The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 231

Bridge admitted; "but what's the use? Let's
forget it. Oh, say, is this the horse I let you take the night you
robbed the bank?"

"Yes," said Billy; "same little pony, an' a mighty well-behaved one,
too. Why?"

"It's hers," said Bridge.

"An' she wants it back?"

"She didn't say so; but I'd like to get it to her some way," said
Bridge.

"You ride it back when you go," suggested Billy.

"But I can't go back," said Bridge; "it was Grayson, the foreman, who
made it so hot for me I had to leave. He tried to arrest me and send me
to Villa."

"What for?" asked Billy.

"He didn't like me, and wanted to get rid of me." Bridge wouldn't say
that his relations with Billy had brought him into trouble.

"Oh, well, I'll take it back myself then, and at the same time I'll tell
Penelope what a regular fellow you are, and punch in the foreman's face
for good luck."

"No, you mustn't go there. They know you now. It was some of El Orobo's
men you shot up day before yesterday when you took their steers from
them. They recognized the pony, and one of them had seen you in Cuivaca
the night of the robbery. They would be sure to get you, Billy."

Shortly the two came in touch with the retreating Pesitistas who were
riding slowly toward their mountain camp. Their pursuers had long since
given up the chase, fearing that they might be being lured into the
midst of a greatly superior force, and had returned to Cuivaca.

It was nearly morning when Bridge and Billy threw themselves down upon
the latter's blankets, fagged.

"Well, well," murmured Billy Byrne; "li'l ol' Bridgie's found his
Penelope," and fell asleep.



CHAPTER XIII. BARBARA AGAIN

CAPTAIN BILLY BYRNE rode out of the hills the following afternoon upon a
pinto pony that showed the whites of its eyes in a wicked rim about the
iris and kept its ears perpetually flattened backward.

At the end of a lariat trailed the Brazos pony, for Billy, laughing
aside Bridge's pleas, was on his way to El Orobo Rancho to return the
stolen horse to its fair owner.

At the moment of departure Pesita had asked Billy to ride by way of
Jose's to instruct the old Indian that he should bear word to one
Esteban that Pesita required his presence.

It is a long ride from the retreat of the Pesitistas to Jose's squalid
hut, especially if one be leading an extra horse, and so it was that
darkness had fallen long before Billy arrived in sight of Jose's.
Dismounting some distance

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