The Unspeakable Perk HTML version

The Folly Of Perk
Of the comprehensive superiority of the American Legation over the Gran Hotel Kast
there could be no shadow of a doubt. From the moment of their arrival at noon of the day
after the British Minister's warning, the refugees found themselves comfortable and
content, Miss Brewster having quietly and tactfully taken over the management of
internal affairs and reigning, at Sherwen's request, as generalissima. No disturbance had
marked the transfer to their new abode. In fact, so wholly lacking was any evidence of
hostility to the foreigners on the part of the crowds on the streets that the Brewsters rather
felt themselves to be extorting hospitality on false pretenses. Sherwen, however,
exhibited signal relief upon seeing them safely housed.
"Please stay that way, too," he requested.
"But it seems so unnecessary, and I want to market," protested Miss Polly.
"By no means! The market is the last place where any of us should be seen. It is in that
section that Urgante has been doing his work."
"Who is he?"
"A wandering demagogue and cheap politician. Abuse of the 'Yankis' is his stock in
trade. Somebody has been furnishing him money lately. That's the sole fuel to his fires of
"Bet the bills smelled of sauerkraut when they reached him," grunted Cluff, striding over
to the window of the drawing-room, where the informal conference was being held.
"They may have had a Hochwaldian origin," admitted Sherwen. "But it would be difficult
to prove."
"At least the Hochwald Legation wouldn't shed any tears over a demonstration against
us," said Carroll.
"Well within the limits of diplomatic truth," smiled the American official.
"Pooh!" Mr. Brewster puffed the whole matter out of consideration. "I don't believe a
word of it. Some of my acquaintances at the club, men in high governmental positions,
assure me that there is no anti-American feeling here."
"Very likely they do. Frankness and plain-speaking being, as you doubtless know, the
distinguishing mark of the Caracunan statesman."
The sarcasm was not lost upon Mr. Brewster, but it failed to shake his skepticism.
"There are some business matters that require that I should go to the office of the Ferro
carril del Norte this afternoon," he said.