This took place in 1875. It was the height of the summer. I do not remember whether it was Saint James’s day or Saint Louis’s ; I am inclined to think it was Saint Louis’s. Whichever it was, we enjoyed a delicious coolness at that height, and the heart and brain, as well as the stomach, were there in much better working order than usual.
When the six friends were seated, Gabriel continued as follows:
“I do not think you will accuse me of being a visionary. Luckily or unluckily, I am, if you will allow me to say so, a man of the modern world. I have no superstition about me, and am as much of a Positivist us the best of them, although I include among the positive data of nature all the mysterious faculties and feelings of the soul. Well, then, apropos of supernatural, or extra-natural, phenomena, listen to what I have seen and heard, although I was not the real hero of the very strange story I am going to relate, and then tell me what explanation of an earthly, physical, or natural sort, however you may name it, can be given of so wonderful an occurrence.
Located by Providence
The case was as follows. But wait! Pour me out a drop, for the skin-bottle must have got cooled off by this time in that bubbling, crystalline-spring, located by Providence on this piny crest for the express purpose of cooling a botanist’s wine.
Well, gentlemen, I do not know whether you ever heard of an engineer of the roads corps named Telesforo X; he died in 1860.”
“No; I haven’t.”
“But I have.”
So have I. He was a young fellow from Andalusia, with a black mustache; he was to have married the Marquis of Moreda’s daughter, but he died of jaundice.”
The very one,” said Gabriel. “Well, then, my friend Telesforo, six months before his death, was still a most promising young man, as “7 ®ay nowadays. He was good-looking, well-built, energetic, and had the glory of being the first one in his class to be promoted. He had already gained distinction in the practice of his profession through some fine pieces of work. Several different companies were competing for his services, and many marriageable women were also competing for him. But relesforo, as you said, was faithful to poor Toaquina Moreda.