Ramona had been all this time carefully smoothing out the torn places, "It is not so bad as it looks," she said; "if it were not for the hurry, there would be no trouble in mending it. But I will do it the best I can, so that it will not show, for to-morrow, and then, after the Father is gone, I can repair it at leisure, and make it just as good as new. I think I can mend it and wash it before dark," and she glanced at the sun. "Oh, yes, there are good three hours of daylight yet. I can do it. You put the irons on the fire, to have them hot, to iron it as soon as it is partly dried. You will see it will not show that anything has happened to it."
"Will the Senora know?" asked poor Margarita, calmed and reassured, but still in mortal terror.
Ramona turned her steady glance full on Margarita's face. "You would not be any happier if she were deceived, do you think?" she
"O Senorita, after it is mended? If it really does not show?" pleaded the girl.
"I will tell her myself, and not till after it is mended," said Ramona; but she did not smile.
"Ah, Senorita," said Margarita, deprecatingly, "you do not know what it is to have the Senora displeased with one."
"Nothing can be so bad as to be displeased with one's self," retorted Ramona, as she walked swiftly away to her room with the linen rolled up under her arm. Luckily for Margarita's cause, she met no one on the way. The Senora had welcomed Father Salvierderra at the foot of the veranda steps, and had immediately closeted herself with him. She had much to say to him,-- much about which she wished his help and counsel, and much which she wished to learn from him as to affairs in the Church and in the country generally.
Felipe had gone off at once to find Juan Canito, to see if everything were ready for the sheep-shearing to begin on the next day, if the shearers arrived in time; and there was very good chance of their coming in by sundown this day, Felipe thought, for he had privately instructed his messenger to make all possible haste, and to impress on the Indians the urgent need of their losing no time on the road.
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