Write this: ‘We send you commendations, giving notice to the governor of your expertise and excellent performance of your territorial duties carried out here at Rancho Refugio, Alta California. We, our properties, and our loyalties are ever after at your service.’”
“That’s a very long sentence, Mama.” Alicia dipped her pen in ink to finish the line.
“That’s the way they like it.” Mama brushed back her graying hair. She had a small smile on her lips, caught up in a memory of her past life.
“How do you know all this? I’ve never seen you write a letter before.” Clara rummaged around for a clean cup for her coffee. “It’s all gone!”
“Girls who sleep too late miss the morning coffee.” Mama returned to the letter.
“Remember, I used to read the letters coming to the comandante. I worked for his wife at the Presidio.” Alicia tried to imagine her Mama before she was a wife and mother. “Those altered gowns you wore last night were from my days in the society of officers and government officials. You could have been the daughters of…” She didn’t finish her sentence but took her cup outside.
“Why did she marry our papa?” Clara blurted out.
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