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the Spanish tongue.
But when of a sudden, as he did again and again, he sprang some question
on her about Morella, or Margaret, or John Castell, that same subtle
change would come over her face, and the same silence would seal
"Senor," she said to him one day with a laugh, "you ask me of secrets
which I might reveal to you--perhaps--if you were my husband or my love,
but which you cannot expect a nurse, whose life hangs on it, to answer.
Not that I wish you to become my husband or my lover," she added, with a
little nervous laugh.
Peter looked at her with his grave eyes.
"I know that you do not wish that," he said, "for how could I attract
one so gay and beautiful as you are?"
"You seem to attract the English Margaret," she replied quickly in a
"To have attracted, you mean, as you tell me that she is dead," he
answered; and, seeing her mistake, Inez bit her lip. "But," he went on,
"I was going to add, though it may have no value for you, that you have
attracted me as your true friend."
"Friend!" she said, opening her large eyes, "what talk is this? Can the
woman Inez find a friend in a man who is under sixty?"
"It would appear so," he answered. And again with that graceful little
curtsey of hers she went away, leaving him very puzzled. Two days
later she appeared in his room, evidently much disturbed.
"I thought that you had left me altogether, and I am glad to see you,
for I tire of that deaf Moor and of this fine room. I want fresh air."
"I know it," she answered; "so I have come to take you to walk in a
He leapt for joy at her words, and snatching at his sword, which had
been left to him, buckled it on.
"You will not need that," she said.
"I thought that I should not need it in yonder inn, but I did," he
answered. Whereat she laughed, then turned, put her hand upon his
shoulder and spoke to him earnestly.
"See, friend," she whispered, "you want to walk in the fresh air--do you
not?--and to learn certain things--and I wish to tell you them. But I
dare not do it here, where we may at any moment be surrounded by spies,
for these walls have ears indeed. Well, when we walk in that garden,
would it be too great a penance for you to put your arm about my
waist--you who still need support?"
"No penance at all, I assure you," answered Peter with something like a
smile. For after all he was a man, and young; while the waist of Inez
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