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.

“Neither Ferdinand nor Isabella bestows favors on the undeserving,” briefly, almost sternly answered Stanley, with an unconscious change of tone and manner, which did not escape his companion.

“And he is so singularly fortunate, every thing he touches seems to turn to gold—­an universal idol, possessed too of such wealth and splendor, and, above all, with such a being to share them with him.  Fortune has marked him favored in all things.  Didst ever behold a creature equal in loveliness to Donna Marie, Senor Stanley?”

A momentary, and to any other but Don Luis, incomprehensible emotion, passed over the countenance of Stanley at these words; but though it was instantly recalled, and indifference both in expression of countenance and voice resumed, it passed not unobserved; and Don Luis, rejoicing in the pain he saw he was inflicting, continued an eloquent panegyric on the wife of Morales, the intense love she bore her husband, and the beautiful unity and harmony of their wedded life, until they parted within a short distance of the public entrance to Don Ferdinand’s mansion, towards which Stanley turned.

Don Luis looked after his retreating form, and folding his arms in his mantle, bent down his head, assuming an attitude which to passers-by expressed the meek humility of his supposed character.  There was a wild gleam of triumph, in his eyes which he knew, and therefore they were thus bent down, and there were thoughts in his heart which might thus be worded:—­“I have it all, all.  Waiting has done better for me than acting; but now the watch is over, and the coil is laid.  There have been those who, standing on the loftiest pinnacle, have fallen by a touch to earth; none knew the how or wherefore.”  And shrouding himself closer in his wrapping mantle, he walked rapidly on till he reached a side entrance into the gardens, which stretched for many acres around Don Ferdinand’s mansion.  Here again he paused, looked cautiously around him, then swiftly entered, and softly closed the door behind him.

Already agitated by the effort to retain calmness during Garcia’s artful words, it was no light matter for Stanley to compose himself for his interview with Morales.  Vain was the gentle courtesy of the latter, vain his kindly words, vain his confidential reception of the young Englishman, to remove from Arthur’s heart the wild torrent of passion called forth by Garcia’s allusion to Marie’s intense love for her husband.  To any one but Morales, his abrupt and unconnected replies, his strange and uncourteous manners, must have excited irritation; but Don Ferdinand only saw that the young man was disturbed and pained, and for this very reason exerted his utmost kindliness of words and manner to draw him from, himself.  They parted after an interval of about half an hour, Morales to go to the castle as requested; Arthur to proceed, as he thought, to the environs of the city.  But in vain did he strive with himself.  The window of the room in

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The Vale of Cedars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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