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The pride of palomar

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Pride of Palomar, by Peter B. Kyne,
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Title:ThePrideofPalomar
Author:PeterB.Kyne
ReleaseDate:September8,2005[eBook#16674]
Language:English
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Frontispiece
[Frontispiece:Theman—DonMiguelFarrel.]



ThePrideofPalomar

By


PeterB.Kyne

AuthorofKindredoftheDust,etc.

ILLUSTRATEDBY
H.R.BALLINGER
and
DEANCORNWELL

COSMOPOLITANBOOKCORPORATION
NEWYORK—MCMXXII


DEDICATION

FRANKL.MULGREW,ESQ.
THEBOHEMIANCLUB
SANFRANCISCO,CALIFORNIA
DEARFRIENDMUL.—
I have at last finished writing "The Pride of Palomar." It isn't at all what I
wanted it to be; it isn't at all what I planned it to be, but it does contain
somethingofwhatyouandIbothfeel,somethingofwhatyouwantedmetoput
intoit.Indeed,Ishallalwayswishtothinkthatitcontainsjustafewfaintlittle
echoes of the spirit of that old California that was fast vanishing when I first
disturbedthequietoftheMissionDoloreswithinfantileshrieks—whenyoufirst
gazedupontheredwood-studdedhillsofSonomaCounty.
You adventured with me in my quest for local color for "The Valley of the
Giants," in Northern California; you performed a similar service in Southern
Californialastsummerandunearthedformemorelocalcolor,moretouchesof
tender sentiment than I could use. Therefore, "The Pride of Palomar" is
peculiarlyyourbook.
Onadayayearago,whenthestorywasstillsovagueIcouldscarcelyfind
wordsinwhichtosketchforyouanoutlineofthenovelIpurposedwriting,you
said:"Itwillbeagoodstory.I'msoldonitalready!"Toyouthehaciendaofa
Rancho Palomar will always bring delightful recollections of the gracious


hospitality of Señor Cave Coutts, sitting at the head of that table hewed in the
forties.LittledidSeñorCouttsrealizethathe,thelastofthedonsinSanDiego
County, was to furnish copy for my novel; that his pride of ancestry, both
American and Castilian, his love for his ancestral hacienda at the Rancho
Guajome, and his old-fashioned garden with the great Bougainvillea in flower,
weretheingredientsnecessarytotheproductionofwhatItrustwillbeabook
withamission.
When we call again at the Moreno hacienda on the Rio San Luis Rey,
Carolinawillnotbetheretometamorphoseherhomeintoarestaurantandserve
usgalinaconarroz,tortillasandfrijolesrefritos.Butifsheshouldbe,shewill


notanswer,whenaskedtheamountofthescore:"Whatyouwill,señor."Ah,no,
Mul.Scoundrelsdevoidofromancewillhavediscoveredher,andshewillhave
openedaninnwithaJapcookandthetariffwillbedospesosymedia;therewill
beastrangewaiterandhewillscowlatusandexpectalargetip.AndStephen
Crane'sbrother,thegenialjudge,willhavemadehisfortuneinthemineonthe
hill,andtherewillbenomoreCaliforniawineasafirstaidtodigestion.
Ihadintendedtopaintthepicturethatwillremainlongestinyourmemory—
the dim candle-light in the white-washed chapel at the Indian Reservation at
Pala,duringBenedictionoftheBlessedSacrament—theyoungIndianMadonna,
withhernakedbabylyinginherlap,whileshesang:
"Come,HolyGhost,creatorblest,
Andinmyhearttakeupthyrest."
Butthepicturewascrowdedoutinthemake-up.Therewastoomuchtowrite
about, and I was always over-set! I saw and felt, with you, and regarded it as
more poignantly pathetic, the tragedy of that little handful of San Luisanos,
herdedaway intheheart ofthose barrenhillstomakewayfor the whiteman.
AndnowthewhitemanisalmostgoneandFatherDominic'sAngelus,ringing
from Mission San Luis Rey, falls upon the dull ear of a Japanese farmer,
usurpingthatsweetvalley,hallowedbysentiment,byhistoricalassociation,by
thelivesandlovesandashesofthemenandwomenwhocarvedCaliforniafrom
thewilderness.
Ihavegiventothisbookthelaboroflove.Iknowitisn'tliterature,Mul,butI
have joyed in writing it and it has, at least, the merit of sincerity. It is an
expressionoffaithandforallitsfaultsandimperfections,Ithinkyouwillfind,
tucked away in it somewhere, a modicum of merit. I have tried to limn
something, however vague, of the beauty of the land we saw through boyish
eyesbeforetherealestateagenthadprofanedit.
Youwerebornwithagreatlove,agreatreverenceforbeauty.Thatmustbe
because you were born in Sonoma County in the light of God's smile. Each
spring in California the dogwood blossoms are, for you, a creamier white, the
buckeyeblossomsmorenumerousandfragrant,thehillsatriflegreenerandthe
oldorder,theoldplaces,theoldfriendsalittledearer.
Wherefore, with much appreciation of your aid in its creation and of your


unfalteringfriendshipandaffection,Idedicate"ThePrideofPalomar"toyou.
Faithfully,
PETERB.KYNE.

SANFRANCISCO
JUNE9,1921.

Acknowledgment is made of the indebtedness of the author for much of the
materialusedinthisbooktoMr.MontavilleFlowers,authorof"TheJapanese
ConquestofAmericanOpinion."
P.B.K.

CONTENTS
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII

IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
XVI

XVII
XVIII
XIX
XX
XXI
XXII
XXIII
XXIV

XXV
XXVI
XXVII
XXVIII
XXIX
XXX
XXXI
XXXII


THEILLUSTRATIONS
TheMan—DonMiguelFarrel....Frontispiece
Hereamidstthegoldenromanceoftheoldmission,
thegirlsuddenlyunderstoodDonMike
TheGirl—KayParker


THEPRIDEofPALOMAR
I
Forthefirsttimeinsixtyyears,PabloArtelan,themajordomooftheRancho
Palomar,wastroubledofsoulattheapproachofwinter.OldDonMiguelFarrel
hadobservedsignsofmentaltravailinPabloforamonthpast,andwasataloss
toaccountforthem.HeknewPablopossessedoneextrapairofoveralls,brandnew,twopairsofbootswhichyoungDonMiguelhadbequeathedhimwhenthe
GreatWhiteFatheratWashingtonhadsummonedtheboytothewarinAprilof
1917, three chambray shirts in an excellent state of repair, half of a fat steer
jerked,afullbagofBayobeans,andastringofredchilli-pepperspendantfrom
theraftersofanadobeshackwhichPabloandhiswife,Carolina,occupiedrent
free.Certainly(thoughtoldDonMiguel)lifecouldholdnoproblemsforoneof
Pablo'sracethuspleasantlysituated.
CominguponPablothismorning,asthelattersatinhisfavoriteseatunder
thecatalpatreejustoutsidethewalloftheancientadobecompound,wherehe
couldcommandaviewofthewhitewagon-roadwindingdownthevalleyofthe
SanGregorio,DonMigueldecidedtoquestionhisancientretainer.
"MygoodPablo,"hequeried,"whathascomeovertheeoflate?Thouartofa
mien as sorrowful as that of a sick steer. Can it be that thy stomach refuses
longer to digest thy food? Come; permit me to examine thy teeth. Yes, by my
soul; therein lies the secret. Thou hast a toothache and decline to complain,
thinking that,bythysilence, Ishallbesavedadentist'sbill."ButPabloshook
hisheadinnegation."Come!"roaredoldDonMiguel."Openthymouth!"
Pablo rose creakily and opened a mouth in which not a tooth was missing.
Old Don Miguel made a most minute examination, but failed to discover the
slightestevidenceofdeterioration.
"Blood of the devil!" he cried, disgusted beyond measure. "Out with thy
secret!Ithasannoyedmeforamonth."


"The ache is not in my teeth, Don Miguel. It is here." And Pablo laid a
swarthyhanduponhistorso."Thereisasadnessinmyheart,DonMiguel.Two
yearshasDonMikebeenwiththesoldiers.Isitnottimethathereturnedtous?"
DonMiguel'saristocraticoldfacesoftened.
"Sothatiswhatdisturbsthee,myPablo?"
Pablonoddedmiserably,seatedhimself,andresumedhistaskoffashioning
thehondoofanewrawhideriata.
"Itisaverydryyear,"hecomplained."NeverbeforehaveIseenDecember
arrive ere the grass in the San Gregorio was green with the October rains.
Everythingisburned;thestreamsandthespringshavedriedup,andforamonth
Ihavelistenedtohearthequailcallonthehillsideyonder.ButIlisteninvain.
Thequailhavemovedtoanotherrange."
"Well,whatofit,Pablo?"
"Howourbeloved DonMike enjoyed thequail-shooting inthefall! Should
he return now to the Palomar, there will be no quail to shoot." He wagged his
gray head sorrowfully. "Don Mike will think that, with the years, laziness and
ingratitude have descended upon old Pablo. Truly, Satan afflicts me." And he
cursedwithgreatdepthoffeeling—inEnglish.
"Yes,poorboy,"oldDonMiguelagreed;"hewillmissmorethanthequailshootingwhenhereturns—ifheshouldreturn.TheysenthimtoSiberiatofight
theBolsheviki."
"What sort of country is this where Don Mike slays our enemy?" Pablo
queried.
"Itisalwayswinterthere,Pablo.Itisinhabitedbyawildraceofmenwith
muchwhiskers."
"Ah,ourpoorDonMike!Andheachildofthesun!"
"Hebutdoeshisduty,"oldDonMiguelrepliedproudly."Headdstothefame
of an illustrious family, noted throughout the centuries for the gallantry of its
warriors."


"Asmallcomfort,DonMiguel,ifourDonMikecomesnotagaintothosethat
lovehim."
"Prayforhim,"theoldDonsuggestedpiously.
Fellasilence.Then,
"DonMiguel,yondercomesoneoverthetrailfromElToro."
DonMiguelgazedacrossthevalleytothecrestofthehills.There,againstthe
sky-line,asolitaryhorsemanshowed.Pablocuppedhishandsoverhiseyesand
gazedlongandsteadily.
"ItisTonyMoreno,"hesaid,whilethemanwasstillamiledistant."Iknow
thatscufflingcrippleofahorseherides."
DonMiguelseatedhimselfOnthebenchbesidePabloandawaitedthearrival
ofthehorseman.Ashedrewnearer,theDonsawthatPablowasright.
"Now, what news does that vagabond bear?" he muttered. "Assuredly he
bringsatelegram;otherwisethedevilhimselfcouldnotinducethatlazywastrel
toridetwentymiles."
"Of a truth you are right, Don Miguel. Tony Moreno is the only man in El
Torowhoisforeveroutofajob,andtheagentofthetelegraphcompanycalls
uponhimalwaystodelivermessagesofimportance."
With the Don, he awaited, with vague apprehension, the arrival of Tony
Moreno. As the latter pulled his sweating horse up before them, they rose and
gazed upon him questioningly. Tony Moreno, on his part, doffed his shabby
sombrerowithhisrighthandandmurmuredcourteously,
"Buenastardes,DonMiguel."
Pabloheignored. Withhislefthand, hecaughtayellowenvelopeasitfell
fromunderthehat.
"Good-afternoon,Moreno."DonMiguelreturnedhissalutationwithagravity
he felt incumbent upon one of his station to assume when addressing a social
inferior."Youbringmeatelegram?"HespokeinEnglish,forthesolepurposeof


indicatingtothemessengerthatthegulfbetweenthemcouldnotbespannedby
thebridgeoftheirmothertongue.HesuspectedTonyMorenoverystronglyof
havingstolenayearlingfromhimmanyyearsago.
TonyMorenorememberedhismanners,anddismountedbeforehandingDon
Miguelthetelegram.
"Thedeliverycharges?"DonMiguelqueriedcourteously.
"Nothing, Don Miguel." Moreno's voice was strangely subdued. "It is a
pleasuretoserveyou,señor."
"Youareverykind."AndDonMiguelthrustthetelegram,unopened,intohis
pocket."However,"hecontinued,"itwillpleaseme,Moreno,ifyouacceptthis
slighttokenofmyappreciation."Andhehandedthemessengerafive-dollarbill.
The don was a proud man, and disliked being under obligation to the Tony
Morenos of this world. Tony protested, but the don stood his ground, silently
insistent,and,intheend,theotherpouchedthebill,androdeaway.DonMiguel
seatedhimselfoncemorebesidehisretaineranddrewforththetelegram.
"It must be evil news," he murmured, with the shade of a tremor in his
musicalvoice;"otherwise,thatfellow couldnothave feltso muchpityforme
thatitmovedhimtodeclineagratuity."
"Read,DonMiguel!"Pablocroaked."Read!"
DonMiguelread.Thenhecarefullyfoldedthetelegramandreplaceditinthe
envelope; as deliberately, he returned the envelope to his pocket. Suddenly his
handsgrippedthebench,andhetrembledviolently.
"Don Mike is dead?" old Pablo queried softly. He possessed all the acute
intuitionofaprimitivepeople.
DonMigueldidnotreply;sopresentlyPabloturnedhisheadandgazedup
into the master's face. Then he knew—his fingers trembled slightly as he
returnedtoworkonthehondo,and,foralongtime,nosoundbrokethesilence
savethesongofanorioleinthecatalpatree.
Suddenly,thesoundforwhicholdPablohadwaitedsolongburstforthfrom
the sage-clad hillside. It was a cock quail calling, and, to the majordomo, it


seemedtosay:"DonMike!Comehome!DonMike!Comehome!"
"Ah,littletruant,whohastoldyouthatyouaresafe?"Pablocriedinagony.
"ForDonMikeshallnotcomehome—no,no—neveranymore!"
HisIndianstoicismbrokeatlast;heclaspedhishandsandfelltohisknees
besidethebench,sobbingaloud.
DonMiguelregardedhimnot,andwhenPablo'sbabblingbecameincoherent,
theagedmasterofPalomarcontrolledhistwitchinghandssufficientlytorolland
lightacigarette.Thenherereadthetelegram.
Yes;itwastrue.ItwasfromWashington,andsignedbytheadjutant-general;
it informed Don Miguel José Farrel, with regret, that his son, First Sergeant
MiguelJoséMariaFedericoNoriagaFarrel,Number765,438,hadbeenkilledin
actioninSiberiaonthefourthinstant.
"Atleast,"theolddonmurmured,"hediedlikeagentleman.Hadhereturned
totheRanchoPalomar,hecouldnothavecontinuedtolivelikeone.Oh,myson,
myson!"
Heroseblindlyandgropedhiswayalongthewalluntilhecametotheinset
gateleadingintothepatio;likeastrickenanimalretreatingtoitslair,hesought
the privacy of his old-fashioned garden, where none might intrude upon his
grief.

II
FirstSergeantMichaelJosephFarrelenteredtheorderly-roomandsalutedhis
captain, who sat, with his chair tilted back, staring mournfully at the opposite
wall.
"I have to report, sir, that I have personally delivered the battery records,
correctlysorted,labeled,and securelycrated, tothedemobilizationoffice.The
typewriter, field-desk, and stationery have been turned in, and here are the
receipts."


Thecaptaintuckedthereceiptsinhisblousepocket.
"Well,Sergeant,Idaresaythatmarksthecompletionofyourduties—allbut
thelastformation."Heglancedathiswrist-watch."Fallinthebatteryandcall
theroll.Bythattime,Iwillhaveorganizedmyfarewellspeechtothemen.Hope
Icandeliveritwithoutmakingafoolofmyself."
"Verywell,sir."
Thefirstsergeantsteppedoutoftheorderly-roomandblewthreelongblasts
on his whistle—his signal to the battery to "fall in." The men came out of the
demobilization-shacks with alacrity and formed within a minute; without
command,they"dressed"totherightandstraightenedtheline.Farrelsteppedto
therightofit,glanceddownthelongrowofsilent,eagermen,andcommanded,
"Front!"
Nearlytwohundredheadsdescribedaquartercircle.
Farrel stepped lithely down the long front to the geometrical center of the
formation, made a right-face, walked six paces, executed an about-face, and
announcedcomplainingly:
"Well, I've barked at you for eighteen months—and finally you made it
snappy.Onthelastdayofyourservice,youmanagetofallinwithinthetimelimit and dress the line perfectly. I congratulate you." Covert grins greeted his
ironicalsally.Hecontinued:"I'mgoingtosaygood-bytothoseofyouwhothink
thereareworsetopsintheservicethanI.Tothosewhodidnottakekindlytomy
methods,Ihavenoapologiestooffer.Igaveeverybodyasquaredeal,andfor
theinformationofsomehalf-dozenHot-spurswhohavevowedtogivemethe
beating of my life the day we should be demobilized, I take pleasure in
announcingthatIwillbethefirstmantobedischarged,thatthereisaniceclear
spacebetweenthesetwodemobilization-shacksandthegroundisnottoohard,
that there will be no guards to interfere, and if any man with the right to call
himself'Mister'desirestoairhis grievance,hecanmake hisengagementnow,
and I shall be at his service at the hour stipulated. Does anybody make me an
offer?" He stood there, balanced nicely on the balls of his feet, cool, alert,
glancing interestedly up and down the battery front. "What?" he bantered,
"nobodybids?Well,I'mgladofthat.Ipartfriendswitheverybody.Callrolls!"


Thesection-chiefscalledtherollsoftheirsectionsandreportedthempresent.
Farrelsteppedtothedooroftheorderly-room.
"Themenarewaitingforthecaptain,"hereported.
"SergeantFarrel,"thatbedeviledindividualrepliedfrantically,"Ican'tdoit.
You'llhavetodoitforme."
"Yes,sir;Iunderstand."
Farrelreturnedtothebattery,broughtthemtoattention,andsaid:
"Theskipperwantstosaygood-by,men,butheisn'tuptothejob.He'safraid
to tackle it; so he has asked me to wish you light duty, heavy pay, and double
rationsincivillife.Hehasaskedmetosaytoyouthathelovesyouallandwill
notsoonforgetsuchsoldiersasyouhaveprovedyourselvestobe."
"ThreefortheSkipper!Givehimthreeandatiger!"somebodypleaded,and
thecheersweregivenwithaheartygenerositywhicheventhemostdisgruntled
organizationcandeveloponthedayofdemobilization.
Theskippercametothedooroftheorderly-room.
"Good-by,goodluck,andGodblessyou,lads!"heshouted,andnodwiththe
dischargesunderhisarm,whilethebattery"countedoff,"and,incommandof
Farrel(thelieutenantshadalreadybeendemobilized),marchedtothepay-tables.
As they emerged from the paymaster's shack, they scattered singly, in little
groups, back to the demobilization-shacks. Presently, bearing straw suitcases,
"tin"helmets,andgas-masks(theselatterarticlespresentedtothembyapaternal
governmentassouvenirsoftheirservice),theydriftedoutthroughthePresidio
gate,wheretheworldswallowedthem.
Although he had been the first man in the battery to receive his discharge,
FarrelwasthelastmantoleavethePresidio.Hewaiteduntilthecaptain,having
distributedthedischarges,cameoutofthepay-officeandrepairedagaintohis
desertedorderly-room;whereupontheformerfirstsergeantfollowedhim.
"I hesitate to obtrude, sir," he announced, as he entered the room, "but
whether the captain likes it or not, he'll have to say good-by to me. I have
attendedtoeverythingIcanthinkof,sir;so,unlessthecaptainhassomefurther


useforme,Ishallbejoggingalong."
"Farrel," the captain declared, "if I had ever had a doubt as to why I made
you top cutter of B battery, that last remark of yours would have dissipated it.
Pleasedonotbeinahurry.Sitdownandmournwithmeforalittlewhile."
"Well,I'llsitdownwithyou,sir,butI'llbehangedifI'llbemournful.I'mtoo
happyintheknowledgethatI'mgoinghome."
"Whereisyourhome,sergeant?"
"InSanMarcosCounty,inthesouthernpartofthestate.Aftertwoyearsof
SiberiaandfourdaysofthisSanFranciscofog,I'mfeduponlowtemperatures,
and, by the holy poker, I want to go home. It isn't much of a home—just a
quaint,old,crumblingadoberuin,butit'shome,andit'smine.Yes,sir;I'mgoing
homeandsleepinthebedmygreat-greatgrandfatherwasbornin."
"IfIhadabedthatold,I'dfumigateit,"thecaptaindeclared.Likeallregular
army officers, he was a very devil of a fellow for sanitation. "Do you worship
yourancestors,Farrel?"
"Well, come to think of it, I have rather a reverence for 'the ashes of my
fathersandthetemplesofmygods.'"
"SohavetheChinese.AmongAmericans,however,Ithoughtallthatsortof
thingwasconfinedtothedescendantsofthePilgrimFathers."
"If I had an ancestor who had been a Pilgrim Father," Farrel declared, "I'd
locatehisgraveandbuildagarbage-incineratoronit."
"What'syourgrouchagainstthePilgrimFathers?"
"They let their religion get on top of them, and they took all the joy out of
life. My Catalonian ancestors, on the other hand, while taking their religion
seriously,neverpermittedittointerferewithafiesta.Theywerewhatmightbe
called'regularfellows.'"
"YourCatalonianancestors?Why,IthoughtyouwereblackIrish,Farrel?"
"ThefirstofmylinethatIknowanythingaboutwasalieutenantintheforce


that marched overland from Mexico to California under command of Don
GaspardePortola.DonGasparwasaccompaniedbyFrayJuniperoSerra.They
carriedaswordandacrossrespectively,andarrivedinSanDiegoonJulyfirst,
1769.So,yousee,I'marealCalifornian."
"YoumeanSpanish-Californian."
"Well,hardlyinthesensethatmostpeopleusethatterm,sir.Wehavenever
intermarriedwithMexicanorIndian,anduntilmygrandfatherFarrelarrivedat
theranchandrefusedtogoawayuntilmygrandmotherNoriagawentwithhim,
wewerepure-bredSpanishblonds.Mygrandmother hadredhair,browneyes,
and a skin as white as an old bleached-linen napkin. Grandfather Farrel is the
fellowtowhomIamindebtedformysaddle-coloredcomplexion."
"Siberia has bleached you considerably. I should say you're an ordinary
brunetnow."
Farrelremovedhisoverseascapandranlongfingersthroughhishair.
"If I had a strain of Indian in me, sir," he explained, "my hair would be
straight, thick, coarse, and blue-black. You will observe that it is wavy, a
mediumcrop,ofaveragefineness,andjetblack."
Thecaptainlaughedathisfrankness.
"Very well, Farrel; I'll admit you're clean-strain white. But tell me: How
muchofyouisLatinandhowmuchFarrel?"
ItwasFarrel'sturntochucklenow.
"Seriously,Icannotanswerthatquestion.Mygrandmother,asIhavestated,
was pure-bred Castilian or Catalonian, for I suppose they mixed. The original
Michael Joseph Farrel (I am the third of the name) was Tipperary Irish, and
couldtracehisancestrybacktothefairies—tohearhimtellit.Butonecannever
be quite certain how much Spanish there is in an Irishman from the west, so I
havealwaysstartedwiththepremisethattheresultofthatmarriage—myfather
—was three-fifths Latin. Father married a Galvez, who was half Scotch; so I
supposeI'manAmerican."
"I should like to see you on your native heath, Farrel. Does your dad still


wear a conical-crowned sombrero, bell-shaped trousers, bolero jacket, and all
thatsortofthing?"
"No,sir.TheoriginalMikeinsisteduponwearingregulartrousersandhats.
He had all of the prejudices of his race, and regarded folks who did things
differentlyfromhimasinferiorpeople.HewasalieutenantonaBritishsloopof-warthatwaswreckedonthecoastofSanMarcosCountyintheearly'Forties.
Allhandsweredrowned,withtheexceptionofmygrandfather,whowasavery
contrary man. He swam ashore and strolled up to the hacienda of the Rancho
Palomar,arrivingjustbeforeluncheon.Whatwithatwenty-milehikeinthesun,
he was dry by the time he arrived, and in his uniform, although somewhat
bedraggled, he looked gay enough to make a hit with my great-grandfather
Noriaga,whoinvitedhimtoluncheonandbeggedhimtostayawhile.Michael
Josephlikedtheplace;sohestayed.Yousee,therewerethousandsofhorseson
theranchand,likeallsailors,hehadequestrianambitions."
"Greatsnakes!Itmusthavebeenasizableplace."
"Itwas.TheoriginalMexicangrantwastwentyleaguessquare."
"Itakeit,then,thattheestatehasdwindledinsize."
"Oh, yes, certainly. My great-grandfather Noriaga, Michael Joseph I, and
MichaelJosephIIshotcrapswithit,andbetitonhorse-races,andgaveitaway
for wedding-doweries, and, in general, did their little best to put the Farrel
posterityoutinthemesquitewiththelastoftheMissionIndians."
"Howmuchofthisprincipalityhaveyouleft?"
"I do not know. When I enlisted, we had a hundred thousand acres of the
finest valley and rolling grazing-land in California and the hacienda that was
built in 1782. But I've been gone two years, and haven't heard from home for
fivemonths."
"Mortgaged?"
"Ofcourse.TheFarrelsneverworkedwhilemoneycouldberaisedattenper
cent. Neither did the Noriagas. You might as well attempt to yoke an elk and
teachhimhowtohaulacart."


"Oh,nonsense,Farrel!You'rethehardest-workingmanIhaveeverknown."
Farrelsmiledboyishly.
"ThatwasinSiberia,andIhadtohustletokeepwarm.ButIknowI'llnotbe
homesixmonthsbeforethatdeliciousmañanaspiritwillsettleovermeagain,
likemildewonoldboots."
Thecaptainshookhishead.
"Any man who can see so clearly the economic faults of his race and
nevertheless sympathize with them is not one to be lulled to the ruin that has
overtakenpracticallyalloftheoldnativeCaliforniafamilies.ThatstrainofCelt
andGaelinyouwilltriumphovertheeasy-goingLatin."
"Well, perhaps. And two years in the army has helped tremendously to
eradicateaninheritedtendencytowardprocrastination."
"I shall like to think that I had something to do with that," the officer
answered."Whatareyourplans?"
"Well,sir,thishungryworldmustbefedbytheUnitedStatesforthenextten
years,andIhaveanideathattheRanchoPalomarcanpullitselfoutofthehole
withbeefcattle.Myfatherhasalwaysraisedshort-legged,long-hornedscrubs,
descendants of the old Mexican breeds, and there is no money in that sort of
stock.IfIcaninducehimtoturntheranchovertome,I'lltrytoraisesufficient
money to buy a couple of car-loads of pure-bred Hereford bulls and grade up
that scrub stock; in four or five years I'll have steers that will weigh eighteen
hundredtotwothousandpoundsonthehoof,insteadofthelittleeight-hundredpoundersthathaveswindledusforahundredyears."
"Howmanyheadofcattlecanyourunonyourranch?"
"About ten thousand—one to every ten acres. If I could develop water for
irrigationintheSanGregoriovalley,Icouldraisealfalfaandlot-feedacoupleof
thousandmore."
"Whatistheranchworth?"
"About eight per acre is the average price of good cattle-range nowadays.


Withplentyofwaterforirrigation,thevalley-landwouldbeworthfivehundred
dollarsanacre.It'sasrichascream,andwillgrowanything—withwater."
"Well,Ihopeyourdadtakesabackseatandgivesyouafreehand,Farrel.I
thinkyou'llmakegoodwithhalfachance."
"Ifeelthatwayalso,"Farrelrepliedseriously.
"Areyougoingsouthto-night?"
"Oh, no. Indeed not! I don't want to go home in the dark, sir." The captain
was puzzled. "Because I love my California, and I haven't seen her for two
years,"Farrelreplied,totheother'sunspokenquery."It'sbeensofoggysincewe
landedinSanFranciscoI'vehadahardjobmakingmywayroundthePresidio.
ButifItaketheeight-o'clocktraintomorrowmorning,I'llrunoutofthefog-belt
in forty-five minutes and be in the sunshine for the remainder of the journey.
Yes,byJupiter—andfortheremainderofmylife!"
"Youwanttofeastyoureyesonthecountryside,eh?"
"Ido.It'sApril,andIwanttoseetheSalinasvalleywithitsoaks;Iwantto
seethebench-landswiththegrape-vinesjustbudding;Iwanttoseesomebaldfaced cows clinging to the Santa Barbara hillsides, and I want to meet some
fellowonthetrainwhospeaksthelanguageofmytribe."
"Farrel,you'reallIrish.You'reromanticandpoetical,andyoufeelthecallof
kindtokind.That'sdistinctlyaCeltictrait."
"Quiénsabe?ButIhaveagreat yearning tospeakSpanishwithsomebody.
It'smymothertongue."
"Theremustbeanotherreason,"thecaptainbanteredhim."Surethereisn'ta
girlsomewherealongtherightofwayandyouarefearful,ifyoutakethenighttrain,thattheportermayfailtowakenyouintimetowavetoherasyougoby
herstation?"
Farrelshookhishead.
"There'sanotherreason,butthatisn'tit.Captain,haven'tyoubeenvisualizing
everylittledetailofyourhome-coming?"


"You forget, Farrel, that I'm a regular-army man, and we poor devils get
accustomed to being uprooted. I've learned not to build castles in Spain, and I
neverbelieveI'mgoingtogetaleaveuntiltheoldmanhandsmetheorder.Even
then,I'malwaysfearfulofanorderrecallingit."
"You're missing a lot of happiness, sir. Why, I really believe I've had more
fun out of the anticipation of my home-coming than I may get out of the
realization.I'veplannedeverydetailformonths,and,ifanythingslips,I'mliable
tositrightdownandbawllikeakid."
"Let's listen to your plan of operations, Farrel," the captain suggested. "I'll
neverhaveonemyself,inallprobability,butI'mchildenoughtowanttolisten
toyours."
"Well,inthefirstplace,Ihaven'tcommunicatedwithmyfathersincelanding
here. He doesn't know I'm back in California, and I do not want him to know
untilIdropinonhim."
"Andyourmother,Farrel?"'
"DiedwhenIwasalittlechap.Nobrothersorsisters.Well,ifIhadwritten
him or wired him when I first arrived, he would have had a week of the most
damnable suspense, because, owing to the uncertainty of the exact date of our
demobilization, I could not have informed him of the exact time of my arrival
home. Consequently, he'd have had old Carolina, our cook, dishing up nightly
fearfulquantitiesofthesortofgrubIwasraisedon.Andthatwouldbewasteful.
Also,he'dsitunderthecatalpatreeoutsidethewesternwallofthehaciendaand
nevertakehiseyesoffthehighwayfromElToroorthetrailfromSespe.And
everynightafterthesunhadsetandI'dfailedtoshowup,he'dgotobedheavyhearted.Suspenseishardonanoldman,sir."
"Onyoungmen,too.Goon."
"Well, I'll drop off the train to-morrow afternoon about four o'clock at a
lonelylittleflag-stationcalledSespe.AfterthetrainleavesSespe,itrunssouthwest for almost twenty miles to the coast, and turns south to El Toro. Nearly
everybodyenterstheSanGregoriofromElToro,but,viatheshort-cuttrailfrom
Sespe,Icanhikeithomeinthreehoursandarriveabsolutelyunannouncedand
unheralded.


"Now, as I pop up over the mile-high ridge back of Sespe, I'll be looking
downontheSanGregoriowhilethelastofthesunlightstilllingersthere.You
see,sir,I'monlylookingatanoldpictureI'vealwaysloved.Tuckedawaydown
in the heart of the valley, there is an old ruin of a mission—the Mission de la
MadreDolorosa—theMotherofSorrows.Thelightwillbeshiningonitsdirty
whitewallsandred-tiledroof,andI'llsitmedownintheshadeofamanzanita
bushandwait,becausethat'smyvalleyandIknowwhat'scoming.
"Exactly at six o'clock, I shall see a figure come out on the roof of the
missionandstandinfrontoftheoldgallows-frameonwhichhangeightchimes
that were carried in on mules from the City of Mexico when Junipero Serra
plantedthecrossofCatholicismatSanDiego,in1769.Thatdistantfigurewill
beBrotherFlavio,oftheFranciscanOrder,andtheoldboyisgoingtorampup
anddowninfrontofthosechimeswithahammerandgivemeaconcert.He'll
bangout'AdesteFideles'and'GloriainExcelsis.'That'sacinch,becausehe'sa
creatureofhabit.Occasionallyheplays'Lead,KindlyLight'and'AveMaria'!"
Farrelpaused,afaintsmileofamusementfringinghishandsomemouth.He
rolledandlightedacigaretteandcontinued:
"My father wrote me that old Brother Flavio, after a terrible battle with his
ownconscienceandattheriskofbeinghoveoutofthevalleybyhisindignant
superior, Father Dominic, was practising 'Hail, The Conquering Hero Comes!'
againstthedayofmyhome-coming.IwrotefathertotellBrotherFlaviotocut
thatoutandsubstitute'IntheGoodOldSummertime'ifhewantedtomakeahit
with me. Awfully good old hunks, Brother Flavio! He knows I like those old
chimes,and,whenI'mhome,hemostcertainlybangsthemsothemelodywill
carryclearuptothePalomar."
The captain was gazing with increasing amazement upon his former first
sergeant. After eighteen months, he had discovered a man he had not known
heretofore."
"Andafterthe'Angelus'—what?"hedemanded.
Farrel'ssmuglittlesmileofcomplacencyhadbroadened.
"Well, sir, when Brother Flavio pegs out, I'll get up and run down to the
Mission, where Father Dominic, Father Andreas, Brother Flavio, Brother
Anthony,andBrotherBenedictwillallextendawelcomeandmussmeup,and


we'll all talk at once and get nowhere with the conversation for the first five
minutes.BrotherAnthonyisjustalittlebit—ah—nutty,butharmless.He'llwant
toknowhowmanymenI'vekilled,andI'lltellhimtwohundredandnineteen.
Hehasaleaningtowardoddnumbers,astendingmoretowardexactitude.Right
away,he'llgointothechapelandprayfortheirsouls,andwhilehe'satthispious
exercise,FatherDominicwilldigupabottleofoldwinethat'stoogoodforanut
likeBrotherAnthony,andwe'llsitonabenchinthemissiongardenintheshade
ofthelargestbougainvilleaintheworldandtuckawaythewine.Betweentucks,
Father Dominic will inquire casually into the state of my soul, and the
informationthuselicitedwillscandalizetheoldsaint.TheonlywayIcansquare
myselfistogointothechapelwiththemandgivethanksformyescapefromthe
Bolsheviki.
"Bythattime,itwillbeaquarterofsevenanddark,soFatherDominicwill
crankupaprehistoriclittleautomobilemyfathergavehiminorderthathemight
spreadhimselfoverSanMarcosCountyonSundaysandsaytwomasses.Ihave
anotionthatthetaskofkeepingthatoldcarinrunningorderhasupsetBrother
Anthony'smentalbalance.Heusedtobeablacksmith'shelperinElToroinhis
youth,andthereforeissupposedtobeamechanicinhisoldage."
"Thentheoldpadredrivesyouhome,eh?"thecaptainsuggested.
"Hedoes.Providentially,itisnowthecooloftheevening.TheSanGregorio
iswarmenough,forallpracticalpurposes,evenonadayinApril,and,knowing
this,Iamgratefultomyselffortimingmyarrivalaftertheheatoftheday.Father
Dominic is grateful also. The old man wears thin sandals, and on hot days he
suffers continuous martyrdom from the heat of that little motor. He is always
beggingSatantoflyawaywiththathot-footaccelerator.
"Well, arrived home, I greet my father alone in the patio. Father Dominic,
meanwhile,sitsoutsideinhisflivverandpermitsthemotortoroar,justtoletmy
father know he's there, although not for money enough to restore his mission
wouldhebuttinonusatthatmoment.
"Well, my father will not be able to hear a word I say until Padre Dominic
shutsoffhismotor;somyfatherwillyellathimandaskhimwhatthedevilhe's
doingoutthereandtocomein,andbequickaboutit,orhe'llthrowhisshareof
thedinnertothehogs.Wealwaysdineatseven;sowe'llbeintimefordinner.
Butbeforewegointodinner,mydadwillringthebellinthecompound,andthe


helpwillreport.Amidloudcriesofwonderanddelight,Ishallbewelcomedby
amessofmixedbreedsofassortedsexes,andoldPablo,themajordomo,willbe
orderedtopassoutsomewinetocelebratemyarrival.It'sagainstthelawtogive
winetoanIndian,butthen,asmyfatheralwaysremarksonsuchoccasions:'To
hellwiththelaw!They'remyIndians,andtherearedamnedfewofthemleft.'
"Padre Dominic, my father, and I will, in all probability, get just a little bit
jingled at dinner. After dinner, we'll sit on the porch flanking the patio and
smoke cigars, and I'll smell the lemon verbena and heliotrope and other oldfashioned flowers modern gardeners have forgotten how to grow. About
midnight, Father Dominic's brain will have cleared, and he will be fit to be
trusted with his accursed automobile; so he will snort home in the moonlight,
andmyfatherwillthencarefullylockthepatiogatewithanine-inchkey.Not
thatanybodyeverstealsanythinginourcountry,exceptacowonceinawhile—
and cows never range in our patio—but just because we're hell-benders for
conformingtocustom.WhenIwasaboy,PabloArtelan,ourmajordomo,always
sleptathwartthatgate,likeanoldwatchdog.IgiveyoumywordI'veclimbed
thatpatiowallahundredtimesanddroppeddownonPablo'sstomachwithout
wakeninghim.And,foraquarterofacentury,tomypersonalknowledge,that
patio gate has supported itself on a hinge and a half. Oh, we're a wonderful
institution,weFarrels!"
"WhatdidyousaythisPablowas?"
"Heusedtobeamajordomo.Thatis,hewastheforemanoftheranchwhen
we needed a foreman. We haven't needed Pablo for a long time, but it doesn't
costmuchtokeephimonthepay-roll,exceptwhenhisrelativescometovisit
himandstayacoupleofweeks."
"Andyourfatherfeedsthem?"
"Certainly.Also,hehousesthem.Itcan'tbehelped.It'sanoldcustom."
"HowlonghasPablobeenapensioner?"
"Frombirth.He'smostlyIndian,andalltheworkheeverdidneverhurthim.
But,then,hewasneverpaidverymuch.Hewasbornontheranchandhasnever
beenmorethantwentymilesfromit.Andhiswifeisourcook.Shehasrelatives,
too."


Thecaptainburstoutlaughing.
"ButsurelythisPablohassomeuse,"hesuggested.
"Well he feeds the dogs, and in order to season his frijoles with the salt of
honest labor, he saddles my father's horse and leads him round to the house
every morning. Throughout the remainder of the day, he sits outside the wall
and,byfollowingthesun, hemanagestoremainintheshade.Hewatchesthe
road to proclaim the arrival of visitors, smokes cigarettes, and delivers caustic
criticismsontheyoungergenerationwhenhecangetanybodytolistentohim."
"Howoldisyourfather,Farrel?"
"Seventy-eight."
"Andheridesahorse!"
"He does worse than that." Farrel laughed. "He rides a horse that would
police you, sir. On his seventieth birthday, at a rodeo, he won first prize for
ropingandhog-tyingasteer."
"I'dliketomeetthatfatherofyours,Farrel."
"You'dlikehim.AnytimeyouwanttospendafurloughonthePalomar,we'll
makeyoumightywelcome.Bettercome inthefallforthequail-shooting."He
glancedathiswrist-watchandsighed."Well,IsupposeI'ddowelltobetoddling
along.Isthecaptaingoingtoremainintheservice?"
Thecaptainnodded.
"My people are hell-benders on conforming to custom, also," he added.
"We'veallbeenfield-artillerymen.
"IbelieveIthankedyoufora favoryoudidmeonce,buttoproveImeant
whatIsaid,I'mgoingtosendyouahorse,sir.Heisachestnutwithsilverpoints,
five years old, sixteen hands high, sound as a Liberty Bond, and bred in the
purple. He is beautifully reined, game, full of ginger, but gentle and sensible.
He'll weigh ten hundred in condition, and he's as active as a cat. You can win
withhimatanyhorse-showandattheheadofabattery.Dios!Heiseveryincha
caballero!"


"Sergeant,you'remuchtookind.Really——-"
"The things we have been through together, sir—all that we have been to
each other—never can happen again. You will add greatly to my happiness if
youwillacceptthisanimalasasouvenirofourverypleasantassociation."
"Oh, son, this is too much! You're giving me your own private mount. You
love him. He loves you. Doubtless he'll know you the minute you enter the
pasture."
Farrel'sfinewhiteteeth,flashedinabrilliantsmile,"Idonotdesiretohave
thecaptainmountedonaninferiorhorse.Wehavemanyothergoodhorseson
the Palomar. This one's name is Panchito; I will express him to you some day
thisweek."
"Farrel, you quite overwhelm me. A thousand thanks! I'll treasure Panchito
foryoursakeaswellashisown."
Thesoldierextendedhishand,andthecaptaingraspedit.
"Good-by,Sergeant.Pleasantgreenfields!"
"Good-by,sir.Drycampsandquickpromotion."
The descendant of a conquistador picked up his straw suitcase, his helmet,
andgas-mask.Atthedoor,hestoodtoattention,andsaluted.Thecaptainleaped
tohisfeetandreturnedthissalutationofwarriors;thedooropenedandclosed,
andtheofficerstoodstaringatthespacesolatelyoccupiedbythemanwho,for
eighteenmonths,hadbeenhisrighthand.
"Strange man!" he muttered. "I didn't know they bred his kind any more.
Why,he'safeudalbaron!"

III
Therewerethreepeopleintheobservation-carwhenMichael JosephFarrel


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