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growing ever nearer, till at length it hung above them.
"Is that the ship _Margaret_?" cried their guide, and again a voice
"Then tell Master Castell that his daughter has come at last," he
shouted again, and in another minute a rope had been thrown to them, and
they were fast alongside a ladder on to which Betty, who was nearest to
it, was pushed the first, except for their guide, who had run up the
wooden steps very swiftly.
Betty, who was active and strong, followed him, Margaret coming next. As
she reached the deck Betty thought she heard a voice say in Spanish, of
which she understood something, "Fool! Why have you brought both?" but
the answer she could not catch. Then she turned and gave her hand to
Margaret, and together they walked forward to the foot of the mast.
"Lead me to my father," said Margaret.
Whereon the guide answered:
"Yes, this way, Mistress, but come alone, for the sight of two of you at
once may disturb him."
"Nay," she answered, "my cousin comes with me." And she took Betty's
hand and clung to it.
Shrugging his shoulders the sailor led them forwards, and as they went
she noted that men were hauling on a sail, while other men, who sang a
strange, wild song, worked on what seemed to be a windlass. Now they
reached a cabin, and entered it, the door being shut behind them. In the
cabin a man sat at a table with a lamp hanging over his head. He rose
and turned towards them, bowing, and Margaret saw that it
Betty stood silent; she had expected to meet him, though not here and
thus. Her foolish heart bounded so at the sight of him that she seemed
to choke, and could only wonder dimly what mistake had been made, and
how he would explain to Margaret and get her away, leaving herself and
him together to be married. Indeed, she searched the cabin with her eyes
to see where the priest was waiting, then noting a door beyond, thought
that doubtless he must be hidden there. As for Margaret, she uttered a
little stifled cry, then, being a brave woman, one of that high nature
which grows strong in the face of trouble, straightened herself to her
full height and said in a low, fierce voice:
"What do you here? Where is my father?"
"Senora," he answered humbly, "I am on board my ship, the _San Antonio_,
and as for your father, he is either on his ship, the _Margaret_, or
more likely, by now, at his house in Holborn."
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