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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Dona Perfecta.

Dona Perfecta’s voice suddenly vibrated through the dining-room, with so discordant a tone that her nephew started as if he had heard a cry of alarm.  The voice said imperiously: 

“Rosario, go to bed!”

Startled, her mind filled with anxious fears, the girl lingered in the room, going here and there as if she was looking for something.  As she passed her cousin she whispered softly and cautiously these words: 

“Mamma is angry.”

“But—­”

“She is angry—­be on your guard, be on your guard.”

Then she left the room.  Her mother, for whom Uncle Licurgo was waiting, followed her, and for some time the voices of Dona Perfecta and the countryman were heard mingled together in familiar conference.  Pepe was left with Don Cayetano, who, taking a light, said;

“Good-night, Pepe.  But don’t suppose that I am going to sleep, I am going to work.  But why are you so thoughtful?  What is the matter with you?—­Just as I say, to work.  I am making notes for a ’Memorial Discourse on the Genealogies of Orbajosa.’  I have already found data and information of the utmost value.  There can be no dispute about it.  In every period of our history the Orbajosans have been distinguished for their delicate sense of honor, their chivalry, their valor, their intellectuality.  The conquest of Mexico, the wars of the Emperor, the wars of Philip against the heretics, testify to this.  But are you ill?  What is the matter with you?  As I say, eminent theologians, valiant warriors, conquerors, saints, bishops, statesmen—­all sorts of illustrious men—­have flourished in this humble land of the garlic.  No, there is not in Christendom a more illustrious city than ours.  Its virtues and its glories are in themselves enough and more than enough to fill all the pages of our country’s history.  Well, I see that it is sleepy you are—­good-night.  As I say, I would not exchange the glory of being a son of this noble city for all the gold in the world.  Augusta, the ancients called it; Augustissima, I call it now; for now, as then, high-mindedness, generosity, valor, magnanimity, are the patrimony of all.  Well, good-night, dear Pepe.  But I fancy you are not well.  Has the supper disagreed with you?—­Alonzo Gonzalez de Bustamante was right when he said in his ‘Floresta Amena’ that the people of Orbajosa suffice in themselves to confer greatness and honor on a kingdom.  Don’t you think so?”

“Oh, yes, senor; undoubtedly,” responded Pepe Rey, going abruptly toward his room.

CHAPTER XI

THE DISCORD GROWS

During the following days Pepe Rey made the acquaintance of several of the people of the place; he visited the Casino, and formed friendships with some of the individuals who spend their lives in the rooms of that corporation.

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