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   Chapter 13 FIRE IN THE HOLD.

Frank Merriwell's Nobility; Or, The Tragedy of the Ocean Tramp By Burt L. Standish Characters: 3059

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


Everyone except the detective himself seemed astounded. The clever officer, who had played his part so well, was as cool as ice.

The Frenchman cried:

"But zis pot-eet ees not settailed to whom eet belong yet!"

The detective stepped back to his chair.

"The easiest way to settle that is by a show-down," he said. "Under the circumstances, further bettering is out of the question."

"And I rather think I am in the showdown," choked out the prisoner. "I'll need this money to defend myself when I come to trial."

"You shall have it," assured Dan Badger-"if you win it."

"Well, I think I'll win it," said the ironed man, spreading out his hand. "I have four aces, and you can't beat that."

"Oh, my dear saire!" cried the Frenchman. "Zat ees pretty gude, but I belief zis ees battaire. How you like zat for a straight flush?"

He lay his cards on the table, and he had the two, three, four, five and six of hearts.

There was a shout of astonishment.

"Ze pot ees mine!" exultantly cried the Frenchman.

"Stop!" rang out Frank Merriwell's clear voice. "That pot is not yours!"

Everyone looked at Merry.

"He is using a table 'hold-out!'" accused Frank, pointing straight at Montfort. "I saw him make the shift. The five cards that really belong in his hands will be found in the hold-out under the table!"

There was dead silence. The Frenchman turned sallow.

"It makes no difference," said the quiet voice of the detective, breaking the silence. "I have a higher straight flush of clubs here

. Mine runs up to the eight spot, and so I win the pot."

He showed his cards and raked in the pot.

With a savage cry, M. Montfort flung his hand aside, leaped to his feet, sprang at Frank, and struck for Merry's face.

The blow was parried, and he was knocked down instantly.

A sailor, pale and shaking, came dashing into the room and whispered a word in the captain's ear.

An oath broke from the captain's lips, and he whirled about and rushed from the room.

Slowly Montfort picked himself up. There was a livid mark on his cheek. He glared at Frank with deadly hatred.

"Cursed meddlaire!" he grated. "You shall pay for this."

There was consternation outside. On the deck was heard the sound of running feet.

"Something has happened!" said Diamond, hurrying to the door. "I wonder what it is."

The "Eagle" was plunging along through a heavy sea. On the deck some men were running to and fro. Everyone seemed in the greatest consternation.

Jack sprang out and stopped a man.

"What is the matter?" he demanded.

"The ship is on fire!" was the shaking answer. "There is a fire in the hold!"

Diamond staggered. He whirled about and sprang into the smoking-room. In a moment he was at Frank's side.

"Merry," he said, "what I feared has come! The steamer is on fire!"

"Where?"

"In the hold."

Frank remembered the barrels and casks he had seen there.

"Then we are liable to go scooting skyward in a hurry!" he said. "It can't take the fire long to reach the petroleum and powder!"

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