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Table of contents
HOW PETER MET THE SPANIARD
JOHN CASTELL
PETER GATHERS VIOLETS
LOVERS DEAR
CASTELL'S SECRET
FAREWELL
NEWS FROM SPAIN
D'AGUILAR SPEAKS
THE SNARE
THE CHASE
THE MEETING ON THE SEA
FATHER HENRIQUES
THE ADVENTURE OF THE INN
INEZ AND HER GARDEN
PETER PLAYS A PART
BETTY SHOWS HER TEETH
THE PLOT
THE HOLY HERMANDAD
BETTY PAYS HER DEBTS
ISABELLA OF SPAIN
BETTY STATES HER CASE
THE DOOM OF JOHN CASTELL
FATHER HENRIQUES AND THE BAKER'S OVEN
THE FALCON STOOPS
HOW THE _MARGARET_ WON OUT TO SEA
ENVOI

CHAPTER XXII 

 

THE DOOM OF JOHN CASTELL

 

 

His evidence finished, the Marquis of Morella sat down, whereon, the 

king and queen having whispered together, the head alcalde asked Betty 

if she had any questions to put to him. She rose with much dignity, and 

through her interpreter said in a quiet voice: 

 

"Yes, a great many. Yet she would not debase herself by asking a single 

one until the stain which he had cast upon her was washed away, which 

she thought could only be done in blood. He had alleged that she was a 

woman of no character, and he had further alleged that their marriage 

was null and void. Being of the sex she was, she could not ask him to 

make good his assertions at the sword's point, therefore, as she 

believed she had the right to do according to all the laws of honour, 

she asked leave to seek a champion--if an unfriended woman could find 

one in a strange land--to uphold her fair name against this base and 

cruel slander." 

 

Now, in the silence that followed her speech, Peter rose and said: 

 

"I ask the permission of your Majesties to be that champion. Your 

Majesties will note that according to his own story I have suffered from 

this marquis the bitterest wrong that one man can receive at the hands 

of another. Also, he has lied in saying that I am not true to my 

affianced lady, the Dona Margaret, and surely I have a right to avenge 

the lie upon him. Lastly, I declare that I believe the Senora Betty to 

be a good and upright woman, upon whom no shadow of shame has ever 

fallen, and, as her countryman and relative, I desire to uphold her good 

name before all the world. I am a foreigner here with few friends, or 

none, yet I cannot believe that your Majesties will withhold from me the 

right of battle which all over the world in such a case one gentleman 

may demand of another. I challenge the Marquis of Morella to mortal 

combat without mercy to the fallen, and here is the proof of it." 

 

Then, stepping across the open space before the bar, he drew the 

leathern gauntlet off his hand and threw it straight into Morella's 

face, thinking that after such an insult he could not choose but fight. 

 

With an oath Morella snatched at his sword; but, before he could draw 

it, officers of the court threw themselves on him, and the king's stern 

voice was heard commanding them to cease their brawling in the royal 

presences. 

 

"I ask your pardon, Sire," gasped Morella, "but you have seen what this 

Englishman did to me, a grandee of Spain." 


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