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she was very proud of her lineage, ambitious also, her great desire
being to raise herself by marriage back to the station from which her
father's folly had cast her down--no easy business for one who passed as
a waiting-woman and was without fortune.
For the rest, she loved and admired her cousin Margaret more than any
one on earth, while Peter she liked and respected, none the less perhaps
because, try as she would--and, being nettled, she did try hard
enough--her beauty and other charms left him quite unmoved.
In answer to Margaret's question she laughed and answered:
"Of course. We are all too busy up in Holborn to get the chance of so
many shows that I should wish to miss one. Still, Master Peter is very
wise, and I am always counselled to obey him. Also, it will soon
"Well, well," said Margaret with a sigh and a little shrug of her
shoulders, "as you are both against me, perhaps we had best be going.
Next time I come out walking, cousin Peter, it shall be with some one
who is more kind."
Then she turned and began to make her way as quickly as she could
through the thickening crowd. Finding this difficult, before Peter could
stop her, for she was very swift in her movements, Margaret bore to the
right, entering the space immediately in front of the banqueting-hall
where the grooms with horses and soldiers were assembled awaiting their
lords, for here there was more room to walk. For a few moments Peter and
Betty were unable to escape from the mob which closed in behind her, and
thus it came about that Margaret found herself alone among these people,
in the midst, indeed, of the guard of the Spanish ambassador de Ayala,
men who were notorious for their lawlessness, for they reckoned upon
their master's privilege to protect them. Also, for the most part, they
were just then more or less in liquor.
One of these fellows, a great, red-haired Scotchman, whom the priest-
diplomatist had brought with him from that country, where he had also
been ambassador, suddenly perceiving before him a woman who appeared to
be young and pretty, determined to examine her more closely, and to this
end made use of a rude stratagem. Pretending to stumble, he grasped at
Margaret's cloak as though to save himself, and with a wrench tore it
open, revealing her beautiful face and graceful figure.
"A dove, comrades!--a dove!" he shouted in a voice thick with drink,
"who has flown here to give me a kiss." And, casting his long arms about
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