For two hours or more we talked, and when I had heard her story I told her mine, and she wept for me, since with all her faults Marina’s heart was ever gentle.
Then we parted never to meet again. Before I went she pressed a gift of money on me, and I was not ashamed to take it who had none.
This then was the history of Marina, who betrayed her country for her love’s sake, and this the reward of her treason and her love. But I shall always hold her memory sacred, for she was a good friend to me, and twice she saved my life, nor would she desert me, even when Otomie taunted her so cruelly.
THOMAS COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD
Now on the morrow of my visit to Marina, the Captain Diaz came to see me and told me that a friend of his was in command of a carak which was due to sail from the port of Vera Cruz for Cadiz within ten days, and that this friend was willing to give me a passage if I wished to leave Mexico. I thought for a while and said that I would go, and that very night, having bid farewell to the Captain Diaz, whom may God prosper, for he was a good man among many bad ones, I set out from the city for the last time in the company of some merchants. A week’s journey took us safely down the mountains to Vera Cruz, a hot unhealthy town with an indifferent anchorage, much exposed to the fierce northerly winds. Here I presented my letters of recommendation to the commander of the carak, who gave me passage without question, I laying in a stock of food for the journey.
Three nights later we set sail with a fair wind, and on the following morning at daybreak all that was left in sight of the land of Anahuac was the snowy crest of the volcan Orizaba. Presently that vanished into the clouds, and thus did I bid farewell to the far country where so many things had happened to me, and which according to my reckoning I had first sighted on this very day eighteen years before.
Of my journey to Spain I have nothing of note to tell. It was more prosperous than such voyages often are, and within ten weeks of the date of our lifting anchor at Vera Cruz, we let it drop in the harbour of Cadiz. Here I sojourned but two days, for as it chanced there was an English ship in the harbour trading to London, and in her I took a passage, though I was obliged to sell the smallest of the emeralds from the necklace to find the means to do so, the money that Marina gave me being spent. This emerald sold for a great sum, however, with part of which I purchased clothing suitable to a person of rank, taking the rest of the gold with me. I grieved to part with the stone indeed, though it was but a pendant to the pendant of the collar, but necessity knows no law. The pendant stone itself, a fine gem though flawed, I gave in after years to her gracious majesty Queen Elizabeth.
On board the English ship they thought me a Spanish adventurer who had made moneys in the Indies, and I did not undeceive them, since I would be left to my own company for a while that I might prepare my mind to return to ways of thought and life that it had long forgotten. Therefore I sat apart like some proud don, saying little but listening much, and learning all I could of what had chanced in England since I left it some twenty years before.