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death--death as slow and cruel as we can make it. There are two
Inquisitions in Spain, holy Father; but one of them does its business in
the dark, and your name is on its ledger."
Now Henriques was very frightened, as well he might be with all those
eyes glaring at him.
"You need fear nothing," he said, "I know the devilish power of your
league too well, and that, if I kill you all, a hundred others I have
never seen or heard of would dog me to my death, who have taken your
"I am glad that you understand at last, dear friend," said the soft,
mocking voice of Inez, who stood behind the monk like an evil genius,
and again tapped him affectionately on the shoulder, this time with the
bare blade of a poniard. "Now be quick with that plan of yours. It grows
late, and all holy people should be abed."
"I have none. I defy you," he answered furiously.
"Very well, friend--very well; then I will say good night, or rather
farewell, since I am not likely to meet you again in this world."
"Where are you going?" he asked anxiously.
"Oh! to the palace to meet the Marquis of Morella and a friend of his, a
relation indeed. Look you here. I have had an offer of pardon for my
part in that marriage if I can prove that a certain base priest knew
that he was perpetrating a fraud. Well, I _can_ prove it--you may
remember that you wrote me a note--and, if I do, what happens to such a
priest who chances to have incurred the hatred of a grandee of Spain and
of his noble relation?"
"I am an officer of the Holy Inquisition; no one dare touch me," he
"Oh! I think that there are some who would take the risk. For
Fray Henriques sank back in his chair. Now he understood whom Inez meant
by the noble relative of Morella, understood also that he had been
trapped. "On Sunday morning," he began in a hollow whisper, "the
procession will be formed, and wind through the streets of the city to
the theatre, where the sermon will be preached before those who are
relaxed proceed to the Quemadero. About eight o'clock it turns on to the
quay for a little way only, and here will be but few spectators, since
the view of the pageant is bad, nor is the road guarded there. Now, if a
dozen determined men were waiting disguised as peasants with a boat at
hand, perhaps they might----" and he paused.
Then Peter, who had been watching and listening to all this play, spoke
for the first time, asking:
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