many centuries. Under the trees are the fish-ponds which


When she opened her eyes, she was lying on the bed. Alessandro had lifted her and laid her there, making no effort to rouse her. He thought she would die too; and even that thought did not stir him from his lethargy. When she opened her eyes, and looked at him, he did not speak. She closed them. He did not move. Presently she opened them again. "I heard you out there," she said.

many centuries. Under the trees are the fish-ponds which

"Yes," he replied. "It is done." And he pointed to a little box of rough boards by the side of the cradle.

many centuries. Under the trees are the fish-ponds which

"Is Majella ready to go to the mountain now?" he asked.

many centuries. Under the trees are the fish-ponds which

"Yes, Alessandro, I am ready," she said.

"We will hide forever," he said.

"It makes no difference," she replied.

The Saboba women did not know what to think of Ramona now. She had never come into sympathetic relations with them, as she had with the women of San Pasquale. Her intimacy with the Hyers had been a barrier the Saboba people could not surmount. No one could be on such terms with whites, and be at heart an Indian, they thought; so they held aloof from Ramona. But now in her bereavement they gathered round her. They wept at sight of the dead baby's face, lying in its tiny white coffin. Ramona had covered the box with white cloth, and the lace altar-cloth thrown over it fell in folds to the floor. "Why does not this mother weep? Is she like the whites, who have no heart?" said the Saboba mothers among themselves; and they were embarrassed before her, and knew not what to say. Ramona perceived it, but had no life in her to speak to them. Benumbing terrors, which were worse than her grief, were crowding Ramona's heart now. She had offended the Virgin; she had committed a blasphemy: in one short hour the Virgin had punished her, had smitten her child dead before her eyes. And now Alessandro was going mad; hour by hour Ramona fancied she saw changes in him. What form would the Virgin's vengeance take next? Would she let Alessandro become a raging madman, and finally kill both himself and her? That seemed to Ramona the most probable fate in store for them. When the funeral was over, and they returned to their desolate home, at the sight of the empty cradle Ramona broke down.

"Oh, take me away, Alessandro! Anywhere! I don't care where! anywhere, so it is not here!" she cried.

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