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“For the present it will suffice,” said Dicky, softening as he crinkled the envelope and looked down at the half-inch thickness of smooth, dingy bills.
“The long green !” he said, gently, with a new reverence in his gaze. “Is there anything it will not buy, Captain?"
“I had three friends,” replied De Lucco, who was a bit of a philosopher, “who had money. One of them speculated in stocks and made ten million; another is in heaven, and the third married a poor girl whom he loved.”
“The answer, then,” said Dicky, “is held by the Almighty, Wall Street and Cupid. So, the question remains."
“This,” queried the captain, including Dicky's surroundings in a significant gesture of his hand, "is it - it is not — it is not connected with the business of your little shop? There is no failure in your plans?”
“No, no," said Dicky. “This is merely the result of a little private affair of mine, a digression from the regular line of business. They say for a complete life a man must know poverty, love and war. But they don't go well together, capitán mio. No; there is no failure in
business. The little shop is doing very well.”
When the captain had departed Dicky called the sergeant of the jail squad and asked:
“Am I preso by the military or by the civil authority?”
“Surely there is no martial law in effect now, señor."
“Bueno. Now go or send to the alcalde, the Juez de la Paz and the Jefe de los Policios. Tell them I am prepared at once to satisfy the demands of justice.” A folded bill of the “long green” slid into the sergeant's hand.
Then Dicky's smile came back again, for he knew that the hours of his captivity were numbered; and he hummed, in time with the sentry's tread:
"They're hanging men and women now,
For lacking of the green. So, that night Dicky sat by the window of the room over his shop and his little saint sat close by, working at something silken and dainty. Dicky was thoughtful and grave. His red hair was in an unusual state of disorder. Pasa's fingers often ached to smooth and arrange it, but Dicky would never allow it. He was poring, to-night, over a great litter of maps and books and papers on his table until that perpendicular line came between his brows that
always distressed Pasa. Presently she went and brought his hat, and stood with it until he looked up, inquiringly.
“It is sad for you here,” she explained. "Go out and drink vino blanco. Come back when you get that smile you used to wear.
That is what I wish to
Dicky laughed and threw down his papers.
“The vino blanco stage is past. It has served its turn. Perhaps, after all, there was less entered my mouth and more my cars than people thought. But, there will be no more maps or frowns to-night. I promise you
They sat upon a reed silleta at the window and watched the quivering gleams from the lights of the Catarina reflected in the harbour.
Presently Pasa rippled out one of her infrequent chirrups of audible laughter.
“I was thinking,” she began, anticipating Dicky's question, "of the foolish things girls have in their minds. Because I went to school in the States I used to have ambitions. Nothing less than to be the president's wife would satisfy me. And, look, thou red picaroon, to what obscure fate thou hast stolen me !" “Don't give
said Dicky, smiling. More than one Irishman has been the ruler of a
South American country. There was a dictator of Chili named O'Higgins. Why not a President Maloney, of Anchuria? Say the word, santita mia, and we'll make the race.
“No, no, no, thou red-haired, reckless one!” sighed Pasa; "I am content"— she laid her head against his arm -“here."
ROUGE ET NOIR
IT has been indicated that disaffection followed the elevation of Losada to the presidency. This feeling continued to grow. Throughout the entire republic there seemed to be a spirit of silent, sullen discontent. Even the old Liberal party to which Goodwin, Zavalla and other patriots had lent their aid was disappointed. Losada had failed to become a popular idol. Fresh taxes, fresh import duties and, more than all, his tolerance of the outrageous oppression of citizens by the military had rendered him the most obnoxious president since the despicable Alforan. The majority of his own cabinet were out of sympathy with him. The army, which he had courted by giving it license to tyrannize, had been his main, and thus far adequate support.
But the most impolitic of the administration's moves had been when it antagonized the Vesuvius Fruit Company, an organization plying twelve steam