From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

treble voice; and a round figure, with a light, rolled like a woolsack down the steps.

"I have already prayed thirteen Ave Marias, and vowed a three-pound wax-candle to St. Jago, if you should come home safe. Ah! my sweet little dove, whom have you there? Praised be the Virgin, is not that Don Alfonso Sajavedra from Valencia? Excuse me, sir, my old eyes—"

"You have indeed seen wrong, Laura; it is not my cousin, but a stranger—a friend, I should have said, who will help us."

"Then I was right," continued the old woman; "have I not often told you that if you went some one would help us? Whenever I went I was thrown aside like a squeezed orange: but laugh away," she croaked on; "it is just as the proverb says, 'A fresh stamped real, with the king's image—God save him!—is better than one defaced with use.' You may pride yourself, noble knight, that my trembling dove has made an exception in your favor."

The old woman was never tired of praising Manuela, and said it could only be by a miracle that I had gained so much from her. Manuela silenced her with difficulty. After the old woman had reviewed me to her satisfaction, she went out. Manuela must have met my gaze, for she dropped her eyes.

"Señor," said she, and hastily grasped my hand, "Señor, what are you thinking of me?"