As he dashed round a corner, Dick came into sharp collision with a man emerging from a doorway, who swore vigorously. Dick recognized him at once, and gave such a shout that the chief of police, for it was he, fell into a posture of defense.
Forgive me, se?or…. I am Dick Montgomery… the fiancé of Se?orita de la Torre…. She has been carried off by the Indians!…”
Do?a Maria-T?resa? That is not possible!” In a few words, Dick told the little old gentleman what had happened, and gave him his suspicions. He found ready sympathy and belief.
I was on my way to dine with a friend just opposite. A minute while I tell them that I cannot come, and I am with you.”
He hurried across the street while Dick, with an indignant snort, moved on toward the harbor, questioning shopkeepers and pedestrians as he went. So far as he could gather, the motor had about half-an-hour’s start of them.
Dick was convinced that he had seen the last of the Chief of Police. In this he did the little man an injustice, for he had hardly gone two hundred yards before he heard footsteps behind him.
You did not wait, se?or? Well, here I am. Natividad is always to be counted upon.”
Though his real name was Perez, the Chief of Police was known throughout the city as Natividad, a nickname earned him by his cherubic face, and of which he was rather proud. Dick found the little man hot enough against the Indians even for his taste. Natividad hated the Quichuas, and believed them capable of anything.
Just before they reached the harbor, at the corner of the narrow Calle de San Lorenzo, Natividad seized Dick by the arm and drew him to the wall. The street was deserted, and lighted only by feeble rays from a low glass-paned door a few steps ahead. This door had just been opened, and a man peered out cautiously. Dick stifled a desire to shout. He had recognized Huascar!