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they not? And then that news came to us that he was not dead, only sick,
and here. So the lie failed. Now they tell you, and seem to show you,
that he is faithless. May not all this have been some part played for a
purpose by the woman?"
"It takes two to play such parts, Betty. If you had seen----"
"If I had seen, _I_ should have known whether it was but a part or love
made in good earnest; but you are too innocent to judge. What said the
marquis all this while, and the priest?"
"Little or nothing, only smiled at each other, and at length, when it
grew dark and we could see no more, asked me if I did not think that it
was time to go--me! whom they had kept there all that while to be the
witness of my own shame."
"Yes, they kept you there--did they not?--and brought you there just at
the right time--did they not?--and shut me out of the tower so that I
might not be with you--oh! and all the rest. Now, if you have any
justice in you, Cousin, you will hear Peter's side of this story before
you judge him."
"I have judged him," answered Margaret coldly, "and, oh! I wish that I
Margaret rose from her seat and, stepping to the window-place in the
tower which was built upon the edge of a hill, searched the giddy depth
beneath with her eyes, where, two hundred feet below, the white line of
a roadway showed faintly in the moonlight.
"It would be easy, would it not," she said, with a strained laugh, "just
to lean out a little too far upon this stone, and then one swift rush
and darkness--or light--for ever--which, I wonder?"
"Light, I think," said Betty, jerking her back from the window--"the
light of hell fire, and plenty of it, for that would be self-murder,
nothing else, and besides, what would one look like on that road?
Cousin, don't be a fool. If you are right, it isn't you who ought to go
out of that window; and if you are wrong, then you would only make a bad
business worse. Time enough to die when one must, say I--which, perhaps,
will be soon enough. Meanwhile, if I were you, I would try to speak to
Master Peter first, if only to let him know what I thought of him."
"Mayhap," answered Margaret, sinking back into a chair, "but I
suffer--how can you know what I suffer?"
"Why should I not know?" asked Betty. "Are you the only woman in the
world who has been fool enough to fall in love? Can I not be as much in
love as you are? You smile, and think to yourself that the poor
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