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DeadSt

ars
PazMar
quezBeni
tez

THROUGHt heope nwindowthea i


r-s
teepedout
doorspassedintohisroom,quiet
lyenvel
oping
him,st
eal
ingintohi sver
ythought.Espera
nza,Jul
ia
,t hesorr
yme ssheha dma deoflif
e,the
year
stocomee vennowbe gi
nningtowe i
ghdown,toc r
ush--t
heylostconcr
etene
ss,di
ffus
edinto
for
mlessmelancholy.Thetr
anquilmurmurofc onversat
ionissuedfrom t
hebr i
ck-t
il
eda z
otea
whereDonJulianandCa r
menwe rebusyputt
eri
ngawa yamongt herosepots
.

"
Papa
,andwhe
nwi
llt
he'
l
ongt
abl
e'bes
et?
"

"Idon'
tknowye
t.Al
fr
edoi
snot(
ver
yspe
cif
ic,butIunde
rst
andEs
per
anz
awa
ntsi
ttobene
xt
month.
"

Car
mensi
ghedi
mpat
ient
ly."Whyishenotabi
tmor
ede c
ide
d,Iwonde
r.Hei
sove
rthi
rt
y,i
she
not
?Ands
til
laba
che
lor!Esper
anz
amustbeti
redwa
it
ing.
"

"
Shedoesnots
eemtobeinmuchofahur
rye
it
her
,"DonJ
uli
anna
sal
lyc
omme
nte
d,whi
lehi
s
r
oses
cis
sor
sbusi
lys
nippe
daway.

"Howc a
nawomanbeinahurr
ywhenthemandoesnothur
ryhe
r?"Car
menre
tur
ned,pi
nchi
ng
offawormwi
thacar
eful
,somewha
tabse
nta
ir."
Papa,doyoure
me mbe
rhowmuchinlovehe
wa s
?"

"
Inl
ove
?Wi
thwhom?
"

"WithEspe r
anza,ofcour
se.Hehasnotha
da not
herloveaf
fairt
hatIknowof,
"shesai
dwit
h
good-
naturedcontempt."WhatImeanistha
ta tthebegi
nninghewa sent
hus
ias
ti
c--
fl
owe
rs,
ser
enade
s ,not
es,andt
hingsli
ket
hat
--
"

Alfr
e dor eme mberedthatper i
odwithawonde rnotunmixedwi thshame .Tha twaslessthanf our
yearsa go.Hec ouldnotunde rs
tandthosemont hsofagreathunge rt
ha twa snotofthebodynor
yetoft hemi nd,ac r
avingtha thadseize
donhi monequi etnightwhe nthemoonwa sabr oada nd
undert heda pple
ds hadowoft hetre
e si
nt heplaza,manwooe dma i
d.Wa shebe ingc heatedby
li
fe?Love -
-heseeme dtoha vemi ss
edi t
.Orwa sthelovethatother
stolda boutame r
efa bri
cation
ofpe r
fervidi maginati
on,a ne xa
gge r
ati
onoft hec ommonpl ace,agl orifi
cat
ionofi nsipid
monot oniess uc
ha sma deuphi slovelife
?Wa sloveac ombina t
ionofc ircums t
ances,ors heer
nati
vec apaci
tyofs oul?Int hosedayslovewa s
,forhim,sti
llthee t
ernalpuz zle
;forlove ,ashe
knewi t,wa sas t
rangertolovea shedivineditmightbe.

Sit
tingquiet
lyinhi
sroomnow,hecoul
dalmostr
evi
vetherest
le
ssnessofthoseda ys
,thefee
ling
oftumultuoushast
e,suchasheknewsowe lli
nh i
sboyhoodwhe ns omethingbe aut
if
ulwa s
goingons omewher
eandhewa st
ryi
ngt
oge tt
her
einti
met ose
e."Hurry,hurry,oryouwillmiss
it
,"someoneha dse
eme dt
ourgei
nhisear
s.Sohehadavidlys
eizedonthes hadowofLovea nd
del
udedhi
mse
lff
oral
ongwhil
eint
hewayofhuma
nit
yfr
omt
imei
mme
mor
ial
.Int
heme
ant
ime
,
hebec
amever
ymuchenga
gedtoEs
per
anz
a.

Whywoul dme ns omi smanagethe


irli
ves
?Greed,het hought,waswhatruinedsomany.Greed-
-
thede s
iretocrowdi nt
oamome ntallt
heenj
oyme ntitwillhold,t
osqueezef r
omthehourallt
he
emotioni twillyie l
d.Me nc ommitthemsel
veswh enbutha l
f-
me a
ningt odos o,sa
crif
ici
ng
possiblefut
uref ul
lnessofecsta
sytothecra
vingf orimme diateexc
it
eme nt.Gre
ed--
mortgagi
ng
thefuture-
-fo
rcingtheha ndofTime,orofFat
e.

"
Wha
tdoy
out
hinkha
ppe
ned?
"as
kedCa
rme
n,pur
sui
nghe
rthought
.

"Is upposedlong-engagedpeoplea reliket hat;wa rm now,c ooltomorrow.It hinkt heya r


e
oftenercoolthanwa r
m.Theve r
yfa ctthata ne ngageme ntha sbeenallowedtopr olongi t
sel
f
arguesac ert
ainpl a
cidit
yoftempe r
ame nt-
-orofa ffect
ion--onthepa r
tofe i
ther,orboth."Don
Juli
a nlovedtophi l
osophiz
e.Hewa st al
kingnowwi t
ha ne vide
ntreli
shinwor ds,hisre s
onant,
veryna salvoi
cet oneddownt omonol oguepi tch." Thatpha seyouwe respeakingofi sna t
ural
enoughf orabeginning.Besi
des,t
hat,asIs eeit,wa sAlfredo'sla
stra
c ewithescapi
ngyout h--"

Car
me nla
u ghe
da l
oudatt
hethoughtofherbrothe
r'
sper
fectphys
ica
lre
pos
e--
almos
tindol
enc
e--
di
st
urbedintherol
esugge
ste
dbyhe rfat
her'
sfigur
ati
vel
anguage.

"
Ala
sts
pur
tofhotbl
ood,
"fi
nis
hedt
heol
dma
n.

Fewc e
rtai
nlywoul dcreditAl fredoSa l
azarwi t
hhotbl ood.Eve nhi sfri
endshada musedl
y
diagnos
e dhi sblooda sc oola ndt hin,ci
tingincont
roverti
blee vidence.Tallandslender
,he
move dwi t
ha ni ndol
ente asetha tvergedongrace.Unde rstr
a ightrecal
citr
anthai
r,athinfac
e
withas ati
sfyingbreadthoff orehe a
d,slow,dreamer'
se yes,anda stonis
hingfres
hnessofli
ps--
indeedAlfredoSa la
zar'
sa ppear
a ncebe t
okenedli
ttl
eofe xuber
a ntma scul
init
y;ra
therapoetwit
h
wa ywardhumor ,afasti
diousartistwithkeen,cl
earbra
in.

Her os
eandqui e
tl
ywe ntoutofthehouse.Hel i
nger
e damome ntonthestonest
eps;thenwent
downthep at
hshadedbyimma tureacaci
as,t
hroughtheli
tt
let
arredgat
ewhi chhele
f tswingi
ng
backandfort
h,nowope ni
ng,nowc los
ing,onthegra
ve lr
oadborder
edalongthefar
thersideby
madrecac
a ohedgei
ntardylave
nde rbl
oom.

Thegra
velr
oadnarrowedasits
lante
duptothehouseont
hehil
l,whosewi
de,ope
npor
che
she
coul
dgli
mpset
hroughthehea
t-s
hrivel
le
dta
ma r
indsi
ntheMar
ti
nezyard.

Si
xwe e
ksagotha
thous
eme antnothi
ngtohimsa
vetha
titwast
heMa r
ti
nezhouse,r
ent
edand
oc
cupi
edbyJudgede
lVall
ea ndhisfami
ly.Si
xweek
sagoJul
iaSal
asmeantnot
hingt
ohim;he
di
dnoteve
nknowhername;butnow--

Oneeve
ninghehadgone"nei
ghbor
ing"wit
hDonJ ul
ia
n;arareenoughoccur
rence
,si
ncehe
madei
tapointt
oavoi
dal
lappear
anceofcur
ryi
ngf
avorwit
htheJudge.Thi
spart
icul
are
veni
ng
howe ver
,heha dal
lowedhimselft
obepe rsua
ded."Alit
tl
ementalr
ela
xati
onnowa ndt henis
benefic
ial,
"theoldma nhads a
id."Besi
des,ajudge'
sgoodwill
,youknow; "there
s tofthe
thought-
-"i
swortharis
ingyounglawyer'
str
ouble
"--
DonJuli
anconve
yedthroughashruganda
smilethatder
ide
dhisownwor l
dlywisdom.

Ayoungwoma nha
dme tthema tthedoor.Itwase videntf rom theexcit
ementoftheJudge '
s
chi
ldr
ent
ha ts
hewasarecentandverywelc
omea r
ri
va l
.Int hec harac
teri
sti
cFil
ipi
nowa yformal
i
ntr
oduct
ionshadbeenomitte
d--t
hejudgelimit
inghims elft oac asual"Ah,yas econoc
e n?"
--
wit
htheconse
quenc
ethatAlfr
edocall
edherMi s
sde lVa l
let hroughouttheeve
ning.

Hewa spuzzle
dt hatsheshouldsmilewithevi
dentdeli
ghteverytimehea ddressedhert hus
.
Lat
erDonJ uli
ani nf
ormedhimt ha
ts hewasnottheJudge'
ssist
er,ashehads upposed,buthis
si
st
er-i
n-l
aw,andthathernamewa sJuli
aSala
s.Ave r
ydignif
iedrat
heraust
erename ,hethought.
St
ill
,theyoungladyshouldhavecorr
e c
tedhi
m.Asi twas,hewa sgrea
tlyembarras
s e
d,andf el
t
t
hatheshouldexplai
n.

Tohi
sapology,sherepl
ie
d,"Thati
snothi
ng,Eacht
imeIwa
saboutt
ocor
rec
tyou,butI
re
membe
redas i
mila
rexper
ienc
eIhadonc
ebefor
e."

"
Oh,
"hedr
awl
edout
,va
stl
yre
li
eve
d.

"Ama nnamedMa nal


ang-
-Ikeptcal
li
nghi
mMa nal
o.Aft
ert
het
entht
imeorso,t
heyoungman
ros
efrom hi
sseatandsai
ds udde
nly,'
Par
donme,butmynameisManal
ang,Manal
ang.
'You
know,Ine
verfor
gavehim!"

Hel
aughe
dwi
thhe
r.

"
Thebes
tthi
ngtodoundert
hecir
cumst
ance
s,Iha
vefoundout,
"shepur
sue
d,"
ist
opr
ete
ndnot
t
ohea
r,andt
ole
ttheot
herper
sonfi
ndouthi
smist
akewit
houthel
p."

"
Asyoudi
dthi
sti
me.St
il
l,youl
ooke
damus
ede
ver
yti
meI
--
"

"
Iwa
sthi
nki
ngofMr
.Ma
nal
ang.
"

DonJ ul
ianandhisuncommunicat
ivefri
end,theJudge,we r
ea bsorbedinaga meofchess
.The
youngma nhadti
redofplayi
ngappreci
ativespect
at
orandde sult
or yconve
rsa
ti
onal
ist
,sohea nd
Jul
iaSa lashadgoneofftochati
nt hevine-c
overedporch.Thel onepianointhenei
ghborhood
alt
erna t
el
yt i
nkl
edandba nge
da waya sthepl a
yer'
smoodsa lter
e d.Hel i
st
ened,a
ndwonde red
ir
rel
e vantl
yifMissSal
ascouldsi
ng;sheha dsuchacharmingspea kingvoi
ce.

Hewa smi l
dlysurpri
sedtonot
efrom he rappear
anc ethatshewa sunmi st
aka bl
yas ist
erofthe
Judge'
swi fe,al
thoughDoñaAde l
awa sofadi ff
erenttypea l
toget
her.Shewa ssmallandplump,
withwi debrowne yes,cl
ear
lydefinedeyebrows,a nddeli
c a
telymode l
edhi ps--
apr e
ttywoma n
withthec ompl exi
onofaba bya ndt heexpres
sionofal ikablecow.J ul
iawa stal
ler,notso
obviouslypret
ty.Shehadthesa
mee yebr
owsa ndlips,butshewa smuchda rker,ofasmoot hri
ch
br
ownwithunde
rlyi
ngt
one
sofc
rims
onwhi
chhe
ight
ene
dthei
mpr
ess
ions
hega
veofa
boundi
ng
vi
ta
li
ty.

OnSunda ymor ni
ngsa ft
erma ss,fat
hera nds onwoul dgoc runc hi
ngupt hegravelr oadtot he
houseo nthehil
l.TheJ udge'
swi feinvari
a blyof fer edthembe e r
,whi chDonJ ul
iane njoyeda nd
Alfredodidnot.Afteraha l
fhourors o,thec he ssboa rdwouldbebr oughtout
;thenAl f
redoa nd
Juli
aSa l
aswoul dgooutt othepor chtoc ha t
.Shes atinthelowha mmoc kandhei nar ocking
chairandthehour s
--warm,quietMa rchhour s --spe dby.Hee nj oyedtalki
ngwi t
hhe ra nditwa s
evidentt
hatshel i
kedhiscompa ny;y e
twha tfe el
ingt he r
ewa sbe tweenthemwa ssoundi sturbed
thatitsee
me dama tte
rofc ourse.Onl ywhe nEs peranzacha ncedt oaskhimi ndi
re ctl
ya bout
thosevis
it
sdids omeune asi
nessc r
eepintohi st hought softhegi rlnextdoor
.

Esper
anzahadwa nt
edtoknowifhewents
tra
ighthomeaft
ermas
s.Al
fr
edosudde
nlyrea
li
zed
tha
tforseve
ralSundaysnowhehadnotwa
it
edf orEs
pera
nzat
ocomeoutofthechur
chashe
hadbeenwonttodo.Hehadbee
neagert
ogo"nei
ghbori
ng.
"

Hea ns
we r
edt
hathewe
nthometowork.And,bec
aus
ehewa
snotha
bit
ual
lyunt
rut
hful
,adde
d,
"Someti
mesIgowit
hPapat
oJudgede
lVall
e's
."

Shedroppedt hetopic
.Espera
nz awasnotpronetoindul
geinunprovokedje
alousies
.Shewa sa
beli
everinther egener
ati
vevirtueofins
ti
tuti
ons,i
nt he
irpowertor e
gula
tefe el
inga swe
llas
conduct
.Ifama nwe r
ema rr
ied,why,ofcours
e,helovedhiswi
fe;ifheweree ngaged,hec
ould
notpossi
blylovea not
herwoma n.

Thathal
f-l
ietol
dhimwha thehadnotadmitt
edopenl
ytohi
msel
f,t
hathewasgi
vingJ
uli
aSal
as
somethi
ngwhi c
hhewa snotfre
etogi ve
.Her ea
liz
edtha
t;ye
tsomethi
ngtha
twouldnotbe
deni
edbeckonedimpe
riousl
y,andhefol
lowedon.

Itwassoeasyt
of or
getupt he
re,awayfr
om thepryi
ngeyesoftheworl
d,soe as
ya ndso
poi
gnant
lys
weet
.Thebelove
dwoma n,hes
tandi
ngcl
osetohe
r,t
heshadowsa
round,e
nfol
ding.

"
Uphe
reIf
ind-
-some
thi
ng-
-"

Hea ndJuli
aSalasst
oodlooki
ngouti
ntothes
hequi
etni
ght
.Se
nsi
ngunwa
nte
dint
ens
it
y,
l
aughed,woman-
li
ke,a
ski
ng,"Amus
ement
?"

"
No;yout
h--
it
sspi
ri
t-
-"

"
Areyous
ool
d?"

"
Andhe
art
'
sde
sir
e."

Wa
shebe
comi
ngapoe
t,ori
sthe
reapoe
tlur
kingi
nthehe
artofe
ver
yma
n?

"
Downt
her
e,"heha
dcont
inue
d,h
isvoi
ces
ome
wha
tindi
st
inc
t,"
ther
oadi
stoobr
oad,t
oo
t
rodde
nbyf
eet
,tooba
rre
nofmys
ter
y."

"
Downt here"beyondtheanci
entt
amari
ndsla
yther oa
d,upt
urne
dtothes
tars
.Inthedar
kness
t
hefir
efl
iesglimme r
ed,whil
ea ner
rantbr
eezest
rayedinfr
om some
where,bri
nginge
lusi
ve,
f
ara
ways oundsasofvoic
esinadre
am.

"
Mys
ter
y--
"shea
nswe
redl
ight
ly,"
tha
tiss
obr
ief
--
"

"
Noti
nsome
,"qui
ckl
y."
Noti
nyou.
"

"
Youha
veknownmeaf
ewwe
eks
;sot
hemys
ter
y."

"
Icoul
dst
udyyoua
llmyl
if
eands
ti
llnotf
indi
t.
"

"
Sol
ong?
"

"
Ishoul
dli
ket
o."

Thoses i
xwe ekswer
enows oswift
--
seeminginthememory,yethadtheybeens ode
epinthe
li
ving,soc har
gedwithcompel
li
ngpowe randsweet
nes
s.Becauseneit
hert
hepastnort
hefut
ure
hadr e
levanceorme ani
ng,hel
ivedonlythepr
e s
ent
,daybyda y,li
vediti
nte
nsely,wi
ths
ucha
will
fulshutti
ngoutoffac
tasas
tounde
dhi minhisca
lmermome nts
.

JustbeforeHolyWe ek,DonJ ul
ianinvitedthejudgea ndhisfamil
yt ospendSunda ya f
ter
noona t
Tandawhe r
eheha dac oconutplant
a t
iona ndahous eont hebeach.Carme na l
socamewi t
hhe r
foure nerge
ti
cc hil
dren.Shea ndDoñaAde las pe
ntmos tofthet i
mei ndoorsdirect
ingt he
prepar
a t
ionoft heme ri
endaa nddi scussingt helikeabl
ea bsur
diti
esoft hei
rhus bands-
-how
Ca r
me n'sVicent
ewa ssoa bsorbedi nhi sf armst ha
thewoul dnote vent a
ket imeof ft o
accompa nyheronthisvis
ittoherfather;howDoñaAde la
'sDioni
siowa sthemos tabsent
minde d
ofme n,some t
imesgoingoutwithouthisc oll
ar,orwithunma t
chedsocks.

Aftertheme ri
enda,DonJ uli
ansaunte
redof fwit
hthejudgetoshowhimwha tathri
vingyoung
coconutlookedl i
ke-
-"plent
yofleaves,closeset
,ric
hgr ee
n"--
whil
ethechildre
n,c onvoyedby
Juli
aSa l
as,foundunendingente
rtai
nme ntintheri
ppli
ngsandlef
tbytheebbingtide.Theywe r
e
f
a rdown,wa l
kingatt heedgeoft hewa te
r,indi
st
inct
lyoutl
inedagai
nstthegra yoft heout
-
curvi
ngbe ach.

Alfr
edolef
thi spe
rchontheba mboola
dderofthehouseandfol
lowed.Herewer
ehe
rfoot
st
eps,
nar
row,arc
he d.Helaughe
da thimse
lff
orhisbl
ackcanvasfoot
wearwhichhere
move
dfort
hwit
h
andtos
sedhighupondr ysand.

Whe
nhec
ameup,s
hef
lus
hed,t
hens
mil
edwi
thf
rankpl
eas
ure
.

"
Ihopeyo
uar
eenj
oyi
ngt
his
,"hes
aidwi
thaque
sti
oni
ngi
nfl
ect
ion.

"
Ver
ymuc
h.I
tlooksl
ikehomet
ome
,exc
eptt
hatwedonotha
ves
uchal
ove
lybe
ach.
"
The r
ewa sabr e
e z
ef r
om thewa t
er.Itbl
e wt hehairawa yfrom he
rf orehead,andwhippedt he
tucked-ups kirtar
oundhe rst
rai
ght,sl
enderfigure
.Inthepi ct
urewassome thi
ngofe age
rfreedom
aso fwi ngsp ois
edi nfl
ight
.Thegi r
lhadgr ace,di
sti
nction.Herfac
ewa snotnotablypre
tt
y;ye t
sheha dat antal
izi
ngc harm,a l
lthemor ec ompell
ingbe causeitwa sa ni nnerquali
ty,a n
achieveme ntofthes pi
ri
t.Thelurewasthere,ofnatura
lne s
s,ofanal
ertvitali
tyofmindandbody,
ofat houghtful,sunnytemper,andofapiquantpe r
versenesswhichi
ss aucetoc har
m.

"Theaft
ernoonha
sse
eme
dve
rys
hor
t,ha
sn'
tit
?"The
n,"
Thi
s,It
hink,i
sthel
astt
ime
--wec
an
vis
it
."

"
Thel
ast
?Why?
"

"
Oh,youwi
llbet
oobus
ype
rha
ps.
"

Henot
eda
neva
sivequa
li
tyi
nthea
nswe
r.

"
DoIs
eeme
spe
cia
ll
yindus
tri
oust
oyou?
"

"
Ifyoua
re,youne
verl
ooki
t.
"

"
Notpe
rspi
ri
ngorbr
eat
hle
ss,a
sabus
yma
noughtt
obe
."

"
But
--
"

"
Alwa
ysunhur
ri
ed,t
oounhur
ri
ed,a
ndc
alm.
"Shes
mil
edt
ohe
rse
lf.

"
Iwi
sht
hatwe
ret
rue
,"hes
aida
fte
rame
dit
at
ivepa
use
.

Shewa
it
ed.

"
Ama
nisha
ppi
eri
fhei
s,a
syous
ay,c
alma
ndpl
aci
d."

"
Likeac
ara
baoi
namudpool
,"s
her
etor
tedpe
rve
rse
ly

"
Who?I
?"

"
Oh,no!
"

"
Yous
aidIa
mca
lma
ndpl
aci
d."

"
Tha
tiswha
tIt
hink.
"

"
Ius
edt
othi
nks
otoo.Showshowl
it
tl
eweknowour
sel
ves
."

I
twa
sst
ranget
ohi
mtha
thec
oul
dbewooi
ngt
hus
:wi
tht
onea
ndl
ooka
ndc
ove
rtphr
ase
.

"
Ishoul
dli
ket
ose
eyourh
omet
own.
"
"
The
reisnot
hingtosee
--l
it
tl
ecr
ooke
dst
ree
ts,bun
utr
oof
swi
thf
ernsgr
owi
ngont
hem,a
nd
s
omet
imess
quashe
s."

Tha
twa st
hebackgr
ound.I
tmadehers
eemle
ssdet
ache
d,l
essunr
ela
ted,ye
twi
tha
lmor
edi
st
ant
,
asi
ftha
tbackgr
oundcla
imedhera
ndexcl
ude
dhim.

"
Not
hing?The
rei
syou.
"

"
Oh,me
?ButIa
mhe
re.
"

"
Iwi
llnotgo,ofc
our
se,unt
ilyoua
ret
her
e."

"
Wil
lyouc
ome
?Youwi
llf
indi
tdul
l.The
rei
sn'
teve
noneAme
ric
ant
her
e!"

"
Wel
l-
-Ame
ric
ansa
rer
athe
res
sent
ia
ltomye
nte
rta
inme
nt.
"

Shel
aughe
d.

"
Wel
iveonCa
ll
eLuz
,al
it
tl
est
ree
twi
tht
ree
s."

"
Coul
dIf
indt
hat
?"

"
Ifyoudon'
tas
kforMi
ssd
elVa
ll
e,
"shes
mil
edt
eas
ingl
y.

"
I'
lli
nqui
rea
bout
--
"

"
Wha
t?"

"
Thehous
eoft
hepr
ett
ie
stgi
rli
nthet
own.
"

"
Thereiswhe
reyouwi
lll
oseyourwa
y."The
nsh
etur
neds
eri
ous
."Now,t
hati
snotqui
te
s
inc
ere.
"

"
Iti
s,
"hea
ver
reds
lowl
y,bute
mpha
ti
cal
ly.

"
Ithoughtyou,a
tle
ast
,wo
uldnots
ays
ucht
hings
."

"
Pre
tt
y--
pre
tt
y--
afool
is
hwor
d!Butt
her
eisnoneot
hermor
eha
ndyIdi
dnotme
ant
hatqui
te
--"

"
Areyouwi
thdr
awi
ngt
hec
ompl
ime
nt?
"

"
Re-
enf
orc
ingi
t,ma
ybe
.Some
thi
ngi
spr
ett
ywhe
nitpl
eas
est
hee
ye-
-i
tismor
etha
ntha
twhe
n--
"

"
Ifi
tsa
dde
ns?
"shei
nte
rrupt
edha
sti
ly.

"
Exa
ctl
y."

"
Itmus
tbeugl
y."
"
Alwa
ys?
"

Towa
rdthewest
,thes
unl
ightl
ayont
hedi
mmi
ngwa
ter
sinabr
oad,gl
int
ings
tre
ame
rof
cr
ims
one
dgold.

"
No,ofc
our
seyoua
rer
ight
."

"
Whydi
dyous
ayt
hisi
sthel
astt
ime
?"hea
ske
dqui
et
lya
sthe
ytur
nedba
ck.

"
Iamgoi
nghome
."

Thee
ndofa
nimpos
sibl
edr
eam!

"
Whe
n?"a
fte
ral
ongs
il
enc
e.

"
Tomor
row.Ir
ece
ive
dal
et
te
rfr
omFa
the
randMot
herye
ste
rda
y.The
ywa
ntmet
ospe
ndHol
y
Wee
kathome.
"

Shes
eeme
dtobewa
it
ingf
orhi
mtos
pea
k."
Tha
tiswhyIs
aidt
hisi
sthel
astt
ime
."

"
Can'
tIc
omet
osa
ygood-
bye
?"

"
Oh,youdon'
tne
edt
o!"

"
No,butIwa
ntt
o."

"
The
rei
snot
ime
."

Thegol denstre
amerwaswithdrawing,short
e ni
ng,unt
ilitlooke
dnomor ethanapoolfara
wa y
attherimoft heworl
d.St
il
lness,avibrantquiett
hataff
ectsthesense
sa sdoessol
emnharmony;
ape a
c ethati
snotcont
ent
me ntbutac es
s a
ti
onoft umultwhe nal
lviole
nceoff e
eli
ngtone
sdown
t
ot hewi st
fulser
eni
tyofr
egret.Sheturneda ndlookedintohisface
,inhe rdar
keyesaghostof
sunsetsadness
.

"
Homes
eemss
ofa
rfr
omhe
re.Thi
sisa
lmos
tli
kea
not
herl
if
e."

"
Iknow.Thi
sisEl
sewhe
re,a
ndye
tst
rangee
nough,Ic
annotge
tri
doft
heol
dthi
ngs
."

"
Oldt
hings
?"

"Oh,ol
dthi
ngs,mis
takes
,encumbra
nces,ol
dbaggage
."Hes ai
ditl
ight
ly,unwil
li
ngt
oma
rthe
hour
.Hewalke
dc l
ose,hi
shandsometi
me st
ouc
hingher
sforonewhi
rli
ngs e
cond.

DonJ
uli
an'
sna
sals
ummonsc
amet
othe
mont
hewi
nd.

Alf
redogr
ippedt
hesof
thandsone
arhisown.Athi
stouc
h,t
hegi
rlt
urne
dhe
rfa
cea
way,buthe
he
ardhervoic
esayver
ylow,"
Good-bye.
"
I
I

ALFREDO Sa l
a zart urne dtot her i
ghtwhe re,far
the ron,t her oa dbr oa deneda nde nte r
edt he
heartofthet own- -hear tofChi nesestore sshelter
edunde rlow-hungr oof s,ofindolentdr ugstores
andt ail
orshops ,ofdi ngys hoe -r
epair i
nge st
abli
shme nts,a ndac lutte
re dgol dsmith'sc ubbyhol e
whe reac ons umpt ivebe ntove rama gni fyinglens;he a
r tofol dbr ick-roof e
dhous e swi thquaint
hand-and-ba l
lknoc kersont hedoor ;he artofgr ass-grownpl a
zar e posefulwi thtrees,ofa ncient
churcha ndc onve nto,now c ircle
dbys wa l
lowsgl idingi nf li
ghta ss moot ha nds of tast he
aft
ernooni tself.I ntot hequ ickl ydee peningt wili
ght ,thevoi ceoft hebi gge stofthec hur chbe ll
s
keptringingi tsins ist
e ntsummons .Fl ockingc amet hede voutwi tht heirl ongwa xc andl es,young
wome ninvi vida ppa rel(fort hiswa sHol yThur sdaya ndt heLor dwa ss ti
llali
ve),ol de rwome n
insobe rblacks kirts.Ca met oot heyoungme nindr ove s,elbowi nge ac hot herunde rt het al
isay
tre
ene arthec hur chdoor .Thega il
yd ecke drice-
pape rla nternswe rea ga inondi splaywhi lefrom
thewi ndowsoft heol de rhous e shungc oloredglassgl obe s,heirl
oomsf r omada ywhe ngr as
spith
wicksf l
oa t
ingi nc oconutoi lwe rethec hie fli
ghti
ngde vic e.

Soonadoublerowofli
ghtse
me rgedfr
omt hechurc
ha nduncoi
leddownthele
ngthofthes
tre
et
l
ikeahugej ewe l
le
dbandstuddedwi t
hgl i
tt
eri
ngc l
uste
rswhe r
et hesa
int
s'pla
tfor
mswe re
.
Abovetheme asur
edmusicr
oset heuntut
oredvoice
soft hechoir
,ste
epedi
ni nc
enseandthe
acr
idf
ume sofburni
ngwax.

Thes i
ghtofEs pe
ranzaandhermotherseda
telypac
ingbehindOurLa dyofSor
rowssuddenl
y
dest
royedtheil
lus
ionofcont
inuit
yandbrokeupthosel
inesofli
ghtint
ocompone
ntindi
vidual
s.
Esperanz
as t
if
fene
ds e
lf-
cons
cious
ly,t
ri
edtolookunaware
,andcouldnot.

Thel
inemove
don.

Suddenl
y,Alfr
edo'
ssl
owbl oodbe ga
ntobeatviole
ntl
y,i
rr
egula
rly.Agir
lwa
sc omi
ngdownthe
li
ne--
agirlt
hatwasst
ri
king,andvividl
yali
ve,t
hewo manthatc
ouldcaus
evi
ole
ntcommoti
onin
hishear
t,ye
thadnoplac
ei nthecomplet
edorde
r i
ngofhi
slif
e.

He
rgl
anc
eofa
bst
rac
tedde
vot
ionf
ellonhi
mandc
amet
oabr
iefs
top.

Thel
inekeptmovi
ngon,wendingitsc
irc
uit
ousrout
ea wa
yfr
omt
hec
hur
cha
ndt
henba
cka
gai
n,
wher
e,acc
ordi
ngtotheol
dproverb,al
lproc
ess
ionsend.

Atlas
tOurLadyofSor
rowsent
ere
dt hechur
ch,andwit
hhe
rthepr
ies
tandthechoi
r,whos
e
voi
cesnowe
choedf
romthea
rche
dc e
il
ing.Thebel
lsr
angt
hec
los
eoft
heproc
essi
on.

Ar oundorangemoon," hugeasawinnowingbasket
,"ros
elazi
lyintoac l
earsky,whi
te
ningthe
ir
onr oof
sanddimmi ngthelante
rnsa
tthewindows.Alongthesti
lldensel
ys ha
dowedst
reet
sthe
youngwome nwi
ththeirrearguar
dofmale
sloit
eredand,maybe,t
ookt helonges
twayhome.
Towar
dt heendoftherow ofChi ne
sest
ore
s,hec a
ughtupwi thJuli
aSa la
s.Thecrowdhad
dis
per
sedint
othesi
dest
reet
s,le
a vi
ngCal
leRealt
othosewholivedfart
herout
.Itwaspas
tei
ght
,
andEsper
anzawoul
dbee xpect
inghiminali
ttl
ewhile:ye
tthethoughtdidnothur
ryhimashe
sai
d"Goodeveni
ng"andfel
lint
os t
epwit
hthegir
l.

"
Iha dbee
nthi
nki
nga
llt
hist
imet
hatyouha
dgone
,"hes
aidi
navoi
cet
hatwa
sbot
hexc
it
eda
nd
t
rouble
d.

"
No,mys
ist
era
ske
dmet
ost
ayunt
ilt
heya
rer
eadyt
ogo.
"

"
Oh,i
stheJ
udgegoi
ng?
"

"
Yes
."

Thepr
ovi
nci
aldoc
ketha
dbe encl
ear
ed,andJ udgedelVal
leha
dbe
ena
ssi
gne
del
sewhe
re.As
l
awyer
--
andasl
over
--
Alf
redohadf
oundthatoutlongbef
ore
.

"
Mr.Sa
laz
ar,
"shebr
okei
ntohi
ssi
le
nce
,"Iwi
sht
ocongr
atul
at
eyou.
"

He
rtonet
oldhi
mtha
tsheh
adl
ear
ned,a
tla
st.Tha
twa
sine
vit
abl
e.

"
Forwha
t?"

"
Foryoura
ppr
oac
hingwe
ddi
ng.
"

Somee
xpl
ana
ti
onwa
sduehe
r,s
ure
ly.Ye
twha
tcoul
dhes
ayt
hatwoul
dnotof
fend?

"Ishoul
dhaveoff
eredcongra
tul
ati
onsl
ongbe
for
e,butyouknowme
revi
si
tor
sar
esl
owa
bout
get
tingt
henews
,"shecont
inued.

Hel i
st
e nednotsomuchtowha tshes ai
da stothenuancesi
nhe rvoi
ce.Hehe ar
dnot h
ingto
enli
ght
e nhi m,exc
eptthatshehadr evert
edtot heformaltone
sofe arlyacquai
ntance
.No
reve
lat
iont her
e;si
mplytheol dvoice-
-cool,al
mostde t
ache
df r
om persona
li
ty,fle
xibleand
vibr
ant,sugges
ti
ngpot
enti
ali
ti
esofsong.

"
Arewe
ddi
ngsi
nte
res
ti
ngt
oyou?
"hef
ina
ll
ybr
oughtoutqui
et
ly.

"
Whe
nthe
yar
eoff
ri
ends
,ye
s."

"
Woul
dyouc
omei
fIa
ske
dyou?
"

"
Whe
nisi
tgoi
ngt
obe
?"

"
May,
"her
epl
ie
dbr
ief
ly,a
fte
ral
ongpa
use
.

"
Mayi
sthemont
hofha
ppi
nes
sthe
ysa
y,"s
hes
aid,wi
thwha
tse
eme
dtohi
mas
hadeofi
rony.
"
The
ysa
y,"s
lowl
y,i
ndi
ff
ere
ntl
y."
Woul
dyouc
ome
?"

"
Whynot
?"

"
Nor
eas
on.Ia
mjus
tas
king.The
nyo
uwi
ll
?"

"
Ifyouwi
lla
skme
,"s
hes
aidwi
thdi
sda
in.

"
The
nIa
skyou.
"

"
The
nIwi
llbet
her
e."

Thegra
velroadlaybeforethem;att
her oad'
se ndt h
el ight
edwindowsoft hehouseonth
ehi l
l.
Ther
esweptoverthespir
itofAlfr
edoSa l
azaral ongi
ngs okee
nthati
twa spain,awis
hthat
,that
hous
ewe r
ehis,thatal
lthebe wi
lder
me ntsofthepr esentwe r
enot,andthatthiswomanbyhis
si
dewerehi
slongwe ddedwi f
e,re
tur
ningwi t
hhi mt othepe a
ceofhome .

"Jul
it
a,
"hesai
dinhi
sslow,thought
fulma
nner
,"di
dyoue
verha
vet
ochoos
ebe
twe
ens
ome
thi
ng
youwa nt
edt
odoandsomethingyouhadt
odo?"

"
No!
"

"
Ithoughtmaybeyouha
dha
dtha
texpe
rie
nce
;the
nyouc
oul
dunde
rst
andama
nwhowa
sin
s
uchas i
tua
ti
on.
"

"
Youa
ref
ort
una
te,
"hepur
sue
dwhe
nshedi
dnota
nswe
r.

"
Is-
-i
sthi
sma
nsur
eofwha
thes
houl
ddo?
"

"Idon'
tknow,Jul
it
a.Perhapsnot.Butthe r
eisapointwhereathi
ngesc
apesusandrus
hes
downwardofit
sownweight,dra
ggingusalong.The
niti
sfool
is
htoaskwhe
the
ronewil
lorwil
l
not
,bec
auseitnol
onge
rde pendsonhim."

"
Butthe
nwhy-
-why-
-"he
rmuf
fl
edvoi
cec
ame
."Oh
,wha
tdoIknow?Tha
tishi
spr
obl
ema
fte
r
a
ll
."

"
Doe
sn'
ti
t-
-i
nte
res
tyou?
"

"
Whymus
tit
?I-
-Iha
vet
osa
ygood-
bye
,Mr
.Sa
laz
ar;wea
rea
tthehous
e."

Wi
thoutl
if
ti
nghe
reye
sshequi
ckl
ytur
neda
ndwa
lke
dawa
y.

Ha dthef i
nalwor
dbeens a
id?Hewonde re
d.Ithad.Yetafee
blefl
utt
erofhopetre
mbl edinhis
mindt houghseta
gai
nstthathopewe r
ethr
eeyear
so fenga
gement
,averynearwedding,perf
ect
understandi
ngbetwe
ent hepa rent
s,hisownc onsci
ence,andEsper
anzahersel
f--
Esperanza
wa i
ti
ng,Es per
anz
anol ongeryoung,Esper
anzatheeffi
ci
ent
,theli
ter
al-
minded,theinte
nsel
y
acqui
s i
tive.
Helooke
datt
enti
velyatherwhe
res
hes
atont
hes
ofa
,appr
ais
ingl
y,a
ndwi
thaki
ndofa
ver
sion
whi
chhetri
edtocontr
ol.

Shewa soneoft hosefort


unat
ewome nwhoha veth
egiftofuniformlyacceptabl
ea ppear
ance
.
Sheneversurpri
sedonewi thunexpect
edhome li
nes
snorwi t
hs t
a r
tli
ngreservesofbe aut
y.At
home,inchurch,onthestr
eet
,shewa sal
wa ysher
sel
f,awoma npa s
tfir
stbloom,lightandcle
ar
ofcomplexion,spareofarmsa ndofbreast,wit
has l
ightconvexit
yt othinthroat
;awoma n
dre
ssedwithself
-consc
iouscar
e,evenel
egance;awomandist
inctl
ynota ve
rage .

Shewa spursui
nga ni
ndi
gna
ntrel
at
ionaboutsomet
hingorothe
r,s
ome thi
nga boutCal
ixta
,the
ir
note
-carr
ier
,Al f
redoper
cei
ved,soheme relyhal
f-l
is
tene
d,unders
tandingi mper
fec
tly.Ata
pausehedrawledoutt
ofi
lli
nthegap:"
We ll
,whatofit
?"Theremar
ks oundedrudert
hanheha d
int
ended.

"
Sheisnotma r
ri
e dtohim,"Espe
ranzai
nsi
ste
dinhert
hin,ner
vous
lypi
tc
hedvoice."Be
side
s,
s
heshouldhavethoughtofus
.Na na
ypract
ic
all
ybr
oughtherup.Wenevert
houghtshewould
t
urnoutbad.
"

Wha
tha
dCa
li
xtadone
?Ho
mel
y,mi
ddl
e-a
gedCa
li
xta
?

"
Youa
rev
erypos
it
ivea
bouthe
rba
dne
ss,
"hec
omme
nte
ddr
yly.Es
per
anz
awa
sal
wayspos
it
ive
.

"
Butdoyoua
ppr
ove
?"

"
Ofwha
t?"

"
Wha
tshedi
d."

"
No,
"indi
ff
ere
ntl
y.

"
Wel
l?
"

Hewassuddenl
yimpell
edbyadesi
ret
odi
st
urbt
heunve
xedor
thodoxyofhe
rmi
nd."
AllIs
ayi
s
t
hati
tisnotnec
ess
ari
lywicke
d."

"
Whys houl
dn'
titbe
?Yout
al
kedl
ikea
n--
immor
alma
n.Idi
dnotknowt
hatyouri
dea
swe
rel
ike
t
hat
."

"Myi deas
?"heretorte
d,goade
dbyade e
p,accumulat
ede xaspe
rat
ion."Theonl
ytes
tIwisht
o
appl
yt oconduc
tist hete
stoffai
rnes
s.Am Iinjur
inganybody?No?The nIamjus
ti
fie
dinmy
consc
ience.Iamr ight
.Livi
ngwi thama ntowhom s hei snotma r
rie
d--i
stha
tit
?Itmaybe
wrong,andagai
nitma ynot.
"

"
Sheha
sinj
ure
dus
.Shewa
sungr
ate
ful
."He
rvoi
cewa
sti
ghtwi
thr
ese
ntme
nt.

"
Thet
roubl
ewi
thyou,Es
per
anz
a,i
stha
tyoua
re-
-"hes
toppe
d,a
ppa
ll
edbyt
hepa
ssi
oni
nhi
s
voi
ce.

"Whydoyouge tangry?Idonotunderst
andyoua tal
l!It
hinkIknow whyyouha v
ebe en
indif
fer
entt
omel a
tel
y.Ia mnotbli
nd,ordeaf
;Iseeandhea
rwha tper
hapssomearetr
yingto
keepfromme .
"Thebl oodsurge
dint
ohisveryeye
sandhishear
ingsha
rpenedtopoi
ntsofac
ute
pain.Whatwouldshesa yne
xt?

"Whydon'
tyouspe
akoutf
rankl
ybef
orei
tist
ool
at
e?Youne
ednott
hinkofmea
ndofwha
t
peopl
ewi
lls
ay.
"Hervoi
cet
remble
d.

Alf
redowa
ssufferi
ngashec
oul
dnotremembe
reve
rha
vingsuf
fer
edbe
for
e.Whatpe
oplewil
l
sa
y--
whatwil
ltheynotsa
y?Whatdo
n'tt
heysa
ywhenl
ongengage
ment
sarebr
okenal
moston
t
heeveoft
hewe ddi
ng?

"
Ye s
,"hes a
idhe s
it
at
ingl
y,dif
fi
dent
ly,a
sifmerel
ythi
nki
nga l
oud,"onetr
iestobef a
ir-
-
a
ccordi
ngtohisl
ight
s--
buti
tishar
d.Onewoul
dli
ketobef
airt
oone'ss
elff
ir
st.Butt
hati
stoo
e
asy,onedoe
snotdare-
-"

"Wha tdoyoumean?
"sheas
kedwi
thre
pres
sedviol
enc
e."Wha
tevermyshort
comi
ngs,a
ndno
doubtthe
yarema
nyinyoure
yes
,Ih
avenevergoneo
utofmyway,ofmypla
ce,tof
indaman.
"

Didshemea
nbythisi
rr
ele
vantr
ema
rkt
hathei
twa
swhoha
dsoughthe
r;orwa
stha
tac
ove
rt
at
tac
konJul
iaSa
las
?

"Es
pera
nza
--"ades
per
atepl
eal
ayi
nhi
sst
umbl
ingwor
ds."
Ifyou-
-suppos
eI-
-"Ye
thowc
oul
da
meremanwordsuc
haplea?

"
Ifyoume
anyouwanttota
keba
ckyourword,ifyouareti
redof-
-whydon'
tyout
ellmeyouare
t
ir
edofme?
"shebur
stouti
nast
ormofweepingthatl
efthi
mc omple
tel
yshameda
ndunnerve
d.

Thel
astwor
dha
dbe
ens
aid.

I
II

ASAl f
redoSa lazarlea nedaga i
nsttheboa tr ai
ltowa tchthee venings et
tl
ingove rthel ake,he
wonde r
edi fEsperanzawoul datt
ributeanys ignif
ica
n cetothistri
pofhi s.Hewa ssuppose dt
obe
inSta.Cruzwhi therthec aseofthePe opleoft hePhili
ppineI s
landsvs.Be l
inae talhadke pthim,
andtherehewoul dha vebe enifBr i
gidaSa muyha dn otbeens oimpor t
anttothede fense.Heha d
tofindtha tel
usiveol dwoma n.Tha tthes earchwa sleadinghi mt othatpa rt
icularlaketown
whichwa sJul
iaSa l
as 'homes houldnotdi st
urbhim undul yYe thewa sdi s
turbedt oade gree
utt
erlyoutofpr oportiont otheprosa i
calnessofhise r
rand.Tha tinnertumultwa snos urpri
seto
him;inthel as
te ightye ar
sheha dbe comeus edtos uchoc casi
onals t
orms.Heha dlongr eali
zed
thathec ouldnotf orge tJul
iaSa las.Sti
ll,heha dtriedtobec ontentandnott oreme mbe rtoo
muc h.Thecli
mberofmountai
nswhoha sknowntheba
ck-br
eak,thelonesome nes
s,andt
hechill
,
fi
ndsac ert
ainres
tful
nes
sinleve
lpathsma deea
sytohisfe
et.Hel ooksups ome t
imesf
romt he
val
leywhe r
es et
tl
esthedus
kofe ve
ning,butheknowshemus tnothe e
dt heradia
ntbec
koning.
Ma ybe,i
ntime,hewouldceas
eeventolookup.

Hewa snotunha ppyinhi sma rri


age.Hef el
tnor ebel
li
on:onl ythecalmofc apit
ul at
iont owha t
her ecogniz e
da sirr
esi
sti
blef or
c e
sofc ir
c umstanceandofc haracter
.Hisli
feha ds implyor dered
itse
lf;nomor estr
uggles,nomor es ti
rringupofe moti
onst hatgotama nnowhe re.From hi s
capacityofc omplet
ede t
achme nthede ri
ve das tr
ang esola
ce.Thee s
sent
ialhi
ms e l
f,thehi mse l
f
thatha di t
sbe i
nginthec oreofhi sthought ,would,here f
lect
ed,a l
waysbef r
eea nda lone.Whe n
clai
mse nc r
oa c
hedtooinsist
e nt
ly,ass ome timestheydid,here t
reat
edintotheinne rfast
ne ss,and
fromt ha tvantagehesawt hingsandpe oplea r
oundhi ma sremotea ndali
en,asinc i
dentst hatdid
notma t
te r
.Ats uchti
me sdidEs peranzaf eelbaffl
eda ndhelpl
e ss
;hewa sgentl
e,e vent ender,but
imme a surabl
yf araway,beyondhe rreach.

Lightswerespri
ngi ngint
ol i
feontheshore.Thatwa sthetown,al
itt
leup-
ti
lt
edtownne s
tli
ngin
thedarkgree
nne ssoft hegroves
.As nubcrestedbel
frys t
oodbesi
detheanci
entchurc
h.Ont he
outski
rt
sthee veningsmud gesgl
owedr edthroughthes i
nuousmis
tsofsmokethatros
ea ndlos
t
themselve
sint hepur pleshadowsoft hehills
.The rewa sayoungmoonwhi chgr ews l
owly
luminousast
hec oralt
int
sintheskyyielde
dt othedarkerblue
sofeveni
ng.

Theve sselapproachedthel andingquie


tly,t
rai
li
ngawa keoflonggoldenripple
sont heda rk
water.Pecul
iarhillinf
lect
ionsc a
met ohi
se ar
sfr
omt hecr
owdassembledtome ett
heboat-
-slow,
si
ngingc ade
nc e
s ,char
a c
teri
sti
coft heLagunala
ke-s
horespe
ech.Fromwhe r
ehes toodhec ould
notdist
ingui
shf aces,soheha dnowa yofknowingwhe t
hert
hepresi
dentewasther
etome ethim
ornot.Justt
henavoi c
es hout
e d.

"
Ist
hea
boga
dot
her
e?Aboga
do!
"

"
Wha
taboga
do?
"some
onei
rat
el
yas
ked.

Tha
tmus
tbet
hepr
esi
dent
e,het
hought
,andwe
ntdownt
othel
andi
ng.

Itwasapolice
ma n,atallpock-markedindivi
dual
.Th epre
side
ntehadl
eftwit
hBrigidaSamuy--
Tandang"Binday"--
thatnoonf orSant
aCr uz.SeñorSala
zar'
ssecondl
ett
erhadarr
ivedla
te,but
t
hewi feha
dr ea
di tandsaid,"Goa ndme e
ttheabogadoandinvi
tehimtoourhous
e."

Alfr
edoSa l
azarcour
teous
lydecl
inedthei nvit
at
ion.Hewoul dsl
eeponboardsinc
et heboat
wouldle
a veatfourt
hene xtmorni
nga nywa y.Sothepresi
dent
ehadrece
ive
dhi sfi
rstl
ett
er?
Alfr
edodidnotknowbe ca
usetha
toffi
cialhadnots e
nta
na nswer
."Yes
,"t
hepolic
emanr e
pli
ed,
"buthecouldnotwri
tebecaus
ewehe ardthatTa nda
ngBindaywasinSanAntoni
osowewe nt
t
he r
etof
indhe r
."

Sa
nAnt
oni
owa
supi
nthehi
ll
s!Goodma
n,t
hepr
esi
dent
e!He
,Al
fr
edo,mus
tdos
ome
thi
ngf
or
hi
m.I
twa
snote
ver
yda
ytha
toneme
twi
ths
uchwi
ll
ingne
sst
ohe
lp.

Eighto'
cl
oc k,lugubri
ousl
yt ol
le
df r
om thebelltower
,foundtheboatset
tl
edint
oas omnol
ent
quiet
.Ac othadbe enbroughtoutandspreadforhim,butitwastoobar
etobei nvi
ti
ngatt
hat
hour.I
twa stooearlytosl
eep:hewo ul
dwa l
ka r
oundthetown.Hishea
rtbeatf
ast
erashepi
cked
hiswaytos hor
eove rt
heraft
sma defas
ttosundrypil
esdri
venint
othewater
.

Howpe ac
efulthetownwa s!He reandtherealit
tl
etiendawa sstil
lopen,itsdimlightis
suing
forl
ornlyt
hroughthesingl
ewi ndowwhichse r
vedascounter.Anoc c
asi
onalcouplesaunte
redby,
thewome n'
sc hi
nela
sma ki
ngs crapi
ngsounds.Fr
omadi stancecametheshril
lvoicesofchil
dren
playi
ngga mesonthestree
t--
tubiganper
haps,or"hawk-and-chi
cken.
"Thet houghtofJuli
aSalas
inthatqui
etplacefi
ll
edhimwi t
hapityi
ngsadness.

Howwoul dlifes e
em nowi fheha dma r
ri
edJuli
aSa las?Hadheme anta nyt
hingtoher?That
unforgettabl
er ed-a
nd-
gol daft
ernooninear
lyAprilhauntedhimwi t
has ens eofincompl
etene
ss
asrestle
s sasotherunl
aidghosts.Shehadnotmarr
ied--
why?Fa i
thfulness
,her ef
lect
ed,wasnota
consciouse f
forta tregret
fulme mory.Itwa ss omething unvoliti
onal
,ma ybear e
curre
nt
awa r
ene ssofirrepl
ace
abi l
it
y.Ir
releva
nttr
if
les
--acoolwindonhi sforehead,far
-awaysoundsas
ofvoi cesi nadr eam--
a tti
mesmove dhimtoa noddlyi rr
esis
tibleimpul setolis
tenastoa n
ins
istent,unfi
nishedprayer.

Afewi nquiri
esledhimt oac ert
ainli
tt
letre
e-cei
lingedstr
eetwher
et heyoungmoonwove
i
ndi
sti
nctfil
igree
soff i
ghtandshadow.Inthegardensthecott
ontr
eethrewitsangula
rshadow
a
thwartthelow stonewa l
l;andinthec ool
,sti
llymi dni
ghtthecoc
k'sfir
stcallrosei
nt al
l,
s
oari
ngjetsofsound.Call
eLuz .

Some how orother,hehadknownt ha


thewoul df
indherhousebecaus
eshewouldsure
lybe
sit
ti
nga tt
hewi ndow.Wh e
reelse
,bef
orebedt
imeonamoonlitni
ght?Thehous
ewa slowand
theli
ghtinthesal
abe hi
ndhe rt
hrewhe
rheadint
ounmis
taka
blerel
ie
f.Hesens
edrat
hert
hansaw
herst
a r
tofvivi
ds urpr
ise
.

"
Goode
veni
ng,
"hes
aid,r
ais
inghi
sha
t.

"
Goode
veni
ng.Oh!Ar
eyoui
ntown
?"

"
Ons
omel
it
tl
ebus
ine
ss,
"hea
nswe
redwi
thaf
eel
ingofpa
inf
ulc
ons
tra
int
.

"
Won'
tyouc
omeup?
"

Hec ons
ider
ed.Hisvagueplanshadnotincl
ude
dt his.ButJul
iaSal
ashadlef
tthewi
ndow,
ca
ll
ingtohe rmotherasshedidso.Afte
rawhi l
e,s omeonecamedowns
tai
rswithal
ight
ed
ca
ndletoopenthedoor
.Atla
st--
hewasshaki
ngherhand.

Shehadnotchange
dmuch-
-ali
tt
lel
esssl
ender
,nots
oe a
gerl
yali
ve,ye
tsomethi
nghadgone
.He
miss
edit
,sit
ti
ngoppos
it
eher,l
ooki
ngthought
ful
lyi
ntoherf
inedar
keyes.Sheaske
dhimabout
thehomet own,aboutthi
sandtha
t,inasober,somewhatme di
ta
tivetone.Hec onver
sedwith
incr
easi
nge as
e,t
houghwi t
hagrowingwonderthatheshoul
dbet her
ea tal
l.Hec oul
dnottake
hiseyesfromherface.Whathads
helost
?Orwa sthel
osshis?Hef el
ta nimper
sonalcur
ios
ity
cree
pingintohi
sgaze.Thegir
lmustha
venoti
ced,forhe
rc he
ekdarkenedinablush.

Gent
ly--
wasitexperi
menta
ll
y?--
hepre
sse
dhe rha
ndatpar
ti
ng;buthi
sownfel
tundi
st
urbe
dand
emot
ionle
ss.Di
ds hest
il
lcare
?Theanswert
otheque
sti
onhar
dlyint
ere
ste
dhi
m.

Theyoungmoonha
dse
t,a
ndf
romt
heuni
nvi
ti
ngc
othec
oul
dse
eoneha
lfofas
tar
-st
udde
dsky.

Sot
hatwa
sal
love
r.

Whyha
dheobs
ti
nat
el
ycl
ungt
otha
tdr
eam?

Soal
lthe
seyea
rs-
-si
ncewhen?
--heha
dbe e
ns ee
ingthelightofde
ads
tar
s,l
onge
xti
ngui
she
d,
ye
tse
emingl
yst
il
linthe
ira
ppoi
ntedpl
ace
sintheheavens
.

Ani mmens esa


dnessasoflos
si nvade
dhi sspir
it
,ava
sthomesi
ckne
ssforsomeimmutabl
e
r
efugeoftheheartf
arawaywherefadedgarde
nsblooma
gai
n,andwherel
iveoninunc
hangi
ng
f
reshne
ss,thedea
r,dea
dlove
sofva ni
shedyouth.

Thi
sist
he s
hor
tst
oryt
hatga
vebi
rt
htomoder
nPhi
l
ippi
newr
it
ingi
nEngl
i
sh.