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the splendid woman at her side, whose beauty she knew well over-shadowed
her own rarer loveliness, at any rate in a street pageant, as in the
sunshine the rose overshadows the lily.
"Well," answered Betty, "if so, it is because I put the better face on
things, and smile even if my heart bleeds. At least, your lot is more
hopeful than mine. If your husband has to fight to the death presently,
so has mine, and between ourselves I favour Peter's chances. He is a
very stubborn fighter, Peter, and wonderfully strong--too stubborn and
strong for any Spaniard."
"Well, that is as it should be," said Margaret, smiling faintly, "seeing
that Peter is your champion, and if he loses, you are stamped as a
serving-girl, and a woman of no character."
"A serving-girl I was, or something not far different," replied Betty in
a reflective voice, "and my character is a matter between me and Heaven,
though, after all, it might scrape through where others fail to pass. So
these things do not trouble me over much. What troubles me is that if my
champion wins he kills my husband."
"You don't want him to be killed then?" asked Margaret, glancing at her.
"No, I think not," answered Betty with a little shake in her voice, and
turning her head aside for a moment. "I know he is a scoundrel, but, you
see, I always liked this scoundrel, just as you always hated him, so I
cannot help wishing that he was going to meet some one who hits a little
less hard than Peter. Also, if he dies, without doubt his heirs will
raise suits against me."
"At any rate your father is not going to be burnt to-morrow," said
Margaret to change the subject, which, to tell the truth, was an
"No, Cousin, if my father had his deserts, according to all accounts,
although the lineage that I gave of him is true enough, doubtless he was
burnt long ago, and still goes on burning--in Purgatory, I mean--though
God knows I would never bring a faggot to his fire. But Master Castell
will not be burnt, so why fret about it."
"What makes you say that?" asked Margaret, who had not confided the
details of a certain plot to Betty.
"I don't know, but I am sure that Peter will get him out somehow. He is
a very good stick to lean on, Peter, although he seems so hard and
stupid and silent, which, after all, is in the nature of sticks. But
look, there is the cathedral--is it not a fine place?--and a great crowd
of people waiting round the gate. Now smile, Cousin. Bow and smile as
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