“Yes,” said Marcos.
She held out her hand as she had seen the peasants in Torre Garda when they had struck a bargain and would seal it irrevocably.
“Touch it,” she said with a gay laugh, as she had heard them say.
And they shook hands in the dark cloisters.
“There is a window at the end of the passage in which is your room,” said Marcos. “It looks out on to a small courtyard and is quite near the ground. Come to that window to-morrow night at ten o’clock and I shall be there.”
“What for?” she asked.
“To be married,” he answered. “My father and I will arrange it. We shall both be there. If you do not come to-morrow night I shall come again the next night. You will be back in your room by half-past eleven.”
“Married?” asked Juanita.
He had risen and was standing in front of her.
“And now you must go back to the Cathedral.”
“But Sor Teresa’s breviary?”
“She has it in her pocket,” said Marcos.
Our lady of the shadows There were great clouds in the sky when the moon rose the next night and one of them threw Pampeluna into dark shadows when Marcos took his place in the little passage between the School in the Calle de la Dormitaleria and the next building. The window at the end of the passage where Juanita and Sor Teresa and some of the more favoured of the girls had their rooms, was about six feet above the ground.
Marcos took his post immediately underneath and stretching his arm up took hold of one of the two bars, and waited. Juanita looking from the door of her room could thus see his clenched hand and must know that he was waiting. The clocks of the city struck ten. Immediately afterwards the watchmen began their cry. The city was already asleep.
It was very cold. Marcos changed his hand from time to time and breathed on his fingers. He carried a cloak for Juanita. The striking of the quarter found him still waiting beneath the window. But, soon after, Marcos’ heart gave a leap to his throat at the touch of cold fingers on his wrist. It was Juanita. He threw the cloak down and placing his heel on the sill of a lower window near the ground he raised himself to the level of the bars.
“Oh, Marcos!” whispered Juanita in his ear, through the open window.
He edged his shoulder in between the two bars which were fixed perpendicularly, and being strongly built he only found room to introduce his two thumbs within that which pressed against his chest. He slowly straightened his arms and the iron gave an audible creak. It was a hundred years old, all rust-worn and attenuated.
“There,” he said, “you can get through that.”
“Yes,” she answered. She was shivering and yet half laughing.
“Listen,” she whispered, drawing him towards her. “Sor Teresa’s door is open. You can hear her snoring. Listen!”