The Man in Green
Barker was fiddling with his knife, and was evidently making up his mind to say something, with the intense nervousness of the amiable Englishman.
"I am to understand, then," he said at last, with a cough, "that you, ahem, were the President of Nicaragua when it made its—er—one must, of course, agree its quite heroic resistance to—er—"
The ex-President of Nicaragua waved his hand.
"You need not hesitate in speaking to me," he said. "I am quite fully aware that the whole tendency of the world of to-day is against Nicaragua and against me. I shall not consider it any diminution of your evident courtesy if you say what you think of the misfortunes that have laid my republic in ruins."
Barker looked immeasurably relieved and gratified.
"You are most generous, President," he said, with some hesitation over the title, "and I will take advantage of your generosity to express the doubts which, I must confess, we moderns have about such things as—er—the Nicaraguan independence."
"So your sympathies are," said Del Fuego, quite calmly, "with the big nation which—"