The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 4

make him mad--before he had been but peeved--peeved at the
rank crust that had permitted these cheap-skates from south of Twelfth
Street to work his territory.

Thoroughly aroused, Billy was a wonder. From a long line of burly
ancestors he had inherited the physique of a prize bull. From earliest
childhood he had fought, always unfairly, so that he knew all the tricks
of street fighting. During the past year there had been added to Billy's
natural fighting ability and instinct a knowledge of the scientific
end of the sport. The result was something appalling--to the gink from
Twelfth Street.

Before he knew whether his shot had killed Billy his gun had been
wrenched from his hand and flung across the street; he was down on the
granite with a hand as hard as the paving block scrambling his facial
attractions beyond hope of recall.

By this time Patrolman Lasky had staggered to his feet, and most
opportunely at that, for the man whom Billy had dazed with the club was
recovering. Lasky promptly put him to sleep with the butt of the gun
that he had been unable to draw when first attacked, then he turned to
assist Billy. But it was not Billy who needed assistance--it was the
gentleman from Bohemia. With difficulty Lasky dragged Billy from his

"Leave enough of him for the inquest," pleaded Lasky.

When the wagon arrived Billy had disappeared, but Lasky had recognized
him and thereafter the two had nodded pleasantly to each other upon such
occasions as they chanced to meet upon the street.

Two years elapsed before the event transpired which proved a crisis in
Billy's life. During this period his existence had been much the same as
before. He had collected what was coming to him from careless and less
muscular citizens. He had helped to stick up a half-dozen saloons. He
had robbed the night men in two elevated stations, and for a while had
been upon the pay-roll of a certain union and done strong arm work in
all parts of the city for twenty-five dollars a week.

By day he was a general utility man about Larry Hilmore's boxing
academy, and time and time again Hilmore urged him to quit drinking
and live straight, for he saw in the young giant the makings of a great
heavy-weight; but Billy couldn't leave the booze alone, and so the best
that he got was an occasional five spot for appearing in preliminary
bouts with third- and fourth-rate heavies and has-beens; but during the
three years that he had hung about Hilmore's he had acquired an enviable

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