MoboReader > Literature > Boy Scouts in the Coal Caverns; Or, The Light in Tunnel Six

   Chapter 22 CONCLUSION

Boy Scouts in the Coal Caverns; Or, The Light in Tunnel Six By Archibald Lee Fletcher Characters: 9433

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

"Bright boys up there!" exclaimed Will, as the unwelcome news of the escape of the robbers came down the old shaft.

"Me for the elevator?" shouted Tommy.

All four boys, Will, Elmer, Tommy and Sandy started in a mad race down the gangway. As they carried their searchlights with them, and as Mr. Carson and Mr. Buck moved at a slower pace, the latter gentlemen were soon feeling their way through the dark tunnel.

"We've just got to head 'em off!" grunted Tommy as the boys passed along at a pace calculated to break the long distance running records.

"I don't believe they'll make for the main shaft anyway," Sandy panted.

"I don't believe they will, either," Will declared, "but if we get to the lift first, we'll be dead sure they don't got out!"

Will was in advance as they swung into the lighted space about the shaft. The first thing be observed was that one of the cages was just starting upward. He sprang to the push button and almost instantly the cage dropped back to the third level again. The power was on in honor of the visit of the president of the company.

"Pile in, boys!" he shouted. "We'll stop at the second level!"

The man at the top responded nobly to the quick signals given to start and stop, and in a very short space of time the elevator stood at the second level. The bar was down, but Will threw it aside and stepped out into the passage. There he saw the bank cashier and the miner standing cowering against the wall only a few feet from the shaft.

"What are you doing here?" asked Will.

"We started to the top," the miner replied, "but stopped here because we thought there might be need of our assistance on this level."

"Why on this level?" asked Will, observing that the miner was pretty thoroughly frightened. "I haven't heard of any disturbance here!"

"But there has been a disturbance here!" insisted the cashier. "We heard scuffling out there in the darkness, but as we had no lights, we could not investigate. My friend, the miner, had a light on the lower level, but he lost it as we made our way out to the shaft."

"Has any one passed up the shaft?" asked Will.

The miner shook his head.

"Then we're on time all right!" cried Will exultantly. "We have the outlaws headed off!"

The heavy voices of the two men who had been left on the lower level now came rumbling up the shaft.

"What do you mean by leaving us in this plight?" demanded Carson.

"Lower the cage and take us to the top!"

"Stay down there and look after your money!" cried Sandy, mockingly.

"I think I know where my money is!" shouted Carson.

"I wish I knew!" returned Sandy.

In the moment of silence which followed, the boys instantly and heard the call of the Beaver Patrol ringing down the second level.

"George seems to be alive anyway!" laughed Tommy.

A moment later a snarling sound which seemed to emanate from a whole pack of Wolves reached the ears of the boys.

"Why didn't you tell me there were wild animals in the mine?" shouted the cashier. "Let me into that cage immediately!"

"Don't be in a hurry," advised Tommy. "All the Wolves and Beavers you'll find in here won't do you any harm!"

While Carson and Elmer's father continued to call from below, and while the Boy Scout challenges rang in the second level, two pistol shots were heard not far away from the shaft.

The cashier and the miner both broke for the cage, but were turned back at the point of Sandy's automatic revolver.

"You stopped here because you though you might be of some assistance, you know," the boy said. "Now you just remain here long enough to help out."

"But there are people being murdered in there!" cried the cashier.

Two more shots came from the gangway and then the stout figure of the detective came staggering into the circle of light around the shaft. He had evidently been wounded seriously, for he fell as he drew near to where the boys were standing and raised his eyes in a piteous appeal for help. Will stooped over and felt of his pulse.

"You're about done for!" the boy said in a husky tone. "Who did it?"

"Those two hold-up men," was the faint reply.

"Where are they now?" asked Will.

"I fired back," replied the detective wit a grim smile, "and I guess they're lying on the floor of the passage!"

Will bent closer over the wounded detective while Tommy and Sandy started down the gangway on a run, closely followed by Elmer.

"Why did they shoot you?" asked Will.

"I found the money," Ventner replied, "and hid it in a crevice in the wall, and they found it. When we managed to escape by cutting the ropes I saw them take the money and disappear in the darkness. I followed on and accused them

of the act and they shot me! Then I shot back, and I guess it's a pretty bad mess, when you take it altogether!"

"Where is the money?" asked Will.

"They have it in their possession," was the reply, "if they haven't hidden it again."

Before the wounded detective could continue, George, Jimmie, Dick,

Canfield, Sandy and Tommy came running out of the gangway.

"Where's Elmer?" asked Will.

"We left him back there talking with one of the hold-up men," replied

George. "They're both badly hurt, and won't last long!"

"I'm not sorry!" moaned Ventner.

A moment later, Elmer came out of the passage with a bill-book of good size in his hand. He lifted the book gaily as he entered the illumination.

"I'll bet he's got the money!" exclaimed Tommy.

"Sure he has!" replied Will, and Elmer nodded.

The voices of Carson and Buck again came roaring up from below.

"Why don't you lower the cage?" Carson shouted. "I'm going to have every one of you arrested as soon as I find an officer! You can't work any of your gold brick schemes on me!"

"We may as well drop down and take them aboard," laughed Will.

Carson was swelling with rage when he step onto the platform of the list. He shook his fiercely under Will's nose, and announced that would have him wearing handcuffs before night.

"How much reward was offered for the return that two hundred thousand dollars?" asked the boy without paying any attention to the angry demonstrations of the banker.

"Twenty thousand dollars!" replied Carson. "But you'll never get a cent of it. I hired a party of Boy Scouts to come here from Chicago and look into the case, but they never came near me."

"When you write to Chicago again," Will replied with a smile as the

elevator stopped at the second level, "just tell Mr. Horton that the

Beaver's didn't succeed in getting the money, but that the Wolves did.

Elmer has the money in his possession this minute!"

"Impossible!" shouted Carson.

"Hand him the money, Elmer," requested Will.

Carson snatched the bill book as it was held out to him and began looking through the ten thousand dollar banknotes which it contained.

"The next time you get drunk and fall out of your machine, don't accuse every one you meet of robbing you!" Sandy cut in.

"Are you the boys who came on from Chicago?" demanded Carson.

"Sure," replied Will.

"I guess I'm an old fool!" admitted Carson. "Here I've been roaming around about half a day accusing you boys of stealing my money, when all the time you were planning on returning it to me!"

"Do we get the reward now?" asked Will.

"Twenty thousand and expenses!" replied Carson. "I'll settle with

Elmer and his chums later."

"It's a shame to take the money!" declared Sandy, but Will gave him a sharp punch in the back and he cut off any further remarks which he might have had in his mind.

The story ends here because the adventure ended with the finding of the money. The old tool house was deserted that night. The two hold-up men and the detective recovered after a long illness in a Pittsburgh hospital. The detective was permitted to go his way after promising to keep out of crooked detective deals in the future. He never told how or where he received his information about the lost money. The hold-up men were given long sentences in prison.

A few weeks later, when the mining company resumed operations at the Labyrinth, Tunnel Six was walled up. Mr. Carson, the president, declared that it made what few hairs he had left stand on end to think of the experiences he had endured there!

However, there are still stories about the breaker, that on dark, nights, when the wind blows, and the rain falls in great sheets, there are mysterious lights floating about Tunnel Six.

Jimmie and Dick often tell exactly how these lights were made and how they enjoyed themselves down in the bowels of the earth, but superstitious miners still claim that the boys were not responsible for all the lights which burned there!

Dick and Jimmie also have their joke with the Beaver Patrol boys whenever they meet, declared that if they had not finally relented and dropped the string the boys had carried into the mine for their own protection, they would still be wandering around in the Labyrinth Mine.

"And now," Will said as they settled down in their old room on Washington boulevard, "we going to be good boys from this time on and remain in Chicago and stay at home nights!"

However, in three days, the boys were preparing for another bit of adventure, the details of which will be found in the next volume of this, series entitled:

"Boy Scouts in Alaska; or, The Camp on Glacier."

The End

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