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pointed arches, and a vast fairy-like building set upon a hill. He was
dazed with pain and fatigue as, a long-legged, blood-stained figure,
crowned with his quaint hat of grasses, he rode through that wondrous
and imperial place.
Yet no man laughed at him, absurd as he must have seemed; but perhaps
this was because under the grotesqueness of his appearance they
recognised something of his quality. Or they might have heard rumours of
his sword-play at the inn and on the ship. At any rate, their attitude
was that of courteous dislike of the Christian, mingled with respect for
the brave man in misfortune.
At length, after mounting a long rise, they came to a palace on a mount,
facing the vast, red-walled fortress which seemed to dominate the place,
which he afterwards knew as the Alhambra, but separated from it by a
valley. This palace was a very great building, set on three sides of a
square, and surrounded by gardens, wherein tall cypress-trees pointed to
the tender sky. They rode through the gardens and sundry gateways till
they came to a courtyard where servants, with torches in their hands,
ran out to meet them. Somebody helped him off his horse, somebody
supported him up a flight of marble steps, beneath which a fountain
splashed, into a great, cool room with an ornamented roof. Then Peter
remembered no more.
* * * * *
A time went by, a long, long time--in fact it was nearly a month--before
Peter really opened his eyes to the world again. Not that he had been
insensible for all this while--that is, quite--for at intervals he had
become aware of that large, cool room, and of people talking about
him--especially of a dark-eyed, light-footed, and pretty woman with a
white wimple round her face, who appeared to be in charge of him.
Occasionally he thought that this must be Margaret, and yet knew that it
could not, for she was different. Also, he remembered that once or twice
he had seemed to see the haughty, handsome face of Morella bending over
him, as though he watched curiously to learn whether he would live or
not, and then had striven to rise to fight him, and been pressed back by
the soft, white hands of the woman that yet were so terribly strong.
Now, when he awoke at last, it was to see her sitting there with a ray
of sunlight from some upper window falling on her face, sitting with her
chin resting on her hand and her elbow on her knee, and contemplating
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