The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 204

I ken trust."

"Send him with a couple of the most trustworthy Mexicans you have,"
suggested the boss.

"There ain't no sich critter," replied Grayson; "but I guess that's the
best I ken do. I'll send him along with Tony an' Benito--they hate
each other too much to frame up anything together, an' they both hate a
gringo. I reckon they'll hev a lovely trip."

"But they'll get back with the money, eh?" queried the boss.

"If Pesita don't get 'em," replied Grayson.


BILLY BYRNE, captain, rode into Cuivaca from the south. He had made a
wide detour in order to accomplish this; but under the circumstances he
had thought it wise to do so. In his pocket was a safe conduct from one
of Villa's generals farther south--a safe conduct taken by Pesita from
the body of one of his recent victims. It would explain Billy's presence
in Cuivaca since it had been intended to carry its rightful possessor to
Juarez and across the border into the United States.

He found the military establishment at Cuivaca small and ill commanded.
There were soldiers upon the streets; but the only regularly detailed
guard was stationed in front of the bank. No one questioned Billy. He
did not have to show his safe conduct.

"This looks easy," thought Billy. "A reg'lar skinch."

He first attended to his horse, turning him into a public corral,
and then sauntered up the street to the bank, which he entered, still
unquestioned. Inside he changed a bill of large denomination which
Pesita had given him for the purpose of an excuse to examine the lay of
the bank from the inside. Billy took a long time to count the change.
All the time his eyes wandered about the interior while he made mental
notes of such salient features as might prove of moment to him later.
The money counted Billy slowly rolled a cigarette.

He saw that the bank was roughly divided into two sections by a wire and
wood partition. On one side were the customers, on the other the clerks
and a teller. The latter sat behind a small wicket through which he
received deposits and cashed checks. Back of him, against the wall,
stood a large safe of American manufacture. Billy had had business
before with similar safes. A doorway in the rear wall led into the yard
behind the building. It was closed by a heavy door covered with sheet
iron and fastened by several bolts and a thick, strong bar. There were
no windows in the rear wall. From that side the

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