The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 78

us next
to that long before we sailed from Frisco."

"Clinker lies," cried Divine. "He doesn't know anything about it--I'm

"Wot's de use ob chewin' de rag 'bout all dis," cried Blanco, seeing
where he might square himself with Ward and Simms easily. "Does yo' take
back all us sailormen, Mr. Ward, an' promise not t' punish none o' us,
ef we swear to stick by yo' all in de future?"

"Yes," replied the mate.

Blanco took a step toward Divine.

"Den yo come along too as a prisoner, white man," and the burly black
grasped Divine by the scruff of the neck and forced him before him down
the steep trail toward the cove, and so the mutineers returned to the
command of Skipper Simms, and L. Cortwrite Divine went with them as a
prisoner, charged with a crime the punishment for which has been death
since men sailed the seas.


FOR several minutes Barbara Harding lay where she had collapsed after
the keen short sword of the daimio had freed her from the menace of his

She was in a half-stupor that took cognizance only of a freezing terror
and exhaustion. Presently, however, she became aware of her contact with
the corpse beside her, and with a stifled cry she shrank away from it.

Slowly the girl regained her self-control and with it came the
realization of the extremity of her danger. She rose to a sitting
posture and turned her wide eyes toward the doorway to the adjoining
room--the women and children seemed yet wrapped in slumber. It was
evident that the man's scream had not disturbed them.

Barbara gained her feet and moved softly to the doorway. She wondered
if she could cross the intervening space to the outer exit without
detection. Once in the open she could flee to the jungle, and then
there was a chance at least that she might find her way to the coast and

She gripped the short sword which she still held, and took a step into
the larger room. One of the women turned and half roused from sleep. The
girl shrank back into the darkness of the chamber she had just quitted.
The woman sat up and looked around. Then she rose and threw some sticks
upon the fire that burned at one side of the dwelling. She crossed to a
shelf and took down a cooking utensil. Barbara saw that she was about to
commence the preparation of breakfast.

All hope of escape was thus ended, and the girl cautiously closed the
door between the two rooms. Then

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