"There is timber here," said Rodriguez. "We will have some more bacon while you dry my cloak over a fire." Thus he acknowledged Morano again for his servant but never acknowledged that in Morano's words he had understood any poor sketch of Morano's self, or that the words went to his heart.
Of Count Morano's health she made frequent enquiry; but Annette heard only vague reports of his danger, and that his surgeon had said he would never leave the cottage alive; while Emily could not but be shocked to think, that she, however innocently, might be the means of his death; and Annette, who did not fail to observe her emotion, interpreted it in her own way.
It appeared, then, that, in reply to Advocate Morano's memoir setting forth that the marriage had not been consummated, there had come another memoir, a terrible one, emanating from Monsignor Palma, a doctor in theology, whom the Congregation of the Council had selected to defend the marriage.
Then he noted that though there was no bolt on the door the furniture might be placed across to make what in the wars is called a barricado, but the wiser thought came at once that this was too easily done, and that if the danger that the dim room seemed gloomily to forebode were to come from a door so readily barricadoed, then those must have been simple gallants who parted so easily with the rings that adorned Morano's two little fingers.
Rodriguez seeing that the idea was fixed in Morano's mind determined that events would move it sooner than argument, and so made no reply. "Shall I tell him, master?" asked Morano. "Yes," said Rodriguez, "if he can row us over the Pyrenees." This was the permission that Morano sought, and a hideous yell broke from his throat hailing the boatman.
Morano could make mistakes and the forest was full of wonders: anything might happen. "We will ride," he said. Morano's breakfast was as good as ever; and, when he had packed up those few belongings that make a dwelling-place of any chance spot in the wilderness, they mounted the horses, which were surely there, and rode away through sunlight and green leaves.
And something in that "No" sounding almost contemptuous, Morano's feelings were hurt, and he blurted out to his master "But how can they get away to get their food? It is good knots that I tie, master."
In answer to Morano's pitiful look Rodriguez' hand went to his sword-hilt; the Slave of Orion merely smiled with his lips; Morano stood there with his hands still stretched out, his face still all appeal, and something more for there was reproach in his eyes that men could tarry while the Cross was in danger and the Infidel lived.
His first report, in reply to Morano's memoir, had been a terrible blow, and it was now said that a second one which he was preparing would prove yet more pitiless, establishing as a fundamental principle of the Church that it could not annul a marriage whose nonconsummation was purely and simply due to the action of the wife in refusing obedience to her husband.
But our race, speaking generally, is rarely satisfied with the present, and Morano's cheerfulness had not come from his having risen suddenly superior to this everyday trouble of ours; it came from his having shifted his gaze to the future. Two things are highly tolerable to us, and even alluring, the past and the future. It was only with the present that Morano was ever dissatisfied.