"No, never!" she answered. "Have pity on me, poor orphan that I am, and let me go to my uncle in Valencia. He will not visit my father's enmity on me; he will not repel his sister's child. How willingly would I remain with you! but I see too late that an iron wall separates us forever."
"Do you know already?" I asked impatiently. "Did my sister confide it to you? Believe me, long ago my heart felt guilty of cowardly perjury not to have confessed everything to you; you would never have betrayed me. Yes, I am a Jew, and will stand by my oppressed brethren in the faith as long as a breath of life remains in me; and if you can desert me, well and good—you never loved me. Go to your uncle; no one will prevent you."
Manuela stared at me with despairing eyes.
"You are cruel, Señor," she said; "I should never have thought you could be so. Who has given you the right to treat me with such scorn, and yet that I must love you? Think you that I am faint-hearted, and ashamed of my faith? Say outright—I know you adhere to Islam, as your dead father did—and I will embrace your knees and beg forgiveness, but do not mock me. What have I done to you?"
A torrent of tears choked her voice; she turned from me sobbing. "O father, father!" she cried, "they treat your child so; why did you not take me with you into your grave?"
I called down all the curses of Heaven on my