Jos was a wag, and Jos was never hurried. The man did not live, nor could the occasion arrive, which would quicken his constitutional drawl. Before even beginning his answer he crossed one leg over the other and took a long, observant look at Felipe; then in a pleasant voice he said: "Wall, Senor,-- I allow yer air a Senor by yer color,-- it would take right smart uv time tew tell yeow haow I cum by thet hoss, 'n' by the other one tew. They ain't mine, neither one on 'em."
Jos's speech was as unintelligible to Felipe as it had been to Ramona, Jos saw it, and chuckled.
"Mebbe 't would holp yer tew understand me ef I wuz tew talk Mexican," he said, and proceeded to repeat in tolerably good Spanish the sum and substance of what he had just said, adding: "They belong to an Indian over on San Jacinto; at least, the off one does; the nigh one's his wife's; he wouldn't ever call thet one anything but hers. It had been hers ever sence she was a girl, they said, I never saw people think so much of hosses as they did."
Before Jos had finished speaking, Felipe had bounded into the wagon, throwing his horse's reins to a boy in the crowd, and crying, "Follow along with my horse, will you? I must speak to this man."
Found! Found,-- the saints be praised,-- at last! How should he tell this man fast enough? How should he thank him enough?
Laying his hand on Jos's knee, he cried: "I can't explain to you; I can't tell you. Bless you forever,-- forever! It must be the saints led you here!"
"Oh, Lawd!" thought Jos; "another o' them 'saint' fellers! I allow not, Senor," he said, relapsing into Tennesseean. "It wur Tom Wurmsee led me; I wuz gwine ter move his truck fur him this arternoon."
"Take me home with you to your house," said Felipe, still trembling with excitement; "we cannot talk here in the street. I want to hear all you can tell me about them. I have been searching for them all over California."