“He leads me into the biggest house, and sets the chairs and a kind of a drink the color of milk. It was the finest room I ever saw. The stone walls was hung all over with silk shawls, and there was red and yellow rugs on the floor, and jars of red pottery and Angora goat skins, and enough bamboo furniture to misfurnish half a dozen seaside cottages.
‘“In the first place,’ says the man, ‘you want to know who I am. I’m sole lessee and proprietor of this tribe of Indians. They call me the
Grand Yacuma, which is to say King or Main Finger of the bunch. I’ve got more power here than a chargd d’affaires, a charge of dynamite, and a charge account at Tiffany’s combined. In fact, I’m the Big Stick, with as many extra knots on it as there is on the record run of the Lusitania. Oh, I read the papers now and then,’ says he. ‘Now, let’s hear your entitlements,’ he goes on, ‘and the meeting will be open.’
“‘Well,’ says I, ‘I am known as one W. D. Finch. Occupation, capitalist. Address, 541 East Thirty-second’
“‘New York,’ chips in the Noble Grand. ‘I know’, says he, grinning. ‘It ain’t the first time you’ve seen it go down on the blotter. I can tell by the way you hand it out. Well, explain, “capitalist.”’
“I tells this boss plain what I come for and how I come to came. “‘Gold-dust?’ says he, looking as puzzled as a baby that’s got a feather stuck on its molasses finger. ‘That’s funny. This ain’t a goldmining country. And you invested all your capital on a stranger’s story? Well, well! These Indians of mine they are the last of the tribe of Peches are simple as children. They know nothing of the purchasing power of gold. I’m afraid you’ve been imposed on,’ says he.
‘“Maybe so,’ says I, ‘but it sounded pretty straight to me.’
“ ‘W. D.,’ says the King, all of a sudden, ‘I’ll give you a square deal. It ain’t often I get to talk to a white man, and I’ll give you a show for your money. It may be these constituents of mine have a few grains of gold-dust hid away in their clothes. To-morrow you may get out these goods you’ve brought up and see if you can make any sales. Now, I’m going to introduce myself unofficially.
My name is Shane Patrick Shane. I own this tribe of Peche Indians by right of conquest single handed and unafraid. I drifted up here four years ago, and won ’em by my size and complexion and nerve. I learned their language in six weeks it’s easy: you simply emit a string of consonants as long as your breath holds out and then point at what you’re asking for.