The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 87

to pass
through into the little room.

The mucker won to the girl's side first, and snatching Oda Yorimoto's
long sword from the floor he threw his great weight against the door,
and commanded the girl to make for the window and escape to the forest
as quickly as she could.

"Theriere is waiting dere," he said. "He will see youse de moment yeh
reach de window, and den youse will be safe."

"But you!" cried the girl. "What of you?"

"Never yeh mind me," commanded Billy Byrne. "Youse jes' do as I tells
yeh, see? Now, beat it," and he gave her a rough shove toward the
window.

And then, between the combined efforts of the samurai upon one side and
Billy Byrne of Kelly's gang upon the other the frail door burst from its
rotten hinges and fell to one side.

The first of the samurai into the little room was cleft from crown to
breast bone with the keen edge of the sword of the Lord of Yoka wielded
by the mighty arm of the mucker. The second took the count with a left
hook to the jaw, and then all that could crowd through the little door
swarmed upon the husky bruiser from Grand Avenue.

Barbara Harding took one look at the carnage behind her and then sprang
to the window. At a short distance she saw the jungle and at its edge
what she was sure was the figure of a man crouching in the long grass.

"Mr. Theriere!" she cried. "Quick! They are killing Byrne," and then
she turned back into the room, and with the short sword which she still
grasped in her hand sprang to the side of the mucker who was offering
his life to save her.

Byrne cast a horrified glance at the figure fighting by his side.

"Fer de love o' Mike! Beat it!" he cried. "Duck! Git out o' here!"

But the girl only smiled up bravely into his face and kept her place
beside him. The mucker tried to push her behind him with one hand while
he fought with the other, but she drew away from him to come up again a
little farther from him.

The samurai were pushing them closely now. Three men at a time were
reaching for the mucker with their long swords. He was bleeding from
numerous wounds, but at his feet lay two dead warriors, while a third
crawled away with a mortal wound in his abdomen.

Barbara Harding devoted her energies to thrusting and cutting at those
who tried to press past the mucker, that they might

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