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Jack Haydon's Quest By John Finnemore Characters: 3963

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

We must now return to Buck and Jim, whom we left in great perplexity at the village festival, wondering what had become of their young leader.

At the moment that Jack was dragged into the bushes by the Buddhist monk, who was not really a monk at all, but one of Saya Chone's followers in disguise, and the dancing girl, who was Saya Chone himself, Buck was within a dozen yards of them, looking all about for Jack. But he saw nothing of his young master, because a group of people, also in Saya Chone's pay, covered the movements by which Jack was drugged and carried off by his enemies.

"Thunder and mud," growled Buck. "Where's Jack got to? I left him here not five minutes ago, laughing over this picture."

At this moment Dent came up.

"Where's Jack?" said he quickly.

"I don't know, and that's the square-toed truth," replied Buck. "P'raps he's rambled off in a different direction."

The two comrades began to move swiftly about in search of their young leader. They kept together, for, with their knowledge of the country, they felt uneasy at once, and were not willing to separate, lest each might not find the other again. They found Me Dain, and set him to hunt in every direction. They found the headman, and he seemed bewildered at the idea that Jack had disappeared. He gave, or seemed to give, them every assistance possible in their search, but within an hour the two comrades were looking at each other very blankly. Jack had gone. There was no sign of him from end to end of the village, but how or where he had gone was a completely impenetrable mystery.

Buck and Jim and the Burman gathered in the hut which had been assigned to them, and held a council of war.

"Say," muttered Buck uneasily, "this beats the band. What's come to Jack?"

Jim Dent shook his head, and made no reply for a moment.

"Well, Buck," he said at last, "there's one thing quite certain; he hasn't gone on his own account."

"Sure thing," replied Buck.

"And i

f he's been nabbed in some mysterious fashion or another, we're pretty certain who's got hold of him," pursued Jim, and Buck nodded with a blank face.

At the next instant Jim's suspicions were confirmed by the Burman.

"Well," grunted Me Dain, "U Saw got both now, for sure, both young master and old master."

"What makes you think that, Me Dain?" cried Buck. "Have you seen or heard anything?"

"Nothing, nothing," replied the Burman, waving his hand. "But what else can be? They catch him and take him off. Oh yes, sure to be."

"After all, it would only be in line with plenty of things we've heard of, Buck," remarked Jim Dent, and again Buck had to give a sorrowful nod.

"Well," said Buck, in a decided voice, "s'pose we put it at that. In some fashion or other he's been kidnapped by the people who kidnapped his father. Let it go at that. Then, next thing is, what are we going to do?"

"I'll bet I know what you're going to do, Buck, my son," said Jim Dent, with a dry chuckle. "You'll follow on a bit and see what's happened to father and son, or I'm making a big mistake."

"You're quite right, Jim," said Buck Risley. "I don't hold with backin' down on a pardner, and I'm goin' along to see what's happened to the Professor and Jack just as far as I can crawl."

"And I'm with you, old man," said Jim quietly. "I owe Jack my life, too. One good turn deserves another."

"And me, sahibs, and me," said Me Dain quickly. "The young sahib save my life also when the dacoit thought to chop off my head. I go with you everywhere to help the two sahibs."

"Bully for you, Me Dain, you're a good sort," cried Buck, and he thrust his hand out to the Burman. Me Dain, highly delighted to receive the white man's sign of friendship, shook hands very solemnly with both Buck and Jim, and they formed at once a confraternity of three to hunt up U Saw's quarters, and see where he held the prisoners, whom they now firmly believed to be in his grasp.

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