Chapter 101170011

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Chapter NumberII
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Full Date1913-05-02
Page Number13
Word Count1796
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAlbury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW : 1896 - 1938)
Trove TitleThe Pool of the Hundred Dead
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CHILDREN'S STORY. ? '-?'? - nC» . ? ? ?'

THE POOL CF THE HUNDRED DEAD '???? ??',-': (Concluded from last issue:)': -'- '? /--,': IS--'- CHAPTER, 11.;^ uV,rS:'[' IIOHV^HE GOLD WAS RECOVERED.

- -i' Wliat is to be done now?' masked Dick. 'They will clay claim to the stuff as they ?hsive found it, and we haven't much chance ?df -taking it from them by force.' '/He and Dick had assumed that the 'toughs' were so occupied in removing the

gold from the cache that they had no thought of anything else, but one of them had taken the precaution to climb the ridge to have a look around, and had at once discovered that two strangers were in. the vicinity. He had given warning to his companions by; yelling out that 'a couple of galoots were spying round.' : 'That settles it,' said Dick. 'We had better tell them why we are here, so that they will know they can't claim the gold they are handling.' - ? 'Fat lot they'll care,' muttered Rube. 'But we'll play the straight game, anyhow. If your rifle loaded ?' . ... ; . , , ; ; .?;,.. .:.,^Yes.'. ' ??','..',-:?:. '?,:?: ?: 'Come along, then.' . .,.. .;: - .: ??..-. ?? ? Three of the men met them on the crest. of the ridge, the other two stood .guarding a little heap of nuggets that were piled in front of some loose rocks. - .??.-.-. '?: \ 'Waal, strangers, and what's your' busi-

'I am just going to tell you,' replied Denver. 'You have— by accident, I sup pose^ — discovered a store of gold .which ^' with- out question is the property of-r4— ' . ;, , ??.?* 'Which is our property by . ? .right ? .discovery,' interrupted a redrbearded man. I^o.iyou needn't waste your^breath by; say ing anything more about ii.' ' _ . '..'. . ?/ ;- 'You hadn't the blame cheek, ter 'reckon you was goin' ,ter, 'bluff ^iis -out : of , it ?'/.cried the first .speaker witllVa; hoarse !? laugh. ; ^?j 'Me^andj my.(pa^^er,'^replied^RiUbe^ ain't laying any claim to^it bn^ourv6wn;.ac count; we're acting for another vperson's .1 have, a paper' with^me7^'^ ownership clear.VenougE^

'This statement was received- .wijili a loud guffaw of laughter. .,?.y; ? rr;,^j\'/^ ; ?'. ;. ''See iier'e,.. mate,'; saidi.redjbeard. ^,','we're the lawyers aiid the law, too', ; in ..jiHis little bit of Texas. But .we're the^sprt^of. lawyers .that don't do any talkin',; we 'shoot. .D'ye take the hint. Now, if you've got'as much sense as a yaller dog, you'll clear out of this quicker'n greased lightning.' To emphasise the 'hint' -he flung out an arm, and in so doing caught Rube a smart back-handed blow on the jaw. It may have been an accident, though it looked as; if it were purposely done. Rube did not bother to inquire. His right fist shot out, and the next moment red-beard was measuring his length on the ground. Yells of rage broke forth from his com panions. Th©r© was a rush— all the five of them, for red-beard was soon on his feet again — ^ crackle of revolver fire, and the ?rasp of steel as knives, were drawn. The bullets did but little damage, as the oppos .irig parties . were so mixed up that after ? ''the first exchange of shots a 'friend was 'as likely to be hit as a foe. „__.' _ V''' 'v:t .-Dick fought' strenuously witli-his -clubbed rifle. It was riot .a magazine1 rifle-, and :after- he had fired'one?; shoi/'he-had'fnbt a ) ?chance of slipping another = 'cartridge ^^!into; 'the breech . ! Aiming a 'blow atfja' mari^wlip ihad raised' a ?? knife itb stab ; -Rube Deriyerf jfroni behind'/ ''Dick islipped^iakd -instead tqf; hitting tlie -fellow'* with' nthe'-'-btitt 'of1 the rifle', pitched^head 'f oremdst' against hihi..: It diverted -the^thrust, and;4x-th he and, the man- rolled- ifo^thV erround together.;

Two otners trippea -over Dneiu, jhiu ior ...a.i few seconds- i they/, were, ;ia; struggling heaj? ori.tKe'.eartli. -.--???::' -?.?-??- -:'--?;??... .|--. r:4-.i'-''AU- the;-lio'rses are stampedin', ours andi aTKf ;rrt'vSvas -Rube3s;'ybice! -wliispering in! liis' ear^i- ^SpmeMiirig i-^cared? them^'''i;See cthese, tWo'f coming'' albn^:-?; 'Z-'Make a' leap ?fbr'tnem^^uickCas^o^Ii^e,^'^ '^;n i r. f«?The'y wore1 two bfitheVhorse's ; belorigitig to their =' adversaries^ ' : Dick scrambled/ to ;liis ff eet; ^n A liorse fflasted^byl f{ind~nie'?made ja'. ilfeap';1- ^^laridingbf acrbsS vtli'eVi-r'-saddle -i pn--fhis; stbmach] ?''.. .'He^'saw/^hatV'RiibeohadvmanT; aged to' ^' xirnp r on to the' 'other horse ;whe. lieai-d 'his ''reckless r 'laught,;-ihea'rdt 'thiem 'shout,^ ???'Thisf'is reg'lar circuit bxisines'sl'

Tlien there was a rattle ot;sUots',-;ana ijick 1 knew that' the animal which 'CaiTiediliiin was hit/ : Also he saw that; iRxibe's^herse had bolted with him.: - ?yi-.j -ofytn i l! ; ???: Dick raised himself .-in1 ^ the saddle. K^IThe^ poor animal was badly!.«hit,. foroitsiwas;' staggering forward blindly; :-hTlieyt'gdtHri! among the trees close rbybth0:;biTiiling-ayhii]l-: pool, dangerously^ neai^thp^edge^pfi^that ;j 'dread'fuf onuklrmi. -Dick clutched _ at ia: branch within, his reach, and drew himself up clear of the saddle, just as the wounded horse pitched forward on tq^ts^ knees, thdn rolled over on its side, and 'finally slid over ; the edge of the pit into the whirlpool, dis-j appearing almost instahtly^n|tlip vortex. ?; 'If I hadn't swung cl(-niA'that%ould linve' boon my fate,' thought Dick, with a shiver of horror. .. v \ - '? As the branch on which lie was. resting did not soem to be very safe, he climbed to a 'higher branch fitid took a survey* of the scene of the late conflict. One of the outlaws — he learnt afterwards they wero outlaws — was lying face downwards on the grpund, apparently dead. It was red

beard; Anpther was sitting down binding up a wound in his leg. The other three were staring after the fast disappearing figure of Rube Denver and the runaway horses. They came towards the pool. ; . 'Nice blessed fix we're in now,' remarked one, interlarding his speech .with curses. 'All the horses gone! How are we to get away from here?' ? iriiT.i.i _ ? £ ) ? __ 'ii * ? t i ii

lvieuue some or em \yiii come DacK, said another. ' 'TJiat young feller has gone into the pit with the one you shot, J[ reckon.' ??- - ;' ? : '! Dick congratulated himself on the fact that they were unaware he had escaped by flinging himself on to the lower branch of the tree, and that he was now above them' listening to their conversation. ? They paused at the edge of the chasm and peered down at the seething water. 'It's a rotten place; gives me the

shivers,' muttered the third man. 'If we can only get away with that gold we'll make for one of the big cities, where we're not known, and have a roaring' time/' . They walked away, talking 'together. Dick could not venture to- descend from his perch, for they' would ihave'ltieen' cer tain to see him, and would \haye shbt him put of hand. ^^ 'Well, we had the best of the .fight;' thought Dick. 'But I wonder ;how Rube is faring on his runaway horse p and I wonder how long I shall have to stick up here?' ' ' Two hours passed. He was becoming very cramped, for he could not-shift his position much. Suddenly he noticed a com motion among the outlaws; they had mounted the ridge and were staring out over the plain. Dick stretched himself up in order to try and see what they- were .. looking at, and in doing so lost his hold and fell. He uttered a startled cry, flung out his arms wildly, and managed by sheer good luck to clutch the lower branch, thus saving himself from falling into the horrible cauldron of steaming water. ' ' ' But he hung right over it, and ? the branch to which/he was clihging'^a. wither- ed and rotten one— was bending -arid crack ing with his ^weight! .'He .!;Xliifted:. his hands; a little tb' try' to. get, intb;rfclie ^trunk ; of the tree;' ?but^'tlie^ -least. mbvemeitfeaused the brancli: to ' beri'H 'and:V8rack^ Bill ,mpre. It .wak awful'' He kriew'tlia't it mtist1' break vbry':sooh; ;-f or fit 'was too rotten'- blear his weieht' f or lbn£r.-\-: An'dif ' it' lifnk'fl1 lv«; wrinlr?

gb'headlbng'^p ^^wiftandjliorrible^dbatli. 1 f '_ Wasv if; a trick'^of imaginatibn, ^pf'^nad his' -cf^^b&fi'latiswe'ri^^frbm the;':opppsite HirectibJa''''to:i'.tEe^''canlp'-?: Surely Vhe'bould Hear ? :a': f ariiiliar: 'vp'ice' ''shbutingi^b, him. He' looked ; and to hisjpy 'savi^Riibe running 'towards him; ? , Oth6r'men;-1;c)P--^mpiinted irien^T-were tbpping'the cfest'bf .tKS- ridge. AVbuld they be in time?; : ii*The i braHcli^ was bending lower arid lower. ;*-?*- ?-?? : ^kv 'Hold on like grim1 deatlif.s'pririy;rfpr an other half -minute .' It was Rube's wel come voice calling to HiriiVT ' - ''Wiait till [ give the word to let rgb.'' -v05^ :;---- He flung a lasso' upwards; arid' the'riopse tightened firmly rbund Dick's^ waist;' A strain was put on the rope. ;'t'!:''O;y. : 'Let go!' yelled Rube, arid; with* the lariat gripped in his hands.rhe ran as hard . as he could away from the. brink 'of the pool. ??;??- '??' Dick let go. He felt himself jerked through the air. Then his body struck the ground, and he lost consciousness. When

ne recovered nis senses Jtttipe was benamg over him bathing his face with water. The hunter's explanation of what had occurred was brief. t ? ?'The hoss carried me a matter of five miles before I could pull it up,' he said, ''and I-rode slap intp a party of seven men — ^the Sheriff of Houston1 and his posse — out : a.f ter the gang of thieves that we had been fighting. I soon; gave the sheriff the facts 'led them here ,:.- and -now all the gang are prisbnei-sj barring the one that-s dead. The I'goldids i safe- enough for-1 Royston's; niece :iiow.:;.;J the:. sheriff.: will, take charge of it. :Yiqu?had-.a' middling close shave for your jlifs sonny,. but you're all right now except .aVfewsbruises.; No bones broken. It was ifilxAn only, way of saving j'ou before the ; branch -broke.J'^ r ;. ', ..vli'knew you would come back, Rube,' said -Dick with a faint smile. , ''But I was iafraid. at one time that it.; would ;be after :'E had gpne. ' ; , v i-.^r , ,-/? ?-. U Three months later a girl iriLoridon, who .earned her living as a typist, was amazed arid- overjoyed to find that she had suddenly ?become an heiress. A copy of her uncle's iiwill' was forwarded to her, together with a r^brief notification that gold to the value of ,ten . thousand pounds had been sold on her ibehalf.— 'Chums.'