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tears of which Margaret spoke may come, and then you can wipe away each
other's? Take now her hand, Peter, and swear by the Rood, that symbol
which you worship"--here Peter glanced at him, but he went on--"swear,
both of you that come what may, together or separate, through good
report or evil report, through poverty or wealth, through peace or
persecutions, through temptation or through blood, through every good or
ill that can befall you in this world of bittersweet, you will remain
faithful to your troth until you be wed, and after you are wed, faithful
to each other till death do part you."
These words he spoke to them in a voice that was earnest almost to
passion, searching their faces the while with his quick eyes as though
he would read their very hearts. His mood crept from him to them; once
again they felt something of that fear which had fallen on them in the
garden when they passed into the shadow of the Spaniard. Very solemnly
then, and with little of true lovers' joy, did they take each other's
hands and swear by the Cross and Him Who hung on it, that through these
things, and all others they could not foretell, they would, if need
were, be faithful to the death.
"And beyond it also," added Peter; while Margaret bowed her stately head
in sweet assent.
"Children," said Castell, "you will be rich--few richer in this
land--though mayhap it would be wise that you should not show all your
wealth at once, or ape the place of a great house, lest envy should fall
upon your heads and crush you. Be content to wait, and rank will find
you in its season, or if not you, your children. Peter, I tell you now,
lest I should forget it, that the list of all my moneys and other
possessions in chattels or lands or ships or merchandise is buried
beneath the floor of my office, just under where my chair stands. Lift
the boards and dig away a foot of rubbish, and you will find a stone
trap, and below an iron box with the deeds, inventories, and some very
precious jewels. Also, if by any mischance that box should be lost,
duplicates of nearly all these papers are in the hands of my good friend
and partner in our inland British trade, Simon Levett, whom you know.
Remember my words, both of you."
"Father," broke in Margaret in an anxious voice, "why do you speak of
the future thus?--I mean, as though you had no share in it? Do you
"Yes, daughter, much, or rather I expect, I do not fear, who am
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