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Mercedes of Castile
The Voyage to Cathay

written by "Cooper, J. Fenimore"
...od as close as that which united the Marchioness of Moya with the Conde de Llera—the young man bounded away, and was soon in the presence of his mistress. As Mercedes was prepared for the interview, she betrayed the feeling of the moment merely by a heightened color, and the greater lustre of eyes that were always bright, though often so soft and melancholy. "Luis!" escaped from her, and then, as if ashamed of the emotion betrayed in the very tones of her voice, she withdrew the foot that had involuntarily advanced to meet him, even while she kept a hand extended in friendly confidence. "Mercedes!" and the hand was withdrawn to put a stop to the kisses with which it was covered. "Thou art harder to be seen, of late, than it will be to discover this Cathay of the Genoese; for, between the Doa Isabella and Doa Beatriz, never was paradise watched more closely by guardian angels, than thy person is watched by thy protectors." "And can it be necessary, Luis, when thou art the danger apprehended?" "Do they think I shall carry thee off, like some Moorish girl borne away on the crupper of a Christian knight's saddle, and place thee in the caravel of Colon, that we may go in search of Prestor John and the Great Khan, in company?" "They may think thee capable of this act of madness, dear Luis, but they will hardly suspect me." "No, thou art truly a model of prudence in all matters that require feeling for thy lover." "Luis!" exclaimed the girl, again; and this time unbidden tears started to her eyes. "Forgive me, Mercedes—dearest, dearest Mercedes; but this delay and all these coldly cruel precautions make me forget myself. Am I a needy and unknown adventurer, that they treat me thus, instead of being a noble Castilian knight!" "Thou forgettest, Luis, that noble Castilian maidens are not wont to see even noble Castilian cavaliers alone, and, but for the gracious condescension of Her Highness, and the indulgence ...

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