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in all things during his absence from Granada. It commanded that all
rents and profits due to him should be paid to her, and that all his
servants and dependants should obey her as though she were himself, and
that her receipt should be as good as his receipt.
When the paper was written, and Betty had spelt it over carefully to see
that there was no omission or mistake, she unlocked the door, struck
upon the gong, and summoned the secretaries to witness their lord's
signature to a settlement. Presently they came, bowing, and offering
many felicitations, which to himself Morella vowed he would remember
"I have to go a journey," he said. "Witness my signature to this
document, which provides for the carrying on of my household and the
disposal of my property during my absence."
They stared and bowed.
"Read it aloud first," said Betty, "so that my lord and husband may be
sure that there is no mistake."
One of them obeyed, but before ever he had finished the furious Morella
shouted to them from the bed:
"Have done and witness, then go, order me horses and an escort, for I
ride at once."
So they witnessed in a great hurry, and left the room. Betty left with
them, holding the paper in her hand, and when she reached the large hall
where the household were gathered waiting to greet their lord, she
commanded one of the secretaries to read it out to all of them, also to
translate it into the Moorish tongue that every one might understand.
Then she hid it away with the marriage lines, and, seating herself in
the midst of the household, ordered them to prepare to receive the most
They had not long to wait, for presently he came out of the room like a
bull into the arena, whereon Betty rose and curtseyed to him, and at her
word all his servants bowed themselves down in the Eastern fashion. For
a moment he paused, again like the bull when he sees the picadors and is
about to charge. Then he thought better of it, and, with a muttered
curse, strode past them.
Ten minutes later, for the third time within twenty-four hours, horses
galloped from the palace and through the Seville gate.
"Friends," said Betty in her awkward Spanish, when she knew that he had
gone, "a sad thing has happened to my husband, the marquis. The woman
Inez, whom it seems he trusted very much, has departed, stealing a
treasure that he valued above everything on earth, and so I, his
new-made wife, am left desolate while he tries to find her."
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