Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor


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Frank Reade, Jr., and his new steam man; or, The young inventor's trip to the Far West

The r oe had actually closed in upon him, and nearly every avenue of retreat was closed.


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The little uan t long without an expedient. H e called put one of his pluck1est privates, and said: "Jason, do you want to undertake a ticklish job? Look fer Lbe Vrgrlants and the Steam Man and them to coine to our nld. A prayer t rembled on Clark's lips. Of course no fio-htinocould be done until the break of day. He knew thnt 1t was not pos srble for the faithful courier to return from forL unde r two c!

It seemP. As rt drew nearer he r e! You might be cut to pieces before I could returu. I have found au avenue by which I tlunk we can escape. It is almost a cavern for the t. It's a close lor the horses, but I think we cau all get through and out upo n the prairie before daybrt Jlk. Clark was intensely ex cited. Jut clo.. Put every man in h! You have solved our salvation, a11d you shall be pro motet!.

In a brief space of time the camp was aroused. The weary soltliers, worn out with lighting, were only too aJad to learn of tile poasil! The passage described by Jason was found. It was necessary to tirst pry aside a huge bowlder before passage could be made. Into the passage the litL! The cavalrymen had reached the prairie in safety and o-alfoped away from the bills. Clark knew that bis only ar;d best move now was to return to the fort for reinforcements. He could not hope to do anything with the roe with such a mere handful of men.

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No effort was made to search for the Vigil ants. Clark knew that even with their aid it would not be feasible to give battle to the cowboys. Clearly it was necessary to have two hundretl more men. The colonel set bis lips ven g efully. And as they rode, thrilling adventures were the lot of Frank Rende, Jr. Let us, therefore, lor a time, deviate here and follow their fortunes. Jf the Vigilante was not wholly content to abanuon the trarl or the cowboys, just here. Hrs remarks were not lo ic. They may turn tlie t:bles on them yet. We must not let Clifl' defeat them. If ho does, be wrll defeat us.

We will make a camp down here on Wrllow When w e learn for a fact that Cliff has been ,. Until t! He extended his hand and I agree with you. We cnn tlo tic is upon our own responsibility. You are to wait for Clark We will accompany It was night. The darkness became most mtense m the vicinity. Jants descended and mixe1t: with the Vigilants. For unknown to any in the camp a coterie of dusky savages lurked in the tall prairie grass about. Barney :1ntl were entertaining the with some o l their muucbausen stones Tile plainsmen roared with l:mghter until their s i des ached.

Both were comical mokes and were continually playing roo ts upon each other. The most intense of reigned. All was confusion. Then one of the guards cam e rushing iu. Who fired that pistol shot? They weut on down the creek. He an' the gal have certainly f a llen into the "ti p or ther Injuus. We must make lively work to save "Frank Reade, Jr. Toe crack of ritles now sounded all around the camp. The savages, withou t doubt, were drawing their line closer, and meant If po! But a line of uefense was then thrown out, and the skulk ing savages were held at bay.

It was impossible to tell how to nrove or where. The enemy fired from a11 directions aud practically at random. They allus attack one after el stretch, but Frank did not try to run away from them. The Indtans bore away t o a southwesterly course, and soon a range of hills b e cam e visible above the horizon. Harmon made Lbem out as the Black Bear rana-e. A path was not visible an bera, 1 didn't mesilf till I see the top. There was no time to lo s e. It was a des-" uod we're ready too. If I iver get a head on any wan pernte chance but he tooK it.

I can't see their position very well. Jist rern10st that big scrul. J av an oak on the edJ:e-Of the cliff. Suddenly BarLey gave a sharp around. Over into the water went the doomed savage. The shot hnd been a Whurro:" he yelled. Qtuck as allnah hls rille went to his shoulder. But the c11noe was at the moment nt the bead of some rapids. Then down over the cliff the stream vanished! That was a beautiful shot. There's only three av ther red divils left. This was true, but the three savages seemed likely to elude their Anotber yell, a death cry went up on the air of the defile. The canoe was racing down the stream, and fast neurinrr a defile in lL's only two to wan, Frank.

The outlook now was certainly encouraooina for the rescue of the Frank and BarneY. Jlri oners. But the. Forward, th -en! Is there not a short cut? Jis case far the best. TIJey Both looked! In the 8ame instant they espied it. The creek: took o. Tl ead All was quiet on the bluff above, ow the two pursuers saw that they would be likely to cut ofi the sav Bot It was not by any means likely that the foe were inactive.

The great now was tho. Ou r rescuers wn1teu as long as seemed consistent with safety. Accordingly started forward on the run. The Inuian captors saw their move nt once, and an angry yell went up from them. The bullet whistled close to Barney's ear. The Celt 8tOpped and cocke rave young inventor rushed. He thought or poor Ban ows witb his hamls tied. T3rowo into the watets of the creek, it did not seem as if any power on earth could save him. But two o! The canoe hatl overturned in close proximity to the shore.

The thtrd savage gave aasistauce, and a:; the water did not chance to be deep, all got ashore. But bis statement WllS premature. Even as it seemed that the rescue was certain, an incident occurred to prevent. THE appearance of tbe savages was most inopportune. Mounted on their fleet ponies, witb. Tbe three Indian capto0rs yelled wrth delight. Frank and Barney of course came to a halt. Of course it was folly to tern pt fate. We are badly beaten! PIJwattver shall we do now, Misther Frank!

Come on, Barney! Jere now we d moighty soon turn the thing about. Barney saw tile move and called Frank's to it. Directly in front of them, a body of armed men swept mto the valley. Thev the Vi. At s1ght or Frank and Bar;ey urged tlleir horses O! They turned their horses auout and rode swiftly on the back tratl. Frank could t:ardly wait for Harmon and hia mento come up.

Enthusiastic greetings were exchanged, and also exl-ler:ences.. The Vi"ilants had dtiven the before them mto the lulls. But upgn entering the fastnesses, with which they were not famil inr, the Indians had given tbern the slin In tbe they had come upon the scene at an opportune moment.

Tllere seemed nobetter thing to d o than to give pursuit to the savages at once. Accordingly a couple of spare horses were provided for Frank and Barney, and they rode forward on the charge. The delay had been brief, it had enabled the savages to cross the creel' and start for the defile beyond. Down thundered the vigilants In hot pursuit. The creek was qalckly forded and the pursuers seemed to be gatn-ing at every bouud. But o! In one division was the girl capttve, Bess1e Rodman, and m the other Walter Bar-rows.

The party who had the girl in charge started for the Tbe other made directly across the valley. In a tlasb of ttme the purpose of the savages was made apparent. The vigilants could not go both ways with splitting up. As they were much less in numaer than the Apaches the result of this woqld be to greatly weaken them, if not actually place then: at the marcy of the red foe. On the othe; ban,! Harmon drew a slight rein upon his horse and wavered a moment. The vigilants naturally were inclined to go to the rascue of their comrade, bnt Frank Reade, Jr.

We can rescue the man later. The girl tirst, boys; then we will try and save Barrows. A few moments later they reached it and entered it. High walls of black, fortlid ling rock arose on either side to a mighty height. It was harde r for the horses of the vigilants to pick their way through here lhan the tleet-footed ponies of the savages. Accordingly the lndians. Tile detile seemed sudLlenly to take an upward trend here, and higl:! Suddenly from behind this barrier Lllere came the flash of rill e muz zles, and a volley o!

Cover was quickly sought hehind and near. It was evident that the Indians bad here made a stanLl. The Vlg ilant leader was puzzled. But suddenly Frank Reade, Jr. Nothing was more apparent. The Apaches under the shrewd Red Bear had certainly very cleverly outgeneraleLl tbem. Led into the denle by one division of the Apaches, the other hMl proceeded to block up tbe outlet, and thus litemlly tbe Yigilants were in a trap. There was not the advantap:e in facing a foe in this mann e r that there was in having him wholly in the front.

Harmon was completely taken ahack. IeveLl an Injun could beat me in any such way as that. But we are iu lor it, boys. We've got to fight bar d. Those in the rear had now drawn near enough to also open :nrc. The fun had uegun. But the urave band of white men bad no thought of!


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  8. They at once, by Harmon's direction, sought sale places or covr. E"erv time an Indian's tor--knot showed nbove the frmge or rocks, it wns made a target of. Thus the battle was kept up for. Then an idea occurred to;the inventive mind of Frank Rende, Jr. He bud carefully examined the face of the pass. In doing ec te discovereLl what looked l1ke a feasiiJie foot path over tbe cl1ll At once he called Harmon aside ami explniueLI a plan to him.

    Reade, take what force you need declared the v! I have full in your ahility to do as you say. May you succeed.

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    Just Frank My Life As An Intrepid Inventor

    ForLunatdy, it was overhung with foliage to a large extent, so they were hidden from the view of those in therr rear. Jn a few moments a position near the brow of the chiT had ueen reached Then Frank's surmise was verified. All tbia had bappe ned i n a t winldln g o r a n eye, comparatively spe;. Only one oL!

    But even as Lbe q u est ion was being discu sse d a loud cry arose, a. Je v igi l ants. It was Barrows. JL wos not certain that savages would n ot to tlie attack. Hut u report was brou ht in by a numb e r or scouts sent out that the had w i thdraw n from the fiel d ent. It was there fore decided to g o b a ck LO Willow Creek. It was not k n own w heth e r C o l Clark had bee n victorious with the cowboys or nor. Until this questio n w a s set t l e d Harmon bud no ide a of returning home.

    Ja v e b e eo wiped out or he declo red, "I shall not g ive up t he r ch ase. They were, by no mea n s that the darky was s afe or that he m1:;:ht not have into t mublc Accordingly the staet was at on ce mad e for the pra i rie. Q oming out into the little valley they croFJsed this and entered the pa'! My soul! Jese cow bovs have g. The tlarkey entertaine d nothing like fear at being left alone on boanl the Stenm Indeed, he ralh.

    Jim llts could hea r rifl e s h ots from the hills, which assured bim tlult Frutk nnd Barney were making it hot for the savages. I jes r e ckon d e m Injines glt de worstest ob tlo. Kt dar, if dey amu' t comin' dis yer way. The Inllinns had heen dr iven before the viaiJants, and starting for the were coming str a i;;ht towar n uutil t!

    J e s yo' o-ib dem Injuns a good lick ' fo' luck. Pomp could hardly contain himself. Ha walked up and d own in th e cage lik e a priso ner in h is ce ll. Ob c o"se, I haS Mars e Frau k s ordahs to stay yere," h e mutte red, "but it a m evident dat Marse Frank n e e d s a! What ebber I kin do, Ije s don' know what. Be sprang up finally. It am de b es' ling I kin do.

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    With keen eye be dtudied tlle possibility of entering them. By the pass it was Impossible. But be imagined that it would not be difficult to lind another means. Nor was he disappointed. At 11 c e r tain point the hill s ide w a s shorn of trE'Cs and bowlders It made a smooth surface even over the brow of the hllight. A s the S team Man was provitled with power to climu any hfligbt of thia sort, Pomp at on c e s e t his course up the beigb t U p went tile Steam Miin witll prodigious s trides.

    Pom p had no means of knowing whet her it would b e possible to go further or uot. But his best hope s were realiz e d upon reaching the summit Down a gentle incliue th e Steam Man went nod through a scattered grove or trees, and came out into a valley deep in the hills. The sound o f tiring wus now quit e Jlain. Indeed, as Pomp guided ti. Je Ml on down into the valley, he sa IV the powtler smoke or the cooHict in the pass, just a short way up tlle val ley ,By golly! Won't Marse Frank b e glad fo'-to see me! The Man was traveling slowly, when just as the bottom of the incEne w a g reached, two powerful savages sprung out of the rass a u d sei zed th e tbottle rein.

    Tile palling of ti. Je rein closed tile throttle, and the Man came to a halt. Pomp c6uld not use the rein to open i t again, and bad there beeo more of the red foe, the Steam Man would have been at their m ercy. But there were only two of tne m and while or.

    Pomp acted with the rapidity or thou g ht. The bullet went true tl its aim, and the Indian fell dead. The other savage seeing th e f a te of his companion let out a baflled yell, and relax ing his l! Pomp dtd not tq! Straight for tbe scene of ti. Je conHict at the mouth of the Pass Pomp went When be came upon tbe scene he found a thrilling aiid sano-uine conHict in progress. In a moment Frank and Barney were aboard aud sh:kin"' bands wil h Pomp.

    I'll show dem Pomp kin use a rifle. Protected as they were by the imp e rvious screen, those on board could f re with ad vantage at cowboys. The battle was a hot one, but e very moment the cowboy s slowly gained ground. What was worse, the ammunition of the Vigil ants seemed to be giving out. With plenty of ammunition, it was possible that the Vigilants could have held them at bay for a l o n g while But, of course, when the ammunit ion should give out the battle would be ended.

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    White-faced, but detarmined, the brave plainsmen stood their ground. Not a man of them thought of retreat. All were prepared t o give up their lives like heroes. The situation was an awfnl one. Ah, that dog of a Cliff bas sins to ans wer f e r. There is no hope of reinforcements near1'' "None whatever. The nearest place is Ranch V, and that i s Cli! We know that. There is just one forlorn hope.


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    7. Reade, there is no reason why you should not take the girl in your Steam Man and make your escape. We will hold the foe at bay until. Harmon looked his surprise. If you die so do we. Until the last the S team Man will stand his ground. At this moment one' of the vigil ants c ame up excitedly. Come on one and all. The crisis has co. But even in the moment of their victory a strange sound came from the rear and a mighty cry went up from the throats of the 'Hurrah! We are saved! R es cue has come atJast. IT had been Col. Clark's firm. He thought only of securing a sufficient body of men to cope successfully with the cowboys.

      So on they rode the little remnant of the squad for the far distant fort. But after a night bad been spent in camp, just as the bugle called "boots and saddles. One glance was enough and a cry of joy escaped his lips. We are in luck. It is Romaine's company of one hundred men. Forward alii" With cheers the little band rode out to mee t the reinforcements. The command had 'been sent out under Captain Romaine to search for Clark and his men. The two officers shook hands and explanations were made. We come just in the nick df time, Romaine," declared Clark.

      At once the cavalry set out at full gallop for the hills. The tiring was heard long befor,e the pass was reached, and. Clark hurried his men forwaTd. He at once tbre w them into the pass in the rear of Cliff's gang. Jus t as the last cartridge of the vigilants was u sed the ca' e n from their position. Suddenly all firing ceased. The cowboy gang were not in sight, nor d i d the y fir e another shot. I Clark feared a stratagem or some fatal decoy, and d ared not a t once order a charge.

      Up the slope they went with fixed bayonets. But when they cleared the wp of the intrenchments, hastily thrown up by the cow boys, it was found that they had gone: They had departed and completely. Not an article of any kmd was left behmd. Indeed it also became a mystery as to the course taken by them. Not a Rlgn of a trail could be found. It baiDed the cavalrymen. If they would only come out hke men and tlgbt it out it would be all right. But they don t dare do it. An all fired good one. He knew that it must be too true that Besse Rodman had again fallen into the hands of Cliff'.

      It a dismaying reflection. Tust how to go to work to do it was a problem to Frank. But he was not long in deciding upon a plan of action. Alone he rode away into the. Barrows was a youth of rare pluck and great determination. Iu this quest he was aidtJd by his blind love for Bessie" Rodman. For her he would gladly give up his life. Striking into the hills he sought to follow the trail of the ab ductors.

      It" was now a blind quest, but this did not him in the Soon Barrows had penetrated deep into the hills. He heard the distant sounds of fi'ring and knew that the soldiers and Cliff's men were yet having it out. It had occurred to Barrows that the ymmg girl might have been taken to Ranch V by her captors. He had half made up his mind to proceed thither when a thrilling thing occurred Suddenly the sharp crack of a rifle smote upon the air.

      It was a narrow escape. The fraction of an inch in another direction and the bullet might have penetrated his brain. Young Barrows bad faced danger and death times Pnough to know quite well what to do. He instantly dropped from his horse and spoke a word of com mand to the animal. The faithful and well-trained steed wheeled and galloped away into the co"er of timber near. Barrows himself sank down behind a pile of rocks.

      All was done in the twinkling of an eve. The trained westerner whose life is in danger knows well the value of quick action. He had run unconsciously upon h1s foes. He expencnced a tbrlll as it occurred to him that this was most likely the party w! Jo had Bes sie Rodman in their charge. He saw that lar up on its side there was a rude cabin made of bark and logs. From this the storm of bullets had come. Nothing could be seen of those within the cabin. But Barrows believed that not only was the foe w1thm, but also Bessie Rodman.

      He was somewhat at a loss now to know just what move to make. To advance openly to the attack would ha,,e been an act; of folly. He would certainly have met his death in a summary fashion. So while pondering on the subject he continued to watch the cabin windows. He' held his rifle in roodiness for instant use. Suddenly a face appeared for an instant at one of the windows. It was qu.

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      H e recogmzed 1t, however, as t ; he face of one of the outlaws. Suddenly the opportunity came. Once more the face appeared. Barrows raised his rifle quick as thought. Barrows knew that his shot had taken efi'ect. Then he changed his position. But not a sound or a sign of life came from the mysterious cabin. Certainlv "an ho". A thrilling thought hat!

      It was more than likely that be had been waiting all this while for nothing. It would have been not by any means a difficult matter for the foe to have slipped ou. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Frank Reick was born to invent. He's been inventing since he was five and has forty patents and inventions to show for it.

      $REad_E-book Just Frank My Life as an Intrepid Inventor book 'Full_Pa…

      His inventions range from diagnostic medical instruments, toys, and ski wax to sealants and lubricants. Reick graduated with an engineering degree from Syracuse University in His first career was working with General Electric on cathode ray tube technology for color televisions. Disillusioned with the rampant bureaucracy, he left the corporate world to become an entrepreneur and focus on his true passion-inventing.

      His first successful product, Formula-8, was a thread sealant that could be used in gaseous and liquid oxygen applications, and led to the formation of his company, Fluoramics. Fluoramics' flagship product, Tufoil, the result of eight years of research, was recognized in as the world's "most efficient lubricant" by the Guinness Book of World Records-a title it still holds today.

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      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor
      Just Frank: My Life as an Intrepid Inventor

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