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It was a weary journey, for the French lady, exhausted by fatigue and excitement, was often obliged to stop and sit down to rest, and, indeed, could not have got on at all had not Garcias on one side and the padre on the other helped her on. At last, just as the sun was setting, they approached the village, and could see the French sentries at its entrance. When within a hundred yards they paused.

The sun was dropping toward the western tops. The guests were leaving by twos and threes. The colonel had prevailed upon his dinner-guests not to bother about going back to the village to dress, but to dine in the clothes they wore. Finally, none remained but Harrigan, Abbott, the Barone, the padre and Courtlandt.

Captain Jack had established his Aid Post at the bottom of the little valley running down to the road, and here, helped by the never-tiring Padre Buck, was busily employed with our wounded. In Forgan's trench there was a deadlock. Across the valley and on the Southern slopes it was still full of the enemy, who had many machine guns.

"Ah, Don Juan," he exclaimed, "you have make the visit to Yerba Buena San Francisco you call him now, no? I go this morning to meet my friends who make for the Rancho de los Olivos so great an honor. Si you permit me I introduce you, for you are the friend de my cousin, Padre Ortega."

As the occurrence was not unusual, the hunt waited, expecting them to reappear up some other aperture; but after lingering the greater part of the day they were obliged to return to the city without the dogs, who had found their way through the dark and intricate passages to the door of the crypt, where the sceptical padre, as we have seen, liberated them.

There the inhabitants live in three small towns, having a church and padre in each town: and these towns, as I was informed, are 6 or 7 miles from the road. Pinose is said to be the chief town, and to have 2 churches: St. John's the next, and the third Lagoa. The houses are very mean: small, low things. They build with figtree, here being, as I was told, no other trees fit to build with.

You give the shilling, as you intended to do, I'll swear, only you were in so great a hurry and then, perhaps, you'll not object to throw in another shilling for that same tap with the cane, just to wipe off the insult as it were, as we do our sins, when we fork out the money, and receive absolution from the padre; and then, perhaps, you will not think it too much if I charge another shilling for my time and trouble, for carrying a message between two gentlemen."

Pale and uneasy, all stared at one another, while one terrified señora caught hold of Padre Salvi. The box then opened of its own accord and presented to the eyes of the audience a head of cadaverous aspect, surrounded by long and abundant black hair. It slowly opened its eyes and looked around the whole audience.

Jeanne offered him a glass of water, but he shook his head. She was in despair because she could not understand. Ah! the Crucifix! the Crucifix! The sister lifted the light from the ground; Jeanne held out the Crucifix to Piero, who, pressing his lips to it, gazed at her, gazed at her with those great glassy eyes, from which death looked forth. The sister gave a cry and ran to call the Padre.

Young folks are all alike; for one little maiden of eighteen they will do more than for ten of us reverend fathers. Nay, no excuse, Tonino. It is the Lord's own doing, that like and like should hold together." Meantime Laurella had stepped in, and seated herself beside the padre, first putting away Antonio's jacket without a word.