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Title: In Sunny Spain with Pilarica and Rafael
Author: Bates, Katharine Lee
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           IN SUNNY SPAIN

                    [Illustration: THE GYPSY KING]

                              SUNNY SPAIN
                       WITH PILARICA AND RAFAEL


                          KATHARINE LEE BATES

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                        J. M. DENT & SONS, LTD.

                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                  The Knickerbocker Press, New York.

                            ELIZABETH KEITH


Introduction by the Editor of the Series

CHAPTER                                 PAGE


II    THE MAGIC CAP                       12


IV    RAFAEL IN DISGRACE                  38

V     A BEAUTIFUL FEVER                   51

VI    HEROES AND DONKEYS                  67


VIII  ONLY A GIRL                         93

IX    CHOSEN FOR THE KING                106

X     TIA MARTA’S REBELLION              119

XI    UP AND AWAY                        132

XII   THE OPEN ROAD                      147

XIII  THE CITY OF DREAMS                 160


XV    THE EVE OF ST. JOHN                191

XVI   BY THE WAY                         205

XVII  PILGRIMS OF ST. JAMES              217

XVIII RAFAEL’S ADVENTURE                 229

XIX   THE END OF THE ROAD                239


XXI   WORK AND PLAY                      267

XXII  THE PORCH OF PARADISE              278

      AND DEFINED                        291


THE GYPSY KING                    _Frontispiece_

                                    FACING PAGE

TIA MARTA SCOLDS                              2

WITH HIS FACE TO SHAG’S TAIL                160

THE CHILD OF HUNGER                         194



The verses in this story, with the exception of the two snatches, in
chapters 6 and 14, of ballads of the Cid, I have translated directly out
of Spanish folk-song. Some of these, especially riddles, and others,
especially those sung in the circle-dances, have previously appeared in
_The Churchman_ and in my _Spanish Highways and Byways_ and are used
here by the courtesy of _The Churchman_ publishers and of the Messrs.
Macmillan Company.


The Scarab. June 3, 1913.




At last, at last, that tiresome stint of embroidery was done. The
threads, no longer white, had tangled so often under the impatient tugs
of those rosy little fingers that it was fully half an hour later than
usual before Pilarica could jump up from the threshold, run back through
the house to Tia Marta, display those finished three inches of “labors”
and plead:

“Tia Marta, with your kind permission I will now go out to play.”

Tia Marta was stooping over a great, open chest in the inner room whose
only other furniture was a wide, low bedstead and two canvas cots. All
the family slept there except Pilarica’s big brother, Rodrigo, who was a
student in the Institute of Granada and so, being a person of dignity,
had the curtained box-bed in the kitchen. This outer room, like the
bedroom behind it, was all of stone and so dim that the light from the
doorway showed only a glimmer of copper and pewter on the side where the
cooking was done. The bedroom had a window, so narrow that it seemed
hardly more than a slit cut in the thick stone of the wall. There was no
glass in the window and there were no rugs nor carpets on the cold,
tiled floors.

Tia Marta, huddled over the big chest in the duskiest corner of all,
could not have seen the embroidery well, even though Pilarica’s
eagerness thrust it close against the squinting red eyes; but she
scolded, for Tia Marta enjoyed scolding, quite as sharply as if every
moist little stitch had been measured and found wanting.

“Worse and worse! The very gypsies would be ashamed to wear it. The
donkeys would bray at it. What is to become of a girl born without the
needle-gift? The saints take pity! But get you out into the sunshine,
child, and play! This house is as dark as a wolf’s mouth. Out of doors
with you!”

[Illustration: TIA MARTA SCOLDS]

And Tia Marta thrust the strip of linen back to Pilarica with such a
jerk that the needle flew off the thread, slid to the floor and, after a
merry hop or two, hid itself in a crack. This was fun for the needle,
but it kept Pilarica away from the garden for ten minutes more while her
small palms rubbed over the worn, uneven tiles in anxious search. But as
soon as she knelt down and prayed to Santa Rita, the clever saint who
can find anything that is lost, the needle gave her knee a saucy prick
and consented, after its run-away frolic, to be stuck into the cloth
again. For, you see, the needle had been working hard, too, and wanted
its bit of holiday as much, perhaps, as Pilarica wanted hers.

But the loss of those ten minutes out of her golden afternoon was a sore
trial to the little girl and she dashed like a tiny whirlwind through
the house to fling herself, sobbing and laughing both at once, into the
arms of Grandfather. He sat, white-haired and dreamy-eyed, his guitar on
the mosaic bench beside him, under the olive-tree before the door. It
was so comforting to feel the tender clasp of the old, trembling arms
and to hear the slow and broken but still sweet old voice that had
crooned over Pilarica since her earliest memory.

“What’s this? What’s this? Dew on my red rosebud? Hush, Heart of Honey,
hush! I have a new riddle for you.

    “‘Little glass boxes
       That sometimes leak,
     But open and shut
       Without a squeak.’”

Pilarica promptly pointed her two forefingers at her still tearful eyes.

“That is easy,” she said, slipping to her knees upon the ground and
leaning against the end of the bench. “Please tell me one, a bad, rude
one, about a needle. I do hate needles so.”

Grandfather did not have to think long, for he was the wisest man in
Spain, as all the children on the Alhambra hill would have told you, and
he knew more rhymes and riddles than all the professors in all the
universities and all the preachers in all the pulpits put together. So
presently he began to repeat in the soft, singsong tone that always
soothed Pilarica like the murmur of running water:

    “‘I have only one eye, like the beggar who sits
       In the great church porch at Cadiz;
     My temper is sharp, and yet I am
       A favorite with the ladies.’

Will this do?” he asked. “For there is another, and I see that just now
the needle is no favorite at all with my little lady here.”

“I would like, please, to hear the other,” replied Pilarica promptly,
for surely one could not know too many riddles, especially about
anything so vexatious as a needle.

And Grandfather, after letting his fingers wander for a minute over the
strings of the guitar to refresh his memory, chanted this other:

    “‘I’m little, but do me no wrong,
       For my temper is sharp and spry;
     I’m not a man, but my beard is long,
       And it grows right out of my eye.
     I’m as small as a spear of wheat in spring,
     And yet it is I who dress the King.’”

“One more, dear Grandfather, if you will do me the favor,” coaxed the

“One more,” assented Grandfather, lightly kissing the red carnation
which Pilarica, like a true little Andalusian, had tucked into her
rippling mass of soft dark hair. “One more, but not about the needle
this time.

    “‘O bright long paths to Fairytown!
         What shining paths do I mean?
     They are not gray, nor black, nor brown,
         Nor blue, nor white, nor green.’”

Dear me! What paths _did_ he mean? Pilarica sprang to her feet and
looked about her on a scene of wonderful beauty. For the two gloomy
rooms in which the family ate and slept were all that remained of an old
Moorish palace, once as dazzling in its strange and delicate splendor as
if it had been carven out of moonlight and jeweled by the frost. Time
had destroyed those silvery walls and towers, those airy arches and
columns, but it had dealt gently with the lordly pleasure-garden, which
only grew lovelier and lovelier through the centuries of neglect. When
the Christian armies, long ago, drove the grave, dark-faced, turbaned
Moors down from the Alhambra hill, out of Spain, and back over the
narrow strip of sea to the north coast of Africa, the household that had
to flee from this fair home must have turned at the garden gate and
sighed as they looked their last on their lost Eden. Now the roses
clambered over the broken marble basins of the seven fountains, but the
sparkling jets of water were as limpid as ever and, when they were all
playing, Pilarica could bathe under the spray of a different fountain
every day in the week.

What paths did he mean? “Not gray, nor black, nor brown,” for there were
no hues so dull as these in this rainbow wilderness. “Nor blue, nor
white”? There had been walks of sky-tinted porcelain and creamy marble
once, and other walks of many-colored tiles, set in patterns of stars
and crescents and circles, but the myrtle hedges had sent out rambling
sprays of yellow blossoms to clamber over these, and fallen orange
flowers and jasmine petals, acacia blooms and drifting leaves of all
sorts helped with their fragrant litter to hide the pavement of those
winding ways. “Nor green”? There were trees upon trees in the garden,
solemn cypresses and soaring palms, magnolias with their great, sweet
blossoms, cedars with level boughs, banana trees and lemon and citron
and pomegranate, oleanders with their clusters of snowy flowers, and the
leafless coral tree, blooming in brilliant scarlet. Only the birds,
whose wings went flashing from one beckoning branch to another, knew
how many, many green paths there were amidst the leafage of those
marvellous boughs. And while Pilarica was still gazing with happy eyes
right up and away into that waving world of twinkling sprays and glowing
blossoms, a sudden ray of sunlight struck across a pink-plumed almond
and slanted down to Pilarica’s swinging feet.

“Sunbeams! Yellow paths!” cried Pilarica, clapping her hands.

The sunbeam danced a little, just a little, but enough to awake in those
small sandalled feet an irresistible desire to run and play. So the
child slipped away from Grandfather’s knee and left him to doze again,
one withered hand still straying on the strings of his guitar and
calling out notes of dreamy music even as he slept.

Pilarica tripped along by a hedge of boxwood, in which Rodrigo had
amused himself by cutting out, some five feet apart, queer shapes of
peacocks and lions and eagles. To each of these she gave a swift caress
in passing, for they seemed, in a way, like playmates, and their
rustling green faces were very pleasant to kiss. A shade of anxiety was
gathering in her eyes, for her other brother, Rafael, was a seeker for
hid treasure. The boy had often annoyed some ancient snail in its
hermitage and sent the lizards scampering like flashes of green light by
his groping about the bottom of cracked marble cisterns and
flower-choked baths, but he had never yet found any riches of the Moors,
not one alabaster jar full of rubies and emeralds nor even a single nest
of pearls as large as hen’s eggs,--no, not although he had dug by
moonlight with a spade dipped three times in the Sultana Fountain and
rubbed dry with bunches of pungent rosemary. Perhaps Rafael might have
been more successful if the Sultana had been less dilapidated. She was
now merely a slender foot poised on the basin rim and a white arm
clasping the central shaft of porphyry. All else had been broken away
ages since, but this mainly missing Sultana was none the less the lady
of Rafael’s homage and he would not allow Pilarica, never once, to kiss
that uptilted marble heel.

But although Rafael was not fortunate in finding the buried treasure of
the Moors, he was always coming upon buried treasure of Pilarica’s, to
her great indignation and concern. All over the garden were hidden her
little hoards of such childish wealth as Tia Marta’s well-worn broom
would send spinning out of the house,--fragments of ruddy pottery, bits
of sunrise-hued mosaic, choice feathers shed by the garden birds,
feathers that might some day be fashioned into a fan, beads and ribbons
that had come traveling up the Alhambra hill in Rodrigo’s pocket when
there chanced to be a fair going on in Granada.

So Pilarica’s eyes, those great, changeful Andalusian eyes, that gleam
like jewels but are in color nearest to the deep purple of pansies, grew
dark, like dusky velvet, with the fear that Rafael might have found her
latest gift from Big Brother, her castanets. Stepping softly from one
broken piece of paving to another, along a mere thread of a path that
wound in and out of the scented shrubbery, the child came to what had
once been a summer-house with silken awnings, enclosed by a low marble
colonnade. The blue sky roofed it now and only one of those graceful
white columns was still standing and still--O happy Pilarica!--keeping
safe watch and ward over the little yellow clappers, adorned with red
tassels, which had been buried at its foot under a drift of perfumed
leaves and petals. Pilarica caught them to her heart, those shells of
hollowed wood, with a gasp of joy. Running her thumbs through the loops
of red cord that bound each pair together, she flung her arms above her
head and, beating out with the middle finger a sharp, clicking music
from the castanets, began to dance. It was a wonderful sight to see
Pilarica dance, whirling about and about, her feet as light as her
heart, in the circle of the summer-house, but there was only one column
to look on, and he was not greatly impressed, for he was old and
weather-worn and tired and, besides, he had seen grand Moorish ladies,
with castanets of ivory and pearl, dancing very much like Pilarica,
hundreds of Aprils ago.



“Whoop!” sounded suddenly from over Pilarica’s head, and a red Turkish
fez came flying down from the high garden-wall, alighting neatly on the
top of the solitary column. At the edge of that wall a sturdy,
square-chinned boy, by way of getting up his courage for the leap, was
chanting an old nursery rhyme:

    “There was a Señor Don Cat.
     In a chair of gold he sat.
     In a suit of silk he was clad,
     And pointed shoes he had.
     His Godfather came and said:
    ‘If you would like to wed
     A beautiful Moorish tabby,
     Take a walk on the roof of the abbey.’
     But when he saw her there,
     He tumbled into the air,
     And on the cloister stones
     Arrived with broken bones.”

Thump! The boy was sitting on the ground, in the very center of the
summer-house, vigorously rubbing those portions of his body which had
suffered most in the adventure; but as Pilarica, with the deference due
to an athlete as well as to a brother, sprang up and handed him his cap,
he flung it on, cocked it jauntily and shook back the gilt tassels that
were tickling his ears.

“This is a magic cap and, when I wear it, I am anybody I choose to be,”
announced the new-comer, somewhat breathlessly. “I am now,” he
continued, still sitting on the ground but waving his arms suggestively,
“Rafael the Archangel.”

“You are welcome to your house, my lord Archangel,” faltered Pilarica,
not forgetting her manners, but holding her precious castanets tightly
clasped behind her back.

“What have you there?” queried Rafael, pulling off his hempen sandals
and anxiously inspecting the soles of his feet.

Poor little Pilarica, into whom courtesy had been instilled as the first
of all the virtues, winked hard, but held out the castanets toward her

“They are at your service,” she faltered. But Rafael, too, could
practise the Andalusian graces when he had a mind.

“They are very well placed where they are,” he returned affably in the
set phrase proper to the occasion and, giving his gay fez a twirl, he
added: “I am not the Archangel any more, but the high and mighty Moor
Abdorman Murambil Xarif, master of this palace. You are my Christian
captive and will now dance for me.”

“But I do not want to be a Christian captive,” protested Pilarica.

“Would you rather be a dog of an infidel, a follower of false Mahound?”
demanded Rafael, in a tone of shocked reproach. “If so, I shall have to
sweep you into the sea.”

“But ar’n’t you a dog of an infidel, too, since you are a Moor?” asked
Pilarica in that keen way of hers, which her brother often found

Rafael caught off his red cap with a pettish gesture and tossed it

“Your tongue is too full of words, Pilarica,” he grumbled. “It is
unseemly to answer back. I am a year older than you. What’s more, I am
a boy and you are a girl. As Tia Marta says, the fingers of the hand are
not equal.”

Pilarica spread out the little brown fingers of her right hand and
considered them so seriously that Rafael was encouraged to go on.

“Besides, I have heard Rodrigo say that a woman who speaks Latin always
comes to a bad end.”

“But I do not speak Latin,” pleaded Pilarica. “Isn’t Latin the
gori-gori-goo that the priests sing in the church? I do not see why
anyone should learn it, for Grandfather says that in heaven the angels
all speak Spanish.”

“Of course they do,” assented Rafael proudly. “Spanish is the most
beautiful language that ever was spoken, just as the Spaniards are the
best and bravest people on the earth.”

“Who are the other people on the earth? Are they all followers of false
Mahound, like the Moors?” asked Pilarica.

Rafael frowned. There never was a girl like Pilarica for asking
inconvenient questions.

“Child,” he said, looking as ancient and impressive as any
eight-year-old could, “did Grandfather ever tell you the story of Juan

“Not yet,” replied Pilarica meekly, “but it would give me great pleasure
to hear it, if you please.”

“Grandfather tells me many more stories than he tells you,” boasted
Rafael. “You are all for riddles and verses, but he and I talk together,
like men, of the affairs of the world. Juan Cigarron, who lived a long,
long while ago, before you, and even I, had been born, made believe that
he was a great magician and could see anything, even if it was hidden in
the very depths of the earth, unless, to be sure, there was a blue cloth
wrapped around it.”

“Why blue?” asked Pilarica.

“Why not?” retorted Rafael, quite angrily. “Will you listen to my story,
or will you be forever chattering? The King sent for Juan Cigarron and
asked him many questions and, by great good luck, he was able to answer
every one. Then the King, for a reward, promised to grant him whatever
he might wish, even though it were the gold crown on the King’s head,
but Juan Cigarron did not wish for the crown. He wished that His
Majesty might never ask him anything again. Oh! And that reminds me,”
exclaimed Rafael, jumping up quite forgetful of his bumps and bruises
and tossing on his cap once more, “that the Gypsy King is to tell me my
fortune this very afternoon.”

Pilarica clasped her hands in silent appeal, and her eyes grew so starry
with hope that Rafael, already beyond the limits of the summer-house,
looked back, swaying doubtfully on one foot.

“Tia Marta does not allow you to go over to the gypsy quarter,” he

“Nor you, either,” was on the tip of Pilarica’s tongue, but she wisely
bit it back, urging:

“The Gypsy King will not have gone home so early. He will be waiting
near the Alhambra, sitting on the fountain-steps, looking for tourists
who may buy his photograph for a peseta. And besides,” she added with
innocent tact, “Tia Marta knows that I am safe anywhere with you.”

Rafael swaggered.

“Of course you are,” he announced grandly. “You are my little sister,
and I, even though a bull should charge upon me, would stand before you
as strong as the columns in the temple of Solomon. Come on! I will ask
Tia Marta if you may go with me.”

So the children raced gleefully across the garden, dodging in and out
among geraniums, heliotrope and fuchsias that had grown into great
shrubs like trees, but paused at the fretted Moorish arch that now
performed the humble office of their kitchen door, to see what
Grandfather was doing. The old man, whom the circle of the years had
brought back near to childhood, was playing happily with a snail that
found itself halted in some important journey of its own by his
protruding foot.

“A riddle! a riddle for the snail!” coaxed Pilarica, throwing herself
down on the ground to lift the wee round traveller over that meddlesome
mountain; and Grandfather, after strumming a minute on his guitar,

    “I was roaming in the meadow and there, upon my soul,
     I met a little mansion out for a stroll.
     The dignified Lord Mayor was sitting in his hall.
     I said: ‘Come take a walk with me.’ He answered: ‘Not at all.
     My office is so serious I never leave my chair,
     But the city hall goes with me when I need to take the air.’”

Meanwhile Rafael, who felt himself quite too grown-up for riddles, had
dived into the darkness of the house, whence he soon came scampering
out, followed by the shrill tones of Tia Marta.

“The Gypsy King, indeed! And what sort of a king is that? Everyone is as
God has made him, and very often worse.”

“But may Pilarica go?” called Rafael.

“Ask her grandfather. Am I a donkey, to bear all the burdens of this

“May I go, Grandfather?” teased Pilarica. The old man nodded at least
twenty times and, catching up the word _donkey_, struck with his
quavering voice into a popular tune:

    “Little I am, but everywhere
     Blows and burdens I have to bear.
    “That is why my voice of long protest
     Has grown to be bigger than all the rest
             Of me.”

“_Haw-hee!_” echoed Rafael, with such a good imitation of a bray that a
genuine ass made sonorous answer from the highroad beyond.

“Grandfather says I may go,” cried Pilarica joyfully into the arched

“Bah!” responded Tia Marta. “His heart is softer than a ripe fig.”

But she did not take back the permission, and Pilarica had the rare
delight of an excursion with Rafael outside the garden.

Half ashamed of his condescension, the boy did not spare her, but tore
at his full speed along the dusty road, between giant hedges of aloes,
with their blue, sworded leaves, and lances tipped with yellow blossoms,
so that it was a very hot, panting little girl who arrived, hardly a
minute behind him, at the fountain on whose steps was enthroned the
Gypsy King.

This was a very splendid personage indeed, with his high, peaked hat
sparkling all over with pendants of colored glass that flashed back the
sun like crown jewels. His slashed jacket was wondrously embroidered and
spangled and his broad sash was of scarlet silk. Even his trousers and
stockings looked as if he had been wading in a sunset. Smiling on
Pilarica, he drew a bright cup from his wallet and, leaning toward the
fountain, filled it with water that could not have looked more
deliciously fresh and cold if the cup had been made of purest silver
instead of gypsy tin. But thirsty as she was, the little Andalusian
maiden handed the cup back to the giver.

“After you, please,” she said as sweetly as if her throat were not
almost choked with the white dust.

The Gypsy King bowed with much majesty and touched the cup to his lips,
but then she insisted on passing it to Rafael, who made short work of
draining its contents to the last drop. He did not fail, however, to
fill it again for his sister, so that, at last, Pilarica found herself
seated on the lowest step, at the feet of the fortune teller, quite cool
and comfortable.

But the picturesque old gypsy, although he could not help being kind to
Pilarica, was in a gloomy mood. He had sold only one of his photographs
all day long, and that to a rude young foreigner--we hope it was not an
American--who had laughed at his kingship to his face and spun him the
silver coin so carelessly that it had rolled into a crevice of the stone
work and joined the lost treasures of the Alhambra. And well the poor
old gypsy knew that, however much he might pose as a king in his
flaunting hat and gaudy jacket by day, with twilight he must make his
way back to the rows of human dens that burrow into the hillside across
the river Darro. And there, as soon as he should draw back the dirty
flap of cloth from the entrance of his own cave, his swarthy young wife,
Xarifa, would demand the amount of his day’s earnings and, when he
confessed to an empty wallet, would fly into such a passion that the
heavy silver earrings would pound against her raven hair and every
flounce on her bright orange petticoat would seem to bristle with rage.
He could tell his own fortune, for that evening, only too well,--a
shame-faced old fellow perched on a stool in the corner, trying with
trembling hands to mend a cooking tin or a piece of harness, while
Xarifa’s furious voice went on and on, until at last he should be
suffered to fall asleep on the heap of ragged sheepskins that served him
for a royal couch.

So although on yesterday, when he had sold three photographs and had
three pesetas jingling in his purse, the Gypsy King had promised to
tell Rafael’s fortune as an act of friendship, to-day he was stubbornly
silent, holding out his palm to be crossed with silver. Rafael’s flush
met the red edges of his fez. The only silver he had was a little watch
and chain that his father had given him when, three years ago, that
gallant naval engineer left his children, whose mother had just died, in
the care of Grandfather and Tia Marta and sailed away, under the red and
yellow flag of Spain, to do his part for king and country. No one
guessed how deeply Rafael loved that absent father, the hero of all his
dreams, but the boy had even more than the usual share of Spanish pride
and, with a sudden gulp that was not far from a sob, he dropped the
watch and chain into that greedy palm.

And he could make nothing of the fortune, after all. The Gypsy King,
muttering strange words that only gypsies know, bent forward and with
his staff traced rude figures in the sand,--a train of mules, a
cockle-shell, a battle-ship; but suddenly he lifted his staff and
touched it lightly to Rafael’s magic cap.

“That is your fortune,” he declared. “It will turn toads into
nightingales and stones into bread. Don’t give that away, my little
gentleman, even to the gypsies.”



The eyes of the Gypsy King began to glitter like jet beads. He had
caught sight of an omnibus toiling up the Alhambra hill, and after the
first a second, and after the second a third. Tourists! A party of
foreign tourists! A host of golden, gullible tourists! Ah, Xarifa would
be pleased with him, after all. She would toss him off a panful of crisp
fritters for supper and then sit with him in the mouth of their cave,
enjoying all the gypsy jest and music. With surprising nimbleness he
climbed to the top step of the fountain, and there he stood, brandishing
his hat high above his head and bowing and beckoning and twisting and
bowing again until Pilarica turned quite giddy just from watching him.

“Come away!” ordered Rafael, tugging at her hand, and she followed her
brother to the ivied wall beneath that bell-tower on whose top the
first cross was lifted after the Christians had taken the Alhambra from
the Moors. Here Rafael busied himself in gathering together a few smooth
stones, as much in the shape of Spanish rolls as he could find, and
arranging them in a row.

“Count out!” he commanded Pilarica, and the little girl, dancing up and
down the line as she sang, proceeded to touch with an airy foot one
stone and then another and another in turn.

    “The garden of our house it is
       The funniest garden yet,
     For when it rains and rains and rains,
       The garden it is wet.
       And now we bow,
     Skip back and then advance,
       For who know how
       To make a bow
     Know how to dance.
     If your worship does not love me,
       Then a better body may.
     If you think you do not love me,
       I am sure I don’t love you.”

Before the song was ended, Rafael had clapped his magic cap over the
stone designated by Q and stood, with red lips firmly pressed together,
abiding results.

“Sing something else, Pilarica,” he entreated, “or else I cannot, cannot

And Pilarica, with a quick instinct for what would hold his attention,
piped up the song by which Spanish children keep in memory the name of a
true patriot. By the middle of the second line, Rafael’s fresh treble
was chiming in with hers, though his gaze never wavered from the
wonder-working fez.

    “As he came from the Senate,
       Men whispered to Prim:
    ‘Be wary, be wary,
       For life and for limb.’
     Then answered the General:
       ‘Come blessing, come bane,
     I live or I die
       In the service of Spain.’

      “In the Street of the Turk,
       Where the starlight was dim,
     Nine cowardly bullets
       Gave greeting to Prim.
     The best of the Spaniards
       Lay smitten and slain,
     And the new King he died for
       Came weeping to Spain.”

“Now! _now!_” cried Rafael, and whisked the red cap off the stone, which
looked--precisely as it had looked before. Not one flake of puffy crust,
not one white, tempting crumb betrayed whatever change might have come
to pass under that magic covering. The children fell flat on their
stomachs on either side of this doubtful substance and first Rafael,
then Pilarica, thrust out a red tongue and licked it cautiously. The
taste was gritty. Rafael tried to take a bite, but his white young teeth
slipped helplessly off the flinty surface. The boy squatted back on his
heels, his small fists clenched, and glared darkly out before him.

“Perhaps one of the others--” faltered Pilarica.

“They are all alike,” interrupted Rafael, in a voice harsh with mounting
anger. “They are stones, just stones, and they always will be stones. I
knew it all the time.”

“Our rolls are very, very hard once in a while,” ventured the little
girl again, but this remark was met with scornful silence.

“Or I might hunt for a toad,” she persisted, dismayed by Rafael’s sombre
stare. “Toads are much softer than stones, and perhaps--”

But the boy had bounded to his feet and was stamping furiously upon the
magic cap.

“The gypsy is a humbug, and the cap is a humbug,” he exclaimed
chokingly, “and I have been cheated out of my watch and chain,--my
silver watch and chain that my father gave me. I will not bear it. I am
going down the hill to meet Rodrigo, and he will make that lying old
thief give them back to me.”

And without another glance toward the little sister whom he had so
loftily taken under his protection, Rafael, bare-headed, dashed away and
disappeared down the steep avenue by which Rodrigo usually came home
from the Institute.

The tears trembled for a moment on Pilarica’s long eyelashes, as she
found herself thus forsaken, but she was a practical little person on
occasion, as the sisters of impulsive brothers needs must be, and so she
picked up the red fez, brushed away the dust, folded it neatly and hid
it in her bodice. Then she scattered the stones far and wide, so that
Rafael might not come upon that unlucky row again and be stung by the
reminder of his loss.

And what next? For a moment the child looked longingly down, from her
green nook, on the outspread city of Granada, with its clusters of gray
towers and spires that seemed to be talking together in the purple air
about the times that were. Rafael was allowed to go half-way down the
Alhambra hill to meet Rodrigo, and sometimes Rodrigo, on a holiday,
would take his little brother into the city with him for a whole
afternoon, but Rodrigo, who was a student and knew everything, said it
was best for girls to bide at home. Only yesterday Rafael had gone into
Granada with Rodrigo, to see a wonder-working troupe of jugglers, and
returned rejoicing in the red fez. An Arab peddler, who was, as well,
snake-charmer and sword-eater, pleased by the boy’s wide-eyed admiration
of his exploits, had tossed it to him with the laughing words: “Red is
the color of magic.” And Tia Marta went down to Granada sometimes with
the donkey Shags for the frugal family supplies, but she could not be
bothered with Pilarica, while Grandfather, who never found Pilarica a
bother, was too feeble now for the confusion of the city streets and
for the long climb back up the hill.

So the child lifted her wistful eyes from the proud old city to the far
sweep of the plain beyond, a plain rich in gardens and vineyards,
orchards and olive-groves, and then she looked out further yet to the
ranks of snow-clad mountains that shut in the view. Those glistening
summits made her lonely, and when a scamper of small feet came her way
and a cry of eager voices called her name, Pilarica leapt down from her
perch on the wall and let herself be swept along with the roguish little
rabble of the Alhambra hill.

Tia Marta always scolded when Pilarica was found playing with the
Alhambra children, for there were usually a few gypsies, rude and
lawless, in the group, and some even of the Spaniards were so ill-bred
as to make sport of strangers. But they were children, for all that,
with the blithe laughter of children, and all the more determined to
play with Pilarica because they knew that Pilarica was forbidden to play
with them.

“To the Alhambra!” cried Arnaldo. “There are many people there, ugly
people, with blue eyes, and hair the color of lemons, and faces flat
like pesetas. There are so many that Don Francisco is as flustered as a
fish in hot water and he has forgotten to lock the door after them. He
will not notice us at all if we are careful to keep a court or two
behind. But you must not run on and beg of the people, Zinga, and you,
Leandro, must not be slipping your sly fingers into the ladies’ bags, or
we shall all be driven out together.”

“I will do as I choose,” retorted the wild-haired gypsy girl, while the
hawk-eyed gypsy lad, barely in his teens but already a skillful
pickpocket, gripped the gay-handled knife in his belt and scowled
defiance at Arnaldo.

Pilarica, frightened by the fierce looks, fell back with the little
ones, Isabelita and Carmencita, chubby Pepito, and the gypsy
two-year-olds, Rosita and Benito, letting the bigger and rougher
children lead the way. So in two companies they tagged after the
tourists up into the Court of Myrtles, with its great pool enclosed by
myrtle hedges, and on to the Hall of the Ambassadors, whose walls are
like lace of rare design and whose domed ceiling, all white and gold and
blue, studded with starry figures, seems a bit of sky. When they had
come to the Court of the Lions, whose multitude of white marble columns
look, in their varied grouping, like guests frozen by some playful
enchantment just as they were chatting together or musing apart in this
exquisite throne-room of the Sultans, the smaller children began to lag.
Plump Pepito sat down firmly on the floor. Carmencita, startled by the
twelve marble lions that uphold the fountain-basin in the center,
puckered up her face for a cry, and Pilarica, to divert her, started one
of the circle-games in which Spanish children delight. Hand in hand, the
little dancers tripped about like a ring of fairies, until Pilarica’s
clear voice led them in the song of San Serení, the well-beloved Saint
of Gentleness. All but the wee gypsies knew every stanza, singing
lustily, and even Benito and Rosita acted out the gymnastic movements
with the rest, kneeling, sitting, lying back and jumping up again, as
the several verses directed.

    “San Serení of the Mountain,
       Our Saint of Courtesy,
     I, as a good Christian,
       Will drop upon my knee.

    “San Serení of the Mountain,
       Where the strong winds pass,
     I, as a good Christian,
       Will seat me on the grass.

    “San Serení of the Mountain,
       Where the white clouds fly,
     I, as a good Christian,
       Upon the ground will lie.

    “San Serení of the Mountain,
       Where earth and heaven meet,
     I, as a good Christian,
       Will spring upon my feet.”

Their own games were much more interesting to the children than the
glories of the old Moorish palace, and they flocked about Pilarica, each
clamoring for a favorite dance.

“Little Bird Pinta,” teased Isabelita.

“Little White Pigeons,” whined Carmencita, who was always on the verge
of tears.

“Little Blind Hen,” shouted Pepito.

“Pin--Pige--Hen,” echoed the gypsy babies impartially.

“The Charcoal Woman,” wept Carmencita.

“Butterfly Tag,” coaxed Isabelita.

“Charcoal-Butter,” chimed in the obliging gypsy babies.

“Grasshopper! Grasshopper!” roared Pepito and thereupon began to skip
about, his fat hands clasped under his knees, gasping as tunefully as he

    “Grasshopper sent me an invitation
     To come and share his occupation.
     Grasshopper dear, how could I say no?
     Grasshopper, Grasshopper, here I go!”

“Hush! hush!” urged Pilarica. “We will play _Larán-larito_, and Pepito
shall be the cheese.”

So Pepito, easily rolling himself up into a round, soft ball, proudly
occupied the center of the scene, while the others, suiting their action
to the words of the song, danced about him, ever drawing nearer and
nearer, ready for the final pounce.

    “The shepherdess rose lightly
     The shepherdess rose lightly
       From off her heather seat--O.

    “Her goats went leaping homeward
     Her goats went leaping homeward
       On nimble little feet--O.

    “With strong young hands she milked them
     With strong young hands she milked them
       And made a cheese for treat--O.

    “The kitty watched and wondered
     The kitty crept and pondered
       If it were good to eat--O.

    “The kitty sprang upon it
     The kitty sprang upon it,
       As we spring on Pepito.”

But just at the thrilling moment when all the five kitties flung
themselves upon the plump, indignant cheese, which struck out right and
left with pudgy fists and defended itself as never cheese was known to
do before, there arose a hubbub in the further halls of the Alhambra and
the larger boys and girls came rushing back, pursued by Don Francisco,
the guardian of the palace, and a purple-faced foreigner whose voice
sounded as if he were using bad language.

Arnaldo seized the hand of Isabelita, Zinga made a snatch at Rosita, and
even Leandro, flinging back a silver cigar-case as he ran, paused to
catch up the toddling Benito, while Carmencita wailed so piteously and
Pepito bawled so lustily that the big children who had no little
brothers and sisters to look after hustled these two clamorous waifs
along in the flight. But nobody took thought for Pilarica, who,
terrified by the hue and cry, turned and fled down one arched passage
after another, across dim chambers and through long galleries, until, at
last, she could hear nothing but stillness anywhere about her, and that,
queerly enough, frightened her more than all the noise had done.



If Rafael had waited for his brother at the Gate of the Pomegranates, as
usual, things might not have turned out quite so badly. For here the way
from Granada up the Alhambra hill opens into three avenues, and the boy,
in his impatience, having failed to meet Rodrigo on the shortest and
steepest, dashed up again by the second and down by the third, and so
managed to miss him altogether. For while Rafael, back once more at the
Gate of the Pomegranates, tired out by so much headlong running, was
cooling his parched throat at a runlet of sparkling water, Rodrigo was
already at home, opening the gate of the old garden.

A tall, dark, graceful lad of eighteen, a scholar’s satchel strapped to
his shoulders, he swung the gate wide and stepped back with much
deference to make way for his companion.

“After you, sir,” he said.

But this companion, a man of middle age, sturdy and square-chinned, clad
in the uniform of a naval engineer, stood motionless. His face, set in
stern lines, was under perfect control, yet, as the son beside him half
divined, it was harder for him to enter that fragrant, blossoming
enclosure than to face the enemy’s cannon. For it was here that,
something over three years ago, he had brought from their simple but
pleasant lodgings in Cadiz his tenderly loved wife, hoping that the air
of the hilltop might restore her failing strength. Half the savings of a
frugal lifetime had been spent to call a great physician from Madrid. He
prescribed little medicine, but an abundance of fresh eggs and pure
goat’s milk and bade them, to the horror of their devoted maid, always
known to the children as Tia Marta, set the invalid’s bed out in the
open. But not the restful cool of the evening air nor the living warmth
of the sunshine could avail, and to the man who halted at the gate this
beautiful garden was the place of sorrow. Recalled to his ship almost
immediately after his wife’s death, there had been no time to find a new
home for his children. So he had left them in this wild Paradise under
charge of his gentle father-in-law and of the faithful, though
sharp-tongued, Tia Marta. Since then he had not been able to visit them,
for his ship had been sent to the Pacific, and except for brief letters,
written to Rodrigo from time to time, and for the small but punctual
sums of money forwarded to a Granada bank for the family support, they
had heard nothing of him.

Rodrigo, too, left much to be desired as a correspondent, although his
handwriting blossomed out in bolder flourishes from year to year. He
wrote of his progress in his studies, his prizes in mathematics, his
interest in the new English sports, his ambition to enter an engineering
school and follow his father’s career, and added in a postscript that
the rest of the family were well. And all their talk on the homeward
climb, after the officer had astonished and rejoiced his son by calling
for him at the Institute, had still been of Rodrigo, his successes, his
amusements, his future. It would have amazed that vivacious youth to
know that under all the kindly responses, the father’s heart was
yearning toward the little daughter, longing to find in her face,
hardly more than a baby face as he remembered it, some image of her
mother’s. Of Rafael he scarcely thought at all. He recollected, without
interest, that the younger boy was said to take after him, while both
Rodrigo and Pilarica were held to resemble their mother, and it was that
resemblance which he craved. He himself recognized it in Rodrigo’s sunny
looks and charming manners, but the lad’s frank egotism was all his own.

The lingerer at the gate drew a long breath and entered the garden. In
spite of himself, his steps turned toward an open place among the orange
trees, the place where his wife’s bed had stood, but there was no bed
there now, only an old, old man, seated on the ground and idly piling up
the fallen fruit into a golden pyramid. As he went on with his building,
he was crooning over and over:

    “Many laughing ladies
       In a castle green;
     All are dressed in yellow
       And fit to serve the Queen.”

The new-comer, for all his self-control, gave a start of painful

“Is that your grandfather?” he asked Rodrigo.

“Ay, sir, to be sure it is, and a grandfather as good as bread,”
answered the lad, with a sensitive flush, while, stooping quickly, he
fairly lifted the light, swaying figure to its feet.

“Never mind the oranges now, Grandfather,” he said brightly. “See! We
have an honored guest.”

The old man turned a dazed look upon his son-in-law.

“I am at your feet, sir,” he quavered, in the courteous phrase of
Andalusia. “The house is yours.”

“But surely you know me,--Catalina’s husband,” pleaded the stranger,
opening his arms.

The old man nodded many times, but drew back from the embrace.

“You are the young man from Saragossa who would wed my daughter
Catalina,” he answered slowly. “She is away just now--I forget
where--but when she comes home again, we will talk of these things.”
Then, moving his fingers as if he were touching the strings of a guitar,
he began to sing softly:

    “Going and coming,
       I lost my heart one day.
     Love came to me laughing;
       In tears Love went away.”

“How long has he been like this?” asked the officer, turning sharply on
Rodrigo. “And why have you told me nothing of it?”

“Your pardon, sir,” pleaded the lad, “but what was there to tell?
Grandfather is often confused by evening, when he is tired. He will be
quite clear-headed again in the morning. Perhaps he is not so active as
he was, but he does a little work about the garden and he will amuse the
children hour after hour with his stories and riddles and scraps of
song. He loves Pilarica better than his eyelashes.”

“Where is Pilarica?” asked the father.

“Where is Pilarica?” echoed the old man, speaking more alertly than
before. “I have played the airs that please her best, and there were no
dancing feet.”

“She may be helping Tia Marta with the supper,” suggested Rodrigo,
turning toward the house. “And there goes Tia Marta now. Oho! Tia Marta!
Tia Marta!”

“Ay, indeed! Tia Marta! Tia Marta!” came a mocking response from where
a wiry figure, arrayed in saffron kerchief and purple petticoat, was
seen hurrying in another direction through the shrubbery. “Always Tia
Marta, from cock-crow to pigeon-roost! Now it’s Shags that brays to Tia
Marta for his mouthful of chopped straw, and then it’s Roxa that mews to
Tia Marta for a morsel of dried fish. It’s not slave to every Turk I was
in the days when they counted me the fairest maid and the finest dancer
in Seville. But all make firewood of a fallen tree.”

“This is natural, at all events,” exclaimed the officer, with the first
smile since he had entered the garden. “My good Marta, I kiss your

“Don Carlos!” screamed the old servant, her sharp brown face, so like a
walnut, shining with welcome as she scrambled toward him through bushes
that seemed, for very mischief, to catch at her skirts and hold her
back. She grasped him by the shoulders and, as he laughingly tried to
free himself, pulled down his head and gave him a resounding smack on
either cheek. “May all the saints be praised! To see you safe home again
is as sweet as God’s blessing. But to think--oh, I could beat my bones
for very rage!--that the supper to-night is not a supper of festival.”

“Never mind that!” protested Don Carlos. “Who but you taught me the
saying that no bread is hard to the hungry? Let me see the children.
Where is Pilarica?”

“The children! Can I have them forever like puppies under my feet?
Pilarica! Do you expect me to keep her shut up in a sugar-bowl for you?
She is off with Rafael, who promised to look well after her. Never fear!
He has, like every boy, a wolf in his stomach, and supper-time will soon
bring them home again.”

“Off with Rafael!” repeated Rodrigo, ridding himself of his satchel.
“That is why he did not meet me this afternoon at the Gate of the
Pomegranates. Ha! I hear him running now,--but he is alone.”

All three--for Grandfather had wandered away in search of his
guitar--turned to face a bareheaded little lad, drops of sweat standing
out upon his forehead and the dark red glowing through the clear brown
of his cheeks. Suddenly arrested in his rush, he stood gazing up with
wide, happy eyes at the father whom he recognized at once, the father
for whom he cherished in secret a passionate hero-worship.

“Where is Pilarica?” three voices asked in chorus. But Rafael heard only
the deep, stern tone of Don Carlos, and it struck him dumb with dismay.

“What have you done with your sister?” demanded that accusing voice

“Why--I--I left her--I left her at the foot of the old Watch-Tower,”
faltered the culprit.

“I wanted--I wanted to meet Rodrigo. And then--and then--I--I forgot

Rafael’s voice sank lower and lower under his father’s gathering frown.
That father, accustomed as a naval officer to enforce strict discipline,
spoke again with such cutting rebuke that the child before him shivered
from head to foot.

“How long ago was it that you deserted your sister?”

“I--I don’t know,” murmured Rafael. “An hour. Two hours. I don’t know.
I--I gave my watch to the Gypsy King.”

“The thief that he was to take the poor boy’s treasure!” broke in Tia
Marta, nervously trying to divert the father’s wrath. “Those gypsies
would rob the Holy Child of his swaddling-clothes, and St. Joseph of his
ass. Ay, they would let the young Madonna walk the desert on foot and
wrap the Blessed Babe in--”

“Rodrigo,” interrupted Don Carlos, “we go to find Pilarica. And do you,
Marta, never again confide my little daughter to the care of a heedless
boy who cannot even guard his own pockets.”

For a moment Rafael stood as if stunned, his black head drooping. He had
dreamed so often of his father’s home-coming, but never, never had he
dreamed a scene like this. In the next moment Rodrigo, as he followed
his father’s impatient strides toward the gate, was passed, at the
Sultana Fountain, by a speeding little figure, and Don Carlos felt a
pair of small, hot hands fasten on his arm.

“Oh, do me the favor, sir, of letting me go with you. I can show you
exactly where I left her. She will not have gone far. She may be there
yet. I know that I can find her sooner even than Rodrigo. Father!

But Don Carlos, thoroughly displeased, thrust the clinging hands away.

“We want no help of yours. Stay where you are. That is my command. If
you are not old enough to understand what it means to betray a trust, at
least it is time you learned obedience.”

It was midnight, and their hearts had grown heavy with dread, before
they found Pilarica. The first trace they had of her was in the gypsy
quarter, where the whole cave population came swarming out upon them,
aroused by Xarifa’s shrill defence of the Gypsy King. He knew nothing
whatever of their trumpery trash, she unblushingly declared with the
little watch and chain deep in her pocket, nor did he know even by sight
their nuisances of children, and he was, moreover, so sick with the
misery in his bones that he had not been off his bed for seven days and
nights. Rodrigo had enough to do to get his father, whose peremptory
bearing only made matters worse, out of the jostling, threatening crowd
before they were actually mobbed, yet he found a chance to throw a smile
at a young gypsy girl whose dancing he had often admired.

“A clue, Wildrose of the Hillside! One little clue, Feet of Zephyr!” he
coaxed, and Zinga, flashing him a friendly glance, pushed against him
in the throng and muttered:

“There are more pearls in the Alhambra than ever the Moors dropped

Acting on this doubtful hint, they had roused the indignant Don
Francisco from his slumbers, and when that drowsy guardian of the old
palace told them of the invasion of children that afternoon, had induced
him to conduct a search for Pilarica. By the help of lanterns, for a
chill rain had blown over from the Sierra Nevada, quenching the
moonlight, they made their way through corridor after corridor and
chamber after chamber and court after court. Don Francisco wished to
shout the child’s name, but her father feared the sound might startle
her out of sleep into sudden alarm, and so they pursued their anxious
quest as noiselessly as might be.

“Hush!” breathed Rodrigo. He had heard, and not far off, the voice of
his little sister, piping faintly:

    “Oh, I have a dolly, and she is dressed in blue,
     With a fluff of satin on her white silk shoe,
     And a lace mantilla to make my dolly gay,
     When I take her dancing this way, this way, this way.

    “When she goes out walking in her Manila shawl,
     My Andalusian dolly is quite the queen of all.
     Gypsies, dukes and candy-men bow down in a row,
     When my dolly fans herself, so and so and so.”

“It’s only Big Brother,” spoke Rodrigo quietly and, stepping forward
with his lantern, he turned its light on a brave little lassie cuddled
in the window-recess of what had been the boudoir of a queen. She was
hugging to her heart a most comforting, companionable doll, made out of
a bundle of newspapers that one of the tourists had let fall. Pilarica’s
wisp of a hair-ribbon was serving as a belt and the costume was
completed by Rafael’s red fez. Although the child had not slept through
all the long, dark hours, the shapeless doll had borne her such good
company, rustling affably whenever conversation was in order, that she
had forgotten to be afraid.



Pilarica did not remember her father, and it was not without some
persuasion that she consented to let the stranger carry her, while to
Rodrigo was entrusted the newspaper doll, whose demeanor he pronounced
quite stiff, although her intelligence was beyond dispute.

“Don’t lose the magic cap, pl--” murmured Pilarica, but for once her
politeness remained incomplete, for no sooner was the silky head at rest
on the broad shoulder than the exhausted child fell fast asleep.
Curiously enough, the warm pressure of that nestling little body turned
the thoughts of Don Carlos, for the first time since he had left the
garden, to Rafael. Had he, perhaps, been too harsh with the youngster?
How suddenly that first, happy look in the great eyes had been clouded
with distress and shame! The boys’ mother had always been tender with
them, even in their wrongdoing. And he, accustomed as he was to deal
with bolts and wheels, must learn not to handle the hearts of children
as if they, too, were made of iron. The father’s mood was already
self-reproachful as they entered the stone kitchen, which a ruddy
_brasero_, the Spanish fire-pan where charcoal is burned, and a savory
odor of stew made cozy and homelike.

“Now praised be the Virgin of the Pillar!” cried Tia Marta,
unceremoniously snatching Pilarica from Don Carlos and carrying her to
the warmth of the _brasero_. And while Rodrigo, his vivacity unchecked
by hunger and fatigue, poured forth the story of the rescue, which lost
nothing in his telling, Tia Marta woke the little sleeper enough to make
her swallow a cup of hot soup, undressed her, rubbed the slender body
into a rosy glow and tucked her snugly away in bed. Grandfather stirred
in his cot as the child was brought into the inner room and hummed a
snatch of lullaby, but Rafael’s cot was empty.

Tia Marta’s squinting eyes, as she returned to the kitchen, peered into
the shadows that lay beyond the flickering circle of light cast by the

“Rafael, come and get your soup and then to bed,” she called. “You must
be as sleepy as the shepherds of Bethlehem.”

But no Rafael replied. Rodrigo and his father exchanged startled

“Didn’t the boy come back to the house?” asked Don Carlos.

“Do you mean to say you didn’t take him with you?” demanded Tia Marta.

“Father commanded him to stop where he was,” said Rodrigo, aghast, and
rushed out again into the rain, Don Carlos and Tia Marta at his heels.

They found Rafael, drenched to the skin, standing erect with folded arms
beside the Sultana Fountain, a stubborn little image of obedience; but
when his brother’s hand fell on his shoulder, the child reeled and
fainted away. Rodrigo caught the boy just in time to save the dark head
from crashing against the marble curb of the basin and, with Tia Marta’s
help, carried him to the kitchen. Here they both worked over the passive
form with rubbing, hot flannels and every remedy they knew, while Don
Carlos, sick at heart, looked on, not venturing to touch his little son.

Rafael revived at last, but only to pass into fit after fit of
convulsive crying. He lay in his brother’s arms, refusing to taste the
hot soup, goat’s milk, herb tea, that, one after another, Tia Marta
pressed upon him.

“But it’s peppermint tea, my angel,” she wheedled, “and peppermint is
the good herb that St. Anne blessed.”

“It’s bed-time, Rafael,” pleaded Rodrigo. “Isn’t it, father? And no boy
ever goes to bed without his supper.”

“Bed-time? I should think so indeed,” replied Don Carlos. “It’s quarter
of two by my watch.”

At the word _watch_ Rafael’s wild crying broke out anew.

“Do you see those tears, Don Carlos?” scolded Tia Marta, whose anxiety
had to vent itself in abuse of somebody. “Tears as big as chickpeas! A
house in which a child weeps such tears as those is not in the grace of
God. And why, in the name of all the demons, must you be talking of
watches? Such is the tact of Aragon, not of Andalusia. Oh, you
Aragonese! You would speak of a rope in the house of a man that had
been hanged.”

Rafael’s crying suddenly ceased. The loyal little lad sat upright on
Rodrigo’s knee and turned his stained and swollen face with a certain
dignity upon the old servant.

“You are not to speak to my father like that, Tia Marta,” he said. “What
my father does is right.”

“Oh, the impudent little cherub!” cried Tia Marta, hugely delighted,
while Don Carlos had to turn away to hide the quiver that surprised his

The next day Pilarica, though she slept till noon, was as well as ever,
but Rafael lay, now shaking with chills, now burning with fever, yet
always wearing the rumpled red fez, which his light-headed fancies
seemed to connect with the look of comprehending love in his father’s

Those first few days left little memory of their stupors and their
nauseas and their pains, but when Rafael began to pay heed to life once
more, he found himself thin and languid, to be sure, but the object of
most gratifying attentions from the entire household. His cot had been
placed--not without a pitched battle between Don Carlos and Tia
Marta--under the old olive tree just before the door, and Grandfather,
in his accustomed seat on the mosaic bench, had brightened up again into
the best of entertainers. All this stir and excitement in the household
seemed to have scattered the mists that had been creeping slowly over
his brain. He was more alert than for many months and no longer played
with oranges and snails. He knew his son-in-law now and while he had as
many riddles in his white head as ever, he gave them out only as the
children called for them. When Rafael saw that they amused his father,
the boy began to hold them in higher esteem.

“They do well for girls at any time,” he confided to Rodrigo, “and for
men when we are ill.” But he insisted that the answers should be

“Ask us each a riddle in turn, please, Grandfather,” he requested one
marvelous Andalusian evening, when the earliest stars were pricking with
gold the rich purple of the sky, “and I will pronounce the forfeits for
those who fail.”

“With whom do I begin?” asked Grandfather.

“With my father, of course,” responded Rafael.

“No, no, my son. Always the ladies first,” corrected Don Carlos, drawing
Pilarica to his side.

“Then it is Tia Marta who begins, for she is bigger than I am, and so
she must be more of a lady,” observed Pilarica wisely.

Just then the five-minute evening peal from the old Watch-Tower rang
out, and Grandfather, turning to Tia Marta, recited:

    “Shut in a tower, I tell you truth,
     Is a saintly woman with only one tooth;
     But whenever she calls, this good old soul,
     Sandals patter and carriages roll.”

“Bah!” ejaculated Tia Marta. “As if I had not known that ever since I
could suck sugarcane! To ask a church-bell riddle of one who was born on
the top of the Giralda!”

    “I was born in a bell-tower;
       So my mother tells;
     When the sponsors came to my christening,
       I was ringing the bells,”

sang Grandfather roguishly, strumming on his guitar.

“But this fiddling old grasshopper is enough to set the blood of St.
Patience on fire,” snapped Tia Marta, who had been standing in the
doorway and now indignantly popped back into her kitchen.

“_Did_ Tia Marta ring the bells when she was a teenty tinty baby?” asked

“Not just that,” replied Don Carlos, who was seated in the hammock that
he had swung beside Rafael’s cot in order to care for the sick boy at
night, “but it is true that she was born high up in the Giralda, which,
as she may have told you, is the beautiful old Moorish minaret, that
looks as if it were wrought of rose-colored lace, close by the glorious
cathedral of Seville. There are thirty bells in this tower and they all
have names. One is Saint Mary, I remember, and one Saint Peter, and one
The Fat Lady, and one The Sweet Singer. Tia Marta can tell you all the
rest, for she spent the first seventeen years of her life among them,
way up above the roofs of the city. The hawks that build their nests
even higher, under the gilded wings of the crowning statue of Faith,
used to drop their black feathers at her feet and she would wear them in
her hair when she came down to the festivals of Seville. She was a
wonderful dancer in those days, I have heard your grandfather say.”

“Ay, that she was,” chimed in the old man, speaking with unwonted
animation. “I can see her now in her yellow skirt spangled all over with
furbelows, wearing her wreath of red poppies with the best, while her
little feet would twinkle to the clicking of the castanets.”

“But how did she happen to grow so old and ugly?” asked Rafael.

“Oh, Rafael!” exclaimed Pilarica, shocked by such unmannerly frankness.

“Very nobly,” answered Don Carlos, stroking his little daughter’s hair.
“By love and by service. When her father, the bell-ringer, died, and a
stranger took his rooms in the Giralda, Marta came down into the city
and entered the home of your grandfather and sainted grandmother--”

“May God rejoice her soul with the light of Paradise!” murmured
Grandfather devoutly.

“There Marta was nurse-maid for your mother, then a little witch two or
three years old,” continued Don Carlos. “And she grew so fond of her
charge that she never left her, not even when your mother had the
infinite goodness to marry me, and we moved to Cadiz, my naval station
then. And now Tia Marta, for your mother’s blessed sake, spends all her
strength and devotion upon you. We must never forget what we owe her,
and we must always treat her with respect and affection.”

Rodrigo, who was pacing the tiled walks near by, trying to puzzle out a
mathematical problem, turned to say:

“I’ll bring her a cherry ribbon from Granada to-morrow.”

“And she may wash my ears as hard as she likes,” magnanimously declared

But Pilarica slipped from within the circle of her father’s arm and ran
into the house to surprise Tia Marta with a sudden squeeze and shower of

By the time the little girl came out again, Grandfather had a riddle for

    “When she wears her silvery bonnet,
      My lady is passing fair;
    But she’s always turning her head about,
      Gazing here and there.”

As the child hesitated, Rodrigo pointed to the luminous horizon, and she
promptly said: “The Moon.”

“But that’s not playing fair,” protested Rafael.

“Oh, we don’t expect girls to play fair,” laughed his brother.

“But I _want_ to play fair,” urged Pilarica. “And I want to be punished,
like Rafael, when I do wrong. Why wasn’t it just as bad in me to disobey
Tia Marta and run off with the Alhambra children as it was in Rafael to
leave me alone?”

“It’s hard to explain, Sugarplum,” said her father, “but the world
expects certain things of a man, courage and faithfulness and honor, and
a boy is in training for manhood.”

“And what is a girl in training for?” asked Pilarica.

“To be amiable and charming,” answered Rodrigo promptly.

“But I want to be faithful and hon’able, too,” persisted Pilarica.

“A man must do his duty,” declared Don Carlos, slowly and earnestly.
“That is what manliness means. He must satisfy his conscience. But it
is enough for a little girl if she content her father’s heart, as my
darling contents mine. And when the years shall bring you a husband,
then he will be your conscience.”

“But I want a conscience of my own,” pouted Pilarica. “And I do not want
a husband at all. If I must grow up, I will be a nun and make

“Time enough to change your mind,” scoffed Rodrigo. “What is my riddle,

“Wait till my father has had his turn,” jealously interposed Rafael.

Grandfather was all ready:

    “Here comes a lady driving into town;
       Softly the horses go;
     Her mantle’s purple, and black her gown;
       Gems on her forehead glow.”

“But this is difficult,” groaned Don Carlos, thinking so hard that the
hammock creaked.

“I know,” cooed Pilarica. “Grandfather told it to me once before.”

“Don’t give my father a hint,” warned Rafael.

“But Rodrigo gave me a hint,” returned Pilarica.

“Oh, that’s different,” declared Rodrigo, almost impatiently. “_Men_
must play fair.”

But it was some time before Don Carlos found the right answer, “Night”;
and Rodrigo had almost as much trouble in guessing his.

    “I’m a very tiny gentleman,
       But I am seen from far.
     Out walking in the evening
       And lighting my cigar.”

He called out “Firefly” only just in time to escape a forfeit, but
Rafael, to whom fell the puzzle:

    “A plate of nuts upset at night,
     But all picked up by morning light,”

quickly guessed “Stars.”

He could hardly help it, with such a shining company of them shedding
their gracious looks down upon the garden.

“How many stars are there, Grandfather?” he asked.

“One thousand and seven,” replied Grandfather, “except on Holy Night,
the blessed Christmas Eve, when there flashes out one more, brightest of
all, the Star of Bethlehem.”

“That is your Andalusian arithmetic,” laughed Don Carlos, shaking his
head. “They say in Galicia that a man should not try to count the stars,
lest he come to have as many wrinkles as the number of stars he has

“Where’s Galicia?” asked Pilarica.

“Far from here, in the northwest corner of Spain,” answered Don Carlos,
more gravely than seemed necessary. “My sister--your Aunt Barbara--lives
there, and one of these days I am going to tell you more of her, and of
her husband, your Uncle Manuel, and of your Cousin Dolores, who is a
year or two younger than Rodrigo. They are the only kindred we have in
the world.”

Even Rodrigo wondered at the sudden seriousness in Don Carlos’ tone, but
Grandfather, at that moment, chanted another riddle, which, as it turned
out, nobody could guess, not even Tia Marta, who had come to the doorway

    “Tell me, what is the thing I mean,
     That the greater it grows the less is seen.”

Grandfather finally had to tell them the answer, “Darkness,” and then
Rafael assigned to everybody a forfeit. Tia Marta was sent into the
house after a treat, which, for Rafael’s own forfeit, he was not to
taste; Pilarica danced, Rodrigo vaulted over the cot, and Don Carlos was
begged to “tell about the heroes of Spain.”

“To-morrow,” said the father, taking Rafael’s wrist in his cool fingers
and counting the pulse. “You have had quite enough talking for to-night,
my son.”

And then the English consul, whose home was on the Alhambra hill,
dropped in, just as Tia Marta was passing around--but not to Rafael--the
most delicious cinnamon paste whose secret she had learned from the nuns
in Seville. The consul shook hands with Don Carlos and Rodrigo, patted
Pilarica’s head, complimented Tia Marta on the paste, and then bent over
Rafael’s cot.

“So you have been having a fever, my little man?” he said.

“Oh, such a beautiful fever!” sighed Rafael blissfully, snuggling his
face against his father’s coat sleeve.

“But how is that?” queried the consul in surprise.

“It’s the red cap,” volunteered Pilarica. “It doesn’t exactly turn real
stones into real bread, but it makes trouble pleasant, and that’s the
same thing, only better.”

The Englishman did not look much enlightened.



On the morrow Don Carlos was promptly called upon to redeem his forfeit.
Rafael was so much better that he had been lifted over to his father’s
hammock, where, propped against pillows, he sat almost upright, taking,
for the first time since his illness began, his usual breakfast of
chocolate and bread. Pilarica, in celebration of this happy event, had
waited to breakfast with him, and the two children were having great
fun, throwing back their heads in unison as they dipped the long strips
of bread into their bowls of cinnamon-flavored chocolate, so thick that
it clung to the bread in a sticky lump. They were very dexterous in
whirling up the bread-sticks and directing the sluggish brown trickle
into their mouths without spilling a drop, afterwards biting off the
chocolate-laden end of the bread and hungrily dipping again.

“And now for the heroes!” called Rafael.

“You didn’t say please,” rebuked Pilarica.

“Heroes, please,” amended the boy, “but girls ought not to correct their

“Do me the favor to excuse me,” apologized Pilarica.

“There is no occasion for it,” returned Rafael with his best Andalusian

“A thousand thanks,” responded Pilarica. And now that this series of
polite phrases, taught in every Spanish nursery, was duly accomplished,
Rafael called again for the heroes.

“One at a time,” responded the father, throwing out his hands with a
gesture of playful remonstrance. He had just come back from his morning
walk with Rodrigo, whom he liked to accompany for at least a part of the
way to the Institute, and was warm from the return climb. “One hero a
day, like one breakfast a day, is quite enough for Don Anybody.”

Then he told them stories of a champion who was mighty in Spain eight
hundred years ago.

“If I were one hundred times as old as I am,” cried Rafael with
sparkling eyes, “perhaps I would have seen him.”

“Perhaps,” smiled Don Carlos, and went on to tell the children that this
warrior’s name was the name of their own brother, Rodrigo, though he had
other names, too, as Ruy Diaz de Bivar, and was most often called the
Cid, or Lord, a title given him by the five Moorish kings whom he
conquered all at once.

“_Five--Moorish--kings!_” exclaimed Rafael in rapture, while Pilarica,
to help her imagination, propped up five tawny breadsticks in a row.

So their father told them how the Cid, when a stripling not twenty
summers old, had ridden forth on his fiery horse, Bavieca, followed by a
troop of youthful friends, against those five royal Moors who, with a
great army, were plundering Castile, and how he overthrew them and set
their host of Christian captives free.

“Our Rodrigo would have done that, too,” declared Rafael proudly, while
Pilarica, with one valiant dab of her forefinger, tumbled the five
bread-sticks into the dust. Later, remembering Tia Marta, she picked
them up and polished them off with a handful of rose-petals before
restoring them to the plate.

Finding his hero so popular, Don Carlos recited what he could remember
of an old Spanish ballad that tells of the Cid’s offer to give Bavieca
to the King of Castile.

    “The King looked on him kindly, as on a vassal true;
     Then to the King Ruy Diaz spake after reverence due:
     ‘O King, the thing is shameful, that any man beside
     The liege lord of Castile himself should Bavieca ride:

    “‘For neither Spain nor Araby could another charger bring
     So good as he, and certes, the best befits my king.
     But that you may behold him, and know him to the core,
     I’ll make him go as he was wont when his nostrils smelt the Moor.’

    “With that, the Cid, clad as he was in mantle furred and wide,
     On Bavieca vaulting, put the rowel in his side;
     And wildly, madly sped the steed, while the mantle streamed behind
     As when the banner of Castile beats in a stormy wind.

    “And all that saw them praised them; they lauded man and horse
     As mated well and rivalless for gallantry and force;
     Ne’er had they looked on horseman might to this knight come near,
     Nor on other charger worthy of such a cavalier.

    “Thus, to and fro a-rushing, the fierce and furious steed,
     He snapped in twain his hither rein. ‘God pity now the Cid!’
     ‘God pity Diaz!’ cried the lords, but when they looked again,
     They saw Ruy Diaz ruling him with the fragment of his rein;
     They saw him proudly ruling with gesture firm and calm,
     Like a true lord commanding, and obeyed as by a lamb.

    “And so he led him foaming and panting to the King;
     But ‘No!’ said Don Alfonso, ‘it were a shameful thing
     That peerless Bavieca should ever be bestrid
     By any mortal but Bivar. Mount, mount again, my Cid!’”

Rafael’s mind was still full of the Cid when, two or three days later,
he was well enough to take a short ride on Shags outside the garden. The
rough-coated, mouse-colored donkey carried his young master jauntily,
being apparently well pleased to see him out again. Don Carlos, racking
his memory for more ballads of the Cid, was walking beside Shags, when
Pilarica, who had tripped on ahead and turned a corner, uttered a cry of
distress. The father sprang forward and found the child on her knees in
the dust of the highway, her face streaming with tears, while she held
up her clasped hands in entreaty to a sullen-faced fellow who was
brutally beating his ass. The poor creature, hardly more than skin and
bones, was so cruelly overladen with sacks of charcoal that he had
stumbled on a steep and stony bit of the road and broken the fastenings
of one of the sacks, whose contents were merrily making off downhill
like little black imps on a holiday. The peasant, in a fury, was dealing
the ass great fisticuffs on the tender nose, and between the eyes, shut
in patient endurance of the blows.

Don Carlos had often seen animals beaten and had usually passed by with
a shrug of annoyance, but the anguish of pity in his little daughter’s
face and attitude suddenly smote him with an intolerable feeling, as if
that horny fist were pounding his own heart.

“Hold, there, my friend!” he protested. “Enough is as good as a feast.
If you kill your donkey, who will carry the load?”

The charcoal seller, his arm raised for another blow, stared in
astonishment at the speaker.

“You would do well to put your tongue in your pocket,” he growled. “This
ass is mine, to beat if I choose and to kill if I choose. I am thinking
that is what I will do, for his skin is the best of him now.”

Pilarica rose and rushed to her father, her eyes their deepest pansy
purple with beseeching.

“Oh, dearest father, if you please! If you would kindly do me the favor!
Instead of the doll with golden hair, if only you would give me this
sweet, beautiful donkey!”

Her father lifted her in his arms, so that the flushed, wet face was
pressed against his own.

“Do you mean it, Honeydrop? Think again. Do you really wish me to buy
you this wretched ass in place of the wonderful dolly with Paris
clothes, in the Granada shop? I am afraid there is not money enough for

“Oh, yes, yes!” entreated Pilarica. “The doll is happy in the
shop-window, where she can see the children smile at her as they go by,
but the donkey--oh, father, _the donkey!_”

The peasant, whose arm had fallen to his side and who had been listening
shrewdly, now stepped forward, touching his hat with a surly civility.

“It’s not for the price of a basket of cabbages I would be selling my
fine donkey. I’m a poor man, your Worship. All that God has given me for
my portion in the world is morning and evening, three pennyworths of
poverty, and a bushel of children with the gullets of sharks. What would
become of us all without my strong, good ass?”

“I’ll give you two dollars for your dingy old rattlebones, my man, and
that is twice what anybody else would be fool enough to give you,” said
Don Carlos, holding out the coins.

The charcoal-seller looked at them greedily, but still hung back.

“Come, now!” spoke Don Carlos sharply. “Don’t stand hesitating like a
grasshopper that wants to jump and doesn’t know where. Remember that
covetousness bursts the bag. Is it a bargain or not?”

The decision of the officer’s tone and, still more, the tempting gleam
of the silver prevailed, but the peasant would not give over his donkey
until he had delivered the load of charcoal. So Don Carlos and Pilarica,
Rafael and Shags, escorted Sooty-Face and his limping ass to the hotel
hard by the Alhambra, where the sale was at last effected.

“And now the donkey, such as he is, is yours,” said Don Carlos, putting
the shabby bridle into Pilarica’s hand. “Haven’t you a smile for me

But the child, though she kissed her father gratefully, flung her arms
about the donkey’s neck, and, pressing her cheek to the bruised nose,
cried harder than ever, until Shags felt it time to interfere. That
generous-minded animal, whose long ears had been responding, with
various cocks and tremors, to every stage of the proceedings, now
drowned Pilarica’s sobs in a resounding bray. The stranger seemed to
understand this greeting better than he understood Pilarica’s
endearments and took a timid step or two toward his new comrade.

“Shall we call him Bavieca?” asked Rafael, eying the sorry beast
doubtfully. He certainly did small credit to the name of the peerless

“Better call him Rosinante,” laughed the father, “after the forlorn old
horse of Don Quixote, who was something of a hero, too, in his way. Most
people, as, for instance, his fat squire, Sancho Panza, who rode a
famous ass named Dapple, thought it a very foolish way.”

“Why?” questioned Pilarica, whisking off her tears with the ends of her

“Oh, he took windmills for giants, and wayside inns for castles, and
flocks of sheep for armies. He rode through the country trying to right
wrongs and only got knocked about and made fun of for his pains. In
fact, this coming to the rescue of an abused donkey is something after
his fashion.”

And Don Carlos, a little shame-faced, looked his purchase over. The ass
was lame in one foot, covered with welts and fly-bites, and so weak that
he seemed hardly able to walk even now that his load had been removed.
But Pilarica was enchanted with him and kept lavishing caresses upon the
gaunt beast, whose large, liquid eyes looked out wonderingly at her.

“I want to call him Don Quixote,” she announced. “I think Don Quixote
is a lovely hero, and this is such a lovely, lovely donkey.”

“Very well!” assented her father, with a shrug. “At any rate, he’s lean
enough. And now to see what Tia Marta will have to say to this
performance of ours!”

But Tia Marta unexpectedly took Don Quixote to her heart. As the ass
stood before her for inspection, hanging his head as if aware of his
unsightliness, and now and then slowly shaking his drooped ears, she
surveyed him for a moment, her squinting eyes taking account of all the
marks of cruel usage, and then stamped her foot in anger.

“That charcoal-seller ought to be thrashed like wheat,” she cried. “How
I wish I had the drubbing of him! I would like to split him in two like
a pomegranate. But God knows the truth, and let it rest there. And this
donkey is not so bad a bargain, Don Carlos. See what I will make of him,
with food and rest and ointment. The blessed ass of Bethlehem, he who
warmed with his breath the Holy Babe in the manger and bore Our Lady of
Mercy on his back to Egypt, could have no better care from me than I
will spend on this maltreated innocent.”

Tia Marta was as good as her word. Her choicest balsams were brought to
bear upon the donkey’s hurts, and Leandro, whom Rodrigo asked over to
see the animal, for gypsies are wise in such matters, agreed with the
old woman that the ass was of good stock and might have, under decent
conditions, years of service in him yet. When the charcoal stains were
washed away and the discoloration of the bruises had faded out, the
discovery was made, to Pilarica’s ecstasy, that Don Quixote was a white
donkey. Oh, to possess a plump white donkey! The child was in such haste
to see those scarecrow outlines rounded out that Tia Marta grew
extravagant and added handfuls of barley to the regular rations of
chopped straw. And as it would never do to feed the new-comer better
than the faithful Shags, that Long-Ears, too, found his fare improved,
so that, with a chum to share his cellar and a festival dinner every
day, he waxed fat and frisky and often sang, as best he could, his
resonant psalm of life.

Pilarica went carolling like a bird through the old garden in those
blithe spring mornings, and Rafael had grown so vigorous that he was
again more than a match for her at their favorite game of _Titirinela_.
The children would clasp hands, brace their feet together until the tips
of Rafael’s sandals strained against his sister’s, fling their small
bodies back as far as the length of their arms would allow, and then
spin around and around like a giddy top, singing responsively:

       “‘Titirinela, if you please!’
        ‘Titirinela, bread and cheese!’
    ‘What is your father’s worshipful name?’
    ‘Sir Red-pepper, who kisses your hands.’
    ‘And how does he call his beautiful dame?’
    ‘Lady Cinnamon, at your commands.’
       _Titirinela, toe to toe!_
       _Titirinela, round we go!_”

Once, as Don Carlos came to pick up his little daughter, after the
whirling top had broken in two and each half had rolled laughing on the
ground, Pilarica clasped her arms tight about his neck, exclaiming:

“Dearest father, are we not the very happiest people in all the world!”

But he hastily thrust an official-looking envelope into his pocket and,
for his only answer, shut the shining eyes with kisses.



Rafael woke three times that night and put out his hand to his father’s
hammock, only to find it empty. Listening intently, he would hear
measured steps pacing up and down at the further end of the garden. The
third time, he ventured to call, and the steps quickened their beat and
came toward him.

“Anything amiss, my son?” asked Don Carlos, stooping over the cot.

“I keep waking up and missing you,” confessed Rafael, half ashamed.
“Isn’t it very late?”

“Yes, or very early, as one may like to call it,” answered Don Carlos,
looking to the east, where a pearly gleam was already stealing up the
sky. “But I will turn in now, if your rest depends on mine. A youngster
like you should make but one sleep of it the whole night long, and not
lie with eyes as wide open as a rabbit’s.”

The next morning Tia Marta noticed that Don Carlos had a haggard look
and that, when he returned from his walk with Rodrigo, his face was
grave and anxious.

“The master’s furlough must be nearly up,” she remarked to the cat, with
whom she was in the habit of holding long conversations, “or he worries
about the new conscription, fearing for the _señorito_. But it is not
our bonny Rodrigo who would draw a lot for the soldiering. He is ever
the son of good-luck. And yet--ah, well! well! Each man sneezes as God
pleases. As for you and me, Roxa, we will not be troubling the master
with questions. Some broths are the worse for stirring.”

When Don Carlos, however, came upon Rafael and Pilarica running races in
the garden, his bearing was so gay that they mischievously barred his
passage, standing across the walk, hand in hand, and singing:

    “Potatoes and salt must little folks eat,
       While the grown-up people dine
     Off marmalade, peanuts and oranges sweet,
       With cocoanut milk for wine.
     On the ground do we take our seat;
     We’re at your feet, we’re at your feet.”

As they suited the action to the words, he bent and lightly knocked the
black heads together, saying merrily:

“What a pity that nobody wants to spend the day with me in Granada!”

“A whole day!”

“In Granada!”

And the madcaps, wild with glee, flashed about the fragrant garden more
swiftly than the swallows, whose _chirurrí_, _chirurrí_, _chicurrí_,
_Beatriiiiíz_, Pilarica mocked so truly that her father could not always
tell which was child and which was bird.

“_What, what, gentlemen! What, what, what! What, what, ladies! What,
what, what!_ As the old duck quacks when the barnyard gets too lively,”
called Grandfather, who was trimming one of the boxwood hedges. Even his
physical energies seemed to have been somewhat restored in these three
eventful weeks since Don Carlos had come home.

“Save your strength, you little spendthrifts,” bade their father. “It’s
a long road to Granada, and a longer road back. And now run to Tia
Marta to be made fine.”

“May Shags go with us?” shouted Rafael.

“And Don Quixote, please,” begged Pilarica.

“Not all the way,” replied Don Carlos, “but Grandfather, if he will be
so kind, may bring the donkeys to meet us at the Gate of the
Pomegranates an hour before sundown.”

“With much pleasure,” assented Grandfather, while the children scampered
off to be arrayed in their simple best.

Such a joyous day as it was! They walked down slowly, with frequent
rests, in which Don Carlos would tell them still more stories of the
Cid, and of Bernardo del Carpio, the valiant knight who loved his father
even better than he loved his country.

“And so do I,” said Rafael shyly, and Don Carlos, though he shook his
head, pinched the square chin, so like his own, and did not look
displeased. But at their next rest he began to tell them what a glorious
history their country had,--how the Spanish Peninsula, after the Romans,
once masters of the world, had occupied and ruled it for nearly seven
centuries, was possessed by the Goths, one of the wild, free races from
the north of Europe that poured down upon the sunny southern lands and
wrested them from the grasp of Rome, then weakened by luxury and unable
to resist.

“But this does not interest Pilarica,” the speaker interrupted himself
to say. “There are flowers over yonder, Honey Heart, that you might run
and gather.”

“Oh, but I love it!” protested the little girl, all her face aglow. “I
can just see the Goths rushing down from the top of the world, and the
lazy Romans looking so surprised while their countries are taken away
from them.”

“Huh!” snorted Rafael. “I don’t see any such thing. Do be quiet,
Pilarica, while my father tells me what happened next.”

“Something more than two centuries of Gothic rule, which was Christian
rule, happened next,” continued Don Carlos, “and then the Moors,
followers of the false prophet Mohammed, swarmed over from Africa and
drove the Christians back and back, till even stout little Galicia,
which made a stubborn resistance up in its far corner, was conquered. It
was feared that the Mohammedans would pass the Pyrenees, that majestic
mountain range which shuts off our Peninsula from the rest of Europe,
and overrun all Christendom, and it is the supreme service of Spain to
civilization, her crowning honor and her holiest pride, that in this
crisis of destiny she saved Europe from the Moslems. Against that dark
tide of invasion, checked by the mountain bar, she flung the fighting
force of all her chivalry, and little by little, century by century, the
armies of the Cross forced the armies of the Crescent southward,
drenching all the way with blood, until at last, at last, under our
great wedded sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Moors were driven
out even from their last stronghold in the Peninsula, from Granada, and
sent flying back across the Straits.”

In the fervor of his feeling, Don Carlos had risen and swept off his
hat, as if in the presence of that august Spain whose heroic past he was
relating. Pilarica’s slender arms were extended to help in pushing out
the Moors. Rafael, breathing hard, was the first to speak.

“Oh-h! I am so glad to be a Spaniard.”

“And well you may be,” said Don Carlos, holding out his hand to Pilarica
for resuming the walk. “Not only does Europe owe, perhaps, her very
existence as a Christian continent to Spain, but it was through the
faith and practical support of Queen Isabella that the Italian
adventurer, Columbus, was enabled to cross the vast, unknown Atlantic
and discover America.”

“Are not Europe and America very grateful to us?” asked Pilarica, as she
tripped along by her father’s side, taking three steps to his one.

“Of course they are,” Rafael took it upon himself to answer. “Isn’t that
a silly question, father? But Pilarica is only a girl.”

“Queen Isabella, who did such wonderful things for Spain and the world,
was only a girl once,” remarked Pilarica.

Rafael pretended not to hear.

Their father brought them first to the stately cathedral of Granada.
Here, in the Royal Chapel, all three stood silent for a moment above the
dim vault where rest in peace the ashes of Ferdinand and Isabella. Then
he took them to the magnificent promenade, the _Alameda_, along whose
sides tower rows of giant trees that throw an emerald arch across the
avenue. Here fountains were playing, roses, myrtles and jessamines were
in rich bloom, and there were dazzling glimpses of the snow-robed Sierra
Nevada. But when the little feet began to lag under the noontide heat,
Don Carlos led the children to a neighboring square and, pausing before
one of the tallest houses, reached his arm through the iron bars of the
outer door and twitched a bell-chain that was looped within.

“Who comes?” called a voice from above, as in the old times of warfare
between Christian and Moor.

“Peace,” answered Don Carlos, and in a moment both doors swung wide.

A little old man came hurrying across the marble court to meet them. His
head was covered by a close-fitting red silk cap, his eyes were two
black twinkles, and his face was yellow as an orange.

“It’s the Geography Gentleman,” whispered Rafael to Pilarica, while
their host was greeting Don Carlos. “I met him once when I was walking
with Rodrigo and he gave me macaroons.”

“And you have brought your cherubs, as I begged you,” twittered the
Geography Gentleman, pecking at Pilarica’s cheeks. “And how are you
called, my sweeting?”

“Maria Pilar Catalina Isabel Teresa Mariana Moreto y Hernandez, at the
service of God and yourself,” responded the child, demurely kissing the
clawlike hand and smiling trustfully into the queer yellow face so near
her own.

“Aha! So our Lady of the Pillar has you under her protection, and
Catalina is for your mother, whom I knew before she was as tall as you
are now--ah, white pearl among the souls in Paradise!--and the other

“Are for the great queen whose tomb I have just taken her to see and for
her sponsors in baptism,” explained Don Carlos.

“Good, good! And this is Rafael, an old friend of mine, though so young.
Aha, ha, ha! And now you children are wondering why I keep my cap on in
the house, and that, too, when it is honored by the presence of a little
ladybird. It is not because I am such a good Spaniard that I must always
wear the red with the yellow; not that, not that. It is because I am
bald, like St. Peter. Did you never hear it said that a silent man is as
badly off for words as St. Peter for hair? I will teach you a verse
about him:

    “St. Peter was so bald,
       Mosquitoes bit his skin,
     Till his mother said: ‘Put on your cap,
       Poor little Peterkin.’

“But you are hot; you are tired; you are well-nigh slain by that enemy,
the sun. Come and rest! Come and rest! The house is yours. All that it
holds is yours. Come and rest!”

It seemed to the awed children that their house held a great deal, as
they followed the Geography Gentleman, to whom their father had offered
his arm. First he led them to the central court, an Andalusian _patio_,
open to the air, with violet-bordered fountain, with graceful palms and,
planted in urns, small, sweet-blossoming trees. Then their adventurous
sandals climbed a wide marble stairway and pattered on over the tiled
floors from chamber to chamber out to a shaded balcony. Pilarica and
Rafael were less impressed by the Moorish arches and windows, the
delight of foreign visitors, than by objects less familiar to their
eyes,--statues, pictures, tapestried walls, curtained bedsteads, hanging
lamps and, strangest of all the strange, an American rocking-chair.

A smiling maid came in, bearing a silver pitcher and basin, and the
children bathed their faces and hands in the cool, rose-scented water,
but when the maid offered them the embroidered towel of fine linen she
carried on her arm, Pilarica drew back in dismay.

“But we would get it wet,” she objected.

Nobody laughed, although the black eyes of the Geography Gentleman
twinkled more brightly than ever. Don Carlos stepped forward and held
over the basin his own hands, on which the maid poured a fresh stream
from the pitcher. Then he dried his hands upon the towel and passed it
to Pilarica, who, though still reluctant, ventured to use one end, while
Rafael, at the same time, plunged his dripping face into the other.

The luncheon, it seemed to the little guests, was a repast fit for
heroes, even for the Cid and Bernardo del Carpio,--a cold soup like a
melted salad, a perfumed stew in which were strangely mingled Malaga
potatoes, white wine, honey, cinnamon and cloves, and, for a crowning
bliss, a dish of sugared chestnuts overflowed by a syrup whose every
spoonful yielded a new flavor,--lemon peel, orange peel, tamarind, and a
medley of spices.

After luncheon everybody, in true Spanish fashion, took a nap, the
Geography Gentleman in one of the hushed chambers, and Don Carlos in
another, but the children slept far more soundly on couches in adjoining
balconies, though over Pilarica’s slumber two canaries in a gilded cage
were chirping drowsily about their family affairs, and a bright green
parrot, chained to a perch, did his best to waken Rafael by screaming
for bread and butter.



Pilarica and Rafael were finally aroused from the siesta by a commotion
in the square. Peeping over the queerly twisted iron railing of the
balconies, they saw many women, in the bright-hued costume of Andalusian
peasants, surging by in stormy groups, talking wildly and making violent
gestures. Then came a dozen lads of about Rodrigo’s age, locked arm in
arm and chorusing in time to their swinging tread:

    “To-morrow comes the drawing of lots;
       The chosen march delighted
     And leave the girls behind with those
       Whom the King has not invited.”

The children looked and wondered for a while, and then, as they had been
bidden, went down to the patio.

Don Carlos and his host were smoking there together and talking so
earnestly that they did not notice the light footfalls.

“No, if it comes to that, I shall not buy him off,” Don Carlos was
saying. “He must take his chance with the rest of the eighty thousand
whom Spain has flung like acorns into Cuba.”

“My own three sons among them, my gentle José, my fearless Adolfo, my
merry Celestino,” moaned the old man, rocking himself to and fro like
one in bodily pain. “My money can do nothing for them now--my gallant
boys!--but if you would accept from an old friend, for the comfort of
his lonely heart, the thousand pesetas--”

“Thanks upon thanks, most honored sir, but no, no!” interrupted Don
Carlos, laying his hand upon the other’s arm, while his voice deepened
with emotion. “If you, one of the wealthiest of the Granadines, were too
loyal a patriot to buy off your sons from military service, shall I, who
wear the uniform, hold back my own?”

“Ah, but my lads would not be bought off, though when it came to Adolfo,
I consented, and when it came to Celestino, I besought. They were all
for adventure and for seeing the world. They had lived among my globes
and maps too long. Woe is me! Woe is me!”

Tears were streaming down the yellow face of the Geography Gentleman,
and Pilarica could not bear the sight. She ran forward and, leaning
against his knee, reached up and tried to wipe the tears away with her
tiny handkerchief.

“Oho, oho!” he chirped, changing his manner at once. “Here is our Linnet
wide awake again! What now? What now? A fairy story, shall it be? That’s
what little girls like--stories of the fairies and the saints.”

“I would rather, if you please, hear about Cuba,” replied Pilarica,
nestling close to those trembling knees. “What is it, and why does Spain
drop people into it like acorns?”

Rafael, standing close beside his father, felt him start as if to check
the childish questions, but already the Geography Gentleman was rising,
not without difficulty, from his carven chair.

“Ugh!” he groaned. “My poor bones creak like a Basque cart. But no
matter! As for the old, they may sing sorrow. Come with me to my study,
all of you, all of you, and we will find out what Cuba looks like. Ah,
Cuba, Cuba, Cuba!”

Don Carlos tried again to protest, but the Geography Gentleman would
have his way. So he led them to a room unlike anything that the children
had ever seen before. Great globes swung in their standards, maps lined
the walls, a desk with many pigeon-holes stood near a huge _brasero_,
and everywhere were cases of books. Rafael hung back in bewilderment,
but Pilarica kept close to their guide and watched with eager eyes while
he gave the largest globe a twirl.

“Did you know the world was round?” he asked. “And that there is a
red-haired goblin who sits in the center and holds on to our feet so we
shan’t tumble off? When he yawns, it gives us an earthquake. A good old
fellow, that, but he has too long a name for such little pink ears as

“My ears are larger,” suggested Rafael.

“And Shags and Don Quixote have the largest ears of all,” added
Pilarica, and then blushed to see that even her father smiled, while the
Geography Gentleman gurgled and wheezed until his yellow face was
streaked with purple.

“Good! good! good!” he squeaked, as soon as he could muster even so much
voice again. “The goblin’s name is Gravitation, and he sits all doubled
up, with his long nose gripped between his knees, pulling, pulling,
pulling, pulling, till his arms are almost ripped out of his shoulders,
but not quite. For though he’s uglier than hunger, he’s stronger than
the sun and the moon.”

The child gazed doubtfully at the big globe.

“Will you please open it and show him to me?”

Again the Geography Gentleman fell to laughing until he had to hold his
aching sides.

“But do you think I have wind-mills in my head that I talk such a
monstrous heap of nonsense?” he asked. “It is only that pretty little
ladies like nonsense better than sense. No, I cannot open my globe for
you, dainty one, but see! I can show you Spain.”

But Pilarica’s faith in the Geography Gentleman was shaken.

“Spain is not blue,” she objected, looking critically at the color of
the patch beneath his thumb. And even while he pointed out Andalusia in
the south, with its Moorish cities of Granada and Seville and Cordova,
and the port of Cadiz; and Castile, occupying the middle of the
Peninsula, with its ancient city of Toledo and its royal city of Madrid;
and her father’s native province of Aragon to the northeast, with
Saragossa, the home of his boyhood, still Pilarica’s air was so
skeptical as to throw the lecturer into frequent convulsions of mirth.

“But where is the basket,--the big basket that Spain flings acorns
into?” she questioned.

This, again, was too much for the Geography Gentleman, and while he was
gasping and choking, Don Carlos came to his little daughter’s aid.

“Cuba is an island,” he explained, “the largest of the West Indian
islands and almost all that is left to Spain of her once vast American
possessions. One by one, the lands she had discovered and claimed--you
remember about Queen Isabella and Columbus--rebelled against her, or
otherwise slipped from her hold, and even now there is a revolt in Cuba
that has already cost Spain dear in life and treasure.”

“And if the Yankees take a hand in the game,” put in their host, “may
cost us Cuba herself.”

“What are Yankees?” asked Rafael, frowning quite terribly at this

“The most powerful nation in America,” replied Don Carlos, “a nation
that threatens to go to war with us, if the trouble in Cuba continues
much longer.”

“They must be very wicked people,” declared Rafael with flashing eyes.

“No, my son; they are much like the rest of the world,” answered his
father, quietly. “I have met a few of them, but not to know them well,
for they did not understand Spanish.”

“Not understand Spanish!” exclaimed Pilarica. “Then at least they must
be very stupid, for Spanish even the donkeys understand!”

This reproach set the Geography Gentleman off again, and his sides were
still shaking as he pointed out Cuba on the globe.

And now all Pilarica’s gathering suspicions of the science of geography
were confirmed.

“But if Cuba belongs to Spain, who put it there close to America?” she
asked. “Did the Yankees make that globe and put it there themselves?”

And once more the Geography Gentleman laughed till the close-fitting cap
fell off and showed his shining bald head.

“‘Honey is not for the mouth of an ass,’” he quoted, “‘and learning is
not for women.’ But what a pity, Don Carlos, that this child is only a
girl! Her wits run bright as the quicksilver fountain that used to
sparkle in the royal garden of Seville.”

“She is like Rodrigo, keen as a Toledo blade,” assented Don Carlos. “It
is this youngster,” drawing Rafael closer to him, “who has the slow
brains of his father.”

“Slow and sure often wins the race,” said the old teacher, turning kind
eyes on Rafael. “He will make a scholar when the time comes, and it
should come soon now. Will you not enter him in the lower school next
year? He may not be the mathematical wonder that his brother is, taking
prizes as naturally as other lads bite off ripe mulberries, but if his
father’s steadfastness of purpose has descended to him with his father’s
chin, he will do well in the world. Character is better than talent.
But this rosebud brings back to me her mother, who used to coax and
coax me, when she was the merest midget, to teach her to read my books.
Her parents spent several summers in Granada and, if they had consented,
I would have liked to see what a girl’s head could do. But of course
they would not hear of it. She was taught to dance and to embroider,
only that. Her mind went hungry. But bless my heart! Such talk as this
is not meal for chickens. A penny for your thoughts, my sober little

“I was thinking about Spain,” answered Rafael, who all this time had
been glowering at the globe. “How did we lose what was ours? Were there
no more great kings after Ferdinand?”

“Yes,” said Don Carlos. “Spain has had strong kings and weak kings, wise
and foolish, but even the best of them blundered at times. Ferdinand and
Isabella themselves made mistakes. So some thirty years ago, when I was
a boy, Spain tried to be a republic and get on without any king at all,
but she did not prosper so.”

“King Alfonsito is not much older than I am,” murmured Rafael, with a
wondering look in his great dark eyes.

“And a gallant child it is! A right royal child!” chirruped the
Geography Gentleman.

“God bless him and grant him a long and righteous reign!” added Don
Carlos, so solemnly that Pilarica clasped her hands as if she were
saying her prayers.

“His father, King Alfonso XII, had a great heart,” the Geography
Gentleman said musingly, “but his heart was wrung to breaking by sore
troubles. I was in Madrid when the young Queen Mercedes died. Woe is me!
What a grief was his!”

“Pilarica knows a song about that,” observed Rafael.

“Ah, to be sure! Spanish babies all over the Peninsula dance to that
sorrow,” nodded the Geography Gentleman. “Come back into the patio,
where the fountain will sing with her, and let us have it.”

So in the fragrant air of the patio, where an awning had been drawn to
shut off the direct rays of the sun, Pilarica, dancing with strange,
slow movements of feet and hands, sang childhood’s lament for the

    “‘Whither away, young King Alfonso?
       (Oh, for pity!) Whither away?’
     ‘I go seeking my queen Mercedes,
       For I have not seen her since yesterday.’

    “‘But we have seen your queen Mercedes,
       Seen the queen, though her eyes were hid,
     While four dukes all gently bore her
       Through the streets of sad Madrid.’

    “‘Oh, how her face was calm as heaven!
       Oh, how her hands were ivory white!
     Oh, how she wore the satin slippers
       You had kissed on the bridal night!

    “‘Dark are the lamps of the lonely palace;
       Black are the suits the nobles don;
     In letters of gold on the wall ’tis written:
       _Her Majesty is dead and gone_.’

    “He fainted to hear us, young Alfonso,
       Drooped like an eagle with broken wing;
     But the cannon thundered: ‘Valor, valor!’
       And the people shouted: ‘Long live the king!’”

“And now we must be taking our leave, with a thousand thanks for a
red-letter day,” said Don Carlos.

“But no, no, no!” cried the Geography Gentleman. “Not until you have
tasted a little light refreshment to wing your feet for the Alhambra
hill. We will go up to the balcony and see Lorito--the wasteful
rumple-poll that he is--enjoy his bread and butter.”

It was very pleasant on the balcony, with its pots of sweet basil, its
earthen jar of fresh water and its caged cricket “singing the song of
the heat.” The gentlemen were regaled with wine and biscuit, the
children with candied nectarines and tarts, and to Lorito the maid
respectfully handed a great slice of bread, thickly buttered. The square
was quiet again, though from the _Alameda_ came confused sounds, as of
an angry crowd, cut by shrill outcries. A few beggars were gathered
beneath the balcony, waiting for the bread which Lorito, after scraping
off every least bit of the butter with his crooked beak, tore into
strips and threw down to them, dancing on his perch and screaming with
excitement to see them scramble for it.

This amused the children so much that they could hardly recall the
proper Andalusian phrases for farewell. But their host, loving the
ripple of their laughter, found nothing lacking in their courtesy and,
at parting, slipped into Pilarica’s hand a dainty white Andalusian fan,
painted with birds and flowers, and into Rafael’s a small geography,
written by himself. Rafael was deeply impressed at receiving this, the
first book he had ever owned, from its author, and carried it, on their
homeward walk, in such a way that no learned person who might meet them
could fail to see what it was.

“Of course nobody would give a geography to a girl,” he remarked.

“Maybe your geography isn’t true,” retorted Pilarica, flirting her fan.
“But look, look! There is Grandfather with the donkeys, and Rodrigo is
waiting for us, too.”

Don Carlos, who had his own reasons for wishing to see what Don Quixote
was able to do, placed both the children on the white donkey’s back,
leaving Shags for Grandfather to ride, and Don Quixote acquitted himself
so well that he, with his double burden, was the first to arrive at the
garden gate. Shags, trotting for sheer surprise, was close behind, but
it was half an hour later before Don Carlos and Rodrigo came slowly up
the road, the father’s arm thrown lightly over the lad’s shoulders.



The next morning, as Don Carlos was starting off, as usual, with
Rodrigo, Rafael clung to his father’s hand.

The officer who, since that first unhappy night, seemed to have a
complete understanding of the boy, hesitated.

“But I may walk all the way into Granada with your brother to-day and
may not come back until afternoon. You know how tired you were yesterday
by the time we reached the Gate of the Pomegranates.”

Rafael’s black eyes looked wistfully into his father’s.

“I would rather go with you and be tired than not go with you and not be
tired,” he said.

Don Carlos smiled so tenderly that Rafael had a queer feeling as if his
heart were growing too big for his jacket.

“You may come, my son,” decided the father, and then his glance fell
doubtfully on Pilarica. “No, the city will be in tumult; no place for a
little girl. But you may walk a bit of the way with us, Sweetheart.”

It seemed such a very wee bit that, when her father kissed her and bade
her run back, the tears stood in Pilarica’s eyes like dew on pansies.

“Why not let her romp a while with the other children?” suggested
Rodrigo, looking over to where a dozen happy tatterdemalions were
skipping songfully about in one of their favorite circle-dances. “There
are no gypsies among them this morning, and it is to the gypsies that
Tia Marta most objects.”

“Very well,” assented Don Carlos, relieved to see the grieved face
brighten. “You may play with them this forenoon, if you like. But don’t
follow tourists into the Alhambra.”

“And scamper home if the children get rude,” warned Big Brother.

“And don’t go near the Gypsy King,” put in Rafael.

Uncrushed by all this weight of masculine authority, Pilarica threw
kisses to her three guardians as long as they were in sight and then
flashed into the midst of the dancing circle, where she was welcomed
with a gleeful shout. Carmencita clamored, as always, for _Little White
Pigeons_, and so the children divided into two opposite rows, each line
in turn clasping hands and lifting arms while the other danced under, as
the song indicates:

    “Little white pigeons
       Are dreaming of Seville,
     Sun in the palm tree,
       Roses and revel.
     Lift up the arches,
       Gold as the weather.
     Little white pigeons
       Come flying together.

    “Little white pigeons
       Dream of Granada,
     Glistening snows on
       Sierra Nevada.
     Lift up the arches,
       Silver as fountains.
     Little white pigeons
       Fly to the mountains.”

Then they played Hide-and-Seek in their own special fashion. The first
seeker was Pepito, who sat doubled over, with his chubby palms pressed
tight against his eyes, while the others slipped softly into their
hiding-places, all except Pilarica, who, as the Mother, stood by and
gave Pepito his signal for the start by singing:

    “My nightingales of the Alhambra
       Forth from the cage are flown.
     My nightingales of the Alhambra
       Have left me all alone.”

After they were tired of this, Isabelita called for Butterfly Tag and
was chosen, because of her pink frock--torn though it was,--to be the
Butterfly. Forming in a close circle about her, the children lifted her
dress-skirt by the border and held it outspread, while Pilarica, on the
outside, danced round and round the ring, fluting like a bird:

    “Who are these chatterers?
       Oh, such a number!
     Nor by day nor by night
       Do they let me slumber.
     They’re daughters of the Moorish king
       Who search the garden-close
     For lovely Lady Ana,
       The sweetest thing that grows.
     She’s opening the jasmine
       And shutting up the rose.”

Then the children all at once lifted the pink frock and wrapped it about
Isabella’s head, while Pilarica, dancing faster than ever, led them in
singing seven times over:

    “Butterfly, butterfly,
       Dressed in rose-petals!
     Is it on candle-flame
       Butterfly settles?
     How many shirts
       Have you woven of rain?
     Weave me another
       Ere I call you again.”

Suddenly they varied the song:

    “Now that Lady Ana
       Walks in garden sweet,
     Gathering the roses
       Whose dew is on her feet,
     Butterfly, butterfly,
     Can you catch us? Try it, try!”

In an instant the circle had broken and scattered, while the Butterfly,
blinded and half smothered in the folds of the skirt, dashed about as
best she could, trying to catch one or another of her teasing playmates.

Then followed Washerwoman, and Chicken-Market, Rose and Pink, and Golden
Earrings, and when, at noon, Don Carlos and Rafael came back, the
children were all absorbed in the circle-dance of _Mambrú_. Don Carlos
remembered the song from his own childhood in Saragossa and hummed the
pathetic couplets under his breath, as he stood watching.

    “Mambrú is gone to serve the king,
     And comes no more by fall or spring.

    “We’ve looked until our eyes are dim.
     Will no one give us word of him?

    “You’d know him for his mother’s son
     By peasant dress of Aragon.

    “You’d know him for my husband dear
     By broidered kerchief on his spear.

    “The one I broider now is wet.
     Oh, may I see him wear it yet!”

With the last word of the song all the little figures in the circle
flung themselves face downward on the ground, so impetuously that
Carmencita and Pepito bumped their heads together and set up such a duet
of stormy weeping that, for dramatic close, there was nothing left to be

Don Carlos swung Pilarica, hotter and more weary than Rafael himself,
to her feet, and as she smiled up into his face, she saw in it, for all
its gravity, a great relief.

Tia Marta, too, who met them at the garden gate, was quick to read his

“Your heart has been taking a bath of roses,” she said.

And Don Carlos, in the same breath, was telling her his good tidings.

“Rodrigo drew a lucky number. There is weeping in other homes to-day,
but not in ours.”

“Other people’s troubles are easily borne,” scoffed Tia Marta, but the
dry, walnut face was twitching so strangely that the children wished it
had been polite to laugh.

After their simple luncheon, a hunch of bread and a bowlful of olives
for each, Pilarica coaxed Rafael out to the summer-house where the boy,
not ill-pleased to have an audience for his story, seated himself with
his back against the column and recounted the great event of the day.

“The Gov’ment,” he explained, with the dignity of a prime minister,
“needs more soldiers for Cuba.”

“Acorns,” murmured Pilarica.

“And so it has set up in every city and town and village--my father told
me so--urns for the lottery, and all the men who ar’n’t too young, like
me, or too old, like Grandfather and the Geography Gentleman, draw out a
number. If it’s a very, very high number, you don’t go to Cuba, but if
isn’t, you do.”

“And Rodrigo?” breathed Pilarica, who was sitting on the ground exactly
in front of Rafael, leaning forward and squeezing her sandals in her
hands so hard that her toes ached all the rest of the afternoon.

Rafael’s eyes glowed.

“Oh, he was so tall and straight as he stood there waiting his turn. He
had his cap in his hand and he waved it and looked right across the urn
to my father and me and laughed. And my father took off his hat to him.
Think of that! My father! Some day I am going to be a hero, like the
Cid, and then, perhaps, he will take off his hat to me.”

Don Carlos, pacing back and forth on one of the tiled walks, smiled as
he caught the words.

“And then it was Rodrigo’s turn?” prompted Pilarica.

“Yes, his turn among the very first, and I stood on my tippiest tiptoes
to see. I saw his arm go down into the urn, and I saw it come up again,
and in his hand was something that he held out to the officer who was
marking the names. Then the officer smiled, and nodded to my father, and
we knew it was all right; so we followed Rodrigo out of the hall to
embrace him. And I wanted him to come back with us, but he waited to see
how the luck went with his friends.”

It was not till late in the afternoon that Rodrigo came back, and then
he did not come alone. Along the road was heard a sound of tramping feet
and suddenly there broke forth the familiar song of Cuban conscripts.

    “We’re chosen for Alfonsito;
       We serve the little king;
     We care not one mosquito
       For what the years may bring.
     How steel and powder please us,
       We’ll tell you bye and bye.
     Give us a good death, Jesus,
       If we go forth to die.”

“What does this mean?” demanded Don Carlos hoarsely, rising from the
mosaic bench and fronting the lads as they thronged into the garden. He
had already recognized Rodrigo’s voice and now he saw his son marching
among the recruits.

There was a moment’s pause and then one of Rodrigo’s classmates stepped

“We kiss your hands, Don Carlos,” he said, “and salute you as the father
of a generous son. All Granada rings with his praises. For even while
we, chosen for the King, were congratulating him on his better fortune,
up to the urn came a young peasant, a laborer in the vineyards, as dazed
as a pig in a pulpit. He drew a lot for the hungry island, and his
mother--ah, you should have seen and heard her! They say it was she who
led the rabble yesterday afternoon, when the women, hating Columbus for
having ever discovered Cuba, stoned his statue in the _Alameda_. Her
shrieks, as she pushed her way through the crowd to her boy, might have
pierced the very bronze of that statue to the heart. The Civil Guards
laid hands on her to drag her out, but she clung to that staring lout of
hers like a starved dog to its bone. Then Rodrigo, the head of our
class, the pride of the Institute, came forward and gave himself as a
substitute for that dull animal, that mushroom there. And not even a
God-bless-you did the unmannerly couple stay to give him, but made off
as if a bull were after them. To bestow benefits upon the vulgar is to
throw water into the ocean. But we, who know a great action when we see
it, have escorted Rodrigo home to do him honor.”

For the first moment it looked to Rafael as if the stern face of his
father had turned gray, but that may have been only the shadow of the
olive-leaves above his head.

“You are welcome, Don Ernesto,” he replied in a voice even deeper than
its wont, “and welcome to you all, soldiers of Spain. Marta, do me the
favor to bring forth such refreshment as the house affords. Gentlemen,
all that I have is yours. Take your ease and be merry.”

And so all was bustle and jollity till the conscripts trooped away
again, and the family had, but only for one night more, Rodrigo to
themselves. The children decided that it must be a fine thing, after
all, to go and help put Cuba in its right place on the map, for
everybody was talking faster and more cheerily than usual. Only
Grandfather was heard murmuring a riddle that made a sudden silence in
the group:

    “In my little black pate
     Is no love nor hate,
     No loyalty nor treason,
     And though I’ve killed your soldier boy,
     I do not know the reason.”

“Bullet,” guessed Pilarica, her lip quivering as she looked toward Big

“That’s the bullet I’m going to dodge,” laughed Rodrigo. “There are more
bullets than wounds in every battle. Eh, Tia Marta?”

“A shut mouth catches no flies,” returned the old woman tartly. But she
bundled Grandfather into the house where he was still heard crooning to
his guitar:

    “I would not be afraid of Death,
       Though I saw him walking by,
     For without God’s permission
       He can not kill a fly.”

Suddenly Don Carlos turned to Rodrigo, holding out both hands:

“My noble boy, I beg your pardon,” he said. “I will tell you frankly
that I have thought it was your fault to lay overmuch stress on your
own concerns and your own career, a career whose promise has indeed been
bright, and now you have cast it all away that a peasant lad may not be
torn from his mother.”

“I have no mother, sir,” replied Rodrigo, blushing like a girl and
speaking in a hesitating way most unlike his usual fluency. “If there
had been anyone to grieve over me like that--and yet I don’t know.
Something happened--happened inside of me. It was as if a candle-flame
went out and the daylight flooded in. After all, a life is a life.”

“Bah!” sniffed Tia Marta. “All trees are timber, but pine is not

Yet the children reasoned that she was not displeased, for she spared no
pains to prepare a festival supper that evening, serving all the dishes
that Rodrigo liked best, even to spiced wine and fritters.



When they gathered in the garden that evening, the grown people would
still keep talking. Rafael and Pilarica, who were tired and drowsy after
all the excitement of the day, missed the silence that usually fell as
their father smoked and Rodrigo puzzled out his problems. To-night it
seemed that nobody could keep quiet for ten seconds together.

“What shall I bring you back from Cuba, Tia Marta?” laughed Rodrigo.

“Yourself,” snapped the old woman, “with a grain of sense under your
hair for something new.”

“And epaulets on my shoulders? I may return a general. Who knows?”

“Bah! Being a man I may come to be Pope. But many go out for wool and
return shorn.”

Meanwhile Grandfather was strumming on his guitar and murmuring a
riddle that neither of the children had heard before:

    “An old woman gathering fig upon fig,
       Nor heeds whether moist or dry,
     Soft or hard or little or big,
       A basketful for the sky.”

Before they could ask the answer, their father was pointing out to them
the lovely cluster of stars that we call the Pleiades.

“Those are what shepherds know as the Seven Little Nanny Goats,” he
said, “and that long river of twinkling light you see across the
sky”--designating the Milky Way--“is the Road to Santiago. For Santiago,
St. James the Apostle, was the Guardian Saint of all Spain in the
centuries when the Moors and Christians were at war in the Peninsula,
and the story goes that in one desperate battle, at sunrise, when the
Christian cause was all but lost, there appeared at the head of their
ranks an unknown knight gleaming in silver armor, as if he had ridden
right out of the dawn, waving a snow-white banner stamped with a crimson
cross. He charged full on the infidel army, his sword flashing through
the air with such lightning force that his fierce white steed trampled
the turbaned heads like pebbles beneath his hoofs. This was St.
James--so the legend says--and from that time on he led the Christian
hosts till the Moors were driven back to Africa. And up in Galicia, in
the city of Santiago, where your Aunt Barbara lives, is his famous
shrine, to which pilgrims used to flock from all over Europe, and they
looked up at the heavens as they trudged along and named that beautiful
stream of stars the Road to Santiago.”

Now information is amusing in the morning, and pleasant enough in the
middle of the afternoon, when one’s brain has been refreshed by the
siesta, but after a long day of dancing, walking, guests and feasting,
information is good for little but to put one to sleep. Pilarica did not
awaken even enough to know when her father and Big Brother kissed her
good-night, but Rafael questioned with an enormous gape:

“Was Santiago’s horse as good as Bavieca?” and then his blinking eyes
shut tight without waiting for the answer.

It was as well, as it turned out, that the children had a full night’s
sleep, for never in all their lives had there been a day so crowded
with emotions and surprises as the morrow. Pilarica in the great bed of
the inner room and Rafael on his cot under the olive tree were aroused
at the same time by angry screaming that their tousled heads, still in
the borderland between sleep and waking, took at first for Lorito’s, but
as the dream-mist cleared away, they knew the voice for that of Tia
Marta in a rage. She was standing in the middle of the kitchen, arms
akimbo, facing their father, whose hand was raised in a vain effort to
check her torrent of words.

“Would you throw the rope after the bucket?” she was crying. “Is it not
enough that the _señorito_ must sail to the Indies, and you, but you
would have me lead forth those forsaken innocents to Galicia? _Galicia!_
That will I never do in spite of your teeth. Don’t tell me of their Aunt
Barbara. Did she not stoop to marry a Galician? Bah! Coarse is the web
out of which a Galician is spun. It is not the maid of the Giralda who
will pass the end of her days among pigs.”

“But I cannot leave them, Marta, here on your hands. Their grandfather
is now little more than a child himself. What could you do if Rodrigo
and I should neither of us come back? No, no, the children must be in
shelter. They must be with their kindred. The arrangements are all made.
When my ship put in at Vigo for supplies, I took train to Santiago and
settled the whole matter with my sister and her husband. And be assured
that you, who have been so faithful, so devoted, will find warm welcome
under their roof. You can be very useful to my sister.”

“Toss that bone to another dog. An Andalusian to go into service in
Galicia! Take your wares to a better market. Is it at fifty years that
one becomes a vagabond and goes about the world, sucking the wind? _Ay
de mi!_ The wheel of fortune turns swifter than a mill-wheel. Ah, but
your heart, Don Carlos, is harder than a hazel-nut,--ay, as hard as your
head, for the head of an Aragonese pounds the nail better than a

“And your pride, my good Marta, is as big as a church. Why should you
not serve my sister as you have served me? There is sunshine on the wall
even in Galicia. And the children--how could they bear to lose you, too,
on this day when they must lose so much? And what would become of you,
if you were left behind?”

“The dear saints know. When one door shuts, another opens. Hammer away
with that Aragonese head of yours till the skies fall. You are hammering
on cold iron, Don Carlos. Whoever goes, Roxa and I stay here. You may
tear my little angels from me, if you will, but not one step, not one
inch of a step, does either foot of mine take toward Galicia.”

“Galicia? Who is going to Galicia?” called Rafael, appearing in the

“Out with you!” bade Tia Marta, stamping angrily. “The secret of three
is nobody’s secret. Go wash your face, for the world is turned over
since you washed it last. And out with you, too, Don Carlos, if I am
ever to have a chance to get the chocolate ready.”

The chocolate, because of Tia Marta’s agitation or for some other
reason, did not taste right that morning. Even Rafael set his bowl down
half full. All was hurry and commotion. Rodrigo’s new knapsack and a bag
of extra clothing for the voyage were swung upon Shags, while Don
Quixote, who was beginning to wear a sleek and comfortable aspect that
belied his name, was laden with the hammock and a couple of valises that
the children, casting dismayed looks at each other, recognized as their
father’s. Then Rodrigo embraced Grandfather and, with a mischievous air
of gallantry, Tia Marta, who flung her arms about his neck and burst
into a storm of crying. At first she refused to touch the hand that Don
Carlos held out to her, but, suddenly relenting, snatched it to her lips
and rushed back into the house, thrusting the ends of her saffron
kerchief into her mouth to choke her sobs. Roxa, bristling and spitting,
retreated under the bench. But Grandfather sat serene, crooning to his

    “There is no song in all the world
       That has not its refrain;
     When our soldiers war in the Indies,
       Our women weep in Spain.”

Half the dwellers on the Alhambra hill and a swarthy troop from the
gypsy caves flocked down to the railroad station with them. The English
consul tucked into Rodrigo’s pocket a tiny purse through whose silken
meshes came a yellow glint.

“My wife knit it last night for the finest lad we know,” he said. “If
she had had more time, it would have been larger; but it serves to hold
a little English gold, which is a good weapon everywhere.”

Arnaldo was in their following, and Leandro. Even Xarifa had a smile for
the young soldier, but when he waved his cap to Zinga with a blithe
compliment--“throwing flowers,” as the Spaniards say--the girl’s fierce
eyes misted over. At the station were Rodrigo’s professors all praising
him till his face was as red as a pomegranate blossom, and there,
puffing and wheezing, was the Geography Gentleman, with a little case of
medicine to ward off the Cuban fever, and there, just as the train was
about to start, was a clumsy young peasant, who all but dropped the jar
of honey he handed up to Rodrigo, and a gaunt woman, weeping like a
fountain as she pressed upon her son’s deliverer a package of
cheese-cakes made from milk of her one goat.

Both the children were so spell-bound by the cheering and the music, the
strange faces and the dramatic scenes that were being enacted all about
them, that they hardly realized what the moment meant when their father
lifted them up for the good-bye kisses to Rodrigo, who, boyish and
merry, stood squeezed in among his fellow-conscripts on the platform of
the car. The children cried a little, but their father hushed them with
a few grave words and drew them to one side, away from the press of
people about the train.

“Nobody will hurt Rodrigo?” asked Pilarica, with a sudden terror
knocking at her heart.

“No, my darling,” answered her father. “Nothing can hurt Rodrigo.”

“Is that because he is a hero?” queried Rafael, trying hard to get his
voice safely through the fog in his throat.

“Yes,” assented Don Carlos. “That is because he is a hero. He has won
his battle already.”

And with that the engine whistled, and the long train, packed close with
smiling, singing, wet-eyed lads, each young figure leaning forward to
wave a hand, to throw a kiss, to catch a rose, rumbled out of the
station, while all along the line there rose a tumult of farewells.

“Bravo! Bravo!”

“Oh, my son!”

“Till we meet again!”

“Go with God!”

Then Don Carlos led the bewildered children back to the corner where he
had left the donkeys in charge of a man who had been waiting there when
they first arrived. Pilarica and Rafael were sure that they had never
seen him before, for his was not a form to be forgotten, but Don Carlos
had greeted him familiarly as Pedrillo. The man stood now, his short
legs wide apart, grasping in one hand the bridles of Shags and Don
Quixote, who were trying to pull him on to the sidewalk, while with the
other he held the halter of a mule, whose ambition it was to cross the
road. Behind this mule stood, in single file, two more, each with
head-rope tied to the tail of the mule in front. All three were tall,
well-kept, handsome animals, but the man had such a squat, dwarfish body
that he looked to the children nearly as broad as he was long. The face
under the grey _sombrero_ had a nose so flat that it might about as well
have had no nose at all. The stranger was dressed almost as gaily as an
Andalusian in a grass-green jacket inset with yellow stripes and adorned
with rows of bell-buttons, red sash, russet trousers and brown gaiters.

And now Don Carlos set his face in sterner lines than ever and spoke to
the children briskly, as if there were no time to be lost.

“Your Uncle Manuel is a carrier, an expressman, as so many of the
Galicians are. He is thrifty and well-to-do and owns his own train of
mules. Among the muleteers who hire themselves out to him for trip after
trip there is no one whom he trusts as much as Pedrillo here, and so he
has sent Pedrillo to conduct you and Grandfather and Tia Marta, if she
will go--”

Pedrillo winked.

“To Cordova, where you will find your uncle, with the rest of his men
and mules, all ready for the return journey to Galicia, for you are to
have the pleasure of a long visit with your Aunt Barbara and Cousin
Dolores. But first will come wonderful weeks of travel, seeing Spain as
you could never see it from the windows of a railway car.”

Pedrillo nodded hard like a toadstool in the wind.

“When your visit is done, I will come for you, if that is God’s will,
but now I must take this train just drawing into the station, for I have
to join my ship at Cadiz to-morrow. Rafael, listen to me. You have many
things to do, my son. You must take care of your sister, now that you
are the only able-bodied man left at home, and look after Shags and Don
Quixote, who are going with you, and do what you can for Grandfather and
Tia Marta. And be sure to kiss the Sultana’s foot for me as soon as you
get back. I failed to pay her my parting respects and, besides, she may
have a message for you. And Pilarica, little daughter of my heart, don’t
forget to run out to the summer-house the minute you reach the garden.
Who knows what may be waiting for you there? Now I leave you with
Pedrillo, precious ones. Good-bye, good-bye, and Heaven bless you!”

But Rafael flung his arms wildly about his father, and would not let him

“Oh, I wish--I wish--” sobbed the boy.

“Wish nothing for yourself nor for me but that we may do our duty,” said
Don Carlos, his voice, rich with caressing tones, as quiet as if they
were all guessing riddles together under the old olive tree. “Hush! I
will tell you one story, one short story, more. Will you give me a smile
for a story, my Pilarica? And will you remember it every word, my
Rafael, till I come again? The sun goes forth in the morning, on the
course that God has set him, and never halts nor turns. Yet three times
in the day he lifts his face and calls: ‘Lord, I am tired.’ And three
times God answers him out of heaven and says: ‘Follow thy path.’”

Then Rafael let fall his clasping arms, and Pilarica’s smile, her
mother’s smile, gleamed out through the tears, and their father’s look,
as he lifted his hat, rested lovingly on two brave children before he
turned and went swiftly out of their sight.



As the children, riding their donkeys, came in sight of the garden, Tia
Marta stood squinting over the gate. Her eyes were redder than ever, but
they saw all there was to see. They saw the little olive face of
Pilarica shining like the face of one who has looked upon a glory, for
the child’s soul had caught fire from her brother’s deed of sacrifice
and her father’s solemn words, from all the courage and the love of that
farewell scene at the station. She had not known before in her short
life that grief, as well as joy, is beautiful.

“It is the mother looks out of her eyes this day,” said the old woman,
addressing Don Quixote, who twitched a friendly ear. “The holy rose
loves the thorns amid which it grew.”

Pilarica understood this hardly better than the little white ass, though
he made a point of looking impressed, but she could not wait to
question, so eager was she to do her father’s bidding and explore the

Rafael’s face was flushed and there was something glittering on his
eyelashes that made him turn away from Tia Marta’s scrutiny. But his
chin was squarer than ever and, even before seeking comfort from his
fragmentary Sultana, he led away the donkeys with a new air of

Then Tia Marta’s glance, flashing into indignant comprehension, fell on
the queer figure that followed, leading the mules. If looks could kill,
Pedrillo would have dropped with a thump in the dust of the road. The
garden gate banged in his very face, but the Galician, nothing daunted,
began to sing in a curious, croaking voice:

    “The reason the hedgehog has such sharp hair
   --At least, so runs the rumor--
     Is that God created that creature there
       When God was out of humour.”

“I have no time to waste on vagabonds,” called Tia Marta over her
shoulder, as she retreated to her kitchen. “My day is as full as an egg.
So be off with you!”

“Ay, busy is the word, for we all start for Cordova at sun-up
to-morrow,” returned Pedrillo in his gruff tone and rude northern

“That lie is as big as a mountain,” cried Tia Marta, shaking her fist at
an astonished oleander.

“I have got an idea between eyebrow and eyebrow,” continued Pedrillo, as
unruffled as if Tia Marta had paid him a compliment. “I will put up Don
Manuel’s mules where the little gentleman stables the donkeys and then I
will come back and help you with the packing.”

“Huh! Break my head; then plaster it,” retorted Tia Marta. “I want no
help of him who has come to rob me. Put your ugly beasts where you will,
but get away with you!”

When the muleteer, a little later, sauntered through the garden, Tia
Marta was sitting on the bench, shelling the beans for dinner. She split
open the pods with angry motions and bit off the hard, black end of each
bean as spitefully as if she had a special grudge against it. Roxa was
curled up beside her and, uninvited, Pedrillo sat down on the farther
end of the bench.

“The cat is washing her face,” he remarked, “a sure sign that a guest
is coming. She expects me to eat most of those beans.”


Pedrillo, undiscouraged, politely scratched Roxa’s head, and Roxa, in
return, very rudely scratched his finger from nail to knuckle.

“Good cat!” chuckled Tia Marta, as the muleteer raised that bleeding
member to his mouth.

The silence that ensued was broken only by a resentful _miaul_ from
Roxa, as Pedrillo, edging along the bench, pushed her off, until he
suddenly observed:

“Galicia is much pleasanter than Andalusia.”

Only such a preposterous statement as this could have surprised Tia
Marta out of her resolution not to speak another word to this grotesque
and insolent intruder.

“Far countries make long liars,” she gasped, nearly swallowing a whole
bean in her rage.

“But I like the prickly pear that abounds in these parts,” went on
Pedrillo, stealing a roguish glance at the woman beside him. And again
he gruffly intoned one of those Spanish _coplas_ of which he seemed to
have no less a store than Grandfather himself.

    “Be careful, be careful how you awake
     A certain bad little red little snake.
     The sun strikes hot, but old and young
     Stand more in dread of a bitter tongue.”

“I’ll ask you an Andalusian riddle,” jerked back Tia Marta revengefully,
the pan upon her knees trembling with her wrath until the beans rattled:

    “I can sing; loud I can sing,
     Though I hav’n’t hair nor wool nor wing.”

“We know that in Galicia, too,” replied Pedrillo, moving an inch nearer
his ungracious hostess. “Did you ever hear our story about the frog?
Once two Galicians were tramping the road from Leon, and one said to the
other: I’m going home to Galicia.’ ‘If God please,’ corrected his
comrade. ‘Nay, whether God please or not,’ the profane fellow gave
answer. ‘There’s only one stream now between me and my province, and I
can cross that without God’s help.’ So for his impiety the water pulled
him down and he was turned into a frog. Then for three years, what with
leeches, swans and, worst of all, small boys, he did penance enough. But
one day he heard a Galician about to cross the river say: ‘I am going
home,’ ‘If God please,’ croaked the frog, and all in an instant, in a
holy amen, he was a man once more and standing on good dry land in
Galicia. And so I tell you, as a Christian should, that we all start at
sun-up to-morrow for Cordova, if God please.”

Tia Marta tossed her head and squinted rebelliously at the twinkle-eyed
mannikin now close beside her, but after the simple dinner, where
Pedrillo, as good as his word, did the most of the eating, she knotted
up the few belongings of Grandfather and the children in bright
kerchiefs. They let her do as she thought best with their modest
wardrobes, but Grandfather fitted his guitar-case with a strap so that
it could be slung over his shoulders, while Pilarica gathered into
Rodrigo’s book-satchel her most precious possessions, the castanets, the
painted fan and--wonder of wonders!--a golden-haired doll in ravishing
pink frock and white kid slippers that had mysteriously made its way
from the shop-window in Granada to the summer-house. There she had found
it taking a siesta--for its eyelids shut with a snap whenever it was
laid upon its back--in the slender shadow cast by the lonely column.
Rafael disposed his chief treasures about his sturdy little person. The
small Geography was slipped inside his blouse, where it could be quickly
consulted in case they should lose their way. The red cap, of whose
magic he felt much in need, was on his head, and for the new silver
watch--no child’s toy this, but a trusty time-keeper that might last out
a lifetime--Tia Marta stitched a stout pocket under his belt. Nothing
could have cleared the mist from Rafael’s eyes like the finding of that
manly watch carefully looped by its chain about the shapely foot of his

And when Tia Marta, kneeling before the great, brass-clamped,
carven-footed chest in the inner room, raised its massive lid, she saw
on top of the familiar contents a little packet of money marked with her
name. Beating her breast, the old servant rocked herself to and fro. As
if she wanted wages for the care of Doña Catalina’s cherubs! And now
that she had gold and silver, she could go her own way. She could return
to Seville and enter into service there with civilized people, with
Andalusians, under the daily blessing of the Giralda. She was free to
choose. And being free to choose, Tia Marta from that moment began, with
all the zeal in the world, to make ready for the journey to Galicia. And
Pedrillo, whose arms were as long as his legs were short, worked with
her as naturally and effectively as one ox pulls with another.

“But this task is harder than the creation,” fretted Tia Marta and,
indeed, there was much to do. The chest had been originally rented by
Don Carlos with the house, and so had the large bed and the canvas cots
and, of course, the box-bed in the kitchen. The hinged leaf that, when
it was not serving as a table, hung against the wall, the stools, the
meal-box, the _brasero_, the garden-tools, all these must be left. Don
Francisco, taking over the place for his brother, who planned to make a
living out of the garden by keeping a stall for fruit and flowers at the
Alhambra entrance, had paid Don Carlos a few pesetas for them a week
ago. But every old cooking-pot and baking-tin wrung the heart of Tia
Marta. Not one horn spoon, not one wooden plate could she be persuaded
to abandon. The chocolate bowls, the gypsy-woven bread-baskets, the
pitchers and cups of tawny earthenware, the pair of great water-jars
she would not leave behind, but Pedrillo, a miracle of good-nature, was
so handy with his coils of rope and his rough pieces of duck and burlap
that he managed to make it possible for her to take what she wanted
most. In the confusion Pilarica, whose angel moods alternated with
others that could hardly be so described, laid hands on her grimy scrap
of embroidery and, making escape with it to the boxwood hedge in which
Rodrigo had clipped out his green menagerie, thrust it joyfully down the
throat of the largest lion,--a buried treasure for the little nieces of
Don Francisco to discover.

In one way or another, they were all busy as bees till the stars came
out, when the children, at least,--though Rafael slept on a wet
pillow--fell into such sound, sweet slumber that they wakened, with the
sense of adventure overbearing the sense of loss, as good as new in the
first freshness of the morning.

Early as it was, the dawn just silvering the edges of the east, Pedrillo
and Grandfather, who had been a famous horseman in his day, were busy
lading the mules, matching riddles meanwhile so merrily that Pilarica
and even Rafael could hardly swallow their chocolate for laughing.

    “Some wrinkled old ladies,
       Sure to appear
     For Christmas feasting
       And birthday cheer.”

piped Grandfather, handing over a box of Malaga raisins.

    “Sons they are of the selfsame mother;
     One goes to church and not the other,”

grunted Pedrillo, tucking a bottle of wine and a bottle of vinegar into
opposite corners of a striped saddle-bag already stuffed almost to

Tia Marta, searching wildly about for any pet objects that might have
been overlooked, now came rushing forth with a scrubby palm-leaf broom.
Twisting a wry face, Pedrillo shoved it under the straps of one of the
loads, while Grandfather sang:

    “Without an s I would weep,
       Instead of making the hall
     Ready for guests who’ll keep
       Holiday one and all,
     Feasting on frosted cake
       Full of citron and plums,
     While after they’re gone I take
       Only a supper of crumbs.”

Meanwhile Pedrillo had come to grief. Setting his foot against the flank
of the mule he was loading, he pulled so vigorously on the cords that
cinched the pack as to burst two buttons off his trousers. As this
garment boasted only four, the dilemma was serious.

The dumpy little fellow held up those two iron buttons to Tia Marta with
a comical look, croaking:

    “They are round as moons
     And wear pantaloons.”

“But I’ve lost my scissors,” wailed the old woman. “They slipped out of
my hand just now when I was gathering up--_ay de mi!_--the last things
from the chest, and that room in there is darker than Jonah’s chamber in
the whale.”

“Hunt up a candle and look for them, can’t you?” begged Pedrillo of the

It was Pilarica who found, under the bench, a stray inch of tallow-dip,
but it was Rafael who carried it through the house, holding it close to
the floor, while Grandfather quavered:

    “In a little corner
         Sits a little old man;
     He wears his shirt inside his flesh;
         That’s a queer plan;
     And eats his shirt and eats his flesh
         Fast as he can.”

When the scissors turned up, Pedrillo hailed them with a joyous couplet:

    “Two friends out walking quite of a mind,
     Their feet before and their eyes behind.”

The buttons were sewed on with Tia Marta’s stoutest thread, and so, with
song and jest, with bustle and stir and the excitement of trifling
mischances, the great departure was made. On each mule, already hung
with saddle-bags, Pedrillo had fitted a round stuffed frame, covering
the entire back. Over this he had spread a rainbow-hued cloth and roped
on baggage until the mules, in protest, swelled out their sides so that
the cords could not stretch over anything more. Then Pedrillo, after
vainly remonstrating with each animal in turn, had strapped another gay
_manta_ over the whole. On Peregrina, whose harness boasted a double
quantity of red tassels and strings of little bells, he had piled up the
baggage so cunningly as to afford a support for Tia Marta’s back, but
the Daughter of the Giralda, though undaunted by the loftiness of her
proposed throne, had made her own choice among the mules.

“This is mine,” she declared perversely, laying her hand on Capitana, a
meek-mannered beast that stood dolefully on three legs, her ears
drooping, her eyes half-closed, and her head laid pensively upon the
rump of the soot-colored Carbonera.

Pedrillo hesitated a moment, then grinned and helped Tia Marta scramble
up to her chosen perch, where she crooked her right knee about a
projection of the frame in front with an air that said she had been on
mule-back many a time before.

“Now give me Roxa,” she demanded. “Do you suppose I would leave my
gossip behind?”

But Roxa had her own views about that, and no sooner had Pedrillo,
catching puss up by the scruff of her neck, flung her into Tia Marta’s
arms, than she tore herself loose, bounded on to Capitana’s head and
off again to the ground, where she had shot out of sight under the
shrubbery in less time than Tia Marta could have said Bah. But Tia Marta
had no chance to say even that, for Capitana, insulted at the idea of
being ridden by a clawing cat, curled her upper lip, kicked out at Don
Quixote, snapped at the heels of Grandfather who was just clambering to
his station on the back of Carbonera, skipped to one side, dashed by the
other mules and, with a flourish of ears and tail, took the head of the
procession. Thus it was that, just as the full sunrise flushed the
summits of the Sierra Nevada, a lively cavalcade burst forth from the
garden gate. Capitana, utterly disdainful of Tia Marta’s frenzied tugs
on the rope reins, pranced on ahead, her bells in full jingle. Pedrillo,
dragging the reluctant Peregrina along by the bridle, ran after,
shouting lustily. Grandfather followed on Carbonera, and the children on
their donkeys brought up the rear. It was not a moment for tears.
Rafael, as the head of this disorderly family, was urging Shags forward
to the rescue of Tia Marta, and when Pilarica turned for a farewell
look, what she saw was Roxa atop of the garden wall,--Roxa serenely
washing her face and hoping that the new family would keep Lent all the
year, so that there might be plentiful scraps of fish.



Early as it was, the Alhambra children were out in force to bid their
playmates good-bye.

“A happy journey!” “Till we meet again!” called the better-nurtured boys
and girls, while the gypsy toddlers, Benito and Rosita, echoed with
gusto: “Eat again!”

By this time Pedrillo had overtaken Capitana and, seizing her by the
bridle, was proceeding to thump her well with a piece of Tia Marta’s
broom, broken in the course of the mule’s antics, when Pilarica, putting
Don Quixote to his best paces, bore down upon the scene in such distress
of pity that the beating had to be given up. But Pedrillo twisted the
halter around Capitana’s muzzle and so tied her to the tail of
Peregrina. Thereupon Capitana, all her mulish obstinacy enlisted to
maintain her leadership, began to bray and plunge in such wild
excitement that even the decorous Carbonera danced in sympathy. Finally
Capitana flung herself back with all her weight and pulled until it
seemed that Peregrina’s tail must be dragged out by the roots, but,
happily, the halter broke, and again Capitana, trumpeting her triumph,
came to the front.

“Child of the Evil One!” groaned Pedrillo, rubbing his wrenched
shoulder, while Tia Marta swayed on her pinnacle, and Peregrina
cautiously twitched the martyred tail to make sure it was still on. And
after Capitana’s escapades, Don Quixote still further delayed the
progress of the train by a determination to turn in at every courtyard
where he had been accustomed to deliver charcoal and pay a parting call.

Some of the ruder gypsy children scampered alongside, jeering at
Pedrillo’s ugliness and Tia Marta’s plight, but at last even the
fleet-footed Leandro had dropped back and the prolonged sound of
Pepito’s bellow of affectionate lament came but faintly on the breeze.
Then Grandfather, lifting his eyes to the dazzling mountain peaks from
which the sunrise glow had vanished, began to sing in fuller voice than

    “The hood of Lady Blanche
   --You’re free to guess it, if you will--
     It does not fit the restless sea,
       But how it suits the hill!”

“Did you ever see the ocean, Grandfather?” asked Rafael, with a longing
in his uplifted eyes that the old man understood.

“Ay, laddie, and so have you, for the first four years of your life were
lived in Cadiz. Don’t you remember how the great billows used to break
against the foot of the sea-wall? But I like better the waves that play
on the shore at Malaga.”

And again Grandfather sang gaily, for it made the blood laugh in his old
veins to feel the strong motion of a mule beneath him once more:

    “How shall we feed these choir-boys,
       Drest in white and blue,
     Always coming and always going?
       Sandwiches must do.”

“I don’t remember the sea as well as the ships,” said Rafael.

“Ah, the ships!” responded Grandfather.

“It is a sight the saints peep down from the windows of heaven to see--a
ship under full sail.

    “‘Curtsies like a lady,
       Rocks like a gammer,
     Cuts without scissors,
       Tacks without a hammer.’”

Carbonera and Shags had now come up with the rest of the cavalcade,
which had halted at a wayside fountain to wash out dusty throats, and
while Pedrillo was watering the mules and donkeys, Tia Marta, who had
regained her breath after her jolting, struck into the conversation with
the zest of a tongue that would make up for lost time.

“Bah! Why are you asking your grandfather about ships? He will tell you
nothing but rhymes and nonsense. Did I not dwell at Cadiz for a baker’s
dozen of years and what is there about ships I do not know? Live with
wolves and you’ll learn to howl. Live in Cadiz and you’ll soon know the
difference between the sailing-vessels, that spread their white wings
and skim over the water like swans, and the battle-ships, dark and low
like turtles. God sends his wind to the sailing-ship, but it’s the
devil’s own engines, roaring with flame and steam deep down in the iron
lungs of them, that drive on the man-of-war.”

“And my father is the master of those roaring engines,” thought Rafael
with a thrill of pride, as Capitana started on again with a lunge that
nearly dismounted Tia Marta, taken off her guard as she was. Falling
back to the end of the train, the boy gave his red cap an impatient
twirl, but its magic did not avail to show him what he so yearned to
see,--Cadiz, the white city rising like a crystal castle at the end of
the eight-mile rope of sand; Cadiz, the Silver Cup into which America,
once upon a time, had poured such wealth of gold and gems and marvels;
Cadiz, that its lovers liken to a pearl clasped between the parted
turquoise shells of sea and sky, or to a nest of sea-gulls in the hollow
of a rock. Just then--could Rafael’s hungry gaze have reached so far--a
grim battleship was lying like a stain upon those azure waters and from
her turret a stern-faced officer, with the stripes of a Chief Engineer,
was watching through a spy glass a herd of conscripts, driven like
cattle down the wharf to the waiting transports.

Don Quixote began to droop as the midday heats came on, and Pedrillo,
still trudging along on foot, swung Pilarica up to Peregrina’s back.

“And how does our little lady like the open road?” asked the muleteer.

Pilarica had not words to tell him how much she liked it,--how strange
and how enchanting every league of the way, rough or smooth, was to her
senses. Under that violet sky all the world, except for the snowy
mountain-tops, was green with spring,--the emerald green of the fig
trees, the bluish green of the aloes, the ashen green of the olives.
Every fruit orchard, every vineyard, the shepherds on the hills with
flocks whose fleeces shone like silver in the sun, the gleam of the
whitewashed villages, all these made the child’s heart leap with a
buoyant happiness she knew not how to utter. The stranger it all was,
the more she felt at home. As here and there, for instance, they passed
an unfamiliar tree, it became at once a friend, and almost a member of
their caravan. The hoary sycamores were so many grandfathers reaching
out their arms to Pilarica; the locusts clapped their little round hands
like playmates, and the pepper-trees, festooned with red berries,
seemed to rival the gaudy trappings of the mules. Every turn in the road
was an adventure. But the child could find no better language for her
thoughts than the demure question:

“Do you think, Don Pedrillo, that we shall meet a bear?”

“Surely not,” the Galician hastened to answer; “there are no bears left
in Spain to trouble the king’s highways. But if one should peep out from
under the cork trees there, all I would need to do would be to fling a
hammer or a horseshoe at him, and whoop! Off would amble Señor Bear,
whimpering like Diego when his wife first ate the omelet and then beat
him with the frying-pan. For, you see, the bear was once a blacksmith,
but so clumsy at the forge that he scorched his beard one day and
pounded his thumb the next, till he growled he would rather be a bear
than a blacksmith, and our Lord, passing by with Peter, James and John,
took him at his word. And the bear is still so afraid of being turned
back into a blacksmith that if you throw the least piece of iron at him,
he will run away like memory from an old man.”

“Grandfather remembers,” protested Pilarica.

Pedrillo twisted his head and laughed to see how erect the white-haired
rider was sitting upon his pack.

“He is only fifty years old to-day,” he said, “but it is high time for
our nooning. We’ll not squeeze the orange till the juice is bitter. Eh,

And Tia Marta replied quite affably: “You are right, Don Pedrillo. Fifty
years is not old.”

“It is the very cream of the milk,” gallantly assented the muleteer,
helping down first Tia Marta and then Grandfather, for their muscles
were yet stiff, however young their spirits might have grown.

How glad the mules and donkeys were to browse in the shade! And how
briskly Tia Marta sliced into her best earthenware bowl, the drab one
with dull blue bands, whatever was brought her for the salad in addition
to her own contribution of a crisp little cabbage! Pedrillo produced
from one of his striped saddle-bags a handful of onions, so fresh and
delicate that a Spanish taste could fancy them even uncooked, and
lifting one between finger and thumb, croaked the _copla_:

    “This lady has many petticoats,
       But she has little pride,
     For the coarsest of her petticoats
       She wears on the outside.”

Then Grandfather, not to be outdone, held up to general view a scarlet
pepper full of seeds, reciting:

    “The church where the tiny people
       Pray all the week is not
     Cold marble and soaring steeple,
       It is round and little and hot;
     And red it is as a ruby crown,
     This queer little church of Fairytown.”

Pilarica, meanwhile, to whose guardianship Tia Marta had entrusted three
hard-boiled eggs that morning, brought them safely forth from the
satchel, where they had been hobnobbing with the doll, the fan and the
castanets, and passed them over one at a time, to prolong the game. She
herself remembered a rhyme to the purpose and sang it very sweetly to a
tune of her own, dancing as she sang:

    “A little white box
       All can open, but
     Once it is open,
       None can shut.”

Pedrillo made sport for them, when the second egg appeared, by trying to
follow Pilarica’s example, but it was an uncouth dance that his short
legs accomplished in time to the _copla_:

    “My mamma built me a pretty house.
       But without any door at all;
     And when I wanted to go to walk,
       I had to break the wall.”

But Grandfather’s verse, for the third egg, was voted quite the best of

    “A yellow flower within white leaves,
       White without a stain,
     A flower precious enough to give
       To the King of Spain.”

Only Rafael, who had slipped away for a reason that could be guessed at,
when he reappeared, by certain clean zigzags down his dusty cheeks,
missed the fun, but at least he did his share in making away with the
salad, when Tia Marta had given it the final deluge of olive-oil. It was
a pleasant sight for the branching walnut tree that shaded their
feast,--the five picnickers all squatting, long wooden spoons in one
hand and crusty hunches of bread in the other, about that ample bowl
where, in fifteen minutes, not even a shred of cabbage was left to tell
the tale.

But the siesta was a short one for Grandfather, and he rocked drowsily
on Carbonera through the heats of the afternoon, though never losing his
balance. Tia Marta, who was now as bent on leading as Capitana herself,
had a fearsome time of it, despite Pedrillo’s ready hand at the bridle,
for the way had grown hilly, and the mule, having a sense of humor,
scrambled and slid quite unnecessarily, on purpose to hear the shrieks
from the top of her pack.

“In every day’s journey there are three leagues of heart-break,”
encouraged the muleteer, but Tia Marta answered him in her old tart

    “Better it is to stay at home
     Than ride a stumbling mule to Rome.”

They had covered barely a dozen miles of their long way to Cordova when
they put up at a village inn for the night, all but the Galician too
tired to relish the savory supper of rabbit-pie that was set before
them. Tia Marta and Pilarica slept on a sack of straw in the cock-loft
over the stable. Grandfather and Rafael were less fortunate, getting
only straw without a sack, but that, as Rafael manfully remarked, was
better than a sack without straw. Pilarica, too, proved herself a good
traveller, enjoying the novelty even of discomfort. Drowsy as she was,
she did not fail to kneel for her brief evening prayer:

    “Jesus, Joseph, Mary,
       Your little servant keep,
     While with your kind permission
       I lay me down to sleep.”

The floor of the loft was fashioned of rough-hewn planks so clumsily
fitted together that the sleepers had a dim sense, all night long, of
what was going on in the stable below,--the snoring of Pedrillo, the
munching of the donkeys, the jingling of the mule-bells and the capers
of Capitana.

With the first glimmer of dawn, Pedrillo began to load the mules.

“Waking and eating only want a beginning,” he shouted up to his comrades
of the road.

“Your rising early will not make the sun rise,” groaned Tia Marta. “Ugh!
That mule born for my torment has made of me one bruise. There is not a
bone in my body that hasn’t an ache of its own. Imbecile that I am! Why
should I go rambling over the world to seek better bread than is made of

“Don’t speak ill of the journey till it is over,” returned Pedrillo. “I
declare to you, Doña Marta, that the world is as sweet as orange
blossoms in this white hour when the good God dawns on one and all. And
as for Capitana, she is fine as a palm-branch this morning, but as meek
as holy water, and will carry you as softly as a lamb.”

And Capitana, hearing this, tossed her head, gay with tufts of scarlet
worsted, and kicked out at Don Quixote in high glee.




It was the sultriest afternoon since they had left Granada and the
little company rode languidly, wilted under the heats that poured down
upon them from that purple sky which, the Andalusians say, God created
only to cover Spain. Pedrillo had slung his gay jacket across one
shoulder and cocked his hat against the sun. The faithful Carbonera
stepped more carefully than ever because she knew that Grandfather was
dozing in his seat, and even Capitana was so far appeased by the shady
olive spray that Tia Marta had fitted into the headstall as to leave
that much-teased rider free to screen herself with a green umbrella
bordered with scarlet, a gift from the Galician. Rafael’s red fez had no
rim, so that, to escape the sun, he had turned himself about on his
donkey and was riding, quite at his ease, with his face to Shags’
tail. There was no danger that Shags would run away with him! Indeed, it
would have been hard to tell which of the two was the drowsier, the
little gray ass with ears a-droop, or the nid-nodding boy who rode him
in such curious fashion. But as for Pilarica, although she held her
dainty fan unfolded over her forehead, the shaded eyes were as bright
and eager as ever and missed nothing of the sights along the way. It
seemed to her that she could never tire of those orchards rich in the
pale gold of lemons or the ruby of pomegranates, of the reaches of
sugarcane shimmering in the sun, of the rows of mulberries, the bright
mazes of red pepper, the plantations of sprawling figs, the bristling
hedges of cactus, the rosy judas trees and the pink almonds, the white
farm-buildings all enclosed, with their olive presses or their threshing
floors, in high walls set with little towers and pinnacles. Whether it
was a beggar munching a cabbage stalk in the shadow of a palm, or an old
woman in her doorway plaiting grass cordage, or a fruit-seller sitting
beside his green and golden pyramid of melons, or a kneeling group of
washer-women, with skirts well tucked up, beating out clothes in a
rivulet, to each and all she flirted her fan with a coquettish
Andalusian greeting.

And now she saw that they were nearing a village. They passed a group of
children leading a pet lamb adorned with blue ribbons, that had
evidently been taken out into the fields for a frolic and was bringing
in its supper, for on the woolly back bobbed up and down a little basket
filled with grass, of which Don Quixote attempted to taste. A swineherd
strode down from the hills blowing a twisted cow’s-horn, and a huddle of
curly-tailed pigs came scrambling after, full fed with acorns and ready
for home.

An inn stood at the entrance of the village,--a low house, freshly
whitewashed, half hidden in honeysuckle, with yellow mustard and sprigs
of mignonette springing up on the roof between the tiles that shone
green and red in the keen, quivering light. A lattice built in the open
space before the door supported the wandering stems of an old grapevine,
whose broad leaves made a canopy for the rush chairs and rickety tables
set out beneath. As the cavalcade advanced, a line of roguish boys, hand
in hand, ran down the street, barring the way, singing as they came:

    “We have closed the street
       And no one may pass,
     Only my grandpa
       Leading his ass
     Laden with oranges
       Fresh from the trees.
     Tilín! Tilín!
       Down on our knees!
     Tilín! Tilín! Tilín! Tilín!
     The holy bell of Sant Agustin.”

“And as good a tea-bell as any,” remarked Pedrillo. “It is three hours
yet to Cordova and supper. We may as well make it four. Eh, Doña Marta?”

“A sparrow in the hand is better than a bustard on the wing,” assented a
dusty voice from under the green umbrella.

So they all dismounted, while the hens, calling to one another: “Tk ca!
Tk ca! Take care!” scuttled before the mules and donkeys as these were
led into the path of shadow east of the house, where water and a few
handfuls of barley soon gave them a better opinion of life. The
travellers, seeking the shade of the rustic arbor, were served by a
stately, withered old dame with fig bread, made into rolls like
sausages, with cherries and aniseed water. Noting a row of beehives
along the garden hedge, Grandfather sang softly:

    “A convent with many a cell.
     But never a holy bell.
     Little Latin they have for prayer,
     But they make delicious sweetmeats there;”

and the old dame, comprehending, brought a piece of delicate honeycomb.
But from ground and trees there came such a lulling hum of insects, like
the whirr of fairy spinning-wheels, that Grandfather was fast asleep
before the honeycomb arrived. Rafael and Pilarica, however, saw to it
that the dainty was not slighted.

“It’s only a snack, this,” apologized Pedrillo, “but we’ll fare better
in Cordova.”

“Bread with love is sweeter than a chicken with strife,” said Tia Marta
gloomily. “I would our journey ended at Cordova.”

“Tell us about our Uncle Manuel, please, Don Pedrillo,” spoke up Rafael
suddenly. “Is he a good man?”

“Ay, as upright as the finger of Saint John. He is no common carrier,
your uncle. People trust him with packets of rare value, and he is
charged with affairs of importance, as the receipt and payment of

“Is money important?” asked Rafael.

“Your uncle thinks so, but I tell him that many a man gets to heaven in
tow breeches. Yet surely it fares ill in this world with the people of
the brown cloak. There is a saint, they say, called San Guilindon, who
is forever dancing before the throne of God and singing as he dances:

    “‘May the prayers of the poor
     Never rise to Heaven’s door!’

On that saint I, for one, shall not waste candles.”

“Does Uncle Manuel ever get angry with his mules?” asked Pilarica
anxiously, for she had not travelled the white road all these days
without hearing the curses of harsh voices and the thwack of heavy

“Not often, Little Canary of the Moon. Don Manuel is calmer than the
parish church.”

“And our Cousin Dolores?” pursued Pilarica. “Is she pretty?”

“Nothing is ugly at fifteen.”

“And our Aunt Barbara, my father’s own sister? She is lovely, of
course,” asserted Rafael, the wistful look crossing his brown face.

    “‘There is no sea-wave without salt;
     There is no woman without her fault,’

but Doña Barbara is one of the best.”

Suddenly Tia Marta beat her fist upon the table.

“_Ay de mi!_ That I, an Andalusian of Seville, must go to Galicia, to
the ends of the earth, to serve in the house of strangers!” she cried
chokingly. “How shall I bear the ways of a mistress? Whether the pitcher
hit the stone, or the stone hit the pitcher, it goes ill with the

Then there fell upon the group a silence that awakened Grandfather.

“Is the coach rolling over sand,” he asked, “or are the wings of an
angel shedding hush as he passes overhead?”

Pedrillo, who had fallen into a deep muse, roused himself with a laugh.

“We have all been dreaming,” he said in his gruffest tone. “It is
because we are so near to Cordova, the City of Dreams. And yet we are
three hours away. But he who goes on, gets there.”

As the muleteer was paying the modest charge, the children watched the
swineherd who, in his tattered cloak and sugar-loaf hat, was passing
down the street, while the pigs, without pausing to say good night,
scurried off every one to his own threshold. A goatherd, too, whose
cloak was faded and whose leather gaiters flapped in rags, was milking
his goats from door to door.

“People of the brown cloak!” murmured Rafael thoughtfully.

It was already cooler and the beasts they mounted were refreshed as well
as the riders.

“Go on your way with God!” called the old dame from the threshold.

“And do thou abide with God!” chorused the travellers.

Not until the evening was well advanced did they find themselves at last
treading the stone lanes of Cordova, a mysterious, Oriental city, whose
narrow streets were empty at this time except for a few cloaked, gliding
figures and silent except for the tinkling of guitars. It was dark
between the high walls of the houses, yet the children caught an
occasional glimpse through some arched doorway, as the tenant came or
went, of an enchanted patio, its marble floor and leaping fountain
transformed by the moonlight into the unreal beauty of a dream. In every
street at least one cavalier stood clinging to the grating of a Moorish
window, whispering “caramel phrases,” or, his gaze lifted to some dim
balcony, pouring forth his soul in serenade.

    “If to these iron bars
       Thou wilt not bend thine head,
     This very night yon shining stars
       Shall see me lying dead.”

“Ah, this is like my Seville. So long as lovers ‘eat iron,’ we are in
Andalusia yet,” sighed Tia Marta.

    “Though Murillo leans from Heaven
       And his brush in the sunset dips,
     He cannot paint the blushes
       Of your face beneath my lips.”

“I know about Murillo. He painted a whole skyful of Virgins and cherubs.
Grandfather told me,” piped up Pilarica.

    “O these brunettes! Their velvet eyes
       Most terrible appear,
     For they slay more men in one short hour
       Than Death slays in a year.”

“Yet I warrant you he’ll eat a good breakfast to-morrow morning,”
chuckled Pedrillo.

    “If San Rafael should offer me
     His wings to scale the sky
   --O my love! my love!--
     I’d refuse, and the wise Archangel
     Would know the reason why.
       --O my love!--”

“That is my saint,” said Rafael proudly.

“Ay, and the Guardian of Cordova and the Patron of Travellers,” added
Pedrillo. “His image stands high on the bell-tower yonder and it would
be well for you to thank him for our good journey.”

“Does he take care of travellers on the ocean, too?” asked Rafael,
remembrance of his father and brother tugging always at his faithful
little heart.

But Pedrillo did not answer, for suddenly the three mules, quickening
their tired pace, whisked about and made for a familiar portal.

The children let Shags and Don Quixote pick their own way through the
great, dirty courtyard, crammed with carts and canvas-covered wagons,
with bales, baskets and packages of all sorts, with horses, mules and
donkeys and with sleeping muleteers outstretched on the rough
cobblestones, each wrapped in the _manta_ of his beast, his hat pulled
down over his face and his head pillowed on a saddle.

“But their beds are as hard as San Lorenzo’s gridiron,” exclaimed Tia

“And much colder,” added Pedrillo. “Yet hear them snore! There’s no bed
like the pack-saddle, after all. Here! I will tie up these friends of
ours for a minute, while I take you in to see Don Manuel.”

So he hastily fastened the animals to iron rings set in a wall, on which
hung huge collars and other clumsy pieces of harness as well as festoons
of red peppers strung up there to dry.

Crossing a threshold, they were at once in a large room, so smoky that
the children fell to coughing. An immense fireplace, where a big kettle
hung by a chain over the glowing embers, occupied all the upper end.
Stone benches were built into the wall on either side of this enormous
hearth, and from one of them a man arose and came slowly forward.

“In a good hour, Don Manuel,” was Pedrillo’s greeting.

“In a bad hour,” returned his employer bluntly. “You are two days late
and I was minded, if you did not turn up by to-morrow morning, to go on
without you.”

Uncle Manuel was of robust figure and weather-beaten face. He wore, like
Galician carriers in general, a black sheepskin jacket, but his was
fastened in front by chain-clasps of silver. His manners were not
Andalusian, for he did not embrace even Pilarica. He looked the children
over keenly and not unkindly, led Grandfather to his own seat near the
fire, on which the inn keeper had thrown a heap of brushwood to welcome
the newcomers, and paid no attention whatever to Tia Marta, who felt
herself ready to burst with rage. It was Pedrillo who found a place for
her at the very end of the opposite bench and even this slight courtesy
called out a noisy burst of laughter from his comrades.

“And see what a dandy he has made of himself,” mocked Hilario, who
resented, in behalf of his own ginger-colored blouse and cowhide
sandals, Pedrillo’s new finery.

“Dress a toad and it looks well,” taunted Tenorio, so long and lean and
bony that Pilarica quietly held up her doll to get a good view of him.

“If it only had wings, the sheep would be the best bird yet,” put in
Bastiano, whose voice was not merely gruff, as all those Galician voices
were, but surly, too.

Tia Marta looked to see Pedrillo take vengeance for these insults, but
when the flat-nosed little fellow only laughed good-humoredly, her wrath
broke loose.

“The lion is not so brave as they tell us,” she snapped, squinting worse
than ever because of the smoke.

And at once the rough jests of the muleteers, diverted from Pedrillo,
were brought to bear on her.

“But here is a woman with a temper hot enough to light two candles at.”

“Sourer than a green lemon.”

“Long tongues want the scissors.”

“A goose’s quill hurts more than a lion’s claw.”

And still Pedrillo stood sheepishly smiling, even when Tia Marta rounded
on him and on them all with the hated _copla_:

    “A Galician is like the mule
       That he prods with his stick,
  --Only duller than the mule
       Because he will not kick.”

A growl went up from the benches, but Uncle Manuel interposed:

“And what wonder that her patience has lost the stirrup? Tired and
hungry, and then baited like a bull by your rusty wits! Out to the
courtyard with all of you and help Pedrillo curry the beasts.”

But Tia Marta dropped scalding tears of vexation into her bowl of
_puchero_, though that delectable mixture of boiled meat, chickpeas and
all manner of garden stuff, was already quite hot enough with red pepper
and garlic.

Uncle Manuel, having seen to it that the food was prompt and plentiful,
did not speak to any of them as they ate, but busied himself with adding
up columns of figures in a much-worn account book that he drew from an
inner pocket. When they had finished, however, he took from the inn
keeper’s hand a little iron lamp, shaped like a boat, and helped
Grandfather up the ladder that led to the loft. There he conducted them
to two small rooms, roughly boarded off, with a low partition between
them. Hanging the lamp by its ring from a nail, he opened the beds to
make sure that the coarse sheets were fresh, and left them with a grave
“Sleep in peace.”

The mattresses were stuffed with cornhusks of an especially lumpy sort,
and that, perhaps, as well as the spell of Cordova, had something to do
with the fact that they all slept restlessly, dreaming homesick dreams.
Tia Marta heard the hawks wheel and whistle above the Giralda, and their
faces were like the face of Pedrillo. Pilarica, nestling beside her,
moved her little white feet, dancing for Big Brother, who held one hand
hidden as if to surprise her with a gift when the dance was done. And
beyond the partition Grandfather murmured the pet name of his twin
sister who had died in childhood, more than threescore years ago, while
Rafael’s red lips curved in a happy smile, for he stood with his father
in the roaring heart of a swift battle-ship, which changed in an instant
to a beautiful stillness, and they stood in the heart of God.



The boy was wakened by Grandfather’s voice. The only man, lying on his
back, was conversing with a spider whose long cobweb floated from a

    “‘Weaver, why do you weave so high?’
     ‘I take my pattern from clouds in the sky.’”

“And it _is_ cloudy,” announced Rafael, who had jumped up and thrust his
head through an opening, that could hardly be called a window, in the
wall. “How did you know, Grandfather?”

“Oh, I can feel the sky without seeing it, and this morning it is

    “A patchwork counterpane in which
     Not a hand has set a stitch.”

“So it is,” assented Rafael. “I believe we are going to have a rainy

Yet any kind of a day is interesting to a child, and Rafael, having
quickly disposed of a cup of chocolate as thick as flannel, was soon out
in the courtyard, where horses were snorting, donkeys braying, and
mule-drivers, called _arrieros_ in Spain, bawling out guttural
reproaches to their beasts. They were nearly all Galicians, these
_arrieros_, with honest, homely faces. All wore peaked caps that
increased their resemblance to a company of little brown gnomes. Among
them Tenorio looked more tall and gaunt than ever. He was leading out a
graceful, spirited mule, sheared all over except on the legs and the tip
of the tail and decorated not only with the usual red tufts and tassels
and fringes, but with a profusion of tinsel tags. She carried
saddle-bags, but nothing more except a copper bell as large as a
coffee-pot which dangled under her neck and marked her out as the leader
of the train.

Several strings of mules had gone already and others were just getting
away, their bells jingling merrily and their drivers in full cry. “Arre,
ar-r-r-e, ar-r-r-r e!” rent the air to the accompaniment of cracking
whips and thwacking cork-sticks. The courtyard was so nearly cleared
that Rafael easily made his way over to Tenorio.

“Is that Uncle Manuel’s mule?” he asked.

“Ay, his Coronela, and a pampered beast she is,” answered the Galician.
“The master loves her so well that he would give her white bread and eat
black himself. But what do you think of our cavalry here?”

Then Rafael saw that Pedrillo and Hilario were getting a bunch of
pack-mules into line. Their loads were piled high, but they were stolid,
heavy beasts, unlike the riding mules, and though they grunted under the
burden and tried to get rid of their packages by rubbing against one
another, they were so docile that a touch of the staff would send each
to its place. But Bastiano, he of the surly voice, was having
difficulties with a new mule, white and sleek, that he was lading.
Blanco’s head was roped up; the two bales, having been carefully poised
to make sure that they were of equal weight and would balance each
other, had been slung over his back, but as Bastiano was about to lash
them on, Blanco plunged and the load was tumbled to the ground.

“Ha, Tough-Hide!” snarled Bastiano. “That is the trick you would play
on me, is it?”

And plucking up a large stone, he struck the animal cruelly on the side
of the head.

“No, no!” cried a childish voice, and Pilarica was clinging to his arm.
“You mustn’t hurt the poor mule like that. Oh, you mustn’t! You

“It’s the only talk he understands,” muttered Bastiano, his lean brown
face slowly flushing under the horror in those dusky eyes. “You can’t
treat mules like bishops.”

“Why not?” asked Pilarica.

“The world is coming to a pretty pass when a man can’t bang his beast,”
growled Bastiano, dropping the stone, while Blanco planted his four feet
wide apart in stubborn resistance to anything and everything that might
be demanded of him.

At that point there pierced through all the tumult of the courtyard the
shrill tones of Tia Marta.

“Pilarica! Rafael! What have you bandits done with my children? Smoked
sardines of Galicia that you are! Of all the rascally--”

A roar of laughter cut her sentence short.

“Here Aunt Anna Hardbread comes again to throw a cat in our faces.”

“Look out for her! Old straw soon kindles.”

“Call us names and you’ll be sorry. Though we wear sheepskin, we’re no

“Is it true that Dame Spitfire is going with us?”

“Bad news is always true.”

“Give her civil words, then. A teased cat may turn into a lion.”

“Señora, may your joys increase--and your tongue shorten!”

“May you live a thousand years--that is, nine hundred and ten years

“Ruffians!” gasped Tia Marta, as soon as she could get her voice for
fury. “_Cheese-rinds!_ If only there was a man, an Andalusian, here!”

And she glared on Pedrillo, who, more embarrassed than he had ever been
in his life, was standing on one foot and scratching his bushy head.

“An Andalusian!” taunted Bastiano. “Much good that would do you.
Everything with the Andalusians passes off in talk. They are all mouth.
Crabs with broken claws could fight better than your Andalusian

“What is Andalusia?” mocked Hilario. “A Paradise where the fleas are
always dancing to the tunes played by the mosquitoes.”

Thereupon something like a diminutive battering-ram took Hilario in the
stomach and he sat down so unexpectedly that he tripped up the long legs
of Tenorio, who bit the dust beside him. Then Rafael, his black eyes
blazing, leapt on Bastiano, who, stumbling back in his surprise against
Blanco, was dealt a well-deserved mule-kick that sent him, too,
sprawling on the cobblestones.

“Now they will kill me,” thought Rafael and drew his small figure erect
to meet his fate like a hero. At least, if he had not captured five
Moorish kings, he had brought three Galician _arrieros_ low, and perhaps
his prowess would be sung in ballads yet to be. But to his astonishment,
and somewhat to his discomfiture, the courtyard rang with friendly
laughter and applause, in which Hilario and Tenorio, quickly regaining
their feet, heartily joined.

“Good for young Cockahoop!”

“Bravo! Bravo!”

“As valiant as the Cid!”

Even Bastiano, still sitting on the ground and rubbing his bruised
shin, regarded the fiery little champion of Tia Marta and of Andalusia
with an amused respect.

But Uncle Manuel, hurrying back from business in the city and expecting
to find his string of mules ready and waiting, bent his brows on the
scene in evident perplexity.

“It is not too late,” he said to Pedrillo, “to let you take the woman
and little girl and the old man on to Santiago by railroad. My nephew
may choose for himself, but I think he will like to ride with us.”

“Yes, yes!” urged the muleteers.

“We need a protector,” chuckled Hilario.

“And so do I,” cut in Tia Marta. “The boy is the only man among you. As
to that Pedrillo, Don Manuel, I tell you once for all that we will not
journey in his care. I would not trust him with a sack of scorpions.”

“Tut, tut!” protested Don Manuel. “One can accomplish more with a
spoonful of honey than with a quart of vinegar. But if not Pedrillo,
then who? The railroad is dangerous at the best, and there are several
changes to be made from train to train and from train to diligence. I
cannot send you on by yourselves and I can not go with you. Besides, it
would be wasteful. The mules and donkeys are already provided, but the
railroad will cost much money,--the railroad that has so hurt the
business of us Galician carriers.”

“We are well enough off as we are,” said Tia Marta curtly, “if only we
need not have speech with these sons of perdition.”

So Uncle Manuel arranged the order of march with care. He was to lead
the way on Coronela, and the string of pack mules, fastened, as usual,
muzzle to tail, would follow, with Tenorio, Bastiano and Hilario on the
tramp beside them. The necessity of detaching, every now and then, one
or another of the mules that might be carrying packages for some hamlet
off the main route, made so large a number of men necessary. At a
considerable distance, in order to avoid the dust kicked up by those
forty hoofs, Grandfather, Tia Marta and the children were to follow, and
Pedrillo was to act as rear-guard for the entire cavalcade.

The second detachment gave the first so good a start that the mule-train
was quite out of sight, when our little troop rode in single file, under
a pelting shower, through those narrow Moorish streets. Pedrillo paused
at a mat-shop, where the prentices and their master, all squatted on the
floor, were weaving the red, brown and yellow fibres of the reeds, to
bargain for flexible strips of matting to wrap about Tia Marta and
Pilarica, but Tia Marta haughtily declined the attention, although the
rain had already run the green and scarlet hues of her umbrella into an
unwholesome looking blend. Neither would she accept, for herself, his
suggestion that they take refuge, till the shower be past, in the famous
Moorish mosque, but she let him hurry Grandfather and Pilarica through
the Court of Oranges, whose feathery palms and ancient orange trees were
almost as dripping wet as the five sacred fountains, and into the
strangest building of all Spain. On this gloomy morning the interior was
dimmer than ever and in that weird half-light the marvellous forest of
pillars,--hundreds of columns, granite, serpentine, porphyry, jasper,
marbles of every kind and color,--seemed to be dreaming of those pagan
temples, in Rome, in Athens, in Carthage, from which, in the days of
Arab splendor, they had been pilfered by the victorious Caliphs of

Rafael had manfully chosen to stay by Tia Marta and, when the others
came out, the little fellow was having his hands full with the two
donkeys and the two mules left in his charge, while Capitana, who,
jealous of Coronela’s honors, had been vixenish from the start, was
backing into a pottery shop and threatening with destruction a whole
floorful of ruddy water-pitchers, green-glazed pots, buff plates and
amber pipkins. Pedrillo sprang to her bridle and dragged her out again
before she had done more damage than crush that unlucky umbrella against
the lintel, so that rivulets of green and scarlet trickled freely over
Tia Marta’s face, which still, despite this gallant rescue, had not the
least flicker of a smile for poor Pedrillo.

And so it was day after day as the mule-train, leaving behind luxuriant
Andalusia, crept across the rolling pasture lands of Estremadura, Don
Quixote’s province, and the sunburnt steppes of Castile. Tia Marta
regarded Pedrillo no more than if he were one of the infrequent figures
they met on those lonely plains,--an elf-haired shepherd clad in the
woolly skins of his own sheep, an old crone with a basket of turnips on
her head, a milkmaid balancing on either shoulder a jar wrapped in
leaves, a bare-legged peasant with a gaudy handkerchief twisted about
his forehead and streaming down the back of his neck. To these she
would, indeed, say “Good day” or “God be with you,” in response to the
grave courtesy of their Castilian greetings, but Pedrillo might as well
have been a gargoyle on a Gothic cathedral for all the heed she paid to
his hangdog blandishments.

With Grandfather often asleep, Tia Marta always cross and Pedrillo in
the dumps, the children found the advance guard more amusing. Rafael
liked to push Shags forward and ride with Uncle Manuel, although, to
tell the truth, he did not care much for his uncle’s talk. The
practical-minded Galician was not interested in the heroes of Spain and
only shrugged his shoulders when told of Rodrigo’s impulsive
self-sacrifice. Rafael, on the other hand, was soon bored by details of
profit and loss and by tirades against the railroads, fast doing away as
they were with the time-honored mule-express. Though now and then some
special business would take Don Manuel to one of the larger cities, as
to Cordova, in general he served only those remote districts which the
railroad had not yet invaded. Rafael would pore over his little
Geography and then look off wistfully to the east, till the tawny waste
was lost in the hazy blur, and dream of Toledo crowning the black
cliff’s above the yellow Tagus,--Toledo, of which his father had told
him so much, the ghost-city, now a mere white wraith of its once
imperial self. And he was not to see Madrid, either, nor have a chance
of taking off his red cap to the boy king. Still, it was grand to ride
at the head of the procession and it was only when Uncle Manuel would
begin to beguile the way by setting Rafael sums in arithmetic, that
Shags was allowed to fall back to a more humble station.

As for Pilarica, she was the pet of the caravan and as happy as the day
was long. A yellow butterfly on a scarlet poppy was enough to set her
blithe heart dancing. Where Tia Marta saw nothing but endless leagues of
arid, barren soil, Pilarica would find, in dips and dimples of that
parched tableland, patches of sage and rosemary, wild thyme and
lavender, that, trodden under foot and hoof, sent up a cloud of mingled
fragrances. The carriers vied with one another in coaxing the child to
ride beside them. There was not a mule in the train on whose back she
had not been perched, sitting crosslegged like a little Turk between the
two big bales. Tenorio would tempt her by gifts. Whenever they passed
through a village, and now the poorest hamlet was a welcome sight, with
its doorways full of gossiping groups, and its laughing girls, water-jar
on head, clustered about the fountain, his lank figure was to be seen
stooping over stall or garden-hedge buying sweeties made of almonds and
honey, a red carnation or, were there nothing better to be had, a bright
green beetle in a paper cage. The shabby Hilario hunted through his
ginger-colored blouse and trousers all in vain for one loose copper, but
his head was better stored than his pockets and he could allure both the
children by starting up a droning chant of some old ballad, as this:

    “The Cid was sleeping in his chair with all his knights around;
     The cry went forth along the hall that the lion was unbound.

    “They pressed around the ivory throne to shield their lord from harm,
     Till the good Cid woke and rose, our Cid, who never knew alarm;
     He went to meet the lion, with his mantle on his arm.”

As for the cunning Bastiano, he had only to crack his whip high above
Blanco’s untroubled head, and a plump white donkey would charge down
upon him, bearing Pilarica to the rescue.

So one blue summer day followed another until--something happened.

It was at the edge of evening, when the still heated air was musical
with slow chimes from far-off convent-belfries, whose gilded crosses
stood out against the sky. Uncle Manuel was rebuking Rafael for having
failed to provide water enough for the needs of the day. Early in the
journey--too early, in Rafael’s opinion--Don Manuel had equipped Shags
with a wicker frame into which could be fitted four large water-jars,
two on a side. As the caravan traversed that central plateau where water
is scarce, Rafael was expected to fill the jars at every spring, well or
fountain, and give the travellers, especially the tramping muleteers,
drink as it was called for. At first the new responsibility pleased him,
but he soon grew tired of trudging along beside Shags, who had enough
to do with carrying the jars, or of begging a ride on mule-back, and of
late he had grown so negligent that more than once the supply of water
had been exhausted long before the lodging for the night was reached.

Under his uncle’s reprimand, Rafael flushed, but answered haughtily:

“I’m no donkey-boy.”

“Ah! You were born in a silver cradle, perhaps?” Uncle Manuel asked with
quiet but stinging irony. “Are you one of those whom God created too
good for honest work?”

    “A kid-gloved cat
     Catches no rat,”

sneered Bastiano, who had come up for a draught of water only to find
one tantalizing jar after another as dry as his own throat.

Rafael, knowing himself in the wrong, could not retort, but turned
abruptly, drew from the mouths of the jars the four fresh lemons he was
ingeniously using as corks, handed one to Uncle Manuel, another to
Bastiano and, with Shags trotting at his heels like a dog, ploughed back
through the deep dust along the train. He, too, was thirsty,--how
thirsty nobody should ever know; he was ashamed and wanted comfort. He
would join Pilarica who, only a girl though she was, had her values in
hours like this. She could always find excuses for him when he could
find none for himself. Sisters were made for that. But his clouded look
was lifted to mule after mule in vain. She was not with the “cavalry,”
for neither Tenorio nor Hilario, who accepted the remaining two lemons
as a matter of course, had seen her, as they complained, since the

Rafael was too warm and weary for extra walking and he waited for the
riding party to come up, but when it came, though Grandfather, singing
softly to himself, and Tia Marta, in the act of repelling Pedrillo’s
humble efforts to ease her seat with the offering of a cinnamon pillow,
were there, he saw no Pilarica. Don Quixote, with empty saddle, was
plodding along demurely a few rods behind the rest, but when asked what
had become of his little mistress, he twitched his white ears with the
most non-committal air in the world.



While the caravan halted, all in consternation over the loss of
Pilarica, that glad-hearted little maiden was, as ever, on the best of
terms with life. To be sure, the nooning had not been quite as pleasant
as usual. Though the morning route had led past fields softly golden
with the early summer harvest, where reapers in wide hats were wielding
shining sickles, the travellers had found themselves by midday on a
parched upland, neither shade nor water to be had. After their frugal
luncheon of bread and cheese, flavored with onions for the muleteers and
with figs for the children, everybody but Pilarica had gone to sleep in
such scanty shelter from the sun as the pack-mules afforded. Pilarica
had loyally stayed by Don Quixote, who, though his sides were now well
rounded out, cast hardly a larger scrap of shadow than the birds of
prey hovering in the burning blue, so that the child, too hot to fall
asleep, had taken her doll and strolled a little away from the train.
Suddenly she saw stretched out at her feet a shabby cloak, propped up a
trifle by dry stalks and broken bits of brush, the brown of the cloak so
like the brown of the earth that it would hardly be noticed three yards
off. Under this homely tent was--of all wonders!--a baby, a really truly
baby wrapped in a little white kid-skin, a baby who blinked his black
eyes and gurgled drowsily as Pilarica and her doll cuddled down beside
him. And there they all three slept so soundly that the bustle attendant
on getting the train under way did not rouse them, while Grandfather,
supposing that Pilarica was riding with her uncle on Coronela or had
been tossed up by one of the muleteers to a pack-throne, himself untied
the rope that bound Don Quixote’s forelegs together and chirruped to the
donkey to follow Carbonera.

When Pilarica, so exhausted by the heat that her siesta lasted twice as
long as usual, finally awoke, a strange, wild-looking figure was
squatted close by,--a figure so tanned from the mat of shaggy hair to
the naked arms and legs that it looked as if it were only a queer shape
of the sunburnt soil. Pilarica, fearlessly creeping out from under the
cloak and sitting upright, saw at some distance beyond this unkempt
watcher a flock of goats.

The goatherd was devouring a piece of black bread which he dipped,
between bites, into a cow’s-horn half full of olive oil. He jumped back
as the little girl appeared and stared at her with stupid, frightened

“Good-day, sir,” said Pilarica, who knew no reason why one should not be
as polite to a goatherd as to a grandee.

Scared peasant though he was, he had Castilian manners.

“Will your Grace eat?” he stammered, offering his humble fare.

Pilarica declined with a courteous gesture of her little hand, now
almost as brown as his own, and the customary Spanish phrase:

“May it do you good!”

He started again at the sound of her voice, but gulped down the rest of
his bread, corked the cow’s-horn, thrust it into his rough leather
wallet and then went to his flock, soon returning with warm milk in a
bottle. Not daring, apparently, to reach across Pilarica, he pointed to
the baby.

“Oh, may I!” exclaimed the little girl in ecstasy and, gathering that
kid-skin bundle into her lap, she administered the milk as best she
could, singing meanwhile, over and over, one of Grandfather’s lullabies:

    “Recotín, recotón!
     The bells of Saint John!
     There’s a festival on!
     Recotín, recotín, recotón!”

The goatherd, to whom Pilarica’s sweet treble had an unearthly sound,
crossed himself and backed still further away.

“What is the darling’s name?” she asked, too much engrossed in her new,
delightful occupation to notice the peasant’s fright.

[Illustration: “THE CHILD OF HUNGER.”]

“The Child of Hunger,” replied the goatherd. He had a few words, at the
best, and was, besides, more and more terrified in the presence of one
whom he took to be a fairy. For he was but a simple-minded fellow,
believing all the tales that he had heard from wandering shepherds on
the windy waste or from old wives in rough-hewn chimney-corners.
Whenever a lizard glided across his path, he saluted the little green
creature with his best bow, for he believed that the lizard is itself so
courteous that it will not go to sleep on a sunny wall without
descending first to kiss the earth. When his eyes were hurting him, he
would watch the swallows in their wheeling flight, for he believed that
swallows know of a secret herb that cures sore eyes and that they pluck
off its leaves to carry to their nestlings. He always trembled and
crossed himself when he came upon even the prettiest little striped
snake, for he believed that snakes never die, but when they see Death
walking over the plain, looking for them, slip out of their skins and
run away, growing into huge serpents with the years and becoming, in the
centuries, scaly dragons that devour the flocks. This, he knew, was St.
John’s Eve, when, as he had heard since childhood, from every fountain
springs forth a fairy princess to spread her linen, white as snow and
fine as cobwebs, out to dry in the dew. His young wife had perished of
the fever a few weeks before and he could not leave their baby alone in
the poor little hut of their brief happiness. So he had, while tending
his flock, carried the child about with him, but the little one did not
thrive. It would be better to give him to this gentle princess, who,
perhaps, had come so far from her fountain to seek a playmate for that
tiny fairy-baby with the golden hair and the bright blue eyes that never
once winked as they looked out straight upon the western sun. What if
the princess were waiting for a herd of elfin goats to bring that dainty
creature milk? It would be as well for his honest Christian goats not to
meet them. No harm could come to the child in the shining diamond grotto
under the fountain, for the christening dews upon the little head would
guard it from all evil. So the goatherd slyly picked up his coarse brown
cloak and stealthily moved away with his flock, somewhat troubled in
mind, for he thought Saint John might better have sent an angel than a
fairy to their need, and missing so much the accustomed weight, lighter
with every week, upon his arm, that he picked up a young kid and carried
this for comfort.

Only the doll watched him as he went,--a high-minded doll that, as the
afternoon wore by, showed no signs of jealousy, though Pilarica was
utterly absorbed in her new plaything. The baby was almost as good as
the doll, sleeping, or cooing, or kicking with its scrawny little legs.
Once its wandering claw of a hand discovered an ear and did its best to
pull that curious object off to put into the button mouth for proper
investigation. It was this failure to detach its ear that finally roused
the infant to wrath and it bleated as lustily as if it had been born the
tenant of a kid-skin.

“Dear me!” sighed Pilarica, suddenly aware that she was weary and that a
great red moon was climbing up over the edge of the world. “Where has
the hairy man gone with his goats? Why didn’t he leave us some milk for
supper? And when will somebody be coming for me?”

For Pilarica had the wisdom of experience. She knew that somebody always
came for a little girl who was lost. For one moment a homesick thought
fleeted back to her father and Big Brother and the rustling newspaper
doll, and in the next she heard, not at all to her surprise, the
trot-trot of Don Quixote’s hoofs and beheld that gallant ass, with
Pedrillo running alongside, making over the plain toward the nooning

“Cry louder, Baby!” she admonished, with a little shake to which Baby
instantly responded. It was really marvellous what a roar went forth
upon the air, as if the kid had been transformed into a lion-cub. Clear
and shrill above this remarkable accompaniment soared the ringing call
of Pilarica. Don Quixote frisked his ears and tail and turned his course
toward her of his own impulse; Pedrillo gave a shout of joy, and behind
Pedrillo rose the halloo of Bastiano, and behind Bastiano clanged the
great copper bell of Coronela.

There was a festival of greeting for Pilarica, but Baby Bunting, howling
his worst, had a welcome only from Tia Marta. She gathered the brown
bantling into her arms with a torrent of tender endearments and from
that hour constituted herself his nurse and champion.

As the days went by, many and sharp were her quarrels with Don Manuel,
who was determined that the foundling should be left at the first refuge
that offered.

“Do you hope to carry this ugly tadpole on to Santiago?” he demanded at
last. “Then let me tell you once for all that I will not receive it into
my house. My house,” he added, not remembering to be consistent in the
matter of Natural History, “is no nest for screech-owls.”

“Yah-_ee_!” protested the baby.

“Where’s Herod?” asked Hilario, winking at Tenorio and Bastiano, who
mischievously repeated, one after the other:

“Where’s Herod?”

But Pedrillo picked up the child from Tia Marta’s tired shoulder and,
dandling it skilfully, walked back and forth till the fretful cry was

They were enjoying a full midday meal at a village inn, for their
lodging-place was so far on it could hardly be reached before late
evening. Now that they were getting up into the hill country, where
water was more plentiful and the heat not so intense, Don Manuel was
pressing on at the full speed of the train in his desire that all, but
especially the children, should be at Santiago for the feast of St.
James. They were sitting at table in a long open room, at whose further
end stood the mules and donkeys, their halters thrown over wall-pegs
ingeniously made of ham-bones. Swallows flashed and called among the
rafters. Pigeons with rainbow necks flew down to share the crumbs. A
dog and two or three cats hunted about under the table for scraps. An
enterprising hen, with a brood of fluffy chickens twit-twit-twittering
behind her, bore in at the open door with the determined air of a
militant suffragette and flew heavily across the room, lighting, to the
children’s glee, right on Bastiano’s astonished head. The turkey and the
pig, a gaunt black pig with stiff bristles, tried to join the party, but
the dog, recalled to a sense of duty, promptly drove them out.

The muleteers were making merry over their favorite dish of big yellow
peas boiled to a pap in olive oil, and flanked, on this occasion, by a
platter of fried fish, but the children preferred an omelet tossed up in
a twinkling out of the freshly laid eggs that they had helped the
_ventera_ find in the hay-scented stable. Meanwhile Grandfather was
feasting them with riddles and with a treat of roasted chestnuts,
singing as they munched:

    “More than a score of neighbors who dwell
       Each in a satin hall,
     Like a little brown nun in a little brown cell,
       And never go out to call.”

And again:

    “A jewel-case from her treasury
     The courteous forest gave to me
       As through brown leaves I trod;
     A chest as glossy as chest could be,
     A chest locked tight without a key;
       The carpenter was God.”

At this the _ventera_, a dumpling of a body with roguish round eyes,
held a secret consultation with Grandfather and then stood laughing at
Pilarica and Rafael while he puzzled them with an entirely new riddle:

    “Oh, this will make your patience melt,
       The meaning is so shady;
     The lady has a soft brown belt,
       But the belt it has no lady.”

It was not until the doughnuts were spluttering in the olive oil that
the children had the answer in their throats, and then it was on the way
down instead of up. The carriers, even Don Manuel, came crowding about
that tempting kettle, but Tia Marta, her thin face twitching, still sat
on her three-legged stool at the table, crumbling her share of the loaf
for the chickens and doves, and wishing she could give Roxa a shred of
the fried fish. Pedrillo lingered near. Since her absorption in
Juanito, as she called the child whom she had taken to her heart on St.
John’s Eve, she seemed to have half forgotten her grudge against

He came up to her now to show her that the baby slept.

“_Angelito_,” she murmured over it, touching the tiny cheek. “See, it is
fatter already! I could make him well and strong, as I made the donkey.
But what am I to be? A stranger in a strange land, a servant in another
woman’s kitchen, with not even a cat of my own to mew to me. Never
before have I been without a child to rear. There were my little sisters
first, and then my blessed Catalina, and then her rosy Rodrigo--ah, that
cruel Cuba!--and then those cherubs there that Doña Barbara will steal
away from me. Blood is thicker than water, though it be water of tears.
_Ay de mi!_”

“But eat, woman, eat,” gruffly implored Pedrillo. “You are giving away
all your luncheon. Eat, and your trouble will be gone. Bread is relief
for all kinds of grief.”

“Not for mine,” wailed the Andalusian. “Everyone knows his own sorrow,
and God knows the sorrow of us all. Are the doors of Santiago so narrow
that the gifts of Heaven may not enter in? Oh, this Don Manuel! This
Galician with his soul shut in his account book! Growing richer every
trip and grudging a few drops of milk as if he were a son of ruin with
nothing left for God to rain on!”

“Patience, patience!” urged Pedrillo, his snub-nosed face so intent on
Tia Marta that he inadvertently tilted Juanito wrong side up. “Did you
never hear of the monk who, as he was telling his beads in his vineyard,
suddenly held out his hand to see if it rained? Down flew a thrush and
laid an egg on his palm. So the holy man waited, always with his arm
outstretched, day after day, till five eggs had been laid, and then week
after week, till they had all been hatched out and the fledglings had
flown away. Then the mother-thrush, perching on the nearest fig tree,
sang to the monk a song as sweet as an angel’s, so that he was well
rewarded for his patience.”

“Bah! and how about the ache in his arm? But it is long since you have
told me one of your foolish stories, Don Pedrillo.”

And Tia Marta, for the first time since Cordova, smiled on him.

“Ah!” murmured Pedrillo, hastily righting Juanito who was puckering for
a roar. “Give the canary hempseed and you’ll see how it will sing.”

But at this critical moment Capitana, who had worked her halter free and
whose softly jingling bells, as she ambled down the room, had not been
noticed by the absorbed talkers, thrust her long head, with its most
solemn expression, in between the two faces that had drawn so near



As the road wound up into the mountains, fresh energy possessed the
entire company. Even Carbonera became freakish, while Capitana was more
than ever the practical joker of the train. The donkeys ran races. Don
Manuel talked less of his winnings and more of the home-coming, though
he still threatened Juanito, who crowed defiantly and brandished tiny
fists, with the first orphanage they should reach. The rising spirits of
the muleteers bubbled over in songs and witticisms at the expense of
Pedrillo, whose devotion to Tia Marta, no longer forbidden, could not
hope to escape their merry mockery; but that sweet-natured hobgoblin
only grinned under their jesting, and Tia Marta, her tongue at its
keenest, gave them as good as they sent. Grandfather and his riddles
were by this time in high favor with the carriers, and Pilarica, as
brown as a gypsy and as eager as a humming-bird, was very proud of the
homage paid to his wild-honey learning.

And Rafael’s hurt was healing. He loved his father better than ever,
better than in the days of that vague hero-worship, better than when the
dear touch was on his shoulder and the dear voice in his ears,--touch
and voice that he had missed with such an ache of longing. Now dreams
and yearning had both melted into a constant loyalty, a passion of
obedience, that was the pulse of the son’s heart. Pilarica understood.
To the others he was still a sturdy, black-eyed urchin, ripe for
mischief, with a child’s heedlessness and a boy’s boastfulness, but the
little sister knew the difference between the teasing Rafael of the
Moorish garden and this elder brother, whose care of her, though it
lacked the tender gaiety of Rodrigo’s, had grown, since St. John’s Eve,
into a steady guardianship.

They had been climbing for two hours, and those the first two hours
after the siesta, when, even here among the mountains, the July heat was
hard to bear. Springs were no longer infrequent and Shags had been
relieved of his burden of jars, but Uncle Manuel, when they were nearing
some stream long familiar to him, would find an excuse for sending
Rafael on in advance that the lad might have the joy of discovery and
announcement. So to-day it was their water-boy, as the carriers
laughingly called him, who stood at a turn of the ascending road waving
his broad-brimmed straw hat, long since substituted by Uncle Manuel, who
had no faith in magic, for the beloved red fez.

“Water! Fresh, clear, sparkling water! Only a copper a glass!” shouted
Rafael, imitating the cry of the Galician water-seller so common in the
cities of Spain.

“A fine little fellow that!” commented Tenorio, whose long legs easily
kept pace, on the climb, with Coronela.

Uncle Manuel tried his best not to look pleased.

“Needs training,” he said harshly. “Needs discipline. All boys do. I set
him sums to work out in his head every day now as we ride.”

“Ay, and put him to figuring after supper, when he can hardly keep two
eyes open,” grunted Tenorio. “You’ll wear out the youngster’s brains,
Don Manuel.”

“The feet of the gardener never hurt the garden,” replied the
master-carrier, who prided himself on the practical education that he
was giving his nephew.

As the animals came in sight of the cascading stream, they brayed with
joy. The donkeys and the riding mules plunged at once into the water,
and the carriers speedily released the pack-mules so that these, too,
might cool their legs in the pleasant swash of the current.

“Ah!” sighed Hilario, looking up from the bank where he had thrown
himself down at full length to drink. “A brook of Galicia is better than
a river of Castile.”

“It’s wetter, any way,” growled Bastiano, who had gone some distance up
the stream to fill a leather bottle with the pure flow of the cascade.
“The rivers of Castile are dry half the year and without water the other

    “What is the thing--can’t you tell me yet?--
     That falls into the water and doesn’t get wet?”

hummed Grandfather, while his eyes followed the play of a sunbeam in the

“Did you ever hear,” asked Pedrillo of the children, as they watched
Shags and Don Quixote revelling in the rill, “of that peasant called

“What a funny name!” exclaimed the little girl. “A thousand thanks, Don

For Bastiano, who was never surly with Pilarica, had brought his bottle
to her before he drank himself.

“He was called so,” continued Pedrillo, “because one day, when his
donkey was drinking out of a stream in which the sun was reflected, the
sky suddenly clouded over, and the peasant cried out in dismay: ‘Saint
James defend us! My donkey has drunk up the sun.’”

It was so pleasant by the rivulet, under the shade of the great locusts,
that Uncle Manuel permitted an hour’s rest.

“Don’t let us overrun the time,” he said to his nephew, and the men
exchanged winks as Rafael, with an air of vast importance, consulted his

Everybody welcomed Uncle Manuel’s decision. Shags and Don Quixote
trotted off to a velvet patch of grass and rolled in the height of
donkey happiness, their hoofs merrily beating the air. Pedrillo
gathered twigs and made a bit of a fire on a broad grey rock, so that
Tia Marta might heat the milk for Baby Bunting, who lay kicking on his
kid-skin beside her, in the little soft shirt she had knit for him.

“This is not Castile, where I had to dig up the roots of dead bushes for
fuel,” said Pedrillo, his face more comical than ever as he puffed out
his cheeks to blow the flame.

“It is good to be among trees again,” admitted Tia Marta, “though the
pine forests of Galicia are not beautiful like the orange-groves of

“A bad year to all the grumblers in the world!” exclaimed Hilario in
loyal indignation.

    “No heaven was ever invented
     That pleased the discontented,”

muttered Bastiano.

“What have you in Andalusia that shines in the sun like that white
poplar yonder?” demanded Don Manuel.

Grandfather, sitting on the edge of a rock with Pilarica nestled against
him, made a gesture of reverence.

“The white poplar is the first tree that God created,” he said. “It is
hoary, you see, with age.

“Are there good trees and bad trees?” asked Pilarica.

“Yes,” replied Grandfather. “The trees that are green all the year round
enjoy that favor in return for having given shade to the Holy Family on
the journey to Egypt, but the willow, on which Judas hanged himself, is
a tree to be shunned. Yet the birds love the willow, for it gives them
food and shelter. Back in Estremadura, where, you remember, we saw
scarcely a shrub, no birds can nest, and they say that even the wee
lark, if it would visit that province, must carry its provisions on its

“Are all the birds good?” asked Pilarica again.

“Almost all,” replied Grandfather.

    “‘The little birds among the reeds,
       God’s trumpeters are they,
     For they hail the Sun with music
       And wish him happy day.’

But the swallows are best of all, because they used to build under the
eaves of Joseph’s home at Nazareth and watch the face of the Christ
Child at his play.”

“There was once a bird,” struck in Pedrillo, “a very saucy little bird,
who ordered a fine new suit of his tailor, hatter and shoemaker, and
then, quite the dandy, flew away to the palace garden. Here he alighted
on a twig just outside the King’s window and had the impudence to sing:

    “‘In my new spring suit (aha the spring!)
       I’m a prettier fellow
     Than his Majesty there (oho the king!)
       For all his purple and yellow.’

The king, very angry, had the bird caught and broiled and, to make sure
of him, ate him himself, but the little rebel raised such a riot in the
royal stomach that the king was glad enough to throw him up again. The
bird came out in forlorn plight, stripped of all his new feathers, but
he went hopping about the garden, begging a plume from every bird he
met, so that he was soon even gayer and saucier than before. But when
the king tried to catch him again, he flew so fast he drank the winds
and did not stop till he was above the nose of the moon.”

“Bah!” said Tia Marta. “Stuff and nonsense”

“Rubbish!” chimed in Bastiano. “Pedrillo must have been taught to lie by
a serpent descended from the snake of Eden.”

“And what, pray, do you know about it?” snapped Tia Marta, turning most
inconsistently against her fellow-critic, “you who are standing off
there solitary as asparagus or as that ill-tempered old rat who made
himself a hermitage in a cheese,--You who couldn’t tell a story half as
good, no, not for a pancake full of gold-pieces!”

“What a scolding deluge is this! It froths and fizzes like cider. It’s a
pity there are not stoppers enough for all the bottles in the world,”
retorted Bastiano.

“Come, come!” interposed Grandfather. “Stabs heal, but sharp words
never. There is a cool breeze springing up. Thank God for his angel, the

    “‘Without wings to church it flies,
       Without a mouth it whistles,
     And without hands it turns the leaves
       Of the Gospels and Epistles.’”

The little fire on the rock flared up in the gust, and the children,
who, having borrowed all the hats in the company, had ranged them in a
row and were trying to outdo each other in jumping over every hat in the
line and back again without a pause, came panting up to watch the flame.

“Sing us the fire songs, please, Grandfather,” coaxed Pilarica. She
brought the old man his guitar and as the withered fingers moved over
the strings, even Don Manuel drew near to listen.

    “Here’s a fine gentleman come to town;
     His shoes are red and his plume is brown.”

“Ugh!” interpolated Tia Marta, who had burned her finger. Grandfather’s
eyes twinkled.

    “I’m red as a rose for you;
       I live at your command;
     My spirit glows for you.
       Then why withdraw your hand?”

“Don’t forget the one about the charcoal,” prompted Rafael.

    “I may be black when I come,
     But only make me at home,
     And you shall find me a merry fellow,
     Dancing in stockings red and yellow.”

“We stack up pine cones for fuel in our Galician cellars,” observed
Uncle Manuel. “It is only the stupidest peasants who cut down our
splendid chestnuts for firewood, burning their best food.”

    “Green, green, green it sang on the hill;
     Dark and silent it crossed the sill;
     Yellow to-night as a daffodil
     And red as a rose it is singing still.”

“But there is no end to his wisdom!” gasped the admiring Hilario. “Only
two more,” smiled Grandfather.

    “More than a hundred beautiful ladies
       I saw for an instant dancing by;
     All their faces were red as roses,
       But in an instant I saw them die.”

“Those are the sparks,” interpreted Pilarica.

    “Before the mother is born, we meet
     The son out walking on the street.
     Tall as a pine, his weight indeed
     Is less than that of a mustard seed.”

“That’s the smoke,” expounded Rafael.

“And now do let him rest,” commanded Tia Marta, folding her bright-hued
Andalusian shawl into a pillow for the white head. “Lie down there by
Juanito and be quiet till the start. These children, little and big,
would keep you playing and singing for them till the Day of Judgment.
It’s your own fault, too. If you make yourself honey, the flies will eat

While Grandfather dozed, Pedrillo put out the fire and tried to talk
with Tia Marta, but she perversely turned her back.

    “Vainly to the shrine goes poor José;
     His saint is out of sorts to-day,”

mocked Tenorio, but Pedrillo, nothing daunted, set to making Rafael a
popgun. This he did very deftly by cutting a piece of alder half as long
as Pilarica’s arm, which he measured with great gravity from wrist to
elbow. Drawing out the pith, he fitted into the alder tube a smaller
stick to serve as ramrod, and everybody fell to searching for bits of
cork, pebbles, pieces of match, anything that would do for bullets.
Uncle Manuel went so far as to contribute a sharp-pointed pewter button.

So was Rafael, all unconsciously, armed for his great adventure.



From time to time, while our travellers took their ease in the locust
shade, other wayfarers came toiling up or down the steep and stony road
and paused to drink at the stream. There were two strings of pack-mules
during the hour, the muleteers passing the laconic greeting: “With God!”
A freckled lad of a dozen years or so, in charge of a procession of
donkeys nearly hidden under their swaying loads of greens, was too busy
for any further salutation than an impish grimace at Rafael. There were
boorish farmers, doubled up on side-saddles. There was a group of rustic
conscripts, ruddy-cheeked, saucer-eyed, bewildered, their little all
bundled into red and yellow handkerchiefs and slung from sticks over
their shoulders. There was a village baker with rings of horny bread
strung on a pole,--bread eyed so wistfully by a lame dog who was tugging
along a blind old beggar that Uncle Manuel, quite shamefaced at his own
generosity, gave Rafael a copper to buy one of those dusty circlets for
the two friends in misfortune.

Here it was the children first heard the unforgettable squeal of a
Basque cart. Far up the mountain road sounded vaguely a groan, a rumble,
and then a rasping screech that startled Grandfather out of his nap and
made Tia Marta, snatching up Baby Bunting, scramble to her feet in
consternation. When at last the yoke of stalwart oxen, with a strip of
red-dyed sheepskin draped above their patient eyes, came lumbering down
the difficult descent into view, the children saw that they were
attached to a rude cart, whose wheels were massive disks of wood, into
which a clumsy wooden axle-tree was fitted, grating with that uncanny
squeakity-squeak at every revolution. The cart had a heaping load of
cabbages, together with a bundle of fodder for the oxen and a basket of
provision for the driver, who plodded along beside them.

“What a hideous, horrible racket!” scolded Tia Marta, while Juanito,
jealous of this unexpected rival, screamed his lustiest.

“Hush, baby, hush!” soothed Pedrillo. “Hush, or the Bugaboo will get
thee. Nay, Doña Marta, that is the music of my homeland. We all love it
here. The oxen would not pull without it. Besides, it scares away the
wild beasts of the mountains and puts even the Devil to flight.”

“And see those cabbages, the bread of the poor,” exulted Hilario. “Ah,
there is no dish in all Spain so good as our Galician cabbage-broth.”

The wail of the cart, that jolted by without stopping, was yet in their
ears, when Pilarica, who was still gazing after it, began to dance with

“O Rafael! Rafael!” she cried. “Come and see! Come quick! These are the
wonderfullest people yet.”

She had caught sight of a band of pilgrims on their way to Santiago, to
the shrine of St. James, whose festival falls on July twenty-fourth and
still attracts devotees from all over the Peninsula, especially the
northern provinces and Portugal, and even from beyond the Pyrenees. It
was a picturesque group that came footing it bravely up that hot, rocky
road. The bright sunshine brought out the crude colors of their homespun
petticoats, broidered jackets, blouses, sashes, hose. The women’s heads
were wrapped in white kerchiefs, but over these they wore, like the men,
broad hats whose rims were caught up on one side by scallop shells.
Notwithstanding the mid-afternoon heat, most of them kept on their
short, round capes, spangled all over with these pilgrim shells, sacred
to St. James. Their staffs, wound with gaudy ribbons, had little gourds
fastened to the upper end. Some carried leather water-bottles at their
belts, but they had no need of knapsacks, for food was given them freely
all along the route and, if charitable lodging failed, the pine groves
made fragrant chambers.

The pilgrims paused to drink at the cascade, and the children, while
careful not to intrude, ventured, hand in hand, a little nearer. One man
came limping toward them and seated himself on a stone. He was making
the pilgrimage barefoot, as an act of devotion, and a thorn had run
itself into his heel.


“May I try, sir?” asked Rafael, as the stranger’s lean fingers fumbled
rather helplessly at the foot, and instantly, with a twist and a squeeze
and an “Out, if you please,” the boy had drawn the thorn. To prevent the
embarrassment of thanks, Rafael turned to his sister.

“Sing the riddle, Pilarica,” he directed, and the little girl,
Grandfather’s ready pupil, piped obediently:

    “It was this very morning,
       When I was out at play,
     I found it without seeking it,
     I sought it without finding it,
     And because I did not find it,
       I carried it away.”

The dreamy-eyed pilgrim paid no heed to the rhyme, but dropped to his
knees, bowed his head to the ground and kissed Pilarica’s little worn

“For the sake of Our Lady of the Pillar, whose blessed name you bear,”
he said, detaching from his cape--which, in addition to the scallop
shells, was studded over with amulets of all sorts--a tiny ivory image
of the _Virgen del Pilar_ and pressing it into Pilarica’s hand. “Even
so she keeps her state in her own cathedral at Saragossa. Ah, that you
might behold her as she stands high on her jasper column, her head
encircled by a halo of pure gold so thickly set with sparkling gems that
the dazzle of their glory hides her face in light!”

A jovial old peasant, whose costume might have been cut out of the
rainbow, pushed him rudely to one side.

“Well do I know Our Lady of the Pillar,” he boasted, “and her jewelled
shrine in Saragossa, for I am of Aragon, the bravest province in Spain.”

“My father used to live in Saragossa,” volunteered Rafael, with the shy
pride that always marked his mentions of his father. “He has told us of
Our Lady of the Pillar and of the leaning tower.”

“Ah, that swallow is flown. The tower fell a matter of eight years back.
My old wife and I can give you a song about that, for this little
honey-throat is not the only musician in Spain. Ay, you shall hear what
we old birds can do. The children sing this song, you understand, in
dancing rows, one row answering the other, but that wife of mine is
equal to a baker’s dozen of children. Look at her! Is she not devoted to
the good Apostle to trudge all this way on foot? A long, rough way it
is, but many amens reach to heaven. Come forth, my Zephyr! Waft! Waft!”

And he began to troll as merrily as if he had not a sin in the world,
cutting a new caper with every line:

    “In Saragossa
   --Oh, what a pity!--
     Has fallen the tower,
       Pride of the city.”

Out of the applauding cluster of pilgrims a very stout but very robust
old woman, her skirt well slashed so as to display her carmine
petticoat, came mincing to meet him, taking up the song:

    “Fell it by tempest,
       Fairies or witches,
     The students will raise it
       For students have riches.”

An ironic laugh broke from the listeners, while the husband, flourishing
legs and arms in still more amazing antics, caught up the response:

    “Call on the students!
       Call louder and louder!
     They’ve only two coppers
       To buy them a chowder.”

The old dame flirted her canary-colored skirts and skipped as nimbly as
he, replying in her rough but rich contralto:

    “Chowder of students
       Is sweeter than honey,
     But the gay Andalusians
       Have plenty of money.”

At this the children looked so surprised and self-conscious that the
shrewd peasants guessed at once from what province they came.

    “The gay Andalusians
       Have fiddle and ballad,
     But only two coppers
       To buy them a salad,”

roared the man with special gusto, and frisked up to Pilarica, who
dodged away in quick displeasure from those open arms.

But Rafael, to his utter horror, was captured by the monstrous matron,
who grasped the boy in a pair of marvellously strong hands and swung
him, blushing and struggling, up to her shoulder, while, gamboling
still, she led the chorus of pilgrims in the final stanza:

    “In Saragossa
  --Oh, what a pity!--
     Has fallen the tower,
       Pride of the city.”

Thereupon she enfolded Rafael in a smothering hug, smacked him heartily
on each glowing cheek, and then let him drop as suddenly as the tower.
Before he could fairly catch his breath, that astonishing old couple had
started on with the rest of the Apostle’s devotees, leaving Rafael still
crimson with shame and wrath at this outrage on his boyish dignity.

“But pilgrims behave no better than gypsies,” he declared hotly to Uncle
Manuel, who had come up to protect the children in case the fun should
go too far.

“For him who does not like soup, a double portion,” laughed Uncle
Manuel. “You may not always find a kiss so hard to bear. She meant no
harm, boy. These jolly peasants will make their offerings and do their
penances piously enough at Santiago, even though they frolic on the
trip. It is their holiday. There were wild doings along these roads in
the old times, I’ll be bound,” went on the master-carrier, who grew more
talkative and more genial with every day that brought him nearer home.
“Then pilgrims from all over the world, in swarms and multitudes,
sinners and saints all jumbled together, wearied their feet upon our
stony ways. They say there were popes and kings among them. Be that as
it may. There were scamps and fools by the plenty, I’ve no doubt. These
mountains were infested with bandits then, who lay in wait to rob the
pilgrims of the treasure they were bringing to help build the great
church of St. James. Stealing a kiss is the worst that happens now. That
is bad enough, eh? Well, well! What shall we do to cheer him up,
Pilarica? Shall I let the two of you ride Coronela up this next steep
bit? I like to feel Galicia under my feet. Coronela will count you no
more than two feathers, while those little asses of yours, who are not
used to these long mountain pulls, will gladly be rid of their riders.”

And this is how it happened that, some twenty minutes later, Rafael and
Pilarica found themselves proudly leading the train, which they had
already left so far behind that, at the second turn of the road, it was
out of sight. Before them, however, stretched the straggling line of the

Rafael squared his chin.

“I’ll not risk passing that awful old woman; that I won’t,” he avowed,
boldly turning Coronela out of the highway and urging her up the sheer
side of the mountain. “Hold on to me tight, Pilarica, for Coronela will
have to scrabble here.”

The spirited mule, invigorated by her hour of grazing, took the pathless
slope lightly and steadily, but a tumult of calls and laughter showed
that the children were recognized and the purpose of their daring detour
surmised. Rafael, half expecting to see the rotund figure of the lively
old dame leaping after him from crag to crag, recklessly pushed Coronela
on. When at last she slipped and slid, struck a level ledge, regained
her footing by a gallant effort and stood trembling, they were far up
the mountainside, quite shut away from all view of the road by masses of
ribbed and jagged rock. Such a wild, lonely place as it was! These
rocks, all notched and needled and bristling, had a savage look. There
was an angry rock with horns that threatened them, and an ugly rock with
teeth that grinned at them. And out from behind the most wicked-looking
rock of all peered a man, a red-eyed, haggard, desperate fellow, who had
broken jail a week before and, hunted like a wolf, was skulking in the
hills, waiting his chance to escape from Galicia and then from Spain.
Those bloodshot eyes of his stared greedily at the superb mule and his
hand shot out to clutch the bridle.



By a quick, sharp tug, Rafael swerved Coronela out of reach. To his own
surprise, he was not frightened. His mind was filled with one idea, and
his will braced to one purpose. He must save his little sister and Uncle
Manuel’s choice mule from the peril into which his foolhardy performance
had brought them. Coronela could not make speed down that rocky descent.
She would have to pick her way and the robber could soon catch her. All
this flashed through Rafael’s thought as he jerked the mule aside. The
next instant he had leapt to the ground and dealt her a stinging slap.

“Hold on tight, Pilarica! _Arré_, Coronela!”

The mule, Pilarica clinging to her neck, sprang away and the man sprang
after, with the boy in pursuit. Rafael remembered his popgun,--a frail
weapon, but it served. It was already charged with Uncle Manuel’s
pointed pewter button, and as mule and man turned at right angles from
their first course, which had brought them to the brink of a precipice,
Rafael dodged in front and delivered his bullet full in the convict’s
forehead. It struck with enough force to draw blood that trickled down
into the man’s eyes, blinding and confusing him. Before he fully
realized what had happened, Coronela had made good her escape, for he
dared not give her chase after she had come into view from the road.

With a curse he lunged toward the boy, who, intent only on drawing the
enemy away from Coronela and her precious burden, fled back up the
mountain as fast as his legs could spin. As he ran, his watch was jolted
from its pocket under his belt and, glinting in the sun, bobbed at the
end of its chain. He ran well, for all that trudging across Castile had
developed good muscle in those stocky little legs, but the criminal who,
weak from years of confinement, ran clumsily, was nevertheless almost
upon him, when Rafael bolted into a cleft in a giant rock,--a cleft too
narrow for a man’s shoulders to enter. Turning to face the opening while
turn he could, Rafael wriggled and wormed his way until even a small
boy could get no further. Then he stood at bay, not precisely with his
back to the wall, but to a granite crack, breathing hard from his
scamper, but conscious only of a thrilling excitement.

“Come out of there,” called the convict fiercely, “or I’ll shoot you.”

“Shoot away,” returned Rafael, wondering if the man really had a gun.

He hadn’t, not even a popgun. He picked up a stone to cast at the child,
but memory plucked at his arm and held it back,--the memory of his own
blithe, adventurous boyhood. For the sake of the lad he used to be,
before high spirit had led him on to a rash enterprise that blundered
suddenly into crime, the convict’s scarred, unhappy heart softened
toward the courageous youngster trapped in that fissured rock.

“Hand out your watch,” he called again, “and I’ll let you go.”

Rafael’s watch! His father’s good-bye gift! The gift that meant his
father’s faith in him! No, that father should not have cause again to
say that his son was a heedless boy who could not guard his own pockets.

“I will not,” he shouted defiantly.

“Hand it out this minute, before the snakes get at you.”

Snakes! Rafael’s legs jumped, but not his heart.

“I will not.”

“Oh, very good! I’ll leave you for a few days to think it over,”
returned the convict, proceeding to wedge a big rock into the narrow
opening. Adding smaller stones, he roughly walled up the entrance, so
shutting Rafael into a straiter cell than his own too extensive
experience of prisons had ever encountered. He meant to lurk again among
the crags until the search for the boy should be over and then come back
under the starlight for the watch, since a bit of silver in hand might
make all the difference to a fugitive between escape and capture. At the
least, he could trade it for food and a knife. But the officers had him
before nightfall and, in all the dreary years that came after, no
thought of his misdeeds tortured the prisoner so much as the remembrance
of a little boy he had left to perish in a lonely rock.

Rafael’s chief uneasiness, at first, was about those threatened snakes.
What if the crack behind him should be full of them,--clammy serpent
coils swaying for the spring! Would they begin at his ankles? He stood
first on one foot and then on the other, while he squirmed and twisted
out of his extreme retreat. Then he flung himself with all his force
against the rock that had been wedged into the opening. It did not stir.
He set his shoulder to it; he shoved with a strength that seemed greater
than his own; he battered his body against it in desperate endeavor; but
it held fast. The boy’s hands were bleeding when he dropped exhausted to
the ground, a little huddle of despair. But despair would never do. He
was up again and, this time, working with all the skill and patience he
could command to dislodge the smaller stones. After an eternity of
effort, the highest of these was jolted from its place and fell on the
outside, leaving a peep-hole through which the blessed light looked
strangely in, as if wondering to find its friend Rafael shut in a den
like this. The hole was so far up that it showed him only a violet
glimpse of sky, but even that comforted and calmed the boy, who sat down
quietly and knit his brows in thought. What would his father tell him to
do? His duty, of course. But what was one’s duty in a pinch like this?
To get out if he could, and if he couldn’t to behave himself manfully
where he was. Nothing could be plainer than that. Rafael decided to call
for help, even at the risk of bringing back his enemy, but his shouts,
though he did his best, seemed shut into that granite cleft with him. He
attacked the great rock again, and the stones, but without any other
result than to tire himself out. At last the creeping fear, against
which he had been half unconsciously fighting all the time, was getting
the better of his fortitude. For one horrible instant he fancied that
the narrow walls were closing in to crush him. Again he struggled to his
feet. He must do anything, anything, rather than sit still and be
afraid. He clambered, often slipping back, up to the little peephole and
listened, listened, listened until he heard, or thought he heard, the
thudding tramp of the mule-train far down the road and the click-clack,
ding-dong, tinkle-tinkle of its assorted bells. Oh, surely Coronela
would have gone safely down; surely Pilarica would send Uncle Manuel and
Pedrillo to his relief. He must let them know where he was. He must rig
some kind of a signal. There was something yet that he could
do,--something to save him from the terror.

Nature has her own kindnesses in store for us all, and when Rafael,
having rigged his signal, lost his slight footing and tumbled, bumping
his head, in falling, on a projecting stone, she promptly put him to
sleep, so that he lay untroubled and unafraid on the rocky floor of his
prison. He did not hear the excited barking of dogs, as a tall, grave
shepherd, his sheepskin garments fragrant with thyme, met a rescue party
of mingled muleteers and pilgrims searching the mountainside and guided
them to the neighborhood of the cleft rock.

“It was about here, sir,” the shepherd was saying to Uncle Manuel. “I
was on that summit yonder and started down as soon as I saw that the
young master was in danger. Hey, Melampo! Hey, Cubilon! Find the trail,

“What nice names!” observed Pilarica, fearlessly patting one of the
gaunt beasts. Uncle Manuel frowned. This was no place, no errand, for a
girl. He had left her behind with Tia Marta. But that grumpy Bastiano,
who could refuse the child nothing, had set her on Shags and--it served
him right--had had that reluctant donkey to drag up the rough ascent.

“Ay, my little lady,” the shepherd was saying to Pilarica. “All our dogs
have these names, for such were the names of the sheepdogs of Bethlehem
who went with their masters to see the Holy Child in the stable.”

Pilarica smiled up into the wind-worn face of the speaker with happy
confidence. She had noticed him from the road as he stood upon the
summit, a majestic figure against the sky, and had thought in her
childishness that he looked like God, keeping watch over the world.

“And when the shepherds met the other wise men at the door,” she asked,
“did the dogs bark at the camels?”

“Has the girl no heart,” thought Uncle Manuel, “to be talking of such
far-off things, when her brother may be--”

But not even in his silent thought could Uncle Manuel finish the
sentence. Lobina was sniffing at a fresh red stain upon a stone.

Pilarica saw her uncle’s distress and wondered at it. She did not
understand distress. Her soul was still pure sunshine that marvelled at
the shadow. But she slipped, for love and pity, her slender hand into
his hard grip. In a moment he pushed her, not ungently, from him.

“Take the child back,” he ordered Bastiano. “You should not have brought

“She thought she could help,” growled the muleteer.

“Help! Of what possible help could a girl be here? This is man’s work.”

And Uncle Manuel’s eyes anxiously questioned Pedrillo, who had been on
his knees examining the blood-stain.

“Why! I can tell you where Rafael is,” cried Pilarica. “He’s in there.”

And the small brown finger pointed to a tatter of red, that waved, on
the end of what seemed to be an alder reed, from a rock near by. “That’s
Rafael’s magic cap,--all that’s left of it. He always carries it in his
blouse. He has tied it to his popgun. He’s hiding in the rock.”

It did not take the muleteers a moment to tear away the stones that
closed the entrance, but when Uncle Manuel stooped into the cleft and
lifted out the inert little body, a dreadful silence fell upon the
group,--a silence soon broken by Pilarica’s cheerful pipe:

“Rafael! Wake up! It isn’t bed-time yet.”

At that sweet, familiar voice the lids fluttered, and the black eyes,
bewildered, brave, looked up into Uncle Manuel’s face.

The Pilgrim of the Thorn, as Pilarica called him, instantly had his
water-gourd at the white lips, and Rafael revived so rapidly that he was
soon sitting upon his uncle’s knee. He even glanced at his watch, with
his usual air of careless magnificence in performing this action, and
was amazed to find that only one hour had passed since they left the
rivulet. Every man of them wanted to carry him down to the road. The boy
hesitated to make a choice, but when the vigorous old peasant-woman, who
had puffed up the mountainside after the rest, put in her claim, he
decided at once.

“I’ll ride Shags,” he said.



There was still a big lump under Rafael’s hat when, a few afternoons
later, our travellers, after a brief siesta, started out on the last
stage of their long journey. The muleteers were in the wildest spirits,
tossing _coplas_ from one to another and often roaring out in chorus:

    “Galicia is the fairest land
       By God to mortals granted,
     Galicia, our Galicia,
       Galicia the enchanted.”

    Even Tia Marta could not deny the charm of
    the landscape,--ranges of wooded mountains,
    reaches of green meadow and of farmlands
    waving with wheat, cozy farm-houses with
    broad, overshadowing roofs and a wealth of
    vines creeping up the white-washed walls, but
    she waxed ever more indignant at sight of the
    sturdy peasant-women working in the fields,
    driving the ploughs, wielding old-fashioned
    hoes and spades, loading bullock-carts with produce,
    and carrying boxes, barrels, bales, all
    manner of heavy and unwieldy burdens, on
    their heads.

    “So that is what a woman’s head is good for
    in Galicia,” she remarked tartly. “And I’ll
    warrant that the husbands of these women are
    spending, out of every four and twenty hours,
    five and twenty at the tavern.”

    Uncle Manuel, who had insisted on having
    the whole Andalusian party ride at the head of
    the train with him, that he might point out to
    them the first view of the pilgrim city, shook his
    head over this arithmetic, and Pedrillo, festive
    in a fringed fire-red scarf, ventured to remonstrate:

    “Not so, Doña Marta. The husbands emigrate
    to South America, that they may grow
    rich there. Some of them die of the Galician
    homesickness, but others come back with their
    wallets full of gold. And there are many fishermen,
    who are oft casting their lines and

    Grandfather caught only the last word, for
    Carbonera was in a laggard mood, but one
    word was bait enough to land a riddle:

    “I sat at peace in my palace,
       Till I entered a stranger’s hut;
     Then my house ran out at his windows,
       And his door on me was shut.”

“We have lost the first day of the feast, but we shall be in early
enough for the fireworks, I hope,” said Uncle Manuel. His eyes were
shining with an eagerness that made quite another man of him. “Look well
to that rogue of a Blanco,” he added to Bastiano, who had come up with a
peach for Pilarica. “We must not have any mishaps to detain us this

“Never fear!” growled Bastiano. “If we fall in with a wild boar, we have
Don Juan Bolondron and his popgun to defend us.”

Rafael, who had been praised and petted (and forgiven) for his exploit
on the mountainside until he was in no small danger of self-conceit,
detected something that he did not like in this allusion and looked up

“Who is Don Juan Bolondron?” he inquired.

“Ask Pedrillo. He’s the story-teller,” replied Bastiano. “I’m taking
his place at the rear, and I know why, too.

    “‘Lovers have such a simple mind
     They think the rest of the world is blind.’”

“Once there was a poor shoemaker named Bolondron,” began Pedrillo in a
great hurry. “All day he would sit cobbling at his bench and as he
cobbled he would sing _coplas_ about his craft, as this:

    “‘A shoemaker went to mass,
       But he didn’t know how to pray;
     He walked down the altars, asking the saints:
       _Any shoes to be mended to-day?_’”

“Or this,” struck in Grandfather.

    “‘To the jasper threshold of heaven
       His bench the cobbler brings:
     _Shoes for these little angels
       Who have nothing to wear but wings_.’”

“One day when he was sitting on his bench, taking a bowl of porridge,”
continued Pedrillo, “it happened that a few drops were spilled, and
flies swarmed upon them, and he slapped at the flies and killed seven.
Then he began to shout: ‘I am a great warrior and from this time on I
will be called Don Juan Bolondron Slay-Seven-at-a-Blow.’ Now there was
in the region about the city a forest, and in the forest a wild boar
that liked the people so well he would eat several of them every week.
The king had sent many hunters out to take him, but always they ran away
or he devoured them, for he was the fiercest of the fierce. One day it
came to the king’s ears that he had in his city a man called Don Juan
Bolondron Slay-Seven-at-a-Blow.

“‘This must be a terrible fighter,’ he said. ‘Bring him hither to me.’

“So Juan was brought into the royal presence. He wore his best shoes,
but he trembled in them, though the king only looked at him out of two
eyes, quite like anybody else, and said:

“‘They tell me, my man, that you are mighty in battle. Is it true that
you slay seven at a blow?’

“‘It is true, your Sacred Royal Majesty,’ answered the cobbler, who
could only guess how people talk at court.

“‘Well and good,’ said the king. ‘I happen to have, as kings usually do,
a very beautiful daughter, and to you will I give her if you kill the
wild boar that makes such havoc in my city. If you fail, by the way,
you will lose your head. Choose from my armory the weapons that you like
best, and kill the boar the first thing after breakfast to-morrow.’

“So in the morning Don Juan Bolondron, who had armed himself as well as
he knew how, went out to the forest, his knees shaking with fright, to
slay the monster. But he went so slowly, wondering how, if he should be
so lucky as to escape from the boar, he could escape from the king, that
it was past dinner-time when he arrived, and the beast, who could not
bear to be kept waiting for his meals, rushed out upon him, bristling
all over with rage and hunger. When Don Juan Bolondron saw this
horrible, flame-eyed creature coming, he began to run with all his might
back to the king’s palace and the boar came after, so that it was
written down in history as the swiftest race ever known. Don Juan
reached the palace first and hid behind the door, while the boar, losing
sight of him, dashed on into the patio, where were stationed the royal
guards. The soldiers, glad of something to do, discharged their muskets
all at once, and the boar, much to his surprise, fell dead as a stone.
Don Juan Bolondron, who had peeped out to see how matters were going
on, now popped into their midst, drawn sword in hand, upbraiding them
with having slaughtered the monster that he was driving in from the
forest to give for a pet to the king.

“The king, who was sitting, greatly bored, on his throne upstairs, ran
down to see who had called, and when he found that Don Juan had been
bringing the boar as a present to his feet, he was so touched that he
married him to the princess before supper.

“Unluckily, Don Juan dreamt of his bench and, as he had a way of talking
in his sleep, he called to the princess:

“‘Here, wife! Hand me my last, will you! The pincers, too! And my awl,
wife, my awl!’

“The princess, startled awake by his impatient cries, was naturally much
shocked to think that her father might have mistaken a cobbler for a
hero. So in the morning she went to the king before he had finished
shaving and asked him to look into it.

“The king had Don Juan Bolondron Slay-Seven-at-a-Blow summoned to his
chamber at once and thundered, waving his frothy razor:

“‘Fellow, are you a cobbler or a king’s son-in-law? You certainly can’t
be both, even if I have to cut off your head, after all, to set this
blunder straight.’

“‘High-and-Mighty Father-in-Law,’ replied Don Juan, ‘give yourself no
concern. Her Highness, the Princess, my honorable Lady, though very
beautiful, has only a woman’s wit. She was confused with sleep, too, and
misunderstood what I said. I was again in my dream taunting the wild
boar, as I taunted him when I was dragging him by his ears up the palace
steps, telling him that his face was flat as a last, his teeth dull as
pincers, and his bite no more to be dreaded than a cobbler’s awl. You
see, sire, how a woman, unused to deeds of valor, would fail to

“‘They are such impulsive creatures,’ sighed the king. ‘It is very
troublesome. Do you not see, my daughter, how rashly you jumped to a
conclusion? Now go in peace, both of you, and don’t come bothering me
again with your domestic quarrels.’

“And so,” concluded Pedrillo, “my story ends with bread and pepper and a
grain of salt, and I’ve no more to say.”

“I do not care for that story,” said Rafael, who had grown very red in
the face.

“But the Princess was right,” protested Pilarica, with a puzzled little
pucker of her forehead.

“If the Devil had not invented lying, that shoemaker would,” observed
Tia Marta. “But your tiresome tale has not been quite useless, Don
Pedrillo. It has put Juanito fast to sleep.”

“And Grandfather, too,” added Pilarica.

“The better for them,” remarked Uncle Manuel, patting the glossy neck of
his offended mule, for Capitana had just been so rude as to frisk past
Coronela and take the lead.

Pedrillo was quite disconcerted by these frank criticisms and croaked
dolefully, pushing Peregrina on beside the impudent, triumphant

    “Unhappy is the tree
       That grows in the field alone;
     Every wind is its enemy
       Till it be overthrown.”

“What on earth is the matter with the man?” queried Tia Marta.

“There is something I would say to you before we come to the city,”
faltered Pedrillo.

“Say it now,” bade Tia Marta briskly. “Of what art afraid, heart of

“My mother’s son has no wife,” ventured Pedrillo wistfully. “I know,” he
went on to say, with his old twinkle, “that choosing a wife is as risky
as choosing a melon. I know that there is in heaven a cake kept for
husbands who never repented of their choice, and into which, up to this
day, no one has ever set tooth--”

“Bah!” interrupted Tia Marta. “That is because no husbands ever went to

“My house is only a cottage,” pursued Pedrillo humbly, “and Don Manuel’s
house is large and fine. It was a pilgrim inn once and still has the
sacred shell of St. James carved over the door. But ‘little bird, little

“And what would I be in Don Manuel’s grand house?” asked Tia Marta
bitterly. “A cook of cabbage broth, without a place of my own to scold
in or anybody of my own to scold, not even allowed to keep for myself
this child as harmless as a crust of bread, this innocent as pure as a

And she kissed the baby head that nestled so confidingly against her

“There will always be room in my cottage and in my heart for Juanito,”
promised Pedrillo.

Tia Marta, dropping her look to Capitana’s inquisitive, pricked-up ears,
made answer in an Andalusian _copla_:

    “I’ll tell you my mind, and that
       Holds good to the gates of Zion:
     I would rather be the head of a rat
       Than be the tail of a lion.”

“I know I’m not much to look at,” admitted Pedrillo, a trifle aggrieved
by the comparison.

“No, you are not,” assented Tia Marta. “Truth is God’s daughter. But you
are a handy little piece of a man, and since I have a loaf of bread,
I’ll not ask for cheese-cakes. The poor should be contented with what
they find and not go seeking for truffles at the bottom of the sea.”

The two were so absorbed in each other that they failed to notice
Pilarica, who had ridden up on Don Quixote and was now charging joyously
down the line, telling everybody that Don Pedrillo and Tia Marta, while
both making believe to kiss Juanito, had really kissed each other. The
news was received with peals of laughter, and all the carriers ran
forward, voicing saucy congratulations:

“No summer like a late summer,” mocked Bastiano.

“You would better take me, Doña Marta,” advised Tenorio, whose legs
looked longer than ever, attired in their festival garb of
chestnut-colored breeches, with rows of glass buttons down the sides,
“for I have a nose, at least.” And then, turning back, he sang over his
shoulder at Pedrillo:

    “Poor boy! You haven’t a nose,
       For God did not will it so;
     Fairings you buy at the fair,
       But as for noses, no.”

“Don’t trust him, Doña Marta,” teased Hilario, whose shabby suit was set
off for the occasion by a red and gold handkerchief. “He loses his heart
to somebody every trip.

    “‘His loves I might compare
     To plates of earthenware.
     Break one, and Mother of Grace!
     Another takes its place.’”

“A truce to your nonsense!” called Don Manuel, who had urged Coronela on
to the crest of the long rise they had been slowly ascending. “Look!
Look! Yonder is Santiago de Compostela.”

All gazed in silence upon the pilgrim city, set upon a hill in a circle
of hills, its many groups of towers and spires tending upward on every
side toward its crowning cathedral of St. James.

Don Manuel beamed upon the group of Andalusians.

“Will you not be happy here?” he asked, his iron face all quivering with
joy and love, while the honest Hilario wept aloud and the other three
carriers, even Bastiano, did not restrain their tears. “Listen! Where
there are church bells, there is everything. Even at this distance I can
hear them ringing,--the five-score and fourteen holy bells of



“Here they are!” shouted Uncle Manuel, flinging himself off Coronela and
running forward like a boy to embrace his wife and daughter, who had
sighted the mule-train from the roof of their house and had come to the
outskirts of the city to bid the travellers welcome.

Aunt Barbara, a short, dark, active woman, with a face whose expression
was so sweet with gracious kindness that nobody could ever tell whether
the features were beautiful or not, gathered the two children into her
arms with a low, wordless cry of passionate tenderness. As she held them
close, winning even Rafael’s shyness with eager, delicate caresses, they
remembered what they had not known their memories held,--the lavishment
of love that had cherished their babyhood.

“Mothers must be different from all the world,” thought Pilarica, and
pressed, with a sudden yearning for something that her childish heart
had lost, into the depths of that ardent tenderness.

Meanwhile Dolores, a merry-faced, cozy little body, in her festal array
of wine-colored bodice with cuffs worked in gold thread, her petticoat
as blue as a violet, her white kerchief starred with marvellous fruits
and flowers, was giving the prettiest of greetings to Grandfather. And
Tia Marta was met with a cordial gentleness that readily included

“Of course we cannot keep him,” began Don Manuel.

“Wait and see!” laughed Dolores. “You know it will be just as Lady
Mother and I say.” And then she flew back into her father’s arms to kiss
away his very feeble effort at a rebuking frown.

At once the guests were hurried home to pottage. And such a pottage! Egg
and chicken cut into small pieces, bits of ham, red peppers and green
string beans! But they could not linger over their plates, for all the
world was scurrying through the streets toward the cathedral to see the

“Drops of water must run with the stream,” said Uncle Manuel, thrusting
his dripping spoon behind his ear, like a pen, in his haste; but
Grandfather was too weary for junketing, and Tia Marta could not be
persuaded to leave Juanito.

“A Christian child is holier than fireworks,” she declared, standing in
the doorway, under the carven cockleshell, with the sleepy baby fretting
in her arms.

“And quite as noisy,” came back as a parting shot from Don Manuel, who
might seem to have had enough to do, without that, in shepherding his
party of women and children through the surging throng.

Although Rafael’s head, still sensitive from the bump, was aching hard
when they all came home an hour before midnight, and Pilarica had to
pull her hair and pinch herself to keep a certain pair of pansy eyes
from drawing their silk curtains, yet both children loyally felt that
they must do their best to make up to Tia Marta for the ravishing sights
she had missed.

Much relieved that Doña Barbara left it for her to put her darlings to
bed, Tia Marta listened demurely to all their drowsy wonder-tales of
cascades of fire, showers of falling stars, flaming rivers flowing
through the night, golden trees blossoming with rubies and emeralds and
amethysts, the colossal lizard that sprang up with a crash, turning to a
glistening green dragon that tried to chase the stars, and, best of all,
a million-tinted Alhambra which changed, in one splendid instant, to
lustrous silver, to an intense and awful white, and then vanished, with
a series of deafening thunders, as a sign of Santiago’s victory over the
Moors. Yes, Tia Marta listened to everything they could keep awake long
enough to tell her, and never once confessed how she had seen all this,
and more, from the roof of the house, with Pedrillo sitting close beside
her, his hand over hers, to reassure her in case the explosions should
be too loud for Andalusian nerves to bear.

The _fiesta_ lasted for several days. There were solemn ceremonies in
the cathedral, stately processions through the streets, fairs, sports,
open-air music and dancing. Pilarica’s height of rapture was reached
when the King of Censers, the great, silver incense-burner of the Middle
Ages, swung by a system of chains and pulleys from the vaulting of the
central cupola, flashed its majestic curves through the cathedral, a
tremendous fire-bird dipping and rising in a cloud of fragrance over the
upturned faces of the vast, hushed congregation. But Rafael took a boy’s
delight in the eight giants, hollow wicker images some twelve feet high,
representing mediæval pilgrims, Moors, Turks and modern tourists, an
absurd array that strutted at the head of the processions and even
danced, to the music of pipe and tabor, before the High Altar. He was
puzzled to understand how they were propelled until he saw peering out
at him from the waistband of that chief booby, John Bull, the rueful
face of Hilario. A teasing troop of dwarfs were trying to trip and upset
this particularly clumsy giant, and Rafael struck in gallantly to the
rescue, serving Hilario at cost of a bloody nose. He pelted the dwarfs
with melon rinds, while Bastiano, concealed inside the British Matron,
John Bull’s towering escort, gathered up his calico petticoats and
pounded at them with his pasteboard head. Rafael described this, with
high glee, at the supper table, but, remembering Don Juan Bolondron, was
silent as to his own exploits.

In the motley assemblage of pilgrims the children came often upon their
friends of the road. They were all conducting themselves most decorously
now. The dreamy-eyed pilgrim was too deeply absorbed in his devotions
for more than a dim smile at Pilarica, and even the wild peasant woman
was doing a weary penance, dragging herself on her bruised knees up the
long flight of stone steps to the great west doors and on over the worn
pavement of the nave to where the enthroned statue of St. James welcomes
his worshippers.

After the feast of Santiago there came, in the end of August, the
wedding of Tia Marta. Pedrillo had decided, or, rather, she had decided
for him, to give up the road and try to make a living out of the soil,
whereat Don Manuel, who counted Pedrillo his right-hand man, was sorely

“Why not leave the world as it is?” urged the master-carrier. “Is not
the woman better off under my roof, where she is made one of us and has
her spoon in every dish, than living on a mud floor, with goat and pig,
in that cabin of yours, munching a crust of bread and an onion? As for
you, man, your feet will tingle to be on the tramp.”

Pedrillo scratched his bushy head.

“And Juanito?” he asked.

“Ah, Juanito! He is not so bad, that Juanito. He will amuse my wife
while I am away. Now that the little rascal is getting fat on the good,
rich milk of our Galician cows, he cries no more than a pigeon. He will
soon be playing the screech-owl again on such fare as you can give him.”

“I have heard,” said Pedrillo, “that St. Peter, when he lived upon the
earth, was anxious about the rearing of an orphan and told his trouble
to our Lord Christ. The Master bade him turn over a heavy stone beside
their path. So St. Peter, puffing a bit, rolled it over, and found under
it all manner of grubs and slugs living in content. Then said Christ our
Lord to Peter: ‘Shall not the care that provides even for such as these
be trusted to nourish this dear child?’”

“Be that as it may,” replied Don Manuel stubbornly, “every man is the
son of his deeds, and life has not made you a farmer.”

Grandfather who, through all the talk, had been smiling sagely and
strumming on his guitar, now began to sing:

    “Though many friends give counsel,
       Take your own advice;
     ’Tis not by other people’s paths
       One wins to Paradise.”

“Your Honor is as wise as Merlin,” exclaimed Pedrillo, beaming on the
singer. “I invite you to my wedding.”

It was on a sunny morning, when the tassels of the maize were dancing in
the sea-breeze, that Pedrillo and Tia Marta knelt before the priest in a
small side-chapel of a neighboring church. The ceremony was brief. A
white scarf was cast over Tia Marta’s head and over Pedrillo’s shoulder,
and their necks were tied together with a white satin ribbon, called the
yoke. When the ritual of the church had been spoken and the couple had
given each other wedding rings, the priest handed to Pedrillo a tray on
which were heaped thirteen silver dollars. These he passed to Tia Marta
as a symbol of his worldly wealth wherewith he her endowed, and she
prudently knotted the coins up in her handkerchief.

“No wedding without a tamborine,” said Don Manuel, who was bearing his
defeat with a good grace. So the Andalusian bride, quietly dressed in
black with a blue kerchief over her head, and the Galician bridegroom
were made guests of honor in a house of loving faces, of music and of
feasting. Rafael and Pilarica had strewn the rooms with rushes and wild
flowers, and Doña Barbara and Dolores had prepared the wedding
breakfast. The main dish, on which Doña Barbara prided herself not a
little, was founded on rice boiled in olive oil, but to this she had
added chicken, red peppers, peas, salt pork, sausage, clam and eel, and
flavored it all with saffron, so that it was, as everybody said, fit for
the King of Spain.

Then Pedrillo, putting a brave face on it, started off with Juanito,
thrown like a sack of meal across his shoulder, but the baby cooed
serenely and kicked out a pair of pink heels in disrespectful bye-bye to
the great house of the cockle shell. For once, Tia Marta had no words,
but kissed Doña Barbara and Dolores with lips that twitched and

Don Manuel shook her hand and wished her joy in his blunt fashion. He
wanted to venture on a jocose remark, but although she seemed so meek
just then, he still stood in awe of the tongue, by which he had been
often worsted in their battles over Baby Bunting. “A scalded cat dreads
cold water,” he mused, and discreetly held his peace.

Rafael and Pilarica escorted the new family to their home just outside
the city. It was a cottage, to be sure, but with a vine-shaded porch, a
maize-field of its own and a funny little stone barn standing up on six
granite legs and wearing a gabled roof.

As the door was opened, the wind made a slight stir of dust in the empty

“Ah!” croaked Pedrillo joyously. “Good Santa Ana, by way of example to
the housekeeper, is sweeping here.”

“And I will help her,” cried Pilarica, seizing a bundle of peacock
feathers of faded jewel hues and brushing up the hearth. “We have two
homes in Galicia now, Rafael.”

“And another uncle,” laughed Rafael, “Tio Pedrillo.”

“O-hoo!” crowed Juanito.

Then Tia Marta, gathering the three children into one indiscriminate
hug, fell to crying with all her might, which proved that she was
entirely happy.

Autumn came with its harvesting and all the joys of the vintage.
Pedrillo, like his neighbors, made his own wine, and Rafael and Pilarica
had glorious times stamping, in the lightest of attire, on the grapes in
the vat and singing:

    “Green I slept in my cradle;
       Red at the ball danced I;
     But now I’m purple you like me best
       And laugh to see me die.”

The autumn found Dolores more than ever fond of finery. She would don
her best cream-colored kerchief, starred with gold, only to visit her
father’s sheep out in the heather. One early October evening, when the
girl, with shining eyes, had slipped away to join one of the groups of
leaping dancers that dotted the fields, Doña Barbara smiled and sighed,
and sighed and smiled, saying as if to herself:

“There is no sun without its clouds and no lass without her lovers.”

“I heard that handsome sailor-lad of Vigo tell Dolores that she is so
sweet the roses are envious of her,” piped up Pilarica.

“No sailor-lad shall ever enter my door,” growled Uncle Manuel, just
back from another trip.

“No door can keep out love and death,” answered Aunt Barbara softly.

Pilarica began to wonder about love and death. People spoke those words
in such strange, beautiful tones. And night after night she lay awake
beside Dolores to hear a boyish voice, with the hoarse Galician note,
singing under the window. At first the _coplas_ were light and playful.

    “The stars of heaven
     Are a thousand and seven.
     Those eyes of thine
     Make a thousand and nine.”

    “Tiny and dainty, you please me well,
       Down to my heart’s true pith.
     You look to me like a little bell
       Made by a silversmith.”

Then they grew so earnest that the young voice would sometimes break
with feeling.

    “Blest are the sheep that follow you
       Across the meadows green,
     For their shepherdess, in her mantle blue,
       Is like the Heavenly Queen.”

    “Until the singing shells
       On the margin of the sea
     Give me counsel to forget,
       I will remember thee.”

For a while they waxed resentful.

    “Don’t act as if you were the Queen
       Putting on such airs.
     I don’t choose to reach my Love
       By a flight of stairs.”

But soon they were triumphant.

    “I thought thee a proud, white castle;
       I neared thee with alarm;
     And I find thee a tender little girl
       Who nestles in my arm.”

The winter was colder than the children had ever known, but it brought
the same gleeful Christmas, with its almond soup and cinnamon cake, the
blessing of the house with rosemary, the dancing before the mimic
Bethlehem and the putting out of stubby little shoes on the balcony, a
wisp of hay beside them for the camels, that the Three Kings might be
pleased and leave some friendly token--a few figs wrapped in a green
leaf or a tiny fish made of marchpane--of their mysterious passing in
the night. And after the family Christmas--“Every man in his own house
and God in the house of all”--there were gatherings of neighbors to sing
scores on scores of Holy Eve carols, and then the splendid celebration
in the cathedral.

Aunt Barbara, by gentle persuasions of which she alone possessed the
secret, induced Uncle Manuel to let her give liberal store of food and
linen to households in need, and Tia Marta, out in the granite cottage,
held Juanito close as she crooned:

    “Where her happy heart was beating
       Mary tucked her darling in,
     Singing softly: ‘O my sweeting,
       Love the poor and pardon sin.’”

There followed dark, chill weeks when all the tiles took to crying:

    “Ladies sitting on a roof; it is rainy weather;
     Still the ladies sit there, weeping all together.”

And since the new conscription had taken the Vigo sailor-lad away to the
war, Dolores, too, wept and wept until her girlish face had lost its
dimples and its rosy color.

But Pilarica and Rafael, though they did their childish best to comfort
Dolores, laughed the winter through. They searched the woods for
flowers, bringing home violets in January and narcissus in March, while
Dolores, whom they would coax out with them, bore back on her erect
young head a burden of fragrant brush for the evening fire.

Then came Easter, with its springtide joys, and festal summer, bringing
new troops of pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago.

    “A tree with twelve branches;
       Four nests on a bough;
     In each nest seven thrushes;
       Unriddle me now.”

So sang Aunt Barbara, and Pilarica, lifting her radiant little face for
one more kiss, made answer:

    “The months are the branches;
       A week is a nest;
     The days are the thrushes;
       Each song is the best.”



Rafael still dreamed of his father, especially on gusty nights, and
still, as he worked and played, tried to do what his father would
approve. For there was plenty of work, as well as play. Work is the
fashion in Galicia and neither Uncle Manuel nor Aunt Barbara could have
conceived of a happy life without it. Rafael, though he had developed no
liking for arithmetic, pegged faithfully away at the simple sums that
his uncle delighted to set him and became, if not swift, tolerably sure.

“Dame Diligence is the mother of success,” Aunt Barbara would say
cheerfully, when the lad’s face grew flushed over long columns, and
presently a purple plum or a russet apple would be dropped upon the
blurred and crumpled page. Another of Aunt Barbara’s quiet ways of
helping was to divert Pilarica’s headlong rushes upon her brother to
impart some news of burning importance,--how Bastiano had promised her
a hat woven of rushes or how Don Quixote had slipped off the
stepping-stones and splashed down into the brook. Aunt Barbara had only
to whisper _Bat_ to send the little girl dancing away out of doors
again, trilling like a penitent lark:

    “Who is the student--hark, oh hark!--
     Who studies best in the deepest dark?
     Should you disturb his studies, beware!
     This angry student will pull your hair.”

What the boy longed to do was to learn to write, that he might send a
letter to his father, and a tall youth from the Institute, where Rafael
was to go, his uncle said, when he was ten years old, came in twice a
week to set copies in a free, flourishing script and make fun of his
pupil’s painful scrawls.

“I don’t see why letters are so much harder to do than figures,” Rafael
would groan, casting his pen to the floor in an Andalusian temper.

But Doña Barbara would pick it up and pat the ink-smeared hand into
which she fitted it again with cool, comforting touches.

    “Flowers black as night,
     Field white as snow,
     A plough and five oxen
     To make it go,”

she would say in the dear voice that was a softer echo of his father’s,
and the five sturdy little oxen would resolutely resume their labors
with the plough.

As for play, he found the games of Santiago rougher than those to which
he had been accustomed in Granada. He was surprised, at first, to see
such big boys dancing in circles, while a lad on the outside would try
to touch one of them above the waist, but he soon discovered that these
were kicking circles where heels struck out behind so vigorously as to
make it no easy matter to tag without receiving the return compliment of
a kick.

The work element, too, entered into these Galician games. In the first
one Rafael played, he received whispered orders from the leading lad,
“the master,” to “be carpenter and gimlet.” After a few more directions,
Rafael stooped over, his palms on his knees, and held this position
while the other boys in turn took running leaps over him, resting their
hands on his shoulders, but careful not to touch him with their legs.
At the first jumping, every boy would say in the harsh Galician grumble,
like so many leap-frogs at his ear:

    “Here’s a new worker good and clever.
     Man must work forever and ever.”

On the return jumping-trip, when Rafael’s back was beginning to ache,
each asked:

    “What do you do with your best endeavor?”

And he, as he had been instructed, made answer:

    “I’m a carpenter good and clever.”

On the third leaping, each workman paused with his hands on Rafael’s
shoulders to put a question to the master and, upon receiving a negative
reply, vaulted as before.

    “Have you saws that saw as sharp saws should?”
    “Yes, my saws are very good.”
    “Have you planes that plane as smooth planes should?”
    “Yes, my planes are very good.”
    “Have you hammers that pound as hammers should?”
    “Yes, my hammers are very good.”
    “Have you gimlets that bore as gimlets should?”
    “No, my gimlets are not so good.”

At this the last questioner flung his arms about Rafael, pulling the
doubled little figure upright, and all the boys dealt him friendly cuffs
and tweaks as they dragged him to the master, chorusing:

    “He needs a gimlet; that is true.
     He needs a gimlet and he’ll take you.”

And then the game began all over again with another youngster secretly
appointed by the master as “tinker and tongs.”

Pilarica frankly disdained the Galician games. It hurt the child’s sense
of romance and poetry to find the same plays that had been robed in
beautiful suggestion, as she romped through them with her Andalusian
mates, given this queer, workaday, bread-and-butter flavor. How lovely
it used to be when the children would choose Pilarica to lead the
Morning-stars in their dancing advances nearer and nearer the deep
shadow cast by the Alhambra wall! Within the mystery of dusk would lurk
the lonely Moon, waiting her chance to spring and catch the first daring
star who should venture to skip across the line dividing light from
darkness! How the very words of the song twinkled and tempted!

    “O the Moon and the Morning-stars!
     O the Moon and the Morning-stars!
          Who dares to tread--O
          Within the shadow?”

And here was the same play in Galicia so degraded that Pilarica would
never consent to play it. Instead of the Moon in the shadow, a
beanseller sat in his stall, and instead of stars there were thieves who
scampered over the forbidden border, shouting rudely:

    “Ho! Old Uncle! Seller of Greens!
     We are robbing you of your beans.”

On a certain sunshiny morning of her second autumn in Galicia, Pilarica
was protesting to her schoolmates against the game of _Hunt the Rat_.
For Pilarica went to school. The little girl had teased so to be taught
that Uncle Manuel, to quiet her, was sending her, at a penny a week, to
the dame-school kept in the porch of an old gray church. It was against
the church wall that the children were seated in a close row, so that
the rat, Pilarica’s shoe, could be hidden between the wall and the
small of their backs. As the shoe was shuffled along from one to
another, the seeker was teased with the song:

    “Rat, rat! Can’t you find the rat?
     Look in this hole and look in that.”

“It’s ugly,” pouted Pilarica. “I don’t want my shoe to be a rat. Why
don’t you hunt a golden cup or a fairy or something else that is nice to
think about?”

The other children stared and one tall, sullen-faced girl rudely threw
the shoe back to Pilarica.

“Because we don’t have golden cups and fairies in Galicia to hunt,” she
said, “and we do have rats. That’s sense, isn’t it? But take your old
shoe. We don’t want it.”

“These are not old shoes, yet,” replied Pilarica with untroubled
sweetness, “because their eyes are shut.”

“Do you mean anything by that?” demanded the sullen-faced girl.

Pilarica put on the rat-shoe, curling her toes with a shiver of disgust,
stretched out her feet and sang:

    “Two little brothers
       Just of a size;
     When they get to be old folks
       They’ll open their eyes.”

“Mine are wide open,” lisped a midget beside her, tumbling over on his
back that he might the better hold up his ragged footgear to the public
gaze, but as most of the children were barefoot, the subject was allowed
to lapse.

The morning session was half over, as you could see by looking down that
row of child faces. Half of them had been washed, and the other half
evidently not. Pilarica was one of some five, out of the fifty, that
came clean and tidy from home. The teacher, a white-headed grandmother,
with a poppy-red handkerchief twisted into a horn over each temple, now
appeared scuffling around the corner of the church on her knees, with
loud puffings and groanings. She had a hard vow to fulfil,--to go
seventy times around the outside of the church on those rheumatic
joints, and the gravel was cruel; but she tried to make one circuit
every day. Bowing her white head and kissing the lowest step of the
porch, she dragged herself up and, sitting down on the alabaster
fragment of a long-since-shattered statue, clucked for her pupils to
gather round her as a hen would call her chickens.

“We will leave the rest of the faces till afternoon,” she announced.
“Some of you may rub my knees, and Pilarica may have her doll and drill
you in the scales.”

The shrewd old mistress had discovered that Pilarica was possessed of a
little musical knowledge, thanks to Grandfather and his guitar, and so
allowed her to bring her doll, essential to the lesson, to school; but
its Paris wardrobe and Granada countenance had suffered so much in
Galician handling that dolly was now regularly placed, for safe keeping,
between the jaws of a stone griffin above the porch. The biggest boy had
the daily privilege of climbing up and depositing it there, and the old
dame’s rod would knock it out again to be caught in Pilarica’s anxious
arms. Battered and tattered as the doll had become under this severe
educational process, it was dearer to Pilarica than ever, and she
clasped it tight as, standing before the children, she sang in that
clear, fresh voice which even the sullen-faced girl gladdened to hear:

  “_Do_n’t pin-prick my darling dolly,    _Do_
  _Re_spect my domestic matters.          _Re_
  _Me_thinks she grows melancholy,        _Mi_
  _Fa_st as her sawdust scatters.         _Fa_
  _Sol_e rose of your mamma’s posy.       _Sol_
  _La_ugh at your mamma, so!              _La_
  _Se_al up your eyes all cozy.           _Si_
      _La Sol Fa Mi Re Do._”

After Pilarica and the doll had done their best for half an hour to
inculcate a knowledge of the scales, the dame bade the children go and
play _Kite_ in the churchyard; but one of them remained.

“Well?” asked the old woman apprehensively.

“Will you please teach me something?” pleaded Pilarica.

“Ay, child, to be sure I will,” and the wrinkled hand drew, from a crack
in a wondrously carven pedestal beside her, all the library the school
possessed,--a dilapidated primer and a few loose leaves from a

The mistress pored over these dubiously for a while and then her look

“This is _O_,” she said impressively, “and that is _M_.”

“But you teach me O and M every time,” remonstrated Pilarica, “and never
anything else. Indeed, I know O and M quite well now.”

The old dame cocked her red horns petulantly and thrust back her library
into the marble crevice.

“O and M are very good learning,” she insisted. “Go back under the
doorway and say your prayer and don’t come to school again to-day.”

So Pilarica, the corners of her mouth drooping just a little, knelt
under the Gothic portal and repeated:

    “Mother Most Holy,
     Thy servant kneels to say
     That with thy kind permission
     It is time to play.
     Mother Most Holy,
     My loving heart implores,
     Bless this little sinner
     Before she runs outdoors.”



Pilarica was quite at home, by this time, in the crooked, sombre streets
of Santiago, whose stones are histories. There fell on her unconscious
little figure, as she tripped along, the shadow of ancient
buildings,--churches, convents, hospitals, with quaintly sculptured
fronts. Over many of the massive, deeply recessed doors was graven the
cockle shell of St. James, showing that these were once rest houses for
the overflow of pilgrims, of whom thousands used to sleep on the floor
of the cathedral. Over the rough granite slabs that paved the roads her
little feet danced on to an inner music of her own, though all about her
was the harsh uproar of a Spanish city,--children blowing penny
whistles, blacksmiths beating their anvils, shopmen calling their wares.
The screech of the file, the grating of the saw, the click of the
chisel, added their discords to the braying of donkeys, the cracking of
whips, the screaming of parrots, the clanging of mule-bells.

Pilarica was glad to come out from the hubbub of the streets into the
comparative quiet of the great square from whose midst arises, a dark
mass of fretted granite, the cathedral of St. James. About one of its
fountains, carved in the shape of the pilgrim shell, were grouped a
number of girls, Dolores among them, filling the slender water-buckets
of Galicia and lifting them to their heads. They were singing _coplas_,
as in autumns past, but now their songs were sorrowful instead of merry,
for the brothers and lovers who had been drafted for the war did not
return and slowly there had filtered through, even to Santiago, news of
disaster and defeat.

One sad young voice after another made its moan, and Pilarica stood
listening with her innocent smile undimmed. She knew these girls,
Dolores’ friends, and to her childishness the pathos of their new songs
was sweeter than their former _coplas_ of mirth.

It was Milagros who was singing when Pilarica came:

    “Wherever the lads are thronging,
       I see him, still their chief.
     Oh, shadow of my longing!
       Vain shadow of my grief!”

Then rose the shrill note of little Peligros:

    “Oh, for a horse of air
       To gallop down the skies,
     And carry me swiftly where
       My wounded lover lies!”

The bowed figure of a woman in middle life, moving toward the cathedral,
had paused to hear the strains, and suddenly from her there broke a
passionate contralto:

    “My cabin has a window
       That looks on sea and sky,
     And all the day I sit and watch
       Ships and clouds go by.
     Sailor, sailor, climb the mast,
       Ask wind and spray and sea
     What they have done with a widow’s son
       That the King’s fleet took from me.”

The widow passed slowly on into the church, and Pilarica heard a muffled
tone, sounding like a sob, that she hardly recognized, at first, as
coming from Dolores:

    “Three names shall tell his story:
       ’Twas Vigo gave him breath,
     Santiago gave him love,
       And Cuba gave him death.”

Then soared the pure, clear voice of Consuelo:

    “God has lifted my belovèd
       To His fair blue world above;
     I shall not see my belovèd,
       Not again, till I see Love.”

Pilarica skipped over to Dolores and pulled at her skirt.

“Will you go for walnuts with dolly and me?” she entreated. “The
mistress will not have me in the school again to-day, because I want to
learn. We can stop at the cottage for luncheon.”

Dolores looked down at her eager little cousin with kind, listless eyes.

“I must take home my bucket,” she said, “but I will come back.”

When she came back, Rafael was with her. Pilarica had disappeared from
the square, but they knew that they would find her in the cathedral, for
the cathedral was everybody’s meeting-place, everybody’s resting-place
and the playground of all the children of Santiago.

They found her before the so-called Porch of Paradise, or Gate of Glory,
one of the supreme works of Christian art. Pilarica was never weary of
gazing at it. What was once an outside portico, most richly and
exquisitely chiselled, is now enclosed at the west end of the church. It
represents Christ enthroned among the blest, a multitude of vivid saints
whose faces glow with fullness of joy. On the central shaft of the
pillars that support the arches of this celestial doorway is a curious
group of slight dents in the agate, where, tradition says, Christ,
descending from His bliss above, placed His wounded hand. Pilarica had
been guiding an old blind peasant to this sacred column, helping the
groping fingers find their way to that strange impress, for all Galicia
believes that a prayer offered with the hand placed here is sure of
answer. When the grateful peasant had been led, as he requested, to the
nearest confessional, Pilarica ran back to see the hand of Dolores set
against the shaft, while tears rained down the girl’s wan cheeks as she
prayed for her lover of whose death in prison vague rumors had floated

“Let us ask for Father and Big Brother to come back,” blithely proposed
Pilarica to Rafael. “God might listen better if we asked for one at a
time. I’ll pray for Rodrigo and let you pray for Father.”

The boy’s dark eyes were deep with memory, but after Pilarica, standing
on tiptoe, had fitted her small finger-tips to those five tiny hollows,
worn by faith in the hard marble, his brown hand followed hers.

Rafael tried to pray: “Please, God, bring my Father home,” but a rich,
tender voice rose from the past to check the words,--a voice that said:
“Wish nothing for yourself nor for me but that we may do our duty.” “May
my Father do his duty, dear God,” prayed the boy’s heart in its simple
loyalty, and as he lifted his eyes to the saints in Paradise, their glad
faces answered his wistful look with a strange, sweet fellowship.

Tia Marta gave them hospitable greeting at the cottage, where
Grandfather, over whose mind the mists, dispelled for the time being by
the excitement of the journey, were gradually drifting again, had of
his own impulse taken up his abode. Both Pedrillo, doing unexpectedly
well with the land, and Tia Marta, vastly flattered by Grandfather’s
preference, made him gladly welcome. When Dolores and the children came
in, he was rocking Juanito’s cradle and crooning over it broken lines of
the riddles now fast melting from his memory.

As Pilarica caught up the chubby two-year-old, Dolores quietly drew the
cradle out of Grandfather’s reach, for, as all Galicia knows, to rock an
empty cradle is an omen of ill to the baby who is next put into it.

Pilarica was pinching, one by one, Juanito’s wriggling toes:

    “What a family! One is tall;
       Two are shorter than that;
     And there is one that is weak and small,
       And one exceeding fat.”

Then Baby Bunting had a chance to show off his accomplishments.

“Kill a Moor,” commanded Rafael, and the pudgy fist shot out straight at
Rafael’s nose.

“How many gods are there?” catechised Pilarica, and one pink finger was
raised with most orthodox energy.

Meanwhile Tia Marta, who had grown at least ten years younger, was
bustling happily about, setting forth white bread and honey and crisp
fried potatoes for her guests. Not until they had eaten, did she venture
to ask Dolores if there was any word.

“No good word,” answered the girl, her eyes flooding with tears, “and it
has been so long.”

“Tut, tut!” said Tia Marta. “God is not dead of old age. Your lover’s
feet may be seeking you now. While there is God, there is mercy.”

“There is a buzzing in my ears,” spoke up Grandfather suddenly. “A leaf
has fallen from the Tree of Life.”

“Never mind him,” snapped Tia Marta, carefully tucking her best shawl
over his knees, “an old canary who doesn’t know what he sings. How
Juanito looks up and laughs! He sees the cherubs at play. Be of good
cheer, Dolores! Your sailor-lad may come back to you yet, and, if not,
God, who gives the wound, will give the medicine.”

“Will Father and Big Brother come back, Tia Marta?” asked Pilarica.

“To be sure they will,” hastily answered the old nurse with a choke in
her voice. “God never wounds with both hands. Doña Barbara has enough to
bear in seeing Dolores waste away without having to weep for Don Carlos,

And indeed Dolores was but a shadow of the plump, rosy girl who had
sported with her cousins a year ago. So changed she was that a ragged
wayfarer, resting in the walnut-grove, did not recognize her, although
he had carried her face in his heart for many a yearning day. And the
nutting party looked down on him and his no less gaunt companion with
the easy compassion that views the misery of strangers. Spain had grown
used to the wretched sight of sick and crippled soldiers from the West
Indies and the Philippines creeping toward their homes. But Rodrigo knew
his little sister.

“Pilarica!” he cried feebly, staggering to his feet, and clasping her in
one loving arm--his other sleeve hung empty--while, after a long,
wondering gaze, Dolores and her Vigo lover drew silently together.

Rodrigo freed his hand for his brother, whose questioning eyes searched
that haggard face from which all trace of youth had disappeared.

“Rafael,” said the soldier, meeting the boy’s look steadily, “when the
Yankees raised a Spanish battle-ship, that had gone down in gallant
fight, they found in the engine-room the body of her Chief Engineer. His
hand still gripped the lever. He had died at his post. He had done his

The lad stood erect, with folded arms, as he had stood by the Sultana
Fountain on that April night that seemed so long ago.

“That is a beautiful story,” said Pilarica, who had not understood.

“All stories are beautiful if one has a magic cap,” answered Big
Brother, smiling down into the winsome little face, but not with his old
gay smile. Yet there was something sweeter in it than before.

“No,” corrected Pilarica, who was kissing the empty sleeve over and
over. “It is Rafael who has the magic cap. It turns badnesses into

“And it will turn this pain into splendor, my brother,” said Rodrigo,
reeling from weakness and catching at Rafael’s shoulder with the one
thin hand. “Have you a bit of chocolate about you, laddie? How tall you
have grown! And how you have come to look like Father! That is his own
courage I am seeing in your face.”

“I will run on ahead to Tia Marta, who will make you a feast,” cried
Pilarica, so lost in rapture that still she did not catch the meaning of
what Rodrigo had said.

“Bread and cheese will be feast enough, especially if Tia Marta adds her
pinch of pepper,” replied Rodrigo, with a queer little ghost of a laugh.
“The Geography Gentleman--Heaven reward him!--cared for me and a dozen
more of us at Granada and gave me gold for the railroad journey north to
you; but there were so many of my half-starved comrades on the train
that the money was all gone before we had reached Leon and I have been
walking and living on the charity of berry-bushes and walnut-trees ever
since. But bide a wee, Caramel Heart! I have grand news for you. You
are to go to school,--a real girls’ school. What do you think of that?
It is in charge of a lady from over the sea, Doña Alicia, a lady who
loves Spain and was kind to us poor fellows in the hospital. Father
would, I know, be glad to have you go to her and learn.”

“It will be lovely to learn,” trilled Pilarica, the leaves rustling a
song of their own under her tripping feet. “And when Father comes home,
we’ll be just as happy under the sky as the angels are on top.
Grandfather says they dance all night and sometimes they jostle down a
star. And Father will come home soon, for the pillar prayers are always
answered. Only see! Dolores’ prayer and mine are answered already.”

“Mine was answered first,” said Rafael, and his voice, though a sob
broke through it, was proud,--the voice of a hero’s son.


=Abdorman Murambil Xarif.= (Ab-dōr´-mahn Moor-ahm´-beel Xah-reef´.)

There is much reason to fear that this Moorish name was made up by

=Adolfo.= (Ah-dŏl´-fo.)

Adolphus. Adolph. A boy’s name meaning Noble Wolf.

=Augustin.= (Ah-goos-teen´.)

Augustus. Austin. A boy’s name meaning August, Exalted, Imperial.

=Alameda.= (Ah-la-meh´-dah.)

A shaded walk, as through a park.

=Alfonsito.= (Al-fŏn-see´-to.)

Little Alfonso.

=Alfonso.= (Al-fŏn´-so.)

Alphonso. A boy’s name meaning Ready. The present king of Spain is
Alfonso XIII.

=Alhambra.= (Al-hăm´-brah.)

The famous fortress and palace built by the Moors on a hilltop
overlooking Granada. The name is Arabic and means Ruddy, perhaps from
the color of the stone.

=Ana.= (Ah´-nah.)

Anna. Hannah. Anne. A girl’s name meaning Gracious. St. Anne, the mother
of the Madonna, is much beloved in Spain.

=Angelito.= (An-hel-lee´-to.)

Little angel.

=Arnaldo.= (Ar-năl´-do.)

Arnold. A boy’s name meaning Strong as an Eagle.

=Arré.= (Ar´-ray.)

Gee. The shout of a Spanish driver in urging on his mule.

=Arriero.= (Ar-re-er´-o.)

Muleteer; carrier.

=Ay de mi.= (I´ day mee´.)

Alas, poor me!

=Bastiano.= (Bäs-te-ah´-no.)

Short for Sebastiano. Sebastian. A boy’s name meaning Reverend. St.
Sebastian, a brave and beautiful young martyr shot all over with arrows,
is a favorite saint in Spain and Italy.

=Bavieca.= (Bah-ve-ā´-ca.)

The name of the Cid’s horse, mentioned in almost every one of the
hundred ballads of the Cid.

=Benito.= (Bā-nee´-to.)

Benedict. A boy’s name meaning Blessed.

=Bernardo del Carpio.= (Ber-nar´-do del Car´-pe-o.)

A Spanish warrior of the eighth or ninth century. The king long held the
father of Bernardo in cruel imprisonment and when at last obliged to
restore the captive, had him murdered in his dungeon, mounted the dead
body, in full armor, on horseback, and sent that forth to the expectant
son, who, in his grief and rage, went over to the Moors. See page 84.

=Blanco.= (Blan´-co.)

White. In this story, the name of a white mule.

=Bolondron.= (Bō-lon-drŏn´.)

A sonorous name fit for a braggart.

=Brasero.= (Brä-sā´-ro.)

Brasier. A pan for holding burning coals.

=Cadiz.= (Cä´deth. More often pronounced by the Andalusians Cä´-de.)

A fortified city on the southern coast of Spain.

=Capitana.= (Cah-pe-tah´-nah.)

Captainess. In this story, the name of a mule who insists on taking the

=Carbonera.= (Car-bon-er´-ah.)

Derived from =carbon= (car-bone´), meaning charcoal. In this story, the
name of a soot-colored mule.

=Carlos.= (Car´-los.)

Charles. A boy’s name meaning Noble of Spirit.

=Carmencita.= (Car-men-thee´-tah.)

Little Carmen. A girl’s name.

=Catalina.= (Cah-tah-lee´-nah.)

Catherine or Katharine.

=Celestino.= (Thel-es-tee´-no.)

Celestine. A boy’s name not uncommon in Spain.

=Cid.= (Pronounced in English, Sĭd; in Spanish, Thed.)

An Arabic word, meaning lord, given as a title of honor to Rodrigo
(Ro-dree´-go) or Ruy (Roo´-e) Diaz (Dee´-ath) de Bivar (Be-var´), a
Spanish hero of the eleventh century.

=Cigarron.= (Thie-gar-rón.)

The word, meaning a big cigar, appears in this story as a surname.

=Compostela.= (Com-po-stā´-lah.)

This word, derived from the Latin, =Campus Stellae=, the Field of the
Star, keeps in the name of the City of St. James a memory of the bright
star which, according to the legend, pointed out his burial place in

=Consuelo.= (Con-soo-āl´-o.)

Consolation; comfort. Many a Spanish girl is called Consuelo, the full
form being Maria (Mah-ree´-ah) del Consuelo, Mary of Comfort, one of the
names of the Madonna.

=Copla.= (Co´-plah.)

A stanza, usually a couplet or quatrain.

=Coronela.= (Co-ro-nā´-lah.)

Derived from =corona= (co-rōn´-ah), meaning crown. In this story, a
mule of crowning excellence.

=Cubilon.= (Coo-be-lōn´.)

See pages 235-236.

=Darro.= (Där´-ro.)

A deep-gorged river dividing the Alhambra hill from the hill where the
gypsies of Granada live in caves.

=Diego.= (Dee-ā´-go.)

James. Jacob. A boy’s name meaning the Supplanter. St. James the Apostle
was for centuries the Patron Saint of Spain.

=Dolores.= (Dō-lōr´-es.)

Sorrows. The full form of the name Dolores, common among Spanish girls,
is Maria (Mah-ree´-ah) de los (lōs) Dolores, Mary of the Sorrows.

=Don.= (Dŏn.)

A title of respect for a man; Mr., but used only before the Christian
name. See =Señor=.

=Doña.= (Dō-nyä.)

A title of respect for a woman; Mrs., but given to unmarried women as
well as married, and used only before the Christian name.

=Ernesto.= (Er-nĕs´-to.)

Ernest. A boy’s name meaning Earnest.

=Estremadura.= (Es-trā-mah-doo´-rah.)

A tableland in the west of Spain, lying north of Andalusia and between
New Castile and Portugal.

=Fiesta.= (Fe-es´-tah.)


=Francisco.= (Frän-thēs´-co.)

A boy’s name, meaning Free, common in Roman Catholic countries, for
there are at least five saints of this name. The dearest of them all is
the gentle Italian, St. Francis of Assisi (As-see´-zee), who loved the
poor so well it was said he had taken Lady Poverty for a bride, and who
looked upon all beasts and birds as his own brothers and sisters.

=Giralda.= (He-rahl´-dah.)

The bell-tower of Seville cathedral. See page 58.

=Granada.= (Grah-nah´-dah.)

The meaning of the word is pomegranate, and this fruit is emblazoned in
the arms of the Andalusian city of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold
in Spain.

=Guilindon.= (Gee-lin-dōn´.)

See page 165.

=Hilario.= (E-lah´-ree-o.)

Hilary. A boy’s name meaning Merry.

=Isabel.= (E-sah-bel´.)

Isabel; Elizabeth; Betsy. A girl’s name meaning Consecrated to God.

=Isabelita.= (E-sah-bel-ee´-tah.)

Little Isabel.

=José.= (Hō-zay´.)

Joseph. A boy’s name meaning He Shall Aid. St. Joseph, the husband of
the Madonna, is very popular in Spain and many boys bear his name. Girls
are often called Josefa. (Hō-zāy´-fa.)

=Juan.= (Hoo-ahn´.)

John. A boy’s name meaning The Gracious Gift of God. In this story, it
is on the Eve of St. John the Baptist, June 24, that Pilarica finds the
baby, not on the Eve of St. John the Evangelist, which falls in the
winter, December 27.

=Juanito.= (Hoo-ahn-ee´-to.)

Little John.

=Larán-larito.= (Lär-än´-lär-ee´-to.)

A musical group of syllables for a ringing refrain, as Tra-la-la or

=Leandro.= (Lay-ahn´-dro.)

Leander. A boy’s name meaning Lion-Man.

=Leon.= (Lay-ōn´.)

The name of a province lying west of Old Castile and also of its capital

=Lobina.= (Lo-bee´-na.)

She-wolf. See pages 235-236.

=Lorenzo.= (Lo-rĕn´-zo.)

Laurence. A boy’s name meaning Crowned with Laurel. St. Laurence was a
Spaniard and bore himself with true Spanish nonchalance even when
suffering the martyrdom of being roasted on a gridiron. “I am done on
this side,” he said. “Turn me over.”

=Lorito.= (Lō-ree´-to.)

A pet name from =loro= (lō´-ro), parrot, like our Polly. Parrots are
very common pets in Spain, especially in Andalusia, where they sometimes
mock the schoolboys by shrieking from their balcony perches:

    “I hate to go to school.
       Oh, oh, oh!
     For I am such a fool,
       And Master beats me so.”

=Madrid.= (Mah-dred´.)

The capital city of Spain, almost at the geographical centre of the

=Malaga.= (Mah´-lah-gah.)

A fine old seaport on the southern coast of Spain. Malaga grapes go the
world over.

=Mambrú.= (Mahm-broo´.)

A folk-song name for a soldier.

=Manta.= (Mahn´-tah.)

A horse-cloth.

=Manuel.= (Mah-noo-āl´.)

Emanuel, Emmanuel. This sacred name, meaning God With Us, is often given
to Spanish boys.

=Maria.= (Mah-ree´-ah.)

Mary. This beautiful name, variously interpreted as meaning Bitter,
Rebellion, Star of the Sea, is a favorite for girls in all Christian
lands, and in Spain, which believes itself under the special protection
of the Madonna, is often given to boys as well, being in such cases one
among the several names that a Spanish child usually carries. See page

=Mariana.= (Mah-ree-ah´-nah.)

Marian, Marion. Another form of Mary.

=Marta.= (Mah´-tah.)

Martha. A girl’s name meaning The Ruler of the House; also, Melancholy.

=Melampo.= (May-lam´-po.)

See pages 235-236.

=Mercedes.= (Mer-thā´-des.)

Mercy. Not unusual among the names of Spanish girls.

=Milagros.= (Mee-lah´-grōs.)

Miracles. The full name would be Maria de los Milagros.

=Moreto y Hernandez.= (Mo-ray´-to ee Er-nahn´-deth.)

It is customary in Spain for one to keep, as here, the surnames of both
father and mother, united by =y= meaning =and=. See page 89.

=Murillo.= (Moo-ree´-lyo.)

A famous Spanish painter of the seventeenth century. See page 168.

=Patio.= (Pah´-te-o.)

An open court. See pages 90 and 102.

=Pedrillo.= (Pay-dree´-lyo.)

Little Peter. From =Pedro= (Pay´-drō), Peter, meaning A Rock.

=Peligros.= (Pay-lee´-gros.)

Perils. The full name would be Maria de los Peligros.

=Pepito.= (Pay-pee´-to.)

Little Joe. A pet-name from =José=.

=Peregrina.= (Pay-ray-gree´-nah.)

Pilgrim. In this story, the name of a mule.

=Peseta.= (Pay-say´-tah.)

A silver Spanish coin, looking much like our quarter dollar, but worth
only about twenty cents.

=Pilar.= (Pe-lar´.)

Pillar. Many Spanish girls are called Pilar, the full name being Maria
del Pilar, after the Madonna of Saragossa. See pages 221-222.

=Pilarica.= (Pe-lah-ree´-kah.)

Little Pilar.

=Pinta.= (Pin´-ta.)

In the circle-dances, the name of a bird.

=Puchero.= (Poo-chay´-rō.)

A stew made up of beef or lamb, ham or bacon, chickpeas and other
vegetables,--a standing dish in all Spanish countries. See page 173.

=Quixote.= (Ke-hō´-tā.)

Don Quixote is the hero of a celebrated Spanish romance by Cervantes
(Ther-vän´-tes). See page 76. Our word quixotic is derived from Don

=Rafael.= (Rah-fah-el´.)

Raphael. A name, meaning The Healing of God, often given to boys in
Italy and Spain. Raphael the Archangel, deemed the guardian of all
humanity and especially of the young and of travellers, is a saint of
the church calendar.

=Rita.= (Ree´-tah.)

See page 3.

=Rodrigo.= (Ro-dree´-go.)

Roderick. A boy’s name meaning Rich in Fame,--a name famous in the early
history of Spain.

=Rocinante.= (Rō´-the-nahn´-tay.)

A name, meaning a wornout old cab-horse, that Don Quixote gave to his
gaunt steed.

=Rosita.= (Rō-see´-tah.)

Little Rose. A pet-name from =Rosa= (Rō-sah.)

=Roxa.= (Rō-xah.)

Roxana, meaning Dawn of Day. In this story, the name of a cat.

=San.= (Sahn.)

Saint. The feminine form is Santa (Sahn´-tah.)

=Sancho Panza.= (Sahn´-ko Pahn´-thah.)

The name, suggesting a round body set on spindle-shanks, is that of Don
Quixote’s esquire. Don Quixote, the very soul of romance, arming himself
in what seemed to everybody else a ridiculous fashion, rode forth on his
lean nag to redress the wrongs of the world, and after him jogged Sancho
Panza, on his donkey Dapple, a goblin of commonsense.

=Santiago.= (Sahn-te-ah´-gō.)

St. James; also the city called by his name. The full name of this
Galician city is Santiago de Compostela.

=Señor.= (Say-nyōr´.)

Sir. Used as Mr. before the surname, not, like Don, before the Christian
name. In this story, the children’s father would be addressed by friends
as Don Carlos; by strangers as Señor Moreto.

=Señora.= (Say-nyor´-ah.)

Madame. Used as Mrs. before the surname, not, like Doña, before the
Christian name.

=Señorito.= (Say-nyōr-ee´-to.)

Young sir.

=Serení.= (Say-ray-nee´.)

See pages 33-34.

=Sierra Nevada.= (Se-er´-rah Nay-vah´-dah.)

=Nevada= is an adjective from =nieve= (ne-ay´-vay), snow; the first meaning
of =sierra= is saw; so that Snowy Saw is the literal name given to the
white, keenly cleft mountain-range of southern Spain.

=Siesta.= (Se-es´-tah.)

The nap after the midday meal, in the heat of early afternoon.

=Sombrero.= (Som-bray´-ro.) Hat.

=Sultan.= (Sool-tahn´.)

In Moorish and Turkish lands, Sultan is the title given to the emperor.

=Sultana.= (Sool-tah´-nah.) Empress.

=Teresa.= (Tay-ray´-sah.)

Theresa. This name, which means Carrying Ears of Corn, is often given to
Spanish girls, because of the sixteenth-century mystic and reformer,
Santa Teresa, who was born in Castile.

=Tia.= (Tee´-ah.) Aunt.

=Titirinela.= (Te-te-re-nay´-lah.)

A group of singing syllables much like Hey diddle diddle.

=Toledo.= (To-lay´-dō.)

The oldest and most wonderful city of Castile. See page 186.

=Tenorio.= (Tay-nō´-re-oh.)

In this story, the name of a tall, thin muleteer.

=Ventera.= (Ven-tay´-rah.) The woman who keeps an inn. The =venta=
(ven´-tah) in Spain is a poor tavern by the wayside, not so good as the
=posada= (po-sah´-dah) and far inferior to the hotel.

=Vigo.= (Vee´-go.) A seaport of Galicia.

=Virgen.= (Veer´-hen.)

Virgin. The Madonna of Saragossa is known as Virgin del Pilar.

=Xarifa.= (Xah-ree´-fah.)

Xarifa is a Moorish name for a woman. It is used with fine musical
effect in Lockhart’s ballad =The Bridal of Andalla=. There is nothing
better than Lockhart’s =Spanish Ballads= to fill one’s mind with the
romance of Spain.

=Zinga.= (Zin´-gah.) A general name for gypsies in Spain is =Zingari=
(Zin´-gah-e). In this story, Zinga is the name of a gypsy-girl.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical error corrected by the etext transcriber:

fragant air=> fragrant air {pg 102}

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