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to advance themselves."
"That is so, Inez. It was the chance of a lifetime, especially to one
who, like myself, hates heretics. But why speak of it now when that
cursed, dissolute marquis----" and he checked himself.
Inez looked at him.
"Father," she asked, "if I happen to be able to find you those hundred
gold doubloons, would you do something for me?"
The priest's foxy face lit up.
"I wonder what there is that I would not do, my daughter!"
"Even if it brought you into a quarrel with the marquis?
"Once I was a secretary to the Inquisition of Seville, he would have
more reason to fear me than I him. Aye, and fear me he should, who bear
him no love," answered the priest with a snarl.
"Then listen, Father. I have not made my confession yet; I have not told
you, for instance, that I also hate this marquis, and with good
cause--though perhaps you know that already. But remember that if you
betray me, you will never see those hundred gold doubloons, and some
other holy priest will be appointed secretary at Seville. Also worse
things may happen to you."
"Proceed, my daughter," he said unctuously; "are we not in the
confessional--or near it?"
So she told him all the plot, trusting to the man's avarice and other
matters to protect her, for Inez hated Fray Henriques bitterly, and knew
him from the crown of his shaven head to the soles of his erring feet,
as she had good cause to do. Only she did not tell him whence the money
was to come.
"That does not seem a very difficult matter," he said, when she had
finished. "If a man and a woman, unwed and outside the prohibited
degrees, appear before me to be married, I marry them, and once the ring
has passed and the office is said, married they are till death or the
Pope part them."
"And suppose that the man thinks he is marrying another woman, Father?"
The priest shrugged his shoulders.
"He should know whom he is marrying; that is his affair, not the
Church's or mine. The names need not be spoken too loudly, my daughter."
"But you would give me a writing of the marriage with them set out
"Certainly. To you or to anybody else; why should I not?--that is, if I
were sure of this wedding fee."
Inez lifted her hand, and showed beneath it a little pile of ten
"Take them, Father," she said; "they will not be counted in the
contract. There are others where they came from, whereof twenty will be
paid before the marriage, and eighty when I have that writing
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