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through, tried to drag one of the beds beneath it, thinking that if any
such attempt were made, he who lay thereon would have the thief at his
mercy, only to find, however, that these were screwed to the floor and
immovable. As there was nothing more that they could do, they went and
sat upon these beds, their bare swords in their hands, and waited a long
while, but nothing happened.
At length the lamp, which had been flickering feebly for some time, went
out, lacking oil, and except for the light which crept through the
window-place, for now they had torn away the sacking that hung over it,
they were in darkness.
A little while later they heard the sound of a horse's hoofs, and the
door of the house open and shut, after which there was more talking
below, and mingling with it a new voice which Peter seemed to remember.
"I have it," he whispered to Castell. "Here is our late host, Father
Henriques, come to see how his guests are faring."
Another half-hour and the waning moon rose, throwing a beam of light
into their chamber; also they heard horse's hoofs again. Going to the
window, Peter looked out of it and saw the horse, a fine beast, being
held by the landlord, then a man came and mounted it and, at some remark
of his, turned his face upwards towards their window. It was that of
The two whispered together for a while till the priest blessed the
landlord in Latin words and rode away, and again they heard the door of
the house close.
"He is off to Granada, to warn Morella his master of our coming," said
Castell, as they reseated themselves upon the beds.
"To warn Morella that we shall never come, perhaps; but we will beat him
yet," replied Peter.
The night wore on, and Castell, who was very weary, sank back upon the
bolster and began to doze, when suddenly the chair that was set upon the
trap-door fell over with a great clatter, and he sprang up, asking what
that noise might be.
"Only a rat," answered Peter, who saw no good in telling him the
truth--namely, that thieves or murderers had tried to open the
Then he crept down the room, felt the cord, to find that it was still
uncut, and replaced the chair where it had been. This done, Peter came
back to the bed and threw himself down upon it as though he would
slumber, though never was he more wide awake. The weariness of Castell
had overcome him again, however, for he snored at his side.
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