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The Fourth in Salvador
by [?]

“‘Hist!’ says General Dingo again, and then he lays his chest on the table quite like Gaspard the Miser. ‘Good friends, senores, to-morrow will be the great day of Liberty and Independence. The hearts of Americans and Salvadorians should beat together. Of your history and your great Washington I know. Is it not so?’

“Now, me and Jones thought that nice of the General to remember when the Fourth came. It made us feel good. He must have heard the news going round in Philadelphia about that disturbance we had with England.

“‘Yes,’ says me and Maxy together, ‘we knew it. We were talking about it when you came in. And you can bet your bottom concession that there’ll be fuss and feathers in the air to-morrow. We are few in numbers, but the welkin may as well reach out to push the button, for it’s got to ring.’

“‘I, too, shall assist,’ says the General, thumping his collar-bone. ‘I, too, am on the side of Liberty. Noble Americans, we will make the day one to be never forgotten.’

“‘For us American whisky,’ says Jones–‘none of your Scotch smoke or anisada or Three Star Hennessey to-morrow. We’ll borrow the consul’s flag; old man Billfinger shall make orations, and we’ll have a barbecue on the plaza.’

“‘Fireworks,’ says I, ‘will be scarce; but we’ll have all the cartridges in the shops for our guns. I’ve got two navy sixes I brought from Denver.’

“‘There is one cannon,’ said the General; ‘one big cannon that will go “BOOM!” And three hundred men with rifles to shoot.’

“‘Oh, say!’ says Jones, ‘Generalissimo, you’re the real silk elastic. We’ll make it a joint international celebration. Please, General, get a white horse and a blue sash and be grand marshal.’

“‘With my sword,’ says the General, rolling his eyes. ‘I shall ride at the head of the brave men who gather in the name of Liberty.’

“‘And you might,’ we suggest ‘see the commandante and advise him that we are going to prize things up a bit. We Americans, you know, are accustomed to using municipal regulations for gun wadding when we line up to help the eagle scream. He might suspend the rules for one day. We don’t want to get in the calaboose for spanking his soldiers if they get in our way, do you see?’

“‘Hist!’ says General Mary. ‘The commandant is with us, heart and soul. He will aid us. He is one of us.’

“We made all the arrangements that afternoon. There was a buck coon from Georgia in Salvador who had drifted down there from a busted-up coloured colony that had been started on some possumless land in Mexico. As soon as he heard us say ‘barbecue’ he wept for joy and groveled on the ground. He dug his trench on the plaza, and got half a beef on the coals for an all-night roast. Me and Maxy went to see the rest of the Americans in the town and they all sizzled like a seidlitz with joy at the idea of solemnizing an old-time Fourth.

“There were six of us all together–Martin Dillard, a coffee planter; Henry Barnes, a railroad man; old man Billfinger, an educated tintype taker; me and Jonesy, and Jerry, the boss of the barbecue. There was also an Englishman in town named Sterrett, who was there to write a book on Domestic Architecture of the Insect World. We felt some bashfulness about inviting a Britisher to help crow over his own country, but we decided to risk it, out of our personal regard for him.

“We found Sterrett in pajamas working at his manuscript with a bottle of brandy for a paper weight.

“‘Englishman,’ says Jones, ‘let us interrupt your disquisition on bug houses for a moment. To-morrow is the Fourth of July. We don’t want to hurt your feelings, but we’re going to commemorate the day when we licked you by a little refined debauchery and nonsense–something that can be heard above five miles off. If you are broad-gauged enough to taste whisky at your own wake, we’d be pleased to have you join us.’