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their talk, who know the Spanish tongue well, having worked for five
years in your worship's house at Seville. They spoke of the fray
to-night, and said that if they could catch that long-legged fellow,
meaning Master Brome yonder, they would put a knife into him, since he
had shamed them by killing the Scotch knave, who was their officer and
the best swordsman in their company, with a staff, and then setting his
British bulldogs on them. I fell into talk with them, saying that I was
an English sailor from Spain, which they were too drunk to question, and
asked who might be the tall don who had interfered in the fray before
the king came. They told me he is a rich senor named d'Aguilar, but ill
to serve in Lent because he is so strict a churchman, although not
strict in other matters. I answered that to me he looked like a great
noble, whereon one of them said that I was right, that there was no
blood in Spain higher than his, but unfortunately, there was a bend in
its stream, also an inkpot had been upset into it."
"What does that mean?" asked Peter.
"It is a Spanish saying," answered Castell, "which signifies that a man
is born illegitimate, and has Moorish blood in his veins."
"Then I asked what he was doing here, and the man answered that I had
best put that question to the Holy Father and to the Queen of Spain.
Lastly, after I had given the soldier another cup, I asked where the don
lived, and whether he had any other name. He replied that he lived at
Granada for the most part, and that if I called on him there I should
see some pretty ladies and other nice things. As for his name, it was
the Marquis of Nichel. I said that meant Marquis of Nothing, whereon the
soldier answered that I seemed very curious, and that was just what he
meant to tell me--nothing. Also he called to his comrades that he
believed I was a spy, so I thought it time to be going, as they were
drunk enough to do me a mischief."
"Good," said Castell. "You are watchman tonight, Thomas, are you not?
See that all doors are barred so that we may sleep without fear of
Spanish thieves. Rest you well, Peter. Nay, I do not come yet; I have
letters to send to Spain by the ship which sails to-morrow night."
When Peter had gone, John Castell extinguished all the lamps save one.
This he took in his hand and passed from the hall into an apartment that
in old days, when this was a noble's house, had been the private chapel.
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