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knife, I drew my gun, and said, 'Stop, or I'll shoot!' He did not stop,
and I fired; still he did not stop, so I fired again; and as he did not
fall, I knocked him down with the butt of my gun. After he was down, I
shot him twice with my pistol."

The duty of a justice in such a case as this was clear. Taking the
prisoner into custody, he sent out messengers to summon a jury of six
men to hold inquest on the body of said Indian, or Mexican; and early
the next morning, led by Farrar, they set out for the mountain. When
they reached the ranch, the body had been removed; the house was
locked; no signs left of the tragedy of the day before, except a few
blood-stains on the ground, where Alessandro had fallen. Farrar seemed
greatly relieved at this unexpected phase of affairs. However, when he
found that Judge Wells, instead of attempting to return to the valley
that night, proposed to pass the night at a ranch only a few miles
from the Cahuilla village, he became almost hysterical with fright.
He declared that the Cahuillas would surely come and murder him in the
night, and begged piteously that the men would all stay with him to
guard him.

At midnight Judge Wells was roused by the arrival of the Capitan and
head men of the Cahuilla village. They had heard of his arrival with his
jury, and they had come to lead them to their village, where the body of
the murdered man lay. They were greatly distressed on learning that they
ought not to have removed the body from the spot where the death had
taken place, and that now no inquest could be held.

Judge Wells himself, however, went back with them, saw the body, and
heard the full account of the murder as given by Ramona on her first
arrival. Nothing more could now be learned from her, as she was in high
fever and delirium; knew no one, not even her baby when they laid it
on her breast. She lay restlessly tossing from side to side, talking
incessantly, clasping her rosary in her hands, and constantly mingling
snatches of prayers with cries for Alessandro and Felipe; the only token
of consciousness she gave was to clutch the rosary wildly, and sometimes
hide it in her bosom, if they attempted to take it from her.

Judge Wells was a frontiersman, and by no means sentimentally inclined;
but the tears stood in his eyes as he looked at the unconscious Ramona.

Farrar had pleaded that the preliminary hearing might take place
immediately; but after this visit to the village, the judge refused his
request, and appointed the trial a week from that day, to give time
for Ramona to recover, and appear as a witness. He impressed upon the
Indians as strongly as he could the importance of having her appear. It
was evident that Farrar's account of the affair was false from first to
last. Alessandro had no knife. He had not had time to go many steps from
the door; the volley of oaths, and the two shots almost simultaneously,
were what Ramona heard as she ran to the door. Alessandro could not have
spoken many words.

The day for the hearing came. Farrar had been, during the interval, in a
merely nominal custody; having been allowed to go about his business,
on his own personal guarantee of appearing in time for the trial. It
was with a strange mixture of regret and relief that Judge Wells saw the
hour of the trial arrive, and not a witness on the ground except Farrar
himself. That Farrar was a brutal ruffian, the whole country knew. This
last outrage was only one of a long series; the judge would have been
glad to have committed him for trial, and have seen him get his deserts.
But San Jacinto Valley, wild, sparsely settled as it was, had yet as
fixed standards and criterions of popularity as the most civilized of
communities could show; and to betray sympathy with Indians was more
than any man's political head was worth. The word "justice" had lost its
meaning, if indeed it ever had any, so far as they were concerned. The
valley was a unit on that question, however divided it might be upon
others. On the whole, the judge was relieved, though it was not without
a bitter twinge, as of one accessory after the deed, and unfaithful to
a friend; for he had known Alessandro well. Yet, on the whole, he was
relieved when he was forced to accede to the motion made by Farrar's
counsel, that "the prisoner be discharged on ground of justifiable
homicide, no witnesses having appeared against him."

He comforted himself by thinking - what was no doubt true - that even if
the case had been brought to a jury trial, the result would have been
the same; for there would never have been found a San Diego County jury
that would convict a white man of murder for killing an Indian, if
there were no witnesses to the occurrence except the Indian wife. But he
derived small comfort from this. Alessandro's face haunted him, and also
the memory of Ramona's, as she lay tossing and moaning in the wretched
Cahuilla hovel. He knew that only her continued illness, or her death,
could explain her not having come to the trial. The Indians would have
brought her in their arms all the way, if she had been alive and in
possession of her senses.

During the summer that she and Alessandro had lived in Saboba he had
seen her many times, and had been impressed by her rare quality. His
children knew her and loved her; had often been in her house; his wife
had bought her embroidery. Alessandro also had worked for him; and no
one knew better than Judge Wells that Alessandro in his senses was as
incapable of stealing a horse as any white man in the valley. Farrar
knew it; everybody knew it. Everybody knew, also, about his strange fits
of wandering mind; and that when these half-crazed fits came on him,
he was wholly irresponsible. Farrar knew this. The only explanation of
Farrar's deed was, that on seeing his horse spent and exhausted from
having been forced up that terrible trail, he was seized by ungovernable
rage, and fired on the second, without knowing what he did. "But he
wouldn't have done it, if it hadn't been an Indian!" mused the judge.
"He'd ha' thought twice before he shot any white man down, that way."

Day after day such thoughts as these pursued the judge, and he could not
shake them off. An uneasy sense that he owed something to Ramona, or, if
Ramona were dead, to the little child she had left, haunted him. There
might in some such way be a sort of atonement made to the murdered,
unavenged Alessandro. He might even take the child, and bring it up in
his own house. That was by no means an uncommon thing in the valley. The
longer he thought, the more he felt himself eased in his mind by this
purpose; and he decided that as soon as he could find leisure he would
go to the Cahuilla village and see what could be done.

But it was not destined that stranger hands should bring succor to
Ramona. Felipe had at last found trace of her. Felipe was on the way.


EFFECTUALLY misled by the faithful Carmena, Felipe had begun his search
for Alessandro by going direct to Monterey. He found few Indians in the
place, and not one had ever heard Alessandro's name. Six miles from the
town was a little settlement of them, in hiding, in the bottoms of the
San Carlos River, near the old Mission. The Catholic priest advised him
to search there; sometimes, he said, fugitives of one sort and another
took refuge in this settlement, lived there for a few months, then
disappeared as noiselessly as they had come. Felipe searched there also;
equally in vain.

He questioned all the sailors in port; all the shippers. No one had
heard of an Indian shipping on board any vessel; in fact, a captain
would have to be in straits before he would take an Indian in his crew.

"But this was an exceptionally good worker, this Indian; he could turn
his hand to anything; he might have gone as ship's carpenter."

"That might be," they said; "nobody had ever heard of any such thing,
however;" and very much they all wondered what it was that made the
handsome, sad Mexican gentleman so anxious to find this Indian.

Felipe wasted weeks in Monterey. Long after he had ceased to hope, he
lingered. He felt as if he would like to stay till every ship that had
sailed out of Monterey in the last three years had returned. Whenever he
heard of one coming into harbor, he hastened to the shore, and closely
watched the disembarking. His melancholy countenance, with its eager,
searching look, became a familiar sight to every one; even the children
knew that the pale gentleman was looking for some one he could not find.
Women pitied him, and gazed at him tenderly, wondering if a man could
look like that for anything save the loss of a sweetheart. Felipe made
no confidences. He simply asked, day after day, of every one he met, for
an Indian named Alessandro Assis.

Finally he shook himself free from the dreamy spell of the place,
and turned his face southward again. He went by the route which the
Franciscan Fathers used to take, when the only road on the California
coast was the one leading from Mission to Mission. Felipe had heard
Father Salvierderra say that there were in the neighborhood of each of
the old Missions Indian villages, or families still living. He thought
it not improbable that, from Alessandro's father's long connection with
the San Luis Rey Mission, Alessandro might be known to some of these
Indians. He would leave no stone unturned; no Indian village unsearched;
no Indian unquestioned.

San Juan Bautista came first; then Soledad, San Antonio, San Miguel, San
Luis Obispo, Santa Inez; and that brought him to Santa Barbara. He
had spent two months on the journey. At each of these places he found
Indians; miserable, half-starved creatures, most of them. Felipe's heart
ached, and he was hot with shame, at their condition. The ruins of the
old Mission buildings were sad to see, but the human ruins were sadder.
Now Felipe understood why Father Salvierderra's heart had broken, and
why his mother had been full of such fierce indignation against the
heretic usurpers and despoilers of the estates which the Franciscans
once held. He could not understand why the Church had submitted,
without fighting, to such indignities and robberies. At every one of the
Missions he heard harrowing tales of the sufferings of those Fathers who
had clung to their congregations to the last, and died at their posts.
At Soledad an old Indian, weeping, showed him the grave of Father
Sarria, who had died there of starvation. "He gave us all he had, to the
last," said the old man. "He lay on a raw-hide on the ground, as we did;
and one morning, before he had finished the mass, he fell forward at the
altar and was dead. And when we put him in the grave, his body was only
bones, and no flesh; he had gone so long without food, to give it to

At all these Missions Felipe asked in vain for Alessandro. They knew
very little, these northern Indians, about those in the south, they
said. It was seldom one from the southern tribes came northward. They
did not understand each other's speech. The more Felipe inquired, and
the longer he reflected, the more he doubted Alessandro's having ever
gone to Monterey. At Santa Barbara he made a long stay. The Brothers
at the College welcomed him hospitably. They had heard from Father
Salvierderra the sad story of Ramona, and were distressed, with Felipe,
that no traces had been found of her. It grieved Father Salvierderra to
the last, they said; he prayed for her daily, but said he could not get
any certainty in his spirit of his prayers being heard. Only the day
before he died, he had said this to Father Francis, a young Brazilian
monk, to whom he was greatly attached.

In Felipe's overwrought frame of mind this seemed to him a terrible
omen; and he set out on his journey with a still heavier heart
than before. He believed Ramona was dead, buried in some unknown,
unconsecrated spot, never to be found; yet he would not give up the
search. As he journeyed southward, he began to find persons who had
known of Alessandro; and still more, those who had known his father, old
Pablo. But no one had heard anything of Alessandro's whereabouts since
the driving out of his people from Temecula; there was no knowing where
any of those Temecula people were now. They had scattered "like a flock
of ducks," one Indian said, - "like a flock of ducks after they are
fired into. You'd never see all those ducks in any one place again. The
Temecula people were here, there, and everywhere, all through San Diego
County. There was one Temecula man at San Juan Capistrano, however. The
Senor would better see him. He no doubt knew about Alessandro. He was
living in a room in the old Mission building. The priest had given it
to him for taking care of the chapel and the priest's room, and a little
rent besides. He was a hard man, the San Juan Capistrano priest; he
would take the last dollar from a poor man."

It was late at night when Felipe reached San Juan Capistrano; but he
could not sleep till he had seen this man. Here was the first clew he
had gained. He found the man, with his wife and children, in a large
corner room opening on the inner court of the Mission quadrangle. The
room was dark and damp as a cellar; a fire smouldered in the enormous
fireplace; a few skins and rags were piled near the hearth, and on these
lay the woman, evidently ill. The sunken tile floor was icy cold to the
feet; the wind swept in at a dozen broken places in the corridor side
of the wall; there was not an article of furniture. "Heavens!" thought
Felipe, as he entered, "a priest of our Church take rent for such a hole
as this!"

There was no light in the place, except the little which came from the
fire. "I am sorry I have no candle, Senor," said the man, as he came
forward. "My wife is sick, and we are very poor."

"No matter," said Felipe, his hand already at his purse. "I only want to
ask you a few questions. You are from Temecula, they tell me."

"Yes, Senor," the man replied in a dogged tone, - no man of Temecula
could yet hear the word without a pang, - "I was of Temecula."

"I want to find one Alessandro Assis who lived there. You knew him, I
suppose," said Felipe, eagerly.

At this moment a brand broke in the smouldering fire, and for one second
a bright blaze shot up; only for a second, then all was dark again. But
the swift blaze had fallen on Felipe's face, and with a start which
he could not control, but which Felipe did not see, the Indian had
recognized him. "Ha, ha!" he thought to himself. "Senor Felipe Moreno,
you come to the wrong house asking for news of Alessandro Assis!"

It was Antonio, - Antonio, who had been at the Moreno sheep-shearing;
Antonio, who knew even more than Carmena had known, for he knew what a
marvel and miracle it seemed that the beautiful Senorita from the Moreno
house should have loved Alessandro, and wedded him; and he knew that on
the night she went away with him, Alessandro had lured out of the corral
a beautiful horse for her to ride. Alessandro had told him all about
it, - Baba, fiery, splendid Baba, black as night, with a white star in
his forehead. Saints! but it was a bold thing to do, to steal such a
horse as that, with a star for a mark; and no wonder that even now,
though near three years afterwards, Senor Felipe was in search of him.
Of course it could be only the horse he wanted. Ha! much help might he
get from Antonio!

"Yes, Senor, I knew him," he replied.

"Do you know where he is now?"

"No, Senor."

"Do you know where he went, from Temecula?"

"No, Senor."

"A woman told me he went to Monterey. I have been there looking for

"I heard, too, he had gone to Monterey."

"Where did you see him last?"

"In Temecula."

"Was he alone?"

"Yes, Senor."

"Did you ever hear of his being married?"

"No, Senor."

"Where are the greater part of the Temecula people now?"

"Like this, Senor," with a bitter gesture, pointing to his wife. "Most
of us are beggars. A few here, a few there. Some have gone to Capitan
Grande, some way down into Lower California."

Wearily Felipe continued his bootless questioning. No suspicion that the
man was deceiving him crossed his mind. At last, with a sigh, he
said, "I hoped to have found Alessandro by your means. I am greatly

"I doubt not that, Senor Felipe Moreno," thought Antonio. "I am sorry,
Senor," he said.

It smote his conscience when Felipe laid in his hand a generous
gold-piece, and said, "Here is a bit of money for you. I am sorry to see
you so poorly off."

The thanks which he spoke sounded hesitating and gruff, so remorseful
did he feel. Senor Felipe had always been kind to them. How well they
had fared always in his house! It was a shame to lie to him; yet the
first duty was to Alessandro. It could not be avoided. And thus a second
time help drifted away from Ramona.

At Temecula, from Mrs. Hartsel, Felipe got the first true intelligence
of Alessandro's movements; but at first it only confirmed his worst
forebodings. Alessandro had been at Mrs. Hartsel's house; he had been
alone, and on foot; he was going to walk all the way to San Pasquale,
where he had the promise of work.

How sure the kindly woman was that she was telling the exact truth.
After long ransacking of her memory and comparing of events, she fixed
the time so nearly to the true date, that it was to Felipe's mind a
terrible corroboration of his fears. It was, he thought, about a week
after Ramona's flight from home that Alessandro had appeared thus,
alone, on foot, at Mrs. Hartsel's. In great destitution, she said; and
she had lent him money on the expectation of selling his violin; but
they had never sold it; there it was yet. And that Alessandro was dead,
she had no more doubt than that she herself was alive; for else, he
would have come back to pay her what he owed. The honestest fellow that
ever lived, was Alessandro. Did not the Senor Moreno think so? Had he
not found him so always? There were not many such Indians as Alessandro
and his father. If there had been, it would have been better for their
people. "If they'd all been like Alessandro, I tell you," she said, "it
would have taken more than any San Diego sheriff to have put them out of
their homes here."

"But what could they do to help themselves, Mrs. Hartsel?" asked Felipe.
"The law was against them. We can't any of us go against that. I myself
have lost half my estate in the same way."

"Well, at any rate they wouldn't have gone without fighting!" she said.
"'If Alessandro had been here!' they all said."

Felipe asked to see the violin. "But that is not Alessandro's," he
exclaimed. "I have seen his."

"No!" she said. "Did I say it was his? It was his father's. One of the
Indians brought it in here to hide it with us at the time they were
driven out. It is very old, they say, and worth a great deal of money,
if you could find the right man to buy it. But he has not come along
yet. He will, though. I am not a bit afraid but that we'll get our money
back on it. If Alessandro was alive, he'd have been here long before

Finding Mrs. Hartsel thus friendly, Felipe suddenly decided to tell
her the whole story. Surprise and incredulity almost overpowered her at
first. She sat buried in thought for some minutes; then she sprang
to her feet, and cried: "If he's got that girl with him, he's hiding
somewhere. There's nothing like an Indian to hide; and if he is hiding,
every other Indian knows it, and you just waste your breath asking any
questions of any of them. They will die before they will tell you one
thing. They are as secret as the grave. And they, every one of them,
worshipped Alessandro. You see they thought he would be over them, after
Pablo, and they were all proud of him because he could read and
write, and knew more than most of them. If I were in your place," she
continued, "I would not give it up yet. I should go to San Pasquale. Now
it might just be that she was along with him that night he stopped here,
hid somewhere, while he came in to get the money. I know I urged him to
stay all night, and he said he could not do it. I don't know, though,
where he could possibly have left her while he came here."

Never in all her life had Mrs. Hartsel been so puzzled and so astonished
as now. But her sympathy, and her confident belief that Alessandro might
yet be found, gave unspeakable cheer to Felipe.

"If I find them, I shall take them home with me, Mrs. Hartsel," he said
as he rode away; "and we will come by this road and stop to see you."
And the very speaking of the words cheered him all the way to San

But before he had been in San Pasquale an hour, he was plunged into a
perplexity and disappointment deeper than he had yet felt. He found the
village in disorder, the fields neglected, many houses deserted, the
remainder of the people preparing to move away. In the house of Ysidro,
Alessandro's kinsman, was living a white family, - the family of a man
who had pre-empted the greater part of the land on which the village
stood. Ysidro, profiting by Alessandro's example, when he found
that there was no help, that the American had his papers from the
land-office, in all due form, certifying that the land was his, had
given the man his option of paying for the house or having it burned
down. The man had bought the house; and it was only the week before
Felipe arrived, that Ysidro had set off, with all his goods and
chattels, for Mesa Grande. He might possibly have told the Senor more,
the people said, than any one now in the village could; but even Ysidro
did not know where Alessandro intended to settle. He told no one. He
went to the north. That was all they knew.

To the north! That north which Felipe thought he had thoroughly
searched. He sighed at the word. The Senor could, if he liked, see the
house in which Alessandro had lived. There it was, on the south side of
the valley, just in the edge of the foothills; some Americans lived in
it now. Such a good ranch Alessandro had; the best wheat in the valley.
The American had paid Alessandro something for it, - they did not know
how much; but Alessandro was very lucky to get anything. If only they
had listened to him. He was always telling them this would come. Now it
was too late for most of them to get anything for their farms. One man
had taken the whole of the village lands, and he had bought Ysidro's
house because it was the best; and so they would not get anything. They
were utterly disheartened, broken-spirited.

In his sympathy for them, Felipe almost forgot his own distresses.
"Where are you going?" he asked of several.

"Who knows, Senor?" was their reply. "Where can we go? There is no

When, in reply to his questions in regard to Alessandro's wife, Felipe
heard her spoken of as "Majella," his perplexity deepened. Finally he
asked if no one had ever heard the name Ramona.


What could it mean? Could it be possible that this was another
Alessandro than the one of whom he was in search? Felipe bethought
himself of a possible marriage-record. Did they know where Alessandro
had married this wife of his, of whom every word they spoke seemed both
like and unlike Ramona?

Yes. It was in San Diego they had been married, by Father Gaspara.

Hoping against hope, the baffled Felipe rode on to San Diego; and here,
as ill-luck would have it, he found, not Father Gaspara, who would at
his first word have understood all, but a young Irish priest, who had
only just come to be Father Gaspara's assistant. Father Gaspara was
away in the mountains, at Santa Ysabel. But the young assistant would do
equally well, to examine the records. He was courteous and kind; brought
out the tattered old book, and, looking over his shoulder, his breath
coming fast with excitement and fear, there Felipe read, in Father
Gaspara's hasty and blotted characters, the fatal entry of the names,
"Alessandro Assis and Majella Fa - "

Heart-sick, Felipe went away. Most certainly Ramona would never have
been married under any but her own name. Who, then, was this woman whom
Alessandro Assis had married in less than ten days from the night on
which Ramona had left her home? Some Indian woman for whom he felt
compassion, or to whom he was bound by previous ties? And where, in what
lonely, forever hidden spot, was the grave of Ramona?

Now at last Felipe felt sure that she was dead. It was useless searching
farther. Yet, after he reached home, his restless conjectures took one
more turn, and he sat down and wrote a letter to every priest between
San Diego and Monterey, asking if there were on his books a record of

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