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A Napa Christchild; and Benicia's Letters

Yet Crescimir and Jovita said nothing


wondered where the little Christchild had gone, and search was made, but, of course, unsuccessfully; yet Crescimir and Jovita said nothing.

Thus, in time, people forgot about the tiny elf and now there are few who have even heard of Crescimir's guest.

The pretty cottage may to-day be seen on the knoll near the wonderful, wide-spreading laurel tree and every Christmas Eve upon the chimney piece of its open hearted hearth may be seen a dark, glossy branch of hemlock with a bunch of toyone.

Before the fire sit Crescimir and Jovita singing the little Christmas carrol of the Illyrian children. Sometimes they think that they hear a sweet, soft voice joining in harmony with their own, but yet they are not sure but that it may perhaps be only the music of their own happy hearts, and smiling at Jovita, who holds the little Crescimir in her arms, Crescimir the Illyrian points to the branch above the hearth while the little one opens his eyes in wonderment.

"Was he not, Jovita mia, like the affection which is seen by all the world between lovers before marriage? And then the world wonders where it has gone when the priest has pronounced the two as one. But we married lovers will never tell, for we are content to know that our Christchild has sunken deep into our hearts where his song inaudible to others is heard by us forever and ever."

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[Illustration: Scroll]

Benicia's Letters.

After my aunt Benicia's death I found in her little desk a bundle of letters, which threw light upon the romance of her life, and on the reason perhaps of her refusing many offers which were known to have been made her by honoured Californians of the last generation. The letters are curious and interesting to me, and were written to my uncle by his chum, and enclosed many sketches.

The letters are in Spanish, but for your better understanding I have translated them with all their strange expressions as best I can.

At first I thought that I would destroy them, but as most of my friends who read them now, have long known my aunt Benicia, I feel sure that they will be, even in these practical days, interested and touched by the revelation they so suggest of a life-long love which filled the heart of the good, little woman, who is at last at rest.


WUeRZBURG, 20th October, 18--.


How dull life here is, I cannot bear to look forward to the time so far ahead when I shall have done with the University, not that I shall be at all unhappy to leave and return to my dear California, but the twelve or sixteen months between now and then, make me shudder to think of.

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