酷兔英语



Mystery Stories for Boys

THE CRIMSON FLASH

by

ROY J. SNELL

The Reilly & Lee Co.

Chicago

Printed in the United States of America

Copyright, 1922

by

The Reilly & Lee Co.

All Rights Reserved

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I Johnny Loses a Fight 9

II Boxing the Bunco-Steerer 24

III The Feasters See a Haunt 45

IV "Pale Face Bonds" 55

V Strange Doings in the Night 74

VI Johnny Boxes the Bear 85

VII No Box-a Da Bear 100

VIII The Girl and the Tiger 112

IX The Tiger Springs 124

X Gwen Meets a "Hay Maker" 134

XI The Black Beast 144

XII Johnny Wins Double Pay 160

XIII Pant's Story of the Black Cat 173

XIV In Tom Stick's House 184

XV Bursting Balloons 198

XVI The Wreck of the Circus 206

XVII "Get That Black Cat" 217

XVIII How Johnny Got the Ring 232

THE CRIMSON FLASH

CHAPTER I

JOHNNY LOSES A FIGHT

In the center of the "big top," which sheltered the mammoth three-ring

circus, brass horns blared to the rhythmic beat of a huge bass drum.

Eight trained elephants, giant actors of the sawdust ring, patiently

stood in line, awaiting the command to make way for the tumblers, trapeze

performers, bareback riders and the queen of the circus.

The twins, Marjory and Margaret MacDonald, just past ten years of age,

and attending their first circus, stood pressed against the rope not an

arm's length from the foremost elephant. Suddenly the gigantic creature

reached out a beseeching trunk for a possible peanut.

Sensing danger, Johnny Thompson, the one-time lightweight boxing

champion, who, besides their maid, stood guard over the millionaire

twins, sprang forward. Quick as he was, his movement was far too slow.

Marjory jumped back; there was an almost inaudible snap. The elephant

stretched his trunk to full length--then in apparent anger uttered a

hollow snort.

A broad bar of sunlight shooting over the top of the canvas wall was cut

by a sudden flash. The flash described a circle, then blinked out at the

feet of three waiting young women performers.

With a cry of consternation on his lips, Johnny Thompson sprang over the

ropes. Bowling over an elephanttrainer in his haste, he bolted toward

the three girl acrobats at whose feet the miniaturemeteor had vanished.

Again his agile movement was far too slow. Six pairs of rough hands tried

to seize him. Johnny's right shot out. With a little gurgle, an attendant

in uniform staggered backward to crumple in the sawdust. A ring-master,

leaping like a panther, landed on Johnny's back. Dropping abruptly,

Johnny executed a somersault, shook himself free and rose only to butt

his head into the stomach of a fat clown.

And then what promised to be a beautiful scrap ended miserably. A

razor-back, or tent roustabout, struck Johnny on the head with a tent

stake. Johnny dropped like an empty meal sack. At once four attendants

dragged him beneath the tent wall into a shady corner. There, after tying

his hands and feet, they waited for his return to consciousness.

Little by little Johnny came to himself, and began to fumble at his

fetters.

"Wow! What hit me?" he grumbled, as he attempted to rub his bruised head.

"You fell and struck your head on a tent pole," grinned a razor-back.

"Some scrapper, eh?" a second man commented.

"Dope or moonshine?" asked a third.

"Neither," exclaimed Johnny. "It was--darn it! No. That's none of your

business. But I'll get it back if I have to follow this one-horse show

from Boston to Texas."

"You won't follow nothin' just at present," scowled the razor-back, eying

his shackles with satisfaction. "That guy you hit had to go to the show's

surgeon."

"Wow!" ejaculated his companion. "And I bet this little feller doesn't

weigh a hundred and ten stripped! How'd he do it?"

"Let me loose and I'll give you a free exhibition," grinned Johnny, as he

settled back, resolved to take what was coming to him with a smile.

He was not a quarrelsome fellow, this Johnny Thompson. He had studied the

science of boxing and wrestling because it interested him, and because he

wished to be able to take care of himself in every emergency. He never

struck a man unless forced to do so. The emergency of the past hour had

spurred him to unusual activity. In a way he regretted it now, but on

reflection decided that were the same set of conditions to confront him

again, his actions would probably be the same. His one regret was that he

had been unable to attain his end. His only problem now was to recover

lost ground and to reach the desired goal.

Late that night, with stiffened joints and aching muscles, he made his

way to the desolate spot where but a few hours before a hilarious throng

had laughed at the antics of clowns and thrilled at the daring dance of

the tight-rope walker.

In his hand Johnny held a small flashlight. This he flicked about here

and there for some time.

"That's it," he exclaimed at last. "This is the very spot."

Dropping on hands and knees he began clawing over the sawdust. Running it

through his fingers, he gathered it in little piles here and there until

presently the place resembled a miniature mountain range. He had been at

this for a half hour when he straightened up with a sigh.

"Not a chance," he murmured, "not a solitary chance! One of those circus

dames got it; the trapeze performer, or maybe the tight-rope walker.

Which one? That's what I've got to find out."

Suddenly he leaped to his feet. A long-drawn-out whistle sounded through

the darkness.

"The circus train! I've just time to jump it. I'll stow away on her.

How's that? A circus stowaway!"

Johnny dashed across the open space and, just as the train began to move,

caught at the iron bars of a gondola car loaded with tent equipment.

Climbing aboard, he groped about until he found a soft spot among some

piles of canvas, and, sinking down there, was soon fast asleep. He had

had no supper, but that mattered little. He would eat a double portion of

ham and eggs in the morning. It was enough that he was on his way. Where

to? He did not exactly know.

When Johnny leaped over the rope in the circus tent the previous

afternoon, in his rush toward the lady performers, he had dodged behind

the trained elephants. This took him out of the view of the twins,

Marjory and Margaret. So interested were they in the elephants that they

did not miss him, and not having noted the sparkle in the sunlight which

sent Johnny on his mad chase, they remained fully occupied in watching

the regular events of the circus.

The elephants had lumbered into the side tent, the tight-rope walker had

danced her airy way across the arena, the brown bear had taken his daily

bicycle ride, and the human statuary was on display, when Marjory

suddenly turned to Margaret and said:

"Why, Johnny's gone!"

"So he is," said the other twin. "Perhaps he didn't like it. He'll be

back, I'm sure."

The maid was quite accustomed to looking after the millionaire twins, so

when Johnny failed to put in an appearance at the end of the performance,

they passed out with the throng, the maid hailed a taxi and they were

soon on their way home.

It was then that Marjory, looking down, noticed that the fine gold chain

about her neck hung with two loose ends. Catching her breath, she uttered

a startled whisper:

"Oo! Look! Margaret! It's gone!"

Margaret looked once, then clasped her hands in horror.

"And father said you mustn't take it!"

"But it was our first, our very first circus!"

"I know," sighed Margaret. "And wasn't it just grand! But now," she

sighed, "now, you'll have to tell father."

"Yes, I will--right away."

Marjory did tell. They had not been in the house a minute before she told

of their loss.

"Where's Johnny Thompson?" their father asked.

"We--we don't know."

"Don't know?"

"We haven't seen him for two hours."

"Well, that settles it. I might have known when I hired an adventurer to

look after my thoroughbreds and guard my children that I'd be sorry. But

he was a splendid man with the horses; seemed to think of 'em as his own;

and as for boxing, I never saw a fellow like him."

"Yes, and Daddy, we liked him," chimed in Marjory. "We liked him a lot."

"Well," the father said thoughtfully, "guess I ought to put a man on his

trail and bring him back. Probably went off with the circus. But I won't.

He's been a soldier, and a good one, I'm told. That excuses a lot. And

then if you go dangling a few thousand dollars on a bit of gold chain,

what can you expect? Better go get your supper and then run on to bed."

That night, before they crept into their twin beds, Marjory and Margaret

talked long and earnestly over something very important.

"Yes," said Marjory at last, "we'll find some real circus clothes

somewhere. Then we'll have Prince and Blackie saddled and bridled. Then

we'll ride off to find that old circus and bring Johnny Thompson back. We

can't get along without him; besides, he didn't take it. I just know he

didn't."

"And if he did, he didn't mean to," supplemented Margaret.

A moment later they were both sound asleep.

As Johnny Thompson bumped along in his rail gondola, with the click-click

of the wheels keeping time to the distant pant of the engine, he dreamed

a madly fantastic dream. In it he felt the nerve-benumbing shudder which

comes with the shock of a train wreck. He felt himself lifted high in air

to fall among rolls of canvas and piles of tent poles, heard the crash of

breaking timbers, the scream of grinding ironwork, and above it all the

roar of frightened animals--tigers, lions, panthers, tossed, still in

their cages, to be buried beneath the wreckage, or hurled free to tumble

down the embankment. In this dream Johnny crawled from beneath the canvas

to find himself staring into the red and gleaming eye of some great cat

that was stalking him as its prey. He struggled to draw his clasp knife

from his pocket, and in that mad struggle awoke.

With every nerve alert he caught the click-click of wheels, the distant

pant of the engine. It had been nothing more than a dream. He was still

traveling steadily forward with the circus.

Yet, as he settled back, he gave an involuntaryshudder and, propping

himself on one elbow, stared through the darkness toward the spot where,

in his dream, the great cat had crouched. To his horror, he caught the

red gleam of a single burning eye.

Instantly there flashed through his mind the row of great caged cats he

had seen that day. Pacing the floor of their dens, pausing now and again

for a leap, a growl, a snarl, they had fascinated him then. Now his blood

ran cold at the thought of the creature which, having escaped from its

cage, had crept along the swinging cars, leaping lightly from one to the

other until the scent of a man had arrested its course. Was it the

Senegal lion? Johnny doubted that. Perhaps the tawny yellow Bengal tiger,

or the more magnificent one from Siberia.

All this time, while his mind had worked with the speed of a wireless,

Johnny's hand was struggling to free his clasp knife.

Once more his eye sought the ball of fire. Suddenly as it had come, so

suddenly it had vanished. He started in astonishment. Yet he was not to

be deceived. The creature had turned its head. It was moving. Perhaps at

this very moment it was crouching for a spring. A huge pile of canvas

loomed above Johnny. A leap from this vantage, the tearing of claws, the

sinking of fangs, and this circus train would have witnessed a tragedy.

He strained his ears for a sound, but heard none. He strove to make out a

bulk in the dark, but saw nothing. Could it be a tiger or mountain lion,

jaguar or spotted leopard? Or was it the black leopard from Asia? A fresh

chill ran down Johnny's spine at thought of this creature. Other great

cats had paced their cages, growled, snarled; the black leopard, smaller

than any, but muscular, sharp clawed, keen fanged, with glowering eyes,

had lurked in the corner of his cage and gloomed at those who passed. It

was this animal that Johnny feared the most.

If he but had a light! At once he thought of his small electric torch.

Grasping it in his left hand, he leveled it at the spot where the burning

eye had been, and gripping the clasp knife in his right, threw on the

button.

As the shaft of light flashed across the canvas, he stared for a second,

then his hand trembled with surprise and excitement.

"Panther Eye, as I live!" he exclaimed. "You old rascal! What are you

doing here?"

The former companion, for it was not a great cat, but a man, and none

other than Panther Eye, fellow free-lance in many a previous adventure,

stared at him through large smoked glasses, a smile playing over his

lips.

"Johnny Thompson, I'll be bound! Some luck to you. What are you doing

here?"

"Looking for something."

"Same here, Johnny."

"And I'll stay with this circus until I find it," said Johnny.

"Same here, Johnny. Shake on it."

Pant crawled over the swaying car and extended a hand. Johnny shook it

solemnly.

"Slept any?" asked Pant.

"A little."

"Better sleep some more, hadn't we?"

"I'm willing."

"It's a go."

Pant crept back to his hole in the canvas; Johnny sank back into his. He

was not to sleep at once, however. His mind was working on many problems.

Not the least of these was the question of Panther Eye's presence on the

circus train. This strange fellow, who appeared to be endowed with a

capacity for seeing in the dark, was always delving in dark corners,

searching out hidden mysteries. What mystery could there be about a

circus? What, indeed? Was not Johnny on the trail of a puzzling mystery

himself?

Having reasoned thus far he was about to fall asleep, when a single red

flash lighted up the peak of the canvas pile, then faded. He thought of

the red ball of fire he had taken for a cat's eye. He remembered the

yellow glow he had seen when with Pant on other occasions. His mind


生词表:
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • boxing [´bɔksiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.拳击运动   (初中英语单词)
  • doings [´du:iŋz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行动;所作的事   (初中英语单词)
  • elephant [´elifənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.象   (初中英语单词)
  • sprang [spræŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  spring 的过去式   (初中英语单词)
  • movement [´mu:vmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.活动;运动;动作   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • sunlight [´sʌnlait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光   (初中英语单词)
  • canvas [´kænvəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.帆布;油画(布)   (初中英语单词)
  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • backward [´bækwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.向后 a.向后的   (初中英语单词)
  • stomach [´stʌmək] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.胃;胃口,食欲   (初中英语单词)
  • satisfaction [,sætis´fækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.满意;满足   (初中英语单词)
  • companion [kəm´pæniən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同伴;同事;伴侣   (初中英语单词)
  • unusual [ʌn´ju:ʒuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不平常的;异常的   (初中英语单词)
  • unable [ʌn´eibəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不能的;无能为力的   (初中英语单词)
  • attain [ə´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.取得;到达;成为   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • whistle [´wisəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.吹哨 n.口哨;汽笛   (初中英语单词)
  • aboard [ə´bɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&prep.在…上   (初中英语单词)
  • portion [´pɔ:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.嫁妆;命运 vt.分配   (初中英语单词)
  • sparkle [´spɑ:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.闪耀;焕发 n.火花   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • prince [´prins] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.王子;亲王;君主   (初中英语单词)
  • scream [skri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.尖叫(声)   (初中英语单词)
  • steadily [´stedili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚定地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • lightly [´laitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.轻微地,稍微   (初中英语单词)
  • magnificent [mæg´nifisənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.壮丽的;豪华的   (初中英语单词)
  • astonishment [ə´stɔniʃmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.吃惊;惊异   (初中英语单词)
  • previous [´pri:viəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先,前,以前的   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • hidden [´hid(ə)n] 移动到这儿单词发声  hide 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • crimson [´krimzən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.深(紫)红(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • circus [´sə:kəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.马戏(团);圆形广场   (高中英语单词)
  • foremost [´fɔ:məust] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.最重要的;最先的   (高中英语单词)
  • gigantic [dʒai´gæntik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.巨大的   (高中英语单词)
  • trainer [´treinə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.训练员,教(练)员   (高中英语单词)
  • miniature [´miniətʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.缩样 a.雏型的   (高中英语单词)
  • meteor [´mi:tiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大气现象;流星   (高中英语单词)
  • studied [´stʌdid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.故意的;有计划的   (高中英语单词)
  • emergency [i´mə:dʒənsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.事变;紧急关头   (高中英语单词)
  • decided [di´saidid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的;决定的   (高中英语单词)
  • confront [kən´frʌnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(使)面对;正视   (高中英语单词)
  • desolate [´desəleit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒凉的;孤独的   (高中英语单词)
  • solitary [´sɔlitəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.独居的;孤独的   (高中英语单词)
  • millionaire [,miljə´neə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.百万富翁   (高中英语单词)
  • throng [θrɔŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.群众 v.拥挤;群集   (高中英语单词)
  • thoughtfully [´θɔ:tfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.深思地;体贴地   (高中英语单词)
  • earnestly [´ə:nistli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.认真地;急切地   (高中英语单词)
  • fantastic [fæn´tæstik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奇异的;荒谬的   (高中英语单词)
  • shudder [´ʃʌdə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.震颤;发抖   (高中英语单词)
  • wherein [weər´in] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.那里面   (高中英语单词)
  • strove [strəuv] 移动到这儿单词发声  strive的过去式   (高中英语单词)
  • muscular [´mʌskjulə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.肌肉的;强有力的   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • crumple [´krʌmpəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.弄皱,压皱   (英语四级单词)
  • fumble [´fʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.摸索;接漏球   (英语四级单词)
  • resolved [ri´zɔlvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.决心的;坚定的   (英语四级单词)
  • daring [´deəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.勇敢(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • adventurer [əd´ventʃərə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.冒险者   (英语四级单词)
  • leopard [´lepəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.豹   (英语四级单词)
  • mammoth [´mæməθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.庞大的   (英语六级单词)
  • consternation [,kɔnstə´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.惊愕;惊恐;惊慌失措   (英语六级单词)
  • gurgle [´gə:gl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&vi.潺潺而流   (英语六级单词)
  • panther [´pænθə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.豹;美洲狮   (英语六级单词)
  • miserably [´mizərəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.悲惨地;糟糕地   (英语六级单词)
  • performer [pə´fɔ:mə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.执行者;表演者   (英语六级单词)
  • involuntary [in´vɔləntəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无意识的;非自愿的   (英语六级单词)
  • bengal [beŋ´gɔ:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.孟加拉   (英语六级单词)
  • vantage [´vɑ:ntidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.优势;好机会   (英语六级单词)
  • extended [iks´tendid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.伸长的;广大的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:30:07
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