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trim Alameda, with, its avenue of young
dry trees, and its benches on which a few
loafers are sleeping. We get out into lanes
and gardens, opening to the level dusty
plains, lined with water-courses that are
formed by the grey dust and stony detritus
from the Tejada mountains. There is no
road now at all, only a padded-out track
in the dust, such as leads you across the
black lava dust round Vesuvius.

We ford shallow purling streams, and work
round a river in which muleteer boys are
bathing with intense delight. We pass dusty,
bloodless olive-trees of great age, that remind
me of Palestine, and cross brooks which are
fringed by purple oleanders. Now a stony
dusty climb, as round the base of Snowdon;
till we make a certain windmill, at the mouth
of a gorge that has been two hours
tantalisingly in sight. More dusty rock and barren
mule-track, bedropped here and there with
gnawed melon-rinds, and we come suddenly
upon a green valley of orange-trees, hidden in
a scooped out bowl of the mountains, beautiful
as a glimpse of the enchanted gardens that
lured Thalaba into sudden rapture in the
Desert, and bright as the Happy Valley of
Rasselas. How glossy green and burnished
the round serrated leaves are; how close-grained
and seamed the light brown trunks;
why, in spring, when the white-blossom is out,
this valley must have the perfume of Paradise,
and the scent as of the wings of encamping
angels, floated hither on eastward clouds. To
guard it as with drawn swords wreathed
with green, stand the dark cypresses, those
patient, watchful trees of one fixed idea of
stuck-upedness and gloomy hypochondria.
I look for the omega-shaped palm, but it is
not there; yet there is the fan-leaved
tamarisk, and the Egyptian lupin, in the
gardens, and children picking the tunas, with
clothes'-peg hooks fastened to long spear-handles.
As for the orange-trees, their fruit
is still in light green glossy globes, and is not
yet turned to the redder gold of perfect
ripeness. Shall I know ye again in Garcia's
window in Cheapside? I trow not.

It is all very well to talk of Paradise, but
I know, on the mountains, where you catch
your first purple glimpse of the Sierra
Nevada, I shall pass rows of murder-crosses,
with " Pray for the soul of Sancho Panza,"
killed here, such a date, and so on. So I
will push on, while it may be called to-day,
up these white burnt mountains, to the
Byron's Ay de mi Alhama, or, it may be,
Ay de mi for the friend of Hodgins, of the
Mounted Bombardiers.

Now, hotter and hotterwith my red and
green umbrella up (when I don't use it to
whack Hiccup), and El Moro, whom the heat
makes sullen and silent, with his handkerchief
streaming down the back of his neck
we enter a mountain village, up green and
water-splashed sloping lanes. Everywhere a
hot scented steam of drying raisins rises in
the fiery air. From every white-washed
house you hear the smith's hammer
pound and tinkle, as he coopers-up Malaga
raisin casks. Under every shed, thatched
with dry reeds, you see busy carpenters
planing and shaping those little raisin boxes
that adorn the Christmas windows of London
grocers. Down the rocks come more mules,
laden with boxes. We have scarcely room to
pass them, especially when a water-course
boils and bubbles on the right hand side of
the rocky pathway. The dark-eyed village
girls are beating clothes clean in the rivulet
below us. Under the sheds are old women
sorting dry yellow maize husks, to stuff
mattresses with;  and others are plaiting the
grass cordage that is used in tying the boxes
on the mules and donkeys.

The heat has become glaring and
intolerable, as we toil round and round the
upward path, sometimes in solid grooves of
rock, only just wide enough for the horses'
hoofs; sometimes over broad, slippery table
slabs of rock, over which Hiccup,  who drives
me to the use of violent interjections in
Englishperhaps the reason he takes no
notice of themdrawls, struggles, and strains
with difficulty. I feel like Hagar in the
desert, struck through and through with
sun-arrows, my eyes dazzled, my limbs red-hot,
my lungs on fire. We stop nearly every
ten minutes or less, at the wayside chozas
(huts), where a jar, tied to the post, indicates
water is sold, and before the landlady can
shuffle out, seize it, and tip over a good
pint. It rolls down my throat nectar, liquid
manna, sweeter than the wine which I keep
for medicinal fiery sips at certain turns of
the road where the scenery demands some
vinous backing up. We hand the crone the
usual cuatros, and ride on, cheerful, talkative,
and rejoicing. It is no use; five
minutes more of clamber and circus feats
over that perpendicular, hot, white rock, and
again the roof of my mouth is like a dried
potsherd, my saliva is gone, I pant and pine
and moan for water. So we go on, circling,
climbing, and scrambling over loose stones,
through hot dust that we seem to breathe.
In vain I loosen shirt and waistcoat; the
sunlight comes down like raining fire, and
drains stamina, pluck, vigour, hope, energy,
ardour, and almost life.

At last, after miles of these burning mountains,
by degrees, as we leave man and man's
home, and rise higher and higher, through
defiles where the mailed Moors must have
poured down often to succour Alhama, or
threaten the Velez valleys, the sun seems to
get a little soothed and softened. We get up
to higher tracts, cloven with water-courses,
as by earthquake fissures. There are distant
mountains, brown and stony; nothing grows
but broom, the dried discs of half-withered
thistles and sweet-smelling bright evergreen
rosemary, space some of which I pick for
remembrance. The ghosts of the night bear down