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“ [80] was their fault, not mine. They would not let me work — in future I would steal.”

A good Catholic, Vasquez set out for Los Felix, where his mother lived, to tell her of his purpose and invoke her blessing on his plan. “My mother loves me much, and will not fail me now,” he whispered as he pushed along. Arriving at the ranch, he slipped into her room, and falling on his knees told her his tale. “I am about to go into the world, and take my chance” --a Mexican way of saying he was going on the roads to rob mails and shoot passengers. His mother, Guadalupe Cantua, was a half-breed woman from the San Benito hills, above Los Angeles. She understood her son. He meant to live on other people, taking what he wanted from them, and she feared her boy might suffer at their hands. Like a true Mexican she blessed him to his task, and placed him under the protection of her saints.

“I got my mother's blessing,” says the brigand, “and from that day I began to rove and rob.”

Going into the hills of San Benito, where his kindred lived, he first fell in with Capitan Soto, and engaged to serve him in stealing mustangs. He

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