The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 188

reason why I should need an escort.
I know my way throughout all Chihuahua as well as Pesita or any of
his cutthroats. I have come and gone all my life without an escort.
Of course your friend is different. It might be well for him to have
company to El Orobo. Maybe it is all right; but wait until we learn who
commands the escort. I know Pesita well. I know his methods. If Rozales
rides out with us tomorrow morning you may say good-bye to your friend
forever, for you will never see him in Rio, or elsewhere. He and I will
be dead before ten o'clock."

"What makes you think that, bo?" demanded Billy.

"I do not think, senor," replied Miguel; "I know."

"Well," said Billy, "we'll wait and see."

"If it is Rozales, say nothing," said Miguel. "It will do no good; but
we may then be on the watch, and if possible you might find the means
to obtain a couple of revolvers for us. In which case--" he shrugged and
permitted a faint smile to flex his lips.

As they talked a soldier came and announced that they were no longer
prisoners--they were to have the freedom of the camp; "but," he
concluded, "the general requests that you do not pass beyond the limits
of the camp. There are many desperadoes in the hills and he fears for
your safety, now that you are his guests."

The man spoke Spanish, so that it was necessary that Bridge interpret
his words for the benefit of Billy, who had understood only part of what
he said.

"Ask him," said Byrne, "if that stuff goes for me, too."

"He says no," replied Bridge after questioning the soldier, "that
the captain is now one of them, and may go and come as do the other
officers. Such are Pesita's orders."

Billy arose. The messenger had returned to his post at headquarters. The
guard had withdrawn, leaving the three men alone.

"So long, old man," said Billy. "If I'm goin' to be of any help to you
and Mig the less I'm seen with you the better. I'll blow over and mix
with the Dago bunch, an' practice sittin' on my heels. It seems to be
the right dope down here, an' I got to learn all I can about bein' a
greaser seein' that I've turned one."

"Good-bye Billy, remember Rio," said Bridge.

"And the revolvers, senor," added Miguel.

"You bet," replied Billy, and strolled off in the direction of the
little circle of cigarette smokers.

As he approached them Rozales looked up and smiled. Then, rising,
extended

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