Zaletta’s book dropped upon the floor, and her tongue refused her heart
utterance, but Guilerme’s eyes rested upon the beautiful girl with
“Found at last, my own Zaletta.” His arms opened, and the trembling,
lonely heart of the maiden found its true resting-place.
They sat down side by side, hand clasping hand, and explained all the
past to each other, how Guilerme had written and received no answer,
and at last returned to find her gone, and his heart desolate.
Zaletta told him all she had suffered, and of the kindness she had
received at the cottage. Then Guilerme took the old woman’s hands and
thanked her with a voice trembling with emotion.
The mother rejoiced with them, but there mingled a sorrow for her son
with the joy. “Poor son,” she thought, “He is very fond of the child.”
Soon another knock came, and again the old woman asked, “Who knocks at
my door so late in the night,” and the dwarf answered:—
“Mother! mother! I’ve struck the lode at last.”
She opened the door, and he threw his arms round her neck and kissed
her, then he came in, and saw Guilerme; and they both told their
“So,” said the dwarf, when Guilerme had finished: “You have come to
take my pretty maid away? Well, if she loves you, ’tis all right, I
have had no time to think of women; but, somehow, I have grown fond of
her,” and he sighed heavily. “I have struck the lode at last. I am a
rich man, but I must find some one to share my good fortune with me,
some pure, good little girl like our Zaletta.”
In the morning, when Guilerme and the dwarf went to the mine together,
they found it even richer than the dwarf had thought it, the night
before. Guilerme offered to furnish the money to build a mill to crush
the ore, for one-half the mine; and so they became partners.
Soon after this, Guilerme and Zaletta were married at the cottage in
the wood, and in time the good dwarf was united to a pretty Mexican
lass, who made him very happy.
After a time, Guilerme built a fine house for his wife, and, when they
had two little children, he took his family home to the old hacienda.
The mother and sister did not recognize their old servant in Guilerme’s
brilliant señora, but the old father (God bless him) knew her, when she
placed her little soft hand in his, and kissed him; and very dearly he
learned to love his dutiful daughter.
So they were all rich and happy, as long as it pleased God to spare
THE STRONG MAN OF SANTA BARBARA.
Many years ago, in the old Spanish mission of Santa Barbara, lived an
old Mexican, named Joza Silva, with his wife and child, in a little
adobe house, containing but one room.
There was a small window, rudely latticed with unplaned laths, and a
door opening upon a pleasant view of the golden-sanded beach and the
restless waves of the ocean.
At that time, the Spaniards, Mexicans, and Indians were the only
inhabitants of the country.
Over these people, the padres, who established the mission, had
acquired a most unlimited sway, ruling them more completely than even
the Pope his subjects of the Holy See of Rome.
The Mexicans are an indolent race. The luxurious climate of Santa
Barbara is not favorable to the development of latent energy in
any people, least of all to the inert Mexicans; yet the padres,
by awakening their superstitious fears, made them work until the
wilderness became a vineyard, and the golden orange glowed amid the
leaves of the fragrant trees.
Poor Joza disliked any exertion, and, if left to his own inclination,
would have lived on the spontaneous productions of that almost tropical
climate, and been happy after his oyster fashion.
Often he obeyed very reluctantly, those whom he thought had power, not
only over the body, but could doom his soul to unnumbered years of
suffering, in the fearful fires of purgatory.
The padres lived in great ease and comfort; though so far from the
elegances of the great world, their own ingenuity and the rapid growth
of the country, furnished them with many luxuries.
Their quaint adobe houses were very pleasant, built after the Spanish
style, in the form of a square with an open court in the center.
Beautiful gardens flourished around them, in which grew the fragrant
citron, the lemon, with its shining leaves, and nearly all the rare
fruits and flowers of the tropics.
For some years, Joza labored in the vineyards and gardens; but the
ambitious padres were planning a greater work. A new church was to be
built, and elaborately ornamented; a convent and college was planned;
extensive grounds to be laid out and cultivated, and all to be
surrounded by the enduring adobe wall of mud and stones.
One evening, after a weary day in the vineyard, just as Joza was about
starting for home, padre Antonio called him.
“On the morrow,” he said, “we will begin to lay the foundation of the
new church, the Grand San Pedro; you shall be permitted to aid in the
blessed work, by carrying stones and mortar, for which great mercy
thank the holy Mother and all the saints, especially the blessed San
Pedro, who is the patron saint of this great enterprise.”
Then the padre blessed him, and wandered off into the delicious shade
of the garden.
In the gathering gloom of the twilight, Joza returned to his cottage,
more disheartened than ever, wondering how much more torturing the
fires of purgatory could be, than carrying stones under the burning sun
of Santa Barbara.
As he approached his cottage, he saw his wife sitting before the door
with a stranger, both smoking, with the greatest apparent enjoyment.
His son, and a large dog, were rolling about on the soft earth, near
them, raising a cloud of dust, and making a great noise, which seemed
to disturb no one, and to afford them much pleasure.
When Joza came up, his wife introduced the stranger as his old
playmate, and her brother Schio, who, many years before, had gone away,
and, until that evening, had never been heard from.
Joza welcomed his old friend in the cordial Spanish way, placing his
house at his disposal.
For a short time, in pleasant memories of their boyhood, he forgot the
weary present. After they had eaten their frugal supper, and were again
seated in the vine-clad doorway, Joza looked out upon the great ocean,
dusky with the shadows of evening, growing sad and silent.
“What ails thee, brother,” said Schio, in his clear, ringing voice,
that sounded like the strong notes of a clarionet. “You are changed;
you are growing old, but see me, I am as young in heart as your boy,
and strong as a bullock.”
He lifted a great stone that lay near him, and held it at arms’ length,
laughing loudly, till the caves of the ocean sent back a hundred echoes.
With many sighs, Joza told the story of his troubles; how, for years,
till his back had grown old and stiff, he had worked in the vineyard of
the padre, but the purple harvest had brought no blessing to him.
How a harder task was to be laid upon him. He was to hew and carry the
heavy foundation-stones of the Grand San Pedro, and even at the thought
of so great labor, the beaded sweat rolled down his forehead.
His sympathizing wife sobbed aloud, but the brother only laughed, till
again he woke the mysterious voices of the ocean caves.
Half angry, Joza turned to Schio, saying: “‘Tis all very well for you,
Schio, to laugh; you who roam at will in the cool of the evening, and
rest in the delightful shade, while the scorching sunshine is burning
my life out.”
Poor Joza buried his face in his hands and sighed wearily.
“Cheer up, brother,” said Schio, pleasantly. “Listen to me. Go in the
morning, to padre Antonio, and tell him you are getting old and feeble,
and cannot work through the heat of the day, but if he will appoint
your task, you will accomplish it after the burning sun has gone down.
“Tell him if you carry those large stones in the day, your life will
be consumed like the burning candles before the altar; but that in the
cool of the evening, your strength returns as in the days of youth.”
“And what, then?” said Joza, wearily.
“I will see that the morning finds your task accomplished,” replied
That night Joza dreamed that his tasks were ended, and that all day
long he luxuriated in most delicious ease, under the shade of olive
trees, and, when he woke, his heart grew sad, that it was only a dream.
He rose in haste to go to his task, for he had overslept himself; then
he thought of Schio’s advice. “I will do as he told me, though I fear
’twill do no good,” thought he. “I can but fail, and who knows what
“Schio is such a strange fellow; when he’s talking, it seems as though
a hundred voices rung changes on his words. God grant he’s not in
league with the devil.”
Joza crossed himself, and muttered prayers most devoutly until he
reached the house of the padre Antonio.
After he had told the padre all Schio had directed, his task was
appointed, and he returned home, all day long resting in the shade of
his favorite lime-tree, smoking his cigarettés, and was happy as only
a careless, indolent Mexican could be, enjoying the luxury of complete
Toward evening he began to be a little uneasy, but with the dewy
twilight, came Schio, waking the mysterious echoes, with his ringing
laughter, and, as the darkness deepened, he placed a lantern in Joza’s
hand, saying: “Now, brother, we will go to the task you complain of so
Silently they pursued their way, until they arrived at the huge pile,
upon which the padre had appointed Joza to begin his work.
Many days would have passed before he could have hewn the rock as the
padre desired, but, with one blow of an immense drill, in Schio’s
powerful hand, the rock was cleft in twain. As he reduced it to its
proper size and shape, Joza stood by, trembling with fear; then pointed
out the chosen spot, and, in silence and darkness, the first stone of
the Grand San Pedro was laid.
When the full moon arose, clear and bright, shedding its floods of
golden light over the mission of Santa Barbara, and the blue waves
that washed its sanded shore, the laborers had gone—Joza, to sleep
peacefully in his little cottage, and Schio, down to the echoing
caverns by the sounding sea.
Morning came, gorgeous with sunshine and beauty, and the padre walked
out to inspect the site of his ambitious dreams.
He was an avaricious and unscrupulous man.
In building this new church, he hoped to erect a tower of strength and
greatness for himself, more than an edifice in which to worship the
blessed Christ, the immaculate Virgin, and the holy saints.
When he saw the huge foundation-stone that Schio had laid, he was
Even the hewing of it, he knew to be the work of days, and there it
was, cleanly cleft, and in its proper place.
“There is a mystery here,” he said; “the people will believe it a
miracle; be it as it will, I must make the most of it.”
He called Joza, who came to him smiling and happy.
“You have done well for the beginning,” said the padre, “but to-night,
you must lay two stones like this.”
“Holy San Pedro, help me!” exclaimed Joza. “It is impossible!” and he
turned away, very sorrowful.
At night he told Schio what the padre had said. Schio frowned, and
answered, “The padre should not ask too much; but this shall be as he
Again they went out in the twilight, and before the rising of the
golden moon, two more foundation-stones were laid.
At daybreak the padre arose, and hastened to see if the task had been
accomplished, and before his wondering eyes, lay the three immense
foundation-stones, smooth, and in their proper places.
“Holy Virgin! I will give him enough to-night,” exclaimed the amazed
padre, and again the task was doubled.
Thus it went on, night after night, and week after week, till the Grand
San Pedro began to rise up like Aladdin’s wonderful palace, but, Schio,
the man of iron, grew very angry, as the full moon arose upon him,
bending over his unfinished task.
“Joza,” said he, “the padre may go too far for even Schio to bear; bid
“If the morning sun finds me here, I will not answer for the result;
too much pressure will burst open the hidden recesses of earth, and
cause the caverns of ocean to resound with fearful echoes of mystery.
“Can he think San Pedro will bless avarice and oppression, even in the
In the morning Joza went to the padre, and entreated him to lessen the
task, but he only laughed, and said: “You are getting fat and lazy. I
will not double your work to-night, but you shall do four times as much
as ever, and I will be there to see it accomplished.”
Joza departed with a heavy heart, dreading to meet Schio; and when he
told him in the evening, he made no reply, but a black frown covered
his whole face, and his eyes shot fire.
That night the padre Antonio went out to watch Joza, and when he saw
Schio cleaving the huge stones with one blow of his wonderful drill, he
thought he had not imposed task enough, and resolved he would command
him to finish the Grand San Pedro in one night.
Just after midnight the moon arose, and the startled Joza heard, at
every blow of the drill, a hundred echoes ring out from the ocean
caverns. But Schio worked steadily on.
“Schio,” said Joza, suddenly, “what is it makes these mournings from
the sea caves?” But Schio only answered by a heavier blow from his
hammer, and under their feet the ground shook violently, then opened,
and, where the Grand San Pedro should have stood, yawned a great
gulf, that closed upon the labor of many nights; and with the great
foundation-stones went down the ambitious padre.
The morning sun rose on a scene of great desolation, but only Joza was
there, with trembling voice, to tell the tale of the padre Antonio and
the Grand San Pedro.
When others spoke of the great earth quake, he said: “‘Twas all Schio’s
“The padre would never be satisfied, and the man of iron grew so angry,
that he struck the great stone from the heart of the mountain, and
then the earth shook, opened, and swallowed up the padre Antonio and
the Grand San Pedro.”
Schio was never afterward seen at the mission of Santa Barbara, but
often, at evening, his ringing voice was wafted along the shore, from
the cave of echoes, down by the sea.
In a small village upon the shore of the German Ocean lived a man whose
wife had golden tresses so long and heavy that when they were unbound
they covered her like a cloak of sunbeams, and reached to her feet. Her
complexion was so fair, and her eyes so beautiful, that her equal was
not to be found in all the Fatherland.
At last she fell sick and died, leaving her husband all alone in the
world, except one wee baby, who lay sleeping in the cradle. At first
the father was heart-broken, and noticed nothing, but after a time
all his love turned to the helpless infant, who every day grew more
lovely, and at last became as fair as her mother, with the same wealth
of golden hair and soft violet eyes, and all the Fatherland, from far
and near, was filled with the story of her great beauty.
When she was only a little maid, she would go down to the sea-shore
and dance upon the sand, until her light straw hat would drop from her
head, and her waving tresses fall about her like a shower of pure gold,
and her violet eyes beam with the brightness of stars, while the flush
upon her cheeks rivaled the soft, fresh bloom of the peach.
The maiden was called the fair Jung-frau Maleen, as she grew older
and every day added to her charms, till half the young men in the
country were ready to lay down their life for her; but though her ways
were winning, and she had a pleasant smile for all, no one could be
familiar with her. In her guileless innocence and beauty she seemed
a great way out of their reach, yet she danced with them, talked and
laughed with them, till her clear, sweet voice rang out upon the air
like the soft notes of a silver bell, but when she turned away, they
felt that she had gone from them forever.
Among her lovers was a bashful student named Handsel, who worshiped the
Jung-frau Maleen with all the devotion of his great noble heart, but
ever at a distance.
He seldom spoke to her.
Even the rustle of her dress as she passed along would set his heart to
beating wildly, and the sound of her voice, or one glance of her violet
eye would send the hot blood rushing through his veins, dyeing his face
and neck a deep crimson. Poor Handsel!
He would say to his heart, “Down, fool, the star of heaven is not for
you, look for some lovely flower of earth,” but in all the Fatherland
he knew there was not another maiden who could satisfy the hunger of
At all the village festivals he looked on in the distance, and saw
others worship at the shrine he dared not approach. “I have nothing
worth offering her,” he would say, and so he was silent.
He was handsome and manly, and Maleen always looked for him in the
crowd, and when she saw him standing far apart with his large dark eyes
fixed upon her, she was more content than in his absence. If she had
questioned her heart for the reason of this she would have blushed with
confusion, for Jung-frau Maleen was not one who would willingly yield
her heart unsought.
Maleen always loved the bright, sparkling sea, and often she would go
out alone in her little boat, and sail for hours over the blue waters,
gathering the pretty sea-weed, and indulging in the day-dreams that
German maidens love.
One morning as Handsel was going to the college, he saw the Jung-frau
step into her boat and push away from the shore.
He took off his hat and bowed.
She looked at him with that rare, sweet smile that always made him
happy for days.
He stopped and looked back after her as the boat glided from the
shore, and it seemed as though the sunshine of heaven and its bright
reflection upon the waters were united, and was poured out in one rich
flood of glory over her golden hair.
Handsel passed on out of the light into the quiet seclusion of the
college, and bending over his book did not notice the rising of a
thick, black cloud that from a tiny speck soon swept over the whole
sky, then burst into wind and rain.
He was living over the heroic ages of the olden time, when the darkness
fell across his book, and looking out the window he saw the fierce
storm gathering, and heard the wailing winds crying out, Maleen!
Maleen! ‘Twas but the work of a moment to rush out into the storm and
down to the lashed sea-shore and there, he saw a crowd of anxious faces
all turned hopelessly out upon the pitiless breakers.
He looked, and there tossed wildly upon the white-capped waves, rose
and fell the frail boat, and pale and hopeless sat the pride of the
Fatherland, the beautiful Jung-frau Maleen, her matchless golden hair
hanging like a damp shroud about her.
There were the hosts of her admirers standing upon the shore wringing
their hands and weeping, they saw only death in an attempt to save
her, and no one was so mad as to venture out upon the storm-lashed sea.
Even her father stood paralyzed in the hopelessness of his agony.
A strong, manly voice burst in upon the echoes of the storm. “A boat! a
boat!” cried Handsel, with a stout-hearted determination in his voice
to brave the danger of the breakers, and save the maiden he loved from
the angry waters.
A long rope was tied about his body, and in a moment more the life-boat
was tossing upon the crested waves, with the brave student at the prow,
and the poor helpless Maleen rose up and held out her white arms toward
On over the cruel waves, the boats were nearing each other. The agony
of suspense that filled the breathless crowd! Great God! if they
should meet and crash together!
Down they went into the great sea gulf; Maleen with outstretched arms,
and Handsel with his great heart beating like a signal-drum in his
bosom, pale but unfaltering.
Down! down they went!
Now up came the billow, but only one boat, and Handsel at the prow was
struggling for the shore.
“Oh, Maleen! Maleen!” burst from the father’s white lips, then a tress
of rich golden hair hanging over the side of the boat met his sight,
and he knew that Maleen was in the boat with Handsel.
On it came to the shore, like a charmed boat it escaped the perilous
breakers, till at last, no one could tell how, only through God’s great
mercy, they were saved, and Handsel stood upon the shore with Maleen in
He gave the maiden to her weeping father, then sank away, and no one
thought of him, all were gathered around Maleen, who had fainted.
Soon she opened her violet eyes, and looked around searchingly through
the crowd with a strange fear. “Where, where, is Handsel?” she cried,
in wild excitement.
Then they all wondered how they could have forgotten him, and looking
round they saw him sitting alone, with his head bowed down upon his
hands. He did not want their thanks.
‘Twas joy enough to him, that he had saved Maleen, and, brave man as he
was, he sat there weeping like a child.
Maleen rose up, and walked feebly to him, and kneeling down upon the
sand, she put her hand upon his shoulder, and whispered “Handsel!”
Handsel raised his head, and saw what he had never dared hope for, in
the soft violet eyes upturned to his.
He answered only, “Maleen!” and, throwing his arms around her, pressed
her fair golden-crowned head to his bosom.
Thus it was, that in the presence of God, the storm, and all the
people—there by the the wild sea-shore, Handsel was betrothed to the
most beautiful maiden in all the dear Fatherland,—The Jung-frau
THE TREASURE OF THE LAKE OF THE TULIES
A great many years ago, before the discovery of the wonderful gold
mines of California, there lived in Los Angelos an old Spanish family
of pure Castilian blood.
Don Carlos De Strada was very rich. Far as the eye could reach his
broad acres were spread out to his admiring view, and his flocks and
herds almost literally fed upon a thousand hills.
His house was large and commodious, built after the Spanish fashion—an
adobe house—surrounded on all sides by a wide piazza, and in the
center an open courtyard. The windows were guarded by latticed bars of
iron, and all the gates and doors were opened by massive keys. Bolts
and bars belong as much to a Spanish house, as light elegancies to the
hotel of a Parisian.
When Don Carlos left the banks of the Guadalquivir for the wild Lake of
the Tulies, he brought with him a beautiful young wife, who loved him
with all the passionate ardor of a Spanish woman.
It was a great change for the dainty lady, from the stately halls of
castellated Spain to the wilderness of Los Angelos, although it was a
wilderness of sweets, and the most enchanting climate in the world.
Though the Don was a thorough-bred aristocrat, he was a shrewd business
man, and so intent was he on becoming a great lord of the soil in the
new country, that he did not notice the roses fading from the olive
cheeks of his wife, and the soft mellow light of the woman’s eye giving
place to the more ethereal brightness of spiritual fire.
Spanish women seldom work, but in their hours of apparent listlessness
they indulge in wild and ardent imaginings; and thus she would sit on
the vine-clad piazza of the inner court, looking up to the clear sky,
unrivaled even in Italy, until she would almost fancy, from the heavens
above, she heard the rippling of the blue waters of the Guadalquivir.
There was one great hunger of her heart the Don seldom satisfied.
She was his wife, and beautiful; as such, he loved her; but he never
lavished the thousand little endearments upon her that is the natural
food of woman’s heart.
As the evening drew near, she would go to the barred window and look
out upon the luxurious landscape, thinking only of the coming of her
lord; and when she saw him, she would go timidly out to meet him, and
hold her beautiful oval face up for a kiss, longing for him to throw
his arms around her, and, if only for a moment, hold her to his heart.
He would kiss her lightly, saying, coldly: “There, that will do; be a
woman now, not a baby.” Then she would call up a quiet dignity, until
she could steal for a few moments away, unobserved, and press her hands
tightly upon her heart, saying: “If he would only love me! If he would
only love me, I could live away from home, away from Spain, from every
thing, for him! I must learn to be a woman, and then, at least he’ll
“Oh, dear! I wish he didn’t think it so foolish in me to want to be
loved! But I must go to him. I’ll try and talk like a woman, but I
don’t know any thing about the business that occupies his thoughts and
time. He never tells me any thing because he thinks I’m such a baby. If
he’d only love me, and let me be a baby sometimes, I think I’d be more
of a woman.”
Then the young wife would try to call up from her weakness new
strength, and wiping away the traces of her emotion, would go out to
be what pleased her lord, only a little paler, but with heart-strings
quivering like an Æolian harp in a cold north wind.
One year passed in the strange, new country, and a beautiful babe was
born to the ancient house of De Strada, but the mother died, and was
buried by the clear Lake of the Tulies.
Don Carlos wept for his beautiful young wife, whose heart had been a
sealed book, “Love, the Secret of Happiness,” written for him in an
His days of mourning were few. The rain fell upon the new-made grave as
he gave the infant in charge of an Indian nurse who had just lost her
own little baby. The savage mother took the child to her bosom, while
the polished father turned away and looked out upon the green hills
rich in verdure, counting the probable increase of his flocks and herds
in the coming year, and, in the pleasant prospect, forgot his sorrow.
The little Juanetta grew to be a beautiful, healthy child, under the
care of her indulgent nurse.
She knew where all the wild flowers grew, could shoot an arrow very
well, or climb a tree, and, in many of the curious arts of the tribe,
was quite skillful.
She was well versed in all the Indian traditions, and believed them
with childish credulity. She seemed to have drawn the wildness, of the
Indian nature from the dusky bosom of her nurse, and with her little
bow and arrow would roam the woods for whole days.
At times her father would ask the nurse, “How is Juanetta?” and, at
the reply, “The child is well,” he would forget that every day she was
growing less and less an infant, and needed more and more a mother’s
Thus things went on until she was eleven years old. She was very
tall of her age, with her long black hair hanging over her graceful
shoulders, her rich olive complexion deepened by the glowing sun, and
her dark eyes, fawn-like in their softness and timidity, she looked
like a beautiful child of the wild wood.
Her father would look at her, and say: “The girl is a perfect savage;
she must be placed at a convent; the Sisters would soon make a lady of
her, for the De Strada blood is rich in her veins;” and then he would
smile proudly at her rare beauty.
The summer following brought a change to Don Carlos. Till then he had
been prosperous; but there had been no rain, and the grass withered and
dried up until the famished cattle died by thousands, and the hills,
once covered with animal life, were left bare and desolate. Don Carlos,
who lost heavily, became more than ever absorbed in business cares, and
again the child was forgotten.
Juanetta saw that her father was greatly troubled, and she thought if
she could only find some of the treasures hidden so many years ago
by the great Chief of the Tulies, she could make him rich again, and
he would smile upon her as he sometimes used to before the cattle
died—since then, his dark frowning face had frightened her.
She had often listened to her old nurse, sitting by the clear lake, as
she told her how, years ago, a great ship came to Los Angelos filled
with fair men, with long flowing beards, golden in the sunshine, and
eyes like the blue summer sky, and how there was one among them, taller
and nobler than all the rest, who was their Chief.
For days they rode about the country, making their camp by the Lake of
the Tulies, and tradition said they brought beautiful shining stones,
that glistened like the stars of night, and great sacks of yellow gold
to the lake, and buried them there at midnight; then went away in the
great ship over the water.
They were seen by an old Indian woman, who was gathering magic herbs,
but from that moment it seemed as though a fearful spell had fallen
upon her, for when she tried to tell the story, just as she was about
to speak of the place where the treasure was hidden, her tongue would
cleave to the roof of her mouth, and she could not utter a word; and
when she attempted to go to the spot where it was buried, her feet
would fasten themselves to the ground, and she could not move. From
that night she seemed bewitched, and she soon died, taking the secret
of the buried treasure with her to the unknown spirit land.
Juanetta had nothing to do but listen to the wild Indian lore, and roam
through the woods and down by the Lake of the Tulies; and it was not
strange that with her poetic temperament, she reveled in the marvelous,
till it seemed to her the natural and the real.
She longed for the magic talisman to point her to the hidden treasure,
and show her the wonders of the deep, until she felt sure that one day
she should discover it. She told all these fancies to her nurse, who
was almost her only companion, and who encouraged her, believing her,
in her fond love, to be one of the Great Spirit’s chosen children.
The winter came on with rare beauty. The rain, so long withheld, fell
copiously, until the hills were covered with luxurious verdure and
gorgeous flowers. Don Carlos’s heart grew lighter; he might hope to
recover his losses in time. The orange orchard was laden with fruit,
and the lemons fell to the ground from the bending trees. Juanetta
loved the green grass, the fragrant flowers, and the golden fruit, and
her wild nature expanded into the poetry of the year.
One morning she rose with the crimson dawning, and, stealing away while
her old nurse slept, she ran softly to the Lake of the Tulies, and
bathed her face in the clear water till the brightness of youth and
morning seemed united in her radiant beauty.
Suddenly Juanetta stopped, her tiny hand dripping with water, half
raised to her glowing face, and her soft, dark eyes sparkling with
strange excitement. Upon the brow of the distant hill, still covered
with the mist of the morning, she saw the Chief of the Lake of the
Tulies. She knew it was him by the soft, purple light that gathered
around him; by the glow of perpetual youth that enveloped him, and by
the crimson clouds that dropped their fleece so near, and yet could not
conceal his noble bearing.
To her eye, there seemed a shining glory about his bronze beard, and
his brow and cheeks glowing in the early sunlight, were fairer than
any she had ever seen among the dusky Indian tribes or olive Spaniards.
Down the hill he came, a light straw hat in his hand, and the air
playing with the light waves of his abundant hair. On he came to the
lake, and to the spot where the little maiden sat, full of wonder and
He, too, seemed a little surprised when he saw her, but in the soft
Spanish tongue, bade her “Good morning,” and asked whose little girl
she was, and what had brought her so early to the charmed lake.
“I am Don Carlos’s daughter, Juanetta,” said the child, “and you, the
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies?”
A smile gathered around the lips of the Chief, and filled his blue
eyes, with a light so pleasant that the child drew near him, and placed
her little brown hand confidingly in his. He drew her to him, saying,
“You know me, then? I am the Chief of the Lake of the Tulies, and what
can I do for the little Juanetta?”
“Tell me,” said the child, “of all the wonderful treasures hidden by
the lake, and of the palaces of the sea, and the coral groves under the
The Chief led her to a rock that overhung the lake, and told her to
look over into the waters, and she saw them clear and sparkling in the
morning sun, and it seemed as though the light of a thousand brilliants
was stealing through the shining waves.
He told her of glittering diamonds beneath the sea, richer far than all
the hills and valleys of Los Angelos, covered with flocks and herds;
and how the coral trees outshone the trees of earth, in beauty, and of
the crystal palaces of the deep, and of the maidens of the sea, whose,
purple hair like sea-weed, sometimes floated above the waves.
Juanetta told him she had often found locks of their silken hair upon
the beach, and how beautiful it was. He told her of the sounding
shells, and ocean harps breathing their rich, deep-toned melody,
and the thousand mysteries of the wild sea lore, till the delighted
Juanetta begged him to take her with him down, down to the crystal
caves, and let her become a sea-maiden, and gather pearls under the
blue waters of the deep.
But he replied: “You are a child of the woods, not of the wave; you may
become an immortal spirit in the sky, but never in the deep, deep sea.”
Tears gathered in her eyes, and she said: “You are cruel to Juanetta,
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies. You of all your wealth of beauty,
will grant Juanetta nothing. Juanetta must live alone, in the woods and
fields, with only the old nurse and the father who always forgets her.”
He soothed the little maiden gently, and told her he would grant her
greater treasures than those of the deep, if she would obey him; and
she kissed his hand and promised.
Then he took from his bosom, a talisman, and gave it to her, saying:
“Juanetta, this cross will guard you from evil spirits. When you are
troubled or angry, take it from your bosom, and ask the great Father
above to bless you and help you. Do this earnestly five minutes, and
the evil spirits will leave you.” And Juanetta kissed the cross and
“I have yet another talisman” he continued, “and very powerful. It
opens a new world of delight and beauty, to those who are willing to
give their time, care, and diligent attention to the study of it. Would
you like it, Juanetta? You could no longer wander all day through the
woods, hunting wild-flowers, or dream away your life by the Lake of the
Tulies. Could you give up the wild pleasures of your present life, for
the gifts of the talisman I have promised?”
Juanetta’s face was glowing with wonder and delight; she longed to
enter the unknown promised land:
“I will do any thing, I will give up any thing you tell me, she cried,
She was enchanted with the unseen gifts that left so much to her fervid
imagination to picture, and she was delighted with the giver, the
handsome young Chief of the Lake of the Tulies, whose pleasant smile,
and pleasing words, made morning’s golden sunshine in her heart.
“But won’t you show me where the treasure of the Lake of the Tulies
lies hidden?” she said, blushingly. “All those rare gems, crimson,
purple, golden, and diamonds sparkling like the morning dew. What can
be more beautiful than these?”
All her life, Juanetta had heard of the matchless luster of these
hidden jewels, and now to be so near them, with the Chief of the Lake
of the Tulies by her side, she felt that her day dreams of beauty
might, with one word of his, or a touch of his magic wand, be realized.
“Do not ask for too much in one morning, Juanetta,” he replied,
laughing. “Now for talisman number two,” and he took a book from his
pocket, and until the sun had risen high in the heavens, they sat
bending over it together with mutual pleasure.
Then the Chief of the Lake of the Tulies arose, taking her little
bronzed hand in his, saying: “I must go, my little Juanetta. Keep the
talisman, and study it well. The new morning is dawning for you now;
what a queen of light ’twill make you?” And he passed his hand over the
thick waves of tangled hair that fell in long masses over the shoulders
of the beautiful child.
Tears gathered in the dark eyes of the maiden. “Are you going now,
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies?” said she, sadly: “Going to the
crystal palaces of the sea? And shall you take the treasure of the lake
with you? Take the talisman, I can do nothing without you! Here alone!
Only the old nurse, and the father who never thinks, never thinks of
Juanetta! And you, too, will forget Juanetta!”
“No! no, Juanetta, I will not forget you, but will come again
to-morrow. I will not go to the sea, since you cannot go, but will stay
and teach you the use of the talisman, and the treasure of the lake
shall rest till we can find it together! So now good-by to-day.”
And then they parted, and Juanetta was very happy in the light of the
All day long she studied, and many successive days, and the Chief of
the Lake of the Tulies always came, either at morning or at evening, to
hear her lesson.
Sometimes she would ask him about the hidden treasure, as they walked
by the lake; he would smile and say, “I have found a treasure by the
Lake of the Tulies richer than all the gems of the ocean,” and when
Juanetta begged him to show it to her, he would tell, her to look into
the water; but she could see only the reflection of her own sweet
face, full of wondering happiness.
Then he would laugh again, and say, he could not tell her now of his
treasure by the Lake of the Tulies, but he would describe the rich gold
mine he had discovered in the cañon, and tell her there was gold enough
in it almost to fill up the lake.
Thus weeks and months passed by. Juanetta was twelve years old. She
had improved rapidly in her studies, and had learned to call her
young teacher by another name, not so long or high sounding, but very
pleasant to them both, and often they would laugh at their first
strange meeting by the charmed Lake of the Tulies.
At last her father was aroused to the sense of her increasing beauty.
He saw, that the years of childhood were fast passing away, and that
she stood upon the threshold of dawning womanhood.
He was greatly surprised, and delighted to find her proficient in
studies of which he supposed she knew nothing, and he made all possible
haste to have her placed at a convent, where she could enjoy every
advantage of culture and refinement.
The young stranger who had been her teacher, became a great favorite
with Don Carlos. He was engaged in developing a mine, in the San
Francisco cañon, in which he succeeded in amassing great wealth, though
in after years the mine failed to yield its store of golden treasure.
Four years passed away, and Juanetta returned to her father’s house, an
accomplished, and beautiful lady. Again by the Lake of the Tulies, she
met the Chief of her childhood’s dreams, and there together, they found
the treasure greater than all the wealth of land or sea, the pure and
earnest love of their youthful hearts.
They were married, and Don Carlos’s heart swelled proudly, as he
thought of the great wealth their union had brought into his family,
while they blessed God for the lifelong treasure He had given them, by
the charmed Lake of the Tulies.