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Newspaper Page Text
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In another moment his head
would sink beneath the surface.
Emilio placed his arm under Car
lo's neck and supported him.
"In three hours it will be low
tide," he said consolingly. "Can
you not keep above water till
then, Carlo? No? Then listen!
What will you give me if I sup
port you until that time?"
"What do you. want?'' gasped
"I want Maria," answered
EmlliOj his arm meaningly tela,x
ing. "That is to say, friend Car
Id, I want yotir pearls; 350 liras
worth of pearls. Ecdo! It is a
fair chance. Perhaps it will still
take me two months to complete
the 500 liras. And you may find
a; black "pearl of fabulous value
and still win he,r. Your pearls?"
"No !" .gasped Carlo, and Emi
llo's arm fell to his side. He Saw
his rival's face, distorted with ah
guish, go under; an instant later,
ahd he caught him round the
neck once more. "Your pearls t'
"Yes!" spluttered Carlo.
Presently the tide began to go
out; the water fell lower. Emilio
spoke again. .
"You swear by the Madonna to
give me your pearls?" he asked.
And Carlo looked at the sea, still
waist-high, deep N enough to
drown bim, and replied, "I
"And to you, Carlo," Emilio
went on, smiling, "shall come the
clamN When he is h'igh and dry
we will pry open his shell and "re
lease pur arm. Then he shall
be yours. And you shall feast on.
Carlo only groaned. Little by
little, however, the water sank.
Now it was to his hips, his knees ;
then, stooping down, Emilio
seized the shell of the monster,
and with a strong effort thrust it
ashore. It was only the work of
a momenf to set Carlo free. His
arm was numbed and bleeding,
but not dangerously injured.
"A fair exchange," said Emilio,
laughing; and went to tHFbag in
which Carlo's pearls were kept.
He turned them over happily.
Now, with good luck, the season
should nrft end before Maria was
his. Carlo looked down despair
ingly into the sheel. Suddenly
he 'gave a cry, He thrust in his
hand. He pulled it out, his fin
gers grasping something that
sparkled in the sun. It was a
gsaijt pearl, worth easiljr 500 liras.
A shout of joy burst from his lips.
"The lure of death !" he cried.
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