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.

“Ay, I will speak—­implore thee by the love thou didst once bear me, Arthur, leave me now!  I can hear no more to-night.”

“On condition thou wilt see me in private once again.  Marie, thou darest not refuse me this!  Thou canst not have so fallen as to give no reason for this most foul wrong—­fancied weak, futile as it may be.  We part now, but we meet again!” And with a strong effort at control he strode hastily from her.

The moon at that moment breaking from thick clouds, darted her full light upon the pool, till it shone like an illuminated mirror amidst the surrounding darkness; and though Arthur had disappeared, its clear surface distinctly reflected the outline of another closely shrouded figure.  Marie turned in terror, and beheld, gleaming with the triumph of a fiend, the hated countenance of Don Luis Garcia.  One look told her that he Lad seen all, heard all; but she had no power to speak or move.  Keeping his basilisk gaze fixed on her, he withdrew backwards into the deep shade till he had entirely disappeared.

Summoning all her energy, Marie fled back towards the house, and at the moment she reached it, Don Ferdinand crossed the deserted hall.

“Marie, dearest, here and alone?  Pale, too, and trembling!  In heaven’s name, what hath chanced?”

A moment more, and she would have flung herself at his feet and told him all—­all, and beseeching his forgiveness, conjure him to shield her from Arthur, from herself; but as she looked up in his face, and met its beaming animation, its manly reflection of the pure gratification that evening had bestowed, how could she, how dared she be the one to dash it with woe?  And, overpowered with this fearful contention of feeling, she threw her arms around him as he bent tenderly over her, and burying her head in his bosom, burst into tears.

“Thou art exhausted, mine own love!  It has been too exciting, too wearying a scene for thee.  Why, what a poor, weak girl thou art!  How fortunate for thee that thy Queen demands not thy constant attendance, and that thy husband is not ambitious to behold thee shining in the court, as thy grace and beauty might!  I am too glad to feel thee all, all my own.  Smile on me, love, and then to thy couch.  A few hours’ quiet rest, and thou wilt be thyself again.”  And he bore her himself with caressing gentleness to her apartment.

CHAPTER XI.

  “Then Roderick from the Douglas broke,
  As flashes flame through sable smoke,
  Kindling its wreaths long, dark, and low. 
  To one broad blaze of ruddy glow;
  So the deep anguish of despair
  Burst in fierce jealousy to air.”

  SIR WALTER SCOTT.

“Sure, now, Pedro, the poor young Senor cannot be entirely in his right mind; he does nothing but tramp, tramp, tramp, the whole night long, and mutters so fiercely to himself, and such dark words, it would make one tremble were they not belied by His sweet face and sad smile,” was the observation of old Juana Lopez to her husband some ten days after Arthur Stanley had been domiciled in their dwelling.  The old man muttered something about his being a foreigner from the Wild Island, where they had all been busy cutting one another’s throats, and what could she expect otherwise?”

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The Vale of Cedars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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