social importance. Indeed everything done by the Dons was characterized by much formality and ceremony, the custom of which had been brought over from Spain. But they were no longer really in touch with Spanish civilization. They never went back to the mother country. They had no books save the Bible and a few other religious works, and many of them never learned to read these. Their lives were made up of fighting, with the Indians and also among themselves, for there were many feuds; of hunting and primitive trade; and of venery upon a generous and patriarchal scale. They were Spanish gentlemen by descent, all for honour and tradition and sentiment; but by circumstance they were barbarian lords, and their lives were full of lust and blood.
Circumstance somewhat modified the vaunted purity of their Spanish blood, too. The Indian slave girls who lived in their houses bore the children of their sons, and some of these half-bred and quarter-bred children were eventually accepted by the gente de razon