The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 212

"Why the
devil should I take all this swag back to that yellow-faced yegg? Who
pulled this thing off anyway? Why me, of course, and does anybody think
Billy Byrne's boob enough to split with a guy that didn't have a hand in
it at all. Split! Why the nut'll take it all!

"Nix! Me for the border. I couldn't do a thing with all this coin down
in Rio, an' Bridgie'll be along there most any time. We can hit it up
some in lil' ol' Rio on this bunch o' dough. Why, say kid, there must be
a million here, from the weight of it."

A frown suddenly clouded his face. "Why did I take it?" he asked
himself. "Was I crackin' a safe, or was I pullin' off something fine fer
poor, bleedin' Mexico? If I was a-doin' that they ain't nothin' criminal
in what I done--except to the guy that owned the coin. If I was just
plain crackin' a safe on my own hook why then I'm a crook again an' I
can't be that--no, not with that face of yours standin' out there so
plain right in front of me, just as though you were there yourself,
askin' me to remember an' be decent. God! Barbara--why wasn't I born for
the likes of you, and not just a measly, ornery mucker like I am. Oh,
hell! what is that that Bridge sings of Knibbs's:

There ain't no sweet Penelope somewhere that's longing much for me,
But I can smell the blundering sea, and hear the rigging hum;
And I can hear the whispering lips that fly before the out-bound ships,
And I can hear the breakers on the sand a-calling "Come!"


Billy took off his hat and scratched his head.

"Funny," he thought, "how a girl and poetry can get a tough nut like me.
I wonder what the guys that used to hang out in back of Kelly's 'ud
say if they seen what was goin' on in my bean just now. They'd call
me Lizzy, eh? Well, they wouldn't call me Lizzy more'n once. I may be
gettin' soft in the head, but I'm all to the good with my dukes."

Speed is not conducive to sentimental thoughts and so Billy had
unconsciously permitted his pony to drop into a lazy walk. There was no
need for haste anyhow. No one knew yet that the bank had been robbed,
or at least so Billy argued. He might, however, have thought differently
upon the subject of haste could he have

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