The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 7

stomach nearly to his

Billy shut his eyes. Still the awful sensation. Billy groaned. He never
had been so sick in all his life before, and, my, how his poor head did
hurt. Finding that it only seemed to make matters worse when he closed
his eyes Billy opened them again.

He looked about the room in which he lay. He found it a stuffy hole
filled with bunks in tiers three deep around the sides. In the center of
the room was a table. Above the table a lamp hung suspended from one of
the wooden beams of the ceiling.

The lamp arrested Billy's attention. It was swinging back and forth
rather violently. This could not be a hallucination. The room might seem
to be rising and falling, but that lamp could not seem to be swinging
around in any such manner if it were not really and truly swinging. He
couldn't account for it. Again he shut his eyes for a moment. When he
opened them to look again at the lamp he found it still swung as before.

Cautiously he slid from his bunk to the floor. It was with difficulty
that he kept his feet. Still that might be but the effects of the
liquor. At last he reached the table to which he clung for support while
he extended one hand toward the lamp.

There was no longer any doubt! The lamp was beating back and forth like
the clapper of a great bell. Where was he? Billy sought a window. He
found some little round, glass-covered holes near the low ceiling at one
side of the room. It was only at the greatest risk to life and limb that
he managed to crawl on all fours to one of them.

As he straightened up and glanced through he was appalled at the
sight that met his eyes. As far as he could see there was naught but a
tumbling waste of water. And then the truth of what had happened to him
broke upon his understanding.

"An' I was goin' to roll that guy!" he muttered in helpless
bewilderment. "I was a-goin' to roll him, and now look here wot he has
done to me!"

At that moment a light appeared above as the hatch was raised, and Billy
saw the feet and legs of a large man descending the ladder from above.
When the newcomer reached the floor and turned to look about his eyes
met Billy's, and Billy saw that it was his host of the previous evening.

"Well, my hearty, how goes it?" asked the stranger.


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