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drops down his bony face. Joanna left the chamber, wavering as if drunk, and seeing him, threw herself into his arms; he held her without uttering a word, and they stood thus in embrace for a long time, in the dark, narrow room where the crickets were chirping.

Joanna went back to the chamber. Tiburcio remained leaning against the table, his eyes fixed upon the candle which flickered in the breeze. Slowly the light of the moon came in, white, climbing upon the walls. He arose with a sigh, went to the door, sat down upon the threshold, lighted his pipe and looked leisurely out upon the country, which was growing brighter beneath the moon. Suddenly it seemed to him that he heard the cooing of pigeons. Above, the stars were shining, the tree tops glittered in the moonlight. Could it be an illusion?

Motionless, he concentrated his attention. The cooing continued. He arose impetuously, walked straight to the pigeon-roost and leaned against the trunk of the mango-tree.

"Could it be the pigeons who were returning after the passing of death?" he began to mutter in fury, replying to his thoughts. "Now it's too late! A curse upon them!"

A beating of wings, a tender cooing, and little cries came from the pigeon-house.