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TH E I N D E P EN D jfri E LI Z ETH C I TX .0
- FRIDAY, MAY
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1 : : teom'R
f CHAPTER I.
; ' .
- An Error Rectified.
Pftlro, the mestizo, having lighted
he wax tapers In the massiye candle
sticks, having placed bottle and glasses
upon the great mahogany table, to
bacco and papers upon the small ma
hogany table, withdrew silently, as
was his way, swiftly, as was his train-
InHls old master, Senor don Antonio
d- la Guerra, looking as genuinely an
tique in his old-fashioned black coat,
small, high-heeled boots and curled
white hair and mustache as any ar
ticle of the antique furniture in the
vast drawing room of the hacienda,
turned his lively black eyes upon his
.guest. ' , -
"You will forgive the rudeness of
an old man, Senor Dempton," -he said
softly, his English perfect, his utter
ance still the honeyed speech of Cas
tile, "but may I ask you to understand
that I know nothing of what you
Americanos call business? And that
t ho rt wish to learn? That is why
I place these matters in the hands of
an attorney." He bowed after the way
of the old school, and ended, smiling,
'ih the hands of a thoroughly comper
tent attorney, senor."
Dempton, a little man with a rest;
less, nervous manner and eyes like a
rat's, shifted in his chair, cleared his
'throat and thanked his patron, looking
pleased on the whole.
"This Is a very important matter,
Mr. de la Guerra," he offered, a trifle
hesitantly and with keen eyes upon
"To be sure," the old man cut In
impatiently, though with no "lessening
of the courtesy of his speech. "A will
, Is always important."
He leaned forward, poured himself
a' elass of the red southern wine, lift
ed It so that the still candle flames
shone hi It brightly, and drank slowly.
Already Dempton had been asked to
drink, as he was always asked when
he came to the Kancho de la Guerra ;
- already he had refused, as he always
The old man set down his glass and
took tobacco and fine white paper from
the tray upon the smaller table, his
steady, slim white hands making the
"You say, Senor Dempton," he said
when he had lighted a paper lighter
at the nearest candlestick, "that you
have found a flaw In the original
"Yes, sir." Dempton spoke hurried
ly and ran on very much after the
manner of a schoolboy who has gotten
his lesson by heart and wants to "say"
It before he forgets.
"Only a small matter, a technical
error, which might never be noticed.
And yet there is a risk there is dan
ger that the will might eventually be
set aside; because of it that your de
sires might come to naught ; in a word
that the Senorita Teresa, whom you
wish to make your sole legatee, might
never come Into the fortune you have
willed to her. I have thought it best,
sir, to draw up a new document."
- "You have done so?" inquired the
old Spaniard, his eyes musingly upon
the thin wisp of smoke from the ciga
rette. "Yes." Dempton slipped a red
hand into his breast pocket. "If you
will read it and sign it, sir if we can
get the matter settled right away, .de
stroying the original documents "
"The details, Senor Dempton, 1
trust I may leave with you." De la
Guerra waved a white hand gracefully.
- "You have attended to my business for
me for seventeen years now, and 1
have never found cause for criticism."
"You do not even care to have me
go into detail concerning me nuw
which I allowed to creep in?" j
Dempton had leaned forward a little j
in Lis' chair, his eager eyes upon the j
-other's. De la Guerra laughed softly j
and shook his head,
"You would force me to appear stu
pid." He put his hand upon the bell
: -cord hanging from the edge of the
big table and a bell tinkled from be
yond the door. "Let me have the pa
pers you wish me to sign."
Pedro brought pen and ink, retreat
ed upon another errand, and once
more returned, bringing with him two
of the other servants about the great
adobe house to witness the signature
The old man looked at the new will
carelessly and signed carelessly, ask
ing merely if the will were in all es
sentials the same as the original one
The servants withdrew with theii
master's thanks and loose silver, and
De la Guerra, returning to Demptoc
one copy of the paper which was in
tended after his death to dispose ol
the hacienda, a great range heavilj
stocked and an indefinite sum in golc
and silver, folded the other and place
it upon the shining table top.
"I shall read it tomorrow," he sas
lightly. "You know that I do not rea
after the handles are lighted, senor."
Dempton, his errand done,' was al
ready upon his feet, his eyes roving
for the ,hat which Pedro had taken
from him a few minutes ago.
"But," cried De la Guerra, "you are
not going back tonight, senor? Surely
you would not think of putting my
hospitality so to. shame I You must
spend the night with us."
Dempton's eye had found his hat
and he speedily crossed the room to
take it up.
"Thank you, Mr. de la Guerra," he
yon cannot trust them; That Demp
ton has thel eyes of a rat," the face of ,
a liar, the manner of a convict. sAmer- j
tcanos on the one hand, Mexicanos on
the other! c Sangre 'de Dios! I must
take Tereslta away from them. Pedro l'
- "Si, senor." G: v"-r "y - '-;V-f f
"Where is the senoritaT ' . ' j
"In her rooms, I think, , senor." ,
"Bueno Convey to her my affec
tionate compliments, and tell her that
C Bhall be for the half -hour adding a!
certain note to my American memoirs!
After that I shall be pleased ' if she
will come to me.'. ;
"Si, senor." Swift and silent, Pedro
went upon his errand.'
Senor don Antonio de la Guerra,
pushing the will to one side, drew a
thick ' manuscript from the table .
drawer, and, writing in a fine, schol-'
arly hand, began, to add certain highly
insulting commentaries to the chapter
dealing with the vitriolic description
of the character of "Los Americanos."
(The book he planned to print In 1
Meantime the Senorita Teresa de la
Guerra, his -demure granddaughter,
was not in her room but upon her
little rose-twined balcony, and the
moonlight, bright about her, was not
mnr hriffht than the laughing eyes
I'she turned downward toward the ador
ing f.4k. of an Americano!
"Thank You, Mr. d la Guerra.'
sow hnstilv. "But I must return
La Panza immediately."
He managed a bow with a poor trial
at the Spaniard's dignified grace, put
out his hand quickly as though to have
the farewells over and done with, and
retreated to the door which gave pas
sageway through- the' three-foot adobe
walla from the drawlne room to the
De la Guerra looked at him with a
"You are incomprehensible, you
Americanos?' he said softly. "You will
insist on riding a dozen miles through
the dark when there is a warm bed
and bright candle light Inviting you
to stay. Your business must be ur
gent, Mr. Dempton, to take you out
tonight alone. Your ride is not with
out danger, and
He put his hand again to the bell
"At least, if you insist, you must
allow me to send some of my va
queros with you."
"No, no !" cried Dempton, already at
the door. "It is unnecessary, Mr. de
la Guerra. There is no danger."
"As you will." Senor don Antonio
spread out his white hands and lifted
his shoulders slightly. "But you must
remember that we are only half a mile
from the border, and that those ras
cally Mexicans are a thieving, treach
"I have already given orders to
close-herd my steers, and yet Gaucho,
my foreman, reported to me this morn
ing that the rebels had crossed over
and had driven off half a dozen cows
for me." .
Again he spread out his hands and
lifted his shoulders.
"In the daylight it is one thing
after dark it is another. I should be
glad to send some of my vaqueros with
Still Dempton protested. - There was
a moon, his way ran across a wide
open level land, and the rebels were
not looking for complications with
De la Guerra, too courteous a host
to Insist, smiled gravely, rose and went
into the patio with the lawyer, direct
ing Pedro to have Mr. Dempton's horse
brought up from, the stables.
JM.1SS J-ciesu, a uiu uui occ ui,
Dempton remembered to say from the
saddle. "She is well, I hope?"
"Verv well, thank you, senor: I shall
tell her that you inquired. And it was
kind of you to take this long ride to
tell me about the mistake in the. will.
"Good nignt, Mr. de la Guerra."
"Buenas noches, senor."
And Lawyer Dempton, his horse's
mane and tail flying, was on his way
through the moonlight night, and the
old man, leaving Pedro to close the
door after him, had gone back to his
cbair and wine and cigarettes.
"Los Americanos," he muttered when
ne was alone again, "they are all alike.
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The hacienda where Antonio de la
Guerra had lived for tne nixy-oau
years of his exile from his beloved
Spain, where his grandaaugnter naa
been born and reared, was one 01 tne
landmarks which linger on in stately
white walls under dark red tiles from
the time of the Spanish occupation. ,
The old Spaniard , was overlord of
what had once heen a grant from his
grandfather's king, the boundaries
carelessly marked in leagues Instead
He bred cattle and fine horses, In
trusted Gaucho Morales, his foreman,
with the business details, and yet man
aged, so large and fertile was his em
pire, to go on from year to year swell
ing his wealth.
The wide-verandaed house with none
of its walls less than three feet thick,
with great, spacious rooms, spread
out across a wide extent of the shaded
land among the olive and pear and
pepper trees. In the time of the fa
ther of Antonio de la Guerra there
had been fourteen rooms now there
were twenty. No less could suffice
for the " master of the estate and his
There was the patio with its flower
ing garden and leaping fountain.
About it were the rooms, all on the
ground floor with the exception of the
three rooms added by the old man for
the use of la senorita.
EJere at the southeastern" exposure
of the rambling" dwelling, a wide and
winding staircase had been constructed
to lead upward to a spacious landing.
Then came broad doors, a deep win
dow, and beyond the senorita's private
sitting room. Her bedroom was high
ceUed, with much ornate .embellish
ment after the Moorish fashion, and
a lavish display of gilt under the
( Upon the landing a couch where
each nieht Pedro lay across his mis
And then the balcony.
Teresa must pick up her skirts dain
tily to step out through the deep win
dows to it from her bedroom, and
once there she was all but lost behind
the bank of flowering roses, swallowed
by a dim dusk through which the moon
had difficulty in filtering, lapped in
the perfume of the flowers which clung
about the balcony in the warm June
And from here, while her scholarly
grandfather annotated his remarks
concerning the hated Americano, Te
resa leaned put, her beauty as soft and
delicate a thing as that of the rose
brushing her cheek, and talked with
one particular Americano. .
"Make me some pretty speeches,
Senor Billy," she laughed softly. They
float up to me, here through the moon
light like the perf ume from red roses !"
She had drawn her mantilla closely
about her for no other reason in the
world but to tantalize the man below
her by hiding herself from him, and
there was only her voice and the vague
outline of her young body through the
vines to tell him that she was there.
But to her his face, uplifted in the
moonlight,! flushed and eager, was unhidden.
"You are a flirt!" he cried, seeking
to make his voice savage and angry,
and succeeding admirably in filling it
'But no," she answered him from
the dusk about her. "That is to be
cruel. And I I am so soft-hearted
that to make one suffer would distress
If you roll' your r's at me like that
again,' Stanway told her very posi
tively, "I am going right in and tell
the old gentleman that I am going to
She laughed gayly at bis impetuous
"It would be like a play," she said
after a little as though she were think
ing seriously of what he had said he
would do. "It would interest me to
see. fapa grande would be very po
lite and would ask Senor Billy to have
a glass of wine and a cigarita.
"And then" the laughter welling up
again in the eyes he could not see,,
trilling in the voice which dropped
down to him "he would call Pedro
and old Juan to take you outside and
shoot you with their guns !"
-"Audvou find that ftnny?" demand
ed Stanway. ,
"I it not? It is like the ODm!"
"You are dying for an , ppfcrat! :
cene?" His voice still rang with the
eagerness within him, his hand was
upon the vines which clambered about
her balcony. "Let me climb up to
you" . ' .
"You must not l" she cried quickly.
And then, seeing that he hesitated,
she added lightly again settling her
self, comfortably upon her cushioned
seat. "That would be only musical
comedy. And I should have to go In
side and shut my window and run
downstairs to' papa grande. And
He ; could make, out , the . gesture as
she laid her fingers across her red lips,
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could see that she turned toward the
open window behind her.
"Quien es?" she called carelessly.
"Yo, Pedro," came Pedro's answer
ing voice. Senor Dempton has gone.
The master says that in half an hour
he will be glad to see the Senorita
Teresa." . '
"Bueno," she answered lightly.
hear, Pedro " And then when she also
heard Pedro's light tread on the" stair
way, descending, she turned agaiq
toward the man below her.
go," she said softly. "Papa
"Not for half an hour," he said
quickly. "I heard that."
"But," as though she were hesitat
ing, "I should go now. It is very un
maidenly of me to be here with you.
If I had known that you were coming
I should certainly not have come out
tn. 1rnt nt mtr stops" '
"You are a little humbug, Tereslta,"
he laughed at her. "You did know that
I would be here, and you were glad of
it, and you came out just to see me."
"To see you?" And he could imag
ine the arching of ie brows .above her
"And to tease me. But look here "
"I am looking, senor. . Mama mia,
but you are handsome in the moon
light. More so than by day !"
"I did not come here tonight to
make you pretty speeches," said Stan
way stubbornly after his way. "I came
tatelj you "
"Yes?" expectantly. She clasped
her hnnds and leaned a little farther
tu over him, allowing him a glimpse
of her' laughing face, of . white arms
and ilfroat from which the mantilla
"That I love you "
"Oh !" She seemed to lose interest,
but again her face was hidden.
"And that I actually and positively
mean what I say when I tell ycu that
I am going to marry you."
He could not see the flush which
crept into her cheeks, nor the light in
her eyes, but went on swiftly, unguard
edly, his voice alniost stern with the
emotion upon him :
"The border is unsafe. Mexico is
going to Ve torn to pieces this time
before temporary truce comes again.
You need someone to take care of
"You forget papa grande," she re
minded him : gayly. "You seem to
have a habit of forgetting him."
"Your grandfather," he said in the
same quiet tone, "is not the man to
protect you now, for three very good
reasons : He is too near the border
and too rich to go unmolested by the
rebel bands, who have already made
more than one raid into American ter
ritory under cover of night.
"And he is too Spanish. He was
born in Spain his father kept mm
there until he was of age. He is a
Spanish and not an American citizen."
"How kind and thoughtful you are.
Senor Stanway," she mocked him. "D
you find it necessary, every time yor
come across a young womaij win
needs protection, to marry her?"
His mood did not soften, with hers
this time, la Billy Stanway's own
words, "he meant business."
"Your grandfather has already lost
cattle to the raiders," he. told her. "It
js known all over this end of the state
that he is his own-banker that.-lie
always has a, large amount, cf gold
and silver in the house.
"Some night he is going to be called
upon for something more than just
cows to feed the hungry rebels. And
then" . ' , .
"Then I hoSild be protected ?" -she
murmured demurely. "I should be
married tof an American whose mighty
nation is feared by the Mexicans?
That Is it, no? Bueno. Does Senor
Stanway snow ray kinsman, Eduardo
Ramon Torre? He 'is a Spaniard, of
blue-blood old of Castle, senor. And
he is a naturalized American .citizen.
JTa a d 5 young pnpy I" si iappe?
Stanway irritably. . ;
a "TSlthtis said, Miss Teresa atiflly,
"ene" does not swear In ttj rer.c
of a lady. Nor does he insult her
through her kinsmen."
"I beg pardon honestly I do, Tere
slta;" Stanway hastened to say. "But
you shouldn't mention the young rep
robate's name , if you don't want me
to swear,, and you know it. Now I'm
coming up " .
" His hand was again among the vines
seeking a hold somewhere and being
mocked by the smooth adobe wall.
Teresa de la Guerra, alarmed, was
upon her feet protesting. And then:
"Sh!" she called down to him. "It
Is papa grande. I heard him call. An
other time, Senor Billy. " Some other
night maybe tomorrow, who knows
and I shall steal out for a little walk
with' you. I must go now. Buenas
noches, Senor Bflly." '
It was softly said, and there was
the caress of the soft southern speech.
"I am coming, too," he called up "to
her1. And she knew that he meant
what he said. "I shall come around
to the" patio and so to the front door.
I am going to talk with your , grand
father tonight, Teresa mine !"
A laugh floated out and down to
hinf, a rose fell, striking against his
cheek, there was the glimmer and flut
ter of a mantilla among the vinesfand
the glijl had stepped back through the
window, closing it behind her.
She stood a moment, hesitant, her
cheek a little pale. Then the thought
that even now Stanway was on his
way around the great house to the
patio drove-her in haste first to her
mirror and the rearranging of her hair
the rose vine had disturbed, then to a
auick descent of the broad stairway.
to the main floor.
The utter stillness of the drawing
room smote her as she entered. The
candles were like shimmering ghosts.
.Be la Guerra was not in the room.
Immediately she was dimly con
scious of an unreasonable sense of un
easiness, even before she had the
vaguest reason for it. .
And then the reason asserted itself.
A chair lay overthrown, a little way
from the chair a rug was crumpled
and thrown back, the ink bottle which
had been upon the table lay upon the
As her eyes saw, her brain under
stood. And as she stared, before her voice
had found its way, to her lips, she
heard a sharp knocking at the front
She ran to it swiftly, threw it wide
and whispered fearfully:
"Senor Billy, I am frightened.
He looked the way her pointing fin
ger went, a moment in frowning fail
ure to comprehend, then in sudden
"You mean" he cried sharply. '
"Yes," sho whispered, clinging to
his arm. "A moment ago I heard him
call out. I-I was talking with you
and did not heed, but mere was anger
in his voice. I came down and look,
he is gone! There was a struggle
see the chair thrown down, the rug,
the ink spilled there !" v" '
Stanway left her side, striding ab
ruptly to where the bottle lay. .
- There was a dark smear on the car
pet near it. He leaned over it, stoop
ing, seeing the candles reflected from
the dark surface. v
And his face, too, was very white
as lie straightened up, drawing a deep
breath between his teeth. - . '
He managed to stand between the
girl and the dark smear.
"Get Pedro," he commanded sharplyl
"Have him call the servants, the va
queros, . every man of them. Have
them come armed." ;
? The girl turned and ran; swiftly
through the great rooms, ?; dowit-. the?
long hallway to do his bidding, a sharp
fear . clutching Jier heart, Stanway,
when she " had gone, stepped quickly
across, r the room, snatched up fit rug
there and threw it down upon the car
pet, covering the ' dark ' spot near the
bottle.' ' ::- - , ; ;
f- Then he'stoocL stilL waiting. ;
As he waited :there came- to him
from the silence without a faint drum-
ming soun3,'the noise of horses' hoofs
in a mad tattoo of flight through the
night. . '" ' "
"The rebels," he muttered angrily.
"They are taking what is left of him
back across the border?
He ran to the window. The curtain
there was torn. Moonlight and candle
light showed him where - wood and
plaster were scratched as in a hur
ried exit. -
Then Teresa had come back to him,
her great eyes wide with alarm, and
the servants were already trooping in,
sleepy-eyed and mystified.
,(TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
Yep, He Would Be a Sight to See.
"In y all my travels hither and yon.
and return," remarked the facetious
feller,- "I never ran across a man who
was so color" blind he couldn't distin
guish a,roll of greenbacks." t,
SAVE YOUR EYES
- Good eyesight can be main
' tained only by good care of this
eyes. At the first signs of eye-
strain you should have your
eyes attended to.
Optometry consists of the
correction of this strain by
DR. J. W SELIk,
521 Main Street
"Thrift Turns Savings into a Home."
The American Home Owner is the man who lias dis
covered that thrift is something more than the hoard
ing of money. The. family sock" and the old china
teapot may be chuck full of Ginies and quarters, or five
and ten dollar gold , pieces, and yet thrift may be un
known to the head of the house. He may he only a
- Thrift not only saves intelligently, but it puts sav
ings to work; hot only does it save ,a dollar, but it puts
that dollar where it will thrive, where it can earn and
labor for. the welfare and comfort of its owner.
On account-of suspended building: operations during
the war, , the United States now needs almost a million
homes. That means rents- are high. If you don't own
a home you must pay tribute to the hard necessities
which haye brought about a scarcity of homes. Unless
home building gets under way immediately, when our
millions of soldiers return to civil life and when our
thousands of war wrorkers who have been living in Gov
ernment buildings get back to where they must have
apartments and houses, rents are going to be higher.
Thrift, of the intelligent, .will put present savings to
work that future rental expenses may be escaped. rres'
ent savings invested NOW in a home will emancipate
your pocketbook from the demands of the rent collecter.
Be intelligently thrifty BUILD NOW.
" ELIZABETH CITY, N. C.
i. ... ' . . . .. - . .
'' You wip find it at Twiddy's. Twiddy
nothing but the best in groceries. His olo
successful business has, been built upon that
thing, plus courtesy: and honesty.