The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 73

borne the girl away.
Outwardly Billy showed no indication of the turmoil that raged within
his breast.

"We gotta find her, bo," he said to Theriere. "We gotta find the skirt."

Ordinarily Billy would have blustered about the terrible things he would
do to the objects of his wrath when once he had them in his power; but
now he was strangely quiet--only the firm set of his strong chin, and
the steely glitter of his gray eyes gave token of the iron resolution

Theriere, who had been walking slowly to and fro about the dead men, now
called the others to him.

"Here's their trail," he said. "If it's as plain as that all the way we
won't be long in overhauling them. Come along."

Before he had the words half out of his mouth the mucker was forging
ahead through the jungle along the well-marked spoor of the samurai.

"Wot kind of men do you suppose they are?" asked Red Sanders.

"Malaysian head-hunters, unquestionably," replied Theriere.

Red Sanders shuddered inwardly. The appellation had a most gruesome

"Come on!" cried Theriere, and started off after the mucker, who already
was out of sight in the thick forest.

Red Sanders and Wison took a few steps after the Frenchman. Theriere
turned once to see that they were following him, and then a turn in the
trail hid them from his view. Red Sanders stopped.

"Damme if I'm goin' to get my coconut hacked off on any such wild-goose
chase as this," he said to Wison.

"The girl's more'n likely dead long ago," said the other.

"Sure she is," returned Red Sanders, "an' if we go buttin' into that
there thicket we'll be dead too. Ugh! Poor Miller. Poor Swenson. It's
orful. Did you see wot they done to 'em beside cuttin' off their heads?"

"Yes," whispered Wison, looking suddenly behind him.

Red Sanders gave a little start, peering in the direction that his
companion had looked.

"Wot was it?" he whimpered. "Wot did you do that fer?"

"I thought I seen something move there," replied Wison. "Fer Gawd's sake
let's get outen this," and without waiting for a word of assent from his
companion the sailor turned and ran at breakneck speed along the
little path toward the spot where Divine, Blanco, and Bony Sawyer were
stationed. When they arrived Bony was just on the point of setting
out for the spring to fetch water, but at sight of the frightened,
breathless men he returned to hear their story.

"What's up?" shouted Divine. "You men look as though you'd seen a ghost.
Where are the others?"

"They're all murdered, and their

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