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Ruth Fielding and the Gypsies - The Missing Pearl Necklace
by Alice B. Emerson
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"I'm squeezed in so tight I can't think," moaned Helen.

"Ouch!" cried Belle Tingley. "That's my funny-bone you hit, Lluella, with your handbag. Oh! how funny it feels."

"Did you ever know why they call that thing in your elbow the funny bone?" asked Heavy, mighty serious.

"No," said Belle, rubbing the elbow vigorously.

"Why, it's what makes folks 'laugh in their sleeves,'" chuckled the plump girl.

"Oh, dear me! isn't she smart?" groaned Lluella.

"Almost as smart as my Cousin Bill," said The Fox, breaking into the conversation. "He won't be called 'Willie' and he'll answer only to 'Bill,' or 'William.'

"'William,' said the teacher one day to him in school, 'spell "ibex."'

"Bill jumps up and begins: 'I-b——'

"'Stop! stop, William!' cries the teacher. 'Where did you learn such grammar? Always say, "I am."'

"And do you know," chuckled Mary, "Bill sat down and gave up spelling the word—and he doesn't know how to spell 'ibex' yet!"

The sun had set, when they got out at the end of the Cedar Walk. Ruth, who had sat beside Nettie Parsons, went with her to the principal's office and introduced her to Mrs. Grace Tellingham.

Later Ruth joined her chums in the old West Dormitory. There were two quartette rooms side by side, in which were hatched most of the fun and good times that happened at Briarwood Hall. In one were Ruth, Helen, Mercy, and Ann Hicks, the girl from the west. The other had long been the room of The Fox, Heavy, Belle Tingley, and Lluella Fairfax.

Ann Hicks, right from Silver Ranch, was on hand to greet Ruth and the others, she having arrived at Briarwood the day before. She brought greetings from her Uncle Bill, Bashful Ike and his Sally.

The crowd quieted down at last. The last guilty shadows stole from room to room, and finally every girl sought her own bed. Ruth and Helen shared one of the big beds in their room, but they did not go to sleep at once. They could hear the quiet breathing of Mercy and Ann, but the chum's eyes were still wide open.

"That Nettie Parsons is a much nicer girl than I expected," whispered Helen.

"That is something I want to talk with you about," said Ruth, quickly.

"What?"

"Nettie Parsons. At least, something about her Aunt Rachel."

"Oh! the necklace," laughed Helen. "Are you really interested in it, Ruth?"

"She offered five thousand dollars' reward for it," continued Ruth, breathlessly. "She really did. And the reward still stands."

"Why, Ruthie!" exclaimed Helen, astonished. "Do you mean to say——"

"This is what I mean to say," said Ruth, with energy. "I mean that I'd love to win that reward. I believe I know what has become of the pearl necklace. In fact, Helen, I am very sure that I have seen the necklace."



CHAPTER XIX

CAN IT BE POSSIBLE?

Ruth was thinking a great deal—it must be confessed!—about money during the first days of this new term at Briarwood Hall, and yet she was not naturally of a mercenary nature. Nor was she alone in this, for the advent of Nettie Parsons into the school quite turned the heads of many.

Nettie Parsons was the first multi-millionaire's daughter who had ever come to Briarwood Hall. Most of the girls' parents were well-to-do; otherwise they could not have afforded to pay the tuition fees, for Mrs. Grace Tellingham's institution was of considerable importance on the roster of boarding schools.

Many of the girls' parents, like Helen Cameron's father, were really wealthy. But Mr. Parsons was way above that! And with a certain class the mere fact of money as money, is cause enough for them to kneel down and worship!

After a time these "toadies" were disappointed in the daughter of the "sugar king." Nettie Parsons was a very commonplace, kindly girl, not at all brilliant, and dressed more plainly than the majority of the girls at Briarwood Hall.

Ruth's thoughts about money were not in the same lines as the thoughts of those girls so much interested in Nettie Parsons' riches. She neither envied the wealthy girl her possessions, nor desired to be like her.

What Ruth Fielding desired so keenly was independence. She wanted to control her own destiny, instead of being so beholden to Uncle Jabez Potter for everything. The sting of being an object of charity had gotten deeply into Ruth's heart. The old miller had an unfortunate way with him, which made the proud girl feel keenly her situation.

There was really no reason at all why the miller should take care of, and educate, his niece's child. He was not legally bound to do it. The kinship was not close enough for people to really expect Uncle Jabez to do all that he had for Ruth Fielding!

There had been times when the girl, through several fortunate circumstances, had been of real help to the miller. She had once helped recover some money he had lost when the freshet wrecked a part of the Red Mill. Again, it was through her that an investment in a mine in Montana had proved productive of gain for Uncle Jabez, instead of loss.

And now, only this summer, she had actually saved the miller's life.

Grudgingly, Uncle Jabez had paid these debts by keeping her at this expensive school and furnishing her with clothes and spending money. It was plain he had never approved of her being away from the mill during vacations, too.

Uncle Jabez saw no reason for young people "junketing about" and spending so much time in pleasure, as Ruth's friends did. Boys and girls learned to work, in his day, between short terms at school. It was all so different now, that the old man could not be blamed for misunderstanding.

For a girl to look forward to making a name for herself in the world—to have a career—to really be somebody—was something of which Uncle Jabez (and Aunt Alvirah as well) could not fail to disapprove.

Ruth desired to prepare for college, and in time enter a higher institution of learning. She wished, too, to cultivate her voice, and to use it in supporting herself later. She knew she could sing; she loved it, and the instructors at Briarwood encouraged her in the belief that she had a more than ordinarily fine contralto voice.

Uncle Jabez did not believe in such things. He would never be willing to invest money in making a singer of his niece. Useless to think of it!

Uncle Jabez had said that girls were of little use in the world, anyway—unless they settled down to housekeeping. The times Ruth had been of aid to him were, as he said, "just chancey."

It was of the reward for the return of the missing pearl necklace to Nettie Parsons' Aunt Rachel, that the girl of the Red Mill was thinking so continually, while the first days of this term at Briarwood slipped by. But five thousand dollars would grant Ruth Fielding the independence she craved!

Ruth and Helen Cameron had discussed the mystery of the pearl necklace in all its bearings—over and over again. All the "pros" and "cons" in the case had "been before the house," as Helen said, and it all came to the same answer: Could it be possible that Queen Zelaya, Roberto's grandmother, now had in her possession the necklace rightfully the property of Nettie Parsons' Aunt Rachel?

"That is, she had it," said Ruth, believing fully it was so, "if that awful man I saw spying on her, has not robbed the old woman and gotten away with the necklace. You know how he talked that day in the deserted house to the other Gypsy?"

"I guess I do!" exclaimed Helen. "Could I ever forget a single detail of that awful time?"

"And where are the Gypsies now?" said Ruth, feelingly. "Ah! that is the question."

"Uncle Ike wrote father that they had been traced some distance toward the south," Helen returned, doubtfully.

"The south is a big section of the country," and Ruth wagged her head.

"Father was very angry," said Helen, "that the police did not find them, so that the whole tribe could be punished for what they did to us, I never saw father so angry before. He declared that the Gypsies should be taught a lesson, and that their escape was most inexcusable."

Ruth said nothing, but shook her head.

"You know the excuse the sheriff and that Constable Peck, at Severn Corners, gave?"

"Yes," nodded Ruth.

"If you had come right up to the village that night, when Roberto brought you to the farmhouse, and told where the camp was, they'd have nabbed the whole crowd, before they could have gotten over the state line."

"I know," murmured Ruth.

She was remembering Roberto's words as he left her that stormy night in sight of her refuge. He had asked not to be too hard on the Gypsies; therefore, she had not hurried to lodge information against Queen Zelaya and her tribe.

But if she had only known about this pearl necklace! Nettie Parsons had described the jewel so clearly that the girl of the Red Mill could not for a moment doubt that the necklace in Zelaya's possession was the one for which the reward was offered.

"I tell you what I'll do, if you say the word," Helen said at last, seeing that her friend was really so much troubled about the affair.

"What's that, dear?"

"I'll write to father. Let me tell him all about you seeing the old woman handling the pearls, and then about this necklace that was lost by Nettie's aunt. He can advise you, at any rate."

So it was agreed. Helen wrote that very day. Inside of a week an answer came, and it quite excited Helen.

"What do you think?" she demanded of her chum. "Father has business that calls him to Lumberton in a few days. He will come here to see us. And he says for me to tell you to be sure and say nothing to anybody else about the missing necklace until he sees you."

"Of course I won't speak of it," replied Ruth. "I am not likely to. Oh, dear, Helen! if I could only win the reward that woman offers for the return of her necklace!"

It was not many days before Helen received the telegram announcing her father's coming to Lumberton, which was the nearest town to Briarwood Hall. She showed it to Mrs. Tellingham, and asked that she and Ruth be excused from lessons, when Mr. Cameron came, as he wished to drive the girls over to see Tom at Seven Oaks.

This was, of course, arranged. Mr. Cameron was a very busy man, and he could not spend much time in this visit. But he desired to speak to Ruth regarding the mystery of the pearl necklace.

He had hired a pair of spirited horses at Lumberton, and he quite had his hands full, as they bowled over the hilly road toward the military academy. But he could talk to the girls.

He had Ruth give him every particular of what she had seen at night in the Gypsy van, and when she had done so, he said:

"I have taken the pains to get from the police the description of Mrs. Rachel Parsons' missing necklace. It fits your tale exactly, Ruth. Now, I tell you what I shall do.

"I will set a detective agency at work. For my own part, I wish to overtake this Queen Zelaya, as she calls herself, and punish her for what she did to you two girls. If such people go free, it encourages them to do worse next time.

"Now, if she has the necklace, and we can secure it, all the better. I would be glad to see you get that reward, Ruthie. And Helen says you are very anxious to win it."

"Who wouldn't be?" gasped Ruth. "Just think of five thousand dollars!"

They were driving through a fine piece of chestnut wood as she said this. The blight had not struck these beautiful trees and they hung full of the prickly burrs. The frost of the previous night had opened many of these, and the brown nuts smiled at once through the openings.

"There's a boy knocking them down!" cried Helen. "Let's stop and get some, Father. See them rain down!"

At that moment a shower of chestnuts fell and a prickly burr landed on the back of one of the team. The beast rose on his hind legs and pawed the air, snorting.

"Look out!" exclaimed the boy in the tree.

Mr. Cameron was a good horseman and he had the animals well in hand. The boy, however, was so anxious to see what went on below, that he strained forward too far. With a scream, and the snap of broken boughs, he plunged forward, shot through the leafy-canopy, and landed with a sickening thud upon the ground!

Mr. Cameron had halted the horses dead. Ruth was out of the carriage like a flash and dropped on her knees by the boy's side. She was horror-stricken and speechless; yet she had made a great discovery as the boy fell.

He was Roberto, the Gypsy!



CHAPTER XX

HE CANNOT TALK

"Is he badly hurt?" cried Mr. Cameron, who dared not get down and leave the horses just then.

"Don't tell us he is killed, Ruthie!" wailed Helen, clasping her hands and unable to leave the carriage.

The Gypsy boy lay very still. One arm was bent under him in such a queer position that the girl of the Red Mill knew it must be broken. His olive face was pallid, and there was a little blood on his lips.

She dared not move him. She bent down and put her ear to his chest. His heart was beating—he breathed!

"He's alive!" she said, turning to her friends in the carriage. "But I am afraid he is badly hurt. At least, one arm——"

The youth groaned. Ruth turned toward him with a tender little cry. She thought his eyelids quivered, but they were not opened.

"What will we do with him? He ought to be taken to a hospital. Where's the nearest doctor?" asked Mr. Cameron.

"Lumberton," said Ruth, promptly. "And that is the only place where there is a hospital around here."

"Back we must go, then," declared Mr. Cameron, promptly. "We sha'n't see Master Tom to-day, that's sure. You get out, Helen, and I'll turn around."

Helen ran to her friend who still hovered over the boy. At once she recognized him.

"My goodness me! Roberto! isn't that strange? Then he did not go south with the other Gypsies."

"It seems not—poor fellow," returned Ruth.

"Do you suppose he knows all about the necklace—how his grandmother became possessed of it, and all?"

"I don't know. I am sure Roberto is quite honest himself," returned Ruth. "He is not a thief like those wicked men who were talking that day in the old house, and who seem to have so much influence in the Gypsy camp."

"I don't care!" exclaimed Helen, warmly. "I am sorry for Roberto. But I hope father does send detectives after the Gyps., and that they catch and punish that horrid old woman. How mean she was to us!"

"Sh!" warned Ruth.

Roberto gave no sign of returning consciousness now. That puzzled the girl of the Red Mill, for she had thought he was just about to come to.

Mr. Cameron turned the carriage and halted it beside the spot where the boy lay. "Of course you two girls can't lift him?" he said.

"Of course we can!" returned his daughter, promptly. "Oh! Ruth and I haven't been doing gym. work for two years for nothing. Just watch us."

"Easy!" murmured Ruth, warningly, as Helen seized the youth's legs. "Perhaps he has more than a broken arm."

"But he must be lifted," said Helen. "Come on, now! He isn't conscious, and perhaps we can get him into the carriage before he wakes up."

And they did. Roberto did not seem to be conscious, and yet, to Ruth's surprise, the color came and went in the boy's cheeks, and his black brows knitted a little. It was just as though he were conscious and was endeavoring to endure the pain he felt without moaning.

They got him into the carriage in as comfortable a position as possible. Ruth sat beside him, while Helen joined her father on the front seat. Then the gentleman let the spirited team go, and they dashed off over the road toward Lumberton.

At once Helen told her father who the injured youth was. Having heard all the details of his young folks' adventures on the road to Boise Landing, Mr. Cameron knew just who Roberto was, and he saw the importance of learning from him, if possible, where his clan had gone.

"We want to know especially what has become of the old woman—the queen," Mr. Cameron said. "I can't help it, if she is the boy's grandmother, she is a wicked woman. Besides, we want to get back that necklace for Mrs. Parsons."

Unfortunately, it would be impossible for the dry goods merchant to remain in Lumberton to watch the case. He had to return that very evening, and could not spare the time now to see Tom.

He arranged at the hospital for Roberto to be given every care, and left some money with Helen and Ruth for them to purchase little luxuries for the boy when he should become convalescent.

He waited until after the doctors had made their examination and learned that Roberto not only suffered from a broken arm, but had two ribs broken and his right leg badly wrenched.

Mr. Cameron wrote a note to Mrs. Tellingham, asking that Helen and Ruth might visit the hospital every day or two to see how the patient fared.

"Besides," said Ruth, eagerly, "I may get him to talk. Perhaps he has deserted his tribe for good, and he may help us learn about the necklace."

"You want to be very careful in trying to pump the lad," said Mr. Cameron, with a smile.

He need not have feared on this point, however, as it turned out. The very next afternoon Ruth and Helen hurried in to Lumberton to make inquiries at the hospital. They saw the head physician and he was frankly puzzled about Roberto.

"I thought I had had every kind of a case in my experience," said the surgeon, "but there's something about this one that puzzles me."

"Is he more hurt than you thought?" cried Ruth, anxiously.

"I don't know. It seems that we have found all his injuries that are apparent. But there is one we cannot reach. Something is the matter with his speech."

"His speech?" gasped Helen.

"You have heard him speak?"

"Of course!"

"Then he is not naturally dumb——"

"Dumb?" repeated Helen, in wonderment. "You don't mean that he is dumb?"

"I mean just that. It appears that since his fall yesterday, he cannot talk at all," said the doctor.



CHAPTER XXI

RUTH INTERCEDES

The two girls did not see Roberto that day, nor for several days following. The hospital authorities did not think it best to allow him to be excited even in a mild way.

They sent in such delicacies as the nurse said he could have, and Tony Foyle was bribed by Helen to get a report from the hospital every day about the young Gypsy.

The girls kept very quiet about the patient in the hospital. Their mates knew only that Helen and Ruth had been driving with Mr. Cameron when the boy fell out of the tree. They did not dream that the victim of the accident had any possible connection with the pearl necklace that Nettie Parsons' aunt had lost!

Helen kept her father informed of the progress of Roberto's case, and in return he wrote Helen that the detectives were confident of reaching old Queen Zelaya and her tribe.

"But if we could only get Roberto to talk!" sighed Ruth.

"Why, Ruth Fielding! if the poor fellow has been made speechless by that fall, how can he talk?"

"I know, but——"

"Don't you believe it is so?"

"Why—yes," admitted Ruth. "Of course, he would have no reason for refusing to speak. And they say he has a hard time making them understand what he wants, for he doesn't know how to write. Poor fellow! I suppose he never realized before, that the art of writing was of any use to him."

In a week or so the girls were allowed to go to the ward where Roberto lay. Helen carried an armful of good things for the Gypsy lad to eat, but Ruth remembered that he had not cared much for delicacies, and she carried picture papers and a great armful of brilliant fall flowers—some picked by herself in the woods, and the others begged from Tony Foyle.

"Taking flowers to a boy—pshaw!" scoffed Helen. "Why, that shows you have no brother, Ruthie. Tom wouldn't look at flowers when he's sick."

Ruth believed she had made no mistake. When they approached the bed in which Roberto lay, he looked very pale indeed, and the expression of weariness on his face as he stared out of the distant window, made Ruth's heart ache for the captive wild-boy.

"Here are visitors for you, Robert," said the kindly nurse.

The big, black eyes of the Gypsy boy rolled toward the two girls. Then his face lit up and his eyes sparkled. They were fixed eagerly on the mass of brilliant blossoms Ruth carried. She scattered the flowers over the coverlet, and Roberto seized some of them, fairly pressing them to his lips. He nodded and smiled at the display of Helen's offerings, too, but he could not keep his eyes away from the flowers. He had been homesick for his beloved woodlands.

He was still in plaster and could not move much. He did his best to make the girls understand how welcome they were, but not a sound came from his lips.

"A very strange case, indeed," said the doctor in charge, when the girls came down from the ward. "There seems to be absolutely no reason why he does not speak. Apparently no paralysis of the vocal cords. But speechless he is. And as he cannot read or write, it is a nuisance."

"It isn't possible that for some reason he doesn't wish to speak?" queried Ruth, doubtfully.

"Why, Ruth! there you go again!" exclaimed Helen. "I never knew you to be so suspicious."

The doctor laughed. "I think not," he said. "Of course, he might, but he must be a wonderfully good actor. The next time you come, we shall try him."

So on a subsequent call of the two girls at the hospital, the doctor entered the ward at the same time they did and likewise approached Roberto's bed, only on the opposite side. Ruth had brought more flowers, and the boy was evidently delighted.

"Are you sure you can't speak to me, Roberto?" asked Ruth, softly, as he nodded and smiled and clasped the flowers to his breast with his one good hand.

Roberto shook his head sadly, and his black eyes showed every indication of sorrow. But of a sudden he jumped, and a spasm of pain crossed his face. The doctor straightened up and Roberto scowled at him wrathfully. The boy had not uttered a sound.

"I jabbed him with this needle," said the doctor, with disgust. "You see, either he has perfect control over himself; or he absolutely cannot speak. While I was setting his arm and fixing up his smashed ribs, he only moaned a little."

"Oh!" Helen had gasped, looking at the medical man in some wrath.

"Don't do it again—not for me," urged Ruth. "I am sorry I said anything about it."

"Oh, he isn't seriously injured by that," said the surgeon, holding up the needle. "But I do not think he is 'playing possum.'"

"It isn't possible!" exclaimed Helen, confidently.

"And how long must he lie here?" Ruth asked.

"Oh, in a fortnight he'll be as fine as a fiddle. Of course, he won't be able to use his arm much for several weeks. But the ribs will knit all right. Maybe he can find some light job——"

"We'll see about that," Helen interrupted.

"I can see you young ladies are much interested in him," chuckled the doctor. "And not entirely because he is a handsome, black-eyed rascal, eh?"

Ruth knew that old Tony Foyle, the gardener at Briarwood Hall, was interested in the lad. He had gone up to the ward to see Roberto several times, and came away enthusiastic in the Gypsy's praise.

"Sure," said Tony, to Ruth, "he's jist the bye after me hear-r-t. Herself would like him, he's that doomb!"

"Herself" was Tony's wife, who was the cook at Briarwood Hall.

"And the way that boy do be lovin' flowers! Sure, his bed in the horspital is jest covered wid 'em. He'd be a handy lad to have here ter give me aid, so he would. An' I been tellin' Mis' Tellingham that I need another helper."

"We'll get him the job, Tony!" cried Ruth, in delight. "I believe he would like to help around your hothouse and the beds. I'll see."

She interceded with the principal for Roberto, and obtained her promise that the Gypsy boy should have the job. Then she sounded Roberto himself, and by the way his eyes lit up and he smiled and nodded, Ruth knew he would be delighted to be Tony Foyle's assistant.

"At least," thought Ruth, "I can keep in sight of him for a time. Perhaps he couldn't tell us, anyway, where Queen Zelaya has hidden herself. But I believe he knows, and I haven't much faith in the results those detectives get."

Roberto mended rapidly. He was soon up and about the ward, when the girls called. He was less restless than Ruth expected him to be, and he still signified his intention of coming to help the little old Irish gardener at Briarwood Hall.

"When he recovers his powers of speech," said the doctor, "it will be as suddenly as he lost them. No doubt of that. But it is a most puzzling case. I am glad he is not going far from Lumberton. I want to watch the progress of the affair."

The next day Roberto came to Briarwood.



CHAPTER XXII

A GREAT TEMPTATION

About this time Ruth suffered a great temptation. She was so little given to covetousness or envy, that other girls of her class might have dresses, jewelry, and many other things dear to girlish hearts, without Ruth's being at all disturbed.

Her one great, overmastering passion was for Independence! She envied none of her mates anything but that.

Now she fell under temptation, and this was the way of it: Ruth belonged to the picked class that the physical instructor had chosen for exhibition gymnasium work at the mid-winter entertainment. This year there were to be important visitors at the school, and Mrs. Tellingham wished to make the occasion a more than ordinarily successful entertainment.

The class of twenty girls, selected from the best of the seniors and juniors, was to drill, dance, and go through other gymnastic exercises. And it was agreed among them that each girl should have a brand new costume, although this was no suggestion of either the teacher or Mrs. Tellingham.

The class invented this idea itself. It was agreed—nineteen in favor, at least—to appear at the entertainment in a brand new outfit. And how could Ruth say "No?"

Every girl in the class but herself had only to write home for money and order the uniform. As it chanced, Ruth had plenty of money to pay for a costume. Helen, who was one of the number, knew Ruth had that fifty dollars in gold that Uncle Jabez had given the girl of the Red Mill the day she left home.

This was the temptation: Ruth had promised herself never to use that money. She had a small sum left from her vacation money, and she was making that do for incidentals, until she could earn more in some way. She was already tutoring both Nettie Parsons and Ann Hicks in their more advanced textbooks, and they were paying her small sums for this help.

But she could not earn enough in this way—nor in any other—to buy the new gymnasium costume. And there were the five ten-dollar gold pieces lying in a little jeweler's box in the bottom of her trunk.

She went with Helen to the dressmaker in Lumberton, when Helen ordered her new costume. "Why don't you let her fit you now, too, Ruth?" demanded Miss Cameron.

"Oh, there is plenty of time. Let us see first how well she makes yours," Ruth returned, with a forced laugh.

She knew she could not wear her usual costume with the picked class without looking odd. The girls had decided on crimson trimming on the blue skirt and blouse, instead of the regulation white. Nineteen girls with crimson bands and one with white—and that soiled!—would look odd enough.

It would fairly spoil the picture, Ruth knew. She was worried because of this, for she did not want to make her mates look ridiculous. Never had Ruth Fielding been so uncertain about any question since she had been old enough to decide for herself.

She was really so troubled that her recitation marks were not as high as they should have been. The teachers began to question her, for Ruth Fielding's course at Briarwood had been a triumphant one from the start!

"You are not ill, Miss Fielding?" asked Miss Gould. "I am surprised to find that you are going below your past averages. What is the matter?"

"I am sure I do not know, Miss Gould," declared Ruth. Yet she feared that the reply was not strictly truthful. She did know; night and day she was worrying about the new gymnasium costume.

Should she order one, or should she not? Could she buy a little of the crimson ribbon and put it on her old uniform and thus pass muster? What would the girls say, if she did that?

And what would they say if she appeared at the exhibition in her old costume? Was she purely selfish in trying to get out of buying the new dress? Was her reason for not wishing to break into that roll of coin a bad one, after all?

Those questions kept coming to Ruth Fielding, and got between her and her books. Mrs. Tellingham called her into the office early in October and pointed out to her that, unless her averages increased, her standing in her class would be greatly changed.

"You are doing no outside work, Miss Fielding?" inquired the principal.

"No, Ma'am."

"I hear you are helping two of the other girls—in a perfectly legitimate way, of course. It is not taking too much out of you?"

"Oh, no, dear Mrs. Tellingham!" cried Ruth, fearful that her tutoring would be forbidden.

"You are not working too hard in the gym.?"

"I do not think so," stammered Ruth.

"And this is ridiculous," said Mrs. Tellingham, with a smile. "I do not think there is a more robust looking girl in my school. But, there must be something."

"I suppose so," murmured Ruth.

"But you do not know what it is? If you do, tell me."

"I study just as hard, Mrs. Tellingham," said Ruth, non-committally. "I spend quite as much thought over my books. Really, I think I shall do better again."

"I hope so. I do not want to see any bright girl like you fall behind. There is always some reason for such changes, but sometimes we teachers have hard work to get at it. I want all my girls to have confidence in me and to tell me if anything goes wrong with them."

"Yes, Ma'am," said Ruth, guiltily.

But she could not take the principal of Briarwood Hall into her confidence—she positively could not do it! How ridiculous it would seem to the dignified Mrs. Grace Tellingham that she did not dip into the money her uncle had given her to buy that costume!

And she was losing her standing, and worrying everybody who cared, because of this temptation. She knew she was doing wrong in falling behind in her studies.

Surely that was not the way to give Uncle Jabez the best return possible for his investment. If she fell back in her books this year, Ruth knew she would never be able to make it up. She must either be prepared for college half a year later, or skip some work that would be found wanting at a later time—would be a thorn in her flesh, indeed, for the remainder of her school life.

One hour Ruth told herself that she would be decisive—she would be brave—she would not move in her determination to keep the fifty dollars intact. And then, the next hour, her heart would sink, as she looked forward to what would be said and thought by her companions when the exhibition day came around and she appeared in her old suit.

She thought seriously of trying to withdraw in season from the exhibition class. But unfortunately she could not easily do that. The instructor had selected the twenty girls herself, and what excuse—what honest excuse—could Ruth give for demanding her release?

"Oh, dear me!" she thought, tossing on her pillow at night, "if I could only be the means of returning that necklace to Mrs. Parsons! My troubles would all be over for sure.

"Mr. Cameron's detectives will never find that old Queen Zelaya, but I bet Roberto knows just where she has gone for the winter."

With this in mind she tried again and again to get some information out of Tony Foyle's new helper. Roberto always had a smile for her, and seemed willing enough to try to make signs about anything and everything but his tribe and his grandmother.

And so smart was he that his gestures were very understandable indeed, when he wished to give information about the new work that he loved, and about the fall flowers and bulbs which were being taken up for storage in the conservatory against the cold of winter.

It seemed strange—indeed, it made Ruth suspicious—that Roberto could convey his meaning so easily by gesture when the subject was not one regarding the missing Gypsies!

Again and again the thought came to the girl that the Gypsy boy was actually "playing possum." Knowing, perhaps, that he would be questioned about his grandmother, and not wishing to give information about her or her tribe, he had decided to become dumb.

Yet, if this was so, how wonderfully well he did it! Even the doctor at the hospital could not understand the case.

Roberto's condition certainly was puzzling. And Ruth believed that he held the clew to the whereabouts of Queen Zelaya and the pearl necklace. That being the case, he stood between Ruth and that great reward which the girl of the Red Mill was so anxious to win.



CHAPTER XXIII

NETTIE PARSONS' FEAST

Incidentally there was as much fun going on at Briarwood Hall as usual this fall, but Ruth Fielding did not entirely enjoy any of the frolics in which she necessarily had a part.

The work of the Sweetbriar organization was all that really interested her in this line. Several new girls who entered the school in September who were old enough, joined the association, besides others who were advanced from the lower classes.

It was an honor—and was so considered by all—to be invited to become a Sweetbriar. Within the association was much innocent entertainment. Picnics, musicals, evening parties approved by the school faculty—even little feasts after curfew—were hatched within the membership.

Nettie Parsons, the daughter of the "sugar king," was destined never to be very popular in the school. Those girls who hoped to benefit by Nettie's wealth soon found that money meant as little to Nettie as to any girl at Briarwood.

On the other hand, she was no brilliant scholar, and she made friends slowly. Ruth and Helen determined to help the "poor little rich girl," as they called her, and they egged her on to give a midnight reception in the room Nettie occupied with three other girls in the West Dormitory.

"There's no way so sure to the hearts of these girls than through their stomachs," Mercy said, when she heard of the plan. "Let poor Net stuff them full of indigestible 'goodies,' and they will remember her for life!"

"Why put it that way, Mercy?" drawled Heavy. "You know, you are fond of a bit of candy, or a pickle, yourself. The 'goodies' which we do not get at the school table are 'gifts of the gods.' They are unexpected pleasures. And when eaten after hours, with a blanket for a tablecloth and candles for lights, they become 'forbidden fruit,' which is known to be the sweetest of all!"

"Listen to Jen going into rhapsodies over eatables!" sniffed The Fox. "Give her her way, and every composition she handed in to Miss Gould would be a menu."

"Bah!" scoffed Heavy. "You eat your share when you get a chance, I notice."

"When Heavy is free from the scholastic yoke, and bosses her father's house for good," said Helen, "every dinner will make old Luculus turn in his grave and groan with envy——"

"Or with indigestion," snapped Mercy. "The girl will positively burst some day!"

"I don't care," mourned Heavy, shaking her head. "It isn't what I get to eat at Briarwood that makes me fat—that's sure."

"No," chuckled Ruth. "You grow plump on the remembrance of what you have already eaten, dear. Who was it ate three plates of floating island last night for supper?"

"Well!" cried Heavy, with wide open eyes, "you wouldn't want me to leave them and let them go to waste, would you? Both you and Helen left your shares, and the cook would have been hurt, if the pudding had come back untouched."

"Kind-hearted girl!" said The Fox, with a sniff.

After-hour parties were frowned upon by Mrs. Tellingham and the teachers, of course; not for the mild breaking of the school rules entailed, but because the girls' stomachs were apt to suffer.

In the West Dormitory, too, Miss Picolet was known to be very sharp-eyed and sharp-eared for such occasions. It took some wit to circumvent Miss Picolet; perhaps that is why the girls on Ruth's corridor so delighted in holding orgies unbeknown to the little French teacher.

Miss Scrimp, the matron, was a heavy sleeper. The girls did not worry about her.

Nettie Parsons' room was at the very end of the cross-corridor, and farthest from the stairway. The stairway went up through the middle of the big brick dormitory building, and perhaps that was not the best arrangement in case of fire; but there were plenty of fire escapes on the outside.

The question which at once arose, when the sixteen girls Nettie chose had been invited to the feast, was who should stand guard?

This was always a matter for discussion—sometimes for heart burnings, too. It was no pleasant task to sit out upon the cold stairway and watch for the opening of Miss Picolet's door below.

Sometimes they decided by casting lots. Sometimes some girl who was very good-natured was inveigled into taking her plate of goodies out there in the dimly lit corridor. And sometimes one had to be bribed to stand watch for the others.

Miss Picolet was always known to light her candle when she was disturbed by any sound, or suspicion; then she would come to her door and listen. She never moved about her room without a light, that was one good thing! The girl on watch had warning the instant the French teacher opened her door.

But of the sixteen girls Nettie Parsons had chosen, not one wanted to play sentinel. Some of them said they would rather not attend the jamboree at all!

The season was far enough advanced for the nights to be cold, and the corridors were not warm after the steam went down. The party was called for ten o'clock. By that time frost would most likely be gathering on the window panes.

"Catch me bundling up in a fur coat and mittens and stopping out there in that draughty place!" cried The Fox, "while the rest of you are stuffing yourself to repletion in a nice warm room."

"Thought you didn't care for the goodies?" demanded Heavy, slily.

"I don't care for catching my death of cold, Miss!" snapped Mary Cox.

Neither Lluella, nor Belle, would "be the goat." Of course, it was understood that Heavy herself could never be out of reach of the cake plates! Nettie would not hear of Ruth being on watch.

"I have it!" said Ruth, at last. "Leave it to me. I'll find a new guard, and I know he will not fail us."

"Who is that?" demanded her chum.

"Roberto."

"Goodness me!" exclaimed Nettie. "Not that boy who helps Foyle?"

"That's the one. And he'll do anything for Ruth," declared Helen, promptly.

"Anything but talk!" thought Ruth, to herself, but she did not say it aloud.

"I don't see how he can help us," Ann Hicks said. "He can't come into the dormitory."

"I—guess—not!" cried Helen.

"But he won't mind watching outside," Ruth explained. "At least, I'll ask him——"

"But what good will that do?" demanded Heavy. "If Miss Picolet gets up out of her warm nest, he won't know it."

"Yes, he will," said Ruth, nodding.

The Fox began to laugh. "Don't let her hear you say that, Fielding. Picolet is an awful old maid. She would be horrified, if she thought a male person even imagined her in bed!"

"But how will he know?" demanded Ann.

"That's easy," laughed Ruth. "He will stand where he can watch her window. If he sees her candle lit, he will give the alarm."

"How?" asked Nettie.

"We'll rig a 'tick-tack'—you know what I mean?"

"Oh, don't I!" giggled Heavy.

"Roberto can pull the string below, and that will make a tick-tack rap on Nettie's window."

"Splendid!" cried the giver of the feast. "You just see if he will do it, Miss Fielding. And I'll give him a dollar—or more, if he wants it."

"A dollar will be a lot of money for Roberto," laughed Helen. "But he won't do it for that."

"No?"

"Of course not. He'll only do it because Ruth asks him."

Which was really the fact. Roberto understood well enough what was desired of him. Ruth pointed out the French teacher's window, and the windows of Nettie Parsons' quartette room. From one of them would hang a weighted string on that night. Everything was agreed, and the feast planned.

It was a starlight night, when it arrived, but Roberto could find a place to hide in the shrubbery, where he could watch both windows, as agreed. He slept in a little back room of Tony Foyle's suite in the basement of the main building, and could get out and in without disturbing Mr. and Mrs. Foyle.

If he were caught out of his room after hours, Ruth knew that Tony would be angry, but she had great influence with the little Irishman and promised Roberto that she would "make it all right" for him, if he were caught.

The hour of the party came. The West Dormitory had apparently been "in the arms of Morpheus" for half an hour, at least.

"But Mr. Murphy didn't get a strangle hold on us to-night," giggled Heavy, as she led the procession from her room.

The girls were all in their kimonas, and many brought plates, knives and forks, cups, and other paraphernalia for the feast. There was to be hot chocolate and there were two alcohol lamps and two pots.

The Fox presided over one lamp and Heavy bossed the other one. There was something wrong with the plump girl's lamp; either it had been filled too full, or it leaked. From the start it kept flaring and frightening the girls.

"I really wish you would not use that old contraption!" exclaimed Ann Hicks. "It's just as uncertain as a pinto pony."

"Never you mind," snapped Heavy. "I guess I know——"

Pouf!

The flames flared suddenly. Heavy leaped back, stumbled over another girl, and went sprawling. The flames did not touch her, but they did ignite the curtain at the window.

There was a great squealing as the girls ran. Nobody dared tear down the blazing curtain, and the flames leaped higher and higher each instant.

Then one of the most frightened of the company jerked open the door, put her head out into the corridor, and shrieked "Fire!"



CHAPTER XXIV

ROBERTO FINDS HIS VOICE

That settled it! There was a full-fledged panic in that quartette room in an instant. It bade fair, too, to spread to the whole building.

Ruth, who had been busy distributing cakes before the accident, sprang to the open door, seized the girl who had yelled, and literally "yanked" her back into the room. Then she banged the door to and placed her back against it.

"Stop!" she cried, yet in a low voice. "Don't be foolish. It's only a little fire. We can put it out. Don't rouse the whole house and frighten everybody."

"Oh, Ruth! I can't reach it!" wailed Helen, who was really trying to pull down the curtain.

Ann ran with a bowl of water and tried to splash it over the burning curtain. But the bowl tipped backwards and part of the water went over Heavy, who was just trying to struggle to her feet.

"Oh! oh! wow!" gasped the plump girl. "I'm drowning! Do you think I'm afire, Ann Hicks?"

Some of the others were sane enough to laugh, but the more nervous girls were already in tears, and the fire was spreading from one curtain to the other. There was a smell of scorching varnish, too. The window frame was catching!

In the very midst of the confusion, when it seemed positive that the whole school must be aroused, there came a commanding rap upon the window pane. It was not the gentle signal of the tick-tack—no, indeed!

"Will you hear that?" gasped Belle Tingley. "Miss Picolet's up."

"No!" cried Ruth, from the other end of the room. "Open that window, Ann! It's Roberto. He's climbed the fire-escape."

"My goodness me!" gasped The Fox. "I never was so glad to see a boy in all my life! Let him in—do!"

No sooner said than done. The girl from Silver Ranch had her wits about her. She snapped open the catch and raised the sash.

Into the room bounded the Gypsy lad. He had seen the flames from the ground and he immediately knew what to do when he got inside.

He seized a chair, leaped up into it, and with his long arms was enabled to tear down the blazing hangings. These he thrust into the bowl of water.

"Oh, Roberto! your hands are burned!" cried Ruth, darting to his side, as the fire was quenched.

"Never you mind, little Missy——"

He halted, staring at her. Then his face flushed like fire and his eyes dropped before her accusing gaze.

"You can speak!" exclaimed the girl from the Red Mill. "You can!"

"He's gotten back his tongue!" cried Helen, in surprise. "Isn't that wonderful?"

But Ruth was sure, by the Gypsy boy's shamefaced look, that there was nothing wonderful about it at all. Roberto had been able to speak all the time, but he did not wish to. Now, in his excitement, he had betrayed the fact.

There was too much confusion just then for the matter to be discussed or explained. The girls, seeing that the fire was out, scattered at once to their rooms. Roberto left instantly by the window, and Ruth helped Nettie and her roommates repair the damage as well as possible.

"I'll buy new curtains for the windows," said the "sugar king's" daughter. "And I'm only glad nothing worse happened."

"The worst hasn't happened yet," giggled one of her roommates.

"What do you mean?"

"I saw Jennie Stone take a bag of pickles, some seed cakes, a citron bun, and about half a pound of candy with her, when she flew. If she absorbs all that to-night, she will be sick to-morrow, that's all!"

"Well," Ruth advised, "the best we can do won't hide the damage. Miss Scrimp will find out about the fire, anyway. The best thing to do is to make a clean breast of it, Nettie. I'm sorry the feast was a failure, but we all know you did your best."

"I'm thankful it was no worse," returned the new girl. "And how brave that Gypsy boy was, Ruth! I must thank him to-morrow."

"You leave him to me," said the girl of the Red Mill, grimly. "I want to talk to Roberto myself."

When she got back to her excited roommates, she said little about the wonderful recovery of the Gypsy boy's power of speech, until Mercy and Ann were asleep. Then she said to Helen Cameron:

"I am going to telegraph to your father the first thing in the morning. Roberto has been fooling us all. You can't tell me! I know he's been able to talk all the time."

"You don't really think so, dear?" asked Helen.

"I do. He must have been conscious when we picked him up that time and carried him to the carriage. And we mentioned his grandmother then and the necklace. He's just as sharp as a knife, you know; he's been dumb for a purpose. He did not want to be questioned about Zelaya and the missing pearl necklace."

"My goodness me! Father will be so angry," cried Helen.

"Roberto will have to tell. I like him, and he was very brave to-night. But I do not believe the boy is a thief himself, and he would be better if he entirely left his thieving relatives."

"Maybe he'll run away," suggested Helen.

But Roberto would have been obliged to start very early that next morning to have run away. Ruth Fielding was the first person up in the school, and she was standing outside Tony's door, when the little Irishman first appeared.

"Helen Cameron wants you to take this telegram down to the office at once, Tony," she said. "Mrs. Tellingham knows about it. We are in a dreadful hurry. Is Roberto inside?"

"Sure he is, Miss——"

"You take the message; don't let Roberto see it, and you keep your eye on that boy to-day, until Mr. Cameron arrives. He'll want to see him."

"Now, don't be tellin' me th' bye has been inter mischief?" cried the warm-hearted Irishman.

"Not much. Only he's suddenly recovered the use of his tongue, Tony, and Mr. Cameron wants to talk with him."

"Gracious powers!" murmured Tony. "Recovered his spache, has he? The saints be praised!"

He obeyed Ruth, however, in each particular. If Roberto had it in his mind to run away, he had no chance to do so that day. Tony watched him sharply, and in the evening Mr. Cameron arrived at Briarwood Hall.

The gentleman greeted his daughter and Ruth in Mrs. Tellingham's parlor, but when he interviewed Roberto, it was downstairs in Tony Foyle's rooms.

The girls saw Mr. Cameron only for a moment after that. He was just starting for the train, and Roberto was going with him.

"The young rascal has admitted just what Ruth suspected," said Mr. Cameron, chuckling a little. "He fooled us all—including the doctor. Though the Doc., I reckon, suspected strongly that the boy could talk, if he desired to.

"Roberto did not want to be questioned. Now he has told me that his grandmother did not go south at all. He says she often spends the winter in New York City as do other Gypsies. She is really a great character among her people, and with the information I have gathered, I believe the New York police will be able to locate her.

"I shall hang on to Master Roberto until the matter is closed up. He will say nothing about the necklace. He'll not even own up that he ever saw it. But he tells me that his grandmother is a miser and hoards up valuables just like a magpie."

Helen's father and the Gypsy boy went away then, and the chums had to possess their souls with patience, and attend strictly to their school work, until they could hear how the matter turned out.



CHAPTER XXV

FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS

It was not likely that Ruth found it any easier, after this, to attend strictly to her school duties, but after her conversation with Mrs. Tellingham she had put forth a greater effort to recover her standing in her class.

Whether Mrs. Parsons' necklace was found, or not; whether Ruth obtained a portion of the reward in pay for the information she had lodged, the girl realized that she had no right to neglect her studies.

She had come to one conclusion at least: whether or no, she would not break into that fifty dollars Uncle Jabez had given her so unwillingly. And she would use no more of his money for vacation jaunts, or for luxuries.

"I must accept his help in gaining my education," she told herself. "But beyond that, I need not go. I have gone about, and had good times, and bought many things just as though I really had a right to expect Uncle Jabez to supply every need.

"No more of that, Ruth Fielding! You prate of wishing to be independent: be so in any event!"

She was young to come to such a determination; yet Ruth's experiences since her parents had died were such as would naturally make her self-assertive. She knew what she wanted, and she went after it!

As for the matter of the new gymnasium suit—why! that Ruth gave up entirely. She decided that she had no business to use Uncle Jabez's money for it, and of course she could not go into debt for a new costume.

No matter what the other girls thought, or what they did, she would have to be content with her old uniform when it came to the exhibition games.

She did not have the courage yet to tell even Helen of this decision; nevertheless she was determined to stick to it. At once she had begun to pick up in recitation marks, and Miss Gould no longer scowled over Ruth's reports.

The strain of mind had been considerable, however; Ruth had much to make up in her studies; she wasted no time and began to forge ahead again.

She would not even think of Roberto and Mr. Cameron's search for Queen Zelaya. Helen was full of the topic, and often tried to discuss it with Ruth, but the latter put it aside.

She had done all she could (or so she thought) to help restore the missing pearl necklace to Nettie's aunt. Worrying about it any more was not going to help a bit.

It seemed too ridiculous to think of her ever obtaining five thousand dollars—or any part of that generous reward!

So the busy days passed. Helen heard from her father several times, but although she knew he was in New York, ostensibly buying goods, and that he had Roberto with him, the gentleman said very little about the other Gypsies and the missing necklace.

Then one day Mrs. Tellingham sent for Ruth. To be sent for by the principal never frightened the girl of the Red Mill—much. She stood well on the principal's books, she knew.

But the lady had called her to discuss nothing about the school work. She had a letter and a railroad ticket in her hand.

"Tony has telephoned for Dolliver to come for you, Ruth," said Mrs. Tellingham. "You must go away——"

"Nothing has happened at home? Uncle Jabez—Aunt Alvirah——?"

"Nothing is wrong with them at all, my dear," declared the lady, kindly. "It is Mr. Cameron. He wants you to come to New York at once. Here is transportation for you. He will meet your train at the Grand Central Station."

"Mrs. Parsons' necklace!" gasped Ruth.

"He says something about that—yes," said Mrs. Tellingham. "It is important for you to come and identify somebody, I believe. You must tell him that, at this time in the term, you can be spared only a short time."

All was bustle and confusion for Ruth during the next two hours. Then she found herself on the train bound for New York. She had a section of the sleeper to herself, and arrived in the city the next morning at an early hour.

She was making her toilette, as the electric engine whisked the long train through the upper reaches of the city, and she marveled at the awakening Bronx and Harlem streets.

When she came out through the gateway of the trainshed, she saw a youth standing by, watching the on-coming passengers sharply. But she was almost upon him, and he had stepped forward, lifting his hat and putting out a hand to take her bag, before she recognized Roberto, the Gypsy boy.

But how changed in appearance! Of course, he was still dark of skin, and his black eyes flashed. But he had removed the gold rings from his ears, his hair had been trimmed to a proper length, he was dressed smartly in a gray suit, and wore a nice hat and shoes.

Altogether Roberto was a very handsome youth indeed—more so now than when he had been a wild boy!

"You do not know me, Miss Fielding?" he said, his eyes twinkling and a warm blush rising in his cheeks.

"You—you are so changed!" gasped Ruth.

"Yes. Mr. Cameron is a fine man," said the boy, nodding. "I like him. He do all this for me," and he made a gesture that included his new outfit, and flashed her another brilliant smile.

"Oh! how it does improve you, Roberto!" she cried.

"Robert, if you please," he said, laughing. "I am going to be American boy—yes. I have left the Gypsy boy forever behind—eh?"

Ruth fairly clapped her hands. "Do you mean all that, Robert?" she cried.

"Sure!" he said proudly. "I like America. Yes! I have been here now ten years, and it suit me. And Mr. Cameron say I can go to school and learn to be American business man. That is better than trading horses—eh?"

"Oh, isn't that fine!" cried the girl of the Red Mill. "Now, where are you going to take me?"

"To the hotel. Mr. Cameron will wait breakfast for us," declared the lad, and in ten minutes Ruth was greeting her chum's father across the restaurant table.

"And I suppose you are just about eaten up with curiosity as to why I sent for you?" Mr. Cameron asked her, smiling, when Robert had gone out on an errand.

"Just about, sir," admitted the girl.

"Why, I want to tell you, my dear, that you are likely to be a very lucky girl indeed. The five thousand dollars reward——"

"You haven't found the necklace?"

"Yes, indeed. That has been found and identified. What I want you for is so you can identify that old Gypsy, Queen Zelaya. I did not want to force her grandson to appear against her before the authorities. But you can do so with a clear conscience.

"Queen Zelaya will be sent back to Bohemia. She has a bad record, and entered the country secretly some years ago. Your evidence will enable the Federal authorities to clinch their case, and return the old woman to the country of her birth.

"It is not believed that she actually stole the pearl necklace, but it is plain she shared in the proceeds of all the Gypsies' plundering, and in this case she took the giant's portion.

"We could not prove robbery upon her, but she can be transported, and she shall be," concluded Mr. Cameron, firmly.

This was what finally happened to Queen Zelaya. Her clan was broken up, and not one of them was ever seen in the neighborhood of the Red Mill—or elsewhere in that county—again.

Robert Mazell, as is the Gypsy boy's Americanized name, promises to be all that he told Ruth he hoped to be—in time. He must begin at the bottom of the educational ladder, but he is so quick to learn that his patron, Mr. Cameron, tells Tom, laughingly, that he, Tom, will have to look to his laurels, or the boy from Bohemia will outstrip him.

Having carried out the trailing of the Gypsy Queen at his own expense, and recovered the necklace privately, Mr. Cameron did not have to divide the reward offered by Mrs. Rachel Parsons with anybody.

The entire five thousand dollars was deposited in Ruth's name in the Cheslow Savings Bank. And this happened in time so that Ruth could draw enough of her fortune to get a new gymnasium costume for the mid-winter exhibition!

She did not have to use the money Uncle Jabez grudgingly gave her. Her tuition fees were paid in advance for this year at Briarwood Hall, but she determined thereafter to pay all her own expenses, at school and elsewhere.

At last she felt herself to be independent. By going to Mr. Cameron, she could get money when she wished, without annoying the miller, and for this situation she was very very thankful.

Her life stretched before her over a much pleasanter path than ever before. There were kind friends whom she could help in the future, as they needed help—and that delighted Ruth Fielding.

Her own future seemed secure. She could prepare herself for college and could gain the education she craved. It seemed that nothing could balk her ambition in that direction. And so—this seems to be a very good place indeed in which to bid good-bye for a time to Ruth Fielding of the Red Mill.

THE END

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This, the Second Series of the now world famed Motor Boys virtually starts a new series, but retains all the favorite characters introduced in the previous books. The Motor Boys Series is the biggest and best selling series of books for boys ever published.

Ned, Bob and Jerry at Boxwood Hall or The Motor Boys as Freshmen

Fresh from their adventures in their automobile, their motor boat and their airship, the youths are sent to college to complete their interrupted education. Some boys at the institution of learning have heard much about our heroes, and so conclude that the Motor Boys will try to run everything to suit themselves.

A plot is formed to keep our heroes entirely in the background and not let them participate in athletics and other contests. How the Motor Boys forged to the front and made warm friends of their rivals makes unusually interesting reading.

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CUPPLES & LEON CO., Publishers, NEW YORK

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THE Y.M.C.A. BOYS SERIES

By BROOKS HENDERLEY

12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume, 60 cents, postpaid.

This new series relates the doings of a wide-awake boys' club of the Y. M. C. A., full of good times and everyday, practical Christianity. Clean, elevating and full of fun and vigor, books that should be read by every boy.

The Y. M. C. A. Boys of Cliffwood or The Struggle for the Holwell Prize

Telling how the boys of Cliffwood were a wild set and how, on Hallowe'en, they turned the home town topsy-turvy. This led to an organization of a boys' department in the local Y. M. C. A. When the lads realized what was being done for them, they joined in the movement with vigor and did all they could to help the good cause. To raise funds they gave a minstrel show and other entertainments, and a number of them did their best to win a gold medal offered by a local minister who was greatly interested in the work of upbuilding youthful character.

The Y. M. C. A. Boys on Bass Island or The Mystery of Russabaga Camp

Summer was at hand, and at a meeting of the boys of the Y. M. C. A. of Cliffwood, it was decided that a regular summer camp should be instituted. This was located at a beautiful spot on Bass Island, and there the lads went boating, swimming, fishing and tramping to their heart's content. There were a great many surprises, but in the end the boys managed to clear up a mystery of long standing. Incidentally, the volume gives a clear insight into the workings of the now justly popular summer camps of the Y. M. C. A., throughout the United States.

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CUPPLES & LEON CO., Publishers, NEW YORK

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THE MOTOR BOYS SERIES (Trade Mark, Reg. U. S. Pat. Of.)

By CLARENCE YOUNG

12mo. Illustrated. Price per volume, 60 cents, postpaid.

The Motor Boys or Chums Through Thick and Thin

The Motor Boys Overland or A Lone Trip for Fun and Fortune

The Motor Boys in Mexico. or The Secret of The Buried City

The Motor Boys Across the Plains or The Hermit of Lost Lake

The Motor Boys Afloat or The Stirring Cruise of the Dartaway

The Motor Boys on the Atlantic or The Mystery of the Lighthouse

The Motor Boys in Strange Waters or Lost in a Floating Forest

The Motor Boys on the Pacific or The Young Derelict Hunters

The Motor Boys in the Clouds or A Trip for Fame and Fortune

The Motor Boys Over the Rockies or A Mystery of the Air

The Motor Boys Over the Ocean or A Marvellous Rescue in Mid-Air

The Motor Boys on the Wing or Seeking the Airship Treasure

The Motor Boys After a Fortune or The Hut on Snake Island

The Motor Boys on the Border or Sixty Nuggets of Gold

The Motor Boys Under the Sea or From Airship to Submarine

The Motor Boys on Road and River or Racing to Save a Life

CUPPLES & LEON CO., Publishers, NEW YORK

THE END

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