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Supply and Demand
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"'He says,' says McClintock, 'that the people not know that gold-dust will buy their things. The women very mad. The Grand Yacuma tell them it no good but for keep to make bad spirits keep away.'
"'You can't keep bad spirits away from money,' says I.
"'They say,' goes on McClintock, 'the Yacuma fool them. They raise plenty row.'
"'Going! Going!' says I. 'Gold-dust or cash takes the entire stock. The dust weighed before you, and taken at sixteen dollars the ounce-- the highest price on the Gaudymala coast.'
"Then the crowd disperses all of a sudden, and I don't know what's up. Mac and me packs away the hand-mirrors and jewelry they had handed back to us, and we had the mules back to the corral they had set apart for our garage.
"While we was there we hear great noises of shouting, and down across the plaza runs Patrick Shane, hotfoot, with his clothes ripped half off, and scratches on his face like a cat had fought him hard for every one of its lives.
"'They're looting the treasury, W. D.,' he sings out. 'They're going to kill me and you, too. Unlimber a couple of mules at once. We'll have to make a get-away in a couple of minutes.'
"'They've found out,' says I,' the truth about the law of supply and demand.'
"'It's the women, mostly,' says the King. 'And they used to admire me so!'
"'They hadn't seen looking-glasses then,' says I.
"'They've got knives and hatchets,' says Shane; 'hurry !'
"'Take that roan mule,' says I. 'You and your law of supply! I'll ride the dun, for he's two knots per hour the faster. The roan has a stiff knee, but he may make it,' says I. 'If you'd included reciprocity in your political platform I might have given you the dun,' says I.
"Shane and McClintock and me mounted our mules and rode across the rawhide bridge just as the Peches reached the other side and began firing stones and long knives at us. We cut the thongs that held up our end of the bridge and headed for the coast."
A tall, bulky policeman came into Finch's shop at that moment and leaned an elbow on the showcase. Finch nodded at him friendly.
"I heard down at Casey's," said the cop, in rumbling, husky tones, "that there was going to be a picnic of the Hat-Cleaners' Union over at Bergen Beach, Sunday. Is that right?"
"Sure," said Finch. "There'll be a dandy time."
"Gimme five tickets," said the cop, throwing a five-dollar bill on the showcase.
"Why,'' said Finch, "ain't you going it a little too--"
"Go to h--!" said the cop. "You got 'em to sell, ain't you? Somebody's got to buy 'em. Wish I could go along."
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