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A Castle in Spain

A Novel

371 pages
Library of Alexandria
HOW A PARTY OF TRAVELLERS SET OUT ON A JOURNEY. The train for the North was about to start from Madrid, and the station was filled with the usual varied and bustling crowd. Throngs of soldiers were there; throngs of priests; throngs of civilians; throngs of peasants; all moving to and fro, intermingled with the railway employés, and showing the power of steam to stir up even the lazy Spaniard to unwonted punctuality and portentous activity. In the midst of this busy scene two men stood apart, each by himself, with eyes fixed upon the entrance, as though expecting some one whose advent was of no ordinary importance. One of these was an unmistakable Spaniard, of medium size, dark complexion, penetrating black eyes, and sombre countenance. His dress was that of a civilian, but his bearing was military, and his face and general expression savored of the camp. The other was an Englishman, with all his country beaming in his face, tall in stature, light in complexion, with gray eyes, and open, frank expression. He had a thin mustache, flaxen side whiskers, and no beard. He stood in an easy, nonchalant attitude, with an eye-glass stuck in one eye, and a light cane in his hand, which he switched carelessly upon his leg. At length the two were roused by the approach of a party of people who were undoubtedly the very ones for whom they had been thus waiting. This party consisted of three persons. First, there was an elderly man, florid, stoutish, and fussy—the Paterfamilias of Punch, with a dash of the heavy father of comedy. He was evidently in a terrible strait, and halting between two opinions, namely, whether he should stay and watch over his family, or go away and see after his luggage. Then there was a lady of certain or uncertain age—a faded, washed-out blonde, who surveyed the scene with a mixture of trepidation and caution