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the Senor Brome, safe and free outside the walls of Granada, and to
leave the Marquis of Morella married to another woman."
"What other woman? Yourself?" asked Castell, fixing on this last point
in the programme.
"No, Senor, not for all the wealth of both of you. To your dependent and
your daughter's relative, the handsome Betty."
"How will you manage that?" exclaimed Castell, amazed.
"These cousins are not unlike, Senor, although the link of blood between
them is so thin. Listen now, I will tell you." And she explained the
outlines of her plan.
"A bold scheme enough," said Castell, when she had finished, "but even
if it can be done, would that marriage hold?"
"I think so," answered Inez, "if the priest knew--and he could be
bribed--and the bride knows. But if not, what would it matter, since
Rome alone can decide the question, and long before that is done the
fates of all of us will be settled."
"Rome--or death," said Castell; and Inez read what he was afraid of in
"Your Betty takes her chance," she replied slowly, "as many a one has
done before her with less cause. She is a woman with a mind as strong as
her body. Morella made her love him and promised to marry her. Then he
used her to steal your daughter, and she learned that she had been no
more than a stalking-heifer, from behind which he would net the white
swan. Do you not think, therefore, that she has something to pay him
back, she through whom her beloved mistress and cousin has been brought
into all this trouble? If she wins, she becomes the wife of a grandee of
Spain, a marchioness; and if she loses, well, she has had her fling for
a high stake, and perhaps her revenge. At least she is willing to take
her chance, and, meanwhile, all of you can be gone."
Castell looked doubtfully at the Jew Israel, who stroked his white beard
"Let the woman set out her scheme. At any rate she is no fool, and it is
worth our hearing, though I fear that at the best it must be costly."
"I can pay," said Castell, and motioned to Inez to proceed.
As yet, however, she had not much more to say, save that they must have
good horses at hand, and send a messenger to Seville, whither the
_Margaret_ had been ordered to proceed, bidding her captain hold his
ship ready to sail at any hour, should they succeed in reaching him.
These things, then, they arranged, and a while later Inez and Israel
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