|• Main||• Contacts|
seem to be married, never shall you be a husband to me."
"That seems hard," replied Peter, shaking his head mournfully, "since it
was not I who gave him over to these devils, and probably the end of it
would be that I should share his fate. Still, I will do what a man can."
"No, no," she cried in despair; "do nothing that will bring you into
danger." But he had gone without waiting for her answer.
It was night, and Peter sat in a secret room in a certain baker's shop
in Seville. There were present there besides himself the Fray
Henriques--now a secretary to the Holy Inquisition, but disguised as a
layman--the woman Inez, the agent Bernaldez, and the old Jew, Israel
"I have brought him here, never mind how," Inez was saying, pointing to
Henriques. "A risky and disagreeable business enough. And now what is
the use of it?"
"No use at all," answered the Fray coolly, "except to me who pocket my
ten gold pieces."
"A thousand doubloons if our friend escapes safe and sound," put in the
old Jew Israel. "God in Heaven! think of it, a thousand doubloons."
The secretary's eyes gleamed hungrily.
"I could do with them well enough," he answered, "and hell could spare
one filthy Jew for ten years or so, but I see no way. What I do see, is
that probably all of you will join him. It is a great crime to try to
tamper with a servant of the Holy Office."
Bernaldez turned white, and the old Jew bit his nails; but Inez tapped
the priest upon the shoulder.
"Are you thinking of betraying us?" she asked in her gentle voice.
"Look here, friend, I have some knowledge of poisons, and I swear to you
that if you attempt it, you shall die within a week, tied in a double
knot, and never know whence the dose came. Or I can bewitch you, I, who
have not lived a dozen years among the Moors for nothing, so that your
head swells and your body wastes, and you utter blasphemies, not
knowing what you say, until for very shame's sake they toast you among
the faggots also."
"Bewitch me!" answered Henriques with a shiver. "You have done that
already, or I should not be here."
"Then, if you do not wish to be in another place before your time," went
on Inez, still tapping his shoulder gently, "think, think! and find a
way, worthy servant of the Holy Office."
"A thousand doubloons!--a thousand gold doubloons!" croaked old Israel,
"or if you fail, sooner or later, this month or next, this year or next,
Page 2 from 9: Back 1  3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Forward