The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 247

Orobo Rancho and
its foreman; but the fact that Anthony Harding owned it and that he and
Barbara were there was sufficient effectually to banish all thoughts of
revenge along that line.

"Maybe I can get his goat later," he thought, "when he's away from the
ranch. I don't like that stiff, anyhow. He orter been a harness bull."

It was four o'clock in the morning when Billy dismounted in front of
Jose's hut. He pounded on the door until the man came and opened it.

"Eh!" exclaimed Jose as he saw who his early morning visitor was, "you
got away from them. Fine!" and the old man chuckled. "I send word to
Pesita two, four hours ago that Villistas capture Capitan Byrne and take
him to Cuivaca."

"Thanks," said Billy. "Pesita wants you to send Esteban to him. I didn't
have no chance to tell you last night while them pikers was stickin'
aroun', so I stops now on my way back to the hills."

"I will send Esteban tonight if I can get him; but I do not know.
Esteban is working for the pig, Grayson."

"Wot's he doin' fer Grayson?" asked Billy. "And what was the Grayson
guy doin' up here with you, Jose? Ain't you gettin' pretty thick with
Pesita's enemies?"

"Jose good friends everybody," and the old man grinned. "Grayson have
a job he want good men for. Jose furnish men. Grayson pay well. Job
got nothin' do Pesita, Villa, Carranza, revolution--just private job.
Grayson want senorita. He pay to get her. That all."

"Oh," said Billy, and yawned. He was not interested in Mr. Grayson's
amours. "Why didn't the poor boob go get her himself?" he inquired
disinterestedly. "He must be a yap to hire a bunch o' guys to go cop off
a siwash girl fer him."

"It is not a siwash girl, Senor Capitan," said Jose. "It is one
beautiful senorita--the daughter of the owner of El Orobo Rancho."

"What?" cried Billy Byrne. "What's that you say?"

"Yes, Senor Capitan, what of it?" inquired Jose. "Grayson he pay me
furnish the men. Esteban he go with his warriors. I get Esteban. They go
tonight take away the senorita; but not for Grayson," and the old fellow
laughed. "I can no help can I? Grayson pay me money get men. I get them.
I no help if they keep girl," and he shrugged.

"They're comin' for her tonight?" cried Billy.

"Si, senor," replied Jose. "Doubtless they already take her."

"Hell!" muttered Billy Byrne, as he swung Brazos about so quickly that
the little pony pivoted upon his hind legs and dashed away

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