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Remember the Alamo by Amelia E. Barr

Part 5 out of 6

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the eastern settlements; for he knew well what atrocities
would mark every mile of Santa Anna's progress through the

These wagons, with their helpless loads, were to
rendezvous at Peach Creek, ten miles from Gonzales; where also
he expected Fannin and his eight hundred and sixty men to join
him. This addition would make the American force nearly
twelve hundred strong. Besides which, Fannin's little army
was of the finest material, being composed mostly of
enthusiastic volunteers from Georgia and Alabama; young men,
who, like Dare Grant and John Worth, were inspired with the
idea of freedom, or the spread of Americanism, or the
fanaticism of religious liberty of conscience--perhaps, even,
with hatred of priestly domination. Houston felt that he
would be sufficient for Santa Anna when the spirit of this
company was added to the moral force of men driven from their
homes and families to fight for the lands they had bought and
the rights which had been guaranteed them.

So he watched the horizon anxiously for Fannin's approach,
often laying his ear to the ground to listen for what he could
not see. And, impatient as he was for their arrival, the
Senora was more so. She declared that her sufferings would be
unendurable but for this hope. The one question on her lips,
the one question in her eyes, was, "Are they coming?"
And Antonia, though she did not speak of her private hopes,
was equally anxious. Brother and lover were both very dear to
her. And to have the whole family together would be in itself
a great help. Whatever their deprivations and fatigues, they
could comfort each other with their affection.

Every day wagon-loads of women and children joined the camp,
and the march eastward was very slow. But no circumstance
extols more loudly the bravery and tenderness of these
American soldiers than the patience with which this
encumbrance was endured. Men worn out with watching and
foraging were never too weary to help some mother still more
weary, or to carry some little child whose swollen feet would
no longer aid it.

One night they rested at a little place on the Colorado. In
one room of a deserted cabin Houston sat with Major Hockly,
dictating to him a military dispatch. They had no candles,
and Houston was feeding the fire with oak splinters, to
furnish light enough for their necessity. In the other room,
the Worth family were gathered. Antonia, in preparing
for their journey, had wisely laid a small mattress and
a couple of pillows in the wagon; and upon this mattress the
Senora and Isabel were resting. Doctor Worth and Thomas sat
by the fire talking of Fannin's delay; and Antonia was making
some corn-meal cakes for their supper.

When the Senora's portion was given to her she put it aside,
and lifted her eyes to Antonia's face. They asked the
question forever in her heart, "Is Jack coming?" and Antonia
pitifully shook her head.

Then the poor woman seemed to have reached the last pitch of
endurance. "Let me die!" she cried. "I can bear life no
longer." To Mary and the saints she appealed with a
passionate grief that was distressing to witness. All the
efforts of her husband and her children failed to sooth her;
and, as often happens in a complication of troubles, she
seized upon the most trifling as the text of her complaint.

"I cannot eat corn bread; I have always detested it. I am
hungry. I am perishing for my chocolate. And I have no
clothing. I am ashamed of myself. I thank the saints I
have no looking-glass. Oh, Roberto! Roberto! What have
you done to your Maria?"

"My dear wife! My dear, dear wife! Be patient a little
longer. Think, love, you are not alone. There are women here
far more weary, far more hungry; several who, in the
confusion, have lost their little children; others who are
holding dying babes in their arms."

"Giver of all good! give me patience. I have to say to you
that other women's sorrows do not make me grateful for my own.
And Santa Maria has been cruel to me. Another more cruel, who
can find? I have confessed to her my heartache about Juan;
entreated her to bring my boy to me. Has she done it?"

"My darling Maria."

"Grace of God, Roberto! It is now the twenty-third of March;
I have been seventeen days wandering with my daughters like
very beggars. If only I had had the discretion to remain in
my own house!"

"Maria, Lopez will tell you that Fray Ignatius and the brothers
are in possession of it. He saw them walking about the garden
reading their breviaries."

At this moment General Houston, in the opposite room was
dictating: "Before God, I have found the darkest hours of my
life. For forty-eight hours I have neither eaten an ounce of
anything, nor have I slept." The Senora's sobbing troubled
him. He rose to close the door, and saw two men entering.
One leaned upon the other, and appeared to be at the point of

"Where is there a doctor, General?"

"In that room, sir. Have you brought news of Fannin?"

"I have."

"Leave your comrade with the doctor, and report."

The entrance of the wounded man silenced the Senora. She
turned her face to the wall and refused to eat. Isabel sat by
her side and held her hand. The doctor glanced at it as he
turned away. It had been so plump and dimpled and white. It
was now very thin and white with exposure. It told him far
better than complaining, how much the poor woman had suffered.
He went with a sigh to his patient.

"Stabbed with a bayonet through the shoulder--hard riding from
Goliad--no food--no rest--that tells the whole story, doctor."

It was all he could say. A fainting fit followed. Antonia
procured some stimulant, and when consciousness returned,
assisted her father to dress the wound. Their own coffee was
gone, but she begged a cup from some one more fortunate; and
after the young man had drunk it, and had eaten a little
bread, he was inclined to make light of his wound and his

"Glad to be here at all," he said. "I think I am the only one
out of five hundred."

"You cannot mean that you are of Fannin's command?"

"I WAS of Fannin's command. Every man in it has been shot.
I escaped by a kind of miracle."

The doctor looked at the Senora. She seemed to be asleep.
"Speak low," he said, "but tell me all."

The man sat upon the floor with his back against the wall.
The doctor stooped over him. Antonia and Isabel stood beside
their father.

"We heard of Urrea's approach at San Patricio. The Irish
people of that settlement welcomed Urrea with great rejoicing.
He was a Catholic--a defender of the faith. But the
American settlers in the surrounding country fled, and Fannin
heard that five hundred women and children, followed by the
enemy, were trying to reach the fortress of Goliad. He
ordered Major Ward, with the Georgia battalions, to go and
meet the fugitives. Many of the officers entreated him not to
divide his men for a report which had come by way of the
faithless colony of San Patricio.

"But Fannin thought the risk ought to be taken. He took it,
and the five hundred women and children proved to be a
regiment of Mexican dragoons. They surrounded our infantry on
every side, and after two days' desperate fighting, the
Georgia battalions were no more. In the meantime, Fannin got
the express telling him of the fall of the Alamo, and ordering
him to unite with General Houston. That might have been a
possible thing with eight hundred and sixty men, but it was
not possible with three hundred and sixty. However, we made
the effort, and on the great prairie were attacked by the
enemy lying in ambush there. Entirely encircled by them, yet
still fighting and pressing onward, we defended ourselves
until our ammunition gave out. Then we accepted the
terms of capitulation offered by Urrea, and were marched back
to Goliad as prisoners of war. Santa Anna ordered us all to
be shot."

"But you were prisoners of war?"

"Urrea laughed at the articles, and said his only intention in
them was to prevent the loss of Mexican blood. Most of his
officers remonstrated with with{sic} him, but he flew into a
passion at Miralejes. `The Senor Presidente's orders are not
to be trifled with. By the Virgin of Guadelupe!' he cried,
`it would be as much as my own life was worth to disobey

"It gave the Mexican soldiers pleasure to tell us these
things, and though we scarcely believed such treachery
possible, we were very uneasy. On the eighth day after the
surrender, a lovely Sunday morning, we were marched out of the
fort on pretence of sending us to Louisiana; according to the
articles of surrender, and we were in high spirits at the

"But I noticed that we were surrounded by a double row of
soldiers, and that made me suspicious. In a few moments,
Fannin was marched into the centre, and told to sit down
on a low stool. He felt that his hour had come. He took
his watch and his purse, and gave them to some poor woman who
stood outside lamenting and praying for the poor Americans.
I shall never forget the calmness and brightness of his face.
The Mexican colonel raised his sword, the drums beat, and the
slaughter began. Fifty men at a time were shot; and those
whom the guns missed or crippled, were dispatched with the
bayonet or lance."

"You escaped. How?"

"When the lips of the officer moved to give the order: Fire!
I fell upon my face as if dead. As I lay, I was pierced by a
bayonet through the shoulder, but I made no sign of life.
After the execution, the camp followers came to rob the dead.
A kind-hearted Mexican woman helped me to reach the river. I
found a horse tied there, and I took it. I have been on the
point of giving up life several times, but I met a man coming
here with the news to Houston, and he helped me to hold out."

The doctor was trembling with grief and anger, and he felt
Antonia's hand on his shoulder.

"My friend," he whispered, "did you know JOHN WORTH?"

"Who did not know him in Fannin's camp? Any of us would have
been glad to save poor Jack; and he had a friend who refused
to live without him."

"Dare Grant?"

"That was the man, young lady. Grant was a doctor, and the
Mexicans wanted doctors. They offered him his life for his
services, but he would not have it unless his friend's life
also was spared. They were shot holding each other's hands,
and fell together. I was watching their faces at the moment.
There wasn't a bit of fear in them."

The Senora rose, and came as swiftly as a spirit to them. She
looked like a woman walking in her sleep. She touched the
stranger. "I heard you. You saw Dare Grant die. But my boy!
My boy! Where is my Juan?"

"Maria, darling."

"Don't speak, Roberto. Where is my Juan? Juan Worth?"

"Madam. I am sorry enough, God knows. Juan Worth--was shot."

Then the wretched mother threw up her hands, and with an
awful cry fell to the ground. It was hours ere she recovered
consciousness, and consciousness only restored her to misery.

The distress of the father, the brother and sisters of the
dead youth was submerged in the speechless despair of the
mother. She could not swallow food; she turned away from the
the{sic} sympathy of all who loved her. Even Isabel's
caresses were received with an apathy which was terrifying.
With the severed curl of her boy's hair in her fingers, she
sat in tearless, voiceless anguish.

Poor Antonia, weighed down with the double loss that had come
to her, felt, for the first time, as if their condition was
utterly hopeless. The mental picture of her brother and her
lover meeting their tragic death hand in hand, their youth and
beauty, their courage and fidelity, was constantly before her.
With all the purity and strength of her true heart, she loved
Dare; but she did not for a moment wish that he had taken a
different course. "It is just what I should have expected
from him," she said to Isabel. "If he had let poor Jack die
alone, I could never have loved him in the same way
again. But oh, Isabel, how miserable I am?"

"Sweet Antonia, I can only weep with you. Think of this; it
was on last Sunday morning. Do you remember how sad you

"I was in what seemed to be an unreasonable distress. I went
away to weep. My very thoughts were tired with their
sorrowful journeys up and down my mind, trying to find out
hope and only meeting despair. Oh, my brave Jack! Oh, my
dear Dare, what a cruel fate was your's!"

"And mi madre, Antonia? I fear, indeed, that she will lose
her senses. She will not speak to Thomas, nor even to me.
She has not said a prayer since Jack's death. She cannot
sleep. I am afraid of her, Antonia."

"To-night we are to move further east; perhaps the journey may
waken her out of this trance of grief. I can see that our
father is wretched about her; and Thomas wanders in and out of
the room as if his heart was broken."

"Thomas loved Jack. Luis told me that he sat with him and
Lopez, and that he sobbed like a woman. But, also, he means
a great revenge. None of the men slept last night. They
stood by the camp-fires talking. Sometimes I went to the door
and looked out. How awful they were in the blaze and
darkness! I think, indeed, they could have conquered Santa
Anna very easily."

Isabel had not misjudged the spirit of the camp. The news of
the massacre at Goliad was answered by a call for vengeance
that nothing but vengeance could satisfy. On the following
day Houston addressed his little army. He reminded them that
they were the children of the heroes who fought for liberty at
Yorktown, and Saratoga, and Bunker Hill. He made a soul-
stirring review of the events that had passed; he explained to
them their situation, and the designs of the enemy, and how he
proposed to meet them.

His voice, loud as a trumpet with a silver sound, inspired all
who heard it with courage. His large, bright visage, serious
but hopeful, seemed to sun the camp. "They live too long," he
cried, "who outlive freedom. And I promise you that you shall
have a full cup of vengeance. For every man that fell
fighting at the Alamo, for every one treacherously
slaughtered at Goliad, you shall be satisfied. If I seem
to be flying before the enemy now, it is for his destruction.
Three Mexican armies united, we cannot fight. We can fight
them singly. And every mile we make them follow us weakens
them, separates them, confuses them. The low lands of the
Brazos, the unfordable streams, the morasses, the pathless
woods, are in league with us. And we must place our women and
children in safety. Even if we have to carry them to General
Gaines and the United States troops, we must protect them,
first of all. I believe that we shall win our freedom with
our own hands; but if the worst come, and we have to fall back
to the Sabine, we shall find friends and backers there. I
know President Jackson, my old general, the unconquered
Christian Mars! Do you think he will desert his countrymen?
Never! If we should need help, he has provided it. And the
freedom of Texas is sure and certain. It is at hand. Prepare
to achieve it. We shall take up our march eastward in three

Ringing shouts answered the summons. The camp was in a tumult
of preparation immediately; Houston was lending his great
physical strength to the mechanical difficulties to be
encountered. A crowd of men was around. Suddenly a woman
touched him on the arm, and he straightened himself and looked
at her.

"You will kill Santa Anna, General? You will kill this fiend
who has escaped from hell! By the mother of Christ, I ask

"My dear madam!"

He was so moved with pity that he could not for a moment or
two give her any stronger assurance. For this suppliant,
pallid and frenzied with sorrow, was the once beautiful Senora
Worth. He looked at her hollow eyes, and shrunk form, and
worn clothing, and remembered with a pang, the lovely,
gracious lady clad in satin and lace, with a jewelled comb in
her fine hair and a jewelled fan in her beautiful hands, and
a wave of pity and anger passed like a flame over his face.

"By the memory of my own dear mother, Senora, I will make
Santa Anna pay the full price of his cruelties."

"Thank you, Senor"; and she glided away with her tearless eyes
fixed upon the curl of black hair in her open palm.



"But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow tones are heard.
The thanks of millions yet to be,"

"Who battled for the true and just,

"And grasps the skirts of happy chance,
And breasts the blows of circumstance.

"And lives to clutch the golden keys,
To mould a mighty state's decrees."

The memorial of wrongs, which resulted in the Declaration of
Texan Independence, was drawn up with statesmanlike ability by
David G. Burnett, a native of New Jersey, a man of great
learning, dignity, and experience; who, as early as 1806,
sailed from New York to join Miranda in his effort to give
Spanish America liberty. The paper need not be quoted here.
It gave the greatest prominence to the refusal of
trial by jury, the failure too establish a system of public
education, the tyranny of military law, the demand that the
colonists should give up arms necessary for their protection
or their sustenance, the inciting of the Indians to massacre
the American settlers, and the refusal of the right to worship
the Almighty according to the dictates of their own
consciences. Burnett was elected Governor, and Houston felt
that he could now give his whole attention to military

The seat of Government was removed to Harrisburg, a small
place on the Buffalo Bayou; and Houston was sure that this
change would cause Santa Anna to diverge from his route to
Nacogdoches. He dispatched orders to the men scattered up and
down the Brazos from Washington to Fort Bend--a distance of
eighty miles--to join him on the march to Harrisburg, and he
struck his own camp at the time he had specified.

In less than twenty-four hours they reached San Felipe, a
distance of twenty-eight miles. The suffering of the women
and children on that march can never be told. Acts of heroism
on the part of the men and of fortitude on the part of
the women that are almost incredible, marked every step of the
way. The Senora sat in her wagon, speechless, and lost in a
maze of melancholy anguish. She did not seem to heed want, or
cold, or wet, or the utter misery of her surroundings. Her
soul had concentrated all its consciousness upon the strand of
hair she continually smoothed through her fingers. Dr. Worth,
in his capacity of physician, accompanied the flying families,
and he was thus able to pay some attention to his distraught
wife; but she answered nothing he said to her. If she looked
at him, her eyes either flamed with anger, or expressed
something of the terror to be seen in the eyes of a hunted
animal. It was evident that her childish intelligence had
seized upon him as the most obvious cause of all her loss and

The condition of a wife so beloved almost broke his heart.
The tragic death of his dear son was not so hard to endure as
this living woe at his side. And when they reached San Felipe
and found it in ashes, a bitter cry of hopeless suffering came
from every woman's lips. They had thought to find there a
little food, and a day's sheltered resting-place. Even
Antonia's brave soul fainted, at the want and suffering around
her. She had gold, but it could not buy bread for the little
ones, weeping with hunger and terrified by the fretfulness of
mothers suffering the pangs of want and in the last stage of
human weariness.

It was on this night Houston wrote: "I will do the best I
can; but be assured the fame of Jackson could never compensate
me for my anxiety and mental pain." And yet, when he was told
that a blind woman and her seven children had been passed by,
and did not know the enemy were approaching, he delayed the
march until men had been sent back to bring them into safety.

During these days of grief and privation Isabel's nature grew
to its finest proportions. Her patient efforts to arouse her
mother, and her cheerfulness under the loss of all comforts,
were delightful. Besides which, she had an inexhaustible fund
of sympathy for the babies. She was never without one in her
arms. Three mothers, who had died on the road, left their
children to her care. And it was wonderful and pitiful to see
the delicately nurtured girl, making all kinds of efforts
to secure little necessaries for the children she had elected
to care for.

"The Holy Mother helps me," she said to, Antonia. "She makes
the poor little ones good, and I am not very tired."

At San Felipe they were joined by nearly one hundred men, who
also brought word that a fine company were advancing to their
aid from Mississippi, under General Quitman; and that two
large cannon, sent by the people of Cincinnati, were within a
few miles. And thus hoping and fearing, hungry and weary to
the death, they reached, on the 16th of April, after a march
of eighteen miles, a place called McArley's. They had come
over a boggy prairie under a cold rain, and were depressed
beyond expression. But there was a little shelter here for
the women and children to sleep under. The men camped in the
open. They had not a tent in their possession.

About ten o'clock that night, Doctor Worth was sitting with
his wife and children and Antonia in one corner of a room in
a deserted cabin. He had the Senora's wasted hand in his own,
and was talking to her. She sat in apathetic silence.
It was impossible to tell whether she heard or understood him.

"I wonder where Isabel is," said Antonia; and with the words
the girl entered the room. She had in her arms a little lad
of four years old, suffering the tortures of croup.

"Mi madre," she cried, "you know how to save him! He is
dying! Save him! Listen to me! The Holy Mother says so";
and she laid the child on her knee.

A change like a flash of light passed over the Senora's face.
"The poor little one!" Her motherly instincts crushed down
everything else. In the child's agony she forgot her own
grief. With glad hearts the doctor and Antonia encouraged her
in her good work, and when at length the sufferer had been
relieved and was sleeping against her breast, the Senora had
wept. The stone from her heart had been rolled away by a
little child. Her own selfish sorrow had been buried in a
wave of holy, unselfish maternal affection. The key to her
nature had been found, and henceforward Isabel brought to her
every suffering baby.

On the next day they marched ten miles through a heavy rain,
and arrived at Burnett's settlement. The women had
shelter, the men slept on the wet ground--took the prairie
without cover--with their arms in their hands. They knew they
were in the vicinity of Santa Anna, and all were ready to
answer in an instant the three taps of the drum, which was the
only instrument of martial music in the camp, and which was
never touched but by Houston.

Another day of eighteen miles brought them to within a short
distance of Harrisburg. Santa Anna had just been there, and
the place was in ashes. It was evident to all, now, that the
day and the hour was at hand. Houston first thought of the
two hundred families he had in charge, and they were quickly
taken over the bayou. When he had seen the last one in this
comparative safety, he uttered so fervent a "Thank God!" that
the men around unconsciously repeated it. The bayou though
narrow was twenty feet deep, and the very home of alligators.
There was only one small bridge in the vicinity. He intended
its destruction, and thus to make his little band and the
deep, dangerous stream a double barrier between the Mexicans
and the women and children beyond them. It was after
this duty he wrote:

"This morning we are in preparation to meet Santa Anna. We
will only be about seven hundred to march, besides the camp
guard. But we go to conquest. The troops are in fine
spirits, and now is the time for action. I leave the result
in the hands of an all-wise God, and I rely confidently in his

[5] Copy from Department of War of the Republic of Texas.

The women and children, under a competent guide, continued
their march eastward. But they were worn out. Many were
unable to put their feet to the ground. The wagons were
crowded with these helpless ones. The Senora had so far
recovered as to understand that within a few hours Santa Anna
and the Americans must meet. And, mentally led by Isabel's
passionate hatred, she now showed a vindictiveness beyond that
of any other woman.

She spent hours upon her knees, imploring the saints, and the
stars, and the angel Michael, to fight against Santa
Anna. To Isabel she whispered, "I have even informed the evil
one where he may be found. The wretch who ordered such
infamies! He poisons the air of the whole world as he goes
through it. I shall never be happy till I know that he is in
purgatory. He will be hated even there--and in a worse place,
too. Yes, it is pleasant to think of that! There will be
many accusers of him there. I shall comfort myself with
imagining his punishment. Isabel, do you believe with your
heart that Senor Houston and the Americans will be strong
enough to kill him?"

"Mi madre, I know it."

"Then do be a little delighted. How can you bear things with
such a provoking indifference? But as Luis is safe--"

"Chito! Chito! Do not be cruel, mi madre. I would stab
Santa Anna with my own hands--very slowly, I would stab him.
It would be so sweet. The Sisters told me of a woman in the
Holy Book, who smiled upon the one she hated, and gave him
milk and butter, and when he slept, drove a great nail through
his temples. I know how she felt. What a feast it would be,
to strike, and strike, and strike! I could drive ten,
twenty, fifty nails, into Santa Anna, when I think of Juan."

No one had before dared to breathe her boy's name in her
hearing. She herself had never spoken it. It fell upon the
ears of both women like a strain of forgotten music. They
looked at each other with eyes that stirred memory and love to
their sweetest depths. Almost in whispers they began to talk
of the dead boy, to recall how lovable, how charming, how
affectionate, how obedient he had been. Then the Senora broke
open the seals of her sorrow, and, with bitter reproaches on
herself, confessed that the kiss she had denied her Juan was
a load of anguish upon her heart that she could not bear.

"If I had only blessed him," she moaned; "I had saved him from
his misfortune. A mother's blessing is such a holy thing!
And he knelt at my knees, and begged it. I can see his eyes
in the darkness, when my eyes are shut. I can hear his voice
when I am asleep. Isabel, I shall never be happy till I see
Juan again, and say to him, `Forgive me, dear one, forgive me,
for I have suffered.'"

Both were weeping, but Isabel said, bravely: "I am sure
that Juan does not blame you now, mi madre. In the other
world one understands better. And remember, also, the letter
which he wrote you. His last thought was yours. He fell with
your name on his lips. These things are certain. And was it
not good of Dare to die with him? A friend like that! Out of
the tale-books who ever hears of such a thing? Antonia has
wept much. In the nights, when she thinks I am asleep, I hear
her. Have you seen that she has grown white and thin? I
think that my father is very unhappy about her."

"In an hour of mercy may the merciful One remember Dare Grant!
I will pray for his peace as long as I live. If he had left
Juan--if he had come back alone--I think indeed I should have
hated him."

"That was also the opinion of Antonia--she would never have
loved him the same. I am sure she would not have married

"My good Antonia! Go bring her to me, Isabel. I want to
comfort her. She has been so patient with me. I have felt
it--felt it every minute; and I have been stupid and selfish,
and have forgotten that she too was suffering."

The next day it was found impossible to move. The majority of
the women had husbands with the army. They had left their
wives, to secure everlasting freedom for their children; but,
even if Houston was victorious, they might be wounded and need
their help. To be near them in any case was the one thing
about which they were positive.

"We will not move another inch," said a brave little
Massachusetts woman, who had been the natural leader of this
domestic Exodus; "we will rest ourselves a little here, and if
the Mexicans want some extraordinary fighting they can have
it; especially, if they come meddling with us or our children.
My husband told me just to get out of reach of shot and shell
and wait there till we heard of the victory, and I am for
doing THAT, and no other thing."

Nearly two hundred women, bent upon their own way, are not to
be taken any other way; and the few old men who had been sent
to guide the party, and shoot what game was necessary for
their support, surrendered at once to this feminine mutiny.
Besides, the condition of the boys and girls between seven and
fourteen was really a deplorable one. They were too old
to be cared for as infants, and they had been obliged, with
the strength of children, to accomplish the labor of men and
women. Many were crippled in their feet, others were
continually on the point of swooning.

It was now the 20th of April. The Senora and her daughters
had been six weeks with the American army, exposed to all the
privations which such a life entailed. But the most obvious
of these privations were, perhaps, those which were most
easily borne. Women endure great calamities better than the
little annoyances affecting those wants which are part and
parcel of their sex or their caste. It was not the
necessaries so much as the luxuries of life which the Senora
missed--the changes of raiment--the privacy--the quiet--the
regularity of events.

During the whole of the 20th, there was almost a Sabbath
stillness. It was a warm, balmy day. The wearied children
were under the wagons and under the trees, sleeping the dead
sleep of extreme exhaustion. The mothers, wherever it was
possible, slept also. The guides were a little apart,
listening and smoking. If they spoke, it was only in
monosyllables. Rest was so much more needed than food that
little or no attempt was made to cook until near sundown.

At dawn next morning--nay, a little before dawn--when all was
chill, and gray, and misty, and there was not a sound but the
wailing of a sick child, the Senora touched her daughters.
Her voice was strange to them; her face solemnly happy.

eyes were shut, but I have seen him. He was a beautiful
shadow, with a great, shadowy host around him. He bent on me
such eyes! Holy Mother! their love was unfathomable, and I
heard his voice. It was far off, yet near. `Madre!' he said,
are words in my heart, but I cannot explain them to you. I
know what they mean. I will weep no more. They put my Juan's
body in the grave, but they have not buried HIM."

All day she was silent and full of thought, but her face was
smiling and hopeful, and she had the air of one waiting for
some assured happiness. About three o'clock in the
afternoon she stood up quickly and cried, "Hark! the battle
has begun!" Every one listened intently, and after a short
pause the oldest of the guides nodded. "I'd give the rest of
my life to be young again," he said, "just for three hours to
be young, and behind Houston!"


The words fell from the Senora's lips with a singular
significance. Her face and voice were the face and voice of
some glad diviner, triumphantly carrying her own augury.
Under a little grove of trees she walked until sunset, passing
the beads of her rosary through her fingers, and mechanically
whispering the prayers appointed. The act undoubtedly quieted
her, but Antonia knew that she lay awake all night, praying
for the living or the dead.

About ten o'clock of the morning of the 22d, a horseman was
seen coming toward the camp at full speed. Women and children
stood breathlessly waiting his approach. No one could speak.
If a child moved, the movement was angrily reproved. The
tension was too great to admit of a touch through any
sense. Some, unable to bear the extended strain, sank upon
the ground and covered their faces with their hands. But the
half-grown children, wan with privations and fever, ragged and
barefoot, watched steadily the horse and its rider, their
round, gleaming eyes full of wonder and fear.

"It is Thomas," said the Senora.

As he came near, and the beat of the horse's hoofs could be
heard, a cry almost inarticulate, not to be described, shrill
and agonizing in its intensity, broke simultaneously from the
anxious women. It was one cry from many hearts, all at the
last point of endurance. Thomas Worth understood it. He
flung his hat up, and answered with a joyful "Hurrah!"

When he reached the camp, every face was wet with tears, and
a crowd of faces was instantly round him. All the agonies of
war were on them. He raised himself in his stirrups and
shouted out:

"You may all go back to your homes! Santa Anna is completely
overthrown! The Mexican army is destroyed! There will be no
more fighting, no more fears. The independence of Texas
is won! No matter where you come from, YOU ARE ALL TEXANS
NOW! Victory! Freedom! Peace! My dear friends, go back to
your homes. Your husbands will join you at the San Jacinto."

Then he dismounted and sought his mother and sisters. With
joyful amazement he recognized the change in the Senora. "You
look like yourself, dear mother," he said. "Father sends you
this kiss. He would have brought it, but there are a few
wounded men to look after; and also I can ride quicker.
Antonia, cheer up my dear!--and Isabel, little darling, you
will not need to cry any more for your ribbons, and mantillas,
and pretty dresses."

"Thomas! You have not much feeling, I think. What I want to
know about, is Luis. You think of no one; and, as for my
dresses, and mantillas, I dare say Fray Ignatius has sold, or
burned them."

"Queridita! Was I cruel? Luis is well. He has not a
scratch. He was in the front of the battle, too."

"THAT, of course. Would you imagine that Luis would be at
the rear? He is General Houston's friend, and one lion
knows another lion."

"Pretty one, do not be angry with me. I will tell you some
good news. Luis is coming here, unless you go back at once
with me."

"We will go back with you, Thomas. I am full of impatience.
I remember my dear home. I will go to it, like a bird to its

In half an hour they had turned the heads of their horses
westward again. They went so rapidly, and were under so much
excitement, that sustained conversation was impossible. And
the Senora also fell into a sound sleep as soon as the first
homeward steps had been taken. Whatever had been made known
to her by Juan had received its fulfilment. She was assured
and happy. She slept till they reached the victorious camp,
and her husband awakened her with a kiss. She answered him
with her old childish impulsiveness. And among the first
words she said, were" "Roberto, my beloved, I have seen

He believed her. To his reverent soul there was nothing
incredible in the statement. The tie between a mother and her
child is not broken by death. Was it unlikely, then,
that Juan should have been conscious of, and touched by, the
mental agony which his untimely death had caused a mother so

And oh! how different was the return to the ground west of the
Buffalo Bayou. The very atmosphere was changed. A day or two
of spring had brought out the flowers and unfolded every green
thing. Doctor Worth took his family to a fine Mexican
marquee, and among other comforts the Senora found there the
chocolate she had so long craved, and some cigaritos of most
delicate flavor.

In a short time a luxurious meal was prepared by Antonia, and
just as they were sitting down to it, Luis and Lopez entered
the tent together. Isabel had expected the visit and prepared
for it as far as her limited wardrobe permitted. And her fine
hair, and bright eyes, her perfect face and form, and the
charming innocence of her manners, adorned her as the color
and perfume of the rose make the beauty of the flower. She
was so lovely that she could dare to banter Luis on the
splendor of his attire.

"It is evident, mi madre, that Luis has found at least
the baggage of a major-general. Such velvet and silver
embroidery! Such a silk sash! They are fit at the
very least for a sultan of the Turks."

He came to her crowned with victory. Like a hero he came, and
like a lover. They had a thousand pretty things to say to
each other; and a thousand blissful plans in prospect. Life
to them had never before been so well worth living.

Indeed, a wonderful exaltation possessed both Luis and Lopez.
The sombre, handsome face of the latter was transfigured by
it. He kissed the hand of the Senora, and then turned
to Antonia. Her pallor and emaciation shocked him. He could
only murmur, "Senorita!" But she saw the surprise, the
sorrow, the sympathy, yes, the adoring love in his heart, and
she was thankful to him for the reticence that relieved her
from special attention.

Doctor Worth made room for Lopez beside him. Luis sat by
Isabel, upon a pile of splendid military saddle-cloths. As
she sipped her chocolate, he smoked his cigarito in a lazy
fashion, and gave himself up with delight to that
foolishness of love-making which is often far wiser than the
very words of wisdom.

As yet the ladies had not spoken of the battle. It was won.
That great fact had been as much as they could bear at first.
The Senora wanted to sleep. Isabel wanted to see Luis. Only
Antonia was anxious for the details, and she had been busy in
preparing the respectable meal which her mother had so long
craved. The apparent indifference was natural enough. The
assurance of good fortune is always sufficient for the first
stage of reaction from anxiety. When the most urgent personal
feelings have been satisfied, then comes the demand for detail
and discussion. So now, as they sat together, the Senora

"No one has told me anything about the battle. Were you
present, Roberto?"

"I had that great honor, Maria. Lopez and Luis were with the
cavalry, and Ortiz also has had some satisfaction for all his

"Very good! But I am impatient for the story; so is Antonia;
and as for Isabel--bah! the little one is listening to another
story. One must excuse her. We expected the battle on the
twentieth, but no!"

"The enemy were expecting it also, and were in high spirits
and perfect preparation. Houston thought it prudent to dash
their enthusiasm by uncertainty and waiting. But at dawn, on
the twenty-first, we heard the three taps of the drum, and
seven hundred soldiers sprang to their feet as one man.
Houston had been watching all night. He spoke to us with a
tongue of fire and then, while we cooked and ate our
breakfast, he lay down and slept. The sun came up without a
cloud, and shone brightly on his face. He sprang to his feet
and said to Burleson, as he saluted him: `The sun of
Austerlitz has risen again.'

"Some one brought him a piece of cornbread and broiled beef.
He sat upon the grass and ate it--or rather upon the blue
hyacinths that covered the grass; they are red now. For many
weeks I had not seen his countenance so bright; all traces of
trouble and anxiety were gone. He called Deaf Smith--the
scout of scouts--and quickly ordered him to cut down the only
bridge across the bayou.

"At nine o'clock, General Cos joined Santa Anna with five
hundred and forty men, and for a moment I thought we had
made a mistake in not attacking the enemy before his
reinforcements came up. But the knowledge that Cos was
present, raised enthusiasm to the highest pitch. Our troops
remembered his parole at the Alamo, and the shameful manner in
which he had broken it; and there was not a man who did not
long to kill him for it.

"About three o'clock in the afternoon, Houston ordered the
attack. The seven hundred Americans were divided into three
bodies. I saw Houston in the very centre of the line, and I
have a confused memory of Milard and Lamar, Burleson and
Sherman and Wharton, in front of their divisions."

"Were the Mexicans expecting the attack, father?"

"They were in perfect order, Antonia; and when Sherman shouted
ALAMO!' it was taken up by the whole seven hundred, and such
a shout of vengeance mortal ears never heard before. The air
was full of it, and it appeared to be echoed and repeated by
innumerable voices.

"With this shout on our lips, we advanced to within sixty
paces of the Mexican lines, and then a storm of bullets went
flying over our heads. One ball, however, shattered Houston's
ankle, and another struck his horse in the breast. But both
man and horse were of the finest metal, and they pressed on
regardless of their wounds. We did not answer the volley
until we poured our lead into their very bosoms. No time for
reloading then. We clubbed our rifles till they broke, flung
them away and fired our pistols in the eyes of the enemy;
then, nothing else remaining, took our bowie-knives from our
belts and cut our way through the walls of living flesh."

Lopez rose at the words. It was impossible for him to express
himself sufficiently in an attitude of repose. His eyes
glowed like fire, his dark face was like a flame, he threw up
his hands as he cried:

"Nothing comparable to that charge with knives was ever made
on earth! If I had seen through the smoke and vapor the
mighty shade of Bowie leading it, I should not have been

"Perhaps indeed, he did lead it," said the Senora, in a solemn
voice. "I saw yes, by all the saints of God! I saw a
great host with my Juan. They stretched out vast, shadowy
arms--they made me FEEL what I can never tell. But I shall
honor Senor Houston. I shall say to him some day. `Senor,
the unseen battalions--the mighty dead as well as the mighty
living--won the battle.' Roberto, believe me, there are
things women understand better than wise men."

A little awe, a solemn silence, answered the earnest woman.
Luis and Isabel came close to her, and Isabel took her hand.
Lopez resumed the conversation. "I know Colonel Bowie," he
said. "In the last days at San Antonio I was often with him.
Brave as a lion, true to his friends, relentless to his foes,
was he. The knife he made was the expression of his character
in steel. It is a knife of extreme unction--the oil and
wafer are all that remains for the men who feels its edge.
For my part, I honor the Senora's thought. It is a great
satisfaction to me to hope that Bowie, and Crockett, and
Travis, and Fannin, and all their company were present at San
Jacinto. If the just God permitted it, 'twas a favor of
supreme justice."

"But then you are not alone in the thought, Lopez. I heard
General Sherman say, `Poor Fannin! He has been blamed for not
obeying Houston's orders. I THINK HE OBEYED THEM TO-DAY.'
At the moment I did not comprehend; but now it is plain to me.
He thought Fannin had been present, and perhaps it was this
belief made him so impetuous and invincible. He fought like
a spirit; one forgot that he was flesh and blood."

"Sherman is of a grand stock," said the doctor; descended from
the wise Roger Sherman; bred in Massachusetts and trained in
all the hardy virtues of her sons. It was from his lips the
battle-cry of `REMEMBER THE ALAMO!' sprang."

"But then, Roberto, nothing shall persuade me that my
countrymen are cowards."

"On the contrary, Maria, they kept their ground with great
courage. They were slain by hundreds just where they stood
when the battle began. Twenty-six officers and nearly seven
hundred men were left dead upon the field. But the flight was
still more terrible. Into the bayou horses and men rolled
down together. The deep black stream became red; it was
choked up with their dead bodies, while the mire and water of
the morass was literally bridged with the smothered mules and
horses and soldiers."

"The battle began at three o'clock; but we heard the firing
only for a very short time," said Antonia.

"After we reached their breastworks it lasted just eighteen
minutes. At four, the whole Mexican army was dead, or flying
in every direction, and the pursuit and slaughter continued
until twilight. Truly an unseen power made all our moves for
us. It was a military miracle, for our loss was only eight
killed and seventeen wounded."

"I am sorry Houston is among the wounded."

"His ankle-bone is shattered. He is suffering much. I was
with him when he left the field and I was delighted with his
patience and dignity. The men crowded around him. They
seized his bridle; they clasped his hands. `Have we done well
to-day, General? Are you satisfied with us?' they cried.

"`You have covered yourselves with glory,' he answered. `You
have written a grand page in American history this day,
boys. For it was not for fame nor for empire you fought; but
for your rights as freemen, for your homes and your faith.'

"The next moment he fell from his horse and we laid him down
at the foot of an oak tree. He had fainted from loss of blood
and the agony of his wound, combined with the superhuman
exertions and anxieties of the past week."

"But he is better now?"

"Yes; I dressed the wound as well as my appliances permitted;
but he will not be able to use his foot for some time. No one
slept that night. Weary as the men were, their excitement and
happiness were too great for the bonds of sleep. In the
morning the rich spoils of the enemy's camp were divided among
them. Houston refused any part in them. `My share of the
honor is sufficient,' he said. Yet the spoils were very
valuable ones to men who but a few hours before had nothing
but the clothing they wore and the arms they carried. Among
them were nearly one thousand stand of English muskets, three
hundred valuable mules, one hundred fine horses, provisions,
clothing, tents, and at least twelve thousand dollars in

"Were you on the field all the time, father?"

"I was near Houston from first to last. When he saw the
battle was won, he did his best to prevent needless slaughter.
But men on a battle-field like San Jacinto cannot be reasoned
with; after a certain point, they could not even be commanded.
The majority had some private revenge to satisfy after the
public welfare had been served. We met one old man in a
frenzy, covered with blood from his white beard to his boots,
his arms bare to his shoulders, his knife dripping from haft
to point."

"Houston looked at him, and said something about mercy and
valor. `General,' he said, `they killed two of my boys at
Goliad, and my brother at the Alamo. I'll not spare a Mexican
while I've the strength to kill one. I'm on the scent for
Santa Anna, and, by G--, if I find him, I will spare Texas and
you any more trouble with the brute.'"

At this moment Thomas Worth entered the marquee, and, in an
excited manner, said:

"Santa Anna is taken! Santa Anna is taken! "

"Taken!" cried the Senora in a passion.

"Taken! Is it possible the wretch is yet in this world? I
was assuring myself that he was in one not so comfortable.
Why is he not killed? It is an inconceivable insult to
humanity to let him live. Have you thought of your brother
Juan? Give me the knife in your belt, Thomas, if you cannot
use it."

"My dear mother--"

"Maria, my life! Thomas could not wisely kill so important a
prisoner. Texas wants him to secure her peace and
independence. The lives of all the Americans in Mexico may
depend upon his. Mere personal vengeance on him would be too
dear a satisfaction. On the battle-field he might have been
lawfully slain--and he was well looked for; but now, No."

"Holy Mary! might have been slain! He ought to have been
slain, a thousand times over."

"Luis, I wish that you had been a hero, and killed him. Then
all our life long, if you had said, `Isabel, I slew Santa
Anna,' I should have given you honor for it. I should be
obedient to your wishes for that deed."

"But my charming one, I prefer to be obedient to your wish.
Let us not think of the creature; he is but a dead dog."

The doctor turned to his son. "Thomas, tell us about the

"I was riding with a young lieutenant, called Sylvester, from
Cincinnati, and he saw a man hiding in the grass. He was in
coarsest clothing, but Sylvester noticed under it linen of
fine cambric. He said: `You are an officer, I perceive,
sir.' The man denied it, but when he could not escape, he
asked to be taken to General Houston. Sylvester tied him to
his bridle-rein, and we soon learned the truth; for as we
passed the Mexican prisoners they lifted their hats and said,
with a murmur of amazement, `El Presidente!'

"The news spread like wildfire. As we took him through the
camp he trembled at the looks and words that assailed him, and
prayed us continually, `for the love of God and the saints,'
not to let him be slain. We took him to Houston in safety.
Houston was resting on the ground, having had, as my father
knows, a night of great suffering. Santa Anna approached
him, and, laying his hand on his heart, said: `I am General
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of the Mexican
Republic, and I claim to be your prisoner of war.' Houston
pointed to a seat, and then sent for Santa Anna's secretary,
Almonte, who is also a prisoner, and who speaks English

"When Almonte came, he embraced Santa Anna, and addressing
Houston, said: `General, you are born to a great destiny.
You have conquered the Napoleon of the West. Generosity
becomes the brave and the fortunate.'

"Houston answered, sternly: `You should have remembered that
sentiment at the Alamo and at Goliad.'

"Then the following conversation occurred. Santa Anna said:

"`The Alamo was taken by storm. The usages of war permitted
the slaughter.'

"`We live in the nineteenth century, President. We profess to
be Christians.'

"`I have to remind you, General Houston, of the storming of
San Sebastian, Ciudad, Riego and Badajos, by the Duke of

"`That was in Spain. There may have been circumstances
demanding such cruelty.'

"`Permit me also to bring to your intelligence the battles at
Fort Meigs and at the river Raisin. American prisoners were
there given by English officers to their Indian allies for
torture and death. The English war cry at Sandusky was, "Give
the d-- Yankees no quarter."'

"`Sir, permit me to say, that you read history to a devilish
purpose, if you read it to search after brutal precedents. At
Goliad our men surrendered. They were promised safe-conduct
out of Texas. The massacre at Goliad was a ferocious crime.'

"`It was precisely the same thing as the wholesale murder of
Turkish prisoners at Jaffa by the great Napoleon. Also I had
the positive orders of my government to slay all Americans
found with arms.'

"`These men had given up their arms.'

"`All Americans--my government said so.'

"`Sir! YOU are the government of Mexico. You obeyed your
own orders.'

"`You will at least allow that, in the eyes of recognized
nations, your army was but a band of desperadoes, without
government, and fighting under no flag.'

"`Sir, you show a convenient ignorance. We have a government;
and as soon as we can lay down our rifles, we shall probably
be able to make a flag. I say to you, President Santa Anna,
that the butchery at Goliad was without an excuse and without
a parallel in civilized warfare. The men had capitulated to
General Urrea.'

"`Urrea had no right to receive their capitulation.' Then his
mild, handsome face became in a moment malicious and tigerish,
and he said with a cruel emphasis: `If I ever get Urrea into
my hands, I will execute him! I perceive, however, that I
have never understood the American character. For the few
thousands in the country, I thought my army an overwhelming
one. I underestimated their ability.'

"`I tell you, sir, an army of millions would be too small to
enslave ten thousand free-born anglo-Americans. Liberty is
our birthright. We have marched four days on an ear or two of
dry corn, and then fought a battle after it'; and Houston drew
from his pocket an ear, partially consumed, which had
been his ration. `We have had no tents, no music, no
uniforms, no flag, nothing to stimulate us but the
determination to submit to no wrong, and to have every one of
our rights.'

"Then he turned to Rusk and Sherman, and called a military
counsel about the prisoner, who was placed in an adjoining
tent under a sufficient guard. But the excitement is intense;
and the wretch is suffering, undoubtedly, all the mortal
terrors of being torn to pieces by an infuriated soldiery.
Houston will have to speak to them. They will be influenced
by no other man."

The discussion upon this event lasted until midnight. But the
ladies retired to their own tent much earlier. They knelt
together in grateful prayer, and then kissed each other upon
their knees. It was so sweet to lie down once more in safety;
to have the luxury of a tent, and a mattress, and pillow.

"Blessed be the hand of God! my children," said the Senora;
"and may the angels give us in our dreams grateful thoughts."

And then, in the dark, Isabel nestled her head in her sister's
breast, and whispered: "Forgive me for being happy,
sweet Antonia. Indeed, when I smiled on Luis, I was often
thinking of you. In my joy and triumph and love, I do not
forget that one great awful grave at Goliad. But a woman must
hide so many things; do you comprehend me, Antonia?"

"Querdita," she whispered, "I comprehend all. God has done
right. If His angel had said to me, `One must be taken and
the other left,' I should have prayed, `Spare then my little
sister all sorrow.' Good-night, my darling"; but as their
lips met, Isabel felt upon her cheeks the bitter rain which is
the price of accepted sacrifice; the rain, which afterwards
makes the heart soft, and fresh, and responsive to all the
airs of God.

At the same moment, the white curtains of the marquee, in
which the doctor sat talking with his son and Luis and Lopez,
were opened; and the face of Ortiz showed brown and glowing
between them.

"Senors," he said, as he advanced to them, "I am satisfied. I
have been appointed on the guard over Santa Anna. He has
recognized me. He has to obey my orders. Will you think of
that?" Then taking the doctor's hand he raised it to his lips.
"Senor, I owe this satisfaction to you. You have made me my
triumph. How shall I repay you?"

"By being merciful in the day of your power, Ortiz."

"I assure you that I am not so presumptuous, Senor. Mercy is
the right of the Divinity. It is beyond my capacity. Besides
which, it is not likely the Divinity will trouble himself
about Santa Anna. I have, therefore, to obey the orders of
the great, the illustrious Houston; which are, to prevent his
escape at all risks. May St. James give me the opportunity,
Senors! In this happy hour, a Dios!"

Then Lopez bent forward, and with a smile touched the doctor's
hand. "Will you now remember the words I said of Houston?
Did I not tell you, that success was with him? that on his
brow was the line of fortune? that he was the loadstone in the
breast of freedom?



"Where'er we roam,
Our first, best country ever is at home."

"What constitutes a state?
Men who their duties know;
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain.

"And sovereign law, that states collected will
O'er thrones and globes elate,
Sits empress; crowning good, repressing ill.

"This hand to tyrants ever sworn a foe,
For freedom only deals the deadly blow;
Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,
For gentle peace, in freedom's hallowed shade."

The vicinity of a great battle-field is a dreadful place after
the lapse of a day or two. The bayou and the morass had
provided sepulture for hundreds of slain Mexicans, but
hundreds still lay upon the open prairie. Over it, birds of
prey hung in dark clouds, heavy-winged, sad, sombre, and
silent. Nothing disturbed them. They took no heed
of the living. Armed with invincible talons and beaks tipped
with iron, they carried on ceaselessly that automatic
gluttony, which made them beneficent crucibles of living fire,
for all which would otherwise have corrupted the higher life.
And yet, though innocent as the elements, they were odious in
the sight of all.

Before daylight in the morning the Senora and her daughters
were ready to begin their homeward journey. The doctor could
not accompany them, General Houston and the wounded Americans
being dependent largely upon his care and skill. But Luis
Alveda and Lopez Navarro received an unlimited furlough; and
about a dozen Mexican prisoners of war belonging to San
Antonio were released on Navarro's assurance, and permitted to
travel with the party as camp servants. It was likely, also,
that they would be joined by a great many of the families who
had accompanied the great flight; for, on the preceding
evening, Houston had addressed the army, and told the
householders and farmers to go home and plant their corn.

Full of happiness, the ladies prepared for their journey.
A good army wagon, drawn by eight mules, and another wagon,
containing two tents and everything necessary for a
comfortable journey, was waiting for them. The doctor bid
them good-by with smiles and cheerful promises. They were
going home. The war was over. Independence was won. They
had the hope of permanent peace. The weather also was as the
weather may be among the fields of Eden. The heavens were
cloudless, the air sweet and fresh, and the wild honeysuckles,
with their spread hands full of scent, perfumed the prairies
mile after mile. The mules went knee-deep through warm
grasses; the grasses were like waving rainbows, with the
myriads of brightly tinted flowers.

Even Lopez was radiantly happy. Most unusual smiles lighted
up his handsome face, and he jingled the silver ornaments on
his bridle pleasantly to his thoughts as he cantered sometimes
a little in advance of the wagon, sometimes in the rear,
occasionally by its side; then, bending forward to lift his
hat to the ladies and inquire after their comfort.

Luis kept close to Isabel; and her lovely face and merry
chatter beguiled him from all other observations. A
little before noon they halted in a beautiful wood; a tent was
spread for the ladies, the animals were loosened from their
harness, and a luxurious meal laid upon the grass. Then the
siesta was taken, and at three o'clock travel was resumed
until near sunset, when the camp was made for the night. The
same order was followed every day, and the journey was in
every sense an easy and delightful one. The rides, cheered by
pleasant companionship, were not fatiguing; the impromptu
meals were keenly relished. And there were many sweet
opportunities for little strolls in the dim green woods, and
for delightful conversations, as they sat under the stars,
while the camp-fire blazed among the picturesque groups of
Mexicans playing monte around it.

On the third afternoon, the Senora and Isabel were taking a
siesta, but Antonia could not sleep. After one or two efforts
she was thoroughly aroused by the sound of voices which had
been very familiar to her in the black days of the flight--
those of a woman and her weary family of seven children. She
had helped her in many ways, and she still felt an
interest in her welfare. It appeared now to be assured.
Antonia found her camping in a little grove of mulberry trees.
She had recovered her health; her children were noisy and
happy, and her husband, a tall, athletic man, with a
determined eye and very courteous manners, was unharnessing
the mules from a fine Mexican wagon; part of the lawful spoils
of war. They, too, were going home: "back to the Brazos,"
said the woman affectionately; and we're in a considerable
hurry," she added, because it's about time to get the corn in.
Jake lays out to plant fifty acres this year. He says he can
go to planting now with an easy conscience; he 'lows he has
killed enough Mexicans to keep him quiet a spell."

They talked a short time together, and then Antonia walked
slowly into the deeper shadows of the wood. She found a wide
rock, under trees softly dimpling, pendulous, and tenderly
green; and she sat down in the sweet gloom, to think of the
beloved dead. She had often longed for some quiet spot,
where, alone with God and nature, she could, just for once,
give to her sorrow and her love a free expression.

Now the opportunity seemed to be hers. She began to recall
her whole acquaintance with Dare--their hours of pleasant
study--their sails upon the river--their intercourse by the
fireside--the most happy Sundays, when they walked in the
house of God together. In those days, what a blessed future
was before them! She recalled also the time of hope and
anxiety after the storming of the Alamo, and then the last
heroic act of his stainless life. She had felt sure that in
such a session with her own soul she would find the relief of
unrestrained and unchecked weeping. But we cannot kindle when
we will either the fire or the sensibility of the soul. She
could not weep; tears were far from her. Nay, more, she began
to feel as if tears were not needed for one who had found out
so beautiful, so unselfish, so divine a road to the grave.
Ought she not rather to rejoice that he had been so early
called and blest? To be glad for herself, too, that all her
life long she could keep the exquisite memory of a love so

In the drift of such thoughts, her white, handsome face
grew almost angelic. She sat motionless and let them come to
her; as if she were listening to the comforting angels.
For God has many ways of saying to the troubled soul: "Be at
peace"; and, certainly, Antonia had not anticipated the
calmness and resignation which forbid her the tears she had

At length, in that sweet melancholy which such a mental
condition induces, she rose to return to the camp. A few
yards nearer to it she saw Lopez sitting in a reverie as
profound as her own had been. He stood up to meet her. The
patience, the pathos, the exaltation in her face touched his
heart as no words could have done. He said, only: "Senorita,
if I knew how to comfort you!"

"I went away to think of the dead, Senor."

"I comprehend--but then, I wonder if the dead remember the

"In whatever dwelling-place of eternity the dear ones who died
at Goliad are, I am sure that they remember. Will the
emancipated soul be less faithful than the souls still
earthbound? Good souls could not even wish to forget--and
they were good."

"It will never be permitted me to know two souls more pure,
more faithful, more brave, Juan was as a brother to me,
and, BY MY SANTIGUADA![6] I count it among God's blessings
to have known a man like Senor Grant. A white soul he had
indeed; full of great nobilities!"

[6] Sign of the Cross.

Antonia looked at him gratefully. Tears uncalled-for sprang
into the eyes of both; they clasped hands and walked mutely
back to the camp together. For the sentiment which attends
the realization that all is over, is gathered silently into
the heart; it is too deep for words.

They found the camp already in that flurry of excitement
always attendant upon its rest and rising, and the Senora was
impatiently inquiring for her eldest daughter.

"GRACIOUS MARIA! Is that you, Antonia? At this hour we
are all your servants, I think. I, at least, have been
waiting upon your pleasure"; then perceiving the traces of
sorrow and emotion on her face, she added, with an
unreasonable querulousness: "I bless God when I see how He
has provided for women; giving them tears, when they have no
other employment for their time."

"Dearest mother, I am sorry to have kept you waiting. I hope
that you have forgotten nothing. Where is your mantilla? And
have you replenished your cigarito case? Is there water in
the wagon?"

"Nothing has been provided. Things most necessary are
forgotten, no doubt. When you neglect such matters, what less
could happen?"

But such little breezes of temper were soon over. The
influences surrounding, the prospects in advance, were too
exhilarating to permit of anything but passing shadows, and
after an easy, delightful journey, they reached at length the
charming vicinity of the romantic city of the sword. They had
but another five miles ride, and it was the Senora's pleasure
to take it at the hour of midnight. She did not wish her
return to be observed and talked about; she was in reality
very much mortified by the condition of her own and her
daughters' wardrobe.

Consequently, though they made their noon camp so near to
their journey's end, they rested there until San Antonio was
asleep and dreaming. It was the happiest rest of all the
delightful ones they had known. The knowledge that it
was the last stage of a journey so remarkable, made every one
attach a certain tender value to the hours never to come back
to the experiences never to be repeated.

The Senora was gay as a child; Isabel shared and accentuated
her enthusiasms; Luis was expressing his happiness in a
variety of songs; now glorifying his love in some pretty
romance or serenade, again musically assuring liberty, or
Texas, that he would be delighted at any moment to lay down
his life for their sakes. Antonia was quite as much excited
in her own way, which was naturally a much quieter way; and
Lopez sat under a great pecan-tree, smoking his cigarito with
placid smiles and admiring glances at every one.

As the sun set, the full moon rose as it rises nowhere but
over Texan or Asian plains; golden, glorious, seeming to fill
the whole heaven and the whole earth with an unspeakable
radiance; softly glowing, exquisitely, magically beautifying.
The commonest thing under it was transfigured into something
lovely, fantastic, fairylike. And the dullest souls swelled
and rose like the tides under its influence.

Antonia took from their stores the best they had, and a
luxurious supper was spread upon the grass. The meal might
have been one of ten courses, it occupied so long; it provoked
so much mirth, such a rippling stream of reminiscence;
finally, such a sweetly solemn retrospect of the sorrows and
mercies and triumphs of the campaign they had shared together.
This latter feeling soon dominated all others.

The delicious light, the sensuous atmosphere, the white
turrets and towers of the city, shining on the horizon like
some mystical, heavenly city in dreams--the murmur of its far-
off life, more audible to the spiritual than the natural
ears--the dark figures of the camp servants, lying in groups
or quietly shuffling their cards, were all elements conducive
to a grave yet happy seriousness.

No one intended to sleep. They were to rest in the moonlight
until the hour of eleven, and then make their last stage.
This night they instinctively kept close together. The Senora
had mentally reached that point where it was not unpleasant to
talk over troubles, and to amplify especially her own share of

"But, Holy Maria!" she said; "how unnecessary are such
sorrows! I am never, in the least, any better for them. When
the Divine Majesty condescends to give me the sunshine of
prosperity, I am always exceedingly religious. On the
contrary when I am in sorrow, I do not feel inclined to pray.
That is precisely natural. Can the blessed Mother expect
thanks, when she gives her children only suffering and tears?"

"God gives us whatever is best for us, dear mother."

"Speak, when you have learned wisdom, Antonia. I shall always
believe that trouble comes from the devil; indeed, Fray
Ignatius once told me of a holy man that had one grief upon
the heels of the other, and it was the devil who was sent with
all of them. I have myself no doubt that he opened the gates
of hell for Santa Anna to return to earth and do a little work
for him."

"This thought makes me tremble," said Lopez; "souls that have
become angelic, can become evil. The degraded seraphim, whom
we call the devil, was once the companion of archangels, and
stood with Michael, and Raphael, and Gabriel, in the presence
of the Holy One. Is there sin in heaven? Can we be
tempted even there?"

The inquiry went in different ways to each heart, but no one
answered it. There were even a few moments of constrained,
conscious silence, which Luis happily ended, by chanting
softly a verse from the hymn of the Three Angels:

"'WHO LIKE THE LORD?' thunders Michael the Chief.
Raphael, `THE CURE OF GOD,' bringeth relief,
And, as at Nazareth, prophet of peace,
Gabriel, `THE LIGHT OF GOD,' bringeth release."

The noble syllables floated outward and upward, and Antonia
and Lopez softly intoned the last line together, letting them
fall slowly and softly into the sensitive atmosphere.

"And as for trouble coming from the devil," said Lopez, "I
think, Senora, that Fray Ignatius is wrong. Trouble is not
the worst thing that can come to a man or woman. On the
contrary, our Lady of Prosperity is said to do, them far
greater harm. Let me repeat to you what the ever wise Don
Francisco de Quevedo Villegas says about her:

"'Where is the virtue prosperity has not staggered? Where the
folly she has not augmented? She takes no counsel, she
fears no punishment. She furnishes matter for scandal,
experience, and for story. How many souls, innocent while
poor, have fallen into sin and impiety as soon as they drank
of the enchanted cup of prosperity? Men that can bear
prosperity, are for heaven; even wise devils leave them alone.
As for the one who persecuted and beggared job, how foolish
and impertinent he was! If he had understood humanity, he
would have multiplied his riches, and possessed him of health,
and honors, and pleasures: THAT is the trial it cannot

"Oh, to be sure! Quevedo was a wise man. But even wise men
don't know everything. However, WE ARE GOING HOME! I
thank the saints for this immeasurable favor. It is a
prosperity that is good for women. I will stake my Santiguida
on that! And will you observe that it is Sunday again? Just
before sunset I heard the vesper bells clearly. Remember that
we left San Antonio on Sunday also! I have always heard that
Sunday was a good day to begin a journey on."

"If it had been on a Friday--"

"Friday! Indeed, Luis, I would not have gone one hundred
yards upon a Friday. How can you suppose what is so
inconceivably foolish?"

"I think much of the right hour to undertake anything," said
Lopez. "The first movements are not in the hands of men; and
we are subject to more influences than we comprehend. There
is a ripe time for events, as well as for fruits: but the hour
depends upon forces which we cannot control by giving to them
the name of the day; and our sage Quevedo has made a pleasant
mockery thereon. It is at my lips, if your ears care to hear

"Quevedo, again! No, it is not proper, Senor. Every day has
its duties and its favors, Senor. That man actually said that
fasting on Friday was not a special means of grace! Quevedo
was almost a heretic. I have heard Fray Ignatius say so. He
did not approve of him."

"Mi madre, let us hear what is to be said. Rachela told me,
I must fast on a Friday, and cut my nails on a Wednesday, and
never cut them on a Sunday, and take medicine on a Monday, and
look after money on Tuesday, and pay calls and give gifts on
Saturday; very well, I do not think much of Rachela; just
suppose, for the passing of the time, that we listen to what
Quevedo says."

"Here are four against me; well, then, proceed, Senor."

"`On Monday,' says the wise and witty one, buy all that you
can meet with, and take all that is to be had for nothing. On
Tuesday, receive all that is given you; for it is Mar's day,
and he will look on you with an ill aspect if you refuse the
first proffer and have not a second. On Wednesday, ask of all
you meet; perhaps Mercury may give some one vanity enough to
grant you something. Thursday is a good day to believe
nothing that flatterers say. Friday it is well to shun
creditors. On Saturday it is well to lie long abed, to walk
at your ease, to eat a good dinner, and to wear comfortable
shoes; because Saturn is old, and loves his ease.'"

"And Sunday, Senor?"

"Pardon, Senorita Isabel, Sunday comes not into a pasquinade.
Senora, let me tell you that it draws near to eleven. If we
leave now we shall reach San Antonio in time to say the prayer
of gratitude before the blessed day of the seven is past."

"Holy Mary! that is what I should desire. Come, my children;
I thank you, Senor, for such a blessed memory. My heart is
indeed full of joy and thankfulness."

A slight disappointment, however, awaited the Senora. Without
asking any questions, without taking anything into
consideration, perhaps, indeed, because she feared to ask or
consider, she had assumed that she would immediately re-enter
her own home. With the unreason of a child, she had insisted
upon expecting that somehow, or by some not explained efforts,
she would find her house precisely as she left it. Little had
been said of its occupancy by Fray Ignatius and his brothers;
perhaps she did not quite believe in the statement; perhaps
she expected Fray Ignatius to respect the arrangements which
he knew had been so dear to her.

It was therefore a trial--indeed, something of a shock--when
she found they were to be the guests of Navarro, and when it
was made clear to her that her own home had been dismantled
and rearranged and was still in the possession of the Church.
But, with a child's unreason, she had also a sweet ductility
of nature; she was easily persuaded, easily pleased, and
quite ready to console herself with the assurance that it only
needed Doctor Worth's presence and personal influence to drive
away all intruders upon her rights.

In the mean time she was contented. The finest goods in San
Antonio were sent early on the following morning to her room;
and the selection of three entire wardrobes gave her abundance
of delightful employment. She almost wept with joy as she
passed the fine lawns and rich silks through her worn fingers.
And when she could cast off forever her garment of heaviness
and of weariful wanderings, and array herself in the splendid
robes which she wore with such grace and pleasure, she was an
honestly grateful woman.

Then she permitted Lopez to let her old acquaintances know of
her presence in her native city; and she was comforted when
she began to receive calls from the Senora Alveda, and judge
and Senora Valdez, and many other of her friends and
associates. They encouraged her to talk of her sufferings and
her great loss. Even the judge thought it worth his while,
now, to conciliate the simple little woman. He had
wisdom enough to perceive that Mexican domination was over,
and that the American influence of Doctor Worth was likely to
be of service to him.

The Senora found herself a heroine; more than that, she became
aware that for some reason those who had once patronized her
were now disposed to pay her a kind of court. But this did
not lessen her satisfaction; she suspected no motive but real
kindness, for she had that innate rectitude which has always
confidence in the honesty of others.

There was now full reconciliation between Luis and his mother
and uncles; and his betrothal to Isabel was acknowledged with
all the customary rejoicings and complimentary calls and
receptions. Life quickly began to fall back into its well-
defined grooves; if there was anything unusual, every one made
an effort to pass it by without notice. The city was
conspicuously in this mind. American rule was accepted in the
quiescent temper with which men and women accept weather which
may or may not be agreeable, but which is known to be
unavoidable. Americans were coming by hundreds and by
thousands: and those Mexicans who could not make up their
minds to become Texans, and to assimilate with the new
elements sure to predominate, were quietly breaking up their
homes and transferring their interests across the Rio Grande.

They were not missed, even for a day. Some American was ready
to step into their place, and the pushing, progressive spirit
of the race was soon evident in the hearty way with which they
set to work, not only to repair what war had destroyed, but to
inaugurate those movements which are always among their first
necessities. Ministers, physicians, teachers, mechanics of
all kinds, were soon at work; churches were built, Bibles were
publicly sold, or given away; schools were advertised; the
city was changing its tone as easily as a woman changes the
fashion of her dress. Santa Anna had said truly enough to
Houston, that the Texans had no flag to fight under; but the
young Republic very soon flung her ensign out among those of
the gray nations of the world. It floated above the twice
glorious Alamo: a bright blue standard, with one white star in
the centre. It was run up at sunrise one morning. The
city was watching for it; and when it suddenly flew out in
their sight, it was greeted with the most triumphant
enthusiasm. The lonely star in its field of blue touched
every heart's chivalry. It said to them, I stand alone! I
have no sister states to encourage and help me! I rely only
on the brave hearts and strong arms that I set me here!" And
they answered the silent appeal with a cheer that promised
everything; with a love that even then began to wonder if
there were not a place for such a glorious star in the grand
constellation under which most of them had been born.

A short time after their return, the Senora had a letter from
her husband, saying that he was going to New Orleans with
General Houston, whose wound was in a dangerous condition.
Thomas Worth had been appointed to an important post in the
civil government; and his labors, like those of all the public
men of Texas at that date, were continuous and Herculean. It
was impossible for him to leave them; but the doctor assured
his wife that he would return as soon as he had placed Houston
in the hands of skilful surgeons; and he asked her, until
then, to be as happy as her circumstances permitted.

She was quite willing to obey the request. Not naturally
inclined to worry, she found many sources of content and
pleasure, until the early days of June brought back to her the
husband she so truly loved, and with him the promise of a
return to her own home. Indeed the difficulties in the way of
this return had vanished ere they were to meet. Fray Ignatius
had convinced himself that his short lease had fully expired;
and when Dr. Worth went armed with the legal process necessary
to resume his rights, he found his enemy had already
surrendered them. The house was empty. Nothing of its old
splendor remained. Every one of its properties had been
scattered. The poor Senora walked through the desolate rooms
with a heartache.

"It was precisely in this spot that the sideboard stood,
Roberto!--the sideboard that my cousin Johar presented to me.
It came from the City of Mexico, and there was not another
like it. I shall regret it all my life."

"Maria, my dearest, it might have been worse. The silver
which adorned it is safe. Those r--monks did not find
out its hiding-place, and I bought you a far more beautiful
sideboard in New Orleans; the very newest style, Maria."

"Roberto! Roberto! How happy you make me! To be sure my
cousin Johar's sideboard was already shabby--and to have a
sideboard from New Orleans, that, indeed, is something to talk

"Besides, which, dearest one, I bought new furniture for the
parlors, and for your own apartments; also for Antonia's and
Isabel's rooms. Indeed, Maria, I thought it best to provide
afresh for the whole house."

"How wonderful! No wife in San Antonio has a husband so good.
I will never condescend to speak of you when other women talk
of their husbands. New furniture for my whole house! The
thing is inconceivably charming. But when, Roberto, will
these things arrive? Is there danger on the road they are
coming? Might not some one take them away? I shall not be
able to sleep until I am sure they are safe."

"I chartered a schooner in New Orleans, and came with them to
the Bay of Espiritu Santo. There I saw them placed upon
wagons, and only left them after the customs had been paid in
the interior--sixty miles away. You may hire servants at once
to prepare the rooms: the furniture will be here in about
three days."

"I am the happiest woman in the world, Roberto! "And she
really felt herself to be so. Thoughtful love could have
devised nothing more likely to bridge pleasantly and surely
over the transition between the past and the coming life.
Every fresh piece of furniture unpacked was a new wonder and
a new delight. With her satin skirts tucked daintily clear of
soil, and her mantilla wrapped around her head and shoulders,
she went from room to room, interesting herself in every strip
of carpet, and every yard of drapery. Her delight was
infectious. The doctor smiled to find himself comparing
shades, and gravely considering the arrangement of chairs and

But how was it possible for so loving a husband and father to
avoid sharing the pleasure he had provided? And Isabel was
even more excited than her mother. All this grandeur had a
double meaning to her; it would reflect honor upon the
betrothal receptions which would be given for Luis and
herself--"amber satin and white lace is exactly what I should
have desired, Antonia," she said delightedly. "How
exceedingly suitable it will be to me! And those delicious
chintzes and dimities for our bedrooms! Did you ever conceive
of things so beautiful?"

Antonia was quite ready to echo her delight. Housekeeping and
homemaking, in all its ways, was her lovable talent. It was
really Antonia who saw all the plans and the desires of the
Senora thoroughly carried out. It was her clever fingers and
natural taste which gave to every room that air of comfort and
refinement which all felt and admired, but which seemed to
elude their power to imitate.

On the fourth of July the doctor and his family ate together
their first dinner in their renovated home. The day was one
that he never forgot, and he was glad to link it with a
domestic occurence so happy and so fortunate.

Sometimes silently, sometimes with a few words to his boys, he
had always, on this festival, drank his glass of fine Xeres to
the honor and glory of the land he loved. This day he
spoke her name proudly. He recalled the wonders of her past
progress; he anticipated the blessings which she would bring
to Texas; he said, as he lifted the glass in his hand, and let
the happy tears flow down his browned and thinned face:

"My wife and daughters, I believe I shall live to see the lone
star set in the glorious assemblage of her sister stars! I
shall live to say, I dwell in San Antonio, which is the
loveliest city in the loveliest State of the American Union.
For, dear ones, I was born an American citizen, and I ask this
favor of God, that I may also die an American citizen."

"MI ROBERTO, when you die I shall not long survive you.
And now that the house is made so beautiful! With so much new
furniture! How can you speak of dying?"

"And, my dear father, remember how you have toiled and suffered

"Because, Antonia, I would have Texas go free into a union of
free States. This was the hope of Houston. `We can have
help,' he often said to his little army; "a word will call
help from Nacogdoches,--but we will emancipate ourselves.
If we go into the American States, we will go as equals; we
will go as men who have won the right to say: LET US DWELL UNDER



"And through thee I believe
In the noble and great, who are gone."

"Yes! I believe that there lived
Others like thee in the past.
Not like the men of the crowd.
Who all around me to-day,
Bluster, or cringe, and make life
Hideous, and arid, and vile,
But souls temper'd with fire,
Fervent, heroic, and good;
Helpers, and friends of mankind."

"Our armor now may rust, our idle scimitars
Hang by our sides for ornament, not use.
Children shall beat our atabals and drums;
And all the noisy trades of war no more
Shall wake the peaceful morn."

As the years go on they bring many changes--changes that come
as naturally as the seasons--that tend as naturally to
anticipated growth and decay--that scarcely startle the
subjects of them, till a lengthened-out period of
time discloses their vitality and extent. Between the ages of
twenty and thirty, ten years do not seem very destructive to
life. The woman at eighteen, and twenty-eight, if changed, is
usually ripened and improved; the man at thirty, finer and
more mature than he was at twenty. But when this same period
is placed to women and men who are either approaching fifty,
or have passed it, the change is distinctly felt.

It was even confessed by the Senora one exquisite morning in
the beginning of March, though the sun was shining warmly, and
the flowers blooming, and the birds singing, and all nature
rejoicing, as though it was the first season of creation.

"I am far from being as gay and strong as I wish to be,
Roberto," she, said; "and today, consider what a company there
is coming! And if General Houston is to be added to it, I
shall be as weary as I shall be happy."

"He is the simplest of men; a cup of coffee, a bit of steak--"

"SAN BLAS! That is how you talk! But is, it possible to
receive him like a common mortal? He is a hero, and, besides
that, among hidalgos de casa Solar" (gentlemen of known

"Well, then, you have servants, Maria, my dear one."

"Servants! Bah! Of what use are they, Roberto, since they
also have got hold of American ideas?"

"Isabel and Antonia will be here."

"Let me only enumerate to you, Roberto. Thomas and his wife
and four children arrived last night. You may at this moment
hear the little Maria crying. I dare say Pepita is washing
the child, and using soap which is very disagreeable. I have
always admired the wife of Thomas, but I think she is too fond
of her own way with the children. I give her advices which
she does not take."

"They are her own children, dearest."

"Holy Maria! They are also my own grandchildren."

"Well, well, we must remember that Abbie is a little Puritan.
She believes in bringing up children strictly, and it is good;
for Thomas would spoil them. As for Isabel's boys--"

"God be blessed! Isabel's boys are entirely charming. They
have been corrected at my own knee. There are not more
beautifully behaved boys in the christened world."

"And Antonia's little Christina?"

"She is already an angel. Ah, Roberto! If I had only died
when I was as innocent as that dear one!"

"I am thankful you did not die, Maria. How dark my life would
have been without you!"

"Beloved, then I am glad I am not in the kingdom of heaven;
though, if one dies like Christina, one escapes purgatory.
Roberto, when I rise I am very stiff: I think, indeed, I have
some rheumatism."

"That is not unlikely; and also Maria, you have now some

"Let that be confessed; but the good God knows that I lost all
my youth in that awful flight of 'thirty-six."

"Maria, we all left or lost something on that dark journey.
To-day, we shall recover its full value."

"To be sure--that is what is said--we shall see. Will you now
send Dolores to me? I must arrange my toilet with some haste;
and tell me, Roberto, what dress is your preference; it
is your eyes, beloved, I wish to please."

Robert Worth was not too old to feel charmed and touched by
the compliment. And he was not a thoughtless or churlish
husband; he knew how to repay such a wifely compliment, and it
was a pleasant sight to see the aged companions standing hand
in hand before the handsome suits which Dolores had spread out
for her mistress to examine.

He looked at the purple and the black and the white robes, and
then he looked at the face beside him. It was faded, and had
lost its oval shape; but its coloring was yet beautiful, and
the large, dark eyes tender and bright below the snow-white
hair. After a few minutes' consideration, he touched, gently,
a robe of white satin. "Put this on, Maria," he said, "and
your white mantilla, and your best jewels. The occasion will
excuse the utmost splendor."

The choice delighted her. She had really wished to wear it,
and some one's judgment to endorse her own inclinations was
all that was necessary to confirm her wish. Dolores found her
in the most delightful temper. She sat before the glass,
smiling and talking, while her maid piled high the snowy
plaits and curls and crowned them with the jewelled comb, only
worn on very great festivals. Her form was still good, and
the white satin fell gracefully from her throat to her small
feet. Besides, whatever of loss or gain had marred her once
fine proportions, was entirely concealed by the beautifying,
graceful, veiling folds of her mantilla. There was the flash
of diamonds, and the moonlight glimmer of pearls beneath this
flimsy covering; and at her belt a few white lilies. She was
exceedingly pleased with her own appearance, and her
satisfaction gave an ease and a sense of authority to her air
and movements which was charming.

"By Maria's grace, I am a very pretty old lady," she said to
herself; "and I think I shall I astonish my daughter-in-law a
little. One is afraid of these calm, cool, northern women,
but I feel to-day that even Abbie must be proud of me."

Indeed, her entrance into the large parlor made quite a
sensation. She could see the quiet pleasure in her husband's
face; and her son Thomas, after one glance, put down the
child on his knee, and went to meet her. "Mi madre," he
whispered with a kiss. He had not used the pretty Spanish
word for years, but in the sudden rush of admiring tenderness,
his boyish heart came back to him, and quite unconsciously he
used his boyhood's speech. After this, she was not the least
in awe of her wise daughter-in-law. She touched her cheek
kindly, and asked her about the children, and was immeasurably
delighted when Abbie said: "How beautiful you are to-day! I
wish I had your likeness to send to Boston. Robert, come here
and look at your grandmother! I want you to remember, as long
as you live, how grandmother looks to-day." And Robert--a
fine lad eight years old, accustomed to implicit obedience--
put down the book he was reading, planted himself squarely
before the Senora, and looked at her attentively, as if she
was a lesson to be learned.

"Well then, Roberto?"

"I am glad I have such a pretty grandmother. Will you let me
stand on tiptoes and kiss you?" and the cool, calm northern
woman's eyes filled with tears, as she brought her younger
children, one by one, for the Senora's caress. The
doctor and his son watched this pretty domestic drama with
hearts full of pride and happiness; and before it had lost one
particle of its beauty and feeling, the door was flung open
with a vigor which made every one turn to it with expectation.
A splendid little lad sprang in, and without any consideration
for satin and lace, clung to the Senora. He was her image: a
true Yturbide, young as he was; beautiful and haughty as his
Castilian ancestors.

Isabel and Luis followed; Isabel more lovely than ever, richly
dressed in American fashion, full of pretty enthusiasms,
vivacious, charming, and quite at her ease. She had been
married eight years. She was a fashionable woman, and an

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