“You see, Mother Mary has answered my prayers.” Alicia welcomed the arrival of their family friend and spiritual leader, Padre Romo.
“I come forth in the peace of our Lord, with greetings from your family, young ladies.” Padre Romo bowed to the sisters. Seeing Captain Harris, he switched from Spanish to English. “How blessed we are that you are here, Captain. You will soon join the Ortega family in holy matrimony, yes? No?” Harris fidgeted and pushed his chair away from Clara.
Alicia wondered how the padre knew just when to arrive. He always seemed to know the business of the family. She retreated to the ramada to collect more food.
“Where’s that extra plate?” Alicia grabbed the china plate Mama used for company. Nina appeared from the garden carrying a different plate. When had Nina disappeared to the garden and why?
“No more chicken tonight, just quail,” Nina said.
“Chicken, quail, the padre won’t notice the difference.” Alicia saw Nina sneak some quail onto a plate but did not say anything. Nina often ate alone, away from the family.
Back in the sala, the padre waved a hand to bless the meal, then continued to chatter. His comments were full of news from the parish, the pueblo, and from the Presidio.
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