The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 180

out there somewhere you wait for me
With buds of roses in your hair and kisses on your mouth.


Billy sighed and shook his head.

"There ain't no such luck for me," he said. "She's married to another
gink now."

They came at last to the hut, upon the shady side of which they found a
Mexican squatting puffing upon a cigarette, while upon the doorstep sat
a woman, evidently his wife, busily engaged in the preparation of some
manner of foodstuff contained in a large, shallow vessel. About them
played a couple of half-naked children. A baby sprawled upon a blanket
just within the doorway.

The man looked up, suspiciously, as the two approached. Bridge saluted
him in fairly understandable Spanish, asking for food, and telling the
man that they had money with which to pay for a little--not much, just a
little.

The Mexican slowly unfolded himself and arose, motioning the strangers
to follow him into the interior of the hut. The woman, at a word from
her lord and master, followed them, and at his further dictation brought
them frijoles and tortillas.

The price he asked was nominal; but his eyes never left Bridge's hands
as the latter brought forth the money and handed it over. He appeared
just a trifle disappointed when no more money than the stipulated
purchase price was revealed to sight.

"Where you going?" he asked.

"We're looking for work," explained Bridge. "We want to get jobs on one
of the American ranches or mines."

"You better go back," warned the Mexican. "I, myself, have nothing
against the Americans, senor; but there are many of my countrymen who
do not like you. The Americans are all leaving. Some already have been
killed by bandits. It is not safe to go farther. Pesita's men are all
about here. Even Mexicans are not safe from him. No one knows whether
he is for Villa or Carranza. If he finds a Villa ranchero, then Pesita
cries Viva Carranza! and his men kill and rob. If, on the other hand, a
neighbor of the last victim hears of it in time, and later Pesita comes
to him, he assures Pesita that he is for Carranza, whereupon Pesita
cries Viva Villa! and falls upon the poor unfortunate, who is lucky
if he escapes with his life. But Americans! Ah, Pesita asks them no
questions. He hates them all, and kills them all, whenever he can lay
his hands upon them. He has sworn to rid Mexico of the gringos."

"Wot's the Dago talkin' about?" asked Billy.

Bridge gave his companion a brief synopsis of the Mexican's
conversation.

"Only the

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