Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VI / Love's Last Supper; A True Story of the Troubadours >> Page 101

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE PRECIOUS MEATS, 101
the sources of our history are wholly above discredit or denial.
The cruel baron, ordering his cook into his presence, then gave
the heart of the troubadour into his keeping, with instructions to
dress it richly, and after a manner of dressing certain favorite
portions of venison, of which Marguerite was known to be par-
ticularly fond. The dish was a subject of special solicitude with
her husband. He himself superintended the preparation, and
furnished the spices. That night, he being her only companion
at the feast, it was served up to his wife, at the usual time of
supper. He had assiduously subdued every vestige of anger,
unkindness, or suspicion, from his countenance. Marguerite was
suffered to hear and see nothing which might provoke her ap-
prehensions or arrest her appetite. She was more than usually
serene and cheerful, as, that day and evening, her lord was
more than commonly indulgent. He, too, could play a part
when it suited him to do so ; and, like most men of stern will
and great experience, could adapt his moods and manners to that
livelier cast, and more pliant temper, which better persuade the
feminine heart into confidence and pleasure. He smiled upon
her now with the most benevolent sweetness ; but while he ear-
nestly encouraged her to partake of the favorite repast which she
so much preferred, he himself might be seen to eat of any other
dish. The wretched woman, totally unsuspicious of guile or evil,
undreaming of disaster, and really conscious of but little self-
reproach, ate freely of the precious meat which had been placed
before her. The eyes of Raymond greedily followed every
morsel which she carried to her lips. She evidently enjoyed the
food which had been spiced for her benefit, and as she continued
to draw upon it, he could no longer forbear to unfold the exulta-
tion which he felt at the entire satisfaction of his vengeance.
� You seem very much to like your meats to-night, Marguerite.
Do you find them good ?"� Verily," she answered, this venison is really delicious."" Eat then," be continued, I have had it dressed purposely
for you. You ought to like it. It is a dish of which you have
always shown yourself very fond."� Nay, my lord, but you surely err. I can not think that I
have ever eaten before of anything so very delicious as this."� Nay, nay, Marguerite, it is you that err. I know that the