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"Dirty as a Thames mud-bank at low tide. Clever woman, Isabella. No one
else would have thought of making a man ridiculous as she did by Morella
when she gave his life to Betty, and promised and vowed on his behalf
that he would acknowledge her as his lady. No fear of any trouble from
him after that, in the way of plots for the Crown, or things of that
sort. Why, he must have been the laughing-stock of the whole land--and
a laughing-stock never does anything. You remember the Spanish saying,
'King's swords cut and priests' fires burn, but street-songs kill
quickest!' I should like to learn more of what has become of them all,
though, wouldn't you, Master? Except Bernaldez, of course, for he's been
safe in Paris these many years, and doing well there, they say."
"Yes," answered Castell, with a little smile--"that is, unless I had to
go to Spain to find out."
Just then the three children came running up, bursting through the gate
"Mind my flower-bed, you little rogues," shouted Captain Smith, shaking
his stick at them, whereat they got behind him and made faces.
"Where's the squirrel, Peter?" asked Castell.
"We hunted it out of the tree, Grandad, and right across the grass, and
got round it by the edge of the brook, and then--"
"Then what? Did you catch it?"
"No, Grandad, for when we thought we had it sure, it jumped into the
water and swam away."
"Other people in a fix have done that before," said Castell, laughing,
and bethinking him of a certain river quay.
"It wasn't fair," cried the boy indignantly. "Squirrels shouldn't swim,
and if I can catch it I will put it in a cage."
"I think that squirrel will stop in the woods for the rest of its life,
"Grandad!--Grandad!" called out the youngest child from the gate,
whither she had wandered, being weary of the tale of the squirrel,
"there are a lot of people coming down the road on horses, such fine
people. Come and see."
This news excited the curiosity of the old gentlemen, for not many fine
people came to Dedham. At any rate both of them rose, somewhat stiffly,
and walked to the gate to look. Yes, the child was right, for there,
sure enough, about two hundred yards away, advanced an imposing
cavalcade. In front of it, mounted on a fine horse, sat a still finer
lady, a very large and handsome lady, dressed in black silks, and
wearing a black lace veil that hung from her head. At her side was
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