You know how it is there early in the morning in
Havana with the bums still asleep against the walls
of the buildings; before even the ice wagons come by
with ice for the bars? Well, we came across the
square from the dock to the Pearl of San Francisco
Cafe to get coffee and there was only one beggar
awake in the square and he was getting a drink out
of the fountain. But when we got inside the cafe
and sat down, there were the three of them waiting
We sat down and one of them came over.
'Well?' he said,
'I can't do it/ I told him, Td like to do it as a
favour. But I told you last night I couldn't.'
'You can name your own price/
It isn't that. I can't do it That's all'
The two others had come over and they stood
there looking sad. They were nice-looking fellows
all right and I would have liked to have done them
CA thousand apiece/ said the one who spoke good
'Don't make me feel bad/ I told him. CI tell you
true I can't do it/
'Afterwards, when things are changed, it would
mean a good deal to you.'