more'n stan' up          'on you, overburdened and cnrsed with taxes
    under these changed conditionB, he put forth his          alone," shurrly added Big Bandy, while his                as you already are, will be a new seal to adorn
     claims, resolved to fight his enemies to the last        hands were equally busy over the sheriff, who             his office. A seal fit to commemorate the,
     moment, rather than even seem to yield to their          lay as though deprived of life, c. An' so I say it        shameful trick by whieh he has this day songht
    boasts and threatS.                                       in the tecth 0' ye, .Tap Naughton-the one who'd           to cheat a noble, unsuspicious constituency. A
        Thus matters stood when the day for the har-          hit a pore critter like that, 'd take a club to a        'seal which, to my notion, precisely fits his own
    lDecue and the great political meeting-the "first         blind cripple!"                                           condition at this identical moment; a dead cur
    gun" of the campaign-w'ls set.                               "Your tongue's ·no slander, Big Baudy, an'             trying to ride into office 'round the neck of a
        He told how, against the advice of his best           00-"                                    .                 li VA jackass I"
    friends at home, he had started to keep his ap-              " What be saYB,' I repeat," coldly eried Gilbert           Carl Krishtner knew his audience thoroughly.
    llointment to address the voters of that remote           Cochrane. "It was the act of a cowardly ruf-              Ee knew they wanted strong meat, and he gave
    section, starting the day before, in order to be          fian, and if Sheriff Hooper will appoint me hit!          it to them according to his ability. And he
    on ths scene in time to do a little "log-rolling"         deRuty, I'll make the arrest for him."                    felt exceedingly well satisfied with himself and
    on his own account.                                           C .you?" with a barsb, forced laugh, as he            his prospects, as he bowed deeply, then fell back
        He knew that Gilbert Cochrane was politi-             turned an ugly look upon the last speaker.                amid a perfect hurricnne of cheers and yells and
     cally his friend, and had timed himself to reach         " You couldn't arrest one side Q' me, Gil Coch-           bursts of laughter.
    bis bouse before dark, at the latest; bnt as be           ranel"                                                        The three men had listened to this brilliant
     was jogging along on a lonely road, lost to all             "Hold, yonrplace until Hooper can speak.               peroration, and now Gilbert Cochrane turned to
     else in arranging tile points which be boped to          Then, if he makes me hiB deputy, I'll take you,           Hooper with blazing eyes nnd low, almost fierce
    make in his speech, he was suddenly attacked              living or dead."                                          tones, to mutter:
     by masked men from ambush, and overpowered                  Clear, cold, even tbat speech, but all who                 " Will yon answer that rascal, sberiff?"
     before be coulcl draw a weapon or strike a blow          heard it and saw that pale, handsome facc, lmew               Hooper shook his head, holding out his seratch-
    in self-defense,                                          that, let what might be the,(lQnsequence, Gilbert         ed hands, trembling with physical eXhaustion,
        He had no time to recognize any of his assail-        Cochrane was in deadly earnest; that there was            before saying:
     ants, the attack was so well planned, and so             not even the ghost of a boast in his words; that              "Yon can sec-I'm not fit. I'd make matters
     swiftly executed, but, afterward, be heard more          if the order was given him he would make his              still worse by breaking down 01'-1 dare not,
     than one voice in speech or langhter which               threat good, or fail only because of bis own              Cochrane!" his bloodsbot eyes catching a brief
     might possibly afford a clew to the dastardly            death.                                                    but savage glow. "I'd kill the first cnr who
     ruffians.                                                   Even Naughton seemed to realize thIs, though           flung a taunt in my facel I'm that played ont!"
        That was indeed the mildest epithet that fit-         he stood his gro,und boldly enough, pistol in                 "Then-keep bim hack, brigadier," nodded
     ted tbem, for they treated him with barbarity            hand, plainly longing yet hardly dnring to make           tho young man, striding forwarrl and springing
     as his condition when rescned, long hours after          use of the weapon so long as his rival stood with         upon a stump only a few rods from the platform,
     his release from their pitiless hands, went far          empty hands. If he would only draw knife or               throwing up a hand amI callinp; ont sharply:
     to prove.                                                pistoIl                                                       "Is this meeting liko the handle of II jug-all
        They bound him securely In the saddle, face              "Play he'd p"inted ye deputy, then. Come               on one side, nei/i(hbors? Are you afl'8ld to listen
     to the rear, putting a gag between, hiB jaws.            an' taka me, GIl Cochrane"':'pull your gun an'            to one who may stand on th'l other side of the
I    Aud then they killed his pet dog, hanging it             take mo~f ye,darel"                                       fenee?"
     around lns neck. For, as he heard one of them               Cochranewas already bending over the sher-                 "We are bere to unite in a full and free dis-
     say, with a vicious laugh:                               iff, who waB recovering the sonses, briefly lost          cussion, Mr. Cochrnne, and are more than wJlI-
         " They're sech good fri'nds, 'twonld be a pity       throngh that blow and fall combined, and tak-            ing to divide the time with our opponents," was
     to separate 'em, even in deathl"                         ing advantage of this fact, Naugbton was once             the prompt response from the plfitform. "If
         " I'd know that voice again, if I coulrl hear it     more taken away from the Bcene of hiB friends,            we haven't done so up to thiB moment, it is
     in a laugh I" John Hooper said, his voice                Gentry and Barnes, each of whom seemed to                 simply beeailse no one bas seen fit to put in a
     stronger, nmch of bis physical powers having             bave a strong interest in his,welfare.              ,    elnim, not because we fear aught he, or you, or
     returned under the care of his present friends.             "S(ly the word, and I'll arrest him for you,          any other gl'ntleman on that side of the fence,
     "I'm 'most sure, now. I was looking for him              Hooper," hurrierlly uttered Cochrane, noting             may have to say."           ,
     back yonder, but I didn't see-"                          this movement on tbe part of the enemy.                       " Wbar's the sheriffl Shove him up wbar nil
         "Who was itl" asked Cocbran6, {Juriously,               For a single brentb the sheriff hesitated, then       kin see, an'let him 'splain how he ('orne to Mg
     but Eooper made no reply,                                a groan of angry <lespnir broke from his lips.            up a turribll' sell like that I" called out a jeering
         He was leaning forward, bis eyes glowing                "No-what use?" he said, in husky, tremblinl!:         voice from the crowd.                                  '
     redly, his hands 'tightly clincbed} his attitude         tones. " I couldn't prove it against the cnr. I               "Ordl'r, gentlemen I" interposed the mnster of
     that of acute listening. And as they mechani-            only heard his l'lugh. I didn't even see bis fig-        ceremonies, then turning with a bland smile to
     cally imitated bis action, they heard that sound         uro. So-bu t I'll eveu up if it takes a lifetime I"      tbe young man on the stump: "Be pleased to
                                                                     Big Bandy.                                                                                    9
 sttheePr:~til?u\m"a.l,' Mr. Cochrane, and speak from  spondent at heart. He did not deign to look                buggy and supported him to the veranda which
         ~>                                             back as Carl KI'ishtnl'r, his bald head fairly           extended along the front of the house.
      "Thank you, sir, but I must decline I don't blushing scarlet, called out some hot retort; but                  "Shaken badly, but not entirely knocked out.
  think I'm over proud, but I'm clean. • And be- there waR one ready to answer for him.                           Cnchl'Une!" grimly muttered Hooper as he
  ing' so, I'll never put myself on the same footing      Big Bandy sprung upon the vacat.ed stump,               monnted tbe broad flight of s~eps and paused at
  liS Carl Krishtner: a man only in tbe clothes he waving his ,abel', bis white locks floating in the             the front door. "I thought I'd caught it worse,
  wears I"                                             breeze as he culled Ollt in his deep tones:               or I'd have faced it out back yonder! It l'uts-
      "At least, I wear no dead dog about my              "You're axin' which side .Tohn Hooper fit              cnts deep, old fellow I" stifling It groan in its
  neck!"                                               outo, Dutch? Yit you know it afore ye axed                 hirth. " Tbe first time I ever showed the white
      "S;) !11Uch the more room for the hangman's by hearin' ef not by seein' with the own eyes 0\               feather to an enemy since I began to grow a
  rope, If a creature can be found deJ'l'Ilded yeo As Gil Cochmne said, mebbe the bresh an'                      heard!"
  enough to fill that office with snch u poltroon.", pawpaw" was so pesl,y thick you couldn't s(e                    .. Don't call it that, sherifi', or you'll have to
  sneeringly retorted Cochrane, provmg himself that furl"                                                        fight me," Inughed Cocbrane, leading the way
  able to fen"e with dung-fork or rupier. "Never        I "I appeal to yon, gentlemen," cried the en-
  faHh yourself, Dutch Carl; we'll come to the raged candidate, wildly gesticulating with both
                                                                                                                 iuto the house and to Ins special room: an offic~­
                                                                                                                 like, yet eomfOl·table apartment on the gronnd
  dead dog all in good time, hut it's an older tail I arms and heac\. "\Vhat are we here for!"                   11001'.   "Even Grant knew how to relreat when
  mean to wag befcre this audience, first.                "To hev a giner'l frpe discussion, pf your own         the rigbt time came, but he struck all the harder
      "Men who handle pitch, cau't expect to keep bills don't lie," bluntly retorted Big Bandy, then             wben he turned again. So with you; we'll beat
  their hands clean. He who plays with fire suddenly drawing his deformed shape as erect as                      the Dntch doughface in the end, never you fear,
 mustn't howl if he chances to scorch his fingers. bis infirmities would permit, he added: "You                  old fellow I"
  And he who begins a battle of filth, must ex- cgin't l1"ne 0' ye'say Ifit on the wrong si,l", fer                 If he felt less hearty confidence, nothing- iuhis
 pect the wind to blow more or less of the stufl' this wrecked body 0' mine 'd give yo the lie from
  back iuto his own eyes. So-since you have start to finish. An' as one who wore the gray
                                                                                                                 face or voice betrayed the fact as he bnstled
                                                                                                                 about gathering food and drink for his gmst,
 made this a personal campaign, lIere's at you, from eend to eend-as one who went in Illuslwt                    rightly thinking that Hooper would prefpr this
 Carl Krishtnerl                                       an' come out eurver-l ax ye to listen to my               to having a servant around, at least until he had
      II Who is John Hooped      A man who had the testimony. Kin I speak, lads, or must I git                   time to recuperate a little.
 courage of his convictions. A ml1l~ who proved I down an' bite the tongne 0' me in silence, be-                    Being iu touch with a true friend is a mar-
 his right to that title by offeriug his life in de- en'se I don't wear fine do'es an' sling fancy lang-         velous restorative, and dreadfully though fie
 fense of what his conscience told him wus widge?"                                                               must have suffpred, Hooper brighteued up for a
 l'ight."                                                "Speechl Give us a talk, Ilrigadier!" clime             time, showing much of his old-time fire and
     II The meanest sort of a Yankee sense he was      from a dozen different quarters in reply.                strength.
 Southern born an' bred I" called out a rough            II Talk goes, lad8," with a genial grin distort-           After a thorough bath in cold water, and with
 voice from tbe crowd.                                 ing his terribly scarred visage. "Speech is too          a tahle spread with an abundance of food and
     "It's plain enough to see which side yot/, mighty fine word fer the likes of your Uncle                    drink, he ate and dl'Ur,k in good time with his
 fought or, Marvin," nodded Cochrane, with a Fuller. But-fair warnin' aliI I'mgoin'totalk                        host, by mutual consent talking about anything
 pleasant, if short laugh. .. Did you fight fur as I fit: right straight ahead, not keerin' a durn              else than his recent sufl'erings or darkened pros-
 bliud love of battle, or was it because you how, jest so I git thar I                                           pects.
 deemed your cause a holy onel"                          .. 'Pears like it's th"l man, not the office, that's       "And now, Hooper, you want to roll into bed
    .. I Imowed it was-an' I know it till yit, dug- up fer 'scussion here to-day. And I'm mighty                and never open those eyes of yours before an·-
 guu yeP'          .                                  glad of it, too! Fer he is a man, from top to             other sun shines tbrough your window," ,;riskly
     ,. Of course; you wouldn't be half the man I toe, from center to circumf'rencel                Meanin'     said C"chrane, pushing his chair back when he
 you are if you didn't. And that's just what .Tohn Hooper, gentlemen.                                           saw his guest beginning to trifle with the food
 W!lS the r:lIItter with Sherifi' John Hooper. He        II I do think the grandest, most gloriousest            before him. " I'll show you to your nest."
 felt that his side was in the right. He enlisted thing that tromps this footstool is a old soldier 1               "Presently-not just yet, Cochrane," mutter-
for the war, hearing a musket, until hard fight- I don't keel' a durn on whic'" side he fit. All I              ed Hooper, his face darkening and his bloodshot
iug earned for his hand a sword. His conscience wants to know is-did he do his duty the best he                 eyes growing uoubled once more, "I've got
told him he was right."                               knowed bow?                                               something to say and to show you, first."
    "Then it told a du:::-gun Iiel"                      "Ef he fit on my side, good enough. Ef he                  "'Twilll,eep until another day, sherifi'. You
    "From your standpoint, perhaps, but not fit ag'in' me, still it's good. The way he looked                   need sleep and rest. You must take it, or we'll
from his. And as his conscience dictated, just at it, he was On the rigbt side, an' 1 was on the                 have you hreaking down right at the opening of
so he fought until the end came, thougll in so wrong. But that don't matter at this late day.                   the campaign."                                       _
doing he knew he was bringing about his mate- The war is over. I may be a fool, as some 0' yo                       .. That's over, before it's begun I"
rial ruin. He knew that his property would be don't make no bones 'hout cullin' of me. But I                        "Not a hit of it, old fellow I" briskly cried
destroyed. He Imew that he was leaving his ain't sech a dng-gun fool as not to know when                        Cochrnne. "Why. man, I'm open to lay loug
family,-and one who wore the blue could feel as we was wb~ppedl"                                                odds that this night ride of yours will prove to
deeply, love as ardently, as one who wOl'e the           "We wasn't whIpped I We were just out-                 be the very best thing that could have happened
gray, gentlemen I But though he knew all this, numberedl"                                                       to you-politically speaking, of course," with a
he htuck to what be felt, right or wrong, was. his       "That's what the hide-in-the-bresh say, but            slightly embar1'llssed laugh.
sworn duty.                                           those who did the heft 0' the fightin' know bet-              " You don't know the worst, friend," with a
    "That be fought as best he Imew how, let the tel'," bluntly retorted Big Bandy. "But that
many scars received in bli:ttle heal' witness. isn't what 1 started to git at, lads. I say.Tohn
                                                                                                                gloomy shake of his head, at the same time feel-
                                                                                                                ing in his pockets as though in quest of some-
That he was no coward, mare than one within Hooper fit us like a man, from start to finish. I                   thing by which he might more easIly explain his
sound of my voice this moment can testify, for say that as 8. old soldier he's good 'nongh to git               meaning. "They've caught me hetween two
they met him where the bullets flew thickest. my vote fer office. Right side or wrong side, I'd                 fires, and when they're through pegging away,
And so, an humble hero, he fonght on until the ruther vote fer a fighter than fel' a skulker!"                  I'll be- Hal those hellhounds I"
unhappy war was ended. And then, like an                 "A gallant array of advocates-fools and                    "What have you lost?" asked' Cochrane, as
honest man, he forgot and forgave.                    Imave3 to back himl" sneered Carl Krishtner.              his guest sprung to his feet the more thoroughly
    "This in brief, neighbors, is the record of          "Ef I he a fool as you hint, Dutchy, 'twas the         to explore his pockets. "Did those scoundrels
Sherifi' John Hooper during the war. He went finger of the Lord as turned my brain after I                      rob you as welH"
in private, and he came out colonel. He went was a gOOfI man grown. But you-pore critter,                           The sherifi' made no reply until, baving fully
in poor, and came out still poorer. He per- ye was born a coward an' a idiotl"                                  assured himself that he had thoroughlv examined
formed his duty while under fire, just as he has         Again arose a storm of merriment, ,under cover         every pocket, he resumed his seat, vei·y pale hut
performed it ever since, wit·hout fear or favor, of which Big Bandy descended from tile stump,                  more composed than he had been at any moment
obeying orders without stoppmg to count the turning away to look for the Sherifi' and Gilbert                   since his rescue from torture. And his voice
cost. If he had been more politic and less hon- Cochrane. But they had left the grounds under                   was even and clear as he asked:
est, perhaps there wouldn't have heen such fierce coover of his" little talk."                                      "What do you think abont it, Cochrane? I
opposition to his election this day. If he had           Gilbert Cochrane felt that this was the wisest         mean their sending me ofl' on that devilish ride,
been more of a politician. he might have had move that could be made under the circum-                          of conrse."
many more so-called friends. But he had his stances, though he naturally hat~d to leave the                         Cochrane hesitated a little before answering,
sworn duty to perform, and those who are field wholly to the enemy.                                             but when he did speak, it wadn a tone of con-
wickedest best know what a terror he has heen            He saw that Hooper had boon utterly worn               viction:
to all evil-doers I                                   out by his terrible night ride, and that he would             "I believe it was simply a dastardly trick to
    " So much for an honest man; now for the do more harm than good should he try to fill his                   turn the laugh against you at the very start,
other side of the fence.                              engagement while in such miserable plight. He             Hooper. I can't think they really meant your
    "Wbile .Tohn Hooper was fighting for what he needed rest and perfect quiet more than all                    death. though it might easily have proved that,
held to be rigbt, where was the being who stands else.                                                          only for your nRg's straying into the crowd."
in opposition to him in this campaign? Where            .Satisfied on this point, he led the shllrifl' to a         " I don't. I know it was enougL sight blacker
was Oarl Krishtner wben the Confederacy for retired portion of the grounds, aud having made                     than that."
which he pretended to heal'tHy sympathize was sure that the :Barnes family had also left the                        " What do you mean 1"
calling in her last agonies for recruits?             scene, without stopping to share in the barbecue              "That I firmly believe I've been sold outl"
    .. Nobly shedding his blood in the petticoats of then almost reudy fOl' the hungry multitude, he            with a sudden fierceness, striking the tahle until
the Home Guurds! Gallantly figpting-under the' hastily hitched up his team and assisting the                    the dishes danced and rattled. "I know that
gaudy banners of the Paw-paw Militia 1 Ay, sherifi' to a seat, drove him away in the direction                  warning was sent abead of me. I know that
figbting-his fears I Raiding-the hen-coops of home.
and turkey,roosts of those men who bad gone
                                                        IThe sherif]' tried to pxpress bis thanks for the
                                                                                                                those devils were put on the right track by-
to fight even more dangerousenAlJ1iesl Retreat- bold defense wbich Cochrane had made.for him                        "You can count on me to the last gasp,
ing-from the scolding women who chased him in bis helplessness, but even those few words                        sherifl'."
and his ilk with mop and broomstick I And if seemed too much for his 8hattered strength. Aud                       "I know, 01' I wouldn't have said even this
 any of you wish to know just how fast he could lending him wbat support was in his power,                      much. But I'll name no names until I've got
l'llll-from the enemy-look at bis bald patel driving with one hand while his other arm was                      hold of positive proof. Then- Cochrane, you
 HE! fled so fast that the brush just snatched him passed around that wp.akened figurE', Gilbert                asked me Ii bit ago if I'd been robbed, 01' had lost
bald/waded I"                                         Cochrane drove as rapidly as possihle to his own          anything?"
                                                      house,                                                       Gilbert nodded, too much puzzled to speak,
                     CHAPTER X.                          Wben those voices were left'behind tbem, and           jnst tben.
                                                      the fresh, balmy, yet bracing odors of the forest             " When those rascals caught me, I bad in my
                 BETWEEN TWO FIRES.                   surrounded them, John Hooper began to brace               pocket two letter", One was from the State's
    AMIDST a perfect storm of yells and laughter, up a bit, and at the end of that drive he seemed              attorney to the district attorney, and the other
 Gilbert Cochrane bmved, then left the stump, far stronger than when it began. After all, his                   was one written by the latter and addressed to
knowing when to stop.                                 trouble was more mental than physical, and Gil-           me. ERch one contained a sharp blo\\'ing up,
    He was satisfied" ith his effort, for he knew bert felt that after a good night's rest, tbesherifl'         and accusation of neglected duty. In mine were
his andience thoroughly. He lmew that they would be almost himself again.                                       stern orders to bunt down and run in the gang
conld better appreciate thE.' Insty blow of a cluh       A negro servant-no longer slave-met them               of moonshiners known to be violating the law
 than the neat thrust of a polished rapier, and he at the blocks wbich, Missouri fasbion, served in-            in this very township, under penalty of being
 had catered to their needs accordingly.              stead of a i{ate to give admission to the spacions        removed from office If r delayed even It single
    Re turned away to where the sherifi' was lean- yard before tbe house, lIml turning the team over            hourI"
~gagainst a tree, sick in body as he was de- to him, Cochrane a~sist~d Hooper out of the                           "You can't do it, manl" frowned Gilsert,
 10                                                               Big Bandy.
darkly. II To make an open stir about that just        mug to go courting with, that one of yours, my           Nanghton was forced to rest content with I
now, wonld surely cost you an utter defeat I"          boyJ"                                                 that, and he hung around while Luke Balmes 1
   II I know it," with a sbort, grim laugb.  "And         "If you haven't got nothin'more'n that to          was putting up his team, then followed the two
that's why I said I was caught between two             say-"                                                 men from the stable to the house, though
fires. I firmly believe that word was sent in             .. Sit down, I tell you, man!" with that old       neither of them entered tbe log-cabin. The
advlAnce, and that I was captured in hnpes of          authoritative ring. "So! you're not altogether        O,tober Bun was just warm enough to make
SOme such proof being fonnd on my person."             a fool, Jasper, though you've done your level         out-of-door3 agreeable, and the elder pair sat
   II Wbv did you save tbem, tben?" irritably.         best this day to prove yourself an ass!"              down on a bench which stood under the ample
   U Becimse my warrant was embodied in that              "What could I d,? when I see that devil.snu~­      boughs of an elm tree near one end of the cabin
very letter, and I couldn't ·destroy one without       glin' up to--when 1 knowed he was trym' IllS          home.
destroying the other. Now do you begin to see          level best to get the bulge onto me?" sulldly            Both looked grave, and seemed deeflly in-
the point?"                                            growled the younger man, digging his fingers          terested in the subject nndm' discussion. One
   II You think that-"                                 into the soft earth as he lay with face almost        wbo saw the trio from a distance would bave
   "Thinking isn't proof, and we'll wait a bit be-     hidden in the grass.                                  thought Jasper Naughton fully as absorbed
fore mentioning names. But even without that,             "Anything but what you did do, the way             in listening to their talk, bnt if a dozen words
since the paper io gone, you can see what show I       matters turned out," was the lazy response... If      entered his ears, he could not have repeated
stand of heing elf'cted I"                             you had come out on top 'twouldll't have been so     one of them, though his life depended on so do
   II It may have been lost while your horse run       bad. Girls may not actually hanker after being        ing.
loose."                                                openly fought over, but if it ~nttst come, they're       He was watching and waiting for the chance
   "Even so, moving against the moonshiners            mighty ant to think oftenest about the one who        which Mrs. Barne' had promised him, though
would do the work just as surelr, with the odds        whins." •                                             be contrived to keep his glances vailed. He
so beavily against me anyway.'                            "lIe didn't whip mel He couldn't begin-"           had thoughts only for Myra and bis mad love
   II Tbat would rnin your chances, surely!    But        .. Say it was the root that did your business,     just then.
ofcourse you'll not make any actual stir in the        then, Jasper," with a lazy yawn. "I think it             His face burned like fire when, at last, he
case until after election?"                            was, myself. But-fact is you came out at the         caught sight of her crossing' the threshold,
   "I'll do my duty," was the hard, grim re-           bottom, and Gil Cochrane pUbished you heap            wooden bucket in hand, plainly hound for the
sponse. "I've never shirked that yet, and              sight worse than if he had both pounded and          spring which supplied the household with water
I'll not begin at this late day. Rum or no             gouged you."                                          for domestic use.
ruin, I'll ~nforce tbe laws to the best of my             " I told him to do his wu'st, didn't H"               He swiftly turned bis back toward the door,
ability."                                                 " And he did it, though hardly as you meaut       les~ Myra even then beat a retreat, but he knew,
   II I tell you no! 'Twill surely defeat you, man     he should. You can't get over it, Naughton.          each step she took, and tbe instant he felt shO
alive!"                                                He beoted you at, your own hold. But-if you           was too far a way to return without pnrposely
   "Just what that order meant," with a repe-          will he gUided by my advice, you'll wipe all         flouting him, he walked rapidly around the
tition of his metallic laugh. ,. You and I know        that out, and leave a long score to your own         hon3e, from uuder cover of which he knew he
the!'e's no mnonshining going on here, now, but        credit before anotber moon comes."                   cou Id easily intercept the girl before she could
the stir would be just as fatal. All right I I'll        "How? Jest tell me how?" eagerly muttered          fill her pail and return,
go out white, anyway I"                                Naughton, lifting his head, his eyes glowing            'rbe 3priug g-ushed out from beneath a mossy
                                                       redly through tbeir livid circles.                   rock, nearly a hunrlred yards from the house.
                    CHAPTER XI.                           " To start off with, by holding that ugly tem-    A clump of trees shaded it, and likewise cut off
                                                       per of yours in check. You know that the old         all vicw of anyone standing at 01' near the rude
                  AN UNEASY LOVER.                    folks are playing your hand for you: then wby         stone cnrbing. Nothing c:mld have been better
    FOR the second time that day, Greeu Gentry risk a loss of everything by kicking up a row in             for the pnrpose he had in view, and with a
urged Jaspel' Naughton away from danger public?"                                                            dogged resolution, Naughton hurried to that
which that hot-headed young fellow was too               .. '{au don't know-"                               spot.
J!;reatly blinded by passion to fully realize.           "I know tbat they like you, and that they             "It's only me, Myr' Ellen," he said, as the
    .. You heard bim say it. I want him to take hate Gil Cochrane worse than poison. I know                 girl p;ave a start at his footsteps. "Hope I
mel I want him to jest try it on-jest one time! tbey're more than ready to see their girl your              didn't skeer ye too mighty bad?"
The weight 0' his fiuger-"                             wife, if only to shut ant the otber lover,"             "No, but-I must hnrry. Mother's waiting
    ""rwould be whole hand or nothing, lad,"             "They'd flop over to him quicker'n scatl ef he     for the water to-- Let me pass, please!"
half-laughed the older, conler man, his muscular was jest to give up the papers Barnes lost. An'               For Jasper Naughton stood directly in her
arm stiffenin~ to resist that impulse to break here you've drug me off, leavin' him to hang                 patb, and she could not avoid him withont step-
awav and turn back.                                   'round Myr' Ellen ontel-"                             ping into tbe mud caused hy the overflow from
    "I'd lay him out too cold for skinuin'l"             U Will    you simmer!" frowned Gentry, as          the rude trough, hollowed out of a split log, on
   .. Once trying ought to he enough in a day."       Naughton sprung to his feet with the evident in-      wooden legs.
   Naughton abrnptly ceased his struggles, tnrn- tention of ru~bing back to the grounds. "Open                 "Your mother'lI be williu' to wait a bit,
ing as pale as his bruises wouid permit, looking your ears, mau I You Lear those wheels?"                   Myr' Ellen," he coolly said, taking the heavy
Gentry squarl'ly in the eyes as be spoke in slow,        The rattle of a farm wagon was just growing        pail from her hand and resting it on the ground,
almost pamful tOlles:                                 perceptible.                                          hut witbout lE'aving tbe p~lth open for a retreat
    .. Is it a slur you mean, throwin' that up to        U There's your huckleberry,      Jaspsr," with a   on her part. " Sbe won't holler ontel you come,
me, Green Gentry?"                                    laugh, as he arose and moved toward his horoe,        I don't reckon."
   "It's anything, jllSt so I can get you far "Luke is making for bome. But don't push                         Myra glanced up into his face-hardly to be
enough away from Gil, Naughton, to let your yourself too forward. Right or wrong, tbe wo-                   called handsome now, thanks to the hard
brain cool off. I say-come with me I"                 men will give you credit for spoiling their day       knuckles of Gilbert Cocbrane-and read at least
    "Better so, Jasper," hurriedly spoke Luke off."                                                         pa.rt of the truth thercin. Her own face flushed
Barnes, never over free witb his words, and              Gentry was right, so far as the ownership of       hotly, then grew very pale, as she instinctively
who had merely helped urge the half wild man the wagon was concerned, and as he saw this,                   drew back until one hand touched the cool stone
away from the scene of danger. .. You ain't Jasper Naughton fumbled about his horse until                   curbing about the spring.
reely fit to jedge, your own self, Go with the wagon had passed the spot, then mounted                         "You mean-mother sent me here to-you
Green, an' let it layover ontel to-morrow."           and fen iu at the rear.                               knew I was coming?" she faltered, uneasily try-
    " But-everybody '11 be s:1yiu' I let him drive       Mrs. Barnes gave him a curt recognition, but       ing to meet that ardent gaze.
me off the ground like a sheep!"                      Myra kept her face hidden in her sun-bonnet.             .. She said she'd give me the chaince J begged
    .. None 0' my folks '11 say it, anyway. I'll see Jasper was painfully conscious of his battered,        her fer, Myr' Ellen. I thank her fer it, double
that they git the rights of it."                      discolorerl features, and shaded them as much         ovor. An' I-Myra," for once witbout the
    .. And you dou't care a hooter for what any as possible by slouching his hat. But he dog-               usual clipping short of her first name. .. I want
one else may think," lanll;hed Gentry, locking gedly followed, those very injnries hut making               to beg your pardon like a dog on my knees fer
arms and moving off more briskly, at the same him the more resolved not to let the Bun set                  bein' so--fer kicldn' up a muss whar 1I0tt was
time giving Luke Barnes a glance that caused without coming to a final understanding with                   lookin' on. I didn't mean-but when I see you
him to tnrn aside. .. Don't play the wild bull thi~ girl for whom his love burned so fiercely.              with that-"
 any longer, Jasper. We're out of sight and              Gentry adroitly sprung from his saddle into           "Dou't-I can't hear itl" almost sharply
 hearing, and it really isn't worth the trouble, the front of the wagon, leaving bis hor"e to fol-          cried the poor girl, covering her hot face with
 between old pardners."                                low 'while he took a seat beside Luke, and           her trembling hands.
     U Ef yon think-"                                  through all that drive, he kept up a spirited,          Naughton caught her hands Ilnd held them
     "Bite it off, man I" with a sudden sharpness pleasant gossip, d"ing his level best to banish           almost fiercely in bis hot grasp, gazing keenly
 coming into bis voice as he turned nntil they tue clouds tbat obscured each face near him.                 into that face, trying at once to read the whole
 stood face to face. "You've played the fool             Before the house was reached, Naughton             truth. ]?or, let his fanlts be what they may, he
 this day, and onght to be tbanking your Incky plucked up courage enough to draw up beside                  loved Myra as only one of his wild, passionate,
 stars you've got an eye left to bless yourself tbe wagon and speak to Myra, but she gave                   untamed nature could love.
 with!"                                                him little encouragement to persist. She an-            "You're crying, Myra," his voice hoarse and
     For one so fiery-tempered, Naughton stood swered when obliged to do so, bnt nothing                    unsteady. "I'd give my best arlll to know fe!'
 meekly enough, though he visibly chafed under more. And by her unusually cold, reserved                    sure them tears was fer my sake I Bllt-out
 tbose barsh wnrds.                                    manner, she made bim feel most distinctly how        witb it, girl1" almost savagelv. .. Which is't to
     II What's it to you, anyway?" he growlec!,        serionsly be bad offended her by his actions at      be-me or Gil Cochrane? Which one do you
 sulkily.                                              the barbecue gronnds.                                mean to hev? Wbich one do you really love
     II If your head's  too thick to see that, we'll      " You kinder de"arve it all, sonny," whispered    best?"
 wait until the fog has time to lift, Jasper," Mrs. Barnes, as Jasper assisted her to alb:ht
 lightly said Gentry, changing back to his for-I from the wagon. II But don't give over. I'm                               CHAPTER XU.
 mer manner, once more leading the waYan your side, ef nobody else ain't."
 throngh tue scattered trees by which the barbe-          .i Thell-I musthev a word with her, moth!'r,"
                                                                                                                      THERE IS EVIL IN THE AIR.
 cue grounds were surrounded.                          as !!uardedly muttered the uneasy lover.               FOR a single breath Myra Barnos tried to free
     Nanghton bore bim company, tbough with an I He turni'd to as"ist Myra, but she was too                 her hands from that fierce grasp, bnt when she
 occasional. glan<:e oyer his shoulder that plainl.y quick for him, as for Green Gentry. She                saw tbat she was powerless to do this, she
 sbowed hIS mchnatlOnO. HIS face showed hIS sprung lightly to the ground, then ran to the                   abruptly ceased her struggles, standing proudly
 surprise when, a few miuuteslater, they came to hous!', vanishing from sight of those glowing              erect and gazing squarely into that passion-mark-
  where a couple of saddle-horses were hitched to eyes.                                                     ed face.
 sap,lings not far from tbe road.                         .. You see-she runs away from my very               If she had been crying, as Naughton said,
       'You're not-I'm not goin'tornnawaylike tOllchl" he half-groaner1, to the one whom he                 there were no signs of it now. Anger, injured
 this I" he growled as he recognized in one of tbese, felt he could best trnst with his woes. "It's no      pride, womanly resentment must have dried the
 his own mnnnt. II The fun hasn't even begun, nsel I mill;ht as well giTe np an' go hang-                   moi.ture as by ma"ic.
 as yet, and-"                                          Dnrned ef I don't send one dirty whelp out 0'         .. Neither one nor the othm', Jasper Naugh-
      •• You've had your share of the fun, as you the world ahead o'me, thoul'(h I"                         ten I" she said. bel' voice hardly raised above the
 call it, Jasper, and it hasn't left yon any the          .. She's young an' flighty, buddy, bnt she's a    ordinary, but full of the resentment she felt.
 handsomer," chuckled Gentry, dropping in an woman, all over. An' a woman ain't to be won                   U Neither yon nor him, unlps3 you         can show
 easy posture on the sward-for MIssouri can over by moanin' an' groanin' that sort v' wav,"                 more respect for the girl than by putting her
 boast of her native blue-grass, to the full and reproved Mrs. Barnes, with a frown. "You                   name to shame in thp eyes of the whole county,
 truthfully as can Kentucky-and signing his wait Iln' watch. I'll give ye a chance to speak                 by fighting over her like mad wolves I"
  fiery friend to do the same. "A sweet looking out. The rest lays 'twixt yon'n her, Jasper."                 Jasper Naughton shruuk hack as t~..·" her
                                                                         Big Bandy.                                                                             11
I clinched band had been dashed full in his face.           words hardly articulate with his rage at the             wolf from the door by working up the grain
   E;13·dropped her hands, pntting his own behind           bare suspicion. "You know me. Yon know                   they can't get to a market iu solid shapel"
   hIS back, bnt be went no further. His athletic           I'm a man 0' my word, be it given to fri'nd or             "You don't mean-"
   figure still barred the way which sh'3 must take         inem.y. An' so I tell you tbis, flat an' plenty            " I just dol" with a sharp nod in answer to
   in order to escape.                                      plain eveu fer a woman: Ruther then hev Gil              the hurried ejaculation of Barnos. .. And right
       "I didu't ought, Myra," his voice husky and          Cochraue win an' wear you, the only woman I              here I hold the proof. in pure black and white I"
   unsteady. "I llllowed it a minit afore.-l                kiu ever love, I'd kill all two both 0' ye-so            he added, tapping the now unfolded paper with
   Imowed it well. But-when I see him thaI' an'             tharP'                                                 lone forefinger.
  you 'peariu' so willin' fer to be made love t~-"            Vicious as was his rage, Myra met it with-               "What is it? Whar'd yon git it from~" in
       II Stop 1" with an angry StlUllP of her little       ont flinching, and now there was genuine anger           tbe same breath asked bis companious, breath-
  foot, hET eyes ablnze, bel' face flushing vividly.       f1"ming iu her hig hlue eyes. Her red lips were          lessl.\' peering over his shoulder at the papers.
   "How dare you say such words, Jasper Naugh-             parted to speak, h"t at that moment the sharp,              II What    is it? Letters, first, a warrant,
  ton!"                                                    clear voice of Greeu Gentry came to their ears:          second," grimly auswered Geutry, then settling
      ," Beca'~pI'llla plum' fool I reckon, Myr'EIlen,"       "Jap Naughton I come over here! You're                himself to "lowly read the lines therein.
  wltb a· slCkly laugh that, more than ail else,           wanted I"                                                   In stern, gloomy silence the two men listened
  told how completely he was thrown off his                   So distiuct was the voicf> that Naughton in-          to those low bnt distinct tones, fearing to lose
  usual balance by insane jealousy. II Beca'se             stinctively turned in that direction, and catcb-         a word lest they fail to fully comprehend the
  I'm al'ays doin' the wu'st any mau ldn do fer            ing up the bucket of water, Myra slipped past            nature of the danger impending.
  his own good. But-it's my love for you that              him, and was in open ",iewof those neal' tbe                FOl' these were the very papers lost by or
  makes me secll a idiot, Myral"                           house before he could put out a hand to stay her         stolen from Sheriff Hooper, of which he spoke
      II Then-tbe less I see and hear of such love,        f1ig·ht.                                                 to Gilbert Cochmne.
  the hetterl Let me pass. Mr. Naughtou."                     He saw this, and sulkily accepted the situa-             "Show no nlercy!" repeated Gentry, refold-
      "Not this way, Myr' Ellen," with aflesperate         tion, slouching from under cover, and slowly             hJg the papers and stowing them away in his
  effort reg-aining SOlnething of his wonted cool-         walking back to whero the two men were still             pockEtbnok, which was then buttoned up in his
  ness. .. Thllr's jest so much to be said, an' the        sittin~ uncler the elm tree.                             bren,t. "Ho it reads. And yDtt can guess what
  sooner it's got over with, the better fer us both,          "Take your time, old fellow," langhed Gentry,         it means when addressed to John Hooper I"
  I'm thinkin'."                                           jocosely. II IV"e've both been there, more or less,         " Whar did you git the papers, Green Gentry~"
      II IV"ill you force me to listen, whether or. no,    and you're not to be blamed so mighty much. I            slowly demanded Luke, gazing intently into
 llir!"                                                    only wish I was free to entor the lists agaiust          that handsome, hoarded face.
      That angry sparkle in her eyes shoulrl have          you-well, I dol"                                            "Found them where Sheriff Hooper must
  ;warned the man, but he would not heed, even                He cast an admiring glauce after the swiftly          have lost them while taking his little pleasure
  if he read it aright. His stubborn nature would          moving figure of the girl, but Luke Barnes,              jnant, neighbor," was tbe cool reply. ., Found
  Dot permit him to retreat, even to better him-           doubled over, with elbows supported by his               them in the road as I went to the barbecue, this
  self.                                                    knees, smoked rapidly, his face the picture of           morning, of coursel"
      "Not to say force, Myr' Ellen, but I've got to       frowning gloom.
 118V my say out.         Au' thaI' never'l! be a better      "Jest drap that, Gentry, ef you ain't sp'i1iu'                        CHAPTER XIII.
 time tben right now, to my l'eckonin'."                   fer a fight," sulkily growled Naughton, flashing                     BIG BANDY'S NEW FRIEND.
      "Very well, sir," leaning baek agaiust the           an u~ly glauce at the other from nnder his                  THOUGH it could bardly be called the com-
 curbing, her blue eyes unflinchingly meeting              heavy brows. "You hollered-what ye want 0'               plete "uccess those instituting it bad fondly
  his gaze. "All I ask is- be as brief as you pos-         llle~"                                                    dreamed would prove to be the ca"o,thanks to
 sibly can, for mother is waitiug for the water."              "A plain answer to a blunt question i no less.        unforeseen circumstances, more than one at-
      " She kiu wait, heap sight better'n I kiv, Myr'       Did you help tie the sheriff up that fashion,           tending the hal'becue Recretly or openly ",owed
 Ellen. She Imows what 1 waut to say, an' she's             Jap?"                                                   never to forget day or occasion.
 lllore'n ready to hev it said."                               Naughton flashed a swift, almost startled               Barney Budge, "from Kentucky, sahl" was
     "Why not say it to her, then!" with a short,           glance toward Luke Barnes, but the squatter             one of the latter, and he was more 01' less 1310-
  nervous laugb.                                            was still staring moodily at the gronnd, as though      quently that sentiment into words when,
     After all, even the roughest, rudest, most             he knew that question could have but one an-            the speakiug past, the feast disposed of, the jugs
 uupolished man holds a vast advantage over a              swer, or el_e that he felt no especial interest in       run dry, he wassbuffiiug along in the direc-
 woman when she knows that he is madly in Inve              the subject.                                            tion of Brimstone Butte, iu company with Big
 with her. Myra knew that Jasper loved hl'r                    "You know mighty well I DOVel' didn't,"              Bandy.
 with every fiher of his powerfnl natnl·e. And             sharply said Naughton, his gaze reverting to                "A fatter shoat I never pegged into, com-
 fill her life had been speut alllong just such            that blandly smiling faco once more.                     radeJ" he declared, hanging unsteadily to an
 rough, untamed characters, and this rude woo-                 "No harm to ask, then, Jasper."                      arm of the bri/!:adier with oue hand, while usiug
 ing was n,)t to her what it would have seemed                 "Fer ef 1 did, then you was mixed up into it,"       the other to liugeringly wipe his thick lips.
 to a girl differently nurtured.                           still more sulkily. "I was with you ever senee           "The mutton was jest a wee taste rammy, but
     " I'll say it fu'st of all to you, Myr' Ellen, but    daybreak yest'day morniu', wasn't H"                     tlle beef was good 'nough fer a hog! But-
 it gives me more backhone, so to spellk, to know              "And I can provo the clearest of alibis,"            Mighty powerful queer, aiu't it?"
 that both your pap an' your mother']) be glad to          uodded Gentry, laughing.                                    "Which?" drawled the brigadier, in true
 hev it come about the way I want it."                        There was a faint echo in his tono that caused        Missouri fashion.
     He paused, but Myra said nothing. She was              Lnke Barnes to suddenly gaze bto that smiling              "They 'most al'ays giner'ly is a h-u-t to
 lOOking dowu at a little stone as she rolled it           countenance, but he saw nothing to :confirm              things, I've noticed," dolefully sigbed Barney
 back aud forth under the toe of her shoe.                  that sudden, disagreeable suspicion.                    Budge before adding: "An' the one hitched up
     "You kuow all how I'm fixed, Myra," his                   " Whoever done it, it's boun' to make a heap         to this yere otherways gelorious 'casion b'longs
 voice low and far from steady. "You know                  0' trouble," he said, wit.h an nneaRy scowl.      "It    to the State heap sight mo' then it does to tbe
 I've rigged up a snug little home, an' you kuow           was Iln ugly job-a fool' trick!"                         people, I'm reckonin', Giner'l Bandy."
:all I was thinkin' of an' countin' on while doin'             "That's whot Krishtner called it, if you re-            "How'" drawled tho brigadier, using the sub-
 of it, tool"                                              member," chuckled Gl'een Gentry. "Mighty                 stituteiuterrogative.
     " How ~hould I know all that~·'                       .lick tongue that fellow carries. Pity he hadn't            II Ef a barbecue is give in good old Ken-
     "Beea'se you're a woman, with a WOman's               backbone according to his size, fighting times!          tucky-an'right thaI' the gelorious instertution
 beart an' a woman's way 0' readin' what cain't            Mako it easier for us to carry the 'Iection."            was fu'st borned, giner'l-they nlDttght be sech
 help showin' in the face an' eyes of a man that              ., I'd hato to think any 0' OUI' side 'd do sech a    a thing as hevin' the pork, or the mutton, or the
loves even the dirt she tromps under her two               foul trick," added Barnes, slowly, flashing a keen       beef, or sech liko side-dishes fall short. I say
 feetl" was the swift response... Cain't you come          glance from face to face, then resuming bis for-         they mought be sech a thing come to pass
out honest with me, fer once, Myr' Ellen!"                 mer attitude. "Ef be kin prove it ag'in'us, it'll        under extr'o'nary sucknmstances, mind ye,
     " If I. do, you may not thank me in tho end,           make mat.ters all tbe wuss. An' goodness knows          giner'l!"
Jasper I"                                                  he was bad enough afore!"                                   "Reckon?" faintly ventured Big Bandy, too
     He flushed, then turned pale. But with true               "So bad that he couldn't well be worse," coin-       thoroughly mixed up to venture on anything
doggedness, he refused to he frightened out of
saying what he had marked out iu advtlnce. He
                                                           cided Gentry, at the same time slipping one
                                                           hand into his breast and takingoutaflatpocket-
                                                                                                                   Imore compromising.
                                                                                                                       "Not that sooh a thing ever hes come to pass,
 cleared his throat, then spoke rapidly:                   book, though making no move toward opening               mind ye, but-as I said afore-ef it was to be
     .. I built that house fer ymt, Myra. ThaI'            it just then. "And yet I'm not so mighty suro            so, thar's one ingrejience which grand old Ken-
ain't a squar' inch of it all but could talk an hour       of that either," with a grim nod of his head.           tueky couldn't novel' fall short on-an' that is
0' the love I putt out onto it-all fer you! Yit               "You've got somethin'to say, Green Gentry:            whisky!"
-it's big a-plenty fer two more, ef yuur folks             ont with it in a lump, cain't ye~" irritahly mut-          "I want to know I"
cam't git tha'r rights, an' hev to le6."'e the place       tered Naughton, II What did ye call me back                 " An' Pm tellin' ye so you will know, Giner'l
 they've done paid honest fer, little woman.               hero fer, anyway~"                                      Bandy," nodded Barney Budge with impressive
 They're heap welcomo to a home 'long 'ith you                II To tell you that there's evil in the air-gobs     solemuity. "'Tain't jest to find fault. Nul'
'nd me, ef that cussed thief, Gil Cochrane, drivos         and heaps of it, no less!" coolly IIodded the           'tain't jest to fiud somethin' to be waggin' the
 them out 0' tha'r own I"                                  sporting man.                                           chiu 0' me over, mind ye, giner'l, nuther. But
     "How do you know it is their own?" asked                 "What sort? Tbatdead dog a'fa'I'!"                   it's humhly fer to p'int out to ye the great be-
 Myra, with a curious glow leaping- into her eyes.            " Well, that hasn't improved it much, I              settin' sin 0' your otherwise grand an' geloriou8
 .. There is no proof that the money was paid."            reckon, since Hooper will naturally lay it all on-      State-of she did keep straddle 0' the fence so
     "Do ymt say it wasn't paid!" ejaculated               to our side, but-"                                      mighty long that she lost tbe oIle hon'able
Naughton, in amazenlent,                                      " I thought you called it a t,'ick 0' his own        chaince for signin' the name of her 'way np onto
     "No, for I believe it was paid, for both father       hatchiu', neighbor!" dryly observed the squatter        tho roll o'fame which- Durn the dust I" with a
:and mother say m," WllS the slow response, her            his gaunt figure straightening np.                      husky cough, "You don't got a drap 0' wet-
 eyes drooping for the moment. "But-tllere is                 " So I did, but whero would the benefit como         ness in your clo'es, mebbe, giner'H"
 no proof to be found. And-after all, he isn't so          in, if he didn't work jt off onto the shoulders of         "They's a crick jest ahead a bit, comrade."
mu~h to blame."                                            those politically opposed to him?"                         Barney gave a mighty sigh And groan com-
    "Not- :Myra Ellen Barnes I" almost fiercely               Luke Barnes tnrlled his eyes away, but it was        bined, but if he heard, Big Bandy let it pass
catching the brim of her bonnet /lnd exposing              easy to see his brain was working along the             without remark. Possibly he was not quite
bel' downcast face. "Kin you fiud a excuse for             s"me line. Gentry smiled, half-maliciously.             such a fool as people said he was, after aliI
the likes 0' Gil Coehrane?"                                He cared but little for nnspoken thoughts, and             " Never mind-mebbe I kin spit it out a-talk-
    "Why uot, if oue exists!" boldly mooting: his          he Imew that the squatter would hardly openly           in'," gloomily said the Kentncky gentleman.
fiery gaze•                                                accuse him of baving a hand in that outrage,            "But-more'n ever I'm sot in my fu'st noUon
    .. Do you-do you like Gil Cochrane'"                   when all was revealed to him.                           that what old Mizzoury wants wuss then all
    .. Yes," was the instant response, smiling faint·         .. Do you know what hrought Hooper to these          elso, is missiouaries I"
ly as he scowled blackly upou her. "1 do like              parts, this trip?"                                         "Whicbf"
 him. But I don't love him, as you seem to think,             .. The speakIll', of course."                           " Missionaries - knowable men from Ken-
Jasper," her voice growinv; a little softer, though           .. Not much it didn't I" his voice catching a        tu~ky fer to preach the gospel 0' free lieker an'
 her eyes still sparkled ominously under his raKe,         hard, bitter echo as he opened the tJocket-boolr        heaps of it!" enthusiastically cried Barney
 •• I like you both, but instead of that liking ever       and extracted therefrom a folded paper. II He           Budge, waving an arm so wildly that he tan-
 growing into love, I fear 'twill turn to actual           came here, loaded for bear I He came here nn-           gled his feet up and must have fallen in the
 hatred if yon continue to porsecute me so bitter-         del' strict orders to sparo neither pains nor           dirt only for the convenient support lent by the
ly-so there I"                                             money in hunting ont and arresting a certain            brigadier.                                   .
    .. You like Gil Cochrlll1e~ Wait, girll" his           e",n gang of lawbreakers, who try to keep the              "Stiddy-asyou werel"
                                                                     Big Bandy.
      "Didn't ye see it, giner'!? Bump kicked up hint thus conveyed and, temporarl'Iy at least, Kentucky who feels his honor has been shame-,
  an' 'most throwed me out 0' the saddle I Never let the dangerous subject drop.                                fully outrag!!d. Bnt before he could pu~ thl~'
  knowed sech a thing in good old Kentucky,                 Rising from the pallet, he stretched his limbs, into executIOn, Big :J;!andy, who IIR~ SImply
  whar- But as I sot out to say-what was it, yawning widely, then slouched out of doors, made a leap to arm hunself, caught hIm hyan
  Giner'l Bandy1"                                        where his manner instantly changed. He seem- arm and savagely t";"isted him to the floo!', at
      "'Pears like ye was sarter skirmishin' 'round ed verY much awake as he gazed swiftly around the same ,tmm snatchmg up the tell-tale bIt of
   the edges 0' somethin', commde, but efI kin tell him, and jf he had not been such a harmless paper !Is It fluttered down.
  jest What-shoot mel" relnctantly confessed looking creature. one notiug his manner might                         "St.lddy, you curl" the veteran growlecl,
  the brig.HUer, then brightening up again as he well luive been excused for having strong sus- planting a foot on the chest of the prostrate fig-
  hastily added: "S'pose we let it simmer in picionsawakened by it.                                     , m ' e , holding tbe bared point of bis trusty saber
  the brain 0' ye, comrade,ontel we git home1               Standing with back toward open door, Barney to his throat. "Stay, p~t~, dug·gun yel"
  Thar'sBrimstone,an'mypalaceain'tsomighty Budo-e slipped a well-worn paper from his                               "But I never-qmtl III a muffled howl of
  much furder, now I"                                     boso'i'n, taking alternate glan~es at its face and mi.ngled ,terror ,and impotent rage, as that kee,n
     Barney Budge gazed into that scarred face the lay of the ground around him. Eut tllen, as pomt fmrly pncked through tho skill under hIS
  for a brief space, bis eyes full of deep, yet hum- a souud came from tbe cabin, he as slyly re- stubhly chin.                                                .
  ble reproach. Then he choked down a sigh, an:l turned the paper to its hiding-place, innocently                  Steady as fate, oue hand k~pt tht;' saber-po~ut
  dejectedly shuffled off in the direction indicated humming a war song as he faced the door.                   hidden III a flabby fold of dIrty skill. f!:eaVler
  by" the brigadier.                                        "Ain't so nippy, these nights, as a body'd pressed that foot on Ins chest. Aud holdmg the
     Big Bandy wore a troubled expression, and think, so fur up on a hill, giner'I," he drawled, paper so that the i'ed light of tbe fire fell across
  he swle many a shy glance at tbe face and fig- again crossing the threshold. "Lovelynight it's its face, the brigadier studIed the marks there-
  ure of his new friend. He could uot whoJIy gwine to be, jedgin'. Better'nlast, fer all-night on.                                                       . ,
  understand him, as yet, nor the lllstmct which. tramp or ride. An'that makes me think: tIll"                    Among other words, most of whIch seemed
   warned him to get rid of the bummer as truly rible lonesome that sheriff must 'a' bin feelin', disjointed, as tlJough only the main points ~ad
  dangeroU3 company.           He seemed innocent hitched np so-eh~"                                           been noted down for reference, he recogmzed
  enough, and yet-                                      I "I don't reclwnhe'll fergitit over soon," dryly the names of "Brimstone Butte," and" Hollo 'v
     Ever smce having his hopes dashed to the said Bandy, busy with his preparation of supp('r Hill."
  ground by being tossed over the head of the de- for himseif lind guest.                                         With these as a clew to guide his wits, he had
  formed giant, Barney Budge bad stuck to tlle               ",Yonder ef he didn't come that way prowlin' little difflcnlty in rleciding that the map really
  brigadier like a leech. And when Big Bandy 'round a'ter moonshiners~" slowly ventured represented a portion of the mount known equal-
  leftJ the barbecue grounds, he found, in some Budge.                                                         Iy well by either name. And as he studied the
  inexplicable manuer, Barney Budge had won an              "Ef he did, he ketched it in the line 0' duty." lines still more closely, he fancied tbat the draw-
  invitation from his lips to pass the night in his         "Durn sech a duty I An' double-durn all ing had something to do with the side of the'
  company.                                               them as sot sech a duty fer one white man (0 do hill on which his own cabin was locaterl.
     "Ef ya only knowed how that tarm' palace' ag'in' another!" fiaslled BUdge, dashing Olle                      "Mercy-don't-takeit'wayl" whined Barney
  hits me in the sorel" the bummer whiued, dole- clinched hand into the open palm of its mate. Budge, in muffled tones, lying very still, and
  fully, after a brief siIelJ(.;e, during which they "Ef 'twas me he was tryin' to run down-ef 1 hardly daring to use his vocal organs lest that
  began climbing the steep side of Brimstone hed tuck a fio;>;er into that doin', jest bet your deadly point sink deeper into the flesb.
,Butte. "But how could ye1 ,Yhat is they sweet life the job wouldn't 'a' bin jobbed the way                       .. It's fitten ye should beg, critter," sternly
  hangin' 'bout the shape 0' rile to warn ye that they botched that job-no it jest w01!ldn't now 1" muttered. Big Bandy, lowering the paper nntil:
  one tIme 1 lived into a palace that called me             "Which!" slowly drawled Big Bandy, risitig he could gaze into that flushed face below.
  owner an' hoss~ ,Yhat~ Not a durn tbing I up and facing the gentleman from Kentucky.                         " But is it fitten I should spar'~"
  Not even the weenty smell 0' whisky-wuss                  Possibly a little of the fire-glow liugered in his    "Quarter-old soldier-fit on same sidel"
  luck!",                                                dark eyes. If not, Barney Budge ought to have            "Then I cain't wonder no longer why 'the
     .. I didn't-mebbe they's--ef I didn't lose the taken warning in time. Instead, he spoke even Feds licked us clean out 0' our boots an' britches I"
  cork out last time I tuck a snort I" feebly stam- more viciously thau before:                                said Big Bandy, with a short laugh that was
, mered the brigauie,', actually shrinking from             .. Ef I'd 'a' bin thar, mixin' into the job, I'd hardly less frightful than his frown. .. But ef'
  that eager, wolfish glare as Budge panted:             bin in fer tyin' the man to the dog's neck I They you'd lie one way; you'd lie 'nother. An' of all,
     "Ye got any-:-say ye ain't. jokin', giner'lI killed the best critter of the twoi"                         mis'able critters I do 'SpiSA II, liar I"
  They's 'nough stuff up thar fer to give a pore            " Stiddy, comrade I" rumbled the brigadier's          "Wbat hev I done to-"
  critter allyway one taste1"                            hea.vy voice, and oue hand dropped warningly             II ,Yhat beven't ye done, ruther1" indignantly
     "Ef it haiu't got upsot, they ought to be a on a shoulder of his guest. "You're talkin' of flashed thll brigadier, holding np the paper, ann
  jug 0' moonshine-"                                     a whitemau. You're talkin' ofaold soldier, who sllaking it so viciously that one worn fold parted
     II That's itl" excitedly.   "1I100nshinel what I give up all he held precious on airth fer what he company with the rest.
  was comin' to when that pesky bnmp kicked up field to be his bounden duty. He fit uS to the                     "Don't-save itt" gasped Budge, in seeming'
  an mixed the wits 0' me. Keep it in mind, bitter eend, an' I honor him fer it, though I'd 'a' agony of mind as his (lyes tried to follow tIl<'
  giner'l, an' Ie's hurry Lo the palace!"                done my level best to 'a' killed him, then, ef we'd fragment as it floated toward the fire. "It's a,
     Wi~h that look of trouble deepening on his met on the bl'ttIe ground."                                    holy heap 0' money, an'-"
  scarred face, Big Bandy led the way to his                "But-he fit onto the wrong sidel" spluttered          "Blood·money, you cursed spyl" grated thp
  humble mountain home: a log and stoae cahin 'Budge.                   ,                                      brigadier, his eyes glowing redly, his sCUlTe,1
  ~hat was half-huried in the biIIsidf', yet afford-        "Wrong in our eyes, mebbe, bnt right in face filled with hot indignation and honest scorn.
  mg a snug and dry shelter from the storm, of his'n. An'-it ""as a dirty trick, that ought to " Ef I could save-"
  rain, wind or snow.                                    be wiped out in blood I An'so-when I tell ye,            "Blood-money1" echoed Budge, with real or'
     By this time the sun was sinking low, and the flat, that I hold John Hooper as a dear fri'nd, well feigned wonder in his eyes and tone~. "I
  October air was growing chill, tbere'on Brim- comrade, mebbe you'll 'low the matter to drap don't onderstalld what you mean!"                           ,
  stoue Butte. ThIS was enough to in itself ac- right whar you found it."                                         "Shell I tell ye what I meall1 Shell 1 tell ye,
  count for the readiness with which Big Bandy             J' Ef you feel that war, why-"                      how I'm gwine to pay you off fer doin'- Wait,
  produced a stone jug, to the mouth of which               "I jest do, comJ;ade,' with a troubled frown a bit," his tones suddenly growing more natural,
  Barney Budge eagerly glued his lips, relinqiJish- coming into his face. II Pore as I be, I'd do a though his foot-pressure never slackened, and
  ing it with a long sigh of mingled satisfaction heap to hev it all blott~d ouf?, Fer it's a foul his saber still maintained that chilling touch.
  and regret, murmuring: '                     .         trick that's got to be paid fer-paid fer double          "Yon come to me ~s one honest man to an-
     "Good 'nough, what they is of it, giner'll"         over I An' I'm only hopiu', they won't none' 0' oLher: You 'peared like you wanted help an'
     The brigadier took a swallow, more throngh the innocent suffer fer what the guilty did I"                 vittles, an' I, offered ye all both. An' fur as I
  conrtesy than because he really loved the stnff,          Barney Bndge looked very humble after this Imowed how, bein' only a pore, mis'able wreck
  then set to work kindling,a fire on the capacious outburst, and hardly opened );Jis lips again until of what I used to was, how did ye pay me'
  stoue hearth. A kindly word or two hade his the brigadiAr announced supper. And even the back~
  new friend make himself at home, but tbis was production of tJe nearly empty jug only drew                      "By cussin' the man I'm proud to calI a
  hardly needed. BarneY,dropped upon the low a mournful sigh from'his l i p s . ,                              fri'nd. By tryin' to git me to seH ye the secretS'
  couch, and set his tongue to running once                 After supper was dispatched and the rude 0' this-of the neighhors who've put tha'r clean
  more.                                                  table cleared, Big Bandy picked up a wooden trust into me. By takin' my ruff·tree as a
      "It was missionaries an' moonshine I was bucket and said he was going to the' spring af- kiver to your dirty schemes ag'inst men wq.ose
  wantin' to talk 'bc;mt, Giner'l Bandy, when that ter some wateJ', leaving his new friend alone in only crima is that of tryin' to make a livin' fer'
  pesky bump-but that don't count, now. Back the cabin. And the moment his footsteps died tha'r starvin', famblys out 0' the grain they
  in good old Kentucky, when the war was eended out in the distance, BarMy Budge crept closer spend tha'r weary days plantiu' an' growin' and'
  an' we quit beca'se we got tired 0' lickin' them to the bdght fire on the heal'th, taking out that reapin'.
  durned, bull-headed Yanks; back in Kentncky mysterious paper, opening its folds and eagerly,                    "All this, mind ye, critter, you're guilty of"
   whar I hedn't even the h'arth-stone left 0' my almost greedily poring over the lines marked under my own ruff. An' when I ketch ye mak-
  grand palace, I'm tellin' ye, giner'l-I kinder thereon., For though there were a few words of in' out the very plan an' map which ye think'll
  tuck to runnin' moonshine fer to keep a rag on writing, hardly decipherable now, through fetch ye to whar they'm at work, moonshinin',
  the back 0' me, an' a mouthful, atwixt 'my two much handling, the majority of lines went to you whine fer mercy I"
  jaws. An' so-waul, mebbe yo know how it 'form a rude sort of map.                             ''                "I'll give ye half-'\
  comes, your own self, The sheriff lit down . So deeply ahsorbed was he, that he seemed                          I I I'd starve a  thonsan' times over afore I'd'
  outo mel an' thaI' I was: clean bu'sted up in lost to all else, and he gave a howl of terror as a eat or drink a bite or sup bought with the price'
  business I '          '                                heavy hand closed on his shOUlder.                    of my feller-men's liberty!" sternly said Big
     "An' come over here to git out 0' his                                                                     Bandy, more angry than ever at this attempt to
  reach~"                        . .                                        CHAPTER XIV.                       bribe him.
     "Fer one thing, yes. Fer 'nother':-I say,                        THE STORY OF UNCLE JUPE.                    " But-'tain't that-treasure' hid by nigger I'"
  giner'l," lowering his voice to a confidential            HIS head swung around as tliough bung on a gasped Budge.
  pitch as he cast a weary glance around the room.' swivel, and his startled eyes met the keen, al.               Big Bandy gave a sharp ejaculation, and in
  " What's the show fer settin' up a still in these most savage gaze of the brigadier.                         his surprise lie removed both foot and weapon,
  parts~ Or, mebbe, gittin'in with a good party             "Good Lawd, giner'l-why don't ye skeer a but instead of trying to arise, Budge bastily
  already into t'he business~",                          poor critter plum' to, death an' done with it'l" he spluttered:
     I I I don't knqw, Rn' so can't say," curtly said    ejaculated, with an air ot relief as though glad         "I'm huntin' fer a lot 0' mpneyan' sech, bid
  the brigadier. ,II Ef you 'low to break the law; matters were no worse, even while he tried to by a nigger called Uncle Jupe. fu'st pRrt 0' the
  mebhe you'd better not trnst a fool too mighty ,slip the paper back into his bosom.                          war; an' never found till yit! I ain't no spy
  fnr. Empty skull an' loose tongue runs in                   I Efyou ain't guilty, what'sthar,togit skeered   lool<ln' fer secret stills-llo I ain't I"
  \lOU pies, they say I"                                 over1"                                                   "But-ef I mought only b'lieve ye, critter!"
     .. Bless ye, glne~'l, they ain't no lawag'in'          II Guilty!    Me~ Waal, ef I ever, no I never I"      II vYhy not~" with increasing boldness, now
  talkin' in Mizzoury, is they~" spluttered Barney spluttered Barney Budge, with a feehle show of that the worst of his peril had passed over his
  Budge; thelliaughingly: "An' I ain't tryill' fer honest iudignation. ",Yhen a man talks that bead. ." Durn the whisky-'cept fer my own
  to 'git into ahy 0' your own. sec~l)ts" nuther, way to a gentleman, 'pears to me it's mighty drinkin'l It's r;olcl I'm after, an' they's a
  comrade. All I wanted to say IS tbls: ef I could nigh time that gentleman tuck his own self whar mighty heap of it stowed a way not a thousan"
  rake an' scrape together 'nough money fer To git he kin be hetter 'preciated. An'so-"                        miIeq right from this idj!nticlde spot!"
  a worm an' other riggin', could I ~ell the. dew           That flerce grip on his shoulder relaxed, and         "Then this-,cross the heart 0' ye you ain't
  'round hyar~"                                  ,    . [With those words, BUdge rose to his teet as huntin' out 110 moonsbiners!"
     "Notknowin', cain't say," muttered Big Bandy, though about, to bow himself out of the cabin                  "Cross my heart dounle times over-no, I
  so plainly on his guard that his guest took the with all the diguity befitting a gentleman from ain't, now I" with an emphatic nod as he rose~to
                                                                       Big Bandyo                                                                           13
'his feet and gave his frame a gingerly sbake to            givC' it to you1" steadily asked the brigadier.' mss then a fool who thinks-even thinks, mind
 ,1lssure himself that no bones had been broken by          "Why'nt he come fer the money him own self?" ye, Barney Budgel A mall is heap sight wuss
 bis fall. " Cross my heart that I'nt only come                II Waal, mebbe he did 'low to, b,nt he met up     then a erazv fool who tries to read the secrets of
 all the way from Kentucky jest fer to onoorth              'ith a accident. Run ag'inst a knife, one night Hollow Hilll"                                ,
 that store 0' gold an' silver an' sich, hid fu'at          when he was drunk. An'-"             .                  There Was something so deeply impI'essive in
 p',rt 0' the wal~ by a nigger 0' these parts called           " Wasn't in yOU?' hand, that knife, Barney?"      the manner of the hrigadier as he prononnced
 Uncle Jupel"                                                  " Good Lawd I would I be tellin' of it, ef 'twas these words, that even his grief for the, dOlVn-
    "I've hearn tell o'Uncle Jupe," slowly mnt-            that way I" spluttered Budge, with wide eyes and falling of his airy castles could not blind Barney
  tered Big Bandy, passing a hand across bis               seemingly honest indignation at tho expressed Bu<lgeto their importauce.
 "crinkled bl'ow as he stared fixedly at the paper,        suspicion,                                               "But-ef nobody else conldn't find it? Ef
    " Then mebbe you kin- ThaI' she am, thank                  .. I didn't know but that was how it come in they'd all give it over as a bad job1 An' ef I
 nIoses I" and Barney Budge eagerly jumped for             YOUl' han's, but ef I wronged yeo I ax your hed a sart'in clew to- Ashes an' smokel Jest
 the bit of paper lying dangerously nigh the              'pardon, Barney. You was sayin'-I"                     ashes an' sllJoke-'-wuss luckl"
 glowing coals on the stone hearth. II I know the              " Waal, I was 'bout through. My mate told            Barney stared iut{) the fire with helpless
 bull thing by heart, but ef you'll-"                      me the map bed to do with' Brimstone Butte, misery, seemingly unconscious of those dark
    He cut himself short, a look of greedy donbt           or Holler Hill, an' so-I cOllJethie WilY to bunt." orbs, still trying to read the truth in his misem-
coming into his lace as he watched his host.                   .. An' what was doue to Unele Jupe!"              bly dejected countenance.,            '
 'Voulel there be any advantage in binding bim-                "He-he must 'a' died. I couldn't never git I "Ashes liur yit smoke cain't never rise np
 self to a division with this man1 Could his pos-          my mate to say."             ,          .           , in evidence strong 'nough to fit a rope 'round
'sible services be Wurth so great a sacri!ice1                 Big Bandy stood in silence for a few moments, the thrapple of a ~l1an\ Barney Budge."
    "You lived in these parts, Giner'l Bandy," he          his head bent over th!> paper as though study-           " I don't-you mean somethin', but blamed ef
 ventured, feeling his way. " Mebhe you nsed to            ing out its details, but if sucll \Vas his object, I kin tell je~t what I" blurted Budge, after a
·:lrnuw the niggm"l"                                        his grave, set features told no tales to the eager quick gaze into that face.
    "Only sence the war, comrade," gravely an-             eyes tbat watched him. Until-with a swift                Brigadier Bandy tnrned away long enongh to
"swered the brigadier, puttiug away his saber,             forward stride, Big Baudy dropped the map push a' rude, self-made stool toward, his guest,
,once more his usual self, "But I've hearn the             directly into the center of the blazing fireplacel taking a seat on its mate, tben spooking with
'Jleighbors talk of Uncle Jupe, an' 'hout how he                                                                 greatel' directness than he had nsed heretofore.
'was s'posed to hev hid a lot 0' truck b'longin' to                           CHAPTER XV.                           "Ef I've done you a wrong, Barney Budge,
·'his old marse, to keep the Feds from totin' it ofl',                                                           I'm powerful sorry fer it. But wben I putt
'when the tide begun to change down this way."                   THE BRIGADIER WARNS BARNEY BUDGE.               that paper into the firE' I done it in hopes 0'
    "Then you don't know nothin' fer dead sure,                FOR a single instant Barney Blld~e stood like savin' what orter be wu1th beap sight more to
:your own self1"                                           one petrified, literally un'!hle to believe the evi- you 'then a fancy fortin' like tbat folks hitch
    Big Bandy shook his hood in grave silence.             dence of his own senses; but then, as he saw the onto Uilcle .Tupe. Yes I did, Barney Budge."
 Barney Budge hung his head for a little space,            pl'eciouR paper drop down to fall among the              "Fer longer'n two yenr I've bin dreamin'
'evidently hurriedly studying his wisest course.           blazing brands, he gave a choking yell of hono1" over that pile 0' gold an' sieh-like. An' wben I
 Avarice may have urged him to say no more,                and made a desperate plunge to save it from gits -e'ena'most whar I could putt my hand onto
lest this heavy-handed man who was so terribly             total destrnction.                                    it, thaI' she flies away-up chimblyl" dejectE'dly
free with his sword, should lay claim to the lion's            II Git it-don't let it burn to--"                  mutt.,red the bummer, staring gloomily into the
,;;hare of the coveted treasure-trove, but his                 "Stiddy, critter I" rumbled that deep voice, beart of the fire.
 physical ,fears warned bim not to risk lo~ing             and a strong a.rm not only pusbed hIm back,              "Mebhe 'twas only a map in your eyes,
 both treasure and life by trying to secure too            but that deformed figure barred the 'way nntil Barney Budge, bnt 'twould 'a' bin a death-war·
 much.                                                     the map was entirely destroyed.                       rant in others'!"             .
    Evidently this last argument prevaile,l, for hf;l                                  I:'
                                                               .. Mad-plum' crazy-mad groaned the bum-              Again the bnmmerstarted, with a show of
lifted his head and frankly Hlcountering that              mer, ceasing his vain efforts as he saw tile paper fright in bis face and manner. But swiftly fol-
,iaze, spoke out with mom plainness:                       turn to ashes, then whirl np the wide-mouthed lowing- this came the ngly suspicion again.
    " I ain't hold in' no grudge, Giner'l Bandy, an'       cbimney on the draught.                                  " You know tbe spot them lines marked out\
to prove it, I'll ten ye jest wilat I kllow my own             Big Bandy lowered his arm aud stepped Giner'l Bandy. You kin walk over each foot a
"elf, ef you'll agr,'e fel' tu do Yolnr sheer 0' bring-    quietly aside, his voice betraying no excitement, the ground they 'luded to. An' so-did you burn
~n' the treasure to light ap;'IIl."                        though full of deep meaning.                          tbat map-my prope'ty, mind yel-so ye could
    "I don't ax no sbeer, comrade. I kin live                  "Ef I be craZ.f, Barney, I ain't so bad ofl' as dig up the treasure yonr"own self? Did ye count
without it, an' a man who'd ax more'n that is a            them that don't know any hetter tben to tot., on keepin' the hull pile1"
!tiOg. 1J                                                  sech a thing round with 'em every day. I ain't           Big BIlndy fiung out-one bony hand with a
     "All right. ef you'd ruther hev itso," chuckled       nigh crazy 'nough to kerry a 'rope fer my own 'gesture of prond contempt, thongh on his scarred
 Budgf', rubbiug his dirty hands in undisguised            hangin'."            ,                                face there came a look of humility.
delight. "All the more fa" me, an' when I git                  "I never done it," moaned Budge, seemingly           "What is gold an' silver, and tbe likes 0' all
 these'teu fingers auto it, I'll set up a still that'll    too' completely broken down by misfortune to tbat, to one in my fix, critter1 Ef I found
jest make this hnll county smell o'mountain                maintain any'thought of revenge au the one 'nough to waller into like a hog in a spring-hole,
dew-so I will, now!"                                       who had so unexpectcdly destroyed hi. prouerty, could it fetch back the wits I lost in the war1
     "An'I tuck yon fer a cussed revenue spyl"             and with it his long-cherished hopes of winning Wonld it make my face clean an'smooth all it
   . Baruey Budge made a wry face. Even he                 a fortune at a single stroke. "&f they was use to was? Conld it straighten the ngly crook
'Seemed disgusted at being mistaken for such a             blood onto it, my han' neYer let it run out. All in tbe back 0' me?"
'vile creature.                                            I knowed was-an' now it's gam;! Up chimblyl              "Then what made ye shet out my chaince 0'
     " Waal, the hest of ns will git off, 50metin:es,      Smoke an' ashes-durn my ornery skin!"                 flndin' ,the gold I" demanded Barney Budge, in
lIn' ef we botb live long 'nough, you'll know me              He dropped to the flam' in a miserably-de- snbrlned tones, his eyes drooping once more.
uetter'n to reckou me so mighty low down. But              jected heap, burying bis face in bis bands, a "Ef I could only- Cuss the whirligig brain 0'
as I sot out to say: thaI' was, fu'st part 0' the          wl'eck of ruined hopes.                               me I" with a muffled hqwl as he buried his fingers
'War, a mighty rich chap livin' nigh to this hil!,             Big Baudy made nO move toward him, stand- I in his hair. .. Ef I eould only 'member jest bow
1!lamed Barbour-Kenneth Barbour, ef I l:ain'~              ing like a deformed statue in tbe full glow of them lines runs, long 'nough fer to mark 'em
,.twisted the name wrong ways fo'mostl"                    tbe fire, only tbe fingers of one band stirring as down ag'in I"
     " I don't reckon. I -never met up with him,           they mechanically twisted a port.ion of his pa-          .. Heap sight hetter not, Barney Budge,"
',but they S!\y he was a uncle, or SOme sech kin,          triarchal beard. But in his dark eyes there swiftly interposed the brigailier, once more
1;0 young Gilbert Cochrane."                               glittered a cnrious mixture'of doubt !lnd suspi- fully on ,the alert. " You're in plenty danger as
     " Jest so," nodded Barney Budge, with a               cion as he watched and listened.                      it stan's, 'thout doin'any more to make it surer."
fuun~ry glance toward the paper which the brig-                "Gone up I" moaned Barney Budge, his frame           " What hev I done? What sort 0' danger be
<!Idier still held in his grasp, hut seemingly'not         shivering perceptibly as he groveled on the floor ye hintin' at1" splattered tbe startled man.
,daring to ask for its return, as yet. "An'                of beaten eurtb. "Bu'sted l' All in tbe time a           "Danger 0' bein' tuck fer, somethin' mighty
 he hed'a body-sarvant called Uncle Jupe. An'              cat could bat her eyel An' it wu'~h a fOrtin I"       sight dif'rent from the critter ye said ye was
 ,laclrin' a better, he left his hull prope'ty in              .. An' it wu'th the sndden death a', the critter down at the barhecue, fer one thing," was the
,~harge 0' the nigger when he jumped ofl' to the           as was fool enough to tote it rOIHld with himl"       slow response.
 wars,"                  .                                     Barney Budg'3 gave a sudden start as that            "What was it I said1 That I fit in the war?
     "I've hearn all that. Come down to later              deep, earnest tone broke through bis husky lam- Sol did. That I was one 0' Giner'l Jo Shelby's
 facks."                                                   entations. He lifted his head and stared np men1 Who dast to hint I wasn'M"
     .. Waal, the tide tnrned, as I said afo', an'         llltotbat grave face, half in anger, half in help.       "Ye,might 'a' done . heap wuss, Barney
Uncle Jnpe he picked up all the money an'                  less sorrow.                                          Budge," with a riod of grim approval, his somber
 papers an' sich-like, an' hid 'em SQm'ers; in this            "How could ye, giner'H How could ye wipe features ligbting up a trifie at that. "Jo Shelby
'dentickle hill, ef the story hes come down right.         out tbe life-long hopes of a pore critter who- was a man', an' I wouldn't ax no better title then
 Au'-would you b'lieve it1 That nigger know-               an' my own two lookin' eyes see it go up in to call myself one 0' Shelby's brigade, Bnt,
ed enongh fer todraw up that paper you've got              smoke an' ashes I Go up ehimhlyJ"                     tbat ltin't what I wanted to git at." as he passed
;into thf' grip 0' yel So he wouldn't lose track 0'            "Ef it tuck with it all mem'ry 0' them lines, a hand slowly across hi3 brows, like one trying
 what he hid I reckon, mebbe."                            so much the better fer yon, Barney Budge."             to clear away a foggy vail.
     " How did it come down to you, comrade1"                  "So you kin git the hull pile to,your lone-          "Then I don't see what sort 0' danger I could
",lo",ly asked the bri;.;adier, as his gaze turned        some selfl" cried the treasure-seeker, rising to b" gittil1' into," muttered Budge, with a frown
 from the mutilated map to tbat covetous face.             his feet and staring at the brigadier with dawn- of perplexity. "I hain't killed, nul' robbed, nUl'
     "Jest thepi'nt I was comin'to, giner'l," with        ing snspicion coming into his own features. done wuss then to tramp the kentry, fer lack of
a faint sig-h of uneasiness as he watched that            II Was that why you rob a feller who.         a hoss to ririe. Is a body to hang fer the like 0'
 paper. .. You know-or ef you don't' jest know.           put his trust into yonI' honor1 Was that why that, giner'l1"                             ,
 you kin sorter give a guess-how oneasy things            you turned all his hopes to smoke an' ashes~"             "That's itl" nodded the brigadier, nodding
  was gittin' down in these parts, fer the biggest            "Stiddy, Barney Budge," /iravely uttered the sharply as his hand came down with a slap on
 part a' the war, Fu'st oue side an' then t'other         brigadier, lifting one hand Jll warning as the one tlngh. "I knowed I'd ketch the idee when
 tuck the range. An' 'twixt them come gangs 0'            other clinched his fi,ts and seemed on the p,oint it come flail-tin' hack ag'in I An'-ef you really
 bushwhackers an' g'rillers which wasn't keerin'          of seeking physical revenge for his loss.• You come here from Kentucky, Barney Budge, you
 auy too much what flag they fit under, or which          ain't nigh the fool yon try to make out. You don't need tellin' how much it means, these
'Color kivered tha'r nakedness. See1"                     don't b'lieve what's cr03sin' the lips 0' ye this days, fer to hev a'spicion git out that a critter
     "I know; the folks hev a heap sight to say of        minnit."                                              -is a revenue spy I" ,
'it, even yit," nodded the brigadier, his gaze                 "A hull e-tarnal fortin'-gone up in smoke            "Good Lawdl" gasped the bnmmer, giving a
stE'adily noting each alteration in that face.            an' ashes I"                                           start that almost npset both himself and the
     " Waal, one 0' these gangs-they wasu't all so            " I've hearn some talk 'bout sech a treasure stool he was sitting on. "Anybody think-me?"
turrible bad, ye know, giner'l, an' war makes             hevin' bin bid out hy a nigger called Uncle               "I ketched more'n one hint p'intin' that way
 mighty qual' bedfellers, tool Waal, I met np             Jupe." slowly said the brigadier. still with tbat when down barbecue way," nodded the briga-'
'long 'ith one 0' that gang, an' we parded to-            curious indecision in bis dark eyes. "But tbe dier. keenly scanning that frigbtened face.
 J\'ether for quite a little. An' he told me all          woods is more'n full 0' jest sach fool' stories."        ,"But-dnrn my ornery' hide I" helplessly
'bout Uncle Jupe an' his hidin' of them things,               "Bnt this'ne come tou straight fer to be panted Budge.
 ye know. An'-waal, he done give me tbat                  crooked," moaned Budge.                                   " An' ef it cuts, don't blame me wuss then you
map sayin' that to them who dast make the                     "But even 'lowin' the 'story was clean trnth, kin help, critter. But ever sence you stuck so
5'arch they was a monster heap 0' pay into itl"           an' doublin' up the 'mount 0' money fclks talk close to me-ever sence you come home an' be-
     ~. U'wu'th so mighty much, what made him             o'the nigger's hidin' out, even then a man is gun to talk like you did-that same 'spi~ion has.
14                                                                 Big Bandy.
been workin' its way deeper an' deepex through barbecue until he returned to his cabin, in                      Barney Budge bad improved in hi~ lllanner of
the fog that fills the skull 0' me."                 company with Barney Budge.                               speaking, if in nothing else, since his proud re-
    .. But you cain't even begin to think it,            And as that memory was reached, he gave a            treat from the" palace" of General Bandy.
Gener'l Bandy1"                                       gasping cry of intense delight, for he knew the           He had only gone far en<lugh to make sure be
    .. I tried all I knowed to drive it away, but terrible struggle lVaS over; knew that, for once            was not bemg followed by the brigadier, then
'twouldn't go, Barney Budge," still with that again ue had g-ained the ,ictory over hIS mad-                  circled around until at a point from whence he        I
low, impressive gravity of tOIle which impresses ness!'                                                       could keep guard over the cabin and its inmatB.
one even more deeply than the harshest laIl-             .. I've fit it back!" he panted, leaning against     He felt almost cer~in that Big Bandy was an
guage. .. You fit on my side in the war, an'my the cabin wall as weak and nerveless as thouf?;h
heart warms to all sech. You called me com- he h·:l.d been engaged in a long and hitter fight
                                                                                                             Ially of the moonshmers for whose secrets he lVas
                                                                                                              playing such. a danger0!ls ~Illne, and believing
rade. You broke bread, an' eat salt under my with an eq,ually powerful antagollist.                           that he, had g;lven the !.Jrlgadler ample canse for
ruff-tree. An' so-1 heeZ to warn ye, Barney              Twice !lefore in his lifetime-or since his mind      suspectmg hIm of bemg a spy, he hoped for
Budge. I hed to give ye warnin', though I hate was shattered-had he fought that fearful fight,                much wha~ wa~ actually to tak~ place.
a revenue spy wus; then a massasauga hates a to complete snccess. And. "9ach time thll on-                      And a WIth sdent chuckle at hIS <?wn acnteness,
ash bush."                                           creeping madness bad left hIm for weeks af~er.           B~rney Bud~e set o~ along the t!,al!?f the monn-
    "But I ain't-- Good Lawdl"                           During those intervals hI' couk! not he saHl to      tameer, hopmg to m the end wm hIS longed-for
    Barney Budge sprung to his feet in supreme be mad, though at his best Big Bandy was what                  reward.                     ...
disgust at the bare suspicion, wildly gesticulat- is termed "simple."                                           He was mentally revlewmg thls,. and .then
ing with both arms, his tongue seemingly un-             With those instances fresh in bis mind, Big          pondering over the na.ture of tbe curlOUS slgnal
able to do th., subject full justice.                Bandy felt little fear of another relapse, for at        which he had stolen from the tree-tl"tlUk, wh~u
   Brigadier Bandy also rose, but his gravity least .. number of days, and though he now re-                 the clatter of a loosened stone at no great dlS-
was unchanged, an,1 his tones were not a whit called just what he wanted to do, be showed no                 tallce warned him to lie close under cover.
less impressive as he added:                         particular haste in setting about it•. He gat              Almost immediately therea'ter he canght the
    "That was why I hurned your map, Barney dowll ou one of the ruie stools, resting bis chin                indistmct hum of human voices, and now and
Budge, fer ef sech was to bo found onto ye when betweeu his joined palms as he stared moodily                then an ugly curse os an nnwary foot slipped, to
ketched-as ketched you shorely will be, ef you into the heart of the redly glowing coals.                    the injury of its owner's limhs.
don't light ont 0' these parts in a holy hurry! Ef       "Ef Id bin my own self, like I be now," he             From bis covert, which was the same into
it was fonnd, 1 sa:v, tbey wouldn't be wanted mused, gloomily, "I'd never let the critter slip                which he had stolen when Big Bandy awaited
anythin' more to make 'em thiuk it was a holp through my fingers that way! Not tbnt I'd hurt                 an answer to his gnarded signal Barney Budge
toye in huntin' fer secret stills."                  him my own self. Mebbe 'twas 'long 0' 80me              saw several dark figures drawing nearer, then
    "But it was jest a map drawed up by Uncle sech bloody work that ~he Lord sent this bitter                pansing wbile still hidden partially by the shad-
Jupe!"                                               cuss upon mel Fer onless a man waS a most               ows. He strained his ears in hopes of clltcbing a
    "So you say, an'so I'm tryin' to think, Bar- turrible sinner, surely he wouldn't come to sech            word or so to give him some definito inform a-
ney; but-"                                           punishment as t.hisl"                                   tion, but without success.
    .. I looked to that, or to what it'd fetch to my    His head bowed until his face was hidden by             H'l he9rd a repetition of the tremulous
pocket, to keep me from starvin' in myoid 'age, his hands. His deformed frame shivered con-                   whistle given not many minutes earlier by thS'
giner'l," his voice quavering, his mannet· grow- vulsively. Truly, as he said, his punishment                brigadiel', but as then, no reply was made.
ing more pleading as ho added: "You bnrnt up was awfnl to contemplate I                                      And then a single man passed on to Ihe tree,
all the clew I hed. Yon recognized the place, as I For many minutes Big Bandy sat thus, bnt                  either to leave a warning or to search for one..
I could see in the face 0' ye when you was study-I then, with a long hreath tbat might be called a              Once more the eager spy was doomed to dIP."
in' over the map. Now-won't you jest p'mt it sigh, be lifted his head and rose to his feet.                  appointment.        The figure waS mnffled in an
out to me, Giner'l Bandy1 Jest give Ille a hint I He turned to where his saber hahitually rested.,           army uvercoat, with felt hat slouched so as to
so's I kin mebbe find the gold?"                     and hung it to the belt which he wore beneath           completely shade his face. And be searched the
   Big Bandy shook his head almost fiercely as lJis overcoat, This garment was only off hIS                  trunk without nttering a word, tben turned
he made reply:                                       person when in bed, or engaged at some difficnlt        ImelA: to rejoin his mates.
    "I'd bite the tongue 0' me clean off at the lahor.                                                          Once there, he spoke, but only a guarded mur-
roots fn'st-an' then 1 wouldn't, Barney BUrlgel         With the instincts of an old soldier, he look-       mur reached the e9rs of the spy, ,,-ho dared not
Ef the Holler Hill hes any secrets, Illt the Holler ed to the condition of his lliotols, making sure all     attempt to change his covert for one more ad-
Hill keep 'em sacred! An' ef you love life au' a was right with them. Then, after a glance to-               vant9geous. Before bim, between his hiding-
easy neck, comrade, you'll j"st lock them jaws ward the fire, to be snre thllce was no danger of             place and tbe shadow where the stran!!,ers
fast an' never drap a whimp~r ontel I kin escort an accident in that quartllr, he left the cabin and         stood, lay a broael helt of bright moonshine,
ye safe acro,t the county line in the mcrnin'."      walked rapidly away through the night.                  to cross which wonld invite certain detection,
   Tbetr eyes met for several seconds, then Bar-        By this time the fun moon had clin,bed high             So, chRfin~ hotly at his unfortnuate caoice of
ney Bndge spoke again:                               enongh to partially dispel the gloom which harl         position, Barney Budge watcherl bis game climb
   .. That's all you're willill' to do, giner'!? You enveloped Hollow Hill as in a mantle, thns ren·         still further up the hill.ide, tben vanish from
won't make even so little 'mends fer destroyin' dering his progress more easy, though he needed              sight au what he f"lt must be a narrow ledf?;e,
my prope'ty?"                                        it not to show him the proper conrse to take.           probably containing the entrance to one of the
   "I'm savin' your neck from a rope, Barney            Several times he pansed, where the light be-         many caves and caverns which had given Brim-
Budge,"                                              bind him was the brif?;htest, while his own posi-       StODl~ Hutte its alternative title of Hollow Hill,
    "Then, I'll say my best thank'e fer the whisky tion was hidr1en by darkne~s. As often he look-              When satisfied on this point, silJC'e nothing
I've drullk, an' the vittles I've ett inside your ed 10lJp; and keeuly to detect a pos·ible spy along        more was seen of his game, be left his covert,
hou.e. I'd give 'em all hack ef I knowed how, his truil; hut as often did he resnme his way                  and by a roundahout course, drcw nearer the
Ginel"l Bandy. An' I wish't they hed choked without making the discovery he dreaded.                         ledge--only to sink low, with a stifled cnrse, as
me clean dllad wll,h the fu'st bite an' sup: Fer        "I'm glad of it, fer his sake even more'n my         be caught the sputterinE; li~ht of a match which
then I'd died tIlkin' you to be a honest man, not own," he muttered, with a thought of Barney                waS being ignited to enahle the man on guard
a robber I" slowly utterer! Budge, picking up his Bndge and the ugly sus; ,icions that cnrious man           dnty to light his pip".
hat and turning to the door, out of which he of Brimstoue Butte bad awakened, fresh in bis                      He could see the fhune, bnt an intervening
pa~sed without making a sign in answer to the mind.             "Ef what I said an' done skeered him         bunch of leaves shielded the face of the gnard
words sent after by his host.                        clean oil', so UluC'h the better. Fllr it's bad work    from his eager eyes. And before he conld ex-
    "Wait ontel day, Barney Burlp;e, an' I'll guard to even dream 0' "mellin' out tho secrets 0' Hol-        cbange bis position for one more favorable, tbe
ye safe out 0' the county. Ef you're ketched leI' Hill-powerfnl bad work, Barney Budj';el"                   match expired, and only the dull glow of the
runnin' 'round through the night-"                      Shortly after this last pause for watching and       burninll; tobacco remained to guide his sight.
   He stood at the door, bnt ceased speaking as listening, Big Bandy carne to a narrow cnt in                   Another fierce, hunp:ry oath was smotlJPred in
he lost sight of the suspe.eted man in tbe gloom the hillside, and with one more suspicious gaz'l            its birt.h. Truly, favored bv chance as he had
outside; for though the moon was at its full, around and behind him, he put a bent fing"r in-                b"en at the stl\rt, Barney Budge be!!'an to be-
the mountain as yet intercepted its rays.            to his mquth and gavil a low, tremulous                 lieve fortnne had indeed deserted him for the
    " Ef they ketch him-yoDel-by /"                  wbistle.                                                ni<!:'lt I
                                                        He waited in silence for fully a minute, then           From where he lay, he knew it would be im-
                   CHAPTER XVI.                      :epeated the sig.nal, for under the Clrcumstances       possible for him to surprise the man on watch,
    HOW BARNEY B~DGE PLAYED WITH FIRE.               It could be notbmg else.                                shoulo1 he see no other hope of learning what he
    THE thought urged him across tue threshold,         Still ther!" came '.'0 answer, and with a long       had fiXed his stubborn mind upon. But might
and running forward a few steps, he callerl breath of elth"r rehef or confirmed fear<, the                   not the otber end of the ledge offer bettllr facili-
aloud upon his recllnt guest. But only the dnll bri~adier took an object from his bosom and                  ties! Or-were there no means of sepiug and
echoes answered, and knowing that in such a with a stout pin f~stened it to the trunk of a                   hearing the men inside tbat cavern, without
 wild region pursuit wonld be worse than useless stunted tree standmg among the rocks hard by.               resorting to such extremities?
withont light to gnide bis search, Big Bandy re-        This done, h';l lin!l"ered for a few minutes            There might he such a chance, from all he
luctantly turned hack to his cabin home.             longer, after wbiCh, lIke one wbo feels longer de-      had gleaned concerning the Hollow Hill and as
    He pauslld at the door, gazing moodily into lay. is only a waste of time, he t?rned back on his          he could easiest gain a position near the fur-
the darkness where he harllost sight of Barney trml and qU1ck~y vamsberl amldst the sbado\'ls.               ther ,,11<1 of that ledge, by crossing over above,
Budge, now and then passing a tronbled hand             Slowly the nnnutes crept onward, and when            l'ather than below, where he woulr1 naturally
across his forehead.                                 probably a round doz~n ha':1 heen recorded, an-         run greater risk of beiug seen hy the I!nard,
    Althongh he bad experienced one of his most other shape stole SIlently from th~ bushes                   Bamey Budge silently wrigl!'led his way back-
lucid intervals, that day, it was becoming hard- and advanced to .the tre~, ea~erly pinckllll!' fr<?m        warri .until hidden from possihl" discovery in
er for him to think conuectedly. His brain IVItS the trunk the obJect whlCh BIg Bandy had pm-                that (hrectlOn. then crept "long the course men-
fille;! witb a dull, weary throbbing, which he ned to the hark,                                              tally 1air1 (,nt beforehand
lmew frolll sad experience almost cel·tainly pres-      ." Just a bit of.rag!,' ~he new-come... mutte~ec1,      Thanks to the nature ~f tbe grouml further
 aged another of his spells of complete madness, WIth an al", of dJOal?pomtment, bendmg aronnd               up the hillside, tbe spy waR ohlige,l to go up
during which he only knew enongh to burrow so as to brllJ~1 the lIght of the moon. upon the                  until be reached ,~hat seemed to be the top of
far away from the sight and hearing of his fel- fragment. I" Red-black cross pamtell near                    that knoll, but winch was really an inepllar
low-men.                                             the bottom, be odderl, as he made so much out.          shelf severa I hundretl fe"t lower thl1n the ex-
    "Ef I could only drive it off!" he muttered. :' No more-only tl,~atl What does it mean1 If               treme top,of Bl'imstoue Butte. But hI' s\lortlv
tossing back his head and flinging aloft his It coul,l only ~all<.                 .           "             aft"r fp;lt 111 dnty bound to congrntulate hImself
tightly clioehed bands. "Ef I could find water          A sounol, leal or fanCIed, sent blm !'Wlftly         on havmg been forceel to a1t"r his plans.
or ice colcl enough to putt ,'ut that tnrrihle a'Y"y to coyer., where he r~",ou?hed 10:,,", hIS teeth           He stopper! sbort, lifting his head aud sniffing
burnin'! But-:-w~:ot was it I wanterl to do fu'st? clmched, hls l'llliht hand grlppmg a pIstol-butt as       with qnivering nostrils, mnch as a pointer will
 Whi!t-'Was-lt?                            .         he waIted aUdllstene~. And through the dark-            on striking the first faint scent of a close-lying
    Hls fingers clasped hIS dully throbbmg temples ness surroun~mg hlm, the eyes of Barney                   game-bird.
WIth almost savage force. Drops of cold sweat ' B~~lge sbon~, lIke the eyes of an angered cat I                 Surely he had cl1nght- Yes! 'I'here 'Was
start~d Ol)t so f...eely ~hat they presently began      . '.V ron l1\! he at le~gth breathed, slightly       the unmistakable sceut of bnrning wood!
to tnckle ~own hIS whIte beard, . ,               .  shlftmg hIS crumpe,l.lImb.. "Thought maybe                 Back and fortb be crl'pt along the ledge. al-
   .Althougn each e~ort caused hlm 111tense pam, that old fool wa~ COllllllg hack. Foolr' with a             most despairing of success as the minutes rolled
Blg Bandy fO~'cf'd hImself to catch at the first low, hardly audible laugh ~hat contained a spite-           by without his finding what he sOIlf?;bt; but jUot
clew, the:n pIck np, one after another, each ful,s,;,eer. Let oth,ers set hnn c1~wn as madman                when he felt the least hopefnl tihe longed-for
event. whlCh had followed af~llr. And slowly, or IdlOt; I mark hIm a degree hIgher-a knave,                  discovery was madel                  '
labol'lously, he pass.ed In r~vlew tbe ev~nts of all the. mo~e dangerons because of his simple                  And ten seconds later, Barney Budge was
the day, from the tIme of hIS first reachmg the reputation!                                                  crouching on his knees, his bead and shouldera
                                                                     Big Bandy.                                                                             15
thrust into an irre~nlar hole in the rocks, his
gaze wandering swiftly, hungrily over the faces
                                                      I  goblet which Cochrane held to his lips, without         His face hardly looked like that of a lover who
                                                         stopping to taste its flavor. And his head sunk hoped soon to meet the girl he meant to make
and forms of ~ nnmber of armed men below                 back on the grateful pillow, sleep overtakin~ his wife. but despite his gloomy, anxious looks,
him I                                                    him even whil9 he was trying to tell Gilbert not Gilbert Cocbrane was heading for the home of
  And as each sentence spoken floated npward,            to let him lie too long.                             Luke Barnes.       But with all his impatient
he recorded it on bis brain for future use, so ill-        "Poor fellow I" mused Cocbrane, gazing into anxiety, he did not entirely lose sight of pn~-
terested tbat he never tboull:ht of danger-              the face of. his gUest, now showiug more plainly dence.
  Until a heavy weight dropped on bis back,              the fnll effects of that frightful ordeal. "It          Half-an-hour's rapid riding carried bim to thE:'
and he felt himself falling!                            looks mightily like pl>tyiug bim dirt, but what vicinity of the Barnes' location, when be mod-
                                                        else can I do?"                                       erated bis pace, turning out of the road and
                   CHAPTER XVII.                           Drawing down the shades, Cochrane silently pickiug his way through the fairly thick forest
     "THEN I'll go out whitel"
                                                        left the room, closing the door gently hehind for some little distance before finally dra"'ing
                                                        him. And sbutting himself up iu the office from rein. Dismounting, he hitched his horse to a
     Gilbert Cochrane nodded assent to this grim whence he had escorted. his friend .. he paced pendent bough, then resumed his journey on
  declaration, but it was more mech'l11ical tban slowly back and forLh, hiS Jlrooping head and foot, soon rpachinll; a point from whence he
  enthusiastIC. The sentiment that crisp sen- pale face showing how hllrd he found it to decide could gllin W fair view of both tbe cllbin and the
 tence contained was, no doubt, most admirable, upo~ bis proper course of action.                          I spring where-though of course be could not
 but-                                                      LIk'! many another lwnest man whose lot harl I know that-Myra had not many hams before
     " It means politiclll ruin, Hooper 1"              becn cast in sections where the st.eam horse had hel,1 such a trying interview with his rival.
     II All right. I'll have private honor left in its not or could not penetrate, G:lbert Cochrane             For some little time he saw no signs of life
 place."                                                looked with a lenient eye on thllt small class of I about the place, unless in the thin tbrearl of
     Boldly, firmly though he spoke, it WILS plain law-hreakers known as" moonshiners."                       smoke which curled npward from the stone
 to see that Sheriff Hooper acutely felt the awk-          He knew that for generations past the moun- chimney, but he had a fair stock of patience
 ward sitnation into which he had heen cast taineers had heen used to working up their sur- when once fairly set on a certain course, and
 witbout a single day's waming. His unusually plus grain illto Whisky, which could be so much maintained his watcb.
 pale face betrayed sometbing of wbat was pass- more readily transporterl to a market, as well as                Though he saw no signs of Luke being about
 mg in his mind, but keenly though Cochrane more prompltly disposerl of when taken there. the place, be did not want to openly call at the
 eyed his guest, he conld not detect even the For many years not a word had been said against honse. Mrs. Barnes would certainly be at bome,
 faintest symptom of yielding, of what is called I this manner of life, and the new dispenSlltion Ilnd in bel' presence he could not well tell Myra
 policy.                                                was hard to understand by those rnde, illiterate why be made that visit. And so, hoping and
     "Well, sheriff, if we've p;ot to die, we'll go men, who were simply living the life their praying that tbe girl might go down to the
 down witb flying colors," he langhed, with the fatbers led before them.                                     sprillg, he waited and watched.
 air of one who abandons a farIaI'll hope. II And          At tbe utmost, their transgressions amonnted         Fortune seemed to favor bim, at length, for he
 now-to bed I Yon've got to catch up with lost to but a few dollars each per year; a mere trifle saw Myra, wooden bucket on an arm, leave the
 time, John, for I'm mighty certain you never to the Govprnment, bilt all the difference be- house and slowly pass along to the spring.
slept much last night!"                                tweeu' starving and living to many of the                Gilbert only waited long enough to makp snre
    Sheriff Hooper winced sharJ?ly at those mountaineers.                                                  I of her destination, then hastened around nntil
words, though the allusioll to hiS terrible 01'-          Knowing this, because he lived in the midst of the trpes growing near the spring sbut oft' all
deal was made in such Il tone and mllnner that just su"h men, Gilbert Cocbrane had 1l1ways view from the hOllso. And undpr this cover he
 he could not possibly take offense at it.             been in syn,pathy for the law-breakers, rather ran forward calling out in low bnt eager tones
    "Don't go to any trouble on my account, than the law. enforcers.                                         as the girl started at his footfalls:
Cochrane," he said, quickly putting out a hlllid          Then, too, he hlld grave reason to think that         "Wait-don't run, Miss Barnes! I mean only
as his bast rose from his seat. "Lord love you, Lnke Barnes was even now interested in illicit good to you and yOllrs, I assurp you I"
lad! I could d"op down and sleep like a.log, distilling,                                                        " But-mother will be waiting for-"
anywhere-even on myoId nag, for that milt-                " It only needs this last straw!" he reflected,       "Only a minute-I'll not detain you longer,
tel' I"
                                                    I  his brows contramed and his eyes filled with Myra," by this time near enougb to catch her
    " Don't mention it, sheriff. Not the slightest anxiety. "I couldn't do less than stand by reluctant hand, Which, before she could prevent
trouble. And then, if you're 111 for the war, Hooper. Alone, abused, I'd have been a cur him, was preSSed ardently to his lips. "Can
better be in good fighting condition at the start, not to have helped him as far as I have. Bnt- you forgive me for wbat I did this forenoon,
if !.ou hope to come ant on top."                      if he keeps his oath, if he jumps on the moon- Myrn?"
     • I don't know as I do bope ir," with a return shiners with hath feet, as· his orders run, how             .. You didn't-Jasper forced it on you, Mr.
of his moodiness. "'rhey've got me surround- will tbpy regard nw?"                                           Cochrane."
ed, and whichever WILY I turn I find Il masked            No need to Ilsk the qnestiou, for only too well       " I should have borne it more patiently nntil
battery all ready to open up at my first move!" he knew tile answer. He would he classed as you were away. Only I knew-he would have
    "Then-why not save yonI' hot shot for the John Hooper's aid and backer, beyond a doubt! told you I held back because of cowardice I"
most dangerous, hecause IllOst secret, enemies,           That might mean dellth to bimself, but he             "It is pllst-forget it, as I am trying to do. I
Hooper?" slowly asked Cochrane, lingering, never gllve that fact a second thonght. He am not blaming 'yon, Mr. CocbI;ane. though it
hoping against hope that he might at last pre- was thinking of Luke Barnes and the girl whom hurt m'! terribly. For-everybody knew that
vail over that iron will.                              he loved so passionately. How would they be you were fighting about-about me," stammered
    "You mean?"                                        Ilffected?                                            the maiden.
    "'fhat if there is any moonshining going on           If Lnke Barnes was not so bitterly prejudiced
in this county to-day, sherift', it is on so small a agllinst him already by that luckless loss of the                       CHAPTER XVIII.
scale that the Government will never feel the pl'Opert.y ieft bv Kenneth Barbour in care of his                          A THAN K L E SST ASK.
loss."                                                 body-servant, Uncle Jupe, matters might be a             "MYR'ELLENI he'/! you clean fergotwbatI
    "Then you admit there is moonshining going little more easily arranged.                                  sent ye fur, or hes the spring gone off to the bar-
on, Cocbrane?"                                            .. I'd give ten times the worth of his place if 1 becue?"
    "I said • if there was.'. It is possible, of I'd only met Mym before sending him the I Only for that sharp inteITuption, it is hard
course, though I wouldn't give you a ray of in- word I did!" he mused, gloomily. "But to to say just wbat Gilbert Cochrane would bave
formation if I had any quantity of it, sheriff. change now would make matters even worse. I done and said in his eagerness to dry those
I'd rather help the sinner than the saint, in this Barnes would he more than ever convinced that StilI' ing tears in tlJe big blue eyes he loved so
Cllse, old friend," with a sbort laugh which I was a rascal, who had tried my level best to dearly.
helped take the sting out of bis words.                gouge him ont of hls rights."                            .. I must go-mother is waiting," murmured
    .. I'm not blaming yon, Cochrane. Nor am I            Tl'nly it was an awkward dilemma in which Myra, stooping to pick up the filled bllcket; bnt
trying to PUlllP YOIl. What I wanted was to Gilbert Cochrane found himself, and no matter the young man as quickly interposed a band,
mllke you understand that I'm going to do my which way he might turn, wbat course he hurriedly saying:
sworn duty, or drop off tbe roll in the trying. migbt elect to follow, any move at all bade                     " A moment, Myra. I came to warn you of
Now-where shall I bunk in?"                            fair to leave the situation just so much tbe approaching tl"(;uble."
    .. Come with me, old fellow," offering an arm worse.                                                        " To whom?"
as tbe sheriff rose to his feet with an effort that       .. If I give them warning, I'm going back on          "To me, certainly; to your father, possihly,
showed how his limbs were stiffening as a nat- an honest man and trne friend in John Hooper; Myra, unless he will accept a friendly warning
ural sequeuce to his frightful ride.                   worse, maybe, for they'll not hesitate to bnrn from my hand."
    Gilbert assisted Hooper up the broad, easy powder in defense of their stills!                              .. More trouhle? Haven't we had enough
flight of stairs, taking him to a comfortahle             "If I keep my peace, the sheriff will-curse alrpady?"
cham her at the rear of the spacious building, ex- the, crooked luck 1 I've got to give Barnes a               There was a tinge of bitterness in both voice
pJaining that he would be less liable to disturb- hint, let the cost he wbat it may I"                       and eyes as the girl looked squarely up into
ance than if he occupied a front room.                    He went to his desk and wrote rapidly for a his face. Gilbert f1nshed hotly, for he could
    .. And, now, sberiff,while you are waiting- few moments, then put the slip of paper in an not mistake her meaning. Truly, as sbe hinted,
I'll play valet for the occasion, unless you prefer envelope and sealed it closely. He left the ollter trouble black and sore had corne upon [hat
the services of old Pomp-"                             covering blank as he sat staring at It, trying to family through his actions•
    .. Don't bother, please. I ain't fit for even a decide on his Iwxt step.                                    .. I know-you feel bard toward me, Myl"a,"
nigger to see."                                           At length he slipped the envelope into a breast he said, huskily, yet with that old, familiar
    "All right. Just keep your eyes opeu for a pocl<pt, caught up bis hat and hastily left the compression of his firm lips. .. If I had met and
minute, and I'll hring yon a hot night-cap, war- office.                                                     lellrned to know you hefore I sent that word
I'finLed to fit without a wrinkle, and to bring its       At the front door, he found Pomp, and curtly to your father, it would never have bepn spoken.
wearer sweet dreams by wholeslllel" laughed spoke:                                                           I would have given all my property, sooner
Cocbrane, gently assisting the sorely bruised and         .. The sheriff is asleep in the nOl'th ehamber, than you should learn to hate mel"
battered man to remove his clothes.                    and on no account must he he disturbed. If any      I ..    We only stood out for our rights, 11-11'. Cocb-
    This done, and again begging Hooper not to one calls, tell them I am not at home. If tbe rane," was the prLlud reply, as she alice more
fILII asleep before bis ,'oturn with the promised sherift'is asked for, say that you have seen noth- stooped to take up her bnrden•
.. night-cap," Gilbert rau qUickly down-stairs to ing of him. You understand?"
his office, and mixed a strong dr/moht in a gob-
                                                                                                           I    "Wait-lI;ive me a chancp, if not to clear my-
                                                          "Dpy ain't no such pusson in de honse, Marse self in youI' sight, at least to warn you of
let. Then, from a secret compartment in his Gilbert."                                                        danger threatening-"
desk, he produced a vial containing a white pow- I II Stick to that, Pomp, or you'll los'! yoIll'          I    "Yon, Myr' Ellen Barnes!" came that im-
del', a portion of which he dropped into the I place, And, mind you, the sheriff is on no ac- . patient voice once more. "Ef you don't mag
steaming compound, stir~ing th~ liquor briskly conut to leave tbe honse nntil I ge~ back. ~f he " this way in a migbty hurry, I'll com" to see thG
until the powder was entirely dIssolved.               should wake up and call, answer him. But If he reason why not! I want that water, 1 tpll yeP'
    .. He needs sleep badly, but no worse than I offers to leave his room, tell him that I said no!             .. Will you come back as soon as you can,
want him to have it!" he muttered, with a grim Tpll him that it will be ruin to all anI' hopps if Myra?" he hastily asked.
smile, leaving the room and hastening back to he leaves hefore he sees me Ilgllin. You under-                  A bot flush leaped to her cheeks, and there
the chamber now occupied by the shprift'.              staud?"                                               was an indignant glow in the eyes that met his
    II F~ag of tI'1l?e, John Hooper I" be called out      T~e neg;ro repeated his instructions, and really so squarely when she made answer:
laughmgly, holdlllg up tbe goblet as he saw the havlllg httIe fear but what the drug, added to                 "I wlll not. Why should I, Mr. Coehrane1
sheriff start up in bed, one hand gripping the his bodily exhanstion, would keep Hooper fast Let me passl"
pistol which lavon a chair close by the bedside. locked in slumber until broad day, Cochrane
h Don't waste it shot on your friends, sheriff I"
                                                                                                           I   "Then...,.for YOllr father's foIlkll, Myra?" he
                                                       sllddled his horse and rode rapidly away from added, taking the envelope from his breast and
    Hooper mumbled an apology, and emptied the home.                                                        forcing it into her reluctant hand as he added:
 16                                                                  Big Bandy.
    .. Hide that, and keep it sacredly, Myra, until          .. Then your thougbt was a fool's thought.                        CHAPTER XIX.
   you learn that trouble or misfortune has over- Then you've tuck all this trouble an' wasted all                   A MEETING OF THE l\IOONSHINERS.
   taken me. Tben take it to town, and hand it to this time fer wuss tban naught. Go your way,                    IF Luke Barnes was not fully satisti"d with the
   Mark Wycberley, the lawyer. AmI, I beg of Gil Cocbrane, fer 'twon't do ye no good comin'                    explanation given !Jim '?y Green Gelit"y con-
   you, Myra, remember just what day I placed with your rev'nue spy tricks 'bout this c1earin'!                 cerning the manneI'm WbiCb thatgentlelllun hed
   the letter in your hands. Will you?"                   My man, itldeed 1"                                   gained possession of the papers addres,~d to
       "I'm comin' down after ye, Myr' Ellen                 Tbis time Mrs. Barnes slammed the door shut       Sberiff John Hooper, he made no open display
   Barnesl"                                               in fair earnest, and hardly knOWing Just wbat        of tbe fact. Nor did he show tbat he suspected
       ,. Promise I" earnestly said Gilbert, picking up to think, beyond the indisputable fact tbat he         either of his present companions of having taken
   the bucket of water.                                   had notbing to hope for by lingering longer,         part in sendinj1; the, heriff on his lonesome ride.
       " I promise-don't--"                               Gilbert Cocbrane turned away and walked                 He nlreaJy knew more tban w~s prndent, to a
       "1 must, Miss Barnes," with a faint smile as slowly back to wbere be had hiddeu his horse.              man in bis situation, and only wlsbed he could
   he quickly stepped out from behind the trees, in          The sun bad set, "nd it was rapidly growing       see a way through the woods.
   fuJI view of the angry housewife stlu:;ding in the dark, for. the fnllmoon would not rige for sOllle           "'Vanl, I Imowed he wasmeaner'n hog-wash,"
   open door. "I came to give yonI' fatber a little time, and the haze of Indian snmmer put                    at length said Jasper Naugbton, after trying to
   waruing, and since yon decline to give me time, a tbin vail over the dimly twinkling stars,                 digest the dangerous points given tbem hy the
   I must speak before your mother."                         Mounting his horse, Cochrane slowly rode          yellow-bearded man. "But I never set him up
       The confused, frighLened girl, hardly Imowing back to the road, tben hesitated whicb direction          fer II pure, clean, unadulterated fool until right
   what she was doing, ran quickly past him along to cboose.                                                   tbis day."
   the patb, only stopping long enougb to ntter a           He had no positive proof that Luke Barnes             " Heap sight more knave than fool, Jasper,"
   few words to her mother before sbe disappeared was or had recently been engaged in illicit still-           grimly nodded G(mtry.
   inside tbe house.                                      ing, though he strougly suspected that be held          "Then you reckon-it's jest a bluffY Or don't
       "I didu't know~he wants to speak to you, some sort of intel'est in one or iT.ore, which                 he 'low to make a racket ontel the 'lection is
   mother!"                                               general belief located somewhere on or in Brim-      over?"
       II Then it's mighty one-sided, fer I jest don't    stone Butte, with its numerous enves and in-            II You don't know the stuff he's made of, J as-
  .an' won't speak to the likes 0' him!" spluttered tricate pas.ages.                                          per, or you'd never ask a fool question Hke tkat.
   the angry matron, us sbe "pread her ample form           Only for his love for Myra, he would not           He'll buckle down to work the quickest he
  as a harricade against a<lmittance.                     bave taken the risk of delivering sucb a warn-       knows how, after his dainty bit of a pleasure
       " Where shall I set tbe bucket, Mrs. Barnes?" ing, for the very fact of bis knowinj1; so much           ride."
  '(j,uietly asked Gilbert Cochrane, just as though would almost certainly be received by tbe sus-                II An ugly bit 0' work!" gloomily repeated
  he had uot caugbttbat forhidding speech. "As picious mountl'Lineers that if not an actual spy,               Luke Barnes.
  I wished to say a word or two to you, and he was taking a prominent pert in the cantem-                         "Might have been hetter for us if thA fellows
  'Chanced along by the spring, I took tbe liberty plated raid. Then, too, his giving aid and                  had made cleaner work of it--that's sol" nodded
  ()f assisting your daughtl'r with her burden."         sbelter to Sberiff Hooper, who WQS such an un-        Gentrv, stretcbing his arms and yawning
       "Set it down right wbar you be, Gil compromisiug euemy to all law-breakers, still                       heartily, "But tbey didn't, and Hooper is very
  Cochraue! Tbey ain't room 'nough in my house further increased his danger.                                   much on deck. And, right or wrong, he'll lay
   fer a man a' your mighty bigness-no they ain't,          "Lucky if I don't get a knife between my           tbe trick at onr-at the door of the moonshiners.
   now I"                                                rihs, or a blue pill through my braiu-panl" he        Which is as much to say that he'll make a haul
       Gilbert obeyed, his fece grave, and his eyes muttered, with a short, bard laugh.                        or bn'st his breeching!"
   bearing a troubled light as they steadily met            A tonch of the keen spur sent his good borse          " The bovs oUl:{ht to know what's up, thinki"
   that angry glare.                                     forward, not toward home, but in the direction        besitated Naughton.
       "I know how you feel, Mrs. Barnes, and if I of the Hollow Hill.                                            " I've dropped a hint to all, and now you two
   could look at the matter from your standpoint,           "If Luke Barnesi3n't interested in the mix,        know what's in the wind, all done but getting
   I might feel much the same."                          others just as white surely are I" was his de-        together for a talk it over. Just that, Luke
       "An' ef they was even the ghost of a man left cision. "1 know Jasper Naughtou is one of the             Barnes," with a sharp nod as the gaunt squatter
  iuto ye, sir. you wouldn't crowd yourself in party, and tbongh he hates me worse than                        gave an uneasy start.
  whar your comp'uy isn't wanted I"                      poison, I'll never leave him free to say that I          " hearn me say I 'lowed to drap out
       Gilbert smiled faiutly. It was not such an helped hunt him down, without giving him a                   0' tbe gang, the last time we met up together,
  agreeable task he had set himself that he would chance to get ant of the scrape I"                           cap'n."
  eagerly court such a reception. But he knew               Although he had never taken part in violating         "I know. There would h'lve been no objec-
_.his mission must be performed, let tbe conse- the law, as so mauy of his neighbors had, it was               tious raised, though you're a mighty good man
  quencllS to himself be wbat they might.                from no conscientious scruples, so far as the         to have about the place, Lnke, but-well, you
       "I came to tell Mr. Barnes that there is making of free Whisky was concerned. Like                      ought to understaml wbat sort of temper the
  trouble brewing, hut-It                                tbousands of others, he held tbat a man had           boys'll he in when they know just what's com-
       "Trouble? Then it don't need a witch to see the right to do wbathe pleased with the product             ing. If you fall off just at tbis time, how many
  who fetches it. You hev given us nothin' bnt of his own toil. As a war measure, the tax was                  will ask was it fear, or money that drove youi"
  trouble ever senca the Bend of the war brung well enough, lacking a better method of raising                    "You don't dast to even hint it that way,
  you here, like a car'on crow, to fatten on- Will the necessary fnnds. But the war was over, and              Gentry I"
  you jest take yourself off, Gilbert Cochraue, all llJen were proclaimed free and equal in the eye               "No, but I've got a cooler bead tban most of
  afore I clean ferget that I'm a woman an' a of the law. Then why bear down more heavily                      the men tote on tbeir shoulders, Lnkl', and I can
  Cbrlstian?"                                            on the poor mouutaineer than on the rich citizen?     look at a thing without prejudice. Bnt they-
   . "As s'Jon as I have done my duty, Mrs.                 Sympathizing with the moonshiners as he did,       Well, you've got to attend the meeting with us,
  Barnes. Is your busband at borne?"                     Cochrane had never pfiid tbeir secret stills a        to-night, Barnes, or have some migbty ugly
       "My mau's away, an' right well you kuowed visit, and though he firmly believed that the                 words slung out this way,"
  tbat, Gil Cochrane, or nevel' a foot would you Hollow Hill was being utilized for this purpose,                 There was a brief silence, during whicb, wbile
  dare to set onto tbe land you're tryin' your level and though he had an accnrate idea of wbere at            staring moodily at the ground before bim, Lnke
 ~u'st to steal from them as rightfUlly owns it- least one still was located, he could not say for             Barnes was doing considerable thinking•
 .80 thar I"                                             certainty. Yet, taldng; the cbauces of not goiur;        He could fullv appreciate tbe blnut hints
       "You are harder on me than is just or Cbris- astray, be was now riding toward Brimstone                 throwu ant by Green Gentry. He knew, too,
  tian-like, Mrs, Barnes, and the day may come Bntte, trusting to luck for some chance to I:{ive               that if be failed to perform th@duty allotted him
  wben you wtlJ see this yonrself," he said, in low, his friends warning of approaching trouble,               by this man, who was really bead and front of
 almo~t sorrowful tones.                                 withont too deeply implicating John Hooper.           their rougbly or!!."anized company/ Gentry would
       "When you've driv' us out a' house an'               " They mnst know it is bis sworn duty. And         be the flrst and most hitter to nint at COl'l'UP-
  hamel" with an almost bystericallaugh of scorn. knowing that, they ought to be white enougb                  tion in connection with his name, even if be did
       "You know what I said: the title deeds to not to visit on tbe tool, the punishment which be-            not flatly accuse him of being that most detest-
 tbis farm are waiting for Luke's acceptance. longs to those who order bim to do such'dirty                    able-from the monntaineer standpoint--of all
  Only one little word of-"               "              work, or on the Government it'elfl"                   wretcbes, a revenue spy I
       "'I'd bite the tougne 0' me out fu'stl An' so        Having settled this point in bis mind, Gilbert        The mere suspicion would be more than
  would my man, her father, twicet over I An' natnrally enough drifted to thinldng of another,                 enough to brand him a black sheep in tbe eyes
  now, ef I cain't drive you off, I kin shet tbe do' vastly more important to him. Was he on the               of an his associates. They would not only hate
  in tbe evil face 0' ye, Gil Cocbrane!"                 right road? Was he not losing his last faint          and shun his company, hnt they migbt-
       She seemed on the point of stepping hack and chance of winning Myra Barnes for a wife?                     A little shiver crept over him as be CA,t n
  slamming the door shut, but he qnickly cried              If he had only known in timel But he bad           quick glance toward his bumble home. What
 (Jut:                                                   taken the step which forbade a riJtreat, and          wonld become of his women, shonld a bnllet
       "Lnke is iu danger, Mrs. Barnes, and if yon right or wrong, he would press on in the line he            find his life before the cloud on his title was
  refnse to hear me ant, he may be the unlucky had marked out for himself at fir,t.
  <Jne to suffer most throngh your haste."                  "I'll wiu her, or die trying'" was bis freqnent-
                                                                                                               fairly cleared away?
                                                                                                                  Gentry detected that sbiver, and feeling that
       "DangerY My man? What do yon mean, ly-reppated vow.                                     .    ..         matters were working ,inst AS he would bave
  Gil Cochrane?"                                            Never more earnest than now, wh!le ndmg to         tbem, turned toward Jasper Naughton and en-
       Her florid face turnea as pale as tbe coating warn those who might shoot him down at sig1Jt,            gaged bim in brisk conversation, only in part
  of tan would admit, and her voicHquavel'ed as as a contemptible revenne spy I                                bearing on the matter lately in hand.
 she spoke. Wbatever her faults, Mrs. Bal'nes               "Naughton wonld jump at the chance, and               Tnle, Jasper asked bim what was to be elane,
  was n true wife and mother; she loved her kin all the county would appland him for so do-                    and Gentry answered tbat he had given their
  more than herself.                                     ing-worse lnck mel" he muttered, with a short,        friends a hint to be pnnctual at tbe rendezvous
       "I'm sorry to tell you, but I fear be is," was metallic laugh.                                          that evening, lnckily hllvinf! found all suve one
  his slow response. "I may be wrong; he may                Fnlly realizing this ugly trnth, Cocbrane did      or two of their number in attendance at tbe
  not be mixed up in the trouble at all. God not disdain to lise !1.'reat precaution as he drew                barbecne.
  knows I sinc9,'el.y hope sol"                          near to the foot of Brimstone Butte, dismount-           "They'll be on band, and I told 'Gene Fuller
       "'What trouble? Speak ant, cain't you, man ing from aud hitching his horse in a secluded                to leave early enough to drop a hint in Matney's
  alive!"                                                nook, where it was hardly likely any prowler          ear as he rode by. 'We'll find the whole family
       "Tbo district attorney is all stirr~d up, and wonld chance across it, then stealing forward on          on baurl. never fear,"
  swears tbat he must bave all laws enfOl'ced, or foot.                                                           "Will we go from here?"
  lose his office. And so- Well, he has sent out            Instead of deciding to cross tbe little river,        "Unless Lnke kicks us off the place as unfit
  strict orders to break up every still in the or creek, at the regnlar ford, which mij1;ht be                 for a gentleman to associate with on equal
  county, and to arrest every man engaged, or guarded in CIlSA bis suspicions of a nigbt rneet-                terms," laugbed Gentry. "You lmow we're
  evetl suspected of being engaged, in making ing of tbe moonshiners proved correct, Coch-                     moonshiners, and he has retired tram business."
  moonshine whisky."                                     rane aimed to strike the stream at a poiut some-         "I wanted to, beca'~e my woman don't like
       Mrs. B,,'"nes was paler than ever now. but whnt lower down.                                             the doin's," quietly said Barnes. "Then they
   her f"ce was ril:{id as a mass of stone. Not a           And just fiS he caught a faint glimpse of the      ain't b'in much money into it of lllte days.· But
  muscle quivered or altered to betray her. Anel water, refl~cting the full moon, he also caugbt               ontel I'm told I'm 'fr"e to stl'P out, withont a
  when she spoke, it was with a short, contemptu- sight of two human figures on a broad rock over-             single voice to speak ag'hlet my doin' of it, I'm
  ous laugh:                                             hanging a d"cp pool. And as he pau3ed, he dis-        one 0' the gang, Green Gentry,"
       "Is that your mighty mar's-nest, Gil Coch- tinctly heard the wurds:                  .         ..          "Tben you'll go with us old fellow?"
  ranei"                                              I     "Say your pravprs, critter, fer your time is
       " I th<;mght it only right to let Luke know of up! I, hate migbtilv. to do it, but-you know
                                                                                                                  " ¥ou know I will 'thOllt axin'."
                                                                                                                  ",Good enougb I And so- if yon dop.'t mind
  the commg trouble."                                  I too mtghty nwch to lwe any longer' I"                 asklllg your lady to just set out a 'cold bl1ie-"
                                                                             Big Bandy.                                                                                   17
     '~~;t :l0okin'
      WI'.          1V '
                             grub, but I'll hurry it up ef II that's stip'ing, up t!,e mud, but the district
                                      .,                          attorney IS eggmg hnn on. And the State At-
                                                                                                                          Ienough his own fashion, he was a brave set no
                                                                                                                                   and when once his mind was
       e J..,yes.            e d bett,er !'Ide around by ,,:ay to,rney is shoving him forward with a sharp                  ordinar'y obstacle could turn it to oue sid~ or
          ~Oodss'laud I wO~du ~ hketo belategettmg stICk. And-worst of all! the Government Is                               the other And speakinO" to Gentry by·virtue
          , e ,~enl ezvous.       o-Just a bite, tell bel', taking a hand in I"                                             of bis office as chief he tried to mai'e his posi-
           ~es.,        h G'.                                        "Fer Why!" almost fiercely broke forth Luke            tion fully uudeI·.tood' ,                '
            us lt wa;t at Ilhert Cochrane founr] only Barnes, bis worst passions deeply stirred by                             "You kuow capin as the r('st do that
   visit,'~?::;;~'l; ~'I~~ S~~, t~3'~o~VhIl2 ~e made his ~?ng ,broodi"!? over his real or funcied wmngs.                    I've been ag'inst this ngly part 0' t:he bU~iness.
       Immeli t J . f                      yc se.                    Dllln a Gov meut that lets 'portant matters go         You kuow that I wanted t() draw ollto'even the
        Idled \ o~~~·     ~:r a ~k~~y 1~1Cal, L~ke Barnes to r~ck an~ ruin, yit stick;S i~s foxy nose in honest             mooushinin', rutber then be mixed up in t'~tLer
       tlPr mount           ~~ ,WOl
       nQ,erons I'l'i(~'d~ ~::lo~tmpa~h  t t     'tb B two wbntt    r
                                        orOes-f<;>l lac,k of It . men s buslnessl 'Vhat lS It to the Gov'ment, I
                                                                            lmow1 H~jll't!.1' critter th,e ,right to do
       11~J·.t me 1 . II" t., f .ol~" a was 0 prove Wille wants ~Ith hIS own rUlslll'! ,Ef he
                                                                                                                           even in seemin'. But you all said we could kee '
                                                                                                                           the two things sep'rit, an' I, likfl a blind fool
                                                                                                                           I begm to see, now, I didn't stick ont fer goin'
       t\. 0 • 1,IOIa,'e !IP 01 m~.                   ,           grows a weenty bIt more co'n then he lun eat              aslshould."                                        ,
       ~ s Gently lMd, blllted, cOllslderabll.' tIme was up, humans an' critters, must he let it go rotl                       .. That questiou is old Luke Barnes The
        ~ by t~~ll' r](lmg on a cross-road ,to drop the Ef be bain't got no market nigh 'nongh fer t3                       point now is-are you goi~g to try to sav~ yom'
         y news mto the ellr of one oE thOlr number, sell at, fer as mnch as it costs him to tote it                       own neck at the cost of sacrIficing all the
         l bad heen prevented f!'om attending the thaI', sbell the Gov'meut say: I Durn fool you                           others?"
         becue, but who was not SICk enough to refuse fer hevin'more'n 'nough co'n tho.n'll keep ye                            " Go a little slow Gentry" said Jasper Naugh-
         3ave Ins oed and dress for the ride. to Brim- from starvin'l Wba~ the likes 0' you. want 0'                       ton, coming to the front,' now m~tters were
         Ie Butte, wh~u he learned what lmportant                money? What the lIkes O'1/ott hev to do with              aSlluming such an ugly sbape. "Bllrnes is right.
          ness ~vas on ~,lIld:                                   store truck1 What eE ye do bev to go stark                 He warned us that we was playin' wit.h fire tbat'd
           \SUffimg theU' tnp, the\qual'tette natul'al\y ull.ked1 Don't .ye live in the woods, an' hain't                   burn u~ right smart afore it was llutt out. He
           ell off, and Jasper Naugbton found a chance ye low-down, ornel'S critters that didn'tougbt                       never tuck a hand in the work, thougb he was
           leak a few words in private to Luke Barnes, to hev notbin'l'                                                     al'ays to the front when anythin' wanted to be
         lldy confessing what bad passed between                     " Thnt's what the Gov'ment says, an'I say-             done with the stills."
         ra and himself at the spring that evening, durn sech a G01Jer'menl/"                                                  .. It isu't what he has done, but what he's
        1 begging the father to "set bis foot dowu"                  Others chimed in with much the same argu-              going to do, that I'm trying to get at, first off,"
        30me purpose without longer delay.                        ment, but Green Gentry listened to each in turu,          frowned Gentry.
        'Aq I told her, I've got a home big 'Dough fer in silence, with a cruel smile playing abont his                        "That's easy told, cap'u/' said Luke, quietly,
         all, ef Gil C()chraue boosts ye out 0' yer bearded lips. And as Luke Barues chanced to                             but with an undercnrrent of dogged resolution
       ;hts. An' ef Myr' Ellen-"                                  look into his fac" when the ruddy glow fairly             that could not 1:e mistaken. "I'll do my sheer
        'Let it drap fer now, Naughton. I can't crossed it, a new fear assailed. him. As hy                                 when it comes to moonshinin'. I'm willin'
       tke no more promises ontel this nasty mess is iustinct he felt that Gentry was holding back                          'nongh to break a had law like that./. bnt I'll
      'aightened ont," moodily said the squatter.                 other, perhaps even more important informa-               never go ag'in a good an' hOllest one. l'll never
      .1 But ef you'd jest tell Myr' Ellen She'd got to           tion.                                                     take a finger in counterfeitin'. ef ye kill me
       uckle-"                                                       "Thar'smore ahind all this, cap'n," be said,           fer holdin' out!'"
      "Let it drap, I tell ye over ag'in, Jap Naugh- at length, taking advantage oE the slight bustle                          "Think twicet afore ye say or do it, Green
      a I"                                                        attendiugthe entrance oE several more members             Gentry I" sharply cried Jasper Nanghton, step-
      Tbere was a dangerous ring to tbat tone, and of tbe gang. "I kin see it in the two eyes 0' ve,                        ping in between the two Illen as be fancied the
    lIe yonnger mnn sulkilV tuok warning before a manl" with subdued anger. "Out with it in a                               crisis bad come. "Luke is just as white as they
   )ad matter was made worse.                                     lump, ef thar's wuss to come I"                           make 'eon, cap'n. He'll do his part 0' tbe work
. Br this time the raiders W9re drawing near                         "There. is still worse to come,gentlemen,"             witb the best of us, ef a spy draps down on us.
  Brimstone Butte, and that this was by no meaus slowly sweeping his redly-glowing gaze OVllr                               Say vou'll back me up in this, Luke-say it,
  the first time a night ride of tbat sort had been each face in turn. "I said that the Govern-                            man If>
 taken, the mauper of the horses proved, for of ment itself was stirring in this matter, but it                                "Fur as the whisky goes, I'll back ye np. I'll
 their owu accord they left the road and pasllCd isn't moonshine alone that is answerable for                              fight fer the stills, and ~o man '11 dare go furder
 into the gloomy timber.                                         that."                                                    tbat way then I will. But," his low voice
     A low, quavering whistle came floating                          "What is, then?" demanded Lnke Barnes, his            g-rowmg harder and sterner as he went on: "l
 through the darlmess and Gentry immediately gaunt visage very pale his tones harsh beyond                                 draw the line at makin' counterfeits!"
 imitated the sound. Then two men rose from the ordinary as he asked that question.                                           As those gtern, resolute wordgcrossed his lips,
  the bushes not far ahead, with low, friendly                       "Well, tbey reckou we're making money                 Luke Barnes drew his muscular figure erect, bis
 greetings.                                                      faster than the law allows, or than the present           hard bllllds clinched, his face as pale as his
     II Matner, is it, Fnller1" asked Gentry, peer-              price of moonshine admits!"                               natural and acquired swarthiness would permit.
 ing througb the gloom.                                                                                                    For he saw that Green Gentry bad suddenly
     " Nothiu' sborter, cap'n. We've hin waitin'                                   CHAPTER XX.                             growu uunsually pale: that bis eye.~ were glow-
 quite a little few,"               .                                     LUKE BARNES DRAWS THE LINE.                      ing luridly, while a hand rested on the ready
     "Had to pick up Woods. Time enough,                            "WHAT!" ejaculated Jasper Nanghton, who                bntt of a heavy revolver.
 thongh, since none of the rest have put in an had maintained silence up to this point. "You                                  He fully anticipated a shot or a blow before
 appearance. We'll hitch, gentlemen and get don't mean to say-"                                                            he conld complete his speech, and he knew that
 along to the rendezvous. Tile obhers ,11 not keep                  "That tbe Secret Service has got wind· of              if either came, he could hardly bope to ever
 us waiting loug, I don't reckon."                               our best paying work~ But that's just what I              leave that den with life in his bod\",
     Tbese were the men whom Barney Budge do mean to say, gentlemen," said GeI\try, with                                      Not only was Green Gentry a dangerous ad-
 watched from bis place of pspial, and it was a short, ngly laugh, "Some one has sold us                                   versary for any man, but of all those present, he
Green Gentry who searched tbe tree-trunk for a out, or else their cursed spies has struck the                              could not connt on one hand to help him, unless
 possible warning from one of the gang's many right trail in catching hold of some of our mer-                             love for Myra should urge Jasper Nanghton to
 friends.                                                        chaudise. Just that, geutlemeu!"                          lend bim aid.
     Gentry led the way up tbe hillside to the little               There was a brief period of silence, during               Although his gaze was fixed immovably {\n the
 ledge, lind his head was the first one that bowed which the men, pale-faced and in a measure                              face of the chief, he knew, as by instinct, tbat
 to pass into the dark hole in the rocks, bebind that awed by this startling biut, interchanged looks                      nearly every other man present was watching
leafy screen of vine-clad bushes. Tbe others of douht and d!l.wnin<>' suspicion.                                           him with growing suspicion in their eyes. And
 followed him, and though the gloom was palpa-                      Of aJI present, perhap~ Luke Barnes was the            no man knew better what a spy or a traitor had
1>Ie, they sbowed no besitation in making their one who seamed least moved, outwardly,                                     to expect at those bandsl
 way to a fairly spacious cavern, wbere Gentry tbough his eyes ·glowed redly in the firelight as                             Those few moments of silence and inaction were
struck a match and lit a lantern.                                he coufronted the leader, slOWly saying:                  trying ones to more than Luke Barnes. And
     By its dim light, he iuspected each face, then                 II I aPays talked ag'inst your gain' into sech         he was not the only man who let loose a breath
biddiug some of the others start a fire, he told ugly business, Green Gcntry. I told ye it was                            of relief when Green Gentry spoke, instead of
off 'Gene Fuller to keep guard at the mouth of too resky fer pore critters like the heft 0' us be,                        striking.
 the cavern, addiug:                                             who hain't no backin' nUl' 'fluence to ward off              "Wait a bit, Barnes," be said, speaking like a
     "Lay low, of course, and dou't pass a soul dauger when it Ht down onto us-as it was dead                             man who has placed a powerful restraint npon
 unless you know he belougs to tbe inner circle. sart'in to do, soon or late. From the very fu'st                          himself. " If the sheriff should come down on
Understaud?"                                                    hint, I talked all I Imowed how ag'inst it, an'           us to break up the still, what wonld you dol"
     II Bet I do, cap'nl" grunted the moonshiner,                tole ye all out flat I wouldn't hev no band into             "Fight bim the best I knowed how," was the
picking np his rifle once more, thon shnflling the like!"'                                                                stern response.
away to take bis post.                                              Gentl'y laughed sneeringly, as the gaunt                  "And you are willing to repeat your solemn
     Naughton and Matney had kindled a fil'e, squatter came to It p~usehmore through lack of                              oath to live np to the very letter of the laws we
 using the material which had been stored up at breath than because he ad done the sn"ject                                sbaped for onr own protection?"
 odd times, for that purpose, and gradually tbe justice.                                                                      "I do."
 red glow began to fairly illuminate the cavllrn,                   "Tbat's all very nico, Luke, but you're just              "Tben-but hold on just a minute, please,"
 throwing their figul'es into stroug relief, aud as deep iu the Illud as we are in the mire."                             drawiug a haud out of his, empty. II I
 making their rug~ed faces still more stern iu                      II Do you clast even hint I ever laid a finger to     forgot for tbe moment. I've got other proof
 seeming.                                                       that ugly world". sternly demanded B:'rnes.               back here, and I'll bring it in so all can see just
     Gentry scrutinized each face in turn for a II Did I ever take even a cent 0' the stufl'~"                            what is up."
 brief space, then said:                                            "You belong to the family, Luke Barnes,                   With those hurried words iu explanation,
     "Shalll wait until all have arrived, 01' shall I And if-as you seem to think-we are ever ar-                         Green Gentry passed out of sight amid the
 let you know sOllwthing of tbe trouble that is rested, and brou~ht to trial, do you reckon                               shadows lying along the side of tbe cavern
 brewing fOl' us, gentlemen!"                                   either judge or jm'y would believe nny snch               nearly oppnsite the narrow passage by which
     II I'd say now, cap'u,"spoke up Woods, hover-              talk? ,Would they b~lieve yon such a fool as to           admittance was had from the ledge•.
 ing ovel' tte fire until it seemed as though his belong to the gang, yet not profit. by the work                             As though his departure removed a lock
 gllrments mnst certainly ignite. "I'm iuterest- that gang done?"                                                         from their lips, the men left hehind began talk-
 ed as deep as anybody, I reckon, but if my                         " B'Jieve it or not, it's tbe gospel truth!"          ing among themselves, for the most part won-
 chills COlUe back ag'in, it's mighty little listenin'              " I'm. not denying' that, Luke, "witb an ngly         dering how Gentry had learned this last bad
 I kin do then, fer my teeth rattlin'I"                         scowl that showed· bis teeth for an iustant.              news, but more tban once flinging a thiuly-
     "All right," with agrim laugh. "The news'll .11 Bnt this isn't the time for splitting hairs.                         vailed taunt or tbreat toward Luke Barnes,
 bear repnating when the others come, I'tnd you're The main point is this: we're in great danger,                             He received these in gloomy ~ilence, staring
 one of onr pick, Woods. So-the sberiff is and all wbo flPe not with us, RI'e plainly against                             into the fire With duB, unseeing eyes, deeply
 ju~t !Uore'n bent on going for US moonshiners!"                us."                                                      pondering over the unfortunate situation into
     Then Gentrv went on to tell much the same                      An u~ly murmnr !'an from lip to lip, and as           which be had permitted bims·~lf to drift.
 story he had 'ventilated at the Barnes clearing, Luke Barnes glaneed around that little circle,                              For himself he cared comparatively little,
 giving the sam\! account of the fortunate man- he caught more than one sURpicions glare.                                 though he had never thou'!ht to he branded as
 ncr in whicb he had gained the important                           Tbe entrance of two mOl'e men, they making            an actual criminal. He did not consider illicit
 knowledge, and winding up by producing tile the circle complete, gave the squatter a chance                              distilli~g a crime.
 papers themselves, and condensing the contents to think ovel' his unfortunate pOSition; and by                               But lU case the worst should befall, and hebe
 as tbe surest method of reaching their under- the time matters had heen hastily explaiaed to                             nnable to provo bis innocence of conuterfeiting
standing.                                                    . the new-comers, he had partially formed his                what would become of his wife and child?           '
     "You see, gentlemen, it isn't only the sheriff line of action.                                                           Already they had to fight for their cabin and
'"18                                                               Big Bandy.
their rocky farm. Even now the mis-ealled law               "If he don't betray bimself to some of the               These precautions had hardly been taken,
threatened to turn them out without a roof to           men, as he did to my ears, I'll steal on him from          when Barney Budge gave a grunting groan,
shelter their he!tdsl                                    behind, or one SIde. Then, if alone, he's my             shivered from top to toe, then rolled over, to
   "An' I say that ef a critter ain't for 1'S, all      meatl If he's got a gang-if it's Hooper-I'll              swiftly shovt up into a sitting posture, as his
over, he's mighty nigh as p'izen as a open spy 1"       pull out for tall timbgr, and let the gang save           bewildered eyes rested on one of those ghastly-
growled 'Gene Fuller, viciously glancing toward         their own hiclesl"                                        looking beaus.
the brooding squatter. "An' ef anybody hes                 Green Gentry was not a hypocrite when alone,              " Good Lawd! ef I bain't died an' gone to-"
sold us out, 'tain't 'mongst tbe hard on' willin'       He kept his mask to wear while in company                   The word stuck in his throat, but no one who
 workers I'd go t{) look fer the traitor! No it jest    with the mates whom he was ever ready to                  witnessed that frightened faee could long doubt
ain't, now 1"                                           sacrifice in order to F;uard his own worthless            just what letters would bave fully expressed his
   "You hutton up that lip 0' yours, 'Gene Ful-         head.                                                     ghostly fears.
ler," growled Jasper Naughton, menacingly,                 Reaching the hole through which be was to                He was surrouuded by masked men, each one
" or mebbe you'll fiud it spread out all over the       leave tho passage, Gentry paused to listen in-            holding a ready weapon. These, to be sure, de-
face 0' yel"                                            tently. Not a sound came to his ears, and he              tracted somewhat fr<)m their otherwise ghostly
  "An' what'll I be doin' all tbe time, Jas             knew that no dIscovery had been made [,S yet.             aspect, but one thus introduced could not be ex-
Naughton?"                                              This lent him the reqnisite courag-e, and stealing       pected to note miuor p'Jints with anything lilm
  "Nothill' wnss then you're tryin' to do now,          through tho bushes, he looked to his weapons,             accul'flcy. Aud with each fac'J hidden by the
anyway. Luke Barnes is true as steel, an' ef            then crept along the ledge of dirt-strewn rock,           thin cloth, which fitted almost as closely as the
you wasn't a fool fer the lack 0' sense, you'd        I which was the same shelf on which Barn8Y                 skin beneath, revealing yet distorting each fea-
know as much 'thout my tellin' of yel"                  Blllige was playing eavesdropper.                         tUTe save tbe F;littering eyes, aIJd making each
  "Let him show it, then, dug-gun' him 1"                  Thoroughly familiar with the Hollow Hill,              head dimly yet most repulsively resemble a sknll,
  It When the time comes, mebbe I will, gentle-         Gentry lost no more time in thought or recon-             the vision was quite horrible enough to justify a
men," coldly said Luke, stirred from his gloomy         noitering, but stole sileutly as a shadot,: toward       thought of the iLlfArnal regions.
musmgs by that sharp interchanF;e. "An' of              the hole in the cavern roof, only pausmg long               .. Who set you on our track, Barney Budge1"
you do as well a'cordiu', 'Gene Fuller, they won't      enough to make certain tbe spy had no armed              harshly demanded Gentry, leveling a pistol at
nobody hint at yonr bein' a spy an' a traitor."         force beside him.                                         the head of the my, finger on trigger.
  Before Fuller could make reply to this speech,           So far as he could make ont, the fellow was              " Good Lawdl" quavered the fellow, seeming-
there came a sudden sound that drew all eyes            alone, and only his rear parts visible, Surely,          ly too utterly confounded to shrink from that
upward, to rest on a strange and thrilling spec-       if he had men to back him, they would be close             ugl y wpapon. "An' all the time I tuck ye fer
tacle.                                                  at hand, if not out in clear sight, Curiosity            jest men-jest white men, like my own self! An'
  Through an irregular opening in the roof of           alone would be snffident to insure so much.              1/ou-h this the sorter hell the preachers tell
the cavern, came the head, arms laud shoulders             ~With his mind rplieved ou this point, Gentry         'bout, hos'1"
of a human being, wildly struggling to save him-        cut little mor~e time to waste, hut creeping                "You'll find it worse tban hell, unless you
self from faIling furtnerl                              silently forward, keeping to the rear of tbe spy,        talk out, straight and to the point, my fine fel-
                                                        whose entire faculties were turned in that one           low! Who put you on our track?"
                  CHAPTER XXI.                         direction, he sprung forward aud flung his                   "Wby-jpst nobody, sah, an'- GoodLawdl"
           A DROP TOO lIIUCH FOR BARNEY.                whole weight upon the bent back of the fellow.           sbrinking, lifting a trembling hand bptween his
   IT was not altogether that unlooked-for stub-           A mnfil'd roar-a wild scramble-then Green             face and tbat f/;rim muzzle, as though he hoped
bornness on the part of Luke Barnes that caused Geutry closed both bands about a leg, just in                    to stop the bullet thus. "Don't shoot I"
the color to so suddenly fade from the face of time to prevent Barney Budge from falling en-                        "He knows too mighty mncb, boss," growled
Green Gentry, though no doubt the words Luke tirely throu!!:h the irregultu' opening. He quick-                  one of the masks.
just theu uttered hacl something to do with It.        ly twisted the leg into one of the crevices, thus            " I don't kuow notbin'-I didu't see nul' bear
   That blunt allusiou to the making of counter- securing a pm'cbasd whicb enabled him to                        nur-cross the heart 0' mp. doublp timps over\
feit money was a dangerous admission, iu case readIly support that writhing. struggling                          gentlemen. ef I did or will 01'- Good Lawd!,
unfriendly ellrs could possibly drink it in. And weight, at the same time causing his luckless                   with a groan of utmost despair. "An' me
this was being done, at that very instant.             captive to swing to one side, leaving a portion           jest thinl, n'mebbe I could git a smell 0' good
   Fearing to lose one word of that highly im- of the bole free for his own use.                                 whiskv!"
Fortant council, Barney BUdF;e in part forgot              "SteadY, down there, lads'" he cried, his face    I      Gen'try made a sigu which sent several of his
his caution, and made a sound that attracted close to the rock, so as to make sure his voice                 I   men npon the spy, and while they held bis limbs,
the attention of the counterfeiter cbier. Gentry would be reco,gnized by the start.lPd moon-                     their chief, putting up his pistol, carefnlly
flashed a si~gle glance upward, favored by a shiners. "Don't shoot unle,s you hear a bigger
prior Imowlellge of that unlucky aperture racket up h3re!"
                                                                                                             I   seal'c1lPd the shivering wretch for some positive
                                                                                                                 proof of his realnntnre.
throngh the roof of the cavern, and though he              Using one hand to press the leg into the                 With poor success. A rusty but serviceable
could not distinguish color or features, he saw crevice, drawing a revolver with tbe other,                      revolvm', on the hntt of whicb was rudely carved
enough in that oue instant to tell him what im- Gentry flashed It keen, anxious glance along                     the initials of the name he had claimed. A
minent peril threatened them oue and all.              the rock ledge in both directions. If the spy             small powder-fhsk, with a fpw bullet., a dirty
   His first and most natural impulse was to had auy companions, they must surely show                           bit of rag that had already supplipd some
draw the pistol on the butt of which his hand their hands at this stage of the game.                             patches for the bullets used in his pistol, a com-
instinctively dropped, trusting to kill or cripple         But his fears were grnul1l11ess. Nnt a soul           man jflck knife, a pipe, tobacco, n18 tcbes, to-
the audacious eavesdropper by a lucky snap- came in sight, and bis flpsh cease,l to creep and                    gether with a few dirty hits of curnmcy; noth-
shot. His next was to shoot, supplementing the crawl with the eX\lBctat,ion of feelIng stepl or                  inp: more.
action by a warning yell to his fellows that lead. Tbe spy had been working on bis own                              "Where ha ve you hidden it, yon cursed
would send them rusbing out to make assurance book I                                                             bloodhounrH" savagely demanded Gentry, whip-
doubly sure.                                               All WaS wild confusion below him, and know-           pinfT. out his pistol and thrnsting its cold muzzle
   It. is remarkable how actively one's brain will ing that any moment might bring a storm of                    fait'lv against the face of the captive.
work in a great emergency.                             bullets upward, when the startled counterfeiters             "Good Lawd!" spluttered Brtl'ney Budge,
   While Luke Barne3 was giviug hisultimatnm, recovered sufficiently to realize what the ap-                     trying in vain to shrink away from tbat blood-
all these schemes occurred to Gl'een Gentry, only pearance of an outsider really meant, Green                    chilling contact. "I didn't .hide it. He burnt-
to be rejected as too dangerous to himself and Gentry again sent a hasty warmng down through                     I lleVer-"
his mates. If his aim should prove faulty, the the ragged aperture:                                                 "~ow I have f/;ot yel" with a short, terrible
spy would certainly escape throull;h flIght, before        "It's all right, lads! There's only one, and          langh. "No use to boggle over it, critter! Who
he could leave tbe cavern and strike his scent. I've got him fool!"                                              burnt it?"
And if slain outright, or crippled so as to render         "Stiddy with him, boss, an' I'll let day-               BaI'lwy Budgo gave a groan, minglerl with a
flight out of the question, what security had he light-"                                                         sigh of resip;ned despair.
that the head he had dimly outlined did not have           "Steady, 1/0'/1, I" with sharp emphasis. "Try           "It jest slipped out wben I didn't mean-now
company? And then, to the charge of making to keep the fellow from breaking his neck, men;                       I hel' done it 1"
false mouey, would be added the accusation of I'm going to let him drop!"                                          Gantry motioned bis men to release t1:Je fel-
murder I,               .,                 .               Through aU this Barney Budge had not u~               low, all,l t'.' stand back. He permitted Barney
   Then It was that Ius mrnd grew deCIded, and tered an articulate word, thdugh he kept up hIS                   Budge to SIt up, but checked his further rnove-
 waiting just long enough to drop,a few sen,tences desperate struggles to free himself. Possibly he              ment by a m·nacing flourish of his revolver.
 calculate'! to throw the spy off hIS guard, III case was too thoroughly frightened for speech, or, it           saying sharply:
 his snspicIOns shonld have been awakened, Gen- may be, he still hoped to e8cape recognition by                    It Spit it out, Barney Budge, and right at tbe
 try passed~1Ut of range of that hole in the rO?f, 1 those ho had beeu spying upon.                              mark. Nothing bnt a full and complete con-
 though takmg a course almost directly OpPOSIte            "Let him come 1" cried ono of those below,            fession can save your life, man I What WaS it
 to the one he w~uhl natnrally usa if meaning to and releasing his grip on the leg, GAntry breath-               that was bnrut1 And who diu the burning~
 seek the outer all'.                                   lessly watched the body shoot downwarrl, hearl-          And when was it done?"
    He was quickly swallow!ld n~ by the s~adows, 1 foremost. His fall was only partially broken by                 It Treasure map-Giner'l Bandy-'nour agol"
 and then, for the first tune smce makmg that several arms, and thon, as tbe moonshiuers rlrew
 ugly discovery, he drew a fairly free breath. He back, their chief c'mld see Barney Budgfl lying                                CHAP'l'ER XXII.
 glance!l backward, to make sure that no one WaS on the rock floor, a qui vering mass of ropulsive                        BARNEY BUDGE ON THE RACK.
 foIlowIllg hin~, and saw. that mat,es clearly humrtnity.                    ,                                THANKS to the shirt sleeve mask, nothing
 had no SUSPICIOU of the Impendmg perIl.            ,       "Keep him safe untIl I get there!" calle,1 out       could be seen of the angry surprise written 011
    It So much the bett~r f~rm91"h~.tho?ght,WIth        Gentry, dt'awing his Ilead back all(~ sparing time       Green Gentry's face just then, but bis involun-
 a treacherous p;leam III hIS eyes.    If It's a gang pnouryh to givo the immediate vimmty a rapid,              tary recoil plainly proved that he had nntici-
 up yonder-well, I'll have It better chance to slip bnt thorough search.                                         pat"d an entirely different answer; but if the
 tbrough if they 11~ ve the hnnch to, wutch 1"             Satisfied tbat the spy had been aloue, G 'nt,ry       spy' noticPd this, he showed no sign as he spoke
    Gentry :noved mto a co~tractmf'\' passage. of made his way down to the other ledge, enter-                   at m01'e length witbout furthpr urging:
 s~me eons~rjerabl9 length, .USll1~ no lIght to gUll~e ing the cavern by the regular opening, now                  "'Deerl he jest diel, hORs, an' yon. gentlempn I
 hImself WIth, hut by keeplll~ hIS rIght hand III without a guard since the entire band bad con-                 An'I ['all it aduru shnmetohim. so I dnl An'mp
 contact with the rock waU, he avoilled takIng grpgated.                    '
 tbo \~l"Ong passage where the tunnel fO!'ke,d, thus   I    No one had touched the spy after he struck the
 tnrnrug,grad,u<lIly toward ~he outer all' l~stead floor, though more than one of those pm"",t had
                                                                                                                 tru.tin' him like a sleepin' babvl Jest rnmmed
                                                                                                                 the map in the fire, an'let it all go un ehimbly-
                                                                                                                 smoke IHI' ashe", gentlemen! An' tbat map
 of burYlllg hunself deeper III the Hollow HIli.         IJv this time recognized" the gentleman from            wn'th elonn I cain't tell holV mnny tbousall'
    It was a work that consume'! considerable Kentncky" who had cnt something of a firyuro                       harrl dollars-wlls" l"ek my mnmmv's son r'
 time, whero the loss of a single minnto might at the barbecue thltt foreuoon.                        '"           "Too mb,hty thin!" growled 'Gene Fuller,
 easily mean all the difference between safety              Gentrv also rpmembered the fellnw, but be            from hehinrl the mask: but one considerably
 and ruin or headlong flight; hut swiftly as his said nothing nntil 3. hasty examination assUlwl                 toll"r than he spoke up:
  wits had been forced to work, Gentry IH,;d care- bim thnt the spy was mprely stannerl, aud if not                "Reckon he means what folks tell 'bout Uncle
 fnlll' counted the odds, hath for and af/;llllIst.     already l"peov"l"illl! the sensps temporarily lost       Jupf', cl\p'n."
    If ho had turned'directly for the onter air, by through his IIp;ly fall be woukl shortly ,10 RO,               "That's it.," gloomily nodded Budge, the pic-
 the passa~e through which, it w&s likely, the              "Cover your faces: Inrls,"he hast.i1ymuttered,       ture of rlpjeetion. .. I fell hpir to the map. I
  spy had ,,:atcherl them enter the rock-ehamber, in low tones, Retting the example hinnelf, hy rp-              come ull this way jest in hopes 0' makin' a strike
  that cunn111g enemy would almost stll'l:ly ~ave ImovinF; his llat long enough to pull the severAd              which 'd sot 01" np on my egs af/;'in, heviu' bin
 taken alarm, and either sought safety 111 fllp;ht sleeve of a shirt-which marIe the most hidAous                e-tarnally bu'stpr'( clean np in husiness by them
  and hiding, if alone, or sonmler! the signal for sort of mask, by tl1P wnv- ove,· his fuce until               p'izen- Gooel LallJd I" clapping ono hand over
 closing in, if' at the hoad of an armed force.          twin holes came opposit" hie <'yes,                     his mouth, hut not in time to wholly smotber
                                                                     Big Bandy.                                                                               19
  tvhI'Cee~uestion: Mebbe you b'long to the sar-         gentleness of his tones. "But you also heard us           .. Hope may die ef I wasn't-gi' me a chaince
        •                                                say sometbing more~"                                   ef ye don't reckon I know the ropes I I'll work
     "Wbat service~"                                        "Waal, I couldn't jest make out," slowly re- a month fer ye on trial, an' never ax a red cent
     " Rev'nue-durn my onlucky tongue I"                 plied Barney, meetiug that keen gaze witbout 0' wages over'n above the drink I drink I"
     Tbere was a general stir at tbis, but Gentry       flincbing. "Twas a migbty awk'ard pusish.                  "Your wages are already fixed, and wlliting
  quelled it with a single imperative wave of his        An' the smoke come up tol'able tbick. Au' I for wbat you've already done. Tell him, lads:
  hand. He gazed iutently into the doleful face of       bain't nigh so sharp 0' hearin' as I was afo' the wbat wages fits him best?"
  his .captive for fully a minute before speaking        wah."                                                     "Jest one-croakin'l" promptly spoke up
  agam.                                                     " But yon hf'ard something about-about our 'Gene Fuller.
     " You're not nigh so big a fool as you try to      engagiug in other work thlln moonsbining, for              "Wait-don't be so brash I" quickly interposed
  make ont, my fine fellow I I caught you spying        all that, Barn3Y Budge. Come-it's only plain Luke Barnes, tbough he could be recoguized only
 upou us; what for?"                                    truth can save yonI' lite, my manl Ont with I by his figure, for his face waS hidden behind a
    " You wou't git hoppin' ef I tell ye, honestl"
    "It's your tallr; get uuder motion, Barney
                                                        it!"                                                   I
                                                                                                               sbirt-sleeve mask, and his voice was altered by
                                                            "Then lyin' won't save me, plain truth goes, the bit of stone which he bad slipped under bis
  Budge."                                               cap'u. I did heal' some stray words, an' I don't tongne. "Ef he's raally wbat he lays out to be,
    "Waal, ef I must," with the air of one              mind sayin' I tried my level best fer to string wby not give him a chance?"
 desperately nerving bimself to coufess the             'em togetber so they'd make good sense. But I             "That's all I ax, gentlemen," eagerly echoed
  whole truth, "I'm from Kentuclry. vVben I             conlcln't."                                            Barney Budge. .. Jest give a old soldier a show,
 got back from the wah, I hedn't a dollar to cuss           "You stiek to tbis, Barney?"                       an' ef I dou't prove to ye I'm wbiter'n ary fresh
 myself witb, but-waal, I hed a few ole-time                "You said it was plain truth or lose my light, snow-drift ye ever trompled into, then I don't ax
 fri'nds left, an' they was runnin' a still. They       cap'u. Ef you'd ruther sigbt I'd lie, mebbe I a red cent!"
 tnck me in, an' in a little time- fel' tbey was all    kin batch up one to fill the bill," with a sickly         .. You lied to us wben you said you didn't
 likin' to play, ye see, cap'n-I sorter got away        grin on his hruised face.                               kuow how you fouud your way up yonder,"
 with the hull business, 'long 0' ImolVin' the             " He's lyin" hy tbe mug 0' him, cap'u I" growl- grimly added Gentry, with nn upward toss of
 keerds hetter'n tbey eIid. Old sledge, ye see,         ed Fuller, viciously. "He hearn too mighty bis head.
 gentlemen."                                            much fer to be let go foot-free-an' so I jest tell        "I did-sence you've hit it all' right, cap'n,
    "Go on. \'Vbatbrought you spying on us to-          ye down hardl"                                         I'll 'fess it all up, straight as a stringl" ~as the
 nightl"                                                   "Stand up, Barney Bndge!"                           unexpected response.
    "Waal, it didu't do me a mightysigbto' good,           "Er you ax it, cap'n," whiued the spy, risiug          "You own up tbat you were spying on us?"
 cap'u, my wiullin'. Fer somebody sold me out.          erect, his uneasy gaze at the same time noting            "Naw,l" with a shiver of mingled fear and
 Tbe rev'uue men come. Bu'sted up my outfit,            how those armed men drew a close circle around disgust. "I didn't come 0' no sech p'izen stpck
 an' give me three year in the pen. An' wben my         him as though to guard aghinst any desperate os that, sah 1 Wbat I mean is-·I s01't 0' lied to
 time was up, I WaS watched too mighty cluss            attempt to escape on bis part. "Ef you'd jest ye when I re'lkoned I WaS looney over losin' that
 fer to git started in the old line, 'round tbar. So   send fer Giner'l Bandy, once, mehbe-"                   map 0' the money the uigger bid out, wab-time~.
 I tuck Illy hoofs in my ban's au' lit out fer ole         "Pnll ull' your clothes, Barney Budge!"             Au' so-waal. the man I won that map of, at
 Mizz/Jury."                                               "But- Good J.awdl" splutterea the captive, old sledge, told me people 'lowed Uncle Jupe
    "What for? Simmer it down, Barney                   dolefully. "An' me sull'erin' wuss tben death done walked, 0' moonligl)t nigbts. Jest spooked
 Budge!"                                               'long- 0' the rhenm'lticks every winter I"              'round wbar he'd hid the money, dou't ye see?
   "rhed a map. showin' whar a mighty rich                 "Peel his hide, a couple of you fellows!" An' so-waal, sence the map hed gone up cblm-
 bellp 0' money au' secb·like was hid out by a nig-    sharply ordered Gentry.                                 hly-jest asbes au' smoke I-I didn't see no otber
gel' in the wah-times. It said on it to bunt on            "Never mind-I'll strip-anytbin' to keep show then to kinder lay fer his ghost, au' then
 Brimstone Butte, an' Holler Hill. An' so-             peace into tbe fambly, gentlemen 1" mumbled bunt a'cordin'."
 waal, ~ come hyaI·. An' no longer ago tben this       BUdge, rapidly tearing off his rags.                       Gentry broke iuto a jeering laugh as the seem-
 very durn mis'able night, that map was turned             One hy one GGntry lVeut OVer his garmeuts, ing tramp came to a pause, for lack of breath.
 to smolle an' ashes an' seut up cbimbly-durn          using his fingers anrl knife where bis eyes were           "Do you really expect us to believe such a.
 his pesky bide!"                                      of no avail without sucb assistance. But if he wretched lie as tbat?"
   There was silence for a brief space, during         hoped to disco Vel' angbt in the garments to con-          "Ef the solid truth's a lie, then I'm lyin' to ye,
whicb Barney Budge sat a picture of dejection,         vict the suspeeted Secret Service agent, be was sab." replied Barney Budge, drawing up his
staring gloomily iuto tbe fim befom bim. And           doomed to disappointment. Notbing of the sort stocky figure with an air of injured dignity.
 tbough Greeu Gentry bad hardly the ghost of a         was found, anrl douhtless Barney Budge felt "Ef the solid truth is truth, then I'm dealin' out

d0ubt os to his being a revenue or secret seevice       thnukfnl for tbe caution wbich bad led him to gospel facks."
spy, be hardly knew just how to make tbat fact          biding that warning rag uuder a stone, befora I "YOII never had a map, or if you did, it was·
clear.                                                  creeping Ollt of his covert.                         I a gnide to tbe Fving, not tbe dead, Barney
    "Big Baudv burned your map, you say?" he               \Vitb tbat found on his person or in his clothes, BudKel"
 ventured, at length.                                  fnrther defense would have beeu utterly useles<.           "Then I was swindled by the- Bnt I cain't
    "'Deed he je~t did, cap'ul Efit'd bin him,         And matters were bad enough already, as he think it, even on your say-so, cap'n," his surldEn
dug-gun tbe critter!"                                  knew only too well.                                     agitation suhskling into a dogged r~solution.
   " To-night, you say? Tben how came you this            Foiled in his search, Gentry tossed the gm - "Ef you'll jest IlX Giner'l Bllndy. he'll tell ye
far away frol1l his cabiu?"                            ments back to Barney Budge, bidding bim put how he burnt up my map. H,,'ll tell ye how 1
   " Could I stay in tbe house 0' sech a dug-gUl)      tbem in place agaiu. And while this was heing done oll'ered him a "beer in the fiud ef he'd jest
canuyball?" mdigoautly ejaculated Barney               done, not a word was spoken On "ither side.           I help me study out tbem pesky liucs onto that
Budge. "Could I pard in 'long of a critteI"                "Now,BarueyBudge."spokeupthechief,bis map. An' uOIV-I'lldo the same with you alll
wba~'d gone back outo a ole soldier like that?
Not much 1 I jest tole him to ~o to blazes, an'I'd
                                                        voice ullrd aud pitiless to the ear. "We'll get Help me find the treasure, an' call it my sbeer 0'
                                                       down to sob"r business."                                the cost 0' your stills. Take me iu as a pardner.
go-durned ef I much keered whar,l An' me
lattin' on that pile 0' money fer to keep my ole
age in comfort I"
                                                   I       .. Ef I kin holp ye, cap'a, it only wants a au' I'll agree to do double the work 0' your level
                                                        word /ln' a know how," the prisouer meekly said I best man, sahr'
                                                           "You'll bave a part to play, of course," with          .. I'm sadly afraid your breath'll not last long
   "How came you up youded" with a nod that            a short. u~ly lau~b. "But first-you fougbt I enough tn complete the articles of partnership.
indicated the bole in the rouf of the cavern.          witb In Shelhy, I thiuk you said?"                      Bruce McKay."
   "Ef I knowed better myself, I'd tell ye jest           "Au' mighty proud I be to say it, cap'nl" I Once mom Green Gentry tried a sbot from
how," sighed the victim of misfortune. "All            with feeble enthusiasm.                                 amhusb, anrI on,'e mnra he failed to brlll~ down
I know is bolV mighty bad I wanted to git out                                                               I
                                                          " Well you Illay be. if true. A good man, a tbe game be couuted so certainly his owu.
0' the hole whar my bopes weut glimmerin'-up           better soldier, a glory tn his men, but a holy I Instead uf changing color or betrayiug himself
chimbly, gentlemen! In jest smol<e an' ashes I         terror to his enemies-tbat was Geueral Jo I by a start or shiver, Barney BUdge innocently
An' so-waal, I jest racked nut, an, whar I             Suelb,V, Baruey Budge. Au angel in peace, a glanced aronnd him as though looking for tbe
mogged wbile iu secb mis'ry, PU never tell yel         devil in war. Tend"r as a mother to all who owner of that name. All that was to be read in

But the fu'st I knowed, I hit a smoke. An'I            served and truste,l him. But-did you ever see his brllised face was a little bewilderment; why
foHered it np, thinkiu' mebbe it rnougbt lead me       how be nUlJished a spy who had tried to harm should Brace McKay's longevity be lugged into
to whar I could ketch whisky'nough fer to make         him, Barney Budge?"                                     that question?
druuk come an' me fergit what I'd lost! An' so                                                                    "You play it mighty well, Bruce," added
- I hit that hole, au' jest then the hull top 0' the                     CHAPTER XXIII.                        Gentry, stepping forward and tapping tbe seem-
hill toppled over an' rammed me dowu tbis way,                   BARNEY BUDGE ASKS A SHOW.                     ing bummer on a shollIdeI' with his left hand, his
cap'n,"                                                   As he asked tbequestiou, Green Gentryleaned other still gripping a pistol-blltt. "Of course
   "How long were you watching us through              forward in his eagerness to uote the full ell'ect of you wonld, knowing that your very life is at
that hole?"                                            his words, hut this fell far short of bis expecta- stalm. Bllt-Iknow you for what you m'e, and
   "None so long but what I'd 'a' watched              tions. Barney Budge grinned broadly as he I I tell you fiat-the jig is up I"
heap sight longer just fer a bope 0' gittin' a         promptly said:                                       I    "But I ain't- Good Lawd I" spluttered the
smell 0' good wbisky, cap'n."                             "Ef he wasn't in too big a hurry, tried 'em one tbus addressed. II You ain't takin'me fer
   "And YOll have told us the trutb, audnothing        onto a drumhead 'fore hangin' 'em; but ef he some other pusson, cap'n?"
but the truth!"                                        was rushed fer time, jest sent 'em whoopin' over          "I'm taking you for just what you are: Bruce
   "So help me, holy Moses!" spluttered Barney         the line the shortest way come handy."                 McKay, the keen"st, sliest,. most dangerous
Budge. "Ef ye don't b'heve me, jest send fer              "And you never tried to save one of tbem bloodhound in tbe Secret ServICe!"
Giner'l Bandy. 'Spiseable as he done me dirt,          from being punished?"                                     "Me~ Me in-            Durn your hide, critter I"
I don't reckon he'd sw'ar to a lie jest to spitt' me      "Me? Good Lawd! A spy? In wab-times? with a low but intense rage breaking tbrough
furder-an' me a old soldier who tit an' fit au' fit    Ketch me,l" splllttered the mau from Keutucky, his bewilderment. "Putt up your gun-let
until tbey wasu't nothin' more left to fight fer I     the picture of supreme disgust.                        these gentlemen say tbey won't crowd in-tben
Ef Giner'l Jo Shelby was hyar, he'd tell ye so,           "I have caught you, Barney Budge! Caught you say that over. an' I'll jest stomp thR stuffin'
tool"                                                  YOll in the very act I Aud in crackiug up the clean out 0' yet .1Ife-a ~umed p'izen sPy? Me
   "You were 0ne of Jo Shelby's men, then?"            wisdom of your old general, you bave pro- a- Shed yer Imen, cntter, or I'll chmb ye
   " Bet I was! An' more'n prond to own it,            nounced your own doom, you dirty spy 1"                dressed 1"
too. be yon gray or blue. One 0' Shelby's Brig-           Barney Budge shrunk from before those                  It actually looked as though Barney Budge
ade, I was, cap'nl"                                    viciously g-littering orhs, but even yet he did not would do as be threatened, too, hut Jasper
   " 1'111 not dispnting your word iu that respect.    seem to fairly r"ali?.e bis full peril.                Naughton fiung his arms around him from the
Let it drop for the present, thou~h I may refer           "Is he of'en tuck that way, gentlemen?" he 1'<;01', lifting bim clear of the ground and holdiug
to that point again, before the end. And siuce         huskily a~ked, trying to hnld those blazing eyes hun belpless.
you have told us so very frankly just what and         with bis own. t. Good Lawd! hain't I sull'ei'ed           " Simmer dowu, critter, an' I'll set ye free,"
who you are, maybe you'll be so kind as to tell        plenty 'nollgh 'long 0' one crazy critter, 'thout be mu~tere;l, gruffly. " 'Tain't the likes 0' you
us what we are?"                                       tumblin' rio-bt slam-bank into tbe grip of a heap tbat km talk figbt in hyar-not anyl"
   "Gentleman 0' tht' fu'st water, sabl" prompt-       sigbt wnss';:;e?"                                         "He dast to hint I was a cussed spy!" panted
ly cried Budge, allding with fierce belligerence:         "Bahl yon whelpl" flashed Gentry. throwing Bndf{e, B~lkily.
"Show me the critter as dast to hint the other         oil' his moderation. and speaking with savage             "Set bim down, Jasper-"
way, an' I'll eat bim up, body, boots an' britches,    distinctness. "Think you can still keep the               "Stiddyl" sharply cried Naul1;hton, his eyes
sah I"                                                 hlinders over our f'yesl" Think you can make shooting forth a warning. "No names,
   "You overheard nS talkin~ ahout moonshin-           us bf'lieve you ever had aught to do with moon- ca]?'n \" .                      .
i~g, of course, Budge?" persistf'd Gentry, with
his eyeil glittering iu strong contrast to the
                                                   I   shining otber thaI! t'? rllin ho'~e<t meu's property
                                                       and run poor deVIls lUto the Jug~"
                                                                                                                  'Set hIm down, I bId ye, man."
                                                                                                                 Naughton obeyed, then drew back a pace or
"20                                                                    Big Bandy.
  two, growling back of bis mask in anytbing but            .. I've done let go all grip on bopes. I've made      same oath. Yon are as deeply implicated as
-ft   pleasant bnmor.                                    up my mind that a man 0' my growin' hain't got           allY of us. If that devil goes free, he woulel
      .. Now for you, Brnce McKay. Bluff won't           no use 0' hopin'. Bnt, ef ye butcher me the next         bave just as hard a case against you. So-will
   work here, and if you try anytbing- weightier,        minute, cap'n, I'll stick it oat that I ain't no         you take your chance in tbe lottery, or are we
   the boys will drop you too cold for skinning."        durn spy. I'm jest BOll'ney Budge, an' ef you'll         to tbinl, yon !l tl'aitor1"
      "You've got a hull gang at· the back 0' ye,        give me a show I'll prove it to ya ,,111 An' then            Luke Barnes turned pale as a corpse at tbose
   cap'n, but I sayag'in tbat ef you call me Bruce       -hawks don't eat hawks wheu they's sweeter               slow, pitiless words. He told nothing but the
  ,anybody, you lie 1" boldly retorterl Burlge.          meat layin' 'round in heaps an' gohs. An' I'm            truth when he claimed to be guiltless of engag-
      The words were searcely out of his month, be·      one 0' ye, ef you'll jest take the trouble fer to        ill"" iu or profiting by the false coining. ~ He
   fore half a dozen of the moonshinerspilerl upon       'vestig",te a weenty bitl"                               (m~'serl hirns(l]f for his weakness in not
   him from all sides in answer to a harely pcrcep-         " What do ynu liJean by that, Bmce McKay?"           ouf of tile galn; the hour be learned what was
   tible signal from their leader. And though the           II Bruce McKay be durned!         But lrt it go:     their real ohject, using illicit distilling nll'rely
 ,doomed man did his level hest to break away            ontel I've showed ye how fnr yon've dono                as a conveninnt Ltlask.
  from the tuils, he was thrown down ancl never          wronged me, cap'n," his to"leS growing more                 But as he looked around anll met tbose sullen,
  given the glJost of a chance until his limhs were      placable as he added: " You looked fer proof,           suspicions, menacing eyes, be thought of his
  securely b~und.                                        but you didn't find it. Come closter up, au' I'll        wlfo and rlau~hter: thought how uttl'lj,y defeme-
      And then, when his captors drew back alld he       tell ya \vhar my proof lays!"                           less they would he left in case aught shOUld bap-
  saw Green Gentry gazing savagely down upon               Almust involuntarily Gentry cnmplied, and-            pen to him I And he knew, plainly as though
  him, the man's nOl've scemed to fail bim, for the      just how the marvelous feat was porfornwd, no           eacb lind every man present had londly pro-
 iirst time. In hardly articulate gasps ho began         man could explain-the spy burst his bonds,              clnimerl the fact, that in case hp refused to do
  begging for mercy, only to be cut short hy that        and, butting Geutry in the pit of the stomach as        hi' share in that ,,,vful job, tllCy wonld kill him
  pitiless voice.                                        be leaped np, knocked him eudlong, then darted          to insure their own safety.
      "You've served long enough to know tbat in         straight for the narrow passage, for liberty I              "'rllke your chance with all of us, Luke
 t!lkiug your office, you took your lifa in your                                                                 Barnes, or-you know the penalty p"eser'ihed
  hand as well, Bruce McKay I"                                             CHAPTER XXIV.                         for traitors hy onr la \Vsl" sternly said Gentry.
      "But I ain't-I'm jest pol'e Barney Budge,                           THE DEATH LOTTERY.                          " Ef 'it wasn't fer the wimml'n back home, I'd
 !boss I"                                                    GREEN GENTRY was unable to help bimself,            bid ya do your level wu'stl" he sullenly mutter"
      "You are Bruce McKay, and I baveample              and nearly all of the rest were taken so com-           ed. "Fer tha'r sake-I'll take my chaince 'long
 proof to back up every word I say. You are               pletely by surprise that the spy would surely          0' the rest."
  the keenest spy in the employ of the Secret Ser-       have disappearell through tbe narrow pas,agfcJ              GI'een Gentry laughed: coldly, bitterlv, with-
 -vice. You were sent out here to break us up in         leading to the hillside, only for the swift action      out even the ghost of aught akin to mirth in the
 buSiness--"                                             of .Tasper Nanghtun.                                    notes. But he had won bis point, ann reluctant-
     "Cross my beart, cap'nl" qnavered the bound            He callght up 11 hatchet lying at his feet, and      ly as Luke Barnes had yielded.' be knew him
 man. "I've made moonshine my own self. Ef               hurled it after' that fieeing figure. And witbout       well enou~h to feel fnlly assured the squatter,
:you don't b'lieve it, bO or send to Kentucky an'        even a ~roan, the doomed m~lU fell, as the              let the lottery !l0 as it might, would never be-
-look at the re-cords. They'll show me sarvin'           whirling missile struck bim squarely on tbe             tray aught of that awful sfcJcl'et. '         ,
 time fer moonshinin'I"                                  back of the head.                                           .i Yo,; do well, Luke Barnes," he said. grip-
     "Maybe so. Set a thief to catcb a thief,"              "Grah-don't let-" gasped Gentry, then                ning that relu~tnnt band in his own and sbakipg
-with a hard laug'h. "You may bave passed as             rolled over on his face, vomiting copiously from        it with some show of warmtb. .. It's an ugly
 -Barney Budge 111 Kentucky, for you've worn             the shock received from that bullet-hearI.              bit of \)]lsimISs, take it all 'round, but--"
 DlOre different names tban you carry fingers and           l'be words were not fairly past bis lips before      , "Ain't ~bar any way to git out 0' it short 0'
 t.oes. You may even have been arrested, tried           a dozen eager hanrls were fastened upon tbe spy,        killin'?"      ,
 _und convicted of making illegal whisky-the             but he made no resistance. If not dead-nol he               "Glln yOll point outsucb a way, Luke Barnes?"
  hettel' to enable you to trap more victims             was .:lnly insensible I                                     The squatter was silent. He could not find
-througb the reputation thus won."                          The poll, or the handle of the hat.cbet bad          another and more agreeable solution. yet he tried
     "But-durn it all, cap'n I" with a piteous           struck him, not the keen blade; but the shock           harll to do so. Gentrv saw this, and added:
 whine and most woe-begone visage. "Give a               had been enon!!;b. 'And long before Green                   "Wbat is the life of a dirty spy when weigbed'
:pore critter jest the shadder of a show I You           Gentry bad recovered sufficiently to give an            against that of all of us, man1"
make a charge, an' then sw'ar it's dene proved,          order, or even take an interest in the mlltter,             .. Ef you'el only give' up the dirt.y work wbE'll
never aXin' guilty or not guilty I Is that white?        the spy was bound in a round dozen of places.           I snoke outl"
Is that the WIlY you'd like to ketch iti"                And as tbough resolved to make assurance                    "But we didn't give it up. Nor did you draw
     .. What greater mercy would you sbow to any         doubly sure, Jasper Naughton knelt by his side,         out, as yon might bave done at the start, Luke,"
"l)r all of us, after bearing what you did up yon-       holding tbe sharp point of a knife Qlose over bis       sneered Gentry. .. And so-think of it, man!
der1 You saw our faces. You marked our flig-             heart.                                                  Think what will come to your family if that
 nre'. You printed on your brain every word                 "The critter ain't dead yitl" he muttered,-          devil goes free witb the story of aJl be h'lfli'd
 you beard us speak. You even counted over tbe           with a curiousmingliug of relief and disappoint-        tbrough spying tbis night I Think of aJl the
devi!,s pay you thougbt was just as good as              ment in face and voice as he mad£> tbRt an-             otber innocent ones who must suffer, if he
-though y'JU bad it suag in your own pocketl             nouncement. "Better fer us--better fer him-             escapes! And tben-isn't it better for on~ bead
 And-Luke Barnesi"                                       ef he wasl But S<?nce it's come tbat way, look          to bear it am And that head belonging to a
     .. Fer the ssake 0' Moses, cap'n, don't call        to the cap'n, you critters. Fetch bim out 0' his        bloodhound wbo makes his living bV hanging or
 'l1ames!" hoarsely crier! Jasper Naughton, spring-      sickness, for it's his say-so, now. An' the soon"r      putting in jail ]Joor, helpless men, and even
:ingforward with band uplifted in warning.               we git the job over, the easier I'll know how to        womeni Isn't it, Luke BIll'llesi"                ,
     Gref'n Gentry laugbed bitterly.                     breatbe ag'in' I"                                           "Durn so much chin-music, cap'n I" growled
     "Why not, Jasper Naughton-back, hot-                   By tbis time Gentry WIlS recovering, baving          'Gene Fuller. "Git up the things fer votin'
bead I" bis revolver fiying up and causing the           emptied his terribly-shocked stoll1llcb. And            with. an' le's finish the jobl"
 younger man to recoil. .. Wbat matter does it           after a liberal drink. of whisky, he was Rble to            "Sence it hes to be done-hurry it over,
  make nowi He spotted as all, from up yonder,           stagger' to bis feot. Only blS bMsky voiCf> and         cap'n," moodily muttered Barnes, turning away
,nnd-"                                                   unusually pale fnce rpmained to tell of what he         toward tb" rear of the cavern.
     "'Deed I never did," spluttf,red Budge, eag-er-     bad ~uffered during t,hose few minutes.                     Gent.ry pa~sed over to wbere the doomed spy
 Iy catching at the faintest ray of hope. "An'              "Now are you sati'fierl, gentlemen?" he Rsl,ed,      lav helpless• .Tasper Naughton still keeping close
-ef I did, would one olemoonshiner go back onto          an ugly sneer making his mu"tache writhe for            guard over him.
 'notheri Cross my heart-"                               an instant. "Would a harmless fool like be                  .. No, be's liviu'," muttere,l t,he youn" man,
     " With cold steell" laugbed Gentry, viciously,      plaved, be able to do 11 trick like that1"              shakin~ bis head to negative that inquiring
1:IS be tossprloff' bis hat and stripped the mask           "Ef it was death fer bim, webbe he mougbt,"          glance. "'Tw-,uld 'a' saved trouble of the
 from his face. "Speak wben you're spokeu to,            slowly ventnrea Luke Barnes.            '               hatchet hed tuck him as I meant. But I hedn't
 Bruce McKay. Anrl as for you, Jasper N1lllgh-              .. L'1ok yf>, my mnn," slowly said Gentry. his       time fer to measur~ the distance, an' so-waal, I
'ton," turning once Dlore towar.l th'lt inrlividual,     eves blazing, his voice low nnd dpadly. "Walk           dJcln't finish him off."
 bis tones growing harder and colder," llS for           t.he chnlk-linp. or mind your own beadl Some--              He a faint sigh of relief at tbis, for,
  you, I'll overlook your bad break just !lOW."          bad'll sold UI1 out, and-"                              afterflll, killing a fellow-being is no slight
     "Waal, I ain't beggin' no favors, cap'n," was          "Y"u rlon'td9.stto even !lint I was that man?"       thing. out of the heat of a l1:oneralbattle.
  the surly retort. .. I say it ag-aiu: you're a            " Not unless you force us to believe as much.            As Gentrv bent lower to examin" the face of
,durn fool fer calliu' out name' like thatl"             But s"uw one riid, and that some one mnst pay           the sny, his eyes flew open and a faint, hnsky
     "I would be. if it was simply a question of         t'le n"n:: lty I I'll hunt him down if it takes a       sound' escaped bis lips. If intended for speecb,
  moonsbiniug, Naughton, but when we all know            lif"time!"                                              it conlel not be interpreted.
 tbis infernal spy was listening to our other               "Count us all in, cap'n I" came fI'om half a             "Pull tbis over bis bead, Jasper," curtly said
  talk-"                                                 noz'c'u voices.                                         Gentrv, drawinl1: back and dropping a flannel
      "Button up, ef you be boss!" growled Barnes,          "nut first, we've got te get shut of Bruce           shirt-sleeve into the hand of his hencbm an.
,angrily.                                                McKay," said Gentry, iu more natnral tones.             "Double it, so he cnn't see, but leave him
      "You to", Luke?" laug-bed Gentry, sneering-        "Hn is a spy. He has found out 0111' secrets. He        breathing room. I'll fix up the tickets for the
  ly. "'Vhy, man alivel do you know how long             knows us not only as moonshiners, but liS               drawing."
  he was listening np yonder1 I can't tell you, for      makers of counterfeit money. YOlt know all                  Passiug back to the fire,he dropped upon his
 -sure, but I know he was watching and listening         this, gentlemen. And so-what is to be done              knees, producing a small notebook, out of which
  at the moment l'I'e spoke openly of making coun-       about iM"                                               be tore a nnmber of leaves equal to the memh"rs
  terfeit moneyl"                                            " Tbar's only one thing that k'toJ. be done, as I   present, including himself, speaking as be did
      An instant silence fell over all present. Each     see," spoke up 'Gene Fuller. .. That is-       so:
  pair of eyes turned t'lward the f:lce of the boun'l     'hey the laws made a'cordm'l"                              " All of vou IleaI'd, at the time, just what the
   man, and great though his control ovpr his                " Are 1/01< willing to take yonr chance of be,      words' deatb lotter,y' meant, but as this is tho
  1JerVeS, B"rney Budge conld not keep his color          ing: the elected otw1"                                 first time we ever had occasion to make use of
   from slowly fading away.                                  " I jest aDl, cap'n I" was tbe hold response.       the scheme, mavbe I'd better explain before
      KnOWing this, be tried to cover it up by whin-         "And yon Jasper Nanghton?"                          goiug further. Wbat do you say, gentlemen?"
  ing:                                                       "You'd ought to know 'thout axin', boss.                ." It cain't do no harm. though I, fer one,
      " Hope may die ef I ever did, gentlemen I An'       be,"                                                   hain't fergot a single p'int in the tr!pk,"
  ef I bed-sence you jest now let it out-I'd be              And so, taking each man in turn, Green              chuckled 'Gene Fuller.
  -only too glad to j'yne in an' help dt even 'ith tbe    Gentry put that question, to receive tbe same              That sanguinary rascal seemed actually de-
  pesky Gov ment that broke me all up in bnsiness.        answer in effect, until he came to Luke Barnes,        lighted with the idea of taking part in a cere..
   '<Vaal, now, I jest would! Jest jumpatthe fu'sh         whom he had left to the last, purposely, as all       mouy so horrible!
  <'haince, I would I"                                    believed.                                                   "Ef it wasn't fer knockin' the sport all eend-
      .. Did I bid you speak, Bruce McKay?" icily            "All have voted save you, Barnes. Now-               wavs, I'd offer to do tbe work my lonesome selfl"
   demanded Gentry, covering the doomed man               are you true to your sacred catb as the otbers1"       he boastingly ,1 pclllred"a moment later.
   with his revolver.                                        "I tuck an oath, hut ef you'll tbink back,              Gentry frowned blaekly as be sbook his head.
      "Shoot, critter, ef you want to wipe out It         cap'n, 'twasn't jest the same all the others tuck."         " None of that, Fuller 1 The death lottery
   bird 0' the same feather I" recklessly cried tbe       slowly nttered tl;Je pql\Utter, his uncovered fnce      must be lwpt a profound secret, and unless you
 ·captive, with a desperate effort lifting himself        showing tronbled in the lurid ligbt. "From tbe         solemnly swear-"
   to a sitting po"ture, gazing unfiinchingly into         very fu'st I said I wonldn't mix up in tbe mouey           "Oh, l'll neVer tell nul' ax a question, cap'n.
   tbat grim muzzle.                                       business. Didn't U"                                    I jest wanted to sbow bow ready I be to do my
      "You still hope to bamboozle us?"                      "You helonged to the g9ng. You took the              sheer, ef tbe lucky ticket comes to me."
                                                                      Big Bandy.                                                                            21
        Gentry seemed satisfied with the answer and           "Goodl But if be can be disposed of witbont was drunk-or playing drunk which will serv~
     'With his penknife carefully trimmed the l~aves castiug even the shadow of suspicion in onr us just as well, bear in mind, my jolly fault-
     down to the same size. Then on one of tbe lot direction, betteI'I And if matters can be put in finderl-wben he left tbe gronnds. And this be-.
     he ~adea pencil mark, after which he rose up, trim to show that he owes his death to himself, ing so, what more natnral than that he shonld
                                                           wouldn't that be best of alii"                        stumble at the ford, and fall into the water!"
         "~ow for just what the words death lottery           "But kin it be so fixed, up!" dubiously ven-         Luke Barnes said nothing, though his gannt
    means, gentlemen I" _ _                               .tured Nanghton.                                       visage showed that he was not yet entirely
                                                              "If my idea is carefully carried out, it sure- convinced, and Gentry impatiently added:
                      CHAPTER XXV.                        ly can," was the confident response. "And be-            .. Even if ugly questions be askl'd by bis
                   ANATROOIOUS SCHE~rE.                   fore the halloting begins, I'll tell you just what friends, would they come with less force if the
         "Youun~eI:standwith,out saying, gentlemen, I mean, and let all hands take a vote on its ae- deVIl was put out of the way by bullet or steel!
    tbat the lllum Idea of tIllS ~ort of drawing is, ceptauce.
    after the pnn,ishment of the spy, to shrond the
                                                                                                                 And if we were to bnry bis body, wouldn't hIe;
                                                              .. You haven't forgotten the part Bruce Me- very disappearance be accepted as proof of kill
     whole affaIr III as complete mystery as possible. Kay-or Barn&y Budge, as he called himself-- ing! I tell you, brothers, this is the safest aUlI
     I had thllt ceutral idea in mind when I devised played at the barbecue: that of a whisky-suck- surest method of disposing of the fellow. And,
    the ~cheme, and as its originator, I'm the proper ing tramp. You rememher that he claimed to I think you will all ag"ee with me so far;:
    one to make each point clear before the actnal have left the grounds in <1o.:npany with Big disposed of he m'lst be / It's his life or our
    drawing of lots shall begin.                         Bandy, going home with the brigadier. All of imprisonmentl And you know what that
        II I have here one slip of paper for each mem-    which combined to give me my idea. And if meaus!"
    bel' of the inner circle, including Luke Barnes," he really bad the row with Bandy, as he claims,              .. The way is plenty good. I'm ready fer the
    with a grim smile as he nodded toward that so much the better I                                              drawin'I"
    personage..                                               "When the drawing has taken place, each              Others backed Fuller lip in this cry, and lift-
        II Don't try to rub it in, cap'n," coldly spoke  man keeping his ticket unopenec and unknown ing the hat above his head, Gentry bade the
    up Jasper :rfaughton. II Luke he's passed his even to himself until at the place I'll indicate men faU into line, drawing their chance in turn.
    word, an' that means he'll stick true when mebbe in a moment, \\'ll will leltve here, one by one, Itt          Fullel' was the fir~t, and as be held his ticket
    th"em as calls tha'rselves heap sight better .hes brief intervals, going direct to the spot where close gripped in his hand, Gentry spoke again:
    tucker! tail an' scooted fer tall timber-you bet we left onr animals. When there, each lIJan                   "Pull out for your nag, Fuller, and only stop
    he will, now!"                                        will open his ballot and look at its face. If there long enough to open and scan your ballot•
        .. And don't you try to pick up a slm' where blank, he will at once ride for hOl11e by the If clean, ride straight home. If it bears tbe
    none has been flung out, Jap Nanghton. Luke shortest cnt. If the markerl squaJ;e, he will also ring, get out of the way of the rest, and wait fiv&
   insisted on being counted ontslde of the inner ride away, but instead of going home, be will minutes for each brother you leave behiud you.
   circle, and I'm so pleased with his actions since wait half an hour, as nearly as he can gne,s, Gol"
   that I thought to do him hOllOI', by putting his then kave his nag hidden amI come back here.                   Withont a worrl, hut with a vicious grin at
   name in brackets, so to speak."                       If he feEil's all may not yet be gone, let him the doomed spy, Fnller left thll' cavern.
        "Neve'r mind the honM, but git on with the hide outside, and give the regular signal. If                   And so, marldng the passage of time by his
   ugly work," gloomily interposed the squatter anyone be here, that one will answer. then watch, at the end of each and every five min-
   himself.                                              tnke his departure by the other passage, firing a utes, Gentry had One of his men draw a ticket
       Altbough he had only a vague, Shadowy re- single sbot when he steps outside, to aSsure the and take bis departure.
   membrance of what the terms of the death lot- elected that he is playing sqnare with him."                      Each man was plainly called by name when
   tery were, he felt that he Was doomed to be the           "Aiu't all this sorter kinder pilin' up the bis turn came, but no one openly objected to
   agent cbosen by fate to carry out its terrible agony, cap'u!" asked Fuller, dubiously rubbing that, though aJl knew the spy was intensely on
   mandates.                                             his chin. " Cain't we git thaI' by a shorter cut, the tllert, blinded and mnffled though he might
       "As I started out-to say," resumed Gentry, reckon?"                                                       be. Wbat matter? He was ~ertaillly doomed
   holding up the bits of paper wbere all could see          " If we were butchering a hog, yes. Bnt this to death, and could never make use of tbe infor-
   thelll. "I have a ticket here for each man of is a mighty serious affair, my good fellow, even mation he might thns gather.
   us. On one ticket I have marked a roulld ring, though you make light of it. And if; by taking . Luke Barnes was called near the middle, anr}
  in pencil, leaving all the others blank. Take lIlany precautions, the elected one can perform like the others he qnietly drew his lot, and as si··
  a ~quare look at them, gentlemen, and convince his work withont even his best friends snspect- lently stole away from the caveru.
  yourselves that I anl giving you a fair deal."         ing jnst whose IlAud dealt the blow, I tbink the          Nanghton was next to the last, and bll, too"
       More thl'ough curiosity than from any thought time lind tronble mighty well invested."                    departed withont a word being exchangad with-
  of trickery, the men complied, gazing at the               "Let 'er flickPl', bOilS. I was jest thinldn' 0' his chief. And then, taking the last ticket from
  squal'B tickets as Green Gentry held tbem lip.         the p'izen critter yenrler; he ml13t be gittin' his hat, Green Gentry put it safely in his pocket,
       .. Are yon satisfied so far, gentlemen!"         mighty tired wailiu' fer his nightcapl" chuckled noted the exact time, took the rope from the
       There was a unanimous assent, and the mas- the heartless wretch.                       ,            'wall and noosed it about the body of the spy.
  tel' of ceremonies added:                                  "Tie a knot in that tongue, 'Gene Fuller, or          Then he BIlt down, gazing at the face of hie;
       "Then the next move is to finish preparing the slack of it'll get your neck iuto trouble," watch.
  the baJlots, which I do by, first of all, folding up growled Gentry, then taking up his explanation
  the ticket containing the pencil-mark, . 'l'hat, as once more:                                                                CHAPTER XXVI.
  you may remember, tells the man who draws                  "When ~atisfied that the coast is clear, the                    BOUND BY HIS OATH,
  it" he is the lucky man /"                            elected hrother will come here. He will set the            ALTHOUGH Luke Barnes had no means of
      Where all could watch his movements, Gentry feet of the spy at liberey, bnt keep his hands knowing whether he bad drawn a blank or the'
  folded the square of paper several times, until and arms bonnd. He will take the rope hangmg marked ticket in that dread lottery when he left
  the fatal ring conld not possibly be detected by yonder, and fasten one end of it around the spy's the cavern, he entertained not the slightest
  either sight or sense,of touch. He dropped the body. then take him away from the cave.                         doubt. He seemed to know that fate had elect-
. ballot into bis hat as it lay on tbe floor, tbeu           "Using his own judg'ment how best to accom- ed him to perform a hideous crime.
  folded the. other tickets after precisely the same plish it, he will take the spy ,to the creek, briug-          Yet in nothing save his unusnally pale face
  fashion, each oue by itself.                          ing up at the flat rock overhanging the deep did he betray this ugly belief. He walked as
      When all had heen dropped into the hat, he hole a ways below the regular ford. Once there, swiftly, trod as snrely over those loose stones, as-
  picked it up. closing the sides and explaining the rest is simple enough; just push the rascal on any other occasion. And not even his closest
  further: -                                            into the Clrink, holdiug fast to the rope, ancl let friend, had they come face to face in that min-
       "Each man will draw a single ballot, with- him d1'own I"              ,                                   nte. would bave suspected aught had gone wrong
  out looking into the hat. He will keep the                There was a sharp catching of the breath by with him.
  Ilfl1l0t secret, even from himself, until after each more than one of the stern men listening to that            Outwardly he was calm, hut below that cold,
  man has carried out the rules governing this revolting conclusion. This seemed more than grave exterior, a hell of stormy passions raged.
  death lottery. And each man will join with ever like muderl                                                      Why had he not drawn out of that evil com-
  ma in solemnly swearing that, if he draws a               Killing was bad enough in itself, but this--         pany the moment he lmew for certain that their
  l,lank, he will never try to learn who drew               "It must be done, brothers I" sternly cried moonshining was really but a mask to a far more
  the marked ballot; if he be elected to Gentry, his assumed composnre breakinp. up as heinous bnsiness? He had threatened to do so.
  sacrifice one life in order that scores may live in he read that sound, those looks, aright. 'Would But-he had been persuaded to remain. He
  peace and security, he will sacredly vow to for- you leave plain proof that murder had been need not engage in the counterfeiting. He need
  ever keep his own secret, even from the wife of done? Wonld you say, by bullet or steel, that not touch or profit by a single dollar thns made.
  his bo~om, or, sbould he prove to be uumarried, this man has been killed by-whom1 By the                         And so-he had played with fate, and this was.·
  from the girl be loves hest. And in case any very Illen whom Bruce McKay, the spy of the the bllginning of the end I
  one of this company should fall into trouble be- Secret Service, came to these parts to lmnt                     He kept the little bnnch of paper tightly
  cause of the evr,nts of this night, so unwillingly down aud arrest, of conrse!"                               clincbed in his left hand, never even taking a
  forced upon us by one wbo sought to ruin and              "But--durned ef I kin see through itl" frown- glance at it nntil he had reached the spot where,
  destroy, the other brothers vow and declare ed Naughton, shaking his head.                                    in company with others, his horse stood hitcbed.
  that they will, one and every, dare all to'save           .. Wait until I finish explaining, and maybe Even then he did not pause to examine the
  their heroic comrade.                                 you'll have your eyes sharpened a bit, gentle- ticket, but unhitched his horse, and climbed into
       "Brothers, do you take the oath!"                men," laughed Gentry, seeming to take all this the saddle, riding rapidly away from the spot,
       "We dol" came the unanimous response, as an indirect but huge compliment to his di- heading toward home.
  rumbling through that part of the Hollow Hill, abolic ingenuity. "I've figured the wbole thing                   Only for a few bundred yards. Then he
  and sending a coa chill crawliug over the out, and it can't help hnt work to perfection.                      tnrned aside, making his way through the tim-
  doomed spy, bliuded, bouud, ,belplessly lying ," Tho elected brothel' will wllit until certain bor until a point which he had cho~en in his
  there on the rock flooring, awaiting his death I      the l'llscal is dead, tben he will haul iu his fish. mind for that plll'po~e, even before drawiug his
       Whether intentiona]]y or not. Green Gentry He will remove the honds, untie the rope, and ticket from Green Gentry's hat. He did not
  was watching 'the pale face of Luke Barnes liS let the body sink again. He will take tbe rope mean to prove false to bis oath, then I
  he put the qnestion, but if he feared a failure and cords away with him to a safe spot, and                      Nothing was further from his thoughts. If he
  in tbat quarter, he quickly realized his mistake. there bury 01' hurn them, after which he can had been alone in the world be would never have
  The gaunt squatter plainly joined in with his take the shortest way home. See the point!"                     let matters go so far. Rather than have a hand
  hrethren. From birth a rude fatalist, he had              "But 'pears to me you look over one p'int, in that foul assassination, be would have dared
  accepted what he deemed his fate, aud would cap'n," said Barnes, gravely. "S'pose he hes the hullets or steel of his confederates.
  follow it to the bitter end without flinching fur- pardners nigh to hand? S'pose they know jest                  Bnt he was not alone. He had his family to
  ther.                                                 whar he 'lowed to go this night! S'pose his think of. Already they were threatened with
       " Our mutual oath is recorded, brothers, and body is found-as it shortly will be, in the eend the loss of their farm, their home, all for which
  it is good I"                                         -w'hat']] those pardners-say an' do!"                   he had labored so hard, pinched so closely, suf-
       "Who's to take fu'st whack at it!" asked Ful-        ',' What can they either say or do! There will fered so much. Only his stubborn courage kept;
  leI', seemiugly anxious to test his good or ill be no signs of violence ahout his person-"                    a roof over their heads this long. And if he was
  fortune.              ' .                           ,     "He tumbled down yen' hole. An' he was to die, what wonld become of those two weak,
       "Don't be in sucb a sweat, 'Gene," laughed knocked cold with a hatchet. Mehbeyou farget helpless women?

  perfe.ctl Y clear before the drawing takes place.
  Gentry, motioning the hot-head back with his them p'ints, c a p ' n , " .
  free hand. "There are otber points to make
                                                                                                              I "It's all fer them two," he muttered, as, hav-
                                                                All of which can he readily laid to his 1'0110, ing fastened his horse onee more, he turned to
                                                        ing over among tbe rocks as t.ho rapids Cal'ried. t!,e nearest hit of moonlight, there to unfold his
       "You all agree with me that we can live hi!n to the pool. Everyhor!v at th~ bar~ecue tH;ket -a!,d make sure his fatalism had not de-
  only throngh the death of this spy, brothers!"        WIll swear that the fellow SWIlled whIsky hke a celved hIm,
       Once more he received a general aSsent.          hog. They know, and will rememher tbat he                 It bad notIOn the open paper there plainly·
                                                                      Big Bandy.
   showed tbe fatal ring wbicb doomed bim to rutb-            " Ef it's to come tbat way, notbin' I kin do and to Gilbert Cochrane be owed a debt of
   lessly sacrifice tbe life of another. Yet his hard- '11 holp make it go any dif'rent," coldly said hatred which a ~core such lives could not bave
   set features never changed in the slightest de- Barnes, guiding his captive down the slope to repaid. And so-remembering tbis, remember-
   gree. He had long since discounted the horrible the comparatively level space below.                          ing too that his enemy had caught him in tbe
   truth, and he was long past the point of heing             Barney Budge-to give bim the title he had very act of taking another life-he fought for
   freshly shocked.                                        elected for himself-proved as good as his his own revenge, and for the safety of his loved
       He tore the ticket into bits, then put them in- word, and silently obeyea each impuhe lent ones.
   to his mouth, cbewing tbem up, slowly, deliber- him by his executioner, though he must have                      Locked in that death-grapple, they rolled
,ately, before swallowing them. He bad ample known wbat hideous fate awaited him at the from the rock and fell into the cold water.
~ time. He had left four men bebind bim, with- termiuation of that blind journey.                               The shock was severe. The cold took even his
   1>ut counting Green Gentry.                                It may be that, convlDced hiS fate was irre- breath for the instant. And before he could
       " A clean half-hour, not countin' what time trievably sealed, be had resigned himself to the fairly recover, Luke felt a pair of hands tearing
   I've spent a'ready," he muttered, looking around inevitable. Or, more likely, he was waiting to desperately at his own throat.
   for a moment, then sitting down on a bit of a more fully recover the use of his legs before                      How long that terrible struggle lasted, be
  decayed tree. "Wisb it mought be less, but making at least one desperate effort to escape. never knew. It seemed for a lifetime. And all
   law is law, an'I'm bound to foller it clean out But be that as it may, Luke Barnes had no par- went on beneath the surtacel
   to the eend."                                          ticular difficulty in gUIding the spy to the pre-         A frIgbtful roaring filled bis ears. His brain
      With elbows on knees, and chin propped by cise spot set for his execution.                                seemed bursting through tbe bones. His lungs
  his joined hauds, Luke Barnes sat and waited               This was not many pods from the regnlar ford, seemed filled witb liquid fire. Those iron fingers
   for the minutes to drag tbeir slow length along. below which tbe creek roared and tossed aud were tearing his throat to sbreds. Then-some
       He bad enough food for thougl.Jt, such as it foamed over and around scattered rocks, form- savage water monster seemed to grapple with
  was, and he let bis brain run riot during that ing a really dangerous rapid, pnding in a wide, them both, rolling them over and over on
  trying interval of inaction.                            long, deep pool of eddying water, over one tbe sbarp rocks, pounding and hammering, tear-
       No need to reproduce his musings. They had edge of whicb hung 11 broad, flat rock, rising a ing and biting, twisting them limb from limb in
  little range; for the most part confined to bis yard or more above tbe surface of the water.                  its horriole might.
   family, bis own blind folly, and the bideous ex-          To tbis rock Luke Barnes escorted his cap-             He must have lost consciousness for a time,
  tremity to whicb his mad temporizing had tive, gripping bim firmly by the collar while since his next remembrance came as he lay half
   brought bim.                                           speaking gravely:                                     out of tbe water, under a clump of bank busbes,
      Not once dId he tbink of trying to evade that          "I'll give .ye five minutes in which to make at one side of the pool,
  dreaded deed which stared bim in the face. He your peace With heaven, stranger. At the end 0'                     He stared stupidly about bim for a space,
  had sworn to carry out the laws formed for their that time, you must go!"                                     unable to recognize his whereabouts or to
   own safety. ,He had sworn to do his pan in                Had the near approach of death paralyzed recall wbat bad reduced him to such strange
  punishing any or all spies and traitors. AmI tbat brain~ Barney Budge never spoke. He weakness.
  -though he had, at the time, meant only such as made no effort to break away. He stood silent                     All was still about bim. The moonliuht shim-
  menaced their stills, be knew now that he had and motionless until the time expired, when mered on the slowly circling eddy. 'The cool
  ,bound himself to guard and protect tbat other Luke Barnes spoke grimly:                                      water came to bis waist, slowly benumbing his
  black, evil business.                                      "Say your prayers, critter, fer your time is lower limbs. What did it all mean~ What had
      Busy as was his brain, Luke Barnes kept upl I hate mightily to do it, but-you know happened~ How-
  dose account of the minutes. He had never too mighty mucb to live any longer I"                                  Then it all flasbed upon bim, and with a hoarse,
  <Jwned a watch, and had never a clock in his                                                                 gaspiug cry he lifted his head and -glared savage-
  bouse. Because of that, he was all tbe better                           CHAPTER XXVII.                       ly ahout him.
  able to measure time by the moon and stars.                           PAYING THE PENALTY.                        "Gil Cucln'ane!"
  And when he rose f!"Om his seat, giving his head           "HOLDI for God's sake, manl"                          The name of his hated enemy broke involun-
  a toss, his gaunt frame a vigorous shake, he               Hardly conscious of what he was saying or tarily from his lips, and ~atchillg sight of a dal'k
  knew t!Jat he could not be more than a single doing--ouly feeling that, at all hazards, be must sbape nearly opposite, he plunged into the pool
  minute ahead or behind the time set.                   save this man from staining his soul with an and swam across, the lust of vengeance still bot
      "That'll 'low the boys sech time as it'll take atrocious crime-Gilbert burst the within him.
  me to git back to the hoJe," he muttered, start- spell which had fallen upon him as he heard                     The ghape resolved itself into II. half-decayed
  ing away through the woods, cboosing the most those grimly terrible words, and sprung for- log. Then-                                     ,
  direct course, heedless of the creek which he ward, landing upon tbe flat rock even as Luke                      Was Gilbert Cochrane lying at the bottom of
  would have to wade.                                    Barnes whirled about to confront him.                 the pool-dead~ Had be killed him~ Was he
     Not a sound greeted him as be paused below              The fnll rays of the moon fell upon that spot, well rid of the only man who could bear witness
  that ledge. He felt confident tbat all bad de- and though he had been so greatly startled by to his crime~
  parted, save the spy, but he do~gedly followed tbat sight and tbose pitiless words, Gilbert                      He canght his breath sharply at tbat thought,
 "the instructions given them all by their cbief, Cochrane had been able to distinguish some- for-had he indeerl performed his part in that
  He bent a finger and placed it between hi, lips. tbing of the manner in which the doomed man hideou, death lottery~
  Hr' sent out a tremnlous Whistle, then bent Ins was bound. And though he conld hardly be-                        He looked across the pool toward the flat rock,
  bead in listening.                                     lieve Luke Bames was in sahel' earnest-that he bnt it was bare. Nf) humau stood or lay
     No response. Tben, knowing that the last actually intended to kill the prisoner-instinct upon it. Yet-how cpnld Barney Budge haye
  conspirator had indeed taking his leave, Luke led him to whip out his knife even as he sprung escaped, hunud as he harl heen~
  Barnes picked bis way up the steep, reaching forward to the rescne.                                              "He held a knife-l see it glimmer-an' he
  the ledge and slipping under the leafy screen              Lnke Barnes was taken completely by Sl1r- I dirln't cnt me with it, as I reckoned he 'lowed.
  which concealed the eutrance of the cave from prise, and so changed was that voice by intense So-"
  augbt but a close inspection.                          horror and strong amazement. that he even                 The terrible trntb flashed upon him in tbat in-
     The lantern was still burning, and by its fancied it can:e from tbe lips of Green Gentry!                 stant I Gilbert Cochrane had escaped his ven-
 beams he saw the figure of tbe doomed sPy ly-               "Then 'twas all a trick, an' you don't- geance, aud had set the doome"; sp.y at liherty!
 ing on the floor, much as it had been when he Gil Cochrane t'                                                     Aud yet-surely his death-grip had not failed
  took his departme. He gazed around, but no                 "For the love of Heaven, Luke-"                   him so utterly~
  oth,er shape was visible. He had been left alone           "Backl cuss ye!" ,sn£trled Ihe squatter, face         Hardly conscious of what he did, Lnke
  to carry out that dread decree.                        and voice colnvulsed with fury as he recognized Barnes slipped back into tbe water and swam
     "Who is it!" suddenly asked the spy, pain- the man be hated so intensely. "Back, or I'll across t:J tbe flat rock, shivering; likE a leaf and
  fully lifting his head, though that doubled mask kill ye, tool"                                              fancying tbat with each stroke the ghastly hand
 llhnt out all sigbt and deadened all munds.                 He made a savage stroke at tbe young man as of a dead man was real'hing up to grasp and
      .. What was once a man," gravely respon:led he landed on the rock iu the clear moollshme, drag him down to share its master's doom.
  Barnes, picking up the lantern and holding it hut Cochrane SWiftly ducked and saved himself                      He canght the rock and fairly jerked himself
  so the light fell fairly upon the capti VI', showing from the full force of the blow, at the same out of the water and on top of tbe platform.
  him the rope already noosed, about his body. time using his Imife in a sweeping slash across He cast one shuddering glance hehind him, then
  U What is nOW jest a dumb, onhearin' tool to           the ropes which encircled the body of tbe stran- glared arounr! in quest of the spy.
 shet off the life of a heap sight better bein'."        gel' for whose life he was risking his own.              He was not to be seen. But-he held up a
     He extiuguished the light, aurl cast the lantern       He could do no more than that; in so doing;, piece of rope on wbicb his hand rested as he
  asir!e. He required no such aid, jl1st then. The even, be was throwiug away bis own chance arose. And he knew tbat it had formed part of
  dying embers were sufficient for what remaiued for life, as it seemed. For Luke Barnes, fairly the hands about the spy's body when led to the
  to be done.                                            beside himself with fury, followed up tbat fierce rock!
     "You-you are alone witb me, friend~" qna- assault, clutching the young man by the throat                     "Gone-got away!" he huskily 'panted, for-
 vere,l the spy, whose nerve bad been terribly with one hand, raining beavy hlows UPOI1 bim getting for tbe moment all else in the awful dis-
 shaken by all he had endured during those with the other, forcing him to the rOCk, on covery; for awful it sumly must preve, after all
  horrible minutes.                                      which that knife dropped with a ringing clat- the spy h!ld bpard and seen that night I
     .. Jest now, but the rest is close outside, tel'.                                                            Wbat, could he rlo~ How could be remedy bis
  waiti,,' to make sure I dou't go back onto my             Left nnsnpported, Barney Budge also fell, mistake~ How~ How~
  word," slo'Yly replied Barnes, lying that he tripped by the fiercely struggling menJ and-by                     He clasped bis ,ll111y throbbing" head witb both
 might escape the piteous pleading for mercy aceident or deSIgn, helped tbem ro!! over in bands, desperately striving 1.0 clear hie nits and
 -whicb be knew was sure to come to him, else.           tiJf'ir grapple, by a vigorous kick.                 hit on sam" method of averting the danger
     .. Dou't let them mnrder-"                             For one instant they bnng on the verge of the which tbreatened them all. And-his loved ones,
     .. They'd butcher me, ef I was to say even a roek, then toppled over and sunk witn a loud with the restl
 word fer ye, critter," in the same dull, passion- splash below tbe surface of the deep pool!                     He sprung forward at that tbought, madly
 less tonf'. .. Come-we must be marchin' !"                 Up to that moment Gilbert Cochrane had searching for tbe spy amid tbose dense shadows.
     He lifted the spy to his feet, after songht only to free bis throat from ttJat vise- He must find him! If he only had help I If his
  the rope that held his lower limbs helpless. like grip, and to evade tho blows which the comrades were only there to unite in the srarch,
 He steadied the man until he conld use his maddened squa tter was raining on his head and they wonld surely recaptnre that merciless
 legs, closing bis ears firmly to those brokpn, shoulders in his bUml furv. He hnd not struck bloodhound I They would-
 beart-renrling prayers for mercy. He could not ouce in angel'. Evon wl;ile he realizer! that tois                Would they put' any trust in his account of
 listen, since he could not grant!                      man was about to commit a deadly crime, be that escape~ Would tbey not re('all his hard
     .. What is writ' bps to come to pass, critter" could not forget that he was al.o tbe father fight against killing that demon? And so re-
 was his only remark, as he guider! his victihI of the woman so dear to his heart.                            memhering, would they not-
 through the passage and out upon thelellge.                As for Luke Barnes, he for the moment for-            "They'd say I done set him looseI"
    Here he paused, musing for a little, to finally got the hideous dnty which had led to his being               He started at tbe sound of his own voice as
 sat.:.                                                 ,'it tbe deep pool. He forgot everytbiug save tbose words passed his lips. It was the voice of
      'Will yon hold your hush, or shell I gag ye~ that be was in the presence of thfl being whom a strall!?:er, and he mecbanically felt for a wea-
 All your yellin' wouldn't fetch no belp, butit be held bis bitterest enemy in the wide world. pan with which to defenrl himself.
 mougbt make my mates treat ye heap sight The man to whom he owed bis preseut awful
 rougher then I'd like to look on an' see."
                                                                                                                 'l'hEre was none at bis belt. HIS revolver had
                                                      . position. For, had he not been cheated out of been lost during that savage fight in the deep
    "You merciless devil I" panted the doomed his own. be would never have songht moon-I pool!
 ~an, flerce anger, lending bim. much of his Old./shining as the only open means of gaining tbe                  Luke Bames could hardly have explained
 time strength of body and ml1ld. "Do your ready money necessary to pay the lawyer for what he did during the next few moments. He
 worst I I've begged my last. Now-I'll baunt fighting for his home.                                           only knew tbat he was once more at the side of
 you to your dying hour I"                                  It bad all come from the loss of his title deeds, his horse, blindly fumbling at the knotted
                                                                                 Big Bandy.                                                                             23
"halter, glaring fearfully over a shoulder in                  I   friends," quickly cried the yonng man, lifting            tortion of his face that in part betrayed bow
,'Search of-what~                                                  a hand in warning as Luke Barnes partly raised            nearly he was despairing. •• The bnll truth 'II
c.    Who was that, creeping up behind him~ Who                    the weapon he harl so rccently secnr"d II Hold            come out with the day, even if it hain't part
 :--gous! tl~e wood was fnll of grmniug, threaten-                 Luke Baruesl would you add anothe~ to you;                lmowed a'ready. Sa-what fetched ye thaI', to-
 :1l1g", accusm,g devIls!               ,                          crimes, this night~"                                      night~"
      He tore hIS hal.ter loose, le~ped 1Il~0 tho saddle              II You ain't-go 'long, critter I" hoarsely pant-          I I I went in hopes of meeting yOll, either on
 ,and urged th~ frIghtened ammal bllndlyawayl                      ed tho sqnatter. II You hain't no I'ight hyarl            the road to or coming hac!r from Hollow Hill,
 He bent bw III the saddle, hut it was with no                     You're dead whar-"                                        Lnke. Steadyl" as the sqnatter gave a start.
 ~ntention of escapi~lg the limbs. He was think-                     Despite t~e anxiety which had urged his                 " I rode here first witll a word of warning, but
 I:lg only.of those.'ndeous phanto!11s-dread reali-                coming, Gilbert Cochrane gave a short laugh               you were gone. I left word with MI's. Barnes,
 ties to hlln,l-whlCh ~vero reachlllg out to clutch                at this; but he quickly spoko again, in covert            but feared you would think it only an excuse on
 and ~ear hIm from hIS seat,.to ~eathl                             warning:                                                  my part to catch a word with-with the woman
     'Flns madness lasted untIl hIS ~orse had re-                    II Guard your tongue,       Luke Barnes! I've           I love better than my own lifel"
 gamed ~ho road. and ~as fawly on Its way hOJOlle.                 come to help you out of-to savo you from-"                   "Drap that, Gil Cochrane I Tetch her name,
 Then. lIttle hy lIttle IllS senses came back to him.                He cut himself short, flushing a bit as his eyes        an' I'll riddle ye! Jest stick to plain facks, ef
and, the squatter .could b.egin to count up the                    shifted uneasily to the bewildered fuce of Mrs.           ye pleagel"
 tel'l'lble odds agamst WhICh he must do battle                    Barneg. How could he say all he had COllle to                "I am telling YilU the simple truth, Luke,"
 fur the future,                                                   say, before her~                                          in softened tones. "I took one wrong step, at
 . He beJiev~d he had killed Gilbert Cochrane,                       The squatter brushed It trembling hanrl acrogs          the start, but I've tried my level best to make it
 In that horrl,ble deatlI-grapple under the water,                 bis fc rp.head, hlinldng rapidly as though to clear       right since.-"
 but h~ felt httle remorse on that score. He was                   his vlsi.Jl1. Still that phantom did not fade               " Drap it, I warn ye, critter!" lifting bis wea-
 well nd of one unscrupulous enemy!                                away and resolve itself into empty air. l'hen-"           pon, menacingly. .. Ye cain't stuff me no mOl'e
     Bat the Secret Service spy had almost surely                    "You're livin', breathin'-you ain't a spuak,            with lies. I want the plain truth. How come
 escaped. bearing with him the dangerous secrets                   critter~"                                                 ye to pitch me in the drink an' let tbat cussed
of the Hollow Hill. And that spy knew l·jght
 well. of t~e mun who had been electe.d
 to kill hIm. Who llad turned a deaf ear to hIS
                                                               ." I'm very much
                                                           I forclllg abysmIlefeel ofalive,hand." said Cochrane,
                                                             can       ~en     t~e     my
                                                                                            Luke Barnes, as yon
                                                                               as be took a step forward, ex-
                                                                                                                             bloodhound loos,,~"
                                                                                                                               " I chanced to hear you talking, but I didn't
                                                                                                                             know who it W&S, at first," said Cochrane, like
 broken prayers for mercy. Who had pitilessly                      tending a hand as be spoke.                               one who found it no easy task to find tbe right
led him to the scene of execution.                                    But the squatter shrunk along tbe wall, lift-          words. "I saw two men there on the I'ock. I
    He might be bitter against all the others who                  ing his pistol higher as he hoarsely panted:              thought one was trying to scare tbe other, but-
had taken part in his capture and in voting for                       "Back-keep blick, critter! Don't dast to               well, it's a dangerous spot, as yon well know,
 his death. Bnt he would be doubly revengeful                      come nigher, or I'll-cuss ye, Gil Cocbrane!"              Barnes," with a forced, uunaturallaugh. "And
 against his executioner.                                          Sudden flre leaping into bis sunken eyes as               I feared an accident might turn the joke into
    Nor was that ull, or even the worst. Green                     another memory tlashed upon his wlIirling                 bitter earnest. Sa-I stepped forward."
Gentry and the entire gaug-with maybe the                          brain. "TV7utr's that man? What did ye do                   I I An' cut the critter loosel" viciously grated
single exception of Jasper Naughton-would he-                      'ith him~ Speak,or-"                                      the sqnatter, his eyes glowing with the return of
lieve him false to his oath, false to them, in that                   " Come outsirle, Luke, and we can talk better,"        madness. I I You knowed who he was?"
he had turned the human bloodhound loose with                      hesitated COChrane, with a nervous glance to-               "I did not-I do not know him. Bnt-"
life, instead of silencing him forever I                           ward the door beyond which he knew Myra had                  " Cain't you tell a lie 'thout bogglin' over it,
     "The hull airth won't be nigh big 'nough fer                  her bed.                                                  yit, Gil Cochran?" snarled the squatter, his taU
to hide me from them critters I" he groaned, for                      "No ye don't, critter!" growled tbe squatter,          figure seemiug to crouch, pauther-like. "Shell
almost the first time in his life shivering from                   casting a glance of mingled defiance lind f"ar            I tell you who he is!"
physical fear.                                                     toward the front window, as though expecting                 "Not now-better think of-"
    He dug his heels savagely into the flanks of                   to fin(l himself even then covered by firearms in            "The time fer thinkin' is past, Gil Cochrane.
bis bot'se, urging it on at top speed, eager to                    tbe godp of bis enemies. "I'll ruther kill ye             The time fer doin' is cl"llwlin' up, mighty Iivelyl
reach hig bome and say a parting word to his                       now then to run into any 0' your trapsl"                  Bnt afore it gitg hyar-lis'en, an I'll tell ye who
loved ones, before tbose pit,Hess enemies could                       Shell I putt him out, father~" asked Mrs.              the critter is you set free this night.
get on the scent. For, until they were taken hy                    Barnes, at this jun"ture. I kin-easy I He                    H He's a spy of the G07'lnent, COOle here to
the spy IJ.nd his allies, or until in SOlllO way he                 won't dast to burt a womlln-the coward I"~               hunt heap sight better men then him or any 0'
could make clear his innocence, until he could                        "Don't say the word, IJnke Barnes!" qnickly            his mates ever dast to bel An' he was up over
convince them that the spy had not escaped                         intm'jectel Cochl'llne. "Have you so many                 our heads, peekin' down through' a hole in the _
throngh fault of his, he knew that swift flight                    friends this night, that you must drive away the          ruff, markin' our faces, settin' down our names,
and close hiding alone could save him from their                   one who i8 willing to risk llIore than all the rest       takin' notes of all that was said, fer to clap
bitter vengeance.                                                  pnt together in your behalf? Come, man I" with            the pile 0' ns into jail, to starve an' rot un'-
    Truly, Luke Barnes was heginning to pay the                    a frown of impatience. "Will you listen to me,              "That's what be was, Gil Coehrane! An'
penalty for his moral wealmessl And-he kuew,                       or are you bent on self-rnin~"                            more-you was thaI' to help him out ef he got
only too well, that this was but the beginning of                     " Be still, mother," said Luke, trying to steady       into trouble! You was his mate, an' you're
his punishment.                                                    bis nerves. "An' you, Gil Cochraue, whar is               heap sight the biggest bloodhoun' 0' the couple I"
    Now that he believed be had thought of the                     the man you ketched me \\ itb?"                             "As God hears me, Luke Barnes I" began
worst that could possibly befall him, Luke                            "As Heaven hears me, I do not know," was               Cochrane, only to be cut short by the fairly
Barnes grew calmer, more like his usual self.                      the ellrnest reply, and as though to tuM to his           crazed squatter, with:
He still pressed his horse to the utmost, only                     words, the young man lifted a hand ahove his                "Call on the devil, Gil Cochrane! An' let
thinking of its failing powers to calculate                        head. "And God knows, Luke Barnes, I trust                him save ye 1'1' he knows how I"
 whether or no it would bold out long' enongh to                   you can say the same thing, with eqnal hon-                 He flnng' up his pistol and fired. Without a
carry him home. After that-what matter~                            esty I"                                                   groan, Coehrane fell forward on his face, and
    The poor old creature did not fail him, though                    "Yon think I-I!                                        the maddened squatter leaped over bis quiver-
he was staggering with weakness as Lnke                               "Remember, mlln!" sharply interposed Coch-             ing body, dashiug through the door and van-
sprung to the ground at the entrance to the rude                   rane, with another unellsy glance toward that             ishing in the nightl
stable. Barnes removed saddle Ilnd bridle, toss-                   door. "Would you have hmo-would you have
ing them aside, letting the jaded horse seek its                   everybody about the place hear you?"                                 CHAPTER XXIX.
shelter, while he moved toward the cabin.                             " Who's evel'ybody~" firing up again with                        A CHANGE OF TACTICS.
    A light was ghining throngh the window, and                    those first savage suspicions. "Hev you bl'ung           THROUGH all thi, rapid ill,erchatlge of words,
all was still about the premises, Surely be was                    'long a gang to finish up your ruin, critter~"        Mrs. Barnes had stood in a manner helpless,
ahead of all his enemies~                                             "Will you neve>' understand that I am yonI' scenting danger to her husband, yet unable to
    He stole up to the window and peered in.                       friend, even against your will, man!" almost de- even guess what shllpe it might assnme. Only
Mrs. Barnes was nodding by the fire-place, sit-                    gpairingly Ir.uttered Cochrane, now as from the one thing was ceI·tain: now, as ever since his
ting up for his home-coming, but Myra had                          first speaking in low, gUArded tones.                 first unlncky appearance on the scene, GIlbert
evia"ntly gone to hed.                                                He hoped that Myra was soundly sleeping. He Cochrane was their bitter enemy, all the more
    He passed along to tbe door, opened it and                     hoped this warning might be given, this explana- to be dreaded because of his soft speecb and
entered, paying no beed to the startled cry of                     Han made, without bel' waking to a fnll 01' even pretended friendship.
 his wife as she noted his haggard face, his torn
aDd still wet garments. He took a heavy re-
                                                                   partiallmowledgll of the bitter black tr!1th:         I  Fearing an out.break, she looked for como
                                                                      If Luke Barnes was not so madly preJudlCed I from the other SIde, and her whole mmd was
 valveI' from its place above the mantel, and was                     U In jest one word, Gil Cochrane," said Barnes,    bent on doing her share to foil and frustrate it.
making sure it was 10aGed, ~hen he gavil a                         his tones low and ~eadly in earnest. "Hev you And go.. ,unfortunately for all. concerned, she did
gaspiug sound and turned SWIftly toward the                        brung the gang WIth you~"                             not reahze the utter desperatlOn of her husband
door.                                                                 "r have not. I came alone, jnst as soon as I until too late to lift voice or hand in warning
    A hurried footfall echoed on the still night,                  recovered my senses from the-the accident."           hindrance.
approaching tbe door-a hllnd jerked up the                            U What does it all mean, father~" aSked the          Sile saw that atbletic form reel fnr a single in-
latch and pushed the barrier wide open. A pale,                    bewilderecl wlfo.                                   I stunt. then fall heavily forward, facedown upon
ste.rnfaceshowed first to the eyes of the squatter,                   u.You shet, 'Tildy Janel An' you, Gil COCh- th~ floor, like a lifeless log instead of a fellow-
and as its owner stepped upon tbe threshold, he                    rane-kin you sw'ar to tbe truth 0' all that~"       j hellIg. saw Luke Barnes, driven to madness by
gasped, chokingly:                                                    U By tue grave of my sainted mother, I swear         She
    U Gil Cochl'unel Ghost or Devil I"                             that I came here all alone, Luke Barnes I"            what be deemed the unexampled treachery of
                                                                      There was II brief silence, during which the this pitile"s enomy, leap across that fallen form,
               CHAPTER XXVIII.                                     squatter star!1d moodily at the pistol in his~a~d, brandishing, his still. smoking. revolver as he
             A. ~lOMENT OF MADNESS.                                partially liftmg the bammer andslowlytwlrllllg dnshed outSIde, fleemg bastily througb the
  LUKE BARNES staggered uack saved only                            the heavy cylinder aronnd hetween thumb and gloom.
from falliug by bringing up against the side of                    finger.                                                 U Lulre! my man I" the poor woman gasped,
the room, glaring wildly. superstitiously, at                         " How did you come to bappen tbat way, to- rather than cried, that awful sight causing her
what he fancied mnst be the apparition of the                      night Gil Cochrane!" he asked at length, lifting to stagger as though drunk. "Lukel don't-
man whom his fierce fingers had t,hrottled to                      his eyes and seemingly. trying to read. the whole come baclr,~llkel"                      .
deat.h at the bottom of the Deep Pool.                             truth in that pale, anxIOus face OppOSIte.              From hehmd her rose a cry, frightened, yet
  There were bruised, IlVid marks on that                             U Must I    speak ont in plain words, ~uke~" full of mingling indigu!ltion and grief, but Mrs.
ghailtly pale face. The head was bare, and                         with a tronblei glance from the face of !\frs. Hames never heeded If ~he heard. Sbe had
water seemed streamiug from the black bail',
even as it slowly dripped from those we~ gar-
ments. And in those dark eyes the supersutlOus
                                                                   Barnes, to that cloged door, ~hen on to the bard- thoughts only for the fleelllg avenger---:for her
                                                                   set visage of the man. :' WIll YO.U not trust m~ hU~band, the gallant wooer of be.l' gIrlhood's
                                                                   far enough to come outgld~ for a few n~oment~!, prIme.            ,                       , .
squatter read-or fancied he read-a .11ent but                         "No. I ain't goin' 0t:ttsIde. You am't gom          ,She banIshed that awfnl sensatIon of dIZZY
non!) the le~s awful clenuuciati.m.                                outside. Not ontel you hev 'splamed all how you sIC~ness, and sprung toward the door, though in
  Mrs. Barnes was the first to rally, and though           I       come to do me sech mighty dirt, Gil Cochran~! d~lllg so she.was forced ~o brnsh close past that
the strange actious of her husband had thrown                      An' so-lax ye plai"!-whnt call hed you to mIX stIll, .death-hke shape lyIng on the !loor, a pool
her off her balance, sbe cried ont sharply:                        up in that black busmess~" .                          of hideous r~d stuff sl?wly creepIng out and
   "What you want here, Gil Cochrane¥ Git                             "All right!" with a frown of angry reproof. away from hIS black haIr..
()ut 0' my house ef you don't want murder                          "If harm comes of it, Luke Barnes, rememher I           She never gave that a SIngle glance. All she
done critterl"     ,                                               did my. best to spare-not you, bnt rOUrS!"            thought of was the man she loved, fleeing
   "Il;'s to save, not take life tha.t I come,
                                                                      "That dOll't liliatter much, now,' with a con- throughtLenight-towhaU
                                                                        Big Bandy.
   " Luke-husband-fatberl" sbe cried, as she                   .. Mother-don't!" pauted Myra, pushing the            Once more that deathly faintness came oveI'
~:~~h~e~a~~~se~~~nga~e~sb~~~~:~~sap~~jrn1                  elder aside with a strength lent by the emergen-        him, and. only by reeling back to the wall waS'
                                                           cy. "She is wild, Mr. Cochrane, Rnd don't               he saved. from falling at full length.
  glance around her.                                       know what she says. And so was he-my poor
     No voice came back in answer, but she heard           father~ He didn't mean to hurt you-it just                             CHAPTER XXX.
  the rapid jump of a startled horse near the              happened so I And-you won't barm him for
 stable, and as she looked that way, she caught            what wa~ just an accident~ You'll spare him,sir1"                   A JOB FOR THE SHERIFF.
  a passing glimpse of horse and rider as the                  A faint smile lighted up that face, and Gii-             "MOTHER, helpl" gasped Myra, faintly.
 squatter dasherl off into the gloom as swiftly as         bert'svoice was soft Rnd low as be caught the             " He's dying-that shot-"
 be could frighten or punish his second horse into         trembling hands held out so appealingly, and                 But Gilhert Cochrane fOI'ced a laugh as he
 runniug.                                                  rising to his feet as he did so.                         rallied his failing powers by a desperate effort.
     .. Luke-come back I"                                      "Even if I had ever meant Lnke Barnes evil,              .. I'm-I'm all right. Just a hit of-what was
     Still no answer, ancl then the tlmmp-thump-           Myra, your prayer for mercJ' would disarm me.            I trying to tell you~" he huskily mnmbled, try-
 t.hump of hoofs died away in the distance.                But I never-from the first I have tried my level         ing hard to clear his buzzing brain.
     Gone! gone without a parting word to wife or          best to savo him from harm. Ieven-"                         "About Luke-the spy, which-cctin't you.
 childl Gone, and only a few vague hints by                    "You kin talk an' talk an' talk no eend, .Gil        talk Ollu, man alive'!"
 which his present peril might be guessed. atl If          Cochrane I" spluttered Mrs. Rarnes, implacably.             .. Yes-I know, now," speaking more natur-
 be had only said something flrst I If he had              .. But my man said he owed it all 'long 0' yaur          ally. "Luke must have gono to lIleet the moon-
 only told her what he had to fear, and how she            doin's, an' ef you dast to even hint that he didn't      shiners. They caught a spy, and Loke was
 could best throw his enemies off the scent. If           speak true, you lie, an' I know itl"                      set to frighten him. I happenad along and-
 that demon, Gil Cochrane-                                    "Mother!" quavered Myra, her cheeks blanch-           somehow, the fellow got away."
     For the first time Mrs. Barnes began to re-           ing again at that. harsh speech. "For father's              " You set him free~ You was helpin' him.
 alize what that shot, that fall, that lifeless figure    dear sake-don't 1"                                        tryin' to trap my man I" flercely panted the
 meant. That hated name had brought it all                     " It is for his dear sake, Myra," said               wife, all her suspicions renewed by those lVords.
_to her, and for a brief space the poor woman              Cochrane, smiling again a~ he glanced from fuce          "Ef harm comes to him, I'll hunt you to yoUl'
 stood like one petrified with horror,                    to face. " And I houor your mothel' for stand-            grave, Gil Cochranel"
     But it lasted only a few m9ments. Then                ing up so bravely in defense of her husband."               Something of her anger flashed into that pale
 she knew what the first portion of her work                  "I don't want your praise nul' your honor,            face, but as his eyes turned toward Myra, seeing
 cousisted of; hiding from all others that dread          Gil Cochrane. I jest want to see the size o~ your         her white, scared yet half-sympathizing fea·
 puuishment-she was far too loyal to think of or          bigness fillin' the dOOJ'way yender. An' I want           tores, his manneI" softened as rapidly. And to
 call that killing a crime.                               your back turned tbis way, mind yel"                      her he spoke, alone:
    She bent an ear to listen, but not a sound                She sprung acro's the room, and bad a hand               "I'm not hurt, Myra, but terribly tired. I
 came back from the direction in which Luke               ou the oaken bar, when Cochrane quickly called            had to fight hard to save your father from-
 Barnes had fled. And then she turned bade to             out:                                         .            frolll falling victim to his false friends. I meant-
 the cabin, her view within being cut off by                  "Wait-for Lulie's sake, Mril. Bamesl"                 to tell the whole story, hut I fear I can't. I
 the partly closed door.                                      " I'm doin' it all fer his sake; an' mind ye, Gil     must get where I can have rest and-"
     She pushed this back, to ~top short with a           Cochrane,' ef harm comes to him 'long 0' your                " You are hurt! Let us tend to your wound,
 sharp gaspiug pain 6.t the sight that greeted             work, I'll hey' reviuge onto ye af you try to hide       first."
 her eyes; Myra, crouching by the dde of the              plum' on the other side 0' the earth-so tharI"               "I'd give more for a word of friendship than
 senseless man, holding his bloody head in her                " Instead of working him harm, I'm doiug all          all the medicine iu the world, Myra Barnes~
 arms; sobbing and moaning like one half dis-             I know to save him from harm thrtt comes from             And if 1f01~ can only believe in me, 1"11 ask nC'
 tracted.                                                 others. I will save him, if you'll only let me,           morel"
     " You Myr' Ellen Barnes I" ejaculated the            Mi's. Barnes I"                                              Mrs. Barnes said something, but neitber of the·
 elder woman, that sight restoring all her old-               There was a touch of angry impatience in his          young people heard or heeded her. Their eyes,
 time sharpness of voice and wit and temper.              tones now, and Myra detected it. Fearing lest             met, and Mym seemed trying to read the truth
 " You dastl An' him jest a-drivin' your own              her mother, in her mad prejudice, would mak9              which lay hidden there. She believed she saw
 lawfulfather out 0' house an' home1 You git-             a bad matter worse, she once more interposed:            it, and impulsively cried:
 git, ~_ bid ye, Myr' Ellen 1"                                .. Hear what he has to say, mother. It can't             " I never knew YOU-DeVer kuew how noble
    Sorter words might have served her hettel',           make matters worse, and it may- Ibelieve he              .you really are-until this moment, Gilbertt
 perhaps, though Myra had- seen and heard                 means ns weill"                                          Save my pror father, aud 1'11-"
 enough of late to work a strong change in her                .. Again, thank you for that, Myra Barnes,"              She took his h,wd and tried to -lift it to bel'
 character, or else to bring the true metal to the        quickly uttered the young man, something of              lips. Iostead, Gilbert used it to draw her'
 SUI' face.                                               his passiouate adoration glowing in hIS eyes as          closer, bending and printing a passionate kiss on
    She shrunk from that angry touch, hut                 he met her half-doubting glance. "I swear to             her lips.
 there was something close akin to defiance:ill her       you both that, whatever .[ may have felt in the              "I'll save him if rr,ortal man can, my love!
 bright eyes as they turned to meet that look.           past, when I did not folly understaud you, I              If you see bim before I do, Warn him to shun the-
    "He is not-for father's sake, mother, wo              have only your good at heart this night. I Can           moonshiners, and to lay low. If he quits that
 must save his life I"                                    prove as much, if you, Mrs. Barnes, will only            ugly work, I'll see that he comes to no harm for-
     [f Mrs. Barnes heard, she did not openly             hear me out."                                            his past doings in that line. And-I must go-I.
 notice those words. She pushed Myra aside,                  'J.'he wOUlan hesitated. She still felt that this     fear I'm goiug to be-"
 then caught Gilbert Cochrane undel' tbe arms             man was their bitter enemy, all the more dan-                His vOice choked, and he staggered as he-
 and dragged hIm further into the room, leaving           gerous since he had changed his tactics. She             turned to the door. Myra started as though to.
 space to completely close the door.                      could not trust him against the flerce denuncia-         aid him, but he motioned her back. And leav-
    She sprung to this as a real or fancied sound         tions of -her own husband. But-was there                 ing the cabin he staggered away to where.his:,
 came through the night, and edgerly she looked           nothing to be gained through temporizing1 If             horse was tethered, climbing pamfullr into the·-
 about the place. She could see no human being,           this bloodhound was delayed in takiog the scent,         saddle, turning the animal's head toward home.
 and with those fresh fears awakened, she dare            would it not h\llp her man to escape1                       He was only dimly conscious of the rapid ride•.
 not call aloud on the name of her husband.                  -Where everything seemed so desperately               He hardly knewbmv he dismounted and reached
    He bad spoken of bitter enemies, He had               agaiust them, even a frail chance like this was          the veranda, where he sunk in a heap to the
 hinted at being hunted down by human blood-              not to be reckll:'ssly cast aside. And though her        horror of old Pomp, to whom he managed te>
 hounds. Even now they might be lying in wait             face openly betrayed much of her thoughts to             mutter:
 -he crawling up to surround the house in hopes           those keen eyes, she made a show of being con-              "Put me to bed-don't wake sheriff-don't;
 of capturing him, or at least of finding evidence       vinced, saying slowly:                                    wl1ke sheriff I"
 to draw their eruel toils still more tightly                "Ef you ldn cl'ar yourself, Gil Cochrane,                And so it came about that John Hooper slept
 around their longed-for victim I                        mebhe I'd ought to let ye hev a chaiuce. Rut-             peacefully through the 'remainder of that long_
    She drew haCk, closing the door and swinging          Waal, what hev you to say, anyhow~"                     night, only waking when the sun was shining_
 the heavy oaken hal' into place. She turned-to              Now that he was granted the permission he             brightly througb the curtain at his eastern win-
 see Gilbert Cochrane leaning on one elbow,               had sought, Gilbert Cochrane hardly Imew how             dow, starin~ around him with a dazed, bewil-
 stairing bewilderedly 9.hout himl                        to take advantage of it. If Mrs. Barnes had              dered air. only roused to complete conscionsness::
    .. Then you ain't-Myr' Ellen I"                       been alone with him, he ",ould bave told the             by the sharp, unpleasant aching iu his entire-
    The girl was kneeling where she had stagger-          whole ngly truth. But how could he brand the             hody and every limb. It ,was a most disagree-
 ed under that fierce push. Her hands Were                father before the eyes of his daughter1                  able reminder, but it swiftly hrought hack hi"
 clasped, and tears were visible on her face. She            Somet~ing of this showed in his face, and            memory by recalling that hideous ride.
 was fully dressed, just as though she had not re-        Myra read It correctly.                                     "Wake up, sheriffl" came a sharplyimpat.ient
 tired hours before.                                          " I was awake when poor father came home,            voice from jnst out.side his chamber door, ac-
    Gilbert Cochrane started to a sitting posture        Mr. Cochraue," she said, in low, unsteady tones.          companied by a thumping on -the panel. "ArS'
as he heard that loved name, and when Mrs.                "I heard all that was said, so-do not be                 you dead, man alive1"
Barnes pamted sternly to the chamber door,               afraid that the whole truth will break me down.              "If dead, how could I be alivei" yawned
now ajar, his gaze mechanically followed the              I'm his~her child, and I know that, however              Hooper, turning to slip his painfully-stiff legs
motion.                                                   black things may seem, father call explain all           from undeI' cover. "Who the deuce are you.
    "Myral" he faintly cried, strong emotions            away without making his daughter blush for                and what you want, anywayi" his pains sharp-
doing battle on his bruised and blood-marked             her parenti"                                              ening his temper.
face. "You heard-I hoped to keep it from you,                " I know. He is far more sinned against than             "Dickson-and T want you, in a hnrry, tool"
darlingl"                                                siuning, hut- Well, bettel' to heal' the story               Hooper recognized both voice and name now,
    .. Keep what from her!" demanded Mrs.                from the lips of a friend than wait for bis ene-         and as the speaker was a friend and strong
Barnes, almost fiercely. "Ef you ever dast to            mies to spread It broadcast I                            partisan, both in one, he crossed the floor just as-
hint that my mau's done any wrong, I'll finish               "It sounds hard, hut I know Luke never               he was, to give him admittance.
up the job he begun I I will, ef it loses me my          really meant to kill the spy. He was just try-               "N<r-can't come in," was the hasty reply.
'mortal soul I"                                          ing to frighten him into runnhg away without              "Got ~ job for .vou, and the quicker you git youp-
   " Hush I" frowned the still half-stunned man,         makinl~ use of his information, ,Vou see."               duds on the better I"                                 _
with a warning motion of his head toward the                 " What spy~" sharply demanded Mrs. Barnes.               " What sort of a job1" aio"ked Hooper, putting
maiden. .. Don't let ber know-"                              Cochrane pressed a hand to his head, trying          on his garments as rapidly as his sorely-stiffenell
   "Too late for that, Mr. Cochrane," said Myra          to still that horrihle throbbing. His face was           limbS would permit.
herself, bravely trying to steady her ~'oice as          deathly pale, and he visihly staggered as he                 "Murder-no less I"         _
she rose ungteadily to her feet. "I beard all            closed his eyes for an instant.                              "What1 Who~ Where~"
that- Oh, sir!"losi1?g her bravely foughHor                  Myra saw tllis, and started toward him, with             Dickson hesitated, casting a quick and Brem-
composure, and holdmg out her tightly-clasped            a low cry. But he lifted a hand as his eyes              ingly frightened look around before coming
hauds toward the young man. "He didn't                   opened, and she fell back.                               closer to ask in a guarded whisper:
mean itl It just happenedl He was driven                     " I'm all rip:ht-a momentary faintness, noth-            "Where's Cochrane1"
craz.y by-"                                              ing worse. But as I started to say, if anyone                "How should I know1 Didn't you just rouse
   "That's jest it, Gil Cochrane I" fiercely inter-      comes to you, declare that you know nothing;             me out! I Wag sleeping ninety miles an hour, I
posed the wife, as she thrust ber form between           that Luke was called to towu 011 important               do rpckon!" with a laugb. "But wbat's the
the couple. "Driv' plum' crazy by yOIl an' the           business; and refer them to me if they persist.          matter with yon, man1 Yon act as tbough you
likes 0' youl Ef he hed kiJIej you, 'twould 'a'          I'll SWear that he never meaut harm-that be              WBre afraid of soping a ghost, or something
been so much the better fer all the rest 0' the          WIIS only tryinp: to scare the rascal out of the         abont that caliher:"
decent world-so thad"                                    county. Alld-"                                               "I feel mightily that way, too!" frowned-
                                                                      Big Bandy.                                                                             25
- Dickson, but still using tbe guarded tone 'of           was reached: who had discovered and given the             "This way, brigadier I" called out Green
  voice. "Do you reCkon be's skipped sberiff~"            alarm of murder?                                       Gentry, lifting a hand to beckon tbe veteran
  • "Who's skipped1 v'\Tbat in time a~'e you try-            "Tom Grigsby, the major's son. Just stum-           forward. "He ought to know if what we most
  lIlg to get. tbrough you, anyway? Curse your            bled over it, as ye might say, while out lookin,,"     of us begin to fear is correct. He looked the
  nods and wlIlksl speak out white fasbionl"              for a stray cow, early this morning. Scared thO;;      knife all over yesterday, and seemed particnlarly
     "Gil Cochrane-worse luck that I've got to            boy powerful bad, I reckon, but he run home            struck with it. Ask him, sheriffl"
  say such a thiugl"                                      and told his pap. Major come just a-whooping              It was this very thing Hooper feared when he
     "~ha~ alJoutr-why, you illfernallunk-heud!"          up to my placa, and we set out together."              recognized that figme in army over-coat and
  burst'!'~ Into a sudden rage as lIe at last caught         "Good enough, if you haven't let any others         military hat. Like a revelation it had come up-
 a .suspIeIOLI of tbe truth. "Do mean to eveu             into the secret, for if I'm not mightily off in my     on him; how closely Big Bandy had inspected
 lIlnt tbat CoclIrllllo's mixed up in a murder           reckoning, I'll want to take a quiet, easy look at      that same knife when Gilbert Cochrane defended
 scrape? To me?"                                         matters and things before they get all blotted          him Hooper, against Jasper Naugbton.
     " You can't hope any harder than I do that he       out by a crowd.'"                                          "IMomin', gentlemen,' nodded the brigadier
 may be able to clear himself, John Hooper but              Dicl,son forced a cough, but though this gave       in a general salutation, but cutting it short by a
 alI the sflme, it looks mighty black for him!'\         him an excnse for averting his fflOO, he knew           sudden ejaculation as his eyes rested on that
 doggedly uttered tho man, fiushing a bit under          th!lt those keen, searcbing eyes were fixed npon        prostrate figure.
 tbat angry glare.                                       him. He could feel them scorch the back of his             " You recognize the man, General Bandy?"
    "How black? Who's dead? And wbat right               neck!                                                   hurriedly asked Hooper, more to postpone the
 have you to come into a man's Own house to                 He knew, too, that the whole truth must speed-      almost inevitable recognition of that weapon.
 whi.pel' hints of evil against him?"                    ily come out, for tbey were not far from the              If that white handle was not so conspicnousl
 . "Just SO black, sheriff," Dickson said, grow-         scene of the murder. And so he made a virtue               Big Bandy did not reply immediately. He
 Ing cooler as the other heated IIp. "A man has          of necessity, us it were.                              slowly approached the body, seemingly drawn to
 been foun:! stone cold with a knife planted be-            "Well, you see, sheriff l " very busy with his      it by much such a fascination as a snake is fa-
 tween his shoulders. And that knife belongs to          reins while making a begllIIling. "Little Tom           bled to exercise over a ftuttering_ hird. And
GIlbert Cochranel Just as black as that, sheriff         met up with Greenman on his way home, and               dropping to his knees hy its side, he bent over
-nolellsl"                                               had to explain something abont his big hnrry.           until one cheek brushed the grass, gazing keenly,
    "What man~"                                          And we hit a couple or two more on our way             carefully at the side of theJace most uncovered.
bU'~~' stranger to these parts, I uuderstand,            there, so-"                                                " Look at the knife into the back 0' him, Big
                                                            "The entire county is on the spot, of course I"      Haudy!" harshly !laid Jasper Nanghton, his pale,
   "Then you don't know?" sneered Hooper,                almost savagely snarled the sberiff, his brow           bruised face and dark eyes showing a poody
rallying onl'..8 more, stanch in his fri<mdship.         black as midnight witii a frown.                        hidden triumph as he added: "Who owns a
" You charge an honest, upright, Christiau gen-             "A right smart crowd by this time, I do              knife jest like thatf"
~I::~~~f" with being a bloody murderer, simply on        reckon," meekly added the honest farmer.                   "Silencel" harshly ordered Hooper, ftashing
                                                         "Such news is just terrible for spreading I"            an ugly look in that direction. "I asked if you
  " I don't know the man, but I do know he's                Sheriff Hooper made no further remark, but           had ever Been this man before, Bandy?"
dead. I do know that the iVory-handled knife             sent his spirited mount ahead at full run. He              "Never afore yest'day, at the barbecue. He
&i~~e~~C~~~r~~~'lI~il~J~?::oA~d iefr~~~nth:~
                                                         no longer required a guide. He could hear ex·
                                                         cited voices blending in an unpleasant hum, and
                                                                                                                 went home 'long 'ith me, last nirht. The moon-
                                                                                                                shiners killed bim, I do reckon!'
~h,:ad:~dt h::nto:~~'l"Yd~:v:~eJ~esfs~~t~h~~             this told bim where the murdered man must still
                                                         be lying in his gore.
                                                                                                                    Instantly a commotion arose among the
                                                                                                                 crowd at that blunt assertion) and while some
enouj!;h'l"                                                 Almost th(l first face and figure be recognized      faces fiushed hotly with- inaignation, others
   "For rousiug me, but not for accusing an in-          as he came on the gronnds, were those of Green          grew pale with something not far akin to fear.
nocent man of murder," boldly persisted Hooper,          Gentry, and it was his sharp command tbat                  ''It!s a liel" cried Jasper Naughton, his eyes
though his heart was beginning to sink within            cleared a lane for the representative of the law.       ablaze, his hands clinched and menacing. "Gil
him, for he remembered that, only the day be-               "Make room, neighbors!" he cried aloud.              Cochrane done it I"
fore, he qad seen' that very weapou in the hand          "Now we'll get at the bottom facts, since Sher-            "Do you publicly make that charge, my fine
of his friend.                                           iff Hooper is here to show us the ropes 1 Make          fellowl" sternly demanded Hooper, now that
   By this time he had finished dressing, and            way,IUId- Giad to ~ee you, sberiff, for this            the word he feared had been faIrly pronounced,
leaving the room, he canght sight of old Pomp,           looks like a mighty ugly job!"                          proving himself quite equal to the occasion.
his black face tnrned to an ashen gray, Seem·               But Hooper paid no attention to either the           "Will you baek up your words by positive
ingly on guard before the chamber door of his            words or to the hand which would have greeted           prooU For wben you openly cbarge an honor-
YOLIng master.                                           him. He left his horse to the care of whoever           able gentleman with foul murder, you've got to
   The old negro tried to prevent an entrance,           might take charge of the animal, pnshing direct         prove it, or as publicly eat your own words,
but H~oper pushed him to one side and opened             to the corpse.                                          sir I"
the door. He paused for an instant on the                   For corpse it was, beyond the shado1\' of a             " I've seen him totin' that same knife a thou-
threshold, staring at the face ontlinjld against        doubt!                                                  san' times I"
the white pillow-case.                                      The body was lying on its face, as though it            " There are thousands .of ivorv-handl"d'kniveB,
   It was gbastly pale, save where the scratches        had not moved, even by so much as a quiver of           made on that same pattern," sneered the sheriff.
and bruises had turned dark. It looked like              the limbs, since the fatal blow was given. The          " How can you swear to this particular one, Mr.
the face of a corpsfl, but as he moved closer, the       ivory haft of a knife was protruding from his           Nanghton?"
sherIff saw that his host was breathing, slowly,         back, so near the center line that it seemed like-         "Beca'se it's got his name prented onto the
faintly, but very unhke a dead man.                      ly the spinal column had been divided by the           blade oUt I" with a fierce if short laugh of tri-
   "Look at his clothes!" mnttet'ed Dickson,             steel. No hat was on the head, its only protec-        umph. "You pnll it om; an' see fer your own
who had followed the sheriff into the chamber.          tion bein a neglected shock of reddish hair. The        self, ef ye dast, John Hooper I" _
"All wet, and torn, and muddy!"                         face was only part,ially visible, for seemingly            "Did you make sure that very name was on
   The sheriff shook Gilbert, lig-htly at first, then   no hand had ventured to disturb the bodv.               the blade before you stuok it into the poor devil,
more strongly; but there came no answer. The                There was notbing strange in that fact. No-         Naughton?"
young man lay in a stupor too profound for him           where else is the law, when connected with the            The young man sprung back, bis bruised face
to break it by sucb means. And yet, barring             duties of a coroner, so sacredly believed in and        looking fairly ghastly nnder this sharp question.
that ghastly pallor, he seemed to be lost in a           universally adhered to, as in a country place;         He caught at a pistol, hut bis fingers trembled
healthful slumber.                                      and if hardly more than half civilized, so much         so violently that he failed to jerk forth the wea-
   "Dat's what done skeered me so turrible,              the better. And among these mooushiners, old           pon in time. He saw Hooper was armed, ready
Mars' Sheriff," wbimpel'ed old Pomp, trembling          soldiers, squatters and farmers, three-fourths of       to anticipate a shot, and WIth a desperate effort
like a leaf. II He bin dat way fo' mighty long          tbem wonld have expected to be arrested as              he rallied himself, to hoarsely ntt<>r:
time, boss, an' ole Pomp pow'ful skeered!"              little less guilty than the actual mnrderer if tbey        " You dast-you dast to say thatl"
   II Go send a nigger after the doctor, then come      touJhed or moved the corpse before the coroner             Hooper laughed, his tones softened and even
b[lck and mount guard over this door, Pomp.
Don't let anybody in before I come, unless it is
                                                        had" viewed it," according to rule.
                                                            "Does anyone recognize the man~" asked
                                                                                                               Iplacable once more:
                                                                                                                   "You see for yonrself how mighty easy it is
the doctor, or I'll skin you alive I, Come, Dick-       Hooper, after mflkillg a hasty examination of           to flm~ wild accusations or wilder hints abroad,
son-we'll go look at this wonderful fiud of             the immediate surroundings.                            .Mr. Naughton, Let the less9n teach you to
yours I"                                                    " A heap of us see'cl him down at the bar-          bridle your brash tongue. As fOl' your dare-
  '1'ogether the two men went down-stairs and           becue, yest'day, sheriff," one of. those close         no, 1 dare not, nntil tbe coroner is here to take
left the house, stopping at the stable only long        to his elbow volunteered. "He saId he was a            cbarge of the corpse. And I warn you, one and
enough to saddle and bridle a horse for Hoopflr         old soldier-"                                          all, not to touch man or weapon, nnless you're
to ride. Dickson, of course, had his own ani-               "From Shelby's Brigade I"                          ready to stand your share {If the trial which
mal handy, since he had ridden to the Cochrane              "Butchered lIke a dog!"                            must surely followl"
place.                                                      "An old vet hIre thatl And who done iM"                That warniug was snfficient, for the time be-
   Not until tbey were fairly on the road did               A chorus of cries broke forth, but as that sig-     ing, at least, and tnrning toward the brigadier
Sheriff Hooper ask any questions, and then they         nificant question was asked, silence instantly         once more, Hooper asked:           '
came hot and straight as bullets from a gun.            reigned.                                                   " Why are you so confident that the moon-
  Dickson tol.1 what he knew, but that was not             Sheriff Hooper knew the reason, only too            shiners killed the fellow, General Bandyl You
much more thau he had already let drop. A               well,     He had recognilled that ivory-hilted         mnst have something' to back np yonI' words, for
man had been di,;covered, de[ld, with a kuife           knife, and knew, almost beyond a doubt, that it        a man of your caliber does not sling ont his
thrust to its hilt in his hack, directly between        had been in possession of bis frit:ud and host,        words without rhyme or reason."
his shoulders. The location of the wound was            Gilbert Cochrane, only a few sbort hours before            "The critter called himself Barney Budge.
such that it could not possibly be deemed sui-          being discoverer! here-an assassin's tooll             He went bome 'long 'ith me, last night. He hed
cide. Beyond a doubt the poor fellow had heen              And yet-if he only dared draw forth the             a bit 0' paper which I ketched him readin' over.
murdered.                                               weapon far enough to gain a fall' view of the          It wns a plan 0' part 0' the Roller Hill-the part
   " And tbe worst of it all is that the knife has      blade it.~elfl If he could only prove that it had      whar- Waal, ye needn't begin to squirm this
been recognized and fully identified as that            no name-or bore another name-on its side!              airly, gentlemen I" he laughed, grimly, as an-
carried for years by Gilbert Cochranel" was his            Not for an instant would he believe that Gil-       other ngly sound came from some of the crowd.
concluding statement.                                   bert Cochrane bad committed such an awful              " I ain't lettin' out no secrets, so long's I don't
  Sheriff Hooper said nothing, though his stern         crime, even though there kept rising before his        p'iut out the very place, be U"
face grew clouded. That knife was not one to            mind's eye that bruised face, those toru and dis-         "Never miud about the map, general," mut-
be easily mistaken, thongh, if the blade was en-        ordered' garments. Gilbert Cochrane was not            tered Hooper, for bold 8S he undeniably was, he
tirely buried in the flesh, there might still be an     that sort of a Illan!                                  did not care to get into an open row with those
errol'; for on the steel itself was etched the full        "Did you. ever see a knife with a handle like       suspected of running illicIt stills, jnst then.
name of its owner, if in deer! this fatal weapon        that, sheriff?" asked one of his near neighbors,       "You meanl"
was the one belonging to Gilbert Cochrane.              witli that ugly suspicion plainly showing in              " That I made out he was a rev'nue spy, try-
  If that name was found-but it conld not be            both face and voice. " Seems to me I cau place         in' to pump me. He malle up a long cock-an'-
possible!                                    .          itl"                                                   bull story 'bout Uncle Jupe, an' a treasure 0'
                                                           "Yes-dozeus of 'eml" coolly answered Hoop-          gold, an' sech·like; but I knowed him better.
               CHAPTER XXXI.                            er, gazing keenly around at the stern faces on         An'so-I hed a bit of a squabble with the crit-
          :BIG BANDY BEARS WITNESS.                     every side, to pause with sn'nethin~ of a start as     tel'. I burnt up his map, fer one thing. An' he
  SH1IlRIFF HO<:l'ER asked only OIle more    qnes-      he caught sight of Bip; B~ndy drawing neari            went awayin the dark."                         _
tion of his guide before the scene of the tragedy       curiosity marked OIl his scarred face.                     "Whar's tbe proof that he wasn't killed by
      26                                                                  Big Bandy.
      Gil Cochrane~" asked Naughton, once more               mighty little love for Cochrane as it is-he wore bresh. Ef you're ketched,mind you don't know
      himself. "Kin you sw'ar that ain't the knife           the blue, and fought 'ern hardl That'll help jest nothin' at alII Now-git, yedevilsl"
      you see Cochranehev, no longerago'n yest'day,          bring 'em-the bloodhonnds I"                             A little more leisurely he followed the scared
      Big Bandyl"                                                As swiftly as possible he covered the distance, blacks to the house, taking up his station on the
         "Let the knife alone, gentlemen," abJ"Uptly         turning his panting horse into the stable, but broad veranda, pacing slowly to and fro like a
      said Hooper, making his way toward the tree            wthout losing time in nnsaddling the animal, sentry on guard-duty. His bared saber rested
      to which his horrowed horse had been tethered.         then rusbing into the house, bound for the lightly a~aillst bis Shoulder, and his scarred
      "It is against all law, remember, to touch the         chamber where he had last seen Gilhert Coch- face was blank and expressionless, even when
      corpse or anythmg about him, until the coroner         rane lying in a stupor. But to his great delight the excited crowd, with Green Gentry and Jas-
      Can view the body. I'm going after him now I"          he caught sight of bis host, pale and worn, in per Naughton at their head, came streaming
         "We've already sent word, sheriff!" cried           the act of coming down-stairs I                       down the road.
      out Green Gentry, but if he heard, RoopeI' did             "I'm uot a ghost, sheriff I" called out Coch.        "How'd yon get here, you rasca!?" stormed
      not heed.                                             rane, with a faint smile as he saw Hooper start Gentry, plainly taken aback by that sight, but
         II Guard the body, Dicl{son, and you, Major         back. "Do I look so awfully rocky, thIS morn- swiftly adding: "Where's Gil Cochrane?"
      Grigsby," he called out as he released bis horse      ing?'.'                                                   " Inside his own house-whar else you
      and leaped into tbe saddle, his soreness forgotten         "Thank Heavenl" cried Hooper, springing reckon!"
      in his fears for his friend. II Don't let a finger    forward and grippin~ a hand between both of               " And Sheriff Hooperl Where is heP'
      touch it untilI'm back with the coroner I"            his, as he added: "Not a ghost, bttt you may be           " In thaI', 'restin' Cochrane, I reckon'," in the
         Under cover of this diversion, Big Bandy also      one, unless you're got away from here iu a holy same drawling, provokingly cool tones.
      beat a hasty retreat, though Jasper Naughton          hurry, Cochrane I"                                        Gentry was plainly staggered by that answer,
      shouted after him until Green Gentry dropped               "What do you mean~ Have you-drnnk so but he rallied quickly.
      a heavy hand on his shoulder, backed up by a          early, Hooper?"                                           "It's just a trick to cheat the rope1" heeried,
      keen frown of warning.                                     "Where's your white-handled knife, Cach- savagely. "Cochrane's a dch man, and thinks
         Dickson and Grigsby promptly mounted gnard         rane? If you can-you've lost it /" with almost to do· murder on an old soldier and get clear by
      over the dead man, not a little elated by the         a groan as he saw that pale face change swiftly. usinl?; his money I Shall he, men and South-
      prominence thus conferred upon them. Gentry               "Yes-I've lost it," slowly spoke Cochrane, rons?"
      and Naughton, with a few others, drew a little        his pale features suddenly growing hard-set.              "Down him I Hang himl Make sure work of
      apart, ostensibly to discuss tho tragedy in semi-          "When? liVhere~ How?" eagerly demanded it, nowl"
      privacy. But if such was their intention, they        Hooper.                                                   " Out of the way, you crazy fooll" thundered
      quickly forgot it in rising indiguation, for their        "What makes you ask~ What's come over Gentry, drawing a revolver and leaping up th~
     words were soon audible to all on the ground.          you, anyway, sheriff1"                                steps, only to be disarmed by a swift stroke of
        They spoke of the murdered man as an old                "Why can't you trust me, man alive?" almost Big Bandy's saber.
     soldier, who had proved his nobility on a score        groaned tbe sorely-shaken officer, casting an ap-        Then, before a weapon could be lifted against
     hardly contested battlefields. He was ono of           prehensive look through the still open door. him, the brigadier leaped feet foremost through
     Shelby's Brigade-Jo Shelby-name to conjure             .. Because-a man was killed, last night, and the one opened window close by.
     by, in Missouril-had known and loved him.              hJ~uba~I~}!;e-handledknife was fonnd sticking in                      CHAPTER XXXIIL
     Now-murderl'd I
        " And whose hand laid him low?" fiercely de-            .. What man? Did you find out his name?"                      A LIE, WELL MAINTAINED.
     manded Gentry, tbe very personification of hon-            Still that strange, hard, fixed expression I         SHERIFF HOOPER provl'd himself aq good a
     est indignation. "Wbose but that of the man            And as he saw and listened, for the first time whip as he was a reckless rider, and not even
     who forgot his blocdy weapon in his fear boru          John Hooper begau to doubt the innocence of their owner could bave gotten morll 01' better
     of striking one wbo wore tbe Southeru gray?            his friend. He must have been more than hu- work onto! that fil'ry span of four-year-olds.
     Who but Gilbert Cochrane, the renegade Mis-            man not to have done so.                                 Yet the sheriff did not seem content, for he
     sourian! The man who foug-ht agninst bis own               "A fellow called Baruey Budge-he was at used the silk· and kept glancing backward,
     country I The associate of Federal sharks and         the barbecue, they say, and-"                          frowning blackly as he listened for the thump-
     bloodhounds I A cowardly spy himself, selliug              .. IVho says so? liVho knows of this-you thump of horses' hoofs l'lsing above tbe rattle
     bis neighbors for even less than the traditional      called it murder?"                                     of their wheels. If he might only have a bit of
     thirty pieces of silver."                                  "They all say so. And-yon didn't have a smooth, sandy road for an instant or sol
        If he spoke further, his voice was lost in that    fightwith-witllanybody, last night, Cochrane?"            "Are you armed, Cochrane?" he asked, when
r'   wild tumult. The most horrible yell that can be       his gaze quickly noting the fact that the young a bend in the road carried them fairly out of
     lifted by man: the yell for human blood /             man bad on a different suit of c!C'thes.               sight of the Barbour Place.
                                                                "No, I had no fight. Surcly, sheriff, yon            "I bavea revolver; yes."
                      CHAPTER XXXII.                       mon't believe any snch ugly thing against me?"            " Then-use it to kill, if those devils catch us
                 THE BRIGADIER ON GUARD.                       "No--of course notl Yet-who is that riding up and try to take you from under my wing.
        SHERIFF HOOPER put spurs to his horse, and         this way?"                                            Understand?"
      rode swiftly away from the scene of the                  .. Big Bandy, if I don't mistake," quietly reo        Gilbert nodded assent, but did not make any
      tragedy, bowing low in the saddle like one who       plied Cochrane, looking past the sheriff as they promise. He had not had time in which to
      fully expects a summons to halt, issued through      stood in the wide hall. "liVhat can be be after? decide ou his best course of action, and with so
      a rifled tubel                                       I didn't know he had a horse, (,r that-"              much hanging in tbe balance, he could not
         He really did expect something of tho sort,           "Storm's a-comin', gentlemen!" cried the speak off-haud.
      and waited to draw a full breath, until a patch      brigadier, making a flying leap from the saddle,          The word brought by Sberiff Hooper had
      of timber effectually shut him out of sight of       and hurrying towartl the bouse, excitedly wav- well-nigh stunned himhmiml and body, for it
      the crowd gathered around the dead man.              ing his saber, still in its sheatb. "Git fer kiver, seemed to explain muc of what troubled him
         "The devils I" he panted, with a backward         sheriff I The gang is on the way, an it means in Luke Barnes of late.
     glance as he dashed on at the best speed his          Iynchin'-no less/"                                        He remembel'ed having that ivory-handled
     good mount was capable of. "Will taey scent               "Help the nigger hitch up best hosses to knife in his hand when he rushed to the flat
      the trick1 Will they chase?"                         buggyl" cried Hooper, sharply, then turning to rock above the Deep Pool, to save the father of
        Those who hoped to catch him, as he now            Cochrane and gently placing a hand on his arm, bis loved one from doing murder most fonl.
     rode, must ind,.ed be well mounted! But John          to add, gravely: "I've got to arrest you, He remembered dropping it, after making one
      Hooper was not thinking of himself just then,        friendl"                                              swift slash across the ropes which bound the
      save as his freedom coucerned another.                   .. Arrest me for-you dare-lI                      stranger; then dropping the weapon as Luke
         He felt morally certain that, when the ivory-         GHbert Cochrane cut his angry speecb short, Barnes leaped so savagely npon him.
     handled knife wa~ drawn from its cold sheath,         shutting his eyes for an instant, his lips tightly       Now-how had the spy COlT.e by his death?
     the name of Gilbert Cochrane would surely be          compressed.                                              He knew that be had given a slash, not a
      revealed, etched on the steel itself.                    "'1'0 save ;you from the mob, Cochrane," hur- stroke or a thrust, at those bonds, so that hilt
         "I've handled it too often not to know that!"     riedly explamed Hooper. "I know you're not haud could not possibly have driven tbe keen
      hl! mused, frowning darkly as he sped along to-      guilty, but if those devils catch you here, they'll blade home, as Hooper said it had been found.
      ward the old Barbour place. " Those lunkheads        string you up ant of hand, without giving you a Yet-even as he bad gone down before that
      wonld take the name for positive proof, and          moment in wbich to explain, much less prove assault. he had seen the bound man falling.
      once fairly set in motion, they'd need half theil'   your innocence."                                      Then-might not he have fallen on the knife,
      number killed before stopping to take a second           .. And you intend-what?"                          his weight driving it home?
      thought I And-sheriff or no sheriff, law 01' no          .. Taking you to town and holding you undcr          That ,eemed highly improbable, but it was
     law, I'm not going to stand by and see an inno-       a safe guard nntil the whole truth can be made notaltogetber impossible. Even stranger deaths
     cent man butchered!"                                  clear, of course. I arrest you simply to save were on record.
        " Innocent!"                                       your life, so-be wiso, nnd sllY yon'n go, Coch.          But, if this was the cause of his death, how
        Over and over that word flashed throngh his        rane I"                                               har! tbe spy escaped being discovered by the
     brain. He cared nothing for the seeming proof.           There was no immediate response. Cochrane hasty yet fairly thorough search which he,
     He knew that Gilbert Cochrane was innocent of         turned his face away, though he need not have Gilhert Cochrane, had made at and near the
     this foul murder.                                     feared exposure from those icy, set features.         flat rock, as soon as he recovered his senses
        Yes, innocent I Even thongh there kept com-            He knew, or feared, what all this meant, and after that awful death-grapple with Luke
     ing up before him that bruised face, those torn       he forgot the fo,ther in bis love fOI' the daugbter. Barnes?
     and mud-stained garments. Though he knew              She rriust be saved such a tel'l'ible blow, let the      "Where was he found-this dead man?" be
     Gilbert Cochrane must surely bave heen abroad         cost be what it might. Yet-how conld be bl'st asked, with a brief look into the anxious face of
     that night, after putting him to bed, he wonld        do that? By waiting for the mob, to sllffer dcath his fnend. :' Tell m~ all about it, please."
     not let a single doubt linger in his mind.            as a vile assassin'l                                     Hooper tl'led to drive away tbl' ugly fear that
         "He can explain it all away, if he bas a fair         He decided not, though what his course of I W.'1S assailing his brain, but bardly succeeded.
      chance. And that cbance I'm going to give            action wonld be, after he lmd escaT,ed the gang, I II' wholly lDnocent, why dId not Cochrane .act
      him, if it kills mel" he mentally declared.          and had ample time in whleh to reflect, he couh~ . morn naturally? It was not tbrough phySIcal
         He knew tbe nature of tbe men whom he had         not Aven guess, jnst thpn.                            fe"r, fOl' a bolder man never drew the breath
     left behiud him. He knew that thpre were                  "Readv' gentlpmenl" cried Big Bandy, jnst of life. And though he acted and looked so
     many law-breakers among them. He knew                 then, frain' the stal:Jle' yard, .. Lively, fer I kin oddly, so entirely unlike himself, his tones were
     that many of them were known as moonshiners.          bear 'em comin', hot-foot I" .                        even, his muscles under perfect control.- .
     He had heen given a list of names as men who             Hooper ran up-stairs aud bronght down that            Thl~s far he h~d been unable to d~tect Hg'.'S of
     needed watching, and a few who were to be             damagpd suit of clothes, acd when these were pm'smt, and hlS fears ou tbat pOInt partlUlly
     .arresterl without delay. But he also knew that       tucked under the buggy-sl'at, and Gilbert ~ad Inlled to. rest, Sheriff H?oper complied with ~is
     :no men the wide world over, were more apt to         entered, he leaped in and sent the team dashmg compamon's request, brlefly but clearl)' explam-
     sbed blood or break bones in avenging an actual       away, sending back:                                   ing all he Imew abont the ugly affair.
     murder, however leniently they might regard               " Delay them as long as you can, general!"           '\Thlle doing this, he c!o.sely i~ covertly
     one who was so unfortunate as to kill another in         Big Bandy said nothing, bnt there was some- watched that pale face, and by tho tlme he was
     "a fair fight."                                       thing lil.e the battle-fever in his dark eyes as through with bis explanations, be was morally
        He knew that, sooner or later, the fatal blade     he watched them roll swiftly away, taking the certain that, if not tbe guilty being himseH,
     must be laid bare, and that name revealed to all      opposite direction to tbnt in which the mob Gilbert Cocbrane knew whoae hand had dealt
     eyes. Then-                                           might naturally he expected. And then he tbnt fatal blow.
         "The mob'll come just a-whooping I" he            spoke shnrply to tbe frightened servants:                During that same interval, Gilbert Cochrane
     scowled, with an uneasy glance behind bim.                "Shet an' lock every dnor in tbe house, ni~- WIIS also using- his brain, and though he kept
      "Nine-tenths of 'em were rebels, and they've         gel's I Then slip out winder an' hide in the from scunning the face of his companion, he
                                                                    Big Bandy.                                                                             27
   readily divined much of the suspicion which the brigadier. II That'd make matters jest so                   awful faintness which overcame him-the com-
   was growing in his mind. And thus it came much the wuss fer everybody. So-I jest blowed                     bined result of anxiety, that fearful fight in
   that his. answer was ready when Hooper bluntly my trumpet as fierce as I knowed, an' kept the               Deep Pool, and the stunning blow inflicted by
   asked him once more to explain how and where old saber flashin' back an' fo'th across the win-              the bullet of the half-crazed squatter as it
   he had lost his knife.                                 del'. An' so I held 'em in check ontel Gentry        glanced from his skull-had only told them
       II You had a fight    with somebody. Y 0111' made 'em fetch a log au' ram down the door.                enough to show that Luke Barnes had gotten
   clothes; seat, here, plainl~ prove that. Then I tnck to a side winder, jumpin' out jest as         into some ugly scrape, which bade fair to end
   I know you dldn t In!1 the fellow wltll your own the gang come bu'stin' inside. An' I ketched up            in his imprisonment, if not his death.
   hand, but yom" 1mlfe let out his life! Howi this critter 0' yourn, Cochrane, an' was jest                       With all this to trouble them, little wondel'
   Who could have useel your weapon to kill the makin' the road wben they diskivered the trick.                that they bore signs of care and suffering.
  poor fellowl"                                      I   Gentry an' some others tnck a crack or two at
      .. You kuow I'm hardly in touch with you on me as I came off, hot-foot, but they wasted tha'r
                                                                                                                  If Naughton saw aught of this, he did not see
                                                                                                               fit to make allusion to it, and though he hesitat-
  this moonshining matter, sheriff. And so- l<lad. An' hyar I be!"                                             ecl for a moment, he finally accepted that faint-
  after YO~l were souudly sleeping-I went to                 "Of course they'll follow nsl"                    hearted invitation, and entered the honse.
  drop a hmt where it would do the most good., .. I reckon they will, but mebbe you'll throw                       "I happened to be passin' hy, an' I reckoned
  And, by pure accident, I happened on two men 'em off by takin' this road, 'stead 0' t'other. I
  ~ear .the Deep Pool, one bound, tha other .hold- jest hit it by a happen-so, ye mought say."
                                                                                                               mehbe I mought as well step in, ladies," he said,
                                                                                                               seating himself with his back to the door, thus
  mg hID, captive. I feared trouble, and clupped             .. Where are you taking me, sheriff!"             keeping his bruised, discolored face as much ill
  iu. I cut the fellow loose, but dropped my                " To Jimtown, of course. I can only guard          the shadow as might boo
  knife in doiug so. Then-the other fellow you against thut infernal mob hy claiming yon                           "'Twas neighborly in ye, Jasper," said Mrs.
  closed with me, and we took a tumble into the I as a prisoner, arrested for murder. If yon don't             Barnes, her usually strong, even sharp tones,
  water."                                                like the notion, blame yourself for holding back      strangely softened by grief and suspense. "I
      He went on to describe that fierce fight, anti the truth, Cocbranel"                                     don't reckon they's any news stirrin'l"
  how he had escape:! death as by a miracle. He             "I've told you the truth."                             "Nothin' more'n what happened yest'day,
  told how he searched for the man whom he had              " But not the whole trnth! Don't you know,         hut-"
  tried to set free, but withont finding him or man alive, that yOl~ never stnck that poor                         .. What happened!" eagerly asked Myra,
  the knife he had dropped. Then-he had come devil1"                                                           though sha shrunk back from that glowing gaze
  home.                                   . "I told you I didn't, sheriff."                                    as she spoke.
      "Who was the fellow you fought witM"                  " But you refuse to tell me who did, confound         .. Then- It cain't be nobody bain't told ya
 asked Hooper, closely watching that pale, stern it alII"                                                      yit how that pore critter was stabbed to bis
 face.                                                      "Because I don't know. Goml reason, isn't         deathl" ejaculated Naugbton, in genuine amaze.
     "That I'm unable to tell you, sheriff," was itl"                                                             "What critterl Who'l We hain't hearn a
 the grave reply. "I had no time for a second               "Someone 0' them moonshiners must 'a'stuck         word, Jasper! Ye see, my man hcs gone to
 look, before he was on me-heavy!"                       the critter, fer a spy, which I'm mighty nigh        town-went thar afore-"
     "There was light enongh to show you one dead sart'n he was, tool" grimly chimed in the                       Mrs. Barnes broke off in a fit of coughing, but
 man was bound, the other man free. You brigadier. "I sent 'em a warnin', whichmehhe                          in her agitation she gave too poor a counterfeit
 could see to cut the ropes. Then- Look here, hed somethin' to do with it, though I didn't                    to eleceive her visitor.
 Cocb.rane, do you comprehend just what tbis I mean it to turn out jest so bad."                                  .. Well, I want to know I" he ejaculated, in
 ugly scrape amounts tol Do you rf'alize that i ThiS relieved Cochrane from questioning for a                 mock surprise. .. I reckoned the hull county
 uuless the real crimiual is captured, yonI' own time, as Hooper closely cross-examined General
 life is in deadly perm"                                 Bandy as to the part he had played iu
                                                                                                               knowed all 'hout it 'afore this! Gil Cochrane
                                                                                                              doue mnrdered a man, wl1o-"
     .. It bears that look, certainly!" With. a grim I' black right's work; and before he had thorough-           .. You lie, Jasper Naughton!" impulsively
 smile. "But what more can I say or doi I've ly satisfied himself Jlmtown, wasl'eached.                       cried Myra, flushing hotly, only to pale again
 told you everything I possibly can."                       This was not the county-seat, and consequent-     as she drew back, with face bidden in bel' hands,
     .. But one thing-the thing, Cochrane! Who Iy had no regular jail within its limits, bnt                      She realized the awful dilmllma. If Gilhert
 was the man you had that fight with? Woo Hooper took his prisoner to the house of a true                      was innocent, her own fatber must be guiltyl
are you trying to shield frol11- Hal" with his friend, where he hoped to be able to guard bim                 In no other manner could that strange, tragic
face· lighting up as witb convictiou, "There's against tbe more than probable mob, at least                   scene iu their home between the two men be ac-
only one man on the footstool for whom you'd until the help for which he at once telegraphed                  connted for.
run such chances! LI~lce Barnes /"                      conld reach him.                                          "You, Myr' Ellen!" sharply cried bel' mother,.
    Gilbert Cochrane forced a laugb, hard and              Big Banrly's first care was to stable tba horse    bnt Jasper Naughton laughed harshly as be
mocking.                                                which had done him such good service, then            said:
    .. Are you crazy, sheriff? Barnes hates me make himsclf as little conspicuous as might he                     "Never you mind, mammy. Harder the
 worse tban poison I"                                   when the crowd, with Gentry and Nanghton at           quarrel, sweeter the makin' up ag'ml An' I
    "But his daughter don't!"                           tbeir head,rl)cle iuto town. 'All were armed,         reckon Myr' Ellen 'nd me onderstalld each otber.
    "Drop that-don't bring the name of any and all looked Hire mm. who had stern business
lady into such a miserable affair, John Hooperl on hand; hut they had cooled down conslder-
                                                                                                             IEh, sweetness'"
                                                                                                                  .. I didn't mean-I don't understand you,
I tell you that you're wrong, man!"                     ably, and made no loud threats at first, scatter·     sir!"
    "Wasn't it Luke Barnes you had that fight ing among the curious citizens and telling tbe                      The poor girl hardly knew what words passed
withl On your oath!"                                    story of the tragedy, lIS they saw it.                bel' lips, jnst tben. She was trying-lover or
    "It was not Luke Barnes I bad the fight with           Haviug taken what precautions be conld,            fatberl Whicb was guiltyl
at Deep Pool," coldly, deliberately said Gilbert, Sheriff Hooper once more sought to extract the                  Despite his assumed jocosity, Naughton was
gazing steadily into those keep, anxious eyes. whole truth from the lips of his prisoner, sticking            hotly inflamed by that exclamation, and with
"He is tall, slender, dark. That man was to the point with a pertinacity worthy a metter                      bis brain bnzzing from the bad liqnor he had
short and thick-set, and from the brief look 1 result. For Gilbert Cochrane steaclilyadhered                  been drinking so freely, he resolved to lose no
had at him I should say his hair was either to the story he bad told at first. He did not                     more time in coming to tbe point.
gray or else iight as flax."                            know who the man was with whom he hael had                "Ef yon don't git over that misunderstandin'
    Sheriff Hooper gave a sound that was almost that fight. All he could be positive of, was                  in a hurry, Myr' Ellen, 'twon't be my fanIt fer
as much curse as it was groan. He more firmly that it could not possibly bave heen Luke                       not talkiu' right out. An' so-wben're we goin'
than ever tJelieved that Gilbert Cochrane was Barues, as Hoope!' more than suspected.                         to git married, sweetness!"
riBking his own reputation in shieldiug the life           As the day grew older, Green Gentry and                "Don't-this ain't no fitten time to bring up
of the real crimiual, but how could he prove Jasper N'lughton, ably backed by the others of                   BOch doin's, JaBper," interposed Mrs. Barnes,
this, against the firm denial of the one who was, the evil gang, made tho most of their time, ex-             more unlike her usual self than ever, "You
or who ought to be, the most eager to bring the citing vengeful feelings against Gilbert Cocbrane,            hetter wait ontil my man gits back from town,
actual sinner to justicel                              as having murdere,l an old Confederate soldier         I do reckon."
    Cool, wary, determined to shield the girl he -one of the famons "Shelby's Brigade."                           "Wben do you reckon he'll git hack,
loved so passiouately, as far as lay in his power,         And by the time the shades of evening began        mammy?"
Gilbert met and parried the countless questions to setele over the little town, matters grew ripe                 Mrs. Barnes and Myra both noticed that
with wbich Hooper strove to get at the truth, for l'arrymg out their deadly plot.                             poorly bidden sneer, and his insolent manner
during their hasty /light. Not once did he per-            There was little noise and less confnsion. but     frightened them still worse, Surely something
mit his tongue to trip, and Hooper waB on the gradually a mob began to gather before the                      evil must have happened on that luckless
poiut of abandoning the effort in despair, when darkened house in which Sheriff Hooper had                   night!
behind them came the rapid clatter of a horse's lodged his prisonel'. And when satisfied that his                "He didn't jest say, bnt I'm lookin' fer him
hoofs.                                                 force surrounded the place so completely that         'most any time, now, Jasper," she managed to
    "Only onel" he muttered, hitching a revolver escape would be impossible, Gentry advanced                 reply with comparative steadiness.
aronnd convenient to his hand. "Unless they and sharply pounded at the front door.                              "They'll be plenty of timetodo our part 0' set-
Come thicker than that sonnd indicates, Coch-              "What's wanting, gentlemenl" quietly asked        tlin' the matter, I reckon, anyway," he chuckled.
rane, you want to leave it all to me."                  the owner, opening the door ami calmly sur-          "An' Luke is in favor of it, as be's told ye both,
    "Of course, since I'm under arrest," coldly veying the armed crowd.                                      pleuty 0' times. So-d:m't be so pesky bashful,
smiled the other.                                          .. We want the man Sheriff Hooper brought         Myr' Ellen! When'll I hev to ax the preacher to
    But two minutes later, all thoughts of fighting here to-day, anel we're going to have him, tool          do the job!"
vanished, for the time being, at least.                Come on, boys I"                                          "Mother?" appealingly murmured the girl,
    .. The brigadier, by holy!" ejaculated Hooper,                                                           longing to tell this drunken brute just what she
tightening the reins a bit, giving the borses a                        CHAPTER XXXIV.                        tbought of him, yet refraining on her father's
chauce to catch their breath while Big Bandy                        CUTTING HIS oWN THROAT.                  account,
overhauled them.                                           .. 'EVENIN' folksl All well, I reckon1"               .. I ain't axin' your mother to marry me, Myt'
    .. Keep a-goin', critters!" the brigadier called       It was well along in the afternoon of the day     Ellen," doggedly interpos~d Naughton, .. I'm
out, his long beard /lying in the breeze created following the discovery of Barney Budge's Illnr-            axin' you, an' I'm waitin' fer yonr answer,
by his own rapid Illotion. "The hnll kit an' del', and Jasper Naughton uttered that off-hand                 When will you be ready to hitch npl"
comp'ny on 'em 'II he 'long this way afore many salutation as he swaggered up to tbe front door                 "Never-with you I" flashed the persecuted
minutes!"                                              at Barnes's cahin.                                    girl, angrily.
    .. They'll need to bring more than one com-            "Swaggered" Wll';! the right term. Naughton          "It'll be never--with the critter you've tuck
pany to take my prisouer, with you to act as my had been drinking freely, and this, with a sneak-            to thinkin' of so mh~hty much 0' late, Myr'
posse, brigadier!" laugbed the sheriff. "Make ing sense of shame at what he bore in mind,                    Ellen Barnes!" viciously cried Naughton, losing
yonI' report: how did you giTe tbem the slip!"         rendered his manner far more offensive tban or-       the remnaut of his manners in his hot rage,
    As they proceeded at a rapid pace, Big Bandy dinary.                                                     " It'll be never with Gil Cochrane, an' I tell you
explained how he had held tbe eHemy in check               "Won't ye walk in, Jnsperi" asked Mrs.            flat!"
as lon~ as possible, disarming Gentry, and then Barnes, stepping aside from the doorway, to                     "What right bev you to conplA my cbild's
jumping in at a window, which he could gnard which tbe sound of coming footsteps had hastily                 name with that of her family's wn'st inemv,
with his sabel', and still be out of range of their drawn her, hoping ngainst hope that the comer            JaspCl' Naughton!"
pistols or guns.                                       mit1;ht be her hnsbaml.                                  "The right 0' knowin' what I know, an' seein'
    This he did, dashing Gentry back with astl'Oke         Neither she nor Myra vAutnred to answer that      whnt I've see'dl But it's nev"r goin' to git any
across the face with the /lat of his weapon, when questior. in worus, but their faces spoke plainly          furoer, ef I hev to- Say, Mrs. Barnes," with
that fellow tried to follow close at his heels.        enough. On each showed sad lines, that told of        forcod composnre which his glowing eyes be-
    "Course I didn't keel' to kill an' slosh 'ronnd 61eepless bours and killing worry.                       trayed was simply external; "Kin you guess.
permiscuous, ye know, gentlemen," apologized               Although Gilbert Cochrane, thanks to the          what all happened the night of the barbecue,
 28                                                                   Pig      Bandy.
 1'I?lir,Y0ur man went 'long 11th Gentry to Holler       gish movem~nts of the younger man with his               in tbe hllls, where he had lain iu hiding himself
                                                         weapon.        !                                         until anxiety drove him fortb. Big Bandy had
      •. Nothin' ag'inst my man, ef you was a angel        Perhaps it,was just as well he kept on gnard,         also come afoot, so this left but one horse a vail-
  rcome down from Heaven, '~tead 0' bein' [],            for as he reached the bars, near which he had           ahle for both women.
  'drunken- Don't you dast toss.y it, Jap Naugh-         hitched his horse, Naughton wheeled swiftly,               By the time this was prepared, twilight was
  tonI"                                                  hand on pistol like one ready to dra wand risk a        deepening into darkness, and as the moon would
      " I wonldn't say nothin', ef Myr' Ellen 'd jest    snap-shot.                                              be later in rising, since it had passed the full,
  act whitb," sullenly growled the cur. "Ef she'll         " You ain't', Ja~per!" ohuclded the       there could be, little dunger to Luke in following
  up an' keep the barg'in made atwixt us aU, I'll       brigadier, glimly. ' Set a copy fer that snow            the road Which led toward Brimstone Butte.
  bite the tongue 0' me clean ant by the roots afore    you talked about, cain't ye!"                            In case any unfriendly persons should be met by
  lettin' drop even a hint ag'imt her pap. But-            " All right. I'll go now. But I'll come back          the way, he could easily slip into the woods on
  H's one or t'other, Mother Barnes I One or            ag'in. Don't you reckou I won't, LulreBarnesl"           either side.
  t'other, I tell ye-hard /"                            snarled tbe rascal, leaping into tbe saddle,                But the trip was made without encountering a
     "Dare hIm to sp~ak out, motherl" flashed           then casting over his slJonlder'l1s be rode away:        living per~on, and as Big Bandy refused to talk
 11yrl1-, looking very beautiful in her iudignation      " An' I'll fetch 11 rope 'long with me, tool"           by the way, the little party reached his lone
  as she stood facing the half-drunken wretch.             Knowing full well tbe real meaning of that           cabin home withollt being any wiser than when
  " He knows nothing that we may he afraid to           vicious threat, Luke Barnes lifted his pistol,          they started.
  hear. He is a liar, born and bred I"                  but Big Bandy swiftly interposed his broad                  Hitching tbe horse in a thicket near the hut,
     "Go a little slow, Myr' Ellen Barnes!"             form until the distance was too great for any-           whAre it could nibble at the twig;;, Big Bandy
 angrily snarled Naughton, rising to his feet aud       thing like a snre shot, at the same time sternly        led the way into his house, lighting a lantern
 leaning heavily on the back of the chair which         muttering:                                              aud by its rays opening a secret door at the
  he bad until·then occupied. "Mabbe yon don't             "That bead 0' yours grows hotter with each           brIck of his but: 11 cuuningly contrived section
  know it, but I kin hitch a tight rope 'round the      year, Luke Barnesl Do you want to kick up the           of logs, swinging aronnd on a pivot, hehind
 neck 0' eitiler your lover or your father, jest as     county wnss then it is a'ready!"                        which yawned the month of what seellled to be
 J see fittenl An' so I say-go slow, wilIle my             "You hf!arn the dirty whelp hint at hangln '         a natural cave.
  temper holds out, 01' mebbe you'll be the one to      brigadierl" muttered the ~quatter, his hea d                "The papers is in here, Luke Barnes," said
 do the settlin' jest which one shell go np a tree      drooping a bit as he encountered that grave, dis-       the tJrigadier, turuing around after he had st<'p-
 at the eend of a rope I"                               pleased gaze.                                           ped within tile gloomy lJllssage. "Just give the
     .. You don't dastl" panted Mrs. Barnes, a hand        "He's full 0' whisky, Luke, an' that don't           door a Irick abind ye, please, theu fetch the
 clasped tightly over her wildly-throbbing heart.       leave much room fer good seuse. He's a bigger           la'lies on. I'll hold the ligbt so ye kin see to not
  .. Ef you dast lie 'bout my man-"                     fool than folks call me. But ef you drapped             git bumped whar it's Iowan' narrel'."
     " Go, you drunken cur I" sternly cried Myra,       him by a bullet, as ye reckoned on doiu', tben             If he had asked them to follow, perbaps Luke
 pointing to the door behind him. "When fa-             thar'd be three in a row, au' blind man's choice        would have hesitated, if not actually refused to
 ther comes home, I'll repeat your words, and
                                                        to,p~~~~~~;e~~g~~;~~tI ketched him atl"
                                                                                                                go furtherl but he took everything for granted,
 he'll break every bone in your vile carcass for                                                                and Mrs. lJarnes pusbed ahead of her husband.
 this foul insultl"                                         "Nul' I hain't time nul' wantin' to ax, Luke,"      So he followed, aftel' closing the log-door he-
     Naughton turued a bit pale at this threat. He      his tones growing graver, an anxious expressiou         hind them.
 had not meant to say nearly so much at first,          spreading over his scarred face as be dl'ew                .. How much furrier, hrigadierl" he asked, as
 but his anger, combined with the fumes of the          nearer to the B3uatter. " I come to make you a          their guide led them to an abrupt enlargement,
 whisky he had swallowed so freely, drove all           offer, Luke, an ef you'll meet me on the level,         formiug a spacious chamber which nature had
discretion from his tongue.                             like one old soldier should meet his comrarle,          hollowed out of the living rock.
     But since he had so far committed himself, he      it'll come out all tbe better fer everybody. Will          "Not any, Luke," gravely replied Big Bandy,
could not well retract, and with an ugly laugh,         you?"                                                   holding the lantern in one hand while he took a
 he cried:                                                 Luke Barnes hesitated, trying to read the            flat package from his bosom with the other.
     "Tell Luke, an' see what his face'll tell you,     truth in those glowing eyes before venturing a          "Rigbt hyar you see the title deeds to your
:Myr' Ellen Barnes I An', more'n that, sweet-           reply. Somehow he feared b,eing drawn iuto a            farll1, Luke, but afore you take 'em from my
ness: he'll bid ye fergit the devil who's done his      trap which might make fresh trouble for him             hand, let me tell you a word or two.
Jevel best to ruin ye all an' drive yeout from the      and his,                                                   "They've bin signed an' 'knowledged an'
ruff your pap paid honest money fel'l He'll tell            "I've bin away, brigadier, an'so hain't kep'        sealed, fer mor'n six months past. Lawyel'
 ye to take up with a honest offer while it's left      clean n)J 'ith the home news. Ef you'd wait             Wycherly, ut Jimtown, hes held 'em all that
·~pen to ye I"                                          ontel I kin git posted, mebbe I'd know better           time, ready an'' fer you to drop in an' ax
     "Yours? I'd rather die in /l, hog lot of star-     how to answer ye on that p'int."                        fer 'em."
vation, Jasper Naughtonl Will you gal Don't                "So I've got news, Luke, and part of it runs            "But-I don't onderstand I" muttered the be-
you see this is killing my motherl" '                   like thisl I've found out wbar them lost deeds          wildered squatter,
     "Better a honest death like this, then to he       is hid, over in Holler Hill, an'-"                         "I know ye don't, but I'm bopin' ye will,
killed by inches 'ith grievin' over a lost child,          " Notr--not my title P" hoarsely panted Luke,        Luke," with increaserl gravity in both face and
Myt' Ellen Barnesl"                                     while from the cabin came a hysterical cry of           voice. " The 'riginal deeds was lost, nul' they
     "What do you mean, Jasper Naul\:htonr' de-         joy as Mrs. Barnes came staggering to tbe tront         haiu't ever bin found. These is new deeris, made
manded Myra, pale as death, but WIth prondly            door.                                                   by Gilbert Cochrane. He told me to git an'
flashing eyes as she gazed into his flushed face.          "Jest them samel" emphatically nodded the            give 'em to you, but afore I rio that, I cain't
     "I mean that I know wbat's bin gain' on fer        bril!:adier, answering both man and wife at the         help axiri' you, Luke, will you let a hail est man
the last week or two" recklessly snarled the            same time.                                              Wee him hang jer the killin' anothe,' hand
cur, throwing all prudence aside in his vicious            For the next few minutes there was a commo-          done?"
 rage. "I know that Luke Barnes's girl hes              tion and a confusion which would he hard to                II He lies ef he says I done itl" hoarsely cried
 'lowed herself to ~o clean ag'inst her folks! I        untangle' sufficiently fOl' recording here, but         the squatter, one hand dropping to the butt of a
·know that she's bm hought over by the money            then BiF; Bandy, with the trio of half-joyous,          revoh·er.
an' big promises 0' the devil who's done his level      half-doubting folk about him as he stood in the            " Ef you didn't, then who did kill the pore
 wn'st to ruin 'em, out an' outl An' I kin gues,        ceuter of the room, spoke gravely:                      critler~" earnestly asked the brigadier, with the
'the price she give llim back ag'iu, fer 1-"                ., I tell you true, fri'nd~, I've got them papers   light turned squarely upon that pule, rage-con-
     The foul insult was cnt short as Mrya spruug       right whar I kin lay my two hands onto 'em any          vnlsed fllce.
 forward and struck his thick lips with her             minute I'm nigh the hidin'-place."                         But before Luke Barnes could attempt an an-
'clinched haud, so flercely that he rel'led back-          "\Vhy c1idn't you fetch 'em with you, manr'          swer, a clear, earnest voice came out of the
 to he felled by the fist of Luke Barnes himself I      huskilv asked Barnes.                                   darkness behind Big Bandy.
     With a hoarse, in!lrticulate gl'Owl, Barnes           "Tbat's part 0' the secret, an' they ain't time
 picked him up and flung him out of doors, where        to go hIto it all the way through. Ei' they're
 Naughton scrambled up to level a pistol at the         wu'th the trouble 0' your goiu' all the way to                       CHAPTER XXXVI.
,squatter. Then-a sharp report rung out upon            Holler Hill, I'm wiJlm' to show ye jest whar
 the air I                                              they're hid ant."                                             HOW LUKE'S EYES WERE OPENED.
                                                           "I'm marly the minute you be-more'n                    AND that yoice pronounced the emphatic
               CHAPTER XXXV.                            ready, man!"                                            words:
        BIG BANDY OFFERS A BRIBE.                          ," An' yon, ladies~ Kin yo u make tbe trip              "Whoever else may have killed the man, I
   "DRAP it! Drap it like ye ketched the      wrong     'long' '0 us?"                                          know Luke Barnes is innocent I"
 ·eend of a hot pokeJ', Jap Naughtou I"                    "What's the use 0' all that!" frowned Luke,             "A cussed trap!" cried the squatter, jerking
     'rhe shot came from outside the cabin, but it      something of his old suspicions returning as he         out his pistol, but before he could use it npon the
   was not discharged by the angry mau who bad          recalled the strong friendship which bad long           owner of that pale, spectral face just becoming
  so effectually ruined his chances in that quar-       existed between 'Bil!; Bandy and GIlbert Coch-          visible out of the surrounding gloom, Big Bandy
  ter. And, struck by a deftly aimed bullet, his        rane.                                                   dropped his lantern and sprung forward, pinion-
  revolver was torn from his tingling grIp, the             .. It's part 0' the job, an' ef you don't want      ing the man's arms and disarming him at one
  particles of leael stinging his hand as tbongh he     the papers 'nough to faller d'rections, mebbe           aud the same time.
  had thrust it into a yellow-jackets' nest,            they'll wait alltel yOIl do," coldly said Big              II No traPI as heaveu hears mel" cried Gilbert
     His howliug curse of rage and pain was blend-      Bandy, turning towurd the door as though                Cochrane. ' Mrs. Barnes-Myra-yott will trust
  ed with that stern command, and whirling half         abandoniug his mission.                                 in my sacred oath!"
  about, he saw the Brigadier of Hollow Hill cov-          "We'll go-go ef we bev to crawl on our two              " And I'm backing him up in giving it, every-
  ering him with the pistol which had already           knees!"                                                 bodyl" added Sheriff Hooper, picking up the
 done snch good work.                                      "With father to protect us, what need we             light before It conlel go out. "1V e;re all good
     "Try to pull 'nother gun, Jap Naughton, an'        fearl" balf-sohbed Myra, clinging closer, more          friends here, and before this night ends the real
  1'11 take finger with the weepon, next timel"         lovingly to that parent.                                criminal may be unmasked I"
  cried Big Bandy, his eyes fairly ablaze as they          "Which sh"U it be, Luke BarnesI" gravely                Of course there was a period of intense excite-
  cro3Sed that leveled tnbe. "Git-git while the         asked the brigadier.         "I kin show you the        ment, with more or less confusiOlJ, bnt with
  way's open, critter!"                                 papers to-night, ef you come. I ain't so mighty         Luke Barnes disarmed, and with Myra begging
     "An' never you come back this way, yon             sure I kin do it ef you let'nother night; pass over     him to he patient until ull might be explained,
  whelp, 'thout you fetch yonI' grave-clo'esl"          onimproved. Which is it·I"                              matters gradually calmed down, and iu place of
  sternly added tbe squatter from his door.                 "Go, husband I" pleaded Mrs. ~urnes. "Think         hot threats, calm explanations were in order.
     Naughton glanced swiftl)' from man to man,         what it'll be to hev our ow11 ag'inl Think what            To begiu with, Big Bandy declared that he
  fah'ly suffocating with rage and humiliation,         it'll be to show all the county we was only             had acted on his o..n judgment in luring the
  not unmixed with fear. And as he read death           holdin' out fer our just rights! An'let us go           family to that spot.
  in those weapons, he slowly turned away, chin         with you I"                                                " Fer Mr, Cochrane jest told me to give the
  on shoulder as he grated:                                Luke Barnes yielded, being too nearly dazed          papers to Mrs, Barnes. I 'lowed to do it, Rn'
     "I'm drunk, now, and two to one is big"er          by this unlooked·for. unhoperl-fOl' blessing. He        would, only fer ketchin' Luke to home-an' him
.odds then I kin easy git away with. But,               could not fully realize it, but he made no fur-         'gaged in IdcJdn' the dirty whelp who's'at the
  keep it in the mind 0' ye, Luke Barnesl l'il          ther objections to letting both wife and daugh-         bottom 0' all this ugly tronble, too, out 0' his
  even up fer all 0' this, afore the snow begins to     ter bear them company. 0                                housel Only fer that. I reckon I'd 'a' done my
  i1y!"                                                     Preparations were made for an instant start-        &rrand jest as I was told."
     " Even jestice all 'round 'll suit us heap sight   ing. These were simple enough, since Luke                 "And now. before we go any further, I
  batter'n 'twill the likes 0' you, Jap Naughton,"      had not ventnred to ririe back to his home, in          want to ask Miss Barnes if she has tbe sealed
  coolly retorted Big Bandy, following the slug-        quest of news, leavin!'; his borse securely hidden      note I gave her, to be handed to Wycherly,
                                                                      Big Bandy.                                                                              29'
 the law.'yer , in case any trouble should befall
 me,".quIetly aske~ 9ochrane. .
     1'VItb a blusb, vIsIble eV€II III that semi-dark-
                                                         I  "Fer your wimmens' lives, be stilll" softly
                                                         breathed Big Bandy, in his ear, then turned
                                                         and moved silently away on tbe back trail.
                                                                                                                chambers in the dark) but without success in the '
                                                                                                                few moments grante<l. him after that lil'llt chlll-
                                                                                                                wng~                                . ,
 DPS~, Myra took the envelope from her bosom                For gathered in that cave-chamber were all              Cochrane, too, was greatly eXCIted, though In'
 lu!d he~d it ~war~ t~e young man. He de-                of the gang who, under Green Gentry, bad en-           part from a very different cause. He saw what
 clmed It, asl<lng Sheriff Hooper to open and            gaged in making counterfeit money. And that            Green Gentrl was about to do, and with a
 read aloud the conteuts.                                this very cbamber was their workshop both              hoarse cry a warning, he caught Myra in his
    It was an order to Lawyer Wycberly to de-            men fully realized.                         '          arms pushing Mrs. Barnes as far back as pos-.
 liver to bearer, if one of the Barnes family, the          Green Gentry was speaking when the party            sible' then-tried to shield his loved oue from
 deeds which he had held in trust since a given          took up their stations, and he was rapidly ra-         har~ by bowing over her trembling figure his
date.                                                    viewing tbe events which had transpired since          own athletic frame.
    "You see, Mr. Barnes," with a faint smile,           the night before the barbecue took place.                  Tbe shock 01 the explosion flung them all
" I wanted to make sure you would not be tbe               Witbout fully incriminating himself, he made         down, and that even one should snrvive seemed.
suff\lrer iI! case anything should happen to me.         it clear to all that he and Naughton had taken         little short of a miracle.
I Imelv Naughton and others were ready to                part in capturing and misusing Sberiff Hooper,             Confined in a donble liense, the powder pert.
do.wn. me, if a fair ~hance offered, amI ~o I took       knOWing from secret advices tbat he was on his         formed terrible work, rending walls apart that
thiS Simple precautIOn. If I had been kIlled, the        way to open a hard campaign against the moon-          had until tben appeared solid, ~e!lding do.w u ,
la'Vyer Was to at once communicate with you."            shiners.                                               l!;reat masses of stone and compOSItIOn, buildlDK
    Luke stammered something, but Big Bandy                 "And that meant breaking up our coining,            up barriers wbere none had existed before. The·
cut him short.                                           for a time, if not landing us all behind tbe           entire Hill seemed crumbling to pieces 1
    " Yon've got to take the bettel' with the            bars I" he fiercely declared, by way of excuse.             "Myra, my love-"                          _
sweet, Luke, this night. Ef thar's heap to be              Then he spoke of the capture of Bruce Me-                 Those were the first words ~ken, but tnougb·
thankful fer, so th"y's plenty to make ye feel           Kay, the Secret Service spy, whom he declared          the girl made no reply, both Mrs. Barnes and
jest the other way. Au' as time is rassiu', the          to be working in conjunction with Hooper. He           Hooper called out, their voices sounding strange-
soouer I show ye to the place whar \'hem two             also declaretl that Gilbert Cochrane was, and          ly iu that altered atmosphere, Nev~r ~efol'e.
blind eyes a' yourn hev got to .fIcy open an' see        had been for two years past, secretly in the pay       bad the Hollow Hill better des~rved Its tItle of
like a white man, the better! Kin I trnst yon            of the Secret Service, aud that they owed much         Brimstone Butte 1 Sulphur springs had won fol'"
wimmen critters to jest bite your tongues an'            of their past trouble to him.                          it that name, but now the very fnmes of Tar-
say nothin', no matter what ye may see or                   "Then, too, we've been in danger from Luke          tarus seemed poured into its bowels.
hear1"                                                   Barnes and his infernal scruples. If too honest             " A light-the lantern 1" panted Gilbert, in an
    II 1<'01' Lnke's sake quite as much as mine,"        to join in coining, he would be ready enough to        agony of fear lest be !lad lost his dearest treas-
quickly supplemented Cochrane, but before he             bear witness ag!l.inst aU of uS to save himself,       ure by that terrible shock.
could say more, Barnes demanded:                         when trouble came! And so, hoping that the                  " Gilbert-I believe-he lied Itl brokpnly pant--
    .. What is gain' on, Big Bandy? I've gone            death-ticket would fall to him, T watched and          ed Myra, with the first effort of reviving brain•
with. my t;vo eyes shet jest as fur as any man           followed the elected one with the spy, to near              And though Hooper, one arm hanging uselesll-
kin lead me, an' ef you don't make the waycl'ar,         the Deep Pool, breaking the very laws I had            Iy at his side, hroken by a fragment of falling:
I'll rack out 0' this or die a-tryiu'I"                  made, to guard against possible treachery on            rock, beld up the matcb he had lighted in vain..
    "I'm gain' to show ye what a plum' fool them         the part of another."                                   Cochrane had Myra tight-clasped to his bosom,.
as you reckoned was your truest fri'nds hes bin             II Who killed the spy, el Luke didn'W' asked        seemingly trying to kiss away wbat little breath-
makin' out 0' ye, Luke Barnes. I'm gain'to take          Fuller, curiously.                                      tbat awful shock bad left the poor girll
you whar you kin see with your own eyes, hear               II Gil Oochrane I" was the prompt response,              That flickering light showed Hooper tbis, and
with your own ears, what I hearn my own self,            with a vicious nod and showmg of his white              also Mrs. Barnes, crouched in a heap on the
but couldn't prove 'thout witnesses. I purty             teeth. "Luke tnrned him free, which makes               rock-strewn floor, clOSl' beside bel' hnsband, whn
nigh know who butchered Barney Budge, an' I              him a foul traitor and deserving of the death           lay on his back, like one stricken dead,
hC'pe you'll all know it even plainer afore this         penalty! And then, to lay the blame on Luke's               '.. Big Bandy!" the sheriff cried, but his voicS'
night is over with!"                                     shoulders, Cochrane followed and stabbed the            sounded to him as though it was pent up inside·
  . Sheriff Hooper put in an earnest word, telling       spy F'                                                  of a coffin.
how narrowly Gilbert Cocbrane had escaped be-               II But-how come he to leave the knife be-                 Another match showed him only a huge mass'
ing lynched for a crime of whICh he was totally          hindr'                                                  of fallen rocks where had been tbe cracked par--
innocent, thougb his knife was proven to have               " Becl\use I jumpl'd out and scared him ofi'         titian through which he had watched the coin--.
been the fatal weapon.                                   before he could pull it from the bones I" glibly        ers, and his heart turned faint within him as he·
    "Only for the brigadier who warned us to flelJ       lied Geutry, having evidently studied his part          wondered if that entire party, of friends and.
before the mob got to the house, and who led us          thoroughly before entering upon it. "And                enemies both, had been wiped out forever b]1
here in safety, Cochrane would have suffered for         then-"                                                  the desperate action of Green Gentry1
another's crime, all because he would not tell              But he was fated never to flnish that sen-               If so, who conld disprove tbe vicious cbarge8'
with whom he had that fight at Deep Pool."               tence.                                                  made by the chief of the counterfeiters against
    " I couldn't tell, because I did not recognize          Even as be spoke, a wild-looking figure leaped        both Cochrane and Luke Barnes1
the man," swiftly interjected Gilbert before a           into the· chamber, and the deep voice of Big                 Li~hting still another match, Hooper was
sound could escape the squatter's lips. " I swore        Bandy thundered forth tbe command:                      turnmg in the other direction, when the squatter
that he was a strauger to me, and could only dt'o           " Snrrender, critters, er diel"                      struggled to a sitting position, uttering a hoarse,.
scribe him as short and stocky in build, with                                                                    dazed ejaeulation as he did so.
either gray or very light hair."                                       CHAPTER XXXVII.                                "Barnesl" cried Hooper, shaking off the faint··
    "All of whicn failed to throw even a speck of                       A DOUBLE SURPRISE.                        nes~ which bade fair to overpower him nnless he'
dust into my eyes, Luke," grimly laughed the                FOR an instant the counterfeiters seemed petri-      could lind a purer atmosphere to breathe•.
sheriff. "I know who that man was, and if it             fied by surprise, but as other sbapes began to           .. Help me find-the lantern I We're lost if-
comes to either his hanging, or the hanging of           show themselves back of tbe brigadier, Green             Help look, I sayl"
Gilbert Cochrane, I know whose neck I'll fit the         Gentry rallied sufficiently to cry out, savagely:     I This almost despairing appeal brought Gilbert'
noose around!"                                              .. Big Bandy! Sold out-kill him, sure, ladsl"         Cochrane back to earth again, and as he hadl
    "Plenty said is heap better'n too much,                 He tried to back up his own sanguinary words          escaped the shock, and the faJl of rock without·
fl'i'nds," sharply interposed Big Bandy, taking          with actions to suit, and lIred a shot at that de-       harm, he WaS one of the first to reach the spot'.
the lantern again and moviug a way a few paces.          formed fignre whose saber was flashing in the            and find the lantern.
"Ef you want to git at the bottom facts, follet·         ruddy glow of the fire, but if his lead found its             The glass was broken, but the light was stilll
mel Au'-fer the life 0' us all, don't eveu make          mark, General Bandy gave no ei'idence of that            serviceable, and in a very few minntes more it.
a whisper out loudl"                                     fact.                                                    was burning brightly, to reveal-
    Worn by all he had undergone of late, his               .. Down yer weepons an' holler fer quarter I"              " Good Lawd I" gasped Lukl' Barnes, shrink-
bodily aud mental powers weakened, Luke                  be again thundered, as be leaped forward to              ing back, trembling in every limb as be pointed
Barnes did not know bow to longer resist the             once more disarm Gentry by a swift passage of            to a motionless figure sitting in what seemed a
will of all the otbers. And though he felt more          his saber.                                               niche roughly gon~ed out of tbe living rock.
than dubious as to tbeoutcome, he permittcld his            With a snarling curse, the chief of the coiners            "It's a mummy-seel" exclaimed Cochrane, as'
wife and daughter to burry him along after Big           darted aside, then ran swiftly across the cham-          he took the light and advanced alone, holding it:
Bandy.                                                   bel', stooping to-                                       up to cast its rays upon the figure.
    The mountain really deserved its name 01                Just what, could not be seen by his enemies,              So it seemed. What bad once been a living,"
Hollow Hill, for its interior seemed fairly honey.       but his friends seemed to anticipate what was to         breathing, intelligent being, was DOW little bet-
combed with narrow' passages and chambers,               follow, for they desperately charged upon the            tel' than a dry, wrinkled sbell, retaining a sem-
some of tbem far too extensive for tbe single            force led by the brIgadier, thongh half. their           blance of humanity, but only as a gross carica-
lantel'n to even shadow forth tbeir real dimen-          blows went wide of the mark, as those who                ture resembles its original.
sions. But General Bandy was never at a loss,            dealt tbem seemed more in fear of what menaced                "It was a nigger, once," said Hooper, whO'
leading the way without an instant's hesitatiOll         them froUl the rear than of any human foeman             was feeling better now that the horrible dark-·
or once pausing for consideration.                       in front.                                               ness was broken, and the air was growing
    Long before the end of that subterranean jour-          And in another instant there came a heavy ra-        purer. .. His wool still clings to the skull,.
ney was reached it came to pass that Myra                port followed by a mighty rumbliHg, groaning,           and-"
was stolen from her pareuts' protection, and             crlUlbing, stunning convulsion t)1at seemed to               He ~icked at a little head lying !lear that
taken into that of Gilbert Cocbrane. And while           threaten the very existence of BrImstone Butte!         croucbmg flgure, then started back m amaze-
tbe warning of Big Bandy was broken, in part,                                                                    ment as the dust-covered envelope broke, re-
be sure those wbispers were audible only to the             Of all who witnessed that sudden irruption of        vealing Ilrticles of plate, botb gold and silver.
ears of the young people themselves!                      armed mtln, probably not one was more com-                  .. Uncle Jupiter I" cried Cochrane, the truth
    At length the brigadier paused, turning to            pletely taken by surprise than Sheriff John            bursting npon him like a revelation as he saw
softl.V whisper a warning to keep all perfectly           Hooper himself.                                        those precious articles of. use and ornament.
still. They were almost at the end, and a single            He knew that Big Bandy had stolen away               "TLis solves tbe secret of his disappearance I'
word, a single sound, might not only ruin their          from their little party of espial, and he knew         He died here, maybe walled in by a fall of rock,
hopes of getting at the wbole truth of that              that it was at least partly for the purpose of         just as he has been discovered through such an-
trn~edy, but might end in their own killing as           flnding the armed posse. sent in respon'3C to the      other happening I"
weill                                                    dispatch from the sheriff when he first reached             "Uncle Jupel" echoed Luke Barnes, thongh
    Big Bandy left the lantern around an angle in        Jimtown with his prisoner, Gilbert Cochrane.           his superstition held him back at a safe distance.
the passage where this warning was given, then           But he undersl:ood that the brigadier was to           "Then-ef he's kept my papers I"
guided his companions, une by one, Rcrll!lll a           guide that posse direct to the spot where the               "He can keep 'em a lIttle longerl» interposed
small chamber, to a rock wall, through cracks            sherifi' waited, turning the command over to           the sberiff, who was shaking the little lamp close·
in which a faint light sifted. And then, with            him and showing him the passage by which the           to one ear. "The lard's 'most out, and if it
bated breath and throbbing heartll, they all             armed force migbt surprise tbe coiners.                don't last until we can pick our way out 0' this
gazed upon the scene before them.                           Trusting to this uuderstanding, his amazement       cursed labyrinth, it's good-by every last one 0'
    A rock chamber was fairly well lighted up by         and-after the first shock had passed by-his in-        us!"
a fire, and a couple of lanterns, revealing some         tense' chagrin at thus having the leadership               In tbat horrible poselbll1ty, both treasure and
rude furniture. with other articll'J6 which              taken out of his bands, may better he gueased          Uncle Jupe were forgotteR, and all tried to e..
caused Sherifi' Hooper to grimly cbuckle below           than told.                                             t.imate their chances of escape without the aid of'
his, and Luke Barnes to catch his breath            An angry cr.v escllped his lips, and he tried to    Bil1Bandy.
sharply.                                                 find the fabled passage connecting the two                 I We'll haTe to do without him, it we do at"
 '30                                                                    Big Bandy.
 all," gloomily muttered Hooper, forming a rude             wide strip on the skull, and one of his arms             trial of the coiners, the death of Bruce McKay
 tiling for his broken arm as they left that grue-          broken in two places. And though his heart               was never brought up again.
 some sight behind them. " Be was mashed into               was heating feebly, none who gazed gloomily                The cnrious niche, with its grim inhabitant,
 a pancake, with the rest of those in yonderl"              upon him by that wild light, could hope that he          was investigated, and as the misslllg plate, gold
     .. I'm trying to hope better things," said Cocb-       would ever retnrn to consciousness again.               and other money, with all the lost papers be-
  rane, takinl?; the lead witb the light, protected           Begging Mrs. Barnes to see what she could ~o          longing to the Barhour estate were fonnd, every
 by a curved palm against the varying currents             for the poor fellow, Hooper turned away, III              one believed that this solved the secret of Uncle
 <>f air. "I believe he'll come out all right, just        company with Cochrane, to learn more fully                Jupiter's strange disappearance.
 as we will. And tben we'll straighten matters              just wbat damage tbat explosion had wrought.               Just how he caille to be so walled ill, conld
  out 80 that not a single snarl remainsl"                    And even as they gained the mouth of the               only be guessed at, since the- explosion had des-
     "\VeU, I'm hopin' one thing: that Green               cave, which was the same into which the eyes              troyed the walls; but the general belief was thal
  Gentry may be found witb life in his body and            of ill-fated Barney Budge had watched his dan-           an acciden tal fall of a rock had closed the faith.
  motion to his tongue I" grimly muttered the              gerons game disappear, that night, they were              ful slave in, beyond the possibility of escape.
 sheriff.                                                  met by one of the posse who excitedly ex-                   Among the papers were found the deeds which
    No one asked for his reasons. Those devilish-          claimed:                                                  proved Luke B trnes had duly paid for his farm,
 ly malignant sentences came back to tbe memory               " Glory, Sherill' Hooper I you're jnst the man I      so the later ones prepared by Gilbert Cochrane,
 of all, and they knew that the "worst of the              wanted most I There', a fellow caught under a            only went to prove his sincerity. And when he
  breakers were still hefore them.                         big rock, back in the second chamber, and he's           handell them back, Luke Barnes gave his nght
     Cochrane led the way as rapidly as he dared           got something to sayl Come and-"                         hand with them, saying:
 venture, guided now by a track in the dust, now              " What fellow?"                                          "I reckon we've both bin part to blame, Mr.
  by a real or fancied recognition of some oddly              "One of the prisoners said it was Gentry, or          Cochrane, but ef 1/01t'll say so Pm more'n willin'
 shaped point or projection, at othei's by pure in-        some such name, but-"                                    to drap the hull pesky matter I"
 titinct. Natnrally he fully realized his awful re-           "Alive?"                                                 "But I'm 1I0tl" gravely declared Gilbert,
 sponsibility, knowing that should the"light expire           "What there is left of him," with an invol-           though there was a half-merry twinkle ahout
  before the end was reached and light of day-or           untary shiver. II He set oil' the shot, and a big        his eyes that betrayed him. " You owe me
  night-found, they might be doomed to a liVing            rock canght him. His legs are crnshed, clean             mllch more than that, and I'll hold back my
 death in that bewildering labyrinth. But bis              to the hips, and though he begs liS to set him           hand until you place another in it-for life I"
 courage never once failed him, for bad he not             free, we couldn't do that without driiling and              II You Myr' Ellen Barnes!"
 more tban life to fight for.                              blasting the big rock. And you knolV what                   " What is, it daddy?"
    During that trying journey, Sherill' Hooper            that would mean, sh'lrill'?"                                "You rack out hyar-in a powerful hurry, too,
 was doing considerahle thinking, based on the                Forgetting his own injuries, Hooper hastened          Myr' Ellen I"
 words spoken by Green Gentry. And though                 to the second cavern, where Gentry had sought,               And then-
 be had but one arm to use or depend on, he                by a carefully calculated blast, prepared many              But of course I
 made up bis mind that Luke Barnes should                  weeks before for that express pnrpose, to destroy           Well, when the whole truth was told, and
 never pass out of his sight while the death of            and bury the coining implements from sight               John Hooper took the stump with his broken
 Barney Budge remained unsolved.                           forever. And though wbat he saw fairly chilled           arm, Carl Krishtner .. took to the brnsh I" At
    He could say nothing of this, since Mrs.               his blood, he nerved himself to extract the truth        leas~ he showed his prudence by withdrawing
 Barnes kept close to the side of her husband,            from the lips of the dying man.                           from tbe t.rack, and thns the sheriff was re-elect-
 but as Cochrane uttered a cry of delight, say-               His practiced eyes told him tbe criminal's            ed witbout opposition.
 ing that the secret door giving admittance to            minuWs were nnmhered, thongh Gentry was                      And" Big Bandy" joined with Lnke Barnes in
 the log cabin was reached, he drew his revolver          snfferiug comparatively little pain. The very             wildly cheering the victor I
 and moved closer to the squatter.                        enormity of his hnrts had dumbed hIS sensi-
                                                           bilities.                                                                            THE END.
                 CHAPTER XXXVIII.                             He recognized Hooper at once, and begged
                    THE LAST SECRET.                       him to set him free. And knowing tbat death
     GILBERT COCHRANE had made no mistake.                wonld soon enable him to do this, to at least a
  He had indeed guided them safely througlJ the
 labyrinth, and jnst in time, tool For as he
                                                          pjrtion of the dying wretch's body, Hooper
                                                          promised, on conditions: that he confess before
                                                                                                                           Beadle's Half-Dime Library.
  pushed the door of logs around on its pivot,             witnesses just how Barney Budge died.                                  BY JOSEI'Il E. BADGER, JR.
  the dimly burning lamp Eo'xpired.                           At first Gentry dog!!:edly repeated what he
     "Steady, all of you I" cried Hooper, his             had said just before the explosion, bnt when               4~ fif1~~t'l~j~h:l~~:rt~~II~A'r!~:~~~~1f~I(ler'ol1UnwJIIRetreat.
"shoulder touching that of Luke Barnes as he              Hooper turned his back as though abont to                  65 lIurrlcnne lUll; or,        1UlIstnn~   Sam nnd Hia Pard.
  added: .. Let Cochrane stir up the fire first, so       kave him to his fate, his spirit broke, and he            ~l~ ~i::i~i. ljt;l~kn ki~ ~~,~,~\~:~~~ll~il~I:~ltihe Ranch.
  we can see what'G before us alii"                       made a full confession.                                   144 Untnty I,Bnce the Boy Sport.
     Gilbert lost little time in doing this, and as          He bad spoken truth in saying that, to make            161 j>onLhe-r l'nul; 0', Dainty Lonce to the Rescue.
                                                                                                                    160 'l'he UlllCk Glunt; or, Dainty Lltncciu Jeopardy.
  the bright blaze illumined the room, Hooper             sure the elected man did not prove false to his           lHH Uendly DUMb; or, Fighting Fire wltll Fire.
  covertly showed the squatter his pistol, hidden         trust, he had dogg",d Luke Barnes and his cap-            tS"!' The Boy 'I'rnllc-rs; or, Dainty Lance on the \Var-Path.
 from the others, and warningly muttered:                 tive to near the Deep Pool. He saw Cochrane               ~fr Jr]~:~~J:i:fd~h;e C~IR~~t~t:i;'~ti~ic\~~·~B.
     .. Keep close with us, Luke, or I'll have to         interfere, but held back in hopes tbat one or the         810   The UnrrnoeB \\r olf; or, The BeRntiful Decoy.
 send 1m' yot! I All in a heap until we find out          other of the two meo would h", killed, when he            319
                                                                                                                          ~.r]le Ulo(·k lUder; at, The HorAe-Thieye8' League.
                                                                                                                          Old Uouble FIMt; or, The Str811~ Guide
  just who diel that killing I"                           could force the survivor to murder t"e spy.               &55   The KII1U' off-ht· \\'oIHI ... : or Ihlllel Uoone'lS Last Trail.
     "You hearn what-he done itl" moodily                 But as tney fell into the water, Bruce McKay              449   Kit Fox. the Border Boy Dtitectlve.
                                                                                                                    625   Chlncuplll Dun, the noy Truller.
  mumhled the squatter, with a swift glauce to-           shook all' part of his bunds, and pickiug up the
  ward Gilbert, who was doing bicl best to make           knife dropped by Cochrane, cut the rest and
  the women comfortable with the limited con-             fled, before he, Gentry, could interfere.                               BY OAPTAIN MAYNE REID.
  veniences at hand.                                         He followed after the spy, and Imocking him             '18 Dlue J)lcki or, The YelloW'" Chlera Ven~eRn~e•
     .. I know better, and so do you," in the same
  guarded tones. .. If he hated you bad enongh
                                                          down, plungeel the ivory-bandIed knife to the
                                                          hilt in his bu('k. And then he lay in wait until
                                                                                                                   1a~ ~t: t~i:le:~rit:I~! r~r~~~c~~~:8°k~~r~~:I~:~and.
                                                                                                                   289 The Gold-seeker GuIde; orJ The Loat. Mountain.
  for that, reClwn he'd be taking all this risk           he saw both Luke Barnes and Gilbert Cochrane
 and trouble to help you out?"                            give up the quest and, not far apart, yet uncon-                        MIS(JELLANEOUII AUTJlOR8.
     "Ef he didn't, who did?"                             scious of the other's proximity, both ride away
                                                                                                                      4 The Wlld.J{or@e 1IIinter@. By Capt. MayDe Reid and
     "Green Gentry, or Jasper Naughton, or some           through the night. Andleaving that fatal knife                 Frederick Whittaker.
  <>f that gang. And if you want to clear your-           in its bloody sheath, Gentry stole away, plan-              9 Adventllre8 of Buron :\luncll&U8cn.
  self-for I swear Tll hang you if I can't save           ning how to cause the discovery of the corpse by           1~ Gulliver's Truve18. By Denn Swift.
                                                                                                                     14 Aladdin; or, The Wonderful Lamp.
  Cochrane any other way!-you'll help find out            some disinterested person.                                 16 ]lobiuMull OrUMoe. (21 Illustrations.)
  just who did deal that coward's blow, Luke                 Fate took that matter out of his bands, and             18 Slmlbnd tllc Sullor. His Seven Vl)yft~elJ.
                                                                                                                     22 The Sen Serpent; or, The Boy Robineo!l Crusoe. By Juan.
  Barnes!"                                                the rest is known.                                             Lewis.
     "Tell me how, an' I'll do what I kin."                  When his story was fully told, he again begged          33 The Ocean Bloodhound; or, The Red PIrate. of the
                                                                                                                         Carribe~s. By S. W. Pierce.
     The spirit of the squatter was sorely broken         to be set free. And then Hooper frankly told               86 The Boy OlOWll; or, The Queen of the Arena. By Frank
  by all he had undergone of late, and where, a           him tbe truth: that he was already dying.                      S. Finn.
  week before, he wonld have met threats With                His end was quickened by the savage lourst of           g~ ~t~ N'.;;!~tit~~~~°cir,S~h~t·unBlr~~~=:fa6~~p.By             Al'Chle
 fierce defiance, now he meekly bowed his head            fury which greeted this announcement, and after                 C. Irons.
  before them.                                            one horrible minnte, death indeeu came to his             95 "I'he Rival nOVel'8; or) The Freeboolere. of tho Mllllll.llppt.
                                                                                                                       By Lieut.-Col. Hazelt.lne.
     Having assured himself that neither Mrs.             relief.                                                   98 Uoblll J(ood. the Uutlawed Earl; or. The ItIerry Men of GreeD-
  Barnes nor Myra had received any material                  In addition to two of the fossa and Gentry                wood. By Prof. Gildersleeve.
  injury in the explosion, Gilbert turned to              himself, Jasper Naughton ani 'Gene 1!'uller had          105 ~~~L~~":I~I~~~.Hunter;or) The Crow CanUve. By Captain
  Hooper, under his directions bandaging the              heen caught and killed by the falling r()cks,            112 The lInd ] I untcr; or) 'The Cave of Death. 8y Bur\on 8a%8_
  broken arm so that the bones would not grate            while all of the other coiners had been taken            124: Tippy, the Texan; or) The Young Champion. B,· George
  together and excite inflammation by the move-           prisoners.                                               128 The Yount: Prlvnteer; or) The Pirate'. Stronghold. By
  ments of its owner, for, as the sheriff &Rld, they          When this was fully ascertained, Hooper and                Hnrry CllvendlBh.
                                                                                                                   148 Sharp Sam; or. The Adven tures ora Frlendlesll Boy. ByJ.
  must at once set out for the other entrance to          Cochraue caused a litter to be made on which                  Alexander Patlen.
  that cavern, where such wild havoc had been             Big Bandy was carried to his cabin, there to             V2'l :e~:~~e~}al:~~~~Z~R£::~~:    The Green Ranrcer of the Yel.
  wrought.                                                await the coming of a doctor, after whom a               261 FerK'UM Fc"rIlBu~"t the New Y Irk Do y. By G. L. Aiken.
     Both Cochrane and Hooper had a pretty ac-            messenger, well mounted, had long since been             266 Klllb'llr. the Guide I '"lr, Davy CrockeU"s Crooked Trail.
  curate idea as to where tbat entrance was lo-           dispatched. And when day was dawning, the                     By En1:lit" C. D. Warren.
  cated, thanks to their talk with Big Bandy, and         man of medicine looked np from bis patient               298 y.:~n~t~:C:~~t~~::E}"fJd        'frapJl8r;
                                                                                                                                                         Of, Tho MaId of the ClUf.

   though some little time was lost in trying to           with a gra ve smile, to say:                            81 '1 1~~~:tOXhr~~e~~~r;~~ Lively Lad from Leadville. By Lieu·
   persuade the women to remain at the cabin, in              "With beaven's aid, the brigadier will live!          828 "I'he Sky Detel"_tlvc; or, A Boy'a Fight for Llle and Honol.
   vain, less than an hour I,Jassed before they left       And-unless I'm badly at fault, be will waken in              By 'Ma.ior Mickey Free.
  the lonely building and pIcked their way throngh        his right mind, at last I"                               850 ned 1lnlph, the River Rover, 01') The Brother'. Ra-
                                                                                                                        venee. By Ned nnnmne.
  the moonlit night.                                                                                                866 Bu.lUmore Ben the Bootblack DetllcU'Vt'. By A. P. Monll.
     Fortunately, they were spared the trouble of           That glad prediction was fully verified, when 874 Gold.DuRt 'l'om I or, Ben'B Double Match. By George Ii..
  actually searching for the hidden entrance, for         the sun was crossing its meridian. And Big 8'1'6 CalifornIa ;Joe'. FIr.t Trail. By Colo••1 ThoDlll
   as they drew nearer the spot, they canght sight        Bandy was Big Bandy no longer!
                                                                                                             418 l:.lle; ~~::br:hell, tile CUEf CUm"er. By F. S. Wbl1hrop.
   of a brigbt bonfire, and after a little reconnoiter-     Instead-KENNETH BARBOUR!
   ing, Hooper reco~nized friends, and called his           All between the present awaking and tbat t~~ ~~l~~lei~: jjt~l:· o:ii Ji~'.ST~:~D:rinTlnclbl" Dr
   party forward.                                                                                                  Henrv J. TbomA••
                                                          awfnl day when, with so many boys in blne, 528 Wizard-Arm, the Dandy S~ort. "By Artbnr F. Hoh.
      "Ugly work, sheriff!" gloomily uttered one          and a few Confederates like himself, he had been
  of the posse, at the same time casting a look to-       blown up in "The Cmter," Was forever aftpr a       f~: i~r('P~~~{l!::k;; nlJ'::'td d;:Id~rooke Forrelt.
   ward a figure lyinl\' motionless, wrapped in an
  army overcoat. "Two of my men killed bl
                                                          blank. Aud in days to come Kennetb Barbour
                                                          was to pass many a sadly-happy banI' listening
                                                                                                                   if~~I:J~:J('D~t~:tl';:':D~~~brc~ HB~r;;~:~I. Carlton
                                                                                                                             A New Il!ll!lue Evel'Y 'l'uellday•.
   falling rocks. Rim dead or so nigh dead there s        to the storie~ told of his doings and sayings when
   no fun in itl"                                         he waS "Bie; Bandy, the Brigadier of Brim-           The Unlf-Dlme LlbrnrJ' I. for lale by .U nlw-.:l.altn,IY.
      " Who-.,.-not Big Bandy!!'                          stone Butte I"                                     te.1o per eopy, 01' aant by mall on I'ecetl)t ot .tx cenb .adl.
      But Bi~ Bandy it was, nevertheless, lying             Green Gf>ntrv's confes'lion cleared both Luke                    BEADLE AND ADAMI!, Pabll.lle...
   without Irfe or motion, the scalp torn from a          Barnes and GIlbert Cochrane, and save at the                                     98 William Street, New To'"
       Published Every Wednesday. Each Issue Cornplete and Sold at the Unif01'rn Price of Ten Cents. No Double Nurnbers.

145 Pistol Pards; or, The8i1ent,sportfrom Cinnabar.
                                                          I                BY J. C. CO"\VDnICK.
                                                           390 The Giant Cupitl; or Cibuta John's Jnhilee.
                                                                                                                           BY NEWTON Ill. CURTISS.
                                                                                                                    120 The Texan Spy; or, The Prairie Guide.
trJO Soft Hand, Sha)'p; or, The lllan with the Sand.      I 422 Blue Grass Burt. the Gold Star Detective.           254 Giant Jake, the Patrol of the Mountain.
ig~ ¥t~~~~g~fAi~:il~;rf.nights of the Canyon.               ~g~ ~~~b~~:  '~~,ni£~l~r~~lIr~~~n~~~~~w    Pine.                 BY FRANCIS JOHNSON.
                                                                                                                     ~ ;g:: ~~~hG~~~~~~:,~;~ tl~~;,~if,~~lf~~s.
214 The Two Cool Sports; or, Gertie of the Gulch.          473    Gi!bert of Gotham, the Steel-arm Detective.
229 Captain Culsleeve; or, The Little Sport,               499    Twilight Charlie, the Road Sport.
268 1\lagic 1I1ike, the 1I1an of Frills.                   519    Old Riddles, the Rocky Ranger                     123 Alapaha the Squaw; or, The Border Renegades
300 A sport in Spectacles; or, The Bad Time at             557    The 1\louutain Graybeards; or, Old Riddle's       124 Assowaul11 the Avenger; or, The Doom of the
       Bunco.                                                       Greatest Riddk.                                       Destroyer.
333 Den'inger Dick. the Man with the Drop,                 565    Prince Paul, the P"stman Detective.               135 The Bush lli1nger: or, The Half-Brped Rajah.
3£1 Double Shot Dave of tho Left Hand.                     580    Shadowing a Shatlow.                              136 The Outlaw Hunter; or, The Bnsh Ranger.
356 T~~tf;l;~~'dsome Sports; or, Tho Double Com                    BY CJ~PTAIN lllARIi: "\VILTON.                   138 'fhe Border Bandit; or, The Horse Thief's Trail

375 Royal George, the Three in One.                        176    Lad.y Jaguar. the nobber Queen.                            BY (). DUNNING CLARK.
                                                                                                                    ~~ ~~t~lnl'~g~?Je.
3!16 'rhe Piper Detective.                                 19·1   Don Somhrero. the Califomia Road Gent.
402 Snapshot Sam; or. The Angels' Flat Racket.             202    Cactus Jack, the Giant Guide.
429 Hair Trigger 'l'om of Red Bend.                        219    The Scorpion Brothers; or, Mad Tom's llfission.
459 Major Sunshine, the Man of Three Lives.                223    Canyon Dave, the Man of the Mountain,                BY COL. THOIlIAS H. IIIONSTERY.
478 Pinnacle Pete; or, The Fool from Way Back.             227    Buckshot Ben, the Man-Hnnter of Idaho.              82 Iron Wrist, the Swordmaster.
503 The Dude from Denver.                                  237    Long-Haired Max; or, The Hlack League.            126 The Demon Duelist: 01', The League of Steel.
625 Fresh Frank, the Derringer Daisy.                      245    Barranca Bill, the Revolver Champion              143 The Czar's Spy; or, The Nihilist League.
533 Ol'Ol(on. the Sport With a Scar.                       258    Bullet Head, the Colorado Bravo.                  150 1':1 Rubio Bravo. King of the Swordsmen.
549 Belsbazzar Brick, the Baillff of Blue Blazes.          268    Iron-Armed Abe, the Hunchback Destroyer,          157 Mourad, the Mameluke; or, The Three Sword
558 Hurrah Harry, the High Horse from Halcyon,             266    Leopard Luke. the King of Horse-Thieves.                  masters.
568 The Dude Detective.                                    271    Stonefist, of Big Nugl(et Ben".                   169 Corporal Cannon, the Man of Forty Duels,
578 Seven Shot Steve, the Sport with a Smile.              276    Texa; Chick. the Southwest Detective.             236 Champion Sam; or, The Monarchs of the Show
                                                                                                                    262 Fig-hting- Tom. the Terror of the TOUll'hs.
         BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.                       .    ~ it~l~~~~~~~e~I~~k:h:h~'i'l.rgl~l~f~oLuck.              ll32 Sprinl';·Heel,Tack; or, The Masked Mystery.
  8 The Headless Horseman; A Strange Story of              305 Silver-Plated Sol, the Montana Rover.
        Texas.                                             311 Heavy Hant!: or, The MarJ<ed :;\len.                    BY ISAAC HA'VKS. Ex-Detective.
 12    The Death-Shot; or, Tracked to Death.               323 Hotspur Hugh; or, The Banded Brothers.               232 Orson Oxx; or, The River Mystery.
 55    The Scalp Hunters. A Romauce of the Plains.                                                                  240 A Cool Head; or, Orson Oxx in Peril.
 66    The Specter Barque. A Tale of the Pacific.          BY SAIII S. HALL-" Buckskin SaID."
 74    The Captain of the Rifles; or, The Queen of the       3 Kit Carson, Jr., the Crack Shot.                                 BY NIID BUNTLINE.
        Lakes.                                              90 Wild Will, the lliatl Ranchero.                       14 Thayendane/1;ea,the Scourge; or, The'Yar-Eagle.
200    The Rifle Rangers; or, Adventures in Mexico.        178 Dark Daslnvood, the D£'sperate.                       16 The White Wizard; or, The Seminole Prophet.
208    The White Chief. A Romance of Northern Mex-                                                                   18 The Sea Bandit; or, The Qneen of the Isle.
        ico.                                               ~~ ~~: ~~~;4b~1¥~~k~~Z!~eo~.~lg)~w~~~ir~~:rJ?,~s          23 The Red 'Yarrior; or, The Comanche Lover.
'213   The War Trail: or, The Hunt of the Wild Horse.              Pards.                                            al Captain Seawaif, the Prlvat"er.
213    The Wild Huntress; or, The Squatter's Ven-          195 The Loue Star Gambler; or, The 1\lagnolia's          ~M §~~I~~b£::s~~aR;:%\g[S~h~SkiPper's rime.  C
228    Tlr:~r;;oon.   A Tale of Voodoo and Obeah.
                                                           199 Diamond Dick, the Dandy from Denver.                 270 Andros, the Rover; or, The Wirate's Danghter.
234 The Hunter's Feast.                                    204 Big Foot 'Yallace, the King of the Lariat.           361 Tomhstone Dick, the Train Pilot.
~7  The White Squaw.                                       212 The Brazos Tig£'rs; or, the Minute Men.              517 Buffalo Bill's First Trail.
                                                           217 The Serpent of EI Paso; or, Frontier Frank.          584 Fire Feather, the Buccaneer King.
                                                           221 Desperate Duke, the Guadalonpe " Galoot."                           BY E. ". ST. IlIOX.
 39 The Russian Spy; or, The Starry Cross Brothers.        225 Rocky Mountain AI; or, The Waif of the Range,
 65 The ned Rajah; or, The Scourge of the Indies.          239 'l'he 'i'errible Trio; or, The Angel of the Army.   471 The Heart of Oak Detective.
 69 The Irish Captaiu. A Tale of Fontenoy.                 244 lIlerciless Mart, the lIlan Tiger of niissom·i.     491 Zigzag and Cutt, the Invincible Detectives.
 ~~ ~~~~~e~t~Jr~r                                          250 The Rough Riders; or, Sharp Eye, the Scourge.
                                                           256 Double Dan, the Dastard; or, The Pirat£'s.                    BY ED"\VAnD WILLETT.
108 The Duke of Diamonas.                                  264 The Crooked Three.                                  12~ 1\Iississippi Mose; or, a Strong Man's Sacrilice:
115 The Severed Head; or, The Secret of castle             269 The Bayou Bravo; or, The Terrible Trail.            209 Buck Farley, the Bonanza Prince.
        Coucy.                                             273 Mountain mose. t,he Gorge Ontlaw.                   222 Bill the Blizzard; or. Red Jack's Crime.
132 Nemo, King of the Tramps.                              282 The Mercil,-s. 1\lamuders; or, Carl's Revenge.      248 Moutana Nat, the Lion of Last Chance Camp.
159    Red RUdiger, the Archer.                            287 Dandy Dave and his Horse, White Stocking.           274 Flush Fred, the Mississippi Sport.
174    The Phantom 1\:nil(l1ts.                            293 Stampede Steve; or, The Doom of the Donble 289 Flush Fred's ]'ull Haud.
187    The Death's Head Cuirassiers,                              Face.                                            298 Logg-er Lem; or, Life in the Pine Woods.
193    The Man in Red.                                     301 Bowlder Bill; or, The Man from Taos.                308 Hemlock H;1I1K, Tougll and True.
206    One Eye. the Cannoneer.                             309 Raybold, the Rat.tling Ran/1;er.                    315 Flnsh Fred's Double; or, The Squatters' League.
~g ~g~~~~l];~~:'~1~k<g'f d~ec~~t~~~~ Sport.                322 The Crimson Coyotes; or, Nita, the Nemesis
                                                           328 King Kent; or, The Bandits of the Bason,
                                                                                                                   327 T£'rrapin Dick, the Wild Ivood Detective.
                                                                                                                   337 Old Gabe, the Mountain Tramp,
22(j The Mad Hussars; or, The O's and the lIac's.          342 Blanco Bill, the Mustang 1\[onarch.                 348 Dan Dillon, King of Cmsscnt.
230 The Flving Dutchmll,n of 1880.                         358 The Prince of Pan Out.                             368 The Canyon Kin/?; 01'. a Price on his Head.
242 The Fog Dll'ViI; or, The Skipper of tbe Flasb.         371 Gold Buttons; or, The Up Range Pards                483 Flush Fred, the River Sharp.
247 Alligator Ike; or. The Secret of the Everglade.        511 Paint Pete, the Prairie Patrol.
253 A Yankee Cossack; or,The Queen of the Nihilists.
21i5 Old Double-Sword; or, Pilots and Pirates.                                                                                BY PEnCY B. ST. JOHN.
                                                                     BY DR. J. H. ROllINSON.                        57 The Silent Hunter.
272 Seth Slocum, Railroad Surveyor.
277 The Saucy Jane, Pl·ivateer.                             13 Pathaway; or, Nick Whiffles, the old Nor'west        86 The Big Hunter: or. The Queen of the Woods.
284 The Three Frigates; or. Old Ironsides' Revenge.               Trapper.
290 The Lost Corvette; or, Blakeley's Last Cruise.          17 Nightshade; or. The Robb£'r Prince.                              BY "\VM. G. P'TTEN.
295 Old the Maverick-Hunter.                    21 Whitelaw; or, Nattie of the Lake Shore.
303 Top-Notch Tom, the Cowboy Outlaw.                       37 Hid, the Hunchback; or, The Santee Sword· ~~ gids~i~~r~l~t~~n~~IV~~[e~V~:.t.
310 The Marshal of Satanstown: or, 'rhe Cattle-                   luaker.
      Liftera' League.                                      58 Silver Knife; or. 'fbe Rocky Mountain Ranger.
                                                            70 Hydrabad, the Strangler.                                           IlIIS<JELL·\ NEOUS.
326 The Whitest Man in the Mines.                           73 The Knights of the Red Cross; or, The Granada         6 Wildcat Bob. By Edward L. Wheeler.
878 John Armstrong, Mechanic.
445 Journeyman John, th~ Champion.
                                                           163 Ben Brion; or, Redpath, the Avenger.
                                                            BY IIIAJOR D,~NGEIlFIELD BURR.
                                                                                                                     9 Handy And.v By Saml1£'1 Lover.
                                                                                                                    10 Vidocg, the Fr£'nch Police Spy. By himself.
                                                                                                                    11 ll1idslnpman Easy. By Captain 1\[arryatt.
                                                                                                                    32 B'hoys of Yale: or, The Scrapes of Collegians.
             BY OLL COOMES.                                 92 Buffalo Bill, the Buckskin King.                           By John D. Vose.
                                                           117 Dashing Dandy; or, The HotsBur of the Hills.         60 Wide Awake. the nob bel' King. By F. Dumont,
  7 Death-Notch, the Destroyer.                                                                                     68 'l'he Fighting Trapper. By Capt. J. F. C. Adams.
 43 Dakot,a Dan, the Reckless Ranl';er.
 44 Old Dan Rackhack, the Great Extarminato:,.
                                                           ~~ ~~f:~~F~~~~~~~~'nt~r~~~Br~~O~e Face. Iron             76 Tbe Queen's Musket.eers. By George Alhany.
 46 Bowie·Rnife B£'n, the Nor'west Hunter.
 48 Idaho Tom, the Youug Outlaw of Silverland.
                                                           175 Wild Bill's Trump Card; or, The Indian Heiress.
                                                           18& The Phantom Mazeppa; or, The Hyena.                 1~ ~~~ gfr:~~~i~U:n'Y'B.:ae~~~~uL.~ik~~~inger.
                                                           448 Hark Kenton, the Traitor.                           110 The Silpnt Rifleman. By H. W. Herbert.
 ~~ ~~~ ~i'a~tt~ile~a~ao~A~\Y:h)amp
                                  Life.                                BY LIEUT. A. K. SIMS.
                                                                                                                   125 The Blacl,smith Outlaw. By IT. Ainsworth.
                                                                                                                   133 Rody tile Rover. By William Carleton.
137 Long Beard. the Giant Spy.                                                                                     140 The 'Three Spaniards. By Geo. V{alker.
148 One-Armed Alf, the Giant Hunter.                       528 Huckleberry, the Foot-Hills Detective.
                                                           552 PJ'ince PJ'imrose, the Flower of the Flock.         144 The Hunchback of No tre Dame. By Victor Hugo.
       BY ANTHONY P. MORRIS.                                                                                       146 The Doctor Detective. By George Lemuel.
                                                           BY MAJOR DANIEL BOONE DUMONT. 152 CalJ1ain Ironnerve, the Counterfeiter Chief.
  /) The Fire Fiends; or, Hercules. Hunchback.                                                                     153 The Doomed Dozen. By Dr. Frank Powell,
 95 Azhort, the Axman; or, The Palace Secrets.             383 Silver Sam, the Det<lctive.
                                                           389 Colonel Double-Edge, the Cattle Baron's Pard,       166 Owlet, the Robber Prince. By S. R. Urban.
100 The French Spy; or. The Bride of Paris.                                                                        179 Conrad, the Convict. By Prof. Gildersleeve.
167 The Man of Steel.      Tale of Love and Terror.        411 The White Crook: or, Old Hark's Fortress.

260 The 1\lasked Mystery; or, The Black Crescent.
                                                           420 The Old River Sport; or, A Man of Honor.
                                                           439 Salamander Sam.
                                                           ~ §!::d~:fr~~~~~e~an or Grit.
                                                                                                                   ~~~ fir:c~h§;~?~~~d~~:i~-ie~~~d~:b~~~' ~~m~L
                                                                                                                          Jo Yards.
                                                                                                                   2m The Smuecgler Cutter. By J. D. Conroy.
~   Electro Pete, the 1I1an of Fire,                                                                               312 Kinkfoot Karl, the lliountain Scourge. By 1I10r-
806 The Roughs of Richmond.                                008 TopnotCh Tom, the Mad Parson.
                                                           573 The Witch of Shasta; or, The llIan of Cheek.      1        ris Redwing,
813 1\lark Magic, Detective.
ll34 The Cipher Detective.
343 The Head Hunter; or. Mark Magic in the Mine.
                                                                   BY COLONEL DELLE SAnA.                          ~~ ~?fs~'#~t~0';,~~::so~~[lri~~~~\T~e~1~\¥~~
                                                            53 Silver Sam; or, The Mystery of Deadwood City.              J. Cobb.
W7 Jack Simons. Detective.
                                                            87 The Scarl£'t Captain; or, Prisoner of the Tower. 353 Bart Brennan; or, The King of Straight Flush.
      BY PROF. J. H. INGRAHAM.                             106 Shamus O'Brien, the Bould Boy of Glingal.                  Bv John Cuthbert,
                                                                                                                   366 The Telegmph Detective. By George Henry
113 The Sea Slipper: or, The Freebooters.                                   BV LEON LEWIS.                                Morse.
118 The Burglar Captain; or. The Fallen Star.                                                                      410 Sarah Brown, Detective. By K. F. Hill.
314 Lafltt£'; or, The Pirate of the Gulf,                  428 The Flying Glim; or, The Island Lure.               500 The True-Heart Pal'ds. By Dr. Noel Dunbar.
316 Lafitte's Lieutenant; or, Child of the Sea.            456 The Demon Steer.                                    518 Royal Richard, the Thoroughbred. By J. W.
                                                           481 The Silent Detective; or. The Bogns Nep!leW.               6sbon.
           DY GEORGE C. JENKS.                             484 Captain Ready, the Red Ransomer.                    534 Gl'een Mountain Joe; or, The Counterf£'iter'e
398 Sleeplpss Eye, the Pacilic Detective.                                                                                 Cave. By Marmaduke Dey.
432 Tile Giant Horseman                                                BY GUSTAVE "IMIlRD.
                                                                                                                   542 The Ocean Drift; or, The Figbt for Two Lives.
 507 The Drummer Detective.                                 15 The Tiger Slayer: or, Eagle Heart to the Rescue.           By A. F. Holt.
 526 D£'ath·Grip, the Tenderfoot Detective.                 19 Red Cedar, the Prairie Outlaw.                      566 The Dauntless Detective: or, The Daugbter
538 Rube Rocket, the Tent D£'tective.                       20 The Bandit at Bay: or, The Prairie Pirates.                Avenger. By Tom W. King.
 554 Mad Sharp, the Rustler.                                21 The Trauper's Daughter; or, The Outlaw's Fate.
 572 Jaunty Joe, the Jockey Detective.                      24 Prairie Flower.                                                   A new issue every Wednesday.
                                                            62 Loyal Heart; or, The Trappers of Arkansas.            Beadle's Dime Library is for sale by all
        BY GEORGE ST. GEORGE.                              149 The Border Rifles, A Tale of the Texan War.
                                                                                                                   ~':f'.,~e~;etr::,f~~      ~~~h:0PfiE':Dsr;~t :yA'B~iit~~
!lI6 Duncan, the Sea Diver.                                151 The Freehooters. A Story of the Texan War.
417 Tucson Tom; or, The Fire Trailers,                     153 The White Scalper.                                  Publishers,98 William Street, New York.
       PUblished Every Wednesday. Each IBBUe Oomplete and Sold at the Uniform Price of Ten Cents. No Dmible Numbe1's.

     BY COL. PRENTISS INGRAHAM.                                    BY ALBEIt'r W. AIKEN.                         I BY CAPTAIN HOWARD HOLllIES.
    2 The Dare Devil; or, The Winged Sea Witch.            'tl The Sllotter Detective: or, Girls of New York.    Im H       1 G Id        th Ma f th V 1 H
  85 The Cretan Rover; or, Zuleikah the Beautiful.         81 The New York Shurp; or, 'l'he Flash of Lightning. 294 B;~~dci~th 'Bn':!t:'fhe Jjeuv:rDandy. e vet and.
  89 Tile Pirate Prince; or, The Queen of the Isle.        :l3 Overland KIt; or, The Idyl of White Pille.         321 California C1audetthe Lo'le Bandit.
  Il4 Freelance. the Buccaneer.                            34 Rocky Mountain Rob, the California Outlaw.          885 Flash D,an. the Nabob; Or, Blades of Bowie Bar.
 103 Merle, the Mutineer; or, The Red Anchor Brand.        35 Kentuck, the Sport: or, Dick 'falbot of the Mines. &iO Cool Conrad. the Dakota Detective.
 104 Monteznma. the Merciless.          '                  36 Injun Dick: or, The Death,Shot of Shasta.           347 Dl'nver Duke, th.l Man with" Sand,"
 109 OaptalnKyd, the King at the Black Flag.               38 Velvet Hand; or, lnjun Dick's Iron Grip.            352 The Desperate Dozen.
 116 Black Plume; or. The Sorceress of Hpll Gate.          41 Gold Dau: or, 'I'he White Savage of Salt Lake.      865 Keen Kennard, the Shasta Shadow.
                                                           :~ ~~: ~~i~oD~~~;~eg:~vT~;ItJ~,,~~%,~:~~.N.y. llZ~ ¥h2~~~~etJ~~d~Pg~D~i:t'dD<;;i~~'COOI Clan
 121 The Sea Cadet: or, The Rover of the Rigoletts.
 128 The Chevalier Corsair; or. The Heritage.                                                               I
 131 Buckskin Sam, the Texas Trailer.                      56 The Indian Mazeppa; or, Madman of the Plain». " 392 The LGst Bonanza: or, The Boot of Silent Hound',
 134 Darkey Dan, the Colored Detective.                    59 The Mall from 'rexas; or, The Arkansas Outlaw. 400 Captaln Ol'ldgrip: or. The New York Spotter. •
 m  ~~~lt~r.O[h:;tee:[ig~~~ ~r~::,cT~~~'                   63 The Winged Whale: or, The Red Rupert of Gnlf. , 407 Captain CoWgrip's Nerve; or. Injun ctick.
                                                             ;r;~~li~;;~~G~~r~~(~ :Otp~~~I~.t~I~~~I~~:S~;::t
                                                          ig The Fresh of Frisco; or. The Heiress.                      ~r ~:r~:~nF~~~r.~~~~:~~~~ow.
 ~; ~~:~':J~[a~~:~~;o?~J:heo~~f:~~~ ~~~~
                                                          77                                                            434 Lucifer LYllx. tbe Wonder Detective.
 168 Wild Bill, the Pistol Dead Shot.                      79 Joe Phenix. the l'ollce Spy.                              441 The California: Sharp
 g~ ~~;;~r;:;f;,eih~rp~~~e~~6~:J;~tters    Mystery.        81 'fhe Hnmau Tigel': or. A Heart of Fire.
                                                           84 Hunted Down: or, The League of Three.
                                                                                                                            Volcano, thl' Frisco Spy.
                                                                                                                            Captain Coldgrip's Long' Trail.
 181 The Scarlet Schooner; or. The Sea Nemesis.            91 The Winning Oar: or. The Innkeeper's. Daughter,           460 Captain Coldgrlp, the Detective.
 184 The Oceau Vampire' or, The Castle Hl'iress.           98 Captain Dick Talbot, Kinl!; of the Road.                  408 Coidgrip In Deadwood
 189 Wild Bill's Gold Trail: or, The Desperate Dozen.      97 Bronze Jack, the California ThorouKhbred.                 480 Hawkspear, the Man ~ith a fleeret.
 198 The Skeleton Schooner; or, The Skimmer.              101 'l'he Man from New York.                                  487 Sunshine Sam, a Chip of the Old Block.
 205 The Gambler Pirate; or, Lady of the Lagoon.         107 Richard ~albot, of Cillnabar.                              496 Richard Redflrl', the Two Worlds' Detective~
 210 Buccaneer Bess. the Lioness of the Sea.             112 Joe Phemx, PrIvate DetectIVe.                              505 Phil Fox, the Gentl'el Spotter.
 216 The Corsair Planter; or, Driven to Doom.            130 Captain VOlcano or, The Man of Red Revolvel'i'.            512 Captain Velvet's Big' Stake.
 220 The Specter Yacht: or, A Brother's Orime.           161 The Wolves of New York: or. Joe Phenix's Hunt.             528 Reynard of Red Jack; or The Lost Detective I
 224 Black Beard, the Bnccanel'r.        '               173 California John. til_e Paci.tic Thoronghbred.              582 Jack .Javert, the Indepen'dent Detective.    ~
 231 The Kid Glove Miner: or, The Magic Doctor,          196 La Marmoset, the 1.>e tecllve Queen.                       543 TIle Magnate Detective.
 235 Red Llgtltning the Man of Chance.                   ID3 The Double Detective: or,TheMldnightMystery.               550 Silk Hand the Mohave Ferret
 246 Queen Helen, ttle Amazon of the Overland.           252 The Wali Street Blood; or. The Tell'l;l'raph Girl.         559 Danton, the Shadow Sharp. .
 200 The Pirate Priest: or, The Gamnler'. Daughter.      320 The Genteel Spotter; or The N. Y. NIght Hawk,              569 O~taln Oobra, the Hooded Mystery.
 259 Outlass and Cross; or, the Ghouls of the Sea.
                                                         ~ ~~~'M~~~f; ~:'-1l:t~~bA'~~~~'C~~ss~~~~1J~ent,                57901 Cormorant, the Bowery Shadow.
 ~ ~~: ~h~t~~~~;eo~~~h~~:':~rfo\~:s~ulf.                 363 Crownlngshleld, the Detective
 318 The Indian l:Iuccaneer; or, The Red Rovers.         370 The Duskv Detective: or. Pursued to the End.
 325 The Gentleman Pirate; or, Tne Casco Hermits.        376 Black Beards; or, The Rio Grande High Horse.                 BY S A<JKSON KNOX-" Old Hawk.'tc
 329 The League of Three: or, llnffalo Bill's Pledge.
 336 Thll Magic Ship; or, Sandy Hook Freebooters.
 341 The Sea Desperado,
                                                         :l fi:j~~br~k,~~~~tTv~~;o~,rlr~~~~~o~,tfe~ei~;;: 424 Hawk Heron'sthe Falcon Detective.
                                                         391 Kate   ~cott,
                                                                       the Decoy Detective.
                                                                                                          386 Hawk Heron.
~~ ~~:aloGgIlr~I::~b~~t8:fnto~u~~:fB:~r.
                                                         408 Doc Grip, the Vendetta of Death.                           444   The Magic Detective; or. The Hidden Hand. ,
                                                         419 The Bat of the Battery; or, Joe PhenJx, Detective.
364 The Sea Fugitive; or, The Queen of tne Coast.        4Zi The Lone Hand; or, The Red River Recreauts.                451   Griploek, the Rocket :Cetective,
369 The Coast Corsair; or. 'fhl' SIren of the Sea.       440 The High Hor,e of the Pacific,                             462   The Circus Detective.
373 Sailor of Fortune; or, The Barnel;l'at Buccaneer.    461 The Fresh on the Rio Grande.
                                                         465 The Actor Detective.
                                                         475 Chin Chin, the Chillese Detective,
                                                                                                                              Mainwaring, the Salamander.
                                                                                                                              Dead·arm Brandt.
~~ ~g: ~O:Thl:':,~t~C~~~~:
                                                         490 The Lone Hand in Texas.                                    485   Rowlock, the Harbor Detective.
                                                         497 The Fresh in Texas.                                        494   The Detective's Spy.
'418   The Sea Siren: or. The fugitive Privateer.        520 The Lone Hand on the Caddo.
 425   The Sea Sword; or, The Ocean Rivals.              529 The Fresh in New York.                                     501   Sprlngsteel Steve, tne Retired Detective,'
 430   The Fatal Frigate; or, Rivals in Love and War.    587 Blake, the Mountain Lion.                                  509   Old Falcon, the Thunderbolt Detective,
 435   The One-Armed Buccaneer.                          556 F'resb. the Sport-Chevalier.                               515   Short-Stop Maje, the Diamond Fil'ld Detective. 1
 446   Ocean Ogre, the Outeast Corsair.                  562 Lone Hand. the Shadow.
 457   The Sea Insurgent.                                570 The Actress Detective; or, The Invisible Hand.             036   Ol~;';~f:?~~~ Foe; or, The Matchless Detective'S'r

 469   The Lieutenant Detective.                         677 Tom of California.
 476   Bob Brent. the Buccaneer.                         586 The Stiver Sharp Detective.                                548 Falconbrldge, the Sphinx Detective.
       ~g:a1i~~Djf:nter                                         BY SOSEPH E. BADGER, Sit.
                                                                                                                        561 The Thng King; or, The Falcon Detective's In· I,
                                                                                                                              visihle Foe.
493    'rhe Scouts or the Sea,
510    EI MOl'O, the Oorsair Commodore.                   28 Threl'-Fingered Jack, the Road-Agent.                      574 Old Falcon's Double.
516    Ohatard, the Dead-Shot Duelist.                    30 Gospel George: 01', Fiery Fred, the Outlaw.                582 J oram, the Detective Expert.
       The Sea Chaser; or. The Pirate Noble.
       The Savages of the Sea,
                                                          :g  ~rdl'i3~f.~~~~~,a~·~~;~~'hl~~u~"§h~: of the Plains.
                                                          47 Pacific Pett>, the Plince of L'le Revolver.
~ ~~:l}~~~~O~~~\e~'~':fr!:~~:a~~~c~~lem.                  50 Jack Rabbit, tlle l'rairie Sport.                          BY B VFFALO BILL (Hon. W. F. <Jody)..
553 Mark Monte. the Mutiueer; or. The Branded Brig.       64 Double-Sil{ht, tne Deat!l Shot.
                                                          67 The Boy Jockey: or, Honesty vs, Crookedness,                59 Death-Trailer, the Chief of Scouts.
li60 The Man from Mexico.
581 The Outlawed Skipper; or, The Gantlet Runner.         71 Captain Cool 131at[e: or, l'tlis~issippi Man Shark.         83   Gold Bullet Sport; or, Knights of the Overland.
l>S7 Conrad, the Sailor Spy.                              88 Big George: or, The Five Outlaw Brothers.                  243   The Pilgrim Sharp: or, The Soldier's Sweetheart.
                                                         105 Dan Brown of Denver; or, The Detective.
                                                         119 Alabama .Joe; 01" The Yazoo Man-Hunters.                   304   Texas Jack, the Prairie Rattler.
         BY WILLIAM H. MANNING.                          127 Sol Scott, the l.lasked Miner.                             819   Wild BIU, the Whirlwind of the West.
                                                         141, Eqniuox Tom. the Enlly of Red Rock.                       394   White Beaver, the Exile of the Platte.
279 The Gold Dragoon; or, The California Blood·          154 .Joaquin, the Saddle King.
     honnd.                                              165 Joaquin. the Terrible                                      397   The Wizard Brothers; or, White Beaver's Trail.
297 ColoradO Rube. the Strong Arm of Hotspur.            170 Sweet Wiliiam, the Trapper Detective.                      401   One-Armed Pard: or, Borderland RetIibution.
385 Wil.i Dick Turpin, tne Leadville Lion.               180 Old '49; or, 'fhe Amazon of Arizona.                       414   Red Renard, the Indian Detective.
                                                         ~ ~~~~~v~~ ~~b~l~ie;~etr~~~~~u~:'~'B~a~~mlunt,
405 Old Baldy, the Brigadier of Buck Basin.
~m ¥~: iii';';~'Jr"rfo~\~~~vn'r~fY'                      238   'fhe Old Boy of Tombstone.
4:~7Deep Duke: or, The Man of Two Lives.                 241   Spitfire SaUL, King of the Rustlers.                            LATEST AND NEW ISSUES.
442 Wild West Walt, the Mountain Veteran.                2W    Elephant Tom. of Durango,
                                                         257   Death Trap Diggings; or, A Hard Man from
:gg l~nl'frB~~~~.~a. ~t:hf!ff'ir;:tler of the HiUs.               'Way Back.                                            588 SaH~Tst ~;~ g>:~j:l;frlro:y ~~~ B<;a~~r?r~
463 Gold Gauntlet. the Gulch GlaJiator.                  288   Sleek Sam, the Devil of the Mines.
470 The Duke of Dakota.                                 286    Pistol JOhnuy; or, One Man in a Thousand.                    P1~~~~:tr;0~~;;:i¥f.D~W8;~I~;'J~~10n,.
       Border Bullet, the Prairie Sharpshooter.
                                                               Moke Horner, the Boss Roustabout.
                                                               Faro SaUl, the Handsome Hercules.
                                                               l!'rank Lightfoot, the Miner Detective.

                                                                                                                        500 G~;~e ~~~~' %:l~N;g~~fe~~'::k: HB;W~: °R~
498    Cel\tral Pacific Paul, the Mail-Train Spy.     . 8lli   Old Forkl'd Lightuin!!, the Solitary.
506    Uncle Honest, the Peacemaker of Hornets' Nest. 331      Chispa Charley, the Gold Nugget Sport.       591 Duke DanielS, the Society Detective, or, Caging'
513    Texas Tartar, the Man With Nine Lives.           339    Spread Eal!;le Sam, the Hercules Hide !Iunter.     the Uncanny Birds, By.J. C. Cowdrick.
521    Paradise Sam. the Nor'-West Pilot.               1145   Maske<t lI1arJ<. the Mounte<t Detective.     692 Captain SidJ-. the Shasta Ferret; or, the Rivals of
531    Saddle-Chief Kit, the Prairie Centaur.           351    Nor' West Nick. the Border Detective.              Suuset. JjY Captain Howard Holmes.
                                                        355    Stormy Steve, the Mad Athlete.
~ 8~~°:it~l~a[:et1.}~nW~?t~~~e;~~~e.                                                                        69:1 The Sea Rebel'\ or, The Red Rovers of the Revolu-
568 'VyominK Zeke, the Hotsl'lll' of Honeysuckle.        ~~~ ~'Rt~~M~;ii;~~;g::;;~~~f:W'g~:~~~.                   tion. By 00 • Prentiss Ingraham.
~ ~':uadJlx!n'l':Bout~:. Napoleon of Detectives.         372 Captain Orisp. the Man with a Record.          694 Fire Face,jhe Silver King's Foe; 0!l... The Mys-
                                                         379 Howling Jonathan. the Terror from Headwaters.        terious ttighwayman. By Albert w. Aiken.
                                                         887 Dark ])urg, the Ishmael of the Hills.          595 Wellborn, the Upper Crust Detpctive: or Playing
                                                         395 Deadly Aim. the Duke of Derringers.                  for the Challoller Millions, By Jackson Knox.
            BY PHILIP S. WARNE.                          40~ The Nameless Sport,
                                                         409 Rob Roy Ranch: or, 'rhe Imps of Pan Handle.    500 Rustier Rube; the Round-Up Deteotlve. By
  1 A Rard Crowd; or,Gentleman Sam's Sister.             416 Monte Jim. the .BlaCK Sheep of Bismarck.             Wm, H. Manning.
 ~ ~g~~&~~~~:'~'IDn~~e!r:°~h~wa:~~~g~~e.                 426 The Ghost Detective; or, The Spy of the Secret 507 Big Bandy, the Brigadier of Brlm8tone Butte.
                                                               Service.                                           By JosephE. Badger, Jr.
 54  Always ou Hand; or, The Foot-Hills Sport.           43-q Laughinl< Leo; or, Sam's Dandy Pard.
 80  A Man of Nerve; or, Caliban the Dwat'f.             488 Oklahoma Nick.                                 698 The Dominie Detective: or, 'rhe Deedham Sen-
114  The Gentleman from Pike.                            443 A Cool Hand; or, Pistol Johnny'S Picnic.             sation. By J. C. Cowdrick.
171  Tiger Dick. the Man of the Iron Heart.              450 The Rustler Det&Jtive.                         599 The Dead Shot Nine; or, My Pards of the Plains.
207 Old Hard Read; or, W1lirlwind and his Mare.
                                                         ~ gmc~~~~, ~~~l ~';, t~~ms~l:t~~n~~~own. 600 The Silver Ship; or, The Sea Scouts of '76. By
                                                                                                                  By Hon. Wm. F. Cody, (Butralo Bill).
251 Tiger Dickvs. Iron D,'spard.
200 Tiger Dick's Lone Hand.                              474 Daddy Dead·Eye, the Despot of Dew Drop.              Col. Prentiss Ingraham. Ready April 28.
299 Ttlree of a Kind; or, 'rip;er Dick, Iron Despard     48B The Thoroughbl'ed Sport.
       and the Sportive Sport.                           495 Rattlepate Rob; or. The Roundhead'S Reprlsal. 601 Joe Phenix's Shadow; or, The Great Detective'li
388 .Jack Sande, the Boss of the Town.                   504 Soll'mn Sani, the Sad Man from San Saha.             Mvsterious Monitor. By Albert W. Aiken.
859 Yellow Jll.Ck, the Mestizo.                          514 Gabe GUlln, the Grizzly from Ginseng.                Ready April 80.
~          ~:~~'~:'1,tdg~a¥:y T.n:l~~den Serpent,
       §f&':r                                            g;   ~~~~~ t~~~j,~h:h~ii'>~c":r~~et;r~~eDead_Ltft.               A new issue -Til Wednesday.
481 California Kit. the Always In Hand.                  541 M~~gru~~sgg;1~f~~~n of Nerve; or, The Muck-       Beadle's Dime Library ill for sale by all
472 Six Foot 131; or, The Man to .. Tie To."
502 Bareback Buck, the Centaur of the Plalns.            547 The Buried Detective: or, Salll Sunday's Six Newsdealers, ten cents per copy, or sent by mall Oil
ll22 The Champion Three.                                        &ensations.                                 receipt of twelve cents .ll6Ch.                         J'
544 The Back to Back Pards.                              555 Grlp'Sack Sid. the Sample Sport.                        BJIl.A.DLE AND ADAMS, PuBLISHERS,
li67 Captain Midnight, the Man of Craft.                 564 The Glip-Snck Sharp; or, The Seraphs of Sodom.
ll83 Captain Adair, the Cattle King.                     6,6 Silver-Tongned Sid.                                                      98 William Stl'eet, New York.

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