“Senorita, we must make haste to lay him in, and cover him closely. Don’t waste time weeping now; you cannot give him life again. Have done, Senorita Inez, and let us finish our work.”
“I am not weeping, Senora! I have not shed a single tear; yet be patient: surely there is yet time.”
Inez straightened the cloak in which Frank Bryant was shrouded, placed the hands calmly by his side, and softly smoothed the dark hair on his high and noble brow. She passionately kissed the cold lips once, then covered forever the loved, loved features, and they carefully lowered the still form into its last resting-place.
They stood up, and the old dame pointed to the earth piled on either side. Inez shuddered and closed her eyes a moment, as if unequal to the task.
Her companion stooped, and was in the act of tossing forward a mass of earth; but Inez interposed: “Senora, softly! I will do this: remember there is no coffin.”
Fearfully calm was her tone as she slowly pushed in the earth. There was no hollow echo, such as ofttimes rends the heart of the mourner, but a heavy, dull sound of earth crushing earth. Gradually she filled the opening even with the surface, then carefully scattered the remaining sod.
“I will not raise a mound, for they would tear him up, should they know where I have laid him.” Inez walked away, and gathering a quantity of brown, shriveled leaves, and also as much grass as she could draw from the short bunches, sprinkled them on the grave and along the fresh earth.
“Think you, Senora, they will find him here?”
“No, no, Senorita! none will know that we have buried him. But the night is already far gone, why do you linger?”
For a moment longer Inez gazed down upon the new-made grave: “But a few more hours, and I shall sleep here by your side; farewell till then.”
She turned away, and silently they retraced their steps to the town, reaching without inquiry or molestation their own home.
“So live, that when thy summons
comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry slave, at night
Scourged to his dungeon; but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
A bright day in April drew near its close, and the golden rays of the spring sun poured joyously through the open casement into the chamber of death. Yes, the “King of Terrors” drew nigh, and the cold damp, which his black pinions swept on, settled upon the brow of Inez. A few days after the massacre at Goliad, a raging fever crimsoned her cheeks, and lent unwonted brilliance to the large black eyes.