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CHAPTER XXIII CONCLUSION
The news of the deaths respectively of Antonio Bareda and Francisco de Socotra reached Managuay simultaneously. Many surmises were given rise to, but the truth never became known—or at least it was never published. The bodies of the two citizens arrived on the same ship and their funerals were held on the same day. Little inconvenience was thereby caused, for there were few in Managuay who desired to attend both ceremonies. One cortege was followed by the rich and the great whose sleek countenances bore the conventional expressions of grief; while behind the other followed on foot an endless procession of the weeping poor.

De Socotra's wife and adopted daughter brought his body home, and on the day following the funeral Se?ora de Socotra in memory of her husband presented to the republic the magnificent estate of Casa Grande with its famous Jardin des Plantes to be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the people. Se?ora de Socotra and Miss Wilmot (as the younger lady was thereafter to be known) then departed for Paris to arrange for the magnificent mausoleum that the bereaved widow designed to erect.

The simultaneous deaths of these two men left Managuay's political situation very unsettled. The government, deprived of its strong man who had ruled for so long from behind the curtain, scarcely knew where it stood; the people having lost their champion were too apathetic to take advantage of the government's weakness. For a while things went on outwardly as before. Then it became known that the United States minister, a well-meaning, weak soul, who had been an involuntary tool in the hands of the exploiters of Managuay, had been recalled, and one Gregory Parr appointed in his place.

When in due course Mr. Parr arrived the people were surprised by his youth. He brought with him as secretary a Managuayan, Mario Estuban, and the poor people took heart. On the occasion of his first call on the President of Managuay Mr. Parr displayed a knowledge of the internal affairs of the republic that appalled the functionary. Further, Mr. Parr made certain representations that resulted in the hasty resignation of the President and his entire government, and a new election was called.

During the interim influential gentlemen, both Managuayan and American, called on the United States minister, and it was rumored that heated interviews took place. The minister remained polite and unyielding. At the same time currents that were set in motion in Washington to have him removed failed of their effect.

As election day drew near a United States cruiser made a visit of courtesy to the harbor of Managuay. The sailors were received with the wildest enthusiasm by the crowds. She remained until after the event. No armed force was landed; her mute presence in the harbor was sufficient. For the first time in years the Managuayans voted as they pleased. A truly popular and representative government was returned, which promptly got down to the work of correcting the abuses of the former régime. Curiously enough business was not ruined as had been so freely prognosticated. Dividends continued to be paid while the workers sang at their work. Capitalists discovered in Managuay as elsewhere that oppression did not even pay.

Towards the end of the winter Se?ora de Socotra and Miss Wilmot returned to Santiago de Managuay.


Amidst the misty verdure of the Jardin des Plantes under the great moon of the tropics sauntered a happy pair pressed close together.

"When did you start loving me, Greg?"

"When you touched my arm outside the garage, and asked me if that was my car."

"But I was in boy's clothes then."

"My heart told me you were not a boy.... When did you start loving me?"

"On the way home in the cab from Bessie's when we quarreled so violently. I cried all night."

"Oho! Then the way to reach your heart is by quarreling with you!"

"Oh, it wouldn't work now. I see through you too well!"

"I love to have you see through me! How sweet it is to have you laugh at me and love me still!"

"I like to have you love me, but I'm not sure that I like to be laughed at. Perhaps you can teach me to laugh at myself."

"I don't want you any different. It's such fun to tease you, Red-head!"

"I'll bleach my hair!"

"You couldn't bleach your red-headed nature! ..."

"What became of the old flivver, Greg?"

"I brought it with me."

"Brought it with you!"

"Yes, and Hickey. I intended to surprise you. Hickey had a longing to travel. He is now driving Taxi No. 1 in Santiago, and learning Spanish mornings. When the old car will no longer run we'll build a little private museum for her in our back yard. When we get old we'll go look at it together and remind each other of the brisk days of our youth."

"We'll never grow old inside anyway...."

"Amy, dear, there's one thing that troubles my peace."

"What is that?"

"De Socotra's money."

"It was all left to mamma."

"But I suppose it will come to you in time. How could we take it?"

"I have thought of that. We needn't take it if you will help me lie once more and for the last time."

"How?"

"I have been trying to persuade mamma to buy herself a sufficient annuity and then devote all the rest to philanthropic works. She objects that she must make provision for me. But if we allow her to think that you have sufficient——"

"I see. I haven't a cent, you know, really, except the salary of a minor post in the diplomatic service. Aren't you afraid sometimes?"

"Never! My dearest dear! I know you will win a proper place in the world for you and me! It's fun to begin on nothing."

"Oh, I do love you!"

"I love you so!"


THE END


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