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Title: The Radio Boys' Search for the Inca's Treasure

Author: Gerald Breckenridge

Release date: April 28, 2011 [eBook #35987]

Language: English



E-text prepared by Roger Frank, Juliet Sutherland,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team




The Radio Boys Search for the Inca’s Treasure

The radio outfit paralleled an army field outfit in a number of respects, including the umbrella type of aerial.
The radio outfit paralleled an army field outfit in a number
of respects, including the umbrella type of aerial.




Author of

“The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border,” “The Radio
Boys on Secret Service Duty,” “The Radio Boys
with the Revenue Guards,” “The Radio Boys
Rescue the Lost Alaska Expedition.”


Publishers        New York

A Series of Stories for Boys of All Ages


The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border
The Radio Boys on Secret Service Duty
The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards
The Radio Boys’ Search for the Inca’s Treasure
The Radio Boys Rescue the Lost Alaska Expedition

Copyright, 1922


Made in “U. S. A.”








“This is a wonderful land, fellows, full of legend and story, vast mountains, vast rivers, vast jungles, unexplored territory and unconquered tribes.”

It was Jack Hampton speaking, and he leaned on the rail of a coastwise steamer, as she came to anchor in the open roadstead of Valparaiso.

“I wonder what lies ahead,” said Frank Merrick, leaning beside him. “We ought to get some adventure out of this, besides mere civilized travel.”

Even Bob Temple, the most matter-of-fact of the three chums known as the Radio Boys, felt his imagination stirred.

“Remember what that commercial traveler said last night,” he interposed. “I mean, about the old days of the Spanish Conquest of South America? He certainly was filled with stories of treasure, of Inca treasure, wasn’t he?”

The other boys nodded, their eyes shining. Indeed, Juan Lopez, the young commercial traveler, who had taken a fancy to the boys, had told them glittering stories as they sat on deck under the Moon. Then they fell silent, their eyes on the strange scenes about them.

Although a great world port, and second only to San Francisco in importance on the Pacific Coast of the Western Hemisphere, Valparaiso is not a harbor as harbors go, lying open to the sea. Great numbers of ships lay about them offshore, freighters from all the world. And tugs and lighters kept coming and going in a continuous bustle between ships and shore.

As their train for Santiago, whither Mr. Hampton was bound on business, would leave in an hour, there was little time for sightseeing. Mr. Hampton, who knew the South American cities from former visits, on one of which he had taken Jack with him, assured them there was little in Valparaiso of historic or picturesque interest.

Nevertheless, the boys kept their eyes open during the trip through the narrow but noisy bustling business quarter which occupies the flats between the shore line and the thousand-foot cliffs behind upon which residential Valparaiso is situated. Ascensors took them up the sheer cliffs, and then followed a four-hour journey by train to Santiago.

They were expected, and at the Santiago station they were met by a family carriage which carried them to the home of Senor Don Ernesto de Avilar, with whom Mr. Hampton had come to transact business. With true Spanish hospitality, the latter on receiving word of his coming, had written urgently that he do not stop to a hotel, but bring the three boys with him as guests.

The way to the mansion of Senor de Avilar lay along the Alameda, a boulevard 600 feet wide, which formerly had been the bed of the Mapocho River, and as they bowled along the boys exclaimed time and again at the wonderful beauty of the surroundings and of the handsome residences. Frank and Bob, who were undergoing great changes in their preconceived notions of South America as a land of ruins and half-breeds, were especially astonished. Jack, who had been in this part of the world before, grinned with satisfaction.

“I didn’t tell you fellows much about this before,” he said. “I wanted to see your eyes pop out. Thought you were going to run into something wild and savage, didn’t you? Well, this is the most beautiful residential city in South America, and one of the most beautiful in the world. Isn’t it, father?” he appealed.

Mr. Hampton nodded.

“Santiago and Rio de Janeiro hold the palm in that respect,” he said. “Rio, however, because of its wonderful harbor and mountainous surroundings is, in my eyes at least, a bit the more beautiful. Yet, as you can see, Santiago’s natural beauties would be hard to surpass. However, here we are at Senor de Avilar’s home. Let us hope the accident to his son has not been serious. In that case, we cannot stay, as we would embarrass the family, but will go to a hotel.”

They had expected Senor de Avilar to greet them in person on arrival, but had been told by the driver that at the last moment the latter had been called to a point outside the city where his son, Ferdinand, had been injured when thrown from a runaway horse.

Fortunately, it developed, the accident had not proven serious. The young son of the house, a youth of their own age, had sustained a fractured wrist, but otherwise had escaped unharmed. He was a charming boy with a fairly good command of English, and he and the boys became warm friends during the ensuing week.

As Jack, owing to his previous visit to South America, on which occasion he had learned the language, could speak and read Spanish fluently, and as he had imparted considerable knowledge of the language to Frank and Bob, the four got along famously. Horseback rides about the city and its environs were of daily occurrence, young de Avilar managing his mount in superb fashion despite the injured wrist.

During the week, the boys saw little of Mr. Hampton and Senor de Avilar. The two older men were closeted in long conferences with others every day. For a number of reasons, the boys were curious to know the nature of these conferences.

In the first place, at the beginning of their summer vacation from Yale, Mr. Hampton, a consulting engineer of international reputation, had called Jack into his study in their home on Long Island, adjoining the Temple home at which Frank, an orphan, resided, and had smiled a little as he said:

“Well, Jack, how would you and the boys like to go with me hunting treasure this summer?”

Hunt treasure?

Jack’s eyes began to shine. Then his father explained that he had received an urgent invitation from Senor de Avilar to cast in his fortunes with him on an expedition into the fastnesses of the Bolivian mountains in search of a horde reputed buried by the ancient Incas.

“I don’t know whether anything will come of it, Jack, in the way of fortune,” his father had said, “but at least we will have plenty of adventurous travel. As you know, I am wealthy. The lure of gold does not draw me for itself. But, Jack, I’m very much afraid that in some respects I have never grown up. Buried treasure has a magical appeal; it captivates my imagination.

“When I was in South America last, in connection with the mining interests developing a new district on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, I heard many tales of Inca treasure. Those old Indians had a great civilization, and if the Spanish conquerors under Pizarro, Almagro and others had treated the Incas decently, who knows what they would have given the world. But the conquistadores were rapacious for gold, of which there are vast stores in the mountains of South America, and they slew merely to rob and thus wiped out one of the fairest races the world has ever seen. The Incas undoubtedly hid much of their golden treasures to keep it from falling into the clutches of the conquerors.

“Senor de Avilar is the head of the syndicate using my services at that time. And many a legend of Inca treasure did he tell me, for he, too, has felt the thrill. His imagination, like mine, is stirred by these departures from a workaday world. Now he writes me that he has come into possession of an ancient manuscript which he believes genuine. It purports to be the diary of a conquistadore who was captured by a band of Inca noblemen who fled far to the southward when the Spaniards invaded their country, and carried him captive with them. There is much of treasure buried in the Bolivian Andes because of the difficulties of transportation, and more of a magical city which the Incas founded in the south. This latter may have been the Enchanted City of the Caesars, the story of which I shall tell you some later day.

“At any rate, my good friend says he wants to be a boy again and to hunt for buried treasure. And he knows that I feel as he does, and offers me the chance to go along. Many men might consider me foolish, Jack, to engage in such a fantastic expedition. But your mother has been dead these many years; you and I are alone in the world; I have made a fortune big enough to take care of you for life, even if I do not add another cent to it. And I am a young man yet. Jack, I want to go. How about it?”

“How about it?” Jack gulped. He and this tall man with the twinkling eyes, and the figure as slender and hard as a boy’s, called each other father and son. But in reality they were pals. Jack stared a moment, his eyes alight, then emitted a little gasp of pure joy, and jumping up from his chair, he threw an arm over his father’s shoulders.

“Dad,” he gulped, “I’d never forgive you if you didn’t take the chance.”

A hard squeeze of his hand was his father’s reply.

“You said something about Frank and Bob?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Hampton. “They have finished their Freshman year at Yale, and they are strong, capable fellows, able to think rapidly and clearly in an emergency, as they have demonstrated many times. I am thinking of asking Mr. Temple to let them go with me.”

“Hurray,” shouted Jack. “Let me go tell them the news.”

And he was off like a shot.

Mr. Temple had proved amenable. His big son, Bob, six feet tall and broad and powerful of frame, was destined eventually to go into the importing firm of which he was president. So, too, was his ward, Frank, son of his former business partner. South American experience, and the knowledge of customs of that part of the world which they would gain on such an expedition as proposed, would be invaluable to both. Under Mr. Hampton’s care, moreover, they would be in good hands. Therefore, although shaking his head laughingly over Mr. Hampton’s boyish enthusiasm, Mr. Temple was glad to acquiesce and to let his boys go.

This was the reason, therefore, that the boys waited curiously for the outcome of that week of conferences between Mr. Hampton and Senor de Avilar, a week during which various strange men came and went. The boys saw little of the older men, and on the few occasions when he did obtain an opportunity to question his father, Jack was put off until a later date, when everything would be explained. Meanwhile, Mr. Hampton said, he was studying maps, talking with guides from the district into which the expedition would penetrate and had his head filled with plans.

“I haven’t the time to detach myself from this business to give you a connected story, Jack,” said he, on one of the few occasions when he was alone with his son for a brief period. “But contain yourself, and presently everything will be explained.”

Young de Avilar knew of the proposed expedition, too, but he knew no more about it than Jack. He had been absent until recently in attendance at the University of Lima, for, though there is an ancient institution of learning at Santiago, his father was by birth a Peruvian who had attended the University of Lima, and the son followed in his steps.

All four boys, therefore, were naturally eager to learn the outcome of the conferences. While waiting, the three North Americans had their interest strung to concert pitch by treasure legends which Ferdinand told them. He, in turn, was eager to hear what to him were even more marvellous stories of the scientific wonders of their own country. In particular, he was eager to learn about the developments of radio, which he had heard was in general use in the United States but which, as yet, had made few advances in Santiago.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Jack, one day. “Suppose we set up a radio station here at your town home, and another at your country place. The distance is only twenty-five miles. With batteries and a spark coil, we can easily send that distance, certainly in this mountain atmosphere. I’ve got an outfit in my trunk, which I packed along in the belief that it would come in handy in the field on an expedition.”

Ferdinand was enthusiastic, and in a short time the two stations were installed, and the young Chilian was instructed in the mysteries of radio.




Of all the stories of ancient days in South America which Ferdinand de Avilar told them, none interested the boys so much as the tale of the city of Chan Chan. This city was the capital of the Great Chimu, ruler of a mighty empire that antedated the Incas.

“You see,” explained Ferdinand, early in their acquaintance, “my father always has been greatly interested in the ancient history of our land. He has in his library all the books containing the old legends and history, and naturally I have devoured them. At one time when I was younger, he financed an archaeological expedition that explored the ruins of Chan Chan.

“It is little known to the outside world, he says, that, great and mighty as they were, the Incas were not the first great civilized people of South America. Before they poured down from the Andes to conquer the Pacific coast, there dwelt here a powerful and highly civilized people called the Chimus.

“Inland from Salaverry, on the Peruvian coast, was the capital of the Great Chimu, the city of Chan Chan. It was one of the largest cities of the old world, perhaps the largest, who knows. It covered more than forty square miles of territory, and was larger than Babylon. Here the Chimus had great factories for the manufacture of textiles, pottery, etc. Their artificers in gold and silver were cunning and skilled.

“Vast wealth was theirs, vaster even than that of the Incas. There were great palaces and temples in Chan Chan that were repositories for the choicest, the most glittering works of art in gold and silver. They had a language that had attained a high degree of culture, a literature that included poetry and drama. Fragments of their writing have been found, and it resembled that of the ancient Egyptians.

“Then the conquering Incas, having brought the Andean people under their sway, came to the land of the Chimus. The Incas were the Romans of this land, the warriors and conquerors. But the Chimus, too, were warriors, and the struggle between these two great nations was long and bitter. At last the Chimu armies, however, were forced back to the protection of the great walls of Chan Chan.

“Long was the siege. Attack after attack was repelled. Finding they could not carry Chan Chan by storm, the Incas at length hit upon a device which had won them many a walled city. They cut off the water supply of Chan Chan. Lofty aqueducts had been built by the Chimu kings to bring water from the mountains more than a hundred miles away, and within the city this water was stored in a great reservoir larger than any ever built by the Romans.

“The Incas cut off this water supply. Gradually the vast population penned within the walls of Chan Chan absorbed all the water in the reservoir. The wells which had been digged within the city were insufficient. The Chimus were forced to surrender.

“But before the end, the Great Chimu foresaw the coming of defeat. He resolved to bury the Great Treasure of his dynasty. And this has never been found. Much of the tremendous wealth of the Incas was loot from the Chimus, but the Great Treasure escaped them.

“When the Spaniards came,” continued Ferdinand, “they learned the story of the Great Chimu and how he had hidden the Great Treasure. Into the ruined temples and palaces of Chan Chan and of other cities of the Chimu kingdom, they delved. Vast treasure thus was recovered, and sent to Spain. But the Great Treasure—no. This, says my father, has never been found.”

Seeing how eager the boys were to hear of these old tales, and nothing loth himself to talk about them, Ferdinand on another occasion repeated the legend of the “Enchanted City of the Caesars.”

“This story, so far as any public or semi-public record goes,” he said, “was first made known through the sworn statements of two Spaniards who arrived in Concepcion, Chile, in 1557. They declared that for seventeen years they had lived in the Enchanted City. But while these statements gave details of the origin and existence of the Enchanted City, they supplied no accurate data for its location. Now, however, I have reason to believe, another statement has come to light, made by another member of de Arguello’s little band, and giving more definite data. And it is this statement which my father possesses.

“But I can see how eager you are, how puzzled by what I have said, and I shall begin at the beginning. That will be better, perhaps.” And Ferdinand smiled at the three shining-eyed friends surrounding him.

“To begin, then,” he said, “it was in the days when Pedro de Valdivia was setting out from Peru to conquer this land of Chile, then a province of the overthrown Inca empire, that a galleon from Spain was wrecked on the coast of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. That is a wild and inhospitable coast, devoid of verdure, where not even game is to be found. They must either march forward or die.

“The captain of the band was Sebastian de Arguello. He had with him some 200 soldiers and sailors, thirty conquistadores or gentleman adventurers of Spain who sought fortune in Peru, three priests, and a score of women.

“They were a thousand miles from the nearest Spanish settlements in northern Chile, but there was nothing to do if they would survive except attempt to reach them.

“So the march began, through the great forests of arbor vitae and along those rugged, barren coasts. In those days, there were giants in the land. For that is Patagonia, and it is not so many years ago that the last of the giant Patagonians of ancient days passed away. They were real giants, six and a half feet tall, terrible fighters in guerrila warfare. Day and night they attacked from ambush, and dread, indeed, must have been the times when the Spaniards were forced to abandon the seacoast and attempt to thread the forest, for always the giants would be lying in wait.

“At length, however, the little band won its way through Patagonia, with numbers reduced from the fighting, and seven of the women dead from the unendurable hardships of the march. Yet they had but conquered one danger to encounter a greater. They are now on the borders of Auraucania.

“You do not know what that means. Ah, my friends, even today Auraucania is a land that is little known. For it is inhabited by the fiercest and most warlike of all the Indian peoples. The Incas found them so, and were never able to conquer them. The Spaniards, even with cannon, could do nothing against them. It is only within the last forty or fifty years that any white men have been permitted to enter their country.

“Against the wild dash of Auraucanians, de Arguello’s men, doughty though they were, could make no headway. A counsel was held. Rather than face decimation in an attempt to cut their way through Auraucania, the members of the band decided to skirt that savage land. Eastward, therefore, they struck toward the vast and towering wall of the Andes, with some hope of skirting Auraucania, and, if not that, then to settle where game and water abounded.

“Suddenly one day they came into a valley glimmering with lakes, a broad valley ringed round by mountains, with fields that were irrigated and under cultivation, laborers working in them, but no farm-house in sight. These laborers fled to the forest in fright at the approach of the Spaniards, but one was taken captive and brought to de Arguello to be questioned.

“To the starved and harried Spaniards, the prospect was fair, indeed. What a place in which to settle. Therefore, when the laborer was brought before de Arguello and the conquistadores, he was plied with questions as to the ownership of this land. Despite the fact that he was a laborer, the man had a proud bearing that arrested de Arguello’s attention. ‘Art thou not of the Inca blood?’ he asked. Folding his arms, the man replied, ‘I am.’

“As to what then transpired, the account does not state. For you must remember it was written by men who were not leaders among the Spaniards, but men-at-arms. They were not in the counsel. At length, however, the laborer was seen to depart and to make his way across the valley and disappear into the mountains. Camp was pitched by a spring on the edge of the forest, and late in the afternoon the laborer returned.

“De Arguello then gave orders that his return should be awaited, which he declared would not be until the following day, and set out with one of the priests and the laborer. All that night, the Spanish force lay under arms, not knowing what to expect.

“But shortly after sunrise the next day de Arguello returned alone. He called his force about him, and addressed them. ‘Men,’ said he, in effect, ‘within those towering mountains beyond this valley lies an enchanted city. It is all built of palaces of stone with roofs that shine like gold. Within those palaces is furniture of gold and silver. They are a very pleasant people who dwell there, Incas who have fled thither from Peru.

“Their city is ringed round with terrible mountains, abounding in gold and precious stones, unscalable by an enemy. The only approach is through a tunnel they have cut through the flank of a mountain. From these broad fields they draw their sustenance.

“This is the message they bid me bring to you: ‘If it be peace, ye can mix and mingle with us. There be women ye can have to wife. If it be war, we trust in our fastnesses.’ Men, what shall it be?

“With one voice, they shouted, ‘Peace!’

“That,” concluded Ferdinand, “is the tale of the Enchanted City of the Caesars, so-called because the Emperors of Spain were the modern Caesars by reason of the vastness of their empire.”

“And hasn’t it ever been sought for?” asked Bob. “Surely, the Spaniards in their eagerness for treasure would not have overlooked such a story as that told by the two men.”

“You are right,” said Ferdinand, nodding, “it was sought for. Expedition after expedition was sent out by the Viceroys of the Spanish provinces clear down to the War of Independence in the early nineteenth century, which freed South America from the yoke of Spain. But it was never found, and, although there are people who still believe it existed, it is generally supposed nowadays to be merely mythical.”

“And is it in search of this ‘Enchanted City’ that we are going?” asked Frank.

“I don’t know,” answered Ferdinand. “But I believe the ‘Enchanted City’ figures in the manuscript which my father has obtained, and it may be that we go to look for it.”




The day following this retelling of the legend of the Enchanted City of the Caesars by Ferdinand, all four boys were called into conference by the two older men. To their unbounded delight, they were told that in a week or ten days they would set out for Potosi, the Bolivian city which is the center of the famous silver mining region whose discovery once startled the world.

“Potosi,” said Ernesto, “may be our starting point, but I must tell you that in all likelihood we shall conduct our activities in two widely separated regions. The ancient manuscript of which I have spoken to you, Ferdinand, and which Senor Hampton tells me he has mentioned to you others, gives us quite definite directions for our search.

“It was written by a Spanish conquistadore who was with the expedition of Captain Sebastian de Arguello, of whom I understand Ferdinand has told you young fellows. This soldier of fortune never left the Enchanted City, according to his account, but married an Inca princess, and spent his remaining days in this city of wonders. From her and her relatives, he learned of the hidden horde in Bolivia which was cached before the band of Inca noblemen with their families and followers fled to the southward before the Conquerors.

“As old age came upon him, he decided to write down an account of his adventures, of the wonders of the Enchanted City, and of the hidden wealth left behind by the migrating Incas. This, he wrote, he intended to entrust to one of the three priests of de Arguello.

“The manuscript recently came into the hands of a relative of mine, who is the Superior of an Andine monastery in Southern Chile, and he, knowing my collector’s passion for the old and mythical in our history, sent it to me as a curiosity. But to me it is more. I believe it genuine, and so I am persuaded does Senor Hampton. One of my relative’s wandering monks, going among the Indians, was enabled to succor the Chief of a wild tribe in illness, and this manuscript in a battered and curiously wrought silver tube that had been handed down among the Indians for centuries, was given him as reward.”

The boys were shown the manuscript, which was written in purple ink upon sheepskin, or, at least, what they took to be sheepskin. Don Ernesto, however, was inclined to believe it was the skin of the alpaca, which is a wool-bearing animal of South America. So crabbed was the hand, and so curious the spelling and formation of the letters, that the boys, even Jack with his fine knowledge of Spanish, could make little of it. Ferdinand’s eyes, however, glistened at this first sight of the manuscript, and he pored over it for hours.

The two older men announced it would be necessary for them ere departing to visit Valparaiso for several days, and the boys were left to their own devices. However, the time was not to hang heavily on the hands of the boys, as barely had they been left alone than Ferdinand received an invitation from Adolfo Rodriguez, a friend living at Almahue, to visit him and witness a reception to a distinguished delegation of North Americans who were touring the South American republics.

This delegation was aboard the special train leaving Santiago which the four youths boarded in the morning. Arriving at Almahue in the afternoon, the delegation was received at the Rodriguez country home, a beautiful mansion standing in the midst of a large park. Young Rodriguez, a slender, dark-eyed lad of Ferdinand’s age, flew to greet them.

“His mother is an Englishwoman,” Ferdinand told them, in an aside. “And he has been to an English school. I have not seen him for some years.”

Greetings between the two friends were warm, and then the American lads were introduced.

“How jolly,” said young Rodriguez, “I thought this reception thing would be a bore. But with you fellows here, it will be a lark, after all. Come to my rooms, and you can prepare for dinner.”

On entering the great salon, Jack, Bob and Frank were surprised beyond measure. They found themselves in a profusion of palms, cypresses and willows, with chrysanthemums in prodigal profusion, the whole so tastefully arranged as to give the impression of a scene from fairyland. Music was played by hidden musicians during the dinner, and after the speeches there was to be a musicale. Young Rodriguez, however, managed to withdraw with his companions before the arrival of the speech-making.

“After-dinner speeches are a beastly bore, always,” he said emphatically. “I considered you fellows would be as glad to escape as I. Now these are your rooms, and you will find whatever you require. You have had a long day, and as there will be much to do and see tomorrow, I imagine you will want to get some sleep.”

With that he left them, taking with him Ferdinand. The boys realized young Rodriguez was eager to talk over old times with his chum, and that they would be up half the night chattering. Nevertheless, that was not hard to forgive, and as they really were tired by the unaccustomed scenes and bustle, they turned in after some comments on the dinner, and soon were sleeping soundly.

The next day, the boys were up and about early, for young Rodriguez wanted them to breakfast with him before the visitors reached the table. They were surprised to learn the estate covered 15,000 hectares, and employed more than 400 tenants and laborers.

With the visitors, the boys visited the schools of the estate, three in number, at one of which the boys and girls of the tenants were in attendance, and at the others the children of the laborers. Finding they could ride, young Rodriguez obtained them mounts from the stable, although the visiting delegation was taken about in carriages. They visited the beautiful church of the estate, inspected the model homes and recreation grounds for the overseers and laborers, and spent some time at the stables. Senor Rodriguez was a lover of horses, and with pride his son pointed out to the boys a number of race horses of famous pedigree.

“My mother wanted me educated in England,” he explained, “my father in South America. Finally, they struck a compromise. I was to be sent to an English school, but to a South American university. And so, Ferdinand, next year will find me with you at Lima.”

The other nodded with satisfaction. They had discussed this the night before.

“You three fellows are chums,” said Ferdinand, “and you can realize my delight.”

“At school in England,” said young Rodriguez, looking at a famous racer which he had brought the boys to see, “they used to be surprised when I spoke of home. They imagined that everything in South America was savage beyond words.”

“To tell you the truth,” said Bob, frankly, “I had false ideas about South America, too. These things you have been showing me, and others Ferdinand showed us in Santiago, make my head swim. I’m beginning to wonder where we can get adventure in a country like this.”

Ferdinand, who had told his chum of the proposed expedition, laughed heartily. So did Rodriguez.

“My dear fellow,” said the latter, “wait. You will encounter the mightiest mountains in the Western Hemisphere, mountains to dwarf your Rockies. You will disappear from all human habitation. You will cross trackless deserts; perhaps, you will find rivers never explored by white man. You may run foul of unconquered Indians. Perhaps, you may discover a new race. Anything is possible in this fascinating and little known land. All this that you see, all Santiago and Lima and our other cities—what, after all, is it? Nothing but the fringe of a vast continent. But, come, let us return, for this afternoon there will be something worth seeing.”

The prediction was borne out for, after luncheon, the band began to play and young folks from the estate appeared to dance the cueca. This is a dance peculiar to Chile, in which the dancers perform individually. It is reminiscent of other South American dances—the bolero, the habanera, the bambuco, the jota, the torbellino, and the fandango. It is danced with more grace and animation, and with deeper intensity than the tango, that dance peculiar to the Argentine.

“Look at that little Spanish senorita, Jack,” whispered Bob, mischievously, to his chum. “She certainly reminds me of your flame, Senorita Rafaela. Hey?”

Jack grinned at his comrade’s teasing. In reality, however, he never heard the name of Senorita Rafaela mentioned that he did not feel sentimental. And this dancing girl did have a coquettish lift of the fan, a twist of the head, a raising of the eyebrow, that reminded him of her. Senorita Rafaela, however, was far away, on the Mexican estate of her father, from whom Jack and Bob two years before had rescued Mr. Hampton when the latter was a political prisoner. It was no use to think of her now.

After the dance at the home, four hundred tenants, mounted on splendid horses, many with handsome Spanish saddles and spurs of silver, escorted the party to a nearby spot where two platforms had been erected for dancing. Here the men, young and old, participated in foot and horse races. Then the young folks went to dancing, while many barbecue fires for the cooking of meat were lighted, wine was distributed, and the tenants made festa. It was a truly patriarchal scene, and one never to be forgotten.

“This is a true example of life on the great Chilian estates,” Ferdinand told the boys, on their way back to Santiago.




“But, father, we thought you intended first to explore this town of Potosi for the buried treasure left there by the fugitive Incas before they fled to the South,” said Jack.

“I know, Jack,” Mr. Hampton explained, “but Don Ernesto and I have talked the matter over from every angle, and have decided against going to Potosi at this season. The summer months are January and February. And even in summer, it is bleak in that region. The hottest day ever recorded in Potosi went to only about 59 in the shade. The elevation is great; Potosi is built on top of a mountain, and there is no fuel. The mountains are bare of timber, and a camping expedition would run grave danger of freezing.

“For three hundred years, Potosi has been the center of a silver mining region that has given up wealth seemingly without exhaustion. More than two billion ounces of silver have been taken from the mountain on which it stands, and the mines are still in operation. It is probably the most famous mountain in the world, this Cerro of Potosi.

“It was from Bolivia,” Mr. Hampton added, “that the Inca civilization started on its career of conquest. Combination of two Indian races, the Aymares and the Quibchuas, the first warlike and the second industrious, the Inca nation absorbed other civilizations, brought wild tribes under subjection, and set up an empire remarkably like that of Rome. And yet,” added Mr. Hampton, “there were earlier civilizations of which next to nothing is known, which also had reached a high state of development.” He spoke not only of the Chimu civilization of which Ferdinand earlier had told the boys, but added that ruins on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia showed there was a civilization in that region antedating that of Egypt.

“However,” said he, “I digress. The point is that, because of the rigors of winter in Bolivia, we shall not try for the hidden Inca treasure but shall seek to make our way at once to the Enchanted City.”

The above conversation took place several days after the boys had returned from Almahue, and when Mr. Hampton and Senor de Avilar got back to Santiago.

“The discovery of this manuscript,” Mr. Hampton continued, “is what has lifted the legend of the Enchanted City out of the mythical. It may be a hoax, of course. There is always the possibility that someone went to infinite pains to perpetrate a joke. Yet the evidence is against that. Apparently the manuscript is very ancient. And Senor de Avilar’s experts, to whom he has submitted it, say that the writing and spelling are those of an educated Spanish gentleman of the period of the Conquerors. There were few enough educated men at that time; Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, his comrade, you know, could neither read nor write. Yet there were educated men, of course, and one such must have been this Luis de Pereira, gentleman adventurer, wrecked with de Arguello.

“Since two men, reaching Concepcion in 1557, first gave the outside world the tale of the Enchanted City, many expeditions have set forth in search of it. None were successful. At length, a century and a half later, Fray Menendez, a Franciscan explorer and missionary, after two years of systematic search, declared the story mythical. And that has come to be the general opinion. Yet early in the nineteenth century, silver drinking cups were found among a tribe of forest Indians in the south, and once more a party of explorers set out. This time, they started from Punta Arenas, in Patagonia, trying to follow northward the route pursued by de Arguello. They disappeared, were never heard of again.”

“Perhaps they reached the Enchanted City and stayed there,” suggested Frank, who, like Jack and Bob, was listening with absorbed interest.

“That may have been the case,” said Mr. Hampton, “supposing, of course, that such a place existed. But, what I was going to say, was that the discovery of this manuscript of Luis de Pereira puts a new complexion on the matter. While he was not a geographer, and could not give latitude and longitude, yet he was a keen observer. And his manuscript gives very definite natural locations of mountains and river, by which we can be guided. Further, we know the Enchanted City lay on the southern borders of the land of the Auraucanos.”

“Oh,” interrupted Jack, “those are the Indians, the great fighters, that Ferdinand told us about.”

“Yes,” said his father, “and it is a good thing for us that they are more amenable today, or we would not even consider an expedition that would bring us into touch with them. They are the only unconquered people of South America.”

“And the Incas never conquered them, in spite of their powerful armies?” asked Jack, more in the hope of drawing out his father than by way of surprise, for the answer to his question Ferdinand earlier had given.

“The Incas were a great people,” said his father, not averse to informing the boys about a race with the modern descendants of whom they presently might come in contact, “but they could not conquer the Auraucanos. Neither could the Spaniards, despite armor and cannon. Not even the Chilians, with the improved weapons of modern times could conquer the Auraucanos. They are the finest tribe or race of Indians inhabiting the southern portion of the continent, and it is their intermarriage with the whites in the last forty or fifty years which has helped make Chile what it is today—a country with many qualities which distinguish it from its sister republics.

“The Auraucanos were a nomad, pastoral race, numbering some 400,000 at the time of the Incas, some writers estimate. They were imbued with a high order of intelligence, and with a courage unsurpassed. The value of military organizations was appreciated by them. Indeed, in later years, of which we have record, they developed several very fine generals, military tacticians of a high order, such as Latuaro and Caupolican. Although nomads, they had a ruling family from time immemorial, and from this family the Chief always was drawn. The hereditary principle obtained, and the eldest son of a departed Chief ruled in his father’s place unless he was incapable of assuming command of his fellow warriors, in which case the strongest and bravest warrior was selected.

“When Valdivia, the conqueror of Chile, crossed the river Biobio and started to penetrate Auraucanian territory, the Auraucanos opposed his passage. In the beginning, in pitched battle, the Auraucanos with their bows and arrows, their stone tomahawks, and their wooden sabers edged with flint, were defeated by the mounted Spaniards, clad in armor. Then they took to the forest and adopted guerrilla tactics, picking off single Spaniards and small parties. Every foot of the way was contested, and when the Spaniards had penetrated a hundred miles south of the Biobio, the Auraucanos gathered in massed columns and by their daring, courage and disregard of death overwhelmed the Spaniards and annihilated them.

“During the Colonial period, the Spaniards renewed the warfare at frequent intervals, but without success. The Indians had learned how to use the weapons which they had captured, and obtained repeated victories. In the end, the Spaniards made peace. The river Biobio was fixed as the boundary between Auraucania and the colony of Chile.

“The Chilians also were unable to overcome the Auraucanos. In the end, however, in 1881, the Auraucanian tribal chiefs held a grand council, and decided to cast in their lot with the people who had overthrown the Spaniards. They incorporated themselves as citizens of Chile. Probably, German colonists had something to do with the change of attitude. For after the unsuccessful revolution of 1848 in Germany, a number of ardent German revolutionists fled to Chile and settled the city of Osorno, in Auraucanian territory. They intermarried with the Auraucanos, and today more German than Spanish is spoken in that part of Chile, and there are many German-language newspapers printed there.”

“Oh,” said Jack, in a tone of disappointment, “then they are civilized Indians today.”

His father smiled.

“That is one of the most flourishing parts of the Republic of Chile,” he said. “Yet along the Andes, there is a branch of the Auraucanos that is still recalcitrant, and whose freedom no government has thought fit to challenge, because of the apparent barrenness of that mountainous country. However, that is the region into which we must penetrate. I don’t know whether Ferdinand has told you, but old accounts of the Enchanted City declare that the Indians of the neighborhood were well paid by the Incas to preserve inviolate the secret of the location of their city. This tribe of recalcitrants may be those Indians.”

Frank had been sitting with his chin in his hand, thinking. Now he spoke up.

“Do you think, Mr. Hampton, that there is any likelihood the Enchanted City is still flourishing?” he asked. “That it is still inhabited by descendants of the ancient Incas and the Spaniards?”

“That is a hard question to decide, Frank,” was the reply. “It would seem likely that if it continued to flourish, some of its sons would yearn to see the outside world, and would make the journey and bring forth news of his home. Inasmuch as nothing of the sort has occurred, the probability would seem to be that in some fashion or other the population was wiped out and the Enchanted City fallen to ruin and decay.

“As I say, that seems by far the most likely supposition. It does not seem possible, in the first place, that a great city could continue in existence unknown to the rest of the world for centuries. Curiosity is one of the basic qualities of human nature. The older folks might be content to let well enough alone, to remain secluded and unknown in their city, ringed round by mountains, protected from intrusion by the great tunnel, by trackless forests, arid deserts and staggering precipices. But the more adventurous younger spirits, as I say, would want to know what lay over the hills, and would adventure forth.”

“But what would wipe them out?” asked Bob, always the practical.

Mr. Hampton shrugged his shoulders. “Perhaps a plague. Perhaps the Auraucanos. Who knows? Maybe, some cataclysm of nature like an earthquake. There are cities in South America today that we know of, which were ruined in a matter of minutes, by earthquake.

“No, the probabilities all are that, if we do find the Enchanted City, we will find it in ruins and uninhabited except by wild beasts. Yet what a wonderful experience it would be to explore those ruins, and what treasure would be stored there.”

Frank nodded.

“Just the same,” he said, “I’d like the experience of stepping out of the present into the past, of walking from a mechanical civilization into an Inca city.”




Preparations for departure from Santiago did not occupy long, as it was not intended the expedition should be outfitted at the Chilian capital. On the contrary, the starting point was to be the isolated Andine monastery, presided over by Don Ernesto’s relative, who had obtained and forwarded the old manuscript of Luis de Pereira.

“At this old monastery,” he told the boys, “we shall spend some time going over maps, talking with missionary monks who have penetrated portions of the wild region into which we plan to march, and gathering our expedition together. Our winter, which corresponds in point of time to your summer, is drawing to a close. By the time we are ready to move, spring will have come, and we can travel without too great inconvenience due to the weather.

“Your father,” he explained to Jack, “regrets delaying your return to college, but he feels that such an expedition will be worth a great deal to you and your friends.”

Mr. Hampton nodded.

“If all goes well,” he added, “you fellows will get back to Yale after the Christmas vacation. Even if you were to miss a whole year of class work, it would be worth while merely for this unusual experience.”

With this the boys were in hearty agreement. Farewells, then, were said to Santiago. The party, consisting of the two older men, the four boys and two trusted huachos, Pedro and Carlos, set out for the Monastery of the Cross of the Snows. The Longitudinal Railway, in the valley between the Cordilleras and the Andes, carried them south to Tembuco in the Auraucanian land, and thence they made their way by automobile to a tambo or inn in the Andes, where mules which had been arranged for were obtained. After a ten-day journey on mule back over trails that skirted terrible precipices, climbed cliffs seemingly impassable and by means of rope suspension bridges crossed gorges in the bottoms of which roared torrents over rocky beds, they at length reached the monastery.

The Abbot, Father Felipe, was a jolly fellow, rotund as a keg, his face rosy and sparkling with good cheer. They were welcomed warmly. Far though they were to the south, and despite the fact that they were not in the loftiest of the mountains, the winter had been rigorous. Had it not been that it was what is known as an “open winter,” in fact, the trip at that time of year would have been impossible.

The trail by which they reached the monastery was free from snow, but on the lofty peaks above and in the distance glistened great blankets of snow, while during the forepart of their journey great Aconcagua’s hoary head had sparkled far away on their left for days.

“Ah, my friend,” said Father Felipe, to his relative, as the party dismounted from mule back in the great courtyard of the monastery, “you are lucky, indeed, to have had such weather for travel, else would it have been impossible. Yet what terrible insanity possesses you, what fever for running up and down the land like a flea is in your blood, that you should attempt such an expedition. Well did I know how it would be with you, when I sent you that bit of ancient writing. ‘Now the crazy man will leap upon his mule and come galloping at once to our gates,’ said I to myself. ‘And he will cry to Father Felipe to show him the way to this lost land at once.’ Is it not so, my friend?”

And Father Felipe laughed so heartily that his stout frame in its corded robe shook like a jelly. Don Ernesto, too, laughed, and leaping from his mule embraced the good priest, at least embraced as much as possible of his ample form.

“You are always the same, Felipe,” said he. “How do you manage to keep so cheerful in this isolated spot, surrounded by these great mountains, with their eternal snows? It is a great mystery.”

Father Felipe laughed again.

“Ah, my friend,” said he, “you should have my equable disposition. Besides, the food is good, the wine excellent. But, come. Let me know your friends, and then you shall be taken to the guest rooms. Everything is prepared for you. After you have rested a little from your journey you shall try my fare, and then tonight you shall tell me how it goes in the great world beyond our snows.”

Of the weeks drifting into months which the party spent here, there is no need to tell in detail. Delays of one sort or another, a belated intensity of winter, operated to keep the party from making a start. But the life of the monastery was a novelty to all the boys, even to Ferdinand, and they found much to interest them. Moreover, from Brother Gregorio, a great linguist, the boys learned the Auraucanian tongue as well as much of the Inca lore, with which he was saturated. So that, by and large, they were far from being bored. Moreover, all three practiced at speaking Spanish until they became extremely proficient in it.

Nor did they come empty-handed. For while the good monks were doing their best to equip the boys with a knowledge of Spanish and of the Indian language of the region into which they would penetrate, the three chums had something of vast interest to impart to their instructors. That was a knowledge of Radio.

It was Jack who thought of it first. One night, as he and Bob and Frank sat with Ferdinand and Brother Gregorio before a roaring fire in the wide chimney place of the guest room assigned them as sitting room, he introduced the subject. Brother Gregorio looked blank at first. Then, as Jack in his eagerness to make himself understood, launched into a description of how speech was transmitted through the air without the means of wires, the good monk crossed himself.

“Of the telegraph I have heard,” he said, “but of this other thing, not one word. Can it be right? Is this not the work of the Fiend?”

The boys were inclined to laugh, but, as if moved by the same impulse, forebore lest they wound his feelings. Ferdinand intervened. He was a devout churchman, and knew how best to disarm Brother Gregorio’s suspicions and lay at rest his fears.

“It is not the work of the Fiend,” said he, “but a great discovery of which the whole world rings. The Holy Father at Rome himself has manifested an interest in it, and it is but a development of the wireless telegraph which a good son of Holy Church, Signor Marconi, earlier invented.”


Brother Gregorio’s face cleared. Then eager interest shown in his eyes.

“Tell me about it,” he begged.

Jack at once launched into an explanation. He had with him, in his baggage, moreover, several textbooks of radio. These he produced, and pressed upon Brother Gregorio, whose knowledge of English would make it possible for him to study them.

“Best of all, though,” added Jack, “we have our field outfit of generator, tubes, spark coils, batteries and wire with us.”

“With that device of yours, Jack, you won’t need an aerial,” said Frank. “You can hook in on the electric light socket.”

“Righto,” said Jack. “That makes it easier.”

The monastery had its own electric light and power plant, turbines utilizing the power generated by a nearby waterfall in the mountains. The device referred to by Frank was a plug to be inserted in the ordinary electric light socket, from which wires led to the aerial post of the instrument. This plug was so constructed that the alternating current, fatal to the instrument, did not pass through it. Thus the electric wiring of the house could be employed as aerial. No antenna and no clumsy lead-in was necessary.

“Look here,” said Jack, “Dad has a good receiving outfit with him I know. He has packed it with him throughout the trip, and has taken precious good care of it, too. He and Ferd’s father are in with Father Felipe at this time. Just excuse me, and I’ll be right back. We ought to be able to make use of that outfit right now.”

The whole party returned with Jack, and he and his father, assisted by Bob and Frank, set rapidly to work. As they worked, Jack talked excitedly.

“We shall have something here presently, Father Felipe, that will astonish you and Brother Gregorio. How silly of me not to think of it before. Probably, however, I did not consider there would be any radio broadcasting in this part of the world to listen to. But I remember now. La Presna, the great newspaper of Buenos Ayres, recently built a great broadcasting station, and I read in a scientific article recently that it can be heard clear across the Argentine Pampas, thousands of miles, to the mountains.

“Here we are in the mountains now. And with this device of mine for hooking up, and Dad’s outfit, we ought to be able to hear La Presna’s concerts. Now for the loud speaker, Dad. Let’s hook her up, and we’ll be ready.”

While Jack feverishly manipulated the controls, the others looked on with varying expressions. Not a word was said. All crowded around. Suddenly there was a faint whirring as of the buzzing of bees. Then that gave ’way to a noisy crackling. That, too, disappeared, and in its place there floated out into that ancient stone-walled room a rich, mellifluous tenor voice singing an air from “Manon.”

Father Felipe and Brother Gregorio were so astounded that their mouths opened and they stood, thus, speechless, while the song continued. At its conclusion, a voice in Spanish emanated from the loud speaker, announcing the next number on the programme would be orchestral, and immediately the room was filled with the dashing rhythm of a wild Argentine melody. Number succeeded number until, in conclusion, the voice announced the concert for the following evening.

Brother Gregorio’s face was radiant, but in the presence of his superior, he refrained from speech. Father Felipe, however, was under no restraint. He was delighted beyond measure. Moreover, he showed that he was a man of imagination.

“To think,” said he, “that all we heard was in far-distant Buenos Ayres. Who knows but that some day we can hear Rome just as easily? Who knows but that some day now the Holy Father himself can speak to us, his children, in his own voice, though we dwell at the ends of the earth? Yet men foolishly say the day of miracles has passed. This is as truly a miracle as anything that has ever happened.”

He spoke with energy. His face was flushed, his eyes alight. Don Ernesto regarded his cousin slyly.

“How now, Felipe,” said he, “you show all this enthusiasm over hearing operatic music or the dance of the Pampas guachero within monastic walls?”

Father Felipe smiled.

“Ninny,” said he. “Why not? It was good music. Yes,” he added, energetically, “and tomorrow night, if our good young friend will arrange it, we shall have all the brethren assemble in the Great Hall and hear this concert.”

“I am rebuked, Felipe,” said the other. “You are, indeed, a father to your brethren. How they will enjoy this.”




And enjoy it, the monks did, the following night. But to make it possible for all in the Great Hall to hear, Jack and Bob and Frank worked hard the next day. A number of ram’s horns were obtained, the ends cut off so that an aperture an inch and a half in diameter was left, and the interior bored out. These were then placed in various parts of the Great Hall and connected by wires to the magnavox. The result was that the nightly concert broadcasted in distant Buenos Ayres could be heard in the remotest part of the Great Hall as clearly as if singer and orchestra were in the room itself.

“What marvellous music,” Frank exclaimed, later that night, as, the concert ended, they sat once more before their fire.

Mr. Hampton nodded.

“Better than any broadcasting programme in our country by far,” he said. “And with reason. Buenos Ayres is one of the great artistic centers of the world. It possesses the finest opera house in the world. The Colon Opera House surpasses the best in Europe. Its auditorium is larger than any in London, Paris or Berlin, and its equipment and appointments are of the most luxurious and artistic.

“Yet this great opera house is not the only musical outlet of the Argentine capital. In the winter season there are always at least three grand opera houses in full swing, with world-famous artists at each. In addition, there are minor operatic performances all the time. In fact, Buenos Ayres is one of the leading operatic centers of the world, and many a famous opera singer has graduated from its conservatories. These latter are more than a hundred in number, conducted by teachers of note. So you see La Presna has a wealth of the best artists and musicians to draw upon for its radio concerts.”

“But, Mr. Hampton,” said Frank, astonished, “this newspaper must be awfully powerful and important to obtain the services of these fine artists. And rich, too.”

“Yes, Frank, La Prensa is, indeed, powerful, important and rich,” said Mr. Hampton. “It occupies a position far different from newspapers in New York or in any other North American city. Like the best of South American newspapers, it is less provincial and less sensational than our own newspapers, and more cosmopolitan and educative. It occupies what is by all odds the handsomest newspaper building in the world,—a building as magnificent as the finest palaces of Europe. Among other of its many features, it has in that building a private theatre where visiting singers, actors and lecturers give private performances. La Presna will give no publicity whatsoever to any such public characters unless it considers them worthy. Doubtless, these radio concerts are given in that private theatre.”

“Well,” said Jack, “at all events, these concerts certainly break the monotony of the long nights here in the monastery. It is wonderful that Father Felipe permits us to give them. Yes, even urged us to do so. Isn’t that acting in a pretty broad manner for the head of a monastery?”

“These missionary monks, Jack,” his father explained, “are not of the ascetic type. They are very human persons, indeed; in fact, they resemble the parish priests of the United States in that respect. You remember that Father Collins of the parish near us at home built a Community Hall where he gives motion picture shows and radio concerts?”

“Yes, I know,” Jack said. “But monks! It is hard for me to reconcile this jolly, wholesome houseful of men with my preconceived ideas of a monastery.”

“Just because a man does good for mankind, you should not expect him to be a perpetual cloud of gloom, Jack,” said his father. “Another thing which you must remember is that these men, Father Felipe, Brother Gregorio, and the others, are South Americans. That is, they come of a race in which the love of music is ingrained. No people on earth are so fond of music as these. Nowhere is music so universally accepted as here.

“Moreover, these men are Chilians and Argentinians. That means a good deal, for Chile and the Argentine are the two South American countries in which the proportion of white blood is highest. Spanish, Italian, French and German are the predominant strains, and all represent music-loving races.”

It is to be feared, however, that the boys, while paying polite attention, in reality were thinking of other matters. Bob had a hand up to shade his eyes and was dozing. Jack was gazing into the leaping flames in the fireplace, and there was a faraway look in his eyes as his thoughts traveled back to those days when he rescued his father from the palace of Don Fernandez y Calomares in the Sonora mountains of Old Mexico, and met the charming Senorita Rafaela during the course of his mission. As to Frank, it was not difficult to gather from his next words of what he had been thinking.

“Look here, Jack,” said he, as Mr. Hampton finished his little lecture, “what’s to prevent our utilizing the water power and the power plant of the monastery, and setting up a radio sending station? It would be lots of fun, and would help pass the time until the expedition is ready to start.”

Jack’s eyes lighted up with enthusiasm, as his thoughts came back from faraway Mexico. Bob’s head snapped up with a jerk.

“Good idea,” approved Jack.

It was Mr. Hampton, however, who added the crowning touch.

“Your suggestion is fine, Frank,” said he. “And with such a station at our base, and a field radio equipment to keep us in touch with each other, we should be safeguarded against almost any accident. If we become lost, injured in attack from savages or in accidents due to wilderness travel, or if we suffer any big misfortune necessitating help, we can communicate the facts of our predicament to the base here. Father Felipe is a resourceful man, and undoubtedly would find some way to come to our aid.”

For some time longer, plans for the construction of the proposed station were discussed. The biggest item to be supplied would be wire, but this Mr. Hampton considered they probably could find at the monastery, as the institution, because of its isolation and the difficulty of bringing in stores from the outside, would have a considerable stock on hand at the power plant.

Such, indeed, proved to be the case, and early the next day work on the proposed sending station was begun. Several of the monks who were clever artisans, were assigned by Father Felipe to the work. At the monastery, all inmates had trades in which they were proficient, and all the work of farming, building, electric wiring, etc., was done by monks.

Day by day the work progressed, halted only at times when storms swept down from the mountains and buried the monastery in a blanket of snow. To the boys it was interesting and enjoyable, of course, but to the monks it was far more. As they worked under the boys’ directions, it seemed to them they were helping effect a miracle.

Moreover, the nightly concerts continued, and of these Brother Gregorio said to the boys:

“When our plant is completed, we must send a message to La Presna, telling of our gratitude. Perhaps, too,” he suggested timidly, “you will let me speak to the editor of this invention of yours whereby we were enabled to utilize our monastery wiring instead of running up what you call it—an aerial?”

Jack shook his head, smiling.

“Other men have been working on that same device,” he said, “at least on that same idea. Presently some firm will perfect one and put it on the market in the United States. Then it will be farewell to the aerial with its poles and lead-ins, arresters and ground switches. Outside aerials and clumsy indoor loops will be things of the past.”

“Why didn’t you market this device yourself, Jack?” asked Frank. “You worked it out toward the end of the year at Yale. If you had patented it, and put it on the market, you could have made a fortune.”

“Perhaps I could have made a fortune, as you say, Frank. But the truth of the matter is that when Dad mentioned the possibility of his expedition, every other thought fled out of my mind. And it was just as well, for to have put this on the market would have meant repeated conferences with manufacturers, trips to Washington, and one thing and another. I would have had to give up making this expedition, and I couldn’t bring myself to do that.”

Frank nodded.

“Imagine doing that,” he said. “I’d sooner kiss the fortune goodbye. Besides, what a chance here to make a fortune, if we find the Enchanted City! And that will be a lot more romantic way of making it than by a business move.”

Mr. Hampton, who had approached in time to hear the conclusion of this conversation, shook his head, but smiled, nevertheless.

“Won’t you fellows ever grow up?” he asked.

Jack grinned.

“You’re a fine one to talk to us like that, Dad,” he said. “Look at your own case. Here you are, an engineer of international reputation, exacting princely fees for your services. Yet you go and sacrifice what probably will amount to a whole year of your time, in order to make this expedition.”

Mr. Hampton returned Jack’s broad grin with interest.

“I am properly rebuked, Jack,” he said. “Well, what’s more fun than doing what you like to do, once in a while? When I was a boy I had to work pretty hard, for my people were poor. I worked my own way through college. All the time, I dreamed of adventurous and romantic expeditions, but I had no chance to make them. My nose must always be between the covers of a textbook at night. My thoughts must be on business during the day.

“As a matter of fact, my recollection of my own youth actuated me in giving you this chance. I know what a boy wants. I was denied it myself, and I mean you shall have better luck.”

Turning abruptly, he walked away. The boys were silent. When he was out of earshot, Frank said earnestly:

“Jack, your father is a prince.”

“I never heard him talk quite so freely of his own youth before,” said Jack, thoughtfully. “I want to know more about it.”

Without further explanation, he, too, set off in his father’s wake.




With the coming of the first warm weather, delightful and interesting though their stay at the monastery had proven to be, the boys were eager to get under way upon the last stage of their hunt for the Enchanted City. Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton, though less enthusiastic on the surface, were no whit less desirous to be moving on than the boys.

Father Felipe, reluctant to part with them, for they had enlivened the placid hours of life in the lonely monastery immeasurably, nevertheless saw that it would be useless any longer to interpose objections to their departure.

“Good weather has arrived,” he said, at length, one balmy day. “I know the mountains. There will be no more snow or cold winds. Rain, yes. For on this western slope of the Andes we always have showers and thunderstorms. But snow, no. Spring is definitely here.

“I wish I could dissuade you, my friend,” he said to Don Ernesto, in a graver tone than was customary for the jolly Abbot to employ. “I wish, indeed, you could be persuaded to turn aside from this foolish adventure. I have a feeling that grave danger will come to you. My spirits seem depressed.”

“Ah, Father Felipe, you have not dined well today,” said Don Ernesto, in a sympathetic tone belied by his dancing eyes. “A trace of indigestion, maybe. I, too, often feel depressed for like cause.”

“Nay,” said Father Felipe, indignantly. “A little fish, coffee—what is there in this to give me indigestion? But you must joke, you crazy man, eager to run up and down mountains and poke your nose into places where white men have never trod. There will be trouble, I tell you, trouble.”

And the good Abbot sighed like a miniature earthquake.

Brother Gregorio, also, was reluctant to see the party set out. The boys, all four of them, had endeared themselves to him. Especially was he fond of Frank, in whose quick, responsive mind and sensitive spirit he seemed to sense a kindred strain.

The boys found him at the power plant, pottering around, when they told him of their imminent departure. His face fell, and for a time he could find no words to utter. He had known, of course, that their stay would not be forever. But so long had it lasted during the winter months that it had seemed to him as if matters would continue in statu quo or without change for an indefinite period. Now to be told that they were going to leave within the week was a blow.

At length he walked away from the group, and stood on the brink of the pool into which cascaded the water from the falls, his hands behind him, his back to the group.

“He takes it hard,” said Jack. “Frank, he likes you best of all. We’ll leave you here with him.”

Frank nodded.

“I guess that’s a good idea,” he said soberly. “Brother Gregorio is a fine fellow, and we understand each other.”

As the others departed, they looked back and saw Frank go up to the monk and place an arm over his shoulders. They stood thus for a long time, no words interchanged.

When it came to the point of packing for the journey, there was much that could not be taken along. Brother Gregorio, indeed, would have loaded each man like a pack mule with his gifts of this, that and the other—of clothing, boots, ponchos, prayer books and what not, of medicine cases and packages of herbs and simple remedies. Nor were Father Felipe or the many other monks to whom the various members of the party had endeared themselves, the less behindhand in their offerings.

“We can’t take all this stuff,” said Jack, in comical dismay, as he stood in their common sitting room, surrounded by bundles, boxes, heaps and bales. “What’ll we do with it? Every single thing that I take up, I say to myself, ‘Well, this will be absolutely useless, and just in our way. But if we don’t take it, we shall break Brother Gregorio’s heart or Father Felipe’s heart or somebody’s else heart.’ What are we going to do?”

Mr. Hampton shook his head.

“There are only eight of us, Jack,” he said. “And we can’t overload ourselves. We have difficult country through which to make our way—country that for a large part is trackless and uncharted. We can afford to take only essentials.”

“Yes, but, Dad, Brother Gregorio and the rest of them consider all they have given us as essential.”

Don Ernesto laughed.

“Bale up what we can’t take, and leave it here against our return,” he said. “Let none of the monks see what has been taken and what left behind. Thus no feelings will be hurt.”

Jack’s face brightened.

“Good idea,” he said. “Well, come on fellows. Now this we can’t take, and this and this.”

For hours they were busy sorting out the useless gifts, and for other hours busy packing them securely and stowing away in the sitting room to await their return.

At length the expedition was ready to start. The mules were packed, Carlos, Pedro and the monks being expert in the art. Besides the necessary food supplies and camping equipment, the luggage contained field radio equipment of various sorts. There was a tube transmitter, several sizes of spark coil, coils of fine wire, and duplications of the standard U. S. Army field radio—several sets of hollow, light steel poles in collapsible sections, a hand-operated quarter-kilowatt generator, headphones and batteries being the main articles.

“With the tube transmitter we can reach you at our base here, Father Felipe, for short distances,” said Mr. Hampton. “But for long distance work, the tube transmitter and batteries would not be strong enough. In that case, this little generator will be the thing to employ. You might consider us foolish to take all these duplications of equipment, but they do not weigh much and, we have so distributed all among the mule packs, that even if part become lost, we shall still have others upon which to fall back.”

Father Felipe looked about him at the assembled monks, and smiled.

“If you get into a tight place,” he said, “call on us for help. It may seem foolish to offer you the help of men of peace, yet we are no puling men here, but strong, stout fellows all. Even should you be taken prisoners and require stout arms to rescue you, call upon us. There be many here who have soldiered in the past and who could strike a right good blow in a righteous cause, I warrant you.”

“I can easily believe that, Father Felipe,” answered Mr. Hampton with a smile. “Well, bid us Godspeed, and we shall be on our way.”

The Abbot embraced Mr. Hampton, Don Ernesto and the boys unaffectedly. Brother Gregorio and Frank did likewise. The other monks raised a cheer. Then there was a period of silence while all knelt with uncovered head, and Father Felipe prayed aloud for the safe return of the expedition.

Not until then did they swing off along a trail up the side of a mountain that would presently vanish upon a bare mountain top, they were assured, after which they would have to trust to their own energy and resource for getting forward. At a bend in the trail all halted and faced about for a last look at the monastery.

“It makes me feel as if I were living in mediaeval times,” said Frank. “The stout Abbot and his jolly monks, us setting off afoot with a mule train, the prayer delivered over us as we start. Boy, this is the way to live.”

Jack reached over to clasp his chum’s hand strongly, and Mr. Hampton regarded the two with a little smile of sympathy.

“I feel the same way, boys,” he said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Yes, it is good to be alive and starting out on an adventure of which no man can guess the end.”

“Just a boy, you are, my friend,” said Don Ernesto, jestingly. “But I, too. I, too. Come, let us get forward.”




Of that trip during the ensuing days there is little of moment to record. Sometimes they advanced less than five miles a day. Sometimes, where the going was easy, through a valley leading in their general direction, perchance, where there was little underbrush and the benchland along the stream gave firm footing, the distance travelled was considerably more.

But, whether the going was easy or hard, whether few miles were covered or many, there was not a foot of it all that was not intensely interesting to the boys, and not only to the three New York lads, but to Ferdinand as well.

Steadily they mounted higher into the mountains, skirting precipices of which sometimes the bottom could not be seen. On one occasion, as they made camp at night upon a lofty meadow against the shoulder of a mountain on one side, and with a precipitous drop on the other, they looked over the edge into the abyss and drew back frightened.

“Why, you can’t even see the bottom,” exclaimed Jack. “It’s hidden by the clouds.”

Which was true; for five hundred feet below lay a fleecy stratum of cloud, through which on the edges projected the tops of trees, but which in the middle was as unbroken as a placid sea. Across the valley the sun was setting in the west, its rays red as blood upon the side of the mountain behind them and upon their faces. Then the sun seemed quite suddenly to slip below the mountain top, the sky became colder in appearance, and a chill wind swept down out of the mountains, while the cloud sea below began to stir and toss a little under the wind’s fretting.

“By Jiminy,” said big Bob, “I’ll bet it’s so deep down there, if I toss this stone overboard you’ll never hear it fall.”

He suited action to word. The stone ripped through the clouds and the boys held their breath to listen. Not a sound came back to them.

“Whew,” shivered Frank. “Come on, let’s get away from the precipice before some demon pushes us in. Up here I begin to believe in demons and warlocks, kobolds and gnomes.”

They hurried toward the fire which Carlos and Pedro had built.

On another occasion, as they were climbing early one morning out of a high valley over the shoulder of a mountain, Jack slipped on a rock that turned under his foot, and, falling to his side, began sliding down hill. Not far away was another precipice, with a sheer drop into a rocky ravine where there were not even any trees to break his fall.

Mr. Hampton made a leap for his son, but he was too far away to be able to reach him in time. Jack meanwhile was clawing desperately at the ground, in an attempt to stay his downward progress. Frank, who was nearer than Mr. Hampton, also started for Jack, impeded, however, by the necessity of watching his own footsteps to prevent slipping. It was big Bob, however, who saved his comrade, and he did it in a novel way.

At a glance, his quick eye took in the situation. He saw that the ground sloped so sharply that whoever should run to Jack’s rescue might merely hasten his descent by further loosening the loose rocks that lay everywhere about and sending them down on the sliding figure.

Further, would there be time for a man to reach Jack? He believed not.

But by his side, over a pack on the mule with which he had been keeping pace, hung a coiled lasso. Two years before, during their stay in New Mexico, Bob had been fascinated by the manipulations of the lasso, of which his cowboy friends were capable. He had worked under their tutelage, and had acquired considerable dexterity. On his present trip, he had amazed the monks by his skill, and had kept his hand in with constant practise.

Seizing the lasso, he measured the distance, swung once, twice, thrice around his head, and then let fly. The coil straightened out through the air. The noose descended over Jack’s upflung arm and trunk. His feet braced, Bob let the rope out gently, while Jack slid a matter of several feet more.

Thus Bob prevented too great strain being put upon the rope that might upset him, and also refrained from injuring his chum.

Jack came to rest, outstretched, one arm pinioned by the lasso, which passed beneath the other armpit. His feet were already over the edge of the precipice.

“Give me a hand, Frank, and you, Mr. Hampton,” panted Bob.

They sprang to obey.

Inch by inch at first, Jack was pulled back from the brink, until he was sufficiently far removed from it to warrant him in gaining his feet. Then he made his way, limping, helped by the steady tug on the rope, back to his comrades.

“Bob, you saved my life,” he said. “I won’t forget.”

Then he sat down weakly, and dropped his head to his hands.

“Here, Jack,” said his father, “take a sip of this. It will steady you,” and he set a flask to Jack’s lips.

Presently, Jack regained his feet, and with a shake, pulled himself together.

“I’m all right now,” he said. “But—for a moment or two there—I felt as if I still were on the brink and just toppling over. I tell you, that was no joke. There wasn’t even a stunted bush to grab at as I slid down.”

Day succeeded day, sometimes sudden storms forcing them to seek shelter in mid-day, before they contemplated going into camp. These storms in the mountains come up suddenly. The sky would darken, thunder roll reverberatingly along the hills, lightning flash, and then would come a tremendous downpour of rain. Quickly as the storm arose, however, it went as quickly.

Always as they pushed ahead, they climbed higher into the mountains.

“But, Dad,” protested Jack one day, “can it be the Enchanted City was among these lofty peaks? Would de Arguello’s expedition, for instance, have gotten so high?”

“Patience, Jack,” explained Mr. Hampton. “Tomorrow, I believe, we start descending. We are almost at the top of a range of mountains now. Today, several times, I caught glimpses of a snow-clad range beyond—so far away, indeed, that I believe there must be a great central valley between. Somewhere in there, if our vague directions left by de Pereira are of any value, lies the Enchanted City.”

That a great central valley did intervene between that range and the next was proven next day when, coming through a pass, they discerned a tossing, forest-clad wilderness of scarp and mountain, lake and river, cut up by mountains irregularly scattered about, spread out below them. The next regular chain of mountains, paralleling that through which they had been making their way, lay far beyond, and their peaks were white with snows.

“We shall have difficulty exploring this wilderness below us,” said Don Ernesto. “This is beyond any regions where white men go. There are hostile branches of the Auraucanos down there—somewhere. Somewhere down there, too, lies the Enchanted City, however. And if it is to be found, we shall find it. Game and water, at least, shall not be wanting. Come.”

They set off as into a promised land.




“I wonder where Dad is?”

For the twentieth time in the last hour, Jack, striding up and down in the little forest glade, high up in the mountains, where camp had been pitched the day before, came to a halt before Frank and Bob, out-sprawled and napping in their hammocks, and asked his question. They had reached this spot after weeks of travel from the monastery.

“Yes,” said Ferdinand, coming up, “and my father?”

He, too, had been doing a restless sentry-go to and fro, unable to remain quiet.

Three hours before, shortly after dawn, the two older men had left the camp in company with Carlos, to hunt small game. They had promised to return in a couple of hours.

“Oh, they’re just an hour or so overdue, Jack,” said Frank, putting aside a book of old Inca tales which he had been reading, and examining his watch. “I don’t think there is anything for you two to worry about. They’ll be back shortly.”

“Yes,” said Bob, comfortably, stretching and yawning, “they probably went a little farther than they expected to, that’s all.”

Jack shook his head.

“I haven’t heard the report of any firearms since they left,” he said. “I’m afraid they may have wandered too far afield, not finding any game close at hand, and in these great trackless forests they may easily have become lost.”

“What does Pedro say?” asked Frank.

With an exclamation, Ferdinand called to his retainer in Spanish, and the latter approached. There was a rapid interchange of conversation. Pedro shook his head in negation, and spread out his hands.

“No, Carlos has never been in these mountains.”

Ferdinand’s expression became worried. He shook his head, as he turned to the others.

“What shall we do?”

“We will have to start looking for them,” said Jack, determinedly. “They are lost. There is no doubt about it. But in these forests they may have swung about in a circle, and be near camp without realizing it. I’ll climb this great tree here in the clearing, and look around first. Then, if I cannot see them, four of us can set out to the four quarters of the compass, while the fifth remains in camp to fire off a gun at frequent intervals. That will serve to keep the searchers in touch with camp, and also will act as a guide to the others, in case they are within sound of the gun.”

Jack’s spirits had sunk low, despite his confident tone. He had a premonition of evil. The fact that no gun shots had been heard, led him to believe that the party at the very least had gone far astray. In that case, of what use for the searchers to stay within sound of a gun. The possibility of finding traces of a trail which could be followed, however, occurred to him. Without further words, he sprang into the tree and began clambering up the great trunk.

On the Chilian side, the mountains of the south are forest-clad and, because of the heavy rainfall on the west coast, there are numerous streams and lakes cutting them up. On the eastern or Argentinian slope, however, so little rain falls that the mountains are almost entirely bare of verdure.

The spot in which the party had pitched camp was a thickly-forested valley through which flowed a clear mountain stream. They had been unable, because of the density of the forest, to see much of their surroundings on arrival late the previous afternoon. In the morning, therefore, the two older men and Carlos had gone scouting as much as in search of game.

Before their departure, Mr. Hampton had called Jack to him.

“Undoubtedly, Jack,” he had said, “we are getting close to our destination. Somewhere in this region must lie the Enchanted City. Once let us find a valley containing one great lake and three smaller ones, as described by de Pereira, and we shall have the first of our definite landmarks. However, although we must be close to our destination, it has never been found yet so far as outsiders know, and we may not succeed, either.

“It is possible,” he had added, thoughtfully, “that some descendants of the old Incas may still reside in the Enchanted City, just barely possible. If so, I have sometimes thought, there may be a reasonable explanation for the failure of any reports of their city to reach the outside world. Few as are the men who push into these trackless forests and vast mountains, there yet must have been some who did so in the last two or three centuries. They may have been captured and either killed or imprisoned, in order to guard the secret of the city.”

Jack was thinking of these words of his father as he continued to climb higher and higher into the tree, and his heart sank. That premonition of evil which weighed him down! Did it mean, perhaps, that there really still did exist dwellers in the Enchanted City, and that his father’s party had been surprised and captured? He would not let himself believe they could have been killed, but resolutely set his face against the thought.

Arrived at a height beyond which, because of the thinning of the trunk, which already swayed under his weight, he did not dare to go, Jack at last found time to look about him. He hooked one arm about the trunk of the tree, twined his legs about it, and with his free hand fumbled at the case slung by a strap about his neck, which enclosed the field glasses.

Meantime, his gaze roved over the scene. Down-stream he could see the break in the mountains through which they had entered the valley. To either side, the tree-clad heights sloped up. But ahead——

An exclamation broke from him. It was that direction which his father had taken, following down the stream. Now he could see what had not been discernible from the ground, namely, that ahead the forest walls narrowed to a pass. And through this he could see the glint of sunshine upon water.

He set the glasses to his eyes and adjusted the focus. The water now resolved itself into what evidently was a considerable body, the ends of which he could not see. For a considerable time he gazed upon it, without discerning any signs of life or movement. Then, sweeping the hills, but without result, he descended.

“Look here, fellows,” he said, “that other plan of mine to strike out in four directions in the belief that, perhaps, the others became lost and wandered in a circle, is unnecessary. There is only one direction in which to look for them I am convinced, and that is directly ahead.”

Thereupon, he described what he had seen.

“You see, it isn’t likely that they would have wandered in a circle, because the sides of this valley are so close together that they would soon have been upon a slope, and have realized their predicament. Moreover, although the sky was gray and overcast when they set out, yet the sun since has dispersed the clouds.”

Investigation of his father’s effects earlier had shown Jack that he had set out without his pocket compass, probably feeling that the stream was sufficient guide. And it was this fact which had brought Jack’s anxiety to high pitch.

“Well, the best thing then is for us to go downstream, isn’t it?” asked Bob.

Jack nodded.

“One of us should stay in camp,” said he. “Which shall it be?”

Frank thought a moment.

“You and Ferdinand must go with the search party,” said he. “Both of you are worried about your fathers. Bob and Pedro and I will draw straws.”

Then Pedro unexpectedly objected.

“Master Ferdinand,” he said, in an anxious tone, plucking the other by the sleeve. “You know I am no coward. Yet I have the feeling all is not well. And I do not care to stay here alone.”

“Why, Pedro, nothing can happen to you,” said Ferdinand. “You will be in this clearing where nobody can approach unseen. And you will be armed.”

Pedro shrugged, but was silent.

“Have you seen anything to make you fear?” Ferdinand asked, gazing at him keenly.

Pedro’s voice was low.

“No,” said he. “Naught have I seen. But I feel it. Here.” And he placed a hand upon his breast. “There is some evil in these forests.”

“Here, here,” said Frank, interrupting. “This search must not be delayed. I’ll stay.”

“And I’ll stay with you,” said Bob. “Three’s enough for the search.”

Frank threw him a grateful look, knowing well that it was consideration for him which prompted his big chum’s proffer. Nevertheless, he started to protest, but Jack interrupted.

“Good idea,” he said. “Well, let’s go. If we get into any sort of trouble, we’ll fire three times in rapid succession. As for guide, if we follow the stream, we cannot go astray.”

He did not put it into words, but Pedro’s premonition of evil had effected him, coming as it did in confirmation of his own vague yet powerful fears. He wanted to plunge ahead without more delay. Therefore, with Ferdinand and Pedro at his heels, he set off rapidly down the stream.

As their friends disappeared, Frank, looking thoughtful, turned to his chum.

“Bob, I don’t know what to make of all this,” he said. “But I have a hunch it would not be a bad idea for us to keep some sort of watch, instead of merely dozing. So I’ll take the first watch for an hour, and then you can relieve me.”

“Suit yourself,” said Bob, indifferently. “I don’t see what’s the matter with all you fellows, though. Mr. Hampton and Ferdinand’s father couldn’t find any game close at hand, and kept on pushing farther ahead than they had expected to go. That’s all it is. Nothing to worry about.”

Despite his friend’s easy manner, however, Frank could not shake off the feeling of worry that possessed him. Most sensitive of all the boys, it was he who was accustomed to feel first of all the influence of evil close at hand. And, in fact, it had been so in the present case. But he had cloaked his feelings in order not to aggravate Jack’s worry regarding his father.

Now, while Bob lay on his back, his hands under his head, in the hammock, and talked in scattered sentences, Frank sat with his rifle across his knees, on a stool before the tent, with his bright eyes roving over the clearing, searching the trees and underbrush.

Suddenly he leaped to his feet and threw his rifle to his shoulder, while big Bob, startled into wakefulness by the abrupt movement, rolled out of his hammock to the ground.

Then out of the woods stepped a young man clad in a soft white tunic, belted with a golden girdle, wearing shoes of soft untanned leather that came almost to his knees, and having gold bracelets about his arms above the elbow, and anklets of gold about his legs.

“Forebear, Senor,” he commanded, in a rich yet imperious tone. “You are surrounded.”

Archaic though the Spanish was, Frank could understand. Especially, as, following with his gaze the wave of the other’s hand about the clearing, he saw step from the trees a ring of forms similarly clad.




Even then Frank and Bob would have fought for their freedom, stupefied though they were. In fact Bob, who had fallen to the ground in tumbling from the hammock, had seized his gun which was standing against the tree, but the commanding voice of the glittering stranger again bade him forebear.

“Behold, we, too, have fire sticks that speak with tongues of flame and carry the unseen death.”

He swept his hand again around the clearing. And the two young fellows saw in the hands of the score of men ringing them ’round, weapons mounted in silver and gold and ancient in appearance, yet firearms, nevertheless, it was not to be doubted.

“Lower your gun, Bob, but don’t relinquish it,” whispered Frank, in English. Then in Spanish, and seeking to put into his voice all the imperiousness which he could summon, he added:

“We are travelers on peaceful business. By what right do you steal upon us like this? Surely,” he added, in a tone of scorn, “you are not thieves who would rob us of our few belongings.”

“You come into a land whence no man may bear report abroad,” said the other, darkly. “Yet fear not. Your lives are not in danger, if you will but yield peacefully. And”—he added, simply—“if you would fight, these would die for me. Though some be killed, yet can you not hope to escape.”

The two looked at each other.

“Ask him where the others are,” said Bob. “I can hardly understand his lingo. Sounds like Spanish, all right, yet it’s a new kind of Spanish to me. You get along better than I do, so fire away.”

“We had some friends,” began Frank. But he was interrupted.

“They are alive and in our hands,” said the stranger. “Speak. Will you fight or submit?”

“And you promise we shall not be slain?” asked Frank.

He realized that such a promise would not be worth much, perhaps, yet that it would be suicidal to attempt to fight. As the stranger had said, though they might kill some of the enemy, yet inevitably they must themselves be slain. They were hemmed in, and without shelter, and the men ringing them ’round were determined-looking fellows of military bearing.

“I have said,” answered the leader.

“Then we surrender,” said Frank. “But I warn you that we are citizens of the United States and that our government will demand an accounting for us.”

The leader regarded them with a slight trace of bewilderment. Then his face cleared, and he said:

“I do not understand your words. But suffice it you are in the Forbidden Land. Now lay down your sticks of fire.”

The boys complied. As they bent over, their heads close together, Frank whispered in a low voice:

“We’re up against it, Bob. He never heard of the United States.”

At a sign from the leader, two men advanced to the sides of each of the boys, deprived them of their revolvers, and then, disdaining to tie their hands, led them to one side. There Bob and Frank stood, a soldier on each side of him, clad in tunic and soft leather boots, and looked on while the others of the company packed up the camp baggage, struck the tents, led up the mules from their pasturage nearby, and loaded them. Camp was struck in an incredibly short time, and they started downstream and out of the valley.

The leader of the party had a proud, hawklike face, and as he strode ahead, Frank’s eyes kept returning fascinatedly to that profile.

“Bob,” he said, “I’ll bet we’ve fallen into the hands of the Incas.”

His speech was in English, but at the concluding word the soldiers guarding him looked sharply at Frank. The leader, too, spun around. He glanced sharply at the boys, then once more looked away. No word was said. But both boys noted the glances cast at them, and both were quick to understand.

Incas! Frank had guessed correctly.

“Did you see that?” asked Frank.

Bob nodded.

“Well, Bob, we’re in for the experience of our lives. And as long as Jack and his father and the rest of the party are all right, I can’t say that I object. We’ve stumbled on the Enchanted City, or I miss my guess. At least, we’ve gotten near it, and have been taken prisoner by the inhabitants. But think of finding descendants of those old boys, after all these centuries, hidden away from the world, and not a soul knowing anything about it.

“Why, Bob, there has been nothing like it in history.”

Bob nodded, but his voice was more sober as he replied:

“Yes, it’s a pretty safe guess that we’ve found what we came searching for. But from all appearances, we may not be able to leave it. Didn’t that chap call this the ‘Forbidden Land?’”


“And didn’t he say something about our being in a place of which no report was allowed to get out?”


“That’s what I thought. But I couldn’t understand him very well. My Spanish isn’t the best in the world, anyhow.”

“He speaks what I expect is very ancient Spanish,” Frank replied. “You know the story—how those old Spaniards stayed and intermarried. Well, the language has been handed down. It’s hard for me to understand, but I can make out what he means well enough.”

Both boys had been careful not again to mention the word “Inca,” which originally had stirred the interest of their captors. They walked along in silence, until Bob presently resumed.

“Well, what I started to say was that it looks to me as if the reason why no report of the Enchanted City has ever gotten out is that they have captured whoever came near them and either killed them or taken them into the tribe.”

“Tribe?” Frank laughed. “These aren’t wild Indians. They are members of the strangest race in the history of the world, or I miss my guess.”

“What do you think we’ll find?”

“I don’t know, Bob. But you can count on its being something marvellous. Look how these men obey their leader. He must be a prince of the royal blood. But look what we’re coming to.”

The travel along the stream carried them into an ever-narrowing valley which finally became a gorge, and now, as Frank let the exclamation escape him, this gorge broadened out suddenly on the other side and a beautiful valley lay below. In the middle shone a great lake. It was this which Jack had seen from his lofty eyrie in the treetop. Farther off shone other and smaller lakes. Frank counted them. Three.

“The valley told of by de Pereira,” he exclaimed.

“Look, Frank.”

Frank’s gaze followed Bob’s outflung hand. A little way ahead was a considerable body of men of the same sort as their captors. They were resting on a meadow beneath the shade of a gigantic tree. In their midst the boys could make out a number of forms—Jack, Mr. Hampton, the de Avilars, father and son, Carlos and Pedro.

Frank and Bob raised a glad shout of “Jack, Jack. Hello, fellows.”

At the same moment, they were seen. Answering cries came to them. They marched down into the meadow, and the two parties came together. A confused medley of handclasping followed. Evidently, their arrival had been expected, for preparations for moving on at once were in evidence.

The leader of the party who had captured Bob and Frank now approached Mr. Hampton and Senor Don de Avilar.

“We shall embark in boats,” said he. “I have your interest in mind, and you will be permitted to converse one with another, even in the tongue of the young men which is strange to us.”

“Don Ernesto,” said Mr. Hampton to his friend, “you seem to understand this chap better than any of us. Will you ask him where we are being taken?”

Don Ernesto nodded, then turned to the other. After a few sentences, their voices dropped and they drew apart. When Don Ernesto rejoined the group, and the other turned to issue some orders to his men, his eyes shone.

“Senor Hampton,” said he, in an awed tone, “it is as you surmised. These are Incas of the Enchanted City into whose hands we have fallen. This chap is a prince of the royal house. I am not certain, and I had but little time for conversation, yet from something he said, I gather that the reigning family has in it the blood of de Arguello, leader of that old band of Spaniards, as well as the royal Inca strain. Doubtless, too, the nobles have Spanish blood, but that is merely surmise. As to where we are being taken, we are bound for what this chap, Prince Huaca, calls ‘The Fair City,’ We are to cross the lake in boats, and, when we arrive at the landing, we shall be blindfolded, he says, and led ‘through the mountain.’”

“By George,” said Mr. Hampton, “we’re in for it. Well, we may as well put a brave face on the matter. It looks dark now, yet we have found what we came to look for; and remember, you boys, the battle is never lost until defeat is admitted.”

This he said to hearten the boys. Yet the advice was unnecessary. They had listened to Don Ernesto with close attention, and as Mr. Hampton gazed from one to the other, he found their eyes alight.

“Why, I don’t believe you boys are worried at all,” he said, banteringly.

“Why worry, Dad?” said Jack. “As you said, ’the battle isn’t lost until you are counted out.’ I, for one, am tickled to death with the adventure. And I know Bob and Frank and Ferdinand are the same.”

The others nodded.

“Well, here we go, down to the boats,” said Frank. “So, as long as we may talk to each other, tell us how you fellows were captured, and we’ll give our story.”




The accounts of how Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto and Carlos, and of how Jack, Ferdinand and Pedro were captured, differed little from the tale of the capture of the camp. Each party had been surrounded by an overwhelming number of the Incas, and had seen the folly of putting up a fight and so had surrendered.

As they moved in the midst of their captors down the sloping meadow to the shore of the great lake, sparkling and calm under the mid-morning sun, these stories were quickly told. At the shore, the Incas embarked in several great canoes holding a score of men each. The prisoners, however, were placed aboard a state barge in which Prince Huaca also embarked. The barge rowed forty oars, twenty to a side.

Paddles dipped in unison, and the canoes were off. The oars of the great barge flashed in and out in perfect time, and it, too, moved away in stately fashion, with the prisoners left to themselves on the half-deck at the bow, while Prince Huaca took his post on the other half-deck at the stern. The rowers could be seen bending back and forth, back muscles rippling under their tunics, in the waist of the barge.

“Am I dreaming?” said Frank.

Mr. Hampton nodded.

“It is hard to believe, isn’t it, Frank?”

“Hard? It’s impossible to believe. Why, this is like stepping back thousands of years to the shores of the Mediterranean and the Greek galleys of the days before Christ.”

“These fellows seem like Greeks or Romans, too,” mused Mr. Hampton. “The commoners, with their bobbed hair, their tunics and sandals, and Prince Huaca, proud and stately as a Roman noble, are not exactly what one would expect to find in the world of today.”

Don Ernesto agreed. The remark opened another line of thought.

“See how openly they operate on this lake, and in this valley,” he said. “Look around you, too. So far as I can observe, there is only the one entrance of the pass through which we were brought. Can it be that the Incas maintain frontier guards, so to speak, on perpetual watch to capture any intruders into this wild region who threaten discovery of their secret? I begin to believe so. Perhaps guards are on duty on the mountain tops about us, and others in the valley beyond the pass.”

This, they later learned, was the actual state of affairs. Not only were frontier guards kept on constant duty about the great valley in which they now found themselves, but also about the inner valley holding the Enchanted City, to which they were being taken. Moreover, such watch had been maintained down the centuries.

The prospect that greeted their eyes was wonderfully beautiful. The lake itself was some five miles long, but only one in width. As they now approached the shore opposite, they descried a stone jetty, for one side of which the canoes headed, while the barge was brought up on the other. They were disembarked and marched ashore under escort of Prince Huaca and twenty men. The others remained by their craft.

At the end of the jetty a guard house of stone was passed. What surprised the boys beyond measure was to see the half dozen sentries drawn up in military formation, present arms with their silver-mounted muskets as Prince Huaca passed.

“I can’t believe it,” muttered Frank. “Incas presenting arms!”

Mr. Hampton offered a solution.

“Perhaps some adventurer captured by them, as were we, has instructed them in military tactics.”

Ahead through a copse of trees lay a country home of stone, and toward this Prince Huaca bent his steps. On nearer approach they could see the stone was beautifully chiselled, and the house nobly proportioned with a broad portico in front, through the supporting pillars of which they could see a courtyard, around the sides of which the dwelling was constructed.

At the command of Prince Huaca, the guard halted at the foot of a broad flight of stone steps with the prisoners, while the prince mounted and disappeared into a door on the left of the courtyard. The captives now had a chance to look about them. Although about the house, or, better, the mansion itself, no figures were to be seen, there was a constant coming and going in what they took to be the servants’ quarters which lay considerably to the left.

Horses were being watered in one spot, out of a great trough, and then led back to the fields which stretched on every hand. Don Ernesto exclaimed at this sight.

“Those are Argentinian horses,” said he, with conviction. “The early Spaniards who colonized the region of La Plata were enjoined by their monarchs to bring over a certain number of head of horses and of cattle for their own use, and a certain number to be turned loose to breed. Thus the great herds of wild horses and cattle which used to thunder over the Pampas, but since have been largely exterminated or brought under herd, came into existence.”

“And you think——”

“Yes, Senor Hampton, that is what I believe. These horses either wandered thus far across the mountains, which seems preposterous, or, as is more likely, were captured by scouting parties and brought hither. The intermixture among the Incas of Spaniards in de Arguello’s early expedition or of adventurers captured since, as is more likely, told the Incas of these horses, and mayhap even helped to capture them.”

“This valley is certainly marvellous,” declared Mr. Hampton, shading his eyes with his hand, as he gazed about him in the bright sunlight. “Notice those irrigation ditches, carrying water to the fields everywhere from the lakes. Why, this is so intensively cultivated, it can raise sufficient food for a great city without difficulty.”

Don Ernesto nodded.

“The ancient Incas were fine agriculturists,” said he. “They practised irrigation, and had a very good knowledge of culture of the soil. These, their descendants, seem to be no whit behind them.”

At this moment they were interrupted by an exclamation from Frank, who pointed to two figures approaching them across the lawn. They were Prince Huaca and another young man dressed as he, evidently a noble. He was regarding them with curiosity. He did not address them, however, but the two halted at a little distance and concluded their conversation, during all of which time the stranger regarded them with bright quick glances.

Then he bowed to Prince Huaca, and the latter issued a command at which the guard started forward with the prisoners in their midst. They moved down the great driveway from the mansion to a highroad crossing the valley to the encircling mountains. Jack looked back as they reached the highroad, and saw the figure of the young noble, immobile, staring after them.

“He certainly was curious,” he commented.

Frank, who marched beside him, shook his head.

“I believe I know what was in his mind,” said he.

“What?” Jack glanced at him curiously.

“I don’t know—maybe I’m wrong—but it seemed to me there was a look of longing in his eyes—as if he wondered about the great outside world, perhaps, from which we came.”

Mr. Hampton, who had overheard, threw Frank an understanding and approving glance.

“You have an observant mind, Frank,” he said. “It is not unlikely that a gallant young fellow like that noble would wonder about the world beyond, and think at times that he would like, perhaps, to penetrate it. And your words give me an idea. We will bear in mind the possibility of young blood becoming irked at this self-immurement, no matter how idyllic the conditions. Perhaps, if no other way of escape suggests itself, we may induce some such young fellow to aid us by painting to him the wonders of the world to which we can introduce him.”

The party moved along in silence, until Bob declared:

“Fellows, did you ever see a finer road?”

The highway upon which they had entered from the estate drive was, indeed, a fine thoroughfare. It was made of concrete, and so broad that, a procession of farm carts drawn by horses, approaching from the opposite direction, was enabled to pass, although they moved three abreast.

“Ah, these Incas once more resemble their ancestors,” said Don Ernesto.

“Yes, they were great road-builders,” said Mr. Hampton.

“Great road-builders, indeed,” Don Ernesto rejoined. “When the Conquerors entered the Peruvian empire under Pizarro, they found the Incas had built a road not then equalled in any part of the world, perhaps not even equalled today. It was a road even finer than anything built by Rome. For more than twelve hundred miles it extended, bringing into communication all the provinces of the empire.

“Moreover, it must be remembered that road was built at a great elevation through the mountains, all of which added to the difficulty of the enterprise. At some places it was more than 12,000 feet above sea level. It went northward from Cusco to a point beyond Quito, in the province of Guaca, and southward from Cusco to Chuquisaca, not far from the mines of Potosi.

“You boys,” he added, “can better appreciate the magnitude of this road, if I tell you it was as far as a road from Calais to Constantinople, and through mountainous country immeasurably more difficult to travel than any country in Europe. In some places, the beds of concrete or mezcla, of which the road was formed, went down from 80 to 100 feet. The rains have since washed the earth away from under the concrete, for, I am sorry to say, the Conquerors and the later Viceroys of Spain did not see fit to care for this highway. Yet masses of it today are left suspended over washouts like bridges made of one stone, as the historian Velasco said.

“There was also a lower road, about forty leagues distant from the other, which traversed the plains country near the sea. And along both these roads, at equal distances, were built stone inns, called tambos by the natives. The word has persisted, and is still used throughout the Inca country, to describe a post house on a highroad.

“In fact,” he concluded, “it was the existence of these roads which, ironically, helped to destroy the Inca Empire. For over them the invading armies of the Spaniards were able to move with speed.”

As Don Ernesto had talked, they had continued moving forward at a brisk pace, and had drawn close to the base of a lofty mountain. Now the road began to mount, in some places the going being so steep that concrete stairways were built. Up this the guards with the prisoners, and with Prince Huaca at the head, moved steadily. With each upward step, they were enabled to see more of the valley outspread below them, the great lake, the three smaller bodies of water, the irrigation ditches like a network of bright ribbons, the little clumps of trees surrounding other country mansions like that they had stopped at, and everywhere laborers were at work in the fields.

“Truly a marvellous sight,” said Mr. Hampton, as they came to a halt at length on a wide concreted terrace with a low stone wall at the front, very thick, and loopholed, and with a stone building of fortress-like strength built at the back, seemingly into the side of the mountain. Here the path up which they climbed appeared to end.

“Senor,” said Prince Huaca to Don Ernesto, in his archaic Spanish, “here you will be blindfolded, your hands will be tied, and we enter the mountains. Fear not. There is no evil intended.”

“Very well,” said Don Ernesto with a shrug.

Guards tied each man’s hands behind his back, blindfolds were adjusted, shutting out all light, and then, with a man on each side to act as guide, they were led up a flight of steps, into what they took to be a fortress, and presently, after treading across a wide room, passed through a doorway and, by the cool and slightly earthy feel of the air, surmised they were in a tunnel.




“What a tremendous engineering feat to have been accomplished without modern machinery,” said Mr. Hampton, at one stage of their journey through the tunnel. The words were surprised from him. “It seems,” he added, “like an impossible task.”

Jack, who was close to him, heard the remarks, and agreed with his father.

“I hope,” he added, “they haven’t brought us this long distance, merely to tumble us into some bottomless pit in the heart of the mountain.”

“Don’t worry, my boy,” his father replied. “I have only a hazy idea as to what our fate is to be, but I am certain it is not that.”

“What do you think they will do with us, Dad?”

Mr. Hampton considered.

“Probably give us the option of becoming citizens of their state,” he said, “or of refusing our parole and being imprisoned, and put to work under guard.”

“Wouldn’t they kill us, if we refuse to become citizens?”

“I don’t know, Jack, but I doubt it.”

In reality, Mr. Hampton was beginning to be filled with dark forebodings, as successive developments impressed him more and more with the power of this unknown race. But he did not want Jack to experience any fear, and spoke in a tone of conviction which he was far from feeling.

The progress through the tunnel seemed interminable, especially inasmuch as they were blindfolded, while their captors, they knew, bore lighted torches. But long as was the journey, they at length emerged from the tunnel and into another fortress. That such was the case, they could tell from the difference in the atmosphere. Their blindfolds, however, were not removed, nor were the lashings binding their hands behind them.

They were halted in a great room, while around them was a buzz of voices.

“When are they going to take off these blinkers?” Bob muttered.

“I imagine, Bob,” said Mr. Hampton, who overheard, “that we will be led elsewhere before the blindfolds are removed. They will want to hide from us the secret of the exit through the tunnel. Once we are in the city, we shall be as if sealed up.”

Such, indeed, proved to be the case. From the guardhouse, they were taken out into the open air. They could feel the hot sun beating upon them. For a considerable distance they were marched through the streets of the city. They could hear the exclamations of the populace, as they passed along, in the midst of their guards, and they had the feeling several times of crossing great open squares.

No demonstrations occurred, and at length they were led up several flights of stairs, in through a great gateway where soldiers evidently were stationed, as challenges were given and answered in the Inca tongue, across a stone-flagged courtyard, and into a building.

Here at length the blindfolds were removed, their wrists untied, and they could look about at their surroundings. They were in a lofty-ceiled room, walls and roof of which were of stone. The room was of great size, and there were scores of soldiery scattered about, mending tunics, polishing arms, or gossiping. It was the great assembly hall of a fortress. Had they known, this was at the exit of the tunnel, and the tour through the city had been made to confuse them.

Prince Huaca approached, and addressed himself as before to Don Ernesto, whom he evidently took to be the leader of the expedition.

“Senor,” said he, “you are now in the central fortress of the city. You will be given quarters and food. Tomorrow I shall call upon you, and explain. Until then you will consider yourselves prisoners, but, as you are under my protection, no harm need be feared.”

Turning abruptly, he motioned a man bearing a great brass ring from which depended a number of heavy keys, to approach. He delivered a command in the Inca tongue, to which the other listened respectfully. Then once more he addressed Don Ernesto.

“You will follow this man.”

Led by the jailer, and escorted by a half dozen armed men, the party crossed the great hall, passed through a doorway into a dark corridor, lighted only by unglazed slits in the walls, mounted a flight of stone steps, proceeded along another dark corridor, and then entered a room luxuriously furnished. The jailer motioned them in and, by signs, indicated this was to be their quarters.

Thereupon, he left, swinging shut a tremendous metal door. The key grated in the lock. They were alone. The first thing, Jack went up to the door, and a moment later, he exclaimed in excitement:

“Dad, it’s bronze.”

Mr. Hampton moved to his side.

“By George, that’s so.”

Meantime, the others were examining the room. The floor was of stone, and here and there were thick woven rugs of alpaca wool, died in brilliant colors. About the sides stood wooden couches with thick mattresses upon them, over which were thrown covers in vivid dyes. In the middle of the room was a great table of stone, of beautiful work-manship, Food was set upon it, ready for their coming, but as Frank, who was first to make the discovery, approached the table, his eyes almost popped from his head and his voice shook with excitement, as he cried:

“Fellows, look here. Gold and silver dishes, or I’ll eat my hat.”

He was correct. Salvers, platters, great bowls, all were of gold, and the spoons of silver.

Frank clasped his head in his hands with a melodramatic gesture.

“They oughtn’t to spring everything on us at once,” he said. “I can’t stand much of this.”

All gathered around the massive table, and from each was wrung some expression of surprise and delight. The dishes were examined closely as possible, although numbers of the larger articles could not be taken up and handled because they contained food.

“Well,” said Don Ernesto, at length, “I, for one, am famished. Suppose we dine before the food becomes cold.”

He stirred the contents of the largest bowl with a great silver spoon.

“Apparently a vegetable stew,” he said. “The odor is delicious. Come, I shall fill these smaller bowls and let each help himself. I promise you I shall eat heartily.”

“Would they poison the food, perhaps, Father?” Ferdinand inquired.

“That is a foolish idea, Ferdinand. They might have disposed of us otherwise long ere this. Come, eat.”

All fell to with a good appetite, the two Chilian huachos, old retainers of Don Ernesto, taking their bowls apart and sitting on one of the great couches, talking together in low tones. The others stood about the table, exclaiming at this and that, the excellence of the food, the beauty of the dishes, while Don Ernesto—a polished conversationalist—held forth at length upon the advantages of a vegetable diet.

“You see, there is no meat here,” said he. “Perhaps these Incas are vegetarians. For such dieting goes with civilization. It is only the savages who eat nothing but meat.”

Presently, Bob and Frank, having finished their meal, wandered off to a loopholed wall at the far end of the room. These loopholes were long and narrow slits, and at their first glimpse through them, both boys cried out excitedly.

“What is it?” cried Jack and Ferdinand, running up. The older men also approached.

“Look here, Jack,” said Frank, while Bob made place at his loophole for Ferdinand. The older men found others through which to gaze—long, narrow apertures in the solid masonry.

Because of the thickness of the walls, the view was limited. Apparently, however, they were located on a side of the fortress which formed one of the outer walls, and because of the distance to the city seen below, this wall evidently crowned a great rock. Later, they were to learn that the rock upon which the Acropolis was built had been quarried and squared until it rose 200 feet above the city, the walls sheer, and approachable only upon one side.

The hour was past noon, and from the direction of the sun they could see the valley in which lay the Enchanted City stretched east and west. They faced the east and, high though their altitude was, they could see in the distance lofty mountain peaks crowned with snows.

But it was the city itself which caused each man to gasp at first sight. Everywhere nearby, showing the Acropolis was at the center of things, were great stone palaces, some private dwellings and some quite obviously public buildings. And the roofs shone in the sun as if made of gold.

“Copper,” explained Mr. Hampton, succinctly. “Probably they have a mine somewhere near.”

Beyond the palaces could be seen streets and squares and smaller houses, all of stone. Trees grew everywhere, adding to the charm of the scene.

Greatest sight of all, however, was the huge central square at the base of the Acropolis. Due to their height, only that part of the square opposite could be seen. Yet that view was sufficient to give an idea of the size of the square.

Opposite the fortress stood the Temple, a broad stone structure approached by a great flight of steps, at the top of which was a sacrificial altar. A lesser stone building on one side were the cloister of the vestal virgins. On the other side was the Inca’s palace. From his knowledge of Inca history, Ferdinand was enabled to guess that such was the character of the buildings, and in this supposition they were later confirmed.

In all the square, however, and in those thoroughfares of the city which they could observe, was no sign of life and movement.

“It looks like a city of the dead,” said Jack. “If I didn’t know differently, I would believe we had stumbled upon an abandoned city. But the fortress certainly has occupants, as we have seen. What do you make of it, Dad?” he inquired, walking over toward his father.

Mr. Hampton shook his head, and Jack turned inquiringly to Don Ernesto. The latter looked thoughtful.

“There is a possibility,” he said, as one cudgeling his brains to recall something once known but long out of memory. “Yet—I don’t know—it seems foolish.”


“That these descendants of the Incas should be keeping the great annual religious ceremony of their ancestors? Yet, it is the same time of year.”

“Oh, Father. The annual festival of the Sun?” cried Ferdinand.

Don Ernesto nodded.

“Tell us about it,” said Jack. “I’d like to learn all I can about these people.”

“Very well,” said Don Ernesto. “Sit down, and I’ll tell you what I can recall. The religion of the Peruvian Empire,” he continued, when all had found seats around him, “expressed the feelings of the people toward their heavenly protector and their earthly ruler. They worshipped the sun and adored the reigning Inca as his descendant upon earth. For the term of Inca, you will doubtless recall, did not apply to every member of the empire, but only to those of royal blood. The legend was that the sun looking down upon the savages took pity upon them for their mode of living, and sent to earth a son, Manco Capac, and a daughter, Mama Oello, children of his own, to civilize and instruct mankind. They came to earth near the Lake of Titicaca. He gave them a rod of gold and bade them go whither they pleased, but, to remember that when they came to a place where this rod should sink into the earth, that was the place at which he wished them to abide. The legend has it that the rod disappeared in the earth at Cusco. Therefore, there they stayed, bringing the savages together, instructing them, and building up the great city that afterwards became the capital of the empire.

“The worship of the sun was inevitable. Yet, you must remember, Sun-worship was not confined to Peru, but was universal. The Chaldeans, the Babylonians, the early Hindus—all worshipped the sun. Yet Sun-worship, with most races and tribes, in time passed either into some lower form of idolatry or became humanized and spiritualized. It was only amongst a few, the most remarkable of which were the Persians and the Peruvians, that the development of religion was arrested at a period when the sun was the visible, un-humanized Deity, not translated into manlike terms.

“The principal religious ceremony was the annual celebration of the Feast of Raymi, at Cusco. To that great city, where the palaces were all built of huge blocks of stone of a dark slate color, came every year from all quarters of the empire the principal nobles and military men, as well as the great men of each subject race. For the Incas, you know, did not blot out the subjugated, as did their Spanish conquerors, but absorbed all that was best of the conquered into the empire. Preceding that feast was a fast, emblematic of the suffering which precedes great joy. This fast lasted three days, and during that time, Fire, which was related to the Sun, and, therefore, divine, was not used by anyone.”

He paused, evidently having concluded his explanation, so Frank spoke up quickly.

“But, Senor, you say the use of fire was not permitted. If these descendants of the Incas keep their fast now, how is it our food has been cooked?”

“I cannot say,” smiled Don Ernesto. “Perhaps, though, it was some especial provision made for us prisoners.”

By now it was late afternoon. Already the sun had disappeared behind the western rampant of mountains, and twilight had come over the city below. Only the tops of the eastern mountains were tipped with fire.

The two older men drew apart, conversing in low tones. The Chilian huachos, Pedro and Carlos, already had disposed themselves upon a couch and were asleep. The four boys stood for a long time at the loopholes, gazing down at the dimming city, in which no sign of movement was to be observed, until it was too dark longer to see.

“Not a light in all that city,” said Frank the sensitive. “This is certainly an eerie experience.”

“I wonder what tomorrow will bring,” said Jack.

“Prince Huaca said he would call then,” added Bob.

“Well,” said Ferdinand, philosophically, “I suppose we might as well dispose ourselves for sleep. There is nothing else to do.”

“Here’s my flashlight,” said Bob, throwing its rays about. “Had it on me when I was captured. At least we can see our way to the couches.”




“Fellows, what’s that?”

Bob rolled over drowsily, then fell to the stone floor with a thump that effectually awakened him. He looked up. Jack stood above him, grinning. Bob rubbed his hip ruefully, then got to his feet. Frank, with whom he had been sleeping, also clambered out of bed.

Gray light coming in through the loopholes to the east lighted the room only dimly. Ferdinand and his father still slept on the couch which they had shared together. Mr. Hampton, who had slept with Jack, was not awake, nor were the two huachos.

“What in—-”

Bob was still rubbing his hip.

“Listen,” said Jack. “There. That dull humming sound. What is it? I lay awhile, half asleep, half waking, before I got up. Then I stopped to shake you fellows awake. Come on, let’s look out of these loopholes.”

“The Sun’s not yet up,” grumbled big Bob. “Why in the world do you have to beat him? Having such a good time of it, that you hate to miss a minute?”

Nevertheless, he followed Jack and Frank to the loopholes.

The humming sound referred to was louder. For several moments they stared through the apertures, unable to see anything in the dark square below. But the light grew momentarily stronger, as the sun neared the top of the eastern rampart of the valley. Then objects began to grow and took form in the lessening shadows.

“Whew,” exclaimed Bob, in an awed tone. “Did you ever——”

“And I said last night it looked like a city of the dead,” said Frank.

As for Jack, he deserted his loophole and, gaining his father’s side, shook him into wakefulness.

“Come here, Dad. What a sight.”

What a sight, indeed! The others were roused and summoned, too. For the great square was packed with humanity, rank upon rank of people, on their knees, facing the Temple and the east. At that moment, the sun shot above the horizon. And all that great multitude of people bowed forward, touching their hands to their lips, and then flinging their arms wide to the Sun.

The serried ranks were dressed in gorgeous costumes. Many wore wreaths upon their heads. Many wore ornaments of gold and silver that reflected back the light of the sun in myriad flashings. And on standards high above the multitude flapped great imperial banners, stirring lazily in the breeze that brought the dawn.

“Ah,” said Don Ernesto, breaking the silence of stupefaction which had enthralled them, “I was right. Now we shall see something. It is their great festival. The fast has come to an end.”

“Look,” said Jack excitedly, “Who is that?”

He pointed to a figure, upright amidst all those kneeling figures, the only dark spot, moreover, amidst those gaily-clad hosts. He wore a robe descending to his feet, so darkly crimson that it appeared to be black.

“That,” said Don Ernesto, “is the Inca.”

But Jack had run back to the table and picked up the field glasses which he had placed there on retiring the night before.

“No. The Inca?” he cried. “Why, it is—No, not Prince Huaca, but he looks so much like him. Yet he is older. And, wait. There is Prince Huaca near him. Look, Father, that man on the left.”

Meantime, a fascinating ceremony was transpiring in the square. From the hands of Vestal Virgins, clothed all in white, the Inca took two great golden goblets filled with wine. Lifting the one in his right hand to the sun, as if drinking a pledge, he set it to his lips. Then, solemnly, he poured the wine from the goblet into a wide-mouthed jar of gold.

“Why is he doing that, I wonder?” cried Frank. “Do you know, Don Ernesto?”

“I don’t know for certain. But I believe the wine is supposed to flow through a golden conduit into the Temple. Thus the Sun may drink the wine pledged to him.”

Next the Inca drank from the goblet in his left hand. Then turning to the nearest of the kneeling figures, those wearing capes of darkest crimson, of which there were eight, including Prince Huaca, he poured out the remainder of the wine into goblets which they held extended.

“They must be members of the royal family,” surmised Bob

“Yes,” agreed Don Ernesto. “The other nobles, and the common people will get a lesser wine, as well as the special bread made for this occasion. Ah, my reading all comes back to me now. But who would think to see that ancient ceremony of the Feast of Raymi reproduced today by the descendants of the Children of the Sun?”

As he had prophesied, so it came to pass. For now young women all in white could be seen making their way through the kneeling throng. But their mission was not yet to be carried out. They merely took their appointed stations. Then those of royal blood arose and moved in slow and stately procession behind the Inca toward the Temple. At the base of the steps they removed their sandals. They then entered the Temple.

“Probably to make offerings to their Deity,” said Don Ernesto.

The multitude continued kneeling, indicating that the ceremony was not yet over. Presently the Inca and the members of his family returned to the square. They came out of the Temple empty-handed.

“Those goblets from which they drank,” said Don Ernesto, who at the moment had the field glasses. “Those have been left behind. Those were their offerings.”

Following the Inca came a patriarchal man in a white robe bordered with crimson, upon his head a golden disk from which protruded a great number of golden spikes. This they took to be the High Priest. Following him were attendant priests bearing a large number of animals, including a black lamb. This was slaughtered first, and examined by the High Priest for the auguries. Then the other animals were sacrificed, certain parts being offered on the altar to the Sun, the balance distributed by the lesser priests among the multitude to be roasted at great fires which now were lighted in the square. At the same time, the women in white, the Vestal Virgins, who earlier had taken station in the throng, began distributing the special bread of the festival.

All this required a long time in the doing, but the boys and their elders watched with unabated interest, moving about a little now and then from one loophole to another to converse, shifting position occasionally to relieve the irksomeness. As for Pedro and Carlos, they had produced a deck of cards and, squatting on the stone floor, were playing a game between themselves, untouched by the romance of the spectacle in the square.

Presently, the feasting having come to an end, the Inca, the members of his family and other nobles in the multitude withdrew toward a side of the square which, from the loopholes, was not under observation. Then the throng broke up in scattered groups, here and there spaces were cleared, while the observers packed themselves around in dense formation and, in these cleared spaces, dancers appeared.

“Ah,” said Don Ernesto, “now the festival has begun. They will make merry for a long time. See, wine is being distributed to everybody.”

But at that moment, Pedro called to his master, and Don Ernesto turned about. So did Mr. Hampton and the boys.

The door had been opened to admit Prince Huaca. He stood within the room, while the door swung to again behind him, his face inscrutable. After a moment of hesitation, Don Ernesto advanced to meet him.

“We have been looking,” he began.

Prince Huaca bowed slightly.


“At your great festival.”

Prince Huaca smiled.

“For the common people.”

“I do not understand.”

“Perhaps, some day——”

Prince Huaca made a slight gesture with his right hand, as if to dismiss the subject.

“Senor, sit here with me,” he said, indicating a couch. “I would talk with you. Let these others watch a little longer. Then my servants will bring you food, so that you, too, may feast.”

“I am honored,” said Don Ernesto. However, he hesitated to be seated.

“Pardon me,” he said, “if I point out that these”—indicating Mr. Hampton and the boys, who were at the far end of the room—“are my son and my very good friend and his young men. Perhaps, what you wish to say is for their ears, too?”

“Ah, I did not understand,” said Prince Huaca, courteously. “Then they are not your servants?”

“No, only these two,” answered Don Ernesto, indicating Pedro and Carlos, who had withdrawn from their vicinity. “And they are old family servants.”

Prince Huaca considered.

At that moment the great bronze door again was opened, and a number of servants entered, bowed low before Prince Huaca, removed the dishes from the table and then returned bearing other dishes, this time including meat. Throughout the process, Prince Huaca sat silent, nor did Ernesto venture to disturb him. When the servants at length had withdrawn, the prince arose.

“Eat,” said he, “and, when you have refreshed yourselves, my servants shall bring you and your friends to me. Assure your old servants they have nothing to fear in being separated from you.”

When he had gone, Don Ernesto lost no time in communicating the purport of the conversation to Mr. Hampton and the boys. Pedro and Carlos took the news philosophically. The food was excellent, the meat roasted and hot. All ate with good appetite. There were goblets of mild, honey-like wine, which Don Ernesto recommended highly. At the conclusion of the meal, the servants returned bearing ewers of water and rough towels, with which they bathed face and hands. Then, one of the servants gestured that Don Ernesto and his companions were to follow, and, bidding Pedro and Carlos have no worry, the party set out.




“Look here, Jack,” said Frank, as the three chums kept step together along the corridor, while Ferdinand walked ahead with Mr. Hampton and his father, Don Ernesto. “Look here, what do you think our chances of escape are going to be?”

“I don’t know.”

Jack shook his head. As for big Bob, he growled a comment.

“Why worry? I’m having a good time. I want to learn all about this city. And the treasure, too, that we came for, it——”

“Oh, we’ll have to give up that idea now,” said Jack. “We can’t rob these people. If the Enchanted City had been abandoned and in ruins, and we had discovered it, that would have been a different matter.”

Frank took no part in this discussion. It wasn’t treasure of which he was thinking.

“Just the same, Bob,” he interrupted, “we ought to be thinking of how we can escape, for I have an idea that these people intend to keep us imprisoned for life or, as Don Ernesto says, persuade us to join the nation.”

“Why not?” said Bob. “I’d like to be a captain in this man’s army. These Incas look like fine material for soldiers, and with our military school knowledge we ought to be able to drill them in modern tactics.”

“And with our knowledge of radio and other modern inventions and discoveries,” supplemented Jack, “we would be invaluable. We could rise to high positions in the state.”

“What,” exclaimed Frank, “and stay here all our lives?”

“Well, why not?”

“Oh, he wants to go home to Della,” said big Bob, mentioning the name of his sister, with whom Frank was in love.

Frank flushed, but did not reply.

“I’m not keen on staying here forever, either,” said Jack quickly; for his thoughts more and more during their South American stay had turned to Senorita Rafaela in her Sonora mountains, and Bob’s reference to Frank and Della had brought her again to mind. “Just the same, this would be a paradise of a place in which to live if it were brought in touch with the outside world.”

“So you think you’d get to be a big gun here and then open the Enchanted City to civilization?” asked Frank.

“It might be done,” said Jack.

“Well, after seeing that religious ceremony, I doubt it. The Incas would not want to give up their supreme power, and they know they would have to do that if their country were opened up. Chile or Argentine would absorb the country.”

“Oh, not necessarily,” answered Jack. “This country might remain independent, an inland empire.”

“An absolute empire couldn’t survive long in a land of republics,” said Frank, “especially when this country is small.”

“Small, yes,” agreed Bob. “But it is powerful. The Incas in the beginning were few in number, but good fighters with fine military organizations. From their mountain heights in the North they overflowed and conquered their tremendous empire. Perhaps their descendants aim to step out some day from these mountain heights in the South, and do the same.”

“What folly, Bob,” said Frank. “They would be up against modern nations with modern implements of war.”

“Well, can’t they learn to make modern war?” asked Bob. “They’ve got some able instructors in military tactics here to teach them.”

Jack and Frank, recalling that in anything pertaining to military science Bob had beaten both at Harrington Hall, smiled at each other. Some men apparently are born warriors. And Bob was of the number.

Further conversation along this line was halted by their coming up with the others. They had been moving up and down corridors and short flights of steps while talking, and had taken little note of the length of the passage to Prince Huaca’s apartments. Mr. Hampton, however, commented on that fact as they approached. The boys seemed surprised.

“What are we waiting for?” asked Bob.

“To be announced.”

For the first time the boys noticed they stood before a great closed door on either side of which Inca soldiers, six feet tall, impassive of countenance, mounted guard. Their guide had disappeared within. Then the door was opened and they were ushered into an anteroom, of which they had no time to take particular note, except to see that a number of young nobles stood about in groups, talking, for they were taken at once through this room and into an inner chamber.

Here sat Prince Huaca at a table, writing. It was a small table of polished wood, the top mounted on the back of a crouching lion, beautifully carved. The room itself, while large, was considerably smaller than their apartment, and was severely furnished. A number of couches stood about. To these Prince Huaca motioned, with the request that they be seated, and meantime continued his writing. Presently, having finished the task, he sanded the paper to dry the ink, then rolled it into a scroll, about which he tied a cord of gold and purple threads. The missive then was handed to the man who had guided them, with an order delivered in the Inca tongue, and the man departed, leaving them alone with the prince.

“Be not dismayed,” he said, turning to his guests. “I would know what brought you to the Forbidden Land. Few are the men who have come thither, for our fastnesses are impregnable and the outer valley where you were captured can be stumbled upon only by accident. And of those whom I have captured in the past or my fathers before me, none within two hundred years came seeking us, but found their way thither only by accident. You, however, I am certain, came seeking us. Is it not so?”

Directly appealed to, Don Ernesto agreed.

“Your Highness, it is.”

“Call me Prince Huaca,” said the other, simply. “Yes, it is as I thought. And it was this which led you?”

He held a manuscript aloft. It was the de Pereira manuscript, in archaic Spanish, Spanish as old as that spoken by Prince Huaca.

“It was that which brought us.”

“Senor,” said Prince Huaca, “I cannot believe that you came expecting to find a nation in existence.”

“We thought but to find abandoned ruins.”

Prince Huaca was silent, thoughtful.

“Pray, Prince Huaca,” said Mr. Hampton, speaking for the first time, “may we not state our surprise to find that a powerful people exists here unknown to the world at large and unsuspected? Moreover, surpassing in my mind the mystery of how you have kept your secret through the centuries——”

“Eternal vigilance,” interrupted Prince Huaca.

“Well,” continued Mr. Hampton, “surpassing that mystery, I say, is that of how you have maintained a healthy and, doubtless, growing population within this restricted territory.”

“State supervision and control of families, lands, everything, but——”

Prince Huaca arose abruptly, and moved up and down before them, his face dark, his sandals making no sound. He paused before them.

“We need more land,” said he. “Some of us are for marching out with our armies to conquer. But some, like myself——Ah, you have come at a critical time in our life.” He paused, his eyes searching their faces keenly. “I do not know why I talk to you like this,” he said. “But something within bids me have faith, bids me trust you.

“Ah, I would know of the world beyond our mountain fastnesses. Without knowledge a man is like a worm crawling in the soil. But when he knows, it is like the Sun shedding his beneficent light into the gorges of our mountains and dispelling the gloom. You come from this outside world. You are not commoners, like the one or two we have captured in the Forbidden Land in other days. No, you are nobles, men of knowledge and power. This I can see from certain objects among your possessions.”

He waved his hand to a corner of the room, which hitherto had not been noticed. The boys and the older men looked whither he pointed. There stood all their luggage.

“In your possessions are many strange objects,” Prince Huaca continued. “Books in the royal tongue, for so,” he added, proudly, “we call the Spanish which only those of Inca lineage intermarried with de Arguello and his Conquistadores speak. These books puzzle me, for, though they are in Spanish, yet it is changed from the Spanish which I speak. In truth, as you note, we have some little difficulty in understanding each the other. It is only this,” and he held up the de Pereira manuscript, “which is in the tongue I learned.”

“And there are other objects. Strange threads that gleam and cannot be broken.”

“Our copper wire for the radio outfit,” said Jack, involuntarily.

He spoke in English. Prince Huaca stared puzzled.

“I do not understand.”

“He speaks in another tongue, Prince Huaca,” said Mr. Hampton.

“Still another than Spanish?”

“Yes. In the world without are a hundred different tongues.”

Prince Huaca was dumbfounded. He stared at Mr. Hampton, as if in disbelief.

He turned to Don Ernesto.

“And is this so?”

“Yes, it is the truth.”

Prince Huaca abruptly returned to his seat, and placed his head in his hands. He sat, bowed in thought. None interrupted. Presently, he again looked up.

“And are all these peoples powerful?”

“Their numbers are as of the sands of the sea,” said Don Ernesto, thinking to quote an impressive figure. But Prince Huaca merely appeared puzzled, and the Don hastily remembered he could know nothing of the ocean, and amended himself: “They are in number like the leaves of the forest. They have built mighty cities. There is one beyond your mountains to the east called Buenos Ayres where dwell more than two million souls. They——”

“But can they read and write, can they do this?” cried Prince Huaca, eagerly. “Our ancestors, the ancient Incas of Cusco, kept accounts only by means of quippus, knotted strings. But we of Inca lineage here have that knowledge of reading and writing handed down to us by the three priests of de Arguello. This is knowledge, and power.”

“Today, the simplest of the commoners can read and write in that world beyond your mountains,” said Mr. Hampton. “Even Pedro and Carlos, my friend’s servants, have this knowledge.”

Once more Prince Huaca was silent, digesting this. Then he said:

“But has not too much learning made them weak, so that they are like women and cannot fight?”

“On the contrary, Prince, they fight with weapons that slay at great distances, with ships that fly in the air like birds and drop death upon those below. And yet,” added Mr. Hampton, “they seek these peoples, to live in peace with each other. No longer is it considered great to make war. Those who set out to conquer find all other peoples banded together against them.”

Prince Huaca once more fell into a manner of abstraction, from which the others made no effort to arouse him. Presently, he lifted his head, and there was an expression of resolution on his features.

“Senor,” said he, “that is all for the present. These matters that you have told me, however, I shall lay at once before the Council. Do you, therefore, hold yourselves in readiness to appear and be questioned? Meantime, I shall order your possessions restored to you, on one condition.”

He paused, expectantly.

“What is that?” asked Mr. Hampton.

“That these strange devices be explained to me, and that they be not used to cause evil to us.”

He lifted aside a heavy cloth of gold from an end of this table, revealing beneath portions of the radio outfit brought by Mr. Hampton. The others looked at each other. One thought was in every mind. How explain the phenomenon of radio to an idolator to whom it could mean nothing other than witchcraft and wizardry? Then Mr. Hampton had an idea.

“In these South American forests,” said he, “particularly in that jungle land beyond the mountains whence came your ancestors, Prince Huaca, the Indian tribesmen have a method of communicating to each other without the use of runners. They place along the bank of a river a hollow log, upon which they tap certain tappings with a hammer. Miles away, with his ear to another hollow log upon the river bank, a man hears that message.”

“Of this I have heard something,” said Prince Huaca.

“The sound,” said Mr. Hampton, “travels along the water. But this device before you is for the purpose of sending sound through the air, as if a man had a voice which could be heard from here to ancient Cusco, thousands of miles distant. This is only one of the many wonders known to the world outside your mountains today.”

He stopped, unwilling to venture upon a detailed explanation that could not be understood, fearful that, perhaps, he already had said too much, that Prince Huaca would consider him either a great liar or a great wizard, and would act accordingly.

The prince, however, did not change expression.

“Could you call men from beyond the mountains to Cuso Hurrin?”

“To what place?”

“That is the name of our city.”

Mr. Hampton struggled with himself. If he admitted the power that the radio outfit put at his command, doubtless Prince Huaca would take it from him, and their chances of bringing rescuers, if that proved necessary, would vanish. Nevertheless, he was a truthful man.

“Yes,” said he, simply. “It could be done.”

Prince Huaca was silent.

“And who among you understands this best?”

Once more Mr. Hampton hesitated. Perhaps the prince planned to slay whichever member of the party he considered was the operative.

“I mean you no harm,” said Prince Huaca, rightly interpreting his hesitancy. “I would but learn more of this marvel.”

“These boys,” said Mr. Hampton, indicating Jack, Frank and Bob. “They are familiar with this marvel and even have added to it by little improvements.”

“Then,” said the prince, “I shall ask them to come to my quarters here and teach me. Perhaps we shall employ your marvel. I would learn about it. It may be useful. I shall keep it here. Meantime, do you go to your apartment while I go to the Council. And hold yourselves in readiness for my summons.”




The balance of that day was one filled with foreboding. Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto, an hour or so after their dismissal by Prince Huaca, were summoned by a servant again to his apartments with the understanding that they were to be escorted thence to appear before the Inca’s Council. Left to themselves, the four boys chatted together at first about their strange interview; but, as the hours passed with no word from the older men, they grew more and more to feel as if some evil impended, and lapsed at length into a gloomy silence.

Bob flung himself on a couch in a doze, Ferdinand stood at a loophole, gazing out upon the great square where the merriment continued unabated. It would last eight days, Prince Huaca had said. Jack and Frank tried to find oblivion in books among their belongings, but with ill success. As for the two huachos, Pedro and Carlos, they took the matter philosophically, and continued their endless game of cards.

“This is driving me mad,” said Jack, at length, tossing aside his book. “The afternoon is going fast, and it will soon be night. Already the square is in shadow below, and it is too dim to read. Where can they be? What can have detained them?”

An interruption came in the form of the servants, who had brought their food previously, and who now again entered, cleared the table, and set out food once more. For a moment, the wild idea of attempting to overcome them and make a bolt for Prince Huaca’s apartments, in search of his father came to Jack. But he quickly put it aside, for in the outer corridor he glimpsed the armed guards who had accompanied the servants.

“Thank goodness, they brought a light,” he ejaculated, after the servants had departed, leaving behind, beside the food, a gold vessel filled with oil in which burned a wick that gave a clear, bright flame. “Well, you fellows that are hungry, fall to. I couldn’t eat a bite.”

Frank went up to him and put an arm over his shoulders.

“Come on, old man,” he said. “I know how you feel. But it is foolish to worry. Your Dad has just been spinning so many fairy tales about the modern world that he has these old boys sitting there with their eyes popping out, and they won’t let him go; they want him to tell them some more yarns. He’ll be back, all right, presently, and the Inca probably will be coming along with him to see what we look like. ‘The Young Wizards, hey?’ he’ll say. ‘Pleased to meet you. Trot out a few tricks for us.’ And you want to have a full stomach, then, or how can you perform well? Come on, come on.”

And, laughing and jollying, Frank pushed Jack to the table, and in similar fashion rounded up Ferdinand, then tumbled the snoring Bob to the floor, whereat Pedro and Carlos chuckled, and under the spell of his geniality, a measure of confidence and cheer was restored to the group.

As they were in the midst of eating, the key once more grated in the lock and Jack, with an eager cry, sprang toward the door, Ferdinand a close second. Nor were they disappointed, for Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto were ushered in by the guard.

“Well boys, did you think we were never going to return?” asked Mr. Hampton, cheerfully. A glance at Jack had revealed to him the worry in his son’s face.

A chorus of replies answered.

“Jack would have it that the pair of you were cut up in mince meat to be fed to the Inca,” said Frank, after the chorus had died down. “But I told him the Inca was probably feeding out of your hand.”

“Not quite that,” said Mr. Hampton. “But we are hungry. Let us have a minute’s chance to eat a bit, and then we’ll tell you what happened.”

The boys were eager to hear, but forebore until it appeared Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto had satisfied their appetites. Then the dishes were pushed to one end of the table and, standing about the other end, upon which reposed the lamp, or leaning upon it, for there were no chairs in the apartment, they began to ply the two older men with questions.

“What was it like?”

“Could they all speak Spanish?”

“What did they ask you?”

“Did you tell them about the modern inventions?”

“Anything said about radio?”

Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto threw up their hands.

“One at a time, one at a time,” protested Mr. Hampton. “And, perhaps, you had better let us tell this in our own way. No, Jack, there was nothing about radio. Prince Huaca cautioned us not to speak of it. I don’t know—but I think he wants to hold that back for some purpose of his own. And I, for one, am perfectly willing to abet him. For, after what we learned today, it looks as if we would need a friend.”

“That is right,” agreed Don Ernesto.

“Why, Dad,” asked Jack, anxiously, “What do you mean?”

“Well, it looks as if there were two parties at court. In fact, really three.”

“What, Dad? What are they?”

“Well, first I must tell you we did not see the Inca, but only the Council. Two parties are for starting out of this isolation and conquering a lot of land, in order to make room for the growing population, which, despite all efforts of the State—such as keeping many young women from raising families by putting them in the Convent of the Vestal Virgins—is becoming a problem. One of these parties is blindly confident the world has not advanced and that the Inca’s armies can assert their power. The other recalls the history of the coming of the Spaniards to old Cusco, which caused their forefathers to flee thither, and believes it must arm itself with white man’s knowledge first. This we learned from Prince Huaca.”

“But what is the danger to us in that? We know how foolish either project would be?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Hampton gravely, turning to Frank who had asked the question, “but the party which is blindly confident of the Inca’s ability to sweep all before him, would prefer to make a beginning with us. They would like to sacrifice us to the Sun God before setting forth. And what happened to the Incas after that would not matter very much to us.”

“Whew,” said Bob, “the bloody rascals.”

“And the third party, Dad?”

“Prince Huaca heads the third party,” Mr. Hampton said. “That is the party which, like the others, believes the centuries-old isolation of Cusco Hurrin must be broken up, in order that the inhabitants may have more territory in which to grow. But it is against attempting to use force of arms, believing my words that the outside world is too powerful to be overcome. It is inclined to discuss the possibility of sending ambassadors to the surrounding nations and opening relations, provided it can be assured that such a course will not be merely to invite destruction as was the case in old Cusco when the Inca Atahualpa opened his country to Pizarro, only to be destroyed treacherously by the Spaniards.”

“And they told you all this?”

“Oh, no, Jack,” Mr. Hampton said. “There were ten men in the Council, all of Incarial blood, the highest nobles of the country. Prince Huaca is a nephew of the present Inca, who is childless, and thus is his heir. He is the Captain of the Fortress, holder of the Tunnel Way. But I can see he has bitter enemies, and some of them have the ear of the Inca, chief among them being the High Priest, Cinto. Much that I have told you was not brought out directly at the Council, but was told us later by Prince Huaca, with whom we have been alone a second time since leaving the Council, and for a considerable period.”

“Did they question you about the outside world? And what did you tell them?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Hampton, “it was that of which we spoke. We told them in a general way of cannon, airplanes, steamships, automobiles and so on. But we did not speak of the telegraph or of radio.”

“Because Prince Huaca asked you not to?”

“That was the reason, yes. You see, he is a remarkable man. With no previous knowledge of the wonders of the world, he has accepted without question what we have told him. At once, apparently, after our first interview, the one which you boys attended, his mind busied itself with some plan or other, of which I haven’t the least idea, to use radio for his own purposes. And he wants any hint of it kept secret from the other members of the Council.”

“I wonder what he has in mind,” said Jack.

“I cannot guess,” replied his father. “Father,” said Ferdinand, “what is your opinion of Prince Huaca?”

Thus appealed to, Don Ernesto, who had kept silence, permitting Mr. Hampton to act as spokesman, smiled a little.

“He is a very wonderful man,” said he. “As my friend, Senor Hampton, says, he has accepted as true and natural whatever we have told him. Members of the Council were inclined to scout our words, to believe us liars. Their minds were not big enough to compass the wonders of which we spoke. But it is not so with Prince Huaca. There is a man of great native intelligence, one who with education would be a genius. He seems to me born to rule, a natural leader of man, with a dominant personality.”

To this estimate, Mr. Hampton gave emphatic assent.

“As he told you boys,” he added, “archaic Spanish is handed down in the Incarial families. The ten members of the Council speak and understand it in a measure. But none so well as he. He frequently acted as our interpreter. And not only does he know Spanish, but Latin, for the priests of de Arguello’s expedition were learned men and had with them some textbooks which, written on parchment, have been preserved. From these he has educated himself, and, though his pronunciation of Latin is not the best in the world, he has done surprisingly well. He showed us an ancient Latin dictionary, and a Caesar’s Gallic Wars.”

Bob groaned.

“And he has read ‘Caesar’?”


“All I can say is he’s a better man than I am,” said Bob, who had entered Yale with a condition in Latin.

Frank and Jack laughed. In the momentary silence that followed, the shouts and laughter of the great crowd in the square below came up to them.

“Listen to that, will you?” said Bob. “And they’ll be keeping that up all night, too, I expect.”

“For eight days,” said Mr. Hampton.

“Look,” said Frank, who had approached a loophole. “See that fellow with a wreath of golden leaves around his head, holding up the wine cup. Gold it is, too. He’s reciting. See them all laugh and applaud. What a scene, that ring around him, the firelight on them! He must be a poet or minstrel. Golly, how I wish I could be down there, dressed in a tunic and sandals, and mixing around in that crowd. Say, but wouldn’t that be an experience for you?”

“Surely would,” said Jack, looking over his shoulder. “Listen, though, somebody coming.”

The key turned in the lock of the great door.




All swung about. It was their jailer, a pleasant-faced fellow, who, like all within the fortress, Prince Huaca had assured Mr. Hampton, was loyal to his commander. He indicated by signs that the boys and the two older men were to follow. Don Ernesto turned to Pedro and Carlos.

“Do not fear,” said he. “I expect that Prince Huaca wants to see us. We shall return.”

“We would go with you,” said Pedro.

When they started to do so, however, the jailer waved them back.

Pedro shrugged.

“It is fate,” said he. “We shall sleep.”

“Fear not,” Don Ernesto reassured him. “I shall look after you.”

As they moved along the corridor, it became apparent from the direction that their destination was, as Don Ernesto had surmised, Prince Huaca’s apartment. But what could he want with them? Had anything untoward occurred in the Inca’s Council? Were his enemies on the move against him? These questions occurred to all.

“It is unexpected, his sending for us,” Mr. Hampton said. “He gave no indication, when dismissing us the last time, that he would send for us again so soon.”

The jailer bore a torch which flickered and smoked as they passed loopholes at turns in the corridor, making the silent passageways, with their walls of stone, where none but themselves moved, seem even more ghastly and far from civilization than otherwise would have been the case. There was little conversation. Unlike their first trip over this route, the boys kept silent. What they had been told of the Council meeting had sobered their spirits. From these stone hallways within that vast fortress, standing in the heart of the Enchanted City, for so they still termed Cusco Hurrin among themselves, it was a far cry to New York or even Santiago. To more than one it seemed as if the possibility that they would ever return to the outside world was in the gravest doubt.

Instead of taking them through the anteroom into Prince Huaca’s apartment, the guide turned aside before the guards were reached, pressed a stone in the wall of the corridor, which swung back, revealing the entrance to a narrow secret passage and then stepped in and beckoned the others reassuringly to follow. Once all had entered, he swung the stone back into place. Then he led the way a short distance to another stone which he also swung aside. They stepped through the doorway and found themselves in the prince’s inner chamber, alone.

With a nod, the guide bade them be seated, and disappeared the way he had come. The stone swung back into place.

Before they had time for conjecture, Prince Huaca appeared from the antechamber.

“Ah, Senores,” said he, as they rose at this entrance, “I have sent for you. Be seated.”

He sat down by the table and was silent for a space, staring keenly from one to the other.

“Tonight,” said he suddenly, “affairs have come to a crisis in Cusco Hurrin. The Inca is old. The High Priest, Cinto, who has his ear, fears me. He has made capital of my appearance today with you before the Council. To the Inca who, like an old man, clings with love to life and finds it sweeter as it grows to an end, he has said that I am in league with devils and that you are evil spirits, and not men from the outside world, who spoke as you did in order to aid my plans to seize the supreme power and slay the Inca.

“Tomorrow I am to be asked again to bring you before the Council, and then we shall be seized and slain.

“But palaces have ears, and all that was said by this evil man, Cinto, has reached me. And I would forestall him.”

He paused. Mr. Hampton looked puzzled.

“But, Prince Huaca,” he objected, “must you not obey the Inca’s command and appear with us, or place yourself in rebellion?”

“It is so,” agreed the prince. “Nor do I wish to rebel. Yet if I am slain, my people will be destroyed, for there will be only foolish men to guide them.”

“Then you will rebel?”

“The fortress troops are loyal to me,” said Prince Huaca. “And I hold the Tunnel Way, without which food from the country district cannot reach the city. That is why they would seize me by stratagem and treachery. Open attack upon me here by the palace guard which Cinto’s nephew Guascar commands would be folly. Long have my enemies plotted to compass my downfall, but insidious though they were, the Inca had not reached that stage of suspicion of me that he could be asked to cause my death.

“Now, however,” he added, “Cinto has taken my championship of the truth of what reports you bring from the outside world to work upon the Inca’s credulous mind.

“No, I do not wish to rebel, and cause bloodshed among my people. I do not desire power for itself alone, but in order that I may help my people, not enslave them.”

He was silent, thinking, and Mr. Hampton and the others respected his silence.

“Too long,” he resumed, “have we lived cut off from the world. These marvels of which you have told me, these advantages shared by common men, I want them for my people.”

“And if you are killed,” said Mr. Hampton, “what will happen?”

“Ruin,” said the prince. He arose. “But it shall not be,” he added, with energy. “I shall not be slain. And, on the contrary, I shall lead my people out of ignorance, aye, out from the ignorance of bondage.” He strode up and down. “And you,” he added, halting suddenly before the others, “you shall help me.”

“Willingly, Prince Huaca,” said Mr. Hampton. “But in what way?”

“You say the peoples surrounding us are peace-loving?”


“If their leaders knew of Cusco Hurrin, they would not seek to conquer and enslave us as did the Conquerors to ancient Cusco and Inca Atahualpa?”

Mr. Hampton looked at Don Ernesto and bowed.

“Prince Huaca,” said the latter, “I have not told you. But I am the brother-in-law of the President of Chile. That is the nation within whose boundaries lies Cusco Hurrin. The President is the ruler. He rules not by force of arms, not by divine right, but because the people have selected him to administer affairs of State for them. I can assure you that no conquest of Cusco Hurrin will be attempted, if you seek in peace to break from your isolation.”

“But, Father,” objected Ferdinand, quickly, “it would take a long time to send a message to Uncle, and meanwhile there would be civil war here.”

Ferdinand spoke so rapidly that Prince Huaca was unable to follow him.

“What says the young man?” he asked.

Don Ernesto repeated. Prince Huaca pointed to the radio outfit, still on his table.

“But, cannot the voice-through-the-air carry your message?”

So it was something like this which Prince Huaca had in mind? This, then, was the reason for his interest in the subject of radio? This was why he had asked them not to speak of radio before the Council? Mr. Hampton looked dubious.

“It cannot carry the message far enough,” said he, slowly.

Over Prince Huaca’s face came a shadow of despair. He sat down suddenly, leaned his elbows on the table, and buried his face in his hands. He was like a man famished for water, to whose lips a cup had been held, only to be withdrawn as he was about to drink. Jack felt immensely sorry. He wanted to be of help. At the same time, his brain was revolving an idea.

“But, Father,” he began.

Ere he could complete his sentence, however, Prince Huaca interrupted. He jumped to his feet and stood with his hands firmly gripping the table.

“I will not let myself be overcome,” he said. “If the voice-through-the-air cannot carry the message, then you, Senor de Avilar, must go to your brother-in-law and tell him what I desire, that he shall come in peace but with an army sufficient to overawe Cinto.

“Ah,” he cried, “I can trust you? They will not come to loot Cusco Hurrin and slay my people, but to make friends and teach them?”

“Only so will they come,” said Don Ernesto, deeply moved at the other’s sincerity and earnestness. “I promise.”

“It will be long,” said Prince Huaca. “But,” he added, resolutely, “I shall defend the fortress and, if there be bloodshed, yet will it be less than if Cinto had his way.”

As he ceased speaking, Jack found his opportunity.

“But, Prince Huaca,” he said excitedly, “the voice-through-the-air can be made to carry your message.”


Prince Huaca whirled to face this new speaker. It was a habit of his to stare steadily and searchingly into the eyes of whomever he conversed with.

“Yes, it can be done,” said Jack.

“But how?”

It was Don Ernesto who asked.

“Very simply,” said Jack. “Let me explain so that Prince Huaca can comprehend. This outfit, sir”—and, rising and walking to the table, Jack indicated the radio outfit reposing there—“can receive messages sent from very far away, but it cannot send messages except for a comparatively short distance, 150 miles at most. It was that which my father had in mind.

“However, at the Andine Monastery of the Cross of the Snows, Don Ernesto, you will remember that we built a sending station by utilizing the water power in the falls and the turbines of the power plant. I cannot explain more clearly to you, Prince Huaca,” he added, addressing the latter, “without going into too great detail. But this will make it clearer to you. We can send the voice-through-the-air to another station, which in turn, will send it farther, just as one runner carries a message which he transfers to another.”

Prince Huaca nodded, his eyes bright and expectant.

“And from the monastery, Jack?” suggested his father.

“Why, Father, you yourself told me that La Prensa, the great newspaper of Buenos Ayres, doubtless had established a radio station at its branch office in Santiago, the Chilian capital. Although when we were in Santiago,” added Jack, “we were so busy with other matters I did not hear of it, or go to investigate.”

“True, Jack,” said Mr. Hampton. “Don Ernesto has told me La Prensa had installed a radio station at Santiago. Of course, too, there is a commercial station at Valparaiso.”

“But the one at Santiago can reach the President more quickly,” said Jack.




So it was decided to set up the field radio and attempt to raise the monastery. Prince Huaca had had the party brought to his room by way of the secret passage, in order to avoid having them appear among the young nobles in waiting in his anteroom. As the boys would have to be taken to the roof to set up the aerial, he first dismissed those in the anteroom, then called servants to carry the outfit to the battlements.

Don Ernesto, however, begged permission that Pedro and Carlos be summoned to assist, instead of servants who could not understand them. Prince Huaca acquiesced, and sent the jailer for the two faithful huachos.

He, himself, was eager to observe every preparatory step. Self-contained though he was, and despite his matter-of-fact acceptance of the phenomenon of radio, yet it was plain to be seen that he was highly excited over the matter. Everything had to be explained to him.

For his field outfit, Mr. Hampton carried both batteries and a quarter-kilowatt generator, such as is in use in army operations. In fact, the outfit paralleled an army field outfit in a number of respects, including the umbrella type of aerial. This consisted of only one pole of hollow steel, and constructed in collapsible sections that made transportation an easy matter. From the top of the pole, the wires of the aerial were carried to the ground at some distance from the base, where they were attached to porcelain insulators. Thus, the wires served the double function of aerial and guy wires.

While the boys busied themselves erecting the aerial, a difficult matter because the battlement was all of stone and at first glance there appeared to be nothing to which the insulators could be fastened, Mr. Hampton conversed with Prince Huaca, explaining this, that and the other about the outfit and about the reasons for doing certain things.

The prince pointed to what Jack and Frank were doing, and asked the reason for it. The boys were forcing wedge-shaped wooden blocks or pegs, to which insulators were fastened, into cracks between stones of the turret floor. Originally, these pegs were so made to be driven into the ground, thus affording anchorage for the aerial-guy wires. Had it not been for the cracks, they would have been unable to erect the aerial, as all about them was stone.

When this work was completed, the boys, working furiously, set up the generator on a pair of legs sufficiently high to give clearance for the handles by which it was to be turned. Wires were then run to the transformer, tuner attached, the headphone wired on, and the aerial and ground connections made.

Part of the outfit was not yet in use, and Prince Huaca pointed to the box and batteries questioningly.

“Are these objects not employed?” he said.

Mr. Hampton explained he had brought both batteries and generator to serve as sources of energy. They had been packed separately upon mules, so that in case one was lost the other might still remain. When the batteries were used, it was necessary also to use the tube transformer, he said, indicating the oblong box in which the tubes were mounted on springs. But when the generator was used, only the transformer and key were necessary.

“And why is this used rather than the other?” Prince Huaca wanted to know.

“The generator supplies more power,” said Mr. Hampton, simplifying his explanation as much as possible. “It is a little man with a big voice that carries far, while the batteries represent a big man with only a medium voice.”

Fast though the boys went about their preparations, in the light of torches held by servants, the time sped by more rapidly than they had expected. All the time there came up to them the shouts and laughter of those in the great square far below, where the festivities of the Feast of Raymi continued unabated.

Several times one or the other would wander to the parapet and stare at the scene below, where great fires burned, casting grotesque dancing shadows on the fronts of the Temple and the palaces surrounding the square, with the merry-making crowds surrounding poets and singers here and there, or dancing to the music of the minstrels who played queer stringed instruments.

As big Bob turned away from the parapet on one of these trips, to rejoin his comrades, he believed he discerned the shadowy form of a skulker in a nearby embrasure. He could not be certain, however, because his eyes were dazzled from staring at the scene below. All about him was starlit darkness, the moon had not yet risen. His friends, surrounded by the ring of torchlights, were some distance off.

What could a skulker be doing here? That was the question that leaped to mind. No sentries were posted, at least none had been seen so far. Nor was any other member of the party absent, as he could see in a quick glance to estimate their number.

The perilous situation in which Prince Huaca was placed recurred to his mind. Perhaps, after all, the prince was over-optimistic when he said that all within the fortress were loyal to him. Perhaps, in the loosening of the restraints of discipline, bound to come with the advent of the festival season, the soldiers below had permitted, altogether unawares, of course, some assassin intent on taking Prince Huaca’s life, to enter the fortress, to slip by them unseen.

Bob stood, pressed against the parapet, his eyes on the spot, some yards distant, where he believed he had seen the skulking form. He was thinking. Not a sign of movement. Could he have been mistaken? Should he investigate? If someone lurked there, with evil intentions against Prince Huaca’s life, he would be armed. Bob was without weapons. On the other hand, he realized he would not have to face firearms, but only a knife thrust or sword. And he was confident in his ability to take care of himself in a rough or tumble combat, a confidence bred of victories in the past, not only in school and college, but against ruffians in the surprising adventures into which they seemed fated perpetually to fall.

“I’ll have a look,” he muttered to himself. “No harm in making sure.”

Stealthily, he removed his shoes, set them against the parapet where they could easily be found later, and began creeping noiselessly along the low wall toward the embrasure.

With beating heart, and muscles taut and ready for a spring, he reached the spot. Should he peer around the edge or get on top of the parapet and stare down? Either way held danger, supposing the embrasure occupied. Then he had an idea. As he had stolen along the parapet he had come across a broken lance butt, some two feet in length, discarded by a sentry. This he had carried with him as a club. Now he took off his cap, put it on the end of the stick, and cautiously thrust it ahead of him around the edge of the embrasure.

Nothing happened. Bob was disappointed. Could it be he was mistaken? Had his eyes played him tricks? No, he felt certain he had seen a dark form skulking there. Perhaps he had the wrong embrasure. No, he felt certain this was the one. Casting caution aside, he thrust his head forward and took a quick look at the interior. It was empty.

As he stood, staring, uncomprehending, something soft and thick descended over him, a club came down on his head, a body fell upon him from above, and strong hands gripped his throat to prevent outcry. Like a flash of lightning, the truth was borne in upon him. He had not been mistaken. He had seen a form skulking there. And this man, seeing him come spying, had slipped to the top of the parapet and had leaped upon him.

Bob’s first thought was to cry out; but a fold of the enveloping bag was in his mouth, and he felt certain the muffled sound he made could not be heard. He realized, as in a flash, that whoever had attacked him, here in the center of Prince Huaca’s stronghold, would be intent on silencing his lips and would have no mercy on him.

These thoughts sped through Bob’s mind with lightning speed. The big fellow, on the other hand, reacted physically to the attack. He began fighting at once, and in a way that must have been totally unexpected by his antagonist. Instead of plucking at the other’s hands, which were clutched about his throat, he crumpled up as if overcome and sank to the stones.

The other retained his grip on Bob’s throat, a cruel pressure that set the blood to pounding in the boy’s temples. Nevertheless, he was thrown off his balance, his body followed Bob’s, bent above him.

The moment he touched the stones, Bob sank to the ground, drew up his legs with a convulsive effort, and then shot his feet upward with a tremendous thrust. He felt his bare feet strike a lightly-clad body. There was a grunt. Then the hands about Bob’s throat were torn loose from their grip, and the attacker went hurtling backward.

There was a thud, a dull groan, as the other struck against the parapet. Bob was tearing frantically at the covering over his head, which was a thick woolen sack. Meantime, he was emitting roar after roar of purest rage.

“Bob, Bob. What is it? Oh.”




It was Frank’s voice, and the exclamation was elicited by Frank catching sight of the figure against the parapet, now struggling to its feet, knife clutched in hand. Frank had been the first to reach his comrade’s side. He did not pause but, unarmed though he was, sprang forward.

Bob pulled the sack from his head, just in time to see Frank’s rush bear the other to his knees. Then the others were on the scene, soldiers with torches, Prince Huaca, Jack and the rest. It was all over in a trice. The man was disarmed and in the hands of two soldiers, each holding him firmly by an arm. He was a stout rascal, with an evil face.

Prince Huaca looked at him keenly.

“One of the Palace Guard,” said he. “I recognize his face and bearing, even though he is not in uniform.”

To his men, he added:

“Take him below.” As the prisoner was being led away, the prince turned to Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto.

“You see the crisis has come,” said he simply. “This is the first time they have tried assassination.”

Then he went to Bob’s side, a winning smile on his face.

“I have you to thank for saving my life,” he said. “I hope you are not hurt.”

“Not at all, thanks,” said Bob, uncomfortably. “As to saving your life, sir—well, I guess he wouldn’t have gotten much chance at you, with all your soldiers around.”

“How tell?” said the prince. “I have soldiers below, too. Yet this assassin gained the battlements.”

Then, temporarily dismissing the matter with a shrug of the shoulders, he said:

“But, come, let us complete our preparations of the—what do you call it? Ah, yes. The radio.”

Turning, he led the way to where the station was nearing completion. While the boys resumed their operations, Prince Huaca again looked on between Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton, and conversed with them. He seemed to have thawed to them greatly, and both men gained the impression that he was a lonely man and welcomed their friendship. To himself, Mr. Hampton thought that probably the prince was gifted with so much greater intelligence and vision than those surrounding him, that, indeed, he must lead a lonely life. And this diagnosis, in after days, he was to learn was correct. For years, Prince Huaca, of all of Incarial rank, had stood alone in opposition to the War Party, pointing out the folly of invasion of the outside world in the belief that it had stood still since the days of the Incas. Of friends of lesser rank, however, he had many like the lord of the outer valley, at whose home they had stopped the first day.

As they stood there, Mr. Hampton was silent, turning these matters over in his mind, and considering their own and Prince Huaca’s predicament. He was stirred by a real liking for the man, and by a great pity for him, too. Alone in this isolation, pitted against shrewd-witted men lusting for his downfall, what chance had he?

“Prince Huaca, I want to be of help; we all want to be of help,” said he suddenly. “Indeed, our very lives depend upon aiding you to overcome your enemies and defeat their plans. May I ask, therefore, what your own plans are? It is possible we may, by putting our heads together, find some additional way of helping you beside merely calling for aid that, after all, will take weeks to reach us.”

“I shall close the fortress, admit only a daily ration of food to the city from the farms, and notify the Inca and Council that negotiations with the outside world have been launched.”

“Ere that help can arrive, however,” objected Mr. Hampton, “many days of waiting must elapse. Meanwhile, may not the fortress be attacked and treachery succeed, where tonight’s attempt fortunately came to naught?”

Before Prince Huaca could give answer, Jack approached.

“Dad, we’ll soon be in a position to broadcast and try to raise the monastery. It’s a good thing we have got the quarter-kilowatt generator, for the monastery is all of one hundred and fifty miles distant as the crow flies, and, although we have a ten-inch spark coil, we couldn’t be heard beyond fifty miles with it and the batteries for our source of energy, unless under freakish conditions. But, what I was going to ask is, What time is it?”

Mr. Hampton looked at his watch.

“Why, it’s eleven o’clock.”

“What? As late as that?”

Jack was amazed and keenly disappointed.

“Why, I had no idea we had been working so long. I’m afraid, then, we won’t be able to pick up the monastery tonight. La Prensa’s nightly concert will have been finished, and they’ll all be in bed. What tough luck!”

“Try, anyway, Jack,” urged Mr. Hampton, in an anxious tone. “Time is invaluable to us. Perhaps,” he added, hopefully, “Brother Gregorio will be pottering around and will catch your signal.”

Jack shook his head doubtfully.

“The good monks used to be in bed at nine o’clock before we put in the radio set for them. And they’ve still got sleepy habits. But we’ll see.”

He walked to where Bob and Frank were putting the finishing installation touches to the generator. Some six or eight inches in diameter, it was firmly planted on its legs, handles projecting on either side.

“All ready, Jack,” said Frank. “You take the instrument and Bob and I will get up steam.”

Interested spectators, the other principals, grouped themselves close, with the torch bearers forming a ring about them. Bob and Frank began pumping away at the handles.

“Reminds me of making ice cream in the old freezer,” said Bob.

Brother Gregorio had been placed in charge of the radio at the monastery, and it was for him Jack called repeatedly, after tuning to the monastery’s meter wave length, but no answer came back.

“No use, I’m afraid,” he said at last, disappointedly. “May as well ease up, fellows. They’re all asleep, as I expected.”

“And that’s the nearest radio station, too,” said Frank. “There isn’t another within our radius.”

“Well, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow, that’s all,” added Bob.

The matter was explained to Prince Huaca, who was disappointed greatly, and wanted the boys to make another attempt to raise the monastery. Jack complied, but again without success.

“Ah, well,” said the prince, resignedly. “It is in the hands of God.”

Don Ernesto glanced at him in quick surprise, and the prince rightly interpreted the look.

“Nay,” said he, “I am not as my people in religion, for I have read much in the Holy Book left by the holy men who came hither centuries ago with de Arguello. But of that we shall speak, perhaps, some other time. Let us now decide what shall be done with this radio tonight, and then return to my apartments.”

It was hardly likely that anything untoward would happen to the outfit, yet sentries were placed on guard from among the awed torch bearers. Then the party returned below. Instead of dismissing them to their quarters, along with Pedro and Carlos, Prince Huaca invited Mr. Hampton, Don Ernesto and the boys to enter his apartments again. When they were back in the inner room, he ordered the prisoner brought before him.

Escorted by two guards, whom Prince Huaca dismissed to the anteroom during the examination, the prisoner was brought in. Of the examination itself, which was brief, and was conducted in the unknown Inca tongue, the others could make nothing. It appeared to all, however, that the man was visibly frightened, although he cloaked his fear under a mask of stoicism. Several times they heard the name of “Cinto” uttered by the prince. At length, the guards were resummoned and the prisoner led away.

For a time after his departure, Prince Huaca sat silent, elbows planted on the table, his head in his hands, lost in thought. That it was none too pleasant could be seen from his expression.

“It was as I thought,” he confided at length. “The High Priest, Cinto, and his rascally nephew despatched this man to assassinate me. Should he have accomplished his deed, he was to have been given an officer’s command in the Palace Guard. Ah, my poor uncle, what rascals surround him and prey upon his superstitions and his love of a fading life!

“The fellow says he gained entrance by calling to see an acquaintance among my troops; and then, in the relaxation of the holiday which obtained in the guard room, he slipped into the interior of the fortress and made his way to the battlements, after seeing us go to them. This is lax discipline that permits of such things, and shall be inquired into presently.

“And now it is late and you will want to retire. But before you go, I have something to give you. You see, I trust you utterly. Do you, therefore, Senor Hampton, open the cabinet behind you, and there you will find the weapons taken from you on your capture. These I trust you with, and enjoin you not to make use of except in case of direct necessity. Yet, after what has happened tonight, my faith in my defences is shaken. If one man may creep in thus easily, may not others have done so? I questioned the rascal as to that, but he denied it. Yet I am not convinced. I, myself, shall take precautions to guard myself tonight, and you with these weapons will also be safe.

“They are, doubtless, far better weapons than those which we make after the pattern of the arms brought hither by the Spaniards in the early days?”

It was more question than statement, and Mr. Hampton nodded.

“They are, indeed, Prince Huaca,” said he. “And these small ones, called pistols, are very deadly and can shoot a great distance. Will you permit me,” he asked suddenly, “to tender you one of them? It can be carried concealed upon your person, and is better protection than anything; far better than a dozen trusty men even, provided they be not provided with modern arms.”

He advanced to the prince, carrying an automatic.

“It is simple to operate,” said he, “and will discharge a half dozen shots in succession without pause to reload.”

Briefly he explained the use of the weapon, and Prince Huaca accepted with thanks what he might have taken without a by-your-leave. He tucked it away, within his tunic and under his broad golden girdle.

They then took their leave and were led by the jailer once more to their room, where they found Pedro and Carlos contentedly snoring away.

“In the morning we shall radio,” said the prince, on their departure.

The others agreed.





“What’s that?”

Frank sat up in bed, listened a moment, then shook the form of Bob beside him. He shook vigorously. Bob grunted.

“Tumble out,” said Frank, himself hitting the floor. And he raised his voice to a shout:

“Everybody up.”

Springing to the nearest couch, where reposed Jack and his father, beginning to stir and blink at his shout, Frank shook them too. All the time he continued shouting: “Everybody up. Everybody up.”

All were awake by now, sitting up in bed or springing to the floor. And the sounds that had caused Frank to awaken could be heard plainly.

Above the revelry in the square below, which had continued unabated hour after hour, could be heard a different hubbub, men shouting, and the sound of firearms being discharged. Ferdinand sprang to a loophole and stared out on a tossing, surging mass of humanity, lighted fitfully by the glare of the bonfires and the tossing flame of torches. All around the edges of the square, men, women and children were fleeing as if in panic. Before the great stairs of the Temple, where glowed the hugest bonfire of all, could be seen a force of men in gleaming armor—something which caused Ferdinand to rub his eyes and wonder if he were dreaming. They were close knit and firing to the rear as they advanced steadily.

“Look, look,” cried Ferdinand.

All sprang to the loopholes.

The armor-clad force set foot on the stairway and started upward, those in the rear continuing their rear-guard fight.

“What is it? Who’s fighting?”

They craned to see the opposing force. Ah, there it was. A rabble of men from the direction of the fortress, some with firearms which they were discharging at the group mounting the Temple stairs, others armed only with spears. Some wore helmet or breastplate, but none were fully clothed in armor. They were shouting with rage, and it seemed to the onlookers there were cries of “Huaca, Huaca.”

What could it mean? They stared, fascinated, absorbed, beginning to grow alarmed. The force on the Temple stairs held together firmly. Several dropped as if wounded, but were lifted by comrades and supported into the Temple. The force reached the top of the stairway. Then, from the great pillars of the portico, gloomy and unlighted, above the glare of the bonfire, stepped numbers of men, similarly clad in armor, who took up position in serried rank along the top of the steps, and, at the command of a plumed leader in the middle, delivered with uplifted sword, started down the steps.

Suddenly a new clash of steel, seemingly at the base of the fortress rock, immediately below the windows of the prisoners, broke out. It was succeeded by loud shouts. They craned, but could not see.

“Sounds like an attack on the fort,” cried Frank, withdrawing from his loophole to shout to Jack and his father at the next one.

“But that isn’t possible,” Jack replied. “The only approach to the fort is up a winding stairway from the city. Below us is rock.”

“But, listen. Something’s going on. Wish I could see.”

“Look, Frank, look.” Bob pulled his companion back to their loophole.

Frank followed the injunction.

Back across the square, running pell mell, came the men who had pursued the armor-clad warriors into the Temple.

“Those are soldiers from the fortress, boys,” said Mr. Hampton, over Frank’s shoulder. Frank and Bob turned about to see Jack and his father, who had approached from their loophole.

“Do you think so?”

“Yes,” answered Mr. Hampton, speaking rapidly. “I believe that in some manner Prince Huaca has been captured and that force we saw disappear into the Temple had him in its midst. His soldiers followed, unorganized and enraged. Now a force in their rear has attacked the fortress, possibly at a sally-post below us of which we know nothing. Arm yourselves at once, boys, and barricade the door with the couches. If the fortress falls, we will defend ourselves.”

“Thank goodness Prince Huaca returned us our weapons and ammunition last night,” said Bob, leaping to possess himself of rifle and revolver.

“Last night?” said Frank. “Why, this is the same night.”

“Right you are, Frank. But things move so fast here, I lose track of time.”

While the others armed, and then barricaded the door, Mr. Hampton kept watch at the loophole. Prince Huaca’s followers could no longer be seen. The armor-clad Palace Guard was sweeping across the great square, empty now of merrymakers, in a wave. But, though he could not see the soldiers of the prince, Mr. Hampton could tell what had become of them. For up from the foot of the Acropolis below his loophole came an increased sound of shouting and clashing steel.

He looked again. The Palace Guard had increased pace. Evidently, all was not going well with the attacking party at the Acropolis, as the retreating soldiers from the fortress fell upon them in the rear. Would the soldiers of the fortress win back to shelter with their comrades? Or would the reinforcements of the Palace Guard arrive in time to break down resistance? Mr. Hampton trembled. Upon the outcome depended the fate of the boys in the room behind. Jack! His eyes misted. Well, they would sell their lives dearly.

Straining to listen to the sounds from below, watching the oncoming wave of the Palace Guard, Mr. Hampton was unaware of what was transpiring in the room behind him. A hand fell on his arm. He whirled about. It was Jack.

“Somebody’s at the door.”

Mr. Hampton gripped his rifle, and sprang toward the barricade of couches behind which crouched the rest of their little force. The great door of the room opened outward. They could see the light of several torches shining upon helmet and lance point.

At sight of the barricade, and of the rifles poking over it, there was a hasty scramble on the part of those in the corridor to get out of the way. Then a white flag was thrust up on a spear point, and Mr. Hampton saw it was borne by their jailer—the man whom Prince Huaca trusted with the knowledge of the secret passage into his inner apartment, the man whose kindly face, as he had dealt with them, had made them feel they had a friend in him, even though there was no common tongue between them.

He made signs to indicate he came in peace, then beckoned another forward. This other, in the dress of a noble, seemed vaguely familiar to Mr. Hampton. Jack supplied the answer.

“Why, Dad, it’s the young noble at whose house we stopped when we were brought through the outer valley as prisoners. He’s a friend of Prince Huaca.”

“What the deuce, though,” said Mr. Hampton. “I can’t speak to him in his language.”

It was unnecessary.

In Spanish far poorer than Prince Huaca’s, yet still understandable, the young noble explained he came in peace. Then he asked that he be admitted. Part of the barricade was removed, and he was brought into the room. He and Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto withdrew to one side and carried on a low-voiced conversation.

Presently, he bowed and withdrew from the room, the guard in the corridor going with him. The jailer, however, at his command, remained behind, and the door was left open. The boys looked inquiringly at the older men.

“Tear down the barricade, boys, so we have something to sit on. The fortress is still in the hands of Prince Huaca’s men. The prince, as I surmised, has been captured. This young noble, Michac, had heard a rumor out at his country home of impending trouble, and was so alarmed for Prince Huaca’s safety that he started for the fortress at once. He arrived too late. Prince Huaca had been captured by a body of men who gained entrance to his sleeping chamber through the secret passage. How it was all brought about has yet to be learned. They carried him out through a postern, where a strong body from the Palace Guard was in waiting. That was the force we first saw make its way to the Temple.

“Michac has gone to see the safeguarding of the fortress, and has assumed command, for the soldiers believe there was treachery among their offices and have deposed all. Michac is known to them, he has always held aloof from the Court, and they trust him, and offered him the command. He plans to send a messenger at once to the Inca with word that if Prince Huaca is slain, the fortress troops will starve the city.

“The position of the fortress, controlling the food supply of the city, gives him the opportunity thus to preserve Prince Huaca’s life. On the other hand, if he attacks, Prince Huaca would be slain. Thus, matters probably will be deadlocked. Michac says that from a letter sent him by Prince Huaca, he learned of the latter’s trust in us, and thus has asked us to place ourselves at his disposal, as allies and advisers.

“He will return presently. Now you have the whole matter before you. It looks dark, yet not entirely hopeless.”




Michac, however, was delayed far longer than he anticipated, and the remaining hours of the night passed without his return. None passed through their corridor. No messengers appeared with word from Michac. They were left in darkness as to the course of events.

Sleep for most of them would have been impossible. Only Pedro and Carlos, apprised briefly by Don Ernesto as to what had occurred, could yield to slumber. They, however, with the stoic philosophy and acceptance of a situation that the boys on previous occasions had admired, turned in and slept soundly, ready for the next call to action.

“Boy, how I wish I could do the same,” said big Bob, glancing enviously at the slumbering huachos. “No use to try, though. I might get to sleep, but it would be only to have Frank chuck me out of bed the next minute. Seems to me I never yet got to sleep that he didn’t go out and start a couple of bunches of fellows to fighting each other, just to spoil my slumber.”

Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton fell into quiet, low-voiced conversation, and the boys posted themselves at the loopholes to watch for developments.

The bonfires still blazed in the great square, fed ever and again by members of the Palace Guard. These latter, clad in complete armor, were posted at every street leading into the square. The fitful glare of the bonfires gleamed now and again upon breastplate or helmet.

Of all that great multitude which had been making merry, none remained. Several had been wounded in the crossfire of the two opposing forces, but their bodies had been removed. Where before all was mirth and merry-making, now reigned an ominous, oppressive silence.

Now and again the intermittent gleam of torches borne through the streets could be seen in the thoroughfares radiating from the great square. The boys wondered what it portended.

“Perhaps the High Priest is ferreting out Prince Huaca’s friends and arresting them,” suggested Frank, on one occasion.

Hours passed, while the boys kept moving about, talking, watching through the loopholes. At length, Bob, with a jaw-dislocating yawn, flung himself down on a couch, and went soundly to sleep. A moment later Ferdinand succumbed to the force of suggestion and to his overwhelming fatigue, and also lay down.

Silence, while the jailer, crouching by the door in the position he had held for hours, seemed a graven image; silence, while Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton sat forward, voiceless, lost in thought, their elbows on their knees, on a couch near the door; silence, while Frank and Jack leaned in a loophole, their heads close together, staring down at the Temple front and the portion of the square within their view.

“Jack,” said Frank at last, in a low voice, “I’ve been thinking.”


“We can get out to safety all right, probably, with Michac in command.”

“I suppose he’d let us go.”

“But we can’t desert Prince Huaca.”

“That’s right.”

“He’s a white man.”

“He certainly is.”

“He trusted us, Jack, and we ought to help him.”

“We ought to, indeed.”

“I have an idea.”

“What is it, Frank?”

“Don’t laugh, Jack, will you?”

“No, I won’t laugh, Frank. This is pretty serious business. What is there to laugh at?”

“I mean I don’t want you to laugh at my idea.”

“All right, Frank, I promise. What is it?”

A lengthy pause. Frank’s shoulders began to shake. He looked at him curiously.


“Yes, Jack, I’m laughing myself. I can’t help it. Oh, but this is too good. But”—Frank by an effort regained control of himself and resumed his normal expression—“just the same, I’m right.”

“Well, for goodness sake, what is it? What have you got in mind? I’d like to laugh, too.”

“Jack, you promised.”

“All right. Out with it.”

Jack was interested. His curiosity was piqued. What could Frank have in mind?

“Well, Jack, you remember Pedro has false teeth? A full set, with a rubber plate that looks just like a palate?”

“Yes. Go on.”

“And Carlos has a glass eye?”

“Yes, yes.”

“And, Jack, you remember Don Ernesto’s toupee?”

“Well, what of it?”

“It’s a wonderful work of art, Jack. When he wears it, you would swear it was his own luxuriant hair. And when he takes it off——”

“He’s certainly bald, and his head shines like a billiard ball. Yes, I know. What of it? What’s all this got to do with rescuing Prince Huaca—false teeth, glass eyes and toupee?”

Frank stared at him.

“Jack, don’t you see?”

Jack was sleepy, fatigued, and peevish.

“No, I don’t. What’s the matter with you, anyway?”

“Well, Jack, when you think of modern inventions, you think of the airplane and radio and steamers and locomotives and telephones, don’t you?”

“I suppose so.”

“But, Jack, the savages know nothing about glass eyes and false teeth and toupees. And I’m sure the Incas don’t know anything about them, either.”

Jack looked at Frank, puzzled.

“That’s right, Frank. But how can it benefit us?”

“Well, look here. Suppose we appeared before the Inca and his Council as a delegation from the fortress and demanded Prince Huaca’s release on pain of working our magic on the Inca and all his forces. Then we’d give them a demonstration. Your father has a little pointed beard. He could make up to look like a magician. He’d make a few passes, utter some words in English—anything would confound them, as English is unknown to them—and then Pedro would pull out his teeth, Carlos would pluck out his eye, and Don Ernesto would scalp himself. Wouldn’t that just give them fits? Wouldn’t it just——”

But Jack’s bewildered expression had given way to one of mirth, uncontrollable mirth, and he laughed until he was weak, leaning back against the wall, his hands pressed to his aching sides. Frank, too, yielded to merriment, expostulating between spasms of laughter:

“You promised not to laugh, Jack. You promised.”

The sound of their laughter reached Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton, and they looked inquiringly toward its source; then, as the boys continued to go off into fresh gales of mirth, arose from the couch and approached them.

“What’s the joke, boys? Let us in on it,” said Mr. Hampton, smiling.

“Oh, I can’t, Dad. I can’t speak. Ask Frank.”

Jack was so weak he could hardly support himself. The ludicrous idea propounded by his friend, coming on top of his nervous strain, had induced a species of hysteria.

The two older men grinned in sympathy with the boys, although in the dark as to the cause of their laughter.

“Some boyish joke, I suppose,” said Mr. Hampton, and was about to turn away, but Jack recovered himself sufficiently to lay a detaining hand on his arm.

“Wait a minute, Dad. Give me a chance to get my breath. You must hear this.”

The two older men paused, expectant. Presently Jack recovered sufficiently to attempt an explanation.

“Frank there,” he said, pointing to his still quaking comrade. And then he explained what Frank had proposed.

“I hope we won’t give you offense, Don Ernesto,” he said, with quick compunction.

The latter, however, was a jolly sort. And he was struck with the originality of the idea. With a comical gesture he put his hand to his head, removed his toupee and held it aloft while Mr. Hampton, seeing what he was about, pulled a long face and made several mysterious passes before him.

They had moved close to the table and stood revealed in the light of the rekindled lamp.

A wild shriek came from the doorway. They swung about startled, Don Ernesto still holding his toupee aloft. The shriek brought Bob and Ferdinand to the floor. Even Carlos and Pedro sprang upright on their couch.

“Great guns, I forgot the jailer was sitting over there,” said Mr. Hampton. “Look at him.”

“Hurray,” cried Frank. “It worked.”

“What do you mean? What worked?”

It was Bob, rubbing his eyes.

Frank, however, paid him no attention.

“Look, look,” he said, seizing Mr. Hampton’s arm. “He saw Don Ernesto scalp himself and he’s scared stiff.”

“I believe you’re right, Frank,” said Mr. Hampton, delightedly.

They hurried to the recumbent form. The jailer lay on his face, his hands up to his eyes, as if shutting out an horrific sight. He was moaning like a man in the extremity of terror.

“Let’s try the teeth and the false eye on him, too,” said Frank, carried away with enthusiasm at the unexpected proof of the plausibility of his suggestion.

“No, no,” protested Mr. Hampton. “The man is beside himself with terror now.”

Bending down, he began to pat the fellow on the back, and endeavor to induce him to raise his head. Don Ernesto, meanwhile, restored his toupee. Presently, although Mr. Hampton knew no words in the other’s tongue, he had brought him back to some semblance of sanity. The jailer still trembling violently, was induced to get to his feet, but his hands were still to his eyes, as if he feared to gaze upon a terrible sight.

The room grew lighter. A glance toward the loopholes revealed the sky was becoming bright in the east.

“Look,” said Jack, “it is dawn.”

At that moment, while Mr. Hampton still patted the trembling form of the jailer, steps were heard in the corridor, and the flickering light of torches was reflected on the walls. Frank looked out.

“Here comes Michac with a bodyguard,” he said. “Say——”

He faced the room, glancing at the others.

“What?” asked Jack.

“Let’s try the whole works on Michac and his escort.”




Jack laughed with the others, but, sobering, said:

“I’d like to, Frank. But don’t you think it would be rather mean to frighten our friends?”

Mr. Hampton interrupted quickly.

“The thought does you credit, Jack. But there is something else to consider. I really believe Frank’s plan for aweing the Inca and his Council a good one. This is a matter of life and death. If the plan is to succeed it must be capable of thoroughly frightening these people and convincing them of our magical powers. And, as Michac and his escort are the same sort of people on whom our tricks would have to be tried in earnest, it is well to give a dress rehearsal, so to speak, and see what our luck will be.”

“Here they come,” said Frank, looking out the door.

“Very well,” said Mr. Hampton, rapidly. “Pedro, Carlos, when I make mysterious signs and order you to remove your eye and teeth, do you do so as if unwillingly, but under compulsion. If you can grimace and pretend it pains you, so much the better. Ready. Here they are.”

As Michac appeared in the doorway, Mr. Hampton faced Don Ernesto, Pedro and Carlos, who stood shoulder to shoulder. He acted as if the young noble and the half dozen soldiers behind him had not been seen. Waving his hands like a mesmerist, in the faces of the trio, he began reciting a rigmarole of whatever words came into his head.

The three controlled their features with commendable gravity, and, indeed, acted as if in fear of Mr. Hampton. Michac paused in astonishment. The soldiers betrayed mingled alarm and curiosity. As for the jailer, he moaned and cowered against the wall. The boys had all they could do to keep from laughing. Then Mr. Hampton made an especially fierce gesture toward Pedro.

“Hocus pocus, abracadabra, pluck out thine eye,” he commanded, in Spanish.

Pedro grimaced as if in pain, brushed his hand across his right eye and brought it away with the glass eyeball in his fingers. He held it out to Mr. Hampton.

The jailer, whose curiosity got the better of prudence, had withdrawn his hands from his eyes. Now he emitted another piercing shriek and once more cowered down, too stricken to move. The soldiers pushed back against each other, making little sounds of fear. Michac held his ground, but he became pale.

“Pull out thy teeth and palate,” commanded Mr. Hampton, ferociously, making a pass with his hands before Carlos.

Out came the false teeth, with the palate of red gum, looking like the roof of his mouth. He opened his mouth wide, exposing the toothless gums.

It was too much for the jailer. He had had enough. He turned and dashed wildly through the group of soldiers, and down the corridor.

“After him, after him, he’ll turn the fortress topsy turvy,” cried the quick-witted Jack.

Frank, who was nearest the door, was off like a shot. Nobody attempted to halt him. And he was fortunate enough to come upon the jailer within a few yards, for the latter in his blind haste had stumbled and fallen.

The soldiers were on the verge of panic. Michac, too, was shaken, but held his ground, either out of a fascinated curiosity to see what would occur next, or else in the feeling that he must set an example to his men.

“Now, take this knife and scalp thyself,” Mr. Hampton commanded Don Ernesto, extending his pocket knife.

The latter screwed up his face as if in agony, ran the knife blade seemingly around his head, then with a tug lifted off his toupee, revealing his hairless dome.

It was too much. The soldiers fell over each other trying to get away. There were shrieks and cries, as they darted off with tossing torches.

“Quick,” cried Mr. Hampton, seizing Michac’s arm urgently. “Command them to return. ’Tis but a trick.”

But Michac, although he had resolutely held his ground and refused to flee, was helpless. He was so stupefied that he could not move. He could not even speak. He opened his mouth, but no sound came forth.

“Well, I guess they won’t do any harm,” said Mr. Hampton. “Let them go. Jack, get this chap a drink of water from the table.”

Michac accepted the cup gratefully, and put it to his lips, but his hand shook so badly that he spilled most of the contents.

“There, you will feel better,” said Mr. Hampton. “Now, Senor permit me to explain.”

Leading Michac to a couch, he explained as simply as he could how modern surgical science made false teeth and eyes possible, while the toupee was the outgrowth of a demand of fashion. Then he bade the others restore their original appearance, and they complied. In conclusion, Mr. Hampton explained Frank’s idea that they proceed to the Incarial Council, demand Prince Huaca’s release on pain of incurring the white man’s vengeance, and then proceed to demonstrate their “magic.”

“Do you consider it would succeed?” he asked.

Michac, a young man of intelligence and sense, grasped Mr. Hampton’s explanation quickly, and his fear disappeared. He smiled broadly and delightedly.

“Succeed, Senor? You will make Cinto and his priests die of envy. No such miracles can they perform.”

“Yes, but think you we can obtain Prince Huaca’s release?”

“Nay, I cannot say. They will be frightened, yes. Was not I? And I am a man not easily scared. Yet Prince Huaca is bitterly hated by Cinto and the Council. Not willingly will they give him up. I will be frank with you. I would like the attempt made. Yet if you fail, it is death. Have you no other magic greater than these?”

They looked at each other nonplussed. Suddenly Jack’s face brightened.

“The radio outfit, Dad. Surely we can do something with that.”

Mr. Hampton nodded quickly,

“Good, Jack, good. There must be a way to use it effectively.”

Michac, who had not understood the rapid interchange of remarks, looked inquiringly at Mr. Hampton.

“Will you come with us to the battlement, Senor?” Mr. Hampton said, slowly, in Spanish. “Prince Huaca knows of further and greater magic, and left sentries on guard there last night over it.”

“I heard a strange tale from those men,” said Michac. “For, yes, I found them there upon my inspection of the fortress during the night. Willingly will I accompany you.”

Jack interposed.

“But first, Dad, perhaps Michac ought to round up his escort and prevent them from demoralizing the fortress troops with wild tales of what occurred here.”

“Right,” said Mr. Hampton, and turning to the young nobleman, he communicated Jack’s suggestion. The other nodded.

“Await me.”

When he had left, the boys began to laugh over their recent experience, but Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto were thoughtful. They looked at each other understanding and spoke together, low-voiced. Then Mr. Hampton turned to the lads.

“We’re afraid it can’t be done,” he said. “It was good fun, and all that. But the chances of failure are too great to warrant us in imperiling our lives. It is true, we might go to the Inca as a delegation under a flag of truce, but we have no guarantee its sanctity would be regarded.”

“Oh, Dad, everybody regards the sanctity of a flag of truce.”

Jack’s tone was disappointed.

But Mr. Hampton shook his head.

“I’m afraid the risk is too great.”

“Look here, Dad, I’ve got an idea. You know my ring radio set? I’ve got it with me. We can take that along with us to the audience. Then we’ll tell the Inca that the white man’s god wants to speak to him, clap the ring on his finger, adjust the headphone for him, and, from our station on top of the fortress, order him to release Prince Huaca and punish the conspirators against him. Now don’t say it can’t be done, Dad, for it can, and you know it can. We’ve got plenty of wire, and can run up all the aerial necessary in a trice, stand the Inca on one of those gold flagstones in his palace and give him what he asks for.”

Mr. Hampton laughed.

“Not so bad, Jack, but——”

“Besides, Mr. Hampton,” interposed Frank, “remember we have our pistols—and automatics are something these people aren’t accustomed to. That is another marvel.”

“But we couldn’t take those along under a flag of truce.”

“Why not?” asked Don Ernesto. “They would know nothing about them. The weapons could be tucked away out of sight. And, although to carry them would seem a breach of faith, yet if we would save Prince Huaca, the end justifies the means, it seems to me.”

At that moment Michac returned.

“Ask him about a flag of truce, Dad, whether the Incarial forces would respect it?” suggested Jack.

Mr. Hampton did as proposed. Michac straightened proudly.

“It would be respected,” he said.

“Then, Dad, your major objection of the danger to us is overborne.”

“Yes, I see. But about the pistols, I don’t know.”

Mr. Hampton shook his head. Then he had an inspiration. Taking out his pistol, he held it up for Michac to view.

“Do you know what this is?” he asked.

Michac regarded it curiously. He confessed ignorance. Then, on second thought, he added:

“It is strange. Yet it looks like a tiny gun such as children might make were they expert gunsmiths. Is it a toy?”

“The deadliest known to man,” said Mr. Hampton. And he explained.

“Would we be deprived of these if we went to the Inca’s palace?”

“Nay, I doubt it.”

“Then we can take them,” said Don Ernesto, who had been listening closely. “That is good.”

“But, under a flag of truce——”

“My friend,” said Don Ernesto, “you are quixotic. We risk our lives in a quixotic venture, as it is, if we go to attempt to obtain Prince Huaca’s release. At least let us take advantage of this fortunate circumstance that pistols are unknown here and carry our weapons as protection against treachery. For, though Senor Michac says a flag of truce will be respected, you must remember we are dealing with the High Priest Cinto and his nephew, not with the Inca, and they already have tried to assassinate Prince Huaca and then carried him off captive. Though why,” he added, “he was not assassinated this second time, but merely made prisoner, I cannot see.”

“Perhaps they thought better of it,” said Mr. Hampton. “What think you, Senor?” he added, addressing Michac.

“Nay, I do not know. The plans of this Cinto are beyond my understanding. Yet it may be he repented of having directed assassination and when his spies within the fortress reported failure of the plan, he was glad. For Prince Huaca is beloved of the people, and there might have been an uprising; whereas, if he be but prisoner, men will not so willingly put their lives in danger. An it may be, too,” he added, as an afterthought, “that the man captured by you on the battlement was not sent to slay but to aid in the capture of Prince Huaca. It may be that the story he told of being sent to slay was false, and was told the prince in order to cloak the real design. For the man, as it has been proven, had little to fear. He was released from his fetters by traitors within the fortress, and escaped during the night, probably with those who carried off the prince.”

Mr. Hampton shook his head. “Palace politics are beyond me,” he said. “Evidently this Cinto is a thorough-going scoundrel. But, to return to the matter of whether we go before the Inca with our pistols concealed——”

He was interrupted by the appearance of a soldier at the door, evidently in great haste.

The latter saluted Michac, and the latter gave him permission to speak.

Then Michac turned to the others gravely, and interrupted.

“The Inca has sent a messenger, calling upon me to surrender you to him at once, as you are Incarial prisoners. What shall I do?”




“Do?” cried Jack. “I’m for complying.”

“Jack, you are talking wildly,” rebuked his father, sternly. “It is death.”

“But, Dad, don’t you see? Now we need have no scruples about going armed.”

“I know, Jack,” said his father, gravely. “But don’t you realize that if we go now, we go as prisoners, and not under the protection of a flag of truce?”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” said Jack, and fell silent.

They looked at each other, but none spoke for the moment.

“Senor Hampton,” said Michac, resolutely, “I shall not comply with the Inca’s command, though it be for the first time in my life I have failed to do so, and have put myself in open defiance of our supreme authority. Let him declare my life forfeit and place a price upon my head in the hope of finding traitors among the fortress garrison to slay me. I care not. I am concerned solely for the life of my friend, Prince Huaca. I do not ask that you go voluntarily and endanger yourselves in the hope of saving him, but I do appeal to you to help me save him in some manner. You are wiser men than I, with many wonders and marvels at your command, and——”

“Think you, Senor Michac,” interrupted Don Ernesto, “that if we reply to the Inca that we come as delegates from a great lord beyond the mountains with many marvels at his command, and that we wish to have an audience with him, but not as prisoners, he will give us safe conduct?”

Michac’s worried expression lightened.

“And then——”

“Having obtained an audience,” said Don Ernesto, “we shall seek to so impress him with our power that he will be overawed and will either surrender Prince Huaca or promise that his life be spared.”

“It may be,” said Michac.

“Let us make the attempt, Senor Hampton,” appealed Don Ernesto. “We are eight in number, capable all of us, armed with modern automatics. I believe we can protect ourselves, and, perhaps, even effect a gallant deed in the rescue of Prince Huaca.”

“Remember, Dad,” said Jack, “that Pizarro, with a handful of warriors, overthrew a far mightier host than we will face. And in a less worthy cause, besides.”

Mr. Hampton looked at the three lads, at Jack and Bob and Frank. He thought of the responsibility devolving upon him of looking after their safety. Nevertheless, there was much truth in what the others urged. In the automatics, they had weapons the like of which were unknown to the Inca’s people. In the marvels at their command, they had something with which to dazzle the others and convince them of the white man’s greater power. Besides, there was Prince Huaca—a man who had endeared himself. Mr. Hampton rubbed his eyes. Was he living in the twentieth century? He, himself, matter of fact though he was, felt the influence of another age upon him. He could see the boys had entirely yielded to that influence and that Don Ernesto was slipping fast. He felt reckless. After all, as Don Ernesto had said, it would be a gallant deed to rescue Prince Huaca. And in the mood that was upon him, he felt as if the doing of a gallant deed was all that counted.

“Very well, let us send a message to the Inca as you propose, Don Ernesto.”

“Hurray, Dad.”

“That’s the stuff, Mr. Hampton.”

“Senor, it is fine to be a boy again, is it not so?” Don Ernesto clasped his hand.

Michac was elated. The message was given the Incarial messenger, and he was sent back to the palace. Then they sat down to await developments. But not for long, as the boys recalled at once that they had not yet succeeded in calling the monastery, and all adjourned to the battlements.

Almost at once Jack succeeded in obtaining a reply. And when Brother Gregorio’s voice sounded in the receivers, he gave a cry of joy.

“Senor Jack, is it you? Tell me. How have you fared?”

“It’s Brother Gregorio, fellows. Hurray,” cried Jack, turning to the circle about him.

“We’ve found it, Brother Gregorio,” he replied, interrupting the other’s eager flood of questions. “We are in the Enchanted City. And it is not in ruins, but inhabited. By the descendants of the Incas. Oh, a marvellous story. But I have little time now for conversation. Do you call Father Felipe at once, as Don Ernesto has much to tell him.”

Father Felipe, fortunately, was close at hand, and he and Don Ernesto soon were engaged in conversation. Rapidly and concisely, Don Ernesto related the sequence of their adventures, and what they now proposed to do. In conclusion, he asked Father Felipe to take minute note of the directions for finding the Enchanted City, and to communicate at once with his brother-in-law, the President of Chile. From Don Ernesto’s remarks, those listening could tell that Father Felipe was protesting vehemently at the carrying out of the proposed visit to the Inca, and urging them not to do so. But Don Ernesto did not weaken.

So long did the conversation continue, that before its conclusion a messenger appeared on the roof to inform Michac that the Inca’s messenger had returned and awaited him below. Michac disappeared. When he returned, Don Ernesto still was talking, and Michac addressed himself to Mr. Hampton.

“The Inca will receive you as delegates from the Lord Beyond the Mountains,” he said. “You are to appear at once for audience.”

“And does he give safe conduct?”

“So states the message, yet Senor——”

“What?” asked Mr. Hampton, noting his hesitation.

“I fear treachery from Cinto. Remember you were told by Prince Huaca that he and you were to appear for audience today—when apparently you would be safe—yet were then to be seized and slain. I repeat me, Senor, of urging you to make this visit. It is not yet too late to withdraw.”

Don Ernesto meantime had concluded his conversation with Father Felipe.

“Treachery or not, Senor Hampton,” he said firmly, “I believe we should make the attempt to save Prince Huaca. Honor demands it.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Hampton, firmly. “I too, have decided in favor of it. We shall keep our eyes open and be on our guard.”

“Dad,” interrupted Jack, “remember what I said about the ring radio? Well, I’ve got another idea. Let us give the Inca a present. That will be only natural. Now the box containing the tube transformers is a handsome piece of work, and will look impressive. Let us take it and the batteries and present it to him, string up an aerial and tell him the Lord Beyond the Mountains is so great he can speak and make his voice heard, although he isn’t present. Then we’ll get the Inca to put on the headphone and give him an earful from the battlement.”

“But who will speak from the battlement, Jack?”

“I’ve thought of that, too, Dad. Of course the Inca understands this archaic Spanish that the high nobles speak. One of us might stay behind and spring Spanish on him. But I’ve got a better plan. Wouldn’t it impress him to tell him that our Lord Beyond the Mountains is so powerful that he speaks all tongues, even that of the Incas—the most isolated people in the world?”

Mr. Hampton nodded. Frank interrupted eagerly.

“You mean——”

“Yes, sir, I mean Michac,” said Jack. “He isn’t going with us. He can stay here and act the part of the Lord Beyond the Mountains, and speak to the Inca. Besides, that will be all the better. For he knows all about conditions here and knows everybody by his first name. He can show such familiarity with the Inca’s affairs as to dumbfound the old boy. As for the generator, a couple of these husky soldiers can turn the handles and give him the juice. Now I know what you’re going to say, Dad. You’re going to object that Michac won’t know when the Inca puts on the receivers, aren’t you?”

Mr. Hampton nodded, smiling slightly, for Jack’s enthusiasm amused and warned him, and he could see his son had a plan already worked out.

“Suppose, too,” he said, “that the Inca refuses to don the headphones? What then?”

“If he doesn’t,” said Jack, “what’s to prevent us from bluffing this High Priest, Cinto, into putting them on? We can ask simply whether he is afraid. That ought to floor him. He won’t dare admit fear of another’s magic. For that matter, we can bluff the Inca into listening by the same method.

“Anyway,” Jack continued, “either of your objections can be met. We can say that the Lord from Beyond the Mountains speaks from the sky, and ask the Inca to come to that great platform before the Temple. Then we can put up our set there, and from the battlements here, Michac can see just who is listening on the ’phones, and when to speak.”

“Jack, I believe you’ve got it,” said his father, heartily. “Well, let’s go.”

“Look here,” said Bob, suddenly. “Michac can’t see from where this set is located. He can’t get sight of the square at all. But I’ve got an idea, too. Jack, you give him your field glasses, and explain them to him. Then he can station a trusty man in the embrasure there, with the glasses, and this man can make sure beyond possibility of a doubt, who is listening-in and when, and just call the information to Michac.”

The glasses were brought, a soldier instructed in their use, and two others put at the generator. Then Michac escorted the party to the fortress gate, and they set out across the square. Before resuming his station on the battlements, Michac assembled two strong parties under trusty petty officers, and stationed them at the main gate and at the sally port at the foot of the Acropolis, reached by a stairway hewn from the living rock. It was there the surprise attack had been delivered the night before.

“Keep close watch,” he commanded, “and if you see these strangers return in haste, pursued by the Palace Guard, dash forth to their rescue. They go to attempt the delivery of Prince Huaca.”

That last statement, he new, would steel their arms, for the common soldiers of the fortress adored Prince Huaca. Then he returned to the battlements to await developments.

By that time he could see the party, led by the Inca’s messenger, marching two abreast, in step, with Pedro and Carlos in the rear, bearing the radio outfit, reach the wide stone stairway sweeping up to the Incarial palace, which adjoined the Temple on the left. He was torn by conflicting emotions at the sight, hope that the marvels of the strangers would accomplish the impossible, fear for the possible effects of Cinto’s treachery.

Steadily they marched up the steps, received at the head of the flight by an armed guard in glittering armor, which closed about them. Fear overcame hope in Michac’s breast. Against those splendid armor-clad warriors, how could his newfound friends hope for success. His heart failed him. Had he been wise in permitting them to go? Were they not going to certain death, in spite of fair promises?

“Oh, Huaca, Huaca, my friend and leader,” he said to himself, in momentary despair, “I shall never see you alive again. My poor country!”




What a sensation that was, crossing the great square of Cusco Hurrin, facing the tremendous Temple of the Sun and the Inca’s Palace, in the bright sunlight, with not a soul in sight in all the great expanse. The boys again underwent that feeling to which they had been subject so often since arrival, namely, that they were dreaming. Could it be possible that here they were in the most secret and unknown city on earth, that the unparalleled experience which had come to Pizarro centuries before, of discovering the Inca civilization, was now coming to them?

They marched in step, shoulders squared, heads erect, looking very military in their camping outfits and campaign hats. By each man’s side swung his automatic in a holster, ready for instant use.

“If they do not know the purpose of these weapons,” said Mr. Hampton, as they set out, “it is not likely they will attempt to take them from us. But, should they do so, we must not permit it. In that case, let each man draw his automatic and await my instructions.”

“What would you do, Dad?”

“Demonstrate my ability as a shot,” said his father, grimly. “I would bring down something or other, to convince them it were best not to trifle with us. My hope, however, is that we shall not be asked to give up our weapons.”

Steadily the march continued, and now, as they drew nearer to the Inca’s Palace and could see the individual figures of the armor-clad guard drawn up on the terrace at the head of the great stairway, Jack turned for a last look at the Acropolis. As he did so, he gave an exclamation, and halted, staring. The others turned at his words, and then also halted in their tracks and stared.

For the first time since arrival they obtained a clear view of the mountain peak behind the Acropolis. Through a flank of this lofty height was cut the Tunnel Way by which they had gained the fortress. During their only appearance on the battlements by day, only a very short time previously, they had been too occupied in calling the monastery by radio to look up at the towering peak beyond.

“Look at it smoke.”

It was Bob’s voice, breaking the silence.

At once the others gave tongue, too, and the air was filled with their exclamations.

For out of the truncated top of the mountain was pouring a thick black smoke, not of any great density, in reality, as yet, but still pronounced.

“Is that a signal fire, or something like that, by any chance, Dad?” asked Jack.

Mr. Hampton shook his head. His face was grave.

“That’s a volcano,” he said. “You know some of the most active volcanoes in the world are located in the Andes. And the whole Andine region is subject to earthquakes. The tremors are felt far out at sea, and when a great earthquake occurs, it is usually accompanied by a tidal wave that wreaks destruction along the Chilian and Peruvian coast. Valparaiso practically was wiped out by a tidal wave not so many years ago.”

“Does that look as if it would erupt soon, Mr. Hampton?” Frank anxiously inquired.

Mr. Hampton shook his head, doubtfully.

“I don’t know. But I do not believe so,” he said. “What do you think, Don Ernesto?”

The Chilian shrugged.

“Who can tell,” he said. “It feels like earthquake weather, a little, hot and muggy. But, come, we delay. Let us proceed.”

Once more the party moved forward. Now they were at the bottom of the great flight of stone stairs leading up to the Inca’s Palace. Now they were halfway up. Now they were at the top. And two lines of splendid warriors formed an aisle through which they must pass to enter the great doorway.

“Great guns,” muttered Bob in a low voice, “I didn’t realize—I didn’t suspect——”

“Ssh,” whispered Frank, who was his partner.

Nevertheless, he, too, was awed by the sight.

So were they all.

For the members of the Palace Guard were in golden armor. Breastplate, helmet, greaves, were all gold or gold-plated.

Stunned, almost, though they were, however, none of the party seemed to take any notice of the warriors, but kept their eyes to the front as they halted at a gesture from the herald who had brought them from the Acropolis. Then down between the aisle of golden warriors, each standing tall and straight and motionless, golden-tipped spear by his side, short sword with hilt of gold at his belt, came a young man to receive them. He, too, was clad in gold, but not in armor, except for the fine shirt of mail, all of golden links. Below this appeared the short tunic with the deep crimson border denoting a man of Incarial rank. By his side was also a short sword but with a hilt that was not only gold but also gem-encrusted. His head was bare, his hair long and straight, and raven black. His face was thin and cruel. The soldiers saluted as he passed by, raising their spears before them, and ringing the butts on the stone flagging of the terrace. They rightly surmised he was the Captain of the Palace Guards, Guascar, the High Priest’s nephew.

Bowing low before Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton, who led their little column, he halted some six paces before them, and in halting, archaic Spanish said:

“Ambassadors from the Lord Beyond the Mountains, I am instructed to lead you to the August Presence.”

“If you refer to the Inca of Cusco Hurrin,” said Don Ernesto, “it is he whom we have traveled thus far to see.”

“What mean these strange objects borne by your men?” said Captain Guascar, sharply, pointing to the radio outfit carried by Pedro and Carlos.

“This,” said Don Ernesto, “is a gift from the Lord Beyond the Mountains to the Inca of Cusco Hurrin.”

“Come, then,” said Captain Guascar, turning on his heel.

All breathed easier. He had made no reference to their automatics. The first difficulty had been no difficulty at all. Guascar retraced his steps, the soldiers once more saluted, and the “ambassadors” marched up the aisle. Pedro and Carlos, who carried the main part of the radio outfit, and Jack and Ferdinand who assisted them, had their hands full. But the others unostentatiously kept their hands near their automatics, ready for action should treachery be displayed. The warriors, however, stood as if cast in bronze, and the passage of the aisle between their ranks was made without incident. As soon, however, as the “ambassadors” had entered the doorway, the guard closed in and fell in behind them.

Inside the doorway was a great, bare, stone reception hall. Captain Guascar led the way across this to another doorway covered by hanging cloth of gold. Unseen hands pulled this back on either side and the officer entered, beckoning them to follow. Soon he crossed the threshold, he fell on his knees, his face bowed.

Doubtless, the others, according to Court etiquette, should have done likewise. However, they had earlier talked this matter over among themselves, and it had been decided that they should carry themselves in proud fashion. They remained erect, therefore, awaiting developments.

The scene before them was one to take away a man’s breath. Foursquare and vast was the throne room, with the lofty stone ceiling supported by carven pillars. On each of these gleamed a circle of lights like golden censors hanging by chains, for, although it was broad day outdoors, it was perpetual gloom within.

The floor was a mosaic of blue and red blocks of stone. And at the far end, opposite the doorway where they stood, was the throne. It was a great, high chair of gold, and on it was seated a man of great age whom they recognized for the Inca, as they had seen him at the ceremonies of the Festival of Raymi, the first morning of their captivity.

From the door to the throne, between two rows of pillars, stretched a carpet of the Incarial crimson. Before the throne, which was raised upon a dais, stood a rank of the golden-armored Palace Guards. At the Inca’s shoulder was the High Priest Cinto. Below the Inca, on an intermediate dais, stood a group of eight or nine in tunics, bearing the crimson border of Incarial rank. These were the members of the Cabinet or Council, with whom Don Ernesto and Mr. Hampton had had audience the day before.

The Inca lifted a hand slightly, and the gesture was understood.

“Advance, O Ambassadors, from the Lord Beyond the Mountains,” rolled out the voice of a herald who stood before the soldiers guarding the throne. “The Inca of Cusco Hurrin will receive you.”

“Steady, boys,” cautioned Mr. Hampton, in a whisper over his shoulder, in English, so as not to be understood by Captain Guascar.

Then they started forward down the carpet.

At the foot of the throne the party halted. To either side of them stood the ranks of the Palace Guard. Behind these were groups of courtiers. Before them and to the right stood the nobles of the Council. Above them towered the Inca on his golden throne, and now they could see that the gleaming background thereof was a representation of the sun with a halo of projecting golden spikes. On the Inca’s head was a crown also radiating golden spikes. They were aware, too, that the Palace Guard which had met them at the head of the outside stairway had closed in behind.

Upon their wits depended their safety. They were completely hemmed in. All realized the situation acutely, none more so than Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto. These two looked fleetingly at each other, and each read in the other’s eyes a growing anxiety as to whether their rash venture after all had been advisable. But each read, too, an indomitable courage, and knew he could count upon his comrade. Don Ernesto gave an almost imperceptible nod, indicating Mr. Hampton should proceed, as it had been agreed beforehand the American should act as spokesman. For one thing, he wore a Vandyke beard, which in itself was a badge of distinction, as all within Cusco Hurrin, like most Indians, were smooth-faced.

Stepping slightly in advance of his party, therefore, Mr. Hampton bowed low before the Inca, and then began. He spoke in Spanish, and slowly, so that he might be understood. Representing that they came as ambassadors from the “Lord Beyond the Mountains,” he spoke briefly of the might of that ruler. Then he told of the legend which for centuries had persisted, of the existence of Cusco Hurrin, and how he and his companions had come at length in search of the city. That they came in peace, he added, was attested by the fact that they came without armed followers. Having proceeded thus far, he next changed his tone to one of sternness, and referred to Prince Huaca. A general stir and rustle in the audience apprised him that not only the members of the Council but others also could gather the import of his words. Over the sharp, hawklike features of the High Priest Cinto passed an expression of anger, and he made an involuntary step forward. But Mr. Hampton’s voice rang boldly forth.




“We found Prince Huaca, the heir to the throne,” he said, “an enlightened and intelligent man, filled with enthusiasm for the betterment of his people and very desirous of learning of the many wonders and marvels in our country.

“But”—and pausing deliberately and significantly, Mr. Hampton stared directly at the High Priest Cinto—“but,” he added, “he told us evil counsellors surrounded the throne. He was captured and imprisoned. And now, O Inca, we ask that the evil men be punished and Prince Huaca be restored to the favor of your countenance.”

It was too much for the High Priest. His face became convulsed with rage. He made a step forward. But the Inca, whose eyes though old were shrewd, and who showed none of the senility of age, lifted his hand. The gesture was sufficient.

“O Ambassador of the Lord Beyond the Mountains,” said he, in a thin, clear voice, “you speak with a fearless tongue. But, tell me, by what right do you thus seek to interfere in the affairs of Cusco Hurrin? Why should I not command my soldiers to seize you at once?”

“O Inca,” answered Mr. Hampton, stoutly, betraying no sign of trepidation, “we have your safe conduct. Moreover, if any evil befall us, the Lord Beyond the Mountains will know of it instantly and will send his lightnings through the air for our protection.”

“What mean you?” asked the Inca, staring at him keenly. “This talk of knowing instantly is folly. Is not Cusco Hurrin a sealed city whence no messengers may depart? And are we not separated from this Lord of whom you speak by many leagues of wild land? And what means this talk of lightnings? Is the Inca of Cusco Hurrin a child to be frightened by foolish tales?”

“Nay, Sire,” said Mr. Hampton, imperturbably, bowing, “this is no foolish talk. Great is the power of the Lord Beyond the Mountains, and such power also dwells in us his ambassadors.”

“This talk of power does not please me,” said the Inca, harshly. “Again I ask, what mean you?”

“Would you have evidence of our power, O Inca,” said Mr. Hampton, “then behold. For I have brought with me certain marvels with which to convince you. Shall I proceed, or is the Court of the Inca of Cusco Hurrin timid as a child and unwilling to look upon these marvels?”

“Nay, nay, stranger, we are not fearful. For our power, too, is great,” said the Inca. “Behold, here is my High Priest, who communes with our Lord, the Sun, and knows many secrets.”

On being thus indicated, Cinto assumed an expression of satisfaction.

“Ah,” said Mr. Hampton, composedly. “But can he order a man to pluck out his eye, to take his teeth from his mouth, or to remove the hair from his head, and be obeyed without injuring that man? Can he do this, and then restore that man to his original appearance?”

There was a renewed stir of interest among the members of the Council, a renewed rustling in the audience. Cinto looked supercilious and haughty, but Mr. Hampton thought he detected a gleam of worry. As for the Inca, he leaned forward a bit and stared more sharply than before.

“Nay,” said he, “and be cautious, O Ambassador, lest your tongue lead you into idle boasting. For these matters of which you speak are for the God Himself alone to perform.”

“O Inca, I do not boast,” said Mr. Hampton. “If you would behold, then observe closely.”

It was their cue. Pedro and Carlos advanced to take station beside Don Ernesto. Mr. Hampton faced them, arms extended.

“Behold, O Inca,” said he. “I speak, too, in the tongue of the Lord Beyond the Mountains—a tongue of power.”

And rapidly he began, in English:

“Hocus pocus, abracadabra, Pedro, give me your eye.”

Pedro passed his hand over his glass eye, plucked it out, and then, good actor that he was, and thoroughly enjoying the situation, he turned so that the sightless cavity stared at the Inca and held up the eye between thumb and forefinger.

A gasp of amazement and horror came from the audience. The boys who were watching the proceedings with keenest enjoyment had difficulty in restraining their laughter.

“Look at the High Priest. He’s going to faint.”

“Yes, and the Inca is paralyzed.”

Not pausing, Mr. Hampton next cried his incantations over Carlos, and the latter opened his mouth wide and brought forth his false teeth. He held them up, so that all could see. And, indeed, they were a gruesome sight, with the red rubber palate resembling the roof of the mouth. He, too, profiting from Pedro’s example, stared toward the throne, lips wide apart, toothless gums displayed.

If before had been horror and amazement, now was stupefaction. Whimpers of panic ran around the audience. The soldiers before the throne trembled, so that their erect spears waved like saplings in a strong wind. The Inca, the High Priest, the members of the Council, all were endeavoring to restrain their fright, but they were palsied with terror.

“Good night,” murmured Jack, suffocatingly. “He’s got them. Oh, I’m going to blow up if I can’t laugh soon.”

Mr. Hampton also realized he had his audience in his grip, and he proceeded to strike while the iron was hot.

Extending a knife to Don Ernesto, he gestured with his hand to indicate the latter was to scalp himself. Don Ernesto complied. And a thorough job he did of it. Then he lifted off his toupee and held it, poised above his head. The lights from the pillar behind him gleamed on his shining bald head.

It was too much for Inca nerves. The courtiers in the audience cried out whimperingly like frightened children and there was a great scurrying to get behind pillars. The soldiers before the throne, as if with one accord, threw themselves prone before this worker of wonders. There was a rush of feet away from their party in the rear, and the boys, turning, saw some of the soldiers of the rear guard, forgetful of discipline, forgetful of everything, stricken by blind fear, dashing madly for the doorway.

“You’ve got them, Dad,” cried Jack. “Look at the Inca. Look at the High Priest.”

The High Priest had fallen back a step or two, and assumed a crouching position. His attitude betokened not only fear, but desperation and hatred. Plain as if he had spoken the words, could be read in his expression the fear that here was a greater magician than he, the ruin of his hopes. As for the Inca, he had attempted to rise from his throne, but had fallen back and now cowered in the great chair, his hands over his eyes.

Mr. Hampton’s voice rang out.

“Behold, O Inca,” he cried, “your people flee before these wonders. But there are greater wonders to come. Bid them stay.”

His voice had the effect of arresting the panic. The Inca withdrew his hands, and by a tremendous effort pulled himself together. In a shaky voice, he said:


“You will observe,” said Mr. Hampton, “that though one of these men has plucked out his eye, another his teeth, and a third has removed his hair, yet none have suffered pain nor bled. This itself is a great marvel, and by order of the beneficent Lord Beyond the Mountains, who protects his children from all harm. Now I shall restore them to their original appearance.”

He clapped his hands three times, and at this, the previously agreed-upon signal, Pedro replaced his eye, Carlos his teeth, and Don Ernesto his toupee.

An audible shudder ran through the audience, most of whom, fascinated by the promise of more wonders, had halted in their flight and returned. The soldiers of the rear guard also had slunk back into place.

“Captain Guascar is going to overlook their having started to flee,” whispered Bob to Frank. “He’s not paying any attention to them.”

“No wonder,” whispered Frank, in reply. “He almost died of fright himself, and he’s not over it yet, either.”

In truth, the doughty captain had a staring, hysterical look in his eyes, as if he had seen some frightful apparition, and his limbs still trembled.

“These, O Inca,” said Mr. Hampton, “are simple matters. It surprises me that your people should be surprised, for in my country any child can perform them. Indeed, any of my young men”—waving toward the boys—“can perform them as easily as I. Aye, if you so desire, I shall ask one of them to do so. And, if it be your wish”—he added, daringly—“I shall ask one of my young men to demonstrate upon one of your subjects. Shall we tell this lad”—laying his hand on Jack’s shoulder—“to pluck forth the High Priest’s eye?”

“Hey, Dad, you’re taking a long chance,” whispered Jack, anxiously.

He need not have worried.

With a howl, Cinto leaped to the Inca’s side, hands outspread.

“O August One,” he cried, “Representative of the Sun God, protect me from these evil spirits who be not men but demons.”

“Nay,” said Mr. Hampton, “if the High Priest fears——” And he pushed Jack back into column. He had produced the effect he desired. He had unmasked the High Priest’s fear, and publicly humiliated him. It would be better not to press the matter. They were skating on thin ice. What if the Inca should point to some man in disfavor and ask that they blind him, render him toothless or scalp him?

He hurried on to another matter. Holding up his hand, index finger extended, he said:

“O Inca, a greater marvel have I. Above me I can hear the voice of the Lord Beyond the Mountains. He wishes to speak to you. This great Lord speaks every tongue known to man; aye, even the Inca speech he knows, even though for hundreds of years none have spoken it in the world Beyond the Mountains. And this voice which I now hear, but which is inaudible to you within this hall, commands that I invite you to appear upon the terrace before your palace, where——”

Mr. Hampton paused. He had been wracking his brain for a good reason to assign for urging the Inca to appear on the terrace in order to hear the radio. Now, as by inspiration, it came to him. “——Where,” he added, “you will be under the protection of the Sun God and need fear no dark magic. This Lord Beyond the Mountains would speak to you now, within this hall, except that he desires you to feel secure.

“He will speak to you in your own tongue,” he added. “And this,” he added, pointing to the radio outfit, “is the medium of his voice.”

He turned to his own party.

“Come on, quick. Take up the outfit and let us march out. If we waver, there may be trouble. If we put on a bold front, I think the Inca will follow.”




That rear guard fell back before them, scrambling hastily to the sides that they might pass. Bob, Frank and Ferdinand felt sore from restrained laughter, and this new evidence of the panic they had created amused them and made restraint even more difficult.

Jack, however, had fallen back beside Mr. Hampton and Don Ernesto, and was bringing up the rear. His sharp eyes had discerned something which caused him grave concern, and he spoke of it in a quick whisper.

“Cinto has disappeared,” said he. “I have a hunch it means no good.”

“Ah,” said Don Ernesto, shrugging, “these soldiers, they are frightened of us. The Golden Palace Guard is trembling in its armor. We have nothing to fear.”

“That’s just it,” said Jack. “Maybe Cinto realizes he cannot trust to these soldiers to attack us, and so he has gone to get others who have not fallen under our spell.”

“We’ll keep our eyes open, Jack,” said his father. “That’s a hunch worth attention.”

“By golly, Dad, the Inca is following us all right. They’re bringing up a litter for him. Four bearers are carrying it.”

“We won’t look back, Don Ernesto,” said Mr. Hampton. “It would injure our dignity to do so. Don’t stare, Jack. Thank heaven, the old boy is coming. That means not only that we have got him on the run, but also that Cinto won’t attempt any demonstration against us while the Inca is present, in all likelihood.”

The terrace was reached, and Jack and Frank at once began setting up the aerial. They had brought along a second umbrella aerial similar to that set up on the battlement of the Acropolis, which had been included in the outfit, and this they proceeded to set up. Then the three, Jack, Bob and Frank, connected up batteries, tube transformer and headphone. Meanwhile Mr. Hampton was staring covertly at the battlement of the Acropolis, towering high on the distant side of the square opposite. Would Michac fail them? Or would he carry out his part in the plot successfully? Mr. Hampton was thankful to think that, even if Michac should fail them, they were out in the open where they stood a better chance for their lives in a fight, and, also, that they had already roused a wholesome respect for their power in the breasts of their enemies.

The boys worked with lightning swiftness. They were grateful for the delay in the arrival of the Inca, whose movements were attended by so many ceremonies that it was a considerable time before he had reached the terrace and was ensconced in a great chair brought out for him by other bearers.

“Put on the headphone, Jack, and try it. See whether our friend Michac is at his post,” whispered Mr. Hampton, when the last connections were completed.

Jack complied, adjusting the tuner to the meter wave length at which he had set Michac’s instrument. A smile broke over his face, and he nodded to his father.

“Senor Jack, I am ready. My man at the parapet tells me you are at the ’phone. Thanks be to the gods, that you are safe out of that trap. I have been in agony, lest you be overcome and go to your death. I saw the soldiers move into the palace behind you. Now, if you let me speak to the Inca, I shall do my part.”

“Good man,” whispered Mr. Hampton, when Jack repeated the conversation. “I’m beginning now really to hope for success. If he scares the Inca badly enough, we may hope for Prince Huaca’s relief.”

Approaching the Inca, Mr. Hampton bowed. Then he gestured toward the radio instrument, the installation of which had been watched with absorbing and breathless interest by soldiers, courtiers and counsellors.

“The Lord Beyond the Mountains would speak to you in your own tongue, O Inca,” said he. “Will you deign to approach so as to put to your ears this instrument even as the young man has done.”

He indicated Jack, who at his father’s direction, continued to wear the headphone and smiled invitingly. This, Mr. Hampton had felt, would help to assure the Inca no evil would come to him from acceptance of the invitation.

“I assure you no evil will come to you thereby,” Mr. Hampton added.

The Inca regarded him with impassive face. His shrewd eyes sought to read the countenance of this strange magician and to detect whether he spoke in good faith or was attempting deception. He decided Mr. Hampton was honest. Moreover, it would not do for him to show fear.

“Ambassador from the Lord Beyond the Mountains,” said he. “I will listen to your master’s voice, if, indeed, he can speak to me across the forests and the mountains, and in my own tongue. But woe betide you if this be false.”

Signing to the bearers, he was lifted, chair and all, and set down where Jack indicated. Then Mr. Hampton took the headphone, while a noble, at the Inca’s command, stepped forth and, after prostrating himself, removed his crown. Thereupon Mr. Hampton placed the headphone upon the Inca’s head.

Stepping back quickly, he raised his hands aloft and looked to the heavens, as if indicating to some unseen spirit overhead that the time to speak had come. In reality, this was a signal to Michac’s spy at the parapet of the Acropolis battlement to pass word to Michac to speak.

The next moment, Michac’s voice, sonorous and deep, was heard in the receivers.

“Great guns,” whispered Frank, in English, “what a wonderful radio speaker he is. Why, you can hear him plainly.”

“Wish I could understand what he’s saying,” said Jack, excitedly. “Look at these counsellors and courtiers, will you? They get him, and, boy, they’re scared stiff.”

It was true. Michac had one of those rare voices with a bell-like quality that carries beautifully by radio. And he was obeying to the letter Jack’s hasty instructions as to where to place his mouth near the transmitter so as to get the best effect. He spoke in the Inca tongue, and, of course, the boys could not understand what he said. Nevertheless, that it was having a powerful effect, not only on the courtiers and nobles surrounding the Inca, but on the Inca himself, was apparent.

What Michac was saying, the boys knew in general, for he had been instructed to demand the release of Prince Huaca under threat of dire catastrophes to be visited upon Cusco Hurrin otherwise. But Michac had said that he would make his commands intimate, employing his knowledge of the Inca and the affairs of Cusco Hurrin. And, quite evidently, he was doing so.

The Inca’s face became white, his eyelids fluttered, and then his head fell forward.

“Great guns,” cried Bob, “he’s fainted. The shock was too much for him.”

Jack sprang forward and snatched the headphones from the Inca’s head. The audience gasped, and then its fear of these strangers, created by their marvels piled upon marvels, gave way before the deep-seated instinct of reverence for their ruler, the personal representative of their god. Hoarse cries of rage arose, and courtiers, nobles and soldiers, all jumbled together, began to surge forward toward them.

Affairs looked bad, indeed.

At that moment a shot sounded from the direction of the Temple of the Sun. Another followed. All spun about. Down the broad steps of the Temple came flying a familiar figure. It was Prince Huaca. Behind him was Cinto, followed by a detachment of the Palace Guard. The soldiers were armed only with sword and lance. Whence, then, came the shots?

That was apparent the next instant. For, pausing in his flight, as with one great bound he reached the bottom of the steps, Prince Huaca faced about, leveled his arm, and fired.

“The automatic,” cried Mr. Hampton. “I forgot I had given him one.”

Cinto stumbled and fell in a crumpled heap on the steps.




“Come on, Dad,” cried Jack. “Come on, fellows. Let’s join him. We’re in a bad hole here.”

So astounded was the crowd about them by this new development, that, for the moment, it had forgotten the fainting of the Inca, forgotten the strangers. It was their chance. Whipping out their automatics, the eight, close together, burst through the fringe about them on the edge of the terrace and darted down the steps.

“Run, Prince,” cried Mr. Hampton, in Spanish. “Run for the fortress. We are your friends. We follow.”

Prince Huaca heard, glanced their way, and then stood stock-still in amazement. He had known nothing of their presence. But sufficient that they were at hand and were coming to his rescue. A smile of joy broke forth on his face. Instead of starting directly across the square, he dashed along the face of the steps of the Temple toward them.

Tumultuous cries broke out behind them now, and Bob and Jack, who brought up the rear, facing about, saw the mob of courtiers and soldiers, intermingled, start down the steps after them. One man was ahead of the others. He was Captain Guascar. Sword uplifted, unhindered by heavy armor as were his warriors, he came bounding down, three steps at a time.

“I don’t like his looks, anyway,” Bob cried to Jack. “Here’s where I spoil ’em.”

And, turning suddenly, the big fellow leaped back up the steps, dashed in under Guascar’s up-raised sword, seized him about the waist, and with one mighty heave tossed his body into the face of the oncoming horde.

The flying form crashed into an armor-clad soldier and the two fell to the steps, bringing down still others who stumbled over them, unable to turn aside. In a trice the mass piled up.

“Run Bob, run,” cried Jack, who had paused and turned back a step or two, revolver raised, to help his comrade with a shot, if necessary.

Big Bob grinned, leaped back to Jack’s side, and the two raced down the steps.

This temporary diversion created by Bob’s unexpected attack had given the others a good start. Their figures were out on the great square, darting for the distant fortress. Prince Huaca had joined them. The fall of the High Priest Cinto, shot down so unexpectedly by the prince, likewise had delayed pursuit from the Temple, as the soldiers had paused uncertainly, mystified as to this new form of death wielded by the prince.

Mr. Hampton at first had not noticed the absence of his son and Bob, being interested in speeding on the others and in sweeping the prince into their party. But as they started across the square, he looked back to assure himself the boys were following. He was just in time to see Bob’s mighty heave, and the ruin which it wrought.

“Go on,” he cried to the others. “We’ll follow.”

And he waited for the approach of the two lads.

When they came up, he started running swiftly with them.

“Great stuff, Bob,” he cried. “I saw it. You certainly piled them up.”

To gain the fortress seemed a simple matter, for pursuit was so far behind that it could not catch up with them, and the reunited party was congratulating itself on a safe return when, as they drew near the foot of the Acropolis, shots began to fly overhead and they saw a party of soldiers, armed with the ancient rifles, cutting obliquely from the mouth of a street on the left side of the square to intercept them.

“We’ll have to fight for it, after all,” panted Don Ernesto, upon whom the pace was beginning to tell.

But a cheer went up from Frank:

“Michac to the rescue. Hurray.”

Out of the little sally port at the foot of the rock, reached by the stairway hewn from the living rock, came the band posted there by Michac upon their departure for just such an emergency. In the face of the fire of this troop, the band of pursuers fell back.

A moment or two later, Prince Huaca was recognized by his soldiers with cries of joy. Casting the restraints of discipline aside, they seized him, raised him aloft in their arms with cries of “Huaca, Huaca.” Some even wept while pressing their lips to his feet.

Then, alarmed by the near approach of the main body of pursuers, they put him down and all joined in a final dash for the sally port. It was gained without casualties, although several shots whistled about them, indicating the nobles had been re-enforced by some of the foot soldiers armed with guns. The great gate clanged to behind them, and the pursuers fell back, baffled.

They were safe. Safe, after incredible adventures.

“Whew,” said Bob, sitting down on the cool stone steps. “That was a hot one while it lasted.”

Michac came running down the steps to meet them. He and Prince Huaca embraced. Then the prince led the way up through the tunneled stairway, lighted by torches taken from the guard room at the gate, to the fortress above.

Another moving scene was enacted in the main guard room, where the soldiers, laughing or weeping, according to their various temperaments, gathered about their leader. The prince was as much moved at this demonstration of esteem. At length, he broke away from them and, asking Michac and the others to accompany him, led the way to his apartment.

There, while servants brought them refreshments of wine and cooling drinks made from fruit juices, the various threads of their intertwined adventures were straightened out.

“First of all,” said he to Michac, “how came you here, my friend?”

When Michac explained, Prince Huaca embraced him.

“The fortress would have fallen but for you,” he said. “And these good friends here and I would have been slain.”

Michac flushed and turned the subject to that of the exploits of the others, whom he heartily praised. When he told of how they had ventured forth to the Inca’s court and put themselves in the power of Cinto and the Palace Guard, in order to endeavor to obtain Prince Huaca’s release, the latter was much affected.

Mr. Hampton in his turn related what had occurred at their audience. And when he spoke of the impression created by the false eye, false teeth and false hair, nothing would do but that the whole performance be restaged for Prince Huaca. The key had been supplied him and, of course, he was not frightened. At Jack’s explanation, added to by the others, of the consternation which this exhibition had caused, he laughed heartily.

“Indeed, I can well believe it,” he said. Then he sobered: “Ah, but how wonderful that men should be able to do these things. I myself had an aching tooth for long. Certainly, these blessings must come to Cusco Hurrin.”

He, in turn, related his own adventures. Surprised the previous night while he slept, he had been bound and gagged and carried out of the fortress by the sally port, the officer of which had turned traitor. For the occasion, this officer had reduced the guard to a half dozen men and had sent these into the guard room on some pretext. That he intended to admit the enemy as soon as Prince Huaca’s capture was assured, the prince was convinced. Why, he asked, had plans miscarried? Why had the enemy not entered?

“The soldiers became suspicious,” answered Michac. “When you were carried out, bound, although they did not at first know it was you, they leaped for the gate and managed to close it in the face of the enemy. Then the treacherous officer was overcome, and the guard room roused in time to prevent other traitorous officers from throwing open the main gate.”

“These men——”

The prince half rose from his chair, his face dark.

“They have been attended to,” said Michac, simply, but significantly.

“And then what, Prince Huaca?” asked Mr. Hampton. “What did they do with you?”

“My life, though once attempted by an assassin,” said Prince Huaca, “was spared. Why, I know not.”

“The man I captured wasn’t an assassin, Prince Huaca,” said Bob. “At least Senor Michac so stated. But he can tell you.”

Michac nodded, and briefly related what had since been learned or suspected, that the man was one of the band to spirit Prince Huaca away.

“At any rate,” continued the prince, “I was imprisoned in Cinto’s chambers in the Temple, and considered that, perhaps, I was to be made a sacrifice to the Sun God. You know, Senor Hampton, that Michac and I and numbers of others in Cusco Hurrin are not idolators, but worship the true God as revealed in the teachings of the Spanish Fathers who came centuries ago with de Arguello. It is one of my grievances that the Inca permits himself to be dominated by this Cinto, who continues the old idolatrous religion because of the hold it gives him upon the people.

“There, to continue, I was held close prisoner under guard, although my bonds were removed. Yet the little weapon you gave me”—and he drew out the automatic—“was not taken from me. I but awaited my chance. ‘If I must die,’ I said to myself, ‘I shall attempt to take Cinto and Guascar with me and thus rid my land of their curse.’

“Today, only a little while ago, Cinto came to my room. And he was greatly enraged and frightened, too. Why, I did not know. For I did not know of your presence. He had not spoken of it. He ordered the guards to take me from the Temple precincts, and I knew he meant to have me slain but feared to stain the Temple with my blood, lest the people turn against him. I resolved to use my weapon to escape, if possible, but, if that could not be done, at least to slay Cinto too.

“They took me to the portico of the Temple, and then I shot down my two guards, broke away, and, as I ran, turned and shot Cinto. You know the rest.”

As he ceased speaking, there was a rumble as of distant thunder, and the floor beneath them swayed slightly but perceptibly.




They looked at each other.

“The volcano,” said Jack. “Remember, I saw it smoking.”

Michac nodded, a troubled look on his face.

“The mountain speaks,” he said. “It was somewhat on that account, Prince Huaca, that I came to visit you, for from my valley I had seen it smoking.”

“Look here,” said Mr. Hampton, jumping to his feet, “this is dangerous. Has it ever erupted?” he asked Michac.

“Never in our history,” said the latter. “Yet, although it has smoked slightly at times, never has it smoked as it is doing now. From the battlement I could see a dense and growing column of smoke.”

“Let us go and look.”

Prince Huaca, too, looked grave. He acquiesced in Mr. Hampton’s suggestion, and at once led the way to the battlement. Although the truncated top of the volcano could not be seen, being cut off from view by the flank of the mountain against which the Acropolis was built, yet the column of smoke rising above it could be seen plainly. It was black and greasy in appearance, and there was even a faint suggestion of flame at the base.

“This is alarming,” said Don Ernesto gravely. “My advice is to leave here at once, if we would gain the outer valley.”

Prince Huaca was silent for a space.

“And is the city really threatened?”

“Prince,” said Don Ernesto, “there are other volcanoes in these mountains. I have had experience of them. I believe the danger is great. There may not be an earthquake of serious proportions, but that slight tremor which we felt is alarming. I fear there will be greater shocks and that the mountain will erupt.”

“There is no escape from Cusco Hurrin except by the Tunnel Way,” said the prince. “This earthquake of which you speak? What is it like?”

“It is a shaking of the earth which would close the Tunnel Way,” said Don Ernesto. “And the eruption is an outpouring of hot mud and stones from the mountain, which would ruin the city and slay all in it.”

“Then,” said Prince Huaca, “we must abandon the fortress and flee to the outer valley. And those in the city must be warned.”

“But what if the earthquake do not come?” asked Michac. “You will have lost the fortress and your power.”

“The people must be saved,” said Prince Huaca. “Come.”

With a last look at the column of smoke, he started to go below. Frank, however, pulled Jack and Bob aside.

“Better radio the monastery while we have the chance,” said he. “And tell them what’s happened. Then we can dismount the set and take it along for emergencies.”

Mr. Hampton, who overheard, nodded.

“But hurry,” he said.

Hurry the boys did. Brother Gregorio at the monastery was easily reached. The conversation was brief. Then the set was dismantled, and the three boys hurried below with the parts. Throughout the fortress all was bustle and hurry. Men were hastening through the corridors on various missions. They made their way to the prince’s apartment, where they were met by Michac, who told them their friends had gone on to their own room. There they found the others hastily collecting their belongings. Each assumed part of the load, while the balance, including tents, was given bearers sent to their help by the prince.

Then they made their way to the main guard room, from there to the outer courtyard behind its great walls, and thence to the Tunnel Way, opening in the side of the mountain.

“It would be a fine idea,” grumbled Bob, “if after all our adventures we got in the middle of this tunnel and an earthquake came along and shook it down on us.”

Nevertheless, nothing of the sort occurred, and they reached the outer valley in safety, piloted by Michac. He took them to his home.

Toward the end of the day they were joined there by Prince Huaca, with the main body of troops from the fortress. These encamped in the grounds about Michac’s home.

“I sent a messenger to the Inca,” the prince explained, “telling him of the danger threatening Cusco Hurrin and advising him to order the populace to flee through the Tunnel Way. I told him I was abandoning the fortress, and leaving the tunnel open. The messenger returned with word that the Inca, who had recovered from his attack of faintness, deemed me a rebel and refused to be entrapped. I despatched the messenger again with stronger representations, but again he returned with an even stronger and more contemptuous refusal. All day I have waited, with the gates of the fortress open, but no move has been made.

“My poor people,” he groaned, “my poor city.”

Abruptly he left them.

“But, Dad,” said Jack, “think of it. A whole city in danger of destruction merely because a ruler is stubborn. Can’t we do something? Can’t we persuade them to flee? And such a city, too. The Enchanted City of the Caesars! Here we go and find it, and are about to give it to the world, and now it may be wiped out. But the people. Oh, this is horrible.”

Even as he spoke, the ground shook beneath his feet, for they had walked down to the public highroad, and from the distant mountain sounded a heavy rumbling and roaring. They were fully twenty miles removed, a range of foothills intervened and they were safe from a volcanic eruption, for the configuration of the land as such, Don Ernesto had pointed out, that the lava flow would be away from them and directly into the doomed city. The crash and the tremor were succeeded by a sultriness that was almost unbearable. Then the ever-thickening cloud overhanging the mountain seemed to their straining eyes to spread out into a gigantic mushroom that blotted out the whole sky in the east. Flames began to shoot high above the mountain top, illuminating the under side of that sable pall.

There was another and stronger earth tremor, almost throwing them from their feet. The flames shot higher.

“Now,” said Don Ernesto, in an awed voice, “The Enchanted City is no more. The lava is flowing over it now.”




Back in the monastery, the party rested several days before making its way to the railroad and Santiago. But they were not idle. By means of the radio station, which the boys had built on their earlier visit, the whole story of their adventures was communicated to La Prensa, and thus for the first time the tale of the Enchanted City in its entirety, of its centuries of history unknown to the rest of the world, of its rediscovery and of its final wiping out by a volcanic eruption, was given to the world by radio.

The Chilian President was communicated with, and, at Don Ernesto’s solicitation, he despatched a relief column to the refugees in the outer valley of Cusco Hurrin who, while escaping the full force of the destruction, had suffered considerable damage.

Prince Huaca had refused to accompany the party, but had stayed with Michac to look after the welfare of the remainder of his people. He bade the party farewell, with tears of mingled sadness for the fate that had befallen the city of his fathers and of grief at parting with those who had stood by him in his hour of need.

“It was the hand of God,” he said, on bidding them adieu. “I fear that Cusco Hurrin, as it was organized, could never have become part of the wonderful modern world of which you have told me. There would have been war and bloodshed, and prolonged ruin.

“As to me and my people who are left, we shall become citizens of this country of which you speak, Don Ernesto, if your brother, the ruler, will receive us.”

And thus it is that today, in that remote fastness of the Andes, the descendants of the Incas live in peace and prosperity, tilling their lands, while Prince Huaca, who has brought in teachers from the outside world, has made it possible for them to become taught the rudiments of modern knowledge. On departing, the boys promised to fly to the valley some day by airplane, and their visit is eagerly awaited.

At Santiago, in Ferdinand’s home, the boys spent many pleasant days, for they were the lions of the day. And the gracious homes of the fair city were open to them, while everywhere they were plied with questions regarding the Enchanted City and their adventures therein. Best of all the stories was that of how the Inca’s court had been dumbfounded by the white man’s magic which could induce a man to pluck out his eye, his teeth or his hair, without fatal result. Many a laugh did they win with this yarn.

“If you boys don’t stop talking about my toupee,” complained Don Ernesto, one day, “I shall have no peace at all. Wherever I go, I am asked to scalp myself.”

“Well, Don Ernesto,” said Mr. Hampton, “I am going to remove their mischievous tongues to a distance, where they cannot do damage to your reputation.”

Don Ernesto immediately was filled with compunctions lest he have hurt their feelings. But Mr. Hampton laughed these away.

“No, the truth of the matter is,” he said, “that the boys have missed the major part of their college year. Christmas has come and gone. It would take considerable time for them to return to America. And I have been in communication with Mr. Temple, who feels as I do that, inasmuch as they have missed so much college work this year, we may as well let them stay out the remainder of the term. Accordingly, I am going to take them on a tour of South America. I want them to see the great cities of your eastern seaboard, as well as the remains of the Inca civilization in Peru and Bolivia.

“Bob and Frank, you see, will some day be partners in an import and export business, and I want them to learn about South America while they have the opportunity, for they will have many dealings with this continent in the future.”

Turning to the boys, he added:

“We will tour South America, and then return home by way of Seattle, where I shall have to see some mining men about an Alaskan adventure. Does that suit you?”

“Couldn’t suit us better,” said Bob, “except that I’m afraid old Frank here is anxious to see a member of my family. I woke up the other night and he was talking in his sleep. ‘Della,’ he said, ‘Della, why——’”

But Frank had tripped him and sat on him, and the rest of the sentence was lost in the resultant tussle.

“You big rascal,” panted Frank. “I suppose I haven’t seen you writing to that girl Della rooms with at school. Oh, no. Thought you’d sneak it over, hey?”

Jack looked on, grinning. In reality, however, Bob’s remark had set him to dreaming of a distant girl. He was thinking of a certain Senorita Rafaela in the Sonora mountains in Old Mexico. This Spanish-American atmosphere! Hang it, every time he was surrounded by it, his thoughts turned to her. Some day——In this mood, he left his struggling companions and walked to a window whence he stared unseeing.

So here we shall leave the three Radio Boys, content to know, however, that when they eventually reached Seattle in the Northern winter, they were drawn into a search for a lost expedition in the interior of Alaska, no less thrilling than the adventure through which they had just passed. And this will be duly chronicled in The Radio Boys Rescue the Lost Alaska Expedition.




The Radio Boys Series


A new series of copyright titles for boys of all ages.

Cloth Bound, with Attractive Cover Designs



For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York


The Ranger Boys Series


A new series of copyright titles telling of the adventures of three boys with the Forest Rangers in the state of Maine.

Handsome Cloth Binding.



For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers.

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York


The Boy Troopers Series


Author of the Famous “Boy Allies” Series.

The adventures of two boys with the Pennsylvania State Police.

All Copyrighted Titles.

Cloth Bound, with Attractive Cover Designs.



For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers.

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The Golden Boys Series


Dean of Pennsylvania Military College.

A new series of instructive copyright stories for boys of High School Age.

Handsome Cloth Binding.



For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers.

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The Boy Allies

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)

With the Navy


For Boys 12 to 16 Years.

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles


Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton, young American lads, meet each other in an unusual way soon after the declaration, of war. Circumstances place them on board the British cruiser, “The Sylph,” and from there on, they share adventures with the sailors of the Allies. Ensign Robert L. Drake, the author, is an experienced naval officer, and he describes admirably the many exciting adventures of the two boys.

      or, Striking the First Blow at the German Fleet.
      or, Sweeping the Enemy from the Sea.
      or, The Naval Raiders of the Great War.
      or, The Last Shot of Submarine D-16.
      or, The Vanishing Submarine.
      or, Through Fields of Ice to Aid the Czar.
      or, The Greatest Naval Battle of History.
      or, Convoying the American Army Across the Atlantic.
      or, The Fall of the Russian Empire.
      or, The Fail of the German Navy.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York


The Boy Allies

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)

With the Army


For Boys 12 to 16 Years.

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles


In this series we follow the fortunes of two American lads unable to leave Europe after war is declared. They meet the soldiers of the Allies, and decide to cast their lot with them. Their experiences and escapes are many, and furnish plenty of good, healthy action that every boy loves.

      or, Through Lines of Steel.
      or, Twelve Days Battle Along the Marne.
      or, A Wild Dash Over the Carpathians.
      or, Midst Shot and Shell Along the Alsne.
      or, With the Italian Army in the Alps.
      or, The Struggle to Save a Nation.
      or, Courage and Bravery Rewarded.
      or, Saving France from the Enemy.
      or, Leading the American Troops to the Firing Line.
      or, The Fighting Canadians of Vimy Ridge.
      or, Over the Top at Chateau Thierry.
      or, Driving the Enemy Through France and Belgium.
      or, The Closing Days of the Great World War.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers.

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York


The Boy Scouts Series


For Boys 12 to 16 Years

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles


New Stories of Camp Life

      or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol.
      or, Marooned Among the Moonshiners.
      or, Scouting through the Big Game Country.
      or, The New Test for the Silver Fox Patrol.
      or, The Search for the Lost Tenderfoot.
      or, The Secret of the Hidden Silver Mine.
      or, Marooned Among the Game-Fish Poachers.
      or, The Strange Secret of Alligator Swamp.
      A story of Burgoyne’s Defeat in 1777.
      or, The Silver Fox Patrol Caught in a Flood.
      or, Caught Between Hostile Armies.
      or, With The Red Cross Corps at the Marne.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York


Our Young Aeroplane Scout Series

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)


For Boys 12 to 16 Years.

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles


A Series of Remarkable Stories of the Adventures of Two Boy Flyers in The European War Zone.

      or, Saving The Fortunes of the Trouvilles.
      or, Lost on the Frozen Steppes.
      or, Bringing the Light to Yusef.
      or, Twin Stars in the London Sky Patrol.
      or, Flying with the War Eagles of the Alps.
      or, Driving Armored Meteors Over Flaming Battle Fronts.
      or, Wearing the Red Badge of Courage Among Warring Legions.
      or, Serving Uncle Sam in the Great Cause of the Allies.
      or Striking Hard Over the Sea for the Stars and Stripes.
      or, Hurrying the Huns from Allied Battle Planes.
      or, Speedy High Flyers Smashing the Hindenburg Line.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the Publishers.

114-120 East 23rd Street, New York