The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 93

now. The man still lay, unconscious and
moaning, where Byrne had deposited him. The mucker removed the gag from
Oda Iseka's mouth.

"Which way is water? Ask him," he said to Barbara.

The girl put the question.

"He says that straight up this ravine behind us there is a little
spring," translated the girl.

Byrne lifted Theriere in his arms, after loosening Oda Iseka's feet and
tethering him to his own belt with the same grass rope; then he motioned
the youth up the ravine.

"Walk beside me," he said to Barbara Harding, "an' keep yer lamps peeled
behind."

Thus, in silence, the party commenced the ascent of the trail which
soon became rough and precipitous, while behind them, under cover of the
brush, sneaked four trailing samurai.

After half an hour of the most arduous climbing the mucker commenced
to feel the effects of loss of blood from his many wounds. He coughed
a little now from the exertion, and when he did the blood spurted anew
from the fresh wound in his breast.

Yet there was no wavering or weakness apparent to the girl who marched
beside him, and she wondered at the physical endurance of the man.
But when at last they came to a clear pool of water, half hidden by
overhanging rocks and long masses of depending mosses, in the midst of
a natural grotto of enchanting loveliness, and Oda Iseka signaled
that their journey was at an end, Byrne laid Theriere gently upon
the flower-starred sward, and with a little, choking gasp collapsed,
unconscious, beside the Frenchman.

Barbara Harding was horror-stricken. She suddenly realized that she had
commenced to feel that this giant of the slums was invulnerable, and
with the thought came another--that to him she had come to look more
than to Theriere for eventual rescue; and now, here she found herself in
the center of a savage island, surrounded as she felt confident she was
by skulking murderers, with only two dying white men and a brown hostage
as companions.

And now Oda Iseka took in the situation, and with a grin of triumph
raised his voice in a loud halloo.

"Come quickly, my people!" he cried; "for both the white men are dying,"
and from the jungle below them came an answering shout.

"We come, Oda Iseka, Lord of Yoka! Your faithful samurai come!"



CHAPTER XIII. A GENTLEMAN OF FRANCE

AT THE sound of the harsh voices so close upon her Barbara Harding was
galvanized into instant action. Springing to Byrne's side she whipped
Theriere's revolver from his belt, where it reposed about the fallen
mucker's hips, and with it turned like a

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