Romescos spreads himself wonderfully, throws his dice, and exults over the result. He has turned up three sixes at the first and second throws, and two sixes and five at the third.
“Beat that! who can?” he says. No one discovers that he has, by a very dexterous movement, slipped a set of false dice into the box, while O’Brodereque diverted attention at the moment by introducing the pony into the saloon.
We will pass over many things that occurred, and inform the reader that Romescos won the first prize-the woman. The dog and pony prizes were carried off by legitimate winners. This specific part of the scene over, a band of negro minstrels are introduced, who strike up their happy glees, the music giving new life to the revelry. Such a medley of drinking, gambling, and carousing followed, as defies description. What a happy thing it is to be free; they feel this,—it it is a happy feeling! The sport lasts till the small hours of morning advance. Romescos is seen leaving the saloon very quietly.
“There!” says Mr. O’Brodereque exultingly, “he hasn’t got so much of a showing. That nigger gal ain’t what she’s cracked up to be!” and he shakes his head knowingly, thrusts his hands deep into his breeches pockets, smiles with an air of great consequence.
“Where did ye raise the critter? devil of a feller ye be, Brodereque!” says a young sprig, giving his hat a particular set on the side of his head, and adjusting his eye-glass anew. “Ye ain’t gin her a name, in all the showin’,” he continues, drawlingly.
“That gal! She ain’t worth so much, a’ter all. She’s of Marston’s stock; Ellen Juvarna, I think they call her. She’s only good for her looks, in the animal way,—that’s all!”
“Hav’n’t told where ye got her, yet,” interrupts the sprig; “none of yer crossin’ corners, general.”
“Well, I started up that gal of Elder Pemberton Praiseworthy. She takes it into her mind to get crazed now and then, and Marston had to sell her; and the Elder bought her for a trifle, cured up her thinkin’-trap, got her sound up for market, and I makes a strike with the Elder, and gets her at a tall bargain.” Mr. O’Brodereque has lost none of his dignity, none of his honour, none of his hopes of getting into Congress by the speculation.
It is poor Ellen Juvarna; she has been cured for the market. She might have said, and with truth,—“You don’t know me now, so wonderful are they who deal with my rights in this our world of liberty!”
A not uncommon scene slightly changed.
Romescos, having withdrawn from the saloon while the excitement raged highest, may be seen, with several others, seated at a table in the upper room. They are in earnest consultation,—evidently devising some plan for carrying out a deep-laid plot.