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Their notes fell on Ramona's sleeping ear, like the familiar sound of the linnets in the veranda-thatch at home, and waked her instantly. Sitting up bewildered, and looking about her, she exclaimed, "Oh, is it morning already, and so dark? The birds can see more sky than we! Sing, Alessandro," and she began the hymn:

"That will I," replied Jose; and giving his horse's sides a sharp punch with his knees, set off at full gallop westward. "I have sent Jose with a message to Temecula," said Alessandro, walking up to Fernando. "He will be back here tomorrow noon, and join you at the Ortega's the next morning." "Back here by noon to-morrow!" exclaimed Fernando. "Not unless he kills his horse!"

She met his eyes, and, without knowing why, thought, "That must be the Indian who sang." As she turned to the right and entered the chapel, Alessandro followed her hurriedly, and knelt on the stones close to the chapel door. He would be near when she came out.

Alessandro had warm friends among them, and the news that he had been murdered, and that his wife had run all the way down the mountain, with her baby in her arms, for help, went like wild-fire through the place. The people gathered in an excited group around the house where Ramona had taken refuge. She was lying, half unconscious, on a bed.

Alessandro was filled with wonder and secret delight, when he heard that his wife was the daughter of the King of England; but greater still was the wonder of the two knights, and such their wrath that, had they been anywhere else than in the Pope's presence, they would not have spared to affront Alessandro, and perhaps the lady too.

I am sure I don't know what to do. Ramona's looks frighten me. I believe she will die." "I cannot wish Alessandro had never set foot on the place," said the Senora, gently, "for I feel that I owe your life to him, my Felipe; and he is not to blame for Ramona's conduct. You need not fear her dying, She may be ill; but people do not die of love like hers for Alessandro."

"I know it, Mrs. Hartsel. I'd trust Mr. Hartsel more than any other man in this country," said Alessandro. "He's about the only white man I do trust!" Mrs. Hartsel was fumbling in a deep pocket in her under-petticoat. Gold-piece after gold-piece she drew out. "Humph! Got more'n I thought I had," she said. "I've kept all that's been paid in here to-day, for I knew Jim'd be drunk before night."

"And we can sleep at Aunt Ri's house. Oh, why, why did we not do it before? Early in the morning we will start." All through the night they sat watching the little creature. If they had ever seen death, they would have known that there was no hope for the child. But how should Ramona and Alessandro know? The sun rose bright and warm.

"Then there is a chance that Alessandro will rise in the service of the sultan?" continued Flora, naturally anxious to glean all the information she could respecting her brother. "There is not a more enviable personage in the imperial service than he whom you style Alessandro Francatelli."

I can't do anything for you if she sees me talking with you now;" and he turned away, and walked swiftly down the terrace. Ramona felt as if she were indeed alone in the world. How could she go back into that house! Slowly she walked up the garden-path again, meditating a hundred wild plans of escape. Where, where was Alessandro? Why did he not appear for her rescue?

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