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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesFrank Merriwell's Bravery - Chapter 11. Black Harry Appears
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Frank Merriwell's Bravery - Chapter 11. Black Harry Appears Post by :Dirk_Wagner Category :Long Stories Author :Burt L. Standish Date :May 2012 Read :940

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Frank Merriwell's Bravery - Chapter 11. Black Harry Appears

CHAPTER XI. BLACK HARRY APPEARS

There was a clatter of hoofs, and a doubly burdened horse swept into view, bearing straight down upon the Braves, who were waiting as if ready to fight or take to flight.

The horse was foam-flecked, and it was plain he had been driven to the limit of his endurance.

The person who handled the reins was a youthful chap, and, as he came nearer, Frank gasped with surprise.

"Cholly Grayson De Smythe, the dude! Is it possible?"

In his arms, held upon the horse, was a bundle, like a human form, wrapped in a blanket.

The outlaws looked for a posse of armed men to follow the boyish horseman, but he was not followed, and he did not hesitate or turn back when he saw the party awaiting him.

Straight down upon them he rode, and Frank drew aside, shielding himself behind one of the men.

"It can't be possible!" muttered Frank. "It's ridiculous!"

Straight down upon the desperadoes rode the dude, seeming utterly fearless.

"Halt, thar!" cried one of the men, leveling a rifle at the young horseman. "Hold up, ur chaw lead!"

The youth gave a surge that flung the horse upon its haunches.

"Steady Bolivar!" his voice rang out. "Would you shoot me?"

"Who be you?"

"Don't you know me? Ha, ha, ha! Well, I do not wonder. I'll look different when I peel this mustache and wash off my make-up. I have her! See here, boys!"

The blanket was flung back, and the face of Lona Dawson, the banker's daughter, was revealed!

The girl was not unconscious, and she suddenly squirmed from the grasp of her captor, slipped from the horse, and ran into the midst of the outlaws, crying:

"Save me! Protect me!"

"Stop her, boys!" laughed the youth on the horse. "Don't let her get away. I've had trouble enough, and taken risk enough to get her."

"Wa-al, who be you?" roared one of the band.

"Who am I? Look here; do you know this sign?"

He made a swift motion with his hand, and nearly every man cried:

"The chief's sign! But you are not the chief! He is here with us! You are an impostor!"

"Am I? Look!"

He tore off a false wig, jerked away a false mustache, took a vial from his pocket, turned some of its contents in his hand, and seemed to sweep the make-up from his face.

The result was a wonderful transformation, and the face revealed was almost exactly like that of Frank Merriwell.

The men stared in bewildered astonishment.

"It is the chief!" gurgled one of them.

"Of course I am," laughed the unmasked youth. "You wasted your time in carrying off that other fellow who looks like me. Why didn't you leave him to be lynched? Then the fools would have thought they had put Black Harry out of the way."

"The other fellow?" repeated more than one of the men. "Who is the other fellow?"

"He is the fellow who looks like me," laughed Black Harry, for the new arrival was the boy chief of the marauders.

In the meantime, while this unmasking was taking place Frank had not been idle. He had longed to meet Black Harry face to face, but now he realized that his situation was perilous in the extreme. He must act at once.

But the sight of the captive girl and her appeal for aid had bestirred all the chivalry of his nature. He longed to do something to save her.

Swiftly moving near her, he suddenly caught her up, swung her over his shoulder, and, with her held thus, regardless of the shriek of terror that broke from her lips, he dashed straight for the open door of the hut.

Cries of amazement broke from the lips of the outlaws.

"There he goes!" shouted Black Harry. "That is the fellow who looks like me, and he has the girl! After him!"

The men leaped in pursuit.

Into the hut bounded Frank, and the door went to with a slam. The foremost man, who flung himself against it, found it had been fastened.

"Well, we have him fast," said Black Harry, easily. "He can't get away in a thousand years. We'll dig him out at our convenience."

The men now gathered round their boy chief, eager to hear his explanation. It was difficult for them to realize that they had been deceived--that the boy they rescued from the lynchers at Elreno jail was not their leader.

"I was not fool enough to go into Elreno without disguising myself," said Harry. "I knew I should be recognized if I did. I fixed myself up in the outfit I just threw off, and, with this English tourist rig and a sissy lisp, I succeeded in deceiving everybody.

"You may imagine how surprised I was when I saw this other fellow, who is nearly my perfect double. He took the train at Oklahoma City, and I sat directly behind him. I was there when the private detective, Burchel Jones, who fancies he is so shrewd, arrested him.

"If they had lynched him, I could have disappeared, and it would have been thought that Black Harry had gone up the flume. But you fellows thought that I was in the scrape, and you came round in time to save him.

"I watched my opportunity to scoop the girl, and I have brought her here, although I was hotly pursued for a time, and I did not know but I'd have to drop her and get away alone. I succeeded in fooling the pursuers, and I arrived here at last.

"My double and the girl for whom I have risked so much are in that hut. I propose to break down the door and go in."

A wild shout came from the men. They were furious to think they had been so wonderfully deceived.

"Down with the door!"

"Drag him out!"

"Shoot him!"

With a hoarse roar of rage the Braves rushed toward the cabin, and flung themselves against the door, which went down with a crash, letting them into the hut.

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