In A. D. 1907 General Virgilio Barco of the Republic of Colombia turned up in Manhattan. He had in his back pocket an oil lease to 1,200,000 acres of his native jungle—a gift to him from a grateful country. No fool, he went straight to No. 26 Broadway, office of the late John D. Rockefeller. Standard Oil's guards took one look at the general's Latin getup. He never got in, and until last week no oil ever came out of the Barco concession.

For 29 years the concession was juggled like a hot potato....

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