Isabella revived at last, but she scarcely escaped a fever from the shock her system, mental and physical, had received. And how busy, too, wore her thoughts, how never tiring in picturing him with his new honors, and in surprise how he could have won such distinction and honor at the queen’s hands, She read again and again the queen’s letter. He had no heart to give. That she looked upon-those few words-until her eyes became blind at the effort. And still she read on, and thought of him whom she knew had loved her so dearly, so tenderly, and yet without hope.
Isabella Gonzales’s pride had received a severe shock. Will she still bow low to the impulsive and arbitrary promptings of her proud spirit, or will she rise above them, and conquer and win a harvest of peace and happiness?
The story must disclose the answer; it is not for us to say here.
General Harero, as we have already intimated, had not, for a considerable period, enjoyed any degree of intimacy with Isabella Gonzales or her father, but actuated by a singular pertinacity of character, he seemed not yet to have entirely given up his hopes in relation to an alliance with her. The arrival of Lorenzo Bezan again upon the island, he felt, would, in any instance, endanger, if not totally defeat any lingering plans he might still conceive in his mind to bring into operation for the furtherance of his hopes; but when his arrival had actually occurred, and under such brilliant auspices for the young soldier, General Harero was enraged beyond control. He sought his quarters, after the review, in a desperate mood, and walked the narrow precincts of his room with bitter thoughts rankling in his bosom, and a burning desire for revenge goading him to action.
A thousand ways, all of which were more or less mingled with violence, suggested themselves to his mind as proper to adopt. Now he would gladly have fought his rival, have gone into the field and risked his own life for the sake of taking his; but this must be done too publicly, and he felt that the public feeling was with the new official; besides that, General Bezan could now arrest him, as he had done the young officer when he challenged his superior, as the reader will remember. Dark thoughts ran through his brain-some bearing directly upon Isabella Gonzales, some upon Lorenzo Bezan; even assassination suggested itself; and his hands clenched, and his cheeks burned, as the revengeful spirit possessed him and worked in his veins. While Lorenzo Bezan was absent he was content to bide his time, reasoning that eventually Isabella Gonzales would marry him, after a few more years of youthful pride and vanity had passed; but now he was spurred on to fresh efforts by the new phase that matters had taken, and but one course he felt was left for him to pursue, which one word might express, and that was action!