the Online Distributed Proofresding Team
THE VELVET GLOVE
Henry Seton Merriman
(HUGH STOWELL SCOTT)
I. IN THE CITY OF THE WINDS
II. EVASIO MON
III. WITHIN THE HIGH WALLS
IV. THE JADE--CHANCE
V. A PILGRIMAGE
VII. THE ALTERNATIVE
VIII. THE TRAIL
IX. THE QUARRY
XI. THE ROYAL ADVENTURE
XII. IN A STRONG CITY
XIII. THE GRIP OF THE VELVET GLOVE
XIV. IN THE CLOISTER
XV. OUR LADY OF THE SHADOWS
XVI. THE MATTRESS BEATER
XVII. AT THE INN OF THE TWO TREES
XVIII. THE MAKERS OF HISTORY
XIX. COUSIN PELIGROS
XX. AT TORRE GARDA
XXI. JUANITA GROWS UP
XXII. AN ACCIDENT
XXIII. KIND INQUIRIES
XXIV. THE STORMY PETREL
XXV. WAR'S ALARM
XXVI. AT THE FORD
XXVII. IN THE CLOUDS
XXVIII. LE GANT DE VELOURS
XXIX. LA MAIN DE FER
XXX. THE CASTING VOTE
List of Illustrations:
"'ARE YOU SURE YOU HAVE NOT HEARD FROM PAPA?'"
"A MOMENT LATER THE TRAVELER WAS LYING THERE ALONE."
"ALL TURNED AND LOOKED AT HIM IN WONDER."
"'DO YOU INTEND TO PUNISH YOUR FATHER'S ASSASSINS?'"
"MARCOS WAS ESSENTIALLY A MAN OF HIS WORD."
"THE DOOR WAS OPENED BY A STOUT MONK."
"'HE IS NOT KILLED,' SAID MARCOS, BREATHLESSLY."
"HE LEFT JUANITA ALONE WITH MARCOS."
IN THE CITY OF THE WINDS
The Ebro, as all the world knows--or will pretend
to know, being an
ignorant and vain world--runs through the city of Saragossa. It is a
river, moreover, which should be accorded the sympathy
generation, for it is at once rapid and shallow.
On one side it is bordered by the wall of the city. The left bank is low
and sandy, liable
to flood; a haunt of lizards in the summer, of frogs in
winter-time. The lower bank is bordered by poplar
trees, and here and
there plots of land have been recovered from the riverbed for tillage and
the growth of that harsh red wine which seems to harden
men of Aragon.
One night, when a half moon hung over the domes of the Cathedral of the
Pillar, a man made his way through the undergrowth by the riverside
stumbled across the shingle
towards the open shed which marks the
landing-place of the only ferry across the Ebro that Saragossa possesses.
The ferry-boat was moored to the landing-stage. It is a high-prowed,
high-sterned vessel, built on Viking lines, from a picture the observant
must conclude, by a landsman carpenter. It swings across the river on a
wire rope, with a running
tackle, by the force of the stream
and the aid
of a large rudder.
The man looked cautiously
into the vine-clad shed. It was empty. He crept
towards the boat and found no one there. Then he examined the chain that
moored it. There was no padlock. In Spain to this day they bar the window
heavily and leave the door open. To the cunning
mind is given in this
custom the whole history of a great nation.
He stood upright
and looked across the river. He was a tall man with a
clean cut face and a hard mouth. He gave a sharp sigh as he looked at
Saragossa outlined against the sky. His attitude and his sigh seemed to
denote along journey accomplished
at last, an object attained perhaps or
within reach, which is almost the same thing, but not quite. For most men
are happier in striving than in possession. And no one has yet decided
whether it is better to be among the lean or the fat.
Don Francisco de Mogente sat down on the bench provided for those that
await the ferry, and, tilting back his hat, looked up at the sky. The
northwest wind was blowing--the Solano--as it only blows in Aragon. The
bridge below the ferry has, by the way, a high wall on the upper side of
it to break this wind, without which no cart could cross the river at
certain times of the year. It came roaring down the Ebro, bending the
tall poplars on the lower bank, driving before it a cloud of dust on the
Saragossa side. It lashed the waters of the river to a gleaming white
beneath the moon. And all the while the clouds stood hard and sharp of
outline in the sky. They hardly seemed to move towards the moon. They
scarcely changed their shape from hour to hour. This was not a wind of
heaven, but a current rushing down from the Pyrenees to replace
air rising from the plains of Aragon.
Nevertheless, the clouds were moving towards the moon, and must soon hide
it. Don Francisco de Mogente observed this, and sat patiently
trailing vines, noting their slow approach. He was a white-haired man,
and his face was burnt a deep brown. It was an odd face, and the
expression of the eyes was not the usual expression of an old man's eyes.
They had the agricultural
calm, which is rarely
seen in drawing-rooms.
For those who deal with nature rarely
feel calm in a drawing-room. They
want to get out of it, and their eyes assume a hunted look. This seemed
to be a man who had known both drawing-room and nature; who must have
turned quietly and deliberately
to nature as the better part. The
wrinkles on his face were not those of the social smile, which so
disfigure the faces of women when the smile is no longer wanted. They
were the wrinkles of sunshine.
"I will wait," he said placidly to himself in English, with, however, a
strong American accent. "I have waited fifteen years--and she doesn't
know I am coming."
He sat looking across the river with quiet eyes. The city lay before him,
with the spire of its unmatched cathedral, the domes of its second
cathedral, and its many towers outlined against the sky just as he had
seen them fifteen years before--just as others had seen them a hundred
The great rounded cloud was nearer to the moon now. Now it touched it.
And quite suddenly the domes disappeared. Don Francisco de Mogente rose
and went towards the boat. He did not trouble to walk gently
or to loosen
the chains noiselessly. The wind was roaring so loudly that a listener
twenty yards away could have heard nothing. He cast off and then hastened
to the stern of the boat. The way in which he handled the helm showed
that he knew the tricks of the old ferryman by wind and calm, by high and
low river. He had probably learnt
them with the photographic
only to be attained when the mind is young.
The boat swung out into the river with an odd jerking movement, which the
steersman soon corrected. And a man who had been watching on the bridge
half a mile farther down the river hurried
into the town. A second
watcher at an open window in the tall house next to the Posada de los
Reyes on the Paseo del Ebro closed his field-glasses with a thoughtful
It seemed that Don Francisco de Mogente had purposely avoided crossing
the bridge, where to this day the night watchman, with lantern
to and fro--a startlingly mediaeval figure. It seemed
also that the traveler was expected, though he had performed the last
stage of his journey on foot after nightfall.
It is characteristic
of this country that Saragossa should be guarded
during the day by the toll-takers at every gate, by sentries, and by the
new police, while at night the streets are given over to the care of a
handful of night watchmen, who call monotonously to each other all
through the hours, and may be avoided by the simplest-minded of
Don Francisco de Mogente brought the ferry-boat gentlyalongside
landing-stage beneath the high wall of the Quay, and made his way through
passage and up the dirty steps that lead into one of the
narrow streets of the old town.
The moon had broken through the clouds again and shone down upon the
barred windows. The traveler stood still and looked about him. Nothing
had changed since he had last stood there. Nothing had changed just here
for five hundred years or so; for he could not see the domes of the
Cathedral of the Pillar, comparatively
modern, only a century old.
Don Francisco de Mogente had come from the West; had known the newness of
the new generation. And he stood for a moment as if in a dream, breathing
in the tainted air of narrow, undrained streets; listening to the cry of
slowly dying as the man walked away from him on sandaled,
noiseless feet; gazing up at the barred windows, heavily shadowed. There
was an old world stillness
in the air, and suddenly the bells of fifty
churches tolled the hour. It was one o'clock in the morning. The traveler
backwards, it would seem, into the middle ages. As he heard
the church bells he gave an angry upward
jerk of the head, as if the
sound confirmed a thought that was already in his mind. The bells seemed
to be all around him; the towers of the churches seemed to dominate
sleeping city on every side. There was a distinct
smell of incense
air of these narrow streets, where the winds of the outer world rarely
The traveler knew his way, and hurried
down a narrow turning to the left,
with the Cathedral of the Pillar between him and the river. He had made a
de tour in order to avoid the bridge
and the Paseo del Ebro, a broad
road on the river bank. In these narrow streets he met no one. On the
Paseo there are several old inns, notably
the Posada de los Reyes, used
by muleteers and other gentlemen of the road, who arise and start at any
hour of the twenty-four and in summer travel as much by night as by day.
At the corner, where the bridge
abuts on the Paseo, there is always a
watchman at night, while by day there is a guard. It is the busiest and
dustiest corner in the city.
Francisco de Mogente crossed a wide street, and again sought a dark
alley. He passed by the corner of the Cathedral of the Pillar, and went
towards the other and infinitely
grander Cathedral of the Seo. Beyond
this, by the riverside, is the palace of the archbishop. Farther on is
another palace, standinglikewise
on the Paseo del Ebro, backing likewise
on to a labyrinth
of narrow streets. It is called the Palacio Sarrion,
and belongs to the father and son of that name.
It seemed that Francisco de Mogente was going to the Palacio Sarrion; for
he passed the great door of the archbishop's dwelling, and was already
looking towards the house of the Sarrions, when a slight sound made him
turn on his heels with the rapidity
of one whose life had been passed
amid dangers--and more especially those that come from behind.
There were three men coming from behind now, running
after him on
sandaled feet, and before he could do so much as raise his arm the moon
broke out from behind a cloud and showed a gleam of steel. Don Francisco
de Mogente was down on the ground in an instant, and the three men fell
upon him like dogs on a rat. One knife went right through him, and grated
with a harsh squeak
on the cobble-stones beneath.
A moment later the traveler was lying there alone, half in the shadow,
his dusty feet showing whitely in the moonlight. The three shadows had
vanished as softly
as they came.
enough, the direction in which they had
gone the burly form of a preaching
friar came out into the light. He was
walking hurriedly, and would seem to be returning from some mission
mercy, or some pious bedside
to one of the many houses of religion
located within a stone's throw of the Cathedral of the Seo in one of the
narrow streets of this quarter of the city. The holy man almost fell over
form of Don Francisco de Mogente.
"Ah! ah!" he exclaimed in an even and quiet voice. "A calamity."
"No," answered the wounded man with a cynicism which even the near sight
of death seemed powerless
to effect. "A crime."
"You are badly hurt, my son."
"Yes; you had better not try to lift me, though you are a strong man."
"I will go for help," said the monk.
"Lay help," suggested the wounded man curtly. But the friar was already
out of earshot.
In an astonishingly short space of time the friar returned, accompanied
by two men, who had the air of indoor servants and the quiet movements of
street-bred, roof-ridden humanity.
Mindful of his cloth, the friar stood aside, unostentatiously and firmly
refusing to take the lead even in a mission
of mercy. He stood with
humbly-folded hands and a meek face while the two men lifted Don
Francisco de Mogente on to a long narrow blanket, the cloak of Navarre
and Aragon, which one of them had brought with him.
They bore him slowly away, and the friar lingered behind. The moon shone
into the narrow street and showed a great patch of blood
amid the cobblestones. In Saragossa, as in many Spanish cities, certain
old men are employed by the municipal
authorities to sweep the dust of
the streets into little heaps. These heaps remain at the side of the
streets until the dogs and the children and the four winds disperse
dust again. It is a survival of the middle ages, interesting enough in
upon the evolution
of the modern municipal
authority and the
transmission of intellectual
The friar looked round him, and had not far to look. There was a dust
heap close by. He plunged his large brown hands into it, and with a few
quick movements covered all traces of the calamity
of which he had so
nearly been a witness.
Then, with a quick, meek look either way, he followed the two men, who
had just disappeared round a corner. The street, which, by the way, is
called the Calle San Gregorio, was, of course, deserted; the tall houses
on either side were closely shuttered. Many of the balconies bore a
branch of palm across the iron railings, the outward
sign of priesthood.
For the cathedralclergy
live here. And, doubtless, the holy men within
had been asleep many hours.
Across the end of the Calle San Gregorio, and commanding that narrow
street, stood the Palacio Sarrion--an empty house the greater part of the
year--a vast building, of which the windows increased in size as they
mounted skywards. There were wrought-iron balconies, of which the window
embrasures were so deep that the shutters folded sideways into the wall
instead of swinging back as in houses of which the walls were of normal
The friar was probably accustomed to seeing
the Palacio Sarrion rigidly
shut up. He never, in his quick, humble
scrutiny of his surroundings
glanced up at it. And, therefore, he never saw a man sitting quietly
behind the curiouslywrought
railings, smoking a cigarette--a man who had
witnessed the whole incident
to end. Who had, indeed, seen
more than the friar or the two quiet men-servants. For he had seen a
stick--probably a sword-stick, such as nearly every Spanish gentleman
carries in his own country--fly from the hand of Don Francisco de Mogente
velvet [´velvit] n.&a.天鹅绒(般的) (初中英语单词)punish [´pʌniʃ] vt.(惩)罚；痛击；折磨 (初中英语单词)pretend [pri´tend] v.假装；借口；妄求 (初中英语单词)moreover [mɔ:´rəuvə] ad.再者，此外，而且 (初中英语单词)sympathy [´simpəθi] n.同情，怜悯 (初中英语单词)cathedral [kə´θi:drəl] n.大教堂 (初中英语单词)vessel [´vesəl] n.容器；船；脉管 (初中英语单词)carpenter [´kɑ:pintə] n.木工 vi.做木工活 (初中英语单词)running [´rʌniŋ] a.奔跑的；流动的 (初中英语单词)stream [stri:m] n.河 vi.流出；飘扬 (初中英语单词)cunning [´kʌniŋ] a.&n.狡猾(诡诈)的 (初中英语单词)replace [ri´pleis] vt.放回；复置；取代 (初中英语单词)agricultural [ægri´kʌltʃər(ə)l] a.农业的 (初中英语单词)rarely [´reəli] ad.难得；非凡地 (初中英语单词)accent [´æksənt, æk´sent] n.重音；口音 vt.重读 (初中英语单词)gently [´dʒentli] ad.温和地；静静地 (初中英语单词)learnt [lə:nt] learn 的过去式(分词) (初中英语单词)movement [´mu:vmənt] n.活动；运动；动作 (初中英语单词)comparatively [kəm´pærətivli] ad.比较地；比较上 (初中英语单词)generation [,dʒenə´reiʃən] n.发生；世代；同龄人 (初中英语单词)upward [´ʌpwəd] a.&ad.向上(的)；以上 (初中英语单词)distinct [di´stiŋkt] a.清楚的；独特的 (初中英语单词)standing [´stændiŋ] n.持续 a.直立的 (初中英语单词)likewise [´laikwaiz] ad.同样地；也，又 (初中英语单词)dwelling [´dweliŋ] n.住所；寓所 (初中英语单词)instant [´instənt] a.立即的 n.紧迫；瞬间 (初中英语单词)moonlight [´mu:nlait] n.&a.月光(的) (初中英语单词)softly [´sɔftli] ad.软化地；柔和地 (初中英语单词)instantly [´instəntli] ad.立即，立刻 (初中英语单词)strangely [´streindʒli] ad.奇怪地；陌生地 (初中英语单词)mission [´miʃən] n.代表团；使馆vt.派遣 (初中英语单词)doubtless [´dautlis] ad.无疑地；大概，多半 (初中英语单词)humble [´hʌmbəl] a.谦卑的 vt.贬抑 (初中英语单词)therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] ad.&conj.因此；所以 (初中英语单词)curiously [´kjuəriəsli] ad.好奇地；稀奇古怪地 (初中英语单词)wrought [rɔ:t] work 的过去式(分词) (初中英语单词)incident [´insidənt] n.小事件；事变 (初中英语单词)beginning [bi´giniŋ] n.开始，开端；起源 (初中英语单词)mattress [´mætris] n.床垫 (高中英语单词)liable [´laiəbəl] a.易于…的；有责任的 (高中英语单词)harden [´hɑ:dn] v.变硬；变得冷酷 (高中英语单词)tackle [´tækəl] n.用具；装置 vt.处理 (高中英语单词)cautiously [´kɔ:ʃəsli] ad.小心地；谨慎地 (高中英语单词)upright [´ʌprait] a.直立的 ad.直立地 (高中英语单词)patiently [´peiʃəntli] ad.有耐心地；坚韧地 (高中英语单词)deliberately [di´libərətli] ad.故意地；慎重地 (高中英语单词)hurried [´hʌrid] a.仓促的，慌忙的 (高中英语单词)lantern [´læntən] n.灯笼；提灯 (高中英语单词)characteristic [,kæriktə´ristik] a.特有的 n.特性 (高中英语单词)alongside [əlɔŋ´said] ad.在旁 prep.横靠 (高中英语单词)underground [,ʌndə´graund] ad.&a.地下(的) (高中英语单词)pillar [´pilə] n.支柱 vt.用柱支持 (高中英语单词)stillness [´stilnis] n.不动；无声，寂静 (高中英语单词)dominate [´dɔmineit] v.统治；控制；俯视 (高中英语单词)incense [´insens, in´sens] n.香(气) vt.激怒 (高中英语单词)archbishop [,ɑ:tʃ´biʃəp] n.大主教 (高中英语单词)squeak [skwi:k] n.&vi.(发)尖叫(声) (高中英语单词)brightly [´braitli] ad.明亮地；聪明地 (高中英语单词)municipal [mju:´nisipəl] a.市政的；地方性的 (高中英语单词)disperse [di´spə:s] v.解散；驱散；传播 (高中英语单词)bearing [´beəriŋ] n.举止；忍耐；关系 (高中英语单词)intellectual [,inti´lektʃuəl] n.知识分子 (高中英语单词)outward [´autwəd] a.外面的 ad.向外 (高中英语单词)seeing [si:iŋ] see的现在分词 n.视觉 (高中英语单词)essentially [i´senʃəli] ad.本质上，基本上 (英语四级单词)poplar [´pɔplə] n.白杨；杨木 (英语四级单词)shingle [´ʃiŋgəl] n.盖屋板；木瓦 (英语四级单词)accomplished [ə´kʌmpliʃt] a.完成了的；熟练的 (英语四级单词)noiselessly [´nɔizlisli] ad.静静地，轻轻地 (英语四级单词)bridge [bridʒ] n.桥(梁)；鼻梁；桥牌 (英语四级单词)watchman [´wɔtʃmən] n.(夜间)看守人 (英语四级单词)traveled [´trævəld] a.见面广的；旅客多的 (英语四级单词)infinitely [´infinitli] ad.无限地；无穷地 (英语四级单词)rapidity [rə´piditi] n.迅速；险峻；陡 (英语四级单词)hurriedly [´hʌridli] ad.仓促地，忙乱地 (英语四级单词)bedside [´bedsaid] n.床边 a.护理的 (英语四级单词)prostrate [´prɔstreit, prɔ´streit] a.俯伏的 vt.弄倒 (英语四级单词)evolution [,i:və´lu:ʃən] n.进化；发展；发育 (英语四级单词)calamity [kə´læmiti] n.灾害，大灾难 (英语四级单词)clergy [´klə:dʒi] n.牧师；教士 (英语四级单词)thicken [´θikən] vt.(使)变厚(粗，密) (英语六级单词)riverside [´rivəsaid] n.河岸 a.河岸上的 (英语六级单词)viking [´vaikiŋ] a.北欧海盗 (英语六级单词)photographic [,fəutə´grɑ:fik] a.摄影(术)的；逼真的 (英语六级单词)backwards [´bækwədz] ad.向后 a.向后的 (英语六级单词)notably [´nəutəbli] ad.显著地；著名地 (英语六级单词)labyrinth [´læbərinθ] 迷宫；错综复杂之事件 (英语六级单词)preaching [´pri:tʃiŋ] n.说教 a.说教的 (英语六级单词)powerless [´pauələs] a.软弱的；无资源的 (英语六级单词)