|• Main||• Contacts|
world. I understood you to say that the door is locked, and if I might
hazard a guess, you have the key, as also you happen to have a dagger.
Well, I find the air in this place close, and I want to go _out_."
"Where to?" asked Betty.
"Let us say, to join Inez."
"What," she asked, "would you already be running after that woman
again? Do you already forget that you are married?"
"It seems that I am not to be allowed to forget it. Now, let us bargain.
I wish to leave Granada for a while, and without scandal. What are your
terms? Remember that there are two to which I will not consent. I will
not stop here with you, and you shall not accompany me. Remember also,
that, although you hold the dagger at present, it is not wise of you to
try to push this jest too far."
"As you did when you decoyed me on board the _San Antonio_," said Betty.
"Well, our honeymoon has not begun too sweetly, and I do not mind if you
go away for a while--to look for Inez. Swear now that you mean me no
harm, and that you will not plot my death or disgrace, or in any way
interfere with my liberty or position here in Granada. Swear it on the
Rood." And she took down a silver crucifix that hung upon the wall over
the bed and handed it to him. For she knew Morella's superstitions, and
that if once he swore upon this symbol he dare not break his oath.
"And if I will not swear?" he asked sullenly.
"Then," she answered, "you stop here until you do, you who are anxious
to be gone. I have eaten food this morning, you have not; I have a
dagger, you have none; and, being as we are, I am sure that no one will
venture to disturb us until Inez and your friend the priest have gone
further than you can follow."
"Very well, I will swear," he said, and he kissed the crucifix and threw
it down, "You can stop here and rule my house in Granada, and I will do
you no mischief, nor trouble you in any way. But if you come out of
Granada, then we cross swords."
"You mean that you intend to leave this city? Then, here is paper and
ink. Be so good as to sign an order to the stewards of your estates,
within the territories of the Moorish king, to pay all their revenue to
me during your absence, and to your servants to obey me in everything."
"It is easy to see that you were brought up in the house of a Jew
merchant," said Morella, biting the pen and considering this woman who,
whether she were hawk or pigeon, knew so well how to feather her nest.
Page 8 from 11: Back 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  9 10 11 Forward