The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

other hand, he
reasoned, it would be as much to their advantage to have the deserters
return to them as it would to the deserters themselves, for when they
had heard the story told by Red Sanders and Wison of the murder of the
others of the party they too would realize the necessity for maintaining
the strength of the little company to its fullest.

"I don't see that we're goin' to gain nothin' by fightin' 'em," said
Wison. "There ain't nothin' in it any more nohow for nobody since the
girl's gorn. Let's chuck it, an' see wot terms we can make with Squint

"Well," grumbled the Negro, "I can't fight 'em alone; What yo doin'
dere, Bony?"

During the conversation Bony Sawyer had been busy with a stick and a
piece of rag, and now as he turned toward his companions once more they
saw that he had rigged a white flag of surrender. None interfered as he
raised it above the edge of the breastwork.

Immediately there was a hail from below. It was Ward's voice.

"Surrenderin', eh? Comin' to your senses, are you?" he shouted.

Divine, feeling that immediate danger from bullets was past, raised his
head above the edge of the earthwork.

"We have something to communicate, Mr. Ward," he called.

"Spit it out, then; I'm a-listenin'," called back the mate.

"Miss Harding, Mr. Theriere, Byrne, Miller, and Swenson have been
captured and killed by native head-hunters," said Divine.

Ward's eyes went wide, and he blew out his cheeks in surprise. Then his
face went black with an angry scowl.

"You see what you done now, you blitherin' fools, you!" he cried, "with
your funny business? You gone an' killed the goose what laid the golden
eggs. Thought you'd get it all, didn't you? and now nobody won't get
nothin', unless it is the halter. Nice lot o' numbskulls you be, an'
whimperin' 'round now expectin' of us to take you back--well, I reckon
not, not on your measly lives," and with that he raised his revolver to
fire again at Divine.

The society man toppled over backward into the pit behind the breastwork
before Ward had a chance to pull the trigger.

"Hol' on there mate!" cried Bony Sawyer; "there ain't no call now fer
gettin' excited. Wait until you hear all we gotta say. You can't
blame us pore sailormen. It was this here fool dude and that scoundrel
Theriere that put us up to it. They told us that you an' Skipper Simms
was a-fixin' to double-cross us all an' leave us here to starve on
this Gawd-forsaken islan'. Theriere said

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