The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 6

east in the alley toward Lincoln
Street. Lasky returned to Robey Street. In Lincoln Street Billy walked
north to Kinzie. Here he entered the railroad yards. An hour later he
was bumping out of town toward the West on a fast freight. Three weeks
later he found himself in San Francisco. He had no money, but the
methods that had so often replenished his depleted exchequer at home he
felt would serve the same purpose here.

Being unfamiliar with San Francisco, Billy did not know where best to
work, but when by accident he stumbled upon a street where there were
many saloons whose patrons were obviously seafaring men Billy was
distinctly elated. What could be better for his purpose than a drunken

He entered one of the saloons and stood watching a game of cards,
or thus he seemed to be occupied. As a matter of fact his eyes were
constantly upon the alert, roving about the room to wherever a man was
in the act of paying for a round of drinks that a fat wallet might be

Presently one that filled him with longing rewarded his careful watch.
The man was sitting at a table a short distance from Billy. Two other
men were with him. As he paid the waiter from a well-filled pocketbook
he looked up to meet Billy's eyes upon him.

With a drunken smile he beckoned to the mucker to join them. Billy felt
that Fate was overkind to him, and he lost no time in heeding her call.
A moment later he was sitting at the table with the three sailors, and
had ordered a drop of red-eye.

The stranger was very lavish in his entertainment. He scarcely waited
for Billy to drain one glass before he ordered another, and once after
Billy had left the table for a moment he found a fresh drink awaiting
him when he returned--his host had already poured it for him.

It was this last drink that did the business.


WHEN Billy opened his eyes again he could not recall, for the instant,
very much of his recent past. At last he remembered with painful regret
the drunken sailor it had been his intention to roll. He felt deeply
chagrined that his rightful prey should have escaped him. He couldn't
understand how it had happened.

"This Frisco booze must be something fierce," thought Billy.

His head ached frightfully and he was very sick. So sick that the room
in which he lay seemed to be rising and falling in a horribly realistic
manner. Every time it dropped it brought Billy's

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