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she kept the marquis at a distance, since there was no priest to marry
them; also, she was sick and much ashamed, who had involved her cousin
and mistress in this trouble. She told how the Senors Castell and Brome
had followed in another vessel, and boarded the caravel in a storm; also
of the shipwreck and their journey to Granada as prisoners, and of their
subsequent life there. Finally she described how Inez came to her with
proposals of marriage, and how she bargained that if she consented, her
cousin, the Senor Castell, and the Senor Brome should go free. They went
accordingly, and the marriage took place as arranged, the marquis first
embracing her publicly in the presence of various people--namely, Inez
and his two secretaries, who, except Inez, were present, and could bear
witness to the truth of what she said.
After the marriage and the signing of the certificates she had
accompanied him to his own apartments, which she had never entered
before, and there, to her astonishment, in the morning, he announced
that he must go a journey upon their Majesties' business. Before he
went, however, he gave her a written authority, which she produced, to
receive his rents and manage his matters in Granada during his absence,
which authority she read to the gathered household before he left. She
had obeyed him accordingly until she had received the royal command,
receiving moneys, giving her receipt for the same, and generally
occupying the unquestioned position of mistress of his house.
"We can well believe it," said the king drily. "And now, Marquis, what
have you to answer to all this?"
"I will answer presently," replied Morella, who trembled with rage.
"First suffer that my advocate cross-examine this woman."
So the advocate cross-examined, though it cannot be said that he had the
better of Betty. First he questioned her as to her statement that she
was of ancient and gentle family, whereon Betty overwhelmed the court
with a list of her ancestors, the first of whom, a certain Sieur Dene de
Dene, had come to England with the Norman Duke, William the Conqueror.
After him, so she still swore, the said Denes de Dene had risen to great
rank and power, having been the favourites of the kings of England, and
fought for them generation after generation.
By slow degrees she came down to the Wars of the Roses, in which she
said her grandfather had been attainted for his loyalty, and lost his
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