"No," I say, "not here. Anyone who saw us would misunderstand. Come to Mrs. Steele; she'll give you something." "No!" says the Peruvian. "I vill stay here; you stay, too. Ah, Señorita, how can you be so indifferent to my loaf?" "I can't stay here if you talk nonsense." "Mein Gott! Vhat more sense can a man haf dthan to loaf you?" "Oh, see the porpoises!" I say abruptly.
"On the contrary, it has so accustomed me to their friendship I would find life utterly unendurable without it." "I vill make you fery angry pairhaps, but I have deescovair you like me leedle more dthan a friend." "I suppose it is often flattering to a man's vanity to have a fancy like that," I say coolly, but I am conscious of a twinge; what if I do like him more than I want to think?
The narrow streets are full of idlers in every attitude of picturesque languor. Mrs. Steele sympathises deeply with the lean and patient little burros with wooden racks on their backs holding on either side a clay jar filled with water. "Efery yar ees two media, about twenty-five cent your money. Vater ees more dearer dthan vine," explains our interpreter.
"From San José to Guatemala ees seventy mile, and dthe Paris of Central America ees zomething more large dthan dthis San Miguel. Much can happen before ve come back." We join Mrs. Steele and talk over our plan. The next day we arrive at Champerico, but no one goes ashore; we stay so short a time.
He winds it about my wrist and, having forced open one of the silver links, he bends down and with those sharp, white teeth bites the open link close again the blond moustache sweeps my wrist and the rosary is securely fastened. "Now," I say, "see what you've done! How will you get it off?" "It comes not off till you are zomething less dthan my friend or zomething more."
"I like your customs better in zome dthings, but it makes you vomans too clevair; you know men better dthan ve know you." "You have the same opportunities. It's not our fault if you don't profit by them." "You tell me yourself," he goes on, unheeding, "you haf many gude friends among your fadther's and brodthers' acquaintances; dthat make you care so leedle for men." "Not a bit of it!" I laugh.
Steele every moment and insist I understand only English. Baron de Bach observes a day or two after this: "Señorita's knowledge of French and Jherman ees better zome days dthan odthers. But it ees gude for me that I vill learn spik zo beautiful Eenglish." "Forgif me, Señorita," he says, beginning afresh after a pause, "but vhat blue eyes you haf!" "You are colour blind, Baron," observes Mrs.