SANDY IS DISCHARGED
Elmer and Sandy, guarding the gangway
variously called the North section and Tunnel Six,
presently heard voices coming from the direction of
the shaft, and the latter moved back a few paces in
order to inspect the new-comers. In a moment
he saw three rather pompous looking men approaching
him, their footsteps being directed by a man clothed
as a miner.
“Here, boy!” shouted one
of the pompous men. “Can you tell me where
Canfield, the caretaker of this mine, may be found?”
“He’s up on the next level,” replied
“I was told he was down here,”
growled the speaker, who was very short and fat, and
very much out of breath.
“He was here a little while ago,” answered
“What’s the meaning of
this show of firearms?” demanded the fat man,
after glancing disdainfully at the automatic in the
“We’ve got three robbers
cooped up in the mine,” replied Sandy.
“That’s the old, old story!”
exclaimed the fat man. “I don’t know
that I ever knew of a mine that wasn’t haunted,
either by ghosts or robbers! Mysteries seem to
breed in coal mines!”
Sandy walked back to the place where
he had left Elmer, and the three men and their guide
followed him. When Elmer caught a view of the
fat man’s face and figure, he gave a sharp pull
at Sandy’s sleeve.
“That’s Stephen Carson!”
he said. “I guess I’d better keep
out of sight, because I don’t care about getting
into an argument with him. He’s the most
contrary person I ever saw in my life, and never fails
to get up an argument about something or other with
“You seem to know him pretty well,” whispered
“I ought to,” returned
Elmer, “he’s my Uncle! The two tall
men in the party are my father and the cashier of
the Night and Day bank. I’ll take a sneak,
and that will shorten the session.”
Accordingly, Elmer strolled along
the gangway and came to a halt some distance from
where the three men had drawn up.
“My boy,” Carson went
on, looking condescendingly at the youth, “will
you kindly run up to the second level and tell Mr.
Canfield that his presence is required by the president
of the mining company?”
“I’m not allowed to leave
this place, sir,” replied Sandy, taking offense
at the man’s air of proprietorship.
“All persons in and about this
mine,” Carson almost shouted, “are subject
to my orders. Run along now, you foolish boy,
find don’t make any further trouble for yourself!”
The man’s manner was so unnecessarily
dictatorial and offensive that Sandy found it impossible
to retain his temper. He was not naturally a
“fresh” youngster, but now he had passed
the limit of endurance.
“Aw, go chase yourself!” he said.
“You’re discharged!” shouted Carson.
“You didn’t hire me!”
retorted Sandy. “You haven’t got any
right to discharge me! I’m going to stay
here until I get ready to leave!”
“If you don’t get out
of the mine immediately, I’ll have you thrown
out!” shouted Carson. “I never saw
“If I do get out,” replied
Sandy with a grin, “you’ll wish I hadn’t!”
Carson turned to Elmer’s father
and the bank cashier, and the three consulted together
for a short time. Then Elmer’s father came
closer to where Sandy was standing.
“Why do you say that?”
he asked. “Why do you think we will wish
you had remained in case you are sent out of the mine?”
“Because I was left here to
prevent robbers getting out of the gangway. They’re
further in, and have captured three of my chums.”
“All nonsense!” shouted
Mr. Carson breaking into the conversation impatiently.
“These breaker boys never tell the truth!”
“Are you Mr. Buck?” asked
Sandy, speaking in an undertone to Elmer’s father.
“Because if you are, you’ll find Elmer
just a short distance ahead. He’s on guard,
too. He didn’t want his uncle to recognize
him, because he says he’s always getting up
an argument with him.”
“I’m glad to know that
Elmer is attending to his duty,” Mr. Buck answered.
“Somehow,” he continued with a smile, “Stephen
Carson always rubs Elmer the wrong way of the grain.”
“What’s he butting in
here for?” asked Sandy, while the cashier of
the Night and Day bank and the miner stood by waiting
for the peace negotiations to conclude.
“Why, he came in to get his
two hundred thousand dollars!” replied Mr. Buck.
“He thinks he knows How right where he left it.”
“Does he often get foolish in
the head like that?” asked Sandy with a grin.
“If he does, he ought to hire a couple of detectives
to keep track of him when he goes wandering out in
“Oh, Stephen is usually a pretty
level-headed sort of a fellow!” replied Mr.
Buck. “He is out of humor just now because
he has always denied that he visited the mine during
his two weeks of absence. He is one of the men
who dislike very much to be caught in an error of any
“So he knows where the money is?” asked
“He says he can find it if he
can secure the services of Canfield, the caretaker.
He remembers now of getting in the mine, and of hearing
footsteps in the darkness. His impression at that
time was that robbers had followed him in, so he unloaded
the banknotes in a small chamber which he is now able
to describe accurately but which he cannot, of course,
“Was the money hidden on this level?”
“Yes, on this level.”
“In this gangway?”
“He thinks it was hidden here.”
“Right about here, or further on?”
“Why,” was the answer,
“he seems to remember something about Tunnel
Six. He thinks he hid the money there! As
soon as he finds Canfield, the caretaker will probably
be able to tell him exactly how Tunnel Six looks.”
“It looks all in a mess right now! I can
tell you that,” grinned Sandy.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean that there’s been doings here!”
“Are there really robbers in there?”
“Sure, there are robbers in there!”
“Then perhaps we’d better bring in a squad
“If you’ll just let us
boys alone,” Sandy said, “we’ll bring
the money out if it’s anywhere in the mine,
but if this man Carson goes to butting in at this
time, he’ll have to dig out his own money.
He won’t believe there’s any robbers in
there, and he wants to fire me out of the mine, so
I guess we’d better let him go his own gait a
“He’ll do that anyhow no matter what you
say!” replied Mr. Buck.
“Look here!” shouted Carson,
starting forward, with his stomach out and his fat
shoulders thrown back, “what’s all this
conversation about? Why don’t some one
go up and get Canfield, and why isn’t that young
rowdy thrown out of the mine? I won’t have
him in here!”
“Say,” Sandy broke in,
“Mr. Buck says that you’re looking for
Tunnel Six. If you are, I can show you right
where it is!”
“Do so, then!” shouted Carson.
“Go straight ahead,” Sandy
directed, “and when the robbers begin to shoot,
you command them to throw down their weapons in the
name of the law. They’ll probably do it,
all right, if you tell them to, but you’ll be
lucky if they don’t throw them down your throat!”
“Do you mean to tell me,”
screamed Carson, “that there are actually robbers
here, and that they have taken possession of Tunnel
“That’s the idea,” replied Sandy.
“Why, that’s where I put my ”
“That’s where you put your money, is it?”
Sandy went on.
“I never saw such impudence!” reared Carson.
“Well, go on and get your money!”
advised Sandy. “Just go straight down the
gangway until you come to a face of rock and then switch
off to the left, and you’ll find yourself in
a chamber used at present by robbers and hold-up men
as a winter resort.”
“Oh you can’t frighten
me!” declared Carson. “I believe that
you’re here in quest of the money yourself!”
admitted Sandy. “Go on in, now, and tell
the robbers to give up your hoarded gold! Just
butt in, and tell ’em what you want them to
do! They’ll probably do just as you tell
“I never saw such impudence
in my life!” roared Carson, wiping his perspiring
forehead with a large red silk handkerchief.
“I don’t see where the
impudence comes in!” replied Sandy. “You
said you wanted to find Tunnel Six in order that you
might locate your money. I’m telling you
where it is, and what to do to get it!”
“Old Stephen never took a bluff
in his life!” chuckled Mr. Buck, “Now
see if he doesn’t go stalking down that passage
and declaring himself in the name of the law!”
The banker did exactly what Mr. Buck
had predicted. He went storming down the passage,
giving notice to all intruders to walk out of his mine
in a peaceable manner. Mr. Buck followed along
until he came to where Elmer was standing with his
back against the wall, and then the two paused and
entered into conversation. The cashier of the
Night and Day bank and the miner started back toward
“What’s the matter?”
shouted Sandy. “Why don’t you stay
and see the fun? There’ll be shooting here
The miner and the cashier now took
to their heels and were soon out of sight. Every
moment the boy expected to see a flash of fire in the
gangway. Carson was now very near to Tunnel Six,
and it seemed certain that the outlaws must soon open
fire on him.
“Come back, Stephen!”
shouted Mr. Buck. “Don’t make a fool
“This is all pure bluff!”
shouted Carson. “There are no robbers here
at all. This is a scheme to keep me out of Tunnel
Six, where I believe my money to be hidden!”
They saw Carson halt in his rather
clumsy passage down the gangway, and draw an automatic
revolver from his pocket.
There was a quick shot and the banker rushed ahead!