Part 4 out of 4
"All right," answered Mrs. Saltillo. "Don't wait, dear. I'll
follow. Run away, now."
The visitor, who was evidently still nervous, was glad to hurry
away, and I heard her retreating step on the staircase. The
rattling of the door began again, and at last it seemed to yield to
a stronger pull, and opened sufficiently to allow Mrs. Saltillo to
squeeze through. I withdrew behind my door. I fancied that it
creaked as she passed, as if, noticing it ajar, she had laid an
inquiring hand upon it. I waited, but she was not followed by any
one. I wondered if I had been mistaken. I was going to the bell-
rope to summon assistance to move my own door when a sudden
instinct withheld me. If there was any one still in that room, he
might come from it just as the servant answered my call, and a
public discovery would be unavoidable. I was right. In another
instant the figure of a man, whose face I could not discern,
slipped out of the room, passed my door, and went stealthily down
Convinced of this, I resolved not to call public attention to my
being in my own room at the time of the incident; so I did not
summon any one, but, redoubling my efforts, I at last opened the
door sufficiently to pass out, and at once joined the other guests
in the garden. Already, with characteristic recklessness and
audacity, the earthquake was made light of; the only dictate of
prudence had resolved itself into a hilarious proposal to "camp
out" in the woods all night, and have a "torch-light picnic." Even
then preparations were being made for carrying tents, blankets, and
pillows to the adjacent redwoods; dinner and supper, cooked at
campfires, were to be served there on stumps of trees and fallen
logs. The convulsion of nature had been used as an excuse for one
of the wildest freaks of extravagance that Carquinez Springs had
ever known. Perhaps that quick sense of humor which dominates the
American male in exigencies of this kind kept the extravagances
from being merely bizarre and grotesque, and it was presently known
that the hotel and its menage were to be appropriately burlesqued
by some of the guests, who, attired as Indians, would personate the
staff, from the oracular hotel proprietor himself down to the smart
During these arrangements I had a chance of drawing near Mrs.
Saltillo. I fancied she gave a slight start as she recognized me;
but her greetings were given with her usual precision. "Have you
been here long?" she asked.
"I have only just come," I replied laughingly; "in time for the
"Ah, you felt it, then? I was telling these ladies that our
eminent geologist, Professor Dobbs, assured me that these seismic
disturbances in California have a very remote centre, and are
"It must be very satisfactory to have the support of geology at
such a moment," I could not help saying, though I had not the
slightest idea whose the figure was that I had seen, nor, indeed,
had I recognized it among the guests. She did not seem to detect
any significance in my speech, and I added: "And where is Enriquez?
He would enjoy this proposed picnic to-night."
"Enriquez is at Salvatierra Rancho, which he lately bought from his
"And the baby? Surely, here is a chance for you to hang him up on
a redwood tonight, in his cradle."
"The boy," said Mrs. Saltillo quickly, "is no longer in his cradle;
he has passed the pupa state, and is now free to develop his own
perfected limbs. He is with his father. I do not approve of
children being submitted to the indiscriminate attentions of a
hotel. I am here myself only for that supply of ozone indicated
for brain exhaustion."
She looked so pretty and prim in her gray dress, so like her old
correct self, that I could not think of anything but her mental
attitude, which did not, by the way, seem much like mental
depression. Yet I was aware that I was getting no information of
Enriquez's condition or affairs, unless the whole story told by the
broker was an exaggeration. I did not, however, dare to ask more
"You remember Professor Dobbs?" she asked abruptly.
This recalled a suspicion awakened by my vision, so suddenly that I
felt myself blushing. She did not seem to notice it, and was
"I do remember him. Is he here?"
"He is; that is what makes it so particularly unfortunate for me.
You see, after that affair of the board, and Enriquez's withdrawal,
although Enriquez may have been a little precipitate in his
energetic way, I naturally took my husband's part in public; for
although we preserve our own independence inviolable, we believe in
absolute confederation as against society."
"But what has Professor Dobbs to do with the board?" I interrupted.
"The professor was scientific and geological adviser to the board,
and it was upon some report or suggestion of his that Enriquez took
issue, against the sentiment of the board. It was a principle
affecting Enriquez's Spanish sense of honor."
"Do tell me all about it," I said eagerly; "I am very anxious to
know the truth."
"As I was not present at the time," said Mrs. Saltillo, rebuking my
eagerness with a gentle frigidity, "I am unable to do so. Anything
else would be mere hearsay, and more or less ex parte. I do not
approve of gossip."
"But what did Enriquez tell you? You surely know that."
"THAT, being purely confidential, as between husband and wife,--
perhaps I should say partner and partner,--of course you do not
expect me to disclose. Enough that I was satisfied with it. I
should not have spoken to you about it at all, but that, through
myself and Enriquez, you are an acquaintance of the professor's,
and I might save you the awkwardness of presenting yourself with
him. Otherwise, although you are a friend of Enriquez, it need not
affect your acquaintance with the professor."
"Hang the professor!" I ejaculated. "I don't care a rap for HIM."
"Then I differ with you," said Mrs. Saltillo, with precision. "He
is distinctly an able man, and one cannot but miss the contact of
his original mind and his liberal teachings."
Here she was joined by one of the ladies, and I lounged away. I
dare say it was very mean and very illogical, but the unsatisfactory
character of this interview made me revert again to the singular
revelation I had seen a few hours before. I looked anxiously for
Professor Dobbs; but when I did meet him, with an indifferent nod of
recognition, I found I could by no means identify him with the
figure of her mysterious companion. And why should I suspect him at
all, in the face of Mrs. Saltillo's confessed avoidance of him?
Who, then, could it have been? I had seen them but an instant, in
the opening and the shutting of a door. It was merely the shadowy
bulk of a man that flitted past my door, after all. Could I have
imagined the whole thing? Were my perceptive faculties--just
aroused from slumber, too insufficiently clear to be relied upon?
Would I not have laughed had Urania, or even Enriquez himself, told
me such a story?
As I reentered the hotel the clerk handed me a telegram. "There's
been a pretty big shake all over the country," he said eagerly.
"Everybody is getting news and inquiries from their friends.
Anything fresh?" He paused interrogatively as I tore open the
envelope. The dispatch had been redirected from the office of the
"Daily Excelsior." It was dated, "Salvatierra Rancho," and
contained a single line: "Come and see your old uncle 'Ennery."
There was nothing in the wording of the message that was unlike
Enriquez's usual light-hearted levity, but the fact that he should
have TELEGRAPHED it to me struck me uneasily. That I should have
received it at the hotel where his wife and Professor Dobbs were
both staying, and where I had had such a singular experience,
seemed to me more than a mere coincidence. An instinct that the
message was something personal to Enriquez and myself kept me from
imparting it to Mrs. Saltillo. After worrying half the night in
our bizarre camp in the redwoods, in the midst of a restless
festivity which was scarcely the repose I had been seeking at
Carquinez Springs, I resolved to leave the next day for Salvatierra
Rancho. I remembered the rancho,--a low, golden-brown, adobe-
walled quadrangle, sleeping like some monstrous ruminant in a
hollow of the Contra Costa Range. I recalled, in the midst of this
noisy picnic, the slumberous coolness of its long corridors and
soundless courtyard, and hailed it as a relief. The telegram was a
sufficient excuse for my abrupt departure. In the morning I left,
but without again seeing either Mrs. Saltillo or the professor.
It was late the next afternoon when I rode through the canada that
led to the rancho. I confess my thoughts were somewhat gloomy, in
spite of my escape from the noisy hotel; but this was due to the
sombre scenery through which I had just ridden, and the monotonous
russet of the leagues of wild oats. As I approached the rancho, I
saw that Enriquez had made no attempt to modernize the old casa,
and that even the garden was left in its lawless native luxuriance,
while the rude tiled sheds near the walled corral contained the old
farming implements, unchanged for a century, even to the ox-carts,
the wheels of which were made of a single block of wood. A few
peons, in striped shirts and velvet jackets, were sunning
themselves against a wall, and near them hung a half-drained
pellejo, or goatskin water-bag. The air of absolute shiftlessness
must have been repellent to Mrs. Saltillo's orderly precision, and
for a moment I pitied her. But it was equally inconsistent with
Enriquez's enthusiastic ideas of American progress, and the
extravagant designs he had often imparted to me of the improvements
he would make when he had a fortune. I was feeling uneasy again,
when I suddenly heard the rapid clack of unshod hoofs on a rocky
trail that joined my own. At the same instant a horseman dashed
past me at full speed. I had barely time to swerve my own horse
aside to avoid a collision, yet in that brief moment I recognized
the figure of Enriquez. But his face I should have scarcely known.
It was hard and fixed. His upper lip and thin, penciled mustache
were drawn up over his teeth, which were like a white gash in his
dark face. He turned into the courtyard of the rancho. I put
spurs to my horse, and followed, in nervous expectation. He turned
in his saddle as I entered. But the next moment he bounded from
his horse, and, before I could dismount, flew to my side and
absolutely lifted me from the saddle to embrace me. It was the old
Enriquez again; his face seemed to have utterly changed in that
"This is all very well, old chap," I said; "but do you know that
you nearly ran me down, just now, with that infernal half-broken
mustang? Do you usually charge the casa at that speed?"
"Pardon, my leetle brother! But here you shall slip up. The
mustang is not HALF-broken; he is not broke at all! Look at his
hoof--never have a shoe been there. For myself--attend me! When I
ride alone, I think mooch; when I think mooch I think fast; my idea
he go like a cannon-ball! Consequent, if I ride not thees horse
like the cannon-ball, my thought HE arrive first, and where are
you? You get left! Believe me that I fly thees horse, thees old
Mexican plug, and your de' uncle 'Ennery and his leetle old idea
arrive all the same time, and on the instant."
It WAS the old Enriquez! I perfectly understood his extravagant
speech and illustration, and yet for the first time I wondered if
"Tak'-a-drink!" he said, all in one word. "You shall possess the
old Bourbon or the rhum from the Santa Cruz! Name your poison,
He had already dragged me up the steps from the patio to the
veranda, and seated me before a small round table still covered
with the chocolate equipage of the morning. A little dried-up old
Indian woman took it away, and brought the spirits and glasses.
"Mirar the leetle old one!" said Enriquez, with unflinching
gravity. "Consider her, Pancho, to the bloosh! She is not truly
an Aztec, but she is of years one hundred and one, and LIFS!
Possibly she haf not the beauty which ravishes, which devastates.
But she shall attent you to the hot water, to the bath. Thus shall
you be protect, my leetle brother, from scandal."
"Enriquez," I burst out suddenly, "tell me about yourself. Why did
you leave the El Bolero board? What was the row about?"
Enriquez's eyes for a moment glittered; then they danced as before.
"Ah," he said, "you have heard?"
"Something; but I want to know the truth from you."
He lighted a cigarette, lifted himself backward into a grass
hammock, on which he sat, swinging his feet. Then, pointing to
another hammock, he said: "Tranquillize yourself there. I will
relate; but, truly, it ees nothing."
He took a long pull at his cigarette, and for a few moments seemed
quietly to exude smoke from his eyes, ears, nose, even his finger-
ends--everywhere, in fact, but his mouth. That and his mustache
remained fixed. Then he said slowly, flicking away the ashes with
his little finger:--
"First you understand, friend Pancho, that I make no row. The
other themself make the row, the shindig. They make the dance, the
howl, the snap of the finger, the oath, the 'Helen blazes,' the
'Wot the devil,' the 'That be d--d,' the bad language; they
themselves finger the revolver, advance the bowie-knife, throw off
the coat, square off, and say 'Come on.' I remain as you see me
now, little brother--tranquil." He lighted another cigarette, made
his position more comfortable in the hammock, and resumed: "The
Professor Dobbs, who is the geologian of the company, made a report
for which he got two thousand dollar. But thees report--look you,
friend Pancho--he is not good for the mine. For in the hole in the
ground the Professor Dobbs have found a 'hoss.'"
"A what?" I asked.
"A hoss," repeated Enriquez, with infinite gravity. "But not,
leetle Pancho, the hoss that run, the hoss that buck-jump, but what
the miner call a 'hoss,' a something that rear up in the vein and
stop him. You pick around the hoss; you pick under him; sometimes
you find the vein, sometimes you do not. The hoss rear up, and
remain! Eet ees not good for the mine. The board say, 'D--- the
hoss!' 'Get rid of the hoss.' 'Chuck out the hoss.' Then they
talk together, and one say to the Professor Dobbs: 'Eef you cannot
thees hoss remove from the mine, you can take him out of the
report.' He look to me, thees professor. I see nothing; I remain
tranquil. Then the board say: 'Thees report with the hoss in him
is worth two thousand dollar, but WITHOUT the hoss he is worth five
thousand dollar. For the stockholder is frighted of the rearing
hoss. It is of a necessity that the stockholder should remain
tranquil. Without the hoss the report is good; the stock shall
errise; the director shall sell out, and leave the stockholder the
hoss to play with.' The professor he say, 'Al-right;' he scratch
out the hoss, sign his name, and get a check for three thousand
"Then I errise--so!" He got up from the hammock, suiting the
action to the word, and during the rest of his narrative, I
honestly believe, assumed the same attitude and deliberate
intonation he had exhibited at the board. I could even fancy I saw
the reckless, cynical faces of his brother directors turned upon
his grim, impassive features. "I am tranquil. I smoke my
cigarette. I say that for three hundred year my family have held
the land of thees mine; that it pass from father to son, and from
son to son; it pass by gift, it pass by grant, but that NEVARRE
THERE PASS A LIE WITH IT! I say it was a gift by a Spanish
Christian king to a Christian hidalgo for the spread of the gospel,
and not for the cheat and the swindle! I say that this mine was
worked by the slave, and by the mule, by the ass, but never by the
cheat and swindler. I say that if they have struck the hoss in the
mine, they have struck a hoss IN THE LAND, a Spanish hoss; a hoss
that have no bridle worth five thousand dollar in his mouth, but a
hoss to rear, and a hoss that cannot be struck out by a Yankee
geologian; and that hoss is Enriquez Saltillo!"
He paused, and laid aside his cigarette.
"Then they say, 'Dry up,' and 'Sell out;' and the great bankers
say, 'Name your own price for your stock, and resign.' And I say,
'There is not enough gold in your bank, in your San Francisco, in
the mines of California, that shall buy a Spanish gentleman. When
I leave, I leave the stock at my back; I shall take it, nevarre!
Then the banker he say, 'And you will go and blab, I suppose?' And
then, Pancho, I smile, I pick up my mustache--so! and I say:
'Pardon, senor, you haf mistake, The Saltillo haf for three hundred
year no stain, no blot upon him. Eet is not now--the last of the
race--who shall confess that he haf sit at a board of disgrace and
dishonor!' And then it is that the band begin to play, and the
animals stand on their hind leg and waltz, and behold, the row he
I ran over to him, and fairly hugged him. But he put me aside with
a gentle and philosophical calm. "Ah, eet is nothing, Pancho. It
is, believe me, all the same a hundred years to come, and where are
you, then? The earth he turn round, and then come el temblor, the
earthquake, and there you are! Bah! eet is not of the board that I
have asked you to come; it is something else I would tell you. Go
and wash yourself of thees journey, my leetle brother, as I have"--
looking at his narrow, brown, well-bred hands--"wash myself of the
board. Be very careful of the leetle old woman, Pancho; do not
wink to her of the eye! Consider, my leetle brother, for one
hundred and one year he haf been as a nun, a saint! Disturb not
Yes, it was the old Enriquez; but he seemed graver,--if I could use
that word of one of such persistent gravity; only his gravity
heretofore had suggested a certain irony rather than a melancholy
which I now fancied I detected. And what was this "something else"
he was to "tell me later"? Did it refer to Mrs. Saltillo? I had
purposely waited for him to speak of her, before I should say
anything of my visit to Carquinez Springs. I hurried through my
ablutions in the hot water, brought in a bronze jar on the head of
the centenarian handmaid; and even while I was smiling over
Enriquez's caution regarding this aged Ruth, I felt I was getting
nervous to hear his news.
I found him in his sitting-room, or study,--a long, low apartment
with small, deep windows like embrasures in the outer adobe wall,
but glazed in lightly upon the veranda. He was sitting quite
abstractedly, with a pen in his hand, before a table, on which a
number of sealed envelopes were lying. He looked SO formal and
methodical for Enriquez.
"You like the old casa, Pancho?" he said in reply to my praise of
its studious and monastic gloom. "Well, my leetle brother, some
day that is fair--who knows?--it may be at your disposicion; not of
our politeness, but of a truth, friend Pancho. For, if I leave it
to my wife"--it was the first time he had spoken of her--"for my
leetle child," he added quickly, "I shall put in a bond, an
obligacion, that my friend Pancho shall come and go as he will."
"The Saltillos are a long-lived race," I laughed. "I shall be a
gray-haired man, with a house and family of my own by that time."
But I did not like the way he had spoken.
"Quien sabe?" he only said, dismissing the question with the
national gesture. After a moment he added: "I shall tell you
something that is strrange, so strrange that you shall say, like
the banker say, 'Thees Enriquez, he ees off his head; he ees a
crank, a lunatico;' but it ees a FACT; believe me, I have said!"
He rose, and, going to the end of the room, opened a door. It
showed a pretty little room, femininely arranged in Mrs. Saltillo's
refined taste. "Eet is pretty; eet is the room of my wife. Bueno!
attend me now." He closed the door, and walked back to the table.
"I have sit here and write when the earthquake arrive. I have feel
the shock, the grind of the walls on themselves, the tremor, the
stagger, and--that--door--he swing open!"
"The door?" I said, with a smile that I felt was ghastly.
"Comprehend me," he said quickly; "it ees not THAT which ees
strrange. The wall lift, the lock slip, the door he fell open; it
is frequent; it comes so ever when the earthquake come. But eet is
not my wife's room I see; it is ANOTHER ROOM, a room I know not.
My wife Urania, she stand there, of a fear, of a tremble; she
grasp, she cling to someone. The earth shake again; the door shut.
I jump from my table; I shake and tumble to the door. I fling him
open. Maravilloso! it is the room of my wife again. She is NOT
there; it is empty; it is nothing!"
I felt myself turning hot and cold by turns. I was horrified, and--
and I blundered. "And who was the other figure?" I gasped.
"Who?" repeated Enriquez, with a pause, a fixed look at me, and a
sublime gesture. "Who SHOULD it be, but myself, Enriquez Saltillo?"
A terrible premonition that this was a chivalrous LIE, that it was
NOT himself he had seen, but that our two visions were identical,
came upon me. "After all," I said, with a fixed smile, "if you
could imagine you saw your wife, you could easily imagine you saw
yourself too. In the shock of the moment you thought of HER
naturally, for then she would as naturally seek your protection.
You have written for news of her?"
"No," said Enriquez quietly.
"No?" I repeated amazedly.
"You understand, Pancho! Eef it was the trick of my eyes, why
should I affright her for the thing that is not? If it is the
truth, and it arrive to ME, as a warning, why shall I affright her
before it come?"
"Before WHAT comes? What is it a warning of?" I asked impetuously.
"That we shall be separated! That I go, and she do not."
To my surprise, his dancing eyes had a slight film over them. "I
don't understand you," I said awkwardly.
"Your head is not of a level, my Pancho. Thees earthquake he
remain for only ten seconds, and he fling open the door. If he
remain for twenty seconds, he fling open the wall, the hoose
toomble, and your friend Enriquez is feenish."
"Nonsense!" I said. "Professor--I mean the geologists--say that
the centre of disturbance of these Californian earthquakes is some
far-away point in the Pacific and there never will be any serious
"Ah, the geologist," said Enriquez gravely, "understand the hoss
that rear in the mine, and the five thousand dollar, believe me, no
more. He haf lif here three year. My family haf lif here three
hundred. My grandfather saw the earth swallow the church of San
I laughed, until, looking up, I was shocked to see for the first
time that his dancing eyes were moist and shining. But almost
instantly he jumped up, and declared that I had not seen the garden
and the corral, and, linking his arm in mine, swept me like a
whirlwind into the patio. For an hour or two he was in his old
invincible spirits. I was glad I had said nothing of my visit to
Carquinez Springs and of seeing his wife; I determined to avoid it
as long as possible; and as he did not again refer to her, except
in the past, it was not difficult. At last he infected me with his
extravagance, and for a while I forgot even the strangeness of his
conduct and his confidences. We walked and talked together as of
old. I understood and enjoyed him perfectly, and it was not
strange that in the end I began to believe that this strange
revelation was a bit of his extravagant acting, got up to amuse me.
The coincidence of his story with my own experience was not, after
all, such a wonderful thing, considering what must have been the
nervous and mental disturbance produced by the earthquake. We
dined together, attended only by Pedro, an old half-caste body-
servant. It was easy to see that the household was carried on
economically, and, from a word or two casually dropped by Enriquez,
it appeared that the rancho and a small sum of money were all that
he retained from his former fortune when he left the El Bolero.
The stock he kept intact, refusing to take the dividend upon it
until that collapse of the company should occur which he
confidently predicted, when he would make good the swindled
stockholders. I had no reason to doubt his perfect faith in this.
The next morning we were up early for a breezy gallop over the
three square miles of Enriquez's estate. I was astounded, when I
descended to the patio, to find Enriquez already mounted, and
carrying before him, astride of the horn of his saddle, a small
child,--the identical papoose of my memorable first visit. But the
boy was no longer swathed and bandaged, although, for security, his
plump little body was engirt by the same sash that encircled his
father's own waist. I felt a stirring of self-reproach; I had
forgotten all about him! To my suggestion that the exercise might
be fatiguing to him, Enriquez shrugged his shoulders:--
"Believe me, no! He is ever with me when I go on the pasear. He
is not too yonge. For he shall learn 'to rride, to shoot, and to
speak the truth,' even as the Persian chile. Eet ees all I can gif
Nevertheless, I think the boy enjoyed it, and I knew he was safe
with such an accomplished horseman as his father. Indeed, it was a
fine sight to see them both careering over the broad plain,
Enriquez with jingling spurs and whirling riata, and the boy, with
a face as composed as his father's, and his tiny hand grasping the
end of the flapping rein with a touch scarcely lighter than the
skillful rider's own. It was a lovely morning; though warm and
still, there was a faint haze--a rare thing in that climate--on the
distant range. The sun-baked soil, arid and thirsty from the long
summer drought, and cracked into long fissures, broke into puffs of
dust, with a slight detonation like a pistol-shot, at each stroke
of our pounding hoofs. Suddenly my horse swerved in full gallop,
almost lost his footing, "broke," and halted with braced fore feet,
trembling in every limb. I heard a shout from Enriquez at the same
instant, and saw that he too had halted about a hundred paces from
me, with his hand uplifted in warning, and between us a long chasm
in the dry earth, extending across the whole field. But the
trembling of the horse continued until it communicated itself to
me. I was shaking, too, and, looking about for the cause, when I
beheld the most weird and remarkable spectacle I had ever
witnessed. The whole llano, or plain, stretching to the horizon-
line, was DISTINCTLY UNDULATING! The faint haze of the hills was
repeated over its surface, as if a dust had arisen from some
grinding displacement of the soil. I threw myself from my horse,
but the next moment was fain to cling to him, as I felt the thrill
under my very feet. Then there was a pause, and I lifted my head
to look for Enriquez. He was nowhere to be seen! With a terrible
recollection of the fissure that had yawned between us, I sprang to
the saddle again, and spurred the frightened beast toward that
point. BUT IT WAS GONE, TOO! I rode backward and forward
repeatedly along the line where I had seen it only a moment before.
The plain lay compact and uninterrupted, without a crack or
fissure. The dusty haze that had arisen had passed as mysteriously
away; the clear outline of the valley returned; the great field was
Presently I was aware of the sound of galloping hoofs. I remembered
then--what I had at first forgotten--that a few moments before we
had crossed an arroyo, or dried bed of a stream, depressed below the
level of the field. How foolish that I had not remembered! He had
evidently sought that refuge; there were his returning hoofs. I
galloped toward it, but only to meet a frightened vaquero, who had
taken that avenue of escape to the rancho.
"Did you see Don Enriquez?" I asked impatiently.
I saw that the man's terror was extreme, and his eyes were staring
in their sockets. He hastily crossed himself:--
"Ah, God, yes!"
"Where is he?" I demanded.
He looked at me with staring, vacant eyes, and, pointing to the
ground, said in Spanish: "He has returned to the land of his
We searched for him that day and the next, when the country was
aroused and his neighbors joined in a quest that proved useless.
Neither he nor his innocent burden was ever seen again of men.
Whether he had been engulfed by mischance in some unsuspected
yawning chasm in that brief moment, or had fulfilled his own
prophecy by deliberately erasing himself for some purpose known
only to himself, no one ever knew. His country-people shook their
heads and said "it was like a Saltillo." And the few among his
retainers who knew him and loved him, whispered still more
ominously: "He will yet return to his land to confound the
Yet the widow of Enriquez did NOT marry Professor Dobbs. But she
too disappeared from California, and years afterward I was told
that she was well known to the ingenuous Parisians as the usual
wealthy widow "from South America."