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      Author : Rex Beach

        "I'll do it," readily agreed the other. "I'll stake you to my last one. But keep it clean! Have a care for the cuffs?a little inadvertency with the soup may ruin my prospects for a job. You understand, don't you, that our next meal after this one may depend upon this shirt's prosperous appearance?" Branch dove into his bag and emerged with a stiffly laundered shirt done up in a Cuban newspaper. He unwrapped the garment and gazed fondly upon it, murmuring, "'Tis a pretty thing, is it not?" His exertions had brought on a violent coughing-spell, which left him weak and gasping; but when he had regained his breath he went on in the same key: "Again I solemnly warn you that this spotless bosom is our bulwark against poverty. One stain may cut down my space rates; editors are an infernally fastidious lot. Fortunately they want facts about the war in Cuba, and I'm full of 'em: I've fought in the trenches and heard the song of grape and canister?"

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