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empires, say that you forgive me all that I have done amiss, and in
token, lift that veil of yours and kiss me on the lips."
Betty heard this speech, whereof she only fully understood the end, and
trembled. This was a trial that she had not foreseen. Yet it must be
faced, for speak she dared not. Therefore, gathering up her courage, and
remembering that the light was at her back, after a little pause, as
though of modesty and reluctance, she raised the pearl-embroidered
veil, and, bending forward beneath its shadow, suffered Morella to kiss
her on the lips.
It was over, the veil had fallen again, and the man suspected nothing.
"I am a good artist," thought Inez to herself, "and that woman acts
better than the wooden Peter. Scarcely could I have done it so
Then, the jealousy and hate that she could not control glittering in her
soft eyes, for she too had loved this man, and well, Inez lifted the
golden cups that had been prepared, and, gliding forward, beautiful in
her broidered, Eastern robe, fell upon her knee and held them to the
bridegroom and the bride. Morella took that from her right hand, and
Betty that from her left, nor, intoxicated as he was already with that
first kiss of love, did he pause to note the evil purpose which was
written on the face of his discarded slave. Betty, passing the cup
beneath her veil, touched it with her lips and returned it to Inez; but
Morella, exclaiming, "I drink to you, sweet bride, most fair and adored
of women," drained his to the dregs, and cast it back to Inez as a gift
in such fashion that the red wine which clung to its rim stained her
white robes like a splash of blood.
Humbly she bowed, humbly she gathered the precious vessel from the
floor; but when she rose again there was triumph in her eyes--not hate.
Now Morella took his bride's hand and, followed by his gentlemen and
Inez, walked to the curtains that were drawn as they came into the great
hall beyond, where had mustered all his household, perhaps a hundred of
them. Between their bowing ranks they passed, a stately pair, and,
whilst sweet voices sang behind some hidden screen, walked onward to the
altar, where stood the waiting priest. They kneeled down upon the
gold-embroidered cushions while the office of the Church was read over
them. The ring was set upon Betty's hand--scarce, it would seem, could
he find her finger--the man took the woman to wife, the woman took the
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