The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 14

had once held
a commission in the French Navy, from which he doubtless had been
kicked--in disgrace.

The man was cold, cruel, of a moody disposition, and quick to anger.
He had been signed as second officer for this cruise through the
intervention of Divine and Clinker. He had sailed with Simms before, but
the skipper had found him too hard a customer to deal with, and had
been on the point of seeking another second when Divine and Clinker
discovered him on board the Halfmoon and after ten minutes' conversation
with him found that he fitted so perfectly into their scheme of action
that they would not hear of Simms' releasing him.

Ward had little use for the Frenchman, whose haughty manner and
condescending airs grated on the sensibilities of the uncouth and
boorish first officer. The duty which necessitated him acting in the
capacity of Theriere's servant was about as distasteful to him as
anything could be, and only served to add to his hatred for the
inferior, who, in the bottom of his heart, he knew to be in every way,
except upon the roster of the Halfmoon, his superior; but money can work
wonders, and Divine's promise that the officers and crew of the Halfmoon
would have a cool million United States dollars to divide among them in
case of the success of the venture had quite effectually overcome any
dislike which Mr. Ward had felt for this particular phase of his duty.

The two officers sat in silence in their room at the hotel awaiting
an answer to the note they had dispatched to Anthony Harding, Esq.
The parts they were to act had been carefully rehearsed on board the
Halfmoon many times. Each was occupied with his own thoughts, and
as they had nothing in common outside the present rascality that had
brought them together, and as that subject was one not well to discuss
more than necessary, there seemed no call for conversation.

On board the yacht in the harbor preparations were being made to land a
small party that contemplated a motor trip up the Nuuanu Valley when
a small boat drew alongside, and a messenger from the hotel handed a
sealed note to one of the sailors.

From the deck of the Halfmoon Skipper Simms witnessed the transaction,
smiling inwardly. Billy Byrne also saw it, but it meant nothing to him.
He had been lolling upon the deck of the brigantine glaring at the yacht
Lotus, hating her and the gay, well-dressed men and women he could
see laughing and chatting upon her deck. They represented to him

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