an named Geizheimer, a beetle-browed, white-cheeked, thick-lipped fellow, whose aquiline features and guttural accents told that lending money at enormous interest was no uncongenial occupation. Such was his present, and indeed almost his only duty; for, while Don Pedro seldom or never played, gaming was the invariable occupation of the guests, whose means to support it were freely supplied by the steward; the borrowers either passing a simple note for repayment, or, when the sum was a heavy one, mortgaging their share in the next prize they should capture. Other contracts, it was rumored, were occasionally resorted to, but of such we shall speak anon.
At a short distance from the table, but sufficiently near to observe the game, stood one on whom nothing short of the passion of play could have prevented every eye being bent. But so it was; she stood alone and unmarked, while all the interest was concentrated upon the game. Dressed in a white tunic, or chemise, fastened round the waist by a gold girdle