The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 95

emotion took possession of him. It was none
other than a desire to atone in some way for his words. What wonderful
transformation was taking place in the heart of the Kelly gangster?

"Say!" he blurted out suddenly.

Barbara Harding turned questioning eyes toward him. In them was the
cold, haughty aloofness again that had marked her cognizance of him upon
the Halfmoon--the look that had made his hate of her burn most fiercely.
It took the mucker's breath away to witness it, and it made the speech
he had contemplated more difficult than ever--nay, almost impossible.
He coughed nervously, and the old dark, lowering scowl returned to his
brow.

"Did you speak?" asked Miss Harding, icily.

Billy Byrne cleared his throat, and then there blurted from his lips
not the speech that he had intended, but a sudden, hateful rush of words
which seemed to emanate from another personality, from one whom Billy
Byrne once had been.

"Ain't dat boob croaked yet?" he growled.

The shock of that brutal question brought Barbara Harding to her feet.
In horror she looked down at the man who had spoken thus of a brave and
noble comrade in the face of death itself. Her eyes blazed angrily as
hot, bitter words rushed to her lips, and then of a sudden she thought
of Byrne's self-sacrificing heroism in returning to Theriere's side in
the face of the advancing samurai--of the cool courage he had displayed
as he carried the unconscious man back to the jungle--of the
devotion, almost superhuman, that had sustained him as he struggled,
uncomplaining, up the steep mountain path with the burden of the
Frenchman's body the while his own lifeblood left a crimson trail behind
him.

Such deeds and these words were incompatible in the same individual.
There could be but one explanation--Byrne must be two men, with as
totally different characters as though they had possessed separate
bodies. And who may say that her hypothesis was not correct--at least
it seemed that Billy Byrne was undergoing a metamorphosis, and at
the instant there was still a question as to which personality should
eventually dominate.

Byrne turned away from the reproach which replaced the horror in
the girl's eyes, and with a tired sigh let his head fall upon his
outstretched arm. The girl watched him for a moment, a puzzled
expression upon her face, and then returned to work above Theriere.

The Frenchman's respiration was scarcely appreciable, yet after a time
he opened his eyes and looked up wearily. At sight of the girl he smiled
wanly, and tried to speak, but a fit of coughing flecked his lips

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Gods of Mars

Page 11
onslaught, and in that instant the green warrior rose to the occasion and, springing to my side, laid to the right and left of him as I had never seen but one other warrior do, with great circling strokes that formed a figure eight about him and that never stopped until none stood living to oppose him, his keen blade passing through flesh and bone and metal as though each had been alike thin air.
Page 17
"In with you, Tars Tarkas," I cried, but he would not go; saying that his bulk was too great for the little aperture, while I might slip in easily.
Page 18
For a moment it was a tug of war between Tars Tarkas and a great plant man, who clung tenaciously to my breast, but presently I got the point of my long-sword beneath him and with a mighty thrust pierced his vitals.
Page 20
I soon reached him and presently we were both ascending the long ladder toward the opening above.
Page 24
"This is the valley of love and peace and rest to which every Barsoomian since time immemorial has longed to pilgrimage at the end of a life of hate and strife and bloodshed," he replied.
Page 44
" "There would be a little better chance by night, but even then the ramparts are well guarded; possibly better than by day.
Page 67
" "Is it not a just retribution?" I could not help but ask.
Page 74
Now we could hear the water rushing past the port-holes, and in the dim light that filtered through them to the water beyond the swirling eddies were plainly visible.
Page 84
One of the blacks opened the door of the prison with a huge key, we walked in, the door closed behind us, the lock grated, and with the sound there swept over me again that terrible feeling of hopelessness that I had felt in the Chamber of Mystery in the Golden Cliffs beneath the gardens of the Holy Therns.
Page 87
I must have inherited from my father a wild lust for adventure, as well as a hollow where my bump of reverence should be.
Page 89
He paced a beat that passed around the prison, at a distance of about.
Page 94
The blood-red haze that presaged death to my foes swam before my eyes.
Page 107
"The therns for their part have temples dotted about the entire civilized world.
Page 116
"No one else could have accomplished it but John Carter.
Page 132
Tars Tarkas, whose giant stature towered high above the rest of us, could see the farthest.
Page 140
"Seize him!" cried Zat Arras, and a dozen officers sprang forward to assist him.
Page 148
Go.
Page 167
"He was a Holy Thern," said Xodar.
Page 188
"Back! The first black foot that is planted upon this platform sends my dagger into Issus' heart.
Page 189
They each love John Carter.