Without a second's hesitation, Ramona answered, "Majella. Majella Phail is my name."
She pronounced the word "Phail," slowly. It was new to her. She had never seen it written; as it lingered on her lips, the Father, to whom also it was a new word, misunderstood it, took it to be in two syllables, and so wrote it.
The last step was taken in the disappearance of Ramona. How should any one, searching in after years, find any trace of Ramona Ortegna, in the woman married under the name of "Majella Fayeel"?
"No, no! Put up your money, son," said Father Gaspara, as Alessandro began to undo the knots of the handkerchief in which his gold was tied. "Put up your money. I'll take no money from a Temecula Indian. I would the Church had money to give you. Where are you going now?"
"Ah! San Pasquale! The head man there has the old pueblo paper," said Father Gaspara. "He was showing it to me the other day. That will, it may be, save you there. But do not trust to it, son. Buy yourself a piece of land as the white man buys his. Trust to nothing."
Alessandro looked anxiously in the Father's face. "How is that, Father?" he said. "I do not know."
"Well, their rules be thick as the crabs here on the beach," replied Father Gaspara; "and, faith, they appear to me to be backwards of motion also, like the crabs: but the lawyers understand. When you have picked out your land, and have the money, come to me, and I will go with you and see that you are not cheated in the buying, so far as I can tell; but I myself am at my wit's ends with their devices. Farewell, son! Farewell, daughter!" he said, rising from his chair. Hunger was again getting the better of sympathy in Father Gaspara, and as he sat down to his long-deferred supper, the Indian couple faded from his mind; but after supper was over, as he sat smoking his pipe on the veranda, they returned again, and lingered in his thoughts,-- lingered strangely, it seemed to him; he could not shake off the impression that there was something unusual about the woman. "I shall hear of them again, some day," he thought. And he thought rightly.
AFTER leaving Father Gaspara's door, Alessandro and Ramona rode slowly through the now deserted plaza, and turned northward, on the river road, leaving the old Presidio walls on their right. The river was low, and they forded it without difficulty.
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