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[44] game of hide and seek is played, and shells get broken on balconies. As night comes on, the ladies press the fun, not only for the laughter, but because the tinsel adds a beauty to their dull black curls and lustrous eyes. By supper-time the riot runs so high that dons and caballeros can hardly keep their pride of port.

The supper is a thing to match the ball. We march in grandly, to a feast of thin soup, stale cakes, pork sandwiches, and cold tea. Yet caballeros and sefioras drink and smile, and try to make believe that all this shabby finery is a grand affair. For is it not their cascarone ball?

Let no man jest at these bare walls, these paper flowers, these guttering candles, and this banquet of cakes and nuts, washed down with tea; for after supper, the dons and caballeros steal away to whisky bars, where three or four doses of their fire-water serve to wake the demons that sleep in every Mexican eye. Each don and caballero wears a poignard in his vest.

“Good Catholics, true caballeros,” whispers Don Mariano, as he bows adieu; “you see we keep the festivals of our faith!”

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