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Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
page 2 of 538 (00%)
had tossed destinies for the Senora. The Holy Catholic Church had
had its arms round her from first to last; and that was what had
brought her safe through, she would have said, if she had ever said
anything about herself, which she never did,-- one of her many
wisdoms. So quiet, so reserved, so gentle an exterior never was
known to veil such an imperious and passionate nature, brimful of
storm, always passing through stress; never thwarted, except at
peril of those who did it; adored and hated by turns, and each at
the hottest. A tremendous force, wherever she appeared, was
Senora Moreno; but no stranger would suspect it, to see her gliding
about, in her scanty black gown, with her rosary hanging at her
side, her soft dark eyes cast down, and an expression of mingled
melancholy and devotion on her face. She looked simply like a
sad, spiritual-minded old lady, amiable and indolent, like her race,
but sweeter and more thoughtful than their wont. Her voice
heightened this mistaken impression. She was never heard to speak
either loud or fast. There was at times even a curious hesitancy in
her speech, which came near being a stammer, or suggested the
measured care with which people speak who have been cured of
stammering. It made her often appear as if she did not known her
own mind; at which people sometimes took heart; when, if they
had only known the truth, they would have known that the speech
hesitated solely because the Senora knew her mind so exactly that
she was finding it hard to make the words convey it as she desired,
or in a way to best attain her ends.

About this very sheep-shearing there had been, between her and
the head shepherd, Juan Canito, called Juan Can for short, and to
distinguish him from Juan Jose, the upper herdsman of the cattle,
some discussions which would have been hot and angry ones in