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good, is it not? Even what passes in the dungeons of the Holy House
comes to the ears of the woman Inez. Well, do you still think that
baker's oven too hot for you?"
By this time Henriques was speechless with terror. There he knelt upon
the floor, glaring at this soft-voiced, remorseless woman who had made a
tool and a fool of him; who had beguiled him there that night, and who
hated him so bitterly and with so just a cause. Peter was speaking now.
"It would be better not to stain our hands with the creature's blood,"
he said. "Caged rats give little sport, and he might be tracked. For my
part, I would leave his judgment to God. Have you no other way, Inez?"
She thought a while, then prodded the Fray Henriques with her foot,
"Get up, sainted secretary to the Holy Office, and do a little writing,
which will be easy to you. See, here are pens and paper. Now
"'Most Adorable Inez,
"'Your dear message has reached me safely here in this accursed Holy
House, where we lighten heretics of their sins to the benefit of their
souls, and of their goods to the benefit of our own bodies----'"
"I cannot write it," groaned Henriques; "it is rank heresy."
"No, only the truth," answered Inez.
"Heresy and the truth--well, they are often the same thing. They would
burn me for it."
"That is just what many heretics have urged. They have died gloriously
for what they hold to be the truth, why should not you? Listen," she
went on more sternly. "Will you take your chance of burning on the
Quemadero, which you will not do unless you betray us, or will you
certainly burn more privately, but better, in a baker's oven, and within
half an hour? Ah! I thought you would not hesitate. Continue your
letter, most learned scribe. Are those words down? Yes. Now add these:
"'I note all you tell me about the trial at the Alcazar before their
Majesties. I believe that the Englishwoman will win her case. That was a
very pretty trick that I played on the most noble marquis at Granada.
Nothing neater was ever done, even in this place. Well, I owed him a
long score, and I have paid him off in full. I should like to have seen
his exalted countenance when he surveyed the features of his bride, the
waiting-woman, and knew that the mistress was safe away with another
man. The nephew of the king, who would like himself to be king some day,
married to an English waiting-woman! Good, very good, dear Inez.
"'Now, as regards the Jew, John Castell. I think that the matter may
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