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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

ENVOI

 

 

Ten years had gone by since Captain Smith took the good ship _Margaret_ 

across the bar of the Guadalquiver in a very notable fashion. It was 

late May in Essex, and all the woods were green, and all the birds sang, 

and all the meadows were bright with flowers. Down in the lovely vale of 

Dedham there was a long, low house with many gables--a charming old 

house of red brick and timbers already black with age. It stood upon a 

little hill, backed with woods, and from it a long avenue of ancient 

oaks ran across the park to the road which led to Colchester and London. 

Down that avenue on this May afternoon an aged, white-haired man, with 

quick black eyes, was walking, and with him three children--very 

beautiful children--a boy of about nine and two little girls, who clung 

to his hand and garments and pestered him with questions. 

 

"Where are we going, Grandfather?" asked one little girl. 

 

"To see Captain Smith, my dear," he answered. 

 

"I don't like Captain Smith," said the other little girl; "he is so fat, 

and says nothing." 

 

"I do," broke in the boy, "he gave me a fine knife to use when I am a 

sailor, and Mother does, and Father, yes, and Grandad too, because he 

saved him when the cruel Spaniards wanted to put him in the fire. Don't 

you, Grandad?" 

 

"Yes, my dear," answered the old man. "Look! there is a squirrel 

running over the grass; see if you can catch it before it reaches 

that tree." 

 

Off went the children at full pelt, and the tree being a low one, began 

to climb it after the squirrel. Meanwhile John Castell, for it was he, 

turned through the park gate and walked to a little house by the 

roadside, where a stout man sat upon a bench contemplating nothing in 

particular. Evidently he expected his visitor, for he pointed to the 

place beside him, and, as Castell sat down, said: 

 

"Why didn't you come yesterday, Master?" 

 

"Because of my rheumatism, friend," he answered. "I got it first in the 

vaults of that accursed Holy House at Seville, and it grows on me year 

by year. They were very damp and cold, those vaults," he added 

reflectively. 

 

"Many people found them hot enough," grunted Smith, "also, there was 

generally a good fire at the end of them. Strange thing that we should 

never have heard any more of that business. I suppose it was because our 

Margaret was such a favourite with Queen Isabella who didn't want to 

raise questions with England, or stir up dirty water." 

 

"Perhaps," answered Castell. "The water _was_ dirty, wasn't it?" 


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