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D'Aguilar came to supper that night as he had promised, and this time
not on foot and unattended, but with pomp and circumstance as befitted a
great lord. First appeared two running footmen to clear the way; then
followed D'Aguilar, mounted on a fine white horse, and splendidly
apparelled in a velvet cloak and a hat with nodding ostrich plumes,
while after him rode four men-at-arms in his livery.
"We asked one guest, or rather he asked himself, and we have got seven,
to say nothing of their horses," grumbled Castell, watching their
approach from an upper window. "Well, we must make the best of it.
Peter, go, see that man and beast are fed, and fully, that they may not
grumble at our hospitality. The guard can eat in the little hall with
our own folk. Margaret, put on your richest robe and your jewels, those
which you wore when I took you to that city feast last summer. We will
show these fine, foreign birds that we London merchants have brave
Peter hesitated, misdoubting him of the wisdom of this display, who, if
he could have his will, would have sent the Spaniard's following to the
tavern, and received him in sober garments to a simple meal.
But Castell, who seemed somewhat disturbed that night, who loved,
moreover, to show his wealth at times after the fashion of a Jew, began
to fume and ask if he must go himself. So the end of it was that Peter
went, shaking his head, while, urged to it by her father, Margaret
departed also to array herself.
A few minutes later Castell, in his costliest feast-day robe, greeted
d'Aguilar in the ante-hall, and, the two of them being alone, asked him
how matters went as regarded de Ayala and the man who had been killed.
"Well and ill," answered d'Aguilar. "Doctor de Puebla, with whom I hoped
to deal, has left London in a huff, for he says that there is not room
for two Spanish ambassadors at Court, so I had to fall back upon de
Ayala after all. Indeed, twice have I seen that exalted priest upon the
subject of the well-deserved death of his villainous servant, and, after
much difficulty, for having lost several men in such brawls, he thought
his honour touched, he took the fifty gold angels--to be transmitted to
the fellow's family, of course, or so he said--and gave a receipt. Here
it is," and he handed a paper to Castell, who read it carefully.
It was to the effect that Peter Brome, having paid a sum of fifty angels
to the relatives of Andrew Pherson, a servant of the Spanish ambassador,
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