At the first words of Ramona's sentence, Alessandro threw his arms around her again. As she said "love," his whole frame shook with emotion.
"My Senorita!" he whispered, "my Senorita! how shall I tell you! How shall I tell you!"
"What is there to tell, Alessandro?" she said. "I am afraid of nothing, now that you are here, and not dead, as I thought."
But Alessandro did not speak. It seemed impossible. At last, straining her closer to his breast, he cried: "Dearest Senorita! I feel as if I should die when I tell you,-- I have no home; my father is dead; my people are driven out of their village. I am only a beggar now, Senorita; like those you used to feed and pity in Los Angeles convent!" As he spoke the last words, he reeled, and, supporting himself against the tree, added: "I am not strong, Senorita; we have been starving."
Ramona's face did not reassure him. Even in the dusk he could see its look of incredulous horror. He misread it.
"I only came to look at you once more," he continued. "I will go now. May the saints bless you, my Senorita, always. I think the Virgin sent you to me to-night. I should never have seen your face if you had not come."
While he was speaking, Ramona had buried her face in his bosom. Lifting it now, she said, "Did you mean to leave me to think you were dead, Alessandro?"
"I thought that the news about our village must have reached you," he said, "and that you would know I had no home, and could not come, to seem to remind you of what you had said. Oh, Senorita, it was little enough I had before to give you! I don't know how I dared to believe that you could come to be with me; but I loved you so much, I had thought of many things I could do; and --" lowering his voice and speaking almost sullenly -- "it is the saints, I believe, who have punished me thus for having resolved to leave my people, and take all I had for myself and you. Now they have left me nothing;" and he groaned.
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