Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Brave and Bold Weekly No 362, A Taxicab Tangle - or, The Mission of the Motor Boys
Author: Mathews, Stanley R.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brave and Bold Weekly No 362, A Taxicab Tangle - or, The Mission of the Motor Boys" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University
(http://digital.library.villanova.edu/).)



Transcriber’s Notes:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_), and text
enclosed by equal signs is in bold (=bold=).

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Turning to give his attention to the young fellow who
was lying beside the taxicab, Matt received another start. Strands of
long, yellow hair had been released and were waving about Granger’s
head.]

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY

_Issued Weekly. By subscription $2.50 per year. Copyright, 1909, by_
STREET & SMITH, _79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y._

=No. 362.= NEW YORK, November 27, 1909. =Price Five Cents.=



A TAXICAB TANGLE; OR, The Mission of the Motor Boys.


By STANLEY R. MATTHEWS.



CHAPTER I. A LETTER--AND A SURPRISE.


“For its size, pard, I reckon this is about the biggest town on the
map. We’ve been here five days, and the traffic squad has been some
busy with our bubble-wagon, but if there’s any part of this burg we
haven’t seen, now’s the time to get out a search warrant, and go after
it. What’s on for to-day?”

Joe McGlory was the speaker. He and his chum, Matt King, known far and
wide as Motor Matt, were in the lobby of the big hotel in which they
had established themselves when they first arrived in New York. In a
couple of “sleepy-hollow” chairs they were watching the endless tide of
humanity, as it ebbed and flowed through the great rotunda.

For five days the gasoline motor had whirled the boys in every
direction, an automobile rushing them around the city, with side trips
to Coney Island, north as far as Tarrytown, and across the river as far
as Fort Lee, while a power boat had given them a view of the bay and
the sound. Out of these five days, too, they had spent one afternoon
fishing near City Island, and had given up several hours to watching
the oystermen off Sound Beach.

Matt, having lived in the Berkshires, and having put in some time
working for a motor manufactory in Albany, had visited the metropolis
many times. He was able, therefore, to act as pilot for his cowboy pard.

“I thought,” he remarked, “that it’s about time we coupled a little
business with this random knocking around. There’s a man in the
Flatiron Building who is interested in aviation--I heard of him through
Cameron, up at Fort Totten--and I believe we’ll call and have a little
talk. It might lead to something, you know.”

“Aviation!” muttered the cowboy. “That’s a brand-new one. Tell me what
it’s about, pard.”

“Aviation,” and Matt coughed impressively, “is the science of flight on
a heavier-than-air machine. When we used that Traquair aëroplane, Joe,
we were aviators.”

“Much obliged, professor,” grinned the cowboy. “When we scooted through
the air we were aviating, eh? Well, between you and me and the brindle
maverick, I’d rather aviate than do anything else. All we lack, now, is
a bird’s-eye view of the met-ro-po-lus. Let’s get a flying machine from
this man in the Flatiron Building, and ‘do’ the town from overhead.
We can roost on top of the Statue of Liberty, see how Grant’s Tomb
looks from the clouds, scrape the top of the Singer Building, give the
Metropolitan----”

“That’s a dream,” laughed Matt. “It will be a long time before there’s
much flying done over the city of New York. I’m going to see if we have
any mail. After that, we’ll get a car and start for downtown.”

McGlory sat back in his chair and waited while his chum disappeared in
the crowd. When Matt got back, he showed his comrade a letter.

“Who’s it from?” inquired McGlory.

“Not being a mind reader, Joe,” Matt replied, “I’ll have to pass,” and
he handed the letter to the cowboy.

“For me?” cried McGlory.

“Your name’s on the envelope. The letter, as you see, has been
forwarded from Catskill.”

“Speak to me about this! I haven’t had a letter since you and I left
’Frisco. Who in the wide world is writing to me, and what for?”

McGlory opened the letter and pulled out two folded sheets. His
amazement grew as he read. Presently his surprise gave way to a look of
delight, and he chuckled jubilantly.

“This is from the colonel,” said he.

“Who’s the colonel?” asked Matt.

“Why, Colonel Mark Antony Billings, of Tucson, Arizona. Everybody in
the Southwest knows the colonel. He’s in the mining business, the
colonel is, and he tells me that I’m on the ragged edge of dropping
into a fortune.”

A man of forty, rather “loudly” dressed, was seated behind the boys,
smoking and reading a newspaper. He was not so deeply interested in
the paper as he pretended to be, for he got up suddenly, stepped to a
marble column near Matt’s chair, and leaned there, still with the cigar
between his lips, and the paper in front of his eyes. But he was not
smoking, and neither was he reading. He was listening.

“Bully!” exclaimed the overjoyed Matt, all agog with interest. “I’d
like to see you come into a whole lot of money, Joe.”

“Well, I haven’t got this yet, pard. There’s a string to it. The
colonel’s got one end of the string, ’way off there in Tucson, and
the other end is here in New York with a baited hook tied to it. This
long-distance fishing is mighty uncertain.”

“What is it? A mining deal?”

“Listen, pard. About a year ago I had a notion I’d like to get rich
out of this mining game. Riding range was my long suit, but gold mines
seemed to offer better prospects. I had five hundred saved up and to
my credit in the Tucson bank. The colonel got next to it, and he told
me about the ‘Pauper’s Dream’ claim, which needed only a fifty-foot
shaft to make it show up a bonanza. I gave the colonel my five hundred,
and he got a lot more fellows to chip in. Then the colonel went ahead,
built a ten-stamp mill, and started digging the shaft. When that
shaft got down fifty feet, ore indications had petered out complete;
and when it got down a hundred feet, there wasn’t even a limestone
stringer--nothing but country rock, with no more yellow metal than
you’d find in the sand at Far Rockaway. I bade an affectionate farewell
to my five hundred, and asked my friends to rope-down and tie me, and
snake me over to the nearest asylum for the feeble-minded if I ever
dropped so much as a two-bit piece into another hole in the ground.
After that, I forgot about the colonel and the ‘Pauper’s Dream.’ But
things have been happening since I’ve been away from Tucson. Read the
letter for yourself, pard. It will explain the whole situation to you.
After you read it, tell me what you think. You might go over it out
loud, while I sit back here, drink in your words, and try to imagine
myself the big high boy with a brownstone front on Easy Street.”

Matt took the sheet which McGlory handed to him, and read aloud, as
follows:

  “MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND: I knew the ‘Pauper’s Dream’ was all right,
  and I said all along it was the goods, although there were some who
  doubted me. Within the last three months we have picked up a vein of
  free milling ore which assays one thousand dollars to the ton--and
  there’s a mountain of it. Your stock, just on this three months’
  showing, is worth, at a conservative estimate, five hundred dollars
  a share--and you paid only five dollars a share for it! You’re worth
  fifty thousand now, but you’ll be worth ten times that if the deal I
  have on with certain New York parties goes through.

  “Now, from an item I read in the papers, I find you are at Catskill,
  New York, with that young motor wonder, Matt King, so I am hustling
  this letter right off to you. By express, to-day, I am sending,
  consigned to the Merchants’ & Miners’ National Bank, for you, two
  gold bars which weigh-up five thousand dollars each. Inclosed
  herewith you will find an order on the bank to deliver the bars
  to you. On Wednesday evening, the twenty-fourth, there will be a
  meeting of the proposed Eastern Syndicate in the offices of Random &
  Griggs, No. -- Liberty Street. You can help the deal along by taking
  the bullion to these capitalists, along with my affidavit--which is
  with the bars--stating that the gold came out of a week’s run at the
  ‘Pauper’s Dream’ with our little ten-stamp mill. That will do the
  business. Random & Griggs have had an expert here looking over the
  mine. After you show the bullion at the syndicate’s meeting, return
  it to the bank.

  “I am not sure that this letter will reach you. If it doesn’t, I
  shall have to get some one else to take the gold to the meeting.
  Would come myself, but am head over heels in work here, and can’t
  leave the ‘Dream’ for a minute. Wire me as soon as you get this
  letter. I hope that you are in a position to attend to this matter,
  my lad, because there is no one else I could trust as I could you,
  with ten thousand dollars’ worth of gold bullion.

  “Catskill is only a little way from New York City, and you can run
  down there and attend to this. Let me know at once if you will.

  “Sincerely yours,

  “M. A. BILLINGS.”

“Fine!” cried Matt heartily, grabbing his chum’s hand as he returned
the letter.

“It sounds like a yarn from the ‘Thousand and One Nights,’” returned
the cowboy, “and I’m not going to call myself Gotrox until the
‘Pauper’s Dream’ is sold, and the fortune is in the bank, subject to
Joe McGlory’s check.”

“This is Monday,” went on Matt, “and the meeting of the syndicate is
called for Wednesday evening.”

“Plenty of time,” said McGlory. “I’m not going to let the prospect of
wealth keep me from enjoying the sights for the next three days.”

“Well,” returned Matt, “there’s one thing you’ve got to do, and at
least two more it would be wise for you to do, without delay.”

“The thing I’ve got to do, Matt, is to wire the colonel that I’m on
deck and ready to look after the bullion. What are the two things it
would be wise for me to do?”

“Why, call at the bank and see whether the bullion is there.”

“I don’t want to load up with it before Wednesday afternoon.”

“Of course not, but find out whether it has arrived in New York. Then
I’d call on Random & Griggs, introduce yourself, and tell them you’ll
be around Wednesday evening.”

“Keno! You’ll go with me, won’t you?”

“I don’t think it will be necessary, Joe. While you’re attending to
this, I’ll make my call at the Flatiron Building.”

“I’ll have to hunt up Random & Griggs, and I haven’t the least notion
where to find the Merchants’ & Miners’ National Bank.”

“We’ll get all that out of the directory.”

“Then where am I to cross trails with you again?”

“Come to the Flatiron Building in two hours; that,” and Matt flashed a
look at a clock, “will bring us together at ten. You’ll find me on the
walk, at the point of the Flatiron Building, at ten o’clock.”

“Correct.” McGlory put the folded papers back into the envelope, and
stowed the envelope in his pocket. “I reckon I won’t get lost, strayed,
or stolen while I’m attending to this business of the colonel’s, but
from the time I take that bullion out of the bank, Wednesday afternoon,
until I get it into some safe place again, you’ve got to hang onto me.”

“I’ll be with you, then, of course,” Matt laughed. “Now, let’s get the
street addresses of the bank and the firm of Random & Griggs, and then
our trails will divide for a couple of hours.”

The boys got up and moved away. The man by the marble column stared
after them for a moment, a gleam of growing resolution showing in his
black eyes. Turning suddenly, he dropped his newspaper into one of the
vacant chairs and bolted for the street.

His mind had evolved a plan, and it was aimed at the motor boys.



CHAPTER II. STARTLING NEWS.


Matt and McGlory decided that they would not use an automobile for
their morning’s work. The cowboy would go downtown by the subway and
Matt would use a surface car. They separated, McGlory rather dazed and
skeptical about his prospective fortune, and Matt more confident and
highly delighted over his chum’s unexpected good luck.

It chanced that Matt had spent some time in Arizona, and he knew, from
near-at-hand observation, how suddenly the wheel of fortune changes for
better or for worse in mining affairs.

One of Matt’s best friends, “Chub” McReady, had leaped from poverty to
wealth by such a turn of the wheel, and Matt was prepared to believe
that the same dazzling luck could come McGlory’s way.

Within half an hour after leaving his chum, the young motorist was in
the Flatiron Building, asking the man on duty at the elevators where
he could find Mr. James Arthur Lafitte, the gentleman whom Cameron
had mentioned as being interested in the problem of aëronautics.
Lafitte, Cameron had told Matt, was a member of the Aëro Club, had
owned a balloon of his own, and had made many ascensions from the
town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts--which was near Matt’s old home in
the Berkshire Hills; but, Cameron had also said, Lafitte had given up
plain ballooning for dirigibles, and, finally, had turned his back on
dirigibles for heavier-than-air machines. He was a civil engineer of
an inventive turn, and with an adventurous nature--just the sort of
person Matt would like to meet.

Having learned the number of Lafitte’s suite of rooms, Matt stepped
aboard the elevator and was whisked skyward. Getting out under the
roof, he made his way to the door bearing Lafitte’s name, and passed
inside.

A young man, in his shirt sleeves, was working at a drawing table. Matt
asked for Mr. Lafitte, and was informed, much to his disappointment,
that he was at his workshop on Long Island, and would probably not be
in the city for two or three days.

Matt introduced himself to the young man, who was a draughtsman for
Lafitte, and who immediately laid aside his compasses and pencil, and
climbed down from his high stool to grasp the caller’s hand.

“Mr. Lafitte has heard a good deal about you,” said he, “and has
followed your work pretty closely. He’ll be sorry not to have seen you,
Motor Matt. Can’t you come in again? Better still, can’t you run out to
his workshop and see him?”

“I don’t know,” Matt answered. “I’m in the city with a friend, and he
has a little business to attend to which will probably take up some of
our time.”

“I think,” went on the other, “that you won’t regret taking the time to
talk with Mr. Lafitte. He’s working on something, out there at his Long
Island place, which is going to make a big stir, one of these days.”

“Something on the aëroplane order?”

The draughtsman looked thoughtful for a moment.

“Suppose,” said he, “that something was discovered which had fifty
times the buoyancy of hydrogen gas, that the buoyancy could be
regulated at will by electrically heated platinum wires--would that
revolutionize this flying proposition?”

Matt was struck at once with the far-reaching influence of the novel
proposition.

“It would, certainly,” he declared. “Is that what----”

“I’m not saying any more than that, Motor Matt,” broke in the young
man; “in fact, I _can’t_ say anything more, but you take the trouble to
talk with Mr. Lafitte. It may be worth something to you.”

Matt lingered in the office for a few minutes longer, then went
away. The spell cast over him by the clerk’s words went with him.
He had often thought and dreamed along the lines of the subject the
draughtsman had mentioned.

The drawback, in the matter of dirigible balloons, lay in the fact
that the huge bag, necessary to keep them aloft, made them the sport
of every wind that blew. If the volume of gas could be reduced, then,
naturally, the smaller the gas bag, the more practicable the dirigible
would become. With the volume of gas reduced _fifty times_, a field
opened for power-driven balloons which fairly took Matt’s breath away.
And this lifting power of Lafitte’s was under control! This seemed to
offer realization of another of Matt’s dreams--of an automobile flying
machine, a surface and air craft which could fly along the roads as
well as leap aloft and sail through the atmosphere above him.

Carried away by his thoughts, Matt suddenly came back to his sober
senses and found himself staring blankly into a window filled with
pipes and tobacco at the V-shaped point of the Flatiron Building. He
laughed under his breath as he dismissed his wild visions.

“I won’t take any stock in this new gas,” he muttered, “until I can
see it demonstrated. Just now I’m more interested in Joe and his good
luck than in anything else.”

He looked at his watch. It was only half-past nine, and it would be
half an hour, at least, before he could expect his chum. Matt had
suddenly remembered, too, that it would probably be ten o’clock before
Joe could finish his business at the bank, and that would delay his
arrival at the Flatiron Building until after the appointed time.

Crossing over into Madison Square, Matt idled away his time, roaming
around and building air castles for McGlory. The cowboy was a fine
fellow, a lad of sterling worth, and fortune could not have visited her
favors upon one more deserving.

By ten o’clock Matt was back at the Flatiron Building. As he came
around on the Fifth Avenue side, a taxicab drew up at the curb, the
door opened, and a lad sprang out. The youth was well dressed and
carried a small tin box.

Matt supposed the lad was some one who had business inside the
building, and merely gave him a casual glance as he strolled on. Matt
had not gone far, however, before he felt a hand on his shoulder. He
whirled around, thinking it was McGlory, and was a little surprised to
observe the youth who had got out of the taxicab.

“Are you Motor Matt?” came a low voice.

“That’s my name,” answered Matt.

“And you’re waiting here for your friend, Joe McGlory?”

“He was to meet me here at ten,” said Matt, his surprise growing.

“Well,” went on the lad, a tinge of color coming into his face, “he--he
won’t be able to meet you.”

“Won’t be able to meet me?” echoed Matt. “Is business keeping him?”

“That’s it. I’m from the office of Random & Griggs, and Mr. McGlory
wants you in a hurry.”

“What does he want me for?”

“That’s more than I know. You see, I’m only a messenger in the brokers’
office.”

He was a well-dressed young fellow, for a messenger, but Matt knew that
some of the messengers, from the Wall Street section, spend a good
share of their salary on clothes, and, in fact, are required to dress
well.

“I can’t imagine what Joe wants me for,” said the wondering Matt, “but
I’ll go with you to Liberty Street and find out.”

“He’s not at the office, now,” went on the messenger, “but started into
the country with Mr. Random just as I left the office to come after
you.”

“What in the world is Joe going into the country for?”

“That’s too many for me. All he told me to tell you was that it had
something to do with the ‘Pauper’s Dream.’ He said you’d understand.”

This was startling news for Matt, inasmuch as it seemed to indicate
that McGlory had encountered a snag of some kind in the matter of the
mine.

“We’d better hurry,” urged the messenger, as Matt stood reflecting upon
the odd twist the “Pauper’s Dream” matter was taking.

“All right,” said Motor Matt.

Accompanying the young fellow to the taxicab, Matt climbed inside and
the messenger followed and closed the door. The driver, it appeared,
already had his instructions, and the machine was off the moment the
door had closed.

“My name is Granger, Motor Matt,” observed the messenger, “Harold
Granger.”

“You don’t look much like a granger,” laughed Matt, taking in the
messenger’s trim, up-to-date garments.

Harold Granger joined in the laugh.

“What’s in a name, anyhow?” he asked.

“That’s so,” answered Matt good-naturedly. “I’d give a good deal to
know what’s gone crossways with McGlory. I suppose you haven’t any
idea?”

“There are not many leaks to Mr. Random’s private room,” answered
Harold, “and I can’t even guess what’s going on. Mr. Random seemed
excited, though, and it takes a lot to make _him_ show his nerves.”

“Where are we going?”

“To Rye, a small place beyond Mamaroneck.”

“Great spark-plugs!” exclaimed Matt, watching the figures jump up in
the dial, recording the distance they were covering in dollars and
cents. “What’s the use of using a taxicab for a trip like that? You
ought to have hired a touring car by the hour.”

“Oh, this was the only car handy, and Mr. Random never stops at
expense.”

“Why couldn’t he and McGlory have come by way of the Flatiron Building
and picked me up?”

“I think Mr. McGlory said you were not expecting him until ten o’clock.”

“That needn’t have made any difference. Joe knew where I was to be in
the Flatiron Building and he could have come for me.”

“He and Mr. Random seemed to be in a hurry,” was the indefinite
response, “and that’s all I know.”

When the taxicab got beyond the place where the eight-miles-an-hour
speed limit did not interfere, the driver let the machine out, and the
figures in the dial danced a jig. But Random & Griggs were furnishing
the music for the dance, and Matt composed himself.

“You’re a stranger in New York, aren’t you?” Harold inquired.

“I haven’t been in the city for a long time,” Matt answered.

“This is the Pelham Road,” the messenger went on, “and that’s the
sound, over there.”

“I was never out this way before,” said Matt, “but----”

Just at that moment something went wrong with the taxicab. There was
a wobble, a wild lurch sidewise, a brief jump across the road, and a
terrific jolt as the machine came to a halt. The body of the car was
thrown over to a dangerous angle, Matt was flung violently against
Harold Granger, and both of them struck the door. Under the impact of
their bodies, the door yielded, and they fell out of the vehicle and
into the road.

Malt had given vent to a sharp exclamation, and his companion had
uttered a shrill cry. The next moment they were on the ground, Matt
picking himself up quickly, a little shaken but in no wise injured.

The taxicab, he saw at a glance, had dived from the road into a stone
wall. The driver had vanished, and Matt took a hurried glance over the
wall to see if he had landed on the other side of it. He was not there,
and the mystery as to his whereabouts deepened.

Turning to give his attention to Granger, Matt received another start.
The young fellow was lying beside the taxicab, lifting himself weakly
on one arm. His tin box had dropped near him, and his derby hat had
fallen off. Strands of long, yellow hair, which must have been done
into a coil and hidden under a wig of some sort, had been released and
were waving about Granger’s shoulders.

A woman! Here was a pretty tangle, and Motor Matt was astounded.



CHAPTER III. A TWISTED SKEIN.


As though a taxicab, minus its driver and running amuck into a stone
wall, was not enough hard luck to throw across the path of Motor Matt,
he had also to deal with a young woman masquerading in man’s attire.
But for the mishap to the taxicab, Matt would probably never have
discovered that the supposed youth was other than “he” seemed.

There were a number of details that perplexed our young friend just
then, and among them--and not the least--was the strange disappearance
of the driver of the machine. This problem, however, would have to
wait. Matt felt that the young woman should claim his first attention.

“Are you hurt?” he asked, feeling more concern on that point than he
would have done had his companion been of the other sex.

“No,” answered the girl, her face reddening with mortification.

Matt started to help her up, but she regained her feet without his aid
and picked up the tin box and the hat.

“I suppose, Miss Granger,” said he, “that I should have known, from the
way those yellow tresses were smoothed upward at the back of your head,
that--that you were not what you were trying to appear; but, of course,
I wasn’t looking for any such deception as this.”

Tears sprang to the girl’s eyes.

“I--I don’t know what you will think of me,” she murmured. “You see,
a man has so much better chance for getting on in the world that I--I
have been obliged to play this--this rôle in--in self-defense.”

“You have played the rôle for some time?”

“For--for a year, now.”

“You can’t expect me to believe that, Miss Granger,” said Matt calmly.

“Why not?” she flashed.

“Well,” he answered, “you would have cut off those long locks if you
had made a business of playing such a part for a year. That would have
been the reasonable thing to do, and I am sure you would have done it.”

“Do you doubt my word?” she asked defiantly.

“I don’t want to doubt your word, Miss Granger, but I have to take
matters as I find them. You’re not a messenger for Random & Griggs,
either, are you?”

She did not reply.

“And all this about my chum, Joe McGlory, going into the country and
wanting me to join him, isn’t true, is it?”

“Yes, it’s true,” she declared desperately. “You’ll have to go with me
if you want to find Mr. McGlory.”

“Did McGlory go into the country in a touring car with Mr. Random?”

This was another question which the girl did not see fit to answer.

“You’re not frank with me,” continued Matt, “and how can you expect me
to have any confidence in you? Have you any idea what became of the
driver of the taxicab?”

“No,” she replied.

“I’m going back down the road to look for him. While I’m gone, Miss
Granger, you do a little good, hard thinking. I guess you’ll make up
your mind that it’s best to be perfectly frank with me.”

Without saying anything further, Matt turned away and started back
along the road. He was caught in a twisted skein of events, and was the
more perturbed because he could not think of any possible object the
girl might have in trying to deceive him.

But, whatever plot was afoot, Matt was positive that the accident to
the taxicab had nothing whatever to do with it. That had been something
outside the girl’s calculations, and an investigation might lead to
results.

The driver had not been long off the seat of the taxicab when the
machine collided with the wall. This was self-evident, for the machine
could not have proceeded any great distance without a controlling hand
on the steering wheel.

Less than a hundred feet from the spot where the accident had happened,
Matt found the driver sitting up at the edge of some bushes by the
roadside. He was covered with dust, and was holding his hat in his
hands. There was a vacant stare in his eyes as he watched Matt approach.

“What’s the matter with you?” queried Matt.

The driver acted as though he did not understand. He began turning the
hat around and around in his hands and peering into the crown in the
abstracted fashion of one who is struggling with a hard mental problem.

A little way back, Matt remembered that they had passed a road house.
If he could get the driver to the road house, perhaps the people there
could do something for him.

“Come,” said he, catching the man by the arm and trying to lift him.
“You are sick, and I’ll help you to a place where they can look after
you.”

Mechanically the driver put his hat on his head and got to his feet.
For a moment he stood still, staring at Matt speculatively, as though
trying to guess who he was and where he had come from; then, suddenly,
he whirled and broke from Matt’s grasp, running farther back into the
bushes.

In half a dozen leaps Matt was upon him again, and had caught him
firmly by the collar.

“I’m a friend of yours,” he said soothingly, “and I want to take you to
a place where you can be cared for. You’re not right in your head.”

“Who are you?” mumbled the driver.

“Can’t you remember me? I was in your taxicab; you picked me up at the
Flatiron Building.”

“What taxicab?” the man asked, drawing one hand across his forehead.

“Yours.”

The man’s blank look slowly yielded to a glimmering of reason.

“Oh, yes,” he muttered, “I--I remember. The young chap hired me at
Herald Square. I was to take him to the Flatiron Building, pick up
another fare, and then go along the Pelham Road as far as Rye. I guess
I’ve got that straight.”

“Sure it was at Herald Square that the young fellow hired you?”

“Yes, I’m positive of it.”

The driver was getting back his wits by swift degrees.

“What was the matter with you?” asked Matt.

“Sort of a fit. I used to have ’em a whole lot, but this is the first
that’s come on me for purty nigh six months. No matter what I’m doin’,
I jest drop an’ don’t know a thing for a minute or two; then, after I
come out of it, I’m gen’rally a little while piecin’ things together.”

“You shouldn’t be driving a taxicab, if you’re subject to such spells.”

“Thought I’d got over ’em. I won’t have another, now, for two or three
weeks, anyway. Didn’t you see me when I tumbled from the seat?”

“No.”

“That’s blamed queer! Didn’t you hear me, either?”

“No.”

“How did you find out I was gone from up front?”

“The taxi jumped into a stone wall,” answered Matt dryly, “and threw us
out. If you’ll step out of this patch of brush you can see the machine.”

“Was it damaged much?” asked the man anxiously.

“It doesn’t seem to be.”

“Think I can tinker it up so as to take you and that other young chap
on to Rye?”

“That’s where you’re to take us, is it?”

“Yes.”

“And the young fellow hired you at Herald Square?”

“Say, my brain’s as clear as yours, now. I know jest what I’m sayin’.
I was hired at Herald Square to take him to the Flatiron Buildin’, and
then to pick you----”

“All right,” cut in Matt. “Do you know who the young fellow is?”

“Don’t know him from Adam. Never saw him before.”

“After you get to Rye, what----”

The drumming of a motor car, traveling swiftly, was heard at that
moment. The car was close and, through the bushes, Matt caught a
glimpse of its fleeting red body as it plunged past.

Thinking that the car, which seemed to be big and powerful, might be
used for towing the taxicab--in case it was very seriously damaged--to
the nearest garage, Matt jumped for the road.

By the time he had gained the road, however, the touring car was
abreast of the taxicab and forging straight onward at a tremendous
clip. Matt’s intention of hailing the machine was lost in a spasm of
astonishment the moment he had caught sight of the single passenger
in the tonneau. There was one man in front with the driver, but the
passenger in the tonneau--there could be no doubt about it--was Joe
McGlory!

By the time Matt had recovered full possession of his senses, the
touring car was out of sight.



CHAPTER IV. MOTOR MATT’S DUTY.


For Matt, in this queer taxicab tangle, one mystery was piling upon
another. Joe McGlory, in a faster car than the “taxi,” had left New
York after Matt and the girl had taken their departure. Joe might be
with Mr. Random, but the girl had certainly made a misstatement when
she said that the cowboy and the broker had hurried off in advance of
the taxicab. But then, the girl had made many misstatements.

By the narrow margin of no more than thirty seconds, Matt had failed
to reach the road in time to hail the touring car. Fate works with
trifles, drawing her thread fine from the insignificant affairs of life.

The driver came unsteadily through the bushes and stood at Matt’s side,
gazing toward the taxicab.

“What was you intendin’ to do?” he asked of Matt.

“I was thinking we could hail that automobile and, if the taxicab was
too badly injured to proceed under its own power, we could have the
machine towed to the nearest garage.”

“We won’t have any trouble findin’ a car to tow us--if we have to. If
the machine ain’t too badly smashed, I’m goin’ to take you on to Rye.”

“Perhaps I’d better do the driving,” suggested Matt.

“Bosh! I’m all right for two or three weeks. The spells ain’t bad, but
they’re mighty inconvenient.”

“I should say so!” exclaimed Matt. “That other passenger and myself
might have been killed.”

“You wasn’t either of you hurt, was you?”

That was the first remark the driver had made that showed any
solicitude for his passengers.

“No,” Matt answered. “Let’s get back and see if we can repair the taxi.”

When they reached the taxicab, the girl was sitting on a stone near the
machine. Her long tresses had been replaced under the derby hat, and
she looked sufficiently boyish to keep up the deception--so far as the
driver was concerned. Matt passed her with hardly a glance, and helped
the driver make his investigation.

No serious damage had been done to the taxicab. A lamp was smashed, and
some of the electric terminals had been jarred from their posts, but
not a tire had been punctured, and the machine seemed as capable as
ever of taking the road.

If the girl was curious as to the sudden disappearance and reappearance
of the driver, she kept her curiosity to herself. When the driver had
backed the machine into the road and headed it eastward, Matt turned to
the girl.

“Rye is the place we are bound for?” he said tentatively.

She gave him a quick, troubled glance.

“Yes,” she answered.

Probably she was wondering whether he was intending to keep on with the
journey.

“Then,” proceeded Matt, “let’s get inside. We’ve lost a good deal of
time.”

He held the door open and the girl got into the vehicle. He followed
her, after telling the driver to make his best speed.

“The driver had some sort of a fit,” Matt explained, when they were
once more under way, “and fell off the seat. You didn’t see him when he
dropped, did you?”

“If I had,” she answered, somewhat tartly, “I should have spoken about
it.”

“Of course,” returned Matt calmly. “So many peculiar things are
happening, though, that I wasn’t sure but the disappearance of the
driver might have had something to do with your plans.”

“_My_ plans?” she echoed.

“I don’t know whose plans they are, but I suppose, if some one else
laid them, you are pretty well informed or you couldn’t carry them out.
What are we to do when we get to Rye?”

“There will be another automobile there--a fast car--waiting to take us
on along the Boston Post Road.”

“How far?”

“Somewhere between Loon Lake and Stoughton, on the Boston Pike.”

Again Matt was astounded.

“That’s pretty close to Boston, isn’t it?” he inquired.

“It’s a good deal closer to Boston than it is to New York.”

“When do you think we’ll get to--to where we’re going?”

“Some time to-night,” was the careless response.

“You don’t seem to realize,” said Matt, just the barest riffle of
temper showing itself, “that I hadn’t any intention of taking such a
long ride as this when I left the Flatiron Building.”

“Your friend wants you,” said the girl. “If that’s not enough to keep
you on the long ride, then you can get out at Mamaroneck--we’ve already
passed New Rochelle--and take the train back to New York.”

The girl’s indifferent manner puzzled him. She must have seen the
touring car pass the taxicab, and she must have known that Joe McGlory
was in the car. What this had to do with her present attitude, if
anything, Matt could not guess. For all that, he felt positive she did
not think he had seen the touring car dash along the road with McGlory.

“You told me McGlory had left New York ahead of us,” said he.

“That’s what I was told.”

“As a matter of fact, he didn’t leave until after we did, for he passed
us while I was looking for the missing driver.”

She shot a quick look at him.

“You saw that, did you?” she inquired.

“Yes.”

“Then why didn’t you stop the car and find out what Mr. McGlory wanted?”

“The car was going too fast. Besides, I didn’t know my friend was in
the car until it was too far away.”

She laughed softly.

“Then you _do_ have a little confidence in me, after all?”

“Not a bit,” answered Matt, with a little laugh. “For reasons of your
own, I believe you’re going to take me to the place where some one else
is taking McGlory. I don’t know why, but I suppose I’ll find out if I
wait long enough. Anyway, if Joe McGlory is in any sort of trouble, my
place is at his side. And if you try to get away from me before I find
McGlory,” he threatened, “I shall turn you over to the police in one of
these small towns we’re passing through.”

“You couldn’t do that without a legal excuse.”

“Haven’t I a legal excuse? You got me away from New York by telling me
something that wasn’t true.”

“You don’t know, yet, that what I told you isn’t true. I don’t think
you could have me arrested for something that hasn’t happened.”

Some desperate purpose was urging the girl on. What it was, and why it
should be desperate, were beyond Matt’s comprehension.

“You’re a young man with a mission,” said the girl, turning a pair of
frosty blue eyes upon the young fellow beside her, “and the mission is
to get to where we’re going, and find Mr. McGlory. You’ll be a whole
lot wiser after that.”

Matt, in his own mind, did not doubt this statement. But that
reflection in no wise helped him just then.

Presently the girl began peering through the window in the top of the
door, watching the roadside as they scurried along.

“What are you looking for, Miss Granger?” asked Matt, after the girl
had been peering steadily through the glass for several minutes.

“For the other car,” she answered, without looking around.

“You said that was to be waiting for us at Rye.”

“It may have come this way to meet us, and----Ah, stop!” she cried,
lifting her voice. “We’ll get out here, driver.”

The driver was a surprised man as he brought the taxicab to a halt.
It was a lonely piece of road where they had come to a stop, shadowed
deeply, as it was, by a thick growth of trees on either side.

“It’s a mile, yet, before we get to the town,” demurred the driver.

“We’ll stop here,” said the girl decisively.

“I can’t see the other car,” spoke up Matt, looking in vain for the
automobile that was to take them on.

Although he did not see another car, yet his eye was caught and held
by something white fluttering from a bush. While the girl was settling
with the driver, Matt made his way to the roadside and examined the
fluttering object. It was a white cloth, and had evidently been tied to
the bush as a signal.

“Wait a minute!” shouted Matt, as the driver was climbing back into his
seat.

Both the driver and the girl whirled around and stared in his direction.

“I may want to go back to New York in the taxicab,” continued Matt.
“I’d like to talk with you a minute, Mr. Granger,” he added, putting a
little emphasis on the “mister.”

The girl advanced slowly toward him.

“Go back, if you’re afraid to go on and do what your friend wants you
to do,” said she.

“I’m not at all certain,” said Matt, “that I’m doing what my friend
wants me to do. The only reason I’m keeping on with you is because I
saw McGlory pass me in that red touring car. I’d like to ask you, Miss
Granger, if you stopped because you saw this signal,” and Matt turned
and pointed to the white cloth.

“That’s the reason I stopped, Motor Matt,” the girl replied promptly.

“The plans you are following seem to have been laid with a good deal of
care, and to point to something that may prove pretty serious. I think,
Miss Granger, that you and I will go on to Rye, and stop there.”

“I’m not going to stop at Rye,” answered the girl, with spirit.

“I think you will,” answered Matt coolly. “On second thought, I believe
it’s my duty to turn you over to the authorities until I can find out
something more about my chum. You can explain to the judge why you’re
disguised as you are.”

“You don’t mean that!” gasped the girl, starting back.

“I do,” declared Matt. “As I said, I believe it’s my duty, and----”

At that precise juncture, something descended over Matt’s head, thrown
from behind. It might have been a shawl, or an automobile coat, or a
piece of cloth--there was no time to take particular note of it. The
attack came so suddenly, and so unexpectedly, that he was not able to
defend himself.

With his face smothered in the thick folds, he was drawn roughly
backward. A foot tripped him, and he measured his length on the ground.
The next moment he was seized by strong hands and dragged through the
bushes and into the woods. He struggled blindly and fiercely against
his unseen captors, but they were too many of them. He was powerless
to free himself, and the smothering cloth that covered his head and
shoulders made it impossible for him to call for help.



CHAPTER V. HOW MCGLORY WAS FOOLED.


McGlory found his way to the address in Liberty Street without any
difficulty. But he was too early. The Stock Exchange had not yet
opened, and only a few clerks were at work in the brokerage offices of
Random & Griggs.

The cowboy sat down in a room where there were a number of chairs
facing a big blackboard. There were a stepladder and a chair in front
of the blackboard, and off to one side was a machine in a glass case
with a high basket standing under it. A ribbon of paper hung from
the machine into the basket. This, of course, was the “ticker” which
received and recorded the quotations of stocks at the Exchange, but it
was not yet time for it to begin work.

McGlory and Matt were at least an hour too early in setting about their
morning’s business.

While the cowboy sat in his chair in front of the blackboard, wondering
how long he could wait for Random or Griggs and yet be at the Flatiron
Building as per appointment with Matt, a man sauntered in, looked at an
office boy who was just going out with an armful of ticker tape, and
then approached McGlory.

He was the gentleman in the noisy apparel--he of the cigar, and the
newspaper, and the listening ear and scheming brain. He was playing
boldly, for the stakes were worth the risk.

“Young man,” said he to McGlory, “are you waiting for some one?”

“I’m waiting for one of the big high boys that boss the layout,”
answered McGlory.

“Indeed!” The man flashed a quick look around and made sure that only
he and McGlory were in the room. “Well,” he went on, “I am Mr. Random.”

“Fine!” exclaimed the cowboy, getting up. “I’m Joe McGlory, from the
land of sun, sand, solitude, and pay-streaks. I’ve run in here to----”

McGlory got no further. Random grabbed his hand effusively.

“We’ve been expecting you,” said he. “We have a meeting of the
syndicate on Wednesday evening, and a letter from the colonel gives
your name and informs us that you will be on deck with the bullion from
the test run of the mill. If the gold shows up properly, there’s no
doubt about our people coming across with the money. But we can’t talk
here--some one is liable to drop in on us at any moment. This business
is private, very private. Come with me, Mr. McGlory, and I’ll find a
place where we can have a little star-chamber session.”

“I don’t want to tear you away from business,” protested McGlory.

Random waved his hand deprecatingly.

“Griggs will look after the office,” said he. “This ‘Pauper’s Dream’
matter is a big deal to swing, and I guess it’s worth a few hours of my
time. This way.”

Random walked out into Liberty Street, rounded a corner, entered a
door, passed through a barroom, and finally piloted the cowboy into a
small apartment, furnished with two chairs, a table, and an electric
fan.

After he and McGlory had seated themselves, Random pushed an electric
button. A waiter appeared.

“What are you drinking, Mr. McGlory?” inquired Random. “I can recommend
their Scotch highballs, and as for cocktails, they put up a dry Martini
here that goes down like oil, and stirs you up like a torchlight
procession.”

“Elegant!” cackled McGlory. “I reckon, neighbor,” and he cocked up his
eye at the waiter, “that I’ll trouble you for a seltzer lemonade, mixed
with a pickled cherry and the cross-section of a ripe orange.”

“You don’t mean to say that you’re from Arizona, and don’t irrigate!”
gasped Random.

“We irrigate with water, and that’s always been good enough for your
Uncle Joseph. Besides, I’m training with Motor Matt, and our work calls
for a clear brain and a steady hand. Seltzer lemonade for mine.”

“You’ll have a cigar?”

“That’s another thing I miss in the high jump.”

“Give me the same as usual, Jack,” said Random, to the waiter. “You’re
a lad of high principles, I see,” remarked the broker, when the waiter
had retired.

“It’s a matter of business, rather than of principle. Whenever an
_hombre_ gets his trouble appetite worked up, the first thing he
does is to take on a cargo of red-eye. That points him straight for
fireworks and fatalities.”

“I don’t know but you’re right,” said Random reflectively.

The waiter returned, and Random mixed himself something while McGlory
fished around in his lemonade for the “pickled” cherry. Over their
glasses they talked at some length, the broker seeking information
about the section of Arizona where the colonel had begun operations on
the “Pauper’s Dream.”

“What time is it, Mr. Random?” asked McGlory, in the midst of their
talk.

“Just ten,” replied Random, with a look at his watch.

“Sufferin’ schedules!” cried the cowboy, starting up. “I’m to meet Pard
Matt at ten, at the Flatiron Building. On my way there, I’ve got to
drop in at the bank.”

“Why are you to call at the bank?” asked Random.

“To find out whether the bullion has got here, and to show them my
order for it from the colonel.”

“You have the order with you?”

“Sure thing. Just got it this morning.”

“It won’t be necessary for you to go to the bank, Mr. McGlory,” said
Random. “I’ve been there, myself, and I know the bullion has arrived.
As for showing the order, you won’t have to do that until you take out
the gold, on Wednesday.”

“Wouldn’t it be a good scheme to get acquainted with the bank men?”

“Not at all! If they doubt your authority to receive the bullion, in
spite of the colonel’s order, a word from me will make everything all
right. I believe I will go with you to the Flatiron Building. I’ve
heard of this Motor Matt, and should like to meet him.”

McGlory wondered a little at the cheerful way in which Random left
Griggs to look after the brokerage business; at the same time, the
cowboy felt not a little flattered to have Random neglect his personal
affairs for the purpose of meeting Matt.

A cab carried them to the Flatiron Building, and Random waited on the
walk while McGlory went bushwhacking for Matt. But Matt wasn’t in
evidence.

“Perhaps he got tired waiting for you,” suggested Random, “and went
away?”

“Nary, he wouldn’t,” returned the puzzled McGlory, “I reckon he’s
talking with an aviator, upstairs, and has lost track of the time. I’ll
go find Lafitte, and, ten to one, my pard will be with him. Wait here
for a brace of shakes, Mr. Random, and----”

Just then a man pushed forward from the entrance to the cigar store.
The man wore a cap and gloves, and looked like a chauffeur.

“I beg your pardon,” said he, addressing McGlory, “but are you Motor
Matt’s chum?”

“That’s me,” answered the cowboy.

“McGlory’s your name, isn’t it?”

“Joe McGlory, that’s the label.”

“Well, Motor Matt had a hurry-up call into the country. It’s a long
ride, and he went by automobile. He wants you to follow him, and he
hired me to wait for you and then take you after him. That’s my chug
cart,” and the man pointed to a red touring car at the curb.

“Speak to me about this!” cried McGlory. “What’s to pay? Do you know?”

“Motor Matt didn’t say. All he wanted was for me to follow him with you
in my car.”

“I’ll bet a bushel of Mexican dollars it has something to do with
Lafitte,” hazarded the cowboy. “Of course, I’ll go. Mr. Random,” and he
turned to the broker, “I’m sorry you couldn’t meet up with my pard, but
I’ll bring him around to your office Wednesday.”

“Just a minute, Mr. McGlory,” and the broker took the cowboy’s hand and
drew him to one side. “I don’t like the looks of this thing,” he went
on, in a low tone.

“How’s that?” asked McGlory, surprised.

“I don’t know, but I’ve got a presentiment that something’s wrong.”

“There’s something unexpected happened to Pard Matt,” said McGlory, “or
he wouldn’t have piked off like this. But his orders are clear enough.
I’m to follow him, so it’s me for the country.”

“Perhaps,” and Random wrinkled his brows, “this has something to do
with the ‘Pauper’s Dream.’”

McGlory laughed incredulously.

“I can’t see how,” he answered.

“Neither can I, but it’s possible, all the same. We’re to get a good
fat commission for placing that property, and I don’t intend to let the
commission slip through my fingers.”

“It’s a cinch, Mr. Random, that you’re barking up the wrong tree. This
business of Matt’s has more to do with flying machines than with mines,
and I’ll bet my moccasins on it.”

“If you haven’t any objections, Mr. McGlory, I’d like to ride with you
and make sure.”

“The shuffer says it’s a long trip.”

“I don’t care how long it is, just so I can assure myself that nothing
is going crossways with the ‘Pauper’s Dream.’”

“All right, neighbor. If that’s how you feel about it, you’re welcome
to one corner of the bubble-wagon.”

The three of them climbed into the touring car, Random in front with
the driver, and McGlory in the tonneau. As soon as they were seated,
the car began working its way through the crowded streets toward a
section less congested with traffic. As the way cleared, the speed
increased. Once on the Pelham Road, the chauffeur “hit ’er up,” and the
red car devoured the miles in a way that brought joy to McGlory’s soul.

When they passed a taxicab, with its nose rammed into a stone fence,
the chauffeur remarked that the taxi was a good ways from home. Mr.
Random looked thoughtful, but he made no request that the red car
slacken its speed. McGlory saw a young fellow sitting on a bowlder,
but the spectacle afforded by the taxicab and the supposed youth meant
nothing to him. His mind was circling about Motor Matt.



CHAPTER VI. ON THE BOSTON PIKE.


Motor Matt, helpless and half stifled among the bushes, felt lashings
being put on his arms and legs; then, while some one laid a hand on
the cloth and pressed it tightly over his lips, a bit of conversation
was wafted to him from the road. Because of the smothering cloth, the
voices seemed to come from a great distance, although the spoken words
were distinct enough.

“What’re you tryin’ to do with that chap?”

This was the driver of the taxicab. His curiosity, as was quite
natural, had been aroused by the treacherous attack on Matt.

“That’s all right, my friend,” replied a voice--a voice Matt had not
heard before.

“Maybe it’s all right, but it looks mighty crooked to me. Two of you
threw a cloth over that chap’s head, downed him, an’ dragged him
into the brush. I got a warm notion of goin’ on to Rye and gettin’ a
constable.”

The other man laughed.

“You’d be making a fool of yourself, if you did. I’m from Matteawan,
and the young fellow is an escaped lunatic. He’s a desperate chap to
deal with, and we had to take him by surprise in order to capture him.”

A long whistle followed those words.

“Great Scott! Say, he didn’t look like he was dippy.”

“Some of ’em never look the part--until they find you’re after ’em.”

“Why didn’t you nab him in New York, instead o’ bringin’ him ’way out
here?”

“He’s armed, and he’d have put up a fight. In a crowded street, some
one would have been hurt. It was better to lure him off here, into the
country.”

“I guess you know your business. Who’s the other young chap?”

“He’s the lunatic’s brother.”

“I see.”

“You needn’t say anything about this, driver. The family wouldn’t like
to have it known. You’ve been put to a little extra trouble, and here’s
a ten to make up for it.”

“That’s han’some, an’ I’m obliged to you.”

It can be imagined, perhaps, what Matt’s feelings were as he listened
to this. He tried frantically to burst the cords that secured his arms,
but the tying had been too securely done. He made an attempt, too, to
call out and inform the driver of the taxicab that the tale he was
listening to was false, but the hand over his face pressed the cloth
more firmly down upon his lips.

Resigning himself to the situation, Matt listened while the purr of a
motor came to his ears and died away in the direction of New York. A
friend who might have saved him was gone, and Matt was completely at
the mercy of his captors.

Some one came through the bushes; there were two of them, it seemed,
and they talked as they approached.

“I was up in the air when I heard Motor Matt say he was to stop at
Rye,” said the voice that had talked with the taxi driver. “What was
the matter, Pearl?”

It was the girl who answered, and she told briefly how the driver
had fallen from the seat of the taxicab, how Matt had discovered her
disguise, and how his suspicions had been aroused.

“I was up in the air myself, dad,” finished the girl, drawing a deep
breath of relief. “But we’re all right, now. The way you pulled the
wool over the eyes of that taxicab man was splendid.”

“Doing the right thing at the right time, Pearl, is your father’s long
suit. Where were you when Tibbits went past in the red car?”

“Sitting on a stone at the roadside.”

“Where was Motor Matt?”

“Back along the road in the brush, looking for the driver.”

“And those in the red car never saw him!”

“No, but he saw them and recognized McGlory.”

“Oh, well, this is our day for luck, and no mistake. Watch the road,
Pearl, while we’re getting out our own car. We don’t want to be seen
lifting a bound man into it.”

“I’ll watch,” the girl answered.

Matt was still further impressed with the comprehensive nature of the
plans launched against him and McGlory. Three motor cars had been used
in the game, and there must be at least four men in the plot besides
the girl. But what was the purpose of the plotters? What end were they
seeking to gain by all this high-handed, criminal work?

From off to the left Matt could hear the pounding of a motor as it
took up its cycle. After the engine had settled into a steady hum, the
crunching of the bushes indicated that a heavy car was being forced
through them into the road.

“All right, Dimmock!” called a voice.

“Is the road clear, Sanders?” answered Dimmock.

“There’s not a soul in sight.”

“Then come here and help me. We’ll take this coat from Motor Matt’s
head and replace it with a gag--a twisted handkerchief will do. The
quicker we can get him into the car, now, the better.”

The next moment the smothering cloth was jerked from Matt’s head and
shoulders. He had just time to gulp down a deep breath of air when the
twisted handkerchief was forced between his teeth and knotted in place.

He saw a slender, wiry man, soberly but richly dressed, and another,
short, thick-set, and wearing a long dust coat and cap.

“Take him by the feet, Sanders,” said the slender man, who, from this,
Matt knew to be Dimmock.

Between them Matt was lifted, carried out to the road, and shoved into
the tonneau of a touring car, while the girl held the door open. There
was a top to the car, and Matt was made to sit on the floor and lean
back against the seat.

By every means in his power Matt tried to let his captors know that he
wanted to talk with them, but they either could not understand him, or
else had no intention of letting him relieve his mind. The girl and
Dimmock seated themselves on either side of Matt, and the same coat
that had been used in effecting Matt’s capture was dropped over him.

In this manner the strange party started away along the road, the
prisoner unable to see anything of the route they were taking.

Matt was sensible of the swiftness of their flight, and of the driver’s
perfect mastery of the machine. The explosion in the cylinders was
unfailing, the mixture of air and gasoline was perfect, and the coils
hummed their beautiful rhythm to the well-timed spark.

Gradually there was forming, in Matt’s mind, an idea that these
desperate plotters had made some huge mistake. He could not account, in
any other way, for the execution of such a plan as they were carrying
out.

He and McGlory were not being kidnapped to be held for ransom. Such an
idea was preposterous. Matt had no relatives, so far as he knew, rich
or poor; and neither had McGlory.

Yes, Matt was sure that Dimmock, and his daughter, and Tibbits, the
man who had dashed past with McGlory in the red car, were blundering
in some way. At the end of the journey, wherever that might be, the
mistake must be discovered, and the motor boys would be released.

The point that troubled Matt a little was the fact that his cowboy pard
was not a prisoner. He appeared to be traveling in the red car of his
own free will. Was that because he had been lured away, and had not yet
had his suspicions aroused?

There was little talk between Dimmock and his daughter, and Sanders
was attending strictly to his driving. Now and then, however, a word
was dropped as the car slowed down which gave Matt an inkling as to the
course they were taking.

“Stamford,” and “Bridgeport” were on the line of their flight, and
this proved conclusively that they were proceeding in the direction of
Boston.

The day was warm, and Matt, crouched uncomfortably under the coat, was
having anything but an enjoyable ride. By twisting about, however, he
managed to give some relief to his cramped limbs.

Hour after hour the car swept on. Once they halted at a filling station
to replenish their supply of gasoline, but the man in charge of the
supply tank was kept adroitly in ignorance of the fact that there was a
prisoner in the tonneau.

By degrees a numbness crept along Matt’s limbs, and a drowsiness
enwrapped his brain. He slept, in spite of his many discomforts, and
was awakened, finally, by a rattle from somewhere forward of the
tonneau.

The car was at a stop.

“What was the trouble, Sanders?” called the voice of Dimmock.

“Nothing much,” answered Sanders. “It’s fixed now.”

“Why not let Motor Matt sit up here on the seat between us?” suggested
the girl. “It’s so dark no one could see him--even if we happened to be
passed by another car.”

“We might as well give him a little comfort, I suppose,” answered
Dimmock.

Thereupon the coat was pulled away, and Matt found that it was night.
Dimmock reached down and helped him up on the seat.

“We’re doing this for your comfort, Motor Matt,” said Dimmock. “I hope
you’ll appreciate it, and not try to make any trouble for us.”

Matt moved his cramped joints and stretched his legs the full width of
the tonneau. There were shadowy bluffs on each side of the road, and a
tracery of boughs lay against the lighter background of sky. From the
fragrant odor, Matt gathered that they were in the depths of a pine
forest. He gurgled ineffectively behind the gag.

“He wants to talk, dad,” said the girl. “Why not let him? If any one
comes you can prevent him from calling out.”

“You’ve got too much heart, girl, for this kind of work,” returned
Dimmock. Nevertheless, he fumbled with the knots at the back of Matt’s
head, and removed the handkerchief.



CHAPTER VII. THE JOURNEY’S END.


Matt inhaled deep breaths of the pine-scented air. The ozone held tonic
properties and freshened him wonderfully.

“It’s been a long time since I had breakfast, Mr. Dimmock,” were his
first words.

“You’ve skipped dinner,” returned Dimmock, evidently pleased to note
that the prisoner was taking recent events in such a matter-of-fact
way, “but you’ll have a fine supper to make up for it. In less than an
hour from now we’ll be where we’re going.”

Sanders cranked up, climbed into his seat, and the car moved on through
the forest aisle, the searchlights boring bright holes in the dark.

“Where is the journey’s end to be?” inquired Matt.

“Somewhere between Loon Lake and Stoughton. That’s all you’re to know.”

“This is the Boston Pike?”

“We’ve been traveling the Boston Pike for a long time--but I guess that
knowledge won’t help you much if you ever wanted to find the house
again.”

“We’re about due at Matteawan, aren’t we?”

Dimmock laughed at that, and the laugh was echoed by the girl.

“I had to tell the taxicab driver something,” said Dimmock.

“This is quite a plot you’re working out,” pursued Matt.

“It was rather hastily evolved by Tibbits, but it seems to be doing the
work.”

“Tibbits, if I’ve got it right, is the man with McGlory?”

“You’ve got it right.”

“Did you bring my chum from Liberty Street?”

“Of course, Motor Matt, I hadn’t anything to do with that part of it.
Pearl and Sanders and I were to look after you.”

“How did you happen to be hidden away on the Boston Post Road?”

“We thought that was safer than to meet you at Rye.”

Dimmock had a complaisant air--entirely the air of a man whose plans
are succeeding, and with ultimate victory assured.

“What was the use of all this juggling with taxicabs and touring cars?”
continued Matt.

He was groping for information, in order to lead up to the announcement
that Tibbits, Dimmock, and the rest were having their trouble for their
pains.

“You see,” explained Dimmock, “it was easier for Pearl to work alone,
and pretend to be a messenger for the brokers. If Sanders and I had
been along, you’d have suspected something.”

“I suspected something, anyhow, and if you hadn’t resorted to violence,
back there on the road, your daughter would have been held in the Rye
police station until I could have learned more about what was going on.”

“Which shows our wisdom in waiting for you on the other side of Rye,”
commented Dimmock.

“What’s back of all this, Dimmock?” demanded Matt.

“You’ll find that out later,” was the reply. “Tibbits is at the head of
this little conspiracy, and most of the talking must be left for him.”

“How did you know I was to meet my chum at the Flatiron Building at ten
o’clock?”

“That’s something else you’ll have to learn from Tibbits.”

“Do you know how Tibbits got McGlory to take his ride into the country?”

“Just as we got you, if the business worked out according to plan. You
were told that your chum wanted you, and McGlory was told that you
wanted him. That seemed to be enough,” and Dimmock laughed under his
breath.

“There’s been a mistake, Dimmock,” said Matt earnestly.

“Not on our side,” answered Dimmock.

“Ever since ten o’clock this morning you and your pals have played fast
and loose with the law, and you’re under a delusion of some sort.”

“You’re the one who is under a delusion.”

“I believe you’ll find out differently. I feel so sure of that, that
I’m perfectly willing to go with you to the end of the journey. The
facts will come out, at that time.”

“They will,” said Dimmock, with emphasis.

“My mission is to find my chum----”

“You’ll have fulfilled your mission when we get to where we’re going.”

“McGlory will be there?”

“Yes.”

“That’s all I can ask. Take these ropes off me, can’t you? I’m too
anxious to find McGlory to try to get away.”

“The ropes won’t be removed until we reach the house.”

“What’s to be done at the house?”

“Nothing to your physical harm. You and McGlory will be entertained
there for a few days. You’ll be able to eat, drink, and enjoy
yourselves--within certain prescribed limits.”

“But we can’t do that!” cried Matt, suddenly remembering that his chum
had to be back in New York by Wednesday afternoon.

“You’ll have to stay at the house,” was the decided answer.

“Why? What’s the reason?”

“I have talked all I’m going to about the whys and wherefores.
Whatever else you learn you’ll have to get from Tibbits.”

Matt relapsed into silence, while the car continued to speed along the
gloomy, tree-bordered road, following the long shafts of light like a
phantom locomotive on gleaming rails.

Suddenly there was a lessening of the speed, a swerve to the right,
a quick stop, and the touring car was nosing a big iron gate, hung
between square brick pillars.

“Here we are,” said Sanders.

“See if the gates are locked, Sanders,” ordered Dimmock. “They
shouldn’t be. Tibbits said he would leave them unfastened.”

Matt leaned forward to watch the glow from the searchlights as it
played over the massive iron work, penetrated the heavy bars, and lost
itself in a dense mass of trees and shrubbery beyond.

The gates were not fastened, and Sanders pushed them wide. After
running the car into the yard, the driver left it standing on a
graveled drive while he returned to close the gates, and lock them.

“What sort of a place is this, Dimmock?” asked Matt, peering around,
but seeing little, except the heavy shadows cast by trees and bushes.

“It’s a fine old place,” replied Dimmock, “and you and your chum should
feel highly flattered at being entertained here. The family, as it
fortunately happens for Tibbits and the rest of us, are in Europe this
summer.”

“Then you haven’t any right here?”

“We have borrowed the use of the house. Tibbits has the run of the
place, and we’re here by his invitation.”

Sanders got back and started the car slowly. The gravel road wound
through the trees, and finally the searchlights flashed out upon the
front of a large mansion. The great house was silhouetted against the
sky, and the car lights swept the front door as the machine turned and
halted at the broad front steps.

A glow appeared suddenly in the fanlight over the door. Sanders gave
three quick, sharp blasts of the horn. This seemed to be a signal, for
the door opened as if by magic, and a man showed darkly in the entrance.

“That you, Dimmock?” called the man.

“Who else could it be, Tibbits?” answered Dimmock. “Did you get here
safely with McGlory?”

“Yes. And you? Have you got Motor Matt?”

“We have.”

An exclamation of satisfaction fell from Tibbits’ lips.

“I was afraid Pearl had had trouble,” said he. “We passed her on the
road, sitting beside a taxicab that had run head-on into a stone wall.
Motor Matt was nowhere in sight, and I thought he had suspected that
something was wrong, and had escaped. I didn’t dare stop and ask any
questions, you see, because McGlory was with us.”

“We came near having a streak of hard luck there, Tibbits, but we
pulled through all right. What shall we do with Motor Matt?”

“Bring him in, of course. His chum’s anxious to see him, and I suppose
he’s equally anxious to see McGlory.”

“He’s tied,” said Dimmock.

“Then untie him. He won’t get away.”

Tibbits pulled something from his pocket that flashed in the lamplight.

“I’ll keep him under the point of this,” Tibbits went on, “until he
gets where I want him to go.”

Sanders, standing on the footboard of the car, leaned into the tonneau
and helped Dimmock remove the cords that bound Matt’s arms and legs.
When the cords were removed, Matt tried to stand, but tottered back
upon the seat.

“Pretty rough treatment you’ve had, eh?” laughed Dimmock. “Well, you’ll
be entertained so royally here, Motor Matt, that you’ll forget all the
unpleasant things that have happened to you.”

In a few moments, Matt was able to climb out of the tonneau. Tibbits’
revolver was leveled at him the instant he dropped down from the
footboards.

“Walk straight up the steps, Motor Matt,” ordered Tibbits, “and on into
the house. I’ll follow and tell you which way to go. Be nice about it,
and nothing will happen.”

Matt mounted the steps. Tibbits backed to one side, to let him pass,
and the hall light shone over his face. Matt looked at him sharply. The
man was a stranger, and he was positive he had never seen him before.
This was another fact to clinch Matt’s theory that Tibbits and his pals
were making a mistake.

Up the steps, through the great doors, and into a richly furnished hall
Matt passed, Tibbits, still with the revolver aimed, following him
closely.

“Keep straight on along the hall,” ordered Tibbits.

Matt kept on. The musty, close odor of a house, long shut up, assailed
his nostrils, and offered proof that Dimmock had told the truth when he
asserted that the family were in Europe.

“That door on the right,” said Tibbits. “Go in there.”

Matt opened the door. As he closed it behind him he heard the rasp of a
key in the lock, and the “click” of a thrown bolt.

“Pard!” came an overjoyed yell.

The next moment Matt was caught and given a bear’s hug.

“Joe!” exclaimed the delighted Matt.

“Sure, it’s Joe,” whooped the cowboy. “What’s going on here, anyhow?
What do you want me for?”



CHAPTER VIII. CHUMS IN COUNCIL.


McGlory was under the impression that Matt had sent for him. In spite
of the strange proceedings through which the cowboy had passed, he
still believed that Tibbits had brought him on that long ride according
to the wishes of his friend. Even the locking of the door, after Matt
had entered the room, did not appear to have aroused any suspicions in
McGlory’s mind.

Matt looked around. He was in a large room, lined with bookcases. At
one end of the apartment was a magnificent fireplace. A thick carpet,
that gave one the impression of walking on down, covered the floor.
White busts looked out from niches in the wall, and comfortable chairs
were scattered around. A light, suspended from the ceiling, cast a warm
glow over the room, and over a table, heaped with food, and set with
places for two.

“I’ve been waiting here for an hour,” grumbled McGlory. “Where have you
been, pard, and what sort of a layout is this that you’ve brought me
into?”

Matt removed his hat and threw it upon a couch; then, seating himself
in a chair, he began rubbing his hands and arms and staring at his chum.

“What’s the trouble with you, pard?” asked McGlory. “You act as though
you were in a trance.”

“I am,” returned Matt. “I’m hardly able to credit my senses. In the
first place, Joe, I never sent for you and asked you to come here.”

The cowboy gave a jump.

“Why, the driver of that red car told me----”

“I guess he told you what some one else told me. I was informed that
you had come into the country with Mr. Random, of Random & Griggs, and
that you wanted me to follow you. That’s why I’m here.”

McGlory slumped into a chair, and brushed a hand across his forehead.

“Sufferin’ brain twisters!” he muttered. “I came out here to find you,
and you came out here to find me!”

“And here we are,” laughed Matt.

“And what are we here for?” gasped McGlory.

“Give it up. But I think somebody has made a big mistake, and that
they’re going to find it out before they’re many hours older. If that’s
our supper on the table, suppose we get busy with it. I haven’t had
anything to eat since morning.”

“I had dinner in Bridgeport,” said McGlory. “I was mighty well treated,
I’ll say that--and that only makes it harder for me to understand
what’s in the wind. I don’t think any one would run away with us just
for the fun of the thing.”

“It would be more of a joke on the other fellows than it would on us,”
averred Matt, moving to the table and taking a seat. “How long has this
supper been here, Joe?”

“About half an hour,” returned the cowboy, taking a chair opposite his
chum. “Random is here,” he said suddenly.

“Random, of Random & Griggs?” inquired Matt, showing some surprise.

“What other Random could it be?”

Matt helped himself to a cold roast beef sandwich and a glass of
lemonade.

“Tell me what happened to you, Joe,” said he. “I can eat and listen
at the same time. Besides, I guess I’m hungrier than you are. You had
dinner, and I didn’t.”

McGlory told of his call at the Liberty Street office, of meeting
Random, of his talk with Random in the restaurant, of Random’s going
with him to the Flatiron Building, of the failure to find Matt, and of
the yarn told by the driver of the red car.

“We came through the country lickety-whoop,” the cowboy finished, “but
it was the longest kind of a ride, and I wondered what in Sam Hill you
were doing ’way over in Massachusetts. It was after sundown when we got
to this place. Some one met the driver of the red car at the door, and
said that Motor Matt hadn’t come yet, and that we were to wait for him.
Random and I came into this room. By and by, a servant began to spread
the table for chuck-pile, but layin’ covers for only two. I guessed a
little about that, and asked the servant who he was intending to leave
out, Random or Motor Matt. It was orders, he said, and that was all he
knew about it.

“After a while, Random got up, told me to wait, and said he would try
and find some one who could tell him something. Next thing I know,
_you_ walk in on me, and the door is locked behind you. Speak to me
about this! Where’s Random?”

“The man’s name isn’t Random, Joe,” said Matt, “but Tibbits.”

“Tibbits?” echoed McGlory blankly. “But he met me at Random’s office.”

“That may be, but he’s Tibbits, just the same.”

“If he’s Tibbits, why did he tell me his label was Random?”

“Because that was part of the plot. By posing as Random, Tibbits knew
he would have a lot more influence over you. He kept you from going to
the bank, he accompanied you to the Flatiron Building, and he came out
here with you. He might not have been able to do all that if you had
known he wasn’t Random, and that he wasn’t interested in the ‘Pauper’s
Dream.’”

The cowboy scowled, and drummed his fingers on the table. Matt helped
himself to a piece of pie, and another glass of lemonade.

“Can’t you choke off, pard,” begged the cowboy, “and tell me how they
played tag with you? Sufferin’ tenterhooks, but this business has got
me all at sea.”

“I’m at sea, too,” said Matt, “but we’re pretty comfortable, so far,
and I guess we can wait a little for the thing to work itself out.
That’s the way with most mysteries. If you leave them alone they’ll
solve themselves.”

“What happened to you? Bat it up to me!”

Matt recounted the manner in which he had been beguiled into the open
country by the supposed messenger; and he told about the accident to
the taxicab, the revelation that the supposed youth was a girl, the
finding of the driver, the passing of the red touring car with McGlory
in the tonneau, the work of Dimmock and Sanders, a mile west of Rye,
and the journey through Connecticut and into Massachusetts, finishing
with his meeting with McGlory.

The cowboy listened, spellbound.

“You’ve had the hot end of this, so far, pard,” said he, “and no
mistake. But wouldn’t the whole game just naturally rattle your spurs?
What’s the good of it? How are Tibbits, Dimmock, and the rest going to
make anything by their work?”

“That’s where I’m muddled, too,” acknowledged Matt, drawing away from
the table and resuming his easy-chair. “I think, Joe, that Tibbits, who
seems to have been the one that planned this thing, has made an error.”

“That he’s bobbled, and thinks we’re some other fellows?”

“Not that, exactly, for they appear to know a whole lot about us, and
our business. Where they’ve made their mistake, it strikes me, is in
thinking that we’re mixed up in some affair we don’t know anything
about. If that’s the case, then the fact will come out, before very
long. All we’ve got to do is to wait until Tibbits comes for a talk
with us.”

“I’m hanged if I want to wait!” fumed McGlory. “They’ve fooled us,
they’ve got us here, and I’m a Piute if I’m going to stay!”

Jumping up, he ran to one of the two windows of the room. Pushing back
the heavy hangings, he raised the lower sash. As he did so, a voice
called up from the darkness outside:

“Git back in there, an’ close the winder! If ye don’t, I’ll shoot.”

The cowboy appeared dashed.

“You might have expected that, Joe,” laughed Matt. “You didn’t think,
did you, that Tibbits would go to all this trouble and then leave us
free to leave the house if we wanted to?”

McGlory closed the window and returned dazedly to his chair.

“Sufferin’ poorhouses!” he mumbled. “I reckon they think we’re
millionaires in disguise, and that our folks will hand over a lot of
money to ransom us. The laugh’s on them, and no mistake.”

“Let’s take things easy,” advised Matt, “until we can learn more about
the game the gang are playing.”

As Matt finished, the key rattled in the lock, the door was pushed
open, and Tibbits entered. He had some wearing apparel thrown over his
arm, and dropped it the moment he was inside the room. The door was
closed behind him, by unseen hands, and again locked.

With an angry exclamation, McGlory sprang to his feet and started
toward Tibbits. The latter, with a quick movement, brought out the
weapon which Matt had already become acquainted with.

“Steady,” warned Tibbits, smiling, but none the less determined. “Let’s
all be nice and comfortable,” he begged, “and no harm will be done.
You lads are my guests. Consider yourselves so, and we’ll get along
swimmingly. It was a cold supper I provided, but it was the best I
could do, under the circumstances. If you----”

“See here, you!” shouted McGlory. “Tell me whether your name is Tibbits
or Random.”

“Tibbits,” was the reply.

“And you haven’t anything to do with that brokerage firm in Liberty
Street?”

“Not a thing. The first time I was ever there was this morning.”

“What did you----”

“If you’ll give me a chance, McGlory,” interposed Tibbits, “I’ll
explain everything to the complete satisfaction of Motor Matt and
yourself.”

“‘Complete satisfaction!’” muttered McGlory. “That means you’re to fill
a pretty big order. But go ahead, Tibbits, and let’s find out where we
stand.”



CHAPTER IX. A DARING PLOT.


“Let me assure you, in the first place,” said Tibbits, still keeping
his revolver prominently displayed, “that no harm is intended either of
you lads. You are to remain here in these comfortable surroundings for
a week. At the end of that time you will be released, and can make your
way back to New York.”

“Guess again about that,” spoke up the cowboy. “There are important
doings for me in New York Wednesday, and we’ll have to tear ourselves
away from you by to-morrow afternoon, at the latest.”

“You’ve got to stay here a week,” insisted Tibbits.

“You don’t understand,” went on McGlory. “There’s a meeting at the
office of Random & Griggs Wednesday evening, and I’ve just got to be
there. That’s all there is to it.”

Tibbits fixed his glittering eyes on McGlory for a moment.

“That excuse won’t do,” said he. “You can’t make up a yarn like that
out of whole cloth, and expect me to swallow it.”

“Sufferin’ blockheads!” grunted McGlory. “There, read that.”

Jerking the colonel’s letter from his pocket, McGlory tossed it to
Tibbits.

The latter removed the two folded sheets from the envelope. After
glancing at one, he stooped down and pushed it under the door. The
paper was caught and drawn from sight by some one in the hall.

“The order for the bullion!” called Tibbits. “Got it, Dimmock?”

“Yes,” answered Dimmock, from the other side of the door.

Tibbits placed the other sheet in the envelope and flipped it back to
McGlory.

“Much obliged,” said Tibbits. “It’s hardly necessary to read the letter
from the colonel. I heard Motor Matt read it aloud to you in the hotel,
this morning.”

Both boys were dazed by the light that suddenly dawned upon them.

“You blamed tinhorn,” cried McGlory, “are you making a play to get hold
of those two bars of bullion?”

“And you never thought of it!” laughed Tibbits. “What else did you
suppose we were going to all this trouble for? You wanted to call at
the bank, and I didn’t want you to. If you had gone there, the bank
officials would have seen you. That would have made it difficult for
me to palm off another Joe McGlory in your place. I am obliged to you
for giving up the order for the bullion with so little persuasion on my
part.”

The cowboy’s wrath was so great that he fairly hopped up and down.

“You think you’re going to get away with this,” he shouted, “but you’ll
be fooled. You’re nothing more than just a common thief, eh? And you
live in a place like this!” The cowboy looked around the room.

“I don’t live here--not regularly,” said Tibbits. “My uncle lives
here, and I’m taking care of the place while he and his family are in
Germany.” A sly leer accompanied the words. “It was only by chance that
I happened to be in the hotel, this morning, and also by chance that I
overheard Motor Matt reading that letter from Arizona. It looked like a
fine opportunity to get hold of some easy money. I’m a black sheep. My
uncle, who owns this place, thinks I’ve reformed, but he’s mistaken.
When opportunity knocks at my door, she finds me hospitable. How long
did it take me to find Dimmock after I learned the contents of that
letter, discovered what Joe McGlory was going to do, and where he was
to meet Motor Matt after he had done it? Just fifteen minutes, by the
watch. Dimmock--his real name is not that--is a gentleman of fallen
fortunes. Wall Street ruined him. He was as anxious as I to pick up a
little ready money, and he and Pearl entered heartily into the spirit
of the adventure. Dimmock knew Sanders. In happier days, Sanders used
to be Dimmock’s chauffeur. I left Dimmock, Pearl, and Sanders to take
care of Motor Matt, while I gave my attention to McGlory. I had to have
a car and a chauffeur, but I knew where to find them. Pearl is to play
the rôle of Joe McGlory, and I’ve a lad for the part of Motor Matt.
They will dress themselves in your clothes, call at the Merchants’
& Miners’ with the order, and get the bullion. They’ll not have any
trouble. The colonel has written the bank telling the cashier to hand
over the gold when McGlory comes for it with his written order. It will
be easy. Dimmock and I will clean up nine thousand dollars, net, divide
it equally, then leave for parts unknown. You boys will be kept here
for a week, and then released. Dimmock, Pearl, and I will be out of the
way, long before that time. Rather clever, I call all that. Don’t you?”

Certainly there was a fiendish cunning in it all, but it was not the
sort of “cleverness” that appealed to the motor boys. They were awed
by the very audacity of the scheme, and by the facility with which
the rest of the plot could be carried out. Simply by keeping Matt and
McGlory cooped up in that house, Tibbits could have Dimmock’s daughter
and some one else play the parts of the motor boys and secure the gold.

“You’re one of these tinhorns, Tibbits,” observed the cowboy, “who’d
stand up a stage or snake a game of faro.”

“I’m not taking any money out of _your_ pocket,” said Tibbits.

“You’re robbing me of a fortune! If that gold isn’t produced at the
meeting in Random & Griggs’ office, the deal for the ‘Pauper’s Dream’
mine may fall through. I’ve got a hundred shares of stock in the
‘Pauper’s Dream.’”

“The deal won’t fall through just because the two bars of bullion have
been taken,” asserted Tibbits, “that is, not if Random & Griggs’ men
really mean business.”

“You don’t know anything about that, Tibbits,” put in Matt. “But, no
matter whether the deal falls through or not, you needn’t think that
McGlory is going to agree to let you do what you have planned with that
bullion.”

“What will McGlory do?” chuckled Tibbits; “what _can_ he do? You boys
are safely bottled up here. Dimmock and I and Pearl and the other young
fellow go back to New York to-night. Some time to-morrow, before the
bank closes, we will have secured the bullion. You boys will be here,
and the rest of us will be--where you can never find us.”

“It’s a pretty small stake to run such a risk for,” said Matt.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” said Tibbits coolly. “But time presses.
There”--and Tibbits pointed to the clothes he had brought into the
library--“is something for you lads to put on. I’ll take the garments
you’re wearing now, if you please.”

“You’ll _take_ ’em, all right,” answered McGlory defiantly, “if you get
’em at all.”

“Come, come,” continued Tibbits impatiently. “I have men enough to take
the clothes by force, but I don’t want to get them that way. Strip!”

Neither Matt nor McGlory made any move to obey the command.

“Oh, well,” observed Tibbits, “if you’re going to force a rough and
tumble, that’s your lookout. Dimmock!” he called.

“What is it, Tibbits?” came Dimmock’s voice from the hall.

“Come in, and bring Sanders and Riley.”

“Wait a minute,” called Matt. With four armed men against him and
McGlory, Matt saw the futility of resistance. “We’ll give you our
clothes, Tibbits, but under protest.”

“I’ll put the protest on file,” grinned Tibbits. “Never mind bringing
Sanders and Riley, Dimmock,” he shouted.

“I’m going to fight this out,” flared McGlory. “If they get my clothes,
they’ll get ’em in rags. What’s the good of taking ’em, anyhow? The
bank folks have never seen either of us, Matt--Tibbits took precious
good care they shouldn’t see me.”

“As for that,” said Tibbits, “we want all the corroborative detail we
can give the rôles Pearl and the young fellow are to play.”

Matt stepped over to McGlory.

“It won’t do any good to hang out, Joe,” he counseled, in a low voice.
“They’re too many for us. Let them go ahead with their plan--we can’t
stop that part of it--but there may be something else we can do.”

“They’ve treated us like a couple of wooden Indians,” sputtered the
cowboy, “and----”

“And we’ve acted like a couple,” finished Matt. “Why, we never guessed
what their scheme was until Tibbits told us. Take everything out of
your pockets, and let them have your clothes. I’m going to do the same.”

With that, he began stripping his pockets of personal property and
laying it on the table. McGlory followed suit. Then coats, trousers,
and hats were thrown in a heap, and the boys got into the garments
Tibbits had brought.

In point of quality, the clothes the boys now put on were far and away
better than the ones they had taken off. And the fit of them, too, was
passably good; but it chanced that McGlory’s outfit was a full dress
suit, and Matt’s was a Norfolk jacket outfit--a get-up he cordially
detested.

Tibbits remained until the boys were decked out in their borrowed gear.

“I didn’t use much discrimination, in McGlory’s case, and that’s a
fact,” said Tibbits, with a laugh, “but I brought what I could find
in uncle’s wardrobe that looked as though it would fit. I trust,” he
added, with a regret that was undoubtedly feigned, “that you lads won’t
cherish any hard feelings?”

“We’ll do all we can to block you,” answered McGlory, “and will be
tickled to death to see you behind the bars. That’s the way we stack
up.”

“You can’t get out of here, remember that,” proceeded Tibbits, the
clothes over one arm. “Try the windows, and you’ll stop a bullet; break
down the door, and you’ll run into the same sort of trouble.”

He knocked on the door.

“I’m through in here, Dimmock,” he called. “Let me out.”

The door opened.

“Good-by,” said Tibbits mockingly, and faded into the hall.

McGlory roared wrathfully, and shook his fist at the locked door. Motor
Matt lowered himself into a chair and grew thoughtful.



CHAPTER X. PRISONERS.


“And this,” grunted McGlory, “is what he calls explaining matters to
our ‘complete satisfaction.’ Satisfaction! Sufferin’ Hottentots! Do I
look satisfied?”

The cowboy, in his dress suit and boiling with rage, looked far from
satisfied. In fact, he presented such a humorous spectacle that Matt
laughed.

“Oh,” he grunted disgustedly, “you’d laugh, Matt, if you were going to
be hung. But think what this means to me! I want to dig up the hatchet
and go on the war-path.”

“There’s nothing we can do just now, Joe,” said Matt, straightening his
face.

“What sort of a girl is that daughter of Dimmock’s, to go helping her
father in lawless work like this?”

“I can’t understand her,” returned Matt. “But I can tell you one thing.”

“Then tell it.”

“If Pearl Dimmock gets into your clothes and tries to palm herself off
as Joe McGlory, the bank people are going to get suspicious.”

“She played the game on you, pard, and you didn’t get suspicious until
you got dumped out of the taxicab.”

“I was thinking more about you, then, than I was about the supposed
messenger. In the matter of the bank, the case is different. Miss
Dimmock goes in there, asks for the bullion, and turns over the
colonel’s order for it. The order is all straight enough, but the bank
won’t let go of that gold until they’re sure the one who brings the
order is Joe McGlory. I’m thinking the hardest part of Tibbits’ work is
yet to come, and that the chances are about even whether he’ll win or
lose.”

“We can’t leave it like that, pard. We’ve got to get out of here and
make a rush for New York. That’s all there is to it. Tibbits, Dimmock,
the girl, and the fellow who’s to understudy you, will get away from
here to-night. That will leave fewer people to watch us, and I don’t
see why we can’t make a break, somehow, and carry it through with
ground to spare.”

“We’ll have to consider it.”

“There’s not much time to think it over. New York’s a long ways off,
and we’ve got to get there by the time the bank opens, to-morrow.”

“Not necessarily.”

McGlory’s face went blank.

“What do you mean by that, pard?” he queried.

Matt hitched his chair closer.

“Suppose we don’t get away from here until to-morrow morning, Joe,”
said he, “why couldn’t we send a telegram to the bank? Wouldn’t that do
just as well as though we dropped in there personally?”

“I’m the prize blockhead, all right,” muttered McGlory. “Of course, a
telegram will do, in case we can’t get out of here in time to reach New
York before the bank opens. But let’s try to break out.”

The cowboy got up and looked around reflectively.

“Where’ll we try first?” asked Matt.

“Watch me!” answered his chum, his face lighting up. He made a dash for
the fireplace.

“Here’s where this clawhammer suit catches it,” said he, crawling into
the opening.

The fireplace was large, and Matt waited eagerly, expecting results. In
a few moments, McGlory reappeared with soot on his hands.

“Not any,” he muttered disappointedly. “There’s a sharp turn in the
flue, and the opening isn’t any more’n six inches wide. No getting out
by the chimney, pard. I’ll try the window again, and see how careful I
can be when I lift it.”

McGlory pushed up the windows with very little noise, but the vigilant
guard outside heard him, nevertheless.

“Back in there,” was the gruff order, boomed from the darkness, “or
I’ll shake a bullet at ye.”

The cowboy closed the window.

“The galoot out there is right on the job,” said he, and moved to the
door.

Bending out a key ring, which he happened to have in his pocket, he
contrived a picklock; but no sooner did he begin operations than a
voice from the hall ordered him to stop.

“You see how it is, Joe,” whispered Matt. “The best thing for us to do
is to lie low for a while. Wait until after Tibbits, Dimmock, and the
others are away.”

“They must be away now.”

“I don’t think so. I haven’t heard any motor cars leaving the place;
and, besides that, it will take some time for Miss Dimmock and the
fellow who’s to play Motor Matt to get ready. Let’s try and get a
little sleep, Joe. If we have some rest, we’ll be better able to cope
with the situation later.”

“Sleep! Why, pard, I couldn’t sleep any more’n I could fly--or aviate,
without anything to aviate with.”

“Well, I’m off for a nap by myself, then. Wake me, Joe, if anything
happens.”

Matt threw himself down on the couch, and was asleep almost as soon
as he had straightened out. It seemed to him that he had no more than
closed his eyes before he felt a tug at his arm. He sat up quickly.

“What is it?” he whispered.

“Listen,” returned McGlory.

What Matt heard was the distinct throbbing of an automobile, dying
swiftly into silence.

“They’re off,” said the cowboy.

“Did that machine leave the house?” Matt asked.

“Yes. Now, what are we going to do?”

“Try the window and the door again, Joe.”

The cowboy repeated his earlier attempts, only to be gruffly warned by
the vigilant guards, outside the house and in the hall.

“How many men do you reckon Tibbits left here?” growled McGlory.

“I wish I knew. He seems to have had quite a gang.”

“And they’re all after a little of that ten thousand dollars!” muttered
McGlory. “Pretty small pickings for fellows like Dimmock and Tibbits. I
can size them up for that sort of grafters.”

“I think we’d better wait till morning before we make any more attempts
to get away,” said Matt.

“I reckon we’ll have to,” answered McGlory, in a discouraged tone.

“What sort of fellow was that who came in here, last night, and put our
supper on the table?”

“A runt of a chap in an apron and a square white cap. Why?”

“Nothing--now.”

Without any further remarks, Matt shifted his position on the couch,
and again went to sleep.

He awoke without being roused, and sat up on the edge of the couch.
Daylight was just glimmering through the trees. McGlory, sprawled out
on the carpet, with the clawhammer coat rolled into a pillow, was
slumbering soundly.

Quietly Matt got up and went to the window, where the cowboy had made
his several attempts the night before.

The window looked off toward the stables. To the right of the house was
a vine-covered pergola, and between the stables and the pergola ran
the graveled drive, leading around the house from the front gate. What
interested Matt particularly, however, was a red touring car in the
drive, close to the pergola.

Undoubtedly it was the same car that had brought McGlory and Tibbits
from New York. Tibbits and Dimmock, on their return to the city, had
used the other car--the one driven by Sanders.

The presence of that car spelled possibilities for the motor boys,
if----

Matt’s gaze dropped to the side of the house. A man was sitting under
the two library windows, smoking a pipe. Across his knees rested a
revolver.

Before the motor boys could avail themselves of the red touring car
they would have to eliminate the guard. How could that be accomplished?

Matt turned from the window, revolving the problem in his mind. He
could think of no method of escape short of boldly leaping from the
window and trusting to luck--and the revolver made such an attempt
too risky. A plan, which he had thought of vaguely during the night,
recurred to him. This idea had the servant for its nucleus, and
promised little better than a sortie by the window.

McGlory, hearing his chum moving around the room, stirred and sat up on
the floor.

“What are you prowling around for, Matt?” he asked, yawning sleepily.

“Averaging up the chances,” Matt answered. “Come here, Joe.”

McGlory got up and went to his chum’s side. Matt pointed to the red
touring car.

“If we could get out of here and get hold of _that_,” he murmured, “we
might do something.”

“The boy with the gun looks sort of fierce,” reflected the cowboy;
“still, you never can tell just what a fellow’s going to do with a
revolver. If----”

The key rattled in the lock. Matt dropped quickly down on the couch and
pretended to be asleep. McGlory, taking his cue from Matt, resumed his
place on the floor.

A man, in white cap and apron, entered the room with a tray of steaming
food. The door was closed and fastened behind him. Without trying
to waken the boys--whom he must have supposed to be asleep--the man
picked his way around McGlory, placed the tray on the table, and began
collecting the scattered remnants of the supper. His back was toward
Matt.

Noiselessly as a gliding serpent, Matt arose and slipped across the
space separating him from the man; then, leaning forward, he caught
him about the middle with his left arm, at the same time covering his
lips with his right hand.

The man began to squirm, kicking out with his feet and fighting
fiercely to get away.

McGlory, who had been watching the progress of events, and wondering
what Matt was trying to do, went to his chum’s aid. The man was forced
to his knees, and then to the floor. Lying on his back, Matt’s hand
still over his mouth, he stared upward with frightened eyes.



CHAPTER XI. BOLD WORK.


“Softly, Joe, softly!” whispered Matt, stifling his own heavy
breathing. “Twist a couple of napkins into ropes. Be quick!”

McGlory had not the least notion what Matt was trying to accomplish,
but he knew it was something which might help their escape.

“Be quiet,” hissed Matt, in the man’s ear, “and you’ll not be hurt, but
if you move, or try to call out”--his voice grew menacing--“you’ll wish
you hadn’t!”

McGlory dropped to his knees with the two napkins and began tying one
of them about the prisoner’s ankles. He followed this by knotting the
other around the servant’s wrists.

“What next?” he asked breathlessly.

“Put on the white cap and apron,” instructed Matt, “then pick up the
tray and rap on the door. When the door’s opened, throw the tray in the
face of the fellow in the hall. There’ll be a commotion, and perhaps
the guard outside will leave the windows. If he does, I’ll get out and
make for the red car. Meet me somewhere along the drive, this side the
gate. It’s a desperate chance, Joe, but it’s all we have.”

The cowboy chuckled delightedly as he removed the apron from the
prostrate prisoner and tied it about his waist; then, picking up the
cap, he set it on his head, and grabbed the tray.

“I’m ready,” he whispered, stepping toward the door. “Bravo, pard! It’s
the reckless things that win!”

“Sometimes,” qualified Matt; “if you can’t----”

The guard in the hall shook the doorknob.

“Why are you so long, Paul?” he called.

It was not Dimmock’s voice--proof that Dimmock had really gone, and
that another guard had taken his place. The question put McGlory in
a quandary. He and Matt both recognized the dilemma, in a flash. The
cowboy was about to speak, presumably in an attempt to imitate the
servant’s voice, but Matt restrained him with a gesture.

“Tell the man outside you’re coming--tell him to open the door!”

Matt King hissed the words in the prisoner’s ear, and lifted the hand
he was using for a gag.

One word from the servant would ruin every chance. Was the fellow
frightened enough to do Matt’s bidding? McGlory looked over his
shoulder and glared savagely at the man on the floor.

“Paul!” cried the guard, once more rattling the door.

“I’m coming,” said the man, but with a shiver of dread in his voice.
“Open the door, Miles!”

“What’s the matter with you, anyhow?” grumbled Miles. “You’ve been in
there more’n five minutes.”

As the door opened, McGlory temporarily deceiving Miles with the tray
and the white cap and apron, stepped out.

“Are they asleep,” began Miles, “or----Thunder!” the guard broke off;
“you’re not----”

The cry was interrupted by a smash of dishes. There came a yell from
Miles, a snarling shout from McGlory, and then the impact of a heavy
blow. After that, running feet could be heard, and the opening of a
door.

“Help!” roared Miles; “this way, Barney! The prisoners are on the hike!”

Matt, paying no more attention to the servant, jumped for the door.
He saw a mess of food and broken crockery in the hall, and daylight
entering through the open door. Miles was just vanishing in pursuit of
McGlory.

It was now Matt’s turn to see what he could do. Was “Barney” the man on
guard below the windows? If he was, and if he had answered Miles’ call,
then the way was clear in that direction. But there was not a second to
be lost. If McGlory got away, he would need the red car. And so would
Matt, for that matter. If the automobile was left behind, the baffled
guards would use it in giving pursuit.

In two leaps Matt was at the window and looking out. Barney’s chair was
empty!

To throw up the window and leap to the ground took only a moment, and
Matt immediately laid a straight line for the automobile.

He was not long in covering the distance that separated him from the
car, but many doubts flashed through his mind while he was on the way.

If the switch plug had been removed, if the gasoline or oil was low,
if----

But he was hoping for the best, and the best came his way, then, when
the smiles of fortune were so grievously needed.

Whether there was any one in his vicinity, or not, he did not take time
to discover. Reaching the front of the car--which, by good luck, was
pointing in the direction of the pike--he grabbed frantically at the
crank, and gave it a heave.

_Chuff, chuff, chuff-chuff!_ The sputter died impotently. Manipulating
the switch, and the lever controlling the fuel supply, he tried again.
This time the engine was successfully “turned over,” and took up its
cycle.

“Hi, there!” called a voice from the direction of the stables. “Stop, I
tell ye!”

Matt had no time for the approaching man, but leaped into the car, and
was off. A detonation sounded above the noise of the laboring motor,
and something whistled viciously past Matt’s ear.

But, by then, the lad’s blood was hot for success, and he would have
dared anything.

Like a thing of life the red car leaped around the corner of the house,
taking a sharp curve with two wheels in the air. Only a short distance
separated the fleeing car from the gate, but between the gate and the
car was one of the guards. Matt knew at a glance it was not Barney. The
chances were that it was Miles.

“Halt!” yelled the man.

“Get out of the way,” shouted Matt, “or I’ll run over you!”

The man got out of the way, hurling himself from the road barely in
the nick of time. He did not appear to be armed; at any rate, no lead
followed Matt.

But where was McGlory? Matt had no sooner begun to worry about his chum
than the cowboy, breathless from running, staggered from behind a clump
of lilac bushes and flung up his hands.

With a hasty look behind, Matt slowed the machine.

“It’s all up with us,” puffed McGlory, hanging over the edge of the
car. “We’ll have to leave the machine and take to our heels.”

“Why?” flashed Matt.

“The gates are locked.”

For an instant Matt was stunned. The gates--locked! Of course, they
would be locked! Why had he not thought of that when he was planning to
use the red car for their escape?

“We’ll never get away if we trust to our heels, Joe,” said Matt grimly.
“Get in--be quick!”

By that time, Miles had been joined by Barney, and by the man who had
called to Matt from the stables. The three, feeling sure that they had
the car in a trap, were advancing cautiously, watching to see what the
boys would do next.

McGlory did not know what plan Matt had formed; but, nevertheless, he
scrambled into the tonneau.

“How’ll you get past the gates?” cried the cowboy, standing erect in
the tonneau, and clinging to the coat rail.

“Get down in the bottom of the tonneau!” ordered Matt, without looking
around.

Little by little he let the car out, and the iron barriers came
threateningly into view. When a hundred feet away from them the car was
going so fast that the gates seemed to be jumping toward it.

But the purpose of his daring comrade was clear to McGlory, and the
idea left him gasping.

Matt was going to storm the gates! He was hurling the red car toward
them like a cannon ball.

The cowboy fell limply down behind the front seats, wondering vaguely
where he and Matt would be after the smash.

Even as the thought formed in his mind, there came a crash, a jar that
shook the automobile in every part, and made it reel drunkenly, and a
clash of broken glass. After a wild stagger, the car seemed to gather
itself for a spring; then it flung itself onward into the road, turned,
and glided off on the straightaway.

Dazed and bewildered, McGlory lifted himself in the rocking tonneau and
looked at Matt, who was still in the driver’s seat, still bending over
the wheel, and still coaxing the demoralized red flyer to its best gait.

Certainly the car was demoralized--not internally, for the motor was
doing its work nobly--but the bonnet was bent and broken, the lamps
were smashed, and the woodwork splintered and scarred.

“Sufferin’ earthquakes!” gasped McGlory, looking back at the gates.

The gates had been torn ajar, and one of them had been plucked bodily
off the brick pier from which it had swung.

“Are you hurt, pard?” cried McGlory.

“No,” answered Matt, “but it was rather a close call for the tires.”

“Tires? Hang the tires! It was a close call for _you_.”

“Not so close as you’d think. I knew if we could force the gates we’d
get through safely. Each gate would give way in a solid piece, and
there’d be no splinters. We made it, Joe, we made it!”

“But the car has been damaged----”

“We couldn’t help that, Joe! If we keep Tibbits and Dimmock from
carrying out that robbery, we have to get to a telegraph office in
short order.”

At that moment the motor showed signs of distress. First it missed
fire, and then went dead altogether.

“Watch behind, Joe,” called Matt, as he sprang into the road and began
an investigation to discover what was wrong.



CHAPTER XII. PURSUIT.


“Sufferin’ cyclones!” exclaimed McGlory, keeping close watch of the
road behind; “after that jolt it would be a wonder, pard, if something
didn’t go wrong with the motor. By rights, considering what this car
has gone through, it ought to be a scrap heap.”

Matt adjusted one of the battery wires, then crawled under the car
with a wrench. The cowboy could hear him at work; but he could hear
something else, too, and that was a patter of hoofs and a grind of
wheels.

“Horse and buggy coming, Matt!” he called. “Miles and Barney are hot
after us. I took Miles’ gun away from him, and I can use it, if you say
so.”

“Not on your life, Joe!” Matt answered, crawling from under the car and
looking back over the road. “That would complicate the affair. We’re
not to do any fighting, but just show our heels. We’re on the defensive
entirely--remember that.”

The horse, driven by Miles, was coming at a gallop.

“I don’t see what they want horses and buggies at that big house for,”
growled McGlory. “Automobiles go with a place like that--and when the
family’s in Europe, the bubble-wagons ought to all be in a Boston
garage. Will the motor work now, Matt, or have we got to use our heels?”

The car started. The motor was still somewhat out of order, but gave
the car a speed that easily carried it away from the horse and buggy.

“I reckon we’ll get clear, pard,” observed McGlory, albeit with an
anxious, questioning note in his voice.

“We’ll kill the engine again,” answered Matt, “if we keep running it
while it’s out of order.”

“Then, kill it, but get as far away from Miles and Barney, and as near
a telegraph office, as you can, before we have to take to the woods.”

“I don’t know anything about this country,” said Matt. “What is the
nearest town in this direction, Joe?”

“I’ve been trying to think of that ever since we got through the gates,
and headed this way, but I can’t seem to remember, pard.”

“It’s poor policy, Joe, to run the engine to a standstill. Everything
may depend on the car before we get out of these woods.”

The motor was rapidly going from bad to worse. Matt stopped suddenly,
threw on the reverse, and backed the car into the bushes.

“What’s that for?” asked the cowboy.

“I’m hoping Miles and Barney will pass us, and give us a little time to
do some more tinkering,” replied Matt.

“Even if that rig does pass us, we can’t follow it.”

“We can go the other way, Joe. I think the nearest town is in that
direction, anyhow.”

“Do you mean to pass that house again?”

“Why not? I don’t think there are enough men left at the place to
interfere with us.”

Matt got down and began pulling up the bent bushes in front of the car.
While he was at work, the galloping horse could be heard, and he drew
back hastily, and knelt down to see what happened.

There was no occasion for alarm. Miles and Barney dashed past without
giving so much as a glance in the direction of the motor boys.

“Good enough!” exclaimed McGlory. “There’s the chance you wanted, Matt.
Can I do anything to help you fix the car?”

“Two of us can shorten the work a whole lot,” said Matt.

He showed McGlory what to do, and for ten minutes both boys were
busy. At the end of that time, Matt announced that he was fairly well
satisfied with the repairs.

“There’s enough gasoline and oil to take us fifty miles,” he added.

“In other words,” said the cowboy, “we can go clear to Boston, if we
have to. What time is it, pard?”

“Nine o’clock.”

McGlory was startled.

“Nine o’clock!” he repeated. “We’ve got to have a telegram on the wires
by ten. Let’s pull out and hit the high places.”

There was no indication, so far as the boys could see, that Miles and
Barney had discovered the trick which the boys had played on them. If
the two men were coming back, they were still a good way off.

The steady hum of the motor, when Matt started it, filled the boys
with delight. There did not seem any doubt but that the machine would
perform every duty demanded of it. Matt put on the high speed, and they
darted back over the course which they had recently covered.

As they drew near they watched anxiously for some sign of those who
still remained at the house. No man showed himself, however, and the
car flung past the wrecked gates and bore away northward.

“Miles and Barney are welcome to catch us--if they can,” exulted
McGlory, who was riding in front with Matt.

The wind of the motor boys’ flight whistled and sang in their ears, and
the engine continued to hum merrily and steadily. There was a good deal
of rattling, for the mudguards and footboards were loose, but the motor
itself was working as well as the day it had come from the factory.

“Sanders must have gone with Tibbits and Dimmock,” remarked Matt.

“There was quite a party of pirates in that other car,” said McGlory.

“Did you ever see Miles or Barney before we broke out of the house,
Joe?”

“I never saw Barney, Matt, but Miles was the fellow who brought Tibbits
and me from New York.”

“You must have had quite a set-to with Miles in the hall.”

“Speak to me about that!” laughed McGlory. “Miles was one surprised
man, and don’t you forget it, pard. The skirmish was short, and I
reckon it was the tray of chuck that did the work for the shuffer. He
got the hot coffee full in his face, and when he fell back he dropped
his revolver. I hit him once, just to give me time to pick up the gun,
and then I made for the front door. If that had been locked----”

McGlory winced.

“But it wasn’t,” said Matt. “I heard you rush out of the house, and I
got to the hall door just in time to see Miles going after you. He gave
you quite a run, didn’t he?”

“I ran till I was black in the face, Matt, doubling back, dodging
around flower beds, and getting mixed up with all kinds of
horticultural arrangements. Gee, man, but that’s a fine old place to be
used by such a gang!”

“It will cost a hundred or two to repair those gates.”

“And two or three hundred, I reckon, to get this car back in its usual
shape.”

“More than that, Joe. I don’t think five hundred will repair the car as
it was before we used it for a battering-ram.”

“That ten thousand in bullion is costing the tinhorns pretty dear,”
commented the cowboy.

“They’ll not be paying anything for damages. If Miles owns this car,
he’s the one that foots this part of the bill.”

The cowboy laughed.

“I’ll bet Miles pretty near had an attack of heart failure when he saw
you aiming the car at those iron gates, and giving it full speed ahead!”

“We can understand why Miles is so eager to catch us, I think,”
answered Matt.

McGlory’s thoughts went off on another tack.

“About what time was it, do you think,” he asked, “when Tibbits and his
gang left the house, last night?”

“I didn’t look at my watch,” said Matt. “How long had I been asleep
when you awoke me?”

“About two hours.”

“Then it was nearly midnight when the car pulled out.”

“How long would it take that outfit to reach New York?”

This was rather an important point. Up to that moment, Matt had not
given it much thought.

“I should think,” said he, after a little reflection, “that the trip
would take eight or ten hours. The car would have to hit a smart clip,
at that, and keep it up.”

“Then Tibbits and his gang couldn’t reach the city before nine or ten
o’clock?” queried McGlory.

“I don’t think they could.”

“I reckon there’s plenty of hope, yet,” and the cowboy heaved a long
breath. “There’s a house, Matt,” he added abruptly. “We’re getting out
of the woods.”

“We’ll probably see a town pretty soon. Wonder what the speed limit is
through the villages in this part of the country?”

“Never mind the speed limit, pard. Keep her wide open.”

Five minutes more of rapid traveling saw the houses thicken along the
road. People began to be seen, and two or three machines were passed.

“Better slow down,” a passenger in one of the cars called to the boys
as they scurried past. “They’ll nab you in Leeville if you don’t.”

Matt thought the advice good, and heeded it.

The disreputable appearance of the red car excited a good deal of
curiosity. McGlory, too, came in for a fair share of guying. He had on
the dress suit, of course, and, although he had lost the white cap, he
still wore the apron.

“I’ve been too excited to think about the apron,” he laughed, removing
the object, and casting it into the road. “I’m wearing this dress suit,
I reckon, at the wrong end of the day, but I can’t get rid of that for
a while yet.”

Neither of the boys had a hat, but that fact was of minor importance.

A turn in the road brought them into the outskirts of a village. The
road itself formed the main street of the place, and while the boys
were jogging at a very leisurely gait toward the huddle of store
buildings, a man in a flannel shirt and with his trousers tucked in his
boot tops, jumped across the road, dragging a rattling chain behind him.

One end of the chain was fastened to a tree, and before the battered
car reached the man, the other end had been similarly secured.

“Sufferin’ blockades!” cried McGlory, as Matt shut off the power and
put on the brake. “What’s the matter with that Rube?”

The man who had manipulated the chain advanced upon the boys from his
side of the road, a badge of authority in the form of a tin star. At
the same moment, another man descended upon the car from the opposite
side of the pike.

“This looks as though it might prove interesting,” muttered Matt. “What
do you want?” he called to the man with the star.

“My name’s Hawkins,” snapped the officer, “and I’m town constable. You
two fellers are pinched.”

“Pinched?” echoed McGlory. “Why, neighbor, we weren’t going eight miles
an hour.”

“I don’t keer a blame how fast ye was goin’,” proceeded the constable
aggressively. “That ain’t why ye’re arrested. Got a telephone message
from the old Higbee place, sayin’ as how two fellers, answerin’ your
description, had stole a motor car. Hiram an’ me’ll jest git in an’
ride with ye to the lockup.”

Telephone! The motor boys had entirely forgotten that modern, everyday
convenience.

They had been trapped in Leeville--and a telephone message had turned
the trick!



CHAPTER XIII. IN AND OUT OF LEEVILLE.


“Mr. Hawkins,” said Matt, attempting to argue the matter, and show
the constable the error of his way, “you’re a little mistaken in this
matter.”

“’Way wide of the trail,” chipped in McGlory.

“You can’t teach me no law,” scowled the constable. “I know my
business.”

“Of course you do,” went on Matt, signing to McGlory to let him do the
talking. “I’m not saying that you don’t know all about the law, or are
not trying to do your duty. It’s the fellow at the other end of the
line who has started you wrong.”

“D’you own this car?” demanded Hawkins, slapping the broken hood.

“No, but----”

“Didn’t you run away with it?”

“Yes, but if you’ll let----”

“I calculate that’s a-plenty,” cut in Hawkins, with a triumphant look
at Hiram. “We’ll hop in an’ show ye the way to the jail.”

“I want to explain this,” cried Matt.

“Oh, ye do!” gibed the constable. “I can tell, just by the look of you,
you’re a pair of scalawags. You can’t do any explainin’ that’ll help
your case any.”

“Take us before a justice,” pleaded Matt.

“The jedge is away, fishin’, an’ he won’t hold court till this
arternoon. I’ll haul ye up in front o’ him, soon enough, an’ if he
don’t hold ye to a higher court to answer for the larceny of one
benzine buggy, I’ll miss _my_ guess. Hiram,” and the constable turned
to his comrade, “I’ll git in with ’em, so’st to make sure they don’t
run, then you take down the chain, an’ git in, too.”

“You bet I will,” assented Hiram, with great alacrity.

“Is there a telegraph office in town?” asked Matt, while Hiram was
removing the chain.

“’Course there is,” replied Hawkins. “We got a railroad, too, and an
op’ry house, and everythin’ else that makes a town worth livin’ in.”

“We want to stop at the telegraph office and send a message,” said Matt.

“No, ye don’t! You fellers can’t play any shenanigin tricks on Bill
Hawkins. I’m too old a hand to be come over by two younkers like you.”

“Sufferin’ jaybirds!” growled McGlory. “Say, constable, this message
we want to send is mighty important. If we can get it through, it will
prevent a ten-thousand-dollar robbery in New York.”

Bill Hawkins laughed.

“You’re funnier’n a Joe Miller joke book,” said he. “Jest as though ye
could make me swaller a yarn like that. Git in, Hiram,” he added. “You
drive this automobile right down Main Street till I tell ye to stop,”
he finished, addressing Matt.

“Will you let me send that telegram?” pleaded McGlory. “It will only
take a minute.”

“Well, I guess not,” said the constable, snapping his lean jaws
decisively. “Start the car,” he ordered sternly.

Matt took two five-dollar bills from his pocket, offering one to each
of the men.

“You can read the telegram, Mr. Hawkins,” said Matt. “It’s important.”

Hawkins went up on his toes and fairly bristled.

“Say,” he snorted, “you ain’t got money enough to bribe me from doin’
my duty. Now I _know_ ye’re crooked. Tryin’ to bribe Bill Hawkins!
Well, by jing! What d’ye think o’ that, Hiram?”

“Scand’lous!” gurgled Hiram, horror-stricken.

McGlory leaned toward Matt.

“Put on full speed, pard,” he whispered excitedly, “and let’s snake ’em
out into the country.”

But Matt shook his head and started the car slowly into the village.

All the inhabitants of the place, Matt judged, had been drawn to the
scene of the “arrest.” Men, women, children, and dogs clustered around
the car, and proceeded with it as it took its melancholy way along the
street.

“There’s the place,” said Hawkins, pointing, “that two-story red
buildin’ on the right. Hardware store on the first floor and the jail’s
upstairs.”

Matt steered for the curb, and halted the car at the edge of the walk,
then Hawkins took him in charge, Hiram looked after McGlory, and the
motor boys were led toward an outside stairway by which they were to
climb to the “jail.”

The cowboy, halting at the foot of the stairs, renewed his desperate
attempt to get permission to send his telegram. Hiram spoke harshly,
Hawkins put in a few warm words, and the crowd jeered. Then McGlory
gave up, and followed Hawkins and Matt as they climbed the stairs.

The second floor of the building was partitioned into two rooms. A
sign proclaimed that the front room was occupied by a “Justice of the
Peace,” while another sign, bearing the one word, “Jail,” set forth the
uses to which the rear room was put.

Matt and McGlory, it appeared, were the only occupants of the jail. The
room was meagrely furnished, with a table, a cot, and two chairs, and
there were two grated windows overlooking the rear of the premises.

Here the motor boys were left, McGlory sinking disconsolately into one
of the chairs, while Matt roamed around, making himself as familiar as
possible with the situation.

From the grated windows he could look off for half a block to the
railroad station. The station building was about as large as a
good-sized packing case, and there was one spur track, running between
the main track and the rear of the hardware store, with a lonely flat
car on the rails.

“Here’s a go!” wailed McGlory. “Jugged! Jugged by a country constable,
just when a telegram might save the day for us in New York! Sufferin’
cats! Can’t we do something, pard? We’re not going to let a couple of
hayseeds knock us out like this, are we?”

Matt was trying the bars at the windows. The ends of the bars were set
into the wood of the casing, and the casing was old, and partly decayed.

“We can break out,” said Matt, “but what good will that do us, Joe?
We’d be apprehended by the villagers before you could get to the
telegraph office. It won’t be possible to send a message from here.”

“How can we send it from anywhere,” cried the cowboy, “if we don’t get
away from this place?”

“Jail-breakers are apt to have quite a hard time of it.”

“I’ll take my chances on the hard time if we can make a getaway.”

“The only thing for us to do, so far as I can see, is to wait till the
judge gets back from his fishing trip. We can talk to _him_, and he’ll
have to listen to us.”

Matt sat down, and McGlory, grumbling his disgust, started up and
went to one of the windows. Laying hold of a bar he gave it a wrench,
breaking the end completely out of the wood. A gap was left, through
which the boys might squeeze their way to liberty--if it seemed
advisable.

“There’s a shed under the window,” reported McGlory. “We could get out
on the shed and reach the ground too easy for any use.”

“That part of it is all right,” returned Matt, “but how could we get
out of town without being seen? There’s the rub, Joe. Be guided by me,
and let’s wait for the justice.”

“There’s no telling when he’ll get here. Why, right now, this minute,
Tibbits may have his pals at the bank!”

Urged on by his frantic thoughts, the cowboy began hoisting the window.
In a few moments, a path to freedom, through the bars and over the shed
roof, lay open to the motor boys.

“Let’s make a try of it, pard,” pleaded McGlory. “We can reach the
spur track, crawl along it through the bushes, and maybe get out of
the town. Then we can hoof it to the next town, drop in at a telegraph
office----”

“And find a telegram from Leeville asking the authorities to capture
and hold us as jail-breakers,” said Matt.

“We haven’t done anything we ought to be jugged for, have we?” demanded
McGlory.

“Of course not.”

“Then it’s right for us to get away if we can, isn’t it?”

“Certainly, Joe, but I don’t see how we can manage it.”

Just at that moment a distant whistle was heard.

“A train!” exclaimed McGlory. “If it stops here, Matt, why can’t
we----”

Matt caught the inspiration of his chum’s words. Again fortune was
favoring him and McGlory. There was a chance to escape, but they would
have to be quick if they took advantage of it.

“Crawl through the window, Joe!” whispered Matt. “Be wary! The jig’s up
if we’re seen.”

The cowboy began at once crowding himself through the bars. He
succeeded, and alighted on the roof of the shed on hands and knees.
Matt followed, made his way carefully over the top of the shed, dropped
from the edge of the roof, and found himself beside his chum at the
rear of the hardware store.

The train was just pulling into the station. Without losing a moment,
the boys scrambled over a fence, skirmished onward under the screen
of the flat car, dodged beneath it, raced across the narrow stretch
separating the spur from the main track, and climbed aboard the forward
coach of the train.

The station was on the other side of the cars, and, so far as the boys
could discover, not an inhabitant of the village had seen them.

Where the train was going they did not know; but they did know that it
would halt at a more friendly town than Leeville, that there would be a
telegraph office in the town, and that they could forward their message
to New York.

“In and out of Leeville,” murmured the cowboy, as he and Matt sank
breathlessly into a seat. “I reckon old Bill Hawkins will have another
guess coming, eh?”



CHAPTER XIV. SENDING THE TELEGRAM.


The conductor, when he came through the train collecting tickets, was
somewhat taken aback at the sight of Matt and McGlory.

“Where’d you get on?” he inquired, looking the boys over and grinning a
little at McGlory’s bare head and dress suit.

“At Leeville,” said Matt.

“There was only one man got on at Leeville. I didn’t see you.”

“We climbed aboard the train on the side that was away from the
station,” explained McGlory. “We were in a rush, and got aboard the
handiest way we could.”

“You were in so big a rush that you forgot your hats,” commented the
conductor suspiciously. “Where are you going?”

“Where does this train go, conductor?” put in Matt.

“Fall River.”

“Then we’ll pay our fares to Fall River,” and Matt handed the conductor
a bill.

“You’re a queer pair, and no mistake,” said the railroad man, while
making change.

“What’s the next stop?” continued Matt.

“Stoughton.”

“Do you stop long enough at Stoughton so we could get off and send a
telegram?”

“You have the message all written out and I guess you’ll have time.”

With a puzzled look at the boys, the conductor left the car.

Matt, on the back of the colonel’s letter to McGlory, began writing out
the message.

“Mark it ‘rush’” said McGlory, “and address it to the cashier of the
Merchants’ & Miners’ National.”

“I’ve got that,” answered Matt.

Then, as plainly as he could, he wrote the following:

  “Order for two bars bullion, given to Joe McGlory by Colonel M. A.
  Billings, of Tucson, Arizona, stolen. If presented, hold bullion
  until you hear from me.

  “JOE MCGLORY.”

Matt handed the message to his chum to read.

“That’ll do the trick,” said McGlory, “providing the gold hasn’t
already been delivered. I hope that car of Tibbits’ broke down
somewhere, and that he was hung up for a few hours on the road to New
York. That’s our only hope, Matt.”

Before Matt could answer, the conductor came along the aisle, ushering
a gray-whiskered man who was carrying a carpetbag.

“Here they are,” said the conductor to his companion, halting opposite
the boys. “Do you know them?”

“Well, by hokey!” ejaculated the other, staring at the motor boys as
though they were a couple of ghosts.

“Know them?” repeated the conductor.

“I’ve seen ’em, conductor,” was the reply. “Bill Hawkins, our town
constable, arrested them two fellers for stealin’ an automobile, an’
they was put in the lockup not more’n an hour ago. How the nation did
you fellers git out?”

That was not a time to dodge responsibility. The truth, and the whole
truth, must be told.

“I had an idea something was wrong with you two chaps,” frowned the
conductor. “This man”--he nodded to the gray-bearded stranger--“got on
at Leeville, so I thought I’d bring him forward to have a look at you.
Surprising information he’s giving me. What have you got to say for
yourselves?”

Sternness had crept into the conductor’s voice.

“The gentleman from Leeville is telling the truth,” replied Matt. “I
and my chum _were_ arrested by the constable and put in the Leeville
town jail, but we twisted a bar from the window, crawled over the roof
of a shed, and caught this train.”

“Well, well!” gasped the man from Leeville.

“You’ll get off at Stoughton, all right,” said the conductor, “but
it’ll be for something beside sending a telegram.”

“Wait a minute, conductor,” begged Matt. “If you and the other
gentleman have time to listen, I want to tell you just what happened.
We’ll be as quick as we can.”

The conductor hesitated.

“There are two sides to a story, you know,” went on Matt earnestly.
“You’ve got one side, and now, in justice to us, you ought to have
ours.”

There was something in Matt’s steady gray eyes that lent a powerful
appeal to his words. The conductor, turning back the forward seat,
motioned to the man from Leeville to sit by the window.

“Now,” said the conductor, sitting down, “I haven’t got much time.
We’ll be at Stoughton in fifteen minutes. Fire away.”

A good deal of detail was necessary, if Matt wanted to make out a
strong case for himself and McGlory, so he began with the receipt of
the colonel’s letter by his chum, and offered the letter in evidence.
It was read by both the conductor and the Leeville man.

Then, taking events in sequence, Matt went over his and McGlory’s
experiences during the preceding day, while they were prisoners in the
old Higbee house and while they were fighting for their freedom.

It was an exciting story, and was listened to with deepest interest,
not only by the conductor and the Leeville man, but also by two or
three other passengers, as well.

“By hokey,” murmured the Leeville man, when the recital was finished,
“if that’s the truth, young feller, you an’ your friend ought to have a
medal. I never heard anythin’ like it before.”

“You said you wanted to send a telegram from Stoughton,” observed the
conductor. “Who was the telegram going to?”

“To the New York bank,” replied Matt, “in order to keep the bullion
from being delivered to Tibbits and his gang.”

“Have you written out the message?”

“Here it is,” and Matt turned over the colonel’s letter and showed the
message to the trainman.

The conductor read it through carefully, and then read it aloud to the
man from Leeville.

“To my mind,” said the conductor, “this is evidence that these lads are
telling the truth. They wrote that message before I brought you here to
identify them, so they couldn’t have framed it up to get out of a tight
place.”

“I’m pretty sure they’re tellin’ the truth,” returned the man from
Leeville, “because their story holds together. Mr. Higbee, I happen to
know, has a nephew who’s a good deal of a black sheep. His name ain’t
Tibbits, but it ain’t likely he’d have given his real name while doin’
underhand work like what he was up to. Mr. Higbee, too, left this
nephew at the country place to look after it while he an’ his family
are abroad.”

“I’ll bank on Motor Matt and Joe McGlory!” declared the conductor,
reaching over to slap each of the boys on the shoulder. “If that
Leeville constable had known as much as the law allows, he’d have given
the lads a chance to tell their side of the story; and for him to
refuse to let them send such an important telegram was an outrage. I
hope,” the conductor added to Matt, “that the message will be received
in time to save the bullion. In order to make sure that it is rushed
through, you’d better let me attend to the sending of it myself.”

“That’s mighty kind of you,” said Matt gratefully.

“Don’t mention it, my lad,” the trainman answered. “I’m glad to be able
to do something for you.”

“I’m goin’ to Fall River to visit my married daughter,” put in the
Leeville man, “an’ when I git back home, I’ll let Hawkins know what I
think of his fool way of doing bizness. It’ll cost him his job, next
’lection, you can lay to that.”

“I wouldn’t bear down too hard on him,” counseled Matt. “Hawkins
thought he was doing his duty.”

“He’s a false alarm,” growled McGlory, “and he ought to have the pin
pulled on him. Maybe I’ve lost a fortune through his foolishness--I
don’t know.”

At that juncture the train began to slow down.

“Stoughton!” called the conductor, getting up and making for the rear
door of the car.

Matt and McGlory watched the conductor as he crossed the station
platform and disappeared inside the telegraph office. He was gone for a
couple of minutes, and when he reappeared he signaled for the train to
pull out.

“That’s done, my lads,” he announced, when he again came into the car.
“In less than half an hour the telegram should be in the hands of the
cashier.”

“I hope to gracious it’ll git there in time,” said the Leeville man.
“I’d hate to have it said that ten thousand dollars was lost jest
because a constable in our town hadn’t sense enough to do the right
thing.”

“Something ought to be done to the rest of that rascally gang at the
old Higbee house,” suggested the conductor.

“It’s too late for that,” said Matt. “As soon as Joe and I got clear
away from them, the scoundrels probably proceeded to make themselves
scarce.”

“I’ll bet they’re absent a whole lot,” chimed in the cowboy. “It was a
good deal of scheming they did just for a measly ten thousand dollars.”

“That sum is plenty large enough to make a whole lot of men go wrong,”
asserted the conductor. “But, say, I’d like to have a picture of you
two boys breaking through those iron gates in that automobile! It’s a
wonder you didn’t get killed.”

“I should say so!” breathed the man from Leeville. “You ought to’ve
seen them gates, conductor. I’ve seen ’em, dozens o’ times. They’re
big, an’ high, an’ hinged to heavy brick columns. It’s a miracle that
car wasn’t smashed to kindlin’ wood, an’ the youngsters along with it.”

“I was pretty sure we’d get through,” said Matt, “or we wouldn’t have
tried it.”

“He’s the lad to figure things out,” expanded McGlory proudly. “His
mind works like a rapid-fire gun, an’ it ain’t often he misses the
bull’s-eye, either.”

“I guess you hit it off about right,” laughed the conductor. “I’m glad
you had the nerve to tell me the whole story, Motor Matt, and that you
didn’t try to dodge when I confronted you with this gentleman from
Leeville. What you’ve said has made me your friend, and I’ll bet the
Leeville man feels the same way.”

“You bet he does,” avowed that gentleman, with emphasis.



CHAPTER XV. AT THE BANK.


It was about two o’clock in the afternoon when a touring car drew up in
front of the Merchants’ & Miners’ Bank. There were five passengers in
the automobile--four besides the driver.

The driver was Sanders, and beside Sanders sat Tibbits. In the tonneau
were Dimmock, his daughter, and a young fellow who wore clothes that
were a very poor fit and who seemed exceedingly nervous.

“Buck up!” admonished Dimmock to the young man. “Show what you’re made
of now, Charley.”

“I’ll--I’ll do the best I can,” answered Charley.

“Let _me_ do the talking,” said Miss Dimmock.

The girl’s attire was scarcely better, in the matter of fit, than was
Charley’s, but she wore her costume with an easy grace that made up for
any of the other shortcomings.

“We’ll wait for you around the corner,” said Tibbits, as the girl and
the young fellow got out.

There was a worried look on Dimmock’s face as the touring car left the
front of the bank and moved slowly along the street.

“It’s a lot of trouble and risk we’re taking for ten thousand dollars,”
he muttered.

“You’ve taken more trouble and risk for less, Dimmock,” said Tibbits.

“I have, yes,” admitted the other, his face gray with anxiety, “but
never before have I asked Pearl to help me in such a matter. It will be
the last time.”

“Bah!” sneered Tibbits.

Meantime, the girl and Charley had entered the bank. Charley’s
nervousness had increased to a painful degree. The frosty blue eyes
of the girl, observing his abstracted manner, led her to infer that
Charley, so far from being a help, would prove a source of danger.

“You stay back here, Motor Matt,” she whispered, “and I’ll talk with
the cashier alone.”

Charley was only too glad to receive a command of that kind. Leaning
against a writing desk at the wall, he watched his companion as she
boldly made her way to the railing behind which the cashier transacted
his business. Something like admiration awoke in Charley’s soul--that
is, if there can be anything admirable in such an attempt as the girl
was about to make.

The long, yellow tresses had been cut from the girl’s head--a sacrifice
demanded by the exigencies of the case.

The cashier, as it chanced, was busy with some one else. Calmly and
patiently the girl waited. Finally the other customer went away, and
the girl pushed respectfully up to the railing and stood under the
sharp eyes of the bank official.

“What can I do for you?” asked the cashier briskly.

“This will explain, I think,” said the girl, presenting the colonel’s
order for the bullion.

The cashier glanced at the order, then gave the girl a keen scrutiny.

“You are Joe McGlory, are you?” he queried.

“Yes.”

“Are you personally acquainted with the gentleman who sent you this
order?”

“I am.”

It was a pity, indeed, that Dimmock should have forced his daughter
into such a tangle of deception; and doubly a pity that one so young
and fair could have played the despicable part so boldly, and given her
false answers without a tremor, or a pang of conscience.

“Have you any other means of identifying yourself?” went on the cashier.

Here was the place where the supposed Motor Matt was to be used, but
Charley had not proved equal to the part.

“I’m a stranger in town,” said the girl, “and I had supposed that order
of the colonel’s was enough.”

“Our orders are to deliver the bullion upon the presentation of this
demand. You understand, Mr. McGlory, that we are simply acting as
trustees for Colonel Billings.”

The cashier looked at the paper reflectively. He had many important
matters on his mind, matters in which hundreds of thousands were
concerned, and two gold bars were a mere bagatelle.

Again he studied the girl. She met his eyes frankly.

“After all,” said the cashier, “this order lets us out. I will give you
a receipt to sign, and while you are putting your name to it, I will
have the bullion brought from the safe.”

He scribbled a few words on a pad of printed receipt blanks, tore off
the top slip and handed it to the girl, nodding his head toward a
writing desk. Pearl stepped to the desk, and the cashier pressed an
electric call for one of the bank attachés.

The employee who answered the call brought with him a telegram.

“That message just came, sir,” said he, “and is marked ‘rush.’”

The cashier took the message.

“Get me that bag of bullion from the vault, Jenkins,” said he, tearing
the end off the yellow envelope, “the two bars of gold from Colonel
Billings, of Tucson, Arizona.”

“Very well, sir.”

Jenkins started. The cashier read the telegram at a glance. Not a line
in his face quivered.

“Oh, Jenkins!” he called.

The clerk came back.

“Instead of getting the bullion,” said the cashier, in a low voice,
“bring the bank policeman.”

Jenkins nodded and started of again, this time in a different direction.

“Here is the receipt, sir,” said the girl.

“Ah,” smiled the cashier, getting up and opening a wicket. “It will
take some little time to get the bullion, Mr. McGlory, and you had
better step into my private room and wait. Keep the receipt until you
receive the gold. That is only business, you know.”

He led the girl across the open space in front of his desk, pushed ajar
a door, and waved the girl into the private room; then, returning to
his chair, he waited.

Meantime, Jenkins had found the bank policeman.

“Mr. Hamilton wants you at once, George,” said Jenkins.

Charley overheard the words, and he had already seen the cashier
talking with Jenkins and ushering the girl into the private room. That
was quite enough for Charley, and he left the bank in a hurry.

“What is it, Mr. Hamilton?” asked the policeman, leaning over the
cashier’s railing.

The cashier handed up the message for the policeman to read.

“That sounds business-like, Mr. Hamilton,” said the policeman, dropping
the message on the cashier’s desk.

“Very much so, George.”

“It’s from Stoughton, Massachusetts.”

“Yes.”

“If the order comes in here, we can arrest the man that brings it.”

“It has already been handed in, George. Here it is.”

A startled look crossed the policeman’s face.

“Was the bullion delivered?” he asked.

“Not yet. A young man who says he is Joe McGlory is in my private room.
You know what to do. Take him out the side entrance so there won’t be a
scene out front.”

The policeman passed through the wicket and entered the private room.
The cashier turned, serene as ever, to give a greeting to one of the
bank’s customers.

A call from the door of his private room caused the cashier to turn.

“Just a moment, Mr. Hamilton,” said the policeman.

The cashier stepped to the door, and the policeman took his arm and
drew him inside.

The room was empty!

Then, for the first time, the cashier showed annoyance and concern.

“How do you suppose that happened, George?” he demanded.

The policeman pointed to an open window.

“I have always said, Mr. Hamilton,” he remarked, clinching a point that
he had been hammering at for a long time, “that you ought to have bars
across that window. All the other windows are protected, and that one
should be. The fellow got out, dropped ten feet to the alley, and has
escaped.”

“But why did he leave?” queried the cashier. “I am sure he didn’t learn
anything from me.”

“Chaps of that sort are naturally suspicious. The mere fact that you
asked him into the private room was enough.”

“See if there is any trace of him outside. He’s a youngish chap,
seventeen or eighteen, I should say, rather effeminate in appearance,
and wears----”

“I saw him when he came in, sir,” broke in the policeman. “It will be
useless to hunt for him, but I’ll see what I can do.”

“Anyhow,” and the cashier laughed as the policeman hurried away, “we’ve
got the bullion.”

What was it that had aroused Pearl Dimmock’s suspicions? Only the
secret workings of her own mind could reveal that point. Perhaps, at
the last moment, her courage failed her, and she could not carry out
the plan. This would be the charitable supposition.

Yet, be that as it may, the girl vanished, and even her sex remained
a mystery to the cashier and the policeman. The telegram, sent from
Stoughton by the motor boys, had fulfilled its mission. That the girl
had escaped was, to them, an unimportant detail. The main thing was to
foil Tibbits and keep the bullion.



CHAPTER XVI. A CLOSE SHAVE.


Motor Matt and Joe McGlory reached Fall River in the afternoon. They
had planned to catch one of the night boats for New York, and there
was an hour or two at their disposal. They put in the time to good
advantage buying clothes. Mr. Jacobs, the man from Leeville, was
familiar with the town and, before going to his daughter’s, was glad to
show the boys around and give them all the aid he could.

When he left Matt and McGlory, the lads were completely equipped in new
“hand-me-downs,” and feeling more like themselves.

There was a little fear, on their part, that Bill Hawkins might have
used the telegraph lines and that they would have trouble in Fall
River. But the trouble did not materialize.

“We’re jail-breakers, all right,” laughed McGlory, when they were
safely in their stateroom aboard the sound steamer, “but Constable
Bill, I reckon, has found out something about Miles and Barney that
keeps him from running out our trail.”

“Hawkins and his friend Hiram,” said Matt, “have discovered that
they’ve made a mistake. I don’t see how they could have learned this
from Miles or Barney, though, and I’m rather inclined to think that
the justice of the peace got back from his fishing trip and said a few
words in our behalf.”

“What’s the difference, pard, so long as we’re at large? We’ve lost two
suits of clothes and collided with a lot of hard knocks, but we got
that telegram off.”

“Also,” laughed Matt, “we’ve spoiled a pair of nice iron gates,
destroyed some Higbee china, and played hob with one of the finest
motor cars I ever handled. I guess the damage isn’t all on one side.”

“I’ll be ‘completely satisfied,’ as Tibbits remarked, when I learn that
the bullion has been saved.”

“We’ll discover that to-morrow.”

The motor boys slept their way down the sound, and reached New York
early enough to go to their hotel and have breakfast before the bank
opened. Immediately after breakfast they took an elevated train for
downtown.

“I’ve connected with a good lesson, pard, during this taxicab tangle,”
remarked McGlory.

The cowboy was constantly thinking of various matters connected with
recent experiences, and entering them on the profit side of his
personal account.

“What’s this one, Joe?” asked Matt.

“Never to read an important letter aloud in a public place. That’s the
thing that got us into this mix with Tibbits. He happened to be in this
hotel, and he happened to hear the letter. After that--well, I reckon
the memory of what happened is still pretty green.”

It was with some trepidation that the boys entered the Merchants’ &
Miners’ Bank and made their way to the cashier’s desk.

“What can I do for you?”

It was the same brusque query which the cashier put so many times a day
that its use had become a habit.

“You can do a whole lot for me, _amigo_,” said McGlory. “Principally,
though, I’m pining to learn whether two gold bars from Tucson, Arizona,
are still in your strong box.”

The cashier was interested at once.

“Why do you ask?” he inquired, leaning back in his chair and studying
the faces of the boys.

He was a proficient reader of character; as a matter of fact, he had to
be. The ability to take a man’s sizing at a glance had saved him from
many a pitfall.

“Now you’re hitting me right at home,” said the cowboy. “If that
gold is here, I’m the happiest maverick that ever strayed from the
Southwest; if it’s not here, I’m due to get unpleasant tidings from the
colonel. You see, _amigo_, I’m the easy mark they call Joe McGlory.”

A slow smile was working its way over the cashier’s face. There was
something open and free about Joe McGlory--too free, at times, those
who did not know him might have been tempted to think.

“You don’t look much like the Joe McGlory who came here yesterday,”
remarked the cashier casually.

The cowboy lopped down on the railing.

“I’m going to ask for a hot flat and a cup of ginger tea in a minute,”
he murmured dejectedly. “Friend, was there a yellow-haired stranger
here yesterday, in my clothes?”

“Such a person called. Whether he wore your clothes, or not, of course
I can’t say.”

“Woosh! Johnny Hardluck is getting ready to hand me one. Stand close,
Matt. I’m going to need you, I reckon. Yes, _amigo_, they were my
clothes. Did she give you an order from the colonel for the bullion?”

“She?” echoed the cashier, lifting his brows.

“Of course you couldn’t know that,” said McGlory, “but the fellow who
claimed to be me was a _moharrie_. She gave you the colonel’s order and
you handed her the gold?”

“No. I had her sign a receipt and was just about to send for the gold
when a telegram arrived. I had----”

“Then--then----”

“Just a minute, please. I had the young woman step into my private
room, and instead of sending for the gold I sent for the bank
policeman. When he went into the room to arrest the girl, she had
vanished. Something, I suppose, had aroused her suspicions. At any
rate, she slipped from a window and made good her escape. I’m very
sorry it happened. It is a blow at law and order for such a would-be
criminal to get away.”

The cowboy stared; then a glow overspread his face, and he grabbed for
the cashier’s hand.

“Sorry!” he exclaimed. “Why, pard, this isn’t a time to be sorry about
anything! You’ve still got the colonel’s gold in your safe, and I’m the
happiest stray in all New York! You hear that, Matt?” and he whirled
and caught his chum by both hands. “It was a close shave, but that
message of ours did the trick! The gold’s here, and Tibbits has been
done--done to a turn! If there weren’t so many people around, I’d yell.”

“You say you’re Joe McGlory?” said the cashier casually, “but I’m from
Missouri--after what happened yesterday. You haven’t the colonel’s
order, and even that isn’t a safe means of identification. How are you
going to prove you’re Joe McGlory?”

“My pard, Motor Matt, will go on record. Matt, am I McGlory, Joseph
Easy-mark McGlory?”

“You’re Joe McGlory, all right,” laughed Matt.

“That’s good, as far as it goes,” said the cashier, “but who’s to vouch
for Motor Matt?”

“That’s me, pard,” bubbled McGlory. “We vouch for each other.”

The cashier joined in the merriment of the motor boys.

“You’re a team,” said the cashier.

“A whole team and something to spare,” chuckled the cowboy. “Honest,
I’m feeling so good over that bullion that I’m nearly locoed.”

“This will help to identify us,” said Matt.

He took from his pocket the letter McGlory had received from the
colonel. The conductor, when sending the telegram from Stoughton, had
had the message copied on a telegraph blank and had returned the letter
to Matt.

The cashier read the letter carefully.

“This also is good--as far as it goes,” he remarked. “The order for the
bullion came with this?”

“Yes.”

“And you lads sent me a telegram yesterday?”

“You can bet your roll-top desk against a copper cent we did. If you
knew how we had to work to get that telegram off to you, you’d rather
think we sent it.”

This, of course, was from the cowboy.

“Where was the message sent from?”

“From Stoughton, Massachusetts. Turn that letter over, neighbor, and
you’ll find a copy of the message on the back of it.”

The cashier read the copy.

“That’s good circumstantial evidence, Mr. McGlory,” said he, handing
the letter to the cowboy, “and you can have the colonel’s gold whenever
you come after it. Will you take it now?”

“The meeting of the syndicate is called for to-night, at the office of
Random & Griggs,” said McGlory, “and I don’t want those two bars until
the last thing before the bank closes at three o’clock. That bullion
has caused trouble enough, and I’m putting up my fences against any
more.”

“Very well; come at three and you’ll get the gold.”

The boys turned and slowly left the bank.

“Somehow,” said the cowboy, “I’m glad that girl got away.”

“So am I,” answered Motor Matt.

THE END.

The next number (363) will contain “A Hoodoo Machine; or The Motor
Boys’ Runabout No. 1313,” by Stanley R. Matthews.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY

NEW YORK, November 27, 1909.

TERMS TO BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY MAIL SUBSCRIBERS.

(_Postage Free._)

Single Copies or Back Numbers, 5c. Each.

  3 months               65c.
  4 months               85c.
  6 months              $1.25
  One year               2.50
  2 copies one year      4.00
  1 copy two years       4.00

=How to Send Money=--By post-office or express money order, registered
letter, bank check or draft, at our risk. At your own risk if sent by
currency, coin, or postage stamps in ordinary letter.

=Receipts=--Receipt of your remittance is acknowledged by proper change
of number on your label. If not correct you have not been properly
credited, and should let us know at once.

  ORMOND G. SMITH, }
  GEORGE C. SMITH, } _Proprietors._

  =STREET & SMITH, Publishers,
  79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York City.=



FACE TO FACE WITH A MAD DOG.


“I can’t say that I object very much to the muzzling order,” remarked
Captain Peyton. “I have had too many experiences with mad dogs, and my
voyage with one of them I am never likely to forget.”

“How was that?” we inquired eagerly; and after a little pressing the
captain spun us the following yarn:

The thing happened, he began, on board the ship _Globe_, when I was a
young man before the mast, coming home in her from Denmark.

Our captain had procured the animal for a friend of his, who lived
somewhere in the country, and wanted such a dog to keep off tramps and
other trespassers.

I have seldom seen a larger or more vicious-looking dog. He was of the
breed called the Great Dane, a kind noted for size and fierceness; and
though only a year old, he did honor to both these characteristics.

He would make friends with no one forward, and sometimes would even
show his large white teeth upon a too familiar caress from the captain,
his master pro tem.

You may be sure that not a single one of us ever kicked that dog out of
the way or took any other liberty with him.

“That animal will be a treasure to Captain Gale’s friend,” the second
mate remarked one day. “Why, if I had him I should expect to come home
some afternoon to find my wife in half a dozen pieces, and my children
lying about in little strips. What can a man be thinking of to want
such a creature as that about the place?”

We used to think that he had more teeth than other dogs--at least, his
mouth appeared absolutely full of them--two great, white shining rows
that it made one shudder to see.

Once he snapped at little Roy Drew, the ship’s “boy,” and took a piece
out of his duck trousers, but without tearing his flesh.

Fortunately Captain Gale was at hand, and a loud, quick shout from him
prevented any further demonstration. He accused Roy of carelessness,
and said the dog would not have attempted to hurt him if he had been
minding his business.

Roy was dreadfully frightened, though, for it was a narrow escape.

“That dog ought to be chained up,” said the first mate.

“Nonsense!” retorted Captain Gale obstinately, “the animal will not
hurt any one if left alone, and the men must not meddle with him if
they do not wish to be bitten.”

After a time the brute began to lose his appetite. He slept more than
usual, and at last refused his food altogether. There was evidently
something the matter with him.

“It would be an awkward matter for us if he had hydrophobia,” said the
first mate.

“He might easily do so,” replied the second mate. “They say dogs
generally behave like that before going mad.”

We sailors also felt rather uneasy; but the captain, as usual, treated
the matter very lightly.

“He may die, of course,” he said, as the mate suggested some
precaution, “but I won’t have him killed; and as to tying him up just
because he won’t eat, I shan’t do that either. He may be all right
again in a day or two.”

Although the animal slept much, he would often get up and turn around
as if he were not easy in any position. His eyes, too, had a very
strange, glassy stare.

He remained in this state for a week, sometimes moving a few feet, but
generally asleep.

He growled at every one who came near him, and I believe that even the
captain, although too obstinate to acknowledge it, would at last have
been glad to see him knocked on the head.

When the crisis finally came, it came suddenly. Most of the foremast
hands were aloft in the rigging, I myself being in the maintop. The
mate was busy somewhere about the deck, and the captain was leaning
over the quarter rail, watching his opportunity to strike a porpoise
which had come under the ship’s counter.

Presently we heard him shout to the mate:

“I’ve got him, Mr. Gibson! Come and lend a hand.”

The officer hurried to assist him; but at that moment another cry came
from the man at the wheel:

“Look out, Captain Gale! Look out, Mr. Gibson! The dog is raving mad!”

As he spoke he let go of the wheel and sprang for the mizzen rigging.
The captain and mate, looking hastily round, saw the mad brute close
behind them, leaping up aimlessly and snapping at the air. I need not
tell you that they went into the shrouds probably more quickly than
they had ever done before.

Every one not already aloft got there without loss of time, so that the
deck was soon entirely deserted.

Meanwhile the dog was traversing the deck at a brisk trot, snapping at
everything in his way.

Sometimes he would come to a full stop and spring straight up; at
others he would tear away at some large rope, as if trying to devour
it. Occasionally he uttered a wild, dismal howl.

What was to be done? Had he been a small dog we might have attacked and
killed him with handspikes; but with so large and powerful a creature
the case was different.

The captain had a revolver in the cabin, but while we were becalmed off
the Orkney Islands he had shot away all his cartridges at sea birds
that came near the ship, so that now the firearm was useless.

All this while the ship was left to herself, the topsails backing and
filling, and the spanker moving from side to side.

“Why not try to lasso the brute?” called out the mate at last.

The captain thought the suggestion worth acting upon, and a number of
us going down to the foot of the shrouds, attempted to take off some
coils of the running rigging from the pins.

But the dog was there before us, and, leaping up, he fixed his teeth in
the shrouds in a way that showed what would be our fate if we did not
keep out of his reach.

However, as some of us were on one side of the ship and some on the
other, we finally succeeded in getting at the slack of some of the
ropes, and then, standing well up in the shrouds, we did our best at
lasso-throwing. But we were no cowboys, and all our efforts resulted in
failure.

Our attempts served only to irritate the rabid animal, so that he
was now perfectly frantic, leaping, howling, and rushing about in a
terrible manner.

Just as we had begun to despair of effecting anything in this way we
heard a shout from forward. It was little Roy Drew.

“Hello, there!” he said; “I’m on the bowsprit. I’ve just come down the
forestay. I see how he can be got overboard.”

As we stood in the shrouds, the ship’s fore and main courses, which
were set, prevented us from seeing the boy, but we could easily judge
of his position and intention also.

“Look out for yourself, Roy!” was the cry from more than one voice, as
all realized the fearful risk that he ran.

But the little fellow had his plan. He made a great stamping and
shouting, and the dog, which happened just then to be forward, leaped
upon the forecastle.

We, who were in the rigging, hurried down to the deck, no longer
thinking of any danger to ourselves, and then the whole scene was
before us.

Roy had run out along the bowsprit and jib-boom, and the dog was trying
to follow him.

The upper side of the bowsprit being flat, the mad animal could easily
traverse it, but we did not believe that he would be able to walk on
the jib-boom. To our great alarm, however, we saw him dash out upon it
without falling.

“Roy! Roy!” we called, “take care of yourself--quick! quick! Don’t let
him get hold of you!”

But the lad was prepared even for this. Away out on the end of the boom
he stood, with his hand on the flying jibstay, and when the dog was
within a few feet of him, he grasped the hoops of the sail which were
around it and went up the log rope like a squirrel.

The mad dog made a sort of half leap, as if to reach him, staggered,
lost his balance, and fell with a splash under the ship’s bows.

Probably the sudden immersion threw him into one of those convulsive
fits so common in the rabies, for, after a few minutes of violent
tumbling, he sank outright, and we saw no more of him.

“Now,” said Captain Gale, after all was over and the ship had been put
upon her course, “I’ll finish catching my porpoise.”

And, sure enough, upon going to his line, he found the iron still fast
to it.

During the remainder of the voyage, concluded Captain Peyton, little
Roy Drew was the hero of the ship. He had performed what all the rest
of us combined had been unable to accomplish, and even the captain gave
him full credit for his gallant act.



THE BOOMERANG.


Since the memorable time when Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay in
1769 and saw the naked native Australian poising erect to hurl his
peculiar weapon, the boomerang has continued to excite the curiosity
and amazement of the civilized world; and truly the finding of such
a scientific weapon in the hands of this so-called lowest order of
mankind is an astonishing fact, to be simply accepted as another oddity
of this odd, topsy-turvy corner of the world.

This novel weapon became an intensely interesting object to me very
soon after arriving in Australia; and for the purpose of studying
it, I went persistently among the black fellows, whose friendship I
cultivated in different ways, and so succeeded eventually in learning
how to make and throw the boomerang. So far, well and good; but of
its history I could learn nothing. Of the origin of the crooked stick
there is no knowledge; one can only conjecture. It is possible it may
have been born with the race itself from the accidental throwing of a
flat stick; for from childhood the black fellow shows a natural bent
for throwing things, as you can see by watching him use his only other
weapons, the spear and club. The bow and arrow, so common in other
lands, is not used, except in the extreme northern portion of the great
island continent, where there is a mixture of the race with the Papuan
of New Guinea.

There are the war boomerang, hunting boomerang, and amusement
boomerang. This last is used for light hunting, such as killing ducks,
cockatoos, and parrots, and is the one that is referred to when
speaking of the boomerang. These sticks measure from a foot and a half
to three feet and a half in length, the fighting and hunting ones being
the largest and heaviest. The hardest and toughest wood is selected,
and the form of the weapon follows the grain of the wood; thus, if the
crook of the root or limb is little or much, so is the form of the
boomerang. You will find that nearly every one is of a different shape.
In my collection I have them varying from almost straight to a shape
like that of the letter V, nearly straight, curved, plain, ornamented,
some with strange carvings, and all varying according to different
sections of the country and individual tribes, each having its own make
or style, showing respectively rough crudeness or considerable finish,
and being especially characteristic in the ends or points--all of which
a boomerang connoisseur will distinguish at once, and locate as to
tribe and section.

In the black fellow’s humpy, where he keeps his collection thrown down
in a corner with a pile of spears, clubs, rags, bark, and skins of
kangaroo and wallaby, I have seen very rare and curious specimens.

The nomad black fellow makes his primitive humpy, or hut, in a location
chosen temporarily, according to his necessities for hunting, fishing,
and the like, by cutting a young sapling half through about four feet
from the ground, and bending it over to a horizontal position, thus
forming a ridge pole, against which boughs and strips of bark are laid.
The covered side is always against the wind, and before the open front
a fire is always burning or smouldering. He does not like the wind, and
if it changes, presto! the humpy, too, is changed in a twinkling.

Down in this humpy corner, underneath the pile of bark and skins, he
will burrow like a rabbit when he goes to sleep, and from the same
place he will provide himself with a weapon when starting off for a
hunt.

I have been with him at various times and in sundry places, but
remember particularly one tramp with a tall, bushy-headed fellow, whom
somebody had appropriately named Long Green.

Starting from the humpy, we crossed a little stretch of scrubby
country, and struck into the sun-fretted gum-tree forest, locally known
as “the bush.” The black fellow is always on the alert for crooked
boughs or roots, and as we trudged on Long Green in his quiet way kept
his keen eyes on duty. Nothing escaped the observation of this child
of the bush--bird or animal, crooked stick, stripping bark, or foot
track, all were so many letters on the familiar page of his only book,
the book of Nature. However, finding nothing near, he led the way in
and out to a spot where he was sure of getting crooked roots. When a
suitable one was found and cut away by Long Green’s hatchet, we turned
our faces humpyward.

Arrived at the camp, fresh fuel was put on the smouldering fire, the
embers were blown into a lively flame, and then the black fellow began
operations by splitting the crook into slabs, cutting them thinner and
thinner until of the required thickness. This was the first step in the
making of a boomerang. The next was to put the slabs on the fire, where
we watched them roasting and sizzling, for they were green and full
of sap. In this state the wood is very pliable, and from time to time
he took a crook off, held it between his toes, knees, and teeth, and
twisted out all its inequalities. I have noticed that these people use
their teeth with great dexterity.

More chipping, then more roasting, and the growing boomerang was now
and again tossed carelessly on the ground just to see how it would
act, while he glanced at it sideways, gave it a poke with his foot,
and reminded me of a sedate old tom cat playing with a mouse. At last
he gave it a gentle shy along the ground; then a stronger motion. It
was buoyant, satisfactory. For the finishing off, it was scraped with
a piece of broken bottle, the edges sharpened all around, and it was
done--the boomerang was made! “White fellow, boss, chuck!” he said,
handing it to me. It weighed about half a pound; the under side was
rather flat, yet not entirely so, and the upper side slightly rounded,
with the ends a little thinner than the centre. It was about half an
inch thick and two and a half inches broad. After having amused myself
while he was making another, I handed it back to him and told him to
“chuck.” It proved to be a very good one, and he entertained me with
it for a long time. It is held with the flat side down and the concave
edge forward, and is thrown from over the shoulder. At the moment when
it leaves the hand it must be in an upright or perpendicular position.

The black fellow, with a short run and a grunt, sent the thing with a
sudden jerk at an angle of some twenty-five degrees. After whirling
through the air for nearly two hundred feet it began to rise, and its
flight curved toward the left, taking in a circle of a hundred yards
or more in diameter, and fell close to our feet, while throughout its
whole course of nearly a thousand feet it kept up a harsh, whirring
sound, like the wings of a partridge in full flight, the rotary motion
giving it the appearance of a ring or wheel moving through space. He
caused it to form in its course the figure eight a hundred yards in
length, then again he sent it off in a horizontal direction for a
hundred feet or more, when it quite suddenly turned and flew upward to
a great height. It would wheel along the ground in a straight course
and also in a circle, apparently possessed of some power in itself, and
the black fellow would jump up and down, talking and ejaculating to it
as though it understood him. He was an excellent thrower, and made it
perform two and even three circles before falling to the ground. At
his will it went from right to left, and from left to right. Most all
boomerangs go but one way, being made for that purpose only.

Now, all this seems contrary to the laws of nature and mathematics; but
it is all right, and all the eccentric movements of the boomerang can
be accounted for on scientific principles. Projectile force, rotary
motion, and gravitation do it all, and though these are big words they
mean something. You must not expect to throw it successfully without
long practice. It is dangerous, too, in the hands of a beginner, for it
is then that it “shows off,” and is liable to run wild and chase some
bystander in a most vigorous manner. It is all very amusing to see a
man running to escape, but he invariably runs the wrong way; and, if
hit, it might be a serious matter for him.

There were several other humpies near by in the bush, and whenever
my black fellow threw the boomerang the other fellows would shout
“kout kout!” meaning “look out!” and the women would seize the little
naked blacks, and cuff them, and tumble them into the humpies in a
most unceremonious manner; notwithstanding, their little black heads
were soon peeping out again. The larger boys, of some six or eight
years, were not interfered with, and they would run about and bring
the boomerangs which fell at a distance, for before we got through
there were several black fellows with their boomerangs in the game.
It was great fun. They stood in a row, I among them, and we sent the
boomerangs chasing through the air. Some were thrown in one direction,
some the opposite, passing each other in their flight; and as they
began to return I had to hop about in a lively way. The black fellows
ditto.

The boomerang has a favorite trick of hiding itself in the grass
or bushes, and I have looked for one in vain in an open field, and
given it up as lost, when, on returning the next day, it was found
at once. But they cannot hide from these little black fellows. They
have most wonderful eyes, deep set in their heads, and their sight is
perhaps keener than that of any other member of the human race. When a
boomerang fell at a distance they would run as fast as they could until
near the place, then stand perfectly still for a moment, like a hunting
dog, make a dive into the bushes, and reappear with the boomerang
in the hand. One little fellow was hit in the calf of his leg while
standing thus. It was a bad cut and bled freely. He disappeared among
the humpies without a whimper, soon coming out again with a bandage of
rags around the wounded leg.

It was now late afternoon. I knew the blacks liked to get in under
cover before dark, so, with a half-crown to Long Green, some cakes for
the little bushy heads, and good-bys, I walked off like a veritable
savage, grasping firmly my newly made aboriginal boomerang.

       *       *       *       *       *

☛LATEST ISSUES☚

BUFFALO BILL STORIES

The most original stories of Western adventure. The only weekly
containing the adventures of the famous Buffalo Bill. =High art colored
covers. Thirty-two big pages. Price, 5 cents.=

437--Buffalo Bill’s Panhandle Man-hunt; or, The Comanche Tigers.

438--Buffalo Bill at Blossom Range; or, Juniper Joe’s Jubilee.

439--Buffalo Bill and Juniper Joe; or, The Fool of Folly Mountain.

440--Buffalo Bill’s Final Scoop; or, Tim Benson, the Tiger of the Hills.

441--Buffalo Bill at Clearwater; or, Scouting with Old Nick Wharton.

442--Buffalo Bill’s Winning Hand; or, The Mystery of Lost Lake.

443--Buffalo Bill’s Cinch Claim; or, Bursting the Bubble.

444--Buffalo Bill’s Comrades; or, Breaking the “Ring” that Robbed the
Indians.

445--Buffalo Bill in the Bad Lands; or, A Brave Attempt to Prevent a
War.

446--Buffalo Bill and the Boy Bugler; or, The Mysterious Girl of Sacred
Mountain.

447--Buffalo Bill and the Heathen Chinee; or, The Missing Witness.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY

All kinds of stories that boys like. The biggest and best nickel’s
worth ever offered. =High art colored covers. Thirty-two big pages.
Price, 5 cents.=

352--Right on Top; or, Yankee to the Backbone. By Cornelius Shea.

353--A Clue from Nowhere; or, On a Phantom Trail. By Harrie Irving
Hancock.

354--Never Give Up; or, Harry Holton’s Resolve. By John L. Douglas.

355--Comrades Under Castro; or, Young Engineers in Venezuela. By Victor
St. Clair.

356--The Silent City; or, Strange Adventures in an Unknown Country. By
Fred Thorpe.

357--Gypsy Joe; or, The Young Nomad’s Triumph. By John De Morgan.

358--From Rocks to Riches; or, The Copper Coterie. By John L. Douglas.

359--Diplomat Dave; or, A Young Reporter on the Firing Line. By Harrie
Irving Hancock.

360--Yankee Grit; or, With Stanley in “Darkest Africa.” By Harrie
Irving Hancock.

361--The Tiger’s Claws; or, Out with the Mad Mullah. By Weldon J. Cobb.

362--A Taxicab Tangle; or, The Mission of the Motor Boys. By Stanley R.
Matthews.

363--A Hoodoo Machine; or, The Motor Boys’ Runabout No. 1313. By the
author of “A Taxicab Tangle.”

       *       *       *       *       *

TIP TOP WEEKLY

The most popular publication for boys. The adventures of Frank and Dick
Merriwell can be had only in this weekly. =High art colored covers.
Thirty-two pages. Price, 5 cents.=

697--Dick Merriwell’s Ranch Friends; or, Sport on the Range.

698--Frank Merriwell at Phantom Lake; or, The Mystery of the Mad Doctor.

699--Frank Merriwell’s Hold-back; or, The Boys of Bristol.

700--Frank Merriwell’s Lively Lads; or, The Rival Campers.

701--Frank Merriwell as Instructor; or, The Skill of the Wizard.

702--Dick Merriwell’s Cayuse; or, The Star of the Big Range.

703--Dick Merriwell’s Quirt; or, The Sting of the Lash.

704--Dick Merriwell’s Freshman Friend; or, A Question of Manhood.

705--Dick Merriwell’s Best Form; or, Master of Himself.

706--Dick Merriwell’s Prank; or, The Exposure of Artie Ettinger.

707--Dick Merriwell’s Gambol; or, Sport at the County Fair.

708--Dick Merriwell’s Gun; or, The Mystery of the Covers.

709--Dick Merriwell at His Best; or, Rounding the Team Into Form.

710--Dick Merriwell’s Master Mind; or, The Mysterious Mr. Snare.

711--Dick Merriwell’s Dander; or, The Day of Reckoning.

712--Dick Merriwell’s Hope; or, The Reliance of the Blue.

_For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt
of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by_

STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York

       *       *       *       *       *

=IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS= of our Weeklies and cannot procure them
from your newsdealer, they can be obtained from this office direct.
Fill out the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price
of the Weeklies you want and we will send them to you by return mail.
=POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

                                          ...................._190_

  _STREET & SMITH, 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York City._

  _Dear Sirs: Enclosed please find_.........................._cents
    for which send me_:

  TIP TOP WEEKLY,        Nos ..............................

  NICK CARTER WEEKLY,     “  ..............................

  DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY,    “  ..............................

  BUFFALO BILL STORIES,   “  ..............................

  BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY,  “  ..............................

  _Name_............................

  _Street_..........................

  _City_......................._State_..............

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY

ISSUED EVERY WEDNESDAY BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS

If the boys of ten or fifteen years ago could have secured such
thoroughly good adventure stories, of such great length, at five cents
per copy, the =Brave and Bold Weekly=, had it been published then,
would have had ten times its present large circulation. You see, in
those days, stories of the quality of those now published in the =Brave
and Bold Weekly= were bound in cloth covers or else published little by
little in boys’ serial papers, under which circumstances each story was
paid for at the rate of one dollar or more.

Now we give the boys of America the opportunity of getting the same
stories and better ones for five cents. Do you not think it is a rare
bargain? Just buy any one of the titles listed below and read it; you
will not be without =Brave and Bold= afterward. Each story is complete
in itself and has no connection whatever with any story that was
published either before or after it.

We give herewith a list of all of the back numbers in print. You can
have your newsdealer order them or they will be sent direct by the
publishers to any address upon receipt of the price in money or postage
stamps.

50--Labor’s Young Champion.

53--The Crimson Cross.

56--The Boat Club.

62--All Aboard.

65--Slow and Sure.

66--Little by Little.

67--Beyond the Frozen Seas.

69--Saved from the Gallows.

70--Checkmated by a Cadet.

73--Seared With Iron.

74--The Deuce and the King of Diamonds.

75--Now or Never.

76--Blue-Blooded Ben.

77--Checkered Trails.

78--Figures and Faith.

79--The Trevalyn Bank Puzzle.

80--The Athlete of Rossville.

81--Try Again.

82--The Mysteries of Asia.

83--The Frozen Head.

84--Dick Danforth’s Death Charm.

85--Burt Allen’s Trial.

89--The Key to the Cipher.

90--Through Thick and Thin.

91--In Russia’s Power.

92--Jonah Mudd, the Mascot of Hoodooville.

96--The Fortunes of a Foundling.

97--The Hunt for the Talisman.

98--Mystic Island.

99--Capt. Startle.

100--Julius, the Street Boy.

101--Shanghaied.

102--Luke Jepson’s Treachery.

103--Tangled Trails.

106--Fred Desmond’s Mission.

107--Tom Pinkney’s Fortune.

108--Detective Clinket’s Investigations.

109--In the Depths of the Dark Continent.

110--Barr, the Detective.

111--A Bandit of Costa Rica.

112--Dacy Dearborn’s Difficulties.

113--Ben Folsom’s Courage.

114--Daring Dick Goodloe’s Apprenticeship.

115--Bowery Bill, the Wharf Rat.

117--Col. Mysteria.

118--Electric Bob’s Sea Cat.

119--The Great Water Mystery.

120--The Electric Train in the Enchanted Valley.

122--Lester Orton’s Legacy.

123--The Luck of a Four-Leaf Clover.

124--Dandy Rex.

125--The Mad Hermit of the Swamps.

126--Fred Morden’s Rich Reward.

127--In the Wonderful Land of Hez.

128--Stonia Stedman’s Triumph.

129--The Gypsy’s Legacy.

130--The Rival Nines of Bayport.

131--The Sword Hunters.

132--Nimble Dick, the Circus Prince.

134--Dick Darrel’s Vow.

135--The Rival Reporters.

136--Nick o’ the Night.

137--The Tiger Tamer.

138--Jack Kenneth at Oxford.

139--The Young Fire Laddie.

140--Dick Oakley’s Adventures.

141--The Boy Athlete.

142--Lance and Lasso.

143--New England Nick.

144--Air-Line Luke.

145--Marmaduke, the Mustanger.

146--The Young Desert Rovers.

147--At Trigger Bar.

148--Teddy, from Taos.

149--Jigger and Ralph.

150--Milo, the Animal King.

151--Over Many Seas.

152--Messenger Max, Detective.

153--Limerick Larry.

154--Happy Hans.

155--Colorado, the Half-Breed.

156--The Black Rider.

157--Two Chums.

158--Bantam Bob.

159--“That Boy, Checkers.”

160--Bound Boy Frank.

161--The Brazos Boy.

162--Battery Bob.

163--Business Bob.

164--An Army Post Mystery.

165--The Lost Captain.

166--Never Say Die.

167--Nature’s Gentleman.

168--The African Trail.

169--The Border Scouts.

170--Secret Service Sam.

171--Double-bar Ranch.

172--Under Many Suns.

173--Moonlight Morgan.

174--The Girl Rancher.

175--The Panther Tamer.

176--On Terror Island.

177--At the Double X Ranch.

179--Warbling William.

180--Engine No. 13.

181--The Lost Chief.

182--South-paw Steve.

183--The Man of Fire.

184--On Sampan and Junk.

185--Dick Hardy’s School Scrapes.

186--Cowboy Steve.

187--Chip Conway’s White Clue.

188--Tracked Across Europe.

189--Cool Colorado.

190--Captain Mystery.

191--Silver Sallie.

192--The Ranch Raiders.

193--A Baptism of Fire.

194--The Border Nomad.

195--Mark Mallory’s Struggle.

196--A Strange Clue.

197--Ranch Rob.

198--The Electric Wizard.

199--Bob, the Shadow.

200--Young Giants of the Gridiron.

201--Dick Ellis, the Nighthawk Reporter.

202--Pete, the Breaker Boy.

203--Young Maverick, the Boy from Nowhere.

204--Tom, the Mystery Boy.

205--Footlight Phil.

206--The Sky Smugglers.

207--Bart Benner’s Mine.

208--The Young Ranchman.

209--Bart Benner’s Cowboy Days.

210--Gordon Keith in Java.

211--Ned Hawley’s Fortune.

212--Under False Colors.

213--Bags, the Boy Detective.

214--On the Pampas.

215--The Crimson Clue.

216--At the Red Horse.

217--Rifle and Rod.

218--Pards.

219--Afloat with a Circus.

220--Wide Awake.

221--The Boy Caribou Hunters.

222--Westward Ho.

223--Mark Graham.

225--“O. K.”

226--Marooned in the Ice.

227--The Young Filibuster.

228--Jack Leonard, Catcher.

229--Cadet Clyde Connor.

230--The Mark of a Thumb.

231--Set Adrift.

232--In the Land of the Slave Hunters.

233--The Boy in Black.

234--A Wonder Worker.

235--The Boys of the Mountain Inn.

236--To Unknown Lands.

237--Jocko, the Talking Monkey.

238--The Rival Nines.

239--Engineer Bob.

240--Among the Witch-doctors.

241--Dashing Tom Bexar.

242--Lion-hearted Jack.

243--In Montana’s Wilds.

244--Rivals of the Pines.

245--Roving Dick, the Chauffeur.

246--Cast Away in the Jungle.

247--The Sky Pilots.

248--A Toss-up for Luck.

249--A Madman’s Secret.

250--Lionel’s Pluck.

251--The Red Wafer.

252--The Rivals of Riverwood.

253--Jolly Jack Jolly.

254--A Jay from Maine.

255--Hank, the Hustler.

256--At War with Mars.

257--Railroad Ralph.

258--Gordon Keith, Magician.

259--Lucky-stone Dick.

260--“Git Up and Git.”

261--Up-to-date.

262--Gordon Keith’s Double.

263--The Golden Harpoon.

264--Barred Out.

265--Bob Porter’s Schooldays.

266--Gordon Keith, Whaler.

267--Chums at Grandcourt.

268--Partners Three.

269--Dick Derby’s Double.

270--Gordon Keith, Lumber-jack.

271--Money to Spend.

272--Always on Duty.

273--Walt, the Wonder-Worker.

274--Far Below the Equator.

275--Pranks and Perils.

276--Lost in the Ice.

277--Simple Simon.

278--Among the Arab Slave Raiders.

279--The Phantom Boy.

280--Round-the-World Boys.

281--Nimble Jerry, the Young Athlete.

282--Gordon Keith, Diver Detective.

283--In the Woods.

284--Track and Trestle.

285--The Prince of Grit.

286--The Road to Fez.

287--Engineer Tom.

288--Winning His Way.

289--Life-line Larry.

290--Dick Warren’s Rise.

292--Two Tattered Heroes.

293--A Slave for a Year.

294--The Gilded Boy.

295--Bicycle and Gun.

296--Ahead of the Show.

297--On the Wing.

298--The Thumb-print Clue.

299--Bootblack Bob.

300--A Mascot of Hoodooville.

301--Slam, Bang & Co.

302--Frank Bolton’s Chase.

303--In Unknown Worlds.

304--Held for Ransom.

305--Wilde & Woolley.

306--The Young Horseman.

307--Through the Air to Fame.

308--The Double-faced Mystery.

309--A Young West Pointer.

310--Merle Merton’s Schooldays.

311--Double-quick Dan.

312--Louis Stanhope’s Success.

313--Down-East Dave.

314--The Young Marooners.

315--Runaway and Rover.

316--The House of Fear.

317--Bert Chipley On Deck.

318--Compound Interest.

319--On His Mettle.

320--The Tattooed Boy.

321--Madcap Max, the Boy Adventurer.

322--Always to the Front.

323--Caught in a Trap.

324--For Big Money.

325--Muscles of Steel.

326--Gordon Keith in Zululand.

327--The Boys’ Revolt.

328--The Mystic Isle.

329--A Million a Minute.

330--Gordon Keith Under African Skies.

331--Two Chums Afloat.

332--In the Path of Duty.

333--A Bid for Fortune.

334--A Battle with Fate.

335--Three Brave Boys.

336--Archie Atwood, Champion.

337--Dick Stanhope Afloat.

338--Working His Way Upward.

339--The Fourteenth Boy.

340--Among the Nomads.

341--Bob, the Acrobat.

342--Through the Earth.

343--The Boy Chief.

344--Smart Alec.

345--Climbing Up.

346--Comrades Three.

347--A Young Snake-Charmer.

348--Checked Through to Mars.

349--Fighting the Cowards.

350--The Mud-River Boys.

351--Grit and Wit.

352--Right on Top.

353--A Clue from Nowhere.

354--Never Give Up.

355--Comrades Under Castro.

356--The Silent City.

357--Gypsy Joe.

358--From Rocks to Riches.

359--Diplomat Dave.

360--Yankee Grit.

361--The Tiger’s Claws.

362--A Taxicab Tangle.

363--A Hoodoo Machine.

364--Pluck Beats Luck.

365--Two Young Adventurers.

366--The Roustabout Boys.

=Price, Five Cents per Copy.= If you want any back numbers of our
weeklies and cannot procure them from your newsdealer, they can be
obtained direct from this office. Postage stamps taken the same as
money.

STREET & SMITH, PUBLISHERS, 79-89 SEVENTH AVE., NEW YORK CITY

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have
been corrected.

The following change was made:

p. 5: want to added (if you want to find)





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brave and Bold Weekly No 362, A Taxicab Tangle - or, The Mission of the Motor Boys" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home