The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 138

and though the young man was far from happy
something in the nature of content pervaded his being, for he was coming
home.

After something more than a year of world wandering and strange
adventure Billy Byrne was coming back to the great West Side and Grand
Avenue.

Now there is not much upon either side or down the center of long and
tortuous Grand Avenue to arouse enthusiasm, nor was Billy particularly
enthusiastic about that more or less squalid thoroughfare.

The thing that exalted Billy was the idea that he was coming back to
SHOW THEM. He had left under a cloud and with a reputation for genuine
toughness and rowdyism that has seen few parallels even in the ungentle
district of his birth and upbringing.

A girl had changed him. She was as far removed from Billy's sphere as
the stars themselves; but Billy had loved her and learned from her, and
in trying to become more as he knew the men of her class were he had
sloughed off much of the uncouthness that had always been a part of him,
and all of the rowdyism. Billy Byrne was no longer the mucker.

He had given her up because he imagined the gulf between Grand Avenue
and Riverside Drive to be unbridgeable; but he still clung to the ideals
she had awakened in him. He still sought to be all that she might wish
him to be, even though he realized that he never should see her again.

Grand Avenue would be the easiest place to forget his sorrow--her he
could never forget. And then, his newly awakened pride urged him back to
the haunts of his former life that he might, as he would put it himself,
show them. He wanted the gang to see that he, Billy Byrne, wasn't afraid
to be decent. He wanted some of the neighbors to realize that he could
work steadily and earn an honest living, and he looked forward with
delight to the pleasure and satisfaction of rubbing it in to some of the
saloon keepers and bartenders who had helped keep him drunk some five
days out of seven, for Billy didn't drink any more.

But most of all he wanted to vindicate himself in the eyes of the
once-hated law. He wanted to clear his record of the unjust charge of
murder which had sent him scurrying out of Chicago over a year before,
that night that Patrolman Stanley Lasky of the Lake Street Station had
tipped him off that Sheehan had implicated him in the murder of old man
Schneider.

Now Billy Byrne

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Text Comparison with At the Earth's Core

Page 3
He prayed when he arose in the morning, he prayed before he ate, he prayed when he had finished eating, and before he went to bed at night he prayed again.
Page 15
My mammoth enemy was so close by this time that I knew I must feel the weight of one of his terrible paws before I could rise, but to my surprise the blow did not fall upon me.
Page 16
Between them and the beasts behind me there was little choice, but at least there was a doubt as to the reception these grotesque parodies on humanity would accord me, while there was none as to the fate which awaited me beneath the grinning fangs of my fierce pursuers.
Page 17
As we approached it my escort broke into wild shouting which was immediately answered from within, and a moment later a swarm of creatures of the same strange race as those who had captured me poured out to meet us.
Page 19
We have been here for many hours--yet it is still noon.
Page 20
Toward these our captors urged us, and after a short time led us through a narrow pass into a tiny, circular valley.
Page 24
"Why DOES a woman run away.
Page 29
so much to me, the more I came to miss it; and the more impregnable the barrier of silly pride.
Page 32
Two marches after this episode we came to the city of Phutra.
Page 48
His mighty strokes bade fair to close up the distance between us in short order, for at best I could make but slow progress with my unfamiliar craft, which nosed stubbornly in every direction but that which I desired to follow, so that fully half my energy was expended in turning its blunt prow back into the course.
Page 57
And then to my utter amazement I saw the forehead and eyes of the maiden come slowly out of the depths, following the gaze of the reptile just as when she had disappeared beneath the surface.
Page 65
He had come down to within twenty feet of the bottom, and there, clinging with one hand to a small ledge, and with his feet resting, precariously upon tiny bushes that grew from the solid face of the rock, he lowered the point of his long spear until it hung some six feet above the ground.
Page 69
" He dropped a fruit from his hand to the ground.
Page 71
Why should I not desire to be in Phutra? Am I not well fed and well treated? Am I not happy? What better lot could man desire?" The Sagoths scratched their heads.
Page 77
questions, through a Sagoth interpreter.
Page 84
Then, still in our disguises, we set off directly away from Phutra.
Page 94
All that I could do was to snatch up a rock, and hurl it at the thing's hideous face.
Page 98
Formerly he may have been as good to look upon as the others of his handsome race, and it may be that the terrible result of this encounter had tended to sour an already strong and brutal character.
Page 114
There were books, rifles, revolvers, ammunition, cameras, chemicals, telephones, telegraph instruments, wire, tool and more books--books upon every subject under the sun.
Page 115
His last letter was written the day before he intended to depart.