The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 62

retrieving such of the wreckage and the
salvage of the Halfmoon as the waves had deposited in the shallows of
the beach. There were casks of fresh water, kegs of biscuit, clothing,
tinned meats, and a similar heterogeneous mass of flotsam. This arduous
labor consumed the best part of the afternoon, and it was not until it
had been completed that Divine and his party returned to the beach.

They reported that they had discovered a spring of fresh water some
three miles east of the cove and about half a mile inland, but it was
decided that no attempt be made to transport the salvage of the party to
the new camp site until the following morning.

Theriere and Divine erected a rude shelter for Barbara Harding close
under the foot of the cliff, as far from the water as possible, while
above them Oda Yorimoto watched their proceedings with beady, glittering
eyes. This time a half-dozen of his fierce samurai crouched at his side.
Besides their two swords these latter bore the primitive spears of their
mothers' savage tribe.

Oda Yorimoto watched the white men upon the beach. Also, he watched the
white girl--even more, possibly, than he watched the men. He saw the
shelter that was being built, and when it was complete he saw the girl
enter it, and he knew that it was for her alone. Oda Yorimoto sucked in
his lips and his eyes narrowed even more than nature had intended that
they should.

A fire burned before the rude domicile that Barbara Harding was to
occupy, and another, larger fire roared a hundred yards to the west
where the men were congregated about Blanco, who was attempting to
evolve a meal from the miscellany of his larder that had been cast up
by the sea. There seemed now but little to indicate that the party was
divided into two bitter factions, but when the meal was over Theriere
called his men to a point midway between Barbara's shelter and the main
camp fire. Here he directed them to dispose themselves for the night as
best they could, building a fire of their own if they chose, for with
the coming of darkness the chill of the tropical night would render a
fire more than acceptable.

All were thoroughly tired and exhausted, so that darkness had scarce
fallen ere the entire camp seemed wrapped in slumber. And still Oda
Yorimoto sat with his samurai upon the cliff's summit, beady eyes fixed
upon his intended prey.

For an hour he sat thus in silence, until, assured that all were asleep
before him, he

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