Page:Yule Logs.djvu/429

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413
ON A MEXICAN RANCHE

England. He is now overseer of the northern herds on my estates, and in addition to my gratitude for the immense service he rendered us, I have the fullest confidence in him, and esteem for his character."

"Oh, he is an overseer, is he? I thought his attire would hardly be in accordance with the title of Don, by which the señora introduced him. I suppose you have other evidence besides his word as to his family. I believe most of these cowboys claim to be members of noble families."

Don Garcia was about to reply when Isabella broke in passionately: "You are insulting the man who saved my father and myself from the greatest peril, and whom I introduced to you as my friend, Don Pedro. We have the best evidence that he is a gentleman—that of his own manners and conduct, sir—who might be imitated in both these respects with advantage by men who do not hesitate to boast of the purest Spanish blood."

"Silence, Isabella," her father said sternly; "I am here, and able to defend my absent friend. I should have thought, Don Pedro, that professing, as you do, a regard for our family, you would have shared to some extent our gratitude towards a young man who had done us such signal service, instead of sneering at him. With your feeling towards him, however, I have nothing to do; but I expect, at any rate, that courtesy will be shown in my house to any guest I and my daughter choose to invite here."

Don Pedro bowed in silence, and then the Spaniard went on more cordially: "Do not let us make too much of this, Don Pedro. Of course, you were not fully aware of our obligation to this gentleman, or you would not have spoken as you did. Let us forget the matter altogether," and he at once began to talk upon another subject.

Three days later Don Pedro left, after a stormy interview with Isabella.

"I see that it is of no use remaining longer," he said.