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understand has no good name, and, if I refuse, you tell me that all of
us will be cast into yonder dungeons to be sold as slaves or die
prisoners of the Moors. My lord Marquis, fate and you leave me but
little choice. On this day week I will marry you, but blame me not if
you find me other than you think, as you have found my cousin whom you
befooled. Till then, also, I pray you that you will leave me quite
untroubled. If you have arrangements to make or commands to send, the
woman Inez yonder will serve as messenger, for of her I know the worst."
"I will obey you in all things, Dona Margaret," he answered humbly. "Do
you desire to see your father or--" and he paused.
"Neither of them," she answered. "I will write to them and send my
letters by this Inez. Why should I see them," she added passionately,
"who have done with the old days when I was free and happy, and am about
to become the wife of the most noble Marquis of Morella, that honourable
grandee of Spain, who tricked a poor girl by a false promise of
marriage, and used her blind and loving folly to trap and steal me from
my home? My lord, till this day week I bid you farewell," and, walking
from the arcade to the fountain, she called aloud to Betty to accompany
her to their rooms.
The week for which Margaret had bargained had gone by. All was prepared.
Inez had shown to Morella the letters that his bride to be wrote to her
father and to Peter Brome; also the answers, imploring and passionate,
to the same. But there were other letters and other answers which she
had not shown. It was afternoon, swift horses were ready in the
courtyard, and with them an escort, while, disguised as Moors, Castell
and Peter waited under guard in a chamber close at hand. Betty, dressed
in the robes of a Moorish woman, and thickly veiled, stood before
Morella, to whom Inez had led her.
"I come to tell you," she said, "that at sundown, three hours after we
have passed beneath her window, my cousin and mistress will wait to be
made your wife, but if you try to disturb her before then she will be no
wife of yours, or any man's."
"I obey," answered Morella; "and, Senora Betty, I pray your pardon, and
that you will accept this gift from me in token of your forgiveness."
And with a low bow he handed to her a beautiful necklace of pearls.
"I take them," said Betty, with a bitter laugh, "as they may serve to
buy me a passage back to England. But forgive you I do not, Marquis of
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