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El Diablo
written by "Groesbeck, Dan Sayre, 1878-1950"
...uliar manner with which his employee held his broom. "What's the matter with your arm?" he asked quietly. Barnes tapped the member in question and regarded him somewhat doubtfully. "Nothin'," he said. Gregory stepped nearer and examined the shoulder carefully. "Why didn't you tell me your arm had been hurt?" he asked in a low voice. Barnes met his eyes squarely.[Pg 46] "Because I was afraid it would queer me for a job," he said. "You see, Gregory, when a man hires a fellow he figures he's all there. He kind of rents him all over and when he's shy on somethin', he kind of figures the fellow's holding back on him. I didn't want to slip anything over on you. Because you were white to me from the start. But I was afraid when you saw my pin was faked you might change your mind." Gregory's eyes were fixed intently on the soldier as he went on: "You see I got my insurance. But that ain't enough. My old man died while I was away. And my mother ain't any too well. So I just lets her have the money. But that ain't all there is to it. You see when a fellow's worked and hit the ball, he don't want to lay round and loaf." Still Gregory said nothing, and Barnes, misconstruing his silence, continued: "It's wonderful what a fellow can do with what the doctors leave him when they get through cuttin'. You ought to go up to Port Angeles and see what the Bureau's teaching the poor blind devils. It kind of seems like their eyes goes into their arms and legs, for they can do more with them now than they ever thought of doing before they lost their lamps." He extended his good arm and flexed the muscles until they stood out like lumps of whip-cord. "Look at that," he exclaimed. "They's twice the pep in that one since they hacked up the other one. You don't need to be afraid of me not doing a day's work. I——"[Pg 47] "Are there many of the boys out of work?" Gregory found his voice at last. Barnes nodded. "Scads of...

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