Old Marda ventured to follow him, and at the threshold said: "Dear Senor Felipe, do not! It is not good to go there! Come away!"
But he put her gently by, saying, "I would rather be here, good Marda;" and went in and locked the door.
It was past midnight when he came out. His face was stern. He had buried his mother again. Well might the Senora have dreaded to tell to Felipe the tale of the Ortegna treasure. Until he reached the bottom of the jewel-box, and found the Senora Ortegna's letter to his mother, he was in entire bewilderment at all he saw. After he had read this letter, he sat motionless for a long time, his head buried in his hands. His soul was wrung.
"And she thought that shame, and not this!" he said bitterly.
But one thing remained for Felipe now, If Ramona lived, he would find her, and restore to her this her rightful property. If she were dead, it must go to the Santa Barbara College.
"Surely my mother must have intended to give it to the Church," he said. "But why keep it all this time? It is this that has killed her. Oh, shame! oh, disgrace!" From the grave in which Felipe had buried his mother now, was no resurrection.
Replacing everything as before in the safe hiding-place, he sat down and wrote a letter to the Superior of the Santa Barbara College, telling him of the existence of these valuables, which in certain contingencies would belong to the College. Early in the morning he gave this letter to Juan Canito, saying: "I am going away, Juan, on a journey. If anything happens to me, and I do not return, send this letter by trusty messenger to Santa Barbara."
"Will you be long away, Senor Felipe?" asked the old man, piteously.