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Bert Wilson at Panama   By:

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Bert Wilson at Panama

BY J.W. Duffield

Copyright, 1914, By


Published and Printed, 1924 by Western Printing & Lithographing Company Racine, Wisconsin Printed in U.S.A.


CHAPTERS I. The Hold Up II. The Pursuit III. A Gallant Comrade IV. The Captured Sentry V. A Fiendish Torture VI. The Execution of El Tigre VII. Off for Panama VIII. The Great Canal IX. The Treacherous Bog X. A Perilous Adventure XI. The Deserted City XII. Wah Lee's Boss XIII. Marked for Destruction XIV. Snatched from the Sea XV. Cutting the Wires XVI. The Foiling of the Plot



"Hands up! Quick!"

Now, in wild countries, such a command is never disobeyed, except by a fool or a would be suicide. As Dick Trent was neither, his hands went up at once. And as he looked into the wicked muzzles of two bulldog revolvers, he inwardly cursed the carelessness that had led him so far afield, unarmed.

For that he had been careless there was not the shadow of a doubt. All that morning, as his train wound its way through Central Mexico, there had been unmistakable evidence on every side of the disturbed state of the nation. From the car windows he had seen a fertile country turned into a desert. The railroad line itself had been fairly well guarded by strong detachments of Federal forces; but outside the direct zone of travel there were abundant witnesses of strife and desolation. Smoke was rising from the remains of burned villages, the fields were bare of cattle driven off by marauding bands, harvests remained ungathered because the tillers of the soil had either fled for safety to the larger towns or been forced to take up arms with one of the contending factions. There were at least four important leaders, backed by considerable forces, who claimed to represent the people of Mexico, while countless bands of guerillas hung on the flanks of the regular armies. These last were murderers, pure and simple. It mattered nothing to them which side won. They robbed and slaughtered impartially, wherever booty or victims awaited them, and their ranks were recruited from the very scum of the earth.

Only that morning a brisk action had taken place at a small town on the line, and although the guerillas had been driven off they had managed to inflict considerable damage. A desperate attempt to destroy a bridge had been foiled, but one of the trestles had been so weakened that the heavy train did not dare to cross until repairs were made. This caused a delay of an hour or two, and, in the meantime, most of the passengers left the train and strolled about, watching the progress of the work.

Among these had been Bert Wilson and Tom Henderson, Dick's inseparable friends and companions. A strong bond of friendship united the three and this had been cemented by many experiences shared in common. They were so thoroughly congenial, had "summered and wintered" each other so long that each almost knew what the others were thinking. Together they had faced dangers: together they had come to hand grips with death and narrowly escaped. Each knew that the others would back him to the limit and would die rather than desert him in an emergency. By dint of strength and natural capacity Bert was the leader, but the others followed close behind. All were tall and muscular, and as they stood beside the train they formed a striking trio the choicest type of young American manhood.

They were on their way to Panama to witness the opening of the Panama Canal. That stupendous triumph of engineering skill had appealed to them strongly while in course of construction, and now that it was to be thrown open to the vessels of the world, their enthusiasm had reached fever heat. All of them had chosen their life work along engineering and scientific lines, and this of course added to the interest they felt simply as patriotic Americans... Continue reading book >>

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