Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
HOW PETER MET THE SPANIARD
JOHN CASTELL
PETER GATHERS VIOLETS
LOVERS DEAR
CASTELL'S SECRET
FAREWELL
NEWS FROM SPAIN
D'AGUILAR SPEAKS
THE SNARE
THE CHASE
THE MEETING ON THE SEA
FATHER HENRIQUES
THE ADVENTURE OF THE INN
INEZ AND HER GARDEN
PETER PLAYS A PART
BETTY SHOWS HER TEETH
THE PLOT
THE HOLY HERMANDAD
BETTY PAYS HER DEBTS
ISABELLA OF SPAIN
BETTY STATES HER CASE
THE DOOM OF JOHN CASTELL
FATHER HENRIQUES AND THE BAKER'S OVEN
THE FALCON STOOPS
HOW THE _MARGARET_ WON OUT TO SEA
ENVOI

CHAPTER XVII 

 

THE PLOT

 

 

On the morning following these conversations, just after Margaret and 

Betty had breakfasted, Inez appeared, and, as before, locked the door 

behind her. 

 

"Senoras," she said calmly, "I have arranged that little business of 

which I spoke to you yesterday, or at least the first act of the play, 

since it remains for you to write the rest. Now I am sent to say that 

the noble Marquis of Morella craves leave to see you, Dona Margaret, and 

within an hour. So there is no time to lose." 

 

"Tell us what you have done, Inez?" said Margaret. 

 

"I have seen your worshipful father, Dona Margaret; here is the token of 

it, which you will do well to destroy when you have read." And she 

handed her a slip of paper, whereon was written in her father's writing, 

and in English: 

 

"BELOVED DAUGHTER, 

 

"This messenger, who I think may be trusted by you, has made 

arrangements with me which she will explain. I approve, though the risk 

is great. Your cousin is a brave girl, but, understand, I do not force 

her to this dangerous enterprise. She must choose her own road, only I 

promise that if she escapes and we live I will not forget her deed. The 

messenger will bring me your answer. God be with us all, and farewell. 

 

"J.C." 

 

Margaret read this letter first to herself and then aloud to Betty, and, 

having read, tore it into tiny fragments and threw them from the 

turret window. 

 

"Speak now," she said; and Inez told her everything. 

 

"Can you trust the priest?" asked Margaret, when she had finished. 

 

"He is a great villain, as I have reason to know; still, I think I can," 

she answered, "while the cabbage is in front of the donkey's nose--I 

mean until he has got all the money. Also, he has committed himself by 

taking some on account. But before we go further, the question is--does 

this lady play?" and she pointed to Betty. 

 

"Yes, I play," said Betty, when she understood everything. "I won't go 

back upon my word; there is too much at stake. It is an ugly business 

for me, I know well enough, but," she added slowly, setting her firm 

mouth, "I have debts to pay all round, and I am no Spanish putty to be 

squeezed flat--like some people," and she glanced at the humble-looking 

Inez. "So, before all is done, it may be uglier for him." 

 

When she had mastered the meaning of this speech the soft-voiced Inez 

lifted her gentle eyes in admiration, and murmured a Spanish proverb as 

to what is supposed to occur when Satan encounters Beelzebub in a 


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