The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 169

nothin' of de kind," urged his companion. "I got it all
doped out. We got lots o' time before de dicks are due. We'll croak de
skirt, an' den we'll beat it up de road AN' MEET DE DICKS--see?"

The other was aghast.

"Wen did youse go nuts?" he asked.

"I ain't gone nuts. Wait 'til I gets t'rough. We meets de dicks,
innocent-like; but first we caches de dough in de woods. We tells 'em we
hurried right on to lead 'em to dis Byrne guy, an' wen we gets back here
to de farmhouse an' finds wot's happened here we'll be as flabbergasted
as dey be."

"Oh, nuts!" exclaimed the other disgustedly. "Youse don't tink youse
can put dat over on any wise guy from Chi, do youse? Who will dey tink
croaked de old woman an' de ki-yi? Will dey tink dey kilt deyreselves?"

"Dey'll tink Byrne an' his pardner croaked 'em, you simp," replied

Dink scratched his head, and as the possibilities of the scheme filtered
into his dull brain a broad grin bared his yellow teeth.

"You're dere, pal," he exclaimed, real admiration in his tone. "But
who's goin' to do it?"

"I'll do it," said Crumb. "Dere ain't no chanct of gettin' in bad for
it, so I jest as soon do the job. Get me a knife, or an ax from de
kitchen--de gat makes too much noise."

Something awoke Billy Byrne with a start. Faintly, in the back of his
consciousness, the dim suggestion of a loud noise still reverberated. He
sat up and looked about him.

"I wonder what that was?" he mused. "It sounded like the report of a

Bridge awoke about the same time, and turned lazily over, raising
himself upon an elbow. He grinned at Billy.

"Good morning," he said, and then:

Says I, "Then let's be on the float. You certainly have got my goat;
You make me hungry in my throat for seeing things that's new. Out there
somewhere we'll ride the range a-looking for the new and strange; My
feet are tired and need a change. Come on! It's up to you!"

"Come on, then," agreed Billy, coming to his feet.

As he rose there came, faintly, but distinct, the unmistakable scream
of a frightened woman. From the direction of the farmhouse it came--from
the farmhouse at which Billy had purchased their breakfast.

Without waiting for a repetition of the cry Billy wheeled and broke into
a rapid run in the direction of the little cluster of buildings. Bridge
leaped to his feet and followed him, dropping behind though, for

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