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Newspaper Page Text
A LUCKY EXCHANGE
By Walter Joseph Delaney.
I opened the door of my room at
'the little Mexican hotel at Guyara at
the summons of -an unexpected
knock rapid, nervous, appealing
to face the most beautiful woman I
had ever seen.
She was trembling visibly. Those
deep, dark blue eyes were scintillat
ing with a seeming terror. She
glanced up and down the corridor as
if momentarily expecting some hov
ering doom. Then, breathlessly:
"Senor, in the name of humanity,
as a friend, as a brother, as " she
glanced at my gray wig (false), at
the mature obscuring colored spec
tacles I wore "as a father," she ad
ded more assuringly; "let me in. Al
low me to hide to occupy your
room for the next thirty minutes."
It was a period of war's, alarms, of
unusual happenings. All that portion
of the republic was in a turmoil. I
was engaged upon a peculiar mission,
hence disguised. She was pretty, she
was pleading. I stepped past her into
the hall, lifted my hat and said
"With pleasure. It is your apart
ment at your will," and I heard the
door bolted on the inside and went
down to the lobby, applauding1 myself
for a kind deed. In a very few mo
ments two men in uniform accom
panied by a servant came bustling
down the stairs and up to the deck of
the hotel clerk. They were red, per
"We have not found her!" spoke
one of the. officers.
"The lady you describe, register
name Hermosa Alivina, was given
room 41 this morning."
"It is unoccupied; we have visited
other rooms. She is not to be found.
One apartment was bolted on the in
side. It was 49," spoke the servant'.
"Ah! that is your room, is it n'qt,
senor?". interrogated the clerk, and I
arose and came forward.
"Mine," I bowed with alacrity, for
it was not a time to falter or arouse
suspicion. "I just left it."
"And locked it?"
The clerk reached behind him and
handed a chisel and hammer to the
servant with the added words: "It is
under process of the law, and there
fore legal. Force the door."
I followed the group up the stair
case. From what was said I estimat
ed that my lady Hermosa was run
ning away from a rebel guardian, to
join a patriot lover in the City pf
Mexico. Once at the rail station fifty
miles away she would be beyond the
limit of legal detention.
"Empty!" pronounced the head of
ficer in a sour, disappointed tone as
the barrier was forced, and he darted
a swift glance about the room.
"Observe!" shrilly called out his
compatriot, lifting a filmy, dainty
dress from a chair. "Again," he add-