The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 137

what a good girl can do toward making a man of a beast.
You've taught me pride and self-respect. You've taught me so much that
I'd rather that I'd died back there beneath the spears of Oda Iseka's
warriors than live here beneath the sneers and contempt of servants, and
the pity and condescension of your friends.

"I want you to be happy, Barbara, and so I want you to promise me that
you'll marry Billy Mallory. There isn't any man on earth quite good
enough for you; but Mallory comes nearer to it than anyone I know. I've
heard 'em talking about him around town since I came back--and there
isn't a rotten story chalked up against him nowhere, and that's a lot
more than you can say for ninety-nine of a hundred New Yorkers that are
talked about at all.

"And Mallory's a man, too--the kind that every woman ought to have, only
they ain't enough of 'em to go 'round. Do you remember how he stood up
there on the deck of the Lotus and fought fair against my dirty tricks?
He's a man and a gentleman, Barbara--the sort you can be proud of, and
that's the sort you got to have. You see I know you.

"And he fought against those fellows of Yoka in the street of Oda
Iseka's village like a man should fight. There ain't any yellow in him,
Barbara, and he didn't leave me until there seemed no other way, even
in the face of the things I told them to make them go. Don't harbor that
against him--I only wonder that he didn't croak me; your dad wanted to,
and Mallory wouldn't let him."

"They never told me that," said Barbara.

The bell rang.

"Here he is now," said Billy. "Good-bye--I'd rather not see him.
Smith'll let me out the servants' door. Guess that'll make him feel
better. You'll do as I ask, Barbara?"

He had paused at the door, turning toward her as he asked the final
question.

The girl stood facing him. Her eyes were dim with unshed tears. Billy
Byrne swam before them in a hazy mist.

"You'll do as I ask, Barbara!" he repeated, but this time it was a
command.

As Mallory entered the room Barbara heard the door of the servants'
entrance slam behind Billy Byrne.




PART II.



CHAPTER I. THE MURDER TRIAL.

BILLY BYRNE squared his broad shoulders and filled his deep lungs with
the familiar medium which is known as air in Chicago. He was standing
upon the platform of a New York Central train that was pulling into the
La Salle Street Station,

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