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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 XXIV 

 

THE FALCON STOOPS

 

 

It was the marriage day of Margaret and Peter. Clad in white armour that 

had been sent to him as a present from the queen, a sign and a token of 

her good wishes for his success in his combat with Morella, wearing the 

insignia of a Knight of St. James hanging by a ribbon from his neck, his 

shield emblazoned with his coat of the stooping falcon, which appeared 

also upon the white cloak that hung from his shoulders, behind him a 

squire of high degree, who carried his plumed casque and lance, and 

accompanied by an escort of the royal guards, Peter rode from his 

quarters in the prison to the palace gates, and waited there as he had 

been bidden. Presently they opened, and through them, seated on a 

palfrey, appeared Margaret, wonderfully attired in white and silver, but 

with her veil lifted so that her face could be seen. She was companioned 

by a troop of maidens mounted, all of them, on white horses, and at her 

side, almost outshining her in glory of apparel, and attended by all her 

household, rode Betty, Marchioness of Morella--at any rate for that 

present time. 

 

Although she could never be less than beautiful, it was a worn and pale 

Margaret who bowed her greetings to the bridegroom without those palace 

gates. What wonder, since she knew that within a few hours his life 

must be set upon the hazard of a desperate fray. What wonder, since she 

knew that to-morrow her father was doomed to be burnt living upon the 

Quemadero. 

 

They met, they greeted; then, with silver trumpets blowing before them, 

the glittering procession wound its way through the narrow streets of 

Seville. But few words passed between them, whose hearts were too full 

for words, who had said all they had to say, and now abided the issue of 

events. Betty, however, whom many of the populace took for the bride, 

because her air was so much the happier of the two, would not be silent. 

Indeed she chid Margaret for her lack of gaiety upon such an occasion. 

 

"Oh, Betty!--Betty!" answered Margaret, "how can I be gay, upon whose 

heart lies the burden of to-morrow?" 

 

"A pest upon the burden of to-morrow!" exclaimed Betty. "The burden of 

to-day is enough for me, and that is not so bad to bear. Never shall we 

have another such ride as this, with all the world staring at us, and 

every woman in Seville envying us and our good looks and the favour of 

the queen." 

 

"I think it is you they stare at and envy," said Margaret, glancing at 


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