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‘Young Merriwell is lured to the Bar-Z Ranch where he is held a captive. He makes several thrilling efforts to escape before he gets away. During his stay he takes a prominent part in a ball game of an unusual sort . All the other players are cowboys. Chip pitches for the “Mavericks,” and Barzy Blunt does the twirling for the “Rustlers.” This story is full of dash and excitement, and gives the reader a clear idea of the life and actions of the cow-punchers of to-day.’

New Tip Top Weekly, No. 9, Sept. 28, 1912

Tune in Monday, April 4, to see what happens when Frank and his chums visit the wild west!


The Cast

Frank Merriwell, Jr. (“Merry” or “Chip”):

  • Our hero, who is in Arizona on business
  • “There was nothing noisy or boisterous in his manner, but he carried with him an atmosphere of boundless health and vitality. His handsome face glowed with a rich color, which showed even under the almost mahogany tan that extended over his neck and powerful arms. His dark eyes, so like those of the older man [Frank Sr.], were shining with excitement.”
Barzy Blunt (“the Cowboy Wonder”):

  • A cowboy from the Bar Z ranch and a rival of Merriwell’s
  • “Barzy Blunt was as well-set-up a young fellow as Merry had ever seen. Physically, he fell little short of perfection. Mentally, however, he was twisted and warped in most of his views of life.”
Clancy (“Red”):

  • Merriwell’s red-headed chum
Billy Ballard (“Pink”):

  • Another of Merriwell’s cronies
“Spink” and “Handy”:

  • Friends of Merriwell, Clancy, and the others; from the Ophir Athletic Club

  • The proprietor of the Ophir House, the hotel where Merriwell and his chums are staying while visiting Arizona
Mr. Bradlaugh:

  • President of the Ophir Athletic Club and representative of Eastern syndicate operating a big gold mine near Ophir
Hannibal Bradlaugh:

  • Mr. Bradlaugh’s son and a peer of Merriwell and his friends
Andy Able:

  • A cowboy from the Bar Z ranch
  • “In spite of the fact that the figure was indistinct. Frank could see that it wore a cowboy hat, flannel shirt, chaps, and boots.”
Aaron Lloyd:

  • A cowboy from the Bar Z

  • A cowboy from the Bar Z and the foreman in charge during the ranch owner’s absence
Hungry Joe:

  • A talking parrot at the Bar Z
Amos Bixler:

  • A cowboy from the Tin Cup Ranch and Captain of the Tin Cup Mavericks, a rival ranch sports team
Dutch Fritz:

  • A ranch hand from another ranch and the referee
  • “He was short and thick, and had a pair of puttees buckled over his shins and carried a sidearm to the game which he uses to make his decisions stick”

  • A cowboy from the Tin Cup Ranch
Jim Snow:

  • A cowboy from the Tin Cup Ranch and the pitcher from that team
Sheriff Learoyd Hawkins:

  • The Sherriff in Ophir

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