applications." I communicated the contents of the cable to Señor Don Antonio de la Casabianca, the Minister of Finance, who had, of course, communicated them in turn to the President.
I ventured to remind his Excellency of these facts. He heard me with silent attention.
"I fear," I concluded, "therefore, that it is impossible for me to be of any assistance to your Excellency."
He nodded, and gave a slight sigh. Then, with an air of closing the subject, he said:
"I suppose the directors are past reason. Help yourself to a brandy and soda."
"Allow me to mix one for you, sir," I answered.
While I was preparing our beverages he remained silent. When I had sat down again he said:
"You occupy a very responsible position here for so young a man, Mr. Martin--not beyond your merits, I am sure."
"They leave you a pretty free hand, don't they?"
I replied that as far as routine business went I did much as seemed good in my own eyes.