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Bedded in fern, lay a mass of long sprays aquiver with bells of the purest, most lucent white, each with a great glow of gold at its heart. "Ah," observed the young Caracunan, "I see that you are persona grata with our worthy President, Miss Brewster." "President Fortuno?" asked the girl, surprised. "No; not that I'm aware of. Why do you say that?"

You know," she added, with a covert glance at the adjoining table, "I wouldn't be surprised if you found yourself an extremely popular papa immediately after dinner. It might even go so far as cigars. Do you suppose that lovely young Caracunan is a bullfighter?" "No; I believe he's a coffee exporter. Less romantic, but more respectable. Quite one of the gilded youth of Caracuna.

"Because I'm going to thrash you within an inch of your life!" "Gentlemen, gentlemen!" cried the young Caracunan. "This is no place for such an affair." Apparently Perkins held the same belief. Stepping aside, he abruptly sat down on the end of the bench, facing the fountain and not four feet from it.

Is that correct, Mr. Raimonda?" "Essentially," confirmed the Caracunan. "When you are through trying to frighten me " began Carroll contemptuously. "Frighten you? I'm not so foolish as to waste time that way. I'm trying to warn you." "Are you quite done?" "I am not. On MY honor " He broke off as Carroll smiled. "Smile if you like, but believe what I'm telling you.

Who's left with Miss Brewster?" "Nobody. We must get back." Sherwen's cool voice cut in: "Close together, now. Keep well up. Herr von Plaanden, will you cover us at the end?" "It is the post of honor," said the Hochwaldian. "You've earned it. But for you, they'd have got our colors." The foreigner bowed, and swung his horse toward a Caracunan who had pressed forward a little too near.

Nor is he one of the President's men. I don't quite understand it." "Who did gather them?" "All that he will say is, 'the master." "Oh!" said Miss Brewster, and retired into a thoughtful silence. "They're very beautiful, aren't they?" continued the Caracunan. "And they carry a pretty sentiment." "Tell me," commanded the girl, emerging from her reverie.

"Bolas are rolling around like balls on a billiard table," said young Raimonda, who had come after luncheon to call on Miss Brewster. "In this part of the city there will be nothing. You needn't be alarmed." "I'm not afraid," said Miss Polly. "I'm sure of it," declared the Caracunan, with admiration. "You are very wonderful, you American women." "Oh, no.

And the knight was inclined to attaint his lady for a certain cruelty in the matter; she was being something less than fair to the Unspeakable Perk. The searchlight of his surmise ranged farther. Raimonda! The young Caracunan was handsome, distinguished, manly, with a romantic charm that the American did not underestimate.

With entire frankness, Carroll stated his errand and the reason for it. The Caracunan heard him with grave courtesy. "And now, senior," concluded the American, "here's my question, and it's for you to determine whether, under the circumstances, you are justified in giving me an answer. Is there a woman living in Mr. Perkins's quinta on the mountains?"

"He gave some to Kast the last time he dined here," observed a languid and rather elegant elderly man, who occupied the fourth side of the table. "Mine host didn't like it." "I should suppose Senior Kast would be hardened," remarked the young Caracunan who had defended the absent. "Our eyeglassed friend scored for once, though.

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