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Title: Frank Reade Jr.'s Air Wonder, The "Kite"; Or, A Six Weeks' Flight Over The Andes
Author: Senarens, Luis
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.

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[Illustration: FRANK READE WEEKLY MAGAZINE Containing Stories of
Adventures on Land, Sea & in the Air]

 _Issued Weekly—By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class
      Matter at the New York Post Office, 1902, by Frank Tousey._
 No. 7.               NEW YORK, DECEMBER 12, 1902.       Price 5 Cents.

[Illustration: FRANK READE, JR’S AIR WONDER THE “KITE;” OR, A SIX WEEKS’
FLIGHT OVER THE ANDES. _BY “NONAME._”]

 There was a terrific explosion. Earth and debris were flung into the air
  to a great height, and fully a dozen of the brigands were killed. The
 wretches seemed to forget all about Frank Reade, Jr., or anyone else and
                          fled for their lives.

                              FRANK READE

                            WEEKLY MAGAZINE.

     CONTAINING STORIES OF ADVENTURES ON LAND, SEA AND IN THE AIR.

 _Issued Weekly—By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class
  Matter at New York, N. Y., Post Office. Entered according to Act of
 Congress in the year 1902, in the office of the Librarian of Congress,
     Washington D. C., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, New York._

 =No. 7.=             NEW YORK, DECEMBER 12, 1902.     =Price 5 Cents.=



               Frank Reade, Jr.’s Air Wonder, The “Kite”;
                  A SIX WEEKS’ FLIGHT OVER THE ANDES.


                              By “NONAME.”



                               CHAPTER I.
                           A VILLAIN’S GREED.


It was near the close of a beautiful day in June, and the declining sun
shed its radiance softly over the crags and heights of the Andes
Mountains in the heart of Peru.

High up in the heart of the hills was a flat shelf of rock projecting
from the cliff, and far out over an enormous descent of a thousand feet
to depths below.

Upon the verge of this shelf of rock a fearful scene was being enacted.

Two men were there engaged in a fearful death struggle. Locked in each
other’s embrace, they fought and panted like veritable fiends.

They were both Americans. On their way over the great Southern
Cardilleros they had a falling out, and a battle to the death was the
result.

One was tall and supple, with powerful limbs and deep chest. The other
was thin and slender, and rather sickly-looking, yet he fought with
consummate skill and absolute fearlessness.

“Confound you, Royal Harding! You shall never live to reap the benefit
of our discovery of the treasure cave of the Incas. It is mine—all
mine—and I shall return to New York and claim the heart and hand of
beautiful Mabel Dane—not you.”

“Never, Lester Vane! Your plans shall never win success. A great and
just God will never permit it.”

“Worm! I can crush you as I would a reed!”

“I shall fight to the last.”

“Over the precipice with you!”

Fiercely they fought. The larger man, who was the first speaker, made a
tremendous effort, and suddenly lifted the other like a feather.

One moment he hovered in mid-air, and then over the precipice he went.

A wild, awful cry of anguish and despair went up from the slight man.
Down over the edge he went.

Out of sight he flashed. A yell of fiendish delight escaped the victor.

He rushed to the edge and looked over.

He had expected to see the mangled form of his victim at the bottom of
the cliff.

But to his surprise he saw him suspended in mid-air fully a hundred feet
below.

In his sliding descent he had managed to grasp a scrub of spruce which
projected from the wall of the cliff.

To this he clung.

It was certainly a close call. His life was spared for the moment. But
what more awful than his present position.

The white, awe-struck, upturned countenance met the gaze of Lester Vane.

“For mercy’s sake, Lester, do not let me die. Save me!”

A mocking laugh pealed from the villain’s lips.

In his hand there was a huge stone with which he had intended to dash
his victim from his slender perch.

But second thought restrained him.

“I was about to dash you from that hold!” he hissed, “but that would be
only a merciful ending of your agonies. I shall leave you to hang there
until your strength gives out and you are obliged to fall of your own
accord. May your thoughts be pleasant and your end a happy one.”

“Villain!” groaned Harding with awful terror. “You do not mean that!”

“Don’t I?”

“You cannot be so inhuman!”

“Ha! you do not know me. Stay there and think of me with the Incas’
treasure on my way to New York to claim Mabel Dane. Ha, ha, ha!”

“Wretch! Monster!” screamed Harding in an insane manner. “You will never
do that. No, no, no! I appeal to your sense of right and humanity. Be
just!”

But his words were wasted, spent upon empty air.

Vane had disappeared, gliding away noiselessly among the mountain crags.

The stillness of death was upon the defile. Far above a solitary vulture
wheeled in airy echelon as if waiting to feast upon a certain victim.

Awful horror was upon Harding.

He clung to the scrub with an energy born of despair.

He dared not cast his glance downward for fear he would relax his grip
and fall.

Fearful thoughts coursed through his fevered brain.

Awful agonies he suffered in that moment, and the end seemed certain to
be death. Several times the frenzy of despair nigh overcame him and he
almost relaxed his grip and fell.

“Oh, God!” he moaned, “am I to die thus? Is this to be my fate?”

And yet what was to save him?

The region seemed utterly deserted. There seemed not the least chance of
his rescue being effected, for there were probably no human beings other
than himself and Vane within many miles of the place.

The story of the presence of the two men in these parts was a brief one.

They had met in Callao and fraternized. As it chanced both were from New
York.

Harding was in love with a young lady of good family in York.

He carried Mabel Dane’s picture with him, and in an unsuspecting moment
showed it to Vane.

The latter, a fellow of fiery impulse, at once fell in love with the
portrait, and instinctively became jealous of Harding.

In the blackness of his heart he was resolved to cut his friend out and
win the girl whom he had never seen as his own.

Harding never suspected him.

He took a fancy to Vane and confided to him a valuable secret.

This was the supposed location of an Incas treasure far up in the Andes.
Arrangements were quickly made, and the two men set out with the purpose
of securing the treasure.

For weeks they wandered about through the wilds.

Then success crowned their efforts.

A cavern was found deep in the mountains in which golden images and
plate were buried. The value of the buried treasure was enormous.

It made rich men of both of them.

It seemed as if life had opened up before them with new and glowing
prospects. The delirium of the gold seeker was upon them.

But after a time this wore away in part, and practical questions began
to assert themselves.

How were they to transport their wealth to civilization?

It certainly was of no use to them here. It was a problem which required
some little study to solve.

“I will tell you,” said Vane, finally. “Let us go to Quito and procure a
pack train of mules. We can transport the treasure to some point on the
coast, and there we may find a trading vessel on which we may embark for
the United States.”

“Your plan is to purchase the vessel?”

“Yes.”

“Good,” agreed Harding. “It shall be as you say. We will do that.”

Thus the plan was made.

No doubt it would have been successful.

But Lester Vane had in his heart a dark and dreadful purpose. His
selfish, covetous nature would not admit of a generous division of the
treasure.

His whole soul was filled with the one purpose to appropriate the whole
wealth to himself, and with it to return to New York and win the heart
of Mabel Dane.

But to do this it was necessary to dispose of Harding.

He saw but one way to do this.

Lester Vane was cold, calculating and unscrupulous. He determined to
murder his companion outright.

With his mind made up to do this, he suddenly halted Harding near the
brow of the precipice, and coolly informed him of the fact.

He believed that as he was much stronger he could easily overcome the
weaker man.

Harding was horrified with the discovery that his companion was this
kind of a man.

But he was not disposed to yield to such a fate without a struggle.

So he made a brave and a resolute fight, as the reader has seen.

But the villain triumphed, and we now see Royal Harding clinging vainly
to the face of the precipice, with death in its most awful form yawning
below him.

It did not seem as if any human power could save him.

Lester Vane was making his way with all haste to Quito.

He would charter a vessel, have the treasure transported to the coast,
and sail away to the United States.

As Harding thought of all this he groaned with awful horror and despair.

“Oh,” he moaned; “is this to be my unkind fate? Will nothing save me?”

Then he thought of Mabel Dane; and his eyes flashed.

“And he thinks he can win her heart!” he muttered, “but he will learn
better when he meets her. Mabel is too sweet and true to ever play me
false!”

Then he began desperately to consider every possible chance of escape.

The distance to the bottom of the gorge was frightful.

The fall would be sure to dash the life from his body.

There was no way of climbing down.

The descent was sheer and precipitous, and jagged rocks were below.
Neither could he hope to retain his present position long.

The tax upon the scrub was a severe one, and it had already begun to
yield.

At any moment it was apt to give way. An awful horror overcame Royal
Harding.

“Oh,” he wailed; “will the villain triumph in this manner? Am I to be
thus consigned to death?”

It was the prayer of a despairing soul, and that it found speedy answer
seemed an assured fact.

For suddenly Harding felt a shadow pass between him and the dying rays
of the sun.

There was a peculiar whirring sound like the movement of many wings, and
he looked up to behold a stunning spectacle.

A huge ship seemed floating in the air above him. There it was, hull and
masts, and bowsprit, decks and all.

For a moment Harding thought it the effect of a disordered mind.

But he pulled himself together and gazed hard at the spectacle.

Then he saw beyond a doubt that it was truly an air-ship, and upon the
bow he read in gilt letters:

                               “THE KITE,
                           “FRANK READE, JR.”

A wild, thrilling cry went up from Royal Harding’s lips.

“Saved, saved!” he cried. “It is Frank Reade, Jr., the wonderful young
inventor, and one of his air-ships. Saved, thank God!”

Harding had not been so long absent from the world of civilization that
he had not heard of Frank Reade, Jr., and his wonderful inventions.

He had read the exploits of the young inventor and was well familiar
with his history.

He knew that Frank Reade, Jr., was a young and handsome fellow of the
rarest gifts, whose home was in a beautiful American city called
Readestown.

Air-ships were the hobby of this famous young inventor, and he had taken
many trips about the world, accompanied by two faithful servants, an
Irishman named Barney O’Shea and a negro called Pomp.

These were now at the rail of the air-ship, and the Celt shouted:

“Howld fast, sor! Shure it’s to your rescue we’ll be afther coming!”



                              CHAPTER II.
                        THE WONDERFUL AIR-SHIP.


The joy of Harding bordered upon a frenzy. He could hardly contain
himself.

“Hurrah!” he cried. “God has answered my prayer. I shall be saved.”

“Av coorse yez will!” cried Barney, in an encouraging voice. “Shure an’
howiver did yez come in this persition?”

“I was thrown over the cliff by a companion whom I supposed to be a
friend, but who was my worst enemy.”

“Shure that was a dhirty thrick. Niver mind, yez may yit git squar wid
the omadhoun!”

“I will,” replied Harding, resolutely.

The darky, Pomp, throw a rope over the rail.

“Golly, sah!” he cried, with a comical grin. “Jes’ yo’ cach hol’ ob dat
an’ dis chile brung yo’ abo’d pooty quick!”

“Easy, Pomp,” said a rich, melodious voice. “It is not quite time yet.”

The speaker was Frank Reade, Jr., himself. He stood upon the deck with
one hand upon the rail and an eye upon the revolving rotascopes which
served to hold the ship suspended in the air.

He was a fine, handsome specimen of youth, with clear-cut features, a
steady eye and an air of one born to command.

The Kite was settling down slowly into the defile.

Pomp now rushed to the pilot-house near and pressed one of the electric
keys.

This so regulated the speed of the rotascopes that the air-ship was held
immovable at its present attitude.

Then Pomp sprang back to the rail.

Barney had taken the rope and had now swung it over until it came within
reach of Harding.

“Steady dar, boss!” cried Pomp. “Now jes’ yo’ hang right on!”

“All right, my good friends,” replied Harding.

There was a noose in the end of the rope, and the gold seeker slipped
this under his shoulders.

Then he cried:

“All right! Haul away!”

This was done. Pomp and Barney hauled away with a will, and very quickly
Harding was lifted over the rail on board the Kite.

He stood upon his feet and gazed about him.

“Heaven be praised!” he gasped. “This is all like a strange dream. It
does not seem at all a reality.”

“I can understand that, sir,” cried Frank Reade, Jr., with a pleasant
laugh. “You are welcome on board the Kite.”

He shook hands with Harding most warmly. But the gold seeker continued
to gaze about the air-ship wonderingly.

“I have heard much of you and your inventions, Mr. Reade,” he said, “but
I never dreamed that your air-ship was such a beautiful and wonderful
machine.”

“Indeed,” said Frank, pleasantly; “if you desire I will shortly show you
about the ship and explain to you its details and manner of
construction.”

“Indeed, I shall be delighted.”

“But you are fatigued. Come into the cabin and have a glass of wine, and
tell us how you came in that dangerous position.”

“I will do that with all pleasure,” replied Harding.

He followed Frank Reade, Jr., into the cabin of the Kite.

This was situated amidships, and was a most beautifully furnished
saloon.

Frank offered a chair to his visitor, and said:

“Now, Mr. Harding, we shall be very glad to have your story.”

Harding had already given his name and business in these parts to Frank
Reade, Jr.

He now began at the beginning and detailed the entire story of his life.

He told frankly of his love for Mabel Dane and of his expedition to Peru
to search for the Incas treasure.

“I had hoped to find the fortune,” he said, “and then return and claim
the girl I love.”

He then detailed his meeting with Vane and the after incidents.

How they had found the Incas treasure and had planned to remove it. Then
the perfidy of Vane.

Frank Reade, Jr., and Barney and Pomp listened with the deepest of
interest.

To them it was a most interesting and thrilling recital.

Particularly was the young inventor interested. When Harding had
finished he cried, vehemently:

“My friend, you shall have your rights. That treasure every bit belongs
to you, and yours it shall be.”

“Thank you a thousand times!” cried Harding, eagerly. “Oh, do you really
mean to say that you will help me to recover the Incas treasure?”

“I do,” replied Frank.

“Half, yes, two-thirds of it shall be yours. I only ask enough——”

“Not one cent!” replied Frank, quickly. “I do not want money. I am rich
enough.”

Harding was almost delirious in his great joy.

He alternately thanked and blessed his young benefactor.

“If I can return to America with a fortune, and claim Mabel Dane as my
wife,” he declared, “I shall be the happiest man in the world.”

“If it is in my power to assist you to do that, I will do it.”

Frank now proceeded to show Harding the wonderful mechanism and
construction of his air-ship.

“All the electrical devices aboard this ship,” he declared, “are patents
of my own.”

The Kite was built after the shape of a modern cruiser, with a narrow
hull, and long, pointed bow.

The hull was made of the lightest rolled platinum, lined on the bottom
with tough steel meshes to resist a blow or the impact of a bullet.

Lightness and strength are the two prime things to be considered in
building an air-ship.

Frank Reade, Jr., considered these well and carefully. He was certain
that he had hit upon the right plan.

The hull of the Kite was roomy enough to admit of the storage of the
electrical machinery, batteries and dynamos. Also there was a cabin for
Barney and Pomp and a good-sized galley for cooking purposes.

A deck over all was made of light wood highly polished.

Amidships was the cabin with furnishings and decorations of the richest
description.

Forward was the pilot-house or tower, and aft was a similar tower for
the regulating of the propeller or the rotascope shafts.

One huge mast rose from the deck and supported a monster rotascope,
which was in itself sufficient to elevate the ship.

But to make sure, two smaller rotascopes were provided upon shafts which
rose from the two towers.

In the stern was a large propeller like the huge screw of an ocean
steamer.

From the mast and the bowsprit two flying jib sails were swung, for the
purpose of steadying the Kite.

Altogether, the Kite was a most wonderful invention.

Harding was captivated by the plan as revealed by Frank Reade, Jr.

“It is wonderful,” he declared. “You are certainly the most wonderful
inventor on earth, Mr. Reade!”

“That may be a large statement,” said the young inventor, with, a smile.
“However, I am glad that you appreciate my air-ship.”

“I can only say that I am delighted beyond expression with the prospect
of taking a voyage with you aboard the Kite,” declared Harding,
ardently. “It is a treat which any man would be glad to accept.”

“The question now is,” said Frank, brusquely, “what shall we do about
the treasure you speak of? Would it not be best to secure that at once?”

“It will take Vane a long while to secure a transportation from Quito.”

“True; but he may have decided to remove the treasure to some other
hiding place!”

“Right!” cried Harding, nervously. “I appreciate the danger of
procrastination, Mr. Reade. I am ready when you are.”

“But you must first direct us where to find the treasure cave.”

“That I will do, but——”

“What?”

“You cannot go thither with this air-ship.”

“Why?”

“It is buried deep in a dark and unwholesome cavern. The air-ship cannot
enter that.”

“That is all right,” said Frank. “We can leave the ship and return to it
when we have secured the treasure.”

“Certainly.”

This move was decided upon at once.

Harding directed the course of the air-ship. Darkness was fast coming
on, and after drifting for a time over the mountain peaks Frank decided
that it would be better to wait for the light of another day.

Harding declared that the cavern was now not more than twenty miles
distant.

“We will make that in very quick time in the morning,” declared Frank.
“Certainly we can do little in this gloom.”

The sky was cloudy and the darkness which settled down was most intense.

But upon the bow of the air-ship was an electric searchlight.

With this Frank illumined the face of the country below.

He selected what he believed would be a good spot.

It was an open spot in a valley high up in the lofty Andes.

Here the air-ship was allowed to descend and rest upon the ground.

Pomp set about getting the evening meal.

The darky was a comical coon and could play the banjo and sing in
genuine plantation style.

Barney, on the other hand, was a genuine type of the Hibernian, and was
a master with the violin.

He could play all manner of Irish jigs and songs.

To get the two characters together, with their fund of music and comical
jokes, was as good as a variety show.

While they were the warmest of friends, Barney and Pomp were always
wrangling in a facetious way and playing jokes upon each other.

Upon the present night Barney had it in for Pomp.

The latter had put a live electric wire into the Celt’s bed the night
before, and when he retired had given him a shock which literally lifted
him out of the bunk.

The Celt had sworn vengeance with a large V, and he proceeded to
formulate a plan to get square with the darky.

When Barney played a joke upon any one it was generally a huge and
unvarnished one, with hard knots all over it.

Now the Celt knew the weaknesses of the darky well.

If there is one thing in his world that the negro fears it is a
disembodied spirit, or rather the thoughts of such.

Knowing this well, Barney chuckled to himself and proceeded to elaborate
his little scheme.

Pomp was an unsuspecting party.

He busied himself about the evening meal and rendered up a repast which
was delicious and appetizing.

Then, after the meal was over, all repaired to the deck to enjoy the
balmy evening air.

Frank Reade, Jr., and Harding sat by the rail enjoying a social chat and
some good cigars.

It was a fiendish plot which Barney had laid.



                              CHAPTER III.
                     BARNEY GETS SQUARE WITH POMP.


The Celt was firm in his purpose to give Pomp a soaking which he would
not soon forget.

He was smarting himself from the effects of the experience with the live
wire. His bones were yet sore.

“Begorra, I’ll make the naygur wish he’d niver tackled me!” he declared.
“Share, I’ll fix him neat.”

Barney had procured from the chemical stores some phosphorus.

He procured a couple of sheets, and thoroughly treated them to a
solution of this.

In the dark the sheets gave forth a luminous blue light, which was very
like the sulphurous fires supposed to exist in Hades.

The Celt dressed himself up in these in the most ghostly fashion.

He had among his effects a hideous mask, which he whitened with a
solution of common whitewash.

Then he placed plumpers in his cheeks to change the tone of his voice.
He was now all ready for fun.

He chuckled as he surveyed himself in a glass.

“Be me sowl, I’ll scare the loife out av that naygur!” he muttered,
jubilantly. “He’ll think fer shure that the divil has come fer him!”

Pomp was aft, engaged in polishing some brass-work on the binnacle lamp.

The light from the electric globe shone full upon his black visage as he
worked away industriously and hummed a song at the same time.

Barney crept along in the gloom, and truly he was a sight well
calculated to inspire terror.

The phosphoric gleam from his white garments was almost ghostly, and
savoring of graveyards and ghouls.

Nearer he crept to the unsuspecting darky.

He was now directly behind him.

Pomp never dreamed of the ghostly visitor so near him.

Barney drew himself up and uttered a deep and dismal groan.

In a moment Pomp turned.

The effect was comical beyond all powers of description.

The darky let out a yell which might have awakened the dead, and dropped
upon his knees.

“Massy sakes, golly fo’ glory, sakes alibe!” he gasped. “Bress de Lor’,
sabe mah haht! de ghosteses hab come fo’ Pomp fo’ suah. Please, Mr.
Ghosteses, don’ harm dis chile, an’ he do anyfing yo’ say.”

Barney waved his spectral arm and let out another groan.

Pomp doubled up and cried:

“Don’ hurt dis po’ brack chile, Mistah Ghosteses, ah beg ob yo’. I do
anyfing yo’ say if yo’ don’ hurt dis chile.”

“Stand on yer head,” said Barney, in a dismal voice.

In a twinkling Pomp obeyed.

“Walk on yer hands!”

This was done.

But Barney, the inexorable persecutor, was not yet satisfied.

Near by was a pail of salt water, which had been used in washing the
deck. The pseudo ghost pointed to this.

“Drink!” he said.

Pomp hesitated.

“Drink!” thundered the specter.

“But, Mistah Ghosteses——”

“Drink, I say!” roared Barney.

He took a step forward. Pomp at once succumbed.

He took up the pail of water and took a mouthful. It was villainous
stuff, and nigh choked him to death.

He dropped the pail and began to retch violently. The ghost took a step
forward.

At once Pomp essayed a mouthful more.

“Please, Mistah Ghosteses, don’ make me drink no moh ob dat stuff,” he
cried, beseechingly.

“Drink!” roared Barney.

“Mistah Ghosteses——”

For a moment Barney forgot his personality and said, in his rich brogue:

“Begorra, av yez don’t dhrink the whole av it I’ll break the neck av
yez!”

The mask was off.

In an instant Pomp’s fears were dispelled and he understood the whole
game.

“Huh!” he yelled, straightening himself up. “I ain’t afraid ob no ‘count
I’ish ghosteses, no way, you kin jes’ bet! Look out dar!”

Lowering his head, Pomp made a dash for his persecutor.

Barney was not quick enough to get out of the way.

The darky’s head struck him full in the stomach.

“Wow-ow-ough!” yelled Barney, with pain and anger. “Be me sowl, yez have
kilt me for shure!”

“I teach yo’ to play such tricks on me, yo’ no ‘count I’shman!” yelled
the darky, furiously making another rush.

Barney was not quick enough to get out of the way, and this time Pomp
butted him clean over the rail of the air-ship.

The distance to the ground was not ten feet, and Barney was not hurt by
the fall.

But the disclosure that the fall made was a startling one.

Barney felt some yielding form beneath him, and a sharp yell went up.

The Celt rolled over and was upon his feet instantly, but only in time
to find himself surrounded by dark forms.

In the gloom he could not see who these were. But instinctively the
thought of an enemy came to him.

“Whurroo!” he yelled, making a break through the throng, “Phwat the
divil has broke loose? Get out av me way, yez omadhouns!”

Through the gang he broke, knocking them right and left. An angry series
of yells went up, and the dark forms began to pile over the rail.

Frank Reade, Jr., had heard the racket, and sprang out upon deck.

At that moment Barney sprang over the rail, crying:

“Ochone, but the divils have attacked us, an’ shure they’ll be the death
av the whole av us!”

Frank saw the dark forms coming over the rail.

Instinctively he knew what had happened. The situation was plain to him.

The mountains were infested with bands of Peruvian brigands, made up of
half-breed natives and cut-throat Spaniards.

There was no doubt but that a gang of these had attacked the Kite.

Frank knew well what the result would be should they gain a footing on
the deck.

There was no doubt but that the brigands would murder every one of the
party and loot and burn the air-ship.

There was no time to hesitate.

The promptest of action must be made. Frank sprang to the searchlight
and turned its glare full on the throng.

The effect was intense.

For a moment the brigands were blinded and stood gazing helplessly at
the mighty glare of light.

In that moment Frank saw that they were types of the roughest men in
creation, and that they were in great numbers.

It was a critical moment.

Certainly it looked as if the air-ship was doomed. If the brigands were
not repulsed the effect would be terrible.

“On deck, all!” yelled Frank. “Stand ready for a fight!”

He could have rushed to the pilot-house and have sent the air-ship aloft
in a moment.

But the brigands were now on deck in large numbers.

Pomp and Barney rushed into the cabin and came out with rifles. Harding
also came with them.

“Give it to ‘em!” shouted Frank. “Don’t give them a chance to get the
upper hand!”

“You bet we won’t,” cried Harding, with a thrill of resolution. “Mow
them down, boys!”

The three rifles spoke.

The brigands were shot down like sheep. They returned the fire, but the
defenders of the Kite were now all in the cabin and firing through
loop-holes.

The destruction was most deadly.

The brigands tried to break in the cabin door. At this moment a happy
thought came to Frank.

The Kite had been so constructed that its steel hull could be charged
with electricity by pressing a certain key.

Those who were in the cabin, however, which was so arranged to be safe
insulated territory, would not feel the shock.

Frank determined upon this method of repulsing the foe.

He saw quickly that it was going to be quite useless to attempt to
defeat the brigands by means of rifles alone.

So he quickly connected the hull of the air-ship with the dynamos, and
pressed the key which sent the electric current into it.

The result was a most unpleasant surprise to the brigands.

They were flung from the air-ship’s deck as if propelled by giant hands.
Broken bones and damaged heads were in order. Every brigand who ventured
to touch the electrified air-ship was sorry the next moment.

This ended the battle.

The brigands withdrew into the darkness. They continued to fire
ineffectual shots at the air-ship for some time.

But after awhile they withdrew.

This ended the affair for the time. The voyagers had reason to
congratulate themselves that they had escaped so luckily.

“Begorra, I niver had a more narrow escape from instant death in me
loife!” cried Barney. “Bechune you an’ the brigands, naygur, I come
mighty nigh croakin’.”

“Youse jes’ right dar, I’ish,” returned Pomp, with flashing eyes. “An’
dat jes’ serves yo’ right fo’ yo’ treatment of me!”

“Be jabbers, it’s square we are for onct, yez black monkey.”

“I done fink yo’ don’ want fo’ to play no mo’ ghosteses, I’ish!”

“Begorra, it’ll be wuss next time, naygur!”

“Well,” said Frank, with conviction, “it’s very fortunate indeed that
Barney happened to tumble onto those chaps. If he had not, there is no
doubt but that they would have given us a surprise.”

“They are a cut-throat crew,” declared Harding. “I was once held a
prisoner by them for a week. I never suffered harsher treatment in my
life.”

As it was not likely that the brigands would return again that night,
the position of the air-ship was not changed.

Until morning came, Barney and Pomp remained on guard.

The day dawned bright and clear, a typical day in the tropics.

The air-ship was soon again on its way.

For an hour and a half the air-ship kept on, until suddenly Harding drew
Frank to the rail and pointed to a distant cut in the mountains.

“There is the cave,” he said; “but the air-ship cannot go thither.”

“All right,” declared the young inventor; “we will leave it here.”

Frank called to Barney and Pomp and said:

“You will stay aboard the ship and keep a sharp lookout until we return.
Do you understand?”

“A’right, Marse Frank,” replied Pomp.

“Yis, sor!” returned Barney.

Both were dying to accompany their young master upon the expedition.

But this of course was impossible, as somebody must be left aboard the
air-ship.

The kite settled down now into a wide clearing. Here Frank intended to
land.

Both himself and Harding were quickly ready and equipped for the
expedition which was destined to acquaint them with some most thrilling
adventures.



                              CHAPTER IV.
                               PRISONERS.


Harding was all excitement and eagerness. It did not seem as if he could
get ready quick enough.

The air-ship rested upon the earth now, and Frank and Harding stepped
over the rail.

As soon as the two explorers had gone, Barney and Pomp were to send the
air-ship up a hundred feet or more and there safely anchor it.

A system of signals by means of rifle-shots had been agreed upon.

Thus having concluded all arrangements, the two explorers set out upon
their trip.

Harding led the way.

They carried sacks in which the treasure was to be brought from the
cavern to the air-ship.

Leaving the Kite they entered a dense clump of tropical growth, and a
short while later came out into a narrow defile leading up through the
hills.

This was deep and dangerous-looking.

The high walls rising so close together upon either side seemed to shut
out the light of day.

The air-ship could not possibly have entered this narrow crack in the
mountain wall, just as Harding had said.

“Ugh! This is indeed a most unwholesome place!” said Frank.

“As I told you,” said Harding; “but it was once a gateway through the
mountains.”

“Indeed!”

“I believe it. You will notice the peculiar formation of the walls. An
earthquake no doubt has brought about this peculiar state of affairs.”

“You may be right,” agreed Frank. “Ah, what wonderful things the world
contains, which but few of its people are ever permitted to see.”

“You are right there,” agreed Harding, in a hearty manner.

“But I don’t see how you ever found your way through here.”

“Indeed, I was a long time in these parts before I was able to find it,
though I had a plan of the spot, given me by a dying Incas chief. I
finally succeeded.”

The two explorers clambered on for hours over bowlders and ledges of
rock, stumps, and prickly cacti.

Poisonous snakes and reptiles were plenty in the place. It was with
difficulty these were avoided.

But finally, after the hardest of work, they threaded the defile and
came in sight of a deep-mouthed cavern.

“Found at last!” cried Harding, eagerly. “Now, Mr. Reade, prepare to
feast your gaze upon a wonderful sight.”

With feverish earnestness, the gold-seeker rushed forward.

Into the cavern they passed.

Suddenly Harding paused with a gasping cry.

“My God!” he exclaimed; “what is that?”

He pointed to some marks in the soft soil of the cavern floor.

They were footprints.

“Some one has been here, and lately!” he said, in a tense voice.

The two men exchanged glances.

“Yes,” agreed Frank. “The footprints are proof.”

“Who is it?”

“Perhaps it is Vane.”

But Harding shook his head.

“No,” he said. “I cannot believe that he has had time to get here yet.
Moreover, those footprints are those of natives or brigands, and not of
white men.”

Frank saw that this was true.

“Upon my word, you are right,” he declared. “What shall we do?”

“Go ahead and learn the worst.”

Harding said this with set lips and white face.

Both started into the cavern.

A torch had been prepared, and this lit up the uncanny and somber gloom.

The air was foul and damp, and hundreds of huge bats flew out of the
place as they went on.

Still they kept on.

After what seemed an interminable length of time, they entered a huge
and high-arched cavern chamber.

Here a torch was out of the question, as a crevice in the roof admitted
the light of day in abundance.

The chamber seemed to have been once used by the natives as a temple.

There were hieroglyphics upon the walls in great numbers, and the
remains of a dais upon which a throne might have set were visible.

Harding advanced to the center of the chamber and knelt down.

He fumbled about in the dirt for a time, and then succeeded in
resurrecting an iron ring.

Lifting this, he raised a square slab of stone.

A deep hole was revealed.

Harding glanced into it, and a cry of despair and anger escaped his
lips.

It was empty.

“Gone!” he cried, wildly. “What devilish plot is this? They have stolen
away my treasure! Curses on them!”

For a moment he seemed a literal madman.

Then gradually he calmed down.

“Have courage,” said Frank, encouragingly; “we may overtake the
thieves.”

“Ah, I have no hopes of that!”

“Who do you believe them to be?”

“It is hard to say.”

“Not Vane?”

“No; it must be that some prowling band of brigands has discovered the
treasure. They may have seen us come here.”

“In that event,” said Frank, “we need only pursue them.”

“They will fight.”

“What of that?”

“There are only two of us!”

“But we can return to the air-ship. They cannot escape from the Kite.”

Hope once more shone in Harding’s face.

“There is cheer in your words, Mr. Reade,” he said. “I will not despair
yet. Let us go back to the Kite.”

“All right.”

But the words were hardly off Frank’s lips when a startling thing
occurred.

Suddenly from the cavern arches there came a mocking laugh.

Then the two adventurers were astounded to see dark forms flit from the
shadows, and saw that they were surrounded by brigands.

For a moment Frank Reade, Jr., was at a loss how to act.

As for Harding, he was literally petrified with amazement and
consternation.

Frank was the first to recover himself.

He swung his rifle over his shoulder and made a leap for the main
passage, at the same time shouting:

“Quick, Harding! For your life!”

The gold seeker obeyed the injunction none too soon.

Both leaped into the shadows, and at that moment there came a report of
a number of the brigands’ rifles, and one of them shouted in Spanish:

“Hold, senors! You cannot escape! Surrender or you die!”

Frank saw that their case was a hopeless one.

Fortunately none of the bullets had struck them, but they had not gone
far wide of the mark.

Harding’s coat sleeve was shot full of holes, and Frank’s hat was
perforated.

The young inventor had thought to slip the foe in the main cavern.

But no sooner had he entered the passage than he found himself
surrounded by the brigands.

There was no alternative but to surrender. Resistance was folly.

Frank saw this at a glance.

He could have shot a few of the brigands and thus have sold his life.
But the thought flashed through his mind that this would be utter folly.

So he threw up his hands and cried in good Spanish “Forbear, senors—we
surrender!”

In a twinkling both were disarmed.

As they stood thus helpless in the center of the swarthy group of
ruffians, the leader, a tall, powerful framed Peruvian, came forward.

He wore a broad sombrero, leathern breeches and fancifully beaded
jacket.

A huge knife and a pair of revolvers were thrust into his belt.

With a swaggering braggadocio characteristic of the race, he advanced
and said roughly in the Spanish language:

“Well, senors, this is the time that you are entrapped. It will not be
easy for you to escape the vengeance of Red Muriel. Your people are all
interlopers in this region, and our people hate you!”

“Indeed!” said Frank, calmly. “What harm have we done you?”

“Per Dios! That is not for me to answer. Your fate is sealed.”

“Indeed!” said Harding, in the Spanish tongue. “Are we to die?”

“That is your fate.”

“We are glad to know that,” said Harding, coolly. “We are not afraid to
die.”

The brigand showed his teeth.

“Bravado!” he said, contemptuously.

“Cowardice, to kill two defenseless men!” retorted Harding.

The fellow’s eyes gleamed.

“Spare your words, senor!” he said, coldly. “Nothing will save you!”

“One word more,” exclaimed Harding, in a tense voice, pointing to the
treasure vault. “Do you know what became of the gold that vault
contained?”

The Spaniard smiled.

“Si, senor,” he replied. “You would have stolen it. It is the property
of myself.”

“Liar!” cried Harding, furiously. “It was my property, and you have
taken it away unlawfully!”

The brigand chief laughed in a scornful way.

“Words will avail you nothing, senor,” he declared. “Prepare for death.”

Both Harding and Frank saw that it was of no avail to bandy words with
the brigand chief.

The latter turned and gave a gruff order to his men.

They advanced, and seizing the two prisoners by the arms, led them away.

Through the outer cavern passage they were led. Soon they were in
daylight once more.

But this time they were in far different spirits than when they had
entered the cave.

Despair most profound was upon Harding. But Frank Reade, Jr., was never
the one to give way to such emotion.

The brigands led their prisoners through the defile, until suddenly they
came to a path which led over the cliff.

Up this they went, and finally came out upon a sort of broad plateau
terminating at this end of the defile.

Here, by Red Muriel’s orders, the party came to a halt.

The brigand chief made a gesture and the prisoners were led almost to
the brow of the cliff.

Then the villain advanced, and with a suave, mocking smile, said:

“Senors, please accept the congratulations of Red Muriel upon your
speedy voyage to the next world. May you find a happier time there.
Buenos, senors!”

With a sweeping bow the brigand chief retired.

“Heavens!” exclaimed Frank, “they mean to throw us to an awful death
over the cliffs. That will be awful!”



                               CHAPTER V.
                            A DARING ESCAPE.


A cry of despair welled up from Harding’s agonized bosom. He realized
only too well the truth of Frank’s words.

Death most awful confronted them.

There seemed no power at hand to save them. That the brigand chief would
execute his threat there was no doubt.

Harding was not a coward, but he was the more disposed to yield to fate
than Frank Reade, Jr.

The young inventor was constantly on the lookout for some way out of the
dilemma. He quickly hit an idea.

“Harding!” he said, suddenly, in a hoarse whisper.

“Well?” retorted the other.

“Will you follow my directions?”

“What are they?”

“I have worked upon my bonds until I have loosened them. How are yours?”

“There is no show of their loosening.”

“Ah, well, now let me tell you my plan. You have the use of your legs?”

“Yes; but my hands are tied.”

“Well, never mind that. My hands will be free. Now if you will make a
break to run toward that tree yonder it will draw the attention of the
brigands away from me, and I will make a dash for liberty. If I succeed
in reaching that height yonder I shall be within view of the Kite and
will signal Barney and Pomp. Then we will make a strike to save you. It
is our only hope of salvation.”

Harding saw the situation at a glance, and whispered back:

“All right! Give the word when you are ready!”

“I will do so.”

Of course there was a chance that the scheme would fail, but it was
certainly a dernier ressort.

Frank had now completely freed his hands. The brigand chief and his men
were some yards away, evidently engaged in a discussion.

The moment had come.

There was not a little risk in the move. The brigands were apt to fire
and shoot them both down.

But it was the only chance, as Frank had said, and well worth the
trying.

Harding drew himself up, and as Frank gave the word he made a dash for
the distant tree.

The ruse worked far better than either he or Frank had expected.

The brigands were so busily engaged in their discussion that they had
not noticed the move until Harding had nearly reached the tree, and
Frank was twice the distance in an opposite direction.

It had not seemed to occur to the brigands that the prisoners would dare
to make a break for liberty.

Harding was more than elated with his success, and made up his mind to
keep straight on.

“Caramba! Curses!” yelled the astounded brigand chief. “Chase them!
Capture them at any cost! Shoot them!”

The brigands with yells started in pursuit. But Harding, despite the
fact that his hands were tied, could run almost as fast as Frank, who
had the use of his hands.

The bullets whistled about Harding.

But he kept on at full speed.

He had reached the tree and bounded on beyond it.

The brigands were coming in the rear, but Harding dashed down a steep
incline and plunged into a thick jungle.

On the other hand, Frank Reade, Jr., had succeeded in reaching the high
ground which was his objective point.

The Kite could from here be seen not two miles away rocking at her
anchor.

The sound of the firing came up on the wind to Barney and Pomp.

“Begorra, av I’m not mistaken there’s a bit av a ruction going on over
there!” cried the Celt.

“Golly! dat am right, I reckon!” agreed Pomp. “Amn’t dat de smoke of de
guns yender?”

“Bejabers, let’s take a luk at it.”

Barney came from the cabin with a glass. He brought it to bear upon the
smoke.

Then upon an eminence beyond he saw the form of a man making excited
gestures.

There was no mistake.

Even at that distance Barney recognized his employer, Frank Reade, Jr.

“Be me sowl! av it ain’t Misther Frank!” he cried. “Shure an’ he’s
telegraphin’ to us.”

“Massy sakes alibe! dat am a fac’,” cried Pomp. “We’s done gwine to his
help, sah, fo’ suah!”

“Yez kin bet on that!” cried Barney, rushing to the anchor rope.

In a few moments the anchor was lifted. The Kite went sailing above the
brigands, and Pomp dropped an electric bomb in their midst.

This fell with much force, and burst with a terrific explosion.

The effect was fearful. A great hole was blown in the ground, and
several of the brigands were killed.

Terrified at the sight of the air-ship and at the deadly work of the
bomb, the brigands desisted in their pursuit of Frank Reade, Jr.

The young inventor at a safe distance signaled the air-ship to descend.

Barney lost no time in making the descent, and as the air-ship touched
the ground Frank sprang aboard.

Once more the air-ship rose with the young inventor safely aboard.

“Golly fo’ glory, Marse Frank!” cried Pomp, excitedly, “I done fink yo’
had jes’ a narrow escape from being killed!”

“Well, I did,” replied Frank. “But there is no time to lose. We must
save Harding!”

But the brigands, it was quickly seen, had disappeared.

They had retreated into the defile, and evidently into the cavern.

Harding had gone from sight.

He was nowhere to be seen.

The last seen of him he had been making for the jungle.

The air-ship cruised around and over the vicinity for over an hour.

But Harding did not turn up, nor could a trace of him be found.

“Well,” muttered Frank, in amazement, “that is mighty queer. What can it
mean?”

After some time spent thus, a horrible fear seized the young inventor.

It was possible that Harding had been struck by one of the brigand’s
bullets, and was lying dead in some out-of-the-way place.

This decided Frank upon a different plan of action.

“Lower the ship, Barney!” he cried. “Be lively about it!”

“All roight, sor,” replied Barney.

Down went the air-ship.

It rested upon the earth in the verge of the jungle. Frank seized his
rifle and descended to the ground.

He lost no time in at once entering the jungle.

He found what he believed was Harding’s trail. It led through the tall
grasses, and in some soft mud he found the imprint of a boot-heel.

Some distance into the jungle Frank followed the trail.

Then he lost it.

He had been prepared for any horrible sight, even to seeing Harding’s
blood-stained body lying in the reeds.

But instead he made his way through a thick belt of grasses and came to
higher land.

At this point the jungle was not one hundred yards from the brow of the
defile which led to the cave.

Frank followed Harding’s trail to this point. Then he saw where it
terminated with a startled thrill.

Trailing vines and grasses covered the mouth of a deep pit.

Into this Harding had unwittingly stepped and sank to unknown depths,
possibly to death.

For a moment Frank stood appalled.

“My God!” he exclaimed. “I fear that is the end of poor Harding!”

He bent down over the edge of the pit and tried to fathom its depths.
But all was pitchy darkness.

Then he shouted loudly:

“Harding! I say, answer me if you are alive!”

But no answer came back. All was the stillness of death.

The hollow sound which was returned seemed to indicate that the pit was
of great depth. How deep it was impossible to guess.

What was to be done?

Frank was in a quandary. There was no easy solution of the problem. Then
he bethought himself of an idea.

He called to Pomp, who brought a rope and a lantern.

This later Frank lit and then lowered it into the pit. Down it went, and
suddenly disappeared from sight.

The pit was winding, and the lantern could not be lowered so as to
reveal its bottom to the one above.

Frank Reade, Jr., and Barney stood upon the edge of the pit after this
discovery in a completely baffled state of mind.

“Well, I’ll be hanged!” muttered Frank, impatiently; “this is a pretty
state of affairs. What are we to do?”

“Golly, Marse Frank!” cried Pomp, readily, “if youse will jes’ agree to
it, I fin’ a way to jes’ brung Marse Harding up out ob dat!”

“Indeed!” exclaimed Frank. “What is it, Pomp?”

“Jes’ yo’ tie dat rope around mah waist, Marse Frank, an’ I go down
inter dat ar place. If I don’ fin’ Marse Harding den it will be becase
dis chile don’ try.”

“Good!” cried Frank, with alacrity. “There can be no harm in that, can
there? And we may be able to rescue poor Harding.”

“Begorra, naygur, will yez let me go in yer place?” asked Barney.

“I don’ fink dat wud be jes’ de fing,” retorted Pomp. “I’se jes’ doin’
dis ar jab mahse’f, sah!”

Pomp quickly had the rope about him.

He slid boldly down into the winding passage, Barney and Frank holding
on to the rope.

Down he went and out of sight.

Frank and Barney kept on paying out the rope for some while. Then
suddenly Frank gave a sharp exclamation.

There was a thrill, and the rope suddenly felt slack. Frank gave it a
lift. There was nothing on the end of it.

What did it mean?

There seemed only one solution. The two men looked at each other aghast.

“Be me sowl! that is very funny, sor!” cried Barney. “Phwativer wud yez
call it, anyway?”

“Why, it looks as if Pomp had lost his hold and fallen from the rope.”

This was certainly the outlook. But was it the truth?

There seemed no way of getting an answer to the question. Frank was
speechless with surprise and uncertainty.

He wound the rope up and down for awhile, thinking that Pomp might have
reached the bottom of the pit and had neglected to give the signal.

But no answer came.

It was evident that the darky had fallen from the rope in some peculiar
fashion. Just how it was not easy to tell.

Frank began to pull on the rope.

In course of time the end came to the surface. Frank picked it up and
quickly examined it.

The strands had parted just as if they had given way under a mighty
strain. This seemed to settle all doubt.

There was no longer reason to doubt but that Pomp had fallen to the
bottom of the pit and possibly death.

It was an awful thought.

Frank instantly began to wind the rope around his own waist.

“Phwere are yez goin’, Misther Frank?” asked Barney, in amazement.

“I am going down to find Pomp,” replied the young inventor.



                              CHAPTER VI.
                            FRANK’S SEARCH.


Barney gave a cry of alarm and disapproval.

“Shure, yez must niver do that!” he cried. “Your loife is too valuable
fer that, Misther Reade. Let me go in your place.”

The young inventor hesitated.

There was certainly logic in the remark of the Irishman’s. It would seem
like folly and certain death to descend into the pit upon the rope.

If it would part with the strain of Pomp’s body it would certainly do so
with his.

Frank saw this and realized the utter folly of such a move. Doubtless it
was the chafing of the rope against the sharp ledges of rock which
walled the passage which caused it to break.

So yielding to a better sense of discretion he abandoned the idea.

He was reluctant to do this, for it certainly looked as if it was the
end of Harding and Pomp.

Frank was much distressed with the thought.

“My soul!” he ejaculated; “words cannot express how keenly I shall feel
the loss of Pomp. He has been a good and faithful servant for many
years.”

“Shure, sor,” exclaimed Barney, “ye don’t mean ter give the naygur up?”

“Indeed, what else can we do?”

“To be shure, sor, it looks bad!”

“It looks desperate.”

“But, sor, I’ll not give up the naygur yet, sor.”

“Ah, what plan have you?”

Barney scratched his head meditatively.

“Shure, sor, it’s a heap av thinking I have been doin’ and, sor, I makes
up my mind that this pit is a cave.”

“A cave?”

“Shure, sor.”

Frank laughed quietly.

“Why, of course it is!” he declared. “What else could it be?”

“Well, sor,” said Barney, confusedly, “that is—I would say, sor, it is a
cave, and what is more, it is loikely a part of the other cave, sor!”

Like a flash the Celt’s meaning flashed upon Frank Reade, Jr.

It was certainly a bright thought.

“Good for you, Barney!” he declared. “I never thought of that. If it is
true, which pray Heaven it is, our friends must be all safe.”

“Very loikely, sor!” said Barney, confidently. “No, sor, I’ll niver give
up the hope that the naygur is aloive an’ safe!”

“Good enough!” cried Frank. “Now let us look this matter up. But——”

Frank paused in disappointment.

“Phwat, sor?” asked Barney, pointedly.

“How can we do that?”

“An’ phwy not, sor?”

“Somebody must stay with the air-ship.”

Barney’s face fell.

He had not thought of this.

“Shure, sor, the wan av us can go.”

“That is true!” agreed Frank, “but it is an unfortunate splitting up of
our numbers. Let me see. I think you had better stay with the Kite,
Barney. Keep a good outlook for foes.”

Barney nodded his head.

“All roight, sor!” he said. “Your worrud is law, sor. But the risk is
very great for ye, Misther Frank. I think ye had betther let me go,
sor.”

“No,” said Frank, resolutely. “I will go myself.”

The brave Celt could say no more.

He knew better than to attempt to gainsay his master, and Frank made
preparations for the search.

Of course there was the likelihood that the cave was yet in the
possession of the brigands.

In this case it would be perilous indeed to invade it.

Also, if the pit into which Harding and Pomp had fallen was connected
with the main cave, their position would be a hazardous one as well.

Barney had instructions in black and white.

This was to elevate the Kite to the height of a hundred feet, and there
to hold it anchored.

The Celt did as he was told.

Then Frank, armed to the teeth, descended over the cliff into the
defile.

He saw nothing of the brigands, and came to the conclusion that they had
deserted the place.

This was a gratifying reflection, and he kept on with confidence.

He reached the mouth of the cavern in safety.

There was no sign of the brigands anywhere.

Frank now took his bearings carefully, with the idea of locating the
possible connection of the pit with the cavern.

Then he entered the latter, and pushed on confidently from one passage
to another.

For a long time he kept on thus.

At times he would pause and listen for some sound or sign of the missing
men.

But always there remained the same dead and awful silence.

It was like being in a tomb, and was by no means agreeable to Frank.

“I certainly hope I shall soon come across them,” he reflected. “There
is a possibility of getting a bad chill in this damp and loathsome
place.”

But time passed on, and he felt sure that he must have reached the part
of the cavern directly under the pit’s mouth.

But it was not until he had burned two torches and lit a third that he
hit upon a clew.

Then suddenly a glistening object in the dirt caught his eye.

Instantly he picked it up.

It was a hunting knife with a bright silver handle, and he knew that it
had belonged to Harding.

Frank flashed the rays of his torch to the roof above.

And there he saw a circular opening which he knew was the end of the pit
into which the two men had fallen.

Barney’s ingenious hypothesis was correct, after all.

But where were the men?

Frank asked himself this question.

He examined the soft soil of the cave.

There were their footprints surely. They led away into a side passage,
and Frank followed them.

He raised his voice and shouted repeatedly.

But the only answer that came back was a strange, weird echo, which
repeated itself many times.

By the light of the torch Frank followed the trail.

In this manner he might in time have overtaken them.

But suddenly the trail came to an end. This was owing to a peculiar
change in the soil.

The soft dirt was supplanted by gravel and ashes, and no footprint could
be visible in them.

This was a great disappointment to the young inventor.

He shouted loudly again and again. But the two men were evidently far
beyond hearing.

Frank kept on for some while in the hope of striking the trail again.

But in this he failed.

And now he was confronted with a startling fact.

This was that he was himself lost. He had not the slightest idea as to
the direction to take to carry him out of the cave.

He wandered on and on for what seemed an eternity.

In vain he tried passage after passage.

The cavern was a veritable labyrinth. The more earnestly he tried to
find his way out the deeper he got into the tangle.

Finally horror and despair began to settle down upon the young inventor.

“My God! Am I to perish in this place?” he muttered, dismally. “Is there
no way out of it?”

Indeed this did not seem possible.

So deep was the maze of passages that there was no doubt that Frank had
in many cases returned again and again to the point from which he
started.

At length a dreadful weariness and faintness began to settle down upon
the young inventor.

He could not seem to overcome it, and finally, completely fatigued, he
yielded to nature, and sinking down upon the soft dirt, he slept.

How long he slept he never knew.

When he woke up the torch by his side was naught but a heap of cold
ashes.

But fortunately Frank had provided himself with a good supply of these.

Lighting another, he thrust it into a niche in the wall.

Then he sat up and rubbed the numbness from his stiffened limbs. Very
soon he felt better.

But the outlook was certainly a very dismal one.

He felt weak and faint. Fortunately Frank had a small flask of brandy in
his pocket.

A draught from this revived him for a time, and he was enabled to go on
once more.

Again he wandered on through the labyrinth.

Of course chance might at any time bring him out of the maze, but he was
not altogether hopeful. The heaviness of the air had a most depressing
effect upon him, and made him feel weak and sick.

Finally Frank came to a stop.

He began to appeal to his inventive genius. This seldom failed him.

“Here I have been going on at random,” he declared; “making a fool of
myself; and at this rate I would soon succumb to exhaustion. Now by some
system I can certainly find my way out of this place.”

If he had taken the precaution to blaze the walls upon entering all of
this trouble might have been averted.

But Frank was not to be long baffled by a problem.

He had been accustomed to solving such all his life, and he believed
that he was able to do it now.

He went to work carefully with his pocket compass to locate his
position.

He remembered that the mouth of the cave faced due east.

By keeping to every passage that led in that direction it certainly
seemed as if he ought to get out eventually.

Frank happily had a piece of chalk in his pocket.

This he employed in carefully marking numbers upon the wall of every
passage into which he turned.

Some of the passages leading eastward would come to a termination in a
most exasperating manner after having been followed for a long way.

Others would turn back upon themselves or wind again into the maze.

In this case Frank would be compelled to return to the point of
beginning.

Then he would begin over again and take another passage.

In this way he worked his way along with perseverance and good courage.

By his system of marking the false passages Frank was enabled to finally
find a continuous passage to the eastward.

A gleam of daylight showed ahead.

Ten minutes’ run and he came into a lofty roofed cavern chamber in which
all was daylight from an aperture above.

He recognized it as the treasure chamber. With a cry of joy he went on
and soon came out into the defile once more.

It had seemed eternity, yet really Frank had been lost two days and
nights in the depths of the Andean caverns.



                              CHAPTER VII.
                        ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND.


But what was really the fate of the two men, Harding and Pomp, who had
fallen into the pit?

When Harding had plunged into the jungle, he had not stopped to think
where his footsteps were leading him.

His sole thought was to distance his pursuers.

He was more than delighted to think that he had been able to do this.

The ruse suggested by Frank Reade, Jr., had succeeded beyond his most
sanguine expectations.

“If I can only find a hiding place about here,” he muttered, “I shall be
sure to give them a permanent slip.”

So he rushed on, and gave no heed to the nature of the ground under his
feet.

Then he stepped unsuspectingly upon what seemed like a mere network of
vines.

But it masked a trap; for he felt the earth give way under his feet, and
he went down like a shot.

His hands were tied, else it was possible that he might have saved
himself by clutching something in his descent.

As it was, he was jolted and jarred into half insensibility by contact
with the winding walls of the passage.

Down, down he went, and experienced a shock, and for a moment was partly
insensible.

When he recovered himself he was in pitchy darkness. The air about him
was damp and foul.

He was sore and lame from the effects of his fall.

“My God!” he exclaimed. “Where am I, and what has happened?”

Then he remembered that he had fallen into a hole in the ground.

The rest was blank.

For aught he knew he might be at the center of the earth. In vain he
tried to collect his scattered senses.

And thus he was engaged when suddenly he heard a sliding, scraping
motion above him, and a voice suddenly cry out in alarm:

“Hol’ on up dar, Marse Frank! I done believe dat rope am a breakin’!”

Then there was a snapping sound, a yell of terror and a thud, and he
felt a cloud of dust in his face, and knew that some person lay beside
him.

It was Pomp.

Harding could not fail to recognize the voice, and cried:

“Heavens! Is that you, Pomp?”

“Golly fo glory, Marse Harding, am dat yo’sef?”

“It is,” replied Harding, eagerly. “How on earth did you come down
here?”

“Bress yo’ haht, honey, I jes’ cum down fo’ yo’,” replied Pomp.

“You did?”

“‘Spec’s I did, chile!”

“Well, you have found me.”

“I should say so, sah, an’ done break mah neck in de bargain. But
howebber is we uns gwine fo’ to git up dar agin, I dunno.”

“How did you come down?”

“On a rope, chile; an’ it done break wif me!”

“Then you tracked me?” asked Harding, eagerly.

“Spec’s we did, sah.”

“And Frank Reade, Jr., he escaped also?”

“He am up dar dis bressed minut, an’ I don’ fink I bettah tole him about
dat rope breakin’ wif me!”

“Good!” cried Harding; “tell him to lower it more!”

“Yo kin bet I will.”

With which Pomp endeavored to shout to Frank and Barney above, but the
result is well known.

They were unable to hear or make themselves heard, and finally Pomp
abandoned the idea in despair.

They were in total darkness.

Their position did not seem by any means encouraging.

Pomp’s coming, however, was in many ways a blessing to Harding.

The darky was enabled to cut the bonds which held his wrists, and set
him free.

They quickly compared notes.

It was a conclusion that they were in the depths of a cavern, most
likely connected with the treasure cave.

“In that case,” said Harding, hopefully, “why should we not try to at
once find our way out?”

“Of cose,” agreed Pomp; “dat am de bery first ting.”

With this resolution they set out.

For hours they wandered through the mazes of the cavern labyrinth.

In one respect their quest was a more difficult one than Frank Reade,
Jr.’s, for they had no torches to light their way.

They were obliged to make their way along by the sense of touch.

Indeed less brave and hardy spirits would have been appalled with the
force of the situation in its hopelessness.

But they kept on resolutely, and this very energy proved their
salvation.

By what was a fortunate chance they succeeded very quickly in striking a
passage which led out of the labyrinth.

But this was on the opposite side of the mountain, and as they came out
into the sunlight they were for a moment dazzled.

But as this cleared away they saw that they were upon a shelf of rock in
the mouth of a cavern which overlooked a great stretch of country.

Far below was a long and narrow valley between the Andean peaks, and
through this ran a stream.

Harding gazed upon the scene a moment and exclaimed:

“Well, Pomp, we may thank our lucky stars that we are out of the woods
at last!”

“You’s right dar, Marse Harding,” declared the darky.

“But it will now become necessary to find out the location of the
air-ship.”

“Yes, sah.”

“I should say that we were upon the exactly opposite side of the
mountain.”

“Dat am a fac’, sah.”

“Well, how are we to get down from here?”

Harding went to the edge of the shelf of rock and looked down.

The view was not an encouraging one. A deep descent it was, and to make
it one would have to exercise great care.

There were clinging vines on the face of the cliff.

Harding tested these, and found them firm and strong.

He swung himself over the edge.

“Are you a good climber, Pomp?” he cried. “If so, you may follow me.”

“A’right, sah,” said the darky.

He swung himself over after the gold seeker. In this manner both made
their way down the face of the cliff.

After a time they reached the valley below.

The question now was how were they to find their way back over the
mountain to the spot where Pomp had left the air-ship.

But this question seemed to find a certain solution. There was a pass
between the peaks which seemed to lead to the eastward.

It was believed that by taking this the distance could be overcome
quickly, and the party once more united.

There did not seem to be any danger of meeting Red Muriel, though such
an incident would be most unpleasant.

What had become of the brigand chief it was impossible to guess.

It might be that he had fled from the region with the Incas treasure,
which he had stolen from Harding.

The latter had not abandoned the hope of regaining the lost treasure.

Just how this was to be accomplished was not yet quite clear to him. But
he had hopes that it would be done.

Harding and Pomp pushed on through the grass.

They had nearly reached its termination when a thrilling incident
occurred.

Pomp was in advance, and came to what in the shadows looked like a huge
log across the path.

He was about to step over it when quick as a flash it rolled itself in
hideous coils about him.

It was a monster python of the most wonderful species. Pomp was but a
child in the folds of the monster.

A wild yell escaped the darky’s lips.

“Golly—golly!” he cried, in agonized accents. “Marse Harding, dis chile
am done gwine fo’ to be killed. Lor’ sabe mah soul!”

Harding was horrified beyond expression.

For a moment he was riveted to the spot in helpless horror. The sight of
the monster snake was to him most terrifying.

He saw that the monster’s folds were tightening about Pomp, and that he
was likely to be killed in quick order.

A frenzy seized Harding

“I will save you, Pomp,” he cried, desperately. “Don’t give up hope.”

Then drawing a huge sheath knife he rushed upon the snake.

He made a blow at the monster’s head.

He missed it, but drew a tremendous spurt of blood from the snake’s
body. Again and again Harding slashed at the reptile’s body.

He believed that if he could sever the mighty coil he could save Pomp’s
life.

In this he was right. The darky struggled, but his efforts were those of
a child in that powerful grip.

The snake made repeated blows at Harding with its head.

But the plucky gold seeker dodged them every time and kept at work with
the knife.

Such strenuous efforts could not fail to yield some result. Gradually
the snake’s coils began to weaken, and finally Pomp was enabled to crawl
from them altogether.

The reptile rolled upon the ground in savage agony, writhing and
twisting violently.

Harding was overjoyed at his success in rescuing Pomp, and both made
haste to attain a safe distance from the reptile.

“Geolly, but I done fought I was a gone coon dat time!” cried Pomp, with
dilated eyes. “I jes’ fink I owes mah life to yo’, Marse Harding.”

“We were fortunate to be able to dispose of the monster!” said Harding,
modestly. “But come, Pomp, let us get out of this infernal region.”

“A’right, sarh,” agreed Pomp. “I’se more dan agreeable, sah.”

With this they once more set out through the defile.

After much hard climbing they finally succeeded in crossing the mountain
ridge, and suddenly a great cry burst from Pomp’s lips.

“Mah goodness!” he cried; “does yo’ see dat, Marse Harding?”

There, not many miles distant, they saw the Kite anchored in mid-air,
not more than a thousand feet above the earth.

Both now pressed forward eagerly.

It seemed an interminable distance to the air-ship, but they kept on.

Meanwhile, a curious change had been going on in the atmosphere.

The sky was assuming a strange copper color, and to the west and south
there was a long, livid line on the horizon.

The two adventurers were too intent upon the object before them to note
this.

They kept on at full speed, and suddenly Pomp cried:

“Dar am some one on de deck, an’ dey am jes’ makin’ a signal to us.”

At that distance it looked very much like Barney.

This was the truth.

It was evident that the Celt had seen them. With renewed courage the two
adventurers pressed on.

Barney had seen them, and as they answered his signals, he allowed the
air-ship to descend as rapidly as possible.



                             CHAPTER VIII.
                           A TERRIBLE STORM.


After a hard climb the two adventurers finally succeeded in reaching the
air-ship.

As they approached Barney stood at the rail and hailed them.

“Be me sowl! I’m glad to see yez!” he cried; “but phwere on earth did
yez come from, anyhow?”

“Golly!” cried Pomp, rushing up and embracing his friend; “I’m jes’ so
glad fo’ to see yo’, I’ish, dat I cain’t git over it.”

“Let up wid yer love-makin’, an’ give us some dacint explanation of yure
conduct!” cried Barney, with much dignity.

“Yo’ ought to know ‘bout dat yo’se’f, I’ish. Didn’t yo’ see me fall down
in dat hole in de ground?”

“Begorra, I did, an’ phweriver did it go to, anyway?”

“It jes’ carried me down into a big cave, whar I found Marse Harding,
an’ we managed to fin’ our way out aftah a long time, chile. Dat am de
way ob it.”

“Bejabbers, that’s quare enough. But shure, didn’t yez see Misther
Frank?”

Harding and Pomp looked amazed.

“Marse Frank!” exclaimed the darky. “Wha’ yo’ talkin’ about, chile?”

“Bjabbers, can’t yez undherstand?” roared Barney. “Misther Frank went
afther yez to thry and find yez, begob.”

“Didn’t see nuffin’ ‘tall ob him,” replied Pomp, vaguely. “Which way did
he go?”

Harding was interested.

“Did Frank go out to look for us, Barney?” he asked.

“He did that, sor.”

“But was he not with Pomp at the pit?”

“He was that, with me, but sez he, ‘I belave I kin foind thim two min by
just goin’ into the cave agin an’ makin’ a search for them there!’”

“Oh!” cried Harding, with comprehension. “I see. Frank believed that the
pit led down into the cave!”

“That’s it, sor.”

“And he has gone into the cave to look for us?”

“Yis, sor.”

“Oh, that’s all right!” cried the young gold seeker, with a breath of
relief; “then we had better simply remain here until he returns.
But—there is a possibility that he may get lost in the cave.”

“Huh! Don’ yo’ believe dat, chile. If we could fin’ our way out ob dat
place, yo’ kin jes’ bet dat Marse Frank could do de same.”

“Begorra, an’ that’s thrue enough,” agreed Barney.

“Well, then, all we can do is to wait here for his return!” said
Harding.

“Av coorse it is.”

“I reckon dat am de bes’ way.”

This settled matters.

All now started to go on board the Kite. Harding had put his hand on the
rail when there was a series of sharp reports, and bullets went
whistling past.

Astounded, the adventurers turned to behold a thrilling sight.

There, rushing across the bluff, was a large number of the Peruvian
brigands.

They were yelling fiendishly and brandishing their weapons.

“Bejabbers, here comes the inemy!” cried Barney, in wild excitement.

“Golly, I done fink we bettah run fo’ our lives!” yelled Pomp.

“Aboard, both of you!” cried Harding, who had reached the deck. “For
your lives!”

But there was little need of the admonition.

The two faithful servitors were aboard the Kite in a twinkling.

All rushed into the cabin.

Pomp and Barney picked up their rifles and gave the brigands a shot. But
Harding, who was much excited, cried:

“Oh, that will never do! They will be upon us in another moment. Once
they get on board the ship we are lost!”

“Huh! dey will nebber do dat!” cried Pomp. “Not if dis chile knows it.”

The darky with this rushed into the pilot-house.

It was but a moment’s work to press the key and the air-ship shot up
into space.

The baffled brigands gathered below upon the spot where the Kite had
been.

They seemed to view the ascension of the air-ship with profound
astonishment and mystification.

“Begorra, they don’t know phwat to make av it, do they?” cried Barney,
with a laugh.

Harding held up a shot-riddled hat.

“This is how narrow my escape was!” he declared. “An inch nearer and my
career would have been closed.”

“It’s glad I am, sor, that it was not,” said Barney.

“Dat am jes’ so,” declared Pomp.

“Thank you,” said the gold seeker, with a thrill of pleasure. “Your kind
words are gratifying.”

But so intent had they been on watching the brigands below that they had
failed to note a more serious calamity which now threatened them.

All this while the copper hue had been increasing the sky.

The livid hue upon the horizon had deepened, and a gust of wind, with a
mournful sough and wail, swept across the country.

The sun was in a yellow mist, and a dark shadow was beginning to creep
over the land.

Harding was the first to note this.

A sharp, startled cry escaped his lips.

“My God!” he cried. “It is a storm coming and such a thing in the
tropics is no light affair.”

Pomp and Barney saw the danger as well.

“A storm!” cried Barney. “Begorra, it luks to me loike a hurrycane!”

“I jes’ fink we bettah get out ob dis place!” cried Pomp.

This was true.

But where should they go?

The brigands were below. It would hardly be safe to descend. To remain
where they were would be to expose themselves to the fury of the storm.

It was a dilemma.

But there was no time in which to make a decision.

Even while they were thinking about it there came a terrific gust of
wind, which sent the Kite nigh over on her beam ends, so to speak.

“Heavens!” cried Harding; “this will never do. Lower the ship, Barney.”

The Celt saw that this was likely their only salvation.

He sprang to the pilot-house.

Pomp and Harding followed.

But they had barely time to shut the door when the storm burst. What
followed was ever after to them like chaos.

The Kite seemed to be whirling and tumbling over and over in space.

Every movable article aboard was tossed hither and thither.

As for the occupants, one moment they were upon their heads, and the
next moment upon their feet, or rolling about like a football.

It was evident that the Kite was speeding through space with awful
velocity.

Where this sort of thing would end up the voyagers did not know.

They expected that at any moment the Kite would be divested of her
rigging, dashed to the ground, and that they all would be killed.

But this did not happen.

The very fact of the air-ship’s complete helplessness in the vortex of
the tornado saved her.

The rotascopes were revolving like a whirlwind.

Unknown to the voyagers the shock had thrown the ratchet of the lever
open, and the full force of the current was on.

Every lull in the force of the wind gave the air-ship a chance to shoot
upward.

Up she went like a rocket, higher and higher.

She attained a tremendous elevation from the earth, as the passengers
now began to discover by reason of the change of temperature.

The air became chill, and as cutting as a knife.

Frost instantly began to appear upon the glass windows and the ironwork
of the air-ship

The wind was less furious now, and the Kite was going more steady.

Barney and Pomp at once understood the change.

The Celt sprang up and cried:

“Whurroo! It’s saved we are if we don’t freeze to death. Shure, the
storm is all below us this blessed moment!”

“What do you mean?” cried Harding; “have we really risen above the
storm?”

“That we have, sor.”

“But—is it not dangerous at this frightful altitude?”

Harding shivered with horror as he reflected that they might be several
miles from the earth.

Indeed it was not a cheerful reflection for one with unsteady nerves.

But Barney laughed.

“Yez need have no fears at all, at all, sor!” he cried. “Shure we’ll get
back to the earth all safe!”

The Kite was now steady as a clock.

A strong gale was blowing, and snow was flying about the deck.

But it was evident that she was far above the storm and that the danger
would very soon be past.

Barney pulled out some thick overcoats, which all donned.

Indeed the cold was very painful.

Looking out through the pilot-house window Barney was able to see that
the damage to the Kite was not of any great consequence.

The steel bracing irons of the rotascope shaft were bent, the blade of
one rotascope was twisted, and the deck had been cleared of everything
portable upon it.

Fortunately, this was only in the shape of a few chains of no great
value.

Certainly there was good reason for warm congratulations.

The escape had been a narrow one. It was a living wonder that the
air-ship had not been wrecked.

The cold was intense, and the voyagers were kept busy rubbing their
hands and stamping their feet.

But it was better by far to endure than to risk contact again with the
tornado.

Gradually the storm subsided, the yellow light began to fade, the Kite
hung motionless in the heavens, and Barney cried:

“Shure an’ I kin see the earth below. The storm is all over.”

“Heaven be praised!” cried Harding, eagerly. “We must return at once to
the spot where we left Frank Reade, Jr.”

“Bejabers, we will, if we kin iver foind it!” cried Barney.

“What!” cried Harding; “do you think there is any doubt about that?”

“Shure, sor, an’ I dunno.”

“How far do you think we have been carried by the gale?”

“Mebbe a hundred miles, and perhaps more, sor.”

“Impossible!” cried Harding, in dismay. “You don’t mean that.”

“It is near roight, sor!” declared Barney. “We were traveling moighty
fast.”

“You are right there. Well, we have no time to lose, then, in returning
to Frank Reade, Jr. But let us first find out where we are.”

“That’s right, sor!”

But Barney glanced over the rail and gave a cry of surprise. Then he
glanced up at the rotascopes.

“Phwy, that’s queer!” he muttered. “Shure, we’re falling to the earth
now!”

He rushed into the engine-room and at a glance saw the truth. The storm
had disarranged a part of the electrical machinery and the Kite was
falling with frightful rapidity.

Barney saw that the break was beyond quick repair, and cried:

“Och, hone, it’s kilt we’ll all be. Shure, the air-ship is fallin’ as
fast as iver it can!”



                              CHAPTER IX.
                        FRANK HAS AN INTERVIEW.


Frank Reade Jr., felt much as the prisoner of the Bastile must have,
when he saw the light of day once more, after having felt the assurance
that he was doomed to death in prison.

The young inventor drank in the clear air, and in an instant was
refreshed.

“Heaven be praised!” he murmured. “My life is spared. Now to find the
Kite.”

He made his way to the path over the face of the cliff.

Following it, he was soon upon the height above.

But there was no sign of the Kite visible anywhere.

The air-ship was gone.

The young inventor for a moment experienced a chill. This was
intensified into awful horror as he looked about him.

“My soul!” he exclaimed. “There has been a terrible storm, and——Great
God! Can it be that the Kite has been destroyed?”

This question was one not to be easily answered.

The upturned earth, fallen trees, and scenes of wreck and violence was
evidence that the storm had been a terrible one.

Certainly it looked not at all improbable that the Kite had been dashed
to pieces by the fury of the tornado.

“My God!” cried Frank, in despair. “This is the worst fatality yet.”

Then he reflected that he must have been a greater length of time in the
cavern than he had reckoned upon.

What was to be done?

How was he to find the air-ship or to learn its fate? The problem was a
mighty one to consider.

But as he was pondering upon it in a dismayed way, Frank was given a
start of surprise.

From his position he could see the defile below.

He was amazed to see a band of horsemen threading their way out into the
valley.

He saw at a glance that they were brigands.

Red Muriel rode at their head.

At once Frank’s curiosity was aroused.

Where were the villains going and what were they up to? He was
determined to know.

What the fate of the air-ship and the others was Frank did not know, but
he lived in the hope that the Kite had outrode the storm and would yet
return all safe.

For the nonce the best thing he could do was to follow the brigands and,
if possible, learn what disposition they had made of the Incas’
treasure.

So Frank crept cautiously along the edge of the cliff.

He waited until the brigands had turned from the defile into the valley,
then he crept down in their rear.

They rode slowly, and it was not difficult for him to keep up with them.

For several miles across the valley he followed them.

Darkness was fast coming on and Frank concluded that the gang were going
to their headquarters.

This was a gratifying reflection.

He was more than anxious to learn the location of this.

So intent did he become in following the villains that he forgot all
else.

At length they entered a circuitous path among jagged masses of rock,
and which led steadily upward.

For a mile this was continued.

Not until the peaks were about them and they were fairly among the
clouds did the robbers come to a stop.

Then a deep chasm was reached, across which was one of those peculiar
rope bridges seen nowhere else in the world.

This did not seem safe to cross.

Yet the sure-footed ponies, one by one, crossed the swaying bridge and
passed safely to the other side.

Frank waited until all had passed over.

He saw upon a wide plateau beyond the peaks a number of log cabins
thatched with palms.

He concluded at once, and correctly, that this was the stronghold of the
brigands.

Frank was too cautious to venture to cross the bridge as yet.

This would certainly have exposed his presence to the brigands.

But darkness was fast coming on, and he would have a better opportunity
to carry his point.

So the young inventor secreted himself in a clump of bushes near.

He watched the opposite side of the gorge, and while doing so was given
a thrilling surprise.

From the growth of palms there stepped forth suddenly and stood revealed
upon the wall of the chasm a beautiful vision of female loveliness.

This was a young girl, as fair and slender as a dream. But her dress was
not of the Spanish type, nor were her features. There was no mistaking
the fact that she was American.

Frank Reade, Jr., was so astonished that for a moment he knew not what
to do or say.

He watched her intently.

Despite the shadows the distance was not so great but that he could see
plainly the expression of pain upon her face.

Frank crept close to the verge of the chasm.

He felt like speaking to her, but refrained from some motive.

The distance between himself and the fair prisoner, for such he judged
her to be, was not more than thirty feet.

A whisper can almost be heard at this distance, as is well known.

For several moments the girl prisoner stood there inactive. Then
suddenly she began to sing in a low, sweet, thrilling voice.

It was a love ballad, the song of a broken heart.

The melody was divine, and the singer’s words were so intense and
pathetic that Frank’s whole sympathies went out to her.

He could not refrain from saying in a low, distinct voice, when she had
finished:

“Have courage! A friend is near you!”

A sharp, startled exclamation escaped the singer’s lips, and she looked
about her like one awakened from a dream.

“What was that?” she exclaimed. “I thought I heard a voice in my native
tongue.”

“You heard aright,” said Frank. “Am I right in addressing you? Are you
not a prisoner?”

“I am,” replied the young girl, with an eager cry. “But who are you?”

“I am Frank Reade, Jr.”

“You are an American?”

“Yes.”

“Heaven be praised! And have you come to save me?”

“I will, if it is in my power.”

“A thousand thanks.”

“But who are you, and how came you in captivity?” asked Frank.

The young girl drew a deep sigh.

“Ah!” she said; “it will no doubt sound to you like a romance; but I
came to this country to look for the man I love.”

Frank was astounded.

“I don’t understand you,” he said.

“I will be more explicit. My name is Mabel Dane, and I am from New York.
I came here——”

A sharp cry escaped Frank’s lips.

“You are looking for Royal Harding?” he said.

“Yes!” she replied, excitedly. “Can you tell me of him?”

“I can.”

“Thank God for that! Where is he now?”

“That I cannot say, but I hope alive and well,” replied Frank. “He was
with me until very recently.”

“I am so glad to know that he is then alive!” said Mabel Dane, “for I
heard that he was sick with a fever in this desolate clime, and I came
all the way from New York to find him, and to nurse him back to life and
happiness.”

“He has not forgotten you,” said Frank. “Indeed, he had hoped to return
to you with his fortune made. It was his by right of discovery, but this
brigand villain Muriel has stolen it away.”

“Ah, poor fellow!” cried she; “but he shall worry no more about the
fortune. I am rich now in my own right. Shortly after Royal went away to
look for his fortune, my father got word from his brother in Australia
that an uncle had died and left them a round million each. I was anxious
to go in quest of Royal at once. Hearing that he was sick father and I
came here in search of him.

“We journeyed on negro-back and on mules, on foot and every way, until
in a mountain pass, not fifty miles from here, Red Muriel captured us
and brought us here to be held for ransom.”

“The villain!”

“He is that. Well, father has sent for the five thousand dollars
required by the wretch, and we will soon be free.”

“Red Muriel shall not have the ransom,” cried Frank. “I will rescue you
this very night. Is your father also a prisoner?”

“Oh, yes, and six of our guard of escort given us by the governor at
Quito. But do you really think you can rescue us?”

“I know it.”

“What are your plans?”

“As soon as it becomes dark,” said Frank, “we will act. I shall creep
across that bridge and——”

“Ah, but that bridge is drawn up at night. You cannot cross by any other
means.”

This was a staggerer to Frank.

“Drawn up!” he exclaimed. “You do not mean that?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well, I——”

But he never finished the sentence.

A mocking laugh sounded in his rear. Frank turned like a flash to see a
dozen armed brigands back of him.

He was covered by as many carbines.

The young inventor’s heart fell.

There was no use to offer resistance. He was wholly and hopelessly a
prisoner. To surrender was his only move.

“You see, Senor Americano,” cried Red Muriel himself, mockingly, “you
cannot escape my vengeance. Before you worked a very clear game. But you
shall not succeed this time.”

It was certainly a most disheartening occurrence.

But Frank put a bold face on the matter.

“All right,” he said, coolly, in Spanish; “I am your prisoner, Senor
Muriel. I cannot resist as I would like to do.”

In a twinkling his arms were bound behind him.

The game was up.

His plan to rescue Mabel Dane and her father was set at naught. The
brigands led him across the rope bridge, and he was cast into a leaking
and vile smelling hut for the night.

Frank’s sensations were not of the pleasantest. But he bore up bravely.

But the next morning he was led from his prison house by an armed guard.

He was placed with his back to a tall palm tree, and an armed guard at
fifty paces covered him with their carbines.

Red Muriel stood by with a cruel smile upon his dark face.

“This time, senor,” he said, derisively and vengefully, “no power on
earth shall save you. The last time you were lucky enough to make your
escape. But this time you die!”



                               CHAPTER X.
                          A DRAMATIC MEETING.


The sensations of those on board the Kite when they found that it was
falling to the earth with great rapidity can hardly be imagined.

A million things flashed through their minds in a second of time.

It does not require a great while for a heavy body like the Kite to fall
several miles through the air.

If the air-ship should strike the ground at that pace it would be
demolished, and all on board would be killed.

But even as the cry of despair escaped Barney’s lips he made action.

He saw that the lever for the forward rotascope was not open, and the
rotascope was not working.

Of course this rotascope alone could not support the air-ship.

But it would check its rapid downward flight and enable the air-ship to
settle down easily.

Barney quick as a flash threw open the lever.

In an instant the downward rate of speed was checked.

The Kite continued, to sink, but at a much slower rate of speed.

Barney’s quick thought had saved the lives of all on board.

Slowly now the Kite began to settle toward the earth.

Barney quickly examined the electrical machinery.

“Is it serious, Barney?” asked Harding, anxiously.

“No, sor, I think not,” replied the Celt. “But it will take the whole of
an hour’s worruk to faix it.”

Pomp had rushed to the rail outside to see where they would be likely to
drop.

To the darky’s joy he saw that it was upon land and not water.

The air-ship was likely to settle down in the verge of a large forest
and upon quite high land.

The peaks of the Andes were visible some miles away, which showed that
they had been driven quite a distance by the storm.

Without doubt they were fully one hundred miles from the cavern and the
spot where Frank Reade, Jr., was.

Of course they realized the necessity of promptly repairing the air-ship
and returning to the spot.

Slowly the Kite settled down.

Barney and Pomp brought out their tools and went quickly to work.

Both were trained machinists, and Barney was a skilled electrician.

They were likely to as ably repair the Kite as it would have been
possible to do under Frank Reade, Jr.’s personal supervision.

The Kite gently touched the ground, and Barney threw out an anchor.

There was no sign of an enemy in the vicinity, and all seemed safe.
Therefore they did not hesitate to do this.

Harding busied himself about the ship’s deck, clearing up the debris,
and making things ship-shape once more.

So intent were the three voyagers in all this that they did not notice
an occurrence which now threatened them with positive danger.

From the deep forest there suddenly emerged a train of donkeys, six in
number, with four men.

These came to an astonished halt at sight of the air-ship.

They were of the gauchero type, with slashed trousers and broad-brimmed
hats.

Most of them were possessed of the swarthy hue of the half-breed, part
Spanish and part native.

But one of them, who seemed to be the leader, was possessed of a white
skin.

He was plainly an American, though his face showed hardened lines, and
his deep-set eyes burned with a sullen light.

The leader will recognize him at once as the treacherous partner of
Royal Harding, and with whom the treasure seeker had the hard battle on
the cliff.

The treacherous villain had been to Quito and procured a rascally guard
of gaucheros with which to return and recover the Incas’ treasure.

These four were but the advance guard, and as they stood there regarding
the Kite in amazement a score more of the desperadoes came into view.

“Well, I’ll be hanged!” exclaimed Lester Vane, in astonishment. “How did
that ship ever come as far inland as this?”

The gauchero at his elbow touched his sombrero, and replied:

“Senor, it has come here in the air.”

“In the air!” exclaimed Vane, in amazement. “What do you mean?”

“Just that, senor.”

“Do you mean to say that it blew in here?”

“It can fly like a bird, senor. We saw it when it passed over Quito nigh
six weeks ago.”

“An air-ship!” exclaimed Vane.

“Si, senor.”

“But ah! I remember now. There is a man in our country by the name of
Reade who is the owner of an air-ship. It may be him.”

“It is, senor; that is his name.”

Vane was interested.

“Let’s take a look at the ark,” he said, pompously. “Maybe we can buy it
of the fellow.”

“I think not, senor.”

“And why not?”

“He will not sell. The governor offered him a fortune for an air-ship
like it and he declined.”

“Well,” said Vane, with a cunning smile, “what is to prevent our taking
it, Gastrovez, if he will not sell? If we work our cards well we ought
to be able to do it.”

“I think not, senor,” replied the gauchero. “He has some terrible bombs
that will destroy a dozen men at once.”

“That’s all right,” said Vane, with a curse. “I do not want to fight
him. Simply make a strategic move.”

“Si senor; it may be possible to do that.”

“It is possible, and we can do it. Come on. Let’s have a parley with
him.”

With this Vane began to approach the air-ship.

The gauchero band followed behind at a slow pace.

Vane was almost at the rail of the Kite before anybody on board saw him.

Then Harding, in coming out of the cabin, saw the rascally crew.

A sharp cry escaped his lips.

“Barney—Pomp!” he cried, excitedly. “On deck quickly! The brigands are
here!”

The way Barney and Pomp grasped their weapons and tumbled on deck was a
caution to monkeys.

And just at this moment Harding came face to face with Vane.

The meeting was a tableau worthy of an artist.

Vane had believed his former friend and victim of the cliff dead at the
bottom of the Andean gorge.

To see him here now upon the air-ship’s deck was like looking upon one
brought back from the dead.

Vane stood like a livid statue for a moment.

“Royal Harding!” he finally gritted.

“Lester Vane!”

The two sworn foes faced each other like wild tigers about to battle.

“I thought you dead.”

“God spared my life to overtake and defeat you.”

“Then you—you escaped that day from the face of the cliff?”

“I did.”

“Curses on my stupidity. I ought to have made sure of the job.”

A scornful laugh rippled from Harding’s set lips.

“That is what you ought to have done,” he said; “but as you failed to do
it, you must now stand punishment for your falseness.”

“Punishment?”

“Yes; for I shall not let my wrongs go unavenged.”

A crafty light shone in Vane’s eyes.

“Come, I have no hard feelings against you,” he said. “Let us be
friends.”

Royal Harding shivered.

“I would as soon have the deadly python for a friend!” he said.

Vane’s face darkened.

“Then you refuse to make up?”

“Do you think I am wholly devoid of sense, Lester Vane?” he said, in a
cutting voice. “There can never be anything but hatred between you and
I.”

“As you say it, so let it be,” said Vane, with a bitter laugh. “War to
the teeth, if you will have it! I would like to speak with the owner of
the air-ship.”

“You cannot do that.”

“Why?”

“He is not here.”

“Where is he?”

“That is none of your business. He would have no desire of parleying
with you if he was here.”

“You are polite.”

“Perhaps so. But I would like to ask you a question.”

“I will be more gracious than you and listen to it.”

“Have you been to Quito?”

“I have.”

“Where are you going now?”

“I am going after the Incas’ treasure,” he said, coolly. “Have you
anything to say why I shall not?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“The Incas’ treasure is gone!”

“How do you know?”

“I have been there.”

A fearful curse broke from Vane’s lips.

“Gone!” he thundered. “Who has dared to take it?”

“Red Muriel, the brigand.”

“Red Muriel, eh? So he has dared to do that? How did he learn that it
was there? Did you tell him? Look here, Harding, we must get it away
from him. We must co-operate and we will divide. Is it a bargain?”

“Villain!” exclaimed Harding, contemptuously. “Do not compel me to
refuse your audacious request again.”

“Then you refuse?”

“It is idle to talk with you.”

“Only consider. With that air-ship you could ferret out Muriel’s den,
and it would be no trick at all to drive him from it.”

Harding turned to the cabin door.

The wily Vane, however, had only been talking to gain time.

The moment he had decided upon for action had arrived.

Quick as a flash he turned to his followers, and made a quick motion.

“Strike!” he cried. “Do not kill them, but capture them alive! Strike!”

With a yell the gauchero crew piled over the rail of the air-ship like
human wolves.



                              CHAPTER XI.
                        OUTWITTING THE VILLAINS.


The attack was so sudden that Harding was taken off his guard.

He was instantly overpowered.

Barney let out a yell.

“Whurroo! Give it to the omadhouns! Blow ‘em to pieces, naygur! If yez
don’t they will capture the air-ship!”

“Don’ yo’ fo’git dat dis chile will jes’ do dat!” cried Pomp. “Hi, dar!
Look out fo’ dis coon!”

Then both discharged their Winchesters.

Two of the villains fell dead.

But the struggle now became close and hand to hand.

The two brave defenders were forced down the cabin stairs, and the
gaucheros piled upon them.

They would have been killed in a twinkling, but the voice of the villain
Vane rose above the fight:

“Don’t kill ‘em, boys! Capture ‘em alive! I’ve got use for ‘em!”

So Barney and Pomp were overwhelmed wholly by weight of numbers.

Thrown down, they were quickly bound and helpless.

Harding groaned in despair.

“It is all my stupidity!” he cried. “I should not have palavered so long
with the dirty crew!”

“Och hone! an’ phwat will we iver do now?” bemoaned Barney. “Shure, the
spalpeens have the best av us!”

“Massy sakes alibe!” wailed Pomp; “it was jes’ an unlucky day fo’ us
when de air-ship struck dat are storm.”

As for Vane, he was elated.

Flushed with success, he came up to Harding’s prostrate form and gave it
a kick.

“Well,” he cried, contemptuously, “the tables have turned, haven’t they?
This time I’m on top. Do you know, why I spared the lives of all of you?
That nigger and Irishman are to show me how to work the machinery of
this air-ship. Then I shall take you up a cool thousand feet and let you
drop gently to the earth. Will not that be pleasant?”

“Villain!” groaned Harding, helplessly.

Vane now went to Barney and Pomp.

He pleaded and threatened in turn, but the two faithful servitors were
obdurate.

“The loikes av yez can’t fool me!” declared Barney.

Then from Harding Vane learned that the machinery was out of kilter.

Vane offered to allow Barney and Pomp to go on with their work of
repairing, but they declined.

Thus the day passed.

The next morning found the crew of the Kite just as obdurate.

Another day wore away thus. Another night came and the second morning.
Then an idea occurred to Harding.

They were confined in one of the staterooms. Vane himself held the
cabin, and only a few of the gaucheros, who were dirty fellows, were
allowed aboard.

“I will tell you, Barney,” said the young American in an undertone, “we
don’t seem to be gaining anything in this way. Can we not work a sharp
scheme upon the villains?”

“Shure, sor, av yez kin tell me——”

“I think I can!”

“All roight, sor!”

“Suppose you tell Vane that you have thought well of his proposition,
and upon certain conditions will come to his terms?”

“Well, sor?”

“Repair the machinery and then tell him that the air-ship will only
carry six people. That will be you and I and Pomp, with Vane and two of
his men. You and Pomp can watch your chance after we get up in the air,
rush down and cut my bonds, and we will make a fight.”

Barney’s eyes sparkled.

“Shure, sor,” he cried, “yez have hit the nail on the head, I’m shure.”

“Then you approve of the plan?”

“I do that, sor.”

“All right.”

A short while later Vane came into the stateroom.

Barney and Pomp affected exceedingly penitent attitudes. The villain
noted this and at once said:

“Well, are you fellows going to come to terms?”

“Shure, sor, it’s av no use holding out any longer. If yez desire, we
will upon some conditions do as ye say.”

“Good for you.”

Barney’s and Pomp’s bonds were quickly cut and they at once went to work
upon the machinery.

In a very short time they had the electrical engines working all right.

Then Barney said:

“Now, sir, it’s all roight we are for the ascint.”

“Good!” cried Vane, eagerly. “I will take a dozen men on board and send
the others overboard.”

“No, sir,” replied Barney, emphatically. “Yez can’t do that!”

“Why?”

“The air-ship will only carry up six people, sor. That is all.”

“Six!” said Vane, sharply.

Then he went to his men and conferred with them.

They rode away finally, all but two. These accompanied Vane on board the
air-ship.

“Now,” said the villain, producing a couple of revolvers, “no treachery
on the part of you rascals, or you die!”

The anchor was hauled in, and pressing the lever, the Kite sprang into
space.

Up—up she went like a meteor.

The two gaucheros were for a moment terrified, and seemed anxious to
jump overboard.

But Vane’s nerves were of steel, and he enjoyed the experience mightily.

Up, up went the Kite until objects upon the earth looked like mere
specks.

At this juncture Barney appeared to be in much distress in the
engine-room.

A heavy iron bar lay across a part of the machinery.

It was wedged between two cogs in such a fashion that one man could not
pull it out.

Barney had purposely placed the bar in this position.

It was between some disused cogs of an extra engine, but nobody but the
two, Barney and Pomp, knew this.

It did not in any measure affect the working of the engines, but
Barney’s dodge was to pretend that it did.

“What’s the matter with you?” cried Vane, as he appeared in the
engine-room. “What’s wrong?”

“Do yez see that bar, sor?” cried Barney.

“Yes.”

“Well, sor, it has fallen into the machinery an’ has been afther
stoppin’ it. Shure, we kin niver stop the Kite from goin’ up av we don’t
get it out.”

“You don’t mean it! Can’t you pull it out?”

“No, sor.”

“What difference does it make?”

“Shure, sor, the air-ship will go all av the way up to the ind of
nowhere av we don’t get it out.”

The villain laughed.

“Shure, it’s no laughin’ matter,” declared Barney. “Afther we get up far
enough we’ll all freeze to death.”

Vane began to wrench upon the bar.

It would not yield.

Vane stepped to the door.

“Gaspo! Miguel!” he cried. “Come here, you dogs!”

The two gaucheros came slinking into the engine-room. Vane put a hand
upon the bar.

“Take hold of this with me, you rascals,” he cried, “and pull it out.”

The villains obeyed. All three lay back upon the bar.

It would have taken twenty men to have pulled it out.

Barney knew this, and stepped quickly to the keyboard.

It was a neat little trap which worked well. He pressed one of the
electric keys.

The current from the dynamos shot into the cogs and thence into the bar
instantly. The effect was thrilling.

The three villains clung to the bar yelling and writhing in pain. They
were unable to let go.

Too late Vane saw the ruse, and fierce curses broke from his lips.

But Barney quickly put a stop to them. He shocked the villains into
insensibility. All three hung limply from the bar.

Meanwhile Pomp had liberated Harding, and both came rushing into the
engine-room.

“Bejabbers, I’ve got the three av thim!” cried Barney, triumphantly.
“Shure, luck is wid us this trip.”

It was but a moment’s work to bind the three villains securely.

Then the question arose:

“What shall we do with them?”

The Kite was drifting over a vast lake many miles in extent, peopled
with loathsome reptiles, alligators and snakes.

In the center of the lake was a small, barren island.

“Let us leave them down there,” said Harding. “They may get ashore the
best way they can.”

Barney and Pomp were pleased with the plan, and the air-ship was allowed
to descend. Just above the island it was brought to a stop.



                              CHAPTER XII.
                       RESCUE—THE TREASURE FOUND.


Then the rope ladder was put over and Barney descended.

The bodies of the three villains were lowered by means of a rope.

Just as the last one was lowered they began to come to. Vane sprang to
his feet. But Barney was far up the rope ladder.

The villain, overcome with horror, looked about him and saw what the
game was.

“Oh, friends, for God’s sake, do not leave me here!” he cried. “I am
repentant. I will be your slave if you will only not leave me in this
place!”

But Harding stood at the rail and laughed scornfully.

“This is a good and fitting place for you, Lester Vane!” he said. “May
you enjoy it. You cannot say that I have not been as merciful as you,
for I have spared your life.”

Vane now lost his temper.

He broke forth in bitter maledictions and curses. There was not anything
too vile and vulgar for him to say.

The Kite once more sailed skyward, and a course was set at once for the
distant Andean peaks.

In a very short time they loomed up near at hand.

But it required many hours for the locality which they were in quest of
to come into view.

Barney, who was on the lookout, however, suddenly gave a wild and
startled cry.

“Och hone!” he cried. “Wud yez luk at the loikes av that? Shure, av it
isn’t Masther Frank, an’ be me sowl he is about to be shot by a gang av
the brigands. Help—help! wud yez cum here with an electhric bomb as
quick as iver ye kin, Pomp!”

Pomp needed no second bidding.

The air-ship had floated over one of the peaks just in time to bring the
whole thrilling scene to view.

It was at the very critical moment when Frank was stood up before the
file of brigands to be shot.

The words of command were upon Red Muriel’s lips, when suddenly the
air-ship burst into view.

Its appearance was first noted by one of the brigands who chanced to be
looking up.

Muriel for a moment forgot himself, and stood looking at the air-ship in
a speechless manner.

Then down from the air-ship’s deck there came hurtling a small black
object.

It struck the earth directly in the center of the brigand encampment.

There was a terrific explosion.

Earth and debris were flung into the air to a great height, and fully a
dozen of the brigands were killed.

The wretches seemed to forget all about Frank Reade, Jr., or anything
else, and fled for their lives.

The brigands, Red Muriel with the rest, were fleeing for safety to the
cover of a cavern near at hand.

But across the plateau there ran a slender, girlish form.

It was Mabel Dane.

“Mr. Reade, we are saved! Thank Heaven for that!”

“Amen!” cried Frank. “You will now be able to rejoin the man you love.”

With a quick movement she cut the young inventors bonds.

Then she rushed to the door of one of the brigand’s huts and burst it
in.

The guard at the door had fled. Out came a tall, fine-looking man of
elderly cast. He was Henry Dane, the father of the plucky young girl who
had dared to invade the Andean wilds in quest of the man she loved.

Behind him came the six Peruvians who had been of the party, and who had
been held as well for ransom.

The air-ship, however, was now settling down fast, and in a very few
moments it rested upon the plateau.

Harding was the first to leap over the rail, and greeted Frank Reade,
Jr.

Then he beheld a vision which nigh took his breath away.

“My God!” he exclaimed; “am I dreaming, or is it my Mabel?”

“You are not dreaming, Royal!” she cried, rapturously. “I have come all
this distance to find you. They told me you were ill, and I came to
you.”

“My love! My own!” cried Harding, joyously, as he clasped her in his
arms.

Mr. Dane was introduced to Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp, and many
pleasant remarks were exchanged.

The brigands, however, had not abandoned the fight.

Retreating to a height above, they had opened fire upon their foes.

The six Peruvians who were in Mr. Dane’s employ were given weapons, and
began to return the fire.

While the battle was thus progressing in a desultory way a conference
was being held by the others.

But now the question to be considered was as to what move was best to
make next.

Of course Harding was anxious to find the Incas’ treasure.

“I would not spend further time in the search, Royal,” said Mr. Dane. “I
am rich now, and you shall go into business with me. I have not many
years to live and the fortune will be yours and Mabel’s.”

“Mr. Dane,” said Harding, firmly. “Mabel and I will not marry until I
have carried out my original purpose and given her a home of my own
making!”

“Bravo!” said the millionaire, heartily. “I admire your spirit, and if
that is your purpose I will not dissuade you.”

“If I can recover this treasure, which is mine by right of prior
discovery, I do not see why I have not legally gained my ends.”

It was decided to make a thorough search of the robbers’ den.

But though some money and many valuable equipments were found, none of
the treasure was recovered.

The best efforts of the searching party were baffled.

But Harding would not give up the quest.

“I will find it yet,” he declared, resolutely.

But Frank stood outside the cavern, when he heard a voice in Spanish
near him.

A man with his leg shattered by the explosion of the bomb was creeping
up to him.

There was a beseeching expression upon the wounded brigand’s face, and
he cried:

“Oh, senor, help me, and I will tell you where the treasure is hidden.”

“What?” exclaimed Frank, in amazement. “Do you mean that? Do you know
where the treasure is hidden?”

“Si, senor, I do that.”

“What can I do for you?”

“Help me to return to Quito that I may live a better life.”

“Enough,” said Frank. “I will accept your offer. You shall be taken to
Quito in safety if you will disclose the hiding place of the Incas’
treasure.”

All were gathered about the wounded brigand now.

Harding was called, and was overjoyed at the information given him.

“Listen, senor,” he said to the confessing brigand. “Not only shall you
be taken safely to your native country, but I will give you enough of
the treasure to enrich you.”

The fellow’s eyes sparkled.

“The Senor Americano is kind,” he said. “I shall not forget it.”

Then he cleared his throat.

“Do you see yonder pine?” he said. “Go to it, measure twenty paces to
the westward, find a bowlder, roll it aside, and you will see a flat
stone set in the ground. Under that is the treasure buried.”

A rush was made for the spot.

The brigand’s story was found to be in every particular true.

Rolling aside the bowlder the flat stone was found.

Upon lifting it a square chamber was revealed, in which was heaped the
mighty treasure of the Incas. It was a most bewitching spectacle.



                             CHAPTER XIII.
                                THE END.


All stood looking at the solid heap of gold.

“There is enough here to enrich us all,” cried Harding, joyously. “The
dream of my life is at last realized!”

The gold was taken from the pit and safely stored on board the air-ship.

Harding insisted on a fair division with Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and
Pomp.

But the young inventor unwillingly accepted his share.

“I am not working for pay, Mr. Harding,” he said. “I am assisting you
with no other motive than that of friendly interest.”

“I am aware of that, sir,” said the young gold seeker; “but you must
accept it as a token of my esteem.”

Nobody was left out, not even the six Peruvians hired by Mr. Dane as a
bodyguard or escort.

But the brigands were making things hot in the vicinity.

One of the Peruvian guards had been shot, and there was great danger
that some one else would be hurt.

Frank Reade, Jr., set his lips tightly.

“I’ll soon take the conceit out of those villains,” he declared. “Wait
here until I return.”

Then he leaped on to the Kite’s deck.

Barney went into the pilot-house, while Frank stationed himself at the
rail with some bombs.

The Kite, like a huge bird, sailed up over the mountain wall.

Then Frank began throwing the bombs.

Into every open place and crevice in the cliffs he threw them. The din
was terrific and the execution fearful.

The brigands were driven like sheep from their hiding places and
scattered like chaff before the wind.

The battle was all over in thirty minutes.

Then the Kite returned, and Frank, unharmed, leaped from the deck once
more.

“I don’t believe they will trouble us again at once,” he declared. “We
are safe for the time, I think.”

And he was right. Red Muriel did not return to the attack.

There was nothing further to keep them in the Andes, and particularly
was Harding anxious to go.

“We have six men as guides,” he declared. “We can go overland to Lima.
It will not be so far as to Quito, and there or at Callao we can get a
homebound steamer. Once I set foot on United States soil again I will
not soon leave it.”

“Same here,” cried Mr. Dane; “but before we start we must thank Mr.
Reade for his very kind services.”

“It is nothing,” said Frank, warmly. “But why do you travel overland?”

Mr. Dane looked astonished.

“There is no other way for us,” he said.

“Yes, there is.”

“What?”

“On board the air-ship.”

“You do not mean it!” cried the millionaire, joyfully. “No, we will not
infringe upon your generosity to such an extent.”

“Indeed, it will be a pleasure to me to take you to the coast,” said
Frank.

“But you are not yet ready to leave the Andes?”

“Yes; I am. I have been here six weeks now, and that is enough. I am
anxious to get back to Readestown, for I have a new invention which I
desire to perfect.”

“Mr. Reade,” said Dane, warmly, “we can never repay you for your
kindness to us. Yet I would ask one more favor of you.”

“What is that?”

“That I may inspect your beautiful Readestown and inspect your wonderful
works there.”

“I shall be very happy to receive you,” said Frank, “or any of the
company present.”

Barney and Pomp got all the traps aboard, and now the Celt brought out
his fiddle and the darky his banjo.

It had been arranged that the bodyguard of Peruvians should return
overland after having been well rewarded.

Then the Kite set her course for the seaboard.

The beautiful day was at its close, and the party all sat upon the deck
in supreme happiness, enjoying the balmy air.

It was not necessary to be on duty in the pilot-house, for the wheel was
lashed, and the speed of the rotascopes and propeller gauged in an
accurate manner.

So Barney and Pomp entertained the company with their unique selections
on the fiddle and banjo.

Callao was reached in due time, and here Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and
Pomp took leave of their passengers.

Mr. Dane, Mabel and Harding repeated their assurances of gratitude and
pleasure, and the next morning a steamer took them on their homeward
way.

The fate of Lester Vane was never known. None of the party ever saw him
again.

Frank Reade, Jr., set the course of the Kite due northward over the
States of Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, and finally the United
States.

Readestown was finally reached. Then the Kite was stored away for
possible future use. The six weeks’ flight over the Andes was at an end.
But Frank Reade, Jr., lost no time in at once perfecting a new and
wonderful invention, of which we may read in a future number of this
weekly, with which announcement we will write.


                                THE END.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The next number (8) of the “Frank Reade Weekly” will contain another
thrilling story, entitled “FRANK READE, JR.’S DEEP SEA DIVER, THE
‘TORTOISE;’ OR, THE SEARCH FOR A SUNKEN ISLAND.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If
you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or
postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW
YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                    These Books Tell You Everything!

              _A COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA!_

Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear
type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover. Most of the
books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated
upon are explained in such a simple manner that any child can thoroughly
understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to
know anything about the subjects mentioned.

                  *       *       *       *       *

THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO
ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE. TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY
THREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS
MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 21 Union Square, N.Y.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                               SPORTING.

No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH.—The most complete hunting and fishing
guide ever published. It contains full instructions about guns, hunting
dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, together with descriptions of game
and fish.

No. 26. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.—Fully illustrated. Every boy
should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in
this little book, together with instructions on swimming and riding,
companion sports to boating.

No. 47. HOW TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE.—A complete treatise on the
horse. Describing the most useful horses for business, the best horses
for the road; also valuable recipes for diseases peculiar to the horse.

No. 48. HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL CANOES.—A handy book for boys, containing
full directions for constructing canoes and the most popular manner of
sailing them. Fully illustrated. By C. Stansfield Hicks.

                               HYPNOTISM.

No. 81. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.—Containing valuable and instructive
information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most
approved methods which are employed by the leading hypnotists of the
world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S.

                            FORTUNE TELLING.

No. 1. NAPOLEON’S ORACULUM AND DREAM BOOK.—Containing the great oracle
of human destiny; also the true meaning of almost any kind of dreams,
together with charms, ceremonies, and curious games of cards. A complete
book.

No. 23. HOW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.—Everybody dreams, from the little child
to the aged man and woman. This little book gives the explanation to all
kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky days, and “Napoleon’s
Oraculum,” the book of fate.

No. 28. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES.—Everyone is desirous of knowing what his
future life will bring forth, whether happiness or misery, wealth or
poverty. You can tell by a glance at this little book. Buy one and be
convinced. Tell your own fortune. Tell the fortune of your friends.

No. 76. HOW TO TELL FORTUNES BY THE HAND.—Containing rules for telling
fortunes by the aid of the lines of the hand, or the secret of
palmistry. Also the secret of telling future events by aid of moles,
marks, scars, etc. Illustrated. By A. Anderson.

                               ATHLETIC.

No. 6. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE.—Giving full instruction for the use of
dumb bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and various
other methods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing over
sixty illustrations. Every boy can become strong and healthy by
following the instructions contained in this little book.

No. 10. HOW TO BOX.—The art of self-defense made easy. Containing over
thirty illustrations of guards, blows, and the different positions of a
good boxer. Every boy should obtain one of these useful and instructive
books, as it will teach you how to box without an instructor.

No. 25. HOW TO BECOME A GYMNAST.—Containing full instructions for all
kinds of gymnastic sports and athletic exercises. Embracing thirty-five
illustrations. By Professor W. Macdonald. A handy and useful book.

No. 34. HOW TO FENCE.—Containing full instruction for fencing and the
use of the broadsword; also instruction in archery. Described with
twenty-one practical illustrations, giving the best positions in
fencing. A complete book.

                           TRICKS WITH CARDS.

No. 51. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH CARDS.—Containing explanations of the
general principles of sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; of card
tricks with ordinary cards, and not requiring sleight-of-hand; of tricks
involving sleight-of-hand, or the use of specially prepared cards. By
Professor Haffner. With illustrations.

No. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.—Embracing all of the latest
and most deceptive card tricks, with illustrations. By A. Anderson.

No. 77. HOW TO DO FORTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.—Containing deceptive Card
Tricks as performed by leading conjurors and magicians. Arranged for
home amusement. Fully illustrated.

                                 MAGIC.

No. 2. HOW TO DO TRICKS.—The great book of magic and card tricks,
containing full instruction on all the leading card tricks of the day,
also the most popular magical illusions as performed by our leading
magicians; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, as it will both
amuse and instruct.

No. 22. HOW TO DO SECOND SIGHT.—Heller’s second sight explained by his
former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues
were carried on between the magician and the boy on the stage; also
giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of
second sight.

No. 43. HOW TO BECOME A MAGICIAN.—Containing the grandest assortment of
magical illusions ever placed before the public. Also tricks with cards,
incantations, etc.

No. 68. HOW TO DO CHEMICAL TRICKS.—Containing over one hundred highly
amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals. By A. Anderson.
Handsomely illustrated.

No. 69. HOW TO DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.—Containing over fifty of the latest
and best tricks used by magicians. Also containing the secret of second
sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson.

No. 70. HOW TO MAKE MAGIC TOYS.—Containing full directions for making
Magic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Anderson. Fully Illustrated.

No. 73. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH NUMBERS.—Showing many curious tricks with
figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated.

No. 75. HOW TO BECOME A CONJUROR.—Containing tricks with Dominos, Dice,
Cups and Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing thirty-six illustrations. By A.
Anderson.

No. 78. HOW TO DO THE BLACK ART.—Containing a complete description of
the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand, together with many wonderful
experiments. By A. Anderson. Illustrated.

                              MECHANICAL.

No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.—Every boy should know how inventions
originated. This book explains them, all, giving examples in
electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechanics, etc.,
etc. The most, instructive book published.

No. 56. HOW TO BECOME AN ENGINEER.—Containing full instructions how to
proceed in order to become a locomotive engineer; also directions for
building a model locomotive; together with a full description of
everything an engineer should know.

No. 57. HOW TO MAKE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.—Full directions how to make a
Banjo, Violin, Zither, Æolian Harp, Xylophone and other musical
instruments; together with a brief description of nearly every musical
instrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By
Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of the Royal Bengal
Marines.

No. 59. HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.—Containing a description of the
lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions
for its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John
Allen.

No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.—Containing complete instructions
for performing over sixty Mechanical Tricks. By A. Anderson. Fully
illustrated.

                            LETTER WRITING.

No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.—A most complete little book,
containing full directions for writing love-letters, and when to use
them; also giving specimen letters for both young and old.

No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.—Giving complete instructions for
writing letters to ladies on all subjects, also letters of introduction,
notes and requests.

No. 24. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.—Containing full directions
for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for
instruction.

No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS.—A wonderful little book, telling you how
to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother,
employer; and, in fact, everybody and anybody you wish to write to.
Every young man and every young lady in the land should have this book.

No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRECTLY.—Containing full instructions for
writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation and
composition; together with specimen letters.



                             WORK AND WIN.

                       The Best Weekly Published.

                  ALL THE NUMBERS ARE ALWAYS IN PRINT.

                  READ ONE AND YOU WILL READ THEM ALL.

                             LATEST ISSUES:

 107 Fred Fearnot’s Charity; or, Teaching Others a Lesson.
 108 Fred Fearnot as “The Judge;” or, Heading off the Lynchers.
 109 Fred Fearnot and the Clown; or, Saving the Old Man’s Place.
 110 Fred Fearnot’s Fine Work; or, Up Against a Crank.
 111 Fred Fearnot’s Bad Break; or, What Happened to Jones.
 112 Fred Fearnot’s Round-Up; or, A Lively Time on the Ranch.
 113 Fred Fearnot and the Giant; or, A Hot Time in Cheyenne.
 114 Fred Fearnot’s Cool Nerve; or, Giving It Straight to the Boys.
 115 Fred Fearnot’s Way; or, Doing Up a Sharper.
 116 Fred Fearnot in a Fix; or, The Blackmailer’s Game.
 117 Fred Fearnot as a “Broncho Buster;” or, A Great Time in the Wild
    West.
 118 Fred Fearnot and his Mascot; or, Evelyn’s Fearless Ride.
 119 Fred Fearnot’s Strong Arm; or, The Bad Man of Arizona.
 120 Fred Fearnot as a “Tenderfoot;” or, Having Fun with the Cowboys.
 121 Fred Fearnot Captured; or, In the Hands of His Enemies.
 122 Fred Fearnot and the Banker; or, A Schemer’s Trap to Ruin Him.
 123 Fred Fearnot’s Great Feat; or, Winning a Fortune on Skates.
 124 Fred Fearnot’s Iron Will; or, Standing Up for the Right.
 125 Fred Fearnot Cornered; or, Evelyn and the Widow.
 126 Fred Fearnot’s Daring Scheme; or, Ten Days in an Insane Asylum.
 127 Fred Fearnot’s Honor; or, Backing Up His Word.
 128 Fred Fearnot and the Lawyer; or, Young Billy Dedham’s Case.
 129 Fred Fearnot at West Point; or, Having Fun with the Hazers.
 130 Fred Fearnot’s Secret Society; or, The Knights of the Black Ring.
 131 Fred Fearnot and the Gambler; or, The Trouble on the Lake Front.
 132 Fred Fearnot’s Challenge; or, King of the Diamond Field.
 133 Fred Fearnot’s Great Game; or, The Hard Work That Won.
 134 Fred Fearnot in Atlanta; or, The Black Fiend of Darktown.
 135 Fred Fearnot’s Open Hand; or, How He Helped a Friend.
 136 Fred Fearnot in Debate; or, The Warmest Member of the House.
 137 Fred Fearnot’s Great Plea; or, His Defence of the “Moneyless Man.”
 138 Fred Fearnot at Princeton; or, The Battle of the Champions.
 139 Fred Fearnot’s Circus; or, High Old Time at New Era.
 140 Fred Fearnot’s Camp Hunt; or, The White Deer of the Adirondacks.
 141 Fred Fearnot and His Guide; or, The Mystery of the Mountain.
 142 Fred Fearnot’s County Fair; or, The Battle of the Fakirs.
 143 Fred Fearnot a Prisoner; or, Captured at Avon.
 144 Fred Fearnot and the Senator; or, Breaking up a Scheme.
 145 Fred Fearnot and the Baron; or, Calling Down a Nobleman.
 146 Fred Fearnot and the Brokers; or, Ten Days in Wall Street.
 147 Fred Fearnot’s Little Scrap; or, The Fellow Who Wouldn’t Stay
    Whipped.
 148 Fred Fearnot’s Greatest Danger; or, Ten Days with the Moonshiners.
 149 Fred Fearnot and the Kidnappers; or, Trailing a Stolen Child.
 150 Fred Fearnot’s Quick Work; or, The Hold Up at Eagle Pass.
 151 Fred Fearnot at Silver Gulch; or, Defying a Ring.
 152 Fred Fearnot on the Border; or, Punishing the Mexican Horse
    Stealers.
 153 Fred Fearnot’s Charmed Life; or, Running the Gauntlet.
 154 Fred Fearnot Lost; or, Missing for Thirty Days.
 155 Fred Fearnot’s Rescue; or, The Mexican Pocahontas.
 156 Fred Fearnot and the “White Caps”; or, A Queer Turning of the
    Tables.
 157 Fred Fearnot and the Medium; or, Having Fun with the “Spirits.” 158
    Fred Fearnot and the “Mean Man”; or, The Worst He Ever Struck.
 159 Fred Fearnot’s Gratitude; or, Backing Up a Plucky Boy.
 160 Fred Fearnot Fined; or, The Judge’s Mistake.
 161 Fred Fearnot’s Comic Opera; or, The Fun that Raised the Funds.
 162 Fred Fearnot and the Anarchists; or, The Burning of the Red Flag.
 163 Fred Fearnot’s Lecture Tour; or, Going it Alone.
 164 Fred Fearnot’s “New Wild West”; or, Astonishing the Old East.
 165 Fred Fearnot in Russia; or, Banished by the Czar.
 166 Fred Fearnot in Turkey; or, Defying the Sultan.
 167 Fred Fearnot in Vienna; or, The Trouble on the Danube.
 168 Fred Fearnot and the Kaiser; or, In the Royal Palace at Berlin.
 169 Fred Fearnot in Ireland; or, Watched by the Constabulary.
 170 Fred Fearnot Homeward Bound; or, Shadowed by Scotland Yard.
 171 Fred Fearnot’s Justice; or, The Champion of the School Marm.
 172 Fred Fearnot and the Gypsies; or, The Mystery of a Stolen Child.
 173 Fred Fearnot’s Silent Hunt; or, Catching the “Green Goods” Men.
 174 Fred Fearnot’s Big Day; or, Harvard and Yale at New Era.
 175 Fred Fearnot and “The Doctor”; or, The Indian Medicine Fakir.
 176 Fred Fearnot and the Lynchers; or, Saving a Girl Horse Thief.
 177 Fred Fearnot’s Wonderful Feat; or, The Taming of Black Beauty.
 178 Fred Fearnot’s Great Struggle; or, Downing a Senator.
 179 Fred Fearnot’s Jubilee; or, New Era’s Greatest Day.
 180 Fred Fearnot and Samson; or, “Who Runs This Town?” 181 Fred Fearnot
    and the Rioters; or, Backing Up the Sheriff.
 182 Fred Fearnot and the Stage Robber; or, His Chase for a Stolen
    Diamond.
 183 Fred Fearnot at Cripple Creek; or, The Masked Fiends of the Mines.
 184 Fred Fearnot and the Vigilantes; or, Up Against the Wrong Man.
 185 Fred Fearnot in New Mexico; or, Saved by Terry Olcott.
 186 Fred Fearnot in Arkansas; or, The Queerest of All Adventures.
 187 Fred Fearnot in Montana; or, The Dispute at Rocky Hill.
 188 Fred Fearnot and the Mayor; or, The Trouble at Snapping Shoals.
 189 Fred Fearnot’s Big Hunt; or, Camping on the Columbia River.
 190 Fred Fearnot’s Hard Experience; or, Roughing it at Red Gulch.
 191 Fred Fearnot Stranded; or, How Terry Olcott Lost the Money.
 192 Fred Fearnot in the Mountains; or, Held at Bay by Bandits.
 193 Fred Fearnot’s Terrible Risk; or, Terry Olcott’s Reckless Venture.
 194 Fred Fearnot’s Last Card; or, The Game that Saved His Life.
 195 Fred Fearnot and the Professor; or, The Man Who Knew it All.
 196 Fred Fearnot’s Big Scoop; or, Beating a Thousand Rivals.
 197 Fred Fearnot and the Raiders; or, Fighting for His Belt.
 198 Fred Fearnot’s Great Risk; or, One Chance in a Thousand.
 199 Fred Fearnot as a Sleuth; or, Running Down a Slick Villain.
 200 Fred Fearnot’s New Deal; or, Working for a Banker.
 201 Fred Fearnot in Dakota; or, The Little Combination Ranch.
 202 Fred Fearnot and the Road Agents; or, Terry Olcott’s Cool Nerve.
 203 Fred Fearnot and the Amazon; or, The Wild Woman of the Plains.
 204 Fred Fearnot’s Training School; or, How to Make a Living.
 205 Fred Fearnot and the Stranger; or, The Long Man who was short.
 206 Fred Fearnot and the Old Trapper; or, Searching for a Lost Cavern.
 207 Fred Fearnot in Colorado; or, Running a Sheep Ranch.
 208 Fred Fearnot at the Ball; or, The Girl in the Green Mask.
 209 Fred Fearnot and the Duellist; or, The Man Who Wanted to Fight.
 210 Fred Fearnot on the Stump; or, Backing an Old Veteran.
 211 Fred Fearnot’s New Trouble; or, Up Against a Monopoly.
 212 Fred Fearnot as Marshal; or, Commanding the Peace.

 For Sale by All Newsdealers, or will be Sent to Any Address on Receipt
                     of Price, 5 Cents per Copy, by

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,                     24 Union Square, New York.

                      IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS

of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and
we will send them to you by return mail.

               =POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.     190
 DEAR SIR—Enclosed find .... cents for which please send me:
 .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos.
 .... copies of WILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos.
 .... copies of FRANK READE WEEKLY, Nos.
 .... copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos.
 .... copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos.
 .... copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ‘76, Nos.
 .... copies of Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos.
 Name................ Street and No. ......... Town........ State.......

[Illustration]



                            WILD WEST WEEKLY


     A BOYS’ MAGAZINE CONTAINING COMPLETE STORIES OF WESTERN LIFE.

                        DO NOT FAIL TO READ IT.

                   32 PAGES. PRICE 5 CENTS. 32 PAGES.

             EACH NUMBER BOUND IN A HANDSOME COLORED COVER.

All of these exciting stories are founded on facts. Young Wild West is a
hero with whom the author was acquainted. His daring deeds and thrilling
adventures have never been surpassed. They form the base of the most
dashing stories ever published.

Read the following, numbers of this most interesting magazine and be
convinced:

 No. 1. YOUNG WILD WEST, THE PRINCE OF THE SADDLE.   Issued October 24

 No. 2. YOUNG WILD WEST’S LUCK; or, Striking It Rich Issued October 31
   in the Hills.

 No. 3. YOUNG WILD WEST’S VICTORY; or, The Road      Issued November 7
   Agents’ Last Hold-Up.

 No. 4. YOUNG WILD WEST’S PLUCK; or, Bound to Beat   Issued November 14
   the Bad Men.

 No. 5. YOUNG WILD WEST’S BEST SHOT; or, The Rescue  Issued November 21
   of Arietta.

 No. 6. YOUNG WILD WEST AT DEVIL CREEK; or, Helping  Issued November 28
   to Boom a New Town.

 No. 7. YOUNG WILD WEST’S SURPRISE; or, The Indian   Issued December 5
   Chief’s Legacy.

 No. 8. YOUNG WILD WEST MISSING; or, Saved by an     Issued December 12
   Indian Princess.

 FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS, OR WILL BE SENT TO ANY ADDRESS ON RECEIPT
                     OF PRICE, 5 CENTS PER COPY, BY

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,                     24 Union Square, New York.



                        THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ‘76.

    A Weekly Magazine containing Stories of the American Revolution.

                            By HARRY MOORE.


These stories are based on actual facts and give a faithful account of
the exciting adventures of a brave band of American youths who were
always ready and willing to imperil their lives for the sake of helping
along the gallant cause of Independence. Every number will consist of 32
large pages of reading matter, bound in a beautiful colored cover.

                             LATEST ISSUES:

 24 The Liberty Boys’ Double Victory; or, Downing the Redcoats and
    Tories.
 25 The Liberty Boys Suspected; or, Taken for British Spies.
 26 The Liberty Boys’ Clever Trick; or, Teaching the Redcoats a Thing or
    Two.
 27 The Liberty Boys’ Good Spy Work; or, With the Redcoats in
    Philadelphia.
 28 The Liberty Boys’ Battle Cry; or, With Washington at the Brandywine.
 29 The Liberty Boys’ Wild Ride; or, A Dash to Save a Fort.
 30 The Liberty Boys in a Fix; or, Threatened by Reds and Whites.
 31 The Liberty Boys’ Big Contract; or, Holding Arnold in Check.
 32 The Liberty Boys Shadowed; or, After Dick Slater for Revenge.
 33 The Liberty Boys Duped; or, The Friend Who Was an Enemy.
 34 The Liberty Boys’ Fake Surrender; or, The Ruse That Succeeded.
 35 The Liberty Boys’ Signal; or, “At the Clang of the Bell.”
 36 The Liberty Boys’ Daring Work; or, Risking Life for Liberty’s Cause.
 37 The Liberty Boys’ Prize, and How They Won It.
 38 The Liberty Boys’ Plot; or, The Plan That Won.
 39 The Liberty Boys’ Great Haul; or, Taking Everything in Sight.
 40 The Liberty Boys’ Flush Times; or, Reveling in British Gold.
 41 The Liberty Boys in a Snare; or, Almost Trapped.
 42 The Liberty Boys’ Brave Rescue; or, In the Nick of Time.
 43 The Liberty Boys’ Big Day; or, Doing Business by Wholesale.
 44 The Liberty Boys’ Net; or, Catching the Redcoats and Tories.
 45 The Liberty Boys Worried; or, The Disappearance of Dick Slater.
 46 The Liberty Boys’ Iron Grip; or, Squeezing the Redcoats.
 47 The Liberty Boys’ Success; or, Doing What They Set Out to Do.
 48 The Liberty Boys’ Setback; or, Defeated, But Not Disgraced.
 49 The Liberty Boys in Toryville; or, Dick Slater’s Fearful Risk.
 50 The Liberty Boys Aroused; or, Striking Strong Blows for Liberty.
 51 The Liberty Boys’ Triumph; or, Beating the Redcoats at Their Own
    Game.
 52 The Liberty Boys’ Scare; or, A Miss as Good as a Mile.
 53 The Liberty Boys’ Danger; or, Foes on All Sides.
 54 The Liberty Boys’ Flight; or, A Very Narrow Escape.
 55 The Liberty Boys’ Strategy; or, Out-Generalling the Enemy.
 56 The Liberty Boys’ Warm Work; or, Showing the Redcoats How to Fight.
 57 The Liberty Boys’ “Push”; or, Bound to Get There.
 58 The Liberty Boys’ Desperate Charge; or, With “Mad Anthony” at Stony
    Point.
 59 The Liberty Boys’ Justice, And How They Dealt It Out.
 60 The Liberty Boys Bombarded; or, A Very Warm Time.
 61 The Liberty Boys’ Sealed Orders; or, Going it Blind.
 62 The Liberty Boys’ Daring Stroke; or, With “Light-Horse Harry” at
    Paulus Hook.
 63 The Liberty Boys’ Lively Times; or, Here, There and Everywhere.
 64 The Liberty Boys’ “Lone Hand”; or, Fighting Against Great Odds.
 65 The Liberty Boys’ Mascot; or, The Idol of the Company.
 66 The Liberty Boys’ Wrath; or, Going for the Redcoats Roughshod.
 67 The Liberty Boys’ Battle for Life; or, The Hardest Struggle of All.
 68 The Liberty Boys’ Lost; or, The Trap That Did Not Work.
 69 The Liberty Boys’ “Jonah”; or, The Youth Who “Queered” Everything.
 70 The Liberty Boys’ Decoy; or, Baiting the British.
 71 The Liberty Boys Lured; or, The Snare the Enemy Set.
 72 The Liberty Boys’ Ransom; or, In the Hands of the Tory Outlaws.
 73 The Liberty Boys as Sleuth-Hounds; or, Trailing Benedict Arnold.
 74 The Liberty Boys “Swoop”; or, Scattering the Redcoats Like Chaff.
 75 The Liberty Boys’ “Hot Time”; or, Lively Work in Old Virginia.
 76 The Liberty Boys’ Daring Scheme; or, Their Plot to Capture the King’s
    Son.
 77 The Liberty Boys’ Bold Move; or, Into the Enemy’s Country.
 78 The Liberty Boys’ Beacon Light; or, The Signal on the Mountain.
 79 The Liberty Boys’ Honor; or, The Promise That Was Kept.
 80 The Liberty Boys’ “Ten Strike”; or, Bowling the British Over.
 81 The Liberty Boys’ Gratitude, and How they Showed It.
 82 The Liberty Boys and the Georgia Giant; or, A Hard Man to Handle.
 83 The Liberty Boys’ Dead Line: or, “Cross it if You Dare!”
 84 The Liberty Boys “Hoo-Dooed”; or, Trouble at Every Turn.
 85 The Liberty Boys’ Leap for Life; or, The Light that Led Them.
 86 The Liberty Boys’ Indian Friend; or, The Redskin who Fought for
    Independence.
 87 The Liberty Boys “Going it Blind”; or, Taking Big Chances.
 88 The Liberty Boys’ Black Band; or, Bumping the British Hard.
 89 The Liberty Boys’ “Hurry Call”; or, A Wild Dash to Save a Friend.
 90 The Liberty Boys’ Guardian Angel; or, The Beautiful Maid of the
    Mountain.
 91 The Liberty Boys’ Brave Stand; or, Set Back but Not Defeated.
 92 The Liberty Boys “Treed”; or, Warm Work in the Tall Timber.
 93 The Liberty Boys’ Dare; or, Backing the British Down.
 94 The Liberty Boys’ Best Blows; or, Beating the British at Bennington.
 95 The Liberty Boys in New Jersey; or, Boxing the Ears of the British
    Lion.
 96 The Liberty Boys’ Daring; or, Not Afraid of Anything.
 97 The Liberty Boys’ Long March; or, The Move that Puzzled the British.
 98 The Liberty Boys’ Bold Front; or, Hot Times on Harlem Heights.
 99 The Liberty Boys in New York; or, Helping to Hold the Great City.
 100 The Liberty Boys’ Big Risk; or, Ready to Take Chances.
 101 The Liberty Boys’ Drag-Net; or, Hauling the Redcoats In.
 102 The Liberty Boys’ Lightning Work: or, Too Fast for the British.

 For Sale by All Newsdealers, or will be Sent to Any Address on Receipt
                     of Price, 5 Cents per Copy, by
 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,                     24 Union Square, New York.

                      IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS

of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and
we will send them to you by return mail.

               =POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

                  *       *       *       *       *

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.        ........190
 DEAR SIR—Enclosed find .... cents for which please send me:
 .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos. ....................................
 .... copies of WILD WEST-WEEKLY, Nos. ................................
 .... copies of FRANK READE WEEKLY, Nos. ..............................
 .... copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos. ..................................
 .... copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos. ..................................
 .... copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ‘76, Nos. .........................
 .... copies of Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos. .............................
 Name .................. Street and No. ........ Town ...... State ....

                               THE STAGE.

No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN’S JOKE BOOK.—Containing a great
variety of the latest jokes used by the most famous end men. No amateur
minstrels is complete without this wonderful little book.

No. 42. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER.—Containing a varied
assortment of stump speeches, Negro, Dutch and Irish. Also end men’s
jokes. Just the thing for home amusement and amateur shows.

No. 45. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK MINSTREL GUIDE AND JOKE BOOK.—Something new
and very instructive. Every boy should obtain this book, as it contains
full instructions for organizing an amateur minstrel troupe.

No. 65. MULDOON’S JOKES.—This is one of the most original joke books
ever published, and it is brimful of wit and humor. It contains a large
collection of songs, jokes, conundrums, etc., of Terrence Muldoon, the
great wit, humorist, and practical joker of the day. Every boy who can
enjoy a good substantial joke should obtain a copy immediately.

No. 79. HOW TO BECOME AN ACTOR.—Containing complete instructions how to
make up for various characters on the stage; together with the duties of
the Stage Manager, Prompter, Scenic Artist and Property Man. By a
prominent Stage Manager.

No. 80. GUS WILLIAMS’ JOKE BOOK.—Containing the latest jokes, anecdotes
and funny stories of this world-renowned and ever popular German
comedian. Sixty-four pages; handsome colored cover containing a
half-tone photo of the author.

                             HOUSEKEEPING.

No. 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.—Containing full instructions for
constructing a window garden either in town or country, and the most
approved methods for raising beautiful flowers at home. The most
complete book of the kind ever published.

No. 30. HOW TO COOK.—One of the most instructive books on cooking ever
published. It contains recipes for cooking meats, fish, game, and
oysters; also pies, puddings, cakes and all kinds of pastry, and a grand
collection of recipes by one of our most popular cooks.

No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE.—It contains information for everybody, boys,
girls, men and women; it will teach you how to make almost anything
around the house, such as parlor ornaments, brackets, cements, Aeolian
harps, and bird lime for catching birds.

                              ELECTRICAL.

No. 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.—A description of the wonderful
uses of electricity and electro magnetism; together with full
instructions for making Electric Toys, Batteries, etc. By George Trebel,
A. M., M. D. Containing over fifty illustrations.

No. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL MACHINES.—Containing full directions for
making electrical machines, induction coils, dynamos, and many novel
toys to be worked by electricity. By R. A. R. Bennett. Fully
illustrated.

No. 67. HOW TO DO ELECTRICAL TRICKS.—Containing a large collection of
instructive and highly amusing electrical tricks, together with
illustrations. By A. Anderson.

                             ENTERTAINMENT.

No. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTRILOQUIST.—By Harry Kennedy. The secret given
away. Every intelligent boy reading this book of instructions, by a
practical professor (delighting multitudes every night with his
wonderful imitations), can master the art, and create any amount of fun
for himself and friends. It is the greatest book over published, and
there’s millions (of fun) in it.

No. 20. HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.—A very valuable little book
just published. A complete compendium of games, sports, card diversions,
comic recitations, etc., suitable for parlor or drawing-room
entertainment. It contains more for the money than any book published.

No. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAMES.—A complete and useful little book, containing
the rules and regulations of billiards, bagatelle, backgammon, croquet,
dominoes, etc.

No. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRUMS.—Containing all the leading conundrums
of the day, amusing riddles, curious catches and witty sayings.

No. 52. HOW TO PLAY CARDS.—A complete and handy little book, giving the
rules and full directions for playing Euchre, Cribbage, Casino,
Forty-Five, Rounce, Pedro Sancho, Draw Poker, Auction Pitch, All Fours,
and many other popular games of cards.

No. 66. HOW TO DO PUZZLES.—Containing over three hundred interesting
puzzles and conundrums, with key to same. A complete book. Fully
illustrated. By A. Anderson.

                               ETIQUETTE.

No. 13. HOW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.—It is a great life secret,
and one that every young man desires to know all about. There’s
happiness in it.

No. 33. HOW TO BEHAVE.—Containing the rules and etiquette of good
society and the easiest and most approved methods of appearing to good
advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church, and in the
drawing-room.

                              DECLAMATION.

No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECITATIONS.—Containing the most
popular selections in use, comprising Dutch dialect. French dialect,
Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together with many standard readings.

No. 31. HOW TO BECOME A SPEAKER.—Containing fourteen illustrations,
giving the different positions requisite to become a good speaker,
reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular
authors of prose and poetry, arranged in the most simple and concise
manner possible.

No. 49. HOW TO DEBATE.—Giving rules for conducting debates, outlines for
debates, questions for discussion, and the best sources for procuring
information on the questions given.

                                SOCIETY.

No. 3. HOW TO FLIRT.—The arts and wiles of flirtation are fully
explained by this little book. Besides the various methods of
handkerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it
contains a full list of the language and sentiment of flowers, which is
interesting to everybody, both old and young. You cannot be happy
without one.

No. 4. HOW TO DANCE is the title of a new and handsome little book just
issued by Frank Tousey. It contains full instructions in the art of
dancing, etiquette in the ball-room and at parties, how to dress, and
full directions for calling off in all popular square dances.

No. 5. HOW To MAKE LOVE.—A complete guide to love, courtship and
marriage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquette to be observed,
with many curious and interesting things not generally known.

No. 17. HOW TO DRESS.—Containing full instruction in the art of dressing
and appearing well at home and abroad, giving the selections of colors,
material, and how to have them made up.

No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAUTIFUL.—One of the brightest and most valuable
little books ever given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to
become beautiful, both male and female. The secret is simple, and almost
costless. Read this book and be convinced how to become beautiful.

                           BIRDS AND ANIMALS.

No. 7. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.—Handsomely illustrated and containing full
instructions for the management and training of the canary, mockingbird,
bobolink, blackbird, paroquet, parrot, etc.

No. 39. HOW TO RAISE DOGS, POULTRY, PIGEONS AND RABBITS.—A useful and
instructive book. Handsomely illustrated. By Ira Drofraw.

No. 40. HOW TO MAKE AND SET TRAPS.—Including hints on how to catch
moles, weasels, otter, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure
skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harrington Keene.

No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AND ANIMALS.—A valuable book, giving
instructions in collecting, preparing, mounting and preserving birds,
animals and insects.

No. 54. HOW TO KEEP AND MANAGE PETS.—Giving complete information as to
the manner and method of raising, keeping, taming, breeding, and
managing all kinds of pets; also giving full instructions for making
cages, etc. Fully explained by twenty-eight illustrations, making it the
most complete book of the kind ever published.

                             MISCELLANEOUS

No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTIST.—A useful and instructive book, giving
a complete treatise on chemistry; also experiments in acoustics,
mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and directions for making fireworks,
colored fires, and gas balloons. This book cannot be equaled.

No. 14. HOW TO MAKE CANDY.—A complete hand-book for making all kinds of
candy, ice-cream, syrups, essences, etc., etc.

No. 19. FRANK TOUSEY’S UNITED STATES DISTANCE TABLES, POCKET COMPANION
AND GUIDE.—Giving the official distances on all the railroads of the
United States and Canada. Also table of distances by water to foreign
ports, hack fares in the principal cities, reports of the census, etc.,
etc., making it one of the most complete and handy books published.

No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN DOCTOR.—A wonderful book, containing
useful and practical information in the treatment of ordinary diseases
and ailments common to every family. Abounding in useful and effective
recipes for general complaints.

No. 55. HOW TO COLLECT STAMPS AND COINS.—Containing valuable information
regarding the collecting and arranging of stamps and coins. Handsomely
illustrated.

No. 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE.—By Old King Brady, the world-known
detective. In which he lays down some valuable and sensible rules for
beginners, and also relates some adventures and experiences of
well-known detectives.

No. 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER.—Containing useful information
regarding the Camera and how to work it; also how to make Photographic
Magic Lantern Slides and other Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated.
By Captain W. De W. Abney

No. 62. HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT MILITARY CADET.—Containing full
explanations how to gain admittance, course of Study, Examinations,
Duties, Staff of Officers, Post Guard, Police Regulations, Fire
Department, and all a boy should know to be a Cadet. Compiled and
written by Lu Senarens, author of “How to Become a Naval Cadet.”

No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL CADET.—Complete instructions of how to
gain admission to the Annapolis Naval Academy. Also containing the
course of instruction, description of grounds and buildings, historical
sketch, and everything a boy should know to become an officer in the
United States Navy. Compiled and written by Lu Senarens, author of “How
to Become a West Point Military Cadet.”

                PRICE 10 CENTS EACH, OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS.
      Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.



                          A SPLENDID NEW ONE!
                           Frank Reade Weekly

                    CONTAINING STORIES OF ADVENTURE
                  ON LAND——UNDER THE SEA——IN THE AIR.


                              BY “NONAME,”
                      THE PRINCE OF STORY WRITERS.

             Each Number in a Handsomely Illuminated Cover.

                    ☛ A 32–PAGE BOOK FOR 5 CENTS. ☚

All our readers know Frank Reade, Jr., the greatest inventor of the age,
and his two fun-loving chums, Barney and Pomp. The stories to be
published in this magazine will contain a true account of the wonderful
and exciting adventures of the famous inventor, with his marvellous
flying machines, electrical overland engines, and his extraordinary
submarine boats. Each number will be a rare treat. Tell your newsdealer
to get you a copy. Here are the first EIGHT titles, and each number will
be better than the previous one:

 No. 1. FRANK READE, JR.’S WHITE CRUISER OF THE        Issued October 31
   CLOUDS; or, The Search for the Dog-Faced Men.

 No. 2. FRANK READE, JR.’S SUBMARINE BOAT, THE         Issued November 7
   “EXPLORER”; or, To the North Pole Under the Ice.

 NO. 3. FRANK READE, JR.’S ELECTRIC VAN; or, Hunting  Issued November 14
   Wild Animals in the Jungles of India.

 No. 4. FRANK READE, JR.’S ELECTRIC AIR CANOE; or,    Issued November 21
   The Search for the Valley of Diamonds.

 No. 5. FRANK READE, JR.’S “SEA SERPENT”; or, The     Issued November 28
   Search for Sunken Gold.

 No. 6. FRANK READE, JR.’S ELECTRIC TERROR, The        Issued December 5
   “THUNDERER”; or, The Search for the Tartar’s
   Captive

 No. 7. FRANK READE, JR.’S AIR WONDER, The “KITE”;    Issued December 12
   or, A Six Weeks’ Flight Over the Andes.

 No. 8. FRANK READE, JR.’S DEEP SEA DIVER, The        Issued December 19
   “TORTOISE”; or, The Search for a Sunken Island.

 For Sale by All Newsdealers, or will be Sent to Any Address on Receipt
                     of Price, 5 Cents per Copy, by

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,                     24 Union Square, New York.

                      IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS

of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be
obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following
Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and
we will send them to you by return mail.

               =POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

                  *       *       *       *       *

 FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.        .......190

 DEAR SIR—Enclosed find .... cents for which please send me:
 .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos. .....................................
 .... copies of WILD WEST-WEEKLY, Nos. .................................
 .... copies of FRANK READE WEEKLY, Nos. ...............................
 .... copies of PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos. ...................................
 .... copies of SECRET SERVICE, Nos. ...................................
 .... copies of THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ‘76, Nos. ..........................
 .... copies of Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos. ..............................
 Name ................... Street and No. ........ Town ...... State ....

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES


 1. Moved advertising on the reverse of the cover page to between the
      end and the remaining advertisements on the back cover.
 2. Changed ‘fall’ to ‘fell’ on p. 2.
 3. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 4. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 5. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 6. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.





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