are. You fellows
have fought splendidly. Wish I could give you something more substantial
than thanks; but that's all I have now and shortly Pesita won't even
leave me that much."
"Allee light," replied Sing cheerfully, and a second later he was
clambering through the window in the wake of the loyal Mexican.
And then the door crashed in and half a dozen troopers followed by
Pesita himself burst into the room.
Bridge was standing at the foot of the stairs, his carbine clubbed, for
he had just spent his last bullet. He knew that he must die; but he was
determined to make them purchase his life as dearly as he could, and to
die in defense of Anthony Harding, the father of the girl he loved, even
Pesita saw from the American's attitude that he had no more ammunition.
He struck up the carbine of a trooper who was about to shoot Bridge
"Wait!" commanded the bandit. "Cease firing! His ammunition is gone.
Will you surrender?" he asked of Bridge.
"Not until I have beaten from the heads of one or two of your friends,"
he replied, "that which their egotism leads them to imagine are brains.
No, if you take me alive, Pesita, you will have to kill me to do it."
Pesita shrugged. "Very well," he said, indifferently, "it makes little
difference to me--that stairway is as good as a wall. These brave
defenders of the liberty of poor, bleeding Mexico will make an excellent
firing squad. Attention, my children! Ready! Aim!"
Eleven carbines were leveled at Bridge. In the ghastly light of early
dawn the sallow complexions of the Mexicans took on a weird hue. The
American made a wry face, a slight shudder shook his slender frame, and
then he squared his shoulders and looked Pesita smilingly in the face.
The figure of a man appeared at the window through which the Chinaman
and the loyal Mexican had escaped. Quick eyes took in the scene within
"Hey!" he yelled. "Cut the rough stuff!" and leaped into the room.
Pesita, surprised by the interruption, turned toward the intruder before
he had given the command to fire. A smile lit his features when he saw
who it was.
"Ah!" he exclaimed, "my dear Captain Byrne. Just in time to see a
traitor and a spy pay the penalty for his crimes."
"Nothin' doin'," growled Billy Byrne, and then he threw his carbine to
his shoulder and took careful aim at Pesita's face.
How easy it would have been to have hesitated a moment in the window
before he made his presence known--just
"Well, I suppose that the least we can do is to have him aboard for dinner.Page 24
In answer to the query of the Lotus' captain Skipper Simms was explaining their trouble.Page 29
"Oh, no," he hastened to assure her, "they have not treated me at all badly--why should they? If I die they can collect no ransom on me.Page 39
Once below Theriere found himself covered by his own revolver in the hands of a very desperate and a very unprincipled man.Page 49
There is but one upon the right side of that line--you, my friend," and with an impulsive little gesture Barbara Harding extended her hand to Theriere.Page 58
Skipper Simms, subdued for the moment, soon commenced to regain his bluster.Page 96
The man still lay with his head buried in his arm, but whether he were wrapped in thought, in slumber, or in death the girl could not tell.Page 115
"If he's alive that's all that counts--I haven't got his blood on my hands.Page 148
But the voice--that interested Billy almost as much as the preparations for the coming meal.Page 153
"This is the life," said Bridge.Page 157
"I dunno what that means," said Billy; "but if it's something I shouldn't be I probably am.Page 158
I just wonder now," and he let his eyes wander to his companion as though he might read upon his face the purpose which lay in the man's heart.Page 173
"Too late," he said, turning to Bridge.Page 194
The afternoon was far gone when Billy drew rein in the camp of the outlaw band.Page 196
"Either he's a mighty good loser or else he's a deep one who'll wait a year to get me the way he wants to get me.Page 213
The latter fired scarce a second after Billy's shot had pinged so perilously close--fired at a perfect target but fifty yards away.Page 230
To the east they heard the diminishing rifle fire of the combatants as Pesita's men fell steadily back before the defenders, and drew them away from Cuivaca in accordance with Billy's plan.Page 269
For the most part they moved in silence, Billy holding the girl's arm or hand to steady her over the rough and dangerous portions of the path.Page 271
Quick eyes took in the scene within the room.Page 276
The Pesitistas were watching too.