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before you to-day. Your Majesty, I did not know that he was a soldier of
the Holy Hermandad, and I pray you pardon my offence, which was done in
ignorance, fear, and anger, for we are willing to pay compensation for
this unhappy death."
Now some in the court exclaimed:
"Well spoken, Englishman!"
Then the queen said:
"If all this tale be true, I am not sure that we should blame you over
much, Senor Brome; but how know we that it is true? For instance, you
said that the noble marquis stole two ladies, a deed of which I can
scarcely think him capable. Where then is the other?"
"I believe," answered Peter, "that she is now the wife of the Marquis of
"The wife! Who bears witness that she is the wife? He has not advised us
that he was about to marry, as is usual."
Then Bernaldez stood forward, stating his name and occupation, and that
he was a correspondent of the English merchant, John Castell, and
producing the certificate of marriage signed by Morella, Betty, and the
priest Henriques, handed it up to the queen saying that he had received
them in duplicate by a messenger from Granada, and had delivered the
other to the Archbishop of Seville.
The queen, having looked at the paper, passed it to her assessors, who
examined it very carefully, one of them saying that the form was not
usual, and that it might be forged.
The queen thought a little while, then said:
"That is so, and in one way only can we know the truth. Let our warrant
issue summoning before us our cousin, the noble Marquis of Morella, the
Senora Dene, who is said to be his wife, and the priest Henriques of
Motril, who is said to have married them. When they have arrived, all of
them, the king my husband and I will examine into the matter, and, until
then, we will not suffer our minds to be prejudiced by hearing any more
of this cause."
Now the governor of the prison stood forward, and asked what was to be
done with the captives until the witnesses could be brought from
Granada. The queen answered that they must remain in his charge, and be
well treated, whereon Peter prayed that he might be given a better cell
with fewer rats and more light. The queen smiled, and said that it
should be so, but added that it would be proper that he should still be
kept apart from the lady to whom he was affianced, who could dwell with
her father. Then, noting the sadness on their faces, she added:
"Yet I think they may meet daily in the garden of the prison."
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