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The Unspeakable Perk
by Samuel Hopkins Adams
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The Unspeakable Perk strode down his path, broke into a trot, and held to it until he reached his house. But Miss Polly, departing in her own direction, stopped dead after ten minutes' going. It had struck her forcefully that she had forgotten the matter of the expense of the message. How could she reach him? She remembered the cliff above the rock, and the signal. If a signal was valid in one direction, it ought to work equally well in the other. She had her automatic with her. Retracing her steps, she ascended the cliff, a rugged climb. Across the deep-fringed chasm she could plainly see the porch of the quinta with the little clearing at the side, dim in the clouded light. Drawing the revolver, she fired three shots.
The man sat in a niche of the mountain, busily hating the Caribbean Sea. It was quite a contract that he had undertaken, for there was a large expanse of Caribbean Sea in sight to hate; very blue, and still, and indifferent to human emotions. However, the young man was a good steadfast hater, and he came there every day to sit in the shade of the overhanging boulder, where there was a little trickle of cool air down the slope and a little trickle of cool water from a crevice beneath the rock, to despise that placid, unimpressionable ocean and all its works and to wish that it would dry up forthwith, so that he might walk back to the blessed United States of America. In good plain American, the young man was pretty homesick.
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