The Vale of Cedars eBook

Grace Aguilar
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The Vale of Cedars.

A private council immediately followed the confession received; but though it continued many hours, no active measures could at once be decided upon.  Secret and illegal, according to Spanish laws, as this tribunal was, it was yet an instrument of the Pope, acknowledging his supremacy alone, and, in consequence, always receiving his protection.  Civil justice, it appeared, could not reach those who were protected by; the head of the church; but Ferdinand’s mind was far too capacious to admit this plea.  Rooted out of his dominions—­in its present form, at least—­he resolved it should be, and Isabella confirmed the resolve.  Not only was its secret existence fraught with the most awful crimes and injustice, regarded generally, but it was derogatory and insulting to that sovereign power, which Ferdinand and Isabella had both determined on rendering supreme.  Father Francis, whose usual energy of thought and counsel appeared completely annihilated from the fearful tale he had heard, strenuously urged the sovereigns to wait the arrival of Torquemada, the Queen’s confessor, who was now every hour expected, and whose sterner and more experienced mind would give them better counsel.  To this both sovereigns agreed, but one measure they adopted at once.  As Grand Inquisitor, the principal actor in this atrocious drama might be servant of and solely answerable to the Pope; as Don Luis Garcia, he was subject to Ferdinand and Isabella, and as such amenable to the laws of Spain.  A schedule was therefore drawn up, stating that whereas the man commonly known as Don Luis Garcia, had been convicted of many atrocious and capital crimes, and, amongst the gravest, of having instigated and commanded the murder of Don Ferdinand Morales, and done to death his own tool, the real committer of the deed, that Arthur Stanley might be charged with, and executed for, the same; the sovereigns of Spain called upon their loving subjects—­of every rank and every degree, in all and every part of the realm—­to unite in endeavoring to discover, and deliver up the said Don Luis Garcia, to the rigor of the law.  An enormous reward was offered for delivering him alive into the hands of justice, and half the sum, should he have resisted to the death.  The proclamation was made by sound of trumpet in various parts of Segovia, and copies sent, with all possible speed, to every city, town, and even village, over Spain.  A correct description of his person accompanied the schedule, and every possible measure was adopted that could tend to his apprehension.  So strong was the popular feeling against him that every class, almost every individual, felt it a personal duty to assist, in this case, the course of justice.  He had deceived all men, and all men in consequence leagued themselves against him.  So secretly, and yet so judiciously, were the plans for his seizure carried on, and so universal the popular ferment, that it appeared marvellous how he could have escaped; and yet weeks merged into months,

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The Vale of Cedars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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