"I'll tell you, Alessandro," said the kindly woman, "I'll give you what money you need to-night, and then, if you say so, Jim'll sell the violin to-morrow, if the man wants it, and you can pay me back out of that, and when you're along this way again you can have the rest. Jim'll make as good a trade for you's he can. He's a real good friend to all of you, Alessandro, when he's himself."
"I know it, Mrs. Hartsel. I'd trust Mr. Hartsel more than any other man in this country," said Alessandro. "He's about the only white man I do trust!"
Mrs. Hartsel was fumbling in a deep pocket in her under-petticoat. Gold-piece after gold-piece she drew out. "Humph! Got more'n I thought I had," she said. "I've kept all that's been paid in here to-day, for I knew Jim'd be drunk before night."
Alessandro's eyes fastened on the gold. How he longed for an abundance of those little shining pieces for his Majella! He sighed as Mrs. Hartsel counted them out on the table,-- one, two, three, four, bright five-dollar pieces.
"That is as much as I dare take," said Alessandro, when she put down the fourth. "Will you trust me for so much?" he added sadly. "You know I have nothing left now. Mrs. Hartsel, I am only a beggar, till I get some work to do."
The tears came into Mrs. Hartsel's eyes. "It's a shame!" she said,-- "a shame, Alessandro! Jim and I haven't thought of anything else, since it happened. Jim says they'll never prosper, never. Trust you? Yes, indeed. Jim and I'd trust you, or your father, the last day of our lives."
"I'm glad he is dead," said Alessandro, as he knotted the gold into his handkerchief and put it into his bosom. "But he was murdered, Mrs. Hartsel,-- murdered, just as much as if they had fired a bullet into him."
"That's true." she exclaimed vehemently. "I say so too; and so was Jose. That's just what I said at the time,-- that bullets would not be half so inhuman!"
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