"That is very near Temecula," he said. "We must go into Temecula, dear Majella. I must go to Mr. Hartsel's. He is friendly. He will give me money for my father's violin. If it were not for that, I would never go near the place again."
"I would like to see it, Alessandro," she said gently.
"Oh, no, no, Majella!" he cried; "you would not. It is terrible; the houses all unroofed,-- all but my father's and Jose's. They were shingled roofs; they will be just the same; all the rest are only walls. Antonio's mother threw hers down; I don't know how the old woman ever had the strength; they said she was like a fury. She said nobody should ever live in those walls again; and she took a pole, and made a great hole in one side, and then she ran Antonio's wagon against it with all her might, till it fell in. No, Majella. It will be dreadful."
"Wouldn't you like to go into the graveyard again, Alessandro?" she said timidly.
"The saints forbid!" he said solemnly. "I think it would make me a murderer to stand in that graveyard! If I had not you, my Majel, I should kill some white man when I came out. Oh, do not speak of it!" he added, after a moment's silence; "it takes the strength all out of my blood again, Majella. It feels as if I should die!"
And the word "Temecula" was not mentioned between them again until dusk the next day, when, as they were riding slowly along between low, wooded hills, they suddenly came to an opening, a green, marshy place, with a little thread of trickling water, at which their horses stopped, and drank thirstily; and Ramona, looking ahead, saw lights twinkling in the distance. "Lights, Alessandro, lights!" she exclaimed, pointing to them.
"Yes, Majella," he replied, "it is Temecula," and springing off his pony he came to her side, and putting both his hands on hers, said: "I have been thinking, for a long way back, Carita, what is to be done here. I do not know. What does Majella think will be wise? If men have been sent out to pursue us, they may be at Hartsel's. His store is the place where everybody stops, everybody goes. I dare not have you go there, Majella; yet I must go. The only way I can get any money is from Mr. Hartsel."
"I must wait somewhere while you go!" said Ramona, her heart beating as she gazed ahead into the blackness of the great plain. It looked vast as the sea. "That is the only safe thing, Alessandro."
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