The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 2

Larry Hilmore.

Now it happened that while the new light-weight was unknown to the
charmed circle of the gang, Billy knew him fairly well by reason of
the proximity of their respective parental back yards, and so when the
glamour of pugilistic success haloed the young man Billy lost no time in
basking in the light of reflected glory.

He saw much of his new hero all the following winter. He accompanied him
to many mills, and on one glorious occasion occupied a position in the
coming champion's corner. When the prize fighter toured, Billy continued
to hang around Hilmore's place, running errands and doing odd jobs, the
while he picked up pugilistic lore, and absorbed the spirit of the
game along with the rudiments and finer points of its science, almost
unconsciously. Then his ambition changed. Once he had longed to shine as
a gunman; now he was determined to become a prize fighter; but the
old gang still saw much of him, and he was a familiar figure about the
saloon corners along Grand Avenue and Lake Street.

During this period Billy neglected the box cars on Kinzie Street,
partially because he felt that he was fitted for more dignified
employment, and as well for the fact that the railroad company had
doubled the number of watchmen in the yards; but there were times when
he felt the old yearning for excitement and adventure. These times were
usually coincident with an acute financial depression in Billy's change
pocket, and then he would fare forth in the still watches of the night,
with a couple of boon companions and roll a souse, or stick up a saloon.

It was upon an occasion of this nature that an event occurred which was
fated later to change the entire course of Billy Byrne's life. Upon
the West Side the older gangs are jealous of the sanctity of their own
territory. Outsiders do not trespass with impunity. From Halsted to
Robey, and from Lake to Grand lay the broad hunting preserve of Kelly's
gang, to which Billy had been almost born, one might say. Kelly owned
the feed-store back of which the gang had loafed for years, and though
himself a respectable businessman his name had been attached to the
pack of hoodlums who held forth at his back door as the easiest means of
locating and identifying its motley members.

The police and citizenry of this great territory were the natural
enemies and prey of Kelly's gang, but as the kings of old protected
the deer of their great forests from poachers, so Kelly's gang felt
it incumbent

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the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 10 12 of or 14 19 of animals life of animals 31 26 is arms his arms 37 14 above this above his 37 23 Bradley, Bradley 54 18 man man 57 14 and of Oo-oh of Oo-oh 62 18 spend spent 63 31 and mumbled the mumbled 64 9 things thing 80 30 east cast 104 16 proaching proached 106 30 cos-at-lu cos-ata-lu 126 17 not artistic not an artistic 126 25 close below hands close below 130 1 internals intervals 132 9 than .