Joseph Hocking.

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nigh black, and flashed into mine with a suggestion of
passion.



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« I COULD SWEAR SHE LOOKED AT ME OUT OP
THE CORNERS OP HER EYES"



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THE ARCHBISHOP'S SERMON 107

As our eyes met, too, I saw the blood mount her cheeks,
which added to her charm, and made my heart flutter
somewhat, although I could not tell why. It was only a
single glance we gave each other, but I knew then that I
should know her again, aye, and I was sure, too, that I
had seen one I could never forget. Not that she made
me feel kindly towards her. Rather my heart grew hard
and bitter. Although I thought of her and my mother
together, she made me feel that she was my enemy, and
that at no time could she be my friend.

Presently she, with the other worshippers, stood up, and
then I saw that she was much taller than the ordinary
Spanish women, who for the most part are short and thick
set, moving somewhat clumsily, and with heavy foot-
steps. She, I say, was taller than the rest, moreover she
was more finely formed, and as she looked around she
seemed like a queen, so stately and commanding was
she.

Our eyes did not meet again, although I could swear
she looked at me from time to time out of the corners of
her eyes, as though I interested her more than the crowd
of Spanish caballeros by which we were surrounded. In
truth I was vain enough to think that this was owing to
my great height, for I could give six inches to any man
I saw there, or perhaps it might have been that my
face was fresh and ruddy, and my brown hair was
fine and curly rather than stiff and straight like the
Spaniards.

A little later, however, my attention was diverted from
her, for the Archbishop entered the pulpit and began to
preach, and as the occasion was big with importance, I
listened with all the ears I had. And this it was neces-
sary for me to do, for, although I knew the Spanish
tongue enough to converse therein, I found that listening
to a discourse was a different matter. Many strange



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108 A FLAME OF FIRE

words were used, and because the sentences were long and
involved I had to pay great heed or I should have missed
their meaning.

He began, I remember, by glorifying what he called
the one true Church, and spoke both in sorrow and anger
of the heresy which had crept into her. He said that the
Church had been kind and tender towards unbelievers,
and not until heretics had refused to listen to reason had
she exercised her power and used stronger means. From
time to time, moreover, even in the midst of these acts,
she had relaxed her severity and given sinners every op-
portunity to repent. But he grieved that this had been in
vain; nay, the very gentleness of the Church had been
used as an excuse for disobedience, and heretics had be-
come day by day more stubborn. He grieved that one
whole nation had gone away into lasciviousness and de-
bauchery, even in spite of the fact that the Pope had dur-
ing the reign of that gentle daughter of Christ, and most
Christian Queen, taken his curse of excommunication
from her, and pven her his blessing. He referred to
Mary, the late beloved wife of their most Gracious
Majesty Philip the Second.

"And now," he said, his voice swelling with passion,
"that nation hath become apostate. She hath resisted
all those efforts of Mary, and her faithful ministers,
Bishop Gardiner and Bishop Bonner, to bring them back
to the faith ; nay, her people have even called these men
by vile and hateful names. And still worse, for more
than twenty years she hath allowed herself to be governed
by a she-wolf, a bastard of that vile Henry VHL, who
sold his soul to gratify his carnal passions. But this
must not be. Spain, the faithful child of the Church,
must restore England to her rightful king, our own sover-
eign King Philip; she must cast that she-wolf into her
jftlthy den, and bring back the people to those loving arms.



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THE ARCHBISHOP'S SERMON 109

without which England must be forever accursed. Al-
ready has his Hohness the Pope made that faithful and
devoted churchman a cardinal, and promised him the See
of Canterbury. Cardinal Allen is also named Legate for
England, and has written his pastoral letter, which I will
proceed to read to you."

Thereupon he read a letter which was written to the
English people. This purported that retribution was not
to fall so much upon the English people as upon the usurp-
ing heretic Elizabeth, the bane of Christendom, and the
murderess of the souls of her subjects. Henry VIII.,
tyrant as he was, had fallen short of his infamous
daughter. Vengeance would fall on her at last. Ruin
was now to overwhelm her, and the just of the earth
would say, " Lo, this is she who took not God for her
strength, and was struck down by the hand of the Most
High." She was born in adultery, an offspring of incest,
and a declared bastard. Her father had been excom-
municated, and her mother's mother and her mother's sis-
ter were concubines. Elizabeth had overthrown the
Church, profaned the sacraments, and torn God's priests
from the altars, in the very act of celebrating the holy
mysteries. She had made England a sanctuary of atheists
and rebels, and vampire-like she had enriched herself by
sucking the blood of afflicted Catholics. Her chief
favourite had murdered his wife, and him she had made
her principal Minister.

After this the letter went on to call her the foulest of
prostitutes, and her Court the vilest of brothels. The
Church had excommunicated her, but she had despised
connection, and now the time had come for vengeance.
She must be overthrown, and the sty which England had
become must be purified.*

*This is a correct summary of Cardinal Allen's letter, much
of which is unfit for publication.— J. H.



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no A FLAME OF FIRE

" And who is to do this ? " said the Archbishop. " It
is we, my children; it is we must hurl this incestuous,
adulterous creature from her high place. We, the chil-
dren of Spain, must rid the people of England from this
great harlot ! "

As he said these things, my heart became more and
more aflame with anger. I found my hand on my sword
hilt, and had not Mawgan spoken to me I believe I should
have cried out.

"What is the matter?" said Mawgan Killigrew in a
low voice. " You look as though you are going mad ! "

" Mad ! " I cried. " The man is blaspheming ; he is
calling our Queen vile names ; he says our English Q>urt
is a brothel."

" Then cry against him ! " said Mawgan. " As sure as
I am a Killigrew I will stand by thee ! "

But at this time I looked and saw that the Spanish
maid, of whom I have been telling, was watching us, and
I could swear by the look on her face that she understood
what we had said. This moved me to caution, and, press-
ing Mawgan's arm, I bade him be silent.

As far as I could judge no one else regarded us, so
turning towards the pulpit, I again listened to the
sermon.

" Not only is the true faith being destroyed in Eng-
land," he said, " but it is threatened in Spain. Even our
own city of Toledo, beloved of God as she is, is the home
of heresy. From time to time we have put down unbe-
lief with a firm hand, but the vipers of unfaith have bred
other vipers, until we can do no other than seek to destroy
them all. The Holy Inquisition hath in these days been
given power, and we must use it. To-day I give solemn
warning from this sacred place that no unbelievers shall
live in our See ; the faith of every man and woman shall
be inquired into, and the unrepentant shall suffer the



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THE ARCHBISHOP'S SERMON 111

penalty of their sins. Already is the Holy Council deal-
ing with those who persist in the sin of unbelief, and we
must continue our work, until it is destroyed root and
branch. And think not, my brethren, that we act in anger
or in harshness. Nay, we act in love and pity. The
Lord loveth whom He chasteneth, and the fires of the
Church are lit in holy faith and tenderness. The body is
nothing, the soul is all; therefore must we, if there be
need, destroy the body that the soul may be saved."

This was in substance the sermon that I heard that Sab-
bath morning beneath the Cathedral roof, and, as I have
said, it aroused me to a mighty anger, and I had to strive
with myself that I might be kept from proclaiming this
man a liar and a false prophet.

But I did not speak, for as he finished his sermon I
again looked towards the Spanish maid and saw that her
eyes were fixed on me. I believed, too, that she read
what was in my mind and was angry with me.

" Let us go out," I whispered to Mawgan, " presently
there will be the Elevation of the Host, at which every
Catholic will kneel, and if we do not kneel with the rest
attention will be drawn to us."

So we found our way with others out of the Cathedral,
and presently stood in the Plaza de Ayuntamiento, which
was a small square, and -where we could speak together
freely. As well as I could I told Mawgan what the Arch-
bishop had said, and watched him while his face grew
redder and redder with anger.

" And we can do nothing ! " he cried. " Oh, God,
nothing."

" We have come here to save Senora de Valencia," I
said, " and we will ! "

" Give me your hand on that," cried Mawgan. " But
we must fight warily. It is a marvel to me that we have
not already been haled before these fellows."



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112 A FLAME OF FIRE

As we stood there two Spaniards passed us, and as
they passed we heard one say :

*' The Council meets to-morrow, I hear."

" Aye, at El Cristo de la Vega. Methinks the Christ's
arm will not move."

" Nay, that it will not. Even though it moved for a
Jew, it will not for an Englishwoman, and a serving
woman to boot. Why, report hath it she hath called the
Inquisitors devils."

" Aye, I can well believe it. These English, since the
she-wolf cub, Elizabeth, has been Queen, care for naught,
and believe in naught. Still the priests be getting mighty
arrogant. It is said that even the King is afraid of them."

" Tish, man, and speak not loud. The search begins
to-morrow, and every idle word will be remembered."

" Rupert Hamstead," said Mawgan, when I told him
what they had said, " three days have we been in Toledo,
and yet have we done naught. We have not yet dis-
covered the senora's dwelling-place."

" Aye, but no harm is happening to her," I replied ;
" when heretics suffer they suffer in public."

" When they are burnt, aye ; but what of their imprison-
ment, what of torture? "

" Let us move on," I whispered, " I believe we be
watched."

Accordingly we walked slowly across the square, I look-
ing furtively on the man who as I believed was keeping
near to us. And what aroused my suspicions about him
was, not so much the fact that he kept near to us, as the
man's appearance. I remembered my father's descrip-
tion of Seiior Toledo, and thought I recognised him. It
is true nearly thirty years must have passed since my
father saw him, nevertheless, what he wrote held good
even then. The closely placed eyes, the narrow shoul-
ders, the thin legs, the nervous springy movement, all



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THE ARCHBISHOP'S SERMON 113

corresponded with what my father had written concern-
ing him.

'* Who watches us ? " asked Mawgan.

" I believe it is Seiior Toledo," I replied.

I saw Mawgan's lips close as if by a snap, but he kept
himself from doing aught rash, and presently, as the man
walked away, I breathed again.

" He looks well-nigh seventy," said Mawgan.

" No bite is as bad as an old dog's bite," I said.

" And he looks as though his fangs are sharp," replied
Mawgan ; *' but let us get back to Trenoweth, and by G>r-
moran, we must be careful we be not followed."

" Not yet," I replied ; " look, the people be coming out,"
and I made my way towards the great door at the western
end.

For some minutes I watched, but saw no one who inter-
ested me ; presently, however, my heart leaped within me,
for passing through the doorway I saw the maid whom
I had noticed during the sermon.

Whether she saw us or no, I cannot tell, for although
she looked not towards me, I thought I saw her eyes flash,
and her face flush as if with anger.

" Who is that beauteous lady," I said to a young Span-
iard who stood by my side, nodding towards her.

" The Seiiorita de Valencia," he replied.

"Ah, she comes from Valencia?" I said, carelessly,
although God knows I spoke with a fast-beating heart.

" Aye, and no," he replied. " Her father's family
were of Valencia originally, but the lands came not to
him. He was of Toledo, and lived here."

" Does he not live here now ? "

" You cannot know Toledo, seiior," he replied, " or you
would have heard of his death, some little time ago. He
married an English heretic, who was forgiven her heresy
for his sake, but now that he is dead, she hath fallen under



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114 A FLAME OF FIRE

suspicion. Indeed, report hath it that she is closely im-
prisoned, and her time of repentance is fast coming to an
end."

" And the senorita, is she a heretic? "

" Nay, by the Mass, no. She hateth her mother's sin,
and some say her mother also. But that may not be. She
hath but lately come from a convent, and since her father's
death, hath but seldom seen the sefiora. But the senorita
is as much a Catholic as the Queen after whom she is
named."
."What, Isabella?"

" Aye, Isabella, that is her name, and report hath it that
she abets the priests in their determination to bring her
motlier to the stake if she will not repent. It is hard to
believe, but she is half English, and hath a temper."

" Lives she with her mother ? "

" Nay, since her father's death she hath been placed in
charge of the Archbishop's Counsellor and his secretary,
Sefior Toledo."

"And he is, of course, a strong supporter of the
Church?"

The young Spaniard shrugged his shoulders.

" Sabe Dios;' he replied. " This, I know, Senor Toledo
IS for himself. He hath great power, and so men fear
him, but no man loveth him."

"What is he like?"

" Like an eel, sefior, long and narrow ; aye, but a ser-
pent would be a better simile, for he hath the tooth of one,
aye, and the strength of one, too."

" And lives he near the Archbishop's palace? "

" Nay, but in the white palace at the east of the
Alcazar."

" Come," said I to Mawgan, when the young Spaniard
had departed, " let us hie to our lodging-place. But we
must watch, man, we must watch."



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THE ARCHBISHOP'S SERMON 116

" Have you heard aught? "

" Much/* I replied, " but we must be wary."

We made our way through the crowd, and for the first
time in my Hfe, I grieved because of my height ; for being
of great stature, I could be singled out with ease. And
this was also true of Mawgan, and especially was it true
among the Spaniards. For they be a short, squat race,
very few of them rising to anywhere near six feet in
height. Still, we mingled freely with them, and when
presently we left the open space, we took as many turns as
a hunted fox, darting up one narrow street and down an-
other, and thus going a long distance before we reached
the Calle del Refugio.

Arrived there we had a long council of war, for I
told John Trenoweth and Mawgan Killigrew all I had
heard.

" As for this Isabella, we had naught to do with her,"
said John Trenoweth, " Sir John Tremayne's daughter
we will save, if God gives us grace, and my Esther must
be saved, too. Remember that, my masters ! "

This he had said many times, and became half-mazed
because we had not yet discovered where she was.

Our dangers, too, were increased — or, at least, so I
feared. For I could not help believing that the man I had
seen was Seiior Toledo; and if that were so, we walked
on a sword edge. Men told me I bore a strong likeness
to my father, indeed some went so far as to say that I was
the exact image of what Sir Richard Hamstead had been
when he was twenty-four. If that were so, Seiior Toledo
would have recognised me in spite of my Spanish attire,
and would make his plans accordingly.

But we had not come to Spain without counting on this,
and we walked Toledo streets both that day and the next,
seeking as best we could to find the prison of the Senora
Valencia. In this, however, we were unsuccessful, but



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116 AFLAMEOFFIRE

on th€ Tuesday morning the Moor came to us ; his eyes
fairly ablaze with excitement.

" It hath begun, my lords," he cried.

"What hath begun?"

"The Inquisition. To-day at noon, in the Circo Ro-
mano, an Englishwoman is to be burned."

" Who? The Senora de Valencia? "

" Nay, that is not her name. She hath been her tiring-
woman."

But this I did not tell John Trenoweth, for in truth I
was afraid to do so.

" It was so decided at El Cristo de la Vega yesterday,
even now the people have gathered in the Qiurch of San
Juan de los Reyes."

" Come," I said to my companions, " it is said that an
English heretic is to be burned. Come ! "

" Where? " cried Mawgan and Trenoweth in the same
breath.

" At the Circo Romano," I replied, " but they are even
now in the Church of St. John of the Kings."

At this, both Mawgan and John Trenoweth looked to
their weapons, and then we three walked away together.
No word spoke we, for I believe that their mouths were
hot and dry, even as mine was. And yet my heart beat
not more quickly than was its wont, while my sinews
seemed like steel.

But I did not know then of what I should see and hear
before the sun went down.



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XI

HOW JOHN TRENOWETH SAW HIS SWEETHEART

I HAVE said that my heart beat not more quickly than
was its wont, and I have spoken the truth. Instead
of being well-nigh crazed, as I had imagined I
should be under such circumstances, a great calm came
over me. I took more than ordinary note of the people
we passed in the streets, as well as of the buildings which
were larger than ordinary. I remember how in particular
I paid attention to a building which had had a strange
history, being at one time a Jewish temple, and again a
Moorish mosque, but which was at that time a Christian
church called Santa Maria la Blanca, and I remember, too,
wondering why it was called the Qiurch of the White
Mary. Not only this, but when at length I came to the
Church of San Juan de los Reyes, I took particular note
of the chains which were festooned in front of the
building.

I knew that within that same church prayers were being
chanted, prior to leading a heretic victim down the steep
incline, and across to the Circo Romano, which stood on
the plain outside the city walls. But, somehow, the
thought seemed to fill me with a kind of unnatural calm.
Indeed, I asked one of the crowd which stood on the little
space outside the church door what the chains meant.

" They be the chains which were taken from the Chris-
tians whom the Moors kept in their dungeons/' replied
the man.

" And who put them there? "
117



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118 A FLAME OF FIRE

" The sefior must be a stranger to Toledo, or he would
know," he replied : " it was by the orders of Isabella the
Catholic. Aye, and by the Mass, she made the Moors
suffer for it afterwards. Good fuel they were, too, these
dogs who followed the false prophet."

" And who is to be burnt to-day ? " I asked with seem-
ing carelessness.

" Aye, I know not. Some say one thing, and some an-
other ; there be several, I think, and among them an Eng-
lish heretic."

" Go you to see the burning? "

" What would you ? " cried the man. " We have not
had one for many a week, and think you I will miss this
chance? The saints know that of late there hath been
but little interest in life. The Inquisition falls hard on
the heretics, but, as Padre Antonio said to me yesterday,
it provides a rare spectacle for the people. I would not
miss it for a Dutch ducat."

" Why go you not inside the church ? "

" Aye, there is no sport there. The priests are mum-
bling prayers, and giving exhortation; but what of that?
True, I would like to hear Padre Tempestad tell those
poor devils of heretics how they will burn in hell, for he
hath a rare gift. I heard him once describe the suffer-
ings of a heretic in hell, and as he told of his endeavours
to scrape away the boiling pitch from his roasting body,
even I felt sick. But the prayers will be long, and the
sermon short to-day, so I prefer waiting here, and seeing
the procession start. Besides, the church is full, and I
doubt whether I could gain admission."

And this I found to be true; for when I and my
companions tried to obtain an entrance, we saw only a
seething mass of people, who whispered one to
another so loudly as to almost drown the chanting of
the priests.



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SAW HIS SWEETHEART 119

" It's a fine day," I heard a man say close beside me,
" and there is no wind."

** Aye, and the dried olive wood will bum well."

" Green wood would be better sport."

" Aye, but that is over-cruel, according to my thinking."

"Think you she will last?"

" What mean you ? "

" It is a good mile walk from here to the Circo Romano,
and it is said she hath been put to the torture. If so, I
doubt whether she can walk so far."

"Aye, especially when she knows she is walking to
hell."

" Not so. These English heretics think they go straight
to heaven."

"What, unshriven?"

" They care not for that."

" Well, I am a good Catholic, but these be strange
doings. It is these Jesuits who are at the back of it all.
Report hath it that it is the English Jesuit priest who hath
stirred up the Inquisition again."

" Aye, so I have heard. Whenever they have power,
the fires burn. But what would you? She is English,
and they defy us. They, the beer-drinking swine, have
sacked our towns, and defied our arms, and therefore,
they must be punished. Even the Dutch resistance is
naught to theirs. I would that the Armada started to-
morrow instead of next year. But what would you?
• The King waits for the Pope's money, and, therefore,
there is delay. But patienza, I will touch the English
gold!"

"And so will I, for I am selected to go. But look
you, they be coming."

In this he spoke the truth ; for at that moment the great
church doors rolled back, the people rushed out, while the
dismal chanting sounded more plain.



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120 A FLAME OF FIRE

I looked at my companions, who gave a low cry as the
great bell in the tower began to toll a funeral knell, and I
saw that each face was stem and set. Mawgan had lost all
his ruddy colour, and had become as pale as a Spaniard ;
but this was not with fear. Nay, I knew by the gleaming
of his eyes, and the firm setting of his jaws, that his heart
was on fire, even as mine was. John Trenoweth, too,
looked almost ghastly. In truth, his face was the face of
a corpse rather than of a living man ; but his eyes gleamed
with that steely glitter which I had always noted when he
was much wrought upon.

He did not cry out, nor become frantic as I feared he
would. I could hear him breathing heavily, however, as
though his lungs closed against the air, while he kept on
muttering the words, ''The hell hounds! the hell
hounds ! "

A minute later a great silence fell upon us all, for the
grim procession began.

First came two men bearing a carved figure of our
Lord upon the cross, after which came some ecclesiastics
headed by the Archbishop, all of whom wore gorgeous
robes, which nevertheless bore signs of mourning upon
them and after these came a number of priests of less de-
gree followed by many boys, who carried flags and other
things, the meaning of which I could not understand.
After these again came a man of great stature, and com-
manding mien, but who made me shudder as I looked
on him. He, too, was an ecclesiastic, and wore rich robes,
but he was not joining in the dismal chanting which filled
the air with sadness. I watched him as his eyes swept
over the crowd, eyes which made one think of darkness
and mystery, so deep and stem were they.

Then followed a man with a rough wooden cross,* at

*Thi8 wooden cross may still be seen in the chtuch of San
Juan de los Reyes.— J. H.



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SAW HIS SWEETHEART 121

which a sound like a groan rose from the vast multitude,
for immediately behind it came the victims, or what we
thought were the victims. Their faces we could not see,
for they were covered with a death mask, neither were the
outlines of their bodies plain, on account of the long



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