The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 92

nodded her head, affirmatively.

"Youse savvy deyre lingo den, eh?"

"A little."

"Tell dis gazimbat to wise his pals to de fact dat I'll croak 'im, if
dey don't beat it, an' let us make our get-away. Theriere says as how
he's kink when his ole man croaks, an' his ole man was de guy youse
put to sleep in de chicken coop," explained the mucker lucidly; "so dis
slob's kink hisself now."

Barbara Harding was quick to see the strength of the man's suggestion.
Stepping to the edge of the clearing in full view of the advancing
enemy, with the mucker at her side, revolver in hand, she called to them
in the language of their forbears to listen to her message. Then she
explained that they held the son of Oda Yorimoto prisoner, and that his
life would be the price of any further attack upon them.

The samurai conferred together for a moment, then one of them called out
that they did not believe her, that Oda Iseka, son of Oda Yorimoto, was
safe in the village.

"Wait!" replied the girl. "We will show him to you," and turning to
Byrne she asked him to fetch the youth.

When the white man returned with the boy in his arms, a wail of mingled
anguish and rage rose from the natives.

"If you molest us no further we shall not harm him," cried Barbara, "and
when we leave your island we shall set him free; but renew your attack
upon us and this white man who holds him says that he will cut out his
heart and feed it to the fox," which was rather a bloodthirsty statement
for so gentle a character as Barbara Harding; but she knew enough of the
superstitious fears of the ancient Japanese to feel confident that this
threat would have considerable weight with the subjects of the young
Lord of Yoka.

Again the natives conferred in whispers. Finally he who had acted as
spokesman before turned toward the strangers.

"We shall not harm you," he said, "so long as you do not harm Oda Iseka;
but we shall watch you always until you leave the island, and if harm
befalls him then shall you never leave, for we shall kill you all."

Barbara translated the man's words to the mucker.

"Do youse fall fer dat?" he asked.

"I think they will be careful to make no open assault upon us," replied
the girl; "but never for an instant must we cease our watchfulness for
at the first opportunity I am sure that they will murder us."

They turned back to Theriere

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