The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 113

one hand he bore the long war spear of
the head-hunter he had slain. At his belt hung the long sword of Oda
Yorimoto, and in its holster reposed the revolver of the Count de
Cadenet.

Barbara Harding watched him as be forded the river, and clambered up the
opposite bank. She saw him spring rapidly after the samurai and their
prisoners. She saw his spear hand go up, and then from the deep lungs of
the man rose a savage yell that would have done credit to a whole tribe
of Apaches.

The warriors turned in time to see the heavy spear flying toward them
and then, as he dashed into their midst, Billy Byrne drew his revolver
and fired to right and left. The two prisoners took advantage of
the consternation of their guards to grapple with them and possess
themselves of weapons.

There had been but six samurai in the party, two had fallen before
Byrne's initial onslaught, but the other four, recovered from their
first surprise, turned now to battle with all the terrific ferocity of
their kind.

Again, at a crucial moment, had Theriere's revolver missed fire, and in
disgust Byrne discarded it, falling back upon the long sword with which
he was no match for the samurai. Norris snatched Byrne's spear from the
ground, and ran it through the body of one of the Japs who was pressing
Byrne too closely. Odds were even now--they fought three against three.

Norris still clung to the spear--it was by far the most effective weapon
against the long swords of the samurai. With it he killed his antagonist
and then rushed to the assistance of Foster.

Barbara Harding from the island saw that Byrne's foe was pressing him
closely. The white man had no chance against the superior swordsmanship
of the samurai. She saw that the mucker was trying to get past the Jap's
guard and get his hands upon him, but it was evident that the man was
too crafty and skilled a fighter to permit of that. There could be but
one outcome to that duel unless Byrne had assistance, and that mighty
quickly. The girl grasped the short sword that she constantly wore now,
and rushed into the river. She had never before crossed it except in
Byrne's arms. She found the current swift and strong. It almost swept
her off her feet before she was halfway across, but she never for an
instant thought of abandoning her effort.

After what seemed an eternity she floundered out upon the mainland, and
when she reached the top of the bank she saw to

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