"Who is there?" demanded a rough voice from within.
"Friends," answered the old miner. "Let us in—we are 'most frozen to death."
"Who are you?" went on the voice from inside the cabin. "Be careful now, I am armed."
Cautiously the door to the cabin was opened and a very old man appeared. He was armed with a shotgun, which he pointed at those outside.
"I can't see ye," he said, slowly. "Come a bit closer, but not too clost, until I make sure who ye are."
"Why, it's Tony Bings!" fairly shouted Jack Wumble. "How are ye, Tony? Don't ye know me?"
"Jack Wumble!" cried the old man. "How in the name o' fate did you git here?" And he lowered his gun and opened wide the door of the cabin for the old miner to enter.
AT TONY BINGS'S CABIN
Tony Bings was an old miner who had spent several years in Colorado, working close to Jack Wumble. The two knew each other well, and were warm friends.
"Come right in," said Tony Bings, when matters had been explained to him. "It's a wonder ye ain't friz stiff, in sech a wind! It's been a-blowin' great guns. Once or twice I thought the cabin was goin' over."
Tom was brought in and Sam followed, and both were placed near the sheet iron stove of which Tony Bings's cabin boasted. Then the old miner bustled about to get the whole party something to eat and to drink.
"I've got slathers o' stores," he told Jack Wumble, in answer to a question on that point. "Got a good supply in durin' the summer. I was out here last winter an' come near starvin' to de'th, an' I made up my mind it shouldn't happen ag'in. So eat yer fill an' welcome."
"We'll pay for all we use, Tony," answered Wumble. "These chaps with me are rich," he added, in a whisper.
"At first I thought it might be some good-fer nuthin' fellers from up the mountains," went on Tony Bings. "Once in a while they come here and git things an' don't pay for 'em. If they come ag'in, I'll shoot 'em," he went on, with determination.
He listened with interest to the story the others had to relate, and was not surprised when he learned how the old hut had been tossed over by the tornado and carried along on the ice. He said his own shelter was protected by the rocks around it and also by the heavy stones which he had placed on the roof.
All of the newcomers were so exhausted that after eating their fill they were glad enough to lie down and rest. Tony Bings told them not to worry—that he would stay awake, to tend the fire and watch out generally.
"You ain't nowhere near Subler's Stores," he told Dick. "You got off the track entirely. Instead of going towards Dawson you've been goin' away from it."
All of the boys and Jack Wumble slept soundly that night. Tony Bings did not arouse them and consequently it was long past daylight when they opened their eyes.
When Dick came to the window of the cabin to look out he uttered a cry of surprise. The sun was shining and all around could be seen immense stretches of ice and snow. It looked as if they were in the midst of desolation.
"What a change from a week ago!" he said to Sam.
"A fellow could hardly believe it, Dick," was the reply.
"How do you feel?" went on the big brother.
"All right, only somewhat stiff."
Tom was still asleep. When he awoke the brothers were worried to see that he did not seem to be as clear in his mind as he had been the day before.
"Where is Ike Furner?" he asked, suddenly. "Say, I've got to be on my way, if I am going to get those nuggets of gold."
"Tom, take it easy," begged Dick. "Don't you remember me?" And he looked his brother full in the eyes.
"Sure I know you, Dick," was the wondering answer. "Why do you ask me such a question? Let me see, what was I saying?" Tom put his hand to his forehead. "Hang it all, it's slipped my mind entirely," he groaned.
"Never mind, Tom, let it go. You just think of Sam and me, and the folks at home. And don't forget Nellie," Dick added, in a whisper.
"Nellie!" gasped the sufferer. "Oh, yes, Nellie! As if I could ever forget her! Say, Dick, how soon will I see her, do you suppose?"
"I'll send for her as soon as we get home, Tom."
"And when will that be?"
"Oh, not so very long. Now do keep quiet. And don't think of anything but just home and Nellie," he added, pleadingly.
"All right, I'll do just as you want me to," returned Tom, and then laid back and was silent.
Sam had listened to what was going on and now he and Dick walked to the far end of the cabin, to talk in whispers.
"He isn't over it yet, Sam. And it almost looks as if he never would get over it, that is, altogether." Dick's face showed his deep concern.
"Oh, Dick, don't say that! He's got to get over it! Oh, if only we could get some first class doctor to do something!"
"Well, we've got to get to some city first—Dawson or some other place."
"Here is news!" cried Jack Wumble, coming forward at that instant. "Tony tells me that there will be a party going through to Dawson inside of a week or ten days. He advises that we wait till they go and go with 'em."
"It will be much safer," said Tony Bings "It's a fearful journey alone—in sech weather."
"Who are those folks who are going?" asked Dick.
"One of the men who run the Yukon Supply Depot at Crovet, twenty-four miles from here. He will come along with four or five of his helpers, and most likely a dog train, and he always stops here."
"That will be all right—but a week or ten days—that's a long time to wait," and Dick sighed.
After that Tony Bings told his story, how he had come to that neighborhood and "struck it rich," as he confided to Jack Wumble. He was very enthusiastic about the diggings back of his cabin, and in the end got Wumble to promise to join him in his hunt for gold in the Spring.
"I've heard o' sech cases," he told the boys, after learning about Tom's trouble. "It's too bad! I sure do hope your brother will git over it. It ain't nice to have a crazy pusson in the family."
After that several days went by slowly. At times Tom seemed to improve and then he would sink back, sometimes becoming quite wild, so the others had to watch him closely. But he grew stronger physically, which was something to be thankful for.
On the third day it started to snow again, and this kept up for twenty-four hours. It was as cold as ever, and the sheet iron stove was kept almost red hot, so that the party, and especially Tom, might not take cold.
On the next morning, much to the surprise of everybody, Tom got up and insisted on walking around the cabin.
"I feel almost well," he told his brothers. "But I'd give a good deal to be home."
That afternoon came a great shouting, and the cracking of whips outside the cabin. At once Tony Bings's face lit up.
"It's the men from the Supply Depot!" he cried. "I reckon it's Schmidt."
"Hello, in dare!" was the cry. "Vos you alife alretty, Tony? Vy can't you oben der door und let a feller in, ain't it?"
"Hello, Gus!" answered the owner of the cabin, and threw open the door, and in bustled a big, fat German, heavily clad, and wearing thick gloves and ear-warmers. The newcomer stared in astonishment at the Rovers and Jack Wumble.
"Sure und I tidn't know you vos have combany, Tony," said Gus Schmidt.
"My friends," said the old miner, and introduced them. "Tell yer men to come in, and welcome," he went on, and Schmidt went to the door, and called to three men who were with him. They drove up with several dog teams, which they were taking to Dawson for supplies that had come up to that city by way of the Yukon River.
Gus Schmidt, despite his rather uncouth manner, was a whole-souled man, and Dick and the others took to him at once. He listened gravely to the story they had to tell, and readily agreed to take the Rovers and Jack Wumble with him. Wumble was invited by Tony Bings to remain at the cabin for the winter, but said he would first see the Rovers as far as Dawson, and visit his own claim, and then would return with Schmidt's party.
Of the newcomers one was a German like Schmidt and the other two were Canadians. The latter knew all about the dogs and dog sleds, managing the rather savage animals with scarcely an effort. The dogs had originally belonged to some Alaskan Indians and had cost the owners of the Supply Depot considerable money.
The start for Dawson, so many miles away, was made on the following morning. The boys and Jack Wumble shook hands with Tony Bings, who refused point blank to accept any money for what he had done for them. Tom was placed on one of the best of the big sleds and made as comfortable as circumstances permitted.
"All apoardt!" cried Gus Schmidt, gaily, and cracked the long whip he carried. The Canadians understood and cracked their own whips, and away went the whole party, over the fields of ice and snow, in the direction of Dawson.
TOM'S WILD RIDE
"Talk about fields of ice, Dick! Just look around us!"
It was Sam who spoke. The party had come to a halt for the midday meal. They had stopped in the shelter of some big rocks, now thickly covered with snow and ice.
Snow and ice were on all sides—the latter glistening brightly in the sunshine. It was a wonderful transformation from the green and brown that had decked the landscape before winter had set in so suddenly.
"I'd hate to be out in this alone," remarked the big brother. "A fellow could get lost without half trying."
"Dick, what do you think of Tom?" went on Sam, in a lower tone.
"He's in a bad way again, Sam," was the reply. "Poor fellow! If only we had him where we could place him under the care of some good doctor, some specialist. That is what he needs."
Tom was indeed in a bad way. All morning he had talked in a rambling fashion, to himself and to the others around him. The Canadians were getting afraid of him and the Germans shrugged their shoulders.
"I dink he besser peen in an asylum, ain't it," said Gus Schmidt. "A feller can't vos dell vot such a feller vos going to do next alretty!"
"We'll have to watch him," had been Dick's answer.
One of the Canadians was preparing dinner, aided by one of the Germans. To show that they did not wish to shirk any camp duties, Sam and Dick did what they could to assist. The dogs and the sleds were off to one side. Tom sat on one sled, wrapped in heavy blankets, for it was still very cold.
Suddenly there came a wild shout from the Canadian who was doing the cooking. With a saucepan he pointed to the dogs and sleds. All of the others gazed in that direction and Sam and Dick set up a cry of alarm.
And well they might, for the sight that met their eyes filled them with fear. In some way Tom had gotten one of the sleds with its dogs away from the others and jumped aboard. With a crack of a whip he was off, standing on the sled and yelling like a demon.
"Tom! Tom! Stop!" screamed Dick and Sam in unison. "Come back here!"
"I'm off for gold! Nuggets of gold!" yelled the one who was not right in his mind. "Don't you dare to follow me! Off for gold! Gold! Gold!" And then the sled with its rider passed out of hearing, the dogs doing their best, urged on by the continued cracking of the long whip.
"We must catch him!" said Dick. "Quick! before he gets out of sight over some hill, or around some rocks!"
"He has der pest sled und der pest dogs!" groaned Gus Schmidt. "I said ve must keep an eye on him, yah! Of he busts dot sled somepody got to pay for him!"
"We'll pay, never fear," answered Sam. "But we must catch him! We don't want him to get hurt."
"You come mit me," said the leader of the outfit, motioning to Dick. "It ain't no use for all of us to go after him. De udders da stay right here. Ludvig, you hear?"
"Yah," came from the other German, and he nodded his head.
In a few minutes Gus Schmidt had one of the other dog teams ready for use. He was about to jump on the sled when he paused.
"Besser ve took somedings along," he suggested. "Somedings to eat und to trink, hey? Und some plankets, yah?" and he commenced to haul over the packs.
"Why, do you think the chase will be a long one?" asked Dick, anxiously.
"I can't vos tell dot. Mebbe him peen long. Dem vos schmart togs, I tole you dot."
A pack containing food and blankets was hastily thrown together and strapped to the sled. Then Dick was assigned a place and Gus Schmidt hopped aboard.
"Of ve ton't got back tonight go on to Riss Rifer," he directed the others.
"Good-by, Dick, and good luck!" called out Sam, and Jack Wumble waved his hand.
"You take care of yourself, Sam," was the brother's parting caution.
The dog sleds had done some fairly fast traveling before, but the rate of speed now set by Gus Schmidt almost took away Dick's breath. On and on bounded the sled, the dogs yelping wildly at first, but then settling down to a steady pace. Up one hill awl down another they dashed, sending the loose snow flying in all directions. Soon the camp was left out of sight, even the smoke gradually disappearing from view.
Tom and his outfit were nowhere to be seen, having long since passed over a hill to the northward. Gus Schmidt had, however, noted the direction with care. He had noted, too, that the runaway had taken a somewhat curved course, and now he attempted to catch him by taking a straight route for the same point.
For over an hour the chase kept up, and then, reaching the top of a long hill, they saw, far to the northward, a dog sled moving to the eastward.
"I dink I got him now!" cried Gus Schmidt, and once more he cracked his long whip and again his team bounded forward. Quarter of an hour passed and they drew closer to the other team, and then both the German and Dick set up a cry of dismay.
It was not the sled on which Tom had run away. The dogs were different and on the sled sat two men, strangers.
"Yes, we saw the sled you are after," said one of the men, when the others had come up and put a question to him and his companion. "It passed us, going like the wind and the driver yelling like a madman."
"And how was it headed?"
"About due North," answered the other man on the sled. And then he and his companion moved forward again.
"I dink ve haf to go pack und look for der tracks," said Gus Schmidt. "Too pad, dot vosn't our sled, ain't it?"
The team was turned back, and for the best part of half an hour they looked for the missing trail. At last it was discovered, and once more they moved rapidly forward, this time due North.
Fortunately there was little wind, otherwise Dick could not have stood that long and wild ride. As it was, he felt chilled to the bone, and his feet were like two lumps of ice. Gus Schmidt must have surmised this, for presently he stopped the sled and motioned to the youth.
"Ve git off und rundt a leetle. It vos do us goot," he remarked, and swung himself down on the icy snow. Dick followed, so stiff at first that he could scarcely put one foot before the other. They set off on a walk, the dogs pulling them, and gradually increased their speed to a run.
Then Dick felt better.
All through the afternoon the chase kept up. They saw nothing of Tom. But the track he had left was a plain one and to that they stuck closely.
At last it grew so dark that they could see the track but indistinctly. They had to reduce their speed to a walk for fear of turning off.
"He ought to be stopping for the night," said Dick.
"Such a feller might not sthop at all," answered the German. "He might go on und on bis der togs trop dead, yah!"
Finally Gus Schmidt came to a halt and announced that they must go into camp for the night. The dogs needed the rest. They could continue the chase at the first sign of dawn.
"Do you know where we are?" asked Dick.
"Out in der ice und snow, dot ist all I know," said the German. "I nefer vos here pefore."
"If we are not lost we are next door to it," murmured Dick.
They had brought along a little tent and sleeping bags, and after supper made themselves as comfortable as possible. The dogs had been fed and they snapped and snarled over the bones thrown to them.
Only once during the night were Dick and his companion disturbed. From a distance came a yelping which the dogs at once answered.
"What is that?" asked the youth, sitting up. "Not the dogs of the other sled?"
"Nein, dot vos foxes," answered Gus Schmidt. "Ton't podder mit dem. Da ton't come here—da vos afraid of ter dogs." And he turned over to go to sleep again.
Dick could not sleep with any kind of comfort. He was utterly exhausted, yet his mind was continually on Tom. What was his poor brother doing, all by himself, amid that desolation of ice and snow?
At daybreak they were on the way again. The sun had come up, but soon it was hidden by a heavy bank of clouds, and then the snowflakes commenced to fall.
"Dot ist pad," said Gus Schmidt, shaking his head.
"You mean, it will wipe out the trail?" said Dick.
"Yah—der drail to find your prudder und der drail for us to git pack py. Maype ve besser go pack now."
"No! no! don't turn back! Please don't go back!" pleaded Dick. "He can't be so very far ahead of us. We are sure to catch up to him in a very short while now. If we——"
Dick did not finish, for a strange sight ahead caught his eye. Coming towards them was a dog team on a gallop. Behind the team was an overturned sled, empty.
GOOD-BYE TO ALASKA—CONCLUSION
"Is that your sled?"
"Yah. Vait, I vos sthop dem!" yelled Gus Schmidt, and with a dexterity that was really marvelous he turned his own team about and in a few seconds was traveling after the runaways.
"Wait! I'm going to get off! To look for my brother!" cried Dick, and as the German slackened his speed for a few seconds, the oldest Rover boy sprang out in the snow. He went sprawling, but was not injured. Almost before he knew it, the two sleds had disappeared and he was left alone.
All around him were the vast and mysterious fields of ice and snow. Far off he could hear the barking of the dogs, but this soon died out, and then came utter silence—a silence that seemed to fairly weigh him down. And now the snow started to come down harder than ever.
Had Dick Rover been less stout-hearted than he was he would have then and there given up the hunt for his brother. But Dick had the stuff of a real hero in him, and he went forward through the snow, bending low to escape the wind and to keep his eyes on that slowly disappearing trail.
Thus half an hour went by, and by that time, weighed down as he was by his heavy clothing and heavy footwear, Dick was well-nigh exhausted. He stopped to rest and to get his breath, and then, struck with a sudden idea, let out that old familiar locomotive whistle of Putnam Hall fame.
He waited for a few seconds and then whistled once more. Was he mistaken, or did an answering whistle sound out? He could not tell. He set his face grimly and trudged on.
At last he could see the trail no longer and then he realized the truth of the terrible situation.
He was lost on this vast field of ice and snow!
And Tom, somewhere ahead, must be lost, too!
It was a thought to make the stoutest heart quake. But Dick did not think of himself. He was thinking only of his brother. How could he locate Tom and save him from the cold and from starvation?
"I've got to do it!" he told himself, over and over again. "I've got to do it! I must! I must!"
On and on he plunged, and suddenly went sprawling over some object half hidden in the falling snow. He felt around, and realized that he had come upon the two packs that had been on the sled Tom had taken.
"If they fell off here maybe Tom fell off, too!" he told himself. And then he commenced to search the vicinity carefully.
It was well that he did this, otherwise he might have missed poor Tom, who lay in a slight hollow, partly covered with snow. The sled had hit a rock and the poor youth had been flung out with great force, landing on one shoulder and on his head.
"Tom! Tom! Are you alive? Answer me!" cried Dick, as he raised his brother in his arms. But no reply came from Tom's lips. He was unconscious.
With all the strength that remained to him, Dick carried his brother to the spot where he had found the traps. Then he quickly undid the bundles, to see if there was anything there he might use. He found a tiny oil stove, filled with oil, and lit it, and then rolled Tom in two blankets, and gave him something hot to drink. Then he found a stick of wood, soaked it well in oil, and set it up in the ice as a torch.
All this while Tom lay like a log. He was breathing heavily, but he did not open his eyes or speak. Evidently the shock had been a heavy one. Dick did not know but what some of his brother's bones might be broken.
An anxious hour went by, and in that time Dick did all he could for Tom, who still laid in a stupor. Then came a shout, and Gus Schmidt appeared, driving his dog team and with the runaway team also in harness. Behind the first sled was the second—the one Tom had taken.
"So you got your brudder, hey?" said the German. "How vos he?"
"In bad shape, I'm afraid," answered Dick, soberly. "I guess the dogs ran away and pitched him overboard."
"I dink you vos right, und da drow dem dings oferpoard, doo," and Schmidt, pointed to the traps. "Veil, it's goot ve got der draps und er sled pack."
"Can we get back to the others tonight?"
"Nein, it was too dark und cold. Ve go in der morning, to Riss Rifer. Maybe dare you got a doctor, yah."
So it was settled, and the German proceeded to make himself and the others as comfortable as possible. He prepared something to eat, and suggested that Tom be given a little broth, made out of some dried meat. This was done, and presently the sufferer opened his eyes and tried to sit up.
"Whe—where in th—the world am I?" he asked, in a faint voice.
"Tom, you're all right," answered his brother, soothingly. "Do you know me?"
"Why, of course I know you," came the wondering answer. "What happened to me, Dick?"
"You ran off with a dog sled and got a nasty tumble."
"A dog sled? Dick, you are stringing me? Who's got a dog sled around Brill?"
"Never mind, Tom, just keep quiet. You're very sick. Just rest yourself."
"All right." Tom heaved a deep sigh. "Gosh! I do feel pretty bad!" he added. He had tried to sit up, but now fell back exhausted.
It was a night never to be forgotten. The German snored peacefully, but Dick did not close his eyes. He watched Tom closely, to do all he could for his brother and make certain that the sufferer should not get away again.
During the night it stopped snowing and in the morning the sun came out as brightly as ever. Dick was astir early, and was gratified to see that Tom was sleeping peacefully. They did not awaken the sufferer until Gus Schmidt announced himself ready to move on.
Tom was still very weak, but Dick was gratified to see that he appeared to be in his right mind, and his eyes were brighter than they had been in many a day.
"I can't understand this," he said, when he was bundled up and placed on one of the sleds. "I feel as if I had had some awful dream."
"So you have had, Tom," was Dick's reply. "And I want you to be careful, so that that awful dream doesn't come back."
"But where are we, Dick?"
"In Alaska, Tom. Now do keep quiet, please."
"Alaska! Well, I never!" murmured the sufferer. "And I thought we were near Brill, or the farm!"
The two boys occupied the rear sled with one of the bundles, while Gus Schmidt did the driving from the other sled and carried the rest of the traps. On and on they went, mile after mile, the German driving the dogs with great skill. They passed over hill after hill, and over vast expanses of ice and snow. At noon they rested half an hour for lunch. Tom tried to stand up, but was too weak.
"It's no use, Dick," he said. "I'm about as strong as a bowl of mush! I guess I need about a month's rest."
"And you are going to get it, Tom, as soon as we can get home," replied his brother.
"But I don't understand how I got here," went on the sufferer, in perplexity.
"I'll tell you all about it some day, Tom. But now you must keep quiet. Won't you, just to please me?"
"Sure—anything you say, Dick. I know something is wrong somewhere. But I'll leave it all to you."
Late that evening they reached the Riss River, a small stream flowing into the mighty Yukon. They passed along the river bank until they reached a settlement known as Boyer's. Here they found Sam and the others of the expedition.
"So yer got Tom!" cried Jack Wumble. "Good enough!"
"And how is he?'" questioned Sam, anxiously.
"He's been hurt, Sam. But I think he is brighter in his mind than ever," answered Dick.
The Rovers found a great bustle and confusion going on at Boyer's depot, due to the fact that a steamer coming down the river from Dawson was due the next morning. It was to be the last vessel to pass that way until Spring.
"Where is that steamer bound for?" asked Dick, of the man who had charge of the depot.
"Can we secure passage on her, do you think?"
"I reckon so. Travel is light this time of year. That boat is going to have some trouble getting through the ice, though."
"We'll risk that—if only they will take us on board."
The party was made as comfortable as possible at Boyer's, sharing various bunks in a cabin that chanced to be deserted. Dick settled up with Gus Schmidt, stating he would not go on to Dawson if he could secure passage on the steamer.
At last the vessel came in, and after the general hubub was over Dick inquired about accommodations.
"Pretty full, but I think we can stow you away somewhere," said the purser.
"I don't care what sort of accommodations we have, so long as my brother gets a stateroom," went on Dick. "He isn't very well."
"Bring your baggage aboard, and I'll fix you up somehow, later on."
The boys went aboard the steamer and there bid farewell to Jack Wumble. They had left some things at Dawson, and these they turned over, on a written order, to the old miner, telling him to do as he pleased with them.
"Good-bye to ye!" cried Wumble, on parting. "An' good luck," he added, and shook hands all around.
After the rough experiences in the wilds of Alaska, the boys felt quite at home on the big steamer. The purser managed to find a large stateroom for them, containing three berths. And, what was even better, he introduced Dick and Sam to a doctor who chanced to be on board. The physician was a man of experience, who lived in San Francisco, and he readily agreed to take Tom under his care and do all he could for the sufferer.
"I think all he needs is rest—absolute rest," said the doctor, after an examination. "He ought not to go to college again—at least, not for a year or two."
"It's hard to keep him quiet, Doctor—he has always been such a lively fellow—the liveliest boy in our family," said Dick.
"Well, then, let him travel. Anything to keep his mind from his books and from himself."
The voyage down the mighty Yukon to Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean was a long and tedious one to Dick and Sam. For several days the steamer had a hard time of it, crushing her way through the ice, which was rapidly forming. In a few days more navigation would be completely closed, so far as that portion of our globe was concerned.
"We got out just in time," said Dick to Sam, when the Yukon was at last left behind and they saw ahead of them the blue waters of Bering Sea.
The trip on the ocean seemed to do Tom a world of good. Daily he grew stronger, until he could walk on deck. The doctor attended him from time to time, but gave the sufferer little medicine.
As soon as it was possible to do so, Dick sent a wireless message ashore, to be relayed to the farm, telling the folks that Tom was safe and that all hands would soon be back at Valley Brook. This message was also sent, by way of the farm, to Mrs. Stanhope and Dora, and to the girls at Hope.
"My gracious, what adventures we have had on this trip!" remarked Sam to Dick, as the steamer was headed for the Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco harbor.
"Right you are, Sam," was the reply. "I don't think we'll have any more so strenuous." But Dick was mistaken. More adventures were still in store for the Rovers, and what some of them were will be related in the next volume of this series, to be entitled "The Rover Boys in Business; Or, The Search for the Missing Bonds."
On the arrival at San Francisco it was deemed advisable by the doctor that Tom rest for a few days at a hotel before starting on the trip for home. Tom's mind now seemed to be as clear as ever and all his weakness was physical.
One day, when Dick was reading a local newspaper, he chanced on a paragraph that instantly arrested his attention. He read it carefully and then sought out Sam.
"Look here," he cried. "Here is news about that lady on the train who lost her handbag with jewelry in it worth ten thousand dollars."
"What about it?" asked Sam, with interest.
"She didn't lose it at all, it seems. Her mother, who was with her, took it and absent-mindedly hid it in their berth. There a porter found it and turned it over to the railroad company."
"Well, that clears Tom of that," said Sam, with a sigh of relief. "But what of Hiram Duff's money and jewelry?"
"That still remains to be found out, Sam. I guess Tom took it—but of course he didn't know what he was doing. You can't count such a thing a crime when a fellow is out of his mind." In the end, it may be as well to state here, this mystery was never fully explained. But the Rover family paid the old miser for his loss, and for what he had suffered in being locked down in his cellar; and there the matter was dropped.
Tom stood the journey to Valley Brook better than expected. At the Oak Run railroad station the family touring car was drawn up, with Jack Ness, the hired man, in charge. The boys' father was there to greet them.
"My boys! My boys!" he said, and the tears stood in his eyes. Then he folded poor Tom in his arms and led him to the touring car. And there a surprise awaited the sufferer. Nellie was there, having arrived the day before from Hope.
"I just had to come," she said, and then she caught Tom and held him tightly. The tears were streaming down her cheeks, and the others had to turn away. "Oh, Tom! Tom!" she murmured, over and over again.
"Oh, Nellie, don't make such a fuss! I'm not worth it!" murmured Tom, but, nevertheless, he looked greatly pleased. "I've had a—an awful—dream," he went on, slowly. "But I'm—well, I'm not going to dream that way again—not if I can help it!" And he gave her a look that thrilled her through and through.
There was another warm welcome when the touring car reached the farm. Uncle Randolph and Aunt Martha were on the piazza to meet the boys. Aunt Martha shed tears over Tom, just as Nellie had done, but they were tears of joy and nobody minded them. Uncle Randolph shook hands, and told them all to come in out of the cold, and rubbed his own hands together in great satisfaction.
"Home again!" murmured Tom, when he stood in the great hallway. He gave a deep sniff. "And a good dinner! Aunt Martha, you know how to make us feel comfortable, don't you?" He gave her one of his old-time hugs. His eyes were as clear as they had ever been. Evidently he was fast becoming the Tom of old. His running away from Brill, and his trip to Alaska, were but a horrible, uncertain nightmare to him. He did not want to remember those days, and they were best forgotten.
"And how do you feel, Dad?" asked Dick, as soon as he could get the chance.
"Better than in many a day," returned Anderson Rover.
"And what is the news from New York?"
"Everything is going along well. We have those brokers just where we want them."
"Good! That is what I like to hear," and Dick's face showed his satisfaction.
"I've got more news, Dick, that you will like to hear," said his father, with a faint smile.
"What is that?"
"Dora telegraphed that she would be here tonight."
"Well, we certainly had a great trip," said Sam, when the whole family and Nellie were gathered around the dining table. "But I don't know as I want to take it over again."
"Hardly," returned his big brother.
FAMOUS ROVER BOYS SERIES
BY ARTHUR M. WINFIELD
OVER THREE MILLION COPIES SOLD OF THIS SERIES.
Uniform Style of Binding. Colored Wrappers. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
THE ROVER BOYS AT SCHOOL THE ROVER BOYS ON THE OCEAN THE ROVER BOYS IN THE JUNGLE THE ROVER BOYS OUT WEST THE ROVER BOYS ON THE GREAT LAKES THE ROVER BOYS IN THE MOUNTAINS THE ROVER BOYS ON LAND AND SEA THE ROVER BOYS IN CAMP THE ROVER BOYS ON THE RIVER THE ROVER BOYS ON THE PLAINS THE ROVER BOYS IN SOUTHERN WATERS THE ROVER BOYS ON THE FARM THE ROVER BOYS ON TREASURE ISLE THE ROVER BOYS AT COLLEGE THE ROVER BOYS DOWN EAST THE ROVER BOYS IN THE AIR THE ROVER BOYS IN NEW YORK THE ROVER BOYS IN ALASKA THE ROVER BOYS IN BUSINESS THE ROVER BOYS ON A TOUR THE ROVER BOYS AT COLBY HALL THE ROVER BOYS ON SNOWSHOE ISLAND THE ROVER BOYS UNDER CANVAS THE ROVER BOYS ON A HUNT THE ROVER BOYS IN THE LAND OF LUCK THE ROVER BOYS AT BIG HORN RANCH THE ROVER BOYS AT BIG BEAR LAKE THE ROVER BOYS SHIPWRECKED THE ROVER BOYS ON SUNSET TRAIL THE ROVER BOYS WINNING A FORTUNE
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE PUTNAM HALL STORIES
Companion Stories to the Famous Rover Boys Series
By ARTHUR M. WINFIELD
Uniform Style of Binding. Individual Colored Wrappers.
Being the adventures of lively young fellows at a Military Academy. Open air sports have always been popular with boys and these stories that mingle adventure with fact will appeal to every manly boy.
THE MYSTERY OF PUTNAM HALL; Or, The School Chums' Strange Discovery.
The particulars of the mystery and the solution of it are very interesting.
CAMPING OUT DAYS AT PUTNAM HALL; Or, The Secret of the Old Mill.
A story full of fun and vigor, telling what the cadets did during the summer encampment, including a visit to the mysterious old mill, said to be haunted. The book has a wealth of fun in it.
THE REBELLION AT PUTNAM HALL; Or, The Rival Runaways.
The boys had good reasons for running away during Captain Putnam's absence. They had plenty of fun and several queer adventures.
THE CHAMPIONS OF PUTNAM HALL; Or, Bound to Win Out.
In this volume the Cadets of Putnam Hall show what they can do in various keen rivalries on the athletic field and elsewhere. There is one victory which leads to a most unlooked-for discovery.
THE CADETS OF PUTNAM HALL; Or, Good Times in School and Out.
The cadets are lively, flesh-and-blood fellows, bound to make friends from the start. There are some keen rivalries, in school and out, and something is told of a remarkable midnight feast and a hazing with an unexpected ending.
THE RIVALS OF PUTNAM HALL; Or, Fun and Sport Afloat and Ashore.
It is a lively, rattling, breezy story of school life in this country, written by one who knows all about its pleasures and its perplexities, its glorious excitements, and its chilling disappointments.
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE TOM SWIFT SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
Uniform Style of Binding. Individual Colored Wrappers. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
Every boy possesses some form of inventive genius. Tom Swift is a bright, ingenious boy and his inventions and adventures make the most interesting kind of reading.
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR CYCLE TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRSHIP TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIRELESS MESSAGE TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE TOM SWIFT AND HIS SKY RACER TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR GLIDER TOM SWIFT IN CAPTIVITY TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT TOM SWIFT AND HIS GIANT CANNON TOM SWIFT AND HIS PHOTO TELEPHONE TOM SWIFT AND HIS AERIAL WARSHIP TOM SWIFT AND HIS BIG TUNNEL TOM SWIFT IN THE LAND OF WONDERS TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR SCOUT TOM SWIFT AND HIS UNDERSEA SEARCH TOM SWIFT AMONG THE FIRE FIGHTERS TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE TOM SWIFT AND HIS FLYING BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT OIL GUSHER TOM SWIFT AND HIS CHEST OF SECRETS TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRLINE EXPRESS
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE DON STURDY SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
Individual Colored Wrappers and Text Illustrations by WALTER S. ROGERS
Every Volume Complete in Itself.
In company with his uncles, one a mighty hunter and the other a noted scientist, Don Sturdy travels far and wide, gaining much useful knowledge and meeting many thrilling adventures.
DON STURDY ON THE DESERT OF MYSTERY;
An engrossing tale of the Sahara Desert, of encounters with wild animals and crafty Arabs.
DON STURDY WITH THE BIG SNAKE HUNTERS;
Don's uncle, the hunter, took an order for some of the biggest snakes to be found in South America—to be delivered alive!
DON STURDY IN THE TOMBS OF GOLD;
A fascinating tale of exploration and adventure in the Valley of Kings in Egypt.
DON STURDY ACROSS THE NORTH POLE;
A great polar blizzard nearly wrecks the airship of the explorers.
DON STURDY IN THE LAND OF VOLCANOES;
An absorbing tale of adventures among the volcanoes of Alaska.
DON STURDY IN THE PORT OF LOST SHIPS;
This story is just full of exciting and fearful experiences on the sea.
DON STURDY AMONG THE GORILLAS;
A thrilling story of adventure in darkest Africa. Don is carried over a mighty waterfall into the heart of gorilla land.
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
THE RADIO BOYS SERIES
By ALLEN CHAPMAN
Author of the "Railroad Series," Etc.
Individual Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
A new series for boys giving full details of radio work, both in sending and receiving—telling how small and large amateur sets can be made and operated, and how some boys got a lot of fun and adventure out of what they did. Each volume from first to last is so thoroughly fascinating, so strictly up-to-date and accurate, we feel sure all lads will peruse them with great delight.
Each volume has a Foreword by Jack Binns, the well-known radio expert.
THE RADIO BOYS' FIRST WIRELESS THE RADIO BOYS AT OCEAN POINT THE RADIO BOYS AT THE SENDING STATION THE RADIO BOYS AT MOUNTAIN PASS THE RADIO BOYS TRAILING A VOICE THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE FOREST RANGERS THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE ICEBERG PATROL THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE FLOOD FIGHTERS THE RADIO BOYS ON SIGNAL ISLAND THE RADIO BOYS IN GOLD VALLEY
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
THE RAILROAD SERIES
By ALLEN CHAPMAN
Author of the "Radio Boys," Etc.
Uniform Style of Binding. Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
In this line of books there is revealed the whole workings of a great American railroad system. There are adventures in abundance—railroad wrecks, dashes through forest fires, the pursuit of a "wildcat" locomotive, the disappearance of a pay car with a large sum of money on board—but there is much more than this—the intense rivalry among railroads and railroad men, the working out of running schedules, the getting through "on time" in spite of all obstacles, and the manipulation of railroad securities by evil men who wish to rule or ruin.
RALPH OF THE ROUND HOUSE; Or, Bound to Become a Railroad Man.
RALPH IN THE SWITCH TOWER; Or, Clearing the Track.
RALPH ON THE ENGINE; Or, The Young Fireman of the Limited Mail.
RALPH ON THE OVERLAND EXPRESS; Or, The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer.
RALPH, THE TRAIN DISPATCHER; Or, the Mystery of the Pay Car.
RALPH ON THE ARMY TRAIN; Or, The Young Railroader's Most Daring Exploit.
RALPH ON THE MIDNIGHT FLYER; Or, The Wreck at Shadow Valley.
RALPH AND THE MISSING MAIL POUCH; Or, The Stolen Government Bonds.
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE RIDDLE CLUB BOOKS
By ALICE DALE HARDY
Individual Colored Wrappers, Attractively Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
Here is as ingenious a series of books for little folks as has ever appeared since "Alice in Wonderland." The idea of the Riddle books is a little group of children—three girls and three boys decide to form a riddle club. Each book is full of the adventures and doings of these six youngsters, but as an added attraction each book is filled with a lot of the best riddles you ever heard.
THE RIDDLE CLUB AT HOME
An absorbing tale that all boys and girls will enjoy reading. How the members of the club fixed up a clubroom in the Larue barn, and how they, later on, helped solve a most mysterious happening, and how one of the members won a valuable prize, is told in a manner to please every young reader.
THE RIDDLE CLUB IN CAMP
The club members went into camp on the edge of a beautiful lake. Here they had rousing good times swimming, boating and around the campfire. They fell in with a mysterious old man known as The Hermit of Triangle Island. Nobody knew his real name or where he came from until the propounding of a riddle solved these perplexing questions.
THE RIDDLE CLUB THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
This volume takes in a great number of winter sports, including skating and sledding and the building of a huge snowman. It also gives the particulars of how the club treasurer lost the dues entrusted to his care and what the melting of the great snowman revealed.
THE RIDDLE CLUB AT SUNRISE BEACH
This volume tells how the club journeyed to the seashore and how they not only kept up their riddles but likewise had good times on the sand and on the water. Once they got lost in a fog and are marooned on an island. Here they made a discovery that greatly pleased the folks at home.
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
Football and Baseball Stories
Durably Bound. Illustrated. Colored Wrappers. Every Volume Complete in itself.
The Ralph Henry Barbour Books for Boys
In these up-to-the-minute, spirited genuine stories of boy life there is something which will appeal to every boy with the love of manliness, cleanness and sportsmanship in his heart.
LEFT END EDWARDS LEFT TACKLE THAYER LEFT GUARD GILBERT CENTER RUSH ROWLAND FULLBACK FOSTER LEFT HALF HARMON RIGHT END EMERSON RIGHT GUARD GRANT QUARTERBACK BATES RIGHT TACKLE TODD RIGHT HALF HOLLINS
The Christy Mathewson Books for Boys
Every boy wants to know how to play ball in the fairest and squarest way. These books about boys and baseball are full of wholesome and manly interest and information.
PITCHER POLLOCK CATCHER CRAIG FIRST BASE FAULKNER SECOND BASE SLOAN PITCHING IN A PINCH
THIRD BASE THATCHER, By Everett Scott
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
Jerry Todd and Poppy Ott Series
BY LEO EDWARDS
Durably Bound. Illustrated. Individual Colored Wrappers. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
Hundreds of thousands of boys who laughed until their sides ached over the weird and wonderful adventures of Jerry Todd and his gang demanded that Leo Edwards, the author, give them more books like the Jerry Todd stories with their belt-bursting laughs and creepy shivers. So he took Poppy Ott, Jerry Todd's bosom chum and created the Poppy Ott Series, and if such a thing could be possible—they are even more full of fun and excitement than the Jerry Todds.
THE POPPY OTT SERIES
POPPY OTT AND THE STUTTERING PARROT POPPY OTT AND THE SEVEN LEAGUE STILTS POPPY OTT AND THE GALLOPING SNAIL POPPY OTT'S PEDIGREED PICKLES
THE JERRY TODD BOOKS
JERRY TODD AND THE WHISPERING MUMMY JERRY TODD AND THE ROSE-COLORED CAT JERRY TODD AND THE OAK ISLAND TREASURE JERRY TODD AND THE WALTZING HEN JERRY TODD AND THE TALKING FROG JERRY TODD AND THE PURRING EGG JERRY TODD IN THE WHISPERING CAVE
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
THE TOM SLADE BOOKS
By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH
Author of "Roy Blakeley," "Pee-wee Harris," "Westy Martin," Etc.
Illustrated. Individual Picture Wrappers in Colors. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
"Let your boy grow up with Tom Slade," is a suggestion which thousands of parents have followed during the past, with the result that the TOM SLADE BOOKS are the most popular boys' books published today. They take Tom Slade through a series of typical boy adventures through his tenderfoot days as a scout, through his gallant days as an American doughboy in France, back to his old patrol and the old camp ground at Black Lake, and so on.
TOM SLADE, BOY SCOUT TOM SLADE AT TEMPLE CAMP TOM SLADE ON THE RIVER TOM SLADE WITH THE COLORS TOM SLADE ON A TRANSPORT TOM SLADE WITH THE BOYS OVER THERE TOM SLADE, MOTORCYCLE DISPATCH BEARER TOM SLADE WITH THE FLYING CORPS TOM SLADE AT BLACK LAKE TOM SLADE ON MYSTERY TRAIL TOM SLADE'S DOUBLE DARE TOM SLADE ON OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN TOM SLADE PICKS A WINNER TOM SLADE AT BEAR MOUNTAIN TOM SLADE: FOREST RANGER TOM SLADE IN THE NORTH WOODS
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
THE ROY BLAKELEY BOOKS
By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH
Author of "Tom Slade," "Pee-wee Harris," "Westy Martin," Etc.
Illustrated. Picture Wrappers in Color. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
In the character and adventures of Roy Blakeley are typified the very essence of Boy life. He is a real boy, as real as Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. He is the moving spirit of the troop of Scouts of which he is a member, and the average boy has to go only a little way in the first book before Roy is the best friend he ever had, and he is willing to part with his best treasure to get the next book in the series.
ROY BLAKELEY ROY BLAKELEY'S ADVENTURES IN CAMP ROY BLAKELEY, PATHFINDER ROY BLAKELEY'S CAMP ON WHEELS ROY BLAKELEY'S SILVER FOX PATROL ROY BLAKELEY'S MOTOR CARAVAN ROY BLAKELEY, LOST, STRAYED OR STOLEN ROY BLAKELEY'S BEE-LINE HIKE ROY BLAKELEY AT THE HAUNTED CAMP ROY BLAKELEY'S FUNNY BONE HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S TANGLED TRAIL ROY BLAKELEY ON THE MOHAWK TRAIL ROY BLAKELEY'S ELASTIC HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S ROUNDABOUT HIKE
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK
THE PEE-WEE HARRIS BOOKS
By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH
Author of "Tom Slade," "Roy Blakeley," "Westy Martin," Etc.
Illustrated. Individual Picture Wrappers in Color. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
All readers of the Tom Slade and the Roy Blakeley books are acquainted with Pee-wee Harris. These stories record the true facts concerning his size (what there is of it) and his heroism (such as it is), his voice, his clothes, his appetite, his friends, his enemies, his victims. Together with the thrilling narrative of how he foiled, baffled, circumvented and triumphed over everything and everybody (except where he failed) and how even when he failed he succeeded. The whole recorded in a series of screams and told with neither muffler nor cut-out.
PEE-WEE HARRIS PEE-WEE HARRIS ON THE TRAIL PEE-WEE HARRIS IN CAMP PEE-WEE HARRIS IN LUCK PEE-WEE HARRIS ADRIFT PEE-WEE HARRIS F. O. B. BRIDGEBORO PEE-WEE HARRIS FIXER PEE-WEE HARRIS: AS GOOD AS HIS WORD PEE-WEE HARRIS: MAYOR FOR A DAY PEE-WEE HARRIS AND THE SUNKEN TREASURE
GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK