The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 59

The best thing for all concerned is to divide up
this party now once and for all."

As he finished speaking he turned toward Billy Byrne.

"Are you and the others with me, or against me?" he asked.

"I'm ag'in' Simms," replied the mucker non-committally.

Bony Sawyer, Red Sanders, Blanco, Wison, and two others drew in behind
Billy Byrne.

"We all's wid Billy," announced Blanco.

Divine and Barbara Harding stood a little apart. Both were alarmed at
the sudden, hostile turn events had taken. Simms, Ward, and Theriere
were the only members of the party armed. Each wore a revolver strapped
about his hips. All were still dripping from their recent plunge in the
ocean.

Five men stood behind Skipper Simms and Ward, but there were two
revolvers upon that side of the argument. Suddenly Ward turned toward
Divine.

"Are you armed, Mr. Divine?" he asked.

Divine nodded affirmatively.

"Then you'd better come over with us--it looks like we might need you to
help put down this mutiny," said Ward.

Divine hesitated. He did not know which side was more likely to be
victorious, and he wanted to be sure to be on the winning side. Suddenly
an inspiration came to him.

"This is purely a matter to be settled by the ship's officers," he
said. "I am only a prisoner, call me a passenger if you like--I have no
interest whatever in the matter, and shall not take sides."

"Yes you will," said Mr. Ward, in a low, but menacing tone. "You're in
too deep to try to ditch us now. If you don't stand by us we'll treat
you as one of the mutineers when we're through with them, and you can
come pretty near a-guessin' what they'll get."

Divine was about to reply, and the nature of his answer was suggested
by the fact that he had already taken a few steps in the direction of
Simms' faction, when he was stopped by the low voice of the girl behind
him.

"Larry," she said, "I know all--your entire connection with this plot.
If you have a spark of honor or manhood left you will do what little you
can to retrieve the terrible wrong you have done me, and my father. You
can never marry me. I give you my word of honor that I shall take my own
life if that is the only way to thwart your plans in that direction, and
so as the fortune can never be yours it seems to me that the next best
thing would be to try and save me from the terrible predicament in
which your cupidity has placed

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