The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 101

"I tink I'll poun' my ear fer a few. You
kin keep yer lamps peeled fer de Chinks, an' de first fony noise youse
hears, w'y be sure to wake me up," and with that he rolled over upon the
grass, asleep almost on the instant.

The girl, to while away the time, explored their rock-bound haven. She
found that it had but a single means of ingress, the narrow pass through
which the brook found outlet. Beyond the entrance she did not venture,
but through it she saw, beneath, a wooded slope, and twice deer passed
quite close to her, stopping at the brook to drink.

It was an ideal spot, one whose beauties appealed to her even under the
harrowing conditions which had forced her to seek its precarious safety.
In another land and with companions of her own kind she could well
imagine the joy of a fortnight spent in such a sylvan paradise.

The thought aroused another--how long would the mucker remain a safe
companion? She seemed to be continually falling from the frying pan into
the fire. So far she had not been burned, but with returning strength,
and the knowledge of their utter isolation could she expect this brutal
thug to place any check upon his natural desires?

Why there were few men of her own station in life with whom she would
have felt safe to spend a fortnight alone upon a savage, uncivilized
island! She glanced at the man where he lay stretched in deep slumber.
What a huge fellow he was! How helpless would she be were he to turn
against her! Yet his very size; yes, and the brutality she feared, were
her only salvation against every other danger than he himself. The man
was physically a natural protector, for he was able to cope with odds
and dangers to which an ordinary man would long since have succumbed. So
she found that she was both safer and less safe because the mucker was
her companion.

As she pondered the question her eyes roved toward the slope beyond the
opening to the amphitheater. With a start she came to her feet, shading
her eyes with her hand and peering intently at something that she
could have sworn moved among the trees far below. No, she could not be
mistaken--it was the figure of a man.

Swiftly she ran to Byrne, shaking him roughly by the shoulder.

"Someone is coming," she cried, in response to his sleepy query.



CHAPTER XIV. THE MUCKER SEES A NEW LIGHT

TOGETHER the girl and the mucker approached the entrance to the
amphitheater.

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