The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 278

tell me what you meant by saying that Bridge
couldn't have me. I never knew that Bridge wanted me, and I certainly
have never wanted Bridge. O Billy! Why didn't you do this long ago?
Months ago in New York I wanted you to take me; but you left me to
another man whom I didn't love. I thought you had ceased to care, Billy,
and since we have been together here--since that night in the room back
of the office--you have made me feel that I was nothing to you. Take me,
Billy! Take me anywhere in the world that you go. I love you and I'll
slave for you--anything just to be with you."

"Barbara!" cried Billy Byrne, and then his voice was smothered by the
pressure of warm, red lips against his own.

A half hour later Billy stepped out into the street to make his way to
the railroad station that he might procure transportation for three
to Galveston. Anthony Harding was going with them. He had listened
to Barbara's pleas, and had finally volunteered to back Billy Byrne's
flight from the jurisdiction of the law, or at least to a place where,
under a new name, he could start life over again and live it as the
son-in-law of old Anthony Harding should live.

Among the crowd viewing the havoc wrought by the raiders the previous
night was a large man with a red face. It happened that he turned
suddenly about as Billy Byrne was on the point of passing behind him.
Both men started as recognition lighted their faces and he of the red
face found himself looking down the barrel of a six-shooter.

"Put it up, Byrne," he admonished the other coolly. "I didn't know you
were so good on the draw."

"I'm good on the draw all right, Flannagan," said Billy, "and I ain't
drawin' for amusement neither. I gotta chance to get away and live
straight, and have a little happiness in life, and, Flannagan, the man
who tries to crab my game is goin' to get himself croaked. I'll never go
back to stir alive. See?"

"Yep," said Flannagan, "I see; but I ain't tryin' to crab your game. I
ain't down here after you this trip. Where you been, anyway, that you
don't know the war's over? Why Coke Sheehan confessed a month ago that
it was him that croaked Schneider, and the governor pardoned you about
ten days ago."

"You stringin' me?" asked Billy, a vicious glint in his eyes.

"On the level," Flannagan assured him. "Wait, I gotta clippin' from the
Trib in

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