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Fire Cloud The Mysterious Cave. A Story of Indians and Pirates.   By:

Fire Cloud The Mysterious Cave. A Story of Indians and Pirates. by Samuel H. Fletcher

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[Illustration: FIRE CLOUD BY SAMUEL FLETCHER No. 86 Beadle's Frontier Series]

(Printed in the United States of America)



The Mysterious Cave.

A Story of Indians and Pirates.

Copyright, 1909, by James Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Published by THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK COMPANY Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.



Whether or not, the story which we are about to relate is absolutely true in every particular, we are not prepared to say. All we know about it is, that old Ben Miller who told it to our uncle Zeph, believed it to be true, as did uncle Zeph himself. And from all we can learn, uncle Zeph was a man of good judgment, and one not easily imposed upon.

And uncle Zeph said that he had known old people in his younger days, who stated that they had actually seen the cave where many of the scenes which we are about to relate occurred, although of late years, no traces of any kind could be discovered in the locality where it is supposed to have been situated.

His opinion was, that as great rocks were continually rolling down the side of the mountain at the foot of which the entrance to the cave was, some one or more of these huge boulders had fallen into the opening and completely closed it up.

But that such a cave did exist, he was perfectly satisfied, and that it would in all probability be again discovered at some future day, by persons making excavations in the side of the mountain. And lucky he thought would be the man who should make the discovery, for unheard of treasures he had no doubt would be found stowed away in the chinks and crevices of the rocks.

So much by way of introduction; as we have no intention to describe the cave until the proper time comes, we shall leave that part of the subject for the present, while we introduce the reader to a few of the principal personages of our narrative.

At a distance of some fifteen or twenty miles from the City of New York, on the Hudson river in the shadow of the rocks known as the Palisades, something near two hundred years ago, lay a small vessel at anchor.

The vessel as we have said was small. Not more than fifty or sixty tons burden, and what would be considered a lumbering craft now a days with our improved knowledge of ship building, would at that time be called a very fast sailor.

This vessel was schooner rigged, and every thing about her deck trim and in good order.

On the forecastle sat two men, evidently sailors, belonging to the vessel.

We say sailors, but in saying so we do not mean to imply that they resembled your genuine old salt , but something between a sailor and a landsman. They could hardly be called land lubbers, for I doubt if a couple of old salts could have managed their little craft better than they, while they, when occasion required, could work on land as well as water.

In fact they belonged to the class known as river boatmen, though they had no hesitation to venturing out to sea on an emergency.

The elder of these men, who might have seen some fifty years or more, was a short, thick set man with dark complexion, and small grey eyes overshadowed by thick, shaggy brows as black as night.

His mouth was large when he chose to open it, but his lips were thin and generally compressed.

He looked at you from under his eyebrows like one looking at you from a place of concealment, and as if he was afraid he would be seen by you.

His name was David Rider, but was better known among his associates under the title of Old Ropes.

The other was a man of about twenty five or thirty, and was a taller and much better looking man, but without anything very marked in his countenance. His name was Jones Bradley.

"I tell you what, Joe," said his companion, "I don't like the captain's bringin' of this gal; there can't no good come of it, and it may bring us into trouble."

"Bring us into trouble! everything that's done out of the common track, accordin' to you's a goin' to bring us into trouble. I'd like to know how bringing a pretty girl among us, is goin' to git us into trouble?"

"A pretty face is well enough in its way," said Old Ropes, "but a pretty face won't save a man from the gallows, especially if that face is the face of an enemy... Continue reading book >>

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