Latour remembers the story of Father Junipero, a monk lost in the desert, who finds a poor Mexican family and is sheltered by them. It becomes obvious to the reader that the family is a representation of the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. When Junipero tells the brothers at the monastery about the family, he is told there is no house within twelve leagues of the area where Junipero traveled. ( Leagues are an old land measure in parts of the United States that were formerly Mexican; 1 league is equal to about 4,400 acres.) Latour contemplates the choices made by his friend Vaillant. He considers how Vaillant was torn between loyalty to his family and his faith. Without Latour's support, Vaillant would have lost his resolve to travel to the New World. For his part, Vaillant has overextended his parish financially, prompting official reprimands from the Vatican. Latour outlives Vaillant (the reader is told that this is a literary device, and that the opposite is
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