She gave a half hysterical laugh.
“Quick,” said Marcos—dropping to the ground.
Juanita turned sideways and pushed her head and shoulders through the bars. She leant down towards him holding out her arms and her thick plait of hair struck him across the eyes. A moment later he had lifted her to the ground.
“Quick,” he said again, breathlessly. He threw the cloak round her and drew the hood forward over her head. Then he took her hand and they ran together down the narrow passage into the Calle de la Domitaleria. She ran as quickly as he did with her long, schoolgirl legs, unhampered by a woman’s length of skirt. At the corner Perro, who had been keeping watch there, joined them and trotted by their side.
“What cloak is this?” she asked. “It smells of tobacco.”
“It is my old military cloak.”
“And this is my wedding dress!” she said, with a breathless laugh. “And Perro is my bridesmaid.”
They turned sharply to the left and in a moment stood on the deserted ramparts close under the shadow of the Episcopal Palace. Below them was darkness. To the right, beneath them, the white falls of the river gleamed dimly above the bridge, and the roar of it came to their ears like the roar of the sea.
Far across the plain, the Pyrenees rose, range behind range, a white wall in the moonlight. At their feet the walls of the ramparts, bastion below bastion, broken and crenelated, a triumph of mediaeval fortification, faded into the shadow where the river ran.
“There is a snow-drift in this corner,” whispered Marcos. “It is piled up against the rampart by the north wind. I will drop you over the wall on to it and then follow you. You remember how to hold to my hand?”
“Yes,” she answered, very quick and alert. There was good blood in her veins, which was astir now, in the presence of danger. “Yes—as we used to do it in the mountains—my hand round your wrist and your fingers round mine.”
They were standing on the wall now. She knelt down and looked over; then she turned, still on her knees, and clasped her right hand round his wrist while he held hers in his strong grip. She leant forward and without hesitation swung out, suspended by one arm, into the darkness. He stooped, then knelt, and finally lay face downwards on the wall, lowering her all the while.
“Go!” he whispered. And she dropped lightly on to the snow-slope beaten by the wind into an icy buttress against the wall. A moment later he dropped beside her.
“My father is at the bridge,” he said, as they scrambled down to the narrow path that runs along the river bank beneath the walls. “He is waiting for us there with a carriage and a priest.”
Juanita stopped short.
“Oh, I wish I had not come!” she exclaimed.
“You can go back,” said Marcos slowly; “it is not too late. You can still go back if you want to.”