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“Good Catholic first, true caballero second, ell Don Mariano?”

“Yes, senor;” a mixed blood may be Mexican first, Catholic afterwards; a Spanish gentleman will always put his religion first. You know our saying: “ la religion es la creencia, la creencia pertenece al espiritu, y al espiritu nadie lo manda.”

Living like a big chief, in the fashion of his country, Don Mariano has squandered not a little of his vast estate on what are called his pleasures. He has a lust for building towns. Besides his city of Vallejo, he has built the port and city of Benecia, named in honour of a lovely and neglected wife. His ranches sink in piles, his sheep-runs melt into public squares; but more than all, his property slips away from him in courts of law. A stranger challenges his title, and a judge reviews his grant. All Mexicans are fond of law, and Don Mariano never goes into some court except to lose some part of his estate. Don Mariano is a type, not only of the Lost Capital, but the Retiring Race.

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