"I allow she didn't die, nuther," said Jos; "not ser long ez she hed thet young un to look arter!"
"Yer air right, Jos!" said Aunt Ri. "I allow yer air right. Thar couldn't nothin' kill her, short er wild beasts, ef she hed ther baby 'n her arms! She ain't dead, not ef the baby ez erlive, I allow. Thet's some comfort."
Felipe sat with his face buried in his hands. Suddenly looking up, he said, "How far is it?"
"Thirty miles 'n' more inter the valley, where we wuz," said Jos; "'n' the Lawd knows how fur 'tis up on ter the mounting, where they wuz livin'. It's like goin' up the wall uv a house, goin' up San Jacinto Mounting, daddy sez. He wuz thar huntin' all summer with Alessandro."
How strange, how incredible it seemed, to hear Alessandro's name thus familiarly spoken,-- spoken by persons who had known him so recently, and who were grieving, grieving as friends, to hear of his terrible death! Felipe felt as if he were in a trance. Rousing himself, he said, "We must go. We must start at once. You will let me have the horses?"
"Wall, I allow yer've got more right ter 'em 'n --" began Jos, energetically, forgetting himself; then, dropping Tennesseean, he completed in Spanish his cordial assurances that the horses were at Felipe's command.
"Jos! He's got ter take me!" cried Aunt Ri. "I allow I ain't never gwine ter set still hyar, 'n' thet girl inter sech trouble; 'n' if so be ez she is reely dead, thar's the baby. He hadn't orter go alone by hisself."
Felipe was thankful, indeed, for Aunt Ri's companionship, and expressed himself in phrases so warm, that she was embarrassed.