The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 165

entrance and waited until the two should have
come closer.

They were directly opposite him when the truth flashed upon him--the big
fellow was Billy Byrne, and there was a five-hundred-dollar reward out
for him.

And then the two turned and disappeared down the stairway that led to
the underground restaurant. Sergeant Flannagan saw Byrne's companion
turn and look back just as Flannagan stepped from the doorway to cross
the street after them.

That was the last Sergeant Flannagan had seen either of Billy Byrne or
his companion. The trail had ceased at the open window of the washroom
at the rear of the restaurant, and search as he would be had been unable
to pick it up again.

No one in Kansas City had seen two men that night answering the
descriptions Flannagan had been able to give--at least no one whom
Flannagan could unearth.

Finally he had been forced to take the Kansas City chief into his
confidence, and already a dozen men were scouring such sections of
Kansas City in which it seemed most likely an escaped murderer would
choose to hide.

Flannagan had been out himself for a while; but now he was in to learn
what progress, if any, had been made. He had just learned that three
suspects had been arrested and was waiting to have them paraded before
him.

When the door swung in and the three were escorted into his presence
Sergeant Flannagan gave a snort of disgust, indicative probably not
only of despair; but in a manner registering his private opinion of the
mental horse power and efficiency of the Kansas City sleuths, for of
the three one was a pasty-faced, chestless youth, even then under the
influence of cocaine, another was an old, bewhiskered hobo, while the
third was unquestionably a Chinaman.

Even professional courtesy could scarce restrain Sergeant Flannagan's
desire toward bitter sarcasm, and he was upon the point of launching
forth into a vitriolic arraignment of everything west of Chicago up to
and including, specifically, the Kansas City detective bureau, when the
telephone bell at the chief's desk interrupted him. He had wanted the
chief to hear just what he thought, so he waited.

The chief listened for a few minutes, asked several questions and
then, placing a fat hand over the transmitter, he wheeled about toward
Flannagan.

"Well," he said, "I guess I got something for you at last. There's a
bo on the wire that says he's just seen your man down near Shawnee. He
wants to know if you'll split the reward with him."

Flannagan yawned and stretched.

"I suppose," he said, ironically, "that if I go down there

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