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MEADE COUNTY v NEWS, MEADE. KANSAS.
RAINBOW'S END CHAPTER XX. 18 Morln, the Fisherman. When Rosa Vnrona regained con sciousness sufficiently to understand what had happened she proved herself a person of no little self-control. It was she. In fact, who first voiced the fear that Cobo dead was scarcely less e menace than Cobo alive. "What are we going to do with him?" ehe Inquired1. Jacket, too, appreciated the dangers of the situation. "We must get rid of him quickly," said he, "for his men are close by; he will be missed and there will be a search." "I don't Intend to make Tilm a pres ent of thnt treasure," O'Reilly said, grimly. "It Is our only salvation." ''But how are we going to bide him?" Jacket Inquired. "One might as well try to conceal a church ; oxen couldn't hoist him out of that hole." Precisely J He has made our work easy for us. We can't take more than a small part of the money with us, any- Dragged the Body of Cobo Into the Cave. bow; the rest will have to lie here un til the war la over. . Well I We shall leave Cobo on guard over what re mains I" Jacket was immensely pleased with this idea, once he had grasped it, ( "What could be better ?' he cried. "The Man's spirit is evil enough to frighten people away and we will drop stones upon him, so that he can learn the taste of his own medicine. It suits me exactly to think of Colonel Cobo stand ing on his head in a hole In the ground for the rest of eternity I" O'Reilly was by this time suffering the full reaction from the events of the past half-hour and he was nearer exhaustion than he dreamed, but, con' querlng his repugnance for Ms unea capable task, he lowered himself once more into the well. Bis arms were weak, however, and his fingers numb, bo he fell rather than slid the length of the rope. He managed to open the sloor of the treasure chamber, then en tered and loaded his pockets with gold. He sent up the jewel box at the end of the rope, dragged the body of Cobo into the cave, then wedged the barricade back into place. It required the com bined strength of Rosa and Jacket to kelp him the last few feet of his climb. "Now fetch stones, rubbish, anything and throw it in there," he gasped. The boy and the girl fell to with a will, and after a time Johnnie Joined them. ' Slowly, laboriously, the three of them carried debris from the edge of the quarry and bricks from the ruined bouse; they scraped up armfuls of leaves and trash anything, in fact, which would serve to raise the bottom of the shaft and conceal the entrance to their enemy's resting place. It was lavish work, but O'Reilly kept them at it until they were ready to drop. Daylight overtook them at their task. They were weak, sick, deadly tired ; they could barely shuffle a few yards at a time when they finally reached Asenslo's hut; nevertheless there was hope In their hearts, for O'Reilly's rag ged clothes sagged with the weight of gold pieces and the little metal box he carried was heavy. Nor were they greatly concerned about the safety of the treasure they had left behind, for the entrance to the cavern lay deeply burled, and Cobo, the guerrilla, stood guard over the chests of plate and the casks of coin. Evangellna, vastly bewildered at the sight of the coin which was forced into ber palm, went for food and spent most of the day in cooking it The treasure hunters alternately slept and ate. It was not until well along toward eve ning that Rosa and O'Reilly felt any esira to take stock of the contents of J Hr DPY T"P A rT-T Author of "The Iron Trail." "The Xjy lXJJ-A. ijCVill Spoilers," "Heart of the Sunset." Etc 'CopyrUht, by Htrpcr and Brothers) that; jewel box, but finally, with heads together and with backs to the door of the bohlo, they made a furtive ex aralnatlon. They found emeralds and sapphires the value of which they did not attempt to estimate; and, besides these, a miscellaneous assortment of semiprecious stones. O'Reilly realized vaguely that he held In his hip a fortune greater than his wildest dreams had ever com passed. These were the Jewels of rajah. It seemed incredible that this ragged girl beside him was a regal heiress, the possessor of a treasure such as kings might envy. After a time he realized that the mere possession of these gems constituted a new and over whelming menace. Morning found all hands more ncnrLv rational and feeling the first gnawlngs of a healthy hunger. Even Asenslo con fessed to a quite miraculous improve ment. While Evangellna prepared breakfast the lovers agreed upon story to explain the origin of that mys terious gold piece; and later Johnnie warned Jacket for a second time to keep his tongue between hlslteeth. . Jacket nodded his complete corapre henslon. "Sure I All Spaniards are robbers and they'd kill us for ar peso, Yes, and the paclflcos are no better; tell you we need to get out of this place." "I Intend to arrange it at once, but the sight of those Jewels has frightened me. If we are searched If we are even suspected : I'm wondering if Rosa can endure the hardships we'll encoun- ter when, or if, we get away." "Exactly what I was thinking. I've been considering another plan. I told you about my friend at the market Well, he Is a miserable Spaniard, but be has a son in the manlgua." "One of us?" Johnnie was surprised, "Yes. The old fellow owns a volan dra in which he brings charcoal from the eastward twice a month. He might take us out of here on his schooner." "How well does he like you?" "Oh, we are like two thieves." - After a period of thought O'Reilly said, "Take me to htm, and remember I m your brother Juan." The Matanzas market did not pre sent a scene of great activity when the two friends slunk into it Like most Spanish markets, the building was far from clean and housed odors unpleas ant even to starving people. In the smelliest section, at one of the fish stalls, Jacket accosted a villainous old brigand in a rough Gallego cap, baggy blouse and trousers, and straw san dals. "Good day, my captain," be cried, cheerily. The Spaniard raised his head, scowled ferociously, then waved a long, thin-bladed knife in menacing fashion "Aha I So there you are, robber I Be off now before I slit your greedy little belly ! Didn't I promise to give you to the soldiers if you came back to bother me?" Jacket was unabashed by this hostile reception. He grinned broadly and with an impudent eye he scanned the empty premises. "Where is my little fish?" he demanded. "As I live, I believe you have sold It I What a miser I For the sake of another centavo you would see me starve? There's a heart for you! Come, give me my fish I Or must I lie down and die before your very eyes to prove my hunger?" "What a nuisance!" grumbled the marketman. He reached Into a basket and flung a mackerel upon the table, "There I I saved it for you, and sent the good women of Matanzas away empty-handed. But it is the very last Annoy me again and I shall open yon with my knife and put salt on you." "Aht You are my good captain!" Jacket cried In triumph, possessing himself of the prize. "Where would I have been but for you?" Turning to O'Reilly, who had looked on from a dis tance, be said, "Captain Morln, this is that brother Juan of whom I have told you. Morln smiled at Johnnie and extend ed his dirty palm. "The little fellow can speak the truth when he wishes, It seems. I began to doubt that he had a brother. What a boy, eh?" "You have a son with the insurreo tosr "Yea." The fisherman cast a furtive glance over his shoulder. "Why don't you go and fight by bis side?" Jacket demanded. God forbid 1" Morln flung up his hands. "I'm a loyal subject" Well, we are going back to fight We are going to escape and Join Gomes once more!" Jacket made the an nouncement calmly. " S-sh ! What talk !H Morln was In a nervous panic lest they be overheard. "As if anybody could escape from Ma tanzas ! What made you come here if you are so eager to fight?" Til tell you." O'Reilly assumed di rection of the conversation. "There are three of us brothers, we two and Esteban, a pretty little fellow. He was captured by Cobo's men and driven in, and we came to find blm. But he is sick dying " "Of course. They're all dying the poor people! It is terrible." "We" O'Reilly faltered slightly, bo much hung upon the manner in which Morln would take what he was about to say. "We want to get him out of here we must do so, or we'll lose him. Will you help us?" . '1? In heaven's name, bow?" "By taking us away in your char coal schooner." "You're mad!" Morln cast another apprehensive look over his shoulder. "I'm a poor man. All I have is my tw boats, the vlverp, which brings fish and the volnndra, ' which sails with charcoal. Do you think I'd forfeit them and my life for strangers?" Uiieiny leaned closer. "You sny you're a poor man. I will pay you well." Morln eyed the ragged speaker scorn fully; It was plain that he put no faith In such a promise, and so O'Reilly took a piece of gold from his pocket, at sight of which the fisherman started "I, too, am a poor man, but I'm will Ing to buy freedom for my little broth ers and myself." "How many coins like that have you?" "Um-m more than one; enough to Poy.yoa for several cargoes of coal." "For the sake of MIguellto," Jacket urged. "Caramba ! What a hard-heart ed father begot that boy I" "Hush!" The fisherman was scowl ing. To O'Reilly he said, "You do wrong to tempt a poor man." "My brother Estebnn is sick. He is a frail little tad with a -crooked back, God will reward you." "Perhaps ! But how much will you pay?" ' "Ten Spanish sovereigns like thl all that I have." "No! It is not enough." O'Reilly took Jacket's hand ' and turned away. "I'm sorry," he said. wish I might offer you more." He had taken several steps before Morln hailed him. "Come back tomorrow," the fisher man cried, crossly. "We will try to talk like sensible people." The brothers Vlllar were back at Morln's fish stand on the following afternoon and they returned dally thereafter until they at last prevailed over the Spaniard's fears and won his promise of assistance. That much ac complished, they made several cautious purchases, a coat here, a shirt there, a pair of trousers in another place, until they had assembled a complete boy's outfit of clothing. At first Rosa refused absolutely to desert her two faithful negro friends. and O'Reilly won her consent to con sider his plan of escape only after he had put the matter squarely up to Asenslo and his wife and after both had refused to enter into it. Then, and not until then, did Rosa begin ber preparations. First she made Evangellna cut ber hair, a sacrilege that wrung sighs and tears and loud lamentations from the black woman after which she altered the suit of boy's clothing to fit her figure, or rath er to conceal it. When at last she put it on for O'Reil ly's approval she was very shy, very My Dear, You'll Never Told Her. Do," He self-conscious, and so altogether un- boylike that he shook his head posi tively.' "My dear, you'll never do," he told her. "You are altogether too nrettv " "But wait until I put that hideous hump upon my back and stain my face, then you will see how ugly I can look." "Perhaps," he said, doubtfully. A moment, then his frown lightened. "You give me a thought" said he. "You shall wear the Jewels." "Wear them? How?" "On your back, in that very hump. It 111 be the safest, possible way to con ceal them." Rosa clapped her hands In delight Why, of course! It Is the very thing. Walt until I show you." Profiting by her first moment alone Evangellna and her husband being still in Ignorance of the contents of the treasure box Bosa made a handle out of the jewels and trinkets and fas tened It securely Inside her coat After a few experiments she adjusted it to her liking, then called O'Reilly once more. This time he was better satis fled. An application of Evangellna's stain to darken her face, a few tatters and a liberal application of dirt to the suit, and he declared that Rosa would pass anywhere as a boy. There came a night when the three of them bade good-by to their block companions and slipped away across the city to that section known as Pueb lo Nuevo, then followed the road along the water front until they found shel ter within the shodows of a rickety structure which bad once served as a bath house. ' : The refugees waited a long time; they were beginning to fear that old Morln's nerve hnd weakened at the eleventh hour, when they beheld, a skiff approaching the shore. It glided closer, entered the shade of the bath house, tnen a voice criea: "Pset 1 You are there?" It was Mo rln himself. Hastily the three plied aboard. Morln bent to his oars and the skiff shot out. "You were not observed?" he Inquired, "No." Morln rowed in silence for a time. "When do you sail?" O'Reilly asked. "At dawn, God permitting. You will have to remain hidden and you mustn't even breathe.". He brought the skiff alongside a bat tered old schooner, and his passengers clambered aboard. There was a tiny cabin aft and on It, sheltered from the night dew by a loose fold of the main sail, were two sleeping men. The new comers followed Morln down Into the evil little cabin, where he warned them in a hoarse whisper : Not a sound, tfilnd you. If anyone comes aboard, you must shift for your selves, ureep into the hold and hide. or course, If we are searched" He muttered something, then groped his way out on deck, and closed the hatch behind him. now mat iney naa actually em barked upon this enterprise and the girl bad given herself entirely Into his nands, now thnt an Imminent peril en compassed them both, Johnnie felt that Rosa belonged to him more absolutely, more completely, than at any time heretofore, so he held her close. Rosa lay relaxed against her lover's shoul der and In hnltlng murmurs, Interrupt ed many times by caresses, she told O'Reilly of her need for him, and her Utter happiness. It was the fullest hour of their lives. With daylight, Morln routed out his men. There was a sleenv mutterlne. the patter of bare feet upon the deck above, then the creak of blocks as the sails were raised. A few moments, then there came a hall which brought their hearts into their throats. Morln him self answered the call. Good morning, countryman! Have you caught any of those accursed fili busters since I saw you last? So? Cnyo Romnno, eh? What have I aboard?" Morln laughed loudly. "You know very well cannon and shot for the rebels, of course. Will you look? . . .No? . . Then a cup of coffee perhaps?" O'Reilly peeped through a dlrt- stalned cabin window and saw that the volandra was slipping past the stern of the Ironclad, so he withdrew his head quickly. Of course this was but one danger past and there were many more ahead, for Morln's schooner was liable to be stopped by any of the numerous patrol boats on duty to the eastward. Never theless, when an anxious hour bad gone by and she was well out toward the harbor mouth, the refugees told one another they were safe. CHAPTER XXI. Three Traveler Come Home. Esteban Varona made slow progress toward recovery. In the weeks follow ing O'Reilly's departure from Cubltas his gain was steady, but beyond a cer tain point he seemed unable to go, Then he began to lose strength. Este ban awoke to the fact that he was los ing ground, and his dismay was keen, for a wonderful thing bad come Into his life and he spent much of his time In delicious contemplative day dreams concerning it waiting for the hour when he would dare translate those dreams Into realities. It seemed to him that he had always loved Norlne ; cer tainly she had enshrined herself in his heart long before his mind had re gained its clarity, for he bad come out of his delirious wanderings with his love full grown. The time came finally when he could no longer permit the girl to deceive herself or him with her brave assump tion of cheerfulness. Norlne hnd just told him that he was doing famously, but be smiled and shook his weary head. "Let's be honest" he said. "You know and I know that I can't get well." "You mustn't be discouraged," she told him, earnestly. "Remember this Is trying climate and we have nothing to do with. Even the food Is wretched. m going to take you away." Esteban stroked her hand softly. "You can't do that Miss Evans. You have been wonderful to me and I can't begin to exsresa my gratitude No-, rlne stirred, but he retained bis grasp of her fingers, gaining courage from the contact to proceed. "I have been trying for a long time to tell you some thing. Will you listen?" "Not now," she exclaimed, with visible lessening of color. "Don't bother to tell me now." "I've waited too long,; I must speak, You have stayed on here Just to nurse me. Isn't that true?" She nodded somewhat doubtfully. "Now, then, you must stop thinking bdouc me ana make your arrange ments to go home." There was a moment of silence, "Yes. You see, I know how tired you are of this misery, this poverty, this hopeless struggle. You're not a Cuban and our cause Isn't yours. Expeditions come from the United States every now and then and the government will see that you are put safely aboard the first ship that returns. I'll manage to get well somehow." Norlne's color had returned. She stood over the hammock, looking down "Esteban, Dear, 11! Never, Leave You!" Nevei mistily. "Don't you need me, want me any more7" she Inquired. Esteban turned his tired eyes away. rearing to betray in them his utter wretchedness. "You have done all there Is to do. I want you to go back into your own world and forget " A sudden Impulse seized the girl. Shf stopped and gathered the sick man into her young, strong arms. "Don't be silly," she cried. "My world is your world, Esteban dear. I'll never, never leave you." "Miss Evans! Norlne!" Varona tried feebly to free himself. "You mustn't " Norlne drew him closer. "You're go ing to tell me that you have nothing, enn offer me nothing. You're going to do the generous, noble thine. Well ! 1 hate generous people. I'm selfish, utter ly selfish and spoiled, and I don't pro pose to be robbed of anything I want least of all my happiness. You do love me, don't you?" 1 Esteban's cry was eloquent ; he clasped his arms about her and she held him fiercely to ber breast "We're quite mad, quite Insane," he told her after a while. "This only makes It harder to give you up." "You're not going to give me up and you're not going to die. I sha'n't let you. Think what you have to live for." "I did wrong to surrender." "It was I who surrendered. Cornel Must I say It all? Aren't you going tc ask me " "What?" "Why, to marry you, of course. We're going to be married, and I'm go ing to take you out of this miserable place." What happiness !" be murmured. "If I were well But I won't let J00 marry a dying man." (TO BE CONTINUED.) Plodder Reaches Goal. With the plodder you can reap In tense satisfaction in self-conscious growth. This comes with achievement When you get to the point that what once was hard Is now easy you can know you have gained in power. And the best of it is that each tiny gala makes the next step so much easier. When you Just plod on you are con stantly adding to your doing power. Other people will notice It but yon will be the best Judge.. Then when good sense adds its judgment to abil ity to do, tasks once hard are easy. When the world gets awake to that fact it will begin to praise what It once regarded as common stupidity. It's certainly a pleasure to see public opinion changing front and know that It's all merited. It's part of the plod' der'a reward, Pennsylvania Giit A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN Miss Kelly Tells How Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound Restored Her Health. Newark, N. J. 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POSTUM Is now regu larly used In place of ten and coffee in many of the best of families. Wholesome econom ical and healthful. "There's a Rpason " V J