The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 182

may tell all this to Pesita himself, senor," he said. "Now
come--get a move on--beat it!" The fellow had once worked in El Paso and
took great pride in his "higher English" education.

As he started to herd them from the hut Billy demurred. He turned toward
Bridge.

"Most of this talk gets by me," he said. "I ain't jerry to all the Dago
jabber yet, though I've copped off a little of it in the past two weeks.
Put me wise to the gink's lay."

"Elementary, Watson, elementary," replied Bridge. "We are captured by
bandits, and they are going to take us to their delightful chief who
will doubtless have us shot at sunrise."

"Bandits?" snapped Billy, with a sneer. "Youse don't call dese little
runts bandits?"

"Baby bandits, Billy, baby bandits," replied Bridge.

"An' you're goin' to stan' fer lettin' 'em pull off this rough stuff
without handin' 'em a come-back?" demanded Byrne.

"We seem to be up against just that very thing," said Bridge. "There are
four carbines quite ready for us. It would mean sudden death to resist
now. Later we may find an opportunity--I think we'd better act simple
and wait." He spoke in a quick, low whisper, for the spokesman of the
brigands evidently understood a little English and was on the alert for
any trickery.

Billy shrugged, and when their captors again urged them forward he
went quietly; but the expression on his face might have perturbed the
Mexicans had they known Billy Byrne of Grand Avenue better--he was
smiling happily.

Miguel had two ponies in his corral. These the brigands appropriated,
placing Billy upon one and Miguel and Bridge upon the other. Billy's
great weight rendered it inadvisable to double him up with another
rider.

As they were mounting Billy leaned toward Bridge and whispered:

"I'll get these guys, pal--watch me," he said.

"I am with thee, William!--horse, foot, and artillery," laughed Bridge.

"Which reminds me," said Billy, "that I have an ace-in-the-hole--the
boobs never frisked me."

"And I am reminded," returned Bridge, as the horses started off to the
yank of hackamore ropes in the hands of the brigands who were leading
them, "of a touching little thing of Service's:

Just think! Some night the stars will gleam
Upon a cold gray stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
And lo! 'twill be your own."


"You're a cheerful guy," was Billy's only comment.



CHAPTER VII. IN PESITA'S CAMP

PESITA was a short, stocky man with a large, dark mustache. He attired
himself after his own ideas of what should constitute the uniform

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