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citizens of the republic. Hero of three wars and innumerable revolutions, he was an honoured guest at European courts and camps. An eloquent speaker and a friend to the people, he represented the highest type of the Anchurians.
Holding in his hand the gilt keys of Casa Morena, he began his address in a historical form, touching upon each administration and the advance of civilization and prosperity from the first dim striving after liberty down to present times. Arriving at the régime of President Losada, at which point, according to precedent, he should have delivered a eulogy upon its wise conduct and the happiness of the peo ple, General Pilar paused. Then he silently held up the bunch of keys high above his head, with his eyes closely regarding it. The ribbon with which they were bound fluttered in the breeze.
“ It still blows,” cried the speaker, exultantly. “ Citizens of Anchuria, give thanks to the saints this night that our air is still free."
Thus disposing of Losada's administration, he abruptly reverted to that of Olivarra, Anchuria's most popular ruler. Olivarra had been assassinated nine years before while in the prime of life and usefulguilty or not, it was eight years before the ambitious and scheming Losada had gained his goal.
A faction of the Liberal party led by Losada himself had been accused of the deed. Whether
Upon this theme General Pilar's eloquence was loosed. He drew the picture of the beneficent Olivarra with a loving hand. He reminded the people of the peace, the security and the happiness they had enjoyed during that period. He recalled in vivid detail and with significant contrast the last winter sojourn of President Olivarra in Coralio, when his appearance at their fiestas was the signal for thundering vivas of love and approbation.
The first public expression of sentiment from the people that day followed. A low, sustained murmur went among them like the surf rolling along the shore.
“ Ten dollars to a dinner at the Saint Charles," remarked Mr. Vincenti," that rouge wins."
“I never bet against my own interests,” said Captain Cronin, lighting a cigar. “Long-winded old boy,
What's he talking about?” “My Spanish,” replied Vincenti,“ runs about ten words to the minute; his is something around two hundred. Whatever he's saying, he's getting them warmed up.”
“ Friends and brothers,” General Pilar was saying, “ could I reach out my hand this day across the lamentable silence of the grave to Olivarra 'the
for his age.
and he began to hunger for more of it. He sent an emissary to request a conference with a representative of the fruit company. The Vesuvius sent Mr. Franzoni, a little, stout, cheerful man, always cool, and whistling airs from Verdi's operas. Señor Espirition, of the office of the Minister of Finance, attempted the sandbagging in behalf of Anchuria. The meeting took place in the cabin of the Salvador, of the Vesuvius line.
Señor Espirition opened negotiations by announcing that the government contemplated the building of a railroad to skirt the alluvial coast lands. After touching upon the benefits such a road would confer upon the interests of the Vesuvius, he reached the definite suggestion that a contribution to the road's expenses of, say, fifty thousand pesos would not be more than an equivalent to benefits received.
Mr. Franzoni denied that his company would receive any benefits from a contemplated road. As its representative he must decline to contribute fifty
But he would assume the responsibility of offering twenty-five.
Did Señor Espirition understand Señor Franzoni to mean twenty-five thousand pesos?
By no means. Twenty-five pesos. And in silver; not in gold
“ Your offer insults my government,” cried Señor Espirition, rising, with indignation.
“ Then,” said Mr. Franzoni, in warning tone, will change it."
The offer was never changed. Could Mr. Franzoni have meant the government?
This was the state of affairs in Anchuria when the winter season opened at Coralio at the end of the second year of Losada's administration. So, when the government and society made its annual exodus to the seashore it was evident that the presidential advent would not be celebrated by unlimited rejoicing. The tenth of November was the day set for the entrance into Coralio of the gay company from the capital. A narrow-gauge railroad runs twenty miles into the interior from Solitas. The government party travels by carriage from San Mateo to this road's terminal point, and proceeds by train to Solitas. From here they march in grand procession to Coralio where, on the day of their coming, festivities and ceremonies abound. But this season saw an ominous dawning of the tenth of November.
Although the rainy season was over, the day seemed to hark back to reeking June. A fine drizzle of rain fell all during the forenoon. The procession entered Coralio amid a strange silence.
Good, to the ruler who was one of you, whose tears fell when you sorrowed, and whose smile followed your joy - I would bring him back to you, but — Olivarra is dead dead at the hands of a craven assassin!"
The speaker turned and gazed boldly into the carriage of the president. His arm remained extended aloft as if to sustain his peroration. The president was listening, aghast, at this remarkable address of welcome. He was sunk back upon his seat, trembling with rage and dumb surprise, his dark hands tightly gripping the carriage cushions.
Half rising, he extended one arm toward the speaker, and shouted a harsh command at Captain Cruz. The leader of the “ Flying Hundred” sat his horse, immovable, with folded arms, giving no sign of having heard. Losada sank back again, his dark features distinctly paling:
“ Who says that Olivarra is dead?” suddenly cried the speaker, his voice, old as he was, sounding like a battle trumpet. “His body lies in the grave, but to the people he loved he has bequeathed his spirit yes, more his learning, his courage, his kindness - yes, more — his youth, his image — people of Anchuria, have you forgotten Ramon, the son of Olivarra ?