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"But how do you know that, Betty?"
The young woman coloured, and tossed her head as she answered:
"I know it, Cousin, because, as I was going to visit my old aunt
yesterday, who lives on the wharf at Westminster, I met him riding, and
he called out to me, saying that he had a gift for you and one for
"Be careful you do not meet him too often, Betty, when you chance to be
visiting your aunt. These Spaniards are not always over-honest, as you
may learn to your sorrow."
"I thank you for your good counsel," said Betty, shortly, "but I, who am
older than you, know enough of men to be able to guard myself, and can
keep them at a distance."
"I am glad of it, Betty, only sometimes I have thought that the distance
was scarcely wide enough," answered Margaret, and left the subject, for
she was thinking of other things.
That afternoon, when Margaret was walking in the garden, Betty, whose
face seemed somewhat flushed, ran up to her and said that the lord
d'Aguilar was waiting in the hall.
"Very good," answered Margaret, "I will come. Go, tell my father, that
he may join us. But why are you so disturbed and hurried?" she added
"Oh!" answered Betty, "he has brought me a present, so fine a present--a
mantle of the most wonderful lace that ever I saw, and a comb of mottled
shell mounted in gold to keep it off the hair. He made me wait while he
showed me how to put it on, and that was why I ran."
Margaret did not quite see the connection; but she answered slowly:
"Perhaps it would have been wiser if you had run first. I do not
understand why this fine lord brings you presents."
"But he has brought one for you also, Cousin, although he would not say
what it was."
"That I understand still less. Go, tell my father that the Senor
d'Aguilar awaits him."
Then she went into the hall, and found d'Aguilar looking at an
illuminated Book of Hours in which she had been reading, that was
written in Spanish in one column and in Latin in that opposite. He
greeted her in his usual graceful way, that, where Margaret was
concerned, was easy and well-bred without being bold, and said at once:
"So you read Spanish, Senora?"
"A little. Not very well, I fear."
"And Latin also?"
"A little again. I have been taught that tongue. By studying them thus I
try to improve myself in both."
"I perceive that you are learned as you are beautiful," and he bowed
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