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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 4, 1905)
C f A
fife Wings of the &
-w-siiii sauor Know so accurately
I I tlio position of his reliable soil-
I tlnols that he could follow each
J plmse of the Imaginary conflict
on the othi'r side of tho Island. The
llrst outbreak of desultory tiring died
away amidst ii chorus of protest from
every feathered Inhabitant of the Isle,
so Jenks assumed that the Dyaks had
gathoied again on the lieaeh after rid
dling the scarecrows with bullets or
slashing them with their heavy razor
A hasty council was probably hold,
and, notwithstanding their fear of the
silent company In the hollow, an ad
vance was ultimately made along the
beach. Within a few yards they en
countered the invisible cord of the
third spring gun. There was a report
and another fierce outbreak of mus
ketry. This was enough. Not a man
"would move a step nearer that abode
of the dead. Tho next commotion
arose on the ridge near the North cape.
"At this rate of progress," said
Jenks to the girl, "they will not reach
our house until daylight."
"I almost wish they were here," was
the quiet reply. "I tlml this waiting
and listening to be trying to the
They were lying on a number of
ragged garments hastily spread on the
ledge and peering Intently into the
moonlit area of Prospect park. The
great rock Itself was shrouded In som
ber shadows. Even If they stood up
none could see them from the ground,
so dense was the darkness enveloping
lie turned slightly and took her hand.
It was cool and moist. It no more
trembled than his own.
"The Dyaks are far more scared than
you," he murmured, with a laugh.
"Cruel and courageous as they are.
they dare not face a spook."
"Then what a pity It Is we cannot
conjure up a ghost for their benefit.
All the spirits I have ever read about
were ridiculous. Why cannot one be
The question set him thinking. Un
known to tho girl the materials for a
dramatic apparition were hidden amid
the bushes near the well. He cudgeled
Ills brains to remember the stage ef
fects of Juvenile days, but these need
ed limelight, blue flares, mirrors, phos
phorus. The absurdity of hoping to devise
any such accessories while perched on
a ledge In a remote Island, a larger
reef of the thousands In tho China sea,
"What is It?" asked Iris.
He repeated his list of missing stnge
properties. They had nothing to do but
to wait, and people In tho very crux
and maelstrom of existence usually
discuss trivial things.
"I don't know anything about phos
phorus," said the girl, "but you can
obtain queer results from sulphur, and
there Is an old box of Norwegian
matches resting at this moment on the
shelf In my room. Don't you remem
ber? They wore In your pocket, and
you were going to throw them uway.
Why, what are you doing?"
For Jenks had cast tho rope ladder
loose and was evidently about to de
scend. "Have no fear," he said. "I will not
be away five minutes."
"If you are going down I must come
with you. I will not be left hero
"I'leaso do not stop me," he whis
pered earnestly. "You must not come.
I will take no risk whatever. If you
remain here you can warn me Instant
ly. With both of us on the ground we
will Incur real danger. I want you to
keep a sharp lookout toward Turtle
lieaeh Jn case tho Dyaks come that
way. Those who are crossing the Is
land will uot reach us for a long time."
She yielded, though unwillingly. She
was tremulous with anxiety on his ac
count. He vanished without auother word.
She next saw him In the mooullght
near the well. He was rustling among
tho shrubs, and he returned to the rock
with something white In his arms,
which he seemingly deposited at the
mouth of the cave. He went back to
the well and carried another similar
burden. Then he ran toward the
house. The doorway was not visible
from the ledge, and she passed a few
horrible moments until a low hiss be
neath caught her ear. Sho could tell by
tho creak of tho ropo ladder that ho
was ascending. At last ho reached her
Bide, and she murmured, with a gasp
"Don't go away again. I cannot
no thought it best to soothe her agl
" T". ";" .."." ". -.. aa am . .... . .. .. . ."""
'il'A'.lf't'. .tl .. .. j " ,
Copjrrtaht. 1903. by
r.t-.,.i j n.j. W.v:'k
Edward J. Clode
tatlon by arousing Interest. Still haul
ing in the ladder with one hand, he
held out the other, on which luminous
wisps were writhing like glowworms'
"You are responsible." he said. "You
gave me an excellent Idea, aud I was
obliged to carry It out."
"What have you done?"
"Arranged a fearsome bogy In the
"It was not exactly a pleasant oper
ation, but the only laws of necessity
are those which must be broken."
She understood that he did not wish
her to question him further. Perhaps
curiosity, now that he was safe, might
have vanquished her terror and led to
another demand for enlightenment, but
at that Instant the sound of an angry
voice and the crunching of coral away
to the left drove all else from her
"They are coming by way of the
beach, after all," whispered Jenks.
lie was mistaken in it sense. Anoth
er outburst of Intermittent tiring
among the trees on the north side of
the ridge showed that some at least of
the Dyaks were advancing ty their
former route. The appearance of the
Dyak chief on the flat belt of shingle,
with his right arm slung across his
breast, accompanied by not more than
half a dozen followers, showed thnt a
few hardy spirits had dared to pass
the valley of death, with all its name
They advanced cautiously enough, as
though dreading a surprise. The chief
carried a bright parang In his left
They advanced cautiously.
hand; the others were armed with
guns, their swords being thrust through
belts. Creeping forward on tiptoe,
though their distant companions were
making a tremendous row, they look
ed a murderous gang ns they peered
across tho open space, now brilliantly
Illuminated by the moon.
Jenks had a sudden Intuition that
the night thing to do now was to shoot
the whole party. He dismissed tho
thought at once. All his preparations
were governed by the hope that the
pirates might abandon their quest after
hours of fruitless search. It would be
most unwise, he told himself, to pre
cipitate hostilities. Far better avoid a
conflict altogether, if that were possi
ble, than risk the Immediate discovery
of his inaccessible retreat.
In other words, he made a grave mis
take, which shows how a man may err
when ovoragoulzed by the danger of
the woman he loves. Tho bold course
was the right one. By killing the Dyak
leader he would have deprived the en
emy of the dominating Influence in this
campaign of revenge. When the main
body, already much perturbed by the
unseen and Intangible agencies which
opened Are at them In the wood, ar
rived In Prospect park to And only the
dead bodies of their chief and his small
force, their consternation could be turn
ed Into mad panic by n vigorous bom
bardment from the rock.
Probably In less than an hour after
their landing tho whole tribe would
have rushed pellmell to the boats, curs
lug the folly which led them to this
devil haunted Island. Hut It serves no
good purpose to say what might have
been. As It was, the Dyaks, silent now
and moving with the utmost caution,
passed tho well and were about to np
Iiroach the cave when one of them suw
Instantly they changed their tactics.
Retreating hastily to the shado of tho
opposite cliff, they seemed to await the
coming of re-enforcements. The sailor
fancied that a messenger was dispatch
ed by way of the north sands to hur
ry up the laggards, because the dis
tant tiring slackened, and live nitnutcti
later a tierce outbreak of yells among
the trees to the right heralded a com
bined rush ou tho Hello Vuo castle.
The noise made by the savages was
so great, the Bcreums of bewildered
birds circling overhead so Incessant,
that Jenks was compelled to speak
quite loudly when he said to Iris:
"They must think we sleep soundly
not to bo disturbed by the volleys they
hnvn tired already."
She would have nnswered, but ho
placed a restraining hand on her shoul
der, for the Dyaks. quickly discovering
thnt tho hut was empty, ran toward
the cave and thus came In full view.
As well as Jenks could Judge the
foremost trio of the yolj iiig horde were
Impaled on the bayonets of the cheval
de frlse. learning too late Its formida
ble nature. The wounded men shriek
ed In agony, but their cries were
drowned In a torrent of amazed shout
from their companions. Forthwith
there was a stampede toward the well,
the cliff, tho beaches, anywhere to get
mmy rom that awesome cavern where
ghosts dwelt aud men fell maimed at
the very threshold. The sailor, lean
ing as far over the edge of the rock
as the girl's expostulations would per
mit, heard a couple of men groaning
beneath, while a third limped away
with frantic and painful haste.
"What is It?" whispered Iris, eager
herself to witness the tumult. "What
"They have been routed by n box of
matches and a few dried bones," he
There was no time for further speech.
He was absorbed In estimating the
probable number of the Dyaks. Thus
far he had seen about fifty. More
over, he did not wish to acquaint Iris
with the actual details of the artifice
that had been so potent. Her allusion
to the box of water sodden matches
had given him the notion of utilizing
ns an active ally the bleached remains
of tho poor fellow who had long ago
fallen a victim to this Identical mob
of cutthroats or their associates. He
had gathered the principal bones from
their resting place near the well, rub
bed them with the ends of the matches
after damping the sulphur again and
arranged them with ghastly effect on
the pile of rubbish at the farther end
of the cave, creeping under tho cheval
de frlse for the purpose.
Though not so vivid as ho wished,
the pale glimmering headless skeleton
in the intense darkness of the Interior
was appalling enough In all conscience.
Fortunately the fumes of the sulphur
fed on the bony substance. They en
dured a sulllcient time to scare every
Dyak who caught a glimpse of the
monstrous object crouching In luminous
horror within the dismal cavern.
Not even the stirring exhortations of
the chief, whose voice was raised in
furious speech, could Induce his adher
ents to again approach that affrighting
spot At last the daring scoundrel him
Belf, still wielding his naked sword,
strode right up to tho very doorway.
Stricken with sudden stupor, ho gazed
at the tltful gleams within. He prod
ded the cheval de frlse with the pa
rang. Here was something definite and
solid. Then he dragged one of the
wounded men out Into the moonlight.
Again Jenks experienced an Itching
desire to send a bullet through the
Dyak's head. Again he resisted the
Impulse. And so passed that which Is
vouchsafed by fate to few men a sec
Another vehement harangue by the
chief goaded some venturesome spirits
into carrying their wounded comrade
out of sight, presumably to the hut.
Inspired by their leader's fearless ex
ample, they even removed the third In
jured Dyak from the vicinity of the
cave, but the celerity of their retreat
caused the wretch to bawl In agony.
The next undertaking wns no sooner
appreciated by the sailor than he hur
riedly caused Iris to shelter herself be
neath the tarpaulin, while he cowered '
close to the floor of the ledge, looking
only through the screen of tall grasses, j
They kindled a lire near the well. Soon
Its ruddy glare lit up the dark rock
with fantastic fllckerlngs and drew J
scintillations from the weapons and or
naments of the hideously picturesque
horde gathered In Its vicinity.
They spoke a language of hard
vowels aud nasal resonance and ate
what he Judged to be dry fish, millets
aud strips of tough preserved meat
which they cooked on small iron skew
ers stuck among the glowing embers.
His heart sank as he counted sixty-one,
all told, assembled within forty yards
of the ledge. Probably several others
were guarding the bonus or prowling
about the Islaud. Indeed, events prov-,
ed that more than eighty men had
come ashore in three large sampans,
roomy and fleet craft, well fitted for
piratical excursions up river estuaries
or along a coast.
They were mostly barelegged rascals,
wearing Malay hats, loose Jackets
reaching to the knee and sandals. Ono
man differed essentially from the oth
ers, lie was habited In tho conven
tional attire of an Iudiau Mohamme
dan,, and his skin was broynu while the
swarthy Dyaks were yellow beneath
tho dirt. Jenks thought from the man
ner In which his turban was tied that
he must be a Punjabi Mussulman-very
likely an escaped convict from tho An
damans. The most careful scrutiny did not re
veal any arms of precision. They all
carried muzzle loaders, either antiquat
ed flintlocks or guns sutllciontly mod
ern to be fitted with nipples for per
Each Dyak, of course, sported u pa
rang and dagger-like creese; a few bore
spears, and about a dozen shouldered
a long straight piece of bamboo. The
nature of this Implement the sailor
could not determine at the moment.
In the neighborhood of the lire an
animated discussion took place. Though
It was easy to see that the chief was
all paramount, his fellow tribesmen ex
ercised a democratic right of free
Bpeech and outspoken opinion.
Flashing eyes and expressive lunula
were turned toward the cave aud hut.
Once when the debate grew warm the
chief snatched up a burning branch
and held It over tho blackened embers
of the tire extinguished by Jenks. He
seemed to draw some definite conclu
sion from nn examination of the char
coal, aud tho argument thereforth pro
ceeded with loss emphasis. Whatever
It was that ho said evidently carried
Iris, nestling closo to the sailor, whis
pered: "Do you know what he has found
"I can only guess that he can tell by
1hi5 appearance of the burned wood
low long It Is since It was extinguish
fd. Clearly they agree with him "
"Then they know we aro still bete?"
"Either heto or uuuit within a t"
hours. In any case they will mnke a
thorough search of the Island at day
break." "Will It ho dawn soon?"
"Yes. Are you tired?"
"A little cramped-that Is all."
"Don't think I am foolish. Can you
Manage to sloop?"
"Bleep! With those men so near!"
"Yes. We do not know how long
they will remain. We must keep up
our strength. Sleep, next to food and
Irlnk, Is a prime necessity."
"If It will please you I will try," sho
laid, with such sweet readiness to
)bey his slightest wish that the won
der is he did not kiss her then and
there. By previous Instruction sho
knew exactly what to do. She crept
quietly back until well ensconced In
tho niche widened and hollowed for
her accommodation. There so seclud
ed was she from the outer world of
horror and peril that tho coarse voices
beneath only reached her In n murmur.
Pulling one end of the turpuuHn over
her, she stretched her weary limbs on
a litter of twigs and leaves, commend
ed herself and the man she loved to
God's keeping and, wonderful though
It may seem, was soon slumbering
The statement mny sound passing
strange to civilized ears, accustomed
only to the routine of dally life and
not Inured to danger and wild sur
roundings. But the soldier who has
snatched a hasty doze in the trenches,
the sailor who has heard a fierce galo
buffeting the walls of his frail ark,
can appreciate the reason why Iris,
weary and surfeited with excitement,
would have slept were she certain that
the next sunrise would mark her last
hour on earth.
Jenks, too, composed himself for a
brief rest. He felt assured that there
was not the remotest chance of their
lofty perch being found out before
daybreak, and the first faint streaks of
dawn would awaken him.
When the morning breeze swept over
the ocean and the stars were beginning
to pale before the pink glory flung
broadcast through the sky by the yet
Invisible sun, the sailor was aroused
by the quiet fluttering of a bird about
to settle on the rock, but startled by
the sight of Jilin.
Ills faculties were at once on the
alert, though he little realized the dan
ger betokened by the bird's rapid dart
Into the void. Turning first to peer at
Iris, he satistied himself that she was
still asleep. Her lips were slightly
parted In a smile. She might be
dreaming of summer and England, no
noiselessly wormed his way to the
verge of tho rock and looked down
through the grass roots.
The Dyaks were already stirring.
Some were replenishing the Are, others
were drawing water, cooking, eating,
smoking long thin stemmed pipes with
absurdly small bowls or oiling their
limbs and weapons with impartial en
ergy. The chief yet lay stretched on
the sand, but when the first beams of
tne sun gilded the waters a man
stooped over the prostrate form and
said something that caused the sleeper
to rise stiffly, supporting himself on
his uninjured nrm. They at once went
off together toward Europa point.
"They have found the boat," thought
Jenks. "Well, they are welcome to all
the Information It affords."
The chief gave some order, nt which
they all hung back sheepishly. Cursing
them in choice Malay, the chief seized
a thick faggot and strode In tho direc
tion of the cave. Goaded Into activity
by his truculent demeanor, somo fol
lowed lilm, and Jenks, unable to see,
but listening anxiously, knew that they
were tearing the cheval do frlse from
its supports. Nevcrtholcfjs uonc ofjthe
working party entered the excavation.
They feared the parched bones that
shone by night.
As he had not been able to complete
the communicating shaft It was not
Q JZrT V
J'io monstrous object crouching In luml
now of vital Importance should tho
Dyaks penetrate to tho Interior. Yet
lie thanked the good luck that had
showered such a heap of rubbish over
the spot containing his chief stores and
covering the vein of gold. Wild as
these fellows were, they well knew tho
ralue of tho precious metal, and If by
chance they lighted upon such u well
defined lode they might not quit the
Island for weeks.
At last on a command from the chief
the Dyaks scattered In various direc
tions. Some turned toward Europa
point, but the majority went to the
east along Turtle beach or by way of
the lagoon. Prospect park was desert
ed. They were scouring both sections
of the Island In full force.
The quiet watcher on the ledge took
no needless risks. Though It was Im
possible to believe any stratagem had
been planned for his special benefit, an
accident might betray him. With tho
utmost circumspection he rose on ull
fours and. with comprehensive glance,
examined trees, plateau and both strips
of beach for signs of a lurking foe. He
need have no fear. Of all places In the
Island the Dyaks least Imagined that
their quarry had lain all night wlthlu
earshot of their encampment
Jenks slid back down the ledge and
gently wakened Iris. She sat up In
stantly and gazed at him with wonder
Fearful lest she should forget her
surroundings, he placed a warning fin
ger on his lips.
"Oh," she said In n whisper, "are
they still here?"
Ho told her what had happened and
suggested that they should have some
thing to eat while the coast was clear
beneath. She needed no second bid
ding, for tho long vigil of the previous
night htrJ vtjdt lwy very hungry, and
the two breakfasted right royally on
biscuit, cold fowl, ham aud good water.
In this, the Inner section of their ref
uge, they could be seen only by a bird
or by a man standing on the distant
rocky shelf that formed the southern
extremity of the opposite cliff, and tho
sailor kept a close lookout In that di
rection. Iris wus about to throw the remains
of the feast into nn empty oil tin pro
vided for refuse when Jenks restrained
"No," he said smilingly. "Scraps
should be the first course next time.
We must not waste an atom of food."
"How thoughtless of me!" she ex
claimed. "Please tell mo you think
they will go away today."
But tho sailor flung himself flat on
the ledge and grasped a rifle.
"Be Btlll, on your life!" he said.
"Squeeze Into your corner. There Is a
Dyak on the opposite cliff."
True enough, a man had climbed
to that unhappily placed rocky tabla
and was shouting something to a con
frere high on the cliff over their heads.
As yet ho had not seen them nor even
noticed the place where they were con
cealed. The sailor Imagined from tho
Dyak's gestures that he wus eommu
nlcutlng the uselessness of further
search on tho western part of the Is
land. When the conversation ceased bo
hoped tho loud voiced savago would
descend. But no! The scout looked
Into the valley, at the well, the house,
the cave. Still he did not see tho
ledge. At that unlucky moment threo
birds, driven from the trees on tho
crest by the passage of the Dyaks,
flew down the face of the cliff and be
gan a circling quest for some safa
perch on which to alight
Jenks swore with an emphasis uot
the less earnest because it was muto
and took steady aim at the Dyak's left
breast The birds fluttered about In
ever smnllerj:lrdes.Thenqno of. them
(Contlnuod on Sixth Page.) A
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