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A Prisoner of Morro by Upton Sinclair

We are only about four miles from Havana harbor


Now

since he had heard that story he was more than anxious to study his face, to see what manner of man this was.

The lieutenant still wore the calm, quiet look; he seemed almost inspired.

"If you will follow me a short distance," he said, "we shall reach a place where we can remain concealed until morning."

He started across the country, after a few words with the driver of the carriage; they had not gone very far before the faint roaring of the breakers on the beach became audible.

"You see," said the Spaniard, "we are near the sea. We are only about four miles from Havana harbor, and you may make an effort to reach the blockading fleet in the morning."

Obviously, it would not do to try it in the darkness. They might be run down or lost or fired on or swept out to sea.

"But it will be daylight in a few hours," said the lieutenant.

And then the three went on in silence until suddenly a small hut loomed up in the darkness.

"It is deserted," said their guide. "We can conceal ourselves there."

And accordingly, they crept through the low doorway, and finding the place covered with straw inside, sat down to wait.

There was no conversation among

them, for each one of the trio was wrapped in his own sad thoughts. The place was in absolute darkness, and so they could not see each other.

But Clif was revolving a plan over in his thoughts, and it was not very many minutes before he made up his mind.

He rose to his feet again.

"Excuse me for a while," he said. "I will return."

And with that he hurried out of the hut.

Bessie Stuart knew why he had gone, and after a moment's silence she turned toward the lieutenant.

"My friend has left," she said, "in order that I may have a chance to talk to you."

The officer answered nothing; the girl went on slowly.

"Lieutenant Hernandez," she said "will you answer me a question?"

"What is it?"

"What do you intend to do?"

"How do you mean?"

"I mean that you will be court-martialed if you return to Havana----"

"Yes," said the other, "I know that."

"Do you mean to return there?"

"Such are my plans at present," was the quiet response.

Miss Stuart thought a moment before she began again.

"Lieutenant Hernandez," she said at last, "you have been a hero to-day."


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