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"In such an event, reverend Sir, how would those determined men know
which was the victim that they sought?"
"The heretic John Castell," he answered, "will be seated on an ass,
clad in a _zamarra_ of sheepskin painted with fiends and a likeness of
his own head burning--very well done, for I, who can draw, had a hand in
it. Also, he alone will have a rope round his neck, by which he may
"Why will he be seated on an ass?" asked Peter savagely. "Because you
have tortured him so that he cannot walk?"
"Not so--not so," said the Dominican, shrinking from those fierce eyes.
"He has never been questioned at all, not a single turn of the
_mancuerda_, I swear to you, Sir Knight. What was the use, since he
openly avows himself an accursed Jew?"
"Be more gentle in your talk, friend," broke in Inez, with her familiar
tap upon the shoulder. "There are those here who do not think so ill of
Jews as you do in your Holy House, but who understand how to apply the
_mancuerda_, and can make a very serviceable rack out of a plank and a
pulley or two such as lie in the next room. Cultivate courtesy, most
learned priest, lest before you leave this place you should add a cubit
to your stature."
"Go on," growled Peter.
"Moreover," added Fray Henriques shakily, "orders came that it was not
to be done. The Inquisitors thought otherwise, as they believed
--doubtless in error--that he might have accomplices whose names
he would give up; but the orders said that as he had lived so long in
England, and only recently travelled to Spain, he could have none.
Therefore he is sound--sound as a bell; never before, I am told, has an
impenitent Jew gone to the stake in such good case, however worthy and
worshipful he might be."
"So much the better for you, if you do not lie," answered Peter.
"There is nothing more to say, except that I shall be walking near to
him with the two guards, and, of course, if he were snatched away from
us, and there were no boats handy in which to pursue, we could not help
it, could we? Indeed, we priests, who are men of peace, might even fly
at the sight of cruel violence."
"I should advise you to fly fast and far," said Peter. "But, Inez, what
hold have you on this friend of yours? He will trick everybody."
"A thousand doubloons--a thousand doubloons!" muttered old Israel like a
"He may think to screw more than that out of the carcases of some of us,
old man. Come, Inez, you are quick at this game. How can we best hold
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