"Why not in Cuba, sir?" suggested Carl with a sudden inspiration.
"Cuba! Cuba!" repeated the Professor slowly, as though bewildered by the idea thus presented, and then he plunged once more into abstracted thought.
After waiting a few moments longer, and seeing that his guardian was disinclined for further conversation just then, Carl Baldwin departed to tell his friend of the seed he had planted. To his dismay he found Carlos standing as though petrified, and staring with bloodshot eyes at a telegram evidently just received.
"What is it, West? What has happened?" inquired young Baldwin anxiously.
"Read that," replied the other huskily.
With this he extended the message, which was signed by the president of the Cuban Junta or War Committee, whose headquarters were in New York City.
"General Moranza captured by treachery and shot by order of Weyler. His daughter seized, imprisoned, and held for transportation to a penal colony. May God help you in this hour of your affliction!"
"For my father's death I grieve not," cried the young Cuban. " He died for the cause he loved, and may be avenged. But for my sister, my own little Catina, in prison, at the mercy of those brutes, and consigned to the living death of a convict! How may I bear it? What can I do? Tell me, my friend, for I am going mad."
"No," cried Carl Baldwin, "you shall not go mad, nor even yield to despair, for we will yet save her. The Professor shall go with us, and we will take the Mermaid. Even now he is inclined to consider some such undertaking. And when he reads this message he will be as ready to set forth as you or I. Oh yes, my dear fellow, we can rescue her and we will. Instead of going to a penal colony, she shall come to this country, and be as free as you are at this moment."