you should do all the watching."
" Sleep comes not when one is near death," Tongla
" Then you must be expecting to get the fever, for
just now there are no signs of death in your face.
Tell the steward to give you a dose of quinine, and
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 21
we shall be back before you have time to be very
"I shall not return to the plantation. If the
young masters refuse to go I must remain with
" That is a matter which shall be settled to suit
yourself. We are certainly going to the ruins, but
you are at liberty to turn back."
" It is not allowed, but I shall go," Tongla re-
plied, moodily ; and then he refused to speak another
" Let him alone," Koy whispered, as Dean was
about to make some remark. "He'll get over it
after awhile, and laugh at his foolish fears before
we reach home. Let's turn to and get breakfast
quickly, for we mustn't spend too much time here."
But few moments were required to prepare the
morning meal, and then the travelers started ; but
now Tongla took up his position in the rear, direct-
ing Roy from time to time how to proceed.
" Why don't you go ahead ?" Dean asked.
" It is my duty to follow, but I will not be the one
to lead others into forbidden places," the Indian re-
The path now led through the dense portion of
the forest, where it was often necessary for Koy to
use his machete in order to clear a path among the
tangled vines, and after half an hour of this labori-
ous traveling they ascended a small but steep hill, on
the very top of which stood the ruins of a colossal
building. Because of having come upon the glisten-
ing stones so suddenly they seemed even larger than
22 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
really was the fact, and the boys stood, as if spell-
bound, gazing at the massive pillars of an enormous
" Why, it's a regular palace !" Dean exclaimed as
he forced his way through the underbrush ; and Roy
following, they found themselves in front of an edi-
fice fully three hundred feet square, of which the
first and second stories yet remained virtually in-
tact. In the front was the broad veranda or gal-
lery, and leading from it could be seen a large
number of spacious apartments half-filled with vines
and creepers, and tenanted only by bats and scor-
" There's no need of building a camp while such a
place as this is near," Dean said enthusiastically as
he looked in at first one and then another of the
rooms, composed entirely of marble, and decorated
with forms beautiful and grotesque, hewn from the
white stone. " Before we left home I heard of the
buried cities of Central America, but never imagined
they were anything like this. We should have staid
here last night, instead of camping under a few plan-
tain-leaves. With our two guns we could hold a
regiment of Sukia women at bay."
" Then you don't have any objections to sleeping
here ?" Hoy asked, with a smile.
"Why should I have? This building is much
finer than our hacienda, and we could stay a month
without fear of being molested."
" Then suppose we clear out one of these rooms
and make preparations for spending the night ? I
want to see the other buildings before we leave, for
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 23
father said there were very many. Where is Ton-
Until this moment Dean supposed the Indian boy
was close at their heels, but on looking around no
sign could be seen of him.
" Where are you ?" he called, and from the foot of
the hill came the reply :
" Here, waiting until you have seen the forbidden
place. It is not for me to enter there."
" Nonsense !" Eoy cried, sharply. " We have con-
cluded to stay until morning, and want your help in
making one of these rooms habitable."
During fully a minute not a word was spoken,
and then Tongla appeared, looking very much
frightened, but yet determined to do his full share
of the work.
" Don't be foolish, but help us set matters to
rights," Dean said, as he attacked a huge bunch of
weeds which covered fully one-half of the chamber
floor. "We are going to sleep here to-night, and
these things must be cleared away, otherwise the
scorpions will have full play, which won't be pleas-
ant for us."
It was as if Tongla had waited to be commanded
before doing anything to aid his companions, for
after Dean thus peremptorily summoned him to as-
sist, not a word of disapproval was heard. He
labored as if his comfort depended upon the arrange-
ments made, and only ceased when Roy insisted
that it was useless to do anything more. Then the
room presented a very habitable appearance, and
the boys deposited their knapsacks in one corner.
24 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
much as if this act was necessary to prove owner-
" We are nicely fixed, even if it is decided that
we had better stay here a week," Roy said in a tone
of satisfaction, " and it will be well to look around
Tongla made no reply ; but one could see that
this decision did not please him, although he made
no verbal objection to the delay.
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 25
AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY.
SO FAE as a shelter from the weather was con-
cerned the boys could have found no better
camping-place. The second story of the palace
formed a roof above the chamber of which they had
taken possession, and by moving a thin slab of mar-
ble the door- way would be closed against any animal
that might frequent the ruins after nightfall. Had
Tongla not exhibited so much fear Eoy and Dean
would have decided to remain there several days,
for it appeared to be a particularly pleasant abiding-
place; but under the circumstances there was no
idea of staying longer than the time originally set.
When their belongings were inside the room the
heat of the sun forbade any excessive labor, and all
three gave themselves up to the repose of a siesta
which dwellers in a tropical climate consider so nec-
essary. The hammocks were slung, and even the
Indian boy indulged in slumber until the sun had
passed the meridian, when Eoy aroused the party
by crying :
" Come, fellows, turn out, if there is any idea of
finding more ruins in this buried city! We have
slept too long already and must get to work !"
Tongla aroused himself at once ? built a fire on the
26 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
spacious veranda, made the chocolate, and while his
companions were drinking it stood silently by, as if
" Why don't you eat ?" Dean asked.
" It will be time for me to do that when we are
among the hills once more."
" If you could sleep so soundly, I can't see what
is to prevent your having some chocolate," Dean
said ; but Tongla made no reply, and the boys fin-
ished their meal in silence.
" Now let's see if there are other buildings like
this," Eoy cried, as he leaped to his feet. " Will
you come with us ?" he added, turning to the In-
dian boy, " or do you prefer to stay here ?"
Tongla nodded his head in the direction of the
baggage ; and, understanding that he intended to
remain rather than profane the supposed sanctuary
of the gods, the boys left him in the chamber as
they walked swiftly down past the row of massive
pillars to the white stones that marked the lines of
The only idea in the boys' minds was to see the
extent of this ancient city, and to this end they
walked straight past the palace and half a dozen
ruins which adjoined it until they were in what had
once been a broad street, but now appeared to be
little more than an avenue of bushes and tangled
Surrounded as they were on every hand by the
luxuriant vegetation, it was possible to see but few
of the wonders of this deserted city, yet the cir-
cumscribed view was sufficient to call forth exclama-
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 27
tions of wonder and surprise. Even in the thor-
oughfares of New York the boys had never seen
nobler buildings than these must have been before
the ruthless destroyer Time laid his withering
hand upon them ; and full of silent amazement they
continued on until Hoy said, as he halted in front of
a stately edifice, which must once have been a place
of worship :
" Let's go in here. I'd like to see one of their
"All right; but it's lucky Tongla didn't come
with us, or he'd cried out against such a sacrilege."
" There's no reason why we shouldn't take in all
the sights, more especially if we have to leave here
soon on account of his fears. At all events, I'm go-
ing to know what that huge pile of stones was
As he spoke Koy entered a ruin, at the further end
of which a dozen marble slabs were piled, one on
the other, something after the fashion of an altar,
and began throwing down the crumbling stones un-
til an exclamation of astonishment burst from his
lips, causing Dean to run to his brother's side.
" Here is a regular treasure-chamber !" Koy cried,
pointing to a small excavation which had been dis-
closed, wherein could be seen several objects of a
dull yellow color. "Those images must be gold,
and it looks as if they had been here a very long
The receptacle which had thus been opened by
chance was not unlike a huge and very thick chest,
and by bending over, the oddly-fashioned figures
28 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
could readily be reached ; but they were very much
heavier than either of the boys had supposed.
The largest, and evidently most important of the
three idols for such they undoubtedly were was
not more than twelve inches high, and had been
rudely carved to represent an animal of the cat'
family seated on its haunches, with the head hang-
ing low on the chest. It was about eight inches in
thickness, and on attempting to lift it Roy had no
longer any doubt as to the metal.
" Nothing but gold could be as heavy," he said,
raising the grotesque figure with difficulty. " It
weighs fully twenty pounds, and judging from our
success in idol-hunting, it is decidedly more profit-
able than cultivating indigo."
Dean seized one of the other figures, which was
almost half as heavy as the first, and represented a
human being with an enormous head seated on a
For at least five minutes the boys stood gazing in
silence at the valuable discovery, and heeding not
the fact that two Indians, dressed similarly to those
who had followed the Sukia woman on the night-
march, had crept up among the foliage within half
a dozen yards, watching every motion jealously.
The new-comers were even more excited than the
boys, and one glance at their faces could have told
that they would make every effort to prevent the
uncouth gods from being carried away.
"How much do you suppose these things are
worth ?" Dean finally asked.
" If this is pure gold, and it certainly appears to
THE TREASURE-FINbEHS. 29
be, there must be eight or ten thousand dollars'
worth here ; but don't let us stand like fools. Pick
up the little fellows, and I'll carry the big one.
Tongla's eyes will stick out now, if they never did
The idea that they might have been seen by
strangers never entered the boys,' minds, and they
were so excited by the wonderful find that neither
so much as looked back after leaving the ruined
temple, otherwise the Indians, who were following
cautiously, must have been seen.
Tongla's eyes did "stick out" when his com-
panions entered with their precious load ; but it was
fear, not surprise, which caused it.
" Where did you find them ?" he asked, in tones
" Under a pile of stones in what must once have
been a temple. It was fortunate that we did not
let you prevent us from coming by the stories of
what could be seen here. I'd like to be frightened
in this same way every day for a week."
" Carry them back !" Tongla cried, as Koy ceased
speaking. " By working hard we can bury the gods
again before those who passed us last night come
"You don't fancy we'd be so foolish as that,"
Dean replied, quickly. " If you are afraid of the
crowd we can start for home at once, and by travel-
ling all day reach there before midnight."
" Even now it may be too late to gain the range.
Take the gods to their resting-place, and let us
shake the dust of this city from our feet "
30 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
" Don't be foolish," Eoy said, sternly. " There is
nothing here to harm us, and we have no idea of
throwing a fortune away. Repack the knapsacks
and we will go. Forty pounds or so added to our
loads will make considerable extra work; but in
view of the fact that it is gold, I guess we shall be
able to get through with it all right."
Thus assured that the boys really intended to
carry their prizes away, Tongla's fear became pain-
ful to witness. He threw himself at their feet,
begging them not to incur the displeasure of the
"gods," and in every possible way exhibiting the
greatest mental distress.
As may be imagined, neither Roy nor Dean were
willing to abandon that which had been found ; and
on learning that his appeals were useless, Tongla
said, as he stood erect and determined because of
" I shall not leave the young masters while they
thus defy the gods, because now both need the aid
of friends ; but it will not be possible to bear the
images from here to the plantation, and we shall all
perish in the attempt."
" I don't believe any such foolish thing, and am
quite certain you do not. It is our intention to carry
these idols home, and you may stay with us or re-
main to meet those who possibly will try to prevent
" They are here now, and it is for you to brave the
anger of the gods," Tongla said as he pointed to the
veranda, where could be seen two Indians, who must
have overheard at least a portion of the conversation.
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 31
" The Sukia's escort has come. What reply will you
make to them ?"
" The same that I would to you," Hoy said, boldly.
" What we have found we shall keep, and if it be-
comes necessary our guns will make answer to any
attempt at detaining us. Dean and I found idols of
gold which we intend to carry home. If you or they
try to prevent us we shall defend both ourselves and
A LTHOUGH Eoy replied to Tongla as if he had
<~\. no fears regarding any attack which the In-
dians might make, he was far from feeling perfectly
comfortable in mind. Not knowing that he and
Dean had been observed in the ruins at the time of
finding the treasure, there was no thought that the
Indians would demand the prizes ; but the possibility
of their insisting upon an immediate departure, when
the idols would very likely be seen, was by no means
The new-comers, who had halted about thirty feet
away, were covered with gaudy-colored ponchos,
which constituted their only clothing, and around
their feet were raw-hide shoes of home manufac-
ture, with leggings of the same material, to protect
their limbs from snakes. They stood motionless as
statues, as if expecting the boys would make some
excuse for having visited the ruins at such a time;
but neither of the three spoke. Eoy and Dean
remained side by side just within the door- way,
while Tongla was on the veranda a few paces be-
During two or three moments and the time
seemed very much "longer to the boys this ominous
silence continued, and then one of the Iniians
spoke in a harsh tone to Tongla. The boy replied,
also in his native tongue, and Eoy asked, sharply :
"What does he say?"
"They want to know why we came here after
seeing the Sukia woman."
" Tell him that we do not intend to interfere in
his movements, nor shall he question ours!" Roy
said, sternly. " Where the Sukia went we did not
follow; but these ruins are free to any one who
chooses to visit them."
After this was repeated, both the Indians talked
for some time with Tongla, and then he turned to
his companions as he said :
" They asked me if I told you that it was forbid-
den to come here at this time, and it would be worse
than death had I told a lie. Now it is demanded
that you go at once and leave behind that which was
found in the ruins of the temple."
" Did you tell them we had the idols ?"
" I am not a parrot, nor is it necessary any one
should do so, for all which happens is known to the
" Don't be foolish, Tongla !" and now Roy spoke
angrily. " Since these men have learned about the
idols, they must have seen us when we overturned
the pile of stones or listened to our conversation.
The main question is, What are they likely to do ?"
"Everything," the Indian boy cried. "If the
word is but spoken we shall not be able to leave this
place, no matter how many come to help us."
It was as if Tongla' s cowardice aroused Dean's
34 TEE TREASURE-FINDERS.
courage, and he said, holding his fowling-piece in
one hand :
" With two of these, and in what will be a regular
fort, the entire gang who went past last night can
do us no harm. There are stone slabs enough here
to barricade the door- way and window in good
" But are we warranted in staying where the In-
dians can virtually hold us prisoners '?" Hoy asked,
in a tone of perplexity. " Suppose we start now,
while there are only two to oppose us ?"
" The others cannot be far away, and it will not
be safe. We had better stay under cover ; they
won't dare to do very much, knowing some one from
the hacienda is sure to come in search of us if we
are absent longer than was agreed upon."
" I fancy you are right," Roy said ; and then turn-
ing to Tongla he added : " Tell the Indians that we
are well armed, and shall shoot the first who dares
molest us. If necessary we can remain here until
those who know where we are come to our aid."
That this was not an agreeable message for the
boy to deliver could be told by the deprecatory tone
which he used, and J rom his gestures, Hoy and Dean
believed he tried to excuse himself for repeating the
The men made a lengthy reply in an angry tone,
after which they walked gravely toward the path
by which the boys had ascended to the ruins.
" Are they going away ?" Dean asked.
" Only to the brow of the hill, in order to prevent
us from passing in that direction," Tongla replied,
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 35
sadly. "We have offended those who minister to
the gods, and our punishment will be great. Al-
ready are the others approaching, and escape is im-
possible unless the sacred figures are given into the
charge of the Sukia woman."
" See here, Tongla," Eoy said, decidedly, " there is
nothing to keep you here. We are willing you
should go and make your peace ; but we shall stay,
and it'll be a long while before that crowd can rob
us. It is gold they want, and the talk about gods is
only made for effect. No one knew anything about
the idols, otherwise they would have been taken
away many years before this. Now, having found
a large amount of treasure, and nothing which is
sacred, we do not intend to be deprived of it. Dean
and myself are both satisfied to have you join
Tongla listened in silence until Eoy ceased speak-
ing, and then with a dignity the boys had never seen
him display before he said, firmly :
" I am but a poor Indian who has never seen the
great world from which you came, but my heart is
as true as if my skin were white. It is not possible
we can depart from this place with the golden gods ;
but death is more pleasant than treachery. I shall
From both the manner and tone it was certain
the boy had fully decided upon his course of action,
and the others were a little ashamed for having sug-
gested his leaving them.
" You are a good fellow, Tongla," Eoy said, as he
took him by the hand, " and we won't forget this
36 fSE TREASURE-FINDfiM.
very soon. Now put out of your mind all idea that
these men, or even the Sukia woman herself, can do
anymore than you or I, and we'll soon be out of
this scrape. Do you think the rest of the crowd are
so near it would be impossible for us to give them
the slip ? It won't be much of a job to get past the
two old redskins who are trying to blockade the
u To the hacienda is more than a long day's walk.
Before noon they could overtake us, even though
the remainder of the party are now two leagues
" That's a fact ; and it would be pretty hard to
hold our own in the woods where they could sur-
round us without much trouble. We'll stay here
for awhile, and begin work by barricading this
It required half an hour's severe labor to fortify
the place in such a manner that it could not be
taken by any ordinary assault, and then the boys
felt reasonably secure. The enemy were armed
only with machetes and short, spear-like clubs;
therefore the two fowling-pieces would be sufficient
to hold them in check, and these weapons were to
be used behind the barrier of stone, where aper-
tures had been left between the slabs.
The day was well advanced when these prepara-
tions for defense were completed, and had they been
at home on the indigo plantation all three would
have indulged in a siesta, for during three or four
hours in the middle of the day every one sleeps, the
heat rendering almost disagreeable any exercise.
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 37
Under the present circumstances, however, such
indulgence was not to be thought of, and the boys
seated themselves on the stone floor, where a view
of the veranda as well as the forest directly in front
of the ruins could be had through the loop-holes.
" They wiD not trouble us until nightfall," Tongla
had said ; but Eoy believed it best to be on the
" One of us might sleep, if the hammocks could
be hung," he said ; " but I don't fancy either cares
very much about lying on this hard floor."
" I will remain on guard while you rest," the In-
dian boy said. " Then during the night all can
watch, for at that time the servants of Kabul are
certain to come for the gods."
" Who is Kabul ?" Dean asked, curiously. " That
is a name I never heard before."
" He is there," Tongla replied, reverentially, as he
pointed toward the veranda.
The boys looked out, expecting to see one of the
party which the Sukia woman had led ; but to their
surprise not a person was in sight.
" There," Tongla repeated; and following with
their eyes his outstretched finger they saw a num-
ber of rude figures painted oh the marble column
directly in front of their place of refuge.
" Do you mean those queer pictures ?" Koy asked.
Tongla nodded his head.
" I can't make out what they mean, except that
there are about a dozen big red hands, and some-
thing which looks like a snake."
"It is Kabul, God of the Working Hand," the
38 THE TREASURE-FINDERS.
Indian boy said, gravely ; and Dean was quite posi-
tive he bowed in adoration before this rude symbol
of a divinity.
" Have you ever seen his statue-figures like those
we found, I mean r Roy asked.
"Very many times. He is here among the ruins,
and with him are other gods whom nobody knows."
But for Tongla's reverential air the boys would
have laughed outright ; the idea of a crowd of gods
whom "nobody knew" seemed very comical. It
would have been useless to make any attempt at
showing him the absurdity of idol - worship, for
many times had the old priest, who visited the haci-
enda now and then, tried without the slightest show
of success to point out his errors; and although the
boy listened attentivelv, it could be seen that he did
not believe a single statement.
%i Do you know the names of the gods we found P
Roy asked, after a short pause.
" I never saw them before. Perhaps the people
who built this city left them."
" Of course they did. and that is why the demand
of those Indians is so absurd.*'
%% The Sukia can take what she wants," Tongla re-
plied, with an air of the most profound conviction ;
and Roy rose to his feet impatiently, thus bringing
the conversation to an abrupt close.
" Let's get something to eat," he said. " I'm be-
ginning to feel hungry, and we'd better have lunch
while our enemies are quiet."
Leaving Tongla on guard. Dean joined his brother
at the further corner of the chamber, where the
THE TREASURE-FINDERS. 39
knapsacks had been left, and before any prepara-
tions for the meal were made a most startling fact
" There isn't a cup of water in the canteens, and
we stand a good chance of being shut up here two
or three days !" Roy cried, in alarm.
" I filled both the vessels when we crossed the
stream this morning," the Indian boy said.
" Yes," Dean cried, bitterly, " and I washed ray