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beggared of hope and love. Moodily, full of bitterness, she went about
her tasks, biting her lips and wiping her fine eyes with the sleeve of
her robe, when suddenly the door opened, and a servant, not one of
their own, but a strange man who had been brought in to help at the
morrow's feast, called out that a sailor wished to speak with her.
"Then let him enter here; I have no time to go out to listen to his
talk," snapped Betty.
Presently the sailor was shown in, the man who brought him leaving the
room at once. He was a dark fellow, with sly black eyes, who, had he not
spoken English so well, might have been taken for a Spaniard.
"Who are you, and what is your business?" asked Betty sharply.
"I am the carpenter of the ship _Margaret_," he answered, "and I am here
to say that our master Castell has met with an accident there, and
desires that Mistress Margaret, his daughter, should come to him
"What accident?" asked Betty.
"In seeing to the stowage of cargo he slipped and fell down the hold,
hurting his back and breaking his right arm, and that is why he cannot
write. He is in great pain; but the physician whom we summoned bade me
tell Mistress Margaret that at present he has no fear for his life. Are
you Mistress Margaret?"
"No," answered Betty; "but I will go to her at once; do you bide here."
"Then are you her cousin, Mistress Betty Dene, for if so I have
something for you?"
"I am. What is it?"
"This," said the man, drawing out a letter which he handed to her.
"Who gave you this?" asked Betty suspiciously. "I do not know his
name, but he was a noble-looking Spanish Don, and a liberal one too. He
had heard of the accident on the _Margaret_, and, knowing my errand,
asked me if I would deliver this letter to you, for the fee of a gold
ducat, and promise to say nothing of it to any one else."
"Some rude gallant, doubtless," said Betty, tossing her head; "they are
ever writing to me. Bide here; I go to Mistress Margaret."
Once she was outside the door Betty broke the seal of the letter eagerly
enough, for she had been taught with Margaret, and could read well.
"You thought me faithless and gone, but
it is not so. I was silent only because I knew you
could not come alone who are watched; but now
the God of Love gives us our chance. Doubtless
your cousin will bring you with her to visit her father,
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