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station; while for some purpose of his own--an ill one, I'll warrant--
that Spaniard plays upon her weakness, which, if it be not curbed, may
bring trouble on us all. Now, enough of Betty Dene; I must to my work."
"Sir," said Peter, speaking for the first time, "we would have a
private word with you."
"A private word," he said, looking up anxiously. "Well, speak on. No,
this place is not private; I think its walls have ears. Follow me," and
he led the way into the old chapel, whereof, when they had all passed
it, he bolted the door. "Now," he said, "what is it?"
"Sir," answered Peter, standing before him, "having your leave at last,
I asked your daughter in marriage this morning."
"At least you lose no time, friend Peter; unless you had called her from
her bed and made your offer through the door you could not have done it
quicker. Well, well, you ever were a man of deeds, not words, and what
says my Margaret?"
"An hour ago she said she was content," answered Peter.
"A cautious man also," went on Castell with a twinkle in his eye, "who
remembers that women have been known to change their minds within an
hour. After such long thought, what say you now, Margaret?"
"That I am angry with Peter," she answered, stamping her small foot,
"for if he does not trust me for an hour, how can he trust me for his
life and mine?"
"Nay, Margaret, you do not understand me," said Peter. "I wished not to
bind you, that is all, in case----"
"Now you are saying it again," she broke in vexed, and yet amused. "Do
so a third time, and I will you at your word."
"It seems best that I should remain silent. Speak you," said Peter
"Aye, for truly you are a master of silence, as I should know, if any
do," replied Margaret, bethinking her of the weary months and years of
waiting. "Well, I will answer for you.--Father, Peter was right; I am
content to marry him, though to do so will be to enter the Order of the
Silent Brothers. Yes, I am content; not for himself, indeed, who has so
many faults, but for myself, who chance to love him," and she smiled
"Do not jest on such matters, Margaret."
"Why not, father? Peter is solemn enough for both of us--look at him.
Let us laugh while we may, for who knows when tears may come?"
"A good saying," answered Castell with a sigh. "So you two have plighted
your troth, and, my children, I am glad of it, for who knows when those
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