National Geographic : 1957 May
660 David Moore, Gamma Seen as Through a Veil, a Minorcan Mends His Fishing Net marry. For the first time, Don Jaime looked troubled. "That is difficult," he said. "It is the matter of the dowry. They wish to marry this year, but a man in my position should give his daughter a dowry of at least $10, and I do not see how it can be managed." "Won't her young man let you pay it later?" I asked. "He doesn't care at all," said Don Jaime. "But my family would be disgraced were it known that my daughter had not brought a proper portion to her new household. It is hard for the young to wait, but our family pride is more important." I told Jean the story as we walked home that night. Next morning at dawn I way laid Don Jaime on his way to his fields. His first reaction was an indignant refusal. Almost bitterly he insisted that he could care for his own family. But after I explained that Jean and I had no children of our own, and that we would get a lot of personal pleasure from having a part in his daughter's happiness, he wavered. Finally, with a smile, he accepted my 400 pesetas. Maria Did Not Forget We left for Majorca that day, in time for our reservations back to Barcelona. Our friend's warning, we found, had been right. We didn't want to leave. But we were to have a souvenir of our Balearic visit. Six months later, back home in Washing ton, D. C., we received a package from Iviza. It was a beautifully worked tablecloth, worth immeasurably more to us than the meager dowry. And a few months later came a letter from Maria, enclosing a picture of a fat and laughing Francisco Torres Mercadel.