It was not impossible that there might be, after all, another Alessandro Assis, The old Fathers, in baptizing their tens of thousands of Indian converts, were sore put to it to make out names enough. There might have been another Assis besides old Pablo, and of Alessandros there were dozens everywhere.
This last faint hope also failed. No record anywhere of an Alessandro Assis, except in Father Gaspara's book.
As Felipe was riding out of San Pasquale, he had seen an Indian man and woman walking by the side of mules heavily laden. Two little children, two young or too feeble to walk, were so packed in among the bundles that their faces were the only part of them in sight. The woman was crying bitterly. "More of these exiles. God help the poor creatures!" thought Felipe; and he pulled out his purse, and gave the woman a piece of gold. She looked up in as great astonishment as if the money had fallen from the skies. "Thanks! Thanks, Senor!" she exclaimed; and the man coming up to Felipe said also, "God reward you, Senor! That is more money than I had in the world! Does the Senor know of any place where I could get work?"
Felipe longed to say, "Yes, come to my estate; there you shall have work!" In the olden time he would have done it without a second thought, for both the man and the woman had good faces,-- were young and strong. But the pay-roll of the Moreno estate was even now too long for its dwindled fortunes. "No, my man, I am sorry to say I do not," he answered. "I live a long way from here. Where were you thinking of going?"
"Somewhere in San Jacinto," said the man. "They say the Americans have not come in there much yet. I have a brother living there. Thanks, Senor; may the saints reward you!"
"San Jacinto!" After Felipe returned home, the name haunted his thoughts. The grand mountain-top bearing that name he had known well in many a distant horizon. "Juan Can," he said one day, "are there many Indians in San Jacinto?"
"Ay, I suppose, the mountain," said Felipe. "What else is there?"
"The valley, too," replied Juan. "The San Jacinto Valley is a fine, broad valley, though the river is not much to be counted on. It is mostly dry sand a good part of the year. But there is good grazing. There is one village of Indians I know in the valley; some of the San Luis Rey Indians came from there; and up on the mountain is a big village; the wildest Indians in all the country live there. Oh, they are fierce, Senor!"