Inez, A Tale of the Alamo (Chapter 5, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 5

"He was a man
Who stole the livery of the court of heaven
To serve the devil in; in Virtue's guise,
Devoured the widow's house and orphan's bread;
In holy phrase, transacted villanies
That common sinners durst not meddle with."

POLLOK.

In years, he could not have exceeded twenty-five, yet the countenance was that of one well versed in intrigue. The cast was Italian--the crisp black hair, swarthy complexion, and never-to-be-mistaken eyes. A large amount of Jesuit determination was expressed in his iris, blended with cunning, malignity, and fierceness. The features were prominent particularly the nose; the lips finely cut, but thin; the teeth beautiful and regular. In stature he was low, and habited in the dress of his order, a long black coat or gown, buttoned to the throat, and reaching nearly to the feet.

Glancing at his watch as the sound of the last step died away, he paced round and round the altar, neglecting now the many genuflections, bows, and crossings with which he had honored the images in the presence of his flock. His brows were knit, as if in deep thought, and doubtless he revolved the result of some deep-laid plan, when the door was hurriedly opened, and a man, bowing low before the images, approached him. The dress of the stranger declared him a ranchero: he wore no jacket but his pantaloons were of buckskin, and his broad sombrero was tucked beneath his arm.

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