“And did you find her!”
“Yes, Alfonso, that is, all that was left of the vivacious, happy songster, as we once knew her. Her new world surroundings proved disastrous.”
“Look, here is a picture in water color, that tells the story.” Saying this the Marquis slowly removed a white paper from a small sketch which he had made the week before. It was a picture in the morgue on the East River, with its half hundred corpses, waiting recognition or burial in the Potter’s Field. Upon a cold marble slab lay the body of a young girl, her shapely hands across her breast. Alfonso recognized Rosie’s sweet face and golden tresses that artists had raved over.
The marquis in sad tones added a few words of explanation. “The senator who educated Rosie proved a villain. When she acted as Juliet at the Capitol, fashionable society gave hearty approval of her rare abilities. Rosie’s genius, like a shooting star, flashed across the sky and then shot into oblivion.”
A few days afterwards, Alfonso on the pier with his white handkerchief waved adieu to Leo who had resolved to wed art in sunny Italy. Sad memories decided Alfonso to leave New York at once. For a short time he was inclined to give up a new purpose, and return to his own family at Harrisville, but the law of equity controlled his heart, he journeyed back to the Pacific Coast, and again approached the Yosemite Valley.
Seated again on Inspiration Point, he gazed long and earnestly into the gorge below. He could discern neither smoke nor moving forms. All had changed; not the peaks, or domes, or wonderful waterfalls; all these remained the same. But where were Red Cloud and kind-hearted Mariposa? Alfonso’s own race now occupied the valley for pleasure and for gain.
Mariposa might not be of his own race, but she had a noble heart. Education had put her in touch with civilization, and she was as pure as the snow of the Sierras. He wondered if she ever thought of him. He remembered that, when he rode away, her face was turned toward the Bridal Veil Falls. Did she thus intend to say, “I love you?”
At midnight, as the moon rose above the forest, the tall pines whispered of Mariposa, of wild flowers she was wont to gather, of journeys made to highest peaks, of weeks of watching and waiting, and of the burial of Red Cloud at the foot of an ancient sequoia; then the language of the breezes among the pines became indistinct, and Alfonso, half-asleep, half-awake, saw approaching a white figure. Two dark eyes full of tears, gazed into his face, at first with a startled look, and then with a gleam of joy and trust.
Alfonso exclaimed, “Mariposa!” He sought to clasp her in his arms, but the graceful figure vanished, and the pines seemed to whisper, “Alfonso, I go to join the braves in the happy hunting grounds beyond the setting sun. You will wed the fairest of your people. Adieu.”