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Newspaper Page Text
said airily. "I thought you had run
away. It was for your sake I mar
ried her. Listen, Giuseppe, I want
an assistant again. Stay with me
and I will give you ten dollars
This seemed a fortune to Giuseppe.
And he would have worked for noth
ing to be within sight of his beloved
Minetta. He felt dimly that the day
might arrive when he could help
Blanco had laughed quietly at his
triumph. He felt sure that his cun
ning act, showing Minetta how he
despised her former sweetheart,
would make her despise him too.
But Minetta did not despise Giuseppe.
Blanco, watching them, saw that
the old love was only dormant. He
knew that, though she would not
. have dared let herself acknowledge
it, Minetta still loved Giuseppe. He
dared not send him away, for he
wanted to have him in his sight con
stantly. He had tried in various ways to
kill him. Once he teased Nero and
sent Giuseppe into his cage. But
Nero only crouched down at his feet.
Another time he rubbed Giuseppe's
clothes with catnip. Giusepne
smellcd nothing and wondered why
the big cats fawned around him and
rubbed against him. But here, too,
he escaped disaster.
Then Blanco began to beat Minetta
and accused her openly of loving
Giuseppe. When she denfed this in
dignantly he struck her in the face.
Giuseppe saw the "bruise.
"You have hurt yourself, Minetta!"
he exclaimed. "What have you done?
Did you fall?"
"Yes, I fell downstairs," sobbed
Minetta, shamefacedly. If she had
.been 'a little older she might not
have been so frightened. But Blanco
"as all in the world to her; bad as
the man was, she loved him because
she had given herself to him.
Blancb watched her all the time.
Giuseppe began to tfotice it. l First
he was indignant and thought of tax- 1
ing Bla with it. Then he waited,
as is the italian nature. No good, he
knew, ever came out of evil.
Blanco drank constantly. Nero
knew it Nero was watching him as
quietly as he watched Giuseppe. The
climax was very near when Giuseppe
saw Blanco strike Minetta through
the open door of their tent.
He had been counting the receipts,
but now he dropped these and draw
ing his knife, rushed forward. But
Blanco had gone into the lion house
before he arrived. Blanco was train
ing'a new lion. Giuseppe must wait.
Then he turned back, to see Minetta,
scarlet, with a white weal across her
face, waiting for him.
"I saw him ," stammered Giu
seppe. "Yes, J saw you, too," she an
swered. "When he struck me- this
time, Giuseppe, I knew that I loved
him no logger. He is a "
"He is a devil!" shouted the young
man, fingering his blade. "Minetta!"
They looked at one another and
fell into each other's arms. They
knew now that their two years had
been fruitless; they would always
love one another.
"Giuseppe, you must goi Minetta
sobbed at length. "Go nojv, before
sin come upon us."
Giuseppe fought the hardest battle
of his hfe that moment At last he
conquered. Raising Minetta's hand
to his lips he walked slowly back to
the collection box. He would leave
that afternoon; he would never sea
Minetta went into the lion house
presently. Blanco, who seemed par
ticularly amiable, called her into the
cage. She was loath to go; she was
a better trainer than he.
Blanco caught his wife by the arm.
"Minetta dear Minetta,"-he said,
smiling like a devil; "I saw what hap
pened five minutes ago. Kneel down,
Minetta, and pray."
Minetta kneeled down and prayed.it
because she was docile and it seemed
the Only thing that she could do.
' JtL i ifc ii -i"j -Mu.