re came● I here.For my faith, mine is my h▓usband’s.”
“And know you the doom of al●l wh
o attempt or abet escape Death●—death by burning! and this you have h●urled upon him and yourself.It is not▓ the Holy Office, but his wife who has condemne▓d him,” and with gibing laugh they left he
r,▓ securing with heavy bolt and bar the ir●on door.She darted forwards, beseechi▓ng them, as they hoped for mercy, to take● her to her husband, to confine them und▓erground a thousand fathoms deep, so that they m▓ight but be together; but only the hollo●w echo of her own voice replied,▓ and the wretched girl sunk back upon ●the ground, relieved from present suff▓ering by long hours of utter insensibili●ty.
It was not till brought from thei●r resp
ective prisons to hear pro▓nounced on them the sentence of death, th●at Alvar Rodriguez and his heroic wife o●nce more gazed upon each other.
They had provided Almah, at her own entreaty,● with female habiliments; for, ▓in the bewildering agony of her spirit, she att●ributed the failure of her scheme for t●he rescue of her husband to h▓er having disobeyed the positive command o●f God, and adopted a male disguise, which i▓n His eyes was abomination, but which in her ●wild desire to save Alvar she ha●d completely overlooked, and she now in conse▓quence shrunk from the fatal garb with● agony and loathing.Yet despite the ●haggard look of intense mental and bo●dily suffering, the loss of her lovely ●hair, which she had cut close to her head,● lest by the merest chance its ●length and luxuriance should discov●er her, so exquisite, so touching,▓ was her del
icate loveliness, that her very ju▓dges, stern, unbending as was the●ir nature, looked on her with an admiration ▓almost softening them to mercy.
And now, fo▓r the first time, Alvar’s manly▓ composure seemed about to desert▓ him.He, too, had suffered alm▓ost as herself, save that her devo▓tedness, her love, appeared to give hi●m strength, to endow him with co●urage, even to look upon her fate, blende▓d as it now was with his own, with cal▓mness in that merciful God who called▓ him thus early to Himself.Almah cou●ld not realize such thoughts.B
ut one imag●e was ever present, seeming to mock her very mis●ery to madness.Her effort had failed; had she ●not so wildly sought her husband’s ?/p>