The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

use fer Chinks," said the mucker, as though in
extenuation of his suggestion that they murder the youth. For some
unaccountable reason he had felt a sudden compunction because of his
thoughtless remark. What in the world was coming over him, he wondered.
He'd be wearing white pants and playing lawn tennis presently if he
continued to grow much softer and more unmanly.

So the three set out through the jungle, following a trail which led
around to the north of the village. Theriere walked ahead with the boy's
arm in his grasp. Byrne followed closely behind. They reached their
destination in the rear of Oda Yorimoto's "palace" without interruption
or detection. Here they reconnoitered through the thick foliage.

"Dere's a little winder in de back of de house," said Byrne. "Dat must
be where dem guys cooped up de little broiler."

"Yes," said Theriere, "it would be in the back room which the boy
described. First let's tie and gag this young heathen, and then we can
proceed to business without fear of alarm from him," and the Frenchman
stripped a long, grass rope from about the waist of his prisoner, with
which he was securely trussed up, a piece of his loin cloth being forced
into his mouth as a gag, and secured there by another strip, torn from
the same garment, which was passed around the back of the boy's head.

"Rather uncomfortable, I imagine," commented Theriere; "but not
particularly painful or dangerous--and now to business!"

"I'm goin' to make a break fer dat winder," announced the mucker, "and
youse squat here in de tall grass wid yer gat an' pick off any fresh
guys dat get gay in back here. Den, if I need youse you can come
a-runnin' an' open up all over de shop wid de artillery, or if I gets
de lizzie outen de jug an' de Chinks push me too clost youse'll be here
where yeh can pick 'em off easy-like."

"You'll be taking all the risk that way, Byrne," objected Theriere, "and
that's not fair."

"One o' us is pretty sure to get hurted," explained the mucker in
defense of his plan, "an, if it's a croak it's a lot better dat it be
me than youse, fer the girl wouldn't be crazy about bein' lef' alone wid
me--she ain't got no use fer the likes o' me. Now youse are her kin, an'
so youse stay here w'ere yeh can help her after I git her out--I don't
want nothing to do wid her anyhow. She gives me a swift pain, and," he
added as though

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