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HOME > Children's Novel > The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast > CHAPTER II A DARING RAID
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 “Where are they?”  
“Which way shall we shoot?”
Joe and Blake questioned thus by turn as they leaped to Hank’s side. They were in darkness now, for the cowboy had ceased shooting, and those who had come to attack had likewise allowed their weapons to become silent. As a matter of fact, Hank Selby had only fired in the air, if possible to frighten off the Indians, and it seemed that the redmen had done the same, since there was no of bullets over the head of the guide.
“What is it?” asked Blake, fingering the rifle he had caught up as he rushed from the tent.
“Indians,” replied Hank, in a low voice. “It’s probably some band of Moquis or Navajos, who escaped being rounded up as the others were. Probably they were chased so hard, or were so surprised at one of their camps, that they had 13to leave without their . And they do hate to walk. They saw our animals and tried to get ’em, but I was suspicious all along.”
“But where are they now?” asked Joe, peering out into the darkness. “I can’t see a thing, and our animals seem to be all there.”
“The beggars dropped down, and are hiding,” said the cowboy. “They didn’t like the quick way I fired on ’em, I guess; though, land knows! I don’t want to hurt any of ’em if I can help it. They don’t know just what to do, and they’re their time.”
“Did they get any of our horses—or things?” asked Blake, anxiously, his thoughts on the valuable films.
“Not as yet,” replied Hank. “But this thing isn’t over with. They’ll come back, once they decide it’s worth while. We’ve got to get ready for ’em.”
“How?” asked Blake.
“Well, we’ve got to pile our stuff up as a sort of shelter, and then we’ve got to bring in the animals. It won’t do to have the run off with ’em, and that’s what they’re aiming to do.”
“But won’t it be to go out there in the darkness to bring in the ponies and burros?” asked Joe. “You say the Indians are out there.”
14“So I believe they are,” replied Hank. “But I fancy my shooting drove ’em back a bit, even though I did fire in the air, or so high over their heads that they couldn’t be harmed. So I guess we can make a move out there without getting hurt. Anyhow, it’s got to be done, and, as I know more about such business than you boys, having been at it longer, I’ll just attend to that. You’d better make the best sort of breastworks you can. For, though I don’t believe these beggars will actually shoot to hurt, still it’s best to be on the safe side. Be cautious, now.”
And, while Hank is thus preparing to secure the pack and saddle animals, and the boys to gather the boxes and bales into a compact mass, I will take just a few moments to tell you more about the moving picture lads than I have yet done.
In the first book of this series, entitled “The Moving Picture Boys; Or, The of a Great City Depicted,” I introduced to you Joe Duncan and Blake Stewart. At that time they lived in the village of Fayetteburg, in the central part of New York State. Blake worked on the farm of his uncle, Jonathan Haverstraw, while Joe was hired boy for Zachariah Bradley. And it happened that they both lost their places at the same time.
15Blake’s uncle to retire to a Home for the , and Mr. Bradley said he could no longer afford to pay Joe any wages. The boys did not know what to do until they made the acquaintance of Mr. Calvert Hadley, a moving picture photographer. The latter had come to Fayetteburg with a company to get some views in a country drama that was being , some of the scenes being laid in the nearby city of Syracuse.
Blake and Joe watched a rescue scene in the , thinking it real, and later Mr. Hadley offered them work as his assistants in New York. He was employed by the Film Theatrical Company, to make its moving pictures.
The boys jumped at the chance. Before the little country drama was over, however, an accident occurred, in full view of the moving picture camera. Mrs. Betty Randolph, a wealthy Southern lady, was run into, while riding in her carriage, by a reckless autoist. Mrs. Randolph offered a reward for the arrest of this man, who escaped in the confusion, and urged the two boys to try to effect his capture.
They said they would, and how they went to New York, learned the moving picture business, and helped Mr. Hadley get films for his “moving 16picture newspaper,” is all set down in the first book.
The perils of taking views in a great city, at fires, elevated railroad accidents, burning , of at work, in making educational films—all this is told.
Eventually, while making scenes at a thrilling balloon ascension, Joe and Blake discovered the reckless autoist and gave chase in a car. They caught him, too, and got the reward, with which they purchased some moving picture cameras, and went into business on their own account. They made films to order, and were often employed by Mr. Hadley or by Mr. Ringold, head of the Film Theatrical Company.
This company consisted of a number of actors and actresses who were engaged to various sorts of plays and dramas before the camera.
Among them was Henry Robertson, who did “juvenile leads”; Harris Levinberg, the “villain”; Miss Nellie Shay, the leading lady, and Miss Birdie Lee, who did girls’ parts. Last, but not least, was Christopher Cutler Piper—known variously as “C. C.” or “Gloomy.” He preferred to be called just C. C., not his two first names, but he was so often looking on the dark side of life, and predicting direful happenings that never came to pass, that he was often “Gloomy.” 17However, he was the of the , and could utter the most unhappy expressions while doing the most comical .
It was not all easy sailing for the two lads. One man—James Munson, a rival moving picture proprietor—often made trouble for them, and once put them in no little danger.
After having helped Mr. Hadley make a success of his moving picture newspaper, by means of which current happenings, and accidents, were nightly thrown on a screen in various theatres, Joe and Blake, as I said, went into business for themselves.
In the second volume of the series, entitled “The Moving Picture Boys in the West; Or, Taking Scenes Among the Cowboys and Indians,” our heroes had an different series of adventures.
Mr. Ringold decided to take his theatrical troupe to Arizona, there to make films for a number of Western dramas. He asked the boys if they would like to join Mr. Hadley in doing this work. At the same time a New York scientific society, engaged in preserving records, pictures and photographic reproductions of the Indians, made a prize offer for the best film showing the redmen in their ceremonial dances. The time was particularly ripe for this, as a band of the Moquis, 18as well as several tribes of Navajos, had broken from the government reservations to indulge in their strange .
As the boys found that they could do the two things—take the views of the Indians, and make the theatrical pictures—they accepted the offer.
Just before they left, however, Joe received a strange letter. It was from a man signing himself Sam Houston Reed, who stated that he had met a man who was looking for a Joe Duncan. Joe, who had known there was some mystery about his early life, was overjoyed at the of finding some “folks,” and wished very much to meet Mr. Reed. But the latter had neglected to date, or put any heading on his letter. All there was to go by was part of a postmark, which showed it came from Arizona, and Mr. Reed also mentioned Big B .
However, the moving picture boys and the theatrical company started West. On the way the boys had a glimpse of their rivals, also hastening to get the Indian views.
How they got to Flagstaff, made many views there, and then how Joe and Blake started to find the place where the Indians were hidden away, doing their mysterious dances—all this is told in the second volume.
Eventually they reached Big B ranch, only to 19find that Mr. Reed, like a rolling stone, had gone. However, some of the cowboys remembered him, and had heard him talk of having met a certain Bill Duncan, whose half-brother, Nate, was looking for a lost son. It was supposed that this Nate Duncan was Joe’s father.
As nothing toward finding Mr. Duncan could then be done, Joe and Blake kept on toward the Indian country. A cowboy, Hank Selby, offered to accompany them, and they were glad he did.
They had many adventures before getting on the track of the Indians, and when they found them in a secret valley, and, concealed in a cave, began taking moving pictures, they discovered, as I have said, four white men in danger of torture.
How they rescued them, how the troopers came, and how one turned out to be Bill Duncan, Joe’s half-uncle, I have mentioned in this book as well as in the second volume. And, on their way back to Big B ranch and to Flagstaff, the night attack had taken place.
“How are you making out, Blake?” asked Joe, as he worked at stacking up the boxes and bales into a sort of rude breastwork near the shelter tents.
“All right, Joe,” was the answer. “I hope Hank makes the animals safe.”
20“He doesn’t seem to be having much trouble. I can’t see any of the Indians now.”
“No, they’re probably hiding down in the grass, waiting for a chance to make a raid. I wonder how many there are?”
“Quite a bunch, I should say, from the shooting. Here comes Hank now.”
As he , the cowboy appeared, leading by their long tether ropes the riding ponies and the pack animals. The steeds showed signs of their recent excitement. Had it not been for the alarm they gave they might have been stolen without our friends being any the wiser.
“See any of ’em, Hank?” questioned Joe.
“No, but they’re there, all right. Boys, there may be some hot work ahead of us. You want to get ready for it.”
“Do—do you think they’ll shoot?” asked Blake.
“Well, they’ll do their best to get our things away from us,” was the answer. “They’re desperate, I’m afraid.”
Hank busied himself tethering the steeds nearer the temporary camp, while Joe and Blake finished their in building a against the possible rush of the redmen.
This was hardly finished, and they had scarcely collected a pile of brush to make a bright fire, if necessary, when there arose all around fierce 21shouts. At the same time there was a fusillade of shots; but, as far as could be seen, all the Indians were firing in the air.
“Look out!” yelled Hank. “They’re going to rush us!”
Before he ceased speaking there was the sound of many feet running forward. The shooting and shouting redoubled in volume, and the restless animals tried to break loose.
“The imps!” cried Hank. “They’re trying to stampede our animals, just as they did the cattle that time. Look out, boys!”
But nothing could be done against such numbers. The camp was overwhelmed in a daring raid, and though the boys and Hank did all they could, firing wildly in the air, they could not stand off the attack. Strangely enough, no effort was made to mistreat the boys or their companion. The Indians simply rushed over them and made for the pile of goods in the rear of the tents. They did not even seem to be after the horses.
“Stop ’em!” cried Blake. “They’ll take all our things!”
“Our cameras!” yelled Joe. “They may break ’em!”
Hank had all he could do to restrain the wild steeds, which sought to break loose.
The rush was over almost as quickly as it had 22started. Off into the darkness disappeared the Indians, their shooting and yelling growing fainter and fainter.
“I saved the horses!” cried Hank.
“Yes, but they got a lot of our stuff!” exclaimed Blake. “Joe, throw some wood on the fire, so we can see what is missing!”

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