H i " -'' ' ""
THE WAR RELIC
By Selina Elizabeth Higgins.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
When Pietro Sanchez returned
from putting down thejnsurrection in
Modiva, he brought to his home town
of Piasta but one trophy of the war
a large brass cannon.
Pietro was an honest, sturdy black
smith. He had fought just as he set
tires on the wagon wheels or shod a
Each Night Some One Had Watched.
horse his while soul in the task. He
had been the leader of the company
which drove the marauding gang of
Rivolla, the bandit, out of the dis
trict. Who had a better right to adopt
the great field piece as a souvenir of
those troublesome battle days?
The blacksmith shop was located
on ther topmost bluff overlooking the
broad Rio Brazos, commanding the
valley for miles. Just at its edge Pie
tro had set the cannon.
"It is a memento, a monument and
a trade sign," said Pietro. "There it
shall remain as a record, reminder
and sign manual of the trade of the
"But, neighbor" spoke a fear
minded, nervous old man, "these are
days of peace. Why remind of war?"
"It shall not be moved," persisted
Pietro stubbornly. "Who can say
what may come?"
There came new disturbances as
the year passed by, but these were
centered in a distant province. Pie
tro looked grim and thoughtful as he
heard of new depredations of the Ri
volla banditti. Airy, fairy Ninez, full
of the joyous hopefulness of youth,
only smiled on. She was light-hearted
and happy. Had she not Luis Gu
arez, the handsome gallant at Piasta?
His stalwart arm, his loyal heart
would spring to action in response to
any patriotic call. As to Rivolla, some
day the gibbet. Yet she recalled the
dark, perfidious face of the cruel out
law with a shudder.
For the family of Pietro had known
Rivolla in the past. Two years be
fore he had lived at Piasta for a time.
He had appeared as a suitor for
Ninez. Sternly old Sanchez had or
dered him away from the threshold,
learning of his cruel and cowardly
past. And Ninez had felt relieved
when the fierce ,visaged bandit had
departed from the village.
Then there had come a missive for
the little Mexican' maid. It was from
the renegade Rivolla, now devastat
ing a peaceful district, driving off cat
tle, burning peaceful homes, blotting
out the lives of worthy patriots in
cold, murderous riot and hate".
"Have a care!" the words of the
message ran. "I have sworn to mak
you mine, and Rivolla never fails in '
It was of this that Ninez and Luis
were speaking one moonlit night
They had strollejl along the bluff,
where the clear, cool' air was like
balm. The river flowed by, a spark
ling sheet of silvery sheen. The air.
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