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There was no doubt now. He went forward and, from the middle of the terrace watched the pigeon-house, walking resolutely towards the cabin.

Joanna was sobbing hopelessly. He took the candle, went to the kitchen, and seeing the axe in a corner he seized it, still muttering. He then turned back to the terrace and, having reached the mango-tree, rolled up the sleeves of his coarse shirt so that he might swing the axe.

At the first blow against the post which supported the pigeon-house the birds grew still. Tiburcio redoubled his efforts. A crack now weakened the structure, but still it resisted. He leaned the axe against the trunk and, grasping the branches, raised himself to the top of the tree. From there he supported himself between two boughs and gave the large box a furious kick. The pigeon-roost fell shattered to the ground.

Two pigeons flew off in great fright, dazed. Uncertain of their direction in the clearness of the night, they lit upon the roof of the hut.

The caboclo slid down lightly along the trunk and saw two little bodies who were whining, staggering, dragging themselves along. They were two little pigeons. He