The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 232

from the hut, Billy approached cautiously,
since the world is filled with dangers for those who are beyond the law,
and one may not be too careful.

Billy could see a light showing through a small window, and toward
this he made his way. A short distance from Jose's is another, larger
structure from which the former inhabitants had fled the wrath of
Pesita. It was dark and apparently tenantless; but as a matter of fact a
pair of eyes chanced at the very moment of Billy's coming to be looking
out through the open doorway.

The owner turned and spoke to someone behind him.

"Jose has another visitor," he said. "Possibly this one is less harmless
than the other. He comes with great caution. Let us investigate."

Three other men rose from their blankets upon the floor and joined the
speaker. They were all armed, and clothed in the nondescript uniforms of
Villistas. Billy's back was toward them as they sneaked from the hut in
which they were intending to spend the night and crept quietly toward
him.

Billy was busily engaged in peering through the little window into
the interior of the old Indian's hovel. He saw an American in earnest
conversation with Jose. Who could the man be? Billy did not recognize
him; but presently Jose answered the question.

"It shall be done as you wish, Senor Grayson," he said.

"Ah!" thought Billy; "the foreman of El Orobo. I wonder what business he
has with this old scoundrel--and at night."

What other thoughts Billy might have had upon the subject were rudely
interrupted by four energetic gentlemen in his rear, who leaped upon him
simultaneously and dragged him to the ground. Billy made no outcry; but
he fought none the less strenuously for his freedom, and he fought after
the manner of Grand Avenue, which is not a pretty, however effective,
way it may be.

But four against one when all the advantages lie with the four are heavy
odds, and when Grayson and Jose ran out to investigate, and the ranch
foreman added his weight to that of the others Billy was finally
subdued. That each of his antagonists would carry mementos of the battle
for many days was slight compensation for the loss of liberty. However,
it was some.

After disarming their captive and tying his hands at his back they
jerked him to his feet and examined him.

"Who are you?" asked Grayson. "What you doin' sneakin' 'round spyin' on
me, eh?"

"If you wanna know who I am, bo," replied Billy, "go ask de Harlem
Hurricane, an' as fer spyin' on youse, I wasn't;

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