Main  Contacts  
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

CHAPTER V 

 

CASTELL'S SECRET

 

 

In John Castell's house it was the habit, as in most others in those 

days, for his dependents, clerks, and shopmen to eat their morning and 

mid-day meals with him in the hall, seated at two lower tables, all of 

them save Betty, his daughter's cousin and companion, who sat with them 

at the upper board. This morning Betty's place was empty, and presently 

Castell, lifting his eyes, for he was lost in thought, noted it, and 

asked where she might be--a question that neither Margaret nor Peter 

could answer. 

 

One of the servants at the lower table, however--it was that man who had 

been sent to follow d'Aguilar on the previous night--said that as he 

came down Holborn a while before he had seen her walking with the 

Spanish don, a saying at which his master looked grave. 

 

Just as they were finishing their meal, a very silent one, for none of 

them seemed to have anything to say, and after the servants had left the 

hall, Betty arrived, flushed as though with running. 

 

"Where have you been that you are so late?" asked Castell. 

 

"To seek the linen for the new sheets, but it was not ready," she 

answered glibly. "The mercer kept you waiting long," remarked Castell 

quietly. "Did you meet any one?" 

 

"Only the folk in the street." 

 

"I will ask you no more questions, lest I should cause you to lie and 

bring you into sin," said Castell sternly. "Girl, how far did you walk 

with the Senor d'Aguilar, and what was your business with him?" 

 

Now Betty knew that she had been seen, and that it was useless to deny 

the truth. 

 

"Only a little way," she answered, "and that because he prayed me to 

show him his path." 

 

"Listen, Betty," went on Castell, taking no notice of her words. "You 

are old enough to guard yourself, therefore as to your walking abroad 

with gallants who can mean you no good I say nothing. But know this--no 

one who has knowledge of the matters of my house," and he looked at her 

keenly, "shall mix with any Spaniard. If you are found alone with this 

senor any more, that hour I have done with you, and you never pass my 

door again. Nay, no words. Take your food and eat it elsewhere." 

 

So she departed half weeping, but very angry, for Betty was strong and 

obstinate by nature. When she had gone, Margaret, who was fond of her 

cousin, tried to say some words on her behalf; but her father 

stopped her. 

 

"Pshaw!" he said, "I know the girl; she is vain as a peacock, and, 

remembering her gentle birth and good looks, seeks to marry above her 


Page 1 from 9: [1]  2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   Forward