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say that I told you, will you, Senor?"
"Not I; your good master's private cupboard does not interest me. Now I
want to know something more. Why is that beautiful cousin of yours not
married? Has she no suitors?"
"Suitors, Senor? Yes, plenty of them, but she sends them all about their
business, and seems to have no mind that way."
"Perhaps she is in love with her cousin, that long-legged, strong-armed,
wooden-headed Master Brome."
"Oh! no, Senor, I don't think so; no lady could be in love with him--he
is too stern and silent."
"I agree with you, Senora. Then perhaps he is in love with her."
Betty shook her head, and replied:
"Peter Brome doesn't think anything of women, Senor. At least he never
speaks to or of them."
"Which shows that probably he thinks about them all the more. Well,
well, it is no affair of ours, is it? Only I am glad to hear that there
is nothing between them, since your mistress ought to marry high, and be
a great lady, not a mere merchant's wife."
"Yes, Senor. Though Peter Brome is not a merchant, at least by birth, he
is high-born, and should be Sir Peter Brome if his father had not fought
on the wrong side and sold his land. He is a soldier, and a very brave
one, they say, as all might see last night."
"No doubt, and perhaps would make a great captain, if he had the chance,
with his stern face and silent tongue. But, Senora Betty, say, how comes
it that, being so handsome," and he bowed, "you are not married either?
I am sure it can be from no lack of suitors."
Again Betty, foolish girl, flushed with pleasure at the compliment.
"You are right, Senor," she answered. "I have plenty of them; but I am
like my cousin--they do not please me. Although my father lost his
fortune, I come of good blood, and I suppose that is why I do not care
for these low-born men, and would rather remain as I am than marry
one of them."
"You are quite right," said d'Aguilar in his sympathetic voice. "Do not
stain your blood. Marry in your own class, or not at all, which, indeed,
should not be difficult for one so beautiful and charming." And he
looked into her large eyes with tender admiration.
This quality, indeed, soon began to demonstrate itself so actively, for
they were now in the fields where few people wandered, that Betty, who
although vain was proud and upright, thought it wise to recollect that
she must be turning homewards. So, in spite of his protests, she left
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