lay on its right side, the knees being drawn up to the

"She was at her prayers," he thought, ashamed and sorry. "Forgive me," he whispered, "I thought you called;" and he stepped back to the outer edge of the veranda, and seated himself on the railing. He would lie down no more. Ramona remained on her knees, gazing at the window. Through the transparent muslin curtain the dawning light came slowly, steadily, till at last she could see Alessandro distinctly. Forgetful of all else, she knelt gazing at him. The rosary lay on the floor, forgotten. Ramona would not finish that prayer, that day. But her heart was full of thanksgiving and gratitude, and the Madonna had a better prayer than any in the book.

lay on its right side, the knees being drawn up to the

The sun was up, and the canaries, finches, and linnets had made the veranda ring with joyous racket, before Felipe opened his eyes. The Senora had come and gone and come again, looking at him anxiously, but he stirred not. Ramona had stolen timidly out, glancing at Alessandro only long enough to give him one quick smile, and bent over Felipe's bed, holding her breath, he lay so still.

lay on its right side, the knees being drawn up to the

"Ought he to sleep so long?" she whispered.

lay on its right side, the knees being drawn up to the

"Till the noon, it may be," answered Alessandro; "and when he wakes, you will see by his eye that he is another man."

It was indeed so. When Felipe first looked about him, he laughed outright with pure pleasure. Then catching sight of Alessandro at the steps, he called, in a stronger voice than had yet been heard from him, "Alessandro, you are a famous physician. Why couldn't that fool from Ventura have known as much? With all his learning, he had had me in the next world before many days, except for you. Now, Alessandro, breakfast! I'm hungry. I had forgotten what the thought of food was like to a hungry stomach. And plenty! plenty!" he called, as Alessandro ran toward the kitchen. "Bring all they have."

When the Senora saw Felipe bolstered up in the bed, his eye bright, his color good, his voice clear, eating heartily like his old self, she stood like a statue in the middle of the veranda for a moment; then turning to Alessandro, she said chokingly, "May Heaven reward you!" and disappeared abruptly in her own room. When she came out, her eyes were red. All day she moved and spoke with a softness unwonted, indeed inconceivable. She even spoke kindly and without constraint to Ramona. She felt like one brought back from the dead.

After this, a new sort of life began for them all. Felipe's bed on the veranda was the rallying point for everything and everybody.. The servants came to look up at him, and wish him well, from the garden-walk below. Juan Can, when he first hobbled out on the stout crutches Alessandro had made him of manzanita wood, dragged himself all the way round the house, to have a look at Senor Felipe and a word with him. The Senora sat there, in the big carved chair, looking like a sibyl with her black silk banded head-dress severely straight across her brow, and her large dark eyes gazing out, past Felipe, into the far south sky. Ramona lived there too, with her embroidery or her book, sitting on cushions on the floor in a corner, or at the foot of Felipe's bed, always so placed, however,-- if anybody had noticed, but nobody did, -- so placed that she could look at Felipe without looking full at the Senora's chair, even if the Senora were not in it.

Here also came Alessandro many times a day,-- sometimes sent for, sometimes of his own accord. He was freely welcome. When he played or sang he sat on the upper step of the stairs leading down to the garden. He also had a secret, which he thought all his own, in regard to the positions he chose. He sat always, when Ramona was there, in the spot which best commanded a view of her face. The secret was not all his own. Felipe knew it. Nothing was escaping Felipe in these days. A bomb-shell exploding at their feet would not have more astonished the different members of this circle, the Senora, Ramona, Alessandro, than it would to have been made suddenly aware of the thoughts which were going on in Felipe's mind now, from day to day, as he lay there placidly looking at them all.

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