He turned away from her and walked slowly towards the library window which stood open and gave passage to the sound of moving cups and saucers. We all carry with us through life the remembrance of certain words probably forgotten by the speaker. A few bear the keener, sharper memory of words unspoken. Juanita never forgot the silence of Evasio Mon as he walked away from her.
A moment later she heard him laughing and talking in the library.
He had come on horseback and Sarrion accompanied him to the stables on his departure. They were both young for their years. The Spaniards of the north are thin and lithe and long-lived. Sarrion offered his hand for Mon’s knee, who with this aid sprang into the saddle.
He turned and looked towards the terrace.
“Juanita,” he said, and paused. “She is no longer a child. One hopes that she may have a happy life ... seeing that so many do not.”
Sarrion made no answer.
“We are not weaklings,” continued Mon lightly. “You, and Marcos and I. We may sweat and toil as we will—but believe me, there is more power in Juanita’s little finger. It is the casting vote—amigo—the casting vote.”
He waved a salutation as he rode away.
La main de FER Juanita was very early astir the next morning. The house was peculiarly quiet, but she knew that Marcos, if he had been abroad, had now returned; for Perro was lying on the terrace in the sunlight watching the library window.
Juanita went to that room and there found Marcos writing letters. A map of the Valley of the Wolf lay open on the table beside him.
“You are always writing letters,” she said. “You began writing them on the splash-board of the carriage at the mouth of the valley and you have been doing it ever since.”
“They are making use of my knowledge of the valley,” he replied. He continued his task after a very quick glance up at her. Juanita had found out that he rarely looked at her.
“I am not at all tired after our adventure,” she said. “I made up last night for the want of sleep. Do I look tired?”
“Not at all,” answered Marcos, glancing no higher than her waist.
“But I had a dream,” she said. “It was so vivid that I am not sure now that it was a dream. I am not sure that I did not in reality get out of bed quite early in the morning, before daylight, when the moon was just touching the mountains, and look out of my window. And the terrace, Marcos, was covered with soldiers; rows and rows of them, like shadows. And at the end, beneath my window, stood a group of men. Some were officers; one looked like General Pacheco, fat with a chuckling laugh; another seemed to be Captain Zeneta—the friend who stood by us in the chapel of Our Lady of the Shadows—who was saying his prayers, you remember. Most young men are too conceited to say their prayers nowadays. And there were two civilians, in riding-boots all dusty, who looked singularly like you and Uncle Ramon. It was an odd dream, Marcos—was it not?”