“But there is no moon.”
In the soul of Dona Perfecta, in the soul of the Penitentiary, in the little doctor’s youthful soul echoed like a celestial harmony the word, “To-night!”
“Of course, dear Pepe, you will come back. I wrote to-day to your father, your excellent father,” exclaimed Dona Perfecta, with all the physiognomic signs that make their appearance when a tear is about to be shed.
“I will trouble you with a few commissions,” said the savant.
“A good opportunity to order the volume that is wanting in my copy of the Abbe Gaume’s work,” said the youthful lawyer.
“You take such sudden notions, Pepe; you are so full of caprices,” murmured Dona Perfecta, smiling, with her eyes fixed on the door of the dining-room. “But I forgot to tell you that Caballuco is waiting to speak to you.”
DISCORD CONTINUES TO GROW UNTIL WAR IS DECLARED
Every one looked toward the door, at which appeared the imposing figure of the Centaur, serious-looking and frowning; embarrassed by his anxiety to salute the company politely; savagely handsome, but disfigured by the violence which he did himself in smiling civilly and treading softly and holding his herculean arms in a correct posture.
“Come in, Senor Ramos,” said Pepe Rey.
“No, no!” objected Dona Perfecta. “What he has to say to you is an absurdity.”
“Let him say it.”
“I ought not to allow such ridiculous questions to be discussed in my house.”
“What is Senor Ramos’ business with me?”
Caballuco uttered a few words.
“Enough, enough!” exclaimed Dona Perfecta. “Don’t trouble my nephew any more. Pepe, don’t mind this simpleton. Do you wish me to tell you the cause of the great Caballuco’s anger?” she said, turning to the others.
“Anger? I think I can imagine,” said the Penitentiary, leaning back in his chair and laughing with boisterous hilarity.
“I wanted to say to Senor Don Jose—” growled the formidable horseman.
“Hold your tongue, man, for Heaven’s sake! And don’t tire us any more with that nonsense.”
“Senor Caballuco,” said the canon, “it is not to be wondered at that gentlemen from the capital should cut out the rough riders of this savage country.”
“In two words, Pepe, the question is this: Caballuco is—”
She could not go on for laughing.
“Is—I don’t know just what,” said Don Inocencio, “of one of the Troya girls, of Mariquita Juana, if I am not mistaken.”
“And he is jealous! After his horse, the first thing in creation for him is Mariquilla Troya.”
“A pretty insinuation that!” exclaimed Dona Perfecta. “Poor Cristobal! Did you suppose that a person like my nephew—let us hear, what were you going to say to him? Speak.”
“Senor Don Jose and I will talk together presently,” responded the bravo of the town brusquely.