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chapter 15
 Needless to say that Uncle Hormiga found no means of procuring Juan Falgueira's pardon, nor did the judges condescend to listen seriously to the offers which the latter made them of delivering to them a treasure on condition that they should relinquish the prosecution against him; nor did the terrible Galician consent to disclose the hiding-place of the document nor the whereabouts of the treasure to the bold Alcalde of Aldeire—who, with this hope, had the face to visit him in the chapel in the prison of Granada.
 
Juan Falgueira, then, was hanged on the Friday preceding Good Friday, in the Paseo del Triumfo, and Uncle Hormiga, on his return to Aldeire, on Palm Sunday, fell ill with typhoid fever, the disease running its course so quickly that on Wednesday of Holy Week he confessed himself and made his will and expired on the morning of Easter Saturday.
 
But before his death he wrote a letter to Don Matias de Quesada, reproaching him with his treachery and dishonesty (which had caused the deaths of three persons), and forgiving him like a Christian, on condition that he should return to Dame Torcuata the thirty-two dollars for the cup of chocolate.
 
This dreadful letter reached Ugijar simultaneously with the news of the death of Uncle Juan Gomez, both which events, coming together, affected the old lawyer to such a degree that he never recovered his spirits again, and he died shortly afterward, having written in his last hour a terrible letter, full of reproaches and maledictions, to his nephew, the Chapel-master of Ceuta, accusing him of having deceived and robbed him, and of being the cause of his death.
 
To the reading of this just and tremendous accusation was due, it is said, the stroke of apoplexy that sent Don Bonifacio to the tomb.
 
So that the suspicion, merely, of the existence of a hidden treasure was the cause of five deaths, and of many other misfortunes, matters remaining in the end as hidden and mysterious as they were in the beginning, since Dame Torcuata, who was the only person in the world who knew the history of the fatal document, took good care never to mention it thereafter in the whole course of her life, thinking, as she did, that it had all been the work of the devil, and the necessary consequence of her husband's dealings with the enemies of the Church and the Throne.


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