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them. Already the mother is old—one country is like another then. Together we will soon be rich. I shall wear gold earrings, like the wife of Francesco, and the women who now turn the back will kiss their hand.' With her breath hot on my lips she kissed me.
"I went home. I said to the mother : Give me the money in the sack. It is not enough for all. For many years I have worked like a man and thought only of thee and the children. Now I will think for myself. At first the mother did not understand. Then the face went red like a burning coal and she began to breathe like a kettle without water. We fought with the tongues like two fishermen of the wharves. I was mad, remember, mad. The blood boiled to think of Lucia. In the sack there was enough to take two to America. I pushed the mother aside. I tore the clothes from the bed and took the sack—the hope, the dream, of many years—and ran out of the house."
“ Dio mio." The boy gasped.
Il Sorcio shrugged. " For such the devil makes the Lucias.”
“I ran to Lucia. She kissed me and rubbed her face against mine as we sat together and counted the money. I see yet the long brown fingers playing with the coins. She whispered and talked to the clinking money, while I looked at the black little curls on the neck and the full breast above the corset. When it was late, we gathered the money into the sack and went down to where the big ships were. Many people were there sleeping among their bags, waiting for the day. I did not know where to go for a ticket, and we walked about for a long time. Then I saw a man with small black eyes looking as if he, too, could not find the place. Lucia sat down and told me to go and ask the man.
He listened. He said the office was closed, but he had influence, and if I would wait a little while he would get the ticket.
“ I waited, but no one came. It was almost morning before I understood. Eico! In this way a kiss makes a man out of a child.
“I left Napoli that night. I went far into the country, away from the land of the vines where I was born. I had only one thought, to return the money. All day and all night I saw the mother and the little sisters waiting. I prayed for the anger of God to strike the woman who had done this thing to me.
** I would work for a few weeks in a place,
and then go away.
The smell of the sea I could not bear. To smell the sea was to dream of the Lucia. I tried, too, to find a place where I would hear no more the name America until I could return to the mother and say, · Forgive me. To-morrow we leave this country that has only the warm sun and the hope of heaven for those who have not the brains to leave her.' For I knew in the heart that if I went alone always would the bad luck follow me. Had I not taken the hope of the good mother and the little sisters and thrown it into the sea ? Ecco ! The memory ate my heart like a rat. But I could not find a place where the name of America was not known. It ran through the country like the roots of a vine under the ground.
“ Two months after I ran from Napoli I came to a place where they paid a lira a day for good olive-pressers, men were so scarce. I found work and stayed, living alone, eating only bread and olives, and saving every cent like a Jew to buy back the body of his God. I was strong, and I worked well.
I never drank, and when there was dancing and feasting in the square I never looked to the girls, but kept my head cool.
“One day, when I had been working six months, my master came to me and said : • Thou workest well. I have been watching. Thou art young, but hast a good head, not like the crazy boys who dream only to leave the old country, so that the olives burst without men to press them and the vines die. Thou hast seen my daughter. She is not beautiful, but she is good, my Maria. If thou wilt marry with her, I will give one hundred lire, for all the young men go from the land, and I grow old. Think of what I say.' I thought for one night. Then I went and asked for the hand of his daughter."
The boy sighed and looked out into the wake of the ship.
Il Sorcio laughed. 6. Bene ! It is so in this world. The Lucias first. After them, the Marias."
Tomasso Soracco nodded. " She is good as an angel, my Maria, and strong as an ox. The day we were married the father gave one hundred lire. When I tied the neck of the little sack, hope was born again in the heart. We worked like slaves. I dreamed now to go soon to the mother and say, 'Forgive me.
It was not thy Tomasso who did that wickedness, We will all go to America.
The years shall be full of happiness !' I said
to America. Three months nothing to the father or Maria. I kept the later I went home and took my second son thought hidden like a miser his gold.
in the arms.
Then I told the father of " Then the olives failed. We sat one night Maria that we were going to Napoli, and, as and looked to each other and the old man soon as there was the money, to America. I cried with his head on the table. I untied grew young again in my hope. It seemed the little sack. One must live. That was a so simple now. After two years at that bad year. Men ran from the empty earth stupid soldier business my muscles cried for like rats from a sinking ship. There were work. The old man was angry. He belnow four—myself, the old man, Maria, and lowed like a mad bull. He cried that he the little Carmela. We worked, but God would die among the olives, and cursed me. was angry with the land.
Very soon after, we left. “ The next year was no better. And now It was night before I had courage to go to we were five, for Maria had given me my the shop of Pepe. Gemma sat inside with a first son, the little Michele. I worked now fat baby in her lap. When she saw me, she like a dog, without thinking. I was like a screamed and almost dropped the baby. I slave with the whip of the master at his shook her and told her of the past before back. Once I had had America in my hands she believed. Then she told me how, as I and had thrown my chance away. I fought had run from the house with the sack, the to win for my son what I had lost. He should mother had gone down like a tree that is cut. not grow up like a pig. He was bright, even She had never walked after. She said alat one year, my little Michele. In America ways that I was in America and that some he might be a deputy, even a sindaco, and day I would send for them, for I was a good say to other men, “So shalt thou do and so.' boy and had loved them. The next year the
“ Then they called me for the army. I uncle had died and no more money had come had no money to pay another man, and men from America. Gemma had married with
I kissed my wife, once for Pepe. Maria had married and gone back to herself and once for the little one that was the country of the vines. She was very coming. Carmela and Michele I held long poor, and her baby crawled about in the sun in my arms and cried, and went to serve the without clothes. Elizabetta made lace and King I had never seen. Those years I will hoped to marry with Giuseppe, who sold never forget. I had enough to eat. That fagots. They were all poor and dirty and is all. Many times I dreamed of the mother. happy, without thought, like animals. SomeOne night I had a strange dream. I saw my times Gemma and Pepe carried the mother mother come towards me while I lay in bed. where she could see the ships and the sea, She walked slow, dragging the feet like one and she cried, whispering, “Some day he sick. She tried to speak to me, but I could
He was a good son.' not hear her voice. The next night I dreamed “I went in, and found the mother sitting the same dream, and the next night, and the alone. She was shrunken and old, like a
Then I went to La Vecchia, who leaf without moisture. She was not surlived in a hole in the wall, and paid five solli frised. She took my head in her arms and for the meaning of my dreams. She said cried. She was mad with joy for Carmela my mother had big news for me and that I and Michele and the little Beppo. For a must write. So I went to the letter-writer, little while she grew young again. We talked but when I tried to tell him my tongue was
of America. · He will be a great man, the all dry, and I came away without the letter. little Michele,' she would say, stroking the Because I had only three months more in black curls of my son. Already he is smarter the army I said: I will wait. Then I will than these stupid Neapolitans. It was so take Maria and the babies and go to the for six months. Then, like a candle that mother. If I live to be one thousand years flares suddenly for a little while before it and work with twenty hands, never can I goes out, she died.
We gave a fine mass make enough from the earth. I had dreamed and a little stone in the Campo Santo. to return the money first, but for my punish- " For the third time I began to save the ment I must go with nothing.
money for America. That was three years ago. ** After that the heart was lighter. I be ". To-morrow we put the feet in America, gan again to plan how we would all live thanks to the goodness of God, who gave us together and work, and in a few years we the strength of oxen--Eco! It is told.”
The boy sat with his arms clasped about his knees. Il Sorcio's little twinkling eyes watched Tomasso through the smoke. At last Il Sorcio threw away the end of the cigar.
“ Thou art a wonderful man, with such strength and such patience. Without a doubt thou wilt find a fine job. But-perhapsalready thou hast one.
Tomasso spread his open palms in denial. “A fine job—before we even arrive! That is too much. But I have hope."
“ Macche !" Il Sorcio opened his little eyes in surprise. " That is not a miracle. In that land of haste all things are possible." If thou wishest-but perhaps--thou knowest men-of influence—"
" Not a soul. 14"
Il Sorcio drew close. His voice dropped, excluding Amadeo. " Bene! I have been in America ten years, and I have friends. There is one, a man of much power with the Government. For love of me and a littleten lire, a nothing ”_ Il Sorcio's fingers gath
ered an atom of nothingness from the night-
“ Santa Maria !” Tomasso Soracco's lips twitched. He choked back a sob. Always -have-I known So. With the feet in America luck will change. Thy kindness I shall not forget.” His fingers trembled with excitement as he counted the money into Il Sorcio's hand. “ One—thousand—thanks. Thou art-"
“ Macche! It is nothing-a little favor for a friend, a country man.' Il Sorcio folded the money carefully into his wallet and stood up. “ But now one must sleep, or to-morrow we have not clear heads, and in this most wonderful country we need heads so-clear,
Ecco !!' As he climbed into his berth Il Sorcio touched Tomasso's money lightly. " Bene! If not I, another. Why not mine as well as another's? He has much to learn of America, this Tomasso !"
A second story, entitled “ A Great Man," in a series of
UP FROM THE
BY J. DONALD ADAMS
A bird's song in the meadow