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[42] “You mean the Spaniards will retire?”

“They will remove to Mexico, where they may hope to keep their own.”

Don Mariano's lands have slipped from him by many avenues of escape. His daughter chose an English mate; his sister chose an English mate. Much of his land is fenced and planted for the benefit of children with such English names as Frisby and Leese, who in the coming years will smile in their solid prosperity at the empty show and pretentious poverty of their Mexican ancestors.

“You will attend our ball to-night?” asks Don Mariano.

“Ball! What ball?”

“Our cascarone ball.”

“What is a cascarone ball?”

“Ah, yes; you are non-Catholic, and have another legend in your Church. A cascarone ball is an eggshell ball — cascaron, eggshell, you see. It is a festival of our people, kept by all good Catholics and Mexicans.”

Don Mariano shows me a printed notice of this festival; a grand affair, to be given in a noble hall, with a fine orchestra, and a splendid supper. We accept his invitation to the egg-shell dance.

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