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0100_005E Under the Andes Rex Stout


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I took the paper to Desiree in her room, and while she read the article stood gazing idly from a window. It was about eleven in the morning; Harry had gone for a walk, saying that he would return in half an hour to join us at breakfast.

"Well?" said Desiree when she had finished.

"But it is not well," I retorted, turning to face her. "I do not reproach you; you are being amused, and so, I confess, am I. But your name--that is, Le Mire--has been mentioned, and discovery is sure to follow. We must leave San Francisco at once."

"But I find it entertaining."

"Nevertheless, we must leave."

"But if I choose to stay?"

"No; for Harry would stay with you."

"Well, then--I won't go."

"Le Mire, you will go?"

She sent me a flashing glance, and for a moment I half expected an explosion. Then, seeming to think better of it, she smiled:

"But where? We can't go west without falling into the ocean, and I refuse to return. Where?"

"Then we'll take the ocean."

She looked up questioningly, and I continued:

"What would you say to a yacht--a hundred and twenty foot steamer, with a daredevil captain and the coziest little cabins in the world?"

"Bah!" Le Mire snapped her fingers to emphasize her incredulity. "It does not exist."

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"But it does. Afloat and in commission, to be had for the asking and the necessary check. Dazzling white, in perfect order, a second Antoine for a chef, rooms furnished as you would your own villa. What do you say?"

"Really?" asked Le Mire with sparkling eyes.


"Here--in San Francisco?"

"In the harbor. I saw her myself this morning."

"Then I say--allons! Ah, my friend, you are perfection! I want to see it. Now! May I? Come!"

I laughed at her eager enthusiasm as she sprang up from her chair.

"Le Mire, you are positively a baby. Something new to play with! Well, you shall have it. But you haven't had breakfast. We'll go out to see her this afternoon; in fact, I have already made an appointment with the owner."

"Ah! Indeed, you are perfection. And--how well you know me." She paused and seemed to be searching for words; then she said abruptly: "M. Lamar, I wish you to do me a favor."

"Anything, Le Mire, in or out of reason."

Again she hesitated; then:

"Do not call me Le Mire."

I laughed.

"But certainly, Senora Ramal. And what is the favor?"



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Under the Andes
Rex Stout

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