"Yes," he replied; "I know it. My father has told me. He was with Father Peyri at the place, when General Moreno was alive. Then all was his to the sea,-- all that land we rode over the second night, Majella."
"Yes," she said, "all to the sea! That is what the Senora is ever saying: 'To the sea!' Oh, the beautiful sea! Can we behold it from San Pasquale, Alessandro?"
"No, my Majella, it is too far. San Pasquale is in the valley; it has hills all around it like walls. But it is good. Majella will love it; and I will build a house, Majella. All the people will help me. That is the way with our people. In two days it will be done. But it will be a poor place for my Majella," he said sadly. Alessandro's heart was ill at ease. Truly a strange bride's journey was this; but Ramona felt no fear.
"No place can be so poor that I do not choose it, if you are there, rather than the most beautiful place in the world where you are not, Alessandro," she said.
"But my Majella loves things that are beautiful," said Alessandro. "She has lived like a queen."
"Oh, Alessandro," merrily laughed Ramona, "how little you know of the way queens live! Nothing was fine at the Senora Moreno's, only comfortable; and any house you will build, I can make as comfortable as that was; it is nothing but trouble to have one so large as the Senora's. Margarita used to be tired to death, sweeping all those rooms in which nobody lived except the blessed old San Luis Rey saints. Alessandro, if we could have had just one statue, either Saint Francis or the Madonna, to bring back to our house! That is what I would like better than all other things in the world. It is beautiful to sleep with the Madonna close to your bed. She speaks often to you in dreams."
Alessandro fixed serious, questioning eyes on Ramona as she uttered these words. When she spoke like this, he felt indeed as if a being of some other sphere had come to dwell by his side. "I cannot find how to feel towards the saints as you do, my Majella," he said. "I am afraid of them. It must be because they love you, and do not love us. That is what I believe, Majella. I believe they are displeased with us, and no longer make mention of us in heaven. That is what the Fathers taught that the saints were ever doing,-- praying to God for us, and to the Virgin and Jesus. It is not possible, you see, that they could have been praying for us, and yet such things have happened, as happened in Temecula. I do not know how it is my people have displeased them."
"I think Father Salvierderra would say that it is a sin to be afraid of the saints, Alessandro," replied Ramona, earnestly. "He has often told me that it was a sin to be unhappy; and that withheld me many times from being wretched because the Senora would not love me. And, Alessandro," she went on, growing more and more fervent in tone, "even if nothing but misfortune comes to people, that does not prove that the saints do not love them; for when the saints were on earth themselves, look what they suffered: martyrs they were, almost all of them. Look at what holy Saint Catharine endured, and the blessed Saint Agnes. It is not by what happens to us here in this world that we can tell if the saints love us, or if we will see the Blessed Virgin."
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