The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 166

I'll
find he's corraled a nigger," and he looked sorrowfully at the three
specimens before him.

"I dunno," said the chief. "This guy says he knows Byrne well, an' that
he's got it in for him. Shall I tell him you'll be down--and split the
reward?"

"Tell him I'll be down and that I'll treat him right," replied
Flannagan, and after the chief had transmitted the message, and hung up
the receiver: "Where is this here Shawnee, anyhow?"

"I'll send a couple of men along with you. It isn't far across the line,
an' there won't be no trouble in getting back without nobody knowin'
anything about it--if you get him."

"All right," said Flannagan, his visions of five hundred already
dwindled to a possible one.

It was but a little past one o'clock that a touring car rolled south out
of Kansas City with Detective Sergeant Flannagan in the front seat with
the driver and two burly representatives of Missouri law in the back.



CHAPTER V. ONE TURN DESERVES ANOTHER

WHEN the two tramps approached the farmhouse at which Billy had
purchased food a few hours before the farmer's wife called the dog that
was asleep in the summer kitchen and took a shotgun down from its hook
beside the door.

From long experience the lady was a reader of character--of hobo
character at least--and she saw nothing in the appearance of either
of these two that inspired even a modicum of confidence. Now the young
fellow who had been there earlier in the day and who, wonder of wonders,
had actually paid for the food she gave him, had been of a different
stamp. His clothing had proclaimed him a tramp, but, thanks to the razor
Bridge always carried, he was clean shaven. His year of total abstinence
had given him clear eyes and a healthy skin. There was a freshness and
vigor in his appearance and carriage that inspired confidence rather
than suspicion.

She had not mistrusted him; but these others she did mistrust. When they
asked to use the telephone she refused and ordered them away, thinking
it but an excuse to enter the house; but they argued the matter,
explaining that they had discovered an escaped murderer hiding
near-by--in fact in her own meadow--and that they wished only to call
up the Kansas City police.

Finally she yielded, but kept the dog by her side and the shotgun in her
hand while the two entered the room and crossed to the telephone upon
the opposite side.

From the conversation which she overheard the woman concluded that,
after all, she had been mistaken, not only about these two,

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