Frank Merriwell’s Reward - Burt L. Standish - ebook

Frank Merriwell’s Reward ebook

burt l standish

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Frank Merriwell has always argued that he is the best. And not one reader will be able to say something bad in the direction of the main character, as he tried when he went to his goal. As they say, labor was finally awarded. In this part, one of the emotional moments is the recognition of the hero’s work. I advise you to keep a handkerchief in your hand, as this story will hook you.

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Liczba stron: 341

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Contents

CHAPTER I. A RUNAWAY AUTOMOBILE

CHAPTER II. HOW THE NEWS WAS RECEIVED

CHAPTER III. PIKE'S LITTLE PLAN

CHAPTER IV. AT THE HOME OF WINNIE LEE

CHAPTER V. HODGE'S REPENTANCE

CHAPTER VI. READY STEADY

CHAPTER VII. FRIENDS

CHAPTER VIII. THE GUN CLUB

CHAPTER IX. SHOOTING

CHAPTER X. BADGER'S CHALLENGE

CHAPTER XI. FRANK PREVENTS TROUBLE

CHAPTER XII. AGNEW'S TRICK

CHAPTER XIII. COWARDICE OF THE CHICKERING SET

CHAPTER XIV. A WILD NIGHT

CHAPTER XV. PIKE AND BADGER

CHAPTER XVI. THE BLOW FALLS

CHAPTER XVII. BUCK AND WINNIE

CHAPTER XVIII. FUN IN THE CAMPUS

CHAPTER XIX. A CRUSHING BLOW

CHAPTER XX. INTO A TRAP

CHAPTER XXI. BAD NEWS

CHAPTER XXII. ADRIFT IN THE ATLANTIC

CHAPTER XXIII. THE MYSTERY OF THE FISHING-SLOOP

CHAPTER XXIV. INZA'S STORY

CHAPTER XXV. THE GHOST OF BARNEY MULLOY

CHAPTER XXVI. THE PHANTOM AGAIN

CHAPTER XXVII. MERRIWELL'S FRIENDS

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE MYSTERY CLEARED AWAY

CHAPTER I

A RUNAWAY AUTOMOBILE

“Li, there! Hook out!” shouted Harry Rattleton.

“Hi, there! Look out!” echoed Bart Hodge, getting the words straight which Harry had twisted.

“Get out of the way, fellows!” warned Jack Diamond.

“The juice that it’s loaded with must be bug juice!” squealed Danny Griswold. “It’s crazy drunk!”

“Tut-tut-tut-turn the cuc-crank the other way!” bellowed Joe Gamp.

“This crank,” said Bink Stubbs, giving Gamp a twist that spun him round like a top.

“I’ve always believed that more than half of these new-fangled inventions are devices of Satan, and now I know it!” grumbled Dismal Jones.

“You’ll be more certain of it than ever if you let it run over you!” Frank Merriwell warned, stepping to the sidewalk, and drawing Dismal’s lank body quickly back from the street.

“Huah! It’s worse than a cranky horse!”

Bruce Browning reached down, took Danny Griswold by the collar, and placed the little fellow behind him.

“Unselfishly trying to save your bacon at the expense of my own!” Browning suavely explained, as Danny began to fume. “Do you want that thing to step on you?”

An electric hansom, which had sailed up the street in an eminently respectable manner, had suddenly and without apparent reason begun to act in an altogether disreputable way. It had veered round, rushed over the crossing, and made a bee-line for the sidewalk, almost running down a party of Frank Merriwell’s friends, who were out for an afternoon stroll on the street in the pleasant spring sunshine.

The motorman, who occupied a grand-stand seat in the rear, seemed to have lost control of the automobile. He was excitedly fumbling with his levers, but without being able to bring the carriage to a stop.

The street was crowded with people at the time, and when the electric carriage began to cut its eccentric capers there was a rush for places of safety, while the air was filled with excited cries and exclamations.

Merriwell could see the head of a passenger, a man, through the window of the automobile.

“She’s cuc-coming this way again!” shouted Gamp. “Look out, fellows!”

The front tires struck the curbing with such force that the motorman was pitched from his high seat, landing heavily on his head in the gutter.

Bruce Browning was one of the first to reach him.

“Give him air!” Bruce commanded, lifting the man in his arms and stepping toward a drug-store on the corner.

Some of the crowd streamed after Browning, but by far the greater number remained to watch the antics of the automobile.

The man inside was fumbling at the door and trying to get out. The misguided auto climbed the curbing and tried to butt down the wall of a store building.

“Give it some climbin’-irons!” yelled a newsboy.

The automobile, with its front wheels pressed against the wall, began to rear up like a great black bug, determined apparently to scale the perpendicular side of the building and enter through one of the open windows above. As soon as he saw the motorman pitched into the gutter, Merriwell moved toward the carriage.

“Time to take a hand in this!” was his thought. “There will be more hurt, if I don’t!”

He leaped to the step, but before he could mount to the high seat the auto was butting blindly against the wall.

“He’s goin’ ter shut off the juice!” squeaked the newsboy.

What the trouble had been with the levers Merry did not know. When he took hold of them, the hansom became manageable and obedient. He shut off the electricity, and the front wheels dropped down from the wall. The next moment he swung to the ground and opened the door.

To his surprise, the man who emerged from the carriage was Dunstan Kirk, the leader of the Yale ball-team.

“Glad to see you!” gasped Kirk. “I couldn’t get out, and I was expecting the thing to turn over! I believe I’m not hurt.”

“The motorman is, though! He has been carried into the drug-store.”

Frank looked toward the drug-store, and saw an ambulance dash up to convey the injured man to the hospital.

“Glad you’re all right!” turning again to the baseball-captain. “These things are cranky at times. I’ve had some experience with one.”

A policeman pushed forward to take possession of the automobile until the company could send another motorman.

The ambulance dashed away, and Browning, Diamond, and Rattleton came across the street hurriedly from the apothecary’s. Bink and Danny, Gamp and Dismal–other friends of his–were already crowding round Merriwell. Back of them was a pushing, excited throng.

“Which way did that carriage go?” Kirk demanded.

“Which carriage?”

“The one that was just ahead of us. I was chasing it in the automobile?”

“With a driver in a green livery and a bay horse?” asked the newsboy, who had pushed into the inner circle.

“Yes. Which way did it go?”

“Turned de first corner.”

“Let’s get a cab!” said Kirk. “Come, I want you to go with me!”

He caught Merriwell by the arm. A cab had drawn up near the curbing, and toward this they moved, Merriwell reserving his questions until later.

Dunstan hurriedly gave instructions to the driver, and climbed in after Merriwell.

“Now, what does this mean?” Frank demanded, as the cab started with a lurch. “What sort of a wild-goose chase are you on?”

“What made that auto-carriage do that way?”

“There was something the matter with it, I suppose.”

“It struck me that the motorman may have been in the pay of the fellow I was chasing.”

He lowered his voice, even though the rattling of hoofs and wheels and the noises of the street rendered it wholly improbable that the driver or any one else could hear what was spoken inside.

“Frankly, Merriwell, the chap I was chasing looked like Morton Agnew! I was in Mason & Fettig’s, five or six blocks above, when some one came into the other room and passed a counterfeit ten-dollar bill on the proprietor. He discovered it while the fellow was going through the door, and gave a call. I ran to the door and saw the rascal–not well, you know, but a side glance–not much more than a flash–and I thought he was Agnew. Of course, I couldn’t swear to it. I may have been mistaken. But to satisfy myself, I jumped into that automobile and gave chase. He saw I was pursuing him and he sprang into a cab. I was determined to overhaul the scamp and satisfy myself on that one point. Perhaps I ought not to mention the name, as I am so uncertain, and I shall not mention it to any one else.”

Dunstan Kirk, the athletic and capable captain of the baseball-team, had come to admire and trust Frank Merriwell. He had seen enough to know that Frank could be trusted in any way and in any place.

“What do you think of it?” he asked.

“That there is no chance now of discovering whether your suspicions were true or false. Unless”–hesitatingly–“you should cause Agnew’s arrest, and have him taken before the man who was cheated. Or you might tell the man your suspicions, and let him act in the matter.”

“I am not certain enough!” said Kirk. “It’s too bad he got away! The motorman couldn’t have been in his pay?”

“If so, he has received his pay!” said Merry meaningly. “He went out of that seat on his head and struck hard. I think the motorman simply found the hansom unmanageable, for some reason. Those carriages take freaks at times.”

“And your opinion about Agnew?”

“He isn’t too good to do such a thing, and I have had reason to believe lately that he is hard up. He used to hold himself up by his winnings at cards, but he has cheated so outrageously and boldly that the students fight pretty shy of him.”

“We’re just wasting our time, I’m afraid!” Kirk grumbled, as the cab rattled on down the street.

“Hold on!” said Merriwell, looking through the window. “There is your green-liveried driver and your bay horse!”

Though the cab in question was standing by a curbing, Frank saw at a glance that the horse was sweaty and showed other signs of recent fast driving.

“Empty, and the bird has flown!” he observed, as the cab they were in stopped and they got out. “Whoever he was–Agnew, or another man–he has had time to escape!”

The green-liveried driver was questioned, but no information of value was obtained, and when it was seen that there was no chance of settling the question which had moved Dunstan Kirk to the pursuit, Kirk settled with the driver of the cab that had brought them thus far, and he and Merriwell went into the nearest restaurant.

“I understand you don’t smoke, or I might be tempted to order cigars,” he said, as a waiter came forward for their orders, after they had taken seats at a table in one of the small side rooms. “I wanted to have a talk with you about certain matters. Not about Agnew, but concerning Buck Badger!”

When the waiter had gone he continued:

“I am interested in Badger’s pitching. The fellow has good pitching ability. But he is erratic. Sometimes he pitches wonderfully. Then the very next time he will fall away down. I am convinced that what he needs as much as anything else is the right kind of encouragement.”

“I consider him one of the very best of the new men who have come up with pitching ambitions,” said Merriwell. “I have noticed the things you say.”

“You were kind enough some time ago to recommend him to my notice,” Kirk went on, as if feeling his way. “You would be glad to help him, perhaps.”

“I shall be very glad to help him, if I can, and to serve you in any way, Kirk. But you know he doesn’t like me very well. There must be a willingness on both sides, you see–just as it takes two to make a quarrel!”

“I haven’t sounded him, but I fancy he would be willing. He isn’t doing any good lately. You may have noticed that, too?”

“Yes.”

The waiter brought the things ordered, and went away again.

“That Crested Foam affair is the cause, I fancy,” Dunstan Kirk went on, breaking a cracker and helping himself to some cheese.

Frank Merriwell had thought the same, but he did not wish to say so.

“He hasn’t acted right since then. And by right, I mean natural, you understand! I suppose it grinds him to know that such a fellow as Barney Lynn could drug and rob him in that way.”

Merriwell flashed Dunstan Kirk a quick look. It was evident that the captain of the Yale baseball-team did not know that Buck Badger was intoxicated when he was lured aboard the excursion steamer, Crested Foam.

A similar imperfect knowledge of the true condition of affairs at that time had been noticed by Merriwell in the conversation of others. The newspapers in the notices of the burning of the steamer had given attention chiefly to Lynn, merely stating briefly that Badger had been drugged and robbed by the ex-boat-keeper.

“I shouldn’t think it would be a pleasant reflection,” Frank answered.

“Very humiliating to a man of Badger’s character. And it has just taken the heart out of him. Until that time he was one of the most promising of the new pitchers at Yale. I was expecting good things from him. Now he seems to be nothing but a blighted ‘has-been!’”

Merriwell smiled.

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