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two, for she has a very warm heart, and longed to see you all. Also, she
thought she had better go away a while, for her son's sake. As for me,
now that Morella is dead, I am head of the household--secretary, general
purveyor of intelligence, and anything else you like at a good salary."
"You are not married, I suppose?" asked Peter.
"No," Inez answered; "I saw so much of men when I was younger that I
seem to have had enough of them. Or perhaps," she went on, fixing that
mild and lustrous eye upon him, "there was one of them whom I liked too
well to wish----"
She paused, for they had crossed the drawbridge and arrived opposite to
the Old Hall. The gorgeous Betty and the fair Margaret, accompanied by
the others, and talking rapidly, had passed through the wide doorway
into its spacious vestibule. Inez looked after them, and perceived,
standing like a guard at the foot of the open stair, that scarred suit
of white armour and riven shield blazoned with the golden falcon,
Isabella's gift, in which Peter had fought and conquered the Marquis of
Morella. Then she stepped back and contemplated the house critically.
At each end of it rose a stone tower, built for the purposes of defence,
and all around ran a deep moat. Within the circle of this moat, and
surrounded by poplars and ancient yews, on the south side of the Hall
lay a walled pleasaunce, or garden, of turf pierced by paths and planted
with flowering hawthorns and other shrubs, and at the end of it, almost
hidden in drooping willows, a stone basin of water. Looking at it, Inez
saw at once that so far as the circumstances of climate and situation
would allow, Peter, in the laying out of this place, had copied another
in the far-off, southern city of Granada, even down to the details of
the steps and seats. She turned to him and said innocently:
"Sir Peter, are you minded to walk with me in that garden this pleasant
evening? I do not see any window in yonder tower."
Peter turned red as the scar across his face, and laughed as he
"There may be one for all that. Get you into the house, dear Inez, for
none can be more welcome there; but I walk no more alone with you
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