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An Heiress from Redhorse
by [?]

CORONADO, June 20th.

I find myself more and more interested in him. It is not, I am sure, his–do you know any noun corresponding to the adjective “handsome”? One does not like to say “beauty” when speaking of a man. He is handsome enough, heaven knows; I should not even care to trust you with him–faithful of all possible wives that you are– when he looks his best, as he always does. Nor do I think the fascination of his manner has much to do with it. You recollect that the charm of art inheres in that which is undefinable, and to you and me, my dear Irene, I fancy there is rather less of that in the branch of art under consideration than to girls in their first season. I fancy I know how my fine gentleman produces many of his effects, and could, perhaps, give him a pointer on heightening them. Nevertheless, his manner is something truly delightful. I suppose what interests me chiefly is the man’s brains. His conversation is the best I have ever heard, and altogether unlike anyone’s else. He seems to know everything, as, indeed, he ought, for he has been everywhere, read everything, seen all there is to see–sometimes I think rather more than is good for him–and had acquaintance with the QUEEREST people. And then his voice–Irene, when I hear it I actually feel as if I ought to have PAID AT THE DOOR, though, of course, it is my own door.

July 3d.

I fear my remarks about Dr. Barritz must have been, being thoughtless, very silly, or you would not have written of him with such levity, not to say disrespect. Believe me, dearest, he has more dignity and seriousness (of the kind, I mean, which is not inconsistent with a manner sometimes playful and always charming) than any of the men that you and I ever met. And young Raynor–you knew Raynor at Monterey–tells me that the men all like him, and that he is treated with something like deference everywhere. There is a mystery, too–something about his connection with the Blavatsky people in Northern India. Raynor either would not or could not tell me the particulars. I infer that Dr. Barritz is thought–don’t you dare to laugh at me–a magician! Could anything be finer than that? An ordinary mystery is not, of course, as good as a scandal, but when it relates to dark and dreadful practices– to the exercise of unearthly powers–could anything be more piquant? It explains, too, the singular influence the man has upon me. It is the undefinable in his art–black art. Seriously, dear, I quite tremble when he looks me full in the eyes with those unfathomable orbs of his, which I have already vainly attempted to describe to you. How dreadful if we have the power to make one fall in love! Do you know if the Blavatsky crowd have that power– outside of Sepoy?

July 1

The strangest thing! Last evening while Auntie was attending one of the hotel hops (I hate them) Dr. Barritz called. It was scandalously late–I actually believe he had talked with Auntie in the ballroom, and learned from her that I was alone. I had been all the evening contriving how to worm out of him the truth about his connection with the Thugs in Sepoy, and all of that black business, but the moment he fixed his eyes on me (for I admitted him, I’m ashamed to say) I was helpless, I trembled, I blushed, I– O Irene, Irene, I love the man beyond expression, and you know how it is yourself!

Fancy! I, an ugly duckling from Redhorse–daughter (they say) of old Calamity Jim–certainly his heiress, with no living relation but an absurd old aunt, who spoils me a thousand and fifty ways– absolutely destitute of everything but a million dollars and a hope in Paris–I daring to love a god like him! My dear, if I had you here, I could tear your hair out with mortification.