A Legend of St. Bartholomew
“Father—dear father!” exclaimed Alina; “how did you come here so quickly, for I have only just arrived? And how did you pass by the guards?”
The baron was going to tell her, but the saint, in a whisper, enjoined silence on this point; and the baron now noticed that the saint was invisible.
“Never mind, dear child, how I came here; it is enough that I am here,” replied her father. “And I intend taking you home with me, dear Alina. The castle is so lonely without you;” and the old man sobbed.
At this moment Al-muli entered the chamber, and, seeing Alina’s father there, he thought there had been treachery among his guards; so striking a gong that was near him, a number of armed men rushed in.
“How now, traitors!” said he. “How have you been careful of your duties when you have allowed this stranger to enter unobserved?”
The soldiers protested their innocence, until at last Al-muli commenced to think that there must be some secret entrance into his castle.
“Search everywhere!” screamed the infuriated Moor. “Have the guard doubled at all the entrances, and send me up the captain!”
Al-muli’s instructions were carried out, and the captain reported that all was safe.
“Old man,” said the Moor, addressing the baron, “I have thee now in my power. Thou wert the enemy of my noble race. To thy blind rage my predecessors owed their downfall in Portugal. Thy bitter hatred carried thee to acts of vengeance. Thou art now in my power, but I will not harm one of thy grey hairs.”
“Moor,” replied the baron, with a proud look, “can the waters of the Manzanares and of the Guadalquivir join? No! And so cannot and may not thy accursed race join with ours! Thy race conquered our people, and in rising against thine we did but despoil the despoiler.”
“Thy logic is as baseless as thy fury was wont to be,” answered the Moor. “Though hundreds of miles separate the Manzanares from the Guadalquivir, yet do they meet in the mightier waters of the ocean. Hadst thou said that ignorance cannot join hands with learning, thou wouldst have been nearer the mark, or that the Cross can never dim the light of the Crescent.