“Do you know the particular reason of his arrest?”
Juan shook his head, and replied, “That the officers did not say.”
“Did you mention to any one your having a letter for me?”
“No, Padre; I tell no man what does not concern him.”
“A wise plan, Juan, I would advise you always to follow; and be very careful that you say nothing to any one about my letter: I particularly desire it.”
“Intiendo,” said Juan, turning toward the door. “I go to my ranche to-morrow, but come back before many sunsets, and if you want me again, Padre, you know where to find me.”
“The blessing of the Holy Virgin rest upon you, my son, and reward you for your services in behalf of the church.”
“Adios!” And they parted.
Father Mazzolin drew forth the letter, and read it attentively for the third time, then held it over one of the twelve candles, and deliberately burnt it, muttering the while, “Ashes tell no tales.”
Extinguishing the candles and locking the door of the church, he said to himself:
“All is as I foresaw; a breach is made which can only be closed by the bodies of hundreds of these cursed heretics; and Santa Anna is bloodthirsty enough to drain the last drop. Alphonso Mazzolin, canst thou not carve thy fortune in the coming storm? Yea, and I will. I am no unworthy follower of Loyola, of Gavier, and of Bobadillo. Patience! a Cardinal’s cap shall crown my labors;” and with a chuckling laugh he entered the narrow street which led to his dwelling.
“There is but one obstacle here,” he continued; “that Protestant girl’s work is hard to undo,” and his step became quicker. “But for her, I should have been confessor to the whole family, and will be yet, despite her warning efforts, though I had rather deal with any three men. She is as untiring as myself.” He reached his door, and entered.
“And ruder words will soon rush
To spread the breach that words begin;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship’s smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said.”
Inez de Garcia was an only child, and in San Antonio considered quite an heiress. Her wealth consisted in broad lands, large flocks, and numerous herds, and these valuable possessions, combined with her beautiful face, rendered her the object of considerable attention. Inez was endowed with quick perceptions, and a most indomitable will, which she never surrendered, except to accomplish some latent design; and none who looked into her beautiful eyes could suppose that beauty predominated over intellect. She was subtile, and consciousness of her powers was seen in the haughty glance and contemptuous smile. Her hand had been promised from infancy to her orphan cousin, Manuel Nevarro, whose possessions were nearly as extensive