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Cabbages and Kings

XV. Dickey
There is little consecutiveness along the Spanish Main. Things happen there
intermittently. Even Time seems hang his scythe daily on the branch of an orange tree
while he takes a siesta and a cigarette.
After the ineffectual revolt against the administration of President Losada, the country
settled again into quiet toleration of the abuses with which he had been charged. In
Coralio old political enemies went arm-in-arm, lightly eschewing for the time all
differences of opinion.
The failure of the art expedition did not stretch the cat-footed Keogh upon his back. The
ups and downs of Fortune made smooth travelling for his nimble steps. His blue pencil
stub was at work again before the smoke of the steamer on which White sailed had
cleared away from the horizon. He had but to speak a word to Geddie to find his credit
negotiable for whatever goods he wanted from the store of Brannigan & Company. On
the same day on which White arrived in New York Keogh, at the rear of a train of five
pack mules loaded with hardware and cutlery, set his face toward the grim, interior
mountains. There the Indian tribes wash gold dust from the auriferous streams; and when
a market is brought to them trading is brisk and ~muy bueno~ in the Cordilleras.
In Coralio Time folded his wings and paced wearily along his drowsy path. They who
had most cheered the torpid hours were gone. Clancy had sailed on a Spanish barque for
Colon, contemplating a cut across the isthmus and then a further voyage to end at Callao,
where the fighting was said to be on. Geddie, whose quiet and genial nature had once
served to mitigate the frequent dull reaction of lotus eating, was now a home-man, happy
with his bright orchid, Paula, and never even dreaming of or regretting the unsolved,
sealed and monogramed Bottle whose contents, now inconsiderable, were held safely in
the keeping of the sea.
Well may the Walrus, most discerning and eclectic of beasts, place sealing-wax midway
on his program of topics that fall pertinent and diverting upon the ear. Atwood was gone-
-he of the hospitable back porch and ingenuous cunning. Doctor Gregg, with his
trepanning story smoldering within him, was a whiskered volcano, always showing signs
of imminent eruption, and was not to be considered in the ranks of those who might
contribute to the amelioration of ennui. The new consul's note chimed with the sad sea
waves and the violent tropical greens--he had not a bar of Scheherezade or of the Round
Table in his lute. Goodwin was employed with large projects: what time he was loosed
from them found him at his home, where he loved to be. Therefore it will be seen that
there was a dearth of fellowship and entertainment among the foreign contingent of
Coralio.
And then Dicky Maloney dropped down from the clouds upon the town, and amused it.
 
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