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"What is it, Joanna? What is the matter with you?"

In terror she stammered reply. "The pigeons, dear husband. Don't you hear them?"

It was their sad cooing that came from the roof of the house. "They are returning! Who knows? He is yet warm!" she cried.

And in the heart of the woman arose a great hope.

Tiburcio shrugged his shoulders.

"Now it's their turn to mourn!" he answered. "They are sobbing, like us. It's a pair that remained behind because of the little ones. I dashed the pigeon-house to earth, I have killed the fledglings. See!"

And he showed his bloody hands.

"They flew away; they're on the house. Do you want to see?"

He went out; she followed. They walked to the terrace. Tiburcio pointed to the ruined pigeon-house. Then he grasped the crushed bodies of the little birds. "Look!"

Without breathing a word Joanna looked on. In her horror she had stopped weeping. She gazed upon her husband, whose burning eyes flashed fire. He threw the first little pigeon upon the roof bellowing, "'T is well!"

He threw the second.