“Ah! my frand!” Pancho said, as he bowed again, “How glad am I to see you. You glad to see me, too, eh?”
Lucia also had come to the door; likewise Angela—but the latter was still a bit timid. Even Uncle Henry pushed his way to the sill, and sat like a lonely man in a gallery while those in the orchestra pressed about their favorite actor.
“Glad?” exclaimed Gilbert. “I could kiss you, Pancho! But where on earth have you been? Come in, and tell us everything.”
He needed no urging. “Hongry as beeg bear!” he told them.
“Then sit right down,” Lucia said, “There’s plenty—far more than the last time you were here!” And they all laughed.
He came into the room, while Pedro took care of the horses.
“Hallo, Oncle Hennery,” he greeted the old man in the wheel chair. “You look splendid! And ’allo, ’Red,’—zat’s what zey call you—yes?” Then he saw the babies, and his eyes fairly popped from his head, “Well, well!” he cried, “Who ’ave zese leetle fellers!”
“They’re not both fellers!” Angela made bold to say. “One’s a girl—that one! She’s mine!”
“Oh, ho! Leetle spitfire still!” Pancho laughed. He chucked her under her pretty chin. “So you marry ze man I pick for you, eh? Good! An’ zis”—pointing to the baby—“zis ees better yet!”
“Look at mine!” the proud Lucia couldn’t help saying. “Isn’t he the image of his father?”
She held him up, and Lopez took his little hand in his. “Yes, I see what you mean,” he said, carefully looking at the child. “Hees father’s eyes—but not so much hair! What you call heem?”
“Guess!” said Gilbert.
“Could not,” the Mexican answered.
“Only one guess!” Lucia begged.
“Could not t’ink,” Lopez insisted.
“Well, then—you tell him, Gilbert,” the mother said, turning to her husband.
“There could be only one name in all the world for that youngster,” Gilbert said, and put his hand affectionately on his old friend’s shoulder. “You ought to know it as well as I. Of course his name is—Pancho!”
The smile that came over the Mexican’s face was beautiful to see. And was that the suggestion of a tear in his eye?
Long and long, and while everybody in the room remained perfectly still, he looked at the baby, whose tiny hands bobbed up and down—a fat, healthy youngster, fit as a fiddle, laughing, squirming, happy.
“For me you name him?” Lopez finally got out. “Oh, too good you are to me. Pancho! my own leetle boy! Pancho! ‘Some’ name, what you say, eh?”
And he pinched the child’s cheek, tenderly as his mother would have done.
“And here’s mine!” Angela, not to be outdone, piped up, presenting her child, also in her arms, to the delirious bandit.
“An’ what heez name?”
“It ain’t a he—it’s a she, I told you!” Angela corrected.
“Ah! All kinds you ’ave ‘ere, eh? Good! An’ what ’er name?”