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"There are some of them," answered the priest, pointing to the dead
bodies; "the rest, with the two senoras, started two hours ago for
Granada. The Marquis of Morella, from whom I hold this cure, told us
that his ship had sunk, and that no one else was left alive, and, as the
mist hid everything, we believed him. That is why we were not here
before, for," he added significantly, "we are poor folk, to whom the
saints send few wrecks."
"How did they go to Granada, Father?" asked Castell. "On foot?"
"Nay, Senor, they took all the horses and mules in the village by force,
though the marquis promised that he would return them and pay for their
hire later, and we trusted him because we must. The ladies wept much,
and prayed us to take them in and keep them; but this the marquis would
not allow, although they seemed so sad and weary. God send that we see
our good beasts back again," he added piously.
"Have you any left for us? We have a little money, and can pay for them
if they be not too dear."
"Not one, Senor--not one; the place has been cleared even down to the
mares in foal. But, indeed you seem scarcely fit to ride at present, who
have undergone so much," and he pointed to Peter's wounded head and
Castell's bandaged arm. "Why do you not stay and rest awhile?"
"Because I am the father of one of the senoras, and doubtless she thinks
me drowned, and this senor is her affianced husband," answered
"Ah!" said the priest, looking at them with interest, "then what
relation to her is the marquis? Well, perhaps I had better not ask, for
this is no confessional, is it? I understand that you are anxious, for
that great grandee has the reputation of being gay--an excellent son of
the Church, but without doubt very gay," and he shook his shaven head
and smiled. "But come up to the village, Senors, where you can rest and
have your hurts attended to; afterwards we will talk."
"We had best go," said Castell in English to Peter. "There are no horses
on this beach, and we cannot walk to Granada in our state."
Peter nodded, and, led by the priest, whose name they discovered to be
Henriques, they started.
On the crest of the hill a few hundred paces away they turned and looked
back, to see that every able-bodied inhabitant of the village seemed by
now to be engaged in plundering the stranded vessel.
"They are paying themselves for the mules and horses," said Fray
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