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THE SPONGE BANKS
By J. D. Spurgeon.
"When Giprgios came to the surface
and was hauled into the boat every
body could see that something was
wrong with him. No sooner was his
helmet removed than the Greek's
face was convulsed with anger.
"My 'sponge bank!" he shouted.
"Somebody has been fishing there,
by gar! Three, four, five hoondred
dollar worth of sponges gone. It's
There had been bad blood for a
long time between Antonio and Gior
gios. At first they had been partners
in their sponge-fishing boat off the
east coast of Florida, but they had
quarreled over pretty Maria Ephou
:'" and severed partnership. .Maria
- - 'ou'raged neither Trig Giorgios
nor little Antonio, and that made
matters worse, if anything. The men
had separate boats now, and often
met on the water. But of late Gior
gios had discovered a bank of splen
did sponges; and npw, contrary to all
etiquette, Antonio had gone there by
stealth and robbed him of his pos
sessions. The comrades of Giorgios endeav
ored to point out to him that An
tonio had never been known to vio
late the fishermen's unwritten law
that once a bank is discovered, it be
longs to the discoverer, but without
success. Giorgios believed that Maria
preferred Antonio, and he was resolv
ed to have his revenge.
"If I catch him look out!" he mut
tered, and that evening in the little
town, passing Antonio, he lurched
heavily against him and awaited his
enemy's onslaught with a scowl. But
Antonio had no mind to take up
Giorgios' quarrel. He eluded him
with a laugh, and went his way.
From that day Giorgios saw in
every accident a conspiracy on the
part of Antonio. If the sponge fish
ing was bad Antonio had anticipated
him. If the gear went wrong An
tonio had tampered with it.
"If he see Antonio he will kill him
npw," whispered the youth Kratillis
to the other of the two boys whom
Giorgios hired to row him to the
"I remember there was a man in
Athens," began the other, and told
him a story of a similar case and how
it was cured. "There is only one
Next day, instead of opposing
Giorgios, the boys were full of sym
pathy for him.
"Antonio follows your boat in the
dark because he knows you know
where the sponges are," said Kratillis.
"Ha! But I catch him," snorted
Giorgios. "And when I do " He
thrust his knife upward.
He put on his helmet and weighted
shoes and descended over the side.
Down he went, down through several
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