Aunt Ri grasped the situation instantly. Wiping her streaming eyes, she sobbed out: "Wall, I'll allow, arter this, thar is sech a thing ez a Providence, ez they call it. 'Pears like ther couldn't ennythin' less brung yer hyar jest naow. I know who yer be; ye're her brother Feeleepy, ain't yer? Menny's ther time she's tolt me about yer! Oh, Lawd! How air we ever goin' to git ter her? I allow she's dead! I allow she'd never live arter seein' him shot down dead! He tolt me thar couldn't nobody git up thar whar they'd gone; no white folks, I mean. Oh, Lawd, Lawd!"
Felipe stood paralyzed, horror-stricken. He turned in despair to Jos. "Tell me in Spanish,." he said. "I cannot understand."
As Jos gradually drew out the whole story from his mother's excited and incoherent speech, and translated it, Felipe groaned aloud, "Too late! Too late!" He too felt, as Aunt Ri had, that Ramona never could have survived the shock of seeing her husband murdered. "Too late! Too late!" he cried, as he staggered into the house. "She has surely died of the sight."
"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?"