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Jack Wright and His Electric Stage; or, Leagued Against the James Boys   By: (1863-1939)

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JACK WRIGHT AND HIS ELECTRIC STAGE; OR, Leagued Against the James Boys.

By "NONAME," Author of "Jack Wright and His Electric Battery Diver," etc., etc.


As the 11:30 A. M. express train from New York was speeding toward the fisher village of Wrightstown, one of the passengers went out on the rear platform of the last car and intently gazed back along the rails.

He was a compactly built man, with rather rough clothing on, and the soft felt hat on his head shaded a bearded face, which denoted a daring, reckless disposition.

A half smothered oath escaped his lips as he caught view of a locomotive chasing the train he was on, for he distinctly saw a man in the cab whom he recognized as one of his worst enemies.

"Sheriff Timberlake!" he growled between his clenched teeth, as a dark scowl mantled his brow. "Curse him! he is hot after us now, and if he overhauls this train he may give us no end of trouble."

"The skunk has followed us all the way from Missouri, and after we saw the sights of New York, and gave him the slip, he must have discovered that we started for home in this train. Now he has evidently hired that locomotive to chase and capture us. I'll go in and tell the boys. We must keep out of his reach."

His anxiety was caused by observing that the pursuing locomotive was slowly but surely gaining on the train.

Opening the door, he passed into the car.

It was occupied by four men, who were part of a gang of outlaws whom he commanded, for the bearded man was the notorious bandit king, Jesse James.

The men who were with him were known as Jim Cummins, Wood Hite, Clell Miller and Frank James a brother of Jesse.

Sitting in a bunch, they were quietly laughing and talking over their experience in New York, when the chief hurried in with a look of supreme disgust upon his face.

The moment the rest glanced up at him and saw it, they knew something out of the ordinary had happened.

"What's the matter, Jesse?" demanded Jim Cummins.

"You look as if you'd seen a ghost!" laughed Frank, jocularly.

"What sent you out on the rear platform!" asked Wood Hite.

"Timberlake is after us," said Jesse, with a steely glitter in his eyes.

"Thunder!" roared Clell Miller.

With one accord the quartet pulled revolvers from their pockets, bounded to their feet and sprang into the aisle.

A grim smile passed over the face of Jesse James for a moment, and as it faded sway, he made as impatient gesture and said:

"He is on a locomotive that is chasing us."

"Sure!" asked Cummins, with a dubious look.

"I saw him in the caboose."

"Can he overtake us?" asked Frank.

"Eventually; but we mustn't let him."

"How can we prevent it?" queried Miller.

"By jumping off at the next curve and hiding."

"Good!" exclaimed Wood Hite, "Where's the curve?"

"Just before we reach Wrightstown."

"Let's get ready for it then," suggested Frank.

"All right," assented the bandit king; "but be careful that no one detects us. To avoid being seen we must leave by the rear platform."

As he said this he thrust his head out the open window, and peering ahead, he studied the roadbed.

Satisfied with his scrutiny; he said to his companions:

"There's the curve about a mile ahead."

"Well?" demanded Cummins.

"The train is bound to slacken speed when it goes around. A mass of timber, bushes and rocks abutt into the curve. It will hide our movements from the sheriff's view. We can easily hide there."

Stationing themselves near the rear door, they waited.

In a few minutes the cars reached the curve and went around.

As the last car turned they dashed out upon the rear platform, and one after another they sprang to the ground.

Then they plunged late the bushes.

Gathering speed again, the express train ran away without them, and a few minutes afterward a locomotive came flying along in pursuit of it with an engineer, a stoker and the sheriff in the cab.

The bandits glared from their coverts at Timberlake like so many wild beasts as he sped by, ignorant of the trick they played upon him, and nearly all of them gripped their pistols with a burning desire to fire at him... Continue reading book >>

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