The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 203

Grayson. "Who the devil does he mean by James? I hain't
seen but one of 'em."

The boss was laughing quietly.

"The man's a character," he said. "He'll be worth all you pay him--if
you can appreciate him, which I doubt, Grayson."

"I ken appreciate him if he ken keep books," replied Grayson. "That's
all I ask of him."

When Bridge emerged from the bedroom he was clothed in white duck
trousers, a soft shirt, and a pair of tennis shoes, and such a change
had they wrought in his appearance that neither Grayson nor his employer
would have known him had they not seen him come from the room into which
they had sent him to make the exchange of clothing.

"Feel better?" asked the boss, smiling.

"Clothes are but an incident with me," replied Bridge. "I wear them
because it is easier to do so than it would be to dodge the weather and
the police. Whatever I may have upon my back affects in no way what
I have within my head. No, I cannot say that I feel any better, since
these clothes are not as comfortable as my old ones. However if it
pleases Mr. Grayson that I should wear a pink kimono while working for
him I shall gladly wear a pink kimono. What shall I do first, sir?" The
question was directed toward Grayson.

"Sit down here an' see what you ken make of this bunch of trouble,"
replied the foreman. "I'll talk with you again this evenin'."

As Grayson and his employer quitted the office and walked together
toward the corrals the latter's brow was corrugated by thought and his
facial expression that of one who labors to fasten upon a baffling and
illusive recollection.

"It beats all, Grayson," he said presently; "but I am sure that I have
known this new bookkeeper of yours before. The moment he came out of
that room dressed like a human being I knew that I had known him; but
for the life of me I can't place him. I should be willing to wager
considerable, however, that his name is not Bridge."

"S'pect you're right," assented Grayson. "He's probably one o' them
eastern dude bank clerks what's gone wrong and come down here to hide.
Mighty fine place to hide jest now, too.

"And say, speakin' of banks," he went on, "what'll I do 'bout sendin'
over to Cuivaca fer the pay tomorrow. Next day's pay day. I don't like
to send this here bum, I can't trust a greaser no better, an' I can't
spare none of my white men thet

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