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who wishes to buy water, and generally a
rude stall with a dirty red decanter of wine
and some greasy tumblers to attract the
muleteers. But we want to get to Velez
Malaga before noon; and push on.
Sometimes there are opaque-looking grapes and
shelly, earthy-looking pomegranates, or a
melon with a green slashed sample sliced out
of its circumference.

Hotter! hotter! What will it come to?
Shall we not be shrivelled or turned to
statuettes? More donkeys trumpeting to
each other, and winding down from the
distant rock angles, by the red crumbly earth-hill,
green with vines, where the vintage is
beginning, and where the white-walled
hacienda, fenced in with orange-trees, stands
like a beacon to this winding road, where we
only begin to ascend by a viaduct that winter
torrents roll under, and under the Carthaginian
martello-tower on the cliff, now left
for the hawk and lizard to settle their
differences in.

"Did Hannibal build that?" I ask El

"It's only an old castle," replies my
unantiquarian guide, loading with brown
dust-tobacco the white paper tube of his fourth

Now the scene of my Spanish panorama
changes; for I leave the undulating red
hills and their procession of stubby vines
and trend away to the left through a low
lane shaded (a blessing on that word!) by
hedges, or rather groves, of immense green
rushes, with stalks like wild cane, and
willowy leaves always on the stir. They are
twice my height, and I slash at them as if I
was charging a phalanx of Mussulmen; for
Don Quixote is in my mind, and I am in the
old region of the water-loving Moor.

Now the rich farms of the Sultan Boabdil
are before me, and I amble past broad, hedgeless
fields, where the sweet green melons
globes of liquid honey to the tastelie
weltering about, surrounded by a dry
entanglement and cordage of withered branch
and tendril. There are fields of sugar-cane,
too, green and pleasant to the eye, already
high as ripe wheat, though not to be bled and
cut till spring; low-lying batateras, or sweet
potatoes, with fantastic shaped jagged leaves;
tracts of indigo, and enclosures of white
tasseling maize. There is pepper, too, and
there are orange tomatoes and orchards of
pomegranates; and everywhere through this
Eden rippling canals of running waterthe
sweetest music to the ear in. a climate all but
tropical. Here, too, are hedges of my old
friend the prickly pear, rough as lions'
tongues or flattened crusted hedgehogs; and,
everywhere among the dusty evergreen trees
and blossoms I hear the droning hum of the
cicala; now like a fairy spinning-wheel, now
metallically sharp and gustily restless and
monotonous. It singularly affects the excited
mind does the chink and singing clatter of
these invisible insects hid among the aloes.
You are alone; there are no birds singing;
it must be to you they call. What do they
say? What do they want? They are in the
trees, too, and ten feet high among the red-green
fruit of that prickly pear, and up behind the
green scoops of the aloes, and all singing in
whirring unison and at once, with a metallic
pulse as if the heat had become vocal. The
sound is as of a factory at work, deafening
and shrill. We have left the mules laden
with planks and raisin-boxes, the crumbling
Carthaginian seaside towers, water-mills,
creaking, straining, and splashing, wine-stalls
with resting muleteers, cliffs, desert commons
and sloping vineyards. We leave oxen
patient, waddling beastsdragging at a snail's
pace, high matted carts. We left savage
looking fishermen staggering fifteen miles
to market with yoked panniers of glittering
fish upon their sturdy, sunburnt necks. More
dry, dusty beds of winter streams, more
herdsmen gnawing melons, more fishermen
mending nets under tents; and we reach,
amid a pressing fury of growing heat, the
place of our noon-day siestathanking God
for breakfast after our eight hours' ride.

I will not relate how the toadying, smiling
landlord of the posada at Velez Malaga kept,
all the time I ate squares of the red saddle he
called pork, fanning me to keep the flies off
my august face, or how he divested me of
the rich thick coating of white road-dust
except where the water of streams we had
splashed in and forded had turned it to wet
mud. They had no butter; for the Spaniards
get all they use salt, stale, and smelling, from
Holland; no cheese, because the Spaniards
do not care for cheese; so, at last, weary,
vexed, and burnt up with the glare of the last
few hours' ride, I threw myself down on the
landlord's bed over the stables, and went to
sleep till the horses had fed and rested.

I did not stop long at the birthplace of
the great enemy of Wellington, chiefly
renowned as having lost more than a hundred
battles. I had seen the Atalaya towers, and
seen the spires and Moorish fortress of the
old Roman station. I had tasted the famous
sugar-cane honey; I had seen the sugar-canes
from which sprang all those of South America,
and had heard the legend of Sebastian Pelao,
who sacrificed himself to save Ferdinand the
Catholic from a Moor's javelin. I had now
to mount the barren Tejada mountains, on
whose tops nothing but the wild rosemary
and a few aromatic shrubs grow. I have
to reach to-night Alhama, the Roman and
Moorish city of hot springs, the unclean
mountain Cheltenham of Spain, only
accessible by muleteers

El Moro gives the word below my window
to boot and saddle. I, torpid and drowsy,
stagger up and mount on the bad eminence
of Hiccup, who now seems more than usually
stiff and lazy. We trot slowly in the face of a
raging sun you dare not look at, past the