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and receiving their salutations and good wishes.
When all this was done, still smiling, Betty returned to the
marriage-chamber, closing its door behind her, sat her down on a chair
near the bed, and waited for the worst struggle of all--that struggle on
which hung her life. See! Morella stirred. He sat up, gazing about him
and rubbing his brow. Presently his eyes lit upon Betty, seated stern
and upright in her high chair. She rose and, coming to him, kissed him
and called him "Husband," and, still half-asleep, he kissed her back.
Then she sat down again in her chair and watched his face.
It changed, and changed again. Wonder, fear, amaze, bewilderment,
flitted over it, till at last he said in English:
"Betty, where is my wife?"
"Here," answered Betty.
He stared at her. "Nay, I mean the Dona Margaret, your cousin and my
lady, whom I wed last night. And how come you here? I thought that you
had left Granada."
Betty looked astonished.
"I do not understand you," she answered. "It was my cousin Margaret who
left Granada. I stayed here to be married to you, as you arranged with
me through Inez."
His jaw dropped.
"Arranged with you through Inez! Mother of Heaven! what do you mean?"
"Mean?" she answered--"I mean what I say. Surely"--and she rose in
indignation--"you have never dared to try to play some new trick
"Trick!" muttered Morella. "What says the woman? Is all this a dream, or
am I mad?"
"A dream, I think. Yes, it must be a dream, since certainly it was to no
madman that I was wed last night. Look," and she held before him that
writing of marriage signed by the priest, by him, and by herself, which
stated that Carlos, Marquis of Morella, was on such a date, at Granada,
duly married to the Senora Elizabeth Dene of London in England.
He read it twice, then sank back gasping; while Betty hid away the
parchment in her bosom.
Then presently he seemed to go mad indeed. He raved, he cursed, he
ground his teeth, he looked round for a sword to kill her or himself,
but could find none. And all the while Betty sat still and gazed at him
like some living fate.
At length he was weary, and her turn came.
"Listen," she said. "Yonder in London you promised to marry me; I have
it hidden away, and in your own writing. By agreement I fled with you to
Spain. By the mouth of your messenger and former love this marriage was
arranged between us, I receiving your messages to me, and sending back
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