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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 VIII 

 

D'AGUILAR SPEAKS

 

 

"Losses?" said d'Aguilar. "Do I hear the wealthy John Castell, who holds 

half the trade with Spain in the hollow of his hand, talk of losses?" 

 

"Yes, Senor, you do. Things have gone ill with this ship of mine that 

has barely lived through the spring gales. But be seated." 

 

"Indeed, is that so?" said d'Aguilar as he sat down. "What a lying jade 

is rumour! For I was told that they had gone very well. Doubtless, 

however, what is loss to you would be priceless gain to one like me." 

 

Castell made no answer, but waited, feeling that his visitor had not 

come to speak with him of his trading ventures. 

 

"Senor Castell," said d'Aguilar, with a note of nervousness in his 

voice, "I am here to ask you for something." 

 

"If it be a loan, Senor, I fear that the time is not opportune." And he 

nodded towards the sheet of figures. 

 

"It is not a loan; it is a gift." 

 

"Anything in my poor house is yours," answered Castell courteously, and 

in Oriental form. 

 

"I rejoice to hear it, Senor, for I seek something from your house." 

 

Castell looked a question at him with his quick black eyes. 

 

"I seek your daughter, the Senora Margaret, in marriage." 

 

Castell stared at him, then a single word broke from his lips. 

 

"Impossible." 

 

"Why impossible?" asked d'Aguilar slowly, yet as one who expected some 

such answer. "In age we are not unsuited, nor perhaps in fortune, while 

of rank I have enough, more than you guess perhaps. I vaunt not myself, 

yet women have thought me not uncomely. I should be a good friend to the 

house whence I took a wife, where perchance a day may come when friends 

will be needed; and lastly, I desire her not for what she may bring with 

her, though wealth is always welcome, but--I pray you to believe 

it--because I love her." 

 

"I have heard that the Senor d'Aguilar loves many women, yonder in 

Granada." 

 

"As I have heard that the _Margaret_ had a prosperous voyage, Senor 

Castell. Rumour, as I said but now, is a lying jade. Yet I will not copy 

her. I have been no saint. Now I would become one, for Margaret's sake. 

I will be true to your daughter, Senor. What say you now?" 

 

Castell only shook his head. 

 

"Listen," went on d'Aguilar. "I am more than I seem to be; she who weds 

me will not lack for rank and titles." 

 

"Yes, you are the Marquis de Morella, the reputed son of Prince Carlos 

of Viana by a Moorish mother, and therefore nephew to his Majesty 

of Spain." 

 

D'Aguilar looked at him, then bowed and said: 


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