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get her to sea on this same May 31st, and thus be clear of the last of
his business, except the handing over of his warehouses and stock to
those who had bought them. These great affairs kept him much at
Gravesend, where the ship lay, but, as he had no dread of further
trouble now that d'Aguilar and the other Spaniards, among them that band
of de Ayala's servants who had vowed to take Peter's life, were gone,
this did not disturb him.
Oh! happy, happy was Margaret during those sweet spring days, when her
heart was bright and clear as the skies from which all winter storms had
passed. So happy was she indeed, and so full of a hundred joyful cares,
that she found no time to take note of her cousin Betty, who worked with
her at her wedding broideries, and helped to make preparations for the
journey which should follow after. Had she done so, she might have seen
that Betty was anxious and distressed, like one who waited for some
tidings that did not come, and from hour to hour fought against anguish
and despair But she took no note, whose heart was too full of her own
matters, and who did but count the hours till she should see her lover
back and pass to his arms, a wife.
Thus the time went on until the appointed day of Peter's return, the
morrow of her marriage, for which all things were now prepared, down to
Peter's wedding garments, that were finer than any she had yet seen him
wear, and the decking of the neighbouring church with flowers. In the
early morning her father rode away to Gravesend with the most of his
men-servants for the ship _Margaret_ was to sail at the following dawn
and there was yet much to be done before she could lift anchor. Still,
he had promised to be back by nightfall in time to meet Peter who,
leaving Dedham that morning, could not reach them before then.
At length it was past four of the afternoon, and everything being
finished, Margaret went to her room to dress herself anew, that she
might look fine in Peter's eyes when he should come. Betty she did not
take with her, for there were things to which her cousin must attend;
moreover, her heart was so full that she wished to be alone a while.
Betty's heart was full also, but not with joy. She had been deceived.
The fine Spanish Don, who had made her love him so desperately, had
sailed away and left her without a word. She could not doubt it, he had
been seen standing on the ship--and not one word. It was cruel, cruel,
and now she must help another woman to be made a happy wife, she who was
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