Christopher and Columbus
Various things had happened, however, before this morning of the great day was
reached, and Mr. Twist had had some harassing experiences.
One of the first things he had done after the visit to Los Angeles was to take steps in the
matter of the guardianship. He had written to Mrs. Bilton that he was the Miss Twinklers'
guardian, though it was not at that moment true. It was clear, he thought, that it should
be made true as quickly as possible, and he therefore sought out a lawyer in Acapulco
the morning after the interview. This was not the same lawyer who did his estate
business for him; Mr. Twist thought it best to have a separate one for more personal
On hearing Mr. Twist's name announced, the lawyer greeted him as an old friend. He
knew, of course, all about the teapot, for the Non-Trickler was as frequent in American
families as the Bible and much more regularly used; but he also knew about the cottage
at the foot of the hills, what it had cost—which was little—and what it would cost—which
was enormous—before it was fit to live in. The only thing he didn't know was that it was
to be used for anything except an ordinary pied-à-terre. He had heard, too, of the
presence at the Cosmopolitan of the twins, and on this point, like the rest of Acapulco,
was a little curious.
The social column of the Acapulco daily paper hadn't been able to give any accurate
description of the relationship of the Twinklers to Mr. Twist. Its paragraph announcing
his arrival had been obliged merely to say, while awaiting more detailed information,
that Mr. Edward A. Twist, the well-known Breakfast Table Benefactor and gifted inventor
of the famous Non-Trickler Teapot, had arrived from New York and was staying at the
Cosmopolitan Hotel with entourage; and the day after this the lawyer, who got about a
bit, as everybody else did in that encouraging climate, happening to look in at the
Cosmopolitan to have a talk with a friend, had seen the entourage.
It was in the act of passing through the hall on its way upstairs, followed by a boy
carrying a canary in a cage. Even without the boy and the canary it was a conspicuous
object. The lawyer asked his friend who the cute little girls were, and was interested to
hear he was beholding Mr. Edward A. Twist's entourage. His friend told him that opinion
in the hotel was divided about the precise nature of this entourage and its relationship to
Mr. Twist, but it finally came to be generally supposed that the Miss Twinklers had been
placed in his charge by parents living far away in order that he might safely see them
put to one of the young ladies' finishing schools in that agreeable district. The house Mr.
Twist was taking was not connected in the Cosmopolitan mind with the Twinklers.
Houses were always being taken in that paradise by wealthy persons from unkinder
climates. He would live in it three months in the year, thought the Cosmopolitan, bring
his mother, and keep in this way an occasional eye on his charges. The hotel guests
regarded the Twinklers at this stage with nothing but benevolence and goodwill, for they