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walking there--yonder is one of them," and he nodded towards Inez.
"Shall I go on?"
"No," she answered in a low voice, and passing her hands before her
face. "Only tell me who and what is that woman?" and in her turn she
looked towards Inez.
"Is it necessary?" he asked. "Well, if you wish to know, she is a
Spaniard of good blood who with her sister was taken captive by the
Moors. A certain priest, who took an interest in the sister, brought her
to my notice and I bought her from them; so, as her parents were dead
and she had nowhere else to go, she elected to stay in my house. You
must not judge such things too harshly; they are common here. Also, she
has been very useful to me, being clever, for through her I have
intelligence of many things. Of late, however, she has grown tired of
this life, and wishes to earn her freedom, which I have promised her in
return for certain services, and to leave Granada."
"Was the nursing of my betrothed one of those services, Marquis?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
"As you will, Senora. Certainly I forgive her this indiscretion, if at
last she has shown you the truth about that man for whose sake you have
endured so much. Margaret, now that you know him for what he is, say, do
you still cling to him?"
She rose and walked a few steps down the arcade, then came back and
"Are you any better than this fallen man?"
"I think so, Margaret, for since I knew you I am a risen man; all my old
self is left behind me, I am a new creature, and my sins have been for
you, not against you. Hear me, I beseech you. I stole you away, it is
true, but I have done you no harm, and will do you none. For your sake
also I have spared your father when I had but to make a sign to remove
him from my path. I suffered him to escape from the prison where he was
confined, and I know the place where he thinks himself hidden to-day
among the Jews of Granada. Also, I nursed Peter Brome back to life, when
at any hour I could have let him die, lest afterwards I might have it on
my conscience that, but for my love for you, he might perhaps still be
living. Well, you have seen him as he is, and what say you now? Will you
still reject me? Look on me," and he drew up his tall and stately shape,
"and tell me, am I such a man as a woman should be ashamed to own as
husband? Remember, too, that I have much to give you in this land of
Spain, whereof you shall become one of the greatest ladies, or perhaps
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