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- The Rover Boys out West - 1/36 -


Scanned by Sean Pobuda (jpobuda@adelphia.net)

THE ROVER BOYS OUT WEST

Or

The Search for a Lost Mine

By Arthur M. Winfield

INTRODUCTION

My Dear Boys: This book, "The Rover Boys Out West," forms the fourth volume of the "Rover Boys Series," a line of up-to-date stories for Young Americans. Like the other books of the series, this tale's complete in itself.

In "The Rover Boys at School "we were introduced to Dick, Tom, and Sam, and their amusing and thrilling adventures at Putnam Hall, a military academy for boys situated in the heart of Now York State; in "The Rover Boys on the Ocean "we followed our young heroes during a most daring rescue; and in "The Rover Boys in the jungle" we learn what true American courage can do, even in the heart of the Dark Continent.

In the present tale our young herm are taken at first back to dear old Putnam Hall, and then to the heart of the great mining district of Colorado.

All trace of a valuable mine has been lost, and the boys start out on a hunt for the property, little dreaming of the many perils which await them on their quest. How they overcome one obstacle after another, and get the best of their various enemies, will be found in the story itself.

The success of the first Rover Boys books has gratified me beyond measure, and my one hope is that my numerous readers will find this and future volumes of equal interest.

Affectionately and sincerely yours,

ARTHUR M. WINFIELD.

June 20, 1900

CHAPTER I

RETURNING FROM A GREAT GAME

"Zip! Boom! Ah!"

"Hurrah for Putnam Hall!"

"Let her go, Peleg, lively now, and mind you don't upset us, or we'll use you worse than we did the football."

"All right, young gents. All in? Hold fast, everybody, or I won't be responsible, nohow, if you drop off. Git along, Jack; up with ye, Sally!"

And with a crack of the whip, a tooting of tin horns, and it mad yelling and cheering from the students, the long Putnam Hall stage left the football enclosure attached to the Pornell Academy grounds and started along the lake road for Putnam Hall.

The stage was packed, inside and out, with as merry and light-hearted a crowd of boys as could be found anywhere; and why should they not be merry and light-hearted, seeing as they had just won a great football match by a score of 16 to 8? Tom Rover, who was on the top of the stage, actually danced a jig for joy.

"That's the third time we have done them up, fellows!" he cried. "My, but won't there be gloom around Pornell Academy to-night! It will be thick enough to cut with a knife."

"They were never in it from the start," piped up Sam Rover. "And they were all heavier than our team, too," he added, proudly.

"It was science, not weight, that won the match," said Frank Harrington.

"Yes, it was science," broke in Larry Colby. "And for that science we have to thank Dick Rover. Oh, but didn't that rush to the left fool them nicely!"

Dick Rover's handsome face flushed with pleasure. "We won because every player did his full duty," he said. "If we--" He broke off short. "Great Scott, what a racket on top! Who's that capering around?"

"It's me, thank you!" yelled Tom, with more force than good grammar. "I'm doing an Indian war dance in honor of the victory. Want to join in, anybody?"

"Stop it; you'll be coming through the roof. We had only one man hurt on the field; I don't want a dozen hurt on the ride home."

"Oh, it's safe enough, Dick. If I feel the roof giving way I'll jump and save myself," and Tom began a wilder caper than ever. But suddenly George Granbury, who sat nearby, caught him by the foot, and he came down with a thump that threatened to split the stage top from end to end.

"It won't do, nohow!" pleaded Peleg Snuggers, the general utility man attached to Putnam Hall Military Academy. "Them hosses is skittish, and --"

"Oh, stow it, Peleg," interrupted George. "You know those horses couldn't run away if they tried. You only want us to act as if we were a funeral procession coming --"

A wild blast of horns from below drowned out the remainder of his speech, and this finished, the football team and the other cadets began to sing, in voices more forceful than melodious:

"Putnam Hall! Putnam Hall! What is wrong with Putnam Hall? Nothing, boys! Nothing, boys! She's all RIGHT! Right! right! Right! Right! RIGHT!"

Through the woods and far across the clear waters of Cayuga Lake floated the words, followed by another blast from the horns and then continued cheering. And their cheering was answered by others who passed them, some in carriages and others oil bicycles. It was a clear, sunshiny day, and nearly all of the inhabitants of Cedarville, as well as of other villages along the lake, were out in honor of the occasion. It had been a general holiday both at Putnam Hall and at Pornell Academy, and the whole neighborhood had taken advantage of it.

"I believe Captain Putnam is as proud as any of us," remarked Dick Rover, when the excitement had calmed down a bit. "When Tom kicked that final goal I saw him rise up and nearly pound the life out of the railing with his gold-headed cane. "I'll wager the cane is split into a dozen pieces."

"Oh, that's nothing," put in Harry Blossom slyly. "When Tom did his little act I saw Nellie Laning actually throw him a kiss from the grand stand. If she --"

"Hi, below there! Who's taking my name in vain?" came from Tom, and suddenly his head appeared at the top of one of the openings on the side of the stage.

"I was just telling what Nellie Laning did, Tom. When you made that splendid kick--"

"Stow it, you moving-picture camera!" cried Tom, his face growing suddenly red. "You see altogether too much."

"Do I?" drawled Harry dryly. "Maybe. And then when Dick made his run, pretty Dora Stanhope just put out her arms as if she wanted to hug -- Whow!"

Harry Blossom's banter came to a sudden ending, for, as red in the face as his brother, Dick Rover reached forward and thrust a banana he was eating into the tormenter's half open mouth. Harry gulped once or twice, then the fruit disappeared as if by magic.

"All right, Dick, I accept the bribe and will henceforth be silent," he said solemnly, as soon as he could speak.

"That's right, tie up your tongue, unless you want to be lifted from the stage," said Tom.

"It's all right," put in Dave Kearney, another cadet. "Dora Stanhope and the Laning girls are nice folk and I don't blame anybody for being sweet on them."

"Yes, but you keep out of their cornfield, or you'll have all three of the Rovers after you," came from Harry warningly.

"What are we going to do to-night?" asked Dick abruptly, and in such a tone that the others felt the bantering must come to an end. "Is it feast, or fireworks, or both?"

"Make it both!" came in chorus from a dozen cadets. "Captain Putnam is just in the humor to let us do anything to-night. And Mr. Strong's in the same good humor. Let us make the best of it."

"All right; feast and fireworks it is," said Dick. "But both will cost money. Who'll pass around the hat?"


The Rover Boys out West - 1/36

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