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THE BURLINGTON FREE PRESS: THURSDAY, OOTORER LO, ?007. By REX E. I- Copyrlfiht. 1003. (Synopsis lit I'rrvlmis Omntprs.) Ohnpt.ir I At Unalaslta nicnlster nnd Doxtry, sold miners bound t" Nome, srvp n ynunx '"nmnii from a party of sailors. The tiirco sail nort'.i on tho Santa Maria, the girl as a stow away In the miner' cabin, while the men ro below. Dettry has heen warn fil tn guard his claim ami to bew.iro of a man named MrN'nmnrn, who, backed lis the courts, Is jjolng to Koine. Tho girl overhears dlenlsler say he considers her "spoils of war.'1 Chapter It The plrl. carrying Im portant papers, had left Seattle for Nome on the Ohio, which, with mnall pox aboird, had heen minrantllicd at Tnalaska She had fled from the Ohio In order to reach Nome as soon ns possible Chapter HI Tim plrl tells CSlenlstoi her nnmo Is Helen Chester. Shn In "brlnKhia tho law" to Nome. He tell her lu- will gunnl his mine himself. He kisses her against hor will. Chapter IV As lllti leaves the cnbln on the ship's arrival at Nomn 5.hc Is seen by Mrs Champlan of Nome. Slntve, tho lawyer whom Helen has come to see, is found drunk. Olenls trr saves Helen from accidental shoot li Pf. Glenlster and Dextry take Helen, for safety, to their mine, the Midas. Chapter V--Juile Ktlllman, Helen's uncle, arrives at Nome and takes charge of her. Other arrivals are Alec "UcNn'n.ira, a political schemer, and Dunham, partner of Strove McNn inara and the two lawyers plot to ".lump" the Midas claim. Their ncnt, Cnllownv. has be. mi driven off by l)ex tr Ktruvc, action on Instruction. In the papeis brought Innocently by Helen, has clouded the titles of the 1 lehest pincers In Nome. McN'amara Is head of a scheme to oust the rightful 1 hie owner"!. There nae been many "ttpinpts to "Jump" claims. Glenlster lomlses Helen that he will try to bo icine civilized and will not shoot the ( ilm "Jumpers." Chapter VlMeN'iiinara, as receiver for Oallowny. takes charge of the "'Idas by order o' .Indue Stlllinaii Hi 1-iis nlre'ndy seized e.nnv other claims, (llenidter suspects Judge Sllllninn do fplte his belief In 1. len lie prevents oie of his men, Slnplnck Shunts, from rliootlng McN'.'imara. Chapter VII In 11 Nome saloon, e'nnc- hall and gambling hall Cherry rtnlottp, a tnlnliin camp woman, lu live with C.'.enlstr. tills fur a short tl-ne the place of Uri nro Kid. the faro ealer nlenlster ha.-, been Infatuated v ith Cherry, but bnd broken wltn her. 3 e tells her of the "Jumping" of his r'alm. now a week old, and the vain fittempts at legal relief made by his liwyer, Mill Wheaton. MeN'amaia Is h ipportcd by federal troop. Cherry becomes jonlons of Helen when Clb'ii-j-ter tells her no Intends to marry the newcomer. Uronco Kid, In love wltn Cherry, Is Jealous of Gle-.iistur. cit i 1 i:i: vni. TllK water front hat! n strong at traction f..r Helen 'hotcr and rnre'y did n fair tiny pass with out liuul:.g lift In some quiet "pot from with!: -iie could watch th shifting llfo along lis edge, the sli'p- Ht anchor and tho varied Incident'' of tho surf This morning -die .".! In a dory pulled high up on the hcf-!i, bathed in the bright sunshine p. ml ; taring nt tin; roller''', while Unci of concentration (wrinkled her brow. The wind had blown for sonic days till tho ocean beat heavily across (lie shallow bar, and now, as It became quieter, longshore men were launching their craft, pre paring to resume their traffic. Not mit i 1 the previous day had the news of Iter friends' misfortune come to her, and although site iiud heard no lilnt of fraud, die bog;ut to realize that they wore lav lvod In a serious tangle. To the questions which site anxiously put It her uncle lie had replied that their difficulty nro-e from :i technical ity in the mining laws which another man had heeii shrewd enough to jiroflt by. It was a ennipllcated qticstlotj. ho Bald, and one requiring lime to thrash out to nil equitable settlement. She Lad undertaken to remind him of the service these men had done her, but, with a smile, he interrupted. He could not allow such things to influence his Judicial attitude, and she must not on tiMvnr to prejudice him in tho dis charge of ills duty. I!coognizing the Justice of tills, she had desisted. J'or many days tile s:iH hail caucht r-cattered talk between the judge and MeNamara and between Slruvo and bis associate--, but it all sectnod foreign and dry. and beyond the fact that it bore op the i' ligation over tho Anvil rreek .mines, rha understood nothing nnil enri'd loss, particularly as a new Interest had but recently coins Into her life, an Interest in tho form of a man MeNamara. He had begun with quiet, half con cealed admiration of her, which had rapidly increased tuilil Ida attentions liad become of. a singular1.;' positive sad resistless character. Judge Stillm.tn was openly iloltjjht td, while the court of ono like Aiec MeNamara could but flatter any jjlrl. tsx hia preseaco Ileltr. felt herself re- "We're in turrlhlc thape, mht." belling at his suit, yet as distance sep arated them she thought ever more kindly of It. This state of mind con trasted oddly with her feelings toward the other muu bIio had met, for In this country there weru but two. When Glenlster was with her sho saw Ms Jove lying uakedly In his eyes, and It exercised some spell which drew her to him In splto of herself, but when ho had gone back camo the distrust, I the tenor of the bruto sh felt was S poilerSo BEACH. by Ilex t. Ilttli, there be'iitt'l It nil. 'i"'e one appealed t-j Iter wlille ire.eli': tUe other pleaded strongest while away. Now she was attcPiiithu: to tinal; '. Iter feelings and face the future sqi'nvMy, for she real ised llt.it Iter afTnirs beared n crisis, and this, too, not a month after meet liu; the men. She wondered If she would 'oine lo love her uncle's friend. She did not know. Of the other she was sure she ticvr could. Hurtled Willi thes" reficctliMls, nho uo ticed the ratnillar fitjute of Dextry rnu tiering n'ntle-'sly. lie was not un kempt, and yet ids air gave her the Im pression of prol'itit-ed sleeplessness. Spying her, lie approached and seated nimself in th sand against the boat, chile sit her gre till',' he broke Into talk .is If he was needful only of her friend ly presence to stir his confidential "horde into active vibration. "We're In Cirrllile shape, miss," he said. "Our claitn'-i jumped. Somebody run In and talU"d the boy out of It while I wa' gone, and now we can't get 'em off. lie's h"on try In' this here new law game thai you all brought in this summer I've been drunk. That's what makes me look so ornery." He said the last not in the spirit of apology, for rarely does your frontiers 1 1 1 :i 1 1 consider ttr.it ills sen imminence--require palliation, but rather after the manner of one purveying news of mild lntei'-l. as he would Inform you that hit surclncle hud broken or that he had w::icsseil a hutching. ''What nindetheiu jump your claim V" "1 don't know. I don't know nolhln' tihr.ut II, because, as 1 remarked pre vious, 1 ain't folleted the totterln foot steps of the law none too close. Nor ilo 1 Intend lo. 1 simply draws out of the Mime fern spell and lets tile young ster have h's fling. Then if he can't make goi.d I'll take the cards and finish it for him. "It's like lite time I was rancliln' with tin Ktigllshinau up in Montana. This hoic party claimed the misfor tune of belli' a younger son, whatever that Is, and Is grubstaked to a ranch by his people bad; homo. Ilavlu' ac quired tin Intimate knowledge of the west by rendin' Hret Ilarte and bavin' asslni'lated the secrets of rancliln' by correspondence school, he Is titled am ple to teach us natives a tiling or two. and he does It. I am worklu' his outfit as foreman, and It don't take long to show me that he's a good hearted fel ler In spite of ids riilln' bloomers an' pennchle eyegloss. He ain't never had no actual experience, but he's got a Henry Thompson .Solon book that tell:' him all about everything from field mice to gorrlllys. "We're troubled a heap with coyotes them days, and finally this party sends home for some llooshian wolfjiounds. I'm for pizenln' a sheep carcass, but he Fays: " 'No, no, me deah man; that's not sportsmanlike. We'll hunt 'err? aye, hunt 'em. Only fawney the sport we'll have rldin' to hounds!' " 'We will not,' says I. 'I ain't goln' to do no Simon I.egrec stunts. It ain't man's size. Heln' EngMsh, you don't count, but I'm growed up.' "Not bin' would do him but those 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' dogs, however, and lie had 'em Imported clean from Rerkslilro or Slbeery or thereabouts, four of 'em, great big blue ones. They was as handsome and lmposln' as a set of solid gold teeth, hut somehow they didn't seem to savvy our play none. One day the cook rolled n rain bar'l downhill from tho kitchen, and when them blooded critters saw It comlu' they throwed dowu their tails and tore out like rabbltr. After that I couldn't see no good in 'em with a spyglass. " 'They ain't got no grit. What makes yon think they can fight? I asked one day. "'right?' says II'Angllsh. 'My deah man. they're full blooded. Cost seven ty pun each. They're dreadful crea tures when they're roused. They'll tear a wolf to pieces like a rag, kill bears, anything. Oh, rally, perfectly dreadful!' "Well, It wasn't a week later that ho went over to tho east line with nio to mend a burl) wire. I hud my pliers and u hatchet and some staples. About a mile from tho house wo jumped up a little brown bear that scaraiK-red off when he seen us, but, belli' agin a bluff where ho couldn't get away, ho climb ed a cottonwood. II'Angllsh was sim ply frothln' with excitement " 'What a misfortune! Neyther gun nor hounds.' " 'I'll scratch his back and talk pret ty lo him.' says I, 'while you run back and get a Winchester and them fero cious bulldogs.' " 'Wolf hound,' Rays he, with dig nity, 'full blooded, soventy pun each. They'll rend the poor beast limb from limb. I hato to do It, but It'll bo good practice for them.' "'They may bo good renders,' says I, 'but don't forglt tho gun.' "Well, I throwed sticks at the critter when he tried to uncllinb the tree till finally the boss got back with his dogs. They set up an awful holler when they see the bear first one they'd ever smelled, I reckon and the llttlo feller' crawled up In some forks and watched things, cautious, while they leaped about, bayln' most fierce and blood curdlln'. "'How you goln' to get hrm down?' says I. " 'I'll shoot him In the lower Jaw, says the Britisher, 'so ho cawn't bite the dogs. It'll give 'em cawnfldeneo.' "lie takes aim at Mr. Dear's chin and misses it three times runnln', he'a that excited, " 'Settle down, irAngllsh,' says I, 'He ain't got no doublo chins, now many shells left In your gun? "When he looks ho finds there's only ono more, for he hadn't stopped to fill tho magazine, so I cautions him, " 'You're shootln' too low. liaise her.' "He raised her all right and caught Mr, Bruin in tho snout. What follow ed threnftor was most too quick to notice, for tho poor bear let out a bawl, dropped off his limb Into the midst of them ragln', tur'ble seTeuty pun hounds an' hugged 'em to death, one after another, like ho was doln' a system of health exercises. He took em to his bosom ns If he'd Just got ' buck off a long trip, then, droppin' tho last one, he made at that younger son an' put a gold filling In his leg. Yes, sir; most chewed It off. II'Angllsh let j out a Siberian wolf holler hlssclf, an' 1 I had to step in with tho hatchet and kill the brute, though I was most dead from laughln'. "That's how It Is with me an' Olcu Ister." tho old man concluded. "When he gets tired experlmcutln' with this now law game of hlsti, I'll step In an' do business on n common sense basis." "Yon talk as If you wouldn't get fair piny," said Helen. "Wo won't," said he, with conviction. "I look on nil lawyers with suspicion, even to old bnldfnco your uncle, askin' your pardon an' gettln' It, belli' ns I'm a friend an' he ain't no real relation of yours, anyhow, No, sir. They're all crooked," Dextry held the western distrust of the legal profession comprehensive, unreasoning, deep. "Is the old man all the kin you've got?" he questioned, when she refused to discuss the matter. "He Is In a Avay. I have a brother, or 1 hope I have, somewhere. He ran away when we were both little tads, ! and I haven't seen htm since. I heard 1 about him, Indirectly, at Skagway 1 three years ngo - during tho big rush to the Klondike, but he has never been home. When father died. I went to live with Uncle Arthur-some day, per haps, I'll find my brother. He's cruel to hide from) me this way, for there aro illy we two left, and I've loved him always." She spoke sadly and her mots! blend ed well with the gloom of her com panion, so they stired silently out over I the heaving green waters. ( "It's a good thing me an' the kid had ' a little piece of money ahead," Dextry resumed later, reverting to the thought that lay uppermost In his mind, " 'cause 1 we'd be up against it right if we i hadn't. The boy couldn't have amused himself none with these court proceed ing, because tbey come high. I call 'em luxuries, like brandled peaches a" silk undershirts. "I don't trust these .Tim Crow banks no more than 1 do lawyers, neither. No, slrree! I bought a Iron safe an' hauled It out to tho mine. She weighs l.SOQ, and we keep our money locked up there. We've got a feller named Johnson watchln' It now. Steal It? Well, hardly. They can't bust her open without a stick of 'giant' which would rouse everybody in five miles, an' they can't lug her off bodily she's too heavy. No. It's safer there than any place I know of. There ain't no ah seondln' cashiers an' all that. Tomor rer I'm goln' back to live on the claim an' watch this receiver man till the thing's settled." When the girl arose to go. he accom panied her up through the deep sand of the lanelike street to the main muddy thoroughfare of the camp. As yet. the planked and graveled pavements which later threaded the town were unknown, and the Incessant traffic had worn the road Into a quugmlre of chocolate col- ored slush, Mmost axle deep, with 1 which the store fronts, show windows I and awnings were plentifully shot and spattered from passing teams. When ever a wagon approached pedestrians fled to the shelter of neighboring door ways, watching a chance to dodge out again. When vehicles passed from the comparative solidity of the main street out Into the morasses that constituted the rest of the town, they adventured perilously, their horses plunging, snort ing, terrified, amid an atmosphere of profanity. Discouraged animals were down constantly, and no foot passen ger, even with rubber boots, ventured off the planks that led from house to house. To avoid a splashing team Dextry pulled his companion close in against tho entrance to the Northern saloon, standing before her protectlngly. Although it was late In tho after noon, tho Hronco Kid had Just arisen and was now loafing preparatory to the active duties of his profession. Ho was speaking with the proprietor when Dextry and the girl sought shelter Just without the open door, so he caught a fair though fleeting glimpse of her as she flashed a curious look in side. She had never been so close to a gambling hall before and would havo liked to peer lu more carefully had she dared, but her companion moved for ward. At the first look the Bronco Kid had brokeu off In hit) speech and stared at her as though at an appari tion. When sho had vanished, ho spoke to Noilly: "Who's that?" Hellly shrugged his shoulders; then, without further question, the Kid turn ed back toward the empty theater and out of tho back door. He moved nonchalantly till he was outside, then with tho speed of a colt ran down tho narrow planking between the buildings, turned parallel to tho front street, leaped from board to board, splashed through puddles of water, till ho reached the next alley. Stamping tho mud from his shoes and (Pulling down his sombrero, he saunter ed out Into tho main thoroughfare. Dextry and his companion had cross, ed to the other side and were ap proaching, so tho gambler gained a fair view of them. He searched ever' Inch of the girl's face and figure, then, as she made to turn her eyes lu his di rection, he slouched away, ne follow ed, however, at a distance, till he saw tho man leave hor, then on up to the big hotel he shadowed her. A half hour later he was drinking In tho Golden Gate barroom with an ac quaintance who ministered to the me chanical details behind the hotel couuter. "Who's tho girl I saw conio In Just now?" ho Inquired. "I guess you mean the Judge's ulece." Uoth men spoke In tho dead, re strained toucs that go with their call ings. "What's hor name?" "Chester, I think. Why? Look good to you, Kid?" Although the other neither spoke nor made sign, tho bartender construed his silenco as acquiescence and continued, with a conscious glance at his own re flection while ho adjusted his diamond scarfpln: "Well, sho can have mel 1'vo got It llxed to meet her." "Haiti I guess not," said tho Kid BUddenly, with an Inflection that star tled the other from his preening. Then, ns he went out, the man mused: "Gee! Hronco's got tho worst eyo In tho camp! Makes me creep when ho throws It on me with that muddy look. Ho acted like he was jealous." At noon tho next day, as hu prepural to go to the claim, Dextry's partner burst In upon' hltn. Glenlster was dis heveled, and his eyes shone with In tense excitement. "What d' you think they'vo done now?" ho cried as greeting. "I diinno. What Is It?" "They'vo broken open the safe and taken our money." "What!" Tho old man In turn was on his feet, the grudge which he ha.l felt against ' Ipitlster In the past lew days rorgot Vii In this com 111011 mlslortune. "Yes, by heaven, they've swiped our "iiey, our tents, tools, teams, books, pse and all of our personal property rrytliing! They threw Johnson off .I took the whole works. 1 never it rd of such a thing. 1 went out lo .0 claim, and (hey wouldn't let me near th- workings. They've got cry 1 1 1 1 1 c ou Anvil creek guarded .( same way, and they nrou't going , 1 let us cone around even when they Van up. They told me so this morn ing." "Hut, look here," demanded Dextry i-'iaiply, "the money In that sttfo be longs to us. 'That's money wo brought iu from the States. The court ain't i-ot no right to It. What kind of n damn law Is that?" "Oh. as to law, they don't pay any attention to it tiny move." said Glen lster bitterly. "1 made a mistake In not killing the first man that set foot on the claim. I was a sticker, and now we're up against a Btlff game. The Swedes are In the same fix, too. last order has left them groggy.' "I don't understand It yet," This said Dextry- "Why, It's this way: The Judge has Issued what he calls an order enlarg lug the powers of the receiver, and It authorizes MeNamara to take posses sion of everything on the claims tents, tools, stores and personal property of all kinds. It was Issued last night without notice to our side, so Wheaton says, and they served It this morning early. I went out to see MeNamara, and wheu I cot there 1 found him in our private tent with tho safe broken open." " 'What does this mean?' I said. And then he showed me the new order. 1 " 'I'm responsible to the court for every penny of this money, said he. 'and for every tool on the claim. In view of that I can't allow you to go near the workings.' '"Not go near tho workings? said I. 'Do you mean you won't let us see the cleanups from our own mine? How do we know we're getting a square deal If we don't see the gold weighed?' "Tin an officer o' he court and under bond,' said he, and the smiling triumph In his eyes made me crazy. '"You're a lying thief,' I said, look ing at him square. nd you're going too far. You plRyed me for a fool once and made it stick, but It won't work twice.' "ne looked Injured and aggrieved and called In Voorhees, the marshal. I can't grasp the thing nt all. Bvery body seems to be against 115 -tho Judge, the marshal, the prosecuting at torney, everybody. Yet they've done it all according to law, they claim, and have the soldiers to back them up." "It's Just as Mexico Mullins said," Dextry stormed. "There's a deal on of some kind. I'm goln' up to tho hotel nn' call on the judge myself. I ain't never seen him nor this MeNamara cither. I alius wnnt to look a man straight In the eyes once, then I know what course to foller in my dealin's." "You'll find them both." sold Glenls ter, "for MeNamara rode Into town behind me." The old prospector proceeded to tho Golden Gate hotel and Inquired for Judge Stllluian's room. A boy attempt ed to take bis name, hut he seized him by the scruff uf the neck and sat him in his srat. proceeding unan nounced to the suit to which he had been directed. Hearing voices, ho knocked and then, without awaiting n summons, walked In. Tho room was fitted like an office, with desk, table, typewriter and law books. Other rooms opened from It on both sides. Two men were talking earnestly one gray haired, smooth shaven and clerical, the other tall, pic turesque and masterful. With his first glance the miner knew that before him were tho two he had come to seo and that In reality he had to deal with but one, the big mnn who shot at him the level glances, "Wo aro engaged,", said tho judge; "very busily engaged, sir. Will you call again In half an hour?" Dextry looked Mm over carefully from head to foot, then turned his back on him and regarded tho other. Neither he nor MeNamara spoke, but their eyes were busy, and each Instinc tively know that here was a foe. "What do you vant?" MeNamara in quired finally. "I Just dropped in to get acquainted. My name Is Dextry Joe Dextry from everywhere west of the Missouri. An' your name Is MeNamara, ain't It? This here, I reckon, is your little French poodle eh?" Indicating Stlllman. "What do you mean?" t-ald MeNa mara, while the Judge murmured In dignantly, "Just what 1 'ay. However, that ain't what I want' to talk about. I don't take no Mook In bitth truck as Judges an' lawyers an' orders of court. They ain't Intended to be took serious. They're all right for children an' east erners an' non compos mentis people, I s'pose. but I've always been my own Judge, jury an' hangman, an' I aim to continue worklu' my leglslatlf, execu tlf an' Judicial duties to the end of tho string. You look out! My pardner Is young an' seems to like the Idee of lottln' somebody e, ruu his business, so I'm goln' t Kvo !,!, T0n nd let him ttniuso himself for awhile with your dinky little writs 1111' receiver ships. Hut don't Ka too for. You can rob tho Swedes, 'cause Swedes ain't entitled to Uuxo no money, an' some other crook would get It if von didn't, but don't play mp n. canister for Bcandlnavians, jfR a nilstake. We're whlto men, uu' j'm nnt to Como ro- mancln' up hero with ono of these an' bust you so you won't hold together durln' the ceremonies." With his last words ho made the (-lightest shifting movement, only 11 lifting hhrug of tho shoulder, yet In his palm lay a six shooter He had slipped It from his trousers band with the ease of long practice and nbsoltito surety. Judge Stlllman gasped and backed against the desk, but MeNa mara Idly swung his leg as he sat side wise on tho table. His only sign of In terest was a quickening of the eyes, a fact of which Dextry made mental note. "Yes," said the miner, disregarding tho alarm of the lawyer, "you can wear this court In your vest pocket like n Waterbury, If you want to, but If you don't let me alone, I'll uncoil Its main tiprlng. That's all." He replaced his weapon and, turning, walked out the door. eil.U'TICIt IX. B must have money," said Glenlster a few days later. "When MeNamara Jumped our safe, he put us down and out. There's no use fighting In this court any longer, for the judge won't let us work the ground ourselves, even If we give bond, and ho won't grant an appeal. Ho says his orders aren't appealable. We ought to .send Wheaton out to 'Frisco and have him take the case to the higher courts. Maybe he can get a writ of superse deas." "1 don't rec'ntze tho name, but K It's as had as It sounds It's sure horrible. Ain't there no cure for It?" "It simply means that the upper court would take the case away from this one." "Well, let's send him out quick. Kv cry day menus .$10.00(1 to us. It'll take him a month to make the round trip, so I s'poso he ought to leave tomorrow on the Iloanoke." "Yes, but Where's the money to do It with? MeNamara has ours. My God! What a mess we're In! What fools we've been, Dex! There's a con spiracy here. I'm beginning to see It now that It's too late. This man Is looting our coujitry under color of law and figures on gutting all tho mines Iefore wo can throw hltn off. That's his game. He'll work them as hard and ns tang as ho can, and heaven only knows what will become of tho motley. lie must have big men behind him In order to fix a United States Judge this way. Maybe he has tho 'Frisco courts corrupted, too." "If he has, I'm goln' to kill him," said Dextry. "I've worked like a , dog all my life, and now that I've struck pay I don't aim to lose It. If Bill Wheaton can't win out accordln to law, I'm .Toln to proceed accordln' to justice." During the past two days tho part ners had haunted the courtroom where their lawyer, together with tho counsel for the Scandinavians, had argued and pleaded, trying every possible profes sional and unprofessional artifice In search of relief from the arbitrary rul ings of the court, while hourly they had become more strongly suspicious of some sinister plot, some hidden, powerful understanding back of tho Judge and the entire mechanism of jus tice. They had fought with the fury of men who battle for life and had grown to hate the lines of Stlllman's vacillating face, tho bluster of the dis trict attorney und the smirking confi dence of tho clerk), for It seemed that they all worked mechanically, like toys, at the dictates of Aiec MeNa mara. At last when they had ceased, beaten and exhausted, they were too confused with technical phrases to grasp anything except the fact that relief was denied them, that their claims were to be worked by the re ceiver and, as a crowning defeat, they learned that the Judge would move his court to St. Michael's and hear no cases until ho returned, a month later. Meanwhile. MeNamara hired every Idle man he could lay hand upon and ripped tho placers open with double shifts. Every day a stream of yellow dust poured Into the bank and was locked In his vaults, while those mine owners who attempted to witness tho cleanups were ejected from their claims. The politician had worked with Incredible swiftness and system, and a fortnight after landing ho had made good his boast to Struve and was In charge of every good claim In tho district, tho owners were ousted, their appeals argued and denied and tho court gone for thirty days, leav ing him a clear field for his operations. Ho felt a contempt for most of his vic tims, who were slow witted Swedes, grasping neither the purport nor tho magnitude of his operation, and to those litigants who wero discerning enough to see Its enormity he trusted to his organization to thwart them. The two partners had come to feel that they wore boating against a wall and had also come squarely to face tho proposition that they wero without funds wherewith to continue their bat tle. It was maddening for them to think of tho dally robbery that they suffered, for tho Midas turned out many ounces of gold at every shift, and more maddening to realize tho re ceiver's shrewdness In crippling them by his theft of the gold in their safe. That had been his crowning stroke. "Wo must got money quick," said Glenlster. "Do you think wo can bor row?" "Borrow?" sniffed Dextry. "Folks don't lend money in Alaska." They rclap-ed Into a moody silence. "I met a feller this mornln' that's workln' on the Midas," tho old man resumed. "Ho camo In town fer a pair of gum boots, an' ho says they'vo run Into awful rich ground so rich that they have to clean up every morn ln' when the night shift goes off cause the riffles clog with gold." "Think of It!" Glenlster growled. "If we had even a part of ono of those cleanups we could send Wheaton out side." In the midst of his bitterness a thought struck him. ne made ns though to speak, then closed his mouth. Hut Ids partuer's eyes were on him, filled with a suppressed but Towing nro. Dextry lowered his voice cau tiously: "There'll bo $20,000 in them sluices tonight at midnight." Glenlster stared buck, while his pulco pounded at something that lay In tho other's words. "It belongs to us," tho young man aid. "Thero wouldn't be anything wrong about it. would thera?" w 1 Dextry sneered. "Wrong! Klghtt Them is line uu' soutidln' titles In a moss like this. What do they meun? I tell you at midnight tonight Alec McNamaro will have $20,000 of our money" "Godl What would happen If they caught tts?" whispered tho younger, following out his thought. "They'd never let us got off the claim alive. He couldn't find a better excuse to shoot us down and get rid of us. If wo camo up before this Judge for trial, we'd go to Sitka for twenty years." "Sure! Hut It's our only chance. I'd rtither die on the Midas In a fair light than set hero bllln' my hangnails. I'm growln' old, un' I won't never mako (mother strike. As to belli' caught them's our chances. I won't bo took alive, I promise you that, and before I go I'll get my satisfy. Ctistln' thltig.i up, that's nbout all 11 man gels lu this vale of tears, Jest satisfaction of ono kind or another. It'll be a light In tho open, under (ho stars, with the clean, wet moss to lie down on, and not a scrappln' match of freak phrases and low books Inside of n stlnkln' court room. The cards Is shtiflled and In tho box, pardner, and the game Is started. If we're due to win, we'll win. If we're due to lose, we'll lose. These things Is all figtered out a thousand years back. Como on, boy! Aro you game?" "Am I game?" Glenlster's nostrils dilated, and his voice rose a tone. "Am I game? I'm with you till (he big casli In, and Lord have mercy on any man that blocks our game to night." "We'll need another hand to help us," said Dextry. "Who can wo got?" At that moment, as though In an swer, the door opened with the scant If ' -2 I- 1 T?ic watchman fatic with n faint cry. i ceremony that friends of the frontier j aro wont to observe, admitting the at tenuated, flapping, dome crowned fig ure of Slapjack Simnis, and Dextry fell upon him with the hunger of a wolf. It was midnight, and over tho dark walls of the valley peered a multltudo of stars, while away on the southern horizon thero glowed a subdued efful gence as though from hidden flres be neath the Gold God's caldron or ns though tho phosphorescence of Bering had spread upward Into the skies. Al though each night grew longer, it was not yet necessary to light the men at work In the cuts. Thero were perhaps two hours in which It was difficult lo see at a distance, but the dawn camo early; hence no provision had been made for torches. Five minutes before the hour the night shift boss lowered the gates in tho dam, and as the rush from the sluices subsided his men quit work and climbed the bluff to the mess tent. I The dwellings of the Midas, 'as has al ' ready been explained, sat back from I tho creek at a distance of a city block, j the workings being thus partially hid 1 den under the brow of the steep bank. 1 It Is customary to leave a watchman ' In yip pit during the noon and midnight 1 hours, not only to see that straugers I preserve a neutral attitude, but also to ! watch the waste gates and water sup ! ply. Tho night man of the Midas had I boon warned of his responsibility and, ' l-nntrlnff tbnf muMi rr-vl.l In.. In l.t.. - .....v... ,11., mt 111 in-. keeping, was disposed to gaze ou the curious minded with tho sourness of suspicion. Therefore, os a man lead ing a packhorso approached out of the gloom of the creek trail, his eyes were ou him from the moment he appeared Tho road wound along the gravel of the bars and passed In proximity to the flumes. However, the wayfarer paid no attention to them, and the watch man detected an explanatory weari ness In his slow gait. "Some prospector getting in from a trip," he thought. Tho itranger stopped, scratched a match, and us he undertook lo light hia pipe, tho observer caught the ma hogany shine of a negro's face. Tho match sputtered out and then camo Im patient blasphemy as he searched for another. "Bvenhr, sail! You-oll oblige mo with B match?" lie addressed the watcher on tho bank above and. without wait ing a reply, began to climb upward. No smoker on tho trail will deny the luxury of 11 light to the most humble, to us the negro gained his level the man reached forth to accommodate him. Without warning the black mail leaped forward with the ferocity of an animal and struck tho other a fearful blow. Tho watchman sank with a faint, startled cry, and tho African dragged him out of sight over the brow of the bank, whore he rapldlv -tied him hand and foot, stuffing a gag Into his mouth. At the same moment two other figures rounded the bend below aud approached. They wero mounted and leading a third saddl horse as well as other pack animals. Jtcaehlng the workings, they dismount ed. Then began a strange procodure, for one man clambered upon tho sluices and, with a pick, ripped out the rlllles This was a matter of only a few seconds; then, selzlug a shovel, he transferred the concentrates which lay lu tho bottom of the boxos Into canvas sacks which his companion held. As each bag was filled It was tied and dumped Into the cut. Tkoj treated but four boxes In this way, leaving tho lower two-thirds of the flu mo untouched, for Anvil creek gold Is course and the heart of the clean up lies where It Is throv.V in. Gather ing tho sacks together, they lashed them upon tho pack animals, then mounted the second string of slulcos and began as before. Throughout It all they worked wlti "torerlsh haste 1 HU mm mm. and In unbroken silence, every mo ment flashing quick glances nt the fig ure of the lookout who stood on the crest above, half dimmed lu the shad ow of a willow clump. Judging by their rapldlly and siireness, they wcr expert miners. From the tent camo the voices of tho night shift at table and the faint rattle of dishes, while t tic canvas walls gli-w-(d from the lights within like great fireflies hidden In tho -,rass. Tho fore man, finishing Ills meal, appeared at tho door of tho mess tent, and, pausing to aeciisiom his eyes to the gloom, peered perfunctorily toward the creek Tho watchman detached himself from tho shadow, moving out Into plain sight, and the boss turned bade The two men below were now working on the Hlulces which lay close under thn bank uud were tb.un hidden from thu tent. McNnmnra's description of Anvil creek'tt riches had fired Helen Chester with the desire to witness a cleanup, so they had ridden out from town in time for supper at the claim. She ha 1 not Ic.own whither ho led her, oni," uiul'Tstandlng that provision for her entertainment would be made with the Miperlntciidenfs wife. Upon rec ognizing tho Midas sho had endeavor ed lo question him ns to why her friends had been dispossessed, and ho had answered, ns It scorned, straight and true. The ground was in dispute, he said -another man claimed It -und while th lltigitinn ponded he was In charge for the court, to bee that neither party re ceived Injury. He spoke adroitly, and It Mitisivi her to have the proposition resolved into such simplicity Sho had come prepared to spend tha night and witness the early momlna operation, so the receiver mado the most of his opportunity. He showed her over the workings, explaining tha many things that were strange to her Not only was he In himself a fasclnat , Ing figure to any woman, but wherevei he went men regarded him deferential ly, and nothing affects a woman's judgment more promptly than this ob vious sign of power. He spent the evening with hor, talking of his early days and tlu tilings he had done In tho west, his story matching tho plctur esquoness of her canvas walled quar ters with their rough furnishings of skins and blankets. Be!' g a keen ob server as well as 11 finished raconteur, he had woven a spell of words -il nit the girl, leaving hor In a state of tu mult and Indecision when at last, to ward midnight, ho retired to h's own tent. Sho knew to what end all this was working and yet knew not wlmt her answer would be when the ques tion came which lay behind it all At moments she felt the wonderful at traction of tho man. and still there was some distrust of htm which she could not fathom. Again her thoughts reverted to Glenlster, the Impetuous, and she compared the two. so similar In some ways, so utterly opposed In others. It was when she heard the night shift at their meal that she throw a silken shawl about her head, stepped Into the cool night and picked her way down toward the roar of the creek. "A breath of air and then to bed," she thought. She t-aw the tall figure of the watchman and mode for him. Ilo seemed oddly Interested In her ap proach, watching her very closely, al most as though alarmed. It was doubt less because there were so few women out here, or possibly on account of tha lateness of the hour. Away with con ventions! This was the land of In stinct and Impulse. She would talk to him. The man drew his lint more closely about his face and moved off ns sho came up. Glenlster had been In her tho-iglits n moment since, and f-he now noted that here was another with the same great, square shoulders and erect head. Then she saw with a start that this one was a negro. Ha carried a Winchester and scorned to watch her carefully, yet with inde cision. To express tier Interest and to break tho silence, she questioned him, but at tho sound of bur voice he stepped to ward her and spoko roughly: "What!" Then ho paused and stammered In a Urangely altered and unnatural voice: "Yass'm. I'm the watchman." She noted two other darkles at work below and was vaguely surprised, not Hi much at their presence, as at the manner in which they moved, for they seemed under stress of some great haste, running hither nnd yon. She saw horses standing in the trail aud 'sensed something Indefinably odd and Klarming in the nlr. Turning to the man she opened her month to speak, when from the rank grass under her Tret came n noise which sot her a tingle and nt which her suspicions looped full to the solution. It was the groan of ,1 man. Again ho gave voice to his pain, and -ii - knew that she stood face to face with something sin ister. Tales of sluice robbers had come to her and rumors of the daring raids Into which men were lured by the yel lo"v sheen, and yet this was incredible. A hundred men lay withlti sound of hei voice. She could hear their laughter. One was whistling a popular refrain. A quarter mile away 011 every hand were other camps. A scream from bet would bring them all. Nonsense, this was uo sluice robbery, and then tin' man in the bushes below moaned foi the third time. "What is that?" she said. Without reply the negro lowered tin muzzle of his rifle till It covered bet breast, and at the Mime time sho heard the double click of the hammer. "Keep still and don't move," h warned. "We're desperate, nd we can't take any chances, miss. "Oh, you aro stealing the gold" She was wildly frightened, yet stood still while the lookout anxiously di vided his attention between her nnd tho tents above until his companions signaled him that they were through and the horses were loaded. Then ha spoke- "I don't know what to do with you, but 1 guess I'll tie you up." "What?" she fald. "I'm going to lie nnd gag you so you can't holler." "Oil, don't you dare!" sho cried fierce ly. "I'll stand right here till you've gone, and 1 won't scream. 1 promise." Sho looked up nt him niipoabngly, at which lie dipped his head, fo that sho caught only a glimpse of his face, ond then backed away.