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When the king was gone, Peter turned to those men who had stood by him
and thanked them very heartily. Then he said to Margaret:
"Come, Cousin, that is over for this time, and you have had your wish
and seen his Grace. Now, the sooner you are safe at home, the better I
shall be pleased."
"Certainly," she replied. "I have seen more than I desire to see again.
But before we go let us thank this Spanish senor----" and she paused.
"D'Aguilar, Lady, or at least that name will serve," said the Spaniard
in his cultured voice, bowing low before her, his eyes fixed all the
while upon her beautiful face.
"Senor d'Aguilar, I thank you, and so does my cousin, Peter Brome, whose
life perhaps you saved--don't you, Peter? Oh! and so will my father."
"Yes," answered Peter somewhat sulkily, "I thank him very much; though
as for my life, I trusted to my own arm and to those of my friends
there. Good night, Sir."
"I fear, Senor," answered d'Aguilar with a smile, "that we cannot part
just yet. You forget, I have become bond for you, and must therefore
accompany you to where you live, that I may certify the place. Also,
perhaps, it is safest, for these countrymen of mine are revengeful, and,
were I not with you, might waylay you."
Now, seeing from his face that Peter was still bent upon declining this
escort, Margaret interposed quickly.
"Yes, that is wisest, also my father would wish it. Senor, I will show
you the way," and, accompanied by d'Aguilar, who gallantly offered her
his arm, she stepped forward briskly, leaving Peter to follow with her
Thus they walked in the twilight across the fields and through the
narrow streets beyond that lay between Westminster and Holborn. In front
tripped Margaret beside her stately cavalier, with whom she was soon
talking fast enough in Spanish, a tongue which, for reasons that shall
be explained, she knew well, while behind, the Scotchman's sword still
in his hand, and the handsome Betty on his arm, came Peter Brome in the
worst of humours.
John Castell lived in a large, rambling, many-gabled, house, just off
the main thoroughfare of Holborn, that had at the back of it a garden
surrounded by a high wall. Of this ancient place the front part served
as a shop, a store for merchandise, and an office, for Castell was a
very wealthy trader--how wealthy none quite knew--who exported woollen
and other goods to Spain under the royal licence, bringing thence in his
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