He suddenly worried about her. The Indians were not likely to have ever seen such a beauty: tall, fair, and bosomy, with the pretty golden hair. Would they abuse her? Probably not. They might want to buy her from Ramon and that would be awkward at the least. He didn’t want to kill Indians over the wild girl, but he knew he would. He was too much a knight to not, if things were to get out of hand.
But maybe they’d just admire and revere her. They might think her a goddess, or perhaps an embodiment of the Virgin. That would be ironic, Hilola mistaken for the Virgin Mary—or any kind of virgin, for that matter.
Certainly the Indians had been exposed to Christianity over the years. The Spanish priests had moved all over the land in search of souls to save; even more importantly, gold to mine. The priests would have, without a doubt, shown the Indians images of the Virgin.
Ramon laughed to himself at that thought. The Virgin was always depicted as fair, often with golden hair just like Hilola’s, and lily white skin. He knew from his study and reading of history and philosophy with the Jesuits, that the Virgin was likely as dark as his own Mexican people, since she was an Israelite Jew.
But the ones making the statues, and the ones making the rules, were the European whites, and they were obliged to make the images of God and Jesus and the Virgin, and all the saints, as white as they. It always tickled him to think of that.
He was suddenly relieved. This could likely work to his advantage, though the Indians held onto their own faith, despite the padres’ best efforts, they’d incorporated certain things that they liked, and the Virgin was always a little seductive. There was sex there; any good religion had sex. That was a given. Allingham; Desperate Ride