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my pretty, come in."
Inez followed him into this darksome hole, and the wall closed behind
them. Then, taking her by the arm, he turned first to the right, next to
the left, opened a door with a key which he carried, and, behold, they
stood in a beautifully furnished room well lighted with lamps, for it
seemed to have no windows. "Wait here," he said to Inez, pointing to a
couch on which she sat herself down, "while I fetch my lodger," and he
vanished through some curtains at the end of the room.
Presently these opened again, and Israel reappeared through them with
Castell, dressed now in Moorish robes, and looking somewhat pale from
his confinement underground, but otherwise well enough. Inez rose and
stood before him, throwing back her veil that he might see her face.
Castell searched her for a while with his keen eyes that noted
everything, then said:
"You are the lady with whom I have been in communication through our
friend here, are you not? Prove it to me now by repeating my messages."
Inez obeyed, telling him everything.
"That is right," he said, "but how do I know that I can trust you? I
understand you are, or have been, the lover of this man Morella, and
such an one he might well employ as a spy to bring us all to ruin."
"Is it not too late to ask such questions, Senor? If I am not to be
trusted, already you and your people are in the hollow of my hand?"
"Not at all, not at all, my dear," said Israel. "If we see the slightest
cause to doubt you, why, there are many great vats in this place, one of
which, at a pinch, would serve you as a coffin, though it would be a
pity to spoil the good wine."
Inez laughed as she answered:
"Save your wine, and your time too. Morella has cast me off, and I hate
him, and wish to escape from him and rob him of his prize. Also, I
desire money to live on afterwards, and this you must give to me or I
do not stir, or rather the promise of it, for you Jews keep your word,
and I do not ask a maravedi from you until I have played my part."
"And then how many maravedis do you ask, young woman?"
Inez named a sum, at the mention of which both of them opened their
eyes, and old Israel exclaimed drily:
"Surely--surely you must be one of us."
"No," she answered, "but I try to follow your example, and, if I am to
live at all, it shall be in comfort."
"Quite so," said Castell, "we understand. But now tell us, what do you
propose to do for this money?"
"I propose to set you, your daughter, the Dona Margaret, and her lover,
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