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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 21, 1900, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1900-10-21/ed-1/seq-1/

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healed th« bruise to ner iigntheartednes*.
Ehe came out. from her shell.of-melan
cholia to take part In the festivities of her
sister's marriage to David Baca, The
year of sorrow bad but chastened her
beauty.
came a captive. H© wooed so persistent
ly and he wooed so well that Delflna
could not say him nay. She was so young,
only. 17, and at 17 grief dies easily.
Jose was forced to make a business trip
to Albuquerque, "Something, is going to
happen." said Delflna's , "still / small
voice," but she crushed her somber fore-
bodlngs. _ In the pale dusk of coming night
a horseman dashed up to the house.' "The
body of Jose Banches has been, found by
the wayside," wa» the message. : «
<' The curse of murder seemed to lurk In
> her favor; and ' Delnna , determined -never
- again to bestow , her, fatal ' love. '" The .mur
derer of : Jo«o Sanchei -and^tht\ca.UM of
the fod attack to this day, remain myste
ries. • "• . ¦ .
Kor . two year* Delnna Lope* • fought
against j the shadows and specters that
¦" darkened - her life. ' Then the sunlight be
gan to. creep in. ;, When she ' waa nineteen
"she ¦_ met Melauladee* Baca, one of the
: wealthiest land . most . fought after . young
men In j New Mexico. . . .
' He saw. Delnna Lopes and he loved her.
Melqulades Baca knew, no fear. He
laughed to scorn the Idea, that - Delflna's
admirers were marked. for; murder. ¦ He
braved the, doom .that all "predicted, and
gave •himself 'with • ardor.:- to the task ; of
overcoming Dalfln&'s : iuper»titlon». .:. .•
. His sturdy opposition carried all before
it. People veered like weathervanes to
Melquiadea' point of view— "mere coinci
dence." And since a woman's "perhaps"
usually means "yes." Delflna succumbed
to the pleading of her lover.
. That was Just four weeks ago. The
.wedding belli were to ring early la Sea-
this fact has made a deep imprMsion en
those who dwell near Mount Vesuvius,
and has convinced them of the necessity
of placing their trust In God during every
suc% awful emergency. It Is the exist
ence of this deep faith which Is the reason
why a splendid Image of Christ Is now to
be erected on tfct Calderonl Hill. -
Image of Christ
to Be Erected
on Yesmviims.
e>
Ipf N Immense and most artistic mor.n-.
ff-\ ment of Christ Is to be erected
'if-' » on Mount Vesuvius, the exact
place elected being the Sal
vator square en the Calderonf Hill,
this being the place where a chapel stood
in eld days. Pending the erection of tho
monument, which will be of marble, a
wooden cross will be placed on this lofty
peak.' and its dimensions will be so great
that a*clear view of it can be obtained
from Naples. The monument will be con
structed by some famous sculptor, and
by the orders of Pope Leo the followtnx
inscription will be engrave*! on It: "Jests
Chrlsto Deo Restltntae per lpsum Batatas.
Anno M. C. M. Leo P. P. XHL"
For generations those persons whoat
homes have been near Mount Vesuvius
have piously believed that the fury of aa
eruption could be much mitigated by the
prayers to the Almighty, and that those
would be in the least danger who could
congregate In % some consecrated spot.
When the terrible eruption began la 1831
Cardinal Buoytcarnpagno went In state to
the chapel near the mountain and offered
np prayers. In the hope of appeasing; God's
wrath.- " "-"
A great religious procession was held at
the same time, and wnen It was over
thousands gathered In all the, - chapels
within view of the mountain, declaring
their determination to die there If death
were Inevitable. The Governor of the dis
trict and 500 persons had fled for safety
to a large building opposite the Francis
can chapel, in this little town of Torre del
Greco, while others had poured Into the
chapel until It was packed to the very
door. Hardly had they entered when,
burning lava poured down the street and.
¦wept to destruction the Governor and
his companion?.
.. A terrible time it v/as. but the fact re
mains that those who sought shelter in
the Franciscan chapel were saved, whllo
hundreds of others lost their lives; and
The maimed survivor of the duel went
to a far country. But Delnna was never
quite the same, though time somewha^
Dclfna. Lopez did not have the usual
swect-slxtccn souvenirs of her first ball
to take away In a treasure box. She
•cratched her hands pulling the drooping
rose« from her hair and tearing off th*
crlmson-splashf-d gown, she threw them
Into the fire. "Maria Santlsslma! an ill
omen, an 111 omen." cackled' the old nurse
as the flames easily swallowed' the, blood
ftalned £auze.
VThf-n ihe turt came Into the ballroom It
tour.4 the bocragglcd dancer* still there,
waJtir.g for the doctor's verdict, and Del
flna's -whitp sown ran red with blood and
the light of cor^uest no longer shone In
her eyes. She wan blameless, yet out
there in the growing daylight they were
filC&lng a grave; while inside th« doctor
irravely shook his head over thjp wounded
tnaji and said, "cripple for life!"
She btnt over, their bodies. One man
v/as breathing his last, while the othsr
phrlrketj from the pain of the knife '
thrust. D^lfira soothed the dying man'
first, ar.d then turned to the wounded one.
There were two lads who clashed over
her favor. They gave each other the He.
Down on the Rio Grande there is but one
way to wipe out such an insult. The
quick, sharp report of a pistol arrested
the Cancers: the flash of a bowie-knife cat
through the air. Then a wild screas*
rhlvered the silence into bits. It was Del
flna. ----;•' ¦
It was on her sixteenth birthday that
Delflna went to her first ball, there to
learn her fatal charms. She was an
fragrant ar.d sweet as a Castlllan rose, all
!n a gown cf Cimsy white. Her thick, eoft
hair, with its red rose*. Just tossed in a
knot and falling loose again, was her only
mantilla, Her beauty was compelling and
men quarreled for the privilege of danc
ir.g with her.
But even In her early teens the boys
Quarreled over her and many were the
boyish "scraps" for "Delflnlta." The
years added to her loveliness. At 16 she
was ravlsrJr.gly beautiful, with the lithe,
languorous grace of the south. Once her
long lashes drooped over laughing eyes,
but now something of tho tragic has crept
trnfler them.
The Serorlta Delnna is guiltless of even
a drop of the Mood that has been shed on
her account. She Is not a Clre<5 who will
ingly woo« men's souls to the brink of
eln. Her heart does not thirst for mur
der.
What girl this side of the Rio Grande
can claim tho questionable distinction of
having r*?en the indirect cause of four
deaths? Eenorita Delfina Lopez has yet
another proof of her fatal powers of fas
cination. A young man. maimed for life
by a thrust of tfc* bowie-knife, hobbles
around, a crippled testimony to her en
chantmer.yi.
WHERE are you going, my pretty
maid?"
"To bury four lovers, sir," she
said.
"won't you marry me, xny pretty maid?"
"I'd rather jou'd die for me, elr," she
said.
The other day two young Spaniards of
5Cew Mexico fought a duel over Senorlta
Delflna L«opez. the belle and beauty of the
Rio Grar.de. Valley. They met at noon,
and In the shadows of nightfall their
bodies were lowered into the freshly
turned earth.
They were young men of good standing,
and moreover were distantly connected.
Both were turr.amed Baca. Melqulades
Baca. the younger of the flery duellists,
was a grar.dson of Felipe Chaves. the
richest Spaniard in New Mexico. David
Eaca was the son of a wealthy pheep
o-w-nrr and brother-in-law of ' Senorlta
DeJJlr.a Lcpez. over whom the duel was
fought.
Who will win tho heart of Delflna Lo
pex? This is the question they are ask
!np down In the valley of the Rio Grand*.
Mothers cros*s themselves and clasp their
sons to their breasts, while fathers turn
pale v.t the* thought.
For trx* way to the favor of Delflna Lo
¦prz 15 sp'.cshed with warm life blood. In
the race for her hand three men havf
foujffat and tied. A fourth was shot be
r»a«« ii* «o%tsbt to tara*s!r-the fair name
cf Delfina Lopez.
From Albuquerque to the City of Mex
ico there i? not a more beautiful senorita
tha/i Delflr.a Lopez. And from Green
!?-nd's icy mountains, to India's coral
?tr»nd there Is never a maiden whose
woeintrs have b*en bo Pteeped in gore.
The price of courting her has been death.
selves to the hour mark, and stni Deltas]
sat by U*r dead lover. Bo stin she was,
•o pale, she might have been a form of
wax.
David Baca lived out the hoar. Before)
the death film fathered . to shnt out the
world forever, Delflna rose like a wraith
from the beyond, end turned upon him a
look so -full of reproach that the dying
man shuddered and tried to turn away.
But even In death his wide staring eyes
were turned upon the spot where Delflna
had stood like an accusing spirit.
( Delflna Lopez, the belle and beauty of
the Rio Grande, is fighting the battle of
life and death. She Is meeting death more
than half way, but arrayed against It are
her family and the physicians.
They d»iva that they will lead her bac)e
.to. health. But to happiness? Dlos sabe!
Fearful of the result. Delflaa sugax
eoated the account of the Interview. But
at last gossip had dared to whisper to
Meiquiades what everr one •!»* In the
town of Belen already knew— that Det-rld
Baca was ernaCgir.g the fair name of Us)
¦liter-ln-law. .
Mad. with the fury of his raoe. Mal
lutades Baca sought De-rid Baca. They
met In the plaza. "Are you armed T*
hissed Melquiades.' David polled eat «
ilx-shooter. A crowd Intuitively collected
. txoaad the men. The report* ran* oot
simultaneously. Each man fired throw
¦hots and each man was wounded thre*
times.
FVightened women and caRous tw
precsed closer A physician mad* his way:
to their prostrate forms. Then a tremor
ran through the crowd and swiftly It
parted to make way for a woman.a yoooff
woman, with the blaring noontide «tm
beating down on her uncovered head.
Delflna bent over Mel<xnlades) Jnst tx
time to catch his last loving message, X
few feet away, writhing la agony, lay;
David Baca. The minutes dragged them-
tember. Dclflna shut her eyes to the
donds that flecked her ha?p!r.e*x For
loma usaceoun table reason her brother
in-law, David Baca, had taken an Intense
dislike to Delflna, Her visits to her aister
war* so plainly discouraged by David that
D*12ca was forced to discontinue them. *
Melqulades Baca pooh-poohed the affair
and blamed It to Delflna's sapersensitlve
ness. , Delflna took his advice and mad*
another attempt to met her sister. David
Baca met her at the door and forcibly
forbade her to ever again cross their
threshold. ' V .'
Amour th» guests at the wedding was
on* Jose £anche*. At first glance be be-
SUNDAY CALL
ART MAGAZINE SECTION
THE FATAL POWER OF FASCINATION

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