"Ten thousand things would not! Nothing could!" said Ramona. "I know he is dead. Can't you send a messenger, Felipe, and see?"
The Senora was walking toward them. She overheard the last words. Looking toward Felipe, no more regarding Ramona than if she had not been within sight or hearing, the Senora said, "It seems to me that would not be quite consistent with dignity. How does it strike you, Felipe' If you thought best, we might spare a man as soon as the vintage is done, I suppose."
Ramona walked away. The vintage would not be over for a week. There were several vineyards yet which had not been touched; every hand on the place was hard at work, picking the grapes, treading them out in tubs, emptying the juice into stretched raw-hides swung from cross-beams in a long shed. In the willow copse the brandy-still was in full blast; it took one man to watch it; this was Juan Can's favorite work; for reasons of his own he liked best to do it alone; and now that he could no longer tread grapes in the tubs, he had a better chance for uninterrupted work at the still. "No ill but has its good," he thought sometimes, as he lay comfortably stretched out in the shade, smoking his pipe day after day, and breathing the fumes of the fiery brandy.
As Ramona disappeared in the doorway, the Senora, coming close to Felipe, and laying her hand on his arm, said in a confidential tone, nodding her head in the direction in which Ramona had vanished: "She looks badly, Felipe. I don't know what we can do. We surely cannot send to summon back a lover we do not wish her to marry, can we? It is very perplexing. Most unfortunate, every way. What do you think, my son?" There was almost a diabolical art in the manner in which the Senora could, by a single phrase or question, plant in a person's mind the precise idea she wished him to think he had originated himself.
"No; of course we can't send for him," replied Felipe, angrily; "unless it is to send him to marry her; I wish he had never set foot on the place. I am sure I don't know what to do. Ramona's looks frighten me. I believe she will die."
"I cannot wish Alessandro had never set foot on the place," said the Senora, gently, "for I feel that I owe your life to him, my Felipe; and he is not to blame for Ramona's conduct. You need not fear her dying, She may be ill; but people do not die of love like hers for Alessandro."
"Of what kind do they die, mother?" asked Felipe, impatiently.
The Senora looked reproachfully at him. "Not often of any," she said; "but certainly not of a sudden passion for a person in every way beneath them, in position, in education, in all points which are essential to congeniality of tastes or association of life."
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