酷兔英语

the Online Distributed Proofresding Team

THE VELVET GLOVE

By

Henry Seton Merriman

(HUGH STOWELL SCOTT)

Contents:

I. IN THE CITY OF THE WINDS

II. EVASIO MON

III. WITHIN THE HIGH WALLS

IV. THE JADE--CHANCE

V. A PILGRIMAGE

VI. PILGRIMS

VII. THE ALTERNATIVE

VIII. THE TRAIL

IX. THE QUARRY

X. THISBE

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."

CHAPTER I

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 of this

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 and thicken the

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 and

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 the hot

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 beneath the

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

years earlier.

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 accuracy

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

smile.

It seemed that Don Francisco de Mogente had purposely avoided crossing

the bridge, where to this day the night watchman, with lantern and spear,

peeps cautiously 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

malefactors.

Don Francisco de Mogente brought the ferry-boat gentlyalongside the

landing-stage beneath the high wall of the Quay, and made his way through

the underground 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

the watchman 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

had traveled 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 the

sleeping city on every side. There was a distinct smell of incense in the

air of these narrow streets, where the winds of the outer world rarely

found access.

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.

Almost instantly from, strangely 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 of

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

the prostrate 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

down brightly 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 the

dust again. It is a survival of the middle ages, interesting enough in

its bearing upon the evolution of the modern municipal authority and the

transmission of intellectual gifts.

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

thickness.

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 from beginning 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


生词表:
  • velvet [´velvit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.天鹅绒(般的)   (初中英语单词)
  • punish [´pʌniʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(惩)罚;痛击;折磨   (初中英语单词)
  • pretend [pri´tend] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.假装;借口;妄求   (初中英语单词)
  • moreover [mɔ:´rəuvə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.再者,此外,而且   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • cathedral [kə´θi:drəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大教堂   (初中英语单词)
  • vessel [´vesəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.容器;船;脉管   (初中英语单词)
  • carpenter [´kɑ:pintə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.木工 vi.做木工活   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • stream [stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河 vi.流出;飘扬   (初中英语单词)
  • cunning [´kʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.狡猾(诡诈)的   (初中英语单词)
  • replace [ri´pleis] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.放回;复置;取代   (初中英语单词)
  • agricultural [ægri´kʌltʃər(ə)l] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.农业的   (初中英语单词)
  • rarely [´reəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.难得;非凡地   (初中英语单词)
  • accent [´æksənt, æk´sent] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.重音;口音 vt.重读   (初中英语单词)
  • gently [´dʒentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.温和地;静静地   (初中英语单词)
  • learnt [lə:nt] 移动到这儿单词发声  learn 的过去式(分词)   (初中英语单词)
  • movement [´mu:vmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.活动;运动;动作   (初中英语单词)
  • comparatively [kəm´pærətivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.比较地;比较上   (初中英语单词)
  • generation [,dʒenə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发生;世代;同龄人   (初中英语单词)
  • upward [´ʌpwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&ad.向上(的);以上   (初中英语单词)
  • distinct [di´stiŋkt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.清楚的;独特的   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • likewise [´laikwaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.同样地;也,又   (初中英语单词)
  • dwelling [´dweliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.住所;寓所   (初中英语单词)
  • instant [´instənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.立即的 n.紧迫;瞬间   (初中英语单词)
  • moonlight [´mu:nlait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.月光(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • softly [´sɔftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.软化地;柔和地   (初中英语单词)
  • instantly [´instəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.立即,立刻   (初中英语单词)
  • strangely [´streindʒli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.奇怪地;陌生地   (初中英语单词)
  • mission [´miʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.代表团;使馆vt.派遣   (初中英语单词)
  • doubtless [´dautlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无疑地;大概,多半   (初中英语单词)
  • humble [´hʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.谦卑的 vt.贬抑   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • curiously [´kjuəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.好奇地;稀奇古怪地   (初中英语单词)
  • wrought [rɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  work 的过去式(分词)   (初中英语单词)
  • incident [´insidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小事件;事变   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • mattress [´mætris] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.床垫   (高中英语单词)
  • liable [´laiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.易于…的;有责任的   (高中英语单词)
  • harden [´hɑ:dn] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.变硬;变得冷酷   (高中英语单词)
  • tackle [´tækəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.用具;装置 vt.处理   (高中英语单词)
  • cautiously [´kɔ:ʃəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.小心地;谨慎地   (高中英语单词)
  • upright [´ʌprait] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.直立的 ad.直立地   (高中英语单词)
  • patiently [´peiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.有耐心地;坚韧地   (高中英语单词)
  • deliberately [di´libərətli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.故意地;慎重地   (高中英语单词)
  • hurried [´hʌrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.仓促的,慌忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • lantern [´læntən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.灯笼;提灯   (高中英语单词)
  • characteristic [,kæriktə´ristik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.特有的 n.特性   (高中英语单词)
  • alongside [əlɔŋ´said] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在旁 prep.横靠   (高中英语单词)
  • underground [,ʌndə´graund] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.地下(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • pillar [´pilə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.支柱 vt.用柱支持   (高中英语单词)
  • stillness [´stilnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不动;无声,寂静   (高中英语单词)
  • dominate [´dɔmineit] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.统治;控制;俯视   (高中英语单词)
  • incense [´insens, in´sens] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.香(气) vt.激怒   (高中英语单词)
  • archbishop [,ɑ:tʃ´biʃəp] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大主教   (高中英语单词)
  • squeak [skwi:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.(发)尖叫(声)   (高中英语单词)
  • brightly [´braitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明亮地;聪明地   (高中英语单词)
  • municipal [mju:´nisipəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.市政的;地方性的   (高中英语单词)
  • disperse [di´spə:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.解散;驱散;传播   (高中英语单词)
  • bearing [´beəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止;忍耐;关系   (高中英语单词)
  • intellectual [,inti´lektʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.知识分子   (高中英语单词)
  • outward [´autwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.外面的 ad.向外   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • essentially [i´senʃəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.本质上,基本上   (英语四级单词)
  • poplar [´pɔplə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.白杨;杨木   (英语四级单词)
  • shingle [´ʃiŋgəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.盖屋板;木瓦   (英语四级单词)
  • accomplished [ə´kʌmpliʃt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.完成了的;熟练的   (英语四级单词)
  • noiselessly [´nɔizlisli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.静静地,轻轻地   (英语四级单词)
  • bridge [bridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.桥(梁);鼻梁;桥牌   (英语四级单词)
  • watchman [´wɔtʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(夜间)看守人   (英语四级单词)
  • traveled [´trævəld] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.见面广的;旅客多的   (英语四级单词)
  • infinitely [´infinitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无限地;无穷地   (英语四级单词)
  • rapidity [rə´piditi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.迅速;险峻;陡   (英语四级单词)
  • hurriedly [´hʌridli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.仓促地,忙乱地   (英语四级单词)
  • bedside [´bedsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.床边 a.护理的   (英语四级单词)
  • prostrate [´prɔstreit, prɔ´streit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.俯伏的 vt.弄倒   (英语四级单词)
  • evolution [,i:və´lu:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.进化;发展;发育   (英语四级单词)
  • calamity [kə´læmiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.灾害,大灾难   (英语四级单词)
  • clergy [´klə:dʒi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧师;教士   (英语四级单词)
  • thicken [´θikən] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(使)变厚(粗,密)   (英语六级单词)
  • riverside [´rivəsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河岸 a.河岸上的   (英语六级单词)
  • viking [´vaikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.北欧海盗   (英语六级单词)
  • photographic [,fəutə´grɑ:fik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.摄影(术)的;逼真的   (英语六级单词)
  • backwards [´bækwədz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.向后 a.向后的   (英语六级单词)
  • notably [´nəutəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.显著地;著名地   (英语六级单词)
  • labyrinth [´læbərinθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  迷宫;错综复杂之事件   (英语六级单词)
  • preaching [´pri:tʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说教 a.说教的   (英语六级单词)
  • powerless [´pauələs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.软弱的;无资源的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:25:49
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