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laugh; but Betty only groaned as though she were dying.
"I love you, and you only," went on d'Aguilar "As for your cousin, I
will send her ashore. I have committed this sin because I could not help
myself. The thought that you were to be married to another man to-morrow
drove me mad, and I dared all to take you from his arms, even though you
should never come to mine. Did I not swear to you," he said with an
attempt at his old gallantry, "that your image should accompany me to
Spain, whither we are sailing now?" And as he spoke the words the ship
lurched a little in the wind.
Margaret made no answer, only toyed with the dagger blade, and watched
him with eyes that glittered more coldly than its steel.
"Kill me, if you will, and have done," he went on in a voice that was
desperate with love and shame. "So shall I be rid of all this torment."
Then Margaret seemed to awake, for she spoke to him in a new voice--a
measured, frozen voice. "No," she answered, "I will not stain my hands
even with your blood, for why should I rob God of His own vengeance? If
you attempt to touch me, or even to separate me from this poor woman
whom you have fooled, then I will kill--not you, but myself, and I swear
to you that my ghost shall accompany you to Spain, and from Spain down
to the hell that awaits you. Listen, Carlos d'Aguilar, Marquis of
Morella, this I know about you, that you believe in God and hear His
anger. Well, I call down upon you the vengeance of Almighty God. I see
it hang above your head. I say that it shall fall upon you, waking and
sleeping, loving and hating, in life and in death to all eternity. Do
your worst, for you shall do it all in vain. Whether I die or whether I
live, every pang that you cause me to suffer, every misery that you have
brought, or shall bring, upon the head of my betrothed, my father, and
this woman, shall be repaid to you a millionfold in this world and the
next. Now do you still wish that I should accompany you to Spain, or
will you let me go?"
"I cannot," he answered hoarsely; "it is too late."
"So be it, I will accompany you to Spain, I and Betty Dene, and the
vengeance of Almighty God that hovers over you. Of this at least be
sure--I hate you, I despise you, but I fear you not at all. Go." Then
d'Aguilar stumbled from that cabin, and the two women heard the door
bolted behind him.
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