Wizard Will. The Wonder Worker - Prentiss Ingraham - ebook

Wizard Will. The Wonder Worker ebook

Prentiss Ingraham

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Opis

After a military career that ended with a stint as a colonel in the Confederate Army, Prentiss Ingraham turned to writing, penning hundreds of books over the course of several decades. This charming novel centers on a remarkable young man named Will who has a run-in with a mysterious figure that leads to Will honing his skills as an amateur detective, investigator and go-between. „Wizard Will Wonder-Worker; or, The Boy Ferret of New York” is a romance of mysteries in metropolitan life. Originally published as a dime novel Wizard Will is the first in a series of adventure tales about a boy detective and his enemies the fearsome Land Sharks. This is a wonderful adventure story is sure to please long-time fans and first-time readers alike.

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Liczba stron: 161

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Contents

CHAPTER I. The Boy Messenger.

CHAPTER II. An Oath to Win, a Vow to Avenge.

CHAPTER III. Tracked to His Lair.

CHAPTER IV. The Meeting.

CHAPTER V. The Boy Protector.

CHAPTER VI. The Reward for a Convict.

CHAPTER VII. The Lost Gold Piece.

CHAPTER VIII. The Dashing Dragoon.

CHAPTER IX. Phantoms of the Past.

CHAPTER X. Deserted.

CHAPTER XI. A Rebuff.

CHAPTER XII. The Boy Captive.

CHAPTER XIII. Put to the Test.

CHAPTER XIV. Will Plays his little Game.

CHAPTER XV. The Boy Guide.

CHAPTER XVI. The Raid.

CHAPTER XVII. On Secret Service.

CHAPTER XVIII. Headed Off.

CHAPTER XIX. Unknown Kindred Ties.

CHAPTER XX. The Grave on the Prairie.

CHAPTER XXI. Retribution at Last.

CHAPTER XXII. Insnared by a Watch.

CHAPTER XXIII. Wizard Will's Luck.

CHAPTER XXIV. Conclusion.

CHAPTER I. The Boy Messenger

HO, my boy! do you wish to make a dollar?”

“I do, sir–indeed I do.”

“What is your name?”

“Will, sir.”

“Well, Will, can you keep your mouth shut?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Can you be blind, if need be?”

“You mean not to see anything that is not intended for me to see, sir?”

“Yes.”

“I understand, sir.”

“Well, it is important that this letter reaches a friend of mine, as I cannot go myself, so you take it to the number; can you read?”

“Yes.”

“Well, take it to the number on the envelope, and ring the bell sharply three times; then ask for Jerry, the Night Hawk; will you remember the name?”

“Yes, sir–Jerry, the Night Hawk.”

“Yes, that’s it; and you must give him the letter in person.”

“Suppose he is not there, sir?”

“Then find out when he will be, and keep the letter for him; and see, I write on the back here for him to give you a couple of dollars, after which go your way, and forget all about what you have done.”

“Yes, sir;” and the boy took the note and turned to depart to the address on the envelope, when he was called back, while the man stood in silent thought.

He was a gentlemanly looking person, with a face, however stamped with dissipation.

In the neighbourhood where he had met the boy, he appeared to be out of place.

For half a moment he stood, gazing at the face of the youngster, and then he said:

“My boy, do you remember to have seen me before?”

“No, sir; and yet it seems as if I had.”

“It so seems to me, and your face comes to me like a dream of the past which I cannot recall; but–never mind; go and do as I have told you, and you will get your pay,” and the man walked on down the street; but before he had gone far he sprang into a hack, which had evidently been waiting for him, and was driven away.

The boy thus intrusted with what was evidently an important note, was an urchin of twelve; but he looked older, and there was that in his bright, handsome face which denoted both courage of a high order and intelligence beyond his years.

He was poorly, very poorly clad, but his clothing was clean, and he evidently took pride in appearing at his best.

The locality he was in was a hard one, one of the worst localities in the city of New York, and rude, rough characters–men, women and children–were in the streets.

But the lad went on his way without noticing any one, and, as though acquainted with his surroundings, turned into a wretched street that was little more than an alleyway.

He stopped at a certain number and seized the bell knob, which appeared to belong to a bygone age, and in fact the house was a quaint old structure that had long been the abode of poverty.

His three sharp rings, as he had been directed to give, were answered by the door opening, seemingly without human agency, while a gruff voice demanded:

“Well, step inside and tell me what you want?”

The messenger stepped into a small hallway, and saw before him, a few feet distant, another door, while, through an open panel in it peered a man’s face.

“I wish to see Jerry, the Night Hawk,” explained the youngster.

“What do you want with him?”

“I have a letter for him.”

“Give it to me.”

“No, sir, for I have orders from my boss to give it only to Jerry.”

“All right, you can go up and see him, top floor, right hand side front room,” was the reply, and as the man spoke the other door closed behind the boy, the one in his front opened, and he found he was in a hallway, into which no doors opened, except the one through which he had passed, and in the rear was only a pair of stairs occupying the entire width of the narrow passageway.

A dim light came from above somewhere, and the messenger ascended the stairs to the second floor, where he saw doors upon either side.

Ascending to the third floor, he sought the door to which he had been directed, and knocked.

No answer came, and he waited a while and again knocked.

Still no answer, and then his eyes fell upon a small knob, which he pulled and found to be a bell.

Still no response, and the thought came to him to ring it three times, as he had the bell below stairs.

This he did, and instantly he heard a voice behind him.

“Well, youngster, what is it you are after?”

He was startled, and turning saw a man’s face at a panel in the door.

“I wish to see Jerry, the Night Hawk,” answered Will, promptly.

“Who sent you?”

“That I will tell him,” was the cool reply.

“Well, I’m Jerry, the Night Hawk.”

The boy looked incredulous, and the man opened the door, and called to him to enter.

This he did, and found himself in a hallway that was perfectly square, and the light came into it from above through a skylight.

There was no door in this hall, except the one by which he had entered, but the man said:

“Is there an answer?”

“Yes, sir,” said the boy, when he had meant to say ‘no,’ but he did not correct himself, and instantly the man tapped three times upon the wooden wall of the hallway.

To the new surprise of the boy one side of it was at once run upward, revealing a small room, and into this the two stepped, the man telling the youngster to follow.

In the room was a cot-bed, a table, and a rough-looking individual stood in one corner, holding a rope in his hand, and which he now let go, the wooden partition, under which they had passed, immediately sliding back into place again.

“Now, lad, the letter,” said the man who had entered the room with him.

“Are you Jerry, the Night Hawk?” and the boy looked the man straight in the eyes.

“Yes.”

The boy took out the letter and handed it to him, and glancing at the address he broke open the envelope.

What was written within was to the point, and very short, for the man at once said:

“Yes, you are just the boy we want, as the captain says,” and he gazed into the handsome, fearless young face before him.

“What do you want me for?” asked the lad.

“That you shall soon know, and if you serve us well, you will be well treated; but if not, then you will have to die, that is all,” was the ominous reply of the man, as he seized the boy by the shoulder and dragged him through a door into a large room where were a dozen men, whose scowling faces were turned upon the lad with a look that was wicked and threatening. As he recalled the words of Jerry, the Night Hawk, and beheld the wild, evil looking men about him, the heart of the brave boy shrank with fear, for it needed no words to tell him that he had been led into some trap from which there seemed little chance of escape.

CHAPTER II. An Oath to Win, a Vow to Avenge

THE scene of my story shifts from the city to the country. A young man, evidently city bred, was standing beneath the shelter of a woodman’s shanty, while the rain poured in torrents, and sent little brooks surging like miniature rivers adown the hillsides.

It was in one of the most beautiful localities of the State of Maryland, where forest, stream, woodland and vale stretched away in picturesque attractiveness for miles, and where the broad fields of well-to-do farmers were filled with the golden grain.

The young man was clad in sporting garb, carried a gun, which he shielded from the dampness, and at his feet crouched a dog, while the game-bag hanging on a limb near-by proved the sportsman’s skill.

It was approaching sunset time, and the storm had been raging for a couple of hours, the rain-fall being so heavy as to deluge the country, and make foaming torrents of mere rivulets.

“It is clearing now, and I will venture, for I would not like to be caught in the wood by darkness, as I would have to remain all night,” and the sportsman gazed up anxiously at the clouds, breaking away in the westward.

He was a man of twenty-six perhaps, and his erect form, elegant manners and handsome face had won many a girl’s heart.

A Philadelphian, and the ideal of society, he had run away from dissipation and comrades for a few days shooting in Maryland, and his first day of sport had been checked by the storm.

As the rain ceased falling he threw his game bag over his shoulder and started out upon his return to the little Cross-Roads Inn where he was stopping.

He had to pick his way carefully, and often, as it was, he went into water nearly up to the top of his boots.

At last he came to a rustic bridge, across a brook; but the brook was now surging beyond its banks, and driving furiously along.

“Ho, don’t cross there!” cried a voice from the other side.

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