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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Dona Perfecta.

The latter ran toward the house.

CHAPTER X

THE EVIDENCE OF DISCORD IS EVIDENT

Pepe Rey was disturbed and perplexed, enraged with himself and every one else; he tried in vain to imagine what could be the conflict that had arisen, in spite of himself, between his ideas and the ideas of his aunt’s friends.  Thoughtful and sad, foreseeing future discord, he remained for a short time sitting on the bench in the summer-house, his chin resting on his breast, his forehead gathered in a frown, his hands clasped.  He thought himself alone.

Suddenly he heard a gay voice humming the refrain of a song from a zarzuela.  He looked up and saw Don Jacinto sitting in the opposite corner of the summer-house.

“Ah, Senor de Rey!” said the youth abruptly, “one does not offend with impunity the religious sentiments of the great majority of a nation.  If you doubt it, consider what happened in the first French revolution.”

When Pepe heard the buzzing of this insect his irritation increased.  Nevertheless there was no anger in his soul toward the youthful doctor of laws.  The latter annoyed him, as a fly might annoy him, but nothing more.  Rey felt the irritation which every importunate being inspires, and with the air of one who brushes away a buzzing drone, he answered: 

“What has the French revolution to do with the robe of the Virgin?”

He got up and walked toward the house, but he had not taken half a dozen steps before he heard again beside him the buzzing of the mosquito, saying: 

“Senor Don Jose, I wish to speak to you about an affair in which you are greatly interested and which may cause you some trouble.”

“An affair?” said the young man, drawing back.  “Let us hear what affair is that.”

“You suspect what it is, perhaps,” said Jacinto, approaching Pepe, and smiling with the air of a man of business who has some unusually important matter on hand; “I want to speak to you about the lawsuit.”

“The lawsuit!  My friend, I have no lawsuits.  You, as a good lawyer, dream of lawsuits and see stamped paper everywhere.”

“What!  You have not heard of your lawsuit?” exclaimed the youth, with amazement.

“Of my lawsuit!  But I have no lawsuits, nor have I ever had any.”

“Well, if you have not heard of it, I am all the better pleased to have spoken to you about it, so that you may be on your guard.  Yes, senor, you are going to have a suit at law.”

“And with whom?”

“With Uncle Licurgo and other land-owners whose property borders on the estate called The Poplars.”

Pepe Rey was astounded.

“Yes, senor,” continued the little lawyer.  “To-day Uncle Licurgo and I had a long conference.  As I am such a friend of the family, I wanted to let you know about it, so that, if you think well of it, you may hasten to arrange the matter.”

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