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[18] liberated from their rule. To the surprise of Alvaredo and his secular friends, the Indians began to perish from the soil the moment they were free.

So long as Fray Jose Maria lingered at San Carlos, his converts clung to him; when he was gone, they scattered to the woods. All efforts to recall them fail. Yet these poor converts have not lost all traces of a better time. San Carlos is their patron saint. Once a year they come to see the Lady of Carmelo, and to celebrate their patron's day. Poor things! They roast an ox — a stolen ox by choice. They gorge all day, and dance all night. Mixing up old and new, they keep the vigil of San Carlos, not with fast and prayer, but feast and revel; ending in such orgies as might better suit an Indian circle than a Christian church.

These rituals will not long survive. Each season the converts drop in number. Long before these sun-dried bricks have sunk into the earth, all those who helped to build them will have passed into the land of souls.

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