Click here to Download The Mucker PDF Book by Edgar Rice Burroughs Language English having PDF Size 3 MB and No of Pages 209.
BILLY BYRNE was a product of the streets and alleys of Chicago’s great West Side. From Halsted to Robey, and from Grand Avenue to Lake Street there was scarce a bartender whom Billy knew not by his first name. And, in proportion to their number which was considerably less, he knew the patrolmen and plain clothes men equally as well, but not so pleasantly.
The Mucker PDF Book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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|PDF Size||3 MB|
|No of Pages||209|
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His kindergarten education had commenced in an alley back of a feed-store. Here a gang of older boys and men were wont to congregate at such times as they had naught else to occupy their time, and as the bridewell was the only place in which they ever held a job for more than a day or two, they had considerable time to devote to congregating.
They were pickpockets and second-story men, made and in the making, and all were muckers, ready to insult the first woman who passed, or pick a quarrel with any stranger who did not appear too burly. By night they plied their real vocations. By day they sat in the alley behind the feedstore and drank beer from a battered tin pail.
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The question of labor involved in transporting the pail, empty, to the saloon across the street, and returning it, full, to the alley back of the feed-store was solved by the presence of admiring and envious little boys of the neighborhood who hung, wide-eyed and thrilled, about these heroes of their childish lives.
Billy Byrne, at six, was rushing the can for this noble band, and incidentally picking up his knowledge of life and the rudiments of his education. He gloried in the fact that he was personally acquainted with “Eddie” Welch, and that with his own ears he had heard “Eddie” tell the gang how he stuck up a guy on West Lake Street within fifty yards of the Twentyeighth Precinct Police Station.
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The kindergarten period lasted until Billy was ten; then he commenced “swiping” brass faucets from vacant buildings and selling them to a fence who ran a junkshop on Lincoln Street near Kinzie. From this man he obtained the hint that graduated him to a higher grade, so that at twelve he was robbing freight cars in the yards along Kinzie Street.
And it was about this same time that he commenced to find pleasure in the feel of his fist against the jaw of a fellow-man. He had had his boyish scraps with his fellows off and on ever since he could remember; but his first real fight came when he was twelve. He had had an altercation with an erstwhile pal over the division of the returns from some freight-car booty.
The gang was all present, and as words quickly gave place to blows, as they have a habit of doing in certain sections of the West Side, the men and boys formed a rough ring about the contestants. The battle was a long one. The two were rolling about in the dust of the alley quite as often as they were upon their feet exchanging blows. The Mucker PDF Book
There was nothing fair, nor decent, nor scientific about their methods. They gouged and bit and tore. They used knees and elbows and feet, and but for the timely presence of a brickbat beneath his fingers at the psychological moment Billy Byrne would have gone down to humiliating defeat. As it was the other boy went down.
And for a week Billy remained hidden by one of the gang pending the report from the hospital. When word came that the patient would live, Billy felt an immense load lifted from his shoulders, for he dreaded arrest and experience with the law that he had learned from childhood to deride and hate.
Of course there was the loss of prestige that would naturally have accrued to him could he have been pointed out as the “guy that croaked Sheehan”; but there is always a fly in the ointment, and Billy only sighed and came out of his temporary retirement. That battle started Billy to thinking. The Mucker PDF Book
And the result of that mental activity was a determination to learn to handle his mitts scientifically—people of the West Side do not have hands; they are equipped by Nature with mitts and dukes. A few have paws and flippers. He had no opportunity to realize his new dream for several years.
But when he was about seventeen a neighbor’s son surprised his little world by suddenly developing from an unknown teamster into a locally famous light-weight. ONLY four men of the Halfmoon’s crew were lost in the wreck of the vessel. All had been crowded in the bow when the ship broke in two.
And being far-flung by the forward part of the brigantine as it lunged toward the cove on the wave following the one which had dropped the craft upon the reef, with the exception of the four who had perished beneath the wreckage they had been able to swim safely to the beach. Larry Divine, who had sat weeping upon the deck of the doomed ship during the time that hope had been at its lowest. The Mucker PDF Book
Had recovered his poise. Skipper Simms, subdued for the moment, soon commenced to regain his bluster. He took Theriere to task for the loss of the Halfmoon. “An’ ever we make a civilized port,” he shouted, “I’ll prefer charges ag’in’ you, you swab you; a-losin’ of the finest bark as ever weathered a storm.
Ef it hadn’t o’ been fer you amutinyin’ agin’ me I’d a-brought her through in safety an’ never lost a bloomin’ soul.” “Stow it!” admonished Theriere at last; “your foolish bluster can’t hide the bald fact that you deserted your post in time of danger. We’re ashore now, remember, and there is no more ship for you to command, so were I you I’d be mighty careful how I talked to my betters.”
“What’s that!” screamed the skipper. “My betters! You frog-eatin’ greaser you, I’ll teach you. Here, some of you, clap this swab into irons. I’ll learn him that I’m still captain of this here bunch.” Theriere laughed in the man’s face; but Ward and a couple of hands who had been shown favoritism by the skipper and first mate closed menacingly toward the second officer. The Mucker PDF Book
The Frenchman took in the situation at a glance. They were ashore now, where they didn’t think that they needed him further and the process of elimination had commenced. Well, it might as well come to a showdown now as later. “Just a moment,” said Theriere, raising his hand.
“You’re not going to take me alive, and I have no idea that you want to anyhow, and if you start anything in the killing line some of you are going to Davy Jones’ locker along with me. The best thing for all concerned is to divide up this party now once and for all.” As he finished speaking he turned toward Billy Byrne.
“Are you and the others with me, or against me?” he asked. “I’m ag’in’ Simms,” replied the mucker non-committally. Bony Sawyer, Red Sanders, Blanco, Wison, and two others drew in behind Billy Byrne. “We all’s wid Billy,” announced Blanco. Divine and Barbara Harding stood a little apart. The Mucker PDF Book Download
Both were alarmed at the sudden, hostile turn events had taken. Simms, Ward, and Theriere were the only members of the party armed. Each wore a revolver strapped about his hips. All were still dripping from their recent plunge in the ocean. Five men stood behind Skipper Simms and Ward, but there were two revolvers upon that side of the argument.
Suddenly Ward turned toward Divine. “Are you armed, Mr. Divine?” he asked. Divine nodded affirmatively. “Then you’d better come over with us—it looks like we might need you to help put down this mutiny,” said Ward. FOR several minutes Barbara Harding lay where she had collapsed after the keen short sword of the daimio had freed her from the menace of his lust.
She was in a half-stupor that took cognizance only of a freezing terror and exhaustion. Presently, however, she became aware of her contact with the corpse beside her, and with a stifled cry she shrank away from it. Slowly the girl regained her self-control and with it came the realization of the extremity of her danger. The Mucker PDF Book Download
She rose to a sitting posture and turned her wide eyes toward the doorway to the adjoining room—the women and children seemed yet wrapped in slumber. It was evident that the man’s scream had not disturbed them. Barbara gained her feet and moved softly to the doorway. She wondered if she could cross the intervening space to the outer exit without detection.
Once in the open she could flee to the jungle, and then there was a chance at least that she might find her way to the coast and Theriere. She gripped the short sword which she still held, and took a step into the larger room. One of the women turned and half roused from sleep. The girl shrank back into the darkness of the chamber she had just quitted.
The woman sat up and looked around. Then she rose and threw some sticks upon the fire that burned at one side of the dwelling. She crossed to a shelf and took down a cooking utensil. Barbara saw that she was about to commence the preparation of breakfast. All hope of escape was thus ended, and the girl cautiously closed the door between the two rooms.The Mucker PDF Book Download
Then she felt about the smaller apartment for some heavy object with which to barricade herself; but her search was fruitless. Finally she bethought herself of the corpse. That would hold the door against the accident of a child or dog pushing it open—it would be better than nothing, but could she bring herself to touch the loathsome thing?
The instinct of self-preservation will work wonders even with a frail and delicate woman. Barbara Harding steeled herself to the task, and after several moments of effort she succeeded in rolling the dead man against the door. The scraping sound of the body as she dragged it into position had sent cold shivers running up her spine.
She had removed the man’s long sword and armor before attempting to move him, and now she crouched beside the corpse with both the swords beside her—she would sell her life dearly. Theriere’s words came back to her now as they had when she was struggling in the water after the wreck of the Halfmoon: “but, by George, I intend to go down fighting.” Well, she could do no less. The Mucker PDF Book Download
She could hear the movement of several persons in the next room now. The voices of women and children came to her distinctly. Many of the words were Japanese, but others were of a tongue with which she was not familiar. Presently her own chamber began to lighten. She looked over her shoulder and saw the first faint rays of dawn showing through.
A small aperture near the roof and at the opposite end of the room. She rose and moved quickly toward it. By standing on tiptoe and pulling herself up a trifle with her hands upon the sill she was able to raise her eyes above the bottom of the window frame. Beyond she saw the forest, not a hundred yards away.
But when she attempted to crawl through the opening she discovered to her chagrin that it was too small to permit the passage of her body. And then there came a knocking on the door she had just quitted, and a woman’s voice calling her lord and master to his morning meal. Barbara ran quickly across the chamber to the door, the long sword raised above her head in both hands. The Mucker PDF Book Free
Again the woman knocked, this time much louder, and raised her voice as she called again upon Oda Yorimoto to come out. The girl within was panic-stricken. What should she do? With but a little respite she might enlarge the window sufficiently to permit her to escape into the forest, but the woman at the door evidently would not be denied.
Suddenly an inspiration came to her. It was a forlorn hope, but well worth putting to the test. “Hush!” she hissed through the closed door. “Oda Yorimoto sleeps. It is his wish that he be not disturbed.” “The daimio has ordered that there shall be a great hunt today for the heads of the sei-yo-jin who have landed upon Yoka,” persisted the man.
“He will be angry indeed if we do not call him in time to accomplish the task today. Let me speak with him, woman. I do not believe that Oda Yorimoto still sleeps. Why should I believe one of the sei-yo-jin? It may be that you have bewitched the daimio,” and with that he pushed against the door. The Mucker PDF Book Free
The corpse gave a little, and the man glued his eyes to the aperture. Barbara held the sword behind her, and with her shoulder against the door attempted to reclose it. “Go away!” she cried. “I shall be killed if you awaken Oda Yorimoto, and, if you enter, you, too, shall be killed.”