"I must be in San Diego to-morrow," he said.
"Yes; that is, in San Pasquale," he said; "and I ought to have been there three days ago."
Mrs. Hartsel mused. "Jim can't do anything to-night," she said; "that's certain. You might see the man yourself, and ask him if he'd buy it,"
Alessandro shook his head. An invincible repugnance withheld him. He could not face one of these Americans who were "coming in" to his valley. Mrs. Hartsel understood.
"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.
Reminder: Arrow keys left and right (← →) to turn pages forward and backward, up and down (↑ ↓) to scroll up and down, Enter key: return to the list