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Keep the change for your fee. When you like, we will begin a new one. Good enough! You were the only one who was lacking there. Half past ten and raining! In front of the hearse, which was the great bell of the cathedral, Rafael and Madeira arm in arm were leading the way, dancing under a big red umbrella.

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Here we are carrying Don Alonso de Fonseca! He died from indigestion caused by water! II The cloisters of the University were teeming with anima- tion on that first morning of the academic year. Forming lines at the foot of the columns, seated on the stone benches ranging along the wall, walking through the cloisters or loitering in the patio, the students were cheerfully chatting. At the door of the hall destined for the first-year classes, the freshmen, a trifle embarrassed, formed groups and looked with a certain envious respect upon the members of the other classes, especially the sophomores, whom they took to be seniors, on account of their disparaging air of superiority.

The students raised their hats respectfully to the professors as they went from the faculty room to the general assembly hall where, until the bell sounded the hour to don their togas, they, also, formed groups accord- ing to their affiliation with university politics and eyed one another jealously out of the corners of their eyes. Sobre Rivas, the beadle, was answering as shortly as possibly a torrent of questions, in a very gruff voice, with which, doubtlessly, he wished to sustain a certain supe- riority necessary, in his opinion, to preserve the order from which no one ever thought of deviating.

With great repulsion, Gerardo addressed himself to Rivas, as soon as he was inside the building. And the cloister caused a still worse impression, in spite of its grace and elegance that he could not fail to recognize. Certainly, for obscurity, narrowness and bad smells, they 29 80 The House of Troy exceed the passage ways of a cheap boarding house and are adequate to receive the small stream of daily science that the official wisdom presents to university youth ; but, at least, there, the cold and the rain do not have entrance as to this cloister, at the time, illuminated by the sad, pale daylight of Compostela.

Oh, for the cheerfulness, the light and the little milliners, above all the little milliners, of that wide Avenue of Saint Bernardo! And what could he say of the abomination of this paved patio with the horror of that half always deprived of the sun, completely covered with copper which some dare- devils were using as a coast at the risk of broken bones, that divine Providence reduced to heavy falls on their posteriors, provoking clamorous laughter, screams and whistles?

I ad- vise you to look out, because Don Adolfo does not excuse cuts. It is not the custom here to have classes in the afternoon ; they all come in the morning. They be- gin at eight and are out at two. You can see the schedule on the board over there. There was a crowd of heads bobbing up and down trying to get a sight ' of it, but only those in the front row were able to read it. Gerardo waited patiently until the crowd dispersed.

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Near him, Madeira was talking with a tall, thick-set young The House of Troy 31 man of merry countenance easily provoked to laughter, ornamented with an incipient moustache. I have only about six dollars left, anyway. He had heard the new student seeking information and hastened to give him all the explanations he required — and more. Augusto was a good fellow with two manias: that of being useful to everybody, and that of getting acquainted with every stranger as soon as the new-comer set foot into the town and before anyone else had had a chance to speak to him ; especially if he came from Madrid, his acquaintance constituted for Augusto an imperative necessity, irresistible if the stranger were fashionably dressed and had polished manners.

I 32 The House of Troy to pass away the time by reading the inscriptions over the doors of the different halls, proclaiming the merits of some of the illustrious sons of the University. He must be one of our classmates. But, now that my attention is called to it, it seems to me that you, yourself, have come back a prodigy of elegance. My goodness! Not a wrinkle; not a spot; all the buttons. When did you climb onto the earth? How is this? In this elegance of yours, there is something more than that.

Do you still go with her? And if they tease me, and they will as soon as I give them a chance. I, who never had anything to do with such foolishness, which seemed to me ridiculous! Well, Madeira is blindly, stupidly in love. You are the only one I would think of talking to about it, because you are the unique person who would listen with patience. And you, you rascal — it is because you have such a passion for novels. But I can tell you, that some of those stories are mighty interesting, just the same. But there goes Don Servando to the class room. The House of Troy 33 They entered the hall.

Don Servando was carefully and smilingly examining the students as they came in, with his fun-loving eyes hidden behind his spectacles, while his fingers played with the goatee that gave character to his face. Don Servando was an odd man, a type apart in this institution of routine and formalities. He always went to class with his cape which he wore with great distinction, thrown gallantly over his shoulder.

He had two abhor- rences : conventionalities and the decisions of the Supreme Court; and one occupation: ridiculing all the law books which fell into his hands, not excepting his own. Outside of that, and inside too, he was a thoroughly good man of much knowledge and an authority on judicial matters. As soon as the students were seated, he began the roll call. Gerardo improved the moment in inspecting his fel- low class men.

The hall was not very different from those of the University of Madrid, nor the occupants with juve- nile faces bearing witness of health and cheerfulness; va- rious modes of dress, some neglected and some showing ex- treme care, some indescribable; a few formal men seemed somewhat out of their element.

Don Servando made a joking commentary from time to time on the names, as he was reading them. Your uncle, the rector of San Fiz, charged me to make you study. You are young; study is for staid old men. Men should not go to college till they are forty-five years old. Very well, we will tell your uncle that you are study- ing. And you must not permit me to tell an un- truth. Prom which one do you come? But sit down I hope you may give proof of it. You have made a number of changes.

But, bah! I ought to make you a florid address like those which are being made throughout Spain at this hour by my distinguished brother professors And I also: A pause; a laugh. I have assigned you the text of Rodriguez and Gomez, because it is the least poor of all those of the writers on the subject and writers on it are many. But I am going to give you a piece of advice : Another pause and another laugh do not study it.

Two alumni may come in to be examined ; one may stand struck dumb ; the other may repeat the words of the text book very well, very well indeed; I may give excellent to one and flunk the other. Did you make a remark? You are mistaken. Ha, ha! God be with you. Till tomorrow. He never asks for the lesson and passes everybody. You are from Madrid, are you not? We come from the same place. And besides, I have been in Santiago for six years. I came when I was thirteen, at the time my father was made colonel and sent here as chief of this zone. You will see what a beautiful prome- nade it is.

And we will talk about Madrid. That is to say, you talk to me about it, because I, as I left there so young, know only the streets. But I am very well informed concerning the life there, through the newspapers and novels, of course. I read a great deal. The painful feeling of oppression and suffocation which Gerardo had experienced the evening before, was accentu- ated in going through these streets whose rows of houses seemed to be throwing themselves at each other across the narrow space, in an attempt to crush unfortunate pedes- trians.

At many of the shop doors were displayed crudely col- ored cloths and handkerchiefs, before which stood groups of country men and women handling the goods; instead of giving a tone of cheerfulness to the street, according to Gerardo, the picture with its irony of gay colors, the strik- ing reds, yellows and greens, produced a dolorous atmos- phere. I am always hoping to return to Madrid. It is true, I feel choked here. In Spanish the word for street calle is not begun with a capital, as in English. The institution was run by a few families having a political pull, so he informed his companion ; a professor would get an appointment for a son and maybe for a son-in-law, to strengthen the family hold.

The Dean, brother-in-law to the Treasurer, had a nephew employed as Secretary ; and so they were interrelated; an outsider could not get in there. Augusto did not know how it happened, but, when- ever there was a vacancy on the faculty, it was always filled by a son, a nephew or a grandson of someone. They had arrived at the Herradura which was and is, thanks to God, a wonderful promenade presenting a pano- rama of magnificent views. At first, the road submerges itself in the woods, as it climbs the hill, and all the way borders, with its inside curve, the noble oaks of the Santa Susana Woods; soon, picturesque landscapes are descried through the openings ; as it reaches a higher elevation, the town appears in the background of the picture, like a spider, extending its long arms through the suburbs ; above all, with the City Hall at their feet, dominating, symbolical, soaring above the rest of the buildings, like a lord over his vassals, the imposing towers of the Cathedral ; by its side, the University with its hundreds of windows, pompously occupying half the city, and next to it, the Franciscan Monastery hiding silently and humbly in a hollow, the fruitfulness of its enormous garden where were swarming the brown-frocked monks making the steel of their hoes flash in the sunlight as they moved them incessantly up and down.

Beyond, farther down, near the little stream, ostentatiously called a river, are the extensive barracks lodging four companies and a chief. Here and there, clus- tered around the Cathedral, the University and the Monas- tery, are the dwelling houses, some white-washed with a The House of Troy 37 dirty white, others exposing their large, square, dark stones. The whole town bristles with the bell-towers and weather-vaned steeples of its hundred churches.

There it was! Gerardo viewed it with intense hatred. To be obliged to remain in that place eight mortal months! The humility of the outlying districts of San Lorenzo and Carmen, scattered among corn fields and oak groves beyond the city limits, seemed to Gerardo abjectness. As the road advances, the view is intercepted by the bare massiveness of Monte Pedroso stony mountain which elevates its head aggressively cutting off the horizon, as if it had been put there to impede the flight of thought.

I think that you would prob- ably get there more quickly by taking the highway to Orense. I walk out in that direction often when I have a particular longing for Madrid. I am in the habit of taking long walks for exercise ; I sometimes go a league and, you see, with my weight. But I like to do it, because it brings me that much nearer my native town. The worst of it is coming back — that tired feeling, and worse than that, the rage at not being able to keep on to my beloved Madrid.

WouldnT you like to take a walk out that way this after- noon? I thank you very much for your kindness, but my state of mind makes a bad companion of me. When I have gotten over it somewhat, I am sure, we shall be good friends. Now, I am not master of myself. I feel positively sick and prefer to be alone. I have left my life behind me in Madrid. Everyone who comes to Santiago feels like that at first. You will find that you will get used to it after a while.

And after all, when you know how to take it, it isnT so bad here. Augusto, Koquer! Sing it again! With your permission, Koquer. Much to the amusement of the boys below, the faculty and the persons attracted by the song to the windows of the neighboring buildings, they prepared to repeat the ab- surd words fitted to an arbitrary bit of music. Pronounced ra-al'. The professors are waiting! To Class! Ill The third day, Gerardo stopped going to the University.

His fit of the blues was becoming worse and worse and he shunned all society, not getting up till noon and, some- times, later. He liked the solitude of that street where he met only peasants who saluted him respectfully with the traditional courtesy of Galicia. May God and the Virgin bless you!

He was becoming a great walker. As soon as he left San- tiago behind him, he felt much calmer and he found the delicate softness of the green fields very restful and sooth- ing. In coming back, he formed the habit of sitting down on one of the projections of the little stone bridge, not so much to rest as to put off his going back into the city which seemed to him each time more repugnant. He felt an ardent desire for Madrid; all Madrid, with- out regard to any particular spot, thing or person in it; simply an overwhelming longing to get back to it once more, that was all.

At night, he shut himself up in his room and read till morning. The bookseller, Gali, had found in him an excel- lent customer of all things pertaining to Madrid — novels, satirical periodicals, bull-ring news, light romances and 41 42 The House of Troy other forms more or less literary — fuel thrown onto the fire of his desperation. One night after supper, it occurred to him to write to his friends at home, telling them his troubles, but, when he had the paper before him and the pen in his hand, he could not think of one among his companions of the happy life, with heart enough to comprehend them and not laugh at his misfortunes.

First, a man about thirty — having the general appearance of a much older person — tall, with black beard rather unkempt, well- dressed, who went along without taking any notice of any- thing, looking up at the clouds, like a dreamer. The old man and young girl, undoubtedly father and daughter, were both dressed in mourning which she had begun to lighten with touches of white. The first afternoon that Gerardo saw them, they came and sat down on the little stone bridge opposite him. Down the river it is beautiful. The elderly man and his daughter particularly got on his nerves.

One afternoon, bluer than usual, he did not feel like walking, so he sat down on the bridge wrapped in his thoughts. So abstracted was he, that he did not see the old man and his odious daughter sitting in their customary place nor should he have been aware of their proximity had not the whining voice of an old begger all in tatters, her skirt half way up to her knees, a ragged scarf on her head, and a staff in her hand, recalled his wandering senses by her insistent pleading for alms. Give me an alms for ihe souls of your dead ones.

A little charity for the souls of your dead. She wants to be married soon! Give it for her and I will pray to Our Lady to send you good fortune. See how soft they are! Come now! He handed a largesse to the beggar in compliment of the blessing, she was evoking, and, as was natural, turned to see the young lady, and saw, or thought he saw, her blush ; at the same time, the father east upon the mendicant an annihilating look which cut short her steps in his direction.

The crafty one was probably bound to that port to repeat her fortune. That was the last straw; to think that anyone could wish him to marry here. The idea of his marrying a Galician! This incident raised his bad humor to the highest pitch, and when, at night, he returned to his rooms, he resolved never to set foot into the street again, but remain in them till he died or until he was permitted to quit this place where life was such a burden, the young girls so detestable and the beggars so bold and impertinent.


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The idea of his marrying! And marrying a Galician!! And a Galician of Santiago de Compostela! He let himself fall desperately into an armchair and began to turn over the leaves of some illustrated magazines which Gali had just sent in to him. All at once, in one of them, he ran across a large, colored picture of Mabitas, in which the traitoress appeared dressed. Well to de- scribe her as dressed is somewhat of a euphemism; but how shall we speak of the wisp of tulle which was adorned by the beauty of the soprano?

She reserved nothing ex- cept that which would have prevented the circulation of the periodical. That, that is a The House of Troy 45 woman for you and not a simpering thing like the one on the bridge this afternoon! A big lump came up into his throat almost choking him, and he began to sob. Suddenly he became livid and with the impetuosity and vehemence which were his strong characteristics, he jumped up and seized the stiletto which served for a paper cuttet and jabbed at the picture violently and vindictively.

And the traitoress. Mabitas, lay upon the table stabbed through her opulent bosom. Then the assassin, with that calm ferocity of hardened criminals, took the scissors and cut to bits that pretty face and inciting body ; so fine did he cut them that a jury could not have identified the corpse. The assassination consummated, Gerardo went to bed without his supper. He passed the night and the next day in bed in a state of high fever. The following morning found him free from fever, but so weak that he did not feel able to go out.

He sat down in an easychair with his back to the window balcony and prepared to pass away his life groaning and smoking. But in the middle of the afternoon, came an energetic rapping on his door and before he could answer, it was opened by Augusto Armero, who stood an instant taking in the situation and then smilingly and resolutely crossed the room and cordially shook the hand of our sad hero. I went to the Siglo this afternoon and Eafael told me that a boy from the inn said you were sick. I left my coffee half drunk and ran up to take care of you.

When I arrived out of breath and in- quired below about you, they informed me that you had had a fit of blues which grew worse and worse, till you shut yourself up in your room, refusing to see anybody. Nobody dies here!

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It would be an awful bother in the middle of the month to have to practice a miserere and get up a funeral wreath 46 The House of Troy with a sentimental inscription His disconsolate comrades. See what a beautiful day it is opening the shutters to let in the sunlight. Put on your clothes and come for a walk. Of course you do, everyone! Do you know what they do in America with homesick Galicians?

They play the guitar and sing to them till they have to dance. I cannot go out. Very well, I rep- resent your family. You need the medicine of fresh air, sunshine, exercise and conversation and I come to admin- ister them, ordering you to go out this very minute, as your father or your mother would. Then I will be a mother to you. He thanked his interest and praised his kind-heartedness. As you have no other friend.

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But if you had made any friends, they would all come to see you; in Santiago all the college boys are good- hearted and whenever one is sick or needs anything, they all help him out. They are not going to do any- thing to you out in the street. I have an idea! I am going to drive away your homesickness with a piano, which, in this case, will make a very good substitute for a guitar.

I will introduce you to some pretty girls. Anything but that! The walk will be enough. If they are on the balcony, you will see some mighty pretty girls in the houses back of the Pilar.

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You, what you need is a girl. What a lot of books you have here! You must lend me these novels; will you? And these illustrated periodicals ; may I take these too? What you need. Still, rendered suspicious by his uncomfortable, dirty quarters at the hotel, Gerardo opposed his last objection. Would it not be worse in a boarding house? It will be the very best thing in the world for him to go there.

Listen, Gerardo, the biggest rascals of the University live there. You will get over your blues there all right! Any man who is lucky enough to get in there, keeps his place for the whole course. And still more than the house, Gerardo liked the woman who kept it, a person with some degree of refinement, about sixty years old, who had, without doubt, been pretty, once, and yet retained her health and strength.

The place gave him a more homelike feeling than he had experienced for a long time. There are a number of things lacking to make the rooms habitable, but I will buy those, and, tomorrow noon, I will take possession of my new quarters. He wished to have the newcomer hear the playing of the oboes in the Cathedral, the primitive and ingenuous music which accompanies the mitred procession that on festival days, passes from nave to nave, lead by the archbishop dressed in his pontifical robes, and the other six mitred dignitaries.

Which swing from nave to nave. It was necessary to ring several times to make themselves heard, for there was the racket of two hundred demons inside, or a half dozen students, which is the same thing, with the balance in favor of the obstreperous boys. It is worse than I thought. They are just full of fun.

I had to go to him, myself, and tell him not to mind anything about them. You must acclimate yourself according to rule. But, who is this Sa- The House of Troy 51 moeiro whom these wild animals that are going to be my neignbors, are crying after? He is very fond of the girls, but they do not care for him at all. He is always getting thrown down by the girls here and every one who comes to town, without learning from experience.

He spends most of his time going around the streets serenading. I am already in bad. We begin to quarrel at one and make up again at night. That is our regular custom. There were six or seven students who had corralled another, the only one dressed in an admissible manner.

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The rest. One had on an old water-proof with a cape which he was dragging behind him; another was wearing a heavy winter overcoat with a hood and close sleeves — one of the short ones which caricaturists of that day often ridiculed — with his legs in red and blue striped underdrawers. He looked like a regular cut-throat. We are the country! The state is in danger; the country needs you, the country reclaims her illustrious son of the Town of Brollon.

When are you going to be good to him? Here he will lose that wise look which so disfigures him. A maid brought in a soup tureen brimming with broth. Behold here, Samoeiro! The Imbecile, Samoeiro! The tell-tale, Samoeiro! Help yourself reasonably and if you should desire another helping, I am sure these rave- nous creatures will have left some for you.

Restrain your- self a little. If you do not, what will this respectable per- son who, from today, has the honor of sharing our broth and who is not yet acquainted with us, think of you? Sixty and two hours have been dropping away our effects. The books of these studious young men. Day before yesterday, when desperation had come to lodge in this house, there occurred to Manolito a happy idea: to pawn a suit belonging to one of us and remedy our condition. My clothes were the happy ones. I am left in my underdrawers. What do you think that robber of a tailor gave for my tunic — a precious light blue?

Three dollars and seventy-five cents, Eminentissime atque reverendissime domine! Then Manolito had a second brilliant idea, the devil take him, to play at the Circo de Artesanos, which is not our highest- class gambling house, the three seventy-five from my suit. But what capital was that for a like venture? We agreed to pawn another suit. The lot fell to Julio Quiroga and we thought, we should make a good thing on that, but the saint had him completely in his power.

Don Nicanor did not hesitate to take advantage of the situation and gave only a dollar and a quarter. Our banker soon lost the sum 54 The Rouse of Troy from both outfits. It would pain your nobleness to hear how crestfallen we were. Madeira then proposed that, as a penalty, he would deliver his suit to Manolito and that he should go and risk what it brought at the Casino of the aristocracy.

So that is the way it happened that we are all reduced to our underwear. Last night, not having anything to lay hand to, we smoked an old coat; that is to say, for an old thing that Nicanor wouldn T give us any- thing for, the servant girl here paid us a quarter; she is going to make her beau a present of it. Yesterday Elvirita Simple- ton. I am not going to call in this coat that you make fun of. I think that a Prince Albert is the proper thing, and the young ladies will feel honored with this attention.

I see that we shall have to sell your shoes, so we can smoke, and it will be a long time before you can go out anywhere. Never mind! No doubt, she will thank us. An eagle as great. He just bites the cigars and throws the pieces to somebody else. But there is still a road to salvation; Javierito, who is almost as elegant as you, will lend you his stovepipe. Everything is all ar- ranged ; you will lend us the suit, J avier Flama will lend you his top hat, Roquer will treat to coffee and cigars, I will put on this dirty suit of yours to go out on my errands, come back and disinfect myself and, by supper time, we shall all be happy.

That is to say. When Barcala and Samoeiro were dressed and on the point of going out, there came a terrible doubt to the former. Sup- posing he should lose? How could he get more money from the Ostrogoth? It was a weakness to give in to him about the dollar. It would be wise not to let the Brollonian go out till he, himself, got back. Those demons put their heads together and quickly devised a plan. Casimiro said good-bye and went out without waiting for the Ostrogoth. They were going in different directions. Get Barcala to lend you one. Go get me one. Hollo to him to give you the key.

But Samoeiro did not have time to answer. The windows were banged together, the shutters immediately closed and locked and the key thrown out the window to Barcala who had exacted this precaution as a surety, and so the Ostro- goth was left out on the balcony, dressed in an elegant Prince Albert, his greasy head topped off with a magnifi- cent silk hat as shiny as a mirror, pounding on the window and yelling for them to open it.

Come and see the caged wild beast, a real tiger, a Hyrcanian tiger from Brollon, captured in the deserts of Asia by an Ostrogoth. Then a shower of projectiles followed. Take care of my hat! What they could not do, notwithstanding his pitiful sup- plications, was to release the captive and there he had to remain from half after three in the afternoon till Barcala returned. He continued leading the same life as when he was at the inn. He never spoke of studies nor classes. He arose about noon and went to bed toward morning.

Her mother left her a fortune and her father will leave her more. You just want to set your cap for her. You are tall and have a good figure; in fact, you have a very distinguished air about you, as Madeira would say, and that little black moustache setting off the sad ex- pression which has not yet been wholly obliterated, gives you a certain romantic and interesting aspect. And, as to her. And it ought not to be hard to find one in Santiago.

All the girls here are crazy about you. I have told them all kinds of things. He is very highly respected in Santiago. Their town house is on the corner of la Esclavitude and el Faramello. The girl has never recognized the attentions of anyone, although she has had stacks of men after her. She is very proper and has never seen a man she cares about, so she is awaiting her fortune.

The women of this part of the country are insipid and unendurable. Confess it. Instead of confessing to such a heresy, I loudly proclaim the contrary. And as to your other remark. Men may forswear all delights, rather than that of a Galician marriage. When you go away, we will talk about it. Never a rat escapes. For me, women His name was Lorenzo Carballo and he belonged to one of the best families of Santiago de Com- postela.

He had passed his youth there, dreaming of going out to enjoy the world. It hardly seemed probable that his passionate desire could ever be realized, considering the reduced condition of the family treasury which, al- though sufficient to meet the needs of his parents, his sister and himself, in the economical mode of living at Santiago, would not permit them to see the world, of which Lorenzo used to talk to his friends in such exalted terms.

However, that which seemed impossible occurred. One day, a relative of the Carballos had the kindness to die and leave the fortune which he had saved by God knows how much hard work and how many privations, to Lorenzo and his sister; they each received several hundred thou- sand dollars. Needless to say, Lorenzo, as soon as he came into possession of his portion, hastened to realize his illu- sions.

But above everything else, he sets his pride, and self respect will not permit him to live at the expense of a mistress; consequently, he spends his life here dreaming, with his eyes in the clouds, and, the days he receives letters from his impossible love, drinking himself into a state of forgetfulness. Dance, bear, dance! The unfortunate Carballo, obedient to the voices of his tormentors, began to dance in a clumsy manner. The ragamufiSng, in their surprise, momentarily re- 63 The House of Troy treated, but returned immediately to attack the student with fists and sticks.

Gerardo remembered his fencing and parried well, dealing fierce blows to his opponents, so once more skill triumphed over strength of numbers and, although he could not escape being hit occasionally, his strokes were much more effective and had already stretched one upon the ground. Don Laureano and his daughter watched the combat with natural anxiety. Give it to them, young man! Beat the scala- wags! Some women washing in the river began to scream at the hoodlums and throw stones.

Seeing that the robust college man was being reenforced by the washerwomen and besides, just at that moment, a man ran out of the tavern with a club in his hand, the boys took to their heels. Ge- rardo hurried to Carballo and was bending over him when a heavy stone hurled by one of the fieeing cowards, hit him on the head and he fell prostrate. Don Laureano hastened to his assistance, followed by his daughter, and reached him at the same time as the man coming from the tavern ; he proved to be one of the medical students and recognized Gerardo who was bleeding pro- fusely from a wound on the forehead.

But how about this poor man? I will order one. The old gentleman bid the college boys good day, expressing the hope that the injury might not prove serious, and went out to look for his daughter of whom Gerardo, being distracted by the intoxicated man and nauseated by the concussion of the stone, had neglected to take leave. He even forgot to thank her for her gracious care. To be sure, he did not know, till told by the other student — who proved to be no other than the vigorous Juanito Ventosela, the terror of the opposing side in the class rushes in those times — the part she had taken in the dressing of his wound.

I have been five years studying anatomy with a cudgel in- stead of a bistoury in my hand and I gave my solemn promise to Don Maximino that, this year, I would turn over a new leaf and finish my course, so I wish to keep my word.