“Senor, I can wheep him with one hand!” vaunted the little Mexican.
“Run, I tell you, and get help. Be like a flash, man!”
“As you say, Senor, but—–”
Nicolas turned, speeding away.
His escape, however, would interfere, possibly, with
the plans of Sambo.
The big black leaped up, racing after Nicolas.
As the Mexican was a little fellow, and short of leg, it was not long before the pursuer caught up with him.
“Hol’ on, yo’ yaller rascal!” laughed Sambo, reaching out for the Mexican. Nicolas wheeled about, dancing out of reach of the negro’s massive hands.
“Stand still, yo’ li’l’ Greaser!” laughed Sambo.
“Now you have insult me, and I show you what I do to you!” snarled Nicolas, his brown face aflame at the taunting word, “Greaser.”
“Come heah!” jeered Sambo, making a bound and reaching for the small man.
Nicolas dodged, but he did not run away. Instead, he bobbed up inside of the negro’s reach. The Mexican thrust out his slim, sinewy right-hand forefinger. A vicious poke he gave with it, landing sharply on a spot just about an inch and a quarter below the base of the negro’s breast bone.
“Woof!” panted Sambo, half doubling, for Nicolas had touched a tender spot.
“You have insult me! You call me mean name!” raged Nicolas. “Stand steel, you big black smoke!”
Again Nicolas ducked and rushed in. Once more he employed his forefinger tip in the same fashion, and with more power.
“O-o-o-o-o-h! Wow!” gasped Sambo, this time doubling nearly to the ground. “Get away, chile! I doan’ wan’ no mo’ ob yo’!”
“You have insult,” insisted Nicolas angrily, “and I do much more yet to you.”
This time the negro appeared almost helpless. Nicolas danced about, looking for an opening. In desperation Sambo struck out with his powerful left. It gave the Mexican the chance he wanted. Darting in, he repeated his trick for the third time.
The bulky negro lay down, groaning. He had too little breath left to be dangerous.
While this was going on Tom Reade had rolled over on his face. From this position he succeeded in getting to his knees. Then he rose and hastened toward the Mexican.
“Nicolas, you’re surely a little terror!” Reade admitted, admiringly. “Now, untie my hands and we’ll take care of Sambo.”
“Wait—–jus’ one leetle moment, Senor,” begged the Mexican. He turned back to Sambo, that forefinger ready for another jab.
“Fo’ de lub ob goodness—–” gasped Sambo. But Nicolas was determined. He made the jab, and Sambo all but lost the little breath that was in him.
“Now, Senor, we do it all in one second,” proclaimed the Mexican. From his pocket he drew a knife, springing the blade open. Snip! snip! and the young engineer was free of his lashings.
“There’s plenty of this cord left,” declared Tom. “We’ll fix up our black friend.”