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wrongs of Inez, though doubtless you know more about them than I do, I
think she has given him an orange for his pomegranate. But look, there
is the Alcazar in front of us. Is it not a splendid castle? You know, it
was built by the Moors."
"I don't care who it was built by," said Peter, "and it looks to me like
any other castle, only larger. All I know about it is that I am to be
tried there for knocking that ruffian on the head--and that perhaps this
is the last we shall see of each other, as probably they will send me to
the galleys, if they don't do worse."
"Oh! say no such thing. I never thought of it; it is not possible!"
answered Margaret, her dark eyes filling with tears.
"Wait till your marquis appears, pleading the case against us, and you
will see what is or is not possible," replied Peter with conviction.
"Still, we have come through some storms, so let us hope for the best."
At that moment they reached the gate of the Alcazar, which they had
approached from their prison through gardens of orange-trees, and
soldiers came up and separated them. Next they were led across a court,
where many people hurried to and fro, into a great marble-columned room
glittering with gold, which was called the Hall of Justice. At the far
end of this place, seated on a throne set upon a richly carpeted dais
and surrounded by lords and counsellors, sat a magnificently attired
lady of middle age. She was blue-eyed and red-haired, with a
fair-skinned, open countenance, but very reserved and quiet in her
"The Queen," muttered the guard, saluting, as did Castell and Peter,
while Margaret curtseyed.
A case had just been tried, and the queen Isabella, after consultation
with her assessors, was delivering judgment in few words and a gentle
voice. As she spoke, her mild blue eyes fell upon Margaret, and, held
it would seem by her beauty, rested on her till they wandered off to the
tall form of Peter and the dark, Jewish-looking Castell by him, at the
sight of whom she frowned a little.
That case was finished, and other suitors stood up in their turn, but
the queen, waving her hand and still looking at Margaret, bent down and
asked a question of one of the officers of the court, then gave an
order, whereon the officer rising, summoned "John Castell, Margaret
Castell, and Peter Brome, all of England," to appear at the bar and
answer to the charge of murder of one Luiz of Basa, a soldier of the
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