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BETTY STATES HER CASE
Seven days had passed, during which time Margaret and her father had
rested quietly in the prison, where, indeed, they dwelt more as guests
than as captives. Thus they were allowed to receive what visitors they
would, and among them Juan Bernaldez, Castell's connection and agent,
who told them of all that passed without. Through him they sent
messengers to meet Betty on her road and apprise her of how things
stood, and of the trial in which her cause would be judged.
Soon the messengers returned, stating that the "Marchioness of Morella"
was travelling in state, accompanied by a great retinue, that she
thanked them for their tidings, and hoped to be able to defend herself
at all points.
At this news Castell stared and Margaret laughed, for, although she did
not know all the story, she was sure that in some way Betty had the
mastery of Morella, and would not be easily defeated, though how she
came to be travelling with a great retinue she could not imagine. Still,
fearing lest she should be attacked or otherwise injured, she wrote a
humble letter to the queen, praying that her cousin might be defended
from all danger at the hands of any one whomsoever until she had an
opportunity of giving evidence before their Majesties.
Within an hour came the answer that the lady was under the royal
protection, and that a guard had been sent to escort her and her party
and to keep her safe from interference of any sort; also, that for her
greater comfort, quarters had been prepared for her in a fortress
outside of Seville, which would be watched night and day, and whence she
would be brought to the court.
Peter was still kept apart from them, but each day at noon they were
allowed to meet him in the walled garden of the prison, where they
talked together to their heart's content. Here, too, he exercised
himself daily at all manly games, and especially at sword-play with some
of the other prisoners, using sticks for swords. Further, he was allowed
the use of his horse that he had ridden from Granada, on which he
jousted in the yard of the castle with the governor and certain other
gentlemen, proving himself better at that play than any of them. These
things he did vigorously and with ardour, for Margaret had told him of
the hint which the queen gave her, and he desired to get back his full
strength, and to perfect himself in the handling of every arm which was
used in Spain.
So the time went by, until one afternoon the governor informed them that
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