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taken "with a fever, refused to re
main with them, and started back
alone for his home settlement.
"It's wonderful," announced
Reeves, one morning a week later.
"Those English speculators knew
what they were talking about when
they sent us out here. There's a rich
heap of rock over on the range."
"Then it will be homeward bound,
shortly," 'suggested Ronald.
"Home and Nellie!" smiled
Reeves, expansively. "Well package
up the ore samples, you finish your
lode charts, and we'll see if we can't
slip the natives."
All might have gone well but for
the impetuosity of Ronald. He was
longing to get back to "the girl he
had left behind." He suggested that
they lessen time' and distance by tak
ing a short cut across the route the
guide had followed.
There were several alarms and
nights of watchfulness after that.
More than once the venturesome
wayfarers ran across little parties of
savages, but evaded them or scared
them off with a display of their fire
arms. They were camping one afternoon
in a little knoll by the river side,
when Ronald went somewhat afield
to gather some wild fruit in which
the district abounded for their even
ing meal. He came back shortly,
'See here, Mr. Reeves," he an
nounced, swinging a great war club,
heavily carved and richly worked in
with gold and colors, "I've made a
"I see," nodded Reeves, but seri
"It was near a tree, and it's only
one of a dozen different weapons like
spears and darts, with gold handles.
Come along, we'll get the rest" But
Reeves put out a staying hand.
"Get that thing back to where you
found It quick as you can," he di
rected. "Why, what for?" inquired the
"If you had looked up Into that
tree you would probably have seen
a burial platform. These are the
trophies of some big chief," ex-
plained Reeves. "For any one to even
touch them is held as sacrilege by
these superstitious natives. Missing i
that memento, the war club, they
would trail you to the end of the
earth to recover It. I advise you to
take it back at once."
This Ronald did. He replaced the ,
object just where he had found it and
turned to retrace his steps to his
friend, half a mile away. Just
then a wild uproar greeted him.
Fierce yells rent the air. From behind
a score of bushes as many dusky na
tives sprang into view.
Donald was surrounded, seized, his
arms bound, and dragged along by
his angry-faced captors. He was led
past an encampment of rude huts
and info a large spreading cave in the
This seemed to be a sort of tem
ple of the savages, for it was hung
with skins upon which was daubed in
crude colors the picture of a four
headed idol. There was a stone pil
lar in the center of the cavern, and to
this Ronald was" "securely tied.
He noted, that overhead an open
space ran up like a natural funnel,
and about the post he fancied he dis
covered ashes as if this was the spot
where the natives offered up their
prisoners and enemies as human sac
rifices. His captors squatted in a circle and
jabbered away at a furious rate. They
made menacing motions toward him,
and Ronald could readily discern that
they were discussing his fate.
Finally after several hours' delib
eration they appeared to arrive at a
definite conclusion. Most of them
went away, leaving two of their num
bers to pile up firewood about the
"It's goodby, Nellie, sure," dole
fully ruminated Ronald, "and Mr.
Reeves will never know what has
happened to me,"