years. Then amid the excitement
and preparation due to the coming
wedding he forgqt all about Dacre.
Only Lois remembered the grave-
faced, earnest suitor, who had told
her that if ever the hour came when
the sacrifice of his very life could
avail for the benefit pf herself and
those she loved, he would welcome
f the test.
"It will take me a week to settle
up affairs at the mines at Falcon and
get baqk here," Roger told Lois.
He was making an entire change
in his business interests. For years
the Falcon mine had been a source
of revenue to him since his father
died. It had, however, brought trou
ble as .well as revenue. There had
- been bitterly contested litigation
with Big Barlow, a ruffian prospec
tor, who had made a fictitious claim
i to its ownership. .
Roger had beaten Barlow fairly in
the courts of justice and the latter
had vowed vengeance. Roger had
1 decided to remove to the east. He
had sold the mine for a large sum
and his last connection with it would
be to deliver possession to a repre
sentative of the syndicate which had
Falcon was 50 miles distant across
a barren stretch 'where it was not
always safe to travel on account of
outlaw characters who infested it at
times. Roger made the journey to
the rude 'frontier settlement with no
mishap, however. He was popular
with the workers at the mine and
made himself still more so by giving
them a grand farewell spread at the
one 'poor hotel of the place. Then
he made legal delivery of. the prop
erty to the syndicate man and was
ready to ' return to civilization and
"Give you a tip, guv'nor," a
friendly miner told him the last day
of his sojourn at the diggings. "The
boys tell me that Big Barlow was
hanging around Little Louie's joint
"That doesn't interest me," .as-1
sured Roger, recognizing the under
current of a subtle warning in the
"It should," persisted the miner,
"for he was ugly with drink and
boasted he was going to get even
"I'll be on the lookout, friend,"
pledged Roger, but lightly. "Hello!
who is that man?".
Roger stared -and then started
after a man "across the street, but the
latter had disappeared with Roger's
companion having just a brief glance
"Newcomer, don't know his name.
Looking for work, I understand."
"It was Dacre," reflected Roger,
as he went slowly and thoughtfully
toward his hotel . "Poor fellow ! Bent
on burying himself because of his
great disappointment I wish I had
a chance to be friendly with him."
That .opportunity did not material
ize, however, and Roger's kindly im
pulse was obscured in the bustle of
preparations for his leaving the place
that evening. The night promised
to he ,clear, though slightly chilly,
with a full moon, and Roger, in high
spirits, anticipated a' glorious gallop
over the old mountain trail, with
every foot of which he was familiar.
A dozen humble but loyal friends
waved him a cheery good-by as, his
satchel strapped behind his saddle,
his light overcoat collar drawn well
up to his eyes, he toucned the spur
to the splendid animal he rode.
Roger had proceeded less than five
miles when, on turning a shoulder of
rock, he was confronted by two men.
Both wore masks. So quickly did
they halt him, so speedily did they
pull him from his horse that he was
unable to resist. To his amazement
his long, enveloping overcoat was
dragged from his back. The coat of
one of his assailants was substituted.
Roger's arms were secured behind
him, he was remounted on one of
the horses of his captors. It's owner,
donning the overcoat and springing
into the saddle of Roger's horse, put
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