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Joe The Hotel Boy by Horatio Alger Jr.

Part 4 out of 4

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"Did you learn anything about his family?"

"He had lost his wife and two children by disease. What had
happened to the other child was something of a mystery. I rather
supposed it had died while away from home, but I was not sure."

"Have you any idea at all what became of William Bodley?"

"Not exactly. Once I met a man in Pittsburg who had met a man of
that name in Idaho, among the mines. Both of us wondered if that
William A. Bodley was the same that I had bought my farm from."

"Did he say what part of Idaho?"

"He did, but I have forgotten now. Do you think he was a
relative of yours?"

"I don't know what to think. It may be that he was my father.

"Your father?"

"Yes," and Joe told his story and mentioned the documents found
in the blue tin box.

"It does look as if he might be your father," said Augustus
Greggs. "Maybe you're the child that was away from home at the
time his other children and his wife died."

"Do you think anybody else in this village would know anything
more about this William Bodley?"

"No, I don't. But it won't do any harm to ask around. That
stage driver knows all the old inhabitants. Perhaps some of them
can tell you something worth while."

Upon urgent invitation, Joe took dinner at the Greggs' farm and
then set out to visit a number of folks who had lived in
Millville and vicinity for many years. All remembered William A.
Bodley and his family, but not one could tell what had become of
the man after he had sold out and gone away.

"Maybe you had better advertise for him," suggested one man.

"It will cost a good deal to advertise all over the United
States," replied Joe; "and for all I know he may be dead or out
of the country."

Joe remained in Millville two days and then took the train back
to the East. Ned was the first to greet him on his return to

"What luck?" he asked, anxiously.

"None whatever," was the sober answer.

"Oh, Joe, that's too bad!"

"I am afraid I am stumped, Ned."

They walked to the Talmadge mansion, and that evening talked the
matter over with Ned's father.

"I will arrange to have an advertisement inserted in a leading
paper of each of our big cities," said Mr. Talmadge. "That will
cost something, but not a fortune."

"You must let me pay for it," said our hero.

"No, Joe, you can put this down to Ned's credit--you two are such
good chums," and Mr. Talmadge smiled quietly.

The advertisements were sent out the following day, through an
advertising agent, and all waited for over two weeks for some
reply, but none came.

"It's no use," said Joe, and it must be admitted that he was much

In the meantime he had seen Andrew Mallison and the hotel man
said he would willingly hire him for the summer as soon as the
season opened, and also give Frank Randolph a situation.

"You had better be my guest until that time," said Ned to our
hero, when he heard of this.

"Thank you, Ned, but I don't wish to remain idle so long."

The very next mail after this talk brought news for our hero. A
letter came from Maurice Vane, asking him if he wished to go to

"I am now certain that that mine is valuable," wrote the
gentleman. "I am going to start West next Monday. If you wish
to go with me I will pay your fare and allow you a salary of ten
dollars per week to start on. I think later on, I will have a
good opening for you."

"That settles it, I am going West!" cried Joe, as he showed the
letter to his chum.

"Well, I don't blame you," was the reply. "I know just how nice
it is out there. You'll be sure to get along."

Before going to bed Joe wired his acceptance of the offer, and in
the morning received a telegram from Maurice Vane, asking him to
go to Chicago, to the Palmer House.

"That settles it, I'm off," said our hero, and bought a ticket
for the great city by the lakes without delay. Then he said
good-bye to the Talmadges and the Gussings, and boarded the train
at sundown.

Joe was now getting used to traveling and no longer felt green
and out of place. He had engaged a berth, and took his ease
until it was time to go to bed. Arriving at Chicago he made his
way without delay to the Palmer House.

He found the hotel crowded and had some difficulty in getting a
room. Mr. Maurice Vane had not yet arrived.

"I guess I'll leave a note for him," thought our hero, and
sauntered into the reading-room to pen the communication.

While Joe was writing, two men came into the room and sat down
behind a pillar that was close at hand. They were in earnest
conversation and he could not help but catch what was said.

"You say he is coming West?" said one of the pair.

"Yes,--he started yesterday."

"And he has found out that the mine is really valuable?"

"I think so. Anyway he is quite excited about it. He sent a
telegram to that boy, too."

"The hotel boy you mean?"


So the talk ran on and Joe at length got up to take a look at the
two men. They were Gaff Caven and Pat Malone. At once our hero
drew out of sight again.

"How can you get the best of Vane, Gaff?" asked Malone, after a

"There is but one way, Malone."

"And that is?"

"Can I trust you?"

"Haven't you trusted me before?"

"We must--" Caven paused. "We won't talk about it in this public
place. Come to my room and I'll lay my plan before you."

Then the two arose and left the reading-room as rapidly as they
had entered it.



"They certainly mean mischief," Joe told himself, after the two
men had vanished. He saw them enter an elevator, but did not
know at what floor they alighted.

Looking over the hotel register he was unable to find the names
of either Caven or Malone, or even Ball. Evidently the rascals
were traveling under other names now.

"They'll bear watching," he concluded. "I must put Mr. Vane on
guard as soon as he comes in."

He gave up the idea of leaving a note and took his station in the
corridor of the hotel. After waiting about two hours he saw a
well-known form approaching, dress-suit case in hand.

"Mr. Vane!"

"Oh, Joe, so you're here already! I'm glad I won't have to wait
for you."

"I'm afraid you won't be able to get a room, Mr. Vane. But you
can have mine."

"I telegraphed ahead for a room, Joe."

"Do you know that your enemies are here?" went on our hero.

"My enemies?"

"Gaff Caven and Pat Malone. But they are traveling under other

"Have they seen you?"

"I think not, sir."

Mr. Vane soon had his room assigned to him and he and our hero
passed up in the elevator. As soon as they were in the apartment
by themselves, Joe related what he had seen and heard.

"They are certainly on my trail," mused Maurice Vane. "And they
must have kept pretty close or they wouldn't know that I had
asked you to accompany me."

"They have some plot, Mr. Vane."

"Have you any idea what it is?"

"No, sir, excepting that they are going to try to do you out of
your interest in that mine."

Maurice Vane and Joe talked the matter over for an hour, but
without satisfaction. Then they went to the dining room for
something to eat.

"We start for Montana in the morning," said the gentleman. "I
think the quicker I get on the ground the better it will be for

Although Maurice Vane and Joe did not know it, both were shadowed
by Caven and Malone. The two rascals had disguised themselves by
donning false beards and putting on spectacles.

"They leave in the morning," said Caven. "Malone, we must get
tickets for the same train, and, if possible, the same sleeping

"It's dangerous work," grumbled Pat Malone.

"If you want to back out, say so, and I'll go it alone."

"I don't want to back out. But we must be careful."

"I'll be careful, don't fear," answered the leader of the evil

At the ticket office of the hotel, Maurice Vane procured the
necessary tickets and sleeper accommodations to the town of
Golden Pass, Idaho. He did not notice that he was watched. A
moment later Gaff Caven stepped up to the desk.

"I want a couple of tickets to Golden Pass, too," he said,

"Yes, sir."

"Let me see, what sleeper did that other gentleman take?"

"Number 2, sir--berths 7 and 8."

"Then give me 9 and 10 or 5 and 6," went on Caven.

"9 and 10--here you are, sir," said the clerk, and made out the
berth checks. Without delay Caven hurried away, followed by

"We'll be in the sleeping compartment right next to that used by
Vane and the boy," chuckled Gaff Caven. "Pat, it ought to be
dead easy."

"Have you the chloroform?"

"Yes, twice as much as we'll need."

"When can we leave the train?"

"At three o'clock, at a town called Snapwood. We can get another
train two hours later,--on the northern route."

All unconscious of being watched so closely, Maurice Vane and Joe
rode to the depot and boarded the train when it came along. Joe
had been looking for Caven and Malone, but without success.

"I cannot see those men anywhere," he said.

"They are probably in hiding," said his employer.

The train was only half full and for the time being Caven and
Malone kept themselves either in the smoking compartment or in
the dining car. It was dark when they took their seats, and soon
the porter came through to make up the berths for the night.

"I must confess I am rather sleepy," said Maurice Vane.

"So am I," returned our hero. "I am sure I can sleep like a top,
no matter how much the car shakes."

"Then both of us may as well go to bed at once."

So it was arranged, and they had the porter put up their berths a
few minutes later. Maurice Vane took the lower resting place
while our hero climbed to the top.

Although very tired it was some time before Joe could get to
sleep. He heard Maurice Vane breathing heavily and knew that his
employer must be fast in the land of dreams.

When Joe awoke it was with a peculiar, dizzy feeling in his head.

His eyes pained him not a little and for several minutes he could
not remember where he was. Then came a faint recollection of
having tried to arise during the night but of being held down.

"I must have been dreaming," he thought. "But it was exactly as
if somebody was keeping me down and holding something over my
mouth and nose."

He stretched himself and then pushed aside the berth curtain and
gazed out into the aisle of the car. The porter was already at
work, turning some of the berths into seats once more. Joe saw
that it was daylight and consulted the nickel watch he carried.

"Eight o'clock!" he exclaimed. "I've overslept myself sure! Mr.
Vane must be up long ago."

He slipped into his clothing and then knocked on the lower berth.

He heard a deep sigh.

"Mr. Vane!"

"Eh? Oh, Joe, is that you? What time is it?"

"Eight o'clock."

"What!" Maurice Vane started up. "I've certainly slept fast
enough this trip. Are you getting hungry waiting for me?"

"I just woke up myself."

"Oh!" Maurice Vane stretched himself. "My, how dizzy I am."

"I am dizzy too, sir. It must be from the motion of the car."

"Probably, although I rarely feel so, and I ride a great deal. I
feel rather sick at my stomach, too," went on the gentleman, as
he began to dress.

Joe had just started to go to the lavatory to wash up when he
heard his employer utter an exclamation.


"Yes, sir!"

"Did you see anything of my satchel?"

"You took it into the berth with you."

"I don't see it."

"It must be somewhere around. I saw it when you went to bed."

"Yes, I put it under my pillow."

Both made a hasty search, but the satchel could not be found.
The dress-suit case stood under the seat and Joe's was beside

"This is strange. Can I have been robbed?"

"Was there much in that satchel, Mr. Vane?"

"Yes, those mining shares and some other articles of value."

"Then we must find the satchel by all means."

"I'll question the porter about this."

The colored man was called and questioned, but he denied having
seen the bag. By this time quite a few passengers became

"Has anybody left this car?" asked Maurice Vane.

"The gen'men that occupied Numbers 9 and 10, sah," said the

"When did they get off?"

" 'Bout three o'clock, sah--when de train stopped at Snapwood."

"I haven't any tickets for Snapwood," said the conductor, who had
appeared on the scene.

"Then they must have had tickets for some other point," said Joe.

"That looks black for them."

The porter was asked to describe the two men and did so, to the
best of his ability. Then another search was made, and in a
corner, under a seat, a bottle was found, half filled with

"It's as plain as day to me," said Maurice Vane. "Joe, I was

"Perhaps I was, too. That's what gave us the dizzy feeling."

"And those two men--"

"Must have been Caven and Malone in disguise," finished our hero.



"Who are Caven and Malone?" asked the conductor of the train,
while a number of passengers gathered around, to hear what
Maurice Vane and our hero might have to say.

"They are two rascals who are trying to do me out of my share of
a mine," explained Maurice Vane. "I had my mining shares in that

"If you wish I'll telegraph back to Snapwood for you," went on
the train official.

"How many miles is that?"

"A little over two hundred."

"What is the next stop of this train?"


"When will we get there?"

"In ten minutes."

A telegram was prepared and sent back to Snapwood as soon as
Leadington was reached. The train was held for five minutes and
it was learned that nobody had been seen at the station there at
three in the morning, as the night operator and station master
were away, there being no passengers to get on the train bound

Maurice Vane was much disturbed and did not know what to do.

"To go back and look for them at Snapwood may be a mere waste of
time," said he. "On the other hand, I don't feel much like going
on while the shares are out of my possession."

"If you wish it, Mr. Vane, I'll go back," said Joe. "You can go
ahead, and if anything turns up I will telegraph to you."

This pleased the gentleman, and he said Joe could go back on the
very next train. The conductor was again consulted, and our hero
left the train bound West a quarter of an hour later.

"Here is some money," said Maurice Vane on parting. "You'll need
it." And he handed over two hundred dollars.

"Oh, Mr. Vane! will I need as much as this?"

"Perhaps. If you see those rascals you may have a long chase to
capture them. Do not hesitate to spend the money if it appears
necessary to do so."

Long before noon our hero was on the way East on a train
scheduled to stop at Snapwood. He went without his dress-suit
case and carried his money in four different pockets.

The train was almost empty and the riding proved decidedly
lonely. In a seat he found an Omaha paper, but he was in no
humor for reading. When noon came he took his time eating his
dinner, so that the afternoon's ride might not appear so lasting.

About half-past two o'clock the train came to an unexpected halt.

Looking out of the window Joe saw that they were in something of
a cut, close to the edge of a woods.

The delay continued, and presently one passenger after another
alighted, to learn the meaning of the hold-up. Joe did likewise,
and walked through the cut toward the locomotive.

The mystery was easily explained. On one side of the cut the
bank had toppled over the tracks, carrying with it two trees of
good size. A number of train hands were already at work, sawing
the trees into pieces, so that they might be shifted clear of the

Joe watched the men laboring for a few minutes and then walked up
the bank, to get a look at the surroundings. Then he heard a
whistle and saw a train approaching from the opposite direction.
It came to a halt a few hundred feet away.

As the delay continued our hero walked along the bank of the cut
and up to the newly-arrived train. The latter was crowded with
passengers, some of whom also got out.

"Did that train stop at Snapwood?" he asked of one of the

"It did," was the answer.

"Did you see anybody get on?"

"No, but somebody might have gotten on. I wasn't looking."

"Thank you."

"Looking for a friend?"

"No," said Joe, and moved on.

Without delay our hero ran to the front end of the newly-arrived
train and got aboard. As he walked through he gave every grown
passenger a close look.

At the end of the third car he came upon two suspicious-looking
individuals, who were gazing at a bit of paper in the hands of
one. Joe came closer and saw that the paper was a mining share.

"Caven and Malone, as sure as fate!" he murmured to himself.
"What had I best do next?"

While Joe was trying to make up his mind, Caven chanced to glance
up and his eyes fell upon our hero. He gave a cry of dismay and
thrust the mining share out of sight.

"What's the matter?" asked Malone in a low tone.

"Look there, Pat! That boy!"


"But it is!"

"How did he get on this train?"

"I don't know. But it's unpleasant enough for us."

"Do you suppose Vane is around?" asked Malone, nervously.

"He may be."

The two men stared around the car. Only some women and children
were present, the men having gone out to learn the cause of the

"Perhaps we had better get out," went on Malone.

"All right"

They arose, and, satchel in hand, started to leave the train.

"Stop!" cried Joe, and caught Caven by the arm.

"Let go of me, boy!" ejaculated the rascal, and tried to pull
himself loose.

"I won't let go, Gaff Caven."

"If you don't, it will be the worse for you! I am not to be
trifled with!"

"You must give up that satchel."


"If you don't, I'm going to have you arrested."

"Who is going to arrest me here?" sneered the man who had robbed
Maurice Vane. "Don't you know we are miles away from any town?"

"I don't care. Give up the satchel, or I'll call the train

"I'll give up nothing, boy! Stand out of my way!"

Gaff Caven gave Joe a violent shove which sent our hero up
against a seat. Then he turned and ran from the car, with Pat
Malone ahead of him.

"Stop them!" cried Joe, as soon as he could recover. "Stop the

Others took up the cry, but before anything could be done Caven
and Malone were out of the car and on to the tracks. Both stared
around in perplexity for a second.

"Come on, we can't afford to waste time here!" cried Caven, and
ran for the bank of the cut, up which he scrambled hastily, with
his confederate at his side.

Joe saw them make the move and was not slow to follow. Near at
hand was a tall, western young man, with bronzed features and a
general outdoor manner.

"Say!" cried our hero. "Will you help me to catch those two men?
They are thieves and I want them arrested. If you'll help me
catch them I'll pay you well for your trouble."

"I'll go you, stranger!" answered the western young man, readily.
"You are certain of your game?"

"Yes. That satchel has their plunder in it. They robbed a friend
of mine."

"This suits me then, friend. We'll round 'em up in short order."

By this time Caven and Malone had gained the woods. Looking back
they saw Joe coming behind, accompanied by the westerner.

"He's after us, and he has got somebody to help him," ejaculated

"Well, I reckon we can run as fast as they can," answered Gaff
Caven. "Come ahead!"

He led the way along a trail that ran through the woods and came
out on a winding country road. Beyond was another patch of

"This way, Pat," said he. "We'll have to take to the woods
again. They are too close for comfort."

"Can't we climb a tree, or hide in a hollow?" questioned the

"We'll see," said Caven.

They pushed on harder than ever, and passed in among some tall
trees. Then they came to a tree that was bent over.

"Up you go," cried Caven, and gave his confederate a boost into
the tree. Then he hauled himself up.

"Now climb to the top," he went on, and Malone did as requested.
Caven followed suit, and both hid themselves among the thick

"They won't find us here," said Malone, after ten minutes had

"Don't make a noise," whispered Caven.

After that they remained silent. From a great distance came a
shouting, and the whistling of locomotives. The trees were being
hauled from the car tracks. A little later they heard more
whistling and then the two trains passed on their way.

"The trains have gone," whispered Malone. "Do you think the boy
got aboard one of them?"

"No, I don't," answered his companion. "He is too determined a
lad to give up so easily. He must be still looking for us."



Caven was right, Joe and his newly-made friend were still in the
woods, doing their best to locate the two rascals.

They had found the trail but lost it in the patch of tall timber,
and were gazing around when they heard the trains leaving the

"There goes our outfit, friend," said the westerner. "And there
won't be another train along for several hours."

"It's too bad, but it can't be helped," answered our hero. "But
I'll pay you for all time lost, Mr.--"

"Plain Bill Badger is my handle, stranger."

"My name is Joe Bodley."

"What about these two varmin you are after?"

"They were trying to rob a friend of mine of some mining shares,"
answered Joe, and gave a few details.

"Well, I vow!" cried Bill Badger "That mine is close to one my
dad owns. They say it ain't of much account though."

"Mr. Vane thinks it is valuable. He has had a mining expert go
into the matter with great care."

"Then that's a different thing. Were you bound for the mine?"

"Yes, and so was Mr. Vane. We were on the train together when he
was robbed."

"I see. I was going out to my dad's mine."

"Then perhaps we can journey together--after we get through
here," said Joe.

"I'm willing. I like your looks. Shake." And the pair shook

Although a westerner, Bill Badger knew no more about following a
trail than did our hero, consequently they proceeded on their
hunt with difficulty.

"Reckon we've missed 'em," said Bill Badger, a while later.
"Don't see hide nor hair of 'em anywhere."

"It's too bad if they got away," answered Joe. "Perhaps--What
was that?"

The cracking of a tree limb had reached their ears, followed by a
cry of alarm. A limb upon which Pat Malone was standing had
broken, causing the fellow to slip to another branch below.

"Hush! don't make so much noise!" said Caven, in alarm.

"Gosh! I thought I was going to tumble, out of the tree to the
ground," gasped Malone, when he could catch his breath.

"They are coming--I can see them," whispered Gaff Caven. "Be as
quiet as a mouse."

In a moment more Joe and Bill Badger stood directly under the

"I think the noise came from near here," said Joe.

"I agree," answered the westerner.

At that moment our hero looked up and saw a man's arm circling a
tree limb far over his head.

"They are up there!" he shouted.


"Yes, I just saw one of them."

"Then we've got 'em treed," came with a broad grin from Bill
Badger. "What's the next turn of the game?"

"We have got to make them both prisoners."

"All right. Have you got a shooting iron?"

"No, but I can get a club."

"Then do it, and I'll use this, if it's necessary," and the young
westerner pulled a pistol from his hip pocket.

"I wish we had some ropes, with which to tie them," continued

"Here's a good big handkerchief."

"That's an idea. My handkerchief is also good and strong."

"You do the pow-wowing and I'll do the shooting, if it's
necessary," said Bill Badger.

Joe looked up into the tree again but could see nobody.

"Caven!" he called out. "I know you are up there and I want you
to come down."

To this remark and request there was no reply.

"If you don't come down we may begin to fire at you," went on our

"Oh, say, do you think he'll shoot?" whispered Malone, in sudden

"No; shut up!" returned Caven.

"Are you coming down or not?" went on Joe.

Still there was no reply.

"I'll give 'em a shot to warn 'em" said Bill Badger, and fired
into the air at random.

"Don't shoot me!" roared Pat Malone. "Please don't! I'll come

"Well, you come down first. Caven, you stay up there for the

After this there was a pause, and presently Pat Malone came down
out of the tree looking sheepish enough.

"Up with your hands!" cried Bill Badger, and confronted by the
firearms the hands of the rascal went up in a hurry.

Then Joe took his handkerchief and stepped up behind Malone. The
hands were lowered and crossed and our hero tied them firmly
together at the wrists.

"Now back up to that tree yonder," said our hero. "And don't you
dare to move."

"I'll do just as you say," whined Malone. "Only don't shoot me."
He was a coward at heart.

"Now, Caven, you come down!" shouted Joe.

"I don't think I care to," answered that rascal, coolly.

"If you don't come down I'll come up after you with my pistol,"
broke in Bill Badger.

"Maybe I can do a little shooting myself," went on Gaff Caven.

"I'll risk that."

More words followed, but in the end Caven thought it best to
descend and did so. Yet his face still wore a look of defiance.
He was compelled to turn around, and his hands were also tied
behind him.

"Now I want those mining shares, Caven," said Joe.

"I haven't got them."

"Where is the satchel?"

"I threw it away when you started after me."

"Down at the railroad tracks?"


"Don't you believe that," broke in Bill Badger. "At least, not
unless he emptied the satchel first."

"Show me the way you came," said Joe.

"Make him point out the satchel, or make him suffer," went on
Bill Badger.

"I've got an idea!" cried our hero, suddenly. "Perhaps he left
the satchel in the tree."

"That's so. Well, if you want to climb up and look around, I'll
watch the pair of 'em."

"Don't let them get away."

"If they try it, they'll go to the hospital or the graveyard,"
replied the western young man, significantly.

"The satchel ain't in the tree," growled Caven, but his tone
lacked positiveness.

"I'll soon know for certain," said our hero.

He climbed the tree with ease, having been used to such doings
when living with the old hermit. As he went from branch to
branch he kept his eyes open, and presently saw a bit of leather
sticking out of a crotch. He worked his way over and soon had
the satchel in his possession.

"How are you making out?" called up Bill Badger.

"I've got it!" shouted our hero, joyfully.

"Got the papers?"

"Yes,--everything," said Joe, after a hasty examination.

"Hang the luck!" muttered Gaff Caven, much chagrined.

Our hero was soon on the ground once more. Here he examined the
contents of the satchel with care. Everything was there, and,
locking the bag, he slung the strap over his shoulder.

"Now, what's the next move?" queried Bill Badger.

"We ought to have these men locked up. How far is it to the
nearest town?"

"Ten or twelve miles, I reckon. I don't know much about the

"Why can't you let us go?" asked Malone. "You've got what you

"If I let you go you'll be trying to make more trouble for Mr.
Vane and myself."

"Don't talk to them," growled Caven. "If you want to lock us up,
do so!"

He was in an ugly humor and ready for a fight.

"We'll march 'em along," said Bill Badger, and so it was agreed.



"Are you going to let them arrest us?" whispered Pat Malone, as
the whole party moved through the woods towards a wagon road
which ran nearly parallel to the railroad tracks.

"Not if I can help it," Caven whispered back. "We must watch our

Half a mile was covered and they came out on the road. It was
growing dark and there were signs of a storm in the air.

"It's going to rain," said Joe, and he was right.

"See here, I don't want to get wet to the skin," growled Caven.
"I'll catch my death of cold."

"There is a barn just ahead," said Bill Badger. "Let us get

Joe was willing, and soon all were in the barn. It was now
raining at a heavy rate and they were glad to be under shelter.

"With a barn there ought to be a house," remarked our hero. "But
I don't see any."

It grew still darker, and the rain came down in perfect sheets.
The roof of the barn leaked, and they had to move from one spot
to another, to keep out of the drippings.

While this was going on Gaff Caven was working at the
handkerchief that bound his wrists and soon had it loose. Pat
Malone also liberated himself. Caven winked suggestively at his

"Watch me," he whispered. "When I give the signal we'll knock
'em both down and run for it."

"But the pistol--" began Malone.

"I'll take care of that."

In moving around the old barn Caven spotted a club and moved
close to it. Suddenly he snatched the weapon up and hit Bill
Badger on the arm with it. The pistol flew into a corner and
went off, sending a bullet into a board.

"Run!" yelled Caven, and leaped for the open doorway. Malone
came beside him, and both ran off through the rain as fast as
their legs could carry them.

Joe was startled and made after the pair. But at a groan from
Bill Badger he paused.

"Are you badly hurt?" he asked.

"He gave me a stiff crack on the arm," growled the young

Joe ran for the corner and caught up the pistol. Then he leaped
for the open doorway.

"Stop, both of you!" he called out. "Stop, or I'll fire!"

"Don't you dare!" shrieked Pat Malone, and ran faster than ever,
behind the nearest of the trees. Joe aimed the weapon, but
before he could pull the trigger both of the bad men were out of

"Go after them, if you want to," said Bill Badger. "I'll go

"You are not badly hurt?" queried our hero, sympathetically.

"No, but if I catch that fellow I'll give it to him good,"
grumbled the young westerner.

Both now left the barn and made after Caven and Malone. Once
they caught sight of the rascals, moving in the direction of the
railroad tracks.

"They are going to catch a train if they can!" cried our hero.
"I hear one coming."

"It's a freight most likely," was Bill Badger's answer.

He was right, and soon the long line of freight cars hove into
sight around a bend and on an upgrade. Far in the distance they
beheld Caven and Malone scooting for the train with all speed.

"They are going to make it," sighed Joe. "Too bad!"

They continued to run, but before they could get anywhere near
the tracks they saw Caven leap for the train and get between two
of the cars. Then Malone got aboard also, and the freight train
passed out of sight through the cut.

"That ends the chase," said Joe, halting. "They were slick to get

"If we only knew where they would get off we could send word
ahead," suggested his companion.

"Well, we don't know, and after this they will probably keep
their eyes wide open and keep out of sight as much as possible.
Anyway, I don't think they'll bother Mr. Vane any more."

"It's not likely. I'm a witness to what they were up to,"
answered the young westerner.

Both Joe and Bill Badger were soaked from the rain and resolved
to strike out for the nearest farmhouse or village. They kept
along the railroad tracks, and presently came to a shanty where
there was a track-walker.

"How far to the nearest village?" asked our hero.

"Half a mile."

"Thank you."

"How is it you are out here in the rain?" went on the

"We got off our train and it went off without us."

"Oh, I see. Too bad."

Again our hero and his companion hurried on, and soon came in
sight of a small village. They inquired their way to a tavern,
and there dried their clothing and procured a good, hot meal,
which made both feel much better.

"I am going to send a telegram to Mr. Vane," said Joe, and did so
without further delay. He was careful of the satchel and did not
leave it out of his sight.

They found they could get a train for the West that evening at
seven o'clock and at the proper time hurried to the depot.

"I'm glad I met you," said Joe, to his newly-made friend. "Now,
what do you think I owe you for what you did?"

"As we didn't land the fellows in jail you don't owe me
anything," said Bill Badger, promptly.

"Oh, yes, I do."

"Well then, you can pay the extra expense, and let that fill the

"I'll certainly do that," said Joe, promptly.

As they rode along Bill Badger told something of himself and of
the mine his father owned, and then Joe told something of his own

"Did you say your name is Joe Bodley?" asked the young westerner,
with deep interest.


"And you are looking for a man by the name of William A. Bodley?"

"I am."

"It seems to me I know a man by that name, although the miners
all call him Bill Bodley."

"Where is this Bill Bodley?"

"Out in Montana somewhere. He worked for my father once, about
three years ago. He was rather a strange man, about fifty years
old. He had white hair and a white beard, and acted as if he had
great trouble on his mind."

"You do not know where he is now?"

"No, but perhaps my father knows."

"Then I'm going to see your father as soon as I can," said Joe,

"Mind you, I don't say that this Bill Bodley is the man you are
after, Joe. I don't want to raise any false hopes."

"Did you ever hear where the man came from?"

"I think he told somebody that he once owned a farm in Kansas or

"This William A. Bodley once owned a farm at Millville, Iowa."

"Is that so! Then he may be the same man after all. To tell the
truth, he looked a little bit like you."

"Was he a good man?" asked Joe, eagerly.

"Yes, indeed. But some of the men poked fun at him because he
was so silent and strange at times. I liked him and so did
father. He left us to go prospecting in the mountains."

Thus the talk ran on for half an hour, when the train came to a
sudden halt.

"Are we at a station?" asked Bill Badger.

"I don't know," said Joe.

Both looked out of the window but could see nothing except hills
and forests.

"We are in the foothills," said the young westerner. "Something
must be wrong on the tracks."

"More fallen trees perhaps."

"Or a landslide. They have them sometimes, when it rains as hard
as it did to-day."

They left the car with some others and soon learned that there
had been a freight collision ahead and that half a dozen freight
cars had been smashed to splinters.

"Do you think it can be the freight that Caven and Malone
boarded?" came from our hero, on hearing this news.

"It might be," answered Bill Badger. "Let us take a look. Our
train won't move for hours now."

They walked to the scene of the wreck. One of the cars had been
burnt up but the conflagration was now under control and a
wrecking crew was already at work clearing the tracks so that
they might be used.

"Anybody hurt?" asked Joe of a train hand.

"Yes, two men killed. They were riding between the cars."


"They didn't look like tramps. But they hadn't any right to ride
on the freight."

"Where are they?"

"Over in the shanty yonder."

With a queer sensation in his heart Joe walked to the little
building, accompanied by Bill Badger. A curious crowd was around
and they had to force their way to the front.

One look was enough. Gaff Caven and Pat Malone lay there, cold
in death. They had paid the penalty of their crimes on earth and
gone to the final judgment.



"Let us go away!" whispered Joe, and moved out of the gathering
without delay.

"It was sure rough on 'em," was Bill Badger's comment.

"Oh, it was awful!" cried our hero. "I--I didn't expect this, did

"Nobody did. It must have come sudden like on to 'em."

"It makes me sick at heart to think of it. I--I hope it wasn't
our fault."

"Not at all. If they hadn't broke away they'd be alive this
minute. They'll never bother you or your friend again, Joe."

Our hero felt weak at the knees and was glad enough to go back to
the train, where he sank into his seat. He scarcely said another
word until the wreck was cleared away and they were once more on
their journey.

"I reckon you are glad you got the satchel before this happened,"
remarked Bill Badger, when they were preparing to retire.

"Yes. But I--I wish they had gotten away. It's awful to think
they are dead--and with such bad doings to their credit."

Joe did not sleep very well and he was up early in the morning
and out on the rear platform, drinking in the fresh air. He felt
as if he had passed through some fearful nightmare.

"How do you like this climate?" asked Bill Badger, as he came
out. "Ain't it just glorious?"

"It certainly is," said Joe, and he remembered what Ned had told
him. "I don't wonder some folks like it better than the East."

"Oh, the East can't compare to it," answered Bill Badger. "Why I
was once down to New York and Boston, and the crowd and confusion
and smoke and smells made me sick for a week! Give me the pure
mountain air every time!"

The day proved a pleasant one and when he did not remember the
tragedy that had occurred our hero enjoyed the ride and the wild

At last Golden Pass was reached, late at night, and they got off
in a crowd of people.


"Mr. Vane!" was the answering cry, and soon the two were shaking
hands. "Let me introduce a new friend, Mr. Bill Badger."

"Glad to know you."

"Mr. Badger helped me get back your satchel," went on our hero.

"Then I am deeply indebted to him."

"In that case, just drop the mister from my name," drawled the
young westerner. "Joe tells me you have a mine up here. My
father has one, too--the Mary Jennie, next to the Royal Flush."

"Oh, yes, I know the mine, and I have met your father," said
Maurice Vane.

They walked to a hotel, and there Joe and his young western
friend told their stories, to which Maurice Vane listened with
keen interest. The gentleman was shocked to learn of the sudden
death of Caven and Malone.

"It was certainly a sad ending for them," said he. "But, as
Badger says, they had nobody but themselves to blame for it."

Maurice Vane was extremely glad to get back his mining shares and
thanked Bill Badger warmly for what he had done.

"Don't you mention it," said the young westerner. "I'm going to
hunt up dad now. When you get time, call and see us."

"I'm coming up soon, to find out about that Bill Bodley," said

As late as it was Joe listened to what Maurice Vane had to tell.

"Now that Caven and Malone are gone I do not anticipate further
trouble at the mine," said the gentleman. "I am in practical
possession of all the shares, and shall have a clear title to the
whole property inside of a few weeks."

When Joe told him what Bill Badger had had to say about a certain
man called Bill Bodley he was much interested.

"Yes, you must find out about this man at once," said he. "I
will help you, as soon as certain matters are settled."

The next morning proved a busy one and Joe got no time to call
upon Bill Badger's father. He visited the mine and looked over
it with interest.

During the middle of the afternoon he went back to town on an
errand for Mr. Vane. He was passing a cabin on the outskirts
when he heard loud words and a struggle.

"Let me go, you ruffian!" cried a weak voice. "Leave that money

"You shut up, old man!" was the answer. "The money is all right."

"You are trying to rob me!"

Then there was another struggle, and suddenly a door burst open
and a man leaped into the roadway. At sight of him Joe came to a
halt. The fellow was Bill Butts, the man who had tried to
swindle Josiah Bean.

"Stop him!" came from the cabin. "He has my gold!"

"Stop!" cried Joe, and ran up to Butts. The next moment man and
boy tripped and fell, but, luckily, our hero was on top.

"Let me go!" growled the man.

"So we meet again, Butts!" cried Joe.

The man stared in amazement and then began to struggle. Seeing
this, Joe doubled up his fists and gave him a blow in the nose
and in the right eye, which caused him to roar with pain.

"That's right!" came from the doorway of the cabin. "Give it to
him! Make him give me my gold!"

"Give up the gold," ordered Joe.

"There it is!" growled Bill Butts, and threw a buckskin bag
towards the cabin. The man from within caught it up and stowed
it away in his pocket.

"Shall I call a policeman?" asked Joe.

"I don't know," said the man from the cabin. He wore a troubled
face and had white hair and a white beard. "It may be--Wha--
where did you come from?" he gasped.

"Where did I come from?" asked Joe.

"Yes! yes! Answer me quickly! You are --you must be a ghost! I
saw you in my dreams last week!"

"I don't understand you," said Joe, and arose slowly to his feet,
at which Bill Butts did likewise and began to retreat. "I never
met you before."

"No? It's queer." The man brushed his hand over his forehead.
"Yes, I must be dreaming. But I am glad I got my gold back."

"So am I, but the rascal has run away."

"Never mind, let him go."

"What makes you think you've seen me before?" questioned Joe, and
his breath came thick and fast.

"I--er--I don't know. You mustn't mind me--I have queer spells
at times. You see, I had a whole lot of trouble once, and when I
get to thinking about it--" The man did not finish.

"May I ask your name?" asked Joe, and his voice trembled in spite
of his efforts at self-control.

"Sure you can. It's Bill Bodley."

"William A. Bodley?"

"Yes. But how do you happen to know my full name?"

"Did you once own a farm in Millville, Iowa?"

"I had a farm in Iowa, yes. It was Millville Center in those

Joe drew closer and looked at the man with care and emotion.

"Did you ever have a brother named Hiram Bodley?"

"I did--but he has been dead for years."

"No, Hiram Bodley died only a short time ago," answered Joe. "I
used to live with him. My name is Joe Bodley. He told me I was
his nephew."

"You his nephew! Hiram Bodley's nephew! We didn't have any
brothers or sisters, and he was a bachelor!"

"I know he was a bachelor. But I don't know--" Joe paused.

"He told me Joe died, at least I got a letter from somebody to
that effect. But I was near crazy just then, and I can't
remember exactly how it was. I lost my wife and two children and
then I guess I about lost my mind for a spell. I sold out, and
the next thing I knew I was roving around the mountains and in
rags. Then I took to mining, and now I've got a mine of my own,
up yonder in the mountains. Come in and talk this over."

Joe entered the cabin and sat down, and William Bodley plied him
with questions, all of which he answered to the best of his

"There was a blue tin box I had," said he, presently, "that
contained some documents that were mine."

"A blue tin box!" ejaculated Joe. "Hiram Bodley had it and it
got lost. I found it a long time afterwards and some parts of
the documents were destroyed. I have the rest in my suit case at
the hotel."

"Can I see those papers?"


"Perhaps you are my son, Joe?"

"Perhaps I am, sir."

They went to the hotel, and the documents were produced. Then
William Bodley brought out some letters he possessed. Man and
boy went over everything with care.

"You must be my son!" cried William Bodley. "Thank heaven you
are found!" And they shook hands warmly.

He told Joe to move over to the cabin, and our hero did so. It
was a neat and clean place and soon Joe felt at home. Then he
heard his father's tale in detail--an odd and wonderful story--of
great trials and hardship.

"There will always be something of a mystery about this," said
William Bodley. "But, no matter, so long as I have you with me."

"Uncle Hiram was a queer stick," answered Joe. "I suppose if he
was alive he could explain many things." And in this Joe was

Let us add a few words more and then draw our tale to a close.

When Joe told Maurice Vane how he had found a father the
gentlemen was much astonished. So were the Badgers, but all were
glad matters had ended so well.

It was found that William Bodley's mine was a valuable one. The
ore in it was about equal to the ore in the mine owned by Maurice
Vane, and this was likewise equal to that in the mine run by
Mr. Badger.

After some conversation on the subject it was agreed by all the
interested parties to form a new company, embracing all the
mines. Of the shares of this new concern, one-third went to
Maurice Vane, one-third to the Badgers, and one-third to William
Bodley and Joe. The necessary machinery was duly installed, and
to-day the new company is making money fast.

On the day after his trouble with Mr. Bodley, Bill Butts
disappeared from town. But a week later he was arrested in
Denver and sent to jail for two years for swindling a ranchman.

During the following summer Joe received a visit from his old
friend Ned, and the two boys had a delightful time together. In
the meantime Joe spent half of his time at the mine and half over
his books, for he was determined to get a good education.

For a long time William Bodley had been in feeble health, but
with the coming of Joe on the scene he began to mend rapidly, and
was soon as hale and hearty as anybody. He was an expert miner,
and was made general superintendent for the new company.

To-day Joe has a good education and is rich, but come what may,
it is not likely that he will forget those days when he was known
as "Joe the Hotel Boy."

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