The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 197

an American named Grayson. He was a
tall, wiry man whose education had been acquired principally in the cow
camps of Texas, where, among other things one does NOT learn to love
nor trust a greaser. As a result of this early training Grayson was
peculiarly unfitted in some respects to manage an American ranch in
Mexico; but he was a just man, and so if his vaqueros did not love
him, they at least respected him, and everyone who was or possessed the
latent characteristics of a wrongdoer feared him.

Perhaps it is not fair to say that Grayson was in any way unfitted for
the position he held, since as a matter of fact he was an ideal ranch
foreman, and, if the truth be known, the simple fact that he was a
gringo would have been sufficient to have won him the hatred of the
Mexicans who worked under him--not in the course of their everyday
relations; but when the fires of racial animosity were fanned to flame
by some untoward incident upon either side of the border.

Today Grayson was particularly rabid. The more so because he could not
vent his anger upon the cause of it, who was no less a person than his
boss.

It seemed incredible to Grayson that any man of intelligence could have
conceived and then carried out the fool thing which the boss had just
done, which was to have come from the safety of New York City to the
hazards of warring Mexico, bringing--and this was the worst feature
of it--his daughter with him. And at such a time! Scarce a day passed
without its rumors or reports of new affronts and even atrocities
being perpetrated upon American residents of Mexico. Each day, too, the
gravity of these acts increased. From mere insult they had run of late
to assault and even to murder. Nor was the end in sight.

Pesita had openly sworn to rid Mexico of the gringo--to kill on sight
every American who fell into his hands. And what could Grayson do in
case of a determined attack upon the rancho? It is true he had a hundred
men--laborers and vaqueros, but scarce a dozen of these were Americans,
and the rest would, almost without exception, follow the inclinations of
consanguinity in case of trouble.

To add to Grayson's irritability he had just lost his bookkeeper, and
if there was one thing more than any other that Grayson hated it was pen
and ink. The youth had been a "lunger" from Iowa, a fairly nice little
chap, and entirely suited to his

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