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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (July 14, 1905)
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SWings of the
mlTEY looked long and steadfastly
at tlio retreating boat. Soon It
diminished to a more specie on
the smooth mm. The even
breeze kept Its eanvas hint, and the
sailor knew that no ruse was Intended.
The Dyaks were Hying from the Island
In fear and rage. 'J . ey would return
with a force sutllclent 1j lu&uro the
wreaking of their vengeance.
That he would again encounter them
nt no distant date .Ionics had no doubt
whateer. They would land In such
numbers as to render any resistance
dltllcult and a prolonged defense Im
possible. Would help come llrst? a
distracting question to which definite
answer could not lie given. The sail
or's brow frowned in deep lines; his
brain throbbed now with an anxiety
singularly at variance with Ids cool de
meanor during the tight. lie was ut
terly uncouviotis that his left arm en
circled the shoulder of the girl until
she gently disengaged herself and said
"Please, Mr. .leaks, do not be angry
with me. I could not help It. I could
not hear to see you shoot them."
Then he abruptly awoke to the real
ities of the moment.
"Come." he said, his drawn features
relaxing Into a wonderfully pleashig
smile. "We will return to our castle.
Wo are safe for the remainder of this
day, at any rate."
Something must be said or done to
reassuie her. She was still grievously
disturbed, and he naturally ascribed
her agitation to the horror of her cap
ture, lie dreaded u complete collapse
if any further alarms threatened at
once. Yet he was almost positive
though search alone would set at rest
the last misgiving that only one sum
lan had visited the Island. Evidently
the Dyaks were unprepared as he for
the events of the preceding half hou
They were either visiting the Island to
proeur turtle and beche-de-mer or had
merely culuM there en route to some
other destination, and the change in
the wind had unexpectedly compelled
them to put ashore. Heyond all doubt
they must have been surprised by the
warmth of the reception they encoun
tered. Probably when he went to Summit
rock that morning the savages had
lowered their sail and were steadily
puddling no: th against wind and cur
rent. The most careful scrutiny of the
sea would fall to reveal them beyoud
a distance of six or seven miles at the
After lauding In the hidden bay on
the south side they crossed the Islaud
through the tiees Instead of taking the
more natural open way along the
beach. Why? The fact that he and
Iris were then passing the grown ovei
tract leading to the valley of death
Instantly determined this point. The
Dyaks knew of this affrighting hollow
and woidd not approach any nearer to
It than was unavoidable. Could he
twist this circumstance to advantage
Jf Irt i.tvO 1a. t,.tv nlM stranded there
when the superstitious sea rovers next
put in an appearance? He would see.
All depended on the girl's strength. If
he gave way now; If, Instead of tak
ing Instant measures for safety, he
were called upon to nurse her through
fever, the outlook became not only
desperate, but hopeless.
And, while he bent his brows In
worrying thought, the color was re
turning to Iris' cheeks and natural
buoyancy to her step. It Is the fault
of all men to underrate the marvelous
courage and constancy of woman In
the face of dltllcultles and trials
Jenks was no exception to the rule.
"You do not ask me for any account
of my adventures," she said quietly,
after watching his perplexed expres
sion in silence for some time.
Her tone almost startled him, Its tin
assumed cheerfulness was so unlooked
"No," he answered. "I thought you
were too overwrought to talk of them
"Overwrought! Not a bit of It! I
was dead beat with the struggle and
with screaming for you, but please
don't imaglue that I am going to faint
or treat you to a display of hysteria
now that all the excitement has ended.
I admit that I cried a little when you
pushed me aside on the beach and rais
ed your gun to tire at those poor
wretches Hying for their lives. Yet
perhaps I was wrong to hinder you."
"You wero wrong," lie gravely Inter
"Then you should not have heeded
me. No, I don't mean that. You al
ways consider me llrst, don't you? No
matter what I ask you to do you en
Copyright. 1903, by
Edward J. Clode
deavor to please hie, even wfieh you
know all the time that I am acting or
The unthinking naivete of her words
sent the blood coursing wildly through
"Never mind," she went on, with
earnest simplicity. "t!od has been
very good to us. I cannot believe that
he has preserved us from so many
dangers to penult us to perish mis
erably a few hours or days before help
comes. And I do want to tell you ex
actly what happened."
"Then you shall," he answered. "But
llrst drink this." They had reached
their camping ground, and he hastened
to procure a small quantity of brandy.
She swallowed the spirit, although
she really needed no such adventitious
support, she said.
"All right," commented .Tenks. "If
you don't want a drink, I do."
"I can quite believe It," she retorted.
"Your case is very different. I knew
the men would not hurt me after the
tlrst shock of their appearance had
passed, I mean. 1 also knew that you
would save me. Hut you, Mr. .leaks,
had to do the lighting. You were called
upon to rescue precious me. Good gra
cious! No wonder you were excited."
The sailor mentally expressed his in
ability to grasp the complexities of
feminine nature, but Iris rattled on:
"I carried my tin of water to the
pitcher plant and was listening to the
greedy roots gurgling away for dear
life when suddenly four men sprang
out from among the trees and seized
my arms before I could reach my re
volver." "Thank heaven you failed!"
"You think that If I had fired at them
they would have retaliated. Yes, espe
cially If 1 had hit the chief. Hut it was
he who Instantly gave some order, and
1 suppose It meant that they were not
to hurt me. As n matter of fact, they
seemed to be quite as much astonished
as 1 was alarmed. Hut If they could
hold my hands they could not stop my
voice so readily. Oh, didn't I yell?"
"1 suppose you could not hear me
She bent to pick some leaves and bits
of dry grass from her dress. "Well,
you know," she continued rapidly, "in
such moments one cannot choose one's
words. I Just shouted the first thing
that came into my head."
"And I," he said, "picked up the first
rllle I could lay my hands on. Now,
JIIss Deane, as the affair has ended so
happily, may I venture to ask you to
remain In Tie cave until I return?"
"Oh, please" she began.
"Really, I must Insist. I would not
leave you If It were not quite Impera
tive. You cannot come with me."
Then she understood one at least of
the tasks he must perform, and she
lie thought It best to go along Turtle
beach to the cove and thenco follow
the Dyaks trail through the wood, as
this line of advance would entail prac
tically a complete circuit of the Island.
He omitted no precautions In hla ad
vance. Often he stoppod and lls'ened
Intently. Whenever he doubled a point
or passed among the trees he crept
back and peered along the way he had
come to see K any lurking foes wero
breaking shelter behind him.
The marks on the sand proved that
only one sampan had been beached.
Thence he found nothing of special In
terest until he ewne upon the chief's
gun lying close to the trees on the
north side. It was a very ornamental
weapon, a muzzle loader. The stock
was Inlaid with gold and Ivory, and
the piece had evidently been looted
from some mandarin's junk surprised
and sacked la a former foray.
The lock was smashed by the impact
of Jenks' rllle bullet, but close in
vestigation of the trigger guard and
the discovery of certain unmistakable
evidences on the beach showed that
the Dyak leader had lost two If not
three lingers of his right hand.
"So he has something more than his
passion to nurse," mused Jenks. "That,
at any rate. Is fortunate. Ho will be
In no mood for further enterprise for
some time to come,"
He dreaded lest any of the Dyaka
should lit- oifl.N badly wonudiftl and like
ly to live. It was an actual relief to
his nerves to find that the Improvised
dumdums had done their work too well
to permit anxiety on that score.
He gathered the guns, swords and
creeses of the slain, with all their un
couth belts and ornaments. In pursu
ance of a vaguely dellned phin of fu
ture action he also divested some of
the men of their coarse garments and
collected six queer looking hats shaped
like Inverted "basins. These things "he
placed In a heap near the pitcher
plants. Thenceforth for half an hour
the placid surface of the lagoon was
disturbed by the black dorsal litis of
His guess at the weather conditions
heralded by the change of wind was
right. As the two partook of their even
ing meal the complaining surf lashed
the reef, and the tremulous branches of
the taller trees voiced the approach of
a gale. A tropical storm - not a typhoon,
but a belated burst of the periodic
rains deluged the Island before mid
night. Hours earlier Iris retired, utter
ly worn by the events of the day.
The gale chanted a wild melody In
mournful chords, and the noise of the
watery downpour on the tarpaulin roof
of Hello Vue castle was such as to ren
der conversation Impossible save In
Luckily leaks' carpentry was effec
tive, though rough. The building was
water tight, and he had calked every
crevice with unraveled rope until Iris'
apartment was free from the tiniest
The very fury of the external turmoil
acted as a lullaby to the girl. She was
soon asleep, and the sailor was left to
Sleep he could not. He smoked stead
ily, with a magnificent prodigality, for
his small stock of tobacco was fast dl
mlnlslilng. He ransacked his brains to
discover some method of escape from
tills enchanted Island, where fairies
Jostled with demons and hours of utter
happiness found their bane In moments
of frightful peril.
Of course he ought to have killed
those fellows who escaped. Their sam
pan might have provided a last desper
ate expedient If other saages effected
a landing. Well, there was no um In
being wise after the event, and. scheme
as he might, he could devise no way to
avoid disaster during the next attack.
This, he felt certain, would take
place at night. The Dyaks would land
in force, rush the cave and hut and
overpower him by sheer numbers. The
fight, if light there was, would bo
Hhnrp. but decisive. Perhaps If he re-
Had dom their work too well.
celved sunc warning IrJs and lie might
retreat In the darkness to the cover of
the trees. A last stand could be made
among the bowlders on Summit rock.
But of what avail to purchase their
freedom until daylight? And then
If ever man wrestled with desperate
problem, Jenks wrought that night.
Ho smoked and pondered until the
storm passed, and, with the changeful
nesfl of a poet's muse, a full moon
flooded the island in glorious radiance.
He rose, opened the door and stood
without, looking steadily at the bril
liant luminary for some time; then his
eyes wero attracted by the strong
lights thrown upon the nigged face of
the precipice Into which the cavern
burrowed. Suddenly he uttered a star
"Hy Jove!" he murmured. "I never
noticed that before."
The feature which ro earnestly claim
cd his attention was a deep ledge di
rectly over the mouth of the cave, but
Home forty feet from the ground. He
hind It the wall of rock sloped dark
ly Inward, suggesting a recess extend
ing by haphazard computation at least
a couple of yards. It occurred to him
that perhaps the fault in the interior
of the tunnel had its outcrop here, and
the Inllueuces of rain and suu had ex
tended the weak point thus exposed In
the bold panoply of stone.
He surveyed the ledge from different
points of view. It was quite Inacces
sible and most dllllcult to estimate ac
curately from the ground level. The
sailor was a man of action. He chose
tho nearest tall tree and began to
climb. Ho was not eight feet from the
ground before several birds Hew out
from Its leafy recesses, filling tho air
with shrill clucking.
"The devil take them!" ho growled,
for ho feared that the commotion
would awaken Iris. Ho was still la
boriously worming ids way through
a" i . "f i1 " yft.
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Ustnlillrited In 18G8.
the Inner maze tiT branches when a
well known voice reached htm from
"Mr. Jenks, what on earth are you
doing up there V"
"Oh! So those wretched fowls arous
ed you'" ho replied.
"Yes, but why did you arouse thorn?"
"1 had a fancy to roost by way of a
"Please be serious."
"I am more than serious. Tills tree
grows a aricty of small sharp thorn
that Induces a maximum of gravity--bofore
one takes the next step."
"Hut why do you keep on climbing?"
"It Is sheer lunacy, I admit. Yet on
such a moonlit night there Is some rea
sonable ground for even a mad ex
cuse." "Mr. Jenks, tell me at once what you
Iris strove to be severe, but there was
a touch of anxiety In her tone that In
stantly made the sailor apologetic. He
told her about the ledge and explained
his half formed notion that here they
might secure a safe retreat in case of
further attack, a refuge from which
they might defy assault during many
days. It was. he said, absolutely im
possible to wait until the morning. He
must at once satisfy himself whether
the project was Impracticable or wor
thy of further Investigation.
So the girl only enjoined hlin to bo
careful, and he vigorously renewed the
climb. At last, some twenty-live feet
from the ground, an accidental parting
in the branches enabled him to get a
good look at the ledge. One glance set
his heart beating Joyously. It was at
least fifteen feet In length. It shelved
back until Its depth was lost In the
blackness of the shadows, and the lloor
must be either nearly level or sloping
slightly Inward to tho line of the fault.
The place was a perfect eagle's nest.
A chamois could not reach It from any
direction. It became accessible to man
only by means of a ladder or a balloon,
More excited by this discovery than
he cared for Iris to know, he endeav
ored to appear unconcerned when lie
regained tho ground.
"Well," she said, "tell mo all about
He described the nature of the cavity
as well as he understood it at the mo
ment mid emphasized his previous ex
planation of Its virtues. Here they
might reasonably hope to make a suc
cessful stand against the Dyaks.
"Then you feel sure that those awful
creatures will coino back?" she said
"Only too sure, unfortunately."
"How remorseless poor humanity Is
when tho veneer is stripped off! Why
cannot they leave us in peace? Per
haps if I had not been here they would
uot have Injured you. Somehow I seem
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"I would not have it otherwise wero
It In my power," he answered. For an
instant he left unchallenged the girl's
assumption that she was In any way
responsible for the disasters which
had broken up his career. He looked
Into her eyes and almost forgot him
self. Then the sense of fair dealing
that dominates every true gentleman
roso within him and gripped his waver
ing emotions with ruthless force. Was
Jils a time to play upon the high strung
sensibilities of tills youthful daughter
of the gods, to seek to win from her a
confession of love that a few brief
days or weeks might prove to be only
a spasmodic but momentarily all pow
erful gratitude for the protection ho
had given her?
And he spoke aloud, striving to
laugh, lest Ids words should falter:
"You can console yourself with tho
thought, Miss Deane, that your pres
ence on the Islaud will In no way affect
my fate at the hands of the Dyaks.
Had they caught me unprepared today
my head would now be covered with a
solution of the special varnish they
carry on every foreign expedition."
"And yet these men are human be
ings!" "For purposes of .classification, yes.
Keeping to strict fact, it was lucky for
me that you raised the alarm and gave
me a chance to discount the odds of
more numbers. So, you see, you really
did me a good turn."
"What can he done now to save our
lives? Anything will bo better than to
Await another attack."
"The tlrst tiling to do is to try to
get some sleep before daylight. How
did you know I was not in the castle?"
"I cannot tell you. I awoke nnd
knew you were not near me. If I wako
in the night I can always tell whether
or not you are In the next room. So
I dressed and came out."
"Ah!" he said quietly. "Evidently
Iris retreated, nnd the sailor, tired
out at last, managed to close his weary
Next morning he hastily constructed
a pole of sutllclent length and strong
enough to bear his weight by tying two
sturdy young trees together with ropes.
Iris helped him to raise It against tho
face of the prcclpie vnd he at ouco
climbed to the ledgf.
Hero he found his observations of tho
previous night abundantly verified. Tho
ledge was even wider than lie dared to
hope, nearly ten feet deep In ono part,
and It sloped sharply downward from
the outer lip of the rock. Hy lying tlat
and carefully testing all points of view
lie ascertained that the only possible
positions from jwhich even a gllmpso
(Continued on Sixth Pngo )
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