Governor Arrillaga, Commandante Arguello, and Chamberlain Rezanov sat in the familiar sala at the Presidio content in body after a culinary achievement worthy of Padre Landaeta, but perturbed and alert of mind.
"Could we not see them first?" asked Father Landaeta of his superior; and Father Abella sent a servant with an order to unload the horse and bring in the presents. Not a vestige of reserve lingered. Priests and guests sat about the table eating and drinking and chatting as were they old friends reunited, and Rezanov extracted much of the information he desired.
It is the will of God, and we make no complaint; but we are very willing, Father Landaeta and I, that youth should cool its ardor in so certain a fashion while we attend to the more reasonable duties at home." They were dismounted at the door of the church. The horses were led off by waiting Indians. The soldiers on guard saluted and stepped aside, and the party entered.
"She has come to confess, padre!" she exclaimed, her mind, under the deep tiled roof of the corridor, readjusting itself to tragedy. "I beg that you will take her at once. Padre Landaeta can give us chocolate and we will tell our terrible news to him and receive advice and consolation."
"Some men are the offspring of Mars and Venus and most of us are not. We can at least be philosophers. Let us hope the dinner will be excellent." It proved to be the most delicate and savory repast that had excited their appetites this side of Europe. The friars had their consolations, and even Dona Ignacia Arguello was less gastronomic than Father Landaeta.
They talked for a long while, and after further consultation with Don Jose and Father Landaeta, it was decided that Concha should remain for the present in the house of Juan Moraga, where she could receive the daily counsels of the priests, and be beyond the reach of Rezanov.
Father Abella mentioned them as his coadjutor Father Martin Landaeta, and their guest Father Jose Uria of San Jose; and then the three, with the scant rites of genuine hospitality, applied themselves to the tickling of palates long unused to ambrosial living.