They will be returned to you if nothing suspicious is found amongst them."
"Where are you going to take me?"
"To the citadel."
I opened my trunk, took out my linen and my clothes, which I gave to my landlord, and I saw the officer's astonishment at seeing my trunk half filled with papers.
"These are all the papers I have," I said. I locked the box and gave the officer the key.
"I advise you, sir," he said, "to put all necessary articles into a portmanteau." He then ordered the landlord to send me a bed, and finally asked me if I had any papers in my pockets.
"Only my passports."
"That's exactly what we want," he rejoined, with a grim smile.
"My passports are sacred; I will never give them to anyone but the governor-general. Reverence your king; here is his passport, here is that of the Count of Aranda, and here the passport of the Venetian ambassador. You will have to bind me hand and foot before you get them."
"Be more moderate, sir. In giving them to me it is just as if you gave them to the viceroy. If you resist I will not bind you hand and foot, but I shall take you before the viceroy, and then you will be forced to give them up in public. Give them to me with a good grace, and you shall have an acknowledgement."
The worthy landlord told me I should be wiser to give in, so I let myself be persuaded. The officer gave me a full quittance, which I put in my pocketbook (this he let me keep out of his kindness), and then I followed him. He had six constables with him, but they kept a good distance away. Comparing this with the circumstances of my arrest at Madrid, I thought myself well treated.
Before we left the inn the officer told me that I might order what meals I pleased, and I asked the landlord to let me have my dinner and supper as usual.
On the way I told him of my adventure of the night before; he listened attentively but made no comments.
When we reached the citadel I was delivered to the officer of the guard, who gave me a room on the first floor. It was bare of furniture, but the windows looked on to a square and had no iron bars.
I had scarcely been there ten minutes when my carpet bag and an excellent bed were brought in.
As soon as I was alone I began to think over the situation. I finished where I ought to have begun.
"What can this imprisonment have to do with my last night's adventure?" I reflected.
I could not make out the connection.
"They are bent on examining my papers; they must think I have been tampering in some political or religious intrigue; but my mind is quite at ease on that score. I am well lodged at present, and no doubt shall be set free after my papers have been examined; they can find nothing against me there.
"The affair of my attempted assassination will, no doubt, be considered separately.
"Even if the rascal is dead, I do not see what they can do to me.
"On the other hand, my landlord's advice to fly from Barcelona looks ominous; what if the assassins received their orders from some person high in authority?
"It is possible that Ricla may have vowed my ruin, but it does not seem probable to me.
"Would it have been wise to follow the landlord's advice?
"Possibly, but I do not think so; my honour would have suffered, and I might have been caught and laid up in some horrid dungeon, whereas for a prison I am comfortable enough here.
"In three or four days the examination of my papers will have been completed, and as there is nothing in them likely to be offensive to the powers that be, they will be returned to me with my liberty, which will taste all the sweeter for this short deprivation.
"As for my passports they all speak in my favour.
"I cannot think that the all-powerful hand of the viceroy could have directed the assassin's sword; it would be a dishonour to him, and if it were so, he would not be treating me so kindly now. If it were his doing, he must have heard directly that the blow had failed, and in that case I do not think he would have arrested me this morning.