The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 186

of
great service to us, for he is very friendly with the Germans--yet he
looks like a gringo and could pass for one. We can utilize him. Also he
is very large and appears to be equally strong. He should make a good
fighter and we have none too many. I have made him a captain."

Rozales grinned. Already among Pesita's following of a hundred men there
were fifteen captains.

"Where is Granavenoo?" asked Rozales.

"You mean to say, my dear captain," exclaimed Pesita, "that a man of
your education does not know where Granavenoo is? I am surprised. Why,
it is a German colony."

"Yes, of course. I recall it well now. For the moment it had slipped my
mind. My grandfather who was a great traveler was there many times. I
have heard him speak of it often."

"But I did not summon you that we might discuss European geography,"
interrupted Pesita. "I sent for you to tell you that the stranger would
not consent to serve me unless I liberated his friend, the gringo, and
that sneaking spy of a Miguel. I was forced to yield, for we can use the
stranger. So I have promised, my dear captain, that I shall send them
upon their road with a safe escort in the morning, and you shall command
the guard. Upon your life respect my promise, Rozales; but if some of
Villa's cutthroats should fall upon you, and in the battle, while you
were trying to defend the gringo and Miguel, both should be slain by the
bullets of the Villistas--ah, but it would be deplorable, Rozales, but
it would not be your fault. Who, indeed, could blame you who had fought
well and risked your men and yourself in the performance of your sacred
duty? Rozales, should such a thing occur what could I do in token of my
great pleasure other than make you a colonel?"

"I shall defend them with my life, my general," cried Rozales, bowing
low.

"Good!" cried Pesita. "That is all."

Rozales started back toward the ring of smokers.

"Ah, Captain!" cried Pesita. "Another thing. Will you make it known to
the other officers that the stranger from Granavenoo is a captain and
that it is my wish that he be well treated, but not told so much as
might injure him, or his usefulness, about our sacred work of liberating
poor, bleeding unhappy Mexico."

Again Rozales bowed and departed. This time he was not recalled.

Billy found Bridge and Miguel squatting on the ground with two
dirty-faced peons standing guard over them. The latter were some
little distance away. They

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